Lessons from my children: On saying ‘No’

Since beginning my love affair with Instagram just a few short months ago, I have become more aware of the world around me. This afternoon on my walk, I noticed that the sun glancing out from behind the hills onto a tree cast it into a perfect silhouette. As I stood there for a few moments, committing the beautiful view to memory and to camera, it crossed my mind that the structure of the trunk, branches and twigs were reminiscent of the skeleton of a leaf. The tree follows a tried and tested structure that it knows to be strong and effective…

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5 Christmas Preparations for November

I’ve agonised over publishing a Christmas gift list in November. There are a few pretty amazing things that I can recommend ready for Christmas but I just can’t bring myself to do a gift list just yet. But still, I know most people are actually starting to get ready for Christmas right about now so I’m going to meet them half way and write about things that actually do need a little bit of time to prepare. Here are my five Christmas preparations that it is acceptable to do in November. 1. Sleep Back in the days before I had children,…

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Dear Toddler

Dear toddler, Every day you’re learning. The world is bright, new and exciting and every day brings new joys and challenges. At the moment, you see everything with curious eyes. Each leaf, tree, butterfly, cow and tiny ant is a new discovery. Every day is a fresh start and a reason to smile. Each time we see each other, you laugh and I wag my tail to show you how much I love you. I was there when you took your first few steps. I was so pleased for you but I couldn’t explain. I tried to tell you but nobody…

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Parenting manuals versus maternal instinct

Almost every day, I read about or speak to someone who has sage advice from a parenting manual.  The advice is never the same twice.  Your baby should be sleeping through the night, leave it to cry. You’re emotionally damaging your baby, don’t let it cry. Your baby is too skinny, use formula. Your baby is obese, feed it less.  You’re not interacting with your baby enough, it will be developmentally delayed. You’re over-stimulating your baby, it won’t sleep.  Your child is too whiny, you’re mollycoddling it. You’re not letting your child cry, you’re damaging it emotionally. Your child has too…

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The impact of screen time on behaviour

This week, I wrote in my Thursday photo post that I had noticed a real link between Libby spending a small amount of time in front of a computer and a deterioration in her behaviour.  I want to put a couple of things in context. Firstly, I’m not judging or criticising anyone for letting their children watch television or use iPads or other technology. After all, I’m only writing this because I totally understand the need to use a screen to entertain children sometimes, because I did just that this week.  The second thing I want to make clear is that Libby…

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