A Bit of Background…

I’m a mum of two beautiful children; one boy (I say ‘boy’ but he is more of a man-in-progress) who is slap bang in the throes of teenage angst; and a new baby daughter. They both make me so proud every single day. There is no denying that parenting is exhausting, draining and one huge worry-fest but I genuinely feel so privileged to have been chosen as their mum.
I run my own business and balancing that with being a (very average) wife and mum is a huge challenge. As a working mum I battle with the infamous ‘mummy guilt’ on a daily basis but on most days I am able to combat those pesky feelings by remaining focused on the end goal: building a better life for my family.
As I’m sure is the case with most working mummies, I can often be seen in a zombie like state, with bigger bags under my eyes than Sainsbury’s and a keen eye on the clock internally debating at which time in the day is it socially acceptable to give in to temptation and finally pop the cork in the fridge. It isn’t easy. But when was anything easy worth doing? I love a good challenge, which is pretty damn handy because life is full of them!
Who Am I?
A thirty something mum and wife from the North East who vows to restart a diet every Monday morning, gets way too emotionally involved with the characters in TV dramas and on a miserable day, loves nothing more than to cuddle up on the sofa, light those ‘white linen’ scented candles (that make your house smell like you’ve been a domesticated Goddess, doing laundry all day when in reality you haven’t even so much as looked at the dirty wash basket), watch trashy TV on the box and watch the rain beat against the windows from outside. ‘Duvet’ and ‘Day’ are my two favourite words.
Life is made a little bit more challenging by the presence of Rheumatoid Arthritis but I try not to let it grind me down. On many occasions the chronic pain does eventually grind you down; it can be exhausting. BUT (and it’s a big ‘but’ hence the capitals..) there are many others dealing with much worse than that; perspective is everything. I have the love of a good family and a solid circle of friends to support me when those bad days do land (and failing that, there’s the opiates.) (Prescribed, obviously!).
Things I Love
My children and my hubby are my faves, obviously. Prosecco comes a close second. I love coffee and cake dates with my lovely friends, I love a cracking TV drama (don’t get me started on box sets….my hubby and I have been known to prioritise ‘the next episode’ over sleep), I get a buzz from a cracking day at the office, I love that I love what I do, I like to see nothing more than women absolutely killing it in business, I believe in the power of positivity and that anything is possible with the right mindset and finally, writing. I quite like doing that. With a nice pen.

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A Day in the Life of #ThisMum: The Cuckoo Mama

Well hello again lovely peoples! These Sundays are coming round so quick! It literally feels like two minutes ago I was saying the same this time last week! We’ve had a lovely day today – we did nothing fancy or exciting, it’s been a day of simple pleasures. My husband and I did a bit of a tag team spring clean of the house (Little Miss doesn’t ‘do’ playing independently at the moment – we’re in the throes of a very clingy phase!) so one of us would entertain LM and the other do some house jobs and then swap over! It gave us both the opportunity to sit and play with her and get some quality time with her. Once the house was all spruced up, the teen joined us to put up the Christmas tree. Decorating the tree was a lot more chaotic than it’s been for a number of years now but with a baby on the move now joining us, it was bound to be! She spent most of the time sat in the cardboard box that the tree came out of but she had a great time! I love that my Big Lad, although almost fifteen, still gets so excited about the things we do together. He must have asked us a gazillion times this morning ‘How long until we do the tree?’ and although it started to feel a bit like the ye olde favourite ‘Are we nearly there yet?’ question, I absolutely adore the fact that he still wants to join in with this sort of thing. I really hope that continues in years to come.  Once the Christmas tree was up, we got in our jim jams, stuck movies on the box and snuggled up on the sofa in the warm glow of the Christmas tree lights. As if all part of the plan, it started snowing outside and within ten minutes our estate was covered in a blanket of bright white snow. This afternoon was totally what Christmas is all about for me: time together. Despite it being nothing particularly ‘exciting’ I refuse to ever take days like today for granted. I know how blessed I am to be here, to have a lovely family, a nice warm house and love between us. We are so incredibly lucky.

Anyway, enough about my family; let’s move on and find out all about the Cuckoo Mama’s! I am so thrilled that the lovely Cuckoo Mama wanted to be involved with the #ThisMum series and I am so grateful that she has written a fantastic guest blog, allowing us an access all areas pass to an average day in her life. Carolyn, the lovely lady behind the Cuckoo Mama blog, is mum to a two year old boy called Sam. Sam sounds like a lot of fun, and Carolyn’s love for Sam totally pours out through her writing. It sounds like Carolyn has a fantastic routine in place which offers Sam so much. They manage to cram in so much fun in one day! Life sounds busy but I admire Carolyn so much as it sounds like she’s got a fantastic routine that ensures Sam gets plenty of fresh air, time out of the house, time to socialise and play with other children and lots of fun time with Mum and Dad too. As I read her post, I found myself thinking about the limited time I have with my Little Miss through the working week. I pick her up from nursery around half past four and she’s grumpy and tired from being at nursery all day, she doesn’t really want to play, she cries during her bath because she’s so tired and she’s really unsettled all the way to bedtime – which is around half six. I don’t feel like there is any scope for ‘quality time’ with her Monday through to Friday which really weighs heavy on me. I sneak away from work early from time to time in a bid to secure a couple of extra hours with her when she’s actually got the energy to enjoy some time together but these occasions are few and far between due to work commitments. I really admire and envy the time Carolyn has with Sam. I am absolutely sure that as with anything with motherhood, it isn’t easy sometimes and I bet it can be tiring but what a happy little boy Sam must be to have so much fun with his Mummy! Read all about it here:

I’m Caro, mama to Sam, who turned two in September. I’m a full time, stay at home, mum and opted to do so due to the incredibly long time it took us to get Sam, plus Southern Rail’s ongoing industrial action, which meant a return to my commuter trains was set to be incredibly unpredictable and, with no local family to help out, wasn’t really going to work.

 

So how does my typical day go?

 

Life in the Cuckoo household tends to be busy, relaxed and altogether a little bit bonkers! We usually rise around 7.30am and start the day with a spot of milk in bed and a few books. It’s then in to the shower for a quick rinse with a toddler banging on the door wanting me to hurry up, get downstairs and play with Thomas and Percy! Well, who am I to argue with that?

 

As my husband is now home based, we’re really fortunate that most days we get to breakfast together. For us this is a real luxury as we spent years commuting, in to London, and were slightly like passing ships some weeks. We did worry we might get sick of the sight of each other, us both being at home, but that hasn’t happened yet – luckily he travels a fair bit too!

 

We start the day, come rain or shine, with a pup walk! Pepper pup is also two and we, somewhat crazily, welcomed her in to our family just a couple of months before Sam joined us. They are best friends and I can’t imagine one without the other! Sam is very gentle and loving towards Pepper and she is very patient with him; she’ll even push his trains around the track with her nose when he needs an extra playmate! Sam loves being outdoors and wearing his wellies so he, mostly, never complains at our morning walk, although, as he is now two, tantrums can come out of nowhere!

 

Once we’ve walked Miss P, Sam and I usually rush around trying to get ready to head out to a play group or play date or other activity. I’m aware that, as Sam doesn’t go to a nursery, it’s good for him to socialise with lots of other children and I’ve found some truly lovely play groups and wonderful mums and dads. We’re currently trying to learn how to share, I’ll let you know how that one goes!

 

We then head back home for a spot of lunch and Sam goes down for his nap. I’d love to say, that during the couple of hours he sleeps, I use this time to be Super Wife; blitzing the house, preparing meals and, in the words of the Fat Controller, being a Really Useful Mama… Whilst this sometimes does happen, I usually use naps for blogging, catching up on admin and, I’m really ashamed to say this, but the last few weeks have been used for catching up on Vampire Diaries season 8, please don’t judge! Nap times are also great as I get to pee on my own! I can’t tell you how nice it is to “go” in peace, without a toddler pulling the chain mid way through, or having a melt down because I used some toilet roll – yes that actually happened!

 

When Sam wakes, it’s snack time and then we’re off out to walk Pepper again. We’ll sometimes take her to the park so that she can be exercised and Sam can play, although trying to keep eyes on the pair of them as they run off in different directions can be interesting! It is lovely raising dog and child together but rainy days can feel tough. There are a lot of additional clothes and towelling down, to take care of, but on the plus side; there are mud and puddles! Things Sam loves stomping through and, strangely, Pepper not so much!

 

Once we’re back from our second walk it’s then in to the whole tea time and bed time routine. We have dinner around 5.30pm and then head upstairs at 6.15pm for a spot of “bed tunnel”. Bed tunnel is an incredibly sophisticated game involving getting as many toys, as possible, under our duvet, a Sam, a daddy, when he’s home, and a mama in there too, so that we can sing songs, crawl around making animal noises and generally make a huge mess of the bed! It’s amazing what we find in there when we actually go to bed ourselves; Thomas the Tank Engine was under my pillow last night!

 

It’s then time for a shower and a spot of quiet, naked play (for Sam, not us!) whilst he has his bedtime milk and stories. Sam’s just started to take an interest in the potty and so likes to sit on it and have a wee before getting in to his jim jams for bed.

 

Lights out is around 7.30pm, allowing enough time for mama and daddy to enjoy a glass of wine and catch up on some, more sophisticated, tv than my lunch time viewing! There’s then another Pepper walk, which my husband does, before we hit the hay ourselves and get ready to do it all again the next day!

All the best!

Caro x

Told you you’d love it!! What a fab post; mahoosive thanks to Carolyn from the Cuckoo Mama for guest blogging as part of the #ThisMum series. Go grab a cup of Tea (or something stronger if it’s been ‘one of those days’ – I can recommend gin (and lots of it) for those sorts of days, by the way) and visit Carolyn’s blog – you are going to love it. It’s a blog filled with posts and stories from the very front line of parenting, told beautifully by Carolyn. I’ve got a bit of a soft spot for her blog because, like us, she too has experienced the challenges of infertility and so a lot of her posts resonate with me for that reason. It’s a blog definitely worth looking up if you haven’t already; you can find it here.

Keep you eyes peeled for Tuesday evening’s #ThisMum post; another blog post that promises absolute brilliance! On Tuesday my lovely pal Amy from The Rolling Baby will be sharing a day in her life with us, I can’t wait!!!

Massive thanks, Carolyn 🙂

A Day in the Life of #ThisMum: Kate

It’s Tuesday again folks! (is it me or are these weeks flying?!) We are literally hurtling towards mid December at the speed of light; I’m sure the big man in the red is doing some lunges and star jumps to get warmed up for the big day already.

I am so incredibly excited to share with you today’s #ThisMum post. Today’s ‘Day in the life of’ post comes from Kate, a mum from New Zealand who has a slightly different family dynamic to the families that have featured in the series so far. I read Kate’s post with both real interest and admiration. Kate’s current set up, raising her five month old boy with both her and her husband at home just sounds so perfect. Those first months with your baby (the first year, even!) are just more precious than anything else in the world – it seems so harsh that one parent out of the two misses out on a lot of that precious time because they have to go to work. My Little Miss has just recently turned one and we are really feeling the ill effects of her spending so much time one on one with just me and not my husband. She won’t settle with him sometimes, she cries when I leave the room despite Daddy being there and she’s extremely clingy towards me. I think that had we have had Kate’s set up for even just those few months, things would have been very different. I think it is so refreshing and so beautiful to have both parents at home raising the baby – you are going to love reading all about it. 

Hello and welcome to a day in the life of our little family.
I’m Kate, from New Zealand and I was selected to be part of the #ThisMum series because my husband and I are both home together raising our only son- which makes us a bit different from what is considered ‘normal’.
For some Mum’s, having your husband home while caring for a 5 month old would be considered a dream, for others a nightmare but for us it is reality.
Like every family dynamic it has potential difficulties
1) Will we get sick of each other?
2) Will our son attach to one of us more or both of us equally (or dislike us both)?
3) Will we use our time at home together wisely and have adventures or will we stay on the couch being the stereotypical sleep deprived parents the world knows and loves?
1) To avoid getting sick of each other and to uphold the individual identities we had formed ‘PB’ (pre-baby) we each have valuable ‘me time’. I was working as a Manager and my husband worked as a Storeman. My brain was always busy and he was always active, we now reflect this in our hobbies. ‘Me time’ For my husband is being in the garden, working on something around the house or cooking an amazing meal. My time involves getting OUT of the house. I am the worst “stay at home Mum ever”. Before my husband had his hip surgery (which is why he has joined me on my Maternity Leave) I took Ted out daily. Catching up with friends, walking, coffee dates, drives to new places…. etc… this kept me sane. I can’t do nothing, I am useless at it. I have tried relaxing or sleeping while he is asleep but planning events/weddings and working on projects are far more exciting.
2) It has been 8 weeks with us both at home and Teddington has formed a special bond with both of us. When he is playing or sitting on someone else’s knee he will look to my husband or I to ensure his ‘security blankets’ have not left the building. Of course as a breastfeeding Mum I have an advantage when it comes to cheering him up (well.. I have two advantages ;-)) meaning the initial bond was in my favour. Prior to his hip surgery my husband would typically finish work and be home by 5:30 p.m. and Ted would be in bed by 7:00 p.m. Since both being home, Ted flashes us equally awesome smiles as we enter the room and knows he has someone else to play with when he gets a bit bored.
I love watching the boys interact. It is playful, exciting and informative. My interactions with Ted are cuddly, giggly and relaxing. We believe Ted will benefit from having different experiences with each parent. Our underlying approach to parenting is the same- our child should be able to choose what he plays with/explores and he should have opportunities to figure things out on his own. We want to raise him as a team. My husband recently said “I don’t want to look back on his childhood and describe it as Mum+Ted and then Dad sometimes, I want it to be the 3 of us“.
3) My husband helping with Ted daily means I have only had a couple of days where I have felt the full impact of sleep deprivation. I am really appreciative of everything he does around the house- he is a far better chef/cleaner than I am! We understand that not all families have (what we consider) the luxury to parent together- we will eventually both head back to work but we hope to work alternate days so Ted has time with both of us individually.
Contrary to popular belief, Mum’s do not just sit at home and drink coffee all day. My husband and I don’t even like coffee, but that is besides the point. A typical day for us goes:
  • 6:30 a.m.
  • Teddy wakes up. Mum feeds Ted before he hangs with Dad. Ted enjoys a nappy change, tummy time, laughing, playing/peeing on his mat on the floor
  • 8:00 a.m. 
  • Ted naps. Mum wakes up and gets ready for the day. Dad makes both of them breakfast and then heads outside to work on the garden or whatever project is at play
  • 10:00 a.m. 
  • Mum feeds Ted. Ted plays/pees on his mat some more. Mum does paperwork/event planning/emails. Dad does yoga for his hip, Ted copies and shoves his toes in his mouth. Everyone gets ready to go out (sometimes this includes our two dogs if we are heading out for a walk).
  • 11:30 a.m.
  • We go somewhere. Errands, a play date, visiting family, babies group, a drive… Ted naps then joins us around lunchtime. We all have our lunch.
  • 3:00 p.m.
  • Head home. Ted wakes up and will play with either Mum or Dad while the other does jobs around the house/ has some ‘me time’
  • 4:30 p.m. 
  • Ted’s last nap before his bedtime routine starts. If Ted doesn’t feel like napping him and Mum have a cuddle in bed and relax.
  • 5:30 p.m. 
  • Dad starts cooking Dinner. Ted showers with either Mum or Dad and Mum reads him stories (Ted’s favourite is Dr Suess).
  • 6:30 p.m.
  • Mum feeds Ted. We both say goodnight and whoever is last to leave puts Ted in bed. Mum and Dad eat dinner, chat, plan tomorrow, watch TV, eat chocolate, read by the fire or hang out with friends…
  • 10:30 p.m. Mum dreamfeeds Ted (Her favourite part of the day, he looks super cute half asleep trying to feed!!)
  • 2:00 a.m. Mum feeds Ted, Dad sleeps with his useless nipples
and repeat.
Until Ted changes his mind, we change our routine, he grows up or we go back to work.
I look forward to seeing which happens first 🙂
Kate xx
Told you you’d love it! I laughed out loud (I’m an LOL-Phobe hence the lack of abbreviation!) at the ‘Dad sleeps with his useless nipples’ – isn’t that just brilliant!!! I can’t thank Kate enough for contributing to the series and shining a light on a family dynamic we were yet to feature. I absolutely love the sound of Kate’s set up – it sounds so perfectly balanced and beautiful. What do you think?
If you’d like to follow Kate on Twitter and find out more about her, you can find her by looking up her Twitter handle @Quippybaby

