7 articles Tag advice

“You MUST Do This…” – Really?

There’s not enough hours in the day.

Really, when you think about it, what was the sun doing when it chose to make a day 24 (well roughly) hours long? Surely 48 would have been a better number? Or… 100. That would have been useful.

Have you ever actually stepped back and thought about all the things that we’re “meant” to do all the time? Probably not, because it might just make you burst into tears, feeling like you’re trapped at the bottom of a well from which there is no possible escape. It’s no surprise that, as a result of this general overload, mental health is something more and more people are suffering with.

If you stretch it out to consider, it’s pretty frightening – so… is it any use? If we hit all the things we’re “meant” to do, are we not just making lives stressful? And, correct if wrong, but stress is a bad thing isn’t it? Oops, did everything on the list apart from “don’t be stressed”, that’s a black mark…

So what’s actually necessary? And what that you’re “meant” to do can you actually ignore, getting around to it when you please?

Eat Healthily

Image: PixaBay

Okay, an easy start: yes, eating healthily is important. That’s not to say you can’t have the occasional day of indulgence, though. In fact, it might be healthy for your metabolism if you have treat days that can give you a jolt.

Plan Everything

Meal planning. Bullet journalling. Using apps to help with organisation. Decluttering.

Are the above useful? Well, yes. A system like the above is going to prevent you failing to renew a prescription, forgetting to buy your Frontline Plus for dogs stock, and having to write another “sorry I forgot your birthday…” card. But planning life down to the nth degree is unnecessary – there’s always got to be a bit of room for spontaneity, surely?

Exercise Three Times A Week

Recent studies have shown that it might need to be 30 minutes of activity five times a week. Or, other studies have shown, 10 minutes per day is more than sufficient.

So basically, the quantity is something that is still very much up for debate. Just try and be on your feet as often as possible and do low-impact exercise like swimming, yoga or even just taking the dog for play in the park.

Image: PixaBay

Drink Eight Glasses of Water A Day

If you’ve ever looked at this figure and thought: “eight glasses is a bit arbitrary”? You’re right to be sceptical. It is arbitrary – for one thing, there’s little definition on the volume of liquid that constitutes a “glass”. That’s your first sign this is more a vague perception than a scientific necessity.

Image: PixaBay

We do need around two litres of water per day, but we get a huge amount of it from food and other liquids. Try and stay hydrated (especially if you drink coffee or alcohol, both of which can be dehydrating), but shooting for some random “eight glasses” measure is utterly unnecessary.

Take Vitamins

Nope, just eat a decent amount of varied vegetables. There’s no proof vitamins do anything unless you have a specific deficiency and what’s more, overuse of vitamins has been linked to cancer.

Is It Possible For Your Kids To Make It Through Your Divorce Unscathed?

One of the very worst things that can happen in a child’s life is their parents getting a divorce. For a lot of kids, mum and day breaking up can seem like the end of the world. Because of this, a lot of parents choose to stay in an unhappy relationship, to ensure their kids are happy. However, this is never a good idea, as sooner or later, the cracks will start to show.

The best thing that you can do if you’re unhappy in your marriage is separate from your partner. Despite what you might have heard, it’s possible for your children to make it through your divorce relatively unscathed. The most important thing is how you handle your separation and explain it to your kids.

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To help make your divorce easier and less stressful for your kids, here’s what you need to do:

Don’t try to hide things from them

The most important thing when it comes to family breakups is not to hide things from your children. Whether they’re five years old or 15, being honest with them is important. Do you really want your child to hear the ins and outs of your divorce from someone else? No – then make sure to talk to them about things.

Be open and honest from the start

If you want to help your children get through your divorce without being too affected by it, you need to be honest with them, from the start. Of course, it’s all about age and what’s appropriate, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be truthful.

Your six-year-old may not need to know that their father cheated on you, but they do need to understand that he wasn’t happy with you. When it comes to divorce, honesty is always the best policy. Allow them to ask any questions that they want and do your best to answer truthfully.

Hire a lawyer and undergo mediation

The worst thing for children is seeing their parents argue and being stuck in the middle of it. If you want to ensure that your divorce doesn’t have a lasting impact on your kids, it’s important to make sure that you get things dealt with quickly.

For dealing with divorce when kids are involved, it’s always best to consult a family law solicitors for advice. This will allow you to get your divorce dealt with and finalised as quickly as possible. It may also be worth undergoing mediation with your ex-partner. To ensure that you’re both on the same page about the children and custody agreements. There’s nothing more damaging to a child than custody battles.

Put your child in therapy

Even if your kids seem fine, it’s worth putting them into therapy. Often, children don’t feel comfortable talking to their parents about everything that’s worrying them. That’s why therapy can be a great option. It will allow your children to open up about how they’re feeling and will make things easier to deal with for them.

If you go about your divorce in the right way, it is possible for your kids to make it through it unharmed. It might be hard at times, but with the right care and help, they can come out the other side.

