Friday, 25 October 2013

Making it Work Part 2

I’ve just finished week 4 of the ‘New Job’ and things are ok! Are they getting easier? Hmmmm…! Am I adapting to a new hectic life? Maybe, who knows.

If you read my last post after week 2 of returning to working life, it may surprise you to hear that things got worse!

Millie’s teething didn’t ease up and I was called to collect her on a Friday afternoon as she had “had a loose nappy , had been sick and now she had a temperature and wasn’t eating” (while I was just short of 30 miles away!), I was due to do a floorwalking exercise (where you support users in the field when rolling out a new technology system or similar) the following week, had no idea where I was due to be sent as had no access to email and despite numerous requests no one had called me (though it wouldn’t have mattered because no communication had gone out!).

So off I go to collect Millie and it turns out the sick was reflux, Millie was much chirpier after another nap and it was highly likely all her symptoms were down to teething!

I feel like a fraud having gone to collect my child and enter a weekend being clueless to where I would have to go the next week.

Then Sunday night comes….yet Sunday night sleep doesn’t! Millie screams….properly screams….the whole night, aside from 2.5 hours between 3.30am and 6am! I’m a mess! What’s wrong with her? Is she really poorly? (yet the waterfall of dribble and now smiling little girl tells me she isn’t). I’ve had very little sleep so am extra emotional and have no idea what I’m supposed to do. Do I take her to nursery and win bad mum of the year award? Do I take her to the Dr to be told she is teething and win the bad new employee of the year award? WHAT THE HELL AM I SUPPOSED TO DO? I call NHS Direct! I barely hold it together but because she has just dropped of fto sleep and I am unwilling to wake her they advise me to take her to the dr.

Despite getting through at precisely 7.59am (the lines open at 8am) the first appointment available is 11am so I text work….then when I’ve no answer I phone.

Come 11am I take her to the Dr and she utterly charms them (the Doctor and the Student Doctor). She is fine! She is teething! Back to nursery she goes and I get a phonecall…it’s work…“are you on your way to Bridport?” Over the weekend I’d heard rumour I may be in Blandford. Blandford is 22 miles away, Bridport is 47.5 miles away. I clarify whether they mean Bridport or Blandford….no it’s definitely Bridport. Oh joys…off I go to Bridport! I arrive and on day one of the rollout, the newbie who has only just learnt a few bits of the system, and am thrown into the Lion’s Den of an MIU (Minor Injury Unit) on day one of rollout on my own! Another IT guy is due to arrive at 1.30pm (about when I arrive incidentally) but doesn’t turn up until 3.30pm and quite frankly I’m a complete fish out of water and do the best I can to help them through! I leave them at 4.30pm to fly home to collect the kids arriving to pick them up dead on time of 6.15pm!

Day 2 of this week and I’m due in Weymouth (another fair distance from home). Stuart and I drop the kids off at nursery and Callum has a melt down! He is hysterical and doesn’t want to be left. Eventually we just have to leave him while upset.

The stress clearly takes it out of both Stuart and I and cross words and tears are exchanged! Stressed? ME STRESSED? WHAT DO YOU MEAN STRESSED?!?!?!?!?!?!?

I know Stuart has his own work stress but quite frankly, and selfishly, it’s my turn to be stressed!

The week continues with me flying to all ends of Dorset but thankfully the work gets easier (well I get more confident and am supported by people who actually know what they are doing) until I get a text message from the school on Wednesday informing me of what classes will be open on Thursday (Callum’s not being one of them). Hey? What? Why isn’t the school opening? When I pick Callum up in the evening I find a note in his school bag telling me “further to our letter of the 10th of October, due to strike action, the following classes will be closed” (or words to that effect). Letter of the 10th? What bloody letter of the 10th? I’ve obsessively checked his school bag every night and there has been absolutely no bloody letter! An emergency call to my Mum means Callum can stay home with my Mum on Thursday. Phew! Can’t thank her enough!

Then Friday afternoon brings another call from the Nursery saying Millie has a temperature again!

A more cynical person may suggest that the nursery staff may just want to leave early on Fridays?? But no, I suggest they put her down for another nap and let me know how she is doing when she wakes while the nurse next to me says he wouldn’t consider a temperature of 37.8 a high temperature. They call me back half hour later and sure enough her temperature has dropped and I’m pretty much suspecting those pesky teeth are still giving her a hard time.

I leave just 10 minutes before I’m expected to leave and make the horrid,  traffic laden journey, which is supposed to take an hour but takes and hour and 25 minutes, home. Millie is fine! Teething but fine!

This week has been back to observing courses, staying close to home and the kids have been well and doing what they are supposed to be doing with little or no complaint!

However…..it doesn’t stop there…Stuart has come down with pharyngitus and has been bed-ridden the whole week.

But, quite frankly, a grown man on his death bed sleeping all day in bed is a hell of a lot easier than misbehaving kids, nasty teeth, useless communicating schools, long commutes and unsupportive husbands!

Work has been local and I’ve even had a couple of compliments. Despite everyone else’s usual project stress that all but me seems surprised about (it’s an IT system roll out what do they expect?) I think I’m actually holding my own.

You know…I might just make the full 6 month contract!

Friday, 11 October 2013

Making it Work!

I’ve been back working full time now for 2 weeks (well 9 days as I started on a Tuesday). Picture0023

I’m not sure what I expected but it is bloody hard work. Not the work itself but everything else!

Working full time while having children is not a new thing for me, I went to work full time when Callum was 18 months but, with 2 children at different stages in life provides a whole new set of challenges!

When I went back to work after Callum, I started on a Wednesday, Callum was sick on the Thursday, I had a holiday booked on the Friday, to go to Scotland with a fab group of girls where I came down with Callum’s bug, had to force my poorly self into work on the Monday despite feeling rotten as I daren’t take any more days off just after starting a new job. However, thankfully, after the false start the rest of the working life went pretty smoothly.

This time, in the space of these first 2 weeks in the job we’ve had an incident where the nursery didn’t collect Callum and another child after school to take them to After School Club (there fault, not ours!), we’ve forgotten to pay for school dinners (so suddenly had to provide packed lunch for the week after and Stuart was snapped at with ‘we’re a school not a bank’ when he tried to pay for school dinner until the end of term with a a debit card over the phone), Callum had to be collected from school by Stuart after falling asleep in class and having a temperature, teething Millie waking me up through the night and being grumpy, I had to collect Millie from nursery today for having a temp, loose nappy and being sick which turned out to just be an episode of teething with a teething nappy and reflux (which she gets when teething)! The whole time I’ve been suffering from a delightful sore throat bug which has taken me 3 weeks to recover from! Stuart has been told off for not completing a ‘school photo consent form’ which we definitely never received and Callum didn’t get to have in the end anyway due to being poorly!

We (lets say ‘we’ to be diplomatic) are juggling remembering to make nursery payments and booking in the sessions we need in advance of the next week (while having no idea where work will be sending me next), remembering school dinner payments, getting teacher training days thrown upon us out of the blue, trying to think ahead to what the hell we are going do do with Callum during school half term, Callum saying he doesn’t like breakfast club/after-school club. The nurse is trying to book Millie in for her 13 month jabs when the only week we can do is the week she can’t do! I’m finding out daily where I’m being sent the next day and have absolutely no idea where I’m going to be next week so haven’t a clue what additional childcare to arrange, if any.

I’m dropping balls left, right and centre and my head is swimming!

I get home and once I’ve sorted the dishes, the laundry (not helped by Callum destroying his uniform on a daily basis), fed the kids some more, cleared out the cats’ litter tray and fed said cats, put kids to bed, cooked dinner, danced the tango while knitting a scarf, I collapse onto the sofa for an hour before crawling into bed to be woken up hourly by Millie or to get insomnia at 4am or for Millie to start her day at 5.30am!

Quite frankly, right now, I don’t know which way is up!

I love working, I want to work, I enjoy that time where I am Debbie! Not mummy, not wife, but Debbie the IT Trainer! I’ve worked hard to get where I am and I love what I do. But, quite frankly, I sure as hell miss those days where I could just walk out the door, go to work and come home without having an anxiety attack every time I see a missed call on my phone and wondering who is ill or what have I forgotten to do this time! It’s not even as if I get to recover at the weekends! Please tell me life gets easier!

One thing is for sure, I make a crap Juggler!

Sunday, 6 October 2013

BLW: More Mess But Less Stressed

Thought, as some time had past since my last BLW post, I’d provide an update, especially since Millie has turned one.

Like anything there are highs and lows to to Baby-Led Weaning. The low being the purposefully throwing food on the floor…timed perfectly with the learning to talk so the throwing of food on the floor becomes a game so Millie can wag her finger and say “No!”.

But it also serves as a reminder to not overload her plate. Millie will only start throwing food on the floor if there is too much choice or if it is something she doesn’t care for. If she starts throwing food on the floor, the easiest thing to do is to take it all away and just offer her one thing at a time. She’ll either discard it or eat it but overall will eat a lot more than if she had a full plate to look at.

The throwing on floor thing did start to get me down but I took a look down memory lane and saw I was getting frustrated at just the same thing when Callum was the same age so decided to ride with it instead of fighting it.

Millie has been slower than Callum to grasp the spoon and feed herself but she is getting there now. Her first instinct is to try to use a spoon and only resorting to fingers if she struggles or she’ll grunt and hand me the spoon to load it for her.

In terms of what she eats, it changes daily. The favourites at the beginning are now discarded as new and more interesting foods have come along. No more are the cherry tomatoes, red peppers or roasted carrot but butternut squash, peas and sweetcorn? More of them please Mummy!

I’m definitely more relaxed than I was with Callum about what Millie chooses to eat as I remember, by now, I was definitely getting more frustrated with what Callum ate (or didn’t eat as was more likely the case). I’ve learnt my lessons and, with Callum having just this evening scoffed a roast dinner of roast belly pork, roast potato, sweet potato, parsnips and carrots, brussel sprouts (Yes! a kid that likes and eats brussel sprouts!) and roast butternut squash mash without a whine or murmur, I think that lesson is let them be, keep offering and they’ll discover the new flavours in time.

I know personally, the more you fight them the bigger the wall of rebellion will climb, as that is what I was like as a fussy eating child and what I’m still like now if someone tries to false me to eat something I really don’t want. Instead, encourage them to try but if they don’t like it, that’s fine, they may do eventually, especially if they see you enjoying whatever food it is.

Millie likes different things to what Callum liked and is less a fan of meat but will eat it and eats lots of other food too. Nursery love her because she will eat pretty much whatever is served up to her.

Both children have always loved their fruit and it has been more of a challenge to stop them eating too much fruit!

I’m also a lot more relaxed with Millie during times when she goes off her food – due to teething, illness etc. I know she’ll be fine, I know that the next week she’ll eat twice as much as she ate before she stopped eating, I know it’s normal. With Callum, I couldn’t help but worry a little, as I think it’s human nature to worry whether our little ones are eating enough, we want them to thrive! But, like with the food wars, I’ve learnt that she wont starve herself and that she’ll start eating again when she is ready.

Right! Best go clean the dinner off the ceiling again! That girl can flick!