Pre-holiday Jitters

With the countdown of our first family holiday now well and truly into single figures, my holiday anxiety is climbing somewhat.

Before children, I thought nothing of packing a few things in a suitcase, booking a holiday online a few weeks before and off we went. Its a whole different story with two babies in tow…..Image result for travelling baby meme

I started packing about 2 months ago… nothing like being prepared right. And now our holiday is imminent I have packed up everything including the kitchen sink ready to go. I have clothes for the children to wear until Christmas, nappies coming out my ears and travelling snacks to feed approximately 50 people.

I am not the best traveller (pretty big understatement if I’m honest) but now we are taking two children on an aeroplane my anxiety levels will no doubt be through the roof come boarding time. Although I will be super anxious travelling with two littles ones, I really don’t want my nerves to rub off onto the babies. I want them to be good travellers, enjoy travelling and want to see the world. I am put off going to so many countries purely because of the length of time needed to travel to get there.

We are staying in an all inclusive resort, so once we are there we will pretty much stay put for 7 days, which is fine by me. However there are so many things that worry me despite being settled in one place. The water, balconies, the food, the people. I guess its just being away from your home comforts, away from people you know, people and things you rely on.

In the lead up to this holiday, I have read quite a bit about travelling with babies. I have found some great reads about this topic. Especially Carrie from Flying with a Baby who helped with my in flight entertainment  for the babies. I also found Bridie By The Sea article about their trip to Australia really helpful. (There’s me worrying about a 2 hour flight??!?)

I was going to write my top tips for holidaying with young children, but actually I thought Id better survive this holiday first! I have a feeling I may need a holiday to get over the holiday but as long as the children are fed and have a good time that’s all that matters at the end of the day!

If you have any last minute top tips, feel free to pop a comment here.

Love Kelly xx

 

Mumma Guilt

My mum once told me parenting is 80% guilt, and you know what they say your mum is always right! and I am finding out how true this is on a daily basis.

I previously wrote about the guilt I faced at Christmas. Well I am finding it is a constant battle between being the perfect parent and giving in ‘just this once’ both followed by ‘mumma guilt’

If you like our facebook page; funwith1plus1 (feel free to click and like) you will know the Easter Bunny took Mop Tops dummies last week. I had been prepping her for a few weeks that the bunny would take the dummies but may leave her something yummy in return. So Easter Sunday arrived and she merrily put her dummies in a basket and as if by magic they were gone and had been replaced with a little present and some chocolate. So far so good.

We were pretty busy the whole weekend so it hasn’t seemed to bother her too much. Nap times are a bit more of a battle but actually she has coped really well with out it.

It wasn’t until I went into to get Bear the other night as he was crying that I looked at her innocent sleepy face (they share a room) with no dummy in, that the guilt hit me. What a mean mummy taking away her only little comfort. By this point I am sobbing to Mr DC telling him I am a horrible parent! I convinced myself she definitely hated me, and would remember this for an entire life time. Ok I am sleep deprived so am entitled to exaggerate a little.

I remember feeling a wave of guilt when Bear was small; as I wasn’t able to do everything with him that I had done with Mop Top. I took Mop Top to Baby Sensory, but it just wasn’t possible with Bear. Mop Top had lots of new things as a baby, but poor little Bear everything was second hand. Second child syndrome right there.

This ‘mumma guilt’ carries on everyday with every decision we make as parents. We are raising these small human beings and based on our choices and decisions determines the adults they become.

WOW what a scary statement!

But hey we can only do our best right! Some days, usually after a sleepless night I just give in to the demands of my very demanding 20 month old and some days I try to stick to my guns and I am in charge. I have to say I very rarely feel in charge, its usually Mop Top.

Do you suffer ‘mumma guilt’ I would love to hear your stories…

Love Kelly

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The Minefield of Childcare

This week I have been finalising childcare for when I return to work (*sob*) and it is a serious minefield when it comes to government schemes, tax credits and free child care. It appears to be such a complicated system and yet still so expensive for so many.

