Sunday, 18 September 2016

Juggling work and childcare

Juggling work and childcare is a difficult task many of us parents have to deal with.

With myself being a full-time working Mumma I have often felt stressed and guilty. I have recently realised it was SO MUCH EASIER when Mya was at nursery 8am-6pm. Now she's at school 8.45am-3.15pm the feeling of stress and guilt has grown tremendously. 

The morning I returned to work, after being off for Mya's first week at school was emotional. The morning started off fine. I dropped Mya off to my grandparents at 7.30am as planned and made my way to work. Walked into my office and burst into tears. I felt like I was such a terrible Mumma. How dare I put that responsibility on my grandparents, how dare I go to work and not take and collect my child from school. I was an absolute mess! After 10 minutes of blubbering to my manager I calmed myself down. A bit of the guilt eased but it still feels heavy in my heart and I'm sure it will for a long time.


This week I have thought about asking to cut down my hours but financially I would struggle a bit. I would love to be in a position where I could but right now I just can't. I work hard to provide for my family and those who know me personally know I love to keep myself and Mya looking good :-D

I am lucky to have such support when it comes to myself and Mya and love how my family help in times of need. Without them I would have to hire a childminder. This will help out in the long run. I will be able to use the money I'll be saving on childcare to buy essentials and all the nice things I want as well as extra savings to go in my mortgage savings.

Parenthood is not easy but remember we are all doing the best we can!

Here are some tips to help find a balance between parenthood and work life whether you have to hire a childminder or not.

Sort out childcare
If you cannot rely on friends or family, research into childminders and breakfast and after school clubs. Some schools offer breakfast and after school activities and some schools only offer those services for children in years 1 and above. Annoying for us reception Mummas and those with children both in reception and above. Ask for recommendations from fellow parents and also ask the school. They may be able to point you in the right direction. 

Be organised 
Don't leave things to the last minute! Have a set day to do the washing (especially the whites). That way you are not frazzled trying to look for a clean shirt. It also helps if you have enough for each day of the week. That will help to keep washing days minimal as you can wash the whites all together at the end of the school week. Do the ironing for the week over the weekend and hang up the uniform or pack away neatly.  Sort out the packed lunches and book bags the night before. Also think about breakfast! Get a family wall planner/calendar but don't forget to add important information and to check daily. 

Have a chat with your employer/manager 
Explain the troubles you may have or experience. Be willing to take unpaid leave for those emergencies. There may be a time where your childcare arrangements fail or the unexpected illness. Discuss if you could have a shorter lunch break in order for you leave work a bit earlier. 

Use your spare time wisely 
Use your day/s off to complete unfinished tasks. Make time for your family. Have fun with your child/ren! Go on day trips or do indoor activities. Create special memories together.

Let go of guilt!
Guilt has to go! Jog on! MOVE! Think about it financially and the impact it will have on your financial future and try not to dwell on the fact that you can't take or pick up your child from school. 

I'd like to thank my family for their continuous help especially over the last two weeks. Thanks to Mya's dad, my parents and grandparents, my sister Shani, my cousin Chloe and my best friend Kyle x

Until my next post. 

Mumma who tries x

Sunday, 11 September 2016

The first week of primary school

That special moment many of us were waiting for... The first day and week of primary school!

This was a huge leap into the unknown for both myself and Mya. Almost as if it was a new beginning for us. Mya was going to a school where none of her nursery friends were going to. She was worried that she wouldn't make new friends and as a mother that made me feel anxious. I explained to her why children go to different schools (didn't really add that it's a luck of the draw from the local council) and assured her that she will make friends. 

I didn't sleep at all the night before. I experienced a roller coaster of emotions and many of them were unnecessary. I was happy but at the same time I felt upset and angry. Happy as well as upset that my little, big girl is growing up. Angry because I couldn't believe I had let my mind run wild and not just go to sleep!!!

I woke up extra early to make sure everything was ready and to mentally prepare myself. When Mya got up she was beaming and shouted "This is my day Mumma!". BIG smiles were worn by the both of us.

We got dressed and done an obligatory in front of the door picture that many parents take. After that we set out on our 15 minutes walk to school.

I had a very eager little girl who was excited to go in her new class. Her teacher advised those parents whose children were settled to leave... That was my cue... My baby didn't need me there. I stood staring through the classroom window and left when I was ready to let go.

The first week reception class was only there for half day so were to be collected after lunch. Those 3 and a half hours went by so fast and it was time to pick up my school girl. As expected she had an amazing day which turned out to be an amazing week. For someone who was afraid that she wouldn't make any friends, she now has many new friends and two new best friends.

Things I've learnt/tips in the first week 

1. Set multiple alarms for yourself and child/ren. To wake up, be ready by and to leave.

2. Plan the route to school beforehand and a plan b route.

3. Buy enough uniform if you do not want to be washing clothes more often.

4. Label EVERYTHING! Including shoes!

5. Immediately ask how their day was, what they learned, who they played with, what they ate for lunch etc. Sometimes getting information out of children is like drawing blood from a stone.

6. Check your child/rens book bag daily. You do not want to miss out on vital information such as trip dates, own clothes day, cerificates etc.

7. Get everyone in an evening routine (including yourselves). How ever it works for you. For us it's TV time, dinner, bath, story and bed.

Lastly... Enjoy every moment!

Until next time from the new school mum.

Mumma who tries x

Sunday, 21 August 2016

Starting to blog again and maybe start vlogging

WOW!!! My last blog post was back in April!

Gosh it's hard to stay committed to the blog when so much is happening in your life.

Well once again I'm going to try to post regularly. Not sure if it'll be weekly, fortnightly or monthly. But hey I'm Mumma who tries x, the least I can do is try.

Here's a little trailer I put together using iMovie. I couldn't sleep last night and found this app so had a bit of fun. Hope you enjoy and look forward to hearing from me soon.

Mumma who tries x

Tuesday, 19 April 2016

The roller coaster ride of finding out our primary school place

This post is a timeline of my day. I felt empty, so sick and nervous.

1.21. Check site... Nothing 
2.30. Bladder is full. Should I hold it and try to sleep or get up
2.35. Get up it is 
2.36. Check site... Nothing 
5.40. Check site... Nothing
8am. Call gp surgery for an appointment for myself and Mya 
8.08. Moan at mum for calling me. I told her yesterday not to call me and that I'd call her
9am. Check site... Nothing 
10am. Check site... Still fucking nothing. Obviously there's nothing, results are not published until after 5pm
10.46. Shani sends a message on Whatsapp. Wtf is wrong with her and mum. I tell her not to stress me and that she shouldn't bother me 
11am. Gp appointment 
13.38. Call from Shani. Woke me up from a nice sleep. I was dreaming too. Not that I can remember what it was about 
14.43. Shout at mum for telling my Aunty to call me. I'm trying to block out the world (she already knew this)
14.49. Check site... Nothing 
14.50. Check inbox, junk and deleted to see if I've missed anything just in case. Groupon emails can do one!!! Today is not the day for good deals 
15.06. Check site... Nothing 
15.13. Phone vibrates and my heart jumps... Just an email from discount vouchers... SIGH 
15.55. Mum says grandma is coming soon. JESUS!!! I really don't need her here right now
16.01. Check site... Nothing. Ok maybe an hour later 
16.36. Ffs I can't cope. I can't be waiting all evening. This is not right. Why would you do this to parents???
16.48. Check site... Nothing... Feeling... My chest is tight 
16.53. Can hear mum telling grandma that I'm stressed and have 7 minutes left till 5pm. That gut wrenching feeling right at the pit of my stomach now. The thing is obviously I'd prefer my first preference but I just don't like the fact that the council gets to choose where MY child goes to school 
17.00. Check site... Nothing. Fucking nothing
17.00. *Ping* email. Heart racing. Junk mail kmt!!!
17.03. Email from pinterest
17.04. Check site... First preference!!!!
Scream and run to mum and grandma who are now panicking because they don't know what's wrong with me. I manage to tell them that Mya got in to our first preference school. (When I say our I really mean my). Tears of joy!

The rest of the evening was spent with a big smile on my face. I felt so relieved. Now I can start uniform shopping. 

A relieved Mumma who tries x

Thursday, 17 March 2016

Disciplining your child

As time goes by and Mya is getting cheekier by the day I have decided to write my first blog post of the month (I've been slacking with posting) about disciplining your child.

In this day and age we really need to enforce discipline into our children's lives. It is imperative! How you teach your children what type of behaviour is acceptable and what is not varies between different parenting skills. I will not comment on what I think is correct or not as every family works differently. However I do believe that having a loving and supportive family unit aids to effective discipline.

At the moment Mya does not have a proper daily routine. This is due to issues we are experiencing as a family and makes it difficult to keep the routine set in place. A problem with us is that the discipline is not consistent enough and I'm not ashamed to admit it. Us parents have a hard job raising a family whilst having to go out to work, setting boundaries and concentrating on other commitments. It is HARD!!!

