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Three!

16 Aug

So I’ve made it through the terrible twos and now have a threenager Lord help me what with the teenager and the ten going on middle aged boy I might not make it to the next birthday blog. I’ve always said Kodi came to challenge my parenting skills and she continues to do just that.
She is finally sleeping in her own bed after if she could just get that waking up at 5.30 or 6am is not what we want or need her to do then we may get along even better

It’s been fun potty training was easier than we expected after trying persistently from 1-1.5 we gave up. Kodi does what she wants when she wants and just after two she was dry at night without even trying. A few accidents later and we have a dry baby one that says poo every time she wants a wee!!!

Food, as I have said Kodi is her own person she started her time as a two year old eating anything she could get her hands on. Turn time forward and we have food being lobbed across the room that isn’t up to the expectations of our new fussy eater. The diet has consisted of no veg, nothing with sauce on, ham sandwiches without the ham and anything plain. Now although you may think we’ll she eats fruit and meat you haven’t tried picking up plate after plate of food off the floor. If she’s in the mood for fruit she will eat it if she’s not yep you guessed it on the floor.

Constipation are we allowed to talk crap??? The fussy eaters club has caused some irregular bowel movements!!! When Elf was born I’d never realised how much shit could come out of one small being. When we brought her home we forgot that they cry poop and need to be fed. At 2am every night for the first few weeks this was the routine… She was regular and like clockwork for a few months and then it became less regular, apparently breast fed babies have less waste. I’ve been brought up knowing that going daily once or even twice is normal at age two we have a little person who goes once a week if we are lucky!!! Cue visit to the dietician and these funny seeds she now has spread on her toast to make her regular….Kodi like her brother is a keen runner in fact any time you let her down she tries to run off. We should have used reins but she would have just pulled them off. So now we keep fit by chasing her everywhere she goes. As she is approaching three she has calmed some what…

After taking thousands of photos of Kodi she now loves a selfie and is a fully fledged member of the tongue gang!! If your tongues not out your not having enough fun!!

Kodi should have been a boy she loves the colour blue, hates, dresses and loves dinosaurs. I have had to learn to compromise with her, now If I force her to wear a dress which is about once a week she wears converse. I’ve given up with pink clothes, she has the odd item but now I mainly buy blue in fact she looks better in blue maybe she just a has style. Kodi is a tough kid she loves digging in mud (she also likes eating it) she will climb the tallest climbing frame and search for creepy crawlies in the garden. She’s an adventurer with her own mind and we just go with her. Some people believe young children should not be allowed to think for themselves and although we guide her Kodi knows exactly what she wants and us hard to persuade otherwise. I hope her strong mind leads her to greatness.

Tantrums if she hasn’t had the most tantrums out of her siblings then I’d be amazed. The throw yourself on the floor embarrass your mum making her look like she failed at parenting kind of tantrums!! Yep she has them at the most inappropriate of times. I’m sat here in Disney whilst she sleeps watching kids have tantrums and smiling as I am happy it’s not my turn or my kid again! I’ve become a tantrum pro, at child three I actually don’t care yes its embarrassing but it’s not the end of our little world. If she wants to kick scream throw herself about I let her and within moments calms restored and we are on our way. Kodi is like having twins she has her good side and her bad when she is good she’s amazing a delight to be with and a really beauty. But when she’s bad shit she’s awful, ever heard of the rhyme ‘There was a little girl who had a little curl right in the middle of her forehead… when she was good she was very very good and when she was bad she was horrid’ yep that’s Kodi.

People meet Kodi fall in love with her her elfie look is a thing of the past she has a beautiful smile, big brown eyes and cute little curls (that she still won’t put in a hair band)

Kodi likes to get herself dressed which for my st children is a simple exercise. For Kodi this means a battle of what we have chosen for her to wear against what she wants to wear! After our morning errands she comes home marches to her bed and puts her PJS back on

The journey to three has been eventful we have had some remarkable moments from our little elf princess like the breaking of the TV with the toy broom or the dangling of the worm in front of my face in the park. We have also had the most amazing moments how loving she is with her siblings and friends and her face this week when she met Mickey Mouse.
Another year has gone far to quickly and we can’t wait for the next chapter Nursery…. let’s hope she’s not excluded before reception!!!!!

Breast is best?

23 Aug

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Breastfeeding is a touchy subject mainly as we sexulize breasts which takes away from what they are really used for.

I’m not gonna lie I’ve done it tight dress stomach in boobs out, if you got it flaunt it and fortunately in our family breasts are an asset.

Known to get ladies out of parking fines the two humps that sit neatly for most on your chest are always causing some kind of uproar.

There was never a choice about breastfeeding instinctively I just did it. The first time round it was difficult and after a hard Labour her first feed was a bottle I persevered and managed 3 months fully breast feeding and another 3 combined. Second time I managed 6months and 1 month combined and this time I managed a whole year and one week combined with cows milk.

Having done this a few times I was determined to feed for as long as possible up until my little elf turned one. I also figured I would be saving money on milk that when I had my first was five pound a tin and has now doubled in price.

I soon learned this time round that breast feeding causes mass debates and people to continuously comment.

Are you going to breastfeed?
How long for?
When are you stopping?
Are you still breastfeeding?
Do you express?
It’s gonna kill when she has teeth!
Oh I didn’t breastfeed!
I couldn’t breastfeed!
Is she getting enough
It’s only beneficial the first few months

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So what’s the big deal?
It’s us other women, when women become pregnant or have a baby we turn into the a walking baby encyclopedia. What has worked for Jan might not work for Pam both us and our babies are different.

