Why is it that when you go away on holiday in the UK - whether that's to a caravan, campsite or cottage - all those boring, everyday things you do at home magically become fun? We took the kids to Yorkshire for a mid-week break last week, and we noticed a few things while we were there. Recognize any of these?
08:30: Tipped the toy basket over. Didn't fancy anything in there. Mummy tried to simulate car racing on the floor with tiny cars but she does it all wrong. Got cross at Mummy's toy car ineptitude.
When mummy tells you we are taking baby and niece swimming, a sudden sense of worry...no hang on a minute, a sense of, "I don't even like swimming; I'm afraid of my head being submerged under a pool of urine infested water", follows.
The whole de-cluttering thing is everywhere at the moment and I'm sold on the concept, it totally makes sense but I'll be honest I struggle with the reality.
Modern parenting can be confusing. As a mother, I just want to know how many times a week I can feed a three year old biscuits for breakfast and still not blush whenever I say 'We don't really eat sugary snacks in our house'.
Sick happens. Usually when you've just put your best silk top on for a keep-in-touch work day and wanted to prove you have Totally Got It Together. Embarrassment happens. Usually when your toddler announces the person in the (broken-down?) line next to you is really old and ugly.
Family broadcasting is big business - there are lots of kid shows on air. As the gatekeepers of screen time, mums often play a role in which TV programs their children like. What your kids watch says a lot about you as a parent. For instance...
For Christmas all I want is the following: A bath. Alone. You know without being interrupted ten minutes in by a screaming toddler. I want to be able to smell a lovely Lush bath bomb and not a rotting Thomas the Tank Engine Toy approximately one inch from my face.
When I imagined maternity leave, I thought I'd be hopping all over London to visit the museums, galleries, and restaurants that I'd always wanted to go to but never had the time whilst working full-time. The reality is a bit different.
Fun, exciting, relevant and readily available, these gifts are exactly the same as the old versions - or have a modern twist. You can enjoy these presents with your kids, as you relive your childhood.
If you begin to type "being a middle child" into Google, your first three suggestions include "being a middle child disadvantages", "being a middle child syndrome" and "consequences of being a middle child". How very optimistic. So what are these disadvantages?
If you (and your children) have always dreamed of seeing some of these iconic predators in the wild, there is now a surprising choice of accessible - and safe - family wildlife holidays available. Here are four of the best places to go.
Whilst more snuggle time is lovely, it doesn't always help you feel better. You and your children need exercise and fresh air to feel energised and time outdoors in daylight is very important for beating winter blues and helping tackle SAD. So how can you fight that urge to hibernate and keep those kids active outdoors instead?
When I found my father using a kitchen tray with an historic local map printed on it to plan the route of our next expedition rather than his car's GPS system, I gave up any illusion that this family holiday could be categorised as slick.
We were financially not well-off in those days, given that I was a University student and my children's young father did not have a highly paid job. But we had something infinitely more precious than cold hard cash, and that was time plus the mindset to enjoy that time with our children.
After emerging from a cold and wet bank holiday weekend, here are some tried and tested suggestions to entertain the kids indoors without breaking the bank. Having a technology free day in favour of some quality time is the best way to take advantage of the rainy conditions.