Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Other peoples children!

Today I took my daughter to a new toddlers group and we had a fantastic time, lovely big room, lots of toys and space to move around in. The only thing to dampen the mood was a particularly nasty little 3 year old boy that thought it would be fun to run into Emily on his scooter, twice, knocking her over both times. She cried the first time but luckily the second time didn't seem too bothered. 

I am not massively overprotective of my daughter, however it did upset me when I saw this happening and particularly as his mother wasn't even paying attention to him at the time. Now I know that as mothers we are expected to have eyes in the backs of our head and various other places and it is hard to continually watch your child but for her to allow this to happen to someone else child, twice, is just careless on her part. It would seem that Emily was not the only child he chose to terroise, as he was moving about the room knocking into various children and throwing things around. 

I had to tell him the second time to leave her alone as his mother clearly wasn't going to. He gave me such a look! Damian and the omen springs to mind! 

I have never really been a huge fan of other peoples children, however I have mellowed a lot since having Emily. Her little friend Louie is adorable! And there were definitely some very lovely children at this group, who enjoyed playing nicely. So I guess I shouldn't let one little boy ruin everything, and I must also remember that a child does not understand right from wrong and that it is our job, as parents, to show them. So maybe I'll be having a word with her next time, not just her son.

He did fall over on his way back to his mother and myself and Theresa couldn't help but smile. Bad, bad, bad woman that we are! Ha, ha, ha. 

Wednesday, 16 June 2010

It's a hard life...

I'm sitting her listening to music on a beautiful summers day, the sun is streaming in the window and keeping me warm as I lie on the bed. In lieu of a garden this is where I like to sit and enjoy the sunshine plus it's better for my suncream required! I have a rare few hours of child-free time, whilst Emily spends the afternoon with her grandparents. 

In these moments of peace I have time to rejuvenate and idly pass the time like I once used to. I could be downstairs hoovering the hall or doing the washing up but I honestly can't be bothered today.  It struck me, what did I do with all my time before Emily? I must have had an abundance of moments like these, when I wasn't working? How did I fill those moments? Now I can barely remember last week, let alone what my life was like BM (before Motherhood). 

Now all I want to do when I am alone is sleep so I have enough energy to continue to do what I need to do. Although being honest I have always been a fan of sleep, give me a big comfy bed and I will gladly crawl into it, snuggle down and drift off. It's just now the need is so much more now than it ever was before.

The problem with being a parent is that you spend the first year or so not being able to sleep because your little one is keeping you up half the night and the moment you finally master the art of getting them to sleep through you can't sleep yourself. You spend ridiculous amounts of time trying to get off to sleep and once asleep you keep waking every few hours wondering why they haven't woke up?! Arrgghhh!!!

All this talk of sleep in making me tired so I think I might have to indulge in a little nap now.

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

And in your future I see...

I have been contemplating my future and in specific my career. As I mentioned in my last blog entry I had an appointment with the College Course Advisor which went relatively well. She has suggested that I apply for the Access Course and having had more time to think, I am in agreement. I have seriously been considering Midwifery and so an Access Course would allow me to get the relevant qualifications that I needed to apply. 

My family and friends have all been very supportive of my chosen path. However why do people feel the need to prepare me for what lies ahead by informing me of some of the duties performed by midwives. Ahem! Excuse me but I had a baby just over 13 months ago, I am quite aware of many of the duties involved in being a midwife seeing as I was the one being monitored by a midwife for 9 months! It's not like I have just announced that I want to become a lawyer or a lion tamer. Both challenging careers of which I have no prior experience. I have always been an upstanding citizen and the closest I have ever come to a lion was at Chester Zoo! 

"You are aware that there will be blood and babies involved" my friend Sarah commented on Facebook, this actually made me laugh considerably. And there was me thinking that I just signed a little piece of paper when the stalk dropped the baby off at the maternity ward. I know that Sarah was not being at all serious so I won't hold that against her. Gavin's comments were of a similar vein "You will have to give injections and help women give birth", no really I hadn't realised seeing as they took enough blood from me during pregnancy to supply half of Africa with transfusions and Gavin that was me pushing Emily out that April morning remember. I know you'd been awake for 24 hours but you do recall me being present at the time right?! 

All joking aside I am well aware that the path I have chosen is a tough and arduous one with many years of blood, sweat and tears ahead of me. And well lets be honest you have to want to work in nursing or midwifery because no-one does it for the money do they?! But I know what I have to do, I know the sacrifices I will have to make. My active social life, my regular binge drinking sessions, my weekly shopping trips trips to Selfridges...oh no wait that's not 'MY LIFE'! So it would seem that seeing as all I normally do of an evening is cook the tea and watch Eastenders that a few sacrifices can be made. Afterall we have Sky+ and it would be nice to have my tea cooked for me once in a while. 

Thursday, 3 June 2010

You are damned if you do and you are damned if you don't...

Until March last year I was a full-time student housing officer at a small London University. Housing wasn't something I dreamed of working in as a small child rather, as is quite often the case with many people, was something I fell into after spending 3 years working in Youth Hostels in various roles from chef to bedmaker. 

So now Emily is 13 months old it occurred to me that it may be time to start thinking about what to do next. Is it time for a change I hear you say? Well that's exactly what I was thinking. About a week ago I started to seriously consider my options and being seriously unqualified in anything particularly useful (damn you BTEC National Diploma in Performing Arts, you were fun, but not much use to me now), it began to dawn on me that I may need to go back to the drawing board or in my case the whiteboard. In laymans terms, College. But what to study?

Considering various options I decided on the possibility of a childcare course at my local College. So I emailed the admissions tutor, completed an application and waited to hear back. I didn't have to wait too long! She phoned me yesterday to discuss my options and suggested, due to my maturing age, that I might be more suited to an Access Course. But access to what? So here is where the dilemma begins. 

A childcare qualification would give me the tools I require to go straight into work once I had completed the course. However I would have to study full-time over two years, which means finding money for childcare for my child. Option two, take the Access course which could be completed part-time over two years without the need for childcare but at the end be qualified for nothing more than moving onto Higher Education, which is not something I am sure I am interested in partaking in. So what to do?

I have considered the option of higher education, possibly training to be a midwife. However this course would mean a further 3 years study, full-time which would mean I am faced, once again, with finding suitable childcare and the money to pay for it. Add to that University fees, a new car to allow me to travel to University and it all starts to get very expensive! Looking at the support available to students, unfortunately due to the fact that Gavin earns a decent amount of money means we probably wouldn't qualify for much, if anything. And yes my partner does earn a decent amount but we have a mortgage and bills and all manner of other financial outgoings that adds up to not a lot of spare cash left over. All I want to do is go back to work! The words rock and hard place spring to mind! 

So I am hoping for some inspiration as to what the solution may be, failing that a miracle would do. For now though I will have to settle for a meeting with the College's adult education tutor who I hope has a better idea of what I want to do then I now do because with all this deliberating and consideration of options I now don't have the foggiest idea!  

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Division of labour

A male friend of mine recently commented on his facebook status that he was currently 'doing the ironing' to which he was inundated with responses, particularly from his male peers chastising him for this confession. Comments in regards to his manhood, or lack of it, comments in relation to thumbs and being under them. In fact all manner of derogatory terms were fired at him. For what, admitting that sometimes he likes to make life a little easier for his partner and help with some of the domestic chores? Which leads me onto the question, why in this 21st century world are household tasks still seen as 'women's work'?

I am solely responsible for all housework in our home, unless I can twist Gavin's arm when it comes to the washing up. And he will, on occasion, like he did last night, offer to do it without any persuasion. However all other tasks from the unrelenting piles of washing to the never ending round of hoovering falls firmly in my camp.

I have had many conversations with him regarding this situation. You know the universal conversation that normally starts on a Saturday morning when you are completely knackered from the weeks events. You come down to find that yet again the house is a mess and you feel like you might be in danger of drowning in a sea of housework. So you turn to your loving partner for support and are met with a barrage of excuses as to why they couldn't possibly drag themselves away from 'Soccer Am' to help you tidy up. At this you find your temper starting to rise and you wonder once again, for the hundredth time this year, why it always falls to you?

I admit that I am currently unemployed, so not contributing to the household income and I do realise, having formerly worked, that the task of going to work all day is a tiring one and that the last thing you feel like doing once you walk through the door is starting yet more work, housework or otherwise. However I myself, am full-time childminder to our 13 month little girl and this job is by no means easy! So where do the lines get drawn when it comes to what is fair and expected and what is just going above and beyond? 

Do we assume certain roles from a very young age? Or do we, as parents, shape young minds into thinking that when it comes to housework woman must do everything whilst men can do nothing? We have come on somewhat in comprasion to previous generations, at least now our menfolk will occassionally don the rubber gloves and tackle the Kilimanjaro of washing up in the sink. A recent radio interviewee, whose name escapes me at the moment, commented on the fact that his dad thought he was being helpful if he closed a cupboard door! However we are still, in some households (mine included), a long way from equality for all when it comes to the household chores!

So who is to blame? Well that's the tricky part really isn't it, because personally I think we, woman kind, are to blame for this mess we now find ourselves in. Mothers to be exact! We women raise our sons and it would seem are sending them out into the world ill prepared for the task of taking care of a house. So I finish with a plea to all mothers and mothers to be, teach your children this, (and in particular your sons) how to turn on a hoover, what the strange dials on the washing machine really do, the importance of emptying the bin when it is in danger of spilling onto the floor and most importantly that we are all equal in creation and that includes doing the housework!!!

P.S To my friend, the ironer, I say 'bravo' and keep up the good work! You are a rare breed and a better person than I am. The fact that you actually bother to iron when I can neither find the time nor the inclination is an inspiration!