Keeping my head above water…


It feels like it’s been a little while since I wrote a ‘proper’ blog post.

Life happened, and I feel like I am only just keeping my head above water at times.

Looking after the kids, my husband working long hours, starting a new cake making business, running the family home, blogging, helping kids with homework, remembering everything the kids need on a daily basis, being class rep for one of my sons classes, writing a quarterly NCT newsletter, being a good friend, being a mum, being a daughter, being a wife, thinking of what everyone wants for breakfast, lunch and dinner every day, doing the (ever more expensive) food shop every week, cleaning, washing, being a taxi service for the kids to get them to clubs, the list could go on and on and I know a load of you out there will be able to relate to what I am saying.

Life at the moment feels like a constant juggling act and I feel perilously close to dropping not just one, but all the balls.

Yep, I can foresee an pic Ball drop coming up folks…


I find myself googling Rightmove late at night. I lie there whilst everyone else in the house is asleep, scrolling through pages of houses in the arse-end of nowhere in Scotland and I think to myself, I’m off. Take me somewhere quiet, take me back to basics.

Fog Bow over Lochailort in Scotland

Don’t get me wrong, I am SUPER grateful for my life, for what possessions we have, for the opportunities we have, for the relative peace we live in, for having a loving family and wonderful friends, but life is just relentless at the moment and my brain is about to kaput.

The middle one has always been a challenging little pickle. He had a speech delay meaning he didn’t even say Mummy until he was 4 years old (ah, yes, the speech delay that he had because, apparently, I obviously hadn’t spoken to him enough as he grew up…yep, that is honestly what I was told by one very helpful soul who shall remain nameless). This speech delay has set him back in the reading, writing and talking department and, whilst he isn’t majorly behind and school aren’t at all worried, the daily dramas I have trying to get him to read to me are EPIC. Like, WW3 epic. As well as all the other daily chaos we have going on, after school clubs, swimming lessons, cooking dinner, sorting two other kids, bath time, baking, you get the idea, I have a daily battle on my hands – if you’re a Game of Thrones fan, Battle of the Bastards really has nothing on my daily reading/homework battle with the middle one.

It’s so draining.

I have tried all different kinds of incentives, bribery, threats, pleading, crying, bargaining with him and, as yet, my methods have little to no effect on him.

Hubby normally gets in from work just as my daily battle has come to a ceasefire – this is often pretty shit timing.

“How was your day?” he might ask.

“Pretty shit”, I often reply.

Just what he wants to hear after a long day in the office eh?

It’s hard not to get resentful too.

I’ll be frankly honest with you all, I can sometimes find myself even getting jealous of my husband being able to sit in his car for an hour by himself and drive to/from work. How sad is that?! I would honestly sometimes rather be stuck in traffic than have to have a battle over a sodding reading book.

The madness of it all is, he will happily read to his little brother every night. He will sit next to Ben on the beanbag and beautifully read a bedtime story whilst we all listen but as soon as I ask him to get his school reading book and do 10 minutes reading, KABOOM! He goes off on one. From the reaction I get, it’s like I’ve asked him to write the bloody book, not read it.

I remember it being the same with my eldest at this age to be fair. He would also have a meltdown over doing homework and reading and I would sit with my head in my hands questioning my many life choices.

Hormones, tiredness, a stubborn personality and emotional development changes are all factors contributing to his ‘select’ behaviour but I can’t, and won’t, keep making excuses for him. I am a firm believer that the kids can’t be mollycoddled and the fact of the matter is, life is tough. You don’t get anywhere without hard work so he has to suck it up and get on with it. I’ll be there to help, support, listen and encourage, but I won’t be treated like a verbal punch bag every day because he doesn’t want to do something.

This daily battle with just one of the three kids means that at least 30 minutes of my evening, every day, is taken up doing battle. If I forget to write in his reading record, I get a ticking off because his teacher thinks he hasn’t read and then more mum guilt sets in. Oh the mum guilt…it’s a complete mother fooker that one is.

I then have to compose myself, dedicate the same amount of time to the eldest one who also has homework and reading to do and I’m also sorting the little one and cooking dinners and washing uniforms and packing sports kits and making packed lunches and replying to emails and finishing off baking orders, and, and, and…I’m exhausted.

Dorset, Golden Cap

The eldest one went into school without saying goodbye to me this morning because he forgot to put his books back in his school bag after a trip yesterday. This was apparently my fault. His bag, his books, but my fault. Go figure that one out. When I informed him that, ‘now he’s in year 5 he can check his own school bag’, I was met with a Medusa-like death stare from him and a huff. After the manic morning I had packing 6 different bags (that’s just for two of the boys!), I politely but firmly informed him that it wasn’t in fact my fault and that the responsibility laid with him. He stomped off through the school gates and walked down to his classroom. I left him there, safely at school, and walked out the gates feeling so sad that he hadn’t said goodbye like he usually does, that we didn’t have a hug, that he didn’t wave to me with his lovely little smile as I walked out of eyesight like he usually does. That hurts more than words sometimes doesn’t it, silence.

