Being a parent in a pandemic

Being a parent in a pandemic

Good afternoon, i hope everyone is well today and feeling a bit more positive today. I am coming to you today from a more positive mindset then i was in last week which was me at a very low point. I was at a point in life i was struggling with both my mental and physical health and the lockdown did not help things atall. On a normal day parenting can be hard, but throw in lockdown, terrible twos and potty training to the mix and we are really struggling.

First of all i’d like to say i cannot praise my son enough for how well he has done with all of this. To be told you can’t see your friends, family or even leave the house must be such a horrible thing for a child to endure let alone if they’re too old to understand why they are stuck in. It seems everyday he asks to see his family and friends, i think it’s quite sweet because it shows he thinks about others and how much he loves them. We had a pretty active social life by anyone’s standards, we would be out everyday seeing friends and family or going or just as mother and son (or the three of us). We’d do different things all the time such as meals out at different places, go swimming, soft play, bowling, the zoo and to different parks. I think he struggles most with understanding that he can’t go for play dates at peoples houses or they come to play here.So i do feel horrid when we have to stay inside each day, infact i have major mum guilt that just won’t shift. I try so hard to come up with play ideas and to keep him in contact with friends that it physically drained me last week so much so that i didn’t want to try to come up with anything new and wanted to give up my creative side for a few days.

Obviously we still have all the same cleaning responsibilities around the house, in fact more. For some reason being locked in makes me feel i need to be productive and clean and organise the whole house in every nook and cranny. The issue with being a parent is you struggle to have time to clean or perhaps do some diy like everyone else seems to be able to do such as painting the whole house or doing something from scratch. I can’t say to my son entertain yourself i’m off to redecorate or to deep clean a different room then he’s in. It gets you a bit down watching others enjoy this time to be productive. Of course my house is always very clean but i feel there is more i could do. I did a big clean the other day and brought elijah in each room i cleaned (except bathroom and kitchen) and let elijah watch his tablet too entertain him and i felt so guilty for taking time to clean the house. Some positives of this have however been that my son has took more interest in cleaning and likes to help sweep, dust and wipe the surfaces down with me. He’ll even try his hand at mopping, hoovering,tidying his toys away and he even has started to make his bed. It’s good to teach him that houses don’t stay clean and we all must work together to keep it clean. Aswell my house does look a bit more tidier as I’m not out all the time and don’t find cooking and cleaning as much of a chore then I did before. Its enabled me to slow down and really appreciate my house, how we’ve decorated and who and what is inside of it.

It’s quite hard being on my own with elijah by myself everyday with nobody to talk too till james is home at teatime and weekends. It must be so hard for single parents in this lockdown my heart really does bleed for them and i have the upmost respect. I really struggle with feeling lonely in this time and I kind of spiral from that. I feel so alone, when i am not alone because my son is here but he is two, he cannot hold a conversation and has much better things to get on with like playing with his dinosaurs. I also feel a pressure not to let him know i feel sad and be upbeat which feels so fake and horrid but i want to make my son feel happy and safe in this scary world. The positives of this is we get to spend more time together just the two of us and I’m able to construct more learning through play as I have the time. We spend a lot more on the floor playing and try to keep busy the best we can. It’s nice that Elijah seems to be learning well and hopefully he won’t become shy when he leaves the house again.

We’ve started looking after our neighbours a bit more. I regularly ask my older neighbours if they need anything as they are being shielded. we’ve gone to fill there gas and electricity cards for them and shared our food and brought them bits from the shop. We’ve also ordered them a box of fruit, veg and dairy products to arrive Monday. It’s been quite nice as we’ve started talking to them more and getting to know them more. Luckily we can see them as our fence fell down but obviously it’s not getting done for a while now! It’s quite nice because she said she was feeling lonely because of it all and we’ve been chatting because her family can’t help either! We made them a card from Elijah as Elijahs starting to call them grandma because they have white hair! So we joked he’s adopted a set of grandparents. They even made us some delicious cheese and onion scones and we had them for our lunch today! It’s nice to feel like a community and everyone seems so much more friendly. Maybe it’s the missing of everyone’s family and friends that brings us together .

We’ve however sorted the garden mostly and that means we get to play in the garden more. Elijah’s fabric toys where all ruined from the storms but I was able to salvage everything else. Looks like I’ll have to order a new tent and paddling pool if I can’t fix the old one up! It’s been nice watching Elijah enjoy the garden and getting some exercise in. We’ve done lots of sensory play in garden too so saves my living room from the mess. I feel for people who don’t have gardens so try to make my play ideas adaptable for people living in flats as well. T

his weather is pretty nice to so I’m making the most out of getting out alone. I know I should take my son when I can but I only get one form of exercise a day. When i’ve endured Elijahs grumpy behaviour all day I need that me time for my mental health. I do take him out some days but I really worry about him getting the virus to be honest. The way people still get too close really makes me anxious and I worry about him or me getting it. I also worry about him having a breakdown he wants to do something like swim in the lake or play on some play equipment in the park. I don’t want to feel like there’s more no’s o have to say to him and it makes me feel guilty enough. I try to take him out when James is off work so that we can enjoy family time as every weekend we would go out and I want to keep some element of reality even if that is just walking to the meadows by our house.

When home I like to open all my blinds and enjoy the sun beaming in now. I like to feel like I’m not in a prison but I’m safe at home and the weathers nice and warm so I can go in the garden and relax. I like to get dressed everyday so I remember it’s a different day and it makes us all feel a bit more positive. I’ve got really into taking time to enjoy food and experimenting in the kitchen a bit more. I don’t want to know how much weight I’m gaining from all the cakes and bits I’ve been baking or cooking. I’m finding more time for me to do my skincare at night and finding new hobbies all the time. Although all of this is great I do still miss leaving the house and having social interaction. I miss going out with my friends for dinner without the family too because it was my little bit of freedom to be again except for mummy.

The thing is being a parent really is hard. When a child is upset they fixate on it and have a meltdown to process those emotions the only way they know how. Although we understand they are trying to express those emotions and want to be supportive it’s hard to push our feelings down. For example being upset about a tantrum. After a whole day of dealing with tantrums it can really upset you. Physically and mentally. It is possible to accept their feelings and your own and you should not feel guilt about that. You are allowed to feel stressed when your child is being a terror and that is okay to feel emotions about it. So long as your not taking those emotions out on your child it is okay to have these feelings. Just because other people want to paint a perfect picture that they never have any negative feelings towards a child’s behaviour that doesn’t mean that what they say and post is true. We are human and we are going through a pandemic. Everyday we must try and adapt to new changes. We are afraid of others and the world around us. When it will go back to normal I do not know but I wish that we could start supporting others and say it’s okay to be struggling. This reality we live in is new and you have done damn well to adapt to it. You continue to support yourself and your children through every emotion and take on the role of superhero to get through this. You are staying in to save others, to save your family and friends. If you got up today and got on with the day you’ve done all you need to do! So well done! Continue to stay safe and be proud of what you’re doing everyday. You’re allowed to feel stressed and you’re allowed to feel down. My inbox is always open. Be safe and stay well.

Why is everyone turning into a troll during the lockdown

Why is everyone turning into a troll during the lockdown

So the yesterday I posted a photo that I had gone for a walk with my family to the beach. It’s a very short drive away and at the time I was legally allowed to do this and travel for exercise and we were also picking up my prescription which we had to travel in car for. We did not choose to go anywhere there where people and went to a old bit of a beach we know nobody goes. We would of gone to my local meadows for a walk buy the place is beginning to get busy as people discover it on a walk. They’ve had to close the car park to stop people visiting in groups. When we went we saw nobody and it was safer then walking around our neighbourhood. I have always gone to the beach when struggling with my mental health as it feels like a little holiday, a bit of paradise. Because I posted this everyone jumped on me and some people getting pretty personal which was very unneeded. Obviously I’d of deserved it if I had gone to a busy beach but I did not. And if I came into contact with any people which I did not. It really effected my severely down mood and made me feel horrendous and now because of this I’ll be scared to leave for groceries, exercise or for medical reasons because I fear I shouldn’t. Even though everyone else is going to jump down my throat again.

