An evolving Eve

I am cold and tired, it has been an exhausting week, hence 2 missed blog posts (£2 in the pot to Unicef). I can breathe a sigh of relief that within a week I have got a full-time job to cover off our financial issues (and consequential wobbly marriage moments), handed in my notice with my part-time employees (albeit reluctantly as it was such a good, but not lucrative, solution around children), contacted my referees, filled out a medical questionnaire, interviewed a childminder and nanny and agreed a start date with the childminder and organised increased hours at my son’s pre-school). Phew! I hadnt realised how stressful organising childcare can be as it is such an emotive choice because they are the most important people to you in the world. However I am very happy with our choice and hope it works out.

Now I have to get my career brain into gear again and my friend (who is an amazingly talented and driven entrepreneur) tweeted a really good blog link on how to be a more productive woman.

The trouble is half of the 7 steps, I am mentally and physically incapable of achieving (such as getting up immediately in the morning and reading as soon as you have woken – I am not even classed as human before 9am. In fact I only begin to ‘evolve’ once the school run is over and I have taken in some caffeine.

See if you can achieve any of the 7 steps (http://www.strangecharmed.com/productivity/7-habits-of-highly-productive-women/)

Good luck!

This blog is for Unicef.

Thanks for reading.

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Free the robots

It is 10pm and I have baby boy sat next to me chattering away about superheroes, monsters and dinosaurs. He has a cold that is particularly snotty and not conducive to lying horizontal so is far happier sitting upright on the sofa…moments ago he was snoring. 

I have spent most of this evening firing out messages to all available childminders and nannies in the area as I have been offered the job. So now the reality has hit home that both children will need to be cared for from 7.30 til 6, with school and pre school inbetween. I want to try and keep them together if possible hence the search for a local childminder. If they could also take the dogs out and run the Hoover round the house that would be great too, as I am not fancying spending my weekend as Mrs Mop. I’m not OCD but I can’t quite bring myself to leave the cleaning until the point where I need to ‘muck out’ the house.

Because it will fall to me, I am under no illusion that just because I will be working, my other half will pick up more of a share in housework. No, I am a woman therefore I must do EVERYTHING. 

Maybe by the time our children are our age there will be robots to help or women will be emancipated from all assumptions of domestic duties….no I think robots are more likely..

This blog is for UNICEF.

Thanks for reading.

Working for spare change

Oh the guilt! Just went for another job interview. Although I hope we get it because we need the money it will mean baby boy going into full-time childcare 8.30 til 5. He has been in a childcare setting of one form or another since he was 9 months old but I have always managed to keep it to no more than 3 days per week. My only saving grace, if I get the job, is that he is now 3 and a bit years old so able to enjoy more of the typical activities on offer at nurseries.

As I browse through potentials though, I start to recall excerpts from a childcare documentary and the grieving family whose daughter suffocated to death in a Wendy house at a nursery. So any websites showing pictures of Wendy houses, particularly those with an upstairs (because the little girl suffocated on the window-ledge/step of the upper storey) made me wobble. 

You cannot put a price on a setting where you know your child will have a good and safe experience while you are working. But when this cost eats significantly into your earnings you wonder why you do it in the first place.

Then there is the issue of the dogs, we can’t bear to part with them so that will be £200 per month so they get a decent walk everyday. 

With any luck I will have some spare change at the end of the month to pay for parking at work..

This blog is for UNICEF.

Thanks for reading. 

a good name for Sunday

The birds were twittering, the sun was kinda out, I was in a better mood thanks to some sleep. It was one of those days when you have no plans other than to do what the mood (and life in general) takes you. In this case it was tackling a flower bed I have long since wanted yo sort out, but in previous years not tackled because by the time I decide to do something the clay soil is rock hard and only a JCB would make anything mood.

So I set to with my shovel and trowel, ably assisted by my baby boy, while hubby and daughter tackled barnacles underneath our little boat ready for the 2015 ‘season’. 

After a few hours I had managed to re-locate the stubborn lilies to another bed and extract all the roots from the one I was doing up. The boat was gleaming too. Next door neighbour’s son then came in for a play on the ‘ship’, they put on their life jackets and pretended they were sailing on the high seas in front of our house (fuelled by chocolate marshmallows). 

