Back to it

I’m back!

Oh yes, back at work, back at blogging and back at seeing a future beyond the daily grind.

It’s not been easy getting here. And there’s been nothing bad per se keeping me from my return. It’s just preparing myself for starting work, the beginnings of us planning wedding and the insurmountable pile of chores kept my fingers from the laptop keys.

In these last few months, oft of an evening, while breastfeeding our baby girl, I’d fall asleep and would be – simply put – out of it. During most of the day with all the pressures of three children and keeping our family life as organised as I could, I felt there was no space in which to breathe. And I’m someone that really needs that space to be creative – space enough to write, to construct a story, to create a scene.

Even the thought of sitting down to write felt like an indulgence when there was so much other stuff to get done. It overwhelmed me many times the uniforms to wash, the mess to tidy, the phone calls to make and the appointments to keep. Inside I’ve felt frustration and a feeling somewhat akin to slow suffocation. Meanwhile the voice going round and round went on and on: “I just want to write, I just want to write, I just want to write…”

So what has finally pushed me to do it today – to take a step forward?

Well, getting back to work and realising I’m not feeling valued there in quite the way I think I should has helped me see the need to keep on with my creative outlets and the things that make me feel happy, and satisfied.

Also seeing the carnage after the end of the short ceasefire in Aleppo, Syria, in the news earlier this week, has given me fresh perspective. I was distraught and tearful watching injured children and desperate faces. As awful as it was it has jolted me out of complacency.

We have only one life, and mine is a good one. I’m lucky. These poor people I watch on my TV are not right now. I’ve been reminded that life can and does change so quickly sometimes. Bad things could be round the corner. I see I need to grab every day and every opportunity to do what I want to do. Why? Because I can. There are no bombs; there is no imminent danger. There are only my own doubts, a messy house and procrastination. How silly it’s taken me this long.

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So much to do, so little done

This is for anyone who has yet to have a baby. This is what it’s like. Yes really. This is also for anyone who has children. Because you are not alone…

I need to go to the toilet, I really do. I need to go to do a poo and right now it’s getting pretty urgent. But I can’t. My beautiful baby girl is attached to my breast and is suckling happily away. When I try to gently prise her off I get the look. ‘Hey’ she says with the power of her gaze, ‘you’re trying to put me aside.’ And then she pushes out that lower lip and starts to whimper. I know that it will run to full on cry if I stop, so I think I won’t go. I pull in what needs to come out, wince at the solid feeling that makes me gas-heavy and tired, and carry on with the feed.

While doing my utmost to stop yearning the warm wooden seat down the hall, I remember I’m supposed to call the bank about the re-mortgage today. I pick up my mobile phone, which thankfully, for once, is right next to me. But, oh no, I see there’s only 8% left on the battery. Is that enough call them? Probably not – I need to charge it I think. Where is the charger though? When did I last use it? Two days ago.

I begin to list: I’ll find the charger after I’ve gone to poo, which I’ll do after I finished this feed. Though the poo feeling is diminishing as it’s been so long…then Baby Girl’s bottom pops, ouch, and she bites my nipple, stop, stop, stop biting me. Ouch, ouch, OUCH! Maybe, that’s her way of telling me something.

Oh…she needs a change.

Okay so first thing to do is change her nappy. Eek I can feel liquid slowly seeping through the back of her new cute denim jeggings. My first thought: they’ll need to be bagged-up and then washed soonish before they’re ruined. And, oh no, there’s yellow gunge on my belly, and over the clean trousers I put on this morning. Ergh, I’ll need to at least wet-wipe it from my skin. A shower would be better…yep because my hair really does needs a wash now too, it’s been dirty two days…

Right, erm, where were we? Right after this feed I need to:

  • Change Baby Girl’s nappy and dress her in clean clothes
  • Put the poo sodden bits in a plastic bag, on top of rest of our ever-growing pile of washing, which I will tackle when I’ve some time. (Erm when?)
  • Shower because of the leaky poo and my minging hair, then change into clean clothes. Sniff hmm, though I might get away with the top I’m wearing for the school run as long as I don’t stand too close to anyone I know. Thankfully Baby Girl’s poo didn’t get it.
  • My phone, phone, phone, what do I need to do with my phone? Oh that’s it, it needs charging…the charger, it’s downstairs somewhere.
  • I said I’d phone the bank. I said to Other Half I’d defo make that call, but…erm…

Wait!

