Be Nice


Being cruel is horrid. Falling out with a friend is horrid. Divorce or separation is horrid. End of. Whether it was your choice, whether the choice is made for you or whether you’ve made it together. It is rubbish.

I’ve only been thinking about this recently as a friend of mine has a Divorce and Separation Coaching business. Not something I have needed but I can imagine it would be helpful to some. Going through a break up can leave wounds that take a long time to heal. We’ve all had a break up and whether it was on our terms or not, it takes time. Time we sometimes don’t have as life goes on, kids need routine, work needs doing.

Maybe you are on the path of divorce that started pretty well considering. Everyone was in awe of the way things were being handled. Don’t get me wrong I’m sure it’s been traumatic for one of them, maybe both but if there are children involved, keeping it amicable should be key. However, things change, words are said that just can’t be taken back, maybe guilt turned to anger. It all seems so unnecessary but all you can do is sit, watch, listen and comfort. Something I find very hard when I see a friend hurting.

As I have got older, I have held my tongue in many situations – the day the consultant questioned whether my baby was IVF as he saw my age, the day I was made redundant after working most of my maternity leave and returning to work after 4 months, when my toddler is pushing me to the limit – yes those sorts of times!

Now, I have a sharp tongue when needed but I still find it hard to understand how some people can be so cruel with their words and their actions towards someone they once loved. As much as you want to deny it, there was love and affection there once, there are children that were a product of that love.

A child’s early years are hard enough as it is and we see lots of campaigns for ‘Being Kind’ and we tell our kids to be nice, play nicely, speak nicely, maybe we should practice what we preach. When children are involved, in most cases, you will always be tied to your ex in some shape or form so surely making things easier for the kids is the best thing.

Something awful has happened to a family but it’s done, people move on – some quicker than others, but we should all be mindful of how others are feeling. A child has a mind that works in different ways to a grown up, they handle situations differently, they do forget or so we hope.

I have another friend who went through a divorce and although it was her suggestion it was still really tough on her. It was a massive decision for her, she was married and lonely and thought what was the point in that? She’d rather be alone and lonely but was that what she really wanted. I think deep down she was hoping he would fight for her, he didn’t. He loved her and wanted her to be happy or maybe he just didn’t care that much. I guess that was a risk she took. It paid off they are now blissfuly happy in new relationships.

The difference here is that there were no children involved so it was a clean break up they didn’t come from the same town and literally broke up and had very little, if any contact from then on.

Having something to show for that marriage may have made it all feel worth it, a product of that relationship. But having that proof of those years together also means there is a tie to that person whom you no longer love or loves you. I’d imagine that can be really tough.

I often say to Mr S if we ever broke up this is how I want it to be and reel off a list of things we would and wouldn’t do. As if it would ever work like that!
We have no idea how we would feel or would act but I truly hope I would try and accept the situation, whatever that may be and stay friends with Mr S. I love him, I imagine I would want him in my life always because of our son but things change. I find myself imagining I would be friends to the new Mrs S – who am I kidding!

I do know of a family that after a few years did all become friends and shared Christmas together, for the sake of the kids but I think they also enjoyed each others company, to a point. Maybe that’s what I’d aspire to. That old cliche – there is light at the end of the tunnel, is true.

I guess my point today isn’t just about divorce or separation, it’s about all manner of situations – find that middle ground, work at what’s important and remember there was love there once and we all know life is so much easier when we are all being nice.

Note; I know that no one is nice all the time, just make it count when you are.

When a littler person comes close to Rocco at the soft play I say ‘Be Nice’  when he lashes out at his cousin ‘Be Nice’ , when the dog is just wanting to nap and he’s climbing all over him I say ‘ Be Nice’.

Maybe as adults we should practice what we preach.


#Rant – this does feel more like a rant. Sorry Not Sorry!


Breaking a Habit



When Rocco was born I didn’t think we had much of a routine but looking back we obviously did to some level and we still do, otherwise I’m not sure our house would run as smoothly as it does.  We don’t really plan ahead too much which means we can cram alot of adventures in to our lives. Although the stability of two loving parents and secure immediate family are always constant.

I’m certainly not a creature of habit but I did find myself struggling the week after Christmas as Mr S was ill and at home for 10 days. Rocco wasn’t back to nursery and I was desperate for them to be out of my way so I could get on with my normal routine. Or maybe that was just a house of boys that annoyed me!

