Being a stay at home mum – one whole year on.

Being a stay at home mum – one whole year on.

It’s no secret that after I had Elijah when he was about ten months old I returned to work. I was full of guilt and anxiety and I was riddled with stress from work too. When I stopped working it took away a bit of my identity and slowly I’ve been working to get my identity back. I don’t want to be known as just Elijah’s mum but Charlie too. A year ago I had officially left work and I look back with no regrets. Whilst I miss doing a job that gave me purpose at times I don’t miss the long days and being away from my family.

Now that it’s been a year my thoughts on me working have changed. At the moment as it stands it is financially better for me to not work. We do not take benefits or have any help just to clarify to those who think I just gave up my job and expected the state to pay. My husband funds everything. This was also a decision we spoke about and decided before anything was done.

Through me stopping work he has been able to earn way more than we earned collectively before I had Elijah and he is only getting more successful because I am at home. With me at home this means James doesn’t have to do the school/nursery runs and loose out on hours of work everyday. This means he’s able to work as early or as late as he wishes and we don’t need to worry about Elijah. Whilst Elijah will be starting nursery in January I will not be returning to work for now. Because nobody else can drop him off and pick him up and childcare is a big issue for us. Also if I went back to work it just wouldn’t really be logical aswell because with my career path I’d only want to work in healthcare again and the hours are nowhere near flexible which I learned before I left work. The issue would still remain most healthcare jobs need you to work 8-8 and that would mean again James doing the childcare run and I’d be on a crappy wage and we’d be worse of.

My view on stay at home mums has changed too. I invisioned it to be easy and happy. That I’d be doing all these fancy crafts everyday and baking everyday. But that was not the case. It was in fact draining mentally and physically. When you don’t have plans often you sort of fade into the darkness’s where everything’s a repeat and you feel like you’re on auto drive. I expected to have this perfectly clean house all the time but then reality hit. Sure my house was clean when I worked because I was never in it! Days off normally spent going out as a family or seeing friends so when I tidied up it was a quick and easy job. Now the house often looks like a bomb has hit it when I spend my day trying to survive and entertain a toddler who loves to make mess wherever he goes.

I underestimated what stay at home mums do too. Planning days out all the time trying to find new things to do so it’s not repeated is exhausting. There is only so much you can go for coffee before being bored of the activity. Not just entertaining your child out and about but also in the house is so hard. I’ll set up a activity I’ve spent ages thinking of and Elijah picks it up puts it down and walks of demanding something else.

There’s also a limit to how much I can teach Elijah before it becomes a chore. I try to spend a lot of the day teaching Elijah so we do learning games and play but sometimes I get so sick of repeating myself I want to rip my hair out. Like this is everyday. How many times can I repeat the same sentance before I turn insane.

There’s also the no escape from your child. One thing that lockdown has done is open peoples eyes to what stay at home parents really do. People really got sick of their kids crap and it showed. People understood what it was like to have no me time and children wanting their attention 24/7. They understood that silence was a thing of the past and you never get a moment to yourself even when they’re asleep you still tidy their crap up. There’s no escape and nowhere to send them if you need a time out so you just keep going hoping your head doesn’t explode with the stress at times.

However I try not to moan about my child too much there are elements I love. I love that I get this time with him and that I don’t have to share his milestones with others. I love watching him learn and knowing that I’ve taught him that. I love playing with him and making up games.

I love seeing him grow and watching how his mind works and grows with him. I love days where we have good days and we sit and play games nicely or cuddle on the sofa. I love that I am always there to wake him up and cuddle him before bed every night. I love that I’m always there to hear his stories and when he’s seen family for the day I get to be the one he tells me all about his time.

I like being able to be at home too and when I do housework around the house I enjoy it a bit more it’s not just a quick scrub ready to return to work where I’m cleaning the house at 10pm after being out 12 hours working and knowing I have the same the next day.

I’ve noticed a change in James too. He is more happy and likes not having to drop Elijah and pick Elijah up working silly hours and working twice as hard to get work done. He no longer has to come home and cook every single night and clean up all the time. I do not cook every night or clean everyday as we both understand that it’s our house and nobody’s responsibility to do everything.

I love that I’m able to see friends more and make more time for my hobbies. I. E this blog post I write now. I also love that I don’t have to miss out on a lot of things I used to aswell.

