Sorry children mummy is leaving

Sorry children mummy is leaving

Sorry children mummy is leaving, not forever,

but I am leaving for a few days.

You will be with your daddy and we can skype,

but unfortunately I will not be there to tuck you in at night.

Mummy is a little bit exhausted and needs a break from parenting for just a few days.

I won’t be doing anything you enjoy whilst away, actually everything I am doing you really despise.

I will be sleeping lots, reading long books with no pictures,

laying in the sun with a cool pina colada and not moving a muscle as I let my skin bake,

I plan to eat lots of food you definitely will not like and I will be drinking lots of fizz and wine.

There will be no building sandcastles, no inflatable balls, no early mornings and no chicken nuggets, not at all.

I’m sorry children, but mummy just needs some time to herself,

to talk about something besides elf on the shelf.

Mummy doesn’t want to argue with a 4 year old diva or a tantruming terrible twos,

she just wants to get shit faced and placed by the pool.

I love you both dearly and will miss you so much,

but mummy is hoping to find who she once used to be

before all the breastfeeding and pooey nappies.

Before the stretch marks, the bags under the eyes,

mummy once had a twinkle in her eye.

She wore high heels, make up and even a push up bra,

but then she became a bit ga ga.

I hope you behave for your dad and remember he is just as good as me,

he might not make the barbie voices the same,

but you know he’s the best for rough and tumble and games on the wii.

But please children don’t forget about me,

as mummy will be thinking about her little family tree.

Mummy will come back all refreshed and say lot less f’s

and daddy will sure appreciate how much work it can be to run a family.

So here you go daddy,

you now have a story to read the children before bed about

the mummy who ran away to escape to the magical island and dared to bare her tummy.

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Little moments of happiness week 3

Little moments of happiness week 3

I’m onto my third week of little moments of happiness, where I try to focus on what little things have bought me happiness this past week. I was expecting this past to be particularly challenging with having my daughter off school for the week and my husband working 12 hour night shifts 7 days straight. This week went surprisingly well and not only did I manage to keep everything together I also enjoyed every moment with both my children. I really hope this means that I am turning a corner and that the happiness continues.
  • A very hectic, but enjoyable lunch with a few friends and children, whilst the children played in kids area. We spent over three hours chatting away and Tristan only rugby tackled his best friend once.
  • My appointment with my new psychotherapist went really well and it’s something I think that will really help me.
  • I’ve been approached to do a collaboration for a new app which teaches you tried and tested techniques to manage stress and how to optimise your coping mechanisms. I’m really excited to try this and also review it and will be sharing with you a discount code for a months free subscription.
  • I went back to work. I was waiting for the anxiety to build up and the sleepless nights start to follow with the anticipation of going back to work, but my anxiety seems to have disappeared. I’m hoping it’s to do with my antidepressant increase and it stays this way. Anxiety has plagued my life so much it’s like a ton of bricks being lifted from my shoulders. It was great to get back to the routine of work and get away from my home.
  • Meeting up with my sister-in-law and watching our children play. We had a great couple of hours watching Miss J run around like a manic and Mr T’s big cousin was playing beautifully with him.
  • I took both children to Tescos and came out with everything I needed and managed to stay sane in the process. Both my children decided to sit in the trolley (even though Miss J is almost five) and were well-behaved. A trip to Tescos would normally fill me full of anxiety with only one child with me.
  • Me, my husband and Miss J had a great game of Star Wars the other night with my daughters new lightsaber. unfortunately for my husband it was girls against boys and get got a bit beaten up.
  • Mr T has been suffering with his teeth the last few days and on Saturday night he curled up in my arms and slept like a newborn whilst I watched TV. It was the most amazing feeling his weight on me, snuggled in close.

This week I am back to work three days a week and plan to start back at the gym. I am feeling positive and motivated.

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How to get my motivation back

How to get my motivation back

I am guilty of lacking motivation and at times I’m certain I am just lazy, but I know that isn’t true as once I do get inspiration to get motivated I don’t want to stop until that task is finished. Getting motivated isn’t something I have really been trying to tackle recently and also breakdown why it’s such an issues for me. The more job’s I have to be done the more anxious I get and the more I put them off. It’s a vicious cycle and I think the emotions from not completing task often making me feel even more unmotivated and I start to blame myself. I am trying to teach myself how to get motivated, organised and feeling the benefits of having a clearer, happier head.

