Talking to Mum

One of the things I have always admired about my sister’s relationship with her eldest daughter (who is now a grown adult) is the fact that they are able to talk about anything – genuine, open, honest communication. I’m pretty sure they’ve had their moments but by and large they have always been close and talked about everything.

It’s something I aspire to with Ellie and I do believe we are really close but, at age 8, Ellie has developed two bad habits when it comes to communicating with me.

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First – I have caught Ellie telling me little white lies more and more over the last few months. It can be anything from saying she’s brushed her teeth or combed her hair when she hasn’t, to telling me she put something away when she clearly hasn’t. It’s always small things and ridiculously easy things to spot (at least the ones I know!) – often that’s part of my frustration – why lie at all about something so silly! I can’t help but worry that it seems to be setting a horrible pattern for the future.

Second- she is fond of saying ‘I don’t want to talk about it’. This has usually been the line given when I want to discuss what she did wrong or why I sent her to her room, so I haven’t worried too much as I figure that’s pretty normal. The other weekend however, something happened that upset her when she wasn’t with me and whilst the responsible adult she was with told me about it, Ellie tried everything to avoid discussing it.

If I’m really honest – this is the first time I’ve felt truly frightened about how things will be when Ellie is older – I don’t want a teenager, going through all the stuff teenagers do, who doesn’t want or feel able to talk to me. I might of course be overthinking this (it wouldn’t be the first time) but I can’t help but wonder what I can do to make sure she always talks to me.

I’ve already had a conversation with Ellie where I reminded her that she can tell me anything, that I love her always and am always there for her – no matter what. I’ve also reminded her on several occasions that she must always be honest with me and we’ve talked through a version of the cry wolf story several times. So far though, that’s all I’ve got and that doesn’t quite seem enough.

So as ever – any ideas or similar experiences you’re willing to share are most welcome! Please comment below.

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Welcoming the summer holidays…

Well we are officially now just three days away from the school summer holidays. At the start of this 14 week term it seemed such a long way away but, it’s here in a flash. Of course the end of term always seems to be incredibly busy with sports days, assemblies, reports and especially so this year because our biggest boy is finishing primary school and Ellie is going on her first residential with school tomorrow.

On top of that of course there is Finn who is having his own end of term excitement as lots of the baby groups stop over the summer, so there are parties and goodbyes all round. He even got a little present from one of our favourite groups which has gone down very well…

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So with the holidays literally almost upon us I’m pleased to say that my initial feelings of ‘what on earth will we do with all those days’ have now been replaced with feelings of excitement and anticipation – who would have thought! It’s all down to some detailed and nifty planning, offers to meet up and do stuff from some wonderful friends and family, and the fact that I can now more often than not put Finn down for naps without having to go out for a walk.

So I am raising a glass (literally) to the last week of term and look forward to seeing if best laid plans and all that……I will obviously let you know!

#randomthoughts 2 July 2016

Back in 2013 I published a series of posts entitled #randomthoughts (see here for the first ever one). It was my way of sharing my thoughts on the blog which which I felt were worth sharing but didn’t justify a whole post to themselves.

I had intended to produce a random thoughts post every week but life got in the way and after a few weeks I wasn’t able to keep it going. This week though I happened to re-read one of those original posts and realised that despite only being short snippets they actually gave quite an insight into my life at the time. So – as you might have now guessed, I have decided it is time to resurrect #randomthoughts and whilst I am not promising weekly, I do plan to share more #randomthoughts posts in the future.

Here then are my latest #randomthoughts…

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1. School mornings are like herding cats. Just 3 of them, including one that can’t move on his own, but it really does feel like more.

2. I love bananas. Filling, healthy, zero preparation and most importantly – can be stuffed down quickly when lunch seems impossible.

3. Just occasionally I want my life back – the one where I could lay in, drink a hot cup of tea and eat at a pace that didn’t give me indigestion.

4. Six week summer holidays = six weeks with none of our usual stuff to do and three children at home. Detailed planning is already well underway.

5. I squealed in Aldi this week. Literally – couldn’t help myself when I discovered the Mamia Organic baby food pouches!

As always, I hope you enjoy reading this post and I also hope it gives a fair glimpse into our family life at the moment. So – how about you – what are your random thoughts at the moment? Please do share by leaving a comment!

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The magic of a smile

“Oh when you’re smilin’ keep on smilin’
The whole world smiles with you”
Louis Armstrong (Lyrics from ‘when you’re smiling’)

It’s fair to say that since Finn’s arrival into our family in January I have been constantly reminded of the magic and power of a smile.

When I’m out walking with Finn (aka trying to get him to nap!) I find myself smiling and saying morning to a multitude of people who I quite frankly don’t know and have never seen before. What’s inevitable though is that the more I smile and get smiles back, the happier I feel and the more energy I have. I also then of course smile at even more people! On those days where I’ve felt tired it has been like a magic tonic.

What is more, when any of our children smile at me I find myself literally instantly smiling back – even when I really should be telling them to stop doing something (i.e. being silly at the dinner table, cartwheeling in the house and so on), or if appropriate to start doing something (i.e. cleaning teeth, washing hands, tidying up)!

What’s really interesting though is that at 4 months old Finn also gets the magic of a smile – even if he doesn’t exactly understand it! Obviously when he smiles at me my heart melts and I instantly forget the 5am start, or the poo on my leg, but it also works the other way too. When Finn is a bit unsettled or fed up I often find myself simply looking directly into his eyes and smiling….and it works – he more often than not smiles straight back!

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