- A first time mum at 39, trying not to let my son kill me off too soon. Busy juggling a new family, a new house and a tricky recording schedule I figured blogging would be less expensive than therapy and less embarrassing than shouting at rude and stupid people in the street/on trains/at the supermarket.
Tuesday, 5 November 2013
Friday, 9 August 2013
Thursday, 1 August 2013
Wednesday, 17 July 2013
But that's not really what I want to say. On the whole, I think the internet is amazing. And not just for the fun stuff. Of course, with every good thing there inevitably comes bad. Yes there are sick people who like to use the internet for heinous acts but, thankfully, they are the minority.
The internet users that worry me and make me most sad are the 'Trolls'.
I am a firm believer in not putting in an email something you wouldn't say in a telephone conversation and that should apply to comments and opinions made on the internet. Unless your life, or the lives of your nearest and dearest, are in danger, then there is no reason for the complete anonymity some people hide behind just so they can go online to slag off and put down just about everyone else. If you want to say something or sound your opinion because it's what you believe in then just bloody say it and be proud of it and put your name to it. Don't hide behind your keyboard.
I am, however, also a believer in the very old fashioned view of 'If you don't have anything good to say then don't say anything at all'. Although I will admit there are shades of grey with that one. I like to think that unnecessary cruelty or rudeness should be avoided but if a friend asks me an opinion in a fitting room then I will give it even if it's not what she might want to hear. I will, however, do it in a diplomatic way. Cruelty avoided, see?
Like a lot of people, I tend to read a lot of newspaper articles online and I freely admit that it's not always from the publications I would buy. (ahem, The Daily Mail cough cough. please don't judge me). If I've googled a story then I will look at a couple of articles on it from various papers.
i also get sucked in to the stories they run down the side of each article showing Beyonce out with her baby, or the Eastender caught in a bikini on holiday - you know the kind of thing. But what amazes me are the comments that other readers put at the bottom of the article. I love reading them but often I do so with open mouth. Comments on a divisive political argument or new policy are great and offer so much variety in opinion that I can sometimes be persuaded to look at it in a different way. But it's the comments on the 'fluff' stories that make me feel upset, sick and amazed.
Do people have so little in their lives that they must find something wrong with every story or every person in that story? My real pet hate are the people that have to comment on a cute celebrity new baby/wedding/day out story. Invariably it will read
'HELLO?? Woman has baby!! This is a story??? Why????'.
Erm. If you don't want to know about these people or their lives, it's simple. Don't read the article. Don't browse the celeb section.
'They called the baby WHAT??? What is wrong with them? Poor kid.'
Is it your child? What's it got to do with you?
Those are quite tame, I will admit. But then you get the really unnecessary ones.
'Lost her baby weight?! Ha, in her dreams. Still looks like a fat pig. She shouldn't be out in public looking like that.'
Hmmm, I hope you're a perfect specimen.
' F*****g cretin! I hope he dies in a horrible accident'
The list goes on and on and gets worse and worse. I stumbled upon a fluffy article today about a woman in Yorkshire (I think), who went into labour and gave birth during her own baby-shower. No great breaking news, but quite a sweet story accompanied with a schmaltzy shot of woman with baby and her baby-shower friends. It won't change my life but it was a nice feel-good piece.
Every single comment (yes I checked) was having a go at her/the situation because she had a baby shower. Comments about this not being America and how it was just an excuse to freeload from your friends and so on and so on. Some comments were downright offensive.
What is your problem people?! Were you asked to come along and contribute? Nope, didn't think so. Does it affect you in any way, shape or form? No. So get over yourself. Live your life in your way and let other people enjoy theirs in their way.
These are all quite tame examples really if you think about it. I won't even go into the children and young people who are depressed and, sometimes worse, committing suicide due to internet bullies. It's heartbreaking and so unnecessary. I don't know what the answer it, does anyone really? But all I hope is that eventually the novelty will wear off and we can start being nicer to people. Hmmmm, meanwhile back in the real world...
Tuesday, 2 July 2013
In principal, this is perhaps not such a daft idea.
