Sorry I’m late… I’ve been a little busy changing careers!! 😳

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Hello! Long time no see!  Today I noted that it’s been almost three months since my last blog which is unreal… where do the months go? Considering this time last year I was bashing out at least two per week, you could say it’s been a little neglected!

The truth is, my life has been overtaken by social media… literally, as it’s about to become my job and my source of income from September 1st!

So, let me fill you in on what I’ve been up to these last few weeks and how my decision to do a course last September has ended up becoming my new career.

Have you ever got to a point in your life where you fancy doing something a little different in your career?  Or maybe you would like to do something that could earn you a bit of extra cash alongside your employed job?   Well, I was in both of those camps. I’ve always wanted to work for myself but have never been creative enough to do something that I could sell. Being a PA for 20+ years is all I know!

Then a friend of mine suggested doing something with social media.  She figured I’d be good at being a Social Media Manager given that I have my phone permanently glued to my hand (rude!).   I hadn’t realised this was even a thing!  She suggested a course run by Digital Mums; a six month course learning all the skills required by doing lessons remotely and learning the practical elements by running your own community campaign, across three social media platforms.

I sat on the idea for a good eight months, not sure if I had the balls to get back into education.  It had been 14 years since I had done any kind of learning and following the kids, I seriously doubted that my brain could hold any kind of information!

Then in June of last year, I once again found myself Googling about the Digital Mums course.  I chatted it over with friends and family who all reassured me that I could do it. So, during the Summer, I did it… I signed up! I can’t lie, it was the most busy, stressful six months of my life, but it was so totally worth it.   I’ll write a separate blog about what its like to go through the training… but for now, let’s skip forward eight months…

It’s May…  I have graduated as a fully fledged Social Media Manager,  just returned from a two week holiday in Florida (that’s for another blog!) and I have a gut feeling that I will soon be made redundant! Holy shit… this could get real!

So, once I got over my post holiday blues, I decided to start making strides in what I was going to do as my new business.  Thankfully, a very well timed workshop held by Digital Mums was booked for mid-May, about utilising your LinkedIn profile to help you promote your business.  I also got to meet all the lovely ladies who had been learning alongside me, especially those within my close cohort – my Frida K girls (more on that the blog).

I then played around with some ideas for a brand name.  First of all, I tried out ‘Tales of Social Media’ trying to tie it in with this blog… but after a few weeks, it didn’t feel right.  I knew I wanted to keep my brand local to Somerset, so I decided to re-brand my Digital Mums community campaign which was ‘Somerset State of Mind’ to become my new business… ‘Social in Somerset’.

Mid-June, a few days after I’d put my new logo together, guess what happened?  I got told I was ‘at risk of redundancy’ due to a huge restructure.  However, being the PA to the Regional Director, it’s pretty much a done deal and I now leave on August 31st.  I have been with the same colleagues for 15 years so it’s going to be very strange to leave, and to be honest, I don’t think it’s really sunk in yet!

So, shit just got real! I now need to make this work as my new career!  It was at that point that I decided to add Virtual Assistant services to my offerings as I have more than a little experience in that field… I suppose you could say it’s my comfort zone!

As you can imagine, with this new self-employment adventure, my head is full of so many things I don’t know a whole lot about… Business plans, HRMC, insurances, business bank accounts, business cards, to name a few!  Luckily, I have secured some funding from TDA (Torbay Development Agency) who run the ‘Growth Support Project’ to support small businesses, so I have a little bit of hand-holding as I go through this process.

One big recommendation from the meeting with Phil at TDA was to start networking.  Networking!  Since leaving college, my working life has been sat behind a desk. I’ve never been worried about talking to anyone, but this is a whole different ball game… I now need to sell myself and what I can do! I started to doubt myself and everything I had learnt in the past eight months!

Thankfully, I found a networking group that was right up my street.  ‘Letstalkbiz’ is a less presenting, more connecting networking group and as soon as I walked into the meeting I felt at ease and ready to chat about how I could help people.  I felt relaxed and able to be myself, there was no pretentious business bullshit, which is just how I like it.

From that event, I’ve already got a couple of meetings lined up with people that want to know more about what I can do, and I’m also delighted that I have secured my first client doing VA work for his new business.

So all in all, its exciting times ahead… but I am going to make a plan to start blogging again. The six weeks holidays are coming up and tapping thoughts out on the laptop helps to keep me sane… along with a large G&T… of course!

