How NOT to do The School Run

You might think that the trick of getting your child out the door and into school should be a relatively easy one right?

On the good days it can seem effortless to get everyone fed and dressed without too much whinging, out the door on time and deposited into school without any clinginess or crying. Then there are the more hellish weeks where everything goes wrong.


When I first started doing the school run a year and half ago, I found it really stressful and difficult because my eldest struggled with starting school. I wrote a post called Wine With Your School Run? Things have moved on. Alice has grown up a lot, she has changed schools without too much trouble, but on bad weeks, the school run can still be a nightmare. Here’s what went wrong for us this week:

1. The Alarm Did Not Go Off. I don’t usually set an alarm as I have an Eva that will come and wake me up anywhere between 6 and 6.30am. On Thursday she didn’t wake up until 7.20am – cue a big panic and mad rush to get ready.


2. Eldest Refused to get out of Bed. Despite begging and pleading, shouting and cajoling, Alice refused to get up and in the end I had to half drag her out where she then refused to get dressed. The problem other than tiredness was that school was “boring”.

3. Forgot to Make Packed Lunch for Youngest. Eva has to have a packed lunch every day that she goes to pre-school. I should know this by now. An efficient, organised mummy would have had this made the packed lunch the night before. My defence lies only on the fact that it was the end of the week, I was tired and I’d become engrossed with House of Cards Series 3 to bother making it and so had a mad rush to do it in the morning.


4. The Kids Do Not Listen. This is quite normal at the best of times, but for some reason in the mornings recently it’s like I don’t exist. I have to ask at least 10 times for them to get dressed and then end up shouting or “helping” them to get into their uniform.

5. Tantrums about clothes. In the midst of trying to get the pair of them dressed, the youngest will inevitably have a tantrum about what to wear or refuses to get dressed at all. Last week, exasperated after fighting to get some clothes on her, I sent her into pre-school in odd shoes at her insistence.


6. Forgot the Book Bag. Just as I’ve congratulated myself on getting everyone’s shoes on and out the door into the car, I remembered half-way down the road that I forgot to pick up the blasted book bag.


7. Kids are Fighting or “Too Busy” to get ready. Siblings! There’s been a lot of fighting between my two lately and they seem to choose their moment to carry out a lot of their scrapping in the morning. If they’re not tearing each other apart, then they suddenly find a lot to do. They choose 8am to go through their jewellery box or want to start colouring or empty their sock drawer to find a particular pair of socks.

8. They Don’t want to Leave You. Bizarrely even though I berate myself about the fact that I’ve been shouting at them to get ready for school or end up in a horrible showdown, they can still have moments of being a bit clingy about leaving me. The eldest is the worst for this and this week clung on to my leg proclaiming she wanted to come home with me.

9. Drank too Much Wine on Sunday Night. OK this is my bad. I started the week off the wrong way by having an extra glass of wine on Sunday night. I knew it would have repercussions and sure enough, when Monday rolled around, I was even more bleary-eyed than usual and not my normal efficient self. (Aherm).

Red Wine

Do you have any school run woes to add to my list?!



Pink Pear Bear
Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

What The Comeback Kids do to Our Memories

Memories are a funny thing. Triggers like songs, films, people and even smells can transport you to another time, another place from years ago. It’s amazing to think how strongly memories and emotions are re-called over something so fleeting.


Music is a powerful reminder. We all have certain songs which instantly spark a memory of what we were doing or where we were and who with.

Here’s just a few songs which bring back instant memories for me:

  1. Groove Is In The Heart by Deee-Lite and Rhythm is a Dancer by Snap – These songs always makes me think of driving around in a battered car with my school friends after we had passed our driving test.
  2. The Look of Love by Dusty Springfield – Was the first dance at our wedding and always makes me smile.
  3. Time to Say Goodbye from The Phantom of The Opera – I always found this song emotional but will never be able to hear it again without shedding a tear as it was played at my father in-law’s funeral.
  4. That’s Not My Name by The Ting Tings – This reminds me of the summer before I got married and how it was played constantly at the festivals I went to as well as on my hen weekend in Bath.
  5. Anything by Billy Joel’s An Innocent Man album – This CD was played continuously on family holidays to Devon and Cornwall. They bring back happy memories of us on holiday as well as fighting in the back seat of the car with my sisters!

Making a Comeback

But what happens when these hazy slightly rose-tinted memories are brought crashing back to life, when they are forced upon us? What happens when the original artists want to resurrect these memories for you in the form of a comeback?

In the past few months, I’ve been hit like a bull-dozer by various Comeback Kids, some evoking good, and others not so good memories. And it raises plenty of questions too. Will their revival be a good thing or a bad thing? Will they be as brilliant as you remember them or will drugs, booze and partying hard have taken their toll on the original creators?