It’s really hard being stuck inside and I hadn’t took Elijah for a walk in over a week so we decided to go to the abandoned beach so we could get some pebbles for further stay home play too. I’ve noticed since I’ve been out people are turning quite vile on social media. Constantly telling people how to live their lives and that they can’t go out yet they’re doing what they legally can within restrictions. If the government doesn’t want people out full stop then they should stop allowing people out for excercise atall.

People are becoming quite personal and it’s breaking friendships apart. At the end of the day I followed government advise so my conscience is clear. I haven’t been out except for a walk or emergency food/medical runs . If people aren’t fair enough but people will always not listen. People will always fight the crowd. There is no reason to get yourself concerned and if your concerned contact the police. They can enforce the law not you.

Sitting behind a keyboard and spreading nothing but hate isn’t good for you or anyone else. Not just about the lockdown I’m seeing people judge parenting, appearances, houses and daily life. People are pulling apart people’s personalities at a time we should be lifting everyone up not down. I know a lot of trolling comes from peoples previous pain and is used as a outlet. Also a lot of people are scared and have had enough of being inside. But please don’t share hate it does nothing but cause upset and turns you bitter. Remember everyone is struggling right now. Everyone. Spread kindness not hate. Your comments may be seen you you as helpful and righteous but you never know the full story behind the person or their actions.

Romantic date ideas for lockdown in the UK.

Romantic date ideas for lockdown in the UK.

So you and your other half are on lockdown together and bored thinking of things to do. Normally you would go out for a movie or a trip to your faviourite coffee place and find something fun to do. But now you’re stuck inside. Nothing is open and your stuck thinking….What can we do? Well here’s some ideas.

First of all try not to see being home together as such a bad thing for a few hours. In reality we are all getting a bit bored stuck in the house but try think for a few hours your in the present it is what it is and enjoy some time with your spouse. Once you have a more positive mindset you may feel a bit better about the day and be ready for a indoor date.

First of all, dress up. Yes i know the tracksuit bottoms you have had since your 15 because they were once the most comfortable things you ever owned but don’t want to admit they’re now a food stained scratch mess are a comfort clothing choice during the lock down but think would i go to a date wearing that? If the answers no, change! You want to feel like you’re on a date so that means washing your greasy hair and having a shower. It’s amazing how much a shower or bath will lift your spirits. A spritz of perfume too will make you feel super fab even if there is nowhere to go. It has become a luxury from a time long forgot.If you want to wear make up to feel like youre going out it is not a waste if it’s going to make you feel good for a few hours and if you don’t want to and want to give your skin a much needed break then as shia labeouf would say “just do it”!

Here’s some indoor activivities you could do.

First up a cocktail making night! Get all your alcoholic drinks and fruit juices and fizzys and experiment making cocktails. You can order a fun cocktail making kit offline if you wanted to be more professional in your cocktail making skills. You can make mocktails to so it doesn’t have to be alcoholic i.e if you don’t drink or pregnant or something like that! Google some recipes online and work together to make some cocktails together as a team and obviously after sample them. Play some music in the background and just enjoy being free for a little bit. You might even end up a bit tipsy after so there is that too. You could always face time another couple and do the same and double date!

Try and cook something new from scrtach together. Then enjoy a candlelit meal together. You could flick through a cook book looking at something new you both might like and pick one at random. Or you could raid the cupboards for things you have that might go and make your own recipe up together. You could also challenge each other too cook a dish each and have your own master chef at home. Brownie points if your other half can’t cook and learns too.

Obviously hand in hand with cooking something new you could bake a cake or some cookies together. Helping each other and helping to decorate together can be quite a nice bonding experience and something to be proud of when finished. Also if you have a sweet tooth like me it’s great for being able to eat something naughty afterwards too.

Have a movie night. Get your favourite snacks. Set it up nicely so it feels a bit better (not eating from packets) put the lighting down low and choose some films. Watch a favourite each or choose something random too! Turn your phones off cuddle on the couch and get a blanket out. If you’re not a movie watcher binge, binge, binge a series!

Have a gaming night. Get some terrible multiplayer games out and shove a game on. Get competitive and have fun. Play things you wouldn’t normally play and retro classics to fully enjoy the experience.

