Spinning Plates.

At the end of last year, my path crossed with one of my old teachers from secondary school. When I told him about my latest adventure into nursing, he was unsurprised and said that I had always been “determined” as a young lady. Until that moment, I had always viewed my determination as something I had acquired since becoming a mother but apparently it was there all along. Since then, I have owned this characteristic of mine and generally, it is a wonderful trait to possess. It drives you forward & keeps you focused. However, sometimes, determination pushes you to take on the world, to push you to be the best in every aspect of your life and sometimes it becomes too much.

Little Man is currently on his Easter Holidays from Nursery and my parents have run off to Spain to soak up some sun (who can blame them?!), meaning that the first few days of the holidays were all down to me. And Solo Parenting, whilst not ideal, is something I have learned to accept. Usually, survival is the aim of the game each day but unfortunately, I also have an assignment due in May so I made a plan to try and get a little bit of Uni work done each day too. For the first couple of days, despite him not being in on my plan, Little Man did play on his own, quietly for short bursts. As a result, I actually managed to get a little bit of reading done. But because of my determination to achieve high grades, whatever work I had managed never felt enough. After Little Man had gone to bed, I sat on the sofa, looked at my diary and all I could see were the long days ahead where I knew I wouldn’t get much Uni work done. By the third day of minimal reading, I cracked. The stress I had tried to ignore, the stress that I had felt bubbling away in my tummy over the previous two days came to the surface, and it turned me into “Shouty Mummy”. No-one likes Shouty Mummy. Shouty Mummy says No, a lot. Shouty Mummy gets irritated by the 100 questions from Little Man that non-Shouty Mummy embraces as “inquisitive”. Shouty Mummy causes a Shouty Little Man. And all that shouting leads to exhaustion, one very sad Mummy and one very sad Little Man.

The next day, Little Man and I had a fun day out planned together, just the two of us. Something I had booked weeks before and had been really looking forward to. That night, the night of the Shouty Mummy, I really considered not bothering. The next morning, after a bad night’s sleep and a ridiculously early start, I was still not convinced the day out was a good idea. But then I turned over a new “Yes Mum” Card and it told me “Everything is going to be okay” and I thought, okay, let’s give this motto a go. So I did and we went. It wasn’t the best day out we’ve ever had, but we got through it and Shouty Mummy didn’t turn up, so that was great. After surviving our day out I then had to hand over Little Man to my in-laws who (along with The Husband) were looking after him for the weekend whilst I went away on a Hen Do. And that dear readers, that is the point when the Mum Guilt hit. Like a flipping lorry. I drove to Morrison’s, sat in their car park and sobbed. Sobbed because I was tired and sobbed because I truly felt like the worst Mummy in the world.

The same determination that is so productive, that keeps me glued to a library chair for hours at a time had stopped me from seeing that getting Uni work done when I was solo parenting Little Man was unrealistic. The determination that so far has rewarded me with good grades also stopped me from relaxing and enjoying my time with Little Man.

My present situation, this journey, often feels like spinning plates. My attention and time is needed in so many places and it is a real balancing act to make sure that nothing is neglected. Balance sounds great but is often hard to achieve. This fight for balance is likely to continue for the next 18 months. I am going to continue to feel pulled in lots of directions. My determination is going to make me strive to be the best Mummy, the best Wife and the best Student Nurse I can be. So many people to keep happy, so many plates to spin. But one thing that this recent experience has taught me, is that above all, my happiness is the most important plate to keep spinning.

The Hen Do I went on could not have been better timed, I switched off my social media, enjoyed quality time with some truly wonderful old friends and when Little Man and I were reunited my heart felt full to bursting. And this second week of the holidays could not have been further from the first. The Husband has used Annual Leave, commuted and worked from home all week. We have enjoyed 7 days of being a ‘normal’ family and I cannot put into words how brilliant that is. And you know what? I have hardly made a dent in my assignment this week but my goodness, I am happy.

