My baby starts school in September – what am I going to do?

My baby boy is no longer a baby. He’s a strapping 3ft, four year old. And he starts full time school in September. Sigh. And if that wasn’t hard enough, for the past few months I’ve been fending off varying versions of the following questions:

What are you going to do when he starts school?

So are you going back to work inĀ September?

Just think of all that free time. What will you do?

People mean well I’m sure, but it’s starting to get tiresome. For a start no, no I’m not going ‘back’ to work. Primarily because I have no work to go back to. I have no career to pick up. I fell into every job I ever had. Some jobs I ended up loving, some I hated, but most I just felt ambivalent about. Also looking ‘back’ doesn’t feel a very positive thing to do. Moving forward is where it’s at surely? So no, I won’t be going ‘back’, to anything.

I have some ideas of what I might do when he’s in school full time. And I’m hoping that won’t be too long coming. But nothing is certain with Oscar. I have no idea how he’s going to react, to settle. His Autism makes life supremely unpredictable at the best of times, so who knows how he’ll react to something as monumental as starting school. My guess is that all my energy, at least for the first term, is going to be spent on transitioning him and supporting him with what ever he needs to get the best out of his school career.

But people are right, eventually he will (fingers crossed) be settled and my day time will be less constricted by him. So what could I do? What do other SAHMs of school age children do round our way?

The gym

I look around me and for those who don’t go out to work (or who work part time) in my town it would seem the place to be is the gym. Or at least I assume it is. The amount of mamas rocking the kind of gym wear I wouldn’t even wear in the gym let alone on the streets tells me that my fellow SAHMama with school age children spend at least some of their time working out. It’s definitely an option I guess. We have a local leisure centre. Maybe I would find a new tribe to hang out with there?

Have another baby

Another option seems to have a baby. So many of Oscar’s preschool chums who are starting school in September have pregnant mothers or new siblings. I mean it’s a pretty drastic way to amuse yourself while your older child is at school (šŸ˜œ) but it’s not for me. Done at one, that’s me, so no new baby for me.

Drink coffee

OK, so I spend most of my mornings in the various coffee shops of Haslemere, so I can’t really talk, but hey I’m alone, working. I see the mamas, often without children getting to enjoy a cuppa or two. I could quite happily keep doing that! Only problem with that is that I have no one to drink coffee with. All my friends work, or are in the gym, or popping out babies (see above). I wrote a post in 2013 about how hard it was to make friends when you’re an adult and you don’t work. But I thought I’d done it. Got over the embarrassment and let my little one break the ice for me. Only here I am, three years down the line and seriously having to consider how to find new friends. Again. Without the help of a cute little blue eyed bundle!

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OK, so these are definitely some of the options I see around, but what about options that are a bit more specific to me? Cos I can’t see me joining the spandex wearing, latte drinking, baby machines just yet šŸ˜‰

Blogging

Of course. I mean I’ve managed to do three years so far, all in either nap time or two hour nursery slots, soĀ imagine how much better it could be with more time. I could actually have a schedule and plan posts. I know right!! Also I’ve had to turn down all sorts of blogging opportunities as I’ve had no one to look after Oscar. I’m really hoping I can start accepting more opportunities and growing what I can offer. And who knows, actually start to make some money! Shock horror!

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Decorating

There are various rooms in the house that need attention, particularly the bathroom (and the kitchen is a whole other post!) But if I’m going to make a go of my blog then the thing I really need is an office. We have no spare room, or even a spare nook in our house, however we do have a large shed sort of thing at the bottom of the garden (we rather grandly call it the Summer House!) that, cleaned out and tarted up, could make a lovely office/writing space. We’d need to get electricity down there and some form of WiFi or network, but it’s definitely something to think about and could be a great project!

Learn to Drive

As I’ve mentioned before I am taking driving lessons at the moment. Well I was. It’s on hiatus at the moment, partly due to finances, partly due to not really gelling with my instructor. But the plan is totally to keep going and when Oscar is at school it’ll be easier to arrange my lessons and not have to race (not literally) back for him.

