Today I spotted a job vacancy at the local hospice where I worked before having the children. The job would have been pretty perfect for me and was actually quite similar to the one I was doing before I left. Reading through the job details I started to get excited at the thought of working again, earning some ‘proper’ money and contributing to the mortgage and bills would certainly be a good thing. I started mentally working out how I would juggle child care and how I would fill in the gaps between pre-school and school. I then started to think how I would manage if one of the children were ill. How would my boss react if I was having to take days off to look after poorly children? How would I feel if my child was sick and I wasn’t able to be there for them?
At that moment my little man came over to me with his ‘Tiddler’ book and said “Mummy can you read me this?” My eyes welled up and I started to think “Oh my goodness, I’m going to miss so much!” Maybe I have been spoilt being a stay-at-home mum. I know plenty of mums work long hours and just have to cope with these kinds of dilemmas but to be honest I don’t think I could do it. They are little for such a short amount of time and I don’t want to miss out on one minute.
The last 5 years have not been easy, money has been tight and being a stay-at-home mum on a budget is hardly glamorous. I am definitely NOT one of ‘the ladies who lunch brigade’. My life involves dashing between playgroups, swimming lessons, school runs and the post office, fitting in my ‘Green Mums’ work when I can. I definitely miss that feeling of responsibility and importance that you get from having a career of your own. I know mums who have gone back to work and found that they can be a better parent – their life feels more ‘balanced’ and I can totally understand that. It’s a very emotive subject for mothers and one that I struggle with a lot of the time.
So, I closed my laptop and went to read my son ‘Tiddler’. Job applications will have to wait for another time because I already have an important job being ‘Mummy’
Our perfect weekend would include a day out in the country, or even at the local park. Seeing the children running around without a care in the world, enjoying the freedom, the space and the independence is the best feeling in the world. Being outside encourages them to explore their environment and develop confidence in their own abilities. It also encourages them to use their imaginations, making up their own games and their own rules. We look for berries because if we find lots then we know there must be a bear around somewhere! We look for birds and try to name them and see who can spot the most interesting bug!
As a parent, I love them to play outside because I know they are not having to rely on the usual toys, games and television that we have at home. I love to watch them enjoying life’s simple pleasures, whether it’s feeding the ducks, paddling in a stream or climbing a tree. I also love knowing that they are getting plenty of fresh air and exercise. There’s no doubt that encouraging our children to be ‘country kids’ has increased the amount of real ‘quality time’ that we spend as a family and we have created some very happy memories whilst playing!
Lily can make a den out of anything!
This fallen down tree is actually a boat, watch out for the shark!
Enjoying a walk in the woods
Our lovely Lily
I am linking this post to Country Kids by Coombe Mill Farm. Why not pop over and look at the other posts or share your own with them? While you’re there, have a look at their Family Farm Holidays. If your family have a love of the outdoors you will have a fantastic holiday here!
Me and my brother, having fun with my Dad!
As father’s day approaches I thought it would be a good time to tell you all about my dad. I don’t suppose he will ever read this, he’s not the most technological person when it comes to the computer and the internet! I don’t think he’s ever ordered anything online and the last I heard he didn’t have a cashpoint card so had to go into the bank everytime he had to draw out some money.
My dad is one of the most down-to-earth, honest and hard-working men you could wish to meet. He’s from a farming family and is very traditional in his ways. Lunch and tea are always served at the same time, always roast on a Sunday – you know the sort of thing. He’s always instilled in me a sense of family fun and he’s usually the one to initiate a game of cards after tea or a traditional family game. He’s definitely got a competitive streak when it comes to card playing and I know he got this from his parents as it always used to get very excitable when they all played a game together!
My dad is a passionate gardener and he encouraged me to help him grow things from a very young age. I even had my own little vegetable plot when I was 6 or 7 years old. He now has a huge plot and grows all sorts of fruit and vegetables. I love visiting it with the children and watching him push Lily and Thomas around in the wheel barrow. It seems like only yesterday that he was doing this with me.
We don’t have the kind of relationship where we talk about our feelings but I know that I can always go to my dad if I have a problem. He always listens and is always there if I need him. He doesn’t give advice, he’s a firm believer that you have to make your own way in life and to learn from your own mistakes. I remember my childhood being filled with fun, family and adventures. I always remember feeling safe, confident and happy and I hope I can pass this onto my children so that they have the same start in life.
I know many people are not as lucky as me, they no longer have their father’s in their lives and this feels me with a real sadness. I can’t imagine life without my dad, nor do I want to. I’m a lucky girl and I will remember that always.
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We spent the day at a farm/leisure park today. Lily did her usual thing which is basically attaching herself to other families with little ones and forgetting that I am even there. This has never really bothered me before and I admit I was pleased that she is so confident and out-going. Today though, she took a liking to this chap who was doing a great job of entertaining the children that he was there with, I don’t know if they were his own children but they certainly knew him well. Lily started calling this chap ‘Mr Tumble’ and I admit there were likenesses, mainly in the way he entertained the childre – he wasn’t wearing a multi coloured waistcoat and he didn’t he a clowns nose!
I started to get concerned when Lily left the group we were with (we were attempting to get the children to sit down and eat a picnic lunch) and followed ‘Mr Tumble’ across the playground and down towards the toilet cubicles. She would have quite happily followed him into the toilets had he not said to her that she was not allowed to come into the mens with him.
At this point I had to take her aside and have the long post poned discussion about stranger danger. I thought at the young age of 4 that I wouldn’t have to touch on this subject for some time. I thought that I could maintain her idea that the world is a wonderful place and that she is safe within it. Unfortunately though, the time had come and I knew that I needed to tell her how it really is.
I feel totally gutted that I have had to do this and do wonder if I should have kept quiet for longer. Surely though she needs to know that she can’t just follow strange people. She’d done this on the beach a couple of days before too so it’s not as if it was a one off.
What does everyone else think? Is 4 years old too early to be thinking about this sort of thing? What does everyone else do to ensure that their kids are safe from strangers?