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not just for girls

Not Just For Girls. Boys Can’t Dance.

gender

In the times where people are fighting for gender equality – equal rights as adults to allow women and girls the same rights as men, in the work place and how we dress. It is a slow movement, but the little things like, equal choice of clothing for little girls are beginning to change. 13 years ago I wouldn’t have dreamt buying a cardigan with cars on – aimed at little girls, yet there is one currently hung in the wardrobe, or dinosaur clothes designed for girls. It is brilliant.

While we’re looking deeply into what clothing line these big companies have, making a stand, there is another little corner that seems society turns a blind eye to; that gender stereotypical jobs and hobbies are still very much obvious.

Football for boys, ballet for girls; this has stuck; and is something that is currently on my mind. Let me tell you…

Background

In 2012 my eldest daughter took the steps to join a local majorette troupe; she didn’t enjoy gymnastics or country dancing, so I wasn’t sure if she would even enjoy this activity either. But she did and this year we’re nearing her 6th year and still loves every part of it. She also occasionally participates in football and hockey with her school; all activities very much supported. As long as she is enjoying it, nobody seems to bat an eyelid at her activities – quite right too.

 

Not Just For Girls

My son, he’s an absolute Gentleman, he’s very kind and is thoughtful towards others. He is also a majorette. One very hot summer’s day in 2013 whilst watching his older sister display, he asked if he was able to join in; I enquired and he was welcomed with open arms. I genuinely believed he wouldn’t stay for long I, myself assumed he would stop when he realised (at the time), there were no other boys, and just how much hard work goes into training. He surprised us all; he is now currently going into his 5th year.

 

The kicker – The Not-So Gender Equality

I have been questioned many times over the past five years from different people about my son doing majorettes. That is deemed too girly for him.

Where I have never been questioned about my daughter doing it, or that she also plays football (and is a fan of football too, might I add – both my son AND my husband aren’t bothered by football!!).

I am not really sure why people, in today’s society – where people are fighting (and rightly so) over women’s rights, that this hobby is deemed “too girly.” Yes it obviously is predominantly a female activity, but that shouldn’t stop any person male or female having a go. The stereotypes are still there, and are a long way behind what it should be. As I said nobody seems to be bothered by my daughter playing and liking football, yet it is EVERYBODY’S business whether my son twirls a baton.

 

Fighting the Corner

Where is the fight for the boys who want to dance? We’re still no closer to having the freedom for more Billy Elliotts.

The fight for those boys who do want to put on ballet pumps and pirouette.

For the boys, like my son as well as many other sons, who want to pick up a baton and NOT want to injure someone but to show off a skill, or a set of poms to show off his team building skills?

These boys need this corner too. There have been times where my son has been alienated by friends and classmates because of his hobby. It’s unfair.

To me, it is the adults – the parents who need to help change this stigma where boys can’t comfortably enjoy something that is not the usual football or scouts.

Sadly I have seen it with my own eyes where people point at the boys at carnivals and displays (although in my son’s case it is friends who point more…), at the end of the day they are children; children who are out to entertain doing the thing that they love, the boys should never feel like they’re inadequate. There are some amazing male twirlers in the world – you’ve just got to open your eyes and see the amazing things these guys do, ignoring the rudeness.

I would rather my son pick up a baton and twirl or a set of poms and rock out to Bon Jovi; than be the mean judgemental humans out there, who think it is acceptable to ridicule someone because of their gender.

It is time to stop.

So, unless your hobby is porn or of a sexual nature, then gender should NOT have an effect on a person’s hobbies, jobs or activities.

Leave our boy twirlers, boy dancers alone.

 

Disclaimer:

I am incredibly proud of my son, of all my children. We never push them to do their hobbies, in fact sometimes it would be nice to have a Friday off (joke 😉 ), we weren’t expecting him to enjoy it so much, to still be doing it nearly 5 years on. I do ask him every now and again if he still wants to continue, and every time his answer is yes. I would never force him or any of them (I have three twirlers) to continue if they didn’t want to.

