Tag: blogging

Reluctantly Writing

After much chasing and countless phone calls, BT has finally connected us to the online world and we’re back … albeit a bit reluctantly.  Not for the husband though, his work has piled up and has loads of marking to do.  We still have pictures to hang on the wall, the small ones I can manage, but not the big ones like our mirror I want to hang by the fireplace in the living room, I’m afraid that will have to wait till he has time.

I’ve actually really enjoyed my offline days, although of course the blog has suffered and I’m slowly trying to dust the cobwebs off it.  Do forgive me if I’m a bit slow in doing so, I’ve never been known to be fast … hence the blog name, Little Steps.  In everything I do in life, I take little but certain steps forward.  Don’t get me wrong though, while I enjoyed my time off the world-wide web, I’ve also missed my little space online as mentioned on another post.  Blogging has always been my “me time” for the past decade or so of doing it.  It’s even more important to me right now that I’m a mother, I like to chronicle little T’s moments, not just the important ones, but the ordinary ones too.  And admittedly I’ve also been earning a bit from it which is nice, not enough to pay the bills of course, but one can always dream right?

At the moment, I’d really rather curl up in my arm-chair by the window with a book and a cup of tea, with bluebells on the windowsill which little T helped pick from our garden.  And I have yet to hang the curtains in our bedroom and our conservatory still looks like a dumping ground.  But my blog beckons and I’m its humble servant ready to tap away again.

What have you guys been up to?

Do share.

I am a Planning Guru … Not!

Late last year, I thought I had found an answer to my disorganised blogging life.  You see, I don’t plan.  I don’t have an editorial planner. I don’t have regular scheduled posts unless they are sponsored/collaborated posts and therefore, must be scheduled, otherwise, I’d forget all about them.

Unlike some bloggers, I don’t plan my posts.  Mine all come as spontaneous as they can.  “Oh no, I don’t know what to write about for next ” is a common sigh my husband hears from me.

You see the problem is, all my brilliant ideas are all in my head (along with that unwritten novel(s), usually while I’m having a long hot bath or shower.  Oh they are such unique ideas,  you’ll be surprised that they actually come from me.

Then as soon as I step out of the bath/shower, pffft!  They’re gone.  All gone.  I sit and stare at my screen and it mocks me with its sheer emptiness.  And words fail me.  I’m sure every blogger/writer knows this and has experienced it.  If you haven’t, you know what, I don’t like you.  I don’t think we can be friends anymore, not even in blogosphere, no, definitely not in blogger land.  You are the enemy.  You should be avoided at all cost.  Your “perfect blogging life” will be a detriment to my very-sensitive-blogging sanity/confidence.  I’m kidding of course.

And then I had a eureka moment.  Maybe what I need is a beautiful planner, the kind I used to have when I was in Uni or when I first started working and had a filo-fax, with little neat mini-folders, my whole life/career all laid out neatly in front of me, in one tiny little book.  And it actually worked!

That’s the answer to all my blogger problems!  All I need is a really lovely planner and I’m set.  I’ll be the next planning guru.  I’ll be your most prolific blogger, spinning brilliant blog-posts daily.  I’ll be famous and will be featured in the New Yorker or the Guardian.

IMG_0736

And I found the most beautiful gorgeously illustrated planner. And guess what, I got it for free!  A month or so before Christmas, my husband and I purchased more than a couple of books from Folio Society.  I love all their books.  And coincidentally, they had a promo, order a book and they give you a pack of lovely Christmas cards.  Buy more than one and they give you a …. PLANNER!  With lovely illustrations from their books.  And since we bought more than one, we had two packs of beautiful Christmas cards, plus the much-sough after Folio Diary 2016.  I’m a sucker for anything with beautiful illustrations.

IMG_0740

All of a sudden the year 2016 seemed so promising, or so I thought.

It’s the second month of the New Year, and I’ve failed miserably at this planning malarkey.  I’m rubbish.  I’m crap.  I’m a fake. I might as well draw doodles in my empty Folio diary pages.

IMG_0738

Empty pages.

IMG_0741

To be fair, those are June pages, and it is after all only February, so maybe there’s hope for me yet?  Oh and I don’t really want to be famous.  I just want to be more organised when it comes to blogging.  And I kinda know what to do, it’s the getting around and doing it is the actual problem 😉

 Do you have a planner?

