An open letter to the mother who has to go back to work

To the mother that has to go back to work.

You may have been absent from work for a long time, but you’ve certainly had your hands full.

You, yes you, have brought a child in to the world.  Granted, there was someone else to help you at the very beginning, but it was YOU who gave birth – or, if you’re like me, you’ve had your tummy sliced right open.  Just for them.

If you put the child to feed on your breast, you’ve had the cracked and painful nipples.  Sometimes you’ve had the teeth too…

If you fed the child on the bottle, you’ve spent endless hours washing and sterilising those pain in the arse bottles.  Not to mention the scooping of the powder, and the constant temperature checking.  It may be ok for you to drink cold tea, and slurp scalding tomato soup, but the baby’s milk has to be perfect.

You’ve been pee’d on and vomited on – almost daily.

You’ve been elbows deep, sometimes literally, in baby poo.

You’ve found baby poo in your hair…  An hour after you changed the last dirty nappy.  You don’t even know how it got there.

You know exactly when your washing machine will finish the load – because it seems to be on all of the time.

You’ve watched your child grow from a pure and innocent baby, who was so delicate, to a smiling, laughing, possibly crawling, and maybe even standing, ‘not quite a toddler’ child.

But alas, you have reached that time where you can no longer put it off.  You’re venturing in to worlds anew – even if you’ve been there before.

You’ve made the hard decision to leave your child behind and go back to work.  Afterall, you need the money, right?  You need your career, right?

But don’t think of it like that.  Think of it as a new beginning.

You are going to miss your child.  You are going to constantly wonder if you made the right choice to return to work.  You are going to cry every now and again…  Afterall…  You’re leaving behind that pure and innocent baby behind…

But you will be ok.  

It is ok to cry.

It is ok to miss your child.

It is ok to wonder if you made the right decision.

Just remember that at the end of your working day, you have those beautiful smiles to go home to.  Those cuddles, that you now take for granted, are going to be cherished even more.  Bedtimes may still be a struggle – especially if you have one of those children (like mine) who doesn’t like to go to bed – but you will love the effort you have to put in.

Why?

Because that’s your child, and even though you are away from them the whole day, you know they are there, waiting for you when you get home.

From a mother who’s been there before x

30 Day Writing Challenge – DAY 6

Write 5 ways to win your heart

1.  Bring me a big bar of chocolate, and do not be judgmental when I sit there and scoff the whole lot in one go.

2.  I can be quiet and shy.  I can be loud and brash.  I don’t know when I will be either, so this is basically an “accept me as I am” point.

3.  Have an interest in something I am interested in.  It could be something small, like a love for a particular TV programme, or something huge, like a shared obsession.

4.  Be nice to my children.  My boys are everything to me, and no one is allowed to be horrible to them.  That means ignoring them too.

5.  Don’t take advantage of me.  Yes, I have a car.  No, I am not a taxi.  Yes, I have a (secure) job.  No, that doesn’t mean I have money to give away.  They are just a couple of examples of how I have been treated in the past.

30 Day Writing Challenge – DAY 5

List 5 places that you would like to visit

1.  Canada

2.  Australia

3.  New Zealand

4.  Russia

5.  The Shetland Isles

30 Day Writing Challenge – DAY 1

List 10 things that make you happy

1.  My husband.  Of course he makes me happy…  I wouldn’t have married him if he didn’t make me happy!

2.  Gning.  My eldest son.  His sparkling eyes, handsome face and beautiful personality.  He never fails to make me smile and / or laugh…  He is so intelligent too.  I have a feeling his intelligence is going to be his downfall when it comes to schooling; but that’s another topic.

3.  Donut.  My youngest son.  He may only be a baby (5 weeks and 2 days old), but he can already light up a room when entering.