Have a indoor picnic. Pack a picnic blanket and make space in your livingroom. Push sofas out the way and put a blanket or picnic mat down. Sit down together and turn everything of and just chat and enjoy your food. Have some wine if you like, Treat yourself!

Play some board games. Get uno out, monopoly, a puzzle or any games you might like. Make a competition of it and stop a game if you get bored> if you don’t have games make your own or play charades. Anything that makes you laugh. Again you could invite friends to play charades or drawing games.

Try and do a fancy dress with what you have and make a competition of it. Dress up as a cat, a Disney character or whatever you can think of. You can use paper, clothes or anything and have a bit of fun.

Do some art and crafts together. Make something or paint something together play some calming music and just relax together. Start a new hobby together.

Learn how to dance together watch a video online and learn how to dance. Or just have a simple bad dance session together. It’s always good for stress release to dance it all out.

Write each other letters. It’s romantic as heck and a great moment to keep. You can even do as a paper anniversary gift.

Have a self care night, have facemasks, spa trearments and give eachother massages. No it doesn’t always have to be erotic as i’m sure you don’t find it erotic at a spa. It’s wuite nice to show someone you care by treating them to a relaxing treatment every now and then and if the spas aren’t open bring them to you. Light a load of candles and get the aromatherapy essential oils on the go and just relax.

These are just some ideas of things you could do together obviously it’s not the biggest list and you might just want to chill in pj’s with a takeaway too as its a age old date from when you first started dating no doubt. Also remember we are still able to exercise once a day.. So go for a romantic stroll in the countryside. Go somewhere new everyday and look at different things. You can try bike riding together if you both have one and having a race against each other. Take your phone or cameras and take some photography and enjoy taking photos of things you see and each other. If you are away from partners too a lot of these could adapted to face time.

Isolation anxiety.

Isolation anxiety.

It’s a funny thing being in isolation. As a child it is used as a form of punishment in school. Being sent outside or to a room for the day to be alone in the hope that you fall in line with the rest of the children. And now… it appears to of become a way of life. I guess in some ways it is still a form of punishment. Because the world would not listen to the powers that be it has caused the sad spreading of the corona virus (covid-19) at a catastrophic rate. The advice was simple avoid non essential travel wash your hands and keep two metres apart, It really wasn’t that much to ask of a human.But that’s the thing about our species is we seem to have this function where we can choose whether we listen or not. Of course many people listened. Many of the elderly and the vulnerable self isolated and practised social distancing. But as always, some people just can’t take no for an answer. The restaurants had to shut, then then leisure centres which then spiralled to all public places to meet up such as museums, library, play parks and shops that are non essential. Now we are forced to stay home unless your job cannot be done from home or safely (unless your a key-worker). We are however permitted to leave the house for medical reasons or to shop for essentials. Fortunately as it stands we are aloud out for one form of exercise. However there are still plenty of people who are not listening. Who are making trips to the shops to buy paint or standing on street corners treating this another bank holiday. People are loosing their jobs day by day because of this disease and the longer people ignore advice the longer it will drag on. I am still seeing people visiting family and friends or having bbqs in the garden. People are also flocking in supermarkets getting to close for comfort to buy an Easter egg and no essential items other than that much needed product. The longer people carry the virus to households the longer this goes on. You may not know you have the virus or of already had it and be a carrier and spreading it to have a quick conversation with someone. Does everyone else in the world think we are all choosing not to see out family and friends for a laugh? Like we enjoy saying i can’t see you i might make you ill or you might make me ill.

