Did you go back to work or take a different path?

 MOST MUMS RETURN TO WORK BECAUSE OF THE HIGH COST OF LIVING AND HALF OF THEM RELY ON THEIR MOTHERS FOR CHILDCARE

A study on behalf of Philips AVENT has revealed eight out of ten new mums headed back to the office because they were ‘in desperate need of money’, while only one in five returned to work because they loved their job.

,43 per cent of mums said they cannot afford to pay for childcare despite being back at work.  This is why nearly half of them, 46 per cent, rely on their mum to care for their child, while friends and grandparents are also called upon regularly.

 The vast majority polled (86 per cent) went back to their previous job and four in ten did so once their maternity leave ended.

Deneice Harwin from Philips AVENT, said: ‘”Our research shows that balancing work and family is still a great challenge for most women. Having a good network of family and friends as well as flexible working hours can certainly make the difference and help them find the right balance.

The research shows that six in ten continued working full time, while four opted for part-time and typically went into the office for three days a week. “

 The research, which was undertaken between 29 March – 4 April 2011, also found that of the 35 per cent who said they plan to resume their normal nine to five, one in twenty said they will search for a job which is less stressful and demanding. More than one in ten (12 per cent) will look for a different part-time job completely, while seven per cent will look for a freelance position.

 One in six mothers will not return to work, with two thirds saying they want to stay with their child and be more involved with their upbringing. Four in ten said it is not financially worth it because it ends up more expensive hiring a nanny or forking out on childcare costs averaging £4,280 a year. 

 One in ten said they don’t like their previous job enough to go back, while a quarter are fortunate to have a partner who earns enough for them ‘to get by’. The study found that around one in twenty women left their husband or partner at home with their child while they went back to the office. One in ten said the fact they brought home a bigger wage packet than their other half persuaded them to return.

 It also emerged four in ten have thought about starting their own business, with half persuaded by the thought of being their own boss. Seven in ten like the idea of flexible working hours.

 Two thirds of respondents work full time as well as their partner. A massive 87 per cent said they jointly feel under pressure to both pull in a fair wage to provide for their family.

For 56 per cent money worries constantly play on their mind and 87 per cent wish they could provide more for their family. Although it emerged that only one in five don’t budget properly and half have under £200 a month disposable income.  The study also found that 70 per cent of them were aware of the Government’s proposed child benefits changes affecting families from this month.

Sue Hayward, Philips AVENT Financial advisor, added “These results demonstrate that women are seriously looking at alternative jobs to live a balanced as well as rewarding lifestyle.  Planning, budgeting and looking for the best deals are still wise ways to save money and have the family budget under control especially now with the recent child tax credit changes to be introduced”.


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zoobles review

I love new toys and so do my kids and even though we have had the excesses of Christmas we were thrilled to be sent a Zoobles to play with. Her is our Zoobles review.

Curled up in little balls which you can roll around, Zoobles™ jump into life and they are  the cutest, oddest looking animals. My children were delighted by theirs.  You place them on top of  their “happitat”which is a little cage they can go in when all curled up. This has a little magnet on top and they sit on theses spring up and transform into cute, colourful animal characters to play with  Press their heads and they’ll blink, wink or even wag their tail  Each Zooble is unique and comes with its very own happitat where it can curl up to go to sleep, or spring to life on the hot spot.   

My kids aged 3 and 6 both loved this and even though its aimed at girls 4+ my 6 year old son really liked it too.

They apparently come from magical lands and underwater worlds like Petagonia, Seagonia and Azoozia, there will be over 150 Zoobles for little girls to collect (that could be VERY expensive I would suggest not aiming for the whole set! They cost £5.99 or a two packs costs £9.99) . If you want to find out more about Zoobles visit www.zoobles.com I think these will hugely catch on, they are delightful and great fiun for kids to share and compare!

These will be avaibale from Argos, Asda, The Entertainer and Smiths as of next week

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I am absolutely delighted to tell you my new ebook is now available. It is packed with ideas for winter fun with your under five  It has ideas for when you are cosy indoors and activities for when you are out and about. It has lots oof lovely craft ideas like making snowglobes and crayon cakes, It also has recipes, songs, games, giving ideas and reading suggetsions. The book also considers ways to celebrate lots of Winter festivals such as Chanukah and Chinese New Year as well as Christmas and  Winter Solstice. It will keep you busy!

