My Mum Guilt Over Spending Time With Our Second Child

 

For a long time, it was just me and Kye-two little besties-a Mother and her Son-the two of us spending every day together while Daddy worked.
We attended playgroups, met up with other Mummy’s and their little ones, and most importantly-we made incredible memories that will stay with me forever.

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Personally, I look back on time with Kye and also remember how he got me through my darkest days-at 18 months old, unbeknown to him, his Mummy was going through the first of three miscarriages, and I can honestly say, I know I’d have fallen apart without him. Continue reading “My Mum Guilt Over Spending Time With Our Second Child”

#Blogtober ~ Day 12 ~ Love

Today is day 12 of Blogtober 2017, and definitely one of the easier themes to write about-Love.

 

I have a lot of loves in my life, not all of them people-some of them things-some of them material, some of them not.
All of them, however, give me the strength and positivity I need to get through even the toughest days. Continue reading “#Blogtober ~ Day 12 ~ Love”

#Blogtober17 ~ Day 8 ~ Holidays

 

Today is Day 8 of Blogtober 2017, and the theme is Holidays!

 

I’d love to be one of those people that can list tons of destinations, with memories and bucket list items ticked off.  Unfortunately, that won’t be happening on this blog-I’ve barely left the UK-but that doesn’t mean I don’t want to! Continue reading “#Blogtober17 ~ Day 8 ~ Holidays”

#Blogtober17 ~ Day 4 ~ Date

Today is day 4 of Blogtober 2017!  The theme today is Date!

I deliberated over and over about which kind of date I was going to write about-the word is super vague when you think about it.  I had pretty much decided on writing about the dating scene-how it was when I was in it, and how it would be now…..

….In the end however, I decided to write about important dates to me-dates of things I treasure the most-because those are more important than the other kind! Continue reading “#Blogtober17 ~ Day 4 ~ Date”

Haven-Rockley Park, Dorset-Family Holiday Review-Part 3

FOLLOWING ON FROM THE second PART OF OUR HAVEN HOLIDAY REVIEW (SEE here FOR PART two), I’M BRINGING YOU the third and final INSTALMENT TODAY!

Continue reading “Haven-Rockley Park, Dorset-Family Holiday Review-Part 3”

Alcoholism, My Mum and Me



I found the above quote on Pinterest when trying to find something profound to start this blog off with.

In all honesty-I don’t know enough about the subject from an alcoholics point of view to be profound, but I know how it is to be the victim of alcoholism.
I haven’t got it, I should add that, I barely actually drink.  Maybe that’s because I’m so scared of being the person that is suffering from it right now.

That person is biologically, my Mother. 

I have to say it like that now.  I have to say biologically because she is-biologically my Mother.  But that’s all she now is.  We have no relationship anymore.  We haven’t done for over three years. And even prior to that, the relationship was fraught.

All because she chose to make her decisions under the influence of alcohol. 

My parents divorced when I was 13.  My sister was 10.  My brother was 8.

I woke one night to hear them rowing,  I crept to the top of the stairs and as I did, my Dad came up, on his way to the bathroom, murmuring as he passed me to go back to bed-that everything was fine.

I’m unsure if she did it to spite him, but my Mum shouted up to me “he’s leaving me-your Dad is leaving us!”

Unable to process this, considering my Dad, my idol, had just told me everything was fine, I rushed back to my bedroom, and got back into bed.

Within minutes, the feeling of worry crept over me and I remember the panic taking over. My Dad came in and I didn’t give him chance to explain. I just kept asking him if it was true.
He confirmed it was, but he wasn’t leaving us, he was leaving my Mum.  Nothing would change between him and his children, it was his wife he’d fallen out of love with, not us.

Shortly after he moved out, leaving us with someone grieving the loss of her marriage. 

I get this, I really do. 20 years of marriage thrown away like that, you’re going to struggle.

Unfortunately, my understanding didn’t last as long as I hoped it would, because, although I understood she was sad, my 13 year old self assumed we, her children, would remain her driving force to stay strong and keep going because she had us.

It didn’t happen like that at all. 

Within a week, she was out every night. She was spending all of her money on drinking in her local pub. I was left at home, at 13, cooking for me and my siblings, getting them into bed on time when she would go out prior to their bedtimes, and making sure all was ready for our school days.

On occasions, she wouldn’t come home until the early hours, on other occasions she’d bring random men back with her and I’d have to try and sleep through loud music, while she continued her party downstairs.

