Dreaming of a Montessori bedroom

It’s been a little quiet on the lists front over the last two weeks. With my return to work, biggest child stressing about sats, smallest child starting nursery and a general state of chaos descending on our home I’ve had to put mummy’s little lists pretty close to the bottom of my daily to do list! But yesterday I had a free day, a day all to myself for the first time in almost a year. I was determined not to spend the day cleaning the house but did want to have a big sort out, get rid of some of the clutter/junk and tidy things away that have just been “shoved” in a random cupboard or drawer at the end of each day, too exhausted to care.

I decided toys were going to be ruthlessly culled – with both children’s birthdays approaching and within four days of each other,we are about to get a whole load more toys to scatter across every room of the house while the boxes they came in get more play time.

Millie has masses of plastic tat. Don’t get me wrong some plastic toys are great and I’m not going to pretend that everything i have kept is natural, eco friendly and upcycled  but there’s only so much bright pink, singing, flashing lumps of plastic one child actually needs.

This is Millies room post-cull and with just a few toys out. Oh and of course the hideous giant lion that started as a bit of a joke Christmas present but Larry now feels like part of the family!

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For a while I’ve been thinking that she has outgrown her baby nursery and it’s almost time to move on to a toddler bedroom. Seeing the brightly coloured stacking cups and rings set out has really swayed me towards a nice, bright and fun Montessori style bedroom. So two hours of Pinterest later and I’m officially obsessed with his new theme.

Ive now started a list of must haves that I will be sourcing over the coming months in order to create a Pinterest worthy room for Millie (I fear this is becoming quite my catchphrase and not a single room in my house is even close to being Pinterest worthy!)

1. A reading corner – this one would be top of the list in any theme I went for. Both me and Millie love reading and I am excited for us to have a comfy corner to go to and snuggle up with some books. Ideally it will resemble this one from http://www.littledesigncorner.com but space is limited so a little rejig of the existing furniture will be needed to get even half this space in this picture

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I’m now on the lookout for some lovely big bright cushions, and possibly something hungry caterpillar if I can find it.

2. Grimms Wooden Rainbow – I have a real love for these rainbows and they can be used for so many different play ideas. I will probably get the 17cm one as we don’t really have space for any bigger if we wanted to expand it and create a tunnel or build towers.

 

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I have found a really lovely website that sells some amazing wooden toys so will definitely be buying this and possible some others from http://www.littleearthfarm.org

3. Shelving – in all of the Montessori style bedroom ideas I’ve seen, low level shelving seems to be a key feature. We already have this IKEA cube shelving unit so will be utilising this. Rather than stood tall upright it will run sideways so all shelves are low enough for Millie to reach.

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I now need to find a couple of nice boxes for musical instruments and play figures to store on it. I also intend to display toys on each remaining shelf, just one toy per shelf. The idea being that this gives the child free choice of what they want to play with without being overwhelmed and overstimulated. I thought the wooden rainbow would look great on one of the shelves.

4. Colourful bedding – Millie is still too young to switch her cot into a bed just yet but I’d really love a brightly coloured bed set for when we do move on to a bed. Encouraging children to explore and learn through their surroundings is key to Montessori principles and having bright bedding I think will help to make her bed a little more exciting and attractive to her. If I were to really follow the principles I would in fact be considering a floor bed but I think Mr H will need some serious convincing before we get to that level…

5. Low table and chair – I’ve been looking at these for a while as Millie is starting to enjoy sitting colouring and also has a bit of an obsession at the minute with sitting on the bottom stair and getting up and down from it over and over so I’ve been thinking now is the right time to invest in a child’s table and chair. I don’t think most table and chair sets will fit in the bedroom though so need to do a little more research into alternative space saving solutions – cue another two hours on Pinterest!

Who knows when we will get the time to carry out the great bedroom transformation but at least I now know what I’m looking for.

I would love to see some other ideas so please feel free to share a picture or two if you’ve also created a Montessori style bedroom for your little one

 

 

 

Returning to work hasn’t all been bad

For the last few weeks (or months even) I’ve been worrying, complaining, sulking etc at the thought of returning to work after maternity leave.  To say I was dreading it would’ve been an enormous understatement.  The thought filled me with fear to the pit of my stomach.  It wasnt work as such that was the problem it was mostly having to leave Millie and the realisation that my baby is becoming a little girl and I’m not going to ever get this time back.

IMG_0025.JPG(Millie loving her first day at nursery)

Fast forward and Im now two weeks into the whole “work” thing and actually it hasn’t been anywhere near as bad as I was expecting.  It has helped hugely that Millie is a sociable little thing and has been such a good girl settling at nursery and also that I’m only working two days a week at the moment and Mr H has been doing some of the childcare for those two days.

So instead of thinking about the negatives, which Ive spent a lot of time doing lately, I thought I’d share some of the best bits of returning to work.

1.Weeing in peace – oh the absolute delight at sitting on the loo and not having to shout a hundred times over “Im here darling, wont be a minute” or worse still having a wriggling toddler sitting on your knee while you’re trying to pee.

2. Conversation – me and Millie chat a lot at home but it just doesnt quite cut it when the only response you get is a ba ba da or the odd high pitched screech so having someone actually replying when you talk to them has been really rather nice.  Ive also lasted a whole day without having a conversation about the colour and consistency of poo which is the universal conversation for all mothers!

3. Hot coffee – a full cup of it. Drank in one sitting, not reheated in the microwave six times over.  This is the one everyone told me I’d enjoy being back at work for and they were right.  Ive even had time to dunk a couple of biscuits mid-cuppa too.

4. Thinking –  it’s not like I haven’t done any thinking while I’ve been off work, I spent endless hours thinking/worrying about all things baby. However actual proper intellectual thinking has been somewhat limited, so it’s been quite refreshing to have to use my brain at a different level again. Admittedly this has been quite hard though because baby brain really is a thing (google it if you don’t believe me!) and something I used to figure out in a minute is now taking a good five!

5. Heels – it’s been great to put on a nice pair of shoes that don’t need to be suitable for climbing into whatever hole Millie has managed to get herself stuck in. I do now have several blisters and a bleeding heel to show for it though…

6. Independence – I have truly loved every single minute I’ve been able to spend at home with Millie and I do feel a little bit guilty about this one but it’s actually been good to have a few hours of just being me again!

As much as I still continue to moan about work, writing this has made me realise it’s not all doom and gloom after all. If I’ve learnt one thing from the last few weeks it is to not feel guilty at enjoying being back at work….

……Mummy guilt really is the worst!!!!