The slump 

When I was younger I didn’t have a normal life, what people class as normal I guess. So as I grew up I wanted to have that life, be the wife, be the mum, have the house and the family. And I got it. But now I don’t know how to enjoy it. 
Six and a half years of marriage, a four year old girl and a one year old boy later and I’m down in the dumps alot of the time. 

I recently took on a new role at work, a promotion that would mean that my husband could stay at home with our little boy. A huge change for the family. A huge change for me. 

There has never been a female take the role I have taken before. What an achievement. But is that because the rest of the female population had the foresight to see it’s not a mother’s job? 

It’s a stressful role, a role in a manufacturing environment where in a one hundred strong team that all look to me as their leader I am one of two women. 

There is a pressure to perform. To drive results. When I speak to long standing leaders in the business about how I feel their first question is always “what do the results look like?”. 

Add to that pressure two children and a husband. My brain is never turned off. All I want to do is hear nothing. But at the moment if it’s not the banging of bolts over and over it’s the cry of a four year who is not achieving what ever demands she is requesting at that time. 

We wanted to get away camping this weekend. A rare weekend I am not working on a Saturday so could enjoy the long weekend but sadly our baby boy is not well. After a trip to out of hours yesterday we are told he has an ear and a throat infection.

So I feel trapped. Trapped in a house I dreamt my entire childhood I would own. With a family I wished I could have been a part of. Maybe I am ungrateful. Maybe I can’t see what I’ve got in front of me. I don’t know what it is. 

I find enjoying myself a difficulty, the sun is shining. My little girl wants to do nothing more than sit cuddled up to her mum on the bench at the end of a garden we spent hours achieving. And all I do is get wound up! 

Someone just needs to give me a good slap and say wake up girl and see what you have. A gorgeous family, a lovely home, a fantastic job and a husband who adores you. Just enjoy life. And stop comparing yourself to people on Instagram you daft cow! 
**For information, after writing this moany blog post I did give myself a slap and enjoyed doing 2 jigsaws with my girl and cheered the heck up!**


Blogmas day 13 – Secret Santa

This week is my last week in work so we are in Secret Santa, works Christmas dinner/buffet/cakes territory! I love anything festive so I’m usual involved in the planning somewhere or other! 

As part of the HR team we like to do a Secret Santa and this year I pulled the new (5 weeks in) head of HR! I had to think long and hard about what to buy and in the end (after all that thinking) I ended up in WHSmith the night before present giving (classic Porter). 

And do you know what I’m quite glad I went in because I found some fantastic books that not only the HR people amongst us would enjoy. I loved reading when I was younger particularly Enid Blyton so these caught my eye..

£7.99 WHSmith (I have now found it for £2.99 on 

How funny that they have recreated an old classic into an adult version! 

I also found this little beauty, a new take on a Mills & Boon number. I wanted to be a little bit funny, you know show the new head of we have a sense of humour! 

WHSmith £6.99 (also on for the cheaper price of £3.49)

Clearly if I had planned these items I could have got more with my alloyed £10 budget but they were but one get the other half price in Smiths! 

One of the other girls also got this one which I thought was good they have sorts of topics as well including dad, husband, wife etc good for a laugh on Christmas Day! 


Blogmas day 11 – A family of Christmas jumpers! 

Ok so it isn’t actually national Christmas jumper day but it won’t be long! I love Christmas jumper day at work it makes it feel like everyone is getting in the mood and it is usually around the time I break up for Christmas! 

This year Cordy has a Christmas jumper week at school so she has needed a new jumper for that so we will start with her. I got this one from Mothercare and it came in at a reasonable £12. We have a few festive events to attend so she will very much be getting its money’s worth. 

Girls Christmas jumper, Mothercare £12

For the boy I went with a Next number, I received an email a few weeks ago and fell in love with this one.

Baby boy’s Christmas jumper, Next £12

The poor hubby is stuck with last year’s jumper but being a big blue I’m sure he doesn’t mind too much! It was actually bought for me to wear to work last year as I was sporting a rather large bump but I was too poorly to make it in for the day! 

