When the Kids Leave Home

It can be difficult to cope when your children leave home. For years your life has revolved around caring for them and preparing them for the outside world, but when they enter it, it can leave a void. Empty Nest Syndrome is very real, and many people feel a loss of purpose when their children aren’t around the house any more.

There are a few simple ways to relieve these feelings of loss, so you can refocus and concentrate on the new freedom you have in your life.

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Three Storage Tips to Make Your Home Safer and More Spacious

Not only does it look a mess, clutter can be a bit of a health hazard too, especially when you have kids around. Think about knives lurking at the bottom of drawers, or heavy boxes waiting to topple on toddlers. Doesn’t bear thinking about.

Here are some tips to help keep the house tidier, and safer to boot.

A Place for Everything

It may be a tired old cliché, but having designated spots for everything from boots to crayons means you can find what you want straight away without tripping over things on the way.

Drawer organisers are easy to buy and cheap, and they’re useful all round the house, not just for cutlery in the kitchen. Use them for:

  • Pens, crayons and felt tips in a crafting drawer.
  • Hair ties and bobbles.
  • Costume or play jewellery
  • Make up and brushes

You can also buy or make dividers for sock drawers, and to keep crockery or pots and pans organised.

Shelving throughout the house creates lots of storage without restricting the floor area, and is especially good for keeping glass or other breakables out of little finger’s reach.

Activity Zones within Rooms

We can’t all afford bespoke rooms for every activity. Bedrooms are all occupied by beds and people who sleep in them, and dining rooms are fully fitted out with dining furnishings. We can, however, earmark sections of a room for certain activities and take steps to make sure the kit needed for those activities stays within the boundaries.

  • The office in the living room – a small computer workstation in a corner takes up little floor space. Install shelving over the desk for stationery or text books, and use an open bookcase set perpendicular to the wall as a cubicle boundary. Have some books facing each way so it looks good from either side, and pretty it up with trailing plants and photo frames or ornaments.
  • Zoning children’s rooms – make a quiet reading corner with a couple of bookcases and a beanbag, or lay a play mat for building bricks or cars. Captain and cabin beds create additional space for activity zones beneath them without taking up extra floor space.
  • Elsewhere in house, adopt ideas such as installing a shoe rack in the cupboard under the stairs to encourage people not to leave shoes lying around in the hallway. You could rearrange furniture in the living room to make conversation more important than watching TV, or create zones with colour or textiles that either excite the mind or promote calm.

Going Seasonal With Storage

When you’ve got more possessions than house room but you don’t want to permanently get rid of stuff, putting what you’re not using into self storage is a way of freeing up space. Some people go the seasonal route, storing summer garden furnishings and machinery over winter and winter sports kit during the summer. You could adopt the same routine with clothes if you have favourites that come out every year. Wardrobes are less crammed, and what’s in there stays in better condition.

Minimising the things kept at home makes it easier to create a safe environment too. Not only are garages and sheds less attractive as treasure troves and climbing frames to children, it’s easier to keep the inside of the house clean and sanitary when you can easily reach the corners.

An added bonus to organising home storage and clearing up some clutter is the sense of mental freedom afterwards. The home feels more airy and spacious, and is an altogether nicer place to be.

Claiming Flight Compensation: Do it Yourself or Use a Solicitor

Flying should be a comfortable and convenient way to travel, whether it be for business or pleasure. Thousands of flights happen daily across the globe, so we expect the process to run like a well-oiled machine. So, when something does not go as it should, it is natural to feel frustrated and cheated. Of course, in some cases delayed flights or even cancelled flights can mean a loss of work or missing an important event, so wanting to claim compensation is perfectly natural. However, should you claim on your own behalf or use a solicitor.

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At Peace With Just The One

My son was never meant to be an only child.

As the youngest of four children, my childhood home was always full of hustle and bustle with a multitude of playmates. Of course it also meant that there wasn't a moment's peace and quiet, but I wouldn't have traded that for the world. Which is why I was going to have two children.

Was going to.

But it just hasn't happened and at the grand old age of 40, I'm ok with that.

I can recognise now that I'm fairly certain I had such significant birth trauma after my son was born that it may have been borderline PTSD; it certainly triggered anxiety and panic attacks. It's taken a good few years with various counselling interventions to make peace with the mistakes that were made during his birth, but I can now let it go.

