Dealing with a SAHD

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It’s been strange adapting to life with a stay at home dad.

Whilst I am generally happier at work, I do feel like things are slightly the wrong way round, and it’s hard not to be a control freak about things.  You know things like:

  • Yeah I got locked out today when the baby was inside;
  • I just left him with the neighbours for a few hours, he likes it;
  • He was asleep so I left him in the car and powerwashed the pavement;
  • I can’t watch him all the time, sometimes he’s in a different room

*sigh*

I have to let things be sometimes, but it is a challenge.

I also know how difficult it is to be at home by yourself, so I don’t go out much and struggle to leave work on time so that I can give the Turk some relief at tea time and beyond.

I definitely think that he finds it harder than me in some ways, multitasking isn’t a skill he has so he is really struggling to get anything done, which means that his default position tends to be making sure that the task is done at the expense of supervising Jem.

The upside to this is that the boy is definitely more independent than he used to be, his tolerance for entertaining himself has increased massively, as has his love of CBeebies.

There are some things he finds easier, he is much more patient than me, he takes the time to enjoy play when there isn’t housework to be done, I always feel that there’s something ‘better’ I should be doing.

There is no right answer, there are just words.

A handbag…?

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I don’t have many bags, I keep those I have in a basket (honestly it’s a reasonable amount!)

I may have too many…despite many donations to charity shops and some success on eBay…

The reason I think this is I thought I’d take out a bag I haven’t used for a while…

And I found an old parking ticket in it…

 

It’s from 20 January…no year.

I thought it was odd as I haven’t lived in Horsham since 2000, but when I turned it over I realised that the attached voucher I’d clearly been saving expired in 2001.

Oh dear…

It’s possible I have too many bags…

There’s a mouse in this house…

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We once had a mouse in our first flat, we realised because when I pulled out my bag of flour it was empty…

The next night we could hear the little blighter scrabbling around behind the kitchen cupboards, we sorted it out pretty easily by blocking up the air vent and ensuring that all edible food was in mouse proof containers, we didn’t have any problems after that.

When we moved to the money pit we were convinced there would be mice, on occasions we have suspected that it is their scuttling sending bits careering down the chimney, but this time we were not afraid…we have cats!

Now one of our cats are hunters!  I know this because the little one has a tendency for bringing in spiders, moths and daddy-long-legs in for us (he used to leave them at the top of the stairs and miaow until we came to admire…)  They loved the new house, so many rooms and nooks to scratch and sniff…so many mouse holes!  Paws were thrust down them, floorboards were pulled up and explored behind, we knew there had been mice as one of our first tasks before the kits arrived was to remove the numerous traps lying around (we don’t want paws to get caught in them), but we saw no sign of mice.

For a while…

Then one day I looked at my two cats sat in the hall, nose to nose, looking at a leaf….

…looking at me…

…looking back at the leaf…

…looking imploringly at me….

….back to leaf…

…I came closer.

It was not a leaf.

It was a mouse.

A tiny little triangular thing.

I hadn’t seen them touch it, to be fair they were both effectively asking me in cat to take the scary thing away.

I went back to the kitchen to try and find something to pick it up with, I was newly pregnant so didn’t fancy using my fingers.

The mouse didn’t move.

A journey down the road to the high street in my dustpan and brush still didn’t disturb it and I released it into the wild.

That was two years ago, and this weekend I found my cats playing with a teeny tiny mouse in the garden.  They were much braver this time, little mouse moved so slowly and they would occasionally paw at it trying to tempt him into moving.

Part of me thinks I should have left them to it, it’s good for them to play and catch fresh food.  But I couldn’t do it, I have a fondness for small furry things and yet again trusty dustpan and brush came out and mouse went far away.  The cats were fairly miffed, but wet food helped them get over it!

Turklish travels: Seatbelts & other unsafe methods of travel

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I sometimes look at cyclists on London’s roads and think “really that’s the most dangerous way of travelling ever”

But I am wrong…

On Turkish roads you rarely see cyclists, I can see why, it would be beyond foolish.

Aside from the lax attitude towards seatbelts (the first Turkish taxi I got in laughed at me when I asked why the seatbelts were fastened back to the seats and therefore just “for show”) and car seats, the roads are really crazy.  I will forever have one car journey scored into my mind, luckily it was pre-baby but none the less there were 8 squeezed into a car (2 in the front passenger seat) and I suddenly realised we were in the middle lane.  That might not seem like a big deal but it was a 2 lane road, it’s just sometimes the Turkish approach is to try and squeeze in between the 2 cars actually in the lane…

It was one of many seemingly terrifying journeys in the 12 years I have been travelling with the Turk, winding roads, minimum speed limits, shoddy and poorly maintained elderly vehicles, I’ve seen them all.  It’s one of the things that really panics me about the Turk taking our son to Turkey by himself, usually when I’m there I am the one voice trying to instill some idea of self preservation back into the driver.

I’m no wuss, I’ve tuk tuk’d around Bangkok, I’ve seen cars with dents in their roofs in Cairo, I’ve countered giant rats in Kuala Lumpur, but there’s something about the danger in a country I am intrinsically connected with that makes it more worrying.

The car accident deaths are pretty high, I have always been paranoid about it as there were specific warnings about car travel in Turkey on the FCO website for years until recently.  There were 8,758 road fatalities last year, and that’s around 12 fatalities per 100,000 inhabitants, in comparison with the 3.5 in the UK it seems high, but it’s actually only slightly higher than that in the US, a place where I always feel road safe!

Cleaning guilt

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My husband does a lot of cleaning…I do not.

This is the pattern our relationship has pretty much followed, and although it drives him crazy, and sometimes he nags and nags at me to help out, which is fair enough although I maintain that we split chores pretty much equally in other ways.

Anyway the point of my tale is not our own domestic arrangements, but the peril of staying with your inlaws.  There’s no secret where the Turk gets his cleaning habits from, Mummy Turk  has been a housewife since around the age of 16 and between raising four kids spends the other hours in the day cleaning.  I’m limiting it to cleaning because I feel the Turks and me disagree on what tidying is (it’s actually putting stuff away not simply piling it all into a heap in a corner and then telling me that this is my pile to sort through…it’s definitely not tidying).

Mummy Turk cleans all the floors in their flat (on her hands and knees) every week, vacuuming is daily, windows at least once a week, curtains every month and all carpets are removable so that they can be sent to be cleaned twice a year (and after visitors).  It’s not just the family Turk, I think it’s all Turks….

Everything is ironed…everything (towels – why – it stops them being fluffy).  All white washing is bleached to ensure it stays white so that the neighbours are impressed when you hang them out of the window to dry (I’m not joking, this is the actual reason I was given).

Again I digress.  We always frequently stay with family when in Turkey and this leaves me with a dilemma, technically when we go to Turkey we are on our only ever holiday.  So, do I help with the cleaning?  Part of me feels I should – but she’d be cleaning anyway…

I guess we do cause more cleaning by the very nature of being there, but it is my HOLIDAY…

Just something I think about every so often!

10 things I love about London

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Ok so you may have seen my earlier post which was a slightly tongue in cheek look at being a Londoner, so in contrast I thought I would share with you some things I really love about London, because I do love it, I really do…I’m not moving and you can’t make me.

 

  1. The weather – seriously, London has better weather than anywhere else in the UK* FACT.  It’s always* warm and doesn’t seem to bear the brunt of some of the worst rains and storms even when they pass close.
  2. Public Transport – yes it may be expensive, smelly and hot, but on the whole it’s reliable and runs at reasonably good times.  At my mum’s if you don’t drive you don’t go out…seriously, there’s actually a bus route that only runs one way into town…
  3. The people – it’s always said that Londoners are so unfriendly, but I don’t think it’s true.  I’ve always known my neighbours really well, after all they see you in your PJ’s, you often live on top of each other and we’ve rarely had any issues**  But it’s not just neighbours, during the aftermath of the 7/7 bombings there was a real comradeship amongst strangers, directing people how to walk to places they have only seen from underground before, offering lifts, sharing support.
  4. The shopping – Forget your Bond Street or Kings Road (well don’t forget exactly…) we have our very own high street in one borough of London, if I want something a bit posher I walk to the posher high street.  Not just chain stores, but the boutiques, little nooks and cranny’s and more recently farmers markets which are popping up all over.
  5. The art – you might find it hard to believe but there’s some amazing street art in London, you can do your very own tour around.  Sadly my local Banksy has recently disappeared, but the splurge of art that has replaced it is really interesting.
  6. The parks – I don’t care where you live your parks cannot beat ours.  In addition to the big ones (I love St James’ and have spent many happy lunches in there…back in the day when I used to not desk eat) I can walk to 5 lovely parks within a short walk, it’s pretty darn amazing.
  7. The pay – yes ok so everything costs more, but I get a little uplift for working in London and it makes me feel special…
  8. The centre of attention – strange as it sounds I get a little bit excited when something close to me happens on the news.  If it’s local news then only if it’s proper close, but anything London on the national news has me talking about it like an expert using my “local” knowledge.
  9. The variety – who needs to eat in the same place week after week or drink at the same watering hole?  Not me*** when there’s such a wide choice around not only my local area, but the next area too; and the next; and the next (get the picture?!)
  10. The opportunity for culture – ok so a confession is that I am not really a culture vulture, but a broad narrow  poll of friends a friend put this at the top of the list.  The museums, the theatre, to be fair even if I don’t use them I do like the idea of being able to get to them at a moment’s notice (plus have done impromptu breastfeeding & nappy changing in many a random museum or gallery…)

 

 

 

*based on no scientific facts ever…FACT

**apart from the neighbour that stole our bike computer thing, and that time we had to save our neighbour from her abusive husband and then me be stuck inside calling the police when he tried to break in…and the Turk sat outside in the snow round the corner…oh or the morning of my birthday one year when we got woken up by a drunken man continually pressing our buzzer to get into our drunk neighbour’s flat….and that noise complaint we had about loud music.

***this is mainly because I have a child and no childcare, but that’s not helpful to the point I’m trying to make

 

 

The Turk

I thought this picture might be apt, the pineapples above the arch are said to be fertility symbols!
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For those who have read my profile and/or initial post it may have become apparent that my husband, aka the Turk, is not from the UK.  Unsurprisingly he’s Turkish (hence the name) so I thought I’d take this opportunity to preempt any of the questions (yes seriously) I get asked when people find out I’m married to a Turk:

  1.  No I did not meet him at a bar in Turkey
  2. There was no holiday romance, we met in London at work
  3. No he is not my mail order groom
  4. He did not offer any camels in exchange for my hand in marriage
  5. Yes, major culture difference
  6. I do love kebabs it’s true
  7. He supports Galatasaray (which oddly my computer keeps trying to autocorrect to Taramasalata…my favourite food!)
  8. Yes he speaks English
  9. No, I don’t speak Turkish
  10. No, my inlaws don’t speak English or live in the UK
  11. I realise that the above means I am indeed lucky

It’s an odd thing actually now that we have a child, there’s always been a culture difference (just compare the Turks idea of a good breakfast; a variety of cheese, bread, eggs and green peppers, with mine; full English – extra hash browns and bacon with brown sauce) but this is highlighted when it comes to child-rearing (more on this in a later post).  I often catch myself thinking about what Jem will be like when he grows up, a little bilingual boy with parents who can’t agree on a holiday destination or type of sausage.  I hope that he takes the best from both cultures and fortunately we live in a very multi-ethnic part of London so hopefully he won’t feel out of place when he goes to school, our little Turklish boy!