And then there’s the question of why they are making a come back now.  Is it because they genuinely miss the creative work of writing / singing / performing or is it because the money has dried up and they need to make a quick buck to pay for their survival into and beyond retirement? I can’t help feeling sceptical. I worry that the Comeback Kids will make a fool of themselves and mess up the rosy memories I have of them from 20 odd years ago. I worry that they’re going to look old and be crap and in turn make me realise that I’m just as old (and crap).



Fresh-faced Bros in the early 1990s

Apparently Bros are reuniting for a European tour 24 years after they split. When I first heard this I was stunned. It brought back a barrage of memories of my sister and I worshipping the fresh-faced good-looking twins. I can remember discussing who would get which brother (As the eldest, I got to choose Matt and my sister had Luke). We spent a long time trying to work out how could we get hold of some beer bottles (we were 13 and 11) and how could we fix them on to our shoes. Another memory hit me – of my sister and I having a heated discussion with my parents about how Bros were just as good (if not better) than The Beatles and trying not to lose our rag as mum and dad simply laughed at us. The memories of us singing along to their “Push” album and posters up on our bedroom walls didn’t stop spilling out of my head.


Not so fresh-faced and approaching 50. Can they pull it off?

My next thought once the memories had subsided was – Surely NOT?! They’re no longer young boys. They must be approaching 50! Will they still be able to get up in their leather jackets and belt out “I Owe You Nothing”? Or will they be hobbling around the stage with bad knees getting out of breath?

They’ve been out of the public eye for so long that they can’t possibly make a comeback can they? And yet, we’ve seen it before with the likes of Take That who admittedly didn’t leave it quite so long to reform. Their comeback was hugely successful and the reason is because they relied on their original fans – armies of 30 and 40 year old women to go and see them on tour. And it worked. Will women in their 40s and early 50s turn up to cheer on Bros when they haven’t seen them for 25 years? The answer is yes, they probably will.



Trainspotting 2 is being released into cinemas on Friday. And I have a mixture of feelings about it. I think this comeback will work because the storyline along with the actors have all moved on to show what’s happened 20 years after the original film.  I would like to see it. But I’m scared about what memories this film will fuel.

When I first watched the trailer a few weeks ago, I was in shock. I didn’t realise that a sequel was on the cards so when the advert played out on TV I was again hit by powerful memories.

I was transported back to early 1996. I’d met a bloke at a party and we’d got on well. He suggested taking me out on a date to see Trainspotting. All went well but at the end of the night when he went to say goodbye, disaster struck! He turned out to be the worst kisser I’ve ever known. He was literally a pigeon pecking at my face. And as I tried to escape from his clutches (or should that be claws?), I realised that I couldn’t possibly see this guy again as he made me feel just like a packet of bird seed.

The memories from watching the trailer alone made me squirm with embarrassment. Those excruciating feelings of being uncomfortable in your teens and twenties when you go on a bad date, actually make that any date.  So who knows what memories and feelings might be unleashed if I go and watch the entire film?



I could go on listing these Comeback Kids. The 90s pop group Steps are due to reform in the summer. Rick Astley has popped up again recently aged 50 with a new album 30 years after his first hit. Pop band KLF are set also to return and U2 are this year touring to celebrate 30 years of their Joshua Tree album. All of them bring back memories for me from different eras. And I’m still holding out for The Spice Girls and Oasis to get back together so that I can re-visit my memories of being at university.

Why We Love The Comeback Kids

Whatever their reasons for reuniting or trying to make a go of it again, you can’t knock the Comeback Kids for their bravery in doing it. The potential for it all to go wrong is huge and so publicly humiliating.

And yet, whilst some of us may have bad memories linked to these comebacks, there are so many more of us who will remember the good times associated with these Comeback Kids;  our original idols. Does it really matter if they have lost their hair, can’t sing as well or struggle with their fitness?

No, because in truth, we love to feel young again. We love to remember times when things were so very different. When we had a carefree life beyond babies and nappies and mortgages and bills to pay. For one night at the cinema or at the O2 stadium, we can belong to a different era and a different place when all that mattered was trying to fix beer bottles to our shoes and avoid being pecked at by a boy like a pigeon.


What do you think? Do you love or hate it when your idols make a comeback? Who are you most hoping will make a comeback. I’d love to know your comments!



Pink Pear Bear
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Dealing with My Lack of Patience

Let me start by saying that generally I am impatient about most things. Impatient to get the kids out to school, impatient to hear back from a client about work, impatient to get the kids to bed, impatient to get the sodding decorating finished!

I may or may not have inherited this particular trait from my dad who is  not the most patient person I know either. But this week has seen my levels of impatience reach a new high (or should that be low?!).

