The (ever expanding) CV of a Mother

As I embark upon the soul-shattering mission to return to work after a baby I am reminded of the difficulties of doing so on an Island where the vast majority of vacancies probably receive 100’s of applications. With merely a handful of GCSE’s to my name and an ample amount of work experience and life experience it has hard to snag more than a ‘thank you for your application, unfortunately….’ let alone even an acknowledgement of my interest and effort or even an interview. Let’s face it gaining employment is hard especially when there is not as much appreciation for the endless tasks that motherhood throws at you that happen to demonstrate your ability to pretty much cope with anything.

Breastfeeding; whilst something that I am no longer doing and certainly do not wish to do ever as means of securing a job this particular hurdle that I conquered for a whooping 6 months shows a huge amount of dedication. Breastfeeding a child is a difficult job, it requires determination, perseverance and a lot of independent working because actually no one can take that night shift for you. It requires a great deal of sobriety, care, comfort and love to do this 5 million times a day. It takes confidence to do this in public, it means being creative with a wardrobe that is lacking after you are likely to have expanded making most of your clothes redundant.

Attention to detail: a mother literally has to have eyes everywhere, you cannot barely blink without a toddler trying to do some death defying stunt. Nothing can be left, no tea or coffee, there is a place for everything and everything in its place. There is little spontaneity when you have a climber, the sudden urge to pee can often leave you vulnerable to finding your child dancing on the table.

Organisation: if I have to do anything I have to be quick and precise, I need to have a plan. I need to arrange nap time so that I can clean away everyone else’s stuff because they lack that ‘attention to detail’. I must ensure that nap is at the right time and lasts for the right amount of time as not to have a very unhappy toddler even more prone to damaging himself because he has become ‘dangerously tired’.

Multitasking: I have the ability to cook three different meals and serve them all at the same time without burning anything to make sure that everyone eats. I can then eat mine whilst feeding the toddler and catching the food that he has refused to try before it touches the floor.

Management: I can command a room, sometimes with just a stern yet gentle look, I can get an eight year old to tidy her bedroom (to a somewhat questionable/acceptable state), I can get that homework done using my abilities as a negotiator.

Time keeping: I have a tidy home, I plan my washing around the ever changing British weather and we all have clean pants. I can make sure that the milk man’s delivery comes at just the time the last smidgen of milk is used. I make sure this house is clean despite the toddler, the eight year old who likes to make sure that there is at least three cuddly cat toys of hers in each room, a partner who refuses to throw even his own contact lens wrappers in the bin himself, a rather large brown hound and a fat (forever shedding) ginger cat lives here. I sweep the floors about three times a day.

Strength: I functioned for nearly a whole year on about 4 hours worth of broken sleep a night whilst juggling everything else, how you may ask me? Literally couldn’t tell you for a million quid. It happened, I, and everyone else is still alive. Miracle.

Working with people: I have been able to sustain the very lives that have made mine harder, through love, care, comfort and nourishment. I am the one that feeds imagination, gives hope to the daughter that is bullied, encourages dreams and vanquishes nightmares and monsters. I play, I laugh, I jump and dance even when I don’t want to get my children to be happy. I am committed and loyal.

A mother is more than just someone that is able to stay at home and look after an infant, that infant is continually changing and as a mother you have to adapt to survive. There is a list as long as my arm of all the things that I would bring to a work a place that would be happy to give me the opportunity.

 

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Hitting The Town In 5 Easy Steps.

