We are now in December so I’m thinking about returning to work after maternity leave. This is my second maternity leave, after returning in between my babies for a year.

I feel very lucky too have been able to spend the first eleven months of my baby’s life completely devoted to her. Now the practicalities of life kick in and back to work I must go.

Having experienced returning to work once before I know that it will be a rollercoaster. Some days everything runs well and goes to plan. Then other days everything seems to go wrong and s*** hits the fan! I’m just hoping for more days of the former, rather than the later.

Based on my experience these are my top tips for returning to work.

Returning to work after maternity leave tips

  • Plan ahead your daily routine – including what time you need to drop kids off and pick up
    • Do a trial run before you start to check your timings if unsure
  • Talk to your child in a positive way about their new childcare – even babies will be able to pick up the sentiment in your voice and tone
  • Prepare everyone’s things the night before – getting a baby/toddler changed is hard at the best of times, so best to have clothes and bags prepared
  • Try and keep drop offs quick – a long goodbye doesn’t help you or your child
  • Dont be afraid be contact your childcare – just ring or text in the day to check on them if feeling anxious
  • Keep busy – don’t punish yourself if you realise you haven’t thought about your child for ten minutes

 

Go easy on yourself, it’s a massive change for the whole family. There is a lot going on with the new schedule, new relationships and work dynamics. It may get harder before it get’s easier, so take each day as it comes.

If your feel lack of confidence when you are back, talk to your HR department, as they may have services to help you. It’s important to have self-care during this time of change, so do talk about any issues you’re facing.

Also, if you need any help on the financial side of returning to work, contact the Money Advice Service who have lots of information.

Good luck.
I know I’ll need it when the time comes.

Saving for university is something all parents might want to think about. The cost of attending university in the U.K. went up to max of £9,250 per year. Across an average three-year degree total fees equate to a whooping £27,750. That isn’t even accounting for the cost of living, rent and travel costs.

My eldest daughter is only in her toddler years but it’s a scary thought for the future. She may not even want to go to university but I would like her to have a choice when she gets there.

It took me over 10 years to pay back my degree and I didn’t have the large loans my daughters might require.

Saving for university

Consider your child may work part-time to cover some living costs, how much would you need to save to pay for their fees.

Total yearly tuition costs (assume current highest rate) – £9,250

Average cost of three-year degree – £27,750

Age at which child attends university – 18 (total number of years to save if starting from baby)

Amount required to save each year ( £27,750 / 18 ) – £1,542

Amount required to save each month from birth ( £1,542 / 12 ) – £128.50!!!

This is for one child and I have two, so we are looking at a total monthly amount of £257 to help saving for university. The FT wrote an article on saving for university. They calculated the total fees based on a four degree so this equates to even more every month.

It is a significant amount of money to regularly put aside now for 18 years time. If you are similar to me and my family, it is just impossible with all the other costs of living. Therefore I have to come to the conclusion that unless we win the lottery, we won’t be able to raise the upfront cost of university fees.

Now whilst we might not be able to save all their fees, what I hope to be able to do is put aside a much smaller amount each month. I know this won’t cover all of the cost of university, but I hope it gives them enough so there is a choice to make when they get old enough. Then they can weigh up whether university is right for them and their careers.

I am happy as long as my daughters are happy, I just want to provide them with freedom to pursue the path they want. Surely that’s what we all want as parents in the end.

When you become a parent for the first time, you suddenly have no time for yourself and it’s exhausting. As the kids grow it’s so important to take a moment for yourself and have a break. Having a rest and time away from the kids is part of self-care. Sometimes you might have to reach out to others to get the break as it’s not always going to be handed to you.

This is my poem for all the tired mums out there who just need a break.

Mum needs a break

Tired mum,
It’s ok to cry.
The days are long
But the years wiz by.

Time with the kids,
Is more precious than gold.
But relentless it can seem,
And makes you feel old.

Sometimes it can feel,
That your house is a zoo.
So it’s ok to take space,
Your allowed to be you.

A moment alone,
To sit and drink a tea,
Have a sleep or a shower,
A chance to be free.

You need a break,
A chance to recoup,
A moment to relax,
Without the whole troupe.

Then minding the kids,
Doesn’t feel like a chore,
You regain your energy,
And can enjoy it once more.

The kids need a mum,
Who gets time to rest.
Whose happy and relaxed,
And doesn’t get stressed.

Ask someone close,
To look after your cub,
Go out for a while,
Or soak in the tub.

Parenting is tough,
Not a piece of cake.
So put away the mum guilt,
And enjoy your break.

If you enjoyed this poem I also wrote one called Mum needs two minutes.

Thanks for reading.

 

Mummascribbles

 

Tammymum

After suffering mastitis for the third time this year, I have made the decision to start weaning my baby from breastfeeding. Beth my baby is now 10 months and I return back to work in a months time. This decision to stop hasn’t been easy for me though as this will be the end of my breastfeeding journey.

I could continue to feed her for longer but the thought of getting ill again whilst working has put me off. Also she now is so distracted during feeding with her older sister around. It rarely is a pleasurable experience anymore, as she just wants to play all the time, not lie still.

Our last baby

My husband and I made a decision a while ago that baby number two would be our last baby. We are both completely in agreement and our happy with our decision to have no more. We feel very blessed with our lot in life and are very thankful.

When my second pregnancy was over with the birth of Beth I had no feelings of loss or sadness to not be pregnant again. I actually felt a great sense of relief that I wouldn’t have to go through the experience once more. Neither have I felt any sadness as I give away outgrown clothes and toys. I take great pleasure in decluttering our home!

However as I now approach the last few breastfeeds with Beth, I do feel a huge sense of sadness. Not necessarily to end my breastfeeding journey but sadness for the loss of dependence my baby needed from me. She is leaping into toddler hood in many ways and leaving me baby-less. As there will never be another for us, I will never again have another human being so physically reliant my body.

So I will gently mourn the end of the breastfeeding journey. Taking in these last few moments, knowing that I was very privileged to feel this way at all.

End of my breastfeeding journey

Ode to baby Beth

My little baby
Quietly feed
Snuggle up
Take all you need

Your growing now
And changing fast
Mum will miss this
It may be our last

My precious baby
If you only knew
It’s been a pleasure
Breastfeeding you

 

Rhyming with Wine

 

Let me start by explaining what the Liebester New Blogger Award is. The award is shared between new bloggers. It is designed to help bloggers promote each other. Nominated bloggers are given a list of questions to answer, so others can get to know them better. Then in turn the nominated blogger goes on to nominate more new bloggers.

I was very kindly nominated by Cooking With Kids. As a mum who finds it hard to think of new things to cook everyday, this blog is fantastic, suggesting some delicious recipes. I will be trying out her Mince Cakes recipe in the run up to Christmas.

I have only been blogging since the beginning of November. At the moment I have a very small following so a platform like the Liebester New Blogger Award is a pleasure to be part of.

Liebester New Blogger Award

My questions:

1. Why did you start blogging?

I am currently on my second maternity leave, and will be returning to work in a months time. Before I go back I wanted to build up my confidence and have some time just for me. I had debated starting a blog for a year or so. It was only when I met a mum who had a blog herself that I finally decided to give it a whirl. When I’m back at work I hope to continue blogging as my hobby.

2. What is your favourite post from your own blog? Why?

My favourite post is Dealing With Diastasis, as I think its something a lot of mums don’t realise they can do something about. When we have a baby, mums often wrongly assume they can’t do anything to regain control of their bodies. Through the Holistic Core Restore I was able to improve my own diastasis, so I hope that other mums are inspired to do the same.

3. If you could time travel where would you go, and why?

I don’t think I would want to go into the future. Instead I would go back to the 80s so I could see some of my favourites in concert. Michael Jackson, George Michael and Prince.

4. Who is someone who greatly inspires you? Why?

I am inspired by strong women who follow their passions. Michelle Obama is up there on the inspiration list, as she has done some incredible things for women.

5. Do you have any pets? Share a picture if you can.

I have two furbabies, Max (Black and White) and Oscar (Ginger). They will be turning six next year and I’ve had them since they were kittens.

6. Where is your favourite place in the world?

Home with my little family. It is everything I ever dreamed of in life. Even though I don’t get any space anymore I wouldn’t change anything.

7. What is your favourite food? And your least favourite?

Favourite food would have to be chocolate. I could eat tonnes of it, if only if wasn’t so calorific!

Least favourite food is cream. I don’t like creamy sauces or cream based deserts. Apart from ice cream!

8. Share one of your guilty pleasures.

Entering competitions! I have been entering them since I was 18 and have won some great prizes including wide-screen TVs, trip to Bovey Castle, mobile phones, a cruise and teeth whitening!

9. What are you most proud of in your life?

I am very proud to be a Mum, proud to have run the London marathon, proud to have travelled independently around South America and proud to have won Media Week Top 30 under 30.

10. What is the first thing you would do if you won the lottery?

First thing would be pay of mortgage! Second book a holiday to Disney World.

11. Describe yourself in three words.

Organised, kind and happy.

My Nominees for the Liebester New Bloggers Award

Growing Up Two

Awaybies

My Baby and Me

Mum of the Tribe

Keep Mum

For my nominees, please read on and keep the Lester Award going.

The rules are as follows:

  1. Thank the person who nominated you, and post a link to their blog on your blog.
  2. Display the award on your blog — I’ve used it as the header image for this post.
  3. Answer 11 questions provided to you by the person who nominated you.
  4. Provide 11 random facts about yourself.
  5. Nominate 5 – 11 blogs that you feel deserve the award, who have a less than 1000 followers.
  6. Create a new list of questions for the blogger to answer.
  7. List these rules in your post (You can copy and paste from here.) Once you have written and published it, you then have to:
  8. Inform the people/blogs that you nominated that they have been nominated for the Liebster award and provide a link for them to your post so that they can learn about it (they might not have ever heard of it!)

Here are your questions:

1. Why did you start blogging?
2. What is your favourite post from your own blog? Why?
3. What is your favourite place to visit in the UK?
4. Who is someone who greatly inspires you? Why?
5. Do you have any pets? Share a picture if you can.
6. What celebrity would you most like to be?
7. What is your favourite food? And your least favourite?
8. Share your worst habit.
9. What are you most proud of in your life?
10. What is the first thing you would do if you won the lottery?
11. Describe yourself in three words.

 

Please feel free to follow the links to my nominated blogs.
Thankyou for reading my blog.

Liebster Award