Persephone: Parent

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Yummy Mummy: Another 0.2kg Lost

A slow week again, but with Robin’s first birthday we ate alot of cake and didn’t eat at home at all for one whole day. On top of that I always have a take away on the weekend. And I had extra lazy days because a cold knocked me out and I’ve just wanted to sleep! ūüėī

But 0.2 loss is better than nothing and waaaay better than a gain. Only 1.1kg from my first goal! Yay! Maybe 3 weeks if I stay really good.

In other Yummy news, I’m reading “A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms” and I am loving being back in Westeros. I’m still doing at least 3 nights of Dance Central aerobics and my PND therapy course has ended so it’s up to me to remember to keep working at keeping me happy (still working on the blog entries). My attempts at my own social life have been knocked a bit but it is cold season and I refused to let some let downs get me down.

I’ve finished decluttering the kitchen cupboards. I simply emptied one and sorted through it, ditching things that haven’t been used in ages, dishes without lids or multiples (who needs 3 ceramic trays?) And then moved on to the next. I do still have the stuck thought of I might use it one day which I can’t shake, but I’m making steps to make space.

I just spent this morning clearing through my clothes stored under the bed and although I do have a huge pile to donate to charity, I still have loads to put back under there. I am incredibly proud of my self, however, as I hate getting rid of perfectly good clothes. The problem is I do consider my body is in a state of flux. I am actively trying to lose weight and I’ve been pregnant for over half of the past 3 years, so just because I have loads of clothes that don’t fit, it does not mean that they won’t again. I’ve read some articles on declutttering and they state that you should get rid of things that don’t fit, if you ever lose the weight, you’ll want to buy new. Well, I don’t think that applies to me quite yet. These articles are quite ruthless on what you should ditch and whilst I’m nowhere near their level, I’m ditching stuff I wouldn’t have before. If part of my PND is feeling like I lost myself then why would I get rid of the clothes that I associate with the me that I was, the me that I assume or hope I will be again?

Or maybe that’s exactly why I should get rid of them. A clean slate and all. The person that I was is never going to be the person I can be again. I’m a whole new person and that person who wore Little Miss t-shirts is like my distant relative.

It’s just that, yes, my whole entire body has changed, but I’ve spent 3 years in maternity/nursing-able clothing and, well, it’s pissing me off. I’m fed up with it now and I keep all of the clothes that I loved back in the distant past because I want to remember what I was, who I was, what I looked like, but also what I can be when I don’t need an expandable waist to accommodate a growing child or easy access to my boobs for another growing child.

I’ll re-evaluate the clothes when I get to either the right weight or when my breastfeeding journey ends forever, but even so, I’ve cleared out 3 big bags for charity.

Along with 2 bags waiting to be taken to our local BHF store, I also have three bags of kitchen things ready to go and maybe a box plus of kitchen things that are currently in the shed… they may have to wait until I clear up some space as they might need a clean now! Our back room is still a dumping ground. There’s the three huge piles of boxes that are waiting for the next Little Pickles Market and two huge piles of DVDs/games waiting for me to sort out a Music Magpie order. Oh, and I sold on most of my unwanted Christmas presents last week on ebay and made over ¬£40. This house will declutter, it will just take a while as I am a super-hoarder.

So, maybe only 0.2kg down, but two huge bags and three carrier bags of charity worthy stuff down. That’s a pretty good week, I reckon!

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Growing Up and Moving On

Elvis has been having swimming lessons since he was about 10 weeks old, and he moved up into his current toddler class about a month after he turned two. Not even 6 months ago actually and they’ve started talking about him moving up into one of the preschool classes already. This terrifies me.

For one thing, he is only just 2 and a half, he doesn’t have the best attention span and he’ll be in the water. People die in the water.

But then, I do think he’s almost ready. In just the last few weeks he has advanced so much. He seems to have really come out of his shell in general, but just today, he was asked to float on his back as we sang Twinkle, Twinkle and he just assumed the position. Lovely spread legs and outstretched arms. My son hates leaning back in the pool! Oh, and when they were asked to dunk themselves, he did. He hates dunking in the songs, but does enjoy trying to submerge everything but his face. I think he might almost be ready for the group. Especially when I think about the others that are currently in his class – they are too little to be able to dunk themselves. I guess he might be in that tricky position where he is more advanced than most in his group, not quite as advanced as the next group.

Three of his little friends have moved up, but two of them are 3 already and one is only about 2 months away from her birthday.

Is it better to be a big fish in his little pond, where he can do everything he’s asked, or be the little fish, the youngest and possibly the least capable? But how else is he going to learn, he needs to be pushed.

