Parents suffer from separation anxiety too

As our babies and kids go through the different developmental phases we often come across separation anxiety. It’s normal for little ones to feel separation anxiety. I remember reading lots about it when Big Munch was around 9 months old. I’ll be away from my two girls and Mr.H soon as I head off to the Mom 2.0 blogger conference in Orlando. I know I have mixed feelings about being away. So, what about the parents and their own separation anxiety?  

Are they going to be OK? It’s a question we ask ourselves as parents each day. It could be the nursery drop-off or saying bye at nap-time. We can’t constantly watch our kids and have to trust that they will be OK. However, they’re so little and it’s natural that we worry about them. That’s why I’m sure it’s normal for us parents to suffer from separation anxiety too. We’re only human right?

Photo by Katrina Campbell Photography

Trusting others…A big part of parental separation anxiety is knowing that our kids are being well looked after. We have to start trusting other grown ups to look after our precious babies. We have to trust our children’s independence. It’s something I want my girls to feel. I never wanted them to be super-clingy babies as I knew I’d be going back to work after maternity leave. For the first time, me and Mr H went away together on our own and to another country. We knew our girls would be fine staying the weekend at my Mum’s. It still felt strange knowing that they wouldn’t be able to see both of us over the weekend. 

Missing out…Kids are constantly developing. When we have to leave them at nursery or childcare we don’t always get to see their new tricks first time round. Parents can feel like they’re missing out. It’s like parenthood FOMO.  Not being together doesn’t mean not sharing special moments at other times. In fact being part can make us value the family hang out time we enjoy together. 
Getting used to it…I remember my parents working long hours when I was little. Working is part of life. It means we will be apart from our kids. Everyone’s getting used to doing their own thing during the day. As a mum I need my time out and I’m glad my two girls are getting used to seeing their mummy go off to work or her events at the weekends. I hope see this will encourage their own independence when they’re older. 

Will they be OK without us? We are their parents and they need us everyday. We’re their ultimate comfort blanket. I worry about if or when they feel upset or may hurt themselves and need a cuddle. All they might want at that moment is their mummy or daddy. What I’ve learnt is that kids can be really adaptable. They find their different sources of support. They also quickly move onto the next activity. 

Tearful goodbyes…Last week it was tears all round. Toddler Munch has started a new nursery and she just didn’t want to go in. Usually she’s OK with nursery but seeing her so upset brought out the tears in me too. I felt bad leaving her knowing she wasn’t in the mood for hanging out with new grown ups and kids. For the first time I felt a rush of hardcore mum guilt. I was leaving her when she was really upset but I had to go to work. Knowing how busy she would soon be at nursery helped my separation anxiety. 

Everyday reunions…One thing that distracts me from separation anxiety during the day is knowing we will be back together again. You’ve got to love the excited hello’s and cuddles at the nursery pick up. When I come home from my trip I’m excited about walking in through the front door and being greeted with some serious hugs from my two girls. 

Do you think parents suffer rom separation anxiety? What helps children to feel OK when they’re away from their parents? Any tips for me when I’m away from my children next week? Let me know what you think too. 

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Seven things we love about the new Clarks Kids range 

Who doesn’t love shoes? Even Toddler Munch was excited to wear her new gold trainers last week. Shoes say a lot about our lifestyle and our style. Big Munch is nearly four and she’s pretty strong-minded about what she wears. You can guarantee if we go shoe shopping together she will chose something pink. I still don’t get why girls love pink so much but I’ve accepted this is her style. I love going shoe shopping with the girls. Sometimes my Mum comes too so it’s become a little tradition and we often pop to our local Clarks store on the high street.fullsizeoutput_30e1

This week me and Toddler Munch checked out the new Autumn/Winter range for Clarks Kids. Here’s seven things I loved about their new range… Continue reading

Let’s talk about flex – Mother Pukka’s #flexappeal campaign for more flexible working

Flexible working. Over the last 15 years in my HR career, these words are becoming  more and more important.  As lots of people experience parenthood, different lifestyles or life changes, more flexible working conversations are taking place in the workplace. So what’s the #flexappeal campaign all about? Created and led by Anna Whitehouse of motherpukka.co.uk, it’s about raising awareness of the benefits flexible working brings to a business and its teams.

