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The Great School Holiday Rip-off...

February 10, 2016 Read more

Families pay up to EIGHT TIMES more than normal for flights during half-term holiday. 


  • Families being hit with punishing air fare price hikes for February half-term
  • Flights found to be up to eight times more expensive than at other times
  • Valentine's Day coincides with half-term this year, adding further increase
  • Average flight price increases 200% during half-term compared to normal
  • Manchester to Verona, Italy, saw hike of 762% - the highest found by study

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The BEST And WORST Performing Primary Schools In Oxfordshire

February 08, 2016 Read more

The Department of Education have recently published their performance tables for 2015 for both primary and secondary schools. The following data taken from the Department of Education shows the percentage of children achieving level 4 or above in reading, writing and maths at mainstream primary schools in the county.

Given the number of schools in the county, we have just listed those that have achieved 100% and those you have achieved less than 70%. If you want to find your child's school, take a look here

The following schools achieved 100%:

Ashbury with Compton Beauchamp CofE School

Aston & Cote Primary School

Beckley CofE Primary School

Bladon CofE Primary School

Chadlington CofE Primary School

Checkendon CofE Primary School

Chilton County Primary School

Clanfield CofE Primary School

Combe CofE Primary School

Dry Sandford CofE Primary School

Great Tew County Primary School

Hanborough Manor CofE Primary SChool

Holy Trinity Catholic School, Chipping Norton

Lewknor CofE Primary School

Little Milton CofE Primary School

Long Furlong CofE Primary School

Longcot & Fernham CofE Primary School

Longworth Primary School

Nettlebed Community School

Radley CofE Primary School

St Amand's  CatholicPrimary School, Wantage

St Blaise CofE Primary School, Abingdon

St Peter's Church Primary School, Cassington

Watchfield Primary School


The following schools achieved less than 70%:

Dorchester St Birinus School, Wallingford 67%

Eynsham Community Primary 67%

Southwold Community Primary 67%

St James CofE Primary School, Hanney 67%

St Laurence CofE Primary School, Warborough 67%

Tackley CofE Primary School 67%

Edith Moorhouse Primary School, Carterton 66%

Sutton Courtenay CofE Primary School 65%

St Christophers CofE Primary School, Oxford 64%

Winlade Community Primary 63%

Chesterton CofE Primary School 61%

Ewelme CofE School 60%

Middle Barton Primary School 60%

Orchard Meadow Primary School, Oxford 60%

Stadhampton Primary School 60%

Grove CofE Primary School 58%

Kirtlington CofE School 57%

Bayards Hill Primary School, Oxford 51%

Abbey Woods Academy, Wallingford 50%

Carterton Primary School 50%

William Morris School, Banbury 50%

St Mary's CofE School, Banbury

Long Wittenham CofE Primary School 50%

John Henry Newman Academy 48%

Rose Hill Primary School 46%


Want to find out more about what we do, take a look at our Supermum Oxfordshire directory of local small businesses here

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Is Your Child Worrying About Their Upcoming GCSE Exams?

February 06, 2016 Read more

Is your child stressing about their upcoming GCSE Exams?

If your child is determined to get as many A-C grades as possible in their upcoming GCSE exams, they may be searching for better ways to revise for their exams to make sure they achieve them. Nothing beats hard-work, especially when it comes to studying, but there are ways they can guide their brain to remember information easier which supports their ability to learn.

Here are 3 revision tips to get your child started:

1). Create a Revision Timetable – Building a Revision Timetable can add structure to your revision and help you identify which GCSE subjects you need to prioritise to get better marks. Plus, creating a revision timetable is a great way to organise your study time and it will get you motivated.

2). Practice Makes Perfect – One of the biggest recommendations that GCSE students should be doing is going through as many past papers as you can. This will help you become familiar with the: Exam Format, Question Style, Time Pressure and Retrieve Information quicker.

3). Use Mind Maps to connect your Ideas – If you find it difficult to remember tons of new study notes, Mind Maps may be the key to improving your memory. The Theory behind Mind Mapping explains that making associations by connecting ideas helps you to memorise information easier and quicker.

GCSE exams are just around the corner – Are there gaps in their learning and they just need that extra support?