Here are some of my tips I use to get motivated

  1. Envision the finished result and what emotion will go with it. I am guilty of sitting on my bum on the sofa, scrolling through Facebook thinking about doing a task that needs doing without actually doing it. Not only does this cause anxiety for me it also makes me feel down, depressed, upset, guilty and worthless. If I can complete a job that needs doing the emotions that go with it at much more encouraging and they keep you motivated for the next job.
  2. Tell yourself that you can do it and don’t be afraid of achieving your tasks and goals. We can change who we are to some extent and there is no reason why you can’t be a motivated, organised and positive.
  3. Rest is appreciated when you have completed a task that has been hanging over your head. Look forward to enjoying a cup of tea once you’ve completed your task.
  4. Try and figure out why you are lacking motivation. Sometimes it’s as easy as being over tired, hungry or even thirsty. Don’t feel guilty for taking a nap if you can, otherwise it’s just a wasted, unmotivated day.
  5. Sometimes you need to put the phone down, the tv off and limit the distractions around you (unfortunately you can’t turn the children off) to get a clearer understanding of the task that needs completing.
  6. Don’t get overwhelmed. Sometimes it can feel like you have too many things on a list to even contemplate starting it. Write a list and order it, by just writing a list can help by being able to visualise what needs doing and it’s so rewarding ticking them off.
  7. Turn off the negative voice. I know how hard it is, but don’t let it win and keep you in your place, unmotivated, lazy and sat on the sofa, anxiety rising as your head runs through the never ending list of tasks to complete is not helpful.
  8. Be mindful. The best thing I have learnt to do for myself recently is to practice mindfulness. Sometimes it’s helpful to stop thinking about what you haven’t done or what does need doing, but to focus on the present moment. Take a step back, notice the sounds, notice the feeling in your body and try to re-centre and refocus.
  9. Set achievable goals. Make it easy to start and gradually increase. If that means going to one gym class a week, not snoozing the alarm or getting one load of washing done everyday. There is nothing quiet like the feeling of completing a task or goal and if you didn’t manage to complete one of these goals, then look back and try to figure out what helped or hindered you.
  10. If you have a particularly difficult task or goal that may take some time to complete, then try to remind yourself throughout why it matters to you and the value of the goal at hand.
  11. Are my expectations unrealistic. Sometimes it doesn’t pay to be a perfectionist, whats the point of having a spotless bathroom and a dirty disgusting kitchen, sometimes just do as much as you need to do before moving on to something else.
  12. Talk yourself up. There is nothing wrong with giving yourself a bit of a pep talk or practicing some affirmations to help you achieve your tasks and goals.
  13. Don’t let a set back throw you off course. We all have days where everything is a bit more of a struggle, but remember you need to refocus and not dwell on it. Brush yourself off practice some affirmations and start again.
  14. For bigger goals try making a goals board with lots of lovely visual inspiration and then hang it somewhere you will see it all the time. Add pictures, affirmations and drawings and remember to keep looking at it and adding to it when you need to as it’s great for motivation.

Read my blog post on S.M.A.R.T goals by clicking here. Motivation is key.

 

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Parenting a strong willed boy

Parenting a strong willed boy

It was quite apparent from an early age that Mr T has been strong willed and a bit of a handful. Miss J has her moments and is pretty stubborn at times, but from an early age distraction or even reasoning with her has always worked. I’ve found parenting Miss J easy to some extent and never doubted my abilities as a parent until Mr T started to show us his personality. Often since his arrival in May 2015 I have refered to him as difficult baby and toddler, but this is not true, he is not difficult or naughty he’s just strong willed and that’s what makes him, him.

Mr T is now 21 months and is pretty much mute with words besides mummy, juice, milk and please. He does seem to have a good understanding of what we are saying to him, but he as far as he’s concerned he has no one to please and will listen if he fancies it. I do wonder at times if I gave him the wrong name as he rarely responds to it.

Mr T started to crawl at 10 months and as soon as he was able to pull himself up and climb he’s been a force to reckon with. He’s strong willed, determined and so stubborn and I often wonder how I manage to get through the day. He will climb anything and often fall off things, if he decides he wants to climb something he will not give up until he’s succeeded and most probably got a bump to the head. I’ve learnt to stay close and guide him so he can explore the world in his own way.

