New years eve and prosecco

New Years Eve after children

New Years Eve isn’t quiet the same now I’ve become a parent. It’s still a night that I stay up until midnight for, have a glass of fizz for, but otherwise it is a little dull, compared to 6 years ago. If you are anything like me, then you are never able to get a babysitter for New Years Eve as your own parents actually have a far more exciting social life than you. My New Years Eve since becoming a parent have consisted of either a party at a friends or at home with a M&S dine in for £20 deal.

My last New Years Eve before children and before being pregnant with our first child was in 2010. On this night we had a house party, then gate crashed a pub party, my husband was dressed as a ballerina and we got home about 4am. The night was messy, we were young and we had so much fun. New Years Eve before children was the only night I would actually be out before 10pm (now that’s when I’m ready for bed) and I would be usually too drunk to remember the clock striking midnight. I would spend more on entry to somewhere than I would on an entire outfit now and would spend a small fortune on a double fare taxi home.

My last New Years Eve before getting pregnant.

These days New Years Eve is very different event and pretty pointless one at that. If I am fortunate enough to receive a New Years Eve invite it is now around a friend’s house, it’s a bring your own bottle and make sure you don’t forget your child when leaving kind of party. One parent will always now be driving as there is no way we can handle the prospect of a long taxi wait or even worse the double priced taxi fare home. The party is low key, we talk about school problems, the children are running around, over tired and hyped at the prospect of seeing midnight. The problem is the children don’t last and need to go to bed, one of our group is probably pregnant and one of us has probably just had a baby.

The other option for us is to stay in, watch Jools Holland, have a few drinks and be in bed as soon as the last firework has lite up London. We don’t dare drink excessively as no one wants a hangover whilst dealing with children who show a complete disregard to having a lay in, even after a 11pm bedtime. Not only are they up early they will also be whingeing all day, overtired from the sleep they missed the night previous. I still have dreams that in a few years we can spend New Years Eve dancing around as a family like the scene from The Holiday, but only time can tell.

A more civilized New Years Eve with my sister last year.

I’ll leave my nights out to another day in the year, where it isn’t too busy, I don’t have to pay to get into a pub, I can afford a taxi home and most importantly I can get a babysittter. On the bright side at least I always get a kiss at midnight, even if it maybe my sleeping children.

Happy New Year to you all, see you in 2017.

 

 

Facebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinrssinstagram
New year and a new start

A New Year and a new start

Just a few days left until I can say goodbye to 2016 and roll on 2017. 2016 has been so horrid for so many people I know and so many people I don’t. I do have some great memories, but unfortunately everything has been clouded in between. This year I did get to go on one of my best friends amazing Hen Party in Cambridge, then her fabulous wedding where I was a bridesmaid. I also got to go on two holidays and a few days break in England. I saw Miss J grow up and leave me to go to school for the first time and have subsequently watched her blossom and grow with confidence. I do unfortunately have many unhappy memories especially a particularly dark time in October, when I had a break down.

Mr T turned 1 this year.

This year my confidence and self-esteem have been shattered and I have doubted myself as a parent and a wife. Postnatal depression brought me to my knees and caused me so much suffering, that I’m sure will have a lasting impact to me for years. Anxiety had ruined my day to day life and the depression had made me doubt everything I thought I knew about myself. I have been a pretty crappy mother and only met my children’s basic needs for much of year, consumed with my own battle.

In Cambridge at one of my best buddies hen party.

I found my blog this year in September and found my own little space that was just for me. I have my own website where I can write whatever my heart desires. I read back through old blog posts and can see progress and I can make sense of my feelings whilst typing them out. Blogging has been my saviour in a world where I had no time for me anymore.

My favourite family picture of the year when I was a bridesmaid.

I know I can leave this year and hold my head high knowing I did the best I could in the situation I was in. I have let go of guilt, excepted that things don’t need to be perfect and that it is ok to not be ok. I have got my confidence back and I have learnt so much about myself in this year. I have always sought approval and still do to some extent, but I have also learnt that I need to love and look after myself before worrying about others opinions.

