It's Okay To Not Know What You Want From Life

 I turned 30 this year. 30. 3. 0. 

In the lead up to it, 30 seemed like such a big deal. It felt like I was going to have to be a proper adult now,  and finally sort out what it is I want from life. 

I still don't know what I want to do for work. I like my job at the moment and had a promotion at the beginning of the year but I know its not necessarily something I want to do for the rest of my life. I put so much pressure on myself in the lead up to my birthday, losing my mind because I don't have my dream job, because I have no idea what that is. 

At 17, chasing my university course, I had everything planned out. Media Production, directing, writing. Then I dropped out of uni half way through my second year because I hated my course and I didn't want to do media production - don't get me wrong I adore media production, and I learnt loads, but I don't think the particular course I chose was for me. 

Writing has always been a goal, but I have no idea what kind of writing. I guess that's why I started this blog, so I could write something. I also still dabble in short stories, because writing fiction is my one true love but I'm not sure I would want to make that my job. 

So where am I going with this? Truthfully, I'm not too sure. I just wanted to put it out there that plans don't always work out and whether you are 13 or 30, its okay to not know what you want from life. I still have a really good life, with a wonderful partner, brilliant son and we are happy. Would I like to find my dream job? Sure that would be great but for now, I'm okay with where I am, and I'm not going to put too much pressure on myself to find out what that is for now, and I'm going to enjoy getting back into writing for my blog and my short stories, you never know, maybe one day this will be my job. 

The Truth About Solo Parenting

Solo parenting is a very real thing. Sometimes it is considered the same as single parenting and people get offended when parents who have partners talk about solo parenting, but, for me at least, it's a very different thing. 



What is Solo Parenting? 

Solo parenting is, in its simplest terms, when you parent on your own. This could be another way to describe single parenting but I feel that Solo parenting is a much broader term. Single parenting means someone who is not in a relationship, solo parenting doesn't have to mean this. 

I solo parent most weekends. Sam works shifts and out gets 15 out of 52 weekends off a year, the other 37 weekends of the year Harry and I are alone, not to mention the weekdays that Sam is at work by the time Harry and I get home from school/work. This means that I spend around 75% of my time parenting Harry alone. Sam and I are still very much together, and during the school holidays and when he is home, Sam does a lot of the parenting.

Why is Solo Parenting difficult? 

Doing most things alone is more difficult. Parenting is no exception to this. Parenting is a 24/7 job and having to do it alone is draining. Most parents find that with no second parent around, there is no support, no time out, no break. You are also very limited in what you can do. I can't decide on a Friday night I want to go out with friends, I have to have lots of notice, plan around Sam's shifts and try to get a babysitter if need be. 

Solo parenting can also put a strain on family time. Every time Sam's weekend off rolls around we are torn between spending time together, either on a day out or just at home, and Sam and I giving each other a break from parenting. 

And above all, solo parenting is exhausting. Not only is parenting a 24/7 job, it's a 24/7 job that is supposed to be shared between two people. 

How can you make solo parenting easier? 

Here are some of the best ways I have found to make solo parenting easier

1. Have a plan - Plan your day. Are you going to take a trip to the park? Or are you going to have a movie day? having a plan really helps. 

2. Make the most of family - Your mum wants to meet up for coffee? Chances are your child is going to be attached to her and if your mum is anything like mine or Sam's she will take over for an hour for you, make the most of the little break. 

3. Pick your battles - This one was so hard for me. So your child wants to go to the shops in their PJ's? Is it going to cause them or anyone around them any harm? Picking your battles can seem like you are giving in and I worried about giving Harry his way, but honestly, for the small stuff like the shoes not matching or some of their breakfast on their jumper, who cares? Fighting with them about it is just going to make your job ten times harder. In the words of Elsa, Let It Go!

4. Sleep! - The tempting thing to do when Solo parenting is, when your child finally goes to bed, you finally get some alone time and stay up to enjoy it. DON'T! you are already exhausted and being tired for your next day is not going to make it any easier, I promise. 

