Message

My Message To You

This is by far one of the easiest blogs I think I’ve ever written, and will probably ever write.

It is a blog filled with different messages-those of hope, sadness, disbelief, anger, thanks and fellowship.

For months (possibly years), I’ve been blogging about my experiences of baby loss, trying to raise awareness for recurrent miscarriages and mental health issues surrounding and following on from losing a baby.

Most of the blogs I write, highlight two major mental health issues, incidentally, two I suffer from-anxiety and depression.  But these issues stem from one other diagnosis I have also been given, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Continue reading

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Helicopter

Helicopter Parenting-Do You Really Have All The Facts?

Helicopter Parenting
Some have heard of this term, others may be  wondering what it is.
To clarify, “helicopter parenting” relates to a parent that hovers around their child, being overprotective, shadowing them, keeping a short distance between them, in case of accidents and other life issues.

 

This is me. I’m a helicopter parent. The thing is, I don’t want to be one.  I certainly never chose to be one.  It kind of just happened. Continue reading

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Mental Health and Closed Minds


I see myself for who I am. 

I know I’m not my illness(es). 

Recently though, it’s become increasingly obvious to me that not everyone understands that!

On a few occasions in the last few weeks-I have been treated like I’m poorly. 

Look, I’m not blind, I know I’m unwell. Constantly unwell-I’ll give you that!  But how I see it, is that I’m super poorly on certain days.

On those “super poorly” days, nothing major changes. I still get up, I still look after my kids, I still look after the house, make dinner, keep plodding along.  The only difference between those days and the good ones is that I’m a bit quieter and sometimes less patient.  I’m certainly not unhinged and unable to cope!

I’ve never been shy about speaking about my mental health, I think it’s really important to try and stop the stigma attached to people speaking about the subject.  

But I’m not sure I would have spoken so easily about it if I’d known I’d be treated differently once people knew about it!

The amount of opportunities I’ve lost out on, the way people speak to me (or the way people now don’t speak to me), because I have some issues, is actually quite concerning. 

Concerning for those who will suffer in the future, who think they can go ahead and speak about their issues openly and frankly, only to have people put a label on them and treat them like a cliche “mental case”. 

Personally-I know I’m not what I’m being labelled as. I am fighting every day to work through my issues, I’m probably the strongest most days, I’ve ever been. I have learnt so much from working through it all, and am now in a position where I can help others with their problems too. 

I feel sorry for those who think they know who Mental Health sufferers are! You’ve got no idea! 

For those that took opportunities away from me because you don’t trust my judgment, or you think I’ll compromise my position because of my “issues”? Your loss. 

Because one day, I’ll show you all what I’m made of. I’ll make myself proud, and continue to try and stop the stigma attached to mental health issues-and that’s all I need to aim for in life. 

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Why my lost babies matter. 


These are the dates of my lost babies births. 

I have spoken previously about my miscarriages-I personally think so much stigma is still attached to people who’ve lost babies, and I know how much it helps me to read others stories and to know I’m not alone. So, in the hope someone out there reads mine and feels less alone, I speak confidently about my experiences too. 

Recently I’ve had or seen conversations with people, where the underlying context seems to be, babies born to miscarriage, aren’t babies. 

“Surely it’s easier to get over when it’s not even a proper baby?!”

“How can you still be grieving now you’ve had another baby?!”

I’d like to say, here and now, that, in actual fact, grieving for my babies is still ongoing. Daily I think of them and what I could’ve had. 

They were my babies. Three little lives that registered on a pregnancy test. A growing human inside my womb, that changed the levels of my hormones enough to change a pregnancy test. A new person, that I believed (each time) would sit in there for 9 months, cooking away nicely, ready to come and meet me and his/her daddy and big brother. 

As for the grieving stopping now I’ve got my little girl? How can you not grieve for someone you’ve lost? How can you write it off as something that happened but you got what you wanted in the end anyway? Do those tiny babies not matter now you’ve got the baby you tried so hard for?!


I grieve for the lives I’ll never get to see. 

For the previous bundles I’ll never hold. 

For the futures I won’t get to witness. 

For the birthdays I won’t get to celebrate. 

For my children. My three lost children that make me, along with their big brother and little sister, a mummy of 5. 


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A Letter To My Son

                                             

My darling boy,
Yesterday mummy went to your last ever parents evening in year one. 
Before I left you said to me, “it’ll be a good one mummy, I’m always good!”

