Blog post sharing six family day out essentials

Days out with children require a crazy amount of thought and advance planning, if you don’t plan for every possible extreme scenario (and one more just in case) you can pretty much guarantee that you will need something that you don’t have, usually when you are in the middle of no where. In a bid to ensure that both me and you never end up facing the regret of not bringing exactly what we need to deal with our tantrum-ing/messy/ill toddlers I’m sharing this handy family day out essentials guide.

Spare clothing

On days out we can pretty much guarantee that Aria is going to do something to get dirty, whether it be mud, food, or something else, a spare pair of clothing is almost always required. Going out without a spare pair of clothes is almost as silly as going out without a supply of nappies.

A picnic

As much as I love popping into cafe’s for a coffee and a cake you really can’t beat a home-made picnic, especially when you are on a budget! Make a picnic fun (and take the pressure off yourself!) and get the whole family involved in choosing the picnic items, making the sandwiches, and packing everything up. If, like Aria, your children are fussy eaters, packing a picnic that’s full of their favourite foods can make the day a lot easier and less stressful.

Waterproofs

It doesn’t matter how clear the sky is or how warm and sunny it is when you set off, there is always a chance of rain, especially living in Wales. A decent waterproof jacket is essential when out on family adventures. Top tip, buy lightweight fold up jackets like the ones from Target Dry as there is a huge chance that you are going to be lugging them around all day!

A spare toy

Whenever you go anywhere with a small child, you can guarantee you’ll have an additional guest; Peppa Pig in our case. Despite kicking off at the sheer thought of leaving Peppa at home Aria soon gets bored of her when we are out, usually distracted by muddy puddles or food, and will quite happily drop her anywhere without even realising. This often results in us losing said Peppa Pig which is why we stock up on the small (cheap) ones for when we are out and about.

A camera

Obviously being a budding photographer, blogger and Instagram-er I absolutely cannot go out without the camera. No one should, there are so many amazing memories to capture and treasure on family day trips. Keep a camera (or even your phone) at hand so that you can capture some perfect memories. You never know when the perfect photo op will arise.

Emergency supplies

Keep your handbag well-stocked with first-aid essentials such as plasters, bandages, antibacterial wipes, and Calpol just in case there’s an accident.

And whatever you do – DON’T FORGET THE WET WIPES (yes, I have done that, yes it was a disaster).

*Disclosure – Collaborative Post*

motherhood the lonely truth - motherhood is lonely

Isn’t it strange, how you can be so lonely yet rarely alone? Motherhood sure is a strange, and very often, lonely place.

I was lucky, there were several people who I knew on maternity leave at the same time as me, we bonded over our new found common interest. We went to baby & toddler groups together and it was lovely. Then maternity leave came to an end. We work different days, our child’s sleeping patterns clash and we rarely see each other. I tried attending one or two mother and toddler groups on my own once everyone else had returned to work. I hated it. I didn’t chat to anyone. Just sat there like a nervous wreck. Everyone had already formed their friendship groups and I was alone. Much like that lone mother would have felt when she walked in and saw me and my friends sat together, laughing and joking, in a happy group. We didn’t mean to alienate people; but I’m sure that we did.

Working from home is great, I love the flexibility, I love that I get to spend more time with Aria, I love making money doing something that I love. But I hadn’t realised quite how much I would miss gossiping while working in an office along with forty odd women. Those women weren’t just colleagues, they were friends. The harsh reality is that people are busy, people have their own things and you rarely keep in touch.

I am so grateful for my online friends, my blogging friends who keep me sane by flooding my WhatsApp with conversations, advice and banter on a daily (more like a minutely – is that a thing?) basis. Without these girls I really would crack up. These girls have become my rocks, my friends. I may not see them in the flesh, but I see their words and feel their support.

Despite having this amazing support network I still feel lonely. I need to see people, I need to converse and use hand gestures, rather than just typing a sentence and staring at a phone screen.

I have found one baby/toddler class that I enjoy and now try to attend weekly. It is a music and dancing class which takes the pressure off as I just sit there singing and dancing with Aria. I have made pleasant chit chat with a few of the people there, but it has never progressed to anything outside of class. While I won’t be calling these women up for a chat anytime soon, they are there. They may not realise it but just a simple hello and small talk can make a lonely mother feel that little bit less lonely. I just can’t make friends, unless I’m drunk, I make loads of BFFs in those pub toilets, but unfortunately turning up drunk to a baby group isn’t really acceptable, and would doubtful make me any friends.

Next time you go to a mother and baby group and sit there feeling left out because no one is talking to you, just know that there is likely someone else sitting there thinking exactly the same, but they’re just too shy to approach you and remember that a smile and a simple hello really can go a long way.

International Women's Day - this one's for the children

Despite being a woman all my life International Women’s Day is something that has mostly passed me by, or at least that was the case before I gave birth to my own little woman. I have been treated like crap in the past, a lot of which is as a direct result of my femininity, and I have just dealt with it, not even that, I have put up with it. But not now, not now that I have Aria. Aria is going to grow up knowing that women are just as important as men, women are equals and women have rights.

 

Women have the right to climb up whatever career ladder they choose to and to earn as much as anyone else. Women have the right to fight for their country or pass bills in Parliament. Women have the right to choose what happens to their body and make choices that directly effect them. Women have the right to wear whatever they want to wear and not be sexually assaulted, verbally or worse. Women aren’t better than men, women are equal to men.

Despite all of this, women are still discriminated against, daily, or more like hourly.

Research from a Gender in Marketing 2017 report carried out by Axonn Media reveals that 62% of Mums said that parenthood hampered their career, compared to just to 24% of Dads.

For me personally, even worse than the fact that being a mum presents greater professional challenges than being a dad, is the fact that it doesn’t shock me. It is 2017 – this shouldn’t be the norm, yet somehow, it still is. Things are changing for the better, but they aren’t changing enough.

Those of us raising little ladies, we need to teach them that they are worthy, they are equal to men and to never doubt themselves. Those of you raising little men, they need to know to respect all humans and to treat everyone the same, no matter what.

Erick S.Gray quote women are amazing give a woman sperm and she will give you a baby

Axonn gender discrimination in workplace towards mother's parents infographic

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an ode to the 90s - 90s flatlay memorabilia and photos

I was a child of the 90s and I loved it. The 90s were the best era for many, many reasons, not just The Spice Girls, although they were a big part of it.

Our mobile phones came with Snake, but no internet. We created cool ring tones using the key buttons.

Having the internet at home was a luxury that not everybody had. Those of us who did had to kick our mother off the landline so that we could dial up to it.

We rode bikes around the streets without a worry, we rode bikes to the park without a worry, life seemed safe back then, not like now.

We played kerby and knock, knock ginger and we went hedgehopping.

We would tell our parents that we were sleeping at our friend’s houses, but really we would be drunk in a field somewhere. Until that one time when all the mother’s rang each other and found us out…

Chokers, tracksuits and adidas were all the rage back then, oh wait… well they do say the trends come back around…

We would take a disposable camera out with us and anxiously wait for the photos to come back from printing, no Snapchat filters or front facing cameras in those days!

In those days life was real, life was fun. 

I’m sad for my daughter because she won’t get to grow up in the fun, carefree era that was the 90s. Instead she gets to grow up in this social media influenced era where pretty much everything is fake and posed. I’m sad that we can’t trust the world that we live in to allow our children out without worrying. I’m sad that she will probably hate The Spice Girls.

If this hasn’t convinced you that the 90’s was the best decade, why?, then maybe this fab infographic from Halfords will. The 90’s created Harry Potter don’t you know? Well actually JK Rowling did but you know what I mean…

90s infographic reminiscing about bmx bikes, Harry Potter, films and more

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toddler running along road - road safety teach them young

Aria being a late walker has meant that I haven’t had to worry about road safety, she has always been safely strapped into her pushchair whenever we have been out and about. Fast forward to month three of walking and I am a wreck. As she becomes more confident road safety is becoming more of a worry, both at home and out. You see, we don’t have a front garden, our front door opens out on to the pavement. All it would take is a split second for Aria to break free and be out on the road.

I try to make safety fun for Aria, but it isn’t always easy. We always look for the green man when using traffic lights which she loves, especially when the lights make the beeping noise, but being forced to hold my hand when walking along a narrow pavement isn’t quite as much fun. Thankfully there are so many resources to help, such as this free interactive road safety quiz. The game guides them through safe crossing, safe bike riding and much more – they even get a certificate at the end. Books are another great way of teaching them and can be referred to time and time again, you know, so that you can really drill it into them!

 

I reached out to some of my fellow bloggers and asked them to share their top tips, phrases and tricks for keeping their children safe on the roads :

KellyI often say, whether crossing or not, ‘Look where you’re going, not where you’ve been…’

Danielle – We always talk about the green man and what it means. And comment on how some people cross when he is red and how you shouldn’t do that. It upsets biggest a lot sometimes as he really needs people to stick to the rules!

Emily – I always tell my littles that ‘we must always walk when crossing roads, never run’. I’ve started applying it to scooting too now my eldest likes to take her scooter everywhere!

Samantha – Lead by example – don’t cross the road if the green man has yet to appear (even if there is no traffic and it feels like it’s taking ages).

Niki – I always emphasise that we’re not in a rush, there’s no need to run across the road (even if we are running late!)

PaigeI’ve always taught both my children from a young age to never run by the road and to hold my hand, press the button and wait for the green man to appear, hold my hand crossing the road or the pram. If there isn’t a crossing look both ways, listen for any cars listen again then to make it fun we run to the other side.

Sharon – Don’t trust drivers on zebra crossings. My teen daughter was hit (not badly) by a motorist who failed to stop. Wait until they have completely stopped before you step out.

Sarah – I always get mine to get off of their bikes or scooters and walk across the roads. I’ve always said look right, look left and look right again. Always encourage them to walk and not run across the roads!

Kirsty – This song sticks with me from my own childhood, my mum played it for me and I’ll be playing it for my little one: it’s catchy and has a solid meaning. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NIHsS160aDo

Samantha – My daughter is only 2.5 but she already knows and understands the phrase ‘cars on the road, people on the path’. Trying to start small and build it up! She repeats it whenever we are out and about.

Lauren – From since they were little, we’ve always said ‘check all around for moving cars’ and been very serious about waiting for the green man, then checking for moving cars before crossing at traffic lights. Seb actually told off a policeman once who was about to cross before the green man arrived!

Julie – To the tune of ‘Here we go round the mulberry bush’:

This is the way we cross the road,
Cross the road,
Cross the road,
This is the way we cross the road,
We stop, look and listen.

What are your top tips for teaching children road safety? Please leave them in the comments!

 

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