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Equality hurts no one

​The sheer numbers of men, women and children taking part in #womensmarch all over the world gives me enormous hope for the future. It gives me hope that there is good in the world. It gives me hope that people can still pull together for the right cause. That people can see past race, religion and belief to stand together for something that matters to us all. 

Women’s rights are human rights. There shouldn’t be men’s rights and women’s rights there should just be rights for people. The right to decide what happens to your body. The right to equal pay in the workplace. The right to not feel threatened. The right to equality and safety in the workplace, the home and in public. 

I want our daughter to grow up in a world where she is offered the same jobs, wages and opportunities as men. I want her to be able to decide what (if any) birth control she chooses to take. What she wants to wear without worrying about if those clothes will make her feel unsafe. I want her to be able to assertive and authoritative in the workplace without being called bossy or a bitch. I want her not to have to choose between career or family. I want her to not ever have to be worried she can’t make her dreams come true because she’s a woman. 

Although Trump isn’t my president his presidency threatens me as a woman. Because someone who can say such awful things about women has been voted in as a world leader and is now a serious contender in world politics. That man that made such vulgar, derogatory and awful comments about women is now being taken seriously and this (to some) means his comments can be taken seriously. 

So well done to everyone involved. To all those marching and to all of those who want to be there but can’t be but are there in heart and spirit. I’m so so proud to call myself a feminist but make no mistake – that means I want equal rights for *everyone* not just for women. For every female plumber I want a male childcare assistant because we all have our struggles and the only way we’ll achieve them is to work together for an equal future for all. 

MIP x x

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Dear Nissan UK

First of all let me just say I love my Nissan Leaf – it’s everything I hoped an electric car would be and I truly love driving it. When we decided to go electric we wanted to use a well known name but also find something that would work as a family car and the Leaf has ticked all of those boxes. It’s comfortable to drive and as I have a charger at my house its convenient to charge and use – yes you have to plan any journey above 80 miles a bit better but I don’t do those kind of journeys very often. I love the fact I never have to queue at a petrol station again, I love the fact I can send it a text message and it will defrost itself on a cold morning and I love the little waves I get from other EV drivers when I go past them.

I’ve become a total convert to electric cars because of my Leaf and recently it’s safety rating was proved to me when it was in an accident. I was waiting at a crossing when someone didn’t notice I’d stopped and she hit the back of the car at high speed. Thankfully we all walked away all be it with some bumps, bruises, pain and knocks but we did all walk away which was the important thing. It was a major plus point for me to know that my Leaf could stand up to a high speed knock from a VW Golf and only have damage to the boot, bumper and boot floor.

accident

From the point it was picked up and taken to one of your approved repair centres though it hasn’t been such smooth sailing.

It landed with the garage on the 8th December and I was given the choice of either having it written off or having it repaired. Thinking that it would be easier to have it repaired I elected not to have it written off but have it fixed instead – apparently that was a mistake because it’s been nothing short of a nightmare since.

It’s been 6 weeks now and the garage haven’t been able to make a single repair to it because they are waiting for a boot floor to be delivered. It had a delivery date of the 12th January so I was hoping to have the car back next week.

I called the garage today to check on progress and it turns out the part hasn’t even been delivered and here’s the kicker…..it’s not going to be delivered for another 4 weeks.

So with delivery time and the 40 hours repair work my car needs it’s likely to be at least 12 weeks until I’ve got the car back.

At least 12 weeks of driving a diesel, 12 weeks of paying a fortune for fuel, 12 weeks of frustration and 12 weeks of talking about this utter disappointment on social media.

How can the EV community persuade others to invest in this technology when parts have a 10 week wait on them? Where are those parts even coming from? If it was made in Australia and shipped here by boat that wouldn’t take 10 weeks so where is the delay?

And as for the people who have invested in your electric vehicle technology – should it not be if your Leaf gets damaged and is being repaired at a Nissan approved centre you get another Leaf to replace it? Why are you delivery times forcing people back into dino-fuelled cars? That’s 12 weeks of me driving a diesel when I’ve made a financial and moral commitment to electric cars

I’m angry, I’m disappointed and I’m frustrated to be put in this position. Your EV drivers deserve better than this Nissan and trust me when I say we are all talking about it. In our own groups and forums, on this blogs Facebook page, on Twitter and face to face – we are all trying to act responsibly and have chosen your company to do that. You should at least repay us with a decent service and parts replacement when we need it.

In the meantime I’m wondering when I’ll get to see my car again and if I made a mistake moving to Nissan when I could have just as easily gone to VW, Renault or BMW for the same type of car. Because it’s not just about the car – it’s the service and the brand I’ve brought into as well and at the moment I feel deeply short changed.

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Being kind to yourself……

To all you lovely mums and dads,
Congratulations – you made entire human being! You created a life and you likely spend all your waking hours (and probably some sleeping ones) making sure that that tiny human you grew turns into a kind, tolerant and valued person.
That doesn’t mean that you need to forget about yourself though. You are still your own person and you need to make sure you make the time to remember that. Be kind to yourself and make sure you have a moment that is just for you.
Go to a coffee shop, go for a run, go to the cinema, just sit on the sofa and do nothing, take a walk, visit a library, go for a swim – do anything but please make sure you do something that’s just for you.
It’s so easy to get lost in the world of parenting. To feel that every moment has to be dedicated to your family or your work but you as a person deserve those moments as well. You don’t need to justify it to anyone, you don’t need to be sneaky about it and you don’t need to feel selfish for wanting to do something on your own or without any children present.
You are a parent but you are still a person. No matter if your child is a month old, 5 years old, 15 years old or 30 years old – you will always want to put your children first but you can set a great example for your children is that it’s ok to be as kind to yourself as you are to others.
So today give yourself a little treat – have an extra nice coffee, a sit down even though there is washing up to be done or upgrade your seat on the commuter train back home. Take a walk on your lunch break and call that friend you’ve been meaning to get back in touch with or just enjoy a bar of chocolate all to yourself without any tiny fingers trying to take it away from you!
Be kind to yourself. You made a human but that doesn’t mean your children have to replace you.
x
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Am I still relevent?

My contract is nearly finished so I’m on the job hunt again and it’s got me to thinking about my professional skills.

I’m not really sure what I do anymore – I used to work in Human Resources but that was over four years ago. I currently work as a Volunteer Coordinator but that isn’t really what I ‘do’ either and as the contract is finishing I don’t have the option to continue it even though I’d like to.

I’ve been trying to find out what my professional edge is and asking myself if I still have any value in the commercial world. I’d like to think that the first 15 working years of my life before I grew a human still hold value but looking around at the market I’m just not sure. The part time options are limited to say the least.

Maybe it’s not the skills I’ve lost but my confidence – can I still add value to a workplace and can I still be a respected professional or do I have to start right at the beginning all over again? Do I need to take my career back 15 years and start all over again to build myself back up to being regarded as a professional?

I feel like the next few months are going to be made up of interesting decisions that could have a long term impact on my career and my confidence.

I think the main question is – what if no one wants me and those 15 years were for nothing?

Then what?

30 minutes peace….

​Today’s *incredibly* bold look is brought to you by 30 Minutes Peace. Just 30 minutes between work life, home life and mum life gives me enough time to have a quick hot cup of tea, a 7th Heaven face mask and a shower without interruption. 

30 minutes is better than no minutes and I intend to make the most of them. 

If you have any minutes at all – 5 minutes, 10 minutes or 30 minutes make sure you do one thing for you. Just one thing. One thing for yourself can make you feel so much better and so much more in control when you’ve got a few hundred plates spinning at once. 

Me

Learning to be alone again…..

​One of the things that I’ve been most surprised about since the Tiny Human started school is how hard it’s been to get used to spending time on my own again. For over four years I’ve had a loud, funny and constant companion so having her disappear off to school has been a bit of a shock to my senses. 

Sometimes between school drop off and work I have a moment to myself and I almost don’t know what to do – I have a massive list of all the usual household bits but still…….there is time.

Time to have a cup of tea, time to face time with my friends and just time to…..be me. 

As part of my mission to reclaim this time I’ve started running and working out again. My legs were still a bit painful from yesterday’s exercise so today I went for a walk. Nice little 8.5k stroll in a beautiful part of the world and in total silence – I didn’t see another person for nearly 2 hours. 

It was a lovely walk and lovely to be able to enjoy that time but it still feels alien – I’m constantly looking around for my daughter and still feel guilty for taking that time for myself.

I’m sure it gets easier – it must do right? Does the point come when you can just enjoy having time to yourself and not feel guilty or that you should be doing something else?

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It’s a half arsed life…..

​Because some days are just crap. Some days are full of the feeling you are half arsing everything – struggling at being a good and patient parent, not giving work all the attention you’d like because you are trying to maneuver work with the school run, trying to be a good wife and friend and somewhere inbetween that trying to still find five minutes a day to be you. 

