Just A Mum

 

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I remember it clearly. I was walking home from the school run, pushing my 2 year old in the pushchair with my 4 year old at my side. The thoughts in my head saying, ‘be grateful for what you have, stop striving for the ‘perfect balance’. Then the thought…

‘ACCEPT THAT BEING ‘JUST A MUM’ IS ENOUGH.

It slapped me in the face. I had to accept it. There was no alternative.

Having taken a career break from Primary Teaching and being out of the game for five years it just wasn’t going to be feasible to return. The costs of having three children in Breakfast and After School Club and one in full time nursery would mean I would be working for roughly £10 a day.

As much as I love teaching and I worked hard to become a teacher, I just couldn’t give it my all and miss so much of my ‘Mum life’ for the price of a dine in meal for two from Marks and Sparks!!!

I tried to accept the fact that I chose this life. I didn’t have any right to complain or think about looking for something else for fulfilment. But I was.

Something was missing. The ‘me’ part of me was missing.

Being a Mum, as much as I bloody love it and all that it gives me just wasn’t ALL I wanted to be. There was a part of me that needed something else, something different, something just for me.

Being ‘Just A Mum’ isn’t enough for me. I want to be a Mum and feel like myself for some of each day. Is that really too much of a want?

I’m sure some of you may disagree but I don’t think it is.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I’ll Never Be Done

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So, my littlest blonde boy was three years old yesterday. My baby boy. My scrumptious, smiley, cuddly bundle of fun was THREE YEARS OLD. How did that happen??

If you are new to us – we have 4 children. Aged 8,6,4 and now 3!!

We don’t NEED anymore children.

We have a crazy, busy life. I just filled in my diary for the next two weeks and actually nearly cried at the lack of blank spaces left. After having two weeks off from all our hectic schedules, it hit me hard that we are now being flung back into the ‘normal’ routine. And our kids don’t even do that many after school activities but I suppose when you multiply it by four it has the same effect as when I nip to the supermarket for ‘a couple of bits’. Our days can be noisy, messy & often involve me running around like a headless chicken. They argue over who gets to sit in the front seat, who had the crappy plastic piece of tat from a Kinder Egg first, who has which plate for their dinner, what time it is when it’s bedtime and to be honest some days I would actually sell the lot of them to the blooming circus.

You get the picture. I have my hands full. (And it’s pretty much a daily occurrence that people feel the need to tell me this!)

It makes sense, that if you used your head, you wouldn’t think of adding another baby into this mix. There is some point of every day where I think, “why did we have more than one?” or “why did we have kids at all?”

And yet, my littlest baby turned three yesterday and I’m not ready for my littlest baby to be three.

I’m not ready.

I just don’t feel done.

The problem is, how do you get to feel done, like REALLY done?? Like really deep inside you done??

People have always said to me over the years, “Oh you soo know when you are done.”

Well I ain’t feeling it folks!!

That moment when you pee on the stick and the lines appear, that first scan when you see the little flicker on the screen, that first flutters in your tummy, those little kicks and hiccups inside you.

Then that moment when your baby is in your arms, the scrunched up wrinkly bundle, the indescribable, overwhelming love.

The fuzzy hair all over their body and the new born baby smell that is gone before you know it. The eye contact and the smiles.The evening cuddles when everyone else is asleep. The warmth and the wonder in their eyes.

I will never be done with that.

 

MUM’S DAY OFF

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So today is the only day of our two week half term that the planner is blank….

Perfect…I will take this as my ‘day off’.

I do find sometimes, as much as I love being a Mum that it can be so intense. I can feel constantly in demand and I cannot reach a count of five minutes where ‘Muuuuuummm’ is not hollered at me or someone is not touching me! As soon as I go to the toilet someone is there in front of me. I have cold cups of tea regularly throughout the day and often feel like I’m a chief entertainer from a kids party. 

So the experiment today is to let the boys play, be bored, get their own breakfast, get dressed and survive with out me. 

I plan to not do very much at all. I am not going to entertain the boys. I will obviously do the ‘essentials’ like wiping two year old’s bottom and make dinner but really, bar those two things, let’s see how the day goes. 

I am going to update this throughout the day as we go along. 

8am Okay so I’ve had to make two cosy milks for the little ones and toast. That will earn me some peace. If my 8 year old had been awake he could have done this but he’s still zonked so will let him off this time! 