For just £1.50 it can be downloaded now, Wishing you hours of family fun

Becky x


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How to Afford Time Off with Your Baby: 101 Ways to Ease the Financial Strain

Well done to Rebecca Brown who wins a copy of my book How to afford timeoff with your baby. Here is how she finds creative time. 

I don’t do early mornings and my children are 4 months and 3 years old respectively so it’s a case of grab time in snatches here and there!

I do most of my writing in the evening when they’ve gone to bed but also during 4 am feeds, using an iphone to either get inspiration or to make notes or even blog posts! I’ve found breastfeeding is great thinking time, and ironing too – so many times I’ve had to put down the iron and rush to the computer!

I’ve also taken up sketching and it’s great watching the kids play and trying to capture their movements in little sketches.

(Basically she ditches her ironong….way to go Rebecca!)


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How to afford time off with your baby – 101  ways to ease the financial strain is my very first book and it was published last September by Vermilion.So far I have sold around 4000 copies and I am so proud to have written it and gotten it out there. I really wanted to share my ideas and all I had learned about affording time off and writing my book was on my life list of things to do.. so it was truly a dream come true.

book signing of how to afford time off with your baby

Next week there will be a post on how to get a book published but for today I just want to share a tip with you that has massively helped me combne parenting and creativively finding ways to make money ………

……I get up really early (5.30) and  go to bed by 10

Okay it s not exciting or astounding but it does work for me giving me the time to create, plan, organise etc. that I need. It#s all very well waiting for your baby to nap but mine both stopped daytime naps at 1!


Competition


To enter the competition to win a signed (oh yes indeedy!) copy of my book please answer me this…whats your

secret to fitting in your career or creative time around your little one?  The most inpiring answer wins!

Competition ends next Sept 3rd at 4 p.m.

Becky x

T&C

Baby budgetings decison is final

UK residents only please

                               How to Afford Time Off with Your Baby: 101 Ways to Ease the Financial Strain 

                                                 Just click to buy from Amazon

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Well I no longer have 70lb to lose

and 

I no longer have 65lbs to lose

and

I no longer have 63lb to lose

and

I no longer have 59lb to lose

or even 58lb to lose  but ……

I do still have 57 pound to lose for the second week running.

Dammit!

STUCK

My excuse/reason. Been eating kitkats, it’s been raining so I’ve been a bit lazy.

Pants.

Will do better next time. Still ,,,

13bs lost in total  !

Got to smile about that!

I SO WILL lose a stone by next week!


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Well I no longer have 70lb to lose

and 

I no longer have 65lbs to lose

and

I no longer have 63lb to lose

and

I no longer have 59lb to lose

or even 58lb to lose

Over the last  week I have lost another 1lb so now ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,I have only 57  to go ….YAY!   

 13bs lost in total  !

I WILL lose a stone by next week!

This week I have been doing a lots of good modelling to the kids re: eating well and have stopped drinking endless diet coke in front of them.  Have been eating quite a lot of chocolate spread sandwiches once they have been in bed hence the slowly, slowly weight loss though!  Next week I am going to try to obsess about apples instead.

weight loss

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Well I no longer have 70lb to lose

and 

I no longer have 65lbs to lose

This week I have lost 2lbs so now I have only 63 to go ….YAY!    7lbs lost so I get a treat. I’m going to get myself a face pack!  After evry 7lbs I get a little pure indulgence treat ! It’s my incentive.

 

This week I have been walking lots I have been following my personal training programme Fitness first new u on the Wii and I have been wearing my Reebok easytones, trying to eat less bread ( I smother it in butter and fillings and eat way too much of it)  Trying to drink water before meals too to fill me up before I start munching.

My budget exercise buster this week  has been to have running races with the kids and a few penalty shoot outs.


They love it and you get a workout!

See you next week!


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When you become a new parent ( or from my experience even one with a 3 and a 6 year old!) your own needs often come far behind those of your kids. Probably rightly so they are vulnerable, dependent etc. but sometimes, just sometimes, YOU need to take better care of YOU…and us mums (and dads) aren’t always great a doing so.

Often in life we cheer oursleves up with shopping but babies do deplete the budget and we can end up a bit down with no new loot to cheer us. Don’t just turn to the credit cards! There are many many other things you can do to feel good emotionall,y spiritually and physically and this month I hope to bring you lots of top tips and ideas for taking care of yourself. Please, as always, do join in . I love love, love, to get your tips and I know my other readers do too and if yo u ever have an idea for a guest post just shout up. Heres to a motnh full of treats for us all !


