Blog of the Week: Insta-sham

Blog_of_the_week_badgeOur Blog of the Week is a very honest post from Brummy Mummy of 2 who admits to something many of us may do without even realising.

If you’ve ever posted a picture on social media then read on and tell us -

Are you guilty of the Insta-sham…?


This is not a post getting all up in instagram’s grill and saying “I hate you”. Please understand I ruddy love Instagram. I can often be heard saying “life looks better in lo-fi”. And the way that sierra makes me look ten years younger? Tis the actual dream. But let’s be honest. Life? Is not like our instagram feed. On mine you will see the cracks with the odd tantruming boy or weeping girl. And occasionally I post a messy room or a grumpy face. But generally? My life on Instagram. Is a sham. An..Insta-Sham! (see what I did there?)

So here it is – my life. The perfect lo-fi, brightened, sharpened, staged version v the well real #nofilter version. And in this version. There is no filter. Not like when you say #nofilter but you still have a filter. Or when you say you have no make up on. But you on have tinted moisturiser. That is still make up people!

See my beautiful playroom. See the gorgeous chair and notice I have only focused on the teeny tiny bit of a playroom that isn’t an UTTER MESSY SH*THOLE! Ahh and below it. The yummy, healthy, gorgeous pizza insinuating to the world that a) I may have made it myself (oh the lols) or b) we eat out happily alllllllll the time. We don’t. We eat waffles, or mashtags if feeling a bit special, more than reasonable for the average human.

See my happy, cheery toddlers cuddling and just being the best of friends. Verses the reality of the fact that 99.9% of the time? My son hates his sister. He runs from her. She mauls him and then they scream. Loudly. And then below it. The held very high shot that is so thinning, stood beneath the brightest light in the house with a full face of make up and a sparkly cardy. Compared to the sitting on the couch in my dressing gown shot. Which I do. The 23 hrs I’m not in make up taking a very high held selfie.

This is just a small look into my real life. My plan was to show more. But you know what? I appear to have deleted any trace of the grubby side of parenting off my phone. All is left is the kids running through lavender fields or me cuddling happy, smiley kids. Sometimes we look bright and colourful. And other times we look young and shiny. And you know what. When I’m old and I look back it’s reassuring that these Insta-shams are the pictures that will remind me of being a Mum. And I will think to myself “Oh what a ruddy gorgeous life I’ve led”.

You can’t see the bees. You can’t hear the screams. You don’t know the bribes. Fine. By. Me.

Now go and follow me on Instagram and see the Insta-shams (so proud of that one) for yourself!

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Top 10 Tips For Surviving Potty Training

Blog_of_the_week_badgeSteel yourselves for our Blog of the Week this week – Ideas4Dads is talking potty training – and it could get messy…

Here he offers us his Top 10 tips for surviving potty training – do you have any more to add?



‘I think the time has come to initiate ‘Operation Potty Training’ with Dumpling’ High Command mentioned in passing as I suddenly had a flashback to our experiences first time round with Poppet and ‘That poo in our bed’ incident……


In the mix – Potty Training

So the time had come.

There was no more delaying the inevitable.

Operation Potty Training needed to happen with our middle daughter Dumpling. We’ll have it done and dusted in a couple of days High Command said!!!

Granted in our experience first time round with Poppet it pretty much went to plan but it’s still hard work. And pretty disheartening to watch what would normally be so magically contained in a nappy wreak havoc in the house.

So after nailing Operation Potty Training for the second time here are my Top 10 Tips for navigating through the chocolatey minefield of potty training:

– Purchase an array of potties, preferably one for each room, so that you are never more than 10 feet away from one to whisk under your beloved’s bare backside as soon aa they look like they are about to mark their territory

– Caveat to the above…..make sure you don’t make that fatal mistake of buying different coloured potties as they WILL demand, at that last crucial moment, that they in fact want the red one and merrily run off to find it as they leave a gushing trail of pee in their wake!!

– Clear your diary so that you don’t have to go anywhere during the Operation and if possible plan to do whilst the weather is nice so the garden can take the brunt of the urine/faeces onslaught because let’s be honest scrubbing pee out of the carpet is one of the less glamorous sides to parenting!!!

Image: Netmums

Image: Netmums . This is what potty training will NOT look like

– Avoid kiddy undercrackers with characters emblazoned on them – its just the kind thing to do because it will be their favourite pair that is taken out beyond repair by THAT poo and you will be accused of ruining their life even though it was not you who laid the damned thing in the first place!

