What I Read 54

I've been falling behind on my reading lately but I did manage to get six posts to share with you for What I Read, so here goes.







Being a blogger for almost 5 years I've spent a lot of time writing posts and wondering what on earth I'm going to write about next. I've taken breaks, I've panicked about stats, and I've thought about giving up, but in the end I didn't because I love writing. I've stuck with my blog and just carried on, slowly but surely improving my stats and earning a little money along the way. Martyn, who blogs over at Inside Martyn's Thoughts, wrote a brilliant post about being persistent. He's an experienced blogger who's been around longer than me and I couldn't agree more. Be sure to stop by and read Be the Persistent Blogger.










I've written before about how divorce can destroy a family and make the child feel terrible and I'm always a little saddened when I read about someone going through divorce. That's why Tor's post Just the two of us jumped out at me. Although she is separating from her husband she is determined to be there for her son and make life as happy as possible for him. I love this post and hope both Tor and her son get the "happy" they're looking for, together.










It saddens me a little to read about another blogger who is feeling under the weather or down. My usual way of dealing with this is to try and bring light into their life by offering my support. September is a tough month for Merlinda for many reasons and as August is almost here she is starting to dread September coming around. Please stop by, send your virtual hugs, and show Merlinda she won't be alone this September.









My relationship with my mum is not a good one, luckily I have a great replacement mum that I'm happy to say has really looked after me. After many years of torture from me I'm eager to let her know how much I appreciate all the support she gave me over the years, including the tellings-off! That's why I loved Cécile's post A letter to my Maman, in which she tells her mum how much she appreciates everything she did. It's a great read, please do stop by. 








This time of year is tough for some mums, the ones who are saying goodbye to the nursery years. Mums like Chantelle who, for the last time, waves goodbye to nursery and is taking the next exciting steps with her littlest one. It's both a sad and exciting time and I could relate to Chantelle's post because I remember this was just how I felt when LP left nursery two years ago. Stop by and let Chantelle know how you coped if you've been through it, or how you think you'll cope when you have to go through it!








Lucy is in a similar situation and is asking Reception Class: Is It Really Over? Lucy is sad about waving goodbye to Reception Class but she's also excited to welcome her child into a new stage at Big School. It's so tough to watch our little ones grow but seeing them take on new challenges and learning new things makes it all worth it. Stop by and let Lucy know how you're coping.

Battling hay fever during summer

I've never suffered with hay fever much, I get the occasional itchy eyes but it's easy enough to cope with. The Hubby and BP on the other hand suffer terribly. From the moment plants start growing in Spring BP is sneezing, his eyes stream and he's sniffly all the time. 

It is horrible to watch him suffer. I buy the one-a-day tablets for both BP and the Hubby, we get through so many of them and they always cost a fortune, but I have to get them. The tablets help a little, easing the symptoms during the day but as soon as the evening rolls around BP is sneezing and sniffling once more. 


Battling hay fever


HayMax is an organic, drug-free, allergen barrier balm that I was offered to try out. To be honest I was a little sceptical, when even drugs don't work as well as you'd hoped the idea that balm might seems laughable. But because BP suffers so much I told him to give it a try, even if it eased his symptoms a little that would be something. 

Post Comment Love 29th - 31st July

Welcome to another Post Comment Love where you can showcase your best post of the week or give some extra love to a post that needs it.

We're at the end of the first week of the holidays and so far I've loved it! I spent so long worrying about the boys being off school for six weeks that I didn't stop to think about all the great things. We've managed to balance this week quite well with three days of activities and two/three of work. It does mean weekend work but that doesn't really matter in the holidays does it?

We've been out playing golf in Nottingham, had a lovely meal at Thaikhun (review to follow soon!), been on a picnic, and played badminton at home. The boys have watched one of their movie choices while the Hubby and I did some work and we've had some time to play board games too. We're also going to the Fast Car Festival at Donnington this weekend.

LP is into cars at the moment and enjoys asking about the types of cars and we thought the Fast Car Festival would be a great place for him to see some awesome cars, and maybe even get to see some racing too. It's surprisingly cheap, the kids get to go for free and the parking is free too, so all in all it's costing less than £50!

We still have lots of things planned for the rest of the holidays and I'm hoping it works out as well as this week has.

How has your summer been so far?

