Friday, 25 April 2014

Happy Birthday Dear Boob Group.....

As I fast approach my own birthday I was privileged to be invited to a very important celebration, a second birthday party.  Birthday parties for two year olds are of course generally thrilling events, attempting to control your sugar-rushed, hyped-up children, but this was a different affair.  This was celebrating two whole years of Deal Breastfeeding Support Group

At the event I rubbed shoulders with local MP Charlie Elphicke.  Shame that he didn't choose my baby for the obligatory 'MP and baby' photo, probably since mine was covered in mushed up hot cross bun.

The raffle (which I forgot to enter, sorry!) had some amazing prizes, including a cut and style at Men's style, and wine.  All this contributed to the day's fundraising which totalled £91!

I know I talk about the group a lot.  But I really do believe in them.  They provide such amazing support for mum's as well as raising awareness within the community.  The work they have done in two years makes me very excited about what is to come. 

The group chose this event to announce their education programme.  They are sponsoring 10 places for mums to train as 'Mother Supporters' with the Association of Breastfeeding Mothers.  I underwent this training about six months ago.  It was intense but interesting and rewarding.  It has enabled me to give back a little of the support I received.  But aside from that the course gives you more understanding of your own journey.  For the Deal community, this opportunity can only help in the sea change of breastfeeding awareness. 

'People give one another things that can't be giftwrapped' Nadine Gordiner

Anyway,  Happy Birthday DBSG and many happy returns xxx

Monday, 14 April 2014

Sorry I haven't been blogging.. (Or 'the trials of teaching')

I have been a bit absent from this blog lately.  I have been working on some exciting writing projects and of course enjoying time with my kids, but mostly I have just been snowed at work. You see, I'm a teacher. Yeah I know 'that's great, you get to spend the holidays with your kids' and 'so you finish at 3.20, that's so lucky.'  Well, that is true, but it's not quite so simple.

Yes I finish at 3.20. I jump straight in the car and drive home so I can maximise my time with my kids.  This is something that I feel fortunate about. But I don't drive alone. I am accompanied by books or paperwork.  In fact I spend around 1.5 hours working on 4 nights a week.  I'm not full time, I only work two and a half days a week.  If I didn't have the kids I would stay at work till 5 or 6 to get the job done, but I would rather see the kids.  I know that's my choice, but it means that when the kids are bathed and storied up, and I have gone snoozy from breastfeeding, I descend the stairs and get the books out. Not exactly first on my list of things I would like to do in the evening.  When you consider that I arrive at work at 8, I have already worked a 7.5 hour day, so add it all up and it starts to make me feel even more worn out. 

And the holidays?  Well, yes they are great. But teachers work in the holidays. Sure we also relax, but you know what, I am burnt out by then and I need the break. But the joy I used to get from a bit of a rest in the holidays along with a few days of hard graft to get myself caught up is tempered somewhat.  I have to look after the kids, so there again I have to work in the evenings, or when I can get somebody to watch the kids.  And resting? Well any parent knows that is rare. 

I don't mean to complain.  I consider myself lucky. I have a great job. I am lucky that i have more flexibility in my work than most working mums. I am passionate about teaching and really happy in what I do. It's fun, creative, rewarding, busy and the students are just great....But teaching is a real slog. I don't take breaks now that I don't express at work. I work any chance I get at home so that I can keep on top of things. So while I have the benefits of choosing when I work a little bit, I suffer from an industry where a great deal of 'overtime' is necessary. 

What is my point....I'm not entirely sure. If you are a parent and thinking of being a teacher, it's not all rosy. If you know a teacher, be nice to them. Being a working mum of any profession isn't easy, and being a teacher is certainly not as easy as public perception would make you believe. Also, I promise I will blog more now that the heavy marking season is over xxx