Are you a working mum based in Wales?

If you’ve been following me for a while, you will know that I’m a working mum so childcare provision is a real hot topic for me. I’ve been blogging about the new childcare offer in Wales a lot recently, but I’m aware that not all my readers are from Wales, and the ones that are need more detailed information that I can provide. For example, I’m being asked a lot via my Facebook page which nurseries will participate in the new free 30 hours scheme, and when certain areas are coming into the pilot programme. I am no expert, but I will share what I know, and so will lots of other mums. I see this everywhere I go. Parents…

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Why I hate team building days

“We’re going to cross this field with two buckets and one plank, whilst carrying a pound of mint humbugs. If we do this, we’ll be a better team!” No, what you’ll be is a group of snarky people. What you’ll have is a group of people ruining the clothes their hard earned money has paid for, snapping at each other for minor infractions, and resenting the day you were ever born. We don’t do this sort of malarkey to build relationships with friends or make our family dynamics better. Let’s face it, for many of us we limit that type of enforced organised fun to once a year – Christmas. So why do many managers or employers think that throwing…

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Flossie and the work grenade

Flossie – name of a new, super cool band? No, although if anyone wants to adopt it as a band name I’m copywriting it here. What I’m actually referring to is the “Flossie” trap, a situation which many people find themselves in both in their work and home environments. It’s when you’re the reliable go to person that always says yes and does any task thrown at you. You never let people down. It sounds like a good thing right? No, it’s not. It’s the doormat end of the spectrum of getting it done. I first heard about the concept when I undertook the Springboard Development Programme for women, an inspiring series of workshops for women who want to reach…

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A working mum’s struggle to find a flexible working pattern that fits.

  If this is the first post you’ve read of mine, let me introduce myself. I’m Helen and I’m a working mum and a parenting, food and lifestyle blogger. My son is two. I returned from maternity on a temporary promotion  in July 2017. As the end of the temporary promotion loomed, I knew that we couldn’t afford childcare and a large drop in pay. What followed after several spreadsheets and negotiations with my line management at that time, was a return to full time hours, but on a flexible basis to accommodate childcare.  Little did I know that I’d end up having my promotion extended, and another promotion after that meaning I didn’t have to return full time at…

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Flexible working – thoughts from a working mum

It’s 5am and I’m awake. I’m almost always awake then. Small Boy is an early riser. I’ve been up at 5am for two years straight now. It’s now the norm. It works in my day jobs’ favour… sort of. I work full time hours for a large organisation but I compress the bulk of them across three days. Those are the days I go into the office and Small Boy goes to nursery. In some respects, being up at 5am means I can open up my laptop at home and get through my emails, or go into the office early. That’s a good thing, right? I can crack on with some tasks in my PJs before I shower and head on…

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A day in the life of a working mum – the working from home day

Today is a home working day. It’s all a bit manic, and the flexibility feels pressuring rather than empowering. Home working days are a juggle. I work around Small Boy and his naps. If I’m lucky my mother might come around for an hour in the afternoon after she’s finished work. On one of the days, Small Boy’s dad is home late morning as he compresses his hours so that helps. But it’s still a juggling act. A traffic jam can and a delayed arrival can throw my whole schedule out of whack. I’m up at 5am again. I’m sat at the dining table, logged into my work laptop and going through my emails. I used to have a home…

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