Falling apart on become a mum is not unusual really. Becoming a parent is a overwhelming experience filled with a mix of positive and negative stress. Childbirth is a shock to the system and then you are thrown into so many new demands that can take their toll on your physical and mental wellbeing.

Falling Apart

What is unusual or at least was until recent times was mums being honest about falling apart either at the time or looking back on their life experiences.  My belief is that we bloggers need to give a true account of women’s lives so that history can report it properly for starters. It is also important to counter-balance the fakery out there presenting apparently perfect lives.

So I am grateful to Laura who shares how she fell apart and then rebuilt her life one baby step at a time. Laura set up Worditude where she helps business-builders write the words for their website.

“I didn’t want to be the boss.

Every self-employed person I knew when I was growing up such as my neighbour, the shop-owner who employed me on Saturdays and my grandparents were stressed out, overworked….and kinda stingy.

I didn’t want to be that person.

So I threw myself into corporate life as soon as I could.

I clawed my way to a first class business degree and then joined a management programme for a financial services company just weeks after my 21st birthday.

I was Little Miss Career-Climber.

In just a few years I made it to a middle management position with a salary I hadn’t dared dream of.

And then came the babies. Like little pink bombs detonating under my corporate world, shattering my plans, and leaving me with shards of shrapnel, from which I needed to rebuild a life.

I love them. I wanted them. But I was in no way prepared for the impact their presence would have on me.

Due to a medical condition my second son couldn’t go to a nursery or childminder. He needed to be with a parent at home.

He clearly hadn’t read my two kids plus full-time childcare script.

So I walked out on my job. Literally. I just left one day and didn’t go back because I felt so out of control at how my life was unfolding.

For two depression-riddled years, I was so so lost. I didn’t know what was important to me anymore (apart from my sons). I didn’t know how to make a meaningful contribution to the world (because even as a full-time mum, I was still overlooking the value of mothers). I didn’t know what I wanted to do.

I spent hours and hours researching online for ‘work from home opportunities’.

I thankfully managed to dodge the scams – goodness knows how, there were enough of them.

I settled on blogging as a potential source of income. And then I loved setting up my WordPress website so much, I started to make websites for other people. And then I loved helping them write the words for their websites so much, that I ditched the website building and focussed on copywriting instead.

And here I am now helping entrepreneurs write their own website content through my templates and tutorials.

As I’ve built my business, I’ve learned to rebuild myself.

The books, the training, the seminars, the meetings. Combined they formed a crash course in self-development I never would’ve undertaken had my little ones not completely destroyed my plans and identity 10 years ago.

It all worked out in the end.

I can’t go back 10 years and tell myself that.

So instead I share my story as openly and honestly as I can, so that other mothers, who fear their identity is irreversibly crumbling can know that sometimes when things look like they’re falling apart, they are actually falling into place.”

 

Sharing so openly takes a huge amount of courage so please do consider sharing this post by clicking one or more of the buttons below.

If you would like to share your story on this blog please get in touch.

 

Tammymum
Pink Pear Bear
ethannevelyn.com


If you’re expecting a child or planning a family, you’re possibly wondering what price tag comes with bringing up a baby. With toys, food, clothing, childcare, holidays, education, and recreational activities to consider; it’s easy to get overwhelmed by potential child-raising figures. Do bear in mind that an effective way of protecting the financial future of your children is to secure life insurance. A policy can cover your mortgage, meet future family costs and clear any outstanding debts

But having a child is an incredible addition to your life and you shouldn’t let anything spoil it. So, Babythingz, a leading provider of early years’ products including cosytoes and footmuffs, has researched the average cost of typical child-rearing items and given you a selection of handy saving tips to help you prepare for your future family.

Current child-raising figures

 

The most recent figures regarding the cost of a baby and raising a child put the cost at anywhere between £75,000 and a far heftier £230,000. So, let’s break this down.

According to a study carried out by the Centre of Economics and Business Research (CEBR) and financial services business, Liverpool Victoria (LV); you are likely to spend an average of £231,843 when bringing up a child from birth. Although this sounds expensive, research conducted by Child Poverty Group (CPAG) places the typical price tag attached to raising a child on the minimum income standard by a two-parent family at £75,436. Likewise, a study carried out by Moneysupermarket gave an average of £94,030.

So, which is correct? Chances are, all of these figures are credible. The research collected by CEBR and LV includes the cost of childcare and full education (including university) — which reportedly account for £70,466 and £74,430 respectively — up until the age of 21, while the figures from CPAG only go up to the child’s 18th birthday and exclude childcare, housing and council tax. Similarly, the figures collected by Moneysupermaket focused on specific baby- and child-related products — such as baby gear, toys and teen clothes — rather than education fees and childcare.

