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Tag: Family

Reinforcing the Bedtime Routine with the Baby Born Bath Wash Basin

Reinforcing the Bedtime Routine with the Baby Born Bath Wash Basin

*We were gifted Baby Born products for the purpose of this post. As always, all thoughts and opinions are our own. 

 

Every parent knows how important it is to get their kids into a good bedtime routine. When you’ve had a busy day, getting the offspring settled down and ready for bed easily is essential. A bedtime that doesn’t go to plan is stressful for everyone involved and will probably mean the quality of sleep everyone’s about to get will be poor. So this week, we’ve teamed up with Baby Born, to help teach our littles the importance of a good bedtime routine.

To help reinforce a good bedtime routine in our home, Baby Born sent over their Bath Wash Basin. It’s a lovely product that comes with a basin and tap that pumps real water, a rubber duck, toothbrush, cup and light up mirror. The mirror also plays fun sound effects. The basin has allowed our girls to ‘teach‘ their Baby Born dolls how they get themselves ready for bed. It makes the bedtime routine fun and it takes the kids minds off of the fact that it’s nearing the end of the day!

Our bedtime routine –

Our girls know when it’s time to begin getting ready for bed, as we head off upstairs for a bath. They get their teeth brushed whilst we’re up there too and since they got their basin, that’s their favourite thing to do with their dolls. The mini tooth-brush and mug are great for their imaginations. You can hear them telling their dolls just how important it to keep their teeth nice and clean!

They both love that the sink has real running water too. Their faces lit up when they realised they could actually wash their dolls, just like they do before bed. All of this is accompanied by the brushing and washing sound effects and the fabulous light up vanity mirror. The littlest is a huge fan of the lights and does a little jig to the Baby Born music!

Baby Born leading the way –

I think that this product is a great way to get the littles to understand their bedtime routine better. Allowing them to look after and go through their own bedtime routine with their dolls, helps to reinforce the positive aspects of a healthy regime and a good nights rest. When the girls’ get their pyjamas on after getting themselves clean and ready, so does their little doll. There’s no better way to get the kids so involved in creating the ideal bedtime routine!

 

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Carrot Productions Presents Wallace and Gromit’s Musical Marvels

Carrot Productions Presents Wallace and Gromit’s Musical Marvels

*We have been gifted a family ticket for Wallace and Gromit’s Musical Marvels for the purpose of this post. As always, all thoughts and opinions are our own.

 

Late last year we were lucky enough to be invited to The Snowman Tour with live orchestra from Carrot Productions. It’s a show to remember and one that will kick-start out festive season for years to come. That’s why we were very excited to hear that Carrot Productions are teaming up with Aardman Animations, to present Wallace and Gromit’s Musical Marvels!

(c) and TM Aardman/W&G Ltd. All rights reserved.

Tell Me More!

Carrot productions will start their 38 day tour this Spring, at some spectacular venues including; London Barbican Hall, Blackpool Pleasure Beach and Liverpool Arena Auditorium among so many more. Wallace and Gromit’s Musical Marvels is an interactive experience with live orchestral accompaniment. Having witnessed the live orchestra during The Snowman performances we’ve seen, I can vouch for how this creates such an incredible and memorable show. The orchestra is made up from some amazing talent, including members of the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra!

(c) and TM Aardman/W&G Ltd. All rights reserved.

Wallace and Gromit’s Musical Marvels is made up from specially created animations, that see Wallace and his sidekick Gromit get up to their usual comical shenanigans! The show will also feature a screening of The Wrong Trousers, also accompanied by live orchestra.

(c) and TM Aardman/W&G Ltd. All rights reserved.

We’re very excited to be heading to Sheffield to see Wallace and Gromit’s Musical Marvels. It’s set to be a fun afternoon for all of the family, I know we’ll be holding our sides with all of the giggling throughout the show. We can’t wait!

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The Pressures of Being a Blogger

The Pressures of Being a Blogger

For some reason, some people believe that being a blogger is a walk in the park. Often all they see is what we get; the days out, the ‘free’ stuff, easy money made from messing around on social media. If I’m being honest I get why people think this, it does appear to be an easy choice for those that want to make a few quid. I hate to disappoint those with such an opinion though, I’m afraid it’s much harder work that us bloggers are letting on!

What people don’t see is the stressful side of the job. They don’t see all of the hard work that goes into maintaining a blog, the technical side that sees one task take literally days to complete. They don’t see the day-to-day mundane side of blogging. The things we have to do each and every day, that’s right no days off, just to maintain a presence and keep things ticking over. They also don’t realise how hard it is to maintain multiple social channels. Suddenly the fun side of social media becomes a chore as we try to make our mark on the influencer world. If it was as easy as clicking publish, we’d all be millionaires.

The harsh reality of becoming a blogger –

In actual fact, blogging is not all sunshine and roses. It can be incredible stressful at times and can leave us full-timers wondering why we bothered starting up this ‘blogging thing‘ in the first place. Yes there are perks to the job, but as with every other job that has benefits, they have to be worked hard for. I know I’m not alone when I say I worked on my blog solidly for an entire year before I made a dime from it. Blogging is a labour of love and it’s not to be taken lightly. Doesn’t seem so glamorous now, hey?!

This summer I stepped away from my blog for a few weeks. I felt like I wanted to take stock and reevaluate my direction. As it turns out, I was just a little burnt out, all I needed was time away from the screen to get my spark back. You see, because blogging is such an all-consuming job we don’t get to take holidays where we can just switch off. You can guarantee that I lost money in those few weeks and as a blogger that was a conscious decision I had to make. Take time out for myself and my family and make less money, or carry on full speed ahead missing out on quality time with my girls but make a packet. Not an easy decision, but I’m confident I made the right one. Just another on of the pressures of being a blogger.

 

To highlight just how stressful this line of work can be, I got in touch with some of my fellow bloggers to find out what they find most difficult about the job;

Victoria from Lylia Rose: ‘The never ending amount of work to do and playing every role – copywriter, accountant, photographer, receptionist, website designer, applying for jobs daily, etc. It can be overwhelming sometimes and I feel like I need to clone myself!’

Mandi from Big Family Organised Chaos: ‘Uncertainty! Will you get enough paid work in this month to cover the bills, will the payments you are due be paid on time, will you end up doing a full working week with no money to show for it, and why are you still working at midnight because you HAVE to get that post written before the deadline but the children have needed you for everything all day!’

Nicola from Mummy to Dex: ‘Personally, I find it stressful when I have to negotiate fees. I always worry I’ve put people off with what I charge. I guess I suffer from imposter syndrome and doubt my capabilities as a blogger.’

Nickie from Typecast: ‘Comparing yourself with other bloggers. Seeing other bloggers work on a campaign you thought you pitched well for but didn’t get. Finding enough hours in the day to hit deadline.’

Emma from The Mini Mes and Me: ‘When clients don’t pay on time and you have to chase and chase and chase them for money owed. I think sometimes they forget that blogging is often the main income for many.’

Lisa from That British Betty: ‘I get frustrated that I can’t spend as much time as I’d like to on my blog – I KNOW I could make it a success if I had more time. I work 45 hours a week in PR so often come home tired and don’t feel like doing even more writing! I also miss out on cool brand events as I can’t drop everything and attend an event at 2pm on a Tuesday.’

Michaela from Adventures of a Yorkshire Mum: ‘When people assume that everything is an ad. People commenting on Instagram ‘aren’t you supposed to #ad this’ annoys me as, if it was an ad, I would mention it. And I don’t want to have to write ‘this is not an ad’ on every post I do! ‘

Natalie from Plutonium Sox: ‘The thing that annoys me the most is that people assume because I’m at home I’m not working. I had a deadline to meet for a post this morning, so had to get it written yesterday. Youngest is still on half days at school this week so I literally had a couple of hours in the morning and a couple of hours in the evening. So instead of being able to get my head down and work, I helped my dad with some land registry searches in the morning and helped my husband with building a bed in the evening. When we move I’m putting a home office at the far end of the garden and a ‘sod off’ sign on the front door.’

 

Thankyou to all who made this post possible!

 

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Five Reasons Why my Marriage is (Currently) Working so Well

Five Reasons Why my Marriage is (Currently) Working so Well

Recently we attended a friend’s wedding. The venue was an old barn purposely converted for these kinds of events. It was picturesque and its rooms were filled with loved up couples, all fighting to hold back tears of joy. There’s nothing more romantic than a wedding celebration. Even for the stone hearted among us, it’s hard not to soften even just a little.

As we sat down to the wedding breakfast, the father of the bride stood up to give his speech. The poor guy was finding it so hard to hold it together in front of his radiant daughter, but he managed to part with some good advice for a long and happy marriage. My better half and I have been married for a while now and so I couldn’t help but think about the advice I could give about staying happy in marriage. After some thought, I decided that the recipe for the perfect marriage is difficult to concoct.

What I do know, is that being married is a lot of hard work. It involves a lot of give and take, as well as being incredibly frustrating on occasion. There’s all the good stuff too; having someone to come home to every night, sharing your thoughts, worries, hopes and dreams with someone you love is never to be taken for granted. As much as I can’t give you the recipe for a perfect marriage, I can tell you how we’re currently nailing being wed:

I stay at home to look after the house and the kids –

I imagine this statement will resemble the equivalent of a red rag to a bull for some of you, but one of the reasons our marriage works so well is because I’m always here. Ever since having our first child, I’ve been at home. Granted I’ve managed to carve a career out of writing, but initially it was intended that my role should be ‘stay at home mum‘. This wasn’t forced upon me, it was a mutual decision and it works.

My husband has a very successful career. He works hard and he continues to climb the ladder. All of which would be made much more difficult if I decided that I was going to go back to work full-time, outside of the home. There would have to be a lot more give from his side and that could really affect his progression. That’s something neither of us want to happen. I might be a housewife 70% of the time but I’d rather that, than have my actions impact seriously on the goals of the person I love.

We’ve learnt to communicate adult to adult –

I want you to be aware that no couple is ever perfect, we all have our moments. What my husband and I have learnt over the past few years though, is that to make sure our marriage stays on an even keel we need to make sure we are communicating adult to adult. We don’t play games, we don’t purposely wind each other up out of the realms of jest and we work hard not to raise our voices. Turning disagreements into a rational discussion saves wasting a lot of time and energy.

We’re a team before all else –

Since having children especially, we’ve become a solid family unit. We are a team and we make important decisions together, before any outside factors are considered. Have you ever heard the saying ‘teamwork makes the dream work‘? It’s cheesy, but it’s one of my favourites! We bring up our family together, we graft together and we take time out together. Et voila, teamwork at its best!

We’ve learnt to accept each other’s bad habits and how to let the niggles slide –

We all have bad habits, yes even you. I for example, am a chronic over-thinker and I’m hard work because of it. My husband is a perfectionist and he’s hard work because of it. There have been times in the past where we have completely and utterly clashed as we can be so different, but frankly behaving that way has never gotten us anywhere. Accepting bad habits really is essential for a happy marriage, niggles will always be there – you’ve just got to let them go.

We do go to bed on arguments –

How many times have you been to a wedding and the best man advises never to go to bed on an argument? I’m pretty sure I’ve heard this bandied around at every wedding we’ve been to. Well, I completely disagree! How many times have you woken up after having a total barney the night before and thought, what the hell was the point in that anyway? So often things seem brighter in the morning, which is why I think putting disagreements to one side and getting some kip is a far healthier approach to marriage.

I don’t think it’s possible for anyone to have a marriage that’s perfect, as we get older and wiser though I can’t help but think there are certain ways to go about making life as simple as possible. I can only recommend that you compromise, reassess how you communicate, work together, accept bad habits and don’t waste time on pointless arguments. Maybe I do have a good recipe for marriage after all?

 

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A Day Out with Kiddylicious – LEGOLAND Windsor

A Day Out with Kiddylicious – LEGOLAND Windsor

*We were provided with two Kiddylicious snack boxes and entry to LEGOLAND Windsor Resort for the purpose of this post. As always, all thoughts and opinions are our own.

 

Ever since our girls were born, Kiddylicious meals and snacks have been a staple in our house. They make tasty, healthy and nutritious snacks that both of our kids still absolutely love. So when we were invited to LEGOLAND Windsor Resort for a day out with Kiddylicious, I knew they’d have an absolute blast with lots of yummy foods to keep fuelled up along the way!

 

 

I’ve heard such good reports about LEGOLAND, but until this trip we’d never had the chance to visit. Our girls have been into LEGO for some time now, so they knew straight away what the park is centred around. One of the attractions we were most looking forward to, was the digital LEGO Reef that’s been added new to the park for the 2018 season. It’s a floor to ceiling interactive reef, that allows the kids to create their own personalised virtual fish, which they can they see projected onto the big screen! Not only that, there are ‘feed me‘ buttons dotted around so they can feed their pet fish too! We were also looking forward to visiting Miniland, as there are new landmarks to see including; the USA, India, Russia, Australia and China.

 

 

Getting to LEGOLAND Windsor –

As we are Midlands based, LEGOLAND is a couple of hours drive away from us. Our girls usually travel quite well and thanks to Kiddylicious, they had a bowl of Little Bistro Oaty Porridge before we set of to keep them going on the journey. The porridge went down a storm! It’s full of flavour and really filling, as well as being suitable for children with or without a dairy allergy. Once they’d eaten up, they were mega excited to jump in the car and get going!

 

 

En route to LEGOLAND, I decided to download the official park app as I’d heard such great things about it. I like to plan our days out so that we can make the most of them and the LEGOLAND app is ideal to help you find your way around the park. It has a resort map as well as ride information and live queue times, so you know what rides are suitable for the kids to go on. The queue times were really accurate and super helpful when we planned where we were going next. We found it useful to join the longer lines when the kids were getting ready for a snack. That way they didn’t realise they were waiting, as they were so occupied with what Kiddylicious had sent them to munch on. Their favourite queue snacks were by far the Coconut Rolls, they’re dairy, gluten and nut free. They’re portion controlled and an easy ‘grab’ snack!

 

 

Picnic time –

LEGOLAND has many designated picnic areas where you can take time to rest and enjoy your lunch. As we went on one of the hottest days of the year, we found a nice shady spot and the girls delved into their Kiddylicious lunch boxes! They really enjoyed the Cheesy Stars and hubs and I were impressed when we read that 6 pence from every pack sold is donated to Make-A-Wish-UK. A charity that supports children and young people living with life threatening conditions. They were taken with the Biscotti too, in fact we’ve had to stock up on these since we arrived home!

 

 

After we’d enjoyed out picnic, the girls decided they wanted to go on the Fairy Tale Brook ride. They were completely in awe as the boats took us om a journey around all of their favourite fairy tale scenes. Fairy Tale Brook was a huge hit and I would highly recommend it if you have smaller children in tow!

 

 

Home time –

After a very tiring but very enjoyable day, it was time to head back to the car and drive home. As you can imagine, both girls were asleep withing 5 minutes of leaving the park, all of that fun had completed worn them out! Hubs and I were super tired too, so we were glad that Kiddylicious had sent some of their Little Bistro meals for the kids to have for their dinner. They really enjoyed them and it meant we didn’t have to start cooking when we got back. The Little Bistro meals are handy to have in the house for days like this. They’re microwave friendly, they have no added salt or sugar and they’re a great source of protein. They make super quick, guilt free meals!

 

 

We had such a great day out at LEGOLAND Windsor, thanks to Kiddylicous. There really is something for everyone to enjoy and it’s definitely somewhere we’ll be going back to in the future. We’ll remember to take out Kiddylicious snacks along too, they made the whole day so much easier with two toddlers in tow!

 

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Family Law – Knowing Where you Stand

Family Law – Knowing Where you Stand

*This post was written in collaboration with DPP Solicitors. 

 

Having a family is by far one of the most amazing things you will ever do. Building a life with another person is exciting and fun. There are so many good times to be had and they do have to be enjoyed. Sometimes though, family life doesn’t always turn out quite how we’d imagined. Sometimes, often of no fault of our own, things can take a turn for the worse. That’s when it’s good to be familiar with family law, so that you know where you stand during difficult times.

DPP solicitors – Criminal Defence have over 30 years experience in dealing with family law, so I’ve teamed up with these guys to help you understand why it’s so important to familiarise yourself with family law. To make sure you know where to turn to when times get tough and to make sure you understand that there is always someone there to help you, with professional advice, at the most difficult of times.

When seeking professional advice can be helpful –

Even if you are the most loved up of couples, sometimes things just don’t work out. As much as you think that you can work things out in the most adult of ways, it’s always a good idea to take legal advice regarding your situation. The thing is, it’s always possible for things to turn sour during a separation. It’s human nature to get caught up in the mixture of emotions that come with a break up and this can cloud your vision when it comes to making important decisions about your future.

