November Favourites

30 November 2018

This as honest as it can get! I honestly haven’t done much reading this month. Initially I thought I’d skip the Favourites this month but I could not do that. Perhaps this is my way of showing that life can really get in the way of you plan to do and that’s normal. But not only that, I really wanted to share the posts below! 


Sometimes we get so busy in our lives doing this and that we tend to forget to make time for ourselves. Especially as bloggers, you are literally working 24/7 - even if you’re not writing at that moment you are at least thinking about that next post at least. Hayley writes about why it’s important to take break - have you ever thought about taking a break?


I absolutely adored reading this because of Melanie’s honesty about how autism has effected her. But another thing that caught my eye was that I too sometimes feel like I’m learning to read again, our journey’s to this point might be on different tracks but we both can relate.


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What have you loved reading in November?
Share your suggestions below!

Little A’s 21 month update

26 November 2018




Can you believe that it’s time for an update already because I can’t! So what has happened in the last three months of Little A’s life?

Teething

We have molars! Not one, not two but three and a few more teeth as well! If I say that it’s been horrendous, I’d be lying, yes she’s been in discomfort and pain, yes it’s effected her sleep but comparing it to other months it’s been alright. 

Breastfeeding 

We are still going strong in this department! I’m super proud of myself as well as Little A as I had no idea we would last this long considering how our journey began. I don’t have plans of weaning her, if she wants to continue to breastfeed beyond 2 years then I’m happy with it. 

She has really become vocal when she wants milk from me especially at bedtime, she says ‘dudu’ which means milk in Urdu in the most cutest voice ever! 

Currently, I’m feeding her morning and bedtime, sometimes at night if she’s unwell (we’ve had to deal with two colds, ugh!) or is inconsolable.

Sleep

In my previous update, I mentioned how I’ve ended up spoiling myself by bringing her into bed with me and so that had continued for a further three months as she just would not tolerate the cot, despite it being right next to me.

It had reached to a point that I made a firm decision to pack away the cot which we did last weekend but once it was packed away, I just felt so weird, can’t really explain this feeling but I didn’t feel right.

So it’s back up! Currently, as I write this, Little A is fast asleep in her cot. How did this miracle happen? Well, we’ve turned it into a ‘next to me’ by taking away one side. She now has her own space but at the same time she doesn’t feel like she’s in prison anymore.

Speech

We really have to watch our mouths now because Little A has turned into a parrot! An example being, she came into the bathroom this morning and I said ‘Go out please’ and what did she do? Started shouting at the top of her voice ‘out! Out! Out!’ and laughing at the same time.

She’s also started to put things into more perspective now with sentences that having meaning now. Sometimes we can’t believe she’s said something as it comes as a shock to us as we didn’t teach her that! Just shows she’s picking up everything.

We are still going well in the bilingualism subject! She’s still picking up both English and Urdu at the same time without any hesitation. 

Milestones 

I won’t mention her speech again but other than that she’s taken a leap in her counting. It’s no longer 1 to 5 it is now 1, 2, 3, sometimes 4, 9 and 10 - goodbye to the numbers in between, you’re not welcomed here!

Moving on, I am trying to teach her the alphabet and so far we’ve successfully had ‘a, b and c’ but it all just depends on her mood.

She’s also started to sing, she use to before but her ‘twinkle twinkle little star’ is becoming a little clearer now or if I would start off she’d continue with ‘how I wonder...’.

But one of the biggest milestones we hit was venturing out into the big wide world without the pram! It was only to the Sainsbury’s round the corner but it felt like a major step taking Little A without the pram and her walking to the shop! She was such a star although she did rearrange the bottom shelves in Sainsbury’s though but I’m sure they didn’t mind!

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As she’s growing older and more aware of her surroundings, Little A, has indeed become more demanding and vocalised whether that’s through speech or via her body language of what she likes and doesn’t like.

Yes, that means we have had our fair share of tantrums too - it’s all a part of the toddler territory, I guess.

But she is the most affectionate and I just love those moments when she just wants to lay her head in my lap.


So that’s it! I could go on and on and on as I think you’ve probably already gathered. I just cannot believe that the next time I will be writing an update, it’ll be her 2 year update! 

From Law to the NHS: A Career Change

23 November 2018



Last  week marked six whole months since I embraced a major life changing decision. Six months since I had a complete 360 career change.