Refusing to Get Dressed


For some reason the youngest, who has always been chatty, over confident and loves pre-school, has now decided that she doesn’t want to go. Her avoidance tactics this week has ranged from refusing to get dressed, to hiding around the house when it’s time to leave the house. I’ve tried to deal with this calmly. I wish I was one of those jolly mums who laughs at such behaviour and joins in the game of hide and seek, but I inevitably end up losing my temper and insist on her getting dressed and going to pre-school because “I’ve got shed loads to do today!”

Sibling Fisti-Cuffs


They’ve always had arguments or bickering, but this past week or so has seen the arguments ramped up to such an extent that the girls end up in physical fights with at least one of them getting hurt.  I have been dealing with this in the following way:

  1. Listen, but don’t get involved as I want them to sort it out
  2. Realise that one is being smothered or struggling to breathe
  3. Step in and break up the wrestle
  4. Ignore wailings of “She started it” or “Alice hit my nose.”
  5. Lose my sh!t and shout my head off possibly followed by sending them to different rooms
  6. Feel extreme guilt that I’ve once again lost my temper, handled it badly and that I’m a terrible mum

Yesterday – An Impatient Day


Yesterday was a busy day. I had to do the school and pre-school run and then negotiate public transport into London to meet with a prospective new client. Why is it that the days you need to go smoothly always work out the worst? (At this point I salute all full-time working parents who have to deal with this kind of stuff every single day. – How do you do it?).

After I’d had various “discussions” with the three year old about how she WAS going to get dressed and go to pre-school, I then had to deal with squabbling about which car seat they were going to sit in. Both then decided that on this particular day they didn’t want to go to school and made a huge scene about going in. I gritted my teeth and coped fairly well, all the time thinking impatiently about what time the bus was leaving for the station.

The train was delayed and the client was late for the meeting – cue more impatience (but actually an enjoyable kind of impatience as I had a cup of tea, a newspaper, a croissant and no children to ask me “Is he here yet?”).

Later, I picked the kids up and was hoping to spend some time before dinner playing board games, but this lasted five minutes as they were too busy fighting each other which led to more inevitable shouting from everyone. We calmed it down with a book, but when the youngest started throwing her food around the kitchen and declaring that “it was my fault for making a horrible dinner.” I lost it again and sent her upstairs.

At this point it was 5.30pm and I was wondering if I could put them to bed. Time for a gin and tonic I thought. Got the ice into the glass before realising that not one but TWO bottles of gin had been put back into the cupboard empty! Proceeded to phone the husband and give him what for. Sensing my rage and general demeanour he promised to bring back wine.

Red Wine

When he finally arrived and I had a large glass of red in hand, I poured out my worries to him about how I was losing my mind because of losing my patience. I seem to be stuck in a cycle where I’m shouting at the kids and then feeling guilty about it. Then the kids act up and it starts all over again. I worry that I’m responsible for sucking all the joy out of this family with my complete lack of patience.

We realised that the endless decorating and having the house turned upside down these past few weeks has made us all grouchy. Plus the kids are missing out on time with Dad because he’s been busy with DIY. So this weekend he has promised to spend some more time with them both.

I’m not sure if this will help, but hopefully with more adult support, I might find I regain some more of my composure and have a bit more patience with the kids. A bit.

Failing that, the gin needs to be re-stocked pronto.

Are you a patient person or do you regularly lose it like me? If you’ve got any tips, please do let me know!



Pink Pear Bear
Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

Books I Want to Read This Year

I love reading but in between managing two small children, trying to keep on top of my freelance writing business and keeping up to date with the latest boxset viewing (currently catching up with House of Cards Series 3), there’s precious little time left. I often collapse into bed too tired to read at the end of each night.


In my recent post – Writing Goals for 2017, I said I wanted to read more and I’m determined to do it. Not only is it a great way to relax, but reading widely and regularly helps you to become a better writer too. So I’ve made a list of the books I want to read this year:



1. The Gift by Louise Jensen – I’m cheating with this one a bit as I downloaded it a week or so ago and and am already reading it. I chose it as it was was at the top of the Amazon charts and thought it looked like my kind of book – a fast paced thriller. It tells the story of Jenna who is given a new heart in a transplant. But after meeting the donor’s family she discovers some dark secrets. I’m already gripped and racing through this so that’s a good sign, plus you can’t go wrong for £1.99 on Kindle can you?!



2. All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr – This one has been recommended to me by several people who say that it is very moving. It has also won numerous awards. The story is about a blind French girl and a German boy whose paths collide in occupied France as both try to survive the devastating consequences of World War II.



3. I See You by Claire Mackintosh – Another psychological thriller by Claire Mackintosh. I read Claire’s debut novel – I Let You Go last year and was gripped from start to finish so I’m looking to see if this is just as good. It tells the story of Zoe who sees her photo in the classified section of a London newspaper and tries to find out who put it there and why.