Now I know you’re a good boy, I know you’ve never been in trouble, and are consistent at working hard and achieving high. But I’m not delusional sweetheart. 

Grown ups will teach you from a young age, not to believe all you are told, and to take things small humans such as yourself say, with a very large pinch of salt. 

When your teacher sat me down, my tummy gave that familiar lurch of anxiety-what if this time something was different and we had a brand new obstacle to overcome.

My anxiety was for nothing. 

You didn’t disappoint and were true to your word.  
Your results for the end of term tests and subjects, not only blew me away but your teacher too. She told me how much she will miss you when you leave her class in two weeks. She told me how proud I should be of you. 


God I am proud of you!

I want to tell the world how proud I am of you, but proud as a standalone word isn’t enough.

  • I am thankful. Thankful to have you as my son, for the joy you bring me and the consistent happiness you fill our lives with. 
  • I am amazed.  Amazed how my little baby boy, has grown into such an amazing big boy, who is so clever, thoughtful and funny. 
  • I am grateful. Grateful for the gift of you from whichever divine being sent you to me. 
  • I am overwhelmed. Overwhelmed by the sheer love I have for you, for the amount you achieve and still have to achieve. For all I have taught you and have to teach you in the future.  
  • I AM PROUD. Proud to be your mummy, your friend, your comfort, your support and your absolute biggest fan. 

                                                                                            


Not long ago you told me that one day you’ll be too big for cuddles on my lap and holding my hand. 

That day can wait-I’m not giving it up without a fight. 


                                                                      


                                                                   Keep making me proud my lovely. Keep being you. 



My baby always. 
Xxxxx
                                      

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Adult Bullying-Words have Power

main bullying pic.gif

When we think of Bullying, what comes to mind?

For some, its the memory of being a child, being picked on for how they looked, how they acted, or how they learnt at school.

For others, it could be the memory of witnessing a fellow child at school being bullied.

How many of us see that word, ‘Bullying’ and see a group of adults, picking on a fellow adult?

When we think of bullying, usually kids in a playground come to mind, not adults,  neighbours or colleagues in a workplace. However, the young bullies of yesterday can (and do) turn into the adult bullies of tomorrow.

bullying3

I could write a blog based on my own experiences and rant about how, even today, I still find myself the victim of adult bullies, who’s sole purpose is to bring me, and others down, to gain power over those that don’t “fit in”.

Instead, I decided to raise awareness of Adult Bullying, and give some tips and thoughts on what YOU can do, to cope with what’s happening.

  • Don’t bite. What bullies want is to see their words affect you.  They want a reaction from not only their victims, but from peers, friends, and family. It makes them feel powerful and successful. So if something gets said, don’t bite, keep your head held high and don’t let them see its affected you.
  • Remember its more about them than it is you. When someone says something mean to you, it isn’t a reflection of you, it’s a reflection of them. Most adult bullies, were either bullies as children, bullied as children, or have deep issues with their own personalities or looks.
  • Keep the faith. In time, people will see the bully for who they are.  It might take some time, but keep faith that one day, they will end up sad and alone, because people have seen the “true” them.
  • Understand, that just because words are said, it doesn’t make them true. The only person that knows you, is you!  The people talking about you, know nothing about you.  They’re working on the facts they’ve fabricated amongst their friends and in their own heads.  Just because they think you’re this, that and the other, it doesn’t make it true.
  • Talk to someone. This was a really important constant message I used to get told a lot as a child, and I think its important for adults too.  Talk to someone, anyone, about what you’re going through.  You’re never alone in what’s happening, someone either knows someone who’s been/is going through it, or has been through it themselves.

bullying1

If it’s deliberately being done to hurt your feelings, it’s bullying.

If it’s meant to hurt you, then it’s bullying.

There’s no situation where bullying is acceptable.

bullying2

 

You have more power in this than you think.  Use it!

x

 

Please see the following websites, helpline numbers are on there and advice for those in these situations.

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Letting Go

                                                    


When my son was a baby, to get him to sleep and to settle him when he woke up with a cute little frown on his face, we would stroke his head, just at the crease of his eyebrows and he’d settle right back down. 

At the grand old age of 6, I can walk into his bedroom to re-tuck him in of an evening, when he’s fast asleep and he’ll stir, his little brow will furrow as it always has, and I’ll still be able to settle him by stroking between his eyebrows. 


