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On Dreaming and Letting Go

This week, we've been standing in the spotlight, spreading our arms and singing a song. In our heads, at least. We published the next book in our #12women series this week, written by Sarah Whitfield. It's always quite a relief to get a book finished and off to the printer, and very exciting to see it for the first time in print. 

Talking of the printer, I'm currently working on a Confident Parent Planner, because I've never quite got to grips with eCalendars, and prefer to write things down on paper. The first proofs should be ready by the end of the week. This started as a diary for myself, but after feedback from others, I'm having a small run of books printed and will be sending them out before the end of the year. I'll share photos with you all within the next week. 

We've had great new posts on Jump! Mag and Jump! Parents, which have been discussed at length on our Jump! Parents Facebook Group

One of these conversations kept me up all night. We all like to think that our lovely tweens won't turn into hormonal and sneery teens, but this week, I've had to face the facts, and start letting go

The tween/teen years are incredibly joyful, but also rather difficult to navigate. It does sometimes feel like we are dealing with a walking volcano of teenage exasperation. The wrong word, and PSSSSSHHHHHHHHT! 

The support and encouragement of other parents is particularly helpful in these moments, which is yet another reason to be madly grateful for the Facebook friends, who pour a (virtual) glass of wine or cup of coffee, and dole out the chocolate. 

Thank you all, and I'll see you on the other side, 

As parents, we are often torn between advising the kids to study something 'worthwhile' and achieve academic success, and enabling them to pursue their dreams. Particularly when it comes to the arts, and other professions which tend to bring financial hardship. Sarah wrote a great post on Jump! Parents about supporting kids who dream of the stage.

Sticking with the #12women topic, our second post was about the 12 Women Explorers. Like my kids, I love browsing YouTube. While they use it to follow YouTubers, I get my inspiration from women. I've been compiling YouTube playlists for a while, but couldn't include all the clips of these awesome women, as they weren't quite child-friendly. So here's an adult version of the playlist, with some amazing stories. 

(Which reminds me, did you hear of the plan to axe feminism from A-Level courses?) 
Our third book in the #12Women series takes our readers behind the curtain, to discover the stories of awesome women of the stage. Dr Sarah Whitfield didn't limit herself to the actors on the stage.

The lives of dancers, directors, theatre owners and lighting designers are just some of the stories told in this fantastic book. 
Continuing our trip around the world this Christmas, with a peek at the traditions in Argentina. YouTube videos are great, but I didn't want to inadvertently include a sweary or inappropriate film. Since my Spanish language skills are limited to all but forgotten Dora the Explorer episodes, I was grateful to the lovely Natalia for helping with translations. 

When we compile the lists of women for our #12Women book, we run out of chapters long before we run out of women. So it was when Sarah started putting together the 12 Women of the Stage. We kept the amazing story of Agnes de Mille for a blog post. The name 'de Mille' was familiar to me, but not the story of one of the most influential American choreographers, so it was a joy to put together this little feminist history lesson. 
Alongside the Jump! Parents Facebook Group, we also have the Jump! Business Facebook Group. If you haven't heard of this group, it's pretty simple. 

We all have parts of our business that we dislike, and there are some skills that we just don't have. Be it accounting, social media, blogging, creation of illustrations... no one is talented in every area. For a business start-up (or a charity), it is impossible to pay for all the services that we'd like to outsource.

This isn't a simple networking group. It aims to facilitate the exchange of skills, e.g. a copywriter offers to write a blog post for a graphic designer, in exchange for a new logo. Open to all - join here. 
This week on our Facebook Group we've been discussing... 
I had a little bit of a rant, when I read that 'top private schools' were making their girls wear longer skirts to 'protect them from harassment by boys or teachers'. 

This article on The Rise of "Mama', led to a great discussion on how we are referred to by our kids, and kickstarted the whole 'letting go' thought process, that led to me writing the above mentioned  blog post at 3am. 

Suzanne shared her ever so helpful blog post on Teen Christmas Ideas, and I can personally vouch for the instant camera tip - that was a huge hit with my daughter a few Christmases ago. 
Every week in our newsletter, I'd like to highlight a charity or organisation that is doing something wonderful, or could use our help. Obviously, it's impossible to donate to every charity, but you can help by sharing the link with others on social media. If you would like me to share a charity next week, please let me know (but no sponsored or individual go-fund-me type campaigns please). 

Our Science Editor, Samantha Gouldson volunteers and a Food Bank. This week she'll be at her local Tesco, collecting donations for the Trussel Trust's largest food collection, in the run up to Christmas. It's happening on 3rd to 5th December, at supermarkets across the country, with Tesco topping customer donations with a 30% financial contribution. 

You can read about Sam's experiences of volunteering at a food bank here
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