I am not Superwoman

Well, its official, my mind is a mess, my body is a mess, my house is a mess and my parenting style is a mess.  I have been working long hours for a hellish project and it has taken its toll on every part of me. This week I’ve cried in the office over a very small thing, I’ve cried at home over big and small things. I’ve had a very poorly tummy (I will say no more on that right now), I’ve stared at my massive washing up pile every evening for the past four days but have not yet washed it up and I’m being a shit mum as all I want to do is come home and veg on the sofa when Charlotte wants me to play and we have eaten crap way too often recently (thank goodness nursery gives her real food).  

 I am apparently part time and have the salary that goes with it, yet I have also worked more than full time hours over the past few weeks and have been logging on at home in the evenings just to get stuff done.  This is not a recipe for a happy, well-balanced life is it?

 So I’m thinking about going to the doctors to be signed off for a bit after long and teary discussions with lots of my friends because I’m not sure I can do it anymore. But something is stopping me and I can’t quite figure out what.  Pride, maybe. Stubbornness, maybe.  Conscientiousness, maybe. Worried about the stigma, maybe.  But I think it’s mainly down to the fact that, even though I know it’s utter bullshit, somewhere inside of me still seems to think I should be fucking Superwoman!!  This fictional character who is able to deal with all areas of life effectively, all the time.  Whose house is spotless. Whose children don’t have tantrums and do eat broccoli. Whose nails are perfectly manicured at all times and who can still hold down a full time job and keep up with the high stresses in her job.  Single mum or not Superwoman has her shit together

superwoman Well being Superwoman and ‘having it all’ seems like a quick way into an early grave, so, as one of my friends said, I need to choose my priorities.  Surprisingly work comes nowhere near the top of this list so I need to make sure it’s not at the top of my stress list either. 

 I feel a revelation coming on. #iamnotsuperwoman

 

 

It just sucks.

Nothing sucks more than being a single mum with a job and a poorly child.

Oh but wait, it sucks even more when you’re battling an evil cold yourself and you have deadlines looming for some pretty high profile work.

It sucks even more that you are run down as hell because you’ve been running yourself ragged for work for the past six months and not stopped.

It sucks even more that you have to choose between looking after your poorly child who just wants mummy cuddles or dropping her off with grandma so you can get to work and try and get some things crossed off the very long to do list.

It sucks that I changed to being a part-time working mum in the hope it would give me a better work-life balance, but it’s just ended up with me being paid less for trying to cram the same amount of work (maybe even more!) into four days rather than five.

It sucks that I constantly feel at least one step behind at work and one (or ten or twenty) steps behind at home.

So, in summary, being a working mum sucks.

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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.

Everyday life.

One of my friends from work writes a fantastic and uplifting blog and she manages it every day, she is inspirational so you should go and read it!  But…reading hers does make me feel pretty damn lazy and ashamed that it’s now been two weeks with no new posts.  I’m kind of hope that you all have busy lives as well and understand when I go quiet for a few days! 
I have started a few posts over the past week or so but I really wonder who wants to read about the weather (other than me telling you that my recent post must have worked because the sun’s come out!), or my new carpets (which look awesome) or the fact that there is no news on my new house and that work is busy, but I guess this is life. 

old carpet, new carpet – the exciting life i lead!
 
Sometimes it’s just all pretty normal and mundane but, sometimes, that is quite nice. No craziness, no dramas (well not many anyway), no major worries around which gives me the ability to appreciate the quiet times and my time with Charlotte. I like my job, I’m moving house at some point and I’m generally happy so can’t complain really! 
Please let me know what ‘mundane’ things make you happy in the comments below, so I don’t feel quite so boring!  😄

All shapes and sizes! 

My new job, although in the same office as my last, seems to have a much smarter dress code than before and I was starting to feel a bit of a scruffy arse. I used to be able to rock in in my ‘skinny’ jeans and a smartish top with flats and no one would bat an eyelid but now I am surrounded by suits, ties, smart dresses, cigarette pants and pencil skirts. So, with my new pay cheque I thought I should upgrade my currently very downgrade work wardrobe, however after a demoralising second weekend spent shopping for suitable work trousers, I have come to the conclusion that my bottom half is (at the moment) a size 15 and my top is a size 13 (despite being an hourglass shape) and that skirts and dresses are the only way forward. 