Until next time,

Tales of a Mother’s Daughter

xxx

Ps… if you are a business looking for social media or VA support, you can check me out on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram under @social_somerset and ‘Social in Somerset’ … or just drop me an email at socialinsomerset@gmail.com

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Autism Vs Social Media… The ongoing battle!

I’m sure you’ll agree, teenagers and social media are not a great mix.  I don’t know what they get up to on their phones at that age, but with all the trolling and the ‘haters gonna hate’ mentality, it’s a brutal world online for a young, impressional teenager.  Add into the mix the Autism (Aspergers) aspect and it can be a recipe for disaster.

For months and months, I was debating whether letting my daughter have social media on her phone was a good thing or not.  Up until just before Christmas we’d had a few occasions where she was not using the phone appropriately.

This wasn’t anything really bad at the beginning, mainly over messaging people, declaring her undying love to her best friends (who aren’t actually her best friends) and asking people to say ‘ilysm’…  (that’s ‘I Love You So Much’ to anyone not down with the lingo!).

However, Ellie had also put out a couple of posts asking if people would miss her ‘if she died’.  This upset me so much, as not only is she opening up herself to piss take, but worse still, showing everyone how vulnerable she is and leaving herself wide open to bullying and, it’s too horrifying to think about, but also ‘grooming’.

I had a strong word with her about what doing this could result in with negative comments from people etc and asked if her friends write this sort of thing. Not surprisingly, the answer was NO.   We had tears, apologies galore and an assurance that it wouldn’t happen again.

Well, guess what, it did happen again.  Several times!  Dressed up slightly differently but the tone was the same. Thankfully, I have friends with sensible children who keep an eye out and let them know if something like this goes out.

At Christmas time enough was enough.  It didn’t seem to matter how many times I explained that she must not do this, it wasn’t going in… so the phone was taken away until further notice.

Things plodded along as they normally do (hormones plunging up and down like a rollercoaster) but without the phone Ellie got even obsessed with her other love… Coronation Street! Watching old episodes from the past, over and over! I’ve really not got a problem with this – maybe it’s her connection to my Mum (I’ve not watched it for a few years now since the Hayley cancer storyline). So most conversations at the start of the year involved the names Carla Conner and David & Kylie Platt… but if it keeps her happy and calm, I’m was going with it.

We got to the end of February and had a weekend away visiting friends over in Wales, so we decided that Ellie would be allowed her phone back (purely for selfish reasons – the ability to drink Gin in relative peace) with strict instructions not to post stuff on Instagram like she did before.

Well, we had a brilliant weekend away… a lot of Gin was consumed (there’s a drunk video somewhere on Facebook), George played with his two buddies and Ellie kept herself entertained on her phone.

Having said I would be checking her phone, I didn’t get around to doing it after our weekend away and it wasn’t until the following Friday that I got a phone call from a friend who had been given the heads up that Ellie was putting ‘what if I died’ messages on again.

We were devastated, and bloody fuming!  I looked up her account on Instagram and saw what she had been putting. I went up to her room and frankly, lost my shit!  More tears, more sorry (not sorry).  The phone and the Kindle (which I’d forgotten had IG on) was taken away…. again!

All was going well until the following weekend when she had gotten devious.  I’d asked a dozen times for Ellie to pick up her stuff on her bedroom floor, like you do when you have a messy teenager, and in the end I went up to make her bed and pick up her crap. On pulling back her duvet back, there was the bloody Kindle! WTF!  Not only that, but she had been on IG, changed her username and continued using it. Sneaky cow!

Thinking that I would hit her where it hurts (not literally), but in terms of consequences, it was time to get real!  I was going to take away… CORONATION STREET!… along with The Ingham Family (her other obsession).  This meant a weeks TV ban in her room and no ‘Corrie’ or ‘Ifam’ downstairs.  I also told her that if I caught her watching it,the ban would increase to two weeks, then three weeks!

In the end, the ban went on for four weeks!  From sneaking the TV on, pinching her brother’s remote, and going through my drawers looking for her phone, the TV ended up coming off the wall!  She literally had m no sense of consequence for her actions.

I suppose that’s how it is though. If you think teenagers think the world revolves around them, an Autistic teenager, well certainly mine, thinks the entire Universe begins and starts with them! If she wants to do something, then why shouldn’t she do it?!

