All posts filed under: Parenting & Families

Baby Essentials Part I

10 Must-Have Items for Babies 0-6 Months* Bringing a newborn home for a second time was a surreal experience. I felt confident but in no way prepared for life with two small people. Many newborn parenting skills came back to me very naturally – how to change a nappy, how to operate the electric steriliser and the best ways to help release baby’s trapped wind. There were, however, many things I had forgotten in the three and a half years since my first child was a newborn. The sleep deprivation – oh, I had forgotten just how awful it makes you feel. And how to fit the infant car seat or collapse the pushchair. I had also forgotten just how much baby ‘stuff’ there is on the market. So much of what was considered a ‘must-have’ several years ago has been usurped by something bigger, better and seemingly more expensive. My sister is expecting her first child soon and so has been quizzing me for the must-have items I would recommend for a newborn. After bringing …

Life with a Second Child

Six and half months ago we were celebrating our first Christmas as a foursome. How different it was from our previous festivities. Baby Jules was only a couple of days old, and I was utterly exhausted and in terrible pain. Trying to make the day magical and special for young Jasper was difficult, and I felt stretched beyond anything I had felt before. I have previously written about the steep learning curve I’ve experienced in my parenting since Jules’s arrival (read more here). I am continuing to learn, and there are many things I now know to be true. Once a trio, ‘the three musketeers’, our family unit was a triangle – each of us a point with the ability to reach out and always touch the other two points. Now we are sides of a square and, in our foursome, stretched to the edges. But we do feel like a team, a puzzle with it’s missing piece found, and I love that about our little unit. These are my 12 facts of life since we …

Happy Father’s Day: With Love from a Preschooler

In celebration of Father’s Day this year, I ‘interviewed’ Jasper (age three – very nearly four) with 20 questions for him to answer about his daddy – brilliant father and my partner in crime, Neil. These two have such a beautiful relationship and I just know that they are going to be best friends for life. 1. What is your daddy’s name? J: Neil. 2. How old is Daddy? J: He’s big, but I just don’t know how old. 3. What does your daddy look like? J: He has a head, a body, a belly button and a winky wonky [bursts into hysterical laughter]. 4. What is Daddy’s favourite food? He loves apples, cheese and cake. 5. What is Daddy’s favourite thing to drink? J: Beer…. and tea. 6. What does Daddy do in his job? J: He has his lunch there and works on a computer. Daddy does nothing else at his work, he only eats his lunch and works on his computer. 7. What is Daddy’s favourite colour? J: He likes green, but …

Moving House with Small Children? 10 Survival Tips…

Moving house is stressful and exhausting. It’s unfortunate then that a lot of families find themselves in this position during pregnancy or with the arrival of a new baby. When we found out I was pregnant with Jules, we put our two-bedroom house on the market and started the search for a bigger home as we knew we needed more space in which to raise our family. We finally moved (read more here) and these are my 10 top tips for surviving this hectic time when you have small children: 1. Hire a removal company Unless you have very few possessions, get a removal company to do the moving for you. Get at least three quotes from different removal companies – this should involve someone coming around to your house to meet with you and discuss your moving needs. You may find that you will receive very different quotes, so choose a removal company that can work to your budget AND which you feel most comfortable with. In the UK, choose a company that is BAR registered (British Association of Removers). The …

1 + 1 = 2

Parenting involves a special formula of pure love and gut instinct. When you become a parent for the first time, this is what gets you through the sleepless nights, feeding schedules and endless nappy changes. Your instinct kicks in and you learn the nuances of your baby’s cries. Your devotion to your child is what pulls you through the exhaustion. This formula matures as your baby grows into a toddler and then a preschooler. You start thinking to yourself I am totally rockin’ this whole parenting thing, and then you have another baby… When I was pregnant with my second child (Jules) I was cautioned by friends and colleagues that ‘one child is one, but two children is many’. Chuckling in response while gently rubbing my blossoming bump, inside I was thinking Oh sh*t. And it’s true – one plus one does not equal two, it equates to a whole circus. Jules is now three months old and I’ve experienced a steep learning curve in my parenting. My special mama formula has taken on a great, big dollop of what is scientifically …