My phone is ringing. Who is it? The school.

Youngest Son has fallen, he’s banged his head really badly. Not once, can you believe it, but twice. They want me to come and get him. It’s 2.45pm. “I’m supposed to also pick up his friend up at 3 o’clock,” I tell the school office. “Can you hold on with him until then?” Thankfully they agree to watch the poor little man.

Right then, so I’ve 10 mins to change Baby Girl, clean myself – now that’ll be without showering – poo….God I really need an effing poo….

That first: the effing poo.

Come with me Baby Girl, I’ll change your nappy afterwards, it’s too much I really need to go…and I’ve gotta do it quickly. Hmm…should and could I breastfeed while on the toilet?

No! Stop that thought! Thankfully Baby Girl is lying happily there in front of me without crying. While sitting there I think: I have to pick up her two brothers and playdate on time and there’s the baby detritus I’ve got to clean off me, and I’d better plug the phone in for at least a half and hour, and dinner…argh,what am I going to give the kids for dinner? Pasta and pesto, there’s always pasta and pesto.

That call to the bank won’t happen today. I’ll have to do it tomorrow. But oh, tomorrow I’m meeting my boss to discuss my return to work and then we’ve the appointment for immunisations. Shite I forgot to pick up Calpol to give her beforehand…

I’ll call Other Half, he can pick it up on the way home, with the milk. Yes must tell him we need milk as there’s not enough for boys’ cereal in the morning. Where’s that charger again? Downstairs. But where? Where is the charger? I’ll quickly text Other Half, maybe he’ll know.

Snapshots

She lies in her moses basket next to me, kicking her legs about inside her Grobag, sucking at her fist. I wonder if she’s going to fall asleep. I’d like her too but most likely she’ll let out a little ‘wha’ and then it’ll build to cry that she knows will get her picked up.

Smiling baby girl
An early smile from my new daughter

I’ll stop writing now because this has happened…

She feeds on me while I continue to slow type with one hand.

She has brown eyes; my first-born son is olive-green eyed and my second-born is blue. When she looks at me I see the darkness of my mother reaching through and each time she smiles I fall deeper in love with her tiny soul. She is beautiful, perfect, pure and for these first months, while on my breast, almost totally mine.

Earlier this week, after changing a nappy, I brought her knee up to meet her soft grasping hand. She touched her knee and, by the look of brief surprise and then glee on her face, I think realised she was touching her own skin.

When I lifted her other leg, she tried to reach to do the same again.

I felt pride and joy well up in me as I saw her smiling at the wonder of this. It was such a sweet moment, I’ll hold it with me for days.

She is back in her moses basket again after feeding, stretching and releasing wind. And ah, now, at last, she falls asleep, secure, warm and seemingly content.

That newborn feeling

It’s been three weeks since we had our darling, sweet baby girl. She was born by C-section on Wednesday 22 July and I, thanks to a brilliant team of NHS staff and the support of Other Half, left hospital after just one night’s stay.

We didn’t return straight home though. I wasn’t quite ready to leap back into full-on reality. The “outlaws”, who live just a couple of minutes from the hospital, very kindly put us all up for a couple more days after my discharge. We celebrated eldest son’s actual birthday at their home, while I was given time to heal and sleep in the day if I needed to. Then on the Saturday after the birth we drove home. I felt surprising perky.

Since then, sleep deprivation aside, I’ve continued to feel okay. At no point do I think I’ve felt particularly blue. Apparently, according to Other Half, I’ve acted a bit strange towards him at times. But I think this is more about us being cooped up together in the house for a long time and tiredness, than anything hormone related. Though to be honest it’s difficult for me to consider right now reasons why I might be behaving differently – well beyond any mental capacity that I can currently manage. I’m just accepting what’s going on, taking it all day by day, and night by night.

As for baby, she’s feeding well on the breast. I’m thankful to be past the first week or so of sore nipples and engorgement, so I’m feeling content when feeding too. I’ve even managed to read a novel while she’s been suckling away. Nights are as expected – tiring. She wakes at least twice and sometimes is completely alert for an hour or two around midnight.

Little boy with baby and sock moneky
Time for baby to play with Mr Sock Monkey, says our youngest son

Our two boys, initially hands off, are now doting on the baby and are asking for cuddles whenever she’s awake. It’s so heart warming to see them interact with her. They laugh with and at her lots – strangely my younger son does so at her loud cries. They grow more and more confident holding, touching and talking to her, and she is slowly getting more relaxed with them.

One thing I really dreaded these last two weeks, was Other Half’s return to work. He works in London most days so is out of the door around 7am and doesn’t normally make it back until at least 12 hours later. However, so far, even this has been all right. The boys are watching too much TV – I think I just have to accept this. But as long as I can get out for a long afternoon with them, at a park or other activity three times a week, I think we’ll be fine for the summer hols. Plus Other Half is taking off days here and there so I’m not spending too long without a bit of help. I’m going to pull in some play-date favours from other mums if I can too.

All is pretty good. However, it’d all be a bit nearer perfect if we actually had a name for our little girl.

Naming our children is something we struggle with. Our lives are busy to the brimful; sitting down, thinking, researching and talking about what we’d call baby wasn’t our priority before the birth. We’ve been here before as well. We went right to the wire naming our second boy only settling on his name a few days before the six weeks deadline. Now our baby girl is three weeks old giving her a name is fast becoming urgent.

I’m anxiously scouring the internet for ideas but Other Half and I have not come to agreement yet. We will get there soon I hope. Calling our daughter Baby, or the boys’ nickname – Bubbles, is now beginning to irritate me. I’m going to make it my mission this next week to come up with a shortlist and if I have to, I’m going to insist that I have final say.

Only days to go

Emma heavily pregnant in her kitchen
Looking large – not long to go now

I’ve attempted to blog a couple of times over these last few weeks, however late pregnancy pervaded, took over my body and did things to sap my energy and induce lots of swelling. I’ve had low iron levels, puffed up ankles and Carpal Tunnel in my hands . It’s been really difficult to motivate myself to write. But right now I’ve my feet up – hoping they’ll soon stop throbbing – and I’m finding a bit of time to catch up.

Though I haven’t been writing, I actually think I’ve used time quite well. The nesting urge really kicked in and drove me to sort, and quickly fill, all the new storage I felt the strong need to buy – the magnetic pull of trunks, baskets and boxes has only just now subsided for me. I’ve finished little unfinished paint jobs around the house. I even gently pushed other half out into the garden to re-landscape what had become too overgrown and impractical.

We now have lawn, albeit tiny. And the house, though small, almost feels airy.

It’s also been a busy few weeks with regard to birthdays. It’s been other half’s, two of my closest friends’ and my sister’s, along with the numerous school and nursery friends of my sons.

On top of all these, over these last two weeks I had to organise birthday celebrations for my two boys – one is turning eight and the other four later this month. I brought their parties forward and they are now thankfully done. A dozen eight-year-olds at Pizza Hut after the Minions Movie was manic and a dozen three to four year olds in our house complete madness, but both my boys had a whale, so worth every crazy moment and the hard work.

As for baby, birth date is looming now and we’ve only a few days to go. I’m booked into a c-section between my sons’ actual birthdays. If all goes to plan there’ll be five days between them all. Something I never could or would have chosen or envisioned. At this point, I’m a bit nervous about it all if truth be told.

But now it’s late. Time’s crept on, I’m really tired and feel like I haven’t much in my mind to share. So that’s it for me – over and out. Goodnight peeps. You might not hear from me until I’m out the other side.

The Liebster Award

I was nominated for the Liebster Award weeks ago, first by @UrbanMumble  and then by@ruthhilbrownThanks so much for the nominations – it’s taken a while to get my head round doing it but here it is.

leibster2

Apologies @UrbanMumble  I went with @ruthhilbrown‘s questions, which I’ve answered below.

1. How long have you been blogging?

Since February this year and so far haven’t been posting nearly as much as I’d like to be. I hope there will be more opportunities to blog as I get more into to routine.

2. Where are you right now?

Half watching TV on my sofa at home while writing this.

3. What’s your day job?

I work at a local council managing their online communications, including their social media channels and website.

4. What did you study/ have you studied/ are you studying?

I studied English Literature and Philosophy at university and then did a post-grad diploma in magazine journalism a few years after.