A Day in the Life of #ThisMum: Helen from Welsh Mum Writing

Well hello Sunday, you little minx! And what is so great about a Sunday I hear you ask (apart from the fact that it is practically the law to spend Sunday in your pyjamas, not quite asleep but not quite awake either…)?! Sundays are bliddy brilliant because it means we add another gorgeous Mummy to the #ThisMum catalogue of wonderful mummies! And boy are you going to LOVE this little treasure of a read! Welcome Helen, from the Welsh Mum Writing blog. I am over the moon that Helen has allowed us a fast pass in to her life to see what an average day in her life looks like!

A lot of Helen’s post resonated with me. I have attempted to work from home for part of the week and the office the rest of the week in a bid to keep nursery fees down and spend more time with Little Miss. I found the ‘working at home’ days incredibly stressful; this surprised me. I had totally romanticised it in my head though. I would sit during my maternity leave and visualise me sat at the dining table with my laptop, typing with one hand, nursing the baby (who, funnily enough, was always impeccably behaved, happy and mega-cute in these visualisations!) with the other, sipping an espresso (that was the only bit I got right – lots of caffeine needed) and talking to my colleagues in my ‘work voice’ via speaker phone. In my head I was totally going to rock the hell out of multi tasking. I was to be a multi tasking warrior. With a baby that would just ‘slot’ right in with my work. Oh dear. What a long way I had to fall. Oh my how wrong I was. I’m not too proud to admit that I just couldn’t make it work. On the days I would work from home I didn’t like the mum I was on those days and I didn’t like the business person I was on those days. Life was hectic, disorganised and chaos on those days. Utter chaos. It would take me three and a half hours to reply to an email because I would manage two words before I would need to get up and see to Little Miss. I wanted it to work so bad but very quickly i realised that my Little Miss deserved better than that and not being the Mum I wanted to be on those days made me feel very unhappy in myself. I was just way too over stretched. And she deserved better than that. She deserved to have someone to play with her round the clock. She deserved to have the undivided attention she needed. I was sad to admit that I just couldn’t make it work but we quickly realised we were going to need nursery full time. I admire Helen so much that she has been able to make it work for her -she sounds so organised too! Working the early mornings and evenings sounds like a really good idea. 

Helen mentions meeting with a friend for a play date during the day and I think this is the first post in the series that a Mum has mentioned meeting with a friend and I know from personal experience how much brighter I felt when I met with a friend during my maternity leave. When I was at home with Little Miss during maternity leave there were times where I felt lonely, really lonely. We have one car in the family so my husband would take it to work and I would feel quite isolated at times. It was amazing how much brighter and better I felt when I met with a friend for a few hours though. It was good for both Little Miss and me. Socialising and having adults to talk to is so important as a mum. The days can be repetitive and lonely without that interaction with others. 

Anyway – I have warbled on way too much – here’s the lovely Helen with her day in the life of #ThisMum post:

About Helen

I’m a forty something first time in South Wales, trying to juggle home life and working. I blog about the stresses and funny side of parenting, along with things I’ve learned that help save me time and money. I occasionally rant. I DO NOT have this parenting thing down, but happy to share my muddle juggle.

A Day in Helen’s Life

It’s 5am and I’m awake. I’m almost always awake then. Small Boy is an early riser. I’ve been up at 5am for two years straight now. It’s now the norm and I’m even a little surprised when I tell people I’ve often started work by 5.30am and they look at me in horror.

I work full time for a large organisation on a flexible basis. My hours are compressed which means I work the majority of them over three days and work two shorter ones, with the shorter ones being at home and the time work split from early morning to early evening. This means I can work them around Small Boy and don’t need to pay for nursery two days a week.

I’m incredibly lucky. Working for a flexible employer means I’ve been able to change my hours and working pattern twice since returning to work last year. I have no burning desire to work full time, but with husband changing job and the uncertainty that always brings, along with needing to buy a bigger house now Small Boy is here, needs must.

The number of hours I work is calculated carefully as we don’t have any other regular childcare except for private nursery. The knife edge between making it worthwhile working X hours over the cost of Y days in nursery means I’m treading a careful line. I’m currently in a funk trying to figure out if I can afford to cut back my hours, but we are in the process of buying a new house and we need a new car so I might have to stay funky for a bit longer. Still, I don’t need to worry about putting food on the table; even though the cost of childcare means that luxuries like holidays require a good deal of planning and some of my best money saving skills.

Today is a home working day. It’s all a bit manic, and the flexibility rather than empowering feels pressurising somehow. Home working days are a bit more of a juggle. Office days are more straightforward, I get in to work early (around 7am, or do an hour or two at home and get in for 8am), and my husband takes Small Boy to nursery. I always do the afternoon pick up from nursery, normally around 4.30pm as it’s a long day for him otherwise.

So at 5am the laptop is open and I’m logging in at the dining table. I used to have a home office but it’s currently full of packing boxes as we are waiting to move into a new house (if solicitors can get a chuffing move on). I’ve already had a snuggle with Small Boy in bed, as he was up earlier than usual, while his Dad has a shower. This is how days normally begin. Dad showers and has Small Boy, then I shower and get dressed and then start work – either at home, or in the office.

Small Boy is eating his usual wake up snack – a wafer biscuit and a cup of milk. He takes after me and doesn’t like his proper breakfast straight away. He’s explaining something very important to his Dad while I check emails, book some meetings and review a paper that I’d drafted for a meeting when I was slightly less rested. As Small Boy is still up and about and in the background, the early morning tends to be the preserve of admin tasks. I’ve already had a minor melt down over how we will cope when Small Boy drops his afternoon nap and how we’ll manage to do the school runs – although that’s another three years away.

Dad leaves for work at 7.30am so I’m logged off again and it’s just me and Small Boy. We eat breakfast together, then he dresses and we potter about the house, draw on the chalk board or do some puzzles.

Today one of my ante-natal class friends is coming over for a playdate. She’ll be over mid-morning after she’s been to a playgroup. I used to go to them too but it’s practically impossible now (although I’ve set myself a task of finding one on my home working days, something local which I can squeeze in during an hour I’m not working).

I’m looking forward to seeing the as I haven’t made the most of my home working days lately. I tend to be off the clock from about 10am – 3pm on Mondays, depending on Small Boy’s naps. Usually we try and get out and go to the farm or soft play or just head into town and walk about the shops. I’ve worked in excess of my contracted hours the past few Monday’s. Others missed deadlines and I ended up trying to get things done when I wasn’t meant to be working. I wouldn’t have if I only worked in the office though.

By 11am our friends come over and a couple of hours are spent catching up on life. I love watching the kids at play and I tell myself that I need to make more effort to get out and do stuff with Small Boy and learn to say no to the day job more. I make cheesy breakfast egg cups and lay out a living room picnic with the savoury goodies, along with blueberries and soft cheese sandwiches.

They leave around 12.30 and Small Boy is ready for his nap. He curls up in his cot and I tip toe back to my laptop, making a detour to the kitchen to throw some stuff into the slow cooker for tea.

Small Boy loves his daytime sleep (if only he loved the night as well!) so he’ll sleep for around two hours. Lately he’s been poorly and going through a growth spurt so he sometimes goes to three hours!

