SIBLINGS IN DECEMBER

Siblings in December

I can’t believe that it’s the end of another year.  So much has happened this year.  My Siblings posts aren’t yet on this blog… I’m really pleased that I started this new blog this year.  It’s nowhere near where I want it to be, it needs so much doing to it, organising and posts moving across but for now I am enjoying remembering why I love blogging, vlogging and my passion for photography.  I’ve posted a lot of these pictures already on our our Ordinary Moments post but they are the best ones of my Siblings this month and they completely sum up December for me.

I LOVE this project and I am so excited for next year.  I love watching how their little relationships improve.  How their dynamic changes.  The fact that Eden had to be held in the siblings shoots at the beginning of the year and now she potters around in her own little way and we have to hope against hope that we can capture a lovely shot of her that isn’t blurry from her superfast movements.  It is so difficult to capture them all together, and I know that the girls must get bored posing but they are so good at it.  They patiently put up with all the posing waiting for the toddlers to be at least a bit involved so that I can say we’re done.

I’m also excited to see how my photography improves with my university input.  I feel that I’m learning so much and I have such a long way to go.  It’s great to see the differences as I learn my way around my camera more.

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I am so grateful to Lucy for starting these beautiful photography projects that remind us to take stock each month and capture the moments that disappear so quickly before our eyes.  The Siblings project is definitely one of my favourite.

We look forward to continuing in 2016.

THE DIARY OF A WORKING MUM {PART TWO}

Wrestling my thoughts.

