Living Arrows 25/52

“You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth”

Kahlil Gibran

How has it happened? 5 weeks since my last blog post!

This weeks living arrows photo is from our trip down to Legoland last week. We took the train down and for the most part, Riley really enjoyed himself until he got bored. He did cause a fair bit of trouble on the last half hour of the trip, but to be honest, I was bored after 4 hours on the train too! But I do believe it was also something to do with his dads awful decision to buy him jelly beans from the food cart!

He enjoyed looking out of the window and spotting sheep, cows, trains and tractors.

The last time we took a long distance train was in February 2016 and he couldn’t see out the windows. Its amazing how much children grow in a years time!

IMG_1301IMG_1302

 

Living Arrows

Living Arrows 20/52

After some lovely weather throughout the week I really wanted to make the most of it throughout the weekend so was a little disappointed that Saturday was a full day of rain. We spent most of Saturday indoors and I also slept for a good few hours in the afternoon, so naturally the only opportunity I really had for photos this weekend was Sunday, whilst we were out for lunch with my mother-in-law.

Unfortunately the lunch was ever so slightly ruined by Riley being very defiant.

We had a peaceful 10 minutes where he was picking out sauces for his Dad and throwing them at him.

IMG_2874IMG_2872

I hope everyone had a lovely week in the sun!

Laura x

Down in the dumps

I’ve been feeling a bit down in the dumps this week. I’ve had a really tough time at work and I feel that it has been really affecting everything else. My work/life balance, my sleep, my eating, motivation etc have all gone kaput. Working from 8:30 am till at least 10pm, sometimes even midnight with a few hours rest to pick Riley up from nursery, cook the dinner and get him off to bed, means that my mind just isn’t switching off and I can’t stop thinking about work related nonsense. I can’t keep up with the housework, with parenting, with going to the gym. Something always has to give and I hate that I can’t give my all to everything, or even half of it. The more I was thinking about it this weekend I wondered, why should work come first?

 

workingforaliving

Unfortunately, ever since accepting my promotion this seems to have been my life. Firefighting and struggling to keep on top of everything. I do feel that this job is nothing like what I expected and that it has been one career decision that I have actually regretted. I have a habit of making very bad decisions, usually due to me overthinking everything and being conflicted in knowing which the right decision to make even is anymore.

I have so many demands coming my way, for huge top business priorities to other smaller bits of work that also has to be done to allow the line of business to function. It is never-ending and I feel I have a mountain of work that I will never catch up on. Not even if I did have the right people to delegate to. I’ve been travelling for meetings a fair bit recently as well, which obviously doesn’t help with that drowning under workload, but certainly not helped when that comes in conjunction with bank holidays too.

Now the other side of this is of course home life. I’m struggling at work but deary me what a mess my house is in! When I work at night at home I’m lucky if I get a few minutes to do the dishes never mind clean the rest of the house. I do switch off at the weekends but last weekend I found myself sleeping it away from sheer exhaustion. I also spent last Sunday in discomfort in my arm where it felt like I was just about to get pins and needles all Saturday night and resulted in only 2 hours sleep. I ended up making a trip to out of hours, who didn’t have a clue what it was and sent me home.

Riley is another casualty of my work being so hectic. I’ve been travelling quite a lot recently which has resulted in Riley becoming very, very clingy towards me when I am home. Now as much as I love the cuddles and kisses, it gives me an extreme case of Mum guilt when I put him to bed and he says that he doesn’t want me to leave his side in case I’m not there the next morning.

Kevin says he pines after me at night, asking every time if Mummy will be there after bedtime. It breaks my heart to hear this. His behaviour is also awful after I’ve been away. It could be a coincidence but it really does seem to coincide with when I’m away.

I was recently approached by someone in another line of business who had been given my name as a recommendation as a good fit for their team. It was a bit out of the blue and not something I had been thinking about, but I had to turn the opportunity down as it would have involved weekly travel, which I am really kicking myself all the more now for that decision. A fresh start in a new role is probably what I need just now and I think something I probably will be looking into a bit more in the not so distant future.

But for now, I do think that stress is beginning to take its toll on me. My biggest worry is letting it go too far and reaching that point where my mental health takes a beating. I’ve been down that path before and I don’t ever want to go down there again. I had a rocky time since Riley’s birth and struggled with the crushing feeling of depression and anxiety for several years. I know the signs, and I know now that is not a place I ever want to go back to. I know that I need to start taking my work life back in control so tomorrow morning I am going to have to start my own prioritisation which is no doubt going to upset some people but my health is far too important to put work before it.

