Monday, 4 June 2012

How to neglect your blog.

I have been bad. This cherished blog has lain neglected for now over a month. In fact social media at large has lain neglected for over a month. I dare say, who missed it? But my Big Brother has complained, a lot. Who knows what he has been reading on the bog all this time?!

At first it was very painful, I would start an entry and save for later, I would sneak a look at Twitter whilst cooking dinner or whilst running the bath for the Toddler. A few weeks in and the pain subsided, I stopped pining and got caught up in other things. Apparently I am fickle. Who knew?

I felt it necessary to explain my absence before picking up thread again, thus also hoping to get my blogging mojo back, as it were.

So, a few tips on how to neglect your blog:

1. Have your child turn 3 years old and throw a birthday party, insisting you bake the cake (even though you are no Delia or any other capable baking/cooking type person).

2. Decide to make party favours and decorations yourself. Spend a fortune trying a few ideas, then order everything off a party website anyway.

3. During this time make sure your parents, who live abroad, come and visit you. Make sure your dad has only a week to stay due to work commitments.

4. Send your other half away on a 3-week Motorbike trip in unchartered territory and all support and maintenance done himself.

5. Let your mom stay with you for a month, allow her to do all the cooking, cleaning, childcare duties and watch yourself become lazy and totally incapable.

6. Whilst watching your mom do all the work, start sleeping in later in the mornings and enjoying mid-afternoon naps.

7. Due to your mom doing all the work you re-discover your love of books.

8. Make sure you are a bit obsessive, especially about books, and completely shut out the world whilst you catch up on your reading list.

And lastly, read the "Shades of Grey" trilogy. One after the other. Very sordid, a laughable writing style, but oh so addictive. You will thank me I assure you.

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Twin Tuesday: Tales from the Car

I have dubbed Tuesday "Twin Tuesday" as it is the day that I pick up M's pal for playgroup and drop off afterwards (at his house, just to clarify). Today they both sampled a new class called "Little Performers" in the morning too, so an extra pick up/drop off session (M and I got lunch in-between so we scored on this one). Nickname of "Twin Tuesday" because these two little bosom buddies weirdly look very similar, identical height and both slightly bonkers. Herein are the tales from the journey today.

En route to the class this morning, Toddler Boy starts singing.

Toddler Girl: "stop singing".

Toddler Boy: "I want to sing".

Me: "M let Toddler Boy sing, in fact let's all sing". Tries desperately to identify song to encourage sing-along.

Toddler Girl: (slightly raised voice) "stop singing!".

Toddler Boy still singing.

Toddler Girl (very raised voice) "stop singing!".

Toddler Boy (screaming) "I want to sing!".

Toddler Girl starts crying.

Toddler Boy keeps singing.

I turn up the radio.

Arrive at venue. Minor altercation with Toddler Girl whilst she insists on an umbrella and refuses to carry her bag. Diva. Toddler Boy stares at her, can almost hear him thinking "geezo chick, lighten up and let's get moving!". Thankfully a new and very awesome place then renders them both silent and I can lead them wide-eyed and open-mouthed to their class.

Then, a trip to the toilet whereby Toddler Girl tries to get in their first and in mid-flow of the sentence explaining why she must go first, Toddler boy yanks down his trousers and hops on the toilet. Hmmm Toddler Girl, actions speak louder than words my dear, but you will learn. I giggle which possible helps avert Toddler Girl's tears.

After class, same bag/brella saga from Toddler Girl. Sigh. Other people's kids are sometimes way better than your own.

Both fall asleep on journey back to Toddler Boy's house. Exhausting class obviously. Don't think the "Sleepytime classics" CD I put on for them had anything to do with the snooze really... (okay, maybe a bit, this CD is amazing, a must buy really!). Both wake slightly grumpy, but managed some lunch, then back in the car to playgroup. Toddler Girl clingy, Toddler Boy won't wear his jacket.

Arrive at playgroup. Toddler Girl still won't carry her rucksack, then asks for it as we are crossing the road. Toddler Boy asks for his jacket at the same time. I hear my own slightly high-pitched voice saying: "we're in the middle of the road, please walk and then we can figure this out once safe and sound on the other side". Toddler Girl asks what "sound" means and Toddler Boy asks me where I got my ring from. I start to giggle hysterically.

En route home from playgroup, they are both high as kites and playing a game whereby Toddler Girl's soft toy cat is being used as a ball. Mucho giggles from Toddler Girl as Toddler Boy flings cat around the backseat. I imagine this is how 3 year olds flirt. Toddler Girl then asks to hold Toddler Boy's hand, he obliges and I think how sweet, until I remember Toddler Boy is in a booster seat and when I glance in the rearview mirror, he is half lying across the back seats to reach Toddler Girl's hand. This is clearly not safe and I wildly start reaching behind me and try to convince Toddler Boy to sit up and Toddler Girl to let his (now) arm go! A short result for me and still more giggles from the back seat.

Arriving at Toddler Boy's house, they throw a casual "see you tomorrow" at each other and I get a cuddle from Toddler Boy. Bliss. They really are a beloved pair these two.

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Life after a SAHM?

So, we got THE letter today. The one that tells you which of your two choices for a school's nursery your child has got into. The one that also tells you which days and times they have been allocated. This is quite significant in our household because firstly, it means our baby girl is growing up way too fast and is now old enough for school's nursery and secondly it means there is a possibility that some of my time will be freed up and I can contemplate stepping back into the working world.

M is currently in a local playgroup (sadly shutting at the end of this term), as of this week she now goes 4 times a week, from the new school year she will attend 5 days a week, 2.5 hours a day. I'm thinking with the aid of a childminder (yet to be found), some clever logistics (yet to be discussed) and a bit of give from Himindoors' work (yet to be seen) I could possibly go back to part time work.

The possibility of going back to work doesn't scare me half as much as the realisation that my little baby is going to be 3 years old next week and will be in a big school's nursery at the end of summer! But that mushy, sobbing, clingy mommy post will have to wait for another day as tonight it is all about the "mommy returning to work" discussion in our house.

First a bit of history: I never actually thought I would be a SAHM. I was always very ambitious and, before and during pregnancy, I crowed to anyone who would listen about how I would definitely be a working mom. No aprons and homemaking for me, I was going to mother in stiletto's! Somewhat hypocritical and from my current SAHM status I can admit that a) I was wrong and judgemental and b) I have worn mostly converse and pumps since pregnancy and beyond.

How did I get here then?

From a Marketing job in an oil company, I took a year's maternity leave. I didn't return to that job as they needed full time, I could only give part time. I then took a part time post in a Marketing Communications Agency. This worked swimmingly for a good 6 months, with a combination of nursery and a daddy who worked in his own consultancy business from home... until said daddy took a full time role in a big company and all the childcare arrangements had to shift. Part time wages, childcare costs and a few other factors led to (drum roll) SAHM. I kept a hand in my CV with occasional freelance work until October last year and then took to Twitter and more recently blogging to keep abreast of market trends, company's news and an attempt to keep my skills (and brain) fresh.

At first I flitted between loving my decision to missing an office, to loving the time with my girl to thinking I was drowning in ballet and crafts. In all honestly mostly loving it, I have really cherished the time with M and am proud at how my hard work to keep us busy and stimulated has really paid off (i.e. a year on and I haven't found myself rocking in a corner once!). However, I always envisioned that I would go back to work, either when she starts school nursery or when she starts school. Some small part of me has always clung on to that ambitious woman in the stiletto's (not least because she was a lot thinner than the woman I am today!). This is the current discussion and really there are more questions than answers.

For instance, does being a SAHM affect your CV? Does it affect how potential employers view you or your experience? Do you abandon your old career path? Can your old career path be resurrected? Do you apply for jobs on a level that you were on before stopping work or do you put yourself back at market entry level? Do you beg and explain that although you are 1 (2 or 3) years out of the game you are still capable, hard working, enthusiastic and have that thing were you do way more than you should in a job and work after hours just because you have "a good idea"? Phew.

And then, do you get a childminder then a job or a job then a child minder? Which is it, dear readers, chicken or egg?!

Am exhausted just thinking about it, so think I'll just have a small vino before bed and put my head in the sand a bit longer. It is almost summer holidays after all...