Nobody cares about your body!

Nobody cares about your body!

I went swimming with the kids and husband last week. Not a big deal I hear you cry! Well no, not in the grand scheme of life, but swimming pool changing rooms and young children literally fill me with dread. Also the general ‘please don’t let the kids drown’ and ‘what if someone shits in the pool?’ worries, it just makes for a stressful event, for me anyway!

However, we wanted to go as the kids bloody LOVE it, and we haven’t been since Centre Parcs in Oct last year. Husband had a day off in half term, so off we went.

Prior to this the thoughts that ran through my head that I’m sure aren’t too odd for a mother of 3, I need to shave some of my body before I can bare myself in a swimming costume. It’s February and my legs, armpits and pubic region aren’t fit for public viewing. Also I am pale and flabby and very much in the hide myself phase of being overweight.

I had a serious word with myself and thought rationally about it – I thought to myself, who in their right mind is going to be looking at me close enough to see if I have hairy legs? I’m already carrying more weight than I am comfortable with – so I don’t feel good in a costume, but I want to go and have fun with my kids, and do I really CARE if anyone thinks I’m fat? No. Does my pubic region really need butchering, considering my costume is very low legged and covers everything anyway? No. Do my armpits need shaving? Yes, I think they do, but I shaved them for ME because I wanted to, not through fear of being judged.

So off we went, I had stubbly legs, pale skin, unpainted toe nails, more weight than I am comfortable with and boobs that have seen better days. For the first time ever, I just didn’t give a shit. My priorities for this were making sure my kids were safe, making sure they had fun and making sure I wasn’t worrying about the aesthetics of my body in the process. Who was looking at me? No-one. And if they were, so what? Let them look, and let them have an opinion but the bottom line is I DON’T GIVE A FUCK.

We had a great time, I felt happy and confident and the kids loved it.

I’m not suggesting I don’t prefer myself a bit more tanned, with smooth legs and a perfectly preened lady area. Those things are great and would have made me feel wonderful. However I sort of made peace with the fact that I am human, I am a mum of 3 and I need to let go of worrying about what other people think – because all I care about is how I feel. You can’t plan for everything and actually, I don’t want to spend hours beautifying myself for other people’s approval, only when I want to do it for me! Life is too short to not do things because you think your body isn’t ‘worthy’ of being seen. My body is just that – MINE and I shall do with it what I please.

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The fog is lifting….

The fog is lifting….

My youngest has just turned three and I feel like it’s a massive turning point in my life. It sounds so silly but this birthday just feels like a big moment where my baby is no longer a baby – three feels very grown up! It also marks the point where he will be going to nursery more regularly and I am going to get a regular break from him. I’m aware this sounds horrendous – “Why do you want a break from your child?????!!!!” I hear you shout.

Well, I really really love my kids. Like so so much. Which I’m sure most mums do. However, I have learned over the last three years that it’s okay to say that I really *need* time without them too. Being a stay at home mum since Ollie was born 3 years ago has completely knocked me for six – it’s been the toughest three years for me personally as I took the change from being a working mum and feeling so guilty about being away from the children – the time I had with them was so precious that I rarely wanted time away from them when I wasn’t at work. However being a stay at home mum has shocked me to the core because actually – spending ALL your time with someone, not just your kids but your partner, your family, whoever, is really not good for you. I dunno about you, but I hate that it makes me find it hard to appreciate them for the amazing little humans that they are, and that it means I crave time on my own.

I never thought I’d admit this – I felt like the world’s worst person for wanting to be away from my children. When I say be away from – I’m not talking two weeks in the Caribbean, I’m talking a few hours alone here and there to do things for myself.

I didn’t think going from 2 to 3 kids would be a big change. Especially as my eldest two were 15 months apart – I felt like a third one four years later would be quite easy in comparison. He was a very easy baby, and I am really lucky for that. But I did find meeting the needs of three children tricky – I couldn’t spread myself over the three of them and felt bad that I really really wanted this baby and all of a sudden I was finding it hard.

I have learned in the past three years that stay at home mums who do not work (from home or outside the home) are absolute legends and I completely and utterly am in awe of the mums who sail along and keep their patience and seem to absolutely flourish in this role. It is without a doubt the HARDEST THING. I used to think going off to work and having the heavy guilt weighing on me was really hard, and it is. I’m not trying to take anything away from working mums. But the staying at home is hard in ways I never would have thought.