5. Keep your expectations low - At the end of the day, you are keeping a human alive on your own, so you may not get everything you want to done each day but if your little one is safe, warm, fed and loved, you are doing a great job!

6. Get the kids involved in your housework - Anyone else's house NEVER seem to stay tidy? The kitchen and washing are the main culprits, and I have no idea how, but Harry loves to wash up or help with the washing, so I let him. He thinks its great fun and I'm the best for letting him help, and I'm getting a job off my to do list which means that I might even get a five minute sit down afterwards. 

Do you solo parent? If so I'd love to hear how you make it easier too!


Budgeting Tips You Can Actually Stick To

Everything is getting more expensive. Unfortunately wages just don't seem to be keeping up with the rising cost of living and so people are starting to budget even more and sticking to your budget it going to be even more important. 

This post isn't going to be talking about going without your favourite treat or saving every spare penny and just buying essentials, because that is no way to live and I don't know anyone who can live like that. 

I have tried lots of different methods of saving money and have definitely found these few little changes to be the most useful. Please do let me know if you think of anything else I haven't mentioned here. 

Work out exactly what you have coming in and going out every pay period and when. 

We get paid monthly so work on a monthly budget, but if your pay period is different then you will have a different way of working this out, but I use my planner, which has a monthly view page for each month to plot out when each bit of money is due in and which day I have bills coming out. You can also use a spreadsheet (I use google sheets which is free with your google account) to keep track of spending. 

Have a pot or separate bank account just for bills

We bank with Monzo, which allows us to split our account into separate pots which we can pay direct debits from or round up every transaction to the next pound to save, however if your bank doesn't offer the  'pots' it may be worth looking into a basic bank account just for your bills each month. On your payday you can then move over the exact amount for your standard bills that don't change, ie rent or mortgage payments, gas and electric, car insurance this will then give you an accurate view of exactly what you have left each month to spend. You could take this a step further and move over your food shopping budget for the pay period. 

Meal plan and write shopping lists

This is so important for me. I find that if we go food shopping not knowing what we are eating for the week we aimlessly stroll around the aisles and put random things that we aren't even going to eat into the trolley. Sam and I are both really big impulse buyers so we actually prefer to do our shopping online, but recently we have been having Gousto for most meals which is a bit more speedy than shopping and cooking for ourselves, however we end up saving money and we don't buy food that we don't need. We also waste a lot less food because Gousto measures everything to the perfect portions.  - If you want to try Gousto our referral code is here which gives you 65% off your first box! 

https://cook.gousto.co.uk/raf?promo_code=SAM42350499&utm_source=iosapp

Plan treats 

There is nothing wrong with a spontaneous treat, however I find that if we plan a day every so often for a day out, or a take away, it gives us something to look forward to and we don't tend to randomly order a £30 take away that half of gets thrown away! We've had some really good days out spoilt because we have spent too much on takeaways before hand and have no spending money to go with which makes me feel horrible for Harry but now we plan better. 

And those are my tips. Please let me know if you try incorporating any of these into your budget and if it helps!

Roarr! Dinosaur Adventure - A Honest Review

 If you have a dinosaur fan, Roarr! Dinosaur adventure is a must visit!

Based in Lenwade, Norfolk, Roarr is a massive dinosaur themed attraction that has something for everyone. 

Roar!
opened in 2006 when the Goymour family took over and has expanded ever since. 

We first visited Roarr! in August 2021 when Harry was first starting to really get into dinosaurs. Harry was still quite unsteady and Covid was still quite prominent but the team at Roar handled it extremely well. There are lots of outside activates and things to see so we only needed to use our masks at the time when visiting Dippy's theatre and if we had chosen to go into Dinomite indoor play. Harry had a great day the first time and cried when we left. 


This year we went back on the day they opened their two new attractions, Valley of the Dinosaurs and Dippy's Exploration Adventure. 

