Friday, 6 May 2016

Living Life in Limbo

I'm a great believer in the seasons of life. Sometimes life is very much on the up - things are good, the sun is shining, we feel positive. We have seasons of hurt or pain, those winter times, where the old dies away in preparation for the new. And there's seasons of hope, seasons of preparation, seasons of transition.

Seasons don't last forever and, though sometimes painful, there's something to learn through each one. Sometimes we have the power to quicken the season in our own life, sometimes we just have to wait it out and pray that spring is coming soon (it very much felt like that in the natural last week - snow at the end of April??!!).


I'm not sure what the first quarter of 2016 has looked like for us. I wouldn't say it's been a winter season necessarily, but it's definitely been a season of transition - one that will culminate in the birth of our baby boy, heralding a very new season!

I started the year full of hope for new things, things we would achieve, things we would get done, and basically it hasn't happened. Not because of anything huge, but just a combination of everyday stresses which have prevented us from moving forwards. I've battled cold after pregnancy cold, we've had work stresses, financial stresses, household stresses, pregnancy stresses... In fact, we've battled through a fair amount of everyday stress in almost every area of life.

All of this could explain my lack of blogging - I haven't really had the energy, inspiration or inclination to put my fingers to keyboard... And when I have my posts have languished in the drafts folder, never seeing the light of the published Interweb!

However, (because thrillingly life is always punctuated by 'howevers' and 'buts') we are embarking on a new season! Over the last few weeks all of these stresses have begun to melt away, we have been able to look forward to a new day!

Our life in limbo is coming to an end and we are full of new beginnings - a new baby, a new job situation, a new financial situation, a new church situation which brings with it a new season in the spiritual, new relationships and friendships along with a strengthening of important old ones.

But until these things come to pass, we must wait - a bit like the end stages of this pregnancy! We're playing the waiting game. Living in hope that the past can be tied up in a neat little bow and that a new day can dawn with sunshine and flowers!

I hope that with this new day comes a fresh outpouring of creativity and inspiration. I hope that I'll be able to share with you on this journey, but if the blog does become a bit neglected as we adjust to life as parents of two, you can always catch up with me on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook and you can find my monthly guest posts over on the Meet Other Mums blog.

In the mean time, wish me luck! I am coming up for 39 weeks pregnant. Up to now we have settled into a bit of a state of denial that this baby will actually arrive, so this week is the week we will get organised and prepare - we just need to pray he doesn't make an early appearance!
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Thursday, 25 February 2016

Book Review: The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

Before I read The Kite Runner I (shamefully?) knew nothing of Afghanistan. I knew about 9/11. I knew there was The Taliban. I knew about The War on Terror.

I didn't know that it snows in the winter. I didn't know that there had been a war there in the '70s. I didn't know that many Afghan refugees fled to the West as a result of that war, before The Taliban ever graced our news bulletins.

I didn't know that Kite Running was a thing. I didn't know you could compete with kites like a sport, and that the glass string was sharp enough to cut your skin, and that you were meant to cut other kits out of the sky. My experiences of kite flying stem from the finale of Mary Poppins and my own feeble attempts on windy days at Camber Sands.

But The Kite Runner changed all that.

And that's the mark of an amazing book. A story that teaches you something. And after reading The Kite Runner I feel I've learnt a lot.

Khaled Hosseini has a knack for story telling that is rarely found in modern literature. And he manages to do it cross culturally in a way that educates you on that foreign culture, its history, its beauty and its flaws, all the while keeping it relatable and somehow, not foreign.

We follow the life of Amir from his childhood in Afghanistan, his own journey to the US as a refugee and then his journey back to Afghanistan in search of redemption, answers and healing - when he gets there he realises he will be going back to the US with so much more than he bargained for.

It really is a deeply moving tale filled with moments of deep joy, swiftly followed by moments of deepest despair and tragedy. But in the end, there is hope. Hope for redemption, resolution, happiness and peace - if not in Afghanistan itself, then it the hearts of its people, wherever they might reside.

Available on Amazon and all good bookshops.
Read More »

Thursday, 21 January 2016

...and then there were four


If you follow me on social media, you might have seen our announcement last week.

That's right, we're adding to our little team! 

Right now, I am about mid way through my 24th week of pregnancy. 24?! I know, kept that one quiet, didn't I?!