A few thoughts for a Friday…

So I’ve not really been feeling the love about this journey of late. And if I’m honest, it’s how I’ve been feeling since before the new term started. There were lots of things that were on my mind about what the next year would entail, new lecturer, more assignments, more time away from Little Man and the Husband, higher expectations, the list could go on. And throw into the mix that at the moment, Politicians are very publicly making my chosen career feel so unbelievably undervalued. It has really made me wonder, is this all worth it?! Is it worth it when you’re putting your son to bed and jumping straight into some studying? Is it worth it when you’re driving away from your husband, and your son is crying because he misses his Daddy already? Is it worth it when you’re 30, living with your parents and getting cross that your Mum can’t stack the dishwasher properly?! (Sorry Mum!) And I really questioned if it was worth it when I sat doing some calculations and worked out that despite putting our lives on hold for 3 years in the hope of something better, The Husband and I will still be lucky if we can afford to buy ourselves a cardboard box to live in when I qualify!

With my parents away this week, the only company I’ve had, has been Little Man when he gets home from Nursery. And don’t get me wrong, we have some good chat in the evening, tonight’s topics of choice, how platelets work and what everyone in our house’s favourite colour is. So instead, I have these really annoying thoughts, going round and round in my head, irritating me more and more.

And then, my ‘little’ brother came over. My little brother, who is definitely not little, owns his own house and has a very responsible job. And we chatted. Okay, he chatted, I moaned. And then, when he got home he sent me a message that made most of those ‘what if’s’ evaporate into thin air. He reminded me that, whilst I am right to feel cross about the Government’s lack of value on Nurses and the subsequent poor pay, that is not why I chose this.

I chose to be a nurse because I want to make a difference. And yes, I may not necessarily feel like a superhero every day, but it only takes making the difference to one person for it all to be worth it. Because every person counts.

So, Politicians, you may not value me or what I am doing, but I do not care. I do care for all of those people who’s lives I can have a positive impact upon in my career. I do care that when my son is asked what his Mummy’s job is, he can say with pride “My Mummy is a Nurse”. I care about what is truly important in life and that is why I have chosen to train to be a nurse.

Goodbye Year 1…Goodbye my Friend…

Well folks, that’s it….Year 1, (very almost) DONE! I can hardly believe it.

It will be unsurprising to you all that I have been feeling very reflective this week, thinking of everything that has happened since this crazy journey began in September.

I have re-read a couple of my early blogs in a bid to remind myself how I felt and what my expectations were. I can vividly remember the nerves in the pit of my stomach on that first day, walking over the bridge towards Uni and the millions of questions I had going over and over in my head. And expectations, well I think it’s safe to say, whatever I expected, this year was not it. It has been harder and yet more brilliant than I could ever have imagined!


Look how fresh faced I was before I started?!

So what have I learnt in the past 10 months?

I Am Capable

My learning has not been limited to the world of Nursing, I have learnt SO much about myself during my first year. One of the biggest things is (and yes I am going to look like a big head here) I am smarter and stronger than I ever realised. I have spoken quite openly about my previous experience of Uni and ever since the day I got THAT classification, I have always felt I could have done better. Well the grades I have received throughout the year have gone some way to prove that to me and hope I can keep that up throughout the course. And this year I also got over one of my biggest fears, talking in front of a group of people. In week 1 of the course I shied away from the opportunity to stand up and talk in front of our class and by the end I was able to get an A for a group presentation which had me doing the very thing I have always feared. Amazing!


Dunno if you know, but since I took up running…Dame Kelly Holmes has become my best friend!

