Story time

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Bookstart Bear National Book Week at the local Library

Twice now my son has almost been an angel at story time at the local library, we have started to go as want to get him ready for school and know he finds sitting still at times a bit of an issue. However, pleasantly surprised and have certainly gone more smoothly than his exercise lessons. His old nursery tried to recently say this is one of his weaknesses, I don’t know maybe me being with him makes all the difference and I can’t hold his hand throughout school. Although have to say really pleased and proud of him. He enjoyed yesterday’s session so much that he has asked to join the library so he can take out books, so sweet.

What a last few weeks?

What a last few weeks? Not just for me personally, but terrorist attacks too, the world has gone mad! Simultaneously this country seems focused on wanting to nuke the world too, the one thing we need a world leader to do is have a willingness to nuke everyone, I despair?

I mean my childcare woes seem trivial in comparison, but it shook my small world up and shocked by what just seemed to me as unreasonable spitefulness. We have found replacement childcare and hoping my little is one much happier there and can continue to progress. Waiting for the NHS to still get back to us and confirm they have no worries or concerns about my son, and he is ready to start school in September.

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Enjoying himself at the playground

This weekend we tried our first story time at the local library and have to say I was impressed with my son in the end as it was his first time in a library, he sat and listened, and was very quiet. To be honest I think the volunteer would have appreciated a bit more feedback and interaction, but it was only a small group and it was only our first time attending. However, nothing like the nursery was trying to tell me he was at these kind of sessions, admittedly he may behave better for me. So, two things we are going to continue to persevere with is his preschool gymnastics class and story time at the library. We have also got more puzzles and few simple games like picture dominoes and memory games to work on his concentration. Trying out magnesium flakes in his bath a couple times of week in order to help relax him a bit more, not sure it will make any difference, but suppose to be good for skin conditions and he does have mild eczema anyway, also might try it out myself as apparently good for muscle stiffness, yep feeling my age!

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Magnesium Flakes

http://drcarolyndean.com/2010/10/should-kids-take-magnesium/

So starting to feel positive, things we need to sort out are finances for childcare (refunds and new payment, just another headache I will be glad is out of the way and done with) and toy organisation, never ending, got rid of a few bits about a month back and now feeling overwhelmed by toys once again ha! Feeling happy about our son’s new garden corner, but got to deal with those pesky slugs who are chomping on my new plants this week!

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Pesky chomping slugs!

The one thing I wasn’t anticipating was changing my son’s childcare so near to starting school and was hoping to only deal with one change, rather than two, but hey life is always ready to throw a few curveballs your way!

April Showers

30th April 2017

This month has been literally scattered with them, not literally, but metaphorically speaking and sometimes the sun has shone through in intervals in between.

My son’s behaviour at nursery has taken a turn for the worse, one of my biggest fears has been him no longer enjoying going there, so much so the nursery has requested a health visitor to monitor his behaviour at nursery and this is due next week, have no idea what the outcome will be for that. Again at home not really a big concern, yes he has little tantrums from time to time, and wants his own way at times, but what kid doesn’t? The only thing left for us to achieve really in the immediate future is him not being scared of the dark and having the confidence to sleep on his own for a whole night. Anyway, fortunately he loved his last two days at nursery, although it was a concern that I walked in on one of the biggest meltdowns I have seen him do for a while, when I collected him from nursery at the beginning of the week, but we will see how things go.

On the up side we did get his first choice school in the end, relieved as this one has wrap around care that we can work around. However, had to make sacrifices and send my son to a local faith community school. We are not church goers so wanted to send him really to a secular school, but my OH and I need to work and we had to swap our school choices around at the last minute due to lack of childcare in the area. As it is a community school there was no need to fake going to church, but just accept that is the angle and ethos they are coming from. We felt optimistic after our first parents’ information evening at the school earlier this week, but regret asking to join their Facebook parent led group as had a mother from the group was on my case most of this weekend, with a barrage of messages. That has made me have bad feelings about where I am going to send my son to school now, but will try to get pass it. I really only hope to send my son there for the first year anyway as we are hoping to buy a house soon (an ungraspable dream most of the time, but fed up of renting) and realise we can’t in our current location, so it’s no big deal that he has to go to this school one hopes as the social committee doesn’t seem to like me or one member of it at least.

Only other highlights are MIL is back home, and OH’s support is needed less by her, fingers crossed can stay that way for a bit. He has also worked his first month in a permanent job role, and he hopes to look for other opportunities as soon as his probation period is finished.

We also tried a Little Kickers taster session for my boy a week ago, although the coaches were nice, and the class was well led, our son just wasn’t really into it, although enjoyed some aspects of it. Just not enough to purchase 6 more sessions. So, on the lookout for another exercise activity for my energetic nearly 4 year old boy.

Other photo highlights from the month:

My not so anonymous rant!

I have seen a few messages on here lately thinking why do they bother with ‘such a name’ mum social type app? Well, it is not so much a criticism of the site or app, but more generally. I am a working mum trying to set up a few regular monthly weekend mummy socials for working mums, although I welcome all mums. As you must know if you live in a big town suitable family friendly venues get busy on the weekends, so I have asked people to confirm their attendance as it may be best for me to reserve a table. However, you either get no response or someone says why don’t you move it to Monday? I am sorry, but that annoys me like I have all the time in the world to work my schedule around all your needs, if you want a meet on a Monday, then suggest one yourself. To be honest I did do one during the week on my day off from work a few weeks back and it was no more popular than the ones I have tried to do on weekends or bank holidays. I am sorry there has been this you must have to do a softly, softly approach, some mums are shy and anxious, well I know how that feels as I suffer from nerves myself, but think some mums are being just thoughtless, ha! I don’t mind the lack of responses, it’s the ones that agree and are no shows and never say anything one way or another, it is like talking to a brick wall! Have the notifications been sorted on ‘such, and such’ a site/app? Yes, probably have and my first thoughts are probably right ha! Makes me wonder, sorry rant over, I will persevere, but bloody good sign already that this mummy social will be a success and that I will get on with these mothers, ha!

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How to host a Mummy Play date?

The Non Maternal Mum?

That was me in the beginning. I never craved having a family, never got in a position on a date of scaring a man off by saying I wanted to have his babies (well not literally anyway) haha

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Then I met the love of my life, hehe, my OH will know why I am using that phrase. Our relationship was a bit whirlwind, we fell in love fast, and we certainly enjoyed each other’s company enough to make a baby. It was an unexpected surprise, little bit of a shock too, it took a while for it to actually sink in for me that I really was pregnant. I didn’t get excited that much about it until the end of my pregnancy, only then did I allow myself to buy a few baby things. I guess a part of it is I didn’t want to tempt fate for anything to go wrong. My mother had lost two babies and had problems with having boy babies in particular, and I was due to have a boy.

I spoke to my OH at times throughout the pregnancy that I was concerned how I might feel as I have never really been a maternal person or had a burning desire to have children. I was concerned how I would feel once my baby was born. When my son was born I didn’t feel the rush of love a lot of women say they get, to be honest I felt numb, not sure how I felt or how to describe it. I was in awe of what happened, and the baby laying next to me in one of those NHS transparent plastic cots had grown inside of me and was now really my son, and yes I was a mother? Yes, another lot of disbelief, I knew I had a duty/obligation, but no instant love there.

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Over time love grows stronger

The aim of this blog is to reassure those who may feel like this, that it doesn’t last forever, and feelings change. The instant warm glow of love isn’t always there, for us the bond grew over time, to be honest sometimes so much so that my son is inseparable. All I will say is talk through your feelings with someone you trust, don’t be hard on yourself, get breaks from your lo when you need as exhaustion is a mood killer, love will grow and seek professional help if you need it.

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In love with February

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Monday 27th February 2017

Finally got here, ready to take two days off of work and spend a bit more time with my little boy.

This month has not been as boring as last month and we have not been as ill, although MIL is back in hospital again.

We have continued to go to our favourite weekend playgroup, albeit in a different location, got to see Mr Bloom, have to say my son loved it and was a really good boy for his first theatre experience and has enjoyed himself at another friend’s birthday party.

Feeling nervous that I am going to take my son to a playgroup without my OH for support and actually attempting to do another mummy social after looking like I bottled the last one, I was ill! Still trying after a few failures haha

Tips from the mummysocial team (personally given up in April, but if you have more strength to try, then please see mummysocial tips)

https://mummysocial.com/mum-blog/the-lowdown-on-getting-social-with-mummy-social

Also thanks to all of those that visited and viewed my blog recently, keep coming back, liking and sharing thanks

The Clique?

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How do things evolve into Cliques?

Does anyone ever wonder?

Even the most sincere intention of reaching out to mummies and making more friends that have some common ground can turn into something exclusive and defeat the initial objectives, and intentions of an individual(s).

I have never really been a part of clique, except once at work and have vowed after that experience to never be a part of one again as things always get ugly. Humans seem to enjoy wielding a little bit of power, no matter how insignificant it may be, eventually imaginary lines will be crossed and sides be taken, a type of experience you thought you left at school has never really disappeared. The nicest ever group setting I have ever experienced was when I studied art at further education level, there was no competition (obviously there was in grades, but just didn’t feel it or any hostility), just a genuine interest in our common subject matter, all unique individuals with different experiences, maturity levels that shared living in a certain geographical location. That was the nicest social grouping I have ever experienced, maybe because I decided never to get involved in petty social politics and had a hunger to do my best in my subject matter and never ever have experienced anything like it again, even when doing some evening art courses (perhaps it just takes longer to get a real cameraderie going).

However, mummy social groups have taken me back to school (maybe perhaps as so many are straight out of school, just kidding, putting my judgemental side away, as seriously it gets worse with age as then sometimes it is about status seeking as well) or even something different than school, some there is just a disinterest in making friends as social support groups have been already established and you never get beyond social pleasantries, others just already have a tight bond with mums they already know and go to playgroups with these buddies, and sit in a huddle chatting more than interacting with their children. Hormones and sleep deprivation probably doesn’t help either in the early days.

The reason I am pondering about cliquey behaviour this weekend as our favourite weekend playgroup has changed locations and runs from a church hall further away from us, which is a little bit of a pain as liked the fact we could just walk to it and now we have to take a bus ride to get to it. I understand the playgroup organisers’ reasons it has made it more simple for them to run it from one location instead of two, the one we originally went to wasn’t getting the numbers, although think we preferred the more laid back feel and bigger space. The playgroup organisers need the numbers to secure further future funding, so understand their decision.

However, obviously we are all getting use to a new setting, including my son, whose immediate thought that the new location was too quiet, it wasn’t in the end, a very busy playgroup, don’t think busy is always better. I am sure he will adjust anyway in time and it is something we only do once per month.

I overestimated the journey duration to get there, so we were the first family to arrive and were early, the organiser as usual was very polite and explained where things were in the new venue for us. The most comic moment for me was my son was happily playing with a toy train set and I was sat down with him on the floor, and then I heard the voices of other children and said to my son ‘look other children and families are arriving’ and my son said ‘where?’ It happened to be ‘mummy nemesis’ who I haven’t seen in the flesh since September last year. My OH gave me a knowing look and I just smiled back and laughed. Killer timing. Anyhow, despite this we enjoyed playgroup and will go again. However, the change in scenery and going to this playgroup for the first time got me thinking about cliques and cliquey behaviour in general.

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Obviously the one group I am using as an example in this blog today is not the only bonded group of friends at this playgroup we attend, but using it as I have met two of the ladies previously (including mummy nemesis) and one I haven’t. Mummy nemesis was more in her comfort zone here as people she knew were there, and one other lady that I previously met at one of the few social meet ups that I tried to organise, but got no where as most people who said they would attend bailed out for one reason or another, or just never turned up and I have to admit I have to cancel my own meet up suggestions a lot due to illness, so much so it probably looked like I had bottled it. However, what’s surprising that the other lady who I will call ‘floaty mummy’ (look up floater and cliques) that I had met up with before and who I suggested the local online meet up group and weekend playgroup to didn’t even recognise that she had met us before, chuckles, bad memory or intentional who knows? Yes, could have said something myself like, ‘long time, no see, how are you?’, but no point making a big deal out of a one off meeting that happened two years ago to get a blank look back and I am happy that my random acts of kindness helped people make new friends (and I still help out where possible now when I see a online plead for relief from isolation with whatever suggestions I can make). It was a bit like blanking the person you wish you hadn’t slept with, it never happened.

However, it wasn’t just the adults I noticed being cliquey, but the children, more understandable as children find it more reassuring with socialising with familiar faces, but first time I noticed my son ever being excluded from play. At first I sat back and observed without comment, second time I stepped in and just said ‘play nicely, the younger children just don’t understand your game’ and then told my son what the children were trying to do and then yes, the children were a little more cooperative with each other and nicer to the younger children including my son and another child. However, I do wonder if the more cliquey parents monitored and interacted with their children’s play more instead of constant chinwagging that their children may learn more from the experience instead of copying cliquey behaviour they see their adults display.

Despite my previous negative experience or failures with socialising with other mums not just at playgroup, I am going to try again to be social with mums I have never met before soon as taking some time off of work and see what happens. Yes, like a mummy date and hoping not to be stood up, although sometimes that is the easy way out haha Still think friendships that develop organically are better, but don’t have much chance of that with working all the time, and if at long last I ever hit it off with someone (God hate how this always sounds like dating), I vow not to get cliquey! I have included some links about cliques, how to handle them for both yourself and your children.

http://advice.doctorbeheshti.com/cliques/

https://nobullying.com/clique/

http://www.themotherco.com/2010/11/little-bullies-when-kids-leave-kids-out/