Me time, self care, self love or whatever you call it is so important. I am regularly reminded by my dear husband that you can not pour from an empty cup and that rituals that support our emotional, mental, and social health are key. These do not have to be expensive or convoluted, in fact, some of the most effective for me are simple, easy and inexpensive.
At the end of 2018, I attended a conference at Instagram about Teenagers and social media, specifically teenagers and Instagram. I am not going to lie, it has taken me all this time to try and process the thoughts that came out of the event and also from my experience of parenting one teen and one soon to be teen boy. Plus add that to the fact that I once was a teen and a pretty tearaway one at that (I hope my boys are better behaved than I was)!
Choosing the best dog for your family was produced in partnership with Legal & General Choosing the best dog to join our family was one of the hardest decisions we ever made. I am not going to lie, it filled me with dread. I was worried that we would make the wrong decision and I would be left to pick up the pieces and that it would really change the family dynamic. Having a pet is a big responsibility and It really scared me, but I also knew that as a family we would all benefit from having a dog.
One of the hardest things about being a mum for me has always been managing the guilt. You know… the ever-present mum guilt that comes as a side order with everything. Have to go away with work, you guessed it I feel guilty at not being with the boys, guilty at the having too much screen time, guilty at not making them eat more vegetables. You get the picture.
Decorating with Teens is a paid collaboration with Dulux Easycare. One of my aims as a parent is to give my children life skills. One of those is decorating. I remember painting with my Dad and Grandad from a very early age. I had a boiler suit that I used to wear and remember one disaster when I got gloss paint in my long brown hair which meant it had to be washed in white spirit and smelled for what seems like weeks!
How to choose a family-friendly villa in Bali is paid collaborative post. So, you’ve got your tickets booked – you are coming to Bali this next holiday and you are bringing the kids along. Wonderful! Want your family island stay to be fun and relaxing for all of the family members? What you need is a private pool villa – a place that you can call your home for the whole duration of your stay on this beautiful and exotic island.
How Parents protect their Children from Laser Pointers – Lasers are not Toys is a paid collaborative post in conjunction with RoSPA. As the mum of a tween and a teen, I am well aware of the lure of lasers. Both of my boys have at some point asked for one and we have had to sit them down and explain that although lasers are fabulous things and have some brilliant uses such as in medicine and industry that they are not toys.
Tips for keeping safe whilst shopping online is a paid collaborative post with Mcafee. I am a BIG fan of doing my shopping online. I don’t really like crowds and much prefer to find the perfect gift in the comfort of my own home with the benefit of having it delivered directly to me. Plus the internet has opened up a wealth of independent shops that are no longer available on the high street where I live.
Buying gifts for teens can be a challenge at the best of times, but buying meaningful and ethical gifts can be hard. So I have got together with &Keep and my boys’ to bring you this amazing Ethical and plastic free gift guide for teens. These are not gifts that will be forgotten about once the festive season is over, these are things that will be used and replaced and also will not hurt the planet. Also, make sure you signup for &Keep’s newsletter as you get 10% off your first purchase.
Earlier in the year, I posted about how I felt that the body positivity had become hijacked by privileged white cis-gender, straight females wearing size 12 or 14 clothes. It turned out to be a pretty controversial post and I was left feeling silenced and I learned that people do not want to hear about body positivity from an overweight white woman who is disfigured and that it was much more palatable coming from that place of privilege. Over the summer I watched the movement and still felt unable to share my feelings for fear of being the dissenting voice in a sea of likes and compliments on how brave these campaigners are.
Ways to Save on Your Energy this Winter is a paid collaborative post with First Utility. I am all for saving money where I can and I am very lucky that I do not have to prioritise heating over feeding my family, however, I do want to make sure that if there are pennies to be saved that they are in my pocket.
Dealing with Starting School is a paid collaboration with Bassetts Vitamins. Starting school and going back to school can be such a big thing for a child and for a parent. I found both of my boys starting school one of the most stressful and worrying times in their lives so far. It was the first time that they were away from me for any length of time on a regular basis and I was really worried about them. How would they manage, would they eat school dinners, would they catch all the bugs that go round and how would they cope being without me!
As all parents know sleep really is the holy grail of parenting, whether it is you not getting enough or encouraging the kids to go to bed and sleep or to stay in bed longer. So I am delighted to be teaming up with Otty for this fabulous giveaway for an Otty mattress and two pillows worth £600. We have an Otty mattress (well Maxi does), so I can testify just how fabulous it is and how amazing this giveaway is.
How to save on back to school shopping is a paid collaborative post in conjunction with My Voucher Codes. I would love to think that I am an organised Mum but half the time I am a fly by the seat of my pants mum, however, when it comes to saving money I am on it! Raising children is expensive and any penny I can save means that I can spend it somewhere else, preferably on something fun.
Fab teen approved family activities is a paid collaborative post with Track Days. Having a teenager is taking some getting used to here in The Mad House. No longer can I coax them out of the house with the promise of a picnic and park day as I have done in the past. No the lure of their Xbox and friends (and for some teens their bed) is far too strong. So I have promised the boys that we will do one teen approved family activity a week.
Money-saving tips for UK family holidays is a paid collaberative post with Holiday Cottages. Holidays are when we make some of the best memories together as a family, but it can be hard to plan the perfect family holiday on a budget. Luckily UK holidays are becoming more and more affordable, and there are so many great attractions and places to visit across the country that you don’t even need to go abroad to have an amazing time with the kids. Holidays in the UK can be cheaper than you think, especially when you know how to make your money go further so it can be spent on the things that more »
Things to consider when planning a funeral service is a paid collaboration with Beyond. Losing a loved one is heartbreaking and frankly horrible. I have been in the position of organising both my parents’ funerals, thankfully neither on my own and it was really hard work. I have been going to write this post for the last month, but a couple of close friends have died and frankly I didn’t feel up to it, However, it also reinforced the fact that it is so important to share what you want to happen when you die with your loved ones and close friends.
Should you pay your teens to do chores? is a collaboration with Indesit. I used to be one of those smug mothers, you know the ones. I thought that I had it sussed. My children helped with chores, they cleaned up, tidied and didn’t complain. I even wrote about ways to get your kids to help do the chores. Oh well, what I can tell you is that karma totally is a thing…..
Top 10 Tips for getting kids to unplug on road tripsUnplugging on road trips is a paid collaboration with Aviva. It seems that car journeys for kids have changed a lot since I was small, mostly for the better. I remember being carried to the car in my PJ’s in the middle of the night and laid down on the back seat to go back to sleep without seatbelts, yes I am that old!
The world always needs more kindness and these 110 acts of kindness for kids are a great way to encourage children to be kinder than they need to be. We use these every year at Advent and lent and also over the summer. What I really want to do is instil a kindness mindset in my children and sometimes using a list like 110 Acts of Kindness for Children makes it much easier for the children to choose what they want to do.