My Full-Time Mum End of 2015 Holiday Hopes

Welcome to my second #12daysofparenting blog. Day 2 is all about lists for Santa, as you probably know if you’ve hopped from LadyBug Home & Designs. There are lots of fab prizes to win, including a Safedreams Hoppy from Baby Bundle. Check out the 12 Days of Parenting page for more information and the terms and conditions (UK  residents only). Entries are via the Rafflecopter at the end of this post.

I’m a full-time working mum and school holiday times are super precious, so much more precious than they used to be.

I don’t have a list for Santa, but I’ve got a long list of holiday hopes for this year ending.

My tendency towards a laissez faire approach to how my holidays go doesn’t cut it anymore, I’m a mother now and I’ve got some massive womaning up to do.

So, here are my holiday hopes for the end of this year, and I really hope they will stand me in good stead on the parenting road in the coming year.

Family Time Holiday Hopes

A holiday without a range of tots groups‘ is one that needs planning … my experience has shown me over and over again that little is accomplished with a toddler when left to time and chance. So here comes the planning of a meaningful holiday routine for our toddler and family time. This schedule must be ready by the end of this week. 🙂

Also, bring on more intentional alone times with hubby, it’s so easy to put this on the back burner when you’ve got a little one to look after, isn’t it.

My Full Time Working Mum Holiday Hopes

Family and Friends Holiday Hopes

I wish I didn’t struggle to stay in touch. The call / skype / email list and timetable route seems to be worth trying out …  I might even have a go at a family newsletter; ‘might it really save me some time’, I wonder.

Catch-ups Holiday Hopes

No school work to-do list is hanging over this head; not this time around! The plan is to leave work at the school’s gate when I leave on Friday. Perhaps, I might spend some hours on some of my work to-do list the day before resumption.

O my word, why does ‘house’ have to have so much ‘work’ after it? 😂  I’ve got some serious catching up to do at home if my “spotless house before the new year’s” hope is to see fulfilment! So, here is to setting aside 2 hours on designated days to focus on certain chores. Wish me well …😁

Blogging Holiday Hopes

Where do I start with this one?

  • Check and fix broken links
  • Finish my ‘Blogging from A to Z challenge‘ before the end of the year; perhaps on my other blog too.
  • Make a realistic weekly blog plan for my posts and social media and do some scheduling, for this blog and my teacher blog.
  • Catch up on pending reviews, linky reads, and make sure that I’m up to date with all blog contributor commitments.
  • Sort out my linkys.
  • Finish some of my drafts, and experiment with some of my new blog ideas.
  • Try syndicating some of my posts if there is time.

overall, I need to do a health check on my blogs and be at a blog happy point by the end of the year; trying to keep an eye on my blogtacles, right. On a serious note, I’m still struggling with rising from my blogging crisis; it’ll be really fab to feel fully on my feet again.

‘Me’ Holiday Hopes

  • Spend more time with God and His Word
  • Get some good quality sleep
  • Start reading for leisure again
  • Start journaling again
  • Make and eat healthier food

Overall, pay more attention to my spiritual, physical, mental, and emotional well-being.

Holiday Hopes Overall

I’m really hoping for a memorable family time with a happy toddler, a less cluttered home space, less intrusion of work in my head, better blogging and blogging space, and a more wholesome me. I think this will make for a happy holiday time without tots groups, ‘tots’ being my code word. 🙂

And oh, I need to review my 2014 Review and 2015 Hopes as well as my 12 days of blogging posts, as we speed towards the new year.

Thanks for hanging out here, check out Mummy and her mini for more Santa’s list, and entries into the grand prize draw.

~ What are holiday hopes? ~

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My Full-Time Working Mum Holiday Without Tots Groups

Welcome to my post for Day 1 of #12daysofparenting, so lovely to have you from Lady Bug Home & Designs. Complete your giveaway entries through the rafflecopter at the end of this post, for a chance to win some top parenting goodies.

It’s holiday time in a week and I can’t wait. 😁The school holidays are one of the things I really like about my job, but this upcoming one is different from the rest.

  • It’s the cold end of the year
  • The days are much shorter
  • It gets dark quicker
  • There will be more traffic on the roads
  • Shops will be more jam-packed

I’m alright with all these; it’s the end of the longest school term in the academic year and I’m definitely ready for a rest, and some catch-up.