Being in isolation has been quite hard. It’s hard for everyone but being a mother it makes it just that little bit harder for me personally. My son is almost two and a half years old and i am a stay at home mum. I am used to staying in some days but not all the time. Me and my son and my whole family really have very active social lifes. When i first became a stay at home mum after returning to work for ten months i spent quite alot of time alone at home and at the time i suffered quite heavily with post natal depression. I found that what helped me was socialising often be it seeing friends of family and making an active effort to get out of the house to attend groups or see others. Now that we have to stay home and not go out or mix households it takes me back to a time where i felt so alone. Obviously i have my son and husband (When he is not at work) and they are all the company i need but at times it’s hard to not be able to go out and see and speak to other human beings. Humans are really social creatures and i think that is why i struggle so hard with not being able to go out much. Being in isolation has been quite hard for my little chap too. He is asthmatic (as am i) and we are trying to stay in as much as possible. It is quite hard having to tell him every day he cannot see his friends and his nanny and granddad. Every morning he wakes up and tells me he wants to go swimming or to the park or to soft play and i have to keep saying no he can’t right now. Hes to little to understand which in some ways is a blessing but in other ways a curse. Luckily we face time a lot of friends and family and he is happy enough on there for a few minutes and can at least see their faces. However when the call stops he wants to see them and gets quite upset. I am trying my hardest to try and come up with fun play ideas everyday to bring him some excitement and structure to our days to prevent us both going mad. I have been making my own learning tools and arranging toys in ways to make them more fun but i am now getting to that stage of burnout when i can’t think that much anymore. You can see some of these play ideas on my Instagram page under the play ideas highlight.

We are still able to go for a walk a day but i am really struggling some days now to want to go for a walk. Unless others in the house want to go for a walk i really don’t feel up for it. Of course when i am out i feel glorious my worries fade away and i am unplugged from the world for a moment or two. But it’s hard to have the energy when you have started to fear the outside world. I think today my plan will be to go for a walk. I want to get Elijah to have some exercise other than online fitness videos for kids and enjoy leaving the house for a little while. Before restrictions i would take elijah to the play park behind the house for a kick about and trip to the play equipment but now its shut he wont understand and i don’t want him getting upset and me getting stressed from a oncoming tantrum.So it looks like i will have to walk a extra 15 minutes to the local meadows to get some fresh air so that means lugging the buggy as someone will not walk too long by himself.

The thing about social distancing i’m not enjoying is the worry that anything or anyone could carry the virus and that when i am visiting a shop for essentials that i am going to pick it up from a trolley, or the food i but or someone standing that bit too close to me. I went shopping for the first time in weeks the other day and i felt a panic attack coming on in the que to buy my shopping. The shops have changed and have lines on where to stand and que (not everyone listens) people wear masks and gloves and everything’s a little bit more stressful. I felt overwhelmed buying things as i was doing a big shop to avoid trips to my local little shop because i felt like i was being judged even though i brought everything i normally buy and less than that. I felt i was judged for everything i put in my trolley and wondered if someone would judge the gingerbread men kit i put in my trolley to entertain my son one day. The reduced tills meant i had to rush loading and unloading my shopping with others looking at me. I felt my heart beating faster, my hands getting sweaty and my eyes filling up and feeling hot. i spent every minute of my shop apologising to others and feeling really overwhelmed. When i got home i felt safe and like a weight was lifted off my shoulder. I’m starting to get anxious about leaving the house and passing people in the street and worrying in case i needed medical care for my pre-existing conditions and have to be around other sick individuals.

There is also a lot of mum shaming at the moment. Mums are telling parents to not teach their children whose schools have been closed and sent home with learning resources and expected to learn from.There are also parents shaming people for not doing enough. Who the hell cares what other parents do to get through this crisis. So long as your child is happy and perhaps learning something it is better than nothing. We have enough on our plates without others telling us how to raise our kids and the anxiety from posting a photo on Instagram of something that may upset someone because your either watching cbeebies or doing a puzzle with your kid.Like get over it. Mind your own damn business while your self isolating because hate is just going to make it worse.

I’m starting to realise my depression is creeping back. This may be because i am left with a lot of my thoughts recently or due to the under stimulation of being stuck in everyday without face to face socialisation. I’m becoming more tired and not wanting to do as much again. This may be due to the fact i had james home for a week and had help parenting and now i’m back to being alone monday to friday 6-5. Single mothers out there i salute you and take my hat off to you because it isn’t bloody east having nobody there to help. I am due to try a new high dose relaxant that helps with anxiety from pain management at the hospital and he said it works as a anti depressant so hopefully i’ll feel a bit better when taking it because the loss of sleep with this experience isn’t doing me any favours either.

