Sunday, 23 June 2013

Butterflies

As I search for a new way of living and working in order to find that elusive balance, I'm a bundle of nerves!

Whoever said that there are family-friendly jobs has obviously not been looking where I have as I can't find any at all! I work in PR and it's a 24/7 industry which doesn't offer flexible arrangements. I'm qualified to get jobs but the only ones on offer would see me dropping Monkey off at nursery at 8am and picking him up at 6pm every single day.

I don't want to compromise on my aims - to find a job I like and to find a job which means I won't only see my son at the weekends. But it's tempting. There are many a full-time job available - calling to me with their generous salaries and career progression opportunities. But for all the money on offer I know I would be miserable seeing Monkey only two hours each day. I've actually really enjoyed staying at home with Monkey so going back full time would be a painful option. 

So what else is there?

I've started to look at the skills I have, the things I enjoy doing and trying to work out if there is any way of making money for them.

I think I have come up with something, a way of turning a hobby into a bit of pocket money. It's not going to pay for a holiday or a new car but it might just let me pay for a couple of days at nursery each week for Monkey and leave me with a little for a family dinner out every now and then. But this plan would require masses of hard work. It would be tough and would mean putting faith in my own abilities. It would mean a small initial outlay in cost - which only I could then make back by being a success.

Just writing this has the butterflies fluttering and makes me want to just give up and get a full time job but you have to try these things don't you? At some point you just have to try. I'll give myself a time limit and see what I can do. If it doesn't work out and I then have to get a full time job - at least I will know that I tried.

Monday, 17 June 2013

Tough Love

Since moving house I have had a bit of a tough time with Monkey and his behaviour has really gone downhill. I know he is 2 and at that exact age when he is testing the boundaries but we are also at that exact age when I need to be showing him who is boss.

We've had temper tantrums, refusal to do things, insistence that he does things himself when he clearly can't do it and we have taken about 100 steps back as far as bedtime is concerned.

The sleep is the bit getting me down the most. As I have previously blogged Monkey was such a bad sleeper for the first 18 months or so and we worked really hard to get him to a point where we could read stories then leave and he would go to sleep by himself, he would self-settle during the night and he would stay asleep until a semi-reasonable hour.

In the three weeks since we have moved we have reverted to only allowing Mummy to read bedtime stories, insisting Mummy stays in the room (sometimes until gone 9pm) while he chats and sings and does everything bar going to sleep. He's been up frequently in the night and starting his day sometimes before 4am.

I know we have moved house but really we are all settled in now so it has been time to get tough. I have started to take away his toys. The argument I have is that if he needs me in the room while he falls asleep then he is not a big boy he is a baby. So for every night that he insists I am in his room I will take away one of his big boy toys.

He lost all of his happyland people last night and tonight it'll be all his trains. These are literally all he plays with so I think it is going to have a big impact. I'm being so tough because I know that he doesn't need me in there and he knows it too. This is just a power struggle and one which I will win.

I need to win it. He already tells me that he is the boss, that he doesn't believe that I will really take his toys away. I need to show him that there is a consequence to his behaviour.

Fingers crossed his playroom is not bare before he decides he is a big boy again and can fall asleep alone!

Sunday, 16 June 2013

Wanted: Green Fingers

I've never had a garden. Even as a child my family home did not have a garden and so I have never had any urge for gardening. I don't really like bugs or mess and to me that's all gardening is.

At our new house we have a garden and my aim is to make it as low maintenance as possible while still making it look gorgeous.

We are hosting a party for my parents 30th wedding anniversary in four weeks time so that is my target for getting the garden sorted. The weather, of course, hasn't helped but we have had a break in the clouds today and Monkey and I have ventured outside.

With a lack of green fingers myself I am hoping to nurture it in Monkey instead. He's two now and a fast learner - hopefully it's not out of the question to expect him to maintain the garden from the age of 4, right?!

We were promoted to get out there by the MoneySupermarket #KidsGrowWild challenge and we got a fantastic gardening kit through which Monkey put to good use. Today we have used the tools to dig up as much of the exisiting plants as possible. It feels wrong to take out perfectly good plants but I have no idea what they are so it is best if we just start from scratch.

It all started so well with Monkey interested in the new toys:



And then getting his hands a little dirty:


But it didn't last long. I'm ashamed to say this was about 5 minutes later (in my defence I had got half the side done, sort of):


And this is what Monkey chose to do instead. He's watching his new Fireman Sam DVD.


We have at least started and I'm keen to hear any tips on how I can get Monkey more interested in what we do in the garden. There are three small areas in our garden so I'm going to designate one of them specifically for Monkey and I have already brought some windmills for it.

I fear though his green fingers might be missing, just like mine!

This post is an entry for BritMums' #KidsGrowWild Challenge. Find out more at MoneySupermarket's site.

I was provided with a children's gardening kit in exchange for this post

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Bye, bye dummies!

I clearly remember the day I got home to see a plastic object taking over much of my beautiful 2 week old baby's face.

I had left him for the very first time to go to an urgent appointment with the osteopath after my difficult birth left me unable to walk after dislodging my hip. My husband had been left in charge and being without boobs he had resorted to a dummy to stop the screaming which my absence had prompted. It was his choice that day but it had been something we had discussed so I knew we would end up using dummies. But it looked so huge and so foreign on my sweet baby's face.


But how he loved it. And continued to love it.

I watched all my friends introduce dummies and swiftly and easily removed them while I carried around 7 at a time for fear of losing one and not having that fantastic calming device when I needed it most.

When we knew we were moving house we started talking to Monkey about what we would be taking with us and one day I just suddenly said 'but the dummies aren't allowed to come.' He understood that and from then on we would walk around the house pointing to what was coming and talking about how the dummies were not coming. (He also kept insisting that Daddy also should not come, but I just glossed over that one.)

When the day of our move came we said goodbye to the dummies in the morning and then Monkey headed off for a day out with his grandparents while Daddy and I did all the hard work. As he has a playroom at the new house, and is train crazy, we had brought him one of those giant play tables and covered it in all his toys. (An absolute E-Bay bargain at just £21!)

He absolutely loved it and I told him that it was a present from the dummies - so if they ever had to come back the table would go. It worked a dream and we really haven't had any problems. He asks for the dummies most nights but I just remind him they are gone and he accepts that.

It has made his sleeping go to pot with horrendous putdowns, night waking and very early starts. I've been tempted on one or two occasions to find the couple of dummies I know accidently made it to the new house and just stick it in his gob. I know it would work a treat and get him back to sleep instantly but I haven't and I won't.

Personally I never wanted to have a toddler with a dummy and I'm proud that I now don't.

Sunday, 9 June 2013

Our Growing Family

Err, not like that!

This weekend we spent a lovely time with my husband's side of the family. It's been three weeks since my sister-in-law gave birth to her second child, my neice, and I was desperate for cuddles! 

As the sun shone and Monkey and his cousin played in the garden I was struck by how much has changed in such a short space of time. In just three years there are now three children - Monkey born 2011, my nephew born in 2012 and my niece born last month.

Having moved house a couple of weeks ago we are now just two hours away from their home in Staffordshire. It's still not a short distance but it is a massive cutback on the three and a half hours we have done for the past five years. It's the length of a nap and so I hope to travel up to the Midlands more often so that Monkey can grow up with his cousins as much as possible.

When I was little we lived near all my family and I have such a lot of family photos from when I was Monkey's age and my cousins feature in all of them.

While we attempt to make some new friends in our new hometown, it was lovely to spend a weekend with family and remember that we aren't alone.

Plus my niece is one of the most adorable babies ever and is the first thing in two and a half years to make me even consider being broody again!

Our growing family

Thursday, 6 June 2013

A Fresh Start

Everything is new in my life and so it seems fitting to have a new start on the blog which I have sort of neglected slightly in the past few weeks.

The truth is that I willingly went dark as we neared completion on our very first house purchase. I was so nervous about tweeting or blogging anything in case it all went wrong. So I just shut up and so there is so much to catch up on!

We have it - we have our very first own home.

It's been a fun, exhausting first week here. We got the keys a couple of days before we actually moved in and we literally painted through the night to try and get the rooms done in the way we wanted. As I have previously said, I had seven years of pent-up DIY built up so I have been desperate to put my stamp on the house. We had six rooms we wanted to decorate and we managed to do three - the lounge (which was the mammoth job), Monkey's room and the bathroom - which I think might be my favourite room in the house now that I have added a nautical touch.

We're working on the rest of the rooms in the evenings - the stairs were done last night, it's the kitchen tonight and then we'll do our room - currently a room of boxes as we haven't bothered to get the wardrobe yet. Then there is still the playroom and the guest room to do but I'm afraid they are going to have to wait!

The credit card has taken quite a battering but there is nothing that I have brought which has been a waste or doesn't look brilliant in the house.

It's also been all change on the work side. I have left my full-time job and am now in search of something a little more family friendly. I'm trying not to let the fear get me as part-time jobs in PR are so few and far between I do worry how long I will be unemployed for but I have done the jobs which give me no balance, I need to find the right fit this time.

Monkey is out of nursery and I am suprisingly loving being a stay at home mum. I always thought it was never for me but actually I have quite enjoyed it. I don't think I could do it all the time but I have enjoyed the trips to the park, farms, playgroups and playgrounds and it re-enforces my wish to be around a little bit more.

There's loads more to say about the move and our new life away from London but this will do for now.

x

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Team Jolie


A bit of a different post today but I wanted to use my small internet platform to pay tribute to the fantastic thing that Angelina Jolie did today. I'm not really much of a fan (I was always Team Aniston!) but I admire her greatly for coming out and opening up about something incredibly private in order to help others.

In some ways her decision to have a double mastectomy seems so obvious. Prior to the surgery she had an 87% chance of developing breast cancer. Now, following her surgery her chance of contracting that awful disease is under 5%. She has 6 kids - she had to increase her chances of being around to see them.

However, I don't doubt that regardless of the health benefits this was a long and thought-out decision.

I've been very lucky not to be affected by the Big C but I like to think that if something like this happened to me I would make the same decisions. Cut off the boobs, cut off the leg - do whatever it takes to make sure that I am still here to see my son grow up. I pray that I am never ill and never have to face these decisions but if I do then people who have spoken out about their health struggles will be my inspiration.

I'm looking forward to awards season next year. I want to see Angelina Jolie back out there with the bright red lipstick, skirt slit to the thigh and some mega cleavage - proving that no matter what surgery you have you can still be gorgeous.

To anyone who is battling Cancer at this time - stay strong and keep fighting x

Thursday, 9 May 2013

What next?

Hello!

I'm still here. Apologies for the lack of blogging but I've been doing a lot of thinking over the last week and for me that comes with sitting at staring at the wall (or the telly).

I'm approaching a crossroads in my life. We know we are moving and although we STILL haven't exchanged on the house it looks like we are on to move in a couple of weeks time. Yeah! So, we know where we are going to be living - that bit is sorted.

What is not sorted is me. What do I do now? I work in PR but as I've blogged about before I am not sure it is my dream job. I trained as a broadcast journalist - that was the childhood dream and I lived it out for almost two years working as a radio newsreader. It was a short love affair with broadcasting which ended in redundancy and then an enforced switch to a better paying job which actually had some job vacancies.

It's meant that PR never really felt like my choice, more something born out of necessity and availability.

Now, I want to find out what I want to do but in today's society with money tighter than ever we are not really afforded a lot of time to try to work out what it is that we want to do.

Oh, to be able to work for free trying out a few roles, to re-train by undertaking some expensive new qualification or to start up on my own and know that's it is OK if there is a slow start.

It's a constant thought in my head - what next for me? I'm still not sure.

Friday, 3 May 2013

Trying to Remember


Monkey is changing so much and although we enjoy every moment we have with him - it's hard to remember it all.

My husband and I were talking the other night and we realised there is so much of the little stuff which we can't remember - like how he used to say certain words before he got them properly.

So I'm going to list a few of things he is doing at the moment which particularly make me smile.

- When he sings Incy Wincey Spider he actually sings 'Wincey in the Spider'.

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

My First Refurb Project...

As I've mentioned before after years of living in rented accomodation I have a lot of pent-up DIY just waiting to get out. And while I wait for what feels like a painfully slow house purchase to be completed - I have had to start somewhere.

And so I present my new TV unit!

It started like this...



And now it looks like this...

Monday, 29 April 2013

Monkey's Mummy Bakes...

Chocolate Cupcakes



I'm an OK baker. I try really hard and sometimes I have had some great successes which I have been really proud of.

But, when people are kind enough to compliment me by saying I should make cakes professionally I have the same answer each time. I'm not good enough at decorating!

And so I'm always looking for ways to hide the imperfections. I was really pleased to try out these cupcake wrappers from Paper Themes. They're personalised and so are perfect for a special occasion. I've already had my wedding but with the rise in popularity of cupcake wedding cakes I think these are going to be so popular as an added special twist.

Sunday, 28 April 2013

Stress!!!

I know that everyone under the sun told me that buying a house was one of the most stressful things you can do - and I let that piece of wisdom go in one ear and out the other.

Lesson learnt now though and I have had one of the most stressful weeks of my life...and nothing has been resolved so it all rolls over into next week.

In a little blogging therapy, allow me to detail all the weights on my shoulders at present:

Monday, 22 April 2013

A Very Public Meltdown


It's happened. We have had our very first extreme tantrum in public. And I survived...just!

On Sunday we decided to go to a garden centre about 30 minutes drive away as it sold a particular brand of paint (I am DIY-Obsessed at the moment).

The 5.15am wake-up call from Monkey had meant I wasn't in the best of moods when we set off and I had a feeling we shouldn't all be going.

Friday, 19 April 2013

Different Parenting Styles


When you are expecting your first child nearly everyone has an idea of the sort of parent they are going to be. And I think for a lot of people the reality is quite a bit different.

I can’t remember what I thought I was going to be like as a parent but I've become a little bit of a pushover. I pick my battles carefully and so sometimes that means that I give in to Monkey's demands.

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Does The Dream Job Exist?

Is it a myth of TV shows and Hollywood movies that you can find a job which makes you jump out of bed in the morning and thoroughly enjoy the 9-5?

I’ve had four jobs in my professional working life and, if I'm honest, I have not yet found one that I really love.

Monday, 15 April 2013

A Difficult Weekend


It seems ironic that I wrote only one week ago about what a lovely weekend I had had, when I have just endured one of the toughest weekends ever!

I've been ill having picked up yet another stomach bug, my 8th in the space of a year! The trouble was this time that my hubby was working meaning I was solo-parenting. 

He's a journalist - a job which pretty much doesn't give you a day off when you have an event to cover. So, despite my being ill on Saturday he had to head off, leaving me with a troublesome toddler.

Friday, 12 April 2013

Accepting Help


Living so far away from our parents (3hour drive each way) we have learnt to be pretty self-sufficient when it comes to looking after Monkey.

We rarely go out together and on the odd wedding anniversary when we have gone out a friend has watched Monkey and we have gone to the restaurant down the road.

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

The Boy Who Cried Wolf

I’ve mentioned before that Monkey is a clever one. He can hold a pretty comprehensive conversation at only 2 years and two months old and we have constantly been astounded by how quickly he picks things up.

However, that intelligence is turning around to bite us in the bum.
Monkey has worked out that the word ‘help’ elicits a very quick response from either parent and so he has began to use the word rather frequently.

Sunday, 7 April 2013

Trying Something New

I've mentioned before that I am not one of those parents who does crafts, who lets their child join in with daily chores or who comes up with endless amounts of imaginative play. In fact, if I had to categorise myself I'd probably say I'm a distracted and slightly lazy parent.

Today, though I tried something different and I said 'yes' more often.

Instead of one of us grown-ups going to Homebase during the lunchtime nap to avoid taking Monkey with us we went this morning as a three. Yes, it took an hour and a half and involved a pretend bath in one of the show bathrooms but that was quite fun.

Friday, 5 April 2013

A Blogging Blank

My blog and I are going through a rough patch. And as we have only been together for a little under two months I’m a bit worried that it’s too early for problems to be creeping in.

But it’s confessional time and the problem is that the blog is always there! I liked the company at first but over the past few days it’s felt a bit like an annoying child clinging at my ankles (and I already have one of them!)

I don’t really have time to give to the blog as much as I would like but that’s just a question of dedication and if I want this relationship with my blog to work then I’ll just have to make the time.

No, the problem is that I don’t know what the blog wants from me! What does it want me to write about when my day consisted of an uneventful hour with Monkey, eight hours at work and then an equally uneventful hour before bed.

Life’s just been a little bit normal over the past few days - we’ve had easy bedtimes, the tantrums haven’t been so bad and the house move is all on course and just ticking along nicely.

I have nothing to say.

The only thing I could tell you about this week is that I have drunk a lot, eaten a lot of chocolate and researched garden gates for about four hours in total.

And let’s face it no-one wants to hear about that!

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

An Easy Easter

Is there anything better than milkshake?
Well, that was great wasn't it? We've just had the loveliest Easter break together and for once I have returned refreshed and rejuvenated.

Living so far away from our families means that Monkey doesn't get to see his grandparents (on both sides) very often and so he more than makes it up for it when he does. From Friday to Sunday during our time at the inlaws Mummy and Daddy were invisible. Cuddles and kisses were reserved for Nanny and Grandad (mostly just Nanny) and squeals of joy let out only at the arrival of his 1 year old cousin each day.

For me, this was a massive change. It's normally all Mummy, Mummy, Mummy with me not being allowed to even go to the toilet without listening to the ongoing meltdown over my momentary departure.

I didn't feel left out though and instead I just revelled in his joy at being with his extended family and enjoyed the sit-down when I got it.

It also made a massive change on Monday when it was just me and Monkey with a whole bank holiday stretched in front of us. I didn't stress, I didn't shout, in fact I barely sat down such was the reserve of energy I had.

And today I went back to work, grateful for the break I had had. But also the return to work today marked the start of The Countdown. We're on course to move house in May and moving house means that whole life change we have all been after. New house, new job and a new and fresh perspective.

I can't bloomin' wait!

Friday, 29 March 2013

Monkey's Mummy loves...

It's time again for my weekly post where I share some of the products I have loved this week. This sort of post really sums up for me what I love about blogging. It’s an opportunity to share and learn from one another. We can’t each know about all the latest products or places to go but together, well we can be unstoppable!

These are all just things that I like and I haven't been paid to write any of this stuff.

I’m posting this as a linky from Modern Mummy so hop over there to see all the other recommendations.

Ocado


I am not rich. I don't consider myself to be upper-class. But I did think that Ocado with its fancy vans and affiliation to Waitrose was for the rich and fancy but I've been pleasantly surprised.
I switched to using Ocado a few weeks ago after getting one of those vouchers where you get £20 off if you spend £70 (which I easily do each week). I've been so pleasantly surprised by their wealth of choice and reasonable prices.
The delivery charges in my part of London are much lower than that of Sainsbury's and Tesco, especially considering I always order for peak-time delivery. Plus Ocado always have lots of bundle meal deals on which actually save a fortune.
In the four weeks I have been using Ocado I have had to order much less and have seen it all go much further, saving me money.
I wanted to include this one in case anyone had the same misconceptions about Ocado as I did.
 

Pampers Easy-Up Nappies

 
We have reached the point where nappy changing was something to be dreaded. A battle of wills which neither of us enjoyed and which meant that one (or both of us) usually ended up in tears.
The main sticking point was that Monkey did not want to lie down. So, the Pampers Easy-up nappies that we have just switched to are really helping us.
If Monkey just has a wet nappy I don't need him to lie down at all as you tear them off when they are finished with. If it's a dirty nappy he only needs to stay put for the shortest of time.
I'm hoping that this switch is also a good introduction to potty training which we intend to start in the summer. He understands that he needs to stand up to have his big boy nappies pulled up and I'm hoping this will mean that the switch to pants is not quite so drastic.
 
 

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Is It Wrong To Stick With One?

When I had Monkey the plan was always that we would wait until he was school-age before we had another child. I have poly-cystic ovaries and so had Monkey young, when I was 26, so that if the condition were to get worse in the next few years I could always look back knowing I had been pregnant and we had at least one child. 

My condition doesn’t seem to be getting a lot worse so I’m as confident as I can be that I’ll be able to have another child. Problem is…I’m not sure I want to.  

I’ve watched the majority of my friends have second children but the broodiness just hasn’t kicked in. Newborns are adorable but I still feel like I’ve been there, done that, not really sure I need to do it again. Plus, it wasn’t easy – why would I want to go through morning sickness, birth, sleepness nights (to name a few) again? 

However, I wonder whether that is just a really selfish attitude? If I am able to do so do I have an obligation to give my son a sibling? Is it wrong to raise him as an only-child if I don’t have to?  

He goes to nursery so has a lot of interaction with other children but will it benefit him to have someone at home, someone with him wherever we go? Will his development be hindered by not having a sibling – will he be a spoilt brat? 

I’m leaving this post pretty open-ended. There is no conclusion, no decision has been made. We’ll see what happens. Perhaps it’ll be like a new season, one morning I’ll just wake up and be broody? I’ll let you know.

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Seek Medical Advice

I’m always very cautious to take Monkey to the doctor or worse still to the hospital. With the fear of looking like a panicky mother and the warnings ringing in my ears of our over-crowded NHS, I always wait… and wait… and wait some more.  

Sometimes that’s been the right thing to do and whatever has been afflicting Monkey has cured itself with Calpol and cuddles.  

Sometimes though I’ve got it wrong. He had a tummy bug when he was about one and after a few days I took him to the doctor only to be told he was dehydrated and I should have been doing more.  

This morning, as I went into his room he was stood in his cot holding his ankle up saying that it hurt. I got him out of the cot and he immediately guarded the ankle, refusing to put weight on it and wanting to be held. It looked swollen and bruised.
 
Entertainment in the waiting room
So, I reluctantly decided that I’d take the halfway route and take him to the walk-in centre. I got it wrong again, it’s just a sprain and Calpol and cuddles will do. But I was reassured to have a pro tell me that and not rely on my knowledge from Casualty and Dr. Google.  

Should I be taking more advantage of the NHS? I pay my national insurance after all. Or should I not feel guilty about holding back from going to medical professionals and instead just trust myself? 

I think it’s the latter for me.

Sunday, 24 March 2013

Monkey's Mummy Bakes...

85th Birthday Cake


This weekend saw my Grandma celebrate a real milestone birthday and, as the family's resident cake-maker, I was in charge of creating a special something. Here's how I made what I think is one of the best-looking cakes I've ever made.

Friday, 22 March 2013

Monkey's Mummy loves...

This is the first in what will become a weekly post where I tell you all the things I've loved this week. This sort of post really sums up for me what I love about blogging. It’s an opportunity to share and learn from one another. We can’t each know about all the latest products or places to go but together, well we can be unstoppable!

I’m posting this as a linky from Modern Mummy which I am super-chuffed about because I bloomin’ love Katy’s blog and I continually hope to emulate the success she has had.
So here we go, the things I have liked this week.

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Made to be a Mum

I watched the show ’16 Kids and Counting’ last night with great interest last night. Personally I think to have kids into double figures either means you hate contraception or really love kids.

What struck me about the women involved is their utter devotion to their children. They’ll be out until all hours of the night picking them up from nights out, they’ll never sit down in the evenings because they are busy getting snacks, doing ironing, putting kids to bed. One even said that she doesn’t like her kids to watch TV – she has 12 children and doesn’t use CBeebies as a babysitter!
It struck me that this programme really demonstrated that some people are just made to be mothers. For me, I have always thought that I am not a natural mother. Yes, I wanted my son very much and fought hard to get him but I don’t find motherhood easy and I definitely don’t want to devote my every waking hour to Monkey. Although sometimes the work life balance is hard I enjoy being able to get away and to be someone apart from Mum. I enjoy my evenings when he has gone to bed and I can have a glass bottle of wine.
For some women though it just comes easy – they don’t flap over missed naps, long bedtime routines and arduous days of no telly. They enjoy their children 24/7 despite bad tempers and tantrums.
I’m happy to admit that I don’t find being a Mum easy at times but I know I work hard at it and that as far as my son is concerned I’m doing a great job!  Needless to say the idea of 11 more is not for me!

Monday, 18 March 2013

Fidget Bum

Monkey is a complete fidget bum but over the past few weeks we have noticed that he actually cannot stay still at all!

Eating his dinner we are constantly telling him to sit back down. He’s not attempting to run off anywhere he just hops up and down all the time – eager to get on and play rather than sit and eat food!

He can’t sit still to watch the telly. He can’t sit still to do painting or colouring. He can’t sit still on a ride on toy – preferring to jump off and push it along instead.

I've been debating about taking the sides off his cot when we move house in a couple of months but he is such a wriggler he would spent the night on the floor and I would spent the night coming to pick him up - I'm going to save that one for when I feel like I need a sleep deprived treat.

However, this inability to sit still was fine. Until now.
 
We are beginning potty training. We are doing it very slowly by just allowing him to sit on the potty every now and then when he is getting ready for the bath or bed.
 
Now, when a child is learning to use the potty you really need him to actually sit down…and stay sitting down. For me, my little kangaroo sits for about ten seconds and then needs to hop up – despite what he may still be doing!
 
Is there such a thing as a potty with a seatbelt?

Sunday, 17 March 2013

Fun in the funniest places

This weekend we attempted to begin our quest to get our new house sorted. We know we need at least a dishwasher and a washing machine and so this seemed like the things to start with and while on our white good quest we discovered that a world of fun can be had in the funniest of places.

