The label of SAHM

Something really interesting happened lately that has prompted quite a bit of discussion in our house. I was tagged by a lovely friend of mine on the following meme, which made me chuckle. 20160725_204520

Not everyone saw the funny side though and the following conversation took place on my Facebook.

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Now I’m not saying either of us is right or wrong and I’m certainly not criticising her for holding her opinion. But it did stay with me a bit and on a recent evening chat with hubs and a good friend I brought it up as part of a discussion about labels.

The trouble with the label of SAHM, or SAHD is that it implies that you stay at home all day, which let’s face it isn’t an accurate description, as just because we don’t work elsewhere doesn’t mean we stay at home all day. It brings with it connotations of laziness and an implication that we don’t do anything which is obviously not the case. As the lady above rightly says though, an alternative would be to be called unemployed, which doesn’t have the best connotations either.

So what would be a better label for a SAHM? My friend suggested full time mum, but then by comparison that suggests that working mums aren’t full time mums when of course they are. Going out to work doesn’t make you any less of a mum.

The conversation continued on and to the distinction of why there is even a label of working mum? You rarely call someone a working dad. A SAHD yes but there’s not label for working dad. My hubs is a dad but he is also a technical director.

The thing is though why do any of these labels matter? Why are we so defined by what we “do?” Generally when you meet someone new it is very common to ask or be asked “What do you do?” but why? Why is it so important to know what someone does so early on in forming an opinion of them. Your job may be a huge part of your character but it also may not. Your job doesn’t necessarily definitely e who you are. It certainly isn’t all that you are.

I’ve always hated being asked what I do, at all parts of my life, when I was a TV producer, when I was an estate agent, when I was a manager in a call centre for a concierge service for high net worth clients and now as a SAHM. Because whatever your answer may be you can see a judgement being made about you. About your wealth and status and honestly I really hate all that rubbish. None of it really matters, in my opinion, and they don’t equal who you are as a person.

I am a SAHM, yes, but that is not all that I am, which I guess is the point of the meme that started this off. I’m also a reader, a novice runner, a wannabe photographer, a lover of rock music. I’ve travelled the world, done a sky dive and a bungy jump and been white water rafting a few times. I have a degree in TV production and have been to Glastonbury 3 times. I love being with my family and right now raising my children is what is important to me and we are fortunate that we are in a position where I am able to do so. But being a SAHM right now shouldn’t have to define all that I am.

In the same way, my husband is a Technical Director. But that’s not all that he is. He is a loving daddy, who is hugely interested in politics and loves whisky. He loves to learn and likes science and experimenting. He is currently learning which red wines he prefers. He is also incredibly lucky to love his job and the business he helped to build, but he also hates when people ask what he does as they form an opinion based on what they think his job is.

This doesn’t just for for the labels for what you do work wise though, it’s all labels really. They pigeonhole us. Gay, straight, black, white, the label may describe a part of us but not all that we are. There is nothing wrong with embracing a label and being proud of it but I do wish it didn’t have to define us.

What do you think? Is is just a label and not something to be worried about, or does the label hold power?

And then the fun began...
Best of Worst

Fun in the sun

Wow hasn’t it been a hot one this week? My social media feeds have been full of sunny scenes; blue skies, paddling pools, ice creams and lots of smiles. There has also been plenty of moaning about the heat which amuses me given that a week ago many of us were moaning about our lack of summer. But hey, we’re British and moaning about the weather is just what we do. Plus it has been seriously hot!

So what else to do than to try and find ways of keeping cool. Fans in bedrooms, ice on temples, ice lollies, oh and of course playing with water in the garden. I love our garden, we’ve put in a tonne of effort to get to this point and now it just such a lovely place to be. I also really love our gazebo as it provides us with some much needed shade on these hot hot days. Because pictures speak louder than words,  instead of rambling on, I will show you how much fun we’ve been having outside this week.PhotoGrid_1468993911685PhotoGrid_1468995883162PhotoGrid_1468994909082PhotoGrid_1468995676426

So at the end of a summers day this is what my garden should like. Covered in abandoned toys, with sand and water everywhere. Miscellaneous items of clothing and towels strewn across chairs to dry and just general detritus left about. Evidence of a lot of fun had outside, and evidence that I have enjoyed it as much as my kids have rather than constantly cleaning up after them.

