My dream with ‘Mummy Nemesis’

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I think I had a dream, no possibly a nightmare with the one I call ‘mummy nemesis’ last night. I think why I share such vitriol for her is I spotted an online plead for help from her after she was obviously in a vulnerable position after giving birth to her second child, and wanted to be relieved from her sense of isolation. You know that feeling, where your own friends are too busy and don’t give a shit, must remember it if you had a child within the last 5 years or if you didn’t you were utterly lucky. I responded to it and put her in touch with a local online mummy meet up group I recently found out about (yes I am repeating myself if you have read one of my earlier blogs), she got to the meet ups before me as she was currently on maternity leave and I was back at work, I didn’t find it easy to make it to one. However, I responded with the best intentions as I wanted to be supportive and my first few months with my lo were not the best, in fact some of it were very dark moments for me. I didn’t even have the energy to reach out, if I was not sleeping, I was attending to my baby’s needs or the few essential household chores I could fit in-between, I was a complete mombie. I tried a few local playgroups to get myself out of the house, but never found any other mothers I clicked with, well the faces kept changing and no, I didn’t click with the regulars. There were brief moments where I had nice pleasant conversations or a few words with other mothers, but nothing went any further, God sounds like dating or a relationship haha I didn’t want to appear desperate to take things any further haha perhaps my fault, but the again I am not desperate, I like my own company, but would have been nice to share the experience with someone else who was going through something similar and I did in a fragmentary way through various online forums.

Anyhow she put the dagger in after I commented on something on this online group forum and I don’t think I deserved the reaction as I tried to be sensitive, but reveal some of my experience, I moved on and refrained from using this group as a support source anymore. Occasionally I bump into her as she lives in the same area, but fortunately that is not very often.

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My dream or more like a nightmare was if I had finally agreed to one of these mummy social nights out, but it appears I was with some of my family. We were sharing drinks and conversation, I happened to make a sarcastic comment about something a member of my family had said, then I heard a laugh. Our eyes met and it was ‘mummy nemesis’ sitting at the next table with a friend. It wasn’t a bitchy laugh, more she was on my wavelength with my sense of humour and that is where the nightmare begins me on a reconciliation path with ‘mummy nemesis’ I glad I woke up haha We were about the only two in the group that met up that were around the same age, and at times I think we shared some sense of generational moments, but I think that is all we had in common, just glad I woke up hehe I am also praying that her lo doesn’t end up at the same school as my son, what would be the odds? Scary!

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The Power in Quietness

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My Nan Ada with myself and my sister, circa early 1980s

My Nan was a lady of few words, but you wouldn’t really misbehave in her presence. As her face would reveal more than words could ever do, some say I have inherited that trait, although I think she put it to better use than I could ever do. Don’t mistake me, she had flaws, generational misconceptions and was sometimes her own worst enemy, especially when it came to her health. She lived to a grand old age of 95 though, but she could have seen health professionals a bit more to improve her quality of life, especially in terms of her eyesight, she would not have a Cataracts operation, but then to be honest I squirm over anything to do with the eyes as well. However, I admire the fact she wasn’t one to interfere, how many grandparents today overstep the boundary of telling you how to raise children rather than sit back and only give out opinions and advice when asked? When I get older, I hope to have some of her spirit and learn to value there is a power in silence sometimes, that there is a time to use words and there are times to sit back to reflect, butt out or just enjoy the peace or the goings on around you, and sometimes fewer words used sparingly are more powerful than non stop talking or lecturing.

My Nan who left this world in January 2003, now one would hope reunited with her son, who left us in 2014.

Happy New Year – 2017!

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Enjoying our day out to London over Christmas 2016

Apologies, I haven’t updated my blog for sometime, probably since late October last year. However, it has been a busy time for us and also my last blog host site became uneditable, well at least from my iPhone as that is what I work off at the moment, so it has taken time to transfer all my blogs to WordPress, and the last three I had to manually type again. It may not look aesthetically the best site at the moment, but may work on that later, but I hope the content may interest some of my audience and thanks to all those who liked my FB page recently and got it up to 50 likes milestone (I think I owe one of you a stress relieving dildo), hopefully will reach 100 before the end of 2017, who knows.

Anyway, so what has been taking up all my time. As I indicated in my last few blogs my OH was made redundant towards the end of last year, so it’s been job search, job search and continually updating CV, which I have overviewed some of that process. I am pleased to say he is now in work, although not his dream role nor a permanent role yet. However, at least he is earning and the rate isn’t bad by today’s stagnant standards, he is earning over the recommended London living wage, so things are OK for us at the moment. He hopes to move on to a permanent role with increased responsibility soon. Fingers crossed that can happen.

My son had a number of childhood illnesses at the same time as my OH was out of work, I know that time of year, but he was really unlucky one after another, chickenpox, hand, foot & mouth and the worse one as I said before just a common cold, but it did end up giving him a chest infection and then the other alarming thing is when he saw the doctor they heard a heart murmur. This has caused us some worry and anxiety, he had blood tests and they came back clear, but he saw our GP again after these were taken and was feeling much better, however, she could still hear his heart murmur. So, he was referred for more tests at a heart and lung specialist hospital. This caused us some worry in the back of our minds over Christmas, but we tried to enjoy our break and make it a good one. He had all the tests done last week, ECG & Echo scan and I am relieved to say his heart is normal and healthy, and it is just an innocent heart murmur, and has been discharged. He has really been good for all the tests and is a much better patient than I am, very proud of him. We celebrated by having a family meal out and granted his request for a new toy, although going to have curb these requests now as it is going to bankrupt us.

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Christmas Day 2016

I also finally succumbed to the lurgy bug, just before the New Year, so didn’t get to finish transferring all my blogs to WordPress or work on any new ones until now. I am hoping we can look forward to 2017 with optimism as a family unit that is, although politically things look dire, my OH will break free of contracts in more ways than one this year and hopefully will move into a permanent role soon and feel happier. It’s my son’s 4th birthday this summer and he will go to big school in September, we await to hear what school he has been allocated in April, we faced a conundrum with what we put as first choice in the end, more to do with childcare and then when we heard his old preschool bestie attended the one we were going to put as second choice and changed our minds at the last minute to move it to first despite some reservations we had, so we will see what happens. Either way the top two choices are 5 minutes down the road from us, although one has slightly better hours of wraparound care than the other, then we will be completely astounded if we get allocated the last two choices haha, shouldn’t laugh as it could happen, they are not bad schools just geographically further away from us and not as practical for us going to and from work.

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Happy New Year from my Paw Patroller

For my readers, thanks for the attention and I hope my ramblings bring some comfort or laughs for you and best wishes for all your families in 2017!

Lurgy Leave?

My Parental leave/annual leave wasn’t all what I hoped for, and was filled with the lurgy. I was hoping to be a little more active in the latter weeks of my leave, meet other mums, go to playgroups and Softplay, but instead was struck down with a number of childhood illnesses, chickenpox (glad it is out of the way though, and he seemed to cope with it OK and was at home to look after him and comfort him), then hand, foot & mouth and then to be honest the worse one was the last, just a common cold and cough, that made him sick a lot, he still has the remnants of his cough left and the icy air at times makes him wheezy.

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Progress or not?

So did we set out what we wanted to achieve with this time off of work? My son is now sleeping in his own room, but the co-sleeping cycle still not really broken. We had a very successful first few nights, but then he got chickenpox and was ill with it, it just felt heartless not to cuddle him through that, then he got hand, foot & mouth, then a really bad cold and cough as I said above, so much so he was vomiting phlegm. Anyway the one real progress we have made is he is finally weaned off his soother, and he now associates it with pain because of how hand, foot and mouth made him feel. He no longer needs it to sleep, yay! Him having a sore mouth actually helped put him off of relying on it, and weaning him off of it was long overdue. He only used it at night most recently and has never been addicted to it during the day, and we have no worries about his speech. Don’t regret using them as it kept him calm as a little baby, and helped with the sleep, especially with turning the persistent catnapper into a more full well rested napper, and lots of research shows that it helps with reflux which he use to experience when he was younger, if only apparently mildly. Secondly, we started viewing primary schools, as we have to apply for our son to start reception class next year, and have a final school to view this week. However, relief, the nearest local ones left us with no negative feelings and probably going to put our nearest one as our first choice, be astounded if he doesn’t get in, but we will see.

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The search is on

Finally My OH’s job search has been a pain at times, dealing with recruitment agencies, who all have differing advice and want something different, and can end up making your head spin rather than help, but really it seems opportunities are like buses they all come at once or you wait for ages. Just fingers crossed a permanent role materialises soon. It’s been good though over the last 5 weeks that my OH has spent some quality time with my son and I think in-between the stress, they have had a really good time enjoying each other’s company.

 

 

Tough times ahead

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Friday 30th September 2016

It has happened again, not to me, but my partner this time. I feel awful for him, and do worry about our future. It came at the worst time as we were just about to sign up finally to get ourselves on the property ladder, well at least we hadn’t signed anything. However, now got the worry of keeping the current roof over our heads.

My partner has been worried about his job ever since I met him, his company have been cost cutting, pushing people out whenever they can, almost using this economic instability since 2008 as an excuse to just save money. Maybe the current climate really has badly affected his school now, but it really sounds like a toxic environment to be in right now. I am almost glad my partner will be getting out, he has survived to make it to redundancy. So yes, this hasn’t come as a complete surprise, but was hoping this day wasn’t going to come so soon. I do worry about our future and how we are going to survive, we should be alright until Christmas at least, but will have to make some tough decisions in the upcoming months.

I really do hope my partner finds another job quickly, he deserves to, and fingers crossed to work in a less toxic atmosphere and I will do all that I can to help him. On the plus side, depending on whether his company make him work his notice period or not, I hope he can soon spend some quality time with our son as he has never been able to do this really before. It has always been odd weeks or days here and there, and at least that will be something positive to do until he finds work.

If we get through this then I will post the most useful back to work tips I can find to help others

Our roller coaster update

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Saturday 15th October 2016

Apologies I have been a bit quiet with the blogs as of late, but it has been a busy few weeks and a bit of a roller coaster ride really. A few weeks ago we were contemplating getting ourselves finally on the property ladder, we had some doubts about the property being right for us (in fact it was too big for our needs and we were worried it was going to stretch us a little too much) and about a very volatile market/economy at the moment. However, then the decision was taken out of our hands and my partner was made redundant, it was a shock, but not as it has been something he has been fearing for a while. To be honest it has been an achievement that he has stuck it out to redundancy as I am quite sure his company would have preferred to save on the pay out. Luckily we also found out this news before we signed any paperwork for the property or put down a reservation fee.

 LinkedIn Careerist?

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It has been my partners’ first week at home since he has left work, and he has been trying his hardest to look for work and has met up with a couple of recruitment consultants this week, one who has suggested he puts himself on LinkedIn as that is apparently the new fangled way to find work these days. I have helped him set up a profile, we just need to find (take really) a suitable photo of him and get him connected to a few more recruitment agencies. I have even succumbed to creating a profile, how we both hate the idea of it, but what needs must. I just hope we get some good news sooner than later.

Quality Daddy & Son time

The positives have been my partner has been able to spend some quality time with my son, just daddy and son time, which he rarely got the opportunity to do before.

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Visit to our local Football Stadium with daddy

Threenager – not concerned though

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One downer has been my son’s nursery think his behaviour is getting odd again, really can’t see it myself, yes he is displaying a little attitude from time to time and gets in strops occasionally, but really don’t see it as a big thing. I mean from what other boys his age can be like from time to time. Anyway they want to observe and monitor him, and well, it’s another worry we don’t need to have again. Fine, if they want to learn and find better ways to manage his behaviour, but hopefully not place a label on my child, as yes I did have fears previously, but they have completely gone now and was reassured by a community nursery nurse that we regularly saw that she had no concerns and we were discharged from her care.

Transition finally here…

Final thing my annual leave and parental leave has come around, which I am using mainly to get my son into his own room, yes finally, and to visit prospective primary schools for next year. My son’s room has been tidied up and quite a few finishing touches added to the room. Tonight has been my son’s first night in his own bed, and well he has gone asleep, it may have taken slightly longer than normal as he was quite excited actually, but he went to sleep so success. We are also doing it the gentle way, so my other half and I are going to take turns to have a sleepover in his room and gradually retreat. Tonight I am on the old pullout bed and finally my OH gets to reclaim the comfy double bed, well he has been down on his luck, so finally he gets to sleep on a proper mattress, at least that is something even though the rest of everything lately has been shit, haha, got to laugh or you would cry.

Hoping we can carry on the successful transition for my son to sleep in his own room…

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Growing Up, you can go now mummy

Monday 19th September 2016

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OK, maybe not that fast hehe

My son went to another birthday party, invited by another kid from his preschool, it was his first proper soft play party experience, ours too. We have been to this soft play centre a good few times before and it is a well run one that my son enjoys going to. However, usually when we go my partner and I get a good work out too. This time I lead him into the under 5’s area where the birthday boy and his friends were, as usual he wanted me to go with him and asked me to climb to the upper level. I proceeded to do that and then his friends whizzed round the corner, shouting his name and then I said there is the birthday boy and your friends. My son went on to give a big smile, and then said something, which at first I didn’t hear properly, I asked again do you want me to go up with you? He then told me no mummy you can go now haha I was a bit surprised, yes, surprised, stunned, but pleased, no longer my clingy little velcro baby anymore, but growing up to be a very much independent little boy.

Playgroup and our trip to York

Sunday 18th September 2016

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Playgroup

Another good start to the weekend by going to our favourite breakfast playgroup with our son, he played really nicely there and even is enjoying getting involved at the song at the end, more than he ever has before. Nice recent touch that they are giving the children a instrument to play, my lo really loved his keyboard xylophone, the musical clamour is great.

However, guess who was there? Yes, my mummy nemesis, if you don’t know why I refer to this particular mum as that it was because of a show down over parenting styles, although I was never being critical over anyone’s style at all, and still very hurt by it. I have to admit I felt a small pang of sympathy for her yesterday, it did look like her friend didn’t turn up or the fact she decided to come again without her. I did think should I be social, but thought no why should I? I was never rude, I just wouldn’t be, but there were a few difficult moments with her two sons, a few accidents and she happened to be away with the fairies at the time. Whereas for any other mum I may have offered more help, but on this occasion decided not to get involve for the mum that apparently knew best. I only have the one child at the moment, so realise it must be even more of a handful with two so close in age. She left early, not sure of her reasons, didn’t notice her go, but doubt the experience would make her rethink she should apply a bit more thought before opening her mouth again.

The rest of our afternoon was filled with travel and visiting my son’s nanny. So while I am on the subject of travel, thought I would return to our recent long weekend trip to York and tell you about the highlights of it.

National Railway Museum, York

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At the National Railway Musuem

We must have a spent at least 5 hours in there. Great for all ages, adults and kids a like, lots of trains on show, including The Mallard and Bullet Train, got to see a turntable in motion experience, and going into several drivers cabs of steam locomotives, and being explained what some of the knobs and levers do as such. In fact as one of the demonstrators said not many kids can say they bounced off of The Mallard, which my son did, trust him to be so clumsy, slip while pretending to get coal to put into the firebox. Also they have a indoor under 5’s play area, as well as an outside play area, model railways and a miniature train to ride on outside. Also no entry fee, but donations accepted, so terrific value. They are a few cafes to choose from here, but also plenty of areas to eat your packed lunch as well. We chose the Dining Car cafe though.

York City Walls, Minster and sightseeing tours

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York City Walls

The very intact city walls are great to walk along and get better views of the city. The Minster is stunning inside and out, got to experience the full glory of the bells chiming, which my son is fascinated with.

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York Minster

Did the usual tourist things like do a boat trip on the Ouse and open deck bus tour around York, got to know all about its glorious and gory past. Normally usually avoid these type of things, but great for kids and my son was literally begging to go on a bus all the time we were there, so might as well go for the open roof upper deck experience, although he snoozed for half of the tour in the end hehe

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The Ouse

The Shambles and York Chocolate Story

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Chocolate tasting

Loved looking around the Shambles and all its unique shops, popped into York’s Chocolate Story, stocked up on chocolate (mainly gifts, honest hehe) and did some chocolate tasting, although my son seemed more interested in our palate cleansers (cream crackers). You can do tours, but avoided it as didn’t think our son would have the patience yet, but ended up being embarrassed in here anyway haha. After behaving himself really well, decided he could have one last treat before going, a hot chocolate, mega tantrum, next time just get one with cream and marshmallows in lol I know shouldn’t always give in, but really tantrum would have been avoided. One final thing never realised York’s connection and history with chocolate so much.

Afternoon tea

Final treat afternoon tea at Betty’s tea rooms, lovely and so proud of my son being well behaved, no huge embarassing scenes were caused, much better than we thought he would be, no crockery broken at all. I hated tea at my son’s age, but he loves it.

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Afternoon Tea