With Rocco it’s slightly different, it’s not the big routine type things that get to him- like going to nursery, meeting new people, travelling, mummy and daddy being away, it’s the little things. I’m starting to notice more and more.

At breakfast time he HAS to get his own bowl and spoon out of the cupboard which is very helpful, but should we be rushing, I prepare his breakfast for him and he has a total meltdown. Sometimes I give in and we start again, other times I push back on it.

At nursery the kids sit in a circle for singing and group activities. Last week they were told to sit on the floor to read a book. Rocco had a total meltdown as he wasn’t sat in a circle. They explained to him that ‘no one’ was sat in a circle but it took them ages to calm him down.

We go swimming one morning a week and for lunch one day we had soup and bread, I made a tiny deal of it as he’d never had soup before – yeah I know! and he ate it all and loved it. Now on the way home from swimming he asks every time if we can have soup and bread, but only on a swimming day.

If you dare turn the TV over when the credits are still rolling on a film he is watching, we may as well throw the TV out of the window! I try and say it’s because he loves that the music is still playing, but I’m not so sure.

I like my baths hot so when I run Rocco has a bath I have to ask Mr S to check the temperature, I didn’t think we ever made a deal out of this, but if I dare put Rocco into the bath without Mr S dipping his hand in then he refuses to get in and calls for daddy.

We also have flip outs when I don’t sit him on my lap to clean his teeth, he refuses to open his mouth unless he’s on my lap. I’d love to think this is him stalling from having his teeth cleaned but I don’t think it is. It’s habit.

If he gets taken up to bed and hasn’t had a chance to watch an episode of Peppa or whatever he’s in to this week, then he will kick off, but I see this as part of his bed time routine and that’s ok to stick to, isn’t it?

When I am writing these things down they don’t seem so bad but the list could be eight times longer, all these silly little things that cause him to become unhappy.

My sister and parents comment on him being a creature of habit.  It is starting to play on my mind that it could be going a stage too far. Maybe he just knows the way he likes things done.

I try so hard to mix things up with him, we go on adventures, he’s travelled a lot in his three years, actually he is less worried about these little things when he’s on holiday. There’s my answer, a constant holiday!

How do I determine the difference between routine and habit so he becomes a flexible, all rounded kid?

The Milestones


Big or Small they are equally important.

Over the past few weeks I have witnessed hundreds of pictures of my friends children starting school in their slightly over sized uniform looking super excited, followed by pictures of them 8 hours later asleep on the sofa because ‘ Big school has worn them out’! I love the pictures, it’s fab to see how they are all growing up. I’ve also felt a little pang of emotion that my god daughter posted a picture of her new room at Uni when she left yesterday to embark on a great adventure.

I see my close friends visiting Uni’s with their kids for next year and I find myself thinking ‘how can they be old enough to go to Uni already? I also struggle with the whole comparison of my friends kids getting ready to go to Uni and mine has just moved to a big bed.

I love seeing the new adventures my friends children are taking but sometimes I do feel myself wishing away the time for the Rockstar to be doing the same. Then I remember I’ll be even older by then so maybe I should just take every day at a time!

While we were walking through the woods at the weekend looking for a Gruffalo, as you do, I looked at the little man and realised the last month has been full of milestones for him and us.

  1. Cot to Big Bed – It was hard going for us all, he hated it and woke 4 times every night for two weeks. I blamed myself in rushing him, he loved his cot and never attempted to climb out.
  2. Pre-School – He was moved from nursery to pre-school early. It doesn’t normally happen until they are 3 but everyone felt it was the right time for him and his development (oh and numbers in the class no doubt) so the transition was made and it was an easy one for him and he is thriving.
  3. The Bottle – Rockstar had a tendency to love a night time milk in a bottle, yes I know he’s too old for a bottle but I liked the cuddle as much as he liked the milk. Anyway one day I decided enough was enough and gave him milk in another cup (of his choice) He drank it sat on the sofa watching Bing before bed and never asked for a bottle again. If I’d known it was going to be that easy I’d have done it months ago. The whole cot to bed thing put me off a bit. I didn’t need more tears at night, from either of us.
  4. The Dummy – He had them when he is in bed or really tired. Then on Saturday he woke up and said ‘I am three now, my dummies need to go in the bin’. We had talked briefly about them going in the bin when he turned 3. He’s not actually 3 yet, he thinks he is as he had his birthday present early (It needed to be used while the weather was reasonably dry). He decided that was the time and off he went – popped them in the bin and has only asked for them twice over the weekend but no tears.
  5. Dressing himself – He’s a lazy boy. He say’s ‘Can’t’ a lot. He won’t dress himself without a fight. I was busy in the kitchen and he wanted his shoes on, I told him to put them on himself. I turned around and he had. Two shoes on the right feet, velcro closed. Now to work on pulling up his own trousers after a wee.
  6. Swimming and Bike riding – Two things we’ve been doing for a while but in the last few weeks he’s cracked both.
  7. The art of Conversation – We have full on chats about a variety of subjects, some more entertaining than others but as I watch his mind working and listen to the chatter it fills me with joy.

