All posts by donnaxx1988

The W word…

My boy will turn 7 months old on the 8th of this month, today he is two hundred and ten days old not that I’m counting, an app I use popped up this morning telling me to ‘capture day 210’ which I did, of course! 
I think the first time I was asked about the W word he was around six weeks old. Six weeks I’d had with my little boy and I was already being asked by people I hardly knew what I ‘do’ and when I’m going back to doing it.

I have recently seen a few disturbing posts pop up on my Facebook sent to a group called House of Commons free child care debate. The group asks for you to ‘share your experiences and thoughts on free childcare for working parents and inform the debate’ being Facebook this has done quite the opposite. The posts I’ve seen being liked and shared are packed with discriminative and derogeratoy comments towards stay at home parents, questions of ‘why should the lazy buggers (that’s toned down) not work AND get their child’s nursery fees paid!?’
This post would be not only boring but very long if I went into my thoughts about free childcare for 2 year olds of families with low income. I’ll just say it’s about levelling the playing field, every child deserves the best start they can possibly have in life and who are we to deny them of that. This post is more about people like me who choose to stay at home.

Getting back to that ‘debate’ if we can call it that. In amongst the hate for the low life scroungers who deserve nothing, I read one post that disturbed me, it went something along the lines of 

‘I went back to work full time, paid out £900 childcare and had only £200 left to contribute to the household bills but I did it for my self-worth, for some dignity because it is the right thing to do…’ they then went on to moan about stay at home parents.

This lady went back to work full time to spend over 80% of her income on paying someone else to look after her child to gain dignity? Self-worth? To do the right thing?  

By saying this she is suggesting to stay at home and care for your children you are somehow not worthy of the same respect. I would never associate looking after my 200 day old baby with a lack of dignity or self worth. In fact for me it is the total opposite. 

When Isla-Rose was born I was made redundant whilst on Maternity leave I faced the same questions from other Mums then of what I did and when I’d be going back to do what I do. I chose to tell people I was made redundant and quickly followed it with the fact that I’d applied for lots of jobs since. This was true but actually I was just having a bloody fantastic time being a stay at home Mom and probably would never have gone back to that job anyway! 

Why couldn’t I admit that? Why wouldn’t those words come out of my mouth? If I’m honest it’s because that label made me feel unimportant to the real world. It made me feel like one of those people you attack in Facebook rants. 

Why must we judge the stay at home parent as some sort of lazy welfare scrounger or sometimes even worse someone to look down on or pity, someone who should be out there doing ‘the right thing’ because ‘that’s what our foresisters fought for’. 

Some people just choose to stay at home and look after their children. I have not once regretted being there with Isla-Rose during those very early years. Don’t get me wrong it was bloody hard work but nothing can be as rewarding as staying at home and seeing that girl change everyday. I thank my lucky stars but mainly my husband for giving me the opportunity to do that!

By the way… This isn’t me judging parents who do go back to work either. My best friend was pregnant at the same time as me, she completed her nursing degree within months of giving birth. She worked so bloody hard to do that and had a newborn baby at home, how incredible is she!

It’s time that we, as a culture stop stigmatising stay at home parents or judging the ones who go back to work after 6 months, 2 months, even a week. Perhaps instead try to understand others choices or, at the very least, respect those choices we don’t understand. 

Everybodies circumstances are different, who are we to judge people who are doing what they believe to be the best for their children.

So when am I getting back to what to do..?

Well I’m not quite sure yet, but when I do it will only be for two days a week, which means I’m able to spend almost as much of that precious time I had with Isla-Rose, with the Teddy Bear! How lucky am I? You don’t need to answer that, I already know! 

Until the next time (which will probably be the next teething, fever, clingy night!) 

The Sunday blues 

So a few weeks in and reality has hit. 

Isla-Rose is now a fully fledged member of the education system and I can’t help but feel so sad for her, or maybe I feel sad for me. You see she is my little lady, I’ve spent the last 4 years of her life with this girl and any time I haven’t spent with her I’ve been updated on what she’s been doing or had a diary filled in with things she’s said and done. 

