Flexible Working

Or in the words of Mother Pukka “let’s talk about flex”

Ironically because of work and parenting I’ve not written anything new in the past week or so. But here’s a link to a guest post I did for Maternity Paternity Teacher organization earlier this year.

I’d love to hear your stories if you’ve struggled with juggling work and parenting, whether in a school or not. I welcome views and ideas of how to manage this as an employer too. Oh and Dad’s let’s here from you, not just about mums at work

http://www.mtpt.org.uk/family-friendly-schools/flexible-working-for-teachers/

Also, if anyone happens to be free on 31st Oct at 12pm I will be marching in Trafalgar Square for March of the Mummies in conjunction with Pregnant then Screwed. If you want to join me give me a shout!

The one where I do birth stories

 

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In my last post I talked about the things that no one tells you about when having children.  I didn’t talk about pregnancy or birth but one thing I didn’t really think about was the possibility and reality of morning sickness and how sometimes births don’t go to plan.  Here’s my story, for no other reason than to write about it and hope that it might just help one person who had a horrible time or is currently struggling with things.

I’m writing about this now, even though my children are 10 and 6, because I’ve seen that Kate Middleton is again suffering with Hyperemisis Gravidarum for the third time.  I’ve also just started following @hgreality on Instagram who is pregnant with her second child and has severe HG and it’s made me reflect on my time being pregnant and the awful nausea and sickness I experienced.

I realise this is a niche subject so feel free to skip this one, especially if you don’t do sick talk…..

When I fell pregnant back in 2006 I was aware that I might feel sick and yes as soon as I’d peed on that test and it came back positive the sickness started.  What I always thought, and what is a common misconception, is that around the 12 week mark it would magically disappear.  Well it didn’t.  Plus it’s not just a bit of throwing up in the morning, it’s all consuming nausea and not quite knowing when the urge to vomit will occur.  The best way to describe how it felt was like a constant hangover, overwhelming tiredness, fuzzy head, churning stomach and queasiness.  At first it was manageable, because after all in a few weeks I’d be feeling great again wouldn’t I?  As week 12 came and went and I reached week 16, I still felt terrible and then the restless leg syndrome kicked in.  Who knew this was a thing?  I’d never heard of it before.  Sitting on the sofa was an issue, lying in bed was an issue, sitting at work was an issue.  It’s almost indescribable but to me felt like a mix of aching muscles and lots of little electric shocks in my nerve endings. The only way to relieve this was to move about and I spent many a night (at 3am watching the Big Brother live feed) sat on a birthing ball bouncing around to try and relieve it.  Then eventually of course, came the birth.

How I imagined birth would be – waters would break, I’d get contractions for a few hours, be in loads of pain then push a baby out and go home.

Reality – my waters never broke.  I woke up in the early hours of a Saturday morning having contractions.  I’d read about having a warm bath to help with the pain so this is what I did.  I then diligently sat and timed my contractions for hours.  Saturday night, still no sign of waters breaking and pain was getting worse.  Phoned the maternity ward to be told to stay at home until the contractions got closer together.  Sunday came and went and by Sunday evening I decided enough was enough and got my husband to drive me to hospital.  They sent me home with nowt but a couple of painkillers.  I borrowed a TENS machine off a friend, for anyone who doesn’t know this consists of a couple of sticky pads that stick to your back and give you electric shocks.  Amazingly this helped for a while but by the time I was sat on Monday evening watching the return of Robbie Coltrane in Cracker (why I remember this particular thing I don’t know) I’d had enough and declared that I was going back to the hospital and was not leaving until this baby came out.   They let me stay and gave me gas and air which made me sick (great just when I was feeling better), then I got an epidural and the difference it made was life changing.  It meant I could sleep a bit, but spare a thought for my poor husband who had to try to sleep in a chair in the corner.  By Tuesday lunchtime this bugger wasn’t coming out and the consultant declared a c-section was needed, I still remember him saying to me “don’t worry you haven’t failed by having to have a c-section”.  Ha!  I could have kissed him, by that point the thought of pushing this baby out was just too horrific to bear!  The thing I remember most is the music they had playing in the operating theatre and how lovely and kind the anesthetist was.  After much pulling and tugging they declared “it’s a boy” and what was, quite frankly, a toddler was held over the screen for me to see, all 10lbs and 7oz’s of him.  Thank god that was over.

The experiences about pretty much put me off having anymore, which is why there is nearly a 5 year age gap between my two.  However, I quite fancied a year off work so thought sod it, it can’t be any worse than last time.

Cue maniacal laughter and the wonder of hindsight.  Did the pregnancy test, pretty soon after the sickness started again.  Except this time is was constant and was coupled with migraines so bad I couldn’t see properly one day and had to rush from work to A&E where they promptly did loads of tests and I burst into tears when my mother in law turned up to see if I was OK.  The sickness this time lasted until the day I was sat in the labour ward waiting to go to theatre for my c-section.  This time it led me to being signed off work for nearly 2 months, not just for the sickness but also for the effect it was having on my mood and mental health.  I can’t tell you just how much it got me down, I would be desperate to go to sleep at night as it was the only time I escaped from feeling sick.  Random smells would set me off, to this day I can’t smell certain shampoos or washing powders without retching.  We spent a week on holiday in a house in Cornwall and there was a certain smell there that just made me feel awful for the whole time.  In fact I can still smell it now if I think about it hard enough and it still makes me nauseous. Smells like fresh lemons made me feel sick, coffee, garlic, onions and if one more person at the time said “have you tried ginger tea” I might have poured a hot cup of it over them. The pure relief when my daughter was born and I woke up the next day and didn’t feel sick made me want to weep (but that could have just been the morphine wearing off too….)  Talking about the birth, this time I elected for a caesarian.  We turned up at the hospital at some ungodly hour of the morning, stupidly thinking I’d go straight into theatre and have a new baby by mid morning.  I was nil by mouth so by 4pm you can imagine how I was feeling, I had almost started hallucinating that my husband was a giant chicken drumstick like they do in cartoons.  Hangry doesn’t even cover it.  When I finally got taken into theatre I had to have an epidural and the realisation hit me that last time this happened I was so out of it I wouldn’t have cared less where they stuck a needle.  This time I was completely stone cold sober, as it were.  This was not something I was ever in a hurry to repeat again in the future.  But anyway, my lovely daughter was born and thus led to a morphine-fuelled online shop on my phone buying up loads of lovely girl clothes.  There were days after I got home from hospital where things were delivered that I had no recollection of ordering…….

So I never bloomed or blossomed whilst pregnant and I didn’t have standard births but I brought two amazing children into the world and don’t feel sick anymore, which is a bonus I guess.

 

Just sit on the sofa

Or things that no one tells you before you have children.

A couple of years ago something became clear, children can’t sit on sofas normally.  I started a Facebook page sharing photos and was amazed at how many other people posted similar photos on there.  If you’re interested in viewing these to know you’re not alone search for Just Sit on the Sofa!

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The fact that kids like nothing better than to lie upside down whilst watching TV is one of the many things that you just don’t think about before you have children.  You get told about sleepless nights and tantrums and food refusal and visits to A&E with peas stuck up noses but there are many other things that don’t even cross your child free mind.

The threat of drink spillage in restaurants

Anyone with children has been there right?  You are out in a restaurant or pub or cafe and your child has a glass of juice.  Whilst there is liquid in that glass you are on tenterhooks, a sort of endurance test for waiting for the glass to be knocked over or spilled.  Don’t get me started on straws or ice “just drink normally out of the straw” is a regular phrase I use.  I mean why do that when you can suck out of the bottom of the straw instead, or in the case of a milkshake or smoothie use the straw like some sort of eating implement.  Ice cubes only mean the inevitable little hands being dipped in sticky juice too.