Maybe you’re part of a cohabiting couple on the verge of a break up, or maybe you’re thinking about getting a divorce. Whatever your situation, don’t make any drastic decisions without seeking a little counsel first. Even if things to end up going smoothly, at least you knew where you stood from the outset. The point is, that you need to be in the driving seat when it comes to the rest of your life. So making lucid decisions from the word go, with the help of a professional can only aid you in starting your next chapter positively.

Children matter –

Often disagreements within families, centre around the well being of the children. It’s common for separating parents to have opposing ideas when it comes to what is best for their children. If you find yourself in this scenario, then seeking professional advice and finding out where you stand is essential. Seeking counsel will help you to come to an effective solution for all of the people involved.

It’s good to know where you stand if you’re going through the adoption or surrogacy process too. These situations can be very complicated and difficult to navigate through alone. Seeking help from those in the know, those who are experts in dealing with adoption agencies and social services, will stop you from entering into this situation on the back foot. Forewarned is always forearmed and knowing where you stand, to get the best for your children is paramount in giving them the best life you possibly can.

 

 

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#MumisBest Guest Post – Vicky from The Mummy Bubble Blog

#MumisBest Guest Post – Vicky from The Mummy Bubble Blog

Welcome to another instalment of my new guest series #MumisBest!  #MumisBest is all about the ever-growing SAHM/working mum debate.  I really want this series to highlight that there’s no right or wrong way, but whatever works for you and you family.  If you’d like to take part do get in touch, I’d love to hear from you!  For now, I will leave you in the hands of Vicky from The Mummy Bubble Blog!

When hubby and I were first discussing if it was the right time to start a family one of my biggest worries was a work-life balance.

When I’m not dashing around as the cook, cleaner, drink-pourer, bum-wiper and all-round dogsbody for my kids, I work as a journalist for a tabloid newspaper.

I work from home, but my job can be extremely demanding, involves a lot of driving and drops extra hours in my lap at short notice.

I’ve also been asked to travel abroad at the last minute to cover a story with no guarantee of when I will be back home. I’ve known colleagues who have been stuck abroad for weeks on a job, it’s just the nature of what we do.

And don’t get me wrong, it is a very exciting career, but my big worry was when you bring kids into the mix, how can I possibly do both?

I want to work. It’s a valuable break, it makes me feel good to do a job I can take pride in and, let’s face it, one income doesn’t cut it these days.

However I also do not want to be a mum who isn’t there for bedtime. I don’t want long chunks of time away from my children where I don’t see them for more than a week.

A couple of nights away from my kids every now and then is the maximum I’m prepared to do when they’re this young, that’s just how I feel about that.

Every mum is different I know and some are happy to concentrate solely on work in the week and then find time for their kids at the weekend.

We all have to find our own way, but this really wasn’t for me. How could I have the best of both worlds?

In the end we decided that we couldn’t let this worry influence when we start a family. You can get too bogged down in perfect situations for when you should have your first baby.

There is no right time.

So I got pregnant, suffered terrible morning sickness which disrupted my work days hugely, and finally had our first child.

As my year of maternity leave went on, we discussed what we would do next.

There were a few factors in play here. We couldn’t afford for me not to work, we wanted a second child and soon, and how would things like the nursery run work?

I was very lucky to have supportive managers who were willing to discuss my concerns and offer me the chance to return to work full-time with hours that would work for me.

My daughter was put into nursery four days a week and spent one day with my mum. My hours were adjusted so I could always pick my daughter up from nursery on time.

This meant never missing a bedtime.

But after all that,  just two days before I was due to return to work I found out I was pregnant again.

When we started trying for our second baby I had no idea it would happen so quickly, but there you go!

I now faced a huge amount of guilt as I went back to work with improved hours, knowing that soon I would be buggering off again.

When I did come to tell my manager, he was nothing but supportive. Phew.

I went back to work for just seven months. In that time we got in a good routine that I felt really happy with.

I dropped my daughter off in the morning, then went home to work and before I knew it, it was time to pick her up again. What really helped was that she loved going to nursery.

And now I’m back in that return to work situation once again.

Except this time the nursery bill will be doubled. To put both kids in to nursery four days a week would cost more than my monthly take home pay.

So, why work? Because I want to. But I also want to be a mum. Can I achieve the holy grail of “having it all”.

The answer is no, I don’t think we can have it all. You can’t be a full-time mum and have a full-time career. But we can find a balance.

My balance is my children will be with my mum one day a week and I will work Sundays in exchange for taking Fridays off to be with the kids.

This means both are in nursery for three days. It’s still going to cost more than a monthly mortgage payment to send them but it’s more manageable.

Also my eldest will get some free childcare hours from April next year and this will help.

I return to work in January, so that’s when we will find out if I have managed to get the balance right.

So after rambling through my story, I thought I would share some tips with you from what I’ve learned over the last three years of trying to find a good work-life balance:

Talk about it with your other half. Having a discussion and deciding what the ideal solution for both of you would be is a good start. Then you can go into the practicalities of how it would work.

Do the math. How much as your bills and how much would childcare cost? Can you afford it with your salary? Would it be more affordable if you worked just three days a week? Can a relative help out one day a week so you can save a bit of money?

Be honest with your boss. If you can be upfront with your manager from the start about what your concerns are then you can hopefully meet in the middle. Most good employers will offer flexible hours as an option. Remember just because you’ve had a child doesn’t mean you’re not a valuable asset. If anything you’re more of an asset now as you can juggle like a total boss after having kids.

Let go of the guilt. Just because you have a job you love, doesn’t mean you can’t have a life outside of that. Having a child is no reason to feel guilty.

 

 

Bio:

I’m Vicky, a mum of two gorgeous girls – aged two and eight months. I live in the South East with my hubby. I love food, travel, a good walk, a decent movie and a compelling TV show to get hooked on. I’m on maternity leave at the moment but work as a journalist when not chasing around after little people.

I blog about all aspects of parenting young children – it’s  what I do all day every day after all. I like to write about the funnier side of having kids, because you’ve got to laugh sometimes! I’ve also been known to get a bit soppy about my kids. I love to share my parenting SOS tips, highlight my favourite child and baby products, and big up fun and fabulous places to visit with the family. News is a big part of my life so I’m also bringing you the latest news for parents with young children.

You can see more from Vicky here:
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#MumisBest Guest Post – Jess from The Prosecco Mum

#MumisBest Guest Post – Jess from The Prosecco Mum

Welcome to another instalment of my new guest series #MumisBest!  #MumisBest is all about the ever-growing SAHM/working mum debate.  I really want this series to highlight that there’s no right or wrong way, but whatever works for you and you family.  If you’d like to take part do get in touch, I’d love to hear from you!  For now, I will leave you in the hands of Jess from The Prosecco Mum!

The subject of this blog came at a time when I’ve been starting to realise how quickly my maternity leave is going and just how soon I’m going to be back at my desk working, whilst my littlest cub enters the big bad world of nursery and big cub starts a new term in kindergarten before embarking on her big school adventures!

As my bio suggests, I’m not what I’d call a maternal mum. I’m definitely not all Cath Kidston floral and home baking. If truth be told, quite often my kids drive me insane. Though that’s not to say I don’t love them an insane amount, I do. I just also like to keep a balance of ‘Jess and Mummy’ – personally, I could never be a stay at home mum (SAHM). I enjoy work, so with both children I have chosen to return to work when they were 6.5 months old.

That doesn’t mean that it’s easy juggling work and a baby…and I write this having only ever worked whilst having one child – October could be interesting when there’s two of them to get dressed, fed and out the door. That’ll be a whole other blog in itself I’m sure!

Pre-babies I went to work full time, I worked hard and then when I finished what I had to do I went home and chilled…sometimes that was on time, sometimes it was a couple of hours past ‘home time’. Hell, sometimes we just spontaneously went out for dinner when I came in too.

I often overindulged at the weekend, rolled in to work with a hangover on Monday, took every second of my lunch break and had frequent visits to the toilets perusing Instagram (on a friends recommendation.. never Facebook or Whatsapp, that’s too visible).

Anyway, that was then. Life BK (before kids).

Now, I work part time but continue to try to fit five days worth of work into three. I don’t roll in with hangovers, I barely take a lunch break and I don’t even have time for a poo. [If I could just get over the pooing at work phobia]. But these days there’s the mind battle of whether to work four days instead of three, a person who still wants a career as opposed to a ‘swan in, swan out’ part timer.

Every day is a balancing act.

But then, there’s the other side. The guilt of being, quite frankly, a shit mother. I don’t always take my daughter to nursery in the morning and sometimes I don’t even pick her up either, daddy will do it. I just can’t seem to get up and leave my desk at 5pm, so I get home just as she’s going to bed then sit racked with guilt that I’ve missed out on that precious hour with her before she hits the sack and I see her for thirty minutes the next morning before I go again.

But I’ve never been a maternal, earth mother, stay at home mum type. Quite frankly, one child at home all day everyday would drive me crazy, two of them would most certainly drive me to the bottle! Not only that but I’d spend far too much money on trying to entertain them and myself – SMP is dire and I’ve never really been one to stick within a budget so I’m often going cap in hand to my husband for a ‘top up’. I also fear if I became a SAHM then the hubster may expect that I’m going to run a tight ship with cleaning schedules, lunches and dinners planned and prepped and become an overall domestic goddess. That’s enough to get me back into the daily grind. Feather dusters really aren’t my thing.

Being a part time working mum is the perfect balance for me – and the children. I get to fire my brain up from 9-5 three days a week, have adult conversation, not have to listen to Billy & Bam Bam, Shimmer and Shine or Ryder to the rescue, Sir, earn my own money and drink hot tea. Meanwhile, the kids get to spend their days with their friends whilst being constantly entertained with painting, dancing, teddy bears picnics and trips to the woods instead of being dragged to do chores with me – food shopping and visiting the bank/post office isn’t high on their ‘must do’ list.

So what’s the best bit of my working day? Getting to relieve my job share (nursery/grandparents dependent on day) and do my other ‘job’ from 5pm-9am, so for me I really have the best of both worlds.

 

You can see more from Jess here:

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#MumisBest Guest Post – Louise from Lou-Ekai!

#MumisBest Guest Post – Louise from Lou-Ekai!

Welcome to another instalment of my new guest series #MumisBest!  #MumisBest is all about the ever-growing SAHM/working mum debate.  I really want this series to highlight that there’s no right or wrong way, but whatever works for you and you family.  If you’d like to take part do get in touch, I’d love to hear from you!  For now I will leave you in the hands of Louise from Lou-Ekai!

 

Motherhood can be challenging! Everyone tells you this but I suppose you don’t actually realise until you have your bundle of joy.

It’s challenging in a number of ways, emotionally it’s challenging because no matter how confident you are with parenting your child, there’s always that voice of doubt in your mind, questioning “am I doing the right thing?” It’s physically draining and also mentally when you haven’t had a full nights sleep.

I didn’t realise how challenging it would be, and becoming a single mother while I was pregnant, I didn’t realise that it would be much harder than I anticipated. Although I embrace being a single mum, I have so much anxiety and questions I wish I could ask someone, but nobody has the answers. This is our journey as mother and child and I hope to give him the best child hood I can provide.

Now the lovely summer weather is out I like to get out and about with my son. We either go to the park some point in the day, or we go to a stay and play group.

I’ve been looking into swimming lessons recently, and art and craft groups specially for under 5s. I think he’d like that. I think what’s important is that he gets a lot of stimulation and experiences, he loves messy play, older children (it fascinates him that they can ride bikes, can run so fast and can do things such as jumping or skipping) and he loves different environments, so I try to do different things every week if I’m feeling up to it and if he’s well within himself.

I’m a 20 year old single mum who isn’t currently working, but I go to study at university this year October which I’m nervous about because it will be the first time I am leaving my son.

Even though he is staying with family, when he’s 2 I would like to put him in nursery one day a week just so he has social stimulation and endless play. I’ve been trying to look for a Play-based nursery but can’t seem to find any in my area.

Every day seems like it’s on repeat. I wake up, do breakfast, get him and myself dressed and then we end up going out doing activities or sometimes we stay in. By the end of the day my carpets are obliterated, there’s food smashed everywhere, toys in every room and I need to clean up every inch of my home ready for it to be destroyed again tomorrow.

Because I breastfeed and didn’t introduce a bottle for expressed milk, on the night he doesn’t sleep unless I’m feeding him. He won’t settle when my mum has had him in the past so I rarely get a break. If it’s one of my friends birthday or an event, I have to plan in advance and whenever he wakes up, I have to come home because he just does not settle without my breast milk.

