School Run Positivity

Has anyone ever tried positive thinking in coping with the school run? I’m giving it a go today and the rest of the week as it’s the first week back at school.

I love the school run. I love the school run. I love the school run. I love the school run. I love he school run. I love the school run. I love the school run. I love the school run. I love the school run. I love the school run. I love he school run. I love the school run. I love the school run. I love the school run. I love the school run. I love the school run. I love he school run. I love the school run. I love the school run. I love the school run. I love the school run. I love the school run. I love he school run. I love the school run. I love the school run. I love the school run. I love the school run. I love the school run. I love he school run. I love the school run. I love the school run. I love the school run. I love the school run. I love the school run. I love he school run. I love the school run. I love the school run. I love the school run. I love the school run. I love the school run. I love he school run. I love the school run. I love the school run. I love the school run. I love the school run. I love the school run. I love he school run. I love the school run. I love the school run. I love the school run. I love the school run. I love the school run. I love he school run. I love the school run. I love the school run. I love the school run. I love the school run. I love the school run. I love he school run. I love the school run.

Let’s see if it works or if I return to my soliloquy in B flat on my hatred of the school run.

*breathe in sharply* I love the school run. I love the school run. I love the school run. I love the school run. I love he school run. I love the school run. I love the school run. I love the school run. I love the school run. I love the school run. I love he school run. I love the school run. I love the school run. I love the school run. I love the school run. I love the school run. I love he school run. I love the school run. I love the ………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

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Overcoming School Run Trauma

Have I mentioned previously that I hate, with a capital H, the school run? Well I do! I really HATE the pressure it puts on me to get to the school gate at a certain time. The pressure to get to school on time so I’m not late for work. I hate that it turns me into the Wicked Witch of the West as I try to get my children to be compliant first thing in the morning.

As the new school year is upon us, I thought it would be good for me to revisit some of tips that have helped me alleviate the school run trauma.

  1. Iron and lay Out everything the night before – laptop, snacks, clothes, shoes and even underwear. The number of times that I have regretted leaving it till the morning is unforgivable. It’s a favour to myself and my kids to ensure we are prepared the night before.
  2. Wake up and have my shower before my children. If I am ready before them, I feel better prepared to handle their impending slowness in the morning.
  3. Eat breakfast. It puts my brain in gear and gives me fuel for the day.
  4. As they are old enough, let them make their own breakfast. If yours don’t know how to, teach them to make something simple!
  5. Give the children breakfast that can be eaten in the car or on the bus. πŸ™‚ Anything that can be easily packed and taken along with us if we happen to be running late.
  6. As soon as they are home from school, give them a light snack and then do homework first before anything else.
  7. On evenings that they have after school activities, make sure dinner is prepped beforehand and simple.
  8. Don’t forget to check their school bags for notes and homework.
  9. Eat dinner early.
  10. Get them to bed early (not a guarantee that they’ll sleep) and remember to wake them up at the same time everyday so their body clock gets used to the routine.
  11. If you have young kids that share a room, remember to split them up at bedtime otherwise they’ll stay up talking till 11pm.
  12. Go to bed early. No late nights. Makes me cranky in the morning.

      A Simplified Christmas

      I wrote this post this last year and it has served as a useful reminder. If last year was simplified, this year will be simplified to the max! Enjoy!

      ———————————————————————————————————————

      It’s been a long and busy year. And I am really looking forward to two weeks off work and just simply relaxing. Today is my last day at work this year and I’m pumped – as my son would say. πŸ™‚

      So this year, as I’m determined to have a simple Christmas, we did all Christmas presents shopping online, in fact at the same store. Anything that required veering into other stores has been relegated to a nice-to-have list for 2015. Plus we’ve had a chat about being grateful for whatever you get. So I’m optimistic about no I-didn’t-get-the-present-I-wanted drama. πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ I crack myself up. I’ll let you know if that worked out. (update, it did!)

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      Still hidden away to avoid hypertension in young children

      The other thing that always goes off kilterΒ at Christmas is my food shopping habit. I’ve found that I shop like there’s been a hurricane warning and my family is going into a bunker for two weeks; rather than for one day which is essentially how long the shops will be closed for. So this year I was determined not to do that and I’ve succeeded. I did my food shopping online too so I wouldn’t be distracted by great offers in the stores. I have a few items left but I’ve made a list and I’m sticking to it when I hit the grocery shop shortly.

