Archive | April, 2012

Vogue on Working Mothers

26 Apr

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I wrote a post a couple of weeks ago that a few of you were kind enough to comment on. It was considering some of the realities of thinking about baby no 2 and was mainly around home based practical concerns like big enough houses.

This week I feel like the working Mum challenges are front of mind, if we’re going to have another baby is there really a good time for me career wise. Its really hard to do my role part time and its not ideal for me or my employer so is it best to have another babe asap and then go back to the career later when I can give it my all? Lots rhetorical questions and we’re only 2 paragraphs in, sorry!

It does amuse me when TV and radio debates rage around maternity rights for women. The British Vogue Editor Alexandra Shulman was on Women’s Hour on Radio 4 last week debating on an entirely different topic but was quizzed by the female presenter on her openly held views on maternity rights in business. I’ve linked an interview with her here as whilst I don’t 100% agree with her she has some interesting views that ring true. http://bx.businessweek.com/the-glass-ceiling/view?url=http%3A%2F%2Fc.moreover.com%2Fclick%2Fhere.pl%3Fr2323058415%26f%3D9791 I do find it dissapointing that she is critiqued for pointing out realities. It simply is very difficult to work full time and be a mother to young children.

Is it a decision between furthering my career and growing my family? I suspect its a lot more complicated than that and a big part of me thinks that 10 years on things could be very different. The hubby met a woman last week (for his job just to be clear) that had her two children at around my age and 10 years later at the grand old age of 42 was right at the peak of her career. (She has a very sexy branded senior marketing job in the beauty industry). She felt that having kids earlier than was normal for her peer group, in her late 20’s early 30’s had allowed her to take time out with the kids pre-school age and then really refocus on her career once they were a bit bigger. I found this really encouraging but it also made me consider whether my career is the right career for me. I have outperformed my peer group financially and am respected in what I do. How fulfilled am I? Its hard to say but I do feel the need to blog too.

What I am undoubtedly fulfilled by is being a Mum. And that’s the best reason to have another baby I can think of.

Her Own Place at the Table

26 Apr

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I wanted to start this week by telling everyone how great my high chair is! It isn’t actually a high chair it’s one of those table seat’s that attaches to any table and its just fab. Not only does it mean that the babe eats at the table like the rest of us but it means that when we have guests we can just move the seat to the big table in the dining room and she can lord it their too! Genius! I have seen them poorly reviewed before but I really think its great for eating as a family. It’s also a great alternative to a Bumbo or the suchlike if you are busy in the kitchen and you need somewhere to put a pre-walker. Before she was so active the babe regularly waved at me from her exalted position at the table whilst I made the dinner! Bless. I’ve linked mine here for anyone interested. It’s made by Chicco, comes in under Ā£30 and in a variety of styles and colours.

Chicco Table Seat

The reason I was reminded of the baby seats greatness this weekend was because we had friends to stay. Having these particular friends to stay is always lush. They are old friends but they don’t live nearby so we treasure our weekends and holidays together. However, they have three boys. A nine year old and seven year old identical twins. We are really close to the boys as we’ve always been around in their lives but they are a full on combination of busyness! When they left late last night I had to give the toilets an extra clean to remove the huge amounts of wee that had hit the floor, back of the loo and the loo brush holder to name a few! One of the benefits of girls perhaps.

It’s unfortunate that their is such a big age gap between the boys and the babe but they don’t seem to mind. One of the twins is a real softie with her and now that she’s mobile they all just find her fascinating. After a ropey start, (where all three boys and their parents pitched up in her box room size nursery before 8am in the morning), she let her guard down and I was able to take a back seat whilst they all played together. Another good reason for another baby maybe. Lovely to watch her grow in confidence anyway. The hubby is now concerned that one of the twins could be a potential suitor in a few years time as the age gap is only as big as he and I. Bit of time before I need worry I reckon!

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Potty for the Potty

24 Apr

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I had to write a post today to detail the mildly concerning and highly amusing events of yesterday. Not all mothers would find these events amusing I must assure you, but on balance I find you have to see the funny side or you’re stuffed.

I am not a blogger who likes to write about her child’s bowel movements in detail. I write about baby fashion and working Mum‘s but sometimes sh*t just happens. (Sorry about that).