Along with this third birthday I do feel a pang of sadness – I’ll never have a baby again! But this next chapter is exciting and I feel like I am finally coming out of the fog that I’ve been aimlessly wandering around in over the past two and a half years.

I am looking forward to future – and for anyone else who needs that time away from their children and feels awful for admitting it – please don’t! I’m sure I’m not the only person who feels this way. I think it’s OK to say that I am also a person who needs time for myself, and when I do get some time ‘off’ I feel like I’m a better mum because of it.

Toilet Training – for those parents who can’t be arsed.

Toilet Training – for those parents who can’t be arsed.

I apologise in advance for the use of the terms potty training / toilet training. I know children aren’t dogs and can’t be trained however I am using this term basically to represent YOUR KID DOING A BLOODY PISS ON THE TOILET*. OK? Right, glad we have cleared that up.

*not an actual bloody piss. If your child does a bloody piss seek medical advice urgently. 

I’m writing this post all about the two words no parent wants to hear. TOILET TRAINING.

My youngest who is nearly 3 has just made the transition from nappies to toilet and I’m excited to say I’ll never have to toilet train another human being again.

With my eldest, I remember so vividly when he turned two and lots of people ask “are you potty training yet?” I used to feel so confused about this. Potty training? WHAT?! But most mums will agree your first child feels very GROWN UP at every age so at 2 and a couple of months I was like right, this very grown up child now needs to use the toilet! Fast forward and almost a year later I was still battling with him to use a toilet, ending in frustration on both his and my part, lots of tears (mine) and hours spent clearing up all the wee and poo. Joyous. He was eventually using the potty/toilet at about 3 and 2 months. So I had almost a year of trying to get him to use the toilet when he wasn’t ready. I was far too influenced by comments of others and lots of external companies and people basically saying that age 2 is when you toilet train.

With my second, she sort of just copied her brother and whipped off her nappy to use the toilet at about 2 and a bit. I actually tried to keep the nappies on her a bit longer because we went abroad to get married when she was 2 and 5 months and I thought it’d be easier for her to be in nappies on holiday! She was using the toilet off her own accord at about 2 and a half.

When my youngest hit 2, I was like HELL NO WAY am I toilet training this kid til he shows some serious signs of being ready and wanting to do it.

He is now 3 next month and this past week has been nappy free! It’s been up and down but generally he has done great and I really do think it’s because I haven’t at any point forced the matter on him, he has led the way and he seems ready – I can’t believe looking back I battled for so long with my eldest, it was such a hard time and I really wish I’d avoided it all. So I’m writing this in hope to save at least one person from having the same wasteful battle that I did. 

Here are my potty / toilet training tips. Obviously I am not an expert or professional and these are my personal tips and shouldn’t be taken as medical advice! Which I’m sure no sane person would do given the nature of this blog and that I am pretty clueless. šŸ™‚

