What makes a parenting expert?

The minute you announce you’re pregnant, you have everyone recommending certain books by “parenting experts.” Gina Ford, Jo Frost, Kathryn Mewes, Sarah Ockwell-Smith, etc. What I found out when I was expecting was that many of these so called experts didn’t have kids of their own. Gina Ford who is notorious for her routines and leaving children to cry it out has never had any children. And Jo Frost, Supernanny, can place your child in the naughty corner but hasn’t ever done that to her own child. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that their methods don’t work for thousands of people but I do wander how they would cope if it actually was in fact their own child, if they weren’t just swooping in to help another family and their children. And then I came across this article yesterday.

Kathryn Mewes who has her own TV show, the “Three Day Nanny”, had her own child at 41 years old and is struggling (just like every other mum). I applaud her for talking about it openly and re-iterating to the world that it’s tough for everyone. No one is alone in the struggles of new motherhood, not even one of the “experts.”

But what exactly makes them experts? Is it the fact that they have looked after many children? Their methods work? Gut instinct? Or is it easier to discipline and help raise a child when they are not yours? Before I got pregnant, I had grand ideals about what my child was going to be like and how I was going to raise him/her.

  1. No TV time until they’re 2.
  2. I will always speak calmly and gently.
  3. I will not leave my child to cry it out.
  4. I will never raise my hand on my child.
  5. I won’t need to use bribery methods to get him/her to do what I want.
  6. Tanturms? My child won’t really have them because I’ll be able to talk to him/her.
  7. I will breastfeed.
  8. My child will be polite.
  9. I will not spoil my child by buying him/her too many toys.
  10. All their food will be organic.
  11. I will not give my child processed food/McDonalds.
  12. My child won’t eat chocolate/sweets/ice cream until they are much older.

I can tell you that I couldn’t/can’t stick to many of these! It’s very easy when you’re not a parent to sit around and think about the kind of parent you will be. But the reality of it is that you have no idea what your little cherub is going to be like. You can have grand visions of “the perfect child” but they don’t really exist. Each child is different, each parent is different and in my opinion, every parent is a parenting expert, of their own children.

Brilliant blog posts on HonestMum.com



“A portrait of my son, once a week, every week, in 2015.”

He queued and then sat so patiently today because he wanted to be a tiger just like his friend P :)


Children and religion

I was chatting to a friend recently about religion and whether children should have a choice in what religion they are raised. If you ask most Indian parents, they will tell you children don’t have a choice. Pretty much every one I knew growing up was raised as a Hindu, celebrating Diwali and Janmashtmi, being vegetarian on certain days of the week to honour a particular God. I was raised that way myself (by my mum). However, I was also exposed to lots of other religions as my dad chose to experiment to find the right fit for himself. Adding on to that, I went to a Bahai boarding school in India where we had no choice but to learn all the Bahai prayers and then I went to a Christian boarding school in Dublin where I had no choice but to attend Chapel every morning. When it comes to religion, I have all my bases covered.

And yet, I choose not to raise S in a religious manner. I know this is a bit of a a controversial topic so if you think you might take offence, read this awesome post instead.

I look around me and I see far too many people who claim to be religious harbouring feelings of hate, jealousy and greed, etc. I witnessed someone place his hand on a picture of his guru and lie through his teeth. I know of someone else who will prostrate on the ground in front of an idol and yet ignore and ostracize friends. I see human beings killing other human beings all in the name of God and it saddens me. I’m sure when religions were founded, there was meaning to them. There was honour and respect. People respected religion. But we changed as a world and we took our religious texts and we twisted them. So really, I don’t have a problem with religion. I take issue with what we’ve made of religion in the 21st century.

Instead, I’d like to raise S to understand about the laws of karma. To know that what comes around, goes around. To be kind and compassionate. To put himself in other people’s shoes. To understand that words hurt and once said, they can’t be taken back. To act in a manner that he can live with. To have a conscience! To listen to his gut, his inner voice. To reflect and learn from his mistakes.

We all have moments of weakness, moments of anger, moments of frustration. I want him to be able to handle those moments with grace and dignity. With his head held high.

I want him to have gratitude for all that he has and I want him to have faith. Faith in himself. Faith that whatever circumstances he’s put through, there’s a lesson to be learnt.

Essentially I just want him to…


Cuddle Fairy
And then the fun began...
A Bit Of Everything





“A portrait of my son, once a week, every week, in 2015.”

We’ve been in Nigeria for the last 2 weeks, visiting family. S got to spend time with his two older cousins who he simply adores. #goodtimes



“A portrait of my son, once a week, every week, in 2015”.

We’re on holiday visiting my brother in Lagos this week. S is loving the outdoors and meeting so many new friends. 

Cake in a mug

As the winter approaches and the days get shorter, there will come a point where (even if you’re on a post summer diet), you’ll fancy a little something sweet. Nothing crazy, but something to satisfy those sweet cravings.

Allow me to introduce you to cake in a mug. If you don’t wish to go down the road to temptation, stop reading now. I promise I won’t take it to heart. In fact I’ll totally understand. I almost wish I’d never heard about it…almost.

What I love about cake in a mug (introduced to me by an online friend in my baby group), is that you can chop and change to make it as healthy/less sweet as you like. It’s small, you don’t have to leave the comfort of your warm home to go out and buy it, you’ll have most ingredients in your cupboards AND it satisfies your cravings with no left over cake lying around the next day. Share it with someone and you’ll feel even less guilty.

