5 ways parenthood is like Orange is the New Black

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OITNB

Like the rest of the world, I am a BIG fan of Orange is the New Black. I gorged on both seasons within a fortnight each and, when the last episode was finished, I wondered what I would do with the OITNB shaped hole in my life.

I love the show for the addictive plot lines, strong female characters and incredible writing. But that’s not all. Somewhere into the second series I started to draw some comparisons with the life of the inmates in Orange is the New Black and my own life as a mum.

Stick with me on this one…

5 Ways Orange is the New BLACK is like Parenthood:

 

1. Sleep in the pitch dark becomes a thing of the past. 

My daughter’s scared of the dark. So, like the inmates in OITNB, we sleep with a bright landing light on all the way through the night. In fact, I’ve become so used to sleeping with the light on that I wonder if I, too, am now afraid of the dark.  Continue reading »

Blogger Bump Club Week 8 #BlogBumpClub

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Blogger Bump Club

This week has been all about survival for me. It’s fair to say the whole having a child with a broken leg thing is getting a bit old now. My back is aching from lifting her, my ankles and feet are getting puffier by the day and I’m just, well, knackered.

It’s not all moan, moan, moan though. With any luck Frog’s cast will be taken off in a couple of weeks and then, a week after that, it will be the school holidays meaning the (self-proclaimed) Northern Love Machine will be at home (he’s a teacher) and adventures can begin.

When we talked about having a second baby we both agreed the autumn would be an ideal time for us. Frog will be at school by then, plus the NLM will be at home over the summer when I’m huge and struggling to juggle work deadlines with being pregnant and running around after a four year old. Mind you, it’s recently dawned on me this means Frog will be facing two huge areas of change in one go: becoming a big sister and starting school. Any advice on how to prepare her for that would be much appreciated! Continue reading »

Is four too young for pocket money?

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pocket money jar

A few weeks ago we made a decision. After noticing an increasing amount of, “But I want THAT Mummy!” and, “But WHY can’t I have ten magazines, a bar of chocolate and a new princess outfit Daddy?!” the (self-proclaimed) Northern Love Machine and I decided to start teaching our daughter the value of money.

The thing is, our daughter only turned four years old last weekend. Money is still a pretty foreign concept to her. She thinks the cashpoint is a magic place that just spurts out tenners to whoever has a finger to press the buttons. Numbers are a new addition to her vocabulary – she’s proud as punch if she can count to 35 without stopping.  Continue reading »

The one about the rainbow party

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It’s taken three days but I think I have finally recovered from my daughter’s first proper birthday party. And, although I needed to go and lie down in a darkened room afterwards, the smell of sweet success (and only one juice-spilling tears incident) still leaves me with a satisfied smile.

At four years old Frog was quite clear about what she wanted. She requested a rainbow themed birthday party and was eager to invite lots of her friends. Seeing as we’ve only lived in Devon for just under a year, many of her friends are fairly new ones. I thought organising a proper birthday party would be a good way of encouraging her friendships and help us take stock of how well settled we are here now. Plus, I am clearly a sucker for punishment. Continue reading »

What’s wrong with being a “mummy blogger” anyway?

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Mummy bloggerWhen I tell people I have a blog, their first reaction is often, “Oh, what’s a blog?”, swiftly followed by, “And what do you blog about?

I never know how to answer the second question because, the truth is, I blog about almost everything. Politics, Michael Gove rants education policy, my outfits, interiors style, life as a working mum, parenting struggles, opinions on current affairs, pregnancy, relationships… the list goes on.

I started this blog for two reasons: to have somewhere to air the thoughts that were in my head as I pushed my baby on never-ending walks in her pram, and to create an online portfolio for my writing. But, mainly, I wanted a voice. Somewhere to say stuff.

And say stuff I have. For the last three and a half years I have said a lot of stuff. In that sense, this blog has most definitely served its purpose. More than that though, people have responded. I’ve made genuine, real-life friends with other mums who also blog (hello Jane, Gemma and Emma!) and we’ve agreed and disagreed on all sorts of topics. It’s one of the things I LOVE about being a “mummy blogger”.  Continue reading »

Four lessons for my daughter on her fourth birthday

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Either I’ve spent the past four years in some kind of foggy haze or time has speeded up to a ridiculous extent and, somehow, I appear to have a four year old.

An actual four year old. Four is SO much bigger than three. Four is school and, and – it’s nearly FIVE for goodness sake. And what comes after five? Six. And that’s PROPERLY old.

Anyway, while my child was busy turning from this:

Newborn Frog

Into this:  Continue reading »

Blogger Bump Club Week 7 #BlogBumpClub

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Blogger Bump Club

This week I’ve realised just how different this pregnancy is to when I was carrying Frog. It’s not the fact I’m far more knackered, already having a young child to run around after and juggling motherhood with work and general life stuff. It’s the fact I now blog.

Without wanting to sound like a total blogging cliche, starting this blog has had a huge effect on my life. I’ve learned new skills, made new friends (real life friends who I see and spend time with – not just Twitter mates!) and managed to gain new freelance work from it too. Who knew, when I trained to be a journalist 8 years ago that blogging would become a valid string to my freelance bow?!

When I was pregnant with Frog I did all the usual things: went to an antenatal class, Googled stuff about pregnancy, got excited about buying baby clothes. This time, I’m doing all that and more. As well as the odd Facebook status update (sorry non-pregnant friends – I know, I’m a baby bore) I have this pregnancy documented good and proper. Continue reading »

Dressing the bump for summer

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Dressing the bump for summer

One of my favourite things about being pregnant is indulging in a brand new wardrobe. I know it’s frivolous and maternity clothes aren’t forever, but if I can find something to wear that helps me feel like less of a hippo and more of a graceful earth mother, then I’m OK with that.

My main problem with dressing a bump is my own warped perception of my body. In my head, I am Gwen Stefani or Gisele – lithe, thin and with no evidence I am pregnant other than a perfectly round, football-shaped bump perched beautifully on my middle. The reality, however, is somewhat different.

I never looked like Gwen Stefani or Gisele before I was pregnant so goodness knows why I suddenly think I’ll look like them at six months gone. Instead, I am a great deal shorter shorter at 5ft four and three quarters (don’t forget the three quarters) and two dress sizes bigger, at 10-12 rather than 6-8. Continue reading »

Labour and kids: to sugar-coat or tell the truth?

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baby kicks

Before I begin, this is not a post about Ed Miliband, or indeed any member of his party.

I wish. For that explanation would be far, far, easier.

“Mummy, how is your baby going to come out of your tummy”, asked my almost-four year old the other day.

Like all questions of this nature, she threw it in casually when we were doing something totally unrelated. A bit like, “Can I have some chocolate buttons? Oh – and where do you go when you die?” Continue reading »

Do you Child-Proof?

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The first time we considered actually child-proofing our home, our daughter had already reached the age of 19 months old. We lived in a charming cottage that was 500 years old, complete with slate floors, tiles, lots of sharp edges and a rickety staircase. It wasn’t until she nearly fell down those rickety stairs that we invested in a stair gate.

Our plug sockets were uncovered, our coffee table remained a hazard, in all its modern, sharp-cornered glory and don’t even mention the lack of a fire guard on the huge log-burner.

Looking back, it was a mixture of luck, constant vigilance and much “No, no, no! Hot, hot, hot!” that kept our bouncing baby safe in her first few years of life. Continue reading »