Blog : Little Lilypad Co

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The Little Lilypad is a lifestyle blog mostly written by a mum to two beautiful, cheeky and entertaining daughters. It is sometimes written by the Man on the Pad or by one of our baby bloggers. Occasionally we accept guest posts too. There is frequently talk of shoes and clothing (we love fashion and savvy shopping), chocolate (who doesn't love chocolate) education and swimming (we love this too). It is hopefully helpful, sometimes funny and always honest.

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  1. The UK lockdown has made many of us unlikely teacher figures and it has been interesting to see the children develop and work through these times. This is both from an education and emotional perspective and its important to consider the development of any child and building qualities like leadership and analytical skills. It is very crucial to identify the voice of a leader that all children possess and develop them. 

    PIN - Simple ways to find and develop your child’s leadership voice

    1. Encourage in extra-curricular activities 

    It is very important to engage a child in various extra-curricular activities. This will give him or her the much-needed edge to go with life. They will be able to shirk off the shakiness related to public speaking and expression of opinions. This will broaden their horizon and help them in thinking clearly. Extra-curricular activities play a pivotal role in the development of a  child’s mental set up. They are able to explore their passion and calling. They are exposed to a host of activities to try their hands on and finally decide upon the skill they want to enhance in the future.

    2. Make reading a regular habit 

    No matter how much technology upgrades to provide customized and well-curated education, reading is an indispensable tool for the growth and development of the psyche of a child. Reading is a habit that largely builds the thinking patterns in children and helps them in building a good knowledge base. Needless to say reading also helps in developing an amazing vocabulary which is crucial to develop leadership skills. This is because leadership demands a clear expression of opinions. So reading must be an integral part of growing up for any child. This is because it is an important building block for a better future.

    3. Develop listening skills

    In order to prosper in any field, it is quintessential to develop good listening skills. This is an integral part of development, particularly of children. They must be taught from a tender age to listen when they are taught something or are in a class or in any situation where they are being mentored. This is a soft skill that must be cultivated from a tender age so as to reap its benefits later on in the future. This is a crucial step towards being a good leader. This is because while managing a team one must focus on listening then analyzing the opinions and grievances of the fellow mates.

    4. Having a good mentor

    Mentorship is one of the most underrated and least discussed aspects that is crucial towards the building of leadership skills. This is basically an important aspect of the practice of learning by doing. One must make an effort to learn from an individual with whom he or she shares a match of mental wavelengths. As for a child, proper mentorship should ideally start with the parents and the teachers. This is a very crucial part of developing good leadership skills. The child must be in touch with the mentor who can rightly guide the kid towards a path of success with contentment. This doesn't always have to be a professional but more often than not a family friend or someone they admire.

    5. Encourage in thought-provoking activities 

    A very useful and less discussed way to develop good leadership skills is exposure to thought-provoking activities. A child must be encouraged towards activities like puzzle solving, sudoku, quizzing, and such similar playful ways. This will continuously help in the expansion of their minds and thinking range. This is a requisite for leadership skills because every leader needs to draw up new ideas to perform better and enhance team performance.

    Nothing can be better than these playful ways to develop this skill from a young age in every child. So given the fast-paced and changing world, it is very important to develop these skills in a child from a young age. 

     PIN - Simple ways to find and develop your child’s leadership voice (1)

     

  2. Let’s admit this, though being a mum is out of this world’s experience, it hauls the house of responsibilities along with the ‘mum’ tag. Being a mum isn’t always easy and it’s so common to ignore ourselves while handling the family.

    As a mum, we are always looking out for everyone else while sacrificing our own physical and mental health. This is the reason why the majority of mums suffer from mental burnout a few years down their parenthood.

    Mum burnout may be common but we need to address this issue and find some solutions for the same. We may preach our kids to practice self-care but when it comes down to us, we totally forget this.

    PIN - 5 warning signs that you’re a mum doing too much

    We fail to realize that as a human, we too need rest and breaks. And even though you aren’t doing any side hustle, mum-life is itself something quite more than a hustle.

    Getting anxious and frustrated due to never-ending work may take a toll on your mental as well as physical health. When you’re not mentally and physically healthy, your kids too will suffer from a lack of your love and presence. It’s truly said that you cannot pour from an empty vessel which clearly states the importance of self-care.

