Five ways in which motherhood has changed my life for the better

Five ways motherhood...Any given choice we make is a matter of swings and roundabouts (or, if my children had their way, slides and climbing frames) – we’re all different and no-one has the key to a perfect life. Having said that, I have spent a lot of time thinking about the parenting journey over the years and wondered, for a while, whether I was just another stupid idiot who had foolishly succumbed to that irritating ticking – you know: the biological clock.

You may read a lot of wonderful reports about the ‘overwhelming love’ that children bring into your life* but then again you may read tales of woe centred around any number of challenges that parenthood throws up on an almost daily basis. They bring us to our knees some days. I haven’t seen the light at the end of the tunnel but I have seen the end of my tether. Regularly.

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A strange day…

Freeway Jam

Picture this: you’re all set for a normal day. Well not quite normal – normally I would wake up on a Thursday at 06.30am, get washed and dressed, grab my coffee and be out of the house by 7 on the road to start work at 8am. On this particular Thursday I had a different scenario. The hubster was down in Exeter yesterday running in a 10-mile race and stayed down there overnight. I was tasked with getting the children up fed and dressed and JJ to school for 08.45am which is what happened. Then I had to pop to the supermarket with EJ before transferring him over to the town where my in-laws live and I also work, dropping him there and getting myself into the office for 10.30am. So far so good…

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In the beginning came the “holiday” blues…

Five month baby bump

Ever since I gave birth to JJ in September 2009 certain things I took for granted before have changed radically and this has led to a major mental gear change. The first instance of this phenomena came as JJ’s first Christmas approached. I remember the Health Visitor’s survey asking “do you still look forward to things?”. I thought about Christmas and my heart sank. The only things really keeping me afloat back then were baby groups at the Surestart Centre, the Library, my NCT get togethers, and the thought of all those lifelines being whipped away for the best part of three weeks (at a time when every day seemed like a year!) was too depressing to contemplate.

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Word of the week: Limitations


This week I have been attempting to work within my limitations. Here are some of them:

  • The weather
  • A mobile toddler under the age of two
  • Time
  • Money
  • A tendency to procrastinate
  • Fear of failure
  • A lack of forward momentum…

I have thoughts and plans and ideas – for the blog, for a family holiday, for things to do with JJ in the next few months before he starts big school – but there is always something holding me back.

Of course some limitations are external and there’s nothing you can do about them but some are internal and I need to work on that.

At the other end of the spectrum I have been spending my one day off running myself ragged these past few weeks trying to squeeze 101 things into a few short hours. This week I decided to give myself a break and just put one or two essentials on the To Do list. This made much more sense because, let’s face it, finishing your day with only three things checked off a list of ten feels like a bit of a failure! It also occurred to me that there is no real urgency on many of these tasks and if I concentrate on doing one thing at a time, and doing them well, then I will eventually reap the rewards.

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Word of the Week…

And this week’s #WotW is:


As I was contemplating how my week had gone I realised that, despite only working part time (I head to the office four days a week – one of them is a half day) – I really only see my children for a couple of hours a night Monday through Thursday. For this reason I generally always reach Friday and my week cannot really be summed up by anything central to my role as a parent or to my time with the kids without looking back to the previous weekend. Then I realised that I spent all last Sunday morning at work doing overtime.

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Buying time…

time-precious-commodityIf you could have the choice between time and money which would you choose? I’m genuinely interested to know if people without children would go for money because its not until you have children that you realise that time is actually the most valuable resource in the world and, as the song goes, you only need the light when its burning low, only miss the sun when it starts to snow…and ‘spare’ time when you realise you have just signed up for a mammoth 24/7 job for X years (add the number yourself depending on subjective opinion)…

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SAHM vs. WM…


I’ve been thinking alot about this lately, probably because I have found that the blogs I am drawn to (barring that of the lovely Zoe Ashton who I discovered through the WordPress Reader) tend to be written by stay at home mums who manage to do the most amazing craft activities, enviable child-friendly projects, plus managing to organise a massive amount of super ambitious blogging projects and achieve fabulous goals all whilst fitting in the mundane tasks of cooking, cleaning, and bog-standard childcare in the unseen background.

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Coffee Attitude Adjustment #ThriftyThursday


Well this is new! I’m linking up to #ThriftyThursday over at Cold Tea and Smelly Nappies which is a fun way to share some tips and ideas on how to live a bit more frugally and save some money.

The picture above shows my new(ish) Starbucks cup on the go. I was talked into buying it by the amazing persuasive powers of the Starbucks ‘youves’ who assured me that it was a bargain at £6.50 (a third off!) and I would “make my money back” by using it instead of their paper cups when I came in for my skinny lattes from that point on (you get 25p off if you use your own cup).

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Mindfulness and the Slow Movement #PoCoLo


I recently read a post by a blogger I haven’t come across before (found through the Britmums My Best Post of the Week linky) called Josie, who’s post on managing and coping with motherhood (primarily, I feel aimed towards a complete newbie who hasn’t yet had a chance to get their head round the life-altering change a baby brings) got me thinking about mindfulness and how to live more ‘in the moment’ in general.

Anyone who knows me well will tell you that I tend to be quite an anxious person and often find myself worrying about one thing or another. I get stressed out quite easily and having a child exacerbated this no end! Having two children has cranked it up to stress volume overload! I even began developing a ‘stress rash’ – a small area on my left arm which flares up into an angry, itchy, raised rash the day after a particularly stressful, angry or overwhelmingly negative experience. Its a classic example of the mind alone bringing  something that’s not really real into full physical existence.

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All cluttered up


Recently we have been contemplating a potential house move. Not because we don’t like our house or the place we live in general, but mostly because we would like to live somewhere with both decent, off-road parking and the potential for expansion. We don’t want to move too far (and to be honest can’t afford to move to anywhere more affluent with better schools anyway) or spend any more money or raise our mortgage from its current level either.

On Monday this week the hubster arranged for an estate agent to come and value the house and he was already finished by the time I got home from our friends’ house with the boys. It quickly became apparent that, if we want to stand any chance of buying any half decent house that may come on the market, then we need our house to be on the market too (preferably under offer) so that we don’t miss out. I think the sentence “I can have your house on the market by the end of the week” came up which put me into a state of some panic and shock I have to say. Although we had been discussing the matter and brainstorming about our options, the stark reality of picking up all our worldly belongings and being out on our ears – possibly into a smaller home, maybe losing out on some character (our house is a Victorian red brick and full of charm in my opinion) really freaked me out!

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