Attending interviews half way through my maternity leave is not something I ever envisaged myself doing. I had been out of the ‘work loop’ for nearly 5 months and my employers were under an obligation to ‘redeploy’ me in a role they saw fit unless I agreed to take redundancy. Each week I was sent a list of vacant posts that were deemed suitable to my skill-set, and it was up to me which I applied for. I would automatically be granted an interview which took a lot of the stress out of my predicament, but it turns out that the stress surrounding this new job search would come from other sources, ones which were much closer to home.
Having a baby is life-changing. I don’t need to tell mothers out there that. But having a premature baby is heart-wrenching also and I promised myself I would always put Martha first, come what may.  When she was born I made a vow to never cry in front of her. I wanted her to think that the world was perfect, to never experience heart-ache, to never think that her mum was weak, and to always be happy. It’s like an over compensation that I needed to create this perfect world for her because I felt I had let her down; that my body had failed to sustain her during pregnancy and I owed it to her to make things right. Absolutely unrealistic promises to fulfil, and ones which I now know were ridiculous to have ever made.
It’s right that she sees my struggles, she sees my tears, she sees my frustrations, my joys my laughter all in Martha sized doses obviously, because that is what life is. It’s happy and it’s hard. We struggle so much with our conflicting emotions as mums, always trying to do our best and walking that fine line between being fabulously successful and a complete and utter failure. All or nothing. As a new mum, I needed constant affirmation from my peers and loved ones that I was doing a good job, that I
was a good mum, and that the difficult choices I was making, were the right ones. When you become a mum, you get a newfound respect for your own mum. They are the ‘go to’ person who can give you the best advice in your new parenting role, yet they can also cuddle you as their child when you are struggling. What I didn’t expect was that they are also the ones who can deliver the hardest blows; the curveballs that knock you sideways, and their differing opinions are the ones that hurt the most because they matter to you. They really matter.
I need to say that I love my mum so much. Those who know me know this. She was there at Martha’s birth and she is a brilliant parent, friend and Narny (the word for Grandma in our family). But she is one of those women who feels compelled to share her thoughts and opinions on pretty much everything anyone is doing, regardless of the impact that might have on them. She comes from the generation of ‘stay at home mums’ when, once you had a baby, there was no question of going back to work, certainly not within the first 5 years of the child’s life, if indeed ever again. She made cakes, she cooked tea, she cleaned, she ironed, she walked us in our prams, she always wore a skirt, tights and a nice blouse, and she created a fantastic childhood for all her three children. But she cried a lot, and she suffered from crippling postnatal depression after my brother Mark was born. Her tears used to distress me so much when I was little and the endless months she spent in her bedroom after Mark was born frightened me.
Now I’m not saying that the fact she was a stay at home mum caused her to be depressed, nor am I using it as the reason I went back to work- to avoid being depressed –
I’m just stating that what we witness as children influences how we try to be as parents ourselves (for example me trying never to cry in front of Martha stemmed from seeing my mums tears and how that made me feel). My Mum did absolutely the best she could with the hand she was dealt and ​now I had to find my best. Make the decisions best for my family, which may be completely different for your family and the next and the next. Because every situation is different. My mum’s situation
was different to mine, and mine is different to yours. We need to feel really strong in our personal decision making because the tiniest objection can knock us off our already fragile feet if we aren’t steadfast. As a new parent, I grew increasingly reliant on my mum’s approval to the point where if she objected to anything I was doing, I was sent into a tailspin. That’s not her fault, it’s because I wasn’t strong enough to stand up and own my decision.  Sharing my thought’s with my Mum on my work situation whilst on Mat Leave made me question so many times whether or not I was doing the right thing by going back. What I saw as loaded questions kept creeping in such as ‘Do you have to?’ ‘Won’t you miss her?’ ‘I’d take the redundancy’ ‘you don’t get this time back you know? and such like, all of which made me feel terrible. I know new mums are particularly hard on themselves and if it was anyone else, I’d have answered calmly and certainly and thought no more of it. But this was my mum. She must know best. And her questions were translated in my mind to the following; What was she trying to say? That I was a crap mum for going back to work? Especially because Martha was prem? How could I even think about abandoning her? Why had I had a child just for someone else to take care of her? My confidence was waning with every distorted question.
This was going to be a lot tougher than I thought. And if I was going to do what I knew my heart and head were telling me to do, I was going to have to toughen up; be defiant in the decisions Nick and I had made for our family and stop listening so much to other people. More importantly to stop measuring myself against other people’s expectations. I owed it to Martha to be the best Mum I could be, and that meant finding a way for me to be at peace with the choices I made regardless of what people thought. Realising this was a turning point for me and one which put a new spring in my step, a confident spring.
By June, I had secured a new post with The Council as a Freedom of Information and Data Protection Officer. I had enrolled Martha in a lovely nursery part time in the village of Blackrod; an old grammar school which was Forest School accredited meaning that the children were encouraged to learn outdoors, something important to us as at the time we were living in a flat with no garden.  October was looming and as the seasons changed, our routine was about to change with it. I have always loved Autumn. There’s something magical about the leaves crisp under your feet, the bite in the air, the early evening street lights and the home fires burning. It reminds me of going back to school after the summer break, wearing new shoes, with a new coat and a pencil case, a new teacher, new text books… A new beginning. A new mum with a new job.
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Let's Talk Mommy

THE DAY I FAILED MY FAMILY

The Day I Failed My Family

Ok, so I may be being slightly melodramatic but yesterday I arrived home from university and sobbed so hard it was like someone had died.  I really did feel as though I had failed my family.  Being a busy working Mum and student Mum is not an easy task.  I am so grateful for all of the opportunities that life throws my way but I am tired a lot of the time and I don’t always get to do the things with the children that I was able to do when I wasn’t working, and also before university began this September.

The girls Mum mentioned last week to me that Isis had complained she was bored at our house and that they always had to leave me alone.  Now I know that this isn’t actually true mostly and it was said to hurt me, Isis would’ve text her Mum as a flyaway comment on the one off day that this was true (in the summer when I had worked three nights in a row, I remember the weekend).  Isis was horrified that this was said to me, she didn’t deny it all, she just explained that it had been taken completely out of context.  She told me that she understands that I work nights to pay for their extra curricula’s and she loves being at our home.

