Wednesday, 29 February 2012

OMG, I have nothing to wear!

Well, that's a phrase rarely used by me these days.  As a SAHM, there is a plentiful supply of tatty t-shirts, jeans and trainers.  Of course, this is one of the most sensible uniforms for chasing after a toddler, but it does become a uniform that's hard to shed.

This post was inspired jointly by a conversation this weekend about the change in weather causing clothing dilemmas and's post on losing her fashionable ways as a by-product of living on one primary income.  I often see women who seem so put together walking around with their children.  Sometimes this brings out envy in me and other times I wonder why they do it.  I know that for me, trainers are the most sensible footwear for legging it after my little one before he gets inside the lift by himself, or for pushing a pushchair up a big hill.  As much as heels make me feel more feminine, I can't sacrifice comfort in this way.  My curiosity also extends to the discipline of their children - what are they up to while these women straighten their hair or pour themselves into tiny jeans? - and where do I get one of these patient kids?

This weekend I came to the conclusion that these are women who probably knew how to put an outfit together before they had children.  The realisation for me was that I have never had enough interest in clothes and my appearance to be able to perform miracles in the precious few minutes I have in the morning.  I could blame the grunge era for allowing me to be super lazy and wear comfy clothes during my formative fashion years.  The students of today are smarter than I was working in a London office.  I think I am still looking for a job where I could get away with wearing these every day.

My big realisation on Saturday was that I don't really care about fashion  I don't even care what I look like that much....especially when I'm happy.  This came to me clearly when thinking about the following image in the mirror:
  • Hair in ponytail
  • Old t-shirt - fits, but slightly out of shape
  • Jeans with obvious faded knees 
  • Battered trainers
Imagine this is you in the mirror.  Imagine the sun is shining and you have just been in the garden playing with your toddler, rolling on the grass and laughing your head off.  This outfit fits.  Maybe you can imagine yourself smiling after having a fun time in your practical clothes.

Now, imagine you are going out for a rare evening - just you and your husband/partner.  What sort of face are you pulling now?  What does your significant other think?  Does he care what you're wearing, or just looking forward to the chance to spend some time with you?  Are you more worried about how other people will judge you?  Whoever coined 'Yummy Mummy' doesn't know the pressure they have added to our already tough lives (I also doubt they have children themselves!).

It is only Wednesday but the last four days I have tried my best to change my thinking about my lack of new boots, jeans that fit, overdue haircut, and stop it impacting on my day's mood.  Try and ask yourself about where fashion fits in your priorities: Do I care? Does my little one care?  Does Husband care?  Am I just worried about others caring? Would new boots really make me happy or would I just love more time by myself to be 'me'?

Monday, 27 February 2012

Can Ikea organise my life?

My thoughts over the weekend were about compartmentatlising.  Ikea helped me with comparmentalising lots of drawers in our house, so I was wondering if they have a already brought a product that can help me organise my life.

There a few competing elements in my life at the moment and I want to do them all, all of the time.  Of course, this is not working.  What is happening is that each of them is not getting enough attention and focus.  Also, it is important to find the right time to do things.  Housework is good when I need to do something physical, or don't want to sit in front of the computer or notepad.  Trouble is, it is easy to avoid things if you give yourself options.  That got me to thinking about organising my week to make time for each of the activities I want to focus on.   I am assessing this today to think whether organising my time is a way of not getting things actually done - like a school pupil spending hours on their revision timetable rather than revising!  So, yes, I wish I could pop to Ikea for an easy and cheap solution. 

I am a one for calendars and diaries but when something doesn't happen on the date you planned, for whatever reason, it is hard to make the time back up, or remember that you should.

Can anyone suggest an online programme, or other tip?

Once I have scheduled in my next post, I will let you know about my success at finding a new life coach - for free!