We are super lucky as we have parents nearby who can help out, so we only pay for one day a week, which for two babies is still very expensive.

The first decision parents have to make it the type of setting to put your children in. Nursery, childminder, playschool. Previously we put Mop Top into a local nursery,  but this time there wasn’t really that option that would work for us. So we started to look into child minders. I met five child minders, and actually chose the first one I met ( typical woman shopping I guess) For us I felt a child minder could be slightly more flexible than a nursery, and it was more home from home. Child minders now seem very similar to a nursery setting, as they are governed my Ofsted so have to follow all the same guidelines including paperwork, EYFS and training. We shall see how our child-minding journey takes us.

Now we all know the cost of child care is ridiculous so if there are any schemes, benefits, funding available it is worth looking into them. Iv been looking at the Childcare Choices Website (www.childcarechoices.gov.uk) this week to try and get my head around it. Now I am not a pro at this, and this is not an exhaustive list of the help available.

Most people are aware of the 15 hours free childcare, which starts when your child hits 3 years old. Every family is entitled to this. Free child care hours apparently are being increased for some in September to 30 hours. It is only for 38 weeks of the year, the academic year and both parents must be working and earning a certain weekly wage. One to keep an eye on and register for if you are entitled.

Childcare vouchers is something we have used previously. Most major companies use them and most child care settings accept them. You can get up to £933 in tax and NI savings. You can choose the amount you pay into your account and it comes out of wages before an tax and NI (hence the savings)

A new scheme apparently coming soon is tax free childcare. For every £8 we pay, the government will put in £2. Again both parents need to earn a minimum amount, but is available for working families. You can not use this new scheme along side child care vouchers, but are still entitled to the 15/30 free hours.

I told you its a minefield out there with trying to work the best and cheapest way for you and your family. Id definitely recommend checking out the Childcare Choices website, they also have a link to the government childcare calculator, so you can work out based on all your information what’s best for you. It is slightly long winded and you have to input all your incomes etc but worth it I guess.

So many parents are facing the struggle of getting that balance right of going to work for financial reasons or actually ending up paying the majority of their wages on childcare, which I guess in turn seems pointless.

I hope you all find the right childcare setting for those precious little ones and get the help you are entitled to. The most important thing is getting the right balance for your family!

Love Kelly

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How life has changed!

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If you have recently had a baby I imagine you are quickly realising your life will never be the same again.

It has occurred to me recently how my life has changed since having babies. So here are my top ten:

1: I can no longer wee with the door shut. It’s a privelage that automatically gets taken away as soon as you give birth.

2: It’s a given that I will always share my food with one or both of my children.

3: I can no longer leave the house with just my phone and keys.

4: ‘popping’ to the shop does not happen. It’s a military operation to go anywhere

5: I will sing at least one nursery rhyme a day (it is way more than this!!!)

6: I don’t even flinch at the smell of baby poo. It’s part of my day now!!

7: I can not go out and get wasted on a Saturday night. (Well I can but a hangover plus babies do born mix well!)

8: Birthdays and Christmas have a whole new meaning now.

9: Dinner times are loud, manic and normally full of choo choo trains!

10: We are in bed my 9pm most nights. (Got to get those few extra minutes sleep)

I know people say it all the time but I genuinely can’t imagine my life with out my babies. ❤️

Woyld love to hear how your life has changed since babies?

Love

Kelly ❤️

Peppa Pig: My 1st Cinematic Experience

If you have a small human being in your household I am pretty certain you will be aware of the famous little pink piggy called Peppa. We certainly are in our house, and I am sure Mop Top would watch Peppa Pig from the moment she wakes, sometimes 5am(!!) right through to her bed time if I let her.

Now Peppa Pig is already all over your television, there is a whole world dedicated to this little family, you may even have multiple Peppa toys….well its about to take over your life even more by hitting the big screen.

