17 Top tips for a happier life with a new baby

17 Top tips for a happier life with a new baby

A new baby is something really special, they smell gorgeous, are tiny and cute and they completely over haul your lives for a while. It takes some to time to adjust to a new baby in your home, as you get to know them and they get to know you. It’s hard work, exhausting and emotionally draining. I’ve written some tips I would have given myself as a new baby arrived.

 

  1. Trust your instinct it’s usually right.
  2. If in doubt ask for a second opinion. Always feel strong enough to ask for a second opinion about your baby, see another doctor or see a health visitor and make sure you feel comfortable with the advice you’ve given.
  3. Sleep when the baby sleeps and don’t feel guilty about it. A tired mummy is no good to anyone.
  4. Breastfeed your baby and if that isn’t what you want to do or it doesn’t work out, then bottle feed your baby.
  5. Own your parenting decisions and don’t be made to feel guilty. We all have to make difficult decisions around are parenting choices and we need to be confident in them.
  6. Let the other stuff slide. cooking, cleaning friends can all take a bit of a backseat whilst you adjust to motherhood.
  7. Make sure you still do stuff you enjoy. If that’s getting out with some friends then so be it or if you’re a home bird and not ready to leave the baby then have a nice bath or read a book whilst someone watches the baby.
  8. If you don’t already have them, make mum friends. Join a group on Facebook or go to a local mum’s group, these women need you as much as you need them.
  9. Your baby probably wont sleep for a long time and that’s normal. Try and ignore anyone who says that their 2 week old sleeps through for 12 hours as the chances are when that baby is teething, sleep will once again be a distant memory.
  10. Hold your baby, let time pass by, breath in that smell and remember the perfect moments.
  11. Every mum 1st, 2nd, or 6th time will make a mistake so don’t let it upset you. Your baby won’t remember and guilt is every mum’s worst enemy.
  12. Take everyone’s opinions with a pinch of salt. Take your time to make up your own mind.
  13. Don’t compare your baby to another baby.
  14. Sometimes are own mother’s and grandmother’s want to pass on their words of wisdom, but please remember advice has changed hugely over the last 20+ years. I’m sure the advice is meant to be helpful, but please make sure the advice you are given meets current guidelines. No babies sleeping on tummy or thickened formula please.
  15. Muslins clothes are amazing and you can never have enough. Great for all sorts of spit up and mess and also double as handy breastfeeding cover tucked into your bra strap.
  16. Ask for help. You don’t need to be a hero and you won’t get an award. If you need help, please ask for it.
  17. Always have baby wipes around. I honestly don’t know how mum’s managed before baby wipes, as they really are amazing for cleaning anything! If you don’t fancy shop bought ones you can always make your own.

Little babies don’t stay little for long so try to remember those special moments as when you look back this is what matters. The night-time feeds, screaming, baby sick and tears from you and baby will fade much quicker over time, but those little moments of happiness will last a lifetime,

Facebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinrssinstagram
Getting out of the comfort zone

Getting out of the comfort zone

It’s so easy in life to stay in your own comfort zone and not rock the boat too much. I did it for years and stayed in my bubble and let my anxiety fester into every aspect of my life, until I became so limited on what I could actually do. Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) has been a huge help to me and I am finally getting out, enjoying life again and having plenty of new experiences.

This time last year I was just going back to work from maternity leave and I was feeling especially vulnerable and overwhelmed at the prospect. I was still in the middle of a battle with postnatal depression and anxiety had creeped into every aspect of my life. It was exhausting to constantly being in a state of fight or flight (usually always the latter) and I was becoming increasingly limited on what I could do in my day to day life. I was becoming a recluse and my enjoyment in life was dwindling away and it was feeding my depression. It was vicious cycle and I felt like I was fighting a losing battle.

Something had to change and that change would only come about if I changed. I needed to change my though processes first and CBT was a great stepping stone. CBT taught me so much and helped me question my thought process. I started off small just at first doing the food shop and then gradually built up. I faced my fears, proved my thoughts wrong and exposed myself to a new way to see things. I made sure once my CBT sessions stopped that I continued to read my book and put what I was taught into action when I felt anxiety creeping back in. It’s not always easy, but I have now been able to witness the benefits and I now have proof in my own mind that it works.