Why not sign your child up to One-2-One Tutors Group Revision Sessions?

One-2-One Tutors are offering GCSE English and Maths revision sessions in Witney, Oxfordshire. These revision sessions will take place every Saturday between 1-3pm and the group will consist of 4 pupils at a time. Your students will be tutored by qualified Teachers with DBS Clearance.

We will be covering areas that students are struggling to understand, showing students a variety of ways to help them in English and Maths and going through practice exam papers to get them in the mindset.

Plus, your child will receive a FREE revision worksheet and more revision tips!

The rates for Group Revision Sessions are £10 per hour, plus a first assessment meeting which is free of charge, to help support your child's needs.

To book your child’s place now to avoid disappointment; contact us on: 07854507760 or email

To see what else we offer, please visit our website:

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Too Busy To Settle Your Baby?

February 03, 2016 Read more

The new Babocush seat is causing controversy on-line and i must admit that when i first saw it i was a bit shocked. Are we too busy to settle our babies? So instead we settle for a contraption that mimics the womb and does it for us.

The Babocush is a newborn comfort cushion with vibrations and heartbeat to create a womb-like experience for unsettled young babies. It was created by a mum who struggled to keep her son calm and settled during the day. It is specially designed to make babies feel 'held' during the day and provide comfort. It mimics the over-the-shoulder position and gently vibrates.

“Very few parents have enough time in the day for their baby to constantly lie against their chest, and many of us struggle to provide a safe and comfortable alternative,” reads the product description. It is thought to relieve the discomfort of colic and reflux and helps to prevent flat head syndrome.

With over 10 million video views in just two weeks, it’s clear that everyone is talking about Babocush – but it seems to have really divided followers.


Many have complained that the seat takes away that crucial parent-baby bond, with one woman commenting: “Really, baby won’t hear your heartbeat, have your smell or feel your warmth. They are tiny for such a short time. Make the most of it - cleaning will be there tomorrow. These are very precious and rewarding moments.”

What are your thoughts? You can find out more about the Babocush on their Facebook page here



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Introduction to using a Focus Wheel to get closer to your dreams.

February 01, 2016 Read more

What is a focus wheel and where do I start?

Using a Focus Wheel is a life coaching technique which we think is great to apply to life and business goals alike for 2016. As part of our #yearoftheleap campaign we want to help small business owners to shift to a more positive way of focusing on what you don’t have yet that you really want. Instead of worrying and moping about the situation you are in, or just being scared to change anything, this technique gets you thinking about what you have already achieved (which if you’re a typical Supermum is a lot already!) and what you can work on that gets you closer to your longer term goal.

The Focus Wheel process was originally developed by publishers Abraham Hicks (Esther and Jerry Hicks who present the teachings of nonphysical entity Abraham). They describe it as:

“The Focus Wheel Process is the best tool that we have found to help you bridge a belief so that it matches your desire. Now, this is what we mean by this: The formula for creating anything, even, let us say, joyful tax preparation, is: Identify the desire and then achieve a vibrational match with it.” 

There are lots of Focus Wheel versions and designs you can use. We’ve developed a slightly simpler template with six rather than twelve segments – partly because we know that running a business takes up most of everyone’s time. This gives you a quicker and easy tool to use when thinking about your business, but it follows the same principles as the original concept from the book ‘Ask And It Is Given’.

Print a copy of the template via our Facebook page.

To get started you need to write your 2016 #yearoftheleap business goal or topic for change in the centre circle. That might be easy for you to do, but if you’re not sure what it is exactly you want then first identify what you don’t want, for example:

I don’t want to miss out on Saturdays with my children
I don’t want to return to my full time job at the end of maternity leave
I don’t want to feel guilty about wanting to pursue my dream

Now it’s easy to write down what you do want:

I want to stop working on Saturdays
I want to work part time around my baby
I want to feel justified in pursuing my dream

It’s ‘what you want’ that you write in the middle of the wheel to form your goal. This could be a statement like the above or it could be worded as follows :‘Make my hobby into a business’ or ‘Change my work life balance’ or ‘Stop working on Saturdays’.

Once you’ve summarised your goal in the centre of the Focus Wheel you will be able to start to think positively about how you will reach it and in doing so will manifest what you really want. It also makes you feel better immediately by just focusing on the bits that feel good.