There is no doubt about the fact that this was one of the most difficult decisions I have ever had to make, almost everyday I am asked about it and to an extent judged at my competency as some think that I probably failed at my first choice, that’s why I had a career change - typical to judge, eh?

Nevertheless, I thought I’d write about it to put things into perspective.

I graduated with a law degree in 2014 - I never had the intention to become a barrister or a solicitor hence did not pursue a LPC and decided to stay at university and go onto do a Masters in Law which I completed in October 2015.

My goal and ambition was to become a lecturer in law from day one. After graduating with my masters, I took a step back due to personal circumstances but did carry on applying for jobs here and there.

To teach law at university level, I did not need to do the Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) but instead the Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education (PGCHE) which can only be pursued once in the sector.

However, I soon realised after speaking to someone in the field that I am not going to get anywhere without any practical experience - hence, I went onto volunteer as a A Level Law Teaching Assistant at a sixth form college which was a wonderful experience, helped to boost my confidence and was quite hands on which I loved.

The teachers there were very supportive and gave me opportunities to plan lessons and take the lead rather than just sit around and assist.

I spent a good five months there until the summer holidays. That summer I landed an interview at one of London’s top law schools for my dream job of lecturer in law. The interview itself went really well but my lack of practical experience grounded me - I’m still very proud of myself to have reached the interview stage for a job like this at only 23 years old (I wish I could put this on my CV!).

But like they say, everything happens for a reason right?

I became pregnant with Little A and decided that I need to take a break from applying jobs as this was my time to relax and of course it wouldn’t be fair on any new employer to take me on for me to go on maternity leave soon after.

When Little A approached her first birthday, I began applying for jobs. I signed up to a teaching agency and just a month before her birthday I got my first job - as a supply, not what I had planned but I needed the experience.

Working as a supply when you have a baby wasn’t the best idea. Although like now then also my Mum would take care of Little A but not knowing whether you have work the next day was just very impractical for me.

There were many times I had to turn down jobs but that’s how it was. 

One day, rummaging through Little A’s files I came across our Child Health department website and I decided to google. I signed myself up to NHS Jobs alerts, thinking to myself, I need a job so why not here? No harm in applying.

And here I am now, six months on.

I work for the Child Health department, working alongside Health Visitors and School Nurses. I don’t have face to face contact with patients but work in the background dealing with the knitty gritty details. Although, I don’t have clinical contact, I am on the phone to parents all day.

It’s been quite an eye opener, I’ve actually come to know that some people are really unappreciative of the NHS and that truly makes me sad. An example being, the amount of work, effort and time that goes into arranging one appointment is unreal and then you have parents, yes parents, saying to you that they weren’t going to come anyways, I mean come on!

But on the other hand, it really does make my day because I’ve had parents tell me how appreciative they truly are. Just last week a Dad called from Canada and he said ‘you don’t really value the NHS like you should until you have no access to it.’ Things like these make me feel proud to be a part of an organisation that makes a big difference in people’s lives.

Future career goals?

I am not going back into education or law because I’ve realised how family friendly my job actually is compared to what I wanted to do with my career previously.

Yes, it’s a 9 to 5 job but I can switch off easily when I come home and focus on myself and my daughter whereas with working in school etc it’s hard to do that when you have to bring marking home and plan lessons (done that so I can compare, I know many will disagree though!).

However, I do admit that there are moments in this job that become really difficult emotionally. When I have to deal with child deaths, I have to keep myself together which is heartbreaking. 

I remember receiving a phone call from a Mum who had just recently lost her 4 day old baby, all I wanted to was give her a tight hug but you can’t do that over the phone. Instead, I told her that I know the pain that she’s going through because I’ve lost a child too. Her reaction, ‘really?’ reminded me of myself in those terrible early days.

Nevertheless, I plan on sticking to the NHS like glue and have decided that once Little A is in full time education, I am going to pursue nursing. Since I already have a degree, I only have to do the 2 years - the reason why I’m waiting for Little A to grow up more before I take this step, in case you’re wondering, is because a nursing degree is not just taught it is also placement and during your placements you are sometimes required to do night shifts in hospitals and at the moment my night shifts are only dedicated to my little girl! 

I know people will think that I’ve let family come in the way of my career but I don’t see it like that. My priorities have changed, I am not the same person I was perhaps 5 years ago. I have always been supported greatly with whatever decision I have made and even though this was a scary decision, I am finally happy and settled and that’s all what should matter, right?