It really is a great activity, something different. He gets on with every single person on his team.

(Check out the behind the scenes post coming soon).

my cheerful list

My Cheerful List #24 Half Term.

Welcome back to My Cheerful List. February Half Term! A chance to share with you something which has made me cheerful during the week, whether it be large or small, it is important to find something good even when it feels impossible. Thank you for joining me! We have reached week 24!

February Half Term

This week off had become very welcomed, the children were beginning to get tired, catching any bugs going and just generally needed a break. We weren’t sure what the weather would be like, it really has been a little hit and miss; but it hasn’t been terrible.

 

Monday

We decided on a quiet day, my older two children were at their Dad’s; so we had snuggles at home. It was lovely not to be rushing around getting ready for work and school.

 

Tuesday

Pancake Day! We met up with a friend and her two girls; meeting at our local café to have pancakes there. They had a lot of energy between them so made to decision to take a walk at our local Nature Reserve. We’ve not been there for months it is still as lovely as ever. The girls and their friends fed the ducks, run around and burnt some energy. It was so lovely to be out. Then we had Pancakes in the evening, yummy.

 

Wednesday

The original plan was to meet with friends and visit one of our local National Trust properties, however Baby Red woke up and was incredibly clingy, which resulted in her vomiting not long after. Which meant no meeting with friends; after a sleep for a few hours she perked up but wasn’t right until much later in the day.

Wednesday was also Valentine’s Day, where my husband spoilt me as per usual; including my new Dobby mug. I am not a big fan of Valentine’s Day, so am not very good at enjoying it. Here’s why. It took me many years to like it even a little bit again. It’ll always be different.

 

Thursday

Another quiet day, I had a headache on and off, desperately hoping it wouldn’t turn into anything to put off plans for the end of the week. We attempted to sort things in the house too ready for decorating and new beds.

 

Friday

The weather was actually nice again, cold but not raining! So, we took a visit to the Nature Reserve again, this time including my older two as well. We live really close to it – we’re really lucky. It was such a lovely walk, the children enjoyed it. Fresh air makes everything seem better. Two of them had majorette training in the evening, really proud of them all to be continuing with this hobby, my son is on Panto break for a few weeks, so will return to training soon.

Little Red has found a new love in majorettes; she’s been doing it since she was three and competed once or twice that first year; then went on to have a break due to starting school and not sleeping. She really missed it, and figured she won’t sleep no matter what we do (it is getting better!), we let her re-join. Slow start but she absolutely loves it!

 

Saturday

A long-awaited trip to our local theme park – Crealy! They had a special half term offer of £10 a person; we took advantage of it and went with friends – new friends. It was a really lovely day; I hadn’t been in many years, my husband and our two younger girls have never been; my older two go regularly. So many rides, so much to do and see – we didn’t see or use it all due to time. We would definitely recommend a second visit. Crealy offers a free 6-day return if people are interested in going back again, ideal if used at the beginning of a half term.

 

Sunday

Today we are having a quiet day! Little Red is playing on the Xbox; baby Red is ‘taking notes’. I am working up to finishing the first draft of a book which I am writing. I have procrastinated far too long! This book is actually book two of a series of children’s books that I have been playing about with; I had started this one through the annual event Nanowrimo – November’s National Writing a Novel Month. I had done a big chunk of it, and then I didn’t finish it. Then I will attempt to finish the first one.

 

Here is my flash fiction post from Friday, I hope you enjoy it – Don’t Touch Me.

Not long until the next half term, two weeks at Easter.

 

 

 

Don't Touch Me

Don’t Touch Me. Flash Fiction

I have always loved people watching; for as long as I can remember they fascinate me somewhat. Going about their personal business, some walking in the same direction, but not to the same destination; strangers together. Their lives seemed busy, for whatever reason.

As I walk amongst the crowd, weaving in and out; being careful not to touch or be touched by anyone, I like to keep clean. Keeping my head down as much as I can too; I struggle with eye contact with people; it makes me feel strange – guilty perhaps. They could be having a bad day, and making eye contact would mean that I have ignored them. Simpler just to avoid; I don’t think I am noticed much anyway – I like that too. I am fairly shy and prefer to go be unnoticed; it made my day peaceful; leaving me with only a small number of jobs I am given daily, these days I like.