There feels like there is a lot of pressure to breast feed with now most maternity wards are not supplying formula. For women who truly can’t breast feed its a constant feeling of failure that they have let their baby down. For women that choose not to its the funny comments from others about their lack of wanting to bond. For those that are they are ridiculed in public and told to cover both themselves and their baby with a sheet.

As always us women just can’t win!

On parenting, pregnancy and breastfeeding sites the passion and tension on the subject is horrific. I have scrolled through these wanting to comment but stop myself mid flow.

I’d like to tell these ladies who are so passionate how hard breastfeeding is with three kids. How hard it is feeding a baby every two hours, how sore my breasts are from being so filled up. How exaushted it makes me feel and how hungry I am constantly. How I forget to drink water so sometimes milk supply is low, How ive leaked through breast pads and how my child feeds like a monster.

I choose not to as no matter how much you say it won’t make a difference to what the keyboard warriors currently feel.

As A woman I’d like to be supported by other women in my journey through motherhood. No matter how many groups classes and support pages there are you will always find groups of women bashing each other. When my friends ask advice I try to say I did this but do what’s best for you because ultimately mum knows best.
If you didn’t breast feed I won’t think any less of you I don’t know your struggle.

But comment on my choice and there maybe a problem!

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You’ll never catch me on the Jeremy Kyle Show!

4 Jul

I have a guilty pleasure those of you that pay any attention to my tweets or FB updates will know exactly what it is! After the school run, when I come in from a night shift, on my days off in the afternoon and even on those rare mornings when I have nothing to do I love to watch Jeremy Kyle!

Jeremy Kyle is like Marmite you either love him or you hate him and I for one happen to love him (Don’t mock me), whenever your feeling down or think your life isn’t going to plan I advise you to watch his show it makes me feel a lot better. He maybe a bit antagonizing but you got to give it to him as his show is often better than a stand up comedian. On a real note we have to remember the show is based on real life stories for those of you who don’t watch here is a clip for you.

Jeremy is a bit like me a realest bringing you the realest issues with the realest talk back (Ok maybe not exactly like it but you know what I mean). You don’t know who your baby father is? You want a lie dector test as you believe your mans cheating with your best friend? Your boyfriend is addicted to porn? Your girlfriend won’t give you head? I might have gone a bit far with the last one but in general you have a problem and Jeremy will sort it out, or let you come and have a slanging match shame yourself on national TV and then go home with those that you came with to live your life!

There is a certain caliber of guest on the show you need to be one or all of the following:

  • Have no job
  • Have bad teeth
  • Be over weight
  • Have no dress sense
  • Have no common sense

Be thankful I have spared your eyes his teeth are not half as bad as other guests that I have witnessed over the last few weeks. If your watching the show hoping your going to see a hottie I can assure you that after staring at JK himself long enough his actual growing on me. If you like the older silver fox type Graham isn’t a bad bet and for those who like muscle there is always a security man on stage ready to wade in with his big old arms.

Imagine your problems being that bad all of Facebook already know and then you want to come and tell Jeremy and the nation about them, the people on the show are what I call “Whatless” people who are fully stupid and past the point of return. I don’t know who my baby father is it could be one of three men, I can’t afford a paternity test as I’m a benefit scrounging **** so what do I do let Jeremy deal with it. But yet I’m addicted I must get some weird pleasure out of shouting at the TV at the losers who come to tell all!

We hear in the news all the time about “Broken Britain” and this show sums up how broken Britain really is everyone has problems apparently there are no jobs, we are in a double dip recession and David Cameron is going to cut all your benefits. There are some people who live their lives like this you may even have friends or family like this, this might even be you and if this is you SORT IT OUT!

My issue is that it’s a cycle that is viscous, you and your family act waste and bring kids into the world who through no fault of their own will follow the cycle until one of them is smart enough to get out. Sad but true, if you know nothing else you will believe it is right and continue to follow in what you think are good footsteps.

My advice is there is plenty of help out there so here’s some things to keep you off the JK show:

Let Wretch 32 play you out you’ll never catch him on the Jeremy Kyle show

It’s Christmas!!!

19 Dec

Isn’t it funny blink and it’s gone but the run up starts in October? Yes people I’m talking about Christmas!

Over the last few weeks everyone I talk to is rushing around like nutters to get ready for that one day that comes and goes so quickly every year.

I start early; I have so many people to buy for and want to make sure those presents my kids want are not sold out. I currently have a cupboard full of presents that hopefully won’t fall on top of me when I open it. But really and truly it is just mad! I admit I love Christmas, I love doing the father Christmas thing my daughter who’s 9 still believes which makes me happy the her innocence hasn’t been lost. This year I did the letters to Santa and today I did portable North Pole click the link it’s a must for all mum’s to do for their kids. Portable North Pole

I can’t wait to see their faces, see them open their presents and be all festive. It’s been a mad few weeks with school discos, plays and class parties but the other day it dawned on me that the real meaning of Christmas may have been lost!

A few nights ago my son asks” Mum what happened to the bay Jesus?” So I explained who grew to a man and was killed by some people who didn’t like him and now he is in heaven. To which opened up a can of worms and questioned continued up until bed time!

It did make me wonder how many people fully know the story of Christmas and understand and remember on Christmas day why we celebrate. Christmas is supposed to be a religious holiday but most myself included are not particularly religious.

So Mary travelled to Bethlehem on a donkey with her husband Joseph to give birth to the son of God. They were turned away from every inn and finally were offered sanctuary in a stable where the baby Jesus Christ was born. So at my son’s nativity this week they re-enacted the animals in the stable from cat to camel and told of how Jesus came to be in their barn.

