September 2013 archive

Yeo Valley

Yoghurt: Yogurt or yoghurt or yoghourt (/ˈjoʊɡərt/ or /ˈjɒɡərt/; other spellings listed below) is a fermented milk product (soy milk, nut milks such as almond milk, and coconut milk can also be used) produced by bacterial fermentation of milk. The bacteria used to make yogurt are known as “yogurt cultures”.

Support British farmers; buy British; we’re all part of a family and very hands on; we do the right thing…these are some of the phrases that will forever stay with me when I think about Yeo Valley Farm or eat some of their fabulous yoghurt.

A few weeks ago I was lucky enough to visit Yeo Valley HQ and go on the most wonderful farm tour. As soon as we walked into the building we were welcomed; as we walked down the ‘reasons to be cheerful’ corridor on our way to a cup of tea and some of the most delicious cakes I’ve eaten we were made to feel at home, and by the end of the day we felt like we had experienced a taste of what it feels like to be part of the wonderful, passionate family that makes up Yeo Valley.

I must admit that as I set off in the morning I didn’t know what to expect. I packed my welly boots thinking I’d be wading through mud and admiring cows from afar! The boots were not needed, but the cows were admired…both from afar and close up, including the most adorable Hereford cross bull calf born only the night before.

The tour started with a walk around some of the fields surrounding the farm, learning from the brilliant Les all about the geographical history of the landscape and how over time man has shaped the landscape whilst working in harmony with it.

We learnt about what it truly means to be organic and that Yeo Valley is an organisation that stretches across the South West, surrounding the M4 and M5 and employing around 1600 people. The views across the landscape from the fields were breathtaking and it was whilst we were all admiring them that we learnt something that none of us knew before…Yeo Valley yoghurt is the ONLY British owned and produced yoghurt on the market! It amazed us all that so much yoghurt is imported…we couldn’t fathom out why! We need to support British farmers more!

Lunch was eaten in one of the converted old redundant farm buildings. I ate far too much cheese (thank you for your portion Jenny Paulin!) and ended the meal with my favourite flavour of lemon curd yoghurt. Next were the gorgeous cows (never thought I’d say that about cows!) and we learnt about the different types of cows there are on the farm. That some are pregnant now, others dry for a short period of time and how the bulls fall into two categories…top studs who father the next generations and others sold on for beef. Everyone involved was very passionate when speaking about their work on the farm and you couldn’t help but become a bit passionate about it too!

Finally we were to end the tour with a trip on The Bedford which was so calming it nearly sent a few of us to sleep,in-spite of it being a bit of a bumpy ride!

Fields of red clover, fields of cows and one very lucky bull, fields of Miscanthus (an interesting fuel crop) and more gorgeous views passed us by before we returned to HQ for more tea and yummy cake.

I can honestly say that I was wowed by Yeo Valley, that I never expected to be so absorbed by everyone’s enthusiasm and love for what they do. At Yeo Valley they work hard to do the right thing and provide their customers with British, organic, delicious yoghurt. (of which I bought lots and lots in the staff shop!!) I had a truly wonderful day there and hope I’m invited back very soon. (hint hint!)

Thank you Yeo Valley!

These opinions are genuinely my own. I also received the fabulous Yeo Valley cookbook at the end of the day which I would highly recommend.

Apple, Stilton and Caramelised Walnut Pie

Pie: A pie is a baked dish which is usually made of a pastry dough casing that covers or completely contains a filling of various sweet or savoury ingredients.

Where has this week gone? Time once again to link up to the fab #greatbloggersbakeoff. At times this week has seemed like the longest week ever what with a poorly 15 month old and then me catching it too. The four year old had only been going to school from 1pm until 3pm daily as part of his ridiculously long settling in period and this hasn’t been easy not least because by the time I got home and put little one down for his much needed nap I was waking him up to go back to school all over again. We didn’t want to venture out too far in the mornings (nearly didn’t make it back in time on Tuesday) and so spent quite a lot of time feeling sorry for ourselves at home. Pie making was not top of my list of activities whilst my stomach was churning, but by Friday I was feeling better, had a brand new oven, and was ready to bake!

