5 July 2016


Lets be honest British people still have this warped idea that Britain gets a hot, spain like summer. It makes me laugh, i've been on this planet 23 years and have never had a summer like Spain. We all need to face facts and realise that in all honesty this is summer, warmer days, hot days and bucket loads of rain. With that being said that makes being a parent a little trickier. We cannot all afford 1-2 weeks on a beach holiday abroad, we cannot all afford a holiday down to Butlins. Finding things to occupy our little ones is really tricky, especially for you mamas and papas who have school aged children.
Keeping Lucas occupied from 6:30am - 6:30pm is sometimes a tricky task. Lucas no longer naps and that means I no longer get any free time in the day and some days I really need 5 minutes peace. Lets be realistic and not every mummy can play on their knees for those 12 hours. Especially if you throw in parenting in summer when pregnant! SPD, heat and just exhaustion, its hard enough not pregnant let alone when you are. 
I took for granted how exhausting i'd find pregnancy whilst parenting a toddler.

When it comes to occupying Lucas over the summer and well all year round it requires a lot of hands on parenting and tasks, setting tasks throughout the days. Breaking the day up a little, so you're not constantly sat playing with play dough, repeating "DON'T PUT THAT IN YOUR MOUTH," for the thousandth time, or being hit over the head by a dinosaur, not deliberately, I think, but as your son wants to pretend they're eating your brains. Parenting is the most fun i've ever had and some of the saddest times i've ever had. Parenting isn't easy, remember that, no one does it right, not one is perfect, we're all just attempting to be good enough for our kids and adapting to them.

When finding things to occupy Lucas, I do the usual things, playing in the Garden, play dough, crafts, walks, parks, playing cars, drinking fake cups of tea, playing cafe, you know the usual things you do, but I do have some confessions and favourite things to do! 
This can become tiresome and some days I really don't wanna get out of bed, my hips will hurt, i'll feel sick, heartburn will make me feel rough and well i'm just darn exhausted from getting up 4-5 times a night to wee, and tossing and turning as I get heavier and it feels like someone is kicking me really hard in the lady area.


1. SWIMMING - I use swimming as a free way to occupy. Being pregnant it's free for me, and Lucas is free too, so I use it as a way, to wear him out and to give me an hour of peace. He loves the bath and can spend hours in the bath and he loves splashing around, so I knew swimming would be the same. I just put on his armbands on and take him to the tots session, where they put in bath toys and then he swims on his own. It's amazing for him, helps us bond and helps me stay fit too. 

2. MAKING HIS OWN LUNCH - This is another win win situation. Lucas loves making his own sandwiches and I feel like i've accomplished something with him. I have to make him lunch, it's something that I can't ignore, they let you know quite quickly if they need feeding, but I like to make it fun too. He loves sprinkling his own cheese and usually he takes huge mouthfuls before hand, so you have to grate extra cheese. 

3. TV TIME - This is the hour a day I get to sit and reply to emails, blog and sometimes vlog. He has an hour in the afternoon and an hour in the morning, around 6:30am where he sits on the laptop and watches Peppa pig on the laptop, he sits next to me and doesn't move and cuddles me. It means I can drift in and out of sleep slightly, and not feel so much like a zombie. We don't have kids tv on any other times in the day, we usually have music on and this has helped Lucas massively. He sings along to songs and has a really good remembering of rhythms.

4. SPONTANIOUS DANGER NAPS - Okay, most days Lucas doesn't nap, he's awful some nights after naps, takes ages to go to sleep, but some days, especially those days when i'm feeling really pregnant and exhausted or my hips hurt and I just need to relax, we'll have some danger naps and then run around the garden in the afternoon to burn of the energy he's just gained from napping!

5. BAKING - My favourite thing to do is bake, it's the biggest win win situation, Lucas has fun, he learns but we get to eat really yummy treats afterwards! In these photos we made brownies and my child is strange and loved the brownie mix but didn't like the finished product... more for us though. Lucas loves baking and gets stuck in and has so much fun with it.

The brownie recipe we used is a really easy and just one we took off the internet. Link is here 

Where I work 2 days a week and Brad works 4, some weeks we have one day together and it's rubbish. Lucas spends most days with one parent or the other, so I can't wait until i'm on maternity leave and can have 3 family days a week instead of 1.
Parenting is hard work and some days we need to do a couple of naughty things in order to fill up our summer holidays and summer days, in order to feel sane and also occupy our kids.

Summer is the hardest time I feel to occupy your kids as you feel obliged to go out and do things, you see other families taking their children abroad and to fun places. Being pregnant this year means we cannot afford or risk taking a trip abroad. I get this sense of guilt though as I see all these parents taking their kids on holiday and even some trips in the UK, but where we don't drive it makes a UK holiday quite tricky too with getting there and back.

We are lucky too as we have a garden, is currently a jungle again, due to the great british summer, but it will be sorted out again this week, but it is lucky as we can let Lucas out and the rabbit and I can see them as I do the washing up, others don't have that luxury and it makes getting out in the sun with them really difficult. I couldn't imagine being back in a flat again, although we were lucky in the sense of a big balcony.

You can check out a week in our lives vlog below where you can see what it's like being a parent when pregnant and how I occupy Lucas. 
Let me know in the comments your confessions of parenting in the summer.


*This post is an entry for BritMums Confessions of a Summer Parent Challenge, sponsored by Anchor*

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