Nurse or Mum is it time to choose between the two?

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I find myself in serious contemplation of my career. A career I have worked hard for, but that now appears inflexible and a destructive influence on my family. How many times can I leave my four-year old in tears, carefully remove his arms from my waist and whisper ‘Sorry darling, Mummy has to go to work’. To shut the door and still hear his sobs of ‘don’t go again Mum…’

The problem is that no matter what people say nursing does not lend itself to a family friendly life. The shifts are long and unpredictable. The work itself is both mentally and physically draining. I personally can’t walk out of the hospital door without thinking about my patients and their families. Being a nurse for many is a vocation. It’s not just a job, or a profession. The training is hard, the job is harder. You have to love what you do, or you just wouldn’t keep doing it. Always chronically understaffed and overworked, the patients come first. Other people’s families constantly put above your own.

The level of responsibility I and my fellow nurses have is huge. No longer are we the profession so often portrayed in old films. You know the ones where we meekly follow the Doctors round and do their bidding. That went out the window with our hats and aprons many years ago. Nurses are now more autonomous, more skilled and more educated than they ever have been. In my opinion this is fantastic but it comes at a price. That price is stress. A stress that grows almost unseen, but bubbles over into family life.

Here we have a profession that is predominantly made up of women, that doesn’t lend itself in any way to family life. Lets face it flexible working isn’t an option. I can just imagine my managers face if I said I wanted to come in at 10am some days or finish at 5pm. I would have to pick her up off the floor she would be laughing so hard! Patients need 24 hour care, nurses have to provide this.

Obviously I can’t work from home that is a ridiculous notion. Where would I put all the equipment? Besides I can’t see the ward round stopping by my house to make a plan of care or the x-ray team trundling up my drive… So flexi-homeworking not an option. Of course we are a minority in that our family has two nurses that work inflexible long shifts, which only compounds the problems. Some one is always tired, someone is always at work and both of us are inevitably stressed!

Is this my choice? Well kind of but not really. I often think that if I really had a choice I wouldn’t go to work. But then I remember that I like having my own money and I like having something that is mine and not the children’s. It’s not a selfish thing to want to have some time where I am a nurse and not ‘Mum’. I think in many ways it makes me a better Mum when I return to the children. Or it would if I wasn’t so shattered after work! But the children hate it. I hand my children over to my husband like I handover my patients to my colleagues at the end of my shift.

No one I speak to has the answer. It feels as though the day is coming when I will need to make a decision. I either am a nurse or I am a mother. I raise my children, but lose everything I have worked to achieve. There doesn’t appear to be a happy medium for me. Its my career or my kids. There is no competition in my eyes. If somethings got to give I know what it will be. That doesn’t make it ok and it doesn’t make it any easier.

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The Poonami: A Total Shit Storm

Let me set the scene! It was tough but you put your face on threw your hair into some kind of style. Picked out your best boots and chose an adorable outfit for your cute side kick. Operation meet the Yummy Mummy’s has begun!


It’s all going well. Conversation flowing, coffee ordering went smoothly ‘yes I will have a slim, vendi  latte, not to much foam, hazelnut twist’ brilliant, nailed it! I am a sophisticated yummy mummy, I can pull this off. Or so I thought! 

Striking up empathetic conversation with the mum next to me, bouncing Pudding on on my knee. Casually sipping at perfectly ordered, tasteless coffee. Inside I am doing cartwheels. I have this mothering shit down, nothing can stop me now. Nothing except that ominous tummy rumble from Pudding. Followed by the long juicy sound of a deposit being made in her clean nappy. Balls! Then comes the obnoxious aroma – why did I let that baby eat some of my curry last night?!!! Oh no is that a slight damp patch on my leg…

Of course the small one is grinning, waving her arms and bouncing. Don’t bounce like that, something bad will happen. Too late one huge bounce and I can feel moisture on my hands. Horrified I look down… Yep it’s a level 5 disaster. Action stations we have a Poonami!! 


Don’t panic, I tell myself, we can handle this. Scoop up Pudding, grab nappy bag and walk confidently to the changing room. 

