In one week I’m turning 31.
31 years of Birthday’s, each one, up until now, celebrated and enjoyed.
Until this one that is. Continue reading “Turning 31 – Crappy Birthday To Me….”
When I was 13, and I’d just about given up on not only ever enjoying school life, but also having confidence in my learning ability-a new English teacher, came to my school.
Knowing how horrid the girls in my school could be, I tried my hardest to make him feel welcome. I was one of the first people to speak to him, and, three years later, when I was leaving, he reminded me of my kindness in my leavers book.
Not only did he remind me of a quality in myself I may have otherwise forgotten, our relationship had given me back my thirst for learning, and my confidence in my own abilities. Continue reading “Guiding Lights-Giving Teachers Recognition “
I’ll be honest, today I struggled to find things I’m thankful for.
It’s not been a bad day as such, just a kind of nothing day where nothing much happened. I think I’ve scrambled three together though.
My resilient daughter
Seriously, this child.
She was definitely sent to try us, aside from her rather challenging behaviour, she’s constantly poorly at the moment, and today it would appear she has come down with Hand Foot and Mouth (we think). Coming up to three weeks in nursery now, she’s only had 3 days where she’s been free from illness, which is tough to watch, but she just gets on with it! We think she probably started coming down with whatever this is on Friday, after we remembered today hearing her complaining about something hurting, that now has a spot on it. She has spots on her hands and feet, and a mouthful of ulcers, but not once has she got upset, or fussed about any of these things! She’s the same child i tell people about all the time, a story about when we viewed our current home; She was 18 months old, toddling around, and, as we viewed the kitchen, she’d climbed to the top of the first flight of stairs, fallen down them, got up at the bottom and run off. She’s made of some kind of tough-stuff and I’m so thankful she never seems to suffer too much with things.
A Sunday lie-in
I can hear parents everywhere questioning what one of those is. My kids never let us have one either. Except for today, when my husband nudged me awake this morning, and whispered “it’s ten to 9!”
I turned over and didn’t even bother opening my eyes to acknowledge it-no sleep is ever enough for me-but just the thought that they’d both slept in, getting the rest their little bodies need after a horrible couple of weeks of being so unwell, made me so happy!
It also gave us the energy to be better parents (not that we’re not bloody marvellous anyway), more patient, happy, motivated parents, meaning we had happier more content children. Even if this only happened this morning, and they’re both up at 5am tomorrow, we can at least remember it as the “Sunday that was”.
There’s already a blog about this amazing man, here-My Dad, but I very rarely write much regarding him in general.
At 61 years of age, he’s a massively successful man in his work as a child support worker and family liaison officer, a qualified counsellor, a loving Husband to my equally awesome Step-Mum, an amazing family man, and Grandad to his four Grandchildren.
Sometimes, I find, life just takes over a little. We get ill, then he gets ill, so we sometimes go for long periods of time not seeing each other, even though he’s only half an hour away. He’s busy, working all week, and, I rarely get a weekend where we’re all free at the same time. This doesn’t affect his relationship with me in the slightest. He’s still attentive, caring and loving, and there’s rarely a day where we don’t speak. His Grandchildren love him as much as anyone else in our family, and he and his Son-in-law (my Husband) have an amazing bond too, which is all I can ask for really.
Recently, in events beyond my control, he’s been put through the mill a bit. I worry constantly he’s not OK handling all the stress (even though he tells me he’s fine), and I get so angry with people taking advantage of his good nature.
He never loses it, he never gets angry or takes it out on me or anyone else, he’s always the same Dad to me he has been my whole life.
He’s proud of me and the things I’m doing and achieving. He’s supportive of my decisions, and advises me when I need him to. He listens to me while I rant for half an hour about something bugging me, then gives me the bang on the head I need to continue being strong. His support knows no bounds, and I don’t think he realises just how much he is loved and respected, not just by me but by so many people.
I’m thankful because he’s my Dad. And I’ll thank whoever or whatever gave me him for the rest of our lives.
So that’s all for today’s ‘thankful for’ post! Don’t forget you can join in to!
