Saturday, 6 August 2011

My Confession

My name is The Working Parent and I bribe my children.

There I said it, I bribe my children.  Bribery was never an intentional method of discipline it just kind of happened.

It all started with treats after dinner.  Usually these treats were healthy ones like yoghurts or grapes but nowadays they seem to be more along the chocolate theme.  My children will always behave if chocolate is offered.  I feel bad about this.  Not least because of the amount of goodies they eat but also because I don't want them to grow into adults thinking that you only do things when you get something in return.

Life just doesn't work that way!

As they are only five and three I figure they are still young enough to be re-trained (if that is the right way of putting it!) but how on earth do I go about it?

I am sure there is many a domestic goddess tutting and thinking that I am a dreadful mother but I am reliably informed that the majority of parents use bribery at some point and probably more often than they care to admit.  In the run up to Christmas how many times have you said "If you don't behave Father Christmas (or Santa - whatever your preference is) will not come"?

Ha!  I knew I was not alone!

If you have any suggestions as to how I can get myself out of this rut or any confessions you would like to make let me know.

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Gender Roles

When I had my son five years ago I decided there and then that he would not be brought up with the traditional stereotyped gender roles.  I wanted him to realise that keeping a house and looking after children is a joint effort that both parents have equal responsibility for.

I was determined he would learn to clear up after himself (as opposed to me doing it) and how to operate household appliances such as the dishwasher and the washing machine.  His dirty laundry would be in the laundry basket (where it should be) and he would be quite capable of cooking his own dinner.  I did not expect all this straight away you understand but it would all be in place by the time he left home.

What an idealistic idiot I was!  Here I am five years later now also with a daughter aged three and things have not turned out how I planned.  Not how I planned at all!

I am now fairly convinced that the gender roles are not just a creation of society but are an inbuilt part of the female/male makeup.   While some men seem to be able to overcome this and realise that it is just as much their job to keep the house tidy and ensure the children are well cared for as it is their partners, some do not.

I wanted my son to be ones of those that do overcome it!  I also wanted my daughter to feel that her role in life was not simply to cook, clean and look after any children she may have but so far life seems to have overridden my desires!

My daughter spends her days looking after her dolls and tidying up while my son spends his wrestling imaginary opponents and making as much mess as possible.

Oh well, that’s another parenting ideal I don’t seem to have achieved.

Monday, 1 August 2011

Funny Conversation

I have some very interesting conversations with my children!  Some leave me dumbfounded and some have me in fits of laughter.  Below are a few of the most recent ones.

The day after my 3 year old daughter’s birthday:

D - Where’s my present?

Me - You haven't got a present today because your birthday was yesterday.

D - Oh, I want my birthday today.

Me - You will have to wait until next year.

D - But I want it today though

Me - Well you can't have two birthdays, only the queen has two birthdays.

D - When I am bigger I am going to be the queen.

And with that she flounced off! 

I have no idea how this conversation came about with my 5 year old son:

S - Fingers are silly

Me - Are they?  Why is that?

S - Because they get in the way

Me - But how would you eat without fingers?

S - Like this (demonstrates using his thumb and hand)

S - I am going to chop them off

Me - That might hurt

S - Oh. Ok I'll keep my fingers then

I have also come to realise that conversations with my children tend to have a habit of getting out of control.  We never had the why phase but my son continually asks "what does that word mean?" and very often I have no answer for him as I can't explain what a specific word means without saying it.

On another note I am entirely fed up with the word actually.  Both children seem to like the phrase "actually mummy" or "It’s not actually mummy".  At first it was funny but now I have had enough.

Please let me know about some of the funny conversations you have had, I would love to hear them!

Saturday, 30 July 2011

Earn Money Online For Your Stuff!

There are various way you can make money online!  At some point I will go through the ones I know of but today I want to tell you about Music Magpie.

They will buy all your old games, DVD's and CD's.  You can declutter your house and get paid for it!  For items like this it is much easier than ebay.  You just enter the barcode of the item, they give you a price and you decide if you want to accept it.  They send you a box to put your items in with a freepost return label.  Send it back and get paid.  It really is that simple!

Get cash for old CDs, DVDs and Games

I have used this site many times before because it is quick, easy and there are no ebay fees or postage to pay!  Have a look and let me know what you think.  Post how much you made in the comments box so others can see what they could earn.

Friday, 29 July 2011

Going On Holiday

I am sooo excited!  We have just booked our holiday for next year to Ibiza.  We haven't been anywhere for two years so I think it is about time we had a break.

It will be so much easier this time as well.  My daughter is now old enough to have her own seat on the airplane although this has added to the cost!  Also she will not be having her afternoon naps by then so we can actually have full days out as well.  It will be fantastic!

Only eleven months to wait but I am already planning!  To save money we are only taking three suit cases so this time the children will have their own hand luggage.  I am on the look out for suitable trolley style bags which we will give them as Christmas presents!

We are going all inclusive as we find this to be better when you have young children in tow.  This also means we do not really need much in the way of spending money!

I am working on a new page so please take a look!  It has links to the most popular survey sites to help you make a few pennies from the internet.

