Parenting · parenting · Uncategorized

2 broke moms guide to Weston Super Mare

An easy 2 hour drive from the Midlands, it’s no wonder that Weston Super Mare was one of our favourite beach destinations year after year during my childhood. 

I was delighted to join my 6 year old son this week on a school trip to Weston, it was great to forward plan for our summer holiday road trip we’re organising to Weston this summer. 

Top things to do in Weston 

  1. Donkey rides – reasonably priced and a lovely experience for kids.
  2. The beach – the kids had so much fun playing and being creative with the and. My favourite was burying our legs in the sand and creating mermaid tails with the shells for decoration. 
  3. The sea – you can beat a paddle and a little wave jumping whatever the weather. 
  4. The Weston train, there’s a little kids train you can get on and do a bit of sight seeing. Fun and very reasonable – just £1.50 for adults. 
  5. The museum has recently been refurbed and is FREE! 

There are so many more things to do in Weston, these are some of our favourites and most reasonable. 

So what did the kids say? 

Kane is 6 and this is what he had to say about his trip to Weston Super Mare. 

I loved playing football on the beach. I also liked making castles. I saw the donkeys that I liked, i’d like to go on these the next time I go. I liked looking at the sea. I loved seeing the animals when we were on the coach going to Weston. I found lots of shells on the beach while I was playing. 

There are so many wonderful beaches in the UK. We look forward to exploring some more after our trip to Weston this August. 

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2 broke moms guide to car booting

175ADB48-1CAB-4887-B79C-DC3ED2B93CE8A car boot sale is a great way to accumulate some extra money for getting rid of things you probably haven’t used for a while. 

Somehow without me buying a lot for my children they seem to accumulate a hell of a lot of (let’s face it, mostly crap). In addition I also have clothes and household things that I haven’t used in a while – so why not make some extra cash. 

A decluttered home definitely makes me feel better. 

A few tips about having a car boot 

  1. Be militant, if you haven’t used something for over a year chances are you won’t. This applies to clothes, toys, unwanted toys and books. 
  2. Start early – to get the best pitch get to your destination early. ‘ The early bird catches the worm’ 
  3. Be realistic with your prices – just because you’ve paid a £100 for an item it doesn’t mean it will sell for that. Being realistic with your prices you’ll feel better when parting with something for 50p. Remember that you weren’t using these things anyway so all the little 50ps soon add up. 
  4. Have fun – go with a friend, make a packed lunch or treat yourself to a bacon sarnie. Take some deck chairs and enjoy the morning, you’ll definitely have fun. 
  5. Take the kids – there are usually plenty of kids there and activities for them. If you don’t have a baby sitter, just take them along. Also it’s great learning for them as you can get them selling too. 

Great car boots in near Birmingham 

Bromsgrove Road, Romsley, Halesowen  B62 OJL – every Sunday morning 

Hoggs Lane, Northfield, Birmingham. – every Saturday morning 

Ebot Markets 1DP, Birmingham Rd, Coleshill, Birmingham

Parenting · Uncategorized

Co-parenting positively

So I’ve been co-parenting/shared care for the last 2 years, and people -family, strangers and friends ask me how on Earth I do it so I thought I’d share a few useful tips. 

By no means do I even remotely like my ex, despite giving me 2 beautiful and amazing boys, he is still unlikeable. 

We had a very messy break up that went through court and resulted in a shared care arrangement. I could list all the things he has put me though and bad things he’s done but that wouldn’t be useful, let’s just say it’s been eventful. Since or split I can’t say I’ve been perfect either and could have dealt with some things in different ways- I’ve learnt a hell of lot.

I have had a rollercoaster of emotions and it has not been easy but these few things have enabled me to survive. 

  1. Think of your children -sounds obvious but when emotions are high our focus can get lost.
  2. Focus on what your doing not what he’s done. A recent quote will live with me for ever, ‘if everyone just focussed on their own child and not others it would be great. This is so true. Focus on your child and not your ex.
  3. Separate your emotions – you can’t take back who the father of your child is so deal with the ex you’ve got regardless of your feelings towards him. 
  4. Avoid conflict and focus on the positives. Write down some good things about your ex, things they do well in parenting (honestly there will be something). 
  5. Agree to disagree. You will not always agree on parenting decisions, even as a couple you don’t. Don’t let this cloud your way of parenting. 
  6. Communication is key – model the behaviour you want from your ex, demonstrate the positive way you want to communicate with them and eventually you’ll get that back. 
  7. Don’t get sucked into negativity and arguing – it doesn’t make you feel good and it’s not a great message for your child. 
  8. Talk and get things off your chest – within reason but you must live in your truth, always and communication is the key.
  9. Don’t bad mouth your ex to your children. This will create many problems – your kids will pick up on your feelings without you saying a word don’t add more to that negativity. 
  10. Some progress is better than none. I used to feel that my ex and I had made no progress since we’d parted. Although things aren’t perfect they are a hell of a lot better than they were so I focus on the progress we’ve made not perfection. 

