New Year Resolutions: My word for 2018…

Happy New Year!!

A bit late, I know, but Mr NHM and I suffered from a particularly nasty bout of food poisoning from last Friday until yesterday, so I was feeling very sorry for myself and didn’t have the energy to do ANYTHING! We completely missed NYE’s this year!! Although I think we always have since Miss NHM was born in 2011! lol.

New Years Resolutions 2018

As I’ve mentioned before on NorthHantsMum, New Years Resolutions don’t really work for me, so I set myself a word for the year and try to refer back to this as much as possible throughout the year.

My words for the last few years have been:

  • 2010 – contradiction
  • 2011 – motherhood
  • 2012 – adjustment
  • 2013 – exceptional (not always positive!!)
  • 2014 – Me

My word for 2015 was “Inspiring” and the year really lived up to this!

My word for 2016 was “health”. Oh the irony of choosing this word. I have learnt my lesson and try to choose VEEERRRYYY carefully now!!!!

My word for 2017 was “joy” and it was filled with much joy but also incredibly tough at the same time.

My word for 2018

I have really wrangled with choosing a word for 2018. I’ve learnt that you have to be veeeerrrryyyyy careful with the word that you choose. (So if I stop breathing this year, I only have myself to blame! Hahahaha).

I was going to choose “calm” or “peaceful” but they felt a bit too static for how I would like 2018 to be. I want to be both but I need something to keep me moving at the same time.

So, my word for this year is going to be “breathe”.


If I’ve learnt anything over the last few years, it’s to breathe.

To breathe deeply.

To know when to breathe and when not too.

In 2016 I started doing what i said I would and started looking at meditation to help me relax and find my focus. I spent some time in 2017 meditating and it really helped.

I also want to be better at “being in the moment”. Being an organiser and a planner means that a lot of the time I’m looking forward, working out what happens next, but this year I want to also learn to switch it all off and just “be”.

In the past few days, whilst we’ve been on enforced house arrest due to illness, I’ve spent a lot of time with Miss NHM, just “be”-ing with her. I’ve looked into her eyes a lot more than I normally would and realised she’s growing up so fast. I don’t want to miss anymore of those times.

She’s going to be 7 years old this year.

I will be the Mum of a 7 year old. NO idea how that happened!

Not so far away now, she’s going to want to spend more time with her friends than her “boring” parents (her words, not mine!).

So I want to be able to remember to breathe when she’s either a) telling me I’m boring and b) when she still wants to spend time with me!

Starting 2018

I wasn’t that excited about 2018 starting. I mean, 2018!!!!!!!! 2018!!!! I remember when it was the year 2000!!!! Now it’s 18 years LATER!!!!

But I’ve woken up today feeling a million times more positive than I have for the past few months.

I don’t believe in all that “new year/new you” crap, but I do believe that the beginning of a new year is a chance to re-assess and decide what’s working and what’s not.

I don’t know what 2018 is going to bring for me, NorthHantsMum and the NorthHantsMum Community, but I’m going to spend some time during January to work out a sort of business plan for the rest of the year. If there is anything you think I should be including, please don’t hesitate to let me know at

As always, thank you for all of your support. I know that we are very, very, very lucky to have such an amazing community of readers supporting myself and the team on NorthHantsMum. Thank you also to the AWESOME team of volunteers who now help out on NHM.

I’m excited about what 2018 is going to bring for this little website that I started in 2011, and is still going strong 7 years, 7 YEARS, later!!!!

I wish you and your loved ones a wonderful 2018 where you have lots and lots of moments to “breath” :-D.

Happy New Year!


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Looking back at 2017 on NHM

2017 has been a tough year. This year has challenged me more than I ever expected. I’ve learnt many, many lessons during this year.

I’d love to be doing a positive post about how awesome 2017 was, and it was in many, many ways but it was also one of the toughest years that I’ve been through since I started NHM. I thought 2016 was really tough but it was NOTHING compared to this year.

There is so much that I want to say about 2017 but it’s too personal to share. I’m still processing a lot of things that have happened this year and it feels like this is going to take a while longer.

But, I’m still here, so are you and so is NorthHantsMum and I’m very, very grateful for that.

2017 on NHM


“Joyful January”.  I’d love to try this again in January, so if you are interested, please let me know!

I was asked to be a sponsor again for Basingstoke Track Party, I finally got around to putting together an FAQ for the site, and this heartbreaking post was sent to me by a local Mum.


Miss NHM and I were verbally attacked by another parent on school property. It wasn’t a very nice experience but I’m very proud of myself for not swearing at her. Miss NHM was very shaken up after this for a long while after. I wanted to blog about this but we had too much going on at home.


