Wednesday, December 11, 2013

That's me!!

Tonight I was in the guess room making the bed. I decided to take my phone and play some music. My two shadows soon could find no better place to be than in that room. My little girl was shaking and stretching as much as she could facing the mirrored door. Suddenly she really looked in the mirror. She pulled out her paci and grinned, then put it back in again. She repeated this several times. Each time grinning from hear to hear. She turned to look at me with sheer wonder across her face of "that's me". She proceed to dance for several minutes busting out every move she could while watching herself. We all ended up giggling. 

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Guilt filled parenting.

Guilt is a powerful emotion. It has its place and can tell you when you have done wrong but it also an emotion that can cause you to be paralyzed in your life. You can be unable to enjoy the moment because you feel guilty about the last. Guilt filled parenting is flooding the world. Every parent has guilt because we believe that we aren't doing things right.  We feel guiltily about shouting, missing moments and not doing activities. We compare ourselves endlessly to other parents and only see what they are doing right and fail to see there own struggles and often their own guilty emotions. As mothers and fathers we are caught from all sides. Parents yelling out there opinions as though it is the law. Parents hearing the opinions and then feeling guilty for not doing it. Mothers feel guilty because they go to work and leave there children at home or daycare. We feel guilty because we can't spend all that time with our kids and miss out on so much. We then feel guilty because we still need me time and taking that means more time away from the kids. Mothers at home can feel guilty because they should be doing so much more, they want to do activities but because they are on one income their budget is limited. They feel guilty because since they are at home they should have all the Martha Stewart things down whilst providing a delightful home cooked meal and immaculate house. Then you look at schooling and you feel guilt over that. The heated debates and emotional driven arguments only add to the flames, of whether you should be sending your kids to school; public, private or at home. Each side is convinced they are right and at times will beat the other until they are left feeling horrible.
I guess part of the problem is every parent knows that what they are deciding on is life changing and will impact their child. Some parents out of guilt allow their child to get what they want and do what they want. Some parents never allow independence, failure. Others are so free the child is left spinning
As a mother of two small children who works outside of the home I am filled with guilt. I feel guilty because I come home tired and unable to be that perfect mother. I feel guilty because I cannot pick up my child from school and attend every function. I feel guilty because my house is a mess and not they way I like it. Twice a week I take a little me time and go horse riding. A moment of just me but afterwards I feel I should have been at home. I beat myself up because I am not doing arts and crafts 5 times a week. reading endless books and allow my children to watch more than the recommended amount of TV. I feel guilty of discipline because then even the little time I have with them, I am being the mean mother. All I often see, is the I should and the I don't. What I need to see is the I have and I do. I need to see and remember the Saturday morning moments when we all pile in the bed and cuddle and play. I need to see how my son always wants to tell me what is happening in school. The fact that two children run to me when I get home from work. The trips we do make to the park, the library. The effort and time we take to see all our family even though they live in other countries. The memories they will have of trips to see Grandma and Granddad. Time with friends and after-school activities. I know that working outside of the home has its downfalls but I need to know that because of that we get to travel to family as well as other things. Being a teacher I also get all the holidays off with my kids. Three days for Thanksgiving, over a week at Christmas, Spring break (Easter) and of course 2 wonderful months off in the summer.
As parents we need to remember we are doing our best. Each family is walking the line of what works for them and which ever way we look there is something that we are not doing. Sometimes we can change it but if takes work and time. We need to not feel guilty when we fail as after all we are only human and it is also humans we are raising. These children are beautiful gifts that we get to watch and help. There is a huge amount of responsibility that comes with these children but when we do things wrong and fail we need to not let the guilt get us. When we make a decision we need to remember that we made it for the best reasons and not feel guilty afterwards. As parents we must strive to enjoy the moment to remember the good. To not let guilt over things we cannot change to hold us back. Each night I plan to hug my children and tell them I love them. But if one night I work late and miss that moment I need to not feel guilty because they still know I love them. As a mother I look at my mother and marvel and who she was as a mother. My mother may remember the bad and have the guilt of what she did or did not do but I remember the love and the happiness. The funny memories and the cuddles.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

The working mum.

I hate the phrase working mum. For one I don't know a mother who does not work. When I work outside the home it is someone's job to look after my children. I pay them to wipe there noses, feed them, change their diaper and pick them up. So if I am at home I am working too. I also dislike the phrase working mother because often it gives the impression that I don't see my kids and I am inactive in their lives due to working outside of the home. 
So many assumptions are made towards parents often focused at the mother. The worst culprits are often mothers. We think things like "well if that was my child I would ...... ( fill in the blank). As parents we judge other parents because in our mind what they are doing is crazy. Now we could be right in a sense if I decided to do something with the type of person that I am and the situation I am in, of no family near by it probably is. But those parents aren't me. We parents have some strong opinions on how we raise our children to even how many everyone should have. I have two children at one point I wasn't sure if I would have more. People where horrified that I would not have at least two. Being an only child I was a little offended. I can say the thought of having more than two gives me the shakes. So when others say they want more my first thought is 'You're mad!!' But that is because I place myself as having more. But when I often step back at look at them as they are it makes sense. 
I am a mother who works away from home. I try hard to balance time at work with me time, kid time, hubby time, family time, and running house. I believe that this is the right thing for my family. I have thought about the pluses, the minuses and the not sure. I have prayed about it and felt this was the path to go. At the end of the day as a mum I want what is best for my children. Everyday is filled with questions and I have to give an answer. There is always a hot topic as your kids grow it starts from the moment they exist. Cry it out or not? Organic? Stay at home? Daycare? Nanny? Home school? Public school? And so it goes on. For all those big things I pray we got it right for us. I know something will be wrong so I pray to God knowing he is bigger than all of this and can make it right.
I pray most of all that my children know I love them. That they remember the fun times. I pray the grow up to be people with compassion, love, kindness and forgiveness in their hearts. That they will be successful however it turns out. 

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

New stages

Life has changed so much over the last month or two. My little girl has turned one. And has started walking. I am going back to work for the next school year. This year at home has been challenging and wonderful. I have been able to be there for so many firsts. As we move into a new stage of life I am looking forward to watching my kids grow together. Big brother who continues to adore little sister, first words, new job, first day at school for my boy. So much to come. 

Wednesday, June 26, 2013


We are entering birthday madness in our family with me, hubby's mum, daughter, hubby and friends within a month of one another. This is the time I reflect on the year and also life as a hole. 
As I look back over my life I think back to a mid teen girl who made a promise to herself of no regrets. I promised myself that I never wanted to regret not doing something because of fear or lack of self confidence. 15 plus years later I am no where near what I thought I be: married for over ten years, two amazing kids, living in America and having taught high school and so much more. There are aspects I don't want to live again but I would not trade them for anything. And so far no regrets. I have not not done something because of fear and I am the better for it. Many times I have felt scared but with a pray before hand I have gone forward. I have made some amazing friends and had some fantastic times. I hope that I can help my children to do the same. As my little girl approaches 1 it amazes me how already her personality is shining through in her cheeky self. She is stilly toothless wonder but we are close. She has got just over a week to get a tooth for her first birthday. She is in a way like me where in new places or with new people we watch and learn but once we know you and feel comfortable the fun, cheeky person comes out. I hope she isn't has shy as I was and has a little more self confidence than me. My boy I can already tell is not as shy as me which is great. Watching him with his sister is amazing. The love and adoration between them makes me smile and is a blessing I am so grateful for. Watching him hug his sister and say "I love you so much" warms a mother's heart in a way I never knew. I pray that it continues as it grows up. Our family has changed so much in the last year and I am so thankful and blessed I am interested to see where God takes us next. 

Sunday, April 21, 2013

The impossible.

After I married my husband I remember seeing a new baby with it mum. It had blond hair and blue eyes. I thought I will never have a baby like that. Which I have to state I was totally fine with. My husband is black and I am white. He is from Africa and I am from Europe. Our kids are American with parts for other places. However when my girl was born I had to smile as on the side of head is a patch of fair skin with blond hair. I have no idea if she will keep her blond hair but God gave me a baby with blond hair. So I need to remember that all things are possible through him. And he loves me and wants the best for me and my family.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

My kid's world

The recent events in Boston with the bombs have brought back the memories of my home town when it was bombed. It was done the day before (british) Mother's Day. Two young boys lost their lives. The city near me was also ripped apart by a bomb. I was lucky I was not in town when it happened but as a young person it still brought home the cruelty of this world.

As a parent you want to protect your kids from the evil in this world but often you cannot. But I hope as a parent I can show my kids the good in this world. The people who run to help, the people who turn evil into good. I also want to show them God's love and purpose for them. And when things go wrong a soft place to fall.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Turning Five

My little boy really isn't so little anymore. He turn give and yesterday he had is party. He charged around with his friends, jumping in his moonbounce. My little girl is doing a spare leg crawl. 5 years has gone so fast. Emotions have ripped through my body in ways I never knew I could feel. With all the sleepless nights, overwhelming fears and responsibility beyond anything I have ever known I would not swap it for anything.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Old potatoes

I found some dried up soggy potatoes in my cupboard yesterday. I was going to throw them away but then I remembered as a kid printing with fruit or leaves. So we used the potatoes in an art project. All if a sudden useless potatoes became fun.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Mother's Day

Today is British Mother's Day. Being in America I send my mummy flowers for this Mother's day and in May she gets a card for the USA Mother's Day. I don't really celebrate the British one because I feel that is too much to ask for my husband to remember two dates especially since the British one changes dates. Maybe when my kids are older I can get them to do something.

For now Mother's Day is a time to reflect. To hope that I remain to have the great relationship with my children that I have with my mum. As I watch my children grow I marvel as they mature adapt and turn into some amazing people.

My son asks daddy if he can buy me flowers. Currently my daughter is acutely aware of my absence. Which although at times drives me mad I also try to remember that this is an amazing bond and this stage will not last forever. One day they will be independent and go by themselves. Slowly they need you for less and less as they dress themselves, eat for themselves and in the end live by themselves. I pray though that my kids will always remember I will be there to support them.

Friday, March 8, 2013


My little girl has turned a point and now wakes less at night. This in turn has allowed me more energy and a little extra brain power. With that I have been able to do activities with my son.

I as a parent am very hard on myself. I always believe I should do better. More activities with my son, a cleaner house, better home cooked meals, less tv and a fitter mother. I constantly compare and contrast. I am sure all of us do. But I need to realize that to be a mother means to enjoy my kids. My son and daughter font gain anything as I beat myself up over the fact this mother only allows 1 hour if tv a day, another mother grinds her own flour and somewhere out there there is that mother with the perfect house. They need me to focus on us. To make sure they are happy. To make sure that when I can we do stuff play dates and coloring time, story time and play dough time. But also it is ok if they watch tv as I regain my sanity. I need to be selfless for my kids but I also need to look after myself.

As my little girl naps and my son plays games on his tablet (he is an angry birds king) I will drink my coffee and take a moment to find a grain of sanity.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Work out mum.

I am currently trying to get fit. With 2 kids at home this has not been easy. So I decided to try the 30 day shred. I can say I do feel fitter but I am only on level 1. Have watched level 2 I already feel pain without doing it. I am still waiting for this extra energy people talk about but it has not come. This could be to bad sleep. But there has been another side effect I did not see. That is my son increasing his imaginary play. He now stops watching his movie to go and play with his Legos. My boy would watch stuff on Netflix forever if he got his way and after I have had no sleep he gets more than I would like. So him choosing to do something else while I work out is an add motivational bonus.

Monday, February 18, 2013


My son has 100 invisible friends. They come with us everywhere in various numbers. Stinky recently made an appearance. He needed a bath although we couldn't smell him because he was invisible and he has an invisible smell. So I asked my son if he would give invisible stinky an invisible bath. He replied no because he has no invisible water. My son then made a trip to the invisible store to buy some invisible water.
Everyone who meets my son meets one or more of his invisible friends. We just need to be careful we don't sit on them or leave them outside.

Thursday, January 10, 2013


When we are little we are great dreamers. My son currently wants to be a Monster Truck driver. He has also wanted to be a train driver and a fire fighter. When I was little I wanted to work with animals. As I grew that stayed with me and I have over my life volunteered at pet shelters and riding schools and also had paying work too at kennels and barns. Even the the US I spent a happy time at a horse rescue. Horses are my passion and they are my dream still. But no longer as a job but as a past time. I think as adults dreams can affect our lives greatly. Hanging on to that childhood dream for too long stops us dreaming new dreams. Being so focused on getting that dream means that we miss today. Not dreaming at all can mean we have no goals and feel trapped. At times I have hit all areas of these dreams and those impacts.

I still dream of owning my own horse property and having several horses on it. Some mine, some rescue and some to board. But that is a dream for when I don't have two young children at home fighting for my attention. Now my dream is of a nice house and good schools for my kids to go to. I dream that we can regularly travel abroad to see family. All of these dreams are possible but some change and some need to go and some a truly dreams for that place between awake and asleep where anything is possible. I will never be a world class equestrian but I can dream.

So I have decided to encourage my kids to dream but to teach them when it is time to let go. Not too soon and not too late. And to make sure that their dreams encourage them to fly.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

New Year

Happy New Year. As I gently rock my baby in her bouncer I am amazed that she is 6 months old. She still doesn't sleep well and the reflux is a reoccurring issue but I am blessed. My little surprise has slipped into our life so easily I cannot remember it without her. Sure I would love more sleep and be able to leave the house without feeling as though I am moving house. But progress is being made, she is asleep by 9 and so I get a couple of golden child free hours before bed. She can also now sit by herself and play with her toys. I know that time will fly by and that I need to remember these moments. 2012 was an amazing year. At times I wanted to pull out my hair as I tried to teach, write essays and be pregnant but I would not swap it for the world.