 

Living Arrows 18/52

“You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth”

Kahlil Gibran

Our last few weeks have been very quiet on the photo front. Last week I took a total of 1 photo. This is very very unlike me and I put it down to the crazy hours at work recently.

I tried to make up for this at the weekend there, but again largely failed! I did however manage to get a few shots of him in the bath. Oh how grateful I am for the lighter nights so I can take photos in the bath again!

Riley loves a bath, and I mean absolutely love them! He gets one three times a week, (sometimes 4 depending on whether he has dove headfirst into something disgusting at nursery) but still asks for one every night.

I’ve been getting a bit bored of the old faithful Johnson’s bath stuff so decided to buy some of the Child Farm bath products and my goodness they didn’t disappoint. The smell! Oh it’s glorious!  Riley even commented on it before he jumped in too. My full bathroom was filled with the lovely tangerine aroma long after the bath was drained.

Riley loves having his hair all spiked up or shaped into a mohawk in the bath at the moment. I have tried re-creating with hair gel outside of the bath but that has never gone particularly well!

IMG_1020

IMG_1021IMG_1009

Living Arrows

Living Arrows 16/52

My baby turned four this week! This age scares me. Its nearly time for school. My little boy is growing up far quicker than I care him too. I feel this is a constant thing I write about, how he continues to grow up too quickly, that he is becoming so much more aware of everything, but it terrifies me that time is flying, not just that riley is 4, but that I turn 28 this year too! 

Theres a corner on our kitchen worktop that I always worried about when he was just learning to walk. I thought would be an issue when his head was up high enough to hit it. It is only this weekend I have noticed that he is now taller than it and I’m not quite sure how that happened.

Anyway, out of all his birthday presents, what do you think he was most excited about? The Imaginext sets he has begged for over a period of three months? The many lego sets he has been coveting every time we go into a toy store? No. A £3 bottle of bubble mixture was all it took to capture his delight! To be fair to him these were pretty good bubbles. It was quite windy at the weekend so the wand was perfectly shaped to just let the wind catch the mixture and blow bubbles everywhere.

I now officially have a four year old! Eeeeeek!

IMG_0990

 

Living Arrows 15/52

“You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth”

Kahlil Gibran

The last few weeks have been a struggle with Riley’s behaviour yet again. We seem to go through periods of just awful attitude and right now its one of those periods.

I really struggle to understand what happens to my lovely little boy when we go through these patches as he just turns into a defiant little monster.

This picture was taken within a good few hours at the weekend thankfully!

6241765680_IMG_0929We were out for lunch after his birthday party on Saturday to a chain restaurant. When we were shown to our table he told the waiter that it was his birthday and was animatedly chatting away to him telling him about his party, his batman cake and how he had “such a cool time.” He is such a wee chatterbox and will happily speak away to most people.

The waiter came back quickly after with a party bag for Riley’s birthday. It was such a lovely gesture, and the food was tasty so definitely some where we will go back to. Riley loved the bag and was excited to open

If there is one thing I am proud of despite his awful behaviour recently its how polite he is. He says his please and thank you’s without prompting and everyone always comments on how much of a lovely polite boy he is. At least I’m doing some of this parenting lark right!

Living Arrows

Living Arrows 14/52

“You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth”

Kahlil Gibran

These children grow far too quickly. One minute you are urging them to smile by pulling ridiculous faces and making silly noises playing peekaboo behind a blanket and the next they are playing on their own. Riley is more than happy to sit and play with his toys without much encouragement.

Last week didn’t present me with many opportunities to take photos. A busy week with work and a weekend of cleaning meant a weekend spent pretty much indoors, apart from a brief interlude to get the boys hair cut. Riley spent most of the time undoing all of my cleaning and taking the toys out that I had only just tidied away. Children are so frustrating!

IMG_0882

In amongst his destruction of my clean drawers and shelves he found the box of fuzzy felt which we got for him when we went on holiday in January last year and had never shown an interest in before. He was very keen this time to get stuck right into it. He spent almost a whole hour making different types of dinosaurs with different colours, different heads, feet, and bodies.

IMG_0884IMG_0881

It does remind me that sometimes spending time at home is just as good as spending time outside. Not going out every week and exploring or doing different things isn’t the end of the world, its the quality time you spend with your children that makes memories.