Friday, 24 February 2012

TFI Friday

Yesterday I cut one of my fingers.  Nothing serious, just annoying as on a knuckle and, as every Mum knows, you have to wash your hands upteen times a day, followed often by washing another pair of hands.  Therefore, have been protecting it with a plaster most of the day as not healing quickly.  The little one has been a bit of pain this afternoon so I wasn't in the best of moods around 5:30pm when the pan I was holding pushed against aforementioned sore finger causing me to yelp and spill hot rice over the floor.  At this point, the little one swings between 'I'm hungry' and 'You have to clear that up, Mummy'.  I decided to leave the mess and feed us both.  However, after eating, I went back to the kitchen to clean the floor up. 

Sounds easy.  But, remember, this isn't any afternoon, this is a bad Friday, in short I manage to get a bit of skirting board stuck down the nail of the finger next to the one with the now wet, soggy, flash-wipe covered plaster.  Blood.  Upset toddler.  Frantic searching for tweezers.  Did I mention pain?  Found tweezers - no time to sterilise! - found nail scissors to (using left hand!) cut nail to get to the splinter easier.  Excellent, you think, amputation avoided.....'Mummy, pipi's coming!'.  Put down scissors, tweezers, hold finger above heart, help toddler to complete peeing whilst hiding bleeding finger....and so on in a farcical manner until splinter removed (hopefully all of it!) and antiseptic applied. 

Kitchen left untouched for Hubby to enjoy on his return after a long day at work and 90 mins commute. 

The evening continued with me counting the minutes until 'tidy up time'.  Bathtime brought its own fun with having to extract wet, slippy toddler from the bath as another urgent toilet matter was about to occur.  As he sat there, dripping bath water, his head covered in shampoo,  I did have to laugh. 

Book Review: "Covenant" by Dean Crawford

Well, I finally got to the end.  To a certain extent, finishing it made me think 'really?  This got published?'.  It is his first novel and it was a great attempt to have a plot and try and get a real point and information across.  Unfortunately he doesn't include any information about whether any of the theories presented are actually based in fact or purely fiction out of his head.

It might make a good film I guess as there is a lot of action - so much so that I did find myself skimming down the page just to see if the lead made it out alive/injured.  It is interesting that one of the main characters is killed off.  That is always a bold move.  However, in this instance, having already allocated the character a lot of page space, it did seem a bit of a waste.  He is replaced by a minor character, which ultimately doesn't really work for me as I didn't feel I had the background on her.

Overall, it's interesting, but low on plot and was hard to read before sleep.

See what others think

Thursday, 23 February 2012

Coach tour

Quite often I think about talking things over with an objective person.  Years ago that person would have been my Grandad.  Later in his life it wasn't as easy to get advice and I started to wonder who else there was.  Parents are ok but they do tend towards the emotional, judgemental and their own opinion on what they want life to be like for you.

I did consider popping to my local church but wasn't sure if it would be open.  At the time I lived in London and figured that these days they weren't the same 'drop in for a chat' places that I knew as a kid.  Not that I ever dropped in for a chat as a kid. 

I would now consider myself to be agnostic, so I have not been inside my local church, despite attending the church hall playgroup.  I have seen the vicar, but have never got into coversation.  It is a shame really, here is a person trained not to judge, to listen, to guide and I don't have to pay to talk to them.  Ok, they may talk to me about God a bit, but that's ok by me as I can make up my own mind happily on that.

My other option is to pay a life coach.  It seems more and more people I know have one of these.  The qualification for becoming one seems quite light really and essentially I think they are there to listen and guide, but don't sound as scary as a 'therapist'.  From what I can gather the emphasis is a bit more on giving you a kick up the butt and guidance rather than finding out what effect your parents had on you.  Sounds like something that we didn't need years ago as we would have had extended family around and more of a community and even church.  It seems one of those industries that has come out of the change in society, like childminding.

I am not booking my place for a life coach just yet, but am going to try to use the contacts I do have to see if I can find someone to talk to that knows me and can help just as easily.

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

The Glad Game

Having suffered the scurge of germs for a few weeks now with little respite we are all feeling a bit down and grumpy about it.

I also learned this last week that February is the top month for suicides.  Although suicide is something I cannot understand easily, I can see that it is not a happy month for many.  The mornings are getting lighter, which is good, but it is the end of winter, so we are all fed up with the cold and the dark and being kept indoors more than we'd like.  The germs are out in force, particularly among the kids.  It is not a good time of year for finances, for most people (I did wonder whether February was a bumper month for the National Lottery as well!) and it is often the month that we have yet to book things to look forward to.

For us, finding time to book a holiday is one thing, but then so is knowing how the year will pan out this early on.  This is making it hard to pick a date and stick to it by committing money so early in the year.

All of this has led me to my own version of Hayley Mills' Glad Game.  It is so easy to look around and get grumpy about everything around me so I am trying to turn it around.  There are, of course, people worse off - and not necessarily in other countries, there are more likely to be people in the same street or town.

A great saying I heard once was "If everything threw their problems up in the air, you'd still want to catch yours".  This is usually so true.  So, yes, we've been ill.  On the plus side, not going out is cheaper.  Hubby working from home was not great for maintaining routine, but then was nice to see him so much.  The year is not yet planned - how great, so many opportunities. 

I will try not to spend too much time trawling through holiday websites as that will go against my anti-procrastination plan....but then, the looking is half the fun!

Thursday, 16 February 2012

Tis the season to be poorly.....

Whilst I am trying my best to keep mentally alert and on top of all things productive my body keeps letting me down.  Am on my second bad cold of the year and been really quite knocked out again by it.  As a result, I have another backlog that needs clearing before I can get on with other things on my list and I have been watching too much TV - including far too much CBeebies!

It was also the week of Valentine's Day, which rather passed us by in a blur of cold remedies and the wrong kind of early night.  The chocolate from choconchoc was greatly appreciated both as a gift, in taste and aesthetics at least!  I think we'll have to reschedule the romance and another date for later in the year though.

It looks also like the week that I'm going to turn a job opportunity down.  My plan to keep my brain sharp and organise life keeps being scuppered by the reality of being a parent.  From tending to a poorly toddler to my first real experience of half term (nursery closed) came the realisation that managing even a flexible job would be tricky over the summer holidays.  I love the idea of being home over the summer to be a full time Mum and didn't think it would be any other way.  Now I'm realising that I was also thinking I could be working.  The two day dreams are crashing together in my head at the moment and although I know that the parent one will always win, I am looking at the working one a bit longingly wondering how and when.....

Saturday, 11 February 2012

Review: RJ Ellory's The Saints of New York

The cover asks the questions: 'Should you atone for the sins of your father?'.  Not sure that this really conveys the story well.  As previously mentioned, the plot itself is thin and perhaps even a little too complex for what it is trying to get across.

However, I did like some of the great thoughts that appear throughout the book.  The best is: 'What do you want most in life and what would you do to get it?'.  That's a good one to muse over I think. The trouble with some of these great thought-provoking points is that I kept stopping, thinking about them and sometimes discussing them for ten minutes or so with Husband.  That was great and we enjoyed those discussions.  Nevertheless, as soon as I step back from a book like that, it says to me that the characters and plot hasn't really drawn me in.

I think R J Ellory would produce a fab book with the thought-provoking stuff at the forefront, rather than squeezing it around too many characters and a detailed crime plot.

Still, I would be interested in reading another of his if I saw it.

See what others think

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Middle names

Well, the little one has started a fascination with middle names.  Most of the family I'm sorted with and can repeat on demand.  However, I got caught out yesterday with the question 'What's Chicken Licken's middle name?'.  That one got me.  We managed to get through the conversation somehow.

Got me thinking though......

Friday, 3 February 2012

Proud of myself

Yesterday I did manage to avoid the TV in the 90 mins I had of 'spare time' yesterday.  I got soooooooo much done and felt full of energy after properly using my brain and concentrating on something.  So, all good so far.  Did spend a few mins today on 'me time' too and really, really tried not to feel too guilty.