Tag Archives: family

Three and a half days

So something a bit weird is happening on Friday afternoon. In fact, a lot weird. At around 3pm the Husband and I will be leaving for three and a half days away, without the kids. Three and a half days – we haven’t spent that long together since my biggest boy was born nine years ago!

We’ve only ever done the 24 hours away thing since having kids. And we all know how that goes. If you haven’t had kids yet, here is a handy guide:

1.Guiltily beg childcare – this gets more difficult the more of the little outers you spawn.

2.Get all excited at the thought of sleep, and then realise that the Husband is getting all excited at the thought of something else entirely. Ooops.

3.Arrive somewhere. Have a beer to relax.

4.At some point between the third and fourth beer, decide that now would be a REALLY good time to have a chat rant about all the things he’s done in the last 6 months that have got on my nerves.

5.Proceed towards full blown domestic.

6.Eat meal in stony silence.

7.Possible truce for, er, something else entirely, depending on how stony the silence was and amount of alcohol consumed.

8.Wake up feeling crap, pack up, go home and tell everyone how wonderful it was to spend some time together.

Sound familiar? Yep, thought so….

So, back to this weekend. It’s an unexpected treat for me – we had been invited to a surprise celebration with some special friends, but for various reasons including the time away from the kids, the distance and the cost we had decided that the Husband would go alone, and had booked his flights accordingly….then a couple of weeks later I received this lovely message, which certainly cheered up a dull morning in work!



What lovely friends!

But, reader, three and a half days? We are used to squeezing any conversations into approximately three and a half minutes twice a day – once as I leave for work, and once in the window of time between them all falling asleep and me conking out too. What the WHAT are we going to talk about for three and a half days?  I did mention this to the Husband, who merely raised his eyes and said drily ‘I’m sure you won’t have a problem filling the silence, sweetheart’ – not sure what he means by that exactly…

But I know he is a bit nervous too –  not least because he couldn’t hide his look of relief when I messed up the online check in and we ended up in separate rows. I could practically see him doing the maths – two hours there, two hours back, well that makes a bit of a dent in it…sadly for him, Easyjet came good and reallocated the seats, ha!

This weekend feels like even more of a big thing because this time last year, we weren’t even managing the above mentioned three and a half minute conversations in a civil fashion. It was difficult to see back then how we would ever be able to move forward as a couple, and it did seem for a while as if we had reached the point of no return. But return we did, and I am glad, and I feel like going away together this weekend will be a celebration of that, especially as we are returning to the Czech Republic, one of the first places we visited together, and where we were married….awww shucks!

Three and a half days! Reader, I shall report back!

Three and a half days
Our first visit to Prague. Possibly pissed.

Blogging and kids

I had a message from someone the other day in response to a post on my blog; it was a private message, because as she said, ‘my elder two don’t need to see their mother’s issues on social media’.  Her kids are older than mine, but it struck a chord with me as it’s something that’s been playing on my mind recently – the whole blogging and kids thing – both in terms of their online safety, and their privacy.

I’m aware that I am effectively creating an online footprint for my kids, before they are old enough to do it themselves. For this reason, I am careful with their identities online. I never use their names on the blog, and I use photos that are recognisable to friends and relatives, without being full face, identifiable shots. Occasionally I’ve posted a Silent Sunday which is more recognisable because I love the photo, and in this case I just mark the post as ‘private’ after a week or so.

Thanks to this article from Mediocre Mum, I do a regular google check of all my kids’  names – have a read of it to find out why you should probably do the same if you maintain any sort of online presence. And I also check the inbound links to photos on the blog, suggested by Leslie on this article at Scottish Mum.  So I’m reasonably happy that I am behaving sensibly in terms of their online safety.

But their privacy – that’s a much more tricky issue for me to wrestle with.  I think I am respectful and sensible in what I share, but will they agree? How will they feel in the future about reading about their milestones online, knowing that some of their friends’ parents may be reading the same thing? And what will it be like for them discovering things they don’t know about me?  I mean I think I have done a reasonable job so far of protecting them from the knowledge that I’m a complete muppet, but a few minutes digging around these pages will soon reveal the truth. Poor buggers, how are they going to cope with THAT?

I’ve made a start on giving the blog a bit of a separate identity, by setting up specific FacebookTwitter and Google+ profiles that I can use to share blog posts; (really? Would you? Oh how kind! Yes, just click there, and there and there and I’ll love you forevs.) The idea is that I will move away from sharing LearnerMother posts on my ‘me’ accounts. That way when the kids are old enough to set up their own social media they won’t see my witterings in their feed at least. But making the blog less in their faces, does not take away from the fact that it exists.

What do you think? Have you changed the way you blog as your kids get older? If you have older kids, how do they feel about what you write? I’d love to hear from you!

Thank you for reading, as ever!


Small Things #2

Morning morning from Mrs Chirpy Face here! Time for Small Things #2 🙂

Sorry. I know I shouldn’t be chirpy so early in the day. It’s not right, and it’s just plain inconsiderate. But there it is, and here I am!

I’m feeling all chirpy because this week is the start of my new life/work balance. I’ve blogged before about how working 4 days a week was proving counterproductive for our family. So after the Christmas break I went to see my boss to give my notice in.  The intention was to go back on the payroll at our shop for a couple of days a week, sorting out our neglected website and social media presence, and then  trying to cobble together enough freelance bits and pieces to give me another day, thus getting to the Holy Grail of the three day week, which is what seems to work for us at this stage of the kids’ lives.

It’s taken a few weeks to iron everything out but the upshot is that I have now been given a new one day a week contract at work! This is brilliant as I like my employer, and I like the work I do, and also it takes the pressure off with scrabbling for freelance assignments when I’m not qualified to do anything, at all.

There is one fly in the ointment, which is the skint thing. This reorganisation dramatically and scarily reduces my take home pay. And that kind of brings me on to the Small Thing (since technically reorganising my work life is a Big Thing and so I’m not sure qualifies for the MummyNeverSleeps Small Thing Linky).

So my Small Thing is this: Right after gave my notice in, our car died (permanently) and my son brought home a letter about a school residential trip. Both those things come with bills attached and as yet I haven’t figured out how we are going to pay for either of them. Huh? Where’s the Small Thing in that sentence, I hear you cry….well, reader(s), the small thing is the word AFTER.

Because if these bills had arrived before I gave my notice in, I probably would have been ruled by my head and not done it at all. But my heart and my gut – and my kids reactions – tells me that skint or not skint, bills or no bills, I have done the right thing.

So there you have it. Small Thing #2, brought to you by the word ‘after’.

All the Small Things - MummyNeverSleeps
Thanks for reading – why not pop over to Mummy Never Sleeps and have your day cheered up by reading some more Small Things?