I then thought back to my school days and my memory is good I never remember doing the nativity once! Christmas songs yes but no Mary or Joseph in sight

So I decided to go to the schools church service and embrace and remember the true meanings of Christmas. I guess if you ask most people adults and children alike what things they think about when you say the word Christmas the following would be in the list:
Brussel sprouts, presents, tinsel, Christmas trees, lights, dinner, mince pies and Christmas pud!

Christmas is a big money-maker in the UK in October food is stacked in all the local supermarkets, in mid-November the adverts start and before December hits people are christmas crazy. The weather has gone cold and the shops are full of people bulk buying like there is a war on its way. I’m not one of these people, shops only close for two whole days over christmas and to be honest my local news agents are always open so if I’m desperate I’ll go there.

I remember being small and loving christmas and still have very good memories of christmas, new year and everyone being together and happy. That for me is what Christmas is about a time to think, reflect and be truly grateful for what you have as there are others less fortunate than you out there. Imagine how cold it is at present, now imagine sleeping rough in these conditions! Things might seem bad for you, you may have had a bad year but the point is you have a safe place to stay and a roof over your head!! That is something to be thankful for.

I guess people need to remember it’s not how many presents are under the tree and it isn’t about how much food you can stack in your stomach it is the season to be jolly and for peace and goodwill to all man kind (This includes woman kind too) Remember those you love, those that have been taken from us and be thankful for whatever you receive.

I’m just saying he does it better!!!!!

16 Nov

Some people call me a feminist and I’m not going to lie I strongly believe in equal opportunities for men and women in all respects, may this be in the work place or at home or any other place men and women come together. Whether you believe I’m a feminist or not I am pro independent woman as much as I am for the “New Age Man” (For those of you who don’t know what the new age man is, in brief it is he who works, cooks, cleans and looks after his children on par with his female companion)

So here’s the thing there are some men and those of you who banter with me about this on a daily/weekly basis know who you are who believe I can’t cook.  The fact is I can cook I just don’t like cooking!!!  I love food probably more than I should, my eating out habits over the last few weeks have made me worried about how addicted I am. (But still I continue to eat out I’ll worry when I’m size 14 +)  For me cooking is something I have to do in order to feed my kids, I usually cook from scratch and you will rarely see a microwave meal or packet food in my fridge if there is it’s a very busy week! Cooking is just another chore for me amongst washing, ironing, cleaning etc etc. Sometimes it can be a military operation remember food doesn’t magic its way into the fridge someone has to go and get it, pack and un pack it. In between the school run, washing, afterschool clubs and getting ready for work I have to cook. So whilst I’m cooking I’m multitasking doing homework, washing up as I go along so not to leave the biggest mess, taking calls, looking at the pile of paperwork I have to go through.  Just a typical day in my house and by the time I sit down to eat I’m shattered!!! I’m going to declare now I’m a woman who doesn’t like cooking, I don’t find it fun and if I can get out of it I will.

Cue the new age man!!!! Lucky for me my husband is a great cook, someone who takes pride in cooking and enjoys trying new recipes from Jollof rice to birthday cakes you ask him and he will give it a go. How it works in our house is if his at work I’ll cook but if his off he will cook, dinners are probably nicer and the way to my heart is to feed me so I’m not going to complain!!

Cooking brings people together and those from big families know weekends at the grandparents houses growing up was where you had the best meals and times of your life. But we need to face facts here not all woman can cook and as hard as we try some of us just haven’t got it. I’m not saying give up ladies as this is not an option but I fully admit my husband (My friends will tell you too) is a better cook than me. Cooking is like an art and I was never good at anything artistic, I’ve tried and yeah I have my signature dishes but I have no patience or eye for attention to detail!

There are some men that believe it is a womans duty to cook daily for her man as this is what women are made to do!!! So why do men always brag about being the best cooks?

A few weeks ago I was told by a friend in a conversation/debate she had with a man who appears to be living in the dark ages that he doesn’t care if his partner works all day it is her job as a woman to come home and cook for him. Even if he gets in from work first he will wait for her to cook the evening meal. Cue hand in face action wailing and screaming.

Men with this kind of attitude deserve to be given dog meat mixed in with their stew, some men would rather go hungry than lift their hands to a pot or pan. There is a lot of debate about women not or being unable to cook amongst men they are saying its unattractive if a woman can’t cook, I honestly believe it’s not the be all and end all. There is a lot more important things in life than if your woman can’t cook!!! There are always going to be things in relationships that one person is better at than the other it’s finding a balance and working out what works and what doesn’t.

I was approached in a club a few months back by a guy who asked me can I cook chicken, my reply was yes can you??? This guy was asking me if I could cook when he couldn’t drive and still lived at home with his mum AND I swear he didn’t have a job too!!! He thought I was joking when I asked him if he wanted to cook for me!!! I was the only one laughing the word WASTE sprung to mind!

When I asked some males the question: “If your womans been at work all day and is too tired to cook what you going to do?”

“I would shrug and ask her what’s for dinner! Or get myself a take away! Too tired to cook what nonsense she saying she to tired to live! Haha!”

“I’d cook myself.I don’t expect it if we both worked !!!”

“What if your wife/partner died what you going to do? If a man can’t cook for his partner or kids what kind of  man/father is he?”

“I’d cook for her but a thank you would be nice…”

When I asked the ladies the following question: “Some men believe it’s a woman’s job to cook ladies what are your views?”

“I don’t think that view is no longer the case nowadays both are willing to compromise on every day duties cooking being one of them.    I think that women themselves naturally take on the cooking duties so men tend not to complain they like all that, but nevertheless women like when men take over and do the cooking once in a while, its nice when men can cook and do so when needed.”

