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Tuesday, 31 January 2012

KIT day 2...

I had high hopes for my second 'keeping in touch' day at work. If anything in the interim period between days 1 and 2, they had been in touch more than ever.

You can read about the success of day one below. I actually remembered what i had loved about work after that day...

It wasn't pretty this time. There were tears, tantrums and general unhappiness. What a contrast to the first day!

Next time I don't think I will take part in any KIT days...I'm going to be back at work soon enough and now I'm dreading it even more!

Not a success and still i didn't get to use any of my carefully packed things!!

The bane of big foot...

I have big feet. I'm not ashamed. There is nothing i can do about it. Its the way it is. Ive always worried about what people will think when they find out that i am not dainty footed...its been a big concern of my life.

It was bound to happen you see. My mother and father both have larger feet. I was bound to have them too. Personally, I think it helps my balance.

My problem is that manufacturers dont seem to want to cater for the bigger footed one. They seem to want to limit the sizes of the shoes they are able to offer. Why?! Surely they would be more easily seen on the larger foot?

I understand they may be prescious about their designs...but whats an inch or two more (ahem).

The alternative I suppose is a life of being bare foot. Not ideal really. Although one lady I read about has adopted a policy of never wearing shoes. She has opted to bare her soles, literally, for the last 12 months. She hasnt suffered too many adverese effects, save for the odd deposit made by our doggy friends. (this is why i would not cope with it one bit).

The issue though is choice.She has chosen to go bare foot. i have not.This would never be a choice i would make.I'm precious about my feet. I want them covered and protected not exposed to the elements!

I want to walk into a shoe shop and be able to try on any pairs that take my fancy. I want a closet full of pretty, shiny, hardly worn shoes.

So what to do?

There are more shoes available now than when i was younger.
At least now they dont promote the use of wide slippers in a velour material with a velcro strap for anyone over a size 7. They really were not practical and certainly not fashionable for a 15 year old girl.

Ill just have to keep looking and hoping. In the meantime I'm going to be proud of my big feet. They work hard everyday. Without them I would be lost.

Oh well i suppose its just how things are. Im sure ill cope one way or another. If not i could always go back to nature....

Sunday, 22 January 2012

Gender denied...

This article is my opinion on a story featured in the Daily Mirror. It is in no part a judgement on the actions of others. i firmly believe that each should be able to do their own. That said, i believe that if you sell your story to a newspaper then you leave yourself open to comment.  In no way do i urge you to agree with my opinions neither in this article nor any other.

Just to clarify like....