I also love the positive effect it’s had on my anxiety. I’m not full of stress and busy working all day making myself ill. I am able to concentrate on myself more and take more time for me and my self care. I take more care in my appearance and also in the relationships I have. I don’t hold on to toxic people anymore because I now am able to see my worth.

Although life can be hard and stressful as a stay at home mum I will always be thankfull to my husband for the opportunity. I know that when I’m older and look back on these hard times with fond memories of how perfect life really was.

Thanks for reading, Charlie x

Hello spring…

Hello spring…

Good morning all, i type this as i sit with the sun peeking through clouds into my living room while listening to the radio. I have a hot chocolate in my hand having the odd warm chocolatey sip before typing and escaping for a moment. I really love the seasons change. I adore looking out my windows at cherry blossom tress and the green leafs coming back in the trees. Seeing new flowers budding through and their heads coming out to say hello for a few months brings me a odd sense of happiness. There is something oddly relaxing about the sunshine peeking through, it warms my heart when there is a blue sky with the whitest of clouds and the sun is shinning.

As the music fills the room i see things more brightly in the sunshine.My living room is grey, i love the grey because its cooling and warming all at once. Normally at this time in the winter i’d still need a light on because the sun would still be stuck behind all the dark clouds struggling to peak through. Now i can open my blinds and enjoy the sunshine lighting my room. The natural light is so much more calming then artificial light having to cause a week glow.

We really enjoy trips outside. It’s that perfect time of year when you can get away with a light jacket then sweating in a thick parka. The sun feels warm on your skin and if it rains it is not absolutely freezing and you feel more willing to stay outside then seek shelter all day. This time of the year as a lot of seasonal affective disorder suffers start to feel a bit better as the weather picks up. Like plants we all need a little bit of sun and warmth. Also the heating bills go down a lot and i can get on board without having to layer up and put the heating on. The sun stays out later and comes out earlier so it feels like the days are longer and i feel like being a bit more of a morning person again. I look at my picnic blanket a bit more and plan picnics for warmer days on the park behind our house. It’s so much nicer being warmed by the sun instead of feeling as though you’re being baked like a potato and sweating it out.

This spring we are planning to take a few days for a weekend away to escape the world for a little bit. To leave our phones off and just enjoy being the three of us. We’re also expecting to have our new carpet fitted tomorrow and i have been waiting forever to have it replaced. When we moved in it was the first thing i wanted gone as its been marked by a previous owners dog chewing on it… We’re also planning to sort the garden out in the late spring and sort out more of a play area for Elijah. It is a bit annoying how big our garden and how much work has been needed over the last few summers but its so much better than the wasteland full of broken glass,dirt and tree trunks it was before . It’s going to be so much fun this year having lots of messy play in the garden and playing with Elijah’s sand pit and his water table(that is if the storms haven’t got to them)! We will of course be taking just as many trips to the zoo and going out with friends a lot more than staying inside with them. It might mean my house may stay a little cleaner then it gets after a play date or 2.

What are you all looking forward too about spring and have you got any plans?

Goodbye to anti-depressants

Goodbye to anti-depressants

Since November i had to take anti-depressants after hitting a really rough patch. I found that they helped me a great deal until i could do something about my thinking process which came in the form of counselling. I started counselling in December and have been going weekly since January. It really has been the break through i needed. I needed the safe space to talk, to let all my emotions out and to truly feel somewhere where the pain was controlled. I’ve been able to talk in counselling and talk to myself in a way and work out things in my head. I can process thoughts better and not take everything said to me to mean offence. I’ve been able to think about why others work and act a certain way and understand why others may treat me badly. I’ve learnt to not get so upset by many things and walk away from situations that may upset me. I have learnt to say no and that i am in control of what i do, what i say and my life. I

have learnt that i matter as much as everyone else and that not everyone will like you sometimes. But that is okay. I’ve learn’t its okay to talk about my mental health and it is not attention seeking but being honest to both myself and to the world in the hope that others can find that courage too. I’ve learned i am a good wife and mother and that i may not always think that but i am loved. I have learn’t how lucky i am to have such a lovely friendship circle and that they also love me too.