So today i don’t have any tips really on how to get through isolation anxiety because really i don’t know myself how to get through any of this either. I don’t think anyone does. I think what is important is that we use this time to strengthen family links within the home and outside. Drop a few texts, make a few face time calls and even send letters. Ask others how they are doing and also take notice of who doesn’t ask how you are back. You will soon realise who really does have your best interests in heart and cares about you as much as you care about them and in some ways this is therapeutic too. Try is you can to enjoy your house, rearrange things and tidy things and organise your living space. Try and take in every part of your home remember what each bit of furniture brings to you in memories. For example i remember sofa shopping with my friend and how we laughed trying every sofa in the shop. I remember buying too many pillows to fit in the shopping trolleys with james and elijah looking like he was in a pillow fort, I remember buying every bit of my furniture and its memories that will last forever if i choose not to forget them. Stop seeing yourself locked inside but instead safe inside your home (if you feel safe) you are safe from the virus if you stay home. Remember that this will one day be over it will have to be the world won’t stay closed for ever and shops and restaurants will need to open again. One day soon you will step onto the front step shut the door breathe deeply and smile because the world once again is your oyster. You will no longer take a coffee with friends for granted, you will enjoy a trip to the theatre feeling each bit of emotion that little bit more understanding all these actors sacrifice to bring you that show.You will never again think of any trip outside of your house as a wasted day and see the world as more beautiful then it ever was before.

Things to keep your toddler entertained indoors

Things to keep your toddler entertained indoors

If you follow me on Instagram you may have seen a few of my play ideas pop up on my stories every so often. If you don’t head over and check my play ideas as I’m always updating with new things we do together to play.

Being in isolation at the moment one thing is on every parents mind… How can I keep my child entertained? And the answer is simple. Just spend time with them. Get to their level to the best you can and play with them. For you parents that may at times struggle with mobility bring the games and toys to you at the sofa or on the kitchen table. For more able bodied mums and dads get on the floor as much as you possibly can and get stuck in and play with them. A child learns best from engagement with parents/caregivers and it can be anything from talking or actively encouraging learning though play and spending the time teaching that benefits them the most. All children are different and learn different ways so what may suit my child might not suit yours but if your child and you enjoy something I do that is good enough for me!

Get yourself down to or online to a craft store. Order the basics of crayons, paints, paintbrushes, paper and glue. Modelling dough or play doh is great fun too or you can make your own!Anything else you want to try is a bonus too! You can make so many things yourself to engage play with your little one. I like to make our own games and activity’s by drawing and cutting things myself and helping Elijah play games or colouring in what I’ve done earlier for him. Colouring books and sticker books are great for lone playing this teaches them independence while they learn. Reusable sticker books are great as you can make a scene and reuse them. Normal stickers are great too as these can be saved for reward charts too! Also if your buying anything I recommend a tuff tray for tidy messy play indoors.

Online resources. Look about online I am always finding free to print resources which I use to help teach Elijah things. Such as colouring and activity sheets. Many children’s centres and online community’s regularly share ideas of fun and interactive play ideas too! Some kids tablets have great educational apps to if that’s something your interested in too!

Emotions. Learning about emotions is important for all ages and something I am currently teaching Elijah now. We like to pull faces and talk about the emotions we may be feeling and also explain our emotions throughout the day so that Elijah can learn to communicate his emotions more accurately as he gets older instead of constant meltdowns. We also printed out some activity sheets of emotions on animals. We play a game by matching the emotion and using a peg to find the match. We talk through the emotions as we play this and ask questions like why may he feel like this and so forth and what makes you happy?

Reuse recyclables. Clean down old plastics and you can reuse them for craft. Keep your paper tube toilet rolls, plastic bottles and bottle caps and make something new! Tubes can become animals or a slide for toys. Keep bottles to make future toys or sensory bottles! I will be making some next time I get a bottle to give to friends with babies! Bottle caps (plastic) make great counters to teach counting or playing noughts and crosses. Keep boxes to make castles or hiding places, the possibility’s are endless!

Jelly play. Using jelly make a sensory explosion by following the instructions on the packet place some toys or objects in jelly as your about to leave to cool in fridge and in a few hours your ready to play. It helps to have a theme like dinosaurs or animals. Ask about the textures and let them go nuts they’ll enjoy fishing for there toys and the weird textures and colours of the jelly!

