The Dream

Today, just now in fact, my son returned to school after the summer holidays. I feel sad. He’s growing up so fast and I can physically feel it as though his childhood is slipping through my fingers. As a parent I couldn’t be prouder or happier with the person he is and whilst I gloatingly will take some of the credit for that mostly he was just born fantastic and simply wakes up being himself everyday.

What this last summer, this last year or so in fact has taught me is that I have a dream to be more. To be home more. To wake up and have breakfast together as often as his age and lifestyle will allow. My dream is to work from home and schedule my business life around my family life.

We hear this a lot, there are so many people in exactly that position or endeavouring to get there and I’m telling you now. I may have no clue how it’s going to happen but it’s what I’m aiming for.

I currently have 19p in my bank account and around Β£17 in my purse to last me till September 25th. Manageable but not long term. I want a life and I’m willing to work my bum off for it my only stipulation is that the life I build for Josh and I is of equal value to what I put into it.

I am learning that my current standing is entirely down to the choices I have made. And I’m pissed. Passed that I have let life bring me here by not being present in my own decision making. Time to change. Time to roll up my sleeves and plough forward.

So my master list of wants for this year (I may continue to add to this by the way):

1) earn a full time income working from home

2) buy our ‘forever’ home

3) support my mum to give up her physical job which is limiting her life through physical pain

5) make memories!

If you’ve ever read my older posts you will know a couple of things 1, I’m a worker -I get depressed if I feel like I’m not ‘doing’ or aiming and 2, I make a life list every year.

I’m not saying I’ll get there but I have the goals and that’s the best start.

Anyway, here’s to my 19p dreams.

Thanks for reading.

A x

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Money Money Money

I would like to tell you that I am totally fantastic with money but frankly I am shit. I try and I try and I try and, logically, the money thing makes total sense. Then comes the practice of money and I prove that I am to personal finance, what a child in a little tykes car is to the Grand Prix.

Absolutely unequipped to be in the same game.

I have lots of things I can blame. In fact lets do that, it momentarily makes me feel better about my inadequacies:

  1. Still recovering from debt issues from my ex husband and marriage (we separated in 2008)
  2. A long time making ends meet by going around in circles, ultimately leaving me still paying things off to balance out from that
  3. Insecurities
  4. Lack of understanding
  5. Poor Credit rating
  6. Other peoples shit
  7. Being the victim of fraud but not being able to prove it
  8. Reasonably high cost area to live with mediocre salaries
  9. Being a single mum with a periodic tenner from the ex to help support Josh (mostly this is a big exaggeration of child maintenance – I get very little including time. I don’t push because I made the decision a long time ago that my mental health was more important that then constant disappointment and anger )
  10. A growing child who needs new clothes and shoes regularly
  11. A negative value in most financial things
  12. Poor financial role models

All true. Sadly though, the biggest truth is that this is all my fault.

I hate saying that, I am not good at being the one to blame in anything in this life however, I do pride myself on holding my hands up if I cock up and in this case the culprit behind it all is me.

I have given my financial power over to circumstance and allowed my emotions to over rule my head WHEN I KNOW BETTER.Β I am Amy and I am bad with money.

For your information, I don’t buy large high value luxury items when I am feeling down and I don’t gamble. Nor do I take out risky loans etc. I have little to nothing of quality to show for my lack of funds I haven’t spent it on significant products etc, I simply just do not spend wisely. The way I do this and get round that sensible head that tries to rear itself, is by justifying the spend and ensuring it is on an absolute necessity like food.

Low and behold it still comes back to bite me and, when the lack of funds come a calling, I blank it off. Β It’s at this point its beginning to stress me out you see, then I forget them (accidentally but with intent at the same time – it’s a real skill) and of course, with any forgotten bill I then experience a level of forfeiture or some such in order to get back on track.

I want to buy a house by the time I’m 40. Preferably, I would like to buy by the time I am 37. I have no savings and no current way to earn extra, my outgoings are increasing whilst my income is likely to remain stationary or reduce over the next few years dependent on Brexit, health, life turns etc.

I am sick of being the financial victim. I need to increase my salary and also build a reasonable side hustle. I need to spend less and earn more. I need to plow all I have into first paying everything off and getting on an even keel and then and only then plowing into savings.

I am not money savvy. I have limited imagination for side hustles and still wish to ostrich my way through the financial quagmire that is life but I am beginning to realise that I need to take responsibility for all of this.

Any tips and advise, any words of encouragement?Β Money is such a taboo subject still but shouldn’t we talk about it? It’s my understanding that worries about money are a huge cause of relationship discord and personal misery.

Thank you for reading.

A x

 

Aging

We all do it, this getting older malarkey but I’m not really sure at which points we actally feel it. Is it a general feeling when you experience the aches and pains or is it a literal moment in time when it clicks?

For me it’s a mixture of those and also just a sense. I’ve been feeling it a lot lately and there are times when it’s highlighted.

Recently there have been a lot of little things, a couple of extra grey hairs. My son treating me as though I’m positively ancient and my desire to hibernate more than usual at this time of year.

I genuinely can’t decide if growing older freaks me out or fills me with wonder. I mean I love that I’m more me than I think I have ever been but I also feel like everything is slipping away, simply moving along with the hands of time to a place beyond my reach.

I thought I was anything but a girly girl yet I feel the sudden urge to learn how to do my make up and hair better. I want to be considered gorgeous at one point in my life and I feel like if I try to be that now I will just be mutton.

I’ve a face that’s shed too many tears of sorrow and a body that is battling itself everyday whilst trying to be good to me. I have a personality of a neighbourly girl with the desires of a raunchy novels protagonist. How can I consolidate all those things in my mind when, as I grow older the chasm between those things widens so?

I look older in the face than ever before. I don’t think I’m aging well and it scares me that I’m starting to see someone new in the mirror. I feel too old to worry and too old not to.

I’m not even sure I like my face and yet it’s continuing to age even without my consent. I love being more sure of my choices, more accepting of others, more appreciative of the joy in the world but I can’t help but feel like I appear older and wiser than I actually am.

The two images at the bottom of this post were taken approximately 24 hours apart. I felt so polar opposite with my hair and make up professionally done in the 2nd pic and all week I’ve felt sad that I didn’t somehow keep that look. I felt pretty for a change. Yet I felt so much more myself in pic 1. I apologise for the dirty mirror in pic 1!

I don’t know what the answer is. Whether I am embracing growing older or whether I want to turn back the hands of time. I’m not sure it’s a feeling, a physical thing or a thought process but one thing I know for sure is that as long as I’m breathing it’s inevitable.

Any tips on how to do hair/make up that suit a 35 year old mum who has a case of the frumps, no budget and an extremely limited make up pallete would be greatly appreciated. Any links to interesting bloggers that discuss this topic or indeed any interesting articles on modern aging would be fab.

I’m curious, what does aging mean to You? Do you feel the weight of it or are you embracing it? I don’t want the glossy versions I want to know the nitty gritty, the cold hard truth.

Thanks for reading.

A x

Stop the world

I know I’m not alone in this so hi all!

There are days (like today) when I can barely function. Oh you wouldn’t know it from the outside, I’m pretty good at going through the motions but today my insides are screaming out for a mental health day.

I use that term to describe a day of self care, of switching off. I feel overwhelmed and under energised. I am lack lustre today in all that I do and any noise, any people, any things are just too loud or too much.

I think this is perfectly normal but I have yet to learn how to manage when this happens. I want to call and tell my boss that I’m knackered, that I am ticking over but not productive. I can do it today but I shouldn’t. That for a week or so I’d love to work entirely from home because I want to work, I’m capable of it but facing people for anything is just a bit too draining for me at the moment.

I won’t be calling her, though I think she would be sympathetic to my needs. I won’t call her because I haven’t yet figured out how to be that honest with myself – I talk the talk about it but I don’t walk the walk. I’m not ready to admit that this is me because when I am fine with people and places and over stimulation I can’t understand why I ever get to this point to this lowness.

So today, though I want to stop the world and recuperate I shall instead grind through my day. Doing what I can and I will be exhausted when I get home.

How do you deal with this contradition in personalities and emotions and well-being?

Thanks for reading.

A x

Single Parenting

My thoughts on this subject may be different to what you expect.

I’m often a little perturbed when people tell me what a great job I’m doing and how hard it must be raising Josh as a single parent because, simply put I feel completely disconnected from that.

I have thought about this often and ultimately I think I have found it easier to parent to the best of my abilities BECAUSE I’ve done it single fashioned. It’s clear to me that my circumstances are different to some, and I fully accept that others parenting solo absolutely deserve all those accolades but not me. I’m just mum.

Truth be told I think I’m not cut out to co-parent. I believe that I am too shallow to share that process. I think I prefer to have all the power, I certainly don’t hold any resentment because the Mr hasn’t folded the laundry or we haven’t shared the night feeds this week. I don’t worry about whether the Mr is going to be late home from work and leave me hanging and Josh has learned a lot about human interaction because we are always interacting with each other.

Controversial I know but like any walk of life each person has a slightly different path. Had I have known I was going to become a single parent before little man was born then I’m not sure what would have happened. I was terrified/shell shocked and completely and utterly despairing. Then I got on with it, and I LOVED EVERY SECOND.

I get all that joy and all that fun and all of those tight throat oh my goodness my child is amazing moments.

I am his and he is mine.

Single parenting. I adore you.

Motherhood

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about motherhood and what it means to me. I can’t always explain it and over the years with the change in women’s roles I think there’s such a wonderful mash up of parents roles now. But what do I feel, where do I fit in to that, what is motherhood to me? 

Well I am not an alpha mum. I know that, part of me wants to be but I’m most definitely not. I forget parents evenings, we have ‘lazy’ dinners at least once a week. Josh avidly watches crime dramas with me and I still try to get him to eat food he doesn’t like because I like it and refuse to make two dinners.

Josh also swears. Not to anyone other than me or in general conversation but, when he has a bad day I allow him to say as many swear words as he can fit in whilst I count to 10. So sue me. He always ends up laughing and that to me beats keeping it all bottled up.

I’m also definitely not the middle class nurturer. I don’t always buy organic, only if its cheaper, I never breast fed and I gave him wotsits rather than Waitrose organic cheese flavoured puffed corn snacks. Josh went through Asdas own nappies like there was no tomorrow and the thought of cloth nappies made me heave. I agree they’re better for the environment. He got in his own room the second I felt safe enough to do so and on occassion I let him cry through his frustration. Horrid woman aren’t I.

I’m not a hipster mum either. I have little to no natural style and Josh would live in joggers if I have him the chance. I do sometimes think I could grow a beard but that’s going off the subject. 

I love all those bare bones get to the real stuff mummy blogs too. You know the ones where they speak about the kids face-timing nan and showing you having a poo. The sorts where they admit all the gory details. But I don’t feel like I associate with those mums either, because that just is what it is and I’mnot cool enough tobe interesting enough with those moments.

For me I think I’m just Joshs mum.  If I could explain our relationship it would be ‘team’. 

I’ve always been honest with Josh when he asks questions – I respond as openly as I can (within reason) it can make for an awkward moment, like yesterday when he asked me how girls masturbate after all ‘its natural and I’m a girl’ 

We talk quite openly about the world and current events from terrorism to why celebrities are famous. Again, not always easy conversations. 

Josh is pretty self sufficient, with minimal supervision can make a decent meal. I potty trained him with a sticker chart. I drew a road with trees and houses along it, at the end of the road was a toy car. Everytime he went for a wee in the toilet (he never actually liked the potty) he got a sticker, when he got all the way along the road he got the car. He hasn’t used a nappy since the day I stuck the chart on the wall but he loves weeing inthe open air. 

Motherhood to me is embracing your jelly belly whilst doing an exercise DVD and eating a doughnutat the same time as telling your child that its ok to have wobbly bits and to be kind to himself and others about their body. I’m a hypocrite.

Motherhood to me is teaching my son right from wrong, trying to be a role model when I don’t always want to be and I’ve called the school and told them he was poorly whilst he was still asleep just so we could get a duvet day together. Yes it was a long time ago but yes it was needed and the pros outweighed the cons for both of us.

It’s knowingly letting him stay up 20 minutes past his bed time because he thinks I haven’t noticed then, making enough noise in the bathroom so he switches his light off and goes to sleep, feeling as though he’s been a bit rebellious without crossing a line. When really I just love to hear him giggling quietly to himself.

For me motherhood is still taking his socks off super slowly after he’s spent all day on his feet because even though feet gross me out he tips his head back and whispers “ahhh that feels like heaven”

It’s setting limits and helping him break them, its being honest whilst lying to myself, its teaching but mostly learning. Motherhood is the best gig in the world. 

Initially becoming the person responsible for another human being was tiring/exhausting and not exactly pretty but it was also hilarious when I let myself stop trying to fit into the above categories. It was empowering, the first time I genuinely stood up for me with the people who I had been uncomfortable with was because I had become a mother. It continues to educate me in ways I never knew I needed to be educated.

What is motherhood?

To me, motherhood is quite simply everything and the only category we are really in is is the category labelled ‘parent’

Thanks for reading.

A x

Compliments are king

I was feeling sorry for myself, I’m putting weight on left right and centre, I am knackered and I’m pretty sure I’m a bit dense.

I laughed at myself when I thought that and it got me thinking about something someone once said to me. I was in a pub with a group of friends and I laughed and my friend, completely unrelated to anything else just looked at me and said “your smile is beautiful, your mouth makes the shape of a heart”

I’m one of those people that struggles to believe a compliment, normally I think they must want something from me but this one was different. It was unprovoked, unexpected and I genuinly felt the truth behind it. It was one of the single most memorable moments of my life and it warms my cockles to this day. I make it a mission of mine to compliment everyone I know as often as I can because that moment made me feel truly beautiful and not in an up myself kind of way just in a genuine and lovely way.

A compliment can go a long way. This one is burned on my heart and I think of it often and feel good. Thank you old friend.

Have you ever received a compliment that is secretly your happy thought?

Make someone’s day tell them something unpromptedly lovely about themselves.

Thanks for reading.

A x

Max Meunier

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