Now I know that this is definitely more true of a scenario because I can tell when they are unhappy, I know the days when they are going stir crazy and we need to get them out of the house.  They have been very tolerant with my lack-lustre energy now that I work four nights a week, but they also understand why it’s the case.  Now the babies don’t have this understanding yet.  Judah’s behaviour has changed recently.  My little boy that was always (ok more like 95%, he is a toddler) so good, well mannered, sweet, has begun shouting, screaming, dragging his baby sister around with no regard for how it may affect her and I can see that he is desperate for our attention.

He has had our attention completely ever since he was born.  I was self-employed teaching at home, he would have James to watch him and play with him when I was in lessons.  If I was ever really unwell, he would go to my Mum who would give him her undivided attention.  We then had an au pair when I was struggling to keep on top of things so that he could have her undivided attention if I needed to get on with anything else.  He has been spoilt for attention and now he is at pre-school.  He loves it, don’t get me wrong he absolutely loves it, and it was EXACTLY what he needed.  He loves playing with all the toys, he comes home constantly singing the songs that he learns.  He’s usually wet through as he’s been allowed to just play with the water tray and trash his clothes, something I don’t really do much at home, unless it’s the summer months and even then it’s about space, there isn’t much room to sit outside and watch him play in our little garden at the moment.

Eden has been going to a friends whilst I’ve been at uni, she’s probably had the biggest change to be honest, but she is with a dear friend who I would trust with my life, who has two little children and Eden has not been missing out.  She’s been having a lovely time and playing with the older children when they’re not at pre-school and school.  It’s like she has another little family that she hangs out with.  I know that she misses me, but she’s also going through that independent stage, so really as far as Eden’s concerned the timing couldn’t have been better.  Had I been putting her into a nursery yet, it may have been different, but as it stands she loves going to my friends, and Tanya does a lot with her.  She’s always had a lovely day and is happy to see me when I (or James) collect her.

Ok, now I’ve lengthily set the scene, let me tell you about yesterday.  Yesterday I was at university in the morning for two lectures.  I then have a HUGE gap of 5 hours before I have a meeting as I am the Online Editor of the university newspaper (‘Pluto’ – furthest from The Sun).  When I’m exhausted from working nights I will sometimes go home and have a nap in that gap, but if I have the energy I try and stay at university and use that time to get some work done that needs doing.  Work for my blog, work for uni, work for the newspaper, there is ALWAYS something to do.  Yesterday with it being half-term and Judah’s pre-school being closed James had booked in some working from home days to be with the babies until I finished lectures.  He told me to stay at uni and get whatever done that I needed to.

Then everything changed, Eden was unwell so I booked her a GP appointment for in the afternoon.  She’d had a rotten cough and cold, but now her little voice had changed and I was worried it had become an infection.  James text me saying that he had to call in work and tell them he couldn’t work as he was sick.  I knew that he must feel really unwell to not even be able to answer the phone at home.  I told him I would come straight home after lectures and forget my meeting.  He told me that he was ok, he could cope, he was snuggled up on the sofa and the babies were happy playing in their play area (we have like an open plan play room that is part of the lounge downstairs) and watching TV.

So, I had my uneventful day, with technical issues and technology failures I really didn’t get much done.  In FIVE HOURS I really didn’t get much done.  Then I attended the meeting I needed to, and we didn’t really discuss anything.  Don’t get me wrong, I learned something, we were learning how to use the software that we print the newspaper in, but this is something I could’ve figured out at home.  James came to collect me, and then I saw how bad things were:

I got in the driver’s seat to drive home as I could see he’d literally brought a sick bucket with him.

We got home and Eden was so unwell, she’d been diagnosed with a viral wheeze? whatever that means.  She’d been given a teeny inhaler and spacer and James was too unwell to have thought to give her some already.  She was crying (and it sounded awful as she could barely make a sound), wheezing, all snotty, pushing me away because it’s like she doesn’t want to be comforted by me anymore, as I’m now the care giver that sees her the least.  I just held my crying baby in my arms as she fought me comforting her, and I sobbed.  I broke down and sobbed.  James had gone off to be sick in the upstairs bathroom.  I felt absolutely HORRENDOUS.  What had I been doing all day?  My family desperately needed me and I’d been faffing around with computers all day.

I opened Eden’s new inhaler and spacer and gave it to her.  I undressed her (with a lot of resistance) and put her in some comfy pyjamas and just cuddled her.  I cradled her in my arms, put some olbas oil on her clothes and watched as when James carried her out of my arms to bed, she instantly calmed.  I knew she felt better after we gave her some medicine, but she really settled once she was in her Dad’s arms.

My Mum text me asking how my day was, I wanted to tell her but I knew that what I’d get back wouldn’t comfort me, but be more like an ‘I told you so’ as she thinks that I should be at home with the babies until they go to school.  ‘They’re only little for a short time’.  And she’s right but James and I have made some decisions for our family that we felt were best.  Days like yesterday make it hard to believe that they are for the best.  I wanted to just throw everything in, I felt like an absolute failure as a wife and mother but the reality is, this was a one off.  This was James trying to “support” me in my studies and refusing my help as I offered many times throughout the day to come home.  I should’ve known to ignore his dismissive nature and go home anyway, but I didn’t.  I let them all down.  It may have just been one day, but has definitely made me rethink things.

I had some brilliant advice from a friend when I was mid melt down and I’m putting it out here for anyone else who feels like me :

‘Seriously Alex, that is absolutely normal. It’s natural that you want to protect them from life’s bumps in the road but real life isn’t plain sailing. We have been through some monumental struggles where you question everything, every decision, every disagreement and the things you do to make your family better can often disrupt their behaviour. Don’t forget that Eden and Judah have had your attention for most of their lives so far so of course they are playing up a bit when that changes. James too needs to find his new place in it all. But I honestly believe that the uncomfortable moments are a time for growth and without them, nothing would grow. Nobody likes change but when we push through change it makes us a bit more rounded. If you are really worried, I’d urge you to revisit what you are feeling right now in exactly one month. If it’s the same, then maybe change again. Adjustments are never easy and you are all going through adjustment at the moment. Let it settle before you change it if that’s what is needed. There is no shame in changing your mind about decisions you have made, but there is also nothing wrong with carrying on and finding a new normal that, although painful at first, helps your children to be independent of you. That’s what a mums job is….to equip them.’

These were such wise words and exactly what I needed to hear.  I hope this transparent, bare all post helps someone else to feel better about decisions they have made in their lives.

+Rehab London Male Skincare Routine {Review}

 

rehab-thumbnail-1024x593The wonderful people at +Rehab London (click here to check them out) heard of my husbands extremely sensitive skin and decided to rise to the challenge and send some products for us to review.  My husband suffers with Rosacea on his cheeks and nose area and also Psoriasis at the base of his hairline due to his scalp.  Usually the only products that he is able to use are medicated and prescribed from the GP.  Being able to use anything other than those was a distant dream really.  Definitely, he would never think to find anything more specific than a medicated wash and some soothing gel that are on repeat prescription.

I don’t want to write this review for my husband really as the real review has been captured in his words and by the video camera.  I will summarise though as I myself was so impressed.

James very rarely shaves, it’s extra irritation that he just can’t be bothered with.  When he does he dry shaves with a clipper so never really achieves a close shave which would be better for his work life on those days he needs to attend court.  When he does try and shave closely he usually is full of red patches and cuts as his skin is just so sensitive.  Enter the ‘Argan Oil Shaving Gel‘ that +Rehab London sent to us, it really did work wonders.  You can see James’ shocked reaction as he runs the razor through smoothly first time.

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James would definitely never dare try an exfoliator unless it was prescribed, well, saying that, he once did because I suggested it may help, before he had a diagnosis from a facialist and GP, it didn’t have great results – oops!  The ‘Scrub Up Daily Detox‘ was brilliant, he said his skin felt smooth afterwards and refreshed, there was absolutely NO redness.  I’m not being dramatic here, this feels like nothing short of a miracle after seeing how sensitive his skin is and how it flares up to everything.

With the ‘Calm Balm‘, ‘Shine Free‘ and ‘Revive Survive‘ I wasn’t expecting such negative reactions, but even still I was pleasantly surprised.  James was really impressed and he’s kept up the regime for the past two days post review, which is extremely unlike his dyspraxic self so he must’ve decided it works well and like the results or he just simply would not bother.

As his wife I am just so pleased that he felt pampered, that these luxury products are compelling him to keep up with a skin regime that makes him feel nice and more confident about himself, although he probably wouldn’t admit that, as to him they’re just ‘beauty products’ but I think the guys and gals at Rehab London may have made a convert out of him.  I also have to point out that they smell delicious, his skin feels so smooth, and it makes kisses and cuddles even more special if that’s possible *winks*.

Don’t take my word for it though, please watch James’ Review on our YouTube channel or by pressing play below.

These products are certainly not cheap, but they are also extremely affordable for what they are, ranging from just under £10 to around £20 per item.  We’re yet to see how long they will last, but with the easy pump on the moisturisers it’s likely to not get spilled or overused so we’ll be expecting at least 4 months from those and maybe need to replenish the scrub before then.

Children in Bikinis : Yay or Nay?

children in bikini, little girl, bikini, beach, imeverymum, parent blogger, style, fashion, Monsoon, turquoise, beach, sea, waves

Since becoming a Mum I have always been quite anti children in bikinis, I didn’t really give it too much thought, I just didn’t like the idea of them looking old before their time.  Obviously no parent likes the idea of their child being looked at inappropriately but I wondered recently if it was as black and white as the fact that I don’t want them wearing them.

Isis at aged 9 is growing up so quickly, the idea of her wearing a bikini is a bit too scary for her Dad’s head to comprehend.  I bought her the most beautiful swimdress from Next today and she is really happy with it.  It is gorgeously 1950’s cute, in a nautical print and she feels really pretty in it.  This is a huge win for Daddy and for Isis as they both love it for different reasons.  Whilst in Monsoon the other day though, we saw this adorable frilly turquoise bikini that was only £4 in the SALE.  Shayla fell in love with it, they only had aged 3-4 left so I told her she could try it on, thinking it would be too small, but it fit her perfectly (she’s only a tiny thing after all).  She just looks adorable in it, so it made me reponder my position on bikinis for little ones.

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At age 5 Shayla-Rae, I believe, looks like a little girl, a beautiful, sweet, innocent little girl, having fun.  I love that she isn’t self-conscious, that she can stick out her little tummy and still feel gorgeous.  She looks pretty, she feels pretty, it’s one of her favourite colours and it really brings out her eyes.  Now I’m not saying that I have no principles and break them at the first sign of something cheap and cute, but I genuinely feel that as far as Shayla-Rae and this bikini are concerned, I don’t feel as though I’m crossing the lines of my own principles.  I also find that it’s an interesting thought and concept though, and am incredibly interested in what other people believe.  Do you think I’m a sell out?  Do you think there’s a fine line?  Do you think she looks cute?

children in bikini, little girl, bikini, beach, imeverymum, parent blogger, style, fashion, Monsoon, turquoise, beach, sea, waves

The A-line Skirt

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Fewer cuts, if any, are considered to be more flattering than the trusted A-line skirt.  Even as a plus-sized Mum the shape manages to make my chunky legs look less so.  It is definitely one of my favourite cuts, in a dress and a skirt.  It has not however previously been a style I have chosen often for our girls, as I have never been particularly struck by one as we were this beautiful item from Monsoon.  I’m not usually one to chase fashion for the children, I love them looking cute and girly, and getting away with the big frilly, fluffy things that we as adults don’t really get away with anymore, unless we’re amazingly cool and quirky.  Some people can definitely get away with some outfits I would not.  Now that Isis is getting older, at aged 9, she is becoming far more interested in fashion, and looking classicly chic instead of girly.

a-line skirt, monsoon, beautiful print, floral, pastel, gold, stitching, detailing, seaside, beautiful girl, style, fashion, imeverymum