Sand play. A bag of sand goes a long way! Let little one explore a box filled with sand and let them feel and burry toys. Pop some toy diggers or hide some animals/dinosaurs in the sand for them to find. If you prefer less mess you could get some kinetic sand and recreate the play indoors. Although a bit less messy it still is with its mess!

Balloons. Always handy to keep balloons left over from party’s. You can blow them up and put words and numbers on to teach them whilst allowing to play with the balloons. Also gets rid of energy for some calm after.

Magnetic numbers and letters. Or cubes. These can teach a whole host of things from spelling to just learning to read and count. They can also be fun making figing games using a beer bottle opener on a bit of string or a magnetic fishing line if you have a toy one. You can also play with magnets putting them on white boards, cold radiators/ side of stair gates and the fridge.

Water play. Elijah loves our water table and if you don’t have one there’s so much you can use to have water play. You can use your washing up bowl and put toys in with sand dish soap and a sponge so your kids can wash their toys. You can fill a tubberwear box with water and put some toys or saucepans in and let them play. You can colour water with water paint and also fill a watering can and teach them to care for their garden.

Playing with food. Maybe when the pandemic is over you can cook and using food colouring, colour spaghetti for messy play from 6 months up. Kids love it and they can eat it. You can also dye rice and normal pasta for sensory play. You can set up toys with food or just let them explore with their hands. You can also make a beautiful piece of art using the food too if not cooked.

Painting pebbles or bits from the garden. You can paint pebbles collected from beaches and this is fun for all ages. Collect things from walks and use them in your play and arts and crafts I’ve collected flowers, leaves, twigs and conkers and used them for learning and play. You can also chalk on the pavements outside the house to create art. My brothers who are teenagers seemed to like this to😂

Get your toddler involved in the housework. You’d be surprised how much they like wiping, dusting, sweeping and hoovering. Give them little tasks of their own like making their bed every day and tidying up their toys. Not only are they learning about keeping their house tidy they can have fun doing it if you make a game out of it and don’t make it feel like a chore!

Set up there toys in a theme. Separate animals according to where they live in the world and make it a play session. Pre arrange a theme or selection of toys that haven’t been played with in a while and they treat these as new toys.

Cook with them! Make cakes and sweet treats but also get them to help you in the kitchen as much as they can using blunt utensils. Even if it’s just a stir here and there or helping put things in a bowl. It can make them feel important while also learning food doesn’t magically appear in front of them. You can talk about what your cooking and what steps you take and talk about they’re role in the kitchen too. You can buy little steps to help them reach to kitchen surfaces too if you want to let them help butter toast or something in the kitchen!

I hope you’ve enjoyed some of my suggestions any questions just drop a dm or comment. Check my Instagram stories and highlights for more ideas as they come to me. Stay safe and be happy!

Hello spring…

Hello spring…

Good morning all, i type this as i sit with the sun peeking through clouds into my living room while listening to the radio. I have a hot chocolate in my hand having the odd warm chocolatey sip before typing and escaping for a moment. I really love the seasons change. I adore looking out my windows at cherry blossom tress and the green leafs coming back in the trees. Seeing new flowers budding through and their heads coming out to say hello for a few months brings me a odd sense of happiness. There is something oddly relaxing about the sunshine peeking through, it warms my heart when there is a blue sky with the whitest of clouds and the sun is shinning.

As the music fills the room i see things more brightly in the sunshine.My living room is grey, i love the grey because its cooling and warming all at once. Normally at this time in the winter i’d still need a light on because the sun would still be stuck behind all the dark clouds struggling to peak through. Now i can open my blinds and enjoy the sunshine lighting my room. The natural light is so much more calming then artificial light having to cause a week glow.

