MySundayPhoto Sun

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I enjoy linking up to MySundayPhoto every week to see the highlight of everyone’s weeks and this was definitely mine.

Playing in the garden in the sun, with bubbles, and his cousins and uncles, giggling away… Perfect!

OneDad3Girls
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Me and mine April 2015

I love the Me and Mine link up which is run over at Dear Beautiful every month as it really makes us stop and think about getting a family photo each month.  However, I was less prepared this month than usual so our photo is a very simple couple of snaps from the sofa this morning once we were all up and dressed.  The only way to get Sprog to participate this morning was to include his new beloved airplane!

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This month:

Mama has been loving;

  • Gossip Girl on Netflix 😦 I’ve finished it now
  • Claiming back some time for me and doing less marking at home
  • Working with my Year 11’s as they are a really lovely and hard working bunch of kids who are all trying so hard for their exams.

Daddy has been loving;

  • Getting tickets for one of the rugby world cup games! (Mama is quite excited about this too)
  • Having more time outside to play at the park
  • Looking forward to our summer adventures after he gets through his two exams at the start of June

Sprog has been loving;

  • Airplanes are still a massive obsession
  • As are keys.  We have to hide them if we want to be able to get in or out of house, or the car, or the back door to the garden unhampered by a big tantrum.
  • Using new words. I’m so proud of him as he gets a few more words in his vocabulary and he’s really enjoying being able to say a bit more and being able to tell us ‘noooo’ in particular.  It makes me chuckle though as he sounds northern when he says ‘nooooo’!

One from the outtakes of Sprog grabbing the camera!

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dear beautiful

Balancing Act… Keeping Strong and Moving Forward

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I have been fascinated by the reactions that people have had to me when I was on maternity leave, when I was getting ready to go back to work, and now that I am back at work. I find that some people are very judgemental about how they expect families to work. Well, I’ve got news for you everyone, we’re all different, we all have different needs and that is one of the amazing things about us.

My aim is to share the stories of families of all different types and spread the word that we are all playing a #BalancingAct to get through and raise our little people the best way we can. Let’s celebrate the diversity between our families, let’s not judge each other.

So, this week it’s over to Nikki at Keeping Strong and Moving Forward.

1.Tell me about your family

I am Nikki. I am a 27 year old mother of 4 to T, P, E and Baby, and stepmother to M and A . I am married to my husband of 2 years.

Nikki keeping strong

2. What was your job/position before you started your family?

I was very young when I first started my family. I had only ever had one summer job, during the summer I was 16 and that was only so I could raise enough money to go to Leeds Festival. That September I became a full time student on an art course in college. It was during that academic year I found out I was 16 and pregnant and pregnant with my first son T.

I finished my year at college while I was pregnant with T and then I became a full time mum. I didn’t go back to work but I did do a few I.T. and job hunting course that I voluntarily put myself on through the job centre. After P was born I went back to college again full time but this time it was to redo my GCSE’s and then my Alevels. It was during my last year doing my Alevel I fell pregnant with E and when she was 15 months old, Baby.

3. What was your work-life balance like?

When I first went back to college after T and P I was a single mum on my own. So my work/life balance was pretty hard but because I had to do it all alone. College I started at 9am until 3pm but then there was time traveling and time I spent in school library revising or doing course work afterwards so somedays the kids would be in nursery until 6pm. On a morning T would go to school breakfast club at 8 am while I ran with P in pram to drop him off at nursery which was 10-15 walk away so I could get bus at 8.15am. It was hectic.

4. How did you find being away from work when you were on maternity leave?

Having been a mum from a young age and then going back to college I knew that I would be fine out of college or work because I have a habit of finding way to keep busy. Plus I love spending time with my kids specially when they were babies. I loved watching them grow, learn and become the amazing kids they are. I also knew with E and Baby I wanted to stay at home with them until they started school full time because I started college when P was 4 months old and I missed so much of his baby year, which I have always regret.

5. Have you returned to some kind of work since having baby and how did you come to that decision?

I didn’t return to work or college, but I plan too. I do volunteer as a Parent Champion, which is where I go around talking to other parents when out and about, at play groups and at planned events. I help them find information or services that they might need help with such as benefits, nursery 2&3 year offers and places, school, playgroups and course etc.

I really enjoying doing this because it helps me keep busy but the best part is I make my own hours to work around kids, school runs and life. I write my blog which I love but I haven’t monetised it at the moment, so I don’t accept payment for posts because I am don’t feel ready yet. I am hoping after I go to a few blogging events this year I will feel more ready to make this move. I need to buy my own domain first though.

I am also plan to do a few training courses booked/planned in through my local children’s centre plus a portage worker course which I start next week. I am really excited. I always knew I wanted to go back to doing something after my kids because they soon grow up and go to school. This way I am here for the good bits while their young and I can have a pretty good CV by time their all in school.

6. How (if at all) has work changed since you returned (if you did)?

The volunteering and Blogging is different to college because I have to make myself get up an do the work. It’s not something I have to do but more something I want to.

7. Describe your work-life balance now in 3 words.

Hectic, Busy, Great

8. This might be difficult to answer, but are you happy with your work-life balance?

Yes, the only issues I have with my work-life balance is the fact that it can be stressful trying to work it all round my husbands work shift schedule, hospital appointments, training courses, school runs and playgroups. I am sometimes amazed at how I manage my time though. It shows me what I am able to do.

9. Would you change anything about the family and work balance that you currently have?

More hours in the day.

Details

Website: http://www.keepingstrongandmovingforward.co.uk/

Twitter: http://twitter.com/nikoteen87

Facebook: http://facebook.com/keepingstrongandmovingforward

Google+: Nikki Fraser

Instagram: http://instagram.com/nikoteen87

For all the previous posts, see the #BalancingAct page.

If you think you’d like to get involved in this feature and share your story, please leave a comment, tweet me @mamavsteacher or email me mamavsteacher@outlook.com.

If you’ve been enjoying my struggle for balance and my journey as a full time working Mama, then I’d love it if you could spare 2 minutes to nominate me for the Mum and Working Working Parent Blogger 2015. Click the link and follow the website through.

Balancing Act … What Katy Said

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I have been fascinated by the reactions that people have had to me when I was on maternity leave, when I was getting ready to go back to work, and now that I am back at work.  I find that some people are very judgemental about how they expect families to work.  Well, I’ve got news for you everyone, we’re all different, we all have different needs and that is one of the amazing things about us.

My aim is to share the stories of families of all different types and spread the word that we are all playing a #BalancingAct to get through and raise our little people the best way we can. Let’s celebrate the diversity between our families, let’s not judge each other.

So, this week it’s over to Katy from What Katy Said.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA1. Tell me about your family

I am Katy and I am married to Mr F. We have two little girls- Little G who is 3 and Baby L who is almost 1!! Mr F is my best friend and my little family are my absolute world.

2. What was your job/position before you started your family?

I was a full time teacher before I had Little G. I trained as a primary teacher and for 6 years I worked in a school in Borehamwood. I did 3 years in Year 1 and 3 in Reception and I loved it! The children I taught came from a mix of backgrounds, many needing love and support as well as being taught their abc’s.

3. What was your work-life balance like?

Teaching is life and your life is teaching. I don’t know any teacher that is able to balance their home life well! People think our job is 9-3 but I was getting to work for 7.30, working through my lunch, getting home by 6 and doing planning and marking on evenings and weekends. This did not leave much room for a social life or a home life!

4. How did you find being away from work when you were on maternity leave?

I loved it!!!! I know it isn’t for everyone but I was swapping a day with 30 children to stay at home with my very own precious baby. Don’t get me wrong, I had days where I got lonely but I loved every single second!

5. Have you returned to some kind of work since having baby and how did you come to that decision?

I always planned on returning to work when Little G was 9 months old, however when she was 4 months old I had a massive breakdown and realised I couldn’t leave her. I handed my notice in and never looked back. 3 years later and now having Baby L, I have finally returned to work. I only do supply teaching at 1 day a week as I could not even begin to entertain the idea of working as a full time teacher with 2 young children. The money I earn keeps us afloat as our savings were beginning to dwindle. I will find a full time teaching job when Baby L is maybe 8 or 9 and they are a little bit more independent.

6. How (if at all) has work changed since you returned (if you did)?

It is exactly the same in regards to the actual day to day job of teaching as children are children. However, the difference between supply and permanent is amazing and suits me perfectly. I get the pleasure of teaching without the hassle of planning, parents evening, meetings and classroom maintenance!

7. Describe your work-life balance now in 3 words.

Easy. Balanced. Perfect.

8. Would you change anything about the family and work balance that you currently have?

I am so lucky that I have found the perfect balance. I actually am enjoying working so much I may increase my days once Little G starts nursery in January but then I don’t want to miss out on quality time with Baby L. We shall see.

Details

Website: What Katy Said

Twitter: @WhatKatySaidUK

Facebook: What Katy Said

Google+: What Katy Said

Pinterest: What Katy Said

For all the previous posts, see the #BalancingAct page.

If you think you’d like to get involved in this feature and share your story, please leave a comment, tweet me @mamavsteacher or email me mamavsteacher@outlook.com.

Balancing Act…Mummy Melton

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I have been fascinated by the reactions that people have had to me when I was on maternity leave, when I was getting ready to go back to work, and now that I am back at work. I find that some people are very judgemental about how they expect families to work. Well, I’ve got news for you everyone, we’re all different, we all have different needs and that is one of the amazing things about us.

My aim is to share the stories of families of all different types and spread the word that we are all playing a #BalancingAct to get through and raise our little people the best way we can. Let’s celebrate the diversity between our families, let’s not judge each other.

So, this week is over to Rachel from Mummy Melton.

Rachel Melton1. Tell me about your family

Our family is Mummy – Rachel, Daddy – Rob and Baby – Eoin.

Eoin was born in Dec 2013.  We live in Lancashire, we moved here from Scotland in 2009.  We also have a furry addition to our family – Colbey the cat.

2. What was your job/position before you started your family?

Before we started our family I was a mental health nurse.  When I found out I was pregnant I had just been offered a new job. I felt very guilty going into my new boss’ office on my first day at work to tell him I was pregnant.  When I found out I was pregnant I worked in the police cells as a Criminal Justice Liaison Mental Health Practitioner my job when I went on maternity leave was as a Community Mental Health Practitioner.

3. What was your work-life balance like?

I had a pretty good work life balance.  I enjoyed my job and the wages allowed us to be able to go places and do things in our personal time.  There were days where it was hard to turn off but I think that is the nature of the job and an occupational hard. Most people I work with do the job because they care and if something happens it’s hard not to take that home with you.

4. How did you find being away from work when you were on maternity leave?

I didn’t miss it at all.  I missed my friends/colleagues as there were times I felt quite isolated and lonely but I didn’t miss work.

5. Have you returned to some kind of work since having baby and how did you come to that decision?

We have bills to pay.  We haven’t won the lottery yet!!  It was the hardest decision I have had to make and I really struggled going back to work.  I felt like a failure as a mum leaving my baby at nursery.  I think I felt even worse as we don’t have any family near us so he had to go to nursery.

6. How (if at all) has work changed since you returned (if you did)?

I find it hard to concentrate at work sometimes.  I am much more aware of time and wanting to get home.  There are times I think about whether I still want to work but then we need the money and I don’t know what else I would do.  When I first went back to work I would worry about something happening to me and Baby being without his mum.  I work longer days so I can have every alternate Monday off with Baby

7. Describe your work-life balance now in 3 words.

Hard, priorities, family-led

8. Would you change anything about the family and work balance that you currently have?

I would love to work less or find a job where I can work from home.

Details

Website: http://www.themeltonhouse.com

Twitter:  http://twitter.com/mummymelton

Facebook:  http://facebook.com/mummymelton

Google+:  http://google.com/+mummymelton

For all the previous posts, see the #BalancingAct page.

If you think you’d like to get involved in this feature and share your story, please leave a comment, tweet me @mamavsteacher or email me mamavsteacher@outlook.com.

An adventure trip for hubby’s birthday

On Saturday, my amazing husband turned 21, again, and honestly can’t explain how I would survive without him because I don’t know that I would. He is my absolute rock and stands by me through everything and puts up with a lot from me. I’ve written before about how at heart I am a very lazy person and he does everything in his power to counteract that for me whilst having the patience of a saint and loving me when I sometimes find it hard to love myself!

So Sprog and I organised our morning out (so really just me!).  I decided that after Sprog’s normal morning nap, we’d head off out and got to our most local English Heritage site Bramber Castle which is only about 20-30 minutes drive away and then have lunch out somewhere in one of the villages nearby.

We headed off in the car after Sprog’s morning nap and this beauty was taken whilst at the petrol station, as you do.  I’m just loving the fact that as I hold the phone up now, Sprog knows that I’m taking a picture and smiles away on cue!

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When we arrived we trudged our way up a very muddy hill and Sprog quickly wanted unleashing from the sling and we ran around all over the place on the castle grounds.  There was no-one else up there, just the 3 of us, admittedly probably because it was blooming freezing and, as you can see, a little dreary. However, it meant that we could chase each other around and shout to our hearts content.  Sprog had no idea what to make of us standing at the edge looking over the valley and shouting at the top of our lungs!

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As we walked back down to the car, we stopped in on the church.  It was one of the things that my Grannie and Granddad used to do when they took my Mum and Auntie out, they always stopped at the local church. And Sprog loves a good nosey around a church so we went for it.  It’s such a cute little church and very welcoming in the cold! Sprog was fascinated with what must be art or DT projects from the local school which were candle holders lining the aisle. These were a couple of my favourites!

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Once back in the car, wellies removed and into plastic bags (by the way, I was super impressed at this level of organisation!) we headed in to the local village for lunch.  Hubby is a little apprehensive of the unknown but I managed to convince him of the adventure of finding somewhere nice to eat and he was not disappointed.  We stumbled upon the cutest Tea Rooms in Steyning tucked away off the main street when we all did delicious lunches.  I was impressed with the flowers which definitely brightened up the day, and the way that they did Sprog’s food – he had scrambled eggs and toast, on a Mr Tickle plate and eggs in a separate bowl so that he could eat it sensibly!

