My daughter , my way.

Apologies in advance that this could become a bit of a rant. However I inhabit my little corner of the internet so as I can express myself so surely a little rant from time to time is acceptable??

I think as parents we all have certain aspects of our parenting that we really hold dear. I don’t mean the screen time limits that we say exist but fall by the wayside for the sake of a bit of peace ,but the really important things that matter to you as a parent. It might be cooking food from scratch , or everyone sitting around the table together . It may be ensuring you get the kids out into nature and exploring. It may be ensuring books are a way of life or that they are able to express themselves with art and crafty activities. There are just some things along this parenting journey that you’re not willing to let go off because they are important to you.

I mentioned in this previous blog post about how the older I get the more confident I get in expressing my opinions. This goes together I think with backing and defending my parenting style to the hilt. Something I learnt just this week.

Small girl turned 10 this week. She had a fab time , has already worked out how to turn one special day into one special week and does rock a birthday. We went out for dinner with a group of her family and maybe I was particularly irritated that day or maybe ,I think more likely,that I’m so fed up of the kind of nonsense we sometimes spout around our children that on this occasion I had to pick up on it.

Small girl was talking about a boy in her class and how she didn’t like him and he was mean to one of her female friends.

“Oooo he must like her ” someone said.

“boys are always mean to girls they want to be their girlfriend!”

Now. I have heard this narrative a million times. From when I was a child through to now and usually I can turn a blind eye but actually no.

Let’s not tell her things like that I suggested. I don’t want her growing up thinking if a male is nasty or horrid to her that she should just be flattered by the attention. I said it with a smile , I didn’t go on to do the monologue that was in my head about how bloody dangerous this message is to both boys and girls and maybe I should have because the second I opened my mouth I saw it. The collective eye roll. The collective tut thinking “here she goes again on one of her crazy feminist rants”

I’ve seen it before.

I’ve seen it when I pick up on phrases like “don’t be such a girl” when a boy dares express emotion.

I’ve seen it when I ask people not to tell teen girl to ‘dress more like a girl’

When I’ve tried to explain how toxic masculinity is harming our boys as well as our girls.

I’ve seen it a lot , and I think often it has quietened me.

This time it angered me. I am more than aware I cannot police language around my daughter always. I can though I think ask people who she trusts and loves to be mindful of what messages they send to her and I will.

I want my daughter to know for sure there is nothing she can’t do. That she is strong and powerful and brave and intelligent and that she can change the world.

It’s a massive shame that here in 2018 we’re still pedalling ridiculous gender limiting ideas but I always have to challenge them in front of her in the hope that one day she’ll do the exact same thing. That’s more than worth a few eye rolls.


Tale of Mummyhood
Cup of Toast
DIY Daddy

Lucy At Home

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Please don’t ask why she didn’t leave earlier

Domestic abuse itself , its power comes from its subtleties. It thrives in doubt. Self doubt , doubt that it’s a big deal or that anyone would take her seriously.

When you’ve been through it , after you’ve left. Done the most huge , most brave thing you can ever do there’s a question that can just bring you down. That can make you almost feel as worthless as the perpetrator did.

Why didn’t you leave sooner . I can answer that , but let me stress there are a hundred other reasons too because abuse is often personalised.A perpetrator will take anything you have entrusted him with , anything he knows you feel rubbish about or anxious about and use it against you .

In a more generalised way though. Here’s why she didn’t leave earlier.

Because she knew for sure noone would believe her .

Because she thought she was probably overreacting.

Because she had nowhere else to go.

Because she was not allowed to leave the house, to the point her shoes ,clothes were taken away.

Because she was deliberately kept pregnant and looking after babies for years so was too tired to think straight.

Because she knew for sure he would kill her if she tried to leave .

Because he always kept at least one child with him just as security .

Because he had a good job and she’d had to sacrifice her career so he’d definitely get the kids as he was so respectable.

Because she’d accepted this as her lot to enable her to get up in a morning.

Because she had left a couple of times and when she’d been forced back it was the most horrific violence she’d ever endured.

Because she’d learnt to zone out when raped or hurt to protect herself

Because he threatened to kill her kids if she left

Because he threatened to kill her mum or dad or sister or anyone she loved if she left.

Because she believed she was too pathetic to manage alone.

Because no one else would ever be attracted to her , she felt disgusting to look at .

Because no one else would definitely ever love her , she was damaged goods , messed up.

Because she needs him.

Because no one else cares.

But mostly , mostly ALL of these things. All of these ideas , in her head day after day with enough evidence he would carry it out for her to believe it all.

He controls her thoughts. She no longer has free thinking. It’s hard to explain if you’ve not experienced it that it’s possible for someone else to control your thinking but I promise you its true.

She knows she cannot leave.

