Back to work ….

So last week it was time to go back to work after my maternity leave. I’ll be honest I was dreading it. After nearly ten months off and spending 8 of those with my beautiful boy my brain has turned to jelly and am well out of the working mummy routine. I’ve also been enjoying taking Ella to school in the morning and not having to be on mega rush mode every morning. Needless to say I had worked my self up into a right anxious mess…

1st Day back ….

Tuesday was my 1st day back and I was welcomed in by my lovely team. Most of the day was spent deleting 1600 emails and I was extremely bored but ….. I had 2 …. yes 2 hot brews, not luke warm or warmed back up but actually hot brews. I had an actual lunch break and lots of adult conversation ( a lot of it was general, oh your back that went so fast type of stuff but was nice to speak to someone about something other than Peppa pig). I was very lucky to be able to leave early on the 1st day back as I am increasing my hours its a longer day than I am used to so this was a blessing.

Leaving the baby ….

I’m really lucky that my mum has offered to help with the majority of my child care so I left him with her this week. I made sure that he had plenty of toys and a travel cot for his nap times and play time so that my mum could cope. Throughout the day my mum sent me approximately 20 thousand photos and updates ((slight exaggeration) and he was absolutely fine. He’s more than happy having lots of Nanna cuddles and he had a good nap for her.

My checklist for the 1st week back ….

In order to make sure that the 1st week went well I had a checklist of things to get ready and make it all a lot easier. It definitely helped me so if you are returning back to work soon or just looking to get organised here are some ideas ….

  • Batch cooking – The weekend before returning I prepped some freezer meals and some slow cooker dump bags to make tea time a bit easier.
  • The night before each day I set out all of our outfits for the next day, this takes the stress out of worrying about what to wear.
  • Get the kids stuff ready – I made sure all homework, P.E kits, school bags and babies bag were packed and ready to go for the next day.
  • Have a treat for the 1st day back – So we are trying to save money at the moment and normally I would take my milk and teabags in for brews and a lunch but for the first day I took to money to treat myself. its the little things!

All in all the 1st week back was absolutely fine. In fact I actually enjoyed being back into working mummy mode. I had forgotten how important it was to have that side of my life not just for the money (although lets face it that’s the number 1) but for me and my mental health.

I would love to hear from you if you have returned back to work recently or are back soon. If you have any more tips for me for juggling work and mum life let me know…

Thanks for reading xxx

 

 

 

 

 

I have a 6 year old ….

So yesterday my big girl turned 6 ….

I absolutely love birthdays especially my close family and so may have gone a little over board. She was so excited on Wednesday she couldn’t get to sleep and this meant myself and her dad waiting up to secretly bring down presents, put up banners and blow up birthday balloons all ready for the morning.

Of course its been the main topic of conversation for a good few weeks and I’m sure her teachers are pulling their hair out hearing about her plans.

Birthday morning came and she was thrilled with her presents, her little eyes lit up when she opened the living room door and saw the birthday set up. She received an array of LOL dolls, my little pony castle, build a bear teddy and lots of money ( she’s a very lucky girl). 

I made her some birthday pancakes and we put a candle in and sang happy birthday and sent her off to school with her birthday badges proudly on her school cardigan. I walked home on a high and feeling like id won the mum game. After school we took her to spend her birthday money and then had a pizza hut tea for a treat. By this point she was shattered and moaned to go home through dessert but it was a treat for us at least. 

Tomorrow is her birthday party and I’ve only had 3 RSVPS!!!  I know more kids than that are coming but the mums just haven’t bothered to let me know. Its so frustrating because I’m trying to sort out sweet cones and party food not knowing for sure how many kids are going to turn up. I’m currently sat with a list as long as my arm procrastinating by writing this blog post Fingers crossed it all goes well and I don’t end up downing a gin or 2 to get through it. 

I hope you have all had a great week. Let me know how you got through your kids parties and if you have any tips!

xxx

 

 

 

No spend experiment….

Money, Money, Money…

Last week I decided to try a no spend experiment. I knew that I couldn’t commit to a full week so decided to attempt to spend zero pennies for 5 days. The only exception would be for absolute essentials or emergencies.