I was effectively a Mum. At the age of 13. 

I did this for 5 years.  We saw my Dad on a Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday one week, then a Wednesday Thursday and Friday the next.  When he met his now, wife, he would holiday with her,, so, in August he’d be away for 3 weeks.  I’d dread it.

Not only was it the Summer holidays, so we’d have no school to break up our day, she’d have spent all her money on alcohol so there’d be no days out, no treats.

We’d just count down until he got home. 

When I was 18, I got with my husband. For a few months we’d stay at my house every night, because I had the children to look after.  Within a year we were engaged, and he made the decision we would get a flat.

If he hadn’t done this, I don’t know where I’d be today. 

She was upset when I left, I can never be sure whether it was because I was leaving and her daughter was growing up, or she’d lost her babysitter.

She married again, I didn’t go to her wedding-I wasn’t invited, and I didn’t want to go.  Her husband is also alcohol dependent, and openly told her he wished she hadn’t had kids, something he repeated to me during a drunken rant down the phone one night.

During my wedding, which her and her husband attended with my late Grandad, she spent the day with a face like thunder.  I can’t watch my wedding video because she taints it in the background constantly.  An hour into my reception, following the food and the first dance, she left, to go to her local pub. 

During my sons christening, which I also invited her to, she didn’t speak to me or my husband.  She sat in the pew in front of us and didn’t even acknowledge my son.  At the drinks afterwards, she made her excuses to my Dad and left without speaking to me. 

When I lost my three babies after having my son, she wasn’t there-she doesn’t even know she could’ve had three other grandchildren. 

The day my daughter was born, I messaged her to tell her the name and weight of her new Granddaughter.  She didn’t reply.  I messaged again and she responded asking why I’d chosen the name.  She was angry my daughter was named after mine and my husbands grandmothers-there was no congratulatory message, no plans to visit and meet my daughter.

She refused to be part of her life unless I allowed both of my children to call her Nanny-something I’d made very clear during many previous arguments, fuelled by her decisions made during drunken phone calls, that she’d not earned that right-that her constant flippant relationship with me and my son, didn’t warrant her to have that title-that it had to be earned.  At the time of those conversations she’d agreed.

But suddenly that agreement wasn’t accepted anymore. 

She’s never met my daughter. My son doesn’t remember her.

Around 18 months ago, I messaged her during a clear-out of my old photos, to tell her I had pictures of her with her late parents, and I’d give them to my brother to give her if she would like them.  She responded telling me to f*** off out of her life.

So I did. 

Honestly, I’ve never found a decision so easy but hard, so upsetting but elating, and so final.

There’s a certain element of grief in it.  I’m grieving for the Mum I had as a young child.  The one who spent time with us, as a family.

But I’m also grieving for the life I never had.  For the love I never felt from her.  For the cuddles I never had. For the relationship I’ll never have again.

Yes, alcohol did this, but her choice to drink that alcohol, to get through a divorce, caused her to end up addicted to it.  She not only make her decisions under that influence, but showed no remorse the following days upon realising her mistakes.

And I’ll never forgive her for that. 

Ultimately throughout all of this, I’m left with peace. I have a doting Mother-in-Law, Step-Mum and Auntie (who ironically is my Mother’s sister-another family member alienated by poor life decisions) who play the role of a Mum better than I have ever known.

I have two children who are shielded from a relationship they could have had, with an unhinged adult I couldn’t have allowed to influence their lives.

I am proud of what I do, decisions I make and relationships I have, and I’ve made those decisions based on a need to never act how she has.

The Snowman at The Marlowe Theatre

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Last night I attended the Press Night for the opening of The Birmingham Repertory Theatre’s Production of The Snowman at The Marlowe Theatre.

 

For those that don’t know much about The Snowman or for those that have never heard of it, here’s a little synopsis for you of the original book by Raymond Briggs. 

The Boy builds a snowman on a winter’s day.  That night, at the stroke of midnight, The Snowman comes to life. They go around playing with appliances, toys and other things throughout the house, all while keeping quiet enough not to wake the boy’s Mum and Dad.
They then go for a ride on a motorbike where they see many animals.  The engine heat affects the insides of the Snowman’s thighs, and so they find him a freezer to cool off in. Later they take flight, over the ocean.  
They continue through an arctic landscape and land in a snow-covered forest where they join a party of snowmen.
They meet Santa with his reindeer, who gives The Boy a scarf with a snowman pattern.
The morning after they get back, the sun has come out and The Boy wakes up to find The Snowman has melted. The Boy reaches into his pocket and finds The Snowman scarf given to him by Santa.