I’ve not been running for around three weeks, I’ve not had a shower without the tiny human accompanying me for a week and I’ve made a stupid promise to myself not to drink wine during the week.

So today I found a packet of sparklers and, while my ever patient husband out the shopping away, I went and stood in the garden and played with a sparkler for a few minutes. 

It was brilliant. 

It was only five minutes but man did it count. Five minutes alone in the quiet brought me at least another thirty minutes of keeping a cool head. Which is a good job because Miss MIP has been exploding with rage for three hours now and I’m not drinking wine. 

So here’s to all the parents half arsing it. We might not be great but we’re doing the best we can.

Go find your sparkle. 

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How to save a life……

Today I am mostly very proud of my husband. Last year we registered as donors with Delete Blood Cancer  who match people with blood cancer like leukaemia and lymphoma with donor matches. Around 2000 people in the U.K. are registered and less than 1% of those registered will ever be a match.

Turns out Mr MIP is a match though so next month, after a series of injections, he’ll be giving his stem cells through blood donation that will take between 4 and 6 hours but could save the life of someone with cancer somewhere in the world.

And that’s it – a most swab, a match, a health exam and a blood donation and that could be someone’s life changed forever.

How amazing is that?

If you’d like to register as a donor you can visit www.dkms.org.uk

In the meantime I present to you my wonderful, giving, happy and stem cell filled husband.

Well done chap x x

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You are doing just fine

It’s hard not to feel judged from all sides when it come to parenting. It’s hard not to measure yourself against the perfect parenting images we see blasted at us from all sides on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, TV and magazine advertising and that’s not even taking into account the hundreds of thousands of parenting books around.

So let’s’ break it down.

If you are feeding, loving, caring and helping your children to grow up into kind, giving and confident human beings then you are doing just fine.

Put the magazine down. Put the parenting book down.

Ignore the pictures on Facebook and Instagram – I am guilty of taking perfect parent photos and they usually take 7 or 8 photos before you get one that makes it look like you are all having a good time.

Please stop comparing yourself to other parents. We are all different and at some point we were all new to this as well. No one comes into this game as an expert and one of the things children are truly marvellous at is throwing a can of self doubt into your thought process.

Children shout, children throw things, they have tantrums where they lie down in the middle of the shop ands refuse to move and they quite often appear to take pride in driving their parents to the very edge of sanity. This is all really normal behaviour for children and it’s no reflection on you as a parent.

You are doing just fine.

Happy Only Child

When one is enough

“When will you be having another?”

“You don’t want to leave it too long”

“Too long and the gap will be too big”

“Ahhhh – she’d love a sibling”

Anyone who has one child is probably overwhelmingly familiar with all of these sayings and lets out an internal sigh every time they hear any of them.

I’m so bored of justifying the ongoings of my internal organs to other people and mostly total strangers at that. I’m just so fed up with the assumptions we even want another child so I’m going to start answering honestly rather than politely.

So here it is.

I don’t know if we’ll have another baby because I don’t have a crystal ball and can’t see into the future. I don’t know if we could and even if we could I don’t know if we would.

I can’t even begin to explain how much I didn’t enjoy being pregnant. I had SPD from 18 weeks and was on crutches from 22 weeks, I had low fluid, the baby was breech and I was sick a minimum of 3 times a day until I was 30 weeks pregnant. I had heartburn, headaches, couldn’t sleep and my hair fell out in handfuls.

I didn’t glow. I’m still owed a glow.

If I’m honest I’m in no hurry to repeat that experience.

Then we were blessed with this amazing, funny, wilful and spirit filled little girl who doesn’t stop moving, has a mild speech delay and still doesn’t sleep through the night very often. We are so tired. We are incredibly happy and love our little family group but we are bloody tired.

We all fit in one car, we can live in a smaller house, all fit on one row when we fly and aren’t outnumbered by tiny humans v bigger humans.

For us this currently works – that’s not to say it’ll always be that way but I feel pretty comfortable in saying that this isn’t going to change anytime soon.

I just don’t understand why the amount of children people have is up for public debate? I’d never dream of questioning anyone about how many children they have so why would it seem ok for them to do that to me? That’s not even taking into account the hurt that is felt when people tell you it’s cruel to only have one child or ask you questions about your fertility you aren’t prepared to answer.

The trick is to just mind your own damn business – if you choose not to have any children, just one or two or a bigger family then that’s your own choice and no one has the right to question you on that. If you can afford it and you are happy with your choice then just do you and let everyone else keep out of your business.