Why Wrinkle Wrinkle Little Star?

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Kindly people often tell me that I should change the name of my blog. That the ‘wrinkle wrinkle’ bit is unjustified. Of course, I do the whole ‘Aww, thank you. You’re too sweet.’ thing, but the name is sticking for a reason, well, a few reasons actually. Let me explain…

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Wrinkles at Thirty

I’m not blind to the fact that I am actually quite wrinkly. It doesn’t bother me, most of the time. I have a deep ‘lion wrinkle’ on my forehead as a result of having eye issues and sight-saving surgery a few years back. At the end of the day I’m thankful for that wrinkle and what it represents. My eyes crinkle when I smile, and I have saggy creases round my cheek and chin(s) too. I think it’s a hereditary thing from my dad’s side of the family and it’s not something that overly bothers me really.

Parenting Blogger

Wrinkle Wrinkle Little Star is also a play on words for the popular nursery rhyme Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, but I’m guessing you’d figured that out.

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Older Mum

I was pregnant with my first (and so far only) child at 34 and gave birth at 35, which by NHS standards makes me an older (and ‘high risk’) mother! I knew this and even read a few books on the topic prior to conceiving. Fortunately, it was never really mentioned during my pregnancy journey and it was only once I’d popped baby out that I was reminded of my ‘older mum’ status.

The first instance was just before I was due to be discharged from the maternity ward. The midwife was sorting my paperwork and looking into what drugs I would need on discharge when she mentioned something about an injection I would need to do at home. Up until this point this had never been mentioned so I queried it. It turns out you’re rated on a scale to see how likely it is that you may develop Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) post-delivery, if you’re high risk you have the enviable joy of injecting yourself just a few days after having a small human removed from your insides – such fun!Β  Fortunately, I was ‘OK’ as, as the midwife put it, ‘The only area you scored highly on was being an older mother.’ Charming…

A few days later I was to meet a similar reminder from a community midwife who popped in at the height of the baby blues. Anyone who has had a baby will be only too aware of that day when you just can’t stop crying, but you have absolutely no idea why… Unfortunately mine coincided with the decision to start combination feeding, so my post-partum meltdown was extreme to say the least. Through tears I explained how I felt like a failure for having to use formula (I’ll go into my breastfeeding story in a future post). The midwife first reassured me that it was fine, that they didn’t care how the baby was fed so long as it was fed (slightly contradictory advice to all of their ante-natal advice, but hey ho, that’s for another day too). She then explained that ‘older mothers’ often found having a baby more difficult than younger mum’s as older mother’s are used to having more control over their lives. Now, there is a sentiment of truth in this, especially for a control freak like me, but it is also a gross generalisation and certainly not what a hormonal post-partum woman who is in tears and trying to deal with leaky sore bosoms whilst figuring out how to use the damn steriliser needs to hear.

Since then I’ve had ample reminders. Certain baby groups are full of mother’s so young they’re barely out of Pampers themselves. Nothing wrong with that, of course, but it can make socialising a little more challenging. Thankfully I have lots of mum friends, who although don’t fall into the official realms of ‘older mum’ territory are old enough to understand my references to late 80s and 90s popular culture, although our memories of children’s TV from ‘our era’ can vary massively.

One dad at soft play, who was frankly a bit creepy, seemed astonished when I told him Elliott was my first and that I would like to have more someday. He actually said ‘Really..?’ with a look on his face that said, ‘well you’d better hurry up chuck’. I should probably point out that he was with the mother of his children and I was talking to both of them, this wasn’t some random man offering to impregnate me in the middle of a ball pit in Brierley Hill. Eugh!

The media has few ‘older mum’ role models. YouTube has a few beauties. The brilliant Brummy Mummy of Two being one of them, although her channel name would suggest that her baby making days are over. Ruth Crilly of The Uphill is another good ‘un. But, certainly, when I first got pregnant and looked for pregnancy announcements and trimester updates on the web I was greeted with a host of fresh-faced twenty-somethings who I just couldn’t relate to.

I found this telling quote in Right Time Baby (a book I read before we started trying for Elliott), it says:

For most of us a sense of urgency kicks in around 35 – the age when Carrie in Sex and the City claims she is ‘officially old’.

The book goes on to say…

There’s a scene in Friends where Rachel dumps her boyfriend at her 30th birthday party. She announces she wants to have a baby by 35, and calculates that she should already be with the guy she’s going to marry if she wants this five-year plan to work.

So, that’s ‘my thing’, my USP, the reason behind my blog name. I’m an older mum. Sometimes it bothers me, most of the time I don’t even think about it. There are some plus points and disadvantages to being the ‘wrong side of 30’ but that’s for another time. In the meantime I’m happy to be a face for us ‘geriatric mum’s’ out there, wrinkles and all!

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Thanks for reading x

To YouTube, or Not to YouTube?

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I have so many ideas whizzing around my mind at the moment. So many videos I want to film. So many times I want to pick up the camera and vlog. So much content I’d like to add to social media. So many blog posts I want to type. So much everything… and it’s just not happening at the minute and it’s really frustrating.

It’s partly a time issue, with work, motherhood, socialising, eBaying everything that isn’t nailed down, housework, grocery shopping, sleeping, eating and drinking cold coffee there aren’t always that many hours left in the day. It’s also partly due to the fact that I tend to change into my PJs at the earliest available opportunity of walking through the door and end up in a messy haired, make-up smooshed all over my face state which isn’t really suitable for gracing a laptop screen near you any time soon.

I have two books next to me, that I wanted to make a video about. A video which explains the concept of Wrinkle Wrinkle Little Star, but I just can’t get my head around when to film it and I’m wondering if I should just do a blog post and be done with it instead?!

I tell you what, I’ll aim to film it tomorrow… but, while I’m here – in my PJs, mascara smeared down my face – I’m going to write a blog post on the topic and keep it in drafts – just in case the lure of my PJs is just too strong when I walk through the door tomorrow.

 

Don’t tell me how to feel

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Today I should be going to see Robbie Williams perform in Coventry. I excitedly purchased the tickets months ago, it may have even been last year, I really can’t remember.

In my mind the concert would be on a hot June day. We would drop Elliott off at nursery and let him know that Nanny would be picking him up that evening and he would excitedly wait for her to come and collect him. Mr H and I would head off in the car and join the daft queue to get near the front, I might even force him to do the silly run as soon as we’re through the gates, like I did at Wembley last time. We would sing and dance our hearts out, the setting sun glinting off our smiling faces. We might drink beer. We might sob during Angels (there’s no might about that, of course!). We would then return home to find my mom watching her soaps on TV and Elliott tucked up in bed.

First up, we’re perhaps not where we want to be in terms of childcare at the moment. My mom has looked after Elliott for short bursts when we’ve been out for dinner, or if I’ve had to attend a meeting during the week, but not for a long stint and she’s certainly never picked him up from nursery. So that was one warning light for us to be cautious about attending.

Then came Manchester. The horrific bomb explosion at the Ariana Grande concert. At first it didn’t put me off. ‘Dunkirk spirit’, ‘We must stand up to them’ and all that shizz. Then the threat level got raised to critical, there were police everywhere, even on trains. I don’t recall there being police on trains after 7/7. This seemed different. This seemed worse. And if the actual terrorists weren’t bad enough there were nutters and copycats using the Manchester event as an opportunity to let off fireworks, run amok with knives and just cause general havoc.

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I started to feel uneasy about attending. I had never been like this before. I had always been of the persuasion that if you change your way of life – they win and I still stand by that, even though, at the moment, I can’t walk the walk. I lived in London for a year and faced frequent evacuations of train and tube stations (although life seemed less sinister back then), I vaguely remember being evacuated from New Street Station in Birmingham a few times in the 1980s when people suspected the IRA of planting bombs. I’d visited London a couple of weeks after 7/7 and not batted an eye-lid, other than to show my respects to those who unforgivably lost their lives. I’ve visited Sri Lanka, fallen asleep in the back of our transfer taxi and been woken up by the sight of man starring in at me whilst holding a machine gun. By no means am I a wuss, or one to hide from potential danger.

I spoke to Mr H about it and he was the same, although he was never going to be as invested in attending a Robbie Williams concert as me, so may have been looking for a get-out opportunity anyway. But, for me, I’ve been to every Robbie tour since Knebworth, before that in fact. I buy all of his albums on the day of release on CD. It’s the only physical CD I ever actually purchase now.

So, here I was a crazy mad Robbie Williams fan, who showed no fear in the face of previous threats, bottling it and considering selling my tickets. What had happened to me? I took to social media – some people were having the same thoughts – others told me not to live in fear. I noticed a correlation. All the people who were scared to go had kids. And that’s what it was for me. Whilst I wanted to stand up to those pesky terrorists (I prefer to refer to them as patheticists) I didn’t want to do that at the expense of my son. My son who I love. My son who, if something did happen to me and his daddy would be kinda screwed being as no one other than nursery has looked after him for more than a few hours. Sure, it was unlikely that something would happen, But what if it did? One girl helpfully reminded me that I could walk out of my house and have a tree hit me on the head and kill me. Sure, yes, I could and if that’s natures plan for me then so be it. But a fake headline of ‘Mother killed at concert that she didn’t really need to go to’ just kept flashing into my mind and I knew that for me, if anything did happen, I would feel so selfish (if I, in fact, had enough life in me to feel anything).

A lot of people tried to correct me. ‘Tree girl’ and some others. You shouldn’t live in fear, you should go they said. Sometimes their demands were so strong I almost felt like I was being told off by strangers on the internet. I asked them to respect my wishes and I still stand by that. Different things affect different people in different ways. Sticking two fingers up to the patheticists and going to a gig might feel right for some people. Taking flowers to a memorial might work for someone else. For me, it’s protecting those closest to me. Everyone should be allowed to deal with these events in their own way.

So, today, someone from Walsall will be taking my place at the Robbie concert. I’m sure they will have a great time. I’m not even upset that I’m missing out on the concert as I’m off to the seaside with Mr H and Elliott. These recent events certainly make you realise who and what are important to you.

P.S. Don’t even get me started on Ticketmaster’s shoddy customer service!

Diary: Cr*p Friend – 12th June 2017

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Today’s plans involved heading into town to pick up some bits and meeting friends for soft play. Neither of which were great successes.

Our trip into town was delayed, partly because I was that kind of tired where your brain isn’t working properly this morning, which meant breakfast seemed to take forever to prepare; partly because Elliott flat refused to wear the shoes I put on him as for some reason he doesn’t believe they belong to him (!) and partly because Elliott then decided he wanted to walk into town which kind of slowed things down.

I did manage to get to the Post Office, Waitrose and Home Bargains before heading to soft play though, so at least that was a few things ticked off the list.

Soft play was fun. However, catching up with my friend was nigh on impossible. We literally could only keep our little ones in the same area for about two minutes, so we stole snatches of the briefest of brief conversations. I also totally forgot to give her her little girls birthday gift. I took it along and everything and it was only when I got home and found it in the bottom of the buggy that I remembered. I felt awful when I saw it. Elliott loved dashing around and playing in the ball pits. I can’t tell if he lacks a bit of confidence, or just enjoys the novelty of me playing with him but he does like to keep me close by at all times. Kindly he let me know when he was ready to go by walking over to his buggy and picking up his shoes.

Elliott’s nap time was my #mumboss time and it’s been a productive day indeed. A cheque came through from a project I completed a few weeks back, I’ve had interest in some freelance articles and I managed to get a pay out from some online survey sites. Plus, I actually got around to recording and uploading a little life update video.

After lunch we headed back into town for part two of our shopping expedition. I paid my cheque into the bank, got Elliott a stand-by toothbrush from Wilko (I always have to keep one in stock as he chomps on them so badly) and then headed to Tesco.

So a kind of successful and unsuccessful day rolled into one.

Diary: Being a #MumBoss on eBay – 11th June 2017

Today has been pretty boring. In my bid to become a #mumboss I have decided that Sunday’s are a ‘work day’ for me whilst Mr H looks after Elliott. I’m currently hidden away in our bedroom and can hear the two monkeys squealing with fun in the living room. Sob! The only consolation is that I get a full day of fun with Elliott tomorrow, followed by two full days of fun with Elliott and Mr H on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Today has mostly been about eBaying. There’s been a few pitches thrown in, but it has mostly been eBay based. There’s very little that I can say about eBay that will be interesting, so here’s a video of everything I listed today instead. If you want to purchase anything I’m 6662samantha over on the land of eBay.

Elliott went swimming this morning and really enjoyed it again. I was having a chat with him about it when he got back. So cute!

Diary: No one told me about ‘Mummy Thumb’ – 7th May 2017

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I’ve been experiencing pain in my thumb for a few weeks now. I suspected that it was from picking Elliott up and trying to grasp hold of him as he wiggles about. What I didn’t suspect is that this is common ailment for mum’s of little ones, called DeQuervain’s tenosynovitis (or ‘Mummy Thumb’ to give it it’s cutesy name). By no means is my thumb pain debilitating, but not knowing what it was (and Dr Google not providing any answers) I decided to make an appointment with our Occupational Nurse at work who diagnosed it straight away. I found a really useful guide to it online, it you want to take a look. Whoever even knew ‘Mummy Thumb’ was a thing?

Of course, trying to rest the thumb is part of the recovery plan so I’ve been trying not to pick Elliott up this evening, which is much easier said than done…

Elliott had a lovely day at nursery today. He and one of his friends were role play spoon feeding each other, so cute! He was also commended for his kindness as apparently he’s always making sure the little ones in the room are OK and patting them on the back to comfort them. Proud mummy moment, or what?! There was also a rather hilarious conversation between him and one of the practitioners which resulted in Elliott saying he was going to wipe Daddy’s bum! How funny!

Diary: Operation #MumBoss – 6th June 2017

Operation #MumBoss is officially underway and I have to say it’s as exciting as it is exhausting. Last night I was up until 12:30am pitching articles to magazines and looking out images, my alarm then went off at 5:45am this morning. Needless to say countless cups of coffee have been consumed today.

Part of me feels like ‘calm down woman’, but another part of me is powering me on. I’m already starting to see some results from the work I’ve put in so far and, after all, nothing comes for free in this life so, for the time being at least, it’s all about burning the midnight oil and taking out shares in Nescafe!

My new #mumboss plans are one of the reasons that this blog has been so ignored of late. I’m hoping to incorporate the blog into my bigger plan, but at the moment I have to focus on some quick wins to start getting some extra income in. And on that note I will bid you farewell and start planning out my money making activities for tomorrow.