When Will Dinner be Different?

I seem to cook the same rotation of dinners every week for my kids. I might mix things up a bit by not doing the same dishes on the same night, but I can pretty much confirm that these items will be on the menu every single week:

  • Pasta, tuna and cheese
  • Omelette and beans
  • Spaghetti Bolognese (only if the sauce is blended and contains no “lumps”. The eldest will still pick out the visible bits of tinned tomato that can be found)
  • Jacket potato with cheese and beans
  • Sausage, mash and carrots
  • Pasta with cheese
  • Pizza

dinner-every-night

Yes, don’t judge me. I appreciate that probably 3 at best from this list contain vegetables. I KNOW that 3 meals contain pasta and I GET that most of these dinners are not particularly healthy. But what is the alternative?

The Alternative

Instead I can I spend ages preparing and cooking a delicious homemade meal that will be thrown back in my face. Take last week, I had a brainwave that I’d cook a lasagne. After all, they love spaghetti bolognese right? I’ll blend up EXACTLY the same sauce and put it in with a bit of different shaped pasta. Wrong.

“What’s this?” said Alice in disgust picking at the flat shaped pasta.

I did eventually manage to get her to try it and she eventually conceded that it might be alright but she still wanted to know why she couldn’t have the “normal” spaghetti.

It can take a fair bit of effort to cook a dinner from scratch. I’d be happy to do more, but not when it’s met with such suspicion and disgust. They seem to know what they like and like eating a mere 7 odd dishes on constant rotation.

What Age Does This Change?

In a bid to try and broaden the repertoire of dinners, I do try and encourage my kids to eat a new food fairly frequently. But their seemingly insistence of hatred for vegetables knows no bounds. They have tried and proclaimed to hate sweetcorn, peas, cucumber, tomatoes, green beans, mushrooms, aubergine. It’s baffling. I mean sweetcorn? Really?

So I’d love to know at what age does this suddenly change? You don’t hear of that many 20 or 30 year olds who will only eat pasta, pizza or omelette. Is it a gradual change that I’ll barely notice as my kids might over the years begin to start eating peas and then halleleujah mushrooms? Or is it a sudden switch where perhaps aged 10 they think – “You know what, I really don’t want pasta AGAIN tonight for tea, I really fancy salmon or perhaps a lovely juicy steak with some asparagus”?

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Meal Times Together

All the experts promote eating together as a family. But we tend not to do this. For one thing, I don’t go out very much anymore. My evenings, especially my weekend evenings are dominated by a nice dinner and hopefully a bottle of wine. Is it very selfish of me to say, I don’t want to sit coaxing and bargaining with my children at 5pm at the dinner table on a Saturday night in an effort to get them to eat their food whilst mine goes cold? Must I really eat pasta and cheese at the weekend just so that we’re all eating together? I refuse to get drawn into cooking different dinners for different members of the family.

I long for the time when all of us will sit down at the dinner table and we’ll all eat and enjoy a meal together. Perhaps something really exotic like a roast chicken. Who knows, maybe one day progressing on to fish or dare I say prawns?

Until then, I’ll grit my teeth and continue to spend agonising hours at the dinner table, watching them play with their food and scrutinise what’s on their plate. I know it can’t last forever. I know that in 15 years they will be eating the likes of chicken and broccoli. Until then, I’ll continue to serve up our never ending rotation of basic dishes and wait for the day when sweetcorn might pass their lips.

Spaghetti Bolognese

 

 

 

 

Mummuddlingthrough
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Judgement By Social Media. Where is The Empathy?

Last week there were two major parenting stories to hit the news:

  • Cincinnati, USA

A 4 year old child fell into a zoo’s gorilla enclosure in Cincinnati. A 450lb male gorilla called Harambe dragged the child through water and displayed some aggressive behaviour. The zoo’s bosses made the decision to shoot dead the gorilla in order to save the child.

