Friday, 31 January 2014

New webpage

I have a new webpage which I will now be using


Sunday, 26 January 2014

Week One- Still no job.

I often wondered why Daddies aren't as maternal or playful with the children as Mummies are. (In my experience, some Dads are fantastic). I thought it was a genetic thing and that it was 'built in'. I still believe this is the an extent. 

This week has been week one where we have been a one part time income family. The stresses and worries are getting to me to the point that regardless of how my little one sleeps, I am wide awake contemplating how to make enough money. Then the 5.50am alarm clock and my trip to work. By the time I come home I'm exhausted. Most of the partners I have been with have done similar hours when working and part of me thinks that perhaps, just perhaps they're exhausted too. Coming home and dealing with an upset, tired baby probably just feels like too much. I know there have been nights this week where I just thought please stop crying, I'm exhausted and I don't know what to do. I felt helpless and not because I couldn't settle her, but because how she wanted settling meant that I was restricted and unable to try to wind down. Of course I did it, parenting is about sacrifices and I am more than happy to do that for my daughter. She deserves me to be the mummy I want to be. It just got me wondering though about the dads. They must have the same feeling of hopelessness, exhaustion and the responsibility for their family on most of their shoulders and maybe, just maybe they feel a little like I did this week.

Job Situation:
Well, after applying for almost 50 jobs this week, it is now a waiting game. He's had three interviews and hasn't heard back from any of them in either a positive or negative way. It's the waiting that is frustrating. I feel like he is just sat at home when he could be out there doing something, but what more is there to do then send your CV to all the jobs and sign up to every agency in the area. The general response 'It's quiet in January'. He isn't bothered what he does, just something that will bring some income in. 

My work this week has interfered with Mummy and Baby time and for that I feel guilty. I've had to sacrifice some of the night time cuddles and feeds in order to complete marking, or plan for some lessons. That's time that I know will never be made up, it's lost. I just have to accept that this is how my life is at the minute and the time I do have is precious, which leads me on to the next big decision I have.

Do I give up my Friday off in favour of earning a full wage and making sure my house is safe?
That is the question I am left to deal with this week. Another week of sleepless guilt ridden nights will now ensue. 

Saturday, 18 January 2014

Unemployed- Main bread winner

Well, after months of uncertainty and limited pay my other half was unemployed from this morning.

It now puts massive amounts of pressure for me to start earning as much as possible in order to cover all the bills. I know he will be out looking on Monday, and hopefully picking up some agency work, but I still feel like I am going to have the burden of bringing the money in on me. 

So how does this fit with mummy hood? 

Right now I don't feel like it does. I'm at a loss as to how I can fit in being the mummy I want to be at the same time as working every hour I can and doing extra things at night to bring in cash. 

I know hundreds of people are in similar situations, and I know that people cope. My precious little thing wont really know any different as her dad will still be around with her, but I'll not be as able to do all the playing with her. 

I guess we manage the hand we're dealt. My hand isn't a good one at the minute, but it could be so much worse. At least I am in work and should be able to keep the roof over our heads for a few months whilst he gets himself on his feet again. 

I guess being a mummy also involves the responsible side of life as well. Making sure that my family is cared for had a different meaning to me this morning. It meant having Friday mummy days and cooking tea and baking days. Now, I will do the working days and coming home to snuggle days like a daddy normally does. 

My new hope for 2014- to get through the year and have financial security again. 

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

The dreaded lurgy

I'm ill. I feel shocking and my body is aching. In the past I would have forced myself to go into work and got through the week on flu plus and managed to keep myself going on pure determination. 

Today, I was different. I'll spare the details but it was a 3am bathroom trip that involved coughing and sick when I realised I wasn't helping myself if I chose to go into work. I pride myself on being reliable and conscious that a day off can have an impact on some of my students. However, this is different. I am genuinely ill, I make the decision to go in and i'm still going to be ill. The only difference now is my little girl. I know that next week or next month no-one will remember whether I was off sick or whether I was in work. I also know that if I went in work then I'd come home and go straight to be because I'd be exhausted. And that was my decision made. I might miss out on her days, but I sure as hell am not going to miss out on the nights with her too. I lose so much precious time with her when i'm well and I couldn't, not for all the reliability in the world, lose anymore when I can avoid it. 

So I phoned in sick, and today I've lived with the guilt of no longer soldiering on. It's a small price to pay though for having an hour with my daughter without being too exhausted just to hold her. I also know the guilt of not having that time would far outweigh anything else. 

