Friday 26 April 2019

Parenting Alphabet Challenge: An A - Z of My Parenting Experiences

You may have seen a few of these A - Z of parenting posts doing the rounds lately, so when Emma from Dirt, Diggers and Dinosaurs tagged me in hers, I was up for the challenge! The idea is to use each letter of the alphabet to describe your parenting experiences, and I took that to mean the good, the bad and the ugly! So here's my take on the "Parenting Alphabet Challenge," created originally by Yule Times. I tried to be a little original in my answers. How many can you relate to?


Let's just cut to the chase... children age you! If I had know 10 years ago just how bad my frown (and smile) lines would become, I'd have started slapping the stuff on in my mid-twenties! Every wrinkle has been worth it though!


Whether that be the children in yours, or you in theirs, there's guaranteed to be plenty of bed hopping, swapping and sharing going on! There certainly (still...) is in my house!


I've lost count of how many times we've had to source these things for school projects; harvest baskets, gifts for the homeless, packages for third world countries, and the latest 2 - to make a hospital from the olden days, and an Easter house! You may as well start stockpiling now! Oh, and all those fancy expensive gifts you buy for your children - you can bet your breakfast (if you're lucky enough to grab any) that they'll be more interested in the cardboard boxes!

My son's Easter house in a box!

D is for DIRT

It goes without saying really, but children are grubby, sticky, dirt-smearing monsters so you may as well get acquainted with muck early on... cos you'll encounter a lot of it!


Kiss goodbye to the lie-ins and lazy mornings! As soon as you become parents, you'll see times on the clock that you forgot existed! And however late you put your little ones to bed, they always seem to wake at their usual time... or earlier! Luckily for me, when mine wake early they like to get into my bed for a snuggle and a bit of Netflix, which buys me a bit more time to snooze! It wasn't always like that though, so thank goodness for the little things now that they're older!


Let's face it, there will always be fishfingers in your freezer! You won't be afraid to use them to placate picky children, or to pull them out because all the millions of after school clubs leave you with 0.5 seconds to prepare tea before all hell breaks loose! Fishfinger sarnies are a go to favourite here and I'm not afraid to admit it!

G is for GIGGLES

No need to explain the infectiousness of your own children's giggles! Such a joyful sound... until you realise they're plotting something and you're their intended target! Joking aside, I remember with fondness how I felt when both mine giggled for the first time, and I love to hear my kids giggling about something together!

I love the sound of these two giggling!

H is for HONESTY

In today's world of social media, it can sometimes be hard to distinguish what really is the honest truth. Parenting seems to have become so competitive; gone are the times when the one-up-manship was confined to playgroups or on the school run - now we have Insta-perfect, Facebook-fuelled parents to contend with! It can be so easy to fall into that trap, trying to portray the perfect side of parenting when all we really want to see sometimes are the messes, the disastrous shopping trips and the real-life honest moments. It's good to know that we too are not perfect and that's okay!

I is for INVEST

This is one that I feel very strongly about, not just as a mother but also as a teacher. Invest time in your children; teach them to be kind, loving and grateful. Teach them good manners. Teach them honesty, integrity and pride. Teach them to be passionate and understanding. Teach them to accept a challenge and take risks. Read them bedtime stories. Take them to the park. Make mud pies. Laugh together, learn together and be together as much as you can. And if time is limited for whatever reason, make every minute together count.

J is for JOB

Despite what others may say and believe, parenting IS a 24 hour job. One phrase that really gets my back up is, "What exactly have you done all day?" or words to that effect! So much of parenting is "invisible" to others (see letter I above) and yes, sometimes the cleaning isn't done or the washing isn't folded because I have been investing time in my children and creating memories!

I also hate it when I'm told I only work part-time! Yes, I work 2 days a week as a teacher, but my working hours are not confined to my paid job - what about waking, dressing, washing and feeding my own kids and getting them to school and nursery before my "real" job even starts! (Note: "real" makes me cringe too...!) Then after work, there's pick-ups to co-ordinate, homework to do, dinner to make, chores to complete and bedtime routines to implement! And I don't resent any of it because parenting is a 24 hour job - sometimes I just wish others would appreciate that! Oooh, rant over! Haha.