With everything going on in my personal life it was a struggle to publish every week day. I am incredibly grateful to the AWESOME NHM Support Ladies who have really come into their own this year and helped me out immensely on NorthHantsMum.


I dealt with a Domestic Abuse situation via NorthHantsMum. This was waaaay beyond what I ever expected to be covering on NHM and I found it a very stressful situation, even when it wasn’t happening to me.


Miss NHM was diagnosed with a lifelong autoimmune disease. The floor fell out from under our family.


NorthHantsMum turned 6 years old.

Mr NHM was the best man at his best friends wedding and we had an awesome day!


We discovered that Miss NHM was being subject to abuse by one of her Teaching Assistants. The schools behaviour in response to this, particularly the Head teachers, was despicable.

My friend Sue took Miss NHM and I to see our first #SittingwithJane bench.

The school holidays started. NEVER have I needed the school holidays to start than I did this year.


Miss NHM started to heal and wasn’t quite as anxious or stressed as she had been, mainly because she wasn’t at school.

I came up with the inspired idea of keeping a #SittingwithJane bench in Basingstoke. The irony is, this was one of my goals at the start of 2016, to have a bench in a public place that Mum’s and their children could use to meet at.

Unfortunately, with everything going on in my personal life, I dropped the ball in 2016, so when it fell into my lap in August 2017 it just seemed so perfect.

The whole bloody project nearly broke me.

Next time I decide to take on a project of this size, with a seriously sick child, a full time job in part time hours and the summer holidays – will someone slap me please?


In the first week of September. we removed Miss NHM from her school as it was clear they weren’t going to listen to us or the medical profession, my Mother had what they now think was a mini-stroke, we moved Miss NHM to another local school, the washing machine, boiler and my car all broke and on the Friday I had the #SittingwithJane auction, which the Teaching Assistant who had been subjecting my daughter to abuse was also at.

It was a very, very, very stressful week.

But we got the bench. YAY! Congrats again to those winners of the competition.

Huge thanks again to everyone who donated. I’m still waiting for the Basingstoke Discovery Centre to put up the plaque…


I sent out the first NHM Survey in over a year and had some AMAZING feedback from you all. Thank you!

It meant even more after everything that’s happened in the past two years, to know that my time isn’t being wasted.

I started the “Inspirational Mum’s” programme.


Myself and a couple of the NHM Awesome Support Team were very kindly invited to review Absolutely Karting. Which reminds me, I really need to write that post up! Opps!


I FINALLY sorted out the “subscribe” option on the website. I’m not technical so this was a huge step forward, to work it all out and get it all sorted. So you can now receive all of the posts published in your emails. Double YAY!

I published a post about Y2 Autumn Term.

Final Thoughts

Normally I’m so upbeat and positive on NHM but I’m not very well today which isn’t helping and it has been a really, really, really tough year.

But I’m very grateful and thankful that as a family we are coming out of it and that you are all still here supporting NorthHantsMum.

I have no idea what 2018 will bring for any of us, but I do wish you all an AWESOME 2018.

For those of you celebrating tonight, have a great one! For those of us who will be in bed long before midnight, sweet dreams :-D.

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Soft play parties from JV Bouncy Castle Hire – great for all kids

I’ve been working with the team from “JV Bouncy Castle hire” for the last couple of years and they are absolutely brilliant!!!!

Very professional and reasonably priced.

Highly recommended by me!!

Soft play parties from JV Bouncy Castle Hire – great for all kids

high-res-pngA kids birthday party…it really is enough to strike fear into the heart of any parent. The thought of entertaining and feeding upwards of 20 small people, all of whom will have different needs, likes and dislikes. You want it to be safe, fun, entertaining – and over in a maximum of two hours!

Soft play is a perfect choice for kids parties and can be arranged to suit kids of all ages and abilities. Plus soft play can have special significance for children with sensory and autistic spectrum disorders. Best of all, you can tailor the soft play experience to suit the children attending the party – all without needing to go to a generic soft play centre.

What makes soft play so good?

We all know that active kids are tired kids at the end of the day. A win win for most parents. But research backs this up by showing that children who are active are more likely to be physically, emotionally and socially happy and they also get the chance to show off their brilliant imaginations.

But it is the safety aspect that might appeal to party organisers more. Soft play apparatus gives kids the chance to jump around, jump on and off things and jump on each other without fear of hurting themselves. The soft landing gives them confidence and allows them to stretch their limits without helicopter parents hovering at every turn.

For kids with special needs

Soft play is ideal for children with sensory and autistic spectrum disorders . The apparatus is often brightly coloured, has rounded and soft features and  even incorporates different textures to attract children to different areas and types of play. From a ball pit full of plastic balls to a bouncy platform with ride on horses, kids can have experiences that are simply beyond everyday life. Parents have reported that their special needs children come out of their shells in this environment and want to interact both with their parents and with their peers.