  1. Wait. Don’t think at a certain age your child is now ready because they have hit that age. Be it 1, 2 or 3. Wait til he or she gives clear signs they are ready and actually, pretty much take off their nappy themselves to use the potty or toilet.
  2. Wait some more. Seriously, wait. Why the rush? I actually felt comfort that whilst some people are rushing off because little Billy has just wet his pants in the Poundland queue, I smugly stand my ground with my large 2.5 year old who has just curled out a beautiful turd in his nappy which can happily wait to be changed til I’ve paid for my basket of cheap items. Even if the stench offends everyone’s nostrils for the next half an hour. WIN!
  3. My kid literally started whipping off his own nappy and using our toilet. We are lucky to have a toilet just off our living area so we didn’t have to get a potty and have the whole potty-introduction stuff to do this time round. If you do have to do this, buy one and just leave it around, maybe explain to the kid you sit on it for wee’s and poo’s but don’t force the matter. My eldest used to do a wee and then promptly stick the potty on his head as a hat. Piss shower anyone?
  4. If you have access to a toilet near your main living area then use that, not a potty. Because some kids use a potty and then are very SCARED OF THE BIG TOILET. So you get them using a potty and then have to basically teach them to use the toilet. If you can skip the potty just makes it easier. If not then power to you. Potty’s rock. Ew.
  5. Boys – sit or stand? I remember with my eldest being really confused at how I taught him to wee. Turns out he started by sitting and then stood when he got better at it. My youngest however loves to stand on his little step and wee into the toilet. Take the kids lead and don’t push it either way. It doesn’t matter. All that matters is the golden stuff ends up in the toilet.
  6. Girls – awkward sprayage. I’m a child of ’86 and I can’t be the only one who remembers their mum holding you over a drain or a bush to do an emergency wee? Literally held under your legs in an air-squat whilst trying to aim your wee and avoid it spraying everywhere. I do remember doing this with my daughter in a forest, but basically girls wee can’t be aimed so the sprayage is inevitable. Boys have the benefit of penis here.
  7. This stage in your kid’s life basically entails you to clean up bodily functions a lot of times. It’s easier if you expect this. Don’t fight it, just keep lots of antibacterial spray or wipes around and always check the loo before letting Auntie Vera use the toilet. (This continues into boyhood by the way – piss on seat is forever going to be something you have to deal with. JOY!)
  8. Have lots of jogger type easy to pull down trousers – or shorts if it’s summer. Summer is an ideal but don’t let the fact that it’s summer make you try to do it if they’re not ready. Skip pants and knickers because they’re a waste of time, and also another layer to get down. Be prepared for lots of outfit changes – including socks sometimes too. Forget tights for girls. 
  9. If they aren’t already, your kid will be nakey from the waist down when at home. If visitors seem bothered by this, don’t let them in.
  10. Dark trousers don’t show up leaks as much as light ones. Be clever about this people!
  11. Get used to the smell of urine (Duh).
  12. Be prepared to be weed and pooed on again. Bit like having a newborn but worse, coz this kids faecal matter smells like he’s just eaten a curry and had 6 pints.
  13. You haven’t got enough pairs of trousers have you? Did you not read point 8? I said LOTS. 4 pairs won’t cut it. Go and buy triple the amount you think you’ll need. Well done.
  14. Stock up on toilet paper. You will be using a LOT. But rejoice to know you’re making a saving on nappies. 
  15. Ask ‘do you need a wee?’ every 5 minutes for the foreseeable future. This may drag on a bit like the newborn stage when you feel like they are newborn for years but actually when you’re out of the stage you look back fondly. It will end, but not yet. Keep asking. Ask some more. Soon they’ll force out a wee just to shut you up.
  16. So your kid seems OK with weeing on a toilet. Good! Poo’s are often another issue entirely. My youngest is scared of pooing out of a nappy so he holds it and gets mildly constipated and then I have to sit with him and help him poo which is always a pleasure. Feels a bit like watching your child give birth. Beautiful family bonding. Don’t fret too much if your kid doesn’t want to be poo-compliant. It’s another issue man.
  17. Find out the location of the toilet everywhere you need to go. Get the kid to use the toilet before leaving anywhere. Be prepared to spend a big chunk of your life in toilets, washing hands and placing soiled trousers into washing machine. Also hiding behind bushes, trees, lamp posts, people, walls. Lurk near drains. Choose play date venues based on toilet convenience and cleanliness.
  18. Have a potty in the car or under the pram for emergencies. Or an empty water bottle if you are super cool like me (and have a boy. Don’t try and get your daughter to wee into a bottle. This will not end well)
  19. Muttering expletives is fine. Don’t let them hear if poss. If they do just pretend you said “Ducks love using the toilet darling!”
  20. It’s OK to feel sad about this time. Your baby is growing up. As much as nappy changing wasn’t ever quite as a nice as a spa day, I weirdly miss it.
  21. Offer to change all your friends babies nappies at every opportunity. It’s such a novelty.
  22. Do an evil laugh every time your child successfully pees into something other than their clothes. It’s OK to feel proud. YOU ARE HELPING YOUR CHILD EXPEL BODILY FLUIDS INTO VESSELS. You bloody rock.

If you have any training tips for the parents out there who just can’t be arsed, feel free to share.

    Centre Parcs Elveden Forest with 6 kidsĀ 

    Centre Parcs Elveden Forest with 6 kidsĀ 

    Recently my family of 5 and my buddy and HER family of 5 all went to Centre Parcs for a jolly week.

    Jolly it WAS. Also busy and tiring. The kids LOVED it as did we. It was our third time at Centre Parcs and we cannot wait to go back.

    We had 6 kids with us, aged 2, 3, 5, 6, 6 and 8.

    I’ve listed below some tips / points that may help you if you are considering a Centre Parcs trip and have never been – or just general tips for going with young kids.

