I'm off for a Sussex #NoMummyGuilt Day Out

That's right, I may just of found the mecca of all mummy days out:  A #NoMummyGuilt day out.
 
What is this you say and how can I get one?
 
Simple - Uflourish Pregnancy and Family Fair at Brighton Racecourse, Sunday 31st May 2015.
 
 
 
http://uflourish.co.uk/
 
 
Boom, there it is. Time to get your coat and pack your nappy bag.
 
 

Just another baby fair, right? Wrong!

 
I know you're thinking, another baby fair - yawn...photographers that jump on you to book their baby shoot, a bag full of leaflets for the recycling when you get home and something aimed squarely at  making pregnant women haemorrhage money from their purses.
 
But this IS different. Heck, I'm going and I speak from experience having gone to ALOT of wedding/baby/home/insert other shows, before.
 
I repeat this IS different, why? Because it's more about you as the parent and helping you through your parenting journey and there is shopping. It's win-win really.
 
And what's more is that two Mum's have founded Uflourish, Aurelie and Naomi.
 
This goal from Naomi says it all about the Pregnancy and Baby Fair:
 
"Support, information and inspiration in one place alongside some fabulous shopping opportunities."
 
 
Here's why it's a fabulous day out with something for you, with or without the kids:
 

Free Parking (in Brighton)

 
I don't know why I am obsessed with parking. The first question I ask in going anywhere is: What is the parking like?
 
Maybe it's because I have a massive people carrier I need to park and try not to put another dent in?
 
Maybe it's because I like to flop out of the car with kids in tow and then be within 'bundling them back' in distance when they go cra-cra later?
 
Whatever the reason, this place is out of town at the Brighton Racecourse and there is FREE parking. Holler! FREE PARKING IN BRIGHTON!
 
You can even drive to the seafront after for some Fish & Chips.
 

The Most Useful Seminars Ever

 
No flower arranging or 56 uses for lemons here. 
 
I honestly want to go to ALL of them, but I can't as I have shopping to fit in too.
 
They have been helpfully split into pregnancy & baby and Parenting. So many baby shows just focus on pregnancy, so I was almost doing a carlton dance at the range of workshops for us sprogged out parents.
I've put a little * next to the ones I'm going to if your interested. I'm only not staying longer because my life is still governed by naptime.
 
Pregnancy & Baby Room – Owners & Trainers Room
TimeWorkshopHosted By
10.15am – 10.45amThe Naturopath kitchen workshop – understanding the seven principles of nutrition during pregnancy  Clare Froberg from The Float Spa
10.50am – 11.30amThe Seven Secrets to Better Baby Sleep*  Sarah Ockwell Smith
11.35am – 12.15pmHow to help your crying, upset, colicky, not sleeping baby  Christian Bates from Calming Colic
12.20pm – 12.35pmBreastfeeding – getting off to a good start.  Dee from Birth Baby & You
12.40pm –12.55pmBaby CPR  Dee from Birth Baby & You
1.00pm – 1.40pmThe Calm Birth School positive birth workshop  Suzy & Hollie from The Calm Birth School
1.45pm – 2.15pmStrengthen body, mind and soul with MamaCore and MamaFit  Kirsty from Balance & Vitality
2.20pm – 3.00pm40 days after birth; rest, rejuvenation and bonding  Lucy from Mother’s Bliss
 
Parenting Room – Paddock Room
TimeWorkshopHosted By
10.15am – 10.45amThe New Mum’s Guide to Getting Your Body Back*  Anthony Pushkin from PW Physique
10.50am – 11.20amTreasure Baskets, what are they and how to create one  Each Peach Childcare
11.25am – 11.55pmUnderstanding Toddler Tantrums and how you can help them*  Anna Ashley from Toddler Calm
12.00pm – 12.40pmThe mum’s survival guide – Strategies for: not just surviving, but thriving!*  Vivienne Smith fromPersonal Breakthrough Coaching
12.45pm – 1.45pmDrawing and story fun  Guy Parker-Rees, best-selling illustrator ofGiraffes Can’t Dance
1.50pm – 2.20pmSplashtime Talks  Water Babies
2.25pm – 3.00pmThe Benefits of Free Play: Inside and Out  Jasmin Brackenfield from Brighton Steinerschool
 
