I can hardly believe we now have a child in high school. It hasn’t been the easiest of rides so far, but the road is gradually beginning to smooth and the bumps are becoming fewer, which is a huge relief. High school has been a major change for us all; we’ve been so used the relaxed nature of a primary school with very little homework, and I’m not sure if that’s an entirely good thing after all. The level of homework has been a shock to us all, and the end of year exams are now placing the pressure firmly down on our shoulders to say the least. The school are excellent at keeping parents involved with the teaching and learning goals for the kids, and we recently attended a revision meeting that left us with no doubt as to the importance they’re placing on the exams that are looming. As parents, we’re facing a new challenge- we need to make sure our eldest has the confidence, skills and application to sit down and revise for her exams, but at the some time we want to ensure that she remains cool, calm and relaxed as much as she can. I don’t want my 12 year old becoming stressed over her results, but I do want to help her do her best. This is what they mean when they say parenting is a constant juggling act, isn’t it? Here are my five revision tips for parents- let me know what you think. (more…)
There aren’t many of us who can truly, hand on heart, say that they’ve had a calling in life. Even fewer who are brave enough admit it if they do. Life tends to be something we all seem to want to get out of the way, get through, get done. But life like that has no real meaning. Life like that is frustrating. Life like that is not lived with intent or passion. And if there is one man who has intent and passion by the bucket load, it’s John Bentley.
You can’t ignore this man when he’s in the room. Larger than life, you might say. Loud. Forthright. All of those things are true, but he will look you in the eye and tell you that he’s had a calling, and not only that, but he’s acting on it. With intent. And passion. Heaps and heaps of passion.
It seeps through every photograph that he takes. Every time he puts his eye to the viewfinder and turns his subject into something else. What he sees and what we see isn’t always the same thing at all. He takes the ordinary and makes it beautiful. (more…)
Recently Mumsnet launched their Aftercare Not Afterthought campaign, focusing on the need for improvements in postnatal care for women in England. Regular readers will know that campaigning for improvements to maternity services has long been my passion, and hopefully you also know that it has never been about attacking health care workers. Please understand that. It is about making changes, making improvements and inspiring better conditions for all. For women and families. For midwives. For babies. The Mumsnet campaign is important because it looks at an area many of us tend to gloss over when it comes to the business of having a baby. Pregnancy and birth are, of course, central to maternity services, but lets not forget that what happens in the first few days after birth is critical when it comes to maternal mental health and wellbeing, This is my story. This is why we need #betterpostnatalcare.
He was born at 6.45 on a frosty December evening, just six minutes after the surgeon put his knife to my skin. He was taken away, forced to breathe and urged to scream. He was cleaned, he was dressed, he was wrapped in a blanket. When I woke up, he was in his father’s arms and a complete stranger to me. This was surely NOT the baby I had carried for 41 weeks and 2 days. This was NOT the baby I had felt kick and roll and turn through all those weeks. This was NOT what I had imagined at all. And yet it was my reality. (more…)
Mealtimes at our house can be a fairly stressful affair at the best of times. I know the kids need a balanced and healthy diet, but when you have one child who literally only wants to eat white food, another with allergies and two others with incredibly fussy palates, it’s easy to give in and let them dictate the menu. The thing is though, these little people are my responsibility and I want them to be healthy and strong; I know that the UK has a problem right now with poor health linked to bad diets, and I know that the education has to start now, while they’re young. We need to get them into better habits! This is why the Think Toddler Size campaign is one that really resonates with me. I need help. I need to find ways to ensure my kids are getting the right balance of foods every time they sit down to eat. And, more over I need ideas for meals! A few months ago I wrote about toddler portion sizes and as a follow up to this, the Infant and Toddler Forum are now running a competition to try and source the best and most innovative ways to help parents plan, prepare and deliver balanced and nutritional meals for toddlers- using correct portion sizes for little tummies. Allow me to tell you about The Think Toddler Sized campaign, and the Feed My Little Pal app! (more…)
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