K is for KEGELS

Ladies, you know these! Pelvic floor exercises are seemingly advised the very minute after you have kids! And for good reasons too! Bouncy castles, sneezing and running after toddlers may never be quite the same again unless you get a few of these pesky exercises in every day! I'll just leave that one there! (If you know, you know!)

L is for LICE

I know what you're thinking - I could have picked, Love, Laughter, or even Loneliness as I could relate all of them to parenting! But I'm sure you know the obvious... and I like to keep it real (see also letter H!) so lice it is! These creepy crawlies really make me cringe but they are indeed an integral part of growing up! Thankfully though, these days there are so many products about that actually work so treating them isn't as much of a chore as it used to be! Are you itching yet?! I am!

M is for MUM BUN

A Mum Bun is for getting stuff done! A two second hairstyle that is cleverly disguised as a messy bun - yes, it is supposed to look like that! But it goes deeper than that! Mum Buns show that you are always putting someone else's needs before your own, they show your desire to get on and do what needs doing and that you're not afraid to live in the moment! So go on Mums, rock that Mum Bun with pride!


Even the most laid-back parents amongst us have been guilty of being a bit too neurotic at times! Helicopter parenting as it has become known can be an easy trap to fall into, trying to micro-manage every aspect of our children's lives for what we believe to be is in their best interests! Having children has taught me that it is okay to let go of the reins a little, to allow our little ones to explore and discover the world for themselves... and yes, even allow them to fall off the monkey bars or spin around so fast they get dizzy and fall over!


As soon as you become a parent, you'll be subjected to overshare! I remember the first time I ever went to a mother and baby group on my own, when my eldest was about 3 months old. Before I'd even been asked my name, other mums were involving me in conversations about poo and breastmilk! Before you know it, you're joining in because you have something instantly in common! And it doesn't stop there! There are the parents that overshare birth stories, gore, stitches and all! The ones who overshare all the "firsts" - first word, first tooth, first scars. The advice oversharers, the gossip oversharers, the achievement oversharers! I'm sure I've been guilty of all of these at some point!

P is for PHOTOS

Your baby is minutes old and you're already snapping away!! Cue taking thousands of photos by their first birthday and not quite knowing what to do with them all! What DO you do with them all? As I write this, my phone says I have 5,570 photos and 126 videos and that's just since the birth of my second child! I managed to print about 50 or so photos a month from my eldest's birth to about his 3rd birthday but after that, they're either stuck on my old laptop that I can't turn on, or floating around in the iCloud! Life was much simpler when you had to point, shoot and hope for the best. You had to get them all printed and dutifully put them in albums. I'm still not quite sure what to do with all my digital photos... it's a bit overwhelming!

I have so many photos I don't know what to do with them!

Q is for QUICKLY

The word you'll repeat approximately 126 times a day, especially when you've asked your children to actually do something! Usually followed by, "Come on, hurry up! / Put your shoes on! / Finish your tea! / Tidy your room! / It's bedtime!" They usually respond with the speed of a snail, unless you mention chocolate or some other bribe! Trust me, these kids can move quickly if they want to!

R is for REFEREE

Invest in a whistle. You'll need it! Either that or be prepared to physically separate squabbling siblings or playmates and send them to opposite corners to calm down! As my children get older, the gap between them is getting smaller, meaning they're into the same things and like to play the same games! So opportunities for snatching, not playing fair and getting on each other's nerves are a plenty! There seems to be lots of refereeing going on in my house lately!

S is for SOCKS

I think socks are like teaspoons and Tupperware lids in my house! There must be a secret hiding place for them all, especially socks because I can never seem to find all the pairs! They're worn in pairs, then put in the washing basket in pairs...then after that, it's anyone's guess where they end up!