In reality, this is likely to cause complete chaos to an awful lot of the population - be them parents or teachers, or [shock, horror] a teacher who is also a parent!
The 6 weeks holiday argument has raged for years and will keep going forever, I am sure. And I am both for and against the idea but, in my most humble opinion, the pros do outweigh the cons - and that's coming from someone who is already worrying about what to do with my job when my little boy starts school in 3 years time.
Let's say that everything goes ahead with Mr Gove's plan and schools decide to fix their own holidays. What could happen?
- two siblings at different schools with different holiday times. Neither will release the child for a family holiday in term time. So parents could now be restricted to only 2 or 3 weeks in the summer when they could take their holiday. Boo hoo you might say, but how flexible is YOUR office/workplace with holidays? 'Not very' is usually the answer. So, what happens when a large percentage of your workforce needs the same 2 or 3 weeks off in the summer? Think about places like supermarkets and other retail stores - where the majority of their staff are part-time and have a family. How will that work?
- holiday companies currently like to inflate their rates from mid-July to early September. But what if summer breaks started earlier at some schools and ended later in others? HOORAY and KERRRR-CHINGG! for the tourism industry. They can now over-inflate their prices for maybe 10 weeks rather than the paltry 6 . Think about it...all those smug, childless couples (of which I was one for years) and pensioners will also now have to pay a small fortune to sit on an overcrowded beach surrounded by kiddiwinkies too if they dare to want a holiday between June and October!
- then there is the childcare issue. Yes, it is everybody's individual choice to have a child. So it is everyone's individual responsibility to arrange and pay for our of school childcare. Fine when everyone has the same holiday time - give or take a few days - and holiday clubs can run and childminders know when they have spaces. But what happens when this period is extended by a couple of weeks at either end? This will affect the premises they can rent for their clubs - most use school facilities. The infrastructure has been in place, and building, for a number of years to help families during the school holidays and now Mr Gove would like to make it more difficult yet again.
- I thought this government wanted to get people back to work wherever possible? They are already losing out on millions of women's earning potential because of childcare restrictions So why are they now trying to make it even more difficult? This could actually force one parent out of the workforce.
- Teachers who are parents. Where does this leave them? Their school closes at a different time to their offspring's. Will the government suddenly give them the flexibility to take their holiday during termtime to cover it? Nope, thought not.
And that is not even getting into the 'touchy feely' list of reasons why the straight 6 week holiday should stay.
Children should be allowed to be children for at least a few years. Society has been trying to make children grow older beyond their years for a while now and it's ridiculous. Children need to play in order to grow and learn. Trying to turn us all into Tiger Mums and making them sit in a regimented fashion and learn for longer hours will not produce a balanced cross section of society.
And teachers. What about them? Most of my teaching friends spend evenings planning lessons and marking work and writing reports and making wallcharts and decorating their classrooms and trying to meet government targets and.. and... and... the list goes on. yes, they may well finish teaching at 3.30pm but they don't just 'clock off'. And they can't just 'chuck a sickie' when they feel like it. Or bugger off for a long weekend if they feel like it - unlike a lot of the population.
Most of my friends are usually back in the classroom in the final week of the summer holidays making the necessary preparations for the new term. A lot of them spend the first week of the holidays in the classroom too - taking down the decorations and work displays.
Mr Gove probably went to a private school like a lot of his government peers and actually I don't have an issue with that. Each to their own, live and let live and all that. Personally, I would rather have educated people leading the country rather than a white-van-man with a CSE* in Technical Drawing trying to decide economic policy. What I object to, are these educated people not having a sense of perspective; not having any idea of how most of the population have to live. That's what irks me.
[*showing my age here. Most people reading this probably won't have a clue what a CSE is and think I have just made a typing error]
For someone who usually does vote Tory (don't hate me, please!) I am hoping that either Gove gets ousted in favour of someone a little more savvy, or that the opposition gets in and cancels these plans. I won't hold my breath though, so far the Labour party haven't shown any signs of withdrawing most of the Tory plans and cuts.
Monday, 24 June 2013
But during this strange, surreal nightmare I had a tiny little moment of peace and serenity and it was my favourite part of the whole weekend. At 4am today I woke up and I could hear Boychild chatting away to himself quietly. Quite happily and contentedly, but he was awake nonetheless.
I went in to give him his dummy and get him back to sleep. He was on all fours and looked up at me with a big innocent smile, leaned back on his haunches and put his arms up. So I picked him up and he immediately flopped down on my shoulder with his arms round my neck and started stroking my hair. I let him slide down so I was cradling him like a little baby and spent 10 minutes just rocking him and watching him snooze.
I can't remember the last time I've done that when he was so peaceful (usually it's because he's not well or is teething) and it was beautiful.
I'm sure being up at 4am like that isn't everyone's idea of a good time and a few years ago I'm sure it would not have been mine either, but I guess times change. Happy mummy.
Thursday, 2 May 2013
5 - Aled Jones. REEEEEEEEAAALLLLY????
Maybe it's because I know people who were at college with him, and I can still see him on the telly aged about 11 but I really don't get this one. He still looks as though he doesn't need to shave.
4 - Mr Maker (Phil Gallagher from kids tv for those of you lucky enough not to have to watch that crap)
Tuesday, 23 April 2013
Just before 1am, I was woken by the sobbing of Boychild. It's pretty unusual for him to wake up at that time and even more unusual for him to sound so inconsolable. I went in and found him kneeling in his cot covered in, and surrounded by, vomit (tmi - apologies). He'd clearly thrown-up in his sleep and woken up in it as it was everywhere - in his hair, in his ears and eyes, on his sleeping bag and sleepsuit, the cot bumper and obviously all over the sheet.
All of a sudden I felt this wash of panic and in a very 'ER' kind of way I yelled to Husb, 'gonna need some help in here!'.
Thankfully, within an hour of waking, Boychild was sleeping peacefully once more after being stripped, bathed, redressed, read-to and, most importantly, cuddled quite a lot. In fact, we found that he had left a teddy or two behind in our bed and, between you and me, I quite enjoyed snuggling up to them.
Whilst I really could have done without being on red alert for a whole hour less than 3 hours after falling asleep, it was all over fairly quickly and I was asleep not long after my little man. But this morning it got me thinking. The only reason everything went so smoothly and swiftly was because the load was shared between two people. I stripped Boychild whilst Hubby ran the bath and then Hubby bathed him whilst I stripped the bed, cleaned it, remade it and found some clean nightwear. I took the still sobbing munchkin and cuddled him dry as Husb emptied the bath and tidied the bathroom and then I loaded the washing machine and found a clean cuddly toy to take to bed while Husb dressed him. All within about half an hour.
A full recovery seemed to have taken place by now and the previously sobbing child was now playing jumping games on the marital bed and trying to comb my hair (which basically involved bashing me on the head with the comb). So we found some books, tucked him in the middle of us and let him 'read' for ten minutes, then bundled him up and took him back to his own bed and popped him down. Within another few minutes he was snoring and stayed like that til morning.
What if Husb had been out/away on business/a total git who didn't get involved with his own child? Surely this is the kind of situation a single mum has to deal with on a daily basis? Don't misunderstand me, I have had to sort out Boychild alone when he's been ill in the past, but that was in the middle of the day, I was wide awake and we hadn't just moved, so I knew exactly where to find everything really quickly!
Basically what I'm trying to say is 'mucho respect' to all the single mums out there - whatever the reason for your situation, you have a damn hard job and I salute you.
Friday, 19 April 2013
He thinks I could make emptying a paper bag complicated. But I swear, I don't do it deliberately.
I think it's my years of having to investigate every eventuality of every situation with my job. I have had to put myself in the mindset of a half-witted bloke (sorry for the sweeping generalisation) who has had his hand held by his agent, manager, studio manager, mummy, wifey (delete as applicable) every day and has done for the last 14 years. So now, I can't just accept that the shopping is being delivered/the windows will be cleaned/the wardrobes will be assembled etc. I have to build in a contingency plan for all these situations. But the thing is, I am seldom proved wrong. Since we moved house, I cannot believe how complicated everything has to be. Believe me when I say, I WANT SIMPLE!!! I don't want to have to fight, negotiate or build in a back-up plan every time. Tell me this isn't normal, tell me I've just been unlucky... please!?
1) Cooker was delivered - they couldn't install it due to there being no 'legal' power point in the vicinity. The previous owners had installed their cooker illegally. Great. So we had to get in a 'man that can' to install a legal plug socket.
2) We had the burglar alarm company round when we took over the contract from the previous owners. Great. All simple surely. Nope. The bloke who set it for us, included our bedroom sensor (ie: upstairs) in the same group as the whole of the downstairs so now we can't set it when we go to bed as we set the bloody alarm off when we walk into the bedroom. We have to get them to come back and fix it. Fabulous.
3) The dishwasher was delivered yesterday. Firstly, the pipe isn't long enough to plumb in - again because of the previous owners and their ridiculous kitchen planning. Secondly, the door on the dishwasher is on wonky and so doesn't close properly without you jiggling it about. Cue phone call asking for them to pick it up and deliver a new one. It only took 3 attempts at which button to press on the automated service and 15 minutes on hold. Lovely.
4) Back to the dishwasher. Apparently we had to go back to the shop to choose another dishwasher as the one we picked doesn't lend itself well to having an extension pipe fitted to it. So we did. Only it was out of stock. Brilliant. Today I got a text message saying it was in stock now and they would deliver between 7am and 8pm on Wednesday. Erm, I think not. Some of us have to work you know. I change it to Saturday but am still astounded that they can only offer a 13 hour time slot. Beginning to wonder if I even want a dishwasher now.....
Wednesday, 20 March 2013
What i'm not so thrilled about is the mess some people leave their homes in, not to mention what they do to them while they live in them. Things i have noticed so far...
1) the tight buggers took every curtain pole with them when they moved . £300k for a house and you don't even get anywhere to hang your feckin' curtains.
2) there are no drawers in the kitchen. Not one. Where does one put the cutlery ? Or all the spare keys to which the locks they fit are a mystery? Surely every home needs a 'man-drawer'?
Actually, I found one drawer ... In the dining room. Bit of a pain to get stuff quickly if you have to go to another room.
3) the cooker was installed illegally....from a health & safety perspective. As they took the cooker with them, we discovered this when ours was delivered and the chaps wouldn't install it as the points were not on the right place. Day 7 of ping meals/soup/takeaway looms.
4) all the radiators are in odd places meaning they don't really do the job they were designed to!
5) why is there a howling wind coming from the understairs cupboard? I have looked in said cupboard and cannot find any holes, gaps or wind machines.
6) why would one design their bathroom with a sink so large is hangs over into the bath?
6a) why would one design their bathroom with a large window next to the shower so that one can wave to bus passengers whilst performing their ablutions? Plus if means you have to wipe away the flood of shower water from the window sill after every use.
7) why are there dimmer switches on every light except the dining room? Perhaps the one room that might benefit from some soft lighting occasionally.
8) the kitchen cupboards are so high up that even when using steps I can barely reach the top shelf. I met the previous owners - they were not that tall.
9) They took the loft hook with them too (you know, that bit of curved metal that you use to pull down the hatch and ladder). Why!??
I'm sure I could thing of other foibles in the place but it will make me sound like a Moaning Myrtle and really I love being in the new house. Now all i need is a reasonable lottery win so that I can 'make it my own'... in the words of Pete Waterman.
Monday, 18 February 2013
Sitting on the tube en route to the office for the first time since April 2012. I am not as heavy as i was back then nor am i wearing a 'baby on board ' badge but i am possibly more tired and have aged 5 years.
I have been up for almost 3 hours and achieved very little, tho i am dressed and made up and Boychild is tucked away nicely at nursery. He will have a great time I'm sure. I, however , will be on edge all day.
Head is thumping....prob from dehydration. Cried for about 3 hours yesterday and did 'guilt' playing with him for most of the afternoon. This, of course, resulted in me not eating til almost 9 after having to do all my chores after he went to bed rather than me doing them 'with him helping' throughout the day. (Husb was away on business unfortunately but it gave us some quality mummy and sprog time) .
Husb returned not long after 9 last night and insisted on me telling him everything he had missed....poor love is a softer sap than I when it comes to Boychild.
Anyway, so far i have needed assistance in buying my travelcard and a nice man on the South Ken platform asked me if i needed any help and called me 'lovely lady'. I guess my squinty tired eyes and shellshocked face must have made me seem like an out-of-towner rather than than a professional yummy mummy - the look i hoped to achieve when choosing my first day back outfit!
Oh well, there is always tomorrow to try again.
Tuesday, 22 January 2013
1) Weight Watchers. Got to be done. Still a good 12lbs heavier than pre-pregnancy and I wasn't exactly svelte before then. At least 24lbs heavier than on my wedding day which was less than 3 years ago. Going to be 40 in 3 months time. I refuse to be this fat and 40!
2) Dress for work. After spending the last year in stretch jeans, comfy shoes and hoodies, I need to smarten up. My job doesn't need suits (positively frowned upon!) but smart jeans, heels, jackets and funky shirts are in order. That and ensuring I am not wearing something sporting baby vomit, baby snot or dried milk.
3) Good underwear . Finally bought some new bras last week. Ones that fit rather than the preggy one-size-bigger efforts I was slobbing about in, but the pants....well, I know comfort has suddenly become more important than style but I'm way too young for granny pants on a daily basis. Once back to work, a lunchtime visit to M&S without a buggy will definitely be a priority.
4) Ditch the maternity nighties. Probably too much information, but considering I slept pretty much naked for years and in the cold I might have found an oversized t-shirt, since Baby Boy was born I have stuck with the shapeless, long maternity nighties. Not sexy. Not attractive. Certainly not conducive with maintaining nocturnal activities with Husb.
5) Listen to some PROPER music. Knowing all the words to the song on 'Baby Jake' is not cool and won't cut it in the office. I cannot wait to have the time to listen to my beloved ipod again. It's been turned on twice since I had Boychild.
Monday, 21 January 2013
I've shocked myself. I thought I would be desperate to get back to work by now but actually I am getting a little upset about leaving Boychild in a nursery almost every day. I have never had a problem with working mothers or childcare - in this day and age, needs must. And personally I do think that everyone needs a little adult conversation on a regular basis and Lord knows have I been lacking in that over the last few months!
But now the guilt has started. Not from anyone else - I don't think anyway - but from me. When I tell people I'm going back to work, I use the word 'unfortunately' when saying I'm going back full-time, and 'for now'. I finally understand what Husb has been saying for the last 8 months about how much he misses Boychild each day especially if he doesn't make it home in time to bath him before he goes to bed. I know I will see him every night but that will literally be all. I will pick him up from nursery at 6.30 and by the time we get home the little munchkin will be getting in the bath and going to bed.
So what to do? Somehow I don't think there will be any record labels springing up in SE London and within a 30 minute commute any time soon, nor do I think I will find any similar work that will even come close to my salary closer to home so I guess I will have to just suck it up and accept that my working will, at least for now, be an investment for his future. If I work now then hopefully I can drop down to part-time or career change in the next year or two once we're a little more financially secure. I'm sure he'll forgive me! Besides, what's so bad about being in a room full of toys and other kids to play with all day long? He'll probably have more fun there than he does now watching me hoover!
Sunday, 20 January 2013
The reality is that, like most parents, the evenings are spent clearing up, washing bottles, finally getting dinner 2 hours later than pre-baby and then collapsing on the sofa hoping the phone doesn't ring and trying to pretend to watch TV for an hour before falling into bed praying your little darling sleeps through for once.
But do I regret having a baby? Not a bit. I won't lie, I am exhausted most of the time and my body has yet to recover (I live in hope...) but Boychild really is one of the best things I have ever done. He is funny, clever, foolhardy, slightly mental and extremely hyperactive. But most importantly, he is mine and he's beautiful. I mean, who could not love this little face?