You can go onto my Facebook, Twitter and Instagram or comment at the bottom of this post to join in thinking of something you’re thankful for. Don’t forget to use the hashtag #MFBthanful so I can find you easily too!
Xx MFB xX
I’m not going to lie, today was probably the hardest so far to find things I’m thankful for….it’s been a pretty ploddyploppy (Vicar of Dibley word right there) sort of day, which started off stressful, and ended with rubbish news and a hormonal me didn’t help.
Still, we don’t use these to dwell on the crap, so here are the things I’m thankful for today.
Yayyyyy it’s Friday people! What could you be more thankful for, than Friday! Both my little people are home, I have a whole weekend of snuggles if I see fit, and no horrid school runs to do!
This may seem like an odd one to have to be thankful for, but it’s more about the timing of the illnesses I’m thankful for.
Next weekend is the hubs birthday, and, although he hasn’t been ill before this week in over a year, he got it bad this time. He’s on the mend after being down for the best part of this week, which means he’ll hopefully be OK for his birthday.
The same goes for all of us really, we’ve all had it. It’s Kyes birthday in two weeks too, and although he usually ends up throwing up when we have major plans, there’s nothing planned that can’t be shifted about, and he’s already had the worst of the cold, so thank goodness for timing!
Yeahhhh there’s my girl.
Now, this was a tricky one to add as something (or someone in this case) I’m thankful for, because if you’d asked me why my day was so bad and to think of the negatives, I’d have her as my first issue there. It’s all nursery related, and, although she’s being added to the thankful list, she doesn’t get away that lightly, and there’ll be a separate post about her in the very near future!
Today though, I’m thankful for her tenacity, her resilience, and her general attitude once at nursery. The constant praise and adoration her nursery teachers have for her makes everything else seem like a drop in the ocean, and as long as that continues, I’ll have no worries.
Of course I couldn’t have one without the other, and thankfully he put himself on here by his actions today.
Kye, for a long time, has flourished at school in all lessons, but mainly in maths and reading/writing. His behaviour is impeccable and at every parents consultation, or every meeting with his teachers, they never have a bad word to say about him. The issue usually is, he doesn’t get the recognition for his consistently good behaviour.
Today though, he did. He read to his teacher, and although she knows he’s at the top level, and always has been, she still wrote complimentary things in his reading log, and gave him a reward for it-something he was so genuinely thrilled with when he got home, he couldn’t wait to tell me.
Both my babies make me proud so much, they always deserve to be on the Thankful list.
So all in all, it wasn’t the worst day…..
That’s all from me for today, don’t forget you can join in with this subject yourselves. You can add your comment about what you’re thankful for below in the comments section, or you can tweet me, mention me on Instagram or comment on my Facebook page. Just make sure you use the hashtag #MFBthankful so I can see you!
Until the next time.
This morning after a night of no sleep, thanks to a pulled muscle from teaching my kids how to do a headstand (don’t ask), I felt I had a very good reason not to take my son to a friends party he’d been invited to. I felt I should find a reason not to go, because that’s what I always do. Welcome to the beautiful world of social anxiety.
Let me mention here, if you don’t know much about social anxiety, it’s basically full of people making plans with you, inviting you or your children somewhere, you saying yes, then on the day, finding any excuse you can, not to go!
You could really want to go to the thing you’ve been invited to, but, as the day looms and the anxiety kicks in, the little niggling feeling you have about going gets worse.
Today, the niggling feeling was telling me not to force myself to be in a situation I’m in every day. I have to go to the school every morning, and now the nursery too. I have no choice, my kids need to go. Today I had a choice-not to force myself to go, resulting in; (to name a few of the delightful symptoms that plague me daily) heart palpitations, horrible tummy cramps, feeling nauseous, hot flushes, panicky feelings-that start at the bottom of my body and work all the way up until I feel like I can’t breathe, bringing me on to-shortness of breath, and, my favourite, the urge to run, hide and cry in a corner.
Now, I suffer from social anxiety on a daily basis, so these feelings are pretty normal for me-I always say if it wasn’t for my children I probably wouldn’t ever leave the house. Thankfully for me, I do have them to keep me going and get my butt moving every day, but today, I had a ready made excuse to not go-the neck pain!