– Beware what looks like mud under your finger nails, especially if you bite your nails. Chances are it will be poo that you have acquired through your potty training escapades and no matter what people say even your offspring’s poop tastes like shit!!!

– Regularly check behind doors/curtains/sofas/tables for a random turd – the worst thing is when you find a fossilised turd 3-months after the Operation

Image: Netmums

Image: Netmums

– When going to the toilet yourself at home, approach the toilet as carefully as if you are a bomb disposal technician. It is not uncommon for a rogue toddler poop to have been innocently half dropped on the rim because they just could’nt quite reach the seat – these can make a hell of a mess when sat on by an unsuspecting parent

– If you own a dog just accept the inevitible that they view Toddle Turds as a special delicacy and WILL eat at least one misplaced poopbulldog

– Slippers indoors are a good idea for all concerned – these offer great protection against standing on a randomly laid rogue poop somewhere in the house…..and let’s be honest feeling a squidgy poo squelch through your toes is something that no parent should experience in their life ;-)

– And finally spare a thought for the poor toddler who has to go through the phase of accepting that something really that brown and monstorous can come out of their backside…….

What are your top tips for potty training?

What’s been your funniest potty training fail?

*Disclaimer: I apologise for the photo below but this was Dumplings first poop in her potty and boy isn’t it a ripper ;-)*


#ProudestMomentOfMyLife #Only A Dad Would Post

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Blog of the Week: Can you see to read this? #seethemiracle

Blog_of_the_week_badgeOur Blog of the Week this week is one that asks us to stop for a moment to consider some of the things we take for granted. It’s a pertinent reminder from Mary at Keynko of how lucky we really are.

Plus it also gives us the opportunity to help out those who aren’t so fortunate. So please, take just a moment to read on and #seethemiracle for yourself at 1.30pm today.


How lucky we are to be able to read these words!

How lucky that if we had a problem with our sight that our wonderful (if struggling) NHS will be there to help us out.

How lucky that we are never far from medical assistance or surgery if we need it.

Can you imagine how many people there are in the world who aren’t that lucky.

When badger was struggling with his vision and diagnosed with a cataract at just 37 he was offered surgery and within 2 months his vision was back to normal. No more struggling to read his favourite novels, back to his beloved painting and gaming.

My father has a cataract in one eye and although it doesn’t yet affect his vision, it won’t be long before it does. And he will go to our local hospital and within 48 hours have his sight back. He won’t miss out on his great granddaughter growing up, he will have his independence and continue to enjoy his life.

Malawi has only 1 eye surgeon for every 4.25 million people. How long do they have to wait ? How long before they can return to a normal life?

A Million Miracles, Sightsavers, Malawi

Sightsavers have a new drive, to raise £30 million by 2018 to give 1 million people ion the poorest parts of the world the same chances as we have! You heard me right, 1 million people – you see that’s all it costs to return someone sight – Just £30.

In our terms what’s that, an evening out, a new pair of shoes, or maybe a new hair do? Such little things, that we could so easily do without.

Want to see what a difference it makes?… for real?…… well join Sightavers on 8th October for live surgery (don’t worry no icky bits!) and then again on the 9th October when the bandages come off Mr Winsei. Join him for the first sight of his grandson Luca.

Just a few minutes of your time and maybe a small donation – to change someone’s life for the better! Not much to ask is it?

Follow the hashtag #seethemiracle

Join the sightsavers Facbook page

And consider giving new light to someone darkened life!


The UK government is supporting A Million Miracles so, until 31st December, all UK donations are being matched. This means a £30 donation to fund a cataract operation actually saves the sight of two people at no extra cost to the supporter! Sightsavers are using #UKAid and @DFID_UK to talk about it.

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Blog of the Week: Toddler Tantrums – What the f*ck am I doing wrong?!

Blog_of_the_week_badgeWe’ve all been through the toddler tantrum years, and if you haven’t yet – well they are on their way!

So whether you want to reminisce, offer advice, or see what you are in for – have a read of Eeh Bah Mum’s hilarious post on what toddler tantrums are all about.


If you are expecting advice on how to deal with a stroppy toddler then Google again.

This is not the blog you are looking for. Move along. I have a serious parenting issue and I’m asking for help.