Tailored especially for you

A soft play centre has fixed apparatus giving you little choice when it comes to party types and themes. Arranging your own soft play party gives you so much more flexibility. You can choose your soft play theme to suit the age group then add lots of cool stuff like ball pools, inflatable tubes, shapes, ride on toys and slides.

Forget the magician and the disco – soft play really can keep kids happy for two hours or more. We are not suggesting that there won’t be tears, tantrums, spilt juice and mini arguments – but everyone will go home happy, tired and excited about the next party!

If you would like to book a soft play package for your children’s party we would be delighted to help – just give us a call on 01256 277075, pop us an email to, or simply browse and book online here:

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Talking Tots – New to Basingstoke! For children aged 12 months – 5 years


My name is Debbie and I am really excited to be bringing Talking Tots classes to Basingstoke and surrounding areas!

For the past 16 years I have been working in education, first as a Portage Home Visitor and then an Area Inclusion Co-ordinator supporting children with additional needs. I am also a Regional Makaton Tutor.

I am very passionate about the importance of being a good communicator. To be able to communicate confidently we need to have good concentration, listening and attention skills, social skills and high self esteem.

Talking Tots is the UK’s original and favourite provider of fun, interactive classes that gently boost preschool children’s communication and social skills. Our friendly and exciting classes can help all children develop some of life’s most important skills:

  • Concentration and attention, making learning easier
  • Self-esteem and social confidence, vital for making new friends
  • Pre-literacy skills, helping pave the way for reading and writing
  • Communication skills, helping little ones express themselves
  • Sharing and taking turns, helping everyone get along better

Classes are £5.50 per week and are booked half termly.  Special introductory offer – 4 classes for the price of 2!! One sibling may attend free of charge.

Currently we have a 2 classes running in Basingstoke as follows:

Monday 9.30am in Brighton Hill

Wednesday 9.30am in Chineham

We are looking into starting a class specifically for children starting school September 2017.

We also have an Early Years programme for schools, pre-schools and nurseries.

If you have any questions or would like to know more about any of the classes please contact me.

07392 297869

Like us on Facebook – Talking Tots Basingstoke

Follow us on Twitter –  @talkingtotsdg

I look forward to hearing from you soon!


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I need to be the best Mum that I can be for my daughter

Which is why I am cancelling the NorthHantsMum 2016 Christmas Expo.

Some of you may remember that in August last year we moved from the old WordPress site to the new site. In May of this year my technical “person” advised me that she couldn’t support the site anymore. She left me floundering. I literally had NO IDEA what to do with the back end of the site.

I’ve spent the past six months trying to sort things out in the back end and it’s been very, very, VERY frustrating and stressful. In April of this year I was advised to switch off the old wordpress site which means that I can’t reactive it, so I can’t even go back to that.

My aim is to post every week day. You may have noticed that I have randomly stop posting every so often, in the past six months. It’s not because I don’t want too, it’s because I literally can’t post anything because something has happened in the back end site. Again.

I’ve “wasted” a lot of energy in the past six months trying to sort stuff out behind the scenes. My stress levels have rocketed. It’s affecting the most important relationships to me and it’s knocked my confidence in NHM. I want to have the energy and head space to write some more personal posts which I just don’t have the time for anymore.

When Mr NHM came up with the idea that I raise money for a bench, a safe place for Mum’s to meet in a local popular park, I was totally up for running another Expo to raise funds to this. I put out a plea asking for help and am so very grateful to all those who have volunteered.

Even with all of this help, I just can’t run the Expo this year. My sanity will not remain if I go ahead. Last year, when the electric was off until 2 minutes into the start of the Expo (1.5 hours setting up in the dark!?!?!?!), I was practically catatonic. It takes me three weeks to get over an Expo, the planning, the stress and all of the table moving and cleaning up after, when things go “well”, let alone when they don’t. My hips have never been quite the same after having to move 48 tables for the 2015 Spring Expo.

In March I did the 2016 Spring Expo whilst suffering from flu. 100 people booked tickets and 15 people turned up. I worked so hard to make it a successful event, whilst feeling dreadful, and it was so frustrating when it didn’t come together.

So, for the sake of my sanity and my family I am cancelling the Expo this Christmas.

I’m very sorry to all of those people I am disappointing but hopefully you understand why I have to do this.

Hopefully I will get the technical issues sorted out in the background and then I will be able to focus my attention on the bit I love, providing quality content and support to local Mum’s.

Thank you for your understanding. x

(I am posting this from my phone, which I’ve never done before, so not even sure if this post will work!)

Updated on Monday 17th October: Fundraising for the NorthHantsMum Bench:

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