5. What do you normally have for breakfast?

A granola cereal. Then toast and coffee. I’d like to improve on this and eat more healthily, but my breakfast tends to be eaten quickly around getting my children’s sorted.

6. What song/piece of music would you choose as your theme song if they made a film of your life?

Oh this is a difficult one. I could choose countless songs that have been significant during my life. Off the top of my head – Bjork’s ‘There’s More to Life Than This’ for my early twenties and Nitin Sawney’s ‘Letting Go’ after love lost. Right now at this point, ‘Happy’ by Pharrell Williams is one for the family. I’ll probably change my mind about all of these tomorrow as my choice of music changes with mood.

7. What’s your favourite object and why?

My engagement ring. It’s nothing flashy, but I love it because it shows my other half and I are committed to one another. It was also designed by me, with the help of a jeweller, and holds the diamond that sat in my grandmother’s engagement ring so holds additional sentimental value. The wedding is still a while away but.

8. What would you like to study or learn how to do if you had the chance?

I’d like to learn to play piano. More importantly though, I really need to learn to drive soon– it’s going to be crucial with three little ‘uns.

9. What do you struggle with the most in your everyday life?

That there are never enough hours to do all that I want to do. At the moment I feel this more so because I’m anaemic, which makes me tired and breathless a lot.

10. Who are your heroes?

Not sure I have heroes as such. More people I really admire for various reasons.

David Mitchell the author – his work keeps me spellbound. I’m currently lost in The Bone Clocks and I will confess here, that it’s kept me from blogging these last couple of weeks. It’s got runaway children, zombies and imaginative twists and turns a plenty

He is a truly brilliant writer and I only wish I could even begin to grow talent like his. I’d be awestruck if I ever met him.

I also think my sister really amazing. She is a physiotherapist that works with people who’ve lost limbs. She gets them back on their feet walking and living a full life again. She is right now back at university specialising more in this area. Her perspective on life is so real and well adjusted.

If I’m looking for sanity and straight talking I pick up the phone to her.

11. Name a work of art, a poem or a book that makes you feel something.

Aside from David Mitchell I am a big Ali Smith fan – her books and short stories always take me on a journey where I question life for a bit.

I’m currently also a bit obsessed with the tree pictures by artist Claire Beattie. I saw a couple of displayed in a local gallery and was enraptured. They make me feel at peace.

And now for the 11 facts about me…

  • I’m a cat person, not a dog person
  • I learned the clarinet up ’til grade 5 as a child
  • I still love going night clubbing and dancing until dawn.
  • I wanted to have four children until I had a baby. I’m definitely stopping after this one, my third.
  • I’m turning 40 in December
  • I really detest brussell sprouts but force them down every Christmas because they’re always put on my plate by family
  • I love yoga, but unfortunately I’m not making enough time for it right now
  • I put my hands in front of my eyes at violence in films and TV programmes. I really can’t stomach it.
  • I’ve really wide feet. My other half jokes they’re those of a hobbit.
  • When I pluck my eyebrows it makes me sneeze, lots.
  • Hardly any of my friends know I’m writing this blog. I’m trying to keep it as my place to write freely.

My nominations for the Leibster Award are:

@carlito_burito

@Pumpkinellababy

@Youre_Glowing

@rebeccap_blog

@Mummys_Blog

@moomakesblog

@klchambers

And my questions to you are:

  1. Why did you decide to blog?
  2. What do you do for your day job?
  3. Where’s the best place ever you’ve travelled to?
  4. If you can only have one desert island disc, what would it be?
  5. When did you last really, really laugh?
  6. What irritates you?
  7. If you could have a superhero power, what would it be?
  8. If you could witness any historical event, what would you choose to see?
  9. Do you read novels? If so, what are you reading right now?
  10. Do you have a hobby? If so, please tell us about it.
  11. Please give five words that summarise your personality.

Apologies if you’ve been nominated before and have already done this. I hope you choose to join in, as this is a great way to find out more about you and to find new bloggers out there.

In Greece: A mother’s guilt

As soon as I finished work last Wednesday afternoon – my last full day before maternity leave – I came home, put my children to bed, finished packing my bag, took a bath and slept two hours before rising at 2am to take a taxi and then coach to Gatwick to catch a 6am flight. I felt like I was fleeing, running away in the dead of night, leaving my sleeping sons and other half, and inside I felt guilty for leaving them.

