Thursday, 29 January 2009

Redundancy. It's offical!

Well it's official the hubby is being made redundant tomorrow at 11 o'clock and what a palaver to be made redundant. He works night shift, well it's a sort of twilight shift 8pm to 4am and had to attend a meeting last Friday morning at 11 o'clock to confirm that it was most probable that his position would be made redundant, he was given a letter and told to return on Tuesday. Another night shift, another 11 o'clock meeting on Tuesday to confirm that yes he was going to be made redundant at the end of the month, that being Friday! He will carry out his final shift tonight and attend a further meeting at 11 o'clock tomorrow to have the redundancy confirmed. Three meetings all amounting to the same thing, redundancy - what's that all about!!!

Monday, 26 January 2009

Full of woe

Everyday in my life is similar, I wake up tired as a result of not going to bed early enough, I stumble through the morning routine of getting the kids to school and myself to the shop. I come home and start the afternoon routine, tidy up AGAIN, homework, dinner, bath time, bed time, more tidying, washing, hanging to dry, tea & toast & 30 mins me/TV time and back to bed. I survive, I plod and I'm sure I'm not alone.

Over the last few weeks I have been calmer, the Triple P is going well and I am enjoying my children, when they were young I appreciated every little thing they did, cherished every word they said but as they get older and more independent and grow with me it has all became a routine of who goes where and when and life is timed to suit the children and accommodate the hubby's night shift. Having started the Triple P programme it has quickly become apparent that spending time with my children is far more important than any cleaning, washing or ironing and I seem to have forgotten that for a while and now that it's been brought to the fore front of my mind I have spent time watching them play together, fight together and just staring at them, like you do when they first arrive in the world, stare in complete disbelief that one can produce such a beautiful being. I feel so much love and yet so guilty for forgetting to appreciate my children every minute of every day.

Last weeks Triple P meeting, which was cut short on account of the room being so cold and nobody being able to work the heating! was about praise, apparently after last weekends Wii ban which resulted in the kids playing nicely for hours together I should have gone up to see them and told them how happy I was that they were playing together nicely and given them loads of attention for the nice behaviour, but instead - don't tell anyone - I thought, thank God for the peace. Again I'm sure I'm not alone, everyday "I TOLD YOU TO HANG UP THE UNIFORM" I'd say and the day they hang it up, what do I say - nothing - because I expect it, I've only been asking for about a year. But now I am clear "thank you for hanging up your uniform today" I say. My son then thinks mum likes this behaviour and will repeat it, amazing and simple, complete common sense and yet rarely practised. I believe I have brought up my children well and these are just little niggley things that on the grand scale of things don't really matter but I want to give them the best possible start in their journey of life, giving them hope, aspiration and the ability to cope generally.

The next project is some time with the hubby, again we plod along and don't make time for us. We will have a few plans to make and discuss as he was advised on Friday 'it is more than likely his position in his company will be made redundant in the near future' he has been with the company for just over a year. In Sept/Oct 2007 we went through this and he managed to secure a job with this company and now we find ourselves in the same position. There is another consultation meeting tomorrow and he will find out the situation. My hubby is an electrician's mate and has been for approx 15 years, he is currently working on the Clydesdale banks carrying out refurbishments but with the current banking situation they are no longer spending money which results in the job loses in his company for anyone who has been with the company for less than two years. I am not going to worry as there is no point, but every where I turn there are job loses and it's not only on the news its all around us locally. Luckily the hubby will do anything. I am going to keep everything crossed that for some reason he will be indispensable and remain with the company.

Just when you think you're in control, emotionally stable and plodding along quite nicely some big bastard comes along and knocks you to the ground. I know what's for you won't go by you but blow me;

  1. an alcoholic father

  2. a stressed mother as a result of said alcoholic father

  3. homeless at 17 as a result again of said alcoholic father

  4. a mental sister-in-law

  5. redundancy for the hubby in 2007

  6. my Granny going through TB, pneumonia, a broken hip, dementia and latterly being buried in the wrong grave.

  7. and now more redundancy


  1. marriage and relatively happy at that

  2. two beautiful and clever children

  3. a nice average house

  4. a nice average car

  5. being self employed thanks to supportive hubby

So what's going on? I must have been bad in a previous life. I am always grateful for what I have and there are people much worse of than me and for that I count my blessings but today I feel sad and just a little bit cheated.

Tuesday, 20 January 2009

There' a new mum on the block

I have felt a less stressed person since my Gran died, not that I had to do anything latterly but I was stressed about how I'd cope with her death, stressed about how my mum was coping and would cope with her death and now that it's all over I feel an overwhelming calm, this is therefore a good time to do my Triple P programme as the kids are calmer due to my calming influence and it's a new year etc etc.

So on Friday night I sat with the kids and explained the programme was to help me to deal with 'issues' in a calm manor and there was to be no shouting from any of us, we all have to respect each other and listen and decide on consequences.

We agreed the first stage for my son was to do as he was asked, when he was asked, I would give clear instructions so that he had no doubt about what I was asking. My daughter has to stop speaking like a baby while in moaning mode and I, when asked, have to stop and see what they want to show me. I'm sure every parent does this, you're in the middle of cleaning out the bin, sweeping the floors and juggling the dinner all to a timescale and a child shouts 'come and see this mum' only to be snapped with 'I'M IN THE MIDDLE OF BLAH BLAH BLAH' and then the moment is gone and yet we expect kids when they are playing their favourite game to stop to do something boring like eat or bathe. Usually whatever they wanted to show you only takes a split second. It has to work all ways, we also agreed to listen, again usually one child gets caught shouting or arguing and they get a row only to discover that it wasn't their fault so we have agreed to take turns to justify ourselves in a clear and concise manor.

We decided consequences would be 10 minutes off TV/PlayStation/Wii/PSP/DS etc etc or sent to their rooms for 10 minutes, if it was a serious matter I'm not sure what'll happen as we are taking one stage at a time. My kids are actually thriving on this and so far, so good.

Although I have had to repeat myself over the weekend, I have done so with confidence 'I have asked you once to go and clean your teeth, I am now asking you again and if you don't there will be a consequence' and off they toddle. The most major dispute was over the Wii as my son was not winning and he doesn't like to lose, he was playing the PSP at the same time, I entered the room after hearing the commotion, allowed them to take turns to explain the situation, my son was barred from the Wii, banned for 10 minutes from the PSP and after a bit of attitude was sent to his room for 10 minutes, this was short, sharp consequence, allowing him to cool off, my daughter to continue the fun and me not having to listen to the arguing. I didn't shout once, my daughter got fed up on the Wii after 5 minutes anyway, once the 10 minutes was up I allowed my son to come downstairs, he decided he had found better things to do in his room and was then joined by his sister and they played together for ages, brilliant, I am the woman!!

It's all so obvious and yet so easy to put in place, as a result of the good behaviour, my daughter had her friend to play after school yesterday and my son has a friend today, normally I don't plan in advance because I'm too stressed and obsessed by timescales. I have also decided if I carry out one chore a day then I've done my bit and shouldn't beat myself up about the fact I didn't do that, that and that! I praise myself on achieving that one chore. On Saturday, the weather was nice and bright and I cleaned all the downstairs windows/conservatory, washed all the floors, did loads of washing and changed one bed and tidied, tidied, tidied. My friend called at 4.50pm to say she was thinking of coming over for a quick visit after dinner and I nearly put her off as I still had on my pyjamas, what? I was cleaning. But I decided after all that cleaning then she should come as life's too short to put friends off. Reluctantly I pulled on some clothes!

All I want from this course is for my children to feel safe and secure and know that they can talk to me about anything and hopefully I'm going about it in the right way.

Friday, 16 January 2009

Triple P

In desperation to have a bit of me time I have enrolled in a Positive Parenting Programme, commonly know as 'Triple P.' It is run by the local authority and runs for 6 weeks, every Wednesday night for 2 hours and it's free. It is, as the name suggests, to help you with positive parenting, therefore getting the best relationship with your children and hopes to end the majority of screaming and shouting and repeating ones self several times before screaming and shouting at ones children in order to get them to carry out a simple tasks.

The first meeting was on Wednesday and there were 5 mothers with one to start next week, it was a good size group but I couldn't help be disappointed by the lack of numbers, the programme was open to all parents at the school and I'm sure the ones who could actually do with it were insulted at the mear suggestion they may not be good positive parents. I, on the other hand, was delighted with the idea of becoming the best parent that I can be. I came home armed with a workbook, which apparently will become my bible and a questionnaire, the same questionnaire will be completed once the course has finished to see if, sorry, what the differences are!

My children are actually very good and they certainly know the difference between right and wrong, my issues are simple and brought on by my actions and now I need to rectify these issues, my issues are as follows;

My son, age 11

Lazyness - he is in Primary 7 and only this year have I decided that he should hang up or deal with his own uniform after school. Previously I would have gone upstairs with him, picked out a change of clothes and as he striped I would hang up the uniform or put it in the washing. Now he has to make these choices for himself. And yet everyday I go upstairs to close the windows and the curtains and there it is, the uniform lying over his chair and his answer 'but I left it neatly!' my response then varies depending on the time of the month but always starts with 'but I don't want you to leave it over the chair rant rant rave blah blah BLAH' If it does make it to the washing basket everything is left in a ball as he took it off, he only does this when he can't be bother to hang the clothes up, 9 times out of 10 they're not even dirty. But is there a conscequence for this lazyness, apart from the ranting NO, so what clear message am I giving my son? The message is it's fine to leave your clothes on the chair because the ranting will start, be over in 3 minutes and then the women will do it herself anyway!! So this is our first rule to sort out and I have to give clear instructions, with specific timescales and a conscequence if the action/rule is not carried out. AND I MUST NOT SHOUT. This does apply to other things, I'm not just obsessed by the hanging up of the uniform you know.

I now have to decided on a realistic conscequence. Short, sharp, conscequences are the thing, such as the TV going off for 10 minutes! Grounding for the rest of his life is not the answer.

My daughter - age 9

Whinging & talking like a 3 year old while answering back - my daughter doesn't take the hint in public, you know the huge wide piercing eye one that all mothers have the ability to do, my son will stop immediately, but my daughter she carries on regardless, touching, arguing, I trying saying her name sternly, through gritted teeth and she goes on and on in a high pitched 3 year old tone, not that she behaved like that when she was 3, I think I had control then. This then results in her being put back in the car or taken to a quite corner of the shopping centre and once more I find myself ranting 'I'm sick of this behavour, you're behaving like a baby, I can't take you anywhere blah blah BLAH.' And again is there a conscequence, NO, gone are the days where children are afraid of their parents and I mean in a respectful way.

I would have been frightened of getting a row from my mum as it upset me, it seems now I am so used to ranting like a mad women that the kids pay no attention.

So the plan is to sit the kids down and explain the new rules and what I expect from them and likewise what they expect from me, we will agree the conscequences together and take it from there. No ranting, no mad woman, only conscequences.

Sounds like the perfect positive household.....

We'll see how long it lasts!

PS. I have just noticed this is my 100th post - yeah me!

Does any one else watch The suite life of Zack & Cody or is it just me that's sad enough to use children's TV characters phrases?? If you don't watch it, don't worry you don't need to know what I'm talking about.