Tuesday, 30 January 2018

Why does having 5 children mean that people assume they don't have as many opportunities or 'privileges' as others

Whilst at work the other day I struck up a conversation with a customer about children. People are always slightly taken aback when I say I have five children and they are soon asking their ages and 'How do you cope' and 'You don't look old enough'. Clearly that last statement is a lie and they are just being polite because at the moment I feel and look about 90!! 

Anyway, the other day I was slightly taken aback by a comment that was said to me. 'Oh but yours won't have as much privilege being one of five will they'. I am sure the person in question meant opportunity rather than privilege but it really played on my mind for the rest of the day. 

Cinema time

Why is there the assumption that being from a larger family means you won't always have what others do. The person in question was assuming that we maybe don't have as much money as others or even if we did it would then be split between five children rather than maybe one or two. Or maybe that they didn't get enough of our time as there are five of them so how could we possibly give each child the time that they need from us.

People are all too quick to judge when it come to larger families. Some have the assumption that we must be on benefits, living in a council house and 'I bet the government pay for your children'. Well no it's all wrong and it's wrong to always assume things of others. 

Our children are happy, a handful! and get as much opportunity to do things as others and I would never say they miss out on anything being from a larger family. Yes it all adds up when they have school trips, new clothes and shoes, horse riding lessons, school meals, eating out, cinema trips etc..... Eating out or going to the cinema as a family of seven certainly costs more than if we were a family of four but that doesn't mean we don't do it. 

 Now I am sure if we had even more money we could give them so many more opportunities than they already have but, that said, the same statement applies to most people. We are happy and we give our children everything that we can and every opportunity to do things that they want to do. 

Thing 3 enjoying her horse riding

As for giving them our time I feel that they get plenty of our time too. I was lucky enough up until recently to be a stay at home parent until they all started school. I was here during the days to look after them, take them to school, toddler groups, out with friends etc... We help them with their homework, read with them at night time and take them out at the weekends. That said I am sure that a lot of parents who both work full time during the week still have time to do all of those things too and whether you have one or five children you can give them as much time and attention as they need. 

Thing 5 thinks eating out is the best! 

So please don't assume anything about anyone. Passing judgement about others is wrong. 

Whether you have one, five, ten or twenty children. Live in a two, four or ten bedroom house and have a moderate or luxurious income. We are all doing the same job and raising our children the best we can and aim to give them every opportunity they can have. 

Monday, 23 October 2017

Our BIG family announcement. There's a new baby on the way!!

Ok, so I didn't ever think that I would be sharing baby news from the Staying Sane house ever again, or at least not for a long while yet. 

However, Thing 1 and his girlfriend are making us grandparents, eeeek! 

It all came as a bit of a shock. I now know how my parents felt all those years ago when I announced I was expecting at the age of 17. Back then I thought my parents were 'ancient' and I didn't know what all the fuss was about when they grumbled at becoming grandparents at the ages of 39 and 42. Now I completely understand how silly my teenage thinking was and I know they were too young (and I was too young!). 

Thing 1 arrived the day after my 18th birthday and I had a lot of growing up to do and quickly! I lived with my parents for the first year and they were an amazing help with everything and still are now five babies later! 

So Thing 1 is going to be a Dad. Is he ready? No. Is he responsible enough? Probably not. Will he make a good Dad? Of course he will. 

Is any parent at any age really ready for the arrival of a new baby. Mentally, physically, emotionally, financially. Nothing can prepare you for the sleepless nights, the dirty nappies, the endless amount of washing, the crying and that small person completely relying on you for their every need. Honestly Thing 1 is still like that now! 

However, they will make great parents. They will learn as they go and they will have their families there to help them every step of the way. Everything so far is going well and it's time for their 20 week scan next week. 

I am super excited even though there is so much they need help with before the baby arrives. I have made myself official pram advisor although I have taught Thing 1 well, even though he won't admit it! 

So there we have it, the news I didn't think we would be sharing just yet but it's happening anyway! 

Now where's my rocking chair and my knitting needles??!! 

Taking a look at the wonderful Plae UK children's footwear range and a review of the Plae Max boots from their new intergalactic space range. Heading into the winter season with Plae.

Plae UK children's footwear has caught my eye for a while now. I am always on the look out for something different when it comes to footwear for the children and I found this great children's footwear brand last year. 

Plae has always had fun styles and bright colourways across all of the footwear on their website and we were spoilt for choice when it came to deciding on a new pair of shoes for Thing 5. 

From shoes to boots for summer and winter Plae UK has lots to offer. 

