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Book Review: The Moment Of Change by Jennifer Manson

January 25, 2016 Read more

Jennifer Manson is a local author and one of our lovely members who i had the pleasure of meeting at a business networking event. She kindly gave me her first novel to read 'The Moment of Change' and review. I must admit i was a little hesitant at first to start reading as i'm more of a Fifty Shades of Grey/rubbish chick lit kind of girl but i will gladly admit that that i was completely captivated by the charm of this lovely novel based in New Zealand. I even found myself googling the setting of the novel 'the Marlborough Sounds' as i was so intrigued.

It tells the story of Ocean, a girl in her late twenties who, unable to commit to both people and places through her perceived need for anything but routine gets more than she bargained for during her stay in Picton. She finds herself being drawn into the history, secrets and lives of the local residents. She soon comes to realise that you don't need to change your environment to suit what you seek.

It is an honest, easy read with a beautiful setting and beautiful characters. A must read!

Available from Amazon here


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How Embarrassing Are Your Children?

January 25, 2016 Read more

Blogger and mum Emma from Manchester caused a stir on Facebook recently after sharing an embarrassing moment courtesy of her daughter. Her daughter shouted "You shout cock, daddy" in the supermarket. Emma explained the incident, saying: ''What did you say?' he'd mumbled, 'you shout cock, Daddy,' Chloe had continued. 'You shout cock and I'll shout 'a doodle do'.  

Emma was inundated with similar stories from parents. 

Nicola Tott recalled the story of an inadvertently racist incident while buying sweets with her son Zachary. 'I was in Thorntons one Christmas and my then three-year-old asked for 'a black man lolly',' she explained. 'He meant a milk chocolate lolly of Santa instead of a white chocolate one. I nearly died.' 

Another food-related embarrassment on a shopping trip was shared by Sarah Culverwell.  'I went to the supermarket recently with my lad Jack to get popcorn as we were having a movie day,' she recalled. 'Very loudly at the checkout he shouted: 'I'm excited for our cock porn Mummy'. I was so embarrassed.' 

Jessica Lee Hartley explained that she'd been left red-faced when her son Lee had picked up on something he'd heard his dad say. 'My little boy was at our child minders when he turned around to her and said he wanted 'a poo and p**s',' she revealed. 'When asked what and why he said what he did, it turned out he was copying his dad Andy who always says: "I can't have a poo in peace".' 

Jodie Ditcher shared an experience that left her 'rather embarrassed'. 'When my son Cody first went to school he said to a teaching assistant that I really didn't like: 'See Mum, I told Auntie Mel that witches were real, because you said the woman in breakfast club was a witch.' As he poked her, he continued: 'Look, she is real.'  

Natalie Plimmer's moment of shame occurred during a visit to a museum with her family. 'Our then three-year-old shouts at full volume with pointing finger: "Why's that man got a funny face?". 'I couldn't help but walk off and leave my husband to explain it's rude to point and say things like that. The poor woman didn't look too impressed either.' 

Charlotte Flloyd's moment of shame occurred while stopping to use the loo with her young daughter. 'My three-year-old daughter Madeleine said very loudly in public toilets:''Mummy, why do you have a beard on your bottom?",' she explained.  

Mikaela Lodder, reveals how her oldest child has a pet name for his cuddly toy sheep.  'He calls him "bugger" and has done since he was eight months old. 'The first time Julian dropped his "bugger" in a puddle was when he was 1.5 yrs old while walking through the forest. 'In the car going home he held it up high and said: "Look Mummy, dirty bugger." I couldn't stop laughing and still do when thinking about it.' 

When Trisha Chakma's little boy - who's just about to turn four - first started talking he couldn't say stick. 'He used to say dick instead of stick. The first time we heard him, it was quite shocking and very embarrassing.' 

Paul Allen recalled: 'My little boy, William, is three and he struggles with his speech a little bit so some words he tries to say don't always come out quite right. 'In the middle of a queue in the bank, he shouted really loudly "Mummy, I feel dick."  

'I went bright red and while I was searching for something for him to be sick into he kept shouting what sounded like: "feel dick, feel dick." Some people were giggling, some were shocked, most found it funny.'"  