4. The Trouble with Goats and Sheep by Joanna Cannon- This Sunday Times best seller is set in a suburban cul-de-sac during the heatwave of 1976. When Mrs Creasy goes missing, ten year olds Grace and Tilly takes matters into their own hands and get more than they bargained for. It seems intriguing!



5. Lying in Wait by Liz Nugent –  Billed as another Gone Girl, it tells the story of Lydia Fitzsimons who has a perfect husband and son and lives in a perfect house. There is just one thing Lydia needs to make her life complete though the last thing she expects is that pursuing it will lead to murder…..



6. Mad Girl by Bryony Gordon – This book , written by a successful Telegraph columnist is all about the author’s OCD. It tells of how Bryony first realised she had the condition and how she has coped throughout her life from teenager to now mother. It is billed as being shocking, funny and heart-wrenching and sounds like an interesting and insightful read!



7. Sisters 1,2,3 by Nancy Star – A tragic accident forces 3 sisters to hide a secret. But years later a whispered comment is overheard by one of the sister’s rebellious daughter. With the secret forced out into the open, the story focuses on how the family deals with the consequences. As the eldest of 3 sisters, this book appeals to me and I love the idea of how a family deal with a big secret.



8. Daisy in Chains by Sharon Bolton – One of the best books I read last year was Little Black Lies, a clever thriller with lots of twists and turns. I’d like to read more by this author. Daisy in chains tells the story of Hamish who is charming and charismatic but facing life in prison for murder. When he asks for lawyer Maggie Rosie to look at his case, she thinks she is immune from his charms……



9. The Ballroom by Anna Hope – Set in 1911 in an asylum close to the Yorkshire Moors, the men and women are kept separate except for once a week where they come together to dance in the ballroom. This story focuses on John and Ella whose lives are changed forever when they meet at one of these dances.



10. The Vets at Hope Green Part One Escape to The Country by Sheila Norton – I’ve got to include this one as it’s my mum’s new novel and I can’t wait to read it! Available from the 19th January, I’m looking forward to finding out more. Working as a receptionist in a London’s vet, Sam’s life is far from ideal. She’s constantly broke and her career is going nowhere. When her parents suggest visiting her nan in a small village, Sam thinks the rest could do her good. But rest and relaxation is not what she gets.



11. Mindfulness – Finding Peace in a Frantic World by Mark Williams – This is the last one on my list and one that’s a bit different to the rest of the books! My sister bought me this for my birthday back in July. I started reading it but stopped when I realised that there were daily meditation exercises in here along with other tasks that required time and effort. It all seemed like too much trouble. But I picked this up again two weeks ago and have so far been managing to do the exercises as well as slowly making my way through the book. I’m determined to finish it as I think (hope?!) it could help to organise my chaotic mind. I’ll report back on what I think of the Mindfulness results later – that’s for another blog!


There you have it – my list for this year. You can probably tell that I enjoy reading a good thriller, but hopefully there’s enough of a mixture in here. Now I just need a vat of tea, some peace and quiet and to get on with reading!

Have you read any of these books? I’d love to know what you think of them. And if you have any recommendations, then do let me know and I can add them to this list!




Pink Pear Bear
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Writing Goals for 2017

The day before New Year’s Eve, I sat down and started writing out my resolutions for 2017. I came up with a list of 16 (yes sixteen!) goals which included everything from running, reading and writing more to less shouting at the kids, drinking less wine and spending less time on my phone. After a good five minutes, I decided to scrap the lot and save myself from the depression of never being able to live up to such high expectations.


But I did decide to set myself some writing goals for both my freelance work and for my blog which I hope are a little bit more achievable.

Freelance Copywriting Business


My copywriting business seemed to ramp up a notch last year as I landed several new clients some of which were big and I was also lucky enough to gain a lot of repeat business with others. I hope I can keep the momentum going now for 2017! Here’s a few things I’d like to do this year:

1. Contact past clients. I’ve just taken a look back through my files and found that there’s quite a lot of people who I’ve worked with on odd occasions and an easy win would be to contact them to see if they need anymore work for the coming year.

2. Visit all existing clients. Like the first goal, this isn’t really writing as such, but I think it’s really important to nurture relationships especially as it’s easier to gain repeat business rather than finding new people to work with.

3.Pitch to new clients. I’m loathe to put a number on how many pitches I should make a week as this will depend on just how busy I am with other work. Now that I’ve worked with some bigger brands, I would like to draw up a wish list of who to approach.

4. Freshen up my website. I’ve neglected this a bit, but I need to review imagery, my services and the testimonial section.

The Blog


Unlike other professional bloggers who make their money from blogging, my blog tends to tick along and has its ups and downs depending on how busy I am and what else is going on in my life. I go through periods of really enjoying it and finding lots of inspiration to other days where I leave it alone for weeks and find it a real struggle to manage.