The Max boot was our choice for Thing 5 though. As it was getting cooler and towards Autumn/Winter time I wanted something a bit more robust for his feet. There are so many colours to choose from in the Max boot that I wasn't sure what to choose. 

From black, ribbon red, gold and even camo as well as so many more we opted for the Max boot in their, new for A/W 2017, space static black colour way. With its hi top giving extra ankle support as well as easy to fasten velcro straps the boot is made from nubuck leather and woven poly material. 

Thing 5 wanted to wear them straight away and they were so easy for him to put on himself. We haven't mastered laces as yet and even his older brother who has almost learnt how to tie laces really would prefer velcro just for easiness and because it is so quick! The boots were so flexible and soft and I love the extra protection on the toe area which is always the first place for wear on shoes with my children. The website even has separate velcro tabs to purchase to customise your Plae shoes and boots. 

These boots have been worn everywhere. They have seen so much wear already and yet still look fab. They are smart enough to wear with jeans and ideal for a run around in the park or to wear out to a party. 

The Plae UK Max boot is available in 11 different colour ways so you will struggle to choose from all the gorgeous colours available. The ribbon red is also a favourite of ours and they are made from napa leather. 

Whether you are looking for shoes like the Plae Nat or Ty styles or more robust boots like the Max boot or the Noel boot which look ideal for winter there is a style and colour to suit every occasion and purpose on their website.

We are now looking at more Plae UK purchases, if we can decide on what colours to choose! 

Their range is amazing and well worth a look so head over to the Plae UK website today to take a look at their full range of shoes and boots. 

Disclosure; We were sent a pair of Plae boots to review, all comments and thoughts are our own. 

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

What advent calendars are in shops for 2017 including Smiggle, Soap & Glory, Yankee Candle, Biscuiteers and many more

It's that time of year again where we are all starting to get ready for Christmas and one thing I am looking out for is advent calendars. 

Each year there are more and more advent calendars in the shops from beauty to chocolate, biscuits to toys and so much more. 

Last year in the Staying Sane house we had Smiggle, Thomas Minis, Yankee candle and Lego advent calendars as well as chocolate calendars. 

This year, amongst many other calendars, I have selected a few that have caught my eye whilst in stores and shopping online. 

First up I found this Wera advent calendar. Full of tools and bits for any DIY enthusiast. 

Next up is this beauty advent for tweens and teens. From Superdrug and currently half price at just £8. With lop glosses, nail varnish and more. 

Also from Superdrug is this 12 days advent calendar. Full of bath and beauty products and also half price at the moment. 

Lego advent calendars are always popular in our house. Thing 4 had the Lego Star Wars version last year. This Lego City one has a small Lego surprise behind each door. Priced between £19.99 and £24.99 from various retailers. 

This cheese advent calendar is set to be very popular this year. Available at Asda stores from mid November it is full of yummy bite sized cheesy goodness behind each window. 

This Swizzels Matlow advent calendar is the one that the Things have got their eye on this year. Thing 4 and 5 currently prefer chewy sweets over chocolate and after seeing this instore recently they have asked for this advent. Priced at £4 and seen in Sainsburys. 

I absolutely love the Yankee Candle advent calendar. With a small scented tealight behind each door. This years scents include Red: Sparkling Cinnamon Green: The Perfect Tree Tan: Candy Chestnut White: Winter Glow Pink: Snowflake Cookie Light Green: Macaron Treats. Priced at around £20 from various retailers it will add an extra special festive scent to your home each day. 

The Smiggle advent calendar is a favourite of Thing 3's. She has had it for the past couple of years and loves it. With a piece of stationery or fun accessory behind each door and the contents worth £40 the RRP is £25 from Smiggle stores and online. There are also 25 lucky tickets hidden in advent calendars and waiting to be found. Lucky finders of the tickets win a £500 shopping spree. 

Thing 5 had the Thomas Minis advent calendar last year and it is back this year exclusively at Asda. Priced at £35 it has a Thomas Mini train behind each window with special festive edition trains as well as lots of other designs too. 

This Biscuiteers advent tin has to be my best find this year. I would love to open this each day and have a gorgeously decorated biscuit to eat each day (with a cuppa of course!). Priced at £48 and available on the Biscuiteers website. It's definitely at the top of my advent list!! 

The ever popular Soap and Glory beauty product range from Boots has also produced an advent calendar this year. Exclusive to Boots in store and online it is full of Soap and Glory goodies including mascara, body wash and hand food plus much much more. Priced at £40.

So whether you want a bath time treat every day on the lead up to Christmas or something festively delicious to eat there is an advent calendar out there for everyone. 

Which advent would you choose?