Gender specifics...
Is it right to deny your child knowledge of their gender?
Well that's exactly what a couple,  featured yesterday morning  in the press,  did for 5 years. They shielded their child from the knowledge of his gender, choosing instead to raise him as  gender neutral. It was only when the child had to be registered for primary school that it was revealed that he is a boy.  Had they not had to reveal his gender at that stage it is suggested that they would have continued as they were.
It raised some interesting questions for me.
Can anyone truly be gender neutral ?  Surely gender is deeper than what toys you play with and what clothes you wear? Surely it is about human nature. It runs through most living organisms and assists their role in the procreation of themselves and of other species.
What will happen when he goes to school? He currently wears a uniform made up of male and female articles. How long will he be happy to do that? In the paper there is an image of him dressed in a fairy outfit and sporting a short boy like outfit. Wont that image come back to haunt him in years to come?
Children are resilient creatures but they can also be cruel. They look for any slight differences which make others stand out and use them as a weapon. They tease and laugh and this can have a big effect on a child’s life and happiness.
The first few formative years are the ones that stay with a child. Is it wrong to deny them their true identity? Surely it contributes to their personality not takes away from it?
Personally I think that it is selfish to want your child to defy boundaries which you think are in place in society. These Are boundaries which your child as no knowledge. I can’t help but feel that you are taking away a protective shield and opening them up to questioning, hardness and even bullying. Shouldn’t children just be allowed to be children and enjoy a child hood without having to defy/battle/challenge parent imposed beliefs?
 I think that in some way you would be suggesting to them that you are concerned with who they really are. That you are ashamed. Parents may think that this won’t happen. They think that they will have instilled enough security in their child so that this will be avoided. It won’t be. Maybe for the here and now it won’t be an issue. He’s young, probably won’t understand fully. The problem is that young minds grow and crave answers. At that point I'm not so sure that he will like the inevitable responses.
The biggest problem they have is that they went to the press. They put the difference out there. For anyone to access. They haven’t shielded him at all from bullies or even the public and that's a very dangerous position in which to place your child.
My concern is who they are doing this for. If a child decides themselves to take a certain course of action then that's fine; its their decision. If you impose your ideas on them then surely you are doing it for yourself? Of course people think they do it for their child. They do it almost to be different.
Ultimately I believe each to their own and I fully support the right to a private family life. The thing is that they are quoted in the papers and are clearly happy to publicise their decision and with that I have a major problem. I only hope that their son is understanding of their reasons when he is able to find out information about what they did in due course.
If not then they could have sacrificed a lot for what appears to be a personal social experiment. He has no siblings with whom he can share the load and burden of their decision. Not even his parents are gender neutral.  Perhaps if they were so believing of their cause, they would practice what they preach?
The mother is quoted in the Daily Mirror as saying “I just want him to fulfil his potential and I wouldn’t push him in any direction”. Gender though isn’t a direction; its a fact of life. It doesn’t need to define you. It doesn’t limit your potential either. I'm sure that not being in the knowledge of your own gender could be pretty limiting though, even for a small child.

Saturday, 21 January 2012

Mothers ruin...

I make it clear at the start of this blog that I am in no way promoting the use of alcohol. In fact it is the opposite as you will see... At all times i advocate the safe and responsible us of alcohol. Believe me I have seen the negative and devastating effects alcohol can have when used inappropriately.

This article is about the change in perception of nights out involving alcohol once you become a mother. It is yet another example of how everything in your life changes after the birth of your child.

That is all. It is certainly not a promotion of alcohol over indulgence.
It’s funny how before the baby, alcohol seemed to fit seamlessly into my life. It wasn’t something I thought about. It was just there, at functions, parties, nights out and even at home after a hard day at work.
Now however it  is entirely different. In order to enjoy a few glasses of wine it is necessary to employ military tactics. There is a lot of planning.
Finding a night suitable for a baby sitter, alone takes its time. Then there is the thought of what to drink? Nothing too strong (that just leads to embarrassment) and nothing too disgustingly cheap. Ill settle for a bottle of sparkly wine.
I have to admit this is not something I would have even considered before the baby. I would have gone for a very dry white wine chilled and possibly with ice cubes. Now I just don’t have the tolerance for that.
After a mere 9 months of not drinking, it is as though I've never drunk before. I feel like a 16 year old about to embark on their first house party armed with a bottle of cheap cider which could have been stolen from a tramp.  My days of drinking with sophistication are kaput.
Now should I drink anything above about 6% then one of two things happen:
The first is that I likely fall asleep. I kid you not. This can happen anywhere. Tiredness takes over and I'm gone. I know it happened a few weeks ago....in a bar....usually though that happens at home and isn’t too bad. At least you can laugh it off. At home you don’t even need to do that.
I can now fall asleep after only a few sips of wine. It’s like my body sees it as a cue to relax and I'm gone. 
This is the better of the options.
The second option is not necessarily one which is well remembered at least not by me. It usually involves falling over, shouting, hysterics and accusations. In short; its not pretty.
This normally happens in public to add to the humiliation... I mean what is the point of such histrionic dramatisation in the comfort of your own home? It is ugly. Very ugly.
It’s the kind of behaviour that means you have to make a lot of calls the following day (which with a stonker of a hangover is not pleasant) and offer profuse apologies and promises of never drinking again.  It really does take me back to being 16...
It’s not just the effects which seem to be different either. I swear that my ‘palate’ has changed. I can no longer stomach dry wine, instead preferring once shunned sweeter varieties. Red wine is just a no go.
This annoys me as it took a lot of wine swilling to build up a taste for different types of vino and now its just gone!  I'm not saying I used to be a connoisseur but at least I wasn’t tempted  into the alcopop aisle previously!
The sad truth is that like many things, drinking will never be the same as it was before. I cant imagine spending lots of money on a ‘big night out’ when I have nappies and baby clothes to buy. I can no longer handle hangovers which seem to linger for days and quite frankly don’t enjoy the prospect of looking like a mess.
That's not to say I'm becoming tee total.... I can still enjoy the odd glass of pinot (or some other sparkly alternative) just not like before....
Guess I'm getting old.... or growing up...

