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Sometimes you just need a break

When you’re a mum, looking after the kids, running a household and dealing with everything else that life throws at you all at the same time – sometimes you just need a break.

I understand that going to work all day as a parent isn’t fun or easy either. I get that I’m lucky enough to be able to stay home with my children. I haven’t always been a stay at home mum, I do understand the responsibilities and stresses of life outside of motherhood.

As a stay at home mum, when I say I need a break I don’t mean a holiday or a reward for doing my job which is looking after Kory and Kora every day. I’m talking about just being able to have five minutes to myself so that I can feel sane. I want and need a break from time to time, not because I’m bored or looking for some fun, I want and need a break because I put absolutely everything I am into staying at home and raising my kids and let me tell you something, it isn’t easy. In fact, it’s damn well hard some days.

I can admit that I need a break but I won’t ask for help and sometimes even when the help is there, I don’t accept it. Or won’t accept it shall I say. Not because I’ve got too much pride but because I feel like accepting help is me admitting that I find life as a mum hard sometimes and that makes me a failure. And even when I do get time to myself I just feel guilty the entire time. Guilty for ‘palming’ my kids off. Which I know is a load of rubbish and it’s silly for me to even feel that way but in my mind that’s how I think and I can’t help it.

So what do I do instead? I end up pushing myself until I feel totally empty with no energy for anything at all. Which is no good, is it? It isn’t good for me and it isn’t good for my children. Because although I feel like I’m being the best mum that I can be by being with them all the time, I’m not really am I because when I’m with them I’m doing the bare minimum with bare minimum effort because that’s all I can do. There is nothing else left for me to give. I can’t summon up the strength to give anything else because I’m pouring from an empty cup.

I really am my own worst enemy and I need to remember that it’s okay to accept help, it’s okay to admit that i’m struggling and it’s okay to have some time just for me and to actually enjoy that time without punishing myself for doing so. If I want to be the best mum that I can be, then I really do need a break sometimes and if I don’t want to go insane, then I need to do it for myself too, even if it’s just for an hour so that I can refuel.

Sometimes you just need a break. A break from the responsibilities of being a parent, a break from the craziness and even a break from the kids and that is totally okay. In fact it’s more than okay. It’s necessary.

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Freedome Trampoline Park @ Cheshire Oaks review

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I was so excited when I was contacted by Emma’s Diary Parent Squad asking me if I would be interested in a gifted family pass to visit and review Freedome Trampoline Park in exchange for an honest review of our experience.

Of course I said yes!

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We were given a family pass to Freedome for 2 adults and 2 children which allowed us to attend for 90 minutes. With Kory only being 3 years old, we were advised to attend one of the FreeBees toddler sessions that are available for under 5’s. These sessions take place between 9:30am and 12pm midweek during term time and at 9:00am and 10:00am on weekends and during the school holidays. FreeBees toddler time sessions are only £5 for 2 hours and include 1 hour of toddler trampoline time where your little ones have the whole park to themselves, 1 hour’s access to the soft play area that is located upstairs by the cafe, time in one of the party rooms for colouring and drawing, toddler jump socks and 2 FREE adults. These sessions are available to book online.

www.freedomeparks.com

Upon arriving at Freedome Trampoline Park, we were greeted by a very friendly and helpful lady on reception who made the check in process very quick and easy for us. I simply showed her the tickets I had been given and she went on to provide Kory with his jump socks and me with a bit more information on Freedome and the different activities that are available throughout our session as I had never visited before.

Then we got straight to the fun part… The trampolining!

At Freedome there is a Freestyle court that has sprung walls and a massive interlaced trampoline bed that creates a continuous space meaning that Kory was free to just run round like crazy! There is a dodge ball court, set out a bit similar to the Freestyle court except there are soft balls for you to throw and hula hoops too. There is a Free Slam area for you to practice your slam-duck skills and there is Lexi’s Ladder. A wobbly rope ladder where you can practice your balancing skills above a super soft, deep foam pit knowing you can safely fall.

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As I am currently 37 weeks pregnant, I was unable to jump on the trampolines myself but I felt comfortable enough to let Kory jump by himself whilst I closely watched as safety at Freedome is paramount. There are ‘Free Guards’ that keep a close eye on everything that is going on around them and their job is to observe and to make sure that everyone has fun whilst also staying safe. Freedome believe fun starts and ends with safety and so I knew Kory was playing in a safe environment.

Freedome is an unforgettable experience! Kory absolutely loved just being able to run and jump freely and we would definitely visit again. And maybe next time we visit i’ll be able to have a jump on the trampolines too!

 

* Please note, I was gifted tickets to visit Freedome Trampoline Park in exchange for an honest review. All views and opinions are my own. *

 

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Kory turned 3!

I’m sorry this blog post is a little late but we have had a busy couple of days.

Kory turned 3 years old on Thursday and I definitely had mixed feelings about this. If you’re a parent yourself then you will already know that it is so bittersweet watching your kids grow up because as amazing as it is to watch them learn and grow into their own little person, time just seems to go nowhere and I find myself wishing he could stay my little boy forever. I can’t believe 3 years have gone by already, why do they have to grow up so fast?! (Yes I have cried about this multiple times on the days leading up to his birthday, on his birthday and even on the days afterwards.) I am just so proud of him. Kory has brought us nothing but happiness from the day he was born.

I think it’s safe to say that Kory had the best day on his birthday and so did we celebrating with him. Kory was bought lots of lovely presents from us and all of our family and friends which included his first big boy bike and a new trampoline! After he had finished opening all of his presents in the morning, we got ready and we took him to Blackpool Zoo for the day and whilst at Blackpool we took Kory to Coral Island (his favorite place) before heading back home and having birthday cake! Kory has been well and truly spoiled, he is one very lucky little boy and we feel lucky to be his parents.

Kory’s birthday was such a busy, busy day that he didn’t have much time at all that day to actually play with any of the presents that he’d been bought because by the time we got home from Blackpool it was pretty late and Kory was so tired that not long after blowing out the candles on his birthday cake he went straight to bed. So the next day we just had a day spent at home, we stayed in our pyjamas and we just played with all of his new toys all day!

So that was Kory’s 3rd birthday, it still feels strange to me that he is a whole 3 years old even as I am typing this out and that has been our weekend so far.

If anyone wants me i’ll just be over in the corner crying while looking through all Kory’s old pictures from when he was baby…

Mummy and daddy love you all the world, Kory George.

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Mama Bamboo review

I would like to start this review by thanking Mama Bamboo for giving me the opportunity to test and review some of their products. Since becoming a mum I have become a lot more conscious about the environment, the impact we have on our planet and what sort of world we are leaving behind for our future generations. It’s because of this that I’m always looking for ways to be more environmentally responsible and so have started to make small changes to the products that my family use in the hope that these will become big changes that will have a more positive impact on the world around us.

The first thing I noticed about my delivery from Mama Bamboo was that everything was packaged in recycled cardboard, there was no nasty plastic and I was able to recycle the cardboard boxes. I think a lot of other companies should follow this.

In the Mama Bamboo package that I was so very kindly sent, inside I received a Children’s Bamboo Dinner Set for Kory and I think this may be my favourite Mama Bamboo product out of them all. There are 8 fun dinner set collections to choose from and each set includes a plate, bowl, fork, spoon and cup and are beautifully illustrated with endangered species with a certificate that includes a matching story to help your child understand more about each individual animal and certifies that by purchasing one of the dinner sets that your child has helped to save that particular species and their home by donating to WWF and choosing to use eco-friendly products by Mama Bamboo.

Kory absolutely loves turtles so it was no surprise to me when he chose the Bamboo Sea Turtle Dinner Set. When I read him the short story that was included within his dinner set about Teresa the Sea Turtle he was really pleased to know that he had helped her and her environment and wanted to know more about other sea turtles too. I think these Bamboo Dinner Sets are a great way to get children interested in animal life and how we can help to protect them. The different Bamboo Dinner Set collections you can choose from include; Ping the Panda, Gonza the Gorilla, Teresa the Sea Turtle, Eka the Elephant, Thansanee the Tiger, Ponya the Red Panda, Ruandi the Rhino and Panuk the Polar Bear.

I have to say that I love the feel of the dinner set itself, each piece feels very strong and of really good quality. The Bamboo Dinner Sets are priced at £18 each and can be purchased from the Mama Bamboo website.

Next up is the Mama Bamboo wipes. Each pack of wipes includes 60 wipes that will fully biodegrade within 6 months and because the wipes are only made by using the softest, breathable bamboo fibres they feel so soft. The wipes are over 98% plant based materials which means they are suitable to use on newborn babies too.

I love that these wipes are completely biodegradable but I also love that they don’t leave that ‘wetness’ feeling like other wipes do after use which I personally think reduces the risk of nappy rash. The wipes are strong enough to take care of any messes whilst still being gentle enough to use on baby’s sensitive skin.

