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More than a Mum me time

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Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

More than a Mum

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Hello,

We haven’t blogged here for a while.  If you weren’t already aware, we have moved to www.more-than-a-mum.com.

If you were a subscriber to morethanamumblog and enjoyed our writing here, please head over to www.more-than-a-mum.com/blog and subscribe to our new blog.  Not only will you recieve advance notification of new blog posts, but you’ll be the first to hear about our new members only area… coming soon.

You can also like us on facebook or follow us on twitter.

Returning to work

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I checked back here yesterday, just to see how many views we’d had and whether or not people were being redirected and I saw that someone had search and found us with the question: “Is my job required to be flexible with my work hours”.  I thought that they must have been disappointed as none of our posts would have answered that question and yet, it is a pretty important one and no doubt one that you, our Mums might like some answers to.  Hence, today I am blogging about, returning to work: your rights.

To read the full article, head over to more-than-a-mum

Is it OK to smack children?

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You may have read MP David Lammy’s comments last week blaming ‘lack of parental discipline’ on last summer’s riots. The MP reckoned that parents’ reluctance to smack their youngsters was partly to blame for the disturbance and that laws on ‘smacking’ should be relaxed.

Mr Lammy has now faced a huge backlash particularly on his points linking parental discipline to the riots but, it has brought up an old but interesting debate with regards to physical discipline/punishment of children.  I was covering a live show on air earlier this week (I work at a radio station) and used the topic for the phone in. I was amazed at the mixed responses I receieved, equally passionate on both sides.

Bear Hunt

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Well, you may well know by now that I (Ruth) am an English teacher and am passionate about reading and especially getting children engaged in books and reading from a young age. You may also know that both Loretta and I have really rather active little mites who, although they both enjoy books, are often in need of activities that burn off a little more energy than reading, so I gave some thought to the matter and when we met up with the kids, we went on a bear hunt…

To read the rest of this post, head over to our newly launched website: www.more-than-a-mum.com

Website Launch Day

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More Than A Mum is getting a bit hectic.  We apologise again for the break n transmission, but don’t worry, we’ll be back soon!

In fact we will be launching our new website on Monday.

While you’re here, why not take a look at some past content you might not have seen?

For You THE WOMAN you might like:

24 hours of Freedom, First steps to recovering your identity, Mums me-time is just 26minutes and High on Heels

For You THE MUM you might like:

Are you scared of spiders Mummy?Should I send my child to pre-school?Toddler Friendly Museum parts 1 and 2 and Teaching Children about identity, prejudice and racism

Also, don’t forget to ‘like’ us at www.facebook.com/Morethanamum and follow us on twitter @more_than_a

See you at the new place on Monday!

Loretta and Ruth

We’re Moving Home

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We are in the process of moving home.  This means that there will be a short break in transmissions!  We will let you know as soon as we go live on our new address.  In the mean time, please pop to our new facebook page http://www.facebook.com/Morethanamum and like us to be kept up to date with things.

Oh, and don’t forget to check out More Than A Mum: The Course.

Also, just to keep you going – here’s one more of my macro-madness shots to keep you guessing… what is it? (Answers will be revealed in our new home very soon!)Close up Brazil

How bond with mother in first 18 months can shape your love life

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So I came across another article yesterday that basically blamed mothers for any messed up adults (again!) the headline being – ‘How bond with mother in first 18 months can shape our love life!’ I should probably say it was in the Daily Mail which helped me not to take it too seriously.  However, the article was based on research done by a team of psychologists and university professors (The study is published in the journal Current Directions in Psychological Science) which again doesn’t particularly mean it’s any more true – but nevertheless made it appear slightly more official.  The researchers found ‘those children with a secure bond with their mothers were likely to have more successful relationships later on in life’.  This much I agree with and I know there has been extensive research that the first years are of huge significance to a person’s life course.  There has also been extensive research on how physical touch and love have a massive effect on the brain development of children – see a brilliant book on this called ‘The Science of Parenting’.  However, the research in this article goes a step further claiming:

‘Your interpersonal experiences with your mother during the first 12 to 18 months of life predict your behaviour in romantic relationships 20 years later.’