I really am in two minds. I want him to move if he’s ready. But I don’t him to move up.

Water is dangerous. It’s a new instructor so I’d be entrusting my son’s life with someone I don’t really know.

On the other hand, in a few weeks Robin starts nursery (that’s a whole other growing up matter!) and has to move her swimming lessons to the same day as Elvis. He currently swims at 10am, she’d be at 0930. That means I need someone else to undress him and then dress her, with me staying in the pool for a whole hour. If Elvis moved to the preschool¬†class, he would be at 11am (and I don’t have to go in the pool for preschool¬†classes) so I think I could take Robin, leaving Elvis at home with Nanny, come home, put her down for her nap and then take him, staying dry and watching from the sidelines. This would make it easier for me, my mum and both of them really. It would enable me to do the whole thing with Robin, just like I did with Elvis rather than handing her over soaking wet for someone else to dress her, but…

Aside from the danger aspect (which is worrying me), it takes away our time, the 30 minutes of swimming together, watching him advance each week right in front of my eyes. I worry so much that he learns everything he does at nursery, but swimming is where I teach him, where I see him. He just comes home and knows more letters, knows how to count, but I taught him to climb in and out of the pool. I taught him to swim a length on a woggle. It’s my 15 minutes alone getting dressed/undressed with him and having random chats without as much of a time pressure as before nursery or as many distractions as at bedtime. I love that time with him and I don’t want to give it up.

What could I even replace it with?

But I will have to give it up at some time. Either in 4 months when he fits the age criteria for the preschool class, or in 1 month when it suits the busy teachers, my family or when he may actually be ready to join his friends. I guess it isn’t about him growing up, it’s just the by product of him growing up. I feel like I’ll be losing something and I don’t know how to change that. It’s the only quality, one-on-one time that I ever have with him and I’ll be giving it up yet still having it with her.

Oh, hello, there, Mummy Guilt! Welcome home.

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The Blame Game

And how to get over it?

With only a few weeks before my return to work, I think I’ve realised why I really don’t want to go back. Rewind almost three years ago to when my maternity leave with Elvis was almost up and work errors meant I didn’t get paid. Then I got paid too much. Then they took back my overpayment leaving me with nothing that month. No warnings, no explanations until I questioned, no communication at all and still no real explanation as to why I was penalised for their error.

I was given assurances that it wouldn’t happen this time.

Rewind to a year ago when I recieved a letter telling me you’ll be surprised to learn that you’re not entitled to maternity pay. Replace surprised with fucking fuming.

Rewind to the beginning of this tax year when, 4 months into it,¬†I discover that someone hit a reset switch at work and started paying me. I never realised. I didn’t get payslips. I told them, the payments stopped and I heard nothing else from them. So I owe them money. A lot. I have no idea how much. And I was technically claiming benefits because I knew I’d have to pay back the overpay. (And the benefits are because I wasn’t entitled to maternity pay, which they could have told me before I went on maternity leave, but didn’t because they’re incompetent).

So I fully expect to either not be paid this month or to receive a huge bill. And if they don’t pay me, will my nursery fees be paid? Nope.

And I blame work. I blame work for every second of stress the pay issues have ever caused me. I blame work for not being able to pay my mortgage when I returned. Most of all, I blame work for how my daughter was born.

The letter about my pay, or lack thereof, came 14 hours before my waters broke and over a week into my maternity leave. 36 hours later I had the choice of induction or emergency surgery. I spent two nights away from son. Two whole days and Robin was born only about 36 hours before my planned surgery in which I might not have visibly been away from home at all due to nursery.

I could have gone in to labour at any inconvenient time but that’s out of everyone’s hands. That’s nature.

Instead I seem to firmly believe that the waters going was from the surprise at not being entitled to pay. I was fuming. I was so angry at their incompetence, not to mention the fact that I had no idea if we could afford no income from me after about 6 weeks. I blame them for not having figured this all out earlier, giving me extra time to fill in the paperwork and find my payslips. As it was, I filled it all in, had a baby and had to redo the forms because the forms were invalid. If we hadn’t have changed management, I might have been told earlier. I might have been calmer. And I blame them for all of that pain, for sobbing on the second night away that I just wanted to see my son. I blame them for rushing home to see my son and having a longer recovery.

The drugs played a part in me sobbing hysterically to just get my baby out because I wanted to go home to see my son. The hormones, lack of sleep and pain definitely played a part when I was alone in the hospital so Daddy could put Elvis to bed and sobbed every time I heard a newborn cry because I wanted my son. But the reason, I believe, in my irrational head, is that my waters only went because I was stressed by the fear and anger that letter provoked within me and if the waters hadn’t have gone, would contractions have even started? Because the doctors only made me stay in due to potential issues with my scar tissue.

Perhaps I can take ownership of some of it, but not all of it. Their incompetence caused so much stress and so much pain. It is their fault that I had emergency surgery and their fault that I spent so long away from my son. I blame them for the stress of trying to fill in paperwork within days of my daughter being born. I hate them for having the nerve to call me twice in the week after I gave birth, the first time less than 24 hours later, to discuss my complaint. And management knew I’d had my baby as I’d had a congratulations from them, an email promising that we’d discuss my complaint, but to forget it for a while to focus on my family. Well, the other guy who was ringing me, clearly didn’t want me to focus on my family.

Meanwhile, no one has kept in any form of contact. None of the admin people even still work there. I randomly bump into people and hear about the redundancies, hear about who’s walked out, moved to another school. I used to work in a team of 12, now I think we might be about 10, maybe 11, but I only really know 3, maybe 4. I think it is compounded by the fact that I was only back for a short time in between maternities. I think I made about 5 months. My job is pretty physically active. I’m on my feet all the time, rushing from lab to lab to prepare things, lifting and carrying things constantly whether they’re heavy or not. I couldn’t do that during my 5 months back. I couldn’t even sit in the usual work room due to the chairs being too high. So, really, I’ve spent over 3 years not doing my job and I don’t know what to do to. Because of all of the departmental changes (we became an academy during my first maternity leave), I don’t think I even know the people I work with.

So, I don’t know how to do my job, I’m the new person walking in to a department almost, I probably won’t get paid properly for a good half year and, yeah, I’m anxious, desperately trying to put the steps I’ve learnt in therapy into use to not completely lose it.

And I don’t know how I’m supposed to walk into work and not hate everything and everyone I see. I hate the very thought of it.

And I truly don’t know how to let that go.

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January’s Reading List

Way before Christmas I began reading Hester Browne’s Vintage Girl, or Swept off her Feet (Vintage Girl is a such better title, and why does it have two anyway?), I struggled to get in to it, but I think that was my issue, not the book’s. And I just finished it a few days ago. I love Hester Browne books and I think I only have one left to read, but I haven’t ordered it for my kindle yet. I do however have three books waiting on my kindle. Two Jackie Collins books that I got in the Black Friday sales last year and a freebie for a day called The Knokkits, which is written by someone I used to work with.

I don’t really know which to read next. I think I prefer the idea of The Knokkits, but then I don’t want to read two Jackie Collins in a row. Or I could continue with the GRRM collection of Egg and Dunk tales (I’ve read maybe 4 pages so far), but that’s a¬†proper¬†book.

Oh, and whilst trying to declutter, I found an old cupboard with some half read books in – another Jackie Collins, a Jordan/Katie Price book and another one possibly called Scandalous. Firstly, I started reading two of them as easy reading. Super easy reading, but cannot remember them at all so may as well start again. The Jordan/Katie Price one, I¬†only¬†started reading as it was a joke anniversary present from my husband almost 4 years ago. 4! Oh, my, God that must be the longest it’s ever taken me to read a book. Haha. It’s pretty rubbish. I’ll leave that in the book pile. And the other two really should be restarted as I have no idea what they’re about.

So, GRRM, The Knokkits or Jackie Collins? Or, do I download the next ASOIAF that I wanted to reread and put it on my kindle?

The choices, the choices… I think, as I just read a lovely, light, romantic, easy, chick-lit book where I may now be in love with Evie and Robert, the next one should be the collection of Egg and Dunk. Even though it is a proper book and not quite as easy to pick up and put down.

Honestly, if you’re looking for something heavenly happy to read, with pretty obvious couples, but interesting paths to get to the coupling, then read any of Hester’s books. My only real flaw with them is how they end. They are classic fairy tales, I guess, they end with a kiss, an assumption of a relationship and living happily ever after and it leaves me wanting more. After investing in reading, in this example, how Evie and Robert get to know each other and start, I want to see at least a bit of how it plays out. Ooh, and my copy had reading group questions at the end, which I would love to do. If I didn’t have so many other books on my to read list, I’d sit and write essays!

Fluffy romance read, presumably violent fantasy up next!

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CBT: Session Two – What Do I Like? #PND

Still no closer to figuring out who I was, session two actually sent me plummeting into a deep giant cavern that was possibly worse than I’d felt before. The second session introduced the lethargy spiral and identifying whether activities you do are pleasurable, routine or necessary. I learnt about how to prioritise my demands.

Well, what the bloody use was that when I am a super organiser. Even now with kids, I organise and plan. That’s what I do. And I think I kinda excel at it. Ask me to deal with not having my routine and I might scream and cry. I might avoid doing something that could alter my routine as I don’t know how I’d cope. But, I didn’t need help with prioritising my demands. I know my daily demands and they never change. Then I read the list of possible pleasurable activities – visiting friends, reading, watching TV, playing with the children, going to the cinema, go swimming, go for a run… Well, I couldn’t see a single thing that I could find pleasure in.

I spent a week in such an awful rut. I tried to be sociable (it was nearly Christmas and Robin finally started going to bed better), but it made me feel worse. How on Earth could I try and figure out who I was if I didn’t know what I liked?

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Operation Yummy Mummy: 0.8kg Down!

Woohoo! So, after yesterday’s God awful mood, apparently it paid off! I really was not expecting to have lost 0.8kg. I really didn’t. I mean I was super good. I used my fitbit to track my calories in (although very roughly because I am not about to start weighing all of my food), I only went over my allowance yesterday – which was more because I really was not very active. Today and tomorrow might be a problem, but my baby girl only turns one once! I also did have some junk food (that which is forbidden), like jelly babies, some left over Christmas chocolate, but I ate far more in moderation than normally.

Apart from today perhaps, but I needed to make birthday cakes and check the icing tastes nice!

I think I also did well with my step count every day last week including Friday. And I did some Dance Central on my Xbox, which really works up a sweat.

According to my weight goal (the first of which is my pre-Robin weight), I am only 1.3kg away. Then I’ll only be 10 away from my ultimate goal, 15kg away from my¬†I can dream that I look like my 18 year old self again, can’t I? goal, which I think I’d actually be too skinny if I lost that much weight.

I have 7 weeks until I return to work, about 5 until I head out to do the return to work clothes shopping, I reckon I can reach my first goal and be on the way to the second. I’m assuming that it’s going to start to get harder the longer I go though. The fat will be more stuck on me and it’ll be less¬†pregnancy weight and just¬†I ate too many cookies¬†weight. But I am also hoping that my activity levels increase once back at work.

On other Yummy Mummy news, I am almost at the end of Hester Browne’s¬†Swept off her Feet. It took me forever to get into, but one of my goals from therapy was to read more, to dedicate time to it and enjoy it, so after my Dance Central fun, I have a bath and read at least a chapter. I am so enjoying it and am, of course, rooting for Evie and Robert. But then, I always root for the main character in most books but definitely in Hester’s (except Little Lady Agencies, where I never liked the American and always preferred the best friend… 3 books later!). I really really want Evie to stay and help run the castle with Robert!

I haven’t done anything on the social side of things, but Hubby had football which takes him out ALL day and I didn’t want to risk a bad night’s sleep the night before. This coming week looks far more promising…!

So, as we pretty much literally approach the dawn of my baby girl reaching her first ever birthday, I do finally feel like I can say that I’m happy.

 

I’m happy!

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Fuck off, Yummy Mummy

Okay, I’m having a bad day. Reeeaaallllyyyy bad day.

Hubby’s at the football. Been there since… I haven’t seen him yet today. The kids haven’t and won’t. That’s kinda fine. I took them both to Robin’s cake smash and no Hell broke loose. In fact, Elvis came completely out of his shell and it was the best shoot with either and both of them! Came home, all fine. Robin napped, I prepped lunch and dinner. All fine.

They both had an afternoon nap. he woke up like he’d never been up there. Refused to eat dinner. Even with tempts of the chocolate cake I salvaged from the cake smash photo shoot. So I took him straight back up to bed – he was complaining that he wasn’t hungry because he was tired. I then tried to amuse Robin for an hour upstairs.

He’s now talking to himself over 2 hours after he went to bed.¬†Because he wasn’t tired because he’s napped, he just wanted to get out of eating pasta! For fuck’s sake!

She has woken twice crying because she can’t find her dummy.¬†Stop sitting on your fucking dummy.

I haven’t even reached half way through my step goal of the day and apparently have eaten too much.¬†Fucking chocolate cake and eating it to try and get Elvis to eat his fucking dinner.

I could really do with a glass of wine or cider.¬†BUT THAT’S MORE FUCKING CALORIES.

And, I just know that I’m going to weigh myself tomorrow and have fuck all to show for a week of being seriously good with the calorie intake.

Oh, and I’m coming down with a cold. Can’t take decongestants because I’m fucking still breastfeeding. And we’re supposed to be doing lots of fun family things for the next two days to celebrate Robin’s first birthday and I just want to hide and sleep.

But, apparently I sold some of my unwanted Christmas presents on ebay. Yay?

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TV Watching: Hercules The Legendary Journeys

I’m currently watching the season 3 finale of Hercules and I thought it would be a funny one to talk about and reintroduce my tv blogging to here. I’ve done my usual amount of TV watching during my blogging break, but since my PND therapy, I am trying to focus on it more. Or at least categorise what I watch and focus on the shows I want to watch.

Hercules falls into the background TV category. Mainly because I can’t take it seriously and pay full attention. It isn’t even about the laughable fighting. It’s the casting. I just do not understand it. I’ve never watched a show where actress re-use is so obvious. Or actress swapping. In the same season. This has nothing to do with me watching all 3 seasons in a row because there’s a huge casting confusion in season 3.

Hercules meets the Golden Hind. Marries her. She dies. She was played by the future Mrs Sorbo. Oh, and she’d played a Queen/Princess earlier in the season. Both characters fell in love with Herc. So, Golden Hind dies and a few episodes later, thanks to Autolycus, he and Herc travel back to when all the Hinds were killed bar the Golden. And she’s played by a different actress. I thought it was because she was younger. But then Herc changes the past, returns to the future and meets the Hind. Who’s still played by the new girl and not future Mrs Sorbo.

I just can’t take the show seriously. At all. But it’s fun to have on in the background! And to hear Claudia Black sound different to any other role I’ve ever seen her in!

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CBT: Session One – Who Am I?

Last year, I went through a pretty rough time. I’d already consulted my health visitor about needing to speak to someone regarding how I was feeling. It was getting worse, week on week, or maybe month on month and I was waiting for the appointment when we went on a family holiday. The final day of the holiday I could not stop myself from crying because I desperately did not want to go home. I was walking back to the lodge in the dark (it was dark by 7pm) after the dinner and the entertainment show, with Elvis. My OH and Robin had gone a different way with the pushchair. We were walking past the bird enclosure and all I could think was that I didn’t want to go home. I wanted to run away with Elvis. Sod, my husband, sod the baby, sod the boring everyday routine that I hated. I didn’t want to go back to the real world. I didn’t want to go back to my life. I wanted to run away.

And I just kept crying.

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Operation: Declutter!

Oh, My God! I am such a hoarder. It’s unreal. I keep¬†EVERYTHING!

I moved into my mum’s house over 18 months ago (weird house swap), and, well, I’d never truly left. My loft is full. Full of old magazines (that need to be recycled). Full of old computers that need to be chucked. Full of action figures that I think I might need to sell. And goodness knows what else. My back room (what would make a lovely adults only, evening, room, is filled with old baby toys/furniture and a huge box of preloved toys that I’ve bought and have yet to give to Elvis. There is a kitchen cupboard full of dishes that I don’t think we use. A shelf full of glassware that we don’t use (not to mention a box of unopened glassware from the house move!). Then there’s the two craft areas in the house (aka huge pile of crafty stuff that does sometimes get used but looks a mess).

Robin’s bedroom is my old bedroom and has a lovely feature over the double bed (a bed that cost a fortune but takes up all the space in a child’s bedroom) that is filled with mine and my husband’s belongings that we never moved out of the house 4 years ago!

I have two bookcases filled with DVDs that I am never going to watch. I have bookshelves filled with books that I want to read, have read and love, have read and hate. I have boxes in the loft of all my Star Trek, Buffy, Angel, Stargate, etc books that I, honestly, am never going to read. None of them are complete collections so aren’t worth anything.

So, I decided that along with purely wanting to make my house look tidier, nicer, and more fitting with my Operation Yummy Mummy, that things are going. It will be a slow job, but it will be done – please note that the loft may take¬†YEARS because, let’s face it, it’s out of sight and not making my house look messy.

I’ve listed a load of toiletries that I got brand new for Christmas on Ebay. I delivered two huge bags of unused clothes of at our local British Heart Foundation (one bag was all mine, too!). We have started a huge box load of DVDs, games and consoles for Music Magpie and I am in the lengthy process of planning to sell on baby clothes, furniture and toys at a Little Pickles Market.

Phew, I’m doing well!

Meanwhile, doing some of my usual tidying and I finally found my address book. Behind the sofa. Now I can send out those Christmas cards!

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