    • Take with you little bits and bobs from home for use in the lodge: dishwasher tabs, some washing up liquid, couple of bin liners, few toilet rolls, condiments, ANTIBACTERIAL HAND WASH, and any little bits and bobs you may need to be comfy whilst you are there.
    • Take a few kids DVDs, as the basic lodges have a dvd player in the lounge. You can hire them there for Ā£3.99 a night, but easier to take some yourself!
    • TAKE TEA BAGS MAN. If tea is a necessity like it is for me! Oh and Sugar if you are that way inclined.
    • If you have young kids like us, the Subtropical Swimming Paradise is MORE THAN ENOUGH entertainment for them. You can easily spend 3 hours in here without them getting bored. Don’t feel you have to book activities as well, these are quite pricey. 

    • You gotta go swimming in the evening at least once! We preferred evening swimming as it was less busy, the rapids in the dark are AMAZING and generally it was just a fab way to tire the kiddies out before bed time. There’s so much to do it’s not just a big pool, there is Adventure Cove which is a splash park with lots of tunnel slides and a little shallow area for babies and young toddlers. Also a lazy river, the main pool which has waves every half an hour, the ‘cave pool’ as we call it, which is like a big Jacuzzi and is shallow enough that my tall 2 year old could stand up comfortably in it. Oh and it’s WARM! There’s also the rapids (which are for older kids / kids who can swim and adults. SO MUCH FUN!) and the Tropical Cyclone – for older kids and adults. Along with lots of whirlpools, the outdoor pool and cold pool. It’s bloody pool-tastic. 
    • Take your own swimming towels, you can hire them there but at Ā£2 a pop it saves money to just take your own.
    • CP have life vests for kids which are free to borrow in the pool.
    • Be prepared for squirrels, birds, ducks etc to come and say hello on your patio – the kids loved this! We also saw deer and what I believe to be a heron, but don’t quote me on that. Kids said it was a pelican šŸ™‚

    • We also had a spider the size of a small dog in the lodge. Be prepared for this as you are living in a forest, init. It is vital to take someone on holiday with you that isn’t scared of spiders. 
    • There are hairdryers in each room, and an iron and ironing board, so if you wish to pack by throwing your clothes into a bag, then you will be able to iron your stuff there! Win.
    • There is a big chalkboard in the lodge which the kids will be delighted with and should keep them amused drawing for a bit.
    • We did a food shop prior to going and took it with us – this saved lots of money as the supermarket on site is well stocked but quite expensive imo.
    • We ate out at Hucks diner – it has been refurbished since we last visited in 2015 and I have to say we were really impressed. The play area was fab – a small baby area with soft padded ‘soft play’ toys. Then a larger area with a slide, lots of climbing nets and was suitable for I’d say age 3 and up. There is also a computer area with about 8 computers, with games on that kept the kids entertained after they’d eaten so we had a nice meal and the kids were happy. They do a children’s buffet for Ā£8.25 with lots of kiddy type choices – hot dogs, nuggets, burgers, fruit/salad cups, chips, the usual! For an extra pound they get a drink and a dessert.  It was clean, service was good and food was nice.
    • Our kids did the indoor wall climbing activity which they loved – there are a variety of walls to climb and at the end they get to climb up these tall tubes. I believe the cost was Ā£21 for an hour. But don’t quote me on that.

    • We also did a boat ride – the kids loved this and the daddies took them out on the boats so me and my buddy sat and watched and had a full 30 mins of silence which was amaze balls.
    • The kids disco is really good – starts at 7pm til 8.30pm and has the usual cheesy kids tunes, along with games etc. All our kids loved this – but as we were a fan of the late swim we only went once.
    • We paid a little extra to stay in the MAPLE area of the site – the closest lodges to the centre. I’ve also stayed in the very outer areas before and would definitely again pay a little extra to be closer, it’s well worth it with small kids.

    • Take scooters/bikes with you if you have space, you can hire bikes if you don’t have space though. 
    • They now use a wrist band method – upon check in all the adults in the party get a bright green electronic wrist band that opens your lodge door as well as the lockers in the swimming pool changing room, meaning you don’t need to worry about having a key for the lodge and change for the lockers.
    • If you have a baby in a cot, Take all cot bedding as this isn’t supplied. (All other bedding and towels are supplied)
    • There are plenty of free things to do if you’re on a budget. There are 3 good sized different play parks for kids of all ages. During the day (in the area where the evening disco is) there’s soft play stuff for under 5s. There’s plenty of woodland to explore. Also the little beach which the kids all enjoyed playing on. There’s football pool which our younger ones loved playing whilst the big ones did their climbing activity. 
    • For those with babies, everywhere is pram friendly or has a pram park nearby. We found CP to be very child friendly (and rightly so!) When we went with a newborn I used my stretchy wrap a lot to keep baby warm and mean I was hands free. 