Tracy Horner's son asked her 'Mummy, Can I have one of those things granny gives me...a knob job!' The little chap actually meant hobnob. 
Angela Dixon also commented about a trip to the chemists that turned her cheeks a shade of red: 'My young son once said about Tampax in a shop to a lady: "My mummy puts these up her bottom"' 

Do you have any embarrassing moments to share? 

Image source: Manchester Evening News

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Win a Facebook Audit in our #yearoftheleap competition

January 23, 2016 Read more

2016 is the #yearoftheleap and here at Supermum Oxfordshire, we’re celebrating mum-run businesses.

We want to inspire all those new entrepreneurs out there to stop dreaming about starting their own business and start putting the steps in place. We’re also encouraging mums who run their businesses alongside a day job to take that leap and focus fully on their passion. We’re here to support mums with our range of services to take their business vision to a profitable setup through our community and experience of marketing local businesses in Oxfordshire. We know some businesses need support with online presence and that’s what our self service website is designed for, we work hard on social media platforms and can offer even the most established of businesses some advice on how to engage with customers online through Facebook.

It’s competition time:

Supermum Oxfordshire, supporter of local mum-run businesses, is on the hunt for new Supermums in the #Oxfordshire area to support with our website directory and social media presence. To be in with a chance of winning a Facebook Audit for your business page worth £49.99. In this session we’ll analyse your current Facebook business page, even if you haven't finished setting it up and share advice on how to maximise potential for generating brand awareness and ultimately new customers. If that sounds exactly what you need to start your business or take it to the next level then read on for how to enter on Facebook or Twitter.

To enter via Facebook: Simply comment 'yes please' on our pinned competition post on Facebook.

To enter via Twitter: Just RT our competition tweet on Twitter.

The competition is open until Thursday 25th February 2016. We’ll announce the lucky winner on Leap Day Monday 29th February as our #yearoftheleap campaign draws to a close. Full terms and conditions are below.

Good luck!

We look forward to getting to know you and your Oxfordshire businesses a little better. If you have any questions about how to enter or just want to discuss how we can help your small business then drop an email to Michelle via or call her on 07969 677760 to have a no obligation chat about your small business needs.

For updates on local businesses, exclusive special offers, local events and the latest news from Supermum Oxfordshire, join in the conversations on Facebook and Twitter.


2016 is the #yearoftheleap. If you are thinking about taking your dreams to the next step then this is the year to do it. Use the hashtag #yearoftheleap to chat with us about your journey.

Written by Zoe Greenall


Supermum Oxfordshire Facebook Competition Terms and Conditions

1. The promoter is: Supermum Oxfordshire whose registered premises are at 20 Westcote Close, OX28 5FF Witney, Oxfordshire.

2. Employees of Supermum Oxfordshire or their family members or anyone else connected in any way with the competition or helping to set up the competition shall not be permitted to enter the competition. The competition is open to small businesses registered in Oxfordshire and the surrounding area.

3. There is no entry fee and no purchase necessary to enter this competition.

4. Route to entry for the competition and details of how to enter are detailed above on

5. Competition is open from 25th January to  25th February 2016 .

6. No responsibility can be accepted for entries not received for whatever reason.

7. The competition can be entered via a comment of 'yes please' on our pinned competition post on Facebook or by retweeting (RT) the competition tweet on Twitter. Entries will be counted and 1 winner picked at random on 26th February 2016.

8. The promoter reserves the right to cancel or amend the competition and these terms and conditions without notice in the event of a catastrophe, war, civil or military disturbance, act of God or any actual or anticipated breach of any applicable law or regulation or any other event outside of the promoter’s control. Any changes to the competition will be notified to entrants as soon as possible by the promoter.

9. The prize is a Facebook Consultancy session from Supermum Oxfordshire worth £49.99.  

10. No cash alternative to the prize will be offered. The prize is not transferable.

11. The winner will be chosen at random by the Promoter.

12. The winner will be notified from whichever platform used for entry within 1 day of being selected. If the winner cannot be contacted or do not claim the prize within 1 days of notification, we reserve the right to withdraw the prize from the winner and pick a replacement winner.

