#SchoolsOut linky: Bumper Christmas Edition!

Christmas, I have noticed these past two years, seems to be a time when bloggers slow down, switch off, and concentrate on packing their Instagram feeds full of cosy snapshots of family life-board games, paper hats and long walks in the countryside with children and dogs and festive knitwear.  In short, it’s the essence of hygge….

The Terrible Twos: This is Normal, Right?

My mother is convinced that Piglet is afflicted with the developmental curse generally known as the Terrible Twos. I am going to assume that in ordinary parlance this means that toddlers are expected to have a lot of tantrums.  Now tantrums I can handle.  I think I understand them.  I definitely read some stuff on…

Ignoring the News: Sensible Plan or Foolhardy and Immoral?

Ladies and gentlemen, I have a new obsession.  And it’s not good for my mental health. I literally cannot stop reading the Guardian on my phone. The Guardian has not, it has to be said, had a good 2016.  First David Bowie died, and then everything else the Guardian holds dear disappeared into a giant…

Parenting: The Olden Days vs Now

Is it normal to have some sort of imposter syndrome about being a parent? Sometimes I’m not sure I can even say I engage in any actual parenting, since I seem to spend most of my time either at work away from my son, or being micro-managed by my mother who seems to think that…

Sorry Not Sorry: A Never-Ending Story of Guilt

This week, my A level students and I have been discussing guilt. As we debate over whether or not using someone else’s mug in the common room is a matter for a guilty conscience, my own mind keeps returning to the question of parental guilt.  I feel guilt on a daily basis.  Some of it, like…

When Your Child Has Dozens of Siblings

I once heard that there was once a woman, long ago, who became known as the primordial Eve.  Not by her own people, presumably, as they cannot have known what her descendants would become, but by modern scientists; geneticists who spend their lives in laboratories, examining the immense data of the human genome. We are…

Five Blogging Tips That Are a Load of Old Balls

Every blogger loves a blogging tips post.  We absolutely lap it up, seizing on anything with the word “blog” in the title as we scroll through Twitter.  And every blogger has written one.  Not a day goes by without someone spouting forth their wisdom on what they’ve learned in two weeks of blogging.  But sometimes,…

Five Things People Say to Single People That Essentially Translate to “Thank God I’m Not You.”

When it comes to being single, I am the most experienced person I know.  Tedious online dates where you get talked at for hours?  Check.  Turning up to discover a date who is unrecognisable from the photos they posted online?  Check.  Escaping halfway through because “something bad happened”?  Been there too.  And the only thing…

Just Another Tear-Streaked Election Post

This morning, as I imagine many others around the world also did, I awoke and reached immediately for my phone.  Not, as is my usual custom, to simply turn off the alarm.  Not this morning.  I don’t generally make a point of going straight onto a news website at 6am.  I’m usually more interested in…

Am I a Blogging Failure?

“I’ve only got, like 50 followers.” “I’ve got 32.” “I’ve got TEN.” “I don’t know what followers are, but then I only started blogging last week.  Why haven’t I won any awards yet?” “I never get approached by any companies with any budget.  It’s like, will you give us these 60 follow links for free…