What are your parental guilt triggers?

28 Jul

guiltResearchers have identified the top 30 ‘guilt triggers’ for parents – topped by being too busy to play, working long hours and a lack of quality time.

Is it just me or does having children somehow give you a new found ability to feel guilty about anything? I don’t remember amid the endless lie-ins and selfish consumerism of pre-parenthood being dogged by this constant sense of self-reproach?

 I have thought of a list of things I have felt guilty about this week. What are yours?

1. Scraping my screaming child off me into the hands of a (yes I’ve seen it all before) nursery worker = guilt I am not staying at home to look after my child and am not going to be there when she cries.

2. At work I find for an hour or so my guilt has drifted out of my mind and I actually enjoyed my job = guilt that I forgot about my guilt

3. Get home and dish out a dinner of fish fingers and frozen veg = guilt I have not already defrosted a home cooked meal or had the slow cooker on all day.

4. Off work with the kids = guilt that by 9am they are already doing my head in and I wish I was at work

5. Partner gets home and starts hoovering = guilt I am a rubbish mum/wife and should have done this already.

6. Spend the morning cleaning while kids mope around = guilt I am not giving the kids attention.

7. Cook up a delicious home cooked meal for family dinner when hubby gets in = guilt I am not being a feminist, am letting down womenkind and should have been out pursuing the career I worked hard for instead of letting it go down the pan by going part-time and watching the younger employees overtake me in seniority, grrr.

8.Kids claw at my computer and crawl all over me asking to do some typing too = guilt I am being selfish enough to blog about guilt

9. Daughter didn’t get invited to nursery birthday party = guilt I should be making for of an effort to mix with the mums

10. Look over at my daughters and they are hugging and laughing – why am I complaining? = Guilt that I don’t deserve these precious little people.

11. Go on a rare night out and ring home and daughter of course has been sick. Continue drinking, have amazing time, massive hangover, have spent a fortune that I could have put in the girls trust fund = guilt.

12. Know I need to live in there here and now, seize the moment, not waste my life with ‘what ifs’, enjoy what I have, relax and chill out = guilt that for some reason I just can’t do it!

Top 30 Guilt Triggers

Little Scientists at The Centre for Life

28 Jul

An amazing day at The Centre for Life. My daughters six and four absolutely loved the new Experiment Zone. Having not studied science for almost three decades, the thought of how I was going to be able to help them “extract DNA” left me a little nervous! But the instructions were so clear and easy to follow, that literally a four-year-old could do it.
There are a wide range of experiments to choose from and we’ll definitely be back to try out another. Inspiring stuff.

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There is so much to do, that you really could spend a whole day inside. We love the Little Bear film in the planetarium about the constellations. The play area upstairs can keep them entertained for an hour alone, and they never seem to get sick of the activities in the explorer zone.
My children are a little young to appreciate the Game On exhibition, but the range on show is fantastic, a real journey through gaming history. Spotting the Speak and Spell and Donkey Kong did however make me feel on the old side!
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There is a cafe and restaurant, but also a picnic area too, which I think is great so you are welcome to bring your own food too.
A top quality place for a family day out time and time again.

http://www.life.org.uk/whats-on/experiment-zone#.VbehIGRVhBc

Family bouldering at Shaftoe

18 Jul

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Northumberland has so many natural playgrounds. We headed to Shaftoe crags for a family bouldering session.
Great for parents to have a play as well as the kids for a change!

Despite being only a short drive from Newcastle, there is something about the crags of Northumberland that makes me feel I have ventured into another world or far into the past. And the children enjoyed hearing how the rocks have their own names such as Devil’s Punchbowl and Piper’s Chair.

Parking:

From Belsay on the A696, head for Bolam Lake. Go past the lake car park on the right to a crossroads, turn left along an unmetalled road past a row of cottages. Park by the wall on the moor just over the cattle grid.

To the crags:

Follow the wall up the hill until you go through the gate, then turn left and follow the path along the wall that takes you down in amongst the rocks.

The Farne Islands

18 Jul

I definitely had camera envy and these pictures really don’t do justice to the amazing trip we had to the Farne Islands.

http://farneislandstours.co.uk/

Bolam Lake

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A natural playground, this easy walk round Bolam Lake has trees to climb, swans to feed and lots of places for hide & seek.
Free parking & a cafe.

http://www.northumberland.gov.uk/default.aspx?page=1894

Scowling dwarfs and ancient stones: a walk at Simonside

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Despite being carted up hills and even the odd mountain since they were bairns in backpacks, mention the word “walk” to my kids (six and four) and the response is something like eurghhharrrgh and “why?”

So I have to get a bit more creative to lure them out to where I want to go and think “will be good for them really.”

And this week my creativity involved some stories about the ancient scowling dwarfs said to roam the hills of Simonside dressed in lambskin and a moss hat – and basically bribery of an amazing picnic once you got to the top…

But the odd whine and whinge from my own “scowling dwarfs” was definitely worth it as wow, there is some view and it is not every day you get to eat your lunch next to rock carvings said to be 4,000 years old.

For anyone not familiar with the history of Simonside, near Rothbury, Countryfile sums it up pretty well here:

“The fell sandstones of the Simonside Hills were deposited from a river delta some 330 million years ago. Weathering

and erosion have led to their dominant aspect, which makes them recognisable throughout the county. Their spiritual significance to the Bronze Age people, 5000 years ago, is evident in the burial tombs and rock carvings that adorn the slopes and summits.”

The main car park, just a few minutes drive from Rothbury, has a map of the  area. We followed the red route  (pictured below)  and it was very well signposted and easy to follow. But a shorter route which may be better for younger children is available here along with lots of extra info about the area.

http://www.northumberlandnationalpark.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/simonsidefamily-adult-lo.pdf

Points of interest:

Little Church Rock This isolated outcrop of fell sandstone is hidden within the forest. Its name may be a reference to the rock’s use as a gathering place. There is a set of cup marks in the stone on the lower right side of the rock which are thought to be man-made and could be over 4,000 years old.

The Simonside Dwarfs also known as Brownmen, Bogles and Duergar are a race of ugly dwarfs. Their leader was said to be known as Roarie. They are said to mostly appear at night, when they prey on lost travellers by showing a light to draw the traveller nearer, and then tricking them into a bog or luring them over the edge of a precipice. Read more about these little critters here:

http://faeryfolklorist.blogspot.co.uk/2009/05/duergars-of-simonside.html

 

 

 

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10 things to do this half term

20 May

10 things to do this #halfterm

1.Visit the Amble Puffin Festival: puffins, kite flying, surfing, circus skills and much more.

2. The latest exhibition at the brilliant Centre for Life has just opened in time for half term. From Sonic to Samus, Mario to Minecraft, Game On 2.0 is the world’s most comprehensive exhibition of computer games from the past 60 years.

3. Get creative and paint your own pottery and fill up on sweet treats at Pots and Pancakes

4.There’s always something special going on at the multi-award winning Beamish

5.Family activities and glass blowing demonstrations at National Glass Centre Sunderland

6.Take your bikes to The Rising Sun Country Park  – I still can’t quite believe this is all just behind the Asda – and get creative at the inspiring House of Objects. Read about out visit here: Rising Sun Country Park

http://houseofobjects.org/

http://www.northtyneside.gov.uk/browse.shtml?p_subjectCategory=523

7.Get in touch with your inner trainspotter at Tanfield Railway.

http://www.tanfield-railway.co.uk/

Read our review here: Tanfield

8.Splash out on a National Trust pass (with a 25% discount) and you’ll be spoilt for choice. Fantastic locations and top notch family facilities at our favourites Wallington Hall, Gibside and Cragside – see our reviews here: National Trust

9.Dig a massive hole and have lots of free fun at the beach: plenty to choose from but we love Druridge Bay, Alnmouth and Bamburgh.  Beaches

10.Enjoy a cultural day out at the Laing Gallery. Stop off for a mega slice of cake at The Great British Cupcakery http://thegreatbritishcupcakery.co.uk/ or Pet lamb Patisserie

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