First day...

New girl...
Yesterday I felt like a new girl. I went back to work for a ‘keeping in touch day’. This is funny really because I haven’t been out of touch with them since I started my leave but anyway...
Id arranged it in advance. I didn’t want to go but I knew it would be like pulling off a plaster. This way at least I was eased back in. The theory was that this would be easier. I could catch up with my colleagues, find out what was going on in my department and generally scope out recent office gossip (this is vital to the workings of an office as it motivates everyone to be on their best behaviour lest they should become the topic of coffee breaks). All in all it should be a rather productive day.
The night before I couldn’t sleep. It felt like Sunday evening all day.
 I played over and over the thought of going into the office in my mind. I hated the thought of leaving the baby (although she was in the trusted hands of my partner, her father). I worried that they wouldn’t like me anymore (my colleagues, not partner and baby),  that I wouldn’t like the job (more than likely I felt), that I might cry and beg to be sent home (statistically the most likely to occur, so this was a rationale worry).  
As I've said, I'm a natural born worrier. The prospect of a day in the office gave me a multitude of new worries to mull over well In advance of the big day.  Long nights give a worrier all the time in the world to play out worries over and over again. I'm prone to insomnia and always feel that if I could use the night time better,  then I would be one of the most productive people on the planet.  I can’t so I won’t worry about that...
After what felt like about 10 minutes of sleep I got up and showered. I kind of enjoyed the fact that I could dedicate time to my morning regime as I was now the ‘worker’. Well for the day at least...
Then I trawled through my wardrobe. This was probably a task which would have been better undertaken in advance.  How depressing. Not a good start...
For some reason I had assumed that;
1.       All of my clothes would look uber trendy. Even though they didn’t before. I credited the wardrobe elves with having given my clothes some kind of makeover. They hadn’t visited me which was surprising.
2.       All of my clothes would fit perfectly and transform me from mother to LA law in a instant.  
3.       They would all look brand new.  All previous defects would be mended miraculously. There would be no bobbling, no ladders, no scuffs...
4.       I would be spoiled for choice with an array of office suitable outfits.
As you have probably guessed, none of this happened. I had a selection of one dress out of the ‘items that still fit’ pile. Great. It’s certainly not an LA Law type dress either. If I'm honest it’s a tad too short for work. Now I have to add ‘remember not to bend’ , to my ever growing list of worries...
Anyway outfit done I packed my lunch, my laptop and about 300 other things that I don’t feel I could do without and haul them into the car. This is what I thought I may need and took in with me;
1.       Laptop (I did unpack this but didn’t use it...so probably could have stayed at home...)
2.       Kindle (totally not needed. Didn’t leave my bag for fear of theft)
3.       Full make up bag (forgot I had even packed this)
4.       Phone chargers for both my phones (not needed as I had carefully charged them both over night)
5.       MP3 Player (no idea why...didn’t leave the bag)
6.       Diary (I have one at work anyway. I also know that by the middle of next week this will be discarded/lost/forgotten and so there is no point in putting important stuff in it.)
7.       4 cup a soups (I wouldn’t need this many on a hike – I drank none of these)
8.       2 rolls, half a cucumber (chopped), cherry tomatoes, pretzels, a bagel, cream cheese and a pack of instant noodles. ( I didn’t even open my lunch box once. All this food came back with me. I packed so much because I didn’t feel I could choose what to eat in advance....) (I think I was also catering subconsciously for the baby)
9.       A spare set of headphones for the MP3 (see above)
10.   A Dictaphone (not used and the only thing I felt same enough leaving in my desk for my full return)
11.   A magazine (well the kindle clearly didn’t contain enough reading material...)
There were also other sundry items which are too mundane to list. You can see though that I was packed for a mini break not a day in the office. No way would I use all of that stuff. The problem is that I would at home and I thought I would feel lost without it. All I achieved through taking it all in with me was the fear that someone would break into my office and steal my bag. Adding to my worries.
I thought that at lunch I would sit and read my Kindle, maybe listen to the MP3. As it happened a friend came and took me out for lunch. This voided the need for those two items and all of the food I had meticulously packed. Much nicer though!
I got home in record time and felt excited about the day that had just been. I slept well that night that's for sure.
The day went pretty well all in all. I caught up with my colleagues, re-familiarised myself with the surroundings and stalked around my office like the good old days. I enjoyed it. But I did miss my baby. I wondered all day whether she missed me too.
That was answered when I got home to her big smiles and saw the excitement all over her face. I love my girl.
I know now that she will be ok if I leave her for the day to go to work. I wish I didn’t have to but sometimes life just gets in the way of our plans. One day I hope to be able to stay at home with her more but for now this is just the way it is. She will be fine. So will I. I just need to pack more sensibly next time....