(Dramatic music kicks in):

Sometimes my 2 year old son refuses to eat toast on the blue plate because he wants to choose another colour plate.

toast on plate

CUT TO:  Close ups of people running screaming down the street.

OK I know it doesn’t sound THAT bad.

Remember how the entire nation got their knickers in a twist over an old lady taking a beardy guys ice cream out of the freezer on The Great British Bake Off? Yeah well this is like that – but with toast instead of ice cream. Oh hang on. Does that make me the old lady or the grumpy hipster? Sh*t I don’t want to be either of them. Ignore my attempt at an analogy. Back to the toast.

Usually my reaction to the demand for a different plate is to ignore it. No pissing about with fancy plate choices in my house. This is a brilliant no-nonsense system.

Well it would be. If only it worked.

Instead the toast on the blue plate is ignored and starts to curl up at the edges in fear.

Now I’m stuck I don’t want to give in as I’m worried about the message this sends to my son. That he can dig his heels in and eventually get everything he wants?

But if I don’t swap the plate the toast will remain uneaten and I will have wasted my time, some bread and I will still be left with a hungry child.

Image: Netmums

Image: Netmums

It would have been easier to swap the plate in the first place.

Do I retreat or hold the line?

Why does it require a degree in child psychology/modern warfare just to serve toast? Supernanny would know what to do. That’s why she is super. I’m just Mummy I have no superlative prefix to help me. And I need help. What the f*ck am I doing wrong?

As I see it there are 3 ways to deal with this situation:

  • A) Comply with the original request for a change of plate.
  • B) Stick to my guns and deal with a ridiculous level of fallout for what is essentially a bit of hot bread.
  • C) Redesign the house so everything is one matching colour.

Toast is not the only battleground.

My son insists on carrying his favourite toys with him everywhere he goes. This includes (but is not limited to):

  • 5 plastic models depicting the entire life cycle of a frog.
  • 2 Fisher Price helicopters with matching captains (both male: another contentious issue to be dealt with later)
  • A fire engine.
  • A large Duplo plane with detachable wings, engines and captain (male) in a seat.
  • Dinosaurs – various, medium to large.
  • A squeaky crocodile plus replacement non squeaky crocodile we acquired when we thought we had lost the squeaky one thus adding another item to the list.
  • Massive cuddly Gruffalo toy.
  • A plastic bucket.

He wanders round the house dragging everything with him screaming ‘I can’t do it!’ at the top of his lungs every time a bit falls of his plane. As you can imagine it’s brilliant fun. Who wouldn’t want to live with a tiny hoarder with anger issues?

Image: Netmums

Image: Netmums

Every time we leave the house we have a fight about leaving stuff behind. Because  – guess what? When we take all this stuff out with us we lose bits.

My options are:

  • A) Have him lose his sh*t because he can’t bring stuff with him.
  • B) Take all the stuff with us and deal with him losing his sh*t later when we literally lose his sh*t.
  • C) ?

Please someone come up with another option that doesn’t involve anyone losing any sh*t?

I’d very much like to keep my sh*t together please.

Help me Obi-Wan Kenobi. You’re my only hope.


More funny reasons why toddlers have tantrumstoddler rule wellies

Toddler Rules – toddlers have their own rule books – don’t they?

Ten ways to diffuse toddler tantrums

Posted in Blog of the Week, Humour, Toddlers | Tagged , | 8 Comments

Blog of the Week: Who needs toys? When you can have free cr*p!


It’s Blog of the Week time again and this week our lovely Brummy Mummy of 2 is giving some pre-Christmas advice about the type of toys kids really want.

And did anyone mention they’re free?



Christmas is coming up in just a few months and all sorts of weird and wonderful toys are cropping up on the tele from intricate Frozen dollys to robotic fish and everything in between. But even if you go out and spend a small fortune on every toy your child has ever dreamed of. You have forgotten one thing. Kids? Like free crap. Yep. Just free stuff. Not even good free stuff. Just normal everyday stuff you hastily shove in their hand to keep them quiet for a few minutes whilst you go about your everyday life. So forget toys! Just go and get a bag of this sh*it and enjoy a cheap and happy Christmas morning!

