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!

Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Review of the Fisher Price Mummy Walk Along Stroller

With out daughter turning 1 in January many of her Christmas gifts were in preparation for what she would be doings a toddler. One of those things we knew would be walking very soon.
The Fisher-Price Mummy Stroll Along Musical Walker is one of the prettiest walkers I have seen and with most of our daughter's toys being handed down from our older son it is nice to give her something a little more girly.
I grew up with the brand Fisher-Price and even now I look forward to what toys are in the marketplace for my children to grow up with.
Recommended from the age of 9 months, our daughter first started showing an interest in using this when she was 12 months old and had developed walking around her playpen.
The walker comes in a small compact box and does take a while to assemble, this I passed over to my husband. 
The walker lights up and plays music when you insert the 2 x AA batteries in the rear of the stroller. The Princess Chime Doll is compatible with the stroller and is available separately.
I have done a quick video review to show the walker and to give you an idea of what it's like for baby to use.
Our daughter is now 13 months old and enjoys taking her little doll in and out of the pushchair as well as activating the lights and sounds by herself.

  • Size H40.5, W48.5, D14cm. 
  • Weight 2000g. 
  • Batteries required: 3 x AA (not included) plus . 
  • For ages 9 months and over. 

The walker is available from most major toy retailers and online retailers.

The Rain Run

It's official, I am renaming the 'School Run' the 'Rain Run' bang on 3pm and down comes the rain. 

Running a little later than usual, my usual parking spots were taken up and with the children on the yard playing I took the opportunity to go and watch my son playing with the recent complaints that he has been making, with this came parking on the main road, in the rain and to get to the pavement crossing over the grass verge which appeared to be dotted with dog poo - how lovely!

I pull up and think we (the baby and me) are just about to get away with a light shower when the heaven's open up and it pours down.
Great! The time it takes for me to open the boot and get out the pushchair, put the rain cover on, get the baby out of the car seat and fasten her in the pram I am drenched and still have to manage the walk to outside the classroom pushing the pram and carrying a large golf umbrella. Yes it is true women are great at multi tasking but patience for me is now running low after the car fails its MOT this morning and this was now the 2nd time I had got soaked through!

Now where's the rain!!!!!
Saturday, 25 February 2017


The past few weeks have been tough, I don't think I have had more than 2 nights of unbroken sleep in a month or so now!

I forgot how tough it is when you are tired and then when I have the chance to go to sleep I seem to be consumed with getting the housework done or trying to get ahead of myself which never works and I still end up chasing my tail trying to get things done last minute! Sound familiar?

As it stands we have been decorating the house since the Summer, big project which involved completely ripping out the left hand side of our home, levelling floors and installing a new kitchen as well as moving doorways etc, all this with a 8 month old baby and 6 year old was not ideal.

We are on the last stages now where we are just finishing the hall and landing, although I do need to rip up the hideous carpet from the bathroom, yes we have carpet in a bathroom and well it's just got to go.

Slimming World went to pot as I decided after one glass of prosecco that I wanted to crack open the chocolates we had since Christmas and at 3.5syns each I devoured far too many so it's time to be strict this week.

So back to the main part of my original post, teeth. I am pretty sure that the baby is cutting some more teeth, in fact I know she is as I have seen the 4th bottom tooth sparkling back at me, her gums however look as if they are producing the canines which at 13 months she seems to be bang on time. Anbesol normally does the trick for us but tonight I had to give the calpol as well as she really wasn't happy.

Let's hope she sleeps through tonight and the teeth arrive sooner rather than later.

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Baby Dry Pants - Perfect for little wrigglers!

Since my daughter began to crawl, changing nappies has become slightly.....difficult!

I love trying products and giving an honest, unbiased opinion so when I was asked by Pampers to try the Baby Dry Pants for my now 1 year old, I was thrilled.

With my son I was able to use many brands without problem, however with my daughter we have simply stuck to Pampers as they seem to suit her best and anyone with children will know that it's not a case on one size fits all it's a case of what works for you.

Already confident that we would get on well with the Pampers brand it was time to give the pants a whirl and when they landed on the doorstep last Friday we got down to business......well my daughter did.

Now if like me, you thought that these were just for potty training then you would be wrong, these are not, they are here to make life easier.

The pants simply pull on and the elasticated legs simply stretch to fit comfortably around baby's legs. So once you have the feet through it's pull up and let them go!
The waistband is also elasticated to fit comfortably and fit to your baby.
Removing the nappy is simple, the sides tear away so easy to deal with even the messiest nappy change and then the tab at the back comes away to roll up, secure and dispose of.

Well, honestly I couldn't think of any real disadvantages apart from the limitations on sizes. The pants start from size 3-6 but the extra absorbency found in the + sizes are not offered in this range, so I have to admit I only use them during the day and refer back to the original baby-dry nappies for a dry night.