My little man may only be a month from being 3 but he’s growing up fast. Just remembering these milestones tire me out. He must be exhausted. Learning new skills all of the time and growing up so quickly.

I’m desperate to catalogue the journey, I take so many pictures and pop them in the album for us all to look back on in the years to come. I do post pictures on social of him having fun, I vowed I never would but I just can’t help myself. I certainly didn’t expect to write a blog about our journey through parenthood?!

When I post my little milestone pictures I do think of my mates that are sending their kids off to school and Uni, all having a little smile and thinking how pleased they are to be onto those grown up milestones.

I’ll stick with our baby steps for now and will be sure to let everyone know when Rocco can wipe his own bum!



Let children just be children



I’ve been watching the news and discussions on the child that wants to be known as a girl and wear a dress to school and how one set of parents have taken their child out of that school because it has made their children anxious and upset.

My son doesn’t like to dress up, I struggle to get him to put a pirate hat on, in fact he’d wear his pyjamas all day if I let him. The one day he did dress up he popped a flamenco dress on, so what?  There’s a little boy at nursery who loves to wear the princess dress when they play dress up, no one takes any notice and my son certainly doesn’t question it. They are just children.

If I picked up Rocco from nursery and there was a boy in a dress and Rocco told me that was ‘Daisy’ then I wouldn’t question it. In fact I don’t think I would even ask nursery for an explanation. It has nothing to do with me what another child wears or is called.

I’m sure some of the parents question our choice of name and judge us on Rocco’s choice of clothes* on a daily basis! *he sometimes wears a Ralph Lauren ‘best’ shirt that he’s about to grow out of that have been hung in the wardrobe or a t shirt already stained by Spaghetti.

At that age, gender identity is innocent, if the child was scared by another child experimenting to find their identity then maybe the conversation needs to start at home.

If Rocco did ask me why is ‘David’ now ‘Daisy’ I would try and explain that David liked dresses rather than trousers and liked the name Daisy. I don’t think it needs any more explanation than that. Does it? If it started causing lots of questions from my son then I would research how best to explain it.

I certainly wouldn’t put my own child through the upheaval of moving him out of that nursery because of a choice another child and family have made. I believe I would act in the same way as I would hope other parents would react if it was my son.

Surely moving a child out of school would open up more questions? I’m not saying it should be ignored but making a ‘thing’ out of a situation like this can’t be beneficial. The child in question has made a decision to wear a dress, the child made that decision himself. Surely the school friends should be allowed to make their own decision about how they feel. If at all.

My son is no saint at nursery, he can be boisterous and he doesn’t listen all the time, sometimes I imagine other parents being told Rocco may have led their child astray that day. All kids are different, they all have their individual quirks some will come and go throughout their childhood, some will stay with them.

I feel like we indoctrinate our kids enough by them just watching the way we go about our lives. I worry about standing on the scales in front of my son as I don’t want him to even know what they are for, we don’t talk or draw attention to weight, colour, gender, size etc. I don’t want my views to be inflicted on him, I want him to make his own judgements. In fact I don’t want him to judge anyone.

It’s hard enough bringing children in to this world, constantly questioning the way you bring them up without us starting to question how other people are bringing up their own children. If it doesn’t directly effect you, then ignore it.

I want to bring my son up in a way that he does not judge people’s decisions. If he questions, I will help him answer them. When there are children involved I won’t judge or react in a hastily fashion, it could effect everyone involved.

I will remember they are children where decisions and actions that are made around them now, may stay with them and set them on their path to being an adult. We need good, kind adults in this world. More today than ever before.