    We have this guilt inside whenever we do something for ourselves when we should be present for our kids and family. We always sacrifice our well-being for our children but little do we know that this practice will end up burning you down.

    You need to understand that being a mum, it’s necessary to practice a proper self-care routine and that you’re not being selfish for putting yourself first.

    You may have landed here on this page because you feel burnt-out and exhausted hence before stating the warning signs for mum burnt-out, I want you to take your self-care seriously.

    Without any further due, let’s get into the topic for today.

    Here are the five main reasons that you’re a mum who’s doing too much:

    As we discussed, it’s super easy for mums to fall in the trap of doing more for their loved ones out of love and care. However, taking care of your mental health is equally important. These are the five warning signs for your mum’s burn-out.

    1.    You feel frustrated and annoyed, always 

    Ever experience feeling frustrated and annoyed due to no such reasons? We all had been there and it indeed is terrifying to feel this way. Our mind fails to understand words such as pleasant, happy, and joyful.

    It also feels like we have been living this way from ages and that there’s no way out. This feeling of frustration makes us doubt everything happening in our life, also our past decisions.

    You are always losing your temper, yelling at your kids, or having an unhealthy relation with your partner.

    However, do we realize the reason behind feeling this?

    Because my darling you as a mum are tired and you need to get some urgent rest, so get it now and bring back your mental peace! 

    2.    You’re overwhelmed with the amount of never-ending work 

    You may feel it normal but feeling overwhelmed while you’re actually doing all the work isn’t common. You may have this feeling of running round the clock and yet not getting things done.

    You aren’t even wasting your time but there’s so much more to do (in your list) that you’re facing this mum-life burnout phase. Your mind is exhausted with all the things you have on your plate and it isn’t ready to grab it all. In this case, you shall also feel some physical changes like trouble sleeping and getting exhausted for no such reason.

    In such cases; you need to reframe your to-do list and try making it realistic. We aren’t any superhumans so stop treating yourself like one.

    3.    You don’t remember the last time you were relaxed

    Ahh well, tell me about this!!

    When was the last time you felt completely relaxed? When you weren’t bothered by the laundry lying, dishes left to be done, kid’s homework, or the next day’s meal plan. I know mama, the list is endless and in this never-ending list of chores, we always struggle to grab some moments of relaxation for ourselves. 

    You may be sleeping for 8 hours a day and yet wake up being tired. This happens when your mind is not at peace and you aren’t quite relaxed.

    The cure for this isn’t sleeping. You need to take a break and practice mindfulness for yourself. Practice some joyful meditation or brain dump journaling to calm your mind and bring peace to your land. It’s all okay to practice self-care while being a mum.

    4.    Nothing excites you

    The jobs that you used to love doing like preparing meals for your kids or taking them to the nearby park for evening fun, may not seem as exciting as it used to earlier. Some Days you don’t feel getting out of your bed too.

    We are all super excited when we enter the motherhood phase but when we start doing it too much beyond our capacities we no more feel that same joy.

    Give yourself some time to do the things that you truly enjoy. They don’t always have to be for your kids or family.

    5.    You’re so very tired, always.

    When you’re doing too much, pushing your boundaries you may sense this feeling of being tired all the time. Sometimes, even without accomplishing lots of your daily work, you may feel burn-out and you would be so clueless about the reason.

    Even a simple, easy task seems like a huge rock to pull through and this leaves you with so much frustration and self-doubt. We all feel tired many times but when you feel this kind of sluggishness and lack of energy, you need to take it seriously.

    Resting your body isn’t the wholesome cure for this. You need to rest your brain or literally shut it down from racing all the time. 

    Mum-burnout may be common and faced by most of the mamas out there but this needs to be addressed seriously. We mums need to practice self-care in order to be mentally and physically available for our loved ones. 

    Take care x

     

  3. If you are an avid camper, the restrictions of movement because of the pandemic must be a real pain. You miss the sun, the wild abandon of fellow campers, the fresh breeze in the forests, the excitement of taking a road trip, and the anticipation of the beautiful sceneries that await you.

    LLP - Camping

    That does not mean you cannot have some fun in your home. With just a little imagination, you can camp at home, in your living room or your backyard, and re-live some of your camping experiences.

    Gather your gear

    What kind of gear would you normally have with you if you went camping in the wild?

    Prepare cooking gear, entertainment kits, and other survival kits. The best way to integrate some important parts of the house (such as toilet) into the camping adventure would be to ward off areas that you do not need. You can use strings or ropes to create some sort of a perimeter around your camping 'site'.