 

Sarah Ockwell Smith

 
So good, she needs her own paragraph. The Goddess of Babycalm and sleep herself is going to be there and giving you the seven secrets of baby sleep in a rare workshop.
*Gets coat again...realises already has it...realises needs more sleep...realises NEEDS to go to this seminar*
 
 
 
If you don't know who she is, she has been given the crown of parenting expert for her books (Babycalm, Toddlercalm and The Gentle Sleep Book) that outline the science behind baby sleep (or lack thereof) and gives you oodles of reassurance that this is NORMAL. I'm sure there will be parents queuing up, just to give her a hug of thanks. 
 
If you need another reason why she is excellent - she has four kids and has built up a parenting revolution with her 'calm' series and classes. 'Nuff said.
 

#NoMummyGuilt

 
Look at that list of workshops - stuff for you and the kids. Even that stuff that's more for 'me' time will help you feel like a more able parent.
 
A must-do for the kidlets is Guy Parker-Rees, best-selling illustrator ofGiraffes Can’t Dance, Drawing and story fun - they will love you for this. Serious anti-mummy guilt points here.
 
And then have you seen the list of exhibitors? Everything from boutique shops to therapists, fitness and classes. There are photographers, but ruddy good ones.
 
You don't need to feel that a day out to a fair is more for you than them. It's to help support you as a parent, which make this fair so different to others. And there's some shopping.
 
 

Facilities Checklist

 
Baby change - Check
Loos - Check
Cash machine - Check (does charge for use, so remember your cash)
Card readers - some stallholders do and some don't, so bring cash.
Disabled access and Loos - Check
Baby feeding area - Check
Café - Check (always make sure there is access to tea!)
In Sussex - Check (only the best place ever)
 
All the makings of a brilliant venue and day out.
 

Ticks my Doctor Boxes

 
With workshops on CPR, colic, breastfeeding and getting your fitness back, this ticks all my doctor boxes.
There's therapists, parentskool, baby whispering and childcare providers (which being a working mum is top on my list at the moment).
 
If you can get in to it, definitely go to the CPR one. This is an absouletly fantastic opportunity to learn the basics of something that could be lifesaving for you child.
 
 

So... 

 
...If you're in Sussex this weekend, holidaying or you're a local, then pop along.
 
Entry is a bargain £2 and if you pre-register/pre-purchase your ticket you can enter the fantastic competition to win thousands of pounds worth of prizes.

 
 
You'll also be supporting these local mum's in their fledgling new business and local businesses in the area. Oh and then there's the shopping and chance to focus on yourself for a change.
 
Be informed and inspired - come along!
 
 
http://uflourish.co.uk/
 
If you can't make this one - there are two more fairs planned:
 
Chichester College Sunday 28th June 2015
 
Worthing Assembly House Sunday 19th July 2015
 
 
*The views in the post are all my own. I have been asked by Uflourish to help promote the event in exchange for them letting me have priority access to the event. But I really want to go anyway!
 
 This guy's coming too....
 
 
 
 
Who else is up for coming? Any Sussex Bloggers got it noted down in their diaries already?

Mums' Days


The Giggles Family

Why you should vaccinate me

Immunisations: The parental opinion divider.

The decision to have your child immunised evokes emotional turmoil for many parents, especially since the unfounded MMR/Autism claims from that study. It's legacy lives on ever since 1998 when that study was published and general mistrust of the UK vaccination schedule.

I'd like to take you through my son's reasons of why he would want to be vaccinated (if he could talk, write or communicate any further than a babble):


 
My name is Bobcat.

I am a seven month old, happy and healthy baby. I want to stay this way.
 
 

I feel lucky that I don't think about getting ill with measles and I hope I never have to...