This is when work proper starts. I’m highly caffeinated by now and my brain is working properly. I only need to do a few hours and I try and do them in the evening but it seems like a don’t waste of nap time to postpone it. Fortunately, I don’t have any meetings to dial into today – on Fridays I can have two hours back to back with my mobile phone burning my ear off.

Before I know it it’s 3pm and small Boy is awake. He’s been sleeping longer recently as he’s had a spate of illnesses. I have been able to use the time to conquer a spreadsheet and set up a Trello board though. I’ve managed several cups of hot tea which is a win.

He’s a bit dopey when he’s woken up so we have a couple of hours of just chilling with books and watching CBeebies. He’s in a good mood as he enjoyed playing with his girlfriend earlier. He has a snack and some milk while I wonder how long it would take for my blog to make enough money that I can reduce my hours. The funk begins to descend but I brush it aside as it’s now incredibly important that we do a Peppa Pig jigsaw.

By 6pm, Dad his home and I serve up tea from the slow cooker. Small Boy is currently refusing to sit in a high chair or on a booster but can’t reach the dining table, so we sit on the floor around a low table – Japanese style – and tell each other how yummy it is.

Dad does the bath while I clear up and quickly check my work phone to see how many emails I need to action – forewarned is forearmed. Thankfully there’s not much so I quickly reply to the essentials.

CBeebies is finishing and despite his protests, Small Boy is wiped out. I take him up to his room at 7.30 pm and we sit in the chair and I sing him a song. He has a selection of night time lullabies – some of them are old standards which he loves (yep, no kids songs for him), while others are ones I’ve made up. Tonight it’s his favourite – “Your Belong to Me” – the Patsy Cline arrangement. He’s beginning to wind down now so I put him in his cot bed, with his trusted rabbit blanky and he rolls on to his side.

I tip toe down the stairs and collapse on the sofa. My husband has a cup of tea ready for me. I take half an hour to write this blog post and Dad has a shower to wash the day away. By 9pm we are in bed ourselves – after all we’ll both be “on” again by 5am.

Helen Treharne

What a fabulous #ThisMum post! I can’t thank Helen enough for being involved and sharing her life with us; it’s a cracking read! Before you move a muscle, make sure you give Helen’s fabulous blog a visit – you can find it here

You can also keep up to date with Helen’s life by following her on her various social media accounts – you can find the links below!

www.twitter.com/welshmumwriting

www.facebook.com/welshmumwriting

www.instagram.com/welshmumwriting

www.pinterest.com/welshmumwriting

Coming up on Tuesday we add another fabulous mamma to the #ThisMum series! I am so excited to share with you a day in the life of the lovely Kate Radcliffe all the way from New Zealand. This is another fantastic post you are going to love, Kate’s family dynamic is different to any of the Mums featured on the series so far – you don’t want to miss it!

 

 

 

 

 

A Day in the life of #ThisMum: A Blended Momma

Brrrr! How chilly has it been today?! It is hardcore winter out there now, none of this cool autumn business – winter has full on arrived. Secretly I’m not complaining; I love nothing more than to get the PJs on, light some candles and wrap up in a cozy blanket on the sofa for the evening (baby and sleep permitting…) and what better thing to read whilst on that sofa than another fantabulous #ThisMum post! So, get a cuppa and cozy on in because tonight we have the lovely Ashlee from ‘A Blended Momma’ blog sharing with us a day in her life and you are going to love it.

Hey Yall!

I’m Ashlee and Im the author of A Blended Momma (website and blog). I am relatively new to the blogging world as a blogger but as a reader I’m a professional 😄 I think this post is a great idea as I too believe that not every mom is the same, not at all actually. So I am here to let you in on just a snapshot of a day in the Life of me! #ThisMum

My weekdays and weekends vary as I’m sure they do a lot of you but I’ll give you the most repetitive one. So I start most of my days by cracking open my eyes around 530am-545 about 10 mins after on EVERY morning my smallest child, Paislee (age 2 1/2) comes running to me and wants to lay with me on the couch and watch cartoons until it’s time for the others to wake up. This is mine and her special bonding time and it’s one of my favorite times.

Then at 6am I go and wake my 7 year old daughter up, Madison. I wake her up a tad bit earlier because she already takes the longest to get ready, and then I get myself and Pay dressed.

At 630am I wake my Bonus son up as he is normally ready in 5-10mins haha. My husband usually gets up at this time too unless he has a job going on and in that case he is up and gone long before me.

We leave the house dressed, bookbag in hand to go up to the end of the main road where the bus stop is (We live about a mile down a dirt road that connects to the main road). The bus is usually there within 10mins at most, as they head off to school me and Pay drive back home. I feed her (other 2 eat breakfast at school) finish getting ready and double check her bag and then I walk her over to my mother in law’s house who lives next door.

I go to work at this time it’s usually around 730-745 and I get there at 8. I do data entry and office work at an appraisal service.

Anyway I leave there a few mins before 12 as I have to get Paislee so my mother in law can go to work. I pick her up and we eat lunch then she goes for a nap. Some days I nap with her but those days are very few.

Usually I take this time to clean up, do laundry, blog, or prepare food to be ready at supper.

She wakes up usually after an hour or two and we relax usually or run errands until 330 at which time it’s back to the bus stop.

This is when things get hectic. We drive the mile ride home and there is NONSTOP talking from both kids. We get in the door they eat a snack and go straight to homework, which normally I have to spend approx 15 min each helping with issues, signing test papers, listening to them read ect.

Then after both of them are settled they know that after homework they have to empty their bags, pick their clothes out for the next day, get their lunchboxs ready if they want to take their lunch, and change clothes. While they do this I finish supper.

By the time they finish that its normally supper time. And normally the time my husband gets home. He always showers as soon as he gets home and then eats.

After we eat it’s normally around 6ish the kids always want to play outside, next door,  or just watch tv at this time and I totally agree.haha

At 730 it’s bathtime and at 8 it’s bedtime or atleast lay down time. I usually shower during this time.  They usually are all passed out by 9-930. When they pass out that’s when I have to finish up left over laundry and clean up the kitchen and any other messes. Once I’m done with that I usually go hang out in the shop with my husband if he’s out there or blog.  (We are both night owls)

So this is basically a glimsp in the Life of Me on a typical day with no issues or dramas!lol

For more of my post or to subscribe to A Blended Momma check out the site at ABlendedMomma.com website

I would like to especially thanks the lady from “A Baby & A Boardroom” for allowing me to post this as it was A pleasure and a wonderful idea!

Thanks yall!

Ashlee

The pleasure was definitely all ours Ashlee! When Ashlee expressed an interest in being involved with the #ThisMum series I was over the moon because it was important to me that the series represented lots of different family set ups. Ashlee’s blended family wasn’t a set up that we have featured before so I was really excited to read the post. I hadn’t heard the term ‘blended family’ or ‘blended mum’ before so I took some time out to visit Ashlee’s site and I read some really lovely posts which helped me to understand what the term meant. As someone from a blended family (my parents divorced when I was a child and my mum went on to re-marry the man I now call ‘Dad’ and he had a son from a previous marriage so I gained a step brother) I can’t tell you how touched I was to read Ashlee’s posts. For a new or ‘blended’ family to be created, a family unit has to break down and I think because of the negativity and the pain that we associate with family break downs, step mums / dads and step children and everything that goes with it can be spoken about negatively a lot of the time. As a Teacher for many years I worked with many children that gained a Step parent or step siblings and I never once heard one of them speak warmly or positively about them. I think that’s a real shame because if, like Ashlee, the parents get it right, the blended family stands to offer the children (and the adults!) so much love, care, support and kindness and love can never be a bad thing. Ashlee’s post (and the rest of her site) gave me a lot of food for thought and I realised that having new people come in to your life to love you following a family breakdown should and can be a beautiful thing.

Huge thanks to Ashlee for being involved with the series; I would highly recommend you go visit her site if you haven’t already as there is some brilliant stuff on there. You can find it here. Don’t forget to come back on Sunday when we will welcome Helen from Welsh Mum Writing to the #ThisMum series! Exciting!