By putting the emphasis on why she didn’t leave , judging her as a woman and often a mother ,rather than asking why he doesn’t stop. Well that validates all these thoughts in her head.

I can explain why she can’t leave , that’s quite easy.

What I’d really like to tell you though is this. Every time you are entrusted with a woman’s story and ask why she didn’t leave earlier. Well you back up her abuser. You shift blame to her. I get that it’s really hard to understand how horrific it is to be questioned because she’s left now. She did it.. but please …not that question.


Tale of Mummyhood
Cup of Toast

A decade old birth story….

Bloody love a good birth story I do.

Problem is writing about my own personal pregnancies and some births is still not yet something I can do. I will one day because writing is my therapy and it helps to heal.

This story though I can tell you because it’s like some kind of badly written sitcom.

It’s small girl’s 10th birthday this week. Everything with this pregnancy was different. I was the model patient . As a bit of background I have suffered with ridiculously high blood pressure through all 4 pregnancies. As an extra bit of background I am an absolute big baby with pain and hospitals and doctors and nothing , I repeat nothing terrifies me more than needles . If it’s at all possible to escape needles I will run away. If it’s inevitable…well I’ll still probably try to run away. I’ll cry and beg no. I’ll vomit , I’ll faint . It’s not a pretty sight at all. I know how irrational it is but then most phobias are aren’t they.

OK , on with the story….

So here I am at 36 weeks pregnant. My blood pressure has played ball relatively well but I’m still seeing a consultant as they want to keep a close eye on it . I have a community midwife check up so off I toddle to have heartbeat listened to and blood pressure checked. Midwife checks the blood pressure ,declares her machine must be broken as it cannot possibly be that high and to come back at the end of the week. I do mention my history with blood pressure but she insists no it can’t possibly be . I’ve had none of the symptoms of pre eclampsia I’ve had previously so leave it there and go about my business.

Next day I’ve GP check up and this is where the nuttiest day begins.

Have a chat how I’m feeling , listen to heartbeat , drop off pee sample and off I go into town to do a bit of shopping. On the bus home I’m feeling all horribly uncomfy as you do .Like all my internal organs are being compressed into a too small space which I guess they are . My phone rings and it’s my GP in a bit of a flap telling me to stop what I’m doing and immediately get to the hospital. There is a lot of protein in my urine and I’m an old hand enough to know what this means….and it’s not good.

I rock up to the day unit where they tell me to just lay on the bed and collect any urine should I need to go in a big old jug!!Sounds pretty gross but hey these people know best . Just for a few hours then I can go home if things settle a little. I can’t have been laid on this bed longer than 20 mins when a Health Care Assistant comes over to ask if I’m on my own. I found this a bit of an odd question which kind of answered itself but replied I was for her to answer

“OK then let’s go!”

“go where ?”

“Delivery suite ”

(Hold up what now??? I’m meant to be here starting a one woman urine collection….we don’t need a delivery suite for that”)

“but why ?”

“they’re gonna induce you , has no one spoken to you? ”

(Look at this face ….does this look like the face of a woman in the loop??)

“I’m not doing that”

Now my hospital,pain , needle issues manifest themselves in toddler like behaviour. Stamping feet , refusal to do what I’m told and generally behaving like an idiot without the slightest bit of shame. It’s total fear that has me behave this way.

Some lovely doctor finally comes over and cajoles me into going to the delivery suite and just taking it from there. I kinda know I’m being conned here , noone goes THERE for a manicure and a chat but it’s less public than a ward so I can flip out in relative privacy. Calm , sweet doctor then says how my blood pressure is dangerously through the roof they must deliver asap as that’s the only way it’ll come down. I simply tell her no ,this isn’t happening I am not having a baby today no chance . I’m not ready ,I’ve nothing with me and I’m not mentally prepared to have my vagina ripped to shreds today . So thanks bit no thanks. Calm lovely doctor smiles and leaves .

I’m laid on yet another bed , monitor on in the delivery suite plotting how I can best make my escape. Don’t think climbing out the window is feasible too high up…when the door opens .They have sent in the big guns. In walks the world’s best midwife and woman who has delivered the 3 elder ones. We already have a huge bond with that. I trust this woman .This is a sneaky trick to pull.

“If they’ve sent you in to talk me round it’s pointless”

“Look , this is very dangerous you know how serious pre eclampsia is . This baby needs to be born today or you could both die”

“OK have you ever personally had a woman die of this ”

“No”

“Well then…”

“I have had a baby die though”

Shit. Real life hit me in the face and snaps me out of my egotistical toddler tantrum .

I have a cry at this point. A big cry . Then I ask if I have time to call my sister to come be here with me . They agree and world’s best midwife examines me to find actually my body has taken the lead on this one and I’m 4cm dilated already. TOLD you I was uncomfortable!!It’s getting to about 8pm now so I call my sis…she says she’ll be right here and HERE the fun begins…

Sister turns up and announces with breathtaking excitement how she told the taxi man to step on it and go as fast as he can as her sister is in labour and how she has ALWAYS wanted to say that! She’s so animated in her story telling and giddy and a great distraction…but hang on a minute ..is she drunk?!!!!

Trust you ,she says in front of the World’s Greatest Midwife , to go into labour on the ONE night I have a couple of glasses of wine !!! Oh shit she is ,she’s tipsy! Not as drunk as I am on gas and air mind. That stuff is good!! I decide I can entertain myself here with this situation. You know how heavenly the gaps between contractions are when the pain stops and you can talk again and you’ve never felt better (high on gas and air !) The midwife asks if she can get my sister coffee as they’ve been chatting as I’ve been teeth grindingly contracting.

“She’s only gone to get you coffee because you are drunk ” I absolutely lie to my sister . Sending her into a panic of how she’s only had a couple ’till I start giggling and she realises I’m just being a knob. She obviously had the last laugh as huge contraction followed and pushing season was declared.

The real hard work began there and other than shouting at my sister attempting distraction by asking I was going to spell Isabelle mid push (probably the only time in my adult life I’ve shouted “shut up” at her ) Isabelle (2 l’s and 1 e) was here before I knew it . Teeny tiny but super cute and absolutely ravenous!!There began a relationship with the quirkiest ,chattiest girl in the world.

Do you know what though? My Blood pressure did not return to normal after birth. We were stuck in hospital a week like Forrest Gump on that bench. We were in a high depency ward so there were only two beds but women would come and go and we’d still be stuck there. It actually took years for my blood pressure to return normal and the conclusion being it was outside influences possibly rather than medical that had caused it. Or outside influences made it an ongoing problem at least.

So there we are , writing about that it seems a blink of the eye ago but at the same time just so long. A story that could have been way more serious and awful but enough funny moments for me to be able to write it without freaking out!!!

This week celebrates a decade of Isabelle and for that I am incredibly grateful.

If anyone wants to hire my sis as birthing partner give me a call!!!

The Pramshed
JakiJellz
3 Little Buttons

10 things I want you to know as you turn 10…

I can’t believe my ‘baby’ is going to be 10 in a matter of days .

10 just seems a big number.

I’m hurtling towards 40 at breakneck speed , yet really I’m not that wise . Never the less here’s 10 things I want small girl to know as she turns 10.

Hold on to you

Unfortunately in life people try to make you fit their mould. Different upsets their view of the world. These kind of people just want everyone to be the same as them. You know how we say everyone is a bit weird in this house and that’s how we like it. Keep that in mind always. Your little quirks are what makes you you . If when you’re 30 you’re still dancing and leaping and spinning from A to B rather than walking well good for you .

Keep reading

You’re bookworm extraordinare . You’ve always a book or 2 on the go. I’ve seen in your siblings that sometimes the desire to read falters once teenage years hit. That’s such a shame because as life gets more tricky and busy there is an unbridled joy in being able to take a little time out of real life and escaping in a book for a while . It’s a gift so hold tightly onto it.

Keep asking questions

Your questions are the best and we’ve had some crackers over the years.

If we were a family of cats do you think we’d still watch Strictly?

What’s your favourite word to write in joined up writing?

What do colours sound like to you?

What do you think the queen does as a birthday treat?

Keep up the questions , and surround yourself with people who will help you find the answers no matter how off the wall they are.

Continue to dream huge

We say that don’t we ? Don’t just aim high but aim the highest. There’s nothing bad coming from shooting for the stars . You might not quite hit the moon but you’re going to get way higher than the person satisfied with sat on the ground. You want to be a chef when you’re older at the minute. A Michelin star level chef , a double, no triple Michelin star level chef. You keep up that kind of dreaming!!

Know your worth

You do now . You know you are clever and kind and funny and beautiful. You know this as fact . No part of you doubts it. You know your company is sought after and you’re fun to be around. I would love for you to still feel this way when you’re 30 or 40!!

Love and allow yourself to be loved

We talk a lot don’t we about you having your two homes? Our one here with me and your siblings and your other one over with daddy. I tell you how we’d both love to have everyday with you but we have to be sensible grown ups and share your time . How you’re just so loved by all of us we all just love being around you. You seem to know that. You love us all right back too , you do that very well. Nothing is nicer than an unprompted Iz ‘ I love you’.

Stay true to your inner penguin

We suspect don’t we ?You and I? That you are part penguin. You love swimming and diving and cuddling and eating fish. You do a pretty good waddle too! We once were talking about if we were dog people or cat people for you to pronounce you were neither you were a penguin person.

