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The “Teacher Mum”

This is such a new concept to me, like many first time school mums, it is a minefield. The expectations, the waiting at the school gates, the meeting of new parents and children, meeting the teacher and the reading and homework. It’s a whole new ball game. 

I’ve adjusted to life a school mum quite well, I only do it once a week as I work but I love drop off and collection, preparing his school lunches, reading and finding out about Jenson’s day. I love every part of it and treasure it. We had parents evening next week and I couldn’t wait to hear about his progress. He did amazing, I loved seeing his classroom work, the wall displays ans hear how he was getting on, superbly infact. I felt happy with his progress so far as we also have access to Tapestry, an online learning journey. This is amazing. I get live updates when they upload an observation and I can also upload things we do, it is so lovely to see what he has done. 

It was so bizarre being on the ‘other side’ of the table, I am so use to just talking about the child and filling the silence, making sure there isn’t any gaps and avoiding questions at all costs! As a rule that you learn, you always ask the parents perspective and feelings at the beginning, then you can run with the rest of the appointment on your terms and that way you avoid over running. Jenson’s teacher knew all of the tricks of the trade, something you learn with experience. 

The sharing of career, however, has meant we have an understanding. I know that it isn’t always possible to hear children read, that teachers are human and forget things and that his teachers works her arse off. Especially when she is adding tapestry observations at 9pm on a Friday or 3pm on a Sunday. I relate to that life. 

As a teacher mum, I also know the importance and value of supportive parents. I understand that he needs to read at home every night, know his sounds, count and recognise numbers and calculations. I’ve given him the best possible chance by teaching him how he should be taught, lower case letters, numbers, correct formation of letters and numbers, letter sounds etc. It has meant that he is off to to the best start and will therefore shine and thrive above his peers, not because he is a genius (which he obviously is), but because he has had lots of opportunities. I also find myself over excelling with his homework, I really enjoy the opportunities it gives us to be together, we have been on a nature walk, number hunt, shape searching and we are taking his bear on a trip. We have had good feedback so far! 

I also understand her pressures, the fact that there are 29 other children in the class, with a variety of needs, some more complex than others. I know that the parents are different, some more complicated and some so laid back they forget to dress their child. I get that she doesn’t have eyes in the back of her head and some things do go unnoticed but it is my child in her class, I want him to be the centre of her world. Her main focus. I want her to adore and love him, challenge and push him, which she does but I hate that I do not have that involvement. 

The hardest bit has been separating myself from him. Spending maternity leave and all summer with Jenson to then nothing, someone else seeing him more and teaching him things when thay was my job. The logistics are perfect for a teacher Mum, but it’s in my heart that I struggle to deal with someone else doing my job as both a Mummy and a teacher. I imagine it will just get harder.  

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It’s hard not being the favourite 

I have had a Mummy’s boy, I experienced first hand being the ‘favourite’. Jenson has always come to me when he needs something, especially cuddles. He is a typical Mummy’s boy and I have loved it. When I returned to work and Scott looked after him, I remained a firm favourite. Even now, Jenson and Scott bicker and it’s always me that solves their problems, it’s like having two children. 

Jenson has loved me being on maternity leave and me returning to work has been particularly difficult for him. He squeals and comes running when I come home. By Jenson starting school, he isn’t missing me as much, as he is out of the house but he just wants me around. I love that I’ll always get his holidays with him.

Emeline has passed her attachment phase and mummy obsession that every baby goes through.  She is still always so happy to see me but she ‘plays’. Emeline is the ultimate Daddy’s girl. She will always chose to go to him, unless she wants milk. She finds him the funniest and always wants to make him laugh, Scott was the first one to get her kisses when she learnt to do them. 

Since I returned to work, their bond is even stronger. Scott is looking after Emeline and my days, don’t they love it. She has him eating out the palm of her hand, he even finds her removing her sun hat in this ridiculously warm English weather hilarious… That’s not cute! They have been for lunch and played all day, in a few weeks they start a baby group together too at Tumble Tots. 

I don’t even mind that Scott and Emeline have the most amazing bond but I want to be her favourite, I know he adores her so much and more than he does me but I’ve been her sole carer for almost 9 months and carried her for 41 weeks. I should be her favourite. Her reaction when I come home is amazing, she is so happy to see me and then within 20 seconds she wants Scott again. It’ll go in a full circle, she’ll come back to me and I’ll be the favourite again! 

I know when she is older and she wants some beautiful shoes or a spa day, it’ll be me she comes to, so he can have this part of her life. Likewise, I’ll forever try to keep Jenson close and protect him and no doubt Scott will be encouraging him to play sport. Parenting works in mysterious ways! 

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A whirlwind weekend

We have had a pretty crappy weekend, it started on Friday when Emeline didn’t eat any dinner and went down hill from there. 