The Benefits Of Going To The Gym – I think I’ve got it all wrong!

I’ve recently joined the gym it’s a major step for me. I’m 46 and a mum of a nearly 3 year old. I’ve never been super fit or slim so I do need to get fitter and lose some weight. I’ve embarked on a diet that I am actually maintaining, most of the time! So the next step was that dreaded exercise.

I think I’m finally in the right mind set to do this. I have great support from my family, I need it otherwise it could be a one week wonder. I also understand the reasons for going to the gym;

  • I want to control my weight
  • I know exercise is good for my health
  • Boost my energy
  • Get the happy feeling

After signing my life away to a 12 month contract – yes 12 months, I need to commit long term otherwise I just won’t do it. I take a look at the timetable and work out the days I can go while the little man is at nursery. I need to be organised. There is no point trying to go in the evenings, I know I just won’t do it once the TV is on and the boy is in bed.

So off I went. It killed me, I hurt a lot for 4 days but after the second trip I did see some benefits.

  • I got to go shopping for new gym kit. There were so many trainers to choose from I just had to buy two pairs.
  • A new gym bag, that could also work as a beach bag. Multi Purpose.
  • Making sure I eat breakfast before I go. Not just a half eaten bit of toast but a proper breakfast.
  • Choosing a play list of music – a grown up play list. Then I actually got the time to listen to it. Uninterrupted.
  • People watching – I don’t remember the last time I had the chance to sit (ok I was on the bike) and watch people. I never take my eyes off the 2 year old so it was nice to watch someone that wasn’t going to get run over or bump their head on a table.
  • Doing something for me. I was putting myself through pain, sweating and looked awful but it felt reasonably good.
  • There’s no little people. I love them but it felt good to be surrounded by adults.
  • Not having to talk to anyone. You can see people you know and just give them a nod or pretend you didn’t even see them.
  • Feeling like I had learnt something. Trying new exercises that push me. It’s been a while since I have felt like that.
  • Taking a shower – I do shower at home and my shower is more palatial than the one at the gym. But at this one I can shut the door, not have to listen out for the little one. No rushing.
  • Buying new products that will live in MY gym bag. With product that’s meant for me, not something I’ve grabbed in my mad rush.
  • Using a towel that’s not been picked up off the floor and still wet.
  • I realised that it’s been a while since I have been able to sit and dry my hair and apply a full face of makeup. A luxury!
  • The best benefit of all was knowing I’ve done something that will in the end help us all as a family.

So going to the gym really does have some benefits and if I can keep those in mind, I’ll be a size 8 before I know it!*

*never been a size 8, never likely to be either.






To go on holiday and pop him in the Kids Club.

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We’ve been lucky enough to take our 2.5 year old abroad on holiday a lot since he was born and this year we have had two holidays in the space of four weeks (it wasn’t planned that way, honestly)

We have chosen our holidays slightly differently since being parents, we look for somewhere that he is accommodated as far as high chairs, cots and knowing the restaurants don’t mind Lightening McQueen joining us. A far cry from a deserted beach, cocktails and a few books.

We haven’t yet booked a hotel that is ‘ kidtastic’ although a recent trip to Lanzorote did have a kids pool, Club and disco. We obviously spent a lot of time around the pool, maybe an hour supervised in the Kids Club when the sun got a bit hot and a few evenings at the kids disco. But that was it. We spent 10 days as a family.

Our son goes to nursery a few days a week, so he’s happy in that environment but as a family we like to spend time with each other and are happy to have him with us all day and night on holiday.
We are lucky that he sleeps for two hours in the day on holiday so mummy and daddy can still have a little drink and catch some rays. So I believe that at this point in our journey we get the best of both worlds.

When we went away last week it was with my sister and our kids whom love each other like siblings and are happy to play together. We were at a gorgeous hotel from a chain that caters for both the grown up and the child.
My niece chooses not to go in to Kids Club saying’ holidays are family times’. She is a sociable girl and is happy to make friends pool side. Part of me thinks she would have more fun if she did go to the Club on offer but she chooses not too and that’s fine.