Newbie Showcase Jade from The Parenting Jungle


Jade is a multi award nominated parent blogger who writes "a mishmash of photographs, personal experiences and heartfelt posts". The Parenting Jungle is an entertaining blog that is well-written and clearly heartfelt. Jade talks about the trials and tribulations of single parenting and more recently about maintaining an adult relationship. You can read more about Jade over on Stephanie's blog.

You can find Jade here:





Pocolo


Each week you'll be able to link up from either of our sites and between us Stephanie and I will comment on every post linked.

The rules; Link up your best post written in the last week and we'd like you to comment on at least two other linked posts, as well as the hosts. 

Help us spread the #PoCoLo word on Twitter and include the badge on your post.

Please do pop over and say hi to this week's Newbie, you remember what it was like being a new blogger right? It's always nice to get a comment or two. 

If you'd like to be featured in our Newbie Showcase please contact us.

Thank you for popping by.


Post Comment Love
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Educational benefits of playgrounds

Summer is the perfect time to get outside with your children and get active. You can take them for walks, explore your local parks and forests, and seek out the best playgrounds around.

Whenever I suggest we go to our local playground the boys scream with joy. They love it. 

A playground is great fun for the children, they have a chance to run around and play, but at the same time they're learning too.

I love to see LP trying out the different equipment available at the various playgrounds in our surrounding areas. He goes from swings to roundabouts to climbing frames trying out everything and pushing himself to be brave as he climbs to new heights. 

BP has never been much of a climber but these days he has more confidence and is happy to climb and swing whenever he finds a playground big enough. Although he's 11 sometimes he loves to run around and enjoy just being a child.



Learning while playing


A few days ago we went for a lovely walk in Wollaton Park where they have a great playground. It has swings, roundabouts, and climbing frames, as well as a zip wire. The boys both love the zip wire, they cling to the swing as they race along the wire. I think it's a great way for them to learn. As they speed along the wire and hit the marker at the end they know that they'll swing and slide back to the middle of the wire. They're learning about the movement of things. 

learning-playground-wollaton-park
BP learning about centrifugal force.

The climbing frames are great for pushing boundaries and scaring themselves. They love climbing but LP tends to get scared the higher he climbs and still needs his dad around as security against a fall. BP loves showing off his climbing skills and will try to show his brother how to make particular moves to get further up. 

playground-learning-brothers
BP loves telling his brother what to do.

We've also been teaching LP about swings and how to use them if you don't have someone to push you. It's been slow going but I think he finally got it when we visited the park a few days ago. He managed to swing himself on the swing for around 10 minutes and really enjoyed it. He still needs reminding when to put his feet forward but he's getting there slowly. 

Playgrounds have wonderful hidden educational benefits, I always find the hidden learning is the best. The children are learning about momentum and physics and all kinds of different things while they're having real fun. When they climb on a rope wall they know it will swing about because it's not solid, like wood, and when they step onto the wooden frame at the top they know they're more secure.

playground-learning-too-big
BP learning about growing!!


Playgrounds in Schools


The whole learning thing makes me think it's great when a school gets a brand new playground. With climbing frames and slides, and new ways to explore the outdoors the children get to have a brilliant learning experience while having fun at school

I'll be suggesting to LP's school that they take a look at Infinite Playgrounds, who offer a consultancy to design your playground for you. On their website they have a great list photos of the playgrounds they've already done and there's even one in Nottingham! I'm too scared to show it to the boys because I think they'll be disappointed that their school doesn't have one! 

While I was browsing on the Infinite Playgrounds site I also noticed that they do canopies too. The canopies are fun and colourful and offer some shade from the sun in the summer months. This means the children could spend more time outside learning.

If I had the space (and money) I'd have a canopy and playground installed at home for the boys.

*Sponsored

A day off and a picnic

The last time we had a picnic with the boys LP was about 5 years old and BP was still in Primary School. It's not something we do very often, partly because of the UK weather but mostly because we just don't think of it. But with the summer holidays upon us and a promised day off work we all decided to take a football and the frisbees to our local park and have a lovely picnic.

A trip to the supermarket and an hour later and I had sandwiches and drinks packed and the boys were excited. It's funny how something as simple as a picnic can be so exciting.

The weather was lovely, it was sunny but there was a nice breeze and the odd cloud to provide some cover. As we sat down on our picnic blanket and ate our sandwiches together we talked about our plans for the holidays. It was so nice to sit so close together and chat.

