I grew up in a busy house. Five girls, all close in age, all clamouring for their space in the world. My mum was the main earner in our house, and after my youngest sister was born my stepdad stayed at home to look after her once maternity leave was up. Back then, maternity leave was 12 weeks, so my mum used to come home in her lunch break (she was a primary school teacher) to breastfeed. And she would feed her through the night too, since nobody else was able to take on that job for her. She worked hard, and at the same time she showed us girls something really special. She showed us that no matter what happened in life, all we needed to do was to work hard at our dreams, and we could literally do anything.
Today, I am a mother to three girls.
These days there seems to be a national day for everything and everyone, but National Grandparents day is actually one that I don’t mind. For us, grandparents are an essential part of the kids’ lives and we’ve aways tried to make sure that they are as involved as possible. We want to nurture the relationships between them and all the kids, and to celebrate the special bonds they have. Since my eldest was born, I’ve really felt the strain of having my parents live so far away, so I’ve been even more determined to make sure they are a huge part of our lives. And in doing this, I realised that grandparents have all the fun!
While we are bound to rules, regulations and early bedtimes, the grandparents are not. Living far away means that when they see the kids, its for a whole weekend, or for a few days in the holidays- which means that all of our carefully crafted routines go out of the window! My mum even has a special sweet jar that the kids know to root out as soon as they arrive. They know it will have been filled with all the goodies they love (including dairy free treats for Elsie) and they know that cookies at bedtime is literally a golden rule for the duration of their stay. To be honest, I don’t mind too much. I want the kids to have happy memories of their stays at their grandparents; I want them to remember these days filled with laughter, love and happiness. And that is how they are. How perfect is that?
Its hard living so far away from my parents. Sometimes I wish they could call round to walk down to school with me at 3.15 on a Wednesday afternoon. Sometimes I wish they could pop in for a brew on the way to the supermarket. Sometimes I wish that when something goes wrong, I could call and they’d be able to drop what they’re doing to scoot round with a hug and a solution. We all need our mums now and then, after all. Sadly, none of these things are possible for me, but I do know how lucky I am to have my parents at the end of a phone whenever I need them.
It’s hard living so far away from my parents when I know that they miss the kids like mad. I know they’d love to be able to take them to the park after school, or help with football training and swimming lesson drop offs. They miss the nativities and the school plays and the excited faces on Christmas Eve. They miss all of that, and its hard.
And this is why I am more than ok with the grandparents having all the fun. Spoiling the kids. Letting them stay up late, eat ice cream, watch too many cartoons. I am more than ok because they can’t do the things that other grandparents can do. What do grandparents mean to you?
This is a collaborative post
Something I’ve been trying to implement into my life in recent weeks is self care. Regular readers will know that I’ve been attending Positive Thinking counselling sessions, and one thing that has been noted is that I have trouble switching off. I’ve always been the same. My mind has always been active, jumping from one topic to another with no pause for reflection. In the past I have found yoga extremely helpful, and this is something I’ve started to re-introduce into my routine thanks to the wonderful Happiness Habits eCourse from Michelle at The Joy Chaser. Another aspect of self care for me is taking care of my body, and to that end the gym has literally been a sanity saver for me. And recently, I was introduced to Urban Massage, which is a wonderful concept and a must for tired and sore muscles. Its also a must for tired and sore minds, as it turns out! (more…)
Insurance is one of those things that when you’re a grown up, you just have to deal with. Whether you like it or not. And when you’re young, you tend to think that the ‘unthinkable’ will never happen to you. Illnesses and accidents etc happen to other people, right? Then you become a parent, and all of that changes. Suddenly the world is a scary place and there are people you want to protect. And if anything was to happen to you (touch wood!) then you want to make sure that your loved ones will be taken care of. So without meaning to be morbid, lately thoughts of the ‘what if’ type have been springing to mind, and my husband and I decided to take another look at our existing insurance policies with an independent financial advisor. I was also asked by Mumsnet to take at look at the Value Your World tool from Zurich, which was good timing really. This is what we thought. (more…)