I love Running

Speaking of doing things I never thought I would be able to do, I now run. Which trust me is a real shock! Some of my lovely ex-colleagues from Cirencester will recall the Race for Life I completed a few years back. It was pre-Little Man and I had all the time in the world to train but unfortunately, I just couldn’t find the energy (or desire) to train and as a result, I practically crawled across the finish line. And now, I can run 5k, non-stop and even enjoy the experience! And I really couldn’t have picked a better time to find this love of running because, it turns out, it is a really great way of dealing with stress. Which leads me on to my next lesson…

Stress happens

I have lost count of the amount of times I have cried during this year, cried and wondered what the hell I am doing on this course! But with the right support (thanks family), stress can be dealt with and you can always fight another day…and hear I am, heading into Year 2, with no regrets.

Friends are important

So okay, this isn’t a major lesson because I kind of knew this already but really, friends are the ones who have kept me going. It is very much like when I became a Mummy and decided, I already had amazing friends (which I do) and therefore I didn’t need to make “Mummy Friends” because who needs those?! What an idiot! And the same happened when I started Uni, I decided that my plan was to get through the course and as I didn’t NEED any more friends, who cares if I made any?! Again, idiot! The group of friends who I made at Uni have made this year both bearable and enjoyable. Thank-you ladies, you are brilliant. And those amazing friends I had pre-Uni, thank-you! Thank-you for standing by me and putting up with my lack of ability to actually arrange anything or reply to texts!! I love you!

Coffee is almost just as important

In one of my early blogs I mentioned coffee. Oh coffee, this is a friendship that has only become stronger throughout the year. Coffee, I love you. Thank-you for being so dependable and for picking me up when I’m down/keeping me awake when it matters!

My marriage is made of strong stuff

Absence may make the heart grow fonder but it also means you have to work 10x harder to keep a relationship going. During the week I basically move between the role of Student to Mother and back again, both roles are exhausting and leave very little energy for anything else. Thankfully I have a very understanding husband who doesn’t get cross when I have no energy to talk on the phone in the evening or when I arrive home on a Friday night and just want to sit quietly (with a glass of wine, of course). But all joking aside, it is very hard to cram your marriage into 2 days every week and date nights have never been so valuable. Thank-you The Husband for your unwavering support and for putting up with me, I’m lucky to have you.

I’m finally using my degree

One thing that hasn’t changed as the year has gone on is how often I think of my Grandma. I still wish she could see what I have achieved this year but take comfort in the fact that I am certain she would be proud. Wherever you are Grandma, please keep being my driving force, you’re more powerful than coffee.

And on that note, thank-you for reading and for everyone who has given me advice/support this year, I say it a lot but it really does mean the world.

One final shift, an evening of celebrating with my family and then the relaxation can begin!


The Uni Mummy, over&out

What’s the worst that could happen?!

Firstly, a MASSIVE apology for the radio silence.

I had all the best intentions that I would write a long blog summing up Placement as soon as I finished. Then the end of Placement arrived followed by a whirlwind weekend and before I knew it I was back at Uni, solo-parenting and life hasn’t stopped since. But here I am, with a brief moment of quiet to bring you up to speed.

Unsurprisingly, Placement turned out to be a HUGE learning curve for me and not just in relation to my future role as a Mental Health Nurse but that’s a pretty good place to start so here is what I learnt:

