Thursday, January 31, 2008

Is it all worth it?

So as I was piling my kids into my car at 7.45am, being pelted to death by a massive hail storm that had started the minute I locked the front door, having been up since 6 getting myself and them ready for work and school, dealing with the fact that the dishwasher has packed in and there's going to be a dilemma about whether to mend it again, or to buy a new one, and the above thought cheerily popped into my mind. Yes, the kids are worth it obviously, and mostly the job is worth it, but is the whole thing worth it? At least Ted went back into nursery so that was something.

The thing is, I had a really good day at work today, I really felt like I achieved loads, but really is it worth it????? Answers on a postcard to Quite Frankly....

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Feminism rules ok?

So today I am having my first ever day off teaching to take care of a sick child. Believe it or not, A has only had one day off sick since I began teaching, and Mike took the day off then. So far, since he started nursery, Ted has had conjunctivitis and *supposed* diarrhea (he didn't) and Mike has taken a day to take care of him. He's also been called to pick him up early once for another bout of conjunctivitis that he got laughed out of the doctor's surgery for as it was a bit of mucus in the corner of his eye *sigh*. So anyway, today he is off because he keeps being a bit sick when he eats - I've had him at the doctors (I should get a season ticket) and there isn't anything wrong with him, he's perfectly okay, playing and happy. But they made me feel like a criminal yesterday when I went to pick him up, so I don't really have any choice. And then I feel bad because I feel like I'm putting work before my baby - and I'm not. If he was really sick, then I wouldn't think twice.

Having said that, now I'm off, I've had a really nice day with T - got stuff done at home, played with him (I've just been giving him weetabix, there's been a couple of mouthfuls of sick but nothing spectacular) tidied both the boys bedrooms, caught up with my V+ watching - it's been nice.

On Saturday I wrote myself a big pros and cons list for work and not working - I have to say that my list for cons of working was longer - but then it's not an exact science as the weighting for each reason isn't the same. Mike and I talked about it this morning in bed, we both agreed that domestically life would be easier if I were at home. And today reminds me that it would be. It's a tough decision to take - I want there to be some kind of sign for what is the right thing to do. I was saying to Mike this morning, I know what will happen; I'll resign, and then whilst I'm working my notice, T will never get sick, I will love being at work, the weather will improve, my social life will pick up, my weight will go down by a stone... and I'll think I've made the wrong choices!!

It's the everlasting quandry for women - it's all my friends are talking about whenever we get together, the balance between home life and work life. It's like feminism shot us in the foot, we're now allowed to do everything- work hard all day, come home and run a house, manage the kids and feel guilty about everything, oh and at the same time, look fabulous, cook from scratch, not drink too much and read worthy books. I don't think I check any of those boxes.

In other, more frivolous news; I am delighted to announce that I fit back into three pairs of trousers that I haven't for a year. There are still another six or seven pairs in the wardrobe however.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

New things I like so far in 2008

1. Benetint by Benefit - where has this been all my life? I love it! It's a revelation in a bottle and smells yum. I am a bit of a fan of Benefit - I love their BadGal, concealer, Oohlalalift and Lemonaid as well.

2. Mistresses on BBC1. A bit predictable but fairly engrossing

3. Not a new thing, but back onto Radio 2 in the mornings as a compromise between Radio 1 (DH; I think it is crap, far too much self-congratulatory bollocks from Chris Moyles) and Xfm (me; DH thinks Jason Mamford is boorish and hates the adverts)

4. Ipod stereo systems - how fab

5. Littlewoods Direct catalogue - everything I have had is fab

Come Dine With Me

Is mine and dh's secret pleasure. In case you haven't seen it, five people who are strangers cook dinner parties for each other on five consecutive nights and give each other marks out of ten for the food/hosting/experience. It's on on a weekday on Channel 4, but we v+ it off More4 on a Sunday where they play the five episodes back to back, then we watch it altogether on a Sunday night, skipping the adverts. It is an ace programme, and the only reality TV programme I would ever consider being on, not particularly because I consider myself to be anything like a good cook, but because I love the idea of five strangers living in each others' pockets for a week and scoffing loads of different foods. Either they get on really well, or there is one nutter (a la every series of Big Brother since 2003 )who everyone hates and is quite mad.

Friday, January 11, 2008

And the first week is over

The title says it all.

We, as a family, have survived the first week of Mummy being back at work. And, it's been okay, as okay as I might have dared to think it might be. Ted has settled down so well in nursery, the girls seem to be looking after him really well, he's happy and smiley, eating and sleeping, which must indicate contentment. He's also very very pleased to see me when I come to get him, which is important. Back at work, I'm doing okay, getting into the swing of things, and I do love being in front of a class and having fun with them. The days are so busy that they do fly by and not too much of a chance be sad. The hardest bit is the end of the day, when I have to get everything ready for the next day, collect two children from various places, get home, get Alfie's tea ready and entertain Ted all at the same time. It's helped by the fact that Ted is quite keen to have another tea (he eats about 4ish at nursery when he gets him, so we all sit down together whilst the boys eat. The only permutation of a day we haven't done yet is me doing the whole shebang because Mike is away. That's on Monday, when I will have to drop off and pick up both boys and do bedtime alone. I think Alfie will be having a special treat of McDonalds on Monday night, so this will help a bit! For the first time, I think I need to be cut a little slack... or maybe I'll get a pizza. Mike will be at home late in the evening and it will give me the chance to catch up on some Sopranos, I am only on the episode that More4 put on on the 27th December!

