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Back to school is a really exciting time of year.  The kids are recharged from their summer break, and some of them are even looking forward to getting back to the school routine and seeing their friends.  My daughter was actually mortified when I told her there was 4 weeks left of the school holidays the other day, she’s really looking forward to going back to school. As a Mum who has left arranging the Back to School checklist until the last minute, I can testify to the panic you

When my eldest was born I didn’t really think about kids savings at all.  I was quite young myself, and having just had a baby things like preparing for going to university seemed like a long way off.  I didn’t open a child savings account for him and I didn’t think to save regularly using any other method either. My approach was, I’ll get round to finding the best savings account for kids one day and it will all be OK.  Well that one day never happened and you would be

I think most parents have struggled with how to get their children to do their homework on time at some point or another. It took a long time to encourage my son to get into the routine of good homework habits, and we are just starting getting homework sent home with Indie now. When Indie gets older, I’m definitely going to check out cheap essay to write her homework essays for her, it will save her so much time and effort! That won’t be for a few years yet though!

Foster care works. When a child lives in a loving, nurturing home where they are loved, cared for and protected, they thrive. But there is no denying that the traumatic, fractured and chaotic life some children experience impacts on them. Research from across the globe concludes that foster care does work, more so if everyone involved in the foster care process are knowledgeable on how to work with looked after children. And that includes foster carers. Developmental Issues Children in foster care do thrive and develop, often ‘catching up’ with

This post has been rattling around in my head for a while now, and I was keen to get people’s thoughts on this particular topic too.  I was originally going to call this post ‘the joys of being pregnant at 21’, but I didn’t want you all to think I was encouraging 21 year olds to run out and have kids.  I decided that talking about ‘when is a good age to have a baby’ might be a better angle. I was actually 21 when I was pregnant with my

Making sure my kids eat a healthy balanced diet and enjoy an active lifestyle is a constant priority for me.  As you might know if you have followed my blog for a while I have experienced issues with my weight for a long time, since I was a child in fact.  I have always been overweight and it isn’t a legacy I have not wanted to pass onto my children. Being overweight really is no fun, and when it’s something that is part of your earliest childhood memories it’s pretty

As a parent, the one thing I’ve really noticed over the years is how competitive the world has become.  We hear year after year how it’s more difficult for children to achieve high grades in their GCSE’s or A Level results.  Getting to University is incredibly competitive and children have to work so hard to even be considered by the places they want to study at. Even if your child chooses to follow a less academic route, the competition for jobs is incredibly high out there.  They still need to

Hello readers.  If you have been following this story, your will know that our 3 year old daughter had an operation to have grommets fitted and her adenoids removed about 2 weeks ago.  I wanted to give you an update about her progress so far and how we are feeling since the operation. Should She Have Had The Operation We certainly have no regrets about letting Brook have the procedure done, even though it was quite stressful leading up to the operation and the day itself was hard for all

I have been so conscious recently of how a relatively minor health issue can have huge consequences for a young child in the early years of their developmental progress.  If you’ve been following the blog recently, you’ll have probably heard about my daughter’s glue ear and her hearing. Good eye health and vision is equally as important for children, especially for going back to school season.  Our daughter has just joined Year 1, and to all intents and purposes she’s settling in very well.  She was so excited to get back

Do you worry about the amount of screen time your kids have?  It’s something that definitely niggles at me sometimes, as my children are very fond of using the iPad for their entertainment.  They enjoy playing games on the tablet as well as watching YouTube.  What is is with those unboxing videos they love so much?  Another favourite in our house is My Little Pony make up tutorials.  My kids will watch those for hours.  I guess it’s no different to me watching how to make fancy cakes.  I will

Happy Birthday my beautiful little lady.  You had a very special 3rd birthday as we were on holiday at Yelloh! Village Les Grands Pins.  I wanted it to be special, even though we were away, so you had a princess breakfast with your sister, featuring party bags and fresh croissants, which are your favourite breakfast whether you are at home or in France. You were in charge for the whole day and picked all the activities that we did.  We played in the kids play areas and made a special birthday

Are you spending half term at home with your children?  Do you have that sense of optimism that you are all going to have a great time together enjoying each other’s company?  I love the thought of spending time at home with my family but by the end of the holiday I can literally be counting down the hours before we are back into the school routine.  When that feeling has taken over me, I know that my half term planning hasn’t gone so well and the dreaded Mum guilt

As parents I think we take getting in the car for granted.  When I mention to the children that we are getting in the car, there is always a flurry of excitement.  It doesn’t matter where we are going, it could be to the supermarket to cause havoc shop, to soft play or off on a road trip, they are always really excited about the prospect of going for a drive.  I love watching how happy they get over the smallest things, and to be honest I find it quite

If you have been following my blog and social media posts recently, you will know that we have had some trouble settling our 4 year old daughter into her new gymnastics class.  Last week she was so distraught at the prospect of going that we were not even able to get her to leave the house.  It’s been a real parenting challenge for us as we have struggled to know what to do for the best.

Yesterday I felt broken by my children, and I feel terrible for it.  As a parent there is nothing worse than the feeling that you are letting them down and that there is more you could do to make the day run smoothly.  I am finding this year really difficult and it breaks my heart that my 4 year old has said to me ‘it will get easier when I go to school’.  This should be a time when we make the most of being together as a family, but instead

When my son was born I felt totally redundant, he was a distant child from the very beginning.  He fed well, he slept well and needed very little from me in terms of cuddles and kisses.  When we were in the hospital, after he was born, one of my clearest memories is of him waking up, being fed and changed.  I popped him back in his crib, just to go and wash my hands and was looking forward to enjoying a little cuddle with him before he napped.  When I

Before we went on our recent holiday we spent a lot of time taking our daughters swimming to get the ready to enjoy their time in the pool.  As a Huggies Little Swimmers Get Set Splash Ambassador we are on a mission to encourage parents to take their little ones for a splash around anytime.  It doesn’t have to be a faff if you are always prepared and it’s great fun for you and your children. I vlogged about our experience, why we needed to make the effort before our holiday and why

One of the most awkward challenges that parents face is when to discuss puberty with their son or daughter.  When to have this conversation is only the start of it.  How do you discuss puberty with your child and all the changes that the body is about to embark on without wanting to be swallowed up into a dark hole.  I have to confess that this is a part of my parenting journey that I think I failed at miserably with my son, and I really hope to do a

Personally, I believe that parenting is one of the toughest jobs you can ever do.  The responsibility of bringing a baby into the world and raising a child is huge.  Once you take on the task of looking after a child, that role is always with you in some form or other.  There’s no asking for a transfer or applying for another job.  Once you’ve signed on the dotted line, there are no get out clauses or notice periods.  Fortunately, one of the first terms of the parenting contract is to

As soon as you get a positive line on your pregnancy test, you’ll no doubt be full of a mixture of excitement and nerves. Having a baby is a life changing experience, and both mums and dads will no doubt be overwhelmed by the amount of advice out there. However, it’s important to relax when you’re expecting a baby, and being prepared will give you peace of mind. Here are 10 tips that any parents can follow when they’re expecting a baby.

Do you know what your kids are looking at on their Android smartphones and tablets that you have just bought them? Are you fully aware of the activities that they perform not just online, but offline too? When asked, many parents still go silent and then there are so many confused responses, including yes, most of the time; no, not literally; yes, to some extent and so on.  If you don’t know what your child is doing on their tablet or smartphone, perhaps it’s time to look at the Android Monitoring App.

I’ve stumbled across many parenting quotes over the years about having children, some I’ve completed disregarded, some have resonated with me, and some just make me smile. As parents we all need a a few kind words, or snippets of inspiration to give us some kind of clue that we might be on the right parenting track. Here are just 5 of my favourite parenting quotes that have helped me over my 17 year journey.  I wanted to share them with you, just in case you had any self doubt or

Recently I’ve been thinking about how to keep the girls busy through the autumn.  There is a little part of me that is sad about the wet and cold weather coming, and getting them out to the park becomes not being quite so easy. One thing I haven’t been doing with the both of them over the summer is going to play group.  I took Princess when she was at home with me, and I’ve been to plenty of Mother and Baby groups with Little Pudding but I’ve not took

Today, I read a post by a blogger friend of mine that made me really sad.  I’ve met this lady in real life a few times and I know she is an amazing mother to her son.  To think she is writing about failing as a parent made my heart sink.  I know many of us do it, whether we write about it, talk to our friends or family about it or just dwell on it in our own thoughts.  We look for our failings more than we shout about our

It’s been all change here at Zena’s Suitcase these last couple of month’s, and things are on the up, mainly!  As there is so much going on I thought I’d give you a family update, and let you know how we are all getting along. Teen has just finished his A/S Levels, and fingers crossed it all went OK.  He played it all very cool, as he usually does.  He gave very little away after each exam, but I know he’s a very bright lad so I have the utmost

If you’re looking for free things to do with kids, then look no further.  I’m always desperate to find activities to do with my children that don’t break the bank, or even better are free.    When teen was small, money was pretty tight so I had to learn to be inventive and make the most of things that were available to us at little or no cost. Like most families, we can’t afford paid activities every week, so we make the most of what’s around us.  Here’s some of

Well something really quite unexpected has taken place this evening, and it has made me come down stairs and take straight to my blog to share it with you straight away. You may already know that we are a co-sleeping family if you have been following my blog for a while, but just maybe that is about to change. A little while back I was struggling with it as bedtime had become very much hard work, and led me to write a post about some things that parents may wish

Princess requires a lot of interaction, and it’s not always possible to give it to her with the needs of a baby to meet at the same time.  I have three days a week when it’s just me and Little Pudding at the moment, but I have spent very little time with just the preschooler.  As her behaviour becomes increasingly challenging, the reality of this situation has hit me, and I wonder if she feels that her needs aren’t being met. It’s one of those things that just creeps up

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