Todays blog post is short and sweet, as I am travelling down to Peterborough for a few days to deliver some G Suite training. The usual mixed feelings are going on, on the plus side I get uninterrupted sleep, on the down side I don’t see my little Hal’s. However it makes coming home all the sweeter, and it’s my birthday this week, so lots to look forward to.

There are literally hundreds of things I have realised since becoming a parent, from – just because a baby has pooped 10 times that day, doesn’t mean there isn’t anything left to poop – there always is, to – 7am is actually a lie in. But I have put together my top five realisations, that I think are the biggies;

  1. thought I had been tired before, had I balls! I was positively energetic all the time
  2. Some people will never get the whole ‘you had a baby thing’ – don’t waste your time, if they can’t accept your life has changed then move on without them
  3. Your parents weren’t lying, kids cost a flipping fortune! Anyone that says it doesn’t have to, are lying, even if you budget it still costs a lot. Of course it is all worth it though.
  4. You toddler will do something you’d rather they didn’t and there won’t be anything you can do to stop it, seriously it’s just how their brain works/develops sometimes and no reflection on you (don’t believe me? Google it).
  5. If you can’t multitask, then you are pretty much screwed.

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Like I said, so many more! What are yours?

 

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My top three batch cooking faves – for toddlers

All these recipes are great for batch cooking, as you can just double or triple what you would normal cook and freeze them. I put them into small containers, let them cool and then freeze them. Then throughout the week I will just get them out when I am making Hallie’s lunch or you can take them out the night before and pop them in the fridge.

Hallie’s ‘Toddler’ Curry

  • Courgette
  • Leek
  • Onion
  • (Optional chicken)
  • Coconut milk
  • Chopped tomatoes
  • Korma paste
  • Baby chicken stock cube
  • Rice

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Hidden Veggies Sauce

All your toddlers fave & not so fave veggies pureed up into a lovely sauce for pasta or potatoes.

  • Courgette
  • Onion
  • Red pepper
  • Celery
  • Leek
  • Butternut squash
  • Carrot
  • Chopped tomatoes
  • Oregano
  • Garlic
  • Vege stock cube – low salt

Bolognese sauce

A classic, and again pureed as Hallie doesn’t like the mince texture

  • Mince (beef or even turkey)
  • Garlic
  • Carrot
  • Tomato puree
  • Chopped tomatoes
  • Low salt stock

Time savers! Leaving more time for playing and getting out the house.

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Cold Feet gives me hope | Letting go of the stresses

Last night was Friday night, and instead of cocktails and prosecco, it was Cold Feet and calling eBay to stop a hacker using my account. Rock ‘n’ roll! I love Cold Feet and think the newer series are really just as good as they were before, so nothing was going to stand in the way of me watching it.

In the programme they are now in their late 40’s early 50’s and are all really coming full circle, they have had their kids and their success, but have either lost it or are still looking for more.

I found a weird sense of hope and comfort in this, especially from a parenting point of view. At every stage of my daughter growing up I seem to not have a clue what I am doing. All their children on Cold Feet are teenagers and they still don’t have a clue what they are doing. They are still trying to sort out their romantic relationships as well as their friendships, and they are all still searching for that peak in their career.

I think we put a lot of pressure on ourselves, we want to be the perfect parent, we want to succeed to a standard we are happy with in our careers, we want the dream salary, we want to be as happy in our relationship as everyone else is. We always want more. But like them, maybe we will never

  • be the perfect parent – but maybe we will be the best we can be
  • have that point in our career where we think we have made it – when really we reached a commendable point a while ago
  • have a clue what we are doing with anything – what’s wrong with winging it?
  • answer the questions each stage of our lives bring us – where’s the fun in knowing everything?
  • fill that rainy day fund with those well earned pennies – maybe holidays and splashing out will make us happier

My partner and I at the moment are really making the effort to realise what we have and be grateful for it. In a way we are very lucky to have what we have, but we have also worked hard to get to this point.

