Tough Love

Very interesting post about our concept of ‘tough love’ and how in fact parenting in a rational, ‘in the moment’ way is really, really tough – but possible.

Raising Mama

“Tough love,” says the mother as she forces her child to the busy street corner with a sign declaring his sins to the world.

“Tough love,” nods the father as he blasts his daughter’s laptop into pieces and posts the video online.

“Tough love,” applauds the Internet commenters, when a photo of a note goes viral, a note that says “You came home past your curfew, so you can sleep on the porch. You’re lucky I gave you a pillow this time.”

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Life Hacking: Avoiding the shoe shop

We’re a bit particular about having ‘proper’ shoes for the kids; in my book this means Clarks shoes. It’s something that was drilled into me from an early age and, perhaps because of this, I’ve never had any feet issues (bar that incident when I broke my big toe raving at a festival in Serbia, which, I think, is probably unrelated). Oh, and there was jealousy of course: who didn’t want to be a ‘cool kid’ in in some renegade shoes that weren’t the standard issue Clarks sandals?

However, getting a child to the shoe shop to get their feet measured regularly? That’s a tough one. I’ll be the first to admit, we don’t go as regularly as we probably should so I’m not always aware how quickly feet are growing. Ada is nearly toddling now so she’ll be needing her first pair of proper shoes soon (*sniff* – how fast they grow up).


It turns out you can now measure your kids feet at home through Clarks Measure and Fit. You can buy gauge at £6 or £8 depending on size (with free delivery), plug the measurements into the Clarks website and it will spit out the correct size.

This seems GENIUS to me. I can track how fast their feet are growing and – although I imagine Clarks didn’t quite intend it this way – I can even buy secondhand shoes which I know will fit. (I’m thinking nearly new rather than well-worn; the merits of well fitting shoes have been drilled into me enough, thank you). I can’t take all the credit; someone suggested this on Facebook. Clever, thrifty mum types.

Whilst we’re on the subject, these are the specimens I’m eyeing up as Ada’s first shoes – all but one in the BOYS SECTION. Get a grip, Clarks, we don’t all want pink/floral/bows for our one year old girls! See my previous rant about the gender wars in kids clothes.


And I like the look of these ones for non-school time for Harper. Traditionally, I’ve had just two pairs of shoes on the go for him – ones for school, ones for not, plus wellies for wet and crocs and/or sandals for Summer. At £35-40 a pop for a pair of decent shoes that need to be updated at least every 6 months… well, you’ve got to be a bit frugal…


This is not a sponsored post.

#FirstDay : Why The World Needs Midwives and Basic Medicine for Newborn Babies

Zakaria, a newborn baby in Gardo General Hospital, Puntland, Somalia.RS67063_Baby_Zakaria-11 Do you remember that moment of pure rapture, shock and excitement of your baby’s first few hours? Last year, I had my second child at home and even though the birth was so fast that she popped out before the midwife arrived (!), I felt safe in the knowledge that she was on her way and would help me deliver the placenta and check my baby over.

The knowledge and experience that midwives have is amazing and everyone in the world should have access to that. In the UK, we have the services of NHS (despite it’s faults) and wonderful independent midwives. People in other countries are not so lucky. Every year, around the world, 2.9 million babies die in their first month from things that are preventable. The outcome could be changed with the help of a trained and equipped midwife along with basic medicines such as antiseptics and antibiotics, vital equipment and a clean environment to work in.

The world has made amazing progress in saving children’s lives over the past two decades. The number of children who die each year has dropped from 12.6 million in 1990 to 6.6 million in 2012.


This year, for the first time ever, countries around the world will sit down to agree a global action plan to save newborn lives which would mean:

  • Saving the lives of 2 million newborn babies a year
  • Ensuring that every baby is born with the support of a trained and equipped midwife

Save the Children want David Cameron to sign the Newborn Promise – a plan to ensure that by 2025 every baby is born with the life-saving support of a midwife.

Please sign the petition to the Prime Minister to make sure every baby is born with the life-saving support of a midwife.


Ada’s cut her first tooth at 12 months and the second followed at just gone 13 months. She now has two on the bottom, serrated and sharp. Breastfeeding has become a bit more complicated as she thinks it’s funny to give me a nibble.

Ada smile

Sunday BMXing. A look of concentration. I’ve sat the top of some of those bumps on my bike and not dared go down them, so I know why they need all that gear – helmet, gloves and knee pads.

Harper BMXing

Bucket list of Books: Wild and Wonderful Origami

Wild and Wonderful Origami by Mari Ono and Roshin Ono has found us making storks, snakes, seals and robins this half term holiday. Bought for only £4 from The Book People, it includes all the paper you need to make the origami and wonderfully creative images of the finished pieces ‘in situ’ – crows on the telephone lines, snakes in the desert, monkeys hanging from a tree branch.

I’ve found that Harper, aged 8, can easily while away an hour or so with this book only with the occasional “look what I’ve made!” shout out. He likes the clear instructions and I enjoy the fact that the book gives the Japanese names for the animals and talks about how ‘every origami model you’ve made has a value that no amount of money can replace – every time you create you’re actually giving something of yourself’ which sounds like a wise Japanese proverb.