For the last year I’ve lived in a constant state of anxiety trying to parent such a strong willed boy, I’ve often asked myself is it just me who can’t handle a boy, is he particularly difficult or is it just the postnatal depression that has stopped me from parenting how I used to with just one child. Having time to reflect and see his personality grow I am gradually learning to just enjoy him for who he is and that this age is just a phase and it should (I hope) get easier.

Mr T is not just strong willed, he has many other amazing personality traits like his gentleness, affection and his sheer determination is amazing. I look forward to seeing how his personality grows with him and I hope to help direct his strong willed personality into the right areas of his life. I’m sure like his dad he will be a fantastic sportsman and have his competitiveness that I wish I had.

Mr T has taught me so much since he was born, he’s taught me how to catch a falling child without flinching, how to stop a bump swelling so quickly, how to always expect a poo directly after a bath and to love two children equally, but differently. Mr T has shown me that children aren’t just naughty, they are just learning in a way that fits their personality and that no way is wrong. Mr T is making me a better parent every single day and has found his way to fit into our little family perfectly.

 

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Little moments of happiness week 2

Little moments of happiness week 2

This is my second week of little moments of happiness where I try to remember all the little moments of happiness I’ve had in the past week to try to keep me focused and positive. To be honest this week has been horrendous and emotionally draining (read about my week here), but by writing down little things during the week which have made me smile, it shows even in the most awful week I think I’ve had, I have still done things that have made me smile. People who haven’t dealt with depression often assume that to be depressed that you cry all day and never smile, which for me isn’t true. I have cried far too much this week, and have felt like I’m trying to stay afloat in a river with a brick tied around my foot, but I have still smiled, laughed and I can reflect back now and see the little moments of happiness that will lift my spirit and I hope yours.

  • A walk with my husband and son around the park to feed the ducks, having a play on the swing and enjoying a cup of tea and slice of cake outside. I also managed to get some lovely pictures.
  • My Tots 100 score moving up 455 places to 727. I might still have a long way to go, but I’m really happy how well my blog is doing considering it focuses on such an uncomfortable topic for many people.
  • A few weeks ago I made plans to make a goals/mood board and this week my board was delivered and my husband hung it for me. I plan to add lots of stuff to keep me focused, make me smile and inspire me. I asked my daughter (4.5 years) to draw a picture of our family to be our centre piece for the board and every time I see it, it fills me full of love.
  • I’m very lucky to have some amazing friends around me and for the last 7 years or so we’ve done Friday fajita nights around each other houses when we can all get together. We don’t do it as often, now we have so many children and commitments between us and we’ve upgraded from doing a picnic on the floor in our small two bedroom houses to now our family homes complete with a dining table. With everything that can be wrong in your life in that moment, getting together with friends and having a gossip, everything is all right with the world again.
  • The final thing this week that really made me smile was seeing a sprinkle of snow. unfortunately we didn’t get much, but for a short while it was coming down thick and fast and me and the children ran around playing outside. It felt like the slate was being cleared and it was a chance to start over.

This week is half term and my husband starts a week of nights which I always find challenging, but I have plans to get out and about and will start back at work on Friday. I feel like I’m turning a corner and am doing everything to stay focused on the main goal ahead, which is to get better for my family.

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A letter to my sister

A letter to my sister

My darling sister you have taught me so much and I am forever grateful for your guidance, your hand to hold and shoulder to cry on. You have seen me at my highest of highs and lowest of lows, but one thing you have never done is judged me. We are so different in looks and personality, but we are wired the same, we get each other, we feel each others pain and a simple look into each others eyes and we know what we are thinking.

As little children I always admired you and looked up to my big sister, even when you dared me to drink vinegar or blind folded me and gave me Marmite to eat. We spent many an hour playing Barbies engrossed in our games and only needing each other for companionship. As we got older and we moved house we found lots of our own friends which we offend shared and we were still never far away from each others side.

One day you grew up and you found boys and I was just the little, embarrassing sister who was cramping your style. I would go into your room and nick your clothes and borrow your make-up and we had many an argument that mum tried and failed to referee. We still loved each other deeply, but often hated each other, but I still knew you would do anything for me. I remember how you stuck up for me and how fiercely you would protect me when I was having problems with other girls at school.

