I don’t know about you but I’m kind of sick of hearing the phrase ‘bikini ready’ every time summer starts to roll around! I’m loving seeing other people, especially on across social media, shunning this phrase too!
I’m not trying to dismiss the idea of wanting to look your best. I also TOTALLY get that in the summer you typically aren’t so covered up as you are in winter. This can then obviously start making you feel a bit more critical of yourself.
There is also still so much pressure on Mums to ‘bounce back’ in to shape two seconds after birth. I guess this one is also very much fuelled by social media. It’s hard not to beat yourself up a little when you see that perfect insta mum back in pre pregnancy clothes as she leaves the hospital.
Again, I’m totally not trying to bash these Mums who can do that. I’ve seen some of these women get a crazy hard time for being proud of their post baby bodies and that is just not cool either.
Self imposed pressure?
I think it’s really easy to blame all of these pressures on social media, and it undoubtedly has a lot to answer for. But, I also feel it’s a little bit lazy to fully blame our lack of body confidence on social media. After all women have been feeling the need to look good for far longer than the internet has been around, even before the days of glossy magazines! I think that comparison has always been a problem. Comparing yourself to others, wishing you had that girls hair or her legs or that your boobs were a bit more like hers.
How many times have you not put a picture of yourself on instagram or even just straight out deleted a picture because you see a flaw (or lots of flaws)? I can’t even count the amount of times I’ve done that! There’s been a few ‘fuck it’ moments where I post a picture regardless of how many chins I see or how big I think my arms look. Pictures that I’ve loved because of how happy I’ve been in a moment or how extra cute my boys look in it. And you know what? People don’t see your flaws like you do.
I was definitely super aware of my body after having the kids. I think that was kind of tough with living here and being in summer wear all year round. Arthur and Freddie both had their first trips to the beach at 1 week old. That didn’t exactly give me time to get my ‘beach body’ back. But, you can’t live here and not go to the beach. So, I just wore the bikinis I had that I could fit in. And you know what, very quickly I didn’t care that I didn’t look how I did before I was pregnant. I do really think that getting back into exercise as soon as I could helped me to have a more positive feeling about my body, even when it wasn’t looking how I wanted it too!
Feeling body confident this summer
Nothing makes an outfit look worse than bad fitting underwear. Do yourself a favour, and treat yourself to some well fitting underwear. I totally recommend this Evolution Bra from Knix seamless, moisture wicking, 4 way stretch…..it’s perfect!
Hide those early morning, multiple night wake up eye bags with a pair of big sunglasses. For me, you can’t beat a classic pair of Ray Ban Aviators but I’m also a big sucker for some super glam cat eye glasses too. I use Sunglasses shop who do free worldwide delivery (yay!), but I also love nipping into duty free too, although that’s much harder with the boys!!
Buy The Dress
Or the bikini or the shorts or whatever it is.
Go and buy it – in a size that fits….squeezing into a size smaller is not going to do you any favours!
Comparing how you look to your best friend, or to a celebrity, or that beautiful mama you follow on Instagram is just toxic for your self esteem. But stopping is SO hard to do. I definitely am terrible for this! But, it NEVER makes you feel any better so what’s the point!
Take A Bunch Of Pictures
Seriously! Because while you might not love it today, or even next month. You will for sure look back at it in years to come and think that you looked great, and oh so young!!! I think this is possibly even more true if youve got kids. Us Mums are often the ones behind the camera and it is so special to have those photos of you with them. So chuck the camera at your husband, or your friend or a random passer by and say CHEESE!!
Also taking LOADS of pictures means you are sure to find at least 1 picture you like!!
I’m not trying to claim to be some body confidence expert. I’m definitely not trying to say I have no body issue hang up’s either. But, I thought I’d share a couple of things I do to boost my body confidence! Are there any you’d add to this list?