1.Post at least one blog a week. More if possible and get better at planning in advance!

2. Learn lessons from 2016. I recently blogged about my top blogs from 2016 and was surprised by some of the results. It gave me some inspiration on what works best, and why some posts might be more popular than others

3. Attempt to self-host the blog and freshen up the design. I’ve got to admit, this one could well have been on the list from last year. I’ve been procrastinating about going self-hosted for ages but the technical side of things and the fear of losing everything still scares me! I need to bite the bullet and do it.

4. Blog once a month for other people. Find some new angles to blog monthly for The Huffington Post and / or Selfish Mother Blogzine.

Other Stuff


1. Attempt more fiction. I’ve dabbled with this in the past and managed a runner’s up mention in a short story competition but it’s not something I’m overly confident with. I’d like to try again.

2. Pitch again to newspaper / magazines. I really enjoy writing articles for magazines and newspapers but I find it really hard to get my foot in the door with certain places.  Last year I got a good response from a few contacts about one particular feature pitch but for various reasons couldn’t accept it at the time. So I really need to try this out again.

3. Read more! Not a writing goal, but I do find reading helps with writing in many ways. Last year I only read a few books as I always seemed to be so tired. This year I’d like to read at least 1 book a month.

Errr… So not quite 16 goals, but 11 still seems like a lot to do!  I know some of these will get done, not so sure about certain others. Like most things, I  guess it all comes down to priorities. I will always put the freelance writing work and chasing up new work first as it’s my main source of income.

How about you? Do you have any writing or blogging goals for 2017? I’d love to hear them! Let’s hope it’s a productive one for all of us!



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Pink Pear Bear

My Top Blog Posts from 2016

So it’s a new year and I thought this would be a good opportunity to look back at the best of my blog posts from 2016.


It was a mixed bag for me, I can remember in the spring feeling really motivated and driven to write loads and grow the blog. I was posting regularly and my stats were doing well. Then during the summer and into autumn my freelance copywriting business picked up. I was busy and struggling to juggle this along with childcare and as a result, the blog suffered a bit. It meant that over autumn and winter I’ve been posting far less regularly with an obvious effect.

Anyway, without further ado, here’s my top 5 blog posts from 2016 based on views:

  1. What to do When You Don’t Get Your Choice of Primary School

I’m not surprised this is my most viewed post of 2016. It was published in April when the primary school results were announced and was based on our own personal experience from 2015 when we failed to get any of our 4 school choices. It was quite cathartic to write and went viral on the Huffington Post. It also led to a lot of comments and emails from people who had gone through a similar thing. It had more than double the views of my second most popular post…..

2.Mums in Pyjamas


I really enjoyed writing this blog post in February which came about after a newspaper article reported that a head teacher had sent out letters to parents asking them to come dressed to school. I’m not always hugely opinionated in my blog posts but with this one I was firmly on the side of the head teacher. I could not believe parents thought it was acceptable to not get dressed to take their kids to school! It provoked a bit of a debate and was interesting to read in the comments that not everyone agreed with me!

3. For Eva on Your 3rd Birthday

Ahh! This one is another one I loved writing in July. It was quite emotional and I poured out my heart talking about Eva and how her character has developed over her three years.

4. How to Get Started as a Freelance Copywriter

How to Start Freelance Copywriting

This post got lots of views and comments after it went live in August and it’s still proving popular now. I was quite astounded by the amount of people out there who are dreaming about writing and making some money from it! Many people said it had helped them or has given them some confidence to take the plunge which was good to know.

5. 9 Ingredients for a Successful Blog Post

Successful Blog

Joint 5th was this post which I wrote in May. It had loads of comments obviously from many other bloggers which helped it to be shared on social media.

5. In Honour of National Sibling Day

I’m really surprised that this post proved to be one of my most popular from last year as I wrote it as a tribute to my two sisters! It also intrigued me whilst I was writing it as I realised just how drastically the number of siblings most of us have are reducing so substantially across the generations. In our family we’ve gone from my great grandmother having 9 children, my Nan having 4 children, my parents had 3 children, I’ve had 2 and I now have more friends that have 1 child than those who have 3.

It’s been good to have a bit of a review of the blog posts from last year. A couple of things stand out for why they’ve done well:

  • They’ve been written from the heart or something I’m passionate about
  • They’ve struck a chord with fellow readers (many of whom are bloggers or want to be writers)
  • A couple of these posts were relevant or had a link to something newsworthy

This has given me some definite pointers and things to think about for the blog for 2017 and will be interesting to see what works this year!

How about you? Have you checked out what worked best on your blog last year? Any thoughts for the coming year? I’d love to hear from you!




