Work & Family

Working Mum's, Real Life, Real Issues, Real People

When Disaster Strikes We Pull Together

Time Flies

Call that person…… visit them!

Eeek! It appears to have been a while since I last posted on here…… May (I’m slightly ashamed). However, this is just one of the trials and tribulations of running a business, looking after a family including three girls (10, 6 and 4), a husband (our Daz – written boro style), two dogs – a cocker spaniel named Frank and a Jack S**t (shitzu named Dave), Haribo the Hamster, Maisie the Fish and of course the house. With all of this going on, my passion for writing slowly turns into the less able Helen that involves slumping on the settee with glazed eyes, a fuzzy head and a highly vacant look! Ok, so for those of you that know me well, this look is normal, but still, you get the general idea as to why I haven’t written in a while.

So what’s been happening? I guess my main news stems around my sister. Let’s set the scene………. It’s Thursday evening and has been a long week so far. The husband and I have decided to rope in a baby sitter (the ever faithful nephew) in order to take a trip to the cinema. We enjoy going to the pictures as it means we need not converse. Darren eats his popcorn way to loudly for my liking, I tell him off before moaning I’m too cold and he reminds me that I should have brought a jacket! Actually, that last part is a lie. Darren isn’t picky like me. He usually takes his jumper or coat off straight away and covers me over with it before I get the chance to say ‘I’m cold’ – he’s just good like that! This is our cinema ritual and I don’t think either of us would change it. Back to the scene setting……… My sister and her husband turn up out of the blue, summoning my nephew, husband and I to the kitchen. I’m busy racking my brains trying to figure out what I could have possibly done wrong (cause it’s all about me you know). Actually, no. This time, it’s all about my sister. Bloody breast cancer! Initial reaction from me…… ‘Well that’s the pictures cancelled – how selfish Sarah’! Humour = Defence Mechanism in our family. It’s what we do and you know what? It works.¬†Obviously devastated, we discussed the situation as a family, talked it through with the children and took the time to listen to my sister in order to find out what happens from here in order to keep abreast (can’t claim that one for my own – stolen it off gammy boob herself) of the situation!

When it comes to blood relatives, closest of the close, in my family, there is myself and Sarah. Dad passed away 11 years ago and the mother has issues. Large helpings of narcissistic personality disorder with a side order of good old fashioned crazy means a non-existent relationship is the only way for us. Don’t feel sorry for us just yet though. What we have is blooooooming amazing! We have always been there for one another. Kept each other on the straight and narrow and been able to talk about and deal with any and every situation that has come our way (and believe me there have been a few). We have dealt with issues that I believe would break some families. Sarah and I? Still strong. Why? Because we communicate, talk about the problem and then move on. So many people are quick to dismiss others simply because an issue doesn’t go their way. Families are ruined by ‘who get’s invited to the wedding’, ‘who gets to be god parents’, ‘who spends the most time with who’…… in reality does any of this really matter? I can go a fortnight without seeing Sarah. I could cancel on her four times. She could turn me down for baby sitting duties (and let’s face it, who could blame her with my three), but are any of these things an issue? Of course they aren’t. We are there for one another when it matters and that’s what counts.

Where do we go from here? Last Saturday, I sat down with my sister and asked that very question. If everything goes to plan (and there is no reason why it shouldn’t), in two years from now, I will be writing a blog with the title ‘Beating Breast Cancer’ and telling you all about a very brave lady who I have always looked up to that now has a stomach to die for and a fine pair of (as Sarah would call them) ‘bangers’ (!) due to the re-constructive surgery she plans on having. Family, life, hard situations + humour, support, talking and copious amounts of tea = the ability to defeat anything.

Heads Up – I know I have made spelling mistakes, but, seriously, who is going to point them out……? You have to be nice to me – my sister has cancer ūüėČ

Comments welcome…….

Proper Love My Sister - me like!!!!!!!!

Proper Love My Sister – me like!!!!!!!!


Written by Helen Turley of Viable SEO

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Time to be Poorly…..?

ImageAs any mum will know, there is seldom time to be poorly when you are a parent. There is nothing worse than waking up with a stinking cold, a stomach upset or a rotten virus come bug type episode that knocks you off your feet for a good few days. Children are built with a finely tuned instinct designed to recognise any weakness that happens to crop up and have a magical ability to hone in on this almost instantly. ‘A ha…. mum is poorly – I will shout at the top of my voice in order to get my sisters into trouble’! ‘Mum’s looking peaky – perhaps now is the time to create that mural on the bathroom wall with that fabulous new lipstick she spent a fortune on’, and finally ‘Oh pants – mam’s not well – my P.E kit won’t be washed’! The latter comes from my eldest – I must teach her to use the washer! Let’s face it, as a parent we simply cannot afford to be poorly.

