23 May 2016

Being away from my babies was bittersweet

For a long time I've been a mother first and everything else afterwards. Life carried on but as a new mother my whole focus on life and the world shifted. Things that never bothered me before suddenly become scary as hell because my main desire was to protect those babies I'd given birth to.

As well as learning new skills I also lost lots more to make room for all the new information. I never realised but when I became confident in my ability to be a good mum, I lost my confidence in the world and in pushing myself to try new things. Big things I simply had no time or energy for and I forgot to help my mind grow.

Last weekend is the first I've spent away from my family for more than one night. It was a real push for me to go and for a few weeks before I started grinding my teeth in my sleep and manifesting stress related ailments. I wanted to come away but leaving my babies for three nights was outside of my comfort zone. Let's not even start on the guilt, I felt guilty that hubby had to do it alone, guilt that I was missing swimming lessons in the big pool (my girls 1st), guilt guilt, guilt about anything you can think of.

I went away to a Leaders retreat at Centre Parcs, with twelve other women. I didn't know any of these women outside of my computer screen. It was a massive learning curve and I missed my loves. But it was also one of the best things I've done, I put my business first this weekend and it was one of the best things I have done for my mind.
I've learnt lots and I've got used to all different personality types. You may be thinking 'I go away on business all the time' but this wasn't enforced at all and there for me to take my business forward. More than that, I've learnt my family doesn't fall apart when I'm away, I can do things other that expand my mind but I don't think I'll venture too far from my loves because I missed them.

Although when I picked up Bubba from School, she ran towards me and then right past to ask Daddy if she could go to the Kinder Egg shop!!!

And if you haven't been to Centre Parcs Longleat then I would definitely recommend it for the gorgeous views but beware, it is very hilly so you'll get a good work out.


9 May 2016

Five top holiday reads for a five year old

As the weather is getting warmer, our attention usually turns to holidays and travel but this takes on a new slant when its no longer lounging at the pool bar and sleeping in the sunshine once you have a young child.

So this year, to prepare for holiday (or if you aren't going away but still need to prepare for those half term or summer holidays) these are my top picks for children and adults.

1. Holiday Activity Pack

These packs are great because you get four smaller versions of books in a handy carry case. They are great to whip out on a plane or in a car and there is something to keep your little one busy no matter their mood. Stickers, puzzle books and doodling to name a few, great to pack away and carry to the next destination. I love the holiday pack but there is also a variety of others available from dinosaurs, fairies and pirates (7 in total).

2. Card games

This is new territory for us as bubba has only just got the idea of playing cards. Happy families is a favourite as she is learning to read so can recognise some of the names of the families. There are variations on this and loads of snap games you can get (we like fairy snap the best and my boy likes the monster ones).

3. Bedtime Stories

We read to both kids every night and it's no different whilst we are away. It's a lovely way to wind down after a busy day and usually we take a couple of books each. This time I'm getting a lovely collection of stories in one book which saves space and is an extra holiday treat for us all.

4. Activity books

For long car or plane journeys there are some wonderful books with a collection of puzzles and games to play in them (there is also a train version). Something different on every page and great for older kids who are too cool for school and won't carry the activity case. For the younger children there are also cards that  have an activity on one side and an explanation on the other. We have them to use as a family in the car (games such as pulling faces at each other and having to guess the mood).

5. Something for me

I used to read lots and frequently but with a five year old and a toddler I don't seem to have time. When I do, I find my levels of concentration are depleted and I can read the same sentence about five times. Also I can't read anything scary, sad or in any way nerve jangling. So you don't adult fiction is perfect for me, it's the perfect beach read. They deal with real issues and I'm loving Holly Bourne novels at the moment.

For all of these books there is a variation on a theme and can be read by older and younger children (or we have a different age appropriate alternative). So if you are planning a holiday then it's great to check out www.Babblebooks.co.uk for all your holiday book needs.

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