Sunday, 9 October 2016

Trump is comfortable with crude talk about his daughter

WARNING: This video does contain really offensive digs at women. Howard Stern (whom I loath) and Trump (whom I also loath) are prime examples of how men in position and power disguise misogyny as witty and clever backchat punctuated with background laughter.

Saturday, 8 October 2016

Teaching your children about resilience

In actual fact I think we are all potatoes, eggs and coffee beans at various times whether child or adult. I wish I could be a coffee bean all of the time though that would not always be possible because we don't have total control of everything that happens to us. Remember to also tell your children that stuff happens in life and to feel sad or downhearted is part of being a human being. That's the being a potato bit. I don't quite get the egg bit but I am going to interpret it as meaning that everyone has an inner strength to cope.

Monday, 3 October 2016

A room of our own for mothers in the home of Feminism

Only very occasionally does a concept come along that makes the penny drop in the vastness of a field of ideology and practice. Feminism has been hospitable in accommodating many different female identities and subjectives but feminist mothering still remains a distinct 'out there' field of knowledge. 

When writing about mother's problems and issues I have, personally, struggled with the dilemma of whether 'women's issues' were interchangeable with 'mother's issues'. Obviously there is an overlap because women are also mothers BUT not all women are mothers. 

A book written by the international academic on mothering issues, Dr Andrea O'Reilly, on the concept she terms 'Matricentric Feminism' argues for a mother-centred feminism. 

As the official blogger for MIRCI I can confidently say that while I have been excited over all of their journals (published by the affiliated Demeter Press), this recently published one on 'Matricentric Feminism: Theory, Activism, Practice' is the 'penny' that I refer to in my paragraph above. 

From her personal experience, Dr O'Reilly writes: "...I have sought to do feminism as a mother and do motherhood as a feminist: namely that we need a feminism - in both theory and practice-specifically for mothers"

This is a two-pronged identity that I have struggled with from time to time. While feminism celebrates choice, let's face it, feminist who are mothers can often be seen as not being totally committed to the cause. I have personally been asked how I straddle the two identities as if they are distinct opposites.

Dr O' Reilly argues that feminist theory and women's studies more generally have not recognised or embraced a feminism developed from the specific needs or concerns of mothers. The chasm is, therefore, bridged by 'Matricentric Feminism' which borrows from maternalism in many of its strategies but also comprises the perspectives and philosophies of equal rights feminism and an ethics of care framework. 

Dr O'Reilly states that 'Matricentric Feminism' must be accorded the same legitimacy and autonomy as other feminist theoretical models in the discipline of women's studies. In doing so she frames the argument for 'Matricentric Feminism' by using a quote by Virginia Woolf, taken from her book 'A Room Of One's Own': "A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction".  

'Matricentric Feminism' is also a theoretical lens that can be utilised to examine how social policies that affect mothers, specifically, can be reimagined to revolve around mothers' issues. As an example, while the 'glass ceiling' and the 'sticky floor' are still to be found in the workplace it is often the maternal wall that impedes and hinders most women's progress in the workplace today. 

i strongly recommend this book which will enthuse your feminist mothering personal strategies. 

I have referred to a speech given by Dr O'Reilly in 2014 in New York at the Museum of Motherhood in writing this blog post


Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Baby, toddler, pre-teen, teen and now my baby is preparing to leave home

Seventeen years ago, with two weeks to go before my daughter was due, I was setting up the baby furniture and filling the drawers with baby clothing. I remarked to my husband that one day, some years away still, I would be packing for her departure to university.

Let me warn you. I am a soppy Mum. I cried when she started nursery. I cried when she started school. I cried on the day she left the pre-prep department to move to the prep department. I have had many other cries in between too. How is it that children grow so quickly? A cliched question but one that must baffle parents all over the world.

The time which I have dreaded is looming large. My daughter is in her A-level year and will be attending university in September 2017. Yes, it may be a year away but out of all the rites of passage that she has gone through this is THE one that I am dreading. A home without her presence will be an empty nest. She fills it with noise, laughter and strife. Even the cat loses its' will to live when she goes away for sleepovers. Heaven knows how it will cope when she goes away.

As a mother I am constantly being told that I ought to be proud of her spreading her wings and that flying the nest is what children do in order to gain independence. Stuff that! My answer is that I don't clip her wings at home and independence is more an inner state of being rather than a physical condition which requires one to lug one's bags all the way to the train station, wave goodbye to everything that one holds dear and, finally, to arrive in a strange place which one must immediately call 'home'.

In the last few weeks we have started doing 'open days' at universities. Much like choosing the first school for your child this experience is akin to choosing the last school for your kid. Sitting through presentations and question and answer sessions I wonder whether this will be the last time that I actually help my daughter make a decision. Once awash with her new independence will she seek my views?

If I sound to you like some sort of clingy mum who can't let go then you are reading me correctly. Don't tell me to find new things to do with my life either because, as things stand, I can't find the time as it is to do what I want to do. Nope. Nothing is going to compensate for the next new phase in life.

PS. Photos of my daughter as a baby, aged 3 and in Year 4 (right hand photo)


Tuesday, 6 September 2016

Win a ticket to a fabulous blogger conference

The FunFest Blogger Summit, a family-friendly blogger conference and brand ambassador exhibition,  is now celebrating its second year on Saturday, September 10th at the fabulous Whittlebury Hall, Northamptonshire.

Whether you’re a mum, dad, grandparent or a general lifestyle blogger, the event has something to offer you, providing bloggers from across the UK the opportunity to learn from peers and media experts, attend masterclasses on growing audience figures, meet top toy brands looking for brand ambassadors and tips to make money from blogging.

Ahead of the event,  a free family ticket is available (worth £50). The family ticket will allow a blogger,partner and children free access to the days proceedings, including lunch and refreshments, and that all-important goody bag at the end of the day! A chance that you don't want to miss. 

Simply send your details to and include the names of those that you’d like to bring with you.

This offer closes on Thursday 8 September at 4 pm when the winning entry will be selected. Darrell Carter will contact the winner.  

Monday, 5 September 2016

A family friendly FunFest Blogger Summit - tickets still left

The summer may be drawing to a close but there is one silver lining on the horizon for bloggers in the form of a family friendly blogger conference. The Funfest Blogger Summit 2016 is being held on 10 September in Whittlebury Hall , Northamptonshire.

There are still tickets left and here are some good reasons for you to attend:

1. An array of top brands across a variety of toy and entertainment firms will be looking for blogger brand ambassador partners. Companies seeking opportunities with bloggers include 'The Entertainer', 'Jumbo Games', 'Insect Lore' and 'ICB Toys'. For a full listing of company names please click on this link. 

2.   The day is structured to begin with a conference in the morning and, after lunch, the expo will open. The morning conference sessions will cover a number of topics for bloggers including how to create a successful partnership with brand names, a session on 'An Invasion of Privacy?  Should you be featuring your children in your content?' and the growing popularity of VOD . There is plenty more listed in the conference agenda. 

3. Meet up with other bloggers and swap ideas in the 'networking lounge' which will be a relaxed and informal environment

4. Bring your kids! A 'children's zone' will be set up to help parents enjoy the morning conference session safe in the knowledge that their children are having fun too. The event is all about fun, so why should the kids miss out!

5. Children will play a crucial part too in helping their blogger parents pick the best of show brands and products which will culminate in an award ceremony.

The Funfest blogger summit is for all bloggers and is suitable for both beginner or those who have been blogging for a number of years. Tickets cost only £20.

Join in the conversation on and


Monday, 29 August 2016

When cancer strikes twice in the same family

Late last year I wrote a blog post titled 'How do you tell your child that Dad has cancer?'. We were extremely fortunate in that the cancer was caught early enough to be eradicated successfully. A sense of relief had since settled upon us and become really quite embedded in our day to day lives so as to make us falsely ignorant of the fact that cancer could strike again.

It has and this time with another member of the extended family who is very young.

The diagnosis came out of the blue. She was in a dance performance on Friday evening (26 August) and felt weak and faint. It was decided that taking her to A&E would be the best thing to do. Within an hour she was diagnosed with acute leukemia. I was out dining with a friend al fresco style by the Thames when I received the call.

Life is full of dramas isn't it?

The family gathered together this weekend to help look after this lovely child. We are hoping and hoping and praying that she will come through it all. The next four weeks are crucial as to how her body reacts to the chemotherapy.

Life is full of surprises and sometimes these surprises are just blinking unwanted.