I’ve got my business goal, now how do I follow the Focus Wheel process?

Great. Now the process is easy but takes some practise so our advice is to start small. You need to fill in the first segment of the wheel with a statement about you that is true and already matches what is written in the middle. It’s a good trick to think of yourself in a courtroom trying to convince the judge and jury that the statement in the middle of your Focus Wheel is already true.

So if your statement in the middle was ‘I want to work part time around my baby’ you might write: ‘I have a supportive husband’. If the statement is true and aligns with the centre as well as making you feel better (even slightly) then write it down on the first segment of the wheel. The idea is for the statement to make you feel good about achieving the goal, so if it doesn’t do that then keep thinking.

Also, don’t try and skip ahead to a statement that is unachieveable. The whole point of the wheel is to work your way up to the point you are aiming for and that’s what this exercise helps you to do in small steps. Getting started is sometimes hard and thinking of what to write in the first segment is usually the slowest bit as the statement may seem trivial and only make you feel slightly better.

What will happen though is that the ‘Law of Attraction’ will start to send more thoughts or statements that are similar or eve more positive for you to include. As you work around the wheel the statements will improve and you will be focused on thoughts that you wouldn’t have considered before starting the process. The very best ideas and thoughts come at the end of the Focus Wheel and sometimes it will be a light bulb moment when a thought will just pop into your mind. It’s those thoughts that make a huge difference.

The final step is to sit back and take in the thoughts you’ve had whilst completing focusing on this desire. You should think about how you are feeling now you’ve completed the wheel and write down a statement in the ring around the centre that reflects how you now feel. If you’re starting statement was ‘I want to work part time around my baby’ you might have been able to get to a positive place and end this process with the statement ‘I have the skills to work for myself, in the hours I choose’.

If you’re struggling with the Focus Wheel concept there is a short video from a blogger called Arvind Singh on YouTube that might help you further. If instead you found it easy using our basic template, you could attempt the 12 segment wheel and use this one.

Tips for making the most out of the process:

  • Don’t take a break – the idea is to FOCUS just for short time but focus fully
  • Remove distractions – whether that is children or your mobile phone
  • Don’t stop if you get stuck – just read through your wheel out loud until it clicks
  • Fill up all the segments of the wheel – even if you already feel better
  • Don’t do it in your head – your brain can only hold a few thoughts at a time
  • Make a note of issues – anything that concerns you can be a future focus wheel!

Now how do you feel?

If you have completed your Focus Wheel it’s time to compare how you felt when you started to how you are feeling now. Ask yourself if you feel any better. If you feel good about your goal or at least feel more positive then the exercise was a success. The process of the Focus Wheel is to shift your thinking into a positive alignment whilst focusing on something you really want to happen or to be true.





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The BEST And WORST Performing Schools In Oxfordshire

January 28, 2016 Read more

The Department Of Education has, this week released the performance tables for both primary and secondary schools across England. The results show the percentage of pupils who achieved 5 or more GCSEs at A* to C at mainstream secondary schools in the county.

In Oxfordshire, an average of 59% of pupils achieved 5 or more GCSEs at grade A* to C in 2015. The national average is 53.8%

1. Wallingford School 78%

2. The Cherwell School, Oxford 74%

3. Gillotts School, Henley 73%

4. Blessed George Napier School, Banbury 72%

5. Didcot Girl's School 71%

6. Langtree School, Woodcote 70%

7. Faringdon Community College 67%

8. The Henry Box School, Witney 66%

9. The Marlborough School, Woodstock 66%

10. Icknield Community College, Watlington 65%

11. The Warriner School, Bloxham 64%

12. Bicester Community College 63%

13. Chipping Norton School 63%

14. Cheney School, Oxford 63%

15. Matthew Arnold School, Botley 63%

16. Wheatley Park School 63%

17. King Alfred's School, Wantage 62%

18. BartholomewSchool, Eynsham 61%

19. Burford school 61%

20. The Cooper School, Bicester 59%

21. John Mason School, Abingdon 58%

22. Gosford Hill School, Kidlington 57%

23. St Birinus School, Didcot 57%

24. Carterton Community College 55%

25. Larkmead School, Abingdon 54%

26. Oxford Spires Academy 54%

27. Wood Green School, Witney 53%

28. Lord Williams School, Thame 52%

29. Fitzharry's School, Abingdon 51%

30. The Oxford Academy 51%

31. Chiltern Edge Community School, Sonning Common 46%

32. St Gregory The Great, Oxford 43%

33. North Oxfordshire Academy, Banbury 39%

See all the results at The Dept Of Education

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Where Are The Top 10 Schools In England?

