An alternative Mother’s Day

Happy Mother’s Day everyone, or Mothering Sunday if you’re the traditional type! I hope you’ve all managed to get a lie in (what that means with the clocks going forward I don’t actually know), some version of breakfast in bed and have been presented with multiple homemade cards and presents. 

This year I’m definitely getting a lie in as I don’t actually have Charlotte for most of the day. 

I heard the shocked gasps then but it’s ok, I  promise.

My ex and I have Charlotte alternate weekends (with me doing the bits in the middle too) and this year Mother’s Day fell on ‘his’ weekend.  I didn’t realise until quite late on in the proceedings and wondered if I should attempt to barter to keep her for myself or shorten his weekend with her so I could see her. But then I thought… 

What does Mother’s Day mean for me? 

…and thinking about it, for me as a mum it doesn’t mean very much right now.

The first Mother’s Day after I split with my ex I had three cards from friends and family and multiple presents and flowers. It was nice as I wasn’t expecting anything, especially as my ex and I were not in good terms, but the past two Mother’s Day’s have just been a bit, well, depressing. 

Mother’s Day isn’t just about Mother and Child bonding. It’s meant to be a full family experience and I remember it so fondly from when I was younger. The Father is meant to take the child(ren) out to carefully curate the best present/card combo. The breakfast is made with help from the Father so no fires ensue or coffee isn’t spilt down the stairs. The Sunday Lunch is a full family affair whether out or in but, for better or worse, that’s not how it works in our little family of two. 

Crazy curly haired lady!

But I realised that, where we are now, I don’t need presents or a soppy Hallmark cards from Charlotte. I definitely don’t want presents brought begrudgingly by my ex. It melts my heart when she brings me a drawing home from school with a lady with crazy hair in the middle surrounded by hearts and flowers and says ‘I made this for you mummy’, but I am lucky that they happen every week for me, not just on one day of the year. 

I don’t need a lie in because I generally get one every other weekend and, believe me, I usually make the most of it. I know I have got it good compared to a lot of mum’s in that respect so I take full advantage! 

Last years attempt at breakfast in bed – the wine wasnt part of it, promise!

I don’t need breakfast in bed. She’s five. That would be a disaster and I’d have to go downstairs to find out what the crash was and supervise at some point therefore defeating the point entirely.

Our day trip to London last summer
I do, however, need quality time with my daughter. Like playing a new card game with her that her grandma taught her, and listening to her cackle when she’s on a winning streak. Like having tickle fights on lazy Sunday mornings. Like going on road trips to see something a bit different or Film Night Fridays with pizza and a movie. Like cuddling up in bed every evening and reading books. Just the two of us. 

And I realised that I am ridiculously lucky that I get that most days of the year, not just the one. 

So Charlotte can have her Daddy weekend because she needs and wants quality time with him too, and we’ll just pick up where we left off when she gets back. 

NB: I also know I definitely have two homemade cards hiding in various conspicuous places, so all is not lost.

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To Elf or not to Elf, that is the question.

This time two years ago Amber the Elf started to visit us during advent and left little notes with little treats in the gorgeous advent bunting I had bought.  Nothing big. Just a little chocolate, a hair clip or something we could go and do that day. Coordinating that was bloody hard enough work!

Love having a fireplace I can hang these on.

This year, for some unknown reason…or the fact that I’m an overachiever who has a lot of time on her hands at the moment (still off work after surgery)…I was umming and ahhing about doing the full Elf on the Shelf experience.

I asked on forums, I asked on my Facebook page and after some mum’s admitting they got bored of it quite quickly and knowing that I can be quite a lazy mummy, especially at the end of the day (especially after a glass of wine), I asked myself why fix something that isn’t broken? 

During my internal debate and after approximately 1000 hours on Pinterest (ref. Time of work again) I did, however, find out about the Kindness Elves which is a cute, fluffy version of the slightly demonic looking, mischievious Elf on the Shelf but instead of being spied on to check whether the child is being good or bad, they spread kindness and suggest good deeds that help others which sits a lot better with me than the ethos of an elf spying on the child.

I have now amalgamated our original Amber the Elf with a splash of Kindness Elves and have found a concoction I’m happy with. So happy in fact that Amber has even written her first poem to say hello again. 

Amber the Elf’s first poem.

Let’s just hope I can keep this up for 24 days and Charlotte starts to sleep through the evening so I don’t have to hurriedly hide things that I have already set up at 10.30pm. 😬 

Happy December everyone! Would love to hear if you have your own traditions in the run up to Christmas.

The gall of it…

Two days ago I had surgery to have my gallbladder removed. It was planned as I’ve been having issues
with it for a few months but up until the very last minute I didn’t think about the fact that I was about to go into hospital to actually have an organ removed, and when I did I started crying. I realised that I had organised for my daughter to be looked after for the first few days but I hadn’t actually thought to make sure that I would be looked after. 