OH my fucking Christ. That smells awful. I Start to peel off layers. There is shit everywhere, literally everywhere. It’s all over my hands and right up to the Puddings arm pits. Peel off all clothes, contemplate saving them, then just chuck them in the bin. Wet wipes are not going to cut it. You child are going in the sink! 

Thank god for huge muslins. Wrap a now screeching Pudding up and sit her on the floor on top of a freshly cleaned changing mat. Of course whilst my back is turned she quickly removes herself from the Muslim and proceeds to parade stark naked round the questionably hygienic baby change. Frantically scrabble in the changing bag to find a replacement out fit… Meanwhile misses has pulled herself up on the sanitary towel bin and is attempting to force open the lid. 

Hooray baby gro and nappy found. Wrestle on the floor with her majesty whilst she screams blue murder about not getting into the sanitary bin. Tuck her under my arm as I attempt to wipe poo off of every surface. Except I didn’t realise that she has some on her hands… Gross and made even worse as she waves at me in the mirror and proceeds to wipe it all through my freshly washed hair. Before taking that exact moment to vomit down my top. I mean seriously this kid never vomits… Probably the bugs she has just picked up from the floor/sanitary bin! 

Slink out of bathroom smelling of cheesey milk and poo… Contemplate going back to the table and finishing my coffee. Nope not now, I can’t face it. Red faced and smelling like a bin lorry I  head back to the car. This is one Poonami I want to put behind me!

You Can’t Hide From This – #BloggersBeatingCancer

I remember when my mother phoned me at University to tell me the news. My grandmother, my amazing, strong and wonderfully kind Grandmother had cancer. The woman who had lived through the war, who had pledged her heart to a young soldier and awaited his return from the East. A lady that had travelled the world, worked in the Land Army and lived in far off countries was being beaten by cancer.

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My Mum explained that the cancer was very advanced. That we were looking at mere months before it swallowed this amazing woman. I couldn’t believe it. How could this have happened? Where had this horrible cancer come from?

It transpired that my head strong Grandmother had been hiding this secret from us for some time. There had been a growth on her leg for years and years. Always covered by a plaster. First a small one and then as time went by a larger one. She had known something wasn’t right. But too afraid to say anything she hid from reality. By the time she told anyone the melanoma was so large and advanced there was nothing to be done. Despite being seen by a specialist my grandmother and grandfather made the decision that they didn’t want to waste her last few months on fruitless treatment.

That was hard to hear. She didn’t want to fight. My gutsy Grandmother who had always fought for everything was giving up. Of course I understood why she couldn’t fight this. But I was so frustrated, why didn’t she say something earlier? Perhaps something could have been done.

I watched over those short months as she became frail. In next to no time she was in a bed downstairs. My parents and grandfather providing round the clock care. With some help from her amazing local GP and Macmillan nurses. The sparkle started to fade from her eyes. She desperately wanted to know whether I had been successful in gaining a place at nursing school. So proud that I was hoping to dedicate my life to such a worthwhile profession. I never got to tell her. She died two days after my 22nd birthday and a week before I found out that I had indeed been granted a place to study at the Florence Nightingale School of Nursing.

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I never got to introduce her to her two beautiful grandchildren. She would have loved them and them her. So many things I wish had asked her. How I wish I had learnt more about gardening from her. The regret that I never talked about what she did during war time, how she felt as a girl joining the Land Army. Or what it was like to have the love of your life so far away for so long, not knowing if he would return. But mostly I wish that I had just one more hug, one more moment to say I love you.

You can’t hide from cancer. It’s all around us. Nearly every family I meet has been touched by it. More research is needed, more awareness is essential. That is why #BloggersBeatingCancer is so important. Maybe just maybe one day we will live in a world where cancer doesn’t haunt families. Until then I shall be drinking coffee tomorrow at 10:30 with my fellow bloggers and raising as much cash as we can to help win the fight against cancer. Please donate here https://mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/bloggersbeatingcancer

Mumzilla

 

Graduating into The World of The Grown-ups

It’s a strange thing when you realise unexpectedly that you have entered the realm of the ‘grown-ups’. Most people think this automatically happens when you turn 21.  For me personally all that happened when I turned 21 was the amount of alcohol consumed went up and the scrapes I got myself into required a lot more getting out of! But as I looked across the table at my school friends the other night I suddenly realised that we were in fact now adults.