Here are some of our pictures from Roarr!




















Attractions at Roar! Dinosaur Adventure

Roar! has a great selection of attractions to suit all ages and preferences. There is only 2 things that we haven't done when visiting but I'm sure we will get round to them when we try next visit!

Dinomite Indoor Play - Roar!'s version of soft play. Harry was desperate to play on this and it was a great break. Its not very big and located in the cafĂ© but for a quick 10 minute play to burn off some steam and let the grown ups have a quick cuppa its perfect. I'd never understood why places like this had soft play area's until Harry was big enough to use them. 

Days out with children can be very draining and its nice to let them have a bit of a play while the adults get a 5 minute sit down so I was very grateful to Dinomite!

Dippy's Theatre - Dippy's theatre was fab for us. We haven't been to watch some of the movies they show there, but we always make sure to catch the show with Dippy and his friends. On the days we've been its not been busy in the theatre and its a quiet space where we can have a sit down. The show it's self isn't very long but a perfect taster if you've never taken your children to a show or the cinema before. 

Dippy Live! - This always reminds me of kids hour at the club house on the caravan holidays we always used to go on as kids. Dippy comes out at certain times, you have a dance (did someone say party dances?) and then you have the opportunity to meet Dippy and get a photo. The atmosphere is always brilliant and when we visited this year Harry got to hug Dippy which made his whole day (obviously he couldn't in 2021 because of Covid)

Dippy's Raceway - These mini motorised cars are one on Harry's favourite parts of visiting Roarr! We have never quite trusted him not to crash enough to go on these alone and for some reason he always insists on me going with him but its great fun. 

Valley of the Dinosaurs - Roarr's new attraction which is an interactive dinosaur walk with anamatronic dinosaurs and a fun trail to follow

Dippy's Splash Zone - We've never visited the splash zone but it looks like great fun, especially when its a really hot day

Secret Animal Garden - When I say there is something for everyone at Roarr! there really is. A selection of animals, including a donkey, chickens and a pig. 

Predator High Ropes - Again we have never done this because Harry is just not there yet, but I can't wait until he is big enough for this, he will absolutely love it

X-Tinction - A huge sandpit with hidden fossils, what kid wouldn't love that?! Harry would spend all day here burying and finding the fossils again and again if we would let him. 

And that is not the end of it! See all of Roarr's attractions here: Roarr! Attractions

The only thing I would like to mention is there wasn't a great selection of food at Roarr, however they have both indoor and outdoor picnic areas so I would definitely recommend taking a picnic. 

Other than that, Roarr, for us at least is a great day out and somewhere Harry asks to visit again and again!

Book your tickets for Roarr! here.

How to Create a Home Environment for Optimal Child Development

 Creating a home environment for optimal child development can be a challenge for parents. There are so many things to consider – from the type of toys that are available to the colors on the walls and the clothes they wear. It can be challenging to know where to start! This blog post provides tips for creating a home environment that will help your child thrive.


1) Consider your child’s age when creating the environment;

The needs of a newborn are different from those of a toddler. Therefore, it’s important to consider your child’s age when you are creating an environment at home that is optimal for their development. The needs of a newborn are different than those of a toddler, for example. Therefore, make sure that you consider the various stages of development when planning your home environment. If you have young children, creating separate areas in your home for them to play and explore might be helpful. 


2) Consider the type of activities that your child enjoys;

Think about the kinds of activities your child wants and ensure that there are plenty of opportunities for them to engage in these activities at home. If they enjoy being active, ensure there is space for them to run around and play. If they enjoy arts and crafts, make sure there are materials available for them.


3) Make sure that the environment is safe;

Safety is an important consideration when you are creating a home environment for your child. Make sure that there are no sharp objects or harmful chemicals within reach. Also, consider the amount of space that your child has to play in – you don’t want them to feel cramped and claustrophobic. Remember to take into account their age, interests, and safety when you are planning the space. 


