Why oh why did I feel so guilty for taking two days off work to take care of my sick daughter? I’m lucky working for the NHS as I can use emergency parental leave days for when the children are poorly, which are fully paid. You can have up to 10 a year if needed, but I never use any where near that. In my six months back to work this was the first time I’d had to stay home due to one of the children being poorly.
My daughter had had a high temperature all Sunday and snotty nose and we had a really restless night. I just knew she was going to be too poorly to go to nursery on the Monday so was prepared for a day at home with her. So in the morning I phoned work to let them know I wouldn’t be in and prepared myself for a day at home caring for my sick daughter. Poor little miss was really poorly and just clung to me all day dozing on and off on my lap as I cuddled her.
I sat on the sofa holding my daughter and suddenly a rush of guilt came over me. ‘I should be at work’ my conscience was telling me. I started thinking about all the things I needed to do at work and should be doing. The meetings that had to be rearranged that I should have attended. Then I looked down at my daughter cuddling in to me so poorly and I held her tight and felt guilty for thinking about work and that making feeling guilty. I can’t win, I thought! I’m just going to feel guilty whatever I do!
I remember when my boy was a similar age to my daughter now. He had a few illnesses and many a time I left him with nanny or granny and grandad to be looked after, whilst I went off to work. Why? Why did I not look after him more when he needed me? I feel guilty for that now. I made a promise to myself after returning to work after my second maternity leave. That if my children needed me, I would be there, come rain or shine, work would come second place. Yet there I was feeling guilty for doing just that.
As I’m writing this my daughters poorly again and going to work tomorrow is uncertain again. The words ‘can’t your parents look after her’ came out of my mouth when I spoke to my hubby about it and I hated myself for it. And so the guilt comes in again. Today I have to promise myself that if my child is poorly and needs me, I will be there. Work will take second place and I shouldn’t feel guilty for it.
1.My son & hubby starting karate. So, so proud of my son starting karate! And to top it off, he’s starting with his daddy, so I’m double proud! I know it’s taken a lot of confidence for both of them to start. I think it’s lovely that they’re starting a new hobby together and hopefully will learn a new skill and build their confidence together. Well done boys!
2. Visiting Saltram House. We had a lovely afternoon at Saltram House in Plympton in Devon with our very good friends. We are trying to make use of our new National Trust passes, since we joined up a couple of months ago. We’d never visited Saltram before, even though it’s not far from us. The kids absolutely loved running around the vast grounds. Great fun for all!
3. The beginning of autumn. It’s a cliche I know, but I just love all the joys autumn brings (minus the rain, nasty bugs and colds!). I love autumn especially when it’s cold and crisp but sunny, just perfect. There’s also beautifully coloured fallen leaves, blackberry picking, digging out jeans and boots, lovely walks and you can get away with lighting the log burner!
4. Discovering pulled pork. I’ve always failed when it comes to cooking pork perfectly. It’s always too dry or stiff and just yuck. My least favourite meat for sure. Until now! Now, I’ve discovered how to cook pork in the slow cooker! It’s wonderfully succulent and juicy! So yummy cooked in BBQ sauce with stock! Yum!
5. Strictly starting! Yes I’m an avid Strictly Cime Dancing fan. I just love it. It sparks the count down to winter and Christmas and many Saturday’s full of dancing joy! My hubby just about to,erases it too!!
Been a busy bee this last couple of weeks, so am a bit behind with my happy list from last week. But here it is, better late than never as they say!
1. Celebrating my hubby’s birthday. On the afternoon of my hubby’s birthday we enjoyed celebrating just the four of us at home. I’d baked my very special Victoria sponge as requested for the occasion! And my son enjoyed opening all his daddy’s pressies!
2. Date night. The hubby and I enjoyed a rare date night for his birthday. We do get out just the two of us occasionally! And the hubby’s birthday seemed like the ideal opportunity. We booked a table at our favourite Chinese restaurant and had a couple of drinks in the pub. It was perfect.
3. Big night out on the beach. Every year the National Trust arrange a ‘big night out on the beach’ at one of the local beaches near us. They had organised activities on the beach for the kids, including kite making, hoopla hooping, beach coming, lantern making, etc. My son and his cousins enjoyed playing in the sea and having a picnic. We all watched the sun go down and made lanterns for the lantern parade. It really was a perfect evening. For a moment, it felt like summer again!
4. Catching up with the nephews. On Sunday we had our nephews over for a home cooked roast and to reminisce over some old photos. We used to look after them a lot when they were younger, but don’t see them that often these days, so it was nice to spend some time with them.
5. Rediscovering the joy of toddler groups! I have Friday mornings free again, so I can take my daughter to the toddler group in our village. It’s really convenient as its up at the school, so I drop my son off and head straight there. It’s so lovely getting to go to a toddler group again, drink coffee and catch up with everyone whilst my daughter plays. Makes my day off even better!
1. Enjoying a Saturday brunch. The hubby took Saturday off last week, which was a lovely treat as he usually works Saturday’s. After my sons swimming lesson we went for a delicious brunch in town. We so rarely have a cooked breakfast and my son really enjoyed it.
2. The boys starting karate. We were really pleased to find out a karate club was starting right here in the village. My hubby thought it would be lovely if he took our son and learned together and we thought it would be great for my sons confidence. They really enjoyed their first session and came home buzzing with energy.
3. My sons first spelling test. I couldn’t believe it when my son came home with his first spellings to learn! I think I was more scared than him! We’ve been trying to get in to a homework routine and incorporated spellings and reading in to a 10 minute a day session. When it came to the day of the spelling test he did really well and achieved 4/6!
4. A walk, beach and blackberry picking. We had a lovely weekend with lots of time outdoors with family. We met my hubby’s sister and children on the beach and all the kids messed around and played for an hour or so. On the Sunday afternoon we went for a woodland walk and picked lots of blackberries!
- 5. My son getting his first ‘star of the day‘. I was so proud of my son getting his first ‘star of the day’ in Class 1. He got awarded his star of the day for good reading and writing. So proud!
1. My blog 1 year anniversary! I can’t believe where the last year has gone! I started my blog just after my second child, my daughter, was born, whilst on maternity leave. I’m so happy I started it and am still writing and blogging, it makes me so happy. To celebrate I’ve set myself some new blogging goals which you can find here.
2. Back to school. Although bitter sweet, I was so proud of my son starting class 1 last week. He’s turned in to such a wonderful grown up boy. You’ll know if you read my blog that I’ve had mixed feelings about him going back to school. We had a bit of an emotional start (from both of us!) but he’s come out the other end and is doing us proud, as always.
3. Zoo fun. We’ve made good use of our zoo passes during the last couple of weeks, we’ve been 4 times! So we’ve already made a saving! I’m writing a post about our favourite day out at Paignton Zoo, we just love it! And the annual membership is so worth it!
4. My first attempt at a carrot cake. My boy requested I bake a carrot cake as it was his absolute ‘favourite’! So I slaved over this cake on and off all day – a true labour of love! When it came to the taste test from my boy, he said ‘mummy the nuts are too big!’ And wouldn’t eat it. Balloon burst right then…! So my hubby and I enjoyed it instead, and I have to say, it was really yummy! Not bad for a first go!
5. Booking our half term holiday. After our rained off camping trip this August, we were keen to make up for it and book an October half term break. So we took the plunge and booked a week in a ‘budget’ caravan at ‘St Ives Bay Holiday Park’ in Cornwall. It’s lovely to have something to look forward to.
So today was the day my boy returned to school after 6 not so long weeks. Like almost everybody in the country we had the obligatory first day back at school photo. Which of course was then posted on Facebook (and Twitter, Instagram…) This will no doubt be the only school day in the year that I’ll be up early preening his uniform! When everything looks perfect, tshirt crisp and white, shoes black and shiny! And a lovely excited child, just dying to get out the door!
As predicted, the kids slept later than nearly every morning of the school holidays. Yesterday it was 5.45am and today it was 7.45am – yes, not one but two hours later! I had set my alarm, knowing this, for 7.30am, so I was showered and dressed just as they got up. I’d organised all my sons school bag and PE kit the night before and there it hung all ready to go, as we came down stairs. The uniform had another once over with the iron whilst the kids had breakfast. I just love getting my son ready for school. I’m dreading going back to work next week as I won’t be doing this for most of the week!
During the last few days I have been feeling anxious. Nervous for my son moving up to Class 1, and sad that the school holidays are ending. My son returning to school, also marks my return to work of course, after 3 lovely long weeks with my kids. Heaven! We’ve had an amazing time, doing some amazing things, creating some amazing memories. We had a fantastic time camping (despite the weather) and the last couple of weeks have been busy with beach trips, zoo trips and picnics. I’m going to miss them so much. So the day I had been dreading was here.
It was so strange today at home, just me and my daughter, so so quiet. My son brings so much life to our house! I just had to go out, so I took my daughter in to town, to do some errands and it kept us busy for a couple of hours. Back home, my daughter napped and I caught up on the housework (boring). If my son had been here we would have been off out somewhere having fun. I know he needed to go back and we needed to get back in to the usual routine, but it’s so hard! Am I the only one who didn’t want the school holidays to end??!
When I dropped him off he’d looked all excited to see his friends and jumped straight in with looking at books and finding somewhere to sit with his mates. I was reluctant to leave him, it was hard to walk away, and I felt quite emotional and sad. I didn’t cry, but nearly! And after all the organising, I still forgot to take his PE kit! (Rubbish mummy!) so I’ll have to try and remember that tomorrow!
I’m so proud of my boy. Although he was excited about going back and seeing his friends, I know he was feeling a little anxious. There’d been tears over something silly at school, which I know wouldn’t have normally happened and we’d had tears when I picked him up over something really minor. Really unlike him, but I think he was just overwhelmed. Class 1 is very different to Reception. At his school they mix class 1 with year 1 (his year) and year 2 and I think it must be a bit daunting being with the older kids. There also twice as many of them. He was only one of 8 in his Reception class, but now there’s nearly 20. I realise this isn’t a huge class size compared to the average, but his school is a very small village primary school with a total if only 65 pupils in the whole school. I’m sure by next week he’ll be fine and in to the swing if things. May be I will be too?!
My sons growing up so fast and it really is bitter sweet. I love watching him grow and develop. Learning every day, getting taller, more handsome, asking questions, becoming more independant. But it’s just going too fast, way too fast.
For now, I’m counting the days until half term and cooking up some more family hols!
How did you feel about your child going back to school? Or starting for the very first time? Were you glad the holidays were over? Or sad like me?!