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Monday 21 November 2016

A Weekend of Nothing

Oh Hai, 

For as long as I've been a Mum, I've been a do-er. You have to be. Gone are the days of laying in bed till 11 and then not being dressed until 2. Afternoons draped over a sofa watching trash TV are impossible and the idea of being in complete silence for an hour before their blessed bedtime is unlikely. 

When I divorced, I thought I'd have a bit of nothingy time back when Darcy goes to her Dad's. Alas, I was wrong. In that time I cram in all the work things I didn't manage when I had her. Errands need to be run, people need getting back to and footage needs editing. On top of that I want to see friends, snog my boyfriend (a lot), make sure my family don't think I'm dead since I call so infrequently and keep things ticking over at home. 

I'm always on the go. I like being on the go. I like to-do lists and I like success. I've been that way for so long now that I'd forgotten what doing nothing feels like. 

Last week Darcy was poorly with a tummy bug and so all to-do lists and arrangements were off the cards. All we did was stay upstairs, watch Netflix, cuddle and play 'fairies'. And you know what, it was utter bliss. Not her being sicky of course, but not rushing us, not always aiming for the next event and not looking at my phone or watch every six seconds. 

The weekend just gone was a Me Weekend. Darcy was at her Dads and for once, I had nothing planned. So, I planned NOTHING. 

My boyfriend came and went (he wasn't having a Nothing weekend, he went to the gym and did some bits) and I just flopped about on sofas and my bed and finished series on Netflix, had a 90 minute bath (holy moly that was nice), ate chinese food, and generally felt really sedate. We did venture out to the shops for some Christmas shopping, to Jamie's for dinner and Cineworld to watch A Street Cat Named Bob, but none of it was forced and it was all easy breezy. 

Naturally, this kind of lifestyle isn't sustainable for most of us but if you get the chance this week, take some time for you, to just flop about. Plan 'Nothing' into your diary and do it. Don't feel guilty or wasteful, you're taking a moment to recharge and nurture. You are worth that moment, that afternoon or that entire weekend to down tools and r e l a x. 

I'm going to make sure I have a day like this at least once a month. It was bliss. 



Thursday 17 November 2016

An Open Letter to my Daughter about my Work

Dear Darcy,

Our life is a juggling act.

Today I am sat in the dressing room of a theatre in Brussels, Belgium, about to give a speech to a room full of policy makers from the European Union. As I write this, you will be packing up your things at school and waiting to be walked round to the after-school club by your teacher and then Tina, will come and collect you, take you home and put you to bed at her house. I want to be holding your hand, picking you up, putting you to bed.

I'll finish my speech, attend an evening talking to key people, go back to my hotel, check my phone for texts from Tina, fall asleep, get up, come home and think of you because tomorrow is Daddy's day.

Our life is a mission in logistics. We use every hour carefully and I plan our calendars as carefully as I can. I try to schedule my work commitments on your Daddy days so that when you're with me, I'm there. I value my time with you above my time with anyone or anything else in the world. YOU are my world.

Except, right now, it's just us, a team of two. There are bills to pay, school fees to cover, things to buy and for those, I have to work. I love to work. I feel such a thrill when a project succeeds or something great happens. I'm motivated and hard working and I hope as you grow, you'll see that and be it too.


Rather fittingly, I got called on stage for a rehearsal and had to close my laptop. It's now almost a month later and I'm finding a moment to write this post. My blog always comes last in the list of things in our life.

Today I'm in London working at the Gleam office whilst you're at your Daddy's again. I miss you. I think about how I'd like to be at home, near your warm little head which is currently perfect height for me to absent mindedly run my hand over your soft hair.

I feel torn every day. I want to work. I want to work hard. I have a long list of things I want to achieve and dreams I want to make reality. I want to make an incredible life for you. You're only 5 and I'm already putting things in place to financially secure your future. I'm proud that I can afford your school fees and I'm proud to give you the things you need.

As soon as I drop you at school, I drive home and start my emails. Then, at 2.55pm, I shut them down and come for you. Waiting at the school gates is my favourite part of the day. I go into full Mummy mode and stay there till you've gone to bed and I can start my laptop up again.

The problem is, sometimes I have to do a whole day, or come into London or work at an event at a weekend and it does eat into my time with you. It's not often but when it does happen, my heart hurts.  It aches to be at home with you, being cosy, having our chats in the car, playing fairies on the landing or running around at the 'secret park' we love. 

I miss a lot of work things too, which I feel bad about. I'm skipping my work Christmas Party so I can watch your school play. Obviously, I'd MUCH rather see you be the lead sheep in this year's nativity, but those Christmas parties are so freaking good and I'll be bombarded with everyone's photos the next day.

I'm getting there though I think. When I'm at work I say, 'I'm doing this for us, for our now and for our future' and when I'm missing work I say, 'work will still be there but 5 year old you won't'. Soon you'll be 6 and then 7 and then 8! Slow down baby girl!