Via Pexels

4) Clothing and personal character;

The clothing your child wears can also affect their development. If you want them to feel confident and comfortable in their skin, consider buying clothes they feel good in. For example, your boy would perhaps prefer jeans, t-shirts and boots, whereas your little girl would prefer baby girl rompers, stockings and padded shoes. Clothes that are too tight or uncomfortable can be a distraction and make it difficult for them to focus on tasks.


Personal character is another aspect to consider when you are choosing clothes for your child. If you want them to dress modestly, look for clothing items that cover the body without being too constricting. If you want your child to express their personality through their clothing, allow them to choose items they feel good in that reflect their interests.


5) Give them a sense of control;

To give your child a sense of control over their environment. This can be as simple as letting them choose the color of their walls or the type of furniture in their room. Giving them control over their surroundings can help them feel more comfortable and secure in their home.


Allowing your child to help make decisions about their environment is a great way to teach them responsibility and independence. In addition, you can give them more control over the space as they get older. Eventually, they will be able to choose their own furniture, paint colors, and accessories!


In conclusion, following these tips can create a home environment that is optimal for your child’s development. Remember to take into account their age, interests and safety when you are planning the space. With a little bit of thought, you can create a wonderful place for your child to grow and develop.



How To Help Your Kid Study If They Have Learning Impairments

 It can be challenging to help a child with learning impairments study and do well in school. However, it is not impossible. There are many things that you can do to help your child succeed. The following blog will discuss some of the best tips for helping your kids study if they have learning impairments.


Photo by Oleksandr Pidvalnyi


1) Ensure That Your Child Has A Quiet Place To Study


Your child must have a quiet place to study where they can focus and not be distracted. This may mean setting up a special study area in your home or taking them to the library to study.


If possible, try to create a dedicated study space for your child in your home. This will help them feel more comfortable and confident when it comes time to hit the books. If you don't have an extra room available, consider setting up a small desk or table in their bedroom or another area of the house where they can work uninterrupted.


Another option is to take your child to the library to study. This is an excellent option if they tend to get easily distracted at home. The library will provide them with a quiet, secluded space to focus on schoolwork.


2) Help Them Create A Study Schedule


One of the best ways you can help your child with learning impairments is by helping them create a study schedule. This will allow them to focus on their studies and not be distracted by other things going on in their life. It is essential to sit with your child and talk to them about what time they need to dedicate daily to their studies. Once you have a schedule set up, make sure that you stick to it. This will help your child stay on track and make the most of their study time.


Another tip for helping your kids study if they have learning impairments is to make sure that they take breaks often. It can be easy for kids with learning impairments to get overwhelmed when they are studying. By taking breaks often, they will be able to come back to their studies refreshed and ready to learn. Make sure that you allow your child to take a break whenever they feel like they need one.


3) Get Professional Help


If your child is struggling in school, it may be time to get some professional help, like early intervention autism services. A tutor can help your child catch up on missed concepts and work at their own pace. A therapist can help with behavior management and emotional regulation. And an educational consultant can provide you with resources and advice. Don't be afraid to ask for help when you need it!


There are a lot of different professionals who can help your child succeed in school. You just have to find the right fit for your family. But, getting extra help is always better than doing nothing!


4) Talk To Their Teacher


The best way to understand how your child is doing in school and their specific needs is to talk to their teacher. If you have concerns about your child's progress or think they may have a learning impairment, set up a meeting with their teacher to discuss your concerns. It's essential to be proactive and advocate for your child to get the help they need to succeed.


If the teacher cannot answer all of your questions or address your concerns, you can also request an evaluation by the school district. This evaluation will examine your child's academic performance, social/emotional functioning, and behavior to determine if they qualify for special education services.


Don't hesitate to reach out for help if you think your child may be struggling in school. With the right support, your child can succeed despite their learning impairments.