We really enjoy trips outside. It’s that perfect time of year when you can get away with a light jacket then sweating in a thick parka. The sun feels warm on your skin and if it rains it is not absolutely freezing and you feel more willing to stay outside then seek shelter all day. This time of the year as a lot of seasonal affective disorder suffers start to feel a bit better as the weather picks up. Like plants we all need a little bit of sun and warmth. Also the heating bills go down a lot and i can get on board without having to layer up and put the heating on. The sun stays out later and comes out earlier so it feels like the days are longer and i feel like being a bit more of a morning person again. I look at my picnic blanket a bit more and plan picnics for warmer days on the park behind our house. It’s so much nicer being warmed by the sun instead of feeling as though you’re being baked like a potato and sweating it out.

This spring we are planning to take a few days for a weekend away to escape the world for a little bit. To leave our phones off and just enjoy being the three of us. We’re also expecting to have our new carpet fitted tomorrow and i have been waiting forever to have it replaced. When we moved in it was the first thing i wanted gone as its been marked by a previous owners dog chewing on it… We’re also planning to sort the garden out in the late spring and sort out more of a play area for Elijah. It is a bit annoying how big our garden and how much work has been needed over the last few summers but its so much better than the wasteland full of broken glass,dirt and tree trunks it was before . It’s going to be so much fun this year having lots of messy play in the garden and playing with Elijah’s sand pit and his water table(that is if the storms haven’t got to them)! We will of course be taking just as many trips to the zoo and going out with friends a lot more than staying inside with them. It might mean my house may stay a little cleaner then it gets after a play date or 2.

What are you all looking forward too about spring and have you got any plans?

The loneliness of becoming a parent.

The loneliness of becoming a parent.

One thing i never expected to be as a mother was lonely.Considering when you have a child you are never really alone but nobody really explains what can happen when you have a baby. When you have a baby your days become nappies, cuddles and children toys. When you have a child although you are always with your child the thing you miss the most is adult conversation. Before having a child you may of gone out to the coffee shops near by on your days off to meet with your friends or thought nothing of going to meet your friends at pm for a movie or going to a bar for drinks. However when you have a child you can no longer just go out and when you do you are EXHAUSTED you no longer want to go out late at night and trips are shorter as you’re thinking about getting home to your child.

Another thing i never thought would affect me too much is when people cancel on you as a mother. It’s inevitable people are going to cancel because one reason or another but when you become stuck at home with no plans it can get a bit lonely. Also i never realised that having no plans day after day at some points can be incredibly lonely. I miss the adult conversation i love my child but at the end of the day he is a child. While i talk to him like a adult so that his language and speech has always been as good as it can be i can’t talk to him about adult subjects. Although don’t get me wrong talking about animals, singing all the songs from the lion king on repeat and saying all the words to trolls with Elijah every day of my life is a blast. However sometimes i crave talking to other adults. I become a bit fixated on my phone and crave a text of someone else when i have been stuck in. When i worked i didn’t think about the loneliness of being a mum because i still worked and saw my friends or relaxed on the days i had off. However since stopping worked i have realised a lot of both my human and adult conversation has really been taken away from me.

I get quite excited for my husband to come home sometimes so he can tell me about his day and so that we can have a adult conversation that normally comes back to our son anyway. I try to meet up with other mums as much as i can and take Elijah to play groups. This isn’t just for his development but for my own sanity too, this enables me to get out and hold a conversation with other people and feel normal again.I also try to be friendly to others in the hope that i could perhaps make friends too. I also try to meet up with friends every now and then without Elijah so that i can talk about something other than children and just be charlie. I want to talk about whats happening in other peoples lives and get to know them and keep my personality as not just a mum but also charlie who was there first.

Although i completely adore being a mother even if to some people my blog posts may sound like i’m moaning about being a mum (i’m not i am just being honest) . At the end of the day my son has made me into this brave strong woman and i love who Elijah is making me become. I know i will never be alone while i have him but i also miss the part of me who was social and had a social life before him. It is a shame that when you have a child keeping a social life has to be so hard and that friends who do not have children sometimes do not always understand the restrictions that come with being a mum. However i think that perhaps this period of loneliness may be short lived. I always see mums in the playground becoming friends and that is what i hope for as i get older that i will make more friends with other mums perhaps helping at Elijah’s school or something when hes older. I will always have my little family to keep me happy and sane and i thank my lucky stars for them each and everyday. Even if the discussion is mainly about hey duggee and mickey mouse at the moment.