• 5 WHYZ,  Parenting

    5 Reasons Why The Younger Sibling Gets The Better Deal

    Being the eldest child, I have long suspected that I got the rough deal. I was after all, the ‘first’ – the practice baby, the “we don’t know what the fuck we’re doing baby” , if you will. My younger sibling was always somehow freer. Free of being told to act her age, free from the responsibility of setting the example. Free to run wild from all that parental micro managing that happens with the first. I always had to wait for everything. I wasn’t allowed to have my ears pierced until I was 10 years old, I wasn’t allowed further than the shops or I always had to phone/text when…

  • Mental Matters,  Speak Up

    There Is No Age Limit On Self Harm

    The first time my mum saw the angry red welts on my arms she walked away from me, her head held down and tears in her eyes. I guess she didn’t understand the whys and to be honest, neither did I. I don’t remember the first time I drew a blunt pair of scissors (my favoured instrument of pain) across my arms or legs. I knew that to make sure I didn’t need medical attention I’d have to use something that wouldn’t necessarily cause the skin to open and bleed but the pain and the raised red welts it left was enough of a satisfying outcome for me. I didn’t…

  • Speak Up

    The Ways Body Positivity Has Changed My Life BEYOND Improving My Confidence

    If you’re not familiar with the #BoPo trend on social media right now, where have you been?! You can’t scroll through social media these days without stumbling across a Body Positive post, and I for one am not complaining. Because as much of a cliché as I know this, body positivity has changed my life…and in more ways than you might expect! Incase you’re unfamiliar with it, let me give you a little background. The Body Positivity movement officially began back in 1997 with its roots going back much earlier, but with the rise of social media and – in particular – Instagram, the movement has enjoyed more publicity than ever…

  • Mental Matters

    How Work Stress Affects Family Life & 5 Ways to Lower It

    Family arguments, early bedtimes, plans not going ahead, does this sound familiar? Well don’t worry because this is everyday family life for a lot of us. I would argue that 80% of these situations stem from stress at work. Ever heard of “The Chain of Screaming”? I believe that term came from an episode of “How I Met Your Mother” but the general idea has been around since the beginning of time. Usually around deadline time pressure in the “office” builds up. This is made worse by somebody calling in sick or somebody leaving (which always happens when you least bloody want it to, right?) so your boss gets stressed…

  • Life

    Dear Boobs

    We have been together for most of my life. You arrived early. I was about 10 when I first needed a bra and I must be honest, I neglected you a bit. Didn’t get measured, wore a few dodgy Ethel’s specials (Ethel Austin for those outside Merseyside) The fact that I was a fat kid didn’t help either. The extra weight contorted your shape, affecting your development. I’ll be honest, I was bloody delighted you showed up. As a spotty, obese, geeky teenager, my tits were the only things I had going for me. Next to my undeveloped friends, I was busty and curvy (read ‘fat with big boobs’) Not…

  • 5 WHYZ,  Life

    5 Reasons Why You Should Try Alternative Parenting Methods

    Parenting is an ongoing learning lesson that no one is an expert or professional at. It’s a learn-as-you-go experience that lasts a super long time. While you can always ask for advice from family, seek PhD help from a doctor who wrote a book on it, or just “wing-it” and hope you’re doing the right thing, parenting is probably the one thing you will always have questions about. It’s the one thing in life I question myself on from time-to-time because I’m constantly learning. While many people have their own parenting doctrine, here’s five reasons why you should try alternative methods to parenting. You open yourself up to ideas. Trying…

  • 5 WHYZ,  Parenting

    5 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Do Exclusive Baby Led Weaning

    Before I start my five points, I feel compelled to firstly state that when it comes to baby weaning it should be each to their own.  When it comes to YOUR baby it is YOUR choice, simple.  Hopefully your choice will be an informed one, or a general mix of trial and error.  I feel in no way qualified to give advice, so please don’t take this post as a ‘do ‘ or ‘don’t’ it is simply taken from my own experience, and something I wish I could go back and tell myself at the beginning of this journey. Here are my 5 reasons why you shouldn’t do exclusive BLW:…

  • 5 WHYZ,  Banter

    5 Reasons Why Kids Get On Your Nerves

    1. Drink Spillages In Public Anyone with children has been there right?  You are out in a restaurant or pub or cafe and your child has a glass of juice.  Whilst there is liquid in that glass you are on tenterhooks, a sort of endurance test for waiting for the glass to be knocked over or spilled. Don’t even get me started on straws or ice “just drink normally out of the straw!!” is a regular phrase I use.  I mean why do that when you can suck out of the bottom of the straw instead, or in the case of a milkshake or smoothie use the straw like some…

  • Mental Matters,  Parenting

    I’m The Parent I Wish I’d Had

    When I tell people I cut my mother out of my life they look at me like I’ve gone mad, they imagine some terrible crime has been committed or that she must be on the drink, or drugs, or both and that I must be protecting my children in some way. It’s been five years since I last saw her bar the odd glance in the supermarket and it might shock you if I tell you, she’s not an addict, she’s a millionaire, she’s educated and has never so much as smoked a cigarette let alone tried drugs. She owns several beautiful houses and in her youth dreamed of being…

  • Speak Up

    #VentYourRent

    I stumbled across the VentYourRent hashtag on Twitter last week. It was started by Generation Rent in an effort to raise awareness of the appalling state of private renting in the UK and reading through the tweets from disgruntled tenants is eye-opening to say the least. They include countless photographs of mould-covered walls, stories of landlords completely disregarding the law and all manner of other horror stories. Reading through them got me thinking about my own experiences as a private renter. I’ve been renting since I first moved out of my family home 15 years ago. The first flat I moved in to was quite honestly a renters dream – reasonably…