Monday, July 1, 2013

I'm not here anymore

If I recently met you at Britmums live or at Glastonbury and gave you my card, I should probably explain why that card sent you here.

I got the cards done while I was still umming and ahh-ing about going self-hosted (ie buying my own .com or .co.uk domain) and I thought it was going to be a bit hassle and therefore something that I wouldn't do for AGES.

However, I ended up chatting to a friend from work who explained it all and how beneficial it could be to my blog and I ended up doing it that weekend. Which means that I spent good money on 500 business cards that now have the wrong web address on them. Oh well, that's why I'm writing this post to expain all that and while you're thinking to youself what a wally this Mum in a Hurry must be, you can go check out my new website at www.muminahurry.com. See you there!!!

Friday, April 26, 2013

Where are you coming from?

I seem to be getting quite a lot of views on my blog even though I've moved which makes me sad as I'd rather have those views showing up in my Wordpress stats.

If you are reading this, please head over to www.muminahurry.com and subscribe via whatever method you prefer.

Thank you lovely person reading this!

Friday, March 22, 2013

Prose for thought - a bit late

Sorry I'm late on this. Its been a very busy time.

Here is this week's poem. I wrote it aged 15-16 (I'm not sure which as I just wrote 1993 on the page, not a month). I think I may have been on a bus or train when I wrote it. I hope you like it.

Invisible and Blind - 1993 Aged 15-16


I’m watching.
All these people around me,
I am invisible to them.
They walk through me.
I won’t meet them again.
Does it matter?
Do I care?
Their noises surround me,
But I don’t hear it.
Watching.
Waiting for them to all fade away.
As soon they will.
Faces.
Frowning, laughing, screaming, crying.
And I did not see them,
Until today.
Why?
There are so many of them
That they all blend together
As part of the scenery,
Even though each is unique.
Look around.
Do you see them?
Do I?
Perhaps no-one does.
Imagine.
A world full of people.
Each one alone.
Invisible and Blind.




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New look blog design & plans for the blog @bonnitagraphics #pbloggers

New Design

Well, its been a really exciting week. I've been busy with the pBloggers team getting the pbloggers blog up and running and promoting it as much as possible. I also had a new header (and avatar/badge and facebook/twitter headers) designed which I applied to the blog last night. It was designed by Bonita Graphics who turned it around in just a few hours. Please check them out and also follow/like them on Twitter and Facebook! I'm SO impressed and I love the new look of my blog. The header is designed to describe my family and life. If you are reading on a phone here is a picture of the header:


On the left you have my husband, Joshua and the little dog Toby. On the right, you have me and my daughter Lala next to our house and my little red car. In the far right you have Tia our labrador who we almost parted company with but who we love very much now we decided that it was US that needed to pull our socks up. Just under the title you have a rabbit (yes, we have a rabbit) and finally, dotted around the scene you have 6 chickens one of which is on my head. I just love it. It pretty much describes the chaos (and fun) that is our life. I only wish I spent more time at home. And I kind of wish our house was in the middle of a field with a dirt track (yellow brick road it looks like) leading up to it! One day....

Plans for the blog

I am so excited about everything that's going on right now. I have plans to write an eBook - more about that later. I have been listening to podcasts by Blogging Your Passion and Smart Passive Income to get hints and tips of how to make my blog better. I would love to make some money from blogging one day and haven't started on that route yet. That is not my main priority as really I just love writing and sharing but in my mind it would be amazing to earn an income from blogging/writing. And from listening to these blogs it seems that people out there are doing it.

I have been reading a lot of blogs too and trying to absorb as much as I can. However, after listening to a Blogging your passion podcast this morning I have realised that I am in "boss mode" too much. I have all these plans in my head: things I want to do, write about, ideas to develop but I'm spending too much time learning and not enough time actually DOING the work I need to do to get there. I feel like also my blog posts have been getting less and less frequent and when I've done them they've been short and really about plans again. No real content. I do hope you will bear with me.

Some of the ideas in my head that I never seem to get round to doing include.... Writing a series of technical help blog posts. After talking to someone at work he actually came up with the term "..... (insert technical item) for Mummies". Like, say, Twitter for Dummies, but for Mummies. I really like that idea. And if I get rich off it I will make sure I pay him some money for the idea! lol. Anyway, the things I would like to include in that blog series are:
  • Evernote - how amazing and useful it is, what I use it for, its different functionalities
  • Twitter - from a newbie to other newbies out there, things I have learnt about Twitter so far
  • Facebook - now I'm more of an expert about Facebook and how to use it to express yourself in your personal life (not so much from a business perspective). I would talk about how to set up private lists and use them in your post settings so that you only share more personal stuff with people you trust to understand. 
  • Blogging - again from the perspective of a relative beginner, I'd just like to put together the things that I've learnt, the tools that I've found helpful. 
Now I have my new design in place, my next step is to migrate from Blogger to Wordpress with a self-hosted site. I have bought hosting and a domain name but I am a little terrified about the move and setting it all up. I am going to take a look at it tonight.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

#pbloggers Blog

On Sunday I blogged about our Trending Twitter party with #pbloggers.

Well, we've been busy busy busy.

We have put together a blog for #pbloggers along with a twitter account for it and we will be working hard to make #pbloggers even more of a success.

Check out the #pbloggers Blog.

Please also follow us on Twitter.

Sorry this is such a short post. I'm very tired but please do check it out!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Hats #pbloggers

I have so many things going on in my head right now and all my hats are muddled up in one big hatty hat. Like in the picture to the side.

You may have read, cough, mentions it again, about our Trending Twitter Party which has turned into a bit of a phenomenon (at least i think it has - it trended and for something to trend on twitter I think is pretty flipping cool). So I have my Mum in a Hurry blogger/twitter promoter hat on with a sub-hat of #pbloggers.

I have my work hat on when I'm at work although I have to be honest and say that lately (particularly since Sunday) my blogger/twitter hat has pretty much over-crowded any other hats that I have. Obviously I do my work but my mind is on other things.

Obviously, first thing in the morning and last thing at night (on weekdays anyway) I have my Mummy hat on.

