We can’t be good at everything can we?

Evening all! I hope it’s been a lovely bank holiday Monday for you.

I’ve been working today, it was the ordinary drill for a working day for me, I left early this morning, the boys spent the morning with Karl my husband and he dropped them to my parents who looked after them until I got home at dinner time.

As I’m sure most of you know at the end of the day we are often tired, frazzled and needing to chill. My parents always cook me dinner on days like today so I can at least not have to cook. Today was a yummy roast with all the trimmings which I was so grateful for. Before I got to that though a massive realisation came over me.

When I pulled up in front of my parents house and got out of the car I was quite surprised. There were no bikes, scooters, random piles of debris or in fact any evidence at all that my two monsters had even been there. Now this is unusual I thought, maybe they are ill? Maybe Nana had taken them out? Then they appeared, two grubby looking boys wearing only pants and covered in a mixture of chocolate and grass. As I walked through the side gate I spied my dear mum sat on the garden swing looking nothing short of knackered.

The back garden was a war zone, literally. There were bath toys all over the grass, juice cups strewn all over the place and small piles of clothes littered the length of the garden. I didn’t want to ask, I just sat down next to my mum who was clutching her tea and slowly swinging. ‘How have they been?’ I ask already knowing the answer, ‘they haven’t stopped’ mum answered with a little smile.

I thought then about the many things in my life that I have tried and not been good at, driving (I still do it but give people a health warning when they enter the car!) science, hockey, maths, the time I thought I would be amazing at ping pong, the time in New York that I declared to Karl that I was an exemplary ice skater and then ended up with some quite severe injuries from a fall at great speed and with both legs in the air. But what about motherhood?

Of course it’s not something we try, we do and we cope, like many thousands of years of mothers before us who have raised good, clever, well mannered, fulfilled and happy children. Like our mothers who we can remember doing all they could and never giving in as testing as we were in our youths. Yet why do I feel like I cant do it? I’m no good at it and everyone around me can see it, they know, they see me shouting at my children in the supermarket, they see them wrestling on the floor of the school play ground.

So my question then is this, when we aren’t very good at something whether that be a genuine issue or our own perception of ourselves how do you carry on? How do you hold your head high and give yourself a break when you feel like you would be graded a U in your report from an expert? The answer is that I honestly don’t know! What I do know though that tomorrow is a new day, the sun has set and tomorrow it will rise again. The boys will get up expecting mummy to be the mummy they know and love not some neurotic mess who is doubting her abilities in life. So now I am going to go to bed, watch some trashy tele, have a cup of tea safe in the knowledge that I can carry on trying tomorrow and hoping that I am one of many mums at the end of the school holidays with children who are desperate to get back to the structure and routine of school and whose mum we now realise deserves a bloody medal for managing to get us to where we are today!

What a week!

Massive radio silence from me so far this week, mostly because it’s been so manic I’ve not had chance to sit down and pour all of the thoughts into a post before I either fell asleep or needed to get up to do something else!

As most of you who read this through Instagram will know I’ve had the most exciting week! I took part in the Style at Home Magazine Christmas tree challenge. This was an absolutely amazing experience that involved being treated like a star guest along with six other lucky and lovely ladies. We had so much fun, got to style and decorate a Christmas tree, mine with George Home from Asda decorations which are absolutely stunning, I cannot wait to get some in store, had make up done by a pro, got a training session in how to wrap the perfect present and make embellishments, got to have photos taken by a professional photographer with my tree, met all the amazing ladies from the magazine, got treated to a hotel stay (Citizen M Bankside, if you haven’t been, go it’s so good!) a gorgeous dinner with fizz at the Swan at Shakespeare’s Globe, think twinkly fairy lights, history and gourmet food, it was gorgeous! Then a day around London being a tourist, enjoying the sights and all topped off with first class train travel!

I realise I am a very lucky girl and I can’t wait for everyone to see the finished pictures. Style at Home is such a wonderful magazine and all about their readers. What a pleasure!

I also met some lovely like minded people who like myself read the magazine. These women both new friends and the team of amazing people I met have inspired me a bit this week. They were all elegant, brave, dynamic and doing things they love but also that scare them a bit. Some were mums, some undergoing huge renovating projects in their homes, some working as well as starting up a new business, some starting a new business from scratch. It really made me think that I should do more of what scares me.

This moves on to some other exciting and scary news, I have pitched an idea to the editor of the local Whitstable Times and Canterbury Times newspaper who also runs the local news website. He liked the idea and is going to give me a chance to write a monthly column! It will be very similar to my blog and mostly focusing on my life as a local mum with kids. I would love it if you could read it and I will of course share the link when it becomes available.

So….. The big question is, are you going to do anything this week that scares you? 

Xx 

Thoughts for the weekend

I hope everyone reading this has been having a fantastic weekend. Mine as per normal has been really busy but lots of fun.

With the children being on school holidays weekends tend to become a bit like any other day especially for us as both weekends and week days are often working days for us.