 

The one and only day i wore Spanx to work. Never again.
 
I have now tried all the shops in our local retail park and can no longer blame that one shop that has entirely different sizing to the rest of the word *cough, H&M, cough*. The size 14 trousers will go on and fit perfectly round my bottom (snug yet not showing all crevices, ouch!) but the hook and/or button will just not reach together and if it just does it creates the evil spill over, otherwise known as every mums enemy…The Muffin Top. But the size 16 left me with a saggy arse and lots of material in the thigh/crotch region. This, I have found, is not a good look.  

So the dreaded summer diet is now in effect. It is not, however a diet in the normal terms of the word, as I don’t believe in them. It’s back to the meal plans, fruit and veg lifestyle that I once had sorted. It’s about taking lunches into work rather than eating canteen food which seems to only have a ‘with cheese’ option. It’s about cutting down on the crappy carbs and substituting for ‘slow release’ whole foods. It’s mainly about organising myself so I’m not grabbing the takeaway menu or the frozen pizza out of the freezer.  

Probably shouldnt follow the wise words of my pjs either.
 
So watch this space…this time last year I was a size 13 bottom though so it would seem I’m never going to win…unless I open an odd sizing shop…maybe call it OddBods or something. Any takers?? 

I just popped out for a bit…

Well that was odd, I went a bit quiet for a bit. I either had writers block or too many things to write about and no time to write it. No time where I could just catch up. But now I shall, and what a couple of weeks it has been. Don’t worry, actually nothing horrendous has happened! In fact, if I was to measure it, it has been one of the much better couple of weeks in a very, very long time. There have been some odd moments too but it wouldn’t be my life it wasn’t punctuated with slightly bizarre things happening intermittently…

The good/amazing bits
🔸I applied for a new job and actually bloody got it! Different team, same building, more money – awesome!
🔸My brother and (now) wife got married and it was wonderful – Charlotte and I were bridesmaids and everything about the day was beautiful.

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🔸I fit into my bridesmaid dress (granted there was Spanx involved but that’s not cheating, right?)
🔸My best friend found her wedding dress, and it’s gorgeous.
🔸My daughter has generally been going to bed at a reasonable time and sleeping through the night. Still in my bed for the majority but still bloody amazing! Jennie Harrison Sleep Deprived Mums Coach is a goddess!

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🔸My parents suggested an amazing opportunity so I can finally move us into a house with some outdoor space.
🔸I have managed to empty my ironing basket (I would say sometimes it’s just the little things, but this pile was big)
🔸An old friend got in touch and I’m really glad he did.

The downright bizarre bits
🔹The interview for my job was over and done in 20 minutes. I thought it had gone quite well but after looking at the clock I thought I’d fluffed it! What can I say, it’s quality rather than quantity I guess.
🔹Four days before the wedding we found out that my mum (the mother of the groom) and the mother of the bride had bought EXACTLY the same dress. They are different shapes, they are different sizes and they live 90 miles apart but apparently the green dress with navy flowers had such a pull that both thought that was the dress for them. Cue frantic dress shopping two days before wedding. To be honest I think the second dress my mum got was 100% better but it was all a little tense for a while there.
🔹The photographer who shot (is that right?) my brothers wedding was EXACTLY the same photographer that shot my wedding. Slightly awkward but again, different people, different county but luckily still a lovely lady and some amazing photos!

So I’m starting to think that (if we discount all of January) 2015 rocks so far! I have so much to look forward to this year and it seems to be getting better by the week. Either that or I am learning a new, better way to deal with the crap times and not let them take over and spoil the good times. This is probably more true as I’ve just remembered that in these past weeks I have sprained my ankle, run out of petrol on a motorway and had yet another frustrating run in with my parents. But the sprain didn’t bruise and I recovered quickly and I realised how amazing my friends are in a crisis. (even the most unexpected ones). Whatever it is I hope it sticks around because I’m loving the feeling of hope that it all will get better…much, much better.

I hope you haven’t missed me too much and I hope you all had a great couple of weeks too. I shall leave you with my new mantra for life…

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I’ve been waiting for you!

IMG_2134.JPGSo the new year is now upon us and I am so glad! Just think what a whole, fresh new year could give us.

In 12 months I could do a myriad of amazing things. Hell, I could have even had a baby by this time next year but I’m not sure giving myself three months to find the right man for that is very sensible. I will however, at some point, be selling our severely impractical, second floor flat and finding a little house with a garden somewhere. I will be divorced. I will find a new job that interests me in one way or another and hopefully pays a bit more. And I will attempt to plan my meals for the week so I have a vague idea what’s in the fridge and what I can make with it before arriving home with a tired and grumpy three year old and then attempting to feed us both without one of us loosing our shit at some point.

I’m not making any hard and fast resolutions, challenges or rules for this year as I have learnt that some things just don’t go your way…but maybe they weren’t meant to because it wasn’t the right thing in the first place so just a few aspirations will do.

Charlotte’s bucket list this year is to go on a train, bus and plane and hopefully I can fulfill her aspirations this year too..although the bus I’d rather not!

IMG_2136.PNGMy mid morning snack was at Krispy Kreme on New Years Day so I’m definitely sticking to my no diet rule!

Happy New Year and wishing you lots of love and luck in 2015!

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In the red.

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So my interview was yesterday and I think it went fairly well. I don’t know what that means or how I feel about it but one thing that is luring me into hoping I get it is the money. I looked at my bank balance today and despite upping my overdraft one last time and being careful with every penny, I am up to the hilt again. I even had to borrow petrol money off my parents to get down to the interview and back without conking out somewhere on the A46. Now that’s just ridiculous, I have the tiniest car, it’s not like a full tank is £90 or anything!!

I haven’t splurged on Christmas, I haven’t been out for meals or coffees but I’m skint. Totally, utterly skint. I was looking through my inordinate amount of direct debits going out each month and the only luxury on there was my Netflix subscription, something I am not willing to forgo and something that has seen me through many a lonely night. (Magic Mike was quite good for that – if you haven’t seen it and are feeling a bit low, I would recommend it…two words – Channing Tatum) but I can’t work out what else I can cut. I am already on a tight food and petrol budget. We have only done one festive thing this December because everything else just costs so much. I don’t do takeaways, I don’t do clothes shopping unless necessary and Charlotte demands have been answered with ‘we’ll have to ask Father Christmas’, I don’t even do dates anymore so no costly preparation needed for those!

I have got Charlotte a present and some stocking bits, I have got half of my brothers secret Santa present (my idea to try and keep costs down) but friends, grandparents, colleagues…forget it. I have already received two presents and felt awful for being in no position to return the favour. One of these lovely people still holds an IOU from her birthday in November! Thinking about a special outfit for Christmas Day will stop at that…just thinking…and once again I will be celebrating the day in scruffy jeans and top rather than a lovely new dress or maybe a new pair of boots I’ve bought myself. At 30 I still can’t afford these things and it’s really getting me down. I’m constantly worried about what my bank balance looks like and am waiting for the next lot of money to go in so I can do the food shop. My life was never supposed to be like this and I feel like a failure. Work was collecting food for a local food bank this year and on the outside I made funny quipps about needing to be receiving rather than giving but secretly I wondered if I would be eligible. My freezer is full and I have enough random dry goods to start pantries all over though so I’ll just have to get creative in the coming weeks I think. Lentils anyone?

I know that money is not the only thing in life and it can’t make you happy but having a bit more would sure make it a lot easier and then my brain could focus on all the other things I should be worrying about instead of it keep coming back to that subject at 2am when I could really do with being asleep. So I’m sort of keeping my fingers crossed now, despite what that would mean…

I shall let you know what happens.