The cost of raising a child from baby to adult also appears to vary rapidly between UK locations. For example, if you were to raise your child until 21 in Wales, you’d fork out £38,494 less than if you were to do the same in London (according to figures from CEBR and LV). Overall, the average costs of raising a child are:

 

  • £242,413 in Northern Ireland.
  • £233,136 in England.
  • £230,988 in Scotland.
  • £215,144 in Wales.

 

Try not to worry too much about the above prices. These costs also include luxury items, such as a first car and driving lessons, which your child could help out with by the time they reach working age. It’s also worth bearing in mind that there are many ways you can ease the financial pressure of child-raising by applying for the right child benefits and child tax credits, as well as making and planning cost-saving tactics early on in your child’s life.

 

Average cost of raising a baby and how you can save money

 

Now, we’re going to look at typical baby costs from birth and how to implement good money-saving tactics to help slash the overall cost of bringing up your baby.

 

Birth and newborn essentials

Although how your baby is born is entirely your choice, this will significantly affect how much a baby costs even before it’s born. Figures from Private Healthcare UK suggest that the average cost of an epidural in the UK not provided by the NHS is £1,459, while the average private ultrasound is £327. With a private birth (one-night stay) ranging from £1,600 to £5,900, according to Private Pregnancy, the cost of giving birth without the NHS might be more than you anticipate.

 

Clearly, there’s opportunity for you to save money by opting for an NHS assistance when you have your baby. But what about after that?

 

A study of 1,104 parents of kids aged one year and under showed that we typically spend around £500 in the first few weeks of our newborn’s life. This includes around £184 on toys and furniture, £243 on clothes and £24 on nappies. Since these are unavoidable items, how can we save money?

 

Firstly, why not switch from disposable nappies to cloth and re-use rather than re-buy? Eco-friendlier, you also won’t have to dash out before the shops close to get more. When it comes to the nursery — and if you’re feeling up to it — why not buy cheaper items and spruce them up yourself to save cash? You could then take some time to research which toys will be most beneficial and durable for your child online to make sure you get quality that will last.

 

Since Moneysupermakret predicts that we’ll spend around £5,667 on baby gear for kids between 0 and three years, and the CEBR report puts the cost of the first year of a child’s life at £11,498 overall, cutting costs from the beginning might be a wise move!

 

Nursey years

As your baby grows into a toddler and before they go into mainstream school, you may choose to start taking them on holidays. This is excellent for their sense of development and for spending quality time with you, however, it can also contribute significantly to the cost of raising a child. According to the CEBR report, holidays account for £16,882 of the overall child-rearing cost. So, how can you bring this figure down? By opting for a staycation!

 

Forget hefty flight costs, you can lower the price of your getaway by choosing a location around the UK where you and your little one can swim, cycle, relax, and explore. Go camping and enjoy the great outdoors for free or book small but regular weekends away — there are great family offers available online at some of the country’s best city and rural locations. Plus, your child’s age means you can go away during term time without incurring a penalty or harming their education.

 

School years and pre-adolescence

The same CEBR report noted that the ages of 5 to 17 years are the cheapest for parents at £8,640 (compared to £11,498 for the first year, £15,806 for ages one to four years, and £17,815 for ages 18-21 years). However, kids grow quickly at this age and regularly having to buy new items of clothing will start becoming a part of you and your child’s life.

 

According to MoneySupermarket, a child’s school items will cost their parent approximately £3,182 between the ages of 4 and 18. But you can lower this cost by adopting some budget-friendly methods when it comes to buying school supplies. For example, why not buy your child a size bigger in clothing at the start of term, so you don’t have to repurchase the same item when they’ve grown out of it mid-year?

High-streets and supermarkets are great places to go for bulk buying uniform essentials that don’t need the school logo, and even just researching bargains and discounts for sports kits online before you buy can save you plenty in the long run.

 

As tech items can cost parents around £7,329 and pocket money should apparently only cost parents approximately £3,063; you could consider encouraging your child to use their cash allowances to enjoy taking part in sports, outdoor activities or another non-tech hobby. That way, they may not be as demanding of the latest expensive games console or gadgets as they grow. Once they reach working age, it’s also an excellent idea to encourage your child to secure a part-time job. According to a study by the UK Commission on Employment and Skills, kids who didn’t take up a  job during their school years were not ready for full-time employment later in life. Getting a Saturday job will not only help to develop their social skills, earn good references for further education or employment opportunities, and take responsibility for their own schedules; but they can also start self-funding their weekend activities and driving lessons to ease the pressure on parents.

 

Having children is a fantastic experience, so don’t let the cost put you off. There are simple ways to avoid forking out unnecessary cash, as well as plenty of advice out there for parents who need childcare assistance or help funding education. Browse online for more money-saving tips!

