30 things I want to do before I’m 30: Mum edition

Consider this my first proper go at a bucket list, having just celebrated my 24th birthday, I’m starting to feel a little more over the hill than I did before!

Can mums really have a bucket list of stuff that’s just for them? Probably not, but I’m willing to give it a go (bonus points for every item on the list that isn’t mum related?)

I plan on updating this list every time I tick an item off! And maybe I’ll review them as I go along too… Starting off with a VERY family friendly one, here it is, my 30 before 30 list:

  1. Go to Disneyworld Orlando, Florida with the kids
  2. Have a mother-daughter photoshoot
  3. Go on a girls’ spa weekend
  4. Do a cocktail making master class
  5. Go to the Gatsby Party event my husband and I planned to go to this year!
  6. See P!nk live in concert
  7. Go to a festival
  8. Visit Cadbury World in Birmingham
  9. FINALLY qualify as a registered barrister (or, failing that, transition to solicitor)
  10. Visit Hever Castle
  11. Write a book
  12. Do an ancestry DNA kit
  13. Go to Butlins
  14. Start doing yoga again
  15. Go to another country in the UK (not England!)
  16. Drive in a foreign country
  17. Go on holiday to the Lake District
  18. See The Lion King in theatre
  19. Take Olivia to see the Royal Ballet at the Royal Opera House
  20. Try a ‘Family Day Out Jar’ and see it through!
  21. Watch Trooping the Colour in person
  22. Run (or walk) a marathon
  23. Properly try at being vegan (goodbye cheese, I will miss you)
  24. Book a city break for me and the hubby
  25. Go to Alton Towers with the kids
  26. Go GLAMping with the kids
  27. Hike along the Yorkshire moors with Olivia
  28. Force my husband to do a dance class with me
  29. Get a sewing machine
  30. Learn how to crochet (I’m old now, that’s something I should learn to do, right?)

Only 8 kid-orientated items on the list! Not bad going, eh?

Have you done a list like this before? What would you be excited to try?

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Underwater Swimming – Yay or Nay?

You may have seen my post a little while back about getting your children into clubs and hobbies as early as possible… Well, following on from that, the latest club we have joined is Tadpole Tots Swimming Lessons.

I know, I know, Olivia is only 2. She can’t really be taught to swim, right?


Today we had our first lesson and it was amazing. Her confidence in the water at first wasn’t great, and she gripped onto me like there was no tomorrow, but by the end of the half an hour session, she was diving off the side of the pool into me, rolling off of a big float into the water, and more happily went underwater with me.

I won’t lie, going underwater with her terrified me… A LOT. I’m pretty sure she inhaled/drank a fair amount of pool water…

I’m not a confident swimmer – I’ll be the first to hold my hands up to that! Jamie on the other hand is a pretty good swimmer and goes quite often. Kiera, my stepdaughter, had swimming lessons when she was about 6 or 7, and we saw a big difference in her ability over a few lessons (but she is now doing them regularly at school). This is why it made sense to me to get Olivia into these lessons.

We debated it a little, Jamie and I, as the lessons were obviously pricier than dancing or even Olivia’s French classes that she is now doing every Saturday. However, Jamie rightly pointed out that Olivia will be far better off by getting used to the water now, while she is still little and doesn’t have the time or experience to become scared of the water! I can safely say that after one lesson, she is so much more confident. She still isn’t a fan of going on her tummy and would much prefer me to sit her on my side, bobbing around in the pool, but I was amazed at how willingly she kicked her feet to swim on her back (with a float of course), and at how willing she was to glide through the water to the teacher and back to me again… Actually, coming back to me took a little bit of coaxing!

I am so pleased that I did take the plunge and book these for her, as she will benefit immensely in the future and will hopefully be a far better swimmer than I am! In fact, she probably already is!

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How soon can I get my children involved in clubs and hobbies?

I could not wait to sign Olivia up to all kinds of clubs and lessons!

This weekend, she went to her first one – a local tots and mums dance club and she absolutely loved it. She is 2.

The club is aimed at children under the age of 2 and a half, and involves loads of props including sparkly fairy wands (anything sparkly is a win for Olivia), flags, pom poms, bean bags, a big colourful parachute, and teddy bears.

I’ve been looking at so many things that I want her to do. A little while ago at a fun day organised by our Grenadier Guards Welfare, she had the chance to ride a donkey. Her face was an absolute picture. I was excited because she was so excited. After that, I started looking at horse riding lessons for her. I did find one place close by that would take children aged 2 and up, but it was too far away for me before I was driving!

Once she hits 3, there are so many more things that she’ll be able to do! Horseriding is a must – she has a real affinity with animals and I wish I could properly convey how much she loved riding the donkey.

I’d also like to get her playing a musical instrument. For her birthday I bought her a toy grand piano (it is so cute and probably the only grand piano I will ever own). It has a little microphone with it which Olivia loves signing into, and so I think that the piano will be the best instrument to start off with.

I’m not sure on when is the best age to start a musical instrument, and it largely depends on the instrument itself. My stepdaughter asked us to find her a saxophone teacher – don’t ask me why! I have no idea why she wanted to learn the saxophone, however being only 8 years old I had a lot of difficulty finding someone who would teach her to play. Larger instruments that need to be held will mean that children have to be older to start to play. Some advice I was given was that they have lessons in smaller instruments of the same family first, e.g. the recorder or the flute!

I don’t know if Olivia will continue to enjoy playing the piano when she starts lessons, and I don’t really know when she can start! I’ve heard of 3 year olds having piano lessons but in a way I feel like that’s maybe too soon for formal lessons… Maybe I’ll review that when she gets to 3!

The last thing I want to get her into is boxing! Again, she can’t really do this yet, however she goes on a Monday evening with the childminder while her son does boxing classes and they’re great about letting the little ones run around and join in. Because she’s already familiar with the environment there, that’s something I really want to get her into! Not least because she loves giving me “high-fives” whilst wearing Daddy’s boxing gloves! Plus, I want to do it myself and I love the idea of boxing being a whole family activity. Kiera went to boxing a couple of times a week until recently and I know she absolutely loved it, and it’s possibly the best kind of fitness for anyone, adult or child!

Maybe I’m already exhibiting “pushy parent” behaviours, but you can make your own mind up about that! I don’t want to force her to do all of these things, but I’m just so excited to get Olivia involved in these things because not only will she enjoy them, but they’ll be hobbies for life and they’ll stand her in such good stead in the future. She’s already showing signs of being a performer and I want to nurture that, as well as her love of horses and how energetic she is!

These are all just ideas for now, and I’m enjoying the bonding time that we have on a Saturday morning doing our dancing club.

Have you taken your tot to any clubs or activities? How old were your children when they had their first music lessons?

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