I have been of my anti depressants for a whole month. I spoke to my doctor first and she agreed that i sound and look better than ever. She said i seem a lot more relaxed and happy. The truth is i think that i am… Happy. I just don’t think I’ve been this happy in so long that i have forgotten what that emotion is. Of course if things change i will happily ask for another set of pills but for now i’m me again. I see the beauty in the world again and smile that little bit more, i step out of my comfort zone and am rewarded with joy.

Thanks for reading x

Parenting is not a competition.

Parenting is not a competition.

For some reason the second you have your child the competition starts. Be it about how big your child’s birth weight was, how well they slept and how much they cry. People feel the need to compare every last detail about your child to there’s. Silly things like how much hair they have to if they’re reaching a milestone first. It is a totally toxic world out there. It doesn’t stop with parents though I’ve had grandparents make competitions of their children’s development thirty years ago and they try to out do you! My own Nan once told me she potty trained my uncle at six months when i was telling her how we where trailing potty training. I for one no its total BS considering he couldn’t talk or walk then. My grandma since confirmed too that was a lie. I honestly don’t see why people feel the need to compete their child against another.

Especially when children are young the development stage is something parents and carers cling to. People ask are they talking yet? My child could say this many words how many could yours say? Oh is he not walking yet? Mine has been walking for months!

It can be so damaging as well,parents could be worrying about their child’s development behind closed doors and someone who is not a professional saying your child should be doing this that and the other creates all sorts of emotions. Especially as around this stage in young childhood is when signs of autism can occur and it can cause parents to worry constantly. The truth is alot of children can and do develop at their own rate. They may be slow to do things like talk or walk but when they are ready they will do it. There is no rush and i wish other parents would accept that. And if your child does have autism then that isn’t a bad thing it’s just a part of who they are and more love to give you will not care for the many less.

There is unfortunately a lot of jealousy in parents too because if their child isn’t doing something they sometimes try to beat other children’s accomplishments down. Sometimes they also like to compare and say well my child can do this and yours can’t. I understand this need and have felt it myself when someone has been beating down my child’s accomplishments for their own satisfaction.

There is a lot of behaviour comparison to which i have been guilty of too but i just wish people would stop lying about how perfect their children are as if every day is sunshine and rainbows.

At the end of the day it doesn’t really matter what your child can or cannot do in comparison to other children. It doesn’t matter if your child is a angel or a child who is so badly behaved you wonder how you will get through the day. Because i can guarantee you that those angel children have their bad days too no mater how much their parents only want to project their perfection to the world.

Remember your child is perfect too and will get to where they need to be when they get there. Just so long as your child is loved, your child is healthy and they are happy then what else matters really? Do you look at your peers and think oh well you CLEARLY weren’t sitting up at six months old and it shows. When you grow up these things do not matter any more. Someone who spent hours upon hours watching tv when they where younger could grow up to be a doctor, the same as someone who read books every day and attended every group under the sun could end up the complete opposite. So lets keep our opinions and comments to ourselves because really our opinions don’t matter. Also lets not compare our children. They are perfect to us and that is all that matters. They will always be perfect to us and they will achieve great things no matter what.

Why I love living near the coast

Why I love living near the coast

Just last night i was reminded of how truly lucky i am to live where i do. I have never been one of those people who complain about their home town because quite frankly i do like my hometown. I have experienced living in a few over places around the UK such as Glasgow and i have to say my favourite place has to be where i have grown up.

Where we live is on the outskirts of our town and there is easy access to the centre of town where you can access trains and buses to anywhere really by connecting trains/planes and more. I will say however although i don’t live on the door stop of a coast we do only live a twenty minute drive from many different beaches/coasts. We are lucky enough to have wildlife walks on our door step and plenty of parks, rivers, beaches and fields to walk through all in our hometown or surrounding areas.

The thing i love most about living near the coast is being able to just get in the car/bus/train and drive there. It is such a short journey and it feels a bit like a holiday every time. I love walking along the beach and watching the waves crash into the shore over and over. I have been teaching Elijah to throw rocks into the sea which he loves doing also. I enjoy when the sun comes out and licking on a very fast melting ice cream and kicking my feet over the pier edge and people watching. It’s a great location for date nights too. There are many different restaurants along the seafront and they’re all very cosy and lit nicely. The whole beach is lit with lights ad fairy lights and it just looks so calm and pretty. Like you’re not in the UK but somewhere new entirely. I have always since being a kid loved the amusements too. I have always tried my hand on a claw machine or two and played games to win tickets. Playing mini golf or bowling with friends and family or even a competitive game of pool or air hockey. We love that our son loves the 2p machines so we get him a step and hes so excited to put a pound or two worth in the machine and watch it go. Most of all i like the breeze and fresh air. When i am a little stressed out and we go i always come back feeling calmer and more relaxed. Especially when we go late afternoon/evening time. It just feels like a home away from home.

