My son came home a few days ago saying that he had been invited to a sleepover at a friend’s house.

My first feeling was one of joy that my son seems to have found his feet socially. I asked him to ensure he got full information on where the sleepover was taking place, contact numbers, timings and so on.

This morning, he admitted he still has not got me any of this.

Over the last few days, I have got more concerned and more against the whole idea of him going on the sleepover. I do not know the family concerned. I have not met the friend concerned. How do I know my son will be safe in this unknown environment? If I am not pretty certain he will be safe, I am minded not to let him go. As you can imagine, me expressing such ideas impresses my teenage son not at all.

I look back to my childhood. I went on one sleepover probably when I was around his age or a little older. What made my parents think it was OK for me to go? I imagine as they are not here to ask that the fact that the parents of my friend lived in a posh area and had professional parents made them feel OK. Of course, they had lived in the town for generations and my Dad knew an lot about people through his police work. There were connections through church too.

We are relatively new to this town and don’t know many people well.

I tried to explain my concerns to my son who said I was accusing the parents of his friend of being “mass murderers”. Now I did not say that although I guess they might be for all I know. They could sanction smoking, drug use or the drinking of alcohol by teens. They could be violent or worse. Even if people have a Criminal Record Bureau check, all it actually proves is that they have never been caught for anything by the police.

I can imagine that people will think I am over the top and too protective.

Then I think about my step-daughters who were abused in their own home by their mother’s boyfriend.

I think of my friend who disclosed how a very professional man and a great friend of her parents’ abused her.

I think how many professionals I have known who use drugs regularly.

Of course, the reality is that if he goes he will probably have a wonderful time and be perfectly safe. If he does not go, it may impact on his relationship with the friend badly. I really don’t want to stop him having a good time so I think maybe I should just take the risk and let him go. Except every instinct as a mum screams against that.

Which raises the whole question of letting children go as they get older. It is a very scary business. You invest all that time in keeping them safe as they are growing up and then at some point they are on their own in a world that whilst wonderful is also “big and bad” sometimes.

Sleepover or no sleepover?

What do you think?

The Pramshed

I am joining in with Wobbles Wednesday the brilliant linky run on a weekly basis by @AutismMumma, a very lovely lady who helps mums support each other as they try to shed the pounds and stones.

I lost lots of weight last year. Then my husband’s redundancy hit and I started to comfort eat and undid so much of my good work.

It is a New Year so I am making a fresh start.

I have already given up alcohol as part of my attempt to raise money in Cancer Research UK’s Dryathalon.

I am trying to remember all the tricks that helped me stick to healthy eating before. I may well revisit some of my old posts about Wobbles.

Today, I will measure myself as I can’t quite face the scales just yet. It is the thought of seeing those numbers telling me how I failed by giving in to my emotions when challenging times hit. I think I might look for the new Paul McKenna book on emotional eating.

Yesterday, I did a really good day of health eating – cereal, ham sandwich with Weightwatchers bread and a mackerel salad for tea. It reminded me of how much I enjoy healthier options.

I have put things in the house like bananas and Weightwatchers yoghurts for when the munchies strike.

Right now I feel better already.

I am looking for an organisation/brand to sponsor the costs associated with me attending Britmums Live, a major blogging and social media conference run by the UK’s largest parent blogger network with over 30 000 Twitter followers and thousands of registered members. It takes place in June and is attended by hundreds of bloggers and social media influencers. You can find out more about the event here

What are the benefits of sponsoring me?

Imagine having me as your representative at the conference chatting to people about your product or service. I could wear branded clothing or let people have your business card.

Should you become my sponsor, I would promote you with an introductory blog post once the sponsorship is agreed and in place. If you would like me to host a competition or post a review of a product or service, we could look into that too. I would be happy to post an advertorial post too once content is agreed.

Obviously, I would tweet about my sponsor before, during and after the event.

How much would sponsorship cost

I am looking for help with the costs such as travel and accommodation as this is a two day conference in London. I live in Yorkshire. I will provide a detailed breakdown to potential sponsors.

Who am I and what is my blog about?

groovinggrabbadge

I am a 45 year old mother with children aged 8-13 years.