He's here, he's healthy, he's happy.

That is the most important thing.

However, by the time I'd adjusted and entertained the thought of childbirth again, I was on the slippery slope towards 40. Having a baby at 32 was hard enough, but this many years later? I dread to think how I'd cope with the feeding dilemma and subsequent guilt combined with the sleepless nights, let alone the physical toll on my body. Pre-pregnancy weight is a distant dream eluding me and I'm nowhere near as fit. Would my body actually hold up through the pregnancy? It is a realistic concern and in order to be physically in a place where I should become pregnant would take at least a year. Then there's the falling pregnant and the actual three-quarters of a year before the baby arrives.

I'd be looking at 43 and my son would be 11. That's a heck of an age gap and one that I know only too well can be very difficult to overcome; luckily I've got two siblings in the gap of twelve years between my eldest brother and I, and it makes it easier. I'm just not sure that it would be very fair on The Boy.

Did I want my son to have a sibling?

Of course I did, it's one of the most amazing bonds and the longest one a person can have. Never have I known three people that I can absolutely adore whilst also wanting to pull their hair out. And I'm not talking about when we were children; my brothers both currently need their heads banging together for many reasons. But I still love them.

There's a saving grace to assuage my guilt; my sister's children. They're incredibly close to my son (my niece is 14 and my nephew 11) and the three of them together are like the Three Musketeers. It fills my heart with joy to see him cuddling my niece like a big sister, learning how to tie his shoelaces from her and the way that she always visually checks he's managing at dinner, or automatically holds his hand near a road. Likewise I'm filled with glee when I see the two boys down in the mud kitchen concocting all mnaner of delicacies for their restaurant; Food and Doogan. Or when they go on a space mission through the garden to the climbing frame rocket with football helmets under their arms.

The bond that they have is similar to that of a sibling, but the best thing about cousins is that you have more of your own space and can have a more effective timeout.

I'm lucky. I have a son. He's funny and kind and amazing and fills my heart with joy. I can't imagine my life without enjoying his company.

And that's why I've accepted that I just have one child.

Now does anyone want to buy a pram?

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Natural Childhood

A Sprinkle of Summer Fun Memories!

When I think back to my childhood, there are some memories which are far more vivid than others: pretending our picnic table was a stage and performing for my family; playing in the paddling pool with my brothers and sister; and quickly slurping up the juice of a refreshing lolly before it dribbled down my […]

Going Ape in the New Forest!

There is nothing that The Boy loves more than clambering up a tree. It provides a real sense of achievement and connecting with the natural world in that manner really grounds the soul, uplifting and revitalising the body. Last weekend we travelled down to the New Forest for my mother-in-law's 70th birthday celebrations. This involved […]

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Play & Craft

Beach Memory Jars

Memories made at the beach last a lifetime. As far as I'm concerned, this is completely true! However, sometimes it helps to have a little something to aid the memories. My sister pointed out a glass jar to me recently which had 'Sand from our favorite beach' printed on it. I really liked the idea, […]

Summer Holiday Boredom Busters

Within the next week or so, all school-aged children in the UK will be on Summer holidays, American and Australian children are already enjoying the break. How long before the cry of 'I'm bored' sounds out? I've put together a collection of posts for Tuesday Tutorials this week which should help alleviate that frustration!

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365

Project 366 #24

Welcome to 366 Photo A Day Project linky. This linky covers round-up posts for the week or one of your favourite photos of the week. I've written a post providing tips for completing the project, always ask one of the regulars for help if you're stuck. The 365 linky only works because of people linking […]

Reviews

Paw Patrol: Zoomer Marshall (Review)

For several years now, my son's favourite programme has been Paw Patrol; a television series which follows the adventures of the inhabitants of Adventure Bay and their frequent rescuers – eight pups and their ten year old leader, Ryder. I've often wondered about the sense of having a town's emergency services completely staffed by a […]

Hatchimals (Review)

The trend in toys seems to be cyclical; many toys which I had as a child I've seen come back again and again, just with a modern take on them each time. I was a little too old for the Furby when it was launched, although my 21 year old niece had one when she […]

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