So without further ado (or unnecessary waffling on about my week) here is my recipe! It went down quite well at home and has sparked a debate as to whether it is a savoury or sweet pie. I wanted to drizzle balsamic vinegar over a rocket salad to accompany it and my husband wanted to slather it in cream. You can make your own mind up!

Apple, Stilton and Caramelised Walnut Pie


I started by making a basic shortcrust pastry…


250g plain flour
Pinch of salt
110g unsalted butter
2-3 tbsp cold water


Put the flour and salt in a large bowl, add the butter and rub together with your fingertips until the mixture looks like fine breadcrumbs. (I love doing this, reminds me of baking with my mum when I was a child!) Next add the water a bit at a time until the dough binds together. Wrap in cling film and chill in the fridge for 10-15mins.

Whilst the pastry was relaxing in my fridge I made the filling…


6 apples (dessert if possible, mine were from the tree in my garden and they are a bit tart!)
150g walnuts
100g golden caster sugar
A good big wedge of Stilton (sorry I didn’t weigh it I just crumbled it all in!)


Peel the apples and cut into large chunks. Place in a saucepan with 2tbsp of water and cook on a low heat for 5-10 minutes. (they need to retain their shape) Put the sugar in a saucepan with 100ml of cold water. Bring to the boil and let it boil vigorously for 10 minutes. Then remove from the heat, add the walnuts and stir. I will warn you at this point that you may worry you’ve ruined a perfectly good saucepan as it will harden and appear impossible to remove. So…I solved this ptential nightmare by using a wooden spoon (not in frustrated anger!) and bashed them a bit until they were all nice crushed up, then they came out of the saucepan with no problem! Roll out half of the pastry into a circle and place in a greased pie dish. Put the apples on top so they cover the whole of the bottom. Next sprinkle the crushed caramelised walnuts over the apples and finally crumble the Stilton over everything. (I’m tempted, if I make this again, to add another layer of apples, but didn’t this time) Roll out the remaining pastry and place over the pie cutting a hole in the top to let the steam out as it cooks. Sprinkle with water and caster sugar and then place in an oven at 180 degrees for 35 minutes or until the top is nice and brown! (took a while for mine, but that could’ve been because it was a new oven and I’m not yet confident with timings!)

And there you have it, not too tricky to make at all…and as you can see from the photos I went for the rustic look! I did toy with the idea of cutting out apple shaped pastry pieces to put on the top to make it look pretty, but didn’t have time this week.

Thank you, as always for reading and if you’d like to join in the link or read lots more yummy recipes then click on the badge below!

mummy mishaps

The Coin Part 6

For those of you new to my blog, this is one of a series of posts. I started joining in with #SummerOfWords (a linky started by Helen Braid) and writing my novel one bit at a time a couple of months ago; and whilst I enjoy writing these posts, I do find them incredibly difficult. Publishing them makes me more nervous than any other type of post I publish! If you’ve been following and need a re-cap you can read part 5 here. (and if you’re new to my story then you can start at the very beginning here.)


“Hi, are you Megan?” Glancing nervously up from under her recently cut fringe, she took a proper look at Elliot. He was tall, very tall and as he’d asked her who she was she could swear his eyes had twinkled. Bright blue piercing eyes, in the middle of a few laughter lines under suspiciously neat eyebrows.

“Um, hello, yes…Elliot?” She answered, tucking a stray strand of hair behind her ear. Her heart was racing. ‘This is ridiculous,’ Megan thought, ‘ I’ve been in more nerve racking situations than this what on earth is wrong with me?’