Man’s Christmas jumper, Everton FC £30

And last but not least mum, I wanted something that wasn’t too garish and had a fair isle type pattern. When I was in work I got this picture from my hubby to say he had found this in Aldi!!! What a beauty.

Ladies Christmas jumper, Aldi 

Blogmas day 9 – The Father Christmas method for behaviour 

Father Christmas, what a fella! He brings us all such nice presents, well those of us who have been well behaved enough to get any. This year, at the rate she is going, our girl is going to get coal! 
Cordelia is 3. A normal pre-schooler who likes to play up every now and again. But since the arrival of her baby brother she just seems to have gone down hill and I’m finding it difficult to understand how we fix it. 
When December arrived I thought we could start using the ye olde Father Christmas method. My husband went and picked up a sticker chart with happy and sad father Christmas’ on but it’s done absolutely nothing. 

Yesterday she hit and kicked her dad (I was at the gym) so he put her to bed without stories and gave her a sad sticker and she just looked at him. Her behaviour has been just as bad today, kicking out, hitting her brother, she wouldn’t even get dressed to go out of the house with her dad. 
I’m at a bit of a loss I know he isn’t real but it’s like she knows as well! Any top tips people on how to improve behaviour with the Father Christmas method my way is clearly not working?  

Blogmas day 5 – Frozen on ice

We have had our Frozen on Ice tickets since May and I’ve been so excited since we booked it!! The day presale opened was actually my little girls birthday so I think I was feeling extra extravagant that day when me and my friend booked four tickets in the second row haha! 

And boy I’m glad we did, even if they weren’t cheap! The show was fantastic. They stick true to the story as it is in the movie so I’m sure I don’t need to tell you all the details. 

What I was a little surprised about was the addition of some other Disney characters before the main part of the show. There was Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Donald, a range of Disney princesses and the Toy Story, Finding Nemo and Lion King characters. 

I just assumed it would only be Frozen characters we would see so that was wonderful, particularly when Cordy got to see her beloved Aeriel. The show made us feel like we were getting right into the festive mood, we got the train over to Liverpool where we we had tickets for the Echo arena and the girls got dressed in their Elsa and Ana dresses.

The girls are both three and I felt the show was perfect for them at this age. There was an intermission so we could make a loo stop halfway through. I did spot some younger looking little people who didn’t seem to keep their attention so I’d say 3 is probably the youngest I would recommend! 

We have tickets booked for Princesses on Ice next year and now I can’t wait!! 

Blogmas day 3 – our favourite Christmas songs

I for one absolutely love Christmas songs!  I’m even more excited this year though because my little girl is able to join in the fun of having sing song and a dance around the kitchen to the cheesy tunes that are Christmas songs. It’s become a bit of a tradition to cook the dinner on Christmas Day with our tunes on and all be dancing around the kitchen together. 

As part of our Blogmas collaboration I thought it would be nice to have a think about our favourite songs for the festive period! 

So Hayley went with two absolute classics:

I am a bit of a closet Mariah fan so mine has to include one of hers! My two are:

  • All I want for Christmas – Mariah Carey (Link here)
  • Stop the Cavalry – Jona Lewie (Link here)

What’s your favourite Christmas tunes? 

Blogmas – a collaboration 

I’ve not managed to blog very much since going back to work from maternity in August but I saw a post about Blogmas and being a lover of all things Christmas I thought why not! 

My wonderful buddy (Here)also happens to be a blogger (a much better one than I am I may add!) so we thought as we are both busy mummies to two small people why not do it as a collaboration! 

So we are going to each bring you a day of Blogmas taking it in turns to talk all things Christmas whilst also keeping each other updated on what festivities we have going on (being we live miles away from each other) with our little families. If you are lucky you may get one with both of us in it!

Being Blogmas newbies we haven’t really come up with a fixed list because where is the fun in that? So we will bring you a new Christmas related item to chat about every day and hope you enjoy joining us for the ride! 

