Life as a working mum


I haven’t been able to blog for a while, purely because I’ve been so damn busy! Being a working mum is wonderful, but any free time I had is gone and any hours I have left in the day once I’ve got home from work and Isla is in bed is spent either trying to catch up on housework or trying to spend quality time with Hubs.

Being a working mum has it’s pros and cons though. One of the big contributing factors to me returning to work was the money situation. Hubs earns a decent wage but we definitely missed not having a second income and things were getting really tight. There was no question of where Isla would go while I was at work – she’d go to nursery full time. This was our only option as we have no family living anywhere near us, but luckily it’s been absolutely fine because Isla absolutely loves nursery and gets so excited when we walk through the doors and she sees her little friends. Most of the time she crawls off and gets stuck straight in and doesn’t even notice I’m leaving!

The main problem we have with having no family around is if Isla is poorly, one of us has to leave work to come and collect her from nursery, mainly me as Hubs works away a lot. Thankfully my employers are wonderful and understand our circumstances, but not being with Isla all day does make me worry about her. I know this is silly because her nursery is brilliant and she’s very well cared for, but I’m used to being with my little girl all day and now only seeing her first thing in the morning, an hour before she goes to bed and weekends makes me sad. We really have to make the most of our weekends with her now, which means Hubs and I don’t get to really spend quality time together either.

It’s also bloody exhausting! We’re both up at around 6.30 with Isla and I end up running around like a nutter to get us both ready to leave the house at 8am. her nursery is on the way to my office luckily, so she’s there and settled in by 8.15 and I get to work at around 8.45. I pick her up straight after work at 5.30 and then we try to play with her and wind her down as much as we can by the time she goes to bed at 7pm. But by then we’re both knackered!

Coming back to work was a good decision for me because it’ll give me a few more years to focus on my career. I was very lucky to have been able to go back to my old job which means I’ve been able to go back to a job I love and know well with people I get on with brilliantly, so not having the added stress and pressure of starting a new job from scratch has been great. but if we do ever have another baby, I’m pretty sure we couldn’t afford two sets of nursery fees so my career will more than likely take a back seat if/when we have another!

Also I think Isla being at nursery is brilliant for her social skills and development. I try my best, but I couldn’t provide as much of an enriching or creative day as the ladies at her nursery do. They’ve all commented how much Isla has blossomed over this past month, her social skills are excellent, she’s happy and she’s brilliant at playing and sharing her toys with the other children. I know that she’s in the best place but i miss her so much during the day!


Stop scaring us with birth horror stories!

“It’s the worst pain you’ll ever feel.” “Take all the drugs, everything you can, it’s the only way you’ll cope.” “It’s horrendous. There’s no getting around it.”

I had all of these comments and many more in the weeks leading up to the birth of my daughter, and they scared me half to death. I have a low pain threshold at the best of times and thanks to everyone’s horror stories about very long and painful childbirths, I was so nervous about giving birth. I heard no positive birthing stories at all so prepared myself for the worst.

So to say I was pleasantly surprised when it wasn’t all that bad is something of an understatement.

I started having contractions at 3.15am on Sunday 6th September and we went into hospital at 7am where we were admitted to the assessment ward as there wasn’t any room on the labour ward, and ended up staying there until 9pm until there was a side room available for me. My contractions were painful, but not unbearable, and came every 5 minutes for most of the day and night, during which all I could have was paracetamol.

We finally went up to the labour ward at 9am the next morning and I was induced at around 10.45am, where the contractions got much more intense, and after 2 hours of pushing and an episiotomy due to her head being in the wrong position, Isla was finally born at 7.57pm.

Yes, it was long (41 hours to be precise), yes, it bloody hurt towards the end and it wasn’t the most pleasant experience of my life, but it definitely wasn’t the pain-addled, gut wrenching scream-filled horror show I’d been lead to believe and at no point did I think “I can’t do this”. I’m not saying I’d do it again every day, but I’m definitely not dreading the idea of doing it again soon.

I’m not at all diminishing how tough, gruelling, painful and traumatic labour is, especially when things go wrong and we need to prepare for a rough couple of days, also I’m sure I was lucky. But it would be nice if we shared our positive childbirth experience too. A good friend of mine is expecting her first in April and said she’d been scared to death by horror stories too, but had felt better hearing mine. 

I’d love to hear some of your positive birth stories too!