It wasn't my intention to be so secretive, but the weeks have flown by! Is that normal for a second child? For it to go so quickly? It's not like we haven't known about it - we actually realised that we were expecting around week 3 so no excuses there! After the 12 week mark we obviously then waited until we had told all of our relatives - though that did take an insane amount of time (not through want of trying - we love you all!). I did suffer for quite a while with sickness and tiredness (thankfully we've now seen the back of that!) which meant I wasn't really in the mood for telling people, then it was Christmas and all of a sudden we were over half way through, the countdown has begun and we only just got around to announcing it to the wider world (*waves* hello wider world!).

But you know, apart from when I was heaving over the toilet whilst Ruby rubbed my back and told me that she would keep me safe, I haven't thought that much about this pregnancy. I keep having to remind myself that this is going to happen!

I even contemplated applying for a job that I saw advertised! A quick reality check put paid to that idea!

BUT despite all of that, we are absolutely ecstatic. We had our 20 week scan during Christmas week which is when we found out we were flying the flag for blue (sorry, no Pinterest-style gender reveal over here!), Mr. D. is over the moon - he practically shouted at the sonographer when it was revealed. Our family feels complete (don't hold me to that!) and he hasn't even arrived yet. Ruby is so excited and keeps telling everyone that she's getting a brother, the bump has well and truly made an appearance and is getting lots of hugs from big sister and all the girlie hand-me-downs are finally making their way to younger friends and charity shops to make way for all the cute boy stuff that we're about to stock up on (who thinks boy stuff is so much cuter, anyway?!).

I am so excited to experience parenting both a girl and a boy. Mr. D. is wonderful with his best girlie, but I have always wanted to see him father a son. I'm sure he will be raised a Spurs fan (Ruby is most definitely a Palace fan so we'll allow Mr. D. that pleasure), and that we will throw ourselves into football, mud and glorious boy things. It's going to be fricking awesome. 

So, that is our big 2016 news! I would like to say I've made lots of goals and resolutions for the new year, but really it's just to safely transition from three to four - however that might happen - and to survive the months that follow relatively unscathed. Wish me luck!
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Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Why Times Tables Don't Equal Success

I have a confession to make.

I don't know most of my times tables.

I know, shock horror, right?


I know what you're thinking.

I'm probably a bit of a down-and-out, who barely scraped enough GCSEs to get into further education. I probably never went to uni. I have probably worked a minimum wage job my entire life. I've probably never travelled. Never lived away from the town I grew up in. In fact, my life probably reflects the generational cycle that society has stuck me in where my entire family lives off the state and no one in living memory has ever worked a day in their life.

Right?

Because, you know, that's what happens if you don't know your times tables by the age of 11, isn't it?

What if I told you, that actually, I managed to take my GCSE maths a year early and get a B?

What if I told you, I then took the higher paper in year 11, and also got a... B?

In fact, what if I told you that the lowest GCSE grade that I got, out of 11 qualifications, was a... B?

This isn't to brag, I'm merely making a point.

You see, I just can't do mental arithmetic. I can't.

You throw a sum at me, of any kind, and I will just hear a jumble of numbers, my brain freezes, I panic and I can't think of the answer. Under pressurised or timed conditions, the effect is even worse. I've always been this way.

Trigonometry, I can could do.

Pythagoras Theorem, I can could do.

Algebra? Well, once I understood that x was merely a missing number - I could work that out.

Just, you know, give me a couple of hours. And don't ask me to do any of these things 15 years later. I don't remember squat.

My husband? Well, he's a grammar school genius. Give him any sum under the sun (seriously, test him) and he'll throw the answer back at you in seconds. His mental arithmetic is, well, sharp. Did he get a B at GCSE maths? No. You know why? The teacher only entered him in for the intermediate paper, meaning the highest grade he could achieve was a C (why all grammar school pupils are not put in for the higher paper is beyond me!). Is he waaayyy better at maths than I am? Of course he is! Does he know his times tables? Of course he does!

I'm not saying that kids shouldn't learn them, and that maths is a skill no longer required. I'm just saying we shouldn't judge our kids, our teachers or our schools on the basis that all children know their times tables by the age of 11. Should they? Yes. Will all kids meet this standard? No.

Even though my mental maths is atrocious. Even though my understanding of numbers and mathematical principles is astonishingly bad. Even though I only know my five times tables if I count the sequence on my fingers....