If you love your child more than your ex most co parenting issues can be solved 

Holiday · Uncategorized

Holiday hotel review

Petrosana hotel, Aiya Napa, Cyprus 

I recently visited Cyprus with my 2 boys 13 and 5 (and some other extended family) for my brothers wedding. It was my first time visiting Cyprus with my children. 

I booked the flights about a year in advance with Thomas Cook airlines. Booking separate and in advance meant it was a lot cheaper. 

I got an independent travel advisor to look for a suitable hotel for families in the busy area of Aiya Napa. 

She booked the transfer to the hotel when we arrived in Cyprus and our hotel. 

We got a great deal on the hotel and it suited all our needs from great grandad (83) down to my youngest son (5).

It was a quiet resort near shops and restaurants. Just across the road was a supermarket so if you didn’t want to buy breakfast at the hotel you could buy snacks, cereals and other essentials here. We had the option of adding breakfast to the booking we chose to keep it flexible although enjoyed lovely breakfasts and other light meals at the hotel restaurant. Staff and guests were really friendly here. 

I would highly recommend for a family get away. 

Just 30-40 mins from the airport was also  a huge benefit. 

Nissi beach was a 30-30 minute walk (which is a nice early morning walk. 

Alternatively there is another local beach walking distance from this hotel. 

Also Nissi beach and Nicosia beach are short taxi rides away if you or your little ones prefer not to walk. 

So thinking about travelling abroad this half term or summer why not try a trip to Cyprus. 

Alternatively, staying at home? Check out this low cost activities for the holidays. 

Things to do during May half term 

  1. Strawberry picking 
  2. Visit the library 
  3. Play board games 
  4. Go to the park 
  5. Visit free museums 
  6. Bake cakes 
  7. Have a movie day 
  8. Investigate local free events (churches and schools normally have lots on)
  9. Watch a film (check out the kids club or movies for juniors at most local cinemas) 
  10. Take a walk or a drive somewhere new 
parenting · Uncategorized

Dealing with co-parenting problems

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Sharing the care of your child isn’t always easy. It’s often difficult for parents to communicate let alone work together amicably for the sake of the children.
One thing I do know that above all the egos, disagreements and pettiness our children are the and should be the main focus and are the most important elements of any kind of parenting. After a lengthy court process I’ve been co parenting for around two years, it’s not always easy but I’m learning lots that can help me in many areas of my life.
So a few key things that help me defuse co parenting problems.
1. Stay positive and feel happy – your feelings and behaviour will be detected by your child. Try to stay positive even if things aren’t going as perfect as you’d like them to be.
2. Don’t get triggered by you’re ex. You can only control your own behaviour and your own reactions. Don’t focus on them, focus on you and your children!
3. Ask yourself ‘is this going to affect my child/children in a positive way’. Whenever I feel like arguing or reacting to my ex I ask myself this question.
4. Focus on YOU and your children – you can’t control what they are doing so don’t get affected by it.
5. Write things down or speak to someone to offload any negativity or anger to avoid you going crazy or being confrontational with your ex.
6. Communication is the key – think about the language you use and the way you talk to your ex.
7. Treat your ex the way you want to be treated by your ex. Model the behaviour that you want to receive.
8. Focus on the positives – say thank you when your ex does something positive. This sounds horrific I know but it really does work and will make YOU feel better.
9. Back down from an argument and walk away. Think of solutions to problems and don’t try to create conflict.
10. Write down all the positives about your ex (honestly there are some even if it’s one to begin with lol).

Education · Holiday · lifestyle · money saving rips · Parenting · Uncategorized

2brokemoms guide to… Disney World

We’re here to help parents on with very tight budgets to acheive things they think are too expensive or behind their wildest dreams. We’ve always wanted to take our children to Disney World but when we priced it up it was way out of our budget.

This is how we made it a reality.

1. We searched for villas online. Villas broken down per person can be a lot cheaper than a hotel.

2. The villa we have is an 8 bed. We invited our families to come along, making the cost of the Villa very affordable.

3. We gave ourselves 18 months to save and pay for it.

4. Worked out how much we needed and broke the cost into weekly chunks and set that money aside.

5. Shop around for flights. America is a huge country and there are many was of getting there. If you don’t mind long waits you can fly inexpensively.

Our villa

Uncategorized

Raising teens

 

We all knew parenting would get worse than the dreaded potty training stage. Just take yourself back to everything you had to deal with as a teen (pretty trivial now) boys/girls, body image, hormones, peer pressure and the list goes on. Raising a teen can be challenging but it’s super rewarding and fun too.
Here are some useful tips to support those teenage years.