Wobbly teeth

Urgh, not only do they give me the hebegeebies but no one tells you about the painful days where the tooth is literally hanging on a thread but your child won’t let you go near them to pull it out.  Then there’s the stress of the tooth fairy.  I am pretty sure I’m not the only one who has forgotten to replace a tooth with a coin.  That moment you wake in the dead of night with the realisation you haven’t done it so then have to get up, go and find some money and sneak in their room without waking them (creepy much?)  We recently had, shall we say an incident, with our daughter and a wobbly front tooth that I honestly think was one of the most stressful experiences of my life.  Hysterics don’t even come close to her behaviour.

Let’s be creative!

Oh yes when I have a child I’ll do baking with them and painting and ooh ooh play dough I loved that as a child, can’t wait to buy that for their first Christmas, oh yes and glitter it’ll be ace making Christmas cards for people.  Motherf****** play dough, bits all over the floor, all the colours get mixed up and then they leave the lids off and it dries up – still it smells nice though.  And baking, I mean it’s basically a case of “oh I’ll just do it myself, you’re getting flour everywhere, it’s not even mixed properly”.  Seriously, that stuff is best left to nursery and infant school.  Either that or banish them outdoors.

Bedtime stories

I’ll know, I’ll keep my old Folk of the Faraway Tree books for when I have kids.  I can’t WAIT to read to them at bedtime.  Now don’t get me wrong, if you get a good book it’s lovely reading with children.  Trouble is when they want a Thomas the Tank Engine book for the 287th time they wear a bit thin.  If you’ve ever read Thomas the Tank Engine books you’ll know what I mean.  There was one holiday where we only took Room on The Broom with us and I am pretty sure I could recite it by heart still to this day.  Then there’s the point where they can read themselves so you can’t get away with skipping bits “mummy you missed that bit out”

Hair today, gone tomorrow

Hair bobbles (or bands as I am told they are known everywhere apart from where I grew up).  You can literally buy 100 of them and in a couple of days will have 2 left.  Where the hell do they go?

Trail of destruction

Stuff, everywhere.  Pretty sure kids just drop toys as they wander round the house like little bread crumb trails in Hansel and Gretel.  I am pretty sure I spend 50% of my day bending over to pick stuff up and put it away.

Commentary

I blame YouTube.  My son cannot play a computer game or watch something without a constant commentary.  Get him and a friend together and it’s like Stampy Long Nose or DanTDM are in the room (if you don’t have children over the age of 5 you’ll have no idea what I’m on about, if you do you’ll share my pain).   Thank goodness my 6-year-old has stopped watching Toys and Me.

Spa breaks at Sainsburys

Who knew that one day going to a supermarket alone would be the equivalent of a mini spa break.  Time to browse each section without two children fighting each other, climbing in and out of the trolley, nagging for a magazine or a toy or sweets.  The offer of “I’ll push the trolley mummy” may seem great but the reality is they just push it into each other, the shelves and other people.  Then there’s this conversation:

Child 1 or 2 “can we look at the toy aisle?”

Me “no you’ve got no money to spend”

Child 1 or 2 “I just want to look”

Me “why?”

Child 1 or 2 “I just do”

Cue 15 mins of me standing saying “have you looked enough yet?” and “right I’m just going now”

I was in Sainsburys alone yesterday and whilst I serenely glided with my trolley past the cheese aisle on my way to buy a meal for one and a bottle of wine an obviously harassed woman with two girls uttered the phrase “will you both just be quiet for a minute, I can’t think!”  We’ve all been there my friend, solidarity to you.

You can pick your friends but…..

You can’t pick your children’s friends, or their friends parents either.  Now I have been very lucky and pretty much all of my children’s friends have brilliant parents, some of which we have become good friends with too.  But one thing you don’t really think of is what happens when they have a friend you really don’t like or worst of all you can’t stand their parent but have to suffer play dates at their houses making small talk.  I do realise it will only get worse when boyfriend and girlfriends enter the mix too……

So if you are about to enter parenthood or thinking about it, take heed my friends and if you’re already with me on this that’s what gin was invented for.

 

*Disclaimer*  my kids are pretty ace…. most of the time….