T is for TEETH

Oooh, teething has got to make the list hasn't it? What a horrible thing for our littlies to have to deal with - all the chewing, dribbling and bum rashes! I did find those teething powders helped a bit though. A few years after going through all that pain to get all their teeth, they start losing them! My little boy is almost 6 and still hasn't got a wobbly one, much to his disappointment! I'm sure I haven't got long before I need to brush up on the most recent Tooth Fairy etiquette though! What's the going rate these days?!


Being a parent has taught me all about unconditional love, a love without limits that knows no bounds. That's not to say that I have warm, fuzzy feelings of affection for my children 24 hours a day, every day! They can wind me up, make me cross and test my limits! But loving then unconditionally is a long-term thing. I will love my children for who they are, always... but I won't let that be a reason for them "getting away" with unwanted behaviour.

I love this pair unconditionally.
Feelings of anger or frustration are a normal part of parenting, and we shouldn't feel guilty for that. Boundaries and discipline may not be appreciated by our kids, but teaching them that we are protecting them and have their best interests at heart will help them to become their best selves. I love my children unconditionally - that love to me is pure, rewarding and never-ending.


When you have children, you will need eyes everywhere! Being extra vigilant, constantly on the look out for possible dangers, checking where your little ones are and what they're up to at all times will become one of your new superpowers when you become a parent!

W is for WHY?

For us adults, the constant stream of "why" questions may get on our nerves! Sometimes they say it just to keep your attention, to keep you chatting. But most of the time it's just our children's way of trying to make sense of the world around them! I stopped answering with, "It just is!" and try to take the time to explain whatever it is the why is questioning. It often falls on deaf ears or leads to more questions however!!

X is for X-PLORING

We love nothing more than to explore our local area, in and around the Peak District. We're so lucky to live near such beauty and most of it is free to visit! We love rambling across the Roaches or around the lakes and reservoirs, looking for minibeasts or painted stones! Such a lovely way to spend our time together!

We love exploring our local area.


It's so true when they say time flies by so quickly. I look back and can't quite believe how big my babies have grown, in the blink of an eye. Each chapter brings new challenges, new memories to be made. But it does make me sad sometimes, to think that I'll never get to go back to those times. So it's important to make the most of every minute, every day with your family, and that's what I try to do.

Z is for ZILCH

Zilch. Nada, Null, Zero. The amount of Zzzz's you'll get as a new parent! To be honest, I'm 2 kids and nearly 6 years in now and the number isn't much higher! Haha! It will all be worth it in the end... And I get so much more done in a day when it starts at the crack of dawn! Every cloud has a silver lining and all that!

So there it is, my A to Z of parenting! Why not have a go yourself!

Now the rules of the Parenting Alphabet Challenge state that I should tag some other bloggers and pass them the baton. So I'm passing it on to these fab people and look forward to reading their A to Z if they fancy joining in!

Becca from Becca Blogs it Out

Tina from Mother Geek
Click me to pin!

I'm linking up this post with these fabulous blogs:

Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday  Confessions of a New Mummy


  1. Love this! I totally agree with everything on your list. And if it helps, they do start sleeping eventually. my daughter is now a teen and they make up for all they sleep they missed out on as toddlers. it is amazing lol #kcacols

  2. What a fun one to do, I love your cardboard box crafts #KCACOLS

  3. Omg I loved reading this! How fun and what great reminders of parenting as a whole picture Shameless plug to tag me to do this challenge pretty please!


  4. This is fab and I agree with them all, especially Y. They grow up so quickly! #MMBC

    1. They really do! I just can't believe how fast time flies! :)

  5. Love this! W had me laughing!! #KCACOLS

    1. Why? is something I hear quite a lot in my house for sure! :)

  6. Awwh, I love and laughed at some of these. So lovely. thanks for linking to #kcacols and hope to see you again next time.

  7. This is awesome! So fun and full of great reminders! #KCACOLS

  8. Lovely post (I still have mine to do ;-))! And I can relate to most of these... About the socks, I think sock monsters (who eat socks, leaving lots of odd ones) are just about scientifically proven to exist, right?! xx #KCACOLS

    1. Well I'm pretty sure a small army of those monsters live in my house! :)

  9. I loved this A-Z about parenting. It's all quite true. Thank you for sharing your experience with us. #kcacols


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