Living Arrows

Living Arrows 13/52

“You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth”

Kahlil Gibran

What a glorious weekend we have just had. The sun has been shining and it even hit 17 degrees.This is almost unheard of in Dundee in March! With beautiful blue skies we had to make the most of it.

We now have a new favourite park – Monikie Park, we went there last weekend and Riley asked to go back again this weekend. I decided to take a picnic with us this time. Riley, as always refused to eat the sensible food and tried to plead his way to a packet of crisps. We compromised and eventually he ate half of the roll.

The sun had brought lots of people out and the park was much busier than it was the previous week, but even still Riley had lots of fun running free.

6174615936_IMG_0876-2

Last week we didn’t make it much further than seeing the ducks and the adventure playpark so this time we took a walk down to the reservoir. We took a walk up one half of the reservoir and had to head back. It was lovely, but the nice weather had brought out the midgees, at points it was almost unbearable to walk through, although Riley didn’t seem bothered. I am still a bit itchy from the bites, they do like to feast on my blood!

IMG_2361

Living Arrows

Becoming Mum

I’ve celebrated mother’s day for the fourth time this year. It’s a day that always makes me reflect on the rollercoaster ride I’ve been on since becoming a mother, the exciting highs and the extreme emotional lows.

A small tiny loud thing had just been thrust into my arms, it was the moment I became mum. I couldn’t believe he was mine. My own little human to look after and love for the rest of my days. I didn’t feel that overwhelming feeling of attachment, I thought I would right away. In fact I still remember in amongst the happiness that labour was finally over (why did no one tell me it could last over a day? 36 hours to be exact!), I felt an all over empty and slightly helpless feeling. He was here now and I suddenly realised I had no idea what I was doing. I naively believed everyone that said “It all comes naturally the second your baby is placed in your arms!”

IMG_3844

What a load of crap. I kept waiting for weeks after having him for it to naturally come to me. That I would just recognise which cry was a hungry cry, which cry was a tired cry. I kept beating myself up over the fact I still didn’t know what I was doing and made myself feel like such a failure and unfit to look after my baby boy.

I realise now that society places an unfair expectation on new mums. To be that perfect mum the second your baby is born; that knows instantly how to feed your child, knows exactly how to change a nappy. Even these simple things I didn’t have a clue. I was too scared to hold him the right way to wind him. He seemed far too small and delicate.  As a first time mum I beat myself up on a daily basis that I couldn’t get him to latch, that I had to use a bottle, that I couldn’t stop his reflux, that I couldn’t stop his crying.

It’s the hardest, toughest job I’ve ever had. I’ve wanted to throw the towel in at times, which is so not like me, I am not a quitter! However, motherhood is the most difficult, yet rewarding job, the most joyous but unforgiving role.

If anything motherhood has made me appreciate my mum all the more. She has done this three times over! For every time I felt I was falling apart my mum had been through the same thing, felt the same things and made me feel happier and better each time, all the things which she had gone through before I can ever remember. All the hardship and troubles we caused her and yet we all still turned out ok.

He makes me laugh with his crazy sense of humour, brings tears to my eyes with his cuteness, and makes my heart fill up with love and pride and that is when I realise there is no other job I would rather have.IMG_0837

So to all you mothers out there, who may be beating yourself up over not being the “perfect mum.’ Who cares, so what? You may not fit that mould, but you are doing a great job!

Have a wonderful mothers day! X

IMG_2360

Living Arrows 12/52

“You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth”

Kahlil Gibran

This weekend has felt very much like Spring is right around the corner. On Sunday we went to Monikie Park in lightweight jackets! We haven’t been to this particular park since a work BBQ in 2014 when Riley took his official first steps!

It has a big adventure playpark which is shaped a bit like a castle with turrets and this was a total hit with Riley. He made two friends as he was there and even encouraged an older boy to play dragons with him. He is such a confident wee boy and always seems to make friends wherever he goes. I only wish it were as easy as an adult sometimes!

I just so happened to capture this picture of him in-between diving in and out of secret hideyholes whilst fighting dragons. He is standing like a proper little model with his hands in his pockets. Its usually nigh on impossible to capture a photo like this of Riley. I usually have to have the fastest shutter speed and the quickest of fingers to capture this little wild one.

IMG_2298
He also dressed himself this morning, whilst you can see the new lego batman cap, what you can’t see is the lego batman jumper under his jacket. This kid is obsessed with lego batman!
Living Arrows