The supermum does not exsist

Since I became a mum five years ago I have noticed the media has shoved this supermum ideal down our throats, making us feel we need to compete and I’m so sick of it. I’m certain this idea has been around longer than I have, but I believe media, social and mainstream have so much to answer for. This competiveness takes the actual goal of being a good mum and instead turns it into some race that will cause upset and guilt. We need to stop comparing ourselves and instead enjoy our own journeys as mums and treasure the time with our children before they grow far too quickly.

Here our some common misconceptions the media want us to believe.

  1. To be supermum you need to ‘snap back’ into your pre baby body so you can ‘flaunt’ your ‘enviable figure’ on the school run. If you are lucky enough to get back into your pre baby clothes 6 weeks after baby or like me two years later you still haven’t, it really doesn’t matter and your child is not judging you by your mum tum, personally I find my mum tum handy for balancing Mr T.
  2. To be Supermum you need to have a job and be mum and do them both with 100% enthusiasm and never compromise. If you are working full time with a baby in nursery or you stay at home, you are working and it’s hard. Do what works for your family and don’t feel guilty if you can’t do it all, it’s hard.
  3. To be supermum you need to breastfeed your baby and have photographic evidence on Facebook showing everyone that you decided to give your baby the best. You also need to bottle feed when out so you don’t offend anyone with a slight nip slip.  Which ever way you feed your baby there seems to be some judgement, stick with what works for you and enjoy your own feeding journey.
  4. To be supermum you need a home like a show home, no toys in sights and everything in it’s perfect place. You also need to buy every new toy in sight and have photographic proof at Christmas and birthdays on social media. If you can afford it, buy it, but try and remember that time spent with children is more valuable.
  5. To be supermum you still need to look good, all the time, hair done, no roots, nails and make up should still be high on your to do list. Personally I do enjoy getting dressed up when I can and I make sure I take a picture for proof that I do actually look nice some time. If you just want to rock a messy bun for the next few years and make up is more like hassle then so be it.
  6. To be supermum you need be the crafting queen, sow, knit, baker, masterchef champion and sporting Olympian. Very few people can do them all, find something you enjoy and stick with it, don’t let Pinterest take over your life.
  7. To be a supermum you need to stop your child from having a dummy or a bottle past 18 months otherwise you are in the lazy parent category. It seems everyone has a opinion on this, but be realistic and do what works for you.

Social media is a polished version, no one is going to upload a picture with a pile of washing in the background, it’s edited to make it look better than it is. Media outlets will always pit women against each other as it get’s the clicks/sales and starts heated debates. We all supermum in our own ways and all have our own battles.

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The real struggle of living with BPD (Borderline Personality Disorder)

The real struggle of living with BPD (Borderline Personality Disorder)

This isn’t a post for attention or even pity, it is a post for understanding, making sense of my own thoughts and also helping others understand about different mental disorders, the one that less than 2% of people suffer with. I’m having a bad few days, and when that happens I try to force myself to write as it is more important than ever for me to make sense of my emotions. Having BPD (borderline personality disorder) can be very intense at times and often if I am struggling with BPD my anxiety and depression will be heightened too. I don’t get in this frame of mind often, but when I do it can be pretty dark and very scary. It will sneak up on me when I least expect it.

I have been feeling a bit out of touch with reality and have disassociated myself, which for me is normal when I’m in this state of mind. It’s not that I want to be left alone it’s just I feel unable to interact with the outside world. In truth this is when I do need people around to connect me, encourage me, but I struggle to let people in. My life can begin to spiral out of control and I have no power over it. It’s like I’m just there for the ride. I get frustrated with myself and hate having these thoughts and feelings, but feel so powerless to do anything about it.

You are 70% more likely to be diagnosed with BPD if you are female. 7 out of 10 people with BPD will attempt suicide and this figure does not surprise me. Even more frighteningly is that around 1 in 10 will succeed. 75% of BPD sufferers will engage in self harm. It’s a scary and confusing place to be in when you feel all alone.  Something else that often goes along with this is self harm, it isn’t just something a teenager does, it’s something many people do, especially BPD sufferers do as a coping strategy.