We have bought a house this year and completely renovated it, but still we beat ourselves up about money and other things we still need to do. I don’t know why, we have done well. So from this day we are going to let go of the stresses (which includes some people), and allow ourselves to be happy and grateful, because we will never have it sussed completely and we need to make our peace with that, before we at the wrong side of 50 and still searching for more.

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More prosecco less eBay on a Friday night

P.S. eBay were very helpful and stopped the fuhackers in their tracks!

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Some days we can’t & that’s OK

I think it is great when I see mums building up other mums, rather than pulling them down. We should be nice to each other, we deserve it. A lot of the messages I see are ‘this mum can’ or you ‘you can do this’ etc, which is great, because of course we can, we’ve got this! But, it is also OK if some days we can’t.

Some days I can be so exhausted if Hallie has been up in the night, or I didn’t sleep well. We have all had those days, mostly a Sunday night, where we can’t sleep before work, and we then have to get up and do a full days work, well times that by ten when you have to get up and be mum or dad for the day. There’s no solo relaxing toilet trips, or an uninterupt coffee while you send emails. IT. IS. FULL. ON.

That’s why I am saying it is OK if you can’t. If you get up and all you can do that day is feed your child and make sure they are OK, that is FINE. If they spend the day mainly watching Peppa Pig and Disney films, that is OK. I can guarantee you will be a much better parent the next day, if you don’t put pressure on yourself and chill when you need it.

I feel like 20 months into this parenting business, I am finally letting go of the mummy guilt and realising that if I am putting too much pressure on myself or run myself down, I am not going to be the best parent I can be. You bought your kids all those toys for a reason, let them have a day playing with them. I know sometimes it is easier said than done, as sometimes your toddler doesn’t want to chill and it is easier to take them out, well that can be the case, but I do find if I am chilled it can rub off on Hallie and she will give in to some chilling.

Proof of this is my sister, she is 100% chill. Hallie can be going through one of her ‘no nap’ phases, but as soon as Auntie Lauren is looking after her she is napping for 2+ hours, they both are. Everytime without fail.

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So let’s take care of ourselves and our children. And if you just don’t have the energy for soft play one day, don’t do it, there is always tomorrow.

It really is OK if you can’t.

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Our top five books for toddlers and beyond!

Hallie has a lot of books and she is quite good at giving them all some attention, having said that, she does have some clear favourites and they are all brilliant in their own ways.

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Number 5 in our Hallie & Mummy chart is…

5. Five little Ducks, this was a book we received from the imagination library (part of Dolly Parton’s initiative and is available in the UK just sign up here). It is a great little book as Hallie loves the song and making the ‘quack quack’ noise, her face lit up when she saw it and it brought the song to life for her.

4. That’s not my unicorn, this whole series is brilliant, Hallie has had these from a very young age as they are great for them to start reaching out and feeling different textures, a good sensory book.

3. Postman Bear, this book is by the creators of the Gruffalo, so the illustrations as similar and of the same high quality. Bear sends out invitations to his party and the readers can open the envelopes and the doors to the animals houses. Hallie has learnt to say ‘mole’ from this book so far and ‘cake’ – that is definitely from the book not from her mothers eating habits!

2. Dear Zoo, we love it so much we have it twice (mainly because the flaps get ripped off). This book helped Hallie learn her animals and the noises that they make, especially the lion ROARRRRRRRRR. I think this is a strong favourite with all the children I know.

**DRUM ROLL PLEASE**

1. There’s a monster in your book, our newest and most favouritististist, I didn’t know if it would be a bit old for Hallie, but again she has learnt so much from it. The book is very interactive and has the kids spinning the book, shaking it, blowing on it etc. Hallie’s favourite bit is shushing the monster to sleep. Great fun and fantastic for learning, five stars! Oh and it is by Tom Fletcher, who has started a book club for kids at WHSmith, which I am sure would be worth a look. Hallie even loves the video to advertise the book club!

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