Harambe The Gorilla

  • Japan

A 7 year old boy was ordered out of his parent’s car on a mountain road after he had been caught throwing stones at cars and people. He was left by a forest infested with bears as punishment. His parents drove off to teach him a lesson and when they went back to get him he had gone, disappearing for 7 days. Yamato Tanooka trekked through the forest for miles and survived after finding a disused military base shelter.

yamato-tanooka

 

Both stories are horrific. I saw the video online  of the first incident at the zoo and felt sick seeing that little boy being dragged through the water. And I remember listening to the updates on the radio about the young boy lost in a forest in Japan, thinking I don’t know how that child will ever be found alive.

Judgment by Social Media

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What is perhaps more sickening, even more than the incidents themselves, is the callous, vindictive and abusive behaviour on social media of these parents.

Within hours of the video footage at the zoo going live, there were petitions and pages being set up to obtain justice for the gorilla. There was utter condemnation of the mother and messages urging her children be taken into care. Others went further demanding that the parents be shot. The abuse was so frantic and awful that the child’s mother had to delete her Twitter and Facebook account and go into hiding.

Yes it’s awful that a rare silverback gorilla had to be shot. But can you imagine the alternative if that little boy had been killed? The zoo employees would not have taken that decision lightly. Can any of us honestly say we would have behaved any differently if it was our child being dragged through the water? Would we not have screamed for something to be done?

This week it was announced that the parents would not be charged with neglect and I absolutely agree. Children can be curious, determined and lightening quick. They can get up to all sorts in the blink of an eye. Who hasn’t experienced that heart-pounding moment when you’ve turned around only to find them gone? Even if it’s for 10 seconds, it is a scary and desperate moment.

So why have so many people expressed such utter outrage and hatred on social media? Where is the empathy and compassion? This mother will most likely be berating herself for the rest of her life over that one fleeting moment that we as parents all experience.

The incident in Japan was harder to understand. Yes, it was stupid and absurd to leave a child alone by a bear infested forest even for a small amount of time. But who hasn’t become exasperated by their child for constantly misbehaving? Who hasn’t tried to find a new way to discipline or treat their child in the vague attempt to change or modify their behaviour?

The parents didn’t mean to lose their child for 7 days, they wanted to teach him a lesson. When Yamato was found, his father said, “Our behaviour as parents went too far, and that’s something I’m extremely regretful about. I thought that what I was doing was for his own good, but, yes, I realise now that I went too far.”

Do these parents also need to experience the constant abuse online from others who seem to serve as self imposed judge and jury? Surely the realisation that their child could have been killed by a decision that they’d made is enough of a punishment to endure.

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Both incidents are terrible, but both stories could have ended in a much more horrific way; with both children being killed.

Surely the torment of reliving those awful days, asking themselves over and over what they should and could have done differently, is punishment enough for these parents.

Surely we need to ask ourselves whether it could well have been us that lost sight of our child for a fleeting moment or whether it could well have been us who lost our temper with our children. If a 60 second snapshot of our lives was uploaded to social media to be judged could we be certain that our behaviour as parents would be perfect or would it most likely be flawed?

Surely we all need to have much more understanding, compassion and empathy for these parents and stop judging each other.

 

 

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Stay at Home Mum. Is It Enough?

I’ve lost count of the amount of times people have asked me “When are you going back to work?”

Sometimes I’m amused by this question. Other times I’m irritated and other times, it depresses the hell out of me.

Being a Full Time Mum

My Old Job

Five years ago I was an Online Marketing Manager for a clothing company in London. I had hoped to go back to work after the birth of my eldest, Alice. When the time came for the inevitable back to work discussions. It all went a bit wrong. I was told there was no scope for flexibility. I couldn’t work from home at all and it wasn’t possible to reduce my hours. At all.

I couldn’t bear the thought of dropping my 1 year old baby off to nursery at 7am and not collecting her until 6pm 5 days a week. The commute into and out of London somehow seemed to be so much longer and fraught with potential for more problems and delays than ever before. And so, with some reluctance, I quit.

I was lucky to find some freelance marketing and copywriting work not long after with 1 major client. And this gradually expanded so that I was working with several different clients.

Freelance Work

When It’s Good…. It’s Very Very Good…..

On the good days, when I’ve got work on the go and I can cope with juggling everything in around the children then freelancing is great. I enjoy the flexibility it gives me. I love the fact that I can work the hours that suit me.

