Messy bedrooms – the bane of my life!

I am not the tidiest person in the world. I fully admit this fact! I have my reasons for this that I may go into further another time but it is safe to say that I am no domestic goddess. I do however try to at least be a little bit organised. When we moved into our new house last year I was determined that the bedrooms were going to be calm, organised and tidy spaces worthy of Instagram. Bedrooms, in my opinion, are safe spaces and I suppose I had an idealist view of how they would look. Fast forward 5 months and it has become apparent that I was clearly off my head when I imagined that scenario! The girl’s bedroom currently looks like there was an explosion in a toy factory.

I had such good intentions when we bought our first house (we had previously rented). I wasn’t going to allow our home to be overtaken by clutter and mess. With 2 girls sharing a room, I knew that I had to have an organisation system and so a friend of mine made me some vinyl stickers to go on the storage boxes that we already had. It was a genius idea! Every toy had a place and the girls would know exactly where everything belonged. Call me naive but I honestly thought that it would work. I honestly thought that a 6 and 3 year old would actually give a damn about putting toys away! Yes, I admit it… I am an idiot. At this exact moment in time those carefully labelled storage boxes are strewn carelessly across the floor. Barbies lie in a heap, their arms and legs akimbo, a silent scream of desperation on their perfect faces. Jigsaws are scattered around the room, now forever missing that final piece. Toys, so thoughtfully chosen by family and friends, disregarded and forgotten about. It honestly makes me want to scream!

I may not be the tidiest person in the world but I do care about my belongings and so I don’t understand why my children appear to view their toys and other items as disposable. I am forever being heard to shout the famous last words “you won’t be happy when Father Christmas doesn’t bring you any toys this year because you don’t look after the ones you already have”. It is an idle threat though and everyone knows that! Come Christmas morning my living room will be covered in wrapping paper, the same as every other year and no amount of threats will change that. I do however need to change the outlook of the children with regards to their belongings. I do not want to raise spoilt brats who think that it is ok to discard possessions and leave them in a heap to be stood on and broken just because they can’t be bothered to tidy them away. Taking away toys and technology doesn’t seem to work and no amount of coercion or bribery has any effect. After a week of asking them to tidy up the mess themselves and then offering to do it together, I just end up admitting defeat and tackling the destruction myself.

I have been told that my children are too young to tidy up themselves and that I am expecting too much from them. I have even been told that I am mean! I do not think that they are too young though. They are old enough to get the toys that they want out of the box that they live in and so, in my opinion, they are old enough to put the toys back in that same box. I am not asking them to sweep the chimney (we don’t actually have a chimney but you get the point)!

Now I understand that there are worse things in life than a messy bedroom but right now the messy bedroom is stressing me out. I need to get it sorted and not be back in the exact same position 3 days later because believe me, if I stand on one more lego piece I am going to lose my mind and the neighbours won’t appreciate the language or blood curdling screams! I thought that the organisation I had in place would be enough but I didn’t factor in the world’s most stubborn child and a 6 going on 16 year old. What is the return period on your own children? Have we passed the full refund stage? I guess that until I find a fool proof way to keep my house tidy or my children, by some miracle, dramatically improve their attitude, I am stuck muttering “for f**k sake” under my breath whilst throwing naked, plastic bodies into a box.

Do your children keep their rooms tidy?

Brelfie Craze

There is a new craze doing the rounds at the moment – The Tree of Life Brelfie. For those of you who don’t know what a brelfie is, it is a breastfeeding selfie. These pictures use an app called PicsArt to superimpose a tree with roots onto a breastfeeding picture before using different art styles to add an effect to the picture. 

They are incredible pictures to look at but I have to admit that I was dubious at first. I was worried that despite being visually stunning and despite being a symbol of a proud mother, they would soon just become the latest fuel on the fire of the whole breast vs formula feeding debate. Usually calm and centred women would once again become enraged because they perceived a beautiful picture to be slighting their choice of feeding. Now due to a number of issues I formula fed my children exclusively after the first few weeks and I was at times shamed for this. However, I really do not see the need for any such debate or  ill feeling. Babies need to be fed and as long as they are fed then end of story!

I will happily say that I have so far been wrong in my prediction. All of the pictures that I have seen have been viewed as the beautiful, life affirming, proud mummy moments that they were meant to be. And so do you know what, I decided to do my own. Even though it didn’t work out for me, I did try. I am proud that I tried. I never got a picture of me feeding baby boy but I did get one of me feeding baby girl and so I am celebrating that fact! I am a proud mother!

Share your brelfies proudly ladies!

Mother in Law or Monster in Law?

We’ve all heard the Mother in Law jokes. You know the ones:

What is the difference between outlaws and in-laws? Outlaws are wanted. 

What’s the punishment for bigamy? Two mothers-in-law.

I used to think that Mother in Law jokes were just a bit of a cliche. That they didn’t really have a grounding but were the result of too much stereotypical daytime TV. Endora from Bewitched for example is the ultimate stereotypical Mother in Law. I mean you have to ignore the magical background but looking past that she pretty much sums up the whole Mother in Law image portrayed by many a spouse. Now I am quite an active participant on online parenting groups and forums and I cannot believe some of the stories I hear about Mother in Laws. From interfering in parenting decisions to openly telling their child to get a divorce, the sheer audacity of these women is mindblowing. One woman who posted was seriously contemplating a divorce if her Mother in Law didn’t stop calling her ‘the barren one’ and telling her husband that he should leave her for someone fertile (they weren’t even trying for a baby!).