At 11:30 this morning, and hour before we had to leave, I changed my mind. For several reasons……
My son, almost aged 7, unfortunately doesn’t get a lot of invites to parties. He’s a lovely kid (and I’m not just saying that because he’s mine), he’s friends with everyone, very polite, well mannered and clever. So clever in fact, that he now can tell me which of his friends parents don’t like me. I myself, am a very private person when it comes to speaking with my children about personal grown up matters, which, I would hope, most parents are. The fact would then remain that he’s come to this conclusion himself, noticing the tension, hearing things said, or not said, as he often asks me why some of his friends mummies don’t talk to me.
I’ve told him some people just don’t get on-sparing him from the detail that I could go into about the sheer hell I’ve faced for the last two and a half years. In me explaining that, he understands that I’m the reason he doesn’t get invited to things-something his six year old brain doesn’t register as a bad thing yet, but something my 30 year old brain battles with daily, worrying he’ll one day start to resent me, as he gets older, and these issues possibly continue.
For once, he’s been invited to something. How can I take that away from him because I can’t control my mental health issues?!
Another reason I went, (although one of the reasons I at first didn’t want to go), not one I realised until I was there, were my issues with worrying about what others think of me.
For a little while now, I’ve been slowly battling the nagging feeling I have at every event, social occasion or family get together, that people are judging me.
This, is made no better, by sly little whisperers, who judge everything I do, say (and sometimes, wear). I think the change came when I attended my first press event in London at the end of last year. I walked into a room full of people I didn’t know and thought, they’re strangers, they don’t have a preconceived idea of who you are, because they don’t presume to know a stranger they’ve only just met. Tell them who you are, tell them about yourself, then they can judge on factual information, not hearsay others frequently use against you for their own pleasure.
Slowly, since that day, I’ve honestly started to feel sorry for people, and the way they go about their day, negatively, sadly, nastily, angrily.
I used to be a positive person, and I felt sorry for myself for the negative way I started to conduct myself, when faced with people that dedicated their time to putting me down and belittling me. Why was I feeling sorry for myself, when the things being said weren’t even true?
I’m a really nice person when you get to know me. Many years of being battered by dickheads took its toll and I’m not ashamed to say I now take a lot longer to assume someone is my friend. But I am a really good friend, to those that are good to me.
I’m a good mum, a loving wife, I’m a talented writer, and have been nominated for an award in the last month. I’m a good daughter, step daughter, and liked family member amongst those that know me properly.
I’ve never acted out of malice (sometimes I plainly just misread situations and people-something I’m learning the hard way to stop doing).
And through all of this-through all my good traits, even through my bad ones, (because I wouldn’t be so stuck up to profess perfection), I’ve realised one massive thing. One gigantic, stupendous, life changing thing.
I’m happy with who I am.
And those six words, have got me through a fair few school runs, social situations, family get-togethers, and professional events recently.
I won’t be changed, I won’t be beaten. You can try, and once upon a time you would’ve succeeded-you tried so hard, you’ll never understand the damage you did do-but not any more.
I know who my friends are. And most importantly I know who I am. And I won’t let those that try and beat me down, those that don’t know me for who i really am, or stupid social anxiety, win, anymore!
For more information on social anxiety, and how to cope with it-see the social anxiety website-here.
Massive huge apologies for not blogging about our elves antics yesterday!
I’ve been a little under the weather, and had to go out late last night with my Mother-In-Law, to get my Christmas food!!! I didn’t get in until late, and once it was all unpacked, put away and I managed to drag myself to bed, it was just too late to write up the days events!
Anyway, nothing will be missed in today’s blog, and, starting with Day 21 (Tuesday) this is what the children woke up to!
The video reaction to this one was only small (quite like the antic really)-but they’ve just had so many treats and crazy mornings, we thought we’d dull them down a tad for the last few days, especially as Christmas Eve is always a massive one!
Moving on to Day 22 (today), and my lovely husband was already setting this one up while I was shopping last night. Its entitled Elves Do Jurassic Park, and he was super proud of himself!