4.  Chocolate.  I’m a woman…  What woman doesn’t love chocolate?

5.  Camping.  I mean real camping, in a tent – not caravanning, which some people say is camping (by the way, that’s called caravanning, NOT camping *rolls eyes*).  I’m talking about real camping too…  No electricity hook-ups, no laptops…  Believe me.  I used to know someone who took their laptops camping, and they had a blow-up settee and ‘port-a-loo’.  There’s just something about being under canvas in the middle of nowhere.  I guess it’s because it’s something that I have done since I was a baby (I was 3 months old when I first slept in a tent).

6.  Scotland.  It’s true that Scottish history is full of tragedy, but there is a certain romance to it too.  History, the clans, the music (especially bagpipes), the scenery of the Highlands…  People have said that I do have an obsession.  To be honest, I can’t deny that I have.

7.  Ancient Egypt.  It’s the Gods, Goddesses, culture, architecture…  I’m fascinated by the meanings behind the temples and tombs…  I would love to be able to read hieroglyphics too.

8.  Stonethwaite.  For those of you who are not in the know, Stonethwaite is a tiny hamlet, in the district of Borrowdale, in the Lake District.  The Lake District is a National Park in the county of Cumbria, in the north-west of England.  Stonethwaite valley campsite was the first place where I crawled.  The campsite is set on farmland, next to a wonderful stream, which is amazing to listen to when you’re drifting off to sleep.  Follow the water upstream, and you will eventually come to a little known secret…  The stream becomes surrounded with rocks, and if you are brave enough, the water is certainly deep enough to swim in.  I have done it many times, although I wouldn’t recommend it unless you have an immunity to cold water.

9.  Birds.  I am an Ornithologist.  To a certain extent.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m certainly not Bill Oddie, but I do know a tad about those feathered creatures.  I’ve kept birds all of my life – primarily zebra finches.  I have successfully bred them, and I did actually write a “keepers guide”, several years ago.

10.  Writing.  Whether it’s a short story, poem, review or blog post, writing has always made me smile.  The only problem I have (which long-term Insanely Normal followers will know) is that I suffer horrifically with writers block.  Meh.

So there’s my 10 things.  What are yours?

30 Day Writing Challenge

There’s a new trend happening on several blogs throughout the “t’interweb”, and it’s starting to move over to facebook too.  It originally started off to give bloggers inspiration on what to post…  Topics of conversation, if you like, for those who struggle to think of ideas themselves; so, after seeing this on several occasions, I thought I would join in with the trend.

It’s the “30 Day Writing Challenge”.

I’ll be starting tomorrow, as this was just the introduction.  Why not join in too..?  Copy the picture below to your blog / facebook, then make a post every day following the theme.  Don’t forget to let me know if you’re joining in too 🙂

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Every penny counts…

I decided last night that I was going to be taking part in the “Money Savings Challenge” this year.  It sounds relatively easy enough, and from my calculations, I could very easily put away just over £1,300 by the end of the year.

I have made myself a spreadsheet to work by, using Microsoft Excel.  There are several columns, one of which is the date, where I have made a list of the date of every Wednesday throughout 2015 (see picture a little further down).

The name of the game is that you put away £1 in the first week of the year, £2 in the second week, £3 in the third, etc., so you eventually put £52 in the “pot”.

Screenshot 2015-01-03 15.02.17

(Click to make the image larger)

The way I have thought about it, even if I can’t make it right the way through the year, by the time “Donut” appears (due 13 June 2015), I will have saved £300.  That’s already a lot of money.

If I can last right the way through to making a final payment on 23 December 2015, I will have saved £1,378.  Wow!

I did originally think about buying a money box – one of those that you cannot get in to without “breaking” it open (with a tin opener), but I thought that was too easy.  Instead, I have renamed two of my online savings accounts in my bank – One is now entitled “Savings Challenge 2015” and the other is for “Holiday Savings 2015”.  (I’m just going to be throwing whatever I can afford at the time in to the holiday account…)  The only problem I have there is that both of these accounts are easily accessible to me via my online banking, so this will still take some self control.

Here’s to having a bit of “pocket change” to play about with in the next several months 🙂

So how about it?  Will you take on the savings challenge too?