To be fair, I am one of the lucky ones. My husband will take care of the children which involves feeding them and getting them to school if any illness happens to be during the week. I can usually tell when his limits have been met as voices will raise a little, doors begin to slam and he comes in and out of the bedroom constantly looking for ‘washing’; and things to ‘clean up’- this is the danger sign telling me I need to neck some strong pain killers and get moving pretty sharpish! Once I am better I can then clean up after them all (a wink to hubby should he be reading)!

I can’t help thinking that the stinking man flu I have just endured is Karma giving me a kicking after the recent experiment I performed. Let me first just set the scene for you. It’s Saturday evening. The children are in bed and my significant other is at the pub. I am sitting in my office at home (whilst Harry Styles stares back at me on one of my three screens – not only am I far to old to like Mr. Styles I am a geek), in my P.J’s and am going to indulge you in a story about washing. Yes, you read that correctly – I am going to tell you all about the experiment I did with my WASHING. ‘Wowzers’ I hear you all gasp! ‘Things are about to get exciting’!

Where I live is home to five people and that makes five pairs of pants on a daily basis (minimum – if I sneeze it could be more [massive joke there, we have a six year old with bladder issues]), five pairs of socks, five tops, trousers, vests, bra’s and whatever else anyone decides to fashion that day. By evening time the wash basket is full. Washing goes in, comes out, get’s dried. Here comes the clever (or tricky) part…….. Each person owns their own basket which goes into the bottom of their wardrobe. Anything that needs ironing gets folded and put into said basket. Other items are hung up straight away or put into drawers as necessary. With me so far? This is the method I have always adhered to and you know what – it works. It really works. The amount of washing remains under control and as long as at least one load of washing is done very day, myself, husband and children usually have everything we/they need. If this routine is carried out by me and me only all is well. When others get involved (namely the male of the household) it all goes pear shaped. ‘Please can you put a load in today’ I ask. And that is what he will do. In the washer, out of the washer, socks and pants on the breakfast bar, trousers and skirts folded, towels and tops in disarray on the dining table. Do they move from their newly allocated homes? Yes! Who moves them? Me!

Let’s minus a wife & mummy altogether. What happens then? This is where my tactical experiment came in. I decided to do no washing whatsoever over the past 8/9 days. What a cafuffle!¬†ImageKids were scrabbling around every morning for school uniforms, PE and swimming kits were nowhere to be found and socks – man alive – I have never seen so many people scuffling in the sock box to find a matching pair. One morning my husband told me he had no fresh socks…….. I diplomatically decided not to answer!

Thursday arrived and admittedly I caved. It had become too much for me to bear. Not only was the kitchen adrift in odd socks, pants and swimming costumes, the foot of the bed had become home to three overflowing baskets of items desperate to be placed. The wash baskets of which we own three of were overflowing and the floor was becoming littered. Three hours I spent sorting out what was what and what should go where. When I had finished I sat and realised what a waste of time it was. Those three hours I could have spent doing something fun with my children. Should never have caved!

Anyway, I got my point across and hopefully the washing routine will kick in. Either that or I will be writing the exact same blog in three months time! I am guessing the latter is far more likely!

Just to be clear, comments I make in my blog posts are done so ‘tongue in cheek’. I wouldn’t change what I have for anything in the world. When it comes to daily life and relationships, everyone ‘goes through the motions’ from time to time. It’s how you deal with certain issues that counts. Humor certainly helps in our house. We manage to laugh about most things and I think this is the best medicine for everything – including those rotten times when you feel poorly.

Take vitamin C, exercise regularly and maintain a healthy diet. If, like me, this proves to be too much of a chore, enjoy your family and friends, eat nice and naughty food sensibly, try and get decent sleep and have a drink once in a while! Each day is what you make of it folks! Plod on and don’t let the washing rule your life!


Where’s Your Happy Place?

Image¬†Good morning campers! The sun is shining, the birds are singing and the view of the waterfall is nothing shy of perfection. In reality the wind is a’blowin’, the clouds are grey and I am sitting in my dressing gown at my office desk! Just to be clear, I am fully dressed and have not been on the school run in my PJ’s – this would simply not be acceptable.

The picture I have included today is just one of my many ‘happy places’. It is a waterfall in Kildale Forest, North Yorkshire. I adore this place and visit often. Not only in person but in mind alike. Places like this are great if your day isn’t going all that well. Set aside five minutes to relax and take stock. Sit back and think of the place you love. If it’s somewhere you have visited, feel the air on your cheeks. Take in the outdoor scents typical of a dense forest. Allow your mind to wander for just a small amount of time. It works wonders!

My youngest turned 4 yesterday. I remember bringing her home from the hospital when reality suddenly hit……. ‘Uh oh – what have we done’ I thought (or similar words to that effect)! Three children – two of them under the age of two. Perhaps this is where my anxiety all started! As most parents do though I (we) muddled through and did what was necessary to ensure the girls were fed, watered and happy. Back then I said to my husband ‘Give it 3-4 years and things will be easier’ – wishing my girls lives away! Sure enough it is easier today. I can now take a shower without wondering if one child is busy decorating the wall with nail polish whilst another gives herself a fancy new haircut – both of these scenarios have occurred by the way!