Do you use it?  Does it work for you?

Hard Work

I’ve been blogging on and off now for more than a decade, albeit anonymously. I blogged for myself and didn’t really want to be found or read by anyone, let alone strangers. I’ve also been all over blogging platforms, started with Live Journal, Blogger and a free WordPress site.

I only decided to blog differently when I moved to WordPress and bought myself a domain name. I was taking little steps (hence the blog name), not really knowing what I wanted to do with this, and then I started getting offers to do sponsored posts and collaborations. That honestly took me by surprise, I knew I didn’t have a massive following, but the offers kept coming, so I thought to myself, why not see where this goes?

Then I discovered linkys or blog hops. I do like linking-up, especially since it’s a good way to discover new bloggers and reach out to a wider audience too. I’ve also recently joined a Blogger FB Group, I love the “community vibe” of it, but I’m finding out, that this is hard-work.

I’m wondering now how other bloggers do it, especially the ones who have more than one child, or even a regular job, or are back in school, or taking up courses, and then there’s writing blogs posts and then commenting on other blogs as well. Are you guys superwoman/man? How do you balance all of it? Hats off to you folks, would you care to share the secret with me please?

My

The Reading Residence

is HARD-WORK! 

On Blogging, Vices and a few other Bits and Bobs

On Small Joys

“For you mummy!”  T will say as she comes back from her walk, once again, with an offering of flowers she’s picked for me.  Last Sunday, it was a hydrangea pictured above.  I put it in a used tin can of sweet corn and it’s now sitting on my kitchen window.  Seeing it there makes me smile and my heart is full.

On Blogging

I’ve mentioned it on twitter, I’m about to go self-hosted and move from wordpress.com to wordpress.org.  A friend of mine recommend a good-affordable host, so I’m going with them.  But I’m not a techie you see.  I don’t know anything about htmls, they actually give me a headache, a bit like numbers 😉  But I’m rolling my sleeves on this one and hope for the best and that I don’t mess it up and lose all my files.  Not doing it yet though, I’m still mustering the courage to do it and no, I’m not being melodramatic.  I’m genuinely nervous about doing it on my own, in spite friends and family telling me, it’s really not that difficult.

This doesn’t mean though that I’m going to suddenly go all gung ho on my blog.  As much as I would like to be active just like the others (I’ve read so many blogging goals post for this year).  But the thing is, blogging has always been something I like doing, it’s my “me” time.  That’s probably why going all serious about it is a big turn-off for me.  I’ve been blogging on and more than fifteen years already, mostly as an anonymous blogger, I still am, well  sort of, but I like it this way.  I love the blogging community.  I’m friends with a lot of lovely bloggers online and I love it.  But attending conferences and being “out there” isn’t my thing.  Maybe I should add at the moment, things may change, you’ll never know right?  The only blogging goal I have is to try to write more when I can.

On Reading

Like blogging, I’ve been really slow about consuming my book pile.  Before T, I was a voracious reader.  As a child, it was my escape.  Perhaps, “escape” isn’t the right word to use, because I had a fairly happy childhood.  But I loved immersing myself in a book and it looks like little T is the same.  Before the Christmas break, I purchased some really beautiful books with the Folio Society.  The illustrations are just pure art with vibrant colours, each scene jumping at you and the characters become alive.  Most of the books I ordered were classic Russian authors like Pushkin pictured below.  It’s a collection of short stories called “The Queen of Spades”.  I am loving every page.

IMG_1225

When the books arrived, I opened them with care, ran my hands through the pages and inhaled each book, as if I was cooking a meal and was checking the aroma. It was good.  It smelled good and looked really handsome, some of them even had their own slip-case.  It wasn’t surprising that when Folio books sent me an alert that they were on sale, I ordered another one of Pushkin’s book, Onegin.  I can’t wait.  This is becoming an expensive vice.  I ought to control myself.  I’m lucky my husband shares the same passion, if not, I’d be in trouble.