This is truly cemented now that we have 6 children between us (Poor Pie is the only boy, Least he has the pick of the ladies). But I don’t quite know when this happened. We are all married and have been for 5 years or more, I don’t remember thinking wow we are all big girls now we have husbands. We still had those boozy weekends away and fell back into our teenage ways. Then the pregnancy announcements started, which to be honest curtailed the booze (hopefully only temporary). Once the first of the little people arrived it was out with shopping trips and in with nappy changes and nipple cream.

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It was great to have my closest girlfriends going through stuff together, it made that journey into motherhood much easier. I think the real shift into adulthood came one Xmas eve. Usually a drunken affair with some very silly games, this was replaced by soft drinks and quiet(ish) conversation. Where had those raucous twenty-somethings gone? I would like to say it’s because we were all so happy and contented we know longer needed to prove we were the loudest voice in the room. In all honesty I think it had more to do with the fact that we were all shattered and wanted to be at our best for the kids next morning! And there it is the reason why we went from living it up to the Mumsketeers. You can’t get shit faced until 3am and function with a baby and a toddler the next day.

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It’s not that having a baby makes you a boring person. It’s just that your priorities change. You wake up one morning and realise you are no longer at university, but that these small people depend on you. The late nights are gone. The responsibilities are bearing down on you. Without realising it you stray into the land of the grown-ups and once you are in there you understand that it’s not so bad. So long as you have your friends and you smuggled in a bottle of gin.

Admitting You’re Not as OK as You Make Out – PND

We all know that being a parent is not an easy job, we all have good days and bad days. But what do you do when you start to feel like the bad days are outnumbering the good ones at 10:1? It’s not an easy thing to admit that at the moment you are not enjoying being a parent. I know I have been there. Here is my first post about my battle with PND

When Pudding was born before Christmas, I was elated at last the pregnancy was over. I had survived the elective c-section (a real concern of mine) and I was finally cradling my beautiful girl in my arms. I fell in love immediately. Totally head over heels for this tiny Pudding as soon as they laid her on my chest in the operating theatre. Taking her home and enjoying our first Xmas as a family of four surrounded by proud grandparents was wonderful. Then the festivities were over and everyone returned to work leaving me to deal with having two small children.

Let me tell you reality hit home hard. I was so tired and still recovering from major surgery, but Pie didn’t really understand that. He wanted his Mummy back to do all the things we used to do. Not to mention Pudding who needed feeding and changing as an almost constant. I could feel all my patience for the children start to slide away from me slowly. I was irritable and snappy all the time. Everyday started to feel like ground hog day, get up, breakfast, activity, lunch, film, tea, bath, bed. Over and over like a monkey with a miniature cymbal. Feeling myself slipping away. I had become a drudge for two small children and there was no light at the end of the tunnel.

I started to dream about just getting in the car and driving as far away as the petrol in the tank would take me. Wanting to run away from my life. How could I have been so deluded to think that I could handle two children? I wasn’t cut out for this motherhood thing. As my mood got lower, my relationship with Pie really started to suffer. He was my constant source of irritation. I found myself nagging and niggling at everything he did and said. I knew I was being unreasonable but I just couldn’t stop. All I kept thinking was that if he could just calm down and be quiet I would feel better…Lady sitting cross legged on floor

Everything came to a head one night, as my husband and I climbed into bed and prepared to dream feed Pudding. I had made the decision to give her some formula in a vague attempt to get a bit more sleep. So I settled back into the pillows to feed. As I tipped the bottle I realised I hadn’t put it together properly. Milk went all over me, all over her and all over the bed. This resulted in what I can only describe as a ticking time bomb going off!

I plonked Pudding on her Dad, announced I was a rubbish mother and that it was no surprise the children hated me and then ran from the bedroom sobbing. I think that was a pretty big red flag to my husband that I was probably not as ‘OK’ as I kept telling him I was! After sorting out a very cross Pudding he found me sitting outside in the rain in my dressing gown. We talked about how I was really feeling, about how I spent a lot of the day sobbing or just walking about in a daze. He was great and he made me realise that all the things I was feeling were not normal. That maybe I needed to actually get some help.

The next morning, I rang first my Mum, who did some long distance counselling. Just talking to her and my husband made me start to feel better. Then I called my health visitor, she was amazing! She came round that afternoon and spent an hour talking to me about how I was feeling. Explaining that postnatal depression can strike at any time within the first 12 months and that it was nothing to feel ashamed about. Some of the guilt I had been dragging around with me started to lift.

The HV suggested that if I thought it would help that I could stop the breastfeeding. This would at least give me the opportunity for a break away from the children if I wanted a break. She also suggested a local talking therapy group and said she could arrange for someone to come in and watch the kids for awhile if I needed some extra help. She was so helpful and understanding. I had felt like such a fraud ringing her, but she made me realise that I had done the right thing. I chose not to go down the route of medications before I had accessed the talking therapy and actually now I feel like I won’t need to start taking any tablets.

Things have really started to improve, and I am finding that the blogging definitely helps me to express some of the things I am feeling. I am trying to lose that guilt that I am not doing a good job. I know I am never going to get it perfect every time. At least now I am starting to enjoy both the children. I have a great load of support from friends and family now I have admitted that I need some help and that I am no superwoman. I am so glad that I reached out when I did and didn’t let PND consume me.

 

Photo Credit: Al 8574 via Compfight cc

A Sticky Bum and The Soy Sauce Disaster of 2016

You know those days where everything appears to conspire against you?! I had such a day this week. It was the day before Pie went to school (more on that later). having finally recovered from a lack of sleep that could only be matched by Nuremberg drivers, I hit the day with positivity. Possibly this was my first mistake!

We had to go get the logo jumpers for Pie’s uniform. I was feeling pretty smug about my plan to go when everyone was back at school. No queuing for us – a quick in and out job. Hmmm yeh right. Having forced two small children into clothes and into the car we arrived at the school wear shop. Pie was banging on about the milkshake I had promised after the shopping, as we attempted to locate said jumpers. After failing miserably to find any, I asked an assistant. Off she went to the stock room, apparently they had loads out back… She was right they did – but only in age 2-3!! Parenting fail number 1.

Cunning plan totally flawed, but not to be disheartened off we trotted for a milkshake. Because you can’t renegade on a promise to a four-year old. They are like elephants they never forget! We popped over to one of our favourite cafes, kid friendly with amazing food. I plan most of my days around eating, so I already knew what deliciousness I was ordering. We sat waiting for my breakfast, Pie colouring and Pudding happily spitting half chewed rice cracker all over the floor. We waited and we waited… Finally after about 40 minutes and a word with the waitress breakfast arrived. Unfortunately by this stage both kids were done sitting, cue the fastest eggs in Birmingham. Those bad boys were delicious but they didn’t touch sides. We then beat a hasty retreat home, no school jumpers and slight indigestion.

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The afternoon passed in a haze of Star Wars and light sabre battles, as is customary at Pudding HQ. Tea had been decided on earlier that day. Pie had requested pizza, so with a very nutritional frozen pizza in the oven I figured I was onto a winner. Then it happened. The great Soy Sauce Disaster of 2016. Soy sauce with pizza I hear you ask? Well no, actually I though, what this tea needs are some beans. Whilst searching in the cupboards, Pudding at my feet there was a small thud. I thought nothing of it. Popped the beans in the microwave and checked on the pizza.

Pudding was laughing away so I turned to look. Holy hell. Unknown to me the thud had been the soy sauce falling over in the cupboard and who knew it could cause such devastation. It was pouring out of the cupboard, down the microwave off of the sideboard and straight onto Pudding’s head! Where the two sausages were licking it off her face and she was roaring with laughter. I have literally never seen so much soy sauce. It was everywhere. My exclamation spooked the sausages who then proceeded to walk soy sauce paw prints all over the kitchen floor.

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The impending clean up took some time and left Pudding in her pants and two sausage dogs cleaning their own paws. In all this I had totally forgotten about my nutritional pizza in the oven. Which was now burned to a crisp. As I mentioned I love eating, but I am by no means a dab hand in the kitchen. Luckily Pie is used to eating things slightly chargrilled – so we just got on with it!

Finally it was time for a bath and bed. Pudding was whingeing about teeth, so I figured I would give her half a dose of paracetamol to take the edge off at bedtime. I mean no one likes sore teeth right? I pick up the bottle of paracetamol. The buggering lid isn’t on properly. Don’t ask me why, it just isn’t. It falls from my hands, somersaults spraying paracetamol all over the toilet seat and then lands with a plop in the loo. Pie is roaring with laughter as I fish the bottle out. I give the seat a quick wipe. That is it. I am done now.

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Two small children decanted into bed, large glass of wine poured. Long exhale from me. About an hour later I pop to the loo. It is only after I sit down I realise my mistake. Should have done a better clean up of the paracetamol. Now I have the worlds stickiest bum! More wine please….

 

Mummy Bloggers; a 21st Century Feminism Movement?

Feminism is a word that I have found on the tip of my tongue recently. I read more stories of women treated unfairly during pregnancy. More reports about the ongoing debate around the gender pay gap. Yet as I look around there is a shift in political power towards women. With Theresa May in the top government seat, Angela Merkel leading the way in Germany and high hopes across the pond that Hillary Clinton will be the first female American President. The status of women is changing. It is a brave new world for women everywhere and we need to stand up and grab it with both hands.

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Never would I have labelled myself a feminist. Certainly not the bra burning images that sprung to mind when I first thought of feminism. But on closer inspection of the true definition of feminism I can state proudly that I am firmly in that camp. Equal opportunities for all, no one gender or race above any other. Unsurprisingly I find many of my blogger friends hold my beliefs.

Feminism is the belief that all people are entitled to the same civil rights and liberties and can be intellectual equals regardless of gender. However, you should still hold the door for a feminist; this is known as respect or politeness and need have nothing whatever to do with gender discrimination. – by The Thinker-Writer January 31, 2010

Blogging has provided an excellent platform for women to share ideas as well as the highs and lows of raising a family. It has given Mum’s everywhere a voice. Advice flows freely, bad days are shared and good days are triumphed. Communities are built online providing support for both personal and professional issues. Letting all mums know they aren’t alone, that whatever they are going through someone has been there. I have received fierce and loyal encouragement from my fellow bloggers.

The rise in ‘mummy bloggers’ has increased dramatically in the last few years. Although not many are well-known outside of their own sphere many are taking on the tough feminist questions and providing new ideas and concepts. Some have developed into business owners and flourished as entrepreneurs. Proving that women can be just as successful as men on a level playing field.

The few headline successes have inspired others to take to a keyboard and add their own voices to the collective. Demanding the attention of the world to look at women’s every day struggles to have children, to raise children, to work and to mother. Highlighting the shortcomings of childcare in supporting mothers to return to work and to help change the perception of stay at home mums. Mummy bloggers everywhere have climbed on their virtual pedestal to shout: ‘Hey its not all roses over here! We need support from the government and employers to achieve our full potential. We need to be recognised for the sterling job we are doing raising the next generation’.

I know that many people are fed up of hearing the same old rhetoric from Mummy Bloggers. Hearing people say that there is a limitation in the content we can write irritates me. Most of us realise that we are never going to be superstar bloggers. That’s not why we do it. We do it to be heard, to know that we can say what we need to. Because no one can change the world overnight. But if enough people can stand up and say this needs changing then eventually it will be.

