• Editors Picks,  Speak Up

    Brexit: A Lesson In Being Ill-Informed?

    In the wake of yesterdays no confidence vote result, I have started to wonder if we, as a nation are rather ill informed and much more indoctrinated by certain media outlets than we realise. I see nonsensical stuff banded about on Facebook with venom and purpose but little true understanding of the facts. It seems almost everyone is happy to share a meme, if it looks good on the surface but is anyone actually examining the evidence to support them? How did we ever let ourselves get into a situation where the DUP called the shots yesterday? None of us voted for their input, they weren’t on any of our…

  • Editors Picks,  Life

    5 Reasons Why 2019 is the Year We Start Fostering

    For years we’ve been thinking about fostering but for a long time my wife and I felt that our circumstances just weren’t right. We had a baby, I went to Uni, we had a second baby, I stayed on at Uni, my wife started Uni. Mostly the money side of things has been a scary prospect as not having a ‘job’ – in the traditional sense of going to a place of work – has always felt so daunting. Finally, though, we have decided to take the plunge and just go for it. We’ve done our research, we know a lot about what we’re getting ourselves into and we’ve organised…

  • Editors Picks,  Feminism

    The Concept And Confusion Of Women As Sexual Beings

    Sadly, blaming the victim is becoming a familiar trend in rape trials. Following an explicit incident in a trial in Ireland, resistance towards this injustice was expressed through a frenzy of protests with the hashtag #ThisIsNotConsent going viral. During the trial, the perpetrator’s defence lawyer, Elizabeth O’Connell, held the victim’s underwear high, to all in the courtroom: “Does the evidence out-rule the possibility that she was attracted to the defendant and was open to meeting someone and being with someone? You have to look at the way she was dressed. She was wearing a thong with a lace front.” These words not only violate the privacy of the victim, but…

  • Life,  Parenting

    Shut It, Chaka

    For as long as I can remember, I have been a ‘burn the candle at both ends’ kind of gal. Work hard, party harder in my teens and 20s. Work hard, mother hard in my 30s. For most of my adult life, I have had more than one job at any one time. I have run and contributed to online publications. I have done additional qualifications whilst working. To date, my qualifications include numerous GCSEs and A Levels, a BA (HONS) in journalism, a management NVQ, a qualification in residential lettings, an OU diploma in creative writing. In January, I start a BA & Higher Apprenticeship in Business Leadership and…

  • Life

    Tidy House, Tidy Mind

    Christmas and New Year can be such a fun and magical time of the year: twinkling lights everywhere, new outfits, tasty food and lots of booze. What more could you ask for? Well, if you’re like me and kinda over the whole festive celebrations (I mean it’s warm enough to be March out there) then you’re probably feeling run down. The whole month of December had me so stressed out and that’s with me knowing that it wouldn’t be a perfect Christmas! There’s so much to do in December. Is it any wonder everybody feels a little tired come January 1st? You’ve got to try and budget for gifts as…

  • Parenting

    Wouldn’t It Be Great If We All Stopped Judging Each Other?

    A few weeks ago at church I found my sister in law crying in the toilets. She was feeling alone, judged and overwhelmed. In our church community she is a working mum surrounded by past and present stay at home mums. As I was talking to her, reassuring her that she was not the crappy mum she felt she was at that time, I realised just how needlessly lonely parenting can be. The feelings she described to me – I also feel in my own parenting but for entirely different reasons. Being a parent of multiple children with additional needs leaves me feeling tired, judged, overwhelmed and ultimately alone. Then…

  • Life

    9 Reasons Why Retail Workers Hate You

    Are you heading off to the Boxing Day and January sales this week? If so here’s just a little reminder on how not to piss off our nations retail workers… 1. Late night shoppers The time is approaching 9:50pm, we’re staring at those last ten minutes as they drag painfully past, dreaming of escaping this mundane hell. Feet aching, heads bouncing, we are hastily ushering out those last, idle shoppers, getting ready to close up shop and BAM, in strolls the casual idiot who deems it acceptable to roll in five minutes before closing time. HELLOOO?? Ambling around the aisles, BROWSING the bargains. Evidently deciding that TONIGHT would be the most appropriate time…

  • 5 WHYZ,  Parenting

    5 Ways to Make Potty Training Easier on Yourself

    I’ve just potty trained my third child, a boy, and I was honestly expecting it to be a nightmare. He showed no interest in using the toilet or wearing pants and would absolutely freak out when it was mentioned. On a whim at the start of September I decided to just go for it and was pleasantly surprised. Here are a few tips that worked for me and might make it a bit easier for you. 1 – Preparation Before you even think about starting training make sure you have everything you need. Potty, pants, puppy pads, waterproof bed sheets. Let your wee one help to pick their potty and…

  • Life,  Mental Matters

    Quote Of The Month: “If you don’t ask, you don’t get.”

    If I had a pound for every time I heard this saying growing up – I’d actually have enough money to never want again. I can’t even reference this quote since it’s probably been around since the beginning of time! Although, the world wide web has narrowed it down to two suspects: Mahatma Ghandi and Stevie Wonder. I think I know who I’d put my money on! Anyway, why did I pick this quote? Because it’s relevant as fuck. Between 2016 and 2017 I suffered from a number of mental illnesses. It took me to a seriously dark place that I never hope to return to and every day I’m…

  • Editors Picks,  Life,  Mental Matters

    Far From The Tree?

    My name is Jemma. I am 35 and I am crazy. Not in like a “Wurrr! Mad for it! Drink 10 pints on a night out and streak down the high street” kind of crazy (although maybe in 2002 that would have been the case). I mean like neurosis, paranoia, depression, over thinking, anxiety kind of crazy. I have no memory of being anything other than bonkers, feeling different, out of place, even as a very small child. I have questioned who I am, why I am, my sexuality, my intelligence and, more often than not, my own sanity. I have made two attempts on my own life. Neither of…

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