When I was 12

When I was 12 I went on holiday with my family.

When I was 12 we went to Bruge in Belgium.

tyne cot

When I was 12 we visited Tyne Cot Commonwealth War Graves Cemetery to remember those who were lost.

When I was 12 we visited the Menin Gate to remember those who were missing.

When I was 12 we visited a war trench which scared me to my core.

When I was 12 we visited a field where farmers were still ploughing up shells and sometimes bombs from the war.

When I was 12 I went away and returned home. They didn’t.

I will remember and pray for a peaceful future.

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Revisiting Something

I went through a stage of knitting like crazy a few years ago but this year I just haven’t touched my knitting needles. I have haven’t had the energy or an idea of what to knit. The kids didn’t need any hats, gloves or scarves. I was knitting a nativity set but got stuck in a real fiddly bit, I my stubbornness I didn’t want to start a different project until I had finished that one. So basically I haven’t knitted.

Recently, I actually managed to finish the nativity project! It felt good to finish it! And now I have embarked upon a big project, making myself a jumper. Not sure I’m ever going to finish it but its fun starting a new project and getting back into a hobby that I enjoy.

Is there a hobby that you would like to pick up again?

Reflections on my Mummy Experience – I am Selfish

I know I haven’t written for a while. Basically, I haven’t really had any inspiration, nothing really sparked that flame to make me want to sit down and type. Life has been pretty manic which hasn’t really helped but now I feel that this is a good time for me to reflect upon a few things from when the kids were newborns. Not sure how much I will be able to coherently write, so lets see what happens.

To start with I want to say that I found this stage very difficult, so some of what I want to say is quite emotive and probably won’t reflect your experiences or what you may experience. It is simply, just what I have been musing.

I am so happy now to be able to communicate with my kids with words (although it does make life louder). They can tell me how they are feeling or more importantly to them, what they want and I can’t tell them…..No. When they were newborns every thing was guess work. Are they hungry?, do they have wind?, do we need to change a nappy?, why won’t you sleep?  I just found it hard, to be honest. When they were newborns, they were so precious, so small and so reliant upon me. I can say now that it was a great honour to have brought them into the world, to have feed them and seen them grow, learn and develop but there were times I wanted to scream, I cried a lot, and prayed for sleep.

I think one thing I wish I had considered before having child was that fact that you will need to grieve your old life and well, basically for the next few years, your freedom. No more just going out to see friends when you fancy, no more just having a shower when you realise you smell, and no more eating food when you want. I found this a shock, and it was unexpected. I knew that I would be looking after a baby but I just didn’t know how much of my freedom I would loose. Thankfully, I am able to say, it is slowly returning and maybe that is why I feel able to write about this now.

After both my kids were born (even though they were 3 years apart) I need to deal with my body healing, hormone changes, sleep deprivation, learning to breastfeed, family dynamics changing, etc. There was so much to work through, to consider. On top of this I personally, needed to accept that what I wanted to do and when I wanted to do it, was not what needed/had to be done. I came second. I honestly, thought I was not that selfish before having kids.  I now realise just how self centred I was and in some ways, still am!

I want sleep.

 

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The Joy and Hilarity of Penis Duck

Telling your child off, discipline, its a real bugbear of mine. You are either too lenient so your little bundle of joy takes liberties and just carries on with what ever misdemeanour they were undertaking or you are too strict and they don’t learn how to be their own person, just a little robot. (So, Ok, really, I know all children are on a learning journey I’m just exaggerating my point here). As a parent it’s quite frustrating.

So let me set the scene. It’s Christmas time, we are visiting the family and all the kids are playing upstairs. There’s noise, shouting, laughing, bumps and bangs coming from the room they are playing in. After a particularly loud bang, my husband decides just to pop his head in the door and check everything is alright. Upon doing so he was greeted by my son shouting at him “Get out of here you Penis Duck.” Of course, it was quite quickly explained to him that this is not appropriate and he took some time out to think about it what he had done before the day continued as normal but still why? How? Just what?!!!!

So, what a gem, that moment when your child does something totally hilarious (and yet completely inappropriate) that all you want to do is laugh in their face, but you can’t because that’s game over! You have lost control! You have to hold back that smile and belly laugh, you have to be stern. Man, alive its sooooo difficult! All you want to do is laugh. I’m sure that I have made my parents feel like this at times but really you will never know the sheer joy and hillarity of such an occasion until it happens to you.

Seriously, just, words are lost and laugher erupts when I think about it. I’m very thankful, it wasn’t me he shouted it at as I would not have been able to hold it together.

Kids, hey, they say the funniest things….Penis Duck……

As useful as a chocolate tea pot

That’s how I feel some times, well actually, my head is tells me this a lot at the moment. 2018 is bringing change and that can be unsettling.

I am about to embark upon an adventure that’s is, well, to be, honest, something that is scaring crap out of me. I’m going back to work, a day and a half a week. Yes, after 6 years of being ‘just a Mummy’ I am re-entering the work force in a community role. So basically, not doing anything like I did before (that Environmental Management degree was well worth it Mum and Dad, Sorry). FYI, I loved my career before, I am passionate challenges facing our environment and still love an anti plastic cup rant.)

Anyways, yes, I will be working, part time, ah but, here’s the thing how do folks fit it in? You know in between the parenting? I keep thinking oh, I got this. Then like, immediately I panic thinking No, no, no, I really don’t! And then the “What if’s” start! I curse you “what if’s” you do my head in! I would like to banish you to a far away land…….if I knew how. Deep breaths, deep breaths!

Well, I guess, I’d best get the kettle on….. here’s to the next step.

Where did the time go?

Where did the time go? I am a bit lost. My little girl has started nursery. My baby girl is no longer a baby but a beautiful, intelligent, stubborn and a wonderfully adventurous little girl. This day seems a long time coming and yet, at the same time to have come out of no where. With my eldest I counted ever second, made sure to record lots of milestones but with my second child, I found just trying to get everyone fed and water enough to deal with. So I have to guiltily admit to not recording as many of those “precious” mile stones for my youngest as I did for her older sibling!

It seems such a blur, maybe it is the sleep deprivation talking, or just general tiredness of being a mum! Please don’t misunderstand this post for a sign that I’m broody. I’m not! I am just now finding the time to reflect on the jumble of the past three years. Yes that’s the best way to describe it! A jumble. I muddled and jumbled my way through the past three years, raising my bundles of pride and joy to the best of my insanely, sleep deprived ability. Maybe I’ll fumble and juggle my way through the next seventeen year!

So to you, my brave, bold and intelligent (not so little) adventurous children, go forth and explore your ever so expanding world, learn new things, challenge yourself and most importantly be happy. Mummy is very proud of you.

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Jealous Much?!

Jealousy is one of my many flaws. It seems to appear out of nowhere. I will freely admit that from time to time I am jealous of folks. Quite often its for something pathetic like wishing I could give my kids more toys (they don’t need more!), or something more valuable to me, like a desire to live closer to family. This one has many benefits, there is the moral support and of course having an extra pair of hands around.

My jealousy usually appears as anger or frustration. Of course, I am never the problem or creator of these feelings, its always someone else fault. Like, for example once I was need some support at home (the kids were being a handful), Joel gets an urgent message and needs to pop out (to help someone). I’m left feeling grumpy and angry that the emergency could not have waited! Of course, this is stupid because an emergency is just that! You can’t plan for them but I’m still there bubbling in my own mood (still not my fault!). Please don’t misunderstand me, I can be mighty selfish but I would never stop him doing his job, this is just how I feel somedays.

Its all so easy to want something someone has; such a nice clothes, newest phone or whatever. You get what I’m saying, its easy to want something that someone else has. Its what we are, essentially conditioned too be like. The world places value in having stuff, especially stuff that can be measured, whether its money, Ofsted scores, or the number of followers on Twitter. I guess money is an easy one to measure. And so we place a lot of value in having money. Thinking about it society seems to teach us that we will be happier with more money. Therefore, the richest people in our world should be the happiest and the poorest people should be the saddest. Yes? Hum, I’m pretty sure this correlation is wrong! You just have to search gossip sites or listen to the news to hear about a celeb (I’m assuming they are wealthy) in the media struggling with life, family problems, addictions, gossip, etc. Some wealthy folks seem far from happy.

Its such a shame that we devalue the unmeasurable! We all have different things, gifts, talents that cannot be measured. The value of a conversation with a lonely person, the love that is shared between friends, or the importance to cuddle your child, these are all things that we should try to place more value in. And if we did place more value on the unmeasurable, maybe jealousy would be less of an issue.

 

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I have a plan, it’s going to work

So often in life we seem to be working towards something, preparing for something, exams, a wedding, stressful things, or exciting things. It’s only when these events are over and there is a lull that we take the time to review, take stock and think what’s next. 

Some people revel in these times but I find them quite challenging. I don’t like not knowing what I’m going to do next. I comfortable having a plan. I’m not even that confident or comfortable when I make a plan and it doesn’t happen the way I expecting. I think partly that’s why I found having children one of the most difficult (yet awesomely amazing) challenges I have ever taken on. Children throw all rules and plans out the window at every step of the way. For example, this half term we had planned a lovely 48hrs without the kids to go to London and see a show – Matilda! I know right, so exciting! 12 hours into our child free time we get a phone call for the Grandparents. We’re just at a walk-in clinic…….

Anyway, to cut to the chase, my daughter was diagnosed with shingles. If ever there was a hand on forehead moment this was it. We were left with the question do we go to be with her knowing that we could offer her only cuddles or do we carry on with our plans?

In my mind I had been working up to this parenting break for a while! Telling myself to just keep going, your going to get some time to yourself soon. Time to breath, time to think, time to go to the loo with anyone walking in on you, screaming, or yelling “Mummy, where are my shoes?” (Of course, with perfect grammar, coz that’s how littlen’s speak). So, ARGHhhhh! Is the best word I can think of to describe this situation. 

Most of the thoughts running through my mind where things like “Why?!” Or “I can’t believe she’s so poorly.” And of course “It was so carefully planned and timed to perfection.” So you can probably see that most of the frustration and even confusion I felt in making the ‘what to do’ decision came from me! I was my own worst enemy at that point. The worry, the guilt, and of course anxiety over not really knowing what to do. I have thought about trying to develop some sort of skills to adapt to changes, reduce anxiety levels, or go with the flow but to be honest, right now, it doesn’t fit in with my plans……

In case you were wondering, we still went to London. It was amazing, I would totally recommend seeing Matilda but I did suffer major Mummy guilt. 

Why Don’t You See? 

What do you do when someone basically insults the choices you have made for your children? Such as the school they go to? This is something I have faced recently due to the school my son attends having a bad reputation and basically being labelled as a bad school. Although as far as I can tell no one can pin point the exact problem they have with it. I hear vague comments such as ” Oh, I don’t want my children hanging around with those kinds of children.” Or “Yeah, but my children are bright”……. Yeah, thanks, you may not mean to but that’s my family your talking about. And by the way, my kids are clever too. As you can tell I find it really difficult not to be defensive.

I’m not saying the school doesn’t have its problems, you’d be hard pressed to find a school that is perfect but heres the thing, why can’t you see all the good and positivity I see and have found in our school? 

Why can’t you see the confident, happy children who are learning? (My son has never not wanted to go to school and has never cried at drop off),

Why can’t you see the large learning areas and outdoor playgrounds and fields, and the access to woodlands for forest schooling?

Why can’t you see the teachers and support staff going above and beyond to teach and challenge the children at their various different levels of ability?

Why can’t you see the dedicated parents and more so the PTA working constantly to provide for the children, fundraising, movie nights, organising book drives, carnival costumes, etc?

Why can’t you see the dedicated Govoners having endless meetings and training?

Why can’t you see the reading volunteers who go in to listen to the children read?

Why can’t you feel the uplifting community spirit?

Why can’t you see what I see? Surely, it can’t be because you have not been to visit and to see for yourself.

This is my child’s school, what’s yours like? Pretty similar?…… Yeah thought so. 

Excerpt From a Vino Filled Brain

Ok so after many months of debating in my head about how useful I am, I decided to start looking for a job. I have sorted out my C.V. and started to look around. I had not anticipated positive responses when applying for job but I did manage to get an interview. Very, exciting! I have to admit that my emotional response caught me off guard. I was happy yet felt so sad, the realisation that if I got a job I would be gaining some freedom yet giving up my volunteering roles, and giving up some time looking after my young one.

Well anyways I had some wine to celebrate getting so far on the job journey. I got emotional then words started forming and jumbling in my mind so I had to get them down on paper. This is what I think conveys how I felt about giving up some of my volunteering (by the way I feel I should give you a cheese warning) :- 

My Children Centre, the heart beat of my community,

My Children’s Centre, the ability to smile cheerily,

Raising up women to achieve,

Raising up mothers to succeed. 
My Children’s Centre, the educator of the weary,

My Children’s Centre, the comforter to the teary,

Raising up families to believe,

Raising up me to fly free.
My Children’s Centre, the victim of your own success,

My Children’s Centre, Thank you, we are so Blessed.