I would like to think that my daughter has been born into a world where she will believe there is no difference in what men and women can achieve. That she can reach for the stars and they can be hers. Whether she wishes to be an astronaut or a stay at home mum. Anything is achievable for her.

100 years ago no one would have believed that a woman would hold the office of Prime Minister, let alone potentially be President of The United States. Here we are on the cusp of amazing things for women and although Mummy Bloggers may not be leading the charge they are definitely giving it some momentum.

How to Raise a Sensitive Boy

Most people who see my four-year old charging around would not for one minute think he is sensitive. He doesn’t sit quietly engaged in a task, or play away from other children. You will normally see him tooled up with a stick or a light sabre! But don’t think for one second that my big boisterous boy is all that he appears.

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He is a very sensitive soul. Pie will take everything to heart. Things you said weeks ago can resurface and need to be talked through. Almost as if he has been going over them, replaying the moment. If he thinks he has done something to upset you he wants to make amends. He wants everyone to be his friend! But he also struggles to keep all those feelings in check. Leading to huge outbursts over things most kids wouldn’t bat an eyelid at.

Pie always wants to try to make you happy. He checks several times a day if I am happy. He definitely has my anxious nature. A trait wish I wish I had not passed on. But at least I know what I am dealing with. Saying that though sometimes he completely throws me. My happy, bouncy boy can be raging in a matter of seconds with no apparent cause. At one stage I questioned if there was something else going on. I have questioned my own parenting many many times. Finally I think I have him sussed. Not all the time obviously! I mean he is four, being irrational is his prerogative.

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The stereotyping for boys to be tough and macho is embedded so early. Even without meaning to we can all fall into the trap. I have done it myself, I find myself saying things like be a big brave boy. Or worse still don’t be such a girl when he runs off from a spider! I know I shouldn’t say it. Why shouldn’t he be scared of spiders? His Dad is! What I say in jest he takes so to heart. I forget sometimes that he is only 4, that he can’t understand my teasing.

I don’t want to wrap him in cotton wool. Equally so I am trying to teach him that it’s ok to have feelings and emotions. It’s ok to be scared or anxious about things. That as his Mummy I will look after him. Realising how sensitive he is has made me look closely at how I parent him.

Now I think more about how I phrase my requests. I make sure he isn’t rushed out of the house, but has time to prepare himself. I try not to give him the plan for the whole day – or he incessantly worries that we won’t get it all done. Mostly I respect what he says. If he says I don’t want to go out and what we had planned isn’t important then I don’t force him. If we are going somewhere new I don’t build up his expectations. I let him discover things at his own pace.

The most important thing I have learnt is that he needs more reassurance. He needs those extra cuddles. He wants to say I love you and hear you say it back. The recognition that he is important and that his view matters. What he doesn’t need is endless stimulation and presents. He needs my time, my patience and my understanding.

Pregnancy Discrmination: Know Your Rights

I was subject to what I felt was discriminatory action during my pregnancy with Pudding. It wasn’t done openly but in a covert way I felt I was being punished. You see when I applied and accepted a new job, I wasn’t pregnant. I wasn’t even trying to get pregnant. But lo and behold when I turned up on the first day I felt decidedly queasy. I put it down to being nervous. It wasn’t nerves, I was in fact pregnant, just pregnant enough to show in a test. Oh how I struggled with the dilemma of telling my new boss. But tell them I must because I knew I would need to make some alterations to my work patterns.

Initially they took it reasonably well. They didn’t sing from the roof tops obviously. I could kind of understand where they were coming from, after all that had just employed a young vibrant woman full of potential. Having her go off on maternity leave in a few short months was not in their plan (nor mine come to that).

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The discrimination started with small things. I was suffering with sickness, not in the morning but in the evening. So I requested to swap my night shifts for days so that I could continue working. This was met with a less than helpful attitude. Despite giving them a weeks notice, my manager advised that I would have to find people to swap myself. If I could find no one then I would have to take the time as holiday. I ended up having to use a  chunk of my annual leave because they were unable to accommodate me.

On inspection of the new rota, I realised that for the next 9 weeks I was only on nights. Despite having told them that I was not coping well with night shifts. I did the best I could but after a few weeks of nights I couldn’t continue. My head was pounding and I felt sick all the time. I called into work to tell them I was unwell. There was no sympathy or well wishes. I ended up at the doctors who signed me off for two weeks.

Work requested I sent the certificate to them but no one called to see how I was. I eventually ended up in hospital, having to undertake a scan of my head to check that I wasn’t suffering from a blood clot on my brain due to the continuous nature of the headaches. When work finally called to ask if I was coming there was no concern for what I had endured.

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I did return to work after being signed off for 3 weeks. My meeting with the manager was less than pleasant. Blamed for being unwell and told that it was my fault for picking up an extra 7 hour shift somewhere else. I was then informed that I would be subject to a sickness review for the period of time I had off and that any further episodes of sickness would be monitored.

So upset with how I had been treated that I decided I know longer wished to work their. I made the difficult decision to find alternative employment at 25 weeks pregnant. To my surprise I was offered two positions and I jumped ship without looking back. The experience left me feeling very vulnerable and I spent some time researching my rights as a mother to be.

Here are some of the most important things to remember if you are being discriminated against at work.

  • You are allowed to request time off for antenatal appointments – you should not have to make the time up afterwards
  • Your employer must conduct a health and safety review once you advise them of your pregnancy and your working conditions must be adapted where possible to ensure the safety of you and your unborn child
  • If you require time off for pregnancy related conditions these should not be subject to any disciplinary proceedings in line with the usual sickness policy. (In short you should not be penalised for being pregnant)
  • The date for enforced maternity leave is now 36 weeks – you cannot be forced to take maternity leave any earlier than then. Even if you are unwell during your pregnancy.

Women have a right to be able to work whilst pregnant in a way that does not put either ourselves or our unborn child at risk. If you feel that you are being discriminated against or unfairly treated at work due to your pregnancy, then speak out. Know your rights.

Slipping Through My Fingers All The Time; Off To School

I know it’s a cliché moment in the Mamma Mia film as she sings to her daughter whilst she dresses her for the wedding. (If you haven’t seen the film you must, its one of my guilty pleasures) That moment always brings a tear to my eye. No more than at the moment as I get prepared for Pie to go to school full-time. He is so ready. In fact I know he needs it. He needs the stimulation. But he is my little boy, my mate, and my constant shadow these past four years.12244654_10153674035914641_3340375204385123010_o

With the exception of work, everywhere I go, he goes. Don’t get me wrong there are days when I wish that wasn’t the case. But now the time is nearly here, I don’t want him to be gone all day every day. I shall miss his crazy conversations. His constant questions and even the daily battles about the toilet! Those rainy afternoons curled up watching a film, where he talks through the entire thing (much to my exasperation). When he begs for the craft box to come out and spends less than 10 minutes engaging in it and an hour cutting paper into tiny pieces for me to pick up. All those little things that I always wish away, I shall miss.

I love our lazy mornings together. Sat in bed drinking our hot drinks and dropping brioche crumbs on his Dad’s pillow. The morning showers ending in the inevitable chase around my bedroom attempting to dress him. I will miss his dry wit and those time he slips his hand into mine and whispers you are my best friend Mummy. He is my best friend. Always there with a cuddle when I need one, or something funny to say when things go wrong. My little super-star, looking out for me as much as I do for him.
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For the first time he will have a whole life away from me. New friends and new experiences that I won’t be able to directly share with him. Of course it will be good for him. I know that, but my Mummy heart wants to scoop him up and hold him close. I want to be the one that knows his every mood or whimsical thought. Each night I spend a little longer with him, as time marches on into September.

Part of me is so excited for him and to see what he will be come in the next year. To watch him grow into his own person, to start to learn who he is and what he can do. I know he will love school and all the opportunities and excitement it offers. There are such wonderful things to come. But I can’t help but feel a sense of loss as I guide him out into the world, to take his first steps into independence.

Dear Bear and Beany
Diary of an imperfect mum