I am not one for resolutions, but this past year has changed me so much that I am willing to try new things. I plan to get fit, not lose weight, not starve, I mean get fit and lose inches and gain confidence. I will not being standing anywhere near my scales and will be committing to the gym. By getting fit I also mean mentally, I will be going for counselling, investing time into my self and caring about my wellbeing.

2017 I am ready for what you have to offer and ready to fight for my happiness. I will leave this post with a quote from the amazing late Carrie Fisher, who sums it up all so well.

I don’t feel particularly messed up. I’ve always been quite sane about being insane. Carrie Fisher 21/10/56 – 27/12/16

 

 

Facebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinrssinstagram

2006 v’s 2016

2006 was a massive year for me as I had just turned 18 years old and had started the year working in Debenhams home department, was loved up with my army boyfriend who was in Iraq and getting ready to travel by myself for the first time to America. I would say it was probably one of my best years of my life as it was the age I became an adult and started to get some freedom and discover who I was.

I packed my job in at Debenhams and flew half way across the world to Pittsburgh to stay with my aunt and uncle for six weeks. Besides missing my connecting flight from North Carolina as I declared that I had bought Branston Pickle with me it all went pretty well. I can’t believe how brave I was looking back to do something so huge, for me to do that now I would be full of anxiety and worry. It was my first time seeing my family in over six years and my first time away from my parents, but I had nothing to worry about as I was so lovingly looked after in those six weeks and had some amazing experiences whilst there that I will never forget. I got to see proper snow that lasts for weeks, see the Pittsburgh Steelers win the Superbowl and got to go to an American house party in a basement for my cousins 21st.

Me and my cousin in Pittsburgh

When I returned back to England feeling a little wiser and older I set myself to look for my first proper full time job. Within a week I was working as a receptionist and was getting a full time wage, with no bills to pay. Every night was filled with socialising, going out with friends in my usual clubbing uniform of a boob tube and short shorts and spending the weekends in our much loved local nightclub Oxygen. My relationship with army boy didn’t last and ended up back with my on and off boyfriend for most of the year. That relationship went on and off for way longer than I care to admit, which was extremely destructive and unhealthy. It wasn’t until 2008 when I met my husband that I finally was able to get full closure on the whole heartache.

On a night out with my sister.

Towards the end of 2006 I got to meet a guy through Myspace who quickly became a very good friend of mine and through him I got to meet one of my closest friends I have today. Unfortunately he left for Australia in early 2007 and besides seeing him when he came home in 2008 and going to see him in 2009 I haven’t seen him again as he passed away shortly after I returned from Australia. I will always be grateful for giving me one of my best friends and so many funny, drunken memories. He was the first person I told, that I was going to marry my husband (before he had even proposed) and he was so happy for me that I had found the one. 2006 was also a year that I got to go on a fantastic holiday with my sister to Dominican Republic, we spent everyday sunbathing and ever evening drinking, young and carefree with no responsibility.

On a boat trip in Dominican Republic

Things couldn’t be more different from 2006 to now in 2016, but it still only seems like heartbeat ago that I was that young, skinnier and slightly stupid 18 year old girl. I am now happily married, mother of two, have a part-time job for a gifting company, which I really do enjoy and I have my blog which has already grown so much in the space of just over three months. I am a fair bit fatter, older, frazzled and stressed out, but I am more fulfilled. I got to live my life as an 18 year old, carefree, responsibility free and happy. I have some wonderful memories, but I am happy not doing the same thing today. My life now is rich, not with money, but with children who send me bonkers, a husband who loves me for being me, friendships that have lasted the test of time, a job which I care about and I blog which is my own little place to reflect.

Me now in 2016

I have learnt from many a mistake over the last ten years, but I still glad I made those mistakes to learn from. I understand myself so much more and know who I really am. I don’t try to please people, I understand some people will not like me and I also accept people for who they really are. 2016 you have been hard on me, tried to break me, but you have also shown me how strong I really am and that I’ve actually got pretty big balls.

I’m now in the last year of my twenties and will be starting my 30’s at the end of next year. 2017 I am ready for you….

