Time to Escape

The ‘burden’ of responsibility. We all have it – some take it, others shy away from it and some ignore it. Ultimately, however, we cannot escape it, or can we?

Responsibility‘ –   to be in a position of authority over someone and to have a duty to make certain that particular things are done.

There are many definitions and interpretations of the word ‘responsibility’, and no matter what, there comes a time when we all have to stand up an ‘be responsible’ or ‘take responsibility, in any given situation.

Take a ‘typical’ family situation.  It usually consists of at least, one full time parent but often two. Usually one or both go to work, to make the money, to pay the bills, and someone takes care of the children, or at least organises, child care for the children.  With all of that comes responsibility and accountability at some level.  I don’t think anyone will dispute that.  It seems a simple and feasible scenario.  The reality is, that it is not always so straightforward or simple, because we all know, ‘life is simple, its just not easy’ right?  That is because ‘responsibility’ is often a ‘Burden‘.  The definition of Burden :

‘A load, typically a heavy one’

The ‘breadwinner’ carries the burden of providing for the family, even when they may hate their boss, their colleagues, their job.  A parent has the ‘burden’ of teaching, protecting and getting the child ‘world ready’ for when he/she takes his/her independent steps and faces the world on their own.  The child has the ‘burden’ of making their parents feel ‘proud’ of their achievements, as this will equal that the parents were successful in their parenting.  Or is that necessarily so?

We cannot foretell what the future will hold or how ‘children’ turn out, is strictly down to parenting.  Yes it is influenced by it but there is more in the pot than just parenting, in how we all ‘turn out’.  It is a mixture of ingredients such as, personality, peer influences, other significant role modelling, intrinsic and extrinsic motivation, self esteem/worth, emotional intelligence to name but a few.

The burden though, is how we ultimately deal and cope with our ‘heavy load’, in all of the different relationships we have with others.  This is why, in my humble opinion, I believe we all need to ‘escape from it’ from time to time.

I had my first ever facial when I was 36 years old.  I had been laid up for a long time, after an operation on my back .   The burden that I felt I was putting on everyone was monumental, especially as I am usually a very active and independent person.    I felt quite useless as a wife and mother, being unable to do simple, usual daily tasks.  For Christmas that year, my other half, bought me a voucher for a facial.   I really didn’t know what to expect, as I had never been inside any sort of beauty salon in my life.

I spent one hour in the salon having my face, cleansed, toned, masked and moisturised to within an inch of its life.  The gentle hands of the therapist, the beautiful aromas of the creams and the gentle sound of the music, sent me off into one of the most relaxed states I had ever felt, EVER.    I didn’t know, having something done to my face, could do that!  I had been laid up for almost a year, slowing getting down and feeling useless, and in just one hour, this therapist worked her magic on me (not just my face) but me, the whole person.  I felt wonderful.  This one hour allowed me to escape my burden of responsibility somehow.  It was like a magic tonic and I literally felt like a new woman coming out of the salon and vowed, like #Arnold Schwarzenegger, that ‘I would be back’.

Not only did I go back, I went back to college and studied beauty therapy, worked as a therapist at a world class spa and then opened my own salon at home, to work around my family’s needs.  Stepping away from my usual day to day burden, for one hour, gave me a new lease of life, LITERALLY!

Yesterday I took my mother away for the night to a beautiful hotel and spa #Lyrah.  She is a very young 70 something but has some health issues, as you would expect for a 70 something.    It’s hard to think of great gifts to get for Christmas presents, so I thought, spending time with her, away from the burden of daily life, would be just what the doctor ordered…… for both of us!  Not only did I feel a sense of duty to spend some quality time with her, as my own day to day life is very hectic with teenagers, grand children and work, I could think of no better present to gift her.