We spend a lot of time looking at current trends online through websites such as Zara or AlexandAlexa.com and she is a lot more aware of her own tastes and what is ‘in’ this season.  Whilst perusing in Monsoon the other day, we found this amazing skirt on the SALE rack.  There were so many of them.  I decided they must have placed them on there whilst finding somewhere for them to live more permanently.  I’ve worked in retail in the past and visual merchandising can be a nightmare whilst there is a sale on, as there’s never as much room on the shop floor.  The beautiful gold detailing, thick material and lining led me to believe that it was new Autumn/Winter stock.  I asked the sales advisor if these were meant to be on the sale rail as I flipped over the tag.  She informed me that they had been at the warehouse for a long time and only just rolled out to stores, they were indeed last season.  These stunning skirts were reduced from £35 to £9.60.  Of course I bought one for Shayla-Rae and one for Isis.

a-line skirt, monsoon, beautiful print, floral, pastel, gold, stitching, detailing, seaside, beautiful girl, style, fashion, imeverymum

I guess the pastel colours make it summery, but I am so happy with this find.  I think the pattern is beautiful, the material is perfect for Autumn/Winter, the gold would make it work even for Christmas time and parties.  The cut is elegant and Isis looked amazing in it. She wore it to a friends the following day with a pale pink, frilly, almost peplum cut tee and some silver sequinned ballet pumps.  It looked beautiful.  I thought it would be the sort of skirt you could only wear with a plain top as it’s so heavily patterned, but it really worked, she looked seriously stunning, even with a pale pink and green watermelon print headband on too.  I really wish I’d captured a photo as it doesn’t sound like it would go together but she looked really beautiful.

a-line skirt, monsoon, beautiful print, floral, pastel, gold, stitching, detailing, seaside, beautiful girl, style, fashion, imeverymum

 

Overall, I personally think that you cannot beat a beautiful A-line skirt, and I hope to stumble across many more gorgeous fashion finds like this piece.  It has definitely made me think twice about trying to get into the stores more often as opposed to always shopping online.  You never know what bargains may come across your path.

{Me & Mine} 2015 – July

Me & Mine July, family portrait, family photo project, photography

Daddy is loving : 

* The extra bed space on the nights Mummy is at work

* Packet noodles (fast becoming a work staple – oops)

* His new iPhone 6 now that Mummy has upgraded

* Having the car to himself now Mummy has a new car

Mummy is loving :

* Her new job and meeting new people

* Wearing make-up again (taking some time for herself)

* Having quality time with the children now school is out

* Practicing singing with Isis who is sharing her first gig with Mummy

* Doing lots of editing, planning for the future of the blog (rebrand)

Isis is loving :

* experimenting with little bits of make-up that Mummy and Daddy allow her to

* her new iPhone 4S now that Daddy has Mummy’s old phone

* herself!!! It’s amazing seeing her confidence explode after months of zero confidence at the end of last year

* singing, YouTubing, modelling, finding her creativity in many ways

Shayla-Rae is loving : 

playing with Judah all the time, they are the cutest of friends

* watching our YouTube challenges, sitting and laughing so much

* going to the park now school is out

* accessories, accessories, accessories

Judah is loving : 

* Team Umizoomi

* when Mummy gets back from work in the mornings

* our new ‘Super Car’

* having all his ‘girls’ to hang out with in the holidays

Eden is loving : 

* terrorising everybody

* pretending she’s using the potty

* going down the biggest slides she can find (this child knows no fear)

* anything girlie, trying to steal Mummy’s make-up, her sisters handbags, headbands, bracelets etc.

Me & Mine July, family portrait, family photo project, photography,

Life has been extremely fast paced recently.  With the loss of our au pair, and my working night shifts, it’s certainly never dull.  We have a second car, a blue Zafira that fits us all in.  The children have nicknamed her ‘Blue Betty’ and we are loving all being able to go places even if Daddy is at work and all together as a family on a Saturday.  It feels so freeing.  We were able to all go to the park the other day.  It would take us an hour to walk, but it’s a few minutes in the car.  We have so much fun all at the park.  We’ve been able to go and visit friends, attend family events without having to organise a convoy of cars.  It’s just amazing and we are so grateful to James’ grandad for giving us money towards buying ‘Blue Betty’ and also his parents for loaning us the rest.

We’re still in an adjusting stage but we’re loving every minute of it.  All the children are so happy and playing together amazingly, Eden is now at that perfect age.  I love that they’re all able to play together without our involvement.  James and I often just sit watching how sweetly they interact.  I can’t wait for our holidays together in a couple of weeks and all the holidays we have planned for the next year.  It makes such a difference having a second wage.

From all of us loving life and enjoying our little family so much we hope you and yours are great too.

Working Nights

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Working Nights

About 6 weeks ago whilst chatting to a friend online I decided to apply for a job working night shifts.  This was around the same time we decided to send the children to Private School and therefore obviously needed some extra income.  Life has been a little crazy since then as there has been so much to sort but I am so happy that all of this was set in motion.

I had an interview and then due to the nature of the job had to wait for my DBS certificate so I had a while to get used to the fact that I would be working again.  It has been so long since I had a ‘real’ job.  I have been self-employed for so long it was really nerve wracking going for an interview.  As I was applying for night shifts though I don’t think I had much competition.

I opted to work nights as I want to still be at home with the children until they start school.  No offence to the Mums that work 9-5 (we’re all just doing our best aren’t we to make ends meet) I just really wanted to be at home with them for as long as I could before they go off to school.  James’ wage was enough that we could cope until Eden went to school but with now needing to pay school fees a job for myself was very much needed.

I had to work two full weeks in the days on induction and that was very strange.  The children hated me being away, especially Judah who I kept finding curled up at the end of our bed when I awoke.  It was a huge change for him at nearly 3.  I guess at an earlier age it just becomes normal as their routines aren’t as firmly set.

Of course we have Martina who was prepared for having them extra, and also my Mum was on call to help the days that she wasn’t working.  So Martina spent some days over at my Mums and my Mum spent a day at our home.  They made it work bless them.  The hardest part for me was that my induction days happened to fall around Judah’s 3rd Birthday.  I hated not being with him on his birthday but James took the day off so that he could take him out to do something nice and we gave Martina the day off which she definitely deserved.

I assured my little man that I won’t be working in the day again, James told him that I would be working nights though so he was all confused with my leaving for work at 9:45.  Obviously he was in bed and blissfully unaware but because Daddy had told him before he went to bed he was all anxious about it.

When I started this post, we had Martina, but it has been sat in my drafts for a while.  Judah is just starting to ease up as my shadow.  I am finding it challenging shall we say without help in the days, but on the whole we are doing really well.  I have been going to visit my Mum or my sister who have been really helpful letting me steal a nap here and there.

Of course I am exhausted and my body is adjusting but I’m so happy that I am able to earn some money for our family and still be able to be with my beautiful babies in the day.

I’m really enjoying working and knowing I’m doing something worth while.  I’ve met some lovely people already and don’t feel as isolated anymore as a Mum of four that was usually only ever with the children.  Going back to work before the children are at school isn’t for everyone, and I’m not sure I would’ve done it had it not been night shifts, but just to encourage any of you out there thinking about it.  The worst that can happen is that it doesn’t work out for you and you hand in your notice.  I’m very pleased I made this choice and look forward to what it can make possible for our family.

So what are you waiting for?   What’s the worst that can happen?

picnic, imeverymum, working nights, night shift, children
They’re so worth it!

My Life with a Dyspraxic

handsome husband, dyspraxic, dyspraxia awareness, imeverymum

It’s Dyspraxia Awareness Week and as my husband has severe dyspraxia, I decided I would take part in the awareness raising.

Reading through the list of symptoms on the dyspraxia foundation website really made me chuckle. It sounds awful that it’s comical to me if you are a severe sufferer, but my husband and I have learnt to live with it and I find it endearing (most of the time).  Things I forget can be related and I get at him frequently for include ‘Slow to finish a task. May daydream and wander about aimlessly,’ ‘Difficulty in following instructions, especially more than one at time,’ and ‘Difficulty in planning and organising thought.’

One of the main reoccurring rows with my husband happens when I am having a hormonal day and I decide that he can’t love me very much as he NEVER plans anything for us to do. I am a compulsive planner, he laughs at me for having a list for everything ie. I composed a Christmas list for each of the things I want to buy our children in August, and have been purchasing from it and wrapping presents since August. I will spend a lot of time planning things like his birthday, surprises and just all of our family life in general. All the day to day running of what we are doing, or where we are taking the kids, how we are making our ridiculously busy Saturday happen is all by my design and we usually stick to the plans. Even writing this now makes me realise that I have to reassure myself that it is definitely not because he doesn’t love me that he doesn’t do any of these things. It is because he has Dyspraxia.

Reading through the list of symptoms makes me cherish all the things he strives hard to overcome so that we can live as normally as possible. He is a fantastic cook, despite the fact that he finds it difficult. He is currently learning to drive, which he finds especially difficult. This is something I know my encouragement (which he never had in the past) can really help. I 100% believe that he can conquer driving, it will eventually click and become like breathing, it just requires more effort for him to get there than the average person.

I treasure the events that he has planned for me in the 3 and a half years we’ve been together. My amazing proposal at the ‘Titanic Spa’ (highly recommend by the way), my beautiful engagement ring he designed and had made, my 30th Birthday which he had really put the effort in for, so despite my family life crashing around me at the time I made sure we didn’t cancel. It was a lovely escape for 24 hours from a nightmare situation. He took me to the ‘BroadOaks Country House’ which was a beautiful boutique hotel. A lot of thought always goes in to getting me to these places, especially as at the time neither of us drove.

When you’re as easy going and full of good humour as my husband is, you can see the funny side. The first time he met my family, he was soaking wet through from falling in a lake near their house. When he met some of my friends, we discovered that it’s worse when he’s nervous. He walked into 7 different lamp posts on a 10 minute walk home. On our wedding day my maid of honour was in hysterics, as he managed to fall off a chair whilst just sitting comfortably and signing the register. The registrar nearly didn’t let us wed as they were debating if he was drunk.

The amount of times that he has fallen down the stairs, I stopped asking if he’s ok, I just listen to hear that he’s still moving. My friends think that I’m cold, but it is such a normal occurrence in our lives, it used to make my heart stop with fear as I was so afraid of him hurting himself, but I guess I’m now just desensitised to it all. The most random being the time he went to fix under our bath and set himself on fire. He couldn’t find a torch and decided it would be a good idea to take a candle into the enclosed space so he could see what he was doing.

He has most of the symptoms on the link above, no specific hand that he writes with, sets knives and forks the wrong way round at the table, very forgetful, clumsy, but he doesn’t let it stop him doing ANYTHING.

He joined in with football on the local youth project that we used to work with. He has an interesting way of dancing but still joins in with the girls when they play Just Dance on the wii. He has definitely shown me that it doesn’t hold him back at all.

When I ask him what the most annoying part of having dyspraxia is for him, he answers, ‘struggling with organisation’. Even with that though, I am so proud of him as a Social Worker there is SO much paperwork. He has just finished his final year at University, I was pregnant throughout his first 2 years at Uni, we had a newborn whilst he was on each of his placements, and he is still finished 2% off a First Class Degree. I am so proud of all that he achieves, and need to remember to cut him some slack when he fails to remember things I ask him to do (even if I have written them in a list, lol).

It is a very misunderstood condition. We are still learning to adjust to it everyday, but I must stress my husband is living proof that having dyspraxia does not need to define you, and it doesn’t need to prevent you from achieving anything you want in life. I’m not saying it doesn’t make it harder than some of the rest of us have it, but ANYTHING is possible if you’re determined enough.

Writing this post has reminded me, I’m proud of you babe, proud to call you mine, and I’m excited for all you will continue to achieve in the future. Nothing holds you back.

Dyspraxia Awareness Week 12th – 18th October 2014.