Postgraduate student parent diaries – Week 1 – My first week, finance and childcare!

Wow, it’s been a minute since my last post! SOOOOO whilst I am back doing my MA in Career Guidance and Development at University, I thought it would be a good feature on the blog to share my experience via a regular feature called Postgraduate Student Parent Diaries. I’m hoping I can share my experiences, what went well and what didn’t. I am planning on writing some helpful posts separately, like time management as a student parent and all things finance etc. this feature is just going to be a document of my time doing my MA as a student parent!

My first lectures

So University life looks a world away from when I did my Undergraduate study because of Covid-19!!!

I only got my timetable finalised last week and was actually surprised to see that all my teaching would be completed face to face, so I actually physically get to go into University, two afternoons a week. This has posed a bit of a problem childcare wise though, Arthur and Maisie haven’t been to childcare since lockdown and we are now having to re-register them. Maisie was able to start this week, she only needs collecting from school, but Arthur cannot start until November. So we called upon Grandparents this week to help with the childcare. My Mum had Arthur on my first day and then James’ parents came to watch him for the second. Going forward we are just going to have to play it by ear and see who is available when, James is still only working part time so he is also available for some of it.

My first day went well. I headed to the Library first, I was surprised to see it looked exactly the same and instantaneously had flashbacks to my undergrad days of being sat in there until the early hours. It made me smile because James and I met on our course at University and would often be in there at the same time before we were actually together, working away. I took a few books out using the list I had made the night before and was proud that I remembered how to find them.

Then I headed for my first lecture – Developing Professional Practice: Organisational Culture and Professional Practice. I found the building ok without having to ask for help as I do have some knowledge of the University layout (but there have been a few additions since my time!!!) The room felt weird, with individual desks spread out to accommodate social distancing and I got the feeling this would be a completely different experience of university than I was used to. Everyone is required to wear a mask, unless exempt. My lecturer was wearing a face shield and discussion was limited.

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Starting school again after lockdown

When planning ahead for my posts, since we have started to try and blog more about family and lifestyle than fashion and beauty, I thought that I would share some thoughts on starting school again after lockdown. Then it dawned on me that the biggest effect this will have on anyone is Maisie. So this week Maisie will be sharing her thoughts on starting school again after lockdown and how she is feeling about it in her own words:

Maisies thoughts:

Emma Ellis. The Plus Size of Life, Maisie Ellis, Starting school after lockdown, walking to school
Maisie’s first day at school ever!

1. My Teacher

I am nervous to meet my new teacher. Usually we get to meet them before we finish for the summer holidays but that did not happen this time. I know I shouldn’t be nervous. I’m sure she will be just as nice as my other teachers.

2. Wearing Masks

I’m not bothered if I have to wear a mask because to be honest I don’t really mind wearing them when we are shopping or on the bus. Some other people in my class may fidget i’ll try my best not to fidget to keep my mask as clean as I can.

3. Friends

I am so excited to see all of my friends. I’ve already seen a few when we started football again and when me and Mum went for walks but the others I haven’t seen i’m really excited to see.

4. Playtime

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5 reasons I love the large age gap between my children

I have written before about having a new baby when there are other kids in your household and all the things that can help ease the pressures of jealousy from older siblings, you can read that here. Today I want to talk about 5 reasons I love the age gap between my children.

There is 8 years between Maisie and Arthur and although sometimes it has been a bit of a challenge when it comes to activities and school holidays to get the right balance, overall we have had such a positive experience.

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1. I didn’t feel as exhausted as I could of

Having a new baby is exhausting. I can’t believe I had forgotten what those first few weeks were like! BUT that said I think it definitely would have been more difficult if Maisie was younger than 7 when Arthur came along. I couldn’t imagine having a toddler and a new baby at the same time, hats off to anyone who copes with that!!

2. Their bond is so special

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To my children I am perfect!

Mum guilt has been setting in alot recently. It’s such a hard thing to overcome, it’s like a small seed is planted and it just gets bigger and bigger. So today I’m hashing out my feelings in the reflective post, to my children I am perfect!

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What toddler doesn’t have messy chops?

Growing up wasn’t the best for me. I HATE thinking about my time at school. I felt alone through most of my teens because of how I saw the world and I really struggled with my mental health. I struggled for friends, except for a select few who I am still friends with today. This continued through school and University and I would just behave how I wanted without thinking about any of the consequences. As a grown up, I see things from a completely different perspective, but that doesn’t stop the anxiety creeping in.

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5 telltale signs your child is now a tween!

On my last post, I was talking out childhood struggles that modern kids will never know. Following on from that today I am talking about telltale signs your child is now a tween.  If you didn’t know, a tween is what the modern world calls a child whos not quite old enough to be classed a teenager but is definitely on their way! Maisie is growing up sooo fast since turning 9 in June! So today I’m sharing a light hearted look at what it is like living with her at the moment.

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When you have kids, life changes so fast. The stages of them growing up go so quickly. One minute they are coming into your bed in the morning for cuddles the next minute you are embarrassing them with anything you do.

1. The sassy attitude

This was one of the first things that James and I noticed and Ohhhhh the sassss! I don’s know whether it’s come from the TV shows she has been watching (less cartoons etc and more teen dramas) or the fact that she is her mothers daughter, but every time I ask her to do something or talk to her lately I seem to get an eye roll or a shoulder shrug. It’s like she knows she isn’t a kid anymore and just THINKS she’s all grown up.

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Childhood struggles you had that your kids will never know

Hello, if you missed my last post, make sure you give it a read, but the other day Maisie was trying to search for something on the TiVo and could not type properly using the remote control. We mostly only watch sport on the TV, everything else is on the games console, through Netflix etc. I was so shocked and had to do it for her. She couldn’t work it out! So this got me thinking and I have come up with a list of 5 childhood struggles you had that your kids will never know.

1. Mobile Phones

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We all had a Nokia 3310. As discussed in the intro they will never have to send a text using this typing method because modern phones use Qwerty keyboards. They also probably won’t ever have to experience 10p charge per text message …. most contracts and payg phones now have unlimited text deals. Or maybe they won’t even use text at all, just online messaging services.

Does anyone remember the games that used to come on your phone? Snake was the BOMB! How would our little ones survive not being able to download all their favourite apps and games

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Making frozen paint pops!

So in my last post, I mentioned that a good thing to do with the kids is to make frozen paint pops and make paintings with them in the sunshine. This post is going to show you how to quickly make them in 3 simple steps.

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You will need:

  • Paint
  • Water
  • Ice cube tray
  • Something to mix the paints in ( I used plastic beakers)
  • Lolly sticks or matchsticks

Step one:

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A few personal thoughts ……

Content/Trigger Warning: this post contains talk about self harm, weight loss and disordered eating, if this is not for you, please do not read on. Also I just want to say, I’m not fat shaming myself or anything like that I am just talking about my personal experiences and what I have been through up until today. I still believe that every body is worthy and will continue to support that.

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This is not a post that I thought I was ready to write yet, but yesterday something happened on the internet and I cannot keep it in any longer. I actually had to take myself away from my children and have a little cry yesterday to get all the emotions that I was feeling out. I filmed a ranty video that I was going to post, but I decided to try and articulate my frustration from that video into this post instead.

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