Innocent Little Words

BB's vocabulary is very quickly expanding. She is so pleased with her knowledge that she will often look around the room looking for objects she knows, will point at them and say the words. We think she is very clever, particularly when she does this in front of others, despite the fact that most other little ones are progressing just the same, we still think she is particularly clever. Biased? Oh, absolutely.

At Toddler Group last week (I only seem to get organised once a month to attend to this at the moment!) I spoke with a really interesting mum of 3 who in her former role was a...I want to say Environment Scientist - or something along those lines. Her husband is still carving out his career in this field also and seems to be doing particularly well. When I asked her if she would be going back to work at some point she said that she'd probably do the 2-3 month project work trips (which are voluntary), but not back to the career itself as she will have had too much time out of it, and as her husband is doing so well, she would never be able to catch up. No, she said she would have to find alternative work that would fit around her children's school schedules, which she knew would be tough.

We also got into a deep conversation about a programme she had heard on the radio about how most parents feel some amount of guilt whatever they choose to do - be it being a full-time parent, part-time working or full-time working, or whatever other option there may be - there seem to be so many these days. And that most of the guilt and or pressure we perceive to be under is mostly brought on by our own thoughts, pressures and expectations which we put on ourselves, so we might as well just feel confident in the choices we make for ourselves and our families.

Loaded with this refreshed self-confidence in my own situation I moved forward with a work proposition which had been set to me over the course of the previous couple of weeks.

However, it is amazing how innocent little words can affect you. A friend recently posted on Facebook that she was glad she had been a full-time mum when her girls were young - she is now retraining to be a nurse as her daughters have settled well at school but it does mean a lot of studying and training time away from the family, which is difficult. This comment came the week that I had just formally accepted a short-term contract for a part-time role back in the legal sector - it is an offer I feel I can't refuse and yet doubt about being away from BB keeps creeping in. I know this is exactly what I want to do but at the same time, I'm not sure how I'll feel once I am in the swing of it and away from BB. I'm sure she will be fine as she is doing really well at nursery - so much so that she is now starting sessions with the 2-3 year old group (she is just 21 months old) - and she will still be having a full day with my mother, who is still very kindly looking after her for one day a week to help us with childcare costs.

Still, I know I will miss BB's funny daily antics and even her whining which can sometimes get to me - can I admit to that?! Oh well, I just have. Good thing she is my little treasure, hey!

Time Away

Holidays, for me now, are about reading and writing and a break from cooking. Mr B tends to do all the cooking, which he is pretty good at to be honest. We recently spent a week up in Snowdonia so that Mr B could do a fair bit of mountain biking. We were lucky with the weather and he was able to ride every day for a couple of hours, leaving BB and I to play in the log cabin we had rented on a lovely well-kept development. They also had a great playground and a few Shetland ponies in neighbouring fields. But it was clear that at just over 18 months old there wasn't a huge amount for BB to do, and timings with meal times and her middle of the day nap made it a bit tricky to go out and about to far away from base. Our next visit will be different though. Clearly, the older she gets, the more we'll be able to do with her and for her.

Just over a month ago I attended the Chipping Norton Literary Festival. It was its second year, but my first. AND, my first night away from BB. I was glad that I had the festival to look forward to and to concentrate on as when I had time just to myself I found myself feeling like a bit of a spare part. Although, I did make the most of my lie in, despite waking up at around 6am I stayed in bed till 8:30am and read my book, without disruption - apart from the delivery of a hot chocolate in bed! Bliss.

I left the weekend rejuvenated and inspired to keep writing. A month on and my mum is keeping me on track by editing the second draft of my novel and demanding more pages from me on a regular basis. Nothing like a mother demanding pages from you to make you write!!