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