13 articles Tag mum

Make Your Life Easier as a Mumpreneur

With childcare costs at an all-time high and earnings not really falling into line, it’s little wonder that so many women are turning to the idea of running their own businesses from home. The advantages of working in your own home are numerous, allowing you to set your own hours, work around school times and school holidays, and ultimately save a lot of money on childcare. It’s not for everyone, and some people struggle with the challenges of running a business in their home, but if you’ve got the drive and the patience, it can be a great alternative to a traditional 9-5 career.

If you’re thinking about becoming a work-at-home-mum, or even if you already are and are looking to make your life a bit easier, we’ve got some tips on how you can delegate certain tasks.

Get an Assistant

If you’re not keen on the idea of having someone coming to work alongside you in your home office every day, virtual receptionist services could be a great solution. For as little as 30p per day, you could have an automated service to handle all of the calls you don’t have time to deal with. It also means that you’re not tied to a desk and have the freedom to work from absolutely anywhere without the risk of missing important calls or losing business – far cheaper than a human assistant!

Outsource the Cleaning

Having a cleaner may seem like a luxury you can’t afford, but when you think about how much time you spend cleaning in a week, and then consider the fact that you could spend that time working on your business instead, can you afford NOT to have a cleaner?! Taking the domestic chores off of your plate can free you up for more important things and increase your earning potential.

Co-Parenting

As we mentioned above, childcare is a massive expense for many families, which is why homeworking is good for parents of younger kids. However, when you’ve got a deadline or an important meeting to deal with, having kids around isn’t always doable. Teaming up with another Mumpreneur could be the answer – arrange to cover each other’s childcare during important times and the reciprocal arrangement means your childcare won’t cost anything and you both have the opportunity to develop your businesses when you need to. This can also work when you have to start doing school runs – take it in turns each day to take the kids to school while the other works.

Do Everything Online

The world is set up so that most things can now be one online, so set aside a couple of hours each week to get as much done online as you can. From your weekly shop to paying bills and even booking appointments, doing things in a set time slot each week can save you lots of time and give you a clearer head for dealing with work-related tasks. You can even use services which will not only remind you that someone’s birthday is coming up but will also send a card out to them without you even needing to go near a post box!

Get Your Beauty On!

If you’re the kind of person who likes to look ‘put together’ but struggle for time, there are a few things you can do to help you feel good without spending hours in the bathroom each morning. A Brazillian blow dry will cut down on hair styling time and keep your mane sleek without too much heat. Having your eyelashes permed and tinted could help give you the confidence to go out without mascara and having your eyebrows micro-bladed could save you loads of time each day, too. Think about your beauty priorities and see if there’s a permanent or semi-permanent solution.

How To Enjoy ‘Mum Time’ When The Kids Are Out The House

As a Mother it can be hard to get yourself some free time for rest & relaxation, we spend all day dealing with work and kids and even when you don’t have the kids with you, it’s likely that Dad requires some attention too. But every so often you’ll get some peace and quiet, maybe Dad has taken the kids to the cinema to watch a film. You’ve got the house to yourself for a few hours and you’re going to enjoy it. So this brings up the question of what to do when you have your Mum time.

First off, we have the go to for anyone looking to relax: The humble bubble bath. It’s really understated how much a nice bath can take the edge off, especially when you’ve been running around after your children all day. Draw a nice warm bath, maybe light a candle & put some music on, then hop in and relax with a nice glass of wine. Really as a Mother, you never get a nice bath uninterrupted, it’s likely that if you have a long bath one of your children will want you whilst you’re in there, so finally getting to enjoy a soak without being dragged out half way through is amazing!

Next up, we have an unconventional activity for mothers, video games. Games are often seen as the activity for Dads & teenage boys, but Mums can enjoy gaming too. If you can get a hang of the controller (or even just play a mobile game), you’ll fall in love with games for the same reason the boys do. Gaming is a big stress reliever, whether it be getting some anger out by shooting some zombies, or getting engrossed in an amazing story gaming can be an amazing way to cut loose, especially with all the options available, if you have a smartphone you can get yourself a free game to play to distract you for a while.

