Hayley Matthews: Home life is laid bare now son has a phone

Is it a good idea to give a seven-year-old a phone?
Is it a good idea to give a seven-year-old a phone?
Have your say

I said I wouldn’t do it – the “can I have a phone” that is. I promised myself that I wouldn’t cave to the pressures of giving my seven-year-old a phone this Christmas but guess what – I have.

Now before you go all “tut tut” on me, I have a few reasons why I did a 180 degree U-turn and decided to buckle. The first is that a few of his friends have iPads or phones or even use their parents’ phone to Facetime each other, and I never seem to get my phone to contact my friends as my seven-year-old always has it.

If he’s not wanting to Facetime his friends to ask something, or text his dad at work, he’s wanting to do maths questions with Siri, so it’s a source of entertainment and communication for him.

Another reason is that this is the generation that he’s growing up in. He will use a lot of computers, tablets and technical devices and I just have to accept that this is the way now.

Don’t worry, Santa didn’t go out and get a £29.99 a month contract with a brand spanking new iPhone. No, he found an old one that I’ve had in my wardrobe for the past three years and cleverly reset it. This phone is locked down and won’t leave the house. He’s very clever that Santa you know, and very down with the kids.

So with the use of some silver paper and a white Fortnite vinyl transfer Santa had himself a “Fortnite iPhone” to put in Harris’s stocking for Christmas morning. With a few Facetime details set up, it was ready to go and my seven-year old’s street credit has jumped up ten points in the last week.

However, if you’re a parent who’s not used to their kid having a phone to message their friends and video call them then I urge you to learn from my mistakes and save yourself some embarrassment.

As you do over Christmas, I was chilling out. I’d ran a bath for myself and baby Oryn, Mr Hayley was having a coffee on the sofa keeping an eye on Harris and everything was nice and relaxed.

Without a second thought, I’d stripped in the bedroom ready to plunge in to a warm bubble bath and was casually strolling into the kitchen to lift a naked baby Oryn into the bath with me. What could go wrong? I’ll tell you what: my seven-year-old Facetiming his friends, mid-chat in the kitchen, as I stood in front of him frozen with shock.

Grabbing a throw off the sofa, I sneakily reversed out the kitchen whilst getting Mr Hayley’s attention to lift baby Oryn as both my hands were protecting my modesty. I have now invested in a housecoat.

I’m sure there will be plenty more things that happen, like me bitching about something that isn’t for little ears, or a photo of me picking my nose whilst breastfeeding will magically appear on the family icloud but the look on Harris’s face on Christmas Day was worth it.

So to all you parents out there who have given their kids a phone for the first time this Christmas, keep your clothes on, your mouths shut and your wifi password a secret.

January may be gloomy and dreich – but it’s still my favourite month by far

I love January. There, I said it! I’m honestly not saying it to be different or for effect, I genuinely love January and I’ll tell you why.

It’s fresh, it’s the start of a new year, it’s a clean slate and it’s almost like getting another chance.

It’s a new perspective, a new shot at things and a new set of challenges in the year ahead. I always surprise people with my love of January – despite raking round old pockets looking for surprise money, I’m able to find the joy in one of the bleakest months of the year. If only I could do this all year round then I’d be one of those really annoying happy wee buggers.

But seriously, I believe the majority of it is mindset and society tells us we’ve all to be miserable in January – so why can’t we be happy instead?

If there are people we see struggling, then why can’t we pass on this new love of the start of the year?

Instead of loading our conscience with things we should be cutting out of our lives at the start of the year, how about we try and bring in more positivity to ourselves and others around us?

Go on, give it a try and start with a smile. After all, it’s a clean start, a fresh new year and the chance to see things with more positivity. We’ll all feel better for it, trust me, it works every year for me.

Sleep like a baby, son – in your own bed

Baby Oryn arrived nine weeks ago – but I’m trying desperately not to make the mistakes I made the first time round.

Our seven-year old loves our bed, which may be because of sleep apnoea, as he’s a terrible sleeper. However, I’m desperate to get Child No2 in his own bed.

He’s in ours just now as he likes the boobie bar close by, but I’m kitted up for him sleeping solo.

We were recommended a Sleepyhead to put in between us at night in the middle of the bed so that we can co-sleep safely.

It’s like a foam support that he lies in, which makes co-sleeping much safer. We can then use it in the crib so he still feels safe but we’re not quite there yet and I’m starting to panic.

It is also really important that no covers go near him or his face, so he’s in a grow bag too, which I used with Harris when he was a baby and am a huge fan of.

I’m not good at the swaddling thing and never fully trust blankets round wriggly babies, so the grow bags are my go-to for peace of mind.

I’ve got him in the winter 2.5 tog bag and using the grow room temperature gauge to tell me if it’s too hot or cold.

I’m one of those like-all-the-windaes-open-when- it’s-three-degrees-outside people, but staying the correct temperature safely for a baby is as important as fresh air.

I’m still trying to work out if some babies are just better at sleeping on their own than others, or if it’s to do with parents’ technique and sleep paraphernalia. Any magic tips or techniques, then you know where to send your emails please! Any advice welcomed.

We will get there, then I just need to get the cats sleeping in their own beds as well.