Today is my first day of not working (because now I work 4 days a week) and although it's only 10am, I am already loving it. It's so nice to be back being a Mum, taking Alfie to school and then getting Ted into bed, looking forward to getting him up and spending the day together - and of course, getting the Friday feeling on a Thursday!

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

The new regime

Oh dear God, I had forgotten how exhausting the job is - particularly when you insist on wearing high heels. Well, I will not succuumb! I need the three inch support!

It;s going OK - Ted is doing fantastically and I am so very very proud of him. He seems happy and content at nursery, although very pleased to see me when I come to collect him. Last night, Alfie started Beavers, and he was fine about going, and me leaving him there; I went home and ruminated on the achievement that is having confident, well adjusted children. I don't often congratulate myself on my parenting, who does, but I do feel like this is something to celebrate.

In terms of going back to work; well, it's okay really. I do love being in the classroom, it's something I feel that I can be good at end enjoy. I love being with children and so far, I'm enjoying the new age group (7-8 rather than 5-6) - thier independence is refreshing. I'm busy, but that's ok. I am just about managing the whole 'getting two kids home and sorting them out' situation, so far without resorting to convenience teas, I'm constantly thinking about speedy, nutritious meals that preferably let me hold a small baby whilst preparing. I'm also finding a cup of coffee very invigorating at 5pm, which I wouldn't normally do in fear of it keeping me awake, but at the moment, the minute my head hits the pillow...

I cannot WAIT for Friday, and my chance to be a Mummy again for the day, it can't come to soon. Well, in 48 hours, my working week is over, so heigh-ho! Onwards!

Friday, January 04, 2008

2007 In The Beginning...
Where did you bring in the New Year? In bed, I think as I was 17 weeks pregnant
Who were you with? Mike, Alfie and the soon to arrive Ted inside!
Did you kiss anyone at midnight? I was probably asleep, but if I did it was Mike
Did you make any resolutions? I will check back in the blog, but they would be most likely to be about being a good mother/wife/daughter/friend etc

2007 Your Love Life...
Did you break up with anyone? No
Did you get anything for Valentine's Day? A card
Did you meet anyone? The lovely Ted!
Did you fall in love? Only Ted!
Are you still in love? Yes, more each day I think

2007 Friends and Enemies...
Did you meet any new friends this year? I met some new Mums, and also someone who I think is going to be a great friend who I met in hospital when we were having our babies. A couple of new work colleagues
Did any of your friendships end? I think I've come to the end of the road with one person although we did exchange Christmas cards - we've become too different. A dear friend passed on right at the end of 2007
Did you dislike anyone? I'm not a fan of someone who I'm supposed to respect
Did you make any new enemies? I hope not although I expect I'm not everyone's cup of tea
Did you resolve any fights? No
Who was your closest friend? Colette, Karen, Gail, Nicola
Who did you grow apart from? my Dad sadly as he's emigrated - inevitable I suppose
Do you have any regrets when it comes to your friendships? There's someone who i should have cut out years ago and didn't until about seven years ago.

2007 Your BIRTHDAY!!!
How old did you turn? 36
Did you have a cake? No
What did you do for your birthday? Went for a posh meal with some mates
Did you have a party? No
Did you get any presents? The pictures I posted here on canvas. Perfume. Cosmetics
If so what was the best thing you got? Perfume I think, the photos are nice, but I don;t think that they are really a present for me alone

2007 All about YOU...
Did you change at all this year? I'm more family orientated than ever because I've got more family1
Did you dye your hair? Yes, chocolate and caramel highlights
Did you get your hair cut? Yes. about four times
Did you change your style? Went a bit shorter but essentially the same curly bob
Were you in school? Teaching in one1
Did you get good grades? N/A
Did you have a job? Yes, but on mat leave April - Dec
Did you drive? Yes
Did anyone close to you give birth? Yes! Me!
Did you move at all? No
Did you go on any vacations? Devon
Did you leave the country at all? No
Would you change anything about yourself now? I'd like to get back to my pre-baby weight

2007 Wrap Up...
Was 2007 a good year? yes. I've loved being a Mum of two, and adored being at home.
Did 2007 bring any new insights? The importance of family
Do you think 2008 will top 2007? not sure. I hope so
Do you have any goals for 2008? To get thinner and healthier. To achieve a decent work/life balance
If you could go back and change any moment which would you choose from 2007? I would have spent more time with Pam the last time I saw her, at a friend's wedding in August


All this week I have expected not to be able to sleep. Noise on New Year's Eve. Anxiety for Ted's first day at nursery. Anxiety for my first day back at work. But I have actually slept. Even when I had to get up with T in the night the other day, I still managed to get back to sleep straight away. But, he woke up at 3.30am and took a while to settle - I think because of the new nursery thing, he's just a bit off kilter - it should soon get back on track. But I could not get back to sleep, and have eventually given up trying, so I'm up at 5.30am, doing laundry and trying to catch up on The Sopranos, I have about ten episodes v+. It's Pam's funeral today and I could really do with not being up. I wasn't sleeping well anyway, restless and complex dreams.

