the careys

the careys
and then there were 7!!

Saturday, 11 October 2014

I am,..........

in no particular order, a wife, a mother to five children, a student, a volunteer, and employed at two jobs.
I am often asked how I manage to fit it all in and this has caused me to analyse exactly how I do manage to juggle all my commitments whilst retaining my sanity.

The biggest sacrifice I have made in the last year is having a social life. I very rarely go out with friends anymore and choose to spend my free time with my husband Mark and our children.

I am highly organised and I find that it is the little things that can make all the difference. For instance: organising the uniforms and clothes the night before, ensuring all bags and coats are in the car ready, making sandwiches the night before, preparing the breakfast bowls and spoons the night before, making sure everyone knows what time we are leaving and give them each something to be responsible for.

Multi-tasking plays an important part in my daily life. I make the most of any spare minutes and seconds. I can be reading whilst preparing dinner, researching journals and books to reserve at the library in between calls at work, making phone calls in the car or walking to a lecture.

Keeping a diary, electronically and a traditional book style, and taking them with me everywhere.

Prioritising commitments. My family always come first and spending time with them is at the top of my list. Housework, although necessary, gets done on a needs must basis and although I ensure the house is tidy, clean and we all have food and clothes, some jobs can wait until the semester is over because who cares if my inside windows have not been cleaned for a few weeks or my freezer hasn't been defrosted?!?.

My brain works the quickest in the evening so I prefer to study when the children are in bed until 1am/2am, this also means that my brain has been we exercised and so I generally sleep better, despite sometimes dreaming about the last thing I have written or thought about!

I have a strong family support network and my husband and I work together, sharing all jobs and picking up the slack if one of us is busy.

I ask for help if I need it and I am not afraid to admit if I am feeling swamped with responsibilities, talking through it usually resolves any issues (and a glass of fruity cider).

I always keep at the forefront of mind what my future aspirations are, how far I have come and ultimately what I aim to achieve. If I fail, it will not be due to lack of commitment or determination. I want a first class degree but I also want graduate attributes, employability skills, I want to stand out when it comes to fighting for the top jobs.

I am a fairly calm person, which helps, and I choose my battles carefully and can often see in advance if something is not worth becoming stressed or anxious over, I am capable of rationalising.

I can laugh at myself. My clumsiness, mishearing words and sentences due to hearing loss, constantly forgetting my hearing aids and I like to have silly fun with the children, whether that is making up new words to songs and new dance moves.

Being passionate about certain subjects is an excellent motivator.

I do struggle with confidence issues and I have been on anti-depressants since April due to delayed post natal depression and I am due for a review in December where I may possibly start to be weaned off them.

I believe if you want something badly enough you will achieve it.

Those who can...do....

I am NOT superwoman.

I am Claire, I am Mummy, I am just me.


Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Back to uni

I have decisions to make and I am too indecisive.

I love my job, i love uni, my volunteer work and Parliamentors, I am also looking forward to being a high school mentor.
I have been offered a few jobs and I am down to two, both of which are fantastic opportunities and relevant to my future goals but I cannot do everything!

I could do with a crystal ball :)

Yesterday I was inspired again by a couple of people who directly and indirectly helped me so much at the start of my degree by offering general advice and confidence boosting motivational talks.
After speaking to the new first years yesterday I was approached by a few at the end of the session asking for bits of advice as they could relate to being out of education and feeling overwhelmed in the early days. I truly hope that what I said will help them to stay determined and focused and relax!

Now I need to take my own advice......

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

moving on up

The summer holidays are over and the children have returned to School. Martha is part time until next week when she will stay all day.
For the first time ever I missed taking one of my children to school for their first day. Instead I was on a three day residential training programme for 'Parliamentors'.

I initially planned to blog about my experience as soon as I returned home but as usual my feet have not touched the ground!
During the three days I met the other successful, awe-inspiring applicants from five different Universities and together we embarked on a highly intensive leadership training course where we developed new skills and acquired more knowledge that will assist us greatly now, whilst organising our social action project, and in the future as emerging and aspiring leaders.