So, the babe, she is a determined little thing and she is currently determined only to do a number 2 whilst on her thrown. We started using a potty when she was about 11 months. (Not out of any desire to win the potty training competition I must add). She had various issues going to the loo and my Mum suggested she might find it easier to go if she was sitting. The prescribed Movicol hadn’t had much effect so I gave it a go, and it worked. 3 months on she goes on the potty a couple of times a day, very rarely resorting to her nappy for a no 2.

However, we were out for lunch on Sunday with some mates. In hindsight it was fortunate that these were mates that were longstanding and also had young children of their own. Despite having purchased a travel potty the previous week I had neglected to bring it with me, confident that if she really neeeded to go – she would in her nappy.

She was no sooner in her highchair than I saw the telltale signs that she needed to go. I held her, cajoled her, took her to the changing room to take her nappy off to see if that helped but all to no avail. On taking her back into the relatively swanky gastro pub her cries started up again and my hubby suggested I just hold her over the loo. Nice. Amazingly it very quickly worked and we good rid of the offending issue. Sadly Mummy’s lovely beef and yorkshire pudding was stone cold. A small price to pay for a happy babe.

The second incident may have some reaching for the phone to call social services but hopefully will raise a chuckle too. The babe has recently graduated to a slightly larger pot to accomodate her growing behind. We went upstairs yesterday lunchtime and all was going to plan until I left the room to grab some wipes. The rooms are next door and the danger of accident I felt limited but no so. I re-entered the bathroom just in time to see her toppling sideways mid bowel movement onto the lino. Whether the subsequent screams were as a result of injury caused through the fall or the poo itself is hard to say. However the engineers from Sky fitting our multiroom in the bedroom were no doubt left unsure of what was going on. Bless her. She now has a lovely purple bruise on her cheekbone which I feel the need to explain to everyyone I meet lest they be concerned.

I am genuinely pleased that we have found a way of making the whole issue of going to the toilet easier for her. Lesson for the week seems to be to remember the travel potty, you never know when the mood might strike…

Ps. The potty photo isn’t the babe but the below is. Showcasing her baby Zara jeans and her new found stair climbing skills…nightmare!

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Leaving Before the Dawn (in an Isabella Oliver jersey dress)

21 Apr

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I am writing from the office today as the week comes to a close. Its Fri and it only seems like five minutes since my working week began. Lucky you, you say. Well yes, but I have 5 days worth of work to fit into my 3 day working week and I do fear I am not succeeding.

Yesterday was a big day. I had a business meeting in the Midlands early on so needed to leave sunny Newcastle at 5am. Pre-baby this was a regular occurance and although draining it was my job and I did it. This Thursday my business trip down the country was sadly marked my by me being unable to see my gorgeous girl before she headed to the child minder. My hubby was there to get her up and dressed and out but its the first time it hasn’t been me. I was gutted. Its not that I don’t consider the hubby capable. He is and I knew she would be fine with him but I was sad for me to miss that part of my role as a mummy.

Perhaps thanks to my road trip I am once again loaded with cold. An ever helpful male colleague suggested that I need to eat better and sleep more… I am trying!

It’s funny that not being the first person to see my baby in the morning is such a big deal for me, maybe it is for others I don’t know. But on the rare mornings the hubby wakes before me I practically race him to the nursery! If I start to psychoanalyse myself I’d probs say its because my mum looked after me on her own in my formative years so my experience is that the Mum does it all. Slightly different when the hubby is around though, and I do need to remember not to take over. A topic that is more than a blog in itself so perhaps one for when I don’t have the lurgy.

I wanted to drop in a quick fashion piece today. I love the Isabella Oliver brand Isabella Oliverand really used it when I was pregnant. However, the non maternity women’s range, 365, is also fab and my wardrobe now has plenty of it. Same heavy jersey fabrics they use in the maternity wear, simple and ever stylish cuts and gorgeous colours. I’ve added a pic of my most recent lust item above but also wanted to show you some shoes they are featuring in their catalogue. Not an Isabella Oliver item but I need to find out where to get some! (Oh and I’ll be ordering those skinnies too).

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Mothers and Daughters and Badly Dressed Babies

17 Apr

I have just had my Mum over for a Chinese as both my hubby and hers are working away. She was admiring the babes outfit of the day and I was reminded of my anal tendencies when it comes to clothing. I changed the babes tshirt three times this morning because I wasn’t happy with the neckline on some of her bigger tops. Her vest cannot be showing! (It’s borderline OCD). I thought I would share one of my least fashionable baby outfits today just to amuse. I promised to post about her christening outfit but this was a disaster in itself, based on my refusal to buy a pretty little girl party dress, lesson learned there…

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The above pink explosion is a baby North Face track suit purchased in Whistler in Jan. The hubby is a massive fan of all things North Face and we felt she had to get in on the act. Fashionable it isn’t but cosy, comfy and perfic for crawling it very much is!

On more sensible subjects I was Godmother to my best friend from schools little girl on Sunday. Aside from the babe’s less than appropriate outfit we had a really nice day and I got to see some old friends from school. It’s lovely to be with people who you have shared other stages of your life with and then see them with their kids too. Lovely.

After the god parenting duties were done I retreated to the kids room at the back of the church to keep the babe entertained for the rest of the service. She had been smiling and waving at me from her mid pew seat throughout the christening itself. I think at the grand old age of one she lacked the realisation that this event was not all about her…bless.

What I wanted to blog about was a funny little conversation I had with my mate’s Mum in the kids room at the back. Before I mention it I think it’s important to say that I have been involved with their family for 15 years including going on hols together and am really close to her Mum and Dad. Her Mum was asking after the babe and my plans for baby no 2 when she slipped into the conversation that she didn’t think her daughter had “taken to” motherhood in the way that I had. Compliment to me certainly but a bit of a stab in the back for her own daughter perhaps?

I know I’m lucky to have a great relationship with my mum and I know not everyone does. I have seen enough of this particular relationship first hand to know that the two of them haven’t always got along. But still, it felt a bit disloyal even if I wasn’t surprised by it. Having said that I did wonder whether my mate herself would be far from annoyed and might just agree with he Mum. Not everyone feels the same way and it’s different strokes for different folks. Doesn’t make it right or wrong. Food for thought maybe.

Going with my gut – babies and houses

14 Apr

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I blogged earlier in the week about some of the things that have been going through my mind when considering baby no 2. I’m pretty sure I’ve decided to go for it but it’s not been as calculated a decision as I imagined.

When I had the babe I had an instinctive response to being a mum which appears to have served me well. An overwhelming feeling allowed me to go forward confidently. I can’t say exactly what the feeling is but it’s with me still. I know having number 2 when no 1 is only one will be tough but it feels like the right thing to do. Fortunately the hubby agrees!

So that brings us to the more practical problem of moving house. Reading what I’ve already written its making me chuckle cause the hubby and I have a not dissimilar approach to houses that we do with babies. We go with our gut. We bought our current house without looking at much else and it’s suited us down to the ground for the last 7 years. We are on the brink of doing the same thing again, but I’m confident. (This is partly because I was an estate agent in a former life and like to think I know my stuff but there is more to it than that).

In reality we’ve probably spent the last twelve months thinking and talking about what our next home might look like. We’ve dismissed upping our mortgage by any major amount. We’ve tried to convert our loft here and established we can’t. We’ve understood that we really want a bigger kitchen and a study, and that the garden needs to be sunny. Not an unusual list I’m sure but it’s clearer in our minds now. And that seems a good way to go forward for our family.

Tomorrow I promise to blog on christening outfits for me and the babe, it’s just been a big week aside from fashionable concerns…

Moving between babies

11 Apr

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Sometimes things are just meant to be. I am off work this week really because the child minder is away but I’m really glad I am. The babe is teething in epic fashion. It’s fair to say that she is a good baby, eats well, sleeps well and is generally smiley. Not so this week. She started with the teeth v early at 5 months and she’s had 7 or 8 for a few months now. A quick peek in her mouth this week and I can see 5 more coming through all at once! No wonder she’s grumpy.

With the babe being under the weather she has been sleeping more and likes to cuddle up on me in the morning something she hasn’t done for months. It’s been lovely and has made me think what it would be like for the potential baby number two. I can’t help thinking that I wouldn’t have the hours to devote sitting while he or she slept. I know it’s always different for a second baby and they wouldn’t know any different but it’s all food for thought. I do think the babe would like it though, she shows more and more interest in smaller babies. Bless.

The second baby thinking has led me and the hubby to talk about moving house. We love our current home and are seriously sentimental individuals. It is our first home together, I was married from it and we brought the babe back here from the hospital so it will be hard to leave. But the reality is that we are at least one bedroom short and would benefit from a much bigger kitchen. This house was bought when we were a professional couple who hadn’t thought about kids. How things change…

So, I think we should move before we think about getting pregnant again. Just need to detach the hubby from the house. Easier said than done me thinks.

Back to baby fashions tomorrow. My best mate’s little girl is getting christened on sunday and I need to think outfits!