There are many perils to consider; I mean is the freedom truly worth the hideous repercussions that you will face in the morning (which to be honest are often even worse than you thought) and if you believe that hangovers get worse the older you are that is nothing compared to what they have the capacity to do to parents. It is not only the fear of the next day you have to conquer but the acceptance that this is a night that you are likely to get even less sleep than normal, you will have to make peace with the impending sleep deprivation and the inclusion of the ‘adult headache’ so that is stage one. Stage two is getting dressed, it is very feasible that this will bring you to tears, because what do people actually wear when they go out these days? Not only is it safe to say that the vast majority of shops no longer accommodate for the size of my arse and the width of my hips I am far from ready to don the very fashionable crop tops they seem so eager to flog me, so whilst I breakdown in front of very limited wardrobe I will inevitably have my first drink. Stage three is actually leaving the house without the pram; never have my arms felt so redundant. Going out at night is super weird when you haven’t done it for the best part of 18 months, it is cold and dark and really the time when you should be in bed waiting for the party that is going to wake up everyone in your house at around 2am but hell you have done it now, congratulations! Stage four is probably the worse stage; you are no longer comfortable with being out, it happened so quickly but all of a sudden you are faced with the prospect of drinking and dancing and your first sip has already rendered you tipsy and you have no idea how to even move to the music that is being played. If you did not realise it before now; having a baby ages you, it is a mixture of the shit sleep, the lack of interaction you have following the birth of an all consuming monster and right now it is evident, you did not realise that it is fashionable to wear see-through clothes with sequinned bras, trousers with more holes in them than a golf course and that pubs appear to now be letting in twelve year olds. It is all very difficult but the vodka is making it easier and before you know it you are on the dance floor trying to perform the ‘big fish/little fish’ dance moves in rhythm to the beat of every song (that ultimately all sound the same) they are playing. Stage five, trying to get home, if you thought that getting out your house was hard you will be shocked about how difficult it is now to get back there, not only are you drunk and slow but you are hungry, really really hungry and the only thing better than a regular hangover is one that is flavoured with the reminisce of the previous nights kebab. If you are lucky enough to not have lost your keys you will still have a terrible time trying to get them in the keyhole before you struggle to try and undo the damage of all the noise you have already made by sneaking up the stairs. You may have mastered how to avoid ever single creak that is made on the journey up the stairs but that training has all been lost whilst inebriated but if you manage to get up them without waking the baby there is no way that your partner won’t be up and waiting, especially if like me you had reassured them it wouldn’t be a late night and actually it is now early morning.

But oh my gosh would I do it all again? Of course, I just may need another 6 months to recover from this one.

School Fines. 

So this has been very heavily shared on Facebook today and I kinda wanna explain why I’m pleased he lost. 

Other mum’s  are the worst for telling you what they think you should do and being massively pushy and judgmental when you don’t follow their led. Well they fucking hate it when the government sets guidelines and rules about the expectations of the education system and trying reinforce that fact that kids should not miss school and that education is paramount. The majority of responses were comments surrounding the cost of holidays during half term and how they’re saving £100’s taking their children out of school. Well with that saving pay the fucking fine. You’re going to do what you want to and you’re going to pass Disneyland off as more educational than the day they learn the fundamentals of fractions that you have since long forgotten. Obviously everyone varies as do holiday destinations and educational learning whilst abroad. 

This fine may actually work as deterrent for much bigger issues such as teenagers skipping when their parents suddenly have to pay for this. 

Oh and then there are all the comments about teacher training and strike days. Well as far as I know teachers strike for many a good reason, pay, work conditions, lack of school funding not because they are going to Spain on the cheap. Also god forbid we allow teachers to be trained during term time instead of making them use their holiday, it ultimately benefits your children. Do you know a teacher? Did you know a vast amount of their holiday is spent preparing classes for the next term. Did you know they also don’t fucking fine you, this is government legislation? 

Also there is uproar about a fine, fuck what the conservatives are doing to school system right at this moment and how it may go on to affect future generations? 

Don’t like the rules of the school system we have in place as a country that has education for EVERYONE? Home school, move to Australia where they aren’t like this ‘nanny state’ (so many comments about Australia). 

Ps Australia doesn’t want you so you don’t have to send your children to school everyday. 

We are trying to give our children the best of everything and prepare them for life in the big bad world, it’s hard to get that balance but just imagine what would happen to you at work if you just decided not to go in. I’d imagine it would be worse than a fine. Also I get that everyone has ‘exceptional circumstances’ but probably not all of you. 

What the actual…..

So I was quite concerned by the presence of this in my news feed on Facebook:


“One thing we’re absolutely assured of is that if we could emancipate all the women in the world like that,” he said with a snap of his fingers, “the birth rate would drop considerably. Because educated women have fewer kids, for obvious reasons: they have a greater scope to enjoy a richer life. We know that for a fact.”

Well personal I think that’s bullshit. I’m going to call this out, I don’t think it’s smarter to have a small family, I think those who have a good career to return to MAY choose the financial security of fewer children. There after hours of thinking this is how I’ve put it. Children are fucking expensive and the more you have the higher the cost is with childcare, maybe higher educated women happen to have more financial restraints because we all live to our means, and that may be a job you cannot afford to leave if you catch my drift. My salary was mediocre, without it we survive, however if it was high and we had more monetary commitments due to a lifestyle before children than maybe living on one wage would not work? I don’t think it’s because educated people prefer their ‘riches’ and I don’t think that means those with large families are under-educated poor people. 

And why the fuck is it always ‘let’s scrutinise the mothers’ clearly it’s solely a woman thing, we procreate independently?? 

Tell me what you think. 

Oh no she didn’t…..

….oh yes she did!

Now let’s make something very clear, in the words of Bridie Larter ‘it’s a blog not a fucking rule book’. This is something I do for enjoyment, it’s something I do for my sanity and you are all welcome to read, ignore or even slate but this is not a guidebook and I do not want anyone to feel that what I am or anyone else featured on the blog is doing is better than you or that you suddenly have to stop and do it differently. You’ve got this, you don’t need my shitty guidance nor my acceptance. In fact I wanted to involve loads of you to demonstrate that one size does not fit all, I am a very different mother to my son than I was to my daughter at his age and do you know why? They are different children. So what I let my baby cry and learn to self settle, I did that and you don’t have to and just so you know I actually settle him myself (rightly or wrongly) during waking hours but during unsociable ungodly hours he is feed changed and put back to bed. Mother like no one is judging, own what you fucking do, celebrate your motherhood and above all spread love like is butter! 

I was told I sit on the fence, that I was diplomatic and therefore not as honest maybe as someone standing for a cause or a style, do you know what I stand for? Being allowed on my bloody fence, taking it in, being objective, never turning down or away. If you want professional advice on what is considered best for your baby go to a professional not to me, I’m just a dummy plodding along with 2 wonderful children from 2 amazing dads, a Labrador and a really fat cat. 

I would however like to express apologies to anyone offended by this blog that is SERIOUSLY NOT what I’m about, and confirm to them I’m not biased, I’ll cover any baby mumma style but what I am is not a great writer so maybe the odd thing (maybe a lot of things) slip in and I don’t own Bernard’s watch which means I have all sort of time restraints. 

Peace out ✌🏻 

The crying it out method. 

So my baby doesn’t sleep, he gets up in the middle of the night for up to three hours and for the last ten months it’s been hard. It’s been so hard I nearly spoilt Christmas with my bad mood, I’ve turned down countless offers of help because of fear of what my baby is like in the night, I have single handedly caused chaos, torment and upset with my crippling up and down moods swings.

Now we are only on night one and this means we have a path ahead of us that is likely to be hella difficult but I wanted to write this to remind me of how I feel today. Last night George woke up at 12, I gave him a bottle and changed his bum and put him back down, he cried for 20 minutes, I then got him out again and gave him the rest of his bottle (he never finishes in one sitting) and he then went back to his bed for another 20 minutes crying and then slept until 6. I think it’s safe to say that today I feel like a goddess. 

I am not a bad mum but the sleep deprivation is a real struggle and today with a good night sleep I have been active, alert, happier and my patience has been restored. We have eaten better, the house is tidier and I even walked the dog solo, a massive fear for me as he is a large Labrador who pulls me down the road. 

