Thursday, 28 December 2017

Life | On Friendships After Kids

They say if a friendship lasts seven years it lasts forever. I'm not entirely sure who 'they' are but I like it. I have three best friends, my coven, and they have all been in my life for over seven years now - lucky witches!

I've known Emma since we were in pre-school and even though I left that school, we still saw each other once a year at a mutual friend's birthday party. Then when we started secondary school we were placed in the same form and have been best friends ever since. I think that's called serendipity.

Grace and I started a beautiful friendship during Year 10 Science class where we would constantly belt out Busted and Blink 182 song. Finally, when we hit drinking age we'd head out to our local rock club where we would neck 2-4-1 bevs and dance to loads of pop punk. She's since grown out of her emo phase but I liked her so I kept her around. 

I don't know how I became friends with Lauren but we would spend summers at the beach or nights in her attic gossiping, playing some Harry Potter board game or winding up boys on MSN. Remember MSN? God, I'm old! Again, we became good drinking buddies spending our hard earned cash on £1 drinks every Monday and dancing to cheesy classics (our common ground) at Aquapop, vowing each night to not get "Med Drunk" - if you know, you know.

I see many posts online where mums are complaining they've lost friends after they've had a baby. Most of it seems very passive aggressive - "have a baby, you'll soon find out who your real friends are" - that kind of stuff. Although part of me does feel sorry for these people, I also get quite annoyed by it. I want to know how much effort is put in by the person with child.

I understand that I'm very lucky in the fact my girls are still around after I've had two kids.Yes, two of us now no longer live locally due to work commitments and we don't go out as often as we used to but that comes with age and life getting in the way doesn't it?. If you all make the effort there's no reason for you not to be able to stay mates. The four of us have a Whatsapp group in which we talk almost every single day, we meet up as often as we can for a catch up or a night out and have even managed a couple of weekends away together.

Without sounding too soppy or gushy or cringey, I am truly blessed to call them my friends, they are all unofficial aunties to my boys. I mean, does your mum even have mates if you don't call them all auntie?

I'm a firm believer in that it works two ways, you still have to put that effort into any relationship after having a child. Whether it be catching up over coffee or something as simple as sending a quick text. You might be surprised!

Rachael xo

Wednesday, 27 December 2017

Life | "I Don't Want Kids"

I've always known kids were going to be part of my future, especially being the eldest grandchild on my mum's side of the family. I was only eight when my first cousin was born and I was smitten, my mum was his child minder for a while and I LOVED it when he came to ours for the day. I guess my maternal side kicked in when my twin brothers were born. In fact, I can remember the exact moment my parents told us they were expecting, they took us out for dinner, sitting opposite me and my brother. They said "we have something to tell you" and my brother said "you're pregnant aren't you?" my mum said "yes but there's something else" and without missing a beat "it's twins isn't it?" I said. And that was that, we were expanding! I was fifteen when Harry and Elliot entered the world and I fell in love, they were just so small and precious. I spend a lot of time helping out with the twins and my mum would jokingly say she had a built in babysitter - which wasn't really a joke. We have an understanding though, me and my mum, I never say no when she asks me to babysit and she never says no when I ask her to. Whenever my mum and dad were working and their shift patterns clashed (joys of NHS workers hey?) I'd get up in the morning, give the boys breakfast and dress them for school. They were three and I was eighteen by this point, so I was fairly confident in making sure they were clean and fed. Life was great, I would have babies to look after and play with, wind up a bit then hand them back over when I'd had enough. 

There was a time when I was a young, innocent naive eighteen year old that I just thought everybody would want children, why wouldn't they? Babies were cute. One of my best friends told me she never wanted kids and I was shocked "you'll change your mind, everyone wants kids!" Stupid wasn't I? It wasn't for the fact I was ignorant but I just thought she was saying it because she was young and wanted to live her life first. To this day, she still doesn't want kids. And that's okay! She isn't some spinster woman who lives on her own with a million cats (she just has the one yet so there's still time for that) but she's great with my boys and has nieces and nephews of her own who she's equally amazing with. 

Another close friend on the other hand doesn't like children at all and that's okay too. I don't really like other people's kids myself unless they're tiny babies. She's a good friend though because in all her awkwardness, she asked to hold George when he was newborn and she's put up with being slapped and kicked by him as well. Who can blame the girl for not wanting kids when she's been subjected to that?

