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

 

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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.

 

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Our family visit to see Father Christmas at Frosts

As we did last year we decided to come back and visit Father Christmas at Frosts Garden Centre Willington . Last year we had such a lovely time and it wasn’t even an option not to come back. I decided it was best to get in early and avoid the crowds and to get us in the Christmas spirit after a bad few weeks.

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We booked our tickets online and arrived in good time and found it easy to park straight away outside the main doors. Inside the garden centre looks amazing and has really outdone it’s self this year. They’ve added some lovely new displays to have pictures with including a giant polar bear, Aslan the Lion and a unicorn. Miss J was ecstatic about getting to have a picture with a unicorn, but Mr T didn’t feel the same.

Mr T wasn't loving the unicorn like Miss J
Mr T wasn’t loving the unicorn like Miss J

We went off to Santa’s grotto and got all booked in and got to meet the lovely elves and real reindeer’s. The young ladies working as the elves had really got themselves into character and they put so much effort into entertaining my two whilst we waited. With the early booking and start time we were the only ones in our group so we had quiet a special, personal experience.

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The elves took us in for a sing-song, a few silly jokes and some making of reindeer food. The elves enthusiasm was magically and my daughter gave it her best to get stuck in despite being a little shy. Mr T was loving the lights and was keen to try and eat the reindeer food.

We were shown into see Father Christmas and sat down for a lovely story, another sing-song and a mince pie. It was lovely to see the same warm, kind face and real beard from last year and Miss J’s face lite up with excitement. Everything about it was magical and everyone kept in character perfectly and actually looked like they loved what they were doing. After a picture and chat we headed off to pick a present and were presented with some candy cains. Miss J took her time deciding from the large selection of toys and settled on a glitter tattoo and bead set whilst Mr T become besotted with an owl puppet. We said our farewells to the lovely elves and made our way back to the main shop.

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We spent another hour looking at the toys, displays and getting some new decorations and decided it was time for a pit stop at the restaurant. We got a lovely table over looking the large pond and had some lovely tea and cake before heading home.

We had a great day and have made some lovely Christmas memories. We will be back again next year I’m sure.

Miss J was a bit tired after all the excitement.
Miss J was a bit tired after all the excitement.

 

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