The Mama Bamboo wipes cost £2 per pack or can be purchased as a pack of 12. The 12 packs of wipes would usually cost £24 but are currently on offer for £20 on the Mama Bamboo website.

Finally, I was able to try out the award winning eco-nappies by Mama Bamboo. The first thing I noticed about the Mama Bamboo nappies is how soft they feel. They are made from the softest, luxury, breathable bamboo fibres and contain no perfume, no alcohol and no chlorine. The Mama Bamboo nappies will be 60% decomposed in less than 3 months and can achieve 80% decomposition over time.

Kory only wears a nappy to bed, he is potty trained throughout the day but I found that this worked in our favour really as I would say the best time to test a nappy would be at night time as that is when you need a nappy to provide excellent absorption rates for quite a long period of time to avoid any leaks. If everything is as it should be the next morning, then you’ve got yourself a good quality nappy. So we put the nappies to the test… No leaks!

We have been using these nappies with Kory every night for over a week now and haven’t had a single leak.

The nappies are available in size 1, size 2, size 3, size 4 and size 5. Each different size includes a different amount of nappies per pack and varies in price.

Mama Bamboo are so confident that you will love their products as much as we do that they offer a free sample pack on their website. The sample pack includes 2 nappies in any size for you to try out for just £1. All you need to cover is postage.

Mama Bamboo can be found on Facebook, Instagram and on their website.

I have really enjoyed using the Mama Bamboo products, I would definitely use them again and I highly recommend them. Thank you for reading my review, please let me know what your thoughts are.

* Please note, I recieved these products in exchange for an honest review. All views and opinions are my own. *

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Real posts

I am in no means a photographer and I don’t try to be. What I post on my Instagram is what you get and the pictures that you see here are real.

I don’t have the time to take marvellous photographs of me and or Kory on an expensive camera, I’ve got to grab whatever shot I can with my iPhone before he’s on the move again and make do with that! But I think that just adds to the realness of my blog. It might not look as professional as some of the other mummy blogs (cudos to you for being able to take flawless photos of your children and/or life) but I think it makes mine authentic and that’s what I’m going for.

Crap quality photos do irrate me on my grid and even on here so I do try to take ones that are as nice as I possibly can with what I have but my shots still don’t compare to that of others, their grids look immaculate and I’m okay with that.

When I started this blog I said I wanted to be honest, honest about parenting, honest about my life and that doesn’t include making my life look like it’s something out of a magazine and sharing just that online. Because for one, my life really isn’t perfect at all and for two, I think people can appreciate realness. In fact I think it’s important that people are real online instead of just sharing the ‘perfect’ moments. I want other parents to know that parenting isn’t always easy and that they’re not the only ones to feel that way. Maybe if more of us were honest about parenting and spoke openly about the struggles that come with it then there would be a whole lot less mum guilt. Not that it’s anyone else’s responsibility how I feel as a mother but I have to admit, I have compared myself to other parents that I see online, parents who seem to have it all together and come away feeling a bit rubbish about myself and I know I shouldn’t, no-one really knows what goes on behind Instagram because some people only choose to share with the world what they want you to see but it’s so easy to look at their seemingly perfect life and compare it to your own. So if your life really is as flawless as it looks online then I’m happy for you! But mine certainly isn’t and I’m not afraid to share and discuss those less insta-worthy moments. Especially if it means I will be helping another mum or dad feel a little better about their own parenting at the same time.

So no my grid isn’t perfect, my blog isn’t perfect, my life isn’t perfect, I’m not even perfect but this little guy is.

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Why we co-sleep

Co-sleeping is definitely not for everybody. But we do and I want to share with you why.

When Kory was a small baby it wasn’t for us either, I was far too frightened to share my bed with him after hearing so much about SIDS. It was only as he got older that he started to co-sleep with us and we have no problem with it. Kory climbs into our bed with us in the middle of the night and sleeps much better knowing that we are right next to him and I sleep better knowing that he is okay.

My main reason for choosing to talk about our own co-sleeping arrangements is because often co-sleeping is frowned upon or more so, ‘shamed’ and I want to let other parents know that whether they choose to co-sleep or whether it just happens to happen to them (like it does with us!) that they are not crazy for sharing a bed with their child and to try and normalise it.

Often people who co-sleep get asked questions such as:

How are you able to sleep well with your child wriggling next to you?

This may come as a surprise but I actually sleep better when Kory is next to me. He sleeps through the night and has done from being 12 weeks old but if he did wake for a drink or from a bad dream which happens more than you think then I’m already right there next to him, neither of us have to fully wake up and I don’t have to get up out of bed to go into his room.

