Rediscovering the 'Me' in 'Mumeeeeeee'

'I have always thought that there is no more fruitful source of family discontent than a housewife’s badly-cooked dinners and untidy ways'. (Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management, 1861)

May 11, 2010

Why I'm taking a short break

Regular readers (that's you mother-in-law!), may have noticed that I've been a bit quiet in blogland of late. The reason is very simple - time. Or rather, the lack thereof.

I've written before about
the reasons why I blog - they are many and varied. I'm proud of my blog and of reaching my first blog anniversary recently. I've always prided myself on finding the time to turn on the PC, let alone to write anything which is coherent and of interest to others. But over time, lots of other stuff has started to happen, because of the blog. I dabbled in Twitter and soon found that my dabbling was taking up most of my time at the PC. I've had interest in the blog being published, which is amazing. My inbox is deluged with PR requests, notifications of new Twitter followers, people wanting to be my friend on Facebook and LinkedIn, tagging me with photos on my Wall (I'm still not entirrely sure where this is!), tagging me with memes and to be perfectly honest, it's all become a bit overwhelming.

I just don't have the time to respond to all this as thoroughly as I'd like to. I don't have the technical ability to set up a comment reply system - I even joined Muddling Along Mummy's Technophobes Training Club and haven't had time to read the posts or do anything with the advice contained within - kind of ironic really, and I've realised that I am simply trying to do too much; fitting in blog posts between nappy changes and running the bath, rushing up three flights of stairs to the attic and back down again to type in a few more words while the dinner bubbles away on the hob (no, I don't have a laptop) and working at a PC which is a bit buggered and always crashes when I'm in the middle of reading and commenting on other get the picture.

What started out as a joy of writing and a way of keeping the brain active after losing my job has now, itself, become a full-time job. A job which I don't have time to do! My real job, first and foremost is to be mum to my boys and secondly, is to establish a credible career as a freelance writer.

I really, really, want to write a publishable book so I have to get some time back for this. I also really enjoy writing my articles, which also help to pay the bills. I also, very much, want to continue being involved in the blogging community which I love and am looking forward to meeting fellow bloggers at CyberMummy and to congratulating the winners of the inaugral MADS's just at the moment, I'm worrying about the blog related things I haven't got round to doing, rather than enjoying the blogging I am doing.

So.....I think I need a bit of a blog break to sort this all out, regain some balance in my life and stop feeling guilty if I haven't commented on anyone else's blog for a few days. A blog-iday if you like. A blog-cation. OK, just a break, a step back to put it all into perspective and as we head off on holiday this week, it seems as good a time as any to do this.

I'll still be posting my rambling thoughts - just maybe not as regularly. And I'll still be dropping in to read all you other brilliant bloggers as often as I can.

Think of this as a brief intermission. Or a mid-season break. Whatever phrase works for you. But just remember, that 'we were on a break'.

Right, I'm off. I have a case to pack and a cluttered mind to empty.



May 7, 2010

Have you ever felt like this....

Enough of elections, fancy SkyNews graphics, swingometers, the front door of No. 10 and all that. This is what you really need to look today. Enjoy!


May 3, 2010

My 'Big Issue'

I think every parent has one; a 'Big Issue'. Your parenting nemesis. The one thing you seem to have got fantastically wrong. The one thing that is guaranteed to have you wishing you could go and do something else. Anything else. As long as you don't have to deal with 'This' any more. For some it is sleep. For some potty training. For others, biting or hitting. For me, it is mealtimes.

Oh. My. God.
I don't know if there are enough words in the English language to sufficiently describe how I feel about mealtimes with the children. Despair, exasperation, injustice, futility....

I sit at the kitchen table, four-year-old to my right, two-year-old to my left and feel like I'm about to emerge from the trenches and face a hail of enemy fire. It occasionally starts out quite promisingly. Everyone comes running to the table in anticipation of the latest gastronomic delight and yet within a matter of minutes there is a cacophony of complaining and whingeing and refusing to eat and I want to poke my eyes out with a rusty stick and run for the hills.

I coax. I cajole. I pep talk. I play trains. I am every Thomas character that has ever been invented going into a tunnel mouth. Twenty minutes pass and we're still working our way through the meal. Then more complaining. Disinterest. Messing with drinks. Anything to distract from the business of eating. The two-year-old I can forgive. He's two for goodness sake but my eldest seems to be completely disinterested in his meals.

Thirty, forty minutes may go by as mouthful by painful mouthful we make a little bit of progress. And then I realise I have a fork in each hand, feeding two mouths either side of me and it all seems so ridiculous. I promised myself last week that this would be the last time I physically fed them both. I promised myself the same thing the week before, and the week before that and so on and so on.

I've always tried so hard to provide healthy, homemade food. I was pureeing every colour of vegetable imaginable from the moment I started weaning and always prided myself on my children's varied diet.
So to be in this situation feels so unfair, so infuriating, soul destroying. It's my 'Big Issue'. The one that just won't go away.

"It's just a phase," my friends tell me and I want to believe they are right. But how long is a phase technically a phase and at what point is it acceptable to throw your hands in the air and the dinners on the floor? (I would not recommend this approach by the way as this just means you have to clean the floor as well as feel crap).

So there you have it. I struggle with mealtimes. Really struggle. Breakfast, dinner and tea. Three times a day I face this battle (unless it's cheese sandwiches, which usually go down no problem, but cheese sandwiches 24/7 does not really meet the 5-a-day rule does it?).

So tomorrow I will, again, approach the dinner table with a heavy heart and a forced smile; I will 'big-up' the meal as the most delicious thing known to mankind, offer promises of wonderful things to come if everything is eaten up nicely and hope, hope, hope that I emerge on the other side relatively unscathed.

I hope.

So, what's your 'Big Issue?'

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