Be honest, dear Mummies, we all love that: having a time only for us! Those precious moments where you can relax, be yourself, just enjoy yourself. “That was my original idea, acknowledged Emily with a smile, “I thought about a choir for mums – that the babies love it too is fantastic, but really just a side effect!”
Passionate about music, Emily is a mother of two adolescents who is warm and full of energy. Her voice is soft and yet powerful; she feels the rhythm as she sings and shares it with all the mums and babies who join in at her Rattle & Hum Choir.
“It’s amazing what singing can do with you,” underlines Emily, “it makes you feel good, you dive into another world… and the babies love their mum’s voice, they don’t mind if you don’t sound exactly in tune!” Continue Reading
The end of April 2014 found me starting the writing project for my book
Bringing Up Children between Cultures.
The main idea behind my book is to interview bi-cultural couples in Oxfordshire
about their day-to-day experiences. This involves couples in which both partners
come from different countries, speak different languages,
and have different traditions, habits and therefore different parenting styles.
Through anecdotes, stories and their own personal perspectives,
these couples will illustrate how enriching and sometimes challenging
parenting can be between different cultures.
Fin avril a commencé l’aventure du livre
“Familles bilingues : la parentalité entre les cultures”.
L’idée est d’interviewer des couples vivant dans le comté d’Oxford
sur leur expérience quotidienne avec deux ou plusieurs cultures,
langues, traditions, habitudes et styles d’éducation…
A travers des anecdotes, des récits et
des analyses personnelles, ils mettent en avant combien il est enrichissant
mais aussi délicat d’être parents entre plusieurs pays.
(lisez la suite en français en bas, merci)
For today, here is an exclusive extract from the interview of a franco-colombian couple, Elise and Manuel (pseudonyms), parents of a nine months baby. During the interview we tackled the issue of being pregnant in Britain. They shared how challenging it was for them to bridge the gap between their cultural expectations and those of their host country. Continue Reading
During the last 70 years the world around birth has definitely changed: mothers are encouraged to eat and drink during labour, fathers are allowed and even expected to attend the birth, mothers can breastfeed confidently in public, parents are advised to choose their birthplace carefully…
Thanks also to the campaigns, contri-butions and engagements by the National Childbirth Trust, better known under the name NCT, these facts are now established. Set up 1957, the charity counts today 5,000 volunteers and more than 100,000 members in 320 local branches.
NCT’s main idea: Support for new parents on your doorstep for the first 1,000 days – which means from conception to the second birthday of your child.
What does NCT offer in Oxford? Different courses and activities are set up by the local branch: ante-and postnatal courses, a group about home birth support, Baby cafés (Breastfeeding support), First Aid courses, Bumps & Babies group, Speed Bump and Coffee groups. NCT Oxford offers also a hire service for Valley Cushions (to help mothers who have difficulties to sit after giving birth).
What are Bumps & Babies, Speed Bumps and Coffee Morning groups? One of the main aims of NCT is to offer places where parents-to-be and young parents can meet one another. There is nothing worse than to stay alone with this new and often overwhelming experience of expecting or having a baby.
- Coffee Mornings come off twice a month at a volunteer’s home. It’s a friendly and informal meeting between parents! Drop in whenever you can make it with your baby from 10am to noon. Need to talk about bad nights, want to have some good advice about weaning or just happy to have a chat with other parents – this is the right place to be! There’re two Coffee Morning Groups in Oxford: one South/East Oxford, another in West Oxford.
Contact: email@example.com (Sarah)
- Bumps & Babies takes place every Tuesday from 10.30am until noon at Wesley Memorial Church (New Inn Hall Street – OX1 2DH). Pregnant or with a tiny one (up to walking age), you are more than welcome! In a pleasant atmosphere there’re some toys for the babies and refreshments for the adults!
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org (Hannah)
- Speed Bumps is a social event for parents-to-be, in the spirit of “speed dating” but simply for couples who are expecting a baby. Keep your eyes and ears open, the local NCT Team do their best to set up the next one in the summer of this year!
Contact: email@example.com (Sarah)
Do I need to have a membership? Continue Reading
I loved it and two other mums I met there, too!
Here is my feedback with parental touch and hopefully useful observations.
A Family friendly event? Yes and no! Children up to 4-5 years will love watching the fashion shows, which are incredibly realistic. Moreover, there was a nice cake stall from Donnington Doorstep Family Centre – yummy!
You can spend an excellent moment with your kids (around 1 hour) at ReFashion–also a good opportunity to show them the Town Hall: simply stunning. The different stalls are lovely – the handcrafted things can stir their creativity, some of them are nice Birthday gifts for friends, or if they have some spare pocket-money! Finally an educational point (sic!): it’s a good place to make them aware of the impact of recycling!
For younger children and to be honest, even for me, the music is definitely too loud and, as so often, the place is overheated (which isn’t a very “green state of mind”). I would recommend a stall with some crafts for the children, so that the parents can go for a little spin.
Mums or mums to be will like this event, thanks to some baby clothes to swap (you can swap one piece of adult clothes with one for a baby), or some very nice pieces sold by the Donnington Doorstep Family Centre for only £1! Good to know: Changing facilities and pushchair access.
Don’t forget! To take clothes you don’t wear anymore from the entire family – you can swap them! It’s a fun experience and there were a lot of nice pieces especially for women. I was expecting more children clothes (from 3 years onwards)… but this depends entirely on the visitor’s donations, too! Take some money to buy some handcrafted things or clothes (very nice selection!) from Charity shops (Helen&Douglas House Vintage and British Heart Foundation).