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Bah Humbug! 9 Reasons This Season Sends me Crackers

Before you all think I’m a complete Ebenezer, let me start by saying that I adore Christmas. I love spending time with family, seeing the kids faces as they get excited by the tree, the presents, the advent calendars and what not. I love the fact that it’s an excuse for more drinking, eating and partying with friends. BUT there is no doubt about it, this season is, quite frankly stressful! So here’s my list as to why this season sends me slightly crackers:


1. School Notes. With the eldest at primary school and youngest at pre-school, there’s always a steady stream of messages and requests to deal with. But this week has seen a new record – I’ve had over 12 messages including such things as buying tickets for the school play, costumes for the pre-school nativity, oranges for Christingle, Christmas party, requests for cakes for the Christmas bazaar, dates and times for Christmas term break up and more randomly a note about a pen knife being brought into school. Can we stop now? I need a new diary or calendar for the school messages alone.


2. Arts and Crafts. Everywhere I turn someone is making something fantastic. Whether it’s festive biscuits, amazing new Christmas decorations or gingerbread houses, everyone seems to be creating something and usually involving their kids in the process. I start to feel the pressure creep in. I too, should be doing something or organising things for the school holidays. But as some of you know, this isn’t my particular forte.   I have this lovely idea of the girls and I making gorgeous Christmas decorations to hang on our tree. Instead the reality of me doing arts and crafts is this:

Where as this kind of thing sends me into a cold sweat:


3. Nights Out. Back in September and October, it seemed like a good idea to say yes to every invitation and Christmas event going, after all December is miles away. It occurred to me a couple of weeks ago that in saying yes to everyone I was out FIVE weekends on the trot. A few years ago this would have been no problem. Call me an old fart, but for now, my ideal Saturday night is watching Strictly Come Dancing with the girls, a glass of red in hand and a curry in the oven.

4. Feeling Old. This leads me nicely on to point 4. All these nights out take their toll. I’m in my 40s now and with two small kids waking up early and causing havoc it’s not the best way to recover the next morning. I’m tired. I got dressed up to go out last night and my daughter told me I looked lovely but then proceeded to ask what the lines were on my forehead. That sums it up really.


5. Elf on The Shelf. Am I the only person out there who doesn’t get this?  As if we haven’t got enough to do without carefully manipulating a doll into a new position every night. And why must I see a daily updates on Facebook from a dozen people about where Eric / Fred / Arthur / Christophe is hiding that night? Do I really care?


6. Madness at The Shops. Yes, I know we all have to buy Christmas presents, but shopping becomes a bit ridiculous. I do most of mine online now, but a trip into town last week saw queues for the car park at 10am and hundreds of people lining up to pay at Primark.

7. Expense. I dare not add up the amount of money I’ve spent on buying presents and going out. It is ridiculous. As December starts to plod on, I begin to start panic buying. I must get the “best” or “right” present for people and start going a bit crazy. It really isn’t necessary to buy yet ANOTHER stocking filler, but yet I do – just in case I don’t have enough!

8. Travel. Ok so this  one is my husband’s biggest moan. We spend a good chunk of the Christmas period on the road, visiting family and friends. And whilst we want to see everyone, it does feel like by the time 2nd of January is upon us, we need a break to recover from it. Next year, we are hoping to stay put and get people over to us.

9. Decorations with Kids. I had this romantic notion of decorating the tree and the house this year with the kids now that they’re a little bit older. We would all be happy, singing and dancing to Christmas songs and carols whilst hanging bits and pieces up around the house. The reality was that I spent most of the time refereeing fights over baubles and having to carefully undo the kids’ handiwork on the tree which somehow had every item from The Christmas Box literally thrown at it. I love having a real Christmas tree and making it look pretty, but remind me next year to do it once the kids have gone to bed and I can do it on my own with a glass of something in hand.



The tree once it had been re-decorated after the kids had blitzed it.


There you have it! Sorry for the moan people. Reading this list, I think most of my bah-humbug moments come from the amount of pressure I put on myself. Pressure to spend, pressure to make arts and crafts, pressure to go out and socialise with every single person I may have met since I was 15. Surely there’s a lesson in here somewhere. If only I would listen and just relax a bit!

Do you have any gripes about the festive season ? Let me know if there’s any I’ve missed.



Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday
Pink Pear Bear

5 Things that No Longer Embarrass Me and 5 Things that do

It has dawned on me recently that along with the big changes that happen in your life after having kids – you know,  like a permanent lack of sleep, being suddenly responsible for the life and survival of a new human being and err… watching more kids TV than your own programmes, there are other smaller changes that affect us as parents. Things that used to embarrass me, no longer bother me at all. And likewise, things that I never thought about much, now seem to take on a new meaning in the embarrassment stakes.

Things That No Longer Embarrass Me

1. Doctors – I used to cringe whenever I had to go to the doctor and reveal certain body parts. Now I couldn’t care less. They’ve seen it all before, I’ve had to pretty much show everything off before so let’s get on with the job shall we?