CBT has taught me how important it is to get out my comfort zone, not just to do the normal everyday things in life, but also giving me the courage to then try new and often scary things. The scariest thing I’ve done has been blogging as I’ve always been very self-conscious and aware of other people’s opinions of me. Blogging has left me exposed and it has really put myself out there. I’m not the best at spelling, grammar and am forever worrying that what I am writing is rubbish, but with support I feel I’ve found something I love, it gives back to me, helps me grow and it also gets me to try new things. I have found a passion, something that gives me so much and I also feel I am able to give back and hopefully help others.

The last 3 months I have really built myself up and got out my comfort zone on many occasions. Once you start the feeling can become quite addictive and I am forever accepting invitations to new and scary things I couldn’t imagine myself doing a few months ago. I am no longer scared and constricted by what I can and can’t do and it’s opened up a new world for me. Since I have started getting myself out my comfort zone everything else in my life has improved, my confidence, my depression, my anxiety and my overall wellbeing. I am getting new opportunities everyday and I love the feeling of excitement my life now brings.

Except new challenges and remember that you are the only person coming between making them a reality.

Facebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinrssinstagram
my 11 top tips for getting happy

My 11 top tips for getting happy

I am not a therapist and definitely not a doctor, but I have found ways of getting happy again. I’ve been in a rotten place and I’ve been diagnosed with postnatal depression, anxiety and borderline personality disorder. I’ve had experience on how to change my life for the positive and I’ve worked extremely hard the last six months to dig myself out of a dark place. I’ve put together some of my tips which have worked for me.

  1. Have a therapy – Therapy for people can mean different things, I recommend having a councillor to talk over your worries before they become problems so you can make sense of them. If you think a more direct therapy may help then look into Cognitive Behaviour Therapy. For me CBT has really changed my behaviour and made anxiety easier. Read my blog post here.
  2. Have a creative outlet – For many years I neglected giving myself the time and space to have a creative outlet. Painting, drawing, colouring in can all be amazing to take your brain away from thinking to just letting it be. For me now my creative outlet is writing and it also doubles up as a great therapy. If you aren’t artistic then try gardening, baking, cooking, dancing and I’m sure you’ll find something you love. If in doubt think back to when you were a child and what you enjoyed doing.
  3. Practice mindfulness – Mindfulness without a doubt works in my mind. It has helped me to switch off, relax and take notice of my own body. It’s great for anxiety and lovely way to unwind before going to sleep.
  4. Get good sleep habits – I try (and sometimes fail) to stay off my phone an hour before bed every night and either practice mindfulness (breathing) or read a simple book (nothing that requires too much thinking).
  5. Make a weekly happiness list – When I was going through a really tough time I found this really helped me to see even on the worse weeks I still had moments of happiness.
  6. Do something you love and be selfish – Once a week if you can, do something just for you. Have your favourite dessert and watch a good film, a bath with you favourite bathbomb or a coffee with a friend. Make sure it happens and make the time for yourself.
  7. Walk – Get outside the house and walk, it’s good for you. If you need to layer up with lots of layers or wear a rain coat it doesn’t matter just get out. You’ll always feel happier  and see things from a different perspective outside your four walls and the exercise is good for you.
  8. Right off a bad day – Some days nothing will go right, right it off and start a fresh the next day. Every bad day we learn something new to move forward with and put it in the past. Being happy isn’t possible 100% of the time, we just need to learn to deal with the negative in a positive way.
  9. Read – I love reading, but again neglected it for a years. I now always have a few books on the go. Like TV shows I read what I’m in the mood for at the time, so sometimes it’s self-help/motivation and others its romantic book. I love nothing more than getting lost in a book I love.
  10. Positive Affirmations – I love a good affirmation and have a few written around the house that I read and repeat. It’s amazing how just saying something out loud can have such a positive effect on your mind.
  11. Get the family involved – Recently I have been trying to get my daughter involved, we’ve been practising different yoga moves, breathing and affirmations. It makes my daughter happy, I enjoy the company and I know how much good it is doing her.

In my experience the more you do something the easier it gets to make it part of your routine. I hope these tips to getting happy help and I would love to hear some tips from yourself.

Facebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinrssinstagram
Mr T's birth story

Mr T’s birth story

I love a good birth story, click here for Miss J’s and now Mr T is almost two I think it’s time to share the story of how he came into this world. I think watching One Born Every Minute has also inspired me to write it down. I had a pretty rotten pregnancy with Mr T with lots of bleeding at the start and I was told on our second scan at 8 weeks I had a large hematoma next to my placenta and I could lose the baby. I had eight scans in total, had awful SPD (symphysis pubis dysfunaction) and really struggled getting around in the second half of my pregnancy. I saw a Osteopath weekly to help with the discomfort, but felt stuck either at work or home, unable to get around with a toddler. I’m pretty sure this is where my depression and also anxiety started. I cancelled plans constantly and just stayed at home crying wishing for my pregnancy to hurry up and be over, thinking I would immediately feel better once the baby was here.

I started having some twinges at 35 weeks and ended up in hospital where it was determined that I was very anemic and tachycardic and needed to be put on iron tablets and I was sent home after monitoring. A week later I was sent back in with irregular contractions and was kept in for monitoring where things seemed to be progressing nicely. I had spoken of my desire for an epidural from the start after a succesful one after a very painful back to back labour with my daughter and my midwife was more than happy to oblige and send for one. The midwife decided it was time to break my waters, but before then she decided to tell me as I had polyhydramnios (too much amniotic fluid) that the babies umbilical cord could come out first and I would need to put my bum in the air and have an emergency c-section. I went tachycardic again, blood pressure was high and babies heartbeat went a bit crazy, so they held off and decided to put a cannulae in instead to check for preeclampsia. The midwife made four failed attempts, and plenty of squirting blood to get a cannulae in and then decided to send for an anaesthetist. Luckily the anaesthetist got it in first time and gave the midwife a telling off for buturing my arm and hand. With all the panic my contractions slowed right down and I was feeling a bit of an emotional wreck. My test for preeclampsia came back negative and I was sent off to the ward to ‘rest’. Anyone who has been on one of those wards, knows unless your sedated you don’t rest. By the next morning everything had settled, my iron was increased again and I was sent back home and they said they were certain they would see me again in a few days.

I went back to work the next day, I still can’t believe I managed to finish off my last couple of days until maternity leave started. Once maternity leave had started I was feeling pretty determined to get the baby out. I think having the whole experience of being in hospital with everything ready to go, to then being sent on your way home I was just ready to meet my baby and also I was terrified that when my waters broke the umbilical cord would come out first and I would have to call 999 like instructed to. In those few days I got pretty miserable sitting around bouncing on my ball with contractions starting and stopping. My husband was working 12 hour shifts and I was at home with a very energetic almost three-year old.

On the Saturday whilst bouncing about on my ball the news came on saying that Kate Middleton was in labour, all I thought was lucky bloody cow. My friend called to meet for lunch in town, but I declined as I really thought my waters would break if I went out. I felt like I could feel my waters bulging and in the end decided to drive to my mum’s for some company and help with my daughter. My husband was due to go from work straight to a friend’s house to watch a fight on TV and my sister insisted on coming over to my house for a Chinese. Contractions started to pick up again and my sister started to time them. My sister was my birth partner and was very anxious to get to the hospital, I knew the drill and knew I would be sent home and couldn’t be bothered with the fuss of getting my daughter out of bed. Things again calmed down and I managed to persuade my sister to leave. I went upstairs immediately and went for a number 2 (haha) when I noticed I was leaking and had no control over it, I thought I had become incontinent, then I thought maybe it was my waters. I laid on the bed for a few minutes as you are advised and then stood up, when I felt a huge gush of water. I immediately phoned my sister back who already had her phone on her lap when driving, as she had a feeling I would go into labour that night. My sister woke Miss J up to tell her she was going to be a big sister and we rushed off to drop a sleepy, confused Miss J with my parents and headed to hospital.

Hubby beat us to the hospital and I went up to be examined where I was told I was 2cm so I was sent home. I was convinced everything would be all go when my waters broke and all the contractions I had earlier, so I stayed at my sister’s house which is much closer to the hospital and my husband was sent off to watch the rest of the fight around a friend’s house. My waters kept going and going, but I didn’t even have so much as of a backache. I tried to sleep as best as I could and in the morning my sister dropped me back home so I could rest. I was due to go back to the hospital at 8pm to be induced so I decided to sort the house, have a shower and a long nap. Everything was in order and at 6pm I went to my mum’s for my requested dinner of pie. Everything was so calm and it was so surreal to drive around with no water around my baby. We went off to the hospital for 8pm and a pessary was inserted to hopefully induce labour.

Relaxing through a contraction.