Hotel Maps

On the rare occasions my family and I are in a hotel. The first thing my children do is run to the, handily placed at toddler height, ‘map holder thingy’. Yep. You know the one where there are a thousands maps of places that quite frankly areMILES away from where you are staying and you never have any intention of visiting. Each time your child walks past said ‘map holder thingy’ they pick one up. And as it is nigh on impossible on staying in a hotel room for more than twenty minutes with small children. This means you end up with 20 scrunched up in your hotel room and 10 scrunched up in your car. And some make even it in to your bag. To be found at a much later date.

Argos Pencil and Paper

Now I am never sure on the protocol on this. If Argos expect us to put the little blue pencils back after writing down the code for our new ironing board cover, or if we are supposed to give them to our children to “draw Mummy a nice picture” whilst trying to distract them from the one bazillion toys that are (grrr) out on the shelves. If this is constituted as stealing? Then the below picture NEVER happened. If it’s not? Then Dear Argos see how happy and quiet my boy is.

Free Magazine Crap

I have talked about this before. And technically it’s not free as children’s magazines are a RIP OFF! But all my children do is not say “Oh my that looks like a dead interesting article on IgglePiggle and his issues with UpsyDaisy” no they go “I NEED ANOTHER FREE TOY PHONE TO MESS UP YOUR HOUSE WITH AND IT WILL LOOM AROUND FOREVER”. As soon as we get home, sometimes before. Phone is pulled off. Magazine cover is ripped and never looked again, whilst the substandard rubbish toy remains in your house along with 30 others for another year. Urgh.

Straws from McDonalds, Sticks from Starbucks, Plastic Forks from Chip Shops

Sometimes. In my darkest and most exhausted moments I may pop to a rather unhealthy place and we have a little ‘treat’. The treat for me maybe a muffin or a cheeky McChicken sandwich. The treat for my kids? Free sticks, forks and straws. They ruddy love the things! My boy and girl have fought over a wooden tea stirrer from Starbucks on many an occasion and then I look like super generous Mum when I say “Oh go on then. Have one each”.

Party Bag Crap

Parents of children. Can’t we all just come to an agreement. Let’s either a) stop party bags and the next generation will never know they existed or b) fill it with good sh*t and not just well, sh*t. I am equally to blame in this and before parties I scour poundshops and fill them up with balloons children can’t blow up and tiny impractical clacker noise maker toys. Oh god and bloody bubbles! Which always get spilt in my car before I drive off. Let’s stop the madness!!! Come on. We can make a change!

So there we go, next time your child is lusting over a £100 walking dinosaur or a game where poo comes out of a dogs bum, you can smile to yourself happily and think of the tiny sticks and Peppa World maps you have all wrapped up in your loft. Imagine their little tiny face light up on Christmas morning when they see a pack of (not stolen, borrowed) Argos pencils. Magic.*

*In reality? If I did this? My children would go bat sh*t cray cray but it’s a nice thought isn’t it?
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Blog of the Week: The seven superpowers all children have

Blog_of_the_week_badgeOur Blog of the Week this week comes to you from the brilliant Kelly who forms part of the writing team at the group blog The Motherhood. 

Here she lists the ‘7 Superpowers every child has’. And to think – we thought it was just ours!

So tell us – do any of these some familiar?!



A while ago we posted about the Seven Superpowers All Mothers Have, but what about their offspring. It stands to reason that the children of people with superpowers will, indeed, have superpowers of their own. Think of The Incredibles.

So here is our list of the The Seven Superpowers All Children Have.

1. They can sleep anywhere, ideally at the most inconvenient of moments in the most awkward spots/positions. Like one stop before you need to get yourself, them, and eight shopping bags, off the train. Or whilst you are carrying them up a flight of stairs. Or sitting on the actual stairs.Or in a shopping trolley. Yet try to get them to sleep at the assigned hour in the assigned place? Good luck.

2. Bat-like hearing so good they should work for MI5: they can hear you opening a bar of chocolate in the cellar from their nursery two floors away and in the deepest of sleeps. They also have a nice habit of repeating verbatim things you said in confidence to your other half/mother/pet goldfish when you thought they weren’t listening. That comment you made about their teacher’s dress-sense can really come back to bite you in the proverbial when you least expect it.

superhero one

3.They have no embarrassment filter- take your child to a public loo and you will always have an excrutiating conversation about the contents of the bowl, underwear (yours, or theirs, either works) and whether or not you let them off washing their hands the last time they went because you were late for school. Or how [insert descriptive term] the lady actually washing her hands is. Whilst she’s still in earshot….