Don’t you worry about rolling over?

As I said earlier, when Kory was a small baby we never co-slept with him, in fact I was actually quite adamant that I didn’t want to and insisted on him sleeping in his own moses basket/cot due to fear of sharing a bed with him and rolling over onto him. It’s only been as he’s got older than he climbs into bed with us and rather than having to get up and put him back into his own bed, we let him stay. we don’t worry about rolling over onto him, it may sound strange but even when I’m asleep I’m still conscious and aware of what’s going on around me. Since becoming a mum I am such a light sleeper. Lots of people are against co-sleeping with children for safety reasons but what could be safer than having your child that close to you?

Who sleeps next to who?

I sleep next to my partner and when Kory climbs into bed with us in the middle of the night he sleeps between us both and although Kory is a real starfish sleeper, I love to cuddle him.

Doesn’t he fall out of bed?

Well he can’t fall out of our bed as he sleeps in the middle between me and my partner and before joining us he doesn’t fall out of his own single bed when he sleeps by himself either.

What is your bedtime routine?

Kory is allowed to go on his iPad up until tea time, after we’ve had our tea I don’t allow him to go on his iPad because it keeps him awake. We usually have tea around 4:30pm-5:00pm, then it’s play time, bath, pyjamas and bed for 7:00pm. I read Kory a bedtime story and he’s asleep for 7:30pm.

Are there any cons to co-sleeping?

Yes, I’m not gonna lie co-sleeping has its pros and its cons. One con would be that if me and Rory are cuddling in our sleep it can get interrupted but I also get a different type of intimacy from co-sleeping with Kory, when I sleep next to him I feel close to him and knowing that allowing him to share our bed is comforting to him feels good. So it’s sort of a trade but we know that it isn’t going to last forever. Kids aren’t small for long and it just means we have to work a little harder to make sure our relationship doesn’t suffer – which it doesn’t.

How long will your child want to co-sleep for?

Usually until they are ready to sleep through the entire night by themselves. Kory has a lovely bedroom that he loves spending time in and he goes to bed no problem but he must just wake in night and want to be near us. I’m not worried at all that I’m going to end up sharing my bed with my partner and our son when he’s 15. That’s not gonna happen LOL.

What do you think about co-sleeping? Would you co-sleep? Do you co-sleep? Let me know!

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Happy Father’s Day

I would like to wish a very special Father’s Day to the most incredible man who I am so lucky to call my partner and daddy to our children. We are blessed to have someone as kind, thoughtful and as caring as you in our lives.

Rory, up until having a child of our own together, I’d never really had a reason to celebrate Father’s Day before so I want to try to make all of yours as special as I can. You are an amazing dad to Kory, you would do absolutely anything and everything for either of us and for that you deserve to enjoy your day.

But I don’t just want you to know how special you are today, I want you to know how much we appreciate you every day.

I honestly don’t know how my life would have turned out had I not met you, you have given me two beautiful children and in that time I have watched you grow as a dad and bond with Kory and I am so excited to watch you do it all over again with baby K. I feel beyond fortunate, I love our little family and the lives we have created for ourselves. We have been through so much together and it hasn’t always been easy but I am so proud of you and you should be too.

I guess what I’m just trying to say is Happy Father’s Day, Rory. But I worry that I simply can’t put into words how much you truly mean to us and that there is no amount of actions that would ever be enough to thank you for everything you do and continue to do for us. We want to thank you for being the best daddy and we want to thank you for all of your love, care and hard work but above everything we just want to thank you for being you.

We love you!

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Southport Food Fest

Yesterday I had a really good day attending the Southport Food and Drink Festival with my partner, my mum and Kory. We all tried lots of different foods from around the world and ate lots of yummy treats! We ate chilli, cheese, guacamole and salsa covered nachos, fries covered in cheese sauce, steak burgers and so much more. This is our third year attending the Southport Food and Drink festival and every year we all always really enjoy ourselves and come home with lots of goodies!

Yesterday we came home with cordial, flapjacks and homemade scones. As if we hadn’t ate enough already!

The festival usually takes place once a year over the first weekend in June, entry is free and it is set in the beautiful Victoria Park so that when you’ve chosen from the 100 different food and drink stalls, you can sit on the grass, relax and enjoy the atmosphere. There’s also craft stalls, local bands playing and even a puppet show to entertain the kids.

If you love food then the Southport Food and Drink Festival is the perfect day out for you and your family. There is something for everyone to enjoy.

I mean just look at these chocolate covered strawberries!

So that was our Saturday, I hope you all had a nice day too. Let me know what you got up to in the comments section!

https://www.visitsouthport.com/whats-on/southport-food-and-drink-festival-p150071

* This is not a sponsored post. *

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Sea Life Centre

Yesterday I needed to get Kory out of the house so that Rory could finish decorating the rest of the house ready for us making a start on baby K’s bedroom next weekend (because, well have you ever tried to paint walls with a 2 year old running around? Yeah it’s not the best idea and in between saying ‘don’t touch that paint!’ Or ‘mind those walls!’ You don’t get a great deal done!) so what better way for us both to get out of the way and for me to keep Kory entertained than taking him to see all the different fishes!

So yesterday me and Kory visited the Sea Life Centre in Manchester.

Kory loved it at the Sea Life Centre like I was sure he would. He has two goldfish of his own at home that he takes care of and he loves to watch them swim around their tank too. He’s always asking me questions about them, like how do they breathe in water? Why do they have fins? How do they swim? He is honestly so curious and loves to learn so it wasn’t a surprise to see how fascinated he was yesterday by all the different fishes and their difference in size, colour and shape. Every time we were looking at a new fish he would excitedly say ‘look mum, look!’ And point at the fishes to show me.

Not only did Kory see lots of different types of fish, turtles and sea creatures but he also walked through the shark tunnel, he was very brave and touched a shrimp and a star fish with very little encouragement needed from me and he even met a mermaid!

It was amazing for me to see his little face light up throughout the day. We both really did enjoy ourselves and it was a really nice day. It was a shame that Rory couldn’t join us too but he was able to get the majority of the painting at home done and sometimes it is nice to just have that mum and son time together. Especially since it won’t be long until baby number 2 will be joining us and who knows how often I will be able to share my time solely between them both. (But that’s for another blog post!)

So that’s been our bank holiday Monday. What did you get up to yesterday? Does your child/ren like to visit the aquarium?

(Sorry for the lack of pictures, a lot of the ones I took turned out quite dark as I wasn’t allowed the flash on my camera turned on.)

* This is not a sponsored post. *

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Kory’s first cinema trip

It’s the bank holiday weekend and it’s raining as usual. This morning I was thinking of ideas of what we could do together as I didn’t want to spend yet another day just sat at home, I wanted to make the most of Rory’s time off from work as well and thought it would be nice if we could take Kory somewhere indoors to do something instead of being stuck inside the house.

Then I remembered that the new The Secret Life of Pets movie is out! So today Kory got to experience his very first cinema trip.

This morning we got up and ready and we took Kory to our local Cineworld to watch the new The Secret Life of Pets 2 movie as the first one is one of his absolute favourites! We had held off taking him to the cinema any sooner because we wanted to take him to watch a movie that we knew he’d enjoy so that he wouldn’t get bored and so that we wouldn’t waste money so this showing seemed like the perfect opportunity to give it a go.

Before we went to find our seats inside, we made sure that Kory had been to the toilet, that we had enough drinks and snacks for the duration of the film and I had a little chat with him too just explaining how once we’re sat down in our seats to watch the movie, we’re not allowed to walk around as the room will be dark and we could trip so it’s important that he tries to sit still. Having never taken Kory to the cinema before, we didn’t know what to expect, we wanted to try and make the experience a positive one for us all and therefore tried to be as prepared as we possibly could. Our child might be very good at listening but he’s not the best at sitting – but at 2 and a half years old we can’t blame him for that really!

Once seated we got off to a bit of a bumpy start, Kory didn’t like that the seats in the cinema moved every time he sat up/moved on it as he thought he was going to fall through it and he didn’t want to watch the trailers that were playing, he wanted ‘pets on!’ As he said! I honestly thought this was how he was going to be throughout the whole of the movie but after we got past the seat issue, the trailers had gone off and the movie began to play, he was okay but a short while after that he did decide to fall asleep!

Yes, my child. The same child that doesn’t nap at home for me during the day anymore spent about an hour asleep in the cinema! …Well I suppose you can only be so prepared!

It wasn’t all bad though, at least me and his dad got to watch a movie together in peace and Kory enjoyed what short amount of the movie he did get to watch. In fact, I think Kory would like to go to the cinema again and I think next time we take him he will have more of an idea of what to expect and we can all relax a little.

I think the next time we go we’ll take him to see Toy Story 4. Another one of his favourites!

So that was Kory’s first cinema trip. Does your child like going to the cinema? Or are they yet to visit? Let me know in the comments!

* This is not a sponsored post. *