My job is a difficult one, it really is never easy, but one that is needed to be done. There are quite a few of us in this field, dotted around the world. We rarely interact with each other; we can work alone, when we do come together it is usually the worst kind of days, days we like to avoid. I like my own company, I think the others feel the same none of like the team working days.

My first call of the day is fairly early; it is in a house – I say the first call, I have visited here several times this week, I don’t like to arrive too quickly if I can help it, although I think it was preferred that I completed the jobs a day or so ago. But I like them to have the important things out of the way; it doesn’t make any sense to me to interrupt these.

I can’t put this off any longer.

As I stand to look at the large black wooden front door – it looks quite old – I always like to knock, but I never wait for the door to be answered. You see people don’t like me being in their homes, I try desperately to not be made aware of – most of the time these people know that I am coming.

As I enter the house, I remove a small bottle from my pocket, placing a drop of the gloopy liquid from inside onto my hands and rubbed them together; I like to remain clean all the time, hence why I am not overly keen on being touched, amongst other reasons. I can hear voices from the rooms upstairs, everywhere else seemed cold and empty.

I begin to slowly climb the stairs, a voice shouted over me to whoever was downstairs, within seconds they were running past me, I made sure that nobody touched me or that I got in their way. Reaching the top I took a breath. “This part never gets easier.” I sighed to myself. Slowing my pace as I edged closer to the door at the end of the hallway. It was a long one, passing several dark doors as I walked.

It seemed so small, but there were many people in there, not a lot of space to move. Politely but quietly I said “Excuse me”, as I tried to get by. I can’t be sure they really heard, I never know if I ever get heard.

A path naturally cleared for me; I continue to be careful not to be touched too much, and where my hands placed, for a moment I was able to reach for my tiny bottle again; can’t be too clean. In front of me a bed with an elderly gentleman lying under his covers, he appeared to be sleeping; he obviously wasn’t well. Above the voices which were filling the room, I could hear his laboured breathing and the soft beating of his heart. I continued closer to him; I do hope I can help him.

I crouched down close to his ear.

“I’m here for you.”

Whilst I placed my hand upon his chest, I could instantly feel the final rise and fall as he took his final breath; my hand rested next to those who love him. Carefully sliding my hand away, I stepped back to ensure nobody could sense my being there, I certainly didn’t want contact with them in any way – it wouldn’t be the first time.

The paperwork I need to fill, identities I need to check most of the others who work the same as me use modern technology but I still prefer book and pencil. This one was pretty standard. As hard as they are I like these jobs. I can begin my journey to my next destination.

The cries of sadness trail behind me, I am used to that noise now – well almost.

I didn’t have another in the area, so I made my way to my car. I managed to drive a little way, traffic was building up, the three lanes were filling up. It was then I noticed other members of my team dotted around the queuing traffic, we made eye contact and I knew this wasn’t the end of my day.

The man in the car next to me looked across, he smiled. They usually do.

Seconds later a large tanker ploughed into the car next to me and into others. My quiet day had now ended.

my cheerful list

My Cheerful List #23

 

Welcome back to My Cheerful List. A chance to share with you something which has made me cheerful during the week, whether it be large or small, it is important to find something good even when it feels impossible. Thank you for joining me! We have reached week 22!

 

Support Group

Just under two years ago, I took the plunge and set up a face to face support group for pregnancy and infant loss; it has been a slow start, and at times I wondered what I was doing. But more recently people have been coming and I am really proud of what it is achieving. In a selfish point of view has made me feel less alone. I am so pleased I didn’t give it up. I have so much more I want to do, but it really is a case of one very slow step at a time; with a hint of frustration of not getting the things I want to get done quicker! Overactive mind I guess. Any, I am so proud of this little group.