Our life is a juggling act but look at us go! We are a team of two and somehow, we're managing! I'm proud of how far we've come together. I'm learning every day how better to juggle our commitments and you're learning every day the power of motivation and determination. I'm so proud of the person you are becoming. Your kind heart constantly impresses me. Your morals are high and so are your spirits- you're going to go so far, little girlie!

And, if you do decide to put your skills into running a business and juggling motherhood like your Mama, I'll be here. I'll help you with your child, do your admin, offer pep talks and remind you that being a hard working mummy is admirable. You won't be neglecting your baby or being selfish, you'll be filling a potential you feel compelled to explore and I will salute you, proudly.

I love you Darcy, whether we're curled up in bed reading 'The Giant Jam Sandwich', singing to Beauty and the Beast in the car or whether I'm sat in a sixth floor office on Charlotte Street, London, I love you. You are always my top, best and most.

Love Forever,

Mummy xxx

Wednesday 16 November 2016

How To Survive A Sick Day

Oh Hai,

Long time no blog. Well, long time no publish I should say. I've been writing a lot of blog posts and then saving them to drafts, meaning to finish them later. But, with writing the novel, cracking on with more videos, enjoying a new relationship and Mumming, the blog has taken a back seat. Poor old blog, I do love you but you're always the first to drop off when things get too much. I promise to love you more. 

Anyway, soothing my blog as if it's a real person aside, I'm here today to give you my highly professional and expert (not) tips on how to survive a sick day. 

On Sunday, in the car Darcy got sick. Like projectile puke up the back of my passenger seat/ruined her car seat/drenched her clothes sick. Sick sick. The sick continued at home and my house now has a faint vom odour to welcome anyone who dares set foot in it. Yummy. Yesterday there was less sick but we still managed a good spray around the house and this morning my bed pillows took the brunt of it. She's keeping water down and a little bit of food but the poor mite isn't having a very nice time. 

Thankfully, spirits are high but energy is low. These are the things I've been doing to make my life easier. 

(This post isn't medical advice, you should do that yourselves, this is just the extra bits to make life easier)

How To Survive A Sick Day

Gather every bit of patience. Your little one can't help it but they're going to be on High Demand settings. Whiny, moany, needy. That's fine for a day or two but after a while it wears thin. Each hour I remind myself how much I hate being ill and how much difference a loving, warm, kind heart can have to your patient. 

Let go of yours and their schedule. Trust me, just wipe everything on your to-do list for a couple of days if you can. When you take away that pressure and your only job is to be Mummy, it's a lot easier to cope. Most things can wait. 

Make a base to keep life central. We've made camp upstairs. Darcy has been living in the guest room because the bed is closer to my bed, toys have been dragged out to the landing so I can see her from my room (I've been doing some editing and emails whilst she plays) and of course, the bathroom is on hand. Food is bought upstairs, blankets are everywhere, life is good up here. 

Find every towel in the house and put them EVERYWHERE. Towels are your friends during this time. I've learnt the hard way that little children don't aim into bowls. Oh no, they just let it all out. At least if you have towels down by the bed and over the covers of the bed, you can scoop them up and protect what's underneath. 

Have a bucket or bowl in every room. I almost broke my neck running for the bowl when I heard her coughing yesterday. New plan, multiple bowls, multiple rooms. 

Get everyone in PJ's. You're not going out so why are you confining yourself to a bra. F*ck that. Put little one in PJ's (and expect to go through a few pairs if they're sick) and put yourself in something comfortable too. 

Tie up everyone's hair. You'd think it's just the sicky person who needs this but alas, after carrying Darcy up the stairs and having a bit of an....incident...all down my back, I wished my hair had been tied up. 

Charge the iPad and load up Netflix. A TV day is FINE if they're ill. I know we all talk about less screen time and more active play but if they're not well, don't worry. You're not going to give them brain rot if they have a day of Mr Tumble. You on the other hand...

Don't be afraid to ring 111. If things get beyond what you're comfortable or familiar with, phone 111 NHS Direct. They're amazing with advice and offer real peace of mind that you're taking the best course of action. You can never be too careful so you don't need to feel silly or guilty about making that call. 

Keep yourself well. When you're caring for your tiny, it's easy to forget caring for yourself but it's important you stay fed, watered and healthy so you can continue being their nurse. I've had a hot bubble bath every night after a sick day. It helps. 

Keep on top of laundry if you can. I was tempted to knock that off my to-do list when I cleared the schedule but I soon ran low on towels and PJ's so if you can, keep throwing those loads in. I've never been more grateful for my washing machine than this week!! 

Treats, treats, treats! We have been finding that fairies leave dollies on the landing for poorly children. I think it's nice to give them something a bit extra when they're having a rough time. I think the fairy dollies were a much needed pick-me-up in Darcy's day and well worth Liam's late night trip to the supermarket to buy one. 


I'd love to hear what you do when your little is under the weather- for them and also for you. Parents of more than one child- I tip my cap to you! Single motherhood and one sick child was a challenge, I don't know how Mamas of multiples manage!!



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