After we'd finished eating LP was eager to get the football to kick around and BP wanted to throw the frisbee. They both played together with the ball and the frisbee for a while and then the Hubby decided he wanted to play too. I enjoyed watching them play together and hearing tips from both BP and the Hubby about how they should catch the frisbee. 

frisbee-playing


As I took a few photos the boys enjoyed playing together and I got to see all my boys with smiles on their faces. 

frisbee-throwing


Then the Hubby decided it was time for me to play so I had to put my phone away (boo!). To be honest though I had a wonderful time playing with the frisbee with my boys. We threw the frisbee around and jumped to catch it (sometimes), we kicked the football, and we ran around. 

We had the park almost to ourselves, apart from the odd dog-walker, and it was brilliant. The boys could kick the football as hard as they wanted and it wouldn't bother anyone else. 

play-football


The Hubby and I both took our Kindles too, on the off chance the boys played nice together we could sit in the sun and read our books. It was so nice to be able to do that too, I didn't have to worry about the boys kicking the football into a road or fighting with each other. 

reading-time-picnic
I enjoyed a little reading while the boys played.

It wasn't a trip to a theme park, and it wasn't a holiday in a different country, but our picnic was the best day we've spent together in a while. 

When was the last time you went for a picnic?

Keeping the kids entertained and away from tablets

It's the summer holidays and the kids are excited, this means they can spend all day every day playing on their tablets right? My boys love their iPads and if I let them they would spend 24/7 playing games, watching YouTube clips and listening to their music, usually all at the same time! 

Being their mum though, I can't let them spend so much time looking at screens. This often makes me Evil Mum but, at least this time, I'm willing to accept the name. 

Entertainment is key. That's why they love the tablets so much, there's so much entertainment in one little device that they don't think they need anything else. Entertaining them away from tablets is a difficult task but sometimes you stumble across something that is like magic.


Enter V-Cubes



Described as the "21st century cube" the V-Cube is small, light, and portable, and will entertain your kids for hours on end. The idea is that you solve the puzzle. The V-Cubes come in lots of different sizes and are aimed at 8-14 year olds but to be honest they'll entertain children of all ages.

The Hubby showing LP how it's done!


If your kids like puzzles the V-Cubes are just what you need. They can be taken anywhere and will last a lifetime too because they don't need charging. On a long trip in the car the tablets won't last with a lot of use but the V-Cubes will entertain your kids the whole time. 



The V-Cube shape is a more rounded cube, it doesn't have sharp corners like other cubed puzzles and the movement is smooth. While playing with the V-Cube I found moving it around was much easier and much more pleasant than other cubed puzzles, it was a lot nicer to handle. 

The V-Cube is available in 11 different cubes in six colours priced at £8.50 - £54.00 and it's available at toy stores throughout the UK. You can buy them online too.


What we thought...


I love the V-Cube, the light and compact design means they can go in my handbag or in the kids bags and be taken anywhere. They're a handy toy and will keep the kids busy, even in those few minutes before a show starts. We've taken the V-Cubes with us in the car and to the in-laws to keep LP busy. So far he hasn't managed to solve the puzzle but he's still trying. 

The Hubby trying out the larger cube.


The V-Cube will appeal to anyone who likes a good puzzle, the Hubby took to them straight away and set about solving it. He did solve it, which kind of annoyed me a little because I can't do it!

This is as far as I got!

This great toy will keep your kids busy even after the tablet's battery has died.

Men's Summer Style

When the warmer months roll in and it's time to swap the jeans and jumper for skirts, dresses, shorts, and t-shirts, women have a huge selection to choose from. Men, however, have a choice of t-shirts and shorts, and that's pretty much it, but that doesn't mean your man can't look stylish this summer.

T-shirts and shorts may be the only options but with so many styles out there it's easy to find something to suit your man that he will love.

1.   Armarni Jeans Regular Fit Short Sleeve Contrast Logo Polo   £90.00 House of Fraser
2.   Criminal Laguna Cargo Short   £30.00 (on sale) House of Fraser
3.   SUMAC Navy Two Tone Boat Shoes   £72.00 Dune

I love to see polo shirts on a man, they're smart/casual and can pass at any time whether you're just heading to the pub with friends or off to a summer barbecue. The Hubby likes Cargo shorts and these would be great, the pockets are useful for keeping his keys and cash in and they're a comfortable fit too. The shoes would be my pick, I'm not sure the Hubby would like them too much because of the colour but I love them. With a hint of red they shout summer to me.