…..But When It’s Bad It is Horrid

The are several downsides of freelancing but the biggest is the unpredictability. I’m often quiet with little or no work on. Which makes money unreliable. I frequently lose heart. I wonder what the hell I’m doing. Whether I’ll ever have work again or do anything more meaningful than referee my kids’ arguments and try and placate the toddler’s list of meltdowns. 

Can Being a Mum Ever Be Enough?

At the school gates, I’m well aware that along with 1 other mum, we are completely in the minority. I don’t work in the conventional sense. I don’t keep the usual office hours.  And when all the other mums ask me what I do, I feel the need to justify myself and talk up my freelance business. Why do I find it so hard to answer “I’m primarily a stay at home mum for now and juggling some writing work when I can.”

It’s strange isn’t it, but when did simply “Being a mum” become such a bad thing? Why is there always so much pressure to do something else?

I appreciate I’m lucky. Many other women don’t have a choice and have to go back to work for their family to survive. We can live on my husband’s wage, but during the slow times, I feel increasingly frustrated and weird about not being financially independent. I get frustrated that despite it being 2016, the “flexible” work options still aren’t really that flexible in most jobs. I’m frustrated that unless they choose to be the primary carer, most men don’t seem to have this issue.

Some of my good friends and my family remind me that actually being a full time mum is a big enough job in itself. The nursery down the road from me charges £55 a day. If I could charge that every day for looking after my two, I’d be happy enough! Plus there’s the issue of being on call non stop 24/7 and covering every role from teacher, supervisor, cook, cleaner, entertainer and referee.

Why Do We Want More?

There’s no doubt about it. Being a mum can be frustrating,monotonous and exasperating. I can understand why many mums choose to go back to work; to use their brain, to enjoy some adult conversation, to retain their financial independence or even just to have a lunch hour in peace.

My freelance work and this blog are my way of trying to gain some sense of balance. The blog is my creative outlet and to keep up my love of writing.  The dream is to increase the freelance work to make it more consistent.  But I need to learn to have some patience and not to get upset about it when things slow down.

And I know that next September when my youngest starts school, I will have suddenly more time on my hands to concentrate on driving this. I don’t want to wish this time away. Our children are small only for a little while and I don’t want to regret missing out on them. I need to keep reminding myself about this whenever I next feel exasperated. I need to remind myself that for now, this is enough.

 

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Cuddle Fairy

Things to Love and Hate About The Half Term Holiday

We are in the final stretch of the penultimate term at our first year at “Big School”. Next week is the half term holiday and boy do we all need it. I always notice that the kids  begin to feel worn out in the last week of term and I start looking forward to having some time away from the school and pre-school too. But then I remember that there are some downsides that go with the school holidays.

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Here’s the things I love and hate about half term holidays:

Love – Spending Time with The Kids. Yes, in theory, I have this romantic image in my head about spending some quality time with my children, especially Alice who is now at school all day. Perhaps we will do some baking, arts and crafts or playing outside in the sunshine. The reality doesn’t normally work out like that………

Hate – I usually get to about Wednesday and realise that the kids are either going to kill each other with their arguments or I’m going to end up killing one of them with my patience left in shreds. I never seem to be organised enough to remember to get ALL of the basic ingredients in to make cakes, I’m terrible at arts and crafts and it will probably rain.

Arts and Crafts Eva
Here’s what happened the last time we attempted arts and crafts

Love – Not having to do the school and pre-school run! I am so looking forward to having a break from the dreaded school run. I hate having to negotiate the traffic and the parking on a normal school day and then have to walk littlest one down to the pre-school before I can even sit down and attempt to some work.

Hate – The fact that every other kid in the country will be off at the same time so suddenly everywhere is busy beyond belief full of shouting, screaming kids. No matter where you go whether it be the park, soft play, cafe, shops, zoo or museum you are guaranteed to find another 200 families with 200 kids plus running riot. Pre-school mums take note: Enjoy doing these things in term time for as long as you can. Because school holidays anywhere in public can often be hell.

Playing in the park
Be prepared to share the park / cafe / shops / museum with every other child on half term holiday.

