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Sunday, 19 March 2017
* Contributed Post
Whether you’re a single mother or one of two stressed-out parents, there’s no denying that juggling the jobs of looking after a child and looking after a house, along with a million other daily chores, is a mammoth undertaking. You may have reached breaking point or perhaps the whole ordeal feels like one long breaking point to you. Whatever the case, if you’re tired of despairing and feeling as if you’re running out of options, then here are some tips and tricks which might help you get your home back in order whilst ensuring that you remain a good mother and retain your sanity. It sounds impossible, but believe it or not, you don’t have to be a superhero.
Keeping on top of chores
That’s not an order, as you’re not a robot. Chores, unfortunately, have to be done. You shouldn’t do them alone, but setting up a rota for everyone in the house to follow will help ensure that everything which needs to be done on a weekly basis gets done. Otherwise, you’ll find that things become messy around the household very quickly, as it’s all too easy to forget to do the odd house chore here and there. Creating a schedule which you could put up on a wall in the kitchen means that everybody knows their job and there’s never an argument about who forgot to take out the bins. Ticking off your job once you’ve done it and starting again the following Monday is a simple and straightforward way to keep on top of chores.
Cutting down on unnecessary expenses
Living is expensive. You don’t need me to tell you that. Running a household costs money. Necessary energy and water bills, washing products, food, toiletries and numerous other expenses rack up the monthly costs very quickly. The problem is that you’re likely wasting additional month each month that you needn’t be wasting. You could check out the best energy deals on Simply Switch if you needed a place to start comparing providers, for example. So many people waste so much money every month simply by using more expensive brands that they need to be using or leaving the heating on during hours that they needn’t be using it.
The best way to fix this is to make a note of all the outgoing costs you have each month and then go through each one and try to see if you can conjure up a cheaper alternative in your head. With certain foods and drinks, there’s likely always a cheaper solution either from another supermarket or buying certain items in bulk.
We’ve all hoarded at some point in our lives, but this often leads to a stressful environment in which to live. You might wonder why you find yourself growing impatient with tidying the house, but the answer might be more to do with the demotivating sight of all your children’s excess toys scattered around or old souvenirs which are just cluttering up the house. A lot of these things might not hold any sentimental value. It can be hard to let go of things, nonetheless, but keeping them lying around is only going to make the task of keeping your house clean and tidy seem insurmountable and will likely put you off tidying up at all.
Getting your kids involved
Yes, that’s right. Your children, permitting they’re old enough, can help you around the house now and again. Don’t let the little rascals trick you into thinking it’s slave labour; it’s about a family pooling together and helping one another. If the little ones want their mother to feel less stressed, the key lies in them helping her around the house. It’s a great way to teach your children about responsibility, and perhaps you could use it as an incentive for them to earn some pocket money each weekend.
By doing work and earning an admittedly-small salary for it, they’ll learn about the way the world works, and, more importantly, they’ll understand and respect how hard you work to help them every day. It’ll help them appreciate and respect you more, preventing them from taking you for granted. The key to surviving as a mother and a homeowner, then, is being brave enough to turn to your family when things are getting too tough and admitting that you need some help.
Not everything has to be "your job", it should be a group effort. That way, everybody has more time to relax and have fun together. You won't be stressed out by taking the weight of the world on your shoulders and your little ones will be able to spend more quality time with their Mum if they help her out every now and then.
* Contributed Post
Friday, 17 March 2017
I can't remember where I first heard about overnight oats, I think it was probably an Instagram picture when I last did Slimming World but they soon became a firm favourite. As a Mum of little ones, was looking for quick, easy and tasty recipes that didn't take too much effort and these ticked all the boxes.
This recipe, which is ridiculously easy to put together, has been adapted from a Sainsburys recipe that popped up in my Facebook feed not so long ago and I knew I had to try it. The original recipe called for agave syrup, orange juice and a couple of other additions but I went with what I had in the cupboards:
40g gluten free oats
1 tsp honey
A pinch of allspice
A pinch of cinnamon
3 tbsp grated carrot
1 tbsp sultanas (raisins work just as well)
1 tbsp dessicated coconut
Milk to cover (cow's milk, almond or rice milk)
Mix all of the ingredients together in a jar or bowl, cover and pop in the fridge overnight.
I add 3 tablespoons of grated carrot which is approximately 80g and counts as one of your 5 a day. This might seem like a lot of carrot, I happen to like it, but you could obviously adapt to your preference. I like to try and get my 5 a day in wherever I can and this is as good a start as any.
I was unsure about adding the dessicated coconut, it seems an odd addition but I put my trust in the original recipe and it works. Alongside the carrot, it adds a nice texture to the oats, which have absorbed the milk and softened.
In the morning, transfer to a bowl and give the mixture a good stir before enjoying hot or cold, both are equally delicious. I sometimes add a sprinkling of mixed seeds to mine for good measure.
A post shared by Kate (@newmummykate) on
Have you tried Carrot Cake Overnight Oats? What did you think of them?
Sunday, 12 March 2017
Monday, 6 March 2017
February looked liked this:
T and E have had some play dates this month. We went to C's after school where they had a great time painting with C and her Mum. They all got really into it and afterwards they were so messy that popping them all in the bath was the only way to go. That's one of the things that I love about this age - there's no sense of embarassment or worry at getting undressed in front of anyone or whether somebody else's clothes will fit. Whether someone will say something about your body shape. I wish that confidence could be bottled and lack of worry could be bottled up and kept forever.
We also had an evening at A's house which was also lovely and, to my surprise, not only did E eat 'crunchy carrots' she also had ice cream! Of course, she's not had them since but I live in hope!
We had a really nice, if not somewhat cold, afternoon along the seafront at Hunstanton. The girls took their scooters and we spent ages walking up and down the beach, looking for shells and jumping in the rock pools.
D has been cracking on with the bathroom. Doing everything around the children and work means things take a little longer but its slowly coming together and we're both pleased with how its looking - I can't wait to share pictures with you once its finished, but here's a sneaky peek.
It was my birthday. 35. When I was in my teens 35 seemed so old and so far away so it almost feels a little surreal. 5 years away from 40 and I still feel like a naive teenager that doesn't have a clue what they are doing most of the time. When does that change? My birthday fell on a work day so I spent the day in the office, which wasn't too bad.
It was half term, so of course E was poorly but every cloud has a silver lining and I managed to get T potty trained. It has been so much easier than when we potty trained E.
The land next door to us has finally been sold which we are really pleased with, despite the potential for noise disturbance. It will smarten the area up and it has also meant we've had a new fence put up in our garden as they needed to remove part of it whilst clearing their land. The downside to that was that my border was completely dug up and I've lost a number of plants and bulbs, including the large established rose and lavender plants, snapdragons, delphiniums and gladioli. I'm hoping that the builders will be able to replace them shortly but on the plus side, it means I can now work on that side of the garden and get it looking how I want without fear of it being dug up again.
Finally, I've been working on going gluten free. Its a slow process, remembering what I have to avoid and making the right choices where I can. I'm in the middle of preparing an update post but so far I've noticed a huge difference and it has been worth all the effort I've made.
How was your February?
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