What I Read 53

Well I'm finally back with a What I Read, I took a couple of weekends off and things got a big crazy but I've managed to squeeze in some time to share some great posts.


With the summer holidays upon us is it time to reflect on how you've been doing this year? I love to take the summer to think about my plans for the next year (school year) and work out what I could be doing better at. Jacqui's post 16 Habits of Successful People is a great start - it gives you an idea of what other people do. There are a couple of top tips in this post that I intend using over the next six weeks to see if it helps me at all. Can you work out which ones?








Now I love a good poem, and usually I would stop by Dawn's blog for my poetry fix. So you can imagine my surprise when I found a post that wasn't poetry! Even better though was the fact that I learned something from her post, Group B Strep - Our Story. I had no idea what Group B Strep was, or even how it came about but after reading Dawn's post I'm aware and can spread the word. Please head over to read Dawn's scary story that thankfully has a happy ending. 






When you become a parent there's a switch that seems to flick on. It's the worry switch or The Fear as Isabella puts it. As soon as your children are born you see everything as a threat, something to be avoided or to "be careful" of. Since having children I've said "be careful" more times than I care to admit! Do stop by and give Isabella's post a read.







I read a post this week that left me with a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes. Laura's post Dad is a truly touching story about the loss of her father. I cannot imagine how hard it must've been to deal with but I am glad that Laura is able to see some hope.







It's always great to read posts about the "normal" life of a stay-at-home parent and this week I loved Bridie's post My Filter-less Feed. In it she talks about the pictures we constantly see on Facebook and Instagram and how they're so perfect. She discusses the fact that we always seem to compare ourselves to those pictures and punish ourselves because life isn't that "beautiful". I wholeheartedly agree with Bridie when she says "we're all good enough". Stop by and give her post a read.







Finally I couldn't not share this post from The Laughing Mum: I AM a Yummy Mummy! In her post she talks about being the parent of a pre-teen and a teen and how much she loves it. This I can understand, I am a mum of a pre-teen and a tween-in-training. I nodded along while laughing out loud as I read The Laughing Mum's post and couldn't wait to share it. There is no doubt that I related to this post!

Post Comment Love 22nd - 24th July

Welcome back to another Post Comment Love, the last one before the boys descend and my house is enveloped in chaos!

This week has been a weird one, I've had so much on that my blogging has had to take a back seat. I both hate and love when that happens. It's given me time to live life and enjoy time with my boys as well as an opportunity to re-evaluate why I blog. But I do hate not being able to write every day!

The summer seems to have arrived suddenly this year and we've been enjoying the gorgeous sunshine. I spent the last weekend and most of Monday preparing our pool ready for Tuesday when the weather was absolutely wonderful. It was just the perfect day for the pool!



The boys break up later today and with lots of days out and activities for the boys I imagine there's not going to be much work done over the next six weeks. One thing you can be sure of though is that I'll be back every Friday for Post Comment Love!

Do you have anything planned for the summer?



Newbie Showcase Cécile from The Frenchie Mummy Blog



Bonjour! My name is Cécile, aka Frenchie Mummy.

Originally from France (bien sûr!), I moved to London 8 years ago to work as a languages assistant. It was supposed to only last a year, but I am still here, now working as a teacher in a secondary school.

I live in the South-East of London with Grumpy Boyfriend and Baba, my baby boy born in January. 

First-time mum, I started my blog because I wanted to create my little space while I had some time off work. This project soon became a passion and 2 months later I am now officially addicted to blogging. My mum thinks it’s dangerous to put my son’s pictures all over the internet. My dad doesn’t even know what a blog is and probably thinks that his daughter is mad. La preuve, she even decided to stay in the UK and have a baby with a roast beef… Grumpy Boyfriend is keeping quiet, but I can see that he is very doubtful, while Baba loves the life of a babe (go and check out his pictures; you will see what I mean!)

The Frenchie Mummy Blog is not about being a super maman, with gorgeous Frenchie recipes. Instead, you will read my thoughts, my faves, my dislikes, my rants, my moans. It’s all about Me, Me, Me… and Baba. Oh and let’s not forget Grumpy Boyfriend! Genuine, honest and (hopefully!) funny, I will share all my adventures dans le monde des mamans.



Bienvenue to our Frenchie World!

