I’m sorry I’m the mum you hate. 

I’ve recently realised that I’m one of those mum’s. 

I sewed buttons and cuffs on one of Charlotte’s dresses and hunted down gold balloons so she could be Veruca Salt for Reading Week’s fancy dress day.  

Veruca Salt with Golden Egg and Golden Ticket of course.

I sent my daughter to school on Red Nose Day with her face painted. 

Just a quick face paint job before school.

And I have just spent the last weekend
and a couple of evenings
cultivating a floral masterpiece that is Charlotte’s Easter bonnet. 

She has had a hand in all these ideas, and is particularly fussy about what chicks and rabbits go where but, I realise, I’ve put too much effort in. 

Maybe the most over the top Easter Bonnet ever made?

This is not because I have oodles of spare time after I’ve been to the gym and had a manicure(I wish)

This is not because I want my daughter to win the
Easter bonnet competition I promise.

It’s because I actually love doing these things and there’s pretty much no other time I get to do this stuff! 

As a single parent who has 6/7 evenings stuck at home whilst Charlotte sleeps, it’s sometimes a choice between being creative and making something that Charlotte will be proud of or watch yet another box set on Netflix (If you haven’t watched Frankie and Grace yet, get on it)…or even more dangerous upload a dating app and chat to a variety of men who will all, I can guarantee, turn out to be knobheads at one point or another. 

Unfortunately my job doesn’t give me much room for manoeuvre when it comes to creativity either, unless I manage to sneak through a document typed in Calibri rather than Arial up the sign off chain. 

So, rather than pop to the supermarket to buy something ready done or not do something at all, I look like the ‘pain in the arse mum’ who has spent ages helping and curating something, has spent £100s on craft paraphernalia (I didn’t, I somehow already had everything in stock) and may even have her own glue gun (I do).

And for this, I’m sorry.

If it helps you to forgive me at all, I have not once baked cakes for the cake sale and Charlotte’s decided she now hates the Easter bonnet. Naturally.

Picking up the pieces. 


When a boy broke my heart in college I remember my mum came and gave me big hugs whilst I cried myself to sleep.I was on summer holidays so I moped around feeling sorry for myself for a few days, talking to friends about what a knob he was and that there were plenty more fish and the sea and that he didn’t deserve me etc etc. 

15 years on and I’ve found it’s not exactly the same process.

I have to go to work each day and pretend to be fine. I have a daughter to look after, who I don’t want seeing me with tears running down my face or a sad face. I have a life to lead and luckily, in some ways, I have stuff to keep me busy so I don’t have time to dwell, but when the tears come it feels exactly the same. 

A boy has broken my heart. 

He hasn’t done it in the same way as any other. I don’t even think he meant to do it, but here I am sobbing with mascara down my face feeling like a 17 year old who still just wants a hug from her mum and for her to tell her everything will be ok. But really, being honest, deep down, I just want a hug from him telling me that everything will be ok. I even think he might need that type of hug too but we’re in a place where neither of us can communicate that to one another. 

New relationships, when you have to deal with real, grown up life around you, are much harder than the new relationships you have at 17. The worst you have to deal with is infidelity but what else should be expected from a hormonally challenged 19 year old boy I guess.  

When you’re 32 there’s baggage involved. There’s trust issues which you have waded through, there’s vulnerability issues but you let your guard down and there’s communication issues. There’s children who’d been introduced, there’s jobs to deal with, there’s family who were expecting to meet him, there’s friends you’d told everything about him, there’s history for both parties and it’s all bloody tricky to deal with. 

I understand this all, yet here I am with my heart broken at 32 and it feels absolutely no different to that heart break 15 years ago. 

Sayonara 2016, welcome 2017.


Happy new year everyone. I hope you had a good one last night, whatever that may mean. 

Despite being childfree, I spent the evening at my best friends house and drank absolutely nothing. I got back home just as Big Ben chimed on the car radio so went inside, put my pyjamas on and went to bed.

But all of it was exactly how I wanted to ‘celebrate’ at that moment. This week, let alone this year, has been emotionally draining for so many reasons so being with my best mate and having an ‘early’ night was perfect for me this year. 

Way better than strappy high heels!

Like everyone else, 2016 has been pretty shitty.

Personally I’ve been in pain for 6 months or so with gallbladder trouble, I’ve been messed around by more men than I can count, work has been awful and has not got better.

I also went on a stressful holiday to Lanzarote which was the least relaxing holiday ever. My flat sale fell through three goddamn times.