Apparently the ability to ‘trust, love and work through arguments’ is developed early on in these crucial stages.  I don’t think a single person could read the article and not end up analysing whether there is a correlation between their mother’s love and the success or failure of their relationships.  My problem with this is whether it gives adults an excuse for poor behaviour and encourages a lack of responsibility for one’s actions.

The article does go on to say, ‘Old patterns can be overcome. A betrayed baby can become loyal. An unloved infant can learn to love.’ Which suggests we are not a slave to our upbringing though even this was put in a particularly harsh way.

It is not new news that our childhood affects who we are as adults but when it comes to romantic relationships I would have thought we were more influenced by the opposite sex parent to a larger extent and surely at a much later stage in life?  As with most sweeping statements it ignores the multitudes of other factors that influence a persons conduct in a relationship.

If this study is to be trusted then where does that leave every mother who has suffered with post natal depression and was unable to bond with her child during that crucial first year?  Feeling pretty crap I would think!

I’m a firm believer that most things can be turned around with a big, and consistent, dose of love and that we have the power to change ourselves, break the mould and decide who we want to be!

L

What makes children happy?

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I read with interest yesterday an article on the updated findings of a landmark report published three years ago by the Children’s Society – ‘A Good Childhood’ which I blogged on some months back – here.  The previous study warned that young people’s lives are being blighted by Britain’s selfish society.  However, the updated findings say that ‘half a million children in Britain are unhappy at any moment’.  Following interviews with 30,000 under-16s it claims those who have deeply negative feelings about their lives are at higher risk of bullying, depression and eating disorders.  At first glance it makes for depressing reading and is another stark reminder that we still have unacceptable levels of child poverty in this country are more than unacceptable.  But, I then realised that the study was not talking about children on the poverty line but children in general across the board!

As I read on what actually concerned, and frankly annoyed, me about the report was the findings that;

‘Children who worry that they do not have the right clothes to “fit in” with classmates are three times as likely to be unhappy with the way they look, with the problem affecting girls more than boys.’ And ‘Those who received less pocket money than their peers reported lower levels of well-being, but so did those who were given a lot more cash, suggesting that children want to be similar to their friends more than they want to be rich.’

I’m sorry but since when did we not balk at the idea that our responsibility for making our children ‘happy’ lies with providing them with the right ‘clothes’ and enough pocket money?   Is it just me or is something amiss here?   Should it not be more cause for alarm that the emphasis and importance placed on image, labels and material things in general is completely out of control and endemic?  Instead of being encouraged to revise our children’s opinions we’re being pressured to adhere to their demands and (in my opinion) helping to compound the problem.

Don’t get me wrong; I do understand the mortification of not having a ‘puff-ball’ skirt, ‘Wallabies’ or a ‘United Colors of Benetton’ sweatshirt at school because we were a single-parent family who lived on a council estate!  However, despite our low income, my mum always dressed us ‘well’ albeit not the latest labels.  My mum, instead encouraged us to be individual and suggested it was cool to be different – just as well seen as we were the only mixed-race kids in our entire year!  I remember my aunt made us some ‘flares’ just before they heavily came in fashion (I’m talking the second time round in the 90’s – I’m not that old!) and although we were a little nervous at wearing them in the first week, the ‘top girl’ of the school came up to us asked us where we got them from and if our aunt would make her some!  There is a lot you can get away with if you’re confident and this attitude has got me a long way in life ever since.  I just think it’s a much more helpful trait to encourage in your child – confidence, individuality and setting the trend rather than following it.

There is a big difference between not having any shoes at all (real child poverty) and not having the ‘right’ shoes.  And as for pocket money – don’t even get me started. They don’t know they’re born!!

L