Bad Mums’ Club: The Tantrum Tipping Point

So what is The Bad Mums’ Club? It’s a collection of posts by bloggers on our failings as mothers. Of course, we know we’re not really bad mums, but I think it’s important to highlight all the imperfect stuff we do, as well as the amazing rose-tinted moments. It’s good to keep it real, right? At the moment, The Bad Mums’ Club consists of me, Morgana from But Why Mummy Why, Aimee from Pass The Gin and Katie from Hurrah For Gin (Can you tell, mum bloggers like gin?) but really, everyone is welcome. If you’re a blogger and fancy writing a Bad Mums’ Club post, you can link it up by heading to Aimee’s blog Pass The Gin this month.

I'm a member of the Bad Mums' Club


The Tantrum Tipping Point

Picture the scene: I’m in the kitchen with my three-year-old daughter, getting ready for pre-school. She’s already refused to get dressed, has barked that she wants “MILK NOT WATER PLEASE MUMMY” and is now watching Mister Maker on the iPad (I know. Tsk! TV before pre-school…)

I’m boiling the kettle to make myself a tea. “Can I have toast please, Mummy?” she says, not even looking up from the crepe paper octopus being made on screen. “Yep, of course,” I reply as I pop bread in the toaster and head to the fridge. “Oh. Sorry,” I say. “We’re out of jam. Just butter OK?”

Just then, time stops. Everything goes into slow motion. She glances up at me, and I wonder how she is about to react. This is going to go one of two ways:

1. Her face will crumple, her shoulders will sink, her chin will jut out and she will say (shout) in her whiniest voice: “I WANT JAAAAAAAM!” She will possibly also throw herself dramatically off her chair and onto the floor, where she will wail and pound the floor with her fists. And repeat “I WANT JAAAAAAM!” 47 times.

2. She will frown, think for a second or two, and then as she goes back to watching her TV programme, say quietly: “OK, Mummy.”

This moment – these slow-mo few seconds of time – is called the Tantrum Tipping Point. You have no idea which way things will tip, and you pretty much have no control over it. Or do you?

For me, distraction is the key. Some of my favourite ways of distracting my daughter at the Tantrum Tipping Point are:

  • SINGING. “We’ve run out of jam! We’ve run out of jam!” to the tune of Three Blind Mice would work.
  • SHARP INTAKE OF BREATH. Smile while doing this (so as not to scare them) and then say something like “You will NEVER guess what! I’ve heard Peppa Pig doesn’t like jam!”
  • LAUGHING. This usually sounds more manic than jovial but laughter can diffuse any tense moment.
  • POINTING AT SOMETHING. The classic ‘look over there!’ trick. I often point at something on the TV and ask a question about what’s happening on it.

Or, alternatively, y’know, just let the tantrum play out. Pick up your cup of tea, sit down (preferably in a sunny spot) and stare out into the world outside, thinking about nature and wildlife. And Brad Pitt. Mean? Probably. But sometimes, it’s the only way…

Screen Shot 2014-05-04 at 22.47.36

Psst! If you liked this post (and like the blog) then I would love it if you headed over here and voted for me – I’ve been shortlisted for a Brilliance In Blogging award in the Writer category… which is TOTALLY AMAZEBALLS (and a bit of a shock) but if I want to become a finalist, I need your vote! Thank you!

VOTE FOR ME BiB 2014 WRITER

 

Butlins Just For Tots: The Highs And The Lows

Butlins Just For Tots review

Someone says “Butlins” to you, and what do you immediately think of? The seaside. Chalets. Red coats. Cabaret shows. Hen and stag dos perhaps. It’s probably fair to say that its reputation dwindled a bit in the 80s and 90s, but since 2000, Butlins have invested £70million in their facilities and I’ve heard lots of parents talk about what a brilliant place it is for a UK family holiday. And this month, Butlins have launched a special break for families with  pre-school age kids – the Just For Tots breaks are jam-packed with entertainment aimed at under 5s and have loads of activities included in the price you pay when you book. Sounds like the dream, right? We were asked to road-test the Just For Tots break, and I headed to sunny Bognor Regis on the south coast of England, with my mum and three-year-old, ready to have some serious fun. We stayed for four nights in a king room, with partial sea-view, at the Shoreline Hotel (one of three hotels – Ocean and The Wave are the other two) and it was close to the beach and a two minute walk away from the action. Rooms were basic but comfortable and staff were super friendly. The same break in June 2014 will be £367.
The Shoreline Hotel, Butlins Bognor Regis