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      The cookbooks begat the shopping list

      I like – scratch that – I love cooking and Christmas is usually the time that I experiment with new recipes, but that’s another stressful thing and this year I’m not doing stress at Christmas. So I’ve stuck to what we all like and is tried and tested. For the first time ever, I won’t be peeling potatoes. I’m a food snob like that I know but in the name of a stress-free Christmas we are getting frozen potatoes πŸ™ˆπŸ™ˆπŸ™ˆ – a suggestion made by my husband which no doubt takes him off potatoes peeling duty. However, I got his point. If you want a stress-free meal then take the stress away. I’m still processing that one though. I might just nip out and get potatoes in the morning and so I can make my gorgeous hassleback potatoes.

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      Hassleback potatoes. The best way to do them!

      My family and I also made a pact not to get presents for one another until the New Year which is just perfect and I can avoid the Christmas madness out there. I have a super organised friend whose Christmas shopping is usually done by October. Alas, I have not been blessed with such genes so I’m very happy with this unanimous decision.

      Another thing that adds to my stress is baking a Christmas cake for church. Well I’ve scrapped that this year. And will do something in the New Year when I’m chilled. Although it’s sounding like my New Year is getting pretty full already. Eek!

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      Merry Christmas

      Lastly, I cancelled my hair appointment just because the last thing I feel like doing right now is spending a couple of hours in a hair salon under a dryer when I could be home with my feet up. Well-being before beauty for me. My hair will just have to do as it is for one day.

      So here’s to a truly simplified Christmas day and holiday. 🍸

      Teachers Rock!

      I am almost always overwhelmed whenever my kids have a play or presentation at school. 

      I admire teachers particularly those who go the extra mile in engaging kids. My son’s class had a presentation on the rainforest today. By the time they were done I wanted to stop using paper, eating red meat and recycling every single recyclable product. I was like sign me up.

      It’s one thing to teach but it’s another thing entirely to pass on knowledge that inspires children to speak passionately. 

      To every teacher out there working their butt off, thank you!

        

      Over and Over and Over and Over and Over and Over ……….

      If you have ever spent time with children or looked after them or have them, then you would have experienced the infuriating thing they do – watching a movie over and over and over AND over again.

      I could never understand it but now, as a wiser mother to a six year old and an eight year old, I know they were preparing me for a life time of living in a repetitive state.

      Little did I know that this quirk was a forewarning of the way things were going to be as they grew up. 

      • You have to tell them to pick up their clothes like two hundred times and repeat it all again, yep all two hundred times, the next day.
      • You have to tell them to clear the table after eating.
      • You have to tell them not to play when they should be eating.
      • You have to tell them not to talk whilst eating.
      • You have to tell my son not play football in the house, particularly in the room with French doors overlooking the garden WHERE he should be playing.
      • You have to tell my daughter not to touch things, especially fragile things in John Lewis.
      • You have to tell them over and over again to say ‘excuse me’ and not interrupt people in conversation.
      • You have to tell them, even after they’ve spent  two hours tidying up their room, to pick up their toys again.
      • You just have to tell them over and over and over and OVER again.

      I can only hope and pray that when they older some of what I’ve said will stick. In the meantime, may God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change. Sigh.
      -RWW

      Β© Redefining Wonder Woman

      Teaching Children About Politics

      I have to hand it to the teachers of the Juniors at my children’s school. Ever since they got back from half-term, they have been discussing, teaching and enacting everything to do with politics and the elections. I’ve been amazed at how engaged my eight year old son has been.

      He’s been asking non-stop questions about David Cameron, Ed Miliband, Nick Clegg and Nigel Farage. He was interested in what the differences were in each party? How the country is governed, what the leaflets are promoting, why epople have signs outside their homes,etc. It was avalanche after avalanche of daily questions. It would have been ooooo so easy to tell him the what party he ought to support but that would have been taking advantage of his curiosity wouldn’t it? πŸ™‚

      His six year old sister is in Infant school and they have been left out of the school’s agenda which I think is a shame because she has picked up so much from her brother proving that you are never too young to learn. The sooner children learn about civic duty, the better engaged they’ll be. And we won’t have a generation of eighteen year olds who don’t bother voting.

