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

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!

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


Getting Personal.

UCAS Apply

Ahh the Personal Statement aka “The *insert name here* Advertisement Pitch”. At 17, I do not remember having any problem bragging about how brilliant I was but at 28 I was a little more self conscious and a LOT more self-aware so tasked with bigging myself up, seemed like a mammoth job. Where on earth to start?! Well, I have a small confession, I sort of had a little help…well kind of anyways. In Nursing, there is a huge emphasis on the 6 C’s (6 Traits and Characteristics that NHS staff should embody), so I used that to guide the writing of my statement. However, below I have tried to provide a more general framework and given some pointers to try to help anyone writing their personal statement as a mature student.

So, here goes:

  1. Why are you applying? What is your drive?
    Are you doing this for progression in your current career or like me, are you hoping to change your career completely? Are you driven by your family, your current/potential career or maybe you have hopes of making your first million?!
  2. What are your previous experiences of study?
    This doesn’t have to be formal qualifications, it could be an online course you’ve undertaken or an informative and excellent training course that your company have sent you on (who doesn’t love work related role play and discovering which ‘colour’ represents you?!)


    My Mum getting in some early practice as a Nurse!

  3. What relevant work experience do you have?
    This could be voluntary or paid work. And if like me, you’re going for a total career overhaul don’t panic! As you know, I worked in Sales for 6 years, what experience could I possibly offer up as a nursing student? Okay, so I hadn’t got any direct experience (playing Nurses aged 4 unfortunately doesn’t count) but in any job there are transferable skills you just need to draw focus to them. Have a think about general skills, good communication, being a team-player, commitment etc. and run with those. And, if you do have relevant experience, well this bit should be a doddle!
  4. What do you hope to get out of the course? Where do you see this taking you in your career?
    So the shiny certificate, the letters after your name and the bragging rights are all fantastic but they’re not usually the only things we hope to gain from a degree! What are you aiming for when you graduate? Is there a particular area that interests you and is there any specific jobs that take your fancy? You’re not committing yourself to anything but it does show you have thought about the future and your drive for success in your chosen career.
  5. What life experience makes you right for the course and makes you stand out against the next person?
    As I have mentioned, being a parent really is worth bringing up, there is a reason they say being a parent is the hardest job in the world! Plus think of all of the skills you’ve gained, no-one multi-tasks like a parent or handles non-stop pressure like a parent! Also, if you have the space, it may be worth mentioning if you have any hobbies outside of parenting, (if you do, hats off to you, you are a superhero!) Finally, even seemingly bad life experiences can be a positive, they show your determination and your resilience. So to the lovely girls who bullied me at University, good attempt at putting me off but not only did I complete my first degree, I’m now going back for round 2!! RESILIENCE!
  6. Finally, please resist the urge to be modest! The only person who can convince the admissions team that you deserve a place at their University is you, so if you don’t brag and write like you’re the Queen/King of everything great, why would they want you over someone who will? As a grown up, it’s so easy to be self-deprecating but this is one time you can’t be. Plus, unless you’re planning on sharing it with the world and his wife, your statement is aimed at a very small audience so no-one’s going to call you up on your excellent ability to lead your co-workers into battle whilst balancing an elephant on your head.

This is by no means a definitive guide to writing your personal statement but I hope it gets you thinking and gives you a couple of nudges in the right direction. Below I’ve included a couple of links to other (definitely more professional) guides specifically aimed at Mature Students too. If you would like to ask me any specific questions/want more guidance please feel free to email me on The Uni Mummy Email address and I will do my best to help!

The more professional versions of the above:



UCAS.com (Page 12)

Starting at the very beginning…

Okay, so it may be a month until Uni starts so technically I am not a student just yet BUT I feel that in order for you to be able follow my time as a student, it’s important that you understand how I got to where I am today.

A confession, this isn’t my first time.

I have already worn the mortar board, already experienced fresher’s week and, last time, missed too many lectures with a hangover.


Does anyone look good in one of these?!

In 2009 I graduated with a BSc in Psychology, a course that I thoroughly enjoyed but which, in hindsight, only scratched the surface of the mind and what it was capable of. As a result, you are a very lucky person if you manage to walk straight into a Psychology job once you have that certificate in your hands! During this first stint as an undergraduate I met a crazy-haired friend who has since sorted out his locks and become my husband.

Falling in love makes you do crazy, unexpected things and in this instance, it made me move to a town in which we knew no-one and had only visited once properly before we moved! So off we trotted, a loved up pair, to the beautiful Cotswolds in order for (the now) Husband to pursue an amazing opportunity working as a resident Ceramicst. I’m sure it will  come as no surprise that dream jobs such as these, don’t tend to pay the bills and so my degree and all the knowledge I gained had to be put on the shelf and I took up a job in Sales.

Oh Sales, what a love/hate relationship I had with you. It was a lot of fun when things went well but a bad day could leave you in tears, reaching for the nearest alcoholic beverage. And yet, it took the arrival of ‘Hurricane Little Man’ 6 YEARS LATER for me to finally cut ties with the industry.

So that brings me to the most recent turn in my tale, The Little Man. My beautiful and totally bonkers, son. It’s definitely been an interesting rollercoaster ride so far. However, becoming a mother has helped me define who I am and who I want to become. Sounds dramatic but I promised this blog would be honest and that is the (dramatic) truth.

Holding hands

As my maternity leave was drawing to an end I attempted to return to my job in Sales part-time, a request that was swiftly declined. Unless we won the lottery before my SMP was up, I knew I had to get another job. I got offered an interview for a part-time Sales position at a different firm, I knew that I should be feeling relieved (after all, money makes the world go round right?) Instead, I cried. And that was my lightening bolt moment, I knew that if I was going to leave the Little Man and put him into the care of someone else it HAD to be a job that I was going to enjoy and have some sense of fulfilment. So I declined the interview and finally listened to my Mum (the cliché is true, they are always right!) Having worked as a nurse herself since she left school and knowing how much I enjoyed psychology she had mentioned on several occasions that I should look into a career as a mental health nurse. So this time, I did.

The Husband and I looked into what the course would entail, finances and how it would work from the practical ‘living’ side of things. Despite there being a number of obstacles in the way, none of them put me off. And I came to the conclusion that if you really, really want something, you WILL find a way to jump over those hurdles, (or walk around them if you’re as unfit as me!) So on that profound note, I shall end my first blog entry.

If you’ve stuck this out to this point, thank-you!  I hope you’ve enjoyed the hop, skip and a jump through my life so far.

Next time the joys of the UCAS application process and how we’re planning to make our way around those hurdles!