As a child, I watched this every Christmas-it was a tradition in our house.  Little did I know I’d be reviewing the stage production of it 20 years later.IMG_8743

 

From the second I entered the auditorium, the festive backdrop on the stage already
evoked those Christmas memories, and, with the constant winter snow scenes, the Christmas tree in the house, and  familiar music, I left full of the festivity I had only a month ago.

 

The first half of the show, got off to a slightly slow start, but it can’t have been slow for long, because I don’t remember the point I was suddenly sucked into the festive excitement along with the rest of the audience.

The beautiful carol singers, The Boy building the Snowman (that for a little while had me questioning if it was going to move or not because it had stayed so still for so long)!  The scenery, that seemed to change the entire feel of the stage, with just one simple backdrop screen behind the constant wintry trees, and the props that were changed with ease and speed created perfect festive settings for each scene.

The absolutely awesome boys who play The Boy, had me in awe-the stamina and talent these children have is admirable.

The Snowman himself, was hilarious.  The fact someone can portray humour and emotion while not speaking is incredible, and the ability he had to keep up with all of the dances and dancers around him, dressed in what I can only assume was a ridiculously hot Snowman suit, just shows how talented he is

This does lead me nicely on to the music.  Although compliments go to all dancers and actors, the real emotion is evoked from the power of the music.

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I was thrilled to hear prior to this event, that the Howard Blake, who, 34 years ago wrote the original music and lyrics for the to feature film of The Snowman, did the same for this stage production.

Even more thrilling was the opportunity to meet and speak to Howard in person during the interval.  A thoroughly humble and gentle man, he seemed genuinely happy to discuss the show, mentioning that they’ve now done so many shows in this tour so far, Hannah Flynn, who plays Scotty Snowman, has danced as Scotty for 1000 shows!

Obviously, the most famous of all of the music in this show is “Walking In The Air“. There’s just something about that song that gives me goosebumps, and, with the Snowman and The Boy wired up enabling them to fly across the stage, it’s clearly one of the most iconic moments in this production.

Additionally to this part though, there are so many other moments that left me open mouthed.

The various animals, with their beautiful costumes, dancing in perfect synchronisation, the beautiful ballets performed by the Ballerina, the Ice Princess and Jack Frost (who did a beautiful job of being scary-the majority of the children in front of me jumped when he came on).  The timing The Boy had when dancing with his peers, the “dance off” with all the different snowmen, and, let’s face it, the moment Santa came on and brought us so much joy while we watched him dance in front of us.

That same rush of joy we felt, turned to utter heartbreak when we saw The Boy discover his Snowman had melted, and, shortly after, as the last scene concluded, the sheer elation, from, lets face it, more adults than children, at the magical snow that fell around us-making it the perfect way to end this beautiful show.

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I’ve come away from this production, holding dear those festive feelings, that evoked so many of my childhood memories, in the hope they will see me through until next Christmas.

 

 

If you get the opportunity to go and see this-do!  It’s perfect for children and adults of all ages!  The Snowman is on NOW until the 22nd of January at The Marlowe Theatre, and tickets can be found here.

 

 

 

6 Hours and Counting…….

 

Today, as 9 o clock came around, I realised I was, for the first time in almost 7 years, child free.

There were no children waiting for me at home, no babies growing in my tummy to plan for-there was just a house, a treasure trove of memories and reminders that they’re not here.

I’ll wish away the next 6 hours, and people will ask me why-why didn’t you just come home and enjoy the quiet?
Why didn’t you think of all the time you’d have for you now?

And I’ll say-because I was put on this earth to be their Mummy. I don’t know anything else-I don’t remember my life, or living, before I had them.
How can you enjoy that?

When they’re not with me, it’s like something has got hold of me. A choking panicking sensation. Not an overwhelming one that I’m always aware of, but a dull feeling in the back of my mind, the pit of my stomach, the tip of my tongue, just waiting for its chance to take over.

Maybe in a few months, I will enjoy it. Maybe I’ll have my own little routines on the days they’re not here.

Maybe I’ll be a better person, stronger and more organised.

Maybe I won’t even remember feeling like this.
But right now, it’s all I can do to put one foot in front of the other and get home. Because each step takes me further away from my babies.

