Sunday, 31 January 2010

I've unleashed something in the blogsphere!

After my last post I find that other bloggers have been feeling similarly put upon and there has been a bit of an outpouring. The suggestion of clubbing together to buy a kind of time share place where we can each go for a bit of peace and quiet away from the demands of husbands and children sounds quite tempting!

I know that I'm generally to blame for doing it all because I am a bit of a control freak and I like to do things myself to know they are done properly. However, having had a very busy time of it in the last two weeks and yet another Parents' Evening on Thursday, the thing that tipped me over the edge on Friday was this:

Husband: We need to sort out Sunday

Me: What about Sunday?

(He takes daughter to swimming lessons in the morning while I make dinner and sand the staircase)

Him: Well, you could come swimming with us, or you could come and watch, or you could meet us at the Aquatic Centre when her lesson finishes, or you could take her for her swimming lesson instead of me.

Me: Why?

Him: Because City's kick off is 1.30pm

Me: So?

Him: Well I can't take her swimming and bring her home and get to the match on time

Me: There is another option

Him: What?

Me: You take daughter swimming, you bring her home, you go to City

Him: I'll have to drive like a maniac!

Me: No, you'll just be a bit late

Now tell me, why do I give up choir rehearsals, sometimes concerts, rearrange hair appointments and generally make my life fit around daughter's and his commitments and he cannot possibly just be late for a football match?! Not even miss it, just be a bit late!

Why was his first thought to get me to put myself out for him and not just be a bit late?

Sometimes I think I have two children.

Well, I have accommodated his lifestyle for long enough, the worm is turning!

Friday, 29 January 2010

I Vant to be Alone

I am fed up with being the enabler of the family.

I am fed up with being the problem solver.

I am fed up with being the one who ensures everything runs smoothly.

I am fed up with having no time to do what I want to do even if it is just to do nothing.

I am fed up with not getting a good night's sleep.

Sometimes I just want to go and live on my own.

In a neat, tidy, clean house that no one messes up or damages.

Where no one mithers me.

And no one expects anything from me.

Where I can have time on my own.

Not for ever.

Just for bit.

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Stop the World I want to get off!

You know when you have really busy times in your life and you wish you had one of these:

Meez 3D avatar avatars games

And you go to work and you look like this:

Meez 3D avatar avatars games

Well, that's what it's been like for the past fortnight!

I won't bore you with all the details, but just take today:

After 9 hours at work I come home, make the tea, whip up a batch of rocky road chocolate muffins for school cake sale tomorrow, put daughter to bed, pre prepare stuffed butternut squash for tomorrow night's tea (because husband is bringing his boss home for tea before going to City v United match and they need to eat at 5.30pm just as I get home, yeah, thanks for that), mark 25 tests, prepare 13 different investigations for year 8s to do tomorrow, phone mum and dad (haven't spoken to them for two weeks), sew button and badge on Rainbow tabard and finally write something on blog!

And with a Parents' Evening on Thursday I can't see it ending any time soon!

I dream of an evening doing this:

Meez 3D avatar avatars games

Friday, 22 January 2010

Division - the Izzy way

At tea time yesterday I put six fig rolls on a plate and put them on the table between daughter and me.

Ever the Maths teacher, I asked her "How many each?"

"Well ............ if you don't want one, it's four and two" she replied

Division the Izzy way!

Friday, 15 January 2010

Mr Del Monte - he say "Yes"!

My headmaster has agreed to let me have the afternoon off!


Watch out Mr Bocelli, you're going to experience The Manchester Chorale!

(If you don't know what I'm talking about, see previous post)

PS Just noticed; this was my 400th post, don't you know!

Thursday, 14 January 2010

Stop Press!

I'm so excited!

My choir, The Manchester Chorale, have been asked to sing with Andrea Bocelli in his forthcoming tour!

The only thing is, we've been asked to do the MEN Arena on a Friday and have to be at rehearsal at 3.00pm and I'm at work then.

As you know, as a teacher I can't book time off, so I'm going to see my headmaster tomorrow to see if he'll let me have the afternoon off (I will take it without pay, if necessary!)

Watch this space!

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Give me Five!

I've been tagged by A Confused Take That Fan to list my five highlights of 2009.

so here you are; if you wish to know more, click on the links:

Did you know I turned 40 in 2009?

Monday, 11 January 2010

Like mother like daughter

Having received more than a few Christmas presents, the time came to move them from the lounge into daughter's bedroom. The bedroom that already contains the entire contents of ELC, Toys R Us and Argos. She is a real hoarder and refuses to let go of anything and I have tried many times to remove items she has grown out of only to find her asking for them two days later.

We finally managed to get daughter to clear out some of her old books and toys by telling her that they would go into the 'loft'.

She seemed to be okay with this.


................. just to make sure she didn't forget what had gone into the "loft"..........................

........................ she went to the study and got herself a clipboard, paper and a pen and made a list of everything we removed from her room!

Wonder where she gets that level of organisation from?

Sunday, 10 January 2010

I agree with Kirsty

This Monday at 9.00pm on BBC2 Kirsty Young will be presenting the first in a four part documentary on The British Family - a State of the Nation retrospective starting with the 1950s.

Her recent interview about the series (in this week's Radio Times) seems to have caused a few stirrings in blogworld and, as a working mum in a British Family in 2010, I thought I should add to the debate with a few musings of my own on Kirsty's words.

The part of the interview that really resonated with me was when she said

One of the reasons I gave up my newsreading job was that, having watched my stepkids grow up from the age of three and five, which was when I first met them and married their father, I saw, at first hand, just how quickly childhood goes by. And I thought, "My two daughters are going to be in their teenage years, not too interested in me or my ideas about the world, and I'm going to wonder, where did the past ten years go?" I realised that I couldn't read the news and do Desert Island Discs and be a mother and a wife. Something was going to have to give and it was going to have to be me.

It's that last sentence "Something was going to have to give and it was going to be me" that I identified with. My ideas of climbing the career ladder have vanished since having my daughter and I am happy with a balance of doing a job I love with having time to spend with her. Promotion would leave me less time to spend with my daughter and right now, that isn't what I want.

So how many other working mums have made that decision? To scale down their careers to spend time with their families? And how many working dads have left it too late? (I know my dad regrets working all hours when my brother and I were small and he's spent the last 30 years trying to organise family get togethers and holidays to make up for it) How many working mums and dads don't have the option of working fewer hours?

This leads to the next part of the interview, which I have seen misrepresented in some blogs, where they have taken one or two sentences only, so I give you the entire paragraph:

Look, I know I speak from a position of considerable privilege, because I had something that could reasonably be called a career. Most women don't have careers. They have jobs that they have to do to pay the electricity bill or buy school shoes. Choosing to work or not to work is the ultimate luxury and it's also a mark of how far women have come. Sure, most women, when they have children, will take a hit in their income - wherever that might be on the scale - but it used to be the case that you had to give up your job when you got married. Unless you were a spinster, for want of a better word, there was no place for you in the workplace. So I absolutely don't agree with the argument that feminism was somehow an own goal - that all we've done is give up one set of constraints for another. There are all kinds of avenues open to Freya and Iona that weren't open to my mother, and which were only partially open to me. I think sometimes you have to go too far in one direction before you settle on a path that actually does free women to be what they deserve to be in life, but I'm confident that we're heading in the right direction.


She isn't saying that women have a choice whether to work or not and that shows how far we've come. She says that most women don't have the luxury of being able to choose whether to work (because of financial reasons), but it is the fact that we are not forced to give up work because we are married that shows the progress we have made so far.

As a whole, Kirsty's thoughts are very close to mine which I have written about in this blog. About how my mother's generation fought for the right to have jobs and careers, that my generation almost feel constrained by having to work to pay the mortgage, but that hopefully, when my daughter has grown up, there will be a balance. For men and for women. A choice for both sexes of how to raise and finance a family.

There is, of course, more to the interview and I urge you to by the Radio Times and read it before making judgements about Kirsty's words, and there will be more in the series, but I shall watch with interest. I will finish with Kirsty's summing up of what she has found in making the series

Most of the people, most of the time, are doing their damnedest to do well by their families and that's something to celebrate

I agree

Saturday, 9 January 2010

A cookie mix by any other name......

Whilst my school was closed this week because of the weather daughter and I decided to make Chocolate Reindeer Cookies from this mix she was given for Christmas.

Husband picked up the packet mix and read out:

"Just add egg, butter and milk"


"So what does the mix consist of?" I asked, "Flour, sugar and cocoa?"

He looked at the list of ingredients.

"Flour, sugar and cocoa" he replied.

A cookie mix by any other name.........

Friday, 8 January 2010

And Here is the News

General News - I was quite anxious about driving to school today, especially since parking at school was going to be limited, so husband (who is still off work!) offered to drive daughter and I to school and collect us at the end of the day.

The roads weren't as bad as I had thought and we arrived at 7.40am to be greeted by the Headmaster who was making sure everyone arrived safely.

Amazingly almost all the pupils were in so I didn't have to change any of my lesson plans and boy, it felt good to be back in the classroom!

And even better, it's Friday, so it's now the weekend!

I could get used to these one day weeks!

The Good News - husband used his day off to get a stain removal company to come and remove the coffee stain on my new beige lounge carpet where he had knocked over an entire cup of coffee in his haste to continue playing on the Wii.

The Bad News - Tesco have just cancelled my delivery with only two hours notice (even though I've seen their delivery vans around our area) - boo!

PS Sat evening - in the spirit of fairness I have to say that Tesco have just e-mailed me a code for free dielivery on an order before 7 Feb to say sorry for cancelling my order.

Thursday, 7 January 2010

Back to school?

My school has announced it is opening tomorrow.

The website says that parts of the site remain "very hazardous", "pupils must exercise extreme caution at all times", there is no parking for parents, limited parking for staff (on first come, first served basis) and they don't know if the school buses will be running.

Given our large catchment area, and the fact that the M60 is closed between my house and school, it will be interesting to see how many pupils I have to teach tomorrow, if I manage to get there at all and find somewhere to park!

Wish me luck!

Tuesday, 5 January 2010

Winter Wonderland

Woke up this morning and couldn't believe what I saw -

Six inches of snow!

This was our back garden:

Checked the school website and bad weather line which both said school was open.

This was what it looked like when we set off at 7.15am:

That's husband's car covered in snow; I smugly got my car out of the garage, no scraping or deicing needed and started my 30 minute journey to work.

I shouldn't have been so smug.........

By 8am I was still stuck on the M60 going nowhere and running out of petrol.

I couldn't get through to school so texted husband to contact school for me who just texted back "come home"

Eventually we did at about 8.45am

At 9.20am the school website announced that school was closed.

Why couldn't they post that at 7am?!

Anyway, this was the scene at home:

So we set about making a giant snowman:

having snowball fights:

making snow angels:

and generally enjoying an extra day's holiday in a Winter Wonderland!

And the best bit?

School is closed tomorrow as well!


Friday, 1 January 2010

Roll on the Teenies!

I'm not usually one for looking back at New Year, I prefer to look forward. However, this time I suddenly realised that a whole decade of the 21st Century has already passed. The Noughties are no more. How did that happen? It doesn't seem two minutes since I was sitting in my friend's, C's, lounge watching the fabulous fireworks on the Eiffel Tower and drinking very bad champagne (sorry, C's dad, it was!)

So how did my decade go?

Well, on the turn of the millennium I had just started a new job aiming to stay a couple of years and then move on to Head of Department. That was the the school that I am still teaching at, and no, I'm not Head of Department, so my career aspirations didn't materialise, did they? Wonder why that was...........

Let's look at the key years:

  • 2002 Started a Master's Degree (still had career aspirations)
  • 2004 Had baby (ah, that might have something to do with it)
  • 2006 Finished Master's Degree (clinging to thoughts of career despite motherhood)
  • Also 2006 Moved to wreck of a house and started project managing the restorations whilst raising toddler (ah, this was the nail in the career coffin)
  • 2008 Started blog to rant about impossibility of "having it all" and discovered world of blogging (so no longer care about career as have much more interesting things to do with my time!)
Notice anything?

All the even numbered years!

So that means something should happen in 2010.

Ooo, wonder what it is........

See, there I am again, looking forward!