We went to Currys which, if it is struggling in the current economic climate, really should advertise itself as some sort of childrens play area. There were washing machines galore with never-ending buttons for Monkey to press and no Mummy telling him to stop it before he accidently runs a cycle. Wide aisles to run down and run through. Low shelving to crawl through before posing for pictures (with some pretty nice lighting as well for the amatuer photographer!). Hundreds of tellys showing Toy Story adverts all at the same time to surround Monkey in a Woody HD sandwich! We left after one hour with Mummy sorted on her applicances and a panting Monkey and Daddy from all the running around.

I really hate soft play centres so these sort of places are great for me to take Monkey. Some other places we head to are:

The Garden Centre
Especially lovely in the summer when we can stroll around all the plants, chatting about the colours and the smells.

The Library
A free morning of reading plus with 'presents' to take home afterwards.

The Supermarket
Whilst I won't do my full shop with Monkey in tow - a quick ten minutes here and there is actually seen as a bit of a treat for a ride in the trolley and visit to the cheese counter to find the free samples.

The Science Museum
The basement is specifically decked out for kids and we found it was suitable for Monkey from when he was about one, thanks to all the sensory lighting. The older he gets the more he gets out of it.

Anyone got any others I can add to my list, so that you can save me from ever entering a soft play again?

Thursday, 14 March 2013

The Bedtime War

Sleeping!
I blogged the other night about how we are entering Tantrum Town and the main focus of the hysterical meltdowns seems to be about bedtime.

In a bid to assert his authority Monkey has become very un-keen on bedtime in the last few weeks. He wants to go downstairs, he wants to read books – basically he wants to do anything bar going to sleep.

He’s a clever one and has a wealth of tactics to stay up – but I’m a Mummy and I too have a wealth of tactics. The war is on.

Here’s my plan…

1, Go upstairs earlier
This is really difficult on nursery days as Monkey doesn’t get home until about 6.20pm but he really needs to be upstairs by 6.30pm. It’ll be better when we have moved as he’ll be home earlier.

2, Stay upstairs
We used to put PJs on and then come back down for milk and Night Garden. Then it became milk and more playing with toys and now it is milk and running and jumping around like a loon. I can see where I am going wrong with this one.

3, Read however many stories he wants before getting him into his cot at 7.15pm
Yes, this will mean reading ‘Thomas and the Windy Day’ 6 times every night but I’m just going to have to do it.

4, Distraction
I’ve tried this the last few nights and it’s working. Once I have read what I deem to be the last story of the night I tuck him in and I give him a teddy. I ask him to tell Teddy a story while I just pop downstairs and I tell him that I’ll be back in one minute. There is no complaint. Then I leave and just don’t come back.

The bad thing about this tactic is that I have a very clever child and I know it is only going to be a couple of weeks before he figures this one out but I’m going to enjoy it while it lasts.

It’s one on one in this war – and I’m determined that I’m going to win!

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

All Change

On Saturday we began house-hunting for the very first time as potential buyers. What a difference from looking as renters! The estate agents seemingly couldn’t do enough to help us and there wasn’t a queue of other people outside – we had their attention!

I’d done my research of the area, the schools and the toddler groups for Monkey but I was realistic that our search had only just begun. We were due to view six houses that day and from the photos number 4 was the most interesting. 

The houses were saw in the morning were nice but I thought it would be like wedding dress shopping – I’d just know when I had found the one. And then we went into house number 4. 

Prior to beginning our house search I had briefed my hubby on the importance of the poker face when house hunting. When we left house number 4 his first words to me were ‘you weren’t exactly subtle.’

Yes, like a teenage with a massive crush I fell head over heels in love with this house – mainly because it has massive cupboards in the kitchen. You know, the important stuff! I gushed, I swooned and I made it bloomin’ obvious that this needed to be my new house. 

Two hours after a 45 minute viewing of the house (it was obvious we were keen) we were rang by the agent to be told that someone else had put in an offer. Well, what’s a girl (and two boys) to do – on the very first day of house-hunting we put in an offer…which was accepted 10 minutes later!

We are so excited to have our first ever real home but obviously cautious until everything has been confirmed. 

It’s all change in the Monkey’s Mummy household and we couldn’t be more thrilled!

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Welcome to Tantrum Town

Next stop, the complete loss of your sanity! 

Wow, what an evening. Tonight as we made our way through the usual bedtime battles, a monster came and inhabited my son for 30 long and very loud minutes. This monster changed my sweet, talkative 2 year old into a thrashing, red-faced, screaming shadow of himself. It was scary, exhausting and I had no bloody idea what to do.

I’d read about the terrible 2’s and I'd read blogs from Mums recounting the time when the tantrums kicked in. I used to think to myself ‘yeah, my kid cries sometimes too – tough isn’t it?’. Oh, what a novice I am. 

I know now that what I have experienced before was merely a whimper, the prologue to some sort of 'war and peace'-sized novel.  

So tonight I’m going to research the terrible twos and try to work out how on earth I am supposed to deal with these testing times.  

And I’m going to hope really hard that this is as bad as it will get!
Simpler times - Monkey aged 2 months

Saturday, 9 March 2013

Bedtime battles

December 2011 - the last time he slept
As Shakespeare sort of once said ‘How do you avoid bedtime? Let me count the ways.’ 

  1. Singing
You know that both me and your Daddy find it ridiculously cute when you sing songs. We are fairly sure we need to ship you off to genius school sometime soon as at just 2 years and 2 months old you can sing us your entire alphabet. So now at bedtime if we suggest it might be time for you to sleep you immediately jump to your feet and we are now treated to quite the repertoire … with encores aplenty.  

  1. Please can I have a kiss and a cuddle?
Whenever we walk out the room you have started to shout this after us. Again, you know that both me and your Daddy find this sort of thing ridiculously cute and that it takes a pretty tough person to walk away from a guaranteed sloppy kiss and baby bear cuddle. But when you decide that we also need to kiss and cuddle every one of the seven teddies you have in your bed then we start to get the game.   

  1. I want to use the potty
You realise that I never want to say no to you using the potty. We’re not potty training yet but why not welcome any opportunity to try. So yes, you have worked out this with get you at least another 5 minutes. And 5 minutes after that as I attempt to wrestle you back into a nappy. And 5 minutes after that as I attempt to get your pyjamas back on.  

  1. Extreme hyperactivity
Bouncing, running from one end of the cot to the other, launching yourself onto the mattress – you name it you think it’s fun to do at bedtime.  

Anything to do with sleeping has always been the bane of my life with Monkey – the thing that makes me want to send him back to the stork – the thing that pushes my sanity to the brink. It’s been a really bad couple of weeks with the whole bedtime palaver lasting up to two hours from when we head upstairs.  

My only hope is that it is a phase. That I just need to battle through because he’ll come out of it soon enough and I can enjoy my evenings once again.  

Either that or I’m digging out the stork’s number.

Thursday, 7 March 2013

'The Plaster' Explained


A couple of weeks ago I wrote the blog post ‘I Ripped OffThe Plaster’ and today I want to explain what all that was about.  

In what some might deem to be a moment of ridiculous abandonment I quit my job. After months of unhappiness I just bit the bullet and decided that instead of just moaning that I wanted to get a better work life balance I was actually going to do something about it.  

So, I announced my intentions to leave my very well paid senior job and set up on my own as a freelancer who doesn’t work Fridays. Eek, I must be mad! 

I’m incredibly nervous about doing this, placing my family’s financial future in my own skills and expertise (which I’m not sure exist!) but I have to do what is best for me and my family. I truly believe what is best is for me to be happier and for me to be happier I need to be home a little bit more and I need to have more control over my life and the things I do in it.  

Whilst we’re at it we’ve also decided to leave London and we are actually going to buy our own home! I’m ridiculously excited about this and have thrown myself head-first into mass organisation and house searching in Bedfordshire.  

The only downside will be leaving London. When I had Monkey I was one of the lucky ones and I found the best NCT group ever. For the first time in my life I have made and kept really great friends. Thinking about leaving them makes me not want to go but as our wine nights are now few and far between I thinking I can afford the train fare back. 

So, that’s it. I suppose blogging about it is another plaster off really. Anyone I hadn’t yet told can now read about it and now that you all know I suppose I can’t really back out now…

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Bloggers Unite


I had a blog post ready for tonight but have shelved it. Instead I want to just say how incredible I think this blogging community is that I have stumbled into.  

Tonight on Twitter the stars are shining. The above picture is being used as an avatar by practically hundreds of bloggers to show support for one of their own.  

Tomorrow Jennie from Edspire will lay to rest her 9 month old daughter Matilda Mae who died a few weeks ago. I don’t know Jennie but her story moves me to tears and makes me hold Monkey that bit closer every time I remember the unbelievable pain that Jennie must be going through.  

From the comments I have seen a lot of people do not know Jennie personally. But on Twitter and across the blogosphere they stand shoulder to shoulder with her propping her up whenever she needs it.   

I’ve only been blogging for a few weeks now but I’m so proud to be a part of this community. The kindness of strangers has never been more evident.

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

A Blogging Obsession


My name is Vicky. I think I’m addicted to blogging.
I thought for so long about starting up a blog but was always hesitant. I thought it was something which only the cool kids did. As much as I wish that was me, sadly I’ve come to accept it’s not – I’m too socially shy!
I decided to bite the bullet just three weeks ago and launched Monkey's Mummy. There were many reasons why I decided now was the time. We are about to embark on a massive life change and I thought it would be good to have somewhere to log everything that happens. I also want to pursue writing as a career and thought this would be a good way to start.
But now, the bug has well and truly bitten me. I think about my blog all the time. It’s like I have another child – I keep telling my husband about all the new and smart things my lovely little blog has done.
I’ve been amazed and delighted that there are people beyond me and my immediate family who are logging on and having a read. But I’m lost as to whether I’m doing it right.
I’ve read a lot about how your pageview numbers shouldn’t count as a measure of success but then that brands etc. use it as a barometer as to whether you have a good blog which they want to work with.
So if anyone who has a blog is reading this then please let me know – how do you judge the success of your blog?

Sunday, 3 March 2013

Mummy Guilt Is Expensive!

Look at that cutie. With his new toys – one in each hand, and three more out of sight, his new cardie and his new slippers. It’s not been his birthday or some other celebratory event. No, this photo is a visual description of Mummy guilt.  

I’m at the end of four days off with Monkey. Having constantly beat myself up for being apart from him so often I sincerely want to treasure these moments and make them fun for him.  

And that’s been costing me because everywhere we have gone I have brought him something as a memento of the fun we have had together.  

What am I doing? He is hardly going to remember the trips we have been on, particularly since they included Homebase and Asda!. He is equally never going to remember enough to relate these toys to the trip and the fun that we had together. So, why do I do it? 

It’s not that I see spending money as a sign of love but it is one way I can make the working absence work for the both of us. Yes, I’m off five days a week but that gives me the money to be able to treat him. It’s not really much but it’s something which we will go home with and he will play for and enjoy for weeks to come.  

He might not get the reasons behind it but I do.

Friday, 1 March 2013

Bribery


I’ve come to realise over the last few difficult days that the only tool I have in my parenting armour is bribery.

As I have struggled with a lack of sleep, a hyper cheeky non-sleeping toddler and no hubby for support – I’ve been pulling out the big guns in the bribery stakes. In the last couple of hours alone I’ve said: 

"I’ll take your new toys away."

"I’ll leave you at home."

"You won’t get to see Nana and Grandad."

"I’ll put you to bed."

"You won’t get pudding. "

I literally know no other way of getting Monkey to do something that I want him to do. A stern voice is met with a smirk from him. A request to come here is met with a sprint which would rival Usain Bolt. And don’t even think of asking him to eat his dinner – that will see you having to show lightening reflexes to grab the plate as he tries to slide it off the table.  

Monkey is a good boy and everyone always comments on how cute he is. The problem is that he knows he is cute and he plays on it.  

The moral of this story is that I am lost as to how I am supposed to get a 2 year old to comply without the threat of removing something which he likes. What I am trying to do is make him realise that compliance will benefit him in the end. Is this wrong?

Thursday, 28 February 2013

Growing Up So Fast


I really enjoyed watching the BBC’s ‘Child Of Our Time’ but what really struck me was how grown up the 12 year olds featured were. It made me realise that my little Monkey won’t be little for long.  

None of the 12 year olds were wild – they were normal kids with the same restrictions as others. But they are out with friends by themselves, they know who and what they want to be and they have an opinion on pretty much everything. It was clear that their childhood is so very nearly over.  

As anyone with a baby and then a toddler would agree it all goes so quickly (apart from when you are trying to put them to bed. Then it goes reeeaalllyyy slowly.) Watching the show last night made me realise that he’ll be grown up before I know it and I want to cherish every minute with him now.   

Thinking ahead my hopes for him as a 12 year old are that he will be a happy little boy, just as he is now. I hope that he will enjoy school, not necessarily being the most popular kid – just sitting somewhere in the middle and getting a good education. Above all, I hope he still loves his Mummy just as much as he does now.

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

(Play) Dating


I got set up on a date last night.  

Having been married 5 years alas it wasn’t with some gorgeous hunk who was going to whisk me away to my long-awaited desert island.  

No, it was with a fellow Mum at nursery. Her son is best friends with my son and that, in the apparent rules of parenting, means that I need to be friends with her too.  

But it was just so awkward! The conversation began immediately with arrangements to meet up. I hadn’t done this before but aren’t we supposed to break the ice first, get to know each other? In the world of parenting is first base skipped and we just go immediately to walks in the park and ice creams by the river? Then how does the arrangement get confirmed? Do we exchange numbers? Do I hand over my business card? What’s the decorum!!! 

Now, I’m not sure if it is just down to my own social-awkwardness that this didn’t feel right. I’m a little bit of an introvert and not really one for chatting to strangers. But clearly I need to practise this next phase of mummy-hood – I hear it gets worse when they get to school. 

So please, help a socially awkward mum understand the rules. How does it all work?

Monday, 25 February 2013

A Perfect Day


Nothing special happened today – I’m still to win the lottery and be whisked away to a desert island – but today was the perfect day.  

After a week of stress and a weekend of illness today everything was just easy.  
  • Getting Monkey dressed for nursery – EASY, no tantrums and no complaints
  • Dropping Monkey off at nursery – EASY, got his coat off and he ran straight in with no fuss
  • Driving to the station – EASY, some traffic but not enough to slow me down and I found a parking space straight away
  • Heading home this evening – EASY, arrived at nursery 20 minutes earlier than usual to be told that Monkey had a great day
  • Put-down tonight – EASY, no crying, no insisting Mummy held his hand as he fell asleep.
It was all just easy.  

It’s so surprising especially for a Monday that I felt I needed to share.

So, let’s celebrate what went well today – let me know what was easy for you today…

Sunday, 24 February 2013

Pukefest 2013

Today's ironing pile!

I’m a little squeamish and am especially rubbish when it comes to sick. I get scared when I am sick myself and can’t even bear to be around if someone else is sick. My poor husband, if he gets ill I quickly apologise and leg it from the room.  

Because of this I’ve been quite fearful about the time when Monkey would get his first proper stomach bug and how I would cope with it knowing that I couldn’t run away.  

It was OK when he was a baby – a reflux problem meant I got very used to his milk feeds making a projectile reappearance but that was just milk. I knew that when the time came for his first toddler bug he’d have had food, he’d be of an age when he could talk and he would demand I stay by his side.  

Well, the wait is over and last night shall now forever be known as Pukefest 2013. He started crying at about 9.15pm. He frequently wakes and cries in the evening and I know the cry that means he’ll settle back down and the cry that means I need to pop in. I started to head up the stairs and as I got to the door I could hear him being sick. I ran in. I didn’t even stop to think about it and I quickly put my hands to him to re-assure him.  

When I knew he was finished I picked him up and gave him a cuddle. The smell was pretty unbearable and I got some over me but there just wasn’t a question of not comforting him. Hubby had the worst job cleaning everything up and putting on 2 loads of washing, I was just chief cuddler.  

And that’s how our night progressed. He was sick twice more, both over me, but when he felt he was about to be sick he begged me to cuddle him and I’ll never refuse him that.  

I don’t think I did a perfect job but I made it through and I just pray that he is never ill on a night when his Daddy is away!

Saturday, 23 February 2013

"No, Mummy do it"


I jumped when I first heard this phrase come from Monkey a couple of months ago. With a sly grin I felt ridiculously happy that I was being specifically requested over Daddy to complete such tasks as changing his nappy and putting him to bed. I’m a good Mummy after all! 

Now, it’s not so fun for me or, more specifically, for my husband. For me - I never get a break. I can’t just sit because Mummy has to be the one to play, to read, to snuggle. With working all week I always try to appreciate every single moment I have with Monkey but in a day which can go from 5.30am – 8pm even a Saint would need a break at times – and I’m no Saint! 

For my husband he is constantly being side-lined and I’ve found myself trying to get Monkey to apologise to his Daddy for always pushing him away. It can start first thing in the morning when my husband goes into Monkey’s room only to be greeted by ‘No Daddy, I want Mummy.’ 

At bedtime we have started to force the issue – in our house whoever doesn’t do bedtime has to make dinner so it’s not really fair if I’m always upstairs for cuddles and stories while hubby puts dinner together.  

Luckily things don’t seem to be so bad when I’m out of the house. Hubby has Wednesdays off work and they have a great day together with very little mention of Mummy. While this is great to hear it does make me feel guilty – if I wasn’t home then we wouldn’t all be having these problems.  

I’m not really sure how to fix this one – I try to make sure that even if Monkey has demanded I’m the one to play with him that his Daddy joins in and then I slip away when I can. Hopefully in time the phrase will be non-existent.  

But I’d be lying if I didn’t confess that I love being his favourite.

Friday, 22 February 2013

The Cautionary Tale of a Disorganised Mother


Here follows a true story about how one woman (let’s call her me) has spent an entire week attempting to complete the sale of some items she put on an online auction site (let’s call it eBay). Unfortunately the tale below has not been exaggerated in anyway and is true – as ludicrous as it may seem.  

ABOUT 2 WEEKS AGO – You’ll be hassled by your hubby all weekend to finally put on sale some items that have been sat in a box marked ‘Put on eBay’ for a good couple of months. You’ll not be arsed and won’t really concentrate, preferring instead to hurriedly complete the task and get back to much more fun stuff such as working on your blog. The items are up; that’s all that matters.

Lesson 1 – don’t put items on eBay when you’re not concentrating, can’t be bothered and haven’t actually looked at the items. You’re not a good judge of weight and size.  

ABOUT A WEEK AFTER THAT – You’ll sell some of the items – hooray! Counting up your spoils you’ve made £50. All seems good so far.  

MONDAY – You’ll forget to take every item to work with you and thus can do no sending today. You vow to do it tomorrow. You’ll forget that you own no envelopes or packing materials and have no way to send all seven items.  

TUESDAY – You’ll realise that seven items is quite a lot to take on the train and so you’ll conclude that you’ll just take three. At lunch, you’ll leave your office offering to take the important business letters that also need to be stamped and posted. You’ll walk all the way to the Post Office before realising that your hands are empty and you have in fact walked all the way without your parcels. You’ll walk away from the Post Office forgetting all about the important letters in your bag. You’ll go and buy five envelopes (clearly not enough for the seven items but that’s the sort of week you’re having). Later that afternoon you’ll remember that you have the important letters in your bag and have to make a mad dash to the Post Office (this is visit number two of the week, it’s important to keep count).