 

 

Facebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinrssinstagram

Making Christmas special through postnatal depression

Something I can now find overwhelming, is when there is some big event coming up that I should be enjoying. I find there is so much pressure to enjoy Christmas day and after lasts year when I was deep in my postnatal depression I was a little worried how it would be. Last year Mr T was 7 months old and I had started antidepressants a couple of months earlier, I was extremely anxious and feeling pretty disconnected from the whole thing. I painted a smile on my face, some make-up and drank a fair amount of baileys in the hope it would improve my spirit. Looking back through pictures I just feel sadness that I wasn’t able to enjoy my baby sons first Christmas, so this year I felt I wanted to make up for it.

This year, even  though I was determined to make it a great Christmas, I wasn’t very organised and brought my last present on Christmas Eve. I would usually be frantically shopping around for Black Friday deals, but instead I was relaxing in the sun in Fuerteventura. I was kind to myself this Christmas, I wrapped a few presents each night, whilst watching Christmas films, didn’t spend a fortune on my children as I knew they would be spoilt by family, I made sure that I got a present I really wanted (Canon 1300D DSLR camera) and I made sure I took the time running up to Christmas enjoying my family and embrace Christmas. I even managed to get a night out with my girlfriends and have a great night in a new local prosecco bar. I think being back at work this year helped me get in the mood, as not only was it Christmas it was also a break away from work for just over a week. If I can I always try to be thoughtful of other, but after this last year I felt I had taken more from the world than given back so I decided to set myself a task of doing something thoughtful every for 11 days before Christmas, I am happy to say that I completed all these little tasks, which made me feel fulfilled before Christmas.

Christmas day this year really was lovely besides waking up to Mr T, covered in poo, half way up his back. The children woke at respectable 8am and Miss J patiently waited upstairs, whilst her brother was bathed. It really was magical watching the children open their presents and watch the excitement in their faces. After presents we went around to my parents house for the second round of presents with my sister and her husband. We had a lazy morning, opening and putting together multiple children’s toys and I even managed to have a play with my camera. My mum put on the most fantastic Christmas lunch and after collapsing into a meat coma for a couple of hours we headed to my mother in laws house for round three of presents.

My mother in law loves nothing more than Christmas and never fails to disappointment in making it a lovely day for the children. My two children got to spend the afternoon playing with their four other cousins, running around and playing games. My mother in law does a separate Christmas tree covered in prizes for the children, they pick a raffle ticket and get to find there present on the tree, which the children love.

All six cousins together

The whole day was beautiful, filled with laughter, love and far too much food. I’m so glad I was able to fully embrace Christmas day and appreciate the time spent with our family.

My parents cat really got into the Christmas spirit

 

Facebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinrssinstagram

A mothers unconditional love for her baby

The day I met you, my darling baby, everything changed. I would never be able to just think about me anymore as my actions would directly affect you. I will be the role model to you and I will be the first person in this world that will show you what love is. There has never been anyone like you in my world before and I still can’t believe how instantly I fell in love with you. When someone says they don’t believe in love at first sight they must not have been lucky enough to become a parent like me.

I will never forget the way you smelt as you were laid on my chest for the first time. I felt exhausted, relieved , overwhelming emotions of love and fear of how I was now responsible for this tiny person for the rest of my life. From that day I became a mother which is something I will cherish dearly until my dying day. I had to learn quickly how to wash a baby, dress a baby and how to feed, which was hard to begin with and nothing like when I had played with dolls as a child. You needed me and were relentless with your needs, but I sacrificed it all as I wanted to do it all for you.

I cherished my time feeding you, taking you for walks and rocking you to sleep, as you are not just my child, but also my friend. I would sometimes get you out of your cot, still asleep and sit with you in a chair rocking you and stroking your face, desperately trying to remember the way you felt in my arms. You soon grew, much quicker than I had anticipated and were soon toddling around my house, causing destruction. We started going for walks to the park, just us two, to feed the ducks and I can honestly say I was so happy in your company. We spent many a day cuddled on the sofa, playing dolls and painting together, then the day came where you had to leave me.

You ran off without a second look back through your classroom doors and began a life away from me. I wasn’t there all day to help, guide or teach you right from wrong and I missed you terribly. I still had your baby brother at home, but I missed having my darling little girl with me. When I collect you from school my heart fills with love and I’m so happy to hear your stories and what you have learnt today, but I’m secretly jealous that someone else gets you. I loved the day you told me about the dinosaurs and how they were ‘stinct’ and then asked if I knew any of them.