2. A Messy House – There was a time, many moons ago, when I used to take careful pride in the house. Well, I liked it to look nice. But now, in between juggling the children and fitting in copywriting work, it comes very low down list on my priorities. Yes, I like the house to look tidy, but in reality it’s pretty much in a permanent mess.  I might apologise to anyone who visits, but I’m not embarrassed by it. Not anymore.

3. Dealing with a meltdown in public – Pre-kids I was HORRIFIED by children that used to scream and make a scene in public. I would tut and roll my eyes about the noise. Hah! Little did I know that I would be dealing with them on a frequent basis. From dealing with the toddler’s meltdown about sand on the beach to half carrying her and half dragging her from one side of town to try and get back to the safety of the car. Exhausting. Yes. Embarrassing not anymore. Everyone’s kids do it at some stage and the knowing glances and pats on the shoulder from other people to say “We’ve all been there” prove it.


The toddler’s melt down about sand

4. Getting important things wrong. Like your child’s name. I recently spent 10 minutes in a shop calling out to my youngest daughter to stop running off. A few other shoppers looked at me wondering why I couldn’t control my child. I was wondering why I couldn’t control my child. Until it dawned on me that I’d been calling out my eldest daughter’s name instead of the toddler’s. I wasn’t embarrassed, tiredness has a lot to answer for.

5) Dealing with accidents – Toilet training puts pay to any form of embarrassment about dealing with wees and poos in public places. With kids, there’s always some form of bodily function that needs to be cleared up. Wet wipes and nappy sacks is the only thing to save you.

Things that Now Embarrass Me

1. The Recycling – Specifically the fortnightly collection of cans and bottles. I’m sure it’s not my imagination that the bin men are spending longer and longer trying to empty our recycling box and making such a din in the process. No, it’s true, we are apparently the biggest drinkers on the street.


2. Laughing hard – and realising your pelvic floor muscles really isn’t what it once was. Enough said.

3. Having other kids to tea – I swear to God that every time the neighbours’ kids or friends come to tea, we ALWAYS have pizza. My children seem to eat a few certain foods on rotation week in week out, but I now feel slightly paranoid and judged that everyone assumes that this is the only thing my kids eat. Admittedly, there’s not much else that isn’t picked over, but  I must try harder to have a better menu on standby.


4. Clothes – Specifically, realising that I’m wearing clothes that I had 10 years ago. I’ve never particularly enjoyed shopping, but find that it’s now pretty much near impossible to buy new clothes with a toddler. She gets bored and starts to get impatient when I even attempt to “pop in” for a “quick look.” I end up avoiding it at all costs in order to avoid the resulting meltdown.

5. The Truth Telling the truth is a good thing right? Not when the three year old decides to impart her words of wisdom specifically in a loud voice about people you know who are standing right next to you. I.E. “Mummy, why is  Katie’s daddy looking so scruffy today?”  Cue cringing and desperate babbling about how the toddler talks such utter nonsense.

What do you find embarrassing? And is there anything that you used to find embarrassing that no longer bothers you? I’d love to hear your thoughts. Tell me I’m not alone in this!




Pink Pear Bear


Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

Getting Back to It After a Half-Term Break

We have just had a fantastic half-term break. The first part of the week we were in South  Devon and then we went to stay with relations on a farm in South Wales.

I’m not sure if it was down to the mild, sunny weather, perhaps it was because we packed in so much stuff, or it could be due to the fact that the kids were so well-behaved with hardly any tantrums and playing up like we had back in July, but we all had an amazing time.



We arrived in Devon late on Friday night and over the next couple of days managed to enjoy some beautiful coastal walks. We’re lucky to be able to stay at my mum and dad’s flat and so we know the area fairly well. But walking any kind of distance is something we’ve never really attempted with the kids before as Eva has always moaned on about her legs being tired. Strangely enough if there was any complaints this year it was from Alice! Anyway it was fantastic to get out and explore some of coast by foot. We also took a day trip to Dartmoor and took the girls to see a miniature pony centre which the girls both really adored!

On Wednesday we moved on to Wales. My husband’s aunt and uncle run a farm near Usk and again, we’ve been lucky to be there before last October half-term. The kids love getting involved with the animals as well as the tractor and quad bike. And we all love being outside in such a beautiful place with amazing views. I don’t think I will ever get tired of seeing those views of the black mountains from the farm.


Coming Home and Back to It

We got home on Friday afternoon and it felt like we instantly slotted into our old ways. The kids were arguing and fighting. There was a mountain of washing to be done and even The Husband and I were bickering! It felt like the holiday had suddenly come to an abrupt halt!

Monday morning brought more clouds. Alice was suddenly anxious and worried to be going back to school. She clung on to me like a limpet at the school gate and I had to physically hand her over. I suppose this has been amplified by the fact that she changed schools 4 weeks ago. I had the holiday blues and was dreading getting back into work and even Eva who normally loves pre-school was saying she didn’t want to go.