January 27, 2016 Read more

New results tables released this week reveal the 10 best schools in England for getting A to C grades in GCSE's.

Every girl at The Henrietta Barnett School in Barnet achieved at least five A to C grades including English and maths last year, while it also had a 100 per cent pass rate for the English Baccalaureate.

The school in Hampstead, North London, was followed by Dartford Grammar School in Kent and Altrincham Grammar School for Girls near Manchester, which also had 100 per cent A-C pass rates.


Meanwhile The Liverpool Blue Coat School finished in fourth place - with a 100 per cent score on GCSE A-Cs.


The strong performances were revealed as it also emerged that more than 250,000 children are not getting a decent education, including pupils at three of the Government's flagship free schools.


Hundreds of state secondaries fell below the Government's floor targets after failing to ensure that enough pupils gained five good GCSE grades and made sufficient progress in English and maths.


Overall, 329 state secondary schools in England did not meet the minimum benchmarks. Of these, 312 failed to ensure that at least 40 per cent of their pupils gained at least five C grades at GCSE, including English and maths, and that students make good enough progress in these two core subjects.



How did your local schools do? Search your postcode on the Department for Education website by clicking here.





The Henrietta Barnett School Barnet (London) 100 100 631.7
Dartford Grammar School Kent 100 98 553.2
Altrincham Grammar School for Girls Trafford 100 97 512.9
The Blue Coat School Liverpool 100 96 696.1
Colchester County High School for Girls Essex 100 96 624.3
Lawrence Sheriff School Warwickshire 100 96 618
Dr Challoner's High School Buckinghamshire 100 96 514.7
Reading School Reading 100 92 622
Kendrick School Reading 100 91 653
St Michael's Catholic Grammar School Barnet (London) 100 91 580.2



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OMG! Wean Your Baby On Raw Egg!

January 26, 2016 Read more

Advice to new mums in the 1950's certainly differs to the advice given today! Mother & Baby Magazine celebrates its 60th anniversary this week and to mark the occasion they have shared some of their parenting tips and advice!

Here are some of the dottiest tips and opinions from the past six decades …





It would be a brave obstetrician who blamed a mother today for a difficult or painful labour. But in 1960, that’s just what Mother & Baby did, saying: ‘Every mother does not have an easy time during labour, but this can be her own fault.


‘The degree of pain felt in these exciting moments varies, but it is an incontrovertible fact that labour pains are never as bad as one anticipates and, indeed, in the thrilling knowledge of the baby’s imminent arrival, they are, in fact, scarcely noticed.’




As a 1957 edition advised, there was a lot to be said against the new, worrying trend of husbands in the delivery room.


‘There has been a good deal of discussion recently about the fact that many modern wives have asked for their husband to be present at the baby’s birth. There is a good deal of resistance to the idea — and on this, we must confess, we feel some sympathy.


‘Our own view is that the business of childbirth often brings vicarious suffering and anxiety to the expectant father with an imaginative and susceptible mind. His presence at the birth may be really painful to him.


‘In such circumstances, is it really kind to insist on a husband’s presence?’





From an issue of the magazine in 1957:


‘Some members of the medical profession maintain they always advocate a daily glass of beer as a recuperative for nursing mothers.


‘Our own experience has been limited to the theory that a glass of stout is a wonderful pick-me-up and helpful in maintaining the natural milk.’


In 1968, mums were positively advised to put their sex lives before the demands of breastfeeding.


‘The pleasure the mother finds in breastfeeding her baby inevitably takes some of the pleasure from sexual intercourse with her husband.


‘It is because of this that so many couples decide the baby shall be bottle-fed, and sympathetic doctors will quite understand the importance of this decision.’