When my BPD is bad I struggle to trust many people, I have paranoid thoughts and I feel like I am being a burden to them. It’s a mentally and physically draining and I still always worry that one day BPD will win. I don’t want it to win, as I love my life and just want happiness I just want rid of this black and white thinking and these intrusive thoughts that try to ruin my life. I am trying to control it with the use of dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) a form of the better known cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), but it’s a skill and I am having to relearn my thinking patterns., which will take time.

The thing is BPD isn’t always this way and I have episodes of being happy, organised, motivated, but then with little notice it can come spiralling out of control again back to the dark place where I feel vulnerable and alone. When I am in one of these episodes I withdraw from contact, this includes my own children, I feel flawed, I will even engage in risky behaviour and try to escape reality. I can see myself sabotaging and falling apart, but once in motion I cannot stop it. I am trapped in my own dark mind and don’t know how to make it right again, it’s my own version of purgatory where I am unreachable

One of my biggest fears is abandonment when I push the people l closest to me away. I have been incredibly lucky to have support people around me, but I do worry that eventually they will just have enough of me and leave. My biggest fear after that is that I will eventually commit suicide I know this is morbid and something many people cannot understand, but I do worry that one day when I am not in control that my demons will win. The truth is I want to live so much it’s just my brain that’s stopping me.

Each new day is new start where I can make a difference and shape my future for the better. I am doing everything I can to hopefully recover, which is a possibility with a BPD diagnoses. I have just got to try to stay positive and keep with the DBT classes.

 

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You are needed more than you will ever know

You are needed more than you will ever know

Please remember you are not alone, you are needed, you are cherished and you are unconditionally loved. Being a mother is exhausting both mentally and physically and sometimes it isn’t much fun. We can’t be the perfect mother every moment of everyday and we need to remember we are doing our best and that is just fine. Just making it through the day is achievement enough and something you should hold onto when days are tough. As much as the media would like to portray, the perfect mother does not exist and we all have our own bad days, own battles and own guilt, just some of us are better than others at hiding it. Every mother will cry because she doesn’t think she is good enough for her child at least once and that is what makes you the most wonderful mother to your child. You literally beat yourself up about being the best mother and you don’t realise that you already are.

Every stage of parenting from newborn to having a full-grown adult, brings its own challenges and when your child eventually flies the next you won’t just stop being a mother, this is a life long commitment like no other. Once you hold your baby in your arms for the first time you will carry them in your heart for a lifetime. You will see them achieve greatness, probably stumble and fall and you will feel their pain as your own. To be there for your child no matter what happens, whatever they chose and wherever they may go is something so beautiful. To watch someone you created make mistakes whilst you are helpless to stop them is difficult, but you can of course only guide them and let them fly free and become their own person.

Nurture them, love them, provide for them and show them acceptance when this world will try to show them differently. You are their first bond, their first love and you have the position in their life to make a difference. Show them that it’s ok to make mistakes, that apologising is healing not only for the recipient but also for themselves. Teach them what love is, form a healthy bond so they can base their future relationships on the love they have received from you. Show them that no one is worthless, everyone deserves an opinion that should be respected.

You really are needed so much as a mother not just from the moment they are born, but through every step and every challenge. Your love will be the key to their happiness, the roots you give them will ground them forever. You are like no one else in this world to your child, you are their mother and you are needed.

Returning to work

 

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Self-care with a new baby

Self-care with a new baby

My ‘baby’ is almost two now and I’m still very unsure if a baby number three will ever be on the cards so this is really a reflective post on self-care I wish I had implemented with a new baby. My daughter is now almost five and son was two a few weeks ago and my experiences were completely different, with my first I took to it easily and was back up in no time, whilst with my son I had terrible postnatal depression which I think was contributed to my lack of self-care in the early days post delivery.

If I do ever become a mother again this is how I would self-care better.