And we were really lucky to be asked to attend the preview screening of Peppa Pig: My 1st Cinematic Experience in London a few weeks ago. It worked out perfectly as I was thinking that I needed some girl time with Mop Top. So we left Bear with Daddy and off we went to the train station.

When we arrived, there was lots of excited toddlers, and slightly harassed mummies hustling and bustling around, but once we were in we enjoyed the pre-activities that had been laid out for the kiddies to enjoy. Story corner, crown making, and face painting.

You know they say never meet your idols, well that rings true for little ones to. Whilst standing in the queue to meet the REAL Peppa and George, I had a very apprehensive Mop Top gripping to my shoulder. Around me were lots of mummies hoping for a smiling photo with Peppa and George…and for most that is not what they got.

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Onto the big preview…. Nine brand new episodes with some great new characters; my favourite being Kylie Kangeroo (that may give you a clue as to where Peppa ventures to)

If you are anything like me, you probably feel like you have seen every single episode of Peppa Pig available. So as a parent it was great to see some new adventures from Peppa and her friends with some actually quite funny adult jokes snuck in there to.

I wont spoil the surprise but Peppa has some pretty cool adventures; including a holiday of a lifetime time down under, and a visit to the big city. As well as the episodes the film includes interactive clips in between, with Peppa and George and their new friend Daisy. This was probably my favourite bit, as it involved the children, they had to dance, sing and shout along with them.

Mop Top was mesmerised; she sat through most of the screening, which was about an hour in total. Which is quite a long time for a 2 year old, but I think the interactive parts in between really helped maintain her attention. I did notice some people started to leave towards the end, as an hour is quite a long time for a child to sit still for.

It is a big piggy oink from us.  Peppa Pig: My 1st Cinematic Experience hits the big screen on the 7th April, and we really hope if you do decide to go and see it you enjoy it as much as we did!

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Lots of Love

Kelly and Mop Top

 

**I was invited along to this event in exchange for this review, all the views are my own.**   P.S No pigs were harmed in the making of this film.

From 1 to 1+1

cropped-cropped-logo-12.pngA few days ago I wrote about the shock a newborn. So move forward a few months (only about 3 actually) and we have another shock of being pregnant again. Yes I did cry for quite a few weeks but we got used to the idea and now we have two beautiful babies.

People often ask is it much different from having 1 baby and if you have more than 1 baby you may agree or disagree with my view on this. (Would love to hear your comments on this.)

When Bear was born, Mop Top was 5 days short of her first birthday. We were still in nappies, still having bottles and still very dependant on mummy. So add another one to the mix who is also very dependant on mummy and you have a very busy life.

But I look at it like this…..I was already changing nappies, sterilising bottles and making up formula so actually we just carried on with our normal routine with the added work load. Yes it’s busy, crazy and manic all the same time but I genuinely think having 2 is more manageable than 1.

With 1 baby, mummy has to do all the entertaining, but now Mop Top will entertain Bear with no problems (she does need to be told to be gentle sometimes)

There are a few problems with 2 babies…. when they both cry. Who to go to first? Your favourite? Haha just kidding! When Bear was smaller and cried there were only a certain number of things he wanted; milk, change nappy or sleep. So usually I’d sort Mop Top with whatever she needed then could concentrate on what Bear needed. yes it does mean Bear sometimes cries longer than I would like, but I only have one pair of hands.   

Two babies does take me a pretty long time to go anyway and I have to take what feels like a suitcase full of stuff with me everywhere. Its pretty much a military operation; shoes on, coat on, Bear and bag in the car, then Mop Top in, check buggy, lock door and we are good to go.
I have to say currently Bear is not on the move so my opinion may change when he starts to move about as I will need eyes in the back of my head!

It is double the work load, packing double in the back, two lots of milk, two piles of clothes but I say being organised helps with that.

We often need a few deep breaths, and a few bars of chocolate to get us through but going from 1 to 1+1 has not been as bad as I thought.

Have you got more than 1 child, what’s your thoughts on this? If you only have 1 child now, are you dreading having another?