 

Mumble

This month’s group I invited a local businesswoman, she does embroidery amongst other things. I asked her for a very special bear; one with our daughter’s name on. They’re so amazing; we will get one each for them all. They are incredibly soft too. Yes, we are very happy with our new special bear.

Mumble Memory Bear

 

Grants

The group – Little Daffodils I run was included in our local carnival grants, so I had to go and collect the cheque along with a cheque for the majorettes with some of the committee team. I hate public speaking, I get all shaky and stutter – it seems to NEVER get easier!! We did have a lovely time, and turned it into a bit of a social gathering too.

Fundraising

It was the majorette bingo this week, as always a lot of fun. We had a good team and my daughter even won some Quality Street sweets which she was super excited about.

 

Mum’s Cheerful Day Out

Every couple of months my friend and I go and spend a few hours together without the children. We went to a New to You Sale; we then went for a light lunch. It was just lovely, dare I say it a little too peaceful! I managed to get my almost 5 year old a bag full of dresses and my son an outfit for just under £20. Nothing wrong with them, just preloved, she certainly loves them.

 

What a better week, looking forward to the half term break now, will see what it’ll bring.

January 2018 Favourites

The first month of 2018 is over, it has been a slow, wet and miserable one; with lots of thoughts to the Spring and the Summer! They seem so far away. Here are my January favourites.

In Sickness and In Health

We have certainly pushed these vows quite hard this month; poorly stomachs, anxieties; my husband continually suffering from his leg ulcer and a bout of tonsillitis in the mix too! It has not been a fun start to the year. I really hope it will only get better. I don’t have the patience to be poorly.

New Diet

I made the decision to cut meat from my diet; I used to be a vegetarian but when I was pregnant I craved real meaty spaghetti bolognese; so I ended up returning to eating meat. I have never really been a big meat eater; would rarely venture aware from Chicken. So I decided to remove it altogether. Initially it was just for January but as we have reached the end, I now think this will be a new permanent thing. I don’t miss it at all! I hope by switching to a healthier lifestyle I will feel better and continue that way too.

Favourite Vegetarian Food This Month

Linda McCartney’s Meat-Free Roast; served as a roast with veg, very yummy!

Snacks would be celery and houmous.

Don’t get me wrong it hasn’t all been lettuce leaves and tomatoes, but a calorie counted in WHITE KitKat had to be allowed somewhere!

 

January Weigh-In

With the new diet in mind, of course being under the weather, plus taking on extra hours, it has all been a contributing factor to losing a little bit. I am not a big fan of the big companies where you pay for the privilege to lose weight, so I calorie count, introduce smaller portions, cut out the crap and drink more water – or at least drink less caffeine too.

This month I have lost 3.5kg which is: 7.7lb.

I am happy with that; it is a loss and not a gain.

 

Birthday Boys.

Who thought it would be a good idea to have a birthday in January?! Well, both my husband and my son’s birthdays are in January! I kind of feel sorry for them having it so close to Christmas; I know they’re not comparable to those who do have them in December, but it is still too close!

My boy’s birthday was the first out of the two. The up-side to having the January birthdays is if you missed something at Christmas, you can use their birthday as a back-up! His birthday haul included Minecraft Stories Xbox 360 game. Am I the only one who simply does not get Minecraft? Even less the part where they watch other people on YouTube do it?! Maybe I am just getting old.

A dressing gown, books and a stunt scooter; which he absolutely loves so far!

We took him and a friend out for Bowling; they had a brilliant time.

Five days later, it was my husband’s turn. Check out his haul here – plus his weight-loss journey; he is doing amazingly.

 

January’s Blog Posts – My favourites.

I am trying desperately to find my mojo again, so attempting to continue to blog regularly AND keep up with it.

This month I started Flash Fiction Friday; which has so far gone really well. I have also shared a couple of one-off pieces too.

Take a look!

The Fall of Terra

National Kiss a Ginger Day

Working Mum vs Stay at Home Mum

 

I also have written on my other blog too

Please Bear With Me.

 

I hope the start of 2018 been a decent start for you all.