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Wow! Wasn’t that a long one? I tend to ramble on when talking about myself! So there you have it. A career change can seem scary at first but it can turn out to be the best thing ever! 

Have you ever had a career change or are planning one? Tell me all about it!




The Working Parent Hack

19 November 2018



It’s been six months since I went back to work after having Little A and I found the following tips have helped me quite a bit. Although, I’ve called this Working Parent hacks, I do think whether you’re a SAHP or work from home, you can benefit from this too.

Get everything ready the night before

I cannot stress this enough. I find myself less stressed out when I have decided our clothes for the next day and set everything up in the pram all ready for Little A. Don’t get me wrong, I do have days when I just cannot be bothered to do anything the night before.. but then I’m reminded the next morning how very peaceful life can be when it’s all done beforehand.

Chop and freeze your vegetables 

I have only just recently started to do this. I buy vegetables from the fruit and veg stall and on a whim I will chop everything up and freeze accordingly. This is useful when it comes to actually cooking for either ourselves or for Little A - I don’t spend the time chopping so things get done much quicker.

Snacks

Let’s face the facts we all dream to be the Pinterest perfect mum but sometimes our children just don’t want to play along! When homemade oaty biscuits won’t do the trick, give them Organix or whichever you’re happy with.

To Do List!

That feeling when you cross something off the list is just something else. Whether that’s on your phone or your notebook, why not make a list of things that need to get done - that way you spend less time thinking about what needs to be done and spend the time doing!

Meal Plan

I have only just recently started doing this. The husband and I cook more than enough on the weekend which helps the first half of the week and then we freeze some for a rainy day. Obviously, the meals we cook don’t last the entire week. Or even if cooking needs to be done after work, if I know beforehand, what’s on the menu then it’s easily done. Bonus tip: if you’re making chicken or mince take it out of the freezer in the morning and let it defrost naturally. By the time you’re home, it’ll be ready to be used!

Parent blogger

If you’re a Working Mum and like myself also blog on the side, sometimes it may feel quite overwhelming. Have a sit down one evening and just plan, even if it’s just titles of posts. And whenever you get an idea or an inspiration just jot it down.

When the kids are asleep, make yourself a hot drink and try to focus on your writing but first get all the chores out of the way. This way I find that I can give my posts my 100% rather than thinking that the dishes still need to be doing.

Even if you only end up just writing a line or a paragraph and not the whole thing, it’s better than nothing, right?

*~*~*


There are many more that can be added to this list which I’m sure I’ll encounter as time plods on but in the meantime do you have any hacks to share that everyone can benefit from? Please share with us below!

Day in the Life: Saturday Edition

12 November 2018

Thank you to everyone who read my previous Day in the Life of a Working Mum and encouraged me to do a weekend edition. Our Saturday and Sundays are always poles apart so today I present you...

Day in the Life - Saturday Edition

7am

The husband is already up by this time getting ready for work. I try my best to get as much lie in as possible but when it hits 7 - it’s practically impossible to keep Little A entertained whilst laying in bed so her Daddy then gets her dressed whilst I freshen up.

7:30-8am

Little A and I have our breakfast and the husband leaves for work.

8-9am 

This is usually a mix up of watching breakfast telly, attempt to make the home tip top, hoovering and washing the dishes whilst at the same time keeping Little A entertained.

9am

I make Little A’s favourite peanut butter sandwiches for her lunch and pack them away as she will need them on our way home from playgroup.

Whilst I do last minute checks that the essentials are in the pram, Little A munches away on some fruit. 

9:30am

We always try to leave home by this time as it’s a good half an hour walk to playgroup. I use to take the bus but no longer do as I feel this is a great time to get some exercise in. 

Sometimes we end up leaving a little later dependent on last minute nappy changes or just spending the time chasing Little A and convincing her that she needs to wear her coat now!

10:10am

Totally depending on what time we left home, we usually reach the centre around this time. The session runs from 10am to 12pm and includes a play session with different kind of activities inside and outside, around 11am snacks are served which sometimes Little A will happily sit at the table with the rest of the children or sometimes she just isn’t bothered and prefers to carry on playing.

11:40am

All of the toys and activities start getting packed away ready for singing and story time.

12-12:10pm

I put Little A in the pram, give her water to sip and her lunchbox. She will have her lunch in the pram on our walk home. 

I have made the mistake several times in the beginning by not giving her lunch on the go and by the time she would reach home, she’d either have fallen asleep or be too tired to eat. 