Love – Lazy mornings! I can’t wait to have a bit of time in the morning where I’m not screaming my head off at my kids to “Get your clothes on!” or “Brush your teeth!” or “Get your shoes on!” for the twentieth time. You would think that having done this school routine thing for the past 9 months that they would understand the drill. They should now understand that we need to be out of the door at 8.20am every day. And yet every single morning I swear to God, despite being up about 6am, I end up blowing a gasket as I try and get them ready and out the door. They want to play. They want to do colouring. They don’t want to put their clothes on. They spend ages deciding which socks to wear. They want something else to eat. They dither over how to have their hair. They need a poo. Their shoes don’t “feel right.” They need something to drink. Their socks are “wonky.” The list of reasons for why we never manage to get out the door on time is exhausting. I can’t wait to not have this battle next week and for us all to chill out and to stay in our PJs just a bit longer.

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Looking forward to not having to shout and scream to get everyone dressed on time!

Hate – No childcare. I work as a freelance marketing copywriter. I juggle working around the school and pre-school hours and sometimes in the evenings too. It can be hard work if I’m busy, but I love the flexibility it gives me with the children. The big downside is not having much childcare during the school holidays. It means even more juggling or more late nights.

Ultimately, I’m on the side of the fence where I love school holidays. I am looking forward to relaxing and spending some time together. Whilst they might fight, Alice and Eva generally do tend to get on really well together and it’s lovely to watch them now that they’re both a bit older playing together in their own little imaginary worlds.

We already have most of our days planned with seeing friends or family, but I’m determined that we will be doing it all at a leisurely pace. I don’t want any pressure to be out of the house at a particular time and I want to make sure that we have time to do the things in and around the house that the kids want to do. (Colouring and spending however long they like choosing their socks).

Do you love the school holidays? Have you got lots of things planned or are you dreading it? Let me know in the comments below.

 

 

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11 Reasons To Love Tea and Why I’m an Addict

In case you hadn’t noticed, I love tea. It helps me get through the day and I must admit, I rely on it to such an extent that I am probably addicted. I drink between 6 and 10 cups of tea a day. It forms such a big part of my daily routine that I named my blog after it.

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This recent article in the Huff Post talks about how for every cup of tea we drink outside of the home, we Brits now drink two and a half cups of coffee. I wish I drank coffee. It sounds so sophisticated and there are so many variations. My heart firmly belongs to tea and here’s why:

  1. It helps me to wake up. I can’t function until I’ve had my morning cuppa. I am a bit of a nerd in that I like my tea to be a certain strength and colour (strong and dark!) and I like to drink it preferably in certain mugs (fairly large). My usual mug is the one on the left but on certain mornings like if I’ve had little sleep or am feeling a bit jaded or just can’t wake up, I’ll go for the one on the right. For some reason my kids call this my “Monday Morning Mug” and they are pretty much right, it means I need more tea!

2. Tea powers me through the day. Whether I’m negotiating the dreaded school run, doing some freelance copywriting for a client or dealing with a feisty toddler, tea helps me to power on through. It gives me strength and calms me down if I’m feeling stressed. It also helps me to think.

3. It can help to solve problems or at least calm in a crisis. I’m not sure why this is, but if there’s an issue or a problem, we always put the kettle on. There’s something so calming about having a chat over a brew. It gives me a warm fuzzy feeling and I pretty much always say yes when someone asks if I would like a cup of tea.

Tea and Wine Vices 2

4. It’s sociable. We drink tea when we’re catching up with friends or if we vent and want to put the world to rights.

5. Caffeine. There’s less caffeine in tea than in coffee. So we can drink more of it!

6. It could help you live longer. A study in 2015 found that women in their 70s and 80s lived longer if they had on average 2 cups of tea a day. Imagine how old I could be if I continue to drink 6 a day!

7. Tea goes better with biscuits…. and cake. Who ever has heard of a coffee party or afternoon coffee for goodness sake? Coffee and biscuits doesn’t quite have the same ring does it? Tea works better with cake and you can dunk your biscuits better in tea.