 

 

Sources:

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/525449/UKC004_Summary_Report__May_.pdf

https://www.lv.com/about-us/press/article/cost-of-a-child-2016

https://cebr.com/reports/cost-of-raising-a-child-hits-227266-with-families-feeling-the-impact-of-benefit-cuts/

http://www.cpag.org.uk/sites/default/files/TheCostofaChildin2017.pdf

https://www.moneysupermarket.com/life-insurance/cost-of-raising-a-child/

https://www.privatehealth.co.uk/conditions-and-treatments/epidural-injection/costs/

https://www.privatehealth.co.uk/conditions-and-treatments/ultrasound/costs/

http://www.privatepregnancy.co.uk/information-and-guides/useful-articles/understanding-the-cost-of-private-maternity-care-in-the-uk/

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/privatised-nhs-cost-of-childbirth-10577787

http://www.madeformums.com/baby/whats-the-real-cost-of-having-a-baby/35157.html

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2016/feb/16/cost-of-raising-children-in-uk-higher-than-ever

https://www.nationwide.co.uk/guides/news/articles/2016/06/cost-of-raising-a-child

3 Little Buttons

Mummy in a Tutu

If you had a choice would you prefer to stay by the sea or in the countryside perhaps near mountains or moors.

With miles and miles of stunning coastline and countryside, we’re spoiled for choice in the UK when it comes to choosing a city, town or village for our next break away from home. But how do coast and country breaks compare? Do you prefer to feel the sea breeze in your hair and sand between your toes, or is the peace and quiet of the countryside far more tempting?

The team at Cottages in Northumberland, a coastal cottages and country breaks holiday lettings agency based in Northumberland, is here to reveal the pros and cons of being beside the seaside and escaping to the country. Whatever the highlights of coast or country, do ensure you visit Northumberland if you have not already done so because I guarantee you are in for a real treat.

There is nowhere on Earth quite like this county. I first stayed on holiday there as a child with my parents staying first at Haggerston in a coach house. We loved it so much that we returned the next year staying in a farmhouse a few miles inland.

Coastal breaks

With breath-taking sea views, delicious food and plenty of family-friendly things to do, it’s no wonder that a staggering 38% of the top ten holidays involved trips to the beach last year, according to research compiled by the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA).

And these aren’t the only things that the coast has to offer holidaymakers. A coastal break is also therapy for the mind, body and soul: relax by listening to the sound of the waves crashing against the coastline, sleep well from fresh sea air, and soften your feet with a walk along the beach. In a madly stressed out world these days where most of us have busy lives both online and off, it is great to take time out and just be in a beautiful place.

Heading to the coast is also a chance to relive happy memories. From eating take-away fish and chips, making sandcastles on the beach, and rolling up trousers and sleeves to paddle in the sea, the percentage of trips to the beach last year shows that all the way through life, people love heading to the coast. My parents always took me to the coast all year round and it is beautiful in every season. When it was too cold for a picnic outdoors, we would have a feast in the car with mum’s famous sausage rolls, fresh tomatoes and the like.

Coastal breaks do, however, have their drawbacks. More expensive than their countryside counterparts even in the off-peak season (from around £450 for seven nights, compared to £360 in the countryside), taking a coastal break in peak time also means that the town or village where you choose to reside will be much busier people-wise than a stay, at any time, in the vast, open countryside. This is something to bear in mind in these  times of austerity and if you take the more affordable option accommodation wise, you can then have more treats when you are there.

Country breaks

While seaside breaks become part of our lives at a young age, escaping to the countryside is very much the idyll of these two types of holiday.

For many of us living in the UK’s densely populated towns and cities, the main draw of a break to the country is to fulfil our desire for peace and quiet. But the pleasures of the countryside don’t stop there, rural stately homes, picturesque landscapes, Britain’s darkest skies, and an abundance of walking and cycling routes all make the countryside the best places to relax and unwind from the stress of everyday life.

Country breaks are also a great opportunity to get closer to nature. Dig out your binoculars and observe beautiful birds, butterflies, hedgehogs, foxes, rabbits, and even deer in the countryside. There are so many fun ways to learn when spending time in the countryside.

While this all certainly sounds worlds away from urban life, the remoteness that comes with a countryside break is something that some city-types may find unnerving. I know when I first moved to the countryside I was amazed at how loud it can be at night with strange noises from the wildlife which I was far less used to than people and traffic sounds.And we don’t just mean that people-wise! If your smartphone is in your hand at all times, you may find an issue with the distinct lack of Wi-Fi and phone signal in the countryside. You might also find yourself travelling much further to pick up the evening’s dinner than you might at the seaside due to the lack of supermarket superstores and express shops alike. Having  said that, do check out the country pubs and restaurants often serving amazing local produce.

So, what’s it to be? Whether you see the seclusion of the country as an advantage or prefer the thought of old-fashioned seaside fun, there’s a world of choice at your fingertips right here in the UK.