4 Timing. They will always vomit five minutes before the babysitter arrives, fill their nappy before the other parent comes home or fall asleep one stop before you need to get you, them, and eight bags of shopping off the train [see point 1.] No matter how organised you are, you will regularly find yourself flying out of the front door, holding a dozen random things, whilst they are still doing up their shoes, as you rush not to be late for school. Which goes to say that you will, of course, be half an hour early for any birthday party.

superhero two

5. Hawk-like eyesight; even the most assiduously clean parent will always be outmatched by the skills of a small child to find the one small thing that they shouldn’t put in their mouths. They can spot the relics of a surreptitiously-consumed Cherry Bakewell on the kitchen worktop seemingly through the walls, and they know exactly where you stash the presents at Christmastime.

6. Havoc-wreaking. They are so good at this, they could make a mess in a sterile environment. In fact, they’d probably enjoy the challenge. They draw on anything, with anything, the moment you leave the room to go to the loo, and sometimes you don’t even know it until you take the curtains down to move house. Within nanoseconds of being home from school a perfectly tidy room can look like a Toys’R’Us delivery exploded in the sitting room. And hallway. And bedroom. In fact the can probably conjur up chaos across multiple rooms simultaneously. Top tip: never go into a dark room barefoot.

7.The ability to make you feel guilty. Any time, any place, any where. ‘Nuff said.

All children are prodigious, whichever way you slice it. We know this because we grow them. We cosset and protect them whilst they are utterly incapable of holding their heads up, and within the span of a few years they learn to walk, talk, dress themselves, read, write and drive you bonkers. What lucky lucky people we are to have children so talented.

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Blog of the Week: To my daughter, the night before she starts school

Blog_of_the_week_badgeStarting school emotions have been running high this week on the Netmums Bloggers Network, but we thought this post from Northern Mum summed up the bitter-sweetness of it so well we just had to share it with you.

Did your little one start school this year? How are you coping with it?


You have been excited for weeks, but only in the last few days have you started counting sleeps.  It seems this is an event bigger than Christmas and your tiny little face lights up with stars every time we discuss starting ‘big school.’

school - shoes


You have tried on your uniform time and time again, solemnly put your tiaras to one side, replacing them with plaid headbands in preparation.  Your sparkly shoes with tiny heels now have to live in the car, so you can change when the end of day bell rings.

You are ready, so, so ready.

But I am not my beautiful little girl, you see for me, it was only moments ago that you were born.  I held you, this immaculate creation of mine, soft and pink against my breast.  I fed you, washed you, adored you for days without paying a care to the rest of the world.  You found your spot in my heart and it has grown filling me with joy from the inside out.

We have played all manner of silly games in the last few years. I am the mummy, sometimes I play the baby, often I am shopkeeper who plays too much on their phone. Maybe I should have put it down more if I had realised how quickly time was going to pass. Probably not, because watching you mimic me, typing on an imaginary screen, talking ‘work’ on a plastic phone and doing air squats in the lounge makes me realise that I am what you think a mother should be, strong, frantic, but always with time for hugs.

And that’s ok with me.

But today I have wanted to slow down the clock, to silence the ticking.  I don’t want to share you with school, whilst I passionately delight in seeing you grow.  I want to give you wings, give you the foundations to see the world and find happiness in every corner.  Yet, I also want to hold you tight a moment longer before you move onto the stage of your life.

I will miss you on Monday when we would go to the gym then cavort in the local soft play.  I will have to count out the fruit on my own on Wednesdays when I go get our weekly shop.  Thursday’s tea and treat will be tedious alone and my weekly tidy up will be cleaner but not half as much fun without you sweeping glitter onto the floor behind me.

But you….

You won’t even know I am not there.  You will be playing, learning, singing, jumping, having a bundle of fun which doesn’t need mum.  You have practised your ‘will you be my friend smile’ until your cheeks ache, and I have no doubt that you will come home tomorrow with an armful of stories and a sackful of best buddies.

It is now that you start to learn to fly, that you make those first steps away from the nest.  My heart may be sore but I will give you a nudge if you need it.

Because you are ready, and it is time for me to learn to let go.

Until 3.15, when our playtime starts all over again.

Have an exciting first day at school my munchkin.

Love you



First day at school

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