  1. Mental Illness is totally indiscriminate. It does not care how many qualifications or how much money you have. It doesn’t care if you’re married, single, divorced. If you have children or none. If you are at the start of your adult life or nearing the end. Mental Illness does not care. And it may sound very naive and a little silly when I say it but I learnt that mental illness effects ‘normal’ people. No matter how many statistics I’ve learnt of how common it is to be effected by some sort of Mental ill-health, caring for such a wide range of people really brought this home to me.
  2. Mental Health Nurses are ‘real’ nurses. Again, obvious and silly to state but it’s true. A common view of Mental Health Nurses is that they just spend their day talking with patients. And yes, talking is a BIG part of the job. But I can assure you, alongside this there was a whole host of typical ‘Nurse’ duties. I saw WAY more bodily fluids than I thought I would and learnt about a whole host of physical illnesses too. Because, guess what? Just because someone is ill with depression, their diabetes doesn’t decide to take a holiday.
  3. Who you work with really makes a difference. I was so lucky to be working alongside such a great team, without whom, I don’t think my Placement would have been half as good. It won’t surprise you that sometimes, the job got pretty tough. It is such a busy environment, there is always something going on and sometimes I saw and experienced things that were pretty upsetting. Without the brilliant support of the other staff on the ward, these trying times had the potential to have a really negative impact on me and my confidence. But they were brilliant and it didn’t.
  4. Working full-time and raising a toddler is EXHAUSTING! On Placement, we have no choice but to work full-time but I can tell you, if right now I was qualified and looking for a job, I would be not be looking for a full-time one. I bow down to you full-time working mother, you are my heroes!
  5. The greatest rewards come as a result stepping out of your comfort zone. Anyone that’s been following me for a while may have read my pre-Placement post where I basically had a freak out about where I had been placed. To say I was nervous would be like saying that Justin Fletcher is only a little bit annoying (sorry Justin). I convinced myself that I would be useless, that I had nothing to bring to the role and I was almost certain I’d spend every minute of my shift hiding in the toilets, scared and crying. This is basically the absolute opposite to the reality and the feedback I received from my mentor throughout Placement was just amazing and so I left with soaring confidence. And guess what?! Confidence is an amazing thing! It doesn’t just stop in one part of your life. The confidence I gained from Placement has spread like a cough at Little Man’s nursery and I am SO much more relaxed as a parent and as a student and just generally feel pretty brilliant. As a result of my new found confidence, I have even begun knitting my first jumper. Which may sound a bit like a bit of a leap but I have always knitted flat things, scarves, blankets etc. and on completing my latest scarf, I thought why not just give a jumper a go?! What is the worst that could happen?!I started this whole journey as a Mental Health Nurse with the phrase ‘Feel the fear and do it anyway’ and I really feel that now I am fully embracing it. So Little Man, by next Winter you may be the lucky recipient of a hand-made jumper and if not, we have lots of grey wool to do arts and crafts with!

And on that note, I shall love and leave you all. Sorry it took a while to get around to writing this but I hope it gives you a bit of an insight into what I have been up to for the past 12 weeks! Now i’m settling back into Uni life once again, I plan to get my arse into gear more regularly and keep you posted with the life of The Uni Mummy once more!

Until next time, Happy Monday

and Over & Out x

City of Stars, are you shining just for me?

Good Morning and more importantly, Happy Hump Day!

I hope everyone is well and not too cold?! Another good week here at The Uni Mummy HQ. (i’m just going to skim over the fact that I am coming down with a cold, eugh.)


Little Man meet Elgar…Elgar meet Little Man

Last weekend was my first whole weekend off from Placement in a few weeks which was great as it meant quality time with The Husband and The Little Man. Due to Little Man’s current obsession with all things Thomas, we thought we’d take a little day trip on the train. He definitely got the true British train experience as the train we had planned to catch was cancelled, great. Thankfully we didn’t have to wait/freeze our toes off for too long and I don’t think he minded too much as it meant an extra trip in the lift to change platforms, apparently he loves anything that moves.


Malvern Priory in the fog.

When we eventually got there, we had a great time wandering around Great Malvern, it was beautiful even when freezing cold and thick with fog! We made a pitstop for lunch at Gallery 36 which I can thoroughly recommend, the food was delicious (Children’s menu went down a storm) and the staff were great. Plus, by catching the train, both Mummy AND Daddy were able to try their own ‘Gallery 36’ beer which also went down a storm. It was a little trip down memory lane for me as in my previous life as a care-free teenager, it was known as ‘Ollie’s’ and the bar I frequented with my friends. I’m glad to say it’s had quite a makeover since those days and the smell of stale beer has been well and truly abolished. On Sunday after more embracing the cold and a walk through the woods, we had a very lazy day. Little Man spent hours playing with my brother’s Thomas the Tank Engine set, he didn’t care that it is about 20 years old and we all enjoyed a change from his non-stop playing with cars!