1. Give them space, just like adults they want and deserve time on their own.
2. Spend quality time together. It can be as simple as watching a movie or their favourite show together.
3. Communicate, avoiding confrontation. Sometimes teens just want to argue try not to engage in this. Clearly define any problems they have.
4. Show an interest in them, this is a time they are ‘finding themselves’ their interests can change dramatically.
5. School life can be tough at this time. Build strong relationships with school and work with them as a team.
6. Know your child’s friends, invite them round and know their parents too.
7. Have reading/learning time throughout primary school we spend hours reading with our child and doing activities then it stops. Hold onto some of those lovely primary school activities just tailor them to your child now.
8. Clearly state your expectations for your child. Clearly state consequences too but don’t be too extreme, start small and work your way to external if you need to.
9. Have fun. The mood swings don’t last that long so leave them to it and don’t make a huge deal about it.
10. Focus on the positives. Behind the moodiness, hormones and door slamming lies your wonderful child. Praise them for the good things they do, no matter how small.

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Easter holidays

Easter holidays – activities, ideas and useful tips

1. Plan the holidays – that doesn’t mean you have to pack every day of the holidays with a big extravagant trip. We like starting the break with a duvet day, movies, snack and blankets. This could be the day you set the kids a task to write down some of the things they would like to do.

2. Set a budget – the holidays can end up being really expensive. Plan each day and be realistic about what you want to spend.

3. Go shopping and make packed lunches when you’re out and about. Children can get through lots of food in the holidays. Get kids involved in cooking and preparing food. Alternative prepare in advance so you’ve got more time to spend with the kids.

4. Find free events in your area
Libraries, Parks, Museums and local churches are great for free events.

5. Go ‘Out Of Season’ to Activities
The cheapest way is to do things at the ‘wrong’ time of year. When you do things in season they can be a lot busier too.

For example, in summer go to soft play and indoor activities, or to the local swimming pool. In winter, wrap up warm and go and explore your outdoor adventure local parks/

The idea is to avoid the crowds, but still give your children a chance to experience these activities.

 

Useful websites

http://www.sycamoreadventure.co.uk
http://www.Birminghammuseums.co.uk

http://www.botanicalgardens.co.uk

http://www.cannonhillpark.co.uk
http://www.sandwell.gov.uk/info/200242/events/1918/regular_activities

 

 

 

Uncategorized

Easter holidays

Easter holidays – activities, ideas and useful tips

1. Plan the holidays – that doesn’t mean you have to pack every day of the holidays with a big extravagant trip. We like starting the break with a duvet day, movies, snack and blankets. This could be the day you set the kids a task to write down some of the things they would like to do.

2. Set a budget – the holidays can end up being really expensive. Plan each day and be realistic about what you want to spend.

3. Go shopping and make packed lunches when you’re out and about. Children can get through lots of food in the holidays. Get kids involved in cooking and preparing food. Alternative prepare in advance so you’ve got more time to spend with the kids.

4. Find free events in your area
Libraries, Parks, Museums and local churches are great for free events.

5. Go ‘Out Of Season’ to Activities
The cheapest way is to do things at the ‘wrong’ time of year. When you do things in season they can be a lot busier too.

For example, in summer go to soft play and indoor activities, or to the local swimming pool. In winter, wrap up warm and go and explore your outdoor adventure local parks/

The idea is to avoid the crowds, but still give your children a chance to experience these activities.

 

Useful websites

http://www.sycamoreadventure.co.uk
http://www.Birminghammuseums.co.uk

http://www.botanicalgardens.co.uk

http://www.cannonhillpark.co.uk
http://www.sandwell.gov.uk/info/200242/events/1918/regular_activities

 

 

 

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Mommy’s need to stay safe online too

A fortnight ago we wrote a blog regarding children staying safe whilst playing online.

Well I realise that mummys need to stay safe too..

In the past week alone we have received individually a lot of unwanted online attention.

From propositions of “top cash payments to escort a gentlemen fellow” via Instagam, to several requests for telephone numbers on Words with friends. For those that don’t know Words with friends is basically Scrabble on line. It’s gone from an innocuous word game to full on Match.com.

One guy I was playing word with friends with somehow found me and sent me a Facebook request. 😮

Quite frankly any unsolicied male attention sickens me. I know it seems quite strong but it is how I feel. A person should be able to play a game without being chatted up and asked personal questions or made to feel uncomfortable. I questioned myself. Was I over reacting? I asked a friend she said no it’s a word game it’s not appropriate to be proposritioned. When I told a guy friend about being approached to escort he said it was well out if order and I should report it to the police. I didn’t I just ignore people but I have tightened up privacy levels on Facebook.

So in conclusions ladies.

1. Lockdown your social media pages. Make them private so that you aren’t searchable.

2. Ignore and block. If someone says something to you. Ignore them and block them. Don’t engage in dialogue. They don’t deserve your attention.

3. Remove the chat function. If they can’t talk to they can’t say anything inappropriate.

4. Don’t over share. Keep your location general e.g. Birmingham not a specific location. If your kids are in school uniform ensure the school logo is illegible.

5. Report inappropriate behaviour to the relevant Social Media provider or even the police if you feel threatened.

Call 101: Police (non emergency)