Tea and Cake

8. Health Benefits. Tea contains plenty of antixoidants which can keep you young and healthy as well as boosting your immune system. It also contains no calories so you can drink more.

9. You know where you are with a cup of tea. Whilst coffee sounds pretty sophisticated it’s also befuddling with the wide range of equipment to use in making a cup of coffee such as a grinder, perculator, capsule machine, beans, granules etc. There’s a multitude of coffees types to chose from too. But you know where you stand with a cup of tea. Put a teabag in a cup or a teapot, pour on boiling water, add a splash of milk and Voila! Done!

10. It warms you up. Nothing beats a cup of hot tea on a cold day. It warms you up physically and warms you emotionally too.

11. Kids. You can’t give coffee to your children? Jeez! They’re wired enough already. Can you imagine the carnage kids would cause on that caffeine hit? But you can give kids tea. I drank it as a toddler and my toddler sometimes will drink it too.

Eva Interview

What do you think? Do you agree with me that tea is the more superior drink or are you a firm coffee drinker? Do these reasons tempt you to make the switch back?

 

 

Cuddle Fairy
Mummuddlingthrough
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Oh Sh!t! My Toddler Is Swearing!

My 2 year old has started swearing.

Yes I know, I can practically see the look on your face now as you read this.

But before you judge me, can I just say that it’s really not my fault, I lay that blame firmly at the feet of my husband who uses the phrase “Bloody” or “Bloody Hell,” more than he realises.

So of course the toddler has picked up on it and over the last couple of weeks has been uttering the words “Bloody Hell!” or shouting “Bloody …. (insert appropriate word –  book / toy  / fork etc.)”  in a fit of rage.

Toddler Swearing

Context

When she first said it, I was stunned. “Did she really just come out with what I think she did?” I couldn’t quite believe it. So what did I do? I did absolutely nothing. I didn’t tell her off, I didn’t get cross I just let it go.

Then about a week later she said it again. And despite my husband’s insistencies that he was sure that he’d only muttered it a couple of times in front of the children, she said it again. She said it in exactly the same context as before – when you would expect to use this phrase because she was cross or frustrated about something. And once again, I was a bit shocked and didn’t know what to do exactly, so I let it go. AGAIN.

How to Deal With It?

Last weekend, a couple of friends popped in to borrow some tools (yes, Rock and Roll I know) and whilst we were drinking our tea (told you), the toddler who had been playing nicely with her toy garage, threw a car across the room and furiously shouted “That Bloody Car!”

There was a stunned silence as said friends looked at me and whispered “Did she just say…..?” I quickly confirmed that, yes she had, and proceeded to tell Eva to “Calm down and not to use that word.”

At which point Alice, my 4 year old piped up “Don’t say what word mummy?”

And herein lies the problem. How to deal with stopping the toddler from swearing without:

a)  Drawing attention to it being a real problem or being “naughty.”

b) Making them do it or say it even more.  I don’t really think the trick of using reverse psychology on a toddler will really work in this instance. (I have a bizarre image in my head whereby I’m swearing or encouraging her to swear in an effort to make her stop).

c) Alerting the eldest daughter to this word and starting her off swearing. Having one child that swears is bad enough, but having them both F’ing and Blinding could be a bit embarrassing.

But you see now I’m stuck with a bit of a conundrum:  If I don’t tell the toddler off, I can’t let her carry on with her potty mouth. (This pun would have worked so much better 8 months ago), spouting out swear words everywhere we go because quite frankly WHAT WILL PEOPLE THINK OF ME?!

Toddler Swearing

How Does it Make Me Look?

Fortunately my friends laughed about it, but I’m very aware that it is only a matter of time before the toddler has a melt down in a shop, or in her sister’s classroom or in the street whilst chatting with my elderly neighbour and could easily scream out “Bloody Hell!” at any moment.

And I can just IMAGINE the look that I will be given by the shop assistant, teacher or elderly neighbour when this happens. It will be one of horror. Because let’s face it WHO let’s their 2 year old swear and WHERE could they have learnt it from?

I’ll have to try and placate the shop assistant, teacher or elderly neighbour and persuade them not to phone social services. I’ll have to reason that the toddler doesn’t really come from a bad home full of swearing, drug taking parents, but instead has a photographic memory for using words that she has only heard once or twice, yes really.

