Why We Should All Get ‘Sky High’

Before you get excited and think that I’m about to promote the merits rolling up a fat one, I am in fact talking about ‘Sky High’. The fantastic brand-spanking-new trampoline park in Peacehaven, East Sussex.

This Kardashian inspired craze is hitting the big time with trampolines paving a new way to keep fit AND ware our kids out. In my book that makes this place an absolute win win.

With 2 girls aged 3 & 6 we have done our time at soft play, believe me. There isn’t a soft play in the county that we haven’t given marks out of 10 to. Squeezing my not-bikini-ready-bod through the car wash style foam rollers, climbing up rope nets which murder feet, and avoid contracting the plague are usually all part of rainy day ‘fun’.

Not any more.

Thanks to Sky High there is now a new type of indoor Kid-Mecca specifically designed to leave your kiddliwinks with less energy than they arrived with. We aren’t just talking a few trampolines dotted about here either. Oh No. The trampolines are all on floor level so that you can bounce between them, creating one huge bounce zone. Some are extra long, some are on a slope. They line the walls (bouncing off of those is not as easy or as elegant as I had imagined in my head). There’s a basket ball hoop area, an air pillow to run and jump onto, netted trampolines and my favourite: The Wall. A stratospheric trampoline which has walls around it that you can hurl yourself off of. That’s probably not for the faint hearted… again it was another chink in my elegance armour.

What’s more Sky High is so pristine clean, you won’t feel compelled to decontaminate your brood before they step over your threshold at home.


So what’s right about it…

  1. Well for starters all bouncers have to wear standard issue non-slip socks (high fives for hygiene). You buy these on your first visit. Beware: you will spend the next few months trying to evade your washing machine’s mysterious sock thief.
  2. You will find handy lockers right by the entrance, just like a regular swim locker – feed it £1 and wear the fetching bracelet key. You don’t have to do this but I found it easier so I can concentrate on not weeing myself bouncing.
  3. It is seriously clean. Partly because it is so new, it still looks fresh. Great news for the germ-a-phobes.
  4. Brilliant staff & plenty of them. Everywhere! In fact, the staff are so attentive that half an hour into the toddlers session I was flagging (it was 9.30am!!). This wasn’t a problem, because along came a keen, young member of staff who entertained (basically bounced) my kids about for 10 minutes whilst I regulated my heart rate. ​
  5. The sessions. So. Many. Sessions. From toddler sessions (under 5’s), After school jump club, Home Ed bounce, an Autism friendly bounce happens fortnightly, bounce fit, and something for us: Adults only bounce. There really is something for everyone. At last holistic approach to our society is so refreshing!
  6. The Cafe. A delicious cuppa awaits you… and a bit of cake, maybe a croissant? Or how about a bit of lunch? Averting the kids’ eyes from the mile-long Slush Puppy (are they still called that?!) will be your biggest challenge. The cafe is on a mezzanine level and overlooks the jump park- great for keeping an eye on daring tweens.
  7. Parties. Of course they do parties! I have a sneaking suspicion this is exactly where we shall be holding my kids birthdays for the next few years, and actually that’s fine by me!
  8. Wifi. I wouldn’t be a blogger if I didn’t mention the joy of free wifi now would I. Not that my multitasking skill are good enough to Instagram AND bounce.


What’s wrong with it…

Honestly, other than the fact that I seem to spend the entire 1 hour session attempting to ensure my cheeks (And yes I do mean ALL of them) bounce in sync with the rest of my body, not much.

However, Now my eldest has just turned 6 we won’t be able to attend the toddler bounce sessions which are under 5’s only. But my toddler, who is 3 won’t be allowed to attend the open bounce sessions either. Sadly there goes our bounce fun for now. This is the only fault I could find in this truly brilliant addition to KidLife. Please sort out an u10’s session soon Sky High…


(At least I can choose something other than the ‘black jeans safety net’ to wear on Saturday mornings now though… Every cloud.)

Please Note that this is not an advertisement and no money or ticket gifting was received in exchange for this review.

Tammymum

The Sweet Spot of Parenting

Did you know I have a 6 year old? I wouldn’t blame you if you hadn’t realised: my writing is so heavily dominated by the antics of my ToddlerMonster, that my ‘big’ girl hardly gets a mention.