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Are you enjoying our little heatwave?

Best of Worst
Monkey and Mouse

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Monkey Says at age 4

I have been meaning to write a little compilation of the funny things Monkey says for a while but not got round to it, so I have loads noted down. I will try and limit this post to the best ones.

20160708_182108Starting with one of my faves from our funny boy. On a recent walk he said to Daddy “I need to whisper in your ear” Daddy bent down and Monkey said “wa wa wa waaaa”  (think sad trombone sound)  and ran off chuckling. Cheeky monkey!

One bathtime Daddy randomly started singing California Dreaming and Monkey was most confused by this
Daddy: All the leaves are brown
Monkey: All the leaves are brown?
Daddy: And the sky is grey
Monkey: the sky is grey?
Daddy: I went for a walk
Monkey: You went for a walk?
Daddy: On a winters day
Monkey: on a winters day?

His voice was getting more high pitched and he sounded more and more incredulous with each questions so by this point we were chuckling away!

Another bathtime conversation I overheard was Monkey asking what plastic was. I didn’t hear exactly but Daddy gave a detailed description and Monkey asked more and more questions, resulting in the wonderful question “What are atoms?” haha Daddy told him but I’m not sure he really understood.  In fact I think he lost him a lot earlier in the conversation with mention of hydrocarbons!

He’s ever so polite and says excuse me all the time…. Even when he is being rude.

“Excuse me you’re talking too fast and just going blah blah blah blah blah”

“You’re really old. ” Thanks Monkey

“Mummy look at your big fat tummy!” Thanks again haha. He does love us though.

“You’re all my best friends. I’m going to keep you.”

After being told he’s my bestest boy he tells me I am his bestest girl in the world too.

“Mummy, I need to whisper in you’re ear… I love you”

He loves his sister and really cares about her. Shes at an age where she has lots of bumps and scrapes and one day pronounced”Oh no look at your knee! ” to a bemused LM in the bath.

His drawings have come along so much lately and I do adore the descriptions he gives for them!20160629_074211

That’s the earth apparently and the little circle at the bottom is the “North pole” where father Christmas lives. The circles are our family and though you may think that the lines coming out the sides are arms, they are actually ears. Connecting ears to be precise and apparently Daddy has very big ears haha.

He also comes out with some really random phrases.

“I would like a salad. A teapot one. I think I need a dinosaur one actually.”

“Excuse me, in olden times that path used to be a road.” (It did not)

“Did the bear make it?” (About the maple syrup Daddy bought back from Canada)

Monkey: “It’s a ruin. It was a castle but the bad guys went in and made it into a ruin. It was a long time ago.”
Daddy: “It was before I was born”
Monkey: “And before Mummy and me and LM”
Daddy: “and Granny and Granddaddy”
Monkey: “Naaaoooo”  (disbelief)

He also had the occasional Pearl of wisdom, like this one about his school transition session.
“I cried at the beginning but I didn’t need to.” Very true little Monkey

He sings constantly and as he is currently reliving his Daddy’s childhood he now knows all the words to the theme from the original transformers cartoon and loves singing and dancing to that. Along with the spiderman theme tune bless him.

20160709_073729And finally, because toilet jokes and naughty humour are funny at all ages,  when holding up a long cardboard tube between his legs, and chuckling away to himself he announced “Look mummy I have a big willy” and burst into fits of giggles while I pretended not to find it funny too haha.

He says so many funny, lovely, cheeky, annoying things all the time and I wish I could remember all of them. I can’t of course but I love having these little records to look back on.

Little Hearts, Big Love

Siblings July 2016

As often happens before a siblings post I can be wondering what I have to say about my pair that is new. Then, as also often happens, they are so so cute together that I know exactly what I want to share. In many ways the relationship between this cute pair hasn’t changed much since last month, other than that they have grown ever closer and have more fun together.

