When Life Revolves Around Kids

Before you’re a parent you absolutely demand that you’re life is never going to revolve around kids. Then you give birth to a tiny human and your world changes. Your opinions change. This week has been a complete testament to how much your life revolves around kids when you become a parent. Oliver is nearly 4 and a lot more ‘self sufficient’ than a tiny baby but life still totally revolves around him. Life really revolves around kids, especially when they’re poorly and we can either fight it, or accept it.

Last week Oliver was a bit (a lot) snotty and feeling rather grotty so he’s been at home instead of at preschool. Well and truly, life revolves around kids and I’ve accepted that. Everything has gone on hold and a lot of what I had planned and wanted to do hasn’t happened because Oliver has been here. He’s also been napping because his body is obviously trying to get better which has meant that he’s been up really late at night and struggled with getting to sleep at bed time. He also only wants Mummy, which has been tough. I’ve downed tools/laptop and just given him all of my attention and cuddles. He’s even napped on me. I haven’t been stuck under a sleepy baby for a long time. But I accepted and just let my life revolve around Oliver.

The To Do List

So this week my to do list has got longer and longer. We have a lot of things to plan for Oliver’s birthday party (in 2 weeks) and loads of things to do for our wedding. Then there’s the obvious day to day stuff. I still haven’t baked my Christmas cake. I really really need to bake my Christmas cake. And then start soaking the fruit for our wedding cake. It’s not even the short term things that I’m focusing on, it’s long term goals that seem to be getting closer closer.

All of the things I’ve needed to do but haven’t yet are

  • Redesign my blog header – you may notice my blog favicon (that little square at the top on the browser tab) is different to the header.
  • Write several blog posts – including a couple about my Raynaud’s
  • Reply to lots of emails
  • Read a book that I’ve been sent
  • Tidy the loft room ready for my brother coming to stay
  • Buy decorations and party bag stuff for Oliver’s party
  • Book a visit to see the hall so that we can plan better
  • Book a meeting with the wedding venue because we finally have our menus and it’s only FOUR MONTHS til we get hitched.
  • Bake the Christmas cake
  • Find bridesmaid dresses
  • Find a time when all of my bridesmaids are available to go shopping/try on different styles and colours of dresses. This is proving to be really difficult because two of them have kids and jobs to juggle.
  • Find a pair of shoes that I’m happy to wear on my wedding day (and some underwear!)
  • Plan Christmas
  • Buy Christmas presents
  • Plan a trip to Lincoln to see family and friends before/around Christmas
  • Plan a weekend trip up North to see friends in the new year
  • Find another weekend to have a hen.
  • Book the DJ
  • Plan our AV set up.
  • Chat to our photographers/videographer.
  • Write a list of questions for our wedding planning meeting
  • Design and send invitations
  • Send Christmas cards
  • Give notice for our wedding
  • Book a planning meeting with the registrar
  • Book hair and make up and plan my hair and eyebrow schedule (I realise that sounds totally pretentious!)

My brain is in overdrive

I feel like I’m getting to the point where I’m concentrating more on how much I have to do rather than getting any of it done. When your life revolves around kids it’s easy to get bogged down and panic at your never ending to do list. It’s easy to lose sleep and just concentrate on how behind you are, but I’m hoping this blog post helps me put my thoughts in order and concentrate on getting it done instead of just complaining about how much there is to do. I’m even planning on writing a to do list for R! Mainly because he keeps forgetting to get in touch with the DJ.