...My teacher believed in my limited abilities enough to take a chance on the higher paper and somehow I managed to get a B in the end - a grade which wouldn't have been available to me had I done the intermediate paper. (Whether you think GCSE exams should be harder is a debate for another day!)

And that's what we need. Not more tests. Not more pressure before our kids even enter secondary school. Not more criticism for our teachers who work damn hard to ready every kid for the big wide world. We need teachers who believe in our kids enough to take a chance on them.

And we need them to know that they will not fail at life if they can't recite every times table by heart.

Because I haven't failed. I might not be able to recite my times tables, and I've never been able to do that. But I did get 11 GCSEs (A*-B). I did get three A-Levels (A-C). I did go to university and get a 2:1 degree. I did work in my chosen field for a number of years and was good at what I did.

But you know what my biggest success is?

My daughter.

And at two years old, she doesn't know her times tables either!
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Tuesday, 5 January 2016

Happy New Year!

Well, blogosphere, it's been a while hasn't it? The last quarter of 2015 rung some changes for our little family (all to be revealed) which meant that my small corner of cyber space had to fall by the wayside for a little while, but new year, new start and all that, and I'm back.

And I've missed this.

I've missed writing.
I've missed having a voice.
I've missed sharing my thoughts and my life with people.
I've missed the community.
I've missed the sense of purpose that comes from taking part in something bigger than my little world.
I've missed the creativity.

So, in 2016, I'm ready to fall in love with blogging again.



I've done a lot of soul searching over the past few weeks about whether to carry on, and in what capacity, but now, I'm ready to go.

I'm ready to get planning, writing, tweeting, facebooking and all the jazz that goes along with having a blog.

My life is constantly changing, evolving and adjusting, and there's going to be some huge changes over the next few months - which is why I was unsure about whether to begin again. But I'll never know how it will go, unless I try. So I'm jumping in with abandon and eagerly waiting to see what might happen.

I hope that 2016 holds many blessings and adventures for you all, the best is yet to come!
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Monday, 14 September 2015

The Craft Channel Launch

If you’ve followed me for a few years you’ll know that in my previous life (before kids) my career was very much anchored in the craft industry and I was involved in editing some pretty fab craft magazines which you’ll still find on the newsstand today.

So, always keeping a finger on the crafty pulse, I was pretty excited to be asked to attend the press launch of new, aptly named, craft TV shopping channel, The Craft Channel.


Hidden on an industrial estate in West London you’ll find The Craft Channel studios which have been given a new lease of life, painted hot pink and were decorated with balloons and flowers, ready for the arrival of many craft industry veterans. I got to meet some fab bloggers, editors and journalists as we all gathered to celebrate this launch and it really was a fantastic day out.

Watching a show being filmed!

So interesting to see behind the scenes!

We were given a tour of the studios, watched a show being filmed and got to mingle with the craft industry’s finest. I loved meeting the next generation of craft journalists who have now replaced me in my old job at Aceville Publications, as well as Editor of Mollie Makes – Lara Watson (I’m a long time fan), and editor of Die Cutting Essentials, Becky Higgins.

It was also so lovely to meet Amanda of Ginger Mum fame and Anthea of Zing Zing Tree – bloggers who were there doing what they do best and raising the profile of the blogging industry.

Dawn Bibby & Julian Ballantyne showing off the goodie bags!

The Craft Channel will not only be selling all of your latest craft products – covering papercraft, jewellery making, scrapbooking, chocolate making, baking and food – but it will be providing loads of demonstrations,  informative talks, interviews and magazine style chat shows full of your favourite craft celebrities – including Queen of papercraft, Dawn Bibby, the Crafty Beggars, Julie Peasgood and Wendy Turner and if you've ever tuned into a shopping channel you'll probably recognise Debbie Greenwood and Julian Ballantyne!


The channel launched this morning on channels Sky 261 & 660, FreeSat 402 & 815 & FreeView 254. If you’re the type of person whose house is full of scrapbooking paper, unfinished projects and crafty gizmos that your non-crafty friends just don't understand then I think you’ll love this new venture and I hope they fill that gap in the market that takes crafts to the masses and shows people what a fantastic hobby it can be.

Check it out at thecraftchannel.tv.
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Thursday, 3 September 2015

A human problem that deserves a human response

I've had enough.

I've had enough of humans.

Humans that live in their cosy little houses, with their cosy little western life, with their 2.4 children and their parents round the corner who are living on to a ripe old age.

Humans whose main concern for their children is whether they're in the correct catchment area for their preferred school.

Humans who have never lived in a warzone.

Never witnessed a murder, let alone a mass murder. Let alone the mass murder of their own relatives. Friends.

Humans who have never had to leave behind their homes, families, careers, communities and possessions while they flee for their lives, not knowing whether their families or friends made it. Not knowing whether they died amid the chaos, or perished en route.

Humans who have never had to pretend to their children that they were going on an exciting adventure rather than embarking on a perilous journey where only the lucky survive and the only alternative is guaranteed death.

Humans who have never had to face the choice of which child to save from drowning as they float amidst a sea of bodies - their rubber dinghy capsized because they were not alone in deciding it was a safer bet to put their lives into the hands of human traffickers than stay home and hope for survival.

It's these humans who seem to think they're qualified to judge, qualified to pass comment. It's these humans who declare that the migrants are coming here for a comfortable life on benefits, who brandish them a blight upon society, criminals, thugs, a swarm of beasts.

But it's these humans who have never walked a mile in their shoes - let alone trekked across nations to reach an unknown destination.

I fail to believe that ANY mother would put their child's life at risk in the way that we see day after day, unless they were utterly convinced it was the best option. I fail to see how ANY person would attempt to cross the channel under a lorry unless they were in a state of absolute desperation.

I don't care whether you think they should stay in the first 'safe' country they find. I don't care whether you think they use illegal means or violent means. The fact is, they are humans.

I've seen the comments: 'I hope they all drown', 'why not just send them all into the tunnel and then send the trains through.'. Are you serious? The fact that you even think this crap suggests to me that these refugees are more human than you! How dare you place less value upon a fellow human being because of their refugee status?!


People are dying!

People need help!

People are desperate!

This is a complex problem, in complex times. Nothing is black and white. But it is not a political problem. It is not a religious problem. It is not a societal problem. It is not a racial problem.

It is a HUMAN problem.

And for that, it deserves a HUMAN response.

So, may I plead with you, to think before you speak. Think about the fact that these are individual lives. Individual stories. They are somebody's mother, father, brother, nephew, son, daughter. They had lives. They had educations. They had careers, and families, and homes. They were happy until their lives were turned upside down by war, conflict, genocide, terrorism. We cannot begin to fathom how desperate they are, that they honestly thought that they stood a better chance as a refugee than in their homeland (and while we're on that point, please educate yourself on the difference between a migrant and a refugee).

I live in Kent - the gateway to Europe. I see the effects that illegal immigration has on our communities, on our council budgets, on our road system (hello, operation stack!). I have seen videos of immigrants climbing out of lorries just down the road from where I live.

Am I angry? No.

I'm heartbroken. 

My heart hurts for these people. My heart hurts for their grief, their broken and dispersed families, for the fact that they may never find out what became of their relatives and homes. My heart hurts for those who have perished along the way. Europe has a lot to learn, our government has a lot to learn. Nobody has an instant solution or a magic wand to make this go away.

But in the mean time, let's have a bit of compassion.

And if you can, allow that compassion to move you to action.



History will judge us for our inaction.

Here's a great initiative you can support, run by an everyday person who saw the need and decided to do something about it:

www.CalAid.co.uk

You can also email your MP here.

Share this blog post or any other articles you find which highlight the human plight of the refugee crisis.

Read this interview with Dawn O Porter on how you can get involved.

If you want to shift your focus to Greece then check out this page.

Save The Children are running a Crisis Appeal here.

This article in the Telegraph includes a box at the bottom with five ways you can make a difference - including volunteering your home as temporary accommodation.

Know of any other initiatives of note? Let me know and I'll continue to update with links so everyone can find ways to act.
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Wednesday, 26 August 2015

If my kitchen could talk...

Dear Emily,

I know you're not much of a domestic goddess, and I absolutely realise that I am here to serve your needs but I wondered, if you wouldn't mind, if I could maybe give you some feedback. I'm not trying to be rude, and I realise you should be able to live your life however you want to, but I'm sorry to say we can't continue in this manner so it's time I spoke up.