“I’m a trained chef, working as a part time cook/cake baker. Whether we like it or not women  are expected to take lead in the kitchen and I admit as others will too, the kitchen is my domain, my space, even a sanctuary but its sooooo boring always cooking and eating your own food! I love a man that can and will cook (no my partner isn’t doin this at present) you wouldn’t be surprised that most famous chef’s are actually men… So why is it that women are the main cooks at home?
I think women cook because we got hungry bellies to feed, where as a man will put his heart into it and perfect that dish!”

It is said as women we take on the role of the nurturer, men look for women who can look after them like their mums, aunts or grandmothers who have for years. I exist only to be a mother to my children and will cook when cooking needs to be done, I’m not here to be a slave in the kitchen to no man so after a hard days work I would like to think my man has the sense to cook for me! (Which he does very well may I add)

It’s all about a little bit of give and take so men stop taking and start giving! Ladies if you can’t cook at least learn or get a man that can but know you have to be good at something else in return!! (I’m not giving suggestions on what!)

To play you out a new favourite song of mine by Sean Paul and Alexis Jordan Got 2 Luv U (I’m not sure about the cooking for you bit!!!)

We are Family

9 Nov

Love them or hate them, fight or play with them your siblings are the closest thing to you there will ever be.

I am the eldest of four and may I add soon to be the shortest of us all as there is probably less that 2 inches in height between me and my little brother who’s 12 (Yes I must have got the short gene) It’s funny growing up I really wished I was an only child! Always having to share fighting for attention and perhaps not always getting what you want as there are more than one of you are a few downsides of having siblings. Now I am happy I’m not an only child as I honestly believe having siblings helps you develop more as a person and allows you to be able to deal with situations better. Now I will admit too sometimes not really liking the whole sharing thing, when you come from a big family and you finally have something for yourself you don’t really want to part with it. But you know it’s right and eventually you will share. Another advantage of having siblings is there is always someone to talk to your never lonely and although at times they will be annoying and break your toys, (My sister ripped the head off my first Barbie) when the shit hits the fan you can rely on them for back up.

My kids fight like cat and dog but once you get over the sibling rivalry and annoying brother v’s sister war they really do love each other. It’s funny watching them grow and overcome milestones and acting in the same ways makes me realise how different yet similar they are.

Lot’s of people are not close to their siblings for one reason or another your first childhood friend grows into adulthood and drifts away, some siblings are mere strangers to that person who they used to eat breathe and sleep each and every day. Some of the most famous faces in TV and music work with their siblings the Jackson’s, Olsen twins, Osmonds, Nolan’s, Kardashain’s, Williams Sisters, Jonas brothers, Waynas brothers, Kings of Leon, Bee Gee’s all to name a few. I wonder how they have managed having their siblings there all the time?

I asked some people what was the one best thing about having a sibling

“Always having people you can rely on and even though you may argue, they will love you unconditionally”

“The friendly competition of life achievements”

“You share and have the same experiences, you have someone to blame shit on but it also makes it harder to get in the bathroom!”

“You can blame things on them and they get the beats!”

As no two people are alike no two siblings are alike although the similarities between me and mine are sometimes obvious. I don’t need to tell people who my youngest sister is as most say she is the taller much thinner version of me. My sisters have the same sense of humour as me when we laugh we cry, the weird family sense of humour that only you get.Some people hate their siblings and although we all push each others buttons at times I wouldn’t be without mine.

Mum brings them home your no longer alone,

You share your toys, she pulls your hair sometimes you wish she wasn’t there,

He makes funny faces he whines and moans he screams out when your on the phone,

You now have someone who follows you everywhere a second shadow and a spy, your sibling is like mum and dad’s third eye.

I’ll tell mum they will tell dad someone’s in trouble wait for the fall out.

At school it’s great for them and you having someone there that’s got your back when everyone else is on the attack.

Then you grow, someone fly’s the nest and things change for worse or for the best.

You change, they change, the time you spend together is valuable.

Your sister, your brother, your friend!

I’ ll leave you with this great song by Sister sledge We are family

Certificate PG (Parental Guidance)

19 Oct

Being a parent is by far the most hardest job in the world, when you have a baby you are not handed a trusted rule or guide-book to tell you what to do. Family and friends with children are always on hand to give advice and in some cases tell you what to do. But ultimately its down to you. You will make mistakes that will be non threatening to your childs growth or development, but this is just life. We are only human, mistakes are part of the way we learn and grow. Whether you’re a single parent or part of a team, each parenthood scenario faces a varying degree of challenges.

Until you have had children of your own, I think it is unfair to judge how others bring up their kids (however we all know the basic do’s and don’t’s).
No matter how many books you read or how many supper nanny programmes you watch, you will never be the perfect parent. I believe there is no such thing as the perfect parent and no matter how much I love my kids there is no such thing as the perfect child.

When you have your first child, you have preconceptions of how you want to bring them up. As you grow these ideas change, as all children are different and have individual needs. Some people want to be as good as their parents and others want to be nothing like them. There are so many pressures on parents, even more so in the modern-day, that it is probably even harder than it has ever been to work out what to do for the best. Some people think being a parent is a job you do from birth to 18, when you are not legally responsible for your child, but like many others I believe that this role is one you do for the rest of your life.
I constantly worry about my children, which includes their present and future. Everything I do in life will affect them in someway and by no means do I want them to get to their twenties or thirties and look back and think “wow our parents were bad”.
I like to think I’m a firm, but fair, mum. My children are both doing well at school, go to a number of after school activities, have good social lives and are most of the time, behaved (all kids are naughty at some point, its part of how we learn and develop).
Being a good parent is about finding the right balance, being firm but supportive, being as open as is appropriate, finding time to do all those things they want to do and trying not to embarrass them in the process.