‘A very common problem is one of the wife who finds she has no desire to make love with her husband after her child is born, even after her postnatal examination has assured her she need have no such reservations.


‘This condition is called “post-partum frigidity” and it has been estimated that more than 80 out of 100 women have this problem to a greater or lesser degree.’


So said a copy of the magazine from 1962.





Any mother feeling down after the birth was given rather worrying advice in 1958: ‘Should you have a bad attack of blues or feel madly frustrated by the climate, the cat next door or just life, try furniture stripping.


‘Many people find this solves their emotional problems and saves them hours on the analyst’s couch.’





Indeed, an article from 1964 seemed to think mothers would be positively virtuous if they took up the following rule: ‘A good resolution would be not to smoke when nursing (breastfeeding) baby or tucking him up in his pram or cot.’




 ‘Expectant mothers can be less sensible and capable [at work] than they normally are.’ And while today women can work up to 38 weeks of pregnancy, readers in 1968 were told: ‘If you are pregnant at the age of 40, give up your job once the crucial third month has passed.


‘From varicose veins to piles, and backache to migraine, the older woman will invariably have her greater share of difficulties as pregnancy progresses.’




Raw egg yolk?! Babies of the 1950s could expect a diet consisting of raw tripe and raw egg yolk 

Raw egg yolk?! Babies of the 1950s could expect a diet consisting of raw tripe and raw egg yolk 


A 1956 edition of Mother & Baby said: ‘Boiled tripe is a nursery favourite that can be introduced from a year.’


A year later, mothers were advised ‘a little raw egg yolk may be introduced at the age of four months’.


Another article from 1956 said: ‘Mothers who are fortunate enough that their baby stays on the breast until they are three or four months old will want to go onto solids without any halfway house in the shape of bottle-feeding.’


Today, there are even baby menus in restaurants and weaning onto solids is only recommended at six months.




Mums in 1972 were actually warned off bathing.


A sweaty baby, apparently, was a happy one.


‘If you insist that your baby should be always sweet and dry and clean, washing him often with meticulous thoroughness, you are going against nature. Babies are easygoing about a little dampness.’




‘With shorter hairstyles, ears are now on view. Have you taken a good look at your ears lately to see how attractive they may or may not be?


‘Ears aren’t all just alike: some are prettier than others. Shiny ears are just as much a make-up fault as a shiny nose.’


And in 1958, mothers were lambasted for not minding their appearances.


‘Leading hairdresser Mr Steiner remarked on how young girls seemed to take good care of their hair and then, when they were married and had children, they no longer seemed to care. “Very unfair on their husbands!” he concluded.’





There was no naughty step 56 years ago. Discipline was a far simpler matter, as Mother & Baby said in 1960. ‘Once you have a baby, your main problem will be how to keep it quiet.


‘During the next four to five years, this will be your constant preoccupation, to the exclusion of most other interests.


‘After this period, the child will be old enough to understand your meaning when you snarl: “Get up to bed and go to sleep, you perishing little ******!” ’


A 1962 magazine advised mums to watch out for demanding children: ‘We don’t believe in letting a child grow up to be fussy and choosy, but we don’t think that a little cunning, tact and subtle leading come amiss in this, as in other questions relating to our little darlings, who can so rapidly assume the guise of devils incarnate and drive us to distraction if we so allow them to affect us so.’






1957: ‘High chair, potty chair, car seat all in one! One of the most versatile, and therefore economical pieces of nursery equipment, the Derek Folding High Chair can be used as a highchair with a removable feeding tray, a car seat and, when the pot is slipped into position, it makes a perfect baby potty-trainer.’


1960: ‘Brand new space-saver for smaller homes is the Stion high chair-cum-ironing board. The latter is full length and covered in felt with a detachable, calico cover.’






An issue in 1959 worried that housewives might soon have it too easy.


‘In the future, the kitchen will do everything for the wife, including a dishwasher that will rinse, wash, dry and sterilise all the dishes in three minutes.


‘But how will she operate such equipment? Perhaps it will be up to the husband!





In 1956, it was announced there was an ‘acceptable’ amount of weight that a woman could gain.


