Side Street Style

A family lifestyle, interiors & travel blog


5yrs old and what we've learnt

Mr A on his birthday

Wow 5yrs old, both John and I cannot quite believe that our eldest turned 5 this week and long have the days passed that he would be considered a toddler but is now an adventuring spirited young boy on his own journey of discovery. I think with your first you never really know what to expect as becoming a parent is like nothing else, there is no manual, no prior training given, it's a learn on the job scenario which has both ups and downs a long the way but no matter how trying some days have been it's completely worth it.

sun flare

So after 5 years of parenting what have we learnt so far

1. The saying "Don't sweat the small stuff" really does apply here, there will be lots of things that will cause you stress on the parenting journey so don't get caught up in the smaller details of things and instead just try and enjoy the moment. I am naturally a person who likes to be in control and you simply cannot be all the time when it comes to kids and I found relaxing and easing up on this has really helped.

2. Sleep when you can - as most of you know the moment you have kids you wave goodbye to lie-ins and 8hr blocks of sleep, it simply doesn't exists anymore so if someone offers to watch the kids of an hour or they fall asleep mid day why not take a nap yourself, a well rested parent is more patient one.

3. A fussy eater will never starve - I used to get pretty frustrated when I would make Mr A some lovely purees or toddler meals and he wouldn't eat a bite, in fact he can still be like that today, he is simply not a big eater but apparently I was the same and a Doctor told my mother once that a child will never starve and will eat when they are hungry, it may just not be at the same time as you or large portions but you really don't need to get stressed about it. Mr A has grown into a strong an active young child.

4. Distraction can often be the best way to divert a tantrum. Mr A went through a period from around 3-4yrs old were he was incredibly inflexible and if things didn't go to plan he would have major meltdowns multi times a day, wether over a baked potato not being cut a certain way or the toothpaste not going on the brush the right way we found instead of us trying to "control" his emotions or telling how he should feel we found a simple distraction often diffused the situation rather than escalating it.

5. Embrace the mess - not matter how hard you try or how OCD you are about things your house is simply not going to be spick and span while you have small children running around and the best thing is to accept that a move on. Those beautiful kids bedrooms in magazines that are spotless simply don't exists in real life, I don't mean dirt but a simple state of constant untidiness is normal as kids love to pull things out without being that willing to put them back.

6. Enjoy the outdoors - we try and spend at least an hour outside each day and I think this is something that is important for both adults and children, it's a perfect way to run of excess energy, de-stress, learn, breath and put things into perspective.

outdoor fun
Mr A our wild child 

One thing is for sure we are very proud of the boy Mr A is becoming, he is curious and eager to learn, loves to travel an d adventures, he is always amazing us with his finds and we are ready for anything the next 5yrs brings as well as watching our son grow and blossom.


  1. Happy birthday! I hope you've had a lovely time celebrating. I'm so glad to read that you shouldn't worry about picky eaters as we have one on our hands! We use distraction a lot too ... Much easier way of calming little ones down.
    Alana x

  2. Aw, happy birthday to Mr A. 5 seems such a big milestone compared to their other birthdays, what with school meaning they're now on that route to independence and learning.

  3. Can't believe he's 5. Some great things you've learnt there. Sleep while you can is the best advice you can give anyone and love the part about a fussy eating not starving. I used to stress myself out so much when eva wouldn't eat certain things x

  4. So true about letting the little things go! Happy birthday, it goes too fast :( xxx

  5. Ah Happy Birthday A! Cherry is five in a few weeks, I can't believe it. Great advice too, the not stressing about eating one especially. The older she gets, the better she is at trying new foods and although her diet is limited she does eat enough fruit and veg for me to feel okay. It's made it easier 2nd time round with Tiger too as he is at the really difficult toddler stage of not eating anything!! x


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