The musings of a juggling mother

Rants & raves about life as a woman today, juggling work, home, kids, family, life the universe & everything.

© Mrs Aginoth. The right of Mrs Aginoth to be identified as the author of this work has been asserted in accordance with sections 77 and 78 of the Copyright, Designs and Patents act 1988

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Much better

I am feeling much better now I'm part time. A two day week this week was great:-) I ws able to collect the kids form school yesterday and check in with Mstr A's teacher, which I haven't been able to do for ages. I now Aggie did, but I wnt to be involved too!

Plus I spent the day getting a load of shopping and stuff sorted out, and still had time to cook supper, have a chat to the kids then get ready and walk to college - which I could sit through without falling asleep:-)

today has been taken up with getting ready for the first re-enactment of the season over the weekend. Snow is forecast, so I've been busy making sure we have every bit of clothing & kit possible, as well as quickly running up new dresses for the girls who have grown too much again! I've still got to make them nice new warm hoods, but hopefully can get tha done tomorrow.

It's the Easter fayre at school today, so I'll have to let them spend money to win back the eggs that I donated to the school last week! Then my mother is coming to visit for a day (probably with more eggs for the kids). I'm not sure what we'll do tomorrow - depends on the weather and what my mother fancies I suppose.

I'm off food sopping now - oh the excitement! But it needs to be done:-)

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Thursday, March 13, 2008

well, waddya know?

I was uneccearily pessimistic. They didn't sack me, and agreed to me dropping down to 3 days a week:-) As of next week I only work Mon, Tue & Fri's. They even offered to keep me full time to the end of the month, which would have gotten me full time pay for the easter break, but I would rather start immediately and feel I'm not taking the piss. Anyway, it means I have Maundy Thursday off and can go to the kids Easter fayre with them, and win a load of easter eggs again. mstr A wouldn't leave until we had won 5 last year (one per person in the family).

The three days a week will be permently as a floater - which means I don't get a desk, boss or department, but go whever I'm needed to cover holidays/sickness/workload on a day by day basis. It's not my preferred way of working, but means I can learn a little bit about lots of areas of law. And I don't have to stress about getting to college on time any more. We have agreed to another probation period, and we'll see how it goes.

60% pay might be problematical - it's less than I was earning when I worked locally, and I still have the travel costs to pay. But we'll see how it goes.

Now all they have to do is make sure there is enough work for me to do - i have been bored for some time on most days there so far. I know I've got to learn all the systems and stuff, but I'm not used to running out of things to do!I'd far rather be working hard than sitting around. If nothing else, it makes the day go faster.

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Monday, March 10, 2008


I have been off sick today. It's just a cold really - you know the type, the ones that make your head feel like it's stuffed with jelly, and ready to explode, your legs feel like they will collapse under you every time you put any weight on them, and your temperature alternate between hot sweats and cold shivers.... Too ill to mangae a commute in gale force winds and 8 hours of concentration, but not really ill enough to not feel guilty about it:-)

Anyway, it has forced me into making a decision. I don't think it would have been much of a poblem if I wasn't already so run down, and watching Aggie going about his daily chores has made me realise that I am never going to be satisfied with the situation as it is, and trying to do it all is just going to make me miserable. So when I go back to work (probably on Wednesday) I am going to have meeting with my personnel officer and ask if I can drop down to three days a week.

I expect I will lose the job, as I know the company does not like part time support staff (it's OK for lawyers apparently, which is how they got such a good reputation and all the quality mark awards etc). I suppose I could fight it under DDA because Aggie & Mstr A count as disabled, or even under standard employment law because LMB and LMD are under 5 and both of those give me the right to flexible working unless the company can give good business reasons why it would ruin them (which I think they would have difficulty in making a good case for) but it's not really worth it. It's not as though I adore my work, have decades of continous service to maintain or care that it might ruin my "career".