Travel Sickness and How to Deal With It

travel sicknessDizziness, cold sweat, and vomiting are the main symptoms of travel sickness, also referred to as motion sickness. According to the Telegraph, it affects more than 20 million people in Britain with children, aged between 2 and 12, particularly prone.

Dr Jane Wilson-Howarth, a GP from Cambridge, explains what causes this nasty sensation: “If the driver throws the car around, tiny particles of chalk suspended in liquid in your inner ear push against microscopic hairs. This tells your brain that you are on your side. Meanwhile, your eyes are sending different information and it’s this that makes you feel sick.”

But what can you do to prevent travel sickness from occurring? We’ve put together a list of different cures, which might help to alleviate the problem.

Choose the right seat and keep still

People suffering from motion sickness should try to find a seat where the motion is minimal. On a plane the calmest seat is in the middle near the wings. On a ship you usually experience less motion in the lower cabins near the centre. When travelling on a train, make sure to sit facing forwards and if you’re travelling by car, then it can help to sit in the front seat rather than in the back.

Relax and keep calm

Focus on your breathing, try to remember poetry, listen to music or engage your brain in other mental activities. Try not to worry about getting travel sick as this might end up making it worse. This also means avoiding contact with other people suffering from travel sickness as hearing them talk about it can make it worse.

Medication

In severe cases, you can get medication from the drug store. Most medication has to be taken a few hours before the journey begins. The NHS lists hyoscine (also known as scopolamine) and antihistamines as often used cures. It’s essential that you talk to your GP first before using them or giving them to your children as they have to be used with caution.

The right food

Avoid eating anything “heavy” prior to and during your journey and ask your fellow travellers to avoid eating food with a strong odour when you’re around. Snack on some pumpkin seeds or ginger products such as ginger biscuits or ginger tea. Ginger is sometimes used to treat nausea and although no scientific studies have been conducted yet to verify its abilities to cure motion sickness, it has been used to treat vomiting and nausea for centuries.

Fresh air

Open a car window or stand on deck if you’re travelling by boat – taking deep breaths of fresh air can stop you from feeling hot and stuffy and can prevent motion sickness.

There’s no guarantee that travel sickness can be cured by these tips. Many children simply just have to grow out of the age where they experience this nasty feeling. However, by being prepared, you can at least have an influence on the severity of the condition

Seasonal Fashion Tips from Bon Marche

Season change looks

When the seasons change lots of us just can’t wait until to ditch the winter woollies and bring out the linens. If only life was that simple though. The seasons don’t really have a defined start and finish when it comes to our unpredictable climate. We might have bright sunshine one day and then the next day the temperature drops again. In those in-between type weeks transitional clothing and layers really come into their own to make dressing easy.

Subtle colour changes

One of the first things that really signify a change of season is a colour change. In nature we start to see green leaves and flowers coming through and in our wardrobes it’s time to put less focus on the browns and blacks and start introducing some colour to your look. This spring summer pale and pretty pastels are on trend, but on the other end of the scale, neons are too so take your pick. Introduce tops in brighter colours while still pairing them with your denim or black trousers and you’ll already start to feel more summery in an instant.

Spring accessories

Accessories are always a quick transformation and in the transition between seasons there is no better time to start adding some fun, colourful jewellery. Beads are a pretty, but light way to introduce colour through jewellery and their fun touch is less heavy than solid silver or gold for example. A change of footwear could also be quite literally afoot! While the winter is a time for big boots and dark shoes, the weather warming up is a good prompt to ditch them in favour something a little lighter. Ballet pumps are a versatile and practical choice. These days they come in a whole rainbow of colours and prints so you can inject some colour into your wardrobe easily and at low cost.

Layering Up

Layering is the key to transitional dressing enabling you to add and take off layers easily to adjust to slight changes in the weather. Layering isn’t always easy without looking bulked up in places you don’t want to but a few simple rules can help.

Keep your layers to three to avoid looking both messy and overdone. This should be enough to keep you comfortably warm and still look elegant. Start with your thinnest layers and then work out to your thicker layers. Wearing a woolly jumper and then a thin blouse over the top doesn’t look good on anyone. A pretty vest top worn under a simple blouse and then a chic cardigan is a perfect combination for a relaxed day with friends. This combination looks great with cropped trousers or jeans and you can even get away with this over knee length shorts too if you’re expecting the sunshine.

Key transitional pieces

There are a few pieces that are worth their weight in gold in that tricky in-between seasons phases. Jersey dresses are great as they can work equally well with or without tights and with or without a cardigan or jacket. They’re a good choice for the workplace and they’ll certainly earn their value back no time.

Light knits are brilliant for taking you through one season to the next and they’re a good way to add colour to your look even if you are still wearing your winter blacks and greys underneath.

Cropped trousers are the seasons popular length and it’s great news as a good pair of cropped trousers are a perfect trans-seasonal piece. For cooler weather pair with a blouse and jacket and ballet pumps but when the temperature soars they’ll look just as happy with a sleeveless blouse and sandals for a smart casual look.

Guest Post: I’m a parenting expert…

Yesterday, I put out a call for help. My blogging mojo is having a week off and I asked my blogging chums if they’d like to step in and write some posts for me and gawd bless ’em, I had lots of offers, which made me love our little community even more. Today, I’ve got a post from the lovely Fi who blogs at Childcare is Fun, who I must confess is one of my secret blogging crushes, I totally want to be her and have her hair and have her be my best friend, all at the same time 🙂 So, here it is: 

Parenting. The minefield of mothers and fathers doing their best in a conflicting world of advice. Hands on parenting, comfort parenting, practical parenting, attachment parenting, oh the hokeycokey parenting. It’s a headache before you’ve even popped out your first baby isn’t it?

Having the opportunity to guest write here on the lovely Jayne’s blog, I decided to open up, take off my professional cap, and talk frankly.

“You must have it so easy” someone once said to me, “you know everything and anything parenting, it must be a breeze!”

No. It’s really not…

I’ve 21 years experience working in childcare, I have a degree in Childhood and Youth studies, a diploma in Childhood studies, I’m a qualified Nursery nurse, I’ve a gazzillion training certificates from baby signing to special needs practicals, and I’ve a few awards for my work with children, but I’m also just a mum.

I wake up tired. I go to bed tired. I often feel like hiding under the duvet when my two under 3 are wrestling on the bedroom floor over a postman pat van. I cry when things seem too much, I hurt when they tell me I’m ‘horrid for turning off Cbeebies so we can go do something creative’ and I sigh when I have to do mundane household chores daily.

I eat too much cake, drink wine, gossip, moan, sometimes lose my patience and wear baggies and no make-up on days when nobody is coming over and we are having a home day.

Daily I advise parents who ask for my advice through the FREE email service via my website (www.childcareisfun.co.uk) based on all those years of experience, and qualifications, and I love putting my professional head on to help them. I love writing my ‘Top Tips’ and guest appearing as a ‘parenting expert’ on BBC radio and local stations, I’ve even done the odd TV appearance which is so exciting and something I’d like to pursue one day, but above everything, I’m a stay-at-homemum. A mum to a 2 and 3 years old born 364 days apart who rock my world and wipe bogies on my jeans.

I clean up sick, wipes snotty noses, scrub spaghetti sauce off the walls, do the washing, shopping and cleaning. So when you hear the word ‘parenting expert’ and you roll your eyes and think “Oh, another know-it-all” remember I’m actually just a parent like you. I’m still learning all these years later.

I’m a parenting expert. I’m a housewife. I’m a domestic engineer. I’m a mother. I’m me.

Thank you so much to Fi, I love Childcare is Fun and think you should all go and subscribe to her email service immediately! Oh and show some comment love, yeah?!

The Riddle of the Fiddle.

I’ve had this post zooming around in my head for a while (the title alone just smacks of something that’s been over-thought, right?!) but even now I’m still not sure about what I mean to write.

Sausage is going through a new stage in her development. She seems to have…’discovered herself’. Or, more accurately, discovered what’s inside her knickers. She seems to have developed a…I won’t say fixation…but certainly a liking for exploring her body. Now, I’m sure all of you really cool, together, knowledgeable parents out there are reading this whilst knocking back a Pimms and feeling all superior about my inability to adequately deal with this situation, but I am stumped.

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Where the Hell Did That Come From?

Skanking. See what I did there?

One thing we’ve started to noticed since sending Sausage to nursery is that she comes out with things that Husband and I have never heard her say before. It’s largely all positive and her vocabulary and comprehension, although already fantastic, seem to be improving daily.

However, yesterday she came out with an expression which was totally alien to us, but not in a good way. She’s been poorly lately and has very dry lips and whilst watching The Simpsons with Husband she turned to him and said “Daddy, my lips are skanky”. Now, skanky is 100% NOT an expression that either Husband or I use, nor have I heard any other adult use it in our company.

So, our thoughts turn to the kids. The only kids she socialises with outside of nursery are her cousins and not only have we not heard them use the word ‘skanky’, I can’t imagine any of them telling her that as generally, they all seem to dote on her.

We know it’s definitely not come from the telly, ‘skanky’ isn’t a word I’ve ever heard on CBeebies, and I know that Peppa Pig is causing kids to become riotous and end up in juvenile delinquent facilities (what a load of bollocks, eh?) but I don’t think I’ve ever heard such an utterance from her baconey lips.

The thing is, when we questioned Sausage on where she’d heard the expression from and after about ten minutes of clamming up like a good’un, she said to Husband and I “No, I refuse to tell you”. So, where do we go from here? I hate the thought that someone at nursery may have said something so negative to her, but she doesn’t seen adversely affected by it. Do we go to the nursery and ask them to look into it and keep an ear out, or do we drop it and hope it doesn’t happen again?

For the moment, as we have no firm idea of where it came from, I guess we have to just leave it. I don’t want to be one of those parents who flies into the nursery and scolds her teachers for the slightest thing, but at the same time, letting it go has left me feeling utterly impotent.

Any advice, dearest readers?