Have we lost the ability to stop in a busy world?

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How my friends with older children didn’t laugh at me I will never know (other than they are lovely).

“I’ll have plenty of time soon,” I said confidently. “When Freya’s at nursery two mornings a week.”

What they already knew, of course, is that there is never enough time. Fast forward four months and I’m laughing at myself.

Sometimes I feel like I’m on one of those challenge programmes, you know, like 60 Minute Makeover, where I have a set time to get everything done and always, always, just about scrape by.

When she’s not with me I feel the need to do ALL the jobs. Shopping, cleaning (especially all the bits I’ve previously ignored *cough* skirting boards), prepping, admin. You name it, I cram it in so there isn’t a minute spare.

The first few weeks I purposely kept myself busy so I wouldn’t think about her sitting alone crying my name in the corner of a classroom (which couldn’t have been further from the truth) but I seem to have just carried on.

The lists in my bullet journal get longer and longer each week.

It’s like I feel the need to justify my existence, if I’m not working or looking after Freya, by not sitting down at any point during the 2.5 hours she’s away.

I seem to have forgotten how to just…be still. And I have that Ferris Bueller quote buzzing about:

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Even with the luxury of time (I mean maybe 15 minutes or so not the entire morning) I just can’t stop – even though I’m sure the skirting boards could hold the weight of dust for another couple of years, at least.

I’m not sure who I’m trying to prove myself to. Mark would be the obvious choice, as he is the one “at work”. He’s really not bothered and in fact said I deserved a break after a pretty full on few years.

I know we all have busy lives, a never ending “to do” list but somewhere in the back of my head, tucked behind the sleep deprivation, it feels like I’m missing the point.

Hot Pink Wellingtons

Review: Kidloland App.

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As a mum I feel guilty about many, many things but screen time isn’t one of them.

When I look at our days together, they are filled with playing, reading, crafting and lots of outdoor adventures but I also think it’s good for Freya to have some down time – and that includes watching a bit of television or spending an hour on my iPad, if she wants.

When the nice folks at Kidloland got in touch and asked if we’d like to try their app for toddler and preschoolers I didn’t hesitate in saying: “Yes please.”

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The multi-award winning app features more than a thousand nursery rhymes, songs, stories, activities and games on themes including ABCs, shapes, phonics (which she is just about to start at nursery), fruit and veggies, animals and numbers.

New content is added regularly and there are no annoying adverts to contend with.

Freya was delighted to have something new to try and loved scrolling through the bright, colourful choices, all accompanied by cheerful music.

The first thing she selected was a game where you have to clean a monster’s teeth, which she liked so much I eventually had to convince her to try something else (she loves the dentist).

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While she needed some help at first, she soon got the hang of it. As I know all the content is safe for her, I feel reassured about giving her the freedom to pick and choose what to do.

While she really likes the games and stories, she is also quite the little entertainer and loves singing along to the nursery rhymes and lullabies.

Over the last week, we have sampled a fair selection (she asks for Kidloland straight away now) and they have all been fun, varied, interactive and educational but there are loads still to try.

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You can even download some of the content and play offline (fab if you’re travelling).

The website also offers free worksheets to print, which I think is a great resource.

When I was young we obviously didn’t have iPads and apps but I remember when my brother, who is five years older than me, got his first computer when he was 11 – a Sinclair Spectrum 48k, which he very occasionally let me play with (under close supervision).

It was love at first sight for him and he worked his way up the computer chain, eventually turning his self-taught skills into a very successful career he relishes.

There is no doubt in my mind that technology will play an important role in Freya’s future, no matter which route she chooses, and, as long as there is a balance, it’s age appropriate and she’s properly supervised, I see nothing wrong in letting her start now – especially when there are great apps such as Kidloland around.

* The app is available to download for free via the App Store (iOS) and Google Play and the Amazon Appstore (for Android). To access all of the content you need to purchase a subscription. One month costs £3.99, six months is £18.99
and one year is £29.99.

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With thanks to Kidloland for providing us with a year-long subscription in return for an honest review.

Nepaliaustralian Blog Award Nomination.

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Forget the Golden Globes, the BAFTAs and even the Oscars, it’s all about the annual Nepaliaustralian Blog Awards – or at least it is for me.

Someone has very kindly nominated me in the Best Personal Blog 2016 category. Thank you very much. It made my day yesterday when I found out. I had to click on the link twice to check it really was my site.

I’ve been lucky enough to be nominated for a couple of blogging awards before, which I am always thankful for, but I’ve never really pushed forward with them because they often seem more about how many followers you have than blogging. Do I sound bitter? I don’t mean to, honest. I’m a little fish in a big pond and I’m more than happy to swim about in my small corner.

The Napaliaustralian Awards strike me as different, though. They are run by a blogging mum, who was born in Nepal, which is top of my list of places to visit, who lives in Australia with her husband and daughter.

As she explains:

Every year many blogs are created to express thoughts and emotions. Some are really interesting while others are funny. While some choose to share about their life or relationship others share their skills and passion like cooking, photography or fashion. No matter what field the blog belongs to, if it is good, it needs to be recognized and more and more people should be able to reach these blogs.

There’s no big ceremony (I might buy a posh dress anyway), no trophy to take home, just recognition that you are doing something others enjoy. It’s a grassroots blogging award – and that really appeals to me.

So, if you like reading my blog please could you click here and cast your vote for me by pasting this into the comment box.

Best Personal Blog 2016 – 1.

You’ll need to supply an email address. Your vote won’t be shown in the comments.

While you’re there why not check out some of the other nominated blogs. The lovely, always supportive, Amanda who blogs at Something To Ponder About (home of the Monday Mystery Photo) is nominated in TWO categories, including best personal blog, and Jane at Sustayable Me, who kindly featured me in her Mum Friday Section, is up for Best New Blog.

Thanks again for every view, like and especially comment.