What destination would you recommend to my readers?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lucy At Home

Me, Being Mummy

I would like to thank Su from Ethan and Evelyn for nominating me for the Sunshine Award. I am tasked with revealing all by answering some questions set by her.

Sunshine Blogger

I will then be nominating some other bloggers and giving them 11 questions to answer.

Q1. Your blog’s name – why have you given this name to your blog?

I guess I have an ego and wanted my name in the blog title. Also I did not want it to have mum or any variant of that in there as I feel I am more than a mum. I looked up some phrases with words that rhymed with Kate in them and somehow with my mad life of wobbles and overcoming them, Kate on Thin Ice seemed just right as Goldilocks would say about her porridge.

Q2. When did you start blogging?

I blogged a couple of times when totally depressed about my situation as a stay at home mum who just felt she could not cope. I started blogging regularly in 2009.

Q3. What prompt you to start a blog?

My mum came to spend Christmas with me for the first time in 2008. She sat up till the early hours one night drinking her favourite tipple Bell’s Whisky. She told me she thought I should write as I had always wanted to be a writer from childhood. I think she thought it would help me feel better to have that creative outlet. She said “even if you just keep a diary”. I thought about getting a pretty notebook or diary but then thought my young daughter would pinch it so I chose to blog instead. There was no master plan.

Q4. Name one favourite blogger that you are a big fan of right now.

How can I pick just one? How about Letters to my Daughter for just one of many great favourites.

Q5. Why is she/ he/ they are your favourite blogger at this moment in time.

I like the female focus and the sharing of experiences and lessons learned.

Q6. Where one place on earth would you go if you received an invitation to go traveling without money bring the limit? & Why?

I have always wanted to visit Moscow. As a very young child I wanted to visit Moscow and own leather sofas. I have done the leather sofas so Moscow is next!

Q7. What is your one favourite cheer up food when you are feeling down in the dump?

A beautiful cheeseboard with everything except blue cheeses and it must include goat’s cheese.

Q8. What’s your one favourite thing to do with your family?

Walking and enjoying nature together.

Q9. What is your dream job when you were young?

I wanted to a barrister after watching Crown Court a lot on the telly and also because my Dad had legal experience as a police officer and an insurer.

Q10. What is your dream job now?

I would still love to write a novel one day.

Q11. If you can to give back to the world – what would that one thing be?

I would wave my magic wand and get rid of all abuses of power in life including in domestic, education, housing and employment situations.

The rules

Once nominated, if you choose to accept, write a post where you:
•Thank the person who nominated you for the Sunshine Award and link back to their blog
•Answer the questions set by the person who nominated you
•Nominate other bloggers and give them 11 questions to answer
•Notify your nominees through social media or commenting on their blog
•List the “rules” and display a Sunshine Award logo in your post

Copy and paste the following questions and answer them in a blog post.

1. What is your favourite childhood memory?

2. What is your all-time favourite book?

3. How much do you spend in an average month on make-up?

4. How many hours per week do you spend on housework?

5. What is your most hated housework task?

6. What is your perfect night out?

7. What is the skill you are most proud of?

8. What is the personal quality you are most proud of?

9. Who is your hero?

10. What is your favourite word?

11. How would you describe parenting?

Nominating some very lovely bloggers ….

http://www.ramblingthroughparenthood.com/

http://www.adventuresofariotgrrrl.com/

http://www.missljbeauty.com/

http://stressedmum.co.uk/

http://www.ricecakesandraisins.co.uk/

R2BC at Mummy from the Heart

”My

Cuddle Fairy

I was delighted to be asked to review Snuggly Rascals Comfortable Headphones for Kids.

Comfortable Headphone

My children have a poor record with looking after headphones so these came in the nick of time after yet another pair broke. We need headphones in our family as we home educate so that the children are often doing their own learning listening to things online. Also they have very different music tastes with my son loving musicals and my daughter loving music from Japan.

Sometimes I listen with them but sometimes I am busy with work or craving some peace and quiet.

Snuggly Rascals have created comfortable headphones especially for kids that both look great and sound great! They are ultra-comfortable with a snuggly, soft fleece fabric enclosing adjustable flat speakers that make the headphones perfect for travelling. Machine washable and size adjustable, they are suitable for any size kid’s head and with loads of funky designs there is sure to be one (or more!) that they love. My daughter chose a unicorn design perhaps inevitably.

Snuggly Rascals are available from Snuggly Rascals & Amazon for £14.99 which is such an affordable price and leaves me worrying a little less should anything untoward happen to them.

The company also donate 10% of profits to a different charity every month so not only are you keeping your kids happy (and quiet!) but you can also feel good about helping many causes.

The good news is that I have a pair of Snuggly Rascals to giveaway. This giveaway is easy to enter using the Rafflecopter form below. Good Luck!

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