Wednesday, 23 November 2011

End of the Road?

Either I have lost my blogging mojo or I am ready to end this chapter.

I haven't written in a while, my inbox is teeming with PR emails, some of which you may call impressive opportunities.  Offers of Christmas Hampers, makeovers in London, a Spa day, a tv commercial and not even the offer to be sent a ton of chocolate is making me muster the energy to reply.  I haven't written about Belle's first day at nursery or any other exciting things which have been going on.

I am happy, we've been poorly, but life is good.  A new business in the pipeline.  Our offer on the new house got accepted.  All the family are healthy and Belle is, well she is just adorable and amazes us, making us laugh too much by the things she comes out with.  So perhaps I am just ready to move on from this blog?

Something else has been playing on my mind too.

I received a lovely email the other day from a reader. It was heart-warming and she went on to say how she loves my blog but it was these words that made me think "I wish to have your life when I'm older". It has really made me think...

Am I portraying a life which is just not realistic?

I do seem inclined to tell you all the good news, post all my favourite pictures. I have tried to talk about the hard times in parenting, the teething and sleepless nights but the truth is I wouldn't change it for the world, so I don't grumble too much.  Perhaps it is subconscious and it, if I am honest, does reflect my personality too. I don't tell the world my problems, I am not one to shout from the rooftops if I am having a stinking day.

So here I am. Worrying I am not fulfilling what I set out to do with this blog.  I wanted to help parents with commonplace parenting problems.  I wanted to show how rewarding being a mother can be, how utterly out of this world it is to bring a little life into the world, for the daddy too!  How it really is the most awe-inspiring thing you will ever do in this life, but it is not easy!  I wanted to show how your life can still remain your life though and I wanted to document all Belle's special first's.  There are far too many stereotypes surrounding mum's, so I wanted to balance my mummy life with my personal life, however intertwined they may be.  In doing this I have attracted an audience of non parents, a growing number of teenage girls and now I am questioning how much I am helping.

Am I actually feeding the very thing I hate?  Those images of women in the media which lead to young girls feeling insecure, always trying to live up to an exaggerated or fabricated image?  Or perhaps, on the other hand, with all the media images of women could mine be less damaging and actually encourage more girls to aspire to be good parents one day. Or am I simply worrying too much?  I don't think so, we all have a responsibility in society to do and be the best we can.

Should I be more candid with my writing, don't only post about the pleasing and exciting stuff?  I have written about upsetting things before but because my blog is not anonymous it unfortunately caused more problems then it cured.  Perhaps less pictures and images?  But then that is the creative side which makes me, me. Finally Belle is her own little person now, she is forming her own opinions, she doesn't just look like every other 'baby' either. Because of this I am starting to feel it is not my right to put her life out here. It doesn't sit quite right with me anymore.

So there we have it, have I just made my mind up about this?

Saturday, 12 November 2011

When you thought I wasn't looking

My mum sent me this poem the other day and I had to share it with you:

When you thought I wasn't looking

Author: Unknown
When you thought I wasn't looking,
I saw you hang my first painting on the refrigerator,
and I wanted to paint another one.

When you thought I wasn't looking,
I saw you feed a stray cat,
and I thought it was good to be kind to animals.

When you thought I wasn't looking,
I saw you make my favorite cake for me,
and I knew that little things are special things.

When you thought I wasn't looking,
I heard you say a prayer,
and I believed that there was a God to talk to.

When you thought I wasn't looking,
I felt you kiss me goodnight,
and I felt loved.

When you thought I wasn't looking,
I saw tears come from your eyes,
and I learned that sometimes things hurt,
but it's alright to cry.

When you thought I wasn't looking,
I saw that you cared,
and I wanted to be everything that I could be.

When you thought I wasn't looking,
I looked....
and I wanted to say thanks for all the things
I saw when you thought I wasn't looking.

Thursday, 10 November 2011

The one where Belle says "Goodbye" to her daytime naps

It seems we have come to the end of the road with Belle's 2 hour daytime naps. It was nice knowing you 'me time' and those cheeky cups of tea were blissful, while it lasted.

Belle is 2.5 (going on 25) and no matter how busy of a morning she has had she is now refusing to have a daytime nap. For 2 years she has loved her 2 hour nap, which she always took around 1-2pm. But for the last month or two she has decided they are not necessary and she has far more important things to do like, apparently...

Me: "Belle it's nap time now"
B: "I have to tidy my playroom"
Me: "OK two minutes of tidying and then bed"
B: "I need 8 minutes"

And yesterdays was "I not tired mama I think I just need a rest on the sofa"! Since when did 2 year olds get so smart!

By 6pm she is tired when she doesn't have a nap but she seems to cope well and doesn't get grumpy with it. She sleeps through the night and wakes at 6am on the dot every morning.

Is this OK? I worry she is not getting enough sleep and I know that it is so important for their brain development. She will sometimes fall asleep in the car on the way back from nursery for ten minutes but that really is it. Today we had friends coming over in the afternoon and a busy evening so I actually sat in the car for 25 minutes while she slept in there so she was well rested. I very nearly asked my neighbour to bring me a cup of tea!

I give her 'quiet time' still so she can relax and wind down a bit but she has so much energy! The other week we went to a friends wedding and she woke up at 6am and carried on partying all day and night until 11pm and then woke at 6am the next morning again as usual.

Look at that boundless energy!

Is this too young to drop her daytime naps? Do I just need to toughen up and get a bit more strict by taking her up to her room in the day? Or is it OK to let her decide when she wants to nap in the day from now on?

I wish there was a way of sharing her energy.

Friday, 4 November 2011

Schwartz Slow Cooker Recipe: Giving mums the gift of time

I was recently contacted by Schwartz regarding their new range of slow cooker mixes.

Schwartz were going to come over and film me trying out one of their recipes to show how simple they are and how they can save so much time. But alas, Belle got poorly and then myself and hubby caught the nasty sickness bug and we missed the boat.

Not wanting to let a gem of an evening meal go to waste I filmed it myself this week for you. The recipes are fabulous for those days where you just haven't got much time to cook. This meal took me under 15 minutes to prepare! So here you go: