Revolution Mother

Revolution Mother

Archive of ‘Family’ category

A Handy Cheatsheet for Keeping the Kids Entertained on a Long Journey

If you’ve ever had to undertake a long journey with young children in tow then you’re probably already all-too-familiar with how challenging this can be. If you’re traveling by car, this can be difficult enough. But if you’re using public transport, the experience can prove to be even more of a challenge. People aren’t always quite as patient with children as perhaps they should be. So, if yours are crying because they’re bored or tired, you may end up being faced with a barrage of filthy looks and unsympathetic faces.

So, to help ensure that your next trip with the children doesn’t end up being the journey from hell, we strongly advise that you take a few minutes to read this post.

Have Plenty to Keep them Entertained

Thanks to the amazing advancements in modern technology, keeping the kids entertained on a long journey isn’t half as hard as it used to be. In the not-so-distant past, parents were forced to lug coloring books, crayons, jigsaws and Lego onto planes, trains and automobiles. Nowadays, moms and dads can thankfully travel a little lighter. Cell phones and tablets have all manner of games and applications to keep the little ones occupied.

Just make sure you set some parental locks on the device beforehand to prevent spending a fortune on accidental in-app purchases. Just as important is to make sure that your phone or tablet has got plenty of battery life. The last thing you want is to run out of juice, and then have to deal with a bored and restless child for the remainder of the journey. For this reason, it’s also always best to have a back-up plan in place. So, chuck a couple of activity books and Zebra pen refills into a bag to give you that extra peace of mind.

Have a Good Old Fashioned Sing-Song

This is one probably best kept for family-only road trips, where you’re traveling by car. Kids love anything interactive, and there are countless traditional car songs that require you to interact as a family, as well as sing. ‘Wheels on the bus’ is a rather obvious choice, but the song endures for a reason – both kids and adults love it! For older kids, singing a favorite family pop song works just as well.

Car Games

Traditional car games such as the ‘license plate game’ are another great way of stopping boredom from setting in when you’re traveling for long periods at a time. You can also use it as an opportunity to test your kid’s geography skills. Even if your child is yet to go to school, there’s nothing wrong with starting them young! Ask them questions about the environment around them. Also, make sure they at least have a vague understanding of where it is they’re going. Encouraging them to be interested in, and ask questions about, the world around them will place them in good stead for their future education.

Now you’re armed with plenty of ideas and inspiration. So, just follow our advice and you’ll never have to contend with bored children on a long journey again!

2762448850_a09394722f_zImage Source: Flickr

Planning Your Wedding With the Kids in Tow

Planning your big day with your beloved is a special time in any relationship. When you have children together, this can heighten the sense of togetherness. For many couples, they have made the decision to have children first, and conclude with the formalities later. Of course, planning your wedding day when you have children in tow can make the affair a little more stressful. No one said that planning a wedding would be a stress-free endeavour.

2408535634_f9953a5dbf_zWith thanks to Ali Nishan for the image

But, there are some utterly perfect ways that you can plan your big day after you have had children. Let’s take a look at how this can be done:

Include Your Children in More Ways Than One

Of course, you will want your children to be flower girls, page boys and important parts of your day. This goes without saying. But, you can include them in the planning stages of your special day. For many couples, getting a child’s perspective on proceedings can add to the romanticism of their big day. Take them to your preferred venues and get their opinions on things. Kids are known to be brutally honest. Getting their opinion is important. It can add a lot more to the affair.

Request that your kids help you with the smaller details too. Wedding card designs, dresses and flowers are all important parts of the day. See how the children feel about these things and use their ideas. Utilising your kids’ ideas will make your wedding day even more special. Completing these tasks as a family will heighten your feelings of togetherness.

Ask your children to do a reading or say a few words in front of your guests. Ask them to write a poem about their mummy and daddy. Poems are the perfect way to include your children in the main event. It’s fair to say; you won’t have a dry eye in the house.

Planning is Everything

Factoring in your kids needs on your big day is important. While you may feel that your big day is about you, you need to consider how they are going to feel during the main event. They may feel tired and irritable. What’s more, they will want to snack throughout the day, not wait for a big meal. You need to incorporate their schedule into your wedding day plans and timetable. This will make for a more enjoyable experience for all. The extra planning may seem like a burden, but it will help your day go more smoothly.

Budgeting and Money Matters

When you have children, your priorities change. You may have dreamt of the big white wedding. But, if you cannot afford this with the kids in tow, it may be time to be more realistic about your plans. You can still have a lavish big day, but you may need to invite fewer people. Keep your guest list small and intimate. Stick to close friends and family. What is more, if your kids know the guests at your wedding, they will feel more comfortable. A room full of strangers can be intimidating. Plus, you will have a lot of extra hands to help with babysitting duties.

It’s Time to Hire a Nanny: Here is What You Need to Do

The time has come where you must return to work following your maternity leave. Returning to work is difficult, especially after spending the last several months with your new baby.

Hiring a nanny can be a daunting task to some new parents. Trusting someone they do not know to take care of their new baby would be scary. It is an emotional time for any parent that faces these challenges. However, there is a way to safely and securely hire a nanny that you can start to place your trust in.

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What Qualities Are You Looking For?

First and foremost, you need to have a good think about the qualities that you are looking for within a nanny. Take out your paper and pen, or make a list within a Word document, and start creating your list.

Multiple Interview Process

Once you have created your list, detailed above, you can place your ‘Nanny Required’ advert. Just like you would have applied for a new job, you must put nannies through the same paces.

When you start receiving interest within your advert, conduct a small telephone interview. Make sure you have a list of standardised questions, and fire away at the nanny applicant. Rate their performance and how they answered your questions. Did they make the grade? Make a note on each applicant and make a decision whether you would like to take them through to the next stage of your interview process.

When meeting a nanny for the first time, ensure that it is somewhere local and neutral. Do not bring your baby along to this interview. Again, take the time to get to know the nanny. Ask for references at this point too.

After you have interviewed your nanny candidates, go home and do not read your notes for a day or so. This time allows you to clear your head so you can make informed decisions. Once you have had some time to clear your head, go back to your notes. You can then start to shortlist your nanny candidates. You must make arrangements for background checks on your preferred nannies.

Once you have received the background checks on the nannies, you can invite them back for the final interview. Ideally this should be at your home, together with your baby. If you want to feel a little more safe and secure, ask a family member or trusted friend or neighbour to be with you too.

The final interview stage is all about the connection you and your baby have with the nanny. Each nanny will be qualified enough to look after children, but do they connect with you and the baby? This connection is vital to everyone concerned; you, your baby and your nanny.

Salary Requirements

This is all too often the biggest stumbling block when it comes to hiring a nanny. Just like business, it relies on supply and demand, and experience and qualifications of the nanny. Most salary expectations are flexible. So, do not be afraid to talk finances when interviewing.

The Best Ways to Involve Your Children in Your Wedding Ceremony

If you and your partner have got children that you’d like to include in your wedding ceremony, there’s absolutely no reason you should stick to tradition. There are plenty of inventive ways you can include the kids in your ceremony, and they’re sure to enjoy it a lot more! Here are some great ways you can include them in your wedding ceremony:

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Photo Author: Flickr

Have Them Hand Out Flowers

As you make your way up the aisle, why not have the kids hand you beautiful flowers from the sidelines? The kids can have a few flowers each, and once they’ve finished handing them to you you’ll have a full bouquet! This can usually bring a tear to the eye of the adults.

Read a Poem

Depending on how old the children are, you could have them read a special poem out on the day. This could be a poem that they like, that means something to you, or one that they’ve written themselves. Perhaps if they play a musical instrument, they could include that too! Weddings are a great place for talented children to show off their skills.

Give the Kids Cameras

Buy a bunch of disposable cameras and give one to each child, telling them to take as many pictures as they like with it. You won’t believe how fun everything looks from their point of view! You’ll get a load of unique pictures that you wouldn’t have got otherwise. No doubt you’ll be able to look back on them one day with a huge smile!

Ring Bearers and Flower Girls

Of course there’s the traditional idea of having the boys as ring bearers and the girls as flower girls. If you feel a little on edge about trusting the boys with the rings, you can always attach them to a necklace or some string to make sure they don’t get misplaced! Whiteflash sell wedding rings in Greater Houston, so maybe have a chat with them about some kind of chain that the rings can be kept on during the ceremony. Perhaps the children can keep this chain afterwards as a lovely keepsake?

Make Sure You Show Your Appreciation

Bear in mind that children don’t always know how to act after the ceremony is finished. The bride and groom walk away, the adults cheer and talk, and the kids don’t know what to do with themselves. Show your appreciation to the children involved by giving them a big cuddle and telling them that they are now free to play.

Get them to Sign Your Record of Marriage

Kids usually love signing the ‘Record of Marriage’, which you can allow anybody to sign. This makes them feel important and can make great photos for the wedding album.

Including the children in the ceremony in a meaningful way, rather than handing out booklets, can be a lot nicer for the children. However, make sure that the children want to be included in the service, otherwise their indifference could show through. I hope you’ve enjoyed these ideas!

The Ultimate Christening Gift Guide

Christenings are a wonderful event to go. Everyone loves to celebrate baby’s biggest event to the date. However, amidst the excitement of the special day, you need to find an amazing gift. This can be difficult. After all, kids these days have everything from the minute that they are born. The great new is is that help is at hand. If you are in a gift giving dilemma, do not despair. This guide will have you reaching for the credit card in no time. What’s more, you will be sure to earn some serious brownie points in the process.

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Photo: Eldriva via Flickr

Name a Star

Did you know that you can buy and name a star in someone’s honour? What could be a better gift than to bestow them a star. There are many places in which you can buy a star from. You can name a star after the baby or after a memorable place or name that is associated with the family. This is an excellent gift to give. For many, this one of a kind gift will be greatly received. What could be a nicer honour than naming a star after a precious bundle of joy?

Bespoke Art

The likes of Not on the High Street and Easy has seen everyone rushing to buy beautiful pieces of bespoke art. For a christening, this is the ultimate gift. You can choose from many different themes and motifs. Colours, phrases, words and such like are all tailored as you see fit. You can ensure that the gift is personalised so that it features the child’s name and christening details. The wonderful thing about opting for bespoke art is that it is a truly unique gift. You can guarantee that baby doesn’t end up with duplicate presents by buying this kind of gift.

Christening Silver

For the ultimate traditionalist, then there is only one christening gift of choice: silverware. Silverware, traditionally, is usually bestowed to the baby and the parents in the event of a christening. For those that like to keep the true meaning of a christening alive, then silver is the apparent gift of choice. There is a great deal of things that you can choose from to gift the new baby. Birth certificate holders, money boxes and tooth and curl boxes are all gorgeous christening gifts. What is more, this unisex gift is a great all-rounder. Silverware is objective. It’s the gift that cannot go wrong.

Set up a Bank Account

Depending on the nature of your relationship with the parents, you may want to consider setting up a bank account for the baby. This is a great way to ensure that baby has a sound financial start in life. You can choose to open an account with as little as £10. By bestowing a bank account, you are giving a gift for life. Of course, this is usually a gift given by the family, so do ensure that you are not treading on any toes when giving this gift.

Remarkable Reasons Moving to the Seaside is Great for Your Kids

Many people have fantasies of moving to the seaside. It feels like living by the sea would be like a permanent holiday. Anytime you want to go out and look out at the waves, there’s a beach right there. Yes, some seaside towns might get very busy in the summer months. But the rest of the year, it’s quiet and tranquil. Your children too would probably be delighted at the prospect of moving to the seaside. Long days of exploring rockpools and splashing in the sea are a dream for some kids. In fact, moving to the seaside could have lots of benefits for your children and you.

It’s Good For Their Health

There is evidence that there might be a link between living by the seaside and having good health. A study linked people self-reporting as being in “good health” to people living in seaside towns. There are a number of possible reasons for this, including that living by the sea might make you feel relaxed. People living in seaside towns might also be more encouraged to exercise by the environment. Beaches, clifftops and winding paths, not to mention the sea. On top of that, there should be less pollution than in larger cities. Take a deep breath of that clean sea air!

Seaside Activities

There are all kinds of family friendly activities to enjoy by the sea. If your children are active types who’ll do any physical activity available then they’re in luck. There’s swimming, of course, but then there are more adventurous activities like surfing, wind-surfing, water-skiing and sea kayaking. They can also learn to sail or take boats of all sizes out on the water. If your kids aren’t the type to get wet, there’s still plenty to do on dry land. From rockpool exploring and shell collecting to building sandcastles, it’s easy to get your kids outside in the fresh air.

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Image from Wikipedia

Peace and Quiet

Some children and families are more suited to a quieter life. Looking at estate agents in Parkstone, Poole in Dorset will reveal a whole host of beautiful houses with sea views and quiet locations. Your children will sleep better without the noise of a city outside, and your family will be calmer, healthier and more relaxed.

A Change in Diet

If your children aren’t big fans of seafood, or haven’t had much chance to try it, moving to the seaside is your chance to introduce them to new things. Living in a seaside town, you’ll usually have access to fresh fish and other seafood every single day. There’s a huge range of culinary delights to introduce your children to, from plain white fish to prawn and lobster. Fish that’s so fresh will taste better too and, along with just about everything by the seaside it seems, is great for your health.

Moving to the seaside comes with plenty of health benefits. But if being healthy is too boring of a reason to move, then just think of all the fun you can have.

Awesome Nursery Accessories that Both You and Baby Will Love

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Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

As parents, we only want the best for our children. When it comes to their health, their education and their development, nothing less than the best will suffice. And nursery furniture and accessories are no exceptions. We want something that’s functional, practical and that also complements our nursery decor perfectly.

So, if you’re looking to update or add to your baby’s nursery, this is our pick of the best in contemporary nursery furniture and accessories. We’ve picked items that are designed to help make parent’s lives that little bit easier, and you can guarantee that your baby will love them too.

Tipi Play Tent

Who remembers how fun it was making dens as a child? Well, why not encourage your baby to share in some of the fun? Tipi play tents are great for this. They’re also very handy for protecting them from the sun during the hot summer months. You could even pop one in a carry bag and take it down to the beach with you. They will have so much fun playing in their tipi play tent – you’ll begin to wish they came in adult sizes!

Muslin Cloths

We’ve all been there as parents. We’ve given baby a bath, changed their nappy and dressed them in the cutest outfit we could find. But we made a ‘rookie’ mistake of doing all this before feeding time. Within two minutes they (and you!) are covered in baby food and that cute outfit suddenly looks as if it’s seen better days. Well, with a pack of protective muslin cloths you don’t have to worry about this anymore! They help to protect your baby’s clothing, and you can just whip it off and pop it in the wash when they’re done. This simple, but effective accessory is an absolute life-saver for any parent.

Bouncers & Swing Seats

Babies love bouncers and swing seats. They allow your baby to rock themselves to sleep when they’re tired. Equally when they’re ‘full of beans’, swinging back and forth helps them to burn off some of that energy. They’re also very good for promoting muscle development, as they encourage your baby to move around, which helps to develop their core strength.

Soother Clips

Along with your keys and mobile phone, soothers are just one of those things you’re likely regularly to misplace. As busy parents, we have very little spare time as it is. So, we don’t really want spend a large proportion of it looking for a lost soother. That’s why soother clips are such a good idea. I’m afraid they won’t help you keep track of your keys and phone next time they decide to do a disappearing act. But at least you’ll know where the soother is!

Each of these items is designed with both baby and you in mind. They’re there to make your life a little bit easier, as well as allowing baby to have fun. And anything that’s there to help smooth the path of parenthood gets two thumbs up from us!

An Incredible Guide to Buying a Family Dog

Should you feel as though the time has come for you to buy a family dog, you might be interested in knowing how you can make the right decision. Buying the right dog for you and your family is important, and you need to make sure you get it right the first time. Thankfully, buying a family dog is not that hard as long as you know what matters most to you.

The Size

You will want to buy a dog that is not too big for your home. On top of that if you have small children you will not want to buy a dog that is going to grow big and potentially intimidate them.

In some cases, it can be hard to judge the size of a dog by watching online videos or by looking at pictures. You will, therefore, want to go to a dog shelter and have a look at the dog breed in person. When you see a dog breed in real life, you will get a better sense of how big it is going to grow.

The Temperament

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Different dog breeds will have different temperaments. Because of this you will want to make sure you buy a dog breed that has a temperament you are okay with being around. Some people are fine with owning a dog that is relatively excitable. However, some people would rather that they own a dog which is docile and hardly ever hyperactive.

You can find this information out by reading a book on the various dog breeds on offer. You can also search for the various of breeds of little puppies online. Should you use the internet, you can also read what other people have got to say about the dog breed you’re interested in buying.

Exercise

You will also want to make sure that you buy a dog that has exercise needs which match your schedule and level of activity. For most people, they are not able to exercise a dog more than a couple of times a day. If you are busy running a household, you may not have the time needed to take your dog on long walks.

Because of that it might be a good idea for you to take a look at dogs which only require a little bit of exercise. You should keep in mind, however, that all dogs will need walking. Whether or not you get a big dog or a small dog, walking should still be a priority.

Awesome Family Pooch?

Buying a family dog is often an exciting and challenging time. It is exciting because you are going through the process of buying a new dog. However, it is challenging because you want to make sure you make the right decision. Nevertheless, once you are clear about your own circumstances, and what you can handle, buying a family dog is quite easy. You may do such an excellent job in terms of picking your own dog that you soon get other people coming to you and asking for tips and advice!

Career First, Family Next!

Gumtree infographic baby versus career

Gumtree infographic baby versus career is an infographic that was produced by Gumtree

There are so many things that are mentioned in the media on a weekly basis when referring to teen pregnancy. The problem is that what we see on TV is usually an exaggeration of a reality that is totally different. We can say that those cases are actually a lot less common than we might believe.

I saw this infographic on women juggling children and career and it had some interesting facts. There were things I read that I didn’t know, or expect, before I read it. That is why it is important for everyone to take a look at the infographic. It is a guarantee that you will learn some new things that you had absolutely no idea about.

For instance, it would seem that 49% of women are in their 30s when their babies arrive and that the average age is 29.7. I would have assumed that women had children at a younger age, although I shouldn’t have been surprised, as women are starting to put careers first, which is commendable. The question of whether or not to postpone a family because of a career path that was taken is one that has been daunting on women for a long time. It makes sense to get a steady career first and then settle down to think about starting a family and having children.

Whatever the age of the mother, at the bottom of the infographic you will see some great tips on how to balance a life/work with being a capable and good mother. For example: Delegate, which I like to do as much as possible in life anyway!

Choosing a career over a family can have negative effects on the evolution of the woman and her desire to have a baby as the body will find it more difficult to carry a pregnancy as time passes. The best thing that any woman can do is to simply think about priorities and see what the best situation is. In UK it is not legal to fire a woman if she is on pregnancy leave or if she is pregnant. However, as you can easily notice from the infographic, everything is connected to the career in the sense that you would need to hire a nanny in most cases and that costs a lot of money.

It is a very good idea to take a look at all the information included in this infographic. You can even see the best careers for women that currently juggle both a career and a family. There are always solutions but you have to be dedicated and you need to know what to expect. The truth is that maternity leave does not really have an effect on your finances. With this in mind, you may want to reconsider the career first, family later approach. You cannot wait too long until you get pregnant as this would lead to more problems in the future. Choose wisely or consider the career that is best suited for you if you really want a family.

The Pros And Cons Of Living By The Sea With A Young Family

Have you had enough of inner city life and pollution? Many people are leaving cities to get away from the hustle and bustle of life there. They crave fresh, clean air and are willing to spend a lot of money to find it. The air doesn’t come much cleaner or fresher than that found in seaside towns. Any bad air there is often cleared by the sea breezes and replaced with fresh air from the ocean.

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photo location

It sounds perfect doesn’t it? And in most ways it is, but as you will find out when you read on, there are a few things everyone should be aware of when moving to the seaside with young children.

The Pros

I must limit this list because the pros are many. Here are the main benefits of taking advantage of residential lettings in Bournemouth and other British seaside towns.

  • The beach gives the children a place to play every day. They never tire of paddling in the water and building sandcastles, or hunting for shells, crabs, or other sea creatures in rock pools.
  • Seaside towns gear themselves toward tourism, so there will probably be plenty to do on the seafront. It could have a permanent fairground or other attractions that the kids will love.
  • Going for a walk is much nicer when you have a great place to explore. Sometimes the beaches can be miles long, so using them to get some exercise is a pleasure.
  • If dad loves fishing, there is plenty of it at the seaside. You don’t even need a license for sea fishing, so it is a bargain.
  • As mentioned earlier, you can’t out a price on fresh air. It is especially beneficial to those who suffer from asthma or other lung conditions. Childhood asthma is increasing, and it could be because of the pollution in towns and cities.
  • You get to see the ships that pass by, and marvel at their size.

The Cons

There is no need to limit the cons list. Because I would love to live at the seaside, I can only see a few downsides.

  • Because you will be a resident, you will start to notice how many pesky tourists are on the seafront, spoiling your afternoon stroll. Seriously though, you must work extra hard to keep an eye on your children. You never know who Is about.
  • The sea is obviously a dangerous place; you can’t let your children play there unaccompanied. Be prepared to go to the beach every day, whether you want to or not.
  • If the area was flooded by a storm surge in the past, you might find that there is a premium applied to your home or contents insurance.
  • If you are buying a house at the seaside, expect to pay a little more to maintain it than you would an inland one. After all, there is little to stop the wind as it comes ashore, and your roof tiles may suffer.

Yes, I agree; the negative points are pretty feeble. If you ever get the chance to live at the seaside, I recommend that you do. Maybe I am looking at it through rose tinted glasses, but it could be the best move you ever make.