On Journal Writing

I’m still struggling on that one.  Yesterday, I wrote my first entry.  And it was a few paltry lines.  Pathetic – really.  I ought to write more.  But it’s been a struggle the past five years.  I wonder why.  Surely it’s not because of motherhood?  But I will persevere.  Journal writing is important to me.  I want to be able to do it, like I used to – instinctively.  I want my voice back.

***

Do you have a vice?

Do share.

Do you feel the need to curb it?

Start Watermarking your Photos Now!

When I first started posting photos of Little T on my blog, I agreed with my husband to only post pictures of her from afar, never up-close.  As she grew older though, I wanted to share more and more photos of her, ignoring that little voice in my head warning me to take heed especially since I’ve heard horror stories of people copying photos of other children and then posting it on their social-media accounts, claiming your kid as their own.  It’s a scary world, isn’t it?

But then, the naive-foolish part of me would think “Surely, not all people are evil right?” Then I came across this article of a woman explaining why it’s important to Watermark photos of your children when posting online, especially on Instagram and it scared the living daylights out of me.

Apparently there are loads of nutters and evil-minded people in the world, the kind who would think of a sick game called “Baby Role play” on Instagram.

What is it Baby Role Play?

Instagram users grab photos of innocent children and pretend that they are their kids.  Sometimes the make up profiles of children and “pretend” to be kids, or the little ones are put up for “adoption”.  They make-up story-lines and likes and dislikes of their “pretend” child and invite everyone to “play”. It’s all role-play and done online and some of them get really creepy and even sexual.  It’s what every parents nightmare is made of.

Before you panic and decide to delete your Instagram account or at least delete all photos of your little ones.  Believe me, I did think of that too, but if you’re a parent blogger like me, that might be a bit of a problem.  You might instead start to (if you haven’t started yet) Watermark, watermark and watermark all your photos of your little ones.

Don’t put your text on the side of your photo where it’s easy to crop off.  Make sure you position your watermark where it would be difficult to crop-off without ruining the photo.

You could set your all your social media profiles to private, but again for some bloggers who rely on numbers of followers on their accounts, this may not work for you.  Watermarking your photos can help deter screen grabs from other people and this can easily be done with any of the photo editors on your laptop, phone or iPad.  If not, you can always use PicMonkey or other waternarking tools online (there are loads of them!) or download Phonto on your phone/Ipad as mentioned in the article – I did!

From now, even if it takes time, I’m going to watermark all of T’s photos!  I don’t have much problems with people who save or screen grab photos I’ve taken of Doc or the headland and other “nature shots”, as long as they credit me.  But when it comes to my daughter, be warned, if you do, I will hunt you down!

Have you heard of other horror stories about people stealing photographs of their children and claiming them as their own?

Do share.

Blogger’s Block: How Do you Un-Block?

It may not be that obvious but I’ve been having blogger’s block for the past weeks or so.  If I were to be honest, I’ve actually had it longer than that.  There are times when I think I should really just pull in the plug, instead of plodding on blindly – that’s exactly what I feel I’m doing now.

Inspiration is just gone.  I can’t seem to find the words, though admittedly I have a few drafts which I’ve started and saved, but never really finished.  They are still there, in my drafts, glaring at me as if to say I’m such a goner.  And here I was thinking – if I just overhauled my blog-design/layout, maybe the muse will accept this little peace-offering of mine and ever so kindly grant me just a few inspirations to get my mojo back.  But no, she has obviously spurned my gift and deemed me unworthy of her attention.

So to my fellow-oh-so-lovely-prolific-bloggers out there who never seem to lose the words, any tips on how to un-block would really be appreciated.

My word of the week, or more like word of the year is “grappling”.

The Reading Residence

January Chat with a Mum: Adele of Circus Queen

It’s 2015 folks!  Hope everyone has had a lovely New Year’s Eve celebration and not suffering from a hang-over.  As always, I like to begin the new year at Chat with Mums with the best and the next blogger is certainly one of them.  She’s also one of the few mothers out there whom I personally agree with when it comes to parenting, so without further ado here’s Adele of the very informative blog Circus Queen.

Tell us something about yourself and your little ones (age & sex)

I’m originally from Trinidad and Tobago but now live in Bristol. I moved to the UK as an undergrad, ended up marrying a British guy and stayed here. We have two daughters, Talitha (three-and-a-half) and Ophelia (10-months-old).

