Returning to work after maternity leave

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We all know that feeling. That blissful feeling at 8.5months pregnant when you wave your colleagues off and skip (waddle) off in to the horizon to start your new life as a mummy. You have an absolute lifetime off! In fact, a full year (or 9 months, however long your blessed to have off) feels like your never actually returning.

Except it sounds like a long time, but in actual fact, that year passes by quicker than you can blink and you find yourself on a Monday morning kissing your little ones goodbye and trudging up the path to work!

Whether you come off maternity leave back in to full time work or part time work the transition is really difficult. A lot has happened in the time you’ve been away and it’s important to make sure you are properly prepared in order to make life easier for yourself, your family and your work colleagues.

So here are my top tips to help you make that return to work easier after maternity leave.

  1. Attend “KIT” days. A lot of work places today offer “Keep in touch” days where you can attend work for a morning/afternoon or full day, fully paid in order to catch up with what’s happening at work, attend important meetings and generally remind yourself about how to do the job! You can have up to 10 KIT days in most work environments but check with your HR team to find out what your employer offers.
  2.  Sort your childcare out in plenty of time and make sure you are comfortable with it and that they are flexible. Arrange a meeting with your employer around 8 weeks before you are due back to work and see if they can offer you anything that makes your childcare situation easier such as set working days, shorter working hours, flexi time etc.
  3. If you are still breastfeeding when you return to work, make sure that your employer knows about it. They should ensure that you have regular short refreshment breaks and that you have a suitable private place to express breastmilk and store it if necessary. Again, speak to your HR team if you are unsure of your employee rights.
  4. Prepare. The first day will be chaos as you try to figure out your new routine. Make your lunch and layout your clothes the night before and make sure your bag is all packed and ready to go. It’s also helpful to have your children’s belongings/clothes all ready the night before too so your not rushing around in the morning and you don’t turn up at work shattered before you’ve even started!
  5. Get rid of the guilt. Easier said than done and I definitely need to practice what I preach but getting rid of the mummy guilt about going to work will make life a lot easier. Whether you have to go back to work for financial reasons or whether you want to go back to work because you want to do something for you make sure you don’t feel guilty about it. Your children will be fine, they wont have abandonment issues nor will they feel less loved. Absence makes the heart grow fonder and you will enjoy your time with them a lot more on your days off.

I hope this was helpful. Enjoy your return to work!

XOXOXO

Is it acceptable for parents to kiss their children on the lips?

A few weeks ago Victoria Beckham came under fire when she posted a seemingly innocent birthday photo of herself and her 5 year old daughter kissing on the lips. I personally thought the photo was lovely and endearing and I was absolutely horrified to read that there was so much criticism for it! I read comments that under no circumstances should you kiss your children on the lips as it isn’t appropriate and there were some utter bell ends that went as far as to say it was perverted and too sexual!? Seriously, what the hell!? I bring this story up because even though it was nearly 3 weeks ago I am still reading comments across the internet about it today! I can’t believe an innocent picture has caused so much controversy!

What was it that caused the world to go in to melt down? It was a kiss. On a child’s lips!! Not just any child – her own child. That she carried inside her for 9 months. I find it very strange that people felt the need to comment so negatively! A simple kiss on the lips shows love and affection and shows the child that they are cared for. In my family we kiss on the lips all the time. It’s common practice where I am from and completely normal.

Children need to be cherished and loved. They grow up so fast and one day they won’t want to be kissed so you need to get them in whilst you can before you become the embarrassing parent! I have no qualms in telling the world that I kiss my children on the lips daily. Heck, I kiss them on their lips, their nose, their arms, their legs and even their bum! I kiss them wherever I can and whenever I can. Does this make me strange and perverted? I think not.

To the kiss haters of the world, try turning your hate energy in to something more productive.

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XOXOXO

 

The one where I haven’t written in a while

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I’ve been a bit quiet on the blogging front lately. I’ve been in and around social media daily, especially Instagram which is my favourite of all apps but on the writing front, I’ve not done any. None. Nada. For nearly four weeks! In the blogging world that’s at least 2 centuries, right!?

My reasons? Well I could very easily blame busy daily life. July was super busy for us with lots of social things going on and D had his baptism which took up a lot of my time planning. But in all honesty I’m not sure it was just being busy that made me stop writing.  If we are being completely truthful I think I was just bored of the blogging dog eat dog world. I was fed up of writing, promoting and trying endlessly to get my content out there for me to get 2-3 views per day. I was also getting fed up of receiving followers for my Instagram and Twitter only to be unfollowed again the next day. It was like I was taking part in a social media game that I’d not asked to be a player in. It was exhausting. It was infuriating. I became very despondent with the whole thing and a sense of the CBA’s (Can’t be arsed) came into motion. It’s only when my husband pointed out to me the other day that I’d been quiet on my blog that I’d even thought about it.

And then that’s when it hit me! I realised that the reason I started this blog wasn’t to become some internet blogging sensation or an author (although it would be lovely! ha!), I didn’t do it for views or ratings. I did it because I am all too aware that my life and my loves zoom past in an instant and I wanted to document and remember my life for the future. Don’t get me wrong, I would love other people to read and enjoy what I write! I would love it if I inspired or helped just one person and I will continue to promote my blog as much as possible but ultimately I need to write this blog for me. I need to write for my husband and more importantly I need to write for my children.

Because I was so anti-blogging within the month of July, I never purposefully took any pictures of my little ones or my family together, nor did I do a 10 month update for D and this makes me so sad! I feel angry with myself that I let myself get so caught up in the blogging game. Never again. I will draw a line under July and continue to write as I always have and cherish my tiny little space amongst this big wide web!

XOXOXO

Last minute fathers day gifts

As your probably aware Father’s Day falls on Sunday 19th June this year which, yes, is this Sunday! Don’t worry if you haven’t managed to get him anything yet as I’ve outlined some great last minute gifts below!

Cufflinks

cufflinks - £19.99 cufflink storeCufflinks are a great idea for a present if the Dad in your life wears them to work everyday. The internet do some great personalised cufflinks where you can get your children’s names and D.O.B engraved on them like these above which are from The cufflink store and cost £19.99.

Beauty Products

Liz earle men £15.50

Men love to have a bit of a pamper too (despite what they tell you!) and this cleanse and polish set from Liz Earle (£15.50) is perfect for that bit of man time!

Mugs

mug £19.95Mugs are a great gift and can be picked up from anywhere. Some places even let you personalise them with a picture or a name which would be fantastic for Fathers Day. I particularly like this mug above from Emma Bridgewater (£19.99)

Jewellery

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If the dad in your life likes to wear Jewellery then this personalised message bracelet is the perfect keepsake. Having a bracelet with the words “Best Daddy Love from XXX” would mean the world to him I’m sure! (£49 Not on the highstreet)

Confectionary

sweets - £9.99 getting personal.co.uk

If the dad in your life has a sweet tooth then their favourite sweets or chocolate would go down a treat! I found this jar of Bonbons over on Getting Personal for £9.99 and it’s brilliant for a first time daddy!

I hope this has given you some great ideas for Father’s Day. Let me know what you decide to get the dad in your life!

XOXOXO

 

Bookblock Notepad up for review

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If there’s one thing in the world that I love, it’s stationary. Seriously. It’s the one small thing in life that I get really excited about. At school I was always the one with the new pencil case and the highlighters, pens, sticky notes etc and as I’ve got older that love has never altered. Having a busy life and working on my blog means that I’m forever making to do lists and scribbles in order to keep my life as organised as possible so having a nice notepad (and I have a few, let me tell you!) is my perfect go to accessory. So when the lovely people at BookBlock got in touch asking if I wanted to review one of their notebooks that I would be able to personalise I absolutely jumped at it!

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BookBlock original offers the opportunity for designers, photographers or anyone who is creative and likes to make their mark design their own unique notebook so they can keep all their scribbles, to-do lists and ideas all in one place in a beautifully backed book.  Crafted in partnership with one of the UK’s oldest bookbinders, each notebook is created using traditional bookbinding and printing techniques. They even give you the opportunity to customise what paper, elastics and ribbon you have within your notebook so it’s all completely your work.

I downloaded a picture of my children and asked them to put it on the front of my notebook along with my blog domain “Family life and me” as I would use this notebook for my blog work. When I received my book I was absolutely thrilled to bits with it. The quality of the print was brilliant compared to some other personalised notebooks I’ve had in the past and it was a hard back so felt really sturdy. They are perfect for list writers like me and also make fantastic gifts! With Fathers day just around the corner this would make an amazing present!

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The paper inside the notebook

The paper inside the notebook

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You can find the whole range of Bookblock Original items HERE- BLOCKBOOK ORIGINAL and with prices starting from as little as £12 (plus p&p) you would be foolish not to order yours!

I can now get back to writing my to-do lists in a notebook that no one else has!

XOXOXO

*Collaboration