So what did we think? In a nutshell, there were lots of fantastic things about the Just For Tots break. There were also lots of things that weren’t so fantastic. If you were to ask my daughter if she’d enjoyed her holiday, she’d nod enthusiastically and ask when we’re going back! But my view, as a grown up, is slightly different, so (ahem) borrowing a concept from fellow blogger Morgana from But Why Mummy Why, I thought it would make sense to tell you what the three-year-old thought and what we thought. If you’ve booked to go to Butlins, or you’re thinking of going, this might help. Continue reading

My Top Blog Crushes

Being a blogger, I read quite a few blogs myself. Some blogs I read because I have got to know the blogger through Twitter or Facebook, and some I read because the posts make me want to stand up and shout ‘YES. I THINK THAT TOO.’

Others, I go back to again and again because they have a magnetic draw. I can’t always put my finger on what it is – sometimes it’s the photography, sometimes it’s the blog design, sometimes it’s the ‘dream’ that the blogger is selling. I basically have a big old blog crush on them.

Here are some of my current top blog crushes…

1. Maggie Stone

A fab hand drawn header, amazing photography and posts about really cool things, Maggie Stone is written by mum of two Kelle. The blog is named after her grandparents and you have to take a look at her kids’ rooms (Fraser’s here and Hattie’s here). I look at this blog and sigh with happiness. Is that silly?!

maggie-stone-blog

maggie-stone-blogs

2. Tigerlily Quinn

Fritha has been writing this blog for a few years, and I heard her describe it recently as a mix of everything in her life – there’s fashion, family, interiors, food and a bit of other stuff thrown in for good measure. But I think it’s the photography that makes me LOVE her blog. I quizzed her about her photos at Blog Camp and she said she uses RedLab to edit them. But really, I could use RedLab too and my photos still wouldn’t be as good – she clearly has a talent for photography.

Amazing blog - Tigerlily Quinn

Fritha from Tigerlily Quinn

 

3. More Than Toast

I got to know blogger Alice on Twitter and religiously follow her blog. She’s a fantastic writer – I find myself drawn into all of her posts, even ones she is writing on behalf of a brand (now that’s the sign of a great blogger) and her photography is ace too.

more-than-toast-blogMore Than Toast

4. Wearing It Today

A blog written by Red magazine’s Laura Fantacci, this is a must-read for any fashion fans. I usually click through to see what she’s been wearing and which products she’s recommending a few times a week. There are lovely photos and her magazine-style images are brilliant.

wearing-it-today-blog

Screen Shot 2014-04-28 at 09.14.59Which blogs do you have a crush on?

Let’s Talk About Our Vaginas

Did my blog post title make you wince a bit? Do you get a bit embarrassed talking about your vagina? Because 40% of women recently polled by Vagisil admitted that they hate the word and 4 in 10 said they have never talked about their ‘intimate health’.

But really, when you think about it, why is this part of our body any different to our elbow or little toe? OK so it’s involved in sex and reproduction, but really, it’s just flesh. Aren’t we all grown up enough to talk about vaginas and intimate health properly? Especially those of us who have given birth. I remember lying in the hospital bed after giving birth, legs up and in stirrups, with nurses and doctors having a good old look at my vagina, trying to decide whether I’d need regular stitches or whether I’d need to go into surgery, to repair the (*crosses legs while typing*) tearing, and my main thought was: They could start selling tickets to tourists to come in and have a look, and I wouldn’t actually care! So many people had had a rummage and a poke by that point, that any embarrassment I might have felt, had vanished.