The umbrella sculpture on Thessaloniki's seafront
The umbrella sculpture on Thessaloniki’s seafront

This I write now, four days later. I’ve had a great time relaxing with my friend and her family in her home city of Thessaloniki, Greece. I’ve had my first ever pedicure, I’ve slept long into late mornings and I’ve eaten nothing but delicious authentic Greek food since landing Thursday. Last night I managed to watch a film I’d been wanting to watch for years – Frida – plus I’ve found time to write this blog.

The time I’ve selfishly had here, all by myself, is good for my soul, I know this. But I have felt guilty. After all I’ve left my children, travelled more than a thousand miles away across Europe to escape home pressures and spent quality time with someone else’s family.

A mother’s guilt is something that came up when I’ve been chatting with my good friend here too. Apparently it’s  very much part of the Greek culture. ” The Greek way is guilt. The mother passes it on to the child, who passes it on.” my friend tells me.

I’m not quite sure how to explain this more clearly, but I think it has to do with guilt around familial responsibility. It seems in Greek culture the mother is very much tied to her children, even once they reach adulthood, and she is very much involved in the upbringing of her children’s children. She often helps in her adult daughter’s and/or son’s home with household chores and childcare, even sacrificing aspects of her own life to assist with what she thinks are her offspring’s needs.

At a birthday party on Saturday, where I whiled away happy hours in a pretty garden with a dozen or so lovely and hospitable Greeks, this came in conversation. “I don’t think it’s healthy,” a mother revealed “to be this much in your children’s life. To be in the children’s home this much, to be doing this much for your children.” It seems possibly a talking point for this generation of Greek women, who have to wrangle childcare needs around depleting job opportunities and tightening budgets. The Greek mother’s role in her adult child’s  home is being scrutinised.

I’m a little envious if I’m honest here. My mother is not that interested in connecting with my children, she never really calls to find out how they, or I, are doing. When she helps it’s only at my behest and I feel awkward asking for this because of her disinterest. In contrast my mother-out-law openly says she wants to see the boys and pro-actively helps where and when she can – though, unlike some Greek grandmothers, totally lives her own life as well.

The mother-out-law has got the balance right I feel.  So has the mother of my friend here in Greece who evidently adores her grandchildren and helps her children as much as she can around her own full life doing the things she enjoys. I do wish my mother was more involved as I think she misses out on the joy of her grandchildren, but I can’t change this.

So, should I feel guilty being here, enjoying the company of other people I care about, while back in England my boys and other half fend for themselves, without me? I think not. They know I miss them. I’ve phoned them to tell them. They know I love them. They will see this when I give them my gifts and kisses. If anything me ruminating on all this has made me realise how important it is to have balance.

I fly back tomorrow morning. My hold bag is packed and ready on the bedroom floor here. I’m relaxed and have thoroughly enjoyed seeing my friend and her family who I treasure very much. Do I feel guilty now? A bit, but not as much as that night I first left my family. Next time I come though, I think I will need to bring the boys, the other half and baby with me. Not because I should, but simply because it will make my time here fuller and all of us happy.

Seven things about me – #OneLovelyBlog Award

A little late I know, but thanks for nominating me determinedhwife. It’s been a difficult couple of weeks – I’ve had to fill in for people calling in sick or on annual leave at work, plus we’ve illness at home and it’s meant I’ve had little time to blog or tweet. This is such a nice idea, which didn’t take me too long. I’m hoping those I’ve nominated have a bash at it too.

image001

To summarise, the idea is you write seven things about yourself and then nominate 10 bloggers for the award yourself.

For those I’ve nominated you can find out more about #OneLovelyBlog Award on The Determined Housewife’s website.