I attempted to sleep with terrible heartburn and mild backache and my husband and sister were sent home for the night. Morning came and I was checked again and the midwife said she could still feel my hind waters so she broke them and I was put on a drip. contractions were manageable and I put off having the epidural and just had gas and air. Five hours in and I was 5cm’s dilated and things went from being ok to horrendous. I begged for an epidural which only made my bum cheek numb. My midwife had to go off on her break and another came into cover. I kept telling her I felt the need to push and she kept shouting at me that I wasn’t ready as I was only 5cm. I decided to push anyway just as my midwife came back and confirmed I was fully dilated and two pushes later my baby boy was delivered at 37 weeks. He was born at 6:01pm was grey, squished and a perfect 7 ib’s and 1 oz.

Born at 37 weeks weighing 7ibs 1oz

I was bleeding heavily after labour and was 50ml off being classed as hemmoraged. I was put on an iron transfusion and left to lay in bed for two hours unable to move. I managed to get Mr T to have a feed after struggling to get him to latch at first, but otherwise I was so exhausted I didn’t have the energy to really hold him. I was put on the high dependency ward at 11pm and my sister and husband were sent home. I was given tramadol to help with the pain in my hips and spent the night a bit off my face being handed a baby to feed. The next day I begged to go home and made out that I felt fine. My iron was still low and I was given tablets and was discharged after lunch.

Looking back I was no way ready to have gone home and I think the lack of iron contributed to my postnatal depression, I was bleeding for ten weeks after birth and was constantly exhausted but refused to go and get help. If I did it again I would have done things differently. Even though the pregnancy was tough the actual labour was really straight forward and I am so happy to have a perfect little boy in our family.

Happy nearly two years Mr T x

 

Facebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinrssinstagram
How i'm learning to accept my personality disorder

How i’m learning to accept my personality disorder

Recently I’ve been asked how I’ve been able to be so accepting of my borderline personality disorder diagnosis. I’ve sat back and thought openly on why I have accepted it and why I haven’t let it destroy anymore of my life. The answer is I have accepted it as for me a diagnosis was almost a relief to know why I acted this way, why I was so emotional unstable and why I was so impulsive. I’m not saying I love this diagnosis or I am happy to be like this, but finally in my life I feel I’ve learnt to understand a big part of my personality.

Borderline personality disorder has ruled my life since I was a teenager, but like many people I was unaware, I just assumed I was just a really emotional person and even at times I was a bad person. The thing with borderline personality disorder it’s not always bad, I feel emotions really intensely the good and the bad. At times in my life I have felt such overpowering, wonderful emotions of happiness and love. I have at times cried happy tears and have felt so happy, I feel euphoric and like I can do anything I put my mind too. The other side is that at times I feel the lowest of the low and have intrusive and suicidal thoughts, but now I know that I have borderline personality disorder I do know that these mood instabilities are only temporary and they will even back out again.

Like most people with BPD I also deal with depression and anxiety. These disorders are all separate, but are strongly linked together and play a big part. Before I was diagnosed with postnatal depression after the birth of my second child my anxiety had already been causing massive issues for me throughout my pregnancy. Once my son was born it was quite apparent that the PND was making my borderline personality disorder worse. At the time I had no idea that I had borderline personality disorder, but looking back I was emotionally very unstable and would sit holding my son feeling a rush of love and crying with happiness to then feeling resentment towards him and complete detachment. It was an emotional rollercoaster and it all came to head this January when I tried to end my life. I have now started to recognise my triggers, which unfortunately I cannot avoid, but I  can understand a little better why my symptoms of BPD are getting worse at times.

Most people also assume like I once did that BPD was for life and that you could never be treated for it. Only twenty odd years ago BPD was thought to be a lifelong condition with no treatment. BPD sufferers have a high suicide rate, around 1 in 10 people and for someone who suffers with it I can see why that number is so high. The most effective treatment for BPD is dialectic behavioural therapy (DBT) which was created in the late 1980’s. DBT works in a similar way to cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) which works well for anxiety and depression. DBT in a nutshell is about accepting yourself as you are and making positive changes in your life. I won’t go into much more detail because if I am honest I really don’t know enough about it yet, as I am yet to start sessions. Knowing that there is a form of treatment does give me hope.

BPD has been a large contributing factor in me sabotaging goals in my life and that is why I have to write about it, as it is such an important therapy for me. Not only does it help me deal with my feelings, it potentially helps someone else, raises awareness and also keeps me focussed on a goal. So yes, I am accepting BPD as I have hope that one day I can say that I no longer have it and that I have overcome it.

Facebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinrssinstagram
The little lost girl and finding herself through postnatal depression

The little lost girl and finding herself through postnatal depression

I have grown up always feeling like the little girl lost. I sometimes wonder if it’s through the way I’ve grown up, my personality or is it because of my borderline personality disorder. I spent my teenage years constantly trying to fit in and be some body I wasn’t, which I think is normal, even if it doesn’t feel it at the time, but as an adult I thought one day I would wake up and know what I was supposed to do. All minds are complex as our emotions, but my own mind I have struggled to understand and my emotions have always be chaotic and sometimes just unpredictable. Some days I have woken up not knowing what personality I will be that day.

I have bobed along for so long and done what I thought was expected of me. I have been happy, sad, excited and suicidal. I have loved life and hated life. I have had my heart-broken and I have loved with all my soul. I have understood the meaning of unconditional love and felt the pain of losing someone too young. I have lived, sometimes just surviving and I have been so lost of who I really am. Any dream I had ever imagined had always been crushed and I eventually learnt it was best not to dream.

I have always been good at seeing both sides of the story and can empathise with people whole heartedly. But at times I still feel like I should just follow the path that’s expected of me and not push past into the unknown. Since Mr T was born and having postnatal depression it has made me see my life in a new light. Going through hell and back I have questioned many things about life, my beliefs, my values and have worked hard at self-improvement. I don’t want to be the person I was programmed to me and want to be able to give more and get more out of life.

I am blessed to have met a husband who understands me and accepts me for all my flaws. He makes me stronger as I make him stronger, we are so different, but have the same ideas about life. He has opened my eyes and made me see things through a different perspective. He is the only man in my life who I have complete respect for as I know he has always had my best interests at heart.

Growing up I feel I haven’t been able to channel my energy well which left me as a teenager rebelling badly. I wasn’t just a naughty teenager I was off the rails for a few years. Into my adult life I continued to be reckless and often put myself in dangerous situations. I was just lost in life and didn’t know what to do with myself or what I wanted out of it. I was always desperate for a family, but besides that I had never looked at what would happen after that.

Getting pregnant with Miss J was the moment it all changed for me. I had always wanted the family life, the husband, the house, the children and the cat. I got it, I had what I had always wanted, but with the birth of my second and my tendency to self-sabotage anything that goes well, things started to become testing and I lost myself for a while. Postnatal-depression made me reevaluate my life and eventually figure out who I needed to become.

Mr T is almost 2 years old and I have now learnt how to be the mother of two children, have a work/life balance and let go of the expectations of me. I have learned to appreciate my children, not stress about the small stuff and to always have a dream. My dreams and goals may have changed a little over the years, but they still involve the same people and I am now certain that I can make these dreams come true.

I was lost for so long and now I am found. My story has many chapters left and I dream endlessly about the outcome. Postnatal depression sent me to hell and back, almost killed me, but it also woke me up to life, taught me to appreciate how precious every moment is and how we should not just exist and waste time. Everyday is a new day to grow and learn and I am thankful for that, I am thankful for life.

Facebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinrssinstagram
Six months into blogging - Where am I now?

Six months into blogging – Where am I now?

The Muddled Mother is officially six months old today and these last six months have been a bit of a rollercoaster. I started my blog initially as a way to just write down what I was feeling and to try and make sense of it all through my battle with postnatal depression. I honestly had never thought about blogging before or really even read any other blogs myself. I thought of myself as pretty basic with my writing skills and knew I was pretty useless with my grammar and spelling (I’m sorry, I am trying). After publishing my first post I was actually shocked it was getting read and even commented on and decided to show a couple of my closest friends. The feedback I was getting was so overwhelming, positive and I actually felt good about myself for the first time in a long time. I got brave and decided to write a couple more posts and then decided to go public over Facebook. It was a huge leap for me to be so open and honest about my struggles, but I felt comfort that people could resonate with how I was feeling and I got plenty of messages from old friends, new friends and strangers who pushed me to become open about my struggles.

Blogging has been tough for me as it has left me rather exposed and has made me delve deeper into my own mind, this has left me emotionally exhausted at times and has caused me to have a couple of breakdowns and being put under hospital care. I have faced it all now and finally have the tools in place to get better. I have had problems with my mental health since my teenage years and writing about it has helped me open up and not supress these emotions. I think my postnatal depression was basically everything I had supressed for years finally exploding and I had to finally deal with it.