Well this one is for you my dear Darcie, in the week you have turned 6.

I am a parent of 2 halves; half of me is riding out the Toddler years in all of their warped glory. The other half is enjoying what can only be described as ‘the sweet spot’ of parenting.

You see, age 6 really is the holy grail of parenting.  I have been thinking for a while now that my mini-me and childhood doppelganger is at a golden age, and I don’t want it to end.

I couldn’t count the amount of times I have been told variations along the theme of ‘It’ll be over in the blink of an eye’, and I have muttered (not quietly) That it’s not effing quick enough, as the smell of the latest missed-potty-poo explosion still lingers on my fingers.

Perhaps those ‘well wishers’ were meaning that THIS bit will be over in the blink of an eye: The Sweet Spot, age 6. Ahh, that makes more sense…

An age when an innocence prevails, and that naked trampoline time won’t get you arrested.

An age when a Saturday night means X factor and popcorn with dead pan discussions over who Simon should have sent home, instead of performing Ninja-rolls out of a darkened bedroom.

An age of sitting and concentrating on colouring, beads, painting, sticking and all things crafty without looking quite like a glitter yetti by the end of it.  However, maintaining a strong intolerance for clearing up doesn’t change. 

An age when I’m still a mummy shaped hero who can solve the worlds problems through my daughter’s eyes.

An age when Mummy still, just about, knows best (even when I absolutely have no idea what on earth I am talking about). Hanging on my every word, this gullible innocence is priceless.

An age where school means just school, and homework is weekly but minimal. We don’t argue over homework- it’s not yet important enough to warrant such effort (Sorry Mr T!). In fact we very often don’t even remember to do it. There are no consequences for a 6 year old. 

An age where their enthusiasm is infectious. The squeals of delight as the days are counted down to a holiday, birthday, or the Xmas bomb make the copious planning and pounds worthwhile.  Nothing is more important to a 6 year old than fun, the age of truly letting the good times roll.

When the going gets tough with the ToddlerMonster I have to remind myself that I won’t always know the dry cleaners weekend plans as I see him on an almost weekly basis to wash yet another wee-soaked pure wool sofa cushion.

It won’t always be like this, the magic 6 is waiting just around the corner.  I tell myself this on a loop. Well, a 3 year corner, gulp: better pass the Woo Woos.

Our prize for weathering the sleepless nights, the unauthorised co-sleeping, and the many many demonstrations of ‘spirit’ – (usually made at the Lidl check out where we all know there isn’t enough time to so much as right a wedgie in that bagging area let alone pacify the ‘Arched Back ‘n’ Kick’ sequence.) The Prize, is age 6.

Darcie, I wish I could capture your imagination, that infectious dark laugh and bottle your needy cuddles. I know age 6 is once again, ‘just a phase’, and I will miss it when it passes. For now though, let’s just build dens and be silly: growing up can wait a while longer.

 

ofollow” title=”Tammymum”>Tammymum

 

Enough with the Gifts: Easter should be strictly Eggs Only!

I had a thought today, and I can’t decide if I’m being unreasonable or not. 

It boils down to this, and forgive me for being so simple minded, and actually totally swerving the real meaning of Easter here… But, am I being unreasonable to think that giving – and receiving – anything other than chocolate eggs / chickens / lambs / goats (Lidl’s selection is that impressive…) is just plain WEIRD?! 

It’s bad enough at Christmas, (this is going to come out wrong, and I’ll sound like a serial humbug…) it’s bad enough that we all adhere to our kids list, and outsource gift ideas to our extended family in the hope that all of our darling children’s materialistic needs are kindly met. 

But to go for round 2 only 4 months later is nuts: I’m still getting over the Sylvanian Guest House bill for Christ’s sake! 

I’m talking, of course, about people who will be giving gifts instead of a good old fashioned calorific Easter Eggs this weekend. 

“We wouldn’t want them over doing it” 

Huh?!

Why not?! 

Perhaps I’m being very ’80’s here, and all nostalgic as I remember sinking 5 smartie eggs in a row before breakfast. Easter was not for the faint hearted back then!