I also have my student hat which I've only been wearing for a few weeks and I do like but I do love my blogger/twitter hat just that little bit more. I also have my dreamer hat which is the one that whispers to me that maybe one day I could do this blogging/writing thing for a living.

How many hats do you have and how do you manage to wear them (all at once or one at a time)?


Monday, March 18, 2013

BiB - Brilliance in Blogging - please vote for me #bibawards @Britmums #britmumslive #pbloggers

So, this is the first time I've joined in with one of these things. I came in too late with the MAD Awards (although I did vote) but this time, I've decided to go for it. Just heard about this competition/award thingamy through Verily, Victoria Vocalises (stole the picture to left from you - hope you don't mind).

So, I understand from Victoria's post (linked above) that this is organised by BritMums. Here is the blurb from their webpage: "It’s that time of year again: when we celebrate how inspired, talented, and innovative the parent lifestyle blogger world is with the Brilliance in Blogging Awards! Nominate yourself or a favourite blog friend for a BiB."

There are 16 categories - you can see them all here. But I think the ones I fit into are Fresh Voice, Inspire and Writer. The first stage of voting opens today and closes on 12th April. There is another stage of voting once the judges have whittled the nominations down to 16 bloggers in each category - this stage opens on 22nd April and closes on 12th May. The final winners will be announced at BritMums Live (which, yes, Victoria, and readers. I'm going to too - can't wait to meet you, and anyone else going!).

I'm already super excited about going to BritMums but being in this competition if I can get enough nominations may just have me exploding with jubilation!!!!

Please nominate me, please nominate me, please nominate me

PLEASE NOMINATE ME!!!!!!! 

To select your nominations (me!!!) click here. Or click on buttons below (also on sidebar)

PS If I do I will give you lots of chocolate, cake and gin!


NOMINATE ME BiB 2013 FRESH VOICE NOMINATE ME BiB 2013 WRITER NOMINATE ME BiB 2013 INSPIRENOMINATE ME BiB 2013 FAMILY

Sunday, March 17, 2013

A Trending Twitter Party - #pbloggers

Wow. Where do I start?

I have only been properly blogging and on Twitter since November last year and it has been a bit of a learning curve, I have to say.

I have been trying to get to grips with it all and I had seen some chat going on around #bbloggers and #fbloggers etc and I didnt' really understand it all.

Well, I joined in a little bit and figured out that bbloggers stood for beauty bloggers and fbloggers was for fashion bloggers. There was also mbloggers for music bloggers. I can't remember how it came about but I joined in a conversation with some other ladies about why there wasn't a hashtag party thing for mum bloggers. We decided that it would be nice to include dads as there are plenty of daddy bloggers out there too and we wanted to include them so I came up with pbloggers (which stands for parent-bloggers). It wasn't being used for anything and, last Sunday, the #pbloggers Twitter party spontaneously happened.

This week, our 2nd week, we trended on Twitter. Now, I'm still quite new to all this but I know that trending is good.

We chatted with lots of bloggers experienced and newbies (like me). Our topic this week was actually being a new blogger - people's thoughts, experiences and advise if you had any to give.

The creators (that sounds quite cool, doesn't it) of #pbloggers are:

myself here (@mum_in_a_hurry)
Mischief Mayhem & Motherhood (link to her post re #pbloggers) @happymumMMM
Yummy Mummy in Training @Mummytraining27
My Little Rays of Sunshine (pot re #pbloggers) @mylittlerays
They Grow So Quick @Sebsmummy
Mummy Plum @mummy_plum.

Well, ladies, there is no parting us now. We are partners in crime!!!

The rest of you, if you are a parent and a blogger come join us NEXT SUNDAY (and every Sunday) 9-10PM. 


Friday, March 15, 2013

Matilda Mae Poem @Edspire #MatildaMae

Matilda Mae


a Poem Written for Jenny Edspire ispired by her post Toddler Grief


Dearest Baby Matilda Mae 
You are so dearly missed.  
Your mummy's heart is breaking 
Into lots of tiny bits 

You're brother and sister don't understand  
where their baby has gone 
Why mummy & daddy can't fetch her 
and bring her back where she belongs 

Matilda Mae I don't know you 
But I feel your mummy's pain 
So beautifully she writes it 
So raw and unrestrained 

 I want to make it better 
To give you back to your mum 
But I know that that's not possible 
What is done can't be undone 

So please baby Tilly grant me 
A favour from your place up high 
Grant your family the wherewithal  
To be strong and to get by

Random Ramblings

I feel the need to post a blog post but am not entirely sure what I'm going to write about.

What's on my mind?
  • Work - Its getting busier which is good and I've been training a new lady this week which is fine. Its a bit tiring. Sometimes all you want to do is get on with stuff, but that's not her fault. 
  • Study - I'm up to Lesson 5 (I think there are a total of 9 and then there are example exams and things). I have gone over my notes from lessons 1-4 and redone the tests to drum the information into my mind
  • Blog - I'm SO excited about my blog. I obsessively watch the number of views each day to see if they go higher than the next day. Not sure this is healthy - if anything its making me distracted as I'm thinking more about number of viewers and less about writing interesting/good content. Also can't WAIT for Britmums Live in June.
  • eBook - Off the back of some of my recent poetry posts linking up with Prose for Thought #Prose4T, I got some really lovely feedback and someone even suggested I put my poetry into an ebook and sell it on Amazon. I'm looking into that. I looked into the pricing of that and would have to price it at $2.99 (about £1.70) I think if I wanted to get 70% of the profit. I would also need to 
    • Title of ebook
    • Which poems to include
    • Order?
    • Should it include pictures, extra text in between the poetry?
    • Would people actually pay that for a book by me?
  • Bath bombs - old hobby/pocketmoney income of mine has been resurrected and have been selling to work colleagues through this email distribution list that they have at work for selling items, advertising wanted things and stuff like that.
  • Nails - have had TONNES of comments about my nails that I've done - started doing nail art on top of the acryllics that I had done. First I did pink with white polka dots. Most recent attempt is turquoisey green with little white flowers and little tiny blue gems. I bought a kit of nail varnishes (the kind with the really thin brushes) and have been going on Pinterest to get inspiration. See my Pinterest Boards - one for Inspiration and one for my endeavours for pics. I am going to try to make a habit of doing them either on a Friday or Saturday night. Not sure what I'm goign to try next. Might make up my own design. I'm thinking some kind of butterfly motif. 
  • BlogLovin - Oh, also I have just joined BlogLovin as I found out that Google Reader is closing soon. I've tried it out and I love it. Please follow me on it. In fact, while you're at it, please also follow me on:
That's it for now. I hope to soon have some incredibly interesting, useful and scintillating content for you! Haha!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Bloglovin

<a href="http://www.bloglovin.com/blog/4578605/?claim=4y3gc4hks6g">Follow my blog with Bloglovin</a>

Prose for thought #Prose4T - Too Little Sunshine, So Much Rain

Too Little Sunshine, So Much Rain

9th January 2001

Sitting on my own
Thoughts rolling through my mind
Looking for a peace
That I never seem to find

I wish I was a wave
That was crashing on the beach
I wish I was the light 
That is just beyond my reach

I wish I could give but never take
I wish I could sleep and never wake
I close my eyes but I can still see
I can't shut off that part of me

I go to bed and try to sleep
Why does this knife cut so deep
There's an empty space inside my soul
a part of me that's never been whole

I feel my life is wasting away
And its such a struggle to get through the day
There's a part of me that wants to grow
I've tried so hard not to let it show

But now I find I can't contain
Too Little Sunshine, so much rain. 


Prose for Thought

Monday, March 11, 2013

Thinking about the worst that could happen and the grief of others

Today I read a post by Edspire called Not So Normal Afterall about a mum dealing with her first day of "normal" routine after the funeral of her third child, baby Matilda Mae who some of you may have heard about through Twitter and the blogging network.

I'm not even sure what I want to say in this post. Edspire's post moved me to tears as I was reading about her reactions to normal things and to her inability to hug her children (I don't judge her at all for this I just want to say). I can't say I know how she feels but I can begin to imagine. There are crass things that go through my mind to say (in this blog) - about how lucky I feel and how I feel for her. I do. And I do.

Her post is so raw and you can almost see her pain floating up out of the screen. 

My instinct, if I'm honest, is to not open her blog again for a while as it makes me feel so many emotions. But she can't do that. Close the book on those emotions because its convenient to do so, so why should I. It feels unfair that this can happen to a nice lady (to anyone really).

I'm thinking about my own children asleep in bed upstairs. It makes me want to go hug them tight - but I'd probably wake them up.

What must it be like to know that you aren't going to squeese those little chubby legs again, hear that giggle again.... But in the midst of her grief, Edspire is still thinking about how her grief is affecting her family.

I am going to end here because I don't know what else to say, but if she reads it, I have a quick message for Edspire: you are amazing. Keep going. You'll get through this. We are all behind you.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Dear Mummy

Dear Mummy,

Mummy, I am writing this on Sunday, Mothers Day
Its made me think of a few things i'd really like to say.
First of all, I'd like to tell you how much I love you
But more than that, I understand, now I'm a mother too.

Thank you for the crafty fun down in the cellar den
Making and sticking and painting, all happy memories of back then.
I remember Daddy going away and waiting by the window
Asking you when he was coming home, how you coped on your own I don't know.


You cared for us, fed us, kept us clean, kept us entertained
No parents nearby to help you out, you really must have been drained.
Apologies from me the teenager. I hope you will forgive.
I'm really lucky to have you & grateful for the help you give.

More than that, I'm proud of you. And what you have achieved.
You run your own business, work from home, in your dreams you have believed.
You're earning a wage from something you love, of this you should be proud.
And this makes me think that maybe my head isn't totally in the clouds.

So keep on being you, you are the you that I love so much.
You're caring and smart (yes, you are) with a very artistic touch.
Now I'd better go because its nearly 1 and I'm meant to be at yours
I do hope you like your cream tea we've made: scones and cheese straws.

Right, better go, how do I end? I suppose I should just say
I love you a lot and I'm wishing you a Happy Mothers Day. 








Thursday, March 7, 2013

Prose for Thought

Well, I was thinking of putting another of my poems up and the lovely Victoria from Verily, Victoria Vocalises suggested that I join in on her Prose for Thought Linky - here is this week's Prose for Thought blog post. I am doing this almost by accident as I only just remembered and luckily this linky happens on a Thursday which is good as today's the day that it occurred to me to post more poetry. I'm not very good at keeping to a schedule. I used to try or think about how I should be trying to do certain things on certain days (with regards to the blog I mean) but in the end I decided that I'd much prefer to just go with the flow. I was also invited to join in with Emma from Crazy With Twins on her Wednesday Words linky. Thank you so much for the invite. I hope you don't think I'm rude. I just forgot yesterday and now its too late. I will try to remember to join in on this one next week!

So, I haven't even decided which poem to choose yet. This is going to be as much an experience for me as it (hopefully) is for you. I'm currently running a bath. Sitting in my bedroom typing on my laptop. Hang on. Will take a picture for you!






Right. After about half an hour I have finally chosen. This is a poem that I obviously wrote at work (in 2004 when I was working for a large telecoms company). Its written on a couple of sheets of A4 lined paper and was tucked into another notebook that I used to use for writing my poems:






So here it is:

6th December 2004

How do I make myself stronger
When all i want to do
is pull the covers up and
Hide away from all of you

The ones that make me want to scream
and tear out all my hair
The ones that make me want to shout
out that I just don't care

I'll give you everything that I am
Just don't expect me to give a damn
I'll work my fingers to the the bone
But when it comes down to it, I'd rather be at home

Why do you act like you are better than anyone else
Why do I feel like you just want me to hate myself

With your cliches and your way of always blaming me
I look through the bars and beg you to set me free

From now I'll always smile for you
You'll never see me frown
I'll never cry in front of you
You'll never see me down

I'll keep my feelings to myself
I'll keep my secrets hidden
My face will be a book closed to you
A diary that's forbidden

There's no way i can trust you
Or even like you - you've made your feelings clear
But I won't let you crush me or push me down
You won't get the better of my fear. 

I think I was writing either at my boss or my supervisor. I remember those really strong feelings of not being allowed to "be me" and having to keep everything in. I've always been a very expressionate person (I just made that word up) and have never felt entirely (ok, at all) like I belonged in a corporate office. 
Hope you liked my poem.

Oh, here is the linky link thing. I hope I do it right! 
Prose for Thought

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Mention in Britmums

Hope you don't mind me blowing my own trumpet here but yesterday I found out that I'd got a mention in Britmums Newbie Tuesday post for my post where I included an old poem. She called it stunning!

So chuffed. Please check it out. Also check out all the other bloggers mentioned. I've had a look and subscribed and they are really worth a look!

@Britmums (not sure if putting a hashtag in my post will work...)

Friday, March 1, 2013

Weight Watchers and Couch to 5K

Two things to tell you tonight. 1 is that I joined Weight Watchers again today as an online member. I also created a FB page to log my progress (will also post on here) so I am accountable and have told everyone what I'm doing. I will have to stick to it. I can do it. I can. Cant I? I can....

The other thing I did today was do my first Couch to 5K run. I went out and walked/ran on the road. It consisted of a 5 minute walking warmup. Then 20 minutes of walking for 1.5 mins and running for 1 minute intermittently and then finally a 5 minute cool-down walk. My next one will be on Sunday. I'm going to try to do every 2 days.

I really hope I manage to find the motivation to see this through. I really need a change.

That's just the way it is

Half an hour to go until home time. Actually 20 minutes. Just enough time for me to whip this post off.

A colleague just said to me, when I commented that our boss had left the office at 3 today presumably to go work from home the rest of the afternoon. She said "that's just the way it is unfortunately, you either accept it or leave - that is the standard line here". What she was referring to is that its not acceptable for us (a) in this department and (b) as contractors, to work from home or to have flexible working hours. Now, I am not saying that employers ALWAYS have to bend over backwards to make it easier for their employees but according to quite high up management people I have spoken to, the business tries to support employees - particularly women, particularly women with children to a) get back to work and b) once there maintain a manageable work/life balance. However, as I have found out here and in the past is that it doesn't matter what the company line is, the decision basically comes down to your boss. And if, like me, you have a boss who is female and did everything the hard way and thinks you should just suck it up (that's the impression I get anyway), then you aren't going to get any flexibility.

I am trying to think positive. Not dwell on it, but I can't help thinking about the unfairness of it all. Surely, as a boss, it is better that your employees feel like they are valued. Surely when the work CAN be done from home occasionally it should be encouraged. Especially when many other people in the business do it. It just makes me frustrated. I have never been very good with people telling me what to do. Especially when it doesn't make sense to me.

I will give you a for instance. My husband works from home full time. No-one thinks that just cos he's at home he is going to be sat in his boxers, watching TV, only occasionally checking his emails. How about a bit of trust. If you find that we are less productive when at home, then discuss this and take it further from there. Why is it one rule for one, another rule for another?

Right now, apart from the work that I'm doing for a lady who I've been assigned to (because I like her and she actually involves me in meetings and stuff), I feel unmotivated. I don't feel like bothering to rush into work to get in early. Every time I see my boss I think quite uncharitable thoughts. I won't say what they are but suffice to say I don't really like her (I have the feeling that its mutual!). And I leave on the dot of 5 every day even if I was late in. If she brings this up I'll try to pull up my socks but I feel like why should I make an effort for you. You couldn't give a crap about my feelings, my life.

Oh well, I have decided to tackle my weight and I'm also being signed up for a Prince 2 course this weekend so its onwards and upwards. I'll start looking for something new too.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

No 4 day week

My request for a 4 day week was turned down.

Don't have much to say at the moment other than that I cannot continue like this. I will either be trying to find another job - either part time or just more locally and getting on with my prince 2 training.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Old poetry - part 1

I have been tidying my office a bit in the last few days and this evening, my eyes were drawn to my book of poetry that I wrote when i was in my early 20's (nearly 15 years ago - god, I feel old now). I thought it might be interesting to publish them here as an insight into the feelings of someone with mental health issues.

I want to stress that, while I do still struggle quite a lot sometimes, I don't feel nearly as black as this poem paints things. I think I was only just coming to terms with what I had (depression) and 15 years experience has taught me a few things on how to deal with the low feelings. Something else that really helps me is my 2 beautiful cute funny children. Knowing that I have them in my life, to protect, cuddle, play with (not withstanding all the guilt that i feel from certain lifestyle choices), it makes the darkness, when it comes, a little easier to bear/bare/bair.... no idea which word is the correct spelling - apart from the last one which is not a word!

Anyway, here is my poem from my little black book of poetry, pictured below:




8th January 2001

I closed my eyes and tried to find 
the space where my life should be
23 years of living 
leave me completely empty

When did the void appear?
How did I fall this low?
Why does my whole body 
feel so utterly hollow.
I want to be alone, 
but I need someone right now. 
I want to reach out 
but I don't know who or how. 
I feel so numb 
I might as well be dead. 
I'm alone in this world, 
this place that I live in.
I wish the clouds in my head
Would leave me to my own peace
I've no reason at all so why do I feel such grief.
My whole life I've felt it. Its always been there. 
I was always taught that life was fair. 
But it isn't. Its an empty cruel place.
And I look at myself. And my face
in the mirror tells me nothing at all. 
All my life Ive felt this empty and small
Only now does it start to make sense. 
The pills are starting to work. 
I feel less desperate, less distraught. 
But the emptiness is still right there in its place.
Maybe this is me. How I'm meant to be. 
No matter where I am, who I'm with,
I'll never be free
Sometimes even breathing is hard. 
The emptiness inside me feels like a rock
Weighing me down. Pulling me down. 
I curl up in the protection of my home.
Why do I feel like my skin is not my own. 
Smiling feels so unnatural, when will it pass?
Perhaps when I get to the bottom of the glass.
 My body's warm but my heart is so cold. 
How can 23 years make me feel so old. 
I want to write it all down, get it out of my head
But I don't think I can so I'll fill my glass instead. 