  1. I’m a pretty determined person if I put my mind to it and I was desperate to get out and about with the new baby and prove that again I was this perfect earth mother second time around. I was naive to think that two children wouldn’t be much harder and that I would heal in the same way. I was emotional and physically drained and I should have slowed down.
  2. I was pretty strict with my first with visitors and my second I let things slip. It was overwhelming not just for me but for my oldest. Miss J needed time to adjust to a new baby and we didn’t give her the chance.
  3. I wish I had treated my body better. I was so focused on keeping everybody else happy that I neglected myself. I had very low iron in pregnancy and required an iron transfusion after giving birth second time. I wish I had taken Spatone Iron earlier to help with my iron levels. If a third ever does happen I will be taking it throughout my pregnancy.
  4. My first labour was a real struggle and required a fair amount of stitches. The time it took to heal was long and using the toilet was a very scary experience. When Mr T came along I luckily only grazed, but second time I was clued up and had a jug of warm water ready for toilet trips and I took many salt baths which I really think helped make me recover so quickly.
  5. Breastfeeding first time was tough and I spent a fair amount of time crying through the pain.  With my first child I remember desperately waiting for our local shop to open on a Sunday morning so I could send hubby to buy some formula, whilst I was waiting for my milk to come in. I know some people are really against it, but it helped me carry on breastfeeding when I was struggling so much. With my second I had a carton just in case and never had to use it.
  6. Do your reasearch on a good breast pump. First time I went for a brand I knew and it was rubbish, second time I really looked into it and found a great Medela Swing pump which enabled me to pump and store milk.
  7. Close the curtains and air your breasts if they hurt and stock up on lanolin cream, Lansinoh seemed to work best for me.
  8. First time around I was desperate to get back into my clothes and I was ‘fortunate’ enough that I actually lost 20 Ibs in the first five months of pregnancy, so after delivery I was skinnier than before. Second time around I wasn’t so lucky and still haven’t lost it two years on. If there is a next time I will not got hung up on this and will embrace the leggings post delivery.
  9. Accept help if offered and ask for help when needed. I really wish I would have asked for help and accepted in more in the early days with baby number two. Miss J probably would have benefited from some time away from the new baby and I needed time to bond with my new baby.
  10. Make the most of box sets. I loved box sets with my first child, but with my second it was mostly spent watching kids TV. I wish instead of going insane watching Paw Patrol whilst I had a baby stuck to my boob that I had got out my tablet. There is no harm in watching TV and just staying awake.
  11. For some reason with my second I felt that I shouldn’t nap and as soon as my hands were free I would attempt to clean, I wish I had just laid my head down on the sofa and just rested my eyes for five minutes whilst my oldest watched some TV.
  12. With both children as I breastfed I felt like I had to be with them every moment of the day. I wish I had taken the time when hubby was home to pop out for an hour on my own between feeds or even go for a walk. Having a baby is all-consuming and sometimes you just alone time.
  13. I wish I would have expressed how I really felt. I bottled it up and I wish I would have been honest with myself and say how it really was. I didn’t feel confident enough to really start expressing my thoughts until Mr T was 16 months old and I started to write it down in this blog. Once I started to express how I felt, I then could make sense of it and let go of guilt.
  14. I really wish I had known about mindfulness earlier and took time out to mediate, relax and be present in the moment. It’s done wonders for my mental wellbeing and it really is one of the best self-care tools you can use.
  15. Own your parenting decisions and don’t let people make you feel guilt. Do what works for you and your baby and don’t let anyone else try to make you feel guilty. We are all trying to do the best by our children so don’t let someone limited perspective make you feel bad.

Having a new baby whether it’s your first or fifth is difficult and a big transition for you all. Be kind to yourself and remember unless you look after yourself first you can’t look after your baby to the best of you abilities. If anyone has any other self-care tips to add please let me know in the comments.

A special moment with both my children
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Becoming aware of childrens mental health care

Becoming aware of childrens mental health care

In my opinion as a society we need to become more aware of mental health care with children, even though massive leaps in recent years for mental health have happened, it’s still often forgotten about or brushed under the carpet, especially with the care of children. The statistics say one in four adults will suffer with a mental health problem, but I am certain that figure is higher. I think many of us have been parented in an anxiety inducing way that manifests as we become adults. I am working on my own mental health, trying to be more aware of myself and how I treat others, especially with my children.

