On Adding Slashes To Your Name

It might have been Beyonce I saw in the early noughties (it also might not have been), who I saw on a budget documentary, making her way into another facet of her career, talking excitedly about how she was now able to add ‘slashes’ to her name. She wasn’t just a singer, she was singer SLASH actress SLASH producer. I might not be Beyonce (I actually don’t get the love. Sorry blogosphere, I just don’t) but I do have slashes to my name.

I am Fee. Mother slash student slash fiancée slash local editor.It’s fucking hard.
Any one of these things is inherently difficult, but the more you team them together the more you have to sacrifice bits of each. I have had to create a little hierarchy of roles in my head. Some of the placements are time dependent and might change because of deadlines, but that doesn’t stop the guilt. I mean, how do I justify moving ‘mother’ down a peg because I’ve got something to sort out at work? Or some reading to do for University? And in all honesty, I have to move that role down a couple of times a day. Here, kids. Take these crayons. Let me go through my work emails.

The toughest combination is that of mother and student. Other students can finish class at 2pm, get home and crack the books open. I have to leave university, I have just over an hour journey home, pick up at least one child, do the dishes from breakfast time, put a load of washing on, play with at least one child (depending on who has control of Netflix at the time), make dinner, eat dinner, bath at least one child, do homework with one, read stories to the other, get one off to bed, clean the kitchen, make tomorrow’s breakfast and lunch, do the third set of dishes, put away the dry clothes from the last lot of washing, hang up the new lot, get the other child off to bed, tidy away the toys from the day, tell big child it’s time to turn her tab off, get bag ready for the next day – and that makes it 9pm. I leave at 6am 3 days a week so I try to be in bed as close to 9 as possible to avoid getting ill. Very often I find myself sacrificing personal hygiene in order to actually get my required reading done, let alone anything extra. Other students also have weekends: at the moment we take one day each (Jay is a first year student too) to lock ourselves in the bedroom and have the other watch the kids, unless there’s an assignment coming up. Of course, being a student means the ‘fiancée’ slash suffers greatly too. Oh and add ‘home-maker'(if that’s still a thing) in there because what do I sacrifice to make time to clean the bathroom, change the cat litter, change the bedding, polish the shelving, etc etc etc? 
A massive problem of mine has been guilt. I felt guilty when I snapped at my children because I was trying to power through my work and they were getting too excitable with eachother. I felt guilty when I realised every grade so far has been a B: all this sacrifice and I’m not *quite* good enough for an A each time. I felt guilty when I looked at the spreadsheet at work and saw that 90% of people had finished something before me. I felt guilty when I looked back over the previous week and didn’t remember any moments of quality time with my fiancé. But having slashes (not peeing) means learning to accept guilt and appreciate transience. These opportunities won’t be there forever, and you have to think about which moments you’ll be saddest to have missed. 
Okay, so I didn’t get an A. I took my kids to the park instead. So the dishes wait until the morning. I’m going to have a cup of tea and a chat with my fiancé instead. 

Do you have slashes in your name? How do you cope?!

Nail Moodboard

February is the month of love!

I love having fun nails, and I try to co-ordinate them to seasons and holidays – anybody else missing looking down and seeing Christmas trees and puddings?! As V-Day approaches (and I know many of you aren’t fans, so I won’t bang on!) I thought I’d do a basic selection of some of my favourite colours for this time of year. No patterns, nothing fancy – though if anybody is interested I can share some proper Valentine’s art, let me know! 

1. Oriflame Pure Colour Floral Nail Polish. Two coats.

2. ‘Naughty’ from an old gift set. Two coats.

3. Red from a Primark make-up set. Two coats.

4. No.7 – Coral Kiss 39. Two coats.

5. Pink from the same Primark make-up set. Two coats.

6. Barry M Gelly – Blood Orange. One coat.

7. Barry M – Red Glitter. Three coats.

Helluva Manbasket

The idea of vlogging always made me a bit nervous, but I thought I’d give it a bash with my trusty helper. It’d be amazing if you could have a peek and maybe even comment to tell her how well she did, she’s “soooo embarrassed!”

I’m going to change the title of this tomorrow after he’s actually received his present, but for today, while he is on strict instructions to stay off the blog, this is ‘Valentine’s Gift’. I’ll probably go for something cheesy tomorrow like ‘Helluva Manbasket’. (Does anybody get that reference?) edit: Gave it to him! He loved it!

Because that’s what I’ve done for Jay this year, and I’m super excited for him to see it all tomorrow morning. I find it really easy to get him presents generally because through the year I look up everything he says he likes the look of, then add it to my bookmarks. Come birthday or Christmas time, I’ve got a whole list of ideas to choose from. But Valentine’s Day has never been something we’ve done “proper” presents for. I just wanted this day to be for making him feel special, and what makes someone feel more special and pampered than a personalised gift basket?!

I found the basket on eBay and chose a design that wasn’t delicate or floral, so I could be sure it would appeal to his manly side (but I must admit I picked one that I could see a place for in our home!). Inside the basket is a Liz Earle giftset for men, a giant Valentine’s Day card, a ‘build your own Android app’ magazine book, some miniature Whisky bottles and I bought him a year-long subscription to CODE Magazine but the latest issue isn’t out yet, so I substituted a little home-made ‘coupon’.
Jay studies computer games development at University so, as well as the ‘pamper’ products (Liz Earle) and ‘treats’ (whisky!) I got him some things he’d find practical. Hopefully he’ll find a real use for the things I got him in the future, and if they’re not practical then hopefully he’ll at least be interested. I padded out the basket with the tissue paper from inside the Liz Earle package, otherwise I’d have just got some plain tissue paper from a supermarket. I also lined the bottom of the basket with the Liz Earle washcloth.

Happy Valentine’s Day, Future Husband! I love you!