Friday, 30 November 2012

What's the secret to being a good parent?

What sort of things make a good mother or father?  Is there a particular 'secret' to good parenting?  I've been pondering these questions since reading a column in The Independent earlier this week asking what makes a good parent.  This column, penned by Annalisa Barbieri, was itself inspired after the news of a couple who had their foster children taken away from them, solely for the fact they support Ukip.

So, what does make a good parent?  Ms. Barbieri concludes that it must be trust.  Trust in your child and also in yourself for doing as good a job as possible at this parenting lark.  And to that end, I agree.  But, I think the the 'secret' (if there is such a thing) is more than that; more complex, more difficult but also so rewarding.

Image credit: Photostock |

So, back to the question; what makes a good parent?  Here are my top five thoughts on the matter.

Sunday, 25 November 2012

First haircut

Friday, 23 November 2012

Review - Le Toy Van Honeybake Cookie Set

Ever since Sophia was little, she has had moments where she's enjoyed role-playing games.  One of her favourites is hosting a 'teddy bear's picnic' and gathering her soft toys together to enjoy imaginary tea and cake.

I love watching her imagination take flight and I can see it begin to take root within Dexter's personality too.  I think it's really positive because I believe it helps to develop a child's creativity so I try to encourage role-play wherever possible.  That's why, when I was approached by Big Game Hunters to review one of their products and spotted the Le Toy Van Honeybake Cookie Set on their website, I jumped at the chance.

Le Toy Van Honeybake Cookie Set

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

BBC WM, working parents and me

Last Sunday, I was interviewed by Richard Wilford on BBC WM about the pros and cons of being a working parent.  It was part of their weekly 'Sunday Dilemma' slot and was inspired by the Government's announcement to introduce flexible parental leave for the first year of a child's life.

While I didn't manage to slip a mention of Chez Mummy into the interview, I did talk about my other website, Working Parents United - huzzah!

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Review - CuddleUpPet Pink Poodle

Look out - there's a new breed of blanket!

One of the things I love about winter is cuddling up with my children on the sofa snug under a blanket, watching a film while the fire roars and the cold, winter wind rattles the windows from outside.  Or, when you're feeling under the weather and you can snuggle down beneath a blanket, curling up on the sofa while others bring you tea and snacks, and generally just taking care of your every whim.  Or perhaps that latter one is just wishful thinking...

If you can't tell, I think blankets are, in general, ace.  There's something really lovely about wrapping yourself up in one.  As a parent, they come in so useful when your children are ill and I should know; in the last few weeks both Sophia and Dexter have battled through chickenpox only to succumb to winter coughs and colds (which they've just so happened to pass on to me, joy of joys).  My children have therefore spent an inordinate amount of time, snuggled under a blanket on the sofa, while I dutifully take their temperature and bring them drinks, snacks and medicine.

The other thing when children are ill, of course, is that they don't have the energy to do much (hence the reason for spending so much time lying on the sofa).  And let's face it, even the widest DVD collection isn't going to stop it getting pretty dull after a while.  Well, there's a new blanket in town that will keep kids snug and could help guard against any illness-related boredom. It's called the CuddleUpPet.  Check it out...

CuddleUpPet Pink Poodle

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Flexible parental leave: Will it work?

The Government has announced plans to introduced flexible parental leave in place of traditional maternity and paternity leave.  The idea is that mothers and fathers will be able to choose who stays at home and for how long during their child's first year.  At the moment, women can choose to take up to 52 weeks off work for maternity leave but under new proposals, this could be shared equally with the father, in whatever way the couple chooses (apart from the first two weeks, or first four weeks for manual workers.  This is to ensure the woman's body has some time to recover from childbirth).

Image credit: Stuart Miles |

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Review - Cbeebies The Album

Cbeebies CD AlbumThere are a few numbers that, as parents, seem to have magical properties.  Take the number five for example.  If I want my children to help tidy up the man-made (or rather, child-made) sea of mess and chaos, or do some other sort of task, all I have to do is count to five (for some parents this magic number may be three).  More often than not, whatever it is I want my children to do, will be done by the time I've reached that number.

Likewise, if my children are being rowdy, restless or having an all-out, scream-the-house-down tantrum, the number 71 has calming properties.  It can quieten them and sometimes even succeeds in raising a smile or two.


Friday, 9 November 2012

Could you survive on the UK's State Pension?

How easy would you find it living off nothing but the UK State Pension?  This is a question I've been asked very recently.  According to a survey from NOW: Pensions, only one in two adults admit to saving towards their retirement.  This is despite the fact that we're all living longer and could potentially face 20 or more years of life without a wage.

Image credit: 401(K) 2012 | Flickr

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Date night

Last night, my husband and I had a rare date night.  It was spontaneous, carefree...and so much fun.

Image credit: Sklathill | Flickr

When you become a parent, your world naturally shifts focus.  From that point onwards, it revolves around your child; making sure they are safe, secure, happy and healthy.  It can be easy for your relationship with your wife/husband/partner to take a back seat - after all, you're a Mum and Dad first and a couple second.  That becomes the natural order of things.

So it was a real surprise when I arrived home from work yesterday evening to be told by my husband to get my glad rags on.  We were off for a night at the cinema to watch the new James Bond film, Skyfall.  I got almost giddy with excitement.

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Review - Ice Age Live! A Mammoth Adventure

"You're hanging out with us now, pal.  Dignity has nothing to do with it."
- Sid, Ice Age ( 20th Century Fox, 2002)

The Ice Age cometh.  To be more precise, it's already here.  England and Wales has seen areas freeze over and it's slowly reaching other parts of the world.

No, I'm not talking about snow and no, I'm not getting all environmental you.  I am, of course, talking about a brand new show created for arena audiences and featuring all your favourite prehistoric animals: It's Ice Age Live! A Mammoth Adventure.

Sunday, 4 November 2012

Don't forget your winter flu jab

Now that Halloween is behind us and Guy Fawkes Night is almost over for another year, my thoughts are turning to winter.  The winter coats, gloves, scarves etc. are now hanging up and ready to be used, to keep us warm as the temperature drops.

As we all begin to prepare for the onset of winter, the Government is launching a new advertising campaign to encourage everyone who's eligible for a free flu jab to go and claim it.  The Department of Health says it's because the numbers of people who are getting their dose of the flu vaccine are down on this time last year.  It might be because the weather was still relatively mild at this point last year, or it might be because it can be easy to forget to make the appointment.  But, whatever the reason, if you're eligible for the free flu jab - please go and claim it!

Flu fighter gets the flu jab
Image credit: NHSE | Flickr

Share this


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...