11th October 2017

We try: Slumbertots Sleep Training

Rewind to the day I stopped breastfeeding Mabel to sleep, when she was 7 months old. The very moment that the milk stopped coming and she started flailing around on the boob and we both decided we were done – that was the very moment she stopped falling asleep in my arms.

As the months ticked on, I came up with other ways to get her to sleep. I’d lay her in her bedside cot and feed her to sleep with a bottle as I lay in the bed alongside, creeping outside when she was snoring away. When she got older, I’d lie her next to me in the big double bed to feed her. And when she stopped falling asleep doing that, I’d lie next to her and cuddle her until she finally dropped off.

This all worked well and I loved those bedtime cuddles – but as the months ticked on, it was taking longer and longer for her to fall asleep. She’d try to stand up, she’d try to roll, she’d laugh hysterically, she’d whip me in the face with her cuddly elephant, and she’d cry with frustration. A few weeks ago, with my husband in Dubai and my boys downstairs with their grandparents in their pyjamas, it took over two hours to get her to sleep. And as much as I enjoyed that sleepy time with her, that was the moment I knew that something had to be done. It wasn’t fair on either of us – I was frustrated and Mabel was over-tired. We both needed to come up with a better plan.

Step forward Katy from the sleep consultancy Slumbertots.

Katy is a Certified Baby and Child Sleep Consultant – and she’s also a mum-of-two, meaning she understood exactly what sleep deprivation feels like and how we feel as mums when bedtime isn’t going well. She’s also lovely – like really, really lovely. Warm, relatable, gentle, and helpful. She can work with you anywhere in the world, as the consultations are by phone/skype, whilst a lot of the support is by email. I highly recommend reaching out.

But back to my story. After a consultation (Katy offers 15-minutes free consultation to all parents), Katy came up with a 10-day plan to help me get Mabel to sleep happily in her cot. Katy works with parents that want all kinds of different things for their babies – and I made it very clear from the beginning that I didn’t want to simply leave the room and let her cry. With that knowledge, Katy came up with a very gentle 10-day plan, where I would gradually retreat from the cot.

Over 10 days I would move from sitting right by the cot and comforting her – to being able to walk straight out the room by the end of day 10. It sounded amazing, but I have to be honest, I didn’t have high hopes that it would work – I just couldn’t imagine Mabel ever settling herself to sleep.

I don’t want to go into exact details, because it isn’t really fair on Katy to give away the tricks of her trade, but let’s just say that I followed the plan to the letter – and I was amazed by how quickly it worked. Katy offers a couple of Skype calls throughout the plan too, alongside email support, which means that you can check in regularly, ask questions, and be reassured that it’s all working OK.

Night one was the hardest, but I was still pretty amazed by how quickly she settled down and went to sleep (it genuinely wasn’t that hard at all). The middle of the night wake-ups were also tricky for the first few nights, because whilst Mabel didn’t always wake up during the night, she wanted to come into the bed for milk when she did and I always obliged. However, after a few nights of staying in her cot (with me comforting her and laying her back down to sleep), she understood that she would be staying in her cot and learnt to settle herself back to sleep.

So now I’m at the end of the plan, how does bedtime go now? After her milk and her bath, I kiss and cuddle Mabel to say goodnight – and then I place her in her cot. I say ‘Sleepy Time now, Night Night. I love you!’ and I walk out of the room. And she goes to sleep! I’m still in shock.

The first night that I walked straight out, I went downstairs and put the monitor on and heard silence. I sat with the boys in their pyjamas, cuddled them as they watched the CBBC Bedroom Story – and I got to read them a story when they went up to bed. I hadn’t been able to do this for a long time, as I’d been with Mabel on the bed – and I was so, so thankful that Katy and Slumbertots had come into my life.

Highly, highly recommended!

www.slumbertots.com/



13th September 2017

Dear nomad children,

Dear nomad children,

It was only a few weeks ago that we told you we were going to stay in the UK. That your lives were changing forever. That you’d never head back to the bedroom you knew, nor the pool we visited every evening as the sun set, nor the school we all loved so much.

We waited until we were in the car, on the way to visit your new school for the first time. Daddy told you in the end, because my voice kept breaking as I spoke. His tone was animated and excited – and as I listened to him announce the news, tears welled in my eyes.

I always knew you’d find it hardest Stanley – and I wasn’t wrong. My sensitive little thinker, with such good friends in Dubai that you were so excited to return to. You were happy at first, exclaiming ‘We’re staying in the UK? Forever? We’re staying here forever?” When Daddy told you that was the case, you smiled broadly. But as the car wound down country roads, the sun flashing through the trees over our heads, I could tell your mind was whirring.

So we’re not going back to Dubai? What about my friends? I don’t want to stay here. I want to go back!

Oh we’ll still see them!” I managed to pipe up, as my heart shattered into a million pieces inside my chest. “We’ll be going out to see Daddy every school holiday. It’s just swapped round, so we’ll live in the UK but we’ll do our holidays in Dubai.”

You didn’t reply, deep in thought. But I could tell the faces of your friends were bright in your mind.

Wilfred, you were silent. You stared out the window as the fields and hedgerows flashed past.  “Are you excited, Wilfred?” I asked, twisting to look at you from the front of the car.

Yeah,” you said, without looking away from the window. I wondered what was going through your mind as you watched the countryside zoom past. I wondered if you were still too young to feel sad about it, whether you were imagining your bedroom in your mind, or your friends at nursery, or the fact that you were about to start school.

We didn’t say much more as we continued that journey. We were all deep in thought – half sad, half excited.  And throughout it all Mabel, you slept peacefully in your car seat, completely oblivious to the news that your life was about to take a completely different turn. That your sun hats and rompers would be packed away in boxes, replaced by knitted cardigans and tights. That your mornings being pushed along in the sunshine in your buggy would be replaced by strolls covered in blankets. That you’d no longer have to sit still while I smothered you in sun cream every morning and instead you’d have to learn to tolerate rain covers, waterproofs, hats and gloves.

Later that morning, we walked around your new school. We listened to stories about lessons deep in the forest. We imagined you climbing in the playground in the rain and the snow. We were told about nativity performances and trips to visit animals on farms. We were shown the swimming pool and I imagined you swimming in it in winter, shivering as you climbed out of the water.

Writing this letter to you today, it seems surreal that morning was only a matter of weeks away. And whilst I still feel pretty shell-shocked by the speed of it all, I could not be prouder of the way the three of you have adapted, accepted, and embraced your new life in the English countryside.

You have had your wobbles – of course you have – but you have walked into new classrooms with a bravery that has made me swell with pride. You have made new friends, played new games, and worn new uniforms – and you have taken it all in your stride. I know that you’ve found it hard at times, because we talk about how you feel every evening, but your courage never fails you the very next morning.

My little nomad children, it will always read ‘Dubai’ on your birth certificates – and I hope you always remember that life in the desert. I hope you remember the burnt orange dunes, the smell of jasmine in the air in our garden, the feeling of pink shells underneath your feet on the shore, the different nationalities that surrounded you in the classroom, and the comforting sound of the call of prayer in the afternoons.

I hope you remember all that.

It’s part of you.

It’s part of us.

But here comes the next chapter – and your courage, your adaptability, and the smiles that have rarely left your faces are just the beginning of the story.

And you have made me so proud.

Love Mummy x



8th September 2017

We’re coming home…

I remember the day that my boyfriend announced he had been offered a job in Dubai so clearly. It was a sunny evening in June 2009 – and I remember sitting there, listening to the excitement in his voice, and wondering whether he realised the world as we knew it was about to end.

In the end it was a mutual decision that he should take that job. Career wise and financially, he’d have been silly not to. And just a month later, it was time to say goodbye.

I’d had tickets booked for months to see Take That The Circus in concert at Wembley the night before he left – so I decided to still go with my sister and cousins. There was Mark, Gary, Howard and Jason dressed as clowns with their faces painted in their make-shift Big Top – and there was me sat amongst thousands in the crowd with a big lump in my throat, knowing that my world was going to change forever.

But as the boys sung out the lyrics to The Garden as the concert closed “This is the life we’ve been given. So open your mind and start living”, I made a vow to be brave and get on with it.

I haven’t been able to listen to that song or those lyrics without that same lump appearing in my throat ever since. But eight years down the line, I couldn’t be more thankful that I took that leap of faith and gave Dubai a chance.

And now here I am, as a mother of three, doing the move the other way round.

And honestly, this way is much harder.

Back then, my heart belonged in the UK. I was passionate about it. I’d have moved back to the UK at the drop of a hat, with a gigantic smile on my face. For the first few years, I hung a sign in my kitchen that read ‘When you are tired of London, you are tired of life’ – until we moved to a new apartment and I never unpacked it from the box.

My love for Dubai grew slowly, but steadily. I remember one trip home for summer in the early days when I was on a train back to Kent from London late at night. I picked up a magazine that was lying on the seat next to me and flicked through it, coming across a page with a full page glossy advert for holidays to Dubai. Real tears welled in my eyes I realised I felt homesick for a place I never even realised was home.

Over time, I built a home in that city. I grew three babies without ever having to step out of my summer maternity dresses and flip-flops, I decorated apartments and villas with framed pictures of desert dunes, and I filled my work days writing about what a fantastic place it was to bring up a young family.

And it was. It really was – and if I could’ve moved all my family and friends over to the desert and fixed the climate a little, I probably would’ve stayed there forever.

But forever isn’t happening – and we are now home to start a new life in the UK. Not all of us, admittedly – as that boyfriend who was packing his bags back in 2009 is now my husband. And he’ll still be based out there in the desert (for the meantime, at least), flying back and forth when he can.

We always intended to come home soon – but admittedly it happened much quicker than we had planned. As the summer ticked on, a few things made us realise that now was probably the best time. At the beginning of a new school term for Stanley – and before Wilfred had started full-time education and we ended up paying for a new villa contract without wanting to be there. There were hours of discussions, plenty of tears, moments of excitement, and a heavy dose of ‘what the hell have we done?’ as we signed the kids up to a new school. But with that, the deal was done.

On Sunday afternoon, we decided to take the boys for one last treat with their Daddy – before he packed his bags and flew back to Dubai. I had spotted that the circus was in town and hastily booked tickets to the afternoon performance. It didn’t even occur to me that we were going full circle, until I was sat in the audience watching those clowns in the Big Top.

Back to the circus, with a lump in my throat – waiting for my husband to head to Dubai.

All over again.

I know we are going to OK here in the UK, but it’s going to take some adjustment. I’ll miss my husband all the time he’s away, Ill miss my friends in the desert, I’ll miss our nanny who had become part of the family, and Ill miss the weather as it starts to cool down for winter. But seeing my children exploring the countryside, running around in the fresh air, getting to experience the seasons for the first time in their lives, to kick leaves, to feel snow fall on their noses, and to head over to their grandparents houses whenever they are missing them. This will make it all worthwhile.

And the rest? I have high hopes that it’ll fall into place.

After all, this isn’t the first time I’ve left a place that I love.

And this time, we’re coming home.



5th September 2017

Stanley tries: Reading Eggs

At 11 weeks, the summer holidays has been an extra long one for us – and oh my goodness, I’m so ready for both my boys to be out of the house for a while! But that applies to my eldest especially, because he’s always been academic and thrived into the classroom – and entertaining him at home has been really, really hard.

I’ve also worried that with such a long break, he will have forgotten pretty much everything he learnt in the last term – and without the time to sit down and read with him (with his siblings usually sat on my hip or clinging to my legs), I enthusiastically accepted an invitation to sign up for a trial of Reading Eggs.

So what is Reading Eggs?

Available for children to play on both a laptop and iPad, the programme is designed to teach young children essential early literacy skills in a fun and engaging way. Reading Eggs was developed by a team of primary teachers, with over 30 years experience, and is built on recognised learning principles and solid scientific research on how children most effectively learn.

I simply logged in for Stanley with my username and password (he preferred to play on my laptop as it’s usually totally forbidden!) and chose the programme for children aged 3-7 (there’s also a section for those aged 2-4 years and 7-13 years, along with a maths section for 3-9 year olds). Stanley then took it from there – and I’d occasionally lean over to find him flicking the pages of a book, playing puzzles with words, or (the best bit) dancing along to party music when he completed a level!

You can add more than one child to your trial too, which is a big bonus to those of us with younger or older siblings that fancy having a go too.

Did he enjoy it?

He loved every single second – and literally begged me most mornings this summer to have a go. I’m usually quite reluctant about handing over the iPad at home, but I didn’t mind him playing Reading Eggs at all as I knew how well respected the programme is and that it was really helping with his reading and literacy skills.

One element that I loved was that I got regular reports on his progress emailed through to me too – so even if I was busy with his siblings, washing up bottles, or trying to make a dent in the laundry pile while the baby slept, it meant I knew he was completing the stages. If I wanted more information, I just clicked the link so I could see the reading level he was working at too.

Do I recommend it?

Yes – definitely.

To be honest I didn’t really expect to be so impressed, thinking that it might kill a few hours over the summer so was worth the trial. But Stanley enjoyed it so much and I can see the progress he has made in black and white, meaning it’s a far better alternative to the YouTube Kids videos he’d probably be watching if he asked me for a bit of screen time. If you child enjoys playing on an iPad or clicking on a laptop, this is a very reassuring way to know that they are learning too. And with school back now (hurrah), it’s a great way to get them in the mood for learning again too.

Fancy a free trial? Reading Eggs are offering all of my readers a free 5-week trial by registering at this link – www.readingeggs.co.uk/mobam17/

 

 

In collaboration with Reading Eggs

 



18th August 2017

Spotlight on: Wild Folk Company…

Followers of my Facebook page will know that I am shining the spotlight on a number of small UK businesses while I am back in Blighty this August. It’s been so nice to connect with companies back on home soil for a while and I’ve discovered some real gems – and new startup Wild Folk is up there with my favourites…

The team behind Wild Folk are passionate about Textiles and Homewares. All their collections are exclusive to them and designed in house, with their signature Wild Folk Nursery Collection featuring gorgeous Animal Head Cushions (I am seriously coveting the Elephant for Mabel’s bedroom!), alongside a large choice of textiles, wallcoverings, and accessories.

I love the Wild Folk Pattern, which features in this nursery collection. The neutral colour palette would work really well in every nursery – and there’s a fab choice of cushions, wallpaper, mummy bags, baby sleeping bags, storage baskets, clocks, two-in-one cushion duvets (ideal for sleepovers or travel). And that’s not all, as cot bed and toddler bedding, curtains, and patchwork quilts will be coming soon!

With three little people at home, the Wild Folk Nursery Collection is top of my wish list – but there are lots of other collections that are extremely covetable too.

Take the Woodland Folk collection (pictured below), for example, which is inspired by Woodland (available in wallpaper, cushions and bedding sets). Spring Empress showcases beautiful artwork of flowers and wildlife (available in bedding sets and tote bags). Legacy Isle celebrates British wildlife in vibrant colours (available in cushions and tote bags). And Bijoux features vibrant designs embellished with jewels, crystals, and metal work (available in cushions).

As a dog lover, I also adore the Wild Folk Friendly Paws collection (available in cushions) (pictured below). I think they’d make great presents for fellow dog lovers! Heart & Soul features beloved places from around the world, with the first location features as Lancashire (where the company hail from). This collection will allow commissions for those that want something personal =- for hoteliers, for example (available in cushions, tea towels, tableware, accessories, and wallpaper). Finally Picture Perfect features landscape and nature photography, with a 3D element (available in cushions).

I love companies where you can see passion shine through collections – and this company stands out for exactly that. I can’t wait to throw a couple of Wild Folk Animal Head Cushions onto Stanley Wilfred and Mabel’s beds, alongside bed linen and accessories with that stunning print. And what could be better than supporting a new small business in the UK too?

If you love it as much as I do, you can make orders through their Facebook Page here!

In collaboration with Wild Folk Company



26th January 2017

Is it time for us to get a dog?

Screen Shot 2017-01-26 at 16.21.13We have a dog in the UK – and the boys love her. In fact, since our holiday home at Christmas, Stanley has mentioned his dog Lily about 30 times a day. He’s even woken up crying her name and has taken to bringing a fluffy dog that closely resembles Lily to bed every night. We miss her too – so this is all a bit heartbreaking.

And next week, we move to a house with a garden – and whenever I mention to the boys that they are getting their very own garden at last, Stanley replies “So now we can get a dog?” I’d love to say yes – especially as there are so many dogs here in Dubai in shelters needing homes, but there are so many other things for us to consider. So when is the right time? And what questions do we need to ask first?

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How much will the dog cost?

It isn’t going to be cheap to add a fluffy family member to our brood – and with mouths to feed, and school fees to pay, and rent to conjur up, we probably don’t need the extra financial commitment. In fact, a recent study conducted by Voucherbox revealed that a dog can cost over £15,000 over a lifetime (that’s nearly 70,000 AED if you are reading this in Dubai). Wowsers. And that doesn’t even count the cost of getting the dog in the first place either (which is nothing if you rehome, of course), but just the day to day cost of food, snacks, bedding, toys, collars, tags, insurance and vet treatments… The list goes on.

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Who will walk the dog?

I keep telling Stanley that somebody has to walk the dog – and whilst he enthusiastically volunteers, obviously we aren’t going to allow a 4-year-old to head off on his own, which means one of us will be waking that dog at least twice a day too. As if we didn’t have enough to do already. And when the weather heats up in Dubai during the summer, I can see us falling out over this. In fact, I recently read that in a study by the insurance company esure, the average family dog causes 2,000 family arguments during their lifetime – and yep, I can believe that.

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How much does it cost to fly the dog back to the UK?

I don’t know how long we are going to be in Dubai – so factoring in the fact that we would have to fly that dog back to the UK if we repatriated is also really important (after all, we definitely wouldn’t be leaving a furry friend behind). And how much would it cost? In a recent feature by The Guardian, Nick Foden-Ellis, Airpets managing director, says it is “rarely less than a business-class ticket for the same route”. And a business class ticket from Dubai to London? Not cheap. And if we did fork out that kind of money, it’d be me riding up the front of the plane…

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Is it the right time?

And of course, the biggie – is it actually the right time to add another demanding small thing to our family? And with a 4-month old baby in the house, I am pretty certain the answer is no. But when is the right time? I don’t know – but I think when she’s out of the toddler tantrum stage, possibly even at school, I may begin to consider it. I’ve had a puppy before – and they don’t wear nappies, they bite, and they can move (fast) – so yep, not yet. Definitely not yet.

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I jest – but the thing is, I am keen for them grow up around animals. I think having pets teaches so much to a child – about responsibility, about love, and ultimately, about loss. We aren’t cat people, so I want my children to have a dog to love, to walk, and to cuddle. But it’s pretty obvious that it’s not happening yet – so Stanley is going to have to enjoy his cuddly dog for a bit longer, at least.

 

 



27th June 2016

Vlog – Hello UK!

This week’s vlog is a shorter one – and it’s all about heading back to the green, green grass of home!

Music:

I Won’t Cry by Monarques
http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Mon…
Needle Drop Co. – http://www.needledrop.co/artists/mona…

Sandbox Jingle by Scott Holmes
http://www.freemusicarchive.org/music…
http://www.facebook.com/ScottHolmesMusic

Airline: British Airways – http://www.britishairways.com/travel/…



17th December 2015

5 years as Mrs S – Our Snowy Wedding Day

Tomorrow is our 5 year wedding anniversary – and we will be marking the occasion by spending the day trapped on a flight with a 3 year old and 1 year old. That just about sums up how life has changed in the 5 years since that perfect, snowy day in London – not that we will be complaining about that for a second, as we fly home to spend the next few weeks wearing Christmas jumpers, scoffing chocolates, and wrapping gifts amongst family and friends.

It does give me the perfect excuse to share some photos from our wedding day, which I have never done before on this blog. The photographs are by the insanely talented London-based photographer Rebecca Louise. I fell in love with her reportage style as soon as I stumbled on her website when researching photographers – and she definitely worked for her fee that day, braving blizzards and trudging up hills in snow as high as her ankles.

The snow was beautiful, but it did mean a lot of guests didn’t make it to our wedding day (a handful during the day and almost everyone in the evening). It also meant that our Honeymoon was cancelled as Heathrow grounded every flight, so I did spend a fair amount of time the next day sobbing as our carefully planned pre-Christmas break to New York unravelled. We haven’t  made it to the Big Apple since, but we did end up in Bath for a few days after the wedding (sounds like a poor compromise for New York, but it was beautiful in the snow and we have some very happy memories) and we had our main honeymoon nearly a year later, swapping the location to Thailand (far more accessible from Dubai) when I was happily growing Stanley in my belly and getting ready to be a Mummy.

Before I share the photos, here are a few other details… Our ceremony was in Our Ladye Star of the Sea and reception in the Trafalgar Tavern, both in Greenwich, South East London. Flowers by Rachel Morgan Wedding Flowers. My dress was Suzanne Neville and headdress was bespoke by Rachel Trevor Morgan.

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14th July 2015

Our holiday at Court Farm, Bude, Cornwall

No9RlxryEkDdFUMBH5tntMu6sIX9qudtAMCpGoNjhhEYou know what it’s like when you go on holiday with kids… You book it, sit back and feel all smug and excited for a few months, and then immediately start to regret it when it comes to the packing. So imagine my delight when we booked Court Farm Holidays in Cornwall for the first week of July online – and clicked straight through to a tick list of things we would need for the children.

We chose a cot, a bed guard, a single seater buggy, a highchair, a booster seat, and a box of toys. Had we needed it, we could also have chosen a double buggy, listening monitor, baby carrier, baby backpacks, toilet training seats, and potties for the children. Most items were free of charge to use for the week, whilst others carried a few pounds charge. We were off to a very good start.

Fast-forward a few months and it was time to do the packing. We had already made an order for Waitrose to deliver food to our cottage on the first afternoon, so I didn’t need wipes, nappies, or milk either. It was the easiest packing process ever and made the getting-ready bit so stress-free.

We weren’t disappointed when we arrived either. Court Farm Holidays is based over two locations – we chose the main farm in Bude, North Cornwall. Inside our cottage, everything we had ordered in advance for the children was waiting for us (a proper wooden cot too, no travel cots here!) – along with plastic plates, cups and cutlery, a selection of kids books and DVDs, and step-ups for Stanley to reach the sinks. We were very impressed.

It was the communal facilities that really made us smile though – just outside our cottage was a large indoor pool (complete with a few inflatables and noodles to help children swim); an outdoor playground complete with slides, swings, a trampoline, a playhouse, an assault course, and a shed with table football; a tennis court filled with scooters, cars, pushalongs, and bikes; and a small indoor play area with lots of toys, a play house, and a pool table.

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And the piece de resistance? The farm animals! Every week day morning at Court Farm starts with feeding the animals and collecting eggs at 9.30am. We donned our wellies and made our way through the field with farm owners Kevin or Vicky to feed the pigs (Peppa and Georgie), alpaca (Scratch), goats (Molly and Polly) and all the chickens. This was the highlight of the holiday for the boys – and their smiles as chickens pecked from pots, goats fed bread out of their hands, and pigs snorted as they devoured our leftovers (carried proudly through the field by Stanley in a paper bag) was absolutely priceless.

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After the animals were fed, the children made their way to the chicken shed to collect the eggs, happily grabbing what they could find and delivering back to their parents with delighted faces. The rule is to take one per family, but we were lucky that the chickens were in an egg-laying mood and both the boys carried their eggs proudly back to our cottage (Wilfred, at only 17 months old, was so proud of his egg that he got it back to the cottage in one piece every morning!) They enjoyed their dippy eggs and soldiers every morning, knowing that they had collected the eggs themselves the day before.

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There’s lots to do if you head out in the car too, as there are two beaches just 5 minutes drive from Court Farm in Bude itself (both with plenty of parking) – and as this is Cornwall, an endless choice of beaches, day trips, cafes and restaurants within easy reach.  We enjoyed a day in Padstow eating Stein’s Fish & Chips, a couple of rainy mornings on the beach jumping in puddles, plenty of ice cream / cream tea stops, and (at the end of the week), the loveliest two days playing in the sand in the sunshine.

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Oh and did I mention that the pub over the road (and I mean literally over the road, less than 30 seconds from our cottage) has an indoor soft play area for just £2 an hour. Yes you hear me right – a pub with a soft play area, complete with bouncy castle, ball pit, bikes, soft mats, and climbing equipment. This Dubai expat Mum could hardly believe her luck.

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There are lots of different sizes of cottages at Court Farm, right from cosy one-bedroom cottages to large six-bedroom houses complete with hot tubs in the garden (we didn’t get a hot tub, but this is definitely on my list for our return visit!)

And guess what? The very lovely Kevin and Vicky at Court Farm Holidays are offering readers of Mum of Boys 5% off the total cost of your holiday when you quote ‘Mum of Boys’. The offer is valid whenever you want to make a booking – so if this summer is already busy for your family, you can book ahead to 2016. Find out more or book online on their website – www.courtfarm-holidays.co.uk

It’s also well worth checking out the Special Offers section of the website as there are some amazing deals on there for this summer (including one that saves you over £2000!) Please note that the ‘Mum of Boys’ discount does not apply on holidays that are already discounted.

Enjoy your holiday at Court Farm; I’m a little bit jealous!



17th April 2015

Everything You Need To Know About Shared Parental Leave

If you live in the UK, you may have heard about Shared Parental Leave (SLP) legislation, which came into force on 5th April 2015. This new policy gives eligible parents, partners, and adopters the flexibility to decide who will care for their child in the first year of its life – and when you think about it, it seems absolutely right that we should be able to choose who stays at home with our  own child.

The changes mean that maternity cover can be split between a mother and her partner or the father, giving them the chance to either take time off together to care for their child (beyond the current two weeks paternity leave that is currently available to fathers), or split the leave so that the mother can return to work, allowing the father or partner to spend additional quality time bonding and caring for their child.

And good news for those adopting a child – they are entitled to the same rights as other parents to Shared Parental Leave.

It sounds like an amazing piece of legislation, but quite confusing – but when I saw this infographic by Citrix GoToMeeting, it suddenly all made sense, so I thought you’d like to have a read too.

Shared-Parental-Leave-V3

In partnership with GoToMeeting.

Visit http://blog.gotomeeting.co.uk/