I soon over took in you in height and I became your clubbing buddy. We were a force to reckon with on a night out and would always get free entry, free drinks and straight into the VIP area. We nicked each others clothes, gossiped about boys and spent Sundays hungover in bed together watching the Hollyoaks omnibus. Boyfriends came and went but we knew that we always had each other.

The day eventually came when you were big enough to stand on your own two feet and you flew the nest leaving me behind and I felt lost in this house without my sister in the next room. Things weren’t all bad as I did manage to steal your en-suit bedroom though and I had your amazing flat to hide out at as our drinking pad before our nights out.

Not long after we both fell in love and had our own homes, I got engaged, married and pregnant and an engagement soon followed for you. Your husband became my brother I never had and my husband became yours. The dynamics of our friendship had changed, but the bond had never changed.

I gave you the gift of becoming an auntie and you fitted into the role so well. You adore your niece and nephew and helped me through my labours, close to my side, supporting me. Your gifts to my children have always been thoughtful and generous and even though you have a highly demanding job you have been there when I’ve needed you most.

Through my struggle with postnatal depression you have been the person battling my corner, supporting me, helping me and understanding me. You have never judged me, made me feel guilty or worthless and for someone with out a child of your own you have shown such empathy and understanding.

I just want to tell you that I love you unconditionally, respect you wholeheartedly and admire you admirably. You will always be my first ever friend and the roots that keep me grounded. Thank you for all you have done and for loving me when I wasn’t able to love myself.

 

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I can fight mental illness

I can fight my mental illness

I came to the conclusion this afternoon, after waking up from a very sleepy drug induced hangover, that I can fight this mental illness and I can survive it. Last night I became very close to the edge and had given up on all love and hope and was numb to feeling anything but pain. In my troubled mental capacity I was unable to think of anyone else or even care.  All I cared about was stopping the overwhelming feeling of pain that was submerging my whole body. I could have chosen life, but with no strength left in my body or mind I instead reached for a cocktail of medication. I poured myself a large drink and sat back and let the feeling or something besides pain soak over me. I had escaped the pain and was able to not think or care about anything else.

I can fight mental illness

Much after is a blur, but I know I was taken into A&E by the police and paramedics and immediately but on drip and I fell asleep. When morning came and I woke up in an unfamiliar ward, needle in my arms, ECG wires on my chest and still wearing my clothes from last night I felt so scared. and immediately tried to dissociate. I had no memory of what had happened to me and I felt sick, exhausted, disoriented and my stomach hurt. The overwhelming feelings of guilt crept in and I cried for everyone I knew I would have hurt. In the darkest of times I decided to not fight and I decided to give in to the evil negative thought. The thoughts of if I would have been successful, how much damaged I would have caused to my family made me feel so ashamed of my actions. As naive as it sounds when I took all those pills I knew it might kill me, but I didn’t see how that would impact my family.

I was told today by someone from the crisis team that the worse possible thing for me is to be sectioned as I have borderline personality disorder. He told me I was already living on a knife-edge and my emotions were not strong enough to go into one of those places. I went home this afternoon and slept some more and got to see my children again. See there faces broke my heart knowing how I had nearly betrayed them and taken away their mother. As Miss J would say when upset with me ‘I had broke our love’.

I don’t want my children to grow up without me, I don’t want them to blame themselves for my selfish actions. I want my children to be shown love and affection which I know I am capable of. I will fight this every single day, accept any therapy. This will not beat me, I can fight it. You have got to reach rock bottom, before you can get back up and yesterday was my rock bottom. I have so much more to give and so much more fight left in me. I will not be beaten.

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little moments of happiness

Little moments of happiness week 1

When dealing with depression it’s easy to look back through a week and think that you’ve done nothing and nothing has made you smile. This last week I’ve been writing down little things that have made me smile so I can look back through and realise that there is always something positive to reflect on and moments of happiness to cherish.

