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Why I won’t publish images of my kids on social media

Why I won’t publish images of my kids on social media, or any other medium for that matter. I’m not being miserly or rude. I just don’t want my kids images plastered all over the internet and I don’t want them there before they could even consent to being photographed. Yes, I am concerned about my kids privacy and any digital footprint they have, we all know that once it’s up there, it’s there forever. Social media has made it easier for us to keep in touch, whether you live in the same street or across the world. And I genuinely love seeing your posts, where you share your little ones achievements, I simply chose not to upload every image I have of mine. I’ve never been overly comfortable sharing images of the kids, this could stem from my own inability to be comfortable in front of the camera but the reality is there is a lot more to it than that. I can count on one hand the amount of images I’ve posted and these are mostly the initial baby ones after birth.

I have no idea if they will be disappointed when they’re teenagers and learn they don’t have a billion followers because I didn’t set up an Instagram account for them when they were babies. Sure they do crazy things and make me laugh and yes I’m sure they would be great things to share with my friends and family on social media but I’m still getting to know my kids and their personalities. They’re still little. I’m asked why I don’t share pictures of my kids online now that they’re older. I have a simple answer: We live in a time where information is king and people can learn a lot about you in a very short space of time and I don’t want people knowing where we are 24 hours a day. My kids are still young and I want to respect their privacy. They may not be at an age yet where they fully understand the implications of the internet and if they’re happy with me sharing their life with the world.

Is it so important that we push everything we do to the ‘gram or other social media before our kids are even born? It seems if you don’t you are an outsider or a little weird if you don’t. We are made to think that we would be left out of the popular ‘mum’ culture if we don’t succumb to the pressure. Very early on my hubby requested that we don’t share images of our kids which I wholeheartedly agreed on. As I’m a sharer I was surprised I wasn’t more upset with this choice but I can see the positives to it, will my kids be upset at not having their super cute bath time bubble Mohican hair do shown to the world? Probably not. Ok, so if they do something super amazing then who can I share it with? Simple, I email or send a text to those who really need to see it. They know not to publish it. They respect our choices.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

I did feel lonely initially when the kids were born and there were loads of posts of newborns and kids plastered everywhere, but I soon realised that there was another side to this. What of the potential mums, want to be mums but can’t be mums and others who may be struggling to have kids. I didn’t want to add to anyone else’s pain. It can be hard seeing images of bouncing babies and happy families for some. It’s hard enough feeling pressured into striving for perfection but having the additional pressure of happy families is painful. I will admit it was hard not to post images even though deep in my heart I knew it was what we had both agreed to. I felt silly not being able to post but maybe as my kids get older I’ll be able to post nice arty shots which their faces don’t show or are obscured in some way without giving things away.

Just because I don’t post images of my kids doesn’t mean I think it’s wrong that you like to share your kids with the world.

Have I taken photo’s of them looking cute when they were babies at bath time? Yes. Have I taken pictures of them when it was their first day of school? Yes, but I’m not sharing them with the world. If I’m at a birthday party and you take a photo which might happen to include my kids am I going to say don’t post it? No, I probably won’t. But, what I will ask you is that you don’t tag me or my hubby in. I can’t protect my children from everything, it’s not humanly possible, but I will aim to respect their privacy and right to choose. And for that I do not apologise. If when they choose to have social media accounts when they’re old enough then I’ll be more than happy to share their photo’s if they wish until then I’m keeping it private.

Ultimately its about my kids, and me not posting endless images of them isn’t a habit I’ve developed so I’ll not have to wean myself off when I become soooo embarrassing as their mum when they’re older! 🤣🤣🤣

Here are some of the not so nice reasons why I don’t share images of my kids on social media

Children have a sense of who they are as an individual and of others perception of them at around about the age of 5 and sharing personal content on social media can make children feel like they don’t have ownership over their own bodies or own values. Children often don’t have the opportunity to disagree with their parents posting bath-time and other sensitive photos on social media, especially before they are posted.

As a parent I am concerned about how others may react to some of the images I may share about my children online. Others may be able to use old photos and stories published about my kids to make fun of, insult them or even bully them as they grow older. If an image is shared and catches on it doesn’t take long to go from an inside family joke to full blown gossip for an entire school. Think I’m overreacting? Just look at some of the nasty comments people put on kids videos on YouTube. It’s no different. It’s all social media.

I am aware that any image I post of my kids could have a far reaching impact on them further down the line. Who knows how algorithms will work in the future. A potential employer may be able to see something that is personal to my children and it could very well go against them when job hunting or if my children become influencers or have a much more public life then how are their childhood photos going to affect their careers. You never know what may happen and I don’t want to be ‘that person’ who does the one thing that can make or break their careers.

As a teacher, and a teacher of IT in particular one of my areas is internet safety. So I am more than aware of some of the dangers of posting personal images on the internet. Especially social media platforms. I am aware of images posted by other parents turning up on disturbing websites and forums. Some dedicated to child pornography. That little video you posted of your naked child makes the perfect medium for such an outlet.

After doing some research I found that according to an Australian Children’s eSafety Commissioner, one site offered at least 45 million images (source: https://jelliesapp.com/blog/). Around about half of which were photos of children taken from social media accounts. These photos were of everyday family activities, but the worrying thing about it is that they were accompanied by wholly inappropriate comments many of a sexual nature.

We also forget that social media posts can also provide little indicators that can help people identify where a child lives, plays, and goes to school. Posts with information like location tags and landmarks give strangers ability to locate a child and other family members. I can image that this is especially dangerous for families who may be trying to manage custody disputes or escape domestic violence situations.

When my kids are older and more able to make an informed decision about what I share, I’ll ask them what they’re comfortable with and take some precautions when doing so. I already have quite good privacy settings on my personal social media account but I must remember to regularly check them as some updates automatically revert back to public settings. I will choose the photos carefully and watermark the ones I post publicly.

I will involve my kids in deciding what is appropriate to share with others as these conversations can help ward off bad feelings in the future, and lets face it are useful for preparing them for living in a digital age.

To sum it up, here are some tips for being a good ‘sharent’

  • Be mindful of metadata — most digital photos contain information about the time, date and GPS coordinates of where the photo was taken.
  • Don’t add comments to photos that identify locations; for example street address, school name, or even identifying features in front of your home.
  • Only ever share with people who you really know and trust. Please don’t post to all of your friends on social media, be selective and use the privacy settings on your social media platform. Also, be aware that if one of your friends likes your picture, it may also become visible to their friends, and so on.
  • Ask parents before posting and sharing images that include their children; that recent birthday party for example.
  • Don’t share photos and videos that contain personal details, such as full names, personal contact information, or school uniforms that identify location.

At least you don’t have to mute me or scroll on by and lets face it, I’m one less poster of kiddie spam!

But for now, enjoy the time with your little ones. Take as many photos and share or not share. Your choice. Just share carefully if you do.

Take care, stay safe.

Becks

xo

Surprised? I was!

Last week’s confessional was a surprise! I honestly didn’t think I’d want to put all of that down yet, but I have said in my opening gambit on the home page that I would be honest and that this is a journey, so that’s exactly what it needs to be. Maybe my experience and thoughts have helped someone else reading my posts out there somewhere. Maybe you experienced similar and needed a little bit of a guiding hand to give you the oomph to kick yourself up the bum and challenge your insecurities. Baby steps, please. Don’t do everything at once. You’ll become overwhelmed and shrink back into yourself.

I touched on a couple of things last week – being verbally bullied and my loss of identity. Both are semi-intertwined with each other in a way, as I still had residual confidence issues from being bullied. Which as we know will impact on how we feel about ourselves for years to come. I do feel that although I know the reasons behind my confidence hit, I may never be a really confident person. There will always be a nagging doubt behind the things I do or say. I do know though, that I can ‘fake’ it. This is a strong tool for some who are able to do it. If you can fake it you inevitably end up changing your mood, which can then begin to change your outlook on things.

I’m no scientist, and what works for me may not and will not work for everyone, but if it helps just one person then that’s enough in my book. I rarely open up about how I feel deep down, but now I think it’s time to get my big girl pants on as a friend would say and get over it. I sometimes think that by opening up about these things perhaps people may think I’m trying to say I’m depressed. I’m not. I have low days and struggle just like many others but my feelings on those occasions are not a complex minefield but rather more simplistic. I’ve not had enough sleep, or the kids are pushing every button possible or simply that I’m just not in the right frame of mind. I applaud those that have been able to face up to depression. In my eyes it takes a huge amount of inner strength for someone to say “I feel crap, today is not a good day and I can’t do this anymore. I need help”. Depression is a complex and difficult illness to understand. I implore anyone reading this who feel they may have it, or may be on the cusp of depression, please talk to someone. Your best mate, the coffee shop barista, stranger on the station anyone. But just tell someone. It might help. If your mate’s been texting you asking if you’re OK and you’ve completely ignored them. Text them back. They are looking out for you, and they care. It’s not about ‘manning up!’, so forget about all the male bravado, it’s about getting help and getting YOU back.

Where do I go from here?

My challenge to myself is to get myself back on track to becoming ‘me’ again. I will never be the ‘old me’. Those days are gone. We change a little, or a lot, as we age. Age makes us more understanding of what we really need and what we want and also, what we can achieve. Growing older has given me an edge, where I can be slightly more demanding of others and particularly of myself. I joke about turning 60 and dying my hair purple and getting a tattoo, buying a motorbike and sticking two fingers up to the world 😉. Actually, I might just dye my hair purple and get a tattoo anyway!

I absolutely love this quote by Roald Dahl. It’s from The Twits if you aren’t sure. I really feel it sums up a lot of how I feel I want to feel. Good thoughts make you glow. They show in your face. The slight crook of a smile appearing, the glint in the eye. It all shows you know. I look better when I feel better. Its simple psychology really. We lift our head, stand straighter and become more of a presence. When we feel unhappy the opposite happens, we look hunched over, we scowl and look as unhappy as we feel. 

What changed my viewpoint?

I didn’t have many mirrors in my old house as I just couldn’t stand looking at myself in them. I had such a negative view of myself, every time I did look in the mirror I used to pick out the flaws I could see. I was ugly, had a wonky nose, square jawline, fat face… the list just went on and on. I just couldn’t see anything nice about myself. I had a change of view when I met up with some friends I hadn’t seen for ages, some years in fact, and the one sweet friend of whom I’d always thought was the most confident admitted she’d always been envious of my hair. Then another said she felt annoyance at me as she was fed up of wearing false lashes and mine were long and full and I ‘just didn’t have to go through all the hassle everyday’. I felt better about myself for a moment or two, and then when I got home I actually looked in the mirror and thought to myself they had a point. I began to like my hair. It’s full of body and is healthy. I noticed that I didn’t look in the mirror and feel so negative. I was beginning to like myself again. A little bit more each day. There are still days where a negative gnome sits on my shoulder and whispers in my ear I’m ugly or some other flaw that I have but no so much anymore. Devils and angels are ‘so last year dahling’ as Patsy would say! Like I said it’s baby steps. It’s not being vain either, it’s about learning to have personal positivity, which includes body and mind.

Colour plays a big part in the impression we give, both to others and to ourselves. If I’m feeling happy then I tend to wear brighter colours and make an effort. When I feel miserable and stressed I wear darker more neutral colours without adding accessories. The days where I just feel low I tend not to look at what I’m choosing to wear, I just grab anything and rarely does it go with anything nor is it flattering and if I’m honest it probably isn’t allowing me to blend in with the background despite me wanting to do just that. Because it’s so badly thrown together it makes me stand out, perhaps giving others an opportunity to think ‘she doesn’t care’, or ‘what does she think she looks like’ or something to that effect. And, when I’m at that point, the days where I’m so totally not in the zone, I actually don’t care nor do I wonder what I look like so their thoughts are futile. I’m just not thinking about me.

I recently grabbed one of my old Trinny and Susanna books from the shelf when I was having a sort out and started reading it. I forget which one, it might have been ‘what your clothes say about you’ maybe. But, anyway, I laughed at the picture of a stressed, harassed mum carrying plastic carrier bags and dressed in beige (really not my colour!) with a child pulling her in one direction when she was trying to go in another, it was a set up shot of Trinny role playing but it made me think that I have been that mum on more than one occasion. A Tesco bag in one hand despite owning some fabulous family sized totes, along with kids coats, bottles and school paraphernalia in the other. Trying to coax the kids down from the climbing frame because ‘we really need to get home’… read ‘mummy just wants to go home and get tea ready, and have a sit down as she’s been busy all day cleaning up your mess again!’.

On the opposite page it showed a more serene, organised Trinny with same child pulling on her hand, but looking much more as though she could deal with it. It was all down to staging the perfect life, yes, I get that. But it was also about looking the part too. Well cut jeans, sensible but trendy shoes, jacket just in case you got caught in the rain and nice top underneath, oh.. and a good sized bag for all the kid bits! Although I’ll probably always be a little bit late in dropping the kids off, and always be slightly disorganised and forget their coat or water bottle or something but I can at least try to look the part. So my first challenge is come September, I will aim to get my head in the zone and be a little more put together for the school run. That way when some supply work does come along I’ll have a go to outfit readily available to grab and go.