13. Entrants may enter more than once but must do so via the form of an additional comment of 'yes please' on Facebook competition post. On Twitter all retweets (RTs) of the competition tweet will be counted as entries. 

14. The promoter’s decision in respect of all matters to do with the competition will be final and no correspondence will be entered into.

15. By entering this competition, an entrant is indicating his/her agreement to have their name, post/tweet contents shared on Supermum Oxfordshire blog and on our social media platforms.

16. The competition and these terms and conditions will be governed by English law and any disputes will be subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England.

17. The winner agrees to the use of his/her name and image in any publicity material. Any personal data relating to the winner or any other entrants will be used solely in accordance with current UK data protection legislation and will not be disclosed to a third party without the entrant’s prior consent.

 18. Entry into the competition will be deemed as acceptance of these terms and conditions.

19. This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook, Twitter or any other Social Network. You are providing your information to Supermum Oxfordshire and not to any other party. The information provided will be used in conjunction with our Privacy Policy.

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Here's Katie. Two years ago she had a light bulb moment, now she has a business.

January 23, 2016 Read more

Does setting up your own business feel daunting? Next in our #yearoftheleap campaign we hear from Katie, founder of Moggies & More Pet Sitting who is living proof that if you do your homework, you’ll soon be feeling empowered.

What made you set up your pet care business?

Going back to work full time after having children just wasn’t for me but we still needed extra money so I had to come up with an alternative. I didn’t want to sacrifice my time with the children and working part time hours with childcare wasn’t an option. Whilst I was chatting to a friend about her holiday and having a pet sitter for her cat, I had one of those light bulb moments. I realised that I could easily look after people’s pets in the local area, that I’d enjoy doing it and most importantly it would slot in around my family life.

What do you love about your work?

I feel so proud that I have created my own business and built up a customer base in a short space of time. It’s been less than two years since I came up with the idea and I’m still learning, but enjoying it too. I often meet fellow dog-walkers when I am out with my customer’s dogs and it’s great to share tips or local knowledge from other people who look after pets for a living. Being able to set my own hours is the best thing about having my own business and I love how empowered I feel now that I’m up and running.

What is your top tip for mums thinking about starting a business?

Make sure you do your homework. I think it’s tempting to have an idea and really want to make it work for you and your family, but there are important things to consider first. Mums who are thinking about setting up a business should ask themselves these three questions: 1. Is there space for your business in the market? 2. What are similar businesses charging for the same services? 3. How exactly will it work around your family commitments? If you can see there is a an opportunity to start a business that doesn’t exist nearby, or is at least different to those in operation then it’s good to understand the prices that customers are willing to pay for the same services. Once you have a viable business idea, it’s then time to see how you would manage to meet the needs of your customers as well as run the household and look after the children. Think also about where your husband or partner would need to help and what things might change if you are running a business too.

What is the worst thing about having your own business?

There is no holiday pay like when you are employed with a company and no sick pay either, it’s sometimes hard when I need to take time off as it really has an effect on my earnings. It is the same for most small business owners, especially if you are self employed, but it is just one of the negatives and there are lots of positives! 

How have you advertised the services of Moggies & More Pet Sitting?

A lot of my business comes from word of mouth which is where social media plays a big role in spreading good reviews and also looking for potential new customers. At the moment I advertise by using the local newsagents window and various public notice boards, as well as a listing on Supermum Oxfordshire which all means that local people can find me. Obviously my business relies on local advertising because I operate within a reasonable distance of my own home so having advertising or marketing with a broader audience wouldn’t really generate a good return on investment. 

What are you main business focuses at the moment?

At all times my priority is customer relationship. I feel it’s essential that customers know I am taking great care of their pet and I use methods to reiterate this such as photographs of their pet out and about or in the home to reassure owners that all is well. I think the little touches like this are what build strong relationships and encourage repeat business. I also focus on finding new customers when I can because there are always people who move away or situations change meaning my services aren’t needed any more. There is a fine balance between spending time on current customers and new ones but I think I’m getting it about right and that’s why my business is growing.

When you aren’t caring for local pets what do you like to do?