Going out together as a family is how you learn and bond together. It’s a great way to treat the kids, to have fun out as parents, and to show your children all the wonder that the world holds. From easy days out like a picnic in the park to an exciting trip to the aquarium, by getting out there and exploring your home with your kids, you can bond together and make beautiful memories that can last a lifetime:
Picnic in the Park
Once warm weather comes by, there can be nothing better than a habitual visit to the park on the weekends, which is perfect if you or your spouse are often busy at work during the week. It is budget-friendly and great to simply enjoy your time together. Start by working with your family to make the food to take with you, then pack up a blanket, some lawn games, and find the perfect spot in a nearby park. An afternoon together once a week can become a family tradition you and your kids will love.
Solve Puzzles in an Escape Room
If you want to have a fun adventure with your family, however, opt for something more unique. Escape rooms require you to work together as a family to solve clues in order to get out. They are a fun and different way to spend an evening together; not only are they entertaining, but they can also help your kid’s cognitive functions develop. So surprise your family with a session at the Syracuse Escape Room and have fun solving puzzles with your whole family.
Visit a Pet Farm
Pet farms are perfect for family excursions. You can show your kids animals, let them pet some domesticated favorites, and generally learn. Sustainable living starts first with education, so teaching your children to be respectful of the animals and the farmland that we use. A great day out and a lot to learn, there is no better way to spend the day with your family.4
Other similar days out include a trip to the zoo or a trip to the aquarium. You will want to opt for institutions that focus on conservation efforts. Rehabilitation is a worthy goal, and zoos can do a lot to help in these efforts, but not all places are equal. Take SeaWorld, for instance, which was the focus of Blackfish documentary in 2013. Teach your children about the animals in the animal kingdom, and you can help teach them how to respect the planet and grow up to be thoughtful, conscientious adults.
There are so many benefits to taking your kids to the museum. The more often you go, the more they will learn and appreciate the history that is available. Museums have a lot of different activities perfect for kids as well, so they can learn in an engaging and colorful way.
Going out for the day and learning something new or solving puzzles together is so incredibly valuable. Just as valuable, however, is simply spending quality time together out in the sun. Whatever you end up choosing, do it together as a family and make it into a new tradition.
Raising a Child in a Bilingual Household
If you and/or your spouse speak multiple languages, then one of the things you’ll need to decide is which ones you’ll use when speaking to your child. Many parents like the idea of raising bilingual children, but there are also those who believe it’s better to start with one language.
Here’s everything you need to know about raising children in a bilingual household, from whether it’s smart to the different ways you can do it.
Is It a Good Idea to Teach Children Multiple Languages?
This question can be answered with a resounding yes. There’s a misconception some parents have that children will become confused by hearing more than one language from an early age. In reality, children can distinguish one language from another very early on, especially when each language is much different.
The idea that children will become confused if they grow up hearing, say, English and Spanish, is a myth. The only other potential drawback people worry about is that their children could be behind when they get to preschool or kindergarten. This could happen, but it all depends on how much exposure the children get to each language. If you give them a good balance, they’ll be fine.
Now, let’s look at the benefits of learning more than one language as a kid. Being multilingual will be a huge advantage for your kid as they get older. They’ll have an easier time in school, and proficiency with another language could open up more job opportunities for them.
The idea that children can learn a language with ease is also a bit of a myth, but it’s certainly easier at a young age than it is later in life. And the best part is that by learning a second language while they’re young, children will be more likely to speak it naturally and like a native would, especially if one parent is a native speaker.
Methods to Raise Your Child Bilingually
Once you’ve decided that you’d like to raise your children bilingually, the next step is deciding how you will do it. There are several options here.
Each Parent Speaks One Language
This is a very popular approach for its simplicity. Children hear a different language from each parent and talk to that parent in the same language they use. With this method, each parent can use their native tongue (if those are different), which helps the children learn the language like natives would.
The potential issue is when kid interact with one parent much more than the other, in which case they’ll have far greater proficiency in one language.