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We began our day with a delicious lunch in a beautiful setting, had a fine dinner, attended a great show – The Three Amigos’, had restful sleep before our sumptuous breakfast.  Next we headed to the spa for a fabulous massage each and a dip in the pool.  Of course we couldn’t leave without yet another helping of their delicious food fare and enjoyed a cream tea, a.k.a pot of tea with warm scone, clotted cream and jam……Stupendous!

The moral of the story is whether it be a day at the spa, a walk on the beach, a catch up with your friends or a run up a mountain.  Take some ‘time’, leave the burden of responsibility for a short period and Take responsibility for your self and your well being.  Spend time, quality time,  with loved ones, that you don’t see all the time and step out of that ‘comfort zone’ of the heavy load.  Remember, one hour, in the hands of that wonderful therapist, turned my life around.  Go on, take the time, you owe it to yourself, to your family and to your soul!

 

Leaving the Baby!

When its time to go back to work!

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Someone I know is returning to work today after being on maternity leave for 9 months.  It is her first child and what a beautiful child she is.  The funny thing is when I read her post about returning to work, my tummy lurched and my heart went out to her.  The first 9 months, spent intensely with your baby, knowing its every move, its every need and its every likes and dislikes.  Even before that, the initial 9 months carrying the child, the bond you have  and the protection you feel for it is intense.

My tummy lurched because it brought back memories of the first day I had to return to work after I had my first child.  In those days we had 4 months maternity leave.  I remember the days leading up to having to ‘leave her’.  Finding a suitable minder.  Meeting the minder and checking out everything I could about her and the service she provided.  I kept looking at my baby, the child I knew everything about, and I couldn’t help but think, that when the day finally came, she would hate me for leaving her.  This made me feel sick, it made me feel sad, it made me feel guilty, it made me hate myself, just a little bit too.

I remember trying to be extra cheerful that morning after very little sleep, as per usual, because she was not a good sleeper anyway, and of course the level of trepidation I was feeling prevented a peaceful slumber!

She loved being in the car, and all the way to the childminders I felt like I was leading her into a false sense of security.  A car ride usually meant shopping or visiting friends and family.  This car ride was leading her into the hands of a perfect stranger (even though I did introduce them prior to this dreaded day).  Not only was I driving her there, I was going to be leaving her there, until her daddy collected her, when he finished work.

I suppose we were lucky in one sense in that I was returning to work on a part time basis in the afternoons.  He on the other hand was working the early shift 6.00 a.m. until 2.00 p.m.  This meant my child would have a total of 2 hours per day with the minder.  That,  for me was 2 hours of torture!

Next to tears, before we arrived, I kept thinking about when she was born and for her daddy, life continued as normal, in that, he still had to go to work, to ‘provide’.  However, he had the luxury of knowing she was a home with me, being well cared for and looked after.    He was used to this ‘going to work’ scenario.  This was a whole new ball game for me.  This new Relay shun ship was filled with all sorts of emotions…. none of it was good!  Yes I could impart all the relevant information to the child minder, her likes, dislikes, nap time, colic, screaming fits, due to colic, tiny naps, due to colic, infacol in the bag, due to colic.  I could not, however, shun my increasing feelings of anxiety and guilt, the nearer I got to her house.  Knowing I had to actually, really leave her there.

Walking up the path, I could barely speak, looking down at my precious bundle in the car seat, and her smiling up at me, not realising she was being tricked and what a bad mummy I was for tricking her!  It was not nanny’s house, or our friends house, this was the ‘Torture House’.   I was startled out of my guilty trance, at the door opening and  the woman greeting us with a very warm welcome, assuring me that everything was going to be just fine.  She could obviously sense my dread.    Again I reiterated all the instructions on how to care for a child.  How to care for my child!  She is different to all the others, she has colic you see!  Do you know how to deal with colic?

Oh my God how am I going to leave and get back in the car and then go to work.   Not the job I had left to go on maternity leave.  Oh no, that had gone into receivership whilst I was on said leave.  This was a new job.  Brand spanking new.  I was the new receptionist.  The FIRST person to greet the clients.  The person to answer the phone.   No pressure!

