Wednesday, 17 September 2014

"What Do You Do?"

It's a question the rears it's ugly head once in a while.

It's a question that I sometimes answer with a passion. Ready for a fight that never comes.

It's a question that I sometimes answer with weakness and dread. Then I kick myself for not being proud and not fighting my corner when that question I dread is asked of me.

"What do you do?"

Such a simple question.

It should be a simple answer.

"I'm a stay at home mum" comes my reply.

It's either met with enthusiasm or jealousy...

"Oooh how fabulous!"

"You're so lucky! I wish I could afford to stay at home with the kids - they are only little for such a short time"

...Or it's met with misunderstanding or ignorance.

It happened to me again the other month.

An older brother of an ex-boyfriend I hadn't seen in years.

"So what are you doing now?" he said eagerly.

"I'm a stay at home mum".

"Ooooooh" he laughed "A lady of leisure!"

"Ha, yeah" came my feeble response as I wasn't prepared for a fight…but then I never am. "I wish!" I added on the end and then quickly changed the subject.

I'd like to think I would be ready to stand up for myself but I never am. I then spend the rest of the year month week day kicking myself for not being stronger and standing up for something I believe in. Something I love.

It makes me feel like crap.


Why should I have to explain myself?

Why should anyone judge me for giving up a career to be with my kids?

Why should anyone think that being a stay-at-home-mum resembles the lifestyle of a WAG?

I don't judge women who return to work. In fact I salute them. I'm not entirely sure I could do it, especially full-time.

But this isn't going to be one of those posts that gives all the pros and cons about working versus staying at home. It's been done thousands of times over and the same divides remain. It's quite tiresome actually.

I just know that I hate being judged for the decision I've made. I hate people thinking I swan around each day meeting friends for coffee, having my nails done or going shopping.* It can also make me feel like some kind of second class citizen. Like I don't belong if you know what I mean?

The fact remains, I hate the "What do you do?" question and I don't think that feeling will ever change.

However, I love being a stay-at-home-mum (the clues in the blog!). I love that I am here for my kids and I can watch them both grow. I know that I have these feelings on my side and all the people who are ignorant to my decision can, quite frankly, do one!

If they want to think I lead a WAG lifestyle then let them. The thing is, I lead a lifestyle far more richer than any WAG. I lead a happy and healthy lifestyle with my children and that's something I'm mightily proud of.

* I still have spa vouchers I was given as a gift in March that I haven't used yet!

Monday, 8 September 2014

Works Of Heart - A Bit Of Disney Magic In Our Home

Every now and again you discover something amazing. Something that you know you will love and you will want to treasure forever.

It's like this a lot of the time when MC brings home her artwork from school or sits down to draw something at home. She loves drawing and I have a large folder full of her work that I just have to keep.

The thing is, apart from the ones I display on our 'This week at school' board and the ones I have framed in the play room, they do just that, they sit in a folder never really to see the light of day.

This makes me sad.

Luckily my wonderful artist friend Minty has created something very special that every parent of young children should know about. I remember Minty testing the idea on Facebook and quite a few of us thought it was wonderful….

Take a piece of your children's precious artwork and bring it to life!

How amazing does that sound?

Well, wait until you see the actual work from 'Works Of Heart'. It's even more amazing.

Minty has a very special creative talent. She didn't demand I wrote this blog post but her work deserves to be shared.

As soon as I saw Minty's new 'Works Of Heart'' venture I knew immediately which piece of artwork that I wanted re-created. Regular readers of my blog will know how much we adore Orlando, Florida and our love for The Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World. We first went in 2012 when I was heavily pregnant - it was meant to be a last big holiday before or baby boy was born. We loved it so much we returned in 2013 with a 4 year old and a 13 month old and we are going back next year too. We are all completely hooked.

MC often draws pictures of Disney characters and earlier this year she drew Mickey and Minnie Mouse and I loved it.

One wall in our dining room was still blank. Awaiting the perfect picture or photo to sit opposite the family gallery on the other wall. I wanted Minty to re-create MC's Disney picture larger than the original so I asked for A3.

I sent over a digital photo of MC's creation and simply told Minty that I wanted it to show our love for Walt Disney World, Florida. That was it. She did the rest.

What I received was beautiful.

You can't really tell from the photograph of the artwork but Mickey and Minnie, all the flags and hearts actually stand out from the background. There is also so much sparkle on the artwork too and I love the fact Cinderella's Castle is the backdrop. It's amazing and I love it so much.

I knew I wanted to pay to have it professionally framed immediately. I took both MC's and Minty's artwork to the framers and they said it was incredible - asking who had done it. The framer put a large mount around it and, with some left over paint from our kitchen and dining room, painted the perfect frame. He even mounted MC's original drawing on the back so the two will always be together and I want to pass this picture down through the family over the years.

It looks absolutely amazing - far better than the photographs show.

It's now a fantastic talking point over dinner in our house!

Please head over to Minty's Works Of Heart Facebook page and see all the other incredible children's artwork she has recreated.

Please contact Minty at Works Of Heart for all size options and prices

Sunday, 31 August 2014

#MeAndMine - A Family Portrait (August 2014)

I don't know where the summer holidays have gone. MC goes back to school on Wednesday and I'll miss her so much.

I'm not saying that every day has been a blissfully perfect day. There have been times when the two children have driven me mad but, on the whole, they have been lovely and seeing their relationship blossom each day is wonderful.

The days have flown and I haven't actually blogged since last months Me and Mine! I have barely had any time at all and have just been enjoying days with the kids and evenings with Matt.

In amongst seeing friends, going for picnics, going on adventures, having lazy days in the park we've also had a fair few weekends of family time as a foursome. It's been lovely.  Matt works so hard to provide financial stability for me and the children so our weekends are very precious.

Before the weather turned in August we spent the day at Gulliver's World in Warrington. We'd never been before and it's only a half hour drive for us. We had a lovely fun-filled day. It's not the greatest of theme parks - it needs a lot of TLC but the kids loved it which was all we needed to see. We enjoyed taking some selfies on rides too.

Then, last week, Matt took the day off work as we had tickets booked to see Peppa Pig Live in Llandudno. It was TC's first trip to the theatre and, considering he's only 2, he coped quite well. He got tired and naggy in the second half so Matt took him to the car for the last 15 minutes but after a short nap and some lucy he was ready to enjoy the rest of the day. We had lunch and went for a stroll along the pier. The kids went on some fairground rides and then had fun with the 2p falls in the amusement arcade.

Again, it's all about the selfies this month. They aren't perfect but then that's just us.

dear beautiful


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