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!