It’s all work work work

Melanie-Griffith-in-Working-Girl

Or what to do when you have anxiety around work, don’t know what you want to be when your are older and you are, in fact, in your mid forties.

My work history has been a mixed bag. Got my first Saturday job at about the age of 17, working in an awful discount clothes shop in Macclesfield putting price tags on floral dresses and shiny trousers. I hated it and didn’t last long. During my A Levels I was an office cleaner, I loved that job. Couple of hours every night after college I cleaned the offices of a packaging manufacturer on an industrial estate and got paid quite well for an 18 year old student. I made sandwiches and washed up at a pub for a while on Sundays, I was a chambermaid at a hotel for a few months during my gap year and I folded t-shirts in a factory one hot and sweaty summer.

I spent the summer of my gap year working for Manchester Youth Theatre as a Stage Manager and I got the theatre bug and was desperate to get into a drama school to train to be a stage manager. Unfortunately none of them would have me so I decided that TV might be a better place to try and was accepted on a course in the glamorous town of Ashington, Northumberland.  I survived 2 years of chip stotties and long bus journeys to Newcastle to dance on the Tuxedo Royale’s revolving dance floor and ended up back home trying to get a job and start my so called career (because that’s what you are supposed to do isn’t it).

Finally in February 1996 I was offered a job at a TV studio in London and there started my journey into proper work and leaving home. You’ll recall in a previous post I said I used to listen to Phillip Schofield every Sunday on the radio and I was a HUGE fan as a teenager. So imagine my joy when the first show I worked on was Talking Telephone Numbers (remember that?…no? ).  Over 8 years I worked my way up the greasy media pole never really staying anywhere longer than a couple of years. In 2004 I found myself at the BBC, working at the famous television centre, which as a teenager I dreamt about visiting to see Philip Schofield in his broom cupboard. (I am wondering if my desire to work in TV was only due to Mr Schofield). At that point I also realised that I’d had enough of the TV world and wanted a change. For some reason I decided I’d try to get a job in a local school, “It’ll be easy” I thought “a nice little office manager job in school somewhere closer to home”. Amazingly the second school I applied to offered me a job. Imagine my shock when I actually started working there and realised working in a school was not the nice easy office job I had imagined…..My whole experience in schools is a separate blog in itself so I won’t go into full details here. Suffice to say I have been working in schools now for nearly 13 years and it’s stressful, chaotic, emotional, fun and the sense of teamwork is immense but nothing like I could ever have imagined.

I had worked in the same school for 8 years and last summer felt like I had done all I could there and needed a change. What sort of change I wasn’t sure but I knew the first step I needed to take was to just get a job somewhere else and make that leap into a new environment. I got myself a new job starting in May this year and went through every emotion during the last few weeks in my old job and then once I’d started the new job I went through every other emotion that was left in the world. It’s still very much up and down and to be honest starting this blog is a way for me to explore new possibilities outside of a 9-5 job. Everyone told me I was really brave leaving after a long time in one place and I didn’t really think I was. But now I realise I could have taken the easy option and stayed at the place where I knew everything and everyone inside out and was close to home and the kids school and where I had some amazing friendships but I didn’t and I would be lying if I didn’t say there had been days since I left that I thought “what the hell have I done?” But it’s still early days and we’ll see what happens next.

In the 21 years of full time work as a grown up I have to say the majority of the jobs I’ve had I haven’t really enjoyed and have had all sorts of anxieties and terrible sleepless nights over. I was reading this article the other day and realise I can relate to a lot of these things http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/charles-benayon-/how-to-help-employees-suffering-from-social-anxiety-disorder_a_23059751/  I think it’s really important for people to be more open about these feelings and anxieties if they have them.  In writing this I am obviously hoping for people to say “oh yes I feel like that too” so I know it’s not just me!

I know going to work makes me anxious and the easy option (mentally) would be to give up work and stay at home but then there’s bills to pay, I know I’d be bored eventually and also would hate not having my own money!  I also wonder what the impact is on relationships when you are relying on one person in the household to earn the money.   I imagine that work will be in my life in some form until I retire so I need to find ways to cope when I am struggling and look at my mindset in relation to work. A lot of the time I feel I have to bluff my way in situations and at times I put on a front which can be hugely draining and mentally exhausting.

I quite often feel like I wish I didn’t have to work but these feelings don’t come from a place of laziness.  I like being busy and I like the idea of having tasks to complete by a certain time that make a difference to other people or improve things.  My desire to give it up comes from a place of feeling “safe” at home in my own environment or with close friends and family.  Away from the possibility that I may mess something up at work and be put on the spot about it or that I have to deal with office politics.  That someone might be horrible to me or make me feel like shit.

Here are some examples of what makes me anxious at work (there are more):

Public speaking   I’ve had to present to all staff on occasion or run training sessions for groups of staff.  I am going to say now, my name is Andrea and I HATE doing this. In 3 weeks time I will be standing up in front of 200 staff to train them on an INSET day, even scarier is they are 200 staff of whom I don’t know very well. I wish I could just say “you know what, I really don’t want to do this” but I can’t.

Being put on the spot and not being able to answer a question immediately, I get really flustered and then feel like an idiot.  Why?  I have no idea.

Making mistakes  This is pretty common I am sure but I live in a permanent state of anxiety that something I have done (or not done) will cause a problem and I’ll get into trouble.  Really what is the worst that can happen?  Being sacked I suppose, but working in HR I know full well how bloody hard it is to get rid of people!

Leaving speeches  Yes these actually make me anxious.  Those of you who work in a school know the regular torture of end of term leaving speeches in the hall.  Nowhere else I’ve worked before schools did this because people left throughout the year.  Whilst I know it’s important to recognise the work someone has done and give them an opportunity to say goodbye I find these so uncomfortable.  You never know if someone is going to say something horrible and use it as an opportunity to get stuff off their chest or if someone is going to give a history of their working life from 1975 onward, (this may or may not be based on a real life experience…..)

 

There has been one period (in my last workplace between 2012 until last year) where I enjoyed going to work, hardly ever got Sunday night blues and when people used to ask me “how’s work?” I would mostly say “yeah it’s really good thanks”.  I honestly had never done that before and really meant it.   Even though during that time I had to deal with some of the most stressful and shitty situations, I had a support network (some friends for life now), people who believed in me and valued my work and the confidence that I knew what I was doing most of the time.  It made such a big difference and it was only then that I realised I had never really had this much in the past.

Everything I have written about so far is why I am so passionate about well being at work, people need to want to come to work and feel valued otherwise they just aren’t going to invest their energy into a place..  A lot of this comes from the people who are “leading” and it’s so important to get this right, it all filters down and if the leaders and managers don’t value their staff their staff won’t value their work and are likely to be unhappy and in some cases get sick.

A few weeks ago I was chatting to one of my new colleagues and she told me she’d cried all the way home one night the week before.  I told her I had done exactly the same.  We high-fived each other.  Not because we were like “yeah, work made us cry” but more because it was like “thank god someone else is honest about this and feels the same”.

It can be so easy to look around you at work and think that everyone else knows exactly what they’re doing and doesn’t get phased by things.  When you feel completely overwhelmed and on the verge of tears but don’t have anyone to go to.  But if you actually talk to people you trust you’ll find this simply isn’t the case.  People in all sorts of roles feel like they’re winging it a lot of the time and playing pretend grown up.  What we need to do is all be a bit more honest with each other.  This is a poster I saw Twitter that was being used in an organisation.

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I adapted it for my last school and tried to embed a lot of it in the culture, it’s not easy as everyone has different values and different views on some of these points.  But I think the crux of it is it’s OK to not always know what you’re doing (well maybe if you’re a brain surgeon it’s quite important….) but you know what I mean.  It’s OK to be honest and say you’re not coping and need a moment or need help.  I’ve seen really experienced people who everyone thinks has their shit together, break down when things have got too much.   I really believe that a lot of the awful office politics that exist in workplaces comes from a place of low self esteem and that feeling that you’re winging it and everyone else knows what they are doing.  Attack someone before you’re found out to be useless, that kind of thing.  Let’s all be a bit kinder to each other at work and realise a lot of us are all in the same boat.  Begone nasty office gossip and judgement, make cups of tea not war.

I also think that we need to be mindful that not everyone is into career progression or becoming a leader and that not everyone can cope with stress or pressure and you are not a failure if you find these things difficult. I used to work with someone who had been in the same job for years, she wasn’t interested in more senior roles and she was brilliant at her job. But she was happy just doing what she did and doing it well. There’s always so much pressure,  of developing and showing how you are developing, but maybe some people just don’t want to develop and don’t need that in their lives.

 

So, I’m 43 and work makes me anxious and I still don’t really know what I want to do when I grow up.  If any of you are on Instagram and follow Candice Braithwaite (https://www.candicebrathwaite.com/blog/), you may be a regular viewer of her Tea Time Insta-stories.  She did a brilliant one a couple of weeks ago where she talked about your purpose in life.  She believes we are all born with a purpose and as kids the things we love doing are linked to this.  It’s only as we get older we might forget those things and go down different paths but she says if you are at a point in your life where you aren’t quite sure what you should be doing, think back to when you were a child and what you loved doing and think about how you can incorporate that in your life now.  I used to love writing stories, I remember many a holiday sat on a sun lounger with a pad and pencil writing.  But somehow that didn’t become a passion.  Maybe I didn’t have particularly inspiring English teachers and I didn’t get great grades in GCSE English so I guess I didn’t think I was any good at it so I didn’t pursue it.  I’ve  realised I want to try it out now and see where it takes me……there’s always office cleaning to fall back on I suppose.

A top ten list

There’s already a great blog about lists by Clemmie Telford https://motherofalllists.com so I’m not going to do loads of list based blogs.  However, when I was thinking about what I’d write about I started to think about things I like and things I don’t like.  What makes me happy and what doesn’t.  That then reminded me of something from my teenage years.  My best friend and I used to spend every Sunday afternoon listening to Phillip Schofield on Radio 1 followed by the Chart Show and whilst doing this we would compile our top ten fit men lists (yes, I know….)

So in the spirit of this I’ve compiled my top ten things that make me happy and top ten things that do my head in.

DISCLAIMER – it’s a given that family and friends make me happy so they’re not on this top ten countdown, pop pickers.

What makes me happy

  1. Pottering in the kitchen with 6 Music on. Apart from when Cerys Matthews is on.
  2. Walking through forests and woods – quiet and still and space to breath.
  3. Pub beer gardens with friends
  4. Crisps – Walkers or Pringles or Hula Hoops or any of your old school crisps. None of the kettle chips bullshit – greasy interlopers.
  5. Cheese and biscuits – I’d eat this for lunch and dinner every day if I could. (or dinner and tea for my northern friends and family).
  6. The feeling after a long run that went well – she says having not done a proper run for about 2 years. I did a half marathon once, only 3 years ago. Can’t run for a bus now. Need to find a way to get back into it. I’ve got specially moulded running shoes and a Garmin for god’s sake.
  7. Dr Who with David Tennant in it – I mean he’s the best Doctor right?
  8. Oliver Bonas – just so many necklaces to choose from. Unfortunately at the moment I’m too fat for their clothes though.  See points 4, 5 and 6…
  9. Expensive beauty products – that quite honestly probably don’t do any better a job than cheap stuff but I’m a sucker for nice packaging.
  10. The first night of a holiday when you’ve unpacked and sit out with a nice cold glass of wine or a beer.

What doesn’t…

  1. Painted wine glasses – no thank you
  2. Inspirational quotes stencilled on household walls – please make it stop, I don’t want to dance like no one’s watching and I know my house is full of love, I don’t need it stencilled on my bloody living room wall
  3. Those “share if you have a sister you love” things on Facebook. I mean why??
  4. Office politics – just go to work and do the job you’re paid to do then go home. I’ll talk more about this stuff another time but I think the crux of these problems is down to everyone being insecure and having self doubt.
  5. Restaurants that don’t have on line booking or don’t take bookings at all. I don’t want to have to do it on the phone when you can’t hear me because you’re in a noisy restaurant and I don’t want to turn up and not get a table when I’m hangry.
  6. People who are always late – you’re basically saying your time is more important than mine
  7. Airports, they’re so stressful. Queues, constantly checking if you have your passport and boarding pass, having to find your boarding pass when you’re at the till in Duty Free, will you miss your gate number coming on screen. It gets even worse when you travel with young children. Have they run off, will check in believe the 5 year old is the same child as the 3 month old in the passport photo, will they fall asleep in the buggy just as you have to get them out to go through security.
  8. The “I’ll keep looking at you until you find a solution to my problem” stare. As an HR manager this happens a lot. Someone asks me a question that I have no idea about or that’s nothing to do with my role. I’ll state that then they just stand in my doorway and stare hoping I’ll suddenly say “oh sorry I’ve just remembered I do know the answer”
  9. People who are dicks – just don’t be a dick, simple.
  10. The fact that being quiet and introverted is seen as a bad thing. I grew up being told by relatives and teachers “oh you’re always so quiet” So what? I don’t go around saying to people “blimey do you ever shut up”.  I’ll no doubt be blogging about this again too, along with social anxiety.

Life is stressful and difficult sometimes and really knowing what makes you happy and finding time for these things is so important.  I’d love for people to share their own top ten lists (happy things, fit men or otherwise!)

Blog 2

Here we go

Blog 1A

I have wanted to start a blog for the past couple of year and had big plans last summer to set something up. However, at that time I also decided it was time for a change at work and so spent a number of months applying for jobs. Then I got myself a new job in May and have been a bit preoccupied with that since then. BUT….it’s the summer holidays again now and I have another 3 weeks off work so I’m having a go at this. I have the usual thoughts of “no one will be interested”, “what if I get horrible comments” and “I can’t write very well”  but at the very least it will be a way of getting things out of my over thinking head and sharing them with others (hopefully, or I may just be talking to myself).  The hardest bit has been pressing the “publish” button and sending this off into the internet.

This definitely isn’t another mum/parenting blog.  I mean, I am a mum so no doubt there’ll be child related stuff but that’s not what the focus of this will be.   I also don’t want it to be a big moan-fest about how hard life is or a lot of humble bragging about being #blessed.  Life is a mixed bag and for all the amazing photos of holidays that are being posted on social media at the moment you can guarantee there’s been flight delays or tantrums from children or arguments between friends or partners. For all the mum blogs about how annoying kids are and how they are winning at parenting for giving the kids fish fingers for tea there are days when the kids all get on and make you laugh until you cry.

There will be all sorts of ramblings but I know one of my main focus points will be well-being and self-care. I am passionate about well-being in the workplace but also aware not everyone works or that some people work on their own at home. So many of us just don’t take care of ourselves properly. Lack of sleep, no exercise, not eating properly, not giving ourselves time or allowing ourselves to f*** up sometimes.  I’d love to share some of my thoughts on this and hope that readers will comment and open up some honest discussions.  When you’re struggling one of the best things is to find out other people feel the same about things and it’s not just you.

I will be talking about being a parent and a working parent (that’s what I am so there’s no getting away from it). There might be a bit about body image (though I am not on a weight loss journey and won’t be posting before and after pictures). There will probably also be some stuff about days out I have with my kids and ideas for things to do as a few people have asked me to blog about this!

There won’t be much specific stuff about my workplace (current and past), though I could write a book about my experiences over the past few years. Unfortunately confidentiality stops me doing this…  I do want to talk about stress at work, office politics and as an HR professional am always happy to give advice if people need it!

I will also be trying to cajole friends and other people I know through social media to do guest blogs. So if you’re interested let me know.  Some of you will be getting requests.

Oh and the name of the blog is the best i could come up with.  It sort of encapsulates the fact that we’re all working on it.  Working on being a good person, being a friend, being a parent, doing our best at work, finding our happy in life.

Now I’ve just got to start writing I guess!