So, here are seven things you won’t yet know about me…

  1. I feel fear every time I sit in front of my computer to write. Yes, I’m bloomin’ petrified. But this is partly the reason why I’m doing this blog. I’m hoping writing it will free me from this fear and will allow me to take further steps and give me confidence to write creatively – some excerpts I hope I’ll post here in the future as I develop…ooer.
  2. I actually work with websites, social media and words for my day job. However, the thing is I’m a manger so I don’t know much about doing it on a day-to-day level. I’m still stumbling my way around what WordPress can do and slowly updating my Twitter know-how. I am enjoying the ride so far though which is good and I’m learning to approach the world of social media differently, with more of a relaxed attitude. It’s nice not having think about it within the limitations of work.
  3. I’m an interiors and home design junkie. I love nothing better than looking at really expensive furniture and gorgeous décor that I will most likely never own. It makes me happy to leisurely peruse John Lewis online or salivate over Liberty prints, and after renovating our house it gives me ideas for improvements or what I could buy second hand. You may even see me try out the odd project here. I’m not like a crafty wizz or anything like that though, just someone creative who likes to have a go.
  4. I cry probably a bit too much; at soppy films, people centred news stories, after arguments, the week before I’m due on and quite a lot during this current pregnancy. The other half thinks this highly amusing. At the end of toy story 3 he knew only too well what I was doing. ‘You’re crying aren’t you?’ he said without even looking from the cinema screen. My throaty answer was ‘Yes, sniff, leave me alone’. Andy leaving for college and biding farewell to the toys, was just too much heart wrench for me.
  5. I’ve always wanted to play the piano well and I am now projecting my dream onto my children. I’m currently scouring Gumtree and Ebay trying to get a digital piano small enough to fit in our snug living room. I’ve cajoled my eldest into agreeing to give it a go and am looking for a teacher. My parents never bought me a piano, despite me eagerly learning for a year or so, and the disappointment lives on in me. Maybe I’ll get lessons too.
  6. I am a feminist and have been one from my early 20s. I love men but really think that they need to join women in the fight for equality. I’m lucky as I know my man is pro-feminist, though he won’t take the label feminist himself. He cooks, cleans, helps with the kids, understands my job is as demanding as his and never expects me to be the ridiculous form of femininity projected by aspects of our media. However, in all honestly I must acknowledge here, there will never be true equality in our household until I learn to drive.
  7. Okay it’s not about me, but think it’s one I’d like to share here – our eldest son has had serious problems with his ears and hearing over the last couple of years. He had a cholesteatoma in his left ear, which damaged hearing bones, and has an extremely retracted ear drum in his right. After seeking out the best treatment for him that I could, we travelled to and from Gloucester and Cirencester where a brilliant surgeon Mr John Hamilton, agreed to treat him on the NHS. The prognosis is, so far, good for his left ear and far better than what we were being told it would be by our local hospital. It shows it’s worth researching and getting a second opinion. We’ve still got a way to go and there’s no guarantee that this is the end of operations but we’re glad we travelled afar to get more specialist care. Please do contact me if you want to know more.

I now nominate the ten bloggers below. Some of you look relatively new to blogging and I think this is a nice way of finding out more about you. Plus it’s a great way of spreading the blogging love.

Hope you find time to share and apologies if you’ve already been nominated.

iamspidermummy

Rochelle_Wills

intotheglade

threesonslater

meandmebabber

OscarIsSleeping

MonkeyandMousey

anotherbun1

lovelifelaughuk

hibabyblog

I’m pregnant: Telling friends third time round has been very different

I’ve reached week 20 in my pregnancy. We’re half way there! The news ‘Baby number three on way’ is broadcast, delivered and out there. We’ve told everyone we care about now. However this time round, for me, it’s been very different sharing the good news compared to the two previous times.

Me showing 20-week pregnancy bump off proudly
Selfie of me at 20 weeks

Telling friends about our first pregnancy wasn’t so much an announcement, but a bit of a blunder.  At my 31st birthday celebration, my cover was blown when a friend noticed I wasn’t partaking in cocktails. “You’re not pregnant are you?” she blurted out.

Me, useless at lying, admitted the truth. Every person present knew within minutes. Of them all, we were the first to fall. “You’re the first friend I’ve had that’s actually happy about being pregnant,” a uni buddy told me that night. We then quickly told close family over the following days.

Second time around we were in a different place. We had a three year old, we’d moved into a house, we were ‘trying’ or ‘going to try’ for number two and I guess family and friends expected it. We told friends at our 12-week point; family knew before. A number of friends were also having or had babies. It was the age – the mid-30s – for doing this thing – procreation – it seemed.

But this time, announcing our third, I felt slightly less comfortable. I’m ripening nicely into middle age…or to be more frank, I’m fast approaching 40. This means I’ll be giving birth five months before what I up ‘til now thought would be the biggest party date of my life.

We held off the announcement longer so that we had the info about the risk of chromosomal abnormalities, such as Down’s syndrome. We also have a handful of friends that are struggling to conceive or who’ve suffered with miscarriage and felt we should give them the news earlier if we could, a little after our family. Then we posted our 12 week scan photo to Facebook to let everyone find out when they next logged on. This was at 14 weeks.

If I’m honest I think we’re both a bit surprised that we’re having, and want, a third. Others have been too. Reactions have been more varied than the other two times. “Are you mad?” and “You’ve only two hands you know,” were typical jokey answers from friends or colleagues who had children themselves.

As well, most of my female friends have hit or will soon enough hit the big four-oh and telling them has brought out all sorts of things in conversation.

“I’d love a number three, but he won’t have it,” a mum at the school said after I told her I was expecting. “It’s not going to happen. We won’t be having a baby,” a pal drunkenly confided in me after I announced the news to her one night. “I will have another baby, I will!” a colleague retorted while we discussed my work and maternity leave.

Around me, women of a similar age were telling me their stories, their internal baby-or-not monologues as they move quickly to the point where their biological clock will begin to slow and tick quieter. This didn’t happen before. Female voices around me are clearly chiming the reality of ‘there’s probably only a bit more time for me to do it, if we’re going to’.

This is all unexpected and has helped me realise how much I want and will love this baby that’s starting to jab, kick and flutter inside. I’m older, wiser, tired but knowledgeable about what motherhood brings and I feel blessed that I will have a third little ‘un to keep me lighter on my toes over the coming years. Mostly from all this, I feel I’m bloody lucky to be doing this at my age.

As for the great job I mentioned in my last blog – I didn’t go for it. We decided I was best I concentrate on our family life for a bit and enjoy taking some time out with baby.

I must keep up with writing this though – so please follow and feedback. I’m really looking forward to becoming more involved in the mummy blog community when I end work next month and hope to post more frequently once I have more free time.

A career quandary

So my colleague tells me that there’s a job going in the next town that wants the skills I have and is offering double my wage. I look up the advert and it really interests me. It’s also a great opportunity. There is one problem, however – I’m 17 weeks pregnant.

“That’s not a problem,” one of my work team says in reply, “you can still apply.” But really, truly – unscrewing and removing that idealistic we’re-all-equal head, and screwing back on the one containing a brain and some reason – can I?

If I got through to interview, would I try to hide my bump under a floaty geometric-print blouse? That’d be darn difficult by the time it comes around judging by its current size? Or should I openly admit I’m going to pop a baby in the very near future?

Would I stand a chance of getting the job if I’d be off with baby for at least two months? In reality I’d like a bit more time, but this is what I’d have to promise a potential new employer. Plus they’d be suspicious, and rightfully so, that once in I’d ask to take much longer.

Looking for a solution I suggested to my other half that he could take additional paternal leave for six months so I could offer a quick return to duties. After all it’ll be law by the time baby arrives and he works for a progressive organisation that would think it a good idea. That way, as well, we wouldn’t lose out on the basic leave payments either  – he’ll get what I wouldn’t.

He wasn’t wholly against my suggestion but when I described the reality – me working late, me often stressed, him doing all the childcare day-to-day – he replied, somewhat downbeat, “maybe you shouldn’t apply.”

It’s good we now have the choice; that my one-day-husband can chose to take substantial time off work to be with the baby. However when it comes down to it we are still a bit stuck in where we see ourselves within the dynamic of our family. My eldest son regularly asks me to work less – he sees me and seems to want me as the main at-home carer. After all it’s what he sees the other mums as at the school.

It’s not fair I think to myself that this exciting opportunity seems so unattainable for me as a pregnant woman with two other children. Although it’s in the public sector I know there are practicalities for the employer, for myself and for my family that make it unlikely or unworkable at this place in time.

Then I think what the heck – if I did get offered and took that job I’d have no time probably to do what I really want to do, which is write. At least at this point in my life, in my current work, with some time at home looming I can give blogging and writing a go.

Who knows doing all this might lead on to brighter and better things anyway.

I live in hope.