The 2 year old could have gone in to nursery as he still isn’t old enough for the fun club but then he wouldn’t have had that time with his aunty and cousin and when would he have got the chance to learn to swim and for us to witness it.
For me, holidays are for creating memories and I worry that once he goes to the Kids Club he will want to do that every time. I’m not ready for that. Yet.
He did love the kids disco and I did get great pleasure from watching him dance to those crazy holiday club tunes and make a new friend. Since being home he is continually asking for the Disco!

I can understand why parents pop their kids in to a Club, everyone needs a break. I am lucky that when we are away with Daddy he takes the little man off, to give me an hour and when we were away last week we all entertained each other. If we were a big adventure seeking family and wanted to go off sightseeing then I see why a child would rather go to kids club but we have inflatables and water pistols that create the fun, so we certainly don’t expect him to entertain himself.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not against kids club and I can totally understand that an environment where they are entertained by professionals and have fun is perfect for them and the parents.

I have heard kids come out of the Kids Club raving about what a great time they have had, with their new friends and that’s great. I see mums with the perfect tan and a half read book, I didn’t even turn a page.
I don’t remember being put in to kids club when I was little but we always went away with another family so all the kids played together.

Right now almost 3 years in I can’t imagine going on holiday and then popping him in to a club, he may have well stayed at home, gone to nursery, had grandma collect him and have him sleep in his own bed. Plus it would have saved us some money!

I think my husband’s week home alone was more of a holiday but I wouldn’t have changed it. That said, I have come back from 17 days abroad with my son desperate for a little bit of me time, so tomorrow I’m off to a grown up club called a Spa for 24 hours.


Photo; Authors Own

Feeling guilty when things are ok for you

Lately a few of my friends are really going through it. Tough times both at home and at work. I know how they feel, we’ve all been there. We look at everyone else and think ‘oh I wish my life was as simple as hers’. I know those idyllic lives aren’t always what they seem on the outside but sometimes you just want everything to be just a little bit easier.

Over the past few years my little family has been through our ups and downs, it’s all been a bit of a whirlwind, four years ago I hadn’t even met Mr S. I had a great career and was reasonably happy. Now I have a husband, a 2.5 year old, a fab house, no full-time job admittedly but it’s all pretty good. Yes there are areas I’d like to change, I’d like to push myself to have the courage to work for myself and make all my ideas reality, I would also like to know that the Rockstar will go through the ‘naughty’ phase and we will come out the other side. Apart from that we’re pretty good.

I have a set of friends that help me in many ways, I have one that dropped off food to our house for two weeks while the Rockstar was in NICU, I have a friend who I whinge too over WhatsApp and she does the same back, I have a friend/sister who knows everything about me and gives honest, really honest feedback. I have a friend for every occasion and I know if I am low one of them will spot it.

I hate that those close to me are having tough times and I try as hard as I can to help in whatever ways I can, whether it’s a phone call or sending a silly card to put a smile on their face. I am constantly thinking of them and finding ways I can help, in any small way. I just want everyone to be happy. I know that’s not always realistic.

My sister jokes with me and says I just want to fix everything. Yes maybe I do. Sometimes my life is easier when everyone around me is happy, that sounds so selfish but it’s true. I can spend my time concentrating on our relationships and having fun knowing that my friend is happy. Knowing someone is hurting is really hard.

I’ve been through times when I have felt low, and I mean really low and if it wasn’t for an unwanted busy body then I may not be here today. I say unwanted busy body but really it was a saviour, without this person butting in then I wouldn’t have asked for it and just carried on for as long as I could, feeling bloody awful.

I look back at that time now and am thankful I had one friend that made it his business to help and that spiralled in to lots of people helping. Back then I couldn’t imagine my life as it is now, so I truly believe that things do get better, at the time I know it is hard to imagine, but it does. I look in on peoples lives and can see what needs to change but it has to be done when they are ready, I’m just there to assist if they need it.

So I will be that busy body for as long as I am allowed, just letting my mates that are having a rough ride know that I am here if they need me. I hope that while I do this, they will be there for me when I go through the next patch of rough stuff, because it’s sure to happen.

We are all so busy with our lives that we may not look deep enough into our friends lives. Yes, it may feel life prying and you may have friends that keep things close to their chests, so just ask a few more questions, call instead of text, pop round for a glass of wine, just let them know you’re there.

One thing I have realised is that I have been known to spend so much time worrying about others that I’ve let parts of my life drop to the wayside, a happy medium is hard and I need learn that I can’t always help everyone. In the meantime I will give it a really good try.