The residential was just the beginning of our journey and I am so excited about the coming months.

My diary is becoming more packed each day with lectures, two jobs, two volunteer roles and the parliamentors programme; however, I am determined to succeed and as always my family will come first. Multi tasking and being highly organised is non negotiable in my life and failure is not an option.
Tell me I cannot do something only makes me more determined to.....

I have my first meeting tomorrow with my fellow cohorts where we will take the next steps in our social action project planning.

I need to maintain this confidence and believe in myself more.

In other news, Jason is 8 short weeks away from turning 2 which means it is also 8 weeks until we reach our 2 year milestone of breastfeeding as recommended by the WHO and for this I am feeling very proud indeed and I am looking forward to celebrating.
Peter is still waiting for his tonsils to be removed and continues to suffer with sleep apnea and disturbed sleep due to coughing and gagging. We had a few weeks of peace when the weather was warmer but now things are changing again.

It is only 15 weeks till Christmas
 :)

Thursday, 7 August 2014

Those who can.....do!

We had a lovely week away in Bala It was originally supposed to be for two weeks but a family decision was made to decrease it and adopt a puppy instead!
We found a lady who had puppies available with the same breeds as Bella and fell in love with one in particular who we have called Nessa. We picked her up the day after we returned from Bala and she has settled in lovely. Her character is starting to come out more each day and the children are all taking responsibility in caring for her and playing with her.

To add to the Carey madness, after being approved fosterers for Newfoundland rescue for over two years, we got a call to foster a male newfie called Monty, aged 7 years, and we picked him up on Tuesday!
He is a beautiful giant bear, who despite a few humping issues, is such a gentle and family centred dog. He has a long history of being with a family with children but sadly his fosterers were without children and other dogs and he was pining for the company and was crying all night long.
He has took a shine to me in particular and follows me everywhere but he is absolutely humongous!!

So, 2 adults, 5 children and three dogs!!  welcome to our insane zoo.

Mark and I have both been off work this week and have spent our time settling in the two new pooches and I have had an interview (also got the job) and I received notification that I have been accepted onto the Parliamentors programme!
I have two more interviews this week and then I can make a decision and organise my ever expanding diary of work, uni, family and volunteer commitments (not necessarily in that order).

I bumped into my lovely lecturer today at uni whilst I was sorting out my student railcard. She is already aware of most of the extra commitments I have and said to me 'those who can.....do' and that I feel is a positive mantra to follow.

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Summer

Four more days and my beautiful children all finish School for the long summer break and I cannot wait!

I received their School reports today and overall I am thrilled with their progress, meeting their targets and exceeding them in some!  Monica in particular has come on really well this year and her confidence continues to increase.
Both children are apparently 'quiet' yeah right!!  and both are described as being well behaved and a pleasure to teach.
Martha's end of year Nursery report was equally full of praise! and Owen is excelling in all areas, ready to start his GCSE work in September.

So, much to celebrate and much to look forward to this Summer before we all go back to School and Uni.

Jason is trying to say some words, he still babbles and refers to many things as 'ma' but is trying new sounds at the moment, his understanding of everything we say to him is really good though so I have no worries over his communication skills. He certainly lets me know when he wants milk.

Peter is still waiting to have tonsils out but the waiting list is now a year! so in the meantime, he is still having disturbed sleep due to his sleep apnea. His tonsils have also started to swell more often and his throat looks red all the time, coughing doesn't help.
I have him lay next to me at the moment, he doesn't feel well but School have already commented on his 'fair' attendance in his report so am worried about him having more time off! Not really sure what I am supposed to do when he has three different consultants to see twice in a School year at least, plus the usual illnesses. He has had chicken pox this year and chest infections. Next school year he will have to be off for a couple of weeks after his tonsillectomy. I have heard of people having education welfare involved due to a child having a lot of time off and even being fined, despite having a medical condition so the whole situation worries me.

I am still waiting to hear about my interview from last week, I am stalking my emails constantly hoping they will let me know sooner rather later but they will probably keep me waiting.