Monday, 23 August 2010

Mums gone to ... Work

Evelyn's recent birthday celebrations were of course a big milestone for me too. Not only is my ickle (ok she was never that ickle) baby heading towards toddlerhood (how on earth did that happen?) but my year long maternity leave is also at an end. I am now officially a working mother.

That leaves me with any number of no doubt well blogged about old arguments that I could drag out for this post. The pros and cons of mums going back to work, the financial and logistical nightmare that is finding childcare, etc etc.. but I don't have the time to write all that - I'm a working mother you know! 

Actually we are incredibly lucky that Fred is the main earner in our household, we both have very accommodating employers and jobs that are amenable to flexible working. In Fred's case he has been able to change his hours so that he has Wednesdays off and I am only working Wednesday to Friday. I know all too many women who have wanted to work part time but been forced to decide between returning full time or quitting all together. This may be 2010, but we girls are still the only ones with the boobs and the wombs, equality is creeping only slowly towards us.

Ok, so I did get drawn into one of the old arguments there, now lets get back to talking about me.

So far it's going well. I think I picked a good time to go back as the lab is pretty quiet with it being the summer holidays and I am slipping back into it all with alarming ease. It's quite nice to be able to use bits of kit that I couldn't get my hands on when I was pregnant - not for any health and safety reason, just because the way they are set up meant I couldn't reach them over the bump, and it is lovely to have grown up - non baby related conversations. I even love my commute! Clearly that won't last but, but one thing I found particularly hard about looking after a small baby was the way that your day starts at full speed the second you were woken up. So having a little walk and a train ride in between getting up and starting work, just being able to read a magazine or listen to a podcast really improves my morning. 

On the two days a week when Evelyn goes to nursery this is especially welcome as getting both of us up, fed, dressed and out the door by 8.15am is a bit of a challenge! Nursery has also been a source of much stress all round, as poor Evelyn would wail and throw herself over me as soon as we got into the building. I'd then have to desperately fight back my own tears and try to wave bye bye like it was the jolliest thing in the world, before dissolving into a heap or worry and guilt outside. Thankfully though, I think we may have had a break through and last week Evelyn even managed to smile at the nursery staff as we arrived and didn't even seemed bothered about me going.

I shall now try very hard not to find her obvious indifference to me upsetting too!


Saturday, 14 August 2010

Thursday, 12 August 2010

The Birthday Girl

A lot of people get a bit over excited on their birthday and end up being sick.  In Evelyn's case it was a close encounter with an adolescent goat that caused her to loose her lunch.

Evelyn currently loves all animals, her favourite word is "quack quack ", which started off referring to ducks but now goes for anything feathered or furred that moves in an interesting way. With this in mind we took her to Surrey Docks city farm on her birthday and she had a marvelous time quack-quacking, limb-shaking and grinning at all kinds of farm yard beasts. Hopefully we have some video to put up here in due course.  If all that wasn't exciting enough a sudden downpour had forced us into the local Burger king for lunch, which turned out to have a giant Iggle Piggle!

We rounded off the day with a cup cake with a candle in it at tea time and so with her first sugar rush/sugar crash behind her our little one year old went to bed.

What on Earth is this?
hmmm, Cake...

I like cake!

All this was only one of the celebrations though. The first had been a joint party for all the babies in our NCT group. We rarely manage to get so many of us in one place so it was lovely to see the babies all together, it was also good to see most of the Dads again as I haven't seen a few of them since the babies were very small. The little ones had a great time pulling each others hair and grabbing each others toys. The parents also had a lovely time, owing to a slight flaw in our catering plan. This was "bring something to share" and resulted in a lot of cake, biscuits, cava and one token carton of orange juice (oopsy). I think for once it was the parents going home from a kids party feeling a wee bit sick! 

Proof that the NCT babies, and more to the point the Mummies, all made it through the first year!

The final round of celebrations was last Sunday when we had a party here at slummy terrace (I'm still working on what to call this place). A whole gaggle of friends and family turned up and after some initial clingyness Evelyn was happy to sit on a rug and hold court. Her subjects also brought with them a truly staggering pile of presents, the result of which has been to buy Mummy and Daddy several, wonderful little moments of baby playing happily by herself. Thank you everyone! Yes, even those of you who bought musical instruments!

No, I think I still need more toys, and perhaps an audience...
that's better
the morning after the afternoon before
Xylophone from Auntie Charlotte