We all know the pressure I/we felt at Christmas; the overwhelming guilt of not having the tree up until the 13th of December, the burden of ensuring all the kids create magical memories to treasure for all eternity and the stress of conjuring up traditions for the boys to pass onto their sprogs in years to come. Valentine’s Day, on the other hand, is my time to shine! No pressure for memories, traditions or internal sparkling – just a whole lotta LOVE!View Post
We’ve tried no presents, presents and parred-back presents; we’ve gone away, stayed at home and invaded relatives houses en-masse. One thing I’ve learnt from our festive trials as a blended family – trying to ensure everyone feels like they belong and feels ‘at home’ – is that what we give, where we are or which parents’ house the kids are at on the actual day, has minimal impact on how festive we feel.
The magic, the sparkle and inner-belly warmth don’t come from the latest Xbox game or ‘must-have’ gizmo, they come from the Christmas traditions we’ve inherited and the ones we create as a family.View Post
We’ve got the basket, the metal “bin”, the Swedish superstore, storage mega-plex and the floor – all covered/over-spilling/spewing Casper’s toys. The kid rivals Santa on the amount of toys he has, courtesy of carboot sales/hand me downs and doting grandparents, and yet he still only plays with the same ones again and again. With every new toy purchase, there’s the element of risk – sure, it looks rather alluring to the small, eager eyes of a toddler when it’s sheathed in shiny plastic, under the fluorescent shop lights – money is duly handed over in the hope that the latest amusement fodder will keep Cas busy long enough to sort the lights from the darks; but generally, the poor lump of plastic gets discarded with the dust bunnies and odd socks under the sofa after a mere 5 minutes of attentionView Post
Last year when I boldly declared “we’re not doing presents” I felt relieved, wholesome and that my soul had been relinquished from the consumerist-Demogorgans that feast on the festering flesh of Christmas morning aka our children. A touch dramatic? Perhaps! But hopefully this conveys the modicum of hope this brought to my festive season of 2016. I’d, of course, hoped this would become our Christmas tradition and our children would shed their greed nourished, Philistinian skins to reveal Swallow & Amazon-esque delights – charmingly feral, lacking in materialistic desires; but then I realised I’m not 21 and my pelvic floor is shattered, so promptly readjusted my expectations.View Post
I think it’s a bit late for me to wave from my moral stead regarding my kids with gadgets – after all, I was on national TV openly admitting that I let my kids watch pads/TV/their phones when they’re eating dinner (sometimes!). But just ‘cos I let the herberts get their daily dose of Peppa/The F2 while chowing down on their grub, doesn’t mean I’ve gone completely bonkers when it comes to free roaming of the internet on extortionately priced gadgets.
That’s why, when the gang from Argos got in touch about their affordable, easy to use, child-friendly gadgets from their Alba range, exclusively at Argos – my electronics ears pricked and I was intrigued. But, I’m not sure if you’ve met a kid these days, they tend to rate high on the fussy-factor and scale-shattering on the knowing-what-they-want-ometer! They’re also pretty keen to conform – what their friends or big brothers have, they want/need too! So, while the Alba range tickled my gizmo fancy, I was a bit worried I’d be met with the impenetrable, toddler/tween brick wall of “NO!”.
I think it’s a bit late for me to wave from my moral stead regarding my kids with gadgets – after all, I was on national TV openly admitting that I let my kids watch pads/TV/their phones when they’re eating dinner (sometimes!). But just ‘cos I let the herberts get their daily dose of Peppa/The F2 while chowing down on their grub, doesn’t mean I’ve gone completely bonkers when it comes to free roaming of the internet on extortionately priced gadgets.View Post