Hayley Matthews: Mums! Join me in the Mutherland

Sometimes it's the simplest, cheapest days out, like a trip to the Royal Botanic Garden, that kids like most (Picture: Greg Macvean)
Sometimes it's the simplest, cheapest days out, like a trip to the Royal Botanic Garden, that kids like most (Picture: Greg Macvean)
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As a mum, I’m all too familiar with the task of keeping the wee yins entertained when the weather is cold and wet, and the pennies are still being dished out to pay for Christmas, but that doesn’t mean we all need stay in and watch cartoons all day.

I’ve been on a mission to find indoor activities that really tire out our little children, who seem to have more energy than Mo Farah.

We started off with the AquaDash at the Commonwealth swimming pool – an inflatable playground on water for aged six-plus. Think of a bouncy castle with a slide and climbing activities, but in a swimming pool.

Great idea and, safe to say, my son slept well that night. He’s desperate to go back but it’s been so popular and fully booked, that if you’re trying to organise a trip you might need to keep an eye on the Edinburgh Leisure website.

I’ve also been looking for indoor activities where we can spend the majority of the day and rediscovered Camera Obscura. There was more to see, do and explore than you could shake a stick at. From the hall of mirrors, to the room of illusions, we were totally mesmerized and blown away by it all.

I couldn’t believe I’d left it so long to go back. You’re looking at £15.50 for an adult and £11.50 for a child but, trust me, it’s totally worth it and your ticket is valid for the entire day.

We arrived at 2pm and it was really busy so turn up early if you’re going to give it a go before the schools start back next week.

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We really are very lucky that Edinburgh has so much to offer and it’s all on our doorstep. I think it’s important for us parents to remind each other about city activities during school holidays, mainly because regular softplay can be tedious.

I’d been chatting to a mum recently about how she’s sick of softplay and I reminded her about the Royal Botanical Gardens. A bag of unsalted peanuts and endless fun was had, getting up close to the squirrels when we visited during the week. My son said it was the best thing we’d ever done.

It’s funny how it’s not necessarily the most expensive activities that they enjoy the most, but the simplest ones.

It got me thinking about how I could spread the word to other parents about my experiences as a mum and all my little finds. I know you all hear from me once a week on here, but there are so many things we could talk about on parenting and I’m always looking for advice too.

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Things like the latest activity find, or even silly stories that mums will relate to like that time I peed behind the public toilets on Porty beach (they were shut and I just could not hold it) whilst my six-year-old stood in front of me shouting: “Mummy there’s a man watching!”

So that’s why I’ve recently decided to start a blog and I’ve called it Mutherland, www.mutherland.co.uk.

For me, raising a family whilst not having any motherly support myself means I rely on chat from other mums.

I’m sure I’m not the only one wanting to ask if it’s normal for a six-year-old to still be squeezing your boobs, so if you’re a parent looking to chat about wiping bums and other stuff that I couldn’t really go in to detail about here, then you now know where to find me.

I’ll be in the Mutherland.