Sunday, 23 June 2013


As I search for a new way of living and working in order to find that elusive balance, I'm a bundle of nerves!

Whoever said that there are family-friendly jobs has obviously not been looking where I have as I can't find any at all! I work in PR and it's a 24/7 industry which doesn't offer flexible arrangements. I'm qualified to get jobs but the only ones on offer would see me dropping Monkey off at nursery at 8am and picking him up at 6pm every single day.

I don't want to compromise on my aims - to find a job I like and to find a job which means I won't only see my son at the weekends. But it's tempting. There are many a full-time job available - calling to me with their generous salaries and career progression opportunities. But for all the money on offer I know I would be miserable seeing Monkey only two hours each day. I've actually really enjoyed staying at home with Monkey so going back full time would be a painful option. 

So what else is there?

I've started to look at the skills I have, the things I enjoy doing and trying to work out if there is any way of making money for them.

I think I have come up with something, a way of turning a hobby into a bit of pocket money. It's not going to pay for a holiday or a new car but it might just let me pay for a couple of days at nursery each week for Monkey and leave me with a little for a family dinner out every now and then. But this plan would require masses of hard work. It would be tough and would mean putting faith in my own abilities. It would mean a small initial outlay in cost - which only I could then make back by being a success.

Just writing this has the butterflies fluttering and makes me want to just give up and get a full time job but you have to try these things don't you? At some point you just have to try. I'll give myself a time limit and see what I can do. If it doesn't work out and I then have to get a full time job - at least I will know that I tried.

Monday, 17 June 2013

Tough Love

Since moving house I have had a bit of a tough time with Monkey and his behaviour has really gone downhill. I know he is 2 and at that exact age when he is testing the boundaries but we are also at that exact age when I need to be showing him who is boss.

We've had temper tantrums, refusal to do things, insistence that he does things himself when he clearly can't do it and we have taken about 100 steps back as far as bedtime is concerned.

The sleep is the bit getting me down the most. As I have previously blogged Monkey was such a bad sleeper for the first 18 months or so and we worked really hard to get him to a point where we could read stories then leave and he would go to sleep by himself, he would self-settle during the night and he would stay asleep until a semi-reasonable hour.

In the three weeks since we have moved we have reverted to only allowing Mummy to read bedtime stories, insisting Mummy stays in the room (sometimes until gone 9pm) while he chats and sings and does everything bar going to sleep. He's been up frequently in the night and starting his day sometimes before 4am.

I know we have moved house but really we are all settled in now so it has been time to get tough. I have started to take away his toys. The argument I have is that if he needs me in the room while he falls asleep then he is not a big boy he is a baby. So for every night that he insists I am in his room I will take away one of his big boy toys.

He lost all of his happyland people last night and tonight it'll be all his trains. These are literally all he plays with so I think it is going to have a big impact. I'm being so tough because I know that he doesn't need me in there and he knows it too. This is just a power struggle and one which I will win.

I need to win it. He already tells me that he is the boss, that he doesn't believe that I will really take his toys away. I need to show him that there is a consequence to his behaviour.

Fingers crossed his playroom is not bare before he decides he is a big boy again and can fall asleep alone!

Sunday, 16 June 2013

Wanted: Green Fingers

I've never had a garden. Even as a child my family home did not have a garden and so I have never had any urge for gardening. I don't really like bugs or mess and to me that's all gardening is.

At our new house we have a garden and my aim is to make it as low maintenance as possible while still making it look gorgeous.

We are hosting a party for my parents 30th wedding anniversary in four weeks time so that is my target for getting the garden sorted. The weather, of course, hasn't helped but we have had a break in the clouds today and Monkey and I have ventured outside.

With a lack of green fingers myself I am hoping to nurture it in Monkey instead. He's two now and a fast learner - hopefully it's not out of the question to expect him to maintain the garden from the age of 4, right?!

We were promoted to get out there by the MoneySupermarket #KidsGrowWild challenge and we got a fantastic gardening kit through which Monkey put to good use. Today we have used the tools to dig up as much of the exisiting plants as possible. It feels wrong to take out perfectly good plants but I have no idea what they are so it is best if we just start from scratch.

It all started so well with Monkey interested in the new toys:

And then getting his hands a little dirty:

But it didn't last long. I'm ashamed to say this was about 5 minutes later (in my defence I had got half the side done, sort of):

And this is what Monkey chose to do instead. He's watching his new Fireman Sam DVD.

We have at least started and I'm keen to hear any tips on how I can get Monkey more interested in what we do in the garden. There are three small areas in our garden so I'm going to designate one of them specifically for Monkey and I have already brought some windmills for it.

I fear though his green fingers might be missing, just like mine!

This post is an entry for BritMums' #KidsGrowWild Challenge. Find out more at MoneySupermarket's site.

I was provided with a children's gardening kit in exchange for this post