Have the girls over, so often when you’re a parent it can feel you spend more time with your children’s friends than you do with yours, so a free house is a perfect opportunity to catch up with some old friends, have a cup of tea and talk about life, maybe even split a takeaway and a glass (or two) of wine and just enjoy hanging out with your friends.

Catch up on all the TV you’ve missed, you know how it is, the kids have control of the TV until dinner time, so you’re stuck watching cartoons all day, then when your partner gets home from work they take control of the remote, so it can be hard to actually get to watch what you want to watch, so why not take advantage of the alone time with no competition for the TV, put on whatever you want & get caught up on everything you’ve missed.

Five Methods That New Mums Can Use to Get More Sleep

So your precious little one is home from the hospital and you are finding yourself constantly tired. Sleep deprivation is common in new mothers once the nurses are gone and no longer doing the work for you. If you are experiencing a lack of sleep because of your newborn, don’t worry. You are not the only one. Some of these tips may help you increase the amount of sleep you get so you can have energy to last the day.

Nap Time for Both

Sleep when the baby sleeps. If you lay the baby down for a nap and that wonderful mattress is calling for you, don’t ignore it. The laundry can wait, the cooking can wait. Answer that call and take a nap as well. You will feel invigorated when you wake up and you will not drag through those other chores that you put aside for a while.

Also delegate the work. Your spouse may work, but so do you! Save some of the chores for them. Just because you are home with the baby doesn’t mean you have time for all of the housework. Split it up. They live there as well, after all.

Pump Early

Some new mothers have a tendency to pump for breastmilk in the middle of the night. There was no more time in the day after cleaning dishes, washing and folding clothes, cooking, and caring for the baby. This is another reason to delegate the work off to others (if you have older children, put them to work as well). By giving you more free time, you will be able to pump before you go to bed, rather than at 2:00 in the morning.

Taking Shifts

So your spouse has to get up at 5am to go to work. You have to get up at 1, 3, 5, and 7 to take care of the baby’s needs. If the two of you take shifts during the night, you can split up the work and lessen your lack of sleep. Yes, they may have to go to work, but that doesn’t mean you should face the full brunt of sleep deprivation. Let them go to work lagging. You do.

Alternate Nights Off

New mothers tend to have a hard time not being the one to answer the call of their crying baby. Until they are sleep deprived. Then they force the spouse out of bed to tend to the newborn’s needs. Whereas doing things in shifts at night can help reduce your sleep deprivation (but increase your spouse’s), try alternating nights off. This way you each will get a decent night’s sleep every other night, allowing you both to get through your days easier.

Separate Rooms

Do you have a spare bedroom? If so, make use of it. On your nights off, or when you are not on your nightly shift, try sleeping in the extra room. Don’t want to be away from your baby? That’s okay. It’s called motherly instinct. Not sure if your spouse can handle it alone? You do, why can’t they! It’s sink or swim, and 10 times out of 10 they will swim. It’s okay to leave your significant other with the responsibility.

If the extra room is an office or study, oh well. Put a bed or futon in there and get some shut eye while your other half listens out for your little one. You can shut the door and have it a little quieter; if there are any problems, your spouse will let you know. Separate yourself so you can get some sleep.

Starting Your Own Business as a Stay at Home Mum

Being a stay at home mum can seem like a full-time job. Sometimes, though, you want or need a paying job alongside minding your own children. Luckily, you don’t have to give up being a stay at home mum to have a job.

Instead, you could always try starting your own business as a stay at home mum. You’d be surprised how many options you have when you are trying to choose what business model is best for you. Here, we will look at just 7 options to help you get inspired.

1. Child Care Service

If you don’t mind watching more children than just your own during the day, you could always start a child care service. After all, you already have things that a child around the age of yours or younger would need such as toys or sippy cups so you won’t incur too many starting costs.

You can make a lot of money off of this idea because there are plenty of mums and dads that have to work during the day. With this business model, you aren’t dependent on people making purchases on a whim, you’re serving a necessity.

2. Etsy Store

For those mums who love to craft or sew, something like an Etsy store might be the best option for you. Here, you can sew clothes or craft anything you can think of and sell it to interested persons.

