I have been rather neglectful of this blog lately not to mention social media. I can just about manage a photo every now and then and the blog seems to be a stream of weekly portraits - to be honest I'm surprised I've kept up with those!
This Mummy stuff is busy work, holidays have arrived and we have just finished some building works. I feel like I have been running on empty (caffeine) and pulled in more directions than I can manage. As parents we are constantly organising and prioritising on a daily basis, we have to do this and that and the other and "hold on, just a minute" "when Mummy is finished doing what she is doing" seem to be key phrases throughout the average day.
With all the building work at home and the end of term approaching my children needed me more than ever. Change in routine, any change for that matter, has a great impact on children. They express reactions in different ways: some are clingy, some act out - in my case, both. I think we underestimate how important stability of any kind is to a child. As adults we adapt because we understand the reason for the change but kids often take longer to process it.
So here I am at the end of a very busy month of builders and in the midst of Easter holidays. I'm sorry to all my readers for being so quiet recently but I have to be honest, I am glad that I chose to be a Mummy first and a blogger second.
(The photo above isn't the most recent but I just love it!)
I know, I know, this is nothing new. We are all aware (or will find out soon enough) of the 'joys' of playground politics. I really have enough to think about with three sets of homework, which sports kit is needed on which day, and whether we remembered to put the snack in the book bag, without the added nonsense of playground politics. It really can be a minefield.
The Tiger mums, the Complainers and the 'Snubbers'. They are all there somewhere. I have to say that there are also some very lovely parents. I am lucky to have made some great friends through my childrens' schools and have kept away from all the drama. My school days are done. I'm not in the mood for bickering, she said/she said disputes or competition. I don't want to feel nervous collecting my kids or be thinking about the 'latest gossip'. I want to be thinking about seeing my three little faces and hearing about what they've been up to all day without me. My priority is them, their well being and happiness. School is NOT about me.
I refuse to use my kids as an accessory to make me look better. There are no prizes for Mum of the cleverest child or Mum of the football captain. I will bake those cupcakes for charity day with my daughter and let her help me decorate them - even if they look properly 'homemade'. I'm not entering a popularity contest or looking for validation.
I can't understand why, since we are all in this together, we can't just support each other a little bit more than we do? I know everyone is different and people have their reasons for behaving the way they do but surely it's time we leave the schoolyard games to the kids and accept that we are grown ups and role models?
As parents we need those fail-safe, go-to activities. The ones that we can pull out of our magicians hat on rainy days before the "I'm bored!" rears it's ugly head. Baking. A win/win activity that the kids can get involved with and you can all enjoy the results afterwards (or during) and the best bit is that there is no gluing or glitter involved! Hurray!
This is a super easy chocolate chip cookie recipe you can do with the kids and probably have most of the ingredients lying around anyway.
2 cups plus 2 tbsp of all purpose flour
2 tsp of cornstarch/cornflour
1 tsp of baking soda
pinch of salt
6oz of unsalted butter (not margarine!) melted and cooled
2 large eggs
1 cup light brown sugar
1/2 granulated sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
chocolate chips or chunks - to taste
prep time 30 mins, cook time 12 mins
1 Whisk together flour, cornstarch, baking soda and salt in a medium sized bowl.
2 In a large bowl and using a hand held whisker, beat together sugars and melted butter for about 1 minute. Then add vanilla extract and eggs and beat till just combined.
3 Slowly add the dry ingredients from the other bowl and mix briefly until smooth.
4 Fold in choc chips.
5 Cover and refrigerate the dough for 30 minutes.
6 Preheat the oven to 160ºC and remove the dough from the fridge.
7 Scoop out some dough and roll into small balls. Then tear the balls in half and push the two halves back together with the 'rough' sides facing upwards.
8 Place on a baking sheet making sure there is enough space between the balls of dough as they will spread!
9 Bake for about 12 minutes or until the edges are golden but the centre still looks soft. Remove from the oven and let them cool.
Baking time is the key here - too long and they come out like rocks, too short a time and they are practically still dough. I would suggest testing out one or two balls to see which time works best with your oven.