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.

Mudpie Fridays
Mummuddlingthrough

Confessions of a dyslexic Muma.

dyslexia

Trying to teach your 5 year old to read, write and spell when you are still mastering the art is quite a tall order.

I am 32, a Muma, and I am dyslexic. Very Dyslexic.

I had subconsciously buried this teeny tiny fact once I had finished the gravy train of education. I sat my last exam at University, which I took in the same separate room just like I had taken all of my exams, with my allocated extra time, far away from the rest of my peers. This was the last time I really gave my dyslexia any thought.

I applied for jobs never mentioning it. I worked in sales and soon learnt to use the gift of the gab to cover up my rather chronic lack of organisation and close to zero order approach to the current role. I blagged and I sold. My admin was atrocious, my spelling so bad that the spellchecker often gave me the ‘no suggestions’ message as my attempts bore no resemblance to anything. Impressive! But I just about got away with it. No one knew. My secret was safe.

It’s been just over 5 years since I was last employed, and I honestly haven’t given my dyslexia a second thought.

Until now.

Our eldest daughter started school in September last year, and of course within the first few days proudly brought home her first reading book and flash card words to learn. I’m not going to lie, I found it a bit like pulling off a plaster really really slowly sitting there willing her to recall the word PAM and NAPS from one page to the next. But you’ve got to start somewhere, right.

The trouble is it wasn’t long before words like Digraph and Trigraph were appearing on homework phonic sheets. What the…? Dia-who?! Things have clearly moved on from Robber red and Kicking king back in the eighties. I’m not blaming my dyslexia for my ignorance of having absolutely no clue what these words mean, I can use google. But no matter how often I try and absorb the method by which Darcie is being taught, I just can’t seem to grasp it. It is like I am learning to read all over again. I struggle to make sense of her homework instructions, I have to read it slowly several times before I will have any real understanding of what is being asked. Even then I am constantly referring back to the instructions line by line. It’s frustrating and makes me feel like MumaDunce.

I’ve also discovered another little blip: I had forgotten that I can’t spell words out loud. I have to write them down. Even the most basic I find I have to write down or it comes out totally skewed. Of course I had a gentle reminder of this blackhole in my brain now that Darcie is into her writing. She will often shout out “Mum, how do you spell…?” Action stations. DROP EVERYTHING. Focus the mind. Locate scrap paper, scribble the word down. Read it back.

It’s a long winded process, it’s like having daily spelling tests! My fear is the word requests are just going to get more complex, the assistance with essays and other English assignments will be more frequent and I’ll let her down. My fear is that Darcie, and Lila soon, will think that their Muma is an illiterate buffoon! It’s not even like I can make up for it in the Maths department…

I have hope that writing this blog is good exercise for my dyslexic mind. I’m sure I don’t always make sense, my sentence construction isn’t always logical, my grammar is probably way off – I’m massively relying on the spell check paperclip doing his bit…But I’m tackling my nemesis head on, well, why not. I might write a book next, you never know!

Run Jump Scrap!