How to survive the 6 week Summer hols

Parenting…

It’s tough, it’s exhausting but it’s absolutely the best thing ever without a doubt.
So as many of us start the 6 week summer holidays today we’re still feeling quite positive, blissfully planning activities to take on with our offspring.
Many of us will know however, that this blissful, positive feeling will diminish over the course of each day and we will turn to despair.
We will call in back up of whichever form.

So how do we survive the 6 weeks Summer hols? 

  • Make a Plan. A POA. 
    Whether it’s by choosing one simple ‘activity’ to do per day or one place out to go each week, make a plan of things to help prevent everyone from getting bored and stressful situations occurring.
    This also helps to break the time up and help you feel like you have accomplished something each day/week.
  • Factor in your routine and use it in your plan.
    So, for example, for us Bunny sleeps of an afternoon. I can use this hour or 2 to do something with the Wildcat that we wouldn’t be able to do whilst she was up. Even if it’s just quality time colouring a picture together or baking some biscuits. I can then plan an activity that they can both do in a morning.
  • Recognise the signs.
    If your child is starting to get whingy, niggly or act up/misbehave there might be a reason why; Hunger, tiredness (we all let them have later nights in school holidays don’t we!) or one of the main ones- Boredom.
    Try and recognise these signs and nip them in the bud before they result in an explosion of some sort- from your child or you!!
    TOP TIP: For boredom have some quick fix activities pinned up on your kitchen notice board! 
  • Take each day one day at a time! 
    Don’t let a bad morning ruin your day or a bad day ruin your week! Just take each day one step at a time and remember it’s going to be hard for the kids as well as you- it’s a massive change to their routine too.
    You will need your witts about you to keep everything running smoothly. 
  • Have Fun! 
    This is a perfect opportunity for you and your kids to spend some quality time together- a welcome break from structured learning and a chance for their brains to chill the F out.
    Make things fun- a really great suggestion on our live feed (see below) was to turn mealtimes in to a café or restaurant. So simple, no prep beforehand needed and the kids love it- mine usually look at me to start with like I’m barmy but straight away get involved and play along.
  • Meet up with friends.
    They are your back up. Get your adult convo fix, even when it’s interrupted repeatedly, and just see another human, adult face! Hopefully they’ll also have kids so they can all play nicely together and give you a better chance to chat.
  • Get Outside.
    This is a brilliant one for helping with stressful situations and proves a brilliant distraction from boredom or tiredness.
    Get out in the fresh air and whether its a trip to the nearest park, a run round in the garden or a walk with a scavenger hunt it really doesn’t matter. You don’t even have to have a plan to get outside, it could be 15 minutes before teatime to blow the cobwebs away.
    TOP TIP: Keep a pile of scavenger hunts somewhere easy to grab on your way out of the door or on your phone to use whilst you’re out and about! 
  • Don’t sweat the small stuff!
    Stuff like a tidy house and cleaning is probably mostly going to go by the board. Same as high tempers and impatience are going to be a common occurrence.
    Try not to let the ‘little things’ get to you.
    TOP TIP: Use our Facebook group ‘The Stress Dump’ to offload any stress before it gets too much! https://www.facebook.com/groups/608948225969813/
  • Use Pinterest for quick fix activity ideas! 
    Pinterest, if you haven’t used it already, is a fantastic resource and a minefield of so many different activities. If you’re getting stuck for ideas have a search around on there and create a ‘board’ so finding an activity is simple!
  • Music. 
    Put some music on and have a dance around together. Instant mood booster and lots of fun.
    TOP TIP: Bend and Stretch with the Sticky Kids is an excellent cd full of activity songs and rhymes. http://www.stickykidscatalogue.co.uk/bend&stretch.html
  • Try something new.
    Whether it’s a trip to a new play park or visiting somewhere you haven’t been before, trying something fun is great for instilling some excitement and fun into your kid’s 6 week hols.
  • Take extra time out for you.
    Even if it’s just an extra 10 minutes to sip from your gin filled hip flask (only joking…) make sure your take a little extra time for you. The summer holidays can be very full on and if you don’t look after yourself, you wont be at the top of your game to look after the kids!

So that’s it, my survival strategy for the Summer.
All that’s left for me to say is… GOOD LUCK! I’ll see you on the other side…!


Keep a look out for TNPPC very own Summer bucket list 

FACEBOOK LIVE FEED: HOW TO SURVIVE THE 6 WEEKS HOLS

 

 

Rockin’ the s**t out of still being a person too!

If this isn’t Mam style then I don’t know what is!!