There are conflicting ideas of discipline between myself and family members. In particular my parents and grandparents. It can get so frustrating when I'm telling Mya off but my parents and grandparents comfort her and tell her something different. What they need to realise is that them acting the way they are is not helping Mya learn right from wrong. Grandparents treat their grandchildren differently as it's a different type of love but when they comfort the children whilst they are getting told off it is not showing support to the parents. This is where we all need to work together and stay consistent.

Wherever we go I'm always complimented on how well behaved and polite Mya is. To be fair she actually is but there's silly little things that she does at home which is not acceptable. Discipline starts at home and us parents need to nip those little things in the bud before our children think it's okay to continue to do so.

My discipline tips

Timeout- 1 minute for each year of age or until they have calmed down. This teaches self-regulation. Pick a spot that is distraction free! Sending a child to their room full of toys will not be effective. 

Confiscate an item they use regularly-This sends a shock to their system as they will realise they have crossed the line and you are being serious. Decide how long is a suitable confiscation period. Based on 3-6 year olds I believe a day or two is enough as any longer they will forget why it got taken away in the first place.

Praise- Discipline is about identifying good behaviour and not just about punishment. Praise motivates everyone of all ages. It motivates us to keep up the good work. This works well with children. Be specific when praising children, explain what you are praising them for.

Remember to be consistent! I need to remind myself :-)

Mumma who tries x

Tuesday, 9 February 2016

How the time of Lent will help me love myself more

Lent is a very special time for many Christians. Lasting 40 days (not including Sundays) starting from Ash Wednesday and ending on Holy Saturday, the day before Easter Sunday. A time where Christians remember how Jesus spent 40 days and 40 nights being tempted by the Devil whilst he was alone in the wilderness.

During the time of Lent many people fast or give up luxuries as a form of penitence. I will not continue to go into the religious side of things as it could bring up heated discussions and that's not my aim of this blog post. This post is a continuation of this months theme of LOVE!

Lent doesn't have to be related to religion. You could use it as a time to work on yourself and personal goals and growth. A good time to work on something to achieve.

During this time I'll be giving up fizzy drinks!!! Only problem is what chaser will I have with my brandy?

It's a perfect time for me to give it up as I have started to train back in the gym. I am working on myself. I WILL have MY perfect body! I said MY as I don't believe in THE perfect body. There is no perfect body! Everyone should aim to have their own perfect bodies instead of idolising others.

I'm out of shape at the moment and can no longer blame it on baby weight when my baby is 4 years old. These fizzy drinks have way too much sugar in them and are so addictive. Let's see how these 40 days will go with just drinking juice and water. I'm sure I'll feel better in myself and be able to see progression.

Along with giving up fizzy drinks I intend to eat more healthy foods and continue to meditate. Connect with the higher spirits and continue to love myself and work on being a better me.

Here are some things you could give up for Lent.
Friday takeaways
Social media???
Sex??? NO WAY!

Mumma who tries x

Monday, 1 February 2016

February: The month of love

January is now officially over! The warm up month has ended and we are now into the second month of the year.

As this month is dedicated to LOVE I hope to follow this theme throughout this months blog posts.

"Love" can be interpreted AND misinterpreted in many ways very often. How one describes love can be different to how another describes it. I personally cannot tell you what my definition of love is because... I just can't. Love to me is indescribable. It's a deep feeling that's overwhelming that I just cannot put into words.

In preparation for Valentine's Day we have been doing some arts and crafts which we will use for decorations, keepsakes and gifts. So far we have made bookmarks and 'made with love' pictures. They are easy to make and great activities to do with your children. I'm sure if you make them for loved ones they'll be truly grateful as they were 'made with love'.

Mya loves colouring and painting and would sit down doing this all day long if she could. This gave me the idea to make something that I wouldn't want to throw away. As parents we all get bombarded with multiple pictures and paintings a week from your children that you cannot possibly keep them all. Whether due to lack of space or even because you just simply don't like it (being honest). This is something special that you could hang with pride.

For this we used a heart stencil sheet on a blank canvas. Using acrylic paints we made our picture by finger painting. Mainly just by dipping our fingers in the paint and pressing gently on the canvas. Mya was really impressed with our art work and can't wait for it to be hung up. 

Being a mum is so rewarding. Seeing your child excited and happy to do activities with you is so amazing. Loving a partner is beautiful but when you have a child you just cannot compare that love for it is much stronger. That unconditional love... So bliss!

Mumma who tries x