Beware of working alongside your offspring!

Ok. It’s not going great at work, I’m not gonna lie. I love it, but … Yeah. Due to a lovely sickness that has spread around the daycare, we are now short staffed. Short staffed enough that the office staff occasionally need to help. Because of this, all of the staff available were helping with nap time. In just under an hour we had all but two asleep; and yes… One of them was my son.

With no other alternative, the area manager (also helping out) gives us the staff meeting in the middle of the children’s nap area. Within a few minutes the other child nods off, realising the ensuing conversation is going to be excessively dull. My son, 8 months old, remains the last and most chipper of all of us, sat in his cot playing.

As the meeting starts, he gets enamoured with a big multicoloured ball. I’m talking screeching, clapping, banging, giggling, kinda crazy enamoured. So between all the screeching and banging, and now shushing from me, we are hanging onto the manager’s every word. This is important. One staff member is sick, another has vanished and seems to have quit. Another is taking a well earned day off. We’re down to the last few and how we go forward under such pressure is important.

But then he does it. He makes a noise. Not the obvious fart, poo grunting or squealing; a new noise. One we’ve never heard him do before. Curiosity gets the better of us and myself and one other glance over.

During this deeply serious meeting, under trying circumstances, my son has managed to wrap his WHOLE mouth around the cot barrier and blow on it to create an odd and flat note, simalar to a deflating balloon though somewhat more melancholy, and although the sound was amusing, it was NOTHING compared to his face. Stretched round the bar so much that he looked like he’d had a face lift. Even his eyebrows looked surprised to be where they were! I kick myself I didn’t take a picture, but… Serious meeting and all.

So that’s two of us. We’ve looked. We’ve seen. We can’t take it. We’re stifling giggles and feigning serious scowls. Nodding in agreement to hide the giggles that simply CANNOT be contained. This of course prompts the other two to look. Same result. More strained serious faces, facing an increasingly impatient boss – who didn’t look.

We held it in. The noise continued and we knew what we’d see if we looked and knew we couldn’t survive a second glance, tempting though it was, and we persevered until the area manager finished and returned to the office. The second that he got round the corner, even before he closed the door, we lost it. We looked, laughed and pointed.

I just got word that the area manager won’t be in as our regular boss is feeling much better. I can’t tell you how relieved I am because I’m pretty sure he’s irritated, thinking we didn’t listen or take him seriously.

Children provide daily amusement and trouble without them coming to work with you. With them at work you leave yourself open to a wondering mind and, like in this case, a complete loss of professionalism in the face of crisis. Despite the peace of mind it brings, I can’t help but wonder when he’ll do something like that again. Cos let’s face it. He will.

Shattered

So, it’s been at least 3 weeks since my last post and holy hell what a horror. So what happened?

Well, you know I’m at a new job (which is wonderful btw), but it’s currently a very long way from my house. An hour and a half by bike, 2 trains AND a 15 minute walk with a baby in a baby carrier AND a backpack, is brutal. I have barely any time to rest each day. It’s a good thing this job is awesome!

But we’ve decided this can’t go on. It has done wonders for losing baby weight (fyi for those looking for ideas). But in this heat it’s getting more and more exhausting. So we’re moving house on Sunday!

The new house is really close to work and exactly what we need in every respect. I know this sounds good but… What about the move? My baby is 8 months old. Crawling and exploring, putting anything and everything he can find in his mouth. Dangerous or benign, packing with a danger magnet is beyond exhausting. (Props to mums with more than one tiny person, and to single mums. Can’t imagine doing it with more than one kid or without help). Now, all this means that one of us babysits and one of us packs. This obviously slows things down considerably and thankfully we enlisted two friends to babysit while we packed half the house. But tomorrow is the final day… And we’re not finished packing.

So what are we gonna do?

I have no idea.

There’s no friends available this weekend and still a considerable amount to pack. With a baby around this will get very difficult. Seasoned migrator I may be, but this is a whole new level of hell.