We had done the shop that we normally do for the week and meals were planned so in all honesty it didn’t seem like a mammoth task.

I might have underestimated it …just a little bit…

Monday – Day 1

So the week was planned all meals sorted and the fridge full of what we needed for them. We spent today cleaning and sorting so not much need or opportunity to spend, today was definitely the easiest ( she says on the 1st day). The one stumbling block we encountered was after school, we stopped off at the park and this means a walk past the shop. It’s almost automatic to just pop in and get a few bits. The big girl wanted sweets but we managed to get away after a negotiation session.

Tuesday – Day 2

The big girl mentioned she wanted to go to a play centre after school. I nearly said yes and then realised that we were on no spend week so instead I promised a girls night. Now don’t get excited there were no cocktails or dancing involved ( ok its possible a small gin was consumed)… instead the big girl had a bath bomb in her bath and a pamper session followed by The great British bake off in bed with snacks. Spending averted….

Wednesday – Day 3

This is where it started to get a bit harder. I very nearly, without realising went into the shop on the way home from the school run (we didn’t need anything purely out of habit). On looking back this would have resulted in at least a fiver spent on things that we ‘needed’ and I would do this most days. I realised that we were out of milk and so the other half picked some up on his way back from work but I am counting this as an essential.

Its the big girls birthday next week and so I spent most of the night putting things in to my online basket for the party and then realising I couldn’t get it. I feel like this was just delaying the spending to be honest because this is all going to get ordered at the weekend but I did it none the less for the sake of the experiment.

Thursday – Day 4

Today was a bad day for me personally and this sent my anxiety haywire. I was feeling down and really could not be bothered with cooking tea. We very nearly ordered a takeaway but resisted and instead threw something quick and easy in the oven and compensated with some chocolate.

On the way home from school the big girl saw the ice cream van and asked for a treat which we managed to say no to but she did pull on the heartstrings a bit. One thing about this week is that I have had no cash on me anyway which is a blessing in disguise as you cant spend if its not there. I blame contactless for most of my spending these days ….

 

Friday – Day 5

So the last day came and I realised that we had been stuck in the house a lot more this week. My anxiety was at peak level and I needed to get out of the house with my little man. The park was a no go due to the rain and I decided there and then that we were off to a soft play.  So this was where the no spend experiment ended…

I honestly though this would be a piece of cake and it was much harder than expected. I have come to a few realisations about my spending habits that will definitely help me to complete this in the future ( I would 100% do this again because on paper it has helped me to save).

  • A lot of my spending is done without thinking ( how bad does that sound). A trip to the shop throw a few extra things in the basket that we don’t need and don’t really think about it but it all adds up.
  • The kids pull on my heartstrings and I give in. Even at 7 months the little man gets me because I’m always browsing the baby areas in clothes shops.
  • Boredom hits and I look to shop – might be online or a trip to the shops to get us out of the house.
  • Emotional eating hits and takeaway is the one for me. This can get expensive on a bad month!

It was really interesting for me to make these observations and it did make me feel a bit guilty that I take sending for granted. Now when I talk about absent minded spending I do only mean a few pounds here and there ( I am by no means rocker fella) but even so this all adds up.

I would definitely recommend the no spend challenge. Give it a go and let me know how you get on.

xxx

 

The 1st of October….

How can it be October already….

This year has really flown by, I feel like it was only yesterday that I was getting ready to go on my maternity leave and thinking about coming back to work felt like a million miles away. Now its drawing in and I really don’t feel ready. My little man seems so small still and although he’s being left with his grandparents and daddy (I am very lucky with my childcare arrangements) I am worrying that it’s all a bit too soon. We are still figuring out a sleep routine and to be honest it’s getting worse not better. Last night was the 1st night I gave in and let him into our bed. This helped with his sleep but not mine because I basically slept with one leg out of the bed all night.

This blog post is a bit of a self indulgent moan to be honest and it’s not all bad there is so much to look forward to in October. It’s my big girls birthday, Halloween, I’ve got a night out planned and all of the other nice stuff October brings like cosy nights, snuggled up watching Harry Potter (my favourite).

I know that going back to work will work out absolutely fine in the end. We will have more money as a family, I can communicate with adults other than the postman ( I love our postman to be fair) and the little man will have a great time with his Nanna and granddad.

I’ve think I need a plan in place to make me feel better about returning to work and to make my head a little less messy. So here’s my plan of action:

Start to make a few extra meals for the freezer….

I already have a few prepped and frozen and I think at least for those 1st few weeks will be good to have something that I can just bung in the slow cooker and have ready for when I get home.

Tackle the little mans sleep….

This is a big one. I am running on fumes at the minute and know that if we can crack this I will feel so much better. My other half is an amazing help but he works so hard and cant afford to be tired in the job that he is in.

Sort a good routine for the house….

This is nearly in place. I have been having a big sort out and should be at a better place with the routine for housework so finger’s crossed this one is nearly a done deal.

Make the most of this month off….

Take those little trips to the park, soft play, baby groups. Read a book or write my blog instead of cleaning whilst the little man naps. Set out some time for me to do things that will make me feel better about myself like having my hair cut, looking after myself better with regards to healthy eating and a small act of self care  daily.

How did you find returning back to work? I’ve done it once so I know I can do it again.

Let me know any tips you have and for anyone going back soon good luck I promise it will be fine.

xxx

 

One extreme to the other….

Story of my life!

I’ve either got a full 7 day meal plan, live to the strictest of budgets and make us the healthiest meals going or we eat only beige food and live off takeaways …. Ok so not the kids I do feed them the good stuff but I can’t seem to get a balance between the two for me.

Now my other half is quiet happy to go with the flow and it’s safe to say I’m the organiser when it comes to meals but this means I’m also the instigator when it comes to that cheeky takeaway or treating ourselves to a family meal out. I will wax lyrical about our healthy eating and insist we are all doing it this week and by Tuesday ive phoned the other half to pick up a KFC on his way home from work.

I think at the moment I’m just in that can’t be arsed stage. I’m looking after 2 minis and making sure they are healthy and happy and so I’ve let the looking after myself side slip.

I tell myself it’s a treat, I’m tired and I deserve it after all it’s hard being up all night with babe and then functioning in the daytime. But I know honestly that really my body (and bank balance) would thank me so much more for the healthy stuff.

That being said I’m no longer berating myself for those days/weeks that don’t go quite to plan or for those over budget over calorie fast food feasts.

Life’s too short to stress about a few extra chips…..and some chocolate, crisps ohhhhhh while were at it a Pepsi would be nice (full fat let’s not be silly about it) so if your having a takeaway tonight enjoy it, no guilt and if you have managed to make those healthier choices good on you could you throw some motivation my way please.

xxx

Just a chat…

Hi everyone,

I haven’t done a chatty blog post as yet so here’s the 1st one. I hope everyone that reads this is having a great Monday morning. Alfie is just having his morning nap so I thought I would grab the opportunity to get a post up ( how long he stays down for is another story this boy just doesn’t sleep).

So we have had another lovely weekend starting on Friday with some of my friends round for a few sneaky drinks and a takeaway to celebrate my birthday. We try to meet up as much as possible but this can be a nightmare with every ones schedules/families ect. I am very lucky to have a group of girls as good as mine but we all have to put the effort in sometimes to make it work.

On Saturday the kids had a sleepover at their aunties house so mummy and daddy went out…we had a few drinks nice meal and were back absolutely shattered by 11pm! Alfie hasn’t been sleeping and it was heaven to get a full night, even if my daft body clock had me up at half 5 (I ignored it and had a lie in until 9am). We had a lovely lazy Sunday took the kids to the park and made Sunday dinner. Alfie is really improving with his eating but I’m still panicking with certain foods.

Last night was the worst night, sleep wise we have had in ages. He goes down really well by 7pm ( any later and he will kick off royally) he will normally then have a bottle at about half 10 and is up in the night for another bottle and to put his dummy in. Last night he was up loads and really difficult to settle back into his cot. At 3.30am I got up him because he was wide awake.

I know it’s just down to teething or growth spurts but even 2nd time round you doubt yourself and the middle of the night can be such a lonely place. He is 7 months now and such a happy boy in the daytime so I’m not complaining. I think it’s important to show the reality because I remember as a first time mum hearing nothing but stories of babies sleeping through the night and feeling like a complete failure.

