a transatlantic mommy / mummy blog – my kids say "tomato" & "to-mah-to"

You know when they say “Mummy I don’t feel so well…”

It’s time to pick them up and run like hell for the nearest bathroom, sink, flowerpot, mixing bowl.

Yep, we’ve been struck down (again) with the vomiting bug. Norovirus/Rotavirus/stomach flu/mummy’s bad cooking…. pick your poison. (Hmmm perhaps I could blame it on the ABC gum chewing…)

In any case, there is nothing worse than seeing your child suffer and not feel well. Our little man F got sick last evening and we’ve all been feeling a little shaky in the tummy since.

J has been fine so far -no hint of it so hopefully it will skip him and F is feeling better today (although he did pull the sick card when he didn’t want to finish his dinner).

All in all we got by fairly unscathed this time. Oh man – I hope I didn’t just jinx us.

One of the worst times we had it was shortly before J was born. I had been watching my baby nephew C, who was about 2 months old. He had just gone to his first week of daycare and I was watching him his first day home. He projectile vomitted like Linda Blair in the Exorcist all over my face and everywhere. Since he was still on the bottle and spitting up small amounts occaisionally I didn’t link it with an illness just thought holy cow! So after bringing him around to my brother’s in the evening I was feeling a bit peckish and my brother brought out some “awesome chili you have to try” that he had made. Halfway through tucking into the bowl, he was like, “hmmmm ya, I can’t remember when I cooked that, it might have been a week or two ago.” Fast forward several hours letter to where I’m shaking and feeling like I’m going to die – running to the bathroom trying to decide which end gets the toilet (for those of you who really want to know the trick I discovered is sit on the toilet with the rubish bin in your lap – fyi) Needless to say I cursed him profusely for giving me food poisoning – that was until the next day when he, his wife, my husband and everyone the baby had come into contact with fell ill with same within 24 hrs. Following that they got notification from the nursery that apparently Rotavirus was going around – huh, really? Thanks for the heads-up.

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6 years ago 0 Comments Short URL

Childcare costs in Chicago and London

So childcare is not one of those things you necessarily want to scrimp on – you want the best quality of care for your child afterall. However – childcare costs, especially in large cities make finding the right solution very challenging.

When we lived in a suburban city in the US childcare costs were about $300-$400 USD/month at really nice daycare centers and in-home childcare (childminders) would be less than that. {total costs approx $5,000 USD / yr per child}

When we lived in an urban city in the US, in Chicago we were looking at about $215-$350 USD/ wk for up to 10 hrs per day 52 weeks a year. {total costs approx $15,000 USD / yr per child}

So if you have 2 kids in daycare in an urban city like Chicago, you’d need to make $40,000 / yr pre-tax at your job to come home with no money. Considering that – it’s no wonder that many women take a couple years out of work or stay out altogether to raise their children and watch them instead of paying for daycare.

Here’s an infographic I found interesting on this subject:

ChildCare FINAL Design

So having lived in Chicago I new childcare would be expensive in London but I was still kinda shocked about how much it costs.

If you’re looking at one of the private nurseries or daycare centers in central London they range from 250 – 400 GBP per week, with most being around the 350 mark. What does that mean in dollars? Well, it means 18,200 GBP which is about $30,000 USD/ child per year.

Ok sure – living in England you get paid in GBP not USD, but in a way it’s equivalent, because your salary is adjusted when you move to account for that. So for example if you’re making $40,000 USD in Chicago which is enough to pay for 2 kids in daycare and nothing more – then in the UK you’d be making 25,000 GBP – which is not enough for private daycare or nursery in central London.

Besides private nurseries – there are child centers and childminders (a babysitter who has an in-home small daycare). Child centers are like council run (think of it as local government run) daycare centers. These are about 200-250 GBP/week in central London. Ok great, but the waitlist for these is incredibly long. We were on some waitlists for these when we first came over – we were offered a place eventually, 10 months after we needed it. So, if you made 25,000 GBP you could probably afford a child and half at a child center.

Luckily, school starts 1 year earlier here than in the US. While Kindergarten starts at 5 in the US, Nursery starts at 3-4, and Reception at 4-5.

Ok so then you’ve got your kids in school, but what do you do if you’re a working mum, or working couple – how do you pick up the kids from school around 3? Well.. then we get into afterschool nannies, nannies and aupairs.

We had wanted to have a third child at some point – but trying to figure out how to afford it while keeping our current style of life in London has been a challenge.

How have you managed childcare? Did you find you had to stop working? How did you make it work?

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6 years ago 1 Comment Short URL

Twitter names

Sooo…. I was trying to change my twitter username to a new one to match my blog.

Unfortunately TransatlanticMom is 1 character too long, so it made it TransatlanticMo

Well I don’t want to be a “mo” so then I was trying other variations on the theme, but somehow they just didn’t look right, for example

TAmom and TAmum conjures up tits & a*$ mom – definitely not a handle I’d like on Twitter. Then I thought,

USUKmom – then realized it said “you suck mom.” Pfff. TransMom – nope!


Darn you Twitter and everyone who has taken any non-dirty relevant name.

Out of desparation I tried one of those username generators.  I put in Transatlantic Mom, I got back: Loser-tastic Emo 


Major Fail

Ohhhh ok I got it  TransatlantiMom   – it’s only missing a “c” and isn’t dirty. Yay!

Have now updated my online profile and notified my tweeple.



6 years ago 0 Comments Short URL

What’s in a name? (and the reason I should never ever get a tattoo…)

Ok – I wouldn’t call it indecisive – I think of it more as over-decisive. I have trouble settling on a name for blogs. (Hence why this blog currently has the rather generic url of MummyBlogger.org – while technically correct I feel it gives me time to “find myself” ) Funny to have a self identity crisis before getting started but I guess that’s the way of things for me.

There are som many parts of me that I want to share in my blog – but identifying myself with just seems a little hard for me. I don’t think it will take me 5 years like that poor kid who was raised gender neutral by “it’s” parents – but it may take me a few weeks or months.

Most of the Mommy/Mummy blogs I follow have an identity around the kids or parenting style, ie Her Bad Mother, Resourceful Mom, Slummy Single Mummy

But, at the rate my children have grown ( I swear it’s at lightspeed!) my parenting style seems to have to change and adapt daily – so while I originally had the url babyslingmama.com when they were in their slings – as soon as they grew out of the that, my blogging on that site stopped as it felt in-authentic.

So maybe it’s more about me than about them? The blog I mean. (Isn’t everything supposed to be about me? lol) Or at least the title/moniker – twitter name etc. I’m not sure.

Picking names for my kids was easy – in fact I had them picked out even before I became pregnant. Funnily enough I get compliments on their names – (weird right?)

Ok folks – here are some of the url’s I have reserved for my “mommy blog” – they sit in my stash of hoarded domains (yes we’ll go into my hoarding at a later date friends). I think over time I’ll see how this blog goes, sticking with the vague mommyblogger.org until I find my authentic voice and identity – or get a better idea.

Here’s the list (and growing)

  • Micro Mother
  • Carseats in Taxis
  • Londonatrix
  • Transatlantic Mom
  • Bento Lunch
  • Baby Sling Mama
  • Foodie Kids
  • Puddle Jumping

So what do you think? How did you decide on one url for your blog? Did you use the mommy blog name generator?


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6 years ago 0 Comments Short URL

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