5) Seek Out Resources


If you are looking for more resources to help your child with their learning impairments, there are many great options. You can start by talking to your child's teacher and see if they have any recommendations. Many websites offer tips and advice for parents of children with learning impairments. Additionally, there are several books available on the subject.


In conclusion, you can do many different things to help your child study if they have learning impairments. By following the tips in this blog post, you will be well on your way to helping your child succeed in school!

How to Create More Space In Your Child's Bedroom

 


via Pexels



As a mum, one of your top priorities is ensuring that your child has a comfortable place to sleep and play. But if your child's bedroom is cluttered and cramped, it can be tough to relax and get some peace and quiet. That said, this blog post will discuss ways to create more space in your child's bedroom without spending a lot of money or making major renovations. So keep reading for tips on how to make the most out of the space you have!


1) Get rid of unused or unwanted items


One of the quickest and easiest ways to create more space in your child's bedroom is to get rid of any unused or unwanted items. This might mean going through your child's toys and getting rid of anything that they no longer play with or donating clothes that no longer fit. Not only will this decluttering process free up some much-needed space, but it will also help to keep your child's bedroom more organized.


Also, take a look around the room and see if there are any pieces of furniture that are taking up more space than necessary. For example, you might want to consider replacing a bulky dresser with a smaller chest of drawers. Or, if your child has a lot of books, you might want to invest in a bookcase or some wall-mounted shelves.


Finally, get rid of any clutter that might be accumulated on surfaces like desks, nightstands, and windowsills. Wipe down these areas and put away anything that doesn't need to be out in the open. This will help give the illusion of more space and make it easier for your child to keep their bedroom clean.


2) Use storage solutions


Another great way to create more space in your child's bedroom is to make use of storage solutions. This might mean buying some additional furniture, like a toy chest or an ottoman with built-in storage. Or, you can look for creative ways to maximize the space you have by using things like under-bed storage bins or hanging organizers.


There are also a number of other storage solutions that you can take advantage of, like hooks and racks for hanging clothes and accessories, over-the-door organizers, and shelving units. By utilizing these types of products, you can easily free up some much-needed space in your child's bedroom.


3) Make use of vertical space


If you're running out of floor space in your child's bedroom, one solution is to make use of the vertical space. This can be done by installing floating shelves or using wall-mounted organizers. These types of products are great for storing things like books, toys, and art supplies. And they can help to free up some valuable floor space.


Another option is to invest in a loft bed or Triple bunk beds. This will give your child more room to move around and play. And it will also create some extra storage space underneath the bed, which can be used for things like clothes, linens, and boxes.


In conclusion, these are just a few tips on how to create more space in your child's bedroom. By decluttering, utilizing storage solutions, and making use of the vertical space, you can easily make your child's bedroom more comfortable and functional. So don't wait any longer; get started today!



5 Fabulous Ways to Ensure Your Kid Has the Best Birthday

 Every time your child’s birthday rolls around, you see it has a gift. It’s another moment to celebrate how far you have come as a parent and how wonderful your little bundle of joy is. As a parent, it’s important to you to celebrate every birthday to the fullest, whether you’re trying to figure out the perfect gift, or looking into potential cakes to bake. Although it may be a slightly stressful experience pulling together a big birthday bash, it’s an exciting time that you deserve to enjoy and remember. With this in mind, here are five fabulous ways to ensure your child has the best possible birthday celebration this year.


  1. A Birthday Bash


As a child, you probably remember your early birthday parties, surrounded by your best friends and filling yourself up on sugary drinks and cake. These are truly the best moments of your life, so why not create the ultimate birthday bash for your little one this year? You could even top off the day with professional kids entertainment from jugglers to magicians. Consider some of the many ways in which you could create the perfect party for your special little one.


  1. A Cool Cake


Having a delicious birthday cake is all part of the fun of celebrating turning a year older. From rich red velvet to divine dark chocolate, there are so many different flavors and designs to explore. Whether you get busy in the kitchen and create your own cake or you hire a professional to do it for you, a delicious baked treat is a must for your childs’ birthday this year.


