About us

More Than A Mum: The Course

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It’s all getting pretty exciting at More Than A Mum!  By now you probably have a pretty good idea of our mission: We want to support women in being brilliant Mums, AND help them to rediscover their own identity.

Well, we have taken this mission a step further and as of today we have teamed up with Pitter Patter The Hub for Bubs to offer a course for Mums to help you achieve those dual aims of being a great parent and rediscovering yourself as an individual. Oh and you’ll get to meet and chat with other Mums in the area over coffee with some lovely Mummy treats thrown in…

The sessions will run on Saturday mornings once a month, beginning on the 3rd March, at the Grove Pub in Ealing.

Sessions will be in two parts, one to support you as a Mum and one to support you as a woman.  Each section will have a range of information, guidance, support and activities for you in your role as woman and your role as Mum.

The Woman section will include a range of inspirational talks, confidence building activities, Mum me-time activities and case studies to help you see the ways you can re-discover your own identity and reward yourself for the role you play in your family.

The Mum section will be based around a particular activity that you can do with your child/children.  The activities will all be linked to your child’s development needs, but also be an entertaining activity for parent and child alike.

The sessions are designed to enable you to feel better equipped to aid your child’s physical, emotional and academic progress; to help you to develop strategies to create and maximise Mum me-time; and to revive your sense of personal identity.

We are sorry if you don’t live in the Ealing area, but we are in the process of developing online versions of the course as well, so keep your eyes peeled!

Get in touch via morethanamum@gmail.com or @more_than_a for more information.

#3BOOKS

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I love books.  I love reading.  I do not get enough time/make enough time to do it as I should.  You can read about the ways I have got back into reading post-baby in my post Book Club Mum.  We’ve even started a book club here through More Than A Mum in response to the comments on that blog entry. (Next meeting is 8.30pm, Twitter, discussing Caitlin Moran’s How To Be a Woman under #MTAM if you want to join us. Or drop us an email at morethanamum@gmail.com if you want to join next time)

Anyway, I digress… I do indeed love reading and it is a passion that I share with Emily of A Mummy Too.  Her passion has also dwindled and her post My Three Books – What are yours? explains how and why she lost contact with reading in spite of that passion and to rectify this she shares her favourite childhood, adulthood and parenthood book and asks others to do the same. So, here is my sharing!

CHILDHOOD

This is actually quite difficult as although I am an English graduate and an English teacher I didn’t read for myself much as a child. My mother even made a worried appointment with the Head of my primary school about my lack of interest in reading, but was told that I’d come to it in my own time.  He was right.  The only thing that I can think is that my own reading skill did not match up to my interest level and the fact that my Mum and Dad were happy to read amazing novels to me at bedtime meant that I never wanted to pick up the things I could read.  Perhaps for a long time I found reading to be a social, family activity rather than one you’d keep private?  I can’t remember my actual reasoning, but I can remember starting to read only when I could manage the delights of Roald Dahl, which my Mum refused to read to me!

So here in lays my first choice.  My childhood book is The Witches.  I remember sitting outside our house in the sunshine reading that book and making sure I was just far enough away from the door that I could feign and inability to hear my mother’s calls to come inside. I wonder if my Mum knew that by refusing to read books to me it would make them doubly interesting.  They’re clever people, you know, Mums.

ADULTHOOD

There are so many books from which to choose here.  In fact my husband and I so love books that we used book titles as table names at our wedding.  Each table had a picture of the cover of the particular book as the table marker and menu.  The amusing thing for us was that we sat people on books which we felt suited them. I am not going to go through the books we used or why people were sat at particular books in case any of our guests are reading, but suffice to say all the books meant something to us and us alone!

