Midweek Inspiration – Try, Try again!

As I watched my youngest do her upmost to hang on with all her strength, as she made her way around a Ninja Warrior style obstacle course, I said out loud the words depicted below.

She tried her hardest and when she fell she got straight back up again.

Us grown ups could use this advice from time to time as well...

Having always wanted to work with children in a school and having had so many knock backs I am finally there; if at first you don't succeed, try, try again!

Part 2 – 3 Things ALL Expectant Mums Should Know | The Arrival

The Arrival!

Amazing! You successfully got through the pregnancy without wetting yourself. Your husband managed to keep his life by learning to perfectly time when to nod and agree with you and you have survived childbirth, despite being incredibly tired, temporarily losing your dignity and getting through the pain.

Pain. Yes, childbirth does hurt. Do not believe anyone who tells you it doesn't; these people in your life are not trustworthy! Anyway, you have got through all of that so now you can get some much needed rest and enjoy your new arrival, right?

Wrong!

Following on from giving you 3 Things ALL expectant mothers should know | Pregnancy and Labour here are three more snippets of information you absolutely need to know about the arrival of your baby!

#1) Sleep Deprivation

Giving birth is a mission and you have worked damn hard for last few hours, so now that baby is here you just need to rest and restore your energy. Only, you CAN'T. Not for the next 10 years at least! I haven't slept properly since 2007 so I'm talking from experience here people!

Sleep deprivation is a killer. You thought you were getting the practise in when you were pregnant. When you were getting up at 5am for a wee, then couldn't get back to sleep because Baby had moved making you really uncomfortable...that was NOTHING my friends.

Now you will be required to feed on demand if you choose to breastfeed - oh and that is a choice of yours by the way, not the midwives or health visitors - or you will need to be semi-awake every four hours, round the clock, to bottle feed.

My advice here is to sleep when baby sleeps. Do not try to conquer the housework, cook a delicious home cooked meal or do the laundry. Nope, you must sleep, not just for your sanity but for your general wellbeing.

(NB - that piece of advice is USELESS because when baby sleeps you will be wide awake with your mind doing over time. You will be looking around thinking about how you should just get the washing up done quickly or you'll challenge yourself to get through the ironing pile before baby wakes - you wont be able to rest. However, it's what I was told and I really think that had I taken this on board I might not have felt like I was losing my mind).

#2) When Your Milk Comes In

You thought you were hormonal already!

Well I'm afraid to say that once again you thought wrong. Around day 3 or 4 of being mummy your milk comes in making your already swollen boobs like rock hard boulders!

With that your hormones hit. the. roof.

You cry tears of... well, you just cry tears. Who knows why you're crying - you certainly don't!

You laugh like you've never laughed before over something ridiculous like dropping a spoon on the floor.

And when you listen to the radio you cry at a song that isn't even a little bit sad. In fact the song probably has no meaning to you whatsoever!

The crux of it is, throughout your pregnancy there has been a lot of hype and excitement about this arrival, your hormones change to help the healthy growth and development of the baby then when the baby is born everything starts falling back into place. It's a rollercoaster of emotions. This is totally normal.

You don't need to doubt yourself as a mum; like I did and you don't need to think you are the only woman in the world to be so irrational; like I did but you do need accept this temporary change and understand that soon enough all will be back to normal; I wish I had! Don't dwell on the negative emotions you feel at this point. Accept them, brush them off, be grateful for your bundle of joy, hold your head high and carry on being the great mum you know are.

#3) Popping out to the shop

This just doesn't happen anymore! Simples!

Once upon a time you were able to grab your keys and purse and nip out to the shop. Now you have to pack up your entire house, or so it seems, just to get a pint of milk!

You need the pushchair; change bag filled with wipes, nappies, baby milk, muslin squares, calpol, teething gel and god only knows what else (because you always need to expect the unexpected with a baby around); your purse (which you are likely to forget once you have collected everything else) and your keys.

Once you have successfully got through this quick trip to the corner shop you realise baby has fallen asleep in the pram...but you didn't want them to because they won't sleep through the night! So now what? Wake them, listen to the screaming and tire yourself out trying to occupy them or enjoy the peace and pay for it later?

That one is down to you I'm afraid.

***

So that's it for Part 2. Next week is Part 3 - Having more than one child. If any of this rings true or if you are expecting soon I'd love to hear from you x

Life Cycle – Piglets with their Mumma

Life Cycle

During a trip to our local farm, a trip we do often, little P and I were lucky enough to get to witness such a beautiful moment. We just happened to be in the right place at the right time.

I'll let the video do the rest...

 

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.

Struggling with the household chores? Give this a go…

Struggling with the chores? Try this to get into a routine...

Most of us lead an incredibly busy, fast paced life, running on the hamster wheel just trying to keep up and not fall flat on our face. Throw a couple of kids, or more, into the mix and all of a sudden keeping on top of the chores means we have potential chaos on our hands.

Ok, there's no potential about it, it IS chaos and I've come to the conclusion that those who seem to have it totally under control simply have a great poker face!

Keeping the house in check, for me, is one of the first things that seems to slip when life gets a bit tough. Basic household chores like keeping on top of the laundry and cleaning go on the back burner so that I can sort the 15,000 bits of paper that come home from school (ok a slight exaggeration but you you get my point)! So once I realised we'd missed another kids party and that we were living in a complete shit hole I decided I had to do something to regain order and control in my house!

The answer? Routine!

I put together a really basic tick list to help me organise my housework. When the 'small' things get done I am left with space in my mind (and house) to focus on other things. Like kids parties, school photo day, dinner money etc

I laminated it so it's wipe clean and I use a highlighter to tick off the tasks.

There appears to be lots in that list but you'll probably find you do a lot of that list on autopilot anyway. Plus it needs tweaking as I've come to realise some of it doesn't work - like dusting everyday?! Really, what was I thinking? Who has time for that!!

At first it was a real check box exercise. I did one task, ticked it off and then checked what was next and so on. Now some of it I don't really have to think about as I am back into the swing of doing it. The more I work by the list the more it becomes a routine and I find myself ticking half sheet off in one hit.

This has worked wonders for my household - I still need to work on other areas though as since the summer holidays we haven't managed to get back into the awesome routine we were in before. But nevertheless it's a great start and I'm feeling good. Why not give it a go?

How do you keep on top of stuff? I'd love to hear your stories.

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.

***

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.

***

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.

***

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

Stop!

You never know what is going on behind closed doors.

***

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.