“Phew thought I’d approached the wrong person for a minute! Hi, nice to meet you, you look lovely,” Elliot blurted out, knowing that this was a cheesy line and sounded as if he was just saying it because he knew he should. He’d been trained by Sarah to always compliment a woman when she had made an effort, the consequences if he’d forgotten had been catastrophic. Shaking himself out of that thought he looked at Megan. He hadn’t been lying, she did look absolutely lovely. She was simply wearing jeans and a top, but it looked well thought out and he began to relax. ‘Ok, not bad, worst part over,’ he thought. “Would you like a drink?”

“Um, yes please. I’ll have a erm a white wine please.” Megan attempted to smile as she said this, but still feeling nervous and awkward she thought it must’ve looked forced. Wine was a good choice, she must not get too drunk and make a fool of herself. No gin or vodka allowed, they did not mix well with her brain at all, the last time she’d drunk those particular spirits had been very messy indeed.

They found a comfortable sofa and table to sit down at the back of the bar and from a distance looked like a normal couple. No evidence of the nervousness or the fact that it was the first time they’d ever met. If you’d been in the bar that night you’d have smiled at the happy couple in the corner, deep in conversation about travel, family and work, laughing at each other’s jokes. You’d have seen her blush occasionally when he gave her a compliment and you’d have watched him stare at her and smile when she walked to the bathroom. And if you looked closely you’d have seen her relax over the evening, shoulders loosened and brow less furrowed. If you’d been in the bar that very night, you’d have witnessed the start of something initially so very wonderful.


Judgement: Judgement (or judgment) is the evaluation of evidence to make a decision.

I’ve been meaning to write this blog post for a couple of weeks now, but it hasn’t been proving easy. I mean, how do you write about people judging other people whilst taking a good long hard look at yourself and realising that maybe you do it too. I umm-ed and ahh-ed about publishing this post for fear of people judging me for judging, actively, all the time and then I decided to do it anyway. Honest as always and besides, it provokes a good healthy discussion!

Those of you that follow me on twitter would recently have seen my outrage at a young teen girl loudly judging my twelve year old daughter in public. For those of you that don’t follow me, I shall recap. We were off to the theatre for a girly night out with my best friend and my daughter’s Godmother (you’ve heard me mention ‘Cynthia’ before right?!) We’d been shopping during the day and hadn’t left long enough to get ready and have dinner so after we’d dressed up for the theatre we dropped into a local supermarket to pick up some sandwiches. (we’d had a big lunch) (see how I felt the need to tell you that for fear of you judging me for not feeding my daughter properly!) Now, my daughter is 12 years old and is, quite rightly in my opinion, starting to take a pride in her appearance. Not in a pressured by her peers or people she sees kind of way, just in a ‘I’m going somewhere nice so I should make and effort and look nice’ kind of way. And this I encourage. So yes on that night out I let her wear her wedge heeled shoes, and yes I let her wear her leather jacket, and yes I let her wear make-up…well I say make up, it was actually just mascara if I’m honest. She looked beautiful.

In the shop she nipped in front of me to get a thank you card for the boy’s pre-school staff, and as she disappeared around the corner I heard someone very loudly tut before saying ‘that girl is wearing far too much make up and is far too fashionable for someone her age.’ I turned around quickly and saw a teenage girl who couldn’t been no more than fourteen (yes, I judged her age) with her father. (yes I judged that too, could’ve been her Uncle, or brother I guess) I don’t know whether it was the way in which she said it, the look on her face when she said it or the fact that she was commenting on my daughter’s appearance and judging her that made me snap, but I walked up, looked her in the eye and said ‘please keep your opinions to yourself in future…alright’ in rather an unpleasant tone. My daughter had heard the exchange and instantly became paranoid that she was wearing the wrong thing. Her body language changed and the previous confident walk became a hunched shuffle. And it made me upset. It was another moment in her life when she had to become a little less naive and a little more street wise and know a bit more about how us humans work. How we (rightly or wrongly) judge others, sometimes because it makes us feel better about ourselves and sometimes just because (more on this in a bit). And this conversation with my daughter got me thinking…is it right to think things about other people as long as they don’t hear you? Is the quote ‘What other people think of you is none of your business.’ actually true? We all try not too, but is it fair to say we all judge people all of the time…sometimes without even realising that that is precisely what we are doing? And that we just don’t say anything because we’re too polite? How many times have you wondered if someone is fat or pregnant? If the woman he’s with is his daughter or lover? Or thought ‘oh that haircut is not good’ ?? (be honest!) But is even thinking these things ok? And do we ever have enough evidence to make informed judgements?

