The rollercoaster continues!

Another rollercoaster of a ride in the life of The Uni Mummy this week!

To begin, Little Man is doing a great job at demonstrating the Art & Science of being a 2 year old. Lots of shouting, lots of not listening and mostly lots of getting cross. As I’ve been feeling stressed I have really struggled with my ability to be patient this week. Impatient parent, cross toddler…not a winning combination!! And the reason for my stress, placement!

Little Man loved ‘helping’ with my essay in the library!

As part of my training to become a nurse, I have to undertake 2300 hours of practice over the 3 years of study (yes, that does seem a lot!) The majority of this is achieved through ‘Practice Placements’. Which basically means working in the areas that I may work in when I qualify. Over the 6 Placements I need to experience different types of nursing environments to ensure I get a broad understanding of the role and also so that when I come to graduating (which by the way seems like a million miles away), I will hopefully know what sort of job I’d like to do.

As a family, we’ve all been mentally preparing for my first placement since I got accepted onto the course. It’s essentially 3 months of me working full-time, starting at the end of November. So, we have made zero plans for the 3 months and have basically put our lives on hold just in case I get the worst case scenario.

So, what did the worst case scenario look like?

Working Shifts – this would mean not being able to do nursery drop off or pick up. It would mean trying to catch up on sleep after a night shift in a houseful of people. It would mean the precious weekends we spend as a family wouldn’t necessarily be possible every week.

An Acute Setting – I have absolutely zero, non-Little Man, caring experience. And the idea of an Acute inpatient ward absolutely terrified me.

So you can imagine my reaction when our First Placement details were released this week and low and behold, I have been placed in an Acute Setting that involves shifts. My stomach filled with butterflies (not the good kind) and my eyes filled with tears. Almost everyone else around me seemed SO excited but I just felt disappointed. It was everything I didn’t want on my first Placement. And resulted in me questioning whether I was even doing the right thing by doing the course!

The shock has since worn off, the tears have most definitely stopped and I am now considering what a great opportunity this is going to be for me. Yes it’s going to be tough, yes it may seem a bit scary but I am going to learn SO much. It still feels like I am being thrown into the deep-end but I am reminding myself that you never learn anything without stepping out of your comfort zone. And most of all, this isn’t forever. It’s 3 months and if the past 7 weeks have taught me anything, this course is FLYING by!

Apparently I do remember some Anatomy & Physiology!

And despite the lost tempers, the tears and the doubting myself, this week has ended on a high! I had my first assessment and the first glimpse into where I am at with the course so far. We had an in-class test based on the Anatomy and Physiology lectures we’ve been having since we began the course. The test didn’t count towards anything, the mark won’t be recorded anywhere but to me, someone who’s been out of education for a long time, it mattered. And I am so proud to say that I passed it! I had a bit of a headstart as I studied Biology at A-Level, but I have also spent a lot of time on this module. I’ve been writing up all of my lecture notes before the lessons and I’ve spent this week revising the body systems, including teaching Little Man about the Endocrine System (with amusing results if you’ve seen my Facebook!). So today has proved to me that it is worth the effort and that you really do get out of something, what you put in. And I will remind myself of this in May when it does count!!

Next week is my first week of Annual Leave which is great but basically means instead of spending the week in Uni, you’ll mostly find me in the library… joy!

Hope everyone else is well and those with children have made it through Half-Term with their sanity in tact!








The only way is UP!

Well folks I’m happy to report that I have had a fantastic week this week. It really felt like everything came together, my only grumble is that I didn’t get my usual Wednesday off with Little Man but even that didn’t dampen my spirits.

It’s a good job that I didn’t take my judgement of the week from first thing Monday morning, Little Man woke me up at 4.20am and needless to say by the time I arrived at University I was ready for bed and not a day of lectures. Thankfully it was my arrival at Uni that sparked my change in fortunes. The lecture that I had been dreading due to my lack of knowledge turned out to be really informative and thanks to my amazing new friends, I giggled until I was in tears…there was even talks of Tena Lady at one point! The power of laughter is absolutely amazing! Proof that you can’t judge a day by it’s 4.20am cover/wake up!

Tuesday was Little Man’s 2nd Birthday and although he was in Nursery as normal, The Husband was working from home which meant some proper family time in the evening as we didn’t have to wait for him to drive back from Swindon! We let Little Man choose himself a present from the Toy Shop with his birthday money, he had over £30 to spend…he chose a £3.25 Van!! On the plus side, this may be an indication that he has not inherited my expensive taste in things, phew! In the evening we took Little Man to the pub for his birthday dinner which may seem like a Mummy-friendly plan and I may have had a pint of Cider but I promise, he was more excited by his alphabet spaghetti and Ice-cream boat for pudding than I was about the pint!


Lovely morning walk with this pair!

I was a little sad not to be hanging out with the boys on Wednesday but we did manage a lovely long walk in the morning with Archie the dog and then I had by far, the best day at Uni since I started.

I talked about my interest in Dementia before I started Uni so it was no surprise that I was very excited about the prospect of a whole day of conferences on the subject. And I was not dissapointed! The morning was spent listening to an incredible woman called June Hennell who’s husband lived with Dementia until he passed away as a result of cancer. To say she was engaging would be an understatement, I couldn’t take my eyes or ears off her and could quite happily have spent the whole day listening to her story. What a woman! We then had a talk on the impact of surroundings on those with Dementia, which was very eye-opening and made me think of how much of the world I take for granted. But I think one of the things that struck me most is about money. We were told that Dementia costs the U.K. (not just NHS but costs to families) more than cancer, cardiovascular disease and stroke COMBINED! Despite this, less than 1% of research funding is filtered down to Dementia research with Cancer receiving 13%! Now I’m not arguing that Cancer is not a worthy recipient of this money but the disparity between what it costs and how much is funded really shocked me! It definitely made me glad that we included Alzheimer’s Society in our donations for our wedding (which we did instead of favours) but much like the fire in my belly for studying, something has been lit inside me and I hope that 2017 will allow me to do some fundraising!

My lovely parents have jetted off once again and I survived my night of solo-parenting without too much drama so that’s another big thumbs up from me! Plus it also means I get the use of their bedroom which means a break from sharing with Mr Bashy which in turn means I am actually getting full night’s sleep and functioning like a normal human being (whatever one of those is!)

Ooh and before I go, in case anyone was wondering how my craft project turned out, here is the very handsome Mr Archie doing a great job of modelling it!


Archie going for the jaunty angle…and pulling it off!

I hope everyone has had an equally successful week, more of these please!

Over&Out xx


Shoulda, woulda, coulda.

You’d think that having a degree would make this essay writing malarkey a doddle…but 7 years after I graduated first time round I think it’s safe to say that I am a little lost.

Thursday is my ‘Study Day’ and by the time it was time to collect Little Man from nursery, I felt like I’d spent the previous two hours like a cat chasing it’s tail…I’ve done SO much reading but I still don’t feel like I’m getting anywhere fast! I sat and reflected on my Study day and my total inability to actually do some writing and I think I may have worked out what my problem is…I cannot bear to cock this up. When I got my results for my Psychology degree, I locked myself in the bathroom and sobbed for over an hour. I knew I should have worked harder and although I had passed, I knew there and then that I should and could have done better.

I have so many things driving me on this course, I’ve already mentioned my Grandma’s words in a previous post but on the flipside to that I will never forget one delightful ‘family’ member saying to me “I didn’t have you down as the academic type”. Firstly, OUCH and secondly, I would really love to nail this degree and put two fingers up to them and shout “I told you so” from the rooftops because I am childish like that. Anyone that knows me well will tell you that if someone tells me I can’t do something/doesn’t believe in me, it makes me damned sure I do!! The only downside of this is that I am now putting myself under a whole heap of pressure to not just pass this degree but do a bloody great job of it too…No more Desmond (Tutu)’s here!!!

So aside from the writer’s block I am experiencing, I am in a pretty good place right now. We’re heading back to Cirencester this weekend for the first time since we moved which is going to be lovely, but a little odd. I know it wasn’t THAT long ago but I already feel like I’m a different person than the one that left. The reason for heading back is that Little Man is turning TWO so we’re off to celebrate with some family and friends. I thought that as I’d found Litte Man turning 1 so odd and a bit difficult, this year would be a doddle but I am beginning to accept that I am going to get this weird, proud/nostalgiac/terrifiedbecauseitsgoingtoofast, every one of his birthdays. He’s already given us a great preview of what we’ve got to come in terms of the ‘Terrible Two’s’ which has been nice of him…specifically his need to shout “MUMMAAAAAAAAAAAY” if I dare leave his field of view, is worth a mention. I remember when I was so excited that he could say Mama…oh how times change. SO yes, a very exciting weekend to look forward to, lots of reunions but I am sure I will manage to sneak in some Uni work too, no rest for the wicked and all that!

Far from finished but here’s the crown so far!

One of my fellow students asked me this week what my hobbies were outside of the course and my automatic response was “parenting”! And it got me thinking, my life has basically become parenting, studying, parenting, repeat (with a tiny bit of TV watching), and maybe I should try and do something creative again so I don’t go totally insane. SO in honour of Little Man’s birthday I am attempting to make him a felt Birthday Crown. So far I have made a removable 2…best get cracking as I only have until Tuesday! And after that I am going to bring my knitting bag home so I can dabble in that again, hopefully.

Next week sees part two of my attempts to be a temporary ‘single parent’ as my lucky parents are going off on holiday again. This is great as it means a temporary break from bunking with Little Man but it does also mean I have to be a responsible parent by myself, swings and roundabouts! So be sure to check back in next week to see if my sanity is still intact.



Sleep is all you need.

Can you believe that tomorrow it is a month since I started my first day as a Mature Student?! It feels like yesterday and also that I’ve been there forever, weird.

Anyways, I thought I should probably update this as the last thing I wrote was emotion fuelled, not particularly positive and although it gave you all an insight into what it’s really like to be juggling life this way, it’s not how it is most of the time.

Since I last wrote, things have definitely settled down. I am slowly but surely getting used to bunking in with Little Man, his constant wriggling, random noises and bumps into his cot are much less likely to wake me up in the night. As a result of that, I am not so tired and I am feeling much more human so this adventure doesn’t seem like Mount Everest, more like a stroll up the Malverns. Sleep, it’s an amazing thing isn’t it?!

I like to think we’re all settling into a routine at our new home too. (Correct me if I’m wrong, parents!) Morning’s are a little bit hectic when everyone has to be out the house but like a well oiled machine, Mum keeps the family topped up and moving with hot cups of tea in all of the madness!! And the evenings have been great, I am left to enjoy some quality time with Little Man and when he’s in bed, I am left to get on with studying…apart from Wednesdays, GBBO is most definitely a family activity!

I am still missing the Husband during the week and don’t expect that will ever change whilst we’re doing this but we’re certainly doing our best. We tend to have a catch up over the phone on our way into work/Uni and the past weekend we celebrated our 5th Wedding Anniversary with a surprise night away which was amazing. Not to go too cliche but time really is precious so we just have to make sure the time we spend together is quality time, which for us was a lie in and getting to watch the F1 in bed!



Becoming a Pro at drawing the heart!

Studying is still going well, I am thoroughly enjoying almost all of the course, especially my Mental Health module. I have a fantastic lecturer who encourages discussion rather than death by powerpoint, winner! Anatomy & Physiology definitely gets the grey matter going and I am enjoying drawing diagrams of body parts, who doesn’t love an excuse to use felt tips?! Not sure how I’ll feel about A&P come May when I am tested on my knowledge, but that’s a long way off yet!

One thing that I would say to anyone who is thinking about taking on this journey, you cannot do it alone. I know I harp on about it but I really am so lucky to have such a great support network. I feel like I am surrounded by a whole troop of cheerleaders who are willing me on, especially when things get tough. I can’t explain to you how much it helped after my last blog post when so many people reached out to offer some kind words, a hug and one very special cheerleader sent me chocolate in the post…knowing you are all behind me is the best feeling the world! And in addition to that, the ladies I have made friends with at Uni, thank-you. It was pure chance that I ended up sitting by you on that first day, but my goodness I’m glad I did. Those giggles yesterday afternoon were absolutely priceless and I look forward to more over the next 3 years!!

So what have I learnt in my first month of Uni…sleep is the key to happiness/not falling apart, I actually kind of enjoy A&P and an electric, handheld fan causes quite a stir when it goes off in your bag!!! (A ground swallow you up kind of moment!)

I hope everyone else has been keeping well and out of trouble!

Over&Out x