Twitter: @FrenchieMummy
Email: thefrenchiemummy@hotmail.com

My top 5 posts are:



I've enjoyed reading Cécile's posts over the last few weeks and I think you'll enjoy them too. Please do stop by her blog and say hi.



Pocolo


Each week you'll be able to link up from either of our sites and between us Stephanie and I will comment on every post linked.

The rules; Link up your best post written in the last week and we'd like you to comment on at least two other linked posts, as well as the hosts.

Help us spread the #PoCoLo word on Twitter and include the badge on your post.

Please do pop over and say hi to this week's Newbie, you remember what it was like being a new blogger right? It's always nice to get a comment or two.

If you'd like to be featured in our Newbie Showcase please get in touch.


Thank you for popping by.



Post Comment Love
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How to cope through the summer holidays

My boys are still at school at the moment but they break up on Friday, the summer holidays are imminent. The summer is always a stressful time if we're not going on holiday because I have to find things for the boys to do for a whole six weeks. It is especially tough when they both like such different activities. While LP likes to be outdoors running around BP would much rather be indoors sketching or watching TV.

The other thing to cope with is the fact that there are no breaks until the boys are in bed. There's no six hour break during the day when they're not nagging or fighting. They're at home. 

All. The. Time.

Being a stay-at-home mum to school-aged children means the six weeks holidays are the most taxing time of the year. You have to find activities, plan days out, and keep them busy so they don't drive you absolutely crazy.


Here's how to cope through the holidays:


Make a list

When it comes to daytime activities you can be overwhelmed with ideas from your children and the best way to organise them is to write them down. That way you get to see what the ideas are, you can add your own, and you can plan when you'll do them.


Top tip: don't try to cram too much in, yes it's six weeks but you'll be wiped out if you try to do something amazing every day.


Diary Dates

Once you have your list written have it in hand while looking at your diary. Try to work out when you can fit in specific activities and pencil them in. Take note of any special dates during the summer, for example it is BP's birthday in August and we need to plan to do something special then. 

If you're planning a weekend away perhaps do some research into the area you'll be staying to find out if anything special is happening during your stay. It could add that extra something to your trip.


Tablet Guilt

The guilt you feel when your children spend time on their tablets should be banished during the holidays. You cannot entertain them 24/7, it is okay to let them have time on their tablets. 


Movie Nights

The summer is a great time to find new movies, a lot of the animated movies (think Finding Dory, The BFG) schedule their release for the summer. There's always plenty to see at the cinema and the children will love a trip where they can scoff popcorn and watch their favourite characters on a huge screen. 


Talk to friends

If your children are anything like BP they'll want some time with their friends. Older children will be able to arrange meeting their friends on their own but the younger children will need your help with this. Be sure to get in touch with other parents to arrange play dates or trips out together. The children will love the opportunity to play together when they're not at school.


Visit family

Both sides of our family live far away, my parents live in Grimsby and the Hubby's are in Stoke-on-Trent. Although it's tough not seeming my family enough I do love the holidays because it means I have the time to see them. We always plan at least one day for visiting my family and the boys love it because they get spoiled. 

Visiting family is great, it's a chance for your children to talk to other family and it gives you a little break too. If you can arrange an overnight stay somewhere even better, then the children get to have a mini holiday too!


Days out

Research your local area, the council will usually organise free and paid activities for the summer holidays. From sports activities and classes to music festivals and culture days there will be plenty to choose from. Local activities are great because if they turn out to be dull or the children just aren't interested you're still close to home. Win!

Looking further afield you may find some gems. As we live in the East Midlands there are plenty of places to visit, like the English Heritage sites which the boys always love. You may find adventure golf, castles and museums, or even caves to explore! We usually set a limit for how far we're willing to travel in one day, there's only so much time stuck in the car that you can all take.

My boys in front of the Star Chamber at Bolsover Castle

The summer essential

Every single parent of school-age children needs one essential item to see them through the summer. Alcohol*. There is nothing like an ice-cold glass of bourbon (or tipple of your choice) at the end of a taxing day.

*Okay, so it's it's not essential but it certainly helps with the relaxation! 



Of course, being a parent you'll know that all the planning in the world cannot fight the inevitable chaos that will descend on your house during the next six weeks. 

But know, we're all in this together.

Why it's okay to be a stay-at-home mum when you're not a natural homemaker

I have never been the baking, cleaning-loving, stay-at-home mum I'd dreamed I would be. The "natural homemaker" thing never came to me and I found it quite a struggle when I became a stay-at-home mum. I would spend hours on end telling myself I was rubbish at the stay-at-home mum thing and I may as well just resign myself to being a bad mum. It made me feel terrible. But over the years I have learned to love my stay-at-home mum status and I’ve realised it’s okay to be a stay-at-home mum when you’re not a natural homemaker. 



IT'S NOT ALL ABOUT THE CLEANING


As long as you're not walking over lego pieces hidden in the carpet (ouch!) and trampling crisps into the rug, the cleaning isn't essential. Just because you're a stay-at-home mum doesn't mean you need to spend all of your time cleaning the house.


Why It's Okay To Be A Stay-at-home Mum When You're Not a Natural Homemaker | Cleaning all day is not my idea of fun!
I avoid the vacuum as much as possible!


My routine tends to be do the cleaning little and often, that way there’s never enough that I have to spend all day doing it. If I clean a little in the morning after breakfast then I don’t have to do a huge clean at the end of every day to get ready for the next day’s breakfast. I’ve even got a checklist so I can keep track of what needs doing. It’s so easy when it’s just a simply checklist, I don’t need to think about it then. 

I also have the kids do chores, which is a great help (sometimes) when it comes to the cleaning. At 9 and 14 they’re more than capable of running the vacuum over the carpet and picking up their own dirty clothes - and it teaches them something too - WIN! 





You cannot make women contented with cooking and cleaning and you need not try. 

Ellen Swallow Richards





Staying on top of the cleaning means you can have more time for you, and that’s the thing I like to focus on. It’s not necessary to spend 7 hours a day cleaning. 



NOT NIGELLA


When it comes to baking lovely cakes and fantastic feasts I leave it to the professionals. If I need a cake I buy from a supermarket. They can do a far better job than I ever could. 


Why It's Okay To Be A Stay-at-home Mum When You're Not a Natural Homemaker | I'm no Nigella so baking something like this succulent looking cake covered in red berries is just not me.
I could attempt to bake this cake, but it would be a huge fail!


Don't get me wrong, I can cook, but I’m certainly no top chef. I like to make proper meals for my family, ones they’ll enjoy and that aren’t too complicated. And boy do I love my slow cooker! Chop up ingredients and throw them in the crock-pot and 8 hours later you have a wonderful meal for your family. 

I used to think I was terrible in the kitchen but really it’s all about organisation and recipes. Get the right recipe and know what you need to do and you’re set. I like cooking for my boys, I like knowing they’ll enjoy the meals, but it’s not something I want to spend all my time doing. 



CRAFTY MAMA


A lot of the stay-at-home mums I know are fantastic at crafts. I am not one of those mums. I cannot make an amazing dress-up outfit, I can't come up with crafty ideas for my boys because, basically, I'm rubbish at it! Splodges of paint on a piece of paper is pretty much the best I can do, which means my boys aren't going to learn a lot from me in that respect.


Why It's Okay To Be A Stay-at-home Mum When You're Not a Natural Homemaker | Craft products, I have a stash of them but they're not likely to get used.
I do have a stash of crafty products, but they're not likely to get used.


Again though this isn't necessarily a bad thing. When my boys were younger we didn't spend our days doing crafts, we went out and visited nature parks or went shopping. 

The one thing I can do is draw, and both BP and LP enjoy drawing and we have all spent many hours working on drawings. BP drew a fantastic stitch a couple of years ago and LP is getting pretty good too. 

It's nice to let the little ones play with paints and learn but you don't have to be fabulous at it. Once they go to nursery they'll get to do that kind of thing every day. Spend the time with them doing something you'll all enjoy. 



VENTURING OUTDOORS


I have a love-hate relationship with the outdoors. Sometimes I love nothing more than going for a long walk along the canal or enjoying some time at the local park, but there are times when I just cannot be bothered to go out. All I want is to lounge at home in my PJ's. 


Why It's Okay To Be A Stay-at-home Mum When You're Not A Natural Homemaker | Walking with my boys makes me happy - sometimes.
My boys enjoy walking, once we're outside...


When you have little ones a short walk outdoors can turn into a wonderful adventure searching for bugs, birds, and plants. They learn about animals as you walk along the canal or through the woods and they think they've been on an adventure. 

With the older kids it's more important to get them away from technology and screens. My boys do enjoy a walk once we're out, although there are lots of complaints before we actually go out. The great thing about walks with older kids is they can run off ahead, leaving you and your partner to enjoy the walk together. 



FINDING A HOBBY


While your little ones are taking up most of your time it is easy to forget the things you enjoy doing. You are so consumed with making sure the little ones are enjoying themselves and are healthy and happy that you forget who you are. I know exactly what that is like, I completely lost myself after having BP and it took me a long time to find myself again. 


Why It's Okay To Be A Stay-at-home Mum When You're Not A Natural Homemaker | Sit on the sofa, enjoy a coffee, and read a book. Enjoy being home.
Take a minute, while the kids are at school, grab a fancy coffee and enjoy the peace!



When LP started nursery I was terrified, I had no idea what I would do with all that time. After all I didn't want to spend it cleaning, or cooking, so what on earth would I do? 

It was at that time I read an inspiring blog post and turned to writing. I drafted a novel within the first two months of LP starting nursery. I'd found something that I truly loved to do and I began to learn who I was again. The words seemed to flow from me, it was like they'd been trapped inside for years and the release was amazing. As time passed and I tried my hand at blogging too I found that blogging appealed to me more than the novels and I put the books aside to concentrate on blogging. 

Being able to write every day is what I LOVE, I can express myself using the written word much better than I can with the spoken word. If I didn't write I have no idea what I would do instead. 

Now that my boys are at school every day I can take time to write and I am a much happier person because I have time for me, I do something I truly love to do. 

Having time to myself allowed me to find the thing I loved. I was able to spend time alone, do something that filled me with joy, and as a result my family is happier.





Because of your smile, you make life more beautiful. 

Thich Nhat Hanh




Give yourself time to figure out what you love to do. Not what your children like, or what is best for them, but what you like. You could try returning to a hobby you had when you were a child. You could try something entirely new. Either way do it. 

You don't have to be a "natural homemaker" to enjoy being a stay-at-home mum. It’s okay to be a little selfish and enjoy the time on your own


Why It's Okay To Be A Stay-at-home Mum When You're Not a Natural Homemaker | Cleaning, baking, crafts - are not for me, how about you?


There is nothing to feel guilty about, after all you spend most of your time taking care of your family.
Grab the opportunity with both hands and run! 



Are you a natural homemaker or do you hate the cleaning? 




If you enjoyed this post you'll enjoy Embrace your stay-at-home mum status! Or if you're looking for ways to make yourself feel a little better try 10 ways you can feel better in 10 minutes!

Do stop by Facebook and let me know if you're a natural homemaker or more like me!

And just to help you out here's a cleaning checklist - I use it every day to make sure I get my chores done!

Post Comment Love 15th - 17th July

Welcome back to another Post Comment Love and a chance for you to showcase your best post of the week. Or perhaps you want to give some extra love to a post without comments? Go ahead, the only requirement is that you wrote the post this week.

Yesterday I spent the entire day cleaning, from the moment I dropped LP off at school until around 5:30pm with a few breaks for lunch and picking LP up from school. The trouble is, with all those hours I only managed to finish downstairs. I was completely exhausted but there's still upstairs to do. 

The funny thing is I needed to do it, I've been feeling a bit down lately. Everything has been getting on top of me and I'm ending every day stressed. I'm putting pressure on myself to get things done and it's causing me to worry. A cleaning day allows me to escape from everything that has been stressing me out and concentrate on cleaning the house. The only thing that occupies my mind is the next cleaning job and how long it will take to finish it. It's a great release.

I'm feeling better today, still tired but glad I had a cleaning day.

What do you do to escape when you're feeling it's all just too much?


Newbie Showcase Jacqui from Recipes Made Easy



Jacqui is a cookery writer and has been for many years and is now a newbie blogger. She tried it out after her children left home and now she loves it! Read more about Jacqui over on Stephanie's blog.

You can find Jacqui here:



Pocolo


Each week you'll be able to link up from either of our sites and between us Stephanie and I will comment on every post linked.

Help us spread the #PoCoLo word on Twitter and include the badge on your post.
Please do pop over and say hi to this week's Newbie, you remember what it was like being a new blogger right? It's always nice to get a comment or two.

If you'd like to be featured in our Newbie Showcase please get in touch.

Thank you for popping by.


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