‘The normal weight gain through pregnancy is 16 to 24 lb. If your weight gain is more than that, then you are overweight and careful dieting is necessary.’






Air travellers in 1956 were told of a marvellous new invention: ‘The British Overseas Airway Corporation (BOAC) has specially designed “sky cots” which are hammock type and clamped to the luggage rack.


‘Babies from their earliest infancy to 12 months old (or a little older if they are small!) can sleep in them in perfect comfort.’


‘In a saloon model, tiny babies travel well in a carrycot or basket in the back seat. When your baby grows out of the carrycot, don’t resign yourself to clutching a bored, uncomfortable wriggler on your lap — a most exhausting state of affairs for all concerned.


‘We found that by standing suitcases on end between the front and back seats, and padding the plateau thus made, we had a safe and roomy playpen.


‘Once baby understands that Daddy does not appreciate having his ears played with while driving, she’ll settle down happily in her private domain.’

The 60th anniversary issue of Mother & Baby is on sale on Wednesday, £3.99;

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Time Spent Online 'Overtakes TV' Among Youngsters

January 26, 2016 Read more

Young people are spending more time playing and socialising online than watching television programmes, according to an annual survey tracking children's media behaviour in the UK.

Staff at research agency Childwise described it as a "landmark change".

Among those watching TV, the Netflix on-demand service was more popular than any conventional television channel.

There was also a surge in children's ownership of tablet computers, up by 50% compared with last year.

The annual media monitoring report, based on a sample of more than 2,000 five to 16-year-olds, has been following children's viewing behaviour since the mid-1990s.



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January 25, 2016 Read more

Having children is stressful, there is no doubt about it. Having three young children is a little more stressful. Having three young children and trying to leave the house ON TIME is so stressful it’s almost impossible! (Having more than three children is beyond my comprehension! You deserve a medal and a bloody MBE!)

I am pretty sure that a sparking career in logistics awaits me once my babies are all old enough to get themselves ready to leave the house without my intervention. (Apparently that does happen). Trying to leave the house with them all reminds me of that problem solving activity that you might have done at school. The one with the chicken, the fox and the grain where you have to work out how to get them all across the river in the boat without any of them being eaten, fundamentally this is the same process. (The baby did bite my daughter’s finger the other day, but that was a different scenario!)

As my eldest son is now at school, leaving the house on time is a daily challenge. Having done it for almost a year now with the three children you would think I would have mastered this skill and got mornings down to a fine art – But NO! Every single day it is stressful. Here’s how it happens…

The night before:

I think to myself ‘right, school tomorrow. I WILL be organised.’ I make sure book bag is packed and uniform is clean. Off I go to bed under the false pretence that everyone will sleep and the morning will run smoothly! (Who am I kidding?)

Midnight: Baby wakes up and cries. I rock him in the dark and pray he will go back to sleep. This time he does.

3am: Up with baby again for a spot of milk time and let’s pull mummy’s hair time! Well why not?!

4am: Fall back into bed after depositing baby in his cot.

Some point between 4.50 – 5.30am (5.45am if we’re lucky): My two and a half year old daughter will awake and make random screeching noises before she really gets going and demands to be escorted downstairs. Living in such a tiny house this MUST be dealt with swiftly before she wakes up her brothers. Today this is my husband’s job. Lucky daddy!

6.45am: My alarm goes off and I am forced to get my exhausted shell out of bed. If I don’t get up now we will certainly not make it to school on time. My baby is still asleep of course. NOW he sleeps! I expect he’s tired after having to get up all night.

I would like to say that I leap out of bed and downstairs with the stealth and enthusiasm of a Ninja Warrior, but that would be a lie! I stumble downstairs with the pace and gusto of a sleep deprived, thirty something mother of three to face another day.

Peppa pig is on TV and my eldest son has managed to sneak downstairs and find his Kindle whilst husband is getting ready for work.

6.50am: Put Kettle on to make tea. Wash up baby’s bottles whist waiting for kettle to boil.

6.55am: Go to make tea and realise that husband has stolen my water when I wasn’t looking to make his flask up for work! GRRRR! Refill kettle and put it on to boil. Put bottles in steriliser and actually remember to turn it on.