Fascinator: Borrowed from Mum.
Shoes: Irregular choice- Had for years.
Jewellery: Swarovski- from my wedding.
Bag- Borrowed.
Belt- Off another dress.
AND…
The Dress: £10 from Asda.

But the prices that really matter:
A day without the kids, drinking prosecco with my bestie, watching the races and Olly Murs: Priceless and (it was) well overdue.
Laughs with my bestie: Priceless.
More legendary memories, (yep you guessed it) with my bestie: Priceless.

You have to take time out for yourself. To remember who you were before kids- who you can still be. To just have a goddamn break from the constant-ness of these energy stealing little people. To relax and live a little.
To remember that despite being a parent, you’re still a person too 😘

Here is me rockin the shit out of still being a person too

From the I’m Mama not Mummy Archives: Relish the charms of the present

July 2013

Daddy has brought me and the Wildcat breakfast in bed on his way out to work.

We are sat up in bed eating, (cereal bar for me and Weetabix breakfast biscuits for the Wildcat) when she lies her head on my lap and simply says

“you my best friend”

I will never, ever forget this moment.

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First Time Mum; What the F**k has happened to my life?

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Dear First time Mum,
I know what has happened to your life.

You have grown a little person inside of you- pretty unbelievably incredible. From the minute you started growing them you made sacrifices. They consumed all your energy and the past year or more has been the most tired you’ve ever felt.
You’re so tired you don’t know whether you’re coming or going- you’ve gone from not being tied down to having a person completely dependent on you for their every need. The things you thought were going to happen probably didn’t and the things you never even considered became part of your everyday life.
You’ve put every ounce of your energy into growing and keeping this little person safe. Every ounce of love to protect them. Every ounce of knowledge into caring for them.
You’ve felt like you’ve had no f’in clue what you’re doing and so many people telling you things you ‘should’ be doing. You’ve tried things and they didn’t work. You’ve cried. You’ve laughed. You’ve smiled. You’ve loved like you’ve never loved before.
You’ve lost yourself and who you were amongst the chaos of this massive lifestyle change and your body will never be the same as before. Emotions, hormones and it’s shape.

Some days you don’t think you can cope, you just want to run away but then you feel guilty for even thinking this- how could you ever leave this amazing being that you created!
Some days you just lock yourself away because it’s just easier- it’s easier to be at home where it doesn’t matter if your little one cries, if either of you spend all day in your pyjamas, where you have all your stuff to hand.
But before you know it you’ve shut the world out and you feel lonely. Loneliness like you’ve never known. Your phone is your lifeline but you just don’t get chance to reply to the messages, the notifications get too much and you’re tired.
You need your friends but how the hell do you fit all this in?

You think ‘what the fuck has happened to my life’?

How do I know all this? I’ve been there too. Twice.
So has every other mum I’ve ever spoken to. It’s completely normal to feel like this. But no-one tells you about this do they? I think people must forget the ‘mum feels’ as their kids grow, and hindsight is a wonderful thing- but as I say very inaccurate and not very helpful.

You are normal. This is normal.

Your body, your mind and your emotions have been thrown onto a rollercoaster and set off at 200mph.
You don’t have to have postnatal depression to feel like crap. You don’t have to have postnatal anxiety to feel like crap.
Sometimes our emotions are too much for us, the ‘mum feels’ are too much for us.
YOU ARE NOT ON YOUR OWN! THIS IS NORMAL 💖

Speak out about your ‘mum feels’ – it really does help to talk, and when you hear other people feel the same it’s massively reassuring.
Ask for help if you need it- even if it’s just for someone to come round and make you a brew.
If your friends are Mums, they’ll understand- they will totally get it. If they don’t get it, they’re not your mates.
I know it doesn’t feel like you can right now but you really NEED to make some time for yourself- it’s really important! If you don’t look after yourself you can’t look after anyone else- your mind won’t let you.

If you’re feeling lost at the moment, get your map right here. I’m ready to catch you as you fall. I’m ready to push you back up onto your feet and shout go, you’ve got this!

One Mam and her Squad: Baby Book Club Review by Stacey

IMG_2503I am a big reader myself so I really want to pass this onto my little boy. I’ve read to him since he was first born, although the first few months involved him sleeping and me reading aloud!

Now that he’s paying more of an interest I am keen to read to him as many different books as possible. I purchased the usual ones that most people have and any that I loved from my childhood, which I love reading to him. But I am always looking for new titles.

I saw the Baby Book Club on Facebook and it looked like such a good idea. Different books every month.

I was so excited when the box arrived in the post, it looked lovely. I wasn’t disappointed IMG_2504when I opened it, the books were individually wrapped and beautifully presented. And the theme was one of my favourites…Wishes and Dreams.