I’ve got two children aged four and seven so they take up most of the time I have when I’m not working. As they are both at school now, it makes my job a lot easier as I can spend the day walking dogs and calling in on pets without worrying about the children’s needs. I’m a hard working person and it takes a lot of organisation to run a business and raise a family so in my rare moments of spare time I have to catch up on house work and then I can finally relax with my family. 

Katie lives in Chipping Norton with her husband, seven year old son and four year old daughter.  She is the dog-walking, pet-sitting mum behind Moggies & More Pet Sitting. From £8 a visit or two visits for £14 her services include dog walking, feeding and watering pets, spending time with your animals, clearing up after them and looking after things like post, curtains and bins whilst you’re away. Visit the Facebook page for more information.   

Moggies & More Pet Sitting is just one of the many mum-run businesses working with Supermum Oxfordshire. If you’re interested in local advertising, take a look at the Bronze, Silver and Gold packages - as well as one-off advertising slots on our website. Alternatively, drop an email to Michelle directly via or call her on 07969 677760 to have a no obligation chat about your small business needs. 

For updates on local businesses, exclusive special offers, local events and the latest news from Supermum Oxfordshire, join in the conversations on Facebook and Twitter

2016 is the #yearoftheleap. If you are thinking about taking your dreams to the next step then this is the year to do it. Use the hashtag #yearoftheleap to chat with us about your journey.

Written by Zoe Greenall


To find out more about Supermums take a look at our directories:



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FREE Tutor Session In Oxford

January 22, 2016 Read more

Why not take this great opportunity and invest in your child’s education in 2016! Lotus Tutors in Oxford are offering a FREE initial assessment and one FREE tutoring session at their tuition centre in Summertown.

Lotus tutors is a family owned education consultancy based in Oxford and provide tutoring for primary, SATS, 11+ exams, 13+ exams, GCSEs and A-levels. In the summer of 2015 Lotus tutors started group tuition classes with small groups of four students per class. The group classes are proving to be very successful as the students get close to one-to-one tutoring experience by an expert tutor.

Last year for GCSE & A-Levels, over 70% of students tutored by Lotus Tutors jumped at least two grades and 100% of the students jumped one grade. Over 90% of the students tutored for 11+ exams with Lotus Tutors successfully achieved a place to some of the most selective private schools in Oxford and Oxfordshire.

The are many other benefits of tutoring by Lotus Tutors' tutors:

  • All tutors are enhanced DBS checked, referenced and vetted.
  • Free initial assessment to assess a student's academic strengths and weaknesses.
  • Secure learning with a maximum of 4 students in each class.
  • Free monthly student progress report.

The rates for tutoring are £28 - £30 per hour with first FREE trial session at the tuition centre.

To find out more about how Lotus Tutors can support your child, contact their Summertown office on 01865 703545 or email (   quoting ‘Supermums’

To find out more about Supermum Oxfordshire, take a look at our directory here

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Take a step into the unknown, after all 2016 is the #yearoftheleap.

January 21, 2016 Read more

“Don't be afraid to take a step into the unknown and try something new” says Sarah from Memorable Moments. We share her inspirational story of all things sweet as part of our #yearoftheleap campaign.

What made you start your own business?

As a primary school teacher I was working full time before my daughter was born and I wanted to work more flexibly when I returned. I kept my position at the local school on a part time basis, but had started to set up Memorable Moments whilst on maternity leave, to get me closer to my dream of running a much bigger business one day. Being able to work for myself, in the hours I choose means that I am able to spend more time with my daughter in her early years. At just 20 months old, Lilly has so much to learn and experience in the world and I don’t want to miss a thing.

What do you love about your work?

For me, it’s about seeing these sweet-filled visions come to life. Not having to answer to a manager or team of people means that I have 100% flexibility to develop my own products and services. From children’s sweet cones to wedding sweet buffets, I can design and try different combinations to suit all tastes and budgets. It makes me feel so proud to offer a high quality service to my local community. Knowing that my products are being enjoyed by people at parties and weddings all over Oxfordshire; makes the hard work worthwhile and encourages me to keep pushing for my long term business goals.

Do you have a business strategy?

Yes and no. I know exactly where I want to take the business, but it’s not a formal strategy that I’ve documented. I have always wanted to run my own tea rooms with combined catering school and also catering services for events and local businesses. The ultimate objective is to provide candy carts, sweet buffets, event catering, wedding favours, sweet trees and even to sell our homemade chocolate and fudge. Although the strategy is a work in progress I am really passionate and dedicated to my business goals as much as I am my personal ones. It would be amazing to reach the end of my list and publish my very own recipe book but for now I’m ticking off the smaller goals and doing so in between playgroups, nap time and ironing!

What would you recommend other new business owners focus on in the first year?

In the first year of business I’d say establishing your range of products or services and understanding your USP (unique selling point) is number one, then experimenting with those to understand your target market. If you know what your customer base like and dislike you can tweak things as you go along and listening to your customers will help to do that. A website is an essential and so is a business page or account on a social media platform like Facebook or Twitter. It’s important to have an online presence, as potential customers will do research online and use social media to share experiences from local businesses too.


What do you find challenging about running your own business?

Some days, if I’ve had very little sleep it ALL feels a bit of a challenge but I’d say the most difficult part of starting the business is building a professional network. Most of the local events or networking opportunities are in the day time and not exactly toddler-friendly. I’d like to have more time to dedicate to the business but I’m sure every mum (or dad) running a business would say the same thing.

What role do you think social media plays in advertising today?

Social media sites like Facebook are a fantastic platform for raising awareness of products and services as well as for meeting similar business owners. I discovered Babushka Bakes on Facebook who are an Etsy shop selling lots of different kinds of chocolate. I can easily find competitors or just get inspiration from businesses I admire and it’s also a great way to meet like-minded people and start online networking.

Who inspires you?
My family and friends are a great source of support and inspiration for me. I have other role models that I admire, but my family are top of the list. The others are Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King and Angel Adoree. Everyone will know how amazing the first two are, but in case you haven’t heard of Angel she’s the founder of The Vintage Patisserie and appeared on Dragon’s Den five years ago. I love the tea party events she creates and she has also written two books which is something I’d love to do one day.

Sarah is mother to a 20 month old daughter, teacher to a class of 30 children and the founder and owner of Memorable Moments. Whether you’re looking for personalised sweet cones, a candy shot centrepiece or a full party package and your own candy cart, it’s all available for free delivery within a 15 mile radius of Carterton.  Visit the website for more information.  


Memorable Moments is just one of the many mum-run businesses working with Supermum Oxfordshire. If you’re interested in local advertising, take a look at the Bronze, Silver and Gold packages - as well as one-off advertising slots on our website. Alternatively, drop an email to Michelle directly via or call her on 07969 677760 to have a no obligation chat about your small business needs.


For updates on local businesses, exclusive special offers, local events and the latest news from Supermum Oxfordshire, join in the conversations on Facebook and Twitter.


2016 is the #yearoftheleap. If you are thinking about taking your dreams to the next step then this is the year to do it. Use the hashtag #yearoftheleap to chat with us about your journey.

Written by Zoe Greenall

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Meet Sarah, the mum taking photos of your family, whilst raising her own

January 21, 2016 Read more

From a life-long photography hobby to photo-shoots with customers in their own homes, the mum behind Beaming Light Photography shares her story as part of our #yearoftheleap campaign. 

How did you get started with your own business?

I’ve always enjoyed taking photos, but it was a hobby I’d somewhat neglected since my first child was born three years ago. I found it hard to justify returning to work after my second child was born when childcare is just so expensive. It seemed like starting my own business was the perfect opportunity to work for myself, look after my children and not spend a small fortune on nursery fees. Five months ago I decided to take that leap and created Beaming Light Photography. I’m really proud that I can be everything my children need, as well as a business owner, without feeling as if I am in conflict every day. It hasn’t taken long to start to build my business from scratch with the help of social media. I started with a Facebook page and a website and followed with come advertising via Supermum Oxfordshire.

What do you love about your work?

I absolutely love being my own boss and I’d encourage other mums who want to start a business to just go for it. My photography service is unique because I visit people’s homes with my portable studio. It means taking all the equipment around with me in the car, but it really sets me apart from other photographers in Oxfordshire. It’s great that I can really get to know a family when I am in their home. Everyone is more relaxed when it comes to saying ‘Cheese’ and that’s a must for producing photos that my customers can cherish.  Outside of the work benefits, my children are very young and they change so quickly at this age, so more than anything I love being able to work around them.

What is your top tip for mums thinking about starting a business?

Definitely think about planning your time carefully. If your children are not of school- age you’ll be lucky to get very much done during the day. As all mums know, our attention is required pretty much from eyes open to eyes shut, so it’s necessary to plan out your time when the children are either asleep (including snatched time during daytime naps!) or being cared for by someone else. I use part time childcare for one of mine, but there are still days when I don’t feel that I have achieved everything I wanted to. If you’re thinking about starting a business it’s important to be realistic about that I think.

What do you find challenging about running your own business?

Being your own boss is brilliant and definitely the best thing about my work, but at times it is also the hardest thing about working for yourself. You are responsible for everything the business needs; from completing administration to managing finances and of course, advertising your business as cost effectively as you can. It’s one thing to have a service or product that you can sell, but it’s a challenge to be able to turn your hand to all types of business skills needed to make that work as a business.

What are your future plans for Beaming Light Photography?

I don’t really have a long term strategy for the business - especially as it is early days, but I do have some key goals – aside from making millions! I’m quite a laid back person but I have needed to do some planning as much as I try to avoid it in other areas. Things like childcare obviously need some thought as your children grow and change and I am now thinking about how I can focus on new customers for 2016.   

What do you like to do when you’re not working?

Most of my days are full of juggling, but not the circus kind. I don’t have any free time for hobbies at the moment, but I have always loved photography so it’s great that I get to do that to make a living. I also think that time passes so quickly, before I know it I’ll be sending my children to school and wishing I could go back to these early years. For now, I’m happy being mum, earning money and doing something creative that I am in total control over.


Sarah is based in Oxfordshire, is married and has two children aged three and 11 months. She is the talented mum behind Beaming Light Photography and provides both portrait and wedding packages across Oxfordshire. Portrait packages start from as little as £45 and if you’re getting married this year there’s a 25% discount for weddings booked before March 2016. Visit her website for more information.  


Beaming Light Photography is just one of the many mum-run businesses working with Supermum Oxfordshire. If you’re interested in local advertising, take a look at the Bronze, Silver and Gold packages - as well as one-off advertising slots on our website. Alternatively, drop an email to Michelle directly via or call her on 07969 677760 to have a no obligation chat about your small business needs.


For updates on local businesses, exclusive special offers, local events and the latest news from Supermum Oxfordshire, join in the conversations on Facebook and Twitter.


2016 is the #yearoftheleap. If you are thinking about turning your hobby into a business idea there’s no better time than now. Use the hashtag #yearoftheleap to chat with us about your journey.

Written by Zoe Greenall

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FREE Sugar App To Check Products.

January 07, 2016 Read more


Parents are being urged to sign up for a free app which tells them the sugar content of food and drink.

The "sugar smart app", from Public Health England, works by scanning barcodes and revealing total sugar in cubes or grams.

Officials hope it will help combat tooth decay, obesity and type two diabetes and encourage families to choose healthier alternatives.

PHE says young children are eating three times more than the sugar limit.

Its new Change4Life advertising campaign, which includes the sugar app, suggests that on average children aged four to ten years old are consuming 22kg of added sugar a year.

That's about 5,500 sugar cubes - more than the weight of an average five-year-old child.

The app has been developed to raise awareness of how much sugar is contained in everyday food and drink.

It works on more than 75,000 products, offering a quick guide to help parents to assess potential purchases that may harm their children's health.

Sign up here

Daily recommended sugar limits

  • Four to six year olds - five sugar cubes or 19g
  • Seven to ten year olds - six sugar cubes or 24g
  • 11 year olds and above - seven sugar cubes or 30g



See how to use the App here


To find out more about Supermums take a look at our directories:


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Save Your Child's Life This Winter - Crash Test Dummy Demo Parents Must Watch!

January 06, 2016 Read more

Last month it was reported that wearing thick coats posed a danger to youngsters as safety straps fail to kick in if they are involved in a serious crash.