They said my priorities would change once I had a baby to look after, I didn't realise that my whole perspective on life has changed. I wont have martyr on my headstone when I'm gone, but I'm hoping I'll have 'much loved mum' in its place. 

Sunday, 12 January 2014

Guest Blog- Mellow Mummy

This is a guest post by Emma from Mellow Mummy who blogs about remaining cool, calm and collected despite the pressures of motherhood. You can find Emma on twitter and Facebook.

When I first returned to work after my maternity leave for my youngest daughter, this time 4 years ago I made myself a set of “working mum resolutions” to help me try and focus on the good things that could come of me being both a full-time mum and a full-time software developer.

This time last year when I returned to work after daughter number two, I promised myself that I would take things a bit more seriously. Two chunks of maternity leave had not only left our family with a BIG hole in our pockets but also with quite a dent in my career progression.

So, twelve months on I'm reflecting on whether the push for career in 2013 was worth it.

I love my job. It defines me. Most days I actually look forward to going to work. Don't get me wrong, I look forward to coming home again to snuggle my girls, feed them, talk with them, tuck them up in bed and read them a bedtime story. But I also enjoy the mental challenges and personal challenges that my job offers me. And the cash!

This past year I have worked hard. I've stepped up a gear. I've taken on more responsibility. I won't find out for a few more months whether the hard work has paid off but I feel good in that I am challenging myself while still staying within my own working-mum boundaries. I finish early one day a week to take my eldest to her swimming lessons and since I returned to work last January I haven't stayed late on more than one occasion. I think I've found a good balance.. for me. The work/parenthood balance is a very personal one that no-one other than yourself can define.

My baby girl Holly is loving nursery. I'm lucky that we have found a nursery that has suited both of our girls and which I am proud and comfortable sending my girls to (given that my other searches for childcare have all been fruitless). Holly is... how can I describe her... willful. She needs the routine and physical challenges of nursery that I couldn't offer her all day every day at home.

And this past September my eldest daughter started school which was a big life change for us. It has freed up a lot of childcare finance(!) and has meant that we have had to adjust our day a little but she loves every minute of school and I am always so excited to pick her up in the evenings and find out all about her day.

Finding that balance between parenthood and work is, undeniably hard whether you have to work, or choose to work. But, if you can manage it, working parenthood is phenomenally rewarding.

Sunday, 5 January 2014

Sunday night dread

Ahhh, it's Sunday and the dread is setting in already.

I've managed to do my marking, last minute obviously, but there is something sinister about the Sunday horrible feeling that you get. This time though, it feels ten times worse.


For two whole weeks I have been a mummy again, a pure mummy to a little monkey that I absolutely adore. 

I've realised that I have to go back to the 5.50am starts and the bed cuddles in the morning will stop. I wont be able to feed her like I have been doing and my days will consist of the waking her up so she's cranky, dropping her off and leaving then picking her up at tea time when again she's cranky and then the bedtime routine. I hate the no quality time that I don't have with her. 

So the obvious answer is for me to give up work. 

Unfortunately, I am not in that situation where I can. If I could then I probably would. 

The last thing that has really bothered me over the holidays is the questioning about me going back to work. Usually from people who don't have to or haven't gone back. 

The most common question:

How are you coping?

What do people expect me to say? 

"Well actually I spend my entire work journey in tears and crumble during the day at various intervals whilst trying to get 150 pupils in and out of my door in an orderly manner and leave having learnt something" oh and "I'm absolutely exhausted and not happy that I get the cranky part of the day with my daughter" 

My actual response


Seriously though, why do people ask the most ridiculous of questions? What gives them the right to judge my choice in life?

I know people who are currently selling things on ebay to pay for the monthly shop. That's a choice they have made, but it isn't one that I want to make for my family. I am chief money earner at the minute and I'm not spending a month worrying about whether I can buy the food to feed us. Yes, I get the cranky part of the day, but at least I know I can feed and clothe my family. 

So the Sunday dread and crankiness is a price I pay for security and a roof over my head. Some say i'm selfish, I just happen to believe I'm realistic. 

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Mummy hood and mayhem: 2014- Start as I mean to go on...

Mummy hood and mayhem: 2014- Start as I mean to go on...: What does 2014 have in store for me?  Well, there are a few resolutions that I am determined to keep.  Firstly, Procrastinating. It is m...