What Parenting Really Looks Like (and it ain’t pretty)


I clearly remember the rose-tinted spectacles of optimism I wore when pregnant with my eldest boy.

Of course, I knew parenting would be nothing like the white-picket fence images of the TV commercials – where the mum is radiant in her pure white dress, smiling down at her cherubic infant who gurgles adorably as she changes his nappy (which no doubt smells of raindrops and roses).

But ignorance is bliss, and I still managed to kid myself that becoming a parent would somehow turn me into Mary Poppins, so filled with joy by the arrival of my little miracle that I’d laugh away his tears, wipe up his mess cheerfully, and brush off the sleep deprivation with a strong coffee and a smile.

But that’s because we rarely capture images of what parenting really looks like.

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Where’s Wally? At the Team Honk Danceathon



The lovely blogger Helen, of The Princess and The Pickle, is my guest on the blog today, to share a little info with you on a very special fundraising event……


As I write this, I am recovering from an hour’s Zumba session dressed as Wally, complete with woolly hat and legwarmers. Why, you ask?

Well, I needed a little dress rehearsal for the imminent Comic Relief Danceathon, just to make sure the costume was comfy enough for 6 hours of dancing!  This wasn’t a public exercise class by the way, I’m not quite that brave yet and I’ve got well over a week to pluck up enough courage to leave the house dressed like this!

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Save cash with Oony and win a £50 Amazon voucher


Ever heard of Oony?

If you haven’t already, and you’re interested in saving money, then you should.

Oony started in 2010 with the aim of helping every person spend less on each purchase they make.

From bank discounts to coupons, daily deals and moneysaving resources. All angles were explored, until the people at Oony realised the best way to save money was to combine all these things on one site.

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Competition: Win a canvas print from Wallcreate


There’s no denying that living a fair distance from your family has its advantages.

No pesky relatives dropping in on you at a moment’s notice.

No getting embroiled in family arguments.

And no fights over who you go to for holidays, or who comes to you (if you live so far away, they have to take their turns).

But then you have children, and start to realise those with helpful grandparents just around the corner are the luckiest parents in the world.

Not only are we coming up short when we need to find babysitters, but we also celebrate some special events without our loved ones there to see it.

Which is why I like to send gifts that make them feel part of those milestones they may have missed.

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Win £200 of Sainsbury’s Vouchers with Active Kids



If your kids are sports crazy, you’re pretty much sorted when it comes to keeping them active.

In our town the majority of the local lads are either part of the junior football squad, or else they’re constantly kicking a ball around the local park or the school playground.

But what do you do when your boys aren’t at all interested in football – in fact, they’re not particularly sporty at all?

This is my quandary. When being active isn’t something which naturally occurs for your children in the school playground, or as part of a sports team, you’ve got to create opportunities for them to stay fit and healthy. Especially in this day and age when, left to their own devices, children like mine would happily sit staring all day at a computer screen.

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My Saver Story



Money and me. We’ve had a relationship full of ups and downs.

I’ve always respected those pennies and pounds. Being raised by a single mum, I appreciated that they wouldn’t always be in plentiful supply.

Which is why, when I was taken to open my first bank account at the age of 9, I relished the chance to stockpile my pocket money so I could buy things all by myself. Just small things at first. But it meant a lot when I could go to town and buy an outfit for the school disco, or I had my own spending money to take with me on family holidays.

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Dear Myleene: Hypocrisy and Oversharing



Dear Myleene,

How much damage can one little Instagram post do?

One little post on an account which has 77,000 followers.

One little post which is then Tweeted to another 461,000 followers, and shared on a Facebook page with 32,500 likes.

So in effect, one post with a potential reach of more than half a million people – and that’s before others pick it up and share it.

Really Myleene? Really? You thought you could post this and just get a few “likes”?

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The Difference Between Flu & Man Flu


Man Flu has taken hold many times in our household.

It’s bad enough with a husband who has asthma and diabetes, and is prone to picking up any bug that’s going around.

But with two sons, no doubt I’ll be privy to it a lot in the future.

So I consider myself something of an expert when it comes to the symptoms, and how Man Flu differentiates itself from your everyday flu bug.

With temperatures plummeting and research revealing Man Flu is sweeping the UK, it’s important to understand it, and to know what to look for.

Here’s what I’ve observed:

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Let’s Talk About Sex (but he’s six years old!)

sex education2

Last week my six-year-old…

(hold on, let me stress this. He’s SIX YEARS OLD!)

…said to me quite nonchalantly as I was doing the housework: “Mum, my willy tells me when a girl is hot.”

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A Year In Blogging


There’s no greater way to take stock of the last 12 months of your life than by looking over a blog.

While my mind tells me that 2014 was all work, work, work, Mummy Central tells me different.

I find looking back over the previous year a cathartic process, showing me what I’ve learned and how I want to move forward into this one.


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