Charlotte was diagnosed with coeliac disease in April which created so much overwhelm for me I went into a bit of a decline and along with all the rest of the world’s goings on it could seem like a bad year but… 

On the plus side, I went on an amazing holiday to Portugal with my friends, I was also lucky enough to go to France with friends in October who also had had a new baby early in the year. 

I had my gallbladder removed fairly swiftly (for the NHS) and I’m on the mend, I’ve also lost a few lbs because I can’t eat very much! I’ve also worked out how to make my hair look awesome (post to come on this shortly!). I had a perfect week with Charlotte before she started school. Charlotte actually started school and is thriving, which is a joy to watch and we’ve just about got the hang of her diet with support from school and all of our friends and family who have been on a steep learning curve like me. 

Oh and the two big ones, of course, I got divorced and I have a boyfriend. The latter has not been without its stresses (the former hasn’t either)  because he’s also had a really difficult past few months but hopefully this is something we can both work through. I’ve had a lovely weekend away with him which was perfectly timed when we both needed to escape from norm. 

My own #bestnineof2016

So, looking forward, I’m optimistic that there will be lots of positives in 2017 and I will be able to cope with the negatives whenever they arise. I am starting a bullet journal (for the third time), and have just started the KonMari method of decluttering to organise myself better and life *is* going to be easier this year. 

Last year my main goal was to say ‘no’ more and I think I’ve done well but still need to work on this…along with my 10 other new goals for this year! 

What are your goals this year? Let me know in the comments and here’s to a fantastic, fulfilling 2017! 

I have a confession…

I have a confession and those of you who follow me on Instagram may have twigged by now…

Nope, I haven’t had a mental breakdown…well not quite anyway!

 

Nope, I’m not pregnant (thank goodness)

 

Nope, I’ve not killed someone at work and writing this from a prison cell (that’s probably the most likely of these three options)

 

But yep, this serial failed dater actually has a lovely, legitimate boyfriend. Sound the fanfair!!


My first sneaky photo of us.
My first sneaky photo of us.
To those of you who have never read my blog before this might not seem like a fanfair type event.  Everyone has relationships don’t they?  But after three long years of being single and dating a myriad of idiots, knobheads, commitment phobes and emotionally unavailable men I finally seem to have found a good one.  The coveted needle in the haystack.

 

It was a marvel that I ever met this guy in the first place though as I cancelled all my dating apps (yes, again) and declared that I would be single for a year without looking for ‘the one’ (yes, again) after I got screwed over by a deceivingly ‘nice’ guy (yes, again).

 

There was, luckily, one guy who slipped through the net though and despite all my new promises to myself we kept chatting and eventually managed to meet up and the rest, as they say, is history.

 

Now we have been dating for three whole months and I think I’m getting the hang of how to have a boyfriend at 32 and when there’s children involved. Yet another learning curve to make my way up but I’m enjoying it so far.

 

I was even brave enough to ask for our first 'couple' selfie.
I was even brave enough to ask for our first ‘couple’ selfie.

Living for the weekend – mum style.

This morning I have, so far, done two loads of washing and hung them out, cleaned my bathroom, unblocked a u-pipe (or whatever it’s called), been adorned with stickers, watched crap kids programmes and had the obligatory morning argument with Charlotte. 

Despite all this I really do live for my weekends at the moment and this one is no different. 

I’ve had a pretty rubbish week. A scan which showed I have gallstones (even though that wasn’t actually what they were looking for), a hot and sweaty trip down to London, a horrendous pain in my abdomen that has lasted three days and counting, which apparently has something to do with the aforementioned gallstones. Work is just awful at the moment. We’ve had tantrums every evening either due to over tiredness or the heat and I’ve also been messed around by yet another sociopath. So yeah, it’s been emotional. 

So I’m hoping this weekend is better. 

Whether I have Charlotte or whether it’s one of my child free weekends I’m determined to make the most of them so after a bit more tidying up we’re off out to find a gluten free and now low fat/no fat lunch and then heading to a street party in the heart of Warwick. Then dinner with a friend. 

I will not let one shit week crush me but if next week could be better, that’d be great! 

Also I’m starting Blurt Foundation’s #365daysofselfcare challenge as I know I’m rubbish at looking after myself and it’s becoming apparent I need to for my health and sanity! Come and join in with me on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

30 things I’ve learnt since being 30.

It was my birthday last week and I’m now the ripe old age of 32.  A huge amount seems to have happened over these past two years, some of which is documented on this very blog as I started writing just after my 30th birthday.  I feel like I have learnt a lot, sometimes the hard way and some I have just happened upon through pure fluke so I’ve jotted them down to remind me.  Some are a bit deep, others entirely the opposite but all are true to me.

  1. Having children doesn’t mean you must cut your hair shorter. I for one look awful with shorter hair.
  2. I can, pretty much, make it through any challenging situation…just.
  3. You only live once. A cliché but a damn true one so make the most of it!
  4. Your health matters, so pay attention to it.
  5. Experimenting is a good idea in all areas of your life…food, fashion, f…(you get the idea).
  6. Making a mistake is not the end of the world.
  7. Tell your real friends you love them.
  8. Unfollow or unfriend people off Facebook or Instagram whose posts irritate you.
  9. I still don’t like goats cheese no matter how many times I try it.
  10. If I stop moving I seize up and it’s a lot more difficult to get going again.
  11. You will meet amazing friends in the strangest places if you are willing and open to find them.
  12. I wear my heart on my sleeve which can sometimes means it gets bruised more easily..
  13. Earl Grey tea is actually very nice.
  14. My wardrobe now has less clothes that are better quality, rather than the other way around.
  15. Same with my make up.
  16. Bright lipstick isn’t actually that scary.
  17. Sometimes I would rather eat an amazing salad that something deep fried.
  18. Saying ‘No’ and standing your ground is amazingly empowering.
  19. You are allowed to aspire to be in a job which you love…goals are good.
  20. Dresses actually suit me much better than trousers.
  21. Being selfish isn’t always a bad thing.
  22. Doing something good for someone (even if very small) is one of the best ways to boost your mood.
  23. I now ‘mum dance’ but I still do it anyway.
  24. All parents are winging it.  They are lying if they tell you other wise.
  25. Despite all my body hang ups people still seem to find me attractive, therefore I shouldn’t worry about them so much.
  26. I’m now much less tolerant of just smiling and nodding.
  27. My eyes are my best feature. (Sorry boobs)
  28. Netflix is definitely worth the membership fee.
  29. Being a single mum means my daughter is my best friend and my enemy number 1 all at the same time.
  30. Being a single mum is incredibly hard work but incredibly rewarding.

Left standing

Last week I got stood up.

Not in the old school way.  I wasn’t left standing awkwardly in a pub on my own. But I was stood up in the ‘millennial’ way. I was blocked on WhatsApp. I hate myself for even uttering those words but, 15 minutes before I was meant to meet up with this guy, I was blocked. The only reason I knew this before getting out of the house and being stood up for real was because I was running late – as always. I normally hate that I am always late for things but, in this particular instance, it saved me a lot of public embarrassment.

I was still embarrassed by it though. I had chatted to this guy for over a week. We had had daily conversations about life, the universe and everything. He seemed like a genuinely decent guy and I will admit it, I had a bit of a flutter. He was good looking, he was a full participant in a range of topics of conversation, he usually messaged first which I took to be a good sign. We seemed to have stuff in common and we made each other laugh, or so I thought.

I had told my friends I was going on this date, my mum had been booked to babysit, i’d done my hair and make up (and looked pretty good if I do say so myself) and then it didn’t happen. I was upset, angry, confused but also completely mortified.

I have no idea why, in the last few moments he decided he didn’t want to meet me.  I’m not going to make excuses for him as I have done for other men. He is a coward and a dick but it didn’t hurt any less even though I knew this.

I hadn’t been on a date for a while because I was fed up of knobs (literally and figuratively), I was fed up of being let down and I was fed up of wasting my time and I managed to have it happen all over again.  Unfortunately it doesn’t hurt any less the more it happens.

After yet another bad experience I did wonder if I should just give up on the prospect of a healthy, happy relationship with a bloke all together but, after attending a well-timed mindfulness workshop in London I realised that there is no point in dwelling on the ‘whys’ and the ‘what ifs’ of the date, of my love life or my life in general, it will only hurt me further  stop me focusing in the important things.  I should only be concentrating on what is happening now, as this is the only time I have any control over. So I think I shall make the most of the here and now and see what comes along whilst I’m getting on with it.

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The Single Mum’s 29 (ish)-Day Challenge

Whilst wasting time passing some time on Pinterest I came upon an infographic entitled ‘The Single Girls 30-Day Challenge’.  Now, I am single girl (…lets not mention that the rest of my divorce still hasn’t gone through yet…) but not many of the challenges seemed particularly realistic so I tweaked a few and ended up with this, much more do-able, 30-day challenge.  But as its the 1st February and I’ve crossed a couple off it can be my 29 (ish) day challenge.

I’ll let you know how I get on.

e3f8150e_Love_Sex-SingleGirlsChallenge

Freedom.

My ex had Charlotte for five days this week so it was a weird way to start the year, he even had the dog so I had no alarm clock other than my actual alarm clock to wake up to!! No sodden sheets to change from our ‘dry at night’ attempts and complete and utter freedom (apart from having to go to work). No chocolate spread on toast to spread and cut exactly correctly. I could eat what I wanted and, as I had promised to eat better it was lovely to eat all the things Charlotte won’t. Prawns, salmon, steak…huge amounts of vegetables and I even had the chance to make lunches for the next day. It took me about two days to miss her more than the normal amount. Things just didn’t seem right without my little sidekick!
I also had plans of the romantic kind for a couple of nights whilst I had my freedom but, as usual they disappeared along with the romantic interest. I haven’t spoken about dating much as I haven’t really been dating much. Everything else in my life had been so busy and stressful that men just seemed to be adding to this so I swore them off for a bit…and then a blast from the past turned up and I decided to give him another chance. Why, I have no idea. I can only blame the fact that we have history and he had a hold on me so I believed his bullshit yet again…however it was officially the last chance he got. I am so done and this time I felt strong enough and angry rather than upset so I made sure I told him so. I said no. I don’t deserve to be treated like that, so no more. So it was nice to be able to mope for that evening but he definitely won’t be getting any more tears from me. I did, however, get this amazing belated Christmas present from a friend. I couldn’t possibly comment as to whether I had a go or not.* 

Another Tiger store amazing item!
 
I’ve also been waiting for some results back from the hospital as late last year I had an abnormal result from a smear test and had to go in for a colposcopy. This is when someone looks up your lady parts with, what looks like, a pair of binoculars on a stand. They also have a live feed so I was lucky enough to see my cervix up close and personal. Not something many people can say I’m sure. They took a biopsy the week before Christmas and to say it put a dampener on Christmas celebrations was an understatement. I also felt like I’d been punched hard in the vagina for a couple of days which was less than ideal. I had previously been told that what they had found seemed low risk, but I couldn’t help but worry. On Friday I had a letter saying that I didn’t need any further treatment at this time which can only be good thing. I also found out that January is Cervical Cancer Awareness month so if you have hidden or ripped up the letter saying you’re due for your smear test please book it and go. It’s such a small amount of your time and could save your life. 

Get your appointment booked!!
 
So a positive and negative which evens out I guess. Let’s see what this week brings! 

*i did.

Dropping the ball.

Today I did not go the extra mile. I was on the way, literally, but my brain kicked in and told me not to. It wasn’t because I’m a bitch, it wasn’t because I was lazy, it wasn’t because I didn’t want to do it; it was because I actually couldn’t do it. Or, I could have but it would have cost me. Not money or time (although it actually would have) but it would have caused me to put that one extra thing on my plate that would have caused the plate to break or drop the ball using my very own juggling analogy. 

Roughly how I’m feeling – although i wish i looked this good in a sequined basque!
 
It wasn’t even a big thing but it was something that would have made a difference to an event I’m running. It would be a nice to have definitely, but after leaving work late after yet another busy day, picking up a tired daughter from nursery (last mum there again) and then picking up a crazy dog desperate for a walk I thought “what on earth am I doing”?  

I am in the middle of a really busy and high profile piece of work at the moment with tight deadlines and a lot of reputation all risk. This doesn’t all fall on me but I obviously don’t want to drop a ball there.  
I am trying to decorate and renovate a house (luckily with help from family and friends) in time to move in by the end of September and also trying to sell a shared ownership flat which seems to be a process not unlike wading through treacle.  

I’m trying to coordinate an exciting event that the Wellbeing Group, of which I am the main driver, has organised which is tomorrow.

I’m trying to be a good mum to Charlotte which involves not being the last mum to pick up their child every day and having time, and the energy to spend quality time with her when we get home.

I’m trying to be a good friend, especially to my best friend who is getting married in a week and a half!  I am trying to keep on top of the housework and I am trying to take some time for myself.

But trying isn’t good enough for these.  I want to be actually able to succeed in all of these but something had to give this evening so I didn’t do something.  The world won’t fall apart from it.  The event will still run tomorrow.  My colleagues won’t know what I haven’t done but my daughter has had time with me and I have had time to decompress a little from an, already, very busy week. 

Sometimes we have to put things in perspective and driving out of my drive this evening was a ‘click’ moment.  I drove up the road, turned around at the roundabout and came home again.  Doing this extra thing would be good for the wellbeing event but not for my wellbeing and I suppose I should lead by example.  

It’s not selfishness to put yourself as number one sometimes – it’s essential and I’m glad I remembered that this evening – just in time! I urge everyone to take at least 30 mins to prioritise yourself this evening, it can make such a difference! Happy hump day xx