My mum was dropping me off at hospital and would then pick me up after all was done but it dawned on me that I’d be waking up in the recovery room on my own because, stupidly, I didn’t think I’d need anyone there.  My boyfriend would have been there if he could but has been working away and is poorly himself, my mum and dad reacted like it was just another normal day and nothing out of the ordinary was happening, my best friend is out of the country feeling very helpless as she couldn’t be there but it was my own fault.  I’d pretended that I’d be ok, I’d pretended that I can cope with being on my own all the time but as you’re walking towards the anaesthetists room in a backless gown, compression socks and slippers you kind of wish that someone else would be walking with you. 

Nothing sexier than compression socks

I did wake up on my own, in a lot of pain and, after crying because I couldn’t breath without it hurting, the nurse asked if anyone was with me I just started crying all over again.  She then asked if anyone was coming to see me and I had to say that I didn’t know and cried a bit more. I was all alone at one of the most vulnerable times and I’d let that happen. 

I had to stay in over night as me and morphine do not get on well and my blood pressure dropped quite drastically.  I did get a visit from the boyfriend who looked almost as broken and tired as me but it was a lonely few hours waking up expecting to have slept for hours however looking at the clock and realising it was only 45 mins. 

I am now at my parents house because, as Mum had to help me get my shoes on when picking me up, I think they realised I’d probably not survive on my own straight away and they have been looking after me ever since. 

It has taught me something though, that I really should put myself first more often. Or at least a close second after Charlotte because there are times when you just can’t do everything yourself and sometimes you need to accept that and just ask for help.

Tipping the scales.

What a difference a year makes. The cardigan can only hide so much!

I’ve joined Weight Watchers…again. I know, I know, I said I’d never do it, but the scales had ticked over to my dreaded number and I had to take action. 

It was the number that makes me say “No more”. 

The number that makes me say “Katie, what the hell are you playing at?”. 

The number that makes me run to the nearest Weight Watchers meeting to declare allegiance to the points system and swear never to eat peanut butter again. 

So back I am, handing money over to a not particularly slim woman to tell me how much I weigh on her scales, which seem to be completely different to those I have at home. 

Talk about a way to boost self esteem on a Wednesday lunch time. 

Back I go to trying really hard until about 3pm when my brain says “but chocolate would taste soooo good right now”. 

Back I go, four weeks in wondering whether I should just stay the slightly frumpy size I am because being on a diet is, let’s face it, boring and hard. 

I must admit though I’m having some difficulty with getting into the swing of it this time. 

I have realised since my last stint, thanks to the joy of articles posted on Facebook (that’s how everyone does their research right??) that most fat isn’t actually bad for you and low fat products are probably worse.  

I’ve realised that ‘diet’ drinks generally contain some rubbish sweeteners which, let’s face it, aren’t great for you and don’t taste good. (The research on how bad they actually are for you differs greatly however). 

I’ve realised that I have no time for cooking lovely meals when I get home because if I don’t get Charlotte in bed by 7.15 bedtime is fucked until about 11pm and I’m ready to kill. 

I’ve also realised that trying to loose weight on a diet whilst also trying to get my head around a gluten free diet is pretty impossible. 

I’ve also realised (although I did know this before) that cooking for one is utterly shit and generally ends in loads of food waste, a fairly dull meal and usually a way too late dinner time so I don’t enjoy it anyway. 

So I have to find away to get through the next two months (it was a three month pass) and lose weight without following the plan at all. Easy huh!

The reason for this particular blog post with added awful photos is so I have some accountability, other than lying to the woman who asks me how my weeks been every week. 
I will get back to feeling happy and healthy in my own skin and now is the time to do it…just maybe not how the slimming clubs would want me to do it. 

Still not perfect but way less lumps and bumps than now!

Can it be done? Share your hints and tips in the comments please! You’re all in the circle of trust now  (mines quite a round circle at the mo!), I need your help! 

Barefaced

I never thought of myself as a ‘make up’ person.  I just wear mascara because as a ginger/blond-ish person I generally look half asleep if I don’t. I wear some sort of base just so that my rosy cheeks don’t make me look like I’ve been on the wine all day (I promise I haven’t!) and so it covers some of the dark circles under my eyes, but that is usually it. I was also briefly an Avon rep but had to give it up as I was spending all/more of my earnings on the very same make up I was supposed to be selling, but I definitely wasn’t a ‘make-up’ person…or so I thought.

However, a couple of weeks ago, on a Friday night before going to the theatre with a friend, I lost my make-up bag.

 It was my own fault for a) trying to apply make-up whilst walking, b) having a small bag which was, as usual bursting at the seams and c) not being remotely aware of the world around me and, in my defence it was the end of a stressful week. I’d just finished work after a 9-hour day and I was knackered and somehow between the carpark and the restaurant I was meeting my friend at, I lost my make-up bag…with all my make up in it.

And I cried.

I’ll just go back to the bit about my stressful day and week for justification but that seemed like an overreaction to losing some make up, even to me!  But it wasn’t just some, it was all of it.

I’d lost my beloved Bare Minerals brush which made applying foundation or BB cream quick and easy, meaning I could do my make up in the 3 minutes from when I drove into the work carpark and when I actually exited the car to go into work. 

I’d lost my blusher which made me look a bit more alive on a cold day. 

I’d lost my bronzer which led me to believe (even for just a brief second) that I do actually tan when I go on holiday (I don’t).

I lost my eyeliner which I had just about got the hang of applying and made me look slightly more grown up and sophisticated – well I thought anyway and,

I had lost my Cath Kidston make-up bag which my brother and sister-in-law got me for my first birthday after splitting with my ex and when everything was, pretty much, falling down around my ears.

So I sat in the car and I cried…and then I realised I couldn’t fix my face because I had no make-up, so I cried a bit more.

So apparently I am a make-up person.

I also hadn’t realised how expensive the stuff is! Generally, you don’t buy your make up all in one go.  You slowly build a collection, working out what brands, colours, textures you like, spending time and effort culturing this collection that will help you face the day. £5 here, £7 there.  So having to walk into Superdrug on a Sunday and purchase everything in one go was a bit of an overwhelming situation for both myself and my wallet.  I forgot what skin tone I had, I forgot how some mascaras just irritate my contact lenses and I look like a panda by lunchtime. I forgot that, unless its fool proof, I’m going to fuck it up and unless its quick I’m not going to use it. But after what seemed like hours hovering over all the make-up stands (so much so the ‘security’ had started to loiter close to me) I put all the novelty items back. I gave up trying to fit everything in with the myriad of BOGOF, 2for1 and spend ‘£20 get a free contouring set’ deals and gathered together a selection of, what I think, are fool proof items to start my new collection, and do you know what?  I don’t think I’ve done too badly.

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Morning mopey thoughts.

I woke up today feeling a little bit sorry for myself. I had some quiet time to think whilst Charlotte slept in after a late night last night. This feeling could be because of many things I’m sure as its been a pretty crappy week, including slipping deadlines, fucking Valentine’s Day around the corner, a car parking ticket and worst of all loosing my make up bag last night which I’m utterly devastated by, but I also vocalised something a few days ago that is the crux of most of it…I have no one to talk to. 

Now, that’s not technically true I know, so I’m already making it sound worse than it is. But if you read my blog you know I’m not generally a pessimist. I have lots of friends I talk to and I am very very grateful for that. What I actually mean, however, is I have no one to rant about how crap my day was whilst I take off my coat and they hand me a glass of wine and just listen. I know, I know, this wouldn’t strictly happen either because I have a four year old who starts screaming for ‘Paw Patrol’ as soon as we get in the house but most people do have someone to come home to. Whether it be a flat mate, parents or a partner, they can still play that vital role in your life. It’s usually a two way thing but it just lightens the load of a heavy day and I’ve come to realise that I’m really missing that.

I have a dog to come home to, who has inevitably vomited in the house somewhere whilst I’ve been out or chewed one of charlottes toys so it is no longer usable. That’s not a particularly calming way to start an evening.

I guess I just want someone around to give me a hug and tell me it will all be alright because sometimes that’s all you need.

For now this will have to do.

BuzzFeed made me do it.

buzzfeedI love those BuzzFeed lists. Especially the ones where it mentions somewhere local to you or a place you’ve been, or things you remember in the 90’s…and their quizzes (that I never share the answers to because they’re too true and my parents are on Facebook) and their videos about how to create a perfect fishtail plait (still not perfected it).  But I have found that checking your Facebook feed at 11.30pm on a Sunday and clicking on a BuzzFeed list, when you should really be in bed asleep, is not a good plan.

10 Gorgeous Bras.

Ooo, I thought, I love a gorgeous bra. Click.

  1. Nice
  2. Nice (if you have no boobs)
  3. Nice if you don’t have to wear anything over it
  4. Nice (if you have no boobs)
  5. Nice (if you are a size zero and have no boobs)
  6. Nice
  7. Ooo, really nice…’You can get this from Ann Summers’…click, damn it- didn’t mean to click that link…
  8. Ooo more nice bras…
  9. Ooo a sale…
  10. A sale that is only on for another 30 mins!!
  11. ‘Type in your bra size’…type, type, click,
  12. Ooo bras in my size!! (doesn’t often happen)
  13. Ooo, I like that one
  14. Ooo they have matching knickers
  15. Ooo, they’re in the sale
  16. Ooo, Add to basket, click, click…
  17. Well I might as well have a look at the rest of what they have on offer…
  18. Ooo, Add to basket, click
  19. Ooo, Add to basket, click…
  20. Checkout, ah well I don’t have my card on me so never…
  21. Ooo pay by PayPal, enter password, click, click, confirm order, click.

And that, my friends is why you should not read BuzzFeed posts late at night and, why I had to go and collect a large parcel from my new neighbours this evening which, not so subtly, said it was from GOLD GROUP HOUSE and to send any returns to AS Ltd.

 

 

 

Goodbye 2015

As is a custom on this day each year I wish you all a happy new year and wonder where the bloody hell 2015 went??  I am also picking up my keyboard, blowing the dust off and posting something on my blog, which hasn’t happened for some time!  I guess I just got fed up of always posting depressing reads and longed for the day I could post something positive that I wouldn’t have to take back a week later because my judgement of a situation maybe wasn’t quite the real deal.

But after an exhausting few months at work, various health scares and hospital visits for both myself and my friends and family I just didn’t feel like picking up the pen to fill you lovely people on yet another crappy moment of my life so I went quiet. But I did miss posting…and reading comments from my lovely readers lots.

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Just a little round up of the festive season. 

 

Taking a glance back to my last New Years post, I actually have done lots of the things I said I would for which I’m very proud!  I have got a new job and even a promotion at that!  I finally moved house and, I (with help from my miracle worker/sleep consultant) even sorted out Charlottes sleep, meaning I had more me time and a happier daughter too!  I’m not sure I’ve yet learned what I should do with that time but that’s part of my goal for this year.

So on to 2016 and this time around my main goal is to say “no” more. 

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My new mantra…

I am a people pleaser.  I am well aware of it and it’s a family trait. I like making other people happy, I like volunteering for things, and I like to keep busy.  I get a warm and schmushy feeling when I help out but I have begun to find that being this person all the time is actually detrimental to my health and wellbeing.  I book myself up to keep busy and help others and then moan because I don’t have enough time to keep on top of the day to day things that would help me live a calmer life. So, for once, I’m going to be selfish. Not in a’selfish bitch’ way but I’m going to come first for a while and look after me. (OK, let’s be honest, I’m always going to be second to Charlotte but that would be a major improvement!)

One of the things I enjoy doing is writing my blog and I’m hoping that I haven’t lost all my readers and I can pick up the pen and keep you posted.

Please let me know what your goals are for the year in the comments below and I hope you all had a lovely Christmas break.

20 ways in which you’ve wronged your 4 year old

My daughter has a ‘butter won’t melt look’ about her most of the time and, I’ll give her her dues, she is a damn good negotiator when it comes to trying to get her way.  But sometimes things don’t quite work out as she planned and when this happens you can be guaranteed that you will get the disappointed look below and the there will be a ‘The world has ended’ style tantrum. It doesn’t matter where we are or who we’re with, the tantrum will happen over the tiniest thing.  

Asked for cheese, got ham.
 Just to keep myself slightly sane through these moments I decided to record the reasons the shit hit the fan in my daughters world.  Of course, they are all entirely legitimate and worth the energy usage for all involved. 

Below are some of the reasons:

  1. There wasn’t enough milk with her Cheerios 
  2. *tops up milk and finishes cheerios* There was too much milk with the Cheerios.
  3. Her dress was long sleeved.
  4. Her pink tights weren’t washed.
  5. She’s tired. (Because she woke up at 6am)
  6. There was a stone in her shoe (there wasn’t).
  7. I gave her 2 biscuits, not 3.
  8. I gave her 8 raspberries, not 6.
  9. Her cucumber was cut in slices, not sticks.
  10. Her lemonade was too lemony (damn you San Pellegrino)
  11. I wouldn’t let her use the drill by herself.
  12. I couldn’t rewind Miffy because we’d only just turned the tv on.
  13. I wouldn’t play the most boring board game ever with her for the 300th time that day.
  14. I couldn’t carry her because I had a dog attached to a lead in one hand and shopping in the other.
  15. It started to rain (obviously my fault).
  16. I didn’t participate in the race down the path (because I hadn’t been told it was happening).
  17. I wouldn’t let her walk into the road by herself.
  18. She dropped her teddy and it got muddy.
  19. I wouldn’t buy her the kinder surprise egg AND the Frozen surprise egg. 
  20. I wouldn’t let her watch Family Guy when she woke up and came downstairs. 

As you can see, I am obviously a complete bitch of a parent.

I could go on but I’m exhausted just writing about them! These were also mostly from a 48 hour period! Please let me know your child’s (entirely legit) reasons for the world ending in your house in the comments below! 

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