7.00am: Daughter gets that hungry look in her eye. Obviously she’s hungry she’s been up for hours! She probably thinks its lunchtime! Just as I’m about to start breakfast I notice her nappy is swinging between her legs like the gusset on Nora Batty’s tights! (For those young people amongst you, look her up on Google images!) I wrestle with my screaming toddler to change the offending nappy. She doesn’t want to take off her Frozen pyjamas!

7.05am: I wash my hands and return to the kitchen to make a cup of tea and start breakfast. The water in the kettle is now too cold. Boil kettle again and ask my daughter what she would like for breakfast.

7.06am: Repeatedly explain to daughter that chocolate buttons are NOT breakfast, no matter what daddy says!

7.08am: Find cup and tea bag and add hot water. Chop up fruit for breakfast and put some toast on. I realise that biggest child is still on his Kindle (Sneaky!) Five minute warning is given to step away from the Kindle.

7.14am: Toast pops up and makes me jump. I think I may have fallen asleep! It is given to both children with their specified toppings, a bit of fruit and a drink. Drinks! Drinks! I’m thirsty! Get milk from fridge for now stewed rather than brewed tea. Regardless I take a well-earned slurp.

7.15am: I hear the unmistakeable sound of a baby waking up. I brace myself mentally and then retrieve the fluffy, snuggly little bundle from his cot. I give him a kiss on the head and breathe in that lovely baby smell. Ahhhhh! He pokes me in the eye and pulls my hair.

7.20am: Baby milk time. I make up the bottle (one handed of course) and head for the sofa. Remembering oldest son and his kindle I remind him again to turn it off now. “OOOHHHHH MUUUUM! You’re SO annoying!” comes the response. Not a wise move on his part. Kindle is removed.

7.25am: I attempt to feed the baby his milk. He doesn’t want it, but he will cry if I take it away or dare to put him down. I am now aware of the clock in the kitchen ticking away the valuable seconds. I need to get organised!

7.30am: Baby is in his highchair, fruit and toast have been hurled in his direction. A quick swig of luke-warm tea and I am ready to do battle with the packed lunch. Or at least I would be if my husband hadn’t chosen the exact same time to make his lunch. Our kitchen is tiny and we have to keep the double pushchair in there too, so once the highchair is up there is not enough room to swing a flea, let alone make two lots of packed lunch at the same time. However, as usual we just carry on, limbo-ing around and under the highchair and clambering over the pushchair, singing “let it go” into a microphone with my daughter and Sing-Along Elsa, and somehow, I have no idea how, the packed lunches are made.

Kitchen is cleared, table is wiped, baby is wiped, floor is swept, baby is wiped again.

7.45am: Clothes! None of them are dressed. I try to sneak upstairs with just the baby, but I am spotted by the hawk-eyed toddler. “I help you mummy” she says! Oh good…

All three of us clamber up the stairs to find something to wear. Baby playing in his cot, toddler now making me a cup of tea in her kitchen (She’s clearly more focussed than her mother).

I set about the task of sorting through the piles of clean laundry that are all over the upstairs of my house looking for clothing for the children and myself, not much thought is given to the latter and the phrase “that’ll do” is bandied about quite a lot. (That’s a whole other blog!)

7.52am: Finally after what feels like forever, everyone has something to wear. Now… how am I going to get it all downstairs with two “helpers” in tow? This is where the chicken, fox and grain problem solving comes in very handy. Toddler is carried (screaming obviously) downstairs and deposited with her big brother. I run upstairs. Baby is safe and playing in his cot. I grab clothes and run down and throw them on the sofa and finally run upstairs again for the baby. Grab him, head back downstairs, problem solved, nobody has been eaten and step aerobics workout has been completed! Phew!

7.56 am: Husband leaves for work. Daddy holds somewhat of a celebrity status in our household, so his departure for work is always an ‘event’! Everyone must stop what they are doing and stand by the front door ready to wave regardless of the weather. (This is a ritual started by my eldest many years ago and only applies to daddy going to work, not mummy!)

We all wait in the freezing cold whilst my husband saunters to the car, gets in, drives up the road, turns the car around and drives back past the house waving like the queen! Just an observation, but I feel that Daddy milks this event a tad.