Thanks to @emilygrayphoto for this photo

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Travelling away from my children and welcoming our Scamp and Dude superhero

So many parents and carers have to spend time away from their children. I’m not just talking about during the day when we’re working or running businesses. Overnight stays away from our children and families can be hard too. Sometimes they can be short-notice or even unplanned trips away from the family. On Lucky Things blog, we chat a lot about confidence. We don’t always feel confident as parents, especially as we adapt to new situations for our families. In January I stayed about a week away from Mr.H and my two daughters. It was an emotional time not being with them. You can read more about how I felt travelling away from my children for the first time here. So I wanted to see what could help this temporary absence and that’s when I came across the Scamp and Dude Superhero. I love that Scamp and Dude is all about inspiring confidence in children.fullsizeoutput_2c72

Anxious about being away…I knew the girls would be fine as they were with their original superhero Daddy (AKA Mr. H) but I knew we’d miss each other. I was also anxious about how the girls would feel about being not being at home. There were quite a few things we organised to help the girls and in particularly our three-year old Big Munch adapt to my temporary absence. It’s not often we need to treat the girls to new teddies or toys but instead of bringing back loads of gifts from my trip, I wanted to leave Big Munch with something new. One of the things that me and Big Munch picked together was our new lodger – our Scamp and Dude Superhero rabbit.

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How do we explain sad events like bereavement to our children? 

We want our children to grow up in a happy world. We want them to see and appreciate the good in people. We want them to grow up to be good people themselves. Sadly, we are unable to control the outside world. During our own childhoods and lifetimes we would have experienced sad events, whether they were in the news, or closer to our home, our families and our hearts. So how do we explain sad events like bereavement to our children? Continue reading

Newborn essentials: Etta Loves muslin cloths 

As Toddler Munch is two this year, I’m starting to reminisce lots about the newborn days. Her hair is pretty short so she still appears a bit baby-like. Someone on my blog this week reminded me of how much stuff you carry around when you have a little baby. One thing that’s an essential for the first few months (and even years) is the muslin cloth. Little did I know this piece of cotton cloth would come in so handy. Although Toddler Munch is getting bigger, we still use muslins lots. There’s always one on my coat pocket, in the cross body bag or tucked in the buggy. I’ve now stopped carrying my changing bag as I manage to squeeze nappy changing gear and meals on the go into two handy clutches.

Last year I came across Etta Loves muslin squares. Why is it that I now see lots of things I would have loved when my girls were newborns? The great thing is that we still use muslin squares lots in our home and when we’re out and about.

So what do we love about Etta Loves muslins? Continue reading

Top tips on taking photos of children from family photographer Katrina Campbell

Taking photos of children can be a real challenge. I love taking photos of my girls but it’s always handy to know a few tricks. I met Katrina Campbell at one of the Mama Meets at Olive Loves Alfie East. She captured some beautiful photos of me and my girls which you may have spotted on Lucky Things Instagram. Katrina is a family photographer based in North London. She used to work in advertising, but left to be at home full time when her children were small, and promptly took up photography to keep her sane. Today she is talking about how to take great photographs of your children, whether you use a camera or a phone. Over to Katrina…mama-meet-xmas-4201

Top tips on taking photos of children by Katrina Campbell

We all want to have beautiful, natural photographs of our children as they grow up, don’t we? It’s almost a natural instinct as parents we want to capture the precious memories of, little details of the everyday , to essentially freeze time. However sometimes the simple act of photographing them only serves to remind us how fleeting their childhood is.

Here are a few tips that I find essential when photographing children:

Let them play –  I prefer to photograph young children when they are lost in the moment. If they are content in what they’re doing, whether blowing bubbles or jumping in the sprinkler, you are free to experiment a little with the shot you want. So, get involved, chat with them, make them laugh but then take a step back. You can snap away, and all it takes is a little gentle direction to get them to look at each other, or glance up at the camera. Don’t ask them to smile for the camera – sometimes ‘quick, I need a photo of this’ is all it takes to interrupt the magic of the moment. With older children you can do the opposite – get them involved in the creation of the photograph and make that an activity in itself.

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Parenting: Top tips for looking after twin babies

When people find out we did IVF many of them asked if there was a high chance of us having twins. There wasn’t due to the type of Natural IVF we pursued. So we always knew that if our IVF was successful, there would be one bubba. Quite a few of our friends have twin babies or they might be expecting twins. So I thought I’d round up a few tips from some of the mama bloggers out there with first hand experience. By coincidence, this week Beyoncé and Jay-Z announced their twins news. Thanks to Katie, Hayley and Shannon who shared their top tips on looking after twin babies (and yourselves as parents). Continue reading