Much as I love the summer, and much as I love my children, I have been known to feel the strain of the summer school holidays. I take my hat off to all the mums who manage to enjoy, rather than endure, the long break. However, I will admit, it does have its perks – my favourite being: time to read.

I’m a big reader all year but I seem to get through more books than usual during those endless summer days. So I thought I would share with you some of the valuable things I learned this summer, as I tried to escape the mess, noise and chaos surrounding me and saught sanctuary in my books….

Possibly the most effective read of the summer was Karen Rauch Carter’s, Move your stuff, change your life. It’s a guide to the Black Hat school of Feng Shui.


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toyclutter.jpg

This is a picture of my son, doing what he loves to do – fluffle his mummy’s hair. He has done this ever since he developed fine motor skills. When he was smaller, he used to do it while feeding. Some babies need a blanket or soft toy, my boy needed a handful of hair belonging to someone who loves him.

(Though, this did limit surrogate feeders somewhat. In fact, I did contemplate lopping off my locks and tying with a ribbon so he could be fed by persons without grabbable-length hair…)

So how does this picture help me cope with the fall-out of toys that litters my home?


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And you’ve just tidied it!

There are few greater tests of love than keeping your temper when family members unravel your hard work – before your very eyes. Now that’s tough. But then that’s life, full of challenges.

Of course, being human, some days we won’t manage to keep a lid on our simmering fury. However, if we can manage our anger on just a few of these testing occasions, so much the better for all within earshot – not least ourselves. And as the wise Lemony Snicket puts it,

“Temper tantrums, however fun they may be to throw, rarely solve whatever problem is causing them.”

So learning to diffuse our vexation is useful because, let’s face it – this particular problem isn’t likely to be a one-off. If your family are anything like mine, they will view a tidy room or clean surface as an irresistible magnet for clothes, toys, papers and other such debris. So until we discover how to retrain them successfully, we need an antidote to the temptation to explode.


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