Lunchtime tipple

Also on the weekend The Husband and I managed to sneak in a Date Night (thank-you Grandparents for babysitting). It’s so tempting when you’re working full-time and exhausted, to just go to bed early and basically have no life. But, this year, as I am channeling “You can’t pour from an empty cup”, it is important that I am happy in all aspects of my life, especially my marriage. So, on Saturday night, we spent an extortionate amount of money on popcorn and sweets, I utilised my student status to get a cheap ticket and we went to see ‘La La Land’. Now, if you are, like I, a fan of ‘The Gosling’, stop whatever you’re doing right now and book yourself a ticket to see it, now, go. I mean, he plays the piano, sings and dances, what’s not to like!?! But seriously, even if you’re not a Gosling fan, it really does live up to the rave reviews it’s been getting. Beautiful, touching and the soundtrack is immense. And now I have ‘City of Stars’ stuck in my head again…

In other news, Placement is still going really well. The realisation that I only have 4 weeks left brings with it a mix of emotion. I am SO looking forward to shorter hours, seeing my Uni ladies, not having to do the hideous commute (especially when it’s foggy) and being able to do the drop/off pick up of for nursery. BUT, at the same time, I am really going to miss working with the patients, the thrill of not knowing what my day will entail and most of all, the brilliant people I get to work alongside. Everyone has made me feel so welcome on the ward and I leave each shift feeling like what I have done really matters and that is so satisfying!!

When I started this journey to becoming a Mental Health Nurse, due to my lack of experience, it was the Placement bit of my training that I was really apprehensive about. But the past 7 weeks have shown me that I really need to give things ago before I assume I’ll be rubbish at them. I’m also left thinking, if I have learnt this much and changed this much in Placement one, what is in store for me over the next 5?!


Snail Mail wins!

And finally, for anyone who doesn’t follow me on Instagram, I received some lovely post from one of my oldest friends this week so to reiterate what I said on there, I really couldn’t do this without your support. So, thank-you.

Have a good one everyone!

The Uni Mummy, over&out x

Woooah we’re halfway theeeere…

This week was a bit of a momentous one…I reached the halfway point of my first Placement! I cannot believe that I’m halfway already, it is absolutely flying by. This also meant a visit from one of my lecturers so they could speak with me and my mentor to see how I’ve been getting on. Well I’ve been absolutely loving placement so far so I had nothing but great things to say and it appears my mentor felt the same. I don’t ever remember being described as ‘Exceptional’ in anything I have ever done before, so for that word to be used in that meeting made me fill with pride. It also made all the sacrifices so far feel worthwhile and the choices I’ve made feel like the right ones.

So although I can’t talk much about my Placement, you’ll just have to take my word for it when I say, it’s brilliant. Not always easy, but brilliant. The hours are long, the work intense, the commute is beyond horrid and yet I STILL think it’s brilliant.

Anyways, I know this post is a bit short and show-offy (sorry) but I’m honest with you all about the low points so it’s important you’re with me for the highs too.

Hope everyone else has a very lazy Sunday, think of me when you’re still in your PJ’s at midday, I will be four and half hours into another shift and probably on my fourth cup of tea!

Happy Sunday everyone.

The Uni Mummy, over&out x

Back to life, Back to reality.

Good Morning!

Well I’m back to it, back to the 5.15am wake ups and the 9pm returns home. It’s not been easy getting back into the routine and after two 12 hour shifts, I am exhausted!! It’s hardly surprising after having two weeks of rest, and even a little relaxation.


Our little corner of heaven in Mid-Wales, we can’t do anything but relax here!