I think it really is a gift to have such a beautiful world around us and to be able to repeatedly enjoy its natural beauty for no charge at all. I often feel sad for people that have to drive for hours to be able to experience what is so close to us. It’s somewhere our little boy can grow up enjoying too. From learning to crab to running with a kite with the sand in between his toes i am looking forward to sharing it all with him.

How long away is the nearest coast/beach to you and what do you enjoy most about them?

Our first class at little kickers.

Our first class at little kickers.

After five months on the waiting list we finally got offered a place for the little kickers weekly classes. We have been excited to get him onto the class after we decided to stop swimming lessons due to parking and repetitiveness of the classes each week. We wanted to join a group that would be fun and teach him how to work with other children to work on his team work and communication. We saw a while ago a few celebrities had taken their children to little kickers and rugby tots so we decided we would try little kickers as they had a class near by.

So today we got to start lessons and it was quite a lovely little lesson. The coaches are very kind and lots of fun, the children adore them. The classes use lots of props and equipment such as cones, goals, mats, whistles, balls, teddies and mats. Today the kids where taught to shoot goals,pass balls and do obstacle courses. They also used play to teach them skills and control with the ball and speed.The children where all of the same age so it was lovely that there was no expectation of the children and their where all there just to play together and have fun. The lessons are not overly expensive at 30 a month and the classes are intimate too for more hands on lessons.We really enjoyed the session and Elijah was smiling and giggling the whole time. He really looked adorable in his little outfit to and we are excited for next weeks session. The best part was when the children where all given a high five and a sticker for doing a good job! Elijah was very proud of himself and had to show everyone for the rest of the day!

Having 5 generations in the family at once.

Having 5 generations in the family at once.

At the weekend we celebrated another of my grandmas birthdays by popping round with some flowers to brighten up her day. She was absolutely over the moon with them which goes to show spending a fortune isn’t everything it’s the thought that counts. My grandma as I call her is my great grandma as I call my mums mum nanny. This makes my grandma my sons great-great grandma meaning that there are five generations at once. It’s an incredible gift having so many family members at once and being able to have my child spend time with older generations too.

I’ve always loved my grandma as she always used to tell me about her time in the land army from planes being shot down and her being chased from German fighters too her riding tractors and doing a hard days work. She’d tell me how she lived on the road I live on now and that her house was bombed in the blitz and she has 7 brothers and sisters all share the house with her and the mum and dad. As someone who loves history I’ve always enjoyed reminiscing and enjoying family time with grandparents too. Time Is precious but memories last forever…

Z

Christmas Eve box.

Christmas Eve box.

A family tradition of mine has always been to give a Christmas Eve gift. Normally it would be something like some pjs with some chocolates or something for the bath or/and a activity to do. I remember being young and the excitement to open my gift, have a bath and wear my new pjs. Then sitting all excited in bed till I eventually fell asleep all shiny and comfy.

It’s something I’ve been keen to pass onto my son and husband and keep it as one of our Christmas traditions. So every year me and James have brought pjs for one another and a pair for Elijah. This year I wanted to do a little fun box instead of spoiling Elijah lots of different days with treats I got him some Christmassy treats to give on Christmas Eve. obviously he won’t eat all the sweets at once but I thought I’d give them all at once. So what I’ve got him is a little tsum tsum Disney simba that lights up which he’ll love as he adores the lion king. A Christmas cup to put some Christmas milk in before bed, colouring book to do some activities for the day, some kinetic sand to play with anything to keep him busy for the day so I can organise presents and plans. I brought him some chocolates and marshmallows which comes with a beaker which he can use aswell. He also has some pjs but they’re matching ones with us so didn’t want to give as a gift this year! I brought almost everything from Poundland or bnm so it all cost me under ten pounds which was quite a bargain. I can’t wait to see him open and play with it all. It may a bit ott but when else can I go a bit ott.