only time will tell….

I am a couple of evenings away from launching into a whole different pace of life. Returning to full-time work and relying on other people to look after my children before and after school and all the planning and logistics that entails.

Plus, I am going to ride a motorbike five days a week after a long period of absence from riding. 

With all this change (don’t get me wrong I normally thrive on change) I am wound up so tight I’m gonna do whatever tight things do when they have had enough.

I keep convincing myself this is a good move….our bank account will certainly be happier. But I can’t help feeling a sense of loss. 

But, if the Easter holidays are anything to go by where my role as a parent varied from fish wife to umpire, I will be going to work for a break.

Time will tell..

This blog is for UNICEF.

Thanks for reading. 

A wish for Aussie grandparents……and sun and sea

Today I was mostly cold and cursing my parents for having me in this country and then disappearing to sunnier climes in retirement (Australia), then they have the audacity to say how good it is down under and that we should go there…….with what money? 

Why didn’t they visit Australia BEFORE they had children, realise it was warmer and more pleasant outside, move, have children, then retire, go to the UK and say ‘thank God we moved, it was bloomin cold up there and the children all have runny noses’.

This is why I am eating more than normal (as per yesterday’s blog) because my body is still in hibernate mode and desires fat to keep warm. Ok it didn’t help today that I spent 2 hours on a boat, trying to stay still and not get caught up in all the lines hanging from the mast as my husband spent ages faffing…..what is it about boats and faffing? I reminded him of my proximity to the lines just before he did the big heave-ho as I was envisioning a scenario whereby he had not only strung the mast up but me as well. While there were 10 minutes of contemplation admiring the water and the scenery for the majority of the time my focus was keeping myself and the children dry and u frozen in anticipation of a drink and something to eat at the pub by the slipway.

By the time we got to the pub, I looked ridiculous in my winter wooly hat, sunglasses and galoshes but it made us do much more appreciative of a drink, a nibble, and a fire as we looked out at the sea – an appreciation that has lasted centuries.

This blog is for UNICEF.

Thanks for reading. 

It all began in a Pub…..well in Britain anyway

Feeling all charged up and empowered tonight after a good meeting with the village Mums in the pub to talk about the playground facilities and what we would like to see in the village. 

This is in response to the work of a rather lacklustre working group of committee members who are making plans to simply replace like for like on the playground – and us Mums want more! Have they consulted with us? NO. Will they need us to help raise funds for the new equipment? YES!

So we hopefully have the power to influence these less than qualified decision makers (one of the working group is in her 80s…it’s been a while since she sat on a swing).

Our local pub was the venue for the discussion and it got me thinking how many important meetings take place in a pub? In fact, how many important decisions have been made in pubs over the centuries? 

I would say more than the Houses of Parliament.

I say make the HOP a super club, the party capital of Europe and devolve power to publicans…..maybe then we would have, as Carlsberg would put it….’probably the best political system in the world…’

This blog is for UNICEF.

Thanks for reading.

Woman seeks cave

Earlier my Mum and I took my daughter and son shopping. I don’t know why my daughter behaved like a foul ungrateful teenager but the experience was hideous. Nothing was good enough. When she finally found some trainers she liked they weren’t in her size and no she didn’t want to wait for them to be ordered online. When we decided to leave her to browse down one aisle so we could keep baby boy entertained in another then went back to check on her she spat out her contempt that we were ‘checking on her’ and could we please ‘go away’ (although not sure if she said please). She moaned the entire time we looked at clothes for me,( back to work clothes ) and then moaned that she wanted to go home after my Mum had bought her dinner.

My Mum and I realise that we should have just given it up as a bad idea and left with nothing, giving daughter an important lesson in how not to behave. But we didn’t want to ruin her day, or ours for that matter.

Baby boy presented his own issues but only insofar as picking up random objects and putting them in the trolley – but that was his version of little boy entertainment in a supermarket so he did well. 

When my husband ‘had words’ with her later she said she was tired and that was why she was grumpy. Part of me accepts that but part of me doesn’t. It’s just those damned thing called hormones turning my daughter from Famous Five’s Anne to Roald Dahl’s Veruca Salt overnight.

My Mum then said on the way back that I had to make sure baby boy didn’t copy his sister when she was being rude. I replied by saying that parenting at times is too hard a job and that actually I would like to crawl into a cave.

But, in the absence of a cave nearby, I just settled with putting them both to bed, drinking tea and writing this blog post.  

This blog is for UNICEF, thanks for reading. 

Yes to lost minutes

Saying ‘yes’ is catching up with me. Sometimes, if you write something down in a list it helps you to see that actually there isn’t that much to sort out, so here goes…

– do parish council minutes, email all partners re web links, start post box listing application, start handover document, do tweet schedule before leave, supervise daughter’s first tutor session, get children used to childminder through booking in time with her, get the working party for playground off the ground (Scuse the pun), go to first meet with new team, do medical questionnaire, get road closure for school fair booked, contact parish council re: using green for said fair, find out how much was raised through textile recycling at school, get November dinner and dance bash booked, set-up childcare voucher scheme, put for sale signs in husbands truck (to sell-off as no longer needs it and we need more cash), get Sailing sessions booked in over Easter, sort out childminders sessions walking the dogs……I’m sure there was something else…oh yes, train for the swimathon.

Everyone has lists like these as long as their arms(s) so no wonder we are all running around like headless chickens with our heads either stuck in a computer or behind a steering wheel. While saying yes has opened up so many experiences and opportunities, there are times when just the experience of taking stock will suffice.

My baby boy said to me earlier, “Mummy why don’t you stand still”. I am always saying to him “just a minute” when those minutes are all I, and anyone else for that matter, has got..

This blog is for UNICEF.

Thanks for reading.

Thank you, no thank you

In many ways Mother’s Day was typical, a nice lunch, a walk, sightings of daffodils and lambs, a bit of indulgence.

We managed to hit two birds with one stone with my hubby cooking both myself and my Mum a roast dinner. It was scrummy and we asked if he could do it more often, he said he would definitely do it again at Christmas and the following Mother’s Day! We played a game of articulate, which was interesting – playing with OAPs and children is challenging.

We then exchanged presents and my daughter had given me lots of presents and lots of cards and was very particular about the order in which I opened them. I actually found it overwhelming and in many ways it was hard for me to accept all this attention. The reason being is that it is great being a Mum, even when you feel like screaming and it feels wrong to be thanked because it is like being thanked for indulging in an expensive lifestyle change that, for the most part, will give you eternal pleasure and amazing memories for years to come.

Mums and Dads who know their children enrich their lives, dont need thanking.

We are the lucky ones.

My Mum once said to me that Mother’s Day was more important than birthdays. I disagree.

But it is nice to cherish those moment when they present you with daffodils wrapped in foil, a handmade card, a painting – a moment in time when they stopped to think about Mum.

Read about the fascinating political, religious and cultural history of Mother’s Day on Wikipedia.

This blog is for Unicef.

Thanks for reading.

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.

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.