So would I recommend? Yes of course, perfect when baby is on the move to get a nappy change done quickly without struggling to keep your little wriggler still.
Going forward I do think I will purchase some more and keep using them as I am sure as my daughter gets older she will only be much more of a wriggler.

So why not give them a try for yourself and let me know how you get on!

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Wonder Weeks

Ok I have the Wonder Week App and have looked at it from time to time in the first year of my daughter's birthday, however not so much towards the last few months but then with Z not going down in the evenings as she did the bedtime routine seems to have shot out the window along with my sanity!

Gone are the evenings where she had her dinner, bath, milk and bed, now the eldest child is overtaking her and is often asleep before she is!

Determined to get things back on track and for Mummy and Daddy to be able to have a conversation and possibly even some alone time, I have been trying to regain control over the night time routines for both children. Hubby was away last week so I started, beginners luck however as Monday night, both kids were tucked up and away before half 8! By 9pm I was enjoying a soak in a hot bath and catching up with friends, the next night did not go to plan at all and it was gone 10pm before both kids were asleep despite trying to repeat the previous nights events.

So back to Wonder Weeks, I decided to take a look and well it seems my daughter is in Leap 8 and has been for a while. Sometimes these leaps take you by surprise and you dread them and they seem to pass by relatively calmly, I, however, am lucky to have a group of mum friends and our babies are all relatively close in age and well, I was told to expect hell!

So yes, separation anxiety has occurred for us, for sure. Z cries if I hand her to my husband, leave the room or basically go to work. For me, I hate hearing her cry as she is such a placid little girl that she only ever cried when she was in pain, hungry or over tired. That seems to be passing now, maybe due to the fact that until yesterday the only time she was apart from me was for my 2 shifts in work!

Sleep however is another tale, as we near the end of this leap, I hope that I can regain control at bedtimes and the lapse bringing her into bed at 4am isn't going to have ruined me in the same way it did my son and I recall the nights lying on the floor in his bedroom! I CANNOT do that again!

I feel reassured that once Leap 8 passes things will be good but just when that leap is due to end I do not know!

Tonight it was just before 10pm that I managed to get Z down but I think we are onto a winner, normally she has cat naps for my husband and she's still going strong at this hour! Let's see if this teething baby manages to sleep through.

For more info on The Wonder Weeks check out the app or the website.

Wednesday, 4 January 2017

What a week - Hello 2017!

I have to say I seem to be failing epically with my blogging journey....whoops!

Anyway New Year, New plans so let's go!

After losing over a stone of my gained baby found me again! Bummer but onwards and upwards let's lose it for good. I decided not to do weight watcher but to give Slimming World a try. With a husband who is picky, a son who eats barely anything healthy and a daughter just beginning her food journey it's time to get it right.
I don't want to spend my life being on a diet, counting points and tracking. I want to make healthy choices and be healthy.
Seems like someone up there is smiling on me as I won a pass for 3 months at my old gym so despite having a bug (more about that in a bit) I plan on using it to get some extra exercise in.

So my daughter is about to turn 1! Where did that time go???

So where is she at? She has two 4 front teeth two to the top left and two to the bottom, she has another two poking on the top right and one coming though on the bottom but they are taking their time.
We have hair at last! Whoop I have a fair haired lady just like her big brother was. No walking yet and well, I am not in any rush for that to begin, I really enjoy her crawling as it was something that we missed out on when my son was younger.

So back to the bug....Christmas and New Year had been and gone and yes I overindulged slightly on NYE so the next day I just assumed I was feeling rough from the night before little did I know I was on the verge of having a horrific bug that would wipe me out for 24 hours!
As the only place I had been was the Supermarket I assume that was where I caught it and with my son having a reaction to antibiotics, me being sick was not ideal but hey the 2nd January was officially 'Sick' day in our home.
I spent the entire day in bed, much to the disappointment of my husband who had to look after both kids for the day, yes the entire day and night.
Thankfully after the rest I started to feel better but not myself so I am still trying to take it easy.
Then the absolute worst happened.....the husband caught it. Great. Now you know if you are ever ill, your partner has it twice as bad as you, so when I got the text....I rolled my eyes, I knew what was coming.

Thankfully my son is better and managed to go back to school today, after much complaining as he doesn't like it and numerous other reasons, I have my suspicions that he just wanted to be at home as he can do as he pleases, hence by the time I collect him the overly cocky 6 year old had returned along with his temper when he was asked to go to bed. Marvellous.

So as we hit the first week in January we haven't had the best start but hey, there are still another 51 weeks to go, so as planning for Little Miss's 1st birthday has to start to take shape, my weightloss starts to get attacked it's time to take 2017 and own it!