I’m also conscious of my weight at the moment. I did really well at losing a fair bit of weight last year and I can feel it creeping on at the moment. I’m really keen to make sure that doesn’t happen. I have my first seamstress appointment on 9th January and I’m well aware that I really can’t put weight on. My dress is a size 10 and fitted perfectly when I tried it on so I need to make sure it remains a perfect fit. I really want to avoid wearing shapewear underneath it. When I tried it on I didn’t need shapewear, so lets hope it stays that way. It’s the main reason I preferred that dress, it worked with my body shape without spanx. Hopefully you’ll start to see meal planning posts popping up on my blog with some delicious healthy meals on.

when life revolves around kids black text in yellow shape on background of clouds looking pink

Does you life revolve around kids? Do you find that you get bogged down with jobs building up when you have a sick child? Or do you have some tips to help me cope with getting ‘stuff’ done when Oliver’s not feeling well? I’d love to hear any advice you have.

 

 

Turning 30 : Why I’m not scared of it

Turning 30 is a huge milestone for a lot of people. For me it seems to be almost passing me by. I’m turning 30 on Sunday (25th September) and it’s going to be a very low key affair. Last year I thought my 30th birthday would be huge. It also marks a whole decade since I started university. I fully expected that there had to be some huge occasion to celebrate thirty whole years on this earth. But right now, I’m happy for it to quietly go by.

 

When you’re younger you pretty much expect to be doing or have done certain things by the time you’re turning 30. I recently found a piece of work from first year of uni where we had a 10 year plan. I wanted to have a good job, a husband, a house and children by the time I was 30. When I reached final (fourth) year I knew that was an insane age to be doing all of those things. My ideas of what turning 30 was all about had drastically changed.

 

There are loads of articles about why you should love turning 30. This article from PopSugar lists all the amazing reasons why turning 30 is something to look forward to. I’m fully aware that not all 30 year olds have reached the point that their list suggests though. Lifetime Magazine’s article about turning 30 hits the nail on the head a bit more. When you’re 29 you don’t suddenly wake up 30, it’s just the next day. On Sunday I will be another day older than I was the day before.

 

Maybe I’m less afraid of turning 30 because I’ve hit a few of the milestones already

  1. I have a child
  2. I’m in a committed relationship
  3. I’m getting married in six months!
  4. No more horrible landlords – we (sort of) have our own house
  5. We have a business
  6. We hope to have more kids after the wedding
  7. I gave up work to be a stay at home mum
  8. I’ve reassessed my aims in life and have become self employed with a (slightly blurred) vision of where I want to go while still being at home.
  9. I’ve found a hobby I love in yoga
  10. I’m pretty comfortable in my own skin

 

I think that in 2016, the age of social media, turning 30 can go one of two ways

  1. You either get paranoid about your wrinkles and download loads of airbrush apps to edit your instagram photos and cry about all of the things you haven’t achieved that you thought you would.
  2. Or, you embrace the fact that nothing really has changed and that you don’t have to have achieved everything and that instagram isn’t really that real anyway.

George William Curtis says it best, “age is a matter of feeling not of years”Turning 30 - Age is a matter of feeling not of years quote black text on white background

 

How did/are you feel/ing about turning 30? I’d love to read about other people’s experiences

Do I need a tech detox?

On Saturday my phone broke. Sob. At first I was just annoyed, it’s such an inconvenience. I was hoping to not buy one until after the wedding in March. What was really annoying was that I was trying to find the postcode for the Roman Baths Museum in Welwyn. We were already in the car and R ended up having to get his phone out of his pocket while he was driving so I could look on his instead. As the day went on I realised how much I rely on my phone. It made me wonder if I need a tech detox.

Here are just some of the ways I rely on my phone

Meal Planning

To do the meal plan  for each week I use google calendar as it’s syncs to R’s calendar so I know when he’s home or not. I also use the weather app to see what kind of food we might want to have. Especially as autumn hits and we are stuck between forecasts of 30 degree sunshine and days of solid rain. I don’t want to plan a casserole on a sunny day and a salad on a rainy day.

Housework

I use the weather app for deciding which load of washing to put in and whether I can put it out on the line. Some days I focus more on washing because I know it’s going to rain the next day.

Social life

I use the calendar to put things in the diary, so that R sees any important dates that crop up or appointments that he might need to be around for. I also plan things using whatsapp, there are group chats on there with different groups of friends and the school mums. I have quick checks on google to look for things to do. I check twitter and local parents groups on facebook to see if anything’s happening locally.

Blogging

Blogging is obviously a huge part of my life, to be a part of the community I use instagram, facebook and twitter. I also get any blogs I have subscribed to straight to my inbox. I use my phone to comment on people’s blogs too and use apps to schedule posts on facebook and twitter. My phone camera is generally what I use to take photos of anything. I upload and view instagram on it too. I even have apps to edit photos on there.

Banking

I have an app on my phone that I need to use to log on to my online banking, even if I’m accessing my banking on the computer. So I have no access to my bank until I get a new phone.

Getting from A-to-B

Since moving down here I realised how bad my sense of direction really is. I use google maps to go everywhere except places I go on a regular basis. I can do the school run by myself. If the road is ever closed I literally have to follow the diversion though, I wouldn’t know if there was a better way to go. When we go somewhere that’s not local we use google maps to choose the best route. For me that’s the one without a motorway, for R it is usually the quickest route because google maps knows everything!

Memories

I use my phone to take a gazillion photos of Oliver. I really love the apps that bring up the photos from this time last year, 2 years ago etc. I love seeing how he’s grown. It’s so easy to forget that he was once a teeny tiny baby. Remembering the milestones exactly as they were then.

Do I need a tech detox?

I won’t lie I have panicked. Quite a lot. How will I ever cope? How am I going to survive without my smartphone for an ENTIRE week. It’s a good job there’s nowhere I need to go, nothing I need to do and nobody I desperately need to contact.

Mobile phones have long moved on from being something to use for calling and texting. They seem to control our whole lives. But does that mean we don’t live in the moment any more because we are too busy capturing it? I’m not sure how I will cope without my phone for a whole week. I’m currently using a really cheap phone – you know the ones with actual buttons, not just any buttons, but only the number buttons where you have to press the number 2 three times to get a letter C. The only benefit I see is that I won’t have to charge it at all before my new phone arrives.

 

How much do you rely on your phone? Do you think I rely on mine too much? Do I need a tech detox? Perhaps I’ll have a revelation and suddenly decide I don’t need it….unlikely!!

do I need a tech detox? photo of young woman using laptop with phone

 

 

Linking Up to:

 

Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

Solo Parenting without being a Single Parent

It’s that time of year again.  County show and outdoor event season.  The only reason I wince when I see the sun starting to shine and the temperature get warmer.  When R gets his shorts out I know it’s only a matter of time before he’s off for weeks at a time working away.  Of course, I can only be happy that he is working hard and providing enough money for me to stay at home and look after Oliver, but I won’t lie, I do dread the solo parenting bit.

It’s at this time of year my respect for single parents goes through the roof.  It’s really bloody hard when this small person relies only on you.  Last year was especially hard.  Oliver was a bit of a late talker so his understanding was not really there when I explained that Daddy would be home on whichever day.  We tried a few things last year to help us cope while Daddy was away.

 

What I’m Planning to Do This Year

This time will be a little different though; Oliver is older, I can actually drive and he understands so much more as well as being able to express himself better than he has ever been able to.  He can tell me he’s sad, or angry or upset or if he just needs a cuddle.  That in itself will make a huge difference.

Helping Oliver Cope

One of the things I will be implementing again is using the calendar.  I think Oliver really enjoyed crossing off the days.   I’m hoping we might have a few days out too, being able to drive means I can technically take Oliver out by myself, but it’s one of the things that I really struggle with, mentally.  I’m hoping that he might also see a little bit more of Nana, Grandad and Aunty M.

Me Time

Another thing that’s different, at least until the summer holidays, is that Oliver will be at preschool.  It gives me a chance for a bit of me time and to collect myself and my thoughts.  On Thursdays I go to yoga and then for a coffee (actually a decaf tea) with the other ladies from class.  I intend to start doing more yoga at home on other days too.  It really helps me be calm and refocus my thoughts.  I also bought a mindfulness book recently which I’d love to get in to

Housework

Now that Oliver is at preschool I have more of a routine with my cleaning schedule.  I am much happier with how the house looks now than I was this time last year.  We also got a dishwasher in the last year, which helps rather a lot!  The other thing will be to be kind to myself and let myself have the occasional off day where we have pasta sauce from a jar instead of everything needing to be cooked from scratch.

Oliver Time

I have to remember that above all, Oliver needs quality time and extra cuddles, extra play and extra silliness.  Sometimes he just needs a bit of time to wrestle with me or time to cuddle me, or be silly on snapchat with me.  He just needs me sometimes.

snapchat-solo-parenting-silly-

 

Do you have any tips on solo parenting when your partner is away?  If you have any magical secrets I’d love to hear them!

surviving solo parenting

 

I’ve Been Away…

I’ve been away for a little while.  I know I’m not consistent anyway, so you probably didn’t notice!  I’ve been feeling a little snowed under, with the wedding planning, trying to organise our house and plan for renovations while also panicking about our income and how we are going to pay for all of the above.  I felt I needed the break so that I would be able to actually apply myself to my blog and figuring out the income part.

 

I wrote a little while ago that I wanted to organise our spare room-office combo.  The good news is we have sort of done it!  I am sitting here typing this on my lovely mac mini – the bad news is I am still trying to figure out how mac works and using an actual proper keyboard and mouse while sitting at a desk looking up at a screen instead of on the sofa looking down at a screen is a bit strange having used a laptop for so long.

 

The spare room-office definitely is not a pretty looking room yet, but I am sure it won’t be long until I have put my stamp on it.  It is now at least a functional space where R and I can both work – I’ve already noticed the difference in how productive I have been.

 

Hopefully this is the start of a beautiful relationship and I can become much more productive in planning my wedding and blogging!

 

Friday Phone Dump

I just heard about this fab link up called Friday Phone Dump, which is basically to add photos that wouldn’t normally make it on to your blog or social media pages.  So here is mine – pulling funny faces with Oliver!

My Friday Phone Dump

funny face

 

So here I am in all of my uncoordinated, messy hair, no make up glory!

 

Linking Up To:

 

Messy Stains and Growing Pains

I miss my Preschooler

It’s strange.  I miss Oliver but neither of us have gone anywhere really.   I suppose I almost miss my preschooler being a baby.  I suppose it’s not that I miss Oliver, but I miss one on one time with him.

It feels like it’s been forever since I really had that.

I’ve been busy trying to sort out my blog and busy planning #CBM16 then away last weekend for the event itself.

Oliver’s been at preschool every Monday to Friday morning since he started nursery in January and he’s started napping again in the afternoon.  He’s even started sleeping better at night.

But I miss him.

I’m really proud of how he’s settled in and happy that he’s obviously getting the chance to burn off the energy that he needs to while at nursery to be sleeping so well again.

But I miss him.

I miss lounging around in our pyjamas in the morning and watching Bing Bunny, 1,295,678 times a day with him when he’s not feeling great because Daddy is at work.  I miss him insisting that he needs to stay in the bathroom while I have a shower.  I miss him stroking my hair.  I miss him asking me how things work.  I miss him asking if we can go upstairs and just wrestle on my bed, ending up just laying there cuddling and talking about silly things or singing songs.  I miss him coming in to my bed in the middle of the night.

I miss him relying on me 24/7.

I miss knowing that I taught him everything he knows.

I miss the sense of relief I used to feel when R walked through the door from work, instead of knowing that I’m never going to get that long cuddle now.

I miss the feeling of freedom as I leave him with his Nana and Grandad for a weekend.

So yes, I miss him.

I miss my preschooler.

I miss Oliver.

oliver and mummy

 

Linking Up to:

A Bit Of Everything

Mummascribbles