Anyway, my choice for Adulthood is hard.  I have already written and re-written this post with three different choices here (To Kill A Mocking Bird, Harper Lee, 1984, George Orwell and Popcorn, Ben Elton if you’re interested) but my book for Adulthood is actually one that I have only recently read thanks to one of my book clubs: The Tennant of Wildfell Hall, Anne Bronte.  There are many reasons why I have fallen in love with this book. Firstly it reminded me of why I love the Brontes and made me wonder why I hadn’t read poor Anne before.  I am a lover of the gothic, romantic style that these sisters use and love it particularly in contrast with the saccharine stories of my most hated of female authors, Jane Austin.  I loved it because it reminded me of being an A Level student again, when I read and loved Wuthering Heights, but more than this I was amazed by how modern and pertinent it was.  It may have been written in the 19th Century but the lead female is strong independent and brave, and challenges the social stereotypes and taboos of the day in a way many women are unable to even today.  She is a single mum, who has chosen to stand up to the male dominated society she inhabits.  She is definitely More Than A Mum!

PARENTHOOD

I adore the reading that I do with Munchkin.  With children, reading is learning; reading is enriching; reading is powerful.  We have read to Munchkin since she was born.  She has had books around her since day one and I love the fact that when I was looking after a friend’s toddler for the day and whilst washing up from lunch I wondered why the room had gone quiet I popped my head round the door only to find the two of them engrossed in books!

To choose just one of the books that I have read with Munchkin seems impossible.  There are so many great ones. The inimitable Julia Donaldson is obviously a part of the cannon, as are Eric Carle and Lauren Child.  I love the old classics of Beatrix Potter and AA Milne as well as they come full circle and remind me of my own childhood. Munchkin goes through phases and we read the same two or three books for days and even weeks on end, driving us nearly potty at points, but still I love reading with her.  My favourite book for this category though has to be one of the first that she experienced and one that I have read over and over more times that I can remember:  Pants, by Nick Sharratt.   It is funny, scans beautifully and has fantastic artwork, and with the line “No Pants At All” it’s a little bit naughty!

So there are my three books:

CHILDHOOD: The Witches, Roald Dahl

ADULTHOOD: The Tennant of Wildfell Hall, Anne Bronte

PARENTHOOD: Pants, Nick Sharratt

I hope this has inspired you to think about your own favourite books and your own reading. If it has, pop and see A Mummy Too and have a go yourself.

R

Don’t forget, More Than A Mum Blog is also available on Kindle

#3Books

All I want for Christmas (that money can’t buy)

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Firstly I would like to apologise to Not Just a Mummy for our tardiness in addressing this very worthwhile post.  The idea of this post is to list the things that you’d like for Christmas, that money can’t buy and it’s a tough one to do without sounding trite or hackneyed, but here is my attempt.

1) Smiles.  The thing that I am most looking forward to this year is the smile on munchkin’s face on Christmas morning when she finds the full stocking in her bed.  She is 2.5 and this is the first year that she has really been excited and had a full understanding of Christmas and her face lights up with a huge grin whenever we talk about it.

2)Family and friends.  I am very lucky to have a wonderful network of family and friends around me. It is they who keep me sane, who boost me when I’m down, help me to achieve and support my hopes and dreams. These people don’t just make Christmas, they make everything.  I am really looking forward to being surrounded by my nearest and dearest over the Christmas period.

3)Laughter. There is nothing better than laughing.  Laughing long and hard with people who you love and care about. Laughing about nothing in particular.  Laughing about poor cracker jokes. Laughing about silly Christmas TV.  Laughing is really important, so much so there are entire exercise and wellbeing groups set up in its honour (just google ‘laughter yoga’!)

4)Time. This is something there is never enough of. Whether it’s time to get all those little tasks done, time to play with munchkin, time to be with darling husband, time to get my work done, time to write a blog post, time just for me…time, time, time. Hubby asked me what I wanted for my birthday earlier this year and in an exasperated moment I old him “TIME!” He’s a genius and gave me a spa voucher, saying “here’s a little time, just for you.” 🙂 There’s never enough time, but we all need to try to make time for the important things. This Christmas I intend to ensure that I take time just to watch things going on, rather than spending the whole time buzzing around.

So those are my three things I’d like for Christmas that money can’t buy and I’m tagging the following people to give it a go as well.

Yes We Do Have A TV

Margot and Barbara

Older Single Mum

R

More Than A Mum Blog is available for download to Kindle click here

Our fancy new banner and logo

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Well we do hope you’ve all noticed our fancy new banner and logo…have you?  We like it a lot! And it’s all thanks to a lovely and very talented lady called Rachael Jane (@rachinald).  She’s a textile designer, photographer, graphic designer, vlogger, blogger, poet and overall creative thinker.  Talk about an inspiring lady!!!