On a day out at a country park last week, what started as LM moaning that she wanted to sit on a wooden egg, turned into the loveliest game of them chasing each other round the eggs with the most gorgeous giggles! PhotoGrid_1468230177250

Then later that afternoon when flopped on the sofa, as often happened LM started messing with her brother. She loves to mess with him and I find it pretty incredible how tolerant he is of her. When she poked him in the eye I told her off, only to be told by Monkey “it’s ok, I like it” (huh?) then when she started kicking, I told her off, again to be told by Monkey, “I’m OK, that was lovely kicking” and when she stopped, he asked her to do it again. I give up. PhotoGrid_1468230299443

Obviously there are tantrums and squabbles over toys and things but for the most part we see so so lucky how much fun they have together. LM is without doubt the leader of the 2 and Monkey often copies her when she is acting loopy, he just loves having her to play with I think. PhotoGrid_1468230819572

So that’s my little pair at the moment. There are big changes ahead with Monkey started school in September, so I am looking forward to having a lot of fun with them both over the holidays.

dear beautiful

Ice Excavating with Monkey, age 4

Like many children his age, Monkey is constantly on the go and really interested in the world around him. The questions are endless and I am always trying to find new fun things to do with him, that he will be interested in. After seeing some programme about fossils on the tv I decided to have a go at an activity that has been on my to do list for ages, ice excavating!

It’s a dead simple activity and while I think most people excavate dinosaur toys out of the ice, we don’t actually have any so I just found some other rubbery toys that I thought would survive freezing, and a few jewels and set to work. In a big tupperware I popped a few toys in a bit of water and froze it for a few hours. Once that layer had frozen I added more water and more toys and then left the whole thing in the freezer overnight ready for Mummy & Monkey time.

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The next day Monkey and I set to work. We set up in the tuff spot inside as the weather outside wasn’t great, popped the ice block into a big roasting tin and set to work trying to melt the ice and free the toys using some jugs of water, a couple of teaspoons and some table salt.PhotoGrid_1468231854163

As you can see Monkey absolutely loved every minute. There was so much to talk about too which was great for his vocabulary.PhotoGrid_1468232031232

Definitely a lot of fun and will repeat it over the holidays if we have a warm day I think as then the ice will melt even faster! As it was this kept us going for about an hour and there was still ice left afterwards.

Have you tried ice excavating before?

#ToddlerApprovedTuesday

What do I want from my blog?

I’ve lost my blogging mojo a bit lately. I just haven’t had the time or energy to write much and haven’t really engaged with any there blogs and on the whole have felt like a pretty rubbish blogger. The reasons for this are varied, it has been a really busy month with hubs’ knee surgery and trip to Canada so I have had more to do and have been more tired but I also know there is more to it than that. I have been questioning my blogging a lot.

I started this blog about 3 1/2 years ago, which is a bit mental really. It started off when Monkey was about 9mths old as a little hobby to help me cope with the adjustment of becoming a SAHM. In those days my posts were pretty rambling, I wasn’t on social media with the blog and had never heard of a linky so was mainly just rambling on to a few people.

Then I joined twitter and the world of linkies and wow did my blogging life change. Soon my blog was a major part of my life and my stats shot up. I redesigned my site and things went from strength to strength. I was constantly thinking about my next post and I was loving it. Then LM came along and the truth is I haven’t been able to keep my blog at the level it used to he since she came along. For a long time I just about managed but it was exhausting and eventually I scaled back a bit. I have still been thinking about what I want to write but I don’t always have the time to actually write the posts.

I hate not do something wholeheartedly and have struggled with the scaling back of my blog. I feel disconnected from so many of the lovely bloggers I used to talk to a lot more and to be honest on the periphery of the blogging world a lot. I hardly ever remember to reply to PRs who email me and to my shame have been guilty of link dumping. Not intentionally but I lose track of what I have linked up to and then feel terrible. I try and go back to every link but have a feeling that sometimes I miss some. And there are times when I read someone’s post… And then go blank when it is time to write a comment. I hate writing bland platitudes as a comment so sometimes just don’t say anything.

Britmums live was interesting as I saw so many fabulous bloggers there having a great time together and it’s not like I am jealous,  I guess I just don’t feel like part of that world as much at the moment. I don’t feel like a blogger.