      I took them to the polling station and explained the difference between local and parliamentary elections. They watched me make my choice and then I gave them each a ballot sheet to place in the ballot box.

      Image result for polling station

      Image result for ballot paper uk

      So much excitement over an election and feeling like they voted, although they were too young to vote. I hope the memory leaves an indelible mark and they never takeΒ the gift of democracy for granted.

      -RWW

      Easter Joke

      I’ve been teaching my kids basic kitchen skills like chopping safely with a knife, whisking, how to use the blender, etc.

      I had a couple of cakes to bake this weekend so we were perfecting egg cracking. I worked out how to explain it to my daughter and by the end of the day she was cracking eggs perfectly. No more shells in the batter or egg in the table.

      As I’m mixing the batter she walks up to me and says “mummy, guess what?” I say, “what?” She responds, “I am now an eggs-pert at cracking eggs”. And with a twinkle in her eyes she leans forward and says, “geddit?”

      My sisters will no doubt say she has inherited my rubbish sense of humour.
      πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

      Mummy, Do You Know ………?

      My son just walked up to me to ask where his swimming goggles are. I’m not quite sure if there is a job description for mummy about somewhere that states that she has super-natural powers.

      I mean, how else would I know where he put the swimming goggles that HE took out of his bag himself last week and PLACED heaven-knows-where? I must have super-natural powers. No wait! In fact, I AM Wonder Woman, so I will use my x-ray vision to find them. Why didn’t I think of that?

      Guilty Working Mum

      My daughter is usually in a hurry to get to school and eager to be first in line before they go into their classroom.Β However, for the last couple ofΒ weeks she has insisted that instead of saying goodbye in the courtyards, I walk her to her class and give her a hug and kiss. And then she says that she’d like me to stay with her and that she’ll miss me. Very odd behaviour, particularly if you know my daughter.

      I’m working on tenderness in my parenting (eye rolling but essential) so I sit with her; ask her why she wants me to stay and then tears ensue. So I have to stay a little longer and hug and kiss and wipe tears away whilst she sits on my lap. In the back of my mind, I’m thinking I need to get to work. I eventually calm her down and then tell her we’ll so something special when we get home.

      The head teacher had observed it all and stops me to ask if everything was OK and promised to monitor her as she also found it to be odd behaviour for my daughter. That got me teary because I was grateful she was in a caring school and I can’t take that for granted. But I was also a mixed bag of emotions for a myriad of reasons.

      I think every working mum feels guilty. I was wondering if I wasn’t spending enough time with her. Had I wrapped myself up so much in work that I was neglecting her? You know – those sort of fleeting thoughts.

      Silly thoughts really because even if I wasn’t working, I wouldn’t be able to stay with her at school right? Go figure! Anyway, I made a decision to do something with her on her own this weekend. Just to bond.

      As I drove to pick her up from school after work, I had visions of her running up to me and giving me one of her infamous bear hugs. I must admit that I was excited about receiving her hug especially after seeing her so distressed this morning. So imagine my surprise, no scratch that – horror, Β as I walked towards the courtyard and she starts to back away – wailing that she didn’t want to go home, she wanted to stay at school.

      Note to self- you are doing a BRILLIANT job as a mother and your children are fickle so don’t trust them! Simples!

      Note To Self​: Don’t Try To Be Down With The Kids

      On our way to school this morning, I told my son that his beloved Tottenham Hotspurs had been beaten by Manchester United. He asked what the score was, I told him 3-0. I was surprised, he was still smiling. It turns out that he had been joking with a teacher last week and boasting about how Tottenham always win and I guess he was imagining the taunting he was going to get from his teacher.

      There was I, feeling cool that we were actually having a footie conversation until I uttered the immortal words, “now Tottenham are out of the League”. He looked at me like I was eating poo. And said, “of course they are NOT out of the League. How could they be out of the League?” What I of course meant to say was that the Champions League cup was out of their reach now. Po-tay-to, po-tah-to!

      Note to self: you don’t understand football, you never will understand it. Just continue to nod and smile when son talks to you about it.