I have thought about dinner and have retrieved what we need from the freezer, I have relied less on the tv as a distraction for George. I have been a better mum today. I haven’t panicked about naps because I need a rest. 

I know we have miles to go but I am basking in the glow of making positive steps for not only me but the rest of my family too. I want to remember this feeling because when I listen to him cry at night just wanting to be with me I can safely say that when he is with me in the morning he will feel the full force of everything I can give him, not the half measures I’ve been using because I’m a fucking zombie. 

It always seemed like a dad thing to say ‘let him cry it out’ but having mumma’s approached me when I asked for help to give me this advice I felt as though I could give it a try. Sorry dads but your advice is generally not well received, it could be to do with the fact I’m living off 6 hours broken fucked up sleep, coffee and sweets. 

Here is to what hopefully will be something we can continue! 

Ps the featured image is not me today, that was me a couple of weeks ago. I probably look the same to be fair because it’s only one night but I have never looked so bad in all my life. My skin is dark and patchy, my eyes look sunken and tired, I’m spotty, my weight is uncontrollable. I want to be me again, I looked better immediately after labour than I do now. George about two days old:

Mothering By Mothers (3)

I’ve spoken about work with lots of mums, some do and some don’t. Childcare cost are so high that it can mean if you are not returning to a career than you may even be worse off. 

But what fucks me off is that I have a ten month old baby, my previous job has moved further than I can go, my notice period isn’t even up and some think it’s totally acceptable to ask me questions about work and offer their opinion on how I should be working because my partner does. The logistics of working are mental hard when you have kids, I’m going to find a job but it will have to be one that pays enough to cover childcare, is conducive with the school runs and is possible on 4-6 hours sleep. My baby doesn’t sleep, and whilst I will return to work this particular moment is so fucking scary and full of pressure you might need to give me a bit of time. 

Just think, do I ask you when you are going to have babies? Do I then assume knowledge of your home/professional life and then to convince you that in fact you are ready? No. Also if I ever hear that my partner goes to work on the same amount of sleep I get and he copes so why can’t I again I’m going to stab him.  Well firstly he doesn’t, secondly he doesn’t keep the house, thirdly those words clearly came from his mouth and he chats shit. 

Working mumma:

I was delighted to get to talk to a working mum Bex that I had the pleasure of actually working with! Fresh out the shower we shared the notion of ‘mum guilt’ and just hearing it from someone else reaffirmed that this shit is real. 

Bex has two boys and between working full time she spends all her ‘mum time’ doing the practical stuff instead of the fun stuff she’d like to be doing. For many mum’s it’s all getting dressed, getting off to childcare, picking up, dinners, bath, and bed and man can that feel sucky. 

It was hard to hear that Bex eldest has noticed the differences his lifestyle has from other children who have at least one stay at home parent, and being someone previously in this boat it really rang true, it was nice however to have the reassurance that he too understood why he went to a childminder. It’s more than understandable that children want to spend time with their family and juggling their wants and the needs of family finances can be hella draining. 

Childcare was another subject we touched upon and the worry that has plagued families for years, yep you know it, the cost! With additional funding being available for older children with two working parents there has been a massive step forward to help with this but as Bex confirmed this funding will not be available to her for another 18 months. 

Another factor is that kids get ill, and as I have been told by the doctors it’s likely to be a fuck load more than an average adult which only leads to more mum guilt. As Bex noted it becomes a job in itself to negotiate the requirements of her work with the demanding regular health issues children pick up from everywhere! As her partner earns more the sensible thing is for her to stay off with whichever sick bug is ravaging her boys, the youngest of which she refers to as ‘sick note’. 

Regardless of all the guilty coming from so many directions Bex has two not only incredibly cute but also happy boys who benefit from her working. 

Basically we have working mum’s and stay at home mum’s both of which are effected by some sort of guilt. There is no changing that, it sucks, regardless of which one you are your mumming it up!