I just don’t understand all of this money exchange that seems to happen, and actual gifts being given. 

“I’m sure they’ll get loads of chocolate so here’s a gift”

No! No! No

The whole point is that as a kid you are swimming in chocolate. Willing your sibling to eat more than you, just so you can smugly still be nibbling on a Flake Egg in May. I was never that child: I was more of an all at once girl. I was lucky if my stash saw the bank holiday Monday

Step away from those Easter themed crackers too. Shudder. Don’t muddy those Christmas waters. 

Let Easter be Easter, In all of its chocolatey sickly deliciousness. 

Surely we should trade only in Eggs? Brightly coloured foil eggs. Eggs with the chocolate bars next to them. Mini eggs. Mini Dime bar eggs- mmmmmmmm!

Is it just me?!



20 Times my Toddler Out-Diva’d Mariah

Behind my toddlers big blue eyes and cotton wool hair lives a Diva, and I don’t use this word lightly. Occasionally Lila fools me into believing she has left the Divahood behind her and is starting a newly reformed existence.

Until I cut her toast into Triangles.

“You moronic human! I only eat triangle toast on Tuesdays. I want  my wellies on! Do I look like a pleb who eats Triangle shaped toast?! Don’t look at me! Where has my TRIANGLE toast gone too?!”

What comes out of her mouth is a protest of such high decibels that our ‘rotund’ Cavapoo  has long assumed that ToddlerMonster is his leader.


Let’s face it, Lila just can’t find the staff these days. I pander to her whims based on a battle to battle evaluation; The bottom line being how prepared I am to deal with a mini-person literally melting onto the carpet, creating a no-go radius of several feet as she kicks out in her latest protest.

I’m now fairly certain that there is a market for Toddler-Tantrums. Think about it – those political rallies, and staged sit-ins are a perfect opportunity to cash in. Throw a Toddler into the mix with the wrong shaped toast and you my friend will have the protest from hell on your hands, and decisions overthrown left right and centre.

Now we all know that Mariah has got herself a little bit of a Diva rep. From dressing room climates, red carpet requests, culinary requirements so specific they make counting calories appear positively dark aged, Mariah is without doubt the world’s No.1 Diva.

Until my Toddler came along.

Here are 20 reasons why ToddlerMonster has out Diva’d Mariah- all with splendid Hollywood style tantrums.

1) The toast thing. You got that though – loud n clear.

2) When you get photo-bombed


3) The blanket I covered her up with whilst she watched a pint sized YouTube star open their Christmas presents – for the 58th time, wasn’t quite covering her left foot.

4) The bath wasn’t filling up fast enough.

5) I offered her a custard cream with the corner missing.


6) She tried to call for extra staff from the house phone and the police turned up.

7) She wanted pink juice in the Lego cup. NOT the spider-man cup. *Tips it out and gives her  juice in updated preference of Lego cup* “I said I want the Spider-man cup”.

8) She washed her hands. And they got wet.

9) Madam wanted to use my Santaku knife during our play-doh Bake-off session.

10) I said ‘Good Morning’ before she was ready.


11) She can no longer fit into the oven part of the toy kitchen.


 12) Baby Annabel wouldn’t sing to her. No amount of explaining Baby Anabelle’s limitations made this OK.
13) Ketchup is Red not Blue. This is not acceptable – I know this from my walls.

 14) It was her sister’s birthday and not her own.


 15) Climbing the stairs is not on her agenda: ever.

 16) Finishing the packet of Percy Pigs – OK, she had a point with this one.

17) The pain au chocolat was delivered to her too hot. “I said warm Mum, WARM. Not hot and not cold” Yes, she who cannot usually string a sentence managed to make that perfectly clear.

18) The sun was in her eyes. She didn’t open them for the duration of that car journey. Her mouth however…

19) I gave her dinner.

20) Murray refused to learn her dance routine: Murray is the dog.

 

Over to you – can your Toddler out-diva mine? Hit me up with your tantrum tales…

 

 

 

What does Emma Watson & The Migrant Crisis in Libya have in common?

 

Choice. Freedom. Rights: Feminism.