A Day in the Life of #ThisMum by the ‘Almost Sane Mom’

Wowsers! It’s Sunday again! Where are these weeks heading? We are literally going to be shaking hands with Santa and singing Auld Lang Syne before we know it! There is one advantage to the weeks flying by though: I get to share with you another fabulous #ThisMum post! Today I bring to you a day in the life of Pnina from her blog Almostsanemom.com. It’s a brilliant post and Pnina certainly highlights the busy-ness that comes with having three children! I felt tired just reading about her day! I find it really difficult to get anything done in my house when it’s just me and the baby so I read with genuine admiration as Pnina described all the things she manages to do, helping the children with their homework, the after school clubs, the chores! I’ve never been very naturally domestic so I could definitely do with some tips from Pnina! Without any further-a-do here she is, enjoy it!

I wake up in the morning at 6:15 am by my live alarm clock (aka my 8 month old – Baby E). I change and feed him and go out to the living room. My 6 (J) and 10 (M) year old are already dressed for school (minus shoes – which I have to remind them at least 10 times to put on or they’ll be late) and waiting for breakfast. I pop a few frozen waffles in the toaster and pour glasses of milk while giving them their lunches to pack in their school bags. We say goodbye to my husband as he goes off to the office. While they’re eating and the baby is happily crawling around trying to get in to places he’s not allowed to, I run to my room to get dressed.

I drop them off at school and run to the grocery store to pick up a few odds and ends. The shopping takes longer than expected and Baby E starts screaming at the check-out line because it’s nap time. I finally get all the groceries in the car and buckle him in. As soon as I start to drive, he’s out like a light. I get home and try to transfer him from car to bed as gently as possible. As soon as his head hits the mattress, his eyes pop open and … morning nap time is over. So much for getting any work done in the morning. I bring him back out and start unloading the groceries.

Laundry, cleaning up and preparing dinner for later … and it’s time to pick up the kids from school. Baby E goes back in the car-seat and off to pick up J & M. E falls asleep in the car, again. There goes the afternoon nap. Kids run out of school and jump in to the car and baby wakes up. At least he’s in a good mood to see his big brothers. We get home and kids wash up and have a small snack.

I place E in his highchair and give him a few snacks (most of which end up on the floor or in his hair) and sit down with J to watch him do his homework while M works on his in his room. Once homework is done, it’s time to get back in the car for afterschool activities. Get everyone in and drop J off at soccer and then run to get M to track practice on time. By the time I get back in the car with the baby and buckle him in, it’s time to pick up J from soccer! Off we go with baby E wailing in the car – don’t blame him…I want to cry at this point too. Pick up J, run to pick up M and finally homeward bound.

Kids wash up and sit down for dinner. After they’ve eaten and cleared the table, they play on their ipads/computer for a bit while I give the baby his bath and sing and splash around. Hubby gets home in time to make sure M & J take their turns showering while I give Baby E his bottle and lay him in bed. Once they’re done and ready for bed, I go in with them to read them a story or sing them a song.

I come out and plop on to the couch while my husband serves us the dinner I’ve made and we talk a bit. Then, being the super romantic couple that we are … we sit next to each other on the couch, each with our laptops, and get work done.

I shower and before getting in bed around 12:00/12:30 I peek in on the kids and see my angels sleeping. I go to my room needing to get some zzz’s before E wakes up at 3 or 4 am to eat and then we start the day alllllll over again. I think I fall asleep before my head hits the pillow.

Thank you so much Pnina! This was a lovely post and it was fab getting to know you, your family and your day! Pnina has a fantastic blog and it is definitely worth a visit and a read if you haven’t already – you can find it here Massive thanks to Pnina for being involved.

Tuesday evening will see another Mum step in to the spotlight! This time Ashlee from A Blended Momma blog. You are going to LOVE her post!

A Day in the Life of #ThisMum: Moonsomnia

I have been totally overwhelmed with the response to the #ThisMum series. I’ve heard from so many mums getting enjoyment from reading all about the daily lives of other mums. A few of my Guest Bloggers have made reference to their days being ‘a bit boring’ but I haven’t featured one mum yet (posted, scheduled or otherwise!) that has bored me in any way. It has been truly interesting to read about how we all go about our main responsibilities as a mum whilst throwing in all the things that make us different too. I am loving it – and the good news is, we’ve got lots more fabulous mums to come!

Today’s post comes from the wonderful writer Shevy over at moonsomnia.com. Originally from South Africa, Shevy now lives in the UK and is mum to two beautiful daughters. I found Shevy’s post really really powerful. Whilst Shevy only touches on it, hearing about what she and her family had to go through in order to move to the UK sounds nothing short of gruelling and I cannot imagine what she went through during that time. Hearing of her ill health resonated with me big time too. Being a mum is hard, ridiculously hard at times. Being a mum whilst ill or with a disability does tend to make things even tougher – not always, but from personal experience, it does a lot of the time. Shevy is definitely a Super Mum if ever I saw one and I am thrilled to have her involved with the #ThisMum series.

Enough of me! Here she is, this is a day in the life of #ThisMum 

‘Mommy, we don’t have any milk left!’ D, aged 6.

‘Ok D, why don’t you have toast then?’ Me, aged 33.

‘Mom, I am leaving now, bye.’ H, aged 11

‘H, come back here and say goodbye properly please’. Me, aged 33

‘Babe, I can smell the litter box.” Me, aged 33

‘Ok, ok, I am going.” J, aged 35

 

That was all before 8am.

 

My name is Shevy and this is a day in the life of #THISMUM (or This Mom as the South African children in my household would say.)

 

Being a mum was never in my life plan, it definitely wasn’t on the agenda for my early twenties and I can assure you, no 21 year old wants to combine a 21st birthday with a baby shower, but hey, that is this mum’s life panned out and I wouldn’t change it for the world.

 

I am a proud and overly protective mum to two daughters, H aged 11 (going on 16) and D aged 6 (going on to one day audition for the role of Sheldon’s biological daughter in BBT). I also parent two fur babies, Ragnar (my moggy black) and Dorian (a not so furry Sphynx) as well as two scaled babies, Valentine (a Burmese python) and Drogon (a Reticulated python). Our home can be chaotic, loud, busy and exhausting but it is home. This is my sanctuary.

 

I was born in the UK but spent most of my life growing up in South Africa which is where I met H’s father and H was born, I later went on to meet J (my now husband) who is South African and we had D together. A little over 3 years ago, we made the decision to move to England and went through the gruelling settlement visa process that saw me move here and spend 9 months here alone without my husband or my children (I was a Skype mum) due to the strict financial requirements we had to meet in order for my husband to get a visa. Fortunately, it all worked out for the best and my husband and children have settled into the English way of life surprisingly well. I have always strived to do the very best for my daughters, bringing them back to the country of my birth was one of the ways I believe I have done that, affording them so many more opportunities here then I could have ever imagined.

 

If I had written this a few months ago, it would have painted a very different picture of what a day in the life for #thismum was like. I was a full time working mum and my husband, J, is a full time working dad. Fortunately I worked as a travel consultant from home and both my daughters go to school a stones throw away, life was comfortable and planned to the tee but completely riddled with stress and anxiety. I battled to find a balance, I was putting too much into my work and not enough into my family, I had very little time for the things I enjoyed (like writing and socialising) and I was on a downward spiral to a nervous breakdown.

 

Then, life happened.

 

In October of this year, I was diagnosed with an Iliofemoral Deep Vein Thrombosis, clots that stretched from my knee into my inferior vena cava and scattered in my lungs. I was completely thrown; a 33 year old mum of two young children and I was facing a health scare that is a leading cause of deaths globally. So what did I do? I broke down mentally as my body broke down physically. I took a tumble to rock bottom and then came to the realisation that this was my turning point, I was being given a sign, it was time to make some adjustments to my very stressful lifestyle.

 

You can read a little more on my diagnosis over on my blog, link below.

 

https://moonsomnia.com/2017/10/12/dear-diary-human-pincushion-again-111017/

 

I made the decision to resign from my stressful, full time job and as I recover, a day in the life of being a mum has never looked so different for me. In my entire working career, two children later, I have always been a full time working parent – since I began my first job at the age of 17. Now? I am unemployed. I am working on being my own boss in the future. I am focusing on putting together a successful, flexible business for myself post recovery that will not only benefit me and my health, but also everyone around me.