6 hours and counting……

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What’s Your Phobia?

During the Celebrity Big Brother launch night the other evening, and noticing the gorgeous Calum Best was wearing a vile velvet suit, I realised having a phobia of velvet is actually quite weird!
When you would avoid Calum Best because he’s wearing a velvet suit, there’s something not quite right there!

It got me thinking however, about what other weird phobias people have.
So, off I went to ask my beautiful blogging pals!

It would appear my other phobia of bridges (I worry they’re going to collapse with me on them-and they’re usually over water, which would make me even more screwed as I can’t swim), isn’t one shared by anyone else.
My cotton wool phobia however, is shared by Lisa over at The Love Of A Captain and Amy over at All Things Amy, but additionally, Lisa also has a phobia of marshmallows, and Amy also has a fear of polystyrene!!

 

Coral over at Way Too Much Luggage has a phobia of nail files (the sand paper feeling ones-glass ones she’s good with) and balloons.
Balloons is quite a common one, Coral’s phobia of these started when she saw clowns at a circus when she was little.
She’s unsure when the nail file phobia started, but the feeling of them make her shiver!
Emma over at Me, The Man & The Baby, has a phobia of toad in the hole (I know, weird right!).  She thinks it stems from her mother’s toad in the hole from when she was smaller-and lets face it, we’ve all not eaten something since having it as a child for fear of feeling the same disgust we felt when smaller!

On the subject of food, Tracey over at One Frazzled Mum is scared of eggs!  Once again she’s another with no idea as to why she’s scared of them. She doesn’t eat them at all and can’t even cook them.  This time though, its not down to a parent cooking them badly-her mother said that even when she was a baby she wouldn’t eat them!

Lucy over at Hello Beautiful Bear has a phobia of World War 2!  So traumatised by watching videos and studying it at school, have made her really very scared of the whole event!  She had nightmares all of the time, hated anything to do with it, and really hated History lessons at school that were covering it!

Rebecca over at Meadow Daisy has a massive phobia of butterflies.  She says the wings are all fluttery, flappy and powdery and just thinking of them makes her want to cry!!!

One of my most favourite ones, because of how much her reasons for the phobia made me laugh, was from Janet over at Mummys Monkey.  Her phobia is of beards.  Yep, you read right-beards……
When questioned as to why beards are so frightening for her, she answered, and I quote, “Well what are they trying to hide under there? And most serial killers have them. Obviously I know not every bearded man wants to kill me but still…”

Faye over at Glossytots is who I’d choose as my winner (if this was a competition).  Her phobia is frogs.  She’s no idea why she’s scared of them, but her phobia is so bad, she passes out if she sees one!
Once a friend of hers, thought it would be funny to take her to a pool of frogs…which backfired slightly when Faye had to be taken away in an Ambulance!

Cat over at Rock and Roll Pussycat has a phobia of wet paper!
For her it’s the texture. She can cope with paper if her hands are cold and completely dry, but if they are slightly wet or sweaty and she touches paper, the phobia comes out!! For some reason, newspaper and white A4 sheets of paper, are the worst offenders!

Beth over at Twinderelmo has a phobia of tomatoes!  (I’ll be honest when I say I laughed a little at her explanation as to why).  She said she’s convinced they’ll pop open and the pips will go in her mouth-she can’t even hold them!  Her phobia stems from someone at school picking a dirty slice of tomato up off of the floor, and the pips going everywhere.

Finally, Helena over at Babyfoote has a phobia of plastic bags.  When I asked her why, she said the phobia is of bags that she doesn’t know the contents of. Bin bags at the side of the road, plastic shopping bags tied up in woodlands, parcels (especially big ones) that are unexpected and covered in plastic.
If they’re in an unexpected place and she can’t see what’s inside she won’t go near it (so instead, sends her other half). She just can’t risk finding dead puppies!

I’ve laughed at some of these (especially Janet’s), but ultimately, these are still peoples phobias, and, if this blog has proved anything-it’s that phobias come in all shapes and sizes, and have various effects on people!
These people are genuinely frightened by their phobias, regardless of how funny or odd they might seem!

Do let me know if you’ve any odd or random phobia’s!  You can share them with me over on the Facebook page here, on my Twitter page here, or leave me a comment at the bottom of this page!

Thank you to my lovely blogger girls for getting involved with this-it’s been enlightening to say the least!

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