Super Single Mum's Blog

Life and all the shananigins!

What if……..?

It’s half term this week and for a change, I have taken a week off work for no other reason than to look after my girls. We haven’t gone away anywhere, we don’t have visitors staying, just a week of us all off together. So far the week has been pretty uneventful, we spent the day at Stanwick Lakes on Sunday with Mr D and his 2 children. Then on Monday the curse of the Autumn cold hit our house and me and B both felt pretty rotten, so we had a duvet day!! Tuesday and Wednesday H was in nursery, as I had taken her funded nursery place as 12 hours per week until Christmas rather than 15 hours per week of term. I had hoped to do some more grown up stuff with B, like Paint a Pot and swimming, but as we were both still a little under the weather we went shopping instead!!

I’ve sat and helped B with her homework without us falling out, I’ve set up sticker charts to try and get their behaviours a bit more on track, and I’m currently listening to Justin Fletcher’s new album “Hands Up..The Album” for about the 4th time today!! (Watch this space, the album is released on 21st November and I’ll be reviewing the week before!!) My house is a mess, small people are jumping around all over the place, I’ve read a book in 2 days and feel a little guilty for doing nothing. It’s great!!!

It’s all got me thinking though, what if…….?

I think it’s one of the hardest things about being a parent, getting the work life balance right. The choice varies for all of us, no two families are the same and so no two people’s decisions are or can be seen as the same. For me, going back to work was a bit of a rollercoaster ride. H was only 16 months old and I hadn’t looked for work nor had any thoughts of returning to work. As much as I am sure people judged me for it, I was receiving benefits that saw me through each month, I’d been thrown into a situation I had no choice over and after paying my taxes since 16 when I started my first job, I figured I was entitled to take stock of my life and be a mum until I had sorted out what path to follow.

Then it was all a bit of a whirlwind, a friend told me about some jobs coming up working with families and children in the area, she said she thought I would be ideal for it, so I applied expecting that my minimal experience would generate a “thanks but no thanks” letter. I was pretty surprised when one November morning 2 years ago a letter turned up offering an interview. I arranged for a friend to have H and travelled the 50 mile round trip for the interview and then found out just over a week later that I had got the job! There was worry, would I actually be better off, would I be able to handle the part time job on top of bringing up two girls, lots of what if’s?

It’s now 19 months on and I love my job, I love my girls, I love my life and what I have built but there’s still that “what if?” which this week has brought out. I could have had every school holiday like this, I could have been able to make every sports day, every assembly, H could have been at home more. I’d have less stress about childcare and what to do when I have to work late. But then I wouldn’t have been able to go on holiday this year both with and without the girls, I wouldn’t have a car on the road making days out very difficult. I wouldn’t have met some really inspirational women who I now work with, and I wouldn’t have developed how I have as a mum and person in my own right.

I know I’ve missed out on some things with my girls, but I am hoping that what I gain by working is worth it and out weighs the negatives. Both the girls seem happy with the arrangement and I know H loves nursery. I guess the hardest part is working with families and trying to help them put routines in place, or helping to manage behaviours and wishing I was at home with my own children reinforcing the same boundaries! I guess this is all proof I needed this week off with my girls!

How do you make sure your work life balance is right for your family? And do you ever wonder What If…..?

October 27, 2011 Posted by | Working Mum | , , , | Leave a comment

An Adult Holiday? Yes Please!

I have just got back from a fabulous week away with Mr D, and NO children!! Summer holidays always brings holidays and time when the kids are with their dad so we decided we too would get away, and why not!

With some help from my dad we booked our holiday only 7 weeks ago, just as the late deals were starting to cover the week we wanted to go. We booked with First Choice online, no problems at all with booking or any of the information they sent out, in fact I was really impressed with the emails they sent out prior to us going, and they also have the facility to view and modify things about your holiday through your own online account.

We booked All Inclusive and with night flights for the cheapest option. With no kids in tow this worked great for us but I really wouldn’t want to take kids on the flight times we had! My only issue with the flights, not being a good flier, is that when we went out, although we were probably the 6th party to check in, we were sat seperately, across the isle. Now had the flight been full I wouldn’t have had an issue, but there were spare seats throughout the aircraft. Not that this would spoil my holiday.

We arrived at Club Mac Jupiter in Alcudia at around 4am local time, slight issue with the keycards not working but that seems to happen to me in most hotels, then to bed for a few hours before waking to………rain!! The weather wasn’t typical Majorcca for the week, it was over cast and we had 2 days of rain, but that said it was never cold and it didn’t stop us doing what we had gone there to do – relax!

We spent the days on sunbeds by the boating lake – getting by one of the 5 pools was impossible unless you got up at 6am to put the towels out (and no I saw no Germans in our hotel, it was mainly the good old Brit’s!). As it turned out, by tthe boating lake was quiet and more aimed at adults, with matresses on the sunbeds. We read, we slept, we chatted, we people watched, it was great!

I had read reviews before going, I have to admit I was concerned about the food, I didn’t need to be. Now it wasn’t gormet food, it was basic, with breakfast offering the usual fry up – despite the “different” bacon, which I actually love. There was toast, coissants, fruit, dry cake (we later found out it is designed to be dunked like we dunk biscuits!), boiled eggs, ham, cheese etc. It was all buffet so help yourself to as littl;e or as much, although this did cause issues at the busy times with kids all over the place. Lunch offered a burger bar, snack bar and light lunch, as well as going to the main restaurant for a more substantial meal. Evening meal times were always themed, including Italian night, Spanish night and Pirate night. The food on the whole was catering quality, better than school dinners but different to home, and thinking back to the reviews, this is where people can differ on what is good and bad. We had no complaints about the food at all.

The entertainment was great too, although Club Mac is geared up mainly for families, with lots of kids clubs, activities, mini disco and the like. To be honest this didn’t bother us but other couples travelling without kids may not want that kind of environment. The entertainment we did hang around to watch was good quality though, with a range of things from acrobatics to Take That tribute bands. And of course with the all inclusive it’s a free bar until midnight!

Now we are home and relaxed, it was just what I needed. I did feel guilty initially booking a holiday without the kids, and spending around a months wage by the time you add on insurance, car parking, new clothes (you HAVE to buy new holiday clothes!), I don’t feel guilty now, my girls need me to be string and that was the revitalising break I needed.

July 31, 2011 Posted by | Me, myself and I | | 2 Comments