The Husband and I are really lucky to own a timeshare in beautiful Mid-Wales, I’ve been going to the same spot every year since I was born for the week before Christmas and to me, Christmas doesn’t start until we’ve been there. We always have a good time but in comparison to last year where Little Man couldn’t walk yet and also had Chicken Pox, this year was extra special. We were able to make use of the swimming pool almost every day and with the use of his newly acquired pink armbands, he was able to let go of us and ‘swim’. He also shared our love of the onsite pub during the week, mostly due to the fact that we let him eat Bombay Mix (minus the nuts) which he has developed quite a taste for! We made a special trip to see Santa on the train and I even managed to squeeze in a massage in the Spa (heaven!). The Husband was my hero as he took Little Man downstairs some mornings and let me catch an extra hour of sleep and BOY did I need it!! We also managed some walks on the beach which may sound a little nuts in December, but I still feel like Winter is the very best time to visit. It’s so quiet and because it’s out of season, our family dog, Archie can join us too. We came home on Christmas Eve and the following days were spent eating delicious food and spending time with a lot of our favourite family and friends.

If you follow me on Instagram you may have seen my post about how Little Man and I had our plans between Christmas and New Year thwarted after my poor in-laws were hit with a horrible virus which knocked them out of action. I was pretty upset, mostly as it meant no evenings with the husband but I tried to see the positive…3 full days of just me and Little Man! Okay, I wasn’t THAT positive, I was actually a little terrified. I know there are people out there who parent on their own 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and they are truly, superheroes. But I’m just so used to sharing some of the responsibility of parenting with The Husband or my parents, that 3 days with Little Man seemed like a mammoth task. Now, I’m not going to claim that we didn’t have a single cross word or that I didn’t spend a good half an hour trying to wrestle him into his winter coat every day when he was desperate to go for a walk, BUT, we did it. I was pleased to see the Husband when he arrived on the Friday evening but I actually really enjoyed Little Man’s company. He is growing into such a beautiful little soul, headstrong and self assured and it made me proud to know that I contribute to that. Not sure the rest of the family are so keen on him inheriting my ‘Headstrong Gene’ but I know it will put him in good stead as an adult as long as we teach him that in some circumstances, his strong will does need to be reined in a little!


He thought we were just taking Baby for a walk, it was all a ploy for some peace and quiet on one of my solo parenting days!

So everything was really lovely and then, it happened. On Monday night as I packed my bags ready to go back to placement, that pesky beast that is ‘Mum Guilt’ smacked me right between the eyes. I felt truly awful that I was going off to ‘work’ for 2 days, meaning I’d miss his first nursery drop off of the year, countless opportunities to read one of his 50 (yes, 50!) Thomas the Tank Engine books and my favourite time of the day, our pre-bed cwtch. I have to keep reminding myself why I am doing this and I have to keep steering my mind clear of the thoughts that I am being selfish for wanting to have a career. I then get cross to think that as mothers we should even have to consider this desire to have a career as selfish. It’s the damn ‘Mum Guilt’ that is so engrained in us, rearing it’s ugly, fat, face again. It’s not fair. I am lucky to be a Godmother to 3 beautiful little girls and if they chose to have children of their own, I hope I can give them the support and confidence in their abilities to follow a career and be wonderful mothers too, without this stupid guilt hanging over their heads.

One of the lovely ladies in the super Girl Gang that I am a part of (aka The 6am Club) shared this post from Hurrah for Gin, that sums up this stupid Mum Guilt perfectly, so if you fancy a giggle, go have a read of THIS.

Anyways, I must love and leave you all as TECHNICALLY, I am supposed to be doing Uni work, but my excuse is that this has warmed up the writing part of my brain that was in hibernation for a little while! I hope everyone else had a super Christmas and New Year and if you have any tips for keeping the Mum Guilt at bay, do get in touch, I’d love to hear from you!



I Survived!

I survived my first week of Placement, hoorah! And not only did I survive but I actually enjoyed myself!!