As humans I think we are programmed to analyse situations and people. Many, many years ago our ancestors had to judge everything. Whether noises were a sign of impending danger or harmless; a polar bear coming to attack our family or just the wind. Whether the caveman next door was a good neighbour or one who would steal your gathered food when your back was turned. Now of course we don’t face any of these dangers, but we still have our primitive brains in our heads. The brain that only functions through fear, anger and depression and to where we all retreat occasionally. (well I know I do) The brain that controls the fight or flight response, making us analyse every situation and trust our instincts. Sadly as we’ve evolved maybe our primitive judgemental brains have had to channel their focus elsewhere, as for the most part the dangers that were ever present then are not now.

Now I’m not saying judging someone for the way they are bringing up their children is ever right or a natural chemical reaction in the brain. And I’m not saying that a lack of empathy and understanding as to why a person is dressed, behaving or living in a way they are is a good thing either. There are many reasons why a mum might be shouting and losing her temper, or why someone is behaving in an arrogant or shy manner or a child is appearing to have a tantrum. And I’m not saying all judgements are negative ones…some may be very flattering indeed, like when you spot a lovely skirt someone has on or notice a good looking man walking past you. But what I am saying is that we all do it. We all size up situations, people, places and sometimes make snap judgements based on what we encounter. I’m currently sat on my own writing this blog post in a coffee shop and people are probably looking at me thinking I’m a billy no mates. And does it bother me? Before all of the above happened or when I was in my twenties then yes, it probably would have. I for one am generally very sensitive as to how people perceive me and can at times be super paranoid about what people think about me. But I’m learning to care a little less and have more faith in myself and those around me (not literally around me now, I mean around me in everyday life!) who I know think I’m actually alright. I’m learning not to get wound up about people’s judgements of me and take it personally because it sure as heck isn’t winding the person up who’s doing the judging. If someone is misreading me or a situation I’m in then maybe that is more a reflection on them and what is happening their life than it is mine. I think I need to learn to accept that it happens, that people judge me, and be safe in the knowledge that only those close to me know the truth about me and my life and that’s all that matters.

And then of course there is my impressionable daughter. Well…she decided to focus on the words ‘too fashionable’ from the judgemental teen’s outburst, and has taken it as a compliment that she was very well dressed. Clever girl 😉

Dairy Free Chocolate Chip Cookie and Fudge Petit Fours

A petit four (plural: petits fours) is a small confectionery or savoury appetizer. The name is French, petit four (French pronunciation: ​[pə.ti.fur]), meaning “small oven”.

A week ago on Friday I met the lovely Jenny Paulin from Mummymishaps at Yeo Valley, and whilst we were eating their delicious home made cakes *mouth waters at the memory* we quickly got chatting about The Great British Bake Off…a programme a lot of us religiously watch every week, hoping that we may ourselves be able to recreate some of the amazing things they bake. Now, I’ve not been able to do any baking recently after my oven trouble but when Jenny told me about her linky #thegreatbloggersbakeoff I was desperate to join in and try something new. So try something new I have…and I could either be embarrassing myself totally by revealing my lack of cooking ability in this post….or you could discover a new recipe you’d like to try yourself! (Fingers crossed!)

