Monday, 14 August 2017

Maternity Leavers Limbo - A Book Review

It's now been 15 months since I had started my maternity leave and I was fortunate enough to stay off work for 10 months, however since going back I really do hate it!

Don't get me wrong I am fortunate to have a job, not only a job but a job that is pretty flexible and I do only work 15 hours, it's not a job I enjoy being honest but it's pretty much stress free and fits around my home life.

If like me, most women that go on maternity leave count down to when it begins and then spend the majority of their leave avoiding talking about going back and trying to find ways to return to work, when I had my son I was doing a different job, I felt I had a career, I worked in travel and well I do still miss it. I enjoyed talking to people and sharing knowledge and experiences. Now I spend most of my days wading through rubbish that's been dumped in the supermarket and replenishing shelves.

So what do I do? What do I want to do? Being in work gives me a break from being a mum, I talk to people of all ages and backgrounds but when I am not in work I spend all of my time thinking about being in work.

I was recently given the opportunity to read a new book by Dux Publishing, called 'Maternity Leavers' written by Soozi Baggs.
Although I am no longer on Maternity Leave and considering returning to work, I am kind of in a rut and thought it would be beneficial for me to still read this book.

A few pages into the book and I smile, all those things that I think about and feel Soozi has written about, it's so easy to relate to what she says and very quickly I found it difficult to put the book down.

Soozi hits on many things that I have felt or still feel. All of those things I worried about before becoming pregnant, maternity pay, having enough time off, returning to work and balancing child care and could we afford to have a child.

Chapter 4 really hit home with me as she discusses 'Being a Full-Time Mum' as I have mentioned I do work 15 hours so I suppose I class myself as a working mum and a full time mum as I work in the evenings. This is the choice I made, but reading this chapter, many of the things Soozi says I could really relate to and even now find my husband and I battling each other for who is more worthy of going to sleep first and who has to stay up looking after the baby, the general household responsibilities always fall to me, washing, cooking, cleaning up, shopping and ironing among many others and I often feel guilty for wanting 1-2 hours a week to go and continue with my exercise classes which I participated in before baby no.2 arrived.

In reading this chapter, I realised I was not the only one to have these feelings, so if we have these feelings why are they never talked about?
Only 4 chapters in and I start to feel a bit better about myself, I stop feeling guilty about wanting to spend money on things other than food shopping and to even, dare I say it, spend some on myself.

So if you are currently on maternity leave or are about to go on maternity leave this is a good book to read.
Friday, 19 May 2017

Soaking with Sanctuary

So in my desperation to try and get some time for myself I have decided that on a Friday (or a Saturday) evening that I am going to have a mini pamper.

This actually means it's the one day of the week I use a skin cleanser on my face, shave my legs and give my skin a bit of a scrub and moisturise and today I rummaged around and found my birthday gift  at the back of the bathroom shelf.

Cue a steaming hot bath, some bath soak and the Lisa Jewell Novel, 'I Found You' which like the Sanctuary goodies has been pushed to the back of the shelf for months and in I got.

Admittedly the acoustics were not the best, a 6 year old giving a talk through on one of his games he was playing on his tablet in his room, a 1 year old rattling the cot bars in her nursery and my husband listening to youtube videos but do you know what I was getting a bath and enjoying some 'me' time.

Friday, 21 April 2017

A night away from the kids....

This year has been crazy so far, it feels we have almost done half the year at a ridiculous speed!

Here we are in April and things show no sign of slowing down, I find myself in a constant battle between housework, caring for the children, working and then we have had social events as well.
We knew that March and April was going to be like this so we booked a break away, well an evening away!

Our son went to the inlaws and my mum had the baby and off we went for a relaxing spa day at a nearby Spa called the Lion Quays, which I will be reviewing over on my other blog here!

So after spending a good few weeks looking forward to the break and having time to be me and spend it with my husband and actually talk, I really missed the kids, yes those that I spend practically every moment with. It made me feel actually sad to be away from my daughter in particular as we are inseparable and as she is going through Leap 9 of the Wonder Weeks she seems to really miss me even when I leave the room.

The spa was lovely I switched off, relaxed and even grabbed some sleep. Then we had a meal in a restaurant and a bit too much wine but all the same it was a break and relaxing but I couldn't wait to come home and get hugs and kisses from the kids all the same.

Sometimes being a mum is just the best.
Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Is anything perfect?

Of course it isn't!

I often dreamed how perfect it would be to attend parenting groups with my babies and toddlers and meet groups of mums and our children would all get on and build life long friendships, I would not have to return to work and would enjoy caring for my children and husband. Ok it may sound a little outdated but to be honest that is how I felt even when I was in school doing my studies.

Now at 35 years of age, I do still work but only 15 hours but after normally starting my day from 6.30am and having as little as 2 hours to cram in housework, shopping or other such tedious tasks getting ready to go to work for 5pm is the last thing I want to do. It is far removed from the perfect family life I expected to have.
Outdated, that is what it is. Longer hours have to be worked and everyone has much higher expectations for everything!

The truth is since Z came along, I have struggled with the huge changes that have taken place in my life, my freedom has gone again, I don't mind this as she is a huge pleasure to be around but I do miss being able to have a conversation uninterrupted with my husband or other adult!