I wasn’t entirely sure how to tackle my comeback to writing after a month long self-inflicted ban. That was of course until I saw Ross Kemp’s latest, deeply shocking documentary. I suddenly felt the compulsion to begin scribbling once again, in aid of International Women’s Day…

 ‘Libya’s Migrant Hell’ aired on Sky 1 a few weeks ago. Except this wasn’t Libya’s hell, this hell belonged entirely to the Migrants. Tears poured out of my angry red face as I struggled to process what Kemp was saying, and the horror he was witnessing.

I wanted to highlight not only the frightening injustice being dished out by the world’s governments to these Women and Children. But the truly shameful way the media have cast this grotesque crisis aside, in favour of highlighting feminism and women’s rights from the point of view of Emma Watson’s chest.

The ‘coverage’ Emma has clocked up is appalling. We shouldn’t be debating if a women who actively promotes feminism should be persecuted for showing half a boob: Who cares! It’s her body and she is choosing to show or not show as much as she wants. Emma Watson has the ability to exercise that right. Unlike the hundreds of female Migrants who find themselves caught up in this lawless Libyan nightmare.

What we should be debating and creating as much noise as possible about, especially in the run up to International Women’s Day, are the powerless women being forced into prostitution as part of a sick ‘pay as you go’ migrant scheme.

The Women with no choice. The Women who have been stripped of their right to choose as they succumb to a web spun out of the repugnant smuggling and trafficking gangs. Those Women who have been encouraged by their own families to run straight into the hands of the most evil of human beings.

These are the women we should be bringing into the media spotlight.


Or how about we make some noise about the hell-on-earth detention centres? An environment so hostile people are dying on a daily basis. These prisons, (let’s not mess about here, they do not deserve the name ‘detention centre’,) are being endured by the women and children who have either been ‘rescued’ from the sea or detained prior to getting on one of those inflatable death traps. Which by the way, the smugglers know will never make it to the advertised destination. The inflatable rafts aren’t hardy enough, instead the smugglers are relying on the Italian coastguard perimeter to deliver the dead-behind-the-eyes migrants to European soil. A sickening twist.


Libya is making the Calais Jungle look like a Center Parcs stay.  

This is Mum-guilt like I have never experienced before. Seeing pregnant women, babies and children, just like my own, being kept in a concrete box with no end date in sight is a revolting disgrace. Witnessing a mother breastfeeding her baby in a raft which had crammed in so many people that bodies lay on top of bodies. Those visible were whipped with a lasso so long it resembled scenes from the times of slavery.

Of course, by the time these women and children have reached the rafts they have already survived several hundreds of miles travelling in the back of a van across a desert, which is widely accepted to be more dangerous that crossing the ocean. Isis training camps are frequent, rebels patrol the area with check points, not to mention the blistering heat with temperatures of up to 45 degrees, contrasted to the frozen nights. Limited water, and just enough food to stop them starving to death. Oh and guess what – this cost them upwards of £4,000.


I am embarrassed and truly saddened that as I type this there is Toddler a few thousand miles away, just like mine. But they aren’t playing in a sand pit with their friends or about to eat so much lunch that they will feel full and happy. No, they are sitting lifeless waiting to live or waiting to die in these limbo cattle prisons reminiscent of a concentration camp. There is no joy, no warmth, no security for these toddlers. Their only crime was their Mother’s desire for a better, safer life.

Where are the UN aid tents? Libya is not a war zone – so what is taking so long? Their own African governments don’t appear to want these women and children back. There seems to be no attempts of repatriation;  The Leaders are simply turning a blind eye. It makes you wonder what these women were running from? What could possibly be a fate worse than indefinite imprisonment, abandonment by your home country, stripped of your nationality?

Individual identity is no longer relevant, for the term ‘Migrant’ fits all.

There is a stigma attached to the term ‘Migrant’- a nuisance, that just won’t go away. Governments fight over how many they will allow to stay as official refugees and locals rebel in droves about those coming to ‘take over’ their towns. My perception has changed, this documentary has changed my warped views. There is no way I could go through what these people are currently going through. If they make it all the way to Europe they should be welcomed with open arms. This is running the gauntlet like nothing I have ever seen before.

Thank God for the brave reporting by Ross Kemp and his team. Awearness is finally creeping into the lives of us ordinary folk, for we should never underestimate the power of ‘Ordinary’. I tweeted Kemp and asked him how we can help. In my mind I imagined an SAS escort as I boarded a plane for Tripoli to single handedly take on the most feared smuggler gangs in the world… Not surprisingly, his response was slightly more conservative:


International charities are putting increasing pressure onto governments. Funds are at last being pledged to help this crippling humanitarian crisis. The more noise that is made about this dire situation the better.

As Ross Kemp’s poignant words are still swimming around in my head, I’ll leave them here for you to ponder…

“I don’t care who you are or where you come from… As human beings we have a duty to try and stop this suffering”

Never a truer word.

International Women’s Day should be a day to celebrate being a Woman, and to take a moment to recognise those that desperately need our help.

The Sisterhood doesn’t care for creed or colour; if you can write that letter to your MP, if you can pledge that pound or 2 to Medicins Sans Frontieres, you can help give these women their right to choose once again.

Best of the Rest feat. Mummy Rules

This weeks #BestoftheRest features a very special lady. Tilly and I met at a bloggers shindig last summer. I was a total loner and had no one to talk to until Tilly saved me and introduced me to her gorgeous Bloggy friends. My Lunch-for-1 fears vanished! Besides saving lost souls, it turns out that Tilly writes a fantastic blog: Mummy Rules . Go and check it out, there are a whole lot of funnies in there.

I’m so touched that Tilly has let me feature the first post she ever wrote. It’s full of feels, it’s funny and so bloody true- every line! I still refer to my children as Aliens. I don’t think that feeling is exclusive to new Mumas…

mummy-rules

Landing on another planet

Imagine walking through a door and immediately finding yourself on another planet. With an alien species, different customs, a whole new language. This is exactly how I felt about becoming a mother.

1. Naive newbie

The experience didn’t occur after I gave birth; or a few weeks after: whilst feeding bleary eyed in front of Homes Under the Hammer; or even at my first mum and baby group (an alien experience for any first timer). It began whilst waiting for my first antenatal appointment at our local children’s centre.

As I sat there in my tidy office clothes and heeled shoes, with my coat pulled neatly around me, I was suddenly overcome with a huge surge of emotion. This is happening. You are going to have a child. Sat on a waiting room chair, I studied the photos on the walls: documenting toddlers painting and babies lying on their tummies, next to laughing mums. I couldn’t identify with them yet. A kind worker at the centre passed by and introduced herself; she sat next to me and asked how I was and I was shocked by the wobble in my voice: “err a bit emotional actually, probably the hormones, hahaha!” The fact is, the reality had hit me that I was entering this new world without any experience or anyone else doing it with me. I was starting a new job in a strange culture: parenting.

2. Smug & silly 

Rather than explore these feelings, I decided to ignore them and focus on the things that made me feel excited.  I followed the babycentre updates and suggestions: “get a stylish new haircut”, “embrace the nesting instinct” “plan a baby moon”…I could relate to all of these! Soon I was ticking through these wonderful boxes on my journey through pregnancy: trips to the hairdresser, online shopping for sweet nursery bits and booking a romantic weekend in Cornwall. I even dressed as chic as maternity clothes allowed me to. “Pregnancy suits you!” people said; and as I rubbed my belly and imagined pushing my newborn around in yummy mummy atire, I felt happy and excited. I couldn’t wait for the birth when after a few intense period pains my baby would be presented to me in Cath Kidson pyjamas, perhaps on a fluffy white cloud…and I would be surrounded by adoring woodland baby animals and blue birds fluttering above, like in Disney’s Snow White. Then days would follow of cuddles, sling wearing and picnics in the sun…

3. When in doubt, refer to ’90s Japanese toys…

I have always had quite a vivid imagination and on this occasion I don’t think it served me very well.

When the baby appeared after what seemed like half my life gone, my partner declared that we had a boy: this was very confusing, because she was in fact female. He must have been as delirious as I. Then I realised she didn’t even look like us, she just looked like an alien. Not surprising if you have been stuck down a narrow tunnel for hours and pulled out through a key hole: yet straight away we were being hit by the unexpected…

“…the babycentre update for Day 1 doesn’t say this! It just says something about black poo”.