I was woken by Emeline in the night by tears, it frightened me as it’s an unfamiliar sound for her anyway but as I picked her up, she was so hot to touch. I didn’t even need a thermometer to check she had a temperature, I checked though and she was 38. I went straight for Nurofen as she was clearly unwell. After our usual battle with medicine and Emeline, she settled back down but continued to wake and her temperature continued to spike. Throughout the day, I gave her paracetamol and ibuprofen and put it down to teething.

Scott woke up around 3ish as he had been on nights, even with her high doses of pain killers, she reached 40.1. We spoke to 111, NHS direct, an amazing resource that is worth it’s weight in gold. They advised us to get us to A&E within the next 1/2 hours to an hour. Immediately, we organised Jenson some childcare and packed Emeline up. 

We arrived and checked her in to A&E, having her notes from the call meant she was immediately seen in triage for her stats to be checked in the children’s area. Within the hour, she had had more medication to ease her temperature and a doctor, with no visible evidence of what was going on, we were admitted to the children’s ward, Phoenix Ward for further tests and observation. I felt myself panic for the first time, unsure of what this meant. Emeline’s high dose of pain killers meant her temperature began to drop and that she started showing her beautiful smile. 

Loving life after painkillers at Broomfield

A doctor examined Emeline’s ears and throat immediately and noticed some pus on her tonsils. My poor baby. I know the ridiculous pain that does with tonsillitis and my poor baby had it. We had Emeline on a bed and encouraged her to sleep, it was late at night and she was exhausted as it was. Emeline could not relax at all. She was given a dose of antibiotics and that was a barrel of laughs! She did not enjoy that at all! The doctor came back later to take swabs of her pus – hideous experience. 

It’s funny how Scott and I immediately fall in to our roles in these situations, Scott is always the one to hold the baby down as such. I am so soft and too squeamish to do that myself. I am so grateful he takes this role, he is the calm cucumber who listens whereas I immediately panic and worry. He rationalises and listens and waits. 

The ‘fear face’ when a doctor approached

Each time a doctor came near Emeline, she began to panic. The poking and proding had taken its toll and became too much and she cried whenever they came near. That said, and realising it was tonsillitis we were armed with antibiotics and a care plan and sent home. We were able to go back if we weren’t happen or if things weren’t as we are expected. We arrived home, went upstairs and I got changed for bed ready to feed Emeline and Scott started to change her, then he said: 

Call an ambulance, she can’t breath”

 I panicked as I heard those words and rushed to see them. Emeline was white, blue around the mouth and blotchy faced. It looked like an allergic reaction but she couldn’t catch her breath. I dialed 999 and gave all the information, the ambulance was here within minutes, there was no wait at all. The response was fantastic. Emeline then threw up a load of green pus that had gathered at the back of her throat and cleared and she caught her breath before the ambulance arrived, they were obviously concerned for her seeing the state she was in. They took observations again although they struggled to monitor her breathing as she was in such a state. Her blood sugars were incredibly low but her temperature was normal. They observed her for a while and Scott was sent off to get some non sugar free calpol. Once her sugars were up and she was calmer, they were happy to leave us home on the conditions we monitored her temperature and checked her throughout the night, using our sensor mat and baby monitor. They stayed with us until we were all completely happy. The most amazing service. 

Yesterday, we recovered. Constant doses of medicine and very little sleep. Jenson spent the day with my parents but came home and was delighted to see his little sister. 

We had a rough night again last night but a much better day today. She has been up and down and continued to sleep a lot but has finally had some solid food. She has fed constantly though so my boobs have been fully abused. I am so grateful she is alright, she terrified me Saturday night and I’ll take sore boobs over that a million times over. 

Jenson has been amazing today, we had planned at day to Bewilderwood before he started school and had tickets booked. I rang this morning and they’ve said we can change the booking. Jenson had the option to go with Daddy alone but he preferred to stay home to look after Emeline today and said that we can go as a family. He is so thoughtful and selfless. He didn’t care about his day at all and I am so proud of those qualities in him. 

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The claws are out!

We had the nicest family day at a Marsh Farm last week. I went on my own with both children and it was a ridiculously warm day. 

We had a fantastic day, we fed animals, played on the park and had a tractor ride. The parks are huge and so much space for running around, in fact, the staff are also incredible and make the day even better for your family. So child orientated and animated. Each and every time we have been, they’ve entertained us no end. There is just so much to do, endless fun.

The fun had to come to an halt whilst I fed Emeline, as it was so hot, I took Jenson in to soft play and say where I could see him. Feeding Emeline, I sat and watched him like a hawk. At 4 years old, this is the first time he has ever been in to soft play alone. Protective Mummy has always sent Mummy in with him and today proved why. 

Whilst I sat their watching Jenson, I noticed his smile as he ran around bouncing and jumping, up and down different parts and sliding down slides. Then he stopped. He didn’t go down a slide, and instead it looked like he fell backwards, the prickles of my neck were up. At that point, he came running to me, sobbing with tears streaming down his face, a picture that I never see and cried out 

“Mummy, a boy is fighting me” 

My heart shattered and I was immediately up on my feet, Emeline in shock that her feed was cut short and outraged that I had started to put my boob away and finalise her feeding. I immediately went to find the child and the parent, as we approached them, another parent was already discussing the kids aggressive and violent behaviour. Not only had he punched Jenson in the stomach and face, he also hit two other little girls. 

The bit that bothered me the most was the mothers inabability to recognise her child was in the wrong, there was no way of her child apologising or for her to make him. His behaviour was not okay and it wasn’t picked up on nor was he provided with a consequence for his actions. His mum palmed it off as childish behaviour. No thanks. Sort your kid out. I found myself becoming more and more angry at the mother and how poorly she dealt with it, making it seem to Jenson that the actions of the little boy were okay when they were absolutely not okay.

I understand that not everyone parents the same, I just felt such injustice for Jenson. It is my job to protect him and I struggled so much to deal with the fact that I didn’t, I was so upset that I was feeding Emeline so I therefore wasn’t there for Jenson and someone else hurt him. I then couldn’t do anything to help him by showing him that what the little boy did was wrong. Jenson knows right from wrong and I am so proud to have taught him that and that he didn’t retaliate. Naturally, I told him that Santa won’t be sending him anything so thay reassured him slightly! 

To make it slightly better, I made sure we were able to stay a little longer and do some more activities. I let him choose where we were going for dinner and generally spoil him. For now, I am proud of my wonderful child and I am winning at parenting with his behaviour and manners.

Karma will get that kid… more fool him! 

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Lucky Mummy

I know I am a lucky Mummy. I have two wonderful children who are healthy and absolutely gorgeous. So far, they are well behaved and they’ve made my “Mummy dreams” come true! 

But… I know that. I know all that.
I think I take Emeline for granted. I say think because I appreciate every ounce of her and spend all the time I can with her and her beautiful self. 

Emeline is such an easy baby and I take that for granted. Whenever we go anywhere, she just comes along and sits her pushchair. She doesn’t make a fuss and just watches the world go by. Everyone said that the second baby will just fit in and go along with life but I also expected her to be a little more demanding, something she totally isn’t. 

I have blitzed the house this week and she sat on the floor and just played with her toys, dancing to the music on the TV and chatting and shouting at me. She didn’t make a fuss. She just watched and enjoyed looking around, I stopped for feeding and to cuddle her and in those moments, I realised that I wanted to cuddle her more to just enjoy her and her angelic ways. 

On days when we are out for Jenson, like last week at Country File. She spent the whole time in her pram, she notices and talks to the people we pass and chews on her toys. Emeline loves looking around. It got to about 3pm and I realised how much I missed her, she had been there all day but I missed her, I missed her cuddles and playing with her and just being with her. I took her for granted that she just enjoys life happily. I could have worn her in her sling, or had her out for longer playing and feeding but I did what I needed to and put her back in for Jenson’s day out. I totally took her loveliness for granted and I feel sad. I also feel torn, it makes life easy that Jenson can enjoy a day as he is more demanding at the moment and being the summer holidays, he needs to be entertained. 

I do wonder if this is 2nd child syndrome overall really, they all plod along and don’t get that 1:1 care the first child had, I know that happens. It won’t always be like this or this easy, so I’ll enjoy it and squidgy her up as much as I can. No doubt she will be a terror of a toddler or a teenager! 

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12th August 

This post is sickening and full of love. Be warned!

12th August is our wedding anniversary. This year, 2016, we celebrate 6 years of marriage. Mostly marital bliss! In the last 6 years, our marriage and relationship has gone from strength to strength. We were just Mr and Mrs Childs, the two of us, for 18 months before we became a team of three and then last December there was four of us! 

I am always really excited for our anniversary, we never buy huge gifts, in fact, I don’t get Scott anything but he always buys me something special to represent the tradition, paper, wood etc. I am interested as to what my gift is this year. For some reason, I just really look forward to celebrating our anniversary. I look forward to it and get excited about it. We talk about the day and what we did at what time, what we ate, who we saw and what we enjoyed. I love sharing the memories and even the photos with Jenson now too. The yearly reflection on the wedding DVD comes out too and catching up on the photos albums! The standard wedding traditions. 

We have been good at celebrating our anniversary:

  • 1st Year – we went to London for three days and saw The Lion King.
  • 2nd Year  – we went to Mersea and had a picnic in a special picnic basket, we had a take away. Jenson was 6 months old.
  • 3rd year – We went to Windsor for a few days and went to Legoland.
  • 4th year – we had a dinner out, but we went to Disney on the 16th!
  • 5th year – we went shopping for Emeline’s Nursery last year and had dinner out.

It is hard with young children but it is the only time that actually, I really want us to be a family. Our marriage was the start of our family and our adventure and I think we should celebrate together. This year, we are going to the beach. The weather is meant to be lovely and we will have warm doughnuts, fish and chips, ice cream and fresh seafood. Every year we go and make a real day of it, we always have a lovely time and that’s how I want to spend it tomorrow, the four of us. 

So, to my Gorgeous Husband, 
Happy 6th Wedding anniversary. Thank you for another wonderful year full of laughter, tears, happiness, anger, frustration and love. We are the best team around, the A team, and I love being part of a team with you. We have two, truly wonderful children who have changed our lives for, mostly, the better. I love the husband and father you are. I love the life and family we have and the memories we make.

Thank you for working so hard for us as a family and giving me the family I always wanted. You’ve made my dreams a reality in the best possible way and there is no one else who I would wish to share these dreams with or my love with.

Love you always, xxx

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Roll on tomorrow

Today has been a bad Mummy day. 

On top of woman hormones which have returned after a long 15 months, Jenson has been the biggest whinge bag and Emeline has been in the most amount of pain from constipation. 

Now, of course, I am trying not to be dramatic and I am not wishing the end of summer away for Jenson to immediately start school, I am a teacher and I can’t wish away this beautiful, summer holiday but I missed nursery a lot today.

I am feeling like the world’s worst mum after losing my shit for the 50,000 time. That’s just today. Jenson has lost the ability to listen or even acknowledge me when I am talking and has developed the whiniest voice known to man. This is followed by 28 million questions yet he can’t even answer or decide when asked what sandwich filler he would like!!! I am a firm believer in carrying out out threats and discipline! So, no bedtime stories was threatened and then he lost that. That’s one of our favourite times of day being just us and Jenson, he loves stories and the absolute last resort but I had counted to 5 about a million times and I was begin to scream like a banshee. Bad parenting!!! We got Jenson out the house to let off steam in an attempt to change his attitude but it just wore him out and made him worse!!! 

Emeline has been constipated since Thursday, this is so unlike her. It is also uncommon as a breastfed baby. She has struggled and strained so much. She finally passed some yesterday but this was not easy for her. She cried and cried and sobbed and sobbed. Lots of leg cycling, baths and cuddles things started to get easier for her, she cut down her meals and has gone back to just breast milk. As a result of her straining, she has a tear in her bottom. The poor little poppet has exhausted herself with crying but she finally has softer stools. Emeline has been waking up with tummy ache and is so tired from her restless nights that she has been snuggling me. She never sleeps snuggling me so that has been a special treat. 

Being the summer holidays, I had lots of lovely fun things planned for my days with the kids but I am still waiting to be paid, usually 26th of the month but they hadn’t realised I had returned to work! This has put a stop to the world being our oyster feeling!!! Worrying about money is the biggest stress. I realise how fortunate we are and I make the choice to work so we can have and do nice things together as a family but we also live to our means, we have survived well on statutory maternity pay and still been able to do lots of lovely things, visited places, gone on days out, ate out and had lots of take aways but I wanted this to be extended over the summer so it’s mega frustrating. Payroll have reassured me I should be paid by the end of the week but that’ll be almost 2 weeks late. Frustrating. 

Not every part of my day was awful, there were glimmers of sparkles and glitter. Every woman needs sparkles and glitter! Last week, we had our milk stolen from our door step, after reporting it to the dairy, they suggested I reported it to the non-emergency police line incase there were more in the area and/or it happened again. I felt ridiculous. I also wanted my order refunded and needed to report it to get our money back, the dairy were fab. However, it was earlier today that our local newspaper reported on a similar incident, which made me howl laughing!!! 

Breaking news:

http://m.braintreeandwithamtimes.co.uk/news/14655009.Thieves_steal_milk_and_bottles_from_outside_a_house/

There were others in our neighbourhood, I certainly didn’t take my milk story to the newspaper!!! 

We also snuggled up and watched Minions on the sofa with lunch – that was disappointing! Our day was made better when Jenson’s school uniform arrived, labelled jumpers, fleeces, pblo shirts and PE kits and we had a fashion show! Can’t believe how grown up he is, nor the expense!!! 

I know that, hopefully, I’ll wake up feeling a bit happier tomorrow. Scott is on nights so I’ll get an early night. I am currently drinking tea and watching series one of Desperate Housewives. Tomorrow is a new day and it’ll all be okay. Jenson would have slept really well and Emeline will be less grumpy. 

Fingers crossed!