Monthly Archives: February 2016

Reasons I’m (probably)best off being single…possibly forever!!

I don’t really mean forever.

I’ve no ambitions to become the cat lady and if Mr Perfect popped up I’d welcome him.

Thing is dating is a pain isn’t it? , I’m quite lazy ,   quirky and clumsy…these traits throw up problems with actively seeking out a guy I can tolerate. I just can’t be bothered with it all and so though I would love my quirky soulmate to turn up and render me giddy with fluttery butterflies , I’m kind of just sitting here waiting for him to show up.

As  you can imagine , as techniques go it’s not the most efficient.

I’m just bad at dating , even the thought of it tires me out.

Let me tell you about my issues , at the very least you can think to yourselves “thank goodness I’m not the poor guy going out with her” and I’m always one to promote gratitude!!

* I find ‘getting ready’ an absolute pain in the arse.
In the younger days , getting ready was half the fun of going out.Our nights would begin with a group gathering at one of our houses around lunchtime.We’d preen and pout and try on 6 outfits.
Now if I’m going out , I initially have fun choosing an outfit , doing minor major face/hair/body prep so as to banish mummy for a couple hours! I bang Beyonce on , pour a glass of wine and do an amazing rendition of the Single ladies dance in my bra.
Then I realise this is pretty fun as it is , cancel going out ,finish the wine then snuggle under a duvet with Sat eve tv!!I’d probably cancel a date if someone good was on Jonathon Ross and it meant I could stay in my pjs.

* I’m a giggler
Despite being 36 , when faced with situations that make me nervous I get the giggles. I don’t mean a sweet little tinkly giggle either. I mean the kind of borderline guffaw that renders you unable to speak.The kind where the more you try and stop ( aware you are looking like a hysterical loon) the more you laugh! I end up coming across as a cross between a moron and a hyper chimp!!

*I’ve a number of food quirks
I hate people eating off my plate.
“ooo can I try yours” bleurgh!!!
I have Victorian style table etiquette…GET YOUR ELBOWS OFF THE TABLE.
If my food has been on the same plate as something I dislike,I can’t eat it.Sharing platters are problematic.
I’m clumsy , this translates to eating.Imagine Miranda…she’d look sophisticated next to me!!

* I’m not easily ‘got’
I’ve covered this before.
I say things I think are funny..and end up accidentally causing offence.Conversation with new people have gone like this:
Him: So , are you close to your parents?
Me: Not really , they’re dead.
Him:I am so sorry
Me: Don’t be , it’s not your fault!(insert nervous giggle)
I can’t do emotive subject manner easily , though in my efforts to deflect I can come across as flippant and uncaring.
In reality it’s just awkwardness.

* Away from home people struggle with my accent!
I end up playing a social game of Articulate , in public.
Him: What would you like to drink?
Me:Just a coke please.
Him: cerk???what’s cerk??
Me:brown , fizzy , not Pepsi

Me:I’ll just turn off my phone
Him:your what??your fern??
Me:Has numbers on..you text people with it

Him: Cold tonight?
Me: Yeah I wonder if it’ll snow
Him:Snur???
Me:White, cold , you build snur men with it!!

So you see , the effort I would expend having to date just wouldn’t be worth the return.

I’ll stick with books , fruit n nut and Merlot for company for now I think.

Having said that , Mr Perfect -if you’re reading this do not be put off. I really am quite charming I promise. If you’ve a thing for redheaded Yorkshire girls with broods of kids and Victorian table etiquette…lets do something….could be he start of something beautiful…don’t mind the giggly girl balking over the suggestion of a pudding with two spoons!!

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I showed my blog to real life people…and the world didn’t implode!

My little blog has been just that for  a good couple of years now. MY little thing. My tiny corner of the internet where I could dump my meandering thoughts from my head onto the  screen. I find it really quite therapeutic and there are times in the height of an anxious period that it’s saved my sanity. What began as documenting life after abuse , showing that there really is a bright sparkly light at the end of the domestic abuse tunnel evolved into my wittering about parenting and kids and my (non existent) love life. It’s very me to veer off on a tangent.

Whilst only people I didn’t know were reading , it was perfectly safe. People , strangers, were so kind and encouraging and it buoyed me up and allowed my confidence to grow a little. People seemed to identify with what I’d been through , words like inspiring an courageous were used …about me??Very strange! Women got in touch to say how they felt reassured that life after domestic abuse really was possible. If I can ever have helped anyone feel a bit better or reassured then bloody hell that’s just the best thing.

Showing my scribblings to people I actually know though??Hmmm. I’d spent months umming and ahhing about it, felt risky.

My little blog is just my silly thoughts , it’s not the stuff of genius. I’ve really grown fond of my little space though.

The problem was The Voice , the one I spoke about here .Saying that everyone would laugh at me , that everyone would think I was stupid. That my writing would be pulled to pieces and I’d end up dumping the blog and stop boring people with my nonsense.

No one has though.

People have continued to be kind and encouraging. Yay!!

It makes me want to test myself in other ways. How many things do I not do because I’m scared of looking like an idiot? How many other things do I not even attempt because one person years ago told me I was rubbish at everything? How often do I stop myself  trying something new , telling myself I’m not good enough before anyone else gets the chance to?

I do it all the time.

I’d never let the kids behave this way , we have a ‘dream huge’ policy in our house and maybe I need to join in!

So thank you so much for your kind words and maybe my little blog can help me  be a bit braver, push myself little further and be less of a scaredy cat. Got to be worth a shot at least.