But this new crash test dummy demonstration shows the potentially fatal consequences ignoring the advice could have.

In the clip a "baby" is put into a regular forward-facing car seat with their warm jacket on.


Why you should never put a child wearing a winter coat in a car seat
Crash: The dummy baby is thrown forward during the impact footage

The mechanics are then pulled back and a high-speed crash is recreated.

It is then we see the toddler fly forward, out of both the car seat straps and the jacket and lying in a heap.

The footage is then slowed down so we can see exactly what happens.

The tot could have been seriously injured or even killed.

The investigation was carried out by American broadcaster NBC and highlights the very real danger the wearing a jacket, or thick bodysuit can have.


Why you should never put a child wearing a winter coat in a car seat
Danger: The toddler would have been seriously injured if this had been real


Journalist Jeff Rossen brought his three-year-old son Blake on to the show to help demonstrate the danger.

He then went to a crash test lab in Michigan, and shows what would happen to a child at just 30mph.

He tells the camera: "Look at this, it's so scary to see up close."

The demo without the winter coat is significantly different, with the child safe and barely able to move during the fake crash.


Why you should never put a child wearing a winter coat in a car seat
Demo: The new footage is shocking but could help a parent save their child's life


And if you're worried about your little one being cold, put the coat over them once they are strapped in, or keep a blanket in the car.



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January 06, 2016 Read more

Worry worry worry worry worry worry worry worry worry worry worry.    And then worry a bit more.

That’s just how it is. From the moment that test stick reveals that there is the beginnings of life within, you start to worry (amongst other emotions of course). This worry does not fade, wane or dissipate, no. It INTENSIFIES! And when the baby finally slithers in to the world – or is retrieved from you as was the case for me, there is an invisible but strongly felt explosion of worry that overwhelms your exhausted shell.

Self-imposed pressure: You must display just the right amount of worry. Too much and people might think you’re not coping. Too little and they’ll probably assume you’re not bonding with the baby. No, you have to get it just right. Let your worry present itself as ‘natural concern combined with an air of innate maternal confidence’ (this isn’t a real thing) and squash your worry back in to your throat and seal it in with a fixed smile. Then put lip gloss on.

Ever watched a couple try and go for a walk with their newborn? Dad is proudly pushing the pram, feeling pumped and puffed up and secretly enjoying mastering the new skills of pushchair driving. His thoughts are consumed with how good the suspension is, the smoothness of the ride and the excellent steering. They have travelled a mere 5 paces from their front door when Mum suddenly says ‘Stop a minute, I just want to check something..’

“Do you think she’s warm enough?”

“Don’t know feel her hands.”

“They feel quite warm. I’ll pop another blanket on just in case.”


With that worry diminished the couple continue on their walk. Dad marvels once more at the pram’s performance and is just about to say so when “Stop a minute, I just need to check…”

Mum leans in pram.

“Do you think she’ll overheat with the extra blanket?”


“I read that they’re not supposed to get too hot.”

“I’m sure she’ll be fine.”

Mum removes blanket. They begin to walk again.

Baby squeaks.


Dad halts immediately.

etc etc..

And this continues for the duration of their stressful, worrisome first trip to the out of doors world with their tiny helpless bundle.

This is just the start, there are SOOOO many things to bloody worry about and worry we do.

One of the most anxiety inducing episodes is always when your child is poorly, or you think they might be poorly, or you think they might be about to be poorly.

It’s terrifying and it sends us parents in to utter panic.

And if, like me you happen to naturally be of a neurotic disposition to begin with, then mum-dom will destroy your nerves. I have reached at times, a whole new level of anxiety via worrying about my babies, just when I thought I couldn’t be strung any higher. Of course sleep deprivation plays a key part in how rational your thoughts are and how calm you are able to remain, which is why for a long time I was a gibbering wreck. I’m calmer now that the children are a bit more robust but they still catch me and my nervous system out!

Two days ago, my youngest was in the downstairs toilet. “I’ve done a poo! Can someone wipe my bottom?!” came the sweet words from my 3 year old daughter.

Dad stepped up to the task.

There was a pause. And then my husbands voice:

“Lou, come and look at this.”

It sounded ominous.