I’m a beginner at this, but I know that as a mum, no matter what the problem, you find a way. Why? Because you have to! This isn’t a hobby you can give up when the going gets tough; this is 24/7. I have no idea how I’m gonna get through the next few days, but I have to… So I will.

See you on the other side!

Aaaaaarrrrgggghhhh! Another day Mumming.

(DH = Dearest husband, DS = Dearest Son)

Today DH and I decided we wanted to move house. DS decided today was the day to practice being an asshat. This made the whole process SO much more delightful.

Let’s start with asshat, excuse me, DS. Adorable though he is HE, like all babies, can be very demanding at certain times. DS LOVES trains so you can keep him occupied watching the scenery… But if you stop at a station it becomes trouble. He stops watching and now you’re the focus and he remembers he’s in the baby car and not being carried by Mummy! It is usually possible to distract him back to looking outside, but that wasn’t possible today… I’ll explain more later. Then when we finally get to the housing agency, he becomes the fussiest baby he’s EVER been. More than newborn cos he moves more. He punched me in the face, and made my lip bleed; he also kicked me everywhere and grasped hands full of muscle and skin wherever he could find it and dug his freshly cut nails in. I have so many bruises just from this morning, it looks like my husband is violent. Thankfully he starts fussing for something I can identify and I change his nappy – (but not before losing my cool and punching a big pole because the station toilets were unbelievably inaccessible, and after an exhausting battle to get there, I had to give up when faced with YET MORE stairs. And then I burst into tears when DH suggested we walk further than necessary to find a baby change room, because I was so frustrated)…. Breathes a calming breath
When I finally got him into a baby change room, it was a poo. Not bad, but it became a nightmare. I had prepared as usual, but after cleaning him half up, he kicked the dirty nappy onto the floor. ‘butter side down’. I started to clean this up and was just about to put the new nappy on him when he peed. Twice. Everywhere. He got all his clothes, the door, the floor, the changing table, all of his body AND me. I called for DH at this point. We cleaned up and washed him best we could before redressing him. It was thankfully the worst of him for the day, but you see why I punched the pole.

Ok, so DS was a douche, but he wasn’t the main reason I was getting so irritated, though he didn’t help matters.

He’s cute… Really cute. Not just ‘I’m his mum’ cute, like 15 grown women screaming “kyaaaaaaaa” like they’ve just seen their favourite boy band topless, in person. That wasn’t today, that was outside his daycare and rather funny, today it was old ladies. Now they’re not entirely at fault. DS is a flirt. But when the HELL did I say you can come up and squeeze his legs, arms and cheeks?!?! I mean I kept having to go outside and walk him because he wouldn’t settle in the housing agency, and on EVERY walk a new batch of old ladies would swarm me and DS to coo, ask the same old questions about his age and crap and then feel him up!!! I mean seriously?! I know it’s not flu season but have some boundaries! One lady even interrupted our dinner and serious discussion to play with him! THAT’S why I punched the pole… Cos it was gonna be an old biddies face at the rate they were coming. How they had the courage to approach me I’ll never know. I was wearing ‘resting bitch face’ with a side of ‘your relatives will never find you’!

Am I the only one who doesn’t like people poking, squeezing and prodding their kids? I mean, at least ASK!

DH counted 15 that approached while we were together (not counting distant cooers, like on the train who distracted him from looking outside), and I counted 22, from when I started counting. This can’t be a normal level of fussing. Do I need to up my game and get a tear drop tattoo?!

Finally we get to looking at apartments. They’re good, DS falls asleep. They kept telling us that places were no longer available though, so we thought they might be lying, because they were all still online. We went through a different agency, ours heard and contacted us. They’d caved. They showed us it. Apparently another couple said they wanted it but hadn’t put up any money yet. We could steal by giving money first. We looked at the place and loved it. We’ve put the down payment on it too. It’s really close to both our work places, very close to the centre of Osaka and extremely reasonably priced. It’s gonna be a bit of a rush organising everything and we still have the tiny problem of getting confirmation that we can give one month’s notice at this place without problems. But as long as that works out it should be ok.

If you’ve read this far, thank you and I hope you got a laugh or two. Reading back it sounds almost like a slapstick comedy XD I feel much better…

How to kill negativity as a working mum

About a month ago I went for a job interview and failed miserably. For the sake of my family I needed it, and by failing I thought I simply wasn’t worth it anymore, being a mum. Skills I may have, but having a baby is a full time job. But it’s only recognised as such if it’s detrimental. Usually we hear “it’s not as hard as if you had to…” And “what’s wrong? you get to lie around all day!” But when you want a job it’s “aren’t you too busy to take on a full time job?” It’s. All. Bull. (Excuse the expression).

We ARE worth it, and any company who can’t see that you’re amazing being able to take on both mothering AND a job, doesn’t deserve you. It took me a long time to realise this, but I finally have and got a job with a GREAT company.

It’s as an English teacher in a daycare, where I’ll work 9 hours a day, including a one hour lunch break. I get full benefits, training towards a childcare qualification, a great wage, it’s not far from home and the clincher? My baby can come too! Though this is not usually a good thing, as it pulls your focus, my planned daycare suddenly said there was no space. Knowing he could definitely go, made things much easier.

I was actually offered TWO jobs, which was manic. Both excellent and exciting, though both slightly different, but both in excellent companies. It was hard to decide and, at one point, I was leaning towards the other job, which was closer to home. The job I eventually took did everything it could to help.

If a company is willing to do this, I’m obviously not worthless. We need to remember that being mums ADDS to our list of qualifications and worth. It in no way detracts. If you haven’t found the job yet, remember you’re worth it and it’s out there.

Oh!… And the one that turned me down is still looking. 😉

Milestones on a schedule

Now that it’s April I’m working full steam. It’s a slow month, but I still have to be AT work sadly. But we’ve moved Kyouya onto solids.

What does this mean for me then? Well, besides having to strictly supervise my husband’s feeding frenzies, in which he gives him WAY too much unless I’m breathing down his neck, it also means that my little one’s tummy is having a rough time, and needs mummy to help relieve gas and other delights from the land down under.

So far this has meant he has woken up for winding a few times, but otherwise he has been sleeping better. The only thing is that, so that he can relieve his wind before bedtime, I need to get back home earlier. Not only this, I don’t want to miss out on the horrified grimaces and joyful smiles as new flavours are introduced!

He tried carrots yesterday, but daddy didn’t wait for mummy to get home… Mummy was very angry. Especially because, despite the video showing it, I wasn’t there to witness my son experiencing a new flavour. I would have loved to see it LIVE, as my son decided carrots are not for him! Instead I get the video version.

Because of my firm determination not to miss anymore feeding times, I have started altering my work schedule. I’m lucky my job allows for this, which means I will have to be careful when deciding on a future job, in order to avoid missing more special moments than are necessary.

Everything centres around my boy and all the thoughts and concerns swirl around constantly in my head, creating a nonsensical soup of words.

I hope this soup didn’t give you a headache!

First food!

We fed him his first solids today! We went for watery, mushy rice and he LOVED it. He was extremely confused at first but eventually became very sad there wasn’t anymore food. Naturally we have him a single spoon today, but in stages and he eventually got the hang of it. He even cried for more.

We spent a month deciding which food to make him first, and eventually decided we’d start bland and work to yummier foods. I’m looking forward to finding out his likes and don’t likes, especially since it’ll be dominating my time from now on.

I’ll let you know how it goes! Kyouya is almost 5 months but is super big at over 20lbs, so nearly twice his birth weight. Comment on how old your little one was when you moved to solids and what you chose as the first food!

Working Mummy worries 2

I didn’t get the job. It sucks. I clammed up in the interview and my answers were AWFUL. Seriously… They couldn’t script a worse one. And now I’m stuck in two minds: I want to be at home with my baby, so this is good, but I want to help support my husband.