People might not want to face up to the realisation that many mental health disorders are deep rotted from childhood or teenage years, this could be from parenting, discipline or even abuse (physical, sexual or mental). People often talk about the chemical imbalance in the brain of mental illness, but not where it could have started.

Parenting is tough and I for one I am the first person to admit it and I am certain I am not doing it perfectly much of the time. I have tried since first having my children to practice attachment parenting and gentle parenting, which helps form strong attachments with parents, which then gives your child security. I try to be conscious how I speak to my children, admit when I am wrong or have overreacted in a situation. I will make mistakes as a parent, but the important thing is that I explain to my child why I acted in a certain way and apologise when wrong. I don’t want my children to be anxious like me and I want to show them why it’s important to admit when you are wrong. I don’t believe we apologise enough as adults for our bad behaviour, yet we expect our children to be so quick to.

Three children in every classroom has a mental health problem and this is something that deeply saddens me. More needs to be done to recognise mental health problems in children by parents, teachers, health visitors etc. Children deserve the chance to get access to mental health care and support.

Something I have been focusing on recently with my oldest is mindfulness and yoga. I have found both have really benefited me and it’s something I want to share with my children to start health habits which will hopefully help them throughout life. Me and Miss J found a great website called Cosmic Kids which has videos of stories, yoga and mindfulness exercises, this has been amazing for Miss J as she is unaware that she is learning and is just enjoying taking part. I believe this will help her with her concentration and mental wellbeing, whilst it helps us bond over a shared interest. More schools than ever are starting to take part and use mindfulness in classrooms and I believe this will increase when people see the benefits it has.

I hope people are starting to realise that children should be seen and heard. They shouldn’t be expected to act in a certain way, be carbon copies of their parents and that every child deserves to grow and express their needs and desires. Children are the future and I am doing everything I can to make my future as self-aware, empathetic and mindful. Mental health care for children matters.

 

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What to look forward to as your children grow

Watching your children grow can be bittersweet, I love watching them grow and become their own little people with their own likes and dislikes, but I often feel sad that another phase is over and they are growing too quickly. The truth is I love a baby, I love the cuddles, the smell, the kisses and I even love the excitement of labour (not the pain), but like any other human I find them exhausting, draining and I have often missed having to give up such a big part of me. I don’t feel guilty for these thoughts anymore as I have every right to feel like this and being a parent to small children is relentless and hard at times. I now savour the time I do get a break from being a mum, which is rarely, but it’s ok as they will only be this young once and one day things will change, not to how they were before children, but they will change as they grow with a new set of challenges. I’ve written a list of what I have to look forward to as my little ones grow to full fledged teenagers.

The things I will look forward to as my children grow. 