So, four weeks without TV upstairs and no social media!  Pure Hell?  Actually no.  It was really nice to have her company and the Easter holidays were so much calmer than any other holiday we’ve had, plus I didn’t have any conversations about how missed Deirdre Barlow is!

From last weekend, the four weeks were up! The phone reluctantly came back, but the only thing on it now is messages and YouTube so she can watch her Ingham Family.  The parental lock has been put on and social media apps removed.

I felt a little mean doing this, but amazingly, Ellie has said that she is much happier not having Social Media in her life.  I don’t know if this is lip service but I’m going with it.  I just need to remember to check that bloody phone each night!

The ironic thing in all this, is that I have just completed a six month course to become a Social Media Manager, so its so hard for me to practice what I preach! I’ve constantly got my phone in my hand!  Difference is, “this is for work”!! 😬🤥

Like with most things in life, it’s a case of do what I say, not do as I do!

I’m sure the social media will make its way back in the future, but for now, I’m loving her not having it!

Until next time,

Love and hugs xxx

Some pics from us visiting our Welshie buddies! The kids didn’t know until we went over the bridge!

Remembering Mum… Performing Dusty Springfield from her hospital bed and showing Cancer a f***ing good fight.

img_0599-1Last night was the first night in a long time that I had a period of not being able to sleep… normally, once I’m out… I’m out!  Last night however, was different.  Two years ago at almost the exact time I woke up, I was on my way to the hospital to pick up my Dad.  He’d made the call an hour earlier to say that my Mum was now at peace and had passed away.  I was now reliving it all instead of sleeping.

This phone call wasn’t a shock . A month previous, Mum was admitted to The Beacon Ward at Musgrove Park Hospital as she was losing a lot of blood. Mum had been fighting ovarian cancer for five years, having multiple rounds of chemotherapy, but we had reached the point where nothing further could be done, and in the last few months, it was clear to see her body was getting weaker and weaker.

After being admitted to the ward during the night, we went over to the hospital the next day. When the consultant visited, she told us that Mum’s blood pressure would keep dropping with each loss of blood and that they would keep Mum comfortable and pain-free over the next few days (the time they now expected her to live).  As you can imagine, this was completely devastating.  I couldn’t believe that in a couple of days, we would lose her forever.  Even though I knew this day would come eventually, please, not yet.

I called my brother and he came straight up to Somerset from Dorset with his family.  That night the grandchildren had to say their goodbyes to their Nanny – it wasn’t fair to put them through the final days as they were all still so young (aged 10 and under).   That was one of the hardest nights of my life.

Little did we know, Mum had other plans.  Two days later, the huge blood loss she was experiencing had stopped.  What was to be a couple of days was now going to be a little longer.  Mum was still completely bed-bound, and it was clear to see that her body was starting to give up on her.  The consultant agreed that they would keep her at The Beacon Ward instead of moving her to the local hospice and Dad stayed with her the whole time, sleeping on the chair in the room.  My brother and his family stayed with us with the children staying at their grandparents when they visited whilst our children went to school.

Mum’s room for the next week was a hive of activity with visitors coming to see her – and we basically took over the family room and took it in turns each day to bring in lunch and treats from the supermarket on the way in.  I remember a lot of laughs that first week.  Mum could still chat here and there, she took pleasure in hearing us all talking and laughing together.  Humour is the only way we know how to get through crap times in our family… we’re a bit sick like that!

There were some evenings where Mum’s breathing got really shallow and the inevitable felt very close indeed.  We would all sit around her, holding her hands, and trying not to cry. We would sit for an hour just listening for her breathing which would be so erratic that sometimes it felt like the next breath would never come.

My Dad said jokingly one of these evenings, “Give us a song Else” … and with that Mum quietly started to sing ‘You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me’ by Dusty Springfield.  We sat, jaws dropped as Mum gave us a rendition of Dusty, complete with facial expressions  (eyes still closed) and an air grab that frightened the life out of us all!  Even in the face of death, Mum was still making us laugh.

Mum amazingly went on a little more than a couple of days. My brother had to go back to Dorset during the week so could come up and visit on the weekends.

