Super Single Mum's Blog

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The First Day of School: Not Just a New Chapter for Your Youngster

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(Image: ofdotsnthings.blogspot.co.uk)

You’ve just looked at the calendar. It’s September.

But instead of wondering where the summer has gone and worrying about how Christmas is somehow suddenly only 3 months away, your worries turn to something much bigger… It’s your youngster’s first day at school.

Every parent knows there’s something about watching your little one walk through the school gates for the very first time, that just tugs on your heartstrings.

Suddenly, after 4 or 5 years, they’re ready to venture out into the big wide world and take their first little steps of independence.

However, a child’s first day at school signifies not only a new chapter for them, but for you too.

Your life once consisted of clients, meetings, telephone calls, budgets and deadlines. But you then put your paid career job on standby to take on a much more challenging and full-time role…becoming a mother.

As time passes, returning to the workforce can be as daunting as first leaving it. Where do you start looking? Should you go full-time or part-time? How do you negotiate your work-life fitting around your family-life?

Well, whether you’ve been off the job scene for a few months or a few years, here are a few simple steps that will help to gradually ease you back into office life.

Think Carefully About What You Want

When making the decision to return back to work, it’s important to clearly set out exactly what you want, and most importantly, what can realistically be achieved for yourself and your family.

Instead of diving in head first in an attempt to mask your worries of experiencing ‘empty nest syndrome’, take time to think about some of the following questions:

– Why do you want to go back to work?
– When would you ideally like to return?
– Are you looking to go part-time or full-time?
– Are you looking to resume your career, or simply take on a job to help pay for the family’s financial dividends?
– What arrangements are in place for childcare once you return back to work?

Discussing these questions with family and friends may also help you to assess how you feel about returning to work, as well as help to discuss what appropriate steps to take next.

Get Back In Touch


If you’re looking to return back to your previous workplace, it may be a good idea to get back in contact with some of your old colleagues, in order to put you in good stead for your return.

Meet up for a coffee one day and find out about any new news, developments or changes that have occurred in the company whilst you’ve been away changing nappies!
Getting back in the loop will soon make you feel at ease and is bound to help you slot straight back into the workplace quicker.


How To Go About Finding The Right Job

If like many, motherhood has made you decide to take on a new job role completely, there are several ways you can search for a job that’s right for you.
Finding job vacancies is easy and can be done at the touch of button.

Searching by location on local jobs boards, for example ‘jobs in Northampton’, allows you to find a comprehensive list of all the available jobs within your area, which can be refined by keyword and position-type.
Applying for jobs this way can also be done at your convenience, therefore allowing your job hunt to fit around your family’s day-to-day life.

What’s more, many companies offering administrative, sales and personal assistant roles can also often be done from the comfort of your own home, allowing you to effectively split your time between both the office and the home.
This article was written by Ella Mason, an experienced careers writer. Ella specialises in providing jobs advice for stay-at-home parents.

September 5, 2012 Posted by | Working Mum | , , | Leave a comment

Best Friend Ban

I can’t actually believe what I have heard today, schools in London are taking on a policy of banning their pupils having best friends. What utter rubbish. This has really annoyed me because who has the right to stop anyone forming friendships whether a best friend or acquaintance?

The theory goes like this, if children are not able to make close friendships then they don’t get hurt when those friendships break down.

Right, I have to say this:

I moved around a lot as a child, wherever I lived I always had a best friend. I also had fall outs with those friends and some of these fall outs were patched up, others were not. I loved my friends and I confided in them about everything. We got each other through puberty, fancying boys, horrible teachers, periods, boobs, sex, parent gripes. Without my friends, and although this is plural, I mean the ones who were my best friends, without all of them school life would have been hell. If I hadn’t been ”allowed” best friends by the school this wouldn’t have stopped me, most of my friendship moments happened outside of school. Admittedly it was school that meant I met these people, but school had no say on whether this was sustained. I can understand how schools would like all children to play together, no one be left out and ultimately wipe out bullying because all the kids get on, but in reality that just doesn’t work. As adults we gel with some and not others, as children it is the same. I have to say I don’t think I ever became good friends with the person I was buddied up with in each new school!!

As an adult, I have been through friendships and my marriage fell apart, none of those relationships would I have come through so well if I hadn’t experienced what I did as a child. Children don’t just need academic teaching, they need to learn about social lives and friendship and what better way to do that than to be able to make and lose friends when younger, so that as adults we know how to make friends and keep them, or move on! Even now, and I am sure for the rest of my life, I will make friends, I will lose friends and I will laugh cry and beat myself up over things that go on with my friends but I wouldn’t change any of the friends I have had. They say everyone comes into our lives for a reason and whether that is for a short time or a long time, no one has the right to tell anyone, child or adult, who they should and shouldn’t be close too!!

So here’s my best friends, from about the age of 7 to the present day, if your reading this let me know, especially the ones I’ve lost contact with coz that would be a real surprise!!!

Alison Lake, Emma Entwistle, Vicky Miles, Kelly Anderson, Jennie Sanders, Jayne Williams, Tanya McLean, Jo Inch, Jo Harvey

You’re all listed with the names I knew you by and I know some of you have married. I love all of you for being in my life, I wouldn’t change the friends I have had, you have all taught me something very important. Now lets make sure that schools see how silly this idea of banning best friends is!!

March 19, 2012 Posted by | Friendship | , | 2 Comments

When to Step In

As a mum, I try my hardest to make sure my girls are growing into well balanced, caring and strong people. I’m not one of those parents who is constantly on the schools back because something isn’t quite right, I don’t get involved when B has friends over or when Mr D’s kids are here and there are heated debates about what to play. I think it’s just as important for kids to know how to resolve difficulties as it is for them to be polite.

Lately B has been acting strange. I can’t pinpoint a specific time as it’s been a gradual thing, but I would say the first things I noticed were around the time the schools all went back in September. B has always been quite highly strung, just like me. She has little patience with things and if she is asked to do something she will sometimes be very verbal about the fact she doesn’t want to. These behaviours have got worse lately though. Then there was the school residential trip where she came home every night for a week saying she will have to have her own room because no one wants to share with her. I’d been asking if anything was going on and got nothing from her but I had a gut feeling something was up.

B takes after me in many ways, she likes to be in a group of friends, but likes to have her voice. She isn’t a sheep and never has been. She won’t follow the crowd just to be “cool” and she will speak out if someone upsets her. She has also in the past couple of years, changed from being friends with everyone as kids are when little, to only playing with a specific group of friends. She never speaks of a particular best friend but it is clear that she has friends and isn’t a loner.

On Sunday, whilst at my parents for dinner, B announced that she is fed up of one particular friend who bosses her around, tells her to shut up, decides who can play with B and makes her feel rubbish. She went on to say that when they go to after school club, this girl then chases B round saying she will now be her friend and that she wants to play. After a bit more talking this came out as being because said girl knows no one else at that after school club so B is the only person she can talk to. With the help of my mum and a few hangover induced tears from me, B saw that I understand how she feels, after going through the same myself as a kid I really did mean it when I told her I know how she feels. I told her to stand up for herself and that if it gets too much to tell a teacher. B felt better about herself and I was confident things would be ok.

Unfortunately within 5 minutes of picking up B on Tuesday she was in tears again. She said she had asked this girl why it was that she felt the need to boss her about and this girl had then had a go at her again. B said she had told the teacher who didn’t know what to do as they have not had a falling out as such. I suggested that at parents evening on Thursday I speak to her teacher about it and B agreed this would be a good idea. Thing is though, just 24 hours later B is telling me the have sorted things out and she feels much better. Apparently the girls mum had also had a word with her saying her attitude and behaviour to others is out of control, the girl apologised to B and said she will try and be a better friend.

Now I know what is going on isn’t bulllying in the classic sense, but part of me knows this change in spirits from the girl in question won’t last forever. I want B to be able to fight her corner and stand up for herself, but we all have experience of people making us feel like crap and it really isn’t nice. I just don’t know at what point to step in. As it stands B is happy so I am happy. At what point do you step in with your children, especially when it comes to issues with their friends?

November 4, 2011 Posted by | Parenting | , , | 2 Comments

Back to school range at Clintons!!

It’s that time of year again and everone is shouting about their amazing Back to School range, it can sometimes be a bit daunting as to where to start and what your kids actually need, so when I was approached to review Clintons back to school range I thought that would be an ideal way to see what’s out there.

Clintons is here to help get the new school year off to a great start – from themed pencil cases, lunch boxes and notepads to thoughtful back to school cards, yes you really can get cards for everything these days! Clintons is also making it easier for parents by offering 3-for-2 on its back to school range from 16th August (whilst stocks last), helping you treat your little ones within budget.

I have to say I was really impressed when I looked at the products. Here’s some of the items in the range and what I thought:

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Stay organised with this colourful Boofle Notepad – £3.99

It’s so cute, perfect for any girl at school, whatever the age! B loves this and she is 8, but I would imagine many teenagers will like this too. It has a cute dangly tag on the spine and an elastic band meaning if your kids want to keep loose bits of paper in with their notebook, it will all be held together!

 

 

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This set of two Boofle Pens will help to inspire wonderful words – £3.99

Not only are these great for back to school, but they are of good quality, you could put these away for friends birthdays. Pens always go missing so the fact this is a pack of two is great – one for now and one for when the first gets lost!!

 

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Keep all of your school stationary in order with this funky Tokyo Toys Pencil Case£3.99

This pencil case is fantastic. The small pocket on the front is fab for pencil sharpeners meaning no annoying shavings getting all over those brand new pencils and pens! And they really have it right with the danglies, kids love them! This is great quality and just the right size for kids of the younger age range, who only need a few bits!

 

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And then we have the important stuff, lunch time is not just about food and Clinton have seen that and bring these fantastic products out. The lunch bag is priced at £7.99 and the bottle at £3.99. What I really love though is that the bag has an elastic strap in it, meaning you can put the bottle in, or anything else, and be assured it will stay upright by making sure it’s sat in the strap. It’s a decent size, I think I could even fit my own lunch in there!!

 

Clinton Cards is the largest specialist retailer of quality greetings cards, gifts and related products in the UK. Founded in 1968, Clinton Cards now has over 650 stores nationwide and two million shoppers through its doors each week.

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I have to admit, I wouldn’t have thought about going to a card shop for my back to school supplies, but after trying out some of the range, I will definitely be heading over there to see what else is about, and would recommend these products without a doubt!!

September 7, 2011 Posted by | Parenting, Product Reviews, School and Childcare | , , , , | Leave a comment

Did Jesus Rise from the Dead?

Yesterday B came home from school stating that “Jesus wasn’t seen by anyone when he wasn’t in the cave he was buried in, although people think he came back to life, no-one saw him.”

Now let me get one thing straight, we don’t go to church every Sunday but I see myself as a Christian, attended church every Sunday until B was 14 months and we moved, I went back to work and life (or the devil depending on your beliefs) got in the way. I have been to church in the last 5 and half years, mainly for christenings I know, but I still have my faith. I don’tmike52ad @ Flickr.com force God and Jesus and religion on my girls but B has always expressed an interest in Jesus and classes herself as a Christian and at this stage in her life that’s what she chooses to believe.

The thing that really annoys me is that we live in a Christian country yet my daughter comes home with the statement above. It clearly states in all 4 gospels that Jesus was seen by his disciples before he ascends to heaven. I am not saying that is what everyone should believe, and yes, if we want our kids to hear the word of God then we can take them to church. But when teaching the Christian meaning of Easter, a big part of the story is that Jesus rose again. For a Christian, The Bible is the proof. No, we don’t have “proof” any of it is true. But why teach a half story? Teach what Christian’s believe, what their Faith is founded on. Easter is a more important story for Christian’s than Christmas. The school wouldn’t “edit” a Muslim belief for it to be more PC.

Now I know I am only going on what B has come home and said, but it really hit a nerve with me – just as things do at Christmas. We are a welcoming nation. There is free speech and we welcome any race and religion onto our land. We let our citizens build Mosques, wear their clothes as dictated by their beliefs, and we accept those who have no religious commitments. Everyone is equal. That’s a brilliant mark as to why so many people want to come to us for a better life. But does that really mean our children can’t be taught about Christianity correctly in school. Does this really mean that Christian workers should have to work Christmas day and yet those of other faiths expect time of for their religious festivals. Ok I admit to generalising here, and I am sure this isn’t the case every where in the country – but it does upset me at times that our Queen is the head of the Church of England, yet we can’t openly celebrate the teachings of that church, should we wish to, without upsetting people.

I apologise to anyone who thinks I am out of line here, I am no way trying to say we shouldn’t embrace other faiths and cultures, merely in doing so we shouldn’t forget our own. Or is it just that we have become a nation of none believers? I’d love to hear other opinions on this.

March 19, 2010 Posted by | Religon | , | 10 Comments