School run done and I ‘m taking the pressure off today and taking it as it comes.

Thanks for reading my rambles to the end! Would love to hear how your babies are getting on with sleep xx

It’s Ok….

As I get deeper into this motherhood gig I’m realising that I still have so much more to learn. Every day there’s something new. Some days are good and some days are really rough but I’m starting to realise that that’s ok

It’s ok if the house isn’t spotless all the time. If the washing pile keeps growing and the washing up piles overflowing. If unannounced visitors stop by and have to make their own brew.

It’s ok if that baby weight is sticking around (plus a few extra pounds). If your roots are showing or in my case greys and your eyebrows have seen better days.

If your wardrobe consists of stretch leggings and you are still sporting those maternity Pjs 7 months on (no shame). If you haven’t got a clue what ‘going out clothes’ are and you live in the same 3 tshirts on a loop. If your nails are a complete mess and it’s mum bun or birds nest no inbetween.

It’s ok if you are a working mum or a stay at home mum. If you can’t wait to go back to work for some adult time or want to spend every waking day with your littles. It’s ok if you hate baby groups and peppa pig is your sworn enemy. It’s also ok to secretly love fireman Sam and wonder is her really Normans dad? Both ginger, definate sexual chemistry between him and dyliss hmmmm??

It’s ok if you scroll through Instagram on night feeds, if you live through Facebook because you are too tired to go out. Or if you go out every week and love a bit of kid free time.

All of it is OK! Really it is because your raising a human or maybe 2,3 or more…cut yourself a bit of slack and start saying to yourself every day ITS OK

xxx

Five tips for a frazzled Mama/Papa…

So I thought I would put together some tips that help to make me feel better on a day to day basis and keep my general sh*t together. Parenting is hard so anything that I can do to make it easier on myself (and generally stop my head from falling off)…I try my best to do. Now, I’m no expert so don’t take my word for gospel, these are just things that help me and will hopefully help you too….

1.

Remember to keep yourself fuelled up throughout the day. Sounds so simple but how many times have you reached the school run only to realise you’ve not eaten or drank a thing all day? Que the mid afternoon slump or sugar crash which results in you eating half the kids chicken nuggets and makes you pray for bedtime. Try to start the day with a glass of water and make up a water bottle to top up throughout the day. Keep healthy snacks (and the odd treat) on hand for when you just don’t have the time to stop and eat a full meal.

2.

Sort out the main players the night before – uniforms, your clothes for the next day, lunches, homework, PE kits ect…. as much as you want to melt into the sofa with a well deserved gin and Netflix spending half an hour on this will save you so much stress in the morning.

3.

Keep on top of things – this is easier said than done I know, but trust me getting a wash on every day is better than doing it all in one go at the weekend and spending your whole Sunday deep cleaning the house. I’m not talking a major clean every day just aim to do a base clean/tidy in the morning and one again before bed once the kids are all tucked up and unable to mess it all up again. Just do the most important jobs. I sometimes set a timer for 15 minutes and see what I can get done in that time ( I know what an exciting life I lead). Nothing worse than waking up to a sink full of pots except perhaps a poonami, that is worse.

4.

Keep a calendar – now this could be on your phone, stuck on the fridge or in a diary whatever your personal preference. Get in the habit of checking this the night before or even on a Sunday so that you know what’s on the agenda for the week ahead. I’ve been tripped up by too many forgotten birthday parties and dentist appointments so this is a must for me. You try getting an emergency birthday present for a 5 year old with 2 kids in tow, it won’t be quick and it won’t be cheap.

5.

For me the most important. Set some time out for you – Now when I hear the words,’me time’, I think spa days but let’s face it that’s not possible for the majority. For me it could be as simple as a bubble bath when the kids are in bed or binge watching my favourite you tube channel when the baby has a nap instead of tackling that cleaning list. Do what you can within your limits, we are all different and have different things on our plate so even if it’s just 5 minutes to scroll through insta ( or read my blog *wink, wink) it’s important to take that time. My favourite saying is, ‘you can’t pour from an empty jug’ and it’s so true!

I really hope that these tips are of some use to you and would to gear yours, thanks xx

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