Back in the Routine

Like Alice, I always used to dread the going back to school after any kind of holidays and even now I get a slight pang for getting back to normal, even if it is nowhere near as bad as it was when I was working in London. All this got me thinking about how I now best cope with getting back into the routine after a holiday:

1. Tea. Ordinarily I drink a fair amount of tea, but after a break, I seem to drink even more tea than usual to ease the pain of getting back into work.

2. Write a list. I’m a stickler for a list but after being out of the loop for a week, I need to have one even more than usual so that I know exactly what to focus on.

3. Treats. It seems only fair to ease yourself back into the grind with some biscuits and chocolates doesn’t it.

4. Get writing. Working as a copywriter means that like blogging, if you take time off, you get out of the practice of writing. It can seem harder to think of ideas and to let the writing flow. I try not to get wound up about it and just start writing. Even if this turns out to be a complete load of rubbish, I can always go back and amend the earlier stuff.

5. Have things to look forward to. Even if it’s a takeaway, or seeing some friends, I find this helps. At breakfast this morning I was listing all the things the kids had to look forward to as well to help them ease back into the routine (“Halloween, fireworks, birthday parties, Christmas etc. etc.).

How about you? Do you dread getting back into the day to day after a break or do you love the return to a routine? How do you cope?




Pink Pear BearMummuddlingthrough

Sod’s Law

The last blog post I wrote 2 weeks ago was about changing schools for our daughter. We knew that if we were going to move schools for Alice we would have to it before we applied for a primary school for our youngest daughter Eva in January 2017. So when the chance came up 2 weeks ago to move her to a lovely little village school a couple of miles away, we didn’t hesitate.

We thought that would be the end of it and we’d all be hugely relieved that there would be no more blog posts mentioning any issues with schools again.


But NO!

Just 8 days after moving Alice into her new school, just 8 days after stressing myself out about the transition to the point where I couldn’t eat or sleep, the unthinkable happened. We got the phone call from our local primary school down the road to say that a place had become available. This was our original first choice of school. The one I’d fought hard for a place for, the one I’d written countless letters and emails to MPs, councillors, school admission team members and even the Department of Education about. The school that all my local neighbours and friends go to. The one we were seemingly excluded from. The one I’d given up ever getting a place at before the all important January deadline.

Primary School Gods

Primary School God.jpg

Holy Crap! You literally couldn’t make this sh!t up. I could not believe my ears. Some primary school God was literally looking down on me from his playground of alcohol and debauchery and pi$$ing himself laughing. At us.

The timing absolutely stank. Just a week earlier I would have moved Alice to this local school like a shot. I would have been jumping for joy and over the moon. But now that we’d already gone through one transition, as a family we came to a fairly difficult decision to not move her again because a) she had settled in so quickly and brilliantly seemingly loving her new school and b) we couldn’t face the upheaval of going through it all again. It just didn’t seem right to unsettle our 5 year old for a second time and risk the fact that this move may not be so good second time round.

I THINK we have made the right decision.I certainly hope we don’t live to regret it like some people have suggested.

Sod’s Law


Since this phone call last Tuesday I seem to have had Alanis Morrisette’s Ironic’s lyrics going round in my head. You know the one that goes.

“It’s like raaiiin on your wedding day. It’s the free advice you just didn’t take.”

With me adding the line in “It’s the local primary school you’ve always wanted,  get offered just days after you’ve already switched.”

Or something like that.

A few people have since said to me “That’s sod’s law.”

Which got me thinking. What exactly is this term and where does it come from?

Wikipedia defines it as being “If something can go wrong, it will.” And the British culture have added “that it will happen at the worst possible time.”

Well yes, that sounds about right to me. The timing on this couldn’t have been any worse.

I’ve also been pondering what other notable (if less stressful) circumstances of Sod’s Law I have experienced recently? Here’s what I’ve come up with:

1. Spending an afternoon making a lovely home cooked dinner for the kids only for most of it to go nowhere near their lips and a huge proportion end up on the floor.

Spaghetti Bolognese

2.Trying to get the kids to bed early because of having loads of work to do in the evening only to have one or both of them up and down the stairs refusing to sleep.

3. Meeting up in London with some friends who I hardly ever see only for them to get lost and be very late so that we had far less time to catch up.

4. Queuing for a taxi to get home on a night out to find out that our cab driver was going on a break.

5.Thinking your child is potty trained so removing the last pair of spare knickers from the handbag only for her to have an accident that same very day.


So there you have it. The classic case of Sod’s Law!  Always lurking around threatening to bite you on the bum when you least expect it.

Have you got any tales to add? I’d love to hear them in the comments below.




Pink Pear Bear


Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday