Primary School Application process nightmare race to commence soon…

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This is just about to begin this year for us over the next few months. To be honest I have a good idea what school my son will be going to, rather than worry about whether my god are we in the catchment area to nearest outstanding school (which I know we are not)? We are probably going to put our nearest primary school on the top of our list and cannot see why he won’t get it, unless there is some stupid boundary rule thing we are not aware of even though it is just five minutes down the road from us, but anyway pretty sure we are in the catchment area for it. The only thing that will stop us from choosing it is when we visit it something does not feel right.

Anyhow, the reason for this blog is merely down to fact when I was recently checking out a local mummy group, I was quite surprised to someone’s response to a post. Basically the mum that posted was new to the area and sending her eldest child to the school we are probably going to and hope to send our son to next year as well, and her post was just a shout out from the mum to other mums really, understandable, but it was someone else’s response that took me by surprise. I mean of course I am interested in hearing other mums views on the school, but the lady basically said the school is undersubscribed because people are put off the ethnic mix in the school. Jaw drops! The school has a good Ofsted report, admittedly the previous ones were needs improvement, but obviously standards have been raised. I note the other mum is probably trying to distance herself that these are not her views, but then why say it?

Does ethnicity go hand in hand with academic achievement, because if it does, not that I read this rag usually, I don’t usually quote the Daily Fail, that other ethnicities are outranking white British students or did the mum mean people don’t send their children there as that is where the poor children live? I mean it’s not exactly cheap to live where I live and I still cannot afford to buy here. Anyway seems such a shame if that is the truth and it’s not good education for all (yes, I am not completely naive, but it should be), and that parents have to desperately go searching to live in the right area to be next to the best school or even trying to defraud the system just because they are so desperate for their child to attend an outstanding school that is most likely to be oversubscribed.

Daily Fail article:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3521989/Betrayal-white-pupils-16-white-British-children-lag-12-ethnic-groups-alarming-report-says-let-schools-parents.html

Parents who cheat at school:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/9904282/The-parents-who-cheat-at-school.html

I mean I added my own comment and said I thought mixing with other cultures was a positive thing (I would as I am a product of immigrants, we all are really if you look far enough back in your family history), and that I would be glad to get to know other parents that were thinking of sending their children there. Hopefully, I will get some feedback from the mum on the group, fingers crossed.

Please don’t let me be a status worrying & bossy mummy hehe

Oh god then there is the playground cliques next haha

From this netmums guide I definitely think I am going to be a roll out of bed and wing it mum hehe although might refrain from wearing the pjs, I know I try to avoid the usual office wear as much as possible, but wearing my pjs, well that is even too lazy for me

Playground mummies:

http://www.netmums.com/child/10-types-of-mums-youll-meet-at-the-school-gate

Anyway wish us luck with our application process for next year, I am sure there will be a few more posts focusing on the subject from me in the future

Playgroups Saga

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25th August 2016

As I went to our usual monthly under 5’s weekend playgroup not so long ago and yes, bumped into mummy nemesis from playground meet up and online mum group, it made me start to think more about all the playgroups I have ever gone to and what has made them good or bad experiences. So, thought I do a little blog about it.

A few days after we were first discharged from hospital, I was bombarded with lots of information by a female representative from one of the local children centres about playgroups and various other things, and also the fact that most the baby ones wouldn’t be running over the summer as unfortunately I had a summer baby and that term was nearly over for the year. I remember her coming to visit sometime in July and that we would have to wait until September when they all resumed again. At the time I thought no big deal, and hadn’t taken in all of what she said anyway, apart from I remember agreeing to a baby massage course and forgetting it clashed with a holiday we booked, so had to rebook it for later in the year. The lady was nice and calm, although found her a bit stand offish, not sure it was deliberate, but thought she was a bit reserved to run so many playgroups and courses, as I say I am very quiet myself, but then I wouldn’t put myself forward to organise these kind of things, but anyhow.

Anyway what turned out to be no big deal ended up me craving to get out to them, walking round the local shopping mall and stopping for a coffee again was getting boring and repetitive. As I had a back problem I was getting over, the only place I could get out to in the first few months was the shopping centre and it was heaving because of the school summer holidays. I found the whole thing stressful and I craved getting to the park, somewhere more peaceful, but it was too far away. A place that was never that far away before without a newborn or a back problem, but those days I had to start thinking where is the nearest baby change, a place I can sit down to feed my baby and was the journey doable with a back problem as we don’t own a car, and a very hungry demanding baby. In my desperation to get out and to do something before September, I enquired about a Gymboree baby sensory class that was run on one of the upper floors in the shopping centre and I asked whether it was age appropriate for a 2 month old baby. They said yes, so I went along for a trial session with my mum, and I have to say the experience was awful. My son just cried every time I put him down. I remember sitting down in a circle with a few other mums before everything started, and the lady I was sitting next to proceeded to get up with her baby and move across the room when she saw her friend arrive, which is fine I understand she wanted to be with her friend that she knew better or was it the fact because I had such an unsettled baby. I may have been feeling sensitive then, but it wasn’t very welcoming. The person in charge looked like she didn’t have any children of her own, and was probably fresh from drama school, I didn’t know any of their songs, it wasn’t the usual nursery rhymes, the ones from your childhood. My son didn’t want to be put on his back and just wanted to be held, and well, the singing was all a bit too American (sorry it looks like I have something against them), my mum made eye contact with me as in saying let’s get out of here and I did. The lady that obviously wanted me to sign up for more classes protested that it was fine and a lot of babies are like this at first, and that we could stay. However, although realise you can have off days at something and then you might go back, and then it’s a different story, but I agree with my mum, my son wasn’t enjoying it one bit and if I stayed it would have been about me and not him, and the fact was neither of us were enjoying it. I was also glad that I had my mum there as back up as I realise some people don’t have relatives to support them. It was one of those moments where you wish just to be teleported out of there lol Funny thing is my son now attends Gymboree sessions at his nursery and I am lead to believe he enjoys them, so it is funny how things change.

After that disaster I had to wait for September until the usual children’s centres and church playgroups started running again. I decided on two to try out and the first one I went to was at a church within walking distance. The only pain with this playgroup was getting my heavy pushchair up the steps to it. My first experience was something else, the first one I went to was very busy and as a newbie I just felt all eyes were on me, my son still wasn’t very happy and I think I spent most of the session trying all sorts of ways to make him happy and probably feeling judged that I had to bottle feed him, whether I was I don’t know. I remember feeling that I had sweetest grilling by these interrogating mums or should say the Spanish Inquisition. I am not sure the mums meant to make me feel uncomfortable, maybe that was their way of trying to make me feel welcome by taking an interest, but I had so many questions thrown at me about can your baby do this or that, that it just left me feeling like no, he doesn’t yet, is something wrong? Of course, there was nothing wrong, the welcome if that is what you call it left me feeling anxious and if I could have done I might have walked straight into a bar afterwards, but instead I went to John Lewis for a coffee to steady my nerves, after that initial attempt it took me a month to summon up the courage to go there again.

So, I tried another one and persuaded my OH to take the day off of work to come with me after my initial church experience one. This one was located in a community centre and was a short bus journey away. Again it was busy, and the atmosphere seemed nicer and relaxed, maybe because I was with my OH as well. Although I do remember one mum dominating most of the conversation. However, I felt yes, I will definitely try this one again, but I had a baby massage course coming up that clashed with it, so I would miss the next 4 sessions unfortunately. The baby massage was good, and surprisingly the first thing that my son actually started to enjoy. So, I am glad I went with it, it didn’t help very much with his sleep unfortunately, but I think it helped with his reflux a bit and our bond, that is the only thing I did keep quiet about whilst on the course as it was kind of sold on it would really improve their sleep, but no not really for us, but it was nice to put it into our routine and think it helped with my son enjoying his bath nights more as those first few times it was like bathing a cat haha

After baby massage ended I resumed going to the playgroup that I thought seemed promising, but the numbers had dwindled, which was a shame, although domineering mummy was still there most of the time. I think even the playgroup leader was getting bored and tired of the effort to run the sessions. So, she decided to stop running them a month early and resume again next year after Christmas, when they would be moved back to their original location at the children’s centre. I didn’t show it, but was disappointed, one of the things that kept me sane was going out to this playgroup, even when the turnout was abysmal and yes, the conversation wasn’t always that interesting and half the time I turned up my son was asleep in my arms for the first 20 minutes as the bus ride would send him asleep. I look forward to him starting to play with the toys and yes, started to sadly enjoy the sing song at the end as he was beginning to like it. So, I had to rely on just going to the other group, where in truth I found some of the mums a little too nosy & interrogating and maybe a little snooty at the same time. I always had the other one to go to if I wasn’t in the mood to going to both of them that week and if truth be told I just found the other playgroup leader more approachable. However, by this point all these mums had gone, I didn’t end up going every week as sometimes my son was ill and sometimes well, I would change my mind and wasn’t in the mood for it. I did end up like going to it, I enjoyed seeing my son more happy, calmer, developing and taking an interest in their toys and his surroundings, and again the song at the end as he did enjoy it. I never really made any new friends as there was no real regulars and then we were forced in a position where we had to move house just after Christmas, and we spent pretty much the first month of the new year settling into our new place. I think we went two more times to this under 1’s group and then couldn’t anymore as I was back at work.

We struggled for a long time to find a weekend playgroup, although I knew there was a church one just up the road from us once a month. I was put off of it as it seemed aimed at older kids as it was very much activity craft based focus with a monthly religious theme. My partner and I are not church goers, so it was a bit off putting.

Eventually I found a new one advertising classes aimed at under 3’s located in a community room at a local supermarket. We went a few times with an open mind, we tried a texture sensory class, at first we liked it, the lady that ran it seemed welcoming and pleasant. Also we were pleasantly surprised as the first one was a food texture sensory class and my son had a issue with food textures at first, and we had a difficult time getting him to move on from smooth puree food. He never really took to the baby led weaning approach, which is all the rage these days, where as he was willing to give things a go here more than he did at home. So, I think at first because of this we left with positive feelings, despite lack of numbers and a few organisational problems. We returned in a few weeks time, but still the same thing hanging around for longer than necessary waiting for numbers to make running a class worthwhile and time for the preparation of the class. The classes started to become a little repetitive or not age appropriate for my son, and the organisation of them a little haphazard. The organiser then introduced a new idea of stay & play sessions, so we decided we would do that and see if numbers would turn up for a while and if they didn’t we would go home, instead of hanging around waiting for a class that would perhaps interest our son to take place, as a few times I am sure we had been there for 3 hours if not more as we are too polite to say we got to go now. My son never napped in his pushchair that much after he turned 1 and would only nap at home, as he would get easily over stimulated, so needed a quiet relaxing environment to sleep in. After these playgroup outings he would crash out at home as we had stayed there longer than intended, fortunately it was a Saturday, but late naps were not great for his routine. The final straw for us really is that her business idea kept changing as it was no longer just aimed at under 3’s, but all ages seemed to be coming. Her helpers seemed bored, and more forced into it rather than want to be there, one we turned round to see snoozing on the table with her head in her arms. Her husband had a chat with us about our jobs and seemed very money orientated, the straw that broke the camel’s back is when some older kids decided to kick a football really hard against a wall while little tots were running about or taking their first wobbly steps. My partner and I decided to never go again as we thought no one was taking control of the situation and it was just becoming badly run. I even wrote a positive review at first about it as she asked me to, but decided to take it down as I no longer felt what I wrote was true.

Then we found a great weekend playgroup in a church that is a short walk away from us. It is religious, but not in your face, just a short prayer at the end after the song. It was well structured, free play with various toys and usually some crafts, light breakfast and hot beverages provided, tidy up, song, prayer and goodbyes. The people that run it have put a lot of their time, own money and resources into running it and it’s not some just money making scheme like sorry I am going to be judgemental the other weekend group we tried. We haven’t made lots of new friends there, but we respect the people that run it, and enjoy going to it as both my partner and I can’t go to any playgroups during the week, and it is nice to see my son play and have fun in a large space, and now with other children as he becomes more social, especially during the winter months when you can run out of ideas what to do, and we can catch up on how much he has developed. I have publicised this group on my FB page as that is how much I like it and think it is the best one so far that we have been to.

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This leads me back to the thought I much prefer toddler groups to baby playgroups, maybe I am being unfair as I mostly go to toddler ones with OH now, so I go with company I enjoy and feel connected with, whereas the baby ones I had to go by myself more often than not, which leads me to think maybe baby playgroups would be much better with mummy speed dating. Buddy up with local pregnant women on the same wavelength as each other as these groups will always be much better with company. My advice is to make the effort to buddy up with another mother to be or expecting mother before you have your baby, someone hopefully you can see eye to eye with, it won’t stop you from attending groups that are not always right for you and your baby, but might make the experience a little less daunting and more enjoyable along the way.

https://www.popsugar.com/moms/3-Tips-Avoiding-Playgroups-from-Hell-27331729/

Week of facing my nemeses

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I didn’t think it would actually happen, I went back to the office I left. The one I left under rather hostile circumstances after shortly returning from maternity leave and had to face those hollow individuals once again, the people that I once trusted, but turned on me.

I remained calm, even though I knew they had spread utter lies about me and my character. The look of surprise and that momentary mouth open catching flies will always entertain me.

As one close friend joked to me about various scenarios to get my revenge once I reentered the building, but my ultimate revenge is I am still here, stronger than ever and not defeated. That will be my only ever ultimate revenge, that although what they did, their selfish actions did affect me for a little while, it has only made me stronger.

I am no longer as vulnerable as I once was, I will continue to go to these meetings and represent my new employer to the best of my ability, learn new things and develop my professional skills, and there is nothing they can do to stop me. That is my satisfaction.

To top the whole week off, I met my only other mummy nemesis as well today. As I said a few blogs back the nearest I got to going out on a mummy social night out, but then didn’t because of a bitchy mum. I met these group of mums once for lunch and a park outing, we had an OK time, apart from I had to leave early as my son could get very hyper then (he was going through the terrible twos, and their children were much younger) and he needed a nap at home. I spoke to the lady that organises most of the socials online a few times and then eventually met up, I never really got to meet up much after that as my work got in the way, but I was considering going on one of their much publicised mummy nights out. To be honest, the host seemed nice, a little flaky, but nice and I don’t really have anything against her, I put several mums in touch with her and her group as I remember how isolated and lonely it felt, and could get when I was on maternity leave myself. I know a few of the mummies I helped connect, and believe they have made good friends, and was assisting to make her online mummy social group grow and I am glad about that, and that helped some of these women, but it didn’t work for me.

However, I left the group after someone jumped down my throat for no reason, not the organiser, but another dominant female in the group, anyway after a long time of not ever seeing her or being in contact she was at the playgroup we regularly go to once a month at weekends. She is not a regular, so yes it was awkward, but again I remained calm, although probably was a bit frosty and that can be explained. She was rather judgemental over a comment I made on cry it out method, I was neither against it or for it, but said it personally didn’t work for us as it stressed my son out so much it made him sick and I couldn’t bear to see him like that. She basically said to me ‘you don’t leave them to be sick, cry it out doesn’t make them sick’. At this point I fumed, as I was being rather supportive that you do whatever approach works for you and that there isn’t a one size fits all approach, but was just explaining our experience. I wish I hadn’t bothered as I felt she made a judgement on our parenting skills, was being patronising and wasn’t really listening, and was only bothered about her own opinions. I never had this experience from the group before and felt we were all being supportive to each other up until that point, however, I knew I was no longer going to fit in, sometimes you know when you are ousted, and now the outsider and I didn’t want to try to fit in any longer. Just like my old workplace in a way. I didn’t know them very well, so I decided to leave their group and forget about them. I told her how dare she judge me with her exclamation marks (it was all online, yes, how sad), yes, they were my exact words, it is coming back to me now and let them all argue among themselves, and gossip. That was that until today, ha!

Unlike my old colleagues, at least she said ‘Hello’, so I will give her that, we exchanged a brief social pleasantry and that was that. However, pretty sure we will never want to be on each other’s Christmas card list. I may actually seem to be the anti-social bitch here hehe, but promise you I am not, not completely anyway haha Fussy and selective I suppose, but for me if someone crosses the line of no return then that is where it ends. What is that line you may say? Treat people with kindness, fairness, how you would want to be treated, don’t judge people on status, looks or superficial things (yes, sometimes easier said than done), actions always speak far louder than words and don’t react too rashly to something you hear without knowing the full facts. I know none of us are perfect, we all make mistakes, but on this occasion I know her remarks were not a human mistake, but intentionally judgemental and deliberately bitchy.

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Anyway sayonara bitches! ( nemeses!)

Further introduction, my early days of Motherhood

So, I did a kind of brief intro about 5 blogs back, this time I thought I would summarise really the start of my motherhood journey. I became pregnant by surprise after thinking I never would, just always assumed I had fertility issues, never really confirmed as such, but I had a minor op on my womb a year before I fell pregnant, so who knows maybe that helped me conceive. Anyway, after the initial shock my partner and I were happy with the news although a little overwhelmed, and we did our best to get things prepared and right.

Pregnant businesswoman working on a laptop

I was happy with the job I was in and always hope to return to work after taking maternity leave, although I knew becoming a working mum would be a challenge and eventually hoped to move onto something that would stretch my capabilities more when the time was right, but I never anticipated the rough ride that I was going to get though. My pregnancy went relatively smoothly after a few initial concerns, however, work was just trouble. Trouble was everyone was concerned how overworked they were going to be in my absence and wouldn’t give it a second thought to how this would make me feel, so insensitive, at first maybe not consciously, but then it turned malicious. I mean I know I should have expected this, people only like to feather their own nests these days. However, I truly felt I was working in a nice environment with people that I could trust and that we did favours for each other, I had always been prepared to cover people in the team whatever the circumstances, and I hoped that individuals would be happy to do so for me as well for a small period of time (I was only going to take 6 months off), but no. If you are wondering why not just get someone into cover my role, I work in a very specialised role, where there is not an abundance of people with the required skills available and it takes time to train someone to do the role. I left work to go on maternity leave depressed when it should have been the happiest time in my life, I dreaded returning back to work from day 1 of my maternity leave and not for the right reasons. Most mums probably go through that they may feel like that they will miss their child and everything they might miss, those first milestones by being at work, but this is I just dreaded to returning to an awful atmosphere and of course I did have those feelings later as well, I wanted to be there for more of the firsts. I did my best for those first few weeks on maternity leave to put these thoughts of work out of my mind and concentrate bringing this new life living inside of me into the world, and start preparing everything, although no matter how prepared you think you are, you never are.

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When life changed…

Yes, we were not prepared. I have to be honest my labour experience wasn’t the best, I think a night without my partner or any family on the early labour ward spoilt it. My early contractions were very painful, I had a lot of pain relief right from the start, found out that I was in back to back labour with no previous warnings that my baby was in this position, everything was suppose to be normal. I remember having gas & air and not reacting very well to it, and throwing up as my mum walked into the ward to be reunited with me in the early hours of the morning. I was glad to see her as she stopped me from choking on my own vomit as no midwives were around and she took control of the situation, with my partner looking on, guilty and helpless, bless him. I do apologise if I make labour sound horrid, it’s just my experience and one that I wished went better. Things did get better once we got up onto the delivery suite, although the medical staff decided it was best I had an epidural as was not coping with the contraction pain in my back, although this probably made my labour longer, first labours usually are anyway.

Unfortunately, I had a maternal fever in labour and most likely had an infection, I did get antibiotics whilst in labour, but my son still wasn’t well once he made his first appearance into the world. He was sleepy, had a low body temperature and not feeding well, and I was very much in pain and delirious, not a good combination. My son showed signs of infection and was put on IV antibiotics. After initially not feeding well he soon made up for it and had a voracious appetite, one unfortunately I couldn’t cope with the demand even more so after we got back from our 5 day stay in hospital. I also found out that my father had recently been diagnosed with lung cancer, I had ambivalent feelings towards my father, he was never a model father, but he was always there, but never one to learn from his mistakes, which infuriated me. Still I didn’t wish this news on him and there was nothing I could do. I never got to see him before he passed away as I was in a predicament with a newborn baby that had just got over a potentially serious neonatal infection, treated for suspected sepsis, he had been so lucky that it never turned into anything serious and I didn’t drive, my father lived too far away and I suffered with spd postnatally for 3-4 months.

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Dark times

Things didn’t get much better after we returned home, my son was feeding a lot, but he was not happy with it, his naps became erratic. He threw up more, and not just spitting up. I don’t really feel I got the support I needed off of the NHS, we eventually got a diagnosis of mild reflux and was given medicine for him, which helped a bit, and we did our best with doing our own research to help him. However, it was a struggle with a baby who didn’t sleep well and was not happy being fed. My son did become a happier baby a few months before I had to return to work, but a few things spoilt that time, a landlady wanting to hike up the rent on our flat, but paying a letting fee for the privilege of agreeing to it and drawing up a new contract. As the place was not exactly perfect, it seemingly was when we first moved in, but we had very noisy neighbours above, a pet rabbit poo problem on the balcony, so we never really used it and issues with me leaving a pushchair in the communal hallway for a tiny bit of the day before my partner came back home from work. So, we decided to say no to renewing, even though she was aware of these issues, she sent us a no fault eviction letter and gave us 2 months to find somewhere else, which was charming, we quickly found a very small house to move into. We have been reasonably happy living there for around the last 3 years.

A few weeks of my maternity leave were taken up with the stress of moving again rather than enjoying quality time with my baby. I was sad to leave my little one as those last 2 months of leave I really felt I just started to see a happy baby and now I had to leave him. His settling in sessions at nursery didn’t go well, he didn’t like to be apart from me one bit, although I tried to get him settled in. Lucky for me, my mum was happy to look after him for me instead, which she did for the first 2 years almost. I am very lucky she is retired.

I returned to work, I did my best to take no notice of the icy atmosphere, but then finally just as I was thinking maybe things were settling down. My son was better at napping and had almost outgrown his reflux issues, so in theory could cope with going on longer journeys. I thought finally I would take him to see my dad and I knew it probably be a goodbye. However, he died a few weeks or so after I thought of the possibility and a month after I returned to work. Then trouble started again, my attendance was being monitored by the company, I had taken time off for illness and bereavement. I was reminded absence was a burden on the company, I snapped and I left. The union sorted out a pay deal, although that was the right thing to do, I just wanted to return to my job without all this bother. It was a difficult dark time and stress took its toll on my health for a while.

Things got worse, before they got better

However, I immediately started contracting work within a month of leaving my previous company, my only wish was that extra month I got to spend with my son, which was great, was filled with less worry. I was made a permanent employee after 5 months of doing contract work for them. Shortly into this I lost another family member, a dear uncle, that had always helped my family out and was a rock, and deserved so much more than he got out of life, I just thought things were never going to get any better and that I might head for a breakdown. I have to say the company I work for now have been the complete opposite, offered counselling and allowed me time to go to these appointments, and have been understanding during times of illnesses or when my childcare has fell through and it has made a world of difference. I am now on anti depressants, unfortunately the counselling did not work for me, but I appreciated the company’s support. After being fearful of going on anti depressants I have to say they have done me a world of good, and I am not a drained zombie zapped of all emotion without coherent thought (OK the last bit some of you might question lol). I may return to talking counselling when I feel I am ready for it.

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New beginnings

My confidence had took a severe battering after all these life changes, motherhood, repetitively moving house, adjusting to a new area, returning to work after an extended absence, bereavement, leaving job, starting new job, and mental health issues. However, now I feel it is returning and new beginnings will happen.

Links for reflux survival guide & tips:

http://www.bliss.org.uk/reflux

https://reflux.support/

Links for maternity discrimination:

https://www.maternityaction.org.uk/?doing_wp_cron=1482221664.2515180110931396484375

http://pregnantthenscrewed.com

Links for bereavement:

Bereavement Leave and Your Rights Article:

https://www.theguardian.com/money/work-blog/2014/jan/10/bereavement-leave-your-rights-support-work?

NHS Bereavement Guide:

http://www.nhs.uk/livewell/bereavement/pages/bereavement.aspx

Links for maternal mental health:

http://everyonesbusiness.org.uk/?page_id=6

 

 

 

Pistols at Dawn

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Thursday 11th August 2016

On my way home from work today I had eye contact with a complete stranger, one of those straight look through you type of stares, not exactly you are nothing, but one that seems to go right down into the depths of your soul just for a mere second, OK with maybe a bit of you are beneath me haha I am probably over analysing.

However, I thought I would put my over analysation into words. Basically it was an almost pistols at dawn moment with a Botox mummy, I am exaggerating it was just a stare.

Botox mummy

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That mere second look made me think how different our lives must be as she ushered her children out of a car and into St. Pancras station. Her tailored clothing, finely coiffured hair, over made almost expressionless face meets scruffy bun girl (to be honest I am gripping on to a cliff edge with dear life to hang on to that label, and I am not sure I can get away much longer with calling myself girl) and a rather inadequate model for Yours clothing lol no make up and a very unyummy mummy that has to work 9 to 5 5 days per week and not be expected to attend the next soirĂ©e with children at hand, and probably has a nanny to assist most of time, just kidding I don’t know what she was up to.

No poker face!

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I did peer in the mirror of my future for just a moment, no not the lifestyle, come on I am not delusional… I mean getting older and being a mummy, and there is no way I want Botox, not that I could justify the expense and I hate needles, but no way. I will just accept getting old gracefully well in terms of skin saggage (not even a word lol), but I want to keep expression and not lose it. I was once told by a former line manager that my face was too expressive, I think it was meant as constructed criticism, but, well thanks very much, I like it that way or should I say I was born this way?!?! Smiles with laughter lines

 

Feeling too old to be boozy

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Surreal night out was had recently, which regrettably (using that word is probably a tad harsh, no harm came to no man nor beast, but we decided to call it a night and probably was a bit of a let down especially to the 20 something year old in our troupe hehe) was prompted by me.

Maybe there was a bizarre subsconscious rekindling nostalgic moment on my behalf or some kind of weird twilight parallel universe thing going on, a Queen Bey night? Yep, I don’t even like BeyoncĂ©, well not really anyway, I am not enthused by her, indifferent at most and sometimes I find her a tad irritating. However, one of my former best mates did worship her, and yes, he was gay, the only thing that night had in common with back then was we were again a trio of oddballs*. I mean in the sense that none of us had anything in common and yes, not part of the popular posse, although back then the only thing we had in common was our age, surviving BS (a pseudonym for our secondary school education) and a love for Northern Soul & Motown, other than that our music tastes were completely different. I think there was one moment that dawned on the older members of that current trio, that we were too old for this, well that was my feeling and maybe we had nothing the fuck in common lol

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Not going back…

Anyway I can’t go back to my 20 something days, well I could occasionally, but next time if I did I would like to get it right hehe. I avoided all suggestions of mummy night socials so far, well, before completely committing myself to a night out, as they haven’t felt right, I have been put off of going as I found someone too bitchy in the group and well, that just did it for me, and the fact the majority of them were so young and rather than feeling like a yummy mummy, I would have probably felt like a granny has been.

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Like my son, I have grown apart from my old school besties, life took us in different directions, although I occasionally miss our oddball* nights out and maybe nothing will ever live up to them. However, here is to the future, maybe there is still life in the old dog yet… Yep, I don’t believe it either, but a different life, yes.. The truth is the most ‘out’ of my gay friends left to work in Austria, I always meant to keep in touch with him, but well the trio fell apart after that as he was the glue really that kept us together. Although I made contact with him a few years ago, he well disappeared again, I don’t know whether that is down to the fact he leads a very complicated love life, which he is still trying to keep secret from his family and needs to disappear off FB from time to time or his job or maybe I have just been ghosted as I am such a boring mummy these days haha. Anyway, I tend not to worry about the reasons, what is the point?

…and finally

Maybe I should create an advert, “Boring rushed off her feet mummy seeks oddball* friends for occasional night out with those who have no interest in going out on the pull anymore, social drinking and random conversation with no pretences much appreciated”

Anyway signing off with my tribute to my younger days’ nostalgia

* ‘oddball’ term is used with the highest esteem, it is not a pejorative term and is seen as something positive

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Generation selfie before camera phones!

 

Making Friends Summer 2016

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My 3 year old has just started the whole etiquette of making friends and is developing his social skills, he had a ‘bestie’ at nursery. Unfortunately, he was a year older than my son and is moving on to big school, and leaving my son behind. So, just as he is starting this whole friendship challenge, he has experienced the loss of friendship already and no, I am not going to stalk parents of said child for play dates, hehe. I have to say it has made more of an impact on him than I had ever anticipated, before he didn’t care and now he does. I wasn’t expecting to deal with this so soon, as I thought the boy was staying on until the end of summer, so we are quite unprepared. In one way I am reassured my boy is developing normally on an emotional level and not completely detached, but again I am left with how to deal with the consequences and how to help encourage him to make new friends.

Rather than give lots of advice and tips here, as I don’t have any at the moment. I have compiled what may be a few useful links and will update my blog with what has helped us the most.

Links:

http://www.parentingscience.com/preschool-social-skills.html

http://www.parents.com/toddlers-preschoolers/development/social/social-development-milestones-ages-1-to-4/

https://www.popsugar.com/moms/How-Help-Your-Preschooler-Handle-Losing-Friend-27333226/

Introvert mum, extrovert son

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The challenges of being an introvert mum with a potentially extrovert child and helping them make friends, keeping them reassured and helping their confidence grow when you are not the best example to lead from is a difficult one.

I was painfully shy as a child, and to be honest I think that was my natural disposition as well as life circumstances contributing to it. My personal belief there is nothing wrong with being the quiet reflective one. However, my shyness was so painful that at times it was an obstacle for me.

I am not so shy now, although have momentary relapses from time to time, but have little time for small talk, which yes maybe selfish of me. I am a loyal and committed friend with of course imperfections to anyone that enters my life, but I do like my alone time to ponder, collect thoughts and unwind. My son on the other hand has shown himself to be the opposite, loud, VERY LOUD and attention seeking at times (not saying that in a derogatory tone, sometimes I admire his spirit), he is very funny, and his sense of humour will probably get better with age and full of boundless energy (alas what it is like to be young). The few things we do have in common is stubborness, passion and a fiery temper, although that is probably a family trait. I am not as shy as I once was, I can still be socially awkward and blunt, I have emotional intelligence and can be perceptive, but am hardly a social butterfly. I can be socially clumsy, do not enjoy it and find the whole thing draining, see there I said it and found the whole baby playgroup thing on maternity leave put me out of my comfort zone. Plus, I have never been one for endless baby talk and becoming a mother hasn’t changed that, ok, only a wee bit hehe. So, bearing this in mind it is a great challenge to me to encourage my son to be the opposite of me and flutter his social butterfly wings.

Again I have started to look for tips and advice on the Internet for introverted parents of extroverted children, and will report back my findings and if anything what I have found of use. Of course, this will be an ongoing project for sometime.

Links:

http://www.todaysparent.com/blogs/odd-mama-out/parenting-extreme-extrovert-when-introvert/

https://geekdad.com/2011/04/tips-for-introverted-parents-raising-extraverted-kids/

http://www.quietrev.com/introvert-parents-extrovert-kids-help/

http://education.penelopetrunk.com/2015/07/03/how-introvert-parents-help-extrovert-kids/

Preschool Friendship Update

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Friday 9th September 2016

My son got over his friendship loss sooner than expected, if only adults could get over things like that as quickly hehe. After a few difficult weeks, he appears to have settled back into nursery, and is making friends and is having fun again. He no longer talks about one particular friend anymore, but seems content. I suspect the next big changes such as moving to his big kids bed (fingers crossed goes smoother than I am fearing) and primary school, but that is still another year away, so have time to think about that and prepare for it.

The things we tried to do is lots of fun activities to distract him when he was spending quality time with us, not dwell on his loss and focus on the positives of making new friends, and all the fun things he does at preschool. To be honest, I was a little taken back about how upset he got and how it negatively affected his behaviour for a while, but pleased to say it didn’t last. Once again wish I could say adult friendship loss was so easily forgotten.