I can't do staying in bed in the night whilst I'm awake, it's the only real time in my life that I can get myself really stressed about stuff that doesn't usually bother me - mostly stuff about work, even when I was off I worried about work...

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Baby snogs

There is nothing in this world that is more gorgeous than your baby reaching for you and grabbing you and snogging you for about five minutes when you have been separated from him all day. It's almost worth being separated from him. But not quite.

He's doing brilliantly at nursery and I am really proud of him.

I went back to work today, which was wierd but ok. I had forgotten just how ridiculously tiring it is - you are on your feet all day literally, and have to be on your toes figuratively. Kids were good, I fell back to it quite quickly.

Just Pam's funeral to get through tomorrow.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

I watched Mary Poppins yesterday

...and it struck me how much easier it was to be a parent in 1918, at least for the Banks'.

Mrs Banks can prioritise her Suffragette activities without wondering who is taking Jane to Rainbows or Michael to swimming. And on Mary Poppins' day off, she simply palms the children off on a passing chimney sweep, who, I suspect, may not even be a REAL cockney!

Ted is in nursery and I am beside myself. I arranged for him to start today as I thought I would be in school today and I'm not. So, I decided to still put him in so that I wasn't working on his first day, which is probably better for him, but not for me. I've been at a colleague's this morning working, but now I am home, and despite Alfie and Mike being here I cannot settle, it is the longest day in the world. I've spoken to them twice and he is okay. I am counting down the minutes until I can legitimately fetch him - I want him to have his tea there so he's had the experience of both meals - so it will be about 4pm which is earlier than he will be picked up usually. Why am I finding it so hard to do this this time, when I have already done it once?? Would a Mary Poppins be better?? I've always thought that leaving one person in charge of your child is risky because no one is supervising that person, also, the child becoming more attached to them than they are to you... shudder. But I'm not sure now.

Oh well, that's ten minutes killed

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Happy new Year!!!

I've just spent a few minutes reading over last years blogs- didn't actually take very long as I barely blogged, my excuse being that I was pregnant and had a little baby. What it did show me was that it is good to blog - even the little that I had written took me back to times I had thought I had forgotten.

So 2008 -- well, it was seen in in a very low key way here - M hates New Year, so we watched The Queen (absolutely fab film) on v+, M made some lamb and pistachio kebabs from Jamie at Home and we had some wine. I rang my Mum and kissed the boys at midnight and that was that - except I popped up the road at 9.30 for a glass of red with Colette. We have had a low key Christmas too, at our friends on Christmas Eve, my Mum's on Christmas Day and Boxing Day, where I had D and V on Christmas Night and spent Boxing Day feeling mainly wretched. We went to the in-laws on the 27th (highlight - taking Alfie through the Mersey Tunnel) and had Colette and John and the kids round on the 28th. The weekend was quiet although we had a bimble out to Dunham Massey and lunch. I went to the Sales on Saturday and got some great bargains. Alfie and I went to soft play yesterday morning with his friend, and I had a coffee and a chat with his mum. I took Ted into Sale yesterday afternoon to do some shopping and met up with my friend Tony for a coffee. Actually, when you write it down, it's been quite busy.

Today, I think we're going into Manchester to see what's going on, and then tomorrow Ted starts at nursery. *gulp* and Thursday I go back to work. And Friday is my friend Pam's funeral.

I want to pay a quick tribute to Pam. She was my friend from work, a Teaching Assistant. She has had cancer as long as I've known her, but got worse in the last four months. She died on the Thursday before Christmas. Pam was funny, irreverent, caring and kind. I am going to miss her lots. She was the first one at the bar and the last one to let her illness get her down. God Bless You Pam G, you touched lots of lives and will be missed

New Years' Resolutions
  1. To get back to work and make it work - to make sure I spend time with both boys, and to keep my work/life balance in perspective
  2. To get back to my pre-baby weight. This means to get back to my pre-baby eating patterns. Goddammit there are clothes hanging uselessly in the wardrobe!!!!
  3. I am giving up alcohol for January. If/when I recommence in February I need to change the pattern - less wine, more shorter drinks with mixers
  4. I am not going to buy any more cheesy celeb magazines - they are rubbish, and I could spend the money on other things.
  5. In fact I am going to try not to buy anything in January - no clothes/make up etc. Just essentials - food, deodorant etc. I want to keep a record of my spending and see where it all goes!
  6. To find some kid of exercise that suits me and do it. I'm a real couch potato, and I only really like swimming, dancing and walking. The gym bores me and I don't like any participation sport.
  7. Cut back on my laptop use - 1 hour a day
  8. Obviously to be the best mother/wife/daughter/friend/sister I can be

------and to update my blog a LOT more!

Happy New Year readers, if you have a blog I will promise to comment more!