    I hope this was somewhat helpful! It’s worth mentioning we paid for our trip and Centre Parcs haven’t paid me to write this (wish they had! Hahaha) but I just LOVE waking up in the forest every morning, I love having lack of phone signal, and I love the ease of chucking stuff in the car and driving the short distance to Elvedon. We will most definitely be going back again!

    Do you love Centre Parcs? Leave any tips you have in the comments below! šŸ™‚

    Anxiety

    Anxiety

    Everyone has anxiety, right? Worrying and being anxious about certain things kinda comes hand in hand with motherhood. You worry about your children from the moment they’re born. Are they feeding enough? Pooing enough? Everyone worries.

    I never realised anxiety could be something people actually suffered with or that would become a problem in day to day life.

    Yet I am sitting here typing away, with a weird sick nausea feeling deep inside me that I can’t quite shake, and I don’t really know what has made me, or why I feel like this.

    Also I don’t know if I am feeling sick because of the anxiety or I’m anxious because I feel sick? It’s one big cycle I think… which makes it hard to nip in the bud.

    I can be feeling totally fine and ‘normal’ (dare I say it) and then all of a sudden it pops up when I’m least expecting it.

    For example, earlier this week I was standing outside school with the pram waiting for the gates to open, listening to the birds chirping, feeling relaxed, happy and fine.

    Out of nowhere I felt what can only be described as a hot bad feeling slowly creep up my body from my toes to my chest, like a massive weight of doom covering me. For no reason whatsoever. As soon as I realised it was happening my heart rate began to speed up and I felt like my face was going really red and hot. My first thought was that I was going to be sick, so I looked around for where I could be sick, standing in a busy crowd of parents. I tried to talk myself round and tell myself that I wasn’t going to be sick and I was fine. It wasn’t working for what felt like ages and ages (but was probably only seconds or minutes) and my internal panic was getting worse. I decided to pull out my old faithful calming technique, my hypnobirthing 20/20 breathing.

    Almost straight away I felt the hotness and the ‘bad’ feeling easing off, my slow breathing worked again. To everyone else surrounding me outside the gates I was just standing there calm and normal, but inside I was in turmoil. I think it’s so odd that I could be feeling like that yet probably show no external signs of it at all. (Although I reckon my face was really red with panic!)

    The funny thing is I wouldn’t describe myself as a particularly anxious person. These issues seem to have sneaked up on me gradually.

    Is it just being a mum? Is it hormonal? Or neither?

    This particular feeling of panic is happening more and more to me, randomly, along with feeling the ‘fight or flight’ response over seemingly small things. Also being on the verge of tears a lot of the time. For no apparent reason. 

    Also I’ve noticed I think about worse case scenarios a lot when there isn’t a likelihood of danger. Like cars mounting the pavement and hitting the kids as we walk along.

    I’d love to hear others’ experiences of anxiety / panic and whether this is common amongst parents because life in general is more worrying now? 




     

     

    How to be a more relaxed parent…

    How to be a more relaxed parent…

    If you’re after ways to help be a more calm, relaxed and chilled parent, you’re in the right place. The school holidays have prompted me to have to find my inner Zen to be able to get through the bickering, arguing, fighting, and loudness of my three kiddos.

    kids bridge

    So I’ve asked my tribe of mums what helps them, and here are some popular suggestions to help you be a more calm and relaxed Mumma or Daddy. Enjoy!