I squeezed her tightly in my arms. Kissed her a million times, and like any good villan, handed over the precious goods.  I could hear the screams as I was walking down the path, then realised, that was in fact me screaming.  My baby was cooing and blowing raspberries, whilst the childminder, sweetly smiling and reassuring me ‘Everything will be just fine.  Please don’t worry’.  Easy for her to say!

By the time I arrived at my job, not a trace of make up was left on my face from all the crying and wiping away the tears.  Double checking in the mirror to make sure I didn’t have any sign of panda eyes, I proceeded to enter the building, trying to pull myself together, but looked anything BUT professional, with a big red blotchy face!

I was greeted by another girl on reception (older than me, married with children).  She gave me a knowing look of ‘been there, it, done it, got the T shirt!  She took me under her wing and, in between my sobbing, showed me how to use the switchboard.  Luckily for me  (and the company) she was to be with me all day and for the first week, to train me in.  It was  the worst I had EVER felt in my life, that first day.  I felt like I had just shipped and dumped the most precious thing in the world, for what,  the route of all evil – money!

I hated the fact that we needed for me to work too, but the reality is we did need the money to pay the bills.  The other reality is, I actually would NOT have been satisfied to be ‘a full time stay at home mother’.  In that moment, that is all I wanted, but the more she went to the childminder, happy to go and and happy to ‘play’ and interact with the other babies and toddlers, the happier I settled into work.   We both achieved a good work/life balance.

So to all you young mothers, out there, at whatever stage of maternity leave you are on, feeling the trepidation, the guilt and all the other associated feelings, you are not alone, but trust me, and trust yourself in your selection of childcare, all will be fine.  They will be fine.  YOU will be fine!

 

 

Friends and Frenemies and those inbetween

20180122_0619391938561942.pngI must admit, I am a bit fussy when it comes to friends.  i like to suss them out first, you know, just observe, then maybe ‘try them out’  A bit like when I am deciding what colour to paint the wall.  I slap on a few different shades/colours and live with it for a few days.  I then pick which one I feel most happy with.  At first I love it and am so please with myself that I definitely make the right choice.  It goes so well with all of the furnishings in the room.  Except does it,  really go with everything.  Is it fighting with the colours in the rug.  Friends are a bit like that.  What I mean is, for the most part we generally get on very well with our ‘Best Friends’, but there will be some aspects about them and us that we don’t necessarily ‘get on’ with.

My first friends came as a duo.  They were sisters and I have known them forever.  However, we were only babies when we first met.  Our parents were neighbours, not next door neighbours, but around the corner neighbours.  It was through them that our little trio was formed.  You could say we were thrown together due to a set of circumstances that we had no control over.  Our parents’ were not necessarily close friends, but in those days, some 50 odd years ago, there was a close community type of friendship among neighbours.

Anyway, thanks to them, our friendship was born and I am happy to say I would consider them as the ‘sisters I never had’, especially as I don’t have any ‘real sisters’, but I do have 2 brothers.  I would therefore consider them ‘Kenzoku’, which is Japanese for Family, (not that I speak Japanese).  I just thought I would educate myself and some of you with a new term from a different language!  You are welcome ‘Vous etes les bienvenue’ (you are welcome in French).  I am sad to say, I do not speak French either 😦

So what is a true friend?  Well to me, it is a shared interest in some things, but not all things, having similar values and respecting each others points of view.  You may not agree with all of their points of view, but respecting, accepting and supporting them is a good start.  It is someone who will have your back when the chips are down and someone who will help you in your hour of need.  It is honesty, loyalty and integrity.  Someone to tell you the truth….If my bum does indeed look big in this, tell me.  I can then decide whether to still wear it.  In this RELAY SHUN SHIP relationship scenario, I can decide whether to wear it anyway, ditch it, or wear a longer jacket, but thank you for your honesty.