So, with no oven (new one hopefully being bought this morning!) I plumped for making petit fours this week! Making petit fours that did not require any cooking. I thought about cheesecakes, but didn’t know how I’d make them so small as none of my kitchen utensils matched the ideas I had. Then, whilst I was brainstorming in the kitchen my middle son walked in asking for some chocolate (a regular occurrence) and I had a light bulb moment! Recently my son has been advised to avoid all dairy due to a nasty phlegm producing cough that just won’t go away. (sorry to mention the word phlegm in a cooking post, it won’t happen again!) Luckily in the supermarkets these days there are so many dairy free options that he still can have chocolate and baked treats, but I hadn’t yet done any real dairy free baking for him. As a child I loved chocolate refrigerator cake (who doesn’t?!) and so my offering for today’s Great Bloggers Bake Off is just that…

Dairy-Free Chocolate Chip Cookie and Fudge Refrigerator Petit Fours.


125g dairy free chocolate chip cookies (I got mine from Sainsbury’s)
150g plain dairy free chocolate
50g Pure dairy free spread
75g golden syrup
100g dairy free chocolate chips (Silver Spoon)
75g raisins
50g dairy free fudge, chopped into small pieces (from Asda)
Hundreds and Thousands (yes old school I know, but I had nothing else to decorate with!)


Put the chocolate chip cookies into a bag (top tip: use a strong bag to do this and not one that will burst like I did!) and hit them with a rolling pin until they are in lovely little chunks. Quite therapeutic I found! Then place the Pure spread, golden syrup and chocolate into a heatproof glass bowl and melt slowly over a saucepan of simmering water. Try and avoid having a taste at this point if you can, otherwise there may be none of this mixture left for the cakes!

Remove from the heat and add the fudge, biscuits, raisins and chocolate chips and mix them all together thoroughly. Now, don’t be too concerned at this point if the contents of your bowl represent something you’d find in your child’s nappy. It really does taste better than it looks I can assure you!

Next, grease your container (I used an old silicone one I had for weaning) with the Pure spread and fill with the chocolate mixture, pressing it down into the container firmly. (again, if it still looks unsavoury don’t worry, this is where the hundreds and thousands come in!)

Lastly sprinkle with hundreds and thousands, or glitter sugar, or dairy free buttons, or spray with gold food spray…be creative, I would’ve been I just didn’t have any of those things in the house! Then place in the fridge for one and a half to two hours and sit down and have a cuppa. When they are set remove them from the fridge and press out onto a chopping board.

Cut into petit fours size bites. (if I was actually on the programme I’d have measured each one to make sure they were of equal size obviously, however this time I went for the rustic look!) Then I chose to put mine in cases, but how you display them is up to you.

I did put a couple of sticks on two to make lollipops for the children which went down very well!

And then finally….eat them! They seemed to have gone down very well here and the boy loves his dairy free bite sized treats! Next time I may experiment with orange and chocolate flavoured bites as you can get dairy free orange flavoured chocolate; or add some dried apricots and cranberries. The possibilities are endless!

Right, I’m now off to do some oven shopping…for if I am to join in with pies next week I am going to need one!

Thank you, as always for reading and if you’d like to join in the link then make sure you visit Jenny Paulin at Mummymishaps! 😉

mummy mishaps

BRITAX Safety Campaign

Safety: Safety is the state of being “safe” (from French sauf), the condition of being protected against physical, social, spiritual, financial, political, emotional, occupational, psychological, educational or other types or consequences of failure, damage, error, accidents, harm or any other event which could be considered non-desirable. Safety can also be defined to be the control of recognised hazards to achieve an acceptable level of risk. This can take the form of being protected from the event or from exposure to something that causes health or economical losses.