8.30am So so far I have got a cuppa tea and sitting in the play room on the sofa with a blanket. I’ve popped The Baby Diaries on the iPad and plan to watch it from start to finish. 

So far so good. The little ones are watching Milkshake and eating toast. 6 year old is now up and drawing. Happy days. I did have to put a image of Marshall from Paw Patrol on my phone for him to copy but that didn’t involve me moving much so that’s fine! 

9am Big one now up and made himself and 6 year old pop tarts and milk. 2 year old has shouted for me at the potty as need help with bottom wiping. Won’t let him tend to this himself. 

930am So I have watched Mummy Diaries…loved it!!!!! It was interrupted by the man from the trampoline club calling, offering me a space, well not me (that would be hilarious) but my 6 year old. He obviously didn’t realise I was having a day off!!

10am – The boys are now making a den in the living room, Noah has played the Andrex Puppy game in Olly’s room and I have decided another cup of tea is in order. I have handed Louis a carrier bag and asked him to take the delightful two year old who thinks he is a puppy and go tidy it up. Miraculously they have done it. Normally I would have just grumpily done this myself as it would be irritating me too much. 

It’s now 1130am  and to be honest I’m pretty bored now. Kids are all happily playing so maybe in reality it’s me who needs them to entertain me and not the other way around??😂

115pm – I’ve given up the doing nothing all day. The idea of doing nothing is more exciting than the taking part!! 

I couldn’t say no when Louis asked to make potato and leek soup with him as I’d promised him yesterday and I didn’t have the heart to say no to them all when asked to play the Roald Dahl triangles game. 

We had great time talking about how Louis made the soup during his school project on Scotland and the triangles game has sat since August never having played it. 

I have come to the conclusion that I have been ‘bigging up’ the idea of ‘I wish I could just sit all day and not do anything’ in my head and actually, I didn’t ever do that in my life before kids. 

I’ve decided that actually the kids are quite capable of entertaining themselves and can tidy up after themselves so when I do feel throughout the day that I need five minutes peace then it’s ok to say to them “mummy needs five mintues to have a cuppa tea or do a job”. It’s ok to do that, I just don’t need a whole day of it or want a whole day of doing nothing! 

Instead of constantly being available to do this and do that and get this and find that,  I will take time out when I need it or feel like it but other times I will enjoy the opportunity to play games and spend time with them. 

It won’t be too far in the distant future that they will be out playing with their friends with out me or they will be ‘too cool’ to bake with me or not want to play Roald Dahl games and I will miss it. I will be sad when they say ‘sorry mum I’m meeting such and such in ten minutes to go swimming’ or ‘I can do it myself now mummy’. 

I will have all the time then to do nothing. 

I will be able to watch a reality telly show in peace with three hot cups of tea. 

I will be making a pot of soup by myself. 

I will have a clean and tidy house. 

And I know I will be wishing this time back. 

When in doubt…

 

…GO OUT

There are many a day when I wake up and think, ‘what on earth am I going to do with these kids until bedtime’. 

To be honest some days I just cannot be assed thinking about what to do never mind actually doing it. 

Then I take a minute and think, right, if we stay home all day; 1 – I will be demented, 2 – the house is likely to become a mess (which will make me even more demented) and 3, it makes for a very long day. 

With a husband that works long hours and some weekends each day can seem the same and I get absolutely fed up flying solo all the time. 

I have to really get my “fun mum” head on and find the energy from somewhere (usually a cup of tea and some chocolate) then grab a bag and pack up a few essential items. (Spare socks, snacks, & a bottle of water) We then get in the car and drive somewhere not too far away or plonk the little one in the buggy and walk) 

It rarely fails and most of the time we find an adventure. 

Take today for example… It was peeing of rain, dark, damp and miserable. I really could have stayed home with a cosy blanket on the sofa and caught up on Housewives of Cheshire or Towie. 

The boys however would have eventually needed attention and some lunch and someone to wipe their bottom or fetch this or that. Then it probably would have only been 1 o’clock. Still 7 hours to fill in! 

So I looked out the wellies, the rain jackets and the hats, chucked them all in the car and drove 20 minutes to a fab forest. We followed the blue arrows and pretended to be Star Wars characters, found a massive stick which looked like the Stick Man, collected Conkers, jumped in puddles, climbed rocks and even found a real live frog. 

We spent two hours exploring the forest. At the end of the walk we had a hot chocolate at the wee cafe and a play in the park. 

All in all four hours killed and £8 later, I have cleared my head, had great fun, the boys are rosy cheeked, muddy booted and thoroughly tired. This will make dinner and bedtime much easier to tackle. (And the house is still tidy – added bonus) 

I have written this to remind myself to just get going when a day is looking to be a long one. The days are getting darker and the weather more miserable but it doesn’t mean you have to be! 

When in doubt – GO OUT! 

10 Gifts for a New Mummy

Having recently bought a few gifts for some new Yummy Mummies, I thought I would share with you 10 of my gifts that have been well received.They are not your usual pressies but all are useful, essential or special.

 

  1. Liz Earle Orange Flower Botanical Body Washliz earleThis is an amazing body wash with its smell instantly reminding me of having my four babies. You can use it as a bubble bath for you and baby as it’s ingredients are all natural and is gentle on baby skin. Just lovely.

 

2. A dinner or breakfast pack

 

These are always well received for new parents. I nip to Markies and fill a bag with either breakfast goodies – croissants, butter, fruit juice, muffins etc or a dinner bag with a meal for two which can just be popped in the oven with no fuss. It’s always nice to get a pudding too. This gives the overwhelmed new parents one less thing to think about and a full tum for the busy day or night ahead. YUM

 

3. Gro Thermometer

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This is a fantastic thermometer for baby’s room. It acts as a night light and the colour of the egg changes to let you know instantly if the baby’s room is too hot, cold or just right. I have had one since my first baby and think it is brilliant.

 

4. Baby Get Well Pack

 

This may look a little boring but believe me, at two am a few weeks or months down the line, those new parents will be loving you for this gift!! Pop them in a wee bag and write on the front ‘Baby’s Get Well Pack’ and they will be delighted to find ‘just what they are looking for’. For teeth coming through – good old Bickiepegs to chomp on and a tube of Bonjela to numb the gums. For snuffles – essential oils like Tea Tree or Eucalyptus to pop in the bath or in a steam bowl. For windy babies, a bottle of Infacol can help to ease the pain. For sick babies who may have runny tums, these Optibac Probiotics are gentle on their tummies and helps to get them back on track. My most favourite of these is the good old “nose sucker” – it is disgusting but the sense of achievement when you can suck all that yukkiness out of their system is amazing!!!

5. A voucher for Mummy to get a beauty treatment

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It is always nice to receive a wee voucher for a new Mum to get her nails done or take some time out to have a facial. This couple of hours will make her feel great and more like herself. You can also add in a homemade voucher offering your baby snuggle services whilst she attends said appointment! You can’t beat a couple of hours of new baby cuddles.

6. A print for baby’s nursery

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A print like this Vivi and the Bears is a lovely gift for a new baby’s nursery. They do lots of different styles, quotes from stories and some personalised ones where you can add in their name and date of birth etc. There are so many to choose from that it’s unlikely to be a duplicate gift. Beautiful.

7. Nappies and Wipes

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Not a majorly exciting gift but one that will be majorly apprecaited. As a new parent you always underestimate how many nappies and wipes you will go through, especially in those first few weeks. A big pack of nappies (sizes 1 and 2) and wipes will never go amiss.

8. Mummy Gift Pack

Much like the Baby Get well Pack, this is a wee bag of goodies for Mum. Babies get lots of gifts and often the Mum who has done all the hard work gets nowt! How about a nice cuppa tea (full of good bacteria), a bag of special chocolates and a magazine to read.  Because let’s face it, it’s good to escape into some celeb gossip once in a while and not just chat babies all day. Add in there a can of dry shampoo (how have I only just discovered this!!!) and a Bach rescue remedy for those stressful moments (where your milk starts leaking in the supermarket queue) and Mum is sorted!

9. Brother Max 6 in one Thermometer

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This is a fab gift for a new baby. It is a contactless thermometer so you can check on baby when they are asleep. You just press the button whilst pointing it on baby’s forehead and it projects how hot they are. No noise, no touch, no fuss. Genius!! You can use it on food, bath water, rooms, liquid and skin too.

10.  Touche Eclat Radiant Touch Highlighting Pen

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A special treat for Mum. Concealer for the morning after the night before…need I say more..ESSENTIAL.x

 

Holiday Life Savers…

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Every year on the run up to our holidays I always gather a few bits and bobs to pack in my ‘Holiday Life Saver’ bag. These are items that are brought out at times of potential stress:- restaurants, traffic jams, airports, distractions from getting hurt and those moments of “I’m bored” and the “I don’t have anything to do” whines!!! So here is my top 10 holiday survival kit…

1.First up…one of the simplest and cheapest of lifesavers…PEZs

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I got these in Primark for £1. They take ages to unwrap and place carefully into the holder of which there are loads to choose from and then because only one comes out each time you open the character’s head they do tend to eat them really slowly one by one. Result!

2. The Crayola Color ExplosionIMG_7377

Picked this up in Asda whilst doing some food shopping. No mess. Each page different colorful designs and comes with two pens! (Great when sharing is not top of the agenda of a 2 year old waiting for his lunch!) The pens just take off the black layer to reveal the colours and you can draw whatever you like. 18 pages to work your way through too.

3. Colour- In Table Cloths

These were one of my most favourite holiday bag finds. They were picked up from Waterstones Bookshop (Love that place!!!) and were not the cheapest. (£6) But I have to say they are such good quality and are still on the go on my dining table two weeks after our holiday. One is a massive colouring sheet and the other has loads of puzzles on it more suitable for those aged 5+. It has games like the squares game and x’s and o’s.

4. Sticker books

You cannot ever go wrong with having a sticker book in your bag, where ever you may be! I got a couple of these in Waterstones at buy one get one half price and the other two from a local garden centre where they were two or three pounds. The kids love them and are useful for waiting in restaraunts or travelling in the car. When we are home we also use them as a nighttime activity where they choose to do one page with me in bed before sleeptime. Worth every penny.

5. Dobble 

IMG_7378Every parent of a child aged about 4 MUST MUST MUST own this game!! My friend introduced it to me and it now travels with me sooooo much. It is a small tin that would fit in your handbag. It does cost around £10 but I would say it has earned it’s keep. There are 5 games you can play, all really simple and all to do with being the first one to say the picture on your card that matches the picture on the other card. The pictures are the same items but the size a position varies on each card so not as easy as it sounds. My 4 year old still beats me sometimes. (It is also a good drinking game for adults who are a wee bit competitive!!)

6. Bath Beans

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I actually found these on holiday and added them to my bag. They were £1.25 each and I thought they would be great for an early bathtime for overtired kids or if you had a pool on your holiday or even if you had a very long wait in a restaurant you could do it in the sinks in the bathroom.There were lots of different themes to choose from and they are like those expanding facecloths that Santa used to put in my stocking! Simple!

7. BANANAGRAMS

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Another great game that can fit in your handbag if you are going for a meal or if you have some spare time out on a table. Basically it’s a banana shaped bag full of lettered tiles (like scrabble tiles) and you can play various games. We mostly played the one where we each got a share of the letters and we had to make them into a crossword style array and who ever had the least unused tiles was the WINNER! Again really simple and fun but keeps them busy when needed.

 

8. Village In A Bag

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This I picked up in Waterstones too. It was about £6. I like how it comes in a wee bag and has people and animals aswell as lots of houses and fences to make up your own stories.The boys all loved this when they needed a bit of quiet time and spent ages making up little streets and fields of horses. They play with it still at home too and is great to take to a Doctor’s waiting room etc.

9. DR SEUSS – DID I EVER TELL YOU HOW LUCKY YOU ARE?

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You cannot beat a Dr Seuss book!! I love this one in particular as it really reminded me of me!! You know when your kids are moaning about what you have cooked them for dinner and you run off in a rant about all the poor children in the world that don’t have food and have to walk 50 miles for fresh water and that they should just be thankful for a warm house and clothes and good food so just be quiet and eat your dinner kind of rant!!?! Well this book is a bit like this about children that have to do crazy things so we need to appreciate how lucky we are! I loved it!!!

10. What’s Hidden In The Woods by Aina Bestard

One of the best books I have bought for the boys and they ALL love it. It is a beautiful hard back book which comes with the page of magnifying glasses which each have a different coloured layer. As you go through each page different pictures are revealed depending on which colour you are looking through. Not for a short bedtime story but a lovely one to share with your children. The gasps of ‘oh yeah…I can see the bear’ or ‘wow…that’s amazing’ are just fab!!

HAPPY HOLIDAYS

First blog post

My very first blog! I am so excited!

I love taking photographs, love making memories and love sharing my finds so thought I would collect them all here and share with you like I would with my best friend!

I am Mummy to four blonde boys (no I am not trying for a girl!) and most of the time am totally winging it!

Enjoy!

xx