We found out about Rachael when we noticed that MishMashMum (@MishMashMum) was sporting a lovely logo so we asked her who created it.  We were then introduced to Rachael who promptly offered to do us a logo at an extremely reasonable price.  Initially we gave poor Rachael no direction whatsoever but she still came up with three brilliant designs.  It was only after seeing them that we realised more of what we didn’t want and therefore steered us in the right direction and we finally gave Rachael a half decent brief.   Rachael patiently went back to the drawing board and came up with another 3 new designs that were exactly what we were after (even though we didn’t know it to start with).  And that is how we came to have the beautiful design you now see on our Blog, on Twitter and soon to be on our new website which is currently being created much to our excitement 🙂
We decided on the buttefly design as we felt it represented what we want to achieve through More than a Mum.  Afterall butterflies represent change and growing into the true you!
We can’t reccommend @rachinald enough. She is professional, fast, friendly, creative and basically brilliant at what she does.  Do check out her website http://www.rachinald.com

Leibster Blog Award

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We have been awarded with the Liebster Blog award.  What an honour.  This is an award bestowed upon bloggers with less than 200 followers and the idea is to foster new connections between bloggers.  When I googled the award, I found that the word Leibster is German and means dearest, so all in all, this is a lovely award to have been honoured with.

The rules of the award are that you need to thank the person who nominated you, so thank you to Thoughts of a London Mum for nominating us.  If you haven’t yet popped to her blog, please do. Her posts are witty and honest and she takes some great photos.

The next thing that we have to do is to nominate 5 other bloggers with less than 200 followers. So here are my 5 blogs worth a visit (I do hope that I don’t offend any of them if they have many more followers…)

Musings of a stressy Mummy Nikki is always fun to talk to on twtter and her blog tells self-effacing and very humourous stories that I can definitely relate to.

A Hell of a Woman A blog ambitiously combining a love of Buffy with a journey of self-discovery and a lovely lady.

Coombemill Tails from the farmers wife, and mummy to 6 Fiona is a woman of many talents and finds time for so many things I feel positively lazy by comparison! She is also super friendly and helpful.

Blue Bird Sun Shine With a touching style that really lets you into her world, Blue’s writing captures you and draws you on.  She also has some fun adventures and takes some great photos.

A Mummy Too This beautiful blog is stunning. Emily’s photography really brings the blog to life.

R

More Than A Mum Blog is also available for Kindle click here

More Than A Mum Kindle Edition

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Yes, the title is correct, More Than a Mum has branched out and is now available to download via Amazon! This is a very exciting time for us, as we both draft on pen and paper and are keen on nice pens and stationery, but really we felt we ought to get ourselves into the technological era with a bit more panache!  So, click here and you can be the proud owner (for the bargin price of 99p a month) of a Kindle edition of More Than a Mum Blog.

This is all thanks to MTJAM who posted a few blogs at the beginning of last month detailing just how she has gone about publishing her own blog on Kindle.  It all seemed fairly simple (and it was) so we thought we’d have a go.  Whether or not anyone will pay for the priviledge of being able to download our blog remains to be seen, but it amuses me that I can go onto Amazon, seach More Than A Mum and find our blog – so the majority of page hits will no doubt be me clicking and smiling to myself!

Anyway, if any of you lovely people who read our blog do own Kindles, or iPads/phones with Kindle apps, or get any of the above for Christmas, make Ruth and Loretta’s day and download our blog. 🙂  Thank you!

R

Blogging Awards.

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Well, we are truly honoured to have been given 2 such a lovely awards and would like to thank our families, our agents… etc etc etc (cue Gwyneth style tears).

We are pleased to have been called Versatile – think it may mean that there are many uses for our blog: read it, fall asleep to it, print in and use it as toilet paper… and also to have been awarded the Tell Me About Yourself Award, which I assume means we are being far too secretive!  Anyway, these awards seem to come with rules, so we best get on and do as we are told!

Firstly, you have to thank the person who awarded you.  So for saying we are versatile, we’d like to thank @mumoldersingle and for awarding us with the prestigious Tell Me About Yourself award, we’d like to thank @KerryBotha1 and @The_Last_Slayer.

Secondly, you must reveal 7 secrets about yourself and finally you must bestow the award upon other bloggers worthy of the great and weighty glory that the awards carry with them. Read on and all will be revealed!

Now, the stumbling block for us is the fact that there are two of us writing here at More Than a Mum, so we have gone for 3 each plus one that is true of both of us!

So, let’s start with me, Ruth…

1)      I used to play golf for Wiltshire.  When I was a child I was introduced to golf as something a Daddy and daughter could enjoy together – I was swinging cut down golf clubs in the garden from a very early age.  As a teenager, I used to play for the county.  Sadly I have not had the time/money to keep it up in later years.  I keep promising myself I will play again one day…

2)      I am an only child.  Not what my parents planned, but I don’t feel I missed out.  In fact I have a hard time imagining what it would be like to have siblings. I don’t feel like I was adversely affected by being an only child, but I do think that my parents were, as they constantly taxied me about to friends to ensure I socialised.

3)      A few years ago OH and I took a year out from work and travelled India and worked in Tanzania. It was the most amazing year and I am now looking out the travel diaries to reminisce and trying to locate the emails we sent home.

OK now for Loretta…

4)      She is a twin.  When we first met, pregnant, at NCT classes, one of the other women at the group said “Loretta, I saw your twin sister the other day” Loretta said that was funny, but as they were identical, how did our friend realise it wasn’t Loretta.  The answer? Loretta, you are identical, but your sister isn’t 8 months pregnant!

5)      She has toured with TAKE THAT! Really! This is one of my favourite facts about Loretta.  She used to be in a band that supported Take That on tour.  I am a wee bit star-struck!

6)      She wants to get a novel published one day. Loretta did a creative writing degree and it is her dream to have a novel published one day. Watch this space!

And finally…

7)      As promised the 7th is a joint one… we were discussing things today and realised our final revealing secret goes for both of us.  Neither of us has bought new underwear for too many years!  More Than A Mum’s knicker drawers are in serious need of a re-vamp!

So now we must pass on these awards. This appears to be getting more difficult as many of those I was going to tag appear to have been awarded already, so here (I hope) are some new nominees! For The Versatile Blog Award to @stressymummy @leila_jo_mummy and @helloitsgemma and the Tell Me About Yourself Award to @ordinary_parent @motherscuffer and @claireejeffreys

I know it’s technically supposed to be 15 nominees for each, so sorry if we’ve let the side down!

Snap Slappers

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I just saw this meme and had to have a go (no I do not have anything better to do with my evenings!). Thanks to Five Go Blogging for thinking this one up and motherventing for showing me hers first! This meme is a great fun idea about pimping your photos, just for fun!

Five Go Blogging Snap Slappers

Apologies in advance to @lor_fenton as I haven’t checked with her first about pimping this photo of us, but… here goes!

More than a Mum Lor and Ruth
Here's us before...
More than a Mum Lor and Ruth
Here's us all classy
More than a Mum Lor and Ruth
...and here's us in our true colours!

Warning: This meme could seriously affect your time perception!

Original Photo by Emma (the super-mum photographer who snaps with her baby in a sling!) Find her at EB Children’s Portraits

Meme 10 Questions – Part 2

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So my partner here at More than a Mum (@Roothe) tagged me (@Lor_Fenton) to also take part in this Meme.  As you’ve heard, @more_than_a was tagged by @welshmumwales to take part in the 10 question meme by @AlliMarshall for Super Amazing Mum.  The rules are:

1) Answer the 10 questions

2) Tag someone to do the same

3) Go and leave a comment on the original blog post over at Super Amazing Mum and comment that you have done so in order for us to find out who has been tagged and therefore find out more about our fellow bloggers!

@Roothe replied yesterday so here are my answers!

1)     Describe yourself in 7 words?

Brown, naughty, passionate, creative, ambitious, loyal, contradictory

2)     What keeps you awake at night?

Sometimes my 2 year old son, sometimes worrying about things I can’t control

3)     If you could be anyone for a day, who would you be and why?

I really wouldn’t want to be anyone else but there are plenty of roles I’d like to try e.g. gping back to my old life of being on tour as a singer

4)     What are you wearing right now!!

Skinny black jeans and a grey close fit hoody (with zebra slippers!!)

5)     What scares you?

How the world is changing so that children are exposed to the horrible things of life earlier and earlier.

6)     What is the best and worst about blogging?

Best: It’s got me regularly writing again and thinking again.  I love engaging with social issues and making them relevant to the average mum i.e me

Worst: Keeping to the deadlines my more efficient business partner (@Roothe) sets – she is agenda queen and much more organised than me!!!!

7)     What was the last website you looked at?

Google then Amazon in order to answer question 9!!!!

8 ) If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

To not need so much sleep or to be able to cope better without much sleep!

8)     Slankets – Yes or No (this divides the blogging world )

NOOOOOOOOoooooooooooo! If I ever am seen wearing one of these – please make sure I’m dead!! (even if they do come in zebra print!!)

9)     Tell us something about the person who tagged you?

@roothe is one of my best mummy friends.  She finally helped me kick myself up the butt and get things started with More Than A Mum.  She is a good business partner and drinking partner.    She has a highly intelligent, slightly crazy and brilliantly hilarious 2-year old (Munchkin) who is absolutely adorable.  We have fairly similar parenting styles and outlooks on life. However she is opposite to me in that she is wise, organised, practical and good at grammar!

I’m going to tag; @mumofcurls @theempressmama and @mishmashmum

L

Meme: 10 Questions

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Right, so I think I understand how this one works.  @more_than_a was tagged by @welshmumwales to take part in the 10 question meme by @AlliMarshall for Super Amazing Mum… well anyway, the rules are here:

1) Answer the 10 questions

2) Tag someone to do the same

3) Go and leave a comment on the original blog post over at Super Amazing Mum and comment that you have done so in order for us to find out who has been tagged and therefore find out more about our fellow bloggers!

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The problem for More Than a Mum is that we are two people and the 10 questions are about individuals, so I have decided to answer these as @roothe and tag @lor_fenton so that you can hear from both of us.

So…

1)  Describe yourself in 7 words?

Teacher, mummy, wife.  Love gin, food, travel.

2) What keeps you awake at night?

Not a lot really (I love sleep!)– I do have an annoying habit, however, of feeling really tired when I put munchkin to bed and promising myself an early late; then getting into work/blogging/tweeting and going to bed way too late (I’m writing this a 11.52pm!) and being Cream Crackered in the morning!

3) If you could be anyone for a day, who would you be and why?

A luxury travel writer.  I’d love to be able to visit swish places and review them and call that work! I love good food, good drink and travel so to be able to do all three and call it work would suit me just fine!

4) What are you wearing right now!!

Trousers, boots and a big cuddly cardigan.  I love cuddly cardies in the evening.

5) What scares you?

Heights and spiral staircases.  Still remember being talked into going up a viewing tower in Kracow and having to come back down really slowly on my bum…I only went up one storey! Also got vertigo snorkling in Turkey. *shudders*

6) What is the best and worst about blogging?

Only been doing it for a very few weeks, but I love the sense of community.  There are so many nice people out there who really want you to succeed and want to help you do it.

The worst bit?  Trying to decide what you can write in the knowledge that people you know read it too! (See blog entitled “pelvic floor muscles” and decide if I have shared too much!)

7) What was the last website you looked at?

Twitter – I’m obsessed!

8 ) If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

I’d love to be one of those people who puts things away where they got them from, without having to think about it.  I’d love to be a neat, tidy person, but I just can’t manage it despite the fact that untidiness drives me potty!

9) Slankets – Yes or No (this divides the blogging world ;-))

What’s a Slanket? Seriously.  No idea! Will go and Google it now. *hangs head in shame at not being on top of blogging current affairs*

10) Tell us something about the person who tagged you?

I was tagged by Welsh Mum.  She’s a really friendly tweeter who let me whinge on about wanting to live in the country! Also, her “little Miss” has been made Class rep at school and she takes a pretty amazing sunset photo!

I am tagging @lor_fenton, @stressymummy, @BooandMe_ and @moors_mummy

Click here to see @lor_fenton’s answers.