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Volunteer

There are all sorts of organisations round here that need assistanceĀ and as someone who worked in Volunteer Recruitment and Support back in the old days, maybe I should jump to the other side of the fence and practice what I preached all those years ago.Ā It’s widely acknowledgedĀ that volunteering is not only great for the community but also for the volunteers themselves, with studies showing altruism leading to the ‘helper’s high’.Ā And who doesn’t want to help their community and feel good about it while they do?

Get a job

Of course there is always the option to get a part time job, probably locally due to drop off and pick up times. I’m not happy to put Oscar into childcare either end of the school day (even at school) yet, and to be honest I have no idea if any one would even be able to take him! So a job would need to fit 100% around him and that’s asking a lot. And makes me think I should try harder with this writing malarkey!

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Yes, there are plenty of options for things I could be doing when Oscar starts school. For one we’ve decided to stop having a cleaner so I’m going to have to start cleaning the bathroom again at some stage (boohoo). But to be honest, right now, I want to enjoy my time with him. In a few months he’ll be uniformed up and off into the big world, forging his own unique path, whatever that may be.

So stop asking me what I’m going to be doing in the future. I just want to concentrate on what we’re doing today.

Slimming World Update – Week 54

Yo!

What’s been happening this week people? Anything interesting?

I’ve been up to my eyeballs in paint, plaster and pieces of skirting board. The bedroom is finally plastered, painted and looking fab. We’ve still got to sort the floor and the wardrobes, but it’s already my new favourite room in the house. It’s so peaceful. And it’s mine. I didn’t realise how much it still felt like someone else’s home, until I walked into that room, freshly painted and felt ‘this is mine’. It was amazing! If you’re looking for a way to shake things up a bit in your life I highly recommend gutting and remodelling a room. I mean, it’s a pretty hardcore way of doing it, but it’s a really powerful way of bringing a freshness to your life.

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I’m loving the green walls, the white woodwork and the wood of the original doors.

And I think that freshness rubbed off in my weight loss this week. It suddenly seemed so easy again, after being a bit of a slog for the past month or so. I ate some great meals and snacked on fruit. At no point did I feel deprived or unhappy or to be honest even that challenged. Suddenly I felt at peace with the process again. I can’t really explain it, but it was awesome. It was really useful to have that 2lb target in the forefront of my mind, particularly earlier in the week, and it made me realise I haven’t been setting such clear and realistic targets every week, which I used to. I think they really help me stay focussed. Well I assume they do, as last night I lost a whopping 6.5lb! Seriously. Yeah I know!! That has taken me back up to my 6 Stone and beyond. I’m not really sure how, but something just clicked again this week. I was so thrilled when I looked down at the scales. I was pretty sure I’d have a loss, but nothing could have prepared me for the biggest loss I’ve ever had in one week. So I have now lost 6 stone 4.5lb (88.5lb). It was a super night all round actually, because we also had a wonderful taster session, with some gorgeous delights and then found out our group is moving from our current location to the Shottermill Club. Closer to where I live. It literally couldn’t be any closer. Happy me.

As far as life as a loser goes, it’s been a mixed bag this week. I’ve noticed a couple of tiny but unexpected (although I have no idea why they’re unexpected!) downsides to losing large amounts of weight. In the past week I’ve noticed, that not only are my 35 years starting to show just that bit more prominently on my face (particularly round the corners of my mouth and across my forehead) but that I also, for the first time ever, have ‘bingo wings’! So the wrinkles, well yeah they were always going to catch up with me sooner or later. You can use all the cream in the world, but we’re ageing every day, there’s no getting away from that. I just never really saw them before, as I guess the fat under my skin was stretching them out! The bingo wings are a bit of a weird one really. You’d assume that I’ve always had flabby arms, but no. They were big, yes, but they were also fairly solid. Now they are suddenly much smaller, but not at all solid. One might even call them flappy. I only realised this week as I could feel them moving when I did. Such a peculiar sensation (to me). I assume some kind of toning exercises are in order, but which ones? Any tips? These aren’t really negatives, just things I hadn’t considered.

But then I’ve also had some wonderful things – which more than outweigh those above – happen this week. My buddy who lives in the states came to see us while she’s visiting. She hasn’t seen me in person since May 2013, just before I started SW and boy was she amazed by the difference. It’s really lovely when that happens. I also went out today, for the first time (that I consciously acknowledged anyway) wearing an entire outfit in a size 16. Jeans, t-shirt and even pants. I think I can properly say that’s the size I am now. And that feels tremendous. Five sizes down, who knows how many more?!

Yeah this one again. It's the last time I saw Lou. May 2013

Yeah this one again. It’s the last time I saw Lou. May 2013

Thursday with Lou. July 2014

Thursday with Lou. July 2014

So as setting targets is clearly a good thing for me, when Sara asked if I could get my 6.5 Stone award by next week I rather rashly said “yes”. Hmm, what have I let myself in for? So this weeks target is 2.5lb, taking me to 6.5 Stone before my holibobs the week after. Eeeek!

Have a great week people

xxx

 

 

A green by any other name…

We moved into our house in 2011, just after I found out I was pregnant (and I mean literally. We signed the contract on the Thursday and I found out the following Tuesday. That sort of ‘just’). Anyway. We’d bought the house with all sorts of grand schemes of how we’d like to decorate and things we’d like to do and within days every plan got put on hold, as all finances had to be focussed on baby stuff instead. We did get Oscar’s room painted (I just couldn’t live with the highlighter shade of fluorescent pink the previous owners had for their little girl) but that was pretty much it. We’ve lived here three years now and actually the fug of new baby is lifting and we’re starting to see (read: get bloody annoyed with) the bits around the house that really could do with, well, doing.

Don’t get me wrong, we’ve done a couple of odds and sods around the house. We have shelves in the kitchen where none used to be and a mantle piece fitted that everyone who visits comments on and loves. We even have a new deck recently built by Ben and some of our manliest friends in a weekend. But we haven’t done any real decorating and to be honest there is so much that could be done that it was hard to know where to start! Anyway a few months ago we decided the only room in the house that had been shown no love at all since we moved in was our bedroom, and actually of all the rooms in the house, this one needs some serious TLC. The plaster is old and I mean really old and has been patched, badly, over the 100 odd years the house has been standing. The carpet is OK, but not fantastic and the wardrobes, which have cleverly been built over the alcoves either side of the chimney breast, aren’t actually that pretty to look at and, in my opinion, far too dark a colour for the space. And by space I mean lack of space. I mean it’s not minuscule, but once you add our king size bed and our ‘bought on the hop in the absence of anything else 8 years ago’ Ikea drawers and bedside tables then it’s not great. So we’ve decided to gut the entire room and start again, hopefully making more of the space available.

Ugly wardrobes, patchy plaster work and Ikea furniture.

Ugly wardrobes, patchy plaster work and Ikea furniture. Its a mess alright.

Which was fine, until I realised I had to arrange it all. It’s a proper project to manage, with time pressures and all sorts. We knew we wanted to remove the inordinately large radiator for good (we don’t use the heating now we have the log burner) and add more power sockets to the room (I’m sorry but four is just not enough for any modern household). Getting that sorted by the respective tradespeople was easy. It was the co-ordinating the plasterer with the decorator I was having a problem with. Thank god I managed to find someone who does both and can co-ordinate himself! We’re also having the wardrobes ripped out (hooray) and rebuilt by our friend Richard and will include drawers, so the Ikea delights can go to the tip. I’m so excited to see it all come together that I almost don’t feel the fear of having to completely clear the room and deposit the stuff we remove around the rest of the house for as long as the refurb takes. Almost.

So anyway the only decision I’m having to make the moment is the colour of the walls and my god am I struggling. The trouble is I know what colour I want. I just can’t find it. The house is awash with colour charts and the walls have various tester patches, none of which are right. I had the same problem with my bridesmaid dresses. I want green. How hard can it be. Oh you’d be surprised.

Nope, none of them.

Nope, none of them.

Colour chart madam?

Colour chart madam?

While we’ve got the decorator on site, we’re also going to have the front door and outside windows stripped and painted. I can’t bloody wait. They’re an absolute disgrace and I’m sure having them done will stop us being the scruffy herberts of the street (we really are!). The windows will be white and the door a Farrow and Ball colour called Chappell Green. Lovely. Well that was easy enough to chose. So why can’t I find the bedroom colour?

In my mind, it’s going to look something like this. Green, with lots of white woodwork, only with a slightly darker floor – if I can ever find the paint I want!

Love it!

Love it!

Work starts next week.

Wish me luck!