10 guilt-free reasons to use childcare

Grubbalo, now 15 months old, has been going to a childminder twice a week since he was ten months old. I run a business from home and I wrote this post about how hard I was finding it juggling looking after him and keeping on top of work. It is impossible to do anything remotely professional while he’s in the house.

I was relieved to find that my old childminder (who had looked after all my three older children in their pre-school years) had space available. She’s a truly lovely lady who is brilliant with the little ones.

I pay for all-day care, 9-5pm, but in effect I only have around four hours’ work time on those days, sometimes less as it’s the only days I can do appointments like dentists or doctors without Grubbalo around, as well as taking my other two children to clubs after school. So I pay a lot for a little bit of work time. But it is essential and I can get a lot done in those hours.

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I dreamt of you

In my morning sleep, the sleep before the day begins, I saw you

Clear, real, here

You were standing on the landing, in the doorway to our bedroom.

From my bed, I talked to you

Like I used to

You up and ready for the day

Me rousing from sleep

You looked a year or two older, taller too

Your hair still long and golden

Your face was beautiful

Luminous and radiant

xxx

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The heartache of decluttering after Abi diedĀ 

Ever since I had children, I’ve been bagging up clothes and toys for either car boot sales or charity shops, although it always seems the more I ‘recycle’ the more ‘stuff’ comes back into the house!

It’s been a long time since we did a car boot…  I say ‘we’ as normally Abi and I would get up at dawn to go and do one together, she really helped with setting up, tidying and selling – it was fun.

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Just a bunch of grapes

I’ve realised I’ve started buying grapes again, and not just buying them… eating them too!

Abi loved grapes. She’d come in from school and devour a bunch easily while watching TV.

Ever since she died, I’ve not been able to even look at grapes. I bought some once about a year ago, just to see if I could have them again. But I felt like gagging when I tried to eat one. The image of her happily munching away on them was all too recent. So I’ve avoided buying grapes… until the last few weeks.

It wasn’t a conscious decision, which is interesting. I just seem to be okay with it now.

It’s just fruit! Grief is funny like that.

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Surviving grief

Surviving my bereavement is not something I feel I’ve achieved by any means, yet, but I am beginning to see that in order to survive the loss of my child, I’ve needed to find and maintain a balance between grieving and living.

‘Surviving’ feels like an unusual word to use when I consider that it’s me who is still here with my life ahead of me, but the grief that I’ve seen and have felt has the potential to end that life – socially, mentally, physically or even literally. It’s a scary prospect that sorrow and despair – and, dare I say, an unavoidable self-pity – could easily eclipse everything and everyone that was once so important to me. Nobody knows just how grief will affect them until they are faced with it.

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And then our world fell apart

It is exactly a year ago today that Abi came downstairs looking pale and complained she felt really ill. Exactly a year since our world was turned upside down and inside out.

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I never really imagined what this day would be like, despite people telling me ‘all the anniversaries will be hard’.

Anniversaries? Anniversaries are a time to celebrate or commemorate something. A time to think of only that person or event, which you can forget about the rest of the year.

It’s not an anniversary of a year without Abi, it’s an anniversary of the day our entire world was shattered by something so totally unpredictable and traumatic.

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How many children does a bereaved mother have?

The note about what to write in a card to a grieving person in my last post seemed to strike a cord with some readers. Some recognised the uncertainty of what to do for the best, others realised they’d never considered how this simple gesture could be interpreted by the recipient, others recalled past occasions when they felt they should have perhaps done it differently. So, I wanted to focus a little more on this.

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