Thank you for reading and sticking around.

Don’t forget My Cheerful List runs every Sunday and Flash Fiction each Friday.

Fiction Friday. A Prologue Snippet.

This is an excerpt from some Fiction that I am currently working on. 

Every morning as dawn broke the Church doors would unlock and Amy would take a walk in and around the church grounds; she’d look at the headstones, there were a few new ones; but mainly old and now lost and forgotten. Many thoughts crossed her mind,  even those of wonder –  whether this would soon become her final resting place; wondering if she would even get a headstone and if her unborn baby would be with her.    Amy had even envisaged a burial plot; under a pretty little tree that she imagined would blossom during the summer months; sprinkling petals over her abandoned grave in years to come.

She continued to gently walk aimlessly.   She began to talk a little to her delicate bulging stomach, this would be the only conversation she would have. A cold chill swirled around her;  it was then she decided to go back inside the church; where once again the doors would close magically behind her.

The frail old woman hurriedly approached her; where she became forceful with Amy; almost seemed frustrated with her. Forcefully holding her by the arms while she placed her hand hard onto Amy’s growing stomach, she muttered something quickly and quietly; which sounded like a chant or a spell; willing the birth of the unborn baby quicker.   She ripped her hand away. Amy stepped away quickly; wrapping her arms around her stomach for protection for her unborn child. Frowning at the woman; confused by her new hostile behaviour.

Outside, a blizzard was looming; heavy snow hit the stained glass windows of the church, Amy silently but quickly made her way to the big Oak doors, they hadn’t yet been bolted from her walk outside; she had only assumed she had now outstayed her welcome with Cora the person she had looked to as an angel that had taken care of her these last weeks.   But as she neared them the bolts pulled themselves across to lock the door.   Amy hadn’t noticed that the elderly woman was right behind her; ready to pull Amy away from the door, with some surprising force, to stop the teen from escaping.

She pushed Amy to the floor.   Shocked and frightened she slowly got to her feet; looked at her attacker then looked around. She was looking for some kind of exit and she noticed a little oak door to the side of her; maybe this could be her door…   She pushed, pulled, even kicked it; while tugged at the dirty brass doorknob; with no movement; it was very old and locked.    Cora followed the 14-year old’s every move, every footstep-like a shadow.  She again grabbed Amy with force by her arm.

Pulling her close, she placed her hand tightly onto Amy’s large pregnant stomach; she let out a horrified and painful gasp while tearing herself away from the cold elderly hands, replacing them with her own warm hands, protecting her unborn child.  Cora disappeared.

Amy took the opportunity to try and escape again through the old side door, “Surely there is a way to get out of here?” She muttered to herself. Amy once again kicked and punched the door.  She could see movement out of the corner of her eye, Amy turned to see the not so frail Cora slowly walking effortlessly towards her – as if she was gliding- carrying something in her arms.

Amy began to panic throwing bibles, prayer mats and iron candlestick holders at the woman; all of which missed her.  When Amy failed to hit the woman in self-defence, she began throwing the objects at the ancient church stained glass windows in the hope it could be her escape route; or the very least a passerby would hear. She finally smashed a window; one of which had the beautiful Virgin Mary mastered in to.  This angered the woman; she quickened her pace toward the terrified pregnant girl.

The elderly woman carried a bowl of warm water and fabric – possibly old curtains.  Amy concentrated harder on her escape she wasn’t quite tall enough to reach the window she had smashed; for a moment she couldn’t see Cora. The hood of her cloak now rested on her shoulders. Thick, unkempt, white hair down to her shoulder blades.

Cora was able to creep right up behind Amy, pulling her with force off the pew she was standing on to attempt her escape; she hit the floor, hard.  Cora grabbed Amy by a handful of hair; dragging her whilst she kicked. Cora came across a frail, elderly lady; but the truth was she had utter strength behind her. Amy yelled in pain toward the open space at the altar.