‘Twas a good Sunday and we didn’t spend a penny. Just wish we had this weather all year round..

This blog is for UNICEF.

Thanks for reading.

Run girl run ….you’ll enjoy it

My daughter competed in her first cross country event today. I said to her I didn’t care where she came as long as she sprinted to the finish line. She was feeling down about her running abilities so I wanted to buoy her up with the belief that effort is more important than position – us Brits are good at that approach although it doesn’t help us win medals. I said there would be a heap of chocolate to reward the effort if she did it. I stuck to my promise and got her some Mars bars, she returned with a medal and a grin – 75th out of 140 and proudly wearing her school’s strip. The experience she got in participating was fantastic and she didn’t take her medal off until it was time to go to bed.

There are so many good things that result from participating in sports, from camaraderie to pushing through psychological and physical barriers, regardless of age, ability or fitness levels. 

The thing is, as a child, I don’t remember feeling this way in sports. I was always freezing cold defending a lonely goal on a hockey pitch, wearing very unattractive gym pants and sweaty airtex shirts. Or I was endlessly picking up balls from the tennis court instead of hitting them. But I tried……I’m still trying now.

This blog is for UNICEF.

Thanks for reading. 

It is our dog’s birthday on

Jane of all trades

Apologies for absence last night, another £1 in the pot to UNICEF. I was busy wrapping presents, my husband asked if It was Christmas. I was pleased I managed to wrap 22 presents, which will equate to £42 for the school. Our PTA decided we would make use of the leftover gifts from Christmas and re-gift them for Mothers Day. This meant being creative. For instance, a pair of ornamental cats with a box of chopsticks…earrings with a bar of soap….you get my drift. I’m hoping the Mums on the receiving end of these gifts will thank us not curse us. I did threaten to put the present my daughter got me in secret Santa back into the pot – a 3 foot ornamental lighthouse. But I wouldn’t get away with it, so it is still gracing my kitchen windowsill.

This morning I was desperately cobbling a 1915 costume together, with my daughter huffing and puffing that ‘it didn’t look right’. Finally satisfied we screeched outside the school gates at 9.05, thankfully no teacher raised their eyebrows as their life would not have been worth living. The school run is stressy as it is without trying to produce an outfit that the BBC period drama wardrobe department would have at least used in an extra. 

Then this evening I find myself printing and cutting out DIY trump cards featuring members of the British sailing team for my daughter’s homework. More huffing and puffing ensues over the accuracy of my cutting and glueing. 

I have definitely become a ‘Jane of all trades’ through motherhood. I might finally get the hang of it by retirement, by which time I will have forgotten it all and unable to pass on wisdom for the benefit of my grandchildren. I will just stand back, as my parents do now and observe the blur that is parenthood.

This blog is for UNICEF.

Thanks for reading.

Brownies unplugged

Last night I got hooked on Pinterest and ended up with table titis, a condition with increased sensitivity to light and being awake because of hours spent scaring at a blue screen. Hence the missed blog because I just needed to close them. I ‘binge pin’ on Pinterest. I don’t look at it for ages then when I do log in that’s it I’m hooked til lights out and pin a zillion items.

Today I am a proud parent because my daughter cooked us all a three course meal to work towards her Brownie ‘cook’ badge. We had two courses as the third was jelly and she hadn’t appreciated how long it would take to set so we have that to look forward to tomorrow (she had a small meltdown that the jelly wouldn’t be ready in time but she quickly recovered and got on with it). I didn’t help her except to point out the location of the ingredients and to hold the sieve while she poured out the contents as the pan was heavy. She did stuffed tomatoes for starters (I have never done this in my life so was bowled over by how she worked her way conscientiously through the recipe). For main she did the most delicious bolognaise sauces, taken from Davina McCall’s sugar free recipe book. I have never seen baby boy’s mouth open so wide as he shovelled in each mouthful and he got through sister’s very generous helping. 

I took pictures of her cooking each stage so that Brown Owl has all the evidence. I couldn’t believe how determined and focused my daughter was in working for this badge and all the great things she was doing on a Sunday to help her family. Brownies, Cubs, Guides, Scouts etc are definitely the antidote to all these screens we have in front of us, helping to ‘unplug’ children and get them doing.

This blog is for UNICEF, thanks for reading.