On the cusp.

Hello,

As always, I am slightly late on this. I have been meaning to sit down and scribble but the moment has never felt right. And it has to right?

The moment feels right because of a few factors. New year, minus the ‘New me’ BS. I turned 30. Jake is about to turn 9. New job starting soon. So it felt like today was the time.

I was also thinking back to why I started this blog, and how last year it changed slightly when talking about relationships etc, and it had nothing really significant about Jake in there. This is crucial today, so prepare for Jake spam. Mind you, if you were to glance at my instagram Jake is pretty much all you see. He’s like the cat I’d have if I didn’t have him, keeping this single, crazy lady occupied.

Anyway, about Jake.

He’s turning 9 on Sunday. Now, granted 9 isn’t really significant, not in the way turning 1 or 10 is when looking at kids. But to me it is. If you’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing Jake, you will know that he is quite a chatty, opinionated and articulate child. Biased I realise, however, I actually put this down to the fact that I sent him to nursery as soon as I returned to uni and he has been surrounded by adults for 80% of his life. He’s like me, comfortable around adults and happy to hold a conversation, but equally at home playing with his friends.

His ability to be so comfortable is what got me through 2018. I have to say, bar a few moments, 2018 was a shitty, mentally exhausting, crappy year. So much stress and drama, a lot of it down to me, my actions, my weaknesses, my stupidity, my inability to say no and my fragile mental health. There was a crucial moment though, two very clear weeks where I remember that if it hadn’t been for Jake, I wouldn’t have gotten out of bed.

His little hands in mine, his cuddles, kisses, his funny moments, his thoughts and opinions… I really survived because a day without Jake is horrid. All this has of course, achieved the inevitable ‘Mothers guilt’. I mean, I feel like a lot of the time he’s older than he needs to be. He wants to be older than he is, desperate to be considered an adult and I’m left wondering is it my fault?

And here’s the really critical, crucial thing about why him turning 9 is so significant. I can see it. I mean I can literally see the last few bits of him being little, of still being my little boy and of the child like innocence (it really does exist) leave him.

His opinions are becoming stronger. His hopes and dreams are evolving at a staggering rate. His demands have changed and his need of me has changed. Things are becoming more black and white for him, which is something I hate. I had to really fight with him that Father Christmas isn’t fake, because I can’t deal with it yet. Everything is changing.

Jake is ready. And don’t get me wrong, I love change. Change scares me but it’s much more fun than playing it safe. But to turn round and suddenly see this… young boy rather than my little boy, is a change I can’t handle. Which is ridiculous after wondering if its my fault that he’s so comfortable with adults. How can I feel guilty for that but be proud of it, yet not be ready to see and deal with him actually getting older.

I know, mad rambles of a crazy mother. And just so you’re aware, I tell Jake daily he has to stop growing, and he rolls his eyes. I get a lot of sassy comments back. I have started getting slammed doors, comments on my inability of being a good mum. He’s wished he was dead (can’t think where he gets this dramatic character from) and he’s also stated on more occasions than I care to remember that he cannot wait to move out and leave.

I mean of course, that’s what you want your kids to be like. I never wanted a clingy child who couldn’t do a thing without me. He’s my twin in that sense. I like independence and I try hard not to smother Jake. I’ve been accused of still mothering him and treating him like a baby, which is not true. But I’m not ready now to treat him older than he is.

A lot of the lessons I’ve found myself teaching Jake involve consequences. He’s relatively free to make his own choices and decisions, but he now is learning that they all come with consequences. Trying to keep his world grey.

The other thing I’ve been trying to teach Jake is that my choices and decisions are equally as valuable as his. And believe me, when you’re raising a head strong boy who is literally you in character and mannerisms, this is not an easy task.

I’ve just told him off for screaming at FIFA and his response? It feels like real life mum. I hate football.

Anyway, as I said, I am starting a new job soon. When I told Jake, the opinions, demands and requests coming out of his mouth made it feel like I was discussing it with a much older person, rather than my 8 year old sidekick. But I need him. His opinion matters to me. I want him to be proud because if it wasn’t for him, who would I do this for? I mean obviously me, but once you have a kid, you do become slightly less important.

2018 was a year in which I was incredibly selfish. I mean I really pushed boundaries and did things that if I could take back, I would. There are so many things I would do differently, I’d say no more. And I’d have stopped to really look at Jake and essentially grow with him. Go through his changes with him. Then maybe him turning 9 wouldn’t be such a shock.

Like I said, I do not believe in the whole, new year new me thing. I believe you change when you’re ready to, not because of any other factor. But I am going to pay more attention to Jake. Be more aware and a better teacher, hopefully. You never get it right with kids, especially your 1st.

We will both be facing new challenges and new moments, and it’s better to do it together rather than apart fighting our own minds and souls.

Oh I sound preachy don’t I… disgusting.

He’s happy, healthy, tall and as obsessed with football as he’s always been. Can’t really ask for more than that can I?

Maybe the football thing…

Xxxxx

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A lack of common sense

Hello,

 

Sorry, i realise that it has been a while but I have been busy with work and we have also just moved house. As you can image this means a slight upheaval. As we have had to move house, we decided it would be best if Jake was taken out of the nursery he was attending because it made no sense him going, whilst we had moved, and it was also slightly pricey. We have been sending him to a child minder who is THE best person in the world.

I am slightly baffled by child care however, and the government. I mean, whether you have kids or not, live is generally tough. I think this to be true even for those who have lots of money, because I’m convinced whilst it is nice to have it, it comes with a lot of its own problems. Thus, everyone is struggling in some form or another. Kids are just a way of making it more fun. But, I don’t think that the government can sit there and talk about doing all they can to encourage people to go back to work, when the cost of childcare is just so astronomically expensive. I mean, people just can’t afford to be spending this much, especially if they have less money in the first place. Before we started getting his 15 hours a week, our nursery bills were averaging £1,400 a month. And just so you know how nurseries work, you pay whether they are there or not, including bank holidays and I’m told, Christmas and Boxing Day too. Also, if you have more than one child at the same nursery, you pay £1,400…. per child. Have you fainted yet? No? Good, I need you to pay attention. 

Now you know me, I don’t want hand outs. I don’t want benefits and money from government and tax payers, as I’ve always said having Jake was my decision. I didn’t go round asking the nation if they would be okay with it. So when I heard about the fact that when children turn three, they start getting 15 hours a week free, I thought ah… our prayers have been answered. Not so. Because there is a catch to these hours and how they are used. You won’t get the full 15 hours if your child doesn’t go to the nursery full time. They start using the phrase up to a lot, and you start losing hours you are supposedly entitled to. But Mike and I figured we would be fine because we were both working full time, so with the 15 hours we would be fine. We have worked out that even with the 15 hours, to be able to afford child care, especially it appears here in the south, you both need to be earning a minimum of £30,000 a year. Oh and that’s each by the way. Pick your jaw off the floor.

So we needed to make changes. I was lucky enough to find the perfect job and part time, and Mike was happy to become the main bread winner. And we thought, okay well the child minder is fantastic and cheaper than the nursery, plus we will still get our 15 hours, so it just makes sense. Except, the government, because they are so kind and generous, no longer allow child minders and nannies to be allowed the 15 hours…. They have to take an extremely expensive course that takes anything from 15 weeks plus to carry out and then pass an exam… and if they don’t then you’re a bit buggered aren’t you? So we now have to reconsider everything, because whilst the child minder is not as expensive as the nursery, its still £800-£1000 a month we just don’t have.

So my point is this, if you want the people of this country to go back to work, and to stop pissing people off by giving out so much benefit pay outs, why not ban nurseries and child care providers from charging so much money? If you go out and speak to people, there is actually only a small handful that are happy to just be given money, to a lot of people its disgusting and degrading. I also know that to those who really need it, its a life line and that is fine. But I know there are people out there who want to work, who like earning their own money. The government are still making it too easy to stay at home. Be honest, if you knew that you could earn more by staying at home with your family, then wouldn’t you want to do that?

This subject annoys me a lot. I’d be interested to see what you thought.

Anyway, aside from that, we have just moved into a cheaper and just utterly perfect house. with a garden that Jake disappears into every day. It’s amazing! I also realised that, despite the fact that Mike and I have been going for nearly eight years, this is the first time that we have gone house hunting together. And we didn’t kill each other! It’s our anniversary in just under two weeks and I am hoping for flowers. Lilies to be more specific, I love lilies and perhaps a box of Lindor chocolates. Oh and perhaps a ring of sorts… who knows hey? 😉 

 

Right, I suppose I best go. Hope you have been enjoying the sunshine!

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A pain in the butt

Hello,

Look two posts in a month… Your lucky month 🙂

I love Jake to bits, I’m pretty sure you already know this. However, there are days when I just don’t get him and he doesn’t get me. And so we clash. You know what is really annoying about arguing with a three year old? When the year old talks to you like you use to talk to your parents at the age of 14. He is so cheeky!! I cannot for the life of me work out how he’s worked out how to do it either. I’m assuming that you are also experiencing wonderful weather; I decided to take Jake to the park and we had a wonderful time for a good hour and a half. Home time did not go down well. As I said, I love him but he came very close to being left there today.

He is being very funny at the moment. He keeps putting Mike on the naughty step, which I love. He also says crazy things that only I can understand. He did tell me yesterday that I’m not his best friend anymore… That changed when I produced a biscuit 🙂 bribery is amazing when dealing with kids.

I am so desperate to give him a brother or a sister at the moment… It was my Mum’s birthday on Monday and we talked about all the crazy stuff we did when we were younger (I’m one of four) and I want him to have that. It’s just so tough; I don’t know how people manage. Unless you are both on extremely good wages, children are expensive. Which means one of you has to give up work, which is what I did. Well full time work anyway. Child care is just absurdly expensive. I just don’t know who thinks its okay to charge £1,400 a month. And if you have more than one child? You pay double. It’s insane! That’s what I need to do, run a nursery. Problem is you have to love being with kids 24/7….

Anyway, enjoy the weather.

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