 

A day for me now begins with alarms going off from 7am, though the girls have already been awake for about an hour. Commotion as the cats frantically chase each other up and down the stairs while they wait for breakfast. H and D will go downstairs and have their breakfast, generally some cereal when milk is available – unlike this morning – and then brush teeth and begin the morning routine to get ready for school.  H will spend ages doing her hair – usually a style she has trialled the night before on Snapchat for her peers – and D will almost always put her shoes on the wrong feet. She comes into my bedroom and I brush her ragged hair, tie her shoelaces and usually pull up her tights as the crotch sits almost to the knees.

 

H is at the age where she doesn’t need me -or anyone- anymore.

D is at the age where she never wants to let me go.

 

My husband will bring me my morning medication and then take D to school and H walks with some friends and their parents she meets along the way, school is but a social endeavour for her pubescent childhood so this leaves my creatures and I home alone. I hope to start taking D to school myself soon, as soon as I can walk long distances unaided and without a breathing battle.

 

I will then generally start my morning with some coffee, a bowl of oats and some Jezza Kyle (I know, not doing much for the stereotype here). As I am still in recovery, I have to take things slowly so I will start by doing a few household chores and taking a protein out of the freezer for dinner.  After I have pottered around a bit downstairs, I take a very slow and tired walk upstairs and generally have to lie down for a little while, I catch up on a bit of social media or Netflix, possibly a nap. I then spend an hour or two on my blog and catching up on writing, this is my ME time and is essential to my future business so I make sure I have some time daily to work on my blogs, reviews and over the last few days the testing of face masks.

 

Up until the time the girls get home from school at around 15:30, the day is my own. I spend a lot of it sitting or laying down, as I am currently not as mobile as I would like to be and get worn out very quickly but I still try to keep up with dishes and ironing so my husband doesn’t have to. Once the girls get home we do homework together, after which they do their household chores and begin nagging for their device time (Which continues until their actual device time at 7pm). H is a huge help around the house, despite the hormonal stage and does a lot when I am not able to. There have been a few days when they get home and I am bed ridden, barely able to go downstairs, H will make sure D’s homework is done and she will bring me a cup of coffee and make sure I am ok. She is an old soul and she takes care of me, even though she shouldn’t have to.

 

By 5pm, the girls are having a bath and I am usually starting dinner, we tend to eat by 6pm and my hubby gets home from work by about 6:30pm so we seldom eat together but we always sit and catch up a little about how our days have been, who did what – It is what I like to call ‘Family Discussion’ time. After that, device time kicks in for the girls and they disappear upstairs to their tablets and my husband and I get to sit down in front of the television for a little while before having to bath and get ready for bed ourselves. More often than not, I am upstairs in bed between 9pm and 10pm, watching a little bit of Netflix on my laptop before sleeping and my husband can be found painting his war gaming models until 1am. If I am not in bed early enough, I assume ‘the position’ on the sofa with my mermaid blanket and have been known to drool a little on my Jack Skellington cushions.

 

Throughout the day, I make sure my non human babies are looked after and usually spend a good amount of time taking Instagram photos of my cats, deep down I know I was born to be a cat lady.

If I can get a gap, I sneak in a little bit of Tipping Point which D absolutely loves to watch with me and on a Saturday morning, if I wake before the girls, I sneak into their rooms and climb into bed with them to wake them up, because I can.

 

A day in the life of #thismum may not be that exciting at the moment but I am thankful that it is a day that I am alive. It is all because of my children that I am still here, pushing to get better, taking the time to recover so that I can be a better mum and a better human being for them today.

 

Tomorrow, the dentist.

You can read more about my mental and physical health as well as the facemasks I have been sampling amongst other things over at moonsomnia.com

Fantastic post, Shevy, thank you so much for being a Guest Blogger as part of this series. Don’t forget to check out Shevy’s blog here  Next up is the lovely Pnina from the almostsanemom blog! Keep an eye out for her fantastic post on Sunday evening!

 

Another day in the life of #ThisMum

Tonight’s #ThisMum guest post comes from the gorgeous Rebecca from her blog, My Girls and Me. Rebecca has two beautiful girls, one aged 8 and one aged 4. She’s given us a sneak peek at her life as a mum, and you are going to love it. Don’t forget, you can check out her blog by clicking here

 

Hi! My name is Becca & I am a mummy to Rosie-Belle who is 4 and Miyah who is 8 months. Here is what I do, daily!  

I start my mornings by waking up at around 5 o’clock with my OH Michael. He gets up for work around this time, and I get up to say goodbye to him. Sometimes I will get up and stay up with him, other days I would fall back asleep! (More than I would like ha-ha!) If I wake up, I usually potter round the house doing some tidying and getting this ready for when the girls are up. I might have a cuppa and watch one or two soaps.  

The girls get up around 6:30am, I give Rosie a few minutes to get herself up and I take Miyah downstairs and put her in her high chair ready for breakfast. Rosie will come down and start making her own breakfast! (When did she get so big?) Miyah and Rosie have their breakfast and Rosie gets dressed for school. While Rosie is getting dressed, I change Miyah’s bum and get her in clean clothes for the day and give her a bottle if she wants one, sometimes she doesn’t so I let her play! 

Around 8 o clock is when my mum turns up for the school run and I quickly chuck Rosie’s hair up and we are off. The school run takes about an hour if I don’t stop on the way home. When I’m home, I put Miyah on the floor with her toys and I pack away breakfast stuff and set the dishwasher and washing machine on. Since we have recently just moved in so there is a lot of stuff I potter round and do. For example sorting out where stuff needs to go because I’m not happy with the original place lol! 

Around 10:30 Miyah wants a nap. Now Miyah doesn’t usually nap in the day time, she just gets very stressed and closes her eyes for 10 minutes before she is awake again. If she does nap, it could last up to 4 hours. Strange child. In this time, you will more than likely see me tidying, (I know, what more could I possibly do? *my house is a mess*) reading or maybe doing a little work. Answering emails, tweeting etc.  Around 12 o clock i give Miyah dinner, she has probably had about 100 snacks in that time. She will have a jar, a fruit pot and yoghurt and maybe a bottle. I grab myself something and we then play until it’s time to go and pick Rosie up.  

Miyah has just learnt to crawl proper so most of our playing is me crawling on the floor with her looking like a loony, If anyone saw they would be worried haha!  

When we get back from the school run, we get in and unwind from the walk home, and Rosie has a drink and a snack while doing some homework. Miyah if on a good day has fallen asleep in the pram and will sleep for all of about 20 minutes in the house. I start prepping dinner (I have planned what we will have every day of the week of i know what we are doing) and then we chill. This usually means telly on, i check my messages and wait for Michael to get home.  

When Michael is home, we sit down and eat, talk about our days and by the time this is usually all done and i have tidied after dinner it’s about 6 so we watch Simpsons and put the girls to bed. We have a routine for baths and stuff but that’s boring stuff lol. Once the girls are asleep i will potter round picking up toys and doing the rest of the housework before i sit down. This time usually includes watching telly or blog work.  

Well, that’s my day. Pretty boring stuff, but to me it’s my life! There’s always something thrown in everyday to make it a little exciting!  

Thank you Rebecca, your day is far from boring! It has been an absolute pleasure working with you on this! Thank you so much for being a Guest Blogger for the #ThisMum series.

The Liebster Award

I was absolutely over the moon to receive a nomination for this Award from the lovely Shevy at the Moonsomnia blog. I had heard of the Liebster Award so I was thrilled to bits tone nominated to take part. I admire Shevy as a Blogger; her blog (go visit it now if you haven’t already! You’ll find it here) she has created a truly captivating blog which is multifaceted, combining a diverse variety of content ranging from beauty to body and mind to music and TV. Because of this variety, her content is always original and engaging and always a joy to read.

Shevy gave me the following 11 questions to answer so I’ll get straight on with proceedings!

  1. If you could have dinner with 3 people, deceased or living, who would it be and why?

This is a corker of a question! I’m resisting the urge of giving you the names of the three hotties that make up my celebrity crushes but that would be an ever so shallow answer! Instead, I’ll try and give a more sophisticated answer! I would have loved to meet Anita Roddick, the incredibly successful Business woman behind The Body Shop. Anita achieved the impossible in a male dominated world and it is because of women like Anita that there are so many women absolutely nailing it in business today. Anita inspires me with everything she achieved in her relatively short life. I am incredibly passionate about women in business; it is a subject close to my heart and I never take for granted that more and more women are being taken seriously now in the business world because of the likes of Anita who proved that women could be just as successful as men in enterprise.

My second invite would go to Sally Wainwright; she’s an English television writer, producer and director. Sally is responsible for the some of the most heart warming and raw and gritty television dramas that I have seen in the last few years. She wrote Happy Valley, Last Tango in Halifax and Unforgiven to name just a few – all of which were totally gripping. A dream I’ve never really let go of is that one day I would LOVE to write TV drama. I am an avid watcher of TV drama and always get way too invested in the characters – usually resulting in me using half a loo roll whilst I cry over the plight of a character , or me screaming at the television desperately trying to warn one character of another or something equally as dramatic! I would love to have a conversation with Sally and find out where she creates her characters from, what inspires the gritty storylines (and what her next series will be…..obvs.).

Finally, to round this dinner party off in style I’m going to give at least one intellectual answer and say I’d quite like to share a starter with Mary Shelley. As an ex English Teacher I used to teach Frankenstein about four times a year – I could probably recite it backwards in french (not really. I’m far from bilingual.) In 1818, it wasn’t deemed the done thing for a woman to write. Hell, it wasn’t the done thing for women to read so it definitely wasn’t the done thing to write. Mary Shelley wrote the fabulous Frankenstein and published it anonymously. I suspect this was because she knew only too well that the novel would be shunned by folk if they thought for one second it had been written by a woman. People actually presumed that her husband, the legend that is Percy Bysshe Shelley, had written it. I admire Mary Shelley not only for the bad ass story she created in Frankenstein, but the fact she had the cahoonas to go where very few women had gone before – literature. Yes, she tentatively put it out there anonymously but had she not have, the novel would probably not have been read or recognised for what it is today. I love women with cahoonas. They are the best.

2. Have you ever lived abroad? If so, where? If not, where would you live abroad?

I’ve never lived abroad. We did explore the possibility of moving to Australia a few years ago. My husband applied to the police force in Perth and we were going to make the move. The economy then crashed and budgets were tightened over in Oz and we struggled to sell our house so we shelved the idea and decided to stay in the UK. I’m glad we did. I have a supportive network of family and friends here and can’t imagine what I would have done without them.

3. What is your favourite hobby?

Writing! (I couldn’t really say anything different could I?!) Out of all seriousness, I love to write. I love to blog but I also really love to write creatively. The only issue with this is that I don’t have the time I would like to spend on it. I went through a spell of writing creatively every night but then real life got in the way sadly. I still hold out hope that one day I will have a little summer house at the bottom of the garden where I’ll go to write my award winning TV dramas!!! It’s good to have dreams, right?!

4. Snakes or Spiders? (Or both).

I. Can’t. Even. Answer. This. NEITHER!!!!!!!

5. Favourite meal?

I love Asian food – in any way it comes!

6. Who do you look up to and why?

I look up to loads of people for different reasons. I look up to my Mum, she was a single parent for the best part of my childhood and I saw that she sacrificed herself for us time and time again. It was hard for her. I remember seeing that even at a young age. My birth dad wasn’t the nicest of men and my mum made the scary decision to leave him in order to raise us in a happier home but leaving a nice big house, a stable income and everything that goes with it was a huge deal. She did that for us and I will never ever forget that. I look up to her because I aspire to be the kind of Mum she is to me, to my children.

I also have Business crushes – people who I look up to and think ‘one day I want to have achieved what you’ve achieved!” Women like Caprice and Anna Karmel are outstanding female business people who have achieved the most amazing businesses. I certainly wouldn’t mind in even having a little tiny bite of their success.

7. What is your favourite quote?

I’ve got two – is that allowed? I’m going to be a rebel and include them anyway! The first is ‘What is for you won’t go past you’. I totally believe in fate, and that the universe brings to us what we need, when we need it. If something doesn’t work out, it’s because there is something better round the corner. I’ve always felt that this is a really positive mindset to have; it has certainly helped me to deal with rejections or disappointments. My second quote is ‘A positive attitude will lead to positive outcomes.’ I firmly believe that the way we think, the way we act and speak and the way we look at things determines the outcomes. I believe in the power of positivity. I think with a positive mind, there is nothing you can’t achieve. Positivity is so important.

8. If an actor / actress could play you in a biopic of your life, who would you choose?

Tough question! Probably someone like Sharon Hogan. Have you seen her in Catastrophe? She’s bloody brilliant. Good comedic value. I think she’d play my scatty, chaotic, disorganised but perfect life very well!

9. Favourite Twitter account to follow?

That is a sold question!! There are too many to mention! I do love Twitter comedy gold though – and there’s a lot of it out there. Love following Comedians on there, anyone who gives you a ‘laugh out loud’ moment when you’re sitting at your desk in a silent office at work is worth a follow!

10. What is the next item on your bucket list to complete?

To turnover £1 million with my business. We are half way there. It’s been a hard and gruelling slog but we are on target and with a positive attitude, we CAN do it. It’s just a question of doing the ground work to get there. There goes me being all positive again!

11. Do you have any blogging tips to offer your blogging friends?

I haven’t been blogging for very long so don’t feel qualified or experienced to give advice  on this topic as I am very much a learner myself at the moment but the only advice I can give is to be yourself. There are so many bloggers out there who try to be blogger-like. That might not make sense to some, but I see bloggers sometimes carving out their blogs like a carbon copy of other blogs. It’s an industry plagued by ‘trends’ and sometimes we are all too eager to fit in with those trends, take the pretty lay photographs like other bloggers do, blog about similar subjects – but writing for my is very personal. It’s almost therapeutic for me actually. If I tried to be someone else, or disturbed my natural flow of thought when writing by trying to sound like all the other bloggers and ‘fit in’, I don’t think it would be a) enjoyable and b) purposeful for me.

That’s not to say that those bloggers aren’t valid. I wish I could take beautiful lay photographs (whenever I’ve tried it just looks like I’ve spilt my shopping all over the floor) but I think we all should be one thing in our writing and that is: authentic. We must be us. We must write like the person we are. Even if that doesn’t always sit well with the latest blogging trend. We are what makes our writing interesting. We are our writing. We should have the confidence to be ourselves in our writing.

Wowsers! What a fab list of questions! I suspect I have given far more long winded responses than needed but hey! you should know me by now! I have real issues with being concise!!!

So, the next task to do is to identify 11 Bloggers to nominate for the Liebster Award.  This is tough for me as I have interacted with some absolutely amazing Bloggers and so many bloggers have been super supportive of me and have inspired me with their writing so to get it down to just 11 is going to be really tricky. But here goes!

Amy @ The Rolling Baby Blog

Rachel @ Nippersnips Blog

Cath @ The Anxious Mama Blog

Charlie @ Sounds Right Phonics Classes Blog

Helen @ WelshMumWriting

Ashlee @ A Blended Momma

@Fattyvonvon

@Thecuckoomama

Katie @ Twintessential

@Almostsanemom

@MrsHible

These beautiful people now need to complete eleven questions created by me –  Now the 11 questions!

  1. If you could re-live just one day of your life, which day would you choose and why?
  2. Who would you share your last rolo with?
  3. What is your biggest ambition in life?
  4. What is your biggest fear in life?
  5. What’s been your favourite holiday to date?
  6. If you could only save one outfit from your wardrobe what would it be?
  7. If Bear Grylls kidnapped you, dropped you on a desert island and offered you a plus one, who would you want with you? (Celebrities included – knock yourselves out with the choice!)
  8. Which word do you use the most in a day?
  9. If you won the lottery (silly mega bucks type win, not £2.30 for two numbers) what would genuinely be your first purchase?
  10. What does ‘a happy life’ look like to you?
  11. What is your one biggest regret?

Once you’ve answered them, nominate eleven bloggers and come up with 11 questions of your own to ask them! Don’t forget to tag me in to your answers so I can keep up to date with all of your posts! I can’t wait to see them!

 

A Day in the Life of #ThisMum

Following on from the fabulous Mums we have already had sharing with us a day in their lives, I am delighted to introduce Rachel from the Nippersnips blog. Rachel is a full time working mum with a gorgeous 3 year old boy and I am super grateful that she opened up a day in her life to us all. Don’t forget to check out Rachel’s blog over at www.nippersnips.com

A day in the life of #Thismum

I’m a full time working mum with a 3 year old boy and a husband. I am besotted with my little one as most mothers are – he is my world.

My 3 year old boy has recently started school nursery. This has brought a little change in all our lives and routine.  He seems to have grown up so much. The school uniform really makes him look older!

A typical day means getting up between 6.30-7am.  This is fantastic considering he used to get up between 5-6am (zombie times).   I have my cuppa tea, (without which I can’t function) and my boy has hot milk and banana.  He is absolutely obsessed by both hot milk and bananas! To him they make the world go round.   I think it must be part of his little routine.  If we ever run out he is devastated.  He has his cereal and then I get ready for work.

I work close to home but this wasn’t always the case.  The best thing I did after I went back to work was changing my job and reducing the commute. I knew putting my boy to bed each night was worth more than anything.

I get to take and pick my boy up from school/after-school-club a few times a week and these are my favourite days. He loves school which makes me so happy and helps to lessen the mum guilt I feel for working full time. I still really struggle with mum guilt but love working too.  It’s a hard balance to reach. I am blessed I work 9-5. This is a huge help.

When we get home I make his tea and chat about his day. Mostly he says “I don’t know” to my questions – which makes me laugh! He doesn’t know what he’s done, who he’s played with or what he’s had to eat.  So I’m none the wiser after our little talks! Despite this we have lots of fun, cuddles and giggles. Recently he’s been pretty grumpy too but he’s just tired after school.

After tea he has a bath and I love to watch him play. He’s now making up stories and characters with his bath toys.  It’s such a pleasure to observe and he hates getting out of the bath.

He normally objects to going to bed and asks for “2 minutes” ha ha. But I’m lucky he actually loves his little routine of Pj’s , story and sleep.  I do have to “settle “him as he calls it.  This is me stroking his hair and saying “night night”. Then amazingly he goes to sleep around 7.30 and I watch him through our monitor.  It wasn’t always this easy. I’ve had many a sleepless and rough night, believe me – I have endured the worst sleep deprivation.  Recently he is so zonked out and is sleeping so well, I just pinch myself. What a difference this makes to our family.  He must be using his brain power at school!

I’m so proud he’s mine and count my blessings every day that he’s such a good boy.

Rachel, Nippersnips

A HUGE thank you to Rachel from Nippersnips for this wonderful post. Reading that she’s come through the sleep deprivation and now has her lovely boy sleeping really well gives me hope that I won’t forever resemble a Zombie and that my child may, one day, decide to sleep! Thank you so much, Rachel. 

Don’t forget to visit Rachel’s blog! www.nippersnips.com

I am absolutely loving the #ThisMum series and reading what ‘being a mum’ looks like for so many different mums. None of this would be possible without the wonderful mums who have agreed to guest blog for this series so a massive thanks goes out to every mum who has posted already and is in the wings ready for the post to go live. I’ve got several mums lined up for spots well in to the month of December with lots more waiting to be scheduled so I am so excited that we can continue the series and gain an insight to the real diversity across a larger group of Mums.

A Day in the Life of #ThisMum

The second Guest Blogger for the series is Katie from the Twintessential blog. I was really excited when Katie expressed an interest in blogging as part of the series as I really wanted to have a ‘multiples mum’ represented. Katie’s boys sound absolutely gorgeous and I am sure you are going to love this little peek at her day to day life. Don’t forget to check out Katie’s blog too; you can find it Here

7ish: I can hear soft cooing noises coming from the nursery. They sound so sweet first thing in the morning. Hubby is off today so we bring the boys back into bed with us for ten minutes of raspberry blowing and giggles. A pretty good way to start your day. Then it’s downstairs for milk, breakfast and my first cup of tea!

0830: The boys are sitting in their chairs having a wee nap after finishing their milk. Hubby and I have our breakfast, 2nd cup of tea and discuss today’s itinerary. We’ve recently moved house so he is continuing with all the jobs that need doing while I take the twins to baby yoga for the first time. Excited and apprehensive!!!!! The last time we went, they were 4 months old and spent the whole class being sick!

0930: I’m showered and dressed, time to do some cooking for the babies before we go out. I’m making a big batch of cod in cheese sauce with spinach and peas. Tasty!!! Harry and Archie are happily playing away with a bowl and spatula I’ve given them. Wonder how long I can get away with that for?

1030: Mid morning milk for the boys followed by a nap. This is my break time. I sneak into the den with my coffee and chocolate biscuits and manage to get some work done on the charity Christmas party I’m organising for the local special care baby unit. And a quick peek at Facebook of course. And Instagram.

11.30: I hate waking the babies up but it’s time to head off to our yoga class. We get our mats set up and the babies are crawling around having a great time exploring the room. Except Harry. Harry is holding on to a column at the other end of the room. He’s laughing away to himself whilst doing what I can only describe as gyrating around the pole. The more everyone notices him the more he finds it funny. I can’t decide whether he is a future Magic Mike or Billy Elliot.

1330: Home for lunch and an afternoon nap. It’s not always guaranteed so I take advantage and actually sit down at the dining table and eat my lunch. How civilised!! Can’t sit about though, got chores to do. It’s the usual, tidy kitchen, empty and load dishwasher, washing machine and tumble dryer. Sweep floors. Put clothes away. I used to scoff at people who said my washing machine would always be on with two babies. I mean, their clothes are tiny and how many do they need?!? Ha, who’s laughing now!! Once weaning began it’s a given we’ll get through at least two changes a day. Each.

1500: Babies are awake and full of beans. Hubby and I have finished our respective chores, it’s not raining (for once) so we load the little people into the pram and go for a walk. This involves circumnavigating our little village, culminating in a shot on the swings. They love the swings. It’s a competition to see who can get their baby to laugh the most. My husband always wins as I chicken out and never push them as high as he does.

1700: The twins have their dinner. It goes quite well this evening. Minimal floor and wall coverings. You can never take that for granted though. Turn your back on them for a second and they’ve grabbed the bowl and now there’s beef casserole dripping down the wall.

1800: Playtime. As daddy is home, the three of them go into the den and do boy stuff. I think. I’m not allowed in. Cup of tea for me, then I get our dinner ready. It’s bath night tonight so I run the bath and get everything ready. I don’t know about anyone else, but bathing twins is the equivalent of a work out. You’ve got weights, cardio, circuits. And contrary to what the books say, a bath before bed does not calm them down. They go nuts. Hence the circuit training. You are now chasing two little naked people around the nursery trying to slap a nappy on them before they pee on the carpet. They think this is hilarious of course. By the time you’ve dressed them and wrestled the hairbrush from them you’re flipping exhausted. And needing wine. Mmmmm. Wine.

1900: Bedtime milk. This is when we have our dinner. We tried all kinds of variations but found this is the best time to eat without getting interrupted or indigestion. They are now ready for bed. At last. I love them so much but there’s a part of me that sighs with relief when they are tucked up in bed and you can relax. And drink wine. The next couple of hours are for us. So like any other busy parents, he plays games on his iPad while I watch my crap on the telly. Bliss.

Massive thanks to Katie from Twintessential for this beautifully written insight to her day to day life. The next Guest Blogger up is the lovely Rachel from the Nippersnips blog going live on Tuesday evening. You are going to love the sneak peek in to her life!