We get a couple of weekends off together as a family in a five week period. These as you can imagine get booked up quite a way in advance. I love that we have things to look forward to whether it be meeting up with friends, seeing family, children’s party’s, outings (you get the drift!) I also would imagine that there are many families who are exactly the same as us and the weekends are just as manic as week days! 

This being our first weekend at home and off of the summer having not seen many friends while we were away we had lots of plans. It started with a community fun day where I helped along with the face painting along with my mum. I’ve always been relatively skilled in the past however I felt that the children expected more this year and I had a couple of ‘well that’s not very good’ moments. What do you say?! I tried the ‘ha ha, I’m not a professional’ which was met with even more funny looks as the particular small girls who had an issue with their frozen tiaras walked off. 

There was a game of rounders which was fab although I managed to fall over while trying to get to fourth base before Nate, my eldest. He of course out ran me and then laughed as I did a comedy style commando role across the grass. Needless to say that despite being a runner I am still a bit achey this morning.

We then met up with some fantastic friends of ours on the beach at Whitstable for fish and chips. We came equipped with a bottle of prosecco, some beer for the boys and some children’s plastic cup (poor preparation I know!) when we got there it was literally blowing a gale. There were still people everywhere but you could see that it wasn’t the best time to be sat in the middle of the elements!

So my friend and I let the husbands take the children (my two and their twins) onto the beach and we sat in a wooden shelter huddled up and drinking prosecco from a scooby doo cup and a dinosaur cup. It was one of the best times I’ve had all week. I won’t go into the lovely but extremely noisy fish and chip dinner we had after or the faces of all the other people who had come in for a ‘quiet and peaceful’ dinner.

We ended up going back to our house which resembles something out of a crime scene and sat amongst the piles of toys and drank some more and laughed. What lovely friends that they will happily sit in your house surrounded by stuff and still smile with you!

Today I’ve done some tidying, done the children’s party for the day, been and bought a couple of outfits for the London trip (this week eeek!) and now catching up with family I’ve not seen in years. 

I have felt strange watching the news, full of hope and happiness with the Olympics and then sad and disheartened when I see the image of the small boy with a head injury in the back of an ambulance in Syria after an air strike. No one hugging him because there were so many others to help. How scared must that boy have been? How much hate can there be in our world! It made me think that we should all try and be a bit nicer to each other. What good does it do treating others badly? Whether you are sat in a shelter with a friend or making bugs and junk modelling with your children, running a marathon or out working to pay your bills I hope you have plenty of love this week. I really do think our world needs it xx

A little catch up

Hey all, how is everyone?

I’m back from my holiday now and feel a little bit like I never went away! Three weeks literally went by in the blink of an eye!

I have some really exciting things coming up, some I will keep as a surprise but others I am very excited to share with you.

As you all know I am a lover of all things interior and home and am lucky enough to have been selected for a national magazine and will be travelling to London for two days next week to take part in a piece that will be included at some point in the future (I’m not going to ruin the surprise just yet!) needless to say I am a massive mixture of extreme excitement, nerves and disbelief!

I have never travelled to stay anywhere overnight on my own before and thanks to my amazing parents for helping with childcare I am off on a very special adventure.

I will of course share my time with you all and can’t wait to visit some spots in London I’ve never been able to before!

Today however I am sat with the boys on my first day off of the week (who goes back to work the day after a transatlantic flight, me that’s who!) I still feel massively jet lagged and we are watching a programme called Marry Mum and Dad which involves children planning surprise wedding themes for their parents. Nate has suggested that if he had been able to plan ours the theme would have been bugs! Can you imagine! This episode is Georgian themed and the wedding feast involves cod brains and cheeks!

Have a great day lovely people xx

Following dreams….

Hello you lovely people, how are you?

Last full day of the holiday today, mixed feelings. We have had a wonderful time but I always love going home. 

I have been thinking a lot about my dreams, my ambitions, what I want for the future. This has been thrown into the forefront of my mind as a friend of mine has just made a huge decision to move with her husband to start a new life in a new country. This has been a dream of theirs for many years and they have both been working extremely hard to save all they can to make the transition. Due to some unforeseen circumstances their decision has been made earlier than anticipated and they will soon be off.

I am of course massively sad as it means that my friend won’t be around in the same way I have known her since we became friends four years ago however I am over the moon that she and her husband can follow their dream (we have been invited out for a holiday too so I get to visit!)

It made me think about how many of us if we could would change something in our lives entirely in order to follow our dreams. For some I suppose it’s easy, striving for the better, getting something amazing. But what about when our dream involves giving something up or selling and buying houses or moving across the world? Would it be so easy a decision? 

My dreams have always been relatively transient. I am a very creative person and they have always followed that side of things but I’ve never had a particular dream to emigrate or do a parachute jump or anything like that. 

My dreams for the last few years have involved being able to work in the creative world. To write, draw, photograph, to make beautiful things and make people happy. In turn that would allow me freedom around working hours and my boys and make me a much happier mum. A world in which rushing around was on my terms as opposed to work would be amazing but then of course back to earth with a bump. What about the mortgage? The lifestyle we are used to? Would I be able to sustain that for my family? Alas the answer is no. That is why of course it’s a dream!

To be able to blog as a career would be amazing, to have the followers on Instagram that mean that I could advertise my blog well enough and take that giant step to stop my boring, conventional job would be life changing however even some of the women who inspire me most in this area are still having to work In order to maintain their homes and bills. Me with my 650 followers on Instagram has a lot more to do to become anywhere near one of my blogging heroes.

I am quite sure though that a year ago if you asked my lovely friend whether she could live out her dream anytime soon she would have laughed and said no and look at her now. 

Just shows you never know what’s around the corner!

What are your dreams? 

Much love xx

Imagination….

Yesterday we went to Universal Studios with the children to check out the new Harry Potter part of the park.

Karl and I had been fortunate to have gone the day before child free as my parents very kindly had the boys for the day so we could have a day to ourselves (I think my mother was generally concerned at our alcohol consumption and thought we needed a break!)

I won’t spoil the surprise for anyone who hasn’t been but essentially you can spend time in Diagon Alley before taking the Hogwarts Express to the park next door ending up in Hogsmeade. There are rides, shops, street shows and a number of places you can buy butterbeer (yummiest drink in the world, I recommend the frozen kind.) 

When Karl and I walked into Diagon Alley I wish someone could have taken a picture of our faces. It’s overwhelming, the books come to life, the films come to life and I felt like a child again, excited and a bit too enthusiastic, so much so that Karl kept losing me as I buzzed around looking from shop to shop! Every fine detail had been given attention to so much so that you could spend hours just looking. 

I was amazed looking around, it was like some kind of magic spell had been cast over the hundreds of grown adults around us. There were people just like us everywhere staring in wonder, shrieking as things moved in the windows and the dragon breathed fire from overhead. These people like us probably have quite serious, responsible jobs on the outside world but there they were reliving parts of a series of books they have treasured and literally getting lost in the world of their imagination.

It occurred to me when do we lose this? When do we go from viewing the world with wonder and wide eyes to being cynical and seeing only the ordinary and not the potential in everything around us?

My question was answered when we were queuing to get onto the Hogwarts Express with the boys. Both Nate and Leo got themselves into a real tizzy at the prospect of a visit from the dementors on the train. So much so I ended up walking them to Hogsmeade and letting the rest of our group go on the train. No mean feat in 40 degree heat with two moaning children but I digress!

We encourage our children to use their imagination, to see the beautiful around them and never to think they can’t do things. Use your imagination and anything is possible, so why then as adults have we forgotten this? Of course we have the boring things to contend with, bills, work, cars, childcare, cleaning (yuck) but everyone of the adults yesterday allowed themselves to rise above that and just let their imagination run wild just like they did as kids.

Now I’m not saying we should all throw our responsibilities into the wind and become fairy princesses but how much lower would our blood pressures be if we for an hour or so each week allowed ourselves to see the magic all around us? 

Have a try and let me know what you think. You may just surprise yourself! Xx

Teenage girls have nothing on me! 

Hey all! Hope you are all well!

So I’m currently remembering what it was like to be a teenager, full of uncontrollable emotions, anger, sadness, love, happiness, feelings of inadequacy, confusion (you know them, you’ve been there!) Thank goodness those days are over…… WRONG!

Today is my youngests fifth birthday. My darling little Leo who makes me laugh daily and who also drives me to drink nightly. I had all sorts of mixed emotions when he was ripping open his parcels this morning with a beaming face and tired eyes from the early start due to pure excitement! I however was eating key lime pie at midnight to keep the sugar rush up for the energy to finish wrapping said parcels. 

I felt happy that this amazing little man is mine and a whole year of his life we are celebrating once more, sad that he is growing so fast and not a baby anymore, worried as Nate his older brother seemed sad as he wants it to be his birthday too and old (not really an emotion but I’m sure you get it!)

I then had an hour of hurt as someone I care about hurt me, it was a stupid thing and I should let it wash over me but as many humans do I’m sometimes not very good at doing what’s good for me! I felt tired, sad and angry. This was closely followed by inadequacy and disappointment (all about me, okay maybe a little about them!) 

I then moved onto the whole I am a strong person who won’t let the shit get me down side of thinking and became empowered, forthright and a bit happier. This was helped massively by my amazing friends and their words of kindness and love (you know who you are!)

I ended up here, sat on the bed needing to have a shower so we can begin Leo’s birthday day out. Thinking thank goodness those confusing times of being a teenager full of mixedupness is gone and then realising that actually I’m just as bad only now I worry about more serious things than will the girls in the class like my new trainers, when will my mum let me shave my legs (I’m a grown up don’t you know) and will the woman at Tesco think I’m old enough to buy ten Marlboro lights (they always did, I was lucky to be one of those tall, lanky teenagers!)

Have an amazing day you lovely people and never forget….. Stars can’t shine without darkness.