Last week, my youngest sister sent a text to me and my middle sister in a frenzy asking, “What’s the name of the person in Michael Jackson’s song Smooth Criminal?” I immediately sent a text back saying “Annie.” She was gobsmacked. It turns out she’s been singing “Eddie are you OK?” for the past 30 odd years and only discovered it was wrong after her husband challenged her mid chorus on a car journey.
My youngest daughter, Eva will be 4 this summer. She can be sweet, affectionate and charming. But when she’s tired or determined to do something on her own, she can turn into a monster and things can get hellish. If she’s in one of her moods, time outs don’t do anything. Just last night, I tried shutting her in her room so that we could both calm down after bath time went wrong. She howled in protest and when I refused to open the door then she called out, “I’ve done a wee on the carpet.” She’s done this before – using this tactic to provoke a reaction in me to open up the door which of course I did.
So what’s a mum to do? When threats don’t work and time outs are ignored? How can we discipline and encourage good behaviour?
Why, bribery of course!
I’ve had a couple of weeks break with the kids for Easter. We had a few day trips out, saw friends and family and spent a week in Norfolk with my in-laws. It was the same place we went to last year – a fantastic converted barn with indoor pool for the kids.
Unlike last year, I completely switched off from blogging. Last year, I was organised and had blog posts planned and scheduled ready to go. I diligently responded to all comments that came in and was busy on social media. This year, I did the complete opposite and did nothing. I had no blog posts planned and I didn’t really care, I just wanted a break from it all. Which made me think. Is a blogging break a good or a bad thing?
How many times, as a mother, have you heard these words?
Probably, just like me the answer is countless! At the age of 9 months, my youngest child went through an extremely clingy stage that lasted for months. I couldn’t even leave the room to go to the toilet without her screaming blue murder. She would become hysterical whenever she was left with another person even my husband or mother-in-law. We had to actually leave the childminder because she spent the whole time screaming for me to come back and the staff couldn’t work out what to do with her. “It’s just a phase,” said practically everyone as I almost drowned in my own tears of tiredness.
Sarcasm is a funny thing. And I don’t necessarily mean funny hah-hah. The difference in meanings used when we make a sarcastic remark often conveys disapproval or scorn which some people find hurtful or a bit below the belt. No doubt, in certain instances, sarcasm can be quite cutting but it can also have impact. For instance, if I said to my husband, “Thanks so much for all your help with cleaning the house,” whilst he was sitting watching TV, he would probably take more notice of my sarcastic tone than if I was to say “Can you help with the cleaning please?” which would no doubt fall on deaf ears.
I’ve always liked the idea of mindfulness. Like many mums, I suffer with a nagging guilt that I don’t pay enough attention to the present, that I spend too much time on my phone whilst my children are growing up fast in front of me. I also liked the idea that mindfulness might help with my lack of patience and that it might help me to calm my brain from the constant thinking, planning and worrying; to enjoy more of the here and now.
After a taster session in July, I got hold of the book that was recommended by the tutor, and was immediately put off by the fact that you had to follow mediation exercises every day whilst reading the book. I was sceptical. I came up with a load of reasons this would be impossible to do, mostly revolving around having 2 young noisy children in the house. But in January with my resolutions for books to read this year, I decided to give this book another shot and MAKE time to do the meditations mostly whilst the youngest was at pre-school.
I never set out to freelance. Prior to having children I had a job I loved as an Online Marketing Manager working for a clothing company in Central London.
After the birth of my first daughter almost 6 years ago, I assumed that I would be going back when my maternity leave finished. Things didn’t work out the way I planned. I had hoped to work 3 days a week and would have considered 4 if it had come to it. But my company didn’t agree. I suggested working from home for part of the week or working some form of condensed hours, but after several meetings I was told that the business could not offer me any form of flexibility. At all. I was utterly amazed that there was zero room for negotiation especially as I’d had such good relationships with my bosses and colleagues. One of the first posts I wrote when I set up this blog was about the lack of flexibility in the work place and even now, two years on, I still feel passionately that not enough businesses offer working flexibility for parents. In this digital age, there should be far more options.
Today, Valentine’s Day is my 2 year blog anniversary. Happy blog birthday to me! I was going to write a post about the stuff I’d learnt in the last 2 years of blogging but a week ago, after just a year of procrastinating and thinking about it for far too long, I finally took the leap to self-host my own blog.
You might think that the trick of getting your child out the door and into school should be a relatively easy one right?
On the good days it can seem effortless to get everyone fed and dressed without too much whinging, out the door on time and deposited into school without any clinginess or crying. Then there are the more hellish weeks where everything goes wrong.
Memories are a funny thing. Triggers like songs, films, people and even smells can transport you to another time, another place from years ago. It’s amazing to think how strongly memories and emotions are re-called over something so fleeting.
Music is a powerful reminder. We all have certain songs which instantly spark a memory of what we were doing or where we were and who with.
Here’s just a few songs which bring back instant memories for me:
- Groove Is In The Heart by Deee-Lite and Rhythm is a Dancer by Snap – These songs always makes me think of driving around in a battered car with my school friends after we had passed our driving test.
- The Look of Love by Dusty Springfield – Was the first dance at our wedding and always makes me smile.
- Time to Say Goodbye from The Phantom of The Opera – I always found this song emotional but will never be able to hear it again without shedding a tear as it was played at my father in-law’s funeral.
- That’s Not My Name by The Ting Tings – This reminds me of the summer before I got married and how it was played constantly at the festivals I went to as well as on my hen weekend in Bath.
- Anything by Billy Joel’s An Innocent Man album – This CD was played continuously on family holidays to Devon and Cornwall. They bring back happy memories of us on holiday as well as fighting in the back seat of the car with my sisters!