I swear, every time a nurse finished their run of shifts, they were amazed to come back to see Mum still occupying the room!  Even my friends, were being asked by their work colleagues “How’s your friend’s Mum?”  “Still here”, they’d reply.  It was just unbelievable.  The kids would ask me every day, ‘Is Nanny an Angel yet?’.

It was a Sunday morning and I was getting ready to go to the hospital. Mum had now been there for three weeks and five days.  My brother was up for the weekend visiting and was at the hospital.  Mum had been asleep for most of the week and had now not eaten anything for several days and even fluids were next to nothing.

However, today was different.  I had the call to get over to the hospital quickly.  Mum had woken up for the first time in days and was chatting.  “I don’t want you to miss this, come over now” my brother had said.  I’d read about this (I was a bloody expert on the process of dying by now) when a patient has a huge surge of energy just before they pass away.  All I kept thinking all the way there, was that I can’t miss her.  I sprinted across the car park, my legs were like jelly, my head willing them to move quicker.

When I got there, she was awake.  “You made it” she said.  I’ll never forget it.  I managed to show her the infinity ring I had bought with their birthday money for my 40th, promised I would buy a beautiful leather biker jacket with the rest so that she’d always have my back, told her how much I loved her and that she must not worry, we were all going to be ok, we had each other, we would be fine.

She managed to talk a little, see  some family and was more alive in the those few hours than she had been in the last two weeks.  It was wonderful, even if it was shortlived.

Once Mum had drifted back to wherever you go when you’re pumped full of morphine (which she told me was wonderful btw) my brother and I decided that we wouldn’t visit anymore.  He was about to go back to Dorset so wouldn’t be around and I felt awful being there without him… just as he did when he thought I was going to miss the ‘final moment’ as I made my way over to the hospital.

This was one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever had to make. Watching this amazing woman deteriorate the way she did was just heartbreaking, but I was really struggling to watch it anymore.  She had no food or drink now for several days, this disease truly is evil.  I kept thinking that back in the day, someone would have helped things along by now, administering just a little more morphine than required.  You wouldn’t put an animal through this, so why do we do we let our fellow humans suffer in this way?

My Dad agreed that he didn’t want us seeing Mum deteriorate anymore and I couldn’t bear for my everlasting memory of her to be this shell of a woman, even though she already was.  After nearly four weeks, I just couldn’t take anymore.  It’s funny, but even though I was a 40-year-old woman, I felt very much like a small child at that time and Dad just wanted to protect us.

I know there will be people thinking, ‘I could never do that’, but I’ve learned, that unless you’ve walked down the same path as someone, you don’t know how you’d feel. Believe me, I have wrestled with that decision so many times.

Astonishingly, Mum remained in the hospital for a further five days, passing away in the early hours of Saturday morning, 20th February whilst my Dad sat sleeping in the chair.  She was The Beacon Wards ‘longest resident’ with her stay from 20th January to 20th February.

The day Mum passed, my wonderful friends came round and cooked for us, we drank wine, we played music loud and relived our memories. I don’t know how we would’ve got through everything without our friends and family.

As I sit and type this, I have ‘The Best of Dusty Springfield’ playing over the speakers, with our little cockapoo puppy, Dusty sat next to me.   The tears have flowed which have been locked away for too long, but getting it down on paper – or typed on screen… may be just what I needed to do to let it go.  I hope you don’t mind me sharing it with you.

Tonight I will raise a glass to my wonderful, crazy, brave, beautiful Mum, who is always remembered and in our hearts forever.

img_6564-2This was our last picture together at my surprise 40th birthday bash- 10 days before she was admitted to hospital.

Until next time.

Love and hugs. xxxx

What on earth is Reiki? Turning to Reiki to get away from it all…

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Last week was a bit of a tough week, so I decided to take some time out for some pure relaxation by booking myself a 90 minute Reiki & Massage session with Michelle at Fairy Heart Therapies.  This treatment was called ‘Luxury Healing Heaven’. Already I was sold!

Michelle practices her Reiki, Massage and Hynotherapy sessions from a pretty little cabin at the bottom of her garden.  It’s décor and warmth as you enter, is so welcoming and perfect for the treatment she delivers.

I had no idea what to expect, but I always go into these sorts of things with an open mind. I’ve tried a couple of ‘things before… Kinesiology & Aromatherapy – back in the day when it was really trendy!

The first half of my treatment was the massage, and boy, it really was ‘heavenly’!  I think I started to relax within a couple of minutes – I’ve never been so quiet! This was a gentle, relaxing back, neck and head massage using coconut oil, slowly rubbing away any tension I might be storing up.  Definitely a far cry from the sports massages I have had in the past where I spend most of the appointment cursing very loudly! Don’t expect a relaxing experience if you ever go for one of those!

After my back and neck, Michelle moved onto my facial using some beautiful smelling products such as Palmarose Facial Wash, Calendula Cleanser, Rose Facial Polish, Facial Mask, Rose Toner, White Tea Eye Gel and Palmarsoa Moisturiser.

Once I had my face mask slathered on, Michelle began to start the Reiki practice. I thought I was already completely relaxed, but I was about to chill out even more!

So, what on earth is Reiki?

Our bodies experience different energies and emotions both positive and negative. However, our body has a much harder job of freeing negative feelings which can create ‘blockages’ – this is where Reiki can help.  When in deep relaxation, the healing powers of Reiki allow the body to release those heavy energies such as grief, fear, anxiety and feelings of depression – to name just a few.  Healing hands are placed over a Chakra on the body to allow energy to flow in and out of the body.

What’s a Chakra?

How I understand it (and in very simple terms), your body is made up of energy sources called Chakras.  There are seven Chakras running through the body from the crown of the head to the base of the spine.  Each Chakra has its own a function within its part of the body.

Still sounds weird?  Well, think about what you do when you’re in pain. I’m betting that you instinctively hold onto the part of the body that is hurting, whether that be holding your head to soothe a headache or maybe rubbing your tummy because it is sore.  You are practicing self-healing on yourself without even knowing it!

So, in a nutshell, Reiki is the transfer of energy from one person to another to promote healing and well-being in your spirit, body and mind.  There is so much more information available about the practice, but here is as far as my understanding needs to go – I just trust the process!

During the Reiki,  I felt like I was on the edge of sleep, but not quite asleep.  I did that thing where your body moves involuntarily (like you’ve fallen off a pavement) and I even snorted a couple of times!  My mind felt free of thought and from what I can remember, I could just see colours behind my eyelids and could hear the relaxing music.  I could feel heat from Michelle’s hands as she moved down my Chakras.  I could feel and hear what was going on, but couldn’t quite pull myself from this dreamlike state.  It was glorious!

Once Michelle had finished the Reiki part, she gently removed my face mask using warm flannels down each of my face to soothe and smooth away the mask. This was finished with toner and moisturiser.

By the time I was asked to sit up slowly, I was so calm and relaxed, I never wanted to leave the warmth of the cabin!

Michelle talked me through what she had picked up from my session, some of which was spookily correct. Michelle also picked up a very strong spiritual energy from my ‘third eye’ Chakra, which she suspected was my Mum’s presence, which was very reassuring to hear.

I would wholeheartedly recommend this type of treatment, whatever state of mind or health you may be in, but especially if you are feeling a little overwhelmed, anxious, depressed, in pain or maybe not ‘quite right’.

Since my treatment, I have certainly felt more grounded, calm and feel like I have more clarity of thought. I’ve already booked another session with Michelle, and I can’t wait.

You can find out about Michelle at Fairy Heart Therapies by visiting: http://www.FairyHeartTherapies.co.uk

Much love,

Tales of a Mother’s Daughter

Hey! Long time no see!

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Hi everyone – first of all ‘Happy New Year’.  Yes, it may be Jan 25th, but it’s the first time I have signed onto my blog this year.  Shocking!  It’s not that I haven’t wanted to, its just I haven’t had the time!  Poor excuse I know, that old chestnut “I don’t have time”.

There have been so many things I’ve wanted to blog about over the past few months.  Christmas was interesting this year.  Not quite as stressful as other years, but that’s because daughter spent most of the time in her room watching re-runs of Coronation Street (her new obsession!).  So it was actually pretty chilled/boring!

We’ve had mobile phone woes, and finally, we had to make the decision to remove the bloody thing altogether for fear of it being used inappropriately.  This didn’t go down well for a while, but now daughter doesn’t even mention it!

So, what have I been up to the last few months?  Well – basically, my brain has been consumed by all things ‘social media’ the last few months… more than it has ever been before.  Having started a Social Media Manager course in September, I am constantly on my phone, looking for content, checking for followers/unfollowers and trying to think of  useful/amusing things to post.  I’m also learning all the many tools; Buffer, Trello, Pocket, Pexels, Buzzsumo, Scoop (that’s a very small sample) and trying to learn the tricks of the trade when it comes to running social media for a client.

The client I am working for on the course is… ME!  I am doing a Wellbeing campaign about taking small, achievable steps to better wellbeing.  The idea for this came from my experience in the weeks leading up to my mum passing away.  Spending every day for a month at the hospital meant my diet and exercise went to shit – and rightly so.  I had much more important things going on to worry about drinking green smoothies and fitting in a workout.  This all started at the beginning of the year (two years ago), so being tagged onto Christmas, I’d had a good three months of eating junk and drinking wine and by mid-March I was feeling awful.

Whilst I didn’t have the inclination to do exercise or eat better, I knew I had to for my wellbeing.  Otherwise, I know I would’ve gone downhill. So, I made small changes in the right direction –  stopped drinking (only for a month) and ate proper meals made of ‘real food’  instead of chocolate and processed crap.  My body started to respond and I lost the excess weight and felt a little better in myself… apart from the grief I was feeling, that is a much longer process and one that never truly ends.

So, when it came to picking a campaign to run, this is what I chose to do… and this has been consuming my life day and night since the campaign went live on January 1st!   I’ve been doing some vlogs on my Tales of a Mother’s Daughter Facebook page and pop a few things up on Instagram and Twitter, but I have truly neglected this blog, which is something I love doing.

I hope in the Spring (once the training is over) to look at this website and the content I share and give it a shake-up.  I’d like to incorporate some of the subjects I’ve been covering in my campaign – Wellbeing, Mental Health, Exercise, Food, Body Positivity, Mindfulness… along with the other Mum woes I normally chat about!

I look forward to sharing the upgrade with you all.

I’m off now to fill up my Twitter feed with content for the campaign (‘Somerset State of Mind’ in case you were wondering!) … and I hope to be back very soon – bigger and better.

Love and hugs

 

Tales of a Mother’s Daughter

 

 

Not winning at Life… and the signs it’s all going a bit ‘tits up!’

Not long ago, I thought I had it sorted.  For me, I was doing ok.  I’m certainly no Monica Geller but a little meal planning and some organisation with the laundry meant that we were reasonably well fed and clothed which then led me to be more organised with other aspects of life. I even did a fist bumping, back slapping blog about it (The Domino effect) … I was that impressed with myself!

Unfortunately, that’s all gone to shit and I really don’t know how I got from being more organised to constantly chasing my tail.  I’m doing a social media course at the moment which is taking up a chunk of my time every week, but as a Mum working part time, surely I can handle this?  It would seem not!

I find myself wondering how the hell mums working full time or mums with more than two children or single mums manage to do it all – because of course, when you’re losing at life, you feel like nobody else is, you’re the only one… when the reality is, they are probably losing to some extent too!

At the moment, there is so much do to at home that I just don’t know where to start… so I don’t! By 6.00pm, hubby and I are both feeling shattered and the last thing either of us feel like doing is sorting the mountain of washing that has piled up in the bath… not posh enough to own a ‘utility’ or sort out lunches etc etc!

This has made me think about the obvious signs (for me) that its all going a bit ‘tits up’…

  1. I have a freezer full of food but none of it goes together.  I have a bag of onion bajis, a bag of tuna steaks, some frozen raspberries and a loaf of gluten free bread!
  2. The cupboards aren’t much better.  Nothing that could make up a meal in combination with the freezer – although I do seem to have an abundance of coconut milk!?
  3. So I try and go one more day without doing ‘Big Food Shop’ because I either; can’t be arsed/it’s too cold/there’s  anything more important to do, but the upshot is I have to make four separate meals from what there is left!
  4. When I do finally get myself shopping, I’ve left it too late to do a list, let alone a meal plan, so I work off my incredibly hazy brain.  This results in at least £80 being spent on anything but more than two meals that go together because the rest has gone on Children in Need paraphernalia/Christmas jumpers & slippers… or whatever else is needed this week!
  5. The above results in less exotic meals being cooked… usually something with chips & beans!
  6. From food to laundry… the washing baskets (of clean washing) are bloody overflowing and every day I pledge to sort them out and distribute to the relevant owner.  This of course, doesn’t happen which results in every morning, me trying to find school socks/PE shorts or anything else that’s needed 10 minutes before we leave in the morning!
  7. Worst still is that I discover what should be in that basket is still in the machine and I have to panic tumble dry it in 30 minutes.  Even worse is when what is needed has to be washed, dried and ironed… yeah… forget it!
  8. There are loads of socks in the drawer.. but none of them match… probably because the rest are in that washing basket… or the dog has pinched them!
  9. My birthday reminder is Facebook!  Usually around 3pm I’ll see that I need to buy a card for someone! Arrrrgghhhh!
  10. The house downstairs is doing reasonably ok… but if someone came round and needed to use the upstairs bathroom, I’d literally shit myself… and possibly they’re about to!!
  11. Christmas shopping – in real shops?  The majority once again will be done on Amazon…. its my bloody saviour!
  12. I’m so tired at the end of the day from failing, I need an early night – I sod what needs doing and pledge to get up early and wing it in the morning… and the whole merry dance starts again!

If I’m honest, what hasn’t helped is that this week I put my back out and hubby has been amazing in taking control of everything, whilst I’ve had to sit on my arse! Sounds wonderful… but when you’re forced to do it, you really don’t want to!

Please let me know I am not alone…  let me know this is you too or let me know the signs when you know you are #failing!    I’m now off to re-read my ‘Domino’ (winning at life) blog for some inspiration!

Love and Hugs,

Mother’s Daughter xxx

Why are school mornings like Groundhog Day!?

This morning was like every other morning, which is like every morning in households everywhere that children live.  The dreaded school run! Why oh why is it just so hard!?

It doesn’t seem to matter what time I get up, how organised I might be, the result is still the same… shouting that we need to go, teeth still not cleaned, ties suddenly lost and an announcement at two mins to blast off that they need to take something random with them to school! Why do they do that, they’ve had a whole sodding night, but NO, please announce this at 7.55am!!

The difference in my household and I’m sure its the same for all mum’s of special ones, the worry is that it will always be Groundhog Day.  Will I always have to remind about putting on deodorant, brushing hair and the fact that there is jam smile on her face?! Don’t get me wrong, I am happy to do this for as long as it takes, but A. it worries me that I’ll still be doing this when she is 25+ and B. it pisses me off!

Thing is, as mums we (that’s the Royal ‘we’) have enough trouble having to think about what we need to do for ourselves, but as a mum, you also have to do the thinking for everyone else as well!  All my two kids want to think about is Pokemon/Skylanders and Coronation Street episodes from three years ago, therefore it’s down to me to remember drinks bottles, PE kits, reading records, lunch, teeth cleaned, suncream/scarf & gloves (depending on the time of year) and any other parafinalia I may have missed!

So literally, every day, every single sodding day, I say (shout) the same thing to the kids before school… and I know you do too… and if you don’t, you are a very lucky lady!  It has to be beyond a shadow of a doubt, the worst hour of the day.  The relief that I feel once they are both dropped off is immense, it just rolls off my shoulders in a big “thank fuck for that!”.

I’ve mentioned before about how hubby would call me, usually on his way to work during school run hour because he thought of something trivial on the way to work.  He quickly learnt not to do this.  Well, a few weeks ago, I went away with my old school mates for some R&R which meant hubby had to do two mornings of school runs!  As we  landed in Dublin, I called home to say we arrived safely… His first words were  “how the fuck do you do that every day?  You deserve a bloody medal!”  I know!!

I’m very fortunate that I mostly work at home and go into the office once (sometimes twice) a week, so for four out of five days, I know I can wing it where I am concerned – if I’m only half ready its no biggy.  If I had to go through the stress of being ‘work ready’ every morning and try to get out of the door at stupid o’clock, I would now be found rocking in a chair with a very large Gin!  At least this way, its just Gin!!

But in all seriousness, as our children grow up, they do become more self-sufficient and do things for themselves.  I have a fiercely independent eight year-old who even now, does so much for himself.

However, for our children who have challenges and needs, it doesn’t always go that way and as parents, there is always the niggling worry in the back of our minds that we will always need to be around to help… which of course, we always will be.  Just pass me the Gin!! xx

Until next time…

Tales of a Mother’s Daughter xxx

This blog of course, extends to stay at home dad’s and not just limited to us mums!