The three books were appealing, just from their front covers. Which, let’s be honest, is what most attracts me to books. I hadn’t heard of any of them before which got a big thumbs up from me. This is what I wanted from the book club. FullSizeRender

My little boy is 6 months old and I have read them all to him. The bright colours and pictures captured his interest, maybe a bit too much as he tried to eat one of them! I loved the stories and have now read them to him a few times. My favourite had to be Wishes for You, what a lovely book it is.

I would highly recommend the Baby Book Club for anyone who loves to read to their little ones. It’s such a great concept. Every month is a different theme so you will never get the same kind of books. And as your little ones get older they will be as excited as you to receive their monthly box.

From the I’m Mama Not Mummy Archives: I need a brother!

July 2013 (Obviously pre-Bunny)

So there we are sat at the breakfast table, when the Wildcat announces “I have a brother.”
The Wildcat is my first and only child, so I explain to her that no you don’t have a brother, to be told once again “I have a brother”.
I again explain that she doesn’t have a brother, she thinks for a minute, and then exclaims
“I neeeeeeeedd a brother!”

What would any other parent do in this situation? Your child is two and a half and adamant that if they don’t have a brother, they need one. Tricky situation right?
Daddy is at work, so in panic I say ask daddy, then realise that this is probably a bad idea. A very bad idea!! As much as we want more children, we are getting married next year and have one hell of a wedding to plan before any more little Wildcats appear. I don’t think Daddy will be overly impressed to be greeted home from work by “I neeeed a brother”.
So, after thinking rationally for a minute- or rather look out the window and see the dog innocently relaxing in his kennel, I decide my next plan of action…
“Marni can be your brother?” I tell her.
(Marni is the dog in case you haven’t clicked, Marni short for Armani!)
The Wildcat turns to look at him and then runs to the door. She shouts out “Marni, you want to be my brother?”
Crisis averted we can finish breakfast calmly with no more on the subject of ‘a brother’!!!

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Bunny’s take over 10/05/17

This morning wasn’t really any different to any other day.
I’m awake, I play for a little while until I hear some movement from Mama and Daddy’s room. Then I whinge until someone appears. This morning it was Mama who came to get me.
After a quick chill on their bed I clamber down ready to start trashing the joint. My favourite is to empty all the drawers but I had no time for that this morning.
As soon as that door opens though, I’m outta here. Straight into Sis’s room. I shout her a few times to wake her up. God I’ve missed her. Sis has like the coolest toys ever.

What the… Daddy’s just tried to shoved one of the bristly sticks in my mouth. Bloody hell mate, back off, I only have 7 teeth. You want to start brushing your own teeth in a morning before you start on me.

I get bundled downstairs and strapped into the highchair BUT the tunes are on, get in. Can’t beat having a few tunes blasting out whilst you eat your brekkie.
Eurgh, it’s the ads again, I give Dad the shout and point to let him know he needs to sort this out. Where’s Sis when you need her, she knows the score. Proper good You Tube DJ is our Sis.

When I’ve had enough of shitty toast, I throw it around with a squawk for effect. (Daddy literally can NOT stand that noise, pure brilliance on my part!) The dogs will eat it anyway. A sip of water too then I can launch my cup under the table.
Then I just bide my time. Annnnnd as Mama sits down with her breakfast and a brew it’s game on. I cry, kick and scream until she gets me out.
No-one can stand my screamy crying, instant result.

Mama’s just told me I’m going to Mel’s. “Nana” I tell her. I want to go to Nana’s. Don’t get me wrong Mel’s is awesome once I’ve got over Mama fucking off and leaving me with a complete stranger. (Well she’s not really a stranger anymore.) But Nana, well she has an endless supply of food- biscuits and fruit pots. Lets me play with the fruit out of the fruit bowl, then still makes everyone eat it (ha) BUT Nana, well she has cats.
OMG howww AWESOME are cats! They are soooo fluffy and meow and I can grab their tail and pull it AND if you say “ch, ch, ch” they come to you. So cute.
I want to go to Nana’s.

Anyway, the past few days I haven’t really felt like getting dressed so just to really fuck things up I’ve not let Mama dress me. Pahaha, I know right. So as she puts the vest over my head I put my hands up and push it back off. I also scream until I get red in the face just to let her know it’s game on.
I’m really going for it today. She even whipped my nappy off not realising I’d poo’ed, hahaha. But now Daddy’s involved. FFS. I’ve been manhandled into my clothes but I’m abit tired from all this creating now. I’ll give Mama a snuggle I think.

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