Fresh Air and Paddington Bear

Fresh Air Paddington Bear Missuswolf

I’m doing Mindful November over on Instagram (with @Mamas_Scrapbook and @Blom_cards) and when I saw today’s post was Fresh Air, I had a smug-mam moment about it.

‘Ooooh this fits perfectly in to today’s plans and even rhymes. I can be a lyrical genius on Insta and pull off an awesome post’.

Obviously- the exact opposite has happened.

Of course it would.

The Man Who Lives With Us had warned me it would.

You see, today’s Insta Square was going to be our trip to Fenwicks Window to see Paddington Bear.

I was going to get that all important #makingmemories picture of Ella wrapped up in a hat and gloves, staring mind-blowing at the red and blue clothed bear in the window.

What happened couldn’t have been further from the truth.

I’ll start as far back as leaving the house.

I don’t currently have a winter coat. There’s my yellow nana coat that’s past its sell by date festering in the garage. As I CBA to step foot in shops these days, my new winter coat is on order from Dotty P’s. Delivery due this week.

So off I venture into the garage to rescue the yellow nana coat. Of course Ella wants to follow. Why not? Who doesn’t love a good forage in a garage in the feckin freezing cold.

Cue Little Lady running full pelt out of the front door and landing flat on her face. The position she fell in was both comical and heart breaking at the same time.

There were tears. There was a heated exchange of words with The Man as to who was to blame (even though we weren’t ‘blaming’ each other as ‘accidents happen’. Eye roll).

Thankfully, no cuts, bruises or blood loss. After all that my coat looked shite anyway.

So off we troop, me in a grey jumper dress and a long cardie (that will no doubt be recycled and worn for next weekend’s girl date to York FYI).

As we approached town, of course she falls asleep.

Cue The Man driving around the West End for a bit then playing car-park-hopping until he found the right one.

So once we’d picked a side street in Shieldfield – the Little Lady woke up and off we trooped into town.

Minus the buggy.

For some reason we thought we’d leave that in the garage too. As she ‘likes to walk everywhere these days’.

Nope.

It’s a short walk, followed by a carry, followed by running off in the opposite direction, to another carry. Lather, rinse repeat that one.

And we’ve both got shit backs too so why we do this to ourselves is beyond belief. It even entered the conversation to buy a ‘lighter buggy’ while we were in town today. We didn’t even get as far as entertaining that daft idea.

We hadn’t even got to Northumberland Street and The Man needed a wee.

So did I.

We agreed he would wee in Pacific as I went to Primark to buy a hat and gloves for Ella (as yes, we forgot these too). I would then wee in Fenwicks and then ta-da – window time!

As Ella wrapped her vice-like legs (she is freakishly strong) around me for yet another carry, a part of her felt warmer than normal.

Yup.

Nappy leak.

On a grey dress.

I mean, the thought had slightly entered my head as we left that she may need a change as she’d downed two bottles of juice.

But no.

I live life on the edge.

I decided to risk it.

And I Never Learn.

If thoughts like that appear – ACT UPON THEM.

You will regret it later.

I decided to quickly dash into Primark to get the forgotten clothes. Hat, gloves and socks (aaaaalways need socks) chosen, The Man caught up with us. He stood in the queue while I went hunting for toilets near the Costa in Primark. Zilch. Couldn’t find any (thought there had to be some near food facilities??)

Aaaanyway purchase made and a mad dash into Fenwicks was had. Dodging the frantic Christmas shoppers and the Saturday Dawdlers, we jumped into a VERY packed lift. That went down. Then up.

And we got out on the wrong floor.

By now my frustration sweat was appearing but I was trying to appear cool as The Man was getting even more agitated than he already was (he hates how busy Town gets. And frankly so do I. So this was a disaster from the start).

Baby Changing facilities eventually located (on the other side of the store to where I knew the toilets were), where a full on outfit change for Ella ensued.

Her vest and tights were wet. But the dress she had on didn’t go with the spare tights so I had to change the whole outfit.

I was devastated that her pretty burgundy dress and cream tights, an outfit I chose especially for her to see Paddington in, were now replaced with a bright pink and red Minnie Mouse Dress and tight combo. I mean, it’s lovely don’t get me wrong, but it wasn’t the idyllic image I’d envisaged (nothing ever feckin is in motherhood – I should have also learnt this by now too!)

Facilities exited, The Man located – who by now is Hangry as he’s had no breakfast. Nup  – me neither mate – shall we get some grub?

As I so obviously know Fenwicks better than him (rarely there) we turn into the Saturday Dawdlers. Everywheeeeere is busy.

I had the bright idea of Greys Quarter.

Fifteen-minute-waits in every restaurant.

Right. The Decision was made.

To quickly see the window and head home, with the idea of grabbing some food from somewhere on our journey home (another Saturday afternoon Maccy D’s drive through no doubt).

Oh no no no.

There was no quickly seeing The Window. The queue was at the bottom of Northumberland Street.

The Man nearly died when this realisation hit.

In order to save his sanity and our marriage, we quickly ran by it on our tippy toes.

All the while Ella looking the other way.

Too much of a nosey parker people-watching to stare at a bear stood in a window.

Big. Fat. Waaaaaaaaah!!

So – no, we didn’t have the patience to deal with town on a Saturday a mere few weeks from Christmas with a toddler in tow.

We sidled along Northumberland Street to head back to the car. Frankie and Benny’s is our fave haunt and luckily the one near Pacific wasn’t busy. Table straight away and no waiting. Hoo-feckin-rah.

A rather relaxing lunch with a surprisingly well-behaved Ella (although there were several attempts at climbing out the high chair. I turned into the parent I swore I never would and shoved Mickey Mouse Clubhouse repeats on my phone).

As we left F&B and made our merry way back to Shieldfield, playing pass the parcel with a I-will-not-wear- my-hat-or-gloves Ella, The Man attempted to say those words.

The Man: ‘Well, I don’t really want to say it but -‘

Me: ‘Oh yes you do – you can’t bliddy wait!’

The Man: ‘Told You So!’

And he had.

The whole car journey into town that this was not going to turn out how I had in my head. And I had known that. And even agreed that what I had planned wouldn’t be perfect.

But it was faaaaar from perfect – if you class perfect as everything going according to my plan.

It was much better.

As we had an afternoon that we can look back on and laugh (and learn from!) Ella was just happy to be out and about with her mammy and daddy in the fresh air.

And at the end of the day.

That’s all that matters.

#MakingMemories

#Eveniftheyareshitones

Love Missuswolf xxx

Image above is the only one I have today of being in the Fresh Air. And there most certainly is no Paddington Bear.

March Of The Mummies 2017

On Tuesday 31st October the March Of The Mummies takes place.

Pregnant Then Screwed is an international pressure group and will be marching to Westminster from Trafalgar Square this Halloween.

Concurrent sister marches are taking place across the UK with our very own here in the North East.

The sister March taking place in Newcastle will start at Newcastle Civic Centre at 12noon and march to Grey’s Monument.

The protest seeks to highlight the issue of maternity discrimination which haunts 77 per cent of new mums, and pushes one in nine pregnant women out of their job (EHRC, 2016). 

There are five key demands, one of which is of particular interest to me:

Subside childcare from six months instead of three years.

Those who’ve followed me for a while will know I went back to work full time in January following ten months of maternity leave.

I pay approx £530 a month in childcare fees.

This is for 29 hours a week – three eight hour days and one five hour day.

The other day and a half is juggled by grandparents and flexible working.

I’m lucky that my employer does the childcare scheme, so £220 of my monthly salary prior to tax goes straight to the nursery. It probably equates to me being down about £150 a month rather than the full £220. So about £70ish ‘saving’ if you could call it that. (Maths is not my strong point!)

The other £310 is paid after tax.

Now before I get people saying I would be better off going part-time and not spending as much on nursery – I couldn’t afford it.

I’d still be paying for nursery the majority of the time and with less wage it’s just not feasible in our circumstances.

Plus I still want to be in the rat race.

To push at my career while opportunities are being presented to me.

It’s not easy but I’m managing to find a balance.

I just feel penalised for wanting to work and paying for the privilege because I’m a mother. Two years ago that £530 of my salary would all be mine. I wasn’t paying to go to work then – so why should i now?

84% of generation Z and millennials seek flexibility when job hunting and the UK economy would be £165 million richer/more productive if all businesses got on board (Government’s capital and wellbeing report 2017)

The economy benefits if more people are working, surely the government should be encouraging this?

Rather than forcing parents to feel like they’re sacrificing salary or hours because they are, well, parents?

I don’t blame the nursery either.

They need money to function. And that should come from the government instead of the parents themselves.

Like they fund schools.

Nursery is just as educational and should therefore be funded from the outset.

I’m working full-time.

Contributing to taxes and the economy.

Yet I pay 32% of my monthly wage to do this.

Because I’m a mother.

And in this day and age, with the cost of living being so high, I don’t have the luxury of not working at all.

So to help run a house, raise a family and god forbid have a career myself, I pay £530 a month for the privilege.

Where’s the fairness in that?

MUMMIES MARCH ACROSS THE UK THIS HALLOWEEN

The march is being supported by a number of MPs and celebrities. The demonstration follows the success of its recent campaign, ‘Give me Six’, which seeks to increase the time limit to raise a tribunal claim from three to six months. This campaign has the support of 99 MPs and more than 54,000 people. 

Joeli Brearley, founder of Pregnant Then Screwed said: 

“March of the Mummies is our first demonstration, and we are encouraging those attending to dress up as mummies (the walking dead kind) to highlight the archaic legislation that is in place to protect and support working mums. Despite the success of our #GivemeSix campaign, little progress has been made on maternity and pregnancy discrimination. In March 2016, a Government commissioned report revealed that the number of women losing their jobs for getting pregnant has almost doubled in the last ten years. Since then no decisive action has been taken and in that time 84,000 women have lost their jobs. We are marching, along with our sisters in cities around the UK, to demand recognition, respect and change for working mums.”

The five key demands being presented to parliament:

1. Increase the time limit to raise a tribunal claim from 3 months to (at least) 6 months

2. Require companies to report on how many flexible working requests are made and how many are granted

3. Give fathers access to 6 weeks non-transferable paternity leave paid at 90% of salary

4. Give the self-employed access to statutory shared parental pay

5. Subsidise childcare from 6 months old, rather than 3 years

To find out more about Pregnant Then Screwed please visit www.pregnantthenscrewed.com

For more information about ‘March of the Mummies’ please visit www.marchofthemummies.com or follow the hashtag #marchofthemummies

Love Missuswolf xxx

Surviving That First Phone Call From The Nursery

 

Surviving the first phonecall from nursery - Missuswolf
Well I’ve experienced it.
Just a day short of being back at work a month and I thought I’d escaped unscathed.

Unscathed from that first phone call from the nursery. (Well actually, it’s my second. The first one was a couple of weeks ago when I forgot her milk. Bad mam alert!)

But it was the first phone call asking me to come and retrieve my child.
It’s the call you dread receiving. Dread seeing the nursery’s name flash across the screen, the vibrations seeming more urgent and insistent.

In true Missuswolf style – I missed the call.

Argh. Cue even more guilt and bad Mam status.

I’d actually gone for a pee. Something I always leave to the last minute too as my mind is so preoccupied. (I’m in danger  of regressing to a toddler one day. You know – when you’re so engrossed in an activity that you actually piss yourself.)

Jeez what has my life become?!

As I approached my desk I happened to glance at my phone.

And in a nano second my work persona slipped. I knew the sheer terror was etched all over my face.

A missed call from the nursery.

And a voicemail.

Shit.

In that moment I wasn’t me.

I was Mam.

Full on Mam mode – heckles up, on high alert – ready to face  the emergency

I forgot how to operate the voicemail. Stupid I know but my fingers fumbled.

Sod it.

Just ring them straight back you divvy!

No matter how much they say it’s nothing to worry about you immediately think they’ve suffocated in the sandpit. 

Turns out she had a gunky eye and no amount of bathing would clear it. As there’d been conjunctivitis going round they couldn’t keep her there.

So off I trotted to collect her.

And obviously I couldn’t get a doctors appointment that day.

But I was offered a triage call back by the nurse instead.

I described the symptoms and the nurse prescribed eye drops.

She advised that as the little lady has been full of cold she’d more than likely spread this to her eye (you know – wiping snot all over her face yak!) and she’d developed conjunctivitis.

Thankfully the nursery allowed her to return the next day with her drops in tow.

As well as  her previously prescribed  cream for her yeast infection (for under her chin from aaaall the teething dribbles).

I was like a walking pharmacist.

Despite all this, E is still full of beans and fine in herself the little trooper.

Suppose she’s going to catch far worse over the next few years.

But on a positive note – it builds up her immune system in these early years. Hoping she’ll be match fit by the time she goes to school.

And as for me – well, I’m fine in myself too. Normal (chaotic) service has resumed.

I survived my first nursery call-out.

So from now until the next phone call,  I just live in fear of the ailments spreading to me …

Love Missuswolf xxx

Image credit to Anthony on Pexels

Getting Back Into The Workforce: Part-time and Flexible options

Career Loving Parents (Working Mums – and dads too!)

Missuswolf Career loving parents

Image from Pixabay

Are you a Career Loving Parent? Why not take this quiz to find out what your chances are of getting a part-time or flexible job …

Quiz

Full Time But Still Flexible

Here I am. Four weeks into working life following ten months maternity.

And how am I coping?

I’m going to be honest. It is tiring and my head can be all over the place.

But it’s not been as hard as I imagined. Organisation is key and I’m lucky that I have flexible employers that accommodate nursery pick-ups/drop offs.

Which is why I’m massively in support of the Hire Me My Way Campaign.

Empowering Women Back Into The Workforce

Missuswolf women working on car flexible work options

Image from Pexels

 

I’ve blogged previously about my thoughts on wellbeing and a work/life balance. I truly believe to achieve happiness and contentment in your life – especially as a parent – you need a happy medium.

You need time away from being a parent – where you have a role and responsibility outside of raising a small human.

Even if it’s just for a few hours a day.

To regain your sense of person and sense of purpose. Of course I’m not suggesting you don’t feel purpose by being a parent.

It’s the

biggest purpose

in life.

Just that you need that part of yourself back where you’re using your brain, personality and skill set to contribute to the running costs of raising a family.

1 in 4 workers have part-time jobs and everyone now has the right to ask their employer if they can work part-time. But as most working mums know, this apparent easy availability of part time work disguises many problems:

You can ask your current employer if you can work part-time, but what happens if your request is rejected?

And what happens after a few years, when you think it’s time to move on/look for promotion?

What if you take an extended maternity break, so leave your old employer and are looking for a new job when you decide to return to work?

When you’re looking for a new job, less than 1 in 20 are advertised on a part-time basis (for quality jobs with salaries at £20k+ pro rata).

The result is that many people (mostly women) get stuck in their current jobs. And when they have no choice but to look for a new part-time job, its commonplace to be forced to down-skill, taking a salary below their true value in the workplace.

I feel passionate about this. It’s not the world I want to bring my daughter up in.

1,500,000 people in the UK are currently trapped in low-paid part-time jobs below their skill level.

I want her to go out there, get a career she’s happy with, have a family and then return to working in a flexible role that matches her skill set.

And not get trapped and become de-skilled.

Missuswolf career loving parents flexible working

Image from Unsplash

 

The Hire Me My Way campaign is calling on all employers to start advertising their new jobs as being open to flexible working options. In other words, extending the ‘right to ask for flexibility’ to day one of a new hire, rather than just being a right for existing employees.

 

Anyone who feels strongly about this issue can sign up to the campaign here: http://hirememyway.org.uk/  to help the Hire Me My Way team put more pressure on employers.

You can check out employers who have joined the campaign and agreed to start hiring flexibly here.

I feel like now is the time to make some changes.

Women are at a stage where they are thriving in careers and we need to keep that skill set in the workforce.

Not penalise them because they’ve had a family.

Take the Quiz here.

Love Missuswolf xxx

Disclosure: Collaborative Post

Stripped Back: Red Wine, Terry’s and a Good Old Fashioned Black and White

Missuswolf stripped back bare trees

Despite one of the tag lines of my blog revolving around Fizz, I occasionally cheat on her with her cousin.

Vino rouge.

For those of you who know me, you know my strict relationship with wine.

Those of you who don’t, here I shall explain.

Once the seasons change, so does the colour of my wine.

As September sweeps in and the Autumn leaves curl, the crisp and dry vino blanco, once shared at sunset on patios, becomes an evocative shade of red.

A big, strong glass that can be sipped all night long. Preferably in front of a roaring fire.

Which I don’t have.

Once upon a time I would seek one out in a pub. And sit until last orders with my OH. Putting the world to rights.

Planning our next venture.

Well tonight, on this bitter eve after the Thundersnow (FYI I saw snow but missed the thunder) it’s been more of a toast to our ventures.

Life is deliciously chaotic at the moment and after the weeks militant routine, sometime it’s just nice to kick back and, you know, just chill.

Warts and all. By this I mean cosy in my winter jarmies, hair scraped back with sudocrem (yes you read right) over the winter boils that encroach my face.

Sipping red wine with a bar of Terry’s Chocolate Orange. Watching a good old fashioned black and white film with the mister.

We may sound old, boring or uncouth. But I feel incredibly relaxed. There’s something utmost soothing about watching old films.

They appear to have lived in simpler times.

And in these crazy times that we live in, sometimes it’s just nice to take a step back. Out of it all.

So tonight we watched Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. A title so well known yet I’m ashamed to admit I wasn’t at one for knowing the story line. Argh.

But now I do.

And I want to know many more story lines from many more good old-fashioned movies.

Just while the nights are dark and the wine is red.

Until I’m back on a patio at sunset and the wine is white.

Love Missuswolf xxx

Image from Pexels

The First Week Back At Work After Maternity

Missuswolf First week at work after maternity girl in the air

Image credit – Pexels

We made it! I’ve got the Friday feeling for the first time in nearly ten months – and boy does it feel good!

Granted my Friday now involves picking up a Little Lady from nursery and heading home. As opposed to picking up the hubby and heading to the pub.

But what the hell. The fact is I’d been out the house by myself for nearly eight hours. Me Time 🙂

Well, the one thing I’ve learnt from my experience in my first week back to work is:

Organisation

is

key.

Packing bags and laying out clothes the night before equates to a smooth running morning.

Alarm goes off – jump in the shower. Snaffle a banana while I do my hair and make-up. Throw my clothes on. Get Ella dressed and then go go go!

All Christmas Ella was up about 6.15. Bloomin typical.

What does she do on the first day?

Lie in.

So you can imagine my horror as I tapped her lightly to wake her up. Pulling that wincey face as I braced myself for huffy tears.

None came.

Hurrah.

In the car off to work with my bag (yippee, I actually have my own bag. Although I need a new one desperately. Waiting to earn myself some pennies first) her bag and I even managed to pack a gym bag. Go me.

Arrive at nursery at just after 7am (Ella is there everyday from 7. Her finishing times vary between 1pm and 3pm. Pickups are shared amongst me and the family).

For those of you who have been reading my blog, you’ll be well aware how I wanted to go back full time. And how much I was really looking forward to going back to work (I never shut up abooot it).

Although I’m on a phased return at the moment, I’m still happy with my decision.

In fact, I’m so much happier all round.

For the first time in ten months I feel like ME again. The variety of going to work and slotting a few gym sessions around my phased hours has instantly made me a happier, nicer human being.

Although the snatched gym sessions are just a brucey bonus at the moment. Come full steam ahead I’m going to have to factor them into my evening time.

I’m not going to lie and I think it was blatantly obvious. I didn’t really enjoy being off with a baby. Gasp. Or does that sound too harsh?? It wasn’t healthy for either of us and this proves it:

Ella was never a snuggly baby and was so used to my presence that being with me was never a big deal.

Everyday this week I’ve had lots of snuggles, she crawls over to me and onto my lap, plays with my hair and sits on my knee. She pulls at my face and has lent in a few times for some kisses.

Likewise when I’ve walked into nursery and seen that unreal smile. A smile that lights up her excited little face while her arms and legs flail about. You can’t buy that feeling in a bottle.

Surprisingly there were no tears from either of us on the first day. I think we were both looking forward to our new ventures.

And she’s thoroughly entertained at nursery. Which is what I wanted and I knew she would be. They give her far more than I could ever give and I feel like she’s grown loads in the space of a week.

It wears her out.

The afternoon nap-time-battle seems to be slacking. In fact, she had one at 2pm today. 2pm. On my watch by 4pm I was stomping the beach front with the pram willing her to drop off. Selfishly so I could go back for a cuppa in peace obvs.

By bath time she’s rubbing her eyes and come bed time she’s passed out as soon as she’s tucked in (by daddy – the super-tuckerer-inner).

And me?

I’m on a roll.

I feel productive, organised, satisfied, motivated.

And happy.

Incredibly happy.

I feel like a superwoman.

My brain is gradually coming back to life. Granted my heads all over the place trying to work out where I need to be. But it’s nothing a good diary system at work and home isn’t sorting out.

Plus I’m learning a new job too. So the days are flying by. Dare I admit that I don’t even miss her??

Wait – that sounds harsh.

Of course I’m aware when she’s not around but I don’t get a chance to think about it as I’m so distracted. But it’s been healthy for me.

One day she’ll go to school five days a week so I wouldn’t see her then anyway. I think of it logically and that this is just good prep for those days.

What I said in T’was The Night Before … Returning To Work After Maternity is all true.

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed and appreciated tea, bath and bed time. A time I’d come to despise when I was off alone with her.

I’ve said it before and I’ve said it again. Happy mama equals happy baba.

I don’t want readers to feel like I’m preachy about this. Everyone’s family and circumstances are different. But if you’re considering a family and are very career orientated, I just wanted to reassure you.

That you can still be a good mam, in my case I already feel like a better mam, by going back to work. Hell I was even dancing around the kitchen to ‘Kids’ by One Republic with the Little Lady in my arms Wednesday tea time.

Throwing our heads back, laughing as I balanced her on my hip while marching up and down the room tango-style.

It’s a sight my OH came home to. And I’m sure he’ll agree. It was a much better one than having a baby thrown at him.

Happy Wife – Happy Life.

Love Missuswolf xxx

 

 

Snacks On The Go With a Baby: Naturelly

 

For those of you who have stuck by me long enough on my weaning journey (cheeky post plugs here The Woes of Weaning and Baby-Led Weaning Essential: Tidy Tot All In One Bib and Tray) this is the latest installment: Naturelly.

Firstly. What is it?

Naturelly is a gelatine free, juicy jelly fruit snack, sweet by nature with nothing naughty added. 

That’s right – a jelly fruit snack.

So you know when you’re on the go and your small human makes those hunger noises? And if you’re like me there tends to be a stash of emergency baby biscuits in your changing bag to tide them over until the next meal?

You can now have an emergency pouch of jelly.

A pouch of jelly that’s:

– No added sugar or sweeteners
– 100% RI of Vitamin C
– Only 36 Kcal per pouch.

There’s three flavours to choose from: Summer Fruits, Apple and Blackcurrant and Tropical Fruits.

They have a screw top and can easily be sucked out the top.

I used this in the above scenario as an emergency snack for the Little Lady when we were out and about. She loved it. It went down a treat.

She was happy.

I was happy.

Yey winning at parenting.

That’s what it’s all about – being one step ahead.

If you’ve got school kids you can pop one of these in their lunchboxes.

You can buy them in bulk off the website and, as with anything in bulk, the more you buy the cheaper it is.

Plus you lovely lot for being my readers get to enjoy 25% off. Just pop in Natblog25 at the checkout.

There’s nothing stopping us adults having one either. If you need to quash a sweet craving or a pick-me up after sport.

Vegetarian society approved. Coeliac society approved. School Approved

Parent Hack: It’s always handy to have emergency snacks.

Love Missuswolf xxx

Disclosure:

Missuswolf Typewriter Compliments Disclosure

 

T’was The Night Before … Returning to Work after Maternity

Missuswolf mother and daughter in rocking chair

So here it is.

The night before I start my first day back at work since 11th March 2016 (I’m discounting the odd KIT day).

Since I joined The Motherhood.

Wow. It feels weird (but good!) to be getting into a routine of packing our bags and setting our clothes for the next day.

Something I’ll probably grow to hate. Or will I? I like being organised. Hopefully it will become autopilot and my future self (the tired head-less-chicken one in the morning) will thank me for it.

A nice bath. Early to bed to read a book and set an alarm.

Argh I haven’t set an alarm (bar the KIT days) since March 2016.

I’ll probably not sleep tonight for fear of sleeping in.

I know, I know. I’ve shouted from the rooftops how I’ve looked forward to this day. How I’ve longed to get back to work for some ‘me time’.

Ha.

It’s comical isn’t it? Who would’ve thought I classed work as  my time. 

But I do.

And I am looking forward to it.

However, do you know what I’m looking forward to the most?

Coming home to this gorgeous, happy little thing I’m proud to call my daughter.

I’ll look forward to having tea with her. To enjoy preparing it and then watching her eat it.

And bathing her. Watching her play with bubbles and the purple and yellow ducks. And the little spikey orange ball that lights up.

Splashing her little hands on the water and giggling every time she does it. Looking at me with those big blue eyes. Eyes that ask me to giggle back with her too.

Then wrapping her in her hooded towel where she resembles a baby Yoda.

Patting dry her utterly delightful skin.

Dressing her for bed.

Giving her a bottle of warm milk.

Reading her a story. Or two.

And then lying her in her cot. Her big girl cot which has been completely lowered now (when did that happen?)

Then tucking her in.

Actually, this is a daddy job as I don’t tuck her in tight enough. She’s like that magician that can escape being chained, bolted and dropped in water. Wriggles in all the right places and breaks free.

And do you know why I will look forward to all of this?

Because for nearly ten whole months, the monotony of everyday motherhood – looking after a small human by myself – takes it’s toll in the evening.

I’ve been too tired or sick of her by this time of day to actually embrace and enjoy these moments.

Gasp. What an awful thing to say.

But it’s true.

These moments tend to be flung at the other half. For him to try and embrace after his day at work.

So no doubt I’ll still be tired from my day at work.

But that’s just it.

I’ve been at work. I’ve had time away from her. She’s had time away from me.

So those moments that we are together.

Will be unbelievably special.

I can’t wait to see how excited she gets when I come home from work.

This festive period I’ve had the hubby on hand so I’ve had little breaks.

Little breaks like having a lie in.

Where I’ve surfaced and she’s already had her breakfast and her dad has dressed her. Dressed her like only a dad can dress his daughter – in obscure outfits that should never leave the house.

I inch my way through the living room door. As sometimes she’s crawling around right behind it (again – when did this happen?)

Then, she sees me.

With those innocent blue eyes.

Taking me in.

All dishevelled in my dressing gown and untamed hair. My make-up free face still puffy from sleep.

And she looks at me like  

I’m the most beautiful person

in the world.

Her  long little legs kick wildly.  Her smile lights up her cheeky little face and the excited giggles that escape from that tiny little mouth are breathtaking.

I do have a heart underneath all of this Warrior Mode.

And my god it explodes.

My little buddy for life.

I’ve come a long way in nearly ten months.

It’s been the toughest, hardest most emotional time of my life.

I’d go so far as to say it’s been the craziest.

I’m still me. Just a different version.

One that has been on a huge learning curve.

But I look back upon my time with fondness. There have been plenty of highs and there have been plenty of lows.

There’s also been some questionable parenting moments.

Like the time I couldn’t remember leaving chocolate in her cot, only to discover it wasn’t actually chocolate on her hand – that mammy had left the dirty nappy bag in the cot …

And as much as I’ve wanted this absolutely crazy time off to hurry up, I’ll reflect on 2016 in years to come as the year that not only broke me – but it also made me.

I’ve poured my feelings and frustrations into what can be looked upon as an online maternity diary. Like diaries, there will be some entries I look back upon and downright cringe, even regret. But for most of it, I’ll look back with pride.

That maternity leave not only gave me a chance to spend (albeit some frustrating and exhausting) time with this little human of mine.

It gave me the chance to take a step back from life.

To focus on something I’ve absolutely loved doing since I was a little girl myself.

Writing.

Last week, I watched the BBC film on the Bronte sisters To Walk Invisible.

And that was empowering in itself. Three women masquerading as men to get their novels published. What a significant piece of history.

A piece I want to share with my daughter. I’d like to think that by writing this blog I’m writing some history for her too. That mammy loved writing and her dream came true to share it with the world.

Missuswolf mother and daughter reading

Image credit to Pixabay

On the subject of the Bronte’s, I’m ashamed to admit I’ve never read Jane Eyre. Ouch.

I’ve downloaded it to my Kindle. I want to get into the routine of reading before bed again.

I digress.

This whole pregnancy and maternity experience has brought me new friends. Friends which some of whom I’ve not even known a year. But it’s felt like I have known them a life time. Who’ve been there on the toughest journey of my life. And that’s a strong bond.

Missuswolf Maternity Friends for life

Image credit: Pixabay

Then there are friends I’ve always had who’ve been on this journey with me too. Through the raw parts. Who have seen me at my worst and I have seen them at their best as they support and pick me up.

Friends who bring you pizza when you’ve got a teething baby and all you have eaten is a bowl of trifle for tea.

Those people are priceless.

And I thank them.

For sharing this crazy ass journey with me.

That’s Sisterhood for you.

That’s Motherhood.

Here’s to my next chapter. I’m off to make it a good one.

Love Missuswolf xxx

 

 

 

Out With The Old. In With The New. 2017 – here’s to you.

Missuswolf Happy New Year picture 2017

I love New Year.

Not necessarily New Years Eve. Although we had a lovely quiet one with friends at home. As we have a baby. So staying in is the new going out.

I love the clean slate.

To start afresh.

And returning to work (following ten months maternity)  in the New Year with everyone else makes it easier for me.

New Year New Start.

I’ve made resolutions in the past.

The usual ‘eat healthy/drink less’ variety.

But this year I just want an overall resolution.

To be happy and positive in life.

Oh, and if we’re sticking to the optimistic front – in the words of Del Boy: This time next year we’ll be millionaires.

Here’s hoping.

All the best for 2017.

Make it the year of you.

Love Missuswolf xxx

 

Merry ♡ Christmas 

Wow. What a year it’s been.

I just want to say a very quick Merry Christmas.

I’m signing off for the festive period now.

When I return it will be in the New Year.

And 2017 is looking crazy already. Crazy in a good way.

New job. New house (fingers crossed).

And the blog?

Well, we’ll just have to wait and see 😉

Enjoy this time to relax and unwind with your loved ones.

Missuswolf Merry Christmas Rocking Horse Tree decoration Unsplash
I’m going to deviate from character here and coo ‘oh wow it’s Baby’s First Christmas for us’.

Haha. It certainly is Baby’s First Christmas and I’ve been the most unprepared I’ve ever been for Christmas in my life. Ooooops.

Obvs I am excited but it’s taken me twice aslong to do anything. Thank god for online shopping as I get pram rage.

Thank god for the nursery trials this week too (which were successful yeay). It meant I could run around the shops shackle-free and buy cards and presents.

And Thank You for sticking with my ramblings these past few months. Possibly the hardest months I’ve experienced. Ever.

So I’m off to pump Prosecco through my veins for the next week.

Cheers – here’s to 2017.

Bring it on.

Love Missuswolf xxx

Images from Unsplash and Pexel