Ah, there’s that bloody bitch Mum Guilt again. Please would you kindly fuck off love, you’re not welcome here anymore.

The summer holidays feel like a lifetime ago already. October half term, when we can have a little break, is still 3 weeks away. I am literally ticking off the days. A week without so much chaos. A week with a little less homework. A week with, hopefully, a little less mum guilt.

It’s a cliche, but there truly don’t seem to be enough hours in the day to get everything done. It’s a constant battle against the clock and numerous times in a day I find myself rushing things or flying out the door as the countdown theme tune plays out in my head whilst I do it.

I feel guilty when I get in bed at the end of the day and wish I hadn’t snapped at one of the kids during a moment of stress, I feel guilty that I didn’t spend enough time with one of them because another one took up more of my time, I feel guilty that I sat on my laptop in the evening catching up on emails and messages rather than chatting to my husband.

I feel like I need to create 6 more versions of myself then I might just get everything done (though I am pretty sure the prospect of having 6 more me’s in the house is a truly terrifying one for my husband, haha!).

 So, for now, I feel like I am keeping my head above water, but only just.

Seatown Dorset



  1. September 27, 2017 / 12:02 pm

    Ahh Gemma I can relate to a lot of this, it can seem like an impossible task to just get through the day sometimes – sending a big hug!! Make sure you take care of yourself lovely xx

  2. September 27, 2017 / 1:25 pm

    I feel your pain. To think I only have one child! Sending hugs and positive vibes your way 🙂 xxx

  3. Dawn Spearing
    September 27, 2017 / 3:08 pm

    Hang in there Gemma, you are doing a great job, whilst keeping us all entertained. Life gets easier(when they go to college)

  4. October 16, 2017 / 9:25 am

    I’m sorry things are so hectic! Hopefully the school break will arrive quickly and you can get a moment to breathe and collect your thoughts again. #bigpinklink
    Heather Keet recently posted…Poll Tuesday week 31…My Profile

  5. October 16, 2017 / 10:03 am

    Oh Gemma you sound like you’ve had a few tough weeks. If its any help most mums have been there and know your pain! As a mum of teens all I can say is it will get better…..and then it gets crap again! Hold on in there! #bigpinklink

  6. October 16, 2017 / 10:54 am

    Oh this is so tough! Life that is! I struggle with 1 child, setting up my own business and running the house. I can’t imagine how you actually do it with 3 children. Big hugs to you and give yourself a break – you are doing fabulously! #bigpinklink

  7. October 16, 2017 / 3:20 pm

    You have so much on your plate but I feel change is coming. Have you heard of Worldschoolers on FB? It connects families that want to travel with their children, some for long periods and some for short. It’s not always costly and there’s good resources for housesitting worldwide etc or offers from families in Costa Rica willing to share their property for families that will join them. Anyway it maybe a plan and something you could do in a year for a month in the summer or another distraction. In which case sorry. I love it. #BigPinkLink

  8. October 16, 2017 / 3:32 pm

    Oh man, I can relate to this! But you know what? You’re doing a m a z i n g ! The fact you’re trying so hard speaks volumes, you have nothing to feel guilty of because you’re trying your best, and that is what makes a good mum.

    Have you tried not doing the homework? I know that’s not the done thing, and I’d struggle not to as well, but I’ve heard other mums taking a stand when it’s causing misery. If he feels less pressure he’ll come to it in his own time? Maybe speak to the school and say forcing the issue is actually not helping.

    Sadie | Be Your Own Example recently posted…back to weight watchers (goodbye slimming world)My Profile

  9. October 16, 2017 / 6:10 pm

    Ah you’ve got so much on your plate right now! We can only take things a day at a time. Must be hard not to get too overwhelmed but hang in there, you’re doing great x #bigpinklink

  10. October 17, 2017 / 12:56 am

    There is not doubt us mums expect way too much of ourselves and something has to give. Don’t let it be you. It is a cliché but we really do need to look after our own physical and mental wellbeing so we can take proper care of our loved ones. Back to basics is a great idea if you ask me – did it 3 months ago and feel so much more content and able to handle things.
    Kate recently posted…Freedom Debt Relief Reveals the Top Financial Mistakes Young People MakeMy Profile

  11. October 19, 2017 / 6:48 pm

    Totally get where you’re coming from; we upped and moved from London to Wiltshire in July, and even though life is a bit (lot) slower, I still find myself playing catch up and never seeming to have time to do the things I want to do. #bigpinklink
    Aleena recently posted…It’s a Blog Life: The Pros & Cons of Being a BloggerMy Profile

  12. October 20, 2017 / 7:13 pm

    Even without the school books I can relate with all the juggling. #bigpinklink
    Helena recently posted…Château BeaumesnilMy Profile

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