In January after another breakdown and visit to hospital I was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder. To have this mental illness labelled on me was pretty scary and something I knew nothing about, but with time, reading and understanding I have accepted it. The diagnoses does actually make sense to me and I am learning skills to deal with it, so I can make my life easier. I am optimistic about the future and have decided my mental illness with not define me.

These last six months I have learnt so much about myself, the good and the bad. I have a new found respect for anyone dealing with mental illness and have become much more open minded. I’m pretty happy with the person I am becoming and plan to continue working in a positive way to help lift the stigma around mental illness.

So six months in and I now have a DA score of 20 (this won’t mean much unless you are a blogger), which I am so happy with. I’m around 715 in Tots 100 as of last month and I have over 3000 followers across social media. I am happy with these stats, but I still have plenty to improve on. I try and average out 2 blog posts a week plus one review, which I find doable and not too stressful. If I don’t want to write for a few days or a want a week off then I do. I am starting to do reviews which I really love doing as it’s part of one of my skills in my proper job and to get paid to do it is always a massive bonus.

The next six months I have many other plans for my job and will hopefully starting the tax year with a self-employed income. I will continue writing about mental illness, my struggles, parenting and hopefully a few more recipes (one of my other skills from my work). I am still considering possibly doing a little bit of vlogging toy reviews with Miss J.

Thank you everyone who has taken the time to read my blog, comment and share. Your support, kindness and understanding has meant so much to me. Here is to the next six months!

Facebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinrssinstagram
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.

 

Facebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinrssinstagram
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.

 

 

 

Facebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinrssinstagram
Parenting through the tough stuff

Parenting through the tough stuff

I never knew how tough it would be to be a parent until I became one. I was naive before children and thought it was something I would find easy as I was certain I had maternal instinct. In truth the maternal instinct kicked in straight away and I learnt quickly how to nurse with minimal nipple on display, how to pull a vest down rather than over after an explosive poo and how to ninga move out of a sleeping babies room. That stuff is hard to some extent and takes time to learn but parenting is so much harder than I could ever had imagine and something no one could have really prepared me for.

Parenting through sleep deprivation is hard. I have had to function on little to no sleep many times. I have been so tired I have walked around like a zombie unable to complete the easiest tasks like adding orange juice to tea instead of milk. People always assume you are most sleep deprived with a newborn which can be true and you tend to get some sympathy, but when you have a 2 year old who won’t sleep because of his teeth unfortunately you are own your own and just have to suck it up.

Parenting whilst adding an extra child. I thought it was tough, but manageable when I had one child. I could still get the washing done, have a shower and do my make-up with just a little juggling. When you have two or more there is no rest bite in between and they have a tendency to tag team you. Mr T is great at destroying something just as his sister needs to help having her bum wiped after a poo. Some days I literally feel touched out by having constant contact with one little person and I feel like hiding in the kitchen cupboard, unfortunately that is not an option as I’m too fat.

Parenting through sickness is bloody tough. My children have a knack at throwing up directly down my top so my bra catches it, coupled with Mr T doing an explosive poo and me being sick myself, things can be a bit minging and extremely exhausting when you are ill, but when you have children sick too is just relentless.

Parenting alone is something all us mum’s have to do to some extent but lots do it every single day, with little, to no break. I can’t comment on being a single parent as it’s not something I have been, but I can comment on the loneliest of having a husband who works twelve hour shifts, often nights. I have spent many a long day with the children just wishing he was there to take over for ten minuets so I can have a quick shower without my daughter watching, commenting on the size of my big wobbly bottom. It can be extremely isolating and the best way to deal with it is to complain with other mummy friends through play dates and the powers of social media.

Parenting through a mental illness is by far the toughest thing I have ever had to do. Dealing with postnatal depression after the birth of my second child was really tough and something I am still struggling with now 20 months later. On days I feel emotionally and physically weak, I still have to get up, still need to feed the children and still be a mum. I can’t just take the day off or hide under my duvet as much as I want to. I have hidden in a locked bathroom more times than I care to remember with tears pouring down my face, wondering how I will make it to bed time, but I always do.

Through the days of tough parenting I try to remind myself that I have a 100% success rate of completing these days. I have survive and I will continue to survive these days.

 

 

Facebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinrssinstagram