Why No Mum Likes Going Back to Work

We won’t deny it, maternity leave is definitely a mixture of emotions. One the one side of the coin, you have this wonderful bundle of joy that you dote on. They rely on you, and you definitely have a love/hate relationship with that. Because who can honestly say they haven’t thought about turning back the clocks when you’re waking up for the 5th time during the night, and you barely know your own name any more. That’s definitely the other side of the coin. But, you struggle through that, and you get to the point where the routine has settled, and you’re loving life as a full time mom. Then reality hits. It comes to the point where your maternity leave has ended, and you have to face the music. Returning to work for any mom is going to be hard, especially when you’re leaving the little one behind. But, needs must, and when it does come to the point where you’re returning for work, we think we know a few reasons why most of you won’t like the idea of it. It is these reasons that we want to try and explore, and see if we can rectify with some loving solutions.

A woman studying her iPad

Image Source

No Love For The Job

We really do get why you would have no love for your job. You probably didn’t like it before you became a mom, you just stuck with it because you know what you’re doing, and you find it easy to do! But, let us tell you this. Just because your company put you on maternity leave, it doesn’t mean you owe them your employment for the rest of your life. You can easily switch jobs after a couple of months of being back. In preparation for this, you need to think about what role you might like to try, and how to get there. A lot of moms settle really well in to something that involves a lot of control and organisation, such as supply chain management. If you were to go for something like this, you could undertake a supply chain management masters course, meaning you could easily progress through the ranks in your field, and the money would come rolling in. Who can deny that they wouldn’t be happy if they knew a little bit of extra cash was about to flow! This can be applied to any career you find interesting as well!

Detachment Issues

Detachment issues are real. You’ve got to detach from not only your way of life, but your bond with your child. If you feel as though you are struggling to be away from them for long periods of time, then we would definitely recommend that you go back to work part time. Break yourself in gently, and even go home on your lunch breaks to see your little one. However, the more you detach from them, the easier it’ll be to stop that neediness that a lot of young children have, especially as they move through the toddler years!

Disclosure: This is a collaborative post

School Days Trials and Tribulations part four – Karma!

 

Today I am angry and upset.

Yesterday I spent many hours in A&E with my Little Man.

We have some big decisions to make.

It all started a while ago and I wrote about my Little Man being bullied at school.

Since then we have visited the school and spoken about the issues and talked with his teachers many times. We have been assured that everything is being done to stop the bullying. We have also been told on a daily basis what a naughty boy our Little Man is at school.

To be fair we’ve been confused about what has been going on. We know by far that our Little Man is no angel, but he’s not the type to hurt anyone, yet this is what he’s been accused of. They have been making out that he is the bully. My Little Man has always had many friends at school. He’s always been well liked by his teachers and done well in class…until this year when the bullying started. Now it seems that he cannot behave and is always in trouble.

We’ve tried to get to the bottom of it, we’ve talked to him and rewarded him when he has been good. Imagine my delight when he came home Wednesday having been the best behaved child in the class that day. In fact he’s had a really good week. Well, up until yesterday

Bruises

My Little Man has always had plenty of bruises on his arms and legs, not only is this normal for boisterous  seven year old’s, we are also a family with a history of bruising easily.

Last Sunday we put up our trampoline and the kids couldn’t wait to play on it. The Little Man was off within about five minutes complaining of back pain. We were confused because he’d not fallen on his back and had only been on for such a short time. He’s tried to go back on several times but each time he’s come straight off because of his back. Then we noticed some bruises appear on his back so I made an appointment with the GP to see if there was anything we should be worried about.

He went to school yesterday morning and we picked him up just before 11 am for his GP appointment. When we picked him up we found he had fallen off his chair in class and bashed his arm on the radiator. The teacher’s comments surprised us as she claimed it was karma because he was leaning back on his chair.

We all know that leaning back on your chair is dangerous and stupid.

We all have done this at some time in our lives, particularly at school. Is it karma to fall and hurt yourself, is it reasonable for a teacher to state so? I wasn’t there at the time but I was so angry when I heard this.

The GP looked at the Little Man’s arm and told us to take him to A&E as she thought the bone may have a fracture. She looked at his back and said it looked like an impact injury. She noted down all his other bruises, which were all impact bruises.

Hospital

The hospital was really busy and as the Little Man was not deemed as urgent we had to wait three hours before being seen by a Doctor. The conclusion was that his arm had suffered severe bruising and she was certain that the bone was okay. Phew! She also looked at his back and told us to take him back to the GP if it didn’t feel better within a couple of weeks. Then she mentioned that he may have a connective tissue disorder and we should ask for a referral to a rheumatologist.