I think that I may have mentioned that I was a little bit nervous about this week but as always, the unknown is terrifying and rarely lives up to the scary situation we build up in our heads! As someone with very little exposure to a ward environment and no experience working with those who are acutely mentally ill, the only preconceptions I had were really based on fictional environments from Television and Film which are so far removed from reality (thank goodness!)

Not only have I learnt what life on the ward is really like but I have learnt a major lesson about myself. During my 6 years employed in Sales, I was often stressed and I always put it down to the hectic and pressured environment I was working in. This week I have learnt that in the right context, I absolutely thrive on pressure. Although it has, at times, been a bit of a baptism by fire, I have not felt stressed and instead I have bounced along on the ups and downs and enjoyed the butterflies that fill my stomach when I think of the unknown what awaits me when I start my shift. How great that at 29, I am still learning what makes me tick?!

It will be of no surprise to you that I am exhausted. Before Monday, it was 796 days since I had been employed full-time and by Friday, I could feel it!! Unlike my previous employment, aside from my lunch break, I was on my feet all day! Thankfully for my slabs of meat, I have invested in some brilliant work shoes and I haven’t got a single blister. Win! Not only is my body tired but my poor brain has been flooded with new information and could now do with a holiday, (Florida’s nice this time of the year, right?!) I have been so tired that I have been completely antisocial after shift and it took until Wednesday evening for me to actually feel like I could relax, (a small glass of wine and The Missing definitely helped!) The University do what they can to prepare us all for Placement, but in truth, it’s only when you see things being put into practice that they start falling in to place. Learning ‘Hospital Corners’ is vital, drug names now have a context on how, why and when they are used and the importance of checking blood pressure as a Mental Health Nurse is now apparent…although I have to say, I am yet to make good use of all that A&P revision!


£3.50 Brunch, thank-you Morrisons!


And how has Little Man coped without me for two evenings this week I hear you cry?! Well of course he has been an absolute angel for his Grandparents!! Gone to bed with little fuss and has even slept until the sun has come up on his GroClock…and what did he do when we were back to sharing? Woke me up at 5.30 didn’t he?! Oh Little Man!! I am crossing everything that he doesn’t do the same this week when I start my 12 hour shifts (yes, I am crying a little at the thought!) One blessing about this week is that I’ve been so busy during the day and so tired when I get home that I hit the hay pretty promptly, leaving little time to think about Little Man. I did, however, have an almighty pang of Mum Guilt that brought some tears to my eyes in Morrisons Cafe of all places. I was sat enjoying (okay, destroying) my cooked breakfast when I saw a Mum and her son (about Little Man’s age) enjoying a little lunch date. I could hear them having similar discussions about why it wasn’t okay to have a second chocolate bar instead of the dinner she had bought him and it really got to me. I felt awful that I was sat annihilating my brunch when I could/should have been hanging out with my son and arguing with him about why in Winter, coats are non-negotiable! Damnit Mum Guilt, you got me again!

I’ve managed to put the Mum-guilt at bay by making sure we make the most of the weekend together by filling the house with Christmas fun. We’ve made Christmas presents for the family, decorated chocolate biscuits and watched The Polar Express (much more successful than ‘Happy Feet’, I realise now that the Seal chase scene is terrifying, oops!) And as for getting over the tiredness, well an afternoon nap was an easy option! Now, all I need to do is get through the next two weeks! It’s only 6, 12 hour shifts, how hard can that be?!


Thank-you to Leibniz for providing shelter for the Jelly Baby Family!

I’ll leave you with this photo of the beautiful Christmas Houses we’ve made for the Jelly Baby family and hope you’re enjoying the build up to Christmas as much as us!

Happy Monday!

3 more sleeps…

Apologies you lovely lot, life has been a tad hectic since my last post but on a plus side, I am feeling happier, full of cold, but happier!!

Little Man actually letting me do some studying in Skills Week!

I had a fantastic Simulation Week at Uni, which is basically a week of learning practical skills which we are likely to come across in practice. I learnt SO much and for any fellow Student Nurses/Nurses, I am proud to say I can now do a pretty good ‘hospital corner’! The week culminated in a practical test to check I could administer medication (in this case, tic tacs and skittles!) safely, which anyone who has been following the page will know, I passed! Huge relief after a bad night’s sleep with Little Man and my brain feeling like mush. Along with the learning there were a lot of giggles and the chance to spend time with some of the Adult student nurses from our cohort too. They were a great bunch and as we share some lectures with them, I am looking forward to hearing how they have all got on with their first placement when we’re back in University in March…yes, March! Crazy eh?!

So since my last blog I have been to visit my first placement and although I am restricted on what I can tell you, I can say that everyone seems really friendly! What was really great is that they acknowledged what skills I am able to bring to the team. As someone with very little/no previous care experience, it is sometimes hard to see how I am going to be able to contribute on a daily basis and I have previously worried that I will just be in the way. But, when I told the manager of the unit that my previous experience is working in Sales, he was really enthusiastic. He talked about the fact that I must have great communication skills and be good at handling unhappy customers. I didn’t mention the time a customer yelled at me so much that they made me cry because that was a long time ago and being mother to a toddler means being shouted at by an unhappy customer is basically a daily thing, now I’m a pro!! I’ve said it before but, if you’re considering a career change whether it involves studying or not, you DO have valuable experience, sometimes we just have to think a little harder to recognise it! So, it’s only 3 sleeps until I start placement and I am still a little nervous but have concluded that this isn’t a bad thing, it shows that I care and that I am not going to go in there all guns blazing thinking I can save the world. (I can’t!)

Alongside my nerves about starting placement, I am also a little anxious about being away from Little Man. Since he was born I have only spent 2 whole nights away from him and even though he has been going to nursery since September, 99% of the time it is me who does the drop off/pick up and that is all about to change. My parents are wonderful with Little Man, he adores them and I have no doubt that they will have everything under control but I am definitely feeling sad that I won’t be around to have bedtime cuddles every night. I am aware that this is a reality for many parents who choose to or are forced to work hours that don’t always fit in with the bedtime routine so I am not after a pity party, it’s just going to take some adjustment in this house.

I am also a little sad that I won’t get to see any of my Uni friends until March! We may have only known eachother for a matter of months, but I feel like we have all needed to lean on one another at some point so far and even more than that, I am going to miss the giggles. So ladies, if you’re reading this…thank-you for all of the support so far, I cannot wait to be reunited with you all and share our stories from placement!

Can thoroughly recommend the Lion King, snuggles and particularly this delicious popcorn!!

Outside of anything University related, life has been pretty good. Little Man has definitely been having more and more ‘Terrible Two’ moments which have been challenging to say the least! He’s at that age where he wants to do things by himself but hasn’t quite got the knack (i.e. putting on shoes) and as much as I am all for encouraging independence, being limited with time doesn’t mix too well with this! Aside from this, our weekends together with The Husband have been brilliant. One benefit to having a limited time together as a three, means that we really make the most of every minute on the weekend. And that doesn’t necessarily mean tearing around here, there and everywhere but it does mean we tend to plan out what we’re going to do over the weekend. We knew the weather was going to be rubbish a couple of weeks back so we planned an afternoon with popcorn and ‘The Lion King’, bliss! And that’s something I would say to anyone who is doing this/considering this journey, be realistic and make the most of your spare time. For our little family, time is so precious. Which is why we are all counting down the days until Christmas, something that I can honestly say I haven’t done since I was a little girl and still believed in flying reindeers and a jolly man with a red coat and white beard!

And on that note, the parents are away and the builders are coming this morning to remove the living room wall (oh joy) so I best get myself up and dressed…wish me luck!


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!