But wait a minute … I have a child … a toddler … a moving and very active little one.

Unlike my pre-motherhood days, this holiday is like no other in the school year. It’s the one where both babes and tots’ groups close for a break, and children’s activities pause.

I was especially gutted to find out that Precious Sparkle’s swimming lessons wouldn’t be taking place during this holiday. I enjoyed taking him swimming during the half term, and I was really looking forward to taking him again, but it’s not to be. 🙁 I mean, don’t get me wrong, I don’t begrudge his swimming instructors their time off. They deserve their holiday, and it is right that they have a break.

It just that this is the only time of the year where there are so many adults and children around with limited daylight and space. Local parks and play areas gets filled up through the day, and the children activity centres that stay open tend to be very busy.

Staying indoors all day, whilst appealing to someone like me with so much catch-up to do, is not an option with a toddler. My house is definitely not big enough for my little person to run around and stretch his body and mind for long periods of time.

So, what I’m I going to do?

My Full Time Mum Holiday Without Tots Groups

Working full-time means that I feel very isolated from the mummy groups world. I used to enjoy hanging out with other mums every week, at my local ‘babes and bumps’ group, then later at my church’s ‘mother’s and toddlers’ group. My monthly breastfeeding group is also really fab.

However, work and life has made these lovely and meaningful pastimes a distant memory. I can’t even remember when last I made it to my monthly group which happens on Saturdays when I don’t have to go to work (though I do sometimes).

So, what do I do?

I can’t go to the mums and tots groups because they’re closed, tots activities are on a break, and I haven’t planned well in advance to meet up with my mummy friends and their children?

Tots groups in all their varieties are fantastic ‘day breakers’. They help to carve out the day into manageable chunks, and support play, eat, sleep routines (however lax) which are essential for parental sanity. I find that my little one and I are more in tune with how our body rhythm works when we have some sort of daily structure to work with.

I mean, I’m happy to work without structure in my day for periods of time during my holidays, but I question whether that’s the best for my little one. It would be so easy to get caught up with all my catch-ups, and I tell you, there are lots of them, spanning my relationships with family and friends, housework, my paid job, and blogging.

It’s crazy really; I seem to have this bottomless list of what needs doing with such a limited time to work my way through them. And whilst ticking them off, more are added. 😓

Another perk of tots groups is that they take me away from what needs doing around me, to especially focusing on my little one, my mothering / our parenting, and building lovely memories outdoors. I’m an indoor kinda girl, but I also love the outdoors. Tots groups definitely help me to engage with it in a ‘belly full of laughter’ kinda way. There is so much pleasure in watching one’s child interact with others and the world around them.

So, it’s back to the drawing table for me, and I hope I draw good. This time last year, my little one was just finding his feet, and I could get away with going with the flow more. He is a year older, and I have to woman up and find ways for us to thrive in this holiday without tots groups.

So, I’m setting myself a challenge …. yeah, I’m giving myself the opportunity, despite the challenges I think this holiday poses for me, to plan for meaningful days during this break for my little one and us. Whatever we do, it wouldn’t involve any reference to the chimney, our #12daysofparenting code word, because we have none at our house for starters. 🙂

Thanks for dropping by; happy holiday and all the best in the new year.

Hop over to Surban Mum for more 12 Days of Parenting first day theme: ‘surviving the holiday without tots groups’, and to gain more entries into the grand prize draw. Be sure to check the giveaway’s full terms and conditions.

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Working Mum: My Struggles

W is for Working Mum: My Struggles

Working full-time after becoming a mum is much harder than I thought. I actually didn’t think it would be hard. I grew up in an environment where my mum worked; so, working and being a mum wasn’t an issue for me. However, the nature of my mum’s working environment was such that she could see us often when we were little. She worked for my dad and she had help; so she was able to take us to work for a period of time after her maternity leave.

I wish I could take Precious Sparkle to work, but I can’t. I have to leave him every morning during the week to help other children on their life’s journey.

His goodbyes

I don’t remember the date but I remember the first time he bid me goodbye; oh, how my heart rose and sank at the same time! I was at once delighted to hear him say another word, but also sad that he knew I was leaving him and that he could verbally acknowledge it in a way that I understood. 🙁 I find it intriguing that he still says, ‘bye’, or ‘bye bye’ on days he can’t see me leave, and just before I get to the front door. ‘How does he know I’m leaving the house’, I’ve wondered at those times.