Becky xxxxxx


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Our guest post today is from Brenda at the green familia and here she shares some fab tips on energy efficiency.  Thank you Brenda!

Energy efficiency at it’s purest!

One of the easiest ways of saving money and being kind to the environment is to be energy efficient.  Here are some tips on how to achieve this.

  •  Turn off all electrical appliances at the wall when not in use.  Even leaving them on standby is still using up electricity which you are paying for!
  • Keep your fridge and freezers dust free at the back.  Once a month get into the habit of giving them a dust down, this helps them be more energy efficient.
  • When replacing your washing machines, dishwashers etc, go for one that has a high energy efficient rating. Which? Is a good resource for finding out the best ones.
  •  Turning your heating down by just one degree, can also help you lower your energy bills.
  •  Ensure your house is fully insulated from the loft to your doors and windows!
  •  Switch to low energy light bulbs.
  • When cooking, make larger portions and freeze the left overs for another day. 

 


  •  Use lined curtains on windows that are slightly draughty to prevent too much heat loss.
  •  Invest or make your own door draught excluders, again to prevent heat loss.

These are only just a few tips, but if you can implement a few of these into your daily lives, you will find that eventually your energy bills will be less and you will have a more energy efficient house which will help in your strive to be greener.

Brenda writes over at www.thegreenfamilia.co.uk, which is a light green natural living shopping blog.

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 I have always thought reusable wipes sounded brilliant from an environmental and economical perspective and yet…. a bit icky? I was delighted to have a go at using Cheeky wipes reusable baby wipes kit and finally break my reusable wipes block.

                                                                    

 What a fab product! The system is very simple, you have a clean wipes container and a mucky wipes container with washable bag. Use then transfer and wash with towels/reusable nappies/bedding on 60 then reuse. Little bags for clean and mucky whilst out and about are also included. The oils included with the kits give such a sweet fresh smell and it is so lovely to know that no chemicals are touching your baby’s bum. It is also great to know that you are reducing your landfill contribution. Our children need that! But for me the most impressive news of all is that you will save

               * £200 *

at least using this product instead of disposable wipes. Really impressive stuff for a simple, environmentally friendly transition. WOW!

Yes it is slightly more effort but our world, our children and our budget deserve it and you soon get used to doing things slightly differently.

 Please tell everyone you know who is pregnant to give these a go and get them on their gift list and perhaps have a go yourself. You know it make sense.

The Cheeky wipes set retails at £34.95 and can be purchased from www.cheekywipes.com where any questions you have are thoroughly addressed.  The customer testimonials for this product are amazing.

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The Expectant Dads Survival Guide by Rob Kemp     (What to expect when she is expecting)

I have read of few books for dads on pregnancy and most have been quite jokey and blokey. Recently released this book was like a breath of fresh air.This book does have a really great sense of humour and speaks to dads in their language but it is no way flippant. The book is packed with expert tips from a male midwife, obstetricians, psychologists and ‘a man who knows a lot about car seats’

You can click through the image to buy on Amazon

Each chapter roughly follows the pregnancy as it should progress and gives an idea of how the child is developing in the womb, how your partner is feeling and why she is in the mood she is and it contains expert advice and tips to help you make the right decisions. Lots of dads also share their story.

I think this book is fab…so easy to read, interesting and useful. It also shows great empathy towards a woman’s experience and I felt the author really cared about mum being fully supported.

Some really useful parts of the book (often not addressed) are dealing with miscarriage, an explanation of the facts of life, a conversion chart for baby weights, a discussion of the dad dreaded nappies, a little chapter entitled when bump stops the grind (SEX!)  And many other really useful bits every woman would want someone sensible to chat to her partner about.

The book also has a brilliant glossary at the back so all those new confusing words are explained. The last words in this book go to the mums in a nifty little section entitled the ‘Dos and don’ts of being a new dad according to new mums.’  This is my favourite:

      Don’t sit next to your partner while she is breast feeding, put the TV on sports news move the remote put of reach then go upstairs   out of earshot while we’re left unable to move watching the bloody football for 40 minutes!

 Oh how I wish someone had told my fella this!

Overall, I found this to be a very funny, immensely sensitive and deeply informative read. I would highly recommend this book to new dads.

 The Expectant Dads Survival Guide by Rob Kemp (Vermilion, 2010) Available from Amazon, Waterstones and other leading bookstores.

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