Baby steps…

But, I’m going to start small. A little bit at a time. Beginning here, my aim for the next two weeks is to make sure I put mascara on. Everyday, without hesitation. I will make it a habit. Isn’t it a habit after fifteen days? I’m sure I read that somewhere. Anyway, small things to start my positive image habits off. I don’t see much point in trying to form a habit of wearing foundation or even my usual BB cream as it usually comes off on the masks we have to wear out. Although it’s swings and roundabouts at the moment as I don’t really like going out much and I like the freedom of having just sun cream on my face. Perhaps that little habit might have to wait a little.

I think I also need to look at forming an exercise habit as currently it’s a bit hit and miss. OK, I admit more miss than hit! I don’t like exercising and rarely enjoy it when I do it so I need to work up to doing this habit. gently does it. Twenty minutes a day to start off with and then work up to thirty after a couple of weeks maybe? I think I’m going to need to do a reward chart just like we use with kids! I really hate exercising! I’ll keep you updated on this one as I’m not even sure where to start.

Have you been an exercise star during lock down? Or have you been watching Joe from the sofa with a cuppa every morning during PE with Joe? Me? The latter 😂

I’m going to be honest with you, I lost my way a little…

Part of the idea of starting my little blog was to write about my life and style, or lack of as I have mentioned before. So, I thought I’d do a post looking at the style part. To do this I think this is the time where we delve into a bit of my background to start with and see where we go from there.

I’m not huge on being a girly girl. I like getting mucky and grubby, and rarely wear makeup or style my hair. And as for being stylish, well that’s something I’m still trying to figure out! I would love to be one of the school mums that look amazing everyday without looking as though they do. I know contradiction in terms, but what I mean is they look amazing without really having to put much of an effort in to looking good. We all know this isn’t necessarily the case as it often takes a little bit of planning getting stuff organised and ensuring a routine is in place. But these are the mums who seem to effortlessly glide onto the playground with finesse and no stress. They have the perfect outfit on for whatever they may be doing and just seem to have it all. I know that whilst this is happening on the outside, what is going on on the inside may be very different, but she hides it well! What I would like to achieve is something near this but be me. I’m not going to copy someone’s style as that might not be mine but I want to find my ‘style’ for me now and be confident in it. I know my style has changed. A lot. I wonder if I can get away with the boho floaty dresses I once coveted? I wonder if my love for Joules, Seasalt and Boden clothes is my way of being more countryfied? Simply to look good in a pair of well cut jeans and a tee would suffice at this point maybe? Only time will tell as I find my real ‘me’. What I do know is that I’m going to have to up my game a notch!

When I was younger I didn’t stand out, nor did I particularly want to. I was a bit on the geeky side at school and was never overly confident in my looks. I always shied away from the camera and if someone did manage to catch me on film you would find me hiding at the back in a crowd or have something with which I could semi-hide behind. After growing up a bit and looking back into why I felt like this and still do to some extent as just doing a selfie for me is agony! I realised that this all came from one person in school telling me I was ugly, and that if I didn’t have long hair I’d be mistaken for a boy. Bullying can come in many guises for me it was verbal. I was told I was fat – even though I was far from it and that my clothes just looked like I’d put a bin bag on. This was something that was a constant occurrence in my school days although I hid being bullied from everyone. I pretended nothing was going on and I tried to just blend in. I wanted to be friends with the popular kids as well as everyone else, but I just didn’t have the confidence to go up and say “hi”. Looking back at it now and knowing what I know, a bully is someone who is fundamentally insecure and needs the feeling of power over someone to make themselves feel better. Perhaps the person bullying me was insecure about their own looks and weight and decided I was an easy quiet target. Who really knows, I just hope they now genuinely feel better about themselves and not at someone else’s expense.

It has only been the past few years where I have had to become a stronger person due to a couple of ‘big’ moments, major surgery and a long term relationship change, that made me sit up and think and coupled with my experience of being a teacher which has enabled me to put it all into perspective and gain some of the lost confidence back. I’m what you might call a high functioning introvert. Being a teacher there is an expectation for teachers to be confident individuals with extrovert tendencies, there are in fact studies showing that many are actually mild introverts and do exactly what I do – put on a performance. Every time I step into a classroom and deliver a lesson I put on a show. When I work in industry I am the same everything I do is a performance, delivering training programmes to big business CEO’s and even top ranking civil servants. It all involves me putting on a brave face, a façade you might say and just taking a deep breath. The truth is deep down all I want to do is hide away from the world and blend in. I want to be the unseen.

Why do I do what I do then? I’m good at it, that’s why. I love teaching, imparting my knowledge and skills on to people who may benefit from it. Getting students to engage in whatever I’m delivering and them walk away thinking they learnt something useful. And, I will say it again I’m bloody good at what I do. If it means putting on a brave face and being a showman for a while then its what I must do. I can always shrink into myself afterwards.

Most of the time I come across as being chatty and confident. It’s a ruse. I’m dying inside. I feel I have to chat otherwise it might have an impact on something in the future. What? I don’t know. If you’re a mum collecting your kids and I chat to you, it’s because perhaps yes we could become genuine friends but it may also be that if I don’t my child may not get invited over for play dates and may miss out on social things. It could also be that I need to set a positive example to my children, if they see me being sociable then they will be confident enough to hold conversations with others and not shy away. I want what most parents would want for their kids, I would love for them to be happy and confident and be liked. I would love for them to be popular kids in school but for some this is too much and for my kids? I know they’ll have friends, I would just like those friends to be true friends to them. I don’t want them to go through what I went through.

I picked up a book called ‘Bigmouths, bullies and so called friends’ by J Alexander, initially for my son who has been bullied and still gets called names by one particular boy at school. He was a little too young for it when I first bought it but now I may encourage him to read it as I found it to be really good at identifying bullies and why they do what they do. I like the book as it puts it in kid speak and although was written a few years ago its still relevant. As daft as it may sound it really put a lot of how I felt and still feel into perspective.

There are many ways age has helped me. I don’t suffer fools gladly and will not take $#!% from anyone these days. I say things how I see them but I try not to do it in a manner that will cause upset. I prefer constructive criticism whether it’s me receiving or giving it, I can’t abide narcissism or arrogance. I try to follow the motto ‘if you can’t say anything nice then don’t say anything at all’. It’s not about being a snowflake, it’s being polite and considerate something that we seem to be lacking in this day and age. I don’t always get it right, but at least I try.

I’m beginning to feel happier about myself these days. I had a huge slump in confidence when I had my first child and the second one came along and my feelings still hadn’t changed. I often feel that I’m not me anymore. I seem to have lost my identity. I’m not Becks anymore, I’m just “Muuuummmmm”. Nobody of any interest, just someone who’s there to make sure kids are fed, watered and have clean clothes every day. I’m still after the holy grail of mums – going for a wee in peace! Although its not so much these days as the oldest is now eight and doesn’t follow me everywhere unlike my five year old who seems to be my shadow. I was a bit overweight before I had kids but after having them I put on even more weight which I convinced myself I could lose and didn’t, so now I have a ‘mothers apron’ belly and a backside you could park a motorcycle in, let alone a bicycle, which is the bane of my life! I did lose a stone and a half a year or so ago but that seems to have gone back on along with bad eating habits – snacking in the evening before bedtime!

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

I know that I need to lose weight not just because I would like to look better but I would like to be healthier. I have high blood pressure and scoliosis which are not helped by being overweight. My joints are hurting me all the time and I have no excuse I need to get my head in the right place and make a commitment to making weight loss happen. This isn’t going to be easy as I’m a comfort eater. I’m not one for sweets and chocolates. My nemesis is savoury snacks, especially crisps. Exercise is another key factor I need to start doing more of. I huff and puff just going up the stairs these days. I know clothes hang better when they are not straining over a huge tummy or ample derriere slim or not. I’m fed up of being tired all the time.

I knew I needed to get out of my slump and thought about my next steps. It’s not easy. Some people have a natural ease to looking good and make it seem so easy. I thought that if I joined an open style club community on Facebook for those over forty it may help to give me some of the old confidence back as most people were there in a similar boat to me. Initially this was quite good but after a while the group got huge and admins didn’t monitor comments as much and trolls started getting on there so I left. I then chatted to a dear friend about it as she had been one of the stylists in the paid club connected to the open community and she invited me to join her private style club. This has been a real eye opener for me. I have been learning lots about style, including how I find my own particular style to suit my personality, colouring and shape. There will be more on this another time I think, perhaps a series at some point (along with an interview or two with stylists). It’s a learning process and it’s nice to know I’m not alone in my quest. Yes, some of it is common sense and intuition but there is a sort of science behind it all. And, I like being part of something that cheers me up when I need a little pick me up. I join in the activities when I have time and often just dip in and out of the club when I have a few free moments. It’s not silly in any way, this is my little bit of me time, be it five minutes or half an hour. It makes me feel better about myself and it’s the medicine I need. I’m beginning to care about myself again. I’m beginning to feel there is a new me inside somewhere. I put mascara on occasionally and might look to at least colour co-ordinate an outfit. But, I’ll still have days where I’ll turn up to school wearing my scruffy clothes, no make-up and unkempt hair. Some weeks it will be more often than not. Sometimes I’m just not in the zone but hey, I’ll always chat just don’t be put off by the way I look I’m just having a bad day😉

Perhaps this may be you too? Maybe you’ve experienced similar feelings and don’t quite know where to go from here. There’s a part two to this coming next post if you’d like to find out a bit more. Feel free to comment.

Take care, stay safe

Becks xo

Throw out the plan!

For someone that likes to talk its surprising that I have suffered a little from writers block this week. It happens to everyone who writes, be it a little or a lot, at some point I’m sure. I just wasn’t expecting it to happen so soon. I’m only a few posts in! I do what every blogger does and have planned and planned content to the extent where if my life went to that plan I’d have enough for a whole year! I have a fairly clear idea about what types of posts I’d like to do, but this week I looked at the plan and just couldn’t find the inspiration to write about any of it.

I had a choice of about ten different things to write about from my plan and not even my top three favourites: the best blogs to follow for style and beauty inspiration, my wanderlust list (top ten places I want to travel to and why) or healthy changes to make this year, made the cut this week!

I decided on a roundup of the things we’ve done this week instead, perhaps there’s something here you may want to do with your family or dare I say it have a bit of grown up fun doing kids things!

The kids have been happier this week as they’ve been able to join their friends playing outside in the close, all socially distanced of course. Our road is the only one that’s had a full resurface and is the smoothest on the estate so we have most of the kids from surrounding streets playing there, it’s also a small close or cul-de-sac so its super safe for them to go crazy on their bikes and scooters. It’s lovely to see them all playing together, some we knew from school, some we didn’t know and kids do what they do best and make friends and have fun. My youngest is only five and there aren’t any girls of her age playing out yet but it’s just so sweet seeing the older girls and boys involving her in their games and helping her up if she falls off her bike or trips over on her roller skates. Its been a joy seeing their smiling faces. Bedtimes have been so much easier too! Worn out children mean they drift off and sleep in – win, win for me!

Photo by freestocks.org on Pexels.com

It’s been the second week of the school summer holiday, and we haven’t done as much as we had initially planned. Lock down easing has definitely made things easier but we are still a little cautious of where to go to keep us all safe. The kids like their funky face masks and although I know they don’t have to wear them they asked for one. We did have a trip out to the Cotswold Lavender Farm near Broadway, just before their season had finished which was lucky as we’d originally planned to go to a nature reserve called Greystones on the edge of Bourton-on-the-Water but there were road closures and I got lost. If I’m honest I was ignoring Sat Nav! I’d zoned out and with the kids been noisy in the back I could hardly hear it anyway, especially as I had forgotten my hearing aid – not a bad thing sometimes 😊.

Having suffered being stung by a wasp on the back of the arm whilst putting the washing out I was left with an ever increasing red hot rash spreading brilliantly down my arm I decided against doing too much driving for a couple of days as I had that horrible heavy feeling in my arm and it wasn’t from covid calories this time! A week on and I still have a hot itchy rash but it’s not as sore as it was thankfully.

Hubby had a day off Monday and now he has his fishing (or is it angling?) licence he went to some local fishing lakes and we met him there in the afternoon with a picnic. The kids had a go at fishing but were disappointed they didn’t catch anything. I’m beginning to wonder if hubby managed to catch as many as he said he had. But, that said, he’s a lot quieter than the kids and I’m sure their running around scared the fish away. Even the duck army came over chastising us as they quacked and flapped across the water! The kids had a great time and have asked to go again. I’m wondering how long it’ll be before I become a fishing widow? I suppose it could be worse, it could be golf! 😉

Tuesday we decided to pop out to the local garden centre which has a huge pond with equally huge fish in it which always makes for a good trip out. My two are happy with the simple things in life. We had some food there looking out over the big pond which would have been even better had the weather been sunnier, but it was lovely all the same. We even had discount on our food as I hadn’t realised restaurant was participating in the UK Government ‘eat out scheme’. Nice when your bill comes to half as much as expected. Having had the bonus of discounted food I let the kids run riot on the reduced plant section and spent a further £30 on a boot load of pretty plants for the kids part of the garden. I love a bargain me! They badgered me to let them plant them all when we got home to which I almost ran to get the trowels out of the shed for them to get started. I had visions of getting a coffee break with my feet up. Fat chance! But it was lovely seeing their excitement at getting more colour in their little patch. They even planted some broccoli and cauliflower plants so who knows what we may get.

Most of the things we have been looking at doing over the summer holiday involve being outside as much as we can as I just feel a bit more comfortable about it, I’m just doing what some mums do and being cautious trying to keep my family safe. The kids have both been given a summer challenge pack from school and there’s plenty in there to do. I also have a freebie book from Sainsbury’s I managed to pick up a few years ago now and these have some fab things to do in them so I think we’ll look through it again and pick an activity to do. I like the Sainsbury’s book as it has age appropriate activities for kids (and for the whole family).

Here’s some of my favourite things to do from the book:

1. The one that always falls top of my list is den building. It can be done indoors or out. Soggy days aren’t going to stop us having fun!

2. Creating a scary zoo out of old tights, socks and fabric is always fun – if you don’t mind the mess. But isn’t that what messy play is about?! Just watch they don’t pinch your wooden spoons to make bats with!

3. Go pond dipping. Grab a net and explore. Just make sure they don’t fall in. Although my two would find it hilarious if they did. We have a small pond in the garden and my two are always poking around in it, I feel for the fish they see wiggly fingers and think its food!

4. Gisbee, where golf meets frisbee. Go to an outdoor space such as a park or wood and set yourself a course (e.g. trees as target points) and the aim of the game is to do the course in the least amount of gisbee shots as possible.

5. Make your own instruments and hold a concert for the family. Uses up the recycling!

6. Create your own wacky races. You could have the one trouser leg race (a bit like a sack race but using a pair of your trousers, but beware skinny fit as that makes it a little tricky!). Then there’s the  cartwheel continuum, longest head/handstand, 20m roly-poly, tug-of-towel, water bomb catch, flapping balloon race, crab scuttle race and a fancy dress race.

7. Build a nature pond. You can go as big or small as you can fit with this one. A simple washing up bowl will do as long as you have a few large stones to one end so that hedgehogs and other animals can escape if they fall in. Pop in in a water loving plant and you’ve got a wildlife pond. Just wait for the frogs they’ll find it.

8. Have a picnic but with a twist. Theme it. Do fancy dress, whatever you choose, you could even have a grown up Downton Abbey style one if you want! Your picnic your choice.

I know there are so many other things to do, but those are just a few we had on our list of summer fun. There’s no shortage of places to go and things to see in the UK, so many beautiful unspoilt places, just make sure you check where ever you choose to go is open to save yourself a wasted journey. Remember, we are still easing out of lock down and not everywhere is fully open yet.

Where ever you go, whatever you choose to do, stay safe and enjoy it.

Becks

xo

Its been a funny old week…

I’ve had a busy week. Lots going on and not much time to really get stuck into much. I was wondering if I’d even get this post finished in time!

There have been a few visitors to the house what with the water meter repair man, the fence repair man who was so patient with my son’s constant questions and offerings of assistance, the hairdresser and the piano movers it’s been a bit like a train station. Thankfully everyone was sensible and wore PPE as with the guidance and we all kept our distance. And… Yes, you read it correctly. We have a piano. I’m following in my grandmothers footsteps now we have acquired our neighbours lovely old upright piano. The easiest money a removal company has ever made it took them no more than 30 minutes from their arrival to finishing the job, including moving it a few yards.  I just need to find the time to scour YouTube for decent teach yourself piano lessons!

I’ve had a little bit of time to reflect on my previous ‘The truth about lock down’ post and some of the comments made, it was nice to feel I’m not the only one who found it somewhat challenging during lock down. So, for this post I thought I’d look at what I enjoyed about lock down as there were some treasured moments.

There’s been a lot of negatives to lock down, social media and news reports everywhere touting bad news, and it has had its ups and downs for me as it will have done for many others and I also know that some of you may not have had the opportunity to enjoy lock down and will have continued working in a key worker role or working from home juggling endless demands from work and/or kids and such like, for which I bow to you – I couldn’t have done it! So, this is my list of five little things I’ve enjoyed about lock down.

  • Spending time with my family

This one is probably the most obvious. I love my little family and treasure the moments we have together, yes, even the not so nice ones where we’re all tired and cranky and we aren’t getting along, which usually only lasts about five minutes but it’s hard all the same! And I confess to having had a feeling of slight dread initially at having the kids at home over lock down and then trying to manage home schooling but we made it through in one piece albeit with a slightly dishevelled gin soaked mum following behind 😉

I do realise I have much more of an appreciation for my family both near and far. I really missed my Mum and Dad when we couldn’t see them as much but I looked forward to the regular chats to them on the phone and I loved my daily check in texts to them to make sure they were both doing well. I had a hard time not being able to spend time with them for Mothering Sunday or for my Dad’s birthday, but thankfully I can see them more now we have social bubbles. I enjoyed my Zoom and WhatsApp meetings with friends and family, which was a small step towards social normality for me.

Although hubby was working all day he was at home hidden away in his office aka the man cave. But, I realised how nice it was to have him at home. He’d pop down for a coffee and we’d have a catch up for a couple of minutes before he got back to his work and it was so nice being able to cook an evening meal ready at a decent hour so we could all eat together as a family. The kids loved having him at home, and showing him what they’d done, they’d put little presentations up on the telly and do a rundown of their day each evening, it really was sweet. It’s certainly given us something to think about for the future, life is too short for long commutes and endless work hours. Now we just have to work out how we can achieve our perfect work/life balance.

  • Time in the garden

I’m not a gardener by any means. I have a pop it in the ground and hope for the best approach but I do love watching Monty on Friday evenings with a glass of wine. Our garden is modestly sized and we’ve worked hard during lock down tidying up the patch where a huge 12 feet tall by at least 25 feet long stretch of Leylandii once dominated the landscape.

I have found it rewarding working in the garden although not many plants seem to have come up this year like the riot of colour we had last year but I guess we have a biennial garden! This has meant my list of things to do and shop for has grown substantially as I’ve had time to think about what we need for the garden. Its been enjoyable digging and working the ground especially the bit where the hedge had been as the soil needed significant improvement in quality having been drained of any goodness for 30 odd years. The assistance of a huge pile of well rotted chicken and horse manure helped considerably and the plants we planted are now thriving there. It’s a good feeling when you’ve achieved something despite it being hard work.

Image by Rebecca Palmer

Its been a pleasure to just sit outside in the sunshine on the bench hubby gave me for Christmas, which I’m still debating on what colour to paint, and watching the kids enjoying themselves in the pool. Much laughter and brevity abound. Seeing the kids’ faces when a seed they’d sowed popped up was just so sweet, and ploughing through the umpteen weeks worth of lettuce and trying to avoid the cabbage white caterpillars that were incredibly heavily camouflaged was a daily chore. We may even have a few giant pumpkins for October if they carry on growing so well! Even the kids butterfly farm now has cocoons!

  • Having some me time

Although I’ve not been able to get my brows done, return of the monobrow anyone? Or go to the hairdressers which would normally be my little bit of me time, I have found the kids have been much more relaxed about things at home including bedtimes which has meant I’ve been able to have a few minutes each day to have a little bit of time for me to sit and spend some time doing something for myself. Reading a book, having a relaxing bath or painting my nails, these are the simple pleasures I cherish as I rarely get to do them.

Like most mums and dads I have little time left after doing stuff in the house, looking after the family and working, and just about everything else in between to spend time pampering and looking after myself that when I do get some time I value it and use it wisely. And no, I will not be getting up at the crack of dawn to get myself ready for the day I’m just too tired! I value my sleep, what little I get.

I admit Friday evenings with Monty are booked out every week regardless of what’s happening so I guess you could call that a little bit of me time but it’s not quite the same as a long soak in the tub is it?

This was also my opportunity to have a little ‘slowing down time’ despite the chaos of our little home! Even though I work part time I still find it can still be quite stressful. I’ve spoken to friends who’ve been furloughed and they’ve found their time out of the rat race to be particularly beneficial. Many have said that it’s given them time to reassess their way of life and what they want or need out from it and it’s become apparent just how important the work/life balance really is. I really hope employers think about this when reassessing their own business needs/wants. Happy staff are more productive and cost effective.

  • Experimenting with food

I’m not the world’s best cook. Lord knows I’d love to be but it just isn’t going to happen, I don’t have the ‘Nigella turn to camera and pout in a sultry manner’ skill, but I do have a knack for just throwing things in a pan and hoping for the best, surely that’s a skill – right?

I have a friend who is an amazing baker and she regularly posts her creations on Facebook. Every time I see them it’s like a scene from Turner and Hooch! I’ll just leave that one there…

It’s been great spending time in the kitchen making meals with the family, something that we did a little of before but never the amount we do now. I’ve become a lot more chilled about the spills and empty utensils pot at the end of each cooking session, and the amount of pots and pans it takes to make a one pan meal when cooking with kids, but that’s the joy of it in a way, they get to understand what it takes to make a meal and there’s a real appreciation over what they’ve made.

I have learnt a lot about not wasting food and using what we have in the cupboards, freezer and fridge. I raided the bookshelves for any of my recipe books and scoured the internet for ideas and came up with a couple of great tasting, easy to throw together family meals that the kids actually wanted to eat, and actually asked for seconds. Yes, seconds! Feeling smug here.

I really like http://www.lovefoodhatewaste.com as they have some super easy, very yummy recipes which are family friendly. Another site I found useful was http://www.realfood.tesco.com which you put in the ingredients you have and it finds recipes for you based on what you have. Genius. I got quite a few from here.

Maybe I’ll share some on a post one day if you’d like?  

  • Hearing, seeing and breathing it all in

What do I mean by all that? I have thoroughly enjoyed the peace and quiet lock down has given. Yes, I’ve heard kids in the garden enjoying themselves in their pools and on their trampolines and generally just having kid fun, but I’m talking about the fact that I can hear the birds and insects, not the hum of vehicles or industry. I have terrible hearing and without a hearing aid I’m pretty much deaf and during lock down my hospital appointments to check my ears had been cancelled which has meant my already bad hearing had got worse, but because there hasn’t been the background hum of society I’ve been able to hear the sounds that normally get drowned out. It’s been a delight watching bees go about their daily business pollinating and buzzing about. Hearing the birds singing and seeing them come down to the feeders getting braver each day, and chastising us when the feeders run empty. You can see them lining up on the fence looking at us! They’ve got so used to us being in the garden with them that they don’t even bother to fly away.

I’ve been able to see the colours clearer because I’ve stopped and really looked, I’ve been able to sit on the bench and take it all in. Yes there are always niggles about job security, paying the bills and what’s going to happen next with Covid-19, living with the unknown is always going to be something that’s there at the back of my mind but putting that to one side it’s been nice to switch off from it all occasionally – even for just a few minutes a day.

Have you been able to slow down and enjoy lock down? Or are you one of our brilliant key workers looking forward to a little time off to try to enjoy some valued ‘me’ time? What have you enjoyed about lock down? What, if anything, are you going to take away from this strange time in history?

I know I’m going to appreciate nature a little more, it’s been a trying and unusual event that isn’t going away in a hurry and I’ve been able to reflect on some of what has happened and learn from it – especially how important family and good friends are.  

Take care, stay safe

Becks

xo

Lets be honest about lock down

How’s it been for you? I see so many perfect Instagram posts about how wonderfully people are coping throughout lock down and how home schooling has been nailed, along with working from home and all the perfectly kept homes and gardens. It’s not just Instagram it’s pretty much plastered all over social media of any sort. So many posts of how much people are looking forward to spending lots of time with their partners and children, if they have them, and how the moments are to be treasured. That’s fantastic, I’m really pleased for you. Genuinely I am. Even I felt like this to start with.

Perhaps your children are perfect and will sit in full concentration hanging on to every educational word you mutter and are happy to share the required PC world sized collection of electronic devices needed for home schooling. Or perhaps you have a partner who isn’t working and will happily take the responsibility of managing the housework and keep out of your way whilst you’re working, or perhaps you both work and have managed to coordinate your work schedules and space so you are in perfect harmony with each other.

You have the perfect life, I envy you!

The reality of it may be very different. Your kids may be feral and refusing to dress in anything other than the pyjamas worn for the past three days that are becoming decidedly smelly and sticky. Oh and good luck trying to get them in the shower! Or you are now after an initial flutter of ‘wow, this is fab working together’ you realise your partner’s working habits are distracting and you have to share the dining table because you don’t have the luxury of a spare room, and quite frankly if they interrupt another meeting then there’s no guessing what you’ll do, and what is it with bloody zoom meetings anyway?! Seriously I haven’t had one yet where I don’t look like Uncle Fester on steroids! Or perhaps you have partners who maybe aren’t working and haven’t lifted a finger to do the housework, although the washing pile isn’t so bad as everyone is wearing clothes for at least three days, and they’re sitting on their arse all day binge watching Netflix or permanently attached to the games controller!

Yes, dear readers that is pretty much what it has ended up being like for many. And for me? Well, I have the experience of my semi-feral children wearing two day old pyjamas and the only way I was going to get them anywhere near water was to encourage them in the pool for a swim, whilst simultaneously wrestling a kindle, a laptop and the telly controls off them in the process. My kids have only ever been slightly ‘trainable’, you should try living with a head strong sassy girl who does “talk to the hand” with some serious sass, and a boy who could be the next David Attenborough with his keenness for nature and all things grubby, who simply must bring in the grasshoppers and varying manner of bugs he finds – we’re currently running a caterpillar hotel in the living room, don’t ask, just don’t go there, so after days or should I say weeks of being cooped up and trying to do all the expected home schooling and various other arduous tasks on the never ending to list, and getting to the point of frustration where I just think coffee just isn’t going to cut it and where’s the Gin! And, who’s that wimpering again? Ah… it’s me (hangs head in shame!).  

We have the luxury of having a spare room so I was able to ensure hubby was cordoned off each day. As long as he had his supply of coffee and biscuits, which he would pop and get on his irregular tea breaks, he was happy to be there. It’s amazing what a constant supply of naughty snack food can do to productivity!

And then there were the hours upon hours of waiting to see if an online delivery slot would become available, and then when you thought you’d got one you realised that you aren’t considered essential (story of my life, eye roll!), and damn it you’ll now have to go out and somehow face the world in something other than clothes that you’ve been slobbing around in doing the housework, gardening and various DIY jobs that needed finishing off on the to do list(s), because you never just have one list do you? There’s always more than one on the go that just seems to continually get longer and longer. The thought of putting on make up and brushing my hair was almost as bad as trying to figure out what to change into, especially as most things don’t fit due to slight excess covid calorie consumption and because, let’s face it, it’s much nicer to watch Joe Wickes keeping the nation going with his PE with Joe sessions every morning than actually work up a sweat joining in! After the first one nearly killed me I thought I’d join in from the sofa, wink, wink!

Photo by Breakingpic on Pexels.com

So, after mustering up the enthusiasm to actually go out, when you get to the shop you are faced with social distancing rules which so many people seem incapable of following. Yes, the guy with the sudden urge to breathe on my neck and reach over me whilst I’m getting something from the bakery aisle! Nice one mate! I have to say my meals at home were particularly inventive especially as we tend to eat a lot of pasta and rice in any normal given time, but could I get any? No, because the whole bloody nation went mad and bought sixty billion bags of rice, pasta and toilet roll! Seriously, if you need that amount of toilet roll then you should have been seeing a Doctor way before Corona came to town!

There were a couple of occasions where I was honestly beginning to struggle a little with lock down. I found it particularly hard when it came to family birthdays, of which there were three at the height of lockdown and one during easing. I really struggled to keep a happy face when I dropped off my Dad’s birthday gift, as I couldn’t go in and have a chat like I would normally do, and it’s just not the same on the phone. We had both kids birthdays as well and this was quite hard for us all, as they couldn’t have their friends or grandparents over which we would normally do. Family mean so much to me and not being able to do the things we have taken for granted has been really hard emotionally. I did make a point of checking in with my parents daily with a text to make sure everyone was ok, we chatted a couple of times a week to keep some kind of sanity and this did help a little. I was glad when I could go and have a socially distanced meet up for my Mum’s birthday. Just being able to sit in the garden with my parents was lovely.

I was also quite glad that they started easing lock down, although I still had my concerns and the news reports about packed beaches and tourist hotspots just reinforced my belief that some people are just inherently stupid, but for me I was happy that some schools were beginning to re-open with ‘class bubbles’ and the kids could begin to get some learning done whilst still keeping it as safe as can be given the unknowns with Covid-19. I found it much easier when the youngest went back in reception and I then only had to deal with home schooling the other one. Which was still challenging as he’d got to the point where he was just fed up with it all and wanted to go back. I think he just saw it all as an extended holiday and would often dig his heels in refusing to do anything until at least 11 o’clock in the morning, of which by then I’d run out of enthusiasm too, after all watching Joe being energetic is quite tiring…

All the kids got to go back for a reset week, which I thought was the best thing for them. They got to see their friends again and had some proper class teaching which is what they needed. My kids have now finished for the summer so we will continue in our efforts to keep up to speed whilst having some fun over the holiday, and the kids have lots of fab challenges set for them to do so I’m sure if we find ourselves at a loose end there’s always something there. Although I’m bracing myself for the constant “mum”, “where’s the…”, “I’m hungry”, “I’m thirsty”, and the running around picking up their dirty clothes for which I need a HASMAT suit to go near, or opening ‘mum’s café’ at breakfast time and throughout the day for that matter, serving up all manner of lovely choices of food for them only to take one bite and discard and say “want something else”.

I love my children, however, I do feel the need to say at this point that I’m going on strike. Gin anyone?

Take care, stay safe

Becks

xo

Who let the dogs out?

Woof, Woof, Woof, Woof

Now there’s an ear worm you aren’t going to get rid of in a hurry!

So we all know lock down has been a little strange, but for me there has been one event that stands out in my head and I just have to share it with you.

I was planning to redecorate my downstairs washroom, as Hyacinth Bucket would refer to it, as we’ve been here a couple of years and it’s been on the list of to do’s – you know that list? The one that just keeps getting longer and longer and when you’ve ticked one thing off another five have since been added…

Anyway I digress slightly…

So, I collect my tools, get the bucket of paste and paper ready. I’m one that likes to get everything organised and have a clear space to work in, unlike my lovely hubby who works around things in a space and moves it all as he goes along – drives me slightly crazy at times but they do say opposites attract. After having done all this I decide to go and make a cuppa and grab a biscuit, oops there goes the healthy eating regime. Anyhow, after having a little break and getting side tracked a little, it was half an hour later, I come back to find everything gone!

Yes, I mean everything! Weird. So I call up to hubby, “any idea where the decorating stuff I put ready is, hun?”, “yep, up here” he answers, to which I reply “eh?”.

So I trot upstairs. Alright, maybe not trot up so much, especially with all the Covid calories I’ve been consuming on board, but you get the gist. What do I find when I get upstairs? Hubby has started putting up the wallpaper in our bedroom.

“This is not something unusual” I hear you say. Well, think again. I am now calling this my husband’s mid-life crisis wallpaper you’ll see what I mean by the pictures below.

So there goes my dream of a refined, sophisticated, relaxing and grown up bedroom, with lovely Joules bed linen and sophisticated accessories. I’m now sharing it with… Well… Take a look…

To be honest with you I am very grateful for hubby for doing the hard work as wallpapering isn’t one of my favourite jobs to do, along with painting and housework. I’ve just had a eureka moment and been inspired to do a post on the lazy girls guide to housework… Yes, I’m essentially quite lazy and would do nowt all day if I could except sip Gin and bask in the sun! And in my dreams this is happening. I applaud hubby’s enthusiasm for doing a job that he professes to dislike, and he did a bloody good job of it!

I’m sure it won’t be up for too long, so I can live without my super grown up boudoir for a little while. At least it makes us smile when we look at it even if it may not make for a super relaxing sleep!

So, lovely readers out there, don’t leave your decorating kit whilst you have a naughty biscuit break or you may just face a decorating surprise…

Oh, and if you were wondering this is more what I envisioned for the bedroom. I’m wondering if its ever meant to be?

Photo by julie aagaard on Pexels.com

Have you ever experienced a ‘midlife crisis’ moment?

Comment below 😉

Take care, stay safe

Becks xo

Work, money and homeschooling – how did I manage it?

Short answer? I didn’t. Not at first anyway. It was, and still is, a slow process.

Many parents and carers have found themselves in the unenviable position of being both parent/carer and teacher as kids are off school or nursery and businesses are following government advice and staff are encouraged to work from home. Its a difficult task trying to work and get kids to do anything remotely school based. Many people are being furloughed or waiting to see if they are going to be furloughed and worrying about paying mortgages or rent, putting food on the table for their families and such like which add to the stress and worry of everyday life during lock down.

Photo by Life Of Pix on Pexels.com

There are so many people already living hand to mouth, payday to payday that one little blip can send finances reeling and then we’re in a position where most of us really don’t want to be. I have realised just how much we, as a society, don’t save for the future or have the ‘rainy day fund’ as I refer to it. I may be generalising but many people I’ve chatted to have said they haven’t any extra put away and are living payday to payday with huge debts and overdrafts to contend with too. I know I’m one that isn’t really in a position to save and have found it particularly tight, having to cut down on a lot of things cancelling subscriptions and other unnecessary direct debits. I know I am one of the lucky ones so I’m not after your sympathy here, I have a support line in my husband who covers the key bills but given that any money I do earn goes towards the extras now that I lost all my contracts immediately the schools and colleges were told to shut I lost ALL of my income. I couldn’t even get furloughed initially as I am employed by an umbrella company who were in talks with the government as we are classed as zero hours contractors. What I have managed to get has been peanuts, but at least it’s something and might just pay for a bit of fuel for the car. This has made me consider how I manage my money better in the future, so much so that I’ve downloaded the book ‘The Richest Man in Babylon’ by George Samuel Clayson and it’s long I grant you that but it makes a lot of money sense. Well worth a read if you can get your head into it.

I have had my own battles with my two kids, mostly on a daily basis and yes I’ve been tried and tested to tears but just as we’re starting to come out of lock down I’ve finally cracked it! Only a few weeks too late but hey, so what I have achieved a ‘Yes! fist pump moment!’.

I initially made the mistake of trying to set up homeschooling to be just like school. BIG FAIL! I am a school teacher and find it hard to get out of the ‘must be a teacher’ mentality. Of course I’m not a teacher at home I’m Mum. My kids don’t, and won’t, ever see me as anything other than Mum so trying to be teacher just simply was’t going to work. After a while of trying various strategies found by hours of trawling the internet and following Facebook posts, I got to a point where I just sat my kids at the table and had an honest conversation with them. You know the one, the ‘Ok, I’m done, I don’t know what to do or where to go from here’ conversation. However, credit where credit is due, they did listen and they did have a really grown up kids talk with me. We decided on focusing on one of them in the morning and the other in the afternoon or as soon as the first had finished their work and then we would work on a project, usually something grabbed from the internet, or free time fun play after. I found out just how much my kids love gardening, baking and science experiments which was an eye opener. My son has such green fingers, he seems to be able to grow anything!

I also found that having a Smart television helped as I could ‘beam’ the kids work to it from the laptop and they like playing teacher which is a really effective way of getting them to learn something. My daughter loved doing ‘Phonics with Rosie’ on the big screen and my son loved putting presentations together about what he’d learnt that day. It was brilliant seeing their enthusiastic faces as they played teacher. This is a strategy I’m going to continue to use with them when I want them to practice their schooling over the summer. We all know that kids lose a little of their sharpness over long holidays away from school and six weeks is a long time, so I’m aiming to make it easier for them when they go back especially as we’ve lost so much school time due to the pandemic.

Of course I fretted and worried about how much my kids would be put back by not having a school based education like they’ve been used to, and yes it was a little easier when the little one went back and I only had one to cajole on a daily basis into doing at least one something! Reward charts are my saviour! But now they’ve both gone back I know that they’ll be ok, we have the summer to do a reading challenge and some extra writing practice but I know that as long as my kids are happy and safe and we try to stick to a sort of ‘normal’ they’ll be fine.

I know that some of the ideas that I found whilst surfing the internet won’t work for us in any way shape or form, however I do know there are some ideas that I can take forward and use for personal use in the office my hubby has commandeered! His Man Cave we call it now. There are noticeboards and tally charts that I can use for keeping me on track and not just the kids. I’ve printed off posters and learning tools that the kids like to use so will be continuing with those for September mostly courtesy of Twinkl the school resources website (Note: I do pay a subscription for this provision) so I know they are tried and tested and they are readily used in the classroom so the kids are used to the layout. There are lots of good charts, posters and such like on places like Etsy and you can find a ton of them on Pinterest if you look in the right place.

There are still many worries and stumbling blocks to come at this strange time, but the one thing I have learnt and will say to you is this, whilst you might not feel it right now – we are going to come out of this eventually and you will be Ok, your kids if you have them will be Ok, we are living this together as a nation, as a world and it will pass. Don’t strive for everything to be perfect, we can’t do that right now lets just settle for being Ok for the time being.

Take care, stay safe

Becks xo