Rather depressing reading, isn't it?! Sorry about that. Here is a funny picture of Lala to cheer you up!

this is her smiling :)

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Things could be looking up

Things might be looking up. I felt so depressed this morning sending Lala off when she was clearly feeling poorly and wanting to stay home with mummy. She's only 2 and I feel awful not being able to spend time with her. I've been THIS close to quitting....

Talk of the devil. Lala just woke up crying. Actually not sure she woke up at all. She's very hot. Feel so sorry for her. 

Where was I? Oh yes, THIS close to just chucking it all in. Its not that I dislike my job or anything. In fact, when its busy, like it was today, I quite like it. It looks like its going to get a whole lot busier which is a really good thing.

Anyway, I was feeling really down about it and honestly felt like I was going to have a really shit day. I was tired and my eyes hurt as we had quite a stressful evening last night - with a bit of a row between us and I went to be feeling upset and down. So this morning I was bleary eyed and felt like I had a hangover when actually I only had a glass and a half of wine.

As I was driving into work, the idea popped into my head that maybe it was possible to work the same number of hours (so I wouldn't be requesting to cut my hours) but to do them over a shorter week. So do just 4 days a week but longer days. Someone I worked with in my previous company said she did that and I don't know why I hadn't thought of it before. Well, I guess up until now I was pretty much trying to convince myself that I could make full time work. But now I feel like if something doesn't give I'm going to crash. I need a bit of down time. Time with the kids. Time to catch up on washing, bake with the kids, play with playdough, or just generally have a day off watching Peppa Pig with the kids. Plus, playdates. Imagine being able to do them again. I miss those mummy natters, bitching about things our other halves do (sorry other halves).

I had it so good before. Working 5 minutes away. Working 3 days per week.... I could have tried harder to get another job where I was. Then again, I was miserable. I'd never been happy there. In many ways I am glad I left (got made redundant). I got to have a really nice summer at home with the kids before starting this job in an IT company (had always wanted to work for an IT company) and at least now I have a chance to work towards something, not just sit in a job that isn't going to go anywhere.

So, once I got into work, after mulling over this idea, I pinged the HR lady (who is lovely by the way) and asked if she had time later. I was still a bit upset. She said that she had time later at around 3pm. However I really wanted to get this off my chest now so I went up to where she sits and asked if she'd mind going to get a coffee with me. So we sat down in the coffee bar area and I told her about how I was feeling (like missing out so much on the kids and the guilt etc) and told her my idea for making it a bit better. She said she is going to go discuss it with her colleagues and then her boss (on monday) and get together a list of ideas (of what other people do) so that we can present it to my boss as a proposal. I really hope she goes for it. I'm not trying to be difficult or get out of any work or let anyone down and I really hope she doesn't see it like that. I just want to be a good mum as well as a good employee.

I'm so glad its friday tomorrow. I'm in bed now. Hoping I feel less shattered tomorrow. Ben was very good this evening. He'd done loads of housework and when I got home he took Lala off for a bath (after I'd cuddled on the sofa with her for a bit) and then bathed JOshua and put them to bed and I chilled out on the sofa. I then made us both a salad for dinner and brought it up to him as he's spending the evening studying and now I think its time to sleep. Love you all xxx

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Career confusion / Head in the Clouds

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I'm a bit bored again at work. I have plenty to be done (well, a bit, not exactly plenty) but I am waiting on stuff before I can get on with it. I find that very irritating.

Its left me with too much time on my hands to think about things.

I'm thinking about life, my "career" and what I want to do.

Life

Life at the moment, in a nutshell, is me working full time, husband working from home (apart from when away), kids in full time childcare (which includes family).

Life as I imagine or dream it would be: slower paced, less stressed, involving lots of pottering.

Career

I have never been very "into" having a career. I came out of university (after doing a degree in Spanish & Economics) and fell into a sequence of jobs that eventually lead to a 10 year long career as a PA (personal assistant, executive assistant, slave, lacky, whatever you want to call it). I'm very good at organising things and I am pretty damn hot on IT - spreadsheets and stuff like that. I'm currently working as a Project Management Administrator in Reading and, as you can tell from this and previous posts, I'm not particularly busy.

I have decided that I want to persue a career as project manager. I have previously expressed my doubts about this plan here. Its not that I don't think I can do it. I know that I have the skills. I'm just wondering if really, deep down, I want to. See my reasons below:

What I want to do

I'm going to start by talking from my heart and not considering the issue of needing to earn a living. What do I love doing? Writing. Being creative. Making and selling things. I have wanted to run my own business for years and I have flitted from idea to idea. Going from hot to cold (when I realise that really its not going to be practical to actually do it as a main job/business). These are the ideas I have had/things I have done:
  • Card-making - I got quite popular with this little business idea. I even sold to some gift shops. 
  • Bath bomb making - I did this for a couple of years around the times that I had my kids and was on maternity leave. I loved the idea/feeling of getting praise for making something pretty (similar theme to the card-making in that respect). I have in fact started doing this again - only really as a way of earning a bit of extra money - I have no illusions about starting my own bathbomb factory with lots of little bathbomb-making minions.
  • Organising - this started by me taking pictures and putting them on facebook of little things that I would organise. Someone then said I should start a blog. Which I did. You can see it here if you like: Organising the Chaos. I'm no longer writing it as when I started working full time I found it, unsurprisingly, hard to find the time to organise, let alone blog about it. However, before this idea fell on its feet, I got pretty serious about it. I organised someone's play room for them - as a kind of portfolio piece, I designed and made an organising box for someone, I researched becoming a professional organiser. I even paid for someone to create the header for my blog and would have gone on and had her make me a website too if I hadn't just run out of steam. 
  • Party Planning - this idea I had around Christmas. Again I got all worked up about this idea. Did a load of research but then, the same as all my ideas and plans, as soon as I realised that I wasn't going to be able to drop everything and throw my all into the idea, I lost interest. 
So what should I do? I don't know. Am I being unrealistic? My urge to be creative and be my own boss... is it, well, stupid? Maybe I should just give up on my dreams and ideas and "embrace" (if its possible to embrase something so dull) a normal working life where I actually PLAN to do something with this career of mine that I never really wanted anyway.

I feel a little deflated just thinking about that.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

I won something/got published!!!

Woooohooooo. I never win anything EVER.

Anyway, I have now. I won a competition to write a post/article about The most important thing about parenting.... and get published in Kidslocal.co.uk

Here is the link to that page. Where I won. I did. I won something. I really did:

The most important thing about parenting is.....

I'm eating olives and drinking wine (ok no real change there then) to celebrate.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Beauty routine - changing things around

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I love lotions and potions and makeup and cream. But I'm rubbish at actually using them. I also like the idea of a dressing table. Somewhere you sit down to really focus on yourself. But sadly, this set up actually works AGAINST me as I rarely have the time to actually sit down and do my makeup or do my bedtime routine (or am too tired to be bothered). After my little pamper session and me-time yesterday I decided that I was going to try keeping my essential stuff - makeup remover & cotton pads, face cream, eye cream, cleanser etc - in the bathroom. So that at night when I am in there to take my pills (I keep them up on a high shelf in the bathroom away from the kids), take my contact lenses out and brush my teeth before bed, I can get in the habit of moisturizing my face etc. Same in the morning. I can do it immediately after my shower.

This has already worked well for me after just one day. I've added toner and eyecream to my selection and I will see if I can maintain regularly using these creams and things and keeping up my beauty regime.

I'm not vain by the way. I don't really care if I get wrinkly. Well, OK, I do a bit. But my skin often feels very dry and tired and I have all these things (collected, given to me, bought) - I may as well use them. Plus pampering yourself in whatever small way does make you feel good and I need a confidence boost right now. Every little helps, as Tesco would say.

Good night all. I'm in bed already. I'm going to catch up on reading some blogs that I follow that I'm behind on. Sweet dreams!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

What a difference a day (to yourself) makes

My husband got back from a 2 week work trip to the states yesterday. We were both pretty shattered and so I had a nap in the morning and then he had a nap in the afternoon and then he took Joshua out to the shops and to collect one of our dogs from a friends where I was staying for the 2 weeks.

But today, after Rugby Tots, I went out shopping. I didn't really intend to be out all day but I kind of figured I deserved a treat and to take my time and not rush back. I left the house around 11.30am and didn't get back much before 4pm.

I went into Guildford and parked up the top in York Road. I like parking here because a) you get a ticket and pay on your return so you don't have to worry about time. Also I like it because you walk from the top, down through the shops, browsing as you go. First of all, I popped into a very nice looking stationery shop. It was quite small and new and had lots of lovely pens, notebooks etc organised by colour. All pinks, all greens, all pale blues. Etc. I was in heaven. I so could have spent a fortune in there. However, I managed to get away with only spending £2 on a pink rollerball pen to keep in my handbag. I thought about buying a notebook but manage to restrain myself as the truth is that I do most things on the computer or my phone. So a notebook is something that I would carry around but never use, much as I like the idea of it.

After that I wandered down the high street. I popped into a nice looking small shoe shop, but there wasn't really anything I liked so I moved on. I went to House of Fraser next. I intended to look at purses. I thought I might like something a bit smaller for the handbag (see picture) that my hubby brought me back from the states but I couldn't see anything I liked. On my way in, I got cornered by the Estee Lauder counter. Actually that's not true. I was standing gazing at the free gift when a lady asked if she could help me so I asked what was in the free gift and what I would have to buy to get it. 2 things apparently which would probably add up to £40 or more so I told the lady I would mull over if I could afford anything while I browsed purses. I had pretty much decided that I couldn't afford it and was heading to the exit when I passed the Benefit counter. I couldn't resist. I had to look. And the lady there was so lovely and I got chatting to her and in the end I asked her if she did makeovers. She said she did and did I have time now, which I did (I explained about hubby just back from 2 weeks and this being first chance for a bit of me-time). So she went about making me pretty with all her potions and pretty makeuppy coloury things.

After my little makeover, I wandered along to M&S. I got a pair of jeans, a top, a nice long dress for work and a pair of new shoes (19.99 - bargain). As I was looking at myself in the mirror feeling nice to be wearing nice clothes, I decided that confidence has to come first. It is no good to try to even think about dietting, starting an exercise regime when I feel shattered, ugly, fat. So some nice clothes, some nice makeup, a bit of time to myself. That's the first step. Make me feel good as I am now.

After M&S I went to get my nails done. I had an idea about getting Hello Kitty on my nails. Hello Kitty is Lala's latest craze. I googled "Hello Kitty nails" on Google Images and I found this image:

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They didn't have a bow so they used a flower instead. I think it looks cute! Lala did like it very much. So much so that when I got home and showed her, she tried to take the nail off. "Lala's Hello Kitty nail" she said! haha!

After having my nails done I went to Cafe Rouge and had a goats cheese salad and a glass of wine, followed by a latte while I read a book on my iphone kindle app and caught up on Facebook. It was blissful. The whole day. I wished it could last a bit longer. But it made me feel like me again.

Tomorrow I'm going to wear my new dress and new shoes and put some makeup on and do my hair. The pressure is off. Ben is here now. Its not all on me. I didn't mind being on my own or in charge for a while. But by the middle of the 2nd week it had really worn me down - being the only one there to do bedtime and morning times and never getting an extra 15 minutes in bed while the other one deals with the kids. Not being able to get in the shower and get dressed without little people coming to keep you company! Its good to have him back. It feels like a huge weight off my shoulders.


Thursday, February 14, 2013

I want to break free (hum along to Queen if you like)

I got myself into a bit of a state last night/this morning over something which, in hindsight was petty and silly, but because it happened right as I was getting ready to go to bed, really got to me. But it made me question everything about the way that I live my life.

I'm working from home today and I feel absolutely shattered. I'm not all that busy so I could be whizzing round catching up on the housework, and while I have done a bit, I've not done as much as I could. I could also be reading my Prince 2 training stuff. I had to take one of my emergency pills this morning to calm myself down and now, while I feel calm, I also feel like I've been ripped to shreds.

Part of me just wants to give up work and stay home with my babies. I spending time with them. Particularly Lala as she is the baby (in my eyes). Part of me is ready to get rid of the new car (which I only bought because I'm commuting from Farnham to Reading everyday, the gadgets (I love my MacBook) and everything that is costly and really, deep down, unnecessary in the big scheme of things and just look after my own children myself. Am I really that bothered about a career? No, not really. If I have to work, I'd rather be doing something challenging and interesting but am I enjoying working full time and commuting and being a "Mum in a Hurry"? No. Not really. How many times, when I've been stressed or upset at work have I skyped Ben and begged him to let us run away to Wales or somewhere remote where we would HAVE to give up relying on Grandparents for childcare. Where it would just be me, him and the kids.

But who am I kidding? That's never going to happen. Just working from home today, there was such a difference in pace. I wasn't so stressed getting the kids ready (cos I didn't have to get ready myself). Once they were gone, I let the chickens out in the garden, collected the eggs, fed them.... Made myself a cup of tea and then sat down at my laptop. I don't MIND being at work really but its all the things that come with working full time. Its the commute. Its the over-emotional (perhaps my fault for reading things into messages or statuses sometimes that aren't there or aren't meant negatively) involvement of family in the childcare arrangements. Its feeling like somehow I'm not good enough or that people don't value me enough (this again is probably down to my own insecurities rather than anything anyone else does or says at work). And I find the whole thing exhausting to be frank. It makes me want to escape.

I've thought about trying to go part time. I already know that working from home more often isn't an option in my bosses eyes (she's not keen). But again, I don't want to do something LESS taxing and worsely paid just for the sake of less hours. The commute does suck but at least I'm well paid for it. Maybe I should just get on and do my studying. I have time today - I could do some reading and then maybe get Ben to book me on a course when I get back. Maybe I'd feel better if I felt I was on my way to a better job, the kind that is much more likely to be flexible about working from home/flexible hours etc.

Will leave it there as I'm drained. Must get on and do something rather than just moping around and feeling sorry for myself!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Listening to the radio makes me hurt

I was listening to the radio this morning (radio 4) and there was an interview with James Bulger's dad as today was 20 years since the murder of the little toddler. Just thinking about it now, makes me want to cry. It makes me angry that CHILDREN could be so cruel and depraved to have done something like that. It made me want to turn right around and get my little 2 and 4 year old and hug them so tight that they tell me to let go! I didn't listen to the whole interview as it was on just after 9am just as I was arriving at work 5 minutes late (I caught the first 5 minutes as I was approaching work and finding a parking space).

Then on my way home, there was another story about a father who set fire to his house on purpose, intending to rescue the 6 children in that house and blame the fire on his mistress. What is wrong with these people? Where is the instinct to keep your children safe. You DO NOT do things that put your children in danger. How does a father let greed and vindictiveness overtake his common sense and his instinct to protect his children and keep them safe from harm. How must that man feel now, knowing what he's done, that his 6 children are dead.

I want to go hug my children again.

I'm not good at this stuff. Do all mums feel like this when they hear this stuff on the radio? Its like it physically hurts. I know its not me and its not my children but it hurts just to know that this kind of thing happens. Do dads feel this way too or is this my female hormones talking?

I must go to sleep as I have to be up at 6.30am to get showered and dressed to be at the doctors at 7.40am. Oh the joys.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

I couldn't be a single mum

I just couldn't do it. I think if I for whatever reason became a single mum, I would have to find a bloke, any bloke (well, not ANY bloke obviously as would have to put my kids first), so that I wasn't on my own. Its not that I mind being on my own but its just endless. Putting to bed, brushing teeth (which I forgot to do tonight incidentally), making go to toilet, changing nappies, making sure all required toys are in bed with said children, loading the dishwasher, unloading the dishwasher, feeding the animals, locking the chickens up, going to bed at 9pm cos you're too tired to do anything else, getting woken up at 6am (feeling like you only just shut your eyes), getting kids ready to go, getting self ready for work, driving to work, working, driving back, putting kids to bed, going to bed at 9pm..... AND REPEAT SEVERAL THOUSAND TIMES.

I couldn't do it. I really couldn't. RESPECT BIG TIME TO SINGLE PARENTS.

I feel like I shouldn't moan. I can hear people saying "This is just life with kids" and I know I should accept that. I told my mum I was tired when I saw her yesterday and she said "but you're only a part time mum". I think she realised as soon as she'd said it that it wasn't really the right thing to say.

Yes, I do only look after them evenings and weekends but right now, I'm on my own. There's no respite from even ONE putting back to bed of 4 year old or getting up in middle of night to comfort 2 year old or taking in turns to have a lie in at the weekends. This doesn't come naturally to me. I love them. I have fun with them. I play with them and enjoy them. But I get tired and I get fed up. I feel like I'm fast nearing the end of my tether. I'm thinking about having a bath but I'm not sure I have the energy. By the time I get upstairs and run it, it will be 9pm and then I'll probably spend an hour in there and then it will be 10pm and that's too late for me right now.

I may be a moaner but this isn't living. Being so tired that you go to bed at 9 to 9.30 every night.

That's it. I have no more to say. Good night.

Too tired

Too tired to type. Too tired to care. Too tired to put Joshua to bed again (he'd better not frigging get out of bed again). Too tired to eat (had cereal for dinner). Too tired to get up to get myself another cup of tea. Too tired to cry. Too tired to even think about another week of this.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Blast from the past post - Old "Getting Back Abi" List

Am going through old files as I'm reorganising my Evernote account. And I came across this list I wrote myself in July 2011. See my comments in red. Thought it was worth a giggle.

Diary-2011-07-17-Getting Back Abi List

This is a list of things that I want to achieve (or start achieving) in the next 6 months to a year (order of importance to be decided later - at the moment I'm just free-forming)
  1. Start singing again (possibly find someone to do a duo with me or join a band) Never did manage this. Just haven't had time and now I'm working full time its even LESS likely
  2. Get to my goal weight & become a WW leader This has completely gone out of the window. For a start, I got turned down when I applied to be a Weight Watchers leader which actually gave me rather a negative view of them overall and probably contributed to me quitting as a member.
  3. Start taking Turkish Lessons Dammit!
  4. Take control of finances (get rid of overdraft, increase loan payment, sort out pension). OK.... got rid of overdraft. Paying loan off still. Still not got a pension.
  5. Start doing at least one exercise class a week and one walk with WW friends. Hmmm. See above point 2.
  6. Arrange some kid-free time (something special, not just going to sainsburies or something). Yes, this I have managed somewhat. Had my girly weekend away. Going to Glasto this year (although not sure I want to - a couple of nights in a nice hotel room might be more my idea of fun....)
  7. Wear make up more often Nope. Still failing in this. Even buying makeup doesn't make me more inclined to bother wearing it.
  8. Steadily buy myself a decent wardrobe. Well, I bought a few items off an online catalogue but have been a bit disappointed with the quality so still feel like my wardrobe is severely lacking in everyday essential work and casual items.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Daytime blurb

15.23

I have decided to start writing a blog post. One that is "as it happens" as I quite like the way those kinds work out. Plus it seems to make the time go quicker. 1 hour and 36 minutes (cos its already 15.24) to go until I can go home. I'm a bit bored this afternoon. I have a few things to do but I am not feeling particularly inspired. Particularly as the thing that I need to work on hardly ever gets looked at by the person that its done for. Doesn't' that just really annoy you? When you spend an hour working on something and the person doesn't bother looking at it. I have put an alert on the system where this document is so that I know when someone (including me) updates or downloads it.

I'm looking forward to going home. The last couple of days have not been too bad. Have managed to get the kids to bed without too much agro. And then I have the whole evening to myself which I quite like for a change.

I had a bit of a panic about money this morning. I'd been doing a little bit of emotional spending and stuck my head in the sand instead of looking at whether I could afford the thing I was spending my money on. But I managed to sort it out now. My husband gave me money back for what I spent paying the girls for cleaning, plus an extra £20 plus he found £60 of MY money in a savings account that he had put aside for me AGES ago when I had a bit of a financial wobbly. So now I'm all sorted again. I have plenty to keep me going. Plus we sorted out the food account too so I have enough to get by. I may even have enough to treat myself to a pizza one night in the next couple of weeks. I may do that at the weekend - but will only do it if I've managed to save up enough by not spending my daily allowance.

15.36

1 hour 24 minutes to go. Just so bored today. Looking forward to my dinner tonight. Have decided to have jacket potatoes in the special way I used to have them as a child. We got the idea out of a recipe book called "Cookbook for Kids". Basically, you bake the potato and then scrape the outside out and mash it up with some cheese and bacon (and whatever else you like) and then scoop it back into the skin, sprinkle some more cheese on the top and grill it so it goes nice and melted. I'm feeling hungry just thinking about it. I also have a Gu Chocolate/Vanilla cheesecake to have afterwards. I bought the pack yesterday. With 2 in it. I am BEYOND proud of myself for leaving the second one in the fridge and not going back for the 2nd one when I'd finished the first. Cos it was bloody nice! Last night I went up to bed at 9pm and had a bath. Tonight, I'm going to watch telly (after I've done my list of things to do - deal with chickens, feed rabbit etc), have my dinner and generally chill out.

15:55

Its nearly 4pm! Yay. Only an hour and 5 minutes to go. When I thought my finances were rather dire, I sent out an email to our work "social" email address saying was anyone interested in handmade bath bombs (I used to make them and sell them) and I got a really good response and it looks like I'm going to get some orders.

16:10

I've just scoffed 4 ryvitas (black pepper ones) and now my mouth is ever so slightly burning (in a nice way). I've got myself a hot chocolate from the machine (I'm in that kind of a mood where I need to be either eating or drinking something all the time). 48 minutes until I leave now. Had enough of this week already. Looking forward to saturday. Hoping I can manage to have a fairly chilled out saturday before mad sunday - Rugby tots first thing. Oh, I've just realised we have a birthday party to go to on Saturday. Bugger. Oh well, I at least have the morning. I don't think the birthday party is until 3pm. Guess I can say goodbye to a day or two's worth of money in order to buy a present and a card

17:00.

Blimey. Time to go home!!!

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Long busy day + clean house!

Phew. What a long day. Long busy, but good day.

Hubby left at 8am. I managed to get in the bath in the morning before he left which was nice. Then I got the kids ready for Rugby Tots and Ben's dad arrived (he was taking Joshua to his class which was after Lala's class). After Lala's class we came home and put the telly on and Lala had a snack while I got on with the tidying. I had my friend's two daughters coming round later to do some cleaning for me and there was a HELL of a lot to do and I only had enough money for 3 hours maximum. I got quite a lot done before they turned up at 3pm - including cleaning out my car, emptying all the bins, tidying up the hallway, cleaning up the kitchen mostly (except the floor) and I tidied the "laundry room" hanging up wet clothes that were strewn both on the floor and on the bed and folding up dry clothes in neat piles (I put them away later on). Oh and I also changed my bed sheets so I get to snuggle up into nice clean sheets tonight. In the time that the girls were here they did EVERYTHING. Floors, hoovering, bathrooms, tidying up kids room and other rooms..... I will put some before and after photos next. But am gonna stop to eat my dinner now. :)

Here are the before pictures (yuck):


These are a few pics of my efforts before the lovely girls got here:

Tidied the kitchen

Tidied up the laundry/dog room
Here are the after pics:

It feels so good, and makes such a difference to feel that I have a clean house. I can cope with being on my own every day, dealing with the kids on my own, keeping up with the housework (rather than trying to struggle through with a house that is just constantly a tip.

I'm going to make a real effort to keep it this way. I've already tidied away my dinner things and put a pan in to soak and emptied the dishwasher. I have also added a few things to my list app (HomeRoutines) which I'm going to use to check through what needs doing each day.

I can do this. It might even be enjoyable (no husband - I love you dear, but you do stress me out a bit sometimes and lets face it, 2 grownups make more mess than one, no dogs - I kind of miss them but its nice and quiet without them).

So, what are the things that are in my evening routine? Lets have a look:

  


I will add to it every evening as I find more things that need doing (and I am realistically likely to do). 

Right, on that note I'm going to sign off, post this and think about going to bed. Got to be up early so I can get in the shower and get ready before dealing with the kiddies. 

To my dear friend who leant me her daughters (and to those lovely super-cleaning daughters): Thank You and I love you!!!!!