3 tops tips for using Real Nappies at Nursery

A common question I see on Real Nappy Groups is about using Real Nappies at Nursery. Or more specifically whether nurseries are willing to use reusable nappies, and the best brand to avoid problems.

On the whole, our experience of having Thomas at nursery in real nappies has been very positive. The nursery were willing to use them from the outset and have done their best to get things right.

I would however, add the caveat that we have put a few pre-emptive measures in place to prevent problems. When we first mentioned cloth nappies, there were a few puzzled faces and lots of questions. I thought it would be quite useful to share what we’ve done!Read More »3 tops tips for using Real Nappies at Nursery

November in Retrospect

Time can be a funny thing sometimes. In some ways it feels like November has simply flown by, but when looking back an awful lot has happened. It’s like Halloween was both yesterday and a life time ago. Although I’m definitely going to yesterday given that there’s still jack-o’-lanterns sitting in my garden! I’m aware at how quickly the kids are changing and wanted to take some time to just reflect on what’s been happing. Hence, I give you November in Retrospect:


Read More »November in Retrospect

Philosophy series: Copleston

Returning to work after maternity leave has meant a lot of change. Although I’ve returned to a familiar world of work – things are undeniably different.

When I returned to work after Katie, I would cry on my way to work each day, feeling irrepressibly guilty that she would be sad or somehow suffer from me not being there. Having seen her come through the nursery system and develop into a boisterous child, brimming with happiness and self-belief, I know that she’s not been damaged by the experience at all.

With Thomas, although I miss him each day and think I would rather be taking them to the park. I don’t feel neglectful. Rather, I think I’m more regretful about things I may be missing and just fervently hoping that I’ve made the right decision to work.Read More »Philosophy series: Copleston

Philosophy series: Montaigne edition

Michel de Montaigne is perhaps one of my favourite philosophers. Rather than spouting obscure phrases or finding ethereal ideas – his writing was very much based upon the real world. He could be considered something of a narcissist as he largely wrote about himself, but as his anecdotes were largely combined with insightful observations about the world… I think he can be forgiven.

Montaigne believed that many people were unhappy because they felt inadequate in some way. For anyone who has lacked self-esteem at any point, this is an easy concept to identify with!

Montaigne identified different areas that he felt were particularly problematic – our own bodies, society as a whole and the world of intellect. It strikes me that although Montaigne was writing in the 15th century – his ideas still pervade the world today.Read More »Philosophy series: Montaigne edition

Parenting: Explaining Easter to small kids

The Easter holidays are fast approaching so naturally thoughts are  forming as to how best to celebrate this festival with the kids. As with Christmas, I’ve been concerned that Katie knows a bit too much about chocolate and bunny rabbits, rather than the actual meaning of Easter.

Whilst we’re not a particularly devout family, we do attend church from time to time and I do actually have a degree in Theology. But how on earth do you explain Easter to a three year-old? Especially a three year-old who sobbed her heart out through the entirety of ‘Tangled’ because the bad woman took the baby and tried to hurt people.

Can you imagine how this conversation would go?Read More »Parenting: Explaining Easter to small kids

Parenting: What really matters on Mother’s Day?

The  history of Mother’s Day is somewhat convoluted in the UK with many differing opinions.  Some sources say that it is the day that one should return to your home or ‘mother’ church, others  say that it  is a day to honour the Virgin Mary, whilst there is also the popular view that it’s really a day to buy your Mother gifts of appreciation. 

Marketing has  been pushing the term ‘Mother’s Day’ but in Britain (for whatever the purpose) it is more traditional to celebrate ‘Mothering Sunday’. This is always celebrated on the fourth Sunday of Lent – marking a respite within a time that is usually reserved for austerity. 

When I was small my parents decreed that Father’s day was too commercial (this may have been to do with my Dad disliking presents) but Mothering Sunday was always given heed. As church goers we had an easy gift,  as there was always an opportunity within the service to go collect a small posy and to deliver it to Mum. I think we were likely to buy cards (or rather I would buy a card and my brother would sign it) – but now I’m a Mother myself, I wonder if there’s really much in receiving a card like this.Read More »Parenting: What really matters on Mother’s Day?

The Philosophy series: The Epictetus edition

Today we continue with the Philosophy series – asking what wisdom the second century C.E. philosopher, Epictetus can impart to parents today. Perhaps it’s because I’ve been thinking a lot about returning to work but I think that he has provided a way to look at the world a little differently.

Epictetus based his work on the philosophy of early Stoics – think logic, physics, and ethics – but the teaching we can draw on today (the Discources and the Handbook) largely focus on ethics. The ultimate aim of a Stoic teacher was to help his students reach eudaemonia (happiness). Given that happiness is a good goal to hold both as a parent and individual, I don’t think it’s a bad pursuit.Read More »The Philosophy series: The Epictetus edition

Things to consider when scheduling children's activities

Parenting: Scheduling children’s activities

A question I often ponder is how much I should schedule Katie’s life -or indeed whether she is over scheduled! As I cajole her to get ready for one activity or another, I often wonder why I bother when she would rather stay home and watch CBeebies.

Last summer, as I embarked on maternity leave with Thomas, I realised aside from having a new brother, Katie’s biggest adjustment would be not having full time nursery care. As Mike and I work full-time, Katie had been in nursery five days a week, often from 8am until 5pm. Aside from having a whole heap of children to play with, this also meant that she was used to a lot of organised activity.

Super-Mum I am not. I knew that I wouldn’t be able to match the speed at which Katie had moved from activity to activity, nor did I have the ability to provide the same range. Aside from anything else – I don’t have soft play in my house!

But I also was faced with a big question. Is this much scheduled activity actually a good thing? It struck me that there’s some key things to consider:Read More »Parenting: Scheduling children’s activities