05-12-11 1-3 months

More Than A Mum Blog

Parents’ evening: an insider’s guide!

More Than A Mum Blog

So far here at more than a mum, we have focused on toddlers and Mums. That is where Loretta and I are at with our own parenting. Today, I want to discuss something for parents of older children: school parents’ evenings

As you may know I (Ruth) am a secondary school teacher and recently when attending a Mums get together, I chatted to a number of women with older children. Something that they all said was that one of the toughest parenting challenges they faced was school. In part, this was due to finding they didn’t understand “the system”.

One area where many parents can feel lost is parents’ evening. You may feel anxious and as if you are on trial, waiting for the verdict to be pronounced on you via your little darling’s achievements or misdemeanours. Teachers have to see tens of parents in very short order and (at secondary school, especially) you are often only allocated a 5-10minute slot with each teacher. You want to spend as long as necessary, but are aware of the queue building behind you and the mounting chorus of sighs and tuts.

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A Mummy Too

Easy-cheaty five minute mince pies

A Mummy Too

Here’s a super easy, quite cheaty recipe that makes 12-18 mince pies in about five minutes, plus cooking time. It’s also easy enough to let the little ones loose on if you’ve got a bit more time. Proper baking fans look away now…

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A mums internal monologue


I am a deeply cynical person, my husband said I have taken cynicism to a new level. One day (in a fit of frustration) he said that he was a failure, I disputed that, to which he replied, he was a potential failure. In my attempt to reassure, I reminded him of the correct fact that everyone has the potential to fail! So to begin to accept that I may have a psychological illness is…

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Musings of a stressy mummy


tried to think long and hard about a witty and amusing title for this post, but I couldn’t. So I am telling it how it is. And why can’t I think of anything witty and amusing? Because it is that time of the month when the whole house starts to quiver in fear.

I have never been great at this time of the month but it is only as I have got older, generally more stressed out and maybe a little wiser, that I have seen a definite pattern in my mood swings.

I can divide my period of pre-menstrual tension into two phases:

1. The first warning sign of approaching PMT is food. I can look in our chocolate and sweet cupboard and not want anything at all. Chocolate does nothing for me when I’m premenstrual, it has to be carbohydrate laden or something cheesy; preferably both!

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What’s in a band name? Find yours with ‘musodad’s band name game’

What if you were the lead singer of a band and didn’t have any ideas for a name? That’s why I’ve invented ‘musodad’s band name game’.

If you have some magnetic words at home put them into a sandwich bag. Pull out a word at a time and see if you can make a band name out of them.

Here’s an example complete with back story :

– ‘Thursday Counted’ – so what happened on Thursday and why would someone count it? Think, man, think! Right – lead singer gives up smoking and whilst down the pub with his band members, one Thursday, has a drag on one of their cigarettes. The week after they are having lunch round the lead singer’s parents when the mum asks ‘Mick, have you still given up smoking?’, Mick replies ‘yes mum’. Then Keith, the guitarist, pipes up and says ‘no you haven’t, you had a drag on one of my ciggies last Thursday down the pub’. Mick replies ‘it was only one drag down the pub on Thursday, that doesn’t count’. To which Keith says ‘No, Mick, no – Thursday counted’ and a band name is born…Phew, that was tough!

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A Bavarian Sojourn

The House Guest

A Bavarian Sojourn

I blame my grandparents personally. When I was around 9 years of age, they bought all of us grandchildren a subscription to The Young Ornithologists Club, or YOC for short (I wish I could find my badge), which also meant that we were sent a magazine every few weeks. Helped by the novelty of receiving my very own post for the first time, this club was probably the first “hobby” I ever had. I was so taken with the contents of each magazine and the information that they contained, that it used to keep me quiet for hours. As a result, many a survey was conducted recording the bird activity in our garden. I also enjoyed making them revolting lard bird-feeders (that unsurprisingly never got eaten) and keeping a (hawk) eye out for my little feathered friends in general.

To my amazement, one day I came across an owl pellet. I had read about the contents of such in my Young Ornithologists Club Magazine, and found the very idea of dissecting a pellet to discover its skeletal contents intriguing. Hoping to share this experience with someone, I presented it to my Dad. It turned out to be a frosty…

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Adventures of an Ordinary Parent

Siblings: Worlds apart from the start

Adventures of an Ordinary Parent

In my last post, I talked about my pregnancy with Sophia, the diagnosis of talipes and her subsequent treatment. When I became pregnant for a second time, I thought I knew what to expect and was prepared for any potential hiccups along the way. Silly me!

Sophia and Dexter are two totally different people, with individual personalities and quirks. You may say that it’s to be expected – of course, they have their own special characteristics – but what I certainly didn’t expect was that their differences would be so obvious even before Dexter was born.

Pregnancy second time around is not necessarily a simple, straight-forward walk in the park. What you experience may be completely different from your first pregnancy. That was certainly the case for me. The major differences I noticed included…

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Reality Relief:


Ever had someone infer that your child might have cerebral palsy, or something like cerebral palsy, and then tell you not to worry? I have. I had taken my six week old baby, who had a stay in NICU at birth, to the doctor. The doctor did some routine developmental tests, looked concerned and exclaimed, “Ooo, she really shouldn’t be that floppy”. She then turned to me and said, “but don’t worry”.

For me, the fear that my darling daughter might have had cerebral palsy was just a moment of panic. For my cousin, Laura, the reality is that her son, Reece Walker, does have cerebral palsy. Reece and his brother Marcus were born prematurely at 27 weeks. Marcus lost his fight for life at 12 days old. Reece made it. But it soon became apparent that he had CP.

Today, we had some exciting news from Caudwell Children. Reality Relief has set up a Sponsored Bungee! event, at which 10 Reality Stars will be taking place at the O2 Centre in London. And the great news for Laura, Scott and Reece is that all the money raised by Reality Relief for Caudwell Children will go towards helping Reece walk.

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Wrapped round her little finger


As I started down looking at my daughter halfway into this world I was still unsure what this baby was as me and my girlfriend had opted not to find out the gender in the scan and spent the remaining 5 months or so having people say, “Oh what are you having” “Oh I couldn’t not find out, I mean how can you get prepared properly” as me and my girlfriend grin through our teeth thinking theres more colours than blue or pink!

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When Sinterklaas met Santa Claus


So this coming Monday 5th December, Sinterklaas will come and celebrate his birthday, when that is over I can then finally start to get into the Christmas spirit. It’s hard being an expat with 2 traditions to observe, since my daughter started school in September, the traditions of our guest land are ever more important

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