Circus Queen-3

What were your children’s birth stories like?

Talitha was born thirteen days after my due date. I’d planned a home birth but after a long pre-labour, I lost my confidence and ended up being induced in hospital. It was difficult but there was so much to be thankful for.

Circus Queen-4

Ophelia was born three days after her due date. I was caught off-guard, having expected her to be as late as her big sister. It was a long but beautiful (healing!) labour and we had the calm home birth we’d hoped for.

She met the world in a birth pool in our living room. I caught her myself and her father burned the cord. The midwives got there in the nick of time, just a half-hour before she was born.

Both experiences have made me passionate about the need to improve maternity services and about the “birth rights” of women and babies.

What you wish you knew about being a mother, before becoming one?

I wish I’d known how to listen to my instinct. I realize this isn’t something you can really plug into until you become a parent but I feel like I’ve spent my life before having children distracted by what should be background noise. I’ve only recently stopped caring so much about what others think and started listening more to what my gut is telling me.

How do you manage your “me” time?

Not very well at all! I end up staying up into the wee hours, partly because I have work to finish but mostly because it’s my only child-free time. I need to stop doing it, though. Being tired makes parenting unnecessarily difficult.

Do you have any favorite anecdote of your little ones?

A recent one: We were walking to the Nativity service at our church and my three-year-old was dressed as Tigger (what – your Bible doesn’t show Tigger visiting baby Jesus?!) and it was windy. She exclaimed: “The wind is blowing away my stripes!”

What is it about motherhood you absolutely love?

I love the quiet moments alone with each child when we melt into each other. With my baby, this is usually while I’m breastfeeding her or carrying her in a sling. With my three-year-old it’s when we’re cuddling at bedtime or just because she needs some “Mummy-time” on my lap. I’m all too aware that these moments will pass before I’m ready for them to go.

Circus Queen-2

On the one hand, if there were anything about motherhood you dislike, what would it be?

I dislike not having enough time: time to be present with my children and time to follow my own pursuits. It’s hard to accept that I can’t have it all at once. Some things need to be deferred.

What’s a typical day like for you and your little ones?

A typical weekday involves getting up around seven or eight, getting the three of us ready and out of the house to a group, then home in the afternoon for some chill time, maybe play with learning to read and count, do some baking or craft then start the supper and bedtime routine.

On a bad day, it all goes out of the window. I am flexible about it all but I find having a plan helps us. Sometimes we have to accept that the baby just needs a home day.

On the average week we go to drama, home education group, pre-ballet, breastfeeding group (where I volunteer), baby sign, toddler group and a women’s Bible study. Once a month, the older one goes to a horse riding class. We also meet up with friends in between. It’s pretty busy (it especially looks that way now that I’ve written it down!).

Best advice you’ve ever received about motherhood/parenthood?

“This too shall pass” is one of the most useful phrases I’ve been told, as well as, “The days are long but the years are short”. So much feels unmanageable when you’re going through it but it always helps to keep it in perspective. It will change, things will get easier, other issues will crop up, you will all grow and you will all survive.

If you could give yourself advice about motherhood before becoming one, what would it be?

I’d tell myself not to think too far ahead and not to worry so much. Take one day at a time, one night at a time, one breastfeed at a time, one tantrum at a time, one sickness at a time, one decision at a time. Life is made of lots of little steps. You can’t skip any so you might as well focus on the one you’re on before you move on to the next one.

Circus Queen

How do you manage your time or blogging between work and your little ones?

As I said, I don’t manage it very well! I do most of my blogging (which is my me time and part of my work) and any other paid or voluntary work in the evenings, which is tough because I’m tired then. But I count myself blessed to be able to do work which is creative, enjoyable and flexible enough to fit around staying at home with my children.

Thank you so much Adele!

To read more about her, click here.

You can also her on FB and of course, twitter.

 Click here if you’ve missed last month’s chat with a dad.

Q&A Time

It’s a sunday and while little T is busy playing with two of her lovely friends which means, if I type fast enough I might manage to reply to the lovely Sophie’s Q&A meme today.

 

Where in the world would you most like to be right now?