WEDNESDAY – Very much more organised today, two minutes before leaving for work you hurriedly attempt to put all the items in envelopes. Half the envelopes are too small. You take five items to work (leaving the heaviest at home) with most in envelopes and one that you’ll buy a bigger envelope for. At lunch you go to the Post Office (visit number three), successfully post the four stuffed parcels and buy a bigger envelope for the other item you have with you. But you’ve forgotten to bring the address label and/or a pen for the parcel and so need to take it back with you. You buy parcel paper for the remainder of the parcels.

THURSDAY – Mad panic before work to parcel up the remaining items. You only manage to do one of the really heavy ones. You take that to the Post Office at lunchtime (visit four) but as you put the stamps on you realise you haven’t written the address on, you have no pen, or your phone which has the address on. It’ll have to come back with you, but at least it has postage on!

FRIDAY – Mad panic before work to parcel up remaining item and then lug both to the Post Office (visit five) and finally conclude your sell.  

Hey, it’s been a tough week but they all got posted in the end so it’s not so bad.  

Err, no. Remember when I said that you shouldn’t put items on eBay when you’re tired and distracted. It’s because you will have no clue about postage prices. I did sell all my items for a total of £50 but I ended up spending £41 to post them! 

I made a profit of £9. And I just spent that on wine.  

Heed my warning…cheers!

Thursday, 21 February 2013

Telly Addict Toddler


 
OK, here’s one of my many I'm not-a-perfect-parent confessions – I let my toddler watch telly – a lot!

Tonight I sat and had cuddles with Monkey before bed, watching ‘Night Garden’ with Piggle-Piggle and Makka-Makka (we’re working on it). He joyfully shouted along with the programme – laughing, pointing out things, and following the story step by step.  

The guidelines say that our kids should only be in front of the telly for about 30 minutes each day but I’ve never kept my eye on the clock and without a doubt we far exceed that.  

We’re telly people and I think Monkey is now the same. We always have the telly on – be it on the news channels as a bit of background noise or sitting watching something specific.  

Monkey’s really advanced for age with his talking and development and personally, I think telly has helped that. We have always sat and talked through what he is watching and asked him about it afterwards.  

The fear for some can be that telly gets in the way of kids wanting to do other things but for us I really think it has encouraged Monkey to do other things.  

He’s got a massive selection of ‘Thomas the Tank Engine’ toys and now when he plays with them he’s started to recreate the scenes he’s watched. He’s got books, clothes and cutlery all based on the telly programmes he loves.  

I appreciate the guidelines but this is the way I want to do it and it’s working for me and mine!

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

I Ripped Off The Plaster!


As I know is the same for so many mums, especially working mums, there is the constant search for balance. For me, it is the struggle for time – time to work and matching that with the time that I get to spend with Monkey.

I currently work five days a week and have found that in PR, the sector I work in, I really can only do five days a week if I want to work at the senior level which I currently do.  

I enjoy working and can’t ever see myself as a stay at home mum. I view stay at home mums with great admiration. They are the ones with endless patience and an abundance of creativity - that’s just not me! I like to escape from being mummy some times but perhaps not quite as often as five days a week.  

I’ve been pondering this dilemma for a while – how to match my career ambitions with my ambitions as a mother. I’ve thought long and hard – made plans, changed plans, scrapped plans and came up with whole new plans.  

Today, I ripped off the plaster and set those plans into action. It’s fresh and new so I can’t share too much but I just wanted to share this momentous moment.  

It’s scary ripping off the plaster. You’re not sure how painful it’s going to be but it’s just a plaster, the pain is momentary and underneath you find fresh skin, a healed wound.  

I’m so excited to share the next few months with you all but for now just know that I did it.

Monday, 18 February 2013

My Mummy guilt is out of control!


About 4 weeks ago we changed Monkey’s nursery and moved him from the one he’d been in since my maternity leave ended just before his 1st birthday (he’s two now.) It was a really difficult decision as he loved his nursery and the care he received there was great but it was just too expensive. Our decision was based on our bank balance.

I know childcare is expensive but this was impossible. At £1,400 per month coupled with our rent on our house of £1,200 and all the bills associated with that it was just too much.  

I always want to provide the very best for Monkey and do what is best for him. But I came to realise that he could get just as good childcare elsewhere for a little bit cheaper. 

At his old nursery he was the child that everyone knew and loved - the star of the show. Unfortunately he doesn’t seem to be finding his feet so comfortably at his new nursery.  

This morning it wasn’t so much that I had to have him peeled off me, I had to have him surgically removed such was the force he clung on, screaming, crying and begging “please Mummy don’t leave me”. Well, I was a mess and ruined all my make up by sobbing all the way to work. I don’t want to leave him anyway let alone if he is upset. Mummy guilt felt like a ten tonne weight on my shoulders and a mighty storm cloud over my head today.  

I tweeted about this earlier (@mrsvickyo) and someone was kind enough to respond telling me that the older the child the longer it can take to settle in so maybe it just needs a little more time. Nursery are really keen to help too and the problem only seems to be in the drop off – he cheers up soon after I leave.  

I’m sure I’m not the only one whose had to make the move and change childcare provider – for whatever reason – so any advice is welcomed! 

Sunday, 17 February 2013

Mini-break with Monkey



I’m not a very brave parent. Two years ago when Monkey was born rather than making him fit into my routine and my way of life – I just changed instead. I’ll always set out to avoid doing anything with him which isn’t entirely suited to him. For example, I’ll do the weekly shop when hubby can be at home with him, I’ll always try to do soft-play type activities at the weekend rather than a mooch around the shops and I certainly wouldn’t dream of attempting an evening meal out with him in tow.

This weekend though, I was brave. We went away. With Monkey. To a hotel!

We’re thinking of a summer holiday this year, possibly abroad, so wanted to understand what it’s like to go somewhere new and my conclusion after a great couple of days is that it’s not so bad.

The hotel was fine although I think wherever we choose to go in the summer will need to be better toddler proofed as he had a ball attempting to throw himself down the stair-gate-free steps. Our evening meal, a very romantic anniversary dinner for 3, was not as bad as I feared.

We made it past the 7.30pm overtired barrier giving no hint to him that it was almost bedtime - he was dressed in his fireman’s hat (see above), downstairs and entertaining a captive audience while Mummy drank some wine. I was pretty stressed about how this weekend would go but it really was OK. We comprehensively tore up his routine and he moulded and adjusted with us.

We made a really big thing about the three of us going on an adventure and he loved it.

If I’m honest I’m still not sure about taking him on a plane and going abroad. I really want him to experience another culture – new foods and warmer temperatures – but I just fear it’ll be anything but relaxing. I know lots of people do take 2 year olds overseas regularly so any advice would be appreciated!