He’s currently 17 months coming up to 18 months, and my plans for breastfeeding is to continue until he self-weans himself which he is showing signs of. He doesn’t want the milk during the day if he’s very active, it’s just the night where he’s dependent on it. I went on a breastfeeding course and learned a lot about self-weaning. They normally do this above 18months although there’s stories of babies self-weaning before that.

Even though motherhood is challenging on every aspect, and your life changes for this beautiful human being, it’s worth it. We can’t deny as mothers that some days are harder than others, but speaking to other mums and realising that’s completely normal to feel that way, is a huge weight off your shoulders.

We are only human, and we must realise to not be so hard on ourselves. All we can do is try our best!

 

You can find out more from Laura here:

Twitter – https://mobile.twitter.com/Louekai/

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/louekai/

Pinterest – https://www.pinterest.co.uk/louekaixo/

And check out my blog – https://louekaixo.wordpress.com

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#MumisBest Guest Post – Lisa from What 2 Buy for Kids

#MumisBest Guest Post – Lisa from What 2 Buy for Kids

Welcome to another instalment of my new guest series #MumisBest!  #MumisBest is all about the ever-growing SAHM/working mum debate.  I really want this series to highlight that there’s no right or wrong way, but whatever works for you and you family.  If you’d like to take part do get in touch, I’d love to hear from you!  For now I will leave you in the hands of Lisa from What 2 Buy 4 Kids!

 

Juggling home and work life can be a challenge, but I love what I do and it’s all worthwhile! I work in the office Monday to Friday and try to do on average 35 hours a week. If I need to, I do work at home in the evenings, but I try to keep Saturdays and Sundays free for doing family things.

When the kids were younger, I was a SAHM, and I loved every minute. We had so much fun, enjoying activities, such as baking, gardening, arts and crafts, and imaginative play was a huge part of our lives! We also would meet up with other mums and children for playdates, trips to the park and activities such as Jo Jingles and Tumble Tots. But once my kids were school age, I needed to fill in the gap and extra time that had now been created. I wanted to do something that I was passionate about, but also do something that would allow me to work from home. Before I had my kids, I was a primary school teacher, so I wanted to use my knowledge and expertise as a teacher (as well as a mum).  I put my thinking cap on, and came up with the idea of setting up a website selling fun and educational toys and gifts for kids.

So, 7 years ago what2buy4kids was born. I started the business from my dining room at home. In the beginning I worked pretty much all the time, working when the children were at school and when they went to bed at night. It was handy working from home, though, as I didn’t need to rely on childcare. I could still drop the kids off at school and pick them up. The school holidays were more of a struggle and I had to rely heavily on children’s holiday camps, activity clubs and overnight stays at grandparents and friends’ houses were a godsend. I would try to have either a morning or afternoon off work now and again, so we could go to the cinema or the local park for example. Days out to the local farm, Chester Zoo etc…  had to wait for the weekends. Weekends became very special, where we spent real quality family time together.

Last year, my business had grown so much that I had no alternative, but to find larger premises with offices and a warehouse attached. Fortunately, for me, this came at the right time, as my kids were now old enough to look after themselves. I still do work lots of hours, but I do try to have Saturdays and Sundays off. Easier said than done, especially in the run up to Christmas!!!

The hardest thing about being a working mum is finding the right balance between work and home life. I sometimes feel guilty when I can’t drop and pick up from school, when I miss a school sports day, Christmas play or end of term concert, but I always make sure that someone goes in my place. I do my best to balance work and home life and that’s why I’m not always in the office. As I’ve already mentioned, my weekends are very precious, and we always try to do fun and exciting things on my days off.

Everyone’s situation is unique and different, and there’s no right or wrong answer, as to whether you should be a SAHM or working mum. My advice is to do what feels right for you, but if you are considering working, my top tip for working mums is to do something you enjoy and are passionate about – then it really won’t ever seem like you are actually working!!!

Bio:

Hi – I’m Lisa, wife to Jeremy and mum to 3 kids. Chris is my eldest, Emma came along two years later and Katie is the baby of the family. I live in a small village, called Appleton, in Cheshire. I run my own business, what2buy4kids, which is an online toyshop selling good quality toys and gifts for kids from birth to 12 years.

You can see more from Lisa here:

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