8.05am: I look at the clothes and pick out all the bits that don’t need ironing. There’s no escaping it, some things need ironing. Oh No! How am I going to do this? Another logistical nightmare. The baby has recently learned to climb on the sofa and jump up and down before deploying himself head first into the carpet. Hmmmm. Bribery is clearly required at this point in proceedings, so I say to the eldest child “Do you want to earn some money?”

“How much?” comes the reply.

I don’t know whether to be impressed by his entrepreneurial spirit or whether to bury him in the mountain of ironing that needs doing. I do neither of these things. I just give him “The Look!” the one that says if you ever want to see your kindle again you will help me for five minutes! That seems to do the trick!

8.10am: 7 year old now entertaining the baby, I start ironing uniform and clothes for everyone. This activity is of course punctuated by running into the living room every 30 seconds to referee arguments and remove baby from sofa, table, fireguard etc. I dream of the days gone by when I could complete this job within three minutes…whilst dreaming of having children and a lovely little family! Never then did I have to utter the words “DON’T TAKE IT OFF! THERE’S POOH IN IT!” to a toddler who was trying to remove her own nappy!!

Run into living room for emergency nappy change, before returning to wash hands and finally finish the job I’d started.

8.20am: Ironing done! Wooooo! 7 year old gets himself dressed. Amazing! However, it then dawns on him that it must be nearly school time and a sudden illness strikes him down. This can be anything from an eyelash in his eye to uncontrollable hiccups. Both of these are severe enough to warrant a day off school I’m sure you’ll agree.

8.25am: Get toddler dressed in her normal clothes and then add layers of princess clothes to complete her ‘look’. She will generally wear a lovely princess dress, a crown, lots of jewels and many accessories. (She is a princess after all).

8.30am: Wresting match with baby to put his clothes on. How can someone so small be so strong? Nappy changed, soggy breakfast pyjamas removed, clean clothes in place. Phew!

I say to my 7 year old “if you need to find anything for school, please do it NOW.” He looks at me blankly – oh good.

8.35am: Right, everyone is dressed but me. I need a shower just to feel vaguely human in the morning, especially on the school run. There’s still time… loads of it! 15 whole minutes! I ask the eldest to brush his teeth and get ready to leave, (He’s engrossed in Ben and Holly’s little kingdom with his sister). I clap my hands and jump about a bit. He spots me and meanders off to the bathroom. I put shoes and coat on the toddler, coat on the baby and wedge him in his car seat. (It’s the only way to contain him!)

 8.40am: Big child is looking in the mirror in the bathroom. He looks at me and says

“What was I supposed to be doing?”


“Oh yeah.”

I have no time to wait around. Daughter is contained in the living room, baby is trapped in his car seat on the bathroom floor looking at me, and big one is brushing his teeth. Off come my pyjamas and I jump in the shower (with an audience), for a WHOLE minute. The water varies between scalding hot and freezing cold as the teeth brushing continues and taps are turned on and off.

8.43am: Out of shower, 7 minutes to go. Get dry, throw on clothes, and put hair in some sort of arrangement. That’ll do!

8.45am: Baby has pooped! Of course he has! Yell at the big one to put his coat on and get his book bag and lunch box. Change baby in record time!

8.46am: Baby back in car seat and clipped onto pushchair. I scoop up the toddler princess and before she has time to protest she too is strapped into the pushchair. Cover them both with a blanket.

8.48am: Tell eldest to put his coat on AGAIN. Brush his hair, put my shoes and coat on, grab bags, grab pushchair, look down to check I’ve remembered to put trousers on. Today we’re in luck! There are indeed trousers!

8.49am: Leave the house! Hooray! Run down the road to school. Here I would like to state that comments from passers-by like “you only live down the road” and “come on, come on you’ll be late” are not helpful! I am well aware of my situation, YOU on the other hand are not.

8.51am: Arrive at school – on time (naturally)! I say goodbye to my lovely Son, get a kiss from him if I’m lucky and then breathe a sigh of relief. Mission morning school run complete for another day.

So in the words of Dionne Warwick, “If you see me walking down the street, and I start to cry each time we meet. Walk on by.” I will be fine once I get home for a well-earned cup of tea and some breakfast.

Sarah. X Mums The Word 

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