It is whilst reading these comments, written by sometimes desperate women, that I realise just how lucky I am! My Mother in Law is amazing! I’m sorry if you were expecting, or wanting, me to rant about her, to moan about the awful things she does and says or tell you how terrible she is to be around. I’m afraid that I can’t do that. I can’t do that because my Mother in Law is actually lovely. She does not fit the stereotypical Mother in Law image at all. 

So here are 10 reasons why I love my Mother in Law:

1. She is kind, fun and caring. 

2. She treats me like a daughter.

3. She lets me moan to her when life is rubbish. 

4. She is a godsend when I need a few hours break from the children.

5. She never interferes in my parenting decisions (although I’m sure she would like to sometimes when i’m doing an awful job of it). 

6. She never tells me off about my messy house.

7. She doesn’t tell me that I don’t look after her son well enough.

8. She is a fabulous baker (and doesn’t judge when I eat more than 1 slice of cake).

9. She loves my children unconditionally.

10. She is the reason I have my husband!

This Sunday, 23rd October, is National Mother in Law Day (fairly sure this might just be in America but as we usually end up stealing most of their traditions anyway, let’s just go with it) and so as we sit down to our Sunday roast let’s raise a glass to all of the amazing Mother in Laws. Here’s to you fabulous women who have defied the stereotypical image and who treat your child’s spouse like the family they are. You are great! And to my Mother in Law, a great big thank you. Thank you for raising the man I married and thank you for welcoming me to your family. I appreciate you more than you will ever know.

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Advice – well meaning or interfering?


I’m sure we’ve all seen that formula advert. You know… the one with the different groups of parents having a dig at each other and then all coming together at the end. It’s a good advert and it does highlight the fact that there are so many different ways to raise your children. It also shows how critical we can be as parents. Why is it that as soon as you have a child everyone feels the need to comment on your parenting style?

Some people are obviously well intentioned and just want to impart little tips that worked for them. I had a lovely old lady stop me in the street, as baby boy was trying to make himself heard in the next town, and tell me what a cute cry baby boy had. She told me that even though people didn’t agree with them now she saw nothing wrong with a dummy. I told her that I fully agreed and if baby boy hadn’t just launched his I would be giving it to him. We spent a good 5 minutes talking about how dummies are demonised these days! I wanted to take her home and adopt her as an extra grandparent. Other people however are just down right rude! When carrying baby boy in the wrap I get a few comments telling me how uncomfy it looks for baby boy. Now I might listen if he wasn’t usually fast asleep when they say it. I don’t know a baby who would fall asleep if they were uncomfortable. Baby boy certainly lets me know when he is unhappy.

I obviously love my son and I parent him as I feel is best, so some comments I get just wind me up a bit. Don’t carry him all the time, you’ll make him mard! Leave him to cry or he’ll never learn! Don’t let him into your bed, he’ll never sleep on his own! I don’t know about you but I know not a single adult who still shares their parent’s bed. I appreciate advice, I really do but sometimes I just wish that people would think before they speak.

I really hope that I am not guilty of giving unwanted advice. In fact, anyone who knows me, if I ever do this please remind me of this little rant and ignore me whilst I hang my head in shame.

Parenting is hard and as parents we should stick together and support not make digs at each other’s attempts. I often tell baby boy to play nicely – maybe we should do the same!

How do you feel about unwanted advice?

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Hand me downs and second hand


When baby boy was first born we were given a huge box and numerous bags of hand me downs from friends and family. It was brilliant! The clothes ranged from newborn up to 2 years. I spent a couple of hours one afternoon sorting them into piles. There were absolutely loads of the smaller clothes. The piles got smaller as the sizes got bigger but that didn’t matter, it was just amazing to have so many clothes and I was touched by the generosity. Between those and the outfits he was bought as gifts we didn’t have to buy a single newborn or 0-3 outfit.

Once he outgrew his 0-3 I realised that I actually had to buy a few outfits to fill out the clothes that we had been given in the 3-6 age range. I looked at what we already had and decided that a pack of sleepsuits and a couple of complete outfits was all we needed to buy. I went to George at Asda (I had seen some really cute outfits) and although the clothes were very reasonably priced it still came to a lot more than I had expected. This clothing a child malarkey is an expensive business!

When it came to his 6-9 month clothes I was prepared therefore. I once again checked what clothes we had and this time knew that I needed to buy quite a few bits. I knew where I was going to shop this time – eBay! I logged on with my list ready and to my absolute delight I discovered bundles. People were selling big bundles of clothes with starting prices of 99p. I couldn’t believe it. I looked carefully and managed to buy everything I needed plus more (included in the bundles) for £35 including postage. The bonus was that every single item was from Next! I was extremely impressed. I excitedly told people of my bargain. Some people were amazed by my purchases whereas some turned their noses up at the thought of second hand.

Baby boy is still wearing his 6-9 month clothes but I am already prepared for the next stage and this time I have only spent £25 (including a very cute elf outfit ready for Christmas). Some people don’t like the idea of second hand clothes but I say they are brilliant. Children only fit in them for such a short time and so why pay a fortune. Now baby boys clothes will be passed on to his new little cousin as he grows out of them and so even more use will be gotten out of them.

I absolutely love hand me downs and second hand bargains. If the quality is good then why not make use of them!

Do you buy second hand?

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