Running a shop is like a running a business. Therefore, branding your Etsy shop is important. Logo, header image, product photography, social media presence, SEO are all important parts of your Etsy marketing strategy. Moreover, when creating your handmade goods, you will want to make sure to add a tag with your own logo or classic printed ribbon to the items you make. This way, they are marked as uniquely yours. This also helps to cut down on someone buying your items to simply resell them as their own handmade items later.

3. Virtual Assistant

A virtual assistant is exactly the same as any other assistant. You would do things like handle phone calls, scheduling, or anything that a standard assistant would do. The major difference is that you do it from a distance. Instead of being at your client’s side all day, you would be in near constant contact with them via phone or the internet and you would take care of the tasks they set out for you.

4. Financial Planning

If you have a knack for numbers, you could also start a business in which you help others work a budget and live the best they can within their means. You’d be surprised at how many families would appreciate a little help planning their finances.

A great idea would be to learn to help others budget for college. After all, this is one of the biggest financial decisions a family has to make and they might see some help planning as a wise investment.

5. Teach Music

For those mums who are interested in music, you could always consider being a teacher for private lessons for the instrument of your choice. Not only is this a great way to make some extra money, you’ll probably get some enjoyment out of it too!

In addition, teaching music will help you to keep your own skills sharp. This is because you will be teaching the basics and the theory behind an instrument to someone else, forcing you to practice these rudimentary skills once again.

6. Pet Boarding

Much like child minding, if you love animals, you could always consider animal boarding as a stay at home business. With this business, you would take in other people’s pets and watch them while the owners are away.

You might want to have some restrictions on the animals you’ll take in, though. For instance, you could only take in trained pets. After all, you don’t want to accidentally allow an aggressive animal into your home when you have children around.

7. Freelance Writing

For those mums with writing as a passion, you could always write from home. This is a job with a lot of open opportunities. Whether you want to dedicate your time to writing novels or articles, there is a market for it.

It might take time with freelance writing, as with the other business ideas on this list, to build up a client base. If you’re patient, though, you will find these business ideas can become quite lucrative.

Little Emergency Guide for When Mums Need Help

With mother’s day approaching, there are plenty of cards in the shops that are dedicated to the perfect mommy. Mom knows best, the best mother ever, wonder mommy, you name it, there’s a fair bet that the shops have it already! Or if they haven’t, you can probably make you own on an online card provider, so that’s you sorted in a matter of clicks. But to come back to the main topic, mothers, it does happen that sometimes even mommies need a little help to get by. So if you are a mom and you are going through a lot of stress to sort things out, here are the top 6 cases where you can ask for professional help without feeling guilty at all.

Even Mommy needs help

#1. Picking The Perfect Home

If you are looking to move house, you have probably already experienced the difficulty to find the perfect house at the perfect price for your family. For some families, finding their ideal nest can take several months up to a year, and sometimes even longer! It is often a hard task that requires a lot of research and a lot of visits and appointments. More importantly, there’s also the problem of getting a mortgage, preparing for the move and decorating the new place. It’s no wonder that moving house is the third most stressful event after bereavement and divorce. While you can work with a professional estate agency to get on top of the latest properties on the market, you can also set up notification alerts on real estate websites. This will keep you updated with the new houses available in your preferred locations, and it will also help you when you are preparing your application for a mortgage.

#2. Managing Money Effectively

Managing the household budget can be a tricky task, especially when you are facing sudden and unexpected expenses. Financial matters have become a lot more complex nowadays, with the introduction of credit cards, different interest options and dangerous loan scams that promise easy money and drain your budget in repayment. As if things were not complicated enough, the cost of energy and education are rising dangerously too! In short, moms have difficult tasks to keep the budget under control. If you find yourself struggling with repayment to multiple creditors, it may be time to ask for debt management support. This will put you in touch with financial experts who work out a repayment plan that is fully tailored to your personal case. Expenses are easier to manage when you can plan ahead for the end of your worries.

#3. Staying Healthy Every Day

Health is no matter to take lightly. Whether you are looking after your eyesight, your teeth, your skin or even your bones, there are very little elements that you can control about your health. In truth, what you can do is make sure that you have an active lifestyle and a healthy diet so that your body receives all the nutrients and energy that it needs. But you still need to book a regular medical appointment to check your health and the one of your family. Think of the big ETC: Eyes, teeth, and cardio. Additionally, if there is any known issue in your family, such as diabetes or allergies, it’s always a good idea to get it tested regularly for those who are likely to develop similar problems too.  

