The UnNatural Mother

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When you think about twinning outfits you always think about 2 little girls or 2 little boys. I have the great pleasure of having one of each and didn’t want to miss out on this…

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A picture of swimfreak swimming goggles

On our family holiday this year Harry got a bit too brave, dispensed with his armbands and had a go at swimming ( or in his case sinking ). I make light of the incident but it was pretty scary stuff at the time. I got to him just as he took his foot off the last step and managed to grab him before he went under. Harry did attend swimming lessons while I was off on maternity leave with Charley but as soon as he went to school and I went back to work we couldn’t commit to a certain day or time each week.After the ‘incident’ and now I can work more flexible around the kids Harry has been attending intensive swimming lessons and is coming on really well. We still are nowhere near taking his bands off but his confidence has grown and he is happy to be in the water.

a picture of Harry wearing swimfreak swimming goggles

This wasn’t the case in early September. Even though he said he was o.k at the time, Harry had really scared himself and getting him to get changed into his swimming gear was a challenge in its self. His first lesson went well right up until 5 minutes before the finish when one of the other kids splashed him by accident and he freaked. I spent the next 10 minutes trying to get him to calm down and Harry spent the next 6 days dreading going back to the lessons.Week 2 was o.k and no real issues but Harry wasn’t enjoying his swimming lessons and i needed to make a decision of what to do. I had already paid £100 upfront for a 5-week course which was nonrefundable, but I didn’t want to force Harry into something he wasn’t ready for. After a long chat with Harry, he decided he wanted to be brave and keep going. He didn’t like getting water in his eyes and he didn’t feel confident enough for me to sit on the side ( I go in the water with him ). As a mum, there is a fine line between pushing our children to be independent and letting go too quick. My decision was to remain in the water with Harry during his classes but also to get him to believe he could do it on his own. So how did I do that? Harry believes Spiderman is the ultimate hero so my 1st stop was to buy him some extra special Spiderman swimming shorts, next stop was the biggest and most robust armbands I could find and then I threw away his £2.99 Home Bargains swimming goggles and ordered him a pair of Olympic standard, best of the best swimming goggles from SwimFreak. It helps that the googles had mirrored UV lens so when he wears them he looks like Spiderman. Always one to go above and beyond I took the extra step to mix up some ‘confidence dust’  ( 2 types of glitter and a few stars thrown in for good measure). Harry thinks the fairies gave it me and each week I pretend to sprinkle a bit on his head before each lesson. The combination of SuperHeroes, Fairies, and watertight swimming goggles has really helped Harry with his confidence and now he no longer dreads his lessons or the occasional splash of water on his face. It’s one of the best feelings in the world to see your child overcome a fear and with a little of a magic and the purchase of good quality equipment he is well on the way to Olympic Gold ( Well I can dream too, cant I ? )

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Swimfreak kindly sent us a pair of their Pro Goggles in exchange for a review. All my thoughts & opinions are my own.

The DRM Project Tshirt

I am a huge fan of slogan t-shirt’s and even more so when the profits go to charity. I first heard about The DRM Project when I was reading a post on Laura’s blog Mum On A Mission. Laura set up the DRM Project alongside friend and mum of two Zoe to help raise money for the Chailey Heritage Foundation one of the UK’s leading centres for children and young adults with a neurological motor impairment.The project is raising money for the Dream Centre, a brand new state of the art centre for disabled children and young people at Chailey Heritage.The new Dream Centre will broaden the will allow them to participate in sports and activities they would otherwise not be able to enjoy. Both Laura & Zoe, along with Linda Lusardi were Interviewed by Loose Women back in August to help raise the profile of the Project. If you would like to see the Loose Women interview click here.

The DRM project will be coming to an end on the 11th December so be quick and head over to grab your T-shirt/jumper or bag. They make the perfect Christmas Present for the whole family thedrmproject.co.uk. I did my own interview with Laura & Zoe to find out more details about why they decided to start The DRM Project and how we as fellow mums can get involved and help raise money for such a great cause.

