Author Archives: Sharon Saunders

About Sharon Saunders

Mum, author, blogger and most recently starting running my own business. I have a six year old daughter and nine year old step son. Quite simply, I blog about all things related to parenting, our family, being a working mum and life generally. I'm also author of 'The things they never tell you about becoming mum'.

Summer time fun

So here we are, well over half way through the school summer holidays. We’ve had some quiet days, some fab days out and our family fortnight – including a week in gorgeous (if not always sunny,) Cornwall.

The holiday is, as always, flying. I’m now almost half way through the two weeks, which is my least favourite fortnight of the year, where the older two are with their respective other parents and Richard is back at work. Following straight on from our family fortnight where all five of us were together, the difference is well….stark. Finn has noticed too – he’s asking for the others multiple times per day, irrespective of my repeating where they are each time.

Right from the very first year that Ellie went away like this I’ve always found that if I allow myself to think about it too much, to dwell on it, then the ache of missing her becomes much bigger. So, from the very first year I’ve always kept myself busy. One year I went on holiday so I wasn’t at home where she normally was, other years I’ve worked long days and last year with the added dimension of being home alone with a baby (ahhhh!!!!) I meticulously planned every day for Finn and I to be doing things.

This year has been different – I haven’t planned most days and I hadn’t really had time to think about it much until it was here. So as I hit the half way point I can’t help but feel surprised at how well it’s gone.

I obviously still miss the kids and I look forward to the moment Richard comes home from work, but Finn and I have had lots of fun. Most crucially (and I don’t want to tempt fate as we’ve a week to go) we’ve spent lots of time on our own but still had a good time!! I’ve managed to do some jobs around the house as well as spend time focussing on Finn and I feel like we’ve made the most of our quality time together. There’s no doubt that at 19 months old Finn is more often than not great fun and I’m going to treasure these moments. Here’s some of them…

Finn responds to my asking him to ‘smile for the camera’:

Finn helping mummy with the washing:

Snuggles before nap time:

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It’s a toddler’s life and toddler’s rules…

AT 17 months old Finn has now established some very clear rules for life, which I figured it best to share with other toddlers in case they find them useful….please do pass on 🙂

Rule #1
No is just a word mummy says to make me show my cute face. The only exception is when the word is repeated several times until eventually bellowed out and steam is literally coming out of mummy’s ears – in those situations, it is best to cry.

Rule #2
Daytime naps are for wimps – although occasionally you should change it up a bit and have a really long nap. It will drive your mummy mad and ensure that she spends more time thinking about that than other things best left alone, such as how to hide vegetables in your food.

Rule #3 Food is tooooo boring to waste time on so as soon as you have had enough to dull your appetite you should demonstrate behaviour that will encourage mummy to get you out of the high chair quicker. Dropping food on the floor, flicking it across the table, blowing raspberries (ideally with food) or best of all – yelling loudly and banging the table. All of these behaviours will have the desired affect.

Rule #4 Running is better than walking, there are no exceptions. (Please note that I haven’t yet successfully checked out jumping so this may need to be updated in due course.)

Rule #5 Toys are entertaining for a little while but generally there is much more fun to be had with the things your mummies and daddies don’t give you. For example – the pans that mummy cooks with are better than the ones she gives me, I can sit in them, make louder noises and throw them around to a great reaction. Mud is much better to play with than the ‘play sand’ they give you – I am confused about why they bothered with the sand.

Rule #6 Faces, hair and generally other small children are fascinating – grown ups don’t seem to understand this and object loudly when you poke, hit or pull at them. Feel free to ignore, the grown ups are just silly.

Rule #7 Looking cute is the key part of being able to get your own way. With this face, I couldn’t be doing anything wrong could I….

Please do let me know of any rules you feel may need adding……

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How long?!

So my last blog post was a mont,h yes A MONTH, ago – apart from the fact that is totally rubbish of me, it’s shocking because it feels like it was only a week ago. Time is whizzing by so fast and here, in a quick list of life chez honesty and humour over the last few weeks, is why…

The garden has had some attention – I’ve planted up the veg patches, done more weeding and cleared out the greenhouse. Sadly I’ve discovered that doing anything in the garden is pointless with a toddler. Finn will trample on it, dig it up or throw sand from his sandpit on it. I suspect our vegetables may be a little more miss than hit this year. Ah well – there’s always next year.

We had a wonderful Easter break including a week in Cornwall which I can hands down say was one of our best family holiday weeks ever. We spent quality time with our family who live there, had super weather, great days out and a lovely place to stay (totally recommend it, click here to check it out). Sunny Cornwall…

I have to add that having totally dreaded the journey with Finn, he did incredibly well and it was so much better than expected (thank you teletubbies and farmyard songs on CD!). Our August break has a lot to live up to.

Ellie’s asthma has flared up with her cough rearing it’s ugly head again – obviously mostly at night…cue lack of sleep all round.

Very excitingly I won some tickets to the circus which according to the husband is a bit of a ‘bus man’s holiday’ but whilst life at home is a bit of a circus sometimes we definitely don’t do the tricks and stunts they do! Super fun.

Our new guinea pigs (Ellie got them for her 9th birthday are incredibly cute but ill which translates to way more work than I expected.

Finally, I ran my first ever half marathon last weekend – very chuffed and a little bit proud of my medal! I’ve found running really therapeutic since I had Finn…a little investment in me. It’s not always easy squeezing the training in and I probably should have done more but I did it.

So there you have it – four crazy busy weeks in one blog post! Anyone else feel like time is speeding up?!

I’ll try not to leave it so long before I post again.

See you all soon.

Springing into action

Yipeeeeee spring is here. This might actually be my favourite time of year – when I feel a mixture of relief that the winter months are over (they do seem to drag on after Christmas) and excitement for the summer fun that’s to come.

The nights are lighter, the garden is in bloom…

But it isn’t just spring that’s sprung into action…

In the garden, the lawns are mowed, the weeding well underway and the veg patch prepared for the new season. Indoors we’ve been organising and celebrating Ellie’s 9th birthday (yes I said 9!!!!), planning our Easter holiday and trying to squeeze in some spring cleaning (limited success but still).

The children are in on the act too – Nate has found a new passion for playing the keyboard and started lessons which he LOVES, Ellie has announced that she has ‘more energy’ now spring is here so is in her words ‘running and jumping more’. As for Finn – it’s fair to say he’s an outdoorsy kind of kid!

I can’t promise that I’m not grumpy at all of course, but it’s amazing what the sunshine does. Happy Spring and Happy Easter everyone.

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Five Rules of giving parenting ‘advice’

This is something I feel strongly about and on that basis there are two things i need to be upfront with. First, i have used shouty capitals a bit – sorry. Second, this is my shortest ever post, done specifically that way on the basis that ‘less is more’ – more likely to get read by more people.

So here goes….the five rules of giving parenting advice.

Rule 1 – NEVER think you have the answer. There isn’t AN answer!

Rule 2 – If you don’t have kids – be quiet. Harsh, but true.

Rule 3 – ALWAYS caveat what you’re saying clearly with – this is from my experience, this is my view etc

Rule 4 – DO NOT JUDGE. You can have an opinion but parenting is a personal thing – a personal style and personal choices. You won’t know the other person’s child like they do, so you won’t have the full picture.

[Clearly there are some things that are right or wrong like not feeding your child or locking them under the stairs harry potter style, but obviously I’m not talking about those things.]

and finally…

Rule 5 – NEVER EVER GIVE ADVICE UNLESS THE PERSON BLOODY WELL ASKS FOR IT!

Enough said. #thatisall

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