Almost everyday I am met by challenges and the faster the kids grow, the harder the challenges become. The challenges come usually in the form of decisions in the early days, its breast or bottle, huggies or Pampers, in your bed or in their cot?

As they grow from pre-school to infant age, it’s what school to go to, what is appropriate to watch on tv and what tactics of discipline to use.

My eldest child is now 9 and so far I have faced the mobile phone battle “But mum my friends have phones!” To which I reply “Why do you need a phone? who are you going to call?”.
She then adds “My friends” the final say comes from me “No” and why have I said no?
1. Wanting a phone out ways the fact that she needs one, truth is she doesn’t. If she wants to call friends I have a mobile and house phone she can use.
2. Giving her a phone, means giving her an added responsibility and me, an added expense, phones need credit.
3. Giving her a phone could make her a target of phone jacking, if she flashes her phone around it could be stolen and at 9 she is too young to defend herself.
4. She’s a child who should be playing with dolls, not gossiping on the phone (that’s my job).

Other battles have consisted of TV in my room and appropriate music to listen to and to be honest, once I have explained why she can’t have them the subject has no been brought up again. Being able to give a good valid reason as to why she can’t have something instead of saying No is probably how I win the battles.

We always say we don’t want to end up like our parents when it comes to discipline we swear we would never do the things they did to us but for most of us the transition into becoming our parents is inevitable.

We try to teach our children right from wrong but constantly tell white lies, The Tooth Fairy, Father Christmas and the Easter bunny are all examples of how we lie in order to preserve their innocence.

Parent child battles are as common as the battles of the populars in the playground sometimes you win and sometimes you will lose, what we teach our children has a big impact on how we are viewed as parents. If you have a child that is constantly naughty at school people will wonder what is going on at home, if you have a child who runs around the shopping centre like a nutter your judged as useless and not being able to cope. This was me last week when my son shouted out in the middle of Tescos mum I’m going to get lost, ran off nearly knocking out a new mum with a pram whom when I apologised gave me a look that screamed disgust. My son wound up hiding between the ladies dresses in the clothing area and I had to carry him out. Yeah I was slightly embarrassed and I would like him to behave but his a boy a cheeky mischievous boy, I’m not making excuses he is a monster by he is more than well-behaved at school so he has to let his frustrations out somewhere. I know my kids and if they have been naughty I will hold my hands up and let them be punished parents who think there children are angels will get a short sharp shock come teenage years.(Kids have to rebel at some point)

My husband said he thought brining up kids is one of the hardest things in the world he says he sometimes finds it easier to deal with the people at work than our two. Sometimes they do present us with the most challenging behaviour but I wouldn’t change them for the world, I feel privileged to have been allowed into the weird and whacky world that is parenthood where not all are fortunate to get in.

I guess you just have to think carefully and cautiously about every decision you make as a parent days of being care free soon fade and disappear (That’s not to say you can ever have fun). Each decision you make as a parent no matter whether it’s taking on a job, moving home or choosing what to have for dinner leaves a footprint a memory that can’t be changed.

The thought of my kids growing up freaks me out what kind of girl will my son bring home, in my head I’m pleading he is not a ladies man and just picks up with the latest local skank. Then what about my daughter will she grow into a sensible young lady or just go off the rails. Will they be liked by others, will they be smart, will they marry, have kids, go to uni, get good jobs the more I worry the closer the time creeps up.

Over the last week or so friends have reminded me that my eldest is soon going to be at secondary school, we are all pushing 30 and time is not on our side. It made me think each moment you spend with your child is precious and no matter how many pictures or films you take these moments can not be relieved.  There are days when I have heard the word MUM so many times I thought about changing it, but I know in the future I will hear this less and less. Children are a blessing and for that I give thanks.

Children are a blessing sent from God above
For us to care and nurture and most of all to love.

God calls us to be parents and gives us all the tools
And when we feel like giving up, our strength He will renew.

Children are a gift from God that He so freely lends
To make it through the childhood years, on Him we must depend.

He must have a presence, you see it must take three
The parents, child and Christ at the center to be a family.

From childhood days to a child full-grown
Their joys and hurts are a parent’s own.

Times of joy and laughter and those times of tears
The times spent raising a child are surely the best of years.

There comes that time in life when a child will leave the nest
We must send them off with love and a prayer and leave to God the rest.

We have shared the Word of God, we’ve taught them right from wrong
Now it’s time to let them go and let them write their song.

The faith instilled, the examples lived, and the lessons taught
All gifts that we’ve given our child, which will never be forgotten.

There are many paths a child can take, right or wrong will remain unknown
But rest assured that in the end, they all lead back to home.

(Author unknown)

Is The Art of Conversation Dead???

13 Oct

I always like to talk about things that have happened to me personally and this week’s topic is no different, but is a very broad subject.

This week I have chosen to talk about our human contact face to face, actual face to face conversations and how technology has taken over allowing us to have these previously precious moments less and less.

Sit back and think how many times in the last week did you actually sit down and have a stimulating conversation with someone that lasted more than ten minutes? I’m not talking about gossiping with friends and I’m definitely not talking about any form of interaction via BBM, Whatsapp, Facebook, Email, Twitter, phone, Skype or any other way you may choose to contact those close to you?

So, here I am lying in bed this week with my husband and when I turn to talk to him I realise he is asleep!!! (He groaned when I said i was going to write about this, he really must be careful in future what he does as I will tell the world) I then update my BB with the question “Is the Art of Conversation Dead?” I wandered if I had I bored him to sleep, but then came to the conclusion he was actually just tired. When he woke up and read my status a while later he apologised and tried to get back on the right side of me, as I wandered some more!!! We both work shifts and between, school runs, after school activities and having a social life, I realised a lot of our conversations are through email, Facebook, over the phone and BB.

Shock horror, my marriage must be doomed, we don’t talk as much as we used too, how can we possibly survive if we don’t communicate? The reality is we don’t have time to sit down and have cosy chats, sometimes ten minutes is all we have before the other one flies out the door on a kids taxi run, errand or work trip. But we are still communicating, just in a different way. Communication has evolved and I guess we have too. In a way, it means that those in relationships have to work that bit harder. If you are spending most of the time having conversations via technology your relationship looses it’s intimacy and when you are together you may not have a lot to say!! They sayVideo Killed the Radio Star perhaps technology has killed the art of face to face conversation?

I’m not going to lie, everyone who is reading this will know, I spend most of my life either with the phone to my ear or updating my BB, twitter or Facebook. I love social networking, I’m a bit of an addict. My sister says we have platinum Facebook membership. Other people’s lives interest me, it gives me writing ideas. I love the gossip and the scandal, but also having the ability to contact those I want to contact with a click of a button. If it was not for social networking, I wouldn’t have started a blog and wouldn’t be able to share what I have to say so widely? Most of my trips out are planned through BB and Facebook. I’m not saying I would not go out if they were unavailable to me, but I will say they make my life easier!!! There are times however when you just want to shut yourself away from the world, I have days when I want to lock myself in a cupboard, but with technology that’s impossible.

This week Blackberry Messenger has died throughout most parts of the world and I admit to being on the “BB Hype”. I was amazed that this could actually happen, no internet, no BB, twitter or FB. What did I do I hear you cry? I picked up my laptop and moved on!! Yes it was quite upsetting, I was more pissed off that I was paying for something I couldn’t use, rather than being pissed that I could not connect with those I needed or wanted to. I actually had a nice first day without it, had a visit from an old friend and went to visit an old friend. Which meant, I was able to get the face to face connections I needed. Plus, not having BB meant people who I needed or needed me, had to use the phone. Social networking and phones do allow us to connect with people in ways we couldn’t before and also makes it hard for people to disapper if they are consumed by the hype that is technology.

In times past some people didn’t even have a house phone and we have to remember, mobile phones only became very popular in the late 90’s. I guess once a new form of technology comes our way we all want to jump on it, some more than others. Over the past few weeks everyone has rushed out to by the new iPhone 4S and Fifa 12 game. But, in years to follow these will be things of the past, as replacements and upgrades become available.

When I was thinking about writing this piece, I started to think about how technology and social networking has affected us in different ways, there are positives and negatives. A positive for me would be:

  • You can contact people quickly and easily
  • Ordering stuff online saves time (If the post people deliver it)
  • You can look up anything you need to know (I love Wiki and Google)
  • Computers and TV can be used a learning tools

Negatives would be, that I’m infact useless with technology and usually need someone to explain things to me or get someone to do it for me. I also though about internet dating and how you could arrange to meet up with someone you believe to be gods gift to men but  who ends up to be a complete freak. We also no the dangers of children and young people visiting chat rooms and being prayed upon by older men pretending to be you girls and boys.

I started to think mostly about education, how text talk and slang have affected the way we write. More so for children and young people. Some of the abbreviations people use on texts, BB, Twitter and Facebook are difficult to understand. It took me ages to work out what SNM meant (Say no more) which could easily have been confused with S&M (a form of physical role-playing). It is quite easy as this example shows for someone using abbreviations or slang to be totally misunderstood. If we are forever using abbreviations and slang, when we actually have to write something, we may struggle with words that are standard English.

Just imagine an essay posing the questions:

What do you think Shakespear was thinking when he wrote Romeo and Juliet?

What do you think is the meaning of the story?”

Answer: I think shakespeare was gassed when he wrote Romeo and Juliet. The beef between the Capulets and Montagues was peak. When they died at the end it was mad emotional but I think the moto is, give air to those who your family don’t like to stay alive!

I actually made that up myself. But it could happen and what happen’s when new slang terms and abbreviations are actually being accepted into modern day English? as the following article shows Death of the Cassette

Cassette is going to be removed from the dictionary, to be replaced by more popular words such as Retweet. Those not on Twitter won’t have a clue what this means! My four year old son will never know what a video was, let alone a cassete player. So I suppose we are just moving with the times!!!

When I asked people what they thought about the art of conversation being dead one friend said this:

“Due to Facebook, BBM, Whats App and even unlimited texting, there is hardly any reason to actually call anyone. Apart from your bank, insurance company or anything to do with national insurance. Although, actual spoken conversation’s are becoming less needed, I find that more is said through written word. An example of this is, I didn’t talk to someone as much as I could have and got a letter saying they were in prison. I wrote back and actually filled 3 pages, we actually converse more now than ever. If you look through your call history and compare the length of each phone call to the amount that is said in a text you will see my point. I love face to face conversation as you get to read body language and facial expression. Where as written word can be interpreted in any way and most often is misread!!!”

Which also made me think, I love writing, BB, Twitter, Facebook and even this blog, all allow me to express the way I feel without wasting any breath at all. Sometimes when I want a good rant, Facebook is the first place I go. If people know how I’m feeling, they know to approach with caution, but simlarly if I see a close friend with a sad Facebook status, I’ll give them a ring.  Just to make sure they are ok.

I guess, sometimes written word’s can be more powerful than spoken word. As a realist I like to tell people how it is, however sometimes I don’t think before I speak (Which often offends people!!!)  When writing things down, you have more time to actually think about what you want to say. Like everything, we have to evolve. Keeping in touch with people isn’t that hard it depends how much you let people in. I’ll leave you with this last song by Ksounds Where you at click on the link below and enjoy

Where you at?

Teenage Mum

24 Sep

If you didn’t already know I’m 26 with a  9-year-old  daughter and if you good at doing your sums and listened at school (Actually it doesn’t take a genius) you will have realised that I was once a Teenage Mum.

People may read this with the usual stereotypical views of teenage motherhood and realise I don’t conform to any of them
Q. Did I get pregnant to get a council flat????
A. No!!!
Q. Are you a chav??
A.No
Q. Am I a single mum on benefits?
A. No I’m married and work!!
Q. How many baby fathers and children do I have????
A. Two children, one husband

So now we have that bit out the way, feel free to leave any answered questions at the bottom of the blog! Back to the point. At 17, I became pregnant with my daughter Kyra. I was scared, confused and knew my parents would either attempt or go through with killing me but in that one moment of madness I, like many other teenagers in the UK, took that risk and had unprotected sex.

I was luckier that most teenage girls when I found out I was pregnant. My boyfriend took responsibility for his actions, we were young and in love and he vowed to stand by me no matter what. Telling my parents was probably the hardest thing I had ever done (harder than labour – and that’s hard), it must be every parents worst nightmare for their child to come home and say “I’m pregnant” or “I’ve got someone pregnant”. As a parent, you have so many hopes and dreams for your children and when those words come out of their mouth the world you had built crumbles to the ground!!!! I was at college studying Travel and Tourism with aspirations to travel the world. What my parents didn’t know was that I hated college! The course I was on was not for me, the girls were becoming a clique and I hadn’t attended a lesson for weeks!!! Before I announced I was pregnant, I quit college, having decided it just wasn’t for me. At the time, I had a part-time job and even that was a struggle as I was constantly being sick they call it ‘morning sickness’ but what they don’t tell you is it can come at anytime, I was sick morning, noon and night I became anaemic and had to leave work as I couldn’t cope. In between all this, I had to deal with telling my parents and, NO! They were not at all pleased. The fact that I left it very late in the day to tell them probably did not help either. Nevertheless, after the shock, anger and tears they supported me on my journey and still do today. Again in this respect I believe I was lucky.

I came from a good home but I was a wayward teenager from the age of 13 (after the death of my granddad) it all went down hill getting in trouble at school, late nights, smoking, drinking and boys ruled most of my life – a toxic combination. I was on the road to self-destruction. Looking back, I was a bit of a nightmare and many of my friends who knew me then and know me now will tell you I have changed immensely. Back then, I wasn’t the nicest of people and had little respect for myself or others around me!!

Being a teenager, I was selfish and over-confident and if it didn’t benefit me I didn’t want to know. Yet these days were coming to an end, I was soon going to have someone else to care for, someone who depended on me and someone else to love. I often wandered how I would cope. I wasn’t scared but during the pregnancy with one thing or another I was always stressed. I didn’t care what people thought about me and I adopted the “Shit Happens” attitude as it was happening to me!!!

My journey as a teenage mum taught me many invaluable lessons. For any teenage mother, a lesson quickly learnt is to find out who your friends are. Those that have stuck by me all know who they are. My friends have supported me through ups and downs, been there as a shoulder to cry on, been babysitters, laughed and helped me to have a good time when things were hard. When people have a baby everyone flocks to you to have their say but it’s those that remain and stay true that are the ones who really care!! (To them – I give thanks)
My daughter was born in August 2002, two months before my 18th Birthday. I was in labour for a total of 28 hours (I won’t go in to details but it was traumatic) and finally my little girl arrived at 6.14.oz with ten fingers and ten toes – she was perfect. My mum helped me get through the labour and I don’t think I would have managed if she was not there. My husband cut the cord and there was not a dry eye in the room.

Starting a new job opened doors for me I wanted to strive to be a role model for other new mums, I wanted to help people and show everyone that I was more than just a teenage mum. I started work based training and completed two NVQ’s level 2 and 3 I then went on to do a Social Science degree graduating in 2009. My achievements flowed I got married, started volunteering, had another baby, learnt to drive and started a new career path.  In the years that followed I was given the name  supermum by my friends and I showed everyone that I was more than a teenage mum. I’m not advocating teenage pregnancy but I think with the right help, love and support from those around you a young mum can turn out to be a wonderful inspirational woman!!!  None of us a perfect parents and all we can do is our best my daughter has turned out fine and I wouldn’t change her for the world!!!

My journey was difficult but I over came for others sadly it’s not the same the UK has one of the highest rates of teen pregnancies, a lot of these girls are not in education, don’t have the support of the child’s father, family and friends and are left social outcast on low incomes in a cycle of poverty. What we see in the media today about teenage mum’s is never positive we don’t see people who go on to change their lives and we don’t see how good they are as mums. What we are shown is the stereotypical view of teenage mums and girls that live up to this which is a shame as I believe there are many that do not fall into this category whose children are their world and they try to do everything in the power to change the situation they are in.

It’s Kicking off!!!

10 Aug

So... if you didn't notice London's a mess! It's been kicking
off everywhere!
So I thought I'd do my own piece onwhat's been going down
in the heart of London town and elsewhere across the UK.

On Thursday 8th August, Mark Duggan was shot dead by police in
circumstances that are yet to be fully revealed.
No one, at present knows what happened to Mark, and I think it
is important that we do not judge until we hear the full story.
Mark had a partner, children and a family who are all grieving.

Mark's family, like any family, deserve to get answers
about his death, so a peaceful protest was held outside
a police station in Tottenham.
Family and friends requested answers from the police
about his death, and unfortunately, this didn't happen
-tempers flared.