Once she finishes eating, she always has a look around then slowly begins to doze off. 

12:45pm

We reach home and Little A is well and truly fast asleep! I quietly open the door and unfasten Little A from the pram and in very slow motion style take off her jacket and shoes to scoop her up, praying she doesn’t wake up. 

I hold her tightly against my chest as that helps to keep her calm and asleep. Then I transfer her into the cot (the only time she will sleep in it!) and hope she stays asleep!

1 to 2-2:30pm

If Little A’s nap is undisturbed (sometimes I may have to stay with her if she’s not well) then this is what you can call my ‘me time’. 

The very first thing I do is have my lunch, or put it in the oven if it needs making. I then put the washing on and sit down to catch up on some telly whilst planning some blogposts (if I’m feeling the inspiration that is) - multi tasking is a must as a Mum! 

2:30pm

Usually by this time, Little A calls out to me and I bring her to the lounge and give her a snack, this would either be some fruit or her favourite Organix goodies.

2:45pm-4pm

This is one of my favourite times of the day, Little A and I just sit on the floor and I follow her lead. Sometimes she just wants a cuddle and sometimes she wants to do an activity whether that’s reading, playing with her toys, role play or sensory activities such as colour matching and so on.

4pm

Milk time! 

Little A has her cup of milk and I use this opportunity to start prepping for dinner. 

Once she has finished her milk, I try to encourage independent play so I can get on with the cooking - sometimes this is a success and at other times a major flop but that’s just life, eh?

5:30-6pm

Dinner is served! 

I then let her watch In The Night Garden as that is a must, helps to calm her down before bedtime.

6:30pm-ish

Time for a soak in the bath, Little A loves having a splash, before she didn’t like it but ever since we have added ball pit balls in the bath she loves it.

7pm

By this time she is all dried and in her pyjamas and sleeping bag, I then feed her and we have story time and I lay her down, praying she goes to sleep without any fuss. 

If the husband comes home earlier then he does story time with her and get her ready for bed but he’s home anytime between 6 to 8pm so it varies each week!

7:30pm

All being well, Little A falls asleep by this time and I use the rest of the evening to either have my dinner if I couldn’t earlier on. Clean up and do a bit of blog work or watch tv.

But there are days I just stay in bed and be lazy!

9 to 10pm

Depending on how I feel, I switch off for the day and go to sleep!

October Favourites

9 November 2018


I did quite a bit of reading in October which I’m really happy about as previously have felt myself lacking. So here are some of my favourite reads of October.


Jenny never fails to impress me with her posts and this blog couldn’t have come at a better time. It is so important to try and keep yourself organised when you’re managing a blog alongside other life necessities. I found this post very motivational and have already started implementing the advice given and have started to feel the difference within days. So if you’re struggling to keep up with your blog amongst other things then be sure to give this a read.


When you have a baby, all everyone wants to know is when the next one is popping out. Asking someone about when they’re going to have children or go onto have further children is such a personal question and quite frankly not anyone’s business. You don’t know what the couple is going through, you don’t know anything about how they feel about this so why ask? Rachael fantastically writes about her own experience as it really is enough, when will people understand?


Ever thought about yourself before someone else? Ever thought that being ‘selfish’ was a good thing? You must be thinking what on Earth is she talking about! Sometimes being selfish is the best thing you can do for yourself and this blogpost explores the many ways you can help yourself feel better if you’re having a down day.


The blogging community is never far from controversy and one of the things that’s always lingering in the air is imitation. There is no doubt that we are all inspired by one another but how far can you go with that though? Mel greatly explores this issue in her blogpost and it does make you wonder! 


I have great admiration for this girl for sharing something so personal with everyone. I am always advocating how very important it is for people to be open about their feelings and she did just that - through this post, I have no doubt that she has helped out so many people.


It doesn’t take a lot of our energy or strength to be kind and carry out an act of kindness. This post explores the importance of kindness and how we can implement it as it’s not so hard - the minimalist of things can work out be the greatest.


The lovely Bexa marked her 1 year Blogversary last month and she wrote a fabulous post treating us to great advice in the world of blogging. A must read not only because you learn a lot from this but because I admired Bexa being open about few things. As bloggers we tend to sometimes find us following the rules when in reality there are no rules as blogging should be freely the way you want too.

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What have been your favourites?
Share with me below!

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