Tuesday, 12 July 2016

Summer Holidays are coming!

It is that time of year again when parents across the country begin their countdown to the summer holidays. The time where schools are closed, childcare has to be arranged and some parents are forced to accept the fact that they will need to have the kids at home for 6 weeks. Sounds like I'm being a bitch, right? 
Trust me. 
You'll see some parents moaning and groaning on social media about how their kids are doing their heads in and they 'can't wait for them to go back to school'.

For me - It might as well be Christmas!

6 weeks off work. My evenings and weekends back to being my own, rather than being filled with planning lessons or marking exam papers, books and assessments. I'll get to actually see people and spend time with them, not worrying about how I will get through my to-do list once Jake is in bed.

Most importantly? I will be free to enjoy time with Jake. I'll be able to say 'Hey! let's just stay in our PJs this morning' or 'Let's go to the park before lunch'. I'll be able to do activities like painting and baking with him because I won't only see him between 5am and 7:30am or 5:30pm and bed time. 

For me the summer holidays are the only 6 weeks in the whole year where I don't have to work. I don't have to think about work. I don't have to get to work. I don't have to rush to get home from work and I don't have to plan what needs to be done for work. The only time - all year! 

Inevitably, some work will happen. I'll have to prepare for September - the new classes and the new topics. I'll need to get my head around the new GCSE requirements I have yet to teach. But mostly, I can't wait to just be 'mum' and have some time to do the things I need - I might even get to have my hair done!

Right now, though, I am going to just relish in the fact that if I can get throgh 7 more working days then I can relish the 6 weeks stretching ahead of me filled with quality time.

What are you looking forward to the most this summer? What plans do you have?

Bex x

Monday, 11 July 2016

Back to Blogging

I have decided to come back to blogging! 

Here I am!

I have missed the outlet to blog about my life as a working mum and to share with other mums and dads how this jubilant journey of juggling jobs with kids can be amazing.

I'm not sure what's changed in the last 6 months or so since I last blogged, but something has; that is something I hope to explore with you.

Not much more to say except: Hello again! 

Bex x 

Sunday, 24 January 2016

Do Good - Be Positive

Stop and think. 

When was the last time someone thanked you for that meal you cooked? Or replied gratefully to that helpful and supportive tweet you sent? When did your boss last acknowledge that you'd gone above and beyond, again, at work? All of us have a moment in our life where we'd like to be noticed, to be appreciated or to be acknowledged for the things we do. It is human nature - we all feel like this at one time or another. But how often do you say thank you to those around you? 

The people we surround ourselves with are vital cogs in our lives. They help us get through the day, the week, the month. Without them we would be alone. Without them things would be even more difficult. By showing your appreciation you can help them to feel good about who they are and in turn, they can help people around them feel good too. 

I have decided not to set any resolutions this year. Instead, I just want to try and be more positive about life, about myself and about my situations. I am starting by stopping and saying 'Thank you' to a few key people. 

Thank you to Luke. You're a wonderful father and a supportive husband. Thanks for all that you do. 

Thanks to my mum for helping support me and my little family. 

Thanks to the rest of my family and friends for the love and support. 

Who will you say thank you to?


Sunday, 10 January 2016

You Just Don't Understand

I have spent a week questioning whether or not I should publish this. In the end I've decided that it reflects how I feel, even a week on. So I'm going to take the inevitable 'flack' and post.

Here goes...

Last Sunday night - on Instagram - I saw a mum post this comment: 

''I go to work for the adult conversation and nothing more''. 

Quite frankly lady - it ends in 'off' and starts with 'f...'. 

On the evening before so many of us mums and dads were returning to work - if we hadn't already - (some full, some part time) to post something that sounds so arrogant and insensitive got my back up. I exploded into a tirade of bubbling anger as I explained to Luke what I'd seen. It ruffled my feathers, poked at my sore spot and poured alcohol on the flames of feelings about returning to work. 

I hate to say this bold statement. But I am going to say it. 

You well-off stay at home parents just DON'T understand. 

There. I said it. 

I open myself up to the flood of hate and ranting people who dominate the parenting world of blogging and Twitter to slate me, unfollow me, moan about me etc. But you know what - you just DON'T get it. 

I know this doesn't apply to everyone. I am not doing a 'Katie Hopkins blanket blame' statement. Many, many parents out there who now stay at home DO understand and empathise with those of us forced to continue to work full/part time (for whatever the reason). Many of those parents are decent, supportive and sensitive human beings who have the maturity to understand; after all, we all have our problems and challenges to deal with - whatever they may be. 

But, there are a good many parents who simply don't understand what it is like to HAVE to work. To have to give your child to family or childcare so that you can pay the bills. So that you can manage. So that your little one doesn't go without. You simply don't know the guilt that hollows into your stomach and reaches up to wrap around your heart every morning as you have to leave and want nothing more to be with your child all day. To be the one that picks them up when they cry for you because they fell over, or whatever they need. 

Luke and I are very lucky that Jake spends time with his Nanny as part of his childcare. We're also very lucky that he seems to really enjoy the three mornings a week he is at nursery and plays with other children. The guilt has gotten easier as time has gone on and we see how settled Jake is in to his routine.

I know there are many other parents out there who are worse off than us in lots of ways, and my heart goes out to them as I empathise with their struggles.

Perhaps all of us could try to be a little more thoughtful, 'eh?


Tuesday, 29 December 2015

Jake's Giift to Mummy and Daddy

We had a really lovely Christmas Day. 

The morning was spent opening presents and helping Jake read his new books we bought him for Christmas.

Later on we hopped over to my mum's where Luke and Mum cooked up a delicious breakfast of bacon, sausage, hash browns, egg, tomatoes, mushrooms and toast. We spent a few hours there opening presents and seeing Jake enjoy his time with Nanny and Grandad Kev. 

In the afternoon we made our way across the A451 and joined Nanny and Pops Marsh for a delicious roast Christmas dinner of turkey and trimmings. We were joined by Luke's Aunty Carol and 2 of Luke's older brothers (he's the youngest of 4 boys). All was lovely. 

Although Jake has slept an hour in the car during our journey, by 4:40pm he was starting to get that niggly over tired mood that little ones get and so Daddy and I took him in to Nanny and Pops' bedroom for a cuddle in the dark and peace and quiet. It was in that moment - with the 3 of us together - that Jake put a hand on both of our faces and in the almost-dark he leaned in and gave us lots of little kisses. It was as though he were saying 'Thank you. I love you. Merry Christmas'. 

It made our day. 

It truly was the magic of Christmas and a present money can't buy. 

Merry Christmas everyone. X

Tuesday, 22 December 2015

5 Films we'll be watching this Christmas

In my family we have always treated films like board games - a memory filled memento in a box. Our reason for this is that we watch as a family - all sat round together - just like a board game. 

Christmas is all about people. It is a time to reflect and be grateful; a time to remember those who are no longer with us and time to revel in the love of family and friends. 

This year there are 5 films we're going to watch to get us in the Christmas spirit - and they may not be what you'd expect....

  1. Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone. It is not just because I am a huge Harry Potter fan that I love to watch this film at Christmas time. There is something incredibly magical about this first story in the Potter series - maybe it's the snow, or the food in the great hall. Either way it is a must.
  2. Lord of the Rings The Fellowship of the Ring. 2001 was the year this film came out and I went to see it in the 18th December. My boyfriend at the time (who is now my husband) was already a LotR fan and we went with all of his family. From that moment I was a huge LotR fan too. We watch them every year.
  3. Home Alone. Merry Christmas ya filthy animal! This takes me right back to being a young child and owning this film on video tape. My brother, sister and I used to watch it every year.
  4. Scrooged. Bill Murray takes a humorous turn on the classic Charles Dickens tale 'Christmas Carol'. Hilarious 80s film. It reminds me of my hubby Luke as he was the one who introduced me to this film and he does a great impression of the characters!
  5. A Muppet Christmas Carol. 'There goes Mr Humbug, there goes Mr Scrooge'... It is certainly one of the best Christmas films ever! Such humour amidst the classic tale. 
So there you have it! Our 5 Christmas films for this year. 

What will you be watching?

Friday, 27 November 2015

How do we deal with rules?

Now that Jake is officially over the baby phase, Luke and I have begun to see some changes. The toddler years are upon us and we are desperately trying to fathom the best course of action where our son's behaviour is concerned. 

Jake is a cheeky chap. He is bright and inquisitive. He has to press every button, pull every cord and throw any solid or food-related object. These things are all cute and adorable... for about 5 minutes! Now? Well, now they are getting frustrating and embarrassing - especially if we're out when he does this.

We're crossing a fine line at the moment between letting Jake discover and play versus trying to find the lines that need to be drawn in order for us to enforce some rules and behaviour. But is it too early? 

Part of me thinks yes. It feels too early to try to reprimand Jake for misbehaving - I do that all day every day as a teacher with 11 to 16 year olds and even then some of them struggle with the concept! 

The other part of me feels that now is the right time to start behaviour management. If we don't start making a point of showing Jake things aren't appropriate, then it will get harder to do as he gets older.

The point is - I don't know the answer. Is it yes or no? And how do we go about doing this? I don't want to shout at him or smack him at this point (though when he slapped my step dad we shouted at him!) but what other ways are there to enforce rules with an almost 15 month old child? 

I would love to hear your views, opinions and advice! What tips do you have? What can we do to support Jake in his exploration of the world?