Amy silenced herself with fear, now lying on the cold stone floor, too scared to move.  Cora stood over her as she forcefully pulled Amy’s legs to buckle beneath her.  Amy attempted to stop her by kicking which only made Cora angry; making the grip tighter, with that unbelievable strength.  With her long thin pointy fingers, she placed them deep beneath Amy’s tatty long skirt…

It all happened so fast; Cora stood up and took a step back watching as pain ripped through Amy’s tiny teenage body.  Water surrounded the girl making it too slippery for her to stand.  There were waves of pain which paralysed her; all the while she still tried to protect her unborn baby with nothing but just her arms.  Amy thoughts were only to her death, she knew she was about to die, no one would know or even care. Not even her family, she was dead to them, the moment she discovered her pregnancy.  She tried to stand, but could only kneel; she was desperate for the pain to disappear.  Cora continued to stand close, arms folded with no emotion or word to say; she pulled Amy to her feet dragging her a short space to the font; where she submerged the girl’s head into the clear water…

Fiction

Source: Tumblr

My Cheerful List #20

Welcome back to My Cheerful List. A chance to share with you something which has made me cheerful during the week, whether it be large or small, it is important to find something good even when it feels impossible. Thank you for joining me! We have reached week 20!

The Impossible

So, I have found that first “impossible week,” where I am struggling to find something cheerful during my week. It has felt quite the opposite if I am honest. I have been absolutely exhausted this week; with no signs of it getting much better. Both my mind and my body shattered; which led to full body aches and pains; and as I write this I am currently suffering from tonsillitis; with Friday just gone being the worst affected – which made me feel guilty with it being my lovely husband’s birthday.

I know nobody enjoys being ill, but I hate it and constantly counting down to when I should be better again; then it frustrates me when I don’t.

 

Work

I have done extra shifts this week, and have repeated volunteering at the school too; which is lovely. I have now been given a regular set of children I get to work with. I am trying to get used to them all calling out “Mrs S…” when I arrive. It is amazing!

 

Nurses Appointment

I had an appointment with the nurse this week; not one for visiting the doctors or surgery; I try to avoid if I can help it. But I had a long overdue smear test appointment; I knew I needed to get it done. I suffer from health anxiety – it is horrible, it puts me on edge a lot; so it hasn’t been the procedure that has out me off, it is the outcome. Obviously, I now have that wait for the results; I just have to hope that they are okay.

I walked in; she asked why I hadn’t been in for a while for my smear, then I began to cry. Everything came pouring out from the health anxiety, how it stems from losing M. She listened – for the first time in a long time, I actually felt like my words were being heard. She explained how what I am going through is a form of PTSD. I need to try and take care of myself. There were some other things said, which my husband and I need to talk over, it just felt nice to be spoken to and listened to in a sensitive manner, having lost all faith in the support system. It felt comforting.

 

Cheerful

As I said above it hasn’t been an overly cheerful week; but I am incredibly lucky to have my family, they somehow always find a way to make me feel cheerful. My son enjoyed his new scooter – a belated birthday present. The husband seemed to enjoy his birthday presents too.

My eldest daughter had a parents evening this week; it was very positive. She has chosen her G.C.S.E subjects; which he will begin in September.

So, even when the week has mostly been rubbish. I have managed to find something cheerful this week.

 

I have some posts which went live this week here they are in case you missed them.

Working Mum and Stay At Home Mum

Flash Fiction Friday –This one I had an amazing response to; which has now given me some ideas.

 

And I revived from Melody and Me as it appeared on my Time Hop

What Day Would You Want To Live Again?

Have a good week.

Working Mum And Stay At Home Mum

Early Jobs

I have always loved working. I’d had Saturday and weekend jobs as a teen; the thrill of your first wage packet, then each one afterwards.
I’ve moaned about different days at work, had tears of sadness and of course the laughter.
My weekend jobs consisted of hairdressing salons, a residential home or photography, the last one I loved!! (I wish I had pursued it).
I left school wanting to be a hairdresser, but quickly realised my mistake and went for a job in the care industry.
There I stayed for many, many years. I switched from different employers but always within the same industry.
From a small residential home to a cottage hospital; to care at home, to a much bigger hospital. I had always loved working.

