The Nicki Mini Guide to Removals 

When it comes to organising things I’m pretty good. No, scratch that, I’m the bee’s knees! If you need something sorting I have a contact, will find a contact or damn it I’ll do it myself. I try and stay on top of local news, apparently, I’m the first to update social media friends and colleagues locally about local travel and info and I personally dislike chaos. When it comes to removals, one of the most stressful situations we are to help

Perhaps it’s these attributes (which others have bestowed on me, I’m not blowing my own trumpet) that make me the go-to gal among friends and family who need something sorting. Several times recently I’ve been asked about situations involving removals and so here is my “guide to removals”.

Make Sure You Know What You Need
This might sound like a silly point however you’d be surprised I’m guessing how many people book any old removal van when really what they need is a man and van service, as opposed to the full-monty house clearance package. Removals come in all shapes and sizes; Apex Removals Company for example, offer a wide range of options from large multi-container vehicles and staff to a small man and van. Make sure you have a clear idea of what services are on offer and what you actually really need so that you don’t end up paying more than you should.

Choose Your Company Wisely
There will be times when it seems quicker and easier to simply call the person who last shoved a leaflet through your door. While this person may be excellent and shouldn’t be discounted it is worth shopping around, reading reviews online and asking friends and colleagues for recommendations.

Get a Quote – In Writing
We’ve all heard of instances of people verbally agreeing on a price for a service, the service being carried out and then the customer basically being held to ransom over a final payment amount that was far from expected. Thankfully there are many removal companies Reading area and beyond and the vast majority are legit. It does pay however to get quotes so that you may compare prices as well as it being general good practice.

Talk To Your Company
Once you’ve chosen the company you want to go with, talk to them! Make sure that they are very clear on what you need and when and don’t be afraid to ask their advice. They will know better than anyone what size of vehicle you’ll need for a certain job and will even be able to offer you advice on how best to pack and even wrap furniture for safe removal.

Happy? Let People Know
If as expected you receive excellent service from your removal company, whether it was a man and a van job, an office move or a cross-country large home move make sure you leave a review on their social media site, on their website and of course spread the word. This type of feedback is what weeds out the professionals from everyone else and helps people make a more informed choice regarding their job.

Apex, removals

Unwanted parenting advice

Today’s post is from the lovely Pauline who is fed up with unasked for parenting advice and critisicm. A great post! I’ll let her introduce herself, but have a read and tell us, have you ever felt the same frustration? This is Pauline’s first guest post so show her some bloggy love folks, Nicki x

Hi! I’m a 42 year old wife and mother of a 3 year old boy, full time mum, but definitely not stay-at-home!  I’m based in the South East of England and I’m on Twitter as @PollyBurns2.  This year I’m learning Italian, next year I’m starting a writing course.

Why is it that people think it’s perfectly acceptable to offer unsolicited advice about parenting as soon as you’ve had a child?  Not just people who know you, but random strangers.  Not just people with children of their own, but people who have never had children.  We desperately wanted children but found it difficult to conceive at all and then lost one before my son was born.  I didn’t feel overwhelmed at his existence, I willingly followed his lead.  He was an easy baby and we bonded immediately.

It was reading a piece by Nicki Cawood that got me thinking about the random advice that I and my friends received when we became mums for the first time.  Nicki’s standpoint is not to apologise for the parenting choices you make, but this can be quite difficult in the face of people who clearly think they are doing the right thing.

Here is a good example of this: carrying my weeks old son in a carrier on the front of my body, I was holding a takeaway coffee cup with a lid and about half an inch of almost cold coffee.  I was stopped by a woman who said she’d seen “so many” children scalded by coffee in cups exactly like the one I was holding and would I please not carry it around while I had my son in the carrier.  I was completely taken aback as this was my first experience of being accosted in the street and I wasn’t prepared for it.  I calmly explained that there was about half an inch in the bottom of this cup (with a lid on it) and it was all but cold anyway.  I have often wondered what made that woman think that I was being an irresponsible parent.  Do I look like the type of person who would put her son in obvious danger?  What does such a person look like?  Unfortunately, people who should know me better were also very ready with their advice.

I chose to breastfeed my son, which attracted lots of comments from various family members.  These ranged from feeding him so often is no good for him to how I’m really not physically built for breastfeeding and would find it difficult.  This last was from my sister who had breastfed her own first child and so knew what it was like.  She had clearly found it difficult but my viewpoint was:  I have breasts, what else do I need?  A childless member of the family said that we would need to “top him up” with formula as breast milk wasn’t enough.  Another said I shouldn’t be breastfeeding at all.

It was the underlying assumption that everyone else has the best interests of my child at heart and I didn’t that really bothered me.  In the supermarket a woman told me that the carrier I was using (same front carrier) was bad for my son’s neck.  Bad how, we asked?  She said she’d raised several children and was professionally qualified to comment.  She didn’t elaborate further!  What is wrong with these people?  Don’t they remember all the unwanted advice they got?

I’ve found that people get very upset if you don’t take their advice.  They often check back later to see if you took their wisdom on board and get quite hurt if you haven’t.  I was informed that carrying my son with me all the time would make him clingy.  In fact he’s now a very sociable and outgoing boy and I believe that’s because he feels secure at home in his relationship with his parents.  I got lots of comments along the lines of “still carrying him?”, “haven’t you put that child down yet?”  I wonder what they would have said had they know that in fact, I spent the first year of his life just cuddling him and staring at him!

A word about advice from the health professionals, who you believe know what they are talking about.  Whilst it’s not exactly unwanted, in my experience some of it just made no sense at all.  Whether the subject is bottle feeding, keeping the baby in your room until 6 months or not weaning before 6 months, the pressure is enormous, even if only expressed in subtle ways.  My friend was breastfeeding twins and was told her boys weren’t growing quickly enough. She gave in to this huge emotional pressure at 12 weeks and regretted it ever since.  My son’s cot was at my side of the bed and we kept waking one another every hour or so from 15 weeks to 22 weeks, when we finally went against advice and put him in his own room.  We got a whole four hours sleep that night!  All in one go!  Bliss!

Here’s some advice I did take though!  Lots of people stopped me and told me how quickly this time would pass, and to love and enjoy him.  “Keep an eye on him” said one particularly creepy chap in the supermarket, advice I thought was well worth heeding!  Unfortunately it was never to be that we would have more children so we are very glad that we followed our own instincts, ignored everyone else and just did it all our way.