Thursday, 31 July 2014

Mrs Jones: On the Importance of Working from Home

So I did it! I have survived the first three weeks as a (part-time) working Mama of two. I really hate that phrase working mother, because of course all mothers work don't they?! Whilst the days I am in the office are mentally more exhausting because of the super early mornings and of course the job itself, the days I spend with children are physically more challenging but infinitely more rewarding.  

One thing that did make a huge difference in helping me integrate back in to the work place was the fact that for the first two weeks,  I was 'allowed' to work a day from home. Unfortunately my boss has since told me that it isn't an option for me to do more of this in future, and I can't understand why. I work as a social media manager so my job can easily be done remotely on occasion. 

The difference being able to work from home makes for me as a mother, is enormous. It made me feel that for once I was being treated as a worthy member of my department, valued and trusted to work without supervision, because of course working from home is often synonymous with the phrase 'pulling a sickie'! I felt like I actually got a lot more work done at home too because I could actually focus on the task at hand rather than having to stop and make inane chit chat with whoever walks past my desk in work. My mother was also there with me, helping look after little E and Rufio and I was able to stop for a break every now and then, help with nappy changes, lunch/dinner times and the occasional sneaky snuggle.

From a practical point of view, as a family we didn't have to wake up quite so early in the morning as there was no commute. Consequently everyone was in a much better mood throughout the day ( myself included) and getting ready was slightly less hurried and therefore less stressful all round. 

Most of all it made me feel empowered, that I could still be there for my children whilst juggling my job at the same time. For just two days, I felt far more inspired to get on with my work, I was more focused and therefore productive and ultimately I felt far more satisfied in my job. 

The government always seems eager to push mothers back in to the workplace, without a second thought to the emotional impact this has on us as human beings. I often feel like so much is expected of me, as a woman, a mother, an employee, a colleague etc and creating a work / life balance often feels unachievable.
Whilst promoting flexible working hours is certainly a step in the right direction, I also feel that much more should be done to allow working from home as a viable option for mothers in similar positions to myself. From a business point of view it means one less person in the office, lower overheads and so more profitability for businesses in the long run. Equally, greater job satisfaction is known to decreases absenteeism.   

Of course you can argue that you can't reproduce the interaction that goes on in the workplace remotely. Last year, Yahoo actually banned employees from working at home because of this and I feel that this move was slightly shameful, especially given that their CEO Marissa Mayer is herself a new mother! With all the technology available to us in 2014 there is no reason why a combination of working from home and office should be an option available to mothers!

I don't usually write opinionated posts but this is something that I feel very strongly about as you can probably tell. Are you a Mama who works ( aside from bringing up your children of course) and how do you feel about having the option to work from home, I would love to hear your views.

Thursday, 24 July 2014

Nails of the Week: Gelish & Models Own

This week my nails are super neon peach with Gelish's I'm brighter than you and Models Own- Microdots as an accent nail. If you're not in to gels then Models Own in Beach bag or China Glaze's flip flop fantasy would make good dupe to recreate this look. 

Microdots from Models Own, is a multicoloured glitter polish on a clear base, it looks great on it's own or over a nude polish but right now I'm really in to amping up the colour and layering it over neons.
It reminded me of cupcake sprinkles until little E pointed out that it is in fact Mr Tumble Nail Polish!!

She is obsessed with Microdots, she has it on her fingers and toes at the moment and makes a point of showing her mani/ pedi to anyone who will listen. I really need to get her some child friendly nail polish, without any nasty chemicals. I hear Little BU is good, have any of you tried this?  

Now that I'm back in work I am trying to be super organised, getting the children's clothes ready the night before and having prepared for the morning. Yesterday morning however, I noticed that I had unwittingly matched my nails to the kiddiewinks' outfits. I love a good neon if you hadn't noticed!!

I have been getting lots of lovely comments about my tan lately. I wish I could say it was from two weeks of lying on a beach in Mykonos, unfortunately that's going to have to wait until the end of the summer. This tan is intact from a bottle, I'll be posting a review very soon on Cocoa Brown's 1hr tan Dark. It is uh-may-zing, a total game changer!!

Sunday, 20 July 2014

Little Jones Style: First Shoes

My mother always says ' you can tell a lot about a gentleman, by this shoes' so I had to make sure Mr Rufio set off on the right foot so to speak, with his very first pair. Rufio isn't yet walking, but when we're out he likes to walk holding and was in need of something to protect his tootsies. At home, he gets around quite efficiently using a very unique bum shuffling method which involves steering with his right hand, using his left leg to propel himself forward, all whilst pointing in the direction in which he is traveling with his left hand, a sound complicated? it is!

I really wanted Rufie to have some comfy and stylish shoes that fit well and gave his feet and ankles some much needed support. This is where I ran in to trouble because pre-walkers tend to steer towards the awkward looking side. There are some more stylish ones available but I wasn't able to find any that came in width fittings or that had the required support.

I had bookmarked these cute baby deck shoes from Clarks quite a while back and luckily for us by the time Rufio needed them they were actually half price in the sale! Mr Jones quite often wears deck shoes too and I love seeing my boys in coordinating footwear.

We were given a little certificate with a super cute photo, (top photo) to commemorate Rufio's very first pair of shoes. E's first pair were from Trotters, who do give certificates but without photos so this was a really lovely surprise and a very nice touch on Clarks' part.

We're so so pleased with Rufus' first shoes. I am a die hard shoe addict myself so I often despair at the selection of boys shoes available which tend to be ugly, clumpy and waaay too practical for my liking. Shoe shop recommendations from mamas of stylish little men would be much appreciated, for future reference!!

Monday, 14 July 2014

Splurge or save: Lace Espadrilles

Lace espadrilles are the ultimate in relaxed daytime chic and none more so than this beautiful Valentino version. I am however, a huge fan of the H&M copy cat pair which I have been living in all summer, a snip at just £14.99. They are super comfy and go with almost anything, (except rain) and come in a variety of styles if lace isn't your thing.


Saturday, 12 July 2014

This Mama Loves: Benefit- They're real! push-up liner

I'm starting back at work next week following a year's maternity leave ( wish me luck!!) and am trying to cut down my make-up regime to under  5 minutes (wish me luck on that too!). I am always, always, on the look out for time saving beauty products that are easy to apply and that I can forget about for the rest of the day without having to worry about touch ups. 

 I have been a huge fan of Benefit's they're real! Mascara for some time now and have been eagerly awaiting the launch of the matching eyeliner. Following the popularity of the Mascara there has been quite a buzz around the launch of they're real push-up liner so was it worth the wait and the hype......?

Absofreakinglutely!! this product is an absolute must have!!

There are so many things to love about this eyeliner such as the AccuFlex rubberised tip which is great if you're trying to apply eyeliner on the go and run the risk of stabbing yourself in the eye! The angled tip also makes it much easier to line the eyes quickly and evenly.

It's also waterproof, I tested this out on Rufio's first birthday which was one of the hottest days of the year, I also shed a few tears throughout the day but the eyeliner stayed put. I have quite oily skin yet the liner didn't run or smudge.

There's only one thing that I'm not too keen on and that is the packaging. There is no way of telling how much product you have left so one day, when it runs out, I'm going to be totally stuck! and I'm not sure how I'm going to manage without it!!

What are your favourite time saving beauty products? Do share and help a mama in need!!
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