 

Having Babies and Maternity

When I went onto Maternity and had babies there were moments where I thought about not returning to work, how I’d miss them, the dread of missing out on all their important moments. But once I had returned I’d always liked it and there was never any question I’d be a stay at home mum. At the time we were lucky to fit child care in with family and friends; it worked well. It felt important to me to keep some kind of social aspect outside of being a Mum. The balance felt right.

 

Changes

I ended up losing my job at the bigger hospital; I was devastated – but I came to other opportunities and was able to experience other things as an agency; and found it even easier to balance home and work life. Things at home then changed; I fell pregnant again, then I wrote my car off (not my fault), I became ill with the pregnancy condition Hyperemesis which saw me having to give up work, or at least take maternity a lot earlier than planned. Luckily for me, these employers were really accommodating to this. When our much-loved baby didn’t make it home; it left me feeling incredibly confused about everything I had ever done since beginning my working life – literally everything changed.

It didn’t take me long to decide that I could not return to doing care work; I told my employers and they told me I could go back anytime. But I knew I wouldn’t be able to.

 

Staying At Home

With the aftermath and a new pregnancy I didn’t return to any work; I became a stay at home Mum; not only did I have the hyperemesis again; but of course there was no way I could face it; particularly when I knew I would be starting something brand new –  I had no clue what.

I remained a stay at home Mum for three years; we had two babies in that time; I did do the occasional freelance work here and there; but nothing on the scale of making “real” money.

Being a Mummy after an Infant Loss.

It has been wonderful being able to stay at home with them, make memories, do more things with them; not rushing through life. I was able to do more baby groups with baby number 4 and for a short while with baby number 5.

Being a parent after loss certainly changes you; your perspective on life and what is important – but the ugly side was being too scared to leave them with anyone else; too scared to miss out on a moment, even a second of their life; it can be incredibly suffocating and very isolating; which in turn led me to make a new decision.

 

Working

In 2015, when our youngest turned 4 months old (the same age my eldest was when I returned to work with her); an opening came at the school my children attend; it was to only be an hour and a half a week; but I felt it was an hour and a half of being me again. It wasn’t about escaping the baby or not wanting to be around her; but I really and maybe even selfishly wanted some time to myself, and that was to go to work, even if it was only a very short period per week.

I love it. Working with children is not something I ever imagined doing as a job, but now I can’t imagine doing anything else. Well apart from writing full time!! I have increased my hours; it hasn’t been easy to arrange child care; family members aren’t always available and childcare comes at a price. But we have sussed it and it is working well. I love this little part-time job.

It gives me that little break away from the house; a chance for me to miss them, a chance for them (her) to miss me. It works out really well.

 

Stigmas

Having been both sides of the coin, a stay at home mum and a working mum; the opinions of others really do show through. How society thinks parents – more so mothers should be with work life, how the government also sees parents too.

Stay at Home Mums in particular get a lot of stick for being home; often the case is like ours where the husband goes out while Mum stays at home –  we were okay with that; but I felt embarrassed (not for anyone else, but me personally), because I wasn’t working, leaving the children for someone else to look after. I felt like I would be judged for not going to work. My mother in law was incredibly supportive of it, and felt that all Mums should have the option to stay at home should they wish, with no repercussions financially or from society. Some families simply can’t afford the childcare – like us.

Working Mums don’t escape the judgement either, through forums or hearing people talk about how these Mums spend no time with the children they choose to have. Some Mums don’t have the financial choice to stay at home; the need to live and support using both parents is greater at times than those wanting to stay home and look after their child; this too is us.

Sometimes it feels like a lose-lose battle.

 

Parenting

As parents we really are doing the best we can, whether that means a parent staying at home either through love or because finances need or allow them to; or going to work because staying at home would cost families a home and food.

I have really enjoyed being back to work; I found myself lost and at times incredibly lonely being at home. Not working meant there wouldn’t be many outings or Mums coffee mornings, because of having little or no money. As much as I love my children; I love being able to do nicer things with them, take them places and above all.