I think a true friend has no trouble being honest, but in a kind way, unless they are drunk, then they might insult you, in an endearing way…. hopefully….. The Sex and the City girls are a classic example of true friends.  Yes I know I could have used  the example of Friends the sitcom either, but I am biased and those 4 women were my once a week friends and I loved them and their friendship.

My next ‘true friend’ friendship came when I was 11 and at secondary school.  I consider her Kenzoku too.  We were so similar in many ways and even looked similar.  Once our paths collided, in a natural way at school, that was it and to this day, we are still ‘besties’.  The best thing about these type of friends is that, even though we hardly see each other anymore, because we don’t even live in the same country, we would be there for each other at the drop of a hot, literally.  That is what family do isn’t it, they would drop everything for you if they needed you or you needed them.  The years spent building the foundations, sharing experiences, laughs, tears, trouble, fights, time and space is enough to sustain the absences of the physical day to day contact.  I love these friends like I do my children…… unconditionally.

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Other friends we meet along the way of life or through our Best Friends.  We are not exclusively each others, we may branch out and have more friends.  There are some times though, that we may not necessarily ‘get on’ with our friends, friends.  There may be nothing obviously wrong, you simply don’t connect and that is OK!

My best friend at school had other friends but they were not really my  cup of tea. If she wanted to hang out with them, I would just go play, quite happily, two ball on the wall.  By that I mean I would bounce two balls off a wall (tennis balls).   I am digging myself a hole here, in case you thought I meant I played with two other type of balls….. certainly not – I went to an all girls catholic school 🙂

I really enjoyed playing two ball and it was a great game for co-ordination and memory.  As you would hit a ball off the wall, in quick succession with the other one you would sing a tune e.g.  ’10 boys names I really must know, so wish me luck and away I go’.  A ball must hit the wall per word sang, so that was the rhythm.  The next part was to sing then sing 9 girls names, 8 types of animals, 7 countries…… you get the drift.  The skill of the ball throwing also got more difficult.  At 9 girls names you would throw the ball up in the air (upsies).  At 8 types of animals, you would throw them over arm at the wall, and as per each decending number of  ‘topics’ you would throw the balls, underarm, slam the balls from the floor but it then must hit the wall (slamzies), under one leg, then the other, slamzies under one let then the other, straddle front ways and slam off the ground to the wall then straddle back ways and slam off the ground to the wall.  You MUST catch the ball each time or you were out.  If you were playing on your own like me, just start again from the beginning!

Being a contortionist would also have been a great help with some of the moves! I did manage to perfect the game as I had a lot of practice!  So there are in fact, advantages as well as disadvantages in every relay shun ship, in that I still had fun, didn’t have to pretend to like the other girls and learned a few new skills along the way.  I wasn’t mean about the other girls.  I would just say I felt like playing two ball.   They probably thought I was an odd ball, but that’s OK too!

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Other friends I have now, I have met through my varied studies, groups I have joined or jobs.  I have a few circle of friends.    It is amazing how you can meet one person though and through that friendship, grow a bigger circle.  I met a really nice girl when I decided to  study Beauty Therapy.  I was  fast approaching 40, which I know, seems a bit old to be studying beauty and there is a back story, but that is for another time – maybe.

Anyway looking around the class at all the (mainly) young, school leavers, there was  a girl who caught my eye.  Not a school leaver but not an almost 40 year old either, but nearer to my age than theirs.    The usual ice breaker at the beginning of a new ‘adventure’ had begun and it was the usual, ‘ Hi my name is X and I have always wanted to be a beauty therapist’ routine.  When it came to me I said, ‘Hi, my name is Carrie and I have NEVER wanted to be a beauty therapist’.    (I completed the course, as I am no beauty school drop out)!  The girl who caught my eye,  impressed me with  pursuing her dream of becoming a beauty therapist.  She had given up her life, lock stock and barrel and left a good job to do it.  She was my kind of woman.  I had, on a few occasions walked away from my life, lock stock and barrel too and jumped in feet first to things.  That too is another story!

