Street party felt like a wonderful trip back in time

Katy Pearson, Sonny Jim, #whatkatydidUK, Essex, Street party

Running wild: My Sonny Jim making the most of the road being closed

FOR a few hours on Saturday afternoon I felt like I’d stepped back in time.

Our road was closed for a royal wedding street party. There was bunting. Chalk drawings on the floor. Kids running wild up and down the avenue. Neighbours sitting on curbs in the sunshine, sipping beers and prosecco.

It was blooming lovely.

I was never allowed to play out as a child. But even if I had been, it wouldn’t have been as charming in the Nineties as it was for my Sonny Jim on Saturday. He literally had the time of his life. He ate his tea in the street, chased his aunties (and his football) up and down the road for hours and by the time bedtime came around, he had two grazed knees, dirt all over his face and was a sweaty, sticky mess of sunshine in toddler form. Continue reading

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Perfect mummy… until I actually had a child

Sonny Jim, Katy Pearson, #whatkatydidUK

Little sleep thief: Imagine being this happy before 5am!

Honestly, I had parenting absolutely nailed… until I actually had a baby.

I don’t think I’m alone in this. I think most of us have pretty clear ideas of what we’d do as a mummy or daddy. What we would allow. What our child will and won’t do.

Which is great, until you realise that your child totally didn’t get the memo.

Here are some of my pre-Sonny Jim parenting fallacies:

* The baby won’t be sleeping in our bed.

Yep. That worked really well until he was poorly. Until he started waking up at 4am. Until he started staying awake for hours in the middle of the night. Now, at least part of the night is often spent with a tiny, wriggly third wheel in our bed. It’s  that or we just don’t sleep for nights on end. And, quite frankly, I need sleep. Continue reading

Why church playgroups are a real godsend

Sonny Jim, playgroup, Katy Pearson, #whatkatydid

Play time: Sonny Jim in the garden at Bright Starts

Despite my mum, and my new sister-in-law both being priests, I haven’t actually spent that much time hanging around churches in recent years.

Yes, my little lad was Christened last year, but much to my poor reverend ma’s chagrin, we’re not exactly what you could call church regulars.

However, over the past couple of months there has been something of a change afoot.

The reason? Church playgroups.

Honestly, I can’t praise (sorry, couldn’t resist) them (yes, we go to more than one!) enough.

Entertaining little ones, especially once they start crawling and toddling about, can be expensive. Lots of mummy and baby classes require you to sign up and pay for a term in one hit. Of course, as soon as you do, your baby then decides the hour in which the class is held is now their new nap time. Continue reading

“Slummy mummies” aren’t a gin-drinking joke

Katy Pearson, Sonny Jim, #whatkatydid, Slummy mummies, #mummyand sonny

Prosecco and a newborn: And I deserved every sip

This week, so-called “slummy mummies” have come in for a bit of a lambasting.

Authors of books such as Hurrah for Gin and the Unmumsy Mum (who I adore) have been decried by a national newspaper for sharing their exploits of feeding their toddlers frozen fish fingers, swigging gin from baby cups and potty mouthed ranting about their kids online.

Which, as a mama and coming hot on the heels of mental health awareness week, rather makes my blood boil.

Being a mum is hard. Don’t get me wrong, I ADORE being a mother. Sonny Jim is truly all my oh-so-long awaited dreams come true. But I’m not superwoman – try as I may. Continue reading

By the sea we mustn’t forget to raise little swimmers

Katy Pearson, seaside, Sonny Jim, #whatkatydid, #mummyandsonny

Starting him young – I want Sonny Jim to be sea safe

What are the most important lessons we teach our children?

Don’t talk to strangers. Look both ways before you cross the road. Don’t tell lies.

How about learning to swim?

As the weather (finally!) starts warming up again, and Whit Monday and the summer holidays inch ever closer, we’re likely to be making the most of our beaches with our little ones.

And with all the fun to be had by the shore, it’s easy to forget just how dangerous it can be.

Drowning is the third highest cause of accidental death of children in the UK. More than 400 people accidentally drown in the UK every year – that’s one every 20 hours. Continue reading

Injections, sedation and tough chats… all in a bid to have our baby

Katy Pearson, Sonny Jim, IVF baby

A long time coming: Our little Sonny Jim

Two years ago, much of May was spent fretting about having a bit of an awkward conversation with my boss.

After almost a decade of trying for a baby, my husband and I were about to have IVF.

Six rounds of clomid and three rounds of IUI – despite there being nothing medically wrong with either of us – still hadn’t resulted in a baby, so we had finally been referred to Barts, St Bartholomew’s Hospital in London.

We were lucky. This was before the cut backs the NHS is now suffering. We were entitled to up to three rounds of IVF on the NHS. We didn’t have to face decisions like donating my eggs to fund our own fertility treatment. We just had to think about us. Continue reading

How life with a toddler is kinda like a drunken night out

Sonny Jim, toddler life, #whatkatydid, #mummyandsonny

Toddler life: Someone always ends up in their pants…

The other night, I was stood in the nursery at 1am trying to get Sonny Jim back into his cot without him waking up.

As I oh-so-gently tried to slide my arm from underneath his back I heard a group of drunkenly happy people chatting loudly as they wandered along our road.

I couldn’t help but smile somewhat ruefully at how times have changed (while inwardly praying they didn’t wake Sonny Jim.) But it got me thinking how actually, there’s a few similarities between those drunken nights out and life with a toddler…

You’re up all night. You know you’ll be tired the next day, but what can you do? Continue reading