One Language at Home, One Language Elsewhere
In this method, the family uses one language at home, and another language everywhere else. It’s sometimes used by immigrant families, and it’s nice because it allows everyone to speak with each other at home. Kids also get an excellent understanding of their parents’ native tongue this way.
There are two issues with this method. The first is that the kids will likely not be as proficient in their outside-the-home language, and that will put them at a disadvantage when they start school. If one of the parents only has a limited proficiency with the language spoken in the home, then they could make mistakes and cause their children to learn the language the wrong way.
Determining the Language Based on the Situation
This involves switching between each language. Children will use the language that fits who they’re speaking to and where they are. That could mean speaking one language with one set of relatives and the other with another set of relatives. Parents can also help their children learn how to do this by changing what language is spoken at home each day.
Learning this way is a bit more challenging for the children and requires more effort on the part of the parents. But it’s also a balanced approach that will help children communicate well no matter what they’re speaking.
Switching from Language to Language at Any Time
For parents who don’t want to be too rigid with how they speak, there’s this method. The family switches what they’re speaking whenever they want. Like the method above, this is a good way for children to learn how to communicate in either language, and it’s a very natural approach.
With this method, there is the possibility that children like one language more. That could lead to them using it more and not being as proficient with the other language.
As you can see, there are plenty of ways to raise children to be bilingual, and the right method varies for each family. Whichever method you choose, you’ll be making the right choice in teaching your children another language from the beginning.
So, I’ve been pretty absent from my blog for a little while now. This past week, I think its really dawned on me why.
This is the year of change. It’s time to starting thinking about what the next step will be for me.
I know it’s still a pretty long way off, but Freddie starts school in September. All of a sudden, I feel out of a job. Right from when Arthur was born I felt like being a Mum was my actual job. Obviously not a paid job….We’ve all seen the motivational messages about no payment, 24hours a day 7 days a week blah blah blah.
I think that largely came down to the fact that when we moved out here it was through Mark’s work. I didn’t feel like I was really had a role of my own. Then all of a sudden I had something super important to do, raising this teeny baby. No one ever made me feel that was the case, but it was just what was going on in my head!!
So fast forward four and a half years (yikes!) Arthur has now been in school for over a year and I know it will be a blink of an eye until Freddie is in there too.
I’ve always joked about how excited I am for the kids to be at school and I can spend my days as I please, as a lady of leisure.
But the truth is, I’m freaking out.
I now feel like it’s the time to do something for me, there’s no ‘excuse’ any more.
I would LOVE to be able to continue to expand with my writing.
But What Is The Next Step?
I’ve been blogging for almost 5 years now and I love it. Ive dabbled here in there in writing elsewhere. I contributed towards a book . I’ve written a bunch of articles for an amazing travel site called Culture Trip about all things Seychelles, and I’ve even written an article for British Airways about Romantic Travel in Seychelles
But honestly, I don’t know what it is I need to do to push it to that next step.
Obviously I’ll have more time in the day to dedicate to writing. So, I guess initially I need to spend more time on my blog and getting it out there. But, I’ve written before about not liking the ‘pressure’ of blogging and I still feel the same way. I’m not going to join things to get comments from people who are only writing so that I comment back on their posts, or anything like that!
Do I start approaching people asking if they’d want me to write for them? I’ve never been so great at anything like that!! Or is it better for things to just be little more organic like they have always been up to now? I feel like I’m so out of the world of work since we lived here that I just can’t focus or pin point any direction for myself!!
I didn’t really know what direction that blog post was going to go in when I started writing that! It kinda turned into a mini affirmation for myself. Sorry about that!!! I feel like I’m freaking out about the next step for myself more than I did when I left school and university, is that weird?
Of course, these two will still always be my job, and that’s the best even if they can be total monsters, wake up at crap o’clock in the morning and make mess like no one I’ve ever met!!