I wonder what the point is in writing my blog. Does anyone really care what we got up to last weekend, or what my opinion is about things? Do I have anything new to share that doesn’t get shared a million times by other bloggers who can put it a lot better than I can anyway?

So do I give up? When something has been a big part of who you are for over 3 years that is not so easy. Especially when there is lots I love about it.

I love that it is a record of my little ones’ childhood. A record of them growing up and developing. A record of the fun we have together and a record of their relationship.

I love that it is a way for me to share all the million photographs that I take of my children, I know I take far too many but I love it and it is nice to have somewhere to share them without bombarding old friends on Facebook with them.

It gives me a place to vent my thoughts. I don’t share everything on the blog as some things should be kept private, but it has helped me so many times to get my thoughts out and process them. I do also love that this has the potential to help others. The thing about the world we live in is that we are never the first or only person to be experiencing a certain thing but if we don’t share our experiences it is easy to feel alone. I know that sharing my postnatal depression has helped others while also helping me and I am proud of that.

So when I think about these things I don’t want to give it up. What I need to do instead is for the time being to scale it back even further and come to terms with that. I will join in with the occasional linky when I have the time but won’t be joining in to any on a weekly basis. I’m sorry but I would rather join in properly occasionally than join in half heartedly regularly and risk link dumping and upsetting the hosts.

So my stats may shrink even further and I will probably be even more disconnected with the blogging world… But actually I think I am OK with that. Our real life is really busy and I want to focus on enjoying that and blog when I can and when I want to. I guess in many ways I am going back to where I started! When Monkey is settled at school in September I may find I have more time and will rethink then.

So in the meantime I will still be here sporadically and you will hear from me occasionally and I will still love to hear from you even if you won’t see at many linkies anymore! Oh and I love instagram so do follow me on there if you want to see what we are up to!  I’m @becomingasahm xx

Me and Mine June 2016

Me and Mine time! It’s been a funny old month here for us with Hubs recovering from his knee op and then jetting off to Canada for a business trip. I have been doing more solo parenting than ever and our weekends have been quite a lot quieter than normal,  just pottering about and resting rather than getting out and about.

So to be honest at one point I thought this shot of us all snuggled in bed at the beginning of the month would be the only shot of us all to share for me and Mine. IMG_20160604_065236

Not that I don’t love it. We were having Sunday morning snuggles and it was just a lovely happy moment.

But one of the things I love about this link is that it really does prompt me to make an effort to get a nice family shot of us all. So at my Mum’s this weekend celebrating her birthday I made  a point of getting the 4 of us together on the bench my step dad made (isn’t it awesome? He is a talented man!) for a sunny snap. And I love it. PhotoGrid_1467092400456

So here we are in June. Back together again and hopefully getting back to some normality for a bit… Though having said that there are big changes going on in our lives. LM is growing up so much all the time (which I love as life is that bit easier now) and so is our Monkey. He has his first taster days at school next week and then come September our lives and routines will be very different.

Part of me is excited, as I know he is ready for this adventure into education… But part of me really wants to hit the pause button. To freeze frame our happy little ones as they are as they are pretty perfect to me.

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The Me and Mine Project

Little Miss at 20 months

So our little lady is 20 months old. How do I describe her? She is feisty, demanding, bossy, caring, fun, loving, cheeky, and seriously cute as well as infuriating haha. She is also learning so so much all of the time and it is wonderful to watch her growing from a baby into a little girl.20160619_105035

She really has made a sudden leap in the last couple of months, and though we still don’t have many words, her communication has really stepped up. She pays so much attention when we talk to her and understands so much of what we say, often following directions. Her babbling is almost constant and she makes some seriously lovely noises.

She also does have more noises approximating words, sentences and phrases. “i wan dat” is one, though it often comes out as i-on-da with arms thrust at whatever it is she wants haha. I’m also sure that one day when I asked where her ball was she said something resembling “oer dare” and then “igetit” but it is difficult to be sure. We aren’t worried by the lack of actual words. Her brother didn’t speak at all beyond babbling until he was 2, and now he never shuts up haha. And like I say she understands so much and communicates her needs very well. In fact she is so so bossy. And because she is pretty darn adorable she gets her own way from people a lot… Hmm.

The downside to the lack of words is the frustration that we don’t understand her. And frustration when we don’t do what she wants. Ooh she does get frustrated and very much makes her feelings known. Screaming her head off and holding her breath til she is blue in the face. Lying on the floor screaming, sitting on the floor screaming. Oh the tantrums are really really starting, especially when I don’t give in to her bossyness, and we never had it as bad with Monkey. It is so embarrassing at times but I also try not to worry too much.

She can also be the loveliest loveliest girl. She always wants to be helpful and always brings us all our shoes when we want to go out (and when we don’t want to…), she loves washing her big brother in the bath and is so proud of herself when we ask her to give someone something and she does it. She loves feeding her dolls and toys and us haha and is always trying to give people food and drink! She strokes pictures of animals and says aaah and adores her teddies and cuddly things. She loved seeing our friends’ Guinea pig recently and gave them some carrot to eat! She also hates when people are upset and if we can hear a child crying she will get really concerned and say “oh no!” she really hates when her brother is upset too. She loves a good cuddle too and there’s nothing I like more than having her snuggle on my lap.PhotoGrid_1467045986712

She runs just about everywhere and has the cutest bouncy run. As much energy must go into bouncing up and down as moving forward but she looks so adorable when she runs off. She is seriously fast when she wants to be though!

She is intrigued by everything in the world and routinely stops to explore a blade of grass, leaves and was so excited to watch and follow a bumble bee a few days ago, giggling away everytime it flew from one flower to another. In general she just loves being outdoors and if you follow my instagram feed you will know how much she loves puddles and bubbles and climbing. PhotoGrid_1467050215991

She adores being in the bath and is such a water baby. She loves playing and splashing about with her brother but also adores lying down and having a swim. Sometimes in a bubbly bath we can only see her head which is a bit bizarre but she seriously adores it and it’s just lovely seeing her happy in there.PhotoGrid_1467046353251

She is learning so much all the time and getting more dextrous. We have been working on fine motor controls and generally having a lot more involved play she loves sorting things and just exploring in general. Her latest loves are painting, and play doh! She would play playdoh all day long if she had her way. Thank goodness she also enjoys watching peppa pig and paw patrol as that usually distracts her when I am at the end of my play doh tether haha.PhotoGrid_1467053235157

She is desperate to be a big girl and loves drinking from an open cup and using her fork and spoon which is lovely to see. Though she still uses her hands most of the time!PhotoGrid_1467045614881

She still loves her food and though she can be fussy at times with new things on the whole she is great. Favourites include curries, especially with chickpeas in, baked beans, tortelloni in tomato sauce, my homemade soups and strawberries!

She loves books and stories and is constantly bringing books for me to read her, or sitting flicking through pages and lifting flaps on her own. She is getting interested in some more grown up books too and currently loves “What the ladybird heard” and enjoyed her brother’s current favourite “the pirate who lived next door. ”

She is a complete and utter loon at times. She loves spinning around and throwing herself on the floor. It baffles me but is another sign of how full of fun she is. She so loves to laugh and to make others laugh too. We adore our girl so much and it is a privilege to be her mummy, even if she does drive me crazy at times. She is cute as a button and I love, love, love watching her grow and learn.PhotoGrid_1467056019675

 

MummascribblesEthans Escapades

Strawberry Picking – and eating!

One of LM’s favourite ever foods, is strawberries. I honestly believe she would eat them all day every day if she could. So being strawberry season when my Mum and I were trying to think of something different to do with the kids one day I thought we should go strawberry picking!20160622_103128 (2)

We are really fortunate that literally a couple of minutes away from us in the car is a really great pick your own farm. Hill Farm does a variety of pick your own crops throughout the year but I normally miss the strawberries and by the time I get round to visiting it is plum and blackberry season. This year, despite the wet weather we have been having I was determined we would get to pick some strawberries.

After a dry day Tuesday, Wednesday was unfortunately was grey and a bit wet. We headed off nonetheless clad in waterproofs and wellies, expecting hill farm to be wet and muddy, which it was!

One of the things the kids love most about this farm is the play area. My little climbers adore exploring and sliding and climbing… And on a day like today, splashing in huge muddy puddles haha.

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After a bit of a play it was off to find some strawberries. I really love that minutes away from the suburbia where we live is countryside and views like this. 20160622_102554

Monkey loved picking strawberries and they had so so many yummy juicy ones. He even tried one which was good as he only likes eating dried strawberries (eye roll).PhotoGrid_1466608979540

Whereas LM basically just wanted to eat them haha. Hardly a surprise :)IMG_20160622_114325

Nanny was addicted to picking and we soon had so many strawberries I joked they were coming out of our ears.20160622_103645

We decided to head back when out tub was full so we could stop LM from eating basically every strawberry left in the field. She then got really mardy and bless her I think she was hot and grumpy. It was so humid and I was hot in my waterproofs so no doubt she was too. So I stripped them off and we had some cake which cheered her up. Thank goodness as she was screaming the place down by then!PhotoGrid_1466611565231

They have birds of prey on display at the farm that have been raised in captivity and rescued and they are building a more permanent site for them at the farm too. They are so beautiful and the kids loved looking at them. LM was waving hello and giggling and they had a baby kestrel who was so cute and fluffy.PhotoGrid_1466616191496

Of course the kids wanted another play on the play area so LM was straight back in the puddles and got a bit soggy, despite my best efforts! One of the lovely friendly farm dogs also came out for a play. We had planned on staying for a picnic but it started raining so then it was time to head home.PhotoGrid_1466616315281

We had such a lovely time though and the strawberries were so delicious that no doubt we will be back again soon. Do you like pick your own farms?

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall#ToddlerApprovedTuesdayBest of WorstLife Unexpected

Focussing on Happy #3 “Support”

My word of the week this week was nearly solo, as Hubs has been in Canada since Monday (lucky devil) and I have been solo parenting for my longest stretch ever. But I haven’t really been solo – because I have so many wonderful friends and family around who have supported me and helped me out that I really haven’t had to do it alone. So my word this week is support.

So here is what made me happy over the last week.

Having a lovely Afternoon Tea with my hubs as a treat at a posh hotel. It was my birthday present from my parents and we thought it was a good plan to use it before he went away. With all that has been going on lately we have been really snappy with each other so it was nice to reconnect and have some fun together people watching and eating yummy food :)PhotoGrid_1466665407944

Enjoying Father’s Day morning at a local country park with Hubs’ parents, enjoying a rare bit of sunshine and warmth and having a lovely time together before saying goodbye to Hubs the next morning.PhotoGrid_1466665635723

Seeing how much LM loved the huge puddles when the rain returned on Monday, though I was less impressed at how many times I had to change both our clothes that day!PhotoGrid_1466666154171

Having a lovely sunny playdate with some friends round on Tuesday – chilling with friends in the sunshine is how a summer playdate should be, right?PhotoGrid_1466668778451

Having an impromptu walk round our local country park with some good friends and heading back to their house for tea. All the kids get on so so well so it was lovely.

Having Uncle Mark and Aunty Fran round to help with bath and bedtime Tuesday night. The kids are so close to them and have so much fun with them it is wonderful.PhotoGrid_1466668472615

Strawberry picking with my Mum on Wednesday, more to come on that tomorrow!

Popping round to see the Grandparents Wednesday afternoon then both my Mum and Uncle Paul popping in to help with the kiddies while I sorted tea and got some jobs done.20160622_173741

Having loads of bathy time fun with my gorgeous kiddies. Bathtime is often Hubs domain as I have been with them all day and he then gets to have fun with them…but it was lovely to enjoy that time (even though I will willingly give it back next week as that is normally a bit of a rest time for me!!)

Visiting our local country park with friends on Thursday as Monkey’s pre-school was closed to be used as a polling station. It was yet another wet and miserable day but we had a lot of fun nonethless.PhotoGrid_1466687901684

Skyping with Daddy in our afternoons, which is his morning.

It has been a really really busy week, which has been great as it has flown by and we are looking forward to Daddy being home. I am shattered but as I am sure you can tell from the list above there has been a LOT of happy times here.

How has your week been?

The Reading Residence
What Katy Said

Saturday