Being Five Years Old – Part One

Five Years Old CandleSon 3 is the magical age of 5, just on the verge of turning into a miniature person with his own preferences, ideas and friendships.

Being Five there is a simple rhythm to your life, your school days are all the same, no nasty exams or tests, you just turn up and see what has been laid on for the day.  You don’t need (and can’t use a watch), your days are punctuated by play times and lunch.  At the end of the day (well, 3.30pm), you have a play date or watch TV.  These rhythmic days roll up into school terms that ebb and flow with the seasons. Birthday parties, School fairs, Sports Day.  All come and go, year after year.  Being Five you will have forgotten what the last event was like, so all these events seem fresh and exciting when they come around.

Although I had my two older sons very close together, Son 3 didn’t pop along until more than 10 years later.  Being an older (and now unemployed!) Mum, and having such a large age gap, has made this age more enjoyable and yet more poignant for me.

Short of someone appearing on Dragon’s Den with a ‘Grow Your Own Baby’ kit, I know that Son 3 is my last child. After 30 years of potential motherhood it is over for me.  I can’t remember Continue Reading →

The Illusion of ‘Choice’..

Large planet, small planet
     This weekend the press produced yet another series of articles about women leaving it too late to have children.  Apparently the Chief Medical Officer is worried that women are postponing having children or choosing not to have any at all.  I feel qualified to comment as I had children at 31, 33 and 43.  I didn’t ‘choose’ when to have any of them, they arrived with very little input from me. I only know of two friends who formally announced that they were ‘trying’ and then got pregnant in less than a year.  ‘Choosing’ when to have children is an illusion – like choosing your preferred state school 4 years later.  Usually there is no choice as such, just a set of planets in erratic orbits suddenly synchronising and producing their very own Big Bang.
       In my Twenties I announced that I didn’t want children.. Continue Reading →

Back to School

       Today my 3 sons went back to school.  They all had very different Christmas breaks and all went back in very different moods.  It made me realise just how short childhood is these days.
       Son 3 is 5 years old and in Reception year at school.  I think that there is every chance that if you analysed it, being 5 is just about as good as it gets at Christmas.  He wholeheartedly, 100% KNOWS that Father Christmas is real, and more importantly, he KNOWS that Father Christmas lives at Bocketts Farm in the week before Christmas.  He has no doubts and always gets the thing he most wants for Christmas (this year’s random request was for a toy horse – simple!).  For him the last 3 weeks have been a constant stream of family visitors, special meals, chocolate treats, cinema visits and playdates.  As always the final day of the holidays is reserved for a visit to the Dinosaurs at the Natural History Museum.  His ‘dinosaur phase’ is now in its third year and doesn’t show any signs of fading. Continue Reading →

New Year Hopes Not-Resolutions

I have never broken
a New Year’s Resolution…fact.  Truth is I have never made any to break.  Rather than give up drinking
in January, I did once pledge to drink every day for the whole month.  Something that I achieved way too easily.  However, since I am currently at what can only be described as a turning point in my life, I am allowing myself a few very simple ‘hopes’ for my new life in 2014. Continue Reading →

Don’t Underestimate the School Gate Mum

The thing I have most enjoyed about unemployment (apart from extra sleep) is having a bit of extra time just to talk to friends and to make new friends and contacts.  Conversations take a different course when you tell people you are career changing and there is a genuine outpouring of enthusiasm for your project which spurs you forward.
When I was stuck in the hamster wheel any conversation that touched on work would end abruptly after the question ‘And what do you do?’. My answer would be ‘I’m a Banker’….tumbleweed. I don’t think this was a media-driven hatred towards Bankers (although sometimes that was certainly the case), but in conversational terms it is a dead end.  Now I say ‘I’m not working as I am in the middle of a career change’. ‘Ooooh, what do you want to do?’ people say, excited for you.  After 15 minutes you have opened your heart and got to know this new person on a different level. Continue Reading →