 

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In the age of The Comeback, I’m thinking of bringing back 90’s party me!!

All the good stuff from the 90’s seems to be making a comeback right now. X files, All Saints, Twin peaks??!!Hmmm.. So I’m thinking of getting my 90’s party girl crew together for a comeback of our own.

We had so much fun … I’m sure it’s merely coincidence that this was a pre-children era!

Surely 90’s partying has to beat mum partying??

90’s me: Would prep for a night out all day! Toss about in my dressing gown with a face mask on, hairshine treatment on the hair, maybe a wash in wash out colour if we we’re taking risks. Line stomach around 5ish (slice of toast) and be out by 7 o clock.

Mum me: Going out prep is actually washing my hair rather than relying on dry shampoo. Sighing at the wardrobe packed with clothes that will NEVER fit me again (seriously Kelly, those size 8 trousers, whilst beautiful and crazily expensive will never fit your arse, give them to charity shop and stop torturing yourself)
Down a glass of wine to get into the party spirit and out you go, giddy with excitement at getting to actually go out with grown ups!

90’s me: Was the height of fashion. Cropped trousers, platform heels, a boob tube (90’s me did not realise quite how envious her future self would be looking back at pics in said boob tube) I would run bright red hair mascara though my hair then press stud plastic jewels in (sorry hair) and skip off out!

Mum me: has around 3 outfits fit to be seen ‘out’ in. Mum me though is wise enough to know the key to these outfits is to pull a waist out of nowhere (thanks Gok). I resist the urge to pop a pair of flats in my handbag for when the heels start to hurt.

90’s me: Was a very frugal drinker. We knew exactly which bars had bottles of Metz and Castaway at buy one get one free and which pubs you could get a taboo and lemonade for £1.

Mum me: buys over priced drinks because I’M OUT!!! I’m excited and giddy to be free of mummy!
Mum me tells herself she will take it easy because she can’t afford to feel rough in the morning when the kids will be back at 9.
Mum me lies to herself.

90’s me: Would be clubbing until they turned out the lights. Come on, why would you stop dancing when the treat of tunes such as Cher’s Believe were on offer. We’d dance all night long (that kind of exercise probably explains how we could rock the boob tube) We’d pick up a kebab to eat in the taxi office in the knowledge we’d be in there an hour at least. Was OK though, you always made friends in the taxi office, it had a real drunken community feel! If there wasn’t at least one fight, 3 crying girls and someone vomiting at the door it just wasn’t a night out!

Mum me: After a few cocktails, a bit of a dance and a think about why they have to play the music soooo loud?! I’m on the way home, calling a takeaway en route to eat whilst catching up on whichever trashy TV I’ve missed with a bottle of wine.

90’s me: Never got a hangover. In fact I had never had a hangover until after the children came along. The other way around would be much kinder! After getting home around 3, I’d be up and at work for 7am bright and breezy. Work till 7pm then get back out getting ready in the work loo.

Mum me: Regrets that bottle of wine I had when I got in the second I open my eyes. I persuade the kids to have a movie day and lay on the sofa, dozing to the background of chipmunks and the like.

Hmmm, thinking about it maybe the comeback will have to wait, it sounds exhausting. Besides syncing babysitters is somewhat of a rarity. Maybe we’ll just have a one off comeback night in the future instead. We’ll hair mascara up, crack open the Hooch (that’s made a comeback too but not the apple one which is a shame) and head out on the  one night only comeback gig.
We’ll probably leave the boobtubes at home though.

 

 

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly of Single Parenting..

I’ve been a single parent for many years and the majority of the time I do really enjoy it. It’s always going to be a thousand times better than what I had previously and it works for us.

I know every family is different and every parent will have their own highs and lows about parenting solo. These are just mine.

THE GOOD
I’m in charge. In my house I’m sole maker of rules, sole enforcer of rules. There is no one to undermine me or give the kids mixed signals. As a result every knows exactly where they stand. The kids know exactly how far they can push boundaries before grumpy “games consoles are BANNED” mum makes an appearance.
No one much likes her, me included.

I get to be the ‘come to’ person.
Questions, worries, rants, irritations I’m the first port of call on that front. Whether that’s the little one asking me to teach her Spice Girls dance moves (I really am that cool) or the eldest asking me to do interview prep with him or youngest boy wanting to talk through what subjects he wants to take for GCSE then I’m the person they (possibly wrongly) turn to and I like that. If I can at all help, guide and comfort that’s got to be one of the biggest responsibilities of being a parent. Also,it makes me feel really wise. Not much does that!

On a day when the planets align. Everyone is enjoying spending time together, and they’re just basically all being nice people, I can look at them and think that I made this happen. It’s the best feeling.

Our family dynamic works. We’ve been us 5 a long time and we’ve settled into quite a nice cosy family. We’ve our own history full of remember when’s?? Our own in jokes and we all just fit.

THE BAD
Ill days. I love all the things I’ve outlined above. I like feeling like the independent woman doing parenthood alone… Until I’m ill. On a day I’ve a vomiting bug or just a horrid cold and want to climb under a duvet and die peacefully, those are tough days. Really bloody hard. On those days I’d walk over broken glass to have another pair of hands to make dinner or do the school run.
The days I’m to be seen vomiting discreetly mid school run because there’s no one else to do it? They’re not my finest hour.

The dark days. You know the ones? When those lovely children of yours turn into demons.. and all at the same time! The little one is having a tantrum because no one will do a jigsaw with her, the boys are arguing about whose turn it is on the computer and eldest girl is stropping about slamming doors for one