Anywhere warm and where the sun shines would be really lovely.  We’ve been having too much rain and grey clouds, it’s absolutely driving me nuts.  Can’t wait for the 1st of December so I can start putting Christmas decorations up (just to brighten things up a bit) without worrying that others might think I’m mad for doing so!

What do you love most about having your blog?

I love blogging because this is my “me” time.  I don’t really have much interests, I’m honestly a boring person.  I just like to read and write.  I don’t have any sport.  My husband joined our local gig-club, when I told a close friend about it, she asked me “What about you?  Isn’t there anything you can also do without S and T too?  Your “me” time away from them?” And I thought about it … Blogging is my “me” time and even though it doesn’t take me out, I do “meet” and interact with other people as well, more so, because I have conversations with people from all over, not just on my current location!  Isn’t that lovely?

Who is the person that you most admire?

Oh dear, this is a hard one?  At the moment, I really admire my in-laws.  They may be in their mid-80s but are as active as ever.  I want to be like them if by chance, I’m still alive at their age!

What keeps you awake at night?

Paranoid worries over my daughter.

What is your all-time favourite breakfast?

I’m not really a breakfast person.  I guess I got used to rushing out the door in my former life when I used to have a career with just a gulp of coffee while getting ready to go to work.  As they say, old habits die-hard.

Which song makes you smile every time you hear it?

Israel Kamakawiwo’ ole’s version of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”.  We played it over our wedding reception, still makes me smile every time I hear it 🙂

If you could go back and give one piece of advice to your fifteen year old self, what would it be?

Don’t hate school too much.  It’s really not that bad.  Don’t worry too much and just enjoy it.  Believe it or not, you’ll actually miss school when you’re a grown-up 😉

 Thanks Sophie!  Really enjoyed answering your questions 🙂

As for the seven bloggers, I’m going to tag the following:

Naptimethoughts

Kate of Did that just happen blog

Tracie of Life in the Wylde West

Sara of Mumturnedmom

Katie of Hurrah for Gin

Josanne of My Toddler Rules

Jhanis of The Vanilla Housewife

My seven questions will be all about blogging:

1.  When and why did you start blogging?

2. Is there any reason behind you blog’s name?

3. If there’s one thing you dislike about blogging, what would it be?

4.  Have you ever thought of quitting your blog?

5.  Have any nasty trolls visited your blog and left comments?  Care to share them?

6.  Have you written any controversial blog-posts?

7.  Have you ever experienced losing your blogging-mojo?  How did you get it back?

 That’s about it folks!

Hope everyone is having a good weekend 🙂

On Writing and the BiB Awards

The lovely Samantha invited me to join in the Writing Process Blog Hop.  I love a good Q & A especially if it involves books and writing.  So of course, I couldn’t refuse.

Questions:

1) What are you working on?

This is embarrassing, but I’ve been working on a few short stories for about a couple of years now (maybe even three!)  It’s just so difficult to write creatively when you’re a mum of an excitable three-year-old who is at that lovely sometimes annoying stage, you know the Why do we need hands? Feet? Eyes? so on and so forth stage.  I can barely write a decent blog post!

But I’ve been specifically trying to work on this story I wrote about two strangers who meet in a small coastal English town.  The man is German and in his 80s.  He’s been going back to the same seaside village for the past fifty years.  He likes to sit on this particular bench facing the sea and one time he meets a woman (a foreigner too, though it’s not really mentioned where she’s from in the story) and they start a conversation.  Since the woman lives there, they eventually over the years keep meeting on the same bench.  It’s one of those “talkie” type of short stories, where nothing much is going on and it’s purely conversation which of course, others might find boring.  I like it though.  It’s a quiet and simple story about strangers who form an unlikely friendship.

2) How does your work differ from others in the genre?

I write from personal experience, though that’s really no different from others I guess.  While the story mentioned above was loosely based on myself, the German is fictitious of course.

3) Why do you write what you write?

Was it Mark Twain who said “Write what you know?”  But I bet though, other writers before him has said that too.  It’s always easy to write what you know about.  I think your writing also comes out more sincere and not constrained or worse pretentious.

So yes, I like to base my fiction on something I’ve experienced or something I’m at least familiar with.

4) How does your writing process work?