We both found employment at the same world renowned spa and it was there that we met another girl and befriended her.  She was funny and the most laid back person I had ever met.  Younger than both of us, but we were young at heart.  They decided to look to house share and it was during that time, we met another girl who knew ‘our friend’ from  a previous work place.  The three of them moved in together.  When I first met her, she was very wary of me as she thought I was ‘abrupt’ and was a little scared of me.   Fear not, I am not really that scary, but I can be direct and yes, I suppose abrupt, but only when the need arises!   I wasn’t too sure about her either.  I felt we had nothing much in common, except my other two friends.  I could see she was professional, focused, driven and a go getter, but there just did not seem to be a shared connection.

Fast forward a few years and lots of events and parties later, we became more connected and realised that we  were not as bad or scary as we first thought.  It was through her I met another another couple of her friends, one she used to work with and went to school with and the other was her current work colleague and friend.    She and I had much in common, like we were both born and had lived in the UK.  Both had our own children and step children and both knew the challenges of fitting in to a new Country.  We hit it off straight away.  As she puts it herself ‘she would love to have a friend like herself’ and she is absolutely right.  She is funny, warm open minded and isn’t afraid to open her heart.    Aren’t these the qualities we look for in a friend.  A bit of give and take,  some consideration and an acceptance to value the things we do like in each other and  ignore the things we don’t!

 

 

The Grand Kids

A Grandchild ….always in your heart and a reason to smile, every day!

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Currently I have 4 grand children aged 1, 2, 3 and almost 10 years old.  I love them all to pieces and would do anything for them.  The only thing I don’t really want to do is to be their #childminder…….  I can hear all the sighs, tut tuts and even cheers of agreement and understanding.   Not wanting to be their childminder does not equal ‘I don’t love them or have fun with them.  It just means I want to hold on to my sanity and waining energy levels a little bit longer.  It means I want to keep my house in one piece, a little bit longer (I have just spent a fortune redecorating)!  It also means if I want to spend time pursuing things for myself, like spending a fortune redecorating the house or painting (art not walls) or just sitting on my arse enjoying some peace and quiet, I think that is my prerogative.    After all, I have already been to that mad crazy world before, raising their mothers.  I know what is involved…… the mess, the winging,the shitty nappies, the ‘no I don’t like that’ and the ‘no I don’t need to use the potty’, then two minutes later proceed to pee themselves.  And what about when I need to use the toilet and they want to come with you, really, I just want to pee in peace and in private.  ‘No darling, nanny won’t be long, now you stay there and don’t move’!    Try as you might to force that wee out as fast as you can, it’s seems never ending, especially when you suddenly hear a ‘thud’ or their footsteps on the stairs.    You are of course, thinking all kinds of craziness like they are going to/have fallen and have broken their arm or worse their neck and how do you explain that to their mother!  So no I can live without that kind of drama on a daily basis thank you.  I am already at risk of heart attack, having moved into that time of my life and crossed into  menopausal territory.

You see I looked after my first Grandchild when he came along.   His mother was still in college and of course, she needed to finish her studies and I was happy to oblige, he being the first and such a sweetie.  When she was pregnant with grandchild number 2, some years later, it dawned on me then, that if I mind this child too, my other daughters, would in the future, when they started to produce, say ‘you looked after hers, so why won’t you look after mine’ if I said no to them.  It could be a disaster as I have FIVE daughters.  I could see my life going from rearing children, to rearing more children.  when would i get to have a life????

I do, however, help out, you know whenever they need it, which at this moment in time is every time their mothers go to work  !……. Thank God they are only part time workers.

The fab thing about being a Nanny is there is a huge plus side.  Like going to places where it’s really just for kids but you like to participate too.  The park for instance.    My eldest grandson loves the swings, funnily enough, so do I.  He can swing himself now which means I no longer have to push him, at his squeals and request of ‘higher higher’.  I can hop on the swing next to him and have a competition to see who can go the highest.  Now, if I went there on my own, without a grandchild, swinging away to my hearts content, people would be ringing for the men in white coats.

My other favourite thing to do in the park is to go on the roundabout.  The faster the better.  Just before Christmas we had a family day out, which ended at the park.  Not only did I get a whip lash from the zip wire, I almost dropped my grand daughter in the process, who was clinging onto me for dear life as I was also clutching her as tightly as I could with one arm, the other holding on to said zip wire.  Next stop was the round about.  All four grandchildren, me and the son in law hopped on, while my husband gently turned us.  ‘Faster faster’, I squeeled, as he turned and turned some more.  Thoroughly enjoying the fun of it, I look down and see the children getting paler and paler with a look of utter ‘ what the fuck is going on’.  You know, the same look you have when you catch your children or grand children covered in sudocrem, or paint or poo cos you left them on their own for two minutes while you nipped to the toilet!

I love the fact that I can play silly games with them and make up silly songs and stories.  One grand child I have just loves saying things like, Mr poo poo head, or farty pants and even Mr bum crack.  I have NO IDEA where he gets it from 🙂

One thing I have always done is sang to my own children and my grand children.  Especially at nap or bed time.  They all love it and they all have a special song.  Yesterday whilst looking after my granddaughter I decided to walk around the garden with her, to sing her to sleep and get some fresh air.  The sun was shining but it was a cold, fresh day.  She was suitably wrapped up as was I with my nipple hat (my daughter calls it that because it has a pom pom), my pj’s and my fleece.    I start to feel a slight bit of frostbite nipping at my toes as I go around the yard, due to the fact that my slippers have holes in the soles.  I was kind of hoping for new ones at Christmas, but alas, they did not arrive.

My little dog follows me everywhere, and as it was still early (ish), his poop had not yet been scooped from the yard.   So navigating, successfully, the wheels to avoid going through the said poop, and being so engrossed in performing ‘you are my sunshine’ I accidentally stood in it just before turning the corner!

My mother used to always say ‘a rolling stone gathers no moss’.  She would say this because I was always moving or trying new things.  I would tell her ‘I don’t want to gather any moss, it is yucky, green and fuzzy.  Well as you can see from the photo, my wall has gathered the disgusting yucky, green fuzzy moss as it has not been painted for 2 years.  Also just on the ground by the wall is said yucky moss.  On this occasion however, I was especially pleased that we did, in fact ,have such an unpleasant looking growth, as it did serve a purpose in enabling me to wipe off the equally disgusting dog shit from my slipper with a hole in!

Note to self…… buy new slippers

Work/Colleagues

pexels-photo-420233.jpegFixing my hair, as I walk across the car park, wiggling my neat pencil skirt down and shimmying off any remnants of ‘knackared mother approaching’, I burst through the main door of the building as if i’m about to sing ‘the hills are alive with the sound of music.

‘Good morning Mandy, I beam, as I pass by the receptionist, noting how fabulous she looks and smells.  No trace of baby fumes emitting from her.  She being a young, single, stunning glamour puss!

Whisking past the pool of secretaries, nodding politely as I go, i head to my desk.  It’s an open plan office where I work.  The building is almost circular, like a gold fish bowl in appearance.  Legal Eagles on the outer rim by the windows and secretaries in the middle, near the lift and toilets.  I take my seat, by the ‘window’ and chat to my rather dashing colleague,  who has just passed his uni exam and and doing his Articles with us.  Nice bit of eye candy for a 30 something married mother of 3 feeling like she has been ran over by a bus most days.

I didn’t used to ‘sit by the window’.  Oh no, I was one of the girls by the lift and the toilets, busily typing away and being a secretary too.  I started as a temp and was to be there for 3 days which then turned into 3 weeks and finally 3 years.  My ‘boss’ was great.  We got on like a house on fire.  Well me being an Aries and him being a red head, it was inevitable really – both fiery!

I was so nervous when I first met him.  Oh I had plenty of experience being a secretary, I had done it B.C (before children).  I was nervous because he looked, how can I put it, a bit weird actually.  he was tall and thin, some might say gangly, and when he spoke his arms would flail, all over the place.  I had to duck out of the way a few times for fear of being knocked over.  He mumbled he was working on a big custody battle and had to have all the paperwork ready for the brief by end of day, so could I stay late!

Well, that was going to go down well with the hubby, first day at work and I am working late.  Good job it’s his day off today and not costing me a fortune paying a childminder.   So, I am running around like a headless chicken that got lost and is trying to find its way home.  I try to get to grips with the fact that three other secretaries are sending their typing to the one SHARED  photocopier in the building.   I go to retrieve my documents only to find they are not there.   No paper, the machine is empty and I have no clue where the stationary cupboard is to refill it.  Panicking that he is going to think I am incompetent and slow, I hurry back to the other girls for some guidance as to where I might find the paper, knowing I am irritating the hell out of  them as its probably the 100th time I have interrupted them today, what with it being my first day and I don’t have a clue where everything is.  I am after all, just a secretary not bloody Mystic Meg!

‘Have you got those documents yet’ he asks, peeping his head into the office, whilst looking at his watch and giving me a look as if to say I probably wont last the contracted 3 days the temp agency had promised me.  He kept tut tutting, going this way and that way, checking his watch, scratching his head, muttering God knows what to himself, making me feel more and more anxious.  I thought at one stage brown bear was going to come out, you know, like Mr Bean’s bear.  That is who my boss reminded me of, dear old Mr Bean!

Could I actually feel any worse? Could I feel any lower.  Didn’t he realise, the sacrifice, torment and guilt I was going through at leaving my 9 month old twins to be there.  How many times had I stopped myself from crying just thinking about them, especially when my boobs were throbbing and I had to just ignore and smile through the pain.  I felt like a highland cow at milking time, full and ready to burst!  I was a professional, I was not a defeatist, I wouldn’t five up or give in to it, even though every fibre of my being was aching to be home with my babies, cuddling them, kissing them, being thrown up on by them, feeding them.  The sacrifice I made, turning up  ALL CLEAN, shit, vomit and food stain free, to be given THAT  look.  How dare he!

To add insult to injury, when I FINALLY had all the paper work typed up and retrieved from the now, full of paper printer, it was time to get all that shit collated together.  The usual place would of course be a nice tidy desk.  There was no room on mine, it had a typewriter (electric)(posh) on it and all other manner of stuff a secretary needs on her desk.  His desk, no correction, his office had the look of, shall we say, that it had been burgled –  papers, files, ring binders EVERYWHERE.  The only available space that I could utilise was the floor.  So there I was , on my knees, in his burgled office, in a nice neat pencil skirt, boobs throbbing and slightly worried there would be wet patches any minute, due to leakage.  Conscious and worried my stocking tops would be exposed every time I leaned over to drop a document in the correct pile of rather lengthy rows of paperwork. How very lady like indeed!

The look on my husband’s face was priceless, when I explained my rather hectic first day.  He particularly raised an eyebrow and my being on the floor with my boss, after everyone else had left the building.  Still it’s a bit more exciting than looking after buttons in the control room!….

 

 

Family Life

pexels-photo-116151.jpegMamma,  Papa and Baby Bears….. a story something like this…..

Papa bear goes to work while mamma bear stays at home to produce and take care of wonderful little children.  She will clean the house, cook the dinner and have hubby’s slippers ready for him coming home from work, display children to him in all their glory and cuteness before putting them to bed and cuddling up with him on the sofa in blissful harmony.  Right…….   No?

Let me take you to a time when I had 3 small children, a husband, a full time job and a college course to boot!  A typical morning might look like this…..

Get up at 7.00 a.m. (having just got to bed at 5.00 a.m. to see to the babies (yes I had twins).  They were in the height of teething and papa bear is at work on the night shift.  Blindly walking across the landing into the bathroom to pee in peace before babies require my attention again.   The THREE minutes quality time in the bathroom is bliss, but must also wash and brush teeth quickly and quietly before the mad house comes alive.

Creeping back to the bedroom to find suitable clothes for work at the office.  Halfway through buttoning fresh crisp white blouse the screaming begins.  Running towards the now louder and louder wailing, I retrieve both babies and offer my shoulder to lean on and cry on whilst shouting across the landing for eldest child to ‘please get up and hurry up or we will be late’!

Painting a smile on my face and gently talking and reassuring babies, one on each hip now as I carefully negotiate the stairs.  Plonk each baby into a high chair assuring them breakfast will be ready in 2 ticks, shouting again up the stairs to eldest child to hurry up and come down for breakfast.

Cereal bowls out and mascara to hand I manage to keep one eye on the milk heating in the pot whilst also dressing the other eye with said mascara.  Who said I couldn’t multi task.   Distracted by a loud scream where one baby had decided to lean over and pull the hair from her sisters head, and sent her into a hysterical scream that would put even the banshee to shame.  Running over to comfort one child whilst chastising the other, the wonderful hissing sound of boiling milk was spilling  over the beautifully clean cooker – oh shit!

Sleepy 5 year old saunters into the kitchen, hair looking like she is trying out out a new rastafarian dread lock look, because it is so matted, due to her having  inherited her fathers extremely fine hair.  ‘I’m too tired to go to school today mummy, can I just go back to bed’?    Noooooo, now start getting dressed or mummy will be late for work!

Finally manage to complete making cereal, give cooker a quick wipe and a promise for a clean later.  Tell number 1 child to eat up her breakfast while I try to quickly shovel the gooey baby porridge into the delightful twins, using the usual coaxing method of the flying aeroplane and choo choo train trick, here it comes, open wide!  Though there is a smile on my face and my eyes are wide with glee and excitement for the benefit of my beautiful babies, my mind is screaming ‘JUST EAT THE FUCKING PORRIDGE, OR I’M GOING TO BE LATE’, deep breath and smile!

At Last, I hear a key in the door.  Himself is home to rescue me from ‘mummy duties’ so that I can get myself ready and de-dread lock  number 1 child , drop her at school before heading to do a FULL DAY’S work at the office.

‘WHAT a NIGHT’ he grunts as he comes into the kitchen, looking for some sympathy, well he has come to the wrong house!  He looks fresher than any daisy I have ever seen.  I suspect he had a lovely little snooze for himself whilst sitting in the control room.  Minding all those BUTTONS.  How easy is that, looking after some BUTTONS.  Sure they control the furnaces, but they only go off if the furnace gets too hot or too cool.   I mean, that probably doesn’t happen very often, if the other guys are doing their jobs right. Right? Sure that’s all there is to it.  Alarm goes off and he has to get off nice big comfy chair, and goes to press a button, before heading back to comfy chair, throw feet up on the desk and  nod off again, until the next time.  While here I am, up all night, pacing the floor with two screaming babies, searching for the calpol, bonjella, teething rings and anything else I can think of , including , singing, rocking and even crying myself, to try comfort them in their HOURS of need and pain.

Just as I am finally ready, having had to change my outfit, due to a child malfunction – puking their gooey baby porridge over me, because papa bear had retired to the living room.  Finally, the child minder arrives in the nick of time, and this is of great comfort to me, reassured that my darling babies will in fact have adult supervision before I go to work, as my darling husband is peacefully snoring his head off on the sofa, mouth open catching flies.

 

Its only 8.40 a.m. and I already feel like I have done half a days work and ran the relay race, before even getting to work.  I drop number 1 child at the school gate, give her a kiss and a hurried, ‘have a nice day’ before speeding off towards the bypass.  Quick glance in the mirror to check all is well, only to notice one eye has NOT in fact been ‘dressed’ and is MASCARA FREE.  Kill me now!