I have written before about having a new baby when there are other kids in your household and all the things that can help ease the pressures of jealousy from older siblings, you can read that here. Today I want to talk about 5 reasons I love the age gap between my children.
There is 8 years between Maisie and Arthur and although sometimes it has been a bit of a challenge when it comes to activities and school holidays to get the right balance, overall we have had such a positive experience.
1. I didn’t feel as exhausted as I could of
Having a new baby is exhausting. I can’t believe I had forgotten what those first few weeks were like! BUT that said I think it definitely would have been more difficult if Maisie was younger than 7 when Arthur came along. I couldn’t imagine having a toddler and a new baby at the same time, hats off to anyone who copes with that!!
2. Their bond is so special
So in my last post, I mentioned that a good thing to do with the kids is to make frozen paint pops and make paintings with them in the sunshine. This post is going to show you how to quickly make them in 3 simple steps.
You will need:
- Ice cube tray
- Something to mix the paints in ( I used plastic beakers)
- Lolly sticks or matchsticks
So it’s a week into the 6 week holidays and the kids are already bored (I wanted to share this last week, but last week was just a write off so here it is) I was making a list for my own personal use the other day about all the free things to do with the kids during our summer holiday and I thought why not share it here for you too! Making lists is something that I do regularly in my day to day life to help me remember things or come up with ideas, whether that be things like this or for stuff for the blog.
Sometimes it’s raining, it can be realy hard to keep the kids entertained in the house, keep them off the electronics or stop them from watching TV all day. Here are 10 free things to do with the kids this summer holiday indoors
- Research your family tree – this can be really good and it will teach the kids about your family history
- Dress up – kids love this, especially if you get involved. Get out your wedding dress or let them wear your clothes, they seem to love that. Make it into a role play or game.
- Bake a cake – most of us have the ingredients lying around. If the kids aren’t about waiting try this Microwave cake!
- Board games – board games can be overlooked as an activity, but it’s actually a really great way to pass some time.
- Take Photos – Let them lose with the camera and see what they come up with. Print them off and display them too!
- Look through photo albums – Maisie loves to look through her baby photos and equally loves laughing at ours!
- Have a bubble ball – we picked up a small bubble machine for £3 and it fills the room with bubbles in minutes. Put some music on and have a boogie with your little people. Arthur loves it and runs around crazy.
- Origami – I love origami and you can either show the kids yourself using online instructions like this from the British Museum or use this resource for some easy free printables
- Build a fort – use cushions and bed sheets or if you are feeling creative use any spare cardboard boxes you have lying around.
- Plan a food menu and cook together – Kids love cooking and this is a great way to teach them some valuable life skills too!
I love Pinterest and when I was browsing the other day I saw something called a bored jar. Basically you write down lots of little activities and when the kids are bored, they pick out an activity and it will help them cure their boredom! With the summer holidays coming up, I thought this would be a great idea for Maisie so I decided to give it a go and make our very own bored jar.
To make this, you only need a few little bits:
- A Kilner Jar or similar
- Coloured Card or paper
- A Pen
I LOVE this book of card sheets that I got from The Range, they have so many different ones in different sizes, but I chose the large Chasing Rainbows one. They are so handy to have, especially if you are into crafting, they even have iridescent paper in them!
So I shared this meme from Mum of Boys and Mabel on my own personal Facebook page last week and though it was hilarious because it is so true! It got me thinking about what we did when we started the lockdown homeschooling and how we do it now. So I thought I would share this lighthearted post comparing my expectations vs reality!
Expectation: Operating to my perfectly planned timetable
Reality: Yes, this one was bound to fail before we got very far! Nothing is going to run to time when you have an 8 year old and a 1 year old in tow. However, I like writing lists so I thought yup! Structure is what I need. Little did I know that even if you plan the timetable somewhat around the school structure and your toddlers routine, it still will not go to plan.
We had points where Maisie was rushing work, so finishing before the allocated time. We had moments where Arthur just went into complete meltdown and I had to sort him out before I could carry on with helping Maisie with her work.
So now we have ditched the timetable, Maisie mostly uses SeeSaw and completes the tasks that her teachers have set her, mostly in her own time with a break for a snack and lunch. Then if I feel she hasn’t done enough we have some extra worksheets etc. The school are providing a good all round timetable of work, so I feel like she is getting most of what she needs to be.
Expectation: “It’s year 4 work, how hard can it be?”
This is something that I struggle with, I feel guilty alot for working full time instead of being there to do everything with my daughter. I wanted to do a post on this and talk about what it is like being a working mum and how I cope with the work/life balance!
When my daughter was born, I was a full time University student. I went back to complete the final year of my course when my daughter was just 3 months old, I managed to get my degree and then start work straight away! I think this is why it has never been a struggle to work and be a mum for me because essentially I have done it from the very start.
That said, there’s something niggling that just gets me lately though, when I see just how much other mothers do with their children, I feel like somehow I’m missing out and so is my daughter.
You see, I don’t get up everyday and take my daughter to school, I get up and I leave about 6 am for work and my other half takes her to childcare at 7.30 in the morning and then she is taken to school from there. Likewise, I’m not there to pick her up when school finishes at 15.15, again she goes to childcare and is picked up around 6pm when we are both home from work.
Sometimes, I feel like this means I’m not good enough, like I’m failing my daughter in someway because on the odd occasion where I can take her to school, she gets emotional. I feel like it’s because she doesn’t want the moment to end because it hardly ever happens.
Then I feel I don’t know many of the other mums, which sometimes makes birthday parties extremely difficult for me. I suffer with anxiety anyway and find it really stressful in that type of scenario, where I feel like everyone already knows each other and then there is me!
I’ve been thinking about doing more lifestyle posts and sharing with you some of the things I do with my family when we’re not at work or at the weekends. This got me thinking, what if I was to share with you some of our memories, times that we loved and places we visited that I would love to go back to again.
This time I’m sharing a holiday from September 2012. It was a big family holiday and we went to Seahouses in Northumberland. I’d never been to this coast before and I was not sure what to expect but I had an amazing time, it’s such a beautiful place!
Seahouses is a small but beautiful little harbour town with plenty of things to do and see. We did so many things in our short time here, including taking a boat ride to see the seals around the various islands. The beaches in Northumberland are stunning and we spent so much time here, amongst the mass of sand dunes, lovely white sand and breathtaking views. One day we even walked along the shore to Bamburgh castle.
We stayed in a beautiful cottage, in the centre of the town. It was close to all amenities including a lovely old pub, the shops and the amusements. The cottage was big and even had a secret staircase, that the kids enjoyed very much! Come to think of it, I think the adults did too!
Maisie had such a good time and she was just learning to walk, so I will always remember it as the perfect family holiday where my daughter basically took her first steps! She also loved the sea. One of the days that we were down on the beach, she stayed at the waters edge almost all day and did not want to get out when it was time to go back!
Have you ever been to Seahouses? Where would you like to go back to?
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