Vagisil’s Let’s Do Something campaign is all about removing the taboo around the vagina and encouraging women to be confident about speaking up when they think they might have a problem.  More than half of the women that Vagisil spoke to said that they’d be too embarrassed to ask for help from a pharmacist or GP if they thought they had a problem. And nearly a quarter admitted they’ve never properly looked at their vagina.

So why have Vagisil started the Let’s Do Something campaign? They have over 40 years of global experience and expertise in the intimate health category and they want to encourage women to be proactive and preventative with their intimate health.

Vagisil have a new range of intimate treatment and daily care products which are specifically designed to look after the health of your intimate area. We all take care of our face and body using special lotions, washes and creams; just like the rest of our body, our intimate skin benefits from special attention too.

Check out their website for advice and tips, and if you think you have an intimate health issue, go and see your GP or pharmacist.

This post was commissioned and sponsored by Vagisil – for information on how I work with brands, visit my Work With Me page.

3 Super Easy And Healthy Family Meals

As part of the Organix No Junk Challenge, I’ve been thinking a lot about easy and quick family meals I can make that are healthy and don’t involve processed food. I’m a huge fan of tasty food that’s super quick to make (giving us more time to be running around the park or watching Frozen) and today, I looked in my fridge and cupboards and set myself the task of thinking up three dishes that I could make with them. So what were these items?

Got these ingredients? 3 super quick meals you can make...

Everyone’s got these around, most of the time, right? So here goes… here are three super easy and healthy family meals using just these six ingredients… *channels Ainsley Harriott on Ready, Steady, Cook*…

6 Basic Ingredients... Make 3 Super Easy Family Meals - Not Another Mummy Blog

 

Meal 1: Eggs In Clouds (adapted from this recipe)

1 Separate egg, putting whites in a large bowl and yolk in a separate small bowl.

2 Whip whites until stiff peaks form.

3 Grate cheese and finely chop onion. Fold in cheese and onion to egg white.

4 Spoon into a mound on parchment-lined baking sheet; make a deep well in centre.

5 Bake at 450 degrees for 3 minutes.

6 Add yolk to well; season with pepper. Bake until yolks are just set, 2 to 3 minutes.

(Serve with toast)

 

Meal 2: Egg And Cheese Casserole (adapted from this fab Hungry, Healthy, Happy recipe)

1. Preheat your oven to 200C/390F.

2. Whisk 10 eggs, salt and pepper and 4 tbsp milk together and pour in to an oven dish.

3. Grate the cheese and finely shop the onion. Add to dish (chuck in other veg you might have like tomatoes, pepper or mushrooms.)

4. Cook in the oven for 30-35 minutes, until the eggs are cooked.

(Serves 5)

 

Meal 3: Egg, Cheese and Onion Crepes (adapted from this amazing looking recipe on the Taming Twins blog)

1. Make a crepe/pancake by putting 100g plain flour and a pinch of salt into a large mixing bowl and make a well in the centre. Crack two eggs into the middle, then gradually pour in 300ml milk and 1 tbsp oil. Whisk together and pour into a moderately hot frying pan. Flip.

2. Finely chop the onion and in a separate frying pan, gently fry it in butter or oil.

3. When the underside of the pancake is almost done, put the onion on top, then the cheese. Fold in each side to make a square.

4. Break your egg into the space left.

5. Squish the sides down with your spatula to seal as the cheese melts.

6. Cook for 3 or 4 minutes until the egg is turning white.

7. Pop under the grill for a further 2 or 3 minutes until the yolk is just starting to cook.

 

So there you go, three super easy and healthy family meals with basic ingredients! If you’re interested in serving up healthy food for your family, check out the Organix No Junk Challenge. The No Junk Challenge is simple – it’s asking parents to look at the ingredients of the foods we’re buying for our kids. If we don’t recognise any of the ingredients, ask ourselves if we really want to be feeding it to our children. Read more about it over here and sign their pledge.

Organix No Junk Challenge

• Big thanks to Organix for collaborating with Not Another Mummy Blog. For information on how I work with brands, see my Work With Me page.