 
I won't suffer damage from a disease that no one remembers seeing anymore, until they get 'unlucky' and see it in their own child. See the damage it does. The brain damage. The life it can take.
I can rest smug for now as I have most of the herd to rely on.

 

I feel lucky that I don't have to worry about getting austim from vaccines...

The Perfect Life? #CandidCuddles

Let me tell you, I am not one for quote pictures, but there was something about this one in Dunelm Mill (which co-incidentally isn't as old lady a shop as I previously thought).
 
I did that whole shopping stalking thing. In fact walked past it four times and touched it a bit too much to make it slightly inappropriate.




 
"Life does not have to be perfect to be wonderful"
 
I even placed some crap (forgot to clear the way) around the photo to fully symbolise this quote.
 
 
This is going in the study/room where no one actually studies but has a desk.
 
And when I look at it I feel perfectly imperfect. No pressure to strive for perfection or to compare yourself with others.
 
You got your own kind of wonderful right here. 
 
Think of it when one of the kids in throwing a strop down in Tescos and you're down to you last fiver in the joint bank account. Actually maybe think of it when you are back home with a cuppa - hmmmmm, wonderful. Perfect and wonderful.


Thanks Cuddlefairy for hosting this linky!

Cuddle Fairy

The Nanny Trial: She's Only Bloody Maary Paarpins!

...Except less irritating and sans umbrella (but in fairness, it wasn't raining today).
This is an update for those of you eagerly awaiting an update in 'The Nanny Chronicles' (Part 1 & Part 2), my unwitting series into finding a nanny for the professional who's salary equals that of the childcare.
 
This is the German language version, obvs, meinen freundin.
 
 *****
 
The time is 8am; First born is at the window, chomping at the sill for his hotly billed new playmate to ring the doorbell.
She doesn't have to ring the doorbell, the door is far from ajar and the antsy whinges of a 6 month old welcome her through the door. The trial day is here.
This is to be a day of shadowing, learning the ropes of our loosely worded 'routine' (also known as memorising the Cbeebies scheduling) and most importantly, *soppy warning* for me to be able to trust that I have chosen the right person to take care of my two little squidgy widgey beauties (who I don't want to leave to go back to work as I love baby snuggles...then do want to leave when there's the mother of all paddies...then don't when I get a 'mummy I love you very much'...then do when, as if colic wasn't a turdfest enough, then comes teething...Anyway you get the gist).
And in summary she's only blinking perfect for us, so far *touches wood*, says the eternal pessimist.
 

The reasons why she is only bloody our Maaary Paaarpins (and seemingly a better parent than I):

 
 
1)  She doesn't dick about on her phone as much as me. In fact she doesn't dick at all. This in essence makes her the modern day Mary Poppins and also highlights my need for a digital detox. If a 21 year old can do without her phone who has 90% more chance of a social life than me and a need for social media, then dear old Doctomum can do without it for a bit.
 
2)  She follows through with discipline and Firstborn listens. Definitely the magical talent of the Poppins.
In fact even I want to comply and hold her hand in the car park when she asks.
 
3)  She doesn't need to offer 2 slices of melon, 4 Pringles, and throw in a packet of Haribo in some Hungry Caterpillar escapade to get Firstborn to put on a pair of shoes.
She just makes a fun game of it and he DOES it first time. She's fricking Mary doing that whole 'spoonful of sugar' song.
I've tried being  'Let's make a game of it mum' and I just end up giving him the whole packet of Pringles. What gives?
 
4) Firstborn didn't want her to leave at the end of the day so he told me to leave. Of course, I called his bluff and said I was happy to go, forever.
Of course, he waved goodbye and then told me not to come back.
Balls, Mrs Banks has been ejected from her own house.
 
5)  She pushed Firstborn on the swing for a full 20 minutes. That's 19 more minutes then I ever could.
 "Are you sure you don't want to try the slide now? How about the roundabout? Packet of Haribo to get off? Still no?" That's my swing mantra to the intolerable arm numbing boredom of swinging *hangs head in lack of swing stamina shame*
 
6) Dinner started at 5pm. All dinner was eaten by 5.10pm. Normal dinner finish time without a nanny (and even with a husband around) is at the earliest 5.40pm. This house will be shipshape in no time.
 
