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A Heartfelt Apology To Our Local Garden Centre

To whom it may concern

Today our little but loud family of five visited your establishment, This was an impromptu trip following a disastrous day at Tkmax and not quite soft play. The consolation prize,for our rather disheveled children, was cookies and hot chocolate in your cafe. 

Please don’t think you are always our last resort, we love your Christmas displays and also enjoy a turn through your aisles to look at cute shabby chic storage and name magnets. We don’t visit the plants Im afraid, for a reason that will soon become clear….

I’d like you to know, it was us, or rather our 3 year old, who plucked that large lemon from your £50 pot on the cafe floor, but before you send in the troops allow me to explain….

Tkmax was a hastily decision, one made in desperate need, I wanted clothes and it was raining… We forgot the pushchair and the youngest was screaming before I even reached the clearance section. After running around the store (my husband after the children) we accepted defeat and decided to go to a soft play centre….. It’s the last day of the Easter holidays you see and shopping just isn’t fair on anyone.

We trooped to the car and made our way to a centre we haven’t visited before. Outside were two women having an altercation, cigarettes in hand, they were shouting at one another while a child ran between them near the busy road. Ever so politely pushing past them, I send my husband to investigate the play area. He returned quickly and announced £15 for three children to be squeezed into a ball pit wouldn’t be any easier than our store visit earlier…. We relented and decided on you instead, a haven for the middle classes….. 

Unfortunately, in the excitement of not quite soft playing, our middle child had an accident….so, on arriving husband promptly took him to clean up while i carried the screaming 18 month around….promising him cookies soon …. Your staff were lovely, trying to make him smile, and I willed him to respond, he cried some more…. I really don’t understand why….. Except maybe, you know, he’d spent the morning in tkmax and an hour in the car…. He wanted nothing more than to run about your centre, I couldn’t let that happen.

We headed to the cafe. Now, I’d like you to inform the customers who were present that I’m a blogger, my photo taking was not a sign of a neglectful mother, just a Instagram mum wanting to get the cookie angle just right. Yes, I saw those eye rolls, yes I know my child needs a wetwipe and the eldest is slurping her drink…. But please try and understand….. Not one of them is crying!!!!

During our cookie binge, middle boy told us proudly that he wanted to pick a lemon from your gorgeous lemon trees….. We distracted him with hot chocolate and said No firmly….. We then enjoyed five mins of gentle chatter before the youngest decided he’d had enough. We went to leave. 

Now, I have waitressed before and, I’m always careful to stack the dishes and remove crumbs from the floor before leaving a cafe, it’s only fair…. My husband, also contentious, wanted to ensure all sticky fingers were wiped before anyone went near anything shabby chic…. 

Unfortunately there are two of us and three children….. Somewhere between plate stacking, face wiping and finger scrubbing Roo grabbed that lemon!

I know we should have come to tell you, in fact I said it loudly several times because I didn’t want to seem like a disinterested mum…. I’d already had eye rolls….. But the plant was £50 and we had shunned the £15 soft play…. It was a rather large lemon (I snapped a pic as we marched Roo to the exit) it may well have fallen off before too long anyway, but I’m ashamed I didn’t inform you what had happened…. The eye rolly crowd probably told you about the slummy family who left it there, in the pot, all alone….. But we didn’t…. We were too broke and too mortified… 

I’ve been thinking about it since and I want to say a big sorry, on behave of Roo! Who did not have any jelly for dessert tonight.

Regards

Emily

    

  

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The unproductive truth about Easter break 

When Scott is off work for the holidays it’s always strange, our routines fly out the window and I find myself being, to put it bluntly, a bit lazy. Anyone who’s other half teaches will understand the scenario. You look forward to relaxing without the hassle of school run or toddler group rushing around and then you just kinda flop about… Even our Sunday walks fall by the wayside because there is always tomorrow. With Easter and two parties, plus job interviews and….er….netflicks, I find myself so much less productive. I have about seven unpublished posts and we didnt get out as much as we wanted. We did manage a date though….. This is unheard off. 

We did make it to the park yesterday, I even had a go on the zip wire (picture NOT INCLUDED) So here’s a couple of snaps. I expect once we settle back into routine I’ll finally get round to sharing more…. Some advice for other bloggers…. Don’t get it right, get it written. Enjoy! And I hope you all had a wonderful Easter break. 

    
    
   

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Ch ch ch changes 

Despite claiming this blog is about juggling motherhood and a career, I have to admit there’s not been a whole lot of juggling recently, it’s more a game of grab the balls when you can….. Yeh… I’ll just leave that one here for parents all around the globe to relate to also…..