  1. A Terrific Theme


Coming up with a theme is a brilliant way to make the final decisions for your child’s birthday. From scary Halloween themes to superheroes, there is so much fun to be had when choosing the decor and styling of your party.


  1. A Great Gift


Gifts are a special part of any birthday, so if you want to ensure that your child has the best possible birthday, it may be worth investing in a present they’ll remember forever. Depending on their age you may be able to find some inspiration online or in catalogs.


  1. An Awesome Outfit


When your little one looks back at their birthday memories, you want them to be blown away with their awesome birthday outfit. If you have chosen a specific theme for your child’s birthday, then their birthday outfit may be a very easy decision. From dinosaurs to doctors, there are so many brilliant ways to create the best possible birthday costume for your little darling.


As you can see, there are a whole host of ways to create memorable moments for your little one’s birthday party. Depending on your child, you may find that some ideas are more worthwhile than others, but it’s certainly worth looking into all of the available options. Enjoy the process of creating the perfect birthday celebration for your little one, and you will feel just as excited as them on their big day!



Image from Pexels - CC0 Licence


Can You Talk Your Way Out Of Depressive Disorders?

 Everyone can have a bad day, and we've all been there. Whether it's been a hectic day at work or a stressful event, your mental health needs time to recover. There is no such thing as having a bad day and bouncing back again to your old self without support. 


So, of course, when a loved one goes through a difficult time, you understand the importance of showing them they are not alone. What kind of talk helps with depressive behaviours and minds? 


Unsplash - CC0 Licence



Talking makes a big difference

Feeling down is unpleasant. However, being unable to express your emotions and thoughts can make it a lot more challenging. Indeed, depression begins when you allow your dark thoughts to take over and crush the bright sides of your personality. 

Your loved one is likely to go through the same experience. Therefore, something as simple as engaging in a conversation can provide a useful distraction to their thoughts. It isn't about asking them how they are. Chances are you can already see they are not doing ok. Unless you have a magic trick that can take all the darkness away in a few words, distraction can be the best approach. Why? Because talking about anything can remind them they are alive and help them find some comfort. 



Asking if they have someone to talk to about their feelings

A bad day happens. But when the bad day never goes away, it is time to be honest with your loved one. Prolonged depressive mood triggers depression, isolation, and even anxiety. Unfortunately, short-term distractions are unhelpful when it comes to tackling the issue. What could the underlying issue be? It's for experts to determine. A trauma that hasn't been processed could resurface at any time, triggered by high stress levels or a similar situation. However, it can be tricky to process old wounds alone. That's precisely where therapists can make a big difference, helping your loved one to understand and manage their underlying pain. 


Unfortunately, it can be tricky to talk openly to friends and relatives. A depressed mood can lead to dark thoughts, reproaches, and morbid intentions, which can be uncomfortable to share with close friends. On the other hand, a counsellor has the mental and emotional training to talk about it safely without getting personally involved. 


Unsplash - CC0 Licence



Let them know about daily mental health boosts

Mental health fluctuates during the day. The food you eat, the people you see, the projects you work on, everything will affect your mental health. Being able to sustain challenges and retain a positive mindset needs practice. Talking to yourself offers a unique insight into your mind. Affirmations can be helpful. 

But there are so many other solutions, such as using journalling as a day-to-day mood tracker. Indeed, a journal can provide a safe space to write down thoughts, improve self-confidence, monitor mood and energy levels, and take back control of emotions. You could recommend starting a journal to help with the management of depressive disorders, for instance. 



Mental health challenges can affect everyone. Therefore, being able to embrace a form of talk therapy as a way out of depressive disorders can make a huge difference. But how do you talk your way out of depression? Whether you choose to converse about nothing and everything with a loved one or direct them to a therapist, it's up to you.


Where It All Started

Birth Story

Harry's birth story seemed like a fitting first post on here. Bear with me because it was written months ago. More posts to follow ever...