I’m off Facebook (and whatsapp). People who know me will know this is probably a bit hard for me to do as I rely on it heavily. It’s my primary messaging app, my school/PTA system, my newsreader, how I update family on our lives, crucial to elements of my work and my personal photo library/log for the kids…and on and on.
Over the past few years I’ve used it more than twitter and have all valued the feedback and interaction there much higher than on other channels.
But you can have too much of a good thing, right?
Maybe it’s my current state of mind or maybe it’s the recent election but I found myself veering between annoyance and self censorship on the platform. I wasn’t happy with either so for now, I’m off it.
Back here though where I hope to use the blog as a way to process some of the current things I am facing and struggling with as a working parent in a busy agency role.
When you’re a working parent, there are always hard choices.
In the evening when I collect my 4 year old from after school club and it is gone 6pm before we sit down for dinner and do reading, I know she’s too tired to concentrate and to learn.
When I drop them at breakfast club without their hair brushed and don’t walk all the way down the path because I am already late for an early conference call.
When I am listening to them talk about their day whilst simultaneously cooking dinner and checking my work email.
Hard choices are always there. Being a human is full of hard choices. Today I had to choose between a dinosaur dig or senior management meeting.
As we approached the school, sprog 2.0 in her civvies all ready for day on the school field digging for dinosaur bones, we realised she was the only one without a bucket and spade. I’d skipped past a couple of kids in their uniform who’s mums had forgotten, thanking God that wasn’t me and feeling fairly smuggety smug and accomplished only to realise, she’d be the kid who had to wait her turn and share a spade. Instead of throwing herself into the activity 100%, she’d be the only one without her own bucket. She’s like I was, this kid. These things matter. They’re the shit you remember. The shit you remind your mum of when you’re older.
So I drove round the petrol stations and bought a bucket and spade having left child, eyes brimming, at school for the day and dropped it into school for her. This meant I was late. Late for an important meeting.
I’d usually choose the meeting but today I couldn’t.
Hard choices. But I think I chose right this time.
Camp Bestival is a magical experience for parents and kids alike. I would describe it as the Johnny Boden of festivals and yes, there is a fair amount of Joules wellies / Bugaboo dodging to be done but when it comes to a formula that both parents and kids will love, this has it nailed.
The Olympic themed event, which for many families was more like a fabulous holiday than a weekend festival, ended with the most magnificent 3D projection and firework show and really sums up how great it was.
The TRA didn’t rank the top 12 toys in any particular order, but using the top 10,000 search terms driving traffic to the Experian Hitwise Toys and Hobbies category in October this year, we can see the most popular toys by search clicks:
Old faves were missed off the list – such as Lego, Playmobil and Barbie and as Hitwise noted:
Barbie, Playmobil and Scalextric were all more popular than any of the top 12 toys listed above. Barbie in particular received four times as many searches as the LeapPad Explorer.
We’re planning on getting the LeapPad for our 5 year old although given the amount of time my daughter spends “borrowing” my iPad, I am not sure if this will be seen as an acceptable alternative! With less than 50 days left, better get a wriggle on with the shopping anyway.