Career Paths

I’ve just started the 3rd year of my OU degree. One course I’m doing is still heavily children based. The other is a social sciences course. My first social sciences course. At level 3. Yeah I’m a bit nuts. But what I like is that its a whole different set of students. We all come from a wide range of backgrounds. There’s youth workers, social workers, foster carers, teaching assistants. A wide range of backgrounds.

I got chatting with one of my fellow students who said that although she worked with social services she had decided against training as a social worker because of all the legislation and red tape that doesn’t always put children first. I can relate to that totally. It was that reason that I dropped out of college from a course that was leading me down the social work path.

Don’t get me wrong I know social workers do their best and they follow all the rules which keep children safe but they often spend more time filling out paperwork making sure everything is accounted for than being with the kids themselves. And that’s what I couldn’t do. I want a hands on job. One where I can interact with them and find out what makes them tick.

My current youth work job is great. But the paper trail is now starting to infiltrate youth work. Everything is accountable. It’s all about the evidence. You’ve got to be able to track back and show progress.

Maybe it’s just how a lot of jobs are going to go. Even those at the bottom of the rung with children are having to do it. I know its what keeps children ‘safe’ supposedly but I’m not convinced it is always in their best interests. Attachment theory? Yeah the paperwork seems to put a bit of an oar into that!

I do keep considering going into teaching when my degree is finished, and doing a PGCE, afterall the holidays when you have kids are a bonus, and maybe its in my blood seeing as my mums a teacher … but I don’t know that its me … I guess I’ll just have to wait and see what comes up!

Making space to move…

So as some people know I recently discovered my landlord is selling. And although she is looking for another investor buyer I’m not banking on it and am starting to look for a bigger and better property. Where we are now is quite small and I’m quite a hoarder so the walls are filled with my pictures, shelves are covered in knick nacks, I have stuff hanging down all over the place.

But I realised that if I’m going to open myself up to moving somewhere else I need to detach from here. I need to let this place go. So I’ve started on a mass sort out! I’ve downsized two wardrobes into one! I’ve thrown out 3 black bags of rubbish from two rooms. I’ve taken down all my small photographs that could be boxed up, all my small knick knacks that were easily wrapped. I’ve sorted through my DVDs and sold a bunch online. I’ve ebayed tons of clothes. I’ve made a start on my filing system. Theres still a long way to go but I’m working on the theory of slow and steady will mean when we finally do move I won’t need to mass panic over packing everything up.

Sorting through things though makes you realise what is really precious to you and valued. And it got me thinking about the fact I have never brought contents insurance which is a pretty dumb idea when I have harddrives full of images that are important, a couple of treasured canvas’, old baby stuff I’ve kept, sentimental jewellery that although not valuable is irreplaceable!

When I first moved in here over 18 months ago my upstairs neighbours had an attempted break in just a few days after we got the keys. And I remember thinking at the time I really must get contents insurance this time and it was just one of those things I never got around to doing. As time goes on though I realise that actually although I’m not materialistic I have alot of treasured memories that I’d be devastated to lose and really I should protect them in some way!

But I can’t dwell on what hasn’t been done. I have to let go of this property and thats what I plan to do. And in doing so hopefully the universe will open doors to my dream property in the right price bracket! Keep everything crossed for me yeah?

Pocket money for Mummy!

I think its safe to say that many of us would like to have a bit of extra cash in our pockets. Maybe to spend on ourselves to get our hair and nails done, or maybe even to splash out on having a massage, or a new outfit. Or even to have a meal out. I know like me theres alot of families who just don’t have the money in their budget for these things! We all dream of the day when we win the lottery right?

Recently I’ve found a few ways to earn a little bit extra cash in order to be able to do the things we want to do!

  •  Selling your unwanted baby bits! I’ve been really blitzing the amount of baby things we have. Clothes that cost a reasonable amount are getting sold online, ok so not your budget range clothes but things that cost you a bit, may be of interest to someone else. Equally if you upgrade your baby monitor, pushchair, changing bag, sell your old one! You’d be surprised at some of the prices things go for!
  • Go through your wardrobe! Sort out what you don’t wear anymore. If its something that is in great condition but hasn’t been worn for 6 months, SELL IT! Wouldn’t you rather have the cash than leave it hanging in your wardrobe where its never worn! I know which option I’d prefer! You can always use the cash you earn to buy a replacement top/dress.
  • Sort through your jewellery and sell gold that you no longer use or need. If its unused, declutter and earn pocket money!
  • Declutter your old DVDs. If you’ve watched it once and are unlikely to watch it again, why keep it! Theres a number of sites which will buy them off you. Or you can sell them independently.
  • Stuff that wont sell online, take to a carboot/tabletop sale etc. You’d be amazed at what people will buy!

And when you’ve earnt your little bit of spending money? ENJOY IT! Don’t put it all towards the bills. Save a little something for you, for a little pick me up. A little boost on a rainy day. We all have to look after ourselves.

Staycationing?

I actually can’t remember the last time I went abroad. Okay well I can but it was so long ago the memories have faded significantly. We rarely went on holidays abroad as a child. It was mainly holidays in this country with the exceptions of Egypt, Malta and America as well as Portugal and Spain that I don’t remember.

We often went to Devon and the Isle of Wight and in recent years have explored Dorset and Cornwall.

But there were also the times we went on my brothers football tournaments and stayed in caravans. And I absolutely loved them! The cheesy nightlife. Sleeping in a bed so small your likely to fall out if you roll over with a mattress so thin it might as well be the floor. The sound of hearing every footstep anyone takes around the place. The paper thin curtains. Hearing everyone that walks past. Those are what staycationing memories are made of!

Don’t get me wrong going abroad can be just as fun and I love exploring new places and cultures and enjoying a bit of sunshine. But staying in the UK can open up just as many new experiences. I remember going searching for badgers in Devon in pitch black dark woods, terrified cause I was only about 10! And surfing for the first time ever in Cornwall. And then theres the other memoreis such as breaking your wrist falling off your bike whilst on holiday!

You don’t need to go abroad to make memories and experiences.

I’ve considered a few times the possibility of getting a caravan somewhere in the UK, although recent floods have been a reminder of the importance of caravan insurance, the thought of having the equivilant of a second home somewhere i quite appealing! Somewhere you can escape to for weekends! I used to envy my friends that ‘went away to the caravan’ during school time, getting to spend time at the sea! Which I love!

Maybe in time, when I win the lottery…

Time to upgrade?

With the fact we will be moving again hopefully within the next year part of me is considering upgrading our current big box old style TV to something a little more modern and smaller! For years I’ve stuck with the old style TV mainly because you can pick them up for free so easily on Freecycle! However they take up so much space. Are at a height that is all to ideal for little hands to get play with and get at to press buttons they shouldn’t, and god forbid press the stop recording button so mummy misses casualty!

In the past few years the price of these modern flat screen TVs has been steadily falling and I’m starting to seriously consider whether I want to take this massive box one with us to a new place.

Being able to put a TV on the wall would be a bonus, although some landlords won’t allow this so I need to look into it and seriously consider convincing the right one to let me do it! That way it would be up and out of reach of tiny hands, mucky handprints and I would be able to enjoy a nice clear picture, maybe even HD!

In an economic climate where we are all watching the pennies and looking for the best deal retailers are meeting that and even iPads are becoming household names as well as top of the range Televisions, game consoles etc. I’ve got friends who fill their homes with these luxuries and swear they aren’t out of pocket for it. It seems if you bargain hunt you can get a great deal.

The other thing that I’m noticing, especially after Britmums Live, is that blu ray is becoming more popular but equally there is now ultraviolet technology that is soon going to take over the world.

So maybe its time I upgraded from one of the massive TV’s that take two strong people to carry! Tell me I’m not the only one still living in the 20th Century?

A machine for every chore?

Its funny because so often I see people tweeting about how hard life is without a dishwasher because theirs has broken down. But for nearly 4 years I have lived in flats that don’t have dishwashers. I’m lucky that they have washing machines and that is good enough for me! As long as I have somewhere I can wash my clothes, and ideally somewhere to dry them then the dishes can be done by hand.  Its long, its annoying, it takes time, it makes my back ache, but at least I know when they are done they’ve been cleaned by my bare hands.

That being said I need to source a washing machine repair dude because rather unhelpfully, especially when you have a teething pooping baby and a child who wears white to school and needs their shirts washing on a daily basis, my not so wonderful washing machine busted on Friday! The buttons have all retreated inside the machine and now I can’t get to the damn thing without risking electrocuting myself, possibly a bad idea!

I’m beginning to start looking for a new place to live and one thing I’ve noticed generally about renting is that the majority of places only have washing machines, very few have dishwashers! I was shocked when I saw one in a photo of a potential flat the other day! To be honest I’ve got so used to doing the dishes by hand that I think I would find it a bit weird being able to just put them inside a machine to do it for me. I wouldn’t get the satisfaction I get form completing a task I really don’t like that much.

Its funny to think in this day and age we have a machine for everything. Every chore there is a solution, well other than the toilet and bathroom so far! Or maybe I’m missing something! Years ago we’d have been scrubbing clothes for hours on end getting horrible dry skin on our hands. Now we just bung everything in a machine and hey presto it comes out gleaming. Pretty sure I prefer the 21st century way! Not sure I could have coped with all that hard work! The dishes is enough effort for me! ;-)