Now I stand at the school gate, always the first one there and the first in line to get her back. Her Teacher makes eye contact with me, ‘Isla-Rose’ she shouts, I’m excitedly waiting, five more children are called, they all run out of class over to their person. Ten more children pass, I try to make eye contact again, ‘Isla-Rose’ her Teacher calls again. She’s almost always the last one out, well after I’ve sent her back in for her water bottle/cardigan/coat. During that time of searching I stand and once again make intense ‘please tell me what she’s been doing’ sort of eye contact, ‘she’s been fine today, she’s really funny isn’t she and so polite!’ I go to ask her what sort of jokes she’s been telling and she’s already onto calling out other names or informing another parent about their child’s fall at playtime (the important stuff!)

Dammit I want to know everything she’s done, I want a detailed explanation of who she sits with and what kind of funny things she says, I want to know how many time she went down the slide and exactly how much of her dinner she ate, how many times her water bottle has been refilled and if she was uncontrollably laughing today, or if anything upset her. Instead I get a ‘I’m too tired to talk mommy’. 

She does finally tell me about something, how she dressed up as India (yes the country). She then repeats over and over ‘ahh grassyass’ her new favourite word! She slips out that she had sausage mash and peas for lunch, just as I’m serving her sausage mash and peas for dinner! 

Sunday night comes around again too fast, we go through our usual routine of questions, what’s made you smile today? What’s made you laugh? Did anything make you sad? What did you learn today?  Then suddenly she has tears in her eyes and says ‘what if I miss you tomorrow again?’ I don’t have any advice for her, I sit there and tears fill my eyes too. I don’t know what to advise because I feel just as sad as she does. I look at her like I’m about to give her some good advice and she interrupts to tell me ‘just put your hand on your heart and say I am always in your heart’. 

I don’t have any good advice to give about this, nothing that will make it any easier anyway! The only thing I can say is enjoy it, enjoy the pre school times because once they’re in they’re in! 

I am proud of my girl and the new challenges she faces, all the new bits of information she will bring home, all the new experiences (like dressing up as a country) but I cannot help but think she is just too young to be that independent. Maybe it’s just I’m not ready for her to be that independent. 

Time for the hand on the heart… 

Until next time 

 

My biggest fear 

Drowning. 
Sitting down on a Friday night after a hard week at School I would hear that terrifying tune from 999 Lifesavers. I have the worst memory but some things just stay with you. In this particular episode a girl with the longest golden hair I’d ever seen was sitting relaxing in a jacuzzi at a swimming pool. She was laughing and playing around going under the water and coming back up, until of course that time when she didn’t come back up, she didn’t break the surface laughing, she didn’t run her hair through those golden locks. Those golden locks had got caught in some filter system at the bottom of the pool.

 That’s when it started. The camera dived into the water to show her panic ridden face and her last breath turning into bubbles. Her arms flailing about, her mouth open wide trying to shout for help. It felt like a lifetime that she was under there, longer for her I’m sure. Eventually a man ran into the restaurant grabbed the sharpest knife is ever seen and cut her hair. Her beautiful golden hair was gone, that’s all I could think of aged seven. Nowadays I have a little flutter of panic every time I see a filter in a pool and double check that all of my hair is in the bun on top of my head! 

That’s not my biggest fear though, slightly higher than that sits the fear that most people dream of, turning into my Mother.

Now then, I know for some of you this will be hard to understand (and rightly so) there are so many people who (when I tell them I don’t speak or see my Mom) say ‘oh but she’s your Mom!?’. If you have a good relationship with your Mom you could never understand not seeing or speaking to her and so people assume it is the same for me. Well unfortunately, it’s not. 

Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t a sob story alert, I had the best of her when I was growing up. Every night after going to bed I would sit at the top of the stairs and shout down ‘I love you Mom’, to which she would respond ‘I love you too now go to sleep’. That wasn’t good enough for me, I needed the last thing that she said to be ‘I love you’ so I’d do it again, and again and again until finally she would just say ‘love you’ then I’d run into bed and go to sleep.

This is exactly what Isla-Rose does to me now, I sit with her, read her a book, kiss her good night, love you’s are exchanged but she will always, always have to be told again from downstairs. She tells me her with happy tears in her eyes her ‘heart bursts’ because she loves me so much. I totally understand her  because I used to feel like that, but now I feel it for my babies (and the hubby of course!)

It is something that I’ll never understand, how you can ‘fall out’ and choose not to talk to your own children just because they grew up. 

It is however something I fear, if she could do that, what if that happens to me. What if when Isla-Rose becomes a ‘strong independent woman’ (her words) I can’t handle it!? 

Now I may fear that but I know for fact that when I say I love that girl I mean it with every breath I breath. When that little girl looks at me and says ‘Mommy you are my best friend and I love you forever’ I see myself in her and I know that I would never take that love away from her, for any argument, any man, any amount of stubbornness.

Luckily even without a Mom or Dad I think I’ve done alright, well I have the best husband ever (that does put up with my inherited stubbornness) two beautiful children not forgetting the rest of my family and friends!   

Even that fear doesn’t top the list though. 

Time, time has got to be my biggest fear.

There are only two things you can guarantee about life, you were born and you will die. Everything in the middle is endless possibilities, education, friends, children, marriage, nothing is a certainty. 

When I was 18 I had this (what I called) premonition it was really probably a dream. So basically after this I had this feeling I’m not going to see past 30 years. This was fine when I was 18, I was ‘totally cool’ with that, almost happy that I’d never have to grow up. 

Now at the grand old age of 28, running out of time is my biggest fear.

I read something last week from Constance Hall that rung true ‘the days are long but the years are short’. I have had times where I have wished time away. In the first few weeks of Teddy being born (mainly when Dan went back to work) I would sit and stare at the clock. It was 3pm, it’s ok that’s only two hours until he’s home I would think. After endless feeding, cutting, sticking, colouring, feeding, painting, being daphne from Scooby Doo plus a little bit more feeding I’d look at the clock again, 3.05pm. Time did not move during them few weeks. I was cherishing and enjoying every moment whilst wishing the minutes and hours away. 

So things quickly settled down, Teddy became (a tiny bit) less hungry, Isla-Rose realised there are times she would have to play independently.  Tammy (that’s my sister, she’s pretty incredible!) broke up for summer and all of a sudden time is moving faster than I can cope with.

I look at my children’s every changing faces and want to freeze time. I wonder where the last 15 weeks have gone since we had Teddy never mind the last four years with Isla-Rose. She starts School in two weeks and I can’t believe it. We went to see Mamma Mia a few weeks ago (after milking myself for two weeks to be able to go…it was amazing by the way!) they sing the song ‘slipping through my fingers’ as her daughter is getting ready for her wedding. I had tears in my eyes, me and the 60 odd year old woman sat in front of me were crying. Like full on melt down crying. 

I can’t help but fear that time will run away from us and even though I enjoy every minute, well apart from wiping Isla’s bum when she’s bent over touching her toes telling me she’s done a ‘sloppy’ one, I don’t enjoy that, I fear that one day I’ll look back and think where on earth did those years go, did I make the most of it? Did I spend enough time with the people that mattered the most?

So that’s that, if anyone ever invents a time slowing down machine please be sure to let me know. Meanwhile I’ll just have to get rid of all clocks and calendars. Or I suppose I could live every day to its fullest, make the most of every moment, enjoy holding these tiny hands whilst they’re still tiny, cherish the smell of milky sick on my shoulders, embrace Daphne, wipe that sloppy… OK too far!! 

I will try not to think about whats next but live in the moment and fingers crossed that moment lasts way beyond 30 year so!!

I’ll leave you with a little bit of Abba whilst I contemplate how I’m going to cope with sending my baby girl to school. 

‘Schoolbag in hand, she leaves home in the early morning, Waving goodbye with an absent-minded smile, I watch her go with a surge of that well known sadness, And I have to sit down for a while, The feeling that I’m losing her forever, And without really entering her world, I’m glad whenever I can share her laughter, That funny little girl, Slipping through my fingers all the time, I try to capture every minute…’

Xxx

It’s been a while…

As the title suggests I clearly have no time to write blogs these days, that is until the new addition to our family has his vaccinations and spends the day sleeping…on me only.

I’m sitting here remembering my thoughts from my pregnancy of ‘how on earth will I love two children’. It is a real struggle before you actually give birth to your second child to imagine a life with two children. How on earth could I love someone as much as I love my Isla-Rose? Don’t get me wrong, I was very happy we had another child on the way but the thought of ever having that much love for someone else just blows your mind. That is until they are born. Suddenly your heart multiplies, you can feel it bursting at its seams, filled with unconditional love. A love so true that nothing compares to it. 

Then a few days later you get ladened with guilt. I should be playing with Isla-Rose now but I can’t because I’m feeding Teddy. I would have sung Isla-Rose 15 songs and changed her 3 times by 8am when she was 8 weeks old, so far I’ve just managed to get out of bed with an 8 week old who hasn’t had a nappy changed in 7 hours because (not to curse it) he sleeps!

I guess what I’m trying to say is, second time around is totally different, I mean nothing could be more different. I used to spend an hour of her nap time (after a hot cup of tea) vacuuming, steaming the shower, disinfecting the kitchen sides, polishing, dusting the blinds, preparing dinner for when Dan got home. Then as soon as she’d wake up I’d be lying next to her under her rainforest staring into those beautiful big blue eyes, singing like a crazy woman. 

Now she’s all big and with her beautiful green eyes (after making a cup of tea) we sit and play together, learn together, dance together, sing like crazy girls together! All this whilst Teddy naps, then he wakes (usually to the crazy singing part!) then it’s time for food ‘get your boo boo out mommy’ Isla-Rose shouts to me as I’m washing up. I sit there feeding staring at the floor covered in bits of grass from us running in with our shoes on, the dust that’s been gathering up on the sideboard and the toys scattered across the living room. The first week of this terrified me, I would think ‘argh I can’t even clean the house’. Don’t get me wrong I’m far from an OCD cleaner but not having that control over that little thing threw me. 

Something had to give and it wasn’t going to be the time spent with the children. So instead of walking into a pristine house, with dinner in the table, Dan walks into a house that is happy, with toys across the floor, planetariums that have been created, bones that have been excavated, cold cups of tea have been poured down the sink and two children who have had all of me. Which is exactly the way it should be. My children will never remember how clean the house was or at what time they’d eat dinner. Instead I pray they will remember the laughs and the fun we had. 

So to you Mums and Dads your washing up can wait, unless of course you run out of plates then you should probably put on the tv give them a cup of milk and wash up faster than you thought possible! Well it works for me. 

Until next time, which will probably be 12 week injections!

Take care x 

The fact that I fell asleep shortly after writing this and haven’t even logged in since (it’s been 2 weeks since his injections!) shows how fast time passes! Enjoy! 

Love at first stitch! 

Tilly Walnes of Tilly & The Buttons has made my weekend! I received my copy of Love at First Stitch last week and haven’t looked at or thought about anything but sewing since! 

To the book itself, it is just perfectly Tilly, for those of you who don’t know (where have you been?) Tilly  has been blogging since 2010 and built up a great following but it wasn’t until she took part in the Great British Sewing Bee series 1 that I found out about her and what she does. Her site takes you from no knowledge amateur to expert if you put the hours in. The site itself now has over 60,000 visitors a month (it is possible 5000 of those hits are just me) and that’s no surprise, it’s full of great tips with clear simple instructions. A complete novice could buy a sewing machine click on her blog and learn everything they ever needed to know. 

The book is crammed full of sixties inspired with a modern look projects, being made up of chapters for the different projects with lessons in each one. You learn a new skill that can be put to use straight away. This is definitly not something just for a beginner sewer, there are many advanced projects and Tilly always gives an alternative whether it be adding piping into the Mimi Blouse or having a scalloped neckline on the Lilou dress. 

So what have I made I hear you ask? Well, I went straight for the Margot pyjama bottoms (I’ve never made trousers before so we’re really testing the instructions here!) 



I started by tracing the pattern onto tracing paper and then using carbon paper and my shiny new tracing wheel to transfer the pattern to the fabric. The fabric itself is a flannel medium weight floral from The Fancy Silk Store for only £3.99 a meter! 

I found the instructions so easy to follow (and if you read my previous blog you’ll know it’s not like me to find anything easy to follow!) and the photos show the most important parts clearly so even if I didn’t understand it it’s clear to see what to do from the photos alone. 

My Overlocker is just a godsend and neatens the edges and gives everything that professional look! 



So before I share the finished product I do have a little confession to make.. They might not fit! Well intact they don’t fit at all, yes that’s right I made the wrong size. I often watch the sewing bee and think ‘REALLY how can you stitch the zip in upside down/back to front’ etc I always make sure I’m reading the instructions again and again to ensure I’m right. Unfortunetly I don’t seem to pay as much attention to the tape measure.. So It turns out I used my waist measurement instead of my hip measurement. Now being a mathematically correct hourglass 10 inch waist to hip difference I am NEVER getting these over my hips! But fear not, it just means I have a lovely gift for one of my skinny friends! 

So here they are, with drawstring to tie! 





Love my overlocker! 

These took around 4 hours to make from start to finish.. Yes that’s me out of the sewing bee! I do spend a lot of time drinking tea and singing inbetween though. Perhaps when I make some to fit me it will take much less time now I know what to do! 

I am already into my next project from the book the Mimi Blouse, but the weekend is almost over and I should probably turn my kitchen back into a place to eat! 





Gathering stiches 

Chelsea collar

Comments, thoughts and shares all much appreciated!

Until next time folks, peace and much love Mrs Bee xxx 

And sew it beegins

No I didn’t make my first spelling error there, it was a play on words..

Since becoming Mrs Beecroft in June last year my eyes seem to have been opened to the many uses of this name.
I feel like an honorary member of the Great British Sewing Bee as well as making the best honey ever!

So now you know what to expect from me, this blog will be me, my life, my thoughts. I (annoyingly for some) write just how I think.
I will use excessive amounts of exclamation marks.
I will use improper words (I have already had to google the spelling of ‘honorary’ and use of ‘improper’, I’m still not sure if it’s correct!)
Don’t expect much punctuation you’re lucky if I can get things out in the right order.

You see it wasn’t until I was 20 and in my second year at University that I was invited (or maybe more advised) to take a dyslexia test. I’d always just thought I wasn’t all that great with words, don’t get me wrong I’m not a total write-off (you see what I did there..) so I’m 20 in my second year of university and find out I do have dyslexia. ‘See I knew I wasn’t just thick’, was my first reaction, my second was ‘woah I haven’t done too bad for myself to get this far without anything but jumbled up words and thoughts somehow making some sort of sense to the examiners’

I am the type of dyslexic that could read one page of writing and have no idea what happened. Not because I can’t read it (I can) but because my brain for some reason cannot process it. This is where my love for Drama and all things creative came from. I made a picture of the words and created moving images in my mind, this is what helped me understand ‘Of Mice and Men’ this is how I got through all of those exams. Massive brain storms with colourful arrows pointing to the themes that I can still see in head now
Dreams- George & Lenny own land Curley’s wife movie star

I know what you’re thinking ‘OK you’ve made your point you go off on a tangent (I didn’t know tangent had a ‘t’ at the end… SEE!)

Welcome to Sew Mama Bee

The ‘Sew’ element will be (who’d have thought it) all things sewing!

The ‘Mama’ will be all things baby/toddler. This may include food recipes, routines, rants (never!)

And finally ‘Bee’ well that’s just me! 🙂

So basically you’re getting a little bit of what it’s like to be in my head.

Welcome, enjoy, close the page if you want, (to be honest I’m surprised you’ve gotten so far.. Of Mice and Men Donna really?! Apparently I like brackets too!)

Peace and much love Mrs Bee xx

Stay tuned for a review of Tilly Walnes ‘Love at First Stitch’

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