Of course time went on and after a few hours of being out of the womb, the familiar features of this sweet little soul did become apparent.

After my partner had left the hospital, I fell asleep for hours…and so did the baby, miraculously. When I awoke I panicked – I shouldn’t have slept that long! Straight away this situation reminded me of when my brother had bought a Tamogotchi as a child and I had looked after it overnight: by the morning it was covered in poo and skull symbols from my neglect. As I peered into the crib, I was relieved to see baby was still alive and not covered in poo. Then it struck me: just like a Tamagotchi, it would need a feed. The feeding button was located on me. Cautiously I picked my baby out of the cot, lifted up my top and kind of put her head near my boobs. I didn’t really want to do this, it felt weird. I was holding an unfamiliar and unpredictable creature to my bare breasts waiting for it to start drinking from them. A clamping feeling followed and after I had stopped cringing at the weird sensation, I watched with wide eyed amazement as the baby fed from me.

4. Beware the Breastfeeding Mafia

Over the next few days and weeks, I experienced more oddities on this planet. The baby didn’t sleep after that first night, in fact I don’t know how she found the energy to cry so loudly because she slept so little.

I was envious of people who went to bed or did any normal everyday activity: making a cup of tea, showering, chatting on the phone, going to work, watching TV. My vivid imagination had been sacked: I couldn’t imagine doing these daily things ever again.

Breastfeeding was excruciating. Health visitors seem younger than the legal age and sat on the floor looking up at me, instead of on the sofa or a chair like human beings do. They suggested breastfeeding groups with unappealing names such as “Latch on” and “Bosom Buddies”, but always seemed to turn up at my house on the days these groups ran. One day I clicked on websites to research formula. Big Brother was watching me, monitoring the newest inhabitant of the parenting planet. A pop up box appeared on my screen saying that “breast is best” and implying that if I proceed any further with my research then I would be committing a crime. I snapped the lap top shut, nervously glancing out the window at whoever was looking in on me.

NO ONE TOLD ME IT WOULD BE LIKE THIS.

Antenatal classes talked about the sweet shop of options of painkillers we could choose in labour. They taught us how to attach a dolly to a knitted woollen boob. They said to make the most of visitors. But… I wasn’t given my chosen pain relief; the baby wasn’t a dolly and my boob wasn’t knitted, it was packed with flesh and nerves endings and attached to me. Every time visitors turned up, baby would be asleep and I wanted to be too. Mum and baby groups were attended: I chose a baby massage class. It wasn’t relaxing for either of us, although I did make a lovely mummy friend that day.

 5. And this time it will be different

Not because any of the above will not happen, but because I will not have the crazy expectations that I did, having absorbed every bit of media and information given to me and taken it as the gospel; all I need to know. I am now a native of this planet. I know the secret to survival. To quote Sylvia Plath: “if you expect nothing from anybody, you’re never disappointed”. This includes yourself and your baby and everything that happens from that first antenatal visit.

6. Becoming a real parent

I have a pair of Cath Kidson style pyjamas ready for new baby*, but I have recently swapped them in the hospital bag for the little white outfit worn by my first; complete with milk stain around the neckline. It is more realistic and means so much more to me.

*I am 36 weeks pregnant with baby number 2 at the time of writing.

Further Notes:

  • I still love the babycentre website; it is genuinely useful. The pregnancy app just makes me laugh a lot more than it used to. 
  • Breast or bottle, who cares, whichever one works for you and your baby’s happiness. 
  • Whatever planet you are on, your body is yours.
  • It’s your baby. Scary thought I know!

 

Thank you so much for sharing this beautifully honest piece with #BestoftheRest this week gorgeous Tilly xx

 

Muma Win No.2: The Rise of the #MumBoss

If you had told me when I was knee deep in the latest baby poo explosion and still with that mornings milk reflux result on my shoulder, that in 4 years time I would have had my waffle featured regularly by the likes of Mumsnet, Selfish Mother and The Huffington Post, I would have probably poured you a stiff drink and suggested a doctors visit first thing. 

Back then I didn’t dare to dream beyond the end of the day when I hoped I would be able to watch Ian Beale having a pint in the Queen Vic, in peace. Back then that was my #MumaWin. There was nothing wrong with that, it was all about survival for me as a new mother- the Baby’s as much as my own. I had no real idea of what I was doing and the sleep deprivation along with the chronic reflux was turning into a lethal combination.

I had decided not to return to my job in recruitment, I loved sales – believe me I did. But it wasn’t a career I had spent thousands of pounds training for, and I wasn’t so passionate about it that I couldn’t bare to not ever see my telephone statistics again! So, what with childcare being so crushingly expensive together with my lack of desire to actually return to work – I chose not to. Playgroups it was.

What I hadn’t anticipated was that ‘just being mum’ was arming me with a skill set and a resilience which would give even the hardiest Marine a run for their money. 

After the birth of our second daughter my Mummy friends all began returning to work. Of course it seemed like EVERYONE was once again finding their feet. I didn’t have a career to return too and that sinking feeling I experienced all too much during my teens returned. What do I want to do with my life? This can’t just be it! I’ve been to university for goodness sake!

So I started a blog. For the first 7 months I only wrote a handful of posts. My only readers were pretty much my Mum and her best friend! I have the technological ability of a gnat, and live by the switch it on and off remedy. I was determined that this teeny tiny set back, along with my dyslexia was not going to stand in my way! I was only slightly disheartened when my first post didn’t go viral a la Unmumsy.

Blogging propelled me into a world filled with talented, clever and forthright women all etching out a little bit of the digital world for themselves. These Muma’s were not about to let that label alone define them. Being a Mother equips us with valuable and unique capabilities which are an asset to the workplace. However the ‘Workplace’ doesn’t lend itself well to the life of a mother. It is simply not feasible for the majority of Mums to work in the traditional way. The #flexappeal movement fiercely introduced by the incredibly inspiring Anna of @Mother_Pukka fame is a real eye opener. Promoting the need for employers to adopt a more flexible way of working for parents. Why has it taken so long for this to be a thing?! The #MumBoss is born, do we dare to dream?

Could it be possible that we are approaching an era where it really is possible for us Mums to have it all? 

I’m going to confess, I am no longer satisfied with solely being known as Muma. Don’t get me wrong, the school run in the rain and the daily ‘I’m not eating that’ dinner time arguments are a huge pull… But I am daring to dream big, and daring to have just a little more out of life. Since I have started my blog, I have finally discovered what I want to be when I’m older. It’s embarrassingly late in the day to be realising this, I know. If only I had had this epiphany at age 18, my life might have turned out completely differently. (Visions of The Devil Wears Prada boss fly around my head!!) If I think about it though, I think my dreams are a result of becoming  a parent. I had to do that first. That’s just the way the world wanted me to do things. Let’s face it, we change so much after having our kids that this late realisation shouldn’t really be a huge surprise.

I’m going to approach my pie-in-the-sky aspirations with my ‘Mum’ label front and centre. For this label is my biggest asset, and not my biggest hindrance.

To be a columnist; That is my dream. There. I said it. (Now stop laughing at this small-fry dyslexic blogger!). When I utter this dream out loud it does sound ludicrous. Honestly, I am well aware. But then I remember that somehow Donald Trump is president of the United States and ludicrous was a phenomena that we are all getting slowly used to. But I’m a firm believer in determination and hard work. If you can learn to believe in yourself, you will be a force to be reckoned with.

My #MumaWin this week was having one of my posts published on The Huffington Post. This has been a dream of mine since I started blogging a year and a half ago. I have had the login for a while but I’ve been too scared to send anything over to this big deal of a publication until last week. There is was: MY name actually next to the infamous logo, and MY scribble actually on their website! I know this is a regular occurrence to so many bloggers. There are even some bloggers out there who refuse to submit their content to HP because of the lack of ‘what’s in it for them’ in way of payment or back links. But to me this was such a huge achievement having always struggled with English. I even teared up.

It’s a little boost in the right direction. It’s a baby step closer. It’s encouragement and recognition that something I have written was worth their worldwide audience for all of 2 hours! I’m going to dare to dream, because…shouldn’t we all?

I’m no longer ‘just a mum’, I’m a bloody writer!

An absolute #MumaWin to treasure.

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