As I am lucky enough to have been a BRITAX Mumbassador, I am currently feeling a tad guilty about being a little behind in informing you about the latest developments in car seat safety. Safety for our children is paramount in any given situation, not least when our children are in the car and their safety is somewhat out of our hands, as we are sadly not the only people on the roads. I was involved in a car accident when my eldest child was just twelve weeks old (not recently don’t worry!) I had serious whiplash, and the car was a complete mess…however my gorgeous daughter fast asleep in her BRITAX car seat didn’t even wake, and thankfully wasn’t hurt in any way.

With all of this in mind, today I am publishing this post to tell you about BRITAX launching a safety campaign to help parents choose the right car seat solution for their family. Even though this announcement was a few weeks ago the campaign is still very much relevant to all parents and BRITAX are passionate about keeping your children safe. They are one of the world’s leading manufacturers of travel solutions for children, with an impeccable reputation of creating safe and stylish products for families.

The following information comes from BRITAX…

There is an on-going debate about which is the safest way for your child to travel in a car, forward facing or rearward facing. It can be incredibly confusing for parents and whilst safety is of paramount importance when choosing a car seat, we here at BRITAX know that every family is unique and has different concerns and practicalities to consider.

Recently there has been a significant surge in popularity of rearward facing seats for children up to the age of four. This is already the norm for parents and families in Scandinavian countries and recently the American Academy of Paediatrics changed their recommendations to say all children should remain rearward facing until the age of two years.

There is no doubt that rearward facing seats offer the best protection in the event of frontal collisions. These are extremely serious and the most frequent types of accidents on the roads. BRITAX believes that parents should sit children rearward facing for as long as it is realistic for their child, car and family’s lifestyle and wholeheartedly supports the new Europe-wide initiative called ‘i-Size’ which dictates a child must be seated in an ISOFIX fitted, rearward facing car seat until the age of at least 15 months.

However, it is important to state that safety cannot be defined simply by the direction a child is travelling in the car and is influenced by several factors, including the angle of the crash impact, the correct installation of the car seat, which car seat is compatible with your car and how many children you may have to accommodate on the back seats.

This is an incredibly important topic and we have dedicated pages to this subject on our website where we offer parents all the information they need to make an informed choice to find the optimal rearward or forward facing car seat for their family. We want parents to feel confident that whatever BRITAX seat they choose, their child will be as safe as possible.
To find out more, please visit

Thank you for reading, I hope you have found the above information helpful. There will be another post from me soon all about the new i-Size regulations so keep your eyes peeled!



Battle: Generally, a battle is a conceptual component in the hierarchy of combat in warfare between two or more armed forces, or combatants. A war sometimes consists of many battles. Battles generally are well defined in duration, area and force commitment.

Constant, heated battles,
Angry with me most days,
You want to shout out loud, be heard
Determined to do things your way.

You feel you’re so grown up now,
Yet you’re not quite old enough,
To do the things you’d like to do.
You’re finding it so tough.

You challenge every sentence.
You feel wronged in every way.
You get frustrated, get grumpy,
From one mood to the next you sway.

You say I make you angry,
That I’m cross all of the time.
You answer back because you,
Think you haven’t done the crime.

You’re quick to think the worst,
To think I’m constantly having a go.
You think I’m always saddened by you,
The seeds of doubt begin to sow.

Is this the beginning of teenagdom?
Is there worse to come?
Am I doing something wrong?
Am I not being a good mum?

Our bond is a very strong one,
Sometimes we’re just too close.
Too similar, we’re just the same.
She is like me the most.

We’re stubborn, always think we’re right.
Self doubt sometimes sneaks in.
Attacking the best form of defence,
Not stopping until we win.

She’s fiery, gorgeous, passionate and strong,
Confident and wild.
My gorgeous tween, my crazy girl,
My beautiful first child.

I try to stay calm when the whirlwind starts,
Hope the anger doesn’t last.
Take deep breaths and say to myself,
Don’t worry, this too shall pass.


Prose for Thought

Releasing the middle one.

Release: 1. To set free from confinement, restraint, or bondage: released the prisoners. 2. To free from something that binds, fastens, or holds back; let go: released the balloons; released a flood of questions. 3. To dismiss, as from a job.