Question time...

Questions, questions, questions....
I often ask questions that I don’t really want to know the answer to. This is usually because I already know the answer but some strange morbid curiosity makes me want to hear it said out loud. I do this time and time again. The thing is that all would be ok if I could just let it go. I cant. I worry and that's when the trouble starts.
Usually the question and foreboding answer will involve a topic which will make me feel innately bad, either about myself, a situation or the other person. No good comes from this type of question.
Law school training includes learning that you should never ask a question without knowing the answer...
So why would I need to hear it said? Is it that I have some sadomasochistic tendency towards self anguish? Or is it just that I crave the truth? The problem with the latter is that when you have the truth then you have to deal with the consequences and sometimes that is not an easy task. Is ignorance bliss in this situation?
Well no probably not. With most things I believe that you should believe your gut instinct. That somewhere deep inside, you usually know the truth. Perhaps therefore it is your subconscious that pushes you to ask the question and obtain an answer. That way it becomes part of your conscious thought and you can deal with it.  That way you don’t bury your head in the sand and wait for the storm to build and build until it erupts out of all control.
Largely I think that pride makes me push for am answer.  I'm like a woman possessed. All my cross examination training comes into play and like a dog with a bone I'm going in for the kill.
Anyway, I'm sure this is something not individual to me. I've been on the receiving end of this style interrogation. I've known that the answer would cause more damage than good. I suppose that is what happens generally. Often answers are hidden for the ‘greater good’ that is that you simply want to protect those around you and not that you are seeking to deceive them.
And maybe that is a good thing. Because let’s be honest, life can be tough and sometimes we all just need a security blanket to wrap around ourselves and our own little world....

Monday, 16 January 2012

Social networking again...

Since my last post I must confess that I have now added tumblr to my collection of networking sites. No one else I know is even on there I don't think....not very social you may muse....

Anyway should you want to follow me on there or check out my profile it's http://legalmum.tumblr.com

I have of course added the obligatory phone app to enable easy access in the queue at morrisons....it's vital you see...

I'm still not admitting any addiction really I'm not.

On another note a quick mention about deleting people. Don't get me wrong I thrive on a good delete and block session I really do. What I hate is when it happens to me.

I've recently been deleted and unfollowed by a girl I used to work with. Let it go you may say. Well I can't. I just don't know what I did to make her not want to be my cyber mate any longer...

Maybe a reason for deletion should be introduced??!

Oh well it's her that's missing the bite size status/tweet wit.....or maybe that was the problem....

Anyway as I'm sat in my car at the aforementioned superstore typing this blog on an also aforementioned obligatory phone app, I better go and get my daughters tea (by that I mean buy it not make it)

Tara for now!