7)  She voted non-conservative in the election (sorry Tories, another sore loser here). Therefore morally and politically we may be a match. I always had Ms Poppins down as Labour anyway. 
 

And the negatives?

 

She did recoil at the size of Firstborn's proudly shown off potty poo. In fairness it was the size (and shape) of a hedgehog with a hint of bog of eternal stench.
That's all though - practically perfect in every way in my eyes.
 Let's hope the errant paddies and constant demand for Play-doh don't put her off too much.

Last thought.....

 
 
As I sit here with Bobcat (Secondborn) in my arms watching Extraordinary Pregnancies on TLC whilst writing this, I'm still in two minds about the whole going back to work/nanny hiring thing.
One mind is saying: "It just took you one hour to get him asleep this evening. An hour of swaying, jiggling, sweating and wailing. All of which came from you".
The other mind is saying "You spent an hour embracing this snugglepot of loveliness with his long lashes, his soft hair stroking his temples, his delicate features burying their way into your shoulder and his hands grasping for your touch. Only finding comfort you."
Bloody love this guy and the toddler Firstborn upstairs. I don't know how I'm going to leave him for a nightshift or any shift - the strums of mummy guilt are being played....

*****
Anyone else looking for their childcare Poppins? Having Strums of going back to work guilt?


Go on nominate me for the MADS, no-one else will...*getting out world's tiniest violin and using world's cutest forlorn puppy to play it.*
No emotional blackmail there at all. Here's the button - look I made it easy for you:


Tots100 MAD Blog Awards

 


This weeks linkies:

Mummascribbles

Brilliant blog posts on HonestMum.com

The List

Who To Talk To (For The Socially Starved Parent)

Ah, parenthood, particularly stay at home parenthood or maternity leave: You get to baby gaze all day, listen to nonsense from the toddler, watch them discover new things and tick off their milestones...
 
..Once that novelty has worn off a bit - after the colic, the mountain of housework which quite inconsiderately needs to still be done, the mundaneness of daily life with a baby creeps in.
And the social isolation.

Rinse and repeat this theory but with a toddler. Same shit, different child. Add monstrous paddies.

Yeah, you got some mum buddies, you can speak to your sister on the phone and a bit of twitter keeps you going. You also have that weekly delivery driver from Sainsbury's and hold onto his signing pad thingie just  tad too long with a look in your eyes that says "please don't leave me with these pre-verbal socially inept children" for some normal adult socialisation. The last one may just be me.
 
 
Bottle for one again?
 
Yes, I am Doctomum and I am inappropriately desperate for social contact with real adults.
 

I'm craving a chit-chat. The husband has been at work (lucky sod) constantly for the past couple of weeks, compounded by the only thing that has reached my ears in that time are the cries of a teething baby.

I don't want to discuss with my firstborn where Elsa's parents have gone on that blinking ship again. I don't want to do the whole snippet conversation over attention screaming children at mother and baby group. Heck I don't want to go to mother and baby group anyway (a place where you get to feel bad about what your baby isn't doing and there isn't even the benefit of a good biscuit to comfort eat your sorrows away). I just want some inane drivel talk, to offload about my day and to have some adult interaction. I haven't spoken to someone for three days now! Unfortunately this has made me a little, er, desperate shall we say.

Here are my top chat* buddies** who make me feel normal*** in the desperate parents guide to social interaction:

*When I say normal chat, I mean just talk about my kids  as I have little exposure to anything else.
**When I say buddie, I mean I'm waving to them as they run away.
***When I say normal, I mean relatively.


The Postman

 
He gives me parcels, I give him the low down on my thrilling day. He's started to deliver my post to next door, even though they fit through the letter box and I'm actually in. 
#SorryYouWereOutNotSorry, I'm sure he would be tweeting, if only I could find him on social media.