Today-at that grand old age of 6-my boy is venturing into the brand new world of “going to a friends house for tea”. 

Beyond excited, he’s spent the last two days since he was invited by his friend, doing nothing but talking about it, planning it, repeating the things we’ve already discussed, and in general, bouncing around in anticipation. 

                                                      ________________________________________________
In his eyes, Mummy is joining him in this excitement. Every now and again she asks, “how excited are you”, only to be met with wide, happy, cheesy expressions, and more talk of plans that have been made. 

Behind all this, is a mother who is not as excited as he thinks. 

Behind all this, is a mother who is cross with the world for making her son grow up too fast for her liking.

Behind all this, is a mother who is sometimes unbelievably sad, at the day by day difference in her child, her baby-the little boy who once only had eyes for her world and everything she did for him. 

But behind all this, is a mother who knows these things have to happen-to nurture and mature her child-these things must play a part in his upbringing. 

And behind all this, is a mother who, no matter how painful it might be, is having to come to terms with the fact he is growing up, he doesn’t need her as much as he first did, and that, no matter how painful it might feel, it is a good thing. 
                                                               

He will always be my baby. I suppose I’ve just got to learn to start letting go. 

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Failed Once Again

 

Today, after a half and half kind of day with regards to my mood, it was most definitely swayed towards being completely rubbish after a long awaited doctors appointment this afternoon.

I don’t need to ask, to know people really struggle to get an appointment to see a doctor nowadays, the lines are always jammed from 1 second past the time they go online.  The appointments, once you get through are almost always gone, and you’re either offered the last one, an emergency “sit and wait” one, or told to call the next day.  If you need to pre-book one for a specific reason, you do so with an appointment given weeks away.

So to even get an appointment today, I was pretty chuffed to say the least.

That feeling disappeared around 30 seconds into my appointment.

Because I’d waited so long to get 10 minutes with a doctor, a couple of other symptoms/issues had cropped up.  Not knowing if they were related to each other I decided to hit the doctor with all three.  Outside is a notice saying the slots for each patient are 10 minutes each.

I first told the Doctor, about a dodgy mole I wanted looked at.  As a mother, wife, daughter, sister and friend, I would give the same advice to any of the people I speak to, about getting moles checked at the first sign of them changing.  You really never can be too careful when it comes to dealing with something like that. So, I showed the doctor the mole in question.  He didn’t touch it, he didn’t measure it, he didn’t look at it really.  “That looks fine”, were his words.

I then told him that I’ve felt a bit groggy recently, which culminated in me nearly passing out on the school run yesterday, while in the care of my newly-walking-on-school-runs, 2 and a half year old daughter.  He ‘hmmmms’ for a moment, looks at my patient notes on his screen, turns to me and says, “you do have anxiety it says here”.

I say yes but its been pretty under control recently, and I don’t think it was related, but why? Does he think it is?  “Yes” is his answer.

Oh OK then…..lets hit him with the last one, the initial issue I was coming for before all the other stuff started happening.

I’ve had the most excruciating pain in my lower abdomen for the last few months, to the point its worse than period pain.  I can’t pinpoint the pain location (as I’m not a qualified medical practitioner) but I think its around my ovary area as it seems pretty localised to me.

I tell him all of this, kind of expecting him to say “hop up on the bed and I’ll have a feel of your abdomen”, this didn’t happen.  I also expected he’d possibly order an ultrasound or SOMETHING practical.  This didn’t happen.

Instead, he said, “to be honest I think its your anxiety”.  In shock (and disbelief at what he was saying I responded with, “so you think ALL of these things are to do with my Anxiety?” He nodded……

The man hadn’t as far as I’m concerned practiced anything medical on me whatsoever during my 7 minutes, (please note, I didn’t even go over my 10 minute time with my three symptoms/issues), but had amazingly managed to put EVERYTHING down to my Mental Health issues.

I put on my fake smile, stood up, said thank you through gritted teeth and left, trying not to burst into tears and scream at anyone who came near me.

I’m so SO sick of this.  How on earth are we supposed to work alongside the NHS to stop the stigma of mental health issues when the NHS are employing people like this to diagnose people.  This is not on!  This is not on at all!

I for one will be going back to the doctors (when I can get another appointment) and getting a proper doctor to do what I think I need doing.

What concerns me more than anything is how many patients are being spoken to and treated like I was today, and leave believing what the “professional” in front of them has said, that it’s all in their head!

This NEEDS to change.  We can’t change the stigma of mental health issues until people like this are properly educated on the subject.

This HAS to change.

XXX

no more stigmabehaviour-change

 

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Standing Tall

“Courage is fire, bullying is smoke”

I wanted to write a blog about a subject very close to me-Bullying. 

As a child I LOVED school.  Just as my son does now, I loved reading, socialising and mainly learning. I wanted to know everything about anything! 

At the age of 7 my love of socialising at school changed.  A couple of children would make comments that would upset me sometimes.  Nothing major, just silly 7 year old ‘isms’.   At the age of 9 however, after dealing with the name calling for a couple of years on and off, things changed quite a lot.  My earliest memory of it all would be being pushed over in the playground, by a girl who knew the lunchtime monitor lady.  I fell on my face, knocking my top lip into my teeth and grazing it, as well as my nose and forehead.  My best friend at school, Holly, was coming round for tea that night, and I remember thinking, I have to be ok so she can come for tea.  I went to the toilet, where the lunchtime monitor came in, took one look at me, smirked and walked straight out.  I knew from that moment (or thought I knew), that no one could help. I was on my own with this one. 

I don’t actually  class the “bullying” as “bullying” while I was in primary school. Because I have secondary school to compare it with. 

Secondary school (all girls school) from the age of 11, was by far the hardest time of my childhood. There were three groups within the classes:-

  • The Popular Group
  • The Neutral Group
  • The Unpopular Group

So the popular group were a clique of girls, they followed all fashions and trends, most were ahead of the game with everything.  Their parents had money, they got to go on all the school trips, they didn’t revise for tests (because that was clearly cooler), and they bullied. 

The neutral group were girls who were friends with everyone.  They had their own little clique but they would swing toward anyone they wanted.  If they were asked to sit and partner up with a popular or unpopular girl they would, having no opinion whatsoever on anyone except for their friends. I really wanted to be in this group. 

Unfortunately, I was in the unpopular group, and therefore fair target for the popular girls to bully.  The unpopular ones didn’t have a lot of money, they didn’t get to go on the cool school trips, some (like me) enjoyed learning, works and revising, and aimed for top marks on all tests and exams. 

I loved school, but as the years there went on I lost motivation a little bit with it.  

I got punched in the face on the way home one day, my sister was there and she sobbed the whole way home worrying about me.  I passed a teacher on the way home, coming back from a PE Lesson at the local sports hall.  She saw my sister crying and asked me if everything was ok.  Well, I wasn’t going to tell a teacher-after all they didn’t help before did they!

During my GSCE year, my Food Technology teacher (we’ll call her Mrs ‘N’) threw my coursework away. I failed my exam because I didn’t have the motivation to revise for the test, as the coursework counted towards the final mark. 

I decided to sack it all off, to me, there was no point in doing any exams if I didn’t have my teachers support.  Then my English teacher left.  She was replaced by another teacher, Mr Rosedon.   Someone completely impartial who didn’t know about my life at school, he very quickly became my favourite teacher, pushing me to complete coursework and revise for exams.   At the same time, my maths teacher called my Dad in to say that he thought I had the brain for passing my maths GCSE, if only I had the motivation.

I went on to pass my maths and English exams, as well as 4 others, while the popular girls (didn’t give a sh*t) and came away with nothing. 

As an adult, and a mum now, I feel like it’s my job to protect my children from these types of people.  I never told my parents but I hope my children will if ever something similar happens to them.

What I won’t be doing, is filling their heads with nonsense about bullying only happening when they’re young. 

From experience, people still do it to you as an adult, the difference being, you’ve learned from earlier life how to deal with it.  

If you’re reading this and being bullied now, my advice is, tell someone.  Schools aren’t like mine anymore, there are staff members employed within schools, primarily to deal with bullying.  Tell your parents, a friends parents, the police, ANYONE, because someone will help you.  You are not alone.

If you’re reading this and you’ve been bullied, I sympathise massively, and I hope others behaviour hasn’t shaped you to be the person they wanted you to be-A victim.  Because that’s not what we are! We are survivors!

Oh, and if you’re reading this and you’re the bully?  Read above, think about how you would feel if it was being done to you, your kids, your family, your friends.  And stop. Just stop

Xx

For more information or advice please visit the main anti-bullying websiteChildline, the Government run website  or the NHS Information Page

   

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