I am an award winning blogger recognised for my Outstanding Contribution in the MAD Blog Awards and for Brilliance in Blogging.

My blog has diverse content including food, travel and parenting. It also has a strong emphasis on supporting other women via initiatives such as Groovy Mums. I have considerable experience of raising awareness of charities too.

My blog is well read and has good levels of engagement. I have thousands of Twitter followers.

I would hope to develop a long-term and positive relationship with my sponsor.

If you are interested in finding out more, please email kateonthinice@gmail.com and we can discuss things further.

Are you a mum who wants to make changes in your life?

You might know exactly what you want to do.  You might have a few ideas that you would like to investigate further. You may be feeling a bit down and just sense that there must be more to life that what you have currently.

Groovy Mums can help!

groovinggrabbadge

 

Groovy Mums does not tell you what to wish for.  You are a very special individual (whether you currently feel that way or not).  You are unique with your own hopes, dreams and aspirations even if they appear faint right now.

Groovy Mums is tried and tested – it has helped people before.  There is no reason it can’t help you too.  It is a sign of strength to say that you could actually do with a bit of support and the input of other mums as you move forwards.

So how does it work?

Write a blog post about what your life is like now and more vitally how you would like it to change.  Don’t allow negative self-talk! Dream your wildest dreams.  You never know. What makes you so all-powerful that you just know things won’t work out?

It does not matter what the dream is.  When I started Groovy Mums years ago, going for a walk every day felt impossible as I was so low.  If you had said then that the journey would eventually see me crossing the Atlantic and working for BritMums I would have told you that you were mad.  Incredibly positive things can and do happen every day.  For some people that will be about going out a little bit more.  For others it will be about volunteering, employment, business, study or hobbies..  For all Groovy Mums, it will be about changing their own world.

I have realised that getting groovy is an ongoing journey and that it is important to celebrate every baby step as well as the bigger achievements.

Link up your blog post below or leave a comment telling me where to find it.  I will then promote it via my social networks and we can connect on Twitter using hashtag #groovymums

Don’t stress about getting the post “right” – just write it!

You may well be amazed at the amount of ideas, tips and support coming your way.

We will be holding regular Twitter parties too.  What times are best for that do you think?

Let’s get groovy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We have challenges ahead but I am committed to making 2014 as positive as possible.  I now how helpful joining in the linky Reasons to be Cheerful is both to celebrate when times are going great and to dig deep when the blues strike.  Make it your New Year’s Resolution to get involved – believe me, it is a very powerful one.

What is making me upbeat this week?

1.  I have really started to tackle cupboards and drawers to declutter.  This can only simplify matters when the time comes to move.  I am not sure holding on to so much stuff from the past in particularly healthy.  It has felt good to let some stuff go almost as if by so doing, I can move on more positively.

2. I have purchased a new mattress for my son’s double bed.  This was long overdue and I am delighted that it is one little task sorted and now sees his room totally sorted.  Big thanks to Ebay.

3. I spent a lot of time looking through old photographs and wrote this post about my lovely Mum who set me off on the blogging journey in the first place.  I cried a bit but smiled and laughed a lot more.  What a great advertisement for adoption.

4. I made some very positive and life-changing New Year’s revolutions.

5. I decided to re-introduce Groovy Mums to help myself and other mums take action to rediscover or reinvent themselves.  There will be a linky, Twitter parties and probably the odd residential retreat or two too.  Look out for a post on Monday next and get involved.

6. I have decided to go dry booze-wise in January and possibly beyond.  I have lost several relatives to cancer including my lovely Mum so I have set  up a fundraising page! It’s live and ready to receive donations at http://www.justgiving.com/Catherine-Holmes-dryathlete2014.  However small the donation and I know times are tough out there, I welcome your support if you feel able to give it.  It will do good things for cancer research and help keep me motivated and on the straight and narrow.  With the removal of alcohol which too often acts as a depressant, I am sure I will be celebrating new reasons to be cheerful with you soon.

 

Now head over to http://beckywilloughby.blogspot.co.uk/2014/01/reasons-to-be-cheerful-teamhonk-edition.html to see more people who finds smiles in everyday life.