* I’m thrilled that this piece has been published on The Motherload! You can read it here…


Sliding down Fireman Sam’s pole

As it’s Isla’s favourite TV show, we watch a lot of Fireman Sam and to be honest we don’t mind watching it, it’s definitely one of the more bearable kids’ programmes. And some of the little aside jokes and comments the characters come out with do make us snigger (fnar fnar!) Whether or not the writers intentionally add in these little double entendres or it’s just our dirty minds reading too much into innocent comments remains to be seen, but I’ve put together a list of our favourite innuendos (In-Your-End-O…) that have been uttered in episodes of Fireman Sam, rated from 😮(mildly risqué) to 😲 to 😳 😵to 😱 (swoooon) in terms of naughtiness. See what you think…

  • Elvis Cridlington: I love sticky foam! 😲
  • Dilys Price: I don’t want my frillies flapping all over Pontypandy! 😱
  • Bronwyn Jones: Want a fishy nibble? Dilys: Oooh I love a fishy nibble, don’t you Trevor? 😱
  • Elvis: We can slide down the pole at the same time Penny! 😮
  • Station Officer Steele: My poor little vegetables 😳
  • Trevor: Hello Dilys, I bet you can’t wait to get stuck into my sausages! 😵
  • Mike Flood: Station Officer Steele, I’ve been tinkering with your flange joints all morning! 😱
  • Steele: Cridlington, stop squelching! Elvis: sorry sir, my pants are all wet! 😵

A nod to my child-free friends

In a previous post, I paid tribute to my wonderful mummy friends who have been so amazing since I became a mummy and who I wouldn’t be without now. Well this blog post is for those amazing, understanding, supportive, non-mummy friends, the still-footloose-and-fancyfree ones who are effortlessly cool and don’t judge me for being a boring mum. 

They say you find out who your true friends are when the going gets tough, and since having Isla, our lives have turned upside down and we’ve truly seen who our real friends are. So for those who are still here, I just want to say thank you:

  • For not rolling your eyes when I waffle on and on about Isla for the seventh time in half an hour.
  • For understanding when I have to be selective about what plans we do together, either for monetary, childcare or sheer exhaustion reasons.
  • For being flexible and making the effort to come and see us to keep our friendships alive, as you know it’s hard to just “pop over” these days, and get togethers involve much planning and revolve around Isla’s routine….
  • And also for understanding when I’m so tired I call it a night early when we do get together.
  • For not kicking my arse to kingdom come for not replying to texts/Facebook messages/Whatsapps for hours/days/weeks because my memory is just plain terrible these days
  • For offering to babysit to give Hubs and I a bit of a breather
  • For still sticking by my side even though my life has changed beyond belief since my daughter was born. You are my true friends, and I’m thankful every day to have you in my life. 

Going back to work

Now that Isla is 16 months old, we feel that the time is right for me to return to work. Frankly, we need the money, and I want to get as much out of my journalism career as I can before we have another baby (which we’re aiming for in a few years time when Isla is at school).

Part of me feels happy and excited about going back to work, it’ll feel like I’m getting part of my old self back and having some time to myself too, but the other part of me will miss Isla like mad, especially this first week.

We wouldn’t even be considering the idea of me going back to work if Isla didn’t love going to nursery so much (she’s going in full time), but as daft as it sounds, but I’m worried that as she’ll be seeing less of us that she’ll forget about us a bit and not see us as her primary carers any more. If she was being cared for by family as well I wouldn’t be worried, but as she’ll be seeing the ladies at her nursery all day, I’m worried she’ll miss them more than me. Is that crazy?

Also I’m worried about what impact it’ll have on her personality. Isla is a lovely, happy placid little girl who loves playing with other children, but I’m slightly concerned about her picking up bad habits from the other children and becoming territorial over her toys. I don’t ever want her to be known as the naughty child who can’t share.

I’d love to hear any stories from working mummies with littluns in full time nursery, the good, the bad and the ugly, about how their little ones got on, just to calm my nerves a bit! 


Signs I’m old already

I’ve long been aware that I’m old before my time. Even during my university days, I was always asking what song was playing in the clubs and was never one who could stay up much past 2am and 9 times out of 10, I was the first to call it a night once I’d hit my limit.

But now I’m nearly 30 and have my daughter, I’m embracing my OAP status fully and wholeheartedly, luckily my husband has never been much of a clubbing person either and more often than not, a wild night for us involves opening a bottle of wine when Isla has gone to bed.

But I admit, there are some parts of me that make me seem older still…

  1. I hate listening to Radio 1 – no offence to the DJs, but I really can’t stand Radio 1. To me, all the music sounds the same (more on that later) and most of the time, it just seems like the rest of the shows are just the DJs having very shouty conversations with each other! Give me Radio 2 and the soothing tones of Ken Bruce and a decent variety of music any day!
  2. Get home, not going out again? Pjs on! – I like to think that most people do this, not just me! But once I get home and if I’m not planning to go back out again, I’ll change out of my jeans and either pop my comfy lounge trousers on (which are an old pair of Hubs’ Calvin Klein pyjama bottoms!) or just go all out and put my pjs on. I think if I don’t need to go anywhere, there’s no need to be uncomfortable in jeans while slobbing about! Having said that, signing for a parcel in my pjs at 2pm doesn’t make me look good…
  3. What is she wearing?! – honestly, the youth of today! Hubs and I will see girls walking down the street wearing those high waisted jeans and tiny crop tops that show off their stomachs, all I can think is “she must be freezing! She’ll get a chill in her kidneys!” And during the summer when girls were wearing denim hot pants and crop tops, we both agreed that Isla will NEVER leave the house looking like that. You heard it here first.
  4. Modern music? Pah! Pass the Queen CD – I’m really, really not a fan of modern music, something my cool, childless friends find hilarious. My musical taste leans more towards rock like Muse, Within Temptation and Evanescence and the most modern song I have on my Apple Music is Runnin’ by Naughty Boy and Beyoncé. Seriously, I look at at the charts and I’ve probably not even heard of about half of the artists (who the hell is DJ Snake?!) and most of the chart music sounds the same to me. Beat, beat, electronic auto tuned voice, beat, beat, blah blah. I was raised by parents who are very into their 70s glam rock so have grown up listening to Queen, Slade, ELO, DireStraits etc etc (ask your parents kids) or as I like to call it, proper music!
  5. I read newspapers and paperbacks – most people get their books and news by downloading them, whereas I’m old school and love to turn the pages of an actual book or newspaper. That’s why on holiday (before child of course) my suitcase weighs a ton because I bring about 7 books with me!
  6. I mother my friends – I’m constantly making sure my friends have eaten/drunk enough when we’re together, and my handbag is a goldmine of tissues, paracetamol, lip balm, nail scissors, a mini sewing kit (yes really, I pinched it from a hotel room and it’s come in handy on a few occasions!). One of my friends never eats enough so I’m constantly trying to feed her up.
  7. Nights out? Nope! Nights in! – before Isla was born, if we had friends over we’d either start the night with a few drinks and maybe a meal in our local restaurant before making our way back to our and getting stuck into a few bottles of wine. To be fair, not much has changed here, except nowadays we tend to cook for our guests before getting stuck into the wine and I’m normally ready for bed after 2 or 3 glasses of wine! Recently we had some friends over and I managed to stay up until 11.30, and bloody hell I felt it the next day!

I’m thrilled that this post was published on The Motherload! You can read it here…


A year in review

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This year has flown by in the blink of an eye! Our little monkey has grown so much, from a wriggling baby into a full grown, mischievous, loving little toddler who has such a personality!

Now she’s nearly 16 months, her appetite has increased threefold and she eats like a gannet! There’s very little she won’t eat, her favourite is still the tomato and butternut squash pasta I make for her, and she also loves sweet potato fries, Petit Filous and grapes. I can guarantee though, as soon as I publish this, she’ll go through a stage where she won’t want to eat, the contrary madam…

Her vocabulary is coming along nicely, as well as the usual ‘mama’, ‘dada’, ‘nana’ etc she also like to say ‘uh oh’, ‘this’ or ‘that’ while she’s pointing at something she wants, ‘ta’ when we give her anything (she’s learning her manners!) ‘hiya’ or ‘hello’ (which she prounounces ‘hewwo!’) ‘ratbag’ (Hubs called her ratbag as a joke twice and now she won’t stop saying it!) and bizarrely, ‘doctor’! Since we bought her back from the hospital last month, everyone she sees she calls doctor! She’s also said ‘kiss’ once but hasn’t said it since!

Isla is a big bookworm and loves to sit with her books, turn every page and point at everything on every page. She’s really placid and happy to play with her toys while I enjoy a hot cuppa every now and then. She’s such a little charmer as well and smiles and giggles at anyone who comes over and makes a fuss of her. She’s also brilliant at sharing her toys with other children, and offers the toy she’s playing with to her friends when they come over and join her. We’re so lucky, she sleeps brilliantly at night (7pm to 7am) with a good nap around mid morning. I’m really chuffed with how well her social skills are coming on.

My only concern is that she’s still not walking unaided yet. She’s brilliant at cruising around the furniture andpushing her walker round and round the living room and kitchen, but when we try to get her to walk holding our hands, she just sits down and crawls over instead. I’m fairly sure it’s mostly a mixture of laziness and the knowledge that she can get there quicker by crawling, but it does worry me slightly. I know babies do things in their own time and she’ll walk when she’s ready, but I can’t help but wait anxiously for those first steps.

Here’s hoping Isla will see in the new year by walking!