Emma & Hayley x

A Mummy Christmas wish list

Ok since the first Christmas after my little girl was born three years ago my wish list has kind of gone on the back burner. The first Christmas she arrived we had been to the canaries for a pre Christmas/Anniversary week in the sun, we didn’t get home until 2 days before Christmas Day. It got to Christmas Eve and we realised neither of us had bought one thing for each other! That is parenthood for you.

You get so wrapped up in what wonderful things there are to buy the babies you seem to forget each other but I’ve been thinking already about all the lovely things I’d love! And actually some things I have that I think other mummies might love too.

So first up on the list, if you follow my Instagram you would have already seen this item! It’s a Kath Kidston Mummy mug from their Christmas catalogue. I don’t own anything with Mummy on it and I’d really love something after 3.5 years in role…..

Hydrangea Grace Mug £6.50

The next item on my gift list is actually something I got for my birthday back in September. It’s a Fitbit HR, I love how slimline it is whilst functional. I can use it to run, track my steps through my busy workday (and mumday) and track my heart rate and sleep patterns. And what a lovely colour! 

Plum FitBit HR £74.99

As you have already heard I like to run and what is running without trainers!!! My runners are looking a little tired after a summer of losing the second baby weight so why not take a gander at some girly new treads…

Nike Women’s Free Run Pink Blast £59

Without overdoing the running vibe I absolutely love these Beats By Dre wireless headphones!! I look like Mr Bean running down the road messing about with my headphones all time haha! I best tell my hubby these are essential then.

Beats by Dre Wireless Headphones £89.99

My last item on the list which is something I would really like! Is a Mummy frame. There are so many lovely ones on the market but I quite liked this personalised one I found online…

Me & Mummy frame £11.99

I’m sure there are loads more ideas out there for mummies alike so feel free to share your ideas here!!! 


The Tiger Who Came to Tea a 2016 version

So you may or may not have noticed I have been fairly quiet in recent months on the old blogging front! I went back to work a few months ago and I will be honest it’s all consumed my life. Don’t get me wrong I want it to, to an extent, I love work but I do miss writing my blog posts! 

I need to design an app that can read what I’m thinking and types the blog post up for me while I’m on the go, oh and then publishes and shares it on my social media platforms. Well my Twitter and Instagram anyway! I’m constantly thinking of what I want to say but writing it down is a challenge on time! 

As is being mum! I will admit turning 30 last month has also taken up a lot of my social calendar but I just don’t find I have much time to do mum things I feel I should be doing. One of those things tends to be storytime but in the past week I have managed to do it twice which has been lovely! As you can guess from the title one of our household favourites is The Tiger Who Came to Tea, we read it every night and we have done probably for about 2 years now! 

Since I can remember Cordelia has loved us changing the main character (for those of you who haven’t read it) Sophie’s name to Cordy. Sometimes she throws her friends names in for good measure as well but we never read it as it should be! Just this week it got me thinking though in our house we should really change the setup of the family situation as well, so I did! Much to Cordelia’s annoyance the first time. 

What I mean is, when I went back to work in August my husband became the house husband. The initial plan was that he would share my leave as he had done with our daughter but the the offer of voluntary redundancy came up at work and he took the (very brave) decision to go for it! 

If you haven’t read the story it is an old school setup in Sophie’s house (it was published in the 1960s) and it would seem Sophie is at home with her mum having tea in the kitchen together. A Tiger turns up at the door, who they let in, I might add young Sophie answers the door too which in my opinion feels a little 1960s and they let him in to join in the tea. Once the Tiger has eaten the family out of house and home he leaves. Then Dad arrives home from work. And this is what made me think our story is a little different.

In our house it would be Dad at home having tea in the kitchen. In our house it would be Mummy who had her keys (again sorry if you haven’t read the book but buy it and you will get me). In our house it’s Mummy who comes home from work. It would be Mummy’s dinner cooking in the saucepans. In our house it would be Mummy suggesting we go out for tea. And in our house it would be Daddy going shopping the next day with Sophie to restock. 

So that’s what I read. I did as we always do and replaced Sophie with Cordy. But I also replaced Mummy with Daddy and Daddy with Mummy. Interestingly the first time I did it my girl was not best pleased, but tonight she got on board and asked for it that way! 

She now understands that I was reading it just how our family is setup. She knows Mummy goes to work and Daddy stays at home. And I think she likes it that way! Our 2016 version of her book and 2016 version of a family setup! 

A Mum Track Mind

Long lost family – a true story

March 2003, the beginning of the Iraqi war and where my story begins. Well not quite true it began over 13 years before but this part of the story begins here. 

I was a teenager, in my last year of high school. Dealing with my GCSE exams, enjoying being the oldest in the school, finding out about the joys of teenage love and generally being a normal young girl. 

At the time my mother and step-dad had just split up. My world as I had got used to at that point was changing dramatically and that of the world in the army was too. And that bothered me. In fact it bothered me a lot. 

The reason for that being that my father is in the Army. My mother had got wind via my Aunty that he had been sent to Iraq as part of the millitary presence which was required in the country. 

In my head he was a Soldier, a running around with green paint on his face, bushes hanging out of his helmet, gun in his hand type Soldier. I was scared. I was scared that the man who had brought me onto this planet, who I was connected to by the blood that pumped through my veins was in Iraq.

I was addicted to watching the TV, every time the news came on I would cry. When I started crying I couldn’t stop. Every single day another Soldier killed in action, was that him? I would hear the news reader say, “family have been informed”. But how would they inform all of his family? He didn’t know where I was! 

This was the problem, the issue deep rooted in my tears and pain I was carrying around on my 16 year old shoulders. My father left when I was four. I didn’t have any contact with him after that. All I had were pictures of him I could look at every now and again.

Pictures of a man who looked just like me, but with short hair. Pictures of a man I would look for as I walked around the world I lived in. Pictures of a man I didn’t know, but I cried for. 

For those of you who read my piece about my mother will know the relationship we have now but at the time she had had enough of me being upset. So she promised me she would drive me to where she thought my father’s mum lived. 

I don’t remember most of the journey but I do remember pulling into the road. Driving slowly along the row of little seaside bungalows praying my mother would recognise the one that houses my Grandmother. Part of me was resigned to the fact she wouldn’t remember and it would all be a wasted journey. 

But low and behold she claimed she had spotted it, so off my brother was bundled with my then boyfriend. Just me and my mother left. Stood looking at a little brown bungalow. It looked like a nice place, with lovely flowers and pretty nets on the window. My heart was racing as we walked up the drive and stood on the step at the front door. I don’t even remember who knocked or did we ring the bell? Anyway we were letting the lady inside know that someone was at the door. 

I’m not sure she was quite prepared to see who it was at the front door! It was like when someone sees a ghost on a cartoon. But she went from flabbergasted to over joyed almost instantly. I couldn’t believe we had found her. My Grandma. My Father’s mum. It was wonderful. 

She invited us in to the living room and made us a drink. As she talked to us and explained where my Father was she started rummaging through some belongings in a dresser she had in the living room. She pulled out two newspaper cuttings to show me. 

The first was of me when I was around 6 years old taken in the local library when I had been pretending to be working in a coal mine as part of a project for school. And the second a photo from my school around a similar age. She had kept them all this time and looked at them to remind her of me. I was so overwhelmed with the love I felt from her that day. 

Whilst we were there she gave me an address in Iraq that I could send a letter to my Father and a special envelope to use. She explained he was married to a nice lady and they had a boy together about 3 years old. Grandma didn’t see them much as they lived down South. We bid our farewells and left a very shell shocked old lady behind! 

The weeks and months that followed turned out to be a rather busy time in my life and I ended moving out of my Mothers house. With all that going on my letter became more and more delayed. Soon enough came GCSE results day and I knew it was time to write my letter. 

I though what better way to re-introduce myself than with my GCSE results! But it is easier said than done to write to a parent you haven’t seen for such a long time. I didn’t know him. He didn’t know me. I was scared. Scared if I said the wrong thing it would scare him off. If I came over all ridiculous he might decide not to reply. I just couldn’t cope with the potential rejection. 

I sent the letter off with all of its many stamps and I waited. And waited. And waited. I had started my first day at College and I got a call on my mobile from my Nanna to say a rather funny looking letter had arrived for me. I was so excited to get home I don’t think I learnt a thing that day. 

I got back and it was the letter I had been waiting for! It was from him! Every year on my birthday I had wished and prayed for an envelope to come with this handwriting on, and it never did and now this was here. (I also stupidly had this crazy idea every year just before my birthday that a massive present with a big red bow on would be delivered on my birthday but that never materialised either – sigh).

I took myself off to my old bedroom is been reallocated at my Nanna’s and read the letter. I was so emotional. I’m not sure how I read the words through the tears pouring from my eyes. I’m not even sure if they were as a reaction to what had been written or just the sheer relief that I’d even got a response. 

There was a lot of explanation about what had happened all those years before, an intro to his life (including the fact he isn’t a soldier on the front line – phew), and an apology. I was grateful for those things but the thing I was most happy about (other than the Dad X at the end of the letter) was that he said he was happy this day had come. 

I could not have been happier! I wrote back almost instantly and we exchanged a couple more letters before it was confirmed he would be returning home from Iraq and would be making his Christmas visit to my Grandma’s with his wife and son. 

Oh god, the day was coming I would get to meet my dad. I was nervous. I was more nervous than I’d ever been and I think still been to this day! That includes one wedding and two births! There was going to be a gathering at my Aunty’s house on Boxing Day and I would meet him beforehand at my Grandma’s. 

Christmas Day went by in a flash that year. I couldn’t even tell you what happened! I imagine there was probably turkey and presents. The came Boxing Day. I was up getting myself ready from some ridiculous hour, I’m always late and I didn’t want to be late for this. My hair was as perfect as I could make it as were my clothes I just didn’t want anything to go wrong. 

I’d been and bought presents for everyone which included a lovely pair of Dad socks! Well start as you mean to go on! And we headed off for the half an hour journey to my Grandma’s. I felt sick. I wanted it to be perfect. I wanted him to love me. To see me and it melt his heart. 

I wanted my dad to be my dad so badly and kept imagining what he looked like. I knew he would be tall as I’m tall and I’d been told he was tall when he was younger. I assumed he had blue eyes like me and mouse my brown hair. I just wasn’t like my mum at all. 

We pulled up at the house and I could feel my heart pounding in my ears, butterflies were floating all around my tummy and there was a stone at the pit of it I couldn’t shift. 

I walked into my Grandma’s hall and gave her a big Christmas kiss, and she led me into the living room. And there he was. This tall man in his forties stood there looking at me. My heart fell to that place all the butterflies had been congregating. On the floor of the room a young boy with blonde hair and a lady playing with him. 

My Grandma flung my presents towards me to open but I was just flummoxed. In my shocked state I just started handing out Christmas presents I didn’t know what else to do I was put on the spot. I’m now handing a man who I’ve only uttered the word hello to a Christmas present with the word DAD emblazoned on it! 

Obviously the tension was a s bad for him as it was for me and after handing me a gift in return he headed for the kitchen. I’m not sure where I expected my Grandma to put us all but I hadn’t quite expected to be greeted with him as soon as I’d walked in like that I was over rawed by it all. 

I went in the kitchen where we were finally alone and I just cuddled him. I can feel the emotion now. It burned through my veins like fire. My Dad was cuddling me at last. I was in his arms. A place I hadn’t been since I was four years old and I felt like I was as home. I didn’t want it to end I wanted my dad for me again. 

We broke the embrace and talked. And cried. And talked. It was so weird to see a man in front of me I felt like I knew but I knew nothing about. He made my cup of tea and amazingly we took it exactly the same way. 

We went back in and did all of the introductions again properly this time before we headed off to my Aunty’s house. I was like Lindsay Lohan in Parent Trap saying Dad at every given opportunity. I was like a lap dog I wanted to follow him around the house. 

But after months of waiting and watching the war unfold on the news, I’d done it. I’d finally met my Dad! 

This post was originally written for meetothermums.

The Pramshed