Some women are maternal and want children. Some women don't. It doesn't mean they hate children, it just means they do not want to become a mother. Society just expects women to become mothers but why? We don't expect all men to become fathers and it seems totally okay for a man to be a bachelor, but when a woman says they won't want children why do we react like they're about to shoot us in the face? 

If your response when someone says this is like mine when I was younger, stop and think first. I actually know someone who has been asked "what's wrong with you" because she doesn't want children. How is that an acceptable thing to say to someone? It is so disrespectful! Women who do not want children are only the same as people who don't want pets. If I told you I didn't have any pets or didn't want any pets in future, you wouldn't ask why or tell me I may change my mind, you'd just accept it. 

Respect their choice and if you can't, just keep your mouth shut and smile :) 

Their body. Their life. Their choice.

Rachael xo

Monday, 18 December 2017

Christmas | The Christmas Tag

Christmas is my favourite time of year, as soon as Halloween is over, I'm ready to embrace all things Christmas, the Christmas songs come out and I want to dust off the decorations and get them up so I can enjoy them for as long as possible! I was tagged by the lovely Lyndsey from Fizzy Peaches to take part in the Christmas Tag so here goes!

What's Your Favourite Christmas Movie?

I absolutely love The Santa Clause trilolgy, I watch it every year wheen I'm wrapping presents, it's become a little tradition.

Have You Ever Had A White Christmas?

I think we have but because I live on a peninsular, we're really lucky (or unlucky if you hate snow) if it sticks. I do remember falling over on the ice in 2010 so maybe that was the last time we had snow.

Where Do You Usually Spend Your Holiday?

On Christmas Day we go to my parents' for dinner and spend the day there.

What's Your Favourite Christmas Song?

Okay I have a few because I love Christmas songs. My top three are, Baby Please Come Home - Michael Buble, Driving Home for Christmas - Chris Rea and River - Barry Manilow.

Do You Open Any Presents on Christmas Eve?

Absolutely not! And the boys won't be doing it either. Everyone does get new pjs though, I mean is it even Christmas if you don't get Christmas Eve pyjamas?

Can You Name all of Santa's Reindeer?

Unlike Lyndsey, I'm not going to cheat! Comet, Vixen, Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Rudolph, Blitzen, Cupid and Prancer. I think? How many does he have?

What Holiday Traditions Are You Looking Forward to This Year?

Having steak and prosecco for tea on Christmas Eve, bathing the boys, putting their new pjs on, taking a photo in front of the tree, watching The Snowman and putting out some prosecco and a cake for Santa! Yes, Santa likes prosecco in our house.

Is Your Christmas Tree Real or Fake?

We have an artificial tree because I like it to be quite full and I don't really like the look of real trees!

What Is Your Favourite Holiday Food/ Treat?

I do enjoy a pig in a blanket, there's just something about sausage wrapped in bacon isn't there?

Be Honest: Do You Prefer Giving or Receiving Gifts?

I really do enjoy giving! I love buying presents for other people that I know they will love, it makes me really happy. Although I'm not going to lie, I do like receiving just as much!

What's The Best Present You've Received?

My mum made this photo book online of all the photos from mine and Pete's engagement party and it was so perfect, I might have cried.

What's Your Dream Place to Visit for the Holiday Season?

I would LOVE to visit New York at Christmas, I know it sounds cliche but it just looks so dreamy. I want to see the tree at the Rockerfeller Centre.

Are You a Pro Wrapper or Do You Fail Miserably?

I'm definitely a pro because I have to wrap EVERYTHING. Pete only has to worry about wrapping my presents!

What's Your Most Memorable Christmas Memory?

When I was 12 my mum and dad presented my brother and I with a little Christmas gift bag and inside where our passports and a message telling us we were going to be spending New Year in Disneyland Paris.

What Made You Realise the Truth About Christmas?

I was quite old I think and people in school were talking about whether or not they believed and my mum and dad decided to tell me. I remember being secretly upset about it actually.

What Makes the Holidays Special for You?

Spending time with family definitely! Not that I don't anyway but it's just nice to keep up traditions and not stress about anything for a week or two!

So there we have it! I can't believe Christmas is a week away, I am so excited to celebrate this year as a family of four, it's Henry's first Christmas and soon after he'll be one!

I tag:

Louise - Wee Ohana
Sophie - Vitiligo Mum
Karina - Mums The NerdKim - Brummie Gal in Cardiff
Jemma - Mayflower Blogs
Amy - All About A Mummy
Jenny - Edspire
Jess - Mrs Hible
Claire - Bumps, Babies, Tots and Teens
Siobhan - The Baby Boat Diaries