    1. Take time out for yourself
      This is a universally agreed way to help you relax. Being a parent is stressful even when it’s not and the constant putting someone else’s needs before your own can increase your stress levels. Some regular time out for yourself, even if it’s just a 20 minute bath or read a book for an hour in silence, can help you feel recharged and connected back to yourself. If you can have time outside your home to yourself too, then great, but if not then grab those important quiet times where you can. Housework will still be there after your time out but you’ll feel better for it.
    2. A wise woman told me not to intervene in sibling fights unless there’s blood or broken limbs/items
      I VERY much need to implement this, as my older 2 argue a lot at the moment. I don’t blame them, they are 15 months apart in age and have been together pretty much non-stop for the 6 weeks they’ve been off school. They’ve had I think a total of 2 days in the 6 weeks away from each other. I always end up getting sucked into trying to help them deal with their arguments but from now on, my policy is for them to sort it themselves. BOOM! Also I need to remember I am here to help them figure out a solution, not give them a solution.
    3. Stop comparing!
      Social media lives aren’t real and a snapshot of your friend’s lives don’t always tell the full story. Do not compare, everyone’s different and your life is yours and yours alone. Motherhood and childhood is not a race or competition.
    4. Don’t try to fix what isn’t broken! 
      With my first baby I remember being so caught up in what I was supposed to be doing. He co-slept unintentionally and I spent many months trying to get him to settle in his cot. Looking back I wish I’d just gone with it and thought – it works for us so why change it?! Instead I remember thinking everyone else’s baby is asleep in their cot so mine should be too! If it works for you – go with it! I’m glad that in the last 8 years things are changing and there is more out there to help support parents in whatever choices they make.
    5. Fresh Air! 
      One of the most underrated ways to relax for me is to just GET OUT. Go for a walk with the kids, I personally love the beach, it makes me feel so happy inside. Also country parks, and anywhere that you can breathe in a big lungful of fresh air and clear your head. Also the kids can run riot and burn some energy. Win/win.
    6. Tell people that you’re meeting up with that you’ll be late.
      I’ve just implemented this in life. I’m always late, someone is always needing the loo, time flies, and it’s just life with 3 kids. I’m not stressing about it. I’ll get there (In the end!) Tell your friends and family that you WILL be late. Or, tell them to tell you a time half an hour earlier than the actual meeting time! šŸ™‚
    7. Mum friends
      It’s important to have others that you can talk to who are going through the same things you are at the same time – it makes you feel less alone and reassured that your crazy days are happening to others too! Reach out to other mums and dads, even if it’s a chat in the park or a parenting forum online.
    8. Pick your battles
      You can’t win every battle, and you don’t need to make everything a battle. Kids are unreasonable and fickle and changeable and sometimes you gotta let it wash over you. I struggle with this!
    9. Running (or any exercise!)
      Similar to fresh air – exercise increases the endorphin flow to your brain and helps with your mental health. Anything that gets your heart rate up and makes you feel good is a winner!
    10. Lower your expectations
      Life with children is crazy, messy, loud, hard, frustrating, rewarding, emotional, draining, tiring. Expect it to be like this and you won’t feel so frustrated! But it’s also fun, wonderful, loving, exciting, fulfilling and downright amazing. Embrace the crazy, because before you know it you will long for those crazy days again. I already miss my older 2 being babies but I remember when I was living in that time, and the mayhem of them being 15 months apart, it felt HARD. I’d give anything to go back now, it was so amazing!
    11. Breathe and evaluate before reacting / interacting
      It’s so easy to react to something on a whim and afterwards think that you over reacted or handled it wrongly. I am the QUEEN of this. But if you can remember to just take a few seconds to really think and breathe before reacting, it can completely change a situation for the better. I read once that if you’re feeling like you are losing your patience, say to yourself “THIS IS NOT AN EMERGENCY” or similar “NO NEED TO PANIC” to just remind yourself to take a breather.
    12. You control your own actions
      Similarly, for those mums who feel like they lose their temper quickly, remember that you cannot change or control your child’s actions – but you CAN control and change your own reaction to it. Your reaction is what’s important, not the child’s actions.

    Now I know if I can implement some of these my own life would be much less stressful and I’d be a better mum for it. But it’s easier said than done!

    And if the above fails, some mumma’s have also said….

    1. Wine! Gin! Alcohol
    Highly rated in the list of ways to relax is alcohol! I think many parents find it helps to relax after a long day. Personally I’m more of a cup of tea kinda girl but whatever helps you relax, wine, chocolate, tea!

    2. iPads/Tablets
    Everyone has differing views on tablet/gadgets, but many parents agree that they have their uses. Long car journeys, to solve TV disagreements, YouTube (Obvs) plane rides, and general need for some quiet! Also you can download so many learning apps that they can be so useful at times, and help educate your kids too!

    3.  Get a full time job!
    The less time spent with your kid the less stressful life is right? RIGHT?
    WRONG! I used to be a working mum and actually you cannot win. Working mums have guilt for being away from their kids, they have massive commitments to work and have the added stresses of work deadlines, commutes, being switched on at work when they may have had little sleep etc! There are massive pros and cons to being a mum who doesn’t work outside the home or one who does, and actually, both are hard, and sometimes a parent doesn’t have a choice in the matter, but one of the other might be the ONLY option for them.

    Found this helpful? Please do share this post with your friends, and tell me what tips/tricks help YOU to relax/be more calm….

     

    A full and honest review of my experience at the Rural Retreat Beauty Salon in Shorne, KentĀ 

    A full and honest review of my experience at the Rural Retreat Beauty Salon in Shorne, KentĀ 

    Today I was treated to an ESPA Face, Back and Scalp Treatment at the Rural Retreat. I was so excited as I love having massages and haven’t had one for so long. Being a mum of 3 means I don’t get much me-time anymore so this was an ultimate treat for me.

    There is customer parking to the front of the salon, but this was full when I arrived (on a Saturday), but I found there was lots and lots of spaces to park less than 30 seconds from the salon, I parked along the street about 15 steps from the doors.

    Entering the salon, it’s such a lovely, beautifully decorated and calm space. The reception is gorgeous and has lots of products on display as well as some lovely crushed velvet chairs to relax whilst you wait, and straight away Ellie welcomed me and put me at ease. I used the toilet (as every mum does after a drive!) which smelt divine – to me a nice smelling toilet is important!

    Ellie led me to the treatment room and it was lovely – cosy, comfortable, low lighting, low chilled music and the most important bit – a comfy treatment bed calling to me with a luxurious furry blanket on it. Even without any treatment, an hour and a half of laying on this bed is going to be a treat!

    Ellie explained about the treatment and what order things would be done in, and told me how naked I’d need to be and what to do. She left whilst I undressed and I got in the bed very excited at the imminent pampering I was about to receive.

    The back scrub and massage was first, which was amazing – Ellie asked what pressure I usually like and I like it HARD (haha) and she did not disappoint. First my back was brushed down with a spiky brush (nicely spiky!) and then a scrub rubbed all over it and taken off with a lovely hot towel. Then the massage with oils that I had selected at the beginning. It was incredible, I’m sure I was dribbling by the end of it. But this was just the start…

    For the facial, I got to select which scents/oils were used and Ellie looked at my skin under a special light to see what type it was (I’ve never known what my skin type is!) and advised which products would be best for me – the facial was totally tailored to my needs.

    I feel that the word facial isn’t really reflective of what the treatment is, it’s so much more than that, it’s like a face hydrating treatment and cleanse with a wonderful neck/shoulder and face massage with so many times of product application I felt like it lasted SO long, the use of different scrubs/cleansers/hot towels etc it was just divine. I think I fell asleep towards the end as I was so relaxed. It was perfection. For anyone who has never had one or has been thinking of having one – please do it!

    After the facial ended, Ellie gave me the scalp treatment which involved a mask for your hair (which was optional if you didn’t want this bit!) and this was such a lovely ending to a completely relaxing experience.

    After the treatment I had a lovely cold glass of water, and I was given an ESPA card with some of the products used on it, but no hard sell to buy the products. Ellie was really knowledgeable about what I could do to help my skin day to day and gave me a little sample to take away.  

    I was so impressed with the entire treatment, impressed isn’t really the word, it surpassed all my expectations and I felt SO relaxed at the end, the most relaxed I’ve ever felt in my life. For a mum who doesn’t get out much (haha) it literally was the perfect treatment. I felt renewed, indulged, relaxed, pampered, rested, and the skin on my face is still glowing!

    This treatment is honestly the perfect way to de-stress and indulge, or to treat someone who needs it. I can’t recommend it highly enough and will definitely be treating myself to one every now and then!

    Thank you to Ellie and the Rural Retreat for being so welcoming and for making me feel properly relaxed for the first time in a long time!

    *Disclaimer – I was not paid or asked to write this review and this is my own personal opinion of the ESPA Face, Back and Scalp Treatment, cost Ā£68.50

    The Rural Retreat website is: http://www.theruralretreatsalon.co.uk/

    Things we all think when having a massage…

    Things we all think when having a massage…

    1. Where do I put my bag? Oh no am I getting undressed too slow, is she going to walk in and catch me with my boobs out? Where shall I put my clothes? Is there CCTV in here… is someone watching me get undressed?
    2. What if I need to pass wind? Please don’t let me fart during this. Oh God, I’m going to fart, it’s coming, what do I do? Shall I ask to go to the toilet? Shit. Help the fart is going to come out…..  I am literally going to fart right now. Oh thank the lord.. I think it’s subsiding! Phew close one.
    3. Is she judging me? Does she think I’m fat? Do I smell? Has she noticed my weird skin tag/mole/birthmark? What’s she thinking? Does she hate me?
    4. She could literally kill me right now I am so vulnerable. I am lying here covered in oil half naked with my eyes closed, I hope no-one tries to kill me.
    5. Relax, relax, she isn’t looking at you..she does this all day, it’s her job! Relax it’s fine, this is enjoyable….
    6. WOW I’m too relaxed I think I just fell asleep… did I snore? Am I dribbling? What’s going on… where am I? Does she know I was asleep? I’m so relaxed right now I don’t want to leave. It’s quite possible I farted whilst I was asleep. Fuck!
    7. Is it nearly over? I wonder how much time has gone by, am I halfway through yet?
    8. Has she left the room? Shall I open my eyes and look or is it best to keep them closed… will she think I’m weird?
    9. Is there a bogey hanging out of my nose? What do I do?
    10. Her hands are like magic, this is amazing, why don’t I have this done more often? Like every other day.
    11. It smells so good in here, and the music is wonderful, this is like the best day ever…

      What thoughts go through your mind when having a massage / facial / beauty treatment?

      School attendance is not something to be effing rewarded!!Ā 

      School attendance is not something to be effing rewarded!!Ā 

      Things that are totally annoying #452

      I know it’s a total first world problem, but it really annoys my brain when school’s reward children for having 100% attendance. THIS MAKES NO SENSE TO ME. It actually pisses me off.

      Who thinks this shit up? Lets reward children for coming to school every day. However it’s not really the kids’ achievement if they go to school every day. It’s the parent or carer who gets them up, dressed and ready and takes them! Clearly the child has been lucky not to have been ill all school year, and of course well done to the mum for getting them there every day. But what message does it send to the kid that has a long term condition and has hospital appointments or a bout of illness, or the kid who caught a sick bug and had to have a day or 2 off after being sick (school’s policy to prevent illness spreading!)? I just think it is such an odd thing to reward.

      Why not reward the kid who has tried and tried and tried his best to accomplish something but may not have quite got there – but has really given so much effort? What about the kid who has still managed to do all their homework despite hospital appointments for a long term condition? What about the child in care who has had a hard few years but always has a smile in school? There’s so many more things that can be rewarded! Or plain kindness! 

      Some of these kids will NEVER be able to achieve 100% attendance – what can the kids do to improve on this? They can’t do anything at all….  so it’s just silly to reward it!

      Also, I think because school’s now reward this ‘achievement’ it means that the kids that are unwell for whatever reason are being taken into school when they should be kept home, because parents don’t want to jeopardise their attendance record. Which means illnesses are being passed around the school, pox, virus’ and bugs are being spread more because parents are marching their kids to school when not totally recovered from their illness to make sure they get their wonderful attendance award at the end of the year. Why? To make the school look good?

      The school my 2 attend have a reward system – bronze silver and gold certificates for the kid’s who have full attendance. That’s bad enough. I’ve seen various schools do stuff like theme park days out for the 100% attended kids…. yes, THEME PARKS! Also special lunches (McDonald’s lunch was one I heard of!), parties and soft play days. It really bloody boils my piss. WHY??????

      Does your child’s school reward 100% attendance? What do you think about it being rewarded? 

      School Reports – what the Teacher REALLY means

      School Reports – what the Teacher REALLY means

      For those of you with school aged kids – you may shortly be getting their end of year report!

      Here’s a handy guide to help you decipher what the teacher is actually trying to say.  You’re welcome.

      Confident pupil = bossy

      Always participates in class discussions = can’t shut them up

      Works well in a group = gazes out the window and lets others do the work

      Always helps others = always takes friends to the medical room

      Working towards = can’t do it

      Polite and friendly = asks what I had for dinner last night

      Always tries his best = shame his best is likened to a goat writing stories with a pen in it’s mouth

      Needs to focus more on the task in hand = throw the kid’s fidget spinner away, for the love of God

      Could try harder = doesn’t try at all

      Mature beyond his years = thinks they run the place

      I hope they continue to build on this years success next year = Good luck to the teacher that has them next year, I hope they have the patience of a Saint

      Is very interested in science = steals blue tac

      Has been made class helper = likes to take home rubber bands and paper clips

      It has been a pleasure teaching them this year = mum buys the best end of term present

      OR

      It has been a pleasure teaching them this year =  I am so happy the year is over I could dance around a campfire wearing only a grass skirt