Some days just get you down, and being cooped up with young children all day, with no other adult company, can take its toll. Don't let depression hit you though, make sure you get out and treat yourself every once in a while!
Look at giving yourself a special treat, why not a makeover?! Head out and treat yourself to a manicure or pedicure, a massage or just a nice hair do. Go out and buy some new clothes. It's so important that you get some time to pamper yourself, to get out of the house, and make yourself feel just that little bit extra special.
If you have a young baby then there is pretty much constant demand on your time as you have to feed and change so regularly. However, that doesn't mean that you have to stay home. Look for a shopping centre that has creche facilities and you might be able to leave your baby there for a couple of hours while you treat yourself. If you have little ones in nursery, or at school, then get out while they are being looked after. If your little ones aren't in regular childcare then approach a local nursery and just ask for some ad hoc sessions. Whilst some chains might find the administration to fulfill such a request just too mindboggling, there is bound to be a local nursery who will welcome your money on an occasional basis. If you're in full time work then you might have to fall back on your partner, or perhaps your parents or other family to help you out so that you can get a few hours off.
A makeover might sound expensive, and it really can be. If you don't have that sort of money to spend on yourself then do what you can. Find a nail bar that might do nails quickly and cheaply, leaving you feeling slightly glamorous. Maybe do your own nails but treat yourself to a pedicure. If you have a college that runs beauty courses (nails, hair, massage), then you may find that they have a heavily subsidised salon where you can treat yourself at a fraction of high street prices.
If you can't afford a new look in high street fashion shops, then try charity shops instead. So many clothes end up in charity shops because they are the wrong size or a bad fit for someone else, or they simply don't like them. Look out for a bargain - you'll enjoy the 'chase' and feel really pleased with yourself if you find something that you like!
Having a healthy family requires a healthy Mummy, and if you can't find a bit of time to perk yourself up from time to time, then you simply aren't doing it right!
As your baby grows, you'll soon find that you have lots of clothes and equipment that are barely used but that you no longer need - eBay provides the perfect market place to sell these on and make back a bit of money to put towards new purchases. eBay can be pretty daunting if you haven't used it before, but it's not difficult to use once you get the hang of it.
eBay has two key selling mechanisms. Auctions allow you to post items with a reserve price, if bids don't reach your reserve then you don't have to sell. You can auction without a reserve too. Auctions stay open for a period of time that you can determine. The alternative is a more traditional 'Buy Now' mechanism which is more like a regular shop. You can nominate a single price and someone can buy at a fixed price.
As well as the purchase price, you must establish a shipping cost. You may sell really big items such as cots, stair gates or high chairs and state that they are for 'collection only', in which case people must pick them up from your home.
The cost of selling is low. There is an insertion fee based on the price and if you sell your item, an auction fee on top. The fees vary slightly depending on what you are selling with the auction fee generally being 10% of the sale price. You can also pay extra fees for more prominent listings and other added value services.
As a seller, everyone who buys from you is encouraged to review you in terms of how well you communicated with the buyer, how accurately you described the product, how efficiently you ship etc. The better your ratings, the more people will buy from you.
When it comes to selling, here are a few tips:-
- Describe the products accurately, pay particular attention to the condition for used items - don't describe used items as new otherwise you will disappoint your buyers and will get bad reviews
- Photograph your products to give a good idea of what items look like, this is particularly important for clothes
- Add a realistic shipping amount - don't underprice your product and add a very high shipping fee, you will annoy buyers!
- Check shipping costs at the Post Office so that you aren't in for a shock when you send your parcels
- Bundle clothes together rather than selling individually, this way you will be able to move items that may not sell alone, but that still offer value as part of a collection of items
- Look at similar items already on eBay to work out what a sensible price will be
- Try to sell clothes for the coming season, sell summer clothes in late spring and winter clothes as autumn arrives
- Don't sell items in a poor condition (clothes that have gone 'bobbly' with washing or that have deep seated stains) as no one will appreciate these!
There are few limits to what you can sell on eBay so make sure you read their terms just to make sure that you don't fall foul of any policies. After a few sales, you may even become addicted to selling online!
It's freezing cold and we are told it's going to get worse, but you can't close your front door and stay inside no matter how much you want to! Children have to get to childcare, nursery, school and you need to brave the cold weather even if you (and your kids!) don't want to. Here are a few tips to make it that bit more bearable!
Wear a hat: most of your body's warmth will be lost by heat escaping through the top of your head.
Mittens: mittens are preferrable for children as they are warmer than gloves.
Warm drinks: a nice cup of hot (or warm) chocolate can be very satisfying. Try to tempt your little ones to warm up with a warm drink when they get home.
Scarf: around the neck and chest, flat against the body under the coat and another one, if you think they need it, around the back of their neck and across their face and cheeks.