A witness then contacted the BBC and said the Riot,
which devastated Tottenham on Saturday,
was caused by a young female approaching the police asking
for answers about the death of Mark Duggan.
This female was then set upon by police which caused outrage,
and widespread chaos.

Subsequently, as we all came to realise, London descended into a
place where it was normal to see someone robbing the local
shop, the sounds of helicopters and sirens blaring through the
streets of Hackney, Brixton,Clapham Junction, Edmonton,
Enfield, Lewisham, Peckham,  Croydon,
Colliers wood (I would go on but... I will let
you see for yourselves.) 

http://maps.google.co.uk/maps/ms?msid=207192798388318292131.
0004aa01af6748773e8f7&msa=0&ll=51.558503%2C
-0.055275&spn=0.114195%2C0.298691

People are disgusted by the mass looting and fires to people's
businesses, homes and cars. The ripple effect has spread,
and what started as Tottenham Riots, changed to London Riots
and is now UK Riots.

Three men were killed in Birmingham and one man was shot in
Croydon as a result of the madness that continues.
Another man also remains critically ill in hospital
after being set upon by thugs.

Now everyone has an opinion on this.
Some people are blaming the government, others police and the
parents of those out there and unsuprisingly, it is turning
into a race issue.
My point is, it's not just black people doing these things.
Every race has been seen on TV looting and although on our
screens it's mainly young people seen
(News only shows us what they want us to see don't be fooled)
I have seen people of all ages and classes involved. 

One part of society blaming another is not helpful and I
believewe need to all stick together and try to help with
the resurrection of our society.

In all honesty, I'm not a great fan of the police,
but they are there to do a job to protect our
streets-whether you agree with it or not.
It's their job, they're not all racist although I do
believe there is institutional racism within the
system - but you can't tar them all with the same brush.

The people who are getting involved are just following fashion,
they don't know why they are doing it!
(One girl claimed it was to claim her taxes back-
I don't thinkshe had ever worked!!)
When it kicked off in Tottenham and everyone saw the looting,
it became a game of Grand Theft Auto - Who can mash up their
'ends' the most!!!!

I feel people need to start taking responsibility for
themselves and for their actions however,
it is easier to be following the crowd.
How many people who have been dragged into the hype of
getting stuff for free or at a discount price?
Think how many of you have acquired 'stuff' through
ill gains or 'off the back of a lorry'-
stolen is stolen..hmmm... #justsaying

For example, if you found a wallet on the floor how many
of you would hand it to the local police station????
Or if a cash machine started giving out randomly £50.00
notes how many of you would be
there with your money bag???

I'm not condoning looting at all but people are happy when
they get stuff for free! (You know this.)
The big chains do exploit us as a nation and
with growing prices I'm not surprised people took their
chances.
Like Robin Hood, the poor steal from the rich!!!
Sadly, these people took it too far when they
decided to burn down towns, started robbing houses,
local small businesses and innocent
people got hurt. One of the worst videos I've seen
is of a boy getting robbed after being helped up 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=327J3ISiVOU 

There are a range of issues in society that have caused
the sudden uproar and destruction of the UK unemployment,
absent fathers, poverty, social exclusion, demonisation
of the youth- if we had looked at these issues
sooner would this have happened???

My husband grew up in a poor part of Peckham in the 80's
he came from a single parent family and lived much of his
childhood on the poverty line. However, he went to college,
got a job and even though he became a father at 18,
he is a brilliant Dad. (With no criminal record)
The fact is, not everyone is a product
of what is going on around them.
You don't have to fall into the cycle. Everyone has options.
Yet, believe it or not,
those around you; be it friends, family or community have
a part to play in how we all grow.

One Lady on LBC made a valid point yes there is poverty all
over the UK we are not in Africa there is always fresh water,
food and we have a welfare system that everyone has access
to if they need it!!!

I have had many messages from friends and family stating
what they have seen and heard. A lot of people are scared
to go out (I have been driving with a baseball bat to
protect myself in the event of being attacked)
and although it is calming down and there is a greater police
presence anything could happen!
Last night, I drove to a friends in Norwood from my house in
Rotherhithe and back driving through areas such as
Forest Hill, Peckham, Crystal Palace, Sydenham, Surrey Quays
and Old Kent Road.
I can tell you I saw 4 police Vehicles and not more than
a dozen police so where they all are is beyond me.

I just urge people to know where your children are in
these dark days. One mother, who thought her children
were at the gym, found out they were looting the
Curry's store in Brixton!
I do think we, as parents, play an important role
in teaching our children right from wrong and to those
mothers who were out looting WITH their children
"SHAME ON YOU"!

Even though my children are still young I made it quite
clear to both of them the other day if they ever were
involved in anything like I would firstly take the crisp
new trainers they had robbed, off their feet hurling them
at one part of their body and secondly march them to the
local police station handing them in. I don't know how many
other parents would do this but I strongly believe
in teaching  my children right from wrong.
A lot of parents act like their children are angels
and like their child could never do wrong and these
are the worst culprits! Know your children. 

My daughter is eight, slightly on the mouthy side,
can be quite rude when she wants to be, likes to have
the last word and sticks up for what she believes in.
(Yes, a miniature me). If her teacher
says to me she did XYZ today she knows she will be
punished.
I will protect my children to the end of time but if
they have done wrong they need to understand there
will be consequences!!!

It's nice to see communities coming out and cleaning
up the mess and sticking together to show the
behaviour we have seen is not on.
I've heard about people protecting their areas and
making a stand ensuring that anyone who comes near will
be met by people who are serious about protecting
what they have!!

I just hope all this stops and soon London seems to be
calming down for now, I'll leave you with an African
proverb I have seen on Twitter this week...

"It takes a whole village to raise a child."