So, it’s Wednesday again and time for a quote from me for my #wednesdaywords. And this Wednesday is indeed a very special one. For today, my middle child started school. Well, I say started…he actually only went in for two hours as the school has a ridiculously long settling in period, but nevertheless it was the first day he would wear his uniform and cross the threshold of the school building independently. A building where he will spend the next 7 years of his life and come out an entirely different person, shaped and moulded by many different experiences.

The first drop off thankfully went very smoothly. There were no battles about putting the uniform on, no tears about us leaving; just a gentle apprehension about what would happen next. The boy is so confident in so many ways and yet so shy and stilted in others. New experiences gently shake him and new people cause him to become mute and often hide behind my legs. I was worried about him starting school, worried as to whether he’d actually talk to any of the adults there. However this morning he embraced the change; the new; the unknown. He seemed a little nervous, but mostly excited about what was coming. And when he came out he was buzzing with talk of everything he’d done. He surprised me and I felt so proud. I’m a firm believer in bringing my children up to be confident and independent and his independence today made me smile. Even though he wasn’t 100% confident, he had the courage to do something new, like all of the other wonderful children in his class.

Interestingly this morning it was actually my husband who was the emotional one; he says he can never explain exactly why he is emotional (men!) but today he felt like he was giving our son over to a new part of his life. He said he hadn’t felt that emotional since the birth of our youngest. That it was the uniform, the formality. The emotion, my husband says, came completely out of the blue as he’d mostly been very excited about seeing our son off to school. And then leaving him and seeing him all alone in the classroom hit him hard. This made me feel a bit guilty, for I’d spent so many weeks preparing the boy for school that I’d forgotten all about Daddy…who was a mess!

And me. Ah where to start. Surprisingly given everything I’ve blogged about in the past I was actually very strong today. I’ve become very good at compartmentalising things; for example when I’m at work I am focused on work and don’t think about home, and vice versa when I am at home. Today I knew my role was to be happy and confident and show my son that school was nothing to fear, that it was something to enjoy and be excited about. I knew I couldn’t cry or hang around and pander to his apprehension or that would make it worse for him. I guess the primary school teacher in me came out a little bit as well. I knew being strong would help my son and would help his teachers. (And maybe, dare I say it, help me too?!)

So no, I haven’t cried yet. Maybe I’m not allowing myself to comprehend the enormity of today. But maybe it’s not the actual starting school bit I’m sad about. For he’s not the only one staring school today; there are hundreds and thousands of small children starting this week just like there were last year and will be again next year. No, it’s not that he’s starting school that makes me sad, it’s the loss of our time together. It’s that my little boy will spend most of his days away from me; changing, learning, and growing with someone else guiding him. As teachers we are ‘in loco parentis.’ We are their parents when they are at school and I’m emotional about having to share my son with so many other people. People who may hear him read his first word, or answer his first sum. People who will be as proud of his achievements as I am. People that aren’t me.

I’ve blogged about releasing children before. About how they are slowly released from us over time and that we have to let them go, confident that they will be safe in the care of others and will learn to trust their instincts and make the right decisions in the future, but I am always surprised about how hard I actually find it. My Twitter and Facebook timelines are full of mums and dads anxious and emotional about their children starting school. Parents who are pushed out of their comfort zones and are having to do something that they find difficult in learning to release their children a little bit. I know I’m not the only one. Can I offer advice? Wisdom? Can I reassure these parents that it gets easier with each child? Ummm no, sadly I don’t think I can…because for me it hasn’t. And I imagine that when my youngest goes to school in three years time, I may not be as composed as I have been today. For me it seems, releasing my children is proving to be be more difficult with each child.

Based on all of this the quote I have chosen for today’s #wednesdaywords is this….
Because today in this family, we’ve all had to do something that scares us a little bit. Be it starting school…or letting go.

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