Layers: dress in layers; warm air is trapped between layers and helps to insulate.
Outer layer: make sure the outermost layer is tightly woven so as to keep out the wind.
Underwear: make sure you have long sleeved vests, thick socks and even leggings over tights (or under trousers) to keep out the cold on the way to nursery. The children can always take them off once they arrive.
Keep dry: make sure your child is dry and wears waterproofs if it's raining.
Shivering: is a reflex and if you child is so cold they shiver, they need to get inside and out of the cold.
There are lots of essentials that you'll want to have ready to welcome a new baby into the world! If you are expecting a baby, take time in the lead up to research the items that you need and seek out what you want. Don't forget that baby's don't always arrive to plan and may arrive early, so try not to leave everything until the last minute. Most likely you'll receive gifts from friends when your baby is born, but you don't know what you might receive unless friends and family consult you first!
Here is a checklist of some of the things you may want to have ready for your new baby:-
- You probably want a moses basket and blankets for the first bed and later a new cot and bedding, perhaps a cot mobile too
- You may want blackout blinds for the bedroom
- You need to buy baby's bottles, teething rings and a toothbrush
- You need lots of clothes for day and night as well as socks and booties
- You need plenty of nappies and muslins, a changing mat, baby wipes and cotton wool
- You should have some toys and fabric books suitable for baby's
- You may want a hairbrush and nail scissors
- You may want to buy some books to consult to help you with the first months
- You'll find a baby bath easier than a full sized one
- You'll want a pram, car seat and stair gates, perhaps a play den, fire guard and other safety items
- You'll need a high chair for feeding before long
There are lots of things you need during the first few months, but plan ahead and enjoy buying all these things in the run up to the birth of your new baby!
Children are an industry - you can easily lavish thousands on your baby in the first few weeks of their lives, and indeed in the run up to their arrival, but babies needn't cost the earth; there are ways in which you can economise, and you aren't a bad parent for doing so!
When it comes to buying certain items, particularly ones where safety is involved, you should buy new for each baby. For example, you should buy a brand new car seat for your baby because you don't know the history of a second hand one - has it been involved in an accident and could it be structurally weakened? When it comes to buying baby bottles, you can continue using ones from earlier children, just buy a new set of teats and you'll save yourself considerably on the cost of extra bottles.
When furnishing your nursery or buying other baby paraphernalia such as stair gates, pushchairs or toys, you can happily buy second hand or choose cheaper models. Pretty much every item sold in our shops has to pass safety standards in order to go on sale, so a cheap cot, pram or stair gate should theoretically be just as safe and sound as the most expensive ones. Indeed, the price of goods may not even reflect the quality of the furniture so much as the retail markup and fashion.
Shop online and use price comparison websites and you will save a king's ransom! The same furniture can vary in price enormously, although make sure you factor in the cost of taxes and delivery which can make cheap items suddenly appear rather expensive.
You can also buy second hand clothes, either at 'nearly new' sales organised locally or online at sites such as eBay. Clothes tend to be sold in bundles on eBay and you may find that you can fit out your baby for the first couple of years for very little money at all!
Your children are going to cost you a fortune over the coming years, and there's no shame in economising, especially while they are too young to have an opinion on pre-owned goods. Perhaps a frugal upringing will set them up with a valuable life skill!
If you're expecting your first baby, you probably don't know what to expect - here are some of the essentials that you'll need as soon as your baby is born!
- Car seat: this is the single most important item because unless you live next to the hospital or are having a home birth, you won't be able to bring your baby home without a car seat. Safety equipment is best bought new because you don't know the history of second hand items. Make sure that the seat is properly fitted and that you are familiar with how to insert and release your baby's seat prior to the birth.
- Diapers/nappies: Whether you decide to use disposable or cloth nappies, you'll need a plentiful supply as soon as your baby is home. A changing mat is useful but not essential as you can use towels to begin with.
- Crib or cot: you'll want a bed for your baby as soon as he or she comes home. It's a good idea for babies to sleep in your bedroom for the first few months but not in your bed because there's a high risk that you might accidentally smother your baby. Have a crib, moses basket or cot ready.
- Clothes: a plentiful supply of clothes is needed. You should have clothing ready with you in the hospital - vests, babygrows or onesies, cardigans, socks and mittens will give you a choice of clothing and layers. Hospitals usually recommend a hat to keep the head warm.
- Bottle and formula: Even if you are intending to breastfeed it is a good idea to have a suitable bottle and formula ready just in case there are problems that prevent you from being able to feed your baby at any time during the first few weeks.
Don't panic if you get home and suddenly realise that there's something you have forgotten to stock in advance. You'll probably be able to get hold of most essential equipment or clothes from your nearest supermarket, even if it means asking friends or family to run an errand for you!