She asked if he was clumsy? Was he? I guess he did have a problem with walking anywhere and runs all the time, I suppose this makes him a little more accident prone.

The School Calls

I didn’t send the Little Man to school today, I hadn’t decided what to do. I called and told them he wouldn’t be in and the deputy head called back to arrange a time for us to talk. We made an appointment for the Monday they go back to school after the holiday next week.

We had a chat and I told her some of my concerns. She stated that they had thought things had improved and that they were keeping a close eye on the Little Man and frequently asking him if all was okay. She also claimed that she’d noticed he was a little clumsy in school, always bumping into things.

This is where my dilemma begins. Is she  saying that because I told her about his bruises and she’s trying to put the blame on him rather than the bullies? Of course it’s in the back of my mind what the consultant said yesterday.

The Little Man claims he is being hit by the other boys and I have no reason at all to disbelieve him. I do, therefore believe that these boys are still being mean to him and sadly they’ve moved their actions to the classroom after being closely observed in the playground.

No matter what, this has to stop, whether it’s the main cause of his bruises or not.

I feel that when we go in for this discussion that the deputy head is going to try and convince us that it’s probably the Little Man’s fault and that they are doing all they can to protect him so it’s highly unlikely that he is being hurt by the other children. If I expect this in advance then I know she won’t catch me off guard. I know what’s going on and it has to stop.

Dilemma

The Little Man is distraught at the thought that we will take him out of school and away from his friends. We told him he could keep in touch but apparently he likes some of the teachers too, and there is a something he calls ‘friendship group’ that he really wants to be part of.

It’s mind boggling how the mind of a seven year old works. Each day he gets up and seems distraught that it’s a school day. Each day he comes home and doesn’t want to talk about school. Occasionally we have tears from him because he hates school so much.

Yet, the thought of leaving school has him in floods of tears.

I am thinking that he is worried about starting a new school, beginning again, making new friends. But, he’s always been so good at making new friends and he’s so young I’m sure the transition would be easier for him now rather than later.

I’m not going to rush into this. We have a whole week off school ahead of us, plenty of time to think about our next move.

The only thing I am really sure of is that the bullying has to stop. I cannot bear to think of another child hurting mine and if it happens one more time I will not be able to control my rage.

Parents.

Despite my saying not too, Graham was so incensed yesterday he approached the Mother of one of the children that has been bullying our Little Man. She denied it vehemently and even claimed that it was our boy that was the bully. On hearing our boy had bruises she angrily retorted that it couldn’t be her boy’s fault as he’d not been in school all week.

Ping!

So, that’s why our Little Man has had such a good week then. (Well up until his fall yesterday, which was his own fault, and definitely NOT karma.)

The Little Man made this colourful character while waiting to be seen by a Dr at A&E

Dear Mr Year Six Teacher

a laptop on a desk with a lamp and lots of books

photo credit, Freddie Marriage on Unsplash

 

Dear Mr Year Six Teacher,

Don’t worry, don’t fret, the time is nearly here. On Monday the SATs begin and it’s time for your class to be tested.

You’ve worked so hard, day after day, cramming it all in. Staying late each day, coming in on Saturdays and holidays. Barely time to consume your Easter Eggs before getting back to SATs revision.

Each day your children have taken home pages and pages of homework, test sheets mostly, and books to read. They have learned so, so much in the last few months since Christmas faded away.

Cram it all in, get them to understand, these tests are important, they HAVE to do well.

The kids are tired, they are fed up, they bring home more homework and refuse to do it. They want to play, they want to watch television, they are sick of multiplying fractions or changing passive voice in sentences. The current subjunctive mood being; if I were good at grammar, I’d be a better writer!!

I bet you’re tired too. It’s your first time as a Year Six teacher, first time for SATs. The pressure is on you. Are you a good enough teacher, have these kids learned enough to make you look adequate.

I’m sorry, I’ve not helped much. I’ve only let my daughter do extra lessons when she wanted to. And although I’ve prompted and reminded her to do her homework, I’ve not been hard on her. I felt the pressure she’s been under. I’ve seen my bubbly, funny little girl, turn moody and glum. Her sleep pattern has changed and she worries so much more. She’s worried she won’t do well, but she just can’t give any more.

They are just children, they are not about to leave school and prove that they’ve been listening for the past eleven years. They are not taking exams that will change the course of their life. They are just doing tests to show that they are on track with their learning. Tests that show that you are doing your job as a teacher. Tests that give the government a clue as to how well the school is doing. Tests that will determine which learning groups the children are put into when the move on to their secondary school.

Yes, they have some importance and yes, the children should do their best. Despite that the main benefit to them is the groups they will be put into, is one that will probably change several times before they are settled in their new school.

But, honestly, what’s the point of cramming? By overloading their little brains just so they do well in these tests you are doing them an injustice. What will they remember? They may retain a lot, but the main thing they will remember is how hard it all is and what pressure they’ve had to endure. This is not true learning.  This is not a true representation of what they are capable of.

I cannot wait for next week to be over. I know you probably feel the same. I am sure the children feel it even more.

The children, in your care, their little minds open vessels to be filled with knowledge.

You should have had faith in them. The things they needed to know should have been taught since September, taught properly, not crammed in. Each child has their own limitations and these should have been noted and worked on. Each child should be allowed to shine at what they are good at, whether it meets SATS standards or not.

Each child should be tested on their ability and what they have learned.

Trying to cram everything in causes information overload and their brains won’t retain that information for long. Maybe, long enough to get good results on their SATs but not long enough to stay of benefit. Therefore not a true representation of their skills and knowledge.

I really hope that the children all do exceptionally well in their SATs and that you all celebrate their success and yours.

I just hope that the children don’t look back and think this was the worst thing they have done so far, and build up a fear of tests and exams. The next ‘real’ tests are the important ones and they need to be able to approach them with confidence and calmness. I hope they don’t get scared.

Fingers crossed I can get my scared little girl into school next week.

I hope she does well, but if she doesn’t then I’m not going to be disappointed. I will know that she tried her best and that’s all I expect of her. I will keep nurturing her and encouraging her to do better. I’m here for her, I’m on her side. I don’t want her to fail, but I don’t want her to be miserable trying to be something that she is not.

She can only do her best, and so can you.

Don’t worry, next week will soon be over and then we can all look forward to the Summer holidays.

an inflatable pink flamingo hooked on to a canoo rack on the beach with the sea in the distance and two figures bending down by the sea

photo credit Kong-jun, Unsplash

Good Luck to ALL year six teachers,

and well done kids for surviving this far!

Best wishes, Mrs Sweet,

Mother of year six child.

 

 

School Days Trials and Tribulations part Three – My Little Man is Being Bullied!

I don’t think my school woes will ever end. Well, maybe in about eight years time when my youngest finally leaves school.

This time my woes are with my Little Man. He’s in year three, primary school. Only it’s not primary school any more because he goes to an all school through school. It means the same school from reception to year 11. But, this is new and they’ve not yet integrated the two schools properly. Boo is in year 6 and in the same school as her sister in year 8. But the years reception to year 4 are in a different building and the younger years seem to get a bad deal.

I can’t really fault the big school, my girls are doing fine, and whenever a problem arises they get it sorted. Star has loads of extra help because of her Autism and disabilities, the school is very understanding (well, apart from the attendance issues.) The Little Man’s school is very different. My Little Man has been struggling for a while now, since he started year 3. He gets bullied at playtime and even though we’ve complained it’s not been resolved. The kids that bully him are always made out to be the good kids in the class. They are always being rewarded for their work and behaviour. My Little Man, however, seems to be in trouble constantly and never receives any rewards. We have been called into the school because of his naughty behaviour on several occasions.

The thing is, the Little Man is well behaved at home and we think there must  be a problem at school for his behaviour there. He tells us that he gets into trouble for talking in class, this happens when he’s being pinched or had faces pulled at him to point he can’t take it any more and tells them to stop. Then he gets into trouble with the teacher for not concentrating on his work and talking!

He does do naughty things, he’s flooded the toilets deliberately on several occasions. And he’s drawn on the chairs, wall and desks. I’ve seen his scribbling, he writes things like ‘leave me alone’ or ‘ had enough now.’ Yet, the teachers can’t see his cries for help and are just labelling him as naughty.

We have got to the stage now where he is refusing to go to school. We are still taking him, but under duress. His Dad says he’s okay once he gets there. But, he is coming home upset and we’ve had many tears.

I have five children and this is the first time I’ve had a child in the early years (Which used to be called the Infants when I was at school) that doesn’t want to go.

Is He Autistic?

The others have had issues but they have been resolved, but somehow the school is failing my little boy. I guess it doesn’t help that he’s already had three different teachers this year.

The last time we talked to the teachers they said that they thought he needed psychological help and is probably autistic. I have has suspicions for a while but his dad is not so sure. A couple of weeks ago I took him to the clinic for an unrelated medical issue, and after the nurse talked with him for about twenty minutes she asked to speak to me privately. Her first question was, is he autistic? (she may not have been so blunt, but that is what she was asking.)

So, now we are waiting for a referral to get him assessed. I already have two autistic children and they were assessed pretty quickly, but I don’t think the process is so quick now. We will have a long wait for the answers on that issue.

Whether he has autism or not, I cannot let the issues continue at school. Today, his Dad has spoken to his ‘new’ teacher and the school secretary. He has asked for an appointment so we can talk to someone about our worries. It’s time for us to step this up and get our little man the help he needs. I will not tolerate bullies, and I will remove my son from the school if it isn’t stopped immediately.

My heart is breaking for my poor Little Man, he’s such a loving, sweet child and does not deserve to be this unhappy.

photo of the seaside, a long concrete wall bordering a beach with a hill in the distance. A little boy is looking through a telescope out to sea

Is My Little Man looking for a happier future?

Click to read School Days Trials and Tribulations Part One and School Day Trials and Tribulations Part Two

The Things You Should Never Do to Your Kids (That You Consider Acts of Love)

 

We all want to do our very best for our children; we want them to feel safe, happy and loved and we certainly want them to grow to be successful adults who can stand on their own two feet. It is rather unfortunate then that most of us parents do things out of love that don’t do our kids any favours.

 

Here are some common things that most parents think are acts of love, but which can actually lead to poor outcomes for their children:

 

Keeping Them Away from a Parent

 

There are lots of parents who keep their kids away from their mother or father out of spite following a divorce, but there are also lots of parents who keep their kids away from a parent because they think it will be the best for them – divorce law firms like Austin Kemp Solicitors see it all the time. The thing is, these parents are often prejudiced and unless the other parent has been shown to be a risk to the kids, no matter how awful they may be in other ways, allowing them to maintain some contact is more likely to make them happy and enable them to grow up without worries. So, if they’re a good parent despite their other faults, don’t freeze them out.

 

Treating Them Like Kings and Queens

 

Us parents naturally want to make out children feel like they are special, but if we spoil them and we are lax in the discipline department, there is a good chance that this will lead to them feeling entitled and unable to take any criticisms in the future. So, although there’s nothing wrong with buying them something nice or giving them praise now and again, you should also ensure that their actions have consequences and that they must earn most of their privileges.

 

Not Letting Them Work

 

There are few children who have weekend jobs in 2018 and although that is partly because there just aren’t as many Saturday jobs available for the taking, it is much more the case that parents of not want their kids to work, They think that it will affect their studies or that they shouldn’t have to lift a finger when they are kids, and that can be really damaging. Why? Because we all need to earn a living and the sooner that kids get used to working and the fruits of that work, the sooner they will understand its importance and get used to doing it.

 

Wrapping Them Up in Cotton Wool

 

It’s every parent’s natural instinct to want to protect their child from harm, and although you certainly do need to do this, especially when they’re young, by teaching them how to cross the road and telling them not to get too close to the fire, for example, you should not take it too far. If you stop your kids from playing out with other children, climbing trees in the garden and generally doing the kind of things we did when we were kids in favour of staying in doors, not only will they become idle couch potatoes, but they’ll never learn how to manage risks, and they’re more likely to become anxious inexperienced adults as a result.

 

Love your kids, protect them and always be there for them, but don’t coddle them!

What do you think? Do you agree or not? I will admit to have an tendency to wrap my kids in cotton wool, and I know I could do more to encourage independence. But I certainly agree with the first one and I’ve never kept my two older children from seeing their Dad.

This is a collaborative post.

A little Note About Positive Reviews on Raisie Bay

A little Note About Positive Reviews on Raisie Bay

Some people only write reviews when things go wrong with products, which is good because it lets people know that there could be potential problems. I’ve also seen negative feedback with say things like, I had to return this item because the colour did not suit me…is this useful?

I write reviews on most items I buy because I like to give genuine feedback. If I have a genuine problem with a product I will write my review in the appropriate place.

I write reviews on my blog too, but they are mostly positive. Why? Because I only write reviews for the things I’ve loved. If I don’t love them I let the person who sent me them know with details why and then let them decided if they would rather me write a negative review or not write one at all. It’s always the latter.

This is my blog, my place and I’ll let you know about the things I love. If you want to find out what other people have hated about the product then you will need to look elsewhere.

My reviews may all be positive, but they are still genuine.