#4. Recharging Your Batteries

Sometimes everyday pressure gets you. Whether it’s stress at work or family problems, it is difficult to keep a cool head when too much is going on. You need to plan every week a few hours that are entirely dedicated to your mental health. This will help you cool down and relax. What you do during this time is entirely up to you, but it’s best to leave the house and let someone else look after your nerves. A visit to your local spa centre can be just the thing you need. If you’re not one for a massage, have a look at your local gym for yoga classes. Not only this will keep you fit and active, but yoga is great to soothe the soul and the mind during hard times. So make time for yourself and let someone help you relax.  

#5. Maintaining The Home

Whether you are a stay-at-home mom or a working mom, there are certain areas of your home maintenance activities that you can’t do by yourself. Checking the roof, the quality of the insulation and the plumbing and heating systems are some of the elements that need to be trusted to professionals. You will find the exact list of home maintenance and renovation works that you need to rely on professionals within your home insurance contract. Indeed, certain types of work can invalidate your home insurance if they are not performed by a certified expert. Additionally, if you are a working mom, there’s no reason not to hire someone to keep the house clean when you are at work. After all, you surely want to spend more time with your family when you are at home.

#6. Going On Family Holiday Together

There’s no such thing as easy family holidays. Indeed, when you are planning holidays for the whole family, it’s never easy to find the best deal and the best package for your situation. This is why you need to trust travel agencies to help you organise the best vacation at the best price for your family. Whether you only need children-friendly places, or whether you are also looking at specific travel insurances to cover for medical needs too, travel agents have direct access to hundreds of options and travel packages in a matter of a few seconds. They can find the best solution for you while you wait on the phone. This can save a lot of your holiday stress!

In short, whether you are looking after yourself, your budget, your health, your home, your holiday or your family, there’s nothing that says that a super mom can’t use a little help from the experts from time to time. In the end, you want to save as much time as possible to be with your family, so cut the stress and get in touch with qualified advisors.

Juggling Your Busy Life: Top Tools and Strategies for Work at Home Mums

Work At Home MumWork at home mums must juggle it all; from child care and housework to cooking and working. To make life a little easier, Android have developed a number of apps for mums who are always on the go. Check out these ideas to help you manage your time and minimize your stress.

Keep up With the Weather

When you’re working with a tight schedule, it’s important to know what the weather’s going to be like, so you don’t get caught out in a storm when all you want is an hour in the park with the kids. This versatile app will give you a weather report at a glance, wherever you are in the world and an accurate 7-day forecast. As well as the temperature, it will also tell you air pressure and precipitation, wind speed and direction, sunrise and sunset times and weather radar. Learn more about this great app.

So you Don’t Forget

Little reminders help busy mums stay on top of things. Widget Notes Whiteboard is a great note taking app. Use it for shopping lists, things to do lists, reminders, and memos. It’s really easy to add notes to your home screen. The app has three board colors and three widget sizes.

Take Time Out

Busy mums need to take some time out to relax even if it’s only five minutes every day. The Buddhist Meditation Trainer is your personal trainer for meditation and relaxation. With ten levels of enlightenment and quotes to meditate on every level, you can begin straight away, with just 5 minutes per day. After ten days, you will gain a level of further enlightenment. You can set a daily reminder so you won’t forget to meditate.

Great Family Meals

Favorite Recipes is a great pocket cookbook with thousands of recipes, so you can easily plan your weekly meals. You can search recipes, save your favorites and submit your own recipes. Each meal has directions so cooking couldn’t be easier or more fun. You can also share recipes on Facebook or Twitter.

Keep Track of Bills

From the Creators of Quickbooks, Mint Bills is the easiest way to keep up with bills and have on-hand records of all your payments. You can also monitor your bank accounts and credit cards all in the same place. This is a great way to keep your budget in check so you never have to stress about missing a bill payment. Armed with the same encryption and security standards as your bank, the app is completely safe to use.