How to Juggle Expat Life, Family, and the Need for Sleep
Moving to a new country poses a whole bunch of challenges. This is even more true when you are moving with your family. The transition means uprooting almost every part of your lifestyle and routine. This can be stressful for everyone. While the adjustment requires time and effort, adapting to the new way of life will happen sooner than you think. Follow these tips to make this monumental move smoother for you and your loved ones.
Do Your Research Comprehensively
Avoid mistakes and mishaps through thorough preparation. Be prepared way before you step onto the plane! There’s all kinds of things to consider, from organising the best living conditions for your family to understanding the country’s culture. Experts for Expats suggests that making a moving-abroad checklist is more than just a helpful hack. It’s all about lists!
You should include the family too, find out what they want to get out of their new life abroad. This helps reduce the load for you, and makes everyone feel included! Win win!
Go Out and Explore
You can really only get used to a living in another country by getting out and exploring it. The Spruce advises that spending time in your new neighbourhood and outside of it is imperative. Familiarise yourself with the local spots, to discovering what clubs and classes you and your family might be interested in. This will help you learn the local language, as well as immersing yourself in the people and culture.
Seeking out the expat community can really help too. Look online for expat bloggers in the area, as well as expat groups. If your kids are school age, this will be a perfect way to strike up social connections – for the kids and for you!
Manage Your Family’s Stress and Sleeping Habits
Adjusting to the expat life can be overwhelming. Between being homesick and getting used to everyday life in a foreign land, it’s easy to bury yourself in all the distractions. However, you don’t want to find yourself working too hard and depriving yourself of sleep in the process. Leesa stresses that when you don’t get the appropriate hours of sleep, you tend to harbour a more unenthusiastic outlook towards life. Not only are your systems compromised, but you are also twice as likely to form negative memories more than positive ones. Needless to say, making sure that everyone in the family consistently gets the right amount of sleep is a top priority.
As the old saying goes ‘health is wealth’. Moving to a new country can really bring that into focus. You’re in an unfamiliar environment which can definitely make you feel more vulnerable. Gain back some control by knowing which healthcare facility would serve you best should an emergency arise. Expatica underscores that looking for your medical providers via the help of your embassy will prepare you for almost any situation. Apart from knowing your healthcare options, it’s also smart to have local emergency numbers in your directory. Being this forward thinking will definitely help lessen your healthcare worries!
So its been a while. Well, longer than a while actually.
Every time a long school holiday comes around I make these plans that I’m going to continue blogging through the holidays….. And of course every year I never do.
It’s not like I don’t have anything to blog about, quite the opposite in fact. Of course its during the holidays when most of our fun adventures happen so there is LOADS to write about.
But maybe thats the problem. Too much to write about, not enough time to do it justice.
Then comes the overwhelm.
And thats when I burry my head in the sand.
Usually, as soon as Arthur is back in school and Mark back at work I snap out of it. Jump straight back into blogging.
This time I didn’t. I’m not really sure why.
I love blogging.
Really I do.
I don’t like some of the crap that comes with it though.
To join blog link ups and spend hours reading and commenting on other blogs.
The pressure to then sit and write some deep and meaningful comment and worry if you don’t you may as well not comment at all because it’s then a *thoughtless comment*
Then there’s the pressure I put on myself. Sticking to a constant blogging routine, because if you want to be successful you MUST blog consistently and regularly.
So I make these big plans for myself, I make little blogging schedules and timetables. Then I never fill them. Ever.
I start to hate that I ‘have to get this blog post finished today’. If its a sponsored post, I don’t mind because I feel like that’s productive work. But, *having* to finish a post about a trip I made to the beach or about my kids or whatever, is on reflection ridiculous.
Don’t get me wrong, I know that these systems REALLY work for some people, and clearly they thrive off it and are, as promised often successful.
Pulling my head out of the sand
I’ve decided, I need to give myself a break. Remember, why I started blogging.
- To give my poor brain a bit of exercise after it turned to mush staying at home with kids.
- Enjoy the community that blogging can bring.
- To document and share our lives here in this beautiful country.
- To remember special moments in our kids lives
Everything else is a bonus. I have been lucky enough to write for some fantastic companies and I’d love to do more of that. In the meantime I’m going to focus on really enjoying writing again, and nurturing this rather neglected little blog of mine!! I’m officially pulling my head out of the sand, and here I am, blogging again! When I feel like it, and whatever I want to write about! Hopefully you enjoy it!!
Here’s a, frankly gratuitous, picture of me and the boys with the world’s largest tortoise! He lives on Bird Island where we vistited over the summer break, I do intend on blogging about that at some point….I’m just not going to set a date on it!!
Arthur and Freddie May 2017
It’s been all back to ‘normal’ with school starting back up again, after having an amazing Easter break together last month
I feel like only this week are we starting to settle back in to the routine of the school run! It has certainly been tiring (for me at least) getting back into routine but it feels good now that we are back in the swing of it.
So anyway, here is my update on the boys this month.
Arthur aged 3 years 10 months
It has certainly been an interesting month with Arthur. The first few days back at school he couldn’t wait to be there. He ran in happily and barely had time to say goodbye to me. Then, in the mornings he started saying he doesn’t want to go to school, he wanted to stay home. He wasn’t saying he felt poorly or that anything was wrong, I think he has been worried about missing out on something going on here.
We weren’t too worried though, because once we had left the door he was fine about it and once we get to school he still goes in very happily. He is always happy when I pick him up and I’m loving how much he tells me about what has been happening at school. We know he’s having lots of fun when he’s there.
I’ve been reflecting on how far Arthur has come since he started school, and it really is immeasurable. The progress he’s made, in his communication particularly, is so amazing. For him to be able to tell me about his day, is just the best!
He is definitely still being super bossy, with plenty of back chat and ‘this is rubbish’ ‘i don’t like that’ and so on!! I had hoped being back in school might have calmed that down a little, but….no! Never mind! He still in general, is a pleasure to be around.
Arthur really is an emotional little guy. Aside from being bossy he genuinely is such a loving boy. He wears his heart on his sleeve and can make you feel like the most important person in the world.
Freddie aged 22 months
My favourite new word that Freddie is saying this month is ‘happy’ every time it literally makes me want to burst with all of the gooeyness!! It really is that cute! He is really loving his words right now and new things are coming out all the time! I’m trying my best to watch my language!!
I am loving having some special one on one time with him again. It feels like we are closer than ever.
Freddie and I went to check out a nursery this month. I had considered the option of taking him once a week. I thought it would be nice for him to have some socialisation with other kids and, perhaps selfishly, I quite fancied a day to myself!! The place we went to really impressed me. Unfortunately though, they would only consider full time kids.
In a way, seeing the nursery has made me enjoy having Freddie at home even more. I felt guilty for wanting that time to myself when I know how soon Freddie will be starting school for real. Then i’ll be longing for days with the kids at home, I’m sure! It did make me reassess how I can make the most of my time with Freddie at home though, which can only be a good thing!
As ever, these two are close as can be. Freddie definitely wants his own space when he first wakes up, but otherwise they are the best of friends. Arthur does and Arthur just wants to make Freddie laugh, and Freddie wants to do everything his big brother is doing. Freddie really likes ‘this little piggy went to market’ and now Arthur has started doing it for him, its even more fun….I’ve totally been dismissed from the game!
I love that these two go into their own little world together, they make each other laugh more than any one else can. They go off, often into Freddie’s room, and play together for ages. The bond they have is everything I could ever have hoped it would be.
I’m all about sneaking in some extra goodness into my kids right now, they can be so fussy! If you have any other sneaky veg recipes I’d love to see them!!
I think thats all for now, i’ll be back again next month with another update!