Tell us a little bit more about yourselves & the boys ( likes, dislikes, favourite food, if you have day jobs, favourite movies … etc…  

Laura – William is 8, he has quadriplegic cerebral palsy, epilepsy & visual impairment.  He loves swimming, people watching, horse riding and looking at books. Apart from being his Mum, I am also a blogger, campaigner, and cake decorating teacher! I am addicted to Starbucks green tea lemonade and Justin Timberlake!

Zoe – Wilson is 7 and has a similar condition to William, although it affects him very differently.  He loves music and is always listening to Adele or James Bay! He also loves swimming and walking in his walker! I’m a crazy nutter of a mother!  I love music, Maroon 5 are life!  I don’t really have dislikes only rude people!  I work part-time for my husband am also a hairdresser.

 

Both William & Wilson attend Chailey Heritage School and the 2.6 million will go towards building an indoor activity space for the children who attend the school. How will this make a difference to the children’s lives? 

L.The dream centre will allow children at Chailey Heritage to have access to sports they can’t currently participate in, they will be able to play wheelchair football, go trampolining and be transported to other parts of the world in a special sensory area.

Z.It’s going to be amazing, they will be able to access lots of new things which only Chailey will have on offer. To have the 4D experience screen to allow them to visit other countries is going to be incredible because some children or young adults won’t be able to travel due to their disabilities.  The football pitch for wheelchair footie is also going to be brilliant!It’s going to make such a difference to their lives getting all these new activities and bring us together as families as it is difficult sometimes finding activities our children and family can enjoy together!

 

How did you come up with the idea to design and sell t-shirts to help raise money? 

L.I’d had the idea to sell T-shirts for a while but when the Dream centre appeal was launched I realised it could be a really good idea to help raise money for the project.  The designs took a while as we were completely over thinking it to start with.  But the Supermum design came about because we refer to the Mums we socialise with as the supermums so it’s a bit strange that we didn’t think of it straight away!  It is now our best seller!

Z.I was asked to be a part of the campaign for the D.R.E.A.M centre for the schools fundraising video, and after filming Laura then said she wanted to help do some fundraising.  Laura is massive social media guru and had done lots of research so we decided to go ahead with slogan t-shirts!

 

You both mentioned when you were interviewed on Loose Women that you have a large group of friends to help you through the bad days.Do you think this is key to how you both stay so positive and focused on giving William & Wilson the best lives possible? 

L.100%.  If I am having a bad day or need to have a moan I know that many of my friends without disabled children probably won’t really understand the problems, and it would take a lot of explaining too.  But my friends who have disabled kids just get it, I don’t have to explain everything each time because they are going through the same things.  And we don’t just talk about our kids!  Because we all get it, we can talk about other things, we don’t feel sorry for each other or pity each other’s situations if that makes sense!

Z.Yes definitely, I think that’s the key, go to groups with similar children/diagnosis and make friends, that’s how I met Laura.  I’d tell other parents to get into social media especially Facebook and find groups and get networking! Finding people going through similar situations really helps, as they get it!

 

Does the lack of changes places restrict the activities you can do with the boys? 

L.In a nutshell… yes!  William is now too heavy for me to lift off the floor so although I can lift him out of his wheelchair if he is on the floor I can’t lift him back up.  But usually, the floor is the only place I can put him if I need to undress him so he can use the loo.  So that means I am limited in how long I can be out of the house for.

Z.Yes definitely.  I didn’t ever think in a million years my whole life would revolve around toilets but it does. If there’s isn’t a changing places toilet, we don’t go! It’s just not worth the heartache of having to lie them on toilet floors!!

 

When you reach the 2.6 million how will you celebrate?

L.Well, we’ve just come back from a girl’s holiday in Magaluf so the only thing I can guarantee is that it won’t involve alcohol as I am never drinking again!

Z.Me and Laura will probably go out dancing till5am haha!  In all seriousness, it would be great to organise a big party at Chailey to celebrate.

 

If you could see anyone in one of the DRM Project T-shirts who would it be and why? 

L.Charlie Hunnam, although I’d probably rather see him out of it!  No, on a serious note, I would love to see some influential bloggers in them, people like Mother Pukka, Susie Verrill and Giovanna Fletcher, not only because I am very nosey and love to watch their instant stories but also because I know that other Mums listen to what they say, they like their style and might be encouraged to buy a t-shirt and support The DRM Project too.

Z.I’d love Katie Price to wear one of our tops, she understands life with a child who has special needs and gets what it is like with the daily struggles! Also, Holly Willoughby as she is such a big name who everyone loves and if she was to wear one, everyone would want to buy one!!

 

I want to thank Laura & Zoe for allowing me to interview them and let’s help them reach their target by purchasing one of their great slogan t-shirts. Remember to pop over to their website to take a look thedrmproject.co.uk and check out Laura’s great blog Mum On A Mission to find out how you can get involved in the campaign for more changing place toilets.

 

The DRM Project with a tutu

 

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The average person spends 2500 hours a year sleeping, add an extra 70 hours for snoozing the alarm clock and if you are anything like me another 50 hours of just curling up in bed watching YouTube.With all these hours spent in one room, it needs to be a relaxing area. The Winter chill and dark nights are already upon us so if you haven’t already it’s time to unpack the highest tog duvet you have and change the soft furnishings to create a warm cosy environment.

Curtains

Top of the list which is a necessity all year round is blackout curtains. However dark it is outside the added thickness of blackout curtains blocks the harsh rays of street lamps helping to promote a good nights sleep.It is always worth investing money in a stylishly designed pair of blackout curtains as they can really transform a room from looking cheap to opulent.The pair we purchased were from the Yorkshire Linen Co and instantly created a peaceful ambiance. If you are looking for new curtains I can definitely recommend buying a pair from the Yorkshire Linen Co. Their new winter collection of blackout curtains are available at to view at the Yorkshire linen website.

Bedding

Once you have cosy curtains to keep out that cold wind you can turn your attention to the bed and the linen. You want your bed linen to be soft and warm next to your skin.You need to look for a high thread count. Most cotton thread counts are between 200 – 800 but you can occasionally find one at 1000.The higher the thread count the softer the cotton.This also translates to the same thermo-insulation property in the sheets that keep you cool in summer will also keep you warm in winter. The White Company have a great selection of bed sheets to choose from and if you are really looking for pure luxury take a look at their Egyptian Cotton range. When looking to choose your duvet cover design Nordic is huge this year along with plaid & stags. All create a masculine log cabin feel that can be softened with the use of Faux fur or knitted throws.Matalan has really stepped up their game when it comes to home styling and this year’s selection of bedding sets means there is a design to suit everyone.

 

Accessories

The cheapest way of transforming a room from one season to another is accessories. Adding a few new bronze coloured scatter cushions to the bed or changing photo frames to metallic colours will instantly update your look. The best place to find style inspiration is Pinterest but be warned once you log onto the site you may find yourself engrossed for a whole afternoon. Once you know the look you want to go for then take a visit to your local Primark. Their home accessories and very versatile and there is plenty of choices. If like me you are handy with a tin of spray paint & some sticky back plastic, then why not update some old furniture or ornaments into your chosen colour scheme. It’s super easy to do and a mini project you can undertake in less than a day. As Blue Peter presenters used to say here’s a bedroom side table I did earlier ………..

 

I hope this has given you some style inspiration to transition your bedroom from summer to autumn/winter. If you have any style tips you would like to share just comment below.

 

 

 

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This post was in collaboration with the Yorkshire Linen Co but all my thoughts & opinions are my own.

Have you just found out you are pregnant or about to go on Maternity Leave and haven’t got the 1st clue about your basic maternity rights? If you are anything like me you didn’t have a clue and felt like I was asking for a favour everytime I needed to go for an antenatal appointment. Pregnancy should be a joyous time so know your maternity rights and don’t let anyone make you feel bad for bringing another life into this world.

Maternity Rights

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