The only photo I could find of me wearing glasses, with the child who chose them

I am not into shopping

My friends know that I’m not the person to call if they want to go shopping. Years of dying of boredom with my siblings while our Mum tried on clothes ensured that I would never enjoy shopping. Even when getting things for me.

So it was with great trepidation that I agreed to go shopping for a new pair of glasses with my partner. When I say I agreed, I mean that we were down to one car between us, the shops were on our way home and he promised to buy me breakfast while we were out.

I won’t go into a blow by blow account. How many times the same pair of glasses were tried on, rejected and tried on again just to make sure. Let’s just say I’m pretty sure I bought my wedding dress in less time than it took for him to settle on a pair (then have a minor panic about having chosen the right ones).

Choosing my own glasses a couple of years ago was more straightforward. I went to the opticians taking my then 6 year old with me. I had a limited budget so only looked at a few frames. They were on buy one get one free so my 6 year old chose red ones because of his obsession with iron man and I chose a purple pair because I like purple. Job done.

While I can’t guarantee I’ll be doing many more shopping trips with my partner (even with the promise of breakfast at Bill’s), when I next need glasses I’ll be taking my son. I reckon we can be in and out of Specsavers in 10 minutes flat.

Cartoon by Adrienne Hedger – Her stuff is so funny. Check out her Facebook page

All school holidays are relentless

I started this weekly list after the Christmas holidays, where I felt like I’d been run over by a truck and was so, so grateful for school starting. Even though it meant having to do the school run in foul weather, it was a small price to pay for the kids being out of the house for six hours a day.

By the time the Easter holidays rolled around we were all more than ready for the break (not least from the school run). The kids were shattered, we were even more tired and with both mine and my partner’s birthdays, Easter and some time to kick back, there was lots to look forward to.

At this point I’m reminded of the meme ‘have another child they said, they’ll entertain each other, they said’. Throw in 3 over tired children, visiting relatives, day trips and a lot of time in each others’ company and it feels like we have spent the whole holidays staving off World War 3. There has been a lot of ‘he said, she said’ and a lot of wine drunk at the end of the day.

All this has made me come to the realisation that school holidays aren’t relaxing for anyone. Not the teachers who spend pretty much the whole time marking, planning and setting up for the term ahead. Not for the parents who have to juggle work, childcare and family members and certainly not for the children who, having a ‘rest’ from school, are whipped into a series of day trips and late nights.

With only one short term between now and the 6 week long summer holidays. I’m wondering if we’re strong enough? Should I start diverting my rent payments to the vineyards now, in anticipation? At least this Easter break has set my expectation up nicely and it will be with some (a lot) of apprehension that we enter the summer holidays.

You won’t always get it right

There have been a lot of factors at play recently. All things that, when we’ve had enough sleep and are in some semblance of a routine, feel manageable. At the moment, however, we’re all running on an eye twitching minimum level of sleep, my 4 and 8 year old had me up a record 7 times in under 7 hours the other night and the world suddenly felt like a grim, dark place.

This wasn’t contained to just the one day. Nor did I manage to catch up on other nights – the Easter holidays have been relentless and there’s always somewhere we have to be or something we have to be doing.

A minor meltdown ensued after I had been to exchange yet another of my partner’s birthday presents (tricky when you buy handmade stuff but the people who made them were incredibly kind and said it wasn’t a problem) and the measurement still wasn’t right. I was feeling really flat for having got the measurement wrong twice and my partner stepped in and said ‘Holly it’s fine. You can’t possibly always expect to get it right.’ In that moment I realised that he’s right, not only will I not always get it right, I often get it wrong but my intention is always good and that really is enough.

Online marketing compliance is always moving forward

Being a digital marketer is fun. It keeps me up to date with the latest technology and Social Media and website trends. It also means that my work has to be divided between actually doing work and separating time for learning the new rules and regulations surrounding legalities and T&Cs of using software. This week has mainly been spent learning the rules and regulations surrounding the GDPR which is coming into force at the end of May (seriously – ask me anything!)

When new legalities are put into place it can be daunting to make sure everything complies and easy to want to give up with it all. Being part of entrepreneur groups is massively helpful in these situations. You can all learn from each other and keep each other going when it feels like it’s getting too tough.

It also means that whilst learning this information to be able to advise clients, I can improve my own practise. You can see this with my brand new privacy statement, hastily uploaded from the cafe at Gravity Force while the kids trampolined. Multitasking at it’s finest.

Sometimes it all goes out the window when you have a 4 year old

When you have older children it can be easy to forget that the youngest has their own (different) needs. In our case the little one gets so much support from the older two that we can feel we only really see him when he needs a bit of adult support.

By the end of the holidays all the kids were exhausted, too many late nights, activities and visitors. Having 2 homes doesn’t always help as naturally the kids can want to be with the other parent and adhering to two different schedules and parenting styles can be tough for them.

With the clock ticking and me desperately needing to catch up on work, my partner took my 8 year old out so I could get some work done. With just the 4 year old to keep me company, I figured I could at least get my 5 Things list written. I didn’t even get started. Instead we cuddled up on the sofa and napped. Ok I didn’t get any work done and I’m now writing this list at 1am but you know what? I wouldn’t change a thing. In July he’s going to be 5 and these moments are becoming less often and more precious.