Reading the Maternity Leaver book has really made me think about how I want things to continue or progress, I do want to work but I want to enjoy doing work. When I worked in travel I loved it, but now my love has developed for writing more and having some experience in Social Media now I realise that this is a channel I want to move into, I miss it. So as I get back into blogging I have decided to continue with the plans to gain more experience in social media.

Will I succeed who knows, all I know is at the moment the work life balance is not working and something has to give. If anyone has the answer let me know!
Monday, 13 March 2017

Getting your whites white and your stains gone?

Being at home most of the time, I always feel like I am chasing my tail and when it comes to housework more so.

As a member of the supersavvy me team, I recently received a Daz pack to try out for myself and to see what others thought of it.
With a toddler that feeds herself mostly and a 6 year old that is often too busy watching tv to see what he is eating, we see stains a plenty in our home so with the promise that Daz will keep whites brighter and colours dazzling, I was keen to try this with school uniforms, work shirts and bright baby clothes to maintain and my standard non bio didn't seem to liven up my white wash.

Over the weeks I used Daz on a range of clothes, seeing great results on the white towels that went in the wash when they came out noticeably brighter than they were using my normal non bio.
When it came to stain removal however, it didn't seem to perform as well, as you can see below.

Although it did remove the majority of food stains the larger stain to the right was still visible after a daily wash cycle on 40.

The whites however did still appear to be brighter. The smell when the clothes are washed is fresh and not too over powering but it did fade and when it came to folding the washing and coming to iron, the scent had disappeared and it would be nice if it lasted a little longer.

So unfortunately for me Daz is not viable for an everyday wash in our household, I am sure that the brand will be used again at some point in our home as there was a noticeable difference on the whites and on my husbands shirts but at this moment in time I do not wish to have to use two separate detergents for cleaning clothes.
Saturday, 4 March 2017

When just being a 6 year old goes too far......

When I initially set up this blog, it was to really diary how I found going from a mum of one to a mum of two and well, it didn't go very well as I didn't manage to get the posts done...ooops!

Now here I am coming up to midnight once more and I am typing away when I should be getting some sleep.

The reason for tonight's post however, is because this week has been pretty turbulent for my eldest child who is 6. Yes, I may be a mum to 2 but I am still a first time mum when it comes to the 6 year old in that I am still learning - follow me?
This week (his first back after the half term holidays) I noticed a change in his behaviour, I will come back and explain this later but for now stay with me......

You see, before half term, I was concerned about my son's behaviour, it was erratic and unpredictable to a point and I couldn't see what was causing it, until it started to become clear, he was getting bullied. Ok talk to some adults and it's kids being kids, read your school's policy and well it's bullying plain and simple. This week it got to a head. I've mentioned the hair pulling, the pushing and well all the other things we brush aside as a 'learning curve' for a child but now when your child comes home crying and says that a group of children of the same age crowded him and wouldn't get off him, it feels somewhat personal.
I take on the pain that my child feels and want to find the child/children that have caused mine pain and upset and ask them how they would feel. But I can't.
So I speak to the teacher....again. They promise to find out what has happened. It's dismissed and off we go.

Except I am not dismissing it anymore. It's no longer fun to torment a child so they feel they have to physically push away and then be disciplined for it. I understand how difficult it is for teachers to deal  with all the things they do (my mum taught for over 45 years and I have many family members who are still in Education) however I believe that at this age they are very impressionable and it is very easy to get fed up with 'tell tales' or constant offenders of bad behaviour but what do we do as a parent?

Over numerous weeks my son has put up with hair pulling, his head being slammed, being 'got on' by a number of children, a group of children approaching him and crowding him, other children chanting another to 'get him' as well as events that happened before last term which included being pushed and his clothes being taken and thrown in the mud.

Being told he can't play with friends seems to be the main bone of contention at the moment, for this school year he was separate from many of his close friends and when it's play time he is often told he can't join in, my heart just breaks for him as I was bullied in primary school and the damage is causes is irreparable.

Sometimes you look back on these events and shrug them off, my son has started to by saying that the so called friends were nice to him today so things are all ok, so what if tomorrow they decided to not be nice is that ok too? Schools still shrug of this behaviour as kids being kids but digging around the internet to see if I am just being an over cautious mum and I am getting more and more facts that this is definitely not behaviour that should be accepted.

I suppose I am just rambling but when your child comes home complaining of their hair being pulled or being pushed over would you just be happy to ignore it and tell them to ignore the children or would you tell them to fight back? As an adult is it acceptable to us if another adult was to behave in the manner in which some children do? I don't think it is.

This week in school I hope it is the beginning of the end, I am addressing the issues and how it affects our child and his behaviour, how he has changed from a bright, happy boy into an angry, frustrated child.

Wish me luck, I am off to vent my frustrations with the school next week and hopefully get the issues resolved.

Thursday, 2 March 2017

Moving up

So it's time to get a new car seat, our group 0 seat is now outgrown and much to my dislike my daughter is forward facing in my car.

We must get one for my husband's car and here lies the problem.  He has an audi a5 sportback and well it seems not all car seats are compatible thanks to the sloping rear seats.
I've had a look online and can see the Britax Max Fit and Britax Dualfix are compatible but hubby won't pay the price.

I can kind of understand where he is coming from as we didn't have erf (extended rear facing) with my son but I can't explain it, I just want her rear facing for longer. Z is pretty petite and when she falls asleep there's little to no support for her head in a forward facing.

The debate is continuing and I'm still trying to find alternatives so if anyone has the same car and can help recommend let me know!