But in seriousness everything blends into one…. We are back to talking responsibilities now…. I work to a loose schedule, fitting in 14 hours work around the children, washing, blog, housework etc. some days, when roos at preschool and Nerg having a nap, I find myself in bed, with the boob monster, going through emails, flagging to action and staring at how dirty the mirrors are.

 

A few weeks ago I wrote a post on this and it got me thinking more about what I want to do in life, oh the cliche.

Working from home just hasn’t been working for me since I returned from maternity leave. My responsibilities and priorities mesh together into one big ball of guilt. I’ve been considering dropping down some tasks at work so I can focus more on others. I flit about between roles and it has taken it toll on me. I was hoping I could hold on until the boys went to school but my head has been filled with a never ending to do list, which when your whole life is based at home, you just can’t switch off from it….. Every evening I’ve been playing a game of me vs house. I mean, we’ve just got Netflix and I kinda wanna enjoy it! So I took the plunge and applied for a job. Great reasoning hey?

Two interviews (six changes of clothes) and a chat with my current manager later, and here I am, ready to embark on a new journey, one which knocks my home working hours right down, but forces me out of my comfort zone, and the boys….Into childcare….and h into after school club.   Luckily, Scott’s teaching hours mean he can take on some childcare and we can keep our mothers help, which is so important as she’s been in our lives nearly three years. But we do need a further care and that’s scary! I have mothers guilt from Hs babyhood still hanging over me and at 18 months Nerg hasn’t been away from me for more than a couple of hours. I’m faced with one and a half days away from him now but the only thing I feel guilty about, is my lack of guilt.

 

We visited a nursery when Roo was 6 months old and I couldn’t bare it, I don’t know why, but I felt that I would be abandoning him…. But nerg is so sociable that I find myself saying ‘he’ll love it’ and I actually mean it. 

If I didn’t have to work, I guess I’d carry on at home… Use my crafts as a creative outlet…. But I don’t have the choice to be a SAHM and, if I have to work… I want to bloody well enjoy it and feel I’m giving my all. This new role is tremendously exciting and my perfectionist side is so relieved that I can finally do justice to my current job also. 

 
 

Working from home with little ones just isn’t doable on a large scale, not for me anyway. I can get out, earn the pennies, build a career and the house will be in the same state I left it in the morning…still piles of washing…..but nothing added, it will feel so strange to be me, not me as a mum….or sat I’m my laundry room office for hours trying to focus through the dirty pants….its still the same amount of balls…. but, more juggling space. 

Maybe I really can have it all? And, if I feel tired or overwhelmed, well, I can sit down with a glass of vino in the evening and watch Netflix!! 

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Not a cool mum, just a regular mum

A week ago I wrote a poem to my not so little girl. Tonight she is having a sleepover, they have made a music video and I was invited to watch, it was hilarious and once again reminded me how grown up she is becoming. I popped my head around the door a few moments ago and excitedly announced ‘chubby bunnies?’ While holding aloft two bags of marshmallows. They put down their iPads (big girl h doesn’t have one) and eagerly accepted the challenge…. I was not invited to take part, I was, however, offered the second bag and, cheeks full of fluff, returned slowly, dejectedly,downstairs to Scott. 

  
He is making a pirate sail in the kitchen for Roos party…. Turning away from the poster paint he asks me ‘are you going to take up some rice crispy squares?’ with a grin…. I had to blog about this. Rice crispy squares of course symbolise that I’m in ‘Molly Weasley’ territory, which, for my younger two is pretty cool….. But I guess its decidedly uncool to a tween… I’m not saying I want to be Mrs George (see mean girls) but I did think I would be a ‘hip’ mum….. My sister pointed out to me earlier that that will never happen, no matter how many shapes I throw, no matter how many times I recite all the lyrics to Little Mix’s Black Magic, or learn all the ‘in phrases’ or make silly jokes…. I will always be a regular mum… Unimmune to the eye roll…. Forever an embarrassment. 

  
But I’m a young mum….. Or I was…. I’m not 30 yet, I’m down with the lingo…. In with the kids…. I have a crush on Harry styles too (it’s the hair). Woe is me!!!!
I want to offer some words of wisdom to mums everywhere at the start of their journey…. Don’t say no….. If your little girl asks to paint a picture with you! Do it! Washing can wait, that news article can be saved, that job, is just that, a job! …. Build that tower…. Read that second story…. Hold their hand a while longer…..One day, you’ll find your presence isn’t requested so much…. They will always need you, but those constant invitations to join their little world will be more selective. As they grow and mature….. They need space to find who they are….. Mum may not be the biggest influence in their life…. Friends take your place and it’s bloody scary. 

  
Big girl H has some lovely ‘BFF’s’ and I’m proud that she has a solid friendship group, unfickle, sensible and polite….. It makes letting go a bit easier. If you had told me when I held that little baby in my arms at 19, that the letting go process began at 10, I would have laughed. I would have thought…. Don’t make them grow up too quickly….pop songs, iPads, Harry frikkin styles! No way! I won’t let her! But how could I know then what I now realise…. She’s growing at her rate, the rate of all tween girls around the country…. 10 isn’t the new 13…. It’s just the start of the next chapter…. Where one day, she won’t turn to me first…. 

  
But for now, every-time she calls for me, every time she asks for my advice or shares her racing thoughts with me, I will listen…. I will savour….Unless she’s telling me again how much she loves emojis….. I won’t tell her I love them too, because then she’ll think I’m trying to ‘be cool’ and I’ll never be invited to play chubby bunnies. 

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Ten signs you’re a blogger

I’ve been reading some lovely posts from established bloggers on their 10 signs. Although I’ve been blogging for three years, I’m only now beginning to link in with the parent blogging community, therefore I’m not in humble brag territory just yet, no PR companies begging for collaboration…. . Just the odd acne treatment… And no regular linkups being hosted…. Although I’d love to host one one day… Therefore my ten signs are more for the writers out there trying to blog their way to fame…. I see myself as the Bridget Jones of the blogging world… Not the famous diary bit… But the big Spanx bit, the glamour fails and the constant use of ……… (Mainly because I ramble and am got great at punctuation)
Any who here are my 10 signs

1. When buying (charity scouting) for children’s clothes, I look for items that would look good on Instagram…. I’m talking bright yellows and orange… I don’t care how cute that jumper is, if it’s beige it’s a no no

2. Despite appreciating what a huge decision having another child is, more than once you have thought ‘wouldn’t it be great for my WordPress stats’ 

3. Those lovely crafts and designs you did with your children during the day?….. Yeh, you might have remade one for your blog images…. 

4. You have more draft posts in your iPad notes than you’ve had hot cups of tea….. 

5. Rather than saying ‘are you going to call your mum/sister/friend’ after an argument, your other half says ‘suppose your gonna blog about it now’

6. When talking to someone, you’re never quite sure if you should reuse you antidote of an event… Because you’re never quite sure if they’ve read the blog version or not  

7. A parenting debate appears on Twitter, rather than reading and moving on you wonder if you should blog your stance….. A Lot…. Then it dies down and you regret missing out on that # 

8. Your personal social media is neglected in favour of your blog page…… It’s ok aunt Julie…. If you want to know how the grand nephews and nieces are getting on pop over to ‘slummy mummy’ on Facebook and give us a like

9. You have called your children by their blog nicknames more than once. Sorry H, little Roo and Nerg…. At least mummy got you the right way around for once

10. You are crazily proud of your little corner of the net, you drop your url into most conversations and even have that little link on your CV… Just I case prospective employers want to read about Dawsons creek and nappy disasters 

10 signs you know you're a blogger
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Our Easter Tree

Yes, Easter is early this year…. Too early… I’m hardly over Christmas and with big girl Hs birthday sleepover and a pirate party to plan…. Easter is just too much… There’s only so many crafts a girl (ahem woman) can cope with. But, I refuse to be defeated!!! We all know I love a special occasion and, in between paper plate port holes and sleepover goodie bags…. The Macdonald clan have (with the help of our mothers help) made a perfect Easter centre piece… I even cleared out some storage baskets (there are shampoo and soap containers all over the bathroom floor now) to make the children an obligatory nest each…. After all, the Easter bunny needs somewhere to stash their goodies for Easter Day….. Even if the chocolate has a slight Lush scent 

I may have got a bit carried away at the Range (I love that place so much)…. But when everything you need come in at under £25 how could I refuse a trip? ….. With two toddlers…. Yeh, I bribed with chocolate! But that’s what Easter’s about right? Chocolate… Oh and Jesus rising again… I wonder if Jesus liked chocolate? I’m sure he would LOVE Range…. If I died for everyone’s sins I’d def rise again to visit that place…. Maybe without two toddlers though… 

   

 
   

  


I might or might not have stopped off at the most amazing sweet shop on the way home to get some Easter fudge…