Hello and welcome to this weeks instalment of Confessions of a Plannerholic. This week we’ve been asked to create a ‘getting to know you’ post.
These can be a bit tricky to write as there are so many aspects of life I could talk about. I’m going to attempt to write a kind of timeline of my life. I won’t go into too much detail or else I’ll write a book!
*edit, I wrote a small book!!*
So I grew up in a little town named Corby. It’s in the Midlands and about an hour away from London by train.
Corby is an interesting little town, there’s a lot of Scottish people there. There used to be a Steelworks and a lot of people travelled down for employment. A lot of my friends have Scottish roots including me.
My Parents met in South Africa (where they both lived at the time) and that’s where I was born. They then moved back to my Dad’s hometown of Corby.
On my Dad’s side of the family you have: English, Scottish and Latvian.
On my Mum’s side you have: Scottish, Irish and Italian.
So I’m a real mixed bag!!
My immediate family is made up of my Mum, Donna, and Dad, Rob, (they are now separated) and my Sister, Shani.
My childhood was happy, many memories and things that happened making me who I am today. My Dad likes music like ACDC and Iron Maiden. He loves cars, well trucks, and Motorbikes. He’s recently got himself a Harley Davidson. I’m painting him to look like a real rocker but in fact he doesn’t look like that at all!
My Mum is a hippy at heart and loves nature. She loves fighting for people and will attend protests for rights she believes in. She writes poetry, loves music and gardening. She currently in the very North of Scotland with her good friend having a retreat (basically lots of walking around in nature and taking photos).
Shani is a firecracker. Scarlett (my Daughter) has a lot of Shani in her.
Shani is a free spirit. She loves to travel and experience the world. She’s already been to more places than I could dream to go to. She doesn’t take any nonsense and knows her own mind.
I believe Shani and I have gotten the best of both when it comes to my parents
I left school after completing my A Levels. I didn’t do particularly well. I chose the wrong subjects. I shined in my creative subjects at GCSE level but the ones I wanted weren’t on offer as an A Level. The only one I really enjoyed was English.
I then completed a BTEC National Diploma in Art and Design at college. This was the first time I threw myself into any work. I would sit up all night working on projects. I loved it!
I also met Daniel (I’d not long turned 19) around this time. Before this I’d been a bit wild, partying on weekends and obsessed with having some sort of boyfriend in my life. However things had changed. I only saw him every other weekend and spent a lot of time on my work.
I passed and got myself a place into Salford University. Daniel went to Manchester Metropolitan University.
This is where my life really changed. Uni was amazing. I stayed for the full three years in Castle Irwell Student Village, unfortunately it’s no longer in use and has been left derelict.
I really grew as a person, I became comfortable in my own skin and I met the best people. Two of these people I now consider to be my extended family. We’ve been through everything, EVERYTHING together.
I studied Design at Uni. The course allowed you to choose an area and learn aspects of that area as well as project management. I focused of print media. My final piece was a magazine that showcased the students work. In fact I did also build a small website to go with it.
I graduated with a 2:1 🙂
After Uni Daniel and I decided to stay in Manchester. I managed to get a job working for a Show dog newspaper. It gave me the basics I needed to bump me up further into the industry.
I then moved on to work for JD Sports Fashion Plc as a Creative Artworker. I would work on image re-touching and technical artworking for all store graphics, magazines, adverts and outdoor media (bus stop signs etc). It was a good job, it has set me up for the future.
Thing is, around this time everything would change. At 25 I passed my driving test first time. I wasn’t paying for it twice!
One day I had a meeting with my manager. She said I was the only one in the reviews who had asked for more responsibility and a desire to move up in the company.
I then told her I was pregnant! We’d been trying and it was taking time so I thought perhaps work my way up career wise and try again later. Fate had other ideas.
I’d battled with endometriosis and had treatment. So to then find out I was pregnant was amazing. It felt like a path was being paved.
The pregnancy was straight forward, I had minimal sickness. The midwives even referred to the baby as a ‘textbook baby’ when examining.
We found out we were having a boy!! The first boy on my Mum’s side of the family. We decided to call him George.
He was a week late being born. Longest week of my life!! I couldn’t stand it haha.
By the time I was in labour I was in denial.
I completed the PlayStation game portal 2 from start to finish. I then loaded Bioshock and had to stop. Things were starting to hurt!
The pain was unbelievable. My Mum was driving up from Corby. Daniel was getting us both ready for hospital. As I’m so polite it took three phone calls to convince the midwives I was ready to come in. I was 7cm on arrival.
The labour slowed down when my waters went and there was meconium. George was in distress.
6 hours later and an epidural, George was born. He was fine, he needed his lungs clearing but after that he was with me and I didn’t let him go.
The Queen was there when George was born! Caused some right chaos, certain doors out of use and other silly things. I didn’t see her but I did see her guards all over the place. A few months later, little Prince George was born. Coincidence?
I settled into Motherhood and forgot all about work. When George was around 7 months old, I decided to start volunteering at the local animal sanctuary on weekend mornings. It also allowed George and Daniel to have Father and Son time.
When work did roll back round, I wasn’t ready. George still felt so small, he was 10 months old. I resigned. The office was the other side of Manchester and I couldn’t stand having George in nursery for four long days whilst I worked.
We reduced his days and I took up some creative artworking freelance work. It was good money and fairly frequent. However my drive and passion had gone for it. I was enjoying working with animals.
I started to seek animal related jobs and took up a course for animal care, welfare and management (I passed this with Distinction). I could study from home, whilst George was asleep. I took up a dog walking role which was the best job. I would walk up to 6 dogs at a time and I could really see the behaviours and characters. It was for a few hours whilst George was in nursery.
I then moved into Dog Grooming, I wanted a skill to go with my knowledge of dogs.
I completed a course and worked in a few different salons. I then moved into Pets at Home Groom Room. George was older at this point so I went back to full time work.
This went well for a good while. I landed a job in the salon close by. I made great friends and loved it. My skills improved, I bonded well with customers. Everything was swimming along.
Daniel and I had talked about a sibling for George. I stopped my pill with the plan of getting my body ready. It was the summer and I was thinking, judging by last time, if all went well I could be pregnant by Christmas.
My period never came. I was pregnant straight away, that just doesn’t happen!
I was actually in shock and didn’t know what to do. I went to work in a daze. We’d just got a new car, George was still a baby!! He was 2 and a half but still. How could I share my love?
The pregnancy was harder. I bled at times but was reassured by the hospital that it wasn’t pregnancy related. I felt sick! It felt like the worst hangover you’ve ever had mixed with the flu. For weeks on end.
Then I had a terrible case of sinusitis that caused me to not sleep for 3 days!
Eventually it eased. We found out we were having a little girl. We decided on Scarlett for her name.
Now for the first pregnancy I switched off, I was pregnant and that was it.
This time it was the opposite. I think it’s a Groomer thing. You have an intense busy job working with dogs, I then had George taking up any other time. There was no time to sit and be pregnant!
I had intended to work right up to 38 weeks. Again Groomer thing, honestly female Dog Groomers are tough! However at 36 weeks I had to throw in the towel. Scarlett felt so low down I was in agony.
I remember going for a walk around 37 weeks and it was unbearable. To the point where Daniel panicked I was in early labour. I wasn’t, it was Braxton hicks. I had them a lot, they kept me up all night and would fade by the morning.
At 38 and a half weeks I woke as normal, a bit niggly with pain but I brushed it off. Half an hour later it was a bit worse so I went for a shower. By the end of the shower I was shouting Daniel to call his parents to get George. I’d had 10 contractions in the shower.
I was on the bedroom floor on all fours. I remember Luna sniffing my face and looking very concerned, as much as a cat can anyway!
This time when I spoke to the midwives, they told me to get their straight away. We arrived at the hospital at 10.30am. It took about 20 minutes to get to the ward, I kept going into all fours. By 11.50am Scarlett had entered the world, she actually punched her way into the world like a superhero!!
My Mum missed this birth, Scarlett wasn’t waiting for anyone!
She had loads of hair compared to George and huge cheeks. When she opened her eyes she looked into your soul. This baby knew things.
Oh and I’d like to point out, few months later, Princess Charlotte. Just saying.
Motherhood was harder this time. Two young children and a recovering Mother is hard. I breastfed both my babies. That’s up to 800 calories going to your baby! I was exhausted, I’m only little!
I definitely went through the baby blues and didn’t know if I was coming or going.
I wanted a distraction so tried (and didn’t enjoy) some direct selling.
Through this I found planning and my world opened up. I think I’ve touched on this already but basically my creativity blossomed again and another beginning started in my life. I started up my Etsy shop, my blog and YouTube. I started making stickers and inserts. I was happy again.
I had a ‘me’ thing so that when I was with the kids, I would dedicate that time to them knowing that my life has variation.
I found routine and was really happy. Scarlett and George bonded, they’re brilliant together. Things were good.
In March this year I was told I couldn’t return to my position local to home. Instead I had to move to Wilmslow. This is because I want to work part time and it’s all about numbers/head count.
I tried to work in another salon but I struggled. I felt like I was spinning too many plates. I was determined to keep my shop, be a Mum and work. Due to the hours, I would work weekends. I felt like I never stopped. Logically I could close my shop but it felt like I was closing part of myself.
I battled on but it took a toll. Long story short I was signed off with severe anxiety. I didn’t know what to do. I discussed many options and looked into all sorts. I tried to see if I could go back to my old store on less days but unfortunately it wasn’t an option.
So now I’m facing a career break. My head is so confused career wise that a break might do me good.
The children are amazing, George starts school soon and Scarlett’s nursery days have been reduced to one afternoon a week.
I’m also looking to offer an afternoon with the animal sanctuary again.
So yeah that’s me, that’s my timeline so far. I’ve had my ups and downs. I’ve definitely just gone through a huge down but feel I’m on my way back up.
I love my planning world, I love my shop. I love the people I’ve met through planning.
I love writing a blog and having my youtube, two things I never would have done before.
I’ve no idea where my future will go but I do know I will work hard with my shop and focus on being there for the children.
Thank you for reading 🙂