I haven’t had a “writing process” for years now.  I used to when I was single and living on my own.  At the moment, all I can say is that the only “writing process” I have is to sit down and just write as if your very life depended on it.

I wrote the story mentioned above – “Same Time Next Year” in one sitting.  I think my husband took my daughter out for a little outing without me so I could have a bit of a rest.  Instead of putting up my feet on the table, I typed furiously away.  That’s the first time I’ve ever done that.  You know, start a story, from the very beginning and actually finish it till the very end.  I have loads of attempts, first drafts on my files, most of them rubbish actually.  But I think the trick there is to silence your inner critic and just keep writing as fast as you can and see where it takes you.

The German character in that story actually “appeared” to me.  No, nothing ghostly as an actual apparition, but I really saw him vividly in my head, walking up the headland.  What he looked liked, how he walked and I just knew him right away.

I entered that story in a major writing competition here in the UK.  Of course, I didn’t win.  I just figured at that time, no harm in trying right?  The contest had a three thousand word-count, so I had to edit it down a lot.  I want to re-write it and maybe make it into a novella.  Perhaps when my daughter starts proper school, I’ll be able to get down and finally do it once and for all.  And who knows, enter it in another contest and even win?

For now I think I’ll stick to trying to write decent blog-posts in between answering my daughters questions like Why do we need eyes mummy?  

***

Incidentally, I received an email from Britmums inviting me to nominate myself or other bloggers in the 2014 BiBS Awards (Brilliance in Blogging).  I’ve already shamelessly emailed all my family and close friends to nominate me for the MAD Awards.  But stayed mum about it in my blog, however I’ve decided to make a go for it this time (and spare my family and friends from pleading with them to vote for me again), so if you think I have a chance, thank you for nominating me, though I have a feeling it will be a bit like that time when I joined a major writing competition and it went pfft.  I tried at least, right?

I’ve already voted and in case you guys need a little nudge, here are fantastic bloggers who really ought to win and the good new is that there are lots of different categories and I’m sure you can all fit them in.  They are all British bloggers by the way, I’m not really sure if it’s only open to British bloggers or at least bloggers who live in the UK. If I’m wrong, please correct me.

Hurrah for Gin (A sure Winner.  Yay, go Katie!)

PODcast

Coombe Mill

Space for the Butterflies

Over There to Here

Ramblings of a former Rock n Roll Mum

The Secret Father

Englishman in Italy

The Adventures of Sonny and Luca

P.H. Davies

Verily Vocalises

Mum turned Mom

3 Children and It

The Coffee Table Years

The Fat Worm

Thank you!

This post is linked up with #PoCoLo

Post Comment Love

March Chat with a Mum: 3 Children and It

I’m glad this little section of Chat with Mums and Dads is getting a bit of attention from my fellow-bloggers.  I especially feel really honoured when bloggers I read actually want to participate in our little chats.

When I first started this little section, it was really just a means for me to reach out to other mothers, maybe get a few tips on how they manage this whole parenting business which can be really tough.  Like I’ve mentioned I started it with people I personally know before reaching out to bloggers.  I love what these little chats have taught me about being a mother/parent and I hope you get some good insights too.

For this month’s chat with a mum, meet Suzanne, the lovely mother behind the very-much-read blog:

3 Children and It

 Tell us something about yourself and your little ones (age & sex).

My husband and I have 3 children – 2 girls and a boy.  The girls are 13 and 12, the boy is 9.

I was a SAHM when my children were little, mainly because we chose to have 3 very close together (my eldest was 4.5 when the youngest was born). I always knew that this is what I wanted to do but often struggled with being at home and just having children (and CBeebies!) for company.

 When my eldest two children were both in full-time school and the youngest started nursery, I began a part-time job, joined the school PTA and got my brain working again – it took a while!

 What was your little ones birth stories like?

The first one was horrendous and a very long story which I won’t bore you with.  In short, I was induced after going 2 weeks overdue, was in labour for 23 hours and ended up having an emergency c-section when they realized that she wasn’t budging.  It was traumatic at the time but 9 months later I found myself pregnant again, so it can’t have been all bad!

Early on in my second pregnancy, I was advised to go for an elective section if the baby was likely to weigh anything more than 7 lbs.  Thankfully I took the advice as she was 8lb 2ozs, born 10 days early!

