Trials and Tribulations of a Working Mum.

Some of you may know that I work in early years education. When I finished work at 34 weeks pregnant with Cassius I knew I wouldn’t be returning to the job I had just finished. Distance and the stress in the lead up to my maternity leave had just been too much for me. It’s more than likely the reason I ended up having another baby pre-term… (note to self: if we ever decide to have a third baby I need to make sure I am doing a less stressful job!!). In fact, I wasn’t actually sure I would return to work at all. Changes in circumstances had meant that childcare options (I.e. my family) that we had used previously weren’t available to us so it would mean paying for childcare (which if you use childcare you will know is a bloody huge expense!!) So the plan was that I may in fact become a stay at home mother and I kind of liked the idea.

Alas, it wasn’t meant to be. I am just not that kind of mother or person. I hated the fact I wouldn’t have my ow income and that I wouldn’t be doing a job I loved. Don’t get me wrong I love my kids but I also love my job! And why does becoming a mother mean I have to love my job any less?

I ended up looking for another job and found a position in a local preschool as a support worker, working 15 hours a week. Ideal! I also managed to find a wonderful local Childminder to have the kids. Both within walking distance! Perfect. Gradually the hours I was doing crept up. Completely by choice. I can’t help it I am a bit of a workaholic. Before Christmas my manager called me into the office asking if I would like a different position that had become available and to become a full time member of staff. Needless to say I jumped at the offer!

There we have it. From January I become a full time working mum. My kids go to the Childminder three days a week (Aoife qualifies for the 30 hours of funded childcare and Cassius qualifies for a tax free childcare account* so I am earning some money at least!), 1 day with their Nanny and the final day with Luke.

Of course, with working full time and spending all this time away from the kids does come a significant amount of guilt. My mum asked if I was sure I was happy working full time as I would miss out on so much, which bloody hell, made me feel terrible but you know what I am happy working full time. I really do love what I do. Yes it may seem silly to some that I send my kids off to a Childminder to go and look after other people’s kids but that is unfortunately the way it is! I chose this career. I work term time only so I do still get quality time with my kids. I bedshare so I spend all the hours of the night with my kids. I breastfeed both children so I am still the main source of attachment and comfort for my children. As I write this on the final evening before returning to work after a week off, I am actually in my 3 year olds bed nursing her to sleep! I am still a mother. Being a mother is my number 1 priority, but that doesn’t mean I am not allowed a career.

*I highly recommend looking up the tax free childcare account if you are UK based and paying for childcare. You get money back for every x amount you pay in! In a few months I will get enough money back to cover a month of childcare fees!

Advertisements

A Beautiful Childhood Course: A Honest Review

Isn’t funny how being inspired can make you feel? I feel awakened and confident in my abilities and knowledge as a parent and practitioner; and that is with thanks to Eloise, the author of the Frida Be Mighty blog (which is an amazingly inspiring blog!) and her recent course “A Beautiful Childhood”.

A lot of what Eloise has to say really resonated with me. We delved deep into many theories I was familiar within my work life but had not really thought about applying to my home life. We looked at the educational theories and pedagogy of Maria Montessori; Steiner Waldorf; Forest School and Reggio Emilia all of which I was very familiar with. We also looked at philosophies I wasn’t familiar with such Charlotte Mason; The Scandinavian Approach; Unschooling (more on this particular one later!) and Project Based Learning.

Within the course, Eloise gives journaling questions to work through and a task relating to each school of thought we are looking at. I am still working my way through these questions, which is the beauty of the course! Taking it at your own pace and really being able to take in the information being shared with us! The course has helped me realise that actually I do embody a lot of my theories around my work practice in my mothering.

So yeah, I feel truly inspired by this wonderful lady and really wanted to share my thanks and also recommend you look into doing the next “A Beautiful Childhood Course” you can find more information on Eloise Instagram page @_mightymother. Her knowledge and commitment to research is admirable.

Cassius, On Your First Birthday πŸ’™

Dear Cassius,

It was just a normal day, I was heavily pregnant (34 Weeks on that day). During my midwife appointment that day I had asked about some pains I was having, to be told it was because you were low down in my pelvis! I went to Nanna’s house because it was Aunty Caits birthday and the pains continued. You certainly gave me a surprise when you arrived at 20 past midnight on the Friday, 6 weeks before your due date!

We didn’t have the best start, you and I, but I want you to know that I love you unconditionally. You are an incredibly happy baby, despite everything!

My gorgeous, strong, smiley, happy little chappy πŸ’™ you have made me a better and stronger person. I am forever grateful for you and your sister for giving me reason to stay strong and positive.

I Love you.

Mummy x

Goodbye 2018, Hello 2019 πŸ’•

I know for certain that I am happy to see the back of 2018. It has for me seen more lows than highs and I am feeling excited at what 2019 will bring my family and I.

We started the year on what should have been a high. I gave birth to Cassius early on in January (almost 6 weeks before his due date) much to my surprise. What should have been a wonderful time of spending time with my second born soon spiralled into me becoming someone I didn’t recognise. I was diagnosed in April 2018 with Post Natal Depression (but more on that later). Also in January my maternal Grandmother was diagnosed with cancer. Something that I don’t think any of us thought was possible, although of course it is. It can happen to any of us. February and March, I’ll be honest they hold no significance to me. As I sit here and write I literally cannot recall a single event that happened! The days all merged and I plodded along, ignoring the darkness that was brewing inside me and separating me from my children and family and everyone to be honest.

April arrived. I celebrated my 27th birthday. Something I was less than enthusiastic about. Then two of our (mine and Luke’s) oldest friends got married. Luke was best man and I have never felt so emotionally disconnected to an event like this. This was my breaking point. The next day I confessed to Luke how I had been feeling and went to the doctors and began my recovery. From then things began to get better.

In May, we celebrated my Grandma’s 70th birthday, even in the thick of intense chemotherapy she was still beautiful and joyous to be around.

Spring turned into Summer and wow! What a Summer it was! A summer spent with lots of family time and time outdoors! Something Aoife in particular relishes in. As July approached I began to think about returning to work. I’ll be honest I love what I do for a living and wanted to get back into it. A part time position was being advertised and it was within walking distance. Winner! I went for the interview despite and despite my lack of experience in that particular area I got the job! I started in September and on my return from the Christmas break I will be full time. I am very much looking forward to it. Anyway, a job meant looking for childcare and fortunately I managed to find a wonderful childminder who the kids adore and certainly made my transition back to work a million times better. Also in July, I saw one of my oldest friends get married and in stark contrast to the last wedding I had been to I had an amazing time. I drove as had to get back to the kids and still had a fantastic time!

Summer faded into Autumn. Felt like such a long summer as September and even the beginning of October the weather was so mild. In the October half term we went on a family holiday to Mablethorpe and it was just the break we needed. It was great to get a bit of sea air.

November saw Aoife turning 3 years old. Still can’t get my head around that! Then as December came about I looked forward to some time off to spend with my family. Christmas to me is all about family.

I’m heading into 2019 full of positivity and happiness. I am ready to wean myself off the Anti depressants I am taking. I am feeling happy in my own skin for the first time in a long time and I am looking to seeing what 2019 has in store for my family and I.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Siobhan x

My Top Blog Posts of 2018

It feels like 2018 has passed by in a flash. I was all hopeful that I would be able to achieve something through my blog in 2018, unfortunately my mental health was less than ideal and nothing ever really took off. Despite this I have written some posts that, even now, I enjoyed looking back in preparation for this post!

I hoping next to make something more of my blog. It really is something I enjoy and at the moment it is a half-hearted hobby. I know to make a blog successful it needs focus, and in 2019 I am ready to bring that to the table!

Without further ado, here are my top 5 posts from 2018! Feel free to have a look back and let me know what you think of them!

  • My most popular post of 2018 was written in the March. I wrote about my experience of alopecia and how things had changed in the two years since it had developed. My alopecia is always one of those I never really know how to talk about. In person, I make a lot of jokes. But here, I can be honest, if not for me, for those suffering that need to read another’s words and not feel alone! “Alopecia and Me: 2 Years On
  • My second most popular post was written in January and was an honest account of the beginning of our tandem breastfeeding journey and the logistics of how it was all working out! “Tandem Nursing A Newborn and Toddler”
  • Also in January I wrote up Cassius’ birth story. This one I particularly enjoyed rereading. I love reading birth stories! “Cassius – A Birth Story”.
  • In June, as part of National Breastfeeding Week, I teamed up with Ross from Isablog to write a post about all the ways Dads can be supportive of breastfeeding mothers. “Dads and Breastfeeding”
  • Finally, in February I wrote a post with my top tips for those starting out with cloth nappies! “Cloth Nappies – My Top Tips for Beginners”

So there you have it! My most popular posts of 2018! Happy New Year! Here is to a happy and healthy 2019!

Siobhan x

Living Arrows – 53/53 (2018)

β€œYou are the bows from which your children as Living Arrows are sent forth” – Kahlil Gibran

Can you believe this is the final Living Arrows of 2018. It has been quite the year and to be honest one I happy to see the back of! There have been far more negatives than positives and I am looking forward to what I am hoping will be a better year! Happy New Year Everyone and thank you for being there!

Aoife – 3 Years, 1 Month

Taken on Christmas Day, Aoife was especially eager for Christmas Dinner!

Cassius – 11 Months

Cassius having fun on the swings. His smile is infectious.

Thanks for stopping by!

Siobhan x

Living Arrows

Living Arrows – 52/53 (2018)

β€œYou are the bows from which your children as Living Arrows are sent forth” – Kahlil Gibran

Aoife – 3 Years, 1 Month

This has to be one of my favourite photos of Aoife this year! Just sums up her personality perfectly! This was a gift from the kids childminder!

Cassius – 11 Months

Little man is finally on the mend! After 2 weeks of being under the weather. Hopefully he is back to top form for Xmas day!

Thanks for stopping by!

Siobhan x

Living Arrows