 

This Cute Face Hides a Foul Mouth

Nobody really wants their kids to swear right? Especially in a child so young, it looks horrible and …. well… kind of sordid. But even more than that, I think I’m a little bit terrified of being judged by other people. Family and friends I can get away with by blaming the husband, but ordinary members of the public will start to wonder just what sort of mother am I.

So please don’t judge me! I might mutter swear words to myself when the kids are driving me up the wall but I do it behind my hand or in the toilet or with my head in the fridge. I truly am not to blame for why my 2 year old suddenly has a foul mouth. I’m furious with my husband for starting all this off and then jollying off to work on a daily basis leaving me to suffer the rude consequences.

If anyone has any advice, I’d love to hear it, because I really am unsure what to do next. Leave it and hope it goes away? Or risk her saying it more and more often whenever she gets cross about something? And seeing as she is 2 going on 3 I can only see this happening more frequently!

 

 

 

Mummuddlingthrough
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9 Ingredients for A Successful Blog Post

There are millions of blogs out there and with thousands of new posts being added daily, how can you make yours stand out from the crowd? How can you cut through the noise? What makes a blog post successful?

Successful Blog

I’m no expert, but I’ve written a lot of blog posts for different clients. I’ve been writing this blog and reading a lot of others for the past 12 months too. Here are 9 key ingredients that I’ve noticed successful blog posts seem to have:

1. Title. A strong heading draws people into your post. Think about who is reading your blog and what will appeal to them? What would entice you to click through and make you carry on reading?

2. Structure. Don’t make your blog post too long or you’ll risk putting readers off. There’s always a debate about how long a blog post should be. It needs to be short enough to keep readers interested but long enough to enhance SEO. I usually aim for between 400 and 1,000 words. There should be a basic structure that gives an introduction, makes a point and then has some sort of a conclusion.

3. Make it Easy To Read. Break up chunks of text with plenty of paragraphs, sub headings, bullet points or lists. I remember recently giving up reading a blog post because it was one long paragraph from start to finish. I’d gone cross-eyed before I’d even got half way through!  I’ve also been dazzled (not necessarily in a good way) by some blogs which have crazy colours, patterns or fonts going on. Help your readers by making it easy to view your posts. I generally prefer to read blogs which are clean and simple in design, and broken down into easy to read chunks of text.

4. Images. Photos and images help to break up the text of a blog post but also add colour to what you are saying. They can help illustrate a point or provide readers with more insight into your life. Make sure your images are optimised to the correct size so that they don’t appear warped. When I first started blogging I had no idea about this and used to stick in an image the size of a thumb nail and hope for the best. Generally images with bigger pixels are better quality and in WordPress I tend to stick to dimensions of about 630 width by about 420 height. Remember to re-name images with a text friendly name to boost SEO.

Photos for Blogs

5. Find Your Voice. The bloggers that I most admire have a very distinctive voice. They write in a particular style whether it be sarcastic, opinionated or with passion. There’s so many blogs I enjoy reading, but here are a few that I’ve got to mention: I love Whinge Whinge Wine because Fran can be quite sarcastic, she writes very plainly at a furious pace that makes me cry with laughter. I adore Absolutely Prabulous because Prabs is not afraid to laugh at herself and this is reflected in her brilliant writing which has me sniggering for ages. I also love 5 Little Doves because Laura truly writes from the heart about her family life, dealing with mental health issues as well as coping with the loss of her baby boy. Her blog has made me truly think about certain topics as well as left me in tears on several occasions.

Successful blogs are not afraid to state their opinion and initiate debate by saying what they truly think. Others are successful because they take a completely new angle or take on a certain subject. Sitting on the fence is safe, but those that take the plunge and speak up about what they believe in, often seem to be the most successful. Sometimes the posts that scare me to hit “publish” are often the ones that work out to get the most views or comments.

Blogging Voice

 

6. Make a Point. It’s easy to just chat along about any topic matter for 700 odd words, but the most successful blog posts always seem to make a point. They may make readers nod their head in agreement, they might make some readers think, or they may fire some people up and cause some controversy like this post I wrote a while back about mums taking their kids to school in pyjamas. Others might be funny and make some readers laugh in agreement. This blog post that I wrote about not getting any of our 4 choice of primary schools for my daughter has been my most viewed post of all time and went viral on Facebook and The Huffington Post. It was successful because it resonated with a lot of other mums out there who were either going through the same thing or were worried about it happening in the future.

7. Be True. The most successful bloggers are those who are true to themselves. They write from the heart and connect with readers by letting them see more about their lives. Readers feel like they get to know the writer and care what happens to them.

Be yourself and let your personality shine through!

Successful Bloggers are True

8. Write With Care. Yes bad spelling and grammar can put me off as much as bad writing in general. But so too can those blogs that are trying too hard to impress, you know the ones with the long unnecessary words which ramble on. I think the blogs that work best are those that write as if they are in conversation, just chatting to a friend.

9. Think About Your Ending. Don’t just stop abruptly. What do you want your reader to do? You can always ask for more comments or ask people what they think.

 

There you have it! My 9 ingredients for what I think makes up a successful blog post. Do you agree? Are there any more factors that you’d add to this list? Which blogs do you love and what special ingredients do they use to make their blogs successful?

 

 

Cuddle Fairy

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You Baby Me Mummy

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End of The Pushchair Era!

Last weekend my husband went to the tip. He came home and casually announced that he’d “binned” the pushchair. “Whaat?!” I shrieked. “I didn’t say goodbye to it!”

I know I sound ridiculously un-hinged especially as we had previously talked about how we were going to get rid of the pushchair, but it suddenly felt like an abrupt end to a very long era.

Bugaboo Pushchair 3

5 Years Ago

We inherited the Bugaboo Chameleon when I was pregnant with Alice 5 years ago from my sister when she upgraded to a double buggy. It would have cost hundreds of pounds to buy brand new so we were very grateful to get it for a fraction of the cost.

We needed a degree in engineering to master how it worked. It was one of those pram / car seat / pushchair systems. As you can see from the photos below, I was 8 months pregnant and feeling a bit stressed out that I was never going to work out how to get the thing up and down and switching it from carry cot to car seat. Even my husband had difficulty with it and despite a practice session with my sister and using colour coded stickers to show which bit should go where, we still managed to almost break the thing in the first month of using it.

 

The Early Days

I remember the first week after Alice was born, a friend suggesting we take her out for a walk. I refused because let’s face it week one for any new mum is just plain crazy but also because I wasn’t confident with setting the pram up!

Once I’d finally moved on to leaving the house with the newborn, I remember another occasion where I almost tipped new baby out into the road because I hadn’t yet mastered the art of lifting the pram off of the kerb with the back wheels and instead just tipped it down into the road. God knows what the drivers made of me grappling to retrieve baby and pram out of the road…..

It was a clunky big old thing really compared to some of the super light nifty devices I see about today, but it did us proud to last 5 years. As a toddler, Alice would always take her naps in the buggy. When Eva came along, we used our double buggy for a while. But we hung on to the Bugaboo and went back to it once Alice was out of a pushchair. I even used it fairly recently when Eva very occasionally used to fall asleep on the school run and I managed to precariously transfer her from car to buggy.

 

Eva Asleep in Bugaboo Pushchair

 

3 Reasons I’m Sad to See the End of the Bugaboo:

1. End of an era! My girls are all grown up and officially not babies any more.

2. Despite the initial difficulties, it’s lasted us 5 years and before that, my sister had it for 2 years.

3. Some happy memories of pushing a newborn around that was sound asleep.

 

3 Reasons I’m Glad to See The Back of It:

1. Some unhappy memories of pacing the streets trying to get Alice off to sleep!

2. Saving space – it was quite bulky and took up a lot of space in the house / car.

3. I’m looking forward to the adventures ahead of all of us walking together. And hoping I won’t have to end up carrying the youngest around too much.

I didn’t get to say it before it went to the tip, but thanks for the memories Bugaboo! And for giving me some peace and quiet once the kids were asleep!

 

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