My last baby was a surprise boy. We had chosen not to find out the sex, knowing that the likelihood was, another little girl. We were obviously thrilled when a little boy was born by elective caesarean 1 week early, weighing in at 7lb 8ozs – my smallest!

 What do you wish you knew about being a mother, before becoming one?

 That ‘free’ time will be a thing of the past, so make the most of it now!

 How do you manage your “me-time”?

 Now that my children are older and all at school, I feel that my ‘me time’ is during the day.  I work two days but even then, driving to the office with my own music playing is a treat and I savour every moment!

 After school and at weekends, my time is really dedicated to driving the children around to their activities and various social events.

 Do you have a favourite anecdote of your little one?

Having 3 children, this question is a little tricky for me.  I also find it incredibly difficult to remember things from the early days (see my blog post about my lack of memory, here!). However, I do remember more about my son’s early years (he is now 9) than the girls, as so much of that was a blur! When he started nursery school at the age of 2.5, I found it difficult to let go.  He was my last one and always such great company to have around, being so placid.  I asked him one day what he liked to do at playtime (assuming he would talk about the see saw or the sandpit) and he replied: “I like to play with my friend Holly”.  Sounds fairly standard but his “friend” was actually his 5 year old sister who was allowed to play with the nursery children at break time!  That really did warm my heart, knowing that of all the children there, he chose his sister to play with. Cute.

 What is it about Motherhood you absolutely love? 

I won’t lie to you, I find parenting a baffling minefield much of the time! But being someone who loves a challenge, I still decided to have 3 of them!  I love watching my children change and grow into their own personalities, knowing that I’ve had a part to play in the person that they are becoming. As they get older and you begin to see the fruits of your labour, it’s incredibly rewarding.

 If there is anything about Motherhood you dislike, what would it be?  

The worry. Oh my days, this never stops! And I know people with adult children who say that the worrying doesn’t stop then, either.

What’s a typical day like for you and your little ones?

The alarm goes off at 6.40am. No little ones to wake me up any more, it’s all about me dragging them out of bed!  We try to have breakfast together (one child in particular is not a morning person so this is very hit and miss!) then my husband drops the girls at Secondary School on his way to work and I take our youngest to his Primary School.

Once they are at school, on days when I am not working, I walk the dog straight after drop off and the rest of the day is for me! Obviously there are always jobs to be done around the home but being someone who thrives on the company of others, I try to make sure that I book in at least once ‘catch up’ with a friend per week.

The post school hours are usually pretty hectic for us. I have limited their activities to 3 per week each (despite pleas for more!).  I think it’s important to explore hobbies and attend groups such as Guides and Cubs but it is difficult to get the balance right.  I wrote a blog post on this subject a little while back.

When they were young, I was a stickler for bed times, with everyone being in bed by 7pm.  Now I am lucky if I have them all quiet at 9.30pm and by then I’m pretty pooped!

 Best advice you’ve ever received about Motherhood?  

Pick your battles.  I have control-freak tendencies which if I don’t keep in check, could send our home life into a frenzy! That’s why choosing which battles to pick and being purposeful about this, is something that I try to do on a daily basis.  Does it really matter if their bedroom is a tip during the week?  No, they can tidy it at the weekend and I will count to 10 on entering Monday-Friday!

 If you could give yourself advice about motherhood before becoming one, what would it be? 

 Treasure each moment when they are young. I know that parents with older children told me this when I had babies/toddlers and I always just thought “yeah, yeah, you’ve just forgotten what hard work they are” –  now I know it’s true!

 How do you manage your time or blogging between work and your little ones?

Ok this is tricky.  Blogging isn’t just about writing a post and then hoping someone reads it (not if you want to progress anyway). I have realized that it’s vital to spend time developing a community of readers, communicating via Social Media and socializing (virtually and in real life sometimes!) with other bloggers.

I try to spend my daytime doing this but it does sometimes encroach into the afternoon/early evening if I have a deadline or commitment.  I tend not to blog or spend very much time on Social Media at weekends, especially on Sundays.  For me, that time is for the family and I need to be strict on myself – it’s very addictive!

Thank you so much Suzanne!

Click here to visit 3 Children and It.

Have a lovely weekend everyone!