Saturday, 21 March 2015

Shared Parental Leave....

The first I heard of the goverment's new Shared Parental Leave policy was when an email dropped into my inbox about it.

From April 2015, parents will have greater choice over how they share time off work to care for their child. Shared Parental Leave allows working couples to share up to 50 weeks of leave and 37 weeks of pay in a way that suits their work and family needs. For example, parents can take time off together or they can tag team, stopping and starting leave and returning to work in between if they wish.

I would imagine that this new policy will really be beneficial to some new parents, especially if Mum is the higher earner or if it's a critical time within the workplace.

It's also great that Dad can share care of baby and do his share of the main caregiver which is likely to strengthen a good bond and connection between father and child.

For me personally, this is something that I wouldn't of taken advantage of when DS was born.

For one thing, I exclusively breastfed DS for the first six months of his life so going back to work would of been very difficult.
Of course, I could of expressed my milk for his Dad to give to him but to be honest, I wasn't very good at expressing and would struggle to get a full feed into a bottle. I could do a few ounces really easily and then it would slow down. I remember mentioning to the midwife who said it was normal and that my baby was the best pump I would ever have for my milk.
I used to go to a weekly breastfeeding group where all breastfeeding Mums would meet with our babies (ran by a health visitor who had breastfed her twins). We talked about our boobs and babies all afternoon! We were like a little sisterhood :D I will always remember one new Mum who produced lots and lots of milk - waaay too much milk for her baby so she donated it to the neo-natal at several hospitals for premature babies - how fab is that? :) The unit would come to collect her breastmilk once a month which in that time she had filled her freezer as well as her next door neighbours freezer with milk! haha :)

Another thing was that when I breastfed baby DS, I enjoyed the time we cuddled up for a feed and how it bonded us. I would of struggled to have to limit that special time for us both.

Another reason why I personally wouldn't of used this policy was that after having DS, I was no way mentally ready to start back at work.
I took 1 years maternity leave and even after a year, I wasn't really ready to go back.
I remember being close to tears so many times having to leave him of a morning for the drive to the office and always raced back home to see him!

These were personal reasons to me and my family and as I say I can imagine that this will be very welcomed by many new parents.

More on this

What do you think of the new shared parental leave, is it something that you would consider?

Thursday, 12 March 2015

To my Mum....

With it being Mother's Day this week, I really would like to dedicate this post to my Mum and I will explain exactly why.

Coping with a child with a disability or a condition requires support in some form or other and what better support is there than family support?

Now I completely understand that this isn't a option with every family but in my circumstances, my Mum is my main support.

My Mum has always been my number 1 fan. She has encouraged and supported me in everything I have ever done and every decision I have ever made - even if she didn't personally agree with it.
Thinking back now, there must of been times that she was fearful of a decision I had made but she never ever attempted to talk me out of anything. She just made sure I was aware of all the facts and 'maybe's' and then supported 100% with what option I had decided to go with.

She is my mentor and my 'go to' for advice or if I want to hear someone's else opinion on something - I go to her.
She is my best friend <3

As a child, I always thought all Mums were like mine but he wasn't until I got to around 11 years old and I suddenly realised that no, not all Mum's are like mine!

I've never heard my Mum raise her voice, she is a lady, kind and so so so funny! Her quick wit and comedy is one of the many things I love about her! Growing up, I would often have uncontrollable tears rolling down my face and not being able to breathe through laughter from a funny story of hers!
That still happens now!

I can honestly say she makes me laugh in someway every single day! How fab is that?! :)

Mum was with me when I pushed DS into the world - I could never ever imagine her not being with there with her soft calming influence.

As a new Mum, I remember her commenting how exhausted I was so she would often take me and Baby DS back home and send me to bed to  my old bedroom to sleep whilst she cared for baby DS.
Mum would just bring him up to me for feeds and then take him back again when he was full so I could go back off sleep. Dad would bring me a cup of tea up when they heard me stirring so I could relax for even longer!

As you can imagine, DS loves her. When we stay over, DS insists on sleeping in the same bed as her and from the next room, I can hear them giggling and Mum kissing him and her telling him how much she loves him and how proud he makes her.

Mum has dropped everything so she can be there for me and DS and I know she loves spending time with him. She has even attended courses and workshops on autism to gain a better insight on the condition so she can help DS to develop further - very often, she has been the only grandparent on these courses.

She is a very special person in mine and DS lives. Mum gives us her support, her unconditional love, her friendship and her time and energy. She knows how much we value her and she knows how appreciated she is.

Mum keeps me sane, she keeps DS happy and I just wanted to thank her for being the best Mum consistently for the last 36 years! We are both very lucky and bless to have her.

Wishing all Super Mums like mine a lovely and very happy Mother's Day! :)