Archive for July, 2010

Very honored to be a guest blogger on  http://newbreedofmom.blogspot.com/2010/07/growin-up-too-fast-by-louise-lou-loves.html. You can also find her on twitter @newbreedmama. Please check the post out and leave a comment on her blog 🙂

I always wanted children but didn’t meet my husband until I was 34 and we decided to ‘try’ to get pregnant when I was 37. I came off the pill and expected it to take some time. Four weeks later I felt like crap. So very tired and sore boobs and bingo – a blue line – on BOTH home tests. This was two weeks before our wedding.

I was still living in England at the time and midwives deal with most pregnancies and births there so off I trot to meet Rosie the midwife. She takes my details, tells me that I have to have the pregnancy ‘confirmed’ by the doctor – hmmm two tests, sore boobs and unbelievable tiredness not enough? She handed me a card, told me off for not taking folic acid supplements and that’s where it started. It had the words elderly primigravida written on it in capital letters or in other words old first time mum.

Throughout the pregnancy my advanced age was constantly mentioned. I wanted a home birth but it was – oh no, not for a first birth and ‘at your age’. Always been a bit of a hippie me – as was confirmed when I took the hippie test on this blog. I didn’t want pre natal testing but the midwife was horrified because of the risks ‘at your age’ (I still refused anything other than scans – and that was because I wanted to see my baby).

Thing is, I didn’t feel old. I’m fit and healthy and always felt younger than I am and I just believed that my baby would be healthy and everything would be fine – so way to go guys – try your best to try and make me feel old.

To all you older mums out there did you have a similar experience? If you’re not a mum have you experienced anything that made you feel older than you felt before? Do you think attitudes have changed since 1997 when I got pregnant – there’s an awful lot of older mums these days?

Last night I read a blog post written by a new bloggy friend of mine Jess Webb and, as often seems to happen, the blog post really hit home. Always seem to get messages right when you need them!

Things are really happening for me right now. I have been a Childcare Coordinator for Cultural Care Au Pair for a year finding new host families and nurturing their relationship with their Au Pair. However, it’s really only since March when I took over the area where I live that this business ‘clicked’ for me. The next piece of the puzzle was my company giving me the awesome chance to take a Social Networking Coaching Course with Ann Evanston. Well I am just loving it – I was fairly (well very) active on social media already but was just messing around really. Now the course is giving me a focus – to build my business.

The problem right now for me is that I am so excited by all that’s happening; sales are coming in, I may get a trip to Stockholm, Sweden, I’m meeting some amazing people through online networking; that I’m starting to get ‘scattered’ and losing focus.

I find it hard to know which job to do first, second etc. It doesn’t help that the kids are on summer vacation too and that I have the guilt of not ‘entertaining’ them all the time because all I want to do right now is build this business.

So, how am I handling this? On a good day (and the lovely Jess’s post has reminded me to do this again) I have learned to do the the following

  1. Take ACTION as per Jess’s blog post. Just do – don’t think about it.
  2. Make lists – I have lists for everything now – lists of must do’s and lists of little extras that need fitting in whenever.
  3. I’m finally using google calender to schedule everything – I’ve never been good at this but realized I needed to have a master diary when I forgot my eldest was being picked up by a friends mum and we weren’t here when they turned up – oh dear! Luckily they forgave me.

Life has got scarily and excitingly busy for me right now and I want to reap the rewards and reach my goals – I just have to remember to do all the above to help me cope and do it all.

What tactics do you use to get focused and ‘get the job done?’ Do you have any other hints and tips?

In the book Good-Enough Mother: The Perfectly Imperfect Book of Parenting the author Renee Syler takes a look at how being a good-enough mum has become the new perfect for those of us who juggle raising children, working, keeping house and having some semblance of a personal life. I most definitely see myself as this kind of mum. I’m okay with pajama days, cereal at lunchtime sometimes, not sewing costumes and not baking. I give my girls lots of love and attention but I just am not a ‘super’ mum.

However, there are those days, where no matter what pep talk I give myself, I feel that I am not a good-enough mother. Today is one of those. My eldest went boating on a lake with a friend and her family and came home with horrible sun burn and felt quite ill last night. She had the shivers and felt dizzy as well as being terribly sore. And to top it all I was on a girls night out and got home to find her feeling so sick.

There the guilt starts. I should not have let her go knowing how easily my kids burn. I didn’t tell her often enough about how often to reapply sunscreen. Did she wear her rashie and use the sun screen? She did – but just didn’t reapply in the 4 hours they were in and out of the water and we live at high altitude so the sun is strong here.

No one ever warns you about how difficult this part of being a parent is. You have to let them go as they grow up but you still are responsible for keeping them safe from harm. I know it’s not really MY fault that she got burnt. I have nagged often enough about sun safety but the guilt remains. Luckily I still have a tub of sudacrem which, for those of you that don’t know it, is sold as a nappy rash cream but is the most wonderful antiseptic healing cream and she’s currently slathered in the stuff. Don’t know if I’ll let her go boating on a lake again though….. and I’m learning that the guilt will always be there.

What do you find difficult to deal with at times as your kids grow older and you have to let them go?

Is it because I’m a brit that one of my biggest gripes is bad manners of any kind. I was thinking about this the other day and the old adage ‘manners maketh man‘ sprung to mind. I sometimes feel like a regular Miss Manners or Emily Post but I just can’t help myself.

I’ve discovered that I live in a place that has what is known as  ‘Park City time’ which means that almost EVERYONE is always late and it drives me insane!!!! I just think it’s so rude! Being habitually late implies that a person places no value on the other persons time or regards their own time as more important. I have, of course, encountered habitually late people all over the world but it is particularly bad here and I hate it.

There was the window cleaner who told me he would come at 9am. I called him at 9.20 to see where he was and he said another job had come up that had to be done first – no apology – how RUDE!!! Guess who won’t be cleaning my windows next time.

I wish I could be chilled out about it but I’m a busy woman and I plan my day around appointments only to have the whole day screwed up by rude people! Well, I consider that I have been brought up to be well mannered so I shall continue to be obsessively punctual and shall continue to be enraged by lateness even if it raises my blood pressure.

There are plenty of other matters of manners and etiquette that get my goat (must be all the years of nagging from my parents – lol ) and I might just mention them at some point. Gripe over!

Does lateness bother you or what is your own gripe with bad manners? Or do you think old fashioned good manners are just that – old fashioned and outdated?

My youngest daughter, just turned 10, when asked what she wants to be when she grows up says ‘a mum’ – well actually she is now saying a mom unfortunately ;). Thinking about this led me to think about what influence I, as her mum, have on her and her sister and the whole nature versus nurture debate.

Youngest looking very comfortable with my BFF's baby

I sometimes feel guilty in this day and age for being a SAHM who has never really pursued a career. I wonder what I’m teaching my kids and I often tell her that she needs to find a career before she becomes a wife and mum. But does she? She is a natural around babies and kids just as I was as a kid. I always babysat, I was an AuPair for 5 years, did daycare in my home and always wanted to be a mum. Have I taught her this or was she born this way?  Oh the guilt of it all – lol

Well, I would feel guilty except I look at my eldest who is 12 1/2 and she is totally awkward around babies and young kids and wants to work in  movies as an actress, stylist or costume designer. Whoa! Where did that come from! Nothing in her upbringing instilled this into her she was always that way inclined – we have encouraged it but it’s innate.

Eldest looking rather less comfortable 🙂

So, back to my influence. I’m hoping I am showing them that they can can have it whichever way they choose. I may not have had a career as such but I always worked and provided for myself until WE decided I would stay at home with the girls. Even then I always did something to bring some money in and for my own self esteem. I did the daycare, I ran an ebay shop in the UK and I did some party plan direct selling in Australia. Now they see their mum working her butt off to grow her own business as a Coordinator for an AuPair program so it’s not as if I have sat around dusting and watching soaps all day.

I married a great Dad who allowed me to be the mum I wanted to be by taking on the responsibility of providing for us. Sure we took ‘traditional’ roles to a degree but mainly because I REALLY wanted to be with my kids.

Anyway – the upshot of this rambling is that I think nature way outweighs nurture. Both my kids have the same parents doing the same things and bringing them up the same way and one wants to be a mum, primarily, and the other wants a career in the movies.

What do you think your influence is on your kids with regards to what they want to be when they grow up? Do you think you have any or that their talents and wishes are innate?

We arrived in Utah, well Salt Lake City to be exact from my idea of paradise at the end of August 2008. From day one I hated it. I had severe culture shock although I completely skipped the honeymoon stage. I hated the schooling, the people, Salt Lake City, the lack of colour, the lack of beach, the lack of prettiness and gentle beauty. We moved up to sin city (Park City) in the mountains after 2 months in the misery of Salt Lake and met….. noone. Turns out people hibernate from socializing in winter and are too busy skiing and the like to meet up. Our kids started school and Chaz settled into his job and I just mourned the loss of my lovely life. Too be honest I was a complete nightmare about it all and a cow to live with.

I survived that first winter, made myself learn to ski and gradually started to meet people as spring appeared. I joined a book club and a coffee morning and started to settle in. However, I still blamed my husband for ‘making’ me move and spent more time hating everything than enjoying life.

However, a major turning point for me was chancing upon Wayne Dyer on TV. I vaguely remember that he was talking about his book Excuses Begone and I remember him doing a simple demonstration with a closed fist and an open palm – I think! I wasn’t even paying full attention but something stuck and I realized that changing this stinking thinking of mine was the only way out of this.

From that very moment I started to almost ‘act as if’ I was happy. I put a big smile on my face when my hubby came home every day, every time I started to blame him for our move I turned it around to say that he was trying to do the best for our family (which is, of course, the truth), I started to see the good in the place and the people and had a constant inner voice telling me to not listen to the negative thoughts. Do you know what – it gradually worked. Not only that but I started to use this approach to everything – I now choose to be happy. That’s not to say I don’t have the odd moment and I can spit feathers at times as I’m a little feisty on occasion ;). However, I have learnt that I can change the way I look at things and that, indeed, the things I’m looking at then change.

How do you deal with the negatives? Are there any specific inspirational people or sayings that have helped you to change the way you look at things? Do you think messages often appear when you need them?