Since I got the rejection my mind has been rocking from “yay!” To “oh my god, what have I done”. My husband has no problem with the outcome, and says he’ll support whichever way forward I choose, be it work or stay at home mum. This is where it gets hard. Working mothers are not always doing it just to stay afloat financially; we also do it because we like it. I’m a go getter, I’ve had a part time job since I was 13 and haven’t stopped working. I love it, the challenge, and it’s part of me.

You give up so much of yourself when you become a mum… Everything comes second at the very least. So to give up work if you’re a worker bee, is like giving up another side of your identity. So while the idea of being able to watch Kyouya go through these milestones is wonderful, I’m really raring to go to a job I love. Not to mention the continuing desire to help my husband. It’s a real weight, so for the next month I’m going to be trying my best to find a job that I would be satisfied to do full time, that I’d love enough that I wouldn’t feel so guilty leaving my little boy; and if I can’t find it by that time… I’m going to have to make peace with not working.

Wish me luck!

Working Mummy worries

I had my job interview today. I have high hopes. It’s a great job and in a great place. Considering how difficult it is to leave your child in the care of someone else, I couldn’t do it for anything other than the best job that I loved.

But I worry. What am I gonna miss if I get this job? He’s extremely attached recently as I’ve tried to go to my current job more, and often cries for ‘Mama’ when I’m not there. I’m terrified that leaving him with others will cause him damage in the long run. That this is heartless. I mean, is it really necessary to do this?

We’re getting by, sure it’s tight and kinda paycheck to paycheck, but we’re ok.

Truthfully I don’t wanna leave my baby right now, but I know that this would help us all and take some pressure off daddy. I’m not the only mum to work nowadays. I just need to make my peace with it.

Tomorrow I’ll get the call about the job, and if I get it I’m gonna go at it full throttle and then make the most out of my time with Kyouya. It’s going to be heart-wrenching but there are so many good things to be said about the position and the benefits for the family. Especially since my outgoings are minimal and they pay all expenses. My entire wage packet would go to family savings! Not to mention bonuses and weekends off with the family. I’ve just gotta keep positive, and give all the love I can to my baby when I see him.

It’s so hard… I love him so much.

You know you’re a mum when…

  • You arrive to work with cuddly toys in your handbag
  • You don’t notice the sick stain on your shoulder
  • You can fall asleep in ANY position to avoid waking your child
  • You frequently don’t know what the date is, and sometimes not even the day.
  • You no longer care if you’re wearing makeup to go out.
  • You put more effort in finding coats that cover up the state of your clothes, than clean clothes if you’re going to the shops.
  • When you consider 4 hours of solid sleep, amazing
  • If you can pick up an inordinate amount of things using your toes while baby is strapped to you sleeping.
  • You can now make clothes white, though you still don’t know how you’re doing it
  • When you don’t care about getting peed or pooed on, just that you lost this round

These are just today’s, but feel free to comment with your own and I’ll put them on the next list and credit you for it.

The battle for “mama” and “dada”

For those of you who know, hearing your child call you mama or dada brings unbelievable joy to your heart. There’s nothing like it… But which will they say first?

My boy recently said “mama”. He’s been saying it for ages and seemed to refer to me, but we got it with understanding and feeling on camera yesterday. I was overjoyed. Usually children say “dada” first because it’s easier to pronounce, but I got super lucky. But now daddy is a little sad and naturally a bit jealous. I think there’s a good chance he’ll cry when he finally says it to him, but yesterday he said “dada”!

Now it was the first time he said “dada” so I was stunned and didn’t get it on camera as he hasn’t repeated it, but I told his daddy. He’s even more eager to hear it now! So today my task is to encourage tiny person today dada as much as possible. I want to see my husband’s face light up as much as mine did.

But for now I’m gonna see if this tyrant will let me sleep a bit more, cos I’m shattered.