Stay Fit

Don’t have time to exercise? Try the 7 Minute Workout. Designed for busy mums like you, this app has a highintensity interval training workout that will get your heart pumping. It is comprised of 12 exercises and all you need to get in shape is a chair and a wall.

Using these apps will boost your productivity and save you time when you’re keeping up with you home office and your family.

Emily Rickard started her own business from home 2 years ago. She has 2 young kids and enjoys the freedom her own business allows her, even when it does get crazy busy!

Why I’m Not A “Cool Mum” (And Why I’m Totally Okay With That)

Cool MumBeing a parent really makes you view things in a totally different way. I was talking to some friends the other day about how, when we were kids, we did the whole ‘hanging out in front of the shops to ask an adult to buy us cigarettes’ thing. We were all saying that, now we’re mums, there’s no way in the WORLD that we’d buy cigarettes for a child who was underage and that when we look back, it was terrible of us to have been coercing adults into our naughtiness, but it’s a prime example of how our views have changed with our personal circumstances.

Last week was Sausage’s school disco and it’s kind of a tradition that I always go along and help out, usually on the stall which sells all the novelty neon crap that the kids absolutely lap up. I commented to another mum that there seemed to be a whole lot more make up, perfume, body glitter and skimpy clothing at this disco, which is mental given the fact that the oldest kids there would have been 9. I know they’re in the juniors now, but it seems like they’ve all suddenly taken a massive leap away from childhood and towards the hairy, scary teen years.

It got me to thinking; should I be letting Sausage experiment with these things more to help her to fit in? Obviously, my brain screamed ‘NO’ before the thought even completely formed, and here’s why: I firmly think that allowing her to wear make-up to events would be selfish of me. You see, I’m completely against it, so if I were to loosen the rules, the ONLY reason would be so that she’d think I was a “cool mum”. I’m sure she’d be thrilled if I let her leave the house in make-up, but who would ultimately benefit?

The thing is, for me, parenthood is about being the bad guy sometimes. I’m sure Sausage would think I was the best Mum ever if I suddenly became permissive and let her wear make up, skimpy clothes, forget her homework, generally get away with living the easy life. But as her mother, it’s ON ME (and Husband, obviously) to make sure she does things, no matter how much it might make her resent us or how horrible it feels to be the bad guy. And, I’ll go as far as to say that, sometimes, I really don’t give a toss how much they hate me – homework needs to be done, manners need to be remembered and some rules MUST be followed, no exceptions.

Don’t get the wrong, I’m not talking about being a hard-ass all the time; she’s a really good kid which means she often gets leniency just because we know she’s the sort of kid who won’t take a mile when given an inch. We use our judgement to decide what’s okay and what’s not and I’m sure that, sometimes, our version of okay is different to what other people might consider suitable (for instance, she’s a huge fan of Bob’s Burgers, which is probably not aimed at her age group but we know she’s mature enough to deal with the slightly more grown-up themes in some episodes).

The main thought that I can’t shake is simply that Mums aren’t supposed  to be cool. Sure, there are times when mine and Sausage’s interests overlap but largely, kids are supposed to cringe at their hideously outdated parents. As a person, I’m not trying to appeal to a 7-year-olds sensibilities and I feel like it would be really weird if I did. It’s one thing to enjoy watching Harry Potter together, but it’s quite another when you realise that the parent is actually sadly immature and is trying to avoid being a grown-up!

However, the fact is, as parent, it’s our job to make the tough decisions, to be the ones to guide the girls in right or wrong and to make them do the things they don’t want to do, regardless of how much it might make them hate us, or how ‘uncool’ we seem. So, you see, I’m absolutely FINE with not being a ‘cool’ mum, because that means that I’m being a good Mum. What do you think? Is it possible to be “cool” and consistent? Do you go our of your way to be a cool Mum or would you rather be seen as a stuffy old adult if it means your kids are safe and happy? I’d love to hear what you think, so do leave me a comment below.

My Parenting Legacy

Mother and Daughter Hanging Laundry on Clothes Line

Something that I’ve been thinking about a lot recently is how my daughters will look back on their childhoods, and specifically how they’ll remember me, as their mother. I don’t know if it’s the fact that I no longer have a relationship with my own mother which has opened my eyes to how fragile relationships can be, or simply my want to be the best I can be for the girls, but it’s definitely something which plays on my mind a lot.

I see things across social media on a regular basis, little memes giving a heartfelt message of gratitude from child to parent, people proclaiming their mums to be the best in the world and I always get a little pang of…something; an unidentifiable emotion – not quite jealousy, not quite resentment, but something verging on the side of negativity which I don’t like. I’m happy that my friends have mothers upon whom they can rely and relationships that they want to shout about from the rooftops, and I won’t deny that I wish I had the same, but I think I’ve been estranged from my mother long enough now to know that’ll never be the case again.

But how will my girls look back upon me? And, more to the point, how do I hope they look back upon me? I try my hardest in a lot of ways. I try to be the Mum who always helps at the school disco and bakes cakes for the school fete. I try to be the Mum who makes sure the girls go to every party to which they’re invited, neatly wrapped gift in hand and party dresses pressed and pretty. I try to be the Mum who is never late and never lets her girls down – I remember feeling extreme anxiety at always being late for everything as a child and as a result, I try to be on time for everything with my girls, although I will admit to having to knock on the classroom door after getting there 2 minutes after the bell on more than a few occasions since BB has been with us!

I try to be the Mum who is always available to help with homework. I’m not always the Mum with the most patience, I will admit; I sometimes forget that just because Sausage is super bright, doesn’t mean that every single thing comes easily to her. I try to be the Mum who remembers dates; sports day, class trips, open evenings. I try to be the Mum who makes Christmas as much fun as possible and makes a huge fuss of birthdays. I try to be the Mum who makes things fun and doesn’t spend all her time doing housework.

I try to be the Mum who sets a decent example. My girls have seldom seen me drink alcohol (not that I’m judging others who do) and have certainly never seen me using anything stronger than a codeine for a particularly bad migraine. I try to be the Mum who provides my girls with balanced meals and a healthy attitude towards food, whilst still allowing them treats in moderation.

I try to be the Mum who allows them to be children. To play in the mud. To monkey around with the hose in the garden. To walk along the beach. I try to do all of that without worrying about the state of their clothes or the height of my washing pile. I try to be the Mum who is their friend, but above all is their moral compass, even if it means being the bad guy.

I try to be the Mum who is there to share a joke just as much as she shares their tears. I try to be the Mum who will ALWAYS defend her daughters against injustice of any scale. I try to be the Mum who has her daughter’s backs. I try to be the Mum who would take the word of her children unquestioningly and above everything and everyone else. I try to be the Mum who would never manipulate or influence her kids, choosing instead to let their opinions and personalities flourish.

Most of all, I try to be the Mum that I would have wanted.

I hope they look back and remember all of those things.

Are you a smart or casual mum?

queen_mum_12When you become a mum, it seems that there are two ways to go in terms of your clothing. You can choose to embrace motherhood completely and become the most practically dressed person on the planet or you can make a positive decision to retain your own sense of style and if that means putting a lot of effort into your clothes, you carry on doing so regardless of how little time you have to do it.

A lot depends on who you hang out with, of course. If you’re surrounded by well-dressed people who obviously spend a lot of time, thought and money on their clothes, it tends to rub off on you, even if you’re a bit of a jeans and T-shirt fan. On the other hand, if the people you’ve got to know through various toddler groups all dress down when they’re out with the kids, you might feel too smart in the clothes you’d usually choose to wear.

Thankfully in today’s society, there are no particular dress codes, except perhaps in some work places, so you should really wear whatever makes you feel most comfortable. But regardless of whether you’re a smart or casual dresser, there are certain essential wardrobe items no mum of young children should be without.

The first priority item is a good jacket. Think of how many hours you spend at the park, often when it’s colder than you’d like it to be, and the kids somehow don’t seem to feel the need to get back inside where it’s warm. In the winter you can’t beat a down-filled puffer jacket for keeping you cosy and cheerful while they want one more push on the swing, or one more go on the slide. Come spring though, and that puffer jacket can feel far too hot, yet without it, there’s a risk of getting chilly when the clouds cover the sun. That’s when you need to move to a spring jacket – and utility coats are a really practical option here. Check out this jacket from Superdry that is an eminently practical colour – an army green that goes with almost any colour. It’s also got an array of handy pockets; perfect for packing in a few snacks for the kids and tissues for their runny noses! It’s casual, so suitable for everyday wear, yet it’s equally suitable for an occasion when you wear something smarter underneath.

The next wardrobe essential for a mum about town is a good pair of jeans; practical enough to cope with your kids’ sticky fingers being swiped across them, but you can still choose a tailored pair that most flatters your body shape.

Add some colour with a number of different tops – long and short-sleeved t-shirts for those days when it’s going to be warm, and lightweight jumpers that can be worn on their own or added as an extra layer of warmth when you need them. If you want to dress your look up a little, choose a cotton shirt or blouse in lieu of the t-shirt, and you instantly look smarter. Similarly, you can switch the utility jacket for a neutral trench coat for a more sophisticated look.

Some mums you see will always wear the same kind of thing, like they have a mum uniform; while others will be wearing something different every time you see them. The best option is to wear the clothes that you feel most at ease in. If you like what you’re wearing you’ll feel far more ready to deal with whatever the day throws at you.

Being Mum – The Self-Worth Special

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about my ‘worth’ as a person lately and how that ties in with me being a mother. It’s been an eventful year, this 12 past the 2000, kicking off with me losing my job in April and Sausage starting school in September, two things which have contributed massively to my introspection. When I was working, I was a ‘working mum’ – I did a job and kept home and life ran to a schedule, Tuesday to Thursday at least. Then I lost my job and I became a ‘stay-at-home mum’, using my days to spend time with Sausage and do things together. But now she’s at school, am I still a stay-at-home mum, considering that between the hours of 8.55am and 3.20pm, I have no one to mother?

On a totally base level, since losing my job my contribution towards family life has been much less. Sure, I’ve been available for more housekeeping, but I’m not actually adding to the family coffers and I’m acutely aware that every time I spend money it’s usually been earned by someone else. I do have a small amount of income but that tends to get swallowed up as soon as it comes in on car insurance and my phone bill. I was able to do so much more before and it made me feel good.

My self-worth is obviously closely related to what I perceive as my use  to other people. I’m always offering to do things for people which are of no benefit to me, just to be the one who’s helped someone out, like I rack up ‘person points’ every time I offer help. I need to be needed. But I think I was like that before I ever became a parent.

As a mother, though, I know for a fact that I tend to put myself last in a lot of situations. Like mealtimes, for instance. If I’m cooking, Sausage gets her dinner first, then Husband and I tend to sit down rank last, after fetching drinks, condiments and all of the other mealtime accoutrements, with my meal being lukewarm more often than not. Don’t get me wrong, Husband often offers to do things, but I tend to insist he sits and eats while his food is hot and do the running around myself. So, does this mean that I put my worth at less than that of my family? Well, yes, I think I do. They deserve a nice meal, a hot meal, and if my is ruined well then so be it. It’s only me. 

My Nan does something similar, bowing and scraping even when there’s no need for her to do so, and I don’t know if it’s always been this way but with her, her martyrdom seems to be something that’s done so that she has a reason to moan. Her and my Grandad have a highly toxic relationship and it’s hard to know what came first; the bitterness or the hatred. Does she hate him and it’s made her bitter or has her bitterness morphed into a ball of hatred? Who knows, but either way, she’ll act like a timid servant (or did before she got too blind and disabled to do it all) and then loudly slag my Grandad off for not moving out of his chair.

I certainly don’t feel bitterness or hatred about my self-imposed lower worth, but then to be fair, I’m 28, not 78 so what’s to say I won’t be a walking hate-factory in 50 years time? Fortunately, the difference is that I have Husband who is NOTHING like my Grandad and I feel appreciated by him and Sausage on a daily basis, and I also have a modicum of reflection in my soul, which means I can see that way my life could go if I allow it. I’m not saying I’ll serve my dinner first or stop being ketchup-wallah, but I will try to consider myself a bit more at times when I feel like I don’t deserve any consideration.

Am I making even the slightest bit of sense? TELL ME YOU UNDERSTAND WHAT I MEAN!