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In the evening, we did manage a little grown up time and went out for a lovely dinner followed by a very brisk walk on a very windy seafront.  We weren’t out for long but I needed to hit my step count for the day on my Fitbit, so I dragged hubby and this is how cool and windswept we looked about 30 seconds after getting out of the car.

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Me and Mine January 2015

I’ve loved seeing everyone’s photo’s of their families as they pop up on my various feeds over the last few months so I thought that with the new year, I’d join in with and make sure that we have more pictures of the 3 of us together.

January 2015

I did remember to take some pictures of us last night which were hilarious, if a little blurred and dark but then this morning we’ve been out for the hubby’s birthday to our closest English Heritage site at Bramber Castle and I snapped this on top of the hill.  I just love how Sprog is smiling at the camera now too when we try and get a picture of all of us.

Sprog has been;

  • loving his Daddy very very much,
  • Learning some new words – his favourite phrase is ‘one more please’ although only we would know that is what he’s saying as it’s not quite fully formed yet.
  • Loving all the train related Christmas presents that he got.

Mama has been;

  • loving her candle burning as she works
  • kind of focused on loosing weigh
  • loving her FitBit Flex

Daddy has been;

  • loving our family mini adventures
  • Loving crème eggs (a lot)
  • Loving his many many cuddles from Sprog.
dear beautiful

#MySundayPhoto Family

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This photo is particularly special to me this week.  It’s become my background on my phone and has made me weep many times.

It’s helping me come to terms with the passing of my Grannie on Tuesday, it’s reminding me of the good times, it’s showing me her smiley face. She’s the one in blue.

It’s from our wedding in 2012, not long after my Grannie was diagnosed with cancer and she sadly lost that fight this week… but she gave it a good fight and I know that Sprog was one of the things that really spurred her on when she struggled.

Photo is copyrighted to Lisa Beaney photography.

OneDad3Girls

Balancing Act… YouBabyMeMummy

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I have been fascinated by the reactions that people have had to me when I was on maternity leave, when I was getting ready to go back to work, and now that I am back at work. I find that some people are very judgemental about how they expect families to work. Well, I’ve got news for you everyone, we’re all different, we all have different needs and that is one of the amazing things about us.

My aim is to share the stories of families of all different types and spread the word that we are all playing a #BalancingAct to get through and raise our little people the best way we can. Let’s celebrate the diversity between our families, let’s not judge each other.

So, this week I’d like to hand you over to Aby from YouBabyMeMummy.

  1. Tell me about your family

I am Aby and I live with my hubby and our daughter ‘Baby’ on the Berkshire/Hampshire border, only a couple of miles from the real Downtown Abbey!.  I am a Northerner who moved down south for love and Mr Hubby is a born and bred Southerner.  So we have lots of arguments about whether you should have gravy on chips or not (of course you should!).

  1. What was your job/position before you started your family?

In life BB (before Baby) I was a commercial events organiser.  Although I have done quite a few jobs; PA to the MD, Careers Advisor, Groom, Business Support for a Headhunter, but to name a few…

  1. What was your work-life balance like?

Not great if I am honest.  I get a little ‘invested’ in things and I am afraid it makes me a little consumed by work.  So I find it incredibly difficult not to work.

  1. How did you find being away from work when you were on maternity/paternity leave?

I thought I would find it extremely hard, as so much was wrapped up with my job, friends, social life and the fact that it was my baby and I loved it.  However, when my new baby arrived, none of it seemed to matter anymore.

  1. Have you returned to some kind of work since having baby and how did you come to that decision?

I have not returned to work, but I am trying to develop my blog and I currently handle the blog and social media for a growing brand.

  1. Describe your work-life balance now in 3 words.

Work too much

  1. Would you change anything about the family and work balance that you currently have?

Yes, I feel the constant pressure to develop my blog and I need to financially. However, as the main carer for our daughter (as Mr Hubby works full time), time is tight.  I find myself writing, when I feel I should be entertaining Baby.  I want to get to a place where I am a bit ahead work wise, so I can relax a little more and devote more time to our daughter.

Details

Website: http://www.youbabymemummy.com

Twitter: @youbabymemummy

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/You-Baby-Me-Mummy/537569539631331

Google+:  https://plus.google.com/u/0/+AbyMoore/

Pinterest:http://www.pinterest.com/youbabymemummy/

See previous posts from Mummascribbles, Mum in a Nutshell, Bubbablue and me, Single Parent Pessimist, L Plate Mummy, and The Triplet Diaries.