Here is a little list of things that have made me smile this week:

  • Miss J sitting and doing row, row, row the boat with Mr T. Whenever I see these two do something sweet together it makes me so happy as it was such an adjustment for Miss J when she became an older sister.
  • A trip to Ikea. I love a good shop around Ikea and buying things to make my house seem more organised always makes me feel a bit better. Meatballs always help too.
  • A visit from a friend and her son. One of my old work friends came over with her son in the week which was great to have a catch up and lovely to watch our boys play together.
  • Sleeping. Besides last night with Miss J waking up many times in the night I’ve actually slept well and stayed off my phone at night.
  • Reading a book that I enjoy. I decided this week I needed to pick up a book and have a read before bed that wasn’t a self-help book. I looked through my bookcase and picked a book out that I’ve had for around 8 years and only ever read the first couple of chapters. The book is called Harvesting the Heart By Jodi Picoult and is about a young lady struggling through the demands of having a young family to look after. This book couldn’t have been more appropriate for me to read right now and I think it’s amazing how I picked it up out of a full bookcase with no memory of what it was about.
  • Reading to my children. I always read to my children every night separately, but a couple of nights ago I managed to get both my children on my lap and read them both a story. There was no shoving and they both sat still and listened. These moments when they get on are sometimes few so I know when to cherish them.
  • New clothes for Mr T. I love dressing Mr T up, but now he’s almost two I’ve found the clothes on offer a bit blue and boring. I went to John Lewis and managed to find some lovely bits for Mr T which have got me excited about the prospect of spring around the corner.
  • A walk to the park. I didn’t want to go out and leave the comfort of my home, but I was forced to go to the park and feed the ducks. It started off stressful with Mr T having a tantrum and not walking the right way, but eventually I learned to relax, enjoy the sun streaming through the clouds and I was able to embrace my children, covered in mud enjoying life and full of happiness. Mr T was a complete dare-devil on the slide.

Yesterday I hid away all day and felt pretty sorry for myself so this week I want to focus on getting out for walks and remembering to take my camera with me. Join me next week for my moments of happiness.

 

 

 

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Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and SMART goals

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and SMART goals

I tried cognitive behavioral therapy back in April last year, it was focused on my anxiety and I did find it helpful to find some coping strategies to start getting out and about. Cognitive behavioral therapy is a talking therapy that looks at the interaction between our thoughts, feelings, physical sensations and behaviours. When we start challenging these thoughts we are then able to deal with the problem and help change negative thought patterns.

Last year in October I was under crisis team care for my postnatal depression and was refered to cognitive behavioral therapy and on Monday after a long wait I had my first session. This time we are focusing on my postnatal depression so I can help rationalise my negative thoughts. unfortunately I am under crisis team care again as things began to spiral again without any kind of support from November to January and I now have a second diagnosis of borderline personality disorder which I will start a therapy for afterwards called dialectical behavior therapy.

This week I have the task of questioning my thoughts which isn’t as easy as it might sound. For example when I wake up in the morning and my thought is that I don’t want to get up as I know it will be a bad day, my emotion will then be feelings of being down and depressed, which then affects my behaviour and makes me not want to get up or get dressed and my physical symptoms will be tired and tearful. I need to learn to challenge these negative thoughts so I can have more positive emotions and behaviour. It’s going to be a slow process, but I know this therapy works I just need to put the time and effort in.

Something else this week I will be starting is my S.M.A.R.T goals which stands for:

S – Specific goal

M – Measurable goal

A – Achievable goal

R – Realistic goal

T – Time bound goals

I’ve set myself a few goals I wish to achieve in the next month and I’m sure once I get the hang of it I will be able to add more to it.

My S.M.A.R.T goals so far are:

  1. Write a weekly blog post of everything I have enjoyed the previous week. I have been writing down any little small things I have enjoyed this week, a text from a friend, a lunch out etc so I can reflect and see the small positives in the week I have had.
  2. Turning my phone off at 10pm. I am so guilty to playing about with my phone up to the second I want to go to sleep and I find my brain is still running 100 miles per hour. We all now know that blue light is bad for us and stimulating our brains so by 10pm my phone turns off and I pick up a real book (not my kindle) and read for an hour. So far this has worked so well and I’ve actually been getting to sleep much earlier. As a person I require a good 8 hours sleep and without it my mental health quickly starts to deteriorate.
  3. After a couple of weeks off from the gym my next goal is to start going back to the gym for one class a week. I would like this to be two classes, but I am being realistic and not adding the pressure. If I do one class a week I will be happy. Exercise is great at making us feel better and it’s something I need to build into my weekly routine again.

Another thing I plan to start doing in the next week is to start making a goals/mood board. This was suggested by an old school friend of mine and it’s something I am keen to start once my Amazon order arrives. This will be a bright visual board that I can look to for inspiration.

 

 

 

 

 

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