  1. No more toys in the living room. This has got to be one of the things I look forward to most. My living room is filled with plastic junk and no matter what I do with the stuff it always looks un-kept and cluttered. The day I say goodbye to Toot-toot will be a good day.
  2. No more nappies or reminding someone to go for a wee. Nappies are a complete ball-ache and after that’s done you have the fun job of potty training to undertake. I can’t wait to be done with buying nappies, nappy sacks and nappy rash cream.
  3. No more changing bag! I love bags and even love my changing bag (I’ve had a few), but I’m looking forward to the day of not having to remember to take my purse out to put in my handbag for work. I have so many beautiful bags that’s rarely make an appearance these days.
  4. No more dummys. Not everyone goes down this route but I would love to turn up to work and not find a stray dummy in my pocket and having to do the dummy hunt behind the cot every night.
  5. Go out for a meal and eat my dinner hot. I try to take my kids out for meals so it becomes normal for them and they are pretty well-behaved, but it’s stressful and I usually end up eating my meal cold. God forbid you have a long wait and a screaming hangry toddler.
  6. Lay-ins! I know some people are early risers and I applaud you, but I’m five years into parenting and am still not an early starter. My children are great and generally never wake until 7am and sometimes even 8am at the weekend, but I look forward to the day of having to wake them up.
  7. Not having to persuade them to eat their food. Meal times with our oldest can be exhausting as she has a limited diet and is an extremely fussy eater. I hold onto hope one day she will just eat normally and I won’t have to bribe her.
  8. No more bath toys. Bath toys are ruining my life, the mould when water gets stuck, the space they take and the intruders in my bath tub when I’m trying to relax.
  9. privacy. The day will come when I get pee in peace, bath on my own and not have to dress in front of an audience. As this day comes the children will probably putting up their own boundaries of privacy away from me.
  10. No more school run. I enjoying having a chat with other mum’s, but as of next year I’ve got a much longer walk to school and I expect I will probably be late most mornings. It will be lovely when the day comes that I can pack them off and say goodbye.
  11. No more having to dress small people. I look forward to the day that the children can dress and coordinate themselves. Miss J can dress herself with most clothes but her style when left to her own devices often resembles a pink marshmallow. Mr T on the other hand just prefers not to wear clothes at all.
  12. They can feed themselves. Some days all I seem to do is try to fill my children with endless supplies of food yet all I hear is ‘i’m still hungry’. Life will be good when they just feed themselves.
  13. Freedom again to be husband and wife. As the children get older I know it will be easier to leave them and that is something I look forward to most, I can’t wait to spend time with just my husband again and be a couple for date nights.
  14. Getting my bed back. First thing when I wake up the kids are in our bed jumpy all over us and often Miss J finds her way into our bed at night. It will be nice when our bed is just ours again.
  15. Saying goodbye to Peppa pig and all those other terrible programs. I can’t wait to not watch kids TV, but I worry it will probably be replaced by some other rubbish.

The things I will not look forward to as my child grows

  1. No more pushchair for carrying my shopping bags. The day I say goodbye to my pushchair will a sad day as it has helped me on many a shopping trip. I’ve had seven in total and finally found my perfect one (Mamas and Papas Armadillo City).
  2. When the cuddles start to disappear it will be tough, but I live in hope as they become adults, again the cuddles will follow.
  3. Holding their hands. I love walking along and holding my children’s hands, but Miss J is keen to pull away as soon as she sees her friends at school.
  4. Letting them out and having curfews. I was a nightmare and I’m dreading trying tot find the balance of giving them freedom that is fair and also safe.
  5. Finding dirty plates in their rooms. I don’t know why, but most teenagers seem to do it and it’s something my husband still does today which drives me crazy.
  6. Moody teenagers and backchat really fills me full of dread. I was such a ‘Kevin’ as a teenager and from Miss J’s diva strops she has now I can see her being a challenge.
  7. Being eaten out of house and home. With teenage growth spurts comes teenage superfast metabolism and I’m guessing if these children grow like weeds as I did then my food bill will be going through the roof.
  8. Mum’s taxi. I hear it often from parents of older children and living a good 15 minuets away from anything and a rubbish bus route I expect I will be doing lots of driving about.
  9.  Homework or getting them to sit down and focus enough to do it. I hated homework at school and am not looking forward to trying to motivate someone else to do it,

Parents of older children do you have anything else you can think of?

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How to help someone with depression who won’t ask for help

I’ve been asked a few times how you help someone struggling through depression, especially when they seem to not want help themselves. It’s a tricky one and not one I have all the answers to, but I want to say what has helped me most.

I am great at pretending that I’m ok, but the closest to me can often sense when I am struggling. I often go on the route of shutting myself off, not writing, staying off social media and not replying to messages. I shut down and by doing this I am cutting myself off and making the problem worse. The whole time I am screaming from the inside for someone to ask if I am ok.

I find it much easier to write than talk and my friends know they are more likely to get a response over text than and phone call, but at times I can be very brief and dismissive. When depression is kicking me down I feel I lose the ability to speak, to explain and ask for help. It’s scary and very isolating to feel like you want to scream, but are too scared to do so.

Sometimes the best thing you can do is just to turn up, be patient, empathetic and let them open up naturally. Ask if they are ok, but care about their answer and give them time to express. Not everyone is the same, but by taking the steps to ask if someone is ok, you are helping and giving them a chance to open up.

With depression I often have felt paranoid and thought people have been talking about me, mocking me and bitching about what a burden I am. There is nothing worse than feeling like a burden to someone and it makes me shut down immediately, feeling worse off than when I started. Be reassuring, without patronising and be honest and open up about your own feelings. By sharing your own experiences you are helping them not feel so alone. Loneliness and depression go hand in hand.

If a friend or loved one is struggling with depression don’t just offer an open door, you need open the door for them, pick them up and ask them if they are ok. You are not intruding, you are showing them love that they need and a chance to share their problem. It’s not easy and can be lots to take on, but the gift you can give to someone by being open could save a life.

We have a responsibility as a society to help others, show them love and respect. We all get caught up in our own lives, but take a moment to ask someone if they are ok and listen intently to their response. Pick up on clues in their behaviour and remind them they are not alone and never will be. Your friendship is a gift.

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Vote for the community nursery of the year

Vote for the community nursery of the year and win

It’s a tough decision that many of us mum’s have to make when we return back to work after maternity leave. Finding a nursery that works for you as a parent and also will be the best option for your little one is not something you enter into lightly. I’m sure if you had to make this decision that you walked around plenty of nurseries, trying to weigh up the pros and cons and most probably had a little cry leaving them on their first day. Soon those days saying goodbye become a little easier and the pick-ups become even more exciting, wondering what new little things that they had learnt that day. You have to trust your nursery by leaving your precious child with them so you can do the other job that you need to do.

When Miss J was a baby we looked around a few nurseries and decided to use a local childminder as it fitted around my work hours better. For us it was the perfect fit and my daughter was perfectly looked after. When I decided to return back to work for the second time once Mr T was 1 we again had the tough choice of what would be best for. We looked again, juggled care and asked friends to help, but eventually we decided that I would work around my husbands shifts. I often think Mr T misses out on the fun of interacting with other children, but for us now this is the best fit and financially works much better for us.

One of my first career ambitions was to work in a nursery and I spent a week doing my work experience in a local one. I really enjoyed the job and loved interacting with the children, but it was exhausting and something I decided wasn’t best for me. I really do admire anyone who has the energy and patience for the job.

Chemist.co.uk have had the foresight to see how important a nursery is and have asked us to nominate. The shortlist is now here and voting is open! Vote for your most deserving nursery and help them win a fantastic prize. By helping out you will also be in the running to win a £50 voucher (every week in May) to spend at chemist.co.uk. I’ve just placed an order for some fantastic bits for me and the children and will hopefully be doing a review shortly.

Disclosure: This is a collaborative post. We received a voucher in exchange for this post but all opinions are my own.

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center parcs woburn forest

Center Parcs Woburn Forest Review

Woburn Forest

Our trip away to Center Parcs Woburn Forest was jammed packed with fun despite the weather being a tad unpredictable at times. As a family this was our first trip to Center Parcs and something I had been keen to try out for a few years and the timing seemed perfect now Tristan was old enough to get involved in some of the activities.

center parcs woburn forest swimming

Accommodation

We only live locally in North Bedfordshire so Woburn seemed like the ideal choice for us. It’s the smallest of the parcs, is only a few years old and it takes under 30 minuets to get door to door. We booked into a 3 bed executive lodged which accommodated four adults and two children happily. The open plan living with small children was ideal and the dishwasher and maid service made things that bit easier. All rooms had a TV and all three rooms had an en-suit (two walk in showers and one hydrobath). We had an outside BBQ that we didn’t use and also a sauna. We took along our Amazon firestick as the TV is a bit limited and if like us your children are small then you probably will spend a fair amount of time in the lodge in the evenings. WiFi in the lodge and around the parc was really great and I never had any issues connecting any devices. Remember extra dishwasher tablets as they leave you three and also remember cot bedding as this won’t be provided.

Center Parcs Lake

Getting about

We decided to book a lodge which was in the outer area (395 Oak) as from looking at the map it meant we would be at the end so would only have a neighbour one side, but it still looked close enough to the water front. We hired two bikes between us all which was handy for nipping back and forth, but generally we walked. Woburn has some big hills so bear it in mind if you do plan on lots of bike riding with small children. One of the bikes we did rent out was an electric bike, you still peddled, but it gave you an extra turbo boost for hills and was so much fun to ride. Our walk to the swimming pool was a bit longer but easily manageable with a five year old.

Pony Ride
Pony Ride

Eating out v’s eating in

I think it goes without saying that eating out can get expensive with a family of four. We ate out once whilst we were there at the Pancake house for lunch, it was good, but it wasn’t cheap. Center Parcs does have an option to order in and you can book deliver slots from 3pm and they have a large selection of food, but again it is much more expensive. For us we prefered to spend what we had saved on activities so we cooked in the evenings and made packed lunches. I did a click and collect food shop from Tesco on my way to Center Parcs and picked up odd bits from the supermarket in the parc. The supermarket isn’t cheap, but fine for a few odd bits. There is nothing stopping you from leaving the parc and going to a local supermarket and picking up extra food and alcohol.

Pancake House
Pancake House is worth a try.

Activities for children

They have some great activities for children and Miss J especially loved the Mad Hatters Tea Party, this was for three hours and we were able to leave her there and go for a swim. Miss J and Mr T also enjoyed a Teddy Bears picnic and Miss J fulfilled her dream of riding a pony and hasn’t stopped talking about it since, They run a crèche so you can also put the children in and head off to the spa to relax.

Teddy Bears Picnic
Teddy Bears Picnic

Activities for adults 

Besides bike riding the only other activity we did was the kayaking, we could have done much more, but we had so much fun with the children we didn’t feel the need to disappear off. Next time I will make sure I spend some time at the Spa though.

Kayaking
Kayaking

Swimming Pool

My favourite thing about the whole of Center Parcs has to be the pool, it really is great and it’s so easy to spend three hours in there with no idea of the weather outside. The children loved all the swimming and were thoroughly exhausted at the end of the day. I’m glad we did go with my parents so we could take turns watching the children and enjoy the outside rapids and water slides. Miss J was a big fan of the children slides and Mr T loved the wave machine. We found afternoons were quieter by the pool and would go after Mr T had his nap. The changing area is full of large family changing rooms and the lockers can be locked with your electric wristband which also opens your lodge.

Wildlife

On one of our days we got stuck in with horrible rain and spent the morning watching wildlife, We had plenty of squirrels, ducks, pheasants and even a dear to keep us entertained. The animals are all very friendly and used to children. I recommend taking some bird feed out with you and letting the children get involved.

Will we go back? 

We will definitely be heading back again and would ike to explore the other parcs too in the future. It really is the perfect family break and a great way of getting outside and appreciating all that England has to offer.

Exploring at Woburn Forest
Exploring at Woburn Forest

 

 

 

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Becoming a mother made me forget who I was

Becoming a mother made me forget who I was

Becoming a mother made me forget who I was and it was tough. I had to give up so much including my sleep, my full-time wage, jeans that fit and my perky boobs. The person I am today almost five years into motherhood looks very different to the lady I used to know. My make up isn’t done with the same care to attention, my clothes are more comfort than fashion and my hair is in desperate need of a trip to the hairdressers. Why did I lose myself in all this and become ‘just’ mum. Have I lost my true identity and become someone I feared?

The truth is my identity has changed and has not be lost, I have adapted, changed and evolved. I am now superhuman as I can cook a baby in nine months, nourish them with just my milk for six months and survive on little sleep.

Days before children were spent at either work, my bed or the local pub, it was all pretty meaningless and time was just a stop-gap until I started my real life. I know motherhood isn’t for everyone, but for me it was my purpose and my reason to grow.

I now spend my time juggling between being a mum, a worker, a home keeper and a role model and in honesty I do them all pretty well. I have learnt to divide my time (not always well) and priorities so I can give the very best of me. Time off is now appreciated, my days are filled with laughter, my heart is always full and my time is precious.

Becoming a mother made me lose my old self and discover a new self. I am better than before, smarter, happier, determined and focused. My family are my driving force and everything before just seems like a distant dream. My life before becoming a parent was enjoyable, exciting and often dangerous, but my life now has purpose and it’s helped me grow.

Becoming a mother made me forget who I was, but I gained so much more in return.

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