He has grown increasingly alright with me leaving in the morning and we’ve learnt to manage it better to soothe away any sadness. I suppose it’s partly my fault when he gets upset about it. I have a tendency to linger at my goodbyes to him. I find it so hard to tear myself away from his side, and to stop holding his hands and looking at his cute little face. I sometimes feel my heart breaking as I walk away from him to leave the house; what a heart-sink moment!

Playing catch-up

Unlike before, bringing marking and planning tasks home to do in the evenings and on weekends are not guaranteed options of making progress with my school work. It’s hard to do much when Precious Sparkle is awake; and you know, I’m glad this is the case. I’m glad for him to have a lot of my attention. He is only going to be at this stage for so long, and sharing it all with him is so enriching; what a privilege!

This of course means that I play ‘catch-up’ more than ever before; and I’m constantly looking for pockets of time to get things done. Not as much gets done as I would like :-(. The middle of the nights are also not free from interruptions; mummy’s milk is called upon quite a bit, sometimes more than mummy would choose. 🙂 And of course there is sleep; yeah … sleep … it has to happen sometime … it needs to happy much longer than it currently does.

New words and actions without me

I enjoy hearing him say new words and do new things, but I feel so disappointed when I find out that he has been saying or doing some of them for a few days. It makes me feel like crying sometimes. I want to be there at the start of all his new words and actions BUT I can’t. I can’t be there for him at ALL the moments I consider to be important in his development, and I’m learning to come to terms with this.

I am learning to stop feeling denied of what seemed like my right as his mum. I’m learning to really cherish ALL our moments together, even more so now that I’m not in most of his moments during the week. I’m learning to accept that this is our lives at this point and that it’s best to make the most of what we have instead of focusing on what we don’t. I remind myself that the time I have outside of work should not be wasted on wishing I was there, but rather invested in being FULLY there.

Some respite

I’m very fortunate that I work really close to home, and I’m able to leave work at lunch times to breastfeed Precious Sparkle. On the days his afternoon naps run over, I’m of the view that it’s better not to wake a sleeping baby; I instead go home earlier after school finishes.

His attempt to run into my arms with loud giggles when I arrive home at lunch and after work helps a lot; they are massive heart-rise moments. They make my leaving home feel that much better. Seriously, I’ve never known anyone so happy to see me over and over again. It amazes and amuses me, and I can’t get over it. It makes me feel so important and so very special; and it makes our ‘reunion’ full of so much joy.

I don’t feel any guilt for working; the bills have to be paid and working is a good thing. When the time comes, I want Precious Sparkle to know the value of work and I intend to cultivate a very good work ethic in him as the opportunity arises.

Nonetheless, I must say that I work because I have to work; there isn’t much I can do about it. Perhaps my dream of becoming a pro-blogger will come true someday, and I can then run my business from home 🙂 . If I didn’t have to work, I might still work part-time in my teaching job anyway. I enjoy teaching though there’s also much I don’t like about it. I’ll confront the ‘want to work’ issue if and when it happens.

I continue to work through my working mum struggles.

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Do you struggle as a working mum / dad? If not, do you struggle with juggling work with other important things in your life?

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My April 2015 #AtoZChallenge: Considering my Motherhood journey from A – Z

Introduction                                                    || Theme reveal

A is for Ardo Calyso Breast Pump: Top 5 || B for Breastfeeding: Top 5   || D for Dry Skin not Eczema  

C for Crawling baby Climbing Toddler      || E is for Exploring Toddler    || F is for Frugi: Top 5

G for Grapes in Baby Led Weaning            || H is for Hiccups                     || I is for Immunization

J is for Judging and Being Judged: 2 Key Lessons                      || K is for Keeping Up With Motherhood

Q is for Qestions To Ask Before Having  A Baby

Linkup: #PoCoLo | #MaternityMondays Wk 18 | #MBPW 2May15
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Shared Parental Leave Top 5

Shared Parental Leave offers working biological and adoptive parents in England, Scotland, and Wales, increased work flexibility in the first year of their child’s life, from April 5 2015. Continue reading