So here it goes…you can thank me later ;)

2 tbsp flour
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp cocoa
A pinch of baking powder
A pinch of bicarbonate soda
A dash of vanilla essence
1 tbsp melted butter (you can literally put butter on a spoon and hold it over your gas for 5 seconds)

Mix it all together with some milk.

Pour it into a mug and if you have some cooking chocolate lying around, throw 2 cubes in there.

Microwave on high (900w) for 90 seconds.



Rye House Tracks (Enfield)

S absolutely loves racing and anything that involves cars, bikes and speed. When he was 18 months old my brother bought him a very sturdy plastic bike and even at that age he’d perform stunts. Using his legs to gain speed and then leaning his chest against the front of the bike and putting his legs up in the air! I’m pretty sure that’s when I started sprouting grey hairs!


He’s 3 yrs and 7 months and has long outgrown this bike but it is still one of his favourites. He now rides a scooter in the park and flies around our square on his bicycle! So when my friend mentioned Rye House Go Karting in Enfield, the place Lewis Hamilton apparently raced around, I couldn’t wait to take S.

We planned last weekend in advance, booked our 15 minute slot a few days prior and we were up and out of the house at 8:30am on a Sunday morning! The things we do for our kids…

It took us about 50 minutes to get there, without much traffic on the road at that time. My friend’s husband is a racing fan as well and had bought the boys some really cool official racing gear although Rye House does provide you with suits. The kids were then fitted with massive helmets which S refers to as a space helmet because they look so huge on their little bodies.



They got to spend 15 minutes on the track although S very skillfully swerved around the track masters to have an extra 2 rounds. I have to say, I was slightly surprised at how slow they went (the only other option is the death defying faster tracks for older kids and adults which S is obviously not ready for) but he absolutely loved it and thought he was going *very* fast!! That is all that’s important I guess.



We paid £15 for 15 minutes and although he didn’t go as fast as he thought he was going, he thoroughly enjoyed the experience. It’s a great place to introduce kids to the world of tracks and racing and as they get older, they’ll be more confident moving up to a faster kart and then onto the faster tracks.

Rye House are open to hosting birthday parties and they have a wonderful race themed cafe with an open balcony to watch the faster karts whiz by.




I’m not sure how often we’d make the trip up to Enfield but Rye House Tracks is definitely on our list of days out, close to London.

We can’t wait…

Us parents, we’re such funny beings aren’t we?

When our baby is born…

we can’t wait until they can hold their head up
we can’t wait until they can roll over
we can’t wait until they are sleeping through the night
we can’t wait until they smile and giggle

When our baby is 5 months old…

we can’t wait until they can start eating
we can’t wait until they sit up unaided
we can’t wait until they are sleeping through the night
we can’t wait until they start to crawl

When our baby is 10 months old…

we can’t wait until they start to babble
we can’t wait until they are walking
we can’t wait until they say their first word
we can’t wait until we can stop carrying so much stuff around
we can’t wait until they are sleeping through the night

When our baby is 15 months old…

we can’t wait as they discover new words
we can’t wait to take them on walks through the park
we can’t wait until they are sleeping through the night
we can’t wait until we don’t have to take the pram everywhere

When our baby is 24 months old…

if you’re anything like me, you’ll cry and wonder how your little baby grew up so quickly, where the time went, miss the new born phase and apart from the lack of sleep, wish time would slow down and you can re-live it all again.

This afternoon I spent time with my cousin and my niece and what a delight it was to hold and feed an almost 6 week old. To inhale her baby smell and to remember what it was like when S was that young (while he sat beside me talking non stop).

At 3 years and 7 months…

I love that I can have a full blown conversation with him.

I love the imaginative stories he comes up with.

I love his laugh.

I love his sense of humour.

I love his independence.

But today I did miss his baby days. Just before I left my cousins house, she said she couldn’t wait for baby L to grow up a little bit and my response? Savour every moment because you’ll get to 24 months and realise actually, they grow too quickly!

A reason, season or a lifetime

I’ve often heard the phrase “People come into our lives for a reason, season or a life time” and I’ve recently found out how true that is. I’ve also realised that a lot of the time, those people come into our lives because that’s what we choose to attract at that time. And in most circumstances, even painful ones, those people are there to teach us something.

When relationships end or go sour, it’s very easy to play the victim card and to focus on everything the other person has done wrong. But what actually helps is to focus on what that person taught you and why they entered your life when they did. I’ve been doing that a lot in the last few months and I’ve actually found it’s given me much peace and happiness. It’s allowed to me forgive and let go.

As I evolved from this place of peace and happiness, I started to see things change. There was a very obvious shift in my life. Away from negativity and idleness, towards contentment. Things that bothered me mere months ago, now washed over me, without affecting me. I almost feel like I have a bubble of positive energy surrounding me. And other people are starting to notice it too.

One of the great outcomes of this shift has been the amazing people I have met since. Some of these people have always been around, I just wasn’t ready to meet them. But now I have! In the last couple of months, I’ve had some inspiring conversations. I’ve felt moved and determined by these women that I have met. I’ve heard stories that give me hope and those that teach me what I need to learn.

I’m lucky & blessed to have some amazing friends in my life who I know will last a life time. Going through tough times show you who your friends are and in the last couple of years I’ve also put to rest many of those friendships that were only meant to last a season. As the autumn leaves fall off, I’m reminded of how important it is for all of us to shed the old and let go so that when the spring arrives, we can welcome new energy into our lives.

In order for all these changes to come about, I had to change. I had to change my perspective and my thinking.

I took a stand, I followed my heart and I couldn’t be happier.