As you can see from the following video, the children pretty much loved this one, although the moment was overshadowed slightly by Olivia, and her pet pig (see below for the story behind the pig).
So, back to the pig…….
Yesterday, the hubs went shopping first thing to get my Christmas presents, and on his way back, needed to grab a couple of things from the shop. He called me to ask if I wanted a special Christmas themed sandwich, consisting of pigs in blankets and stuffing. I said no thank you, but he didn’t hear because of his signal, so instead I text him. During the messaging the children questioned me on what Daddy had wanted on the phone, so I quickly filled them in. Except Olivia either didn’t listen, or completely misheard, because she convinced herself that Daddy was bringing her home a pet pig for Christmas!
She even waited at the front door, full of excitement, asking him if he’d got her pig. We had to explain to him why she thought that was happening, and he had to let her down as gently as possible. She looked so sad when she realised he wasn’t bringing her one, AND me and Kye found it hysterically funny.
Fast forward to last night, pre-food shop, and I nipped to the toy shop and bought a toy pig. This morning, Daddy redeemed himself by giving her the pig, and as you can see from a very special video reaction below, she was thrilled!
So that’s all that’s been happening here over the last two days, all quite normal (pig-gate aside).
Tonight is the last normal antic before the Christmas Eve box etc gets left, how crazy is that! Only two more Elf Blogmas blogs to go!!!!
So tonight we’re leaving festive puppets out for the children-they love puppets and role play, so I’m really looking forward to this one!
Until tomorrow, and our penultimate Elf on the Shelf Blog-Toodaloooooooo!
Yesterday I shared our first Elf related excitement with you all, and showed you the children reading Santa’s letter, and sprinkling magic elf dust on the magic elf door!
In doing that, they have started the elf magic, and when they woke this morning, Jingles, Jangles and two lovely advent calendars (that they thought Mummy had forgotten to get), and a letter from them both, were waiting for them!
Here’s a little video of the excitement from this morning (once again, I’m not a professional videographer-this is a basic home video).
So now Jingles has a friend to make mischief with! Tonight, they begin their first Elf related antics, and I’ll be publishing a new blog every single day to show you what they get up to and the children’s reactions!
One week ago, nothing was different. We had plans for the week with various friends, I was loving that half term meant no school runs, and I had one happy boy ready for a week with his friends and family.
We went out for a walk, he was absolutely fine, although a little tired toward the end, but
we had walked a long way so I expected that. He had a bath, and went to bed fine.
The day after, all plans for the week, and happiness went out of the window, when we ended up in hospital with the boy and a concern that he had signs of Meningitis. 10 hours in the hospital, an all clear in the end from and Meningococcal infections, two lots of antibiotics to kill any infections he may have had, and advice of rest, rest, and more rest, with an added side note for us to keep a very close eye on him, (as if I need prompting for that!)
I cancelled all plans, we spent the week indoors, with me dosing him up, keeping that “close eye” on him as instructed, and basically coming close to an anxiety attack every time he complained of a symptom similar to those that the hospital flagged up as “dangerous” on the Monday. Most evenings, I would sit watching tv, with the sound down low, and the baby monitor-dug out from a cupboard and placed in his bedroom-turned up so high I could hear him breathing.
Thursday and Friday, I managed to take him out for an hour and it exhausted him. Saturday we had a slightly busier day and he seemed to be getting back to normal, aside from the tiredness.
It was around the table at dinner time, he asked me if the school opens back up on Monday. When I answered that it did, his face fell, and he looked down sadly. Although I had picked up on it, I wasn’t going to play along, so I asked cheerily why he was asking. He said he didn’t want to go back to school, he wanted to stay home for longer with me. I told him that that’s not how his life works. He has plenty of time off and he’d rested lots last week so it was now time to get back to normal-and I walked away.
The thing is, that’s not what I wanted to say. The Mummy he sees on a day to day basis, knows what he should be told, and what I should be telling/
The Mummy I truly am however, wanted to say something so different.
This Mummy wants to reply to the sadness with “that’s OK darling, you don’t have to go back”. This Mummy wants to say that she can’t bear the thought of him leaving her, so she can’t look after him how she has for the past week, that she would quite happily never do a school run again because it makes her so miserable she doesn’t know who she is anymore.
This Mummy wants to keep her babies close, to never see anyone, for fear of them hurting them, for fear of them making her a person she doesn’t want her children to see.
This Mummy just wants to feel normal.
The thing is, I can’t ever let her rule. I’ll hide her away, like I always do, and be the Mummy my babies deserve, need and want. As exhausting as it is, I’ll stay strong, pretend everything’s OK, and put my happy smiley face on, when all I really want to do is cry, scream and fall apart.
Because my children, my little world turners, deserve the best in life. And I’ll never let them down.
If anyone follows my blog, or regularly reads the things I post, you’ll know about my history with Anxiety, Depression and PTSD following a lack of aftercare when I had 3 recurrent miscarriages a few years ago.
For those who haven’t read any, my basic background is that, between having my son and daughter, myself and my husband lost 3 babies. We were offered nothing in the way of aftercare, no psychological help, and because of that, years later, I’m now suffering from several mental health issues.
Today, after a trip to the park with the little ones, I decided to sort the vast amount of photos and videos on my laptop out, and add them onto my external hard drive. What I hadn’t anticipated was the sheer amount of them I actually own. On the laptop alone there were over 8000 (whoops!)
I added them and decided to sit and nose through the old photos I’d already stored on the hard drive, and in doing so, came across the last six years worth of memories. I’m going to go ahead and use the term “memories” loosely-you’ll read why further down.
While going through them, I remembered around 90% of them, whether that was taking them, or seeing them from someone else.
I know some memories don’t make it to the “long term memory” part of your brain (I’ve just completed a diploma in psychology-this was one of the modules), but I do remember the majority.
I then flicked through until I came to my daughters last three years worth of photos and videos.
We all sat round, giggling at how little, funny and sweet my daughter was (and still is-sometimes), and discussing with my son when they were taken etc. It was then, that I realised something pretty sad-I didn’t remember the majority of them.
Of course, I know I took them, I remember roughly the reason behind them, the time (roughly) they were taken, but I cant remember being there, enjoying that moment, like I did with my son. Quickly switching the laptop off, I tried to reassure myself. I have a lot going on, most days, and what with the issues left behind from the miscarriages, my mind isn’t as clear as it used to be.
Then it dawned on me, what if those two things were connected?!
After putting the children to bed, I opened Google on my laptop. I’d love to say I was wrong in my suspicions, but unfortunately I’m not.
I found out that the hormone cortisol, which is released when you’re stressed, is known to prevent the formation of memories, and therefore causes memory loss. Because anxiety tends to be a long term issue, you’re putting your body through almost constant stress, therefore releasing a harmful amount of cortisol into your body. Additionally, anxiety also distracts you, making your mind wander, therefore hindering your ability to remember what’s happening in the here and now.
PTSD is one of the biggest causes of anxiety, because of the trauma sustained.
I have to count myself as one of the lucky ones, even if it doesn’t feel that way. I have thousands of videos and photos I’ve taken of my kids, and my “memories” can be in front of me at the click of a button. However, what I find that infuriates me more than anything, is that this could have all have been prevented. This is yet another thing mental health has taken from me, primarily down to the lack of aftercare I received.
Its just another thing I’ll have to live with, and slowly come to terms with.
I know I say it a lot on the end of these types of blog posts, but its SO important that the message is sent out. If you, someone you know, just anyone you hear about, has gone through even one miscarriage, or a trauma, make sure they’re battling as hard as they possibly can to get help. And if you/they can’t find that strength to do it for themselves, if their minds and bodies are just too bloody exhausted from fighting to get through each day, then help them, help those around you to get medical help.
Because the life they’ll lead without it, isn’t worth thinking about.
For immediate help or if you’re worried about someone’s mental health while they’re stuck on waiting lists/doctors lists, click the following links for advice. There’s also a link for advice following miscarriage(s) from an amazing organisation, Tommys.