Keep being that little bit penguin.

People pleasing is for fools

Your mum is the biggest of all for this. I’m working on it but 38 years of people pleasing is going to take some undoing. You thankfully don’t seem to suffer from it . You were telling me a few weeks back about a girl in your class who doesn’t like you and had told you as such . Had this been your foolish mum I’d have been concocting a strategy to get her to like me . When I asked you how you felt about this though you just shrugged and said you don’t mind as you “don’t much like her either” That’s a healthy attitude and one that’ll get you through.

Stay close to the losers

Or siblings as other people would call them. I know the losers tag is given with great affection…..

Your relationship with your eldest brother is so lovely. He’s a good lad that one ,stick with him you’ll not go far wrong.

Younger brother is the world’s most stubborn person – yeah I don’t know where he gets it from either but he seems to drop all that with you . You have him wrapped around your little finger and that is no mean feat.

Your sister will be there for you always. She’s fiercely protective and she’s a lot wiser than she lets on. Any boy or girl ever breaks your heart and I feel sorry for them unleashing the wrath of her .

A problem shared (with mum) is a problem halved.

That’s our mantra really isn’t it it . If something is on your mind ,no matter how silly you think it is or how scarily huge it feels tell me about it. I am here for you always. There is not a worry in the world that we can’t take on together. No matter if your 9 or 59 that won’t change . There’ll never be a time when I won’t try my very best to solve or help you with your problems (and you’re doubly lucky there because I’m certain your dad would say the same!!)

So there we are 10 things to know as you turn 10. I’m sure there’ll be a slush post by your actual birthday but hey you’re stretching out birthday celebrations over a week surely I can be a bit self indulgent in writing about one of my favourite things in all the world (that’s you by the way)

Xxxxx

Mission Mindfulness

Tale of Mummyhood

Cup of Toast

Lucy At Home

Bringing up Georgia
After The Playground

Communicating with teens in this tech age

Before I begin I’ve got to say that my teenagers and I do have real life conversations. Honestly they’re not square eyed inarticulate zombies . We go out for dinner together and we chat. We do the “how’s your day been?” and we’re all more than capable of conversation. We talk a lot in this house . A.Lot.

However what I was pondering the other day was how each of them communicate with me via social media and technology in totally different ways . It’s not a replacement for conversation,I think it’s an enhancement. Probably a time saver too , if someone sends me a link to a play I might like that’s much quicker than giving me the details verbally I guess. I don’t have to ask dates ,times , venue as it’s all there in front of me!

The 17 yr old eldest is a fan of a meme . When the Messenger symbol appears on my phone yet he’s there in the same room as me I know memes are coming! Particularly fond of ones with Gavin and Stacey quotes of late . He knows what makes me giggle , he’s pretty cool like that.

He’s also good for info. Links to articles about shared interests we have . Doctor Who or snooker (don’t judge me!) or the rugby team we support are shared back and forth between us !

He’s quite clued into his politics and current affairs too like me so any articles , memes or posts in relation to that subject go down well. He’s a regular in the Messenger inbox and I quite like that. Needy mum with the grown up son likes that he thinks of me . On that note he’s quite good with texts through the day regaling me with work anecdotes ,he even *shock horror* calls me occasionally on his lunch to tell me a particularly funny or bizarre story!!

The 16 yr old youngest son well that’s a whole different kettle of fish.

Talk about radio silence.

He does not like my FB status’ even really funny ones.

He does not send chirpy texts or message at all actually. He went to grandparents for a week not long back , his siblings texted and messaged intermittently. Not a peep was heard from him.

Chances of him answering his phone when you call him are minimal,he barely even knows where it is most of the time and you get the vibe from him that he could happily do without all the tech (other than the x box …obvs!)

Eldest girl at 15 well she’ll tag you in a meme or two , she’ll like the odd photo you stick on Facebook.

Her social media communication of choice though is links to food. Ice cream parlour menus , restaurant links , takeaway pics of gorgeous dinners. I think she follows every restaurant in the vicinity purely to drool over the food pics . She is indeed her mother’s daughter

The youngest at almost 10 aside from her YouTube watching nonsense has no need to wrap herself up in tech. She’s no need for a phone and she’ll certainly have no need for social media for a long while yet. With her we’ll stick to our quirky chats about what colours sound like and what our fave baby animals are.

I know social media gets a bad press , and deservedly so sometimes. I don’t think it’s all bad though. I don’t think it’s killing conversation or making us all antisocial. I was pretty antisocial before Facebook and Twitter came along but written communication has always been a favourite of mine. I still like writing letters. So along those lines of thinking I’ve probably become a little more sociable !

What do you think ??Do you think that social media can be an enhancement of communication and conversation between parents and teens or do you think we are all too screen focussed . Be really interested to hear your views.


Tale of Mummyhood
Cup of Toast

Not so family friendly..

Sometimes, usually if there’s some football on if truth be told I take the kids out for lunch to a pub not far from our house. The food is always nice, pretty cheap and cheerful and most importantly despite living in Manchester the staff who work there will always put the Hull City matches on for that poor sad family who come in their shirts, totally unashamedly!

I would call it a family friendly place. The kids menu is quite extensive, more than just the chicken nuggets or sausage choices a lot of places do. There’s a kids play area outside, and they have highchairs. This all gives me the impression they are welcoming families with open arms. The staff I’ve seen always have a word for any kids I’ve seen them bring in food to. It’s the perfect place to think “balls to it, I’m not cooking let’s go out”

Today only teen boy the younger and I were home so we decided to go for lunch. We were sat on a table between two other families. There was football on so I had lost my son to the beautiful game and all there is then left to do is people watch /be nosy. One table had 3 kids I’d guess all under 5 which I of course can relate to out for dinner with mum and dad. They were so well behaved, they were just doing the usual kid thing of messing about at the table waiting for their food impatient as kids are, but sat at the table not being crazy noisy or running about like mad things. I was getting all nostalgic thinking aaaaw remember when that would have been the teens and I when they were little and thinking how well behaved these little kids here were now. I kept catching the odd “shhh people are trying to eat” from mum and I remembered also being that person, over aware of not disturbing people. Then just as they were going to leave I overhead the mum tell the dad, through gritted teeth, we are never doing this again.

Then the nostalgia was replaced. With that horrid memory of being so panicky and worried that other people were judging me if the kids made the tiniest noise or messed about. That fear of being judged was huge, to the point I’d be so stressed I’d lose my appetite and just want to get out and go home. Just how the mum was in the pub today, despite the fact her kids were disturbing no-one.

At another table a mum with a couple of kids was meeting someone, possibly her mum who was berating her for letting the kids bring their Ipads. So she was there looking all guilty and I bet she didn’t enjoy her dinner with all the stress either.

It just made me think. What’s the point in family friendly pubs and restaurants if we can’t just give ourselves a bit of a break.

I have always taken the kids out to eat, and I think it’s a good skill for them to learn how to eat out nicely. It seems to have worked.

So maybe just give yourselves a break if you’re out at a family friendly place. Your kids aren’t running about tripping up waitresses or chucking pasta at the elderly gentleman sat on the next table. They’re just learning. You want to fetch the Ipads so you can eat in peace do so, you’re paying for the treat of not having to cook or wash up.

If the kids are getting unsettled and bored sat and waiting that’s just something they have to learn. No one is judging you.

More importantly though,if you’re one of the people tutting and shaking your head at families daring to leave their house (I once had a couple move because I sat down next to them with the kids – saying loudly “let’s move I’m not sitting with kids they’ll be noisy and messy” this was in Morrisons cafe by the way, we hadn’t stumbled into the Ritz) to eat, and then maybe just think. A giggling child or a dropped fork isn’t the end of the world and you are contributing towards us parents feeling unwelcome in even the most child friendly of places.

DIY Daddy

The Pramshed
Me, Being Mummy
One Messy Mama
Tammymum

She’s doing ‘finding herself’ chat again….

I always used to believe myself to be quite cool (as in chilly – I’ve never been the other kind of cool in my life!) and nonchalant about most things. Relationships I’ve been in I’ve always been half hearted about, the least bothered of the two. I was never going to be broken hearted or actually bothered if truth be told if they ended. I know this makes me sound heartless but those who’ve read my blog a while are aware all these relationships have been toxic in one way or another and I’ve stumbled into them almost by accident, no great thunderbolts of love.

I’ve never really obsessed about ‘stuff’ I’ve never (books aside) seen something, be that a dress or some shoes or furniture, and HAD to have it.

I think up until fairly recently my ambitions were dumped along with the placenta after the first born came along. I didn’t feel driven or have that huge need to achieve that was once there.

Probably as a result of toxic, abusive relationships all my desires and needs and wants were wrapped up in my frosty little heart and left on ice for another time when I was ready to feel again.

You’ll all been bored to death about my year of change and development in 2017 how that frosty little heart thawed. How I finally have ME back and how great that feels.

However do you know what I’ve discovered? Far from nonchalant turns out I’m actually a touch obsessive. I don’t love often but when I love I love hard and when I feel I feel passionately !!

Take The Greatest Showman.

It was on my radar a while as a movie I should probably see. I finally did and oh my!!! Fell head over heels! Proceeded to see it another 3 times have listened to nothing but the soundtrack for nigh on a week. Have been talking about it non stop telling everyone how they must see it.

(OK little pep talk now. If you haven’t seen this movie and you are at all a fan of experiencing pure joy with a side order of emotional tears…. See it.)

This blog here is another example. Probably the only hobby I’ve ever kept up. I love my little blog so much and I love the blogging community. I do put my heart and soul into some of my blog posts (admittedly some are just talking about my weird crushes) I think my blog certainly benefits from getting rid of my icy knickers and in her place embracing Little Miss Passionate.

There leads into another thing I put my heart into almost obsessively. The causes I care about I do so wholeheartedly. Equality, fighting for women’s rights and attempting to make voices heard. I know to some me and my soapbox are probably an irritant, but being able to care so passionately about something isn’t really something the girl with the frozen heart could have done.

Then we have people. You know my sister is my top human and to be honest regardless of the ice queening I’ve always had her tucked away in the warmer bit. I like to talk to her on the phone everyday, often more than once. I never run out of things to talk to her about. I want to know what she’s up to and what she’s had for her tea a la The Royle Family.

Few other people have snuck through of late though. I think I’m a better friend these days now I’ve shaken off the icicles. I do care about and love people I’m not related to after all… Weird eh?

Then there’s a particular man. I know who would have thought it eh? Turns out sometimes you make a list like this and sometimes the universe plays ball. Cosmic ordering at its finest? Again though, not something I could have done until I reached that warmer heart phase (thank goodness I put patient on that list!)

So there we are, and my bit of self awareness this week is that far from nonchalant and not really being bothered. Me, the actual me, once the BS is dropped does care a lot and to be honest has slightly obsessive tendencies.

I do apologise for all the egocentric posts of late, it’s just *twat phrase alert* ‘finding yourself’ takes ages and now that I’m finally getting there it makes me a bit giddy!!!

So thanks for listening!!

My Facebook page is here


Tale of Mummyhood
Cup of Toast

Lucy At Home

Kate on thin ice


The Pramshed

Mother of Teenagers

JakiJellz
3 Little Buttons
Me, Being Mummy
Two Tiny Hands
One Messy Mama
Mission Mindfulness

10 things that drive me (probably irrationally)nuts …

I’m not an angry person , I very very rarely lose my temper.

I get angry about the big stuff.

Misogyny , poverty , people unnecessarily suffering. Bigotry and stupidity and hatred. Yes I can get worked up into a frenzy about those things , you guys know you’ve read the rants.

There are things though , daft little things , seemingly nothing things that really get to me because …well I’m a bit odd.

People yelling across the house at one another

Aaarrgghh , on this one I have turned into my mother . I use the line “if you want to talk to someone go into the same room as them” way more than I should , but obviously noone can hear me saying that because they’re yelling at each other from separate rooms of the house . Therefore I have to yell to tell everyone to stop yelling and move …..total headache.

That they’ve changed the HP sauce recipe

My comfort food when my world is a bit tough is (please don’t judge me I’m sure you’ve all got your own little food quirks) boiled rice with HP sauce. Its a combo I discovered accidentally as a kid but it’s delicious. It makes me feel better. It gives me comfort. Except they’ve changed the bloody recipe , it’s only a little tweak but I can tell the difference. My comfort food is spoilt and to make it worse I always forget so make it anyway and end up disappointed!!

Facebook pass it on and you’ll be a millionaire and live forever posts

I’m not going to am I ?? I’m 38 , bloody hell I was always the person who put at end to chain letters as a kid I’m not going to go back now.

Train company logic

We get to the train to school and back. During rush hour Northern Rail think 2 carriages will suffice. It will not , if I wanted to spend 10 minutes with my nose stuck in some guys armpit I’d seek it out as a pastime. Come 2pm though when only 3 people are on the train there are more carriages than The Hogwarts Express. No sense .

People who say Asdas , Primart or Mataland.

Please just don’t go to these shops and double please don’t talk about them unless you can manage to get the name right.

Boob tax

Ok so there may not be an official boob tax , but can you get a decent , pretty bra if you have big boobs without having to sell a kidney?You can not . The boobs came with the kids for goodness sakes and they cost enough to run! Give the boobs a break or I’ll stop wearing bra’s altogether and THEN you’ll all be sorry!!!

Getting my order wrong in restaurants

Eating out is a big treat for me . Food is my friend . However I have a few little quirks , and so when I ask for this dish but without mushrooms ,that’s what I want . When you’ve taken my order , written it down AND read it back to me then still fetch it with all the slimy little fungus mushrooms I’d previously expressed I most certainly didn’t want ….it actually makes me want to cry!!

Family tickets

Specifically 2 adults 2 children family tickets . Or even the more progressive 1 adult 3 children family tickets. Its still only 4 people. We have 5 . Just give us single parents with the tribe of kids a thought otherwise I have to stress myself with mental maths working out which combo of tickets will be the cheapest. The only other solution would be to choose which child had annoyed me the most that day and leave them peering through the theme park gates ,giving them a little wave from the top of the log flume and pushing an overpriced hot dog to them through the gates like those mums who protested Jamie Olivers school dinners.

Chatty call centre folk

I hate hate hate phone calls as it is . When they’re necessary though and I mean seriously necessary like the internet not working on my phone and I can’t get on social media serious. I bite the bullet and do it. All I want is my problem fixed . I don’t really care Wayne from O2 that it’s your birthday today or wanna fill you in on how my weekend is going. Just please fix my problem and say bye . Please , I’m sure you’re a great guy and just being friendly but I don’t use my phone for talking.

Misuse of :

Their/They’re/There

Too/to

Where/wear/were

I know I know I know , people dont like a grammar pedant. It just bothers me . Partly because it really bloody irritates me but also because it makes me judgy girl and she’s rubbish. Communication with my daughter’s father are tough enough as it is but one little “I won’t bring her home TO late ” has me cursing my vagina ever had that kind of person near it!

Disclaimer – any similar crime committed by me is a typo. Almost certainly. Probably.

So there we are the little things that drive me super nuts . Can’t tell you how therapeutic it was to write that!

Sooooo over to you , what daft little things get under your skin??

My Facebook page is here a like would be amazing!!

Burnished Chaos
One Messy Mama

5 tips for dating someone with anxiety

When I’m anxious , it’s horrible for me . Noone wants to feel like their breathing is so uncontrollable they might just pass out . Noone enjoys that horrible feeling of a thousand thoughts , most of them negative whizzing around their brain at a dizzying pace. It’s a horrible debilitating condition .

Not just for me going through it either . When anxious the kids get irritable mum , the one who is so sensitive to noise sssshhh is out of her mouth way more often that it should be. Friends and people around me get distracted me , the one who is going to need telling again when she is feeling better exactly what you told me just now because I’m nodding and trying so hard to listen but I just can’t take it on board.

So then imagine dating me ?

Obviously when anxiety is nowhere to be found I am a delight!!All sparkling conversation and wit and charm……or something….

During an anxious period , not so much! I can’t be the only one , so if you’re dating someone who suffers with anxiety there might be some tips here for you. Obviously everyone is different and I can only speak for myself but here goes .

I will cancel on you

This is likely nothing to do with you.

When anxiety strikes people are tricky. Even people I really,really like are a struggle. Now if I’m dating you I really really really like you as not many get that far. So I’ll try really hard to just push through. Only added to the people phobia is that voice. The anxiety voice telling me he doesn’t want to go out with me anyway , why would he ? I’m dull I’m boring I’m just an anxious drain , in fact he’s probably only involved with me because he feels sorry for me.

Regular me knows all that to be anxiety fuelled nonsense. Anxiety ridden me knows FOR SURE that this is the truth.

So I’ll probably cancel. Get under my duvet and spend a few hours worrying about if you’ll ever want to see me again with me being such a pathetic flake.

Anxiety is exhausting.

Prepare yourself for contradiction

Again can only tell my story , but during an anxious bout I want to be left alone . I don’t want chat or touching or made to talk about how I feel. Except….ALL I want is company of someone I trust and touching and holding and reassuring words.

Goodness knows what chances another person has of getting it right when I have no clue myself.

Sometimes silence is key

When anxious I become so oversensitive to noise . People talking normally will really get to me as it feels too overwhelming. I’m already exhausted because as detailed above having 3 million thoughts a minute wears you out . So sometimes I’m going to just need to lay under a blanket with you , no words, no small talk just silence and knowing you’re there will calm me.

You may get dumped

In my case you’ll certainly get dumped. I’ll decide that there’s no point continuing with this . Tell you to go find someone ‘normal’. Even if I really like you , especially if I really like you . How on earth could I expect anyone to put up with this anxious mess on a regular basis?

Truth is , I’m just giving you an out . I know I can be hard work when anxiety strikes . Especially if I’ve not mentioned I’m feeling anxious and you just think I’m going off on one because I’ve gone off you. So I’d understand if you can’t deal. I’m really hoping you won’t take that out though , I’m hoping you’re going to ride this out with me . It takes a special kind of a person to do that though so if that’s not you best you do run for the hills.

Once you learn the cheat codes it’s so much easier

You know the old fashioned games consoles where if you knew the cheat codes you could get never ending lives or some bonus. Well it’s kind of the same with people.

My anxiety is pretty predictable , it creeps up gently , gives me a rough couple of days then fades again. My reaction to it is equally predictable. I get a bit needy , I look for constant reassurance . If you can recognise the signs that I’m having an anxious day and even better then know how to comfort me then we’ll be just fine. I was once having a particularly bad anxious day ,all self loathing and horrid so employing the ‘lets just finish this’ technique detailed above. The (correct) response from the (lucky?!) guy in question was to suggest a duvet and a nap , and if I still wanted to dump him later that’d be fine!! Mr Smarty Pants was obviously right to my surprise and when questioned how he knew I was just anxious answered “I just know your anxiety cheat codes by now”

Caring about someone with anxiety can be tough , as I for one struggle to verbalise my feelings and so therefore my behaviour can seem odd. Anxiety makes me irritable and full of doubt and self loathing . It makes me exhausted and lethargic and drains me of energy. It can make huge changes to my personality ,it makes me needy and I bloody hate feeling like that. I’m a strong independent woman not that one under a duvet asking for her hair played with.That must be a lot to deal with.

It takes someone special to be the reassuring voice without getting frustrated by the need for it .

Someone special to invest in knowing me well enough to know that stroking my hair and shhhhh ing me like a baby can help when an anxiety attack strikes.

To be patient and to care about me when I don’t much care about myself.

Anxiety is not a constant in my life though , I’m lucky these days it’s just a rare visitor. So if you can put up with the occasional rough day it’s so worth it for all the sparkling conversation and wit and charm I told you about at the beginning….and I make an awesome pie !!I’m a catch , honestly!!

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Tammymum
Mission Mindfulness

The Pramshed

Affection withdrawal as an abuse tactic… conquered

I’ve waffled and whinged and whined in this blog a lot about my aversion to hugs and tactility. I’ve bored you all with my 2017 Eureka moment where finally the Ice Queen thawed and being touched no longer makes me wants to recoil in horror and turn into a statue.

What I’ve not really dealt with though is why I’m like I am .

It’s odd; life after abuse. You have so many lingering behaviours once you’ve left , even years on some habits stick (one of these days I’ll take my phone off silent mode) Some ideas still float about your head unquestioned ,until you realise that actually those ideas are not your own ideas ,they were a seed another person planted in your head so gently that you took them and everything that grew from them on as your own but they never ever were yours. Sometimes one day , everything clicks into place and you realise that your behaviour still mirrors that of that abused woman ,and then…well then you have the power to get rid of it .

I had a bit of a Eureka moment like that over this week. I know where my hatred of affection came from , I know why I’m like I am and now I do I can banish it for good.

When I met the man who abused me I was going through a tough time , I was vulnerable . I must have been a gift to him! Now I’ve never really been a hugger ,that I can’t say is down to anything other than I’m not naturally a tactile person. He came along though and showered me with affection. At that low point in my life I soaked it up. Cuddling , touching, all the affection and compliments and kind words and gestures wrapped me up completely. I liked it , I liked being the focus of all this love and I was flattered .

Over time emotional abuse became the norm . I was manipulated and coerced into behaving a certain way. He was charming and I am a people pleaser so it probably wasn’t that much hard work to get me to do as he wished. However on one occasion I resisted . I didn’t play along with his games . I stood my ground and didn’t give in . I can’t even remember what it was that was the issue now but that day he withdrew affection and kindness and compliments and they never returned. Those strokes of the arms as he passed me , the hand squeezes that I’d relied on ,am arm around me or a peck on the cheek all disappeared immediately along with compliments and encouraging words (even only now as I write this do I realise why I hate compliments too)

As I mentioned above I am a people pleaser by nature and I’d grown to like the affection he had lavished me with. He had already done enough ground work on my head to ensure that the affection withdrawal would have the desired affect. It did. Then you see I was always striving to get that back. I was doing anything he wanted to try and pull back the affection , only now I was so very grateful for the tiniest scrap of approval he only need offer the occasional hand on the shoulder or feeble words of praise to make me feel better. I was altering my behaviour and character to get this guy to go back to his love bombing of the beginning . I was absolute putty in his hand , easily moulded to be exactly what he wanted at any given time.

I think we’re joining dots now to find out why I then became the girl that hated hugs and affection and touching. I always knew it had to be a defensive thing and it absolutely was. In my mind I could never again give anyone that kind of power ,that hold over me . I couldn’t settle in to enjoy affection because I knew how horrific it was to have it removed.

Years away from toxic relationships , therapy and this blog though have been my trio of weaponry against the damage done mentally. They’re pretty solid too these days. I talked here last week about my need for patience and yes I do absolutely need that understanding and trust if I’m going to be close to people , physically and emotionally.

You know what though ? I’m going to have to disagree with the Doctor on this one now . You can trust a hug , I like hugs . I like hand holding and little kisses to the face and my hair stroked. Physical contact is a primal human need and I’d deprived myself of that for way too long .

Kate on thin ice

After The Playground
JakiJellz
Me, Being Mummy
Mission Mindfulness