Mum, Work & Play

I am a mum, who works and likes to play with my three great boys

It’s Not Peculiar, It’s Absolutely Normal!

If you have got two active boys like mine, I bet sometimes you wonder if everything is ok with them.  Do you get anxious about broken bones, bumps on the head, bruises and the works from their rough and tumble lifestyle?  They never cease to amaze me how they somersault off the sofa at the simplest of things or when every errand becomes an obstacle course.  It is fun watching them sometimes but sometimes the adrenalin is not infectious.  That is when I hear myself say “stop before you hurt yourself and don’t come crying to me”.  That sounds like a real party popper hey!

Normal As Normal Should Be

My husband always reminds me that their activeness is not peculiar to them; I guess he will know as he was equally active as a child.  Now the irony is when they are in school I miss them so, but as soon as they come back it’s tumbling all the way.  God help me, if they ask me to play along.   Come to think of it, my brother was quite active too as a child.  Maybe it’s in the genes and I just have to live with it until they wear themselves out… I wonder what age that will be?

Can a mother stop worrying about her kids?  I try to overlook a lot but at the same time you don’t want them to get injured and you bear the guilt for many years to come.  So where do you strike the balance with these active boys? Now that winter is officially here and they most likely will spend more days indoors than outdoors, I need to get my skates on and find other interesting things to occupy them.  Hopefully this will reduce the rough and tumble lifestyle and the sofa wear and tear!!!

Till a better next time and hopefully a less anxious me…Temi.

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What Can They Actually Hear?

Oh that Trainline Song!!!

My sons have been singing the Trainline song all weekend and I had no choice but to join in too.  It is so catchy “Choo Choo, Choo, come and join the trainline”.  It reminded me of an excerpt from of Michael McIntyre’s stand up comedy shows. He was complaining that every time they get in the car his kids start singing advert songs because these are featured heavily at intervals during the kids programs. Their favourite one was “washing machine live longer with Calgon”. 

After listening to my kids sing the trainline song for the umpteenth time, it dawned on me that I really need to pay more attention to what they hear and watch.  Hold it!! If you have got the sight of Sherlock Holmes with his magnifying glass in your head, get rid of it now.  I am not thinking of that kind of snooping around looking for clues but just general awareness.

What I mean is I need to be more cognisant of what they watch on TV, on the computer – actually especially on the computer as kids are so into YouTube now, it is unbelievable!!!  If my son wants to find out how to get to World 8 in Super Mario Bros, he checks it on YouTube.

For a mum who works from home, work hours can sometimes be every 15 minutes in every hour, so you end up darting between rooms to make sure everything is ticking ok and back to your laptop.  A lot can go unseen within those hours.

Passing on the Good Stuff

A question was raised in church recently about how we transfer our faith to our kids and how to help them make the right choices in life – without being forceful.  My thoughts were – be an example.  I want to be a good example to my kids so the life I live speaks louder than the words I say.  To be quite honest, I need a break from talking and being the advocate for peace between my lovely boys.

My pledge

The joy of working from home is incomparable, but with it comes the juggling act.  From today I solemnly pledge that my work hours must be more defined.  I will surely make more time for the kids so I can be in their world as much as they are part of mine.

There is a great future ahead….Temi

Photos courtesy of Ssijker and Josterix sxc.hu.

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The ‘Why’ of a Home Based Business

As a mumpreneur who works from home in between school run and late at night, sometimes I wonder if I am doing the right thing.  This is after I scrape the burnt fish fingers from the oven once I am done with a supplier on the phone.  Or when I have to deal with an overflowing in-tray whilst I look after my little one who is unwell and can’t make school. 

We moms always have a way of picking ourselves up and find the resolve to go on. We always find the reason why we choose to be at home and not sit in an air-conditioned office sipping coffee, and once in a while drift from the tasks ahead.  ‘Why’ is the reason we forego gourmet meals with our work colleagues and now live on the kids leftovers just because you have a deadline that can’t wait. 

What is your ‘Why’?

‘Why’ is our reason, our comforter when the going gets tough. It’s what keeps us motivated when that business deal slips away for the umpteen time. 