But if I lose this job, I may well have a long wait to find a suitable job locally. There are alot of people who want part time work, and not a lot of jobs available. if I work part time I can not get the same kind of child care funding, so I need to earn more per hour to not make a loss which cuts out most of the jobs that are available. And so the chances are, I will end up being non-employed, scrounging off the government. Does this make me a bad person?

I will be looking after three kids, one not at school yet, and one disabled, and a disabled husband. And we're well down the road of becoming foster parents again (having started 5 years ago, then discovered I was pregnant with LMB, then LMD!), so hopefully will be looking after some other kids in the summer. But I feel that I sould be doing something "proper". I feel that I will be cheating somehow. Rationally it is sensible, but I don't know if I want to be one of the non-working underclass.

But then again, I really don't want to be an absent parent. I had kids with every intention of bringing them up myself, and I've always thought it is horrible for both the kids and the parents whose days consist of beakfast club, followed by school, followed by after school club, followed by bed, with weekends taken up with housework/shopping etc and school holidays just a different type of schooling. I want my kids to grow up doing things with me, and to have memories of being a family! And I want them to be able to bring friends round to play, and to learn different activities, and at them moment that is not possible. Aggie can not physically do the things that I can, and especially with Mstr A, being able to do things too is the only way they will get to do them!

I am going to continue with my studies, and hope for a part time local job, but I know I am not getting any younger, and I can not guarantee I will ever have a career again. And I don't like that in theroy, but in practise, I think I will be much happier. So here's to yet another new phase of my life.......

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Friday, March 07, 2008


The other day at work, someone called me superwoman. some rubish about me working full time, studying, bringing up three kids and looking after a disabled husband.... OK, when they put it like that, it sounds pretty impressive:-)

But i don't feel like superwoman. Mostly I feel like I'm not quite doing anything as well as I could/should/want to. I really miss having any quality time with the kids during the week. As nice as it is to have them yell "Mummy Mummy" when I get through the door each evening, and they come running up for a hug, I don't know how long it will last, and I want to be able to have more to do with my kids than a quick hug, ask them about their day and send them to bed. I miss being involved in their day. And they miss it too. All of them have asked when I am going to do something or other again.

But then again, when I'm at work I feel that I'm not really giving it my all - before the kids turned up my career was the major thing in my life, and I happily went above and beyond. Now work is something I do, but it gets in the way of life, and so I do not put in all that extra time and effort that I used to. I work hard at work, and do everything to the best of my ability, and I may even, occsionally work some of my lunch break (I never could get the whole hour for lunch thing), but I arrive 5 mins before start time, and leave the moment I can. In a culture of early starts and late finishes I know that i am not going to progress through the ranks quickly this time round. I suppose it doesn't help that I am not doing a subject i feel particularly bothered about. I put more effort in my last job where I could feel that my effort was worthwhile in the grand scheme of things.....

And of course, as nice as it is when my tutor compliments my essays, i also know that i am not putting in nearly as much studying as I ought to. If i did, I could get that distinction in my exams as well as in my homework, but studying has to fit in around everything else, and I tend to work on the basis that just enough is good enough.

I know the house has never been my top priority, but even so, now I'm working full time and commuting too, there isn't even the time to do the little bit I used to do each day. I have tried to explain to Aggie how to keep a house, but he doesn't seem to have grasped much of it:-) Plus, tbh, there is a fair bit he physically can not do. And that makes me feel bad that I'm not being very fair to him, because I need him to take over much of the household stuff, and I know he can't always do it - but it always needs to be done! So I get annoyed when it's not:-(

Why is life so complicated? Of course, I know the solution - I would really like to drop back down to part time, and in a subject that i feel is worthwhile. And preferably somewhere pretty close to home. But that solution is not available at the moment. Ho hum.

Oh well, here's a funny funny video stolen shaemlessly fro my brother. it made me laugh out loud, so I thought I'd put it here to cheer everyone p after my moan.


Thursday, March 06, 2008

I already knew that!

I went off to the hospital on tuesday to see an immunologist about my stupid allergy to cats - when it got to the point that a coat hung on the back of my chair by a cat owner, and bedding in a tent (which is pretty well ventilated!) causing me to spend a frustrating night concentratingon each breath taken in the hope that i would manage the next, Aggie persuaded me to see a doctor. This appointment was the result.

Of course, the immunology department was mostly AIDS related, which made me feel even more of a fraud:-) But the doc was very nice and spent the time to chat to me properly and get a good background. He asked all about my medical background - absolutely no problems of any kind, no major illnesses, conditions or diseases, Im a non-smoker (ex, but nearly 10 years now), I rarely drink, I don't have a childhood history of allergies, neither my parents nor my own house are overly cleaned. Its just not right!!! He checked that it was cats, and I said I was pretty certain. He thought he should do a skin test to be sure, and to check if there was anything else.

So I went next door and let a nrse stick a needle in my arm 8 times! It was only a little nedle, and not comfortable, but not really painful. Then I had to wait 15 minutes. THAT got painful, as my arm turned bright red, with four massive weals. It was REALLY itchy!

Back to doc 15minutes later to be told I'm allergic to cats (I knew that), grasses, house dust and dogs (a little). Discuss de-sensitisation as being completely inappropriate (2 mornigs a week in hospital for 6 months, then one a month for three years - I don't think so) and decide that my best bet is just to avoid cats as much as possible. i knew that too. I get some pretty leaflets to tell me not to work as a vet, cleaner or gardener, and to tell all my friends to kill their cats (well, OK, it didn't actually say that....)

So a whole morning used up to be told what I already knew - stay away from cats, don't sniff dust and take anti-histimines a lot.

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Saturday, March 01, 2008

Secrets and lies

Aggie has gone off to play with his flaky mates in Birmingham this weekend (flaky as in they flake, not as in unreliable), so 've got the weekend at home with the kids.

remember when I was a new SAHM how I kept moaning how I wasn't cut out for domesticity? Now I'm thinking it's been rather nice having qualtytime at home with the kids, and perhaps work isn't all it's cracked up to be. Greener grass again:-)

Anyway, it's been a lovely day. I took LMB to her dancing class, and had a chat to her teacher, both to check on how she was getting on (wonderfully - not balletically, but enjoying herself immensely and improving steadily), and also booked LMD in for next term. They will both be in the same class for one term, then LMB will move up and LMD will stay in the baby class, having settled in. I doubt there will be any trouble there tbh. They also asked if Mstr A would like to come along to their junior show time class - which he would probably love, but as he won't dress up, he can't particpate any any of the actual shows. He likes the idea of singing and dancing and acting, so I will have to have a word with them again and see if they'll accept him as a non-performing attendee.

Then Nanny A came over and we all went swimming. LMB is just struggling 1/2 meter on her own at the moment, and happily practised her "swimming by myself" for ages. She'll be well away in no time at all. The pool had a float session on, and Mstr A discovered the fun of large floats. Now he can swim pretty effectively i have allowed him goggles and there is no stopping him now. I had such fantastic timesin the swimming pool as a child - it was great to see him enjoyig himself there. And fearless LMD played for a bit in the baby pool, but then I put her armbands on and left her to kick around wherever she wanted - which was on and of the large floats, and all around the pool on her own terms, and without letting an adult touch her! We all had such a good time, and they all played so well together that we were in there for nearly 2 ours all together!

Now we're back home and they are all fed Mstr A has been very busy making things ready for tomorrow. He's such a sweetie - he told me that he wanted to buy me a diamond ring for mothers day:-) but instead he has been making a "surprise" ready for me. The surprise includes asking me what I would like best on my bread for breakfast, what drink i like best, if I could help him open the juice bottle (he even came up with the plausible reason that he wanted a drink himself, even though he knows he's not allowed squash out of meal times) and tear off some foil to wrap the surprise in and being told not to come into the kitchen all night. I wonder what it can be:-) It also reminded me that 7 is still terribly young - he is quite convinced that it really will be a surprise when he brings me breakfast in bed in the morning.

Of course, what I'd rall like is a lie-in, but somehow I don't think that is going to happen:-)

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