    No tent? No problem!

    You would need a tent when you go camping in the wild but you can improvise if you are camping at home. Your bed sheets or blankets can work just fine here. You do not even need poles or pegs to prop them up. Just tie the ends to bits of furniture for support and create your fort within minutes. Then start decorating to give it a personal touch.

    Go electronic free

    To make it seem more realistic, you will need to switch off your devices. The idea here is to mimic normal camping in the wild. For entertainment, focus on creative stuff such as board games or card games. This would also be a great time to bond with your kids over good stories.

    Encourage them to be creative and innovative in their entertainment options. A good book would also come in handy depending on how long you want to spend camping. Bring a lantern with you and switch off electric power inside the room.

    Pack on the snacks

    A camping escapade would not be complete without good food and snacks, especially if you are doing it with your kids. Use a gas stove to roast marshmallows outside your 'tent'. Download good camping recipes and try them out.

    An excuse to try out new gear

    If you are a beginner camper, it's advisable to try out your new gear at home first. This could save you a lot of time and stress at the actual camping ground. If you have a large backyard, this would be the best place to set up camp.

    No campfire? No problem!

    Due to safety reasons, you might not be able to make a campfire in your living room. You can improvise though. There are many ways to do it, depending on what is available to you. If you have a chimney, you can run a fire directly on the wood stove using dry wood. Coal, charcoal, and briquette can also work great. And you can roast some marshmallows right on top of them!

    How to camp at home

     

  4. Father's Day should be a special day to celebrate but with the current Covid-19 pandemic and life in semi lockdown, there are no restaurants to go to and no pubs to go for a drink in. So we have tried to put together a series of original ideas to surprise the best father in the world.

    Happy Fathers Day

    Father's Day is a celebration that takes place in most countries of the world. This day was born in 1909 when in the United States, a woman named Sonora wanted to pay tribute to her father. Although this was the origin, it was not until years later that a father's day was officially established.

    In the United States, it is celebrated on the third Sunday of June, coinciding with the birthday of Henry Jackson Smart. However, in Catholic countries, the date moves to March 19, which is according to their belief, the day of Saint Joseph, father of Jesus of Nazareth.

    Below are Ideas to celebrate father day:

    • Crafts or personalized gifts: What we do not usually take into account is that for adults, it can also be an exciting option to make a craft to give away. There are many options, and on the internet, you can find very well explained tutorials to put crafts of all kinds into practice. From making original congratulations to creating a photo frame with your photograph, you get a huge list of personalized gifts for your father.           You will be able to make your own innovative creations if you are fond of creating things. Let the talent and art inside you show the light. In case you are not good at crafts, or you do not want to try it, still, you can make a unique gift to your father. You have the option of giving him a personalized gift: a watch with his name engraved, a mug with a specially printed silk-screen phrase directed at him, a cushion with a photo of you, putting his name on a star, etc.

    • A getaway: An excellent gift for your father can be a romantic trip with your mother. You can give them a weekend trip to a rural house if they like to be in contact with nature. Or to a place where they stay is a hotel with a spa that allows them to relax to the fullest and enjoy massage services. Please choose a destination that they have not been to or that they have previously visited, and they are nostalgic for keeping a very pleasant memory, such as where they went for their honeymoon. This will be a lovely treat after lockdown.

    • Sibling meeting: If there are several siblings in the family, it may be interesting for you to get together and celebrate together in your Dad's garden. Especially if you don't see each other very often, which usually happens often in families where the children are already independent. You can prepare dinner or lunch in their favorite restaurant. What kind of food does your father like, can you cook it up and take it with you? e

    • Cultural activities: If your father is a person who likes cultural activities, it may be a good time to spend the afternoon with him in a museum that he has not yet visited,or to see a play. The idea is to find an activity that everyone who is celebrating the day likes with him. However, if this is not possible with the current lockdown, just a little effort is needed and try to share a moment that we know he will be very excited about.

    • Sport activities: If your father is still fit, you can organize a family sports activity, such as rounders in the park. Depending on how competitive you are, this could be a great afternoon.

    • Remind him how much you love him: There is no better way to convey your love to her than by saying it in word, with a card, or with an action. 

    Do you have any ideas to add?

     Ideas For Things to do for Dad on Father’s Day