Mum's the Word - Think before you post!

Think back to when you were a kid; did your mother ever photocopy your school report several hundred times then post it out to all her friends, colleagues and family? Did she ever call over to your neighbours’ houses to show them what she’d made you for supper? Of course she didn’t, that would be ridiculous! But isn’t that exactly what we do when we share everything our kids do on Facebook? We’re all guilty of it to some degree, I know I am, but some people take it just a tad too far, others just miss the point. I think we all know who I’m talking about, but to help I’ve compiled a list of the top five offenders:

“Give me my baby back!” Baby Santiago latest victim of UK Medical Kidnapping

Editor’s note: This is a guest piece from my friend Claire Calvey of the Richie Allen Show (which I’ve been on)  Listen and watch. XO Erin When young couple Leonardo Edwards and Iolanda Menino discovered they were expecting their first baby they were over the moon. Leonardo, a businessman and Iolanda – a fiery Portuguese woman ­ who works in cardiology, planned a homebirth and looked forward to a bright future with What should have been a straightforward homebirth went downhill quickly when

The Kids Wanna Rock

The Kids Wanna Rock! Have you ever dreamed of being a rock star? Ever wanted to be part of a band and play gigs, but are too shy to do it or just don’t know how to go about it? Well look no further than Rockschools, a wonderful initiative in the South Northamptonshire area. Founded by David Taylor back in 1990, Rockschools strives to encourage young musicians (or wannabe musicians!) to gain the social and technical skills required to play in a rock band.

Mum's the Word - Curse of the Hair Pets!

This month our columnist is literally tearing her hair out with some uninvited house guests... I like to keep this column real. Parenting is a messy business and while the picnics and cuddles certainly do happen, for the most part it’s down and dirty and sometimes it’s important to share these unsavoury aspects, just so you know you're not alone. Which is why this month I’m writing about a problem we have in my house at present, one which has everybody scratching their heads. Quite literally.

Banbury Museum

If you’re looking for something fun and affordable to do with the kids these Easter holidays, look no further than the Banbury Museum. Located in the heart of Banbury and conveniently accessible within the Castle Quay Shopping Centre, the museum has pulled out all the stops this Spring to create an imaginative and fun-packed programme of activities to keep the families of Banbury busy. From interactive trails to museum-themed arts and crafts activities, the staff at the museum have tirelessly created a creative and imaginative space where Banbury families can enjoy a whole afternoon of entertainment for little or no money at all. Easier said than done in this day and age!

Mum's the word - Valentine's Day

Is romance possible when you have small children? Mother of five, Claire Calvey, weighs up the evidence… It’s February which means the shops are heaving with heart-shaped balloons, loved-up teddy bears and over-priced single red roses. Yes, Valentine’s day is upon us already; a holiday which always fails to instil much of a sense of romance in me to be honest, not least because its patron saint died after a rather nasty beheading and the fact it has its own massacre named after it. With five (going on six!) children, it’s hardly surprising that romance doesn’t play a massive part in my life at present, and I’ll take someone hoovering the living room for me over a dozen red roses any day. But according to the experts even a normal amount of children is likely to play havoc with your relationship, with romance being the first thing to go out the window once the little ones start to arrive. From sleepless nights to childcare issues, having children can create problems you hadn’t even considered when there were just two of you. Take bed-sharing for example; nothing kills passion quicker than a snoring toddler lying horizontal across the bed – take it from one who’s been bed-sharing for 15 years and counting!

Mum's the Word - New Year's Parenting Resolutions

One of life’s truisms is that the older you get the faster the years go by, and I swear I’m still trying to lose the Christmas weight from 2010! But with a new year comes a whole new set of hopes, expectations and unrealistic goal-setting. Apart from the obvious stuff – lose a stone, drink less, take up yoga – I’m aware that my parenting skills leave much to be desired and so, with this in mind, here are my top eight parenting resolutions for 2016: 1.) Get all five children to eat at least one vegetable per day: Easier said than done unless I employ the techniques of the Sneaky Chef (by hiding pureed vegetables in sauces). I have no idea where their aversion to vegetables comes from – certainly not me, I’m a vegetarian – but they’d rather tidy their bedrooms than eat something green. Time to deal with this, even if it takes bribery. 2.) I will prepare for school the night before: Mornings are chaotic in this house, a jumble of lost shoes, missing school bags and lots of yelling – mainly mine. And as I slam the front door behind us - the children piling into the car, shoes in hand and with un-brushed heads - I know deep down that I’m entirely to blame for this chaos. Yes they are slow in the mornings but if they got up earlier (read, if I got up earlier) this needn’t be an issue. (Note to self: try getting them to sleep in their uniforms – imagine the time saved?)

Inside Ashburton - Warlu Way

The Warlu Way weaves its mystical pathway across 2,500 km of remote and rugged landscapes through the Gascoye, Pilbara and Kimberly regions. (There are also several other side trips which could easily add another 1,000 km on to your journey). The Warlu (pronounced Wah-loo) comes from the Aboriginal dreaming of a giant sea serpent – or Warlu – named Barrimirndi, who emerged from the sea at Coral Bay and meandered his way across the land, forming waterways as he went. According to the legend, Barrimirndi had become angry with two boys who had cooked and eaten a Gurdarnkurdarn (Mulga parrot), and, following the smell of the singed feathers, he went in search of the boys. Travelling underground, the creature wove his way up the route of the Fortescue River, cutting gorges and rivers into the landscape.

Unexpected school fees in WA ‘will push many Irish families to breaking point’ | Generation Emigration

The recent Western Australia state budget, which called for the introduction of a mandatory school fee of AU$4,000 per child per annum for 457 visa holders, has caused a flurry of debate and speculation among 457 holders and the wider Irish community. The 457 visa is a temporary working visa which allows an individual to work for four years in the country while being sponsored by an employer. Workers on the visa pay the same rate of tax as permanent residents, without receiving the same perks s

‘We’ve moved to 1962 with a broadband connection’ | Irish Echo | Australia's Irish Website

In March, I wrote about how my husband John had lost his job as a project manager. He was on a 457 visa, which meant we would have to leave Australia within 28 days if he couldn’t find another sponsor, and things were looking bleak. He had been working a fly-in fly-out roster – meaning effectively I was a single parent to my five children for three quarters of the time – and I absolutely loathed it. In fact I had very mixed feelings about whether I wanted to stay in Australia at all; many of th

FIFO lifestyle takes toll on Irish families | Irish Echo | Australia's Irish Website

Jennifer O’Brien’s husband Brendan works a four-and-one roster, meaning he flies from Perth to the Pilbara to work as a construction worker on a mine site for four weeks before returning home to spend one week with Jennifer and their two children. The fly-in fly-out (FIFO) way of life is a strong and proud tradition in Western Australia and many local families have more than one generation working in the mines. It is seen as a good way for a young person to feather their nest, since FIFO wages

Our family’s ordeal on the 457 visa | Irish Echo | Australia's Irish Website

Salvation comes in many forms and back in 2011, ours came in the guise of a 457 visa. Choices were thin on the ground when my husband John was offered a role as a project manager with a construction company in Perth during the summer of that year. At the time he was in a better position than most – he had a job in the UAE — but it was precarious and he was often going for months at a time unpaid. Perth seemed to be a far better option: a stable labour market, good salary and a better lifestyl
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