The days we have together are not as often now and when I reach for your hand to hold, you soon let go to be free, ready to explore the world on your own. I know at bedtime no one does bedtime stories as well as me and that you will make any excuse to keep me in your bed just one more minuet longer. I will hold you as long as you let me, kiss you on the forehead, stroke your hair and breath you in. You will never stop being my little girl and the promises I made to you when you were born will be forever. You are my love, my darling, my baby and I will be with you forever.

 

Facebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinrssinstagram

I am the selfish mother

I am the selfish mother, which is something pre children I would have never dreamed of becoming. I make sure I have adequate time away from my children, I buy myself treats, I go to the gym and leave my child in a crèche. I am more than happy to book weekends away with friends and have nights out getting drunk and I feel no shame in this. I go to work and feel no guilt leaving my children for the day, as I get adult conversation and money to treat myself. I lock myself away in my bedroom whilst my husband watches the children so I can write my blogs or even sit on Facebook in peace. I even have long baths and leave my husband in charge of the chaos. I sometimes ignore my children and I don’t jump up for their every request. The playdoh and art supplies stay firmly in the cupboard and comes out if I can be bothered.

I am a selfish mother and that suits me fine. I spent so much time trying to give my children every ounce of me and the consequences were not good. I tried to do too much and I got to breaking point and wasn’t able to care for my children properly because of this. I will never become that emotionally and physically drained mother again as my children were not getting the best of me. For me to be a good mother I need to look after myself first so I can look after them. I am again enjoying being a mother and I am again capable of giving my children quality time that they deserve.

I used to force myself to take the children out constantly and felt guilty if they were stuck in whilst I had to do the housework. I used to spend every penny I had on my children’s clothes and shoes when I reality they didn’t need as much as I was giving them. I am strict on bedtime so I get my evenings to myself again, as this is my time and it is important to me for my mental wellbeing. My children are my priority, I love them dearly and their needs are met but I can be selfish whilst this is achieved. As a mother we are told we need to sacrifice everything, our bodies, our looks, our time, our friends, our money and that really isn’t fair. My husband has given up a lot to be a father, but he isn’t the one who has to drop everything at the drop of a hat if a child is ill, or plan his whole life around school pick-ups and after school clubs. I am the one that keeps this house running not because of my money I put in, it is because I plan every aspect of our lives to fit in and work perfectly. I had forgotten for some time to plan myself into this time for me to have a break, but I now am.

2017 will continue to be about me, my wellbeing, my happiness and the happiness pf our whole family. I deserve a break as much as anyone and I will take it.

 

Facebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinrssinstagram

When a toddler doesn’t accept a new baby sibling

I have been quiet vocal about how Miss J didn’t accept her baby brother when he was born 19 months ago. It’s something quiet common, but it’s not something you want to really talk about. Miss J was just over two when I got pregnant with her brother and was such a mummy’s girl. She was my mini me and always wanted mummy to put her to bed and read her stories. Whilst I was pregnant we did everything we could to prepare her for her new sibling, by talking about what was happening, taking her to our gender scan and letting her pick baby clothes and toys. She seemed to be understanding and kept asking when baby would ‘pop out’. When ever I did hold another baby she would get extremely jealous, so I did wonder if it would take a little adjustment initially. In preparation for her brother arriving we bought Miss J a fairy locket for her brother to give her and she picked out a blue ‘snuggle bunny’ the same as her much loved bunny. Everything we could have possibly done to prepare for his arrival was done and it was just now a waiting game.

It was gradual, but she learnt to love her brother.

At 37 weeks my waters broke without sending me into labour so after a 24 hour wait I was sent to hospital to be induced which didn’t work the first time. I had a long wait waiting for labour to kick start and was feeling really emotional and sad about not seeing my daughter. I had decided I didn’t want Miss J to see me in hospital and would let her meet her brother in her own home. Mr T arrived safely and we were able to leave the next afternoon to get home. Miss J was being looked after by a friend and was bought home to meet him. Her initial reaction was ‘it popped out’, she gave him gift and went off to play. I wasn’t expecting much from her and that was fine, as I knew it would take her time to adjust.

Miss J wasn’t interested in her little brother and was getting quiet jealous of me breastfeeding him. I was prepared that this could happen and spent as much time as I could with sitting with her and spending time with her and at first it was manageable as my husband was off work for two weeks to help. When my husband went back to work on twelve hour shifts things became a lot more strained. Everytime Mr T would cry she would put a muslim over his face and I was trying to explain to her why she couldn’t do that without making her resent him more. She would scream when I was holding him, refuse to walk if we were out and I was pushing him in his pram. She refused to even call him by his name and refered to him as ‘the baby’. I was having to bribe Miss J with sweets so I could get the occasional picture with her brother and I was trying desperately to get her to bond, but nothing was working and I knew it wasn’t something that could be forced.

Mr T having his injections was a turning point for Miss J. She started to become very protective over him.

My own mother suggested Miss J stayed over every Friday so I got a break, she got a break and I was able to bond with my baby. Miss J loved going over for the night, but when it came to coming back home she would scream that she didn’t want to, which was breaking my heart. I felt so guilty for bringing this baby into her life who she resented. I was struggling to get out the house and I was struggling to bond with my baby, looking back now it’s not surprising that I got postnatal depression.

Whilst writing this blog post Miss J has been reading to her brother.

There was nothing I could do, but to keep on trying to show Miss J that her brother wasn’t all that bad. I was getting her involved in any way possible, by getting nappies, letting her feed him a bottle, help wash him. I was patient with her and excepted that a bond for her would take time. I encouraged her to sit and communicate with him and to show him her toys or dancing and gradually I was seeing something happen. The real turning point was when Miss J started pre-school for two and half days a week. She loved going and having time to play with her friends and I loved being able to bond with baby or go shopping with ease. I remember taking Mr T for his jabs and had no choice, but to take Miss J with me, she insisted on holding his hand and became so worried and upset when he was crying. She was feeling his pain and was showing real concern for her little brother. Even though watching your baby have injections is usually a horrible experience it was something quiet special about that day as Miss J showed for the first time that she loved her brother. She still gets a bit jealous at times as he does of her, but I think that’s just natural for siblings. When Mr T wakes first in the morning he shouts her name and goes to find her in her bed and when she’s up first she climbs into his cot for cuddles. To watch them now you would never know what a struggle it was for her to bond with her brother, she’s extremely protective of him and loves to sit reading him books and play with his toys. They have their moments like any siblings do, but I can now see I’ve given her the greatest gift in the world which is her brother.

 

Facebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinrssinstagram

I’m sorry, that I’m not the woman you married

I’m sorry, that I’m not the woman you married five years ago. I remember the day so clearly, how you looked, how you smiled and the way you looked down at me from the altar. You took me as your wife and I promised to you that I would always be yours which all changed, when not even a year later we became a family. Things had changed for the good and the bad and things would never be the same again.

My stomach now resembled a deflated balloon and breastfeeding had changed the purpose of my now slightly saggy chest. When you left for work you no longer got a kiss and a packed lunch made for you, I almost even resented you that you got to leave this mad house. When you came back home I was relieved, not so I could spend time with you, but so I could finally have ten minuets of peace, hiding upstairs from the insanity in our living room.

Weekends no longer consisted of date nights, shopping and weekends away, but now a juggling act of who was more deserving to get a few hours away from responsibility. We still spend time together, but we are looking after one child each and not interacting. I miss holding your hand whilst we would go for walks together, but now your hand is held by our daughters and my hands push our son in his pram.

We go to bed in same bed, both exhausted and say goodnight and before long we get a little person between us taking up all the space. You snore all night which grates on my nerves and you never replace the toilet roll when you are done, but I still love you.

I’m sorry I’m not the woman you married five years ago, but I’ve become a mother now and I love her even more than the person I was before and I know you love her too. You are no longer the man I married five years ago, you now have a less athletic figure and less hair than you did. The thing is I love that you have wrinkles around your eyes when you smile and I love the bits of grey coming through your beard. I fell in love with your soul when we met and I still see that every time I look into your green eyes.