  • I am only small so may I remind you that the sideboard next to the sink would be much better purposed if you didn't cover it in dirty dishes. It could be used to house an extra appliance, a food preparation area or even a decorative fruit bowl would do the trick. 
  • Following on from that, everything would run much smoother if you endeavoured to wash up your dishes when you use them... not when you need them!
  • Please inform your husband that I hate the way he drips tea bags across my nice, tiled floor on the way to the bin. He can either leave them on a saucer or quite simply, he could squeeze them out on the side of his mug to limit the drips.


My prized possession


  • Clearly you favour your coffee machine as your appliance of choice but the smoothie maker is gathering dust in the back of the cupboard and feeling left out. Also, if you showed your kettle, toaster and microwave the same amount of love that you show the coffee machine then everyone would be far happier. A quick wipe and descale wouldn't go amiss!
  • That space behind the door currently filled with an old hoover and a mountain of old carrier bags? Sort it out! You could fit a freezer in there for crying out loud! (And we all know your mini fridge freezer under the counter would appreciate the extra space).

And finally, I hate to bring it up, but there's been a couple of occasions where you've left the oven on. Not just the oven, but the hob. Now come on now, I wouldn't be a good household kitchen if I didn't raise this with you. Pay attention!

Forever in your home,

Your Kitchen

Alright kitchen, you've said it, I'll try harder - especially with Bake Off and autumn comfort food round the corner I'm kind of feeling inspired to change my ways and make more of you - or at least the resulting food that might come from you. But you're gonna have to get the hubster on board. I've tried to talk to him about that tea bag thing but even in eight years of marriage we've never quite cracked that old habit - you're not liking the tea stained look then? Your not-quite-a-domestic-goddess, Emily
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Friday, 14 August 2015

Post Comment Love ~ 14th-16th August 2015


 photo 3050e876-5d08-44fa-b416-1e09c2490383_zpse12fd438.jpg

Wow!

So this week I have the privilege of hosting Post Comment Love for the lovely Vicky Welton over at www.vevivos.com while she is away on holiday (hope you're having a fabulous time, Vic!).

I'm a little bit nervous about it because I'm slightly in awe of her as a blogger (ssshhhh!) so it feels kind of strange to be having such a well thought of, successful linky of hers over here in my little corner of cyber space! Despite that, I'm glad you've found your way over here and I'm excited to get to know you all and find some new, lovely blogs to read.

The last few weeks have been a bit quiet over here because we've had a couple of breaks, holidays and celebrations and it always seems to take me an age to get back into a routine with blogging, life. This week, however, hubby is working a five day week (finally!) which has given me a chance to catch up, settle in and get some things done! Normal service will resume, I promise (whatever normal is, anyway!).

We've been loving the sunshine and are sad to see it slip away from us, spending time with family, reading this book, buying more books (The Works have a lot to answer for, I'm telling you!), and making September plans which may all fall to pieces should I bite the bullet and get a job - you can read about that ongoing struggle here.

Anyway, thanks for dropping by, and without further ado, on to the #PoCoLo fun!

If you are a regular linker then it would be great if you spread the #PoCoLo word. However, if you are new then welcome! Post Comment Love is all about sharing posts which you have written this week which just haven’t got the attention they deserve and, with them all in one place, we can help each other share the comment love. This is one of the easiest links EVER. You don’t have a ‘special theme’ to have to write about, the post can be personal, sponsored, a photo, a review, a competition, your own linky, something you've linked to a linky….WHATEVER you like – as long as it’s one you've already written this week! If you want some publicity and attention, then you are in the right place!

Please make sure you go across and comment on at least two other linkers posts. Linkys work if everyone supports each other :) then spread the #PoCoLo about this link up on Twitter. The post you link up has to have been written in the last week. The link will go up every Friday at 6.30am and close on Sunday evening at 8pm.

Don’t forget our #SoFoLo community on Google + and our #PoCoLo Facebook group where you can come and post your PoCoLo post for some more shares as well as any of your social media accounts of yours that need more followers.

If you link up, don't forget to tweet me @EmilyDavies85 as I'll endeavour to give you all a shout out at some point over the weekend!

Vicky has a list for the Newbie Showcase running into March 2016. If you would like to be featured then please email her at vickywelton@hotmail.com so she can put you on the rota. Remember, your blog needs to be under a year old to feature from the time of sending your email to her.

Now, unfortunately the Newbie Showcase Vicky had organised for this week has been unable to take part which is a shame. So, I hope Vicky and the rest of you awaiting your Newbie Showcase don't mind - it's not my intention that anyone should skip the queue, but I wanted to offer something up to you all in its place rather than leave you hanging. I'd instead like to introduce you to my friend Kate at Yes, She Writes.


Her blog is just over a year old (sorry, cheating!), but it has only taken shape recently as she has relaunched it this month and it is pretty awesome. She blogs about beauty, fitness, books and basically anything that takes her fancy, but she's funny and quirky and all those good things in between. You should definitely check her out, but I particularly think you'll enjoy this post about her love/hate relationship with yoga and this post about her secret super power - complete with crap pen drawings to illustrate (you'll like them).

Now, onto the Linky!


An InLinkz Link-up

EDIT: Sorry, the linky isn't showing in situ - can't work the html. If you click the link above it will take you to all the other linkers and to link up your own post. Thanks!

Post Comment Love
<div align="center"><a href="http://www.vevivos.com/post-comment-love" title="Post Comment Love"><img src=" http://i1322.photobucket.com/albums/u568/ToriWel/4e4a1bf6-07cb-494b-b06e-f959b1fe1311_zps654d027a.jpg" alt="Post Comment Love" style="border:none;" /></a></div>

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Thursday, 13 August 2015

Decision Making

I used to be a pretty kick ass decision maker. Some might say impulsive, but I never wondered about long term life decisions, I just pushed doors, saw which ones opened and walked through them.

Let me give you an example:

Picture the scene, I've just turned 17, sitting in the lounge with my parents:
Parents: Now, we know this is a bit of an upheaval but Dad has got a job 60 miles away which includes a house. We're all moving 60 miles away.
Me: Well I'm not coming!
Parents: Why?
Me: Because I need to finish my A-Levels at the same college. I can't leave.
Parents: Well where will you go?
Me: Hmmm... well, my youth pastors who I'm not all that close to have had a lodger move out. I shall become their lodger!
Parents: Ok.....

So I did.

One year later......

Not the best Boyfriend in the world: I'm moving to Wales.
Me (between sobs): I shall come with you! I know we're crap together, but I've finished my A-Levels now and I can't continue being a lodger here. I shall move to Wales too!
Not the best Boyfriend in the world: Where will you live?
Me: We will find someone for me to be a lodger with.

So I did.

Other seemingly impulsive decisions might include, but are not restricted to, going to City University because it was the only one I bothered to go to the open day for, taking a job in Colchester even though I lived in London and had no intention of moving (this commute lasted four years) and marrying my husband (I'm not sure you have to think about Love, right?!).


I've never regretted any of these decisions. In fact, a huge amount of the good stuff in my life happened precisely because of these decisions. But now, decisions are hard to come by.

In fact, you're more likely to find me sobbing in the frozen aisle because I can't decide between chicken nuggets and fish fingers than you are to find me marching through life in a decisive, seize the day kind of manner!

Why?

Because I have this munchkin to think of!


This indecisiveness was highlighted this week because last week I decided to get a job. We need money, I don't work, simples. Right?

Except no.

I have a munchkin to think of. She's not yet two and a half, she's never been in childcare. Full time childcare is a lot to throw her into all at once.

This is what my brain looks like right now:

Can we afford childcare? 
Do we have the support network to enable us to both work full time? 
We'll lose certain benefits, can I earn enough money to compensate for that and the childcare? 
Will it be worth it? 

What other things will we have to sacrifice if I work full time? 
Will we never have another baby if I go back to work now? 
Can I handle the stress? 
Is it feasible to work part time? 
Or would we just end up earning less, losing more benefits and be worse off? 
Are there even any part time jobs in my skill set out there? 
Will childcare vouchers help? 

How the **** can I get my head around all of these hypothetical figures to see if this would hypothetically be worth it? 
If I do manage to get a job, will there be space at the nearest nursery? 
Who will do pick up / drop off and how because we don't drive? 
How will we find the upfront costs of childcare before I earn my first pay cheque?

Argh!

So anyway, as you might be able to tell, despite having applied for a couple of jobs in my initial enthusiasm, I'm pretty nervous about the consequences of this decision, and this panic has got me caught like a rabbit in the headlights so I haven't made progress and applied for any more (yet!).

I'm kind of hoping we will hit the jackpot and I won't have to make this decision at all! (Ha! We don't even play the lottery).

Any advice?

Do I just jump right in and cross each bridge when we get to it? Or do I try to come to a well thought out plan before getting there?

I miss the impulsive me!
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