Keep my sanity!

Working and home balance

Because parenting is bloody hard work; judgement or not. There’s nothing easy about it – but it is incredibly rewarding.

My Cheerful List #19

Welcome back to My Cheerful List. A chance to share with you something which has made me cheerful during the week, whether it be large or small, it is important to find something good even when it feels impossible. Thank you for joining me! We have reached week 19.

 

New Term

The children returned to school this week; I always feel a little hint of sadness when they return; due to missing them. They drive me nuts a lot of the time but love it when they are all home. I guess I do cheat a little by seeing them whilst I work.

 

Back To Work

I love my job, working with children is something I never imagined myself doing, yet I am going into my 3rd year of working there. It is lovely for the social/adult interaction too; which I think we can all benefit from time to time – providing they’re your right kind of people! I began doing volunteering this week; going in to help the children read. It was amazing, such a privilege to be working with them.

 

Baby Red

It has been lovely to have some one to ones with the littlest this week. She is such a Mummy’s girl, and times she can be really hard work as she really only ever wants me; which brings me to one of my favourite moments of the week, where she was in the bath and I decided to join her; her face lit up. She used to love Mummy and baby baths when she was months old.

 

Bowling

bowling.

As a birthday treat for my son, we decided to take him and a friend to bowling; along with my Mother In Law. They all had an amazing time and loved every minute. With a McDonald’s for afterwards. We don’t do bowling nearly enough, Baby wasn’t overly keen, but she did enjoy watching and was well behaved.

 

A Cheerful Birthday Boy

My son turns 10 today. These years have gone so quickly; doesn’t seem long ago that he was having Mummy and baby bath times and cuddles. My only boy, he does get picked on a fair bit with so many girls in the house, but he also gets mothered by them at times too. He is such a gentleman and a sensitive little chap. I am very proud to be his Mum.

 

I managed some other posts this week.

If you fancy a read here are the links

National Kiss a Ginger Day

Fiction Friday – Ruins

 

Thank you for reading I hope you have had a good week.

 

Mrs S

xx

Flash Fiction – Ruins

Walking through a red-bricked building, a building I recognised but I couldn’t quite grasp what it was. I knew where I was but I felt lost. As I walked around with my husband, it soon became apparent I was at the hospital. Corridors, there were doors everywhere. They still didn’t look completely recognisable.
We could hear a baby crying, it wasn’t a loud cry, all of the doors we tried were locked or had nothing behind them.
The cry remained at the same volume no matter which direction we stood, where we walked the crying followed.
We found an unlocked door leading to a room full of incubators.
The door behind us slammed shut, we tried the door but it had locked too. Leaving us trapped in the room.
The incubators were empty.

The cot cards all said her name, but there were nurses to each incubator, tending to an empty plastic box. It was confusing. Nurses looked at us, pity eyes. Heads were shaking. Yet nobody moved from their spot. Another door at the other side of the room was slightly open.
Heads down we made a run for it.
The door led to the outside, open air.
But it wasn’t what we were expecting.
As we turned to look at the building, it was a crumbling ruin. Nothing seemed in one piece, rubble replaced the corridors we had not long left behind.
The door we’d used was the only thing that remained standing.
Incubators smashed on the floor, cot cards were strewn from the wind.
There was no explosion, no earthquake.
This thing happened; nothing was the same as it was five minutes ago.

We tried to run, but the rubble was surrounded by metal fences, high with barbed wire circling the top.
The further we went the more fences appeared. It was never-ending.
The building seemed a distance away, the crying baby remained.
No matter how we tried there was no escaping.
We were stuck.
We fell to the floor, heavy with defeat, the night sky drew in.
Our eyes closed, simply because there was nothing else for them to do.

When we woke, the sky was grey but bright. The rubble and fences were still there, but the ruin looked somewhat beautiful.
Daffodils stood in front of the door, they’d also replaced the broken incubators.
Everything was the same but different too.
Escaping was still not an option.
I wake up.

Last week’s fiction if you missed it