When I see you throwing our baby boy in the air my heart fills with love and I love how you sit with our daughter and read with her every night. I knew when me met that you would make a fantastic husband and father and you have. When you tell me you love me I know you mean it and when you do hold my hand I know it’s because you want to.

I’m sorry you have been forgotten, but you know I will come back to you one day. We will be that old couple who holds hands for walks down by the river.

 

 

 

Facebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinrssinstagram

Hiding behind the smiles and postnatal depression

The day is warm and the sun is shining bright, whilst a mother and her children walk along a country path. She smiles away, pushing her baby in his pram whilst her angelic three year old skips along side her. She has her make up on and a pretty summer dress and to the outside world she looks happy and content. She smiles when she walks past people and lovingly strokes her baby’s cheek as yet another old lady stops her to coo over this beautiful baby. Her life is complete as she has one of each and they are the most beautiful children she could have ever imagined, but why does she feel like this.

Behind the smile she is dying inside with pain. She wants to scream and shout, but she doesn’t think anyone can hear her. Maybe she could run away, but would the pain still follow her or maybe it’s best to end it now, so she doesn’t have to feel this pain anymore. She is consumed with guilt, anger and pain and she knows she is failing, but that make-up is hiding the bags under her eyes and is her mask to the outside world that she is doing ok. When people ask how she is, she always smiles and replies that she is fine, as she is too scared to tell them the truth. No one wants to know that she can’t cope and that everyday is a battle. Why would anyone feel the way she does with two beautiful children.

Her pain is invisible to the naked eye and she blends in like any other mum taking their little family out. She is isolated and alone and feels like she is battling this pain all on her own. No one knows that this is the first time she has left her home for a week or that she feels like a prisoner trapped in her own mind. She’s afraid and anxious that she will never feel happiness again. The anxiety has been building up inside her to force herself out and to not spend another day in that prison that used to be her home.

She finally gets to the shop and buys what she needs and heads back to her home. She made it out today, she kept the children alive, she survived and she continued to fight. Today she made progress and tomorrow she will be strong enough to ask for help.

 

 

 

Facebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinrssinstagram

Gifts of kindness – Spreading holiday cheer

I have decided I want to start spreading some holiday cheer with some gifts of kindness. Recently I feel I have taken more from this world than I have given back. I have taken a lot from the NHS with the help I’ve needed with my postnatal depression and taken lots of time and energy from my friends by needing their support. Now I am in a better place I need to start to balance out the world again for my own mind and what better time it could be to spread some kindness. Obviously it’s good to do these things whenever we can and I try to be mindful and helpful whenever I can throughout the year, but I’ve got some catching up to do. I have 11 days until Christmas and 11 gifts of kindness to complete so I can enjoy my Christmas knowing I have tried to make a difference in this world, however small it is.

It’s so easy to get consumed by life and not notice the world around you and how hard and evil it is for some people. Everyday in this world people are starving, homeless, living in fear and desperate. I like to think that most people want to do well and help people, but there are also many people who feed of fear and pain and want to see people suffer. My acts of kindness will not make much of a difference, but I am trying and would love to see you join me. We have to keep trying to make this world a better place.

It’s my job as a parent to show my children how to be kind and help others in need. I will be making my children aware of why we are doing this task and getting them involved so they hopefully grow up knowing to help others.

Below are my ideas of kindness and if anyone would like to join me I will be adding pictures to Instagram and twitter and using hashtag #SpreadingHolidayCheer

14th December – Spreading some blog love by sharing some of my favourite blog posts through my Facebook and doing lots of commenting.

15th December – Donation of baby clothes, toys and toiletries to my local mothers hostile

16th December – Donation to the food bank which includes some treats

17th December – Donation of money into a charity box

18th December  – Leave a tip for the bin men

19th December – Buy the big issue and leave some money for a busker

20th December – Buy lunch for someone in need

21st December – Leave a bottle of wine on my neighbours doorstep

22nd December – Buy someone a lottery scratch card

23rd December – Bring cakes into work

24th December – Leave a tip for someone who usually isn’t tipped for their service.

 

Facebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinrssinstagram