Pumpkin Picking at Pickwell Farm

I often drive pass strawberry fields in the summer and think we'll go strawberry picking this year and then never get round to it. So this year after realising I had missed strawberry picking again I decided we should have a family day out pumpkin picking later in the year.

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Fast forward to October, and after reading a blog and doing a quick google search I decided Pickwell Farm, on the outskirts of Southampton, was where we were going to go for our first ever pumkpin picking experience.

We decided that we would go on a weekend so daddy could come too. This of course limited us as to when we could go and we happened to choose the windiest day! The weekend we went was the weekend Storm Brian came to visit but if we’d left it until the following weekend we would have run the risk of there being no pumpkins left, so we ventured out determined not to let the storm dampen our spirits.

Although, not all of us were impressed...

It was blowing a gale, the umbrella blew inside out and the kids were loitering around muddy puddles like they had never seen them before. A huge gust of wind came and that was it, screaming "I want to go home", Phoebe was done! We didn't even have any pumpkins yet! It became very clear to those that passed us that we are most definitely city people. Whilst the hubby and I found all this highly amusing at this point the kids just wanted to get the pumpkins and get going.

On arrival we were offered a wheelbarrow which, being the ‘I can manage’ type person that I am, I nearly declined, much to my husbands despair. So we grabbed a wheelbarrow and off we went.

Trust me, you need the wheelbarrow!!

Not only is great fun for the kids to push and sit in but I definitely would not have managed!

Whilst we were able to fill our wheelbarrow with a variety of perfectly imperfect pumpkins the fields weren’t as full as I had imagined or hoped. This is no reflection on the farm just that next time we need to go sooner. Most of the pumpkins we picked were still on the vine so were nice and fresh and they were all priced at £2 regardless of size. So for a family of our size (6) this is a much more cost effective way to purchase our pumpkins.

We laughed so much while pumpkin picking, we slipped and tripped, got blown all over the place, the children were fussing about getting their hands dirty, I struggled with the wheelbarrow and our youngest just didn't want to be there. It is safe to say we were 100% novices!

Once we had picked our pumpkins we had a little walk around the farm and came across corn fields which the children had great fun getting lost in.

 

The farm also has a lovely farm shop full of fresh produce, it is here where you pay for your pumpkins after you have washed the mud off them in the pails of water provided.

Overall we had a lovely day out and we will definitely be pumpkin picking again next year...Only now I know to go at the beginning of the season before the pumpkin fields are almost empty. Oh, and I will try to avoid going when we are hit with a storm!

Thanks for a lovely family day Pickwell Farm.

World Mental Health Day

So today, 10th October, is World Mental Health Day. Not many people are aware of this day nor are many people very aware about mental health.

I could go on and on about this topic as it’s something close to my heart but I’m going to keep this short and sweet.

Post-natal depression and anxiety is something I have first hand experience in. I suffered with post-natal after my second born and I am an anxiety sufferer - have been seen my teenage years when I used to have panic attacks.

There is such a huge taboo around these subjects when there shouldn’t be.

Not when something as simple as talking can help. Does help. Will help.

And those who haven’t suffered and who don’t really understand just need to be there, need to listen, need to care.

Talking, opening up, admitting you feel a certain way helps. It changed my life.

It can change yours too.

When life changes to be harder, change yourself to be stronger!

Things have been harder than usual for me of late due to a change in personal circumstances.

My husband works away a lot now.

Which has inadvertently caused an upset to my usual routine and to the kids' usual routine.

Family dynamics have changed. We were such a tight knit family unit and now I often feel lonely...despite being busy with 4 children. So how do you get by and manage on your own when you're so used to being part of a team?

Well 'when life changes to be harder you change to be stronger'.

I'm not the type to be defeated so I'll find a way but, I kid you not, times are testing right now. But that said I do a bloody good job of it of it on my own.

I doubted myself the first few times the Mr went away. I had created a self-fulfilling prophecy by telling myself I can't do it, then after having had a really tough day I would say 'see, I can't do it'.

Well I recognised this early on so decided something had to give. My husband leaving this job and going back to his old job on less money wasn't an option.

So I adapted. I changed to be stronger. I stopped wallowing in self pity & pining over my husband and instead adopted a positive, can do attitude.

I've learnt that as much as I don't want to I CAN parent on my own when the time calls for it. I'm not prefect by any stretch but I am a great mum. And aside from reflecting on my parenting and observing what needs to change I have also set up my own childminding business. So it's all systems go!

We have found that the time we do get together as a family is of a much better quality and I also discovered that I'm stronger than I initially gave myself credit for! With all that in mind things are working much better.

There are days when we have to rush around after school and I mean rush. My son is a ballet dancer and it is currently the run up to his show so dancing is quite full on with longer sessions and dance routines to master. We have to have dinner at super sonic speed, we can't find dancing uniform or shoes then as we are walking out the door they all decide they need the loo!

Tension heightens and voices start to raise. Sometimes there's tears and my stress levels can go through the roof but we make it on time.

Then there is the task of keeping the others entertained and out of trouble. So I let them sit with their tablets. They sit quietly, they don't wind each other up or start fighting, stress decreases and everyone is happier...

Then I start getting looks across the room from other parents. You know the look, the look of judgement, the 'uh she's just sat her kids in a corner with screens' look!

At times like these I find myself putting my suit of amour on and blocking out the opinions of those who do not matter to me. However I still find those opinions incredibly frustrating.

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To the person currently sat across the room looking at and judging my children and me as we sit here on our tablets, not talking to each other you have NO IDEA what things are like for me right now...

Running a house, raising four children, getting to school and various other places on time, cooking relatively healthy meals for us and so on ON MY OWN.

So no I haven't really spoke a word since I got here but I am 100% ok with that. And yes my kids have been sat on their screens for the best part of an hour and as this is the first bit of screen time they have had today I am again 100% ok with this.

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To those struggling...Firstly know you are NOT alone. Secondly stop wallowing (harsh but that's what you're doing) pick yourself up, dust yourself off and change to be stronger. Find YOUR way. Thirdly talk to people and do not be afraid to ask for help or take it from those who offer.

It's not easy. No one said it was. But the reward is huge.

Keep your chin up.

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To those who judge, my message is simple...

Stop!

You never know what is going on behind closed doors.

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If ANY of this very raw and honest post resonates with you or has affected you in anyway I would love to hear from you.

Much love.

You Always Have A Choice – Choose Wisley

I write this post this morning in a very tired state. I am all out of sorts.

Having recently returned from a fantastic family holiday, i am exhausted! Travel alone is tiring but as some of you will be aware travelling abroad with young children throws other challenges at us as well and the all too real crash back to reality hasn't helped.

The kids are off school for the summer so there is not much r & r time for me.

My husband works away at times making me an #occasionalsinglemum (or so it feels).

I had planned to wake early today and resume back to my routine journal practice, building on my mindset and working on my dreams...

Then I had the worst nights kip ever!

So when my alarm went off I shuddered and hit snooze;
Again and again,
until I eventually arose from my slumber an hour and a half later; with a child in my bed...who is still there now! Cheers 👍🏼

I was cross, my day was already deviating from my plan
AND
I'm more tired than I was when I went to bed!!

SO I started asking myself the following questions, acknowledging I had a CHOICE. Acknowledging I could CHOOSE how the day was going to pan out from here.

  • How do you deal with this?
  • How do you move on?
  • How do you let this shape your day?
  • How do you let this affect your mood?...

There are TWO options

CHOICE 1) You CHOOSE
To kick yourself,
Be miserable,
Be hard on yourself for not sticking to your plan,
Be cross,
Mope around all day feeling annoyed
Feel sorry for yourself...woe betides me!!

OR

CHOICE 2) You CHOOSE
Let yourself accept this happened
Understand why it happened - your knackered!
Allow yourself to accept it's ok to be tired
Allow yourself to be ok with the situation
Pick yourself up
Dust yourself off
And start as mean to go on...

even if it is an hour an half later!

So my message this morning is this...

YOU ALWAYS HAVE A CHOICE - CHOOSE WISELY

I choose happy. What about you?

xxx