The birthday girl had a fantastic day and I realised just how lucky I am when all three sat together at the breakfast table opening gifts, giggling and being kind to one another. To me – that’s family life. Those snippets of unconditional love and acceptance that seem to pop up just when you need them. As a mother, you take a step back and admire your creation(s), feeling extremely proud. Back in the real world it’s all ‘put your washing in the basket’, ‘have you fed the dog’, ‘who’s turn is it to load the dishwasher’, ‘please don’t push your sister down the stairs again’, ‘stop fighting over that spec of dust on the carpet’ and such like. When it all comes together, the laughing, smiling and kindness makes it all worthwhile. Who’d have thought it – my kitchen, that scene – another happy place…….

My day today mainly consists of writing, writing and then some more writing whilst drinking the tastiest coffee in all the land! I shall elaborate on this in further posts. Anyone who has a love for coffee should certainly try the blend I drink which comes from a temerarious coffee baron I recently discovered!

Business is certainly taking off, keeping myself and partner in crime busy! Our partnership developed towards the end of February this year and so far we are working extremely well together. His strengths are where my weaknesses lay and vice-versa. Straight talking and honesty works well for us and I am quietly confident this venture will be a huge success. For the first time in a long time I feel I’m doing something worthwhile that impacts mine and my families lives positively. Life is good. In fact life is great at the minute – I still enjoy visiting my happy place from time to time though.

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My First Post

Hello one and all. I’m Helen and this is my blog (my blog says hi too)! I have decided to start writing about work and family life and the issues surrounding its balance. I am confident that many of my readers will identify with a whole host of the comments and points raised over the coming weeks, months and years.

Family Life

I guess I should start with an introduction. I am 32 years old (soon to be 33 – eek)! I have a wonderfully supportive husband and three beautiful children. Our eldest daughter is 10 years old, laid back, clever, friendly, sensitive and a pleasure to be around. The middle girl is 6 and owns the biggest pair of blue eyes the world has ever seen! Stunning she is. This one is highly intelligent, bossy, loud, full of attitude and hilarious – great sense of humor (wow – I sound like I’m advertising my kids on eBay – they are NOT for sale)! Our youngest girl is 4 on Wednesday and the size of a 2.5 year old. Considering her size she is VERY loud! Her volume button seems to be broken and the decibel’s she can reach make for painful ears. Sporting huge brown eyes and a killer smile along with a ‘bolshy’ and determined personality, she will most certainly break some hearts. Her dream job is to be a ‘tooth fairy’. Failing that a ‘police dog’ will suffice. Yes – we were surely blessed with three girls and this is why my husband insisted we at least own male dogs! I fear for his sanity in later years.


I’m not high flying and have not made my first million. Does this matter? To me it used to, yes. I wanted it all. I wanted to have the perfect career, earning the best money in order to provide my family with the moon on a stick. What have I realised? I bet many of you know what is coming…… I have learned the hard way that my children come first. I can’t get the first few years of their young lives back – I worked right through them. Luckily this concept raised itself to me back in November. Sometimes bad things happen but all for the greater good.

I have set up business in partnership with a close family friend and will comment in further blogs about how this is getting on. So far I am loving it. Good days, disappointing days, all in all a great move for me personally. I don’t have to answer to anyone other than my business partner and my own harsh rules and regulations. I’m a perfectionist unfortunately – something I always thought was a strength but have realised is in fact a curse – to be continued……. I take the girls to school most days and collect them every Friday. I am at home working. I am relaxed and at 5pm I step out of my office before making my way to the kitchen for a catch up with my favourite people.

Personal Life

My sister is my world. She is my family (outside of those living at home). Dad passed away almost 11 years ago and the mother – maybe we will elaborate later – maybe we won’t. This blog is about subjects and people that matter.

I live with anxiety and bouts of depression. No sympathy or ‘ooooo’s’ and ‘ahhhhh’s’ required – it’s manageable. The anxiety is like a larger dose of butterflies – large moths if you will. This in turn leads to slight depression. Learning to recognise triggers and deal with symptoms has been a learning curve but one I have mastered quite successfully. Over the last couple of months I have learned to control an embarrassing neck twitch and have just about stopped shaking on a morning. Healthy diet and exercise……. I’m working towards these. Friends – I’m lucky to know a handful of truly beautiful people who have always been there for me. They know me and understand me. We can go months without contact then turn up at the door – it’s fine. That’s what friendship is about. Highly important to me.

This is a snippet of me. I have lots to say. Plenty of opinions, stories and tales to tell. I am planning on writing at least twice a week so come back soon and read my blog again! Feel free to leave comments. It would be great to know how other people cope with work, family and a busy life in general.