Child was poised for wiping and there we were husband and I, staring into the toilet at a very bright RED poop.

My heart thumped painfully a couple of times before I took a deep breath, praised child on her excellent toilet going and wiped said child’s bottom. Child ran off.

We looked at each other with serious faces and then looked back at the poo before one of us uttered the words; “Does that look like blood to you?”


“It can’t be can it?”

I was doing mental backtracks over everything she’d eaten in the past week and it wasn’t helping. She’s going through a fussy phase and her current diet pretty much consists of only beige foods. I couldn’t think of a single red thing that she might have eaten that could have caused this. My own personal experience of this type of thing happened once after I’d eaten beetroot carpaccio. I doubted whether my 3 year old would even be able to name a beetroot let alone eat one.

I turned to look at my daughter, she was running around the hallway, completely naked shouting in to a minion walkie talkie. She seemed fine.

“Darling, have you been putting crayons in your mouth or that?” Even as I say it, I know its lame. Of course she hasn’t. She’s smart.

Our eldest appeared in the toilet doorway. I’m casual.

“Have you done a poo recently my love?”

“Err.. no. Why?”

“Next time you do one, let mummy or daddy have a look at it before you flush it away, okay?”

Perfectly normal request. I focus my attention back on to the poo.

Husband was still staring in to toilet bowl looking confused, one hand on chin, one hand on cistern. It was unclear whether his thoughts were still on the red poo or whether they had migrated to plumbing – but he was pulling all the right faces.

“I’m going to hook a bit out and get a better look.” I say.

Again. Under the circumstances. Perfectly normal.

I retrieved a small plastic tub from the cupboard full of small plastic tubs that all tumble out each and every flippin’ time the flippin’ cupboard door is opened. And an old baby weaning spoon from the cutlery drawer.

Unflinchingly, (hard core mum-style) I leaned in and hooked out a -larger than was really necessary- piece of bright red poo. Husband and I both inspected it as I set about breaking it up with the little blue plastic utensil that we once used to feed our baby her first solids. Oh the irony!

It was red through and through.

I was shaking now.

Husband was quiet, frowning, with the neck of his t-shirt pulled up over his nose and mouth.

The smell did not affect me, a totally inappropriate fight or flight response had kicked in and I’d have absolutely been ready to fight a hungry lion – if I hadn’t felt so giddy.

At this point, I did what any mother would do.

I phoned my mother.

She, like me back tracked through everything they’d eaten at her house the day before. Jacket potato, cheese, chorizo..


“Could it be the paprika in the chorizo?”

I considered the likelihood of this.

“No, there wouldn’t be enough paprika in a few tiny chopped pieces of chorizo to turn a child’s whole movement bright red would there? – Anyway, it’s the wrong shade..”

Then the penny dropped and we both blurted in unison “JELLY!”

The girls had both had a strawberry flavoured Peppa Pig jelly for pudding the day before! Could it be that which had turned my daughters stool crimson?

Blood rushed to my head and I suddenly became aware of the eldest calling from the upstairs loo:

“Mum! I’ve just done a poo, do you want to see it?”

“YES!! DON”T FLUSH IT AWAY!!” I clambered up the stairs, “Hang on mum, I’m just having a look at..”

“Oh! Oh thank goodness!”

“Yep. Yep mum, Yep it was the jelly. Yep, hers is red too. It’s not blood. Panic over. Yep, Love you too. Bye.”

I hang up, let out a primeval groan and collapse on the top stair.

My mum says you never stop worrying about your kids, even when they are grown ups and I can quite believe it. In fact I’m already worrying about them when they are grown ups. They are my babies! And it’s natural for us mums to worry, it’s what makes us mindful parents and it means we are doing a bloody good job. We shouldn’t have to pretend that being a mum is a breeze because we have a ‘natural instinct’. Even the most naturally talented people have to practise really hard to get good at what they do. But we don’t have chance to practise so we are bumbling through. It’s ok to ask for help and it’s ok to feel like your floundering and it’s normal to worry. And I don’t care what any medical professional says; Wine DOES help.

Just for the record: although I probably will always worry about my children, I will definitely not be inspecting my daughter’s poo when she is 35, no matter what colour it is.

Louise x

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