‘Why’ is when you see the little ones after school grinning from ear to ear with a story that has you doubled up with laughter. 

‘Why’ is when your client base is down by 50% but you are in the front row of the school play watching your little one debut his solo performance.  

‘Why’ is when they call you from school that your little one is unwell and like a flash you are at a school office to welcome your precious one into your arms. 

‘Why’ is because you are your own boss, you do not need any authorisation to accompany your child’s class to the zoo.  At least you can catch up on your hours late at night. 

Yes, we do moan about how we have to juggle so many things at the same time. Conversing with a client whilst you load the washing machine or reading stories to your 3-year-old for the fifth time and sorting out your invoices all in one go.   Whichever way we look at it, I bet a lot of us will not want it any other way. 

One of my ‘whys’ is my sons’ smiles at the end of the school day knowing that mum or dad will be there to pick them up so they can catch up on the wacky stories about what happened in the playground.

So when you the going gets tough and your schedule seems to running away from you and out of control, remember your whys.   

Till a great next time….Temi

Find me at www.businessfirststeps.co.uk where I do what I love – helping people find their passion. 

photo courtesy of svilen001 sxc.hu

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Mum is the Job

Phew! I can’t believe it took me this long to write a blog.  Weeks have gone by since my last entry, I now know how much time I need to recover from the summer holidays.

We are in Pre-School Now. 

Back to work gradually….with little one now in pre-school. Gosh! those 3 hours of pre-school are…for lack of words…knjgebvhire!!!! Can’t think of a word to describe it because my little one loves it so much, he now wants to stop attending the nursery in the mornings.  I got an afternoon slot which doesn’t quite work for a stay-at-home mum who works on the side.  Errrm!  maybe not on the side if I am putting more than 5 hours in at least 4 days a week. 

I salute the moms that stay at home without engaging in any form of business.  I think I will go bananas!!  Juggling self employment and family is a tough job, but I prefer that. With a mind like mine, it needs to be kept active thinking of other things and not what is not right with my life. 

Plans…What Plans?

Anyway back to my strange week.  This happened a few weeks ago and me think of a verse in the bible which states “many are the deliberations of a man’s heart but it is God’s counsel that will stand”.  I had planned that week so well (I thought)

Monday – Consultation with clients

Tuesday – Full day school and work for mum

Wednesday – Fun with little one, cleaning and a bit of work

But guess what Tuesday morning we woke up bright and early and got out in time for school. As a treat, brought the scooters along for a good ride.  Down the path they went (at gear five as they usually say) and my little boy fell face first into a nettle bush.  He got up with a blood curling scream which made me panic.  His face swelled up in an instant…my older son and I were petrified by what we saw.  Hurled scooters back home, got into the car, mad dash to school. Asked another mum to drop my older son who was so concerned for his brother and started to cry. My heart was aching, I wanted to take both of them home.  But somehow common sense prevailed and with a bit of medication, he made pre-school later happy as usual. 

So does a mum do, if she has to be at work in an hour or so?   How will she feel seeing her son in pain and having to think of work at the same time?  I never take for granted the privilege to work from home.  I know a lot of moms will love to do this if they could but situations just won’t allow it.  I salute moms who work hard to make ends meet, whether in a corporate job or by staying at home.  We all in our own way make the world go round.

Another school run upon me.  Enjoy your day

A better time next time….Temi.

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A Few Years Ago

On my way to the shops this morning to get some ingredients for a Fisherman pie – first time of making such a meal by the way,  I starting thinking about when my son started reception.  It was a funny experience as I had heard so much about school run mums and how you enjoy coffee mornings, chit-chats and other lovely friendly times.  Having been in employment for over 15 years until then, I thought it was going to be a walk in the park

I took my son to school with such high expectations of meeting like-minded mums who I can share tips and information with.  How different it turned out to me!! Many mums did make friends along the way but I was never one of them.  I now realise it had more to do with me than anyone else.  I struggle with small talk, I just drift off after a while.  I really try and stay focused but find it really hard.  Moreso, I really did not have a lot in common with the mums I tend to run into. Once in a while, I will love to walk to the car or half-way home with another mum and share school experiences etc but after the reception year, I gave up.  I do say hello to a lot of parents now but outside of that and meeting during birthday parties, sports day etc nothing more. 

Netmum posted an interesting blog about Mummy Mafias in school, I found it quite interesting. 

http://netmumsblog.com/2011/09/05/the-playground-mafia-by-sarah-tucker

It was a great blog about mums who bully other mums and more, I must get her book ‘The playground mafia’ sure to be an interesting read.  A lot of the comments indicated that many mums have suffered in the hands of these so called ‘super mums’ who dress to the nines (in their own opinions) and look down on others.  For some of us who drop the kids off and rush to the shops and then back to our desks, you hardly see them. 

Occasionally you come across a mum who is trying to prove her superiority during the school play, but honestly I do not have the energy or time to be involved in such  petty matters.  I just ignore them.  Once I sat in front of two mums during the school concert and they just talked about other mums all through – the ones that have lost weight, having affairs etc.  If there were any other seats with a good view, I would have moved seats – it was appalling and so childish. 

Now with my second one in pre-school, it is a quick hi and bye.  Even though there are a few mums who seem quite friendly now – I think as a mum over 40 wanting more out of life, you just don’t have the time to search for friendly faces within the crowd anymore. My kids are happy in school and there are clients work that needs to be done – that is what gives me fulfilment.

Having a great time working from home…Temi.

Photo by Biewoef sxc.hu

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Missing Them Already

This has been the best summer holidays I have had with my little ones.  I have enjoyed having them at home with me and watching them grow before my very eyes. I decided to make a conscious effort to observe them as much as the need to correct them this summer and I am glad of what I saw. 

I enjoyed the moments I stared as they watched TV, intrigued by the expressions on their little faces. I enjoyed watching my older son care for his brother and how the younger one always found solace in his big brother too.  I loved the bond they have developed and the way they co-exist. The way the older one always makes space for his little brother in church and if there is none, he effortlessly puts him on his lap.  They have learnt to share things a lot more and surprisingly defer to each other without mum having to say a word. 

Are They Really Growing Up?

My kids are maturing before my very eyes and I am not sure I am ready for that.  My little one will wriggle out of my hugs, maybe mummy is hugging too tight.  Feels like he’s telling me, “mum I am still here, don’t smother me with too much love”.  

My little boy starts pre-school this week and I am quite sad because after this is ‘big school’.  I now need authorisation to spend time with my kids and can’t just keep them back when I feel like it.  No more midweek time together with my little one.  I have been thinking to myself,  did I make the most of our three and a half years together?  As I read the pre-school info, my heart skipped a beat when I saw ‘your child is expected to attend every day’.  He is just too little and do not want to let him go just yet.  I want more idle days with my little boy – going to the shops, park,  rhyme classes or just watching mickey mouse and saying “oh toodles” together.

Life Goes On

No more excuses, I have to carry on and stop pinning for my kids after all, they will be back by 3.30pm and then the activities continues.  Snapping out of the pity party as there is no more excuse for idleness – summer is over so back to work.

Looking forward to great times ahead…Temi.

Photo courtesy of hoefi sxc.hu.

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The Brain Has Switched Itself Off

I do not know if  it by choice, but I think my brain has decided to switch itself off.  For the past one week, I have not been able to get into the work flow.  Is it the holidays, is it the kids or the whole trying to juggle too much?

Out of Gas

I have tried really hard to get going these past two weeks but it has been almost impossible.  I can relate my present situation to when a car runs out of gas and you try and keep it going to get to the next gas station.  It makes those jerky moves and goes tut! tut! tut! tut!.  A task that is normally done in a day is taking more and some just don’t get done at all.  It get worse when we went away and came back, I could not even get my laundry routine right. Feeding kids at the right time almost requires a calculator!!!! 

Well the good news is holiday season is almost over and hopefully I will get back to normal soon. Thank God my workload has been manageable this August so there is no extra pressure to perform. 

I hope I find the ON button soon as I can’t afford to allow this sedentary life to go on for too long.  I must say, I kinda like the feeling of just coasting along. 

Till a better next time….Temi.

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Should They Earn It?

Still Loving the Holidays

I am still having fun with my family.  This is the most relaxed I have ever been since my older son started school.  It has been great, I am enjoying every moment we spend together.  I got my son a skateboard as he so wanted one – he has been really good with his regular (holiday) school work.  Yes, I am one of those moms who believes children still have to learn during the holidays in preparation for a new school year.  So a good treat for his hard work was well worth it.  Both of them don’t even need coaxing anymore, they know they have to “do their work” before enjoying their playtime.  Before I am labelled the dictator mum, they do have their days off as homework is not an every day thing.

Educationcity.com has been great in helping them with their learning experiences.

Might get a skateboard for myself too but ride with extra knee and elbow padding. 

Should it be free?

This actually reminds of some of the questions the kids in Sunday school asked recently.  “Why do parents mostly give us things as a reward for things we have done and not just for the sake of it”?  It was good food for thought, in my own opinion as it teaches life lessons.  I strongly believe if children learn that most things are earned, they will learn good work ethics for the future. I do agree some things should be given freely whilst some things just have to be earned.  As they grow older they will value input and appreciate output too.  Afterall, nothing in life is free.  You can’t just place demands on the system and throw a tantrum when you don’t get what you want.  That is why some kids will go out there, riot and loot without questioning their own actions!!!!

Work Schedule

Boo hoo!!!! I could hardly get through half of my to-do-list last week, I was so distracted.  I have had to carry most of my tasks over to this week, hopefully it will be a better week so I better get cracking.  I have sent out my scheduled emails and newsletter is going out this week too. All this and more whilst I cater for two very hungry caterpillars I mean kids.

Some of my completed tasks last week were www.socialmediajoint.co.uk and www.apexeditors.co.uk.  I am glad they liked what I did for them. 

Roll on this week, I am all ready for you.!

A great time awaits me….Temi.

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Through the Eyes of a Child

It has been a great summer so far, the kids have been enjoying the little activities we have been able to put together for them. Sound like I am trying to justify working a lot more than I should during the holidays…I know!.  

My son’s friend is staying over for a few nights. Every time I catch a glimpse of the joy on my son’s face whilst playing with his friend simply warms my heart. He woke up today with such a beam on his face. My older son is one of those kids who sometimes wakes up with a moan (a lot better now than it used to be), so to see such a smile…well it’s priceless.  It is amazing what children treasure, sometimes it is not so much the big things we buy for them or the fancy holidays. Every time I discuss holidays with my sons, their first question is “which one of their friends is coming along”.  I almost answer isn’t mum and dad enough for you! You bet they are going to say no, I will rather be with my friends.

I want to try to see the world through the eyes of my children more often, know what matters to them and how they view the world.  I think it will give me a better understanding of how they reason and help me balance my parenting skills appropriately. 

 Well back to work as the kids seem to be occupied with each other, until hunger strikes…which happens very often. I better get more hours in. 

Till a great next time…..Temi.

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Cherish the Love…

Yippee! Two successful weeks into the school holidays and I am still feeling good.  This is the most relaxed I have ever been during the school holidays with two kids in tow. It is amazing what we can achieve when we set our minds to it!  It has been fun times of new discoveries, new places and new things.  My commitment to MORE GRATITUDE AND LESS ATTITUDE is helping me cherish the love of family and friends a lot more.

We had a lovely picnic in the park last week. I can’t remember the last time I sat down for more than two hours in one place without working on my laptop.  It was so refreshing to sit in the park whilst the kids ran around uninhibited.  Good times!

Thank you Museum of London for organising great workshops for the kids – my little ones were so impressed. 

Taming my Workload

Work has been manageable too, shifting the bulk of my work hours into the night has helped a great deal.  Now I am not so cranky during the day when the kids place their REGULAR demands on me.  Surprisingly, I have also been able to sneak in a few hours of work during the day when they are occupied with other things.  Mummy is happy and kids are happy.

More referrals from the business centre got me all excited last week.  My joy is being able to help these referrals make something of their business ideas.  So help me God.

All ready to face the week…and what a great week it will be.

Till a better next time….Temi

photo courtesy of sxc.hu rainbowj

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