I also found another great site!  They offer one deal every day and it comes on a first come first served basis.  There are some real bargains to be had!  Sign up for the newsletter to find out about the best bargains first.  Have a look and let me know what you think!  Click the banner below to see what they have on offer today.

Click here for our daily deal

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

School Reports

Last week I received my son’s school report.  It was a glowing report that said my son was a kind, gentle and friendly child.  I did at first wonder if the teacher had got the children mixed up!  She obviously has not seen him at home interacting with his sister as kind, gentle and friendly are not words I would use!

Having said that, reading his first ever school report brought a tear to my eyes.  I was a very proud mummy indeed.  He is doing well in most areas although his writing needs a bit of help.  He has difficulty deciding which hand to write with.  He is predominately left-handed but he sees everyone else writing with their right hand so he tries to do the same.

With my daughter about to start pre-school in September it suddenly occurred to me that they are not babies anymore.  How time flies!  This realisation prompted me to get out all the baby photos which only served to make me feel guilty as for some reason I cannot explain, we did not take anywhere near as many photos of child number two.  It might be a little bit early for resolutions but I have made one anyway!  I am going to take more pictures.

The amount of things I remembered while looking at the photos was astonishing.  In ten years time I want to be able to look back and relive these treasured moments that without photos would have been forgotten.

I would urge you all to follow my lead!

There are lots of photo websites where you can get free prints for a small delivery charge.  I will scour the net and add some links for them soon!

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Car Maintenance

Cars are very expensive things to maintain especially when you drive an old banger like I do!  They are a necessary evil without which we would just not function as a family.

Halfords have some great offers on at the moment but these finish at the end of July so book quickly as there are some massive savings to be had!

Get 50% off a MOT - CLICK HERE and enter HP-MOT

Get 20% off an interim, full or major service - CLICK HERE and enter SERV20

£5 Off each tyre ordered - CLICK HERE and enter TYRES

I hope these can help someone!  Like I said the voucher end date is 31/7/2011 so get in quick!

Please let me know via comments what kind of discounts you are interested in and I will do my best to include them next week.

I will be adding a page soon about how to make some pennies online.  I must stress these will not be get rich quick schemes but they all add up and I use them to buy bits for Christmas.

Friday, 22 July 2011

Visitng Ireland

I had to go to Ireland for two days for work, something I had been really looking forward to for a while.  All in all I had a great time and really enjoyed meeting my Irish colleagues but there were some downsides!

When I told my son I would not be coming home for one night he cried and when I spoke to him while I was away he had a go at me for going to Ireland all the time.  I should add that this was my first visit to Ireland, I have never been before.

It did make me wonder whether you are able to be truly good, both at work and as a parent, it is certainly a juggling act!  There is always something to feel guilty about and there is always someone wanting more from you.

I daren't tell my son I was going on an airplane as I am quite sure he would have hated me.  He loves airplanes.  My daughter on the other hand didn't seem to care either way, she was more bothered about whether or not I had brought them a treat back!  She's a tough little cookie that one!

Getting ready in the morning without anyone around though was great!  I even had enough time to catch the news in the morning before going to work.  I had a massive fry up for breakfast (partly to fend off the incoming hangover from the night before) which was a real luxury for me!

The journey home was frustrating as I just wanted to see my family but within five minutes it was as if I had never been away.  I am not sure yet whether this is a good thing or not.

I will have to spend more nights away but they shouldn’t be too frequent.  I look forward to having some time to myself but when I get it all I do is fret about what might be going on at home.  Despite the numerous phone calls home my husband remained polite when I asked him for the 100th time (slight exaggeration but not far off the mark!) how everyone was.

If you can get to Ireland I recommend it!  It is beautiful and you don't have to drink Guinness!  Let me know about your experiences when it comes to being away from home.

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

My Latest Discovery!

I have made a new discovery this week! Graze Boxes! These come with a selection of four yummy treats and you decide how often you receive them.

As a general rule I do not do the various free trials that are available on the internet as they are notoriously difficult to get out of.  However, I made an exception based on a friends recommendation and I am so pleased that I did.


What I Like About Graze Boxes!

  •  They are yummy!
  • You get your first box FREE!
  • You get your second box half price
  • To end the FREE trial you just send them an email or change your delivery preferences - easy!
  • There are over 100 treats to pick from
  • They have a fantastic rating system so you will not receive anyhting you don't like
  • They brighten up my otherwise fairly dull Monday mornings!

What I Don't Like About Graze Boxes!

 Erm, nothing actually - I love them.

Mine is delivered every Monday morning (you can get them as often or as little as you like) and I have one of the selection each day (apart from my first box where I scoffed the lot in the first day).  It stops me from shoving crap down my throat and makes me feel like I am eating healthier.  My thanks to Alison and George for the introduction.

If you don't get them already try it, I did and I don't regret it - just click the picture above.  Don't forget to tell me how you get on..

In case you are wondering, Friday is chocolate day!

Monday, 18 July 2011


We all love discounts!  Every Monday I will try to find the best and put them in a post.  They will also be available on the Discounts page which you can get to from the Discounts! tab at the top.

I will do my best to include all the relevant information such as minimum spend requirements and the end date of the code.

Today's codes are for the ladies (or any men that would like to treat their ladies!) and come from Half Price Perfumes a fantastic website that can save you a ton of money on your cosmetics and perfumes even without discounts!

To use the discount just click the link and enter the code at the checkout.

Instant Volume Lip Colour
Discount Detail: Get this for just £1 with no minimum spend! Originally priced at £19.50. A real bargain!
Discount Code: InstantVolume
End Date: 09/03/2012

Rimmel Lasting Finish Lipstick
Discount Detail: Get this for £2 with only £1.99 delivery! £3.99 for this is a fantastic deal.
Discount Code: None! Just add it to your basket.
End Date: 30/03/2012

Revlon Moisturous Lipstick
Discount Detail: Get £7.99 off! Basically that means it is FREE!
Discount Code: FreeRevlon
End Date: 09/03/2012

Vita Liberata Face Tan
Discount Detail: Get this for £1! Rated 10/10
Discount Code: VitaTan
End Date: 09/03/2012

10% Off Everything!
Discount Detail: Get 10% Off absolutely everything on the site.
End Date: 09/03/2012

FREE Too Faced Lip Injection Plumping Gloss
Discount Detail: Get this FREE - A minimum order value of £30 applies.
Discount Code: TechnoKiss
End Date: 09/03/2012

Just in case it is of interest to anyone they also also giving away a FREE Trudie Styler Warrior Yoda DVD with every order over £20. This will automatically be added to your basket if your order is above £20.

That is it for today.  Roll on next Monday when I will let you have some more!

In the meantime please let me know if any of the codes do not work so I can remove them or if you spot any discounts you think are worth a mention.

Don't forget to leave a comment telling me about your bargain!

Sunday, 17 July 2011

We Believe In Fairies!

Fairies are very prominent in our house!  Some are good but most are not so good.

Firstly there is the Lego Fairy - This fairy is a very naughty fairy indeed and probably the one that annoys me the most. 

She leaves out little blocks of Lego in places they should not be waiting for an unsuspecting bare footed adult to tread on them.  This adult is invariably me and it seems to happen mostly at night when I am doing my level best to walk up our creaky stairs without making any noise so I don't wake up the children I have spent most of the evening trying to get to sleep.

I sit on the stairs holding my foot desperately trying not to swear, mumbling about how bloody stupid Lego is all the while cursing the person who bought it for my little angels before realising it was me!

Then there is the Toilet Roll Fairy – This one is great!  She replaces the empty toilet roll for a new one just before it runs out.  She even takes the empty roll out to the recycling bin.  I have a feeling that this particular fairy exists in many households.

Onto the Sock Fairy – Another naughty one.  She likes to take socks.  The problem is she doesn’t take them in pairs.  Oh no only odd ones will do for this little blighter!  This results in my washing basket being full of odd socks in the hope that the missing one will turn up at some point.

The most frustrating thing about the Sock Fairy is that as soon as I have decided the other sock will not be found and have thrown its partner in the bin she decides to give it back!

We also have a Food Fairy.  This is yet another naughty one!  This little madam likes to make food disappear.  Of course she only likes nice food that I have put away to treat myself with later on.  I get home from work thinking about the lovely Twirl I have stashed in the fridge for after the children have gone to bed only to find that it has gone when I go to eat it.  She could at least put the wrapper in the bin but no, she has to leave it in one of the children’s bedrooms so that they look like the guilty party.

Let me know about any fairies you have in your house!

Saturday, 16 July 2011

There Is A First Time For Everything ....

Ok here goes!  My very first attempt at blogging.  My intention is to post once a week (I was going to say once a day but this is unrealistic!) and keep you up to date with things that have happened, savings, discounts and freebies I have found and the occassion rant should I feel the need!

I thought I would start by telling you a bit about myself!  I am a full time working Mum who is also studying towards CIMA (Chartered Institute Of Management Accountants).  I have two children, a boy aged 5 and a girl who was 3 earlier in the week.  There is also my husband whose support is invaluable.

I will post the funny things the children come out with, the frustration, guilt and anxiety that every working mother feels and hope that someone somewhere finds it entertaining.  Also those everyday things that sometimes just cannot be explained and leave me wondering how the hell that happened will also be explored!

And so to my first rant - Schools!

When will they realise that as I working parent I cannot just chop and change my annual leave to suit them! 

Two things this week really irritated me.  Firstly, Sports Day.  As it would have been the boys first one I really wanted to be there.  So the date was set and I had booked the afternoon off work.  They then changed the date so I had to re-arrange my days holiday, that in itself wasn't too bad but the school could not say whether it would be morning or afternoon that my son would be taking part!  I booked the afternoon and prayed for a bit of luck.  As it turned out the boy was ill and didn't go to school that day!  Disappoined doesn't really cover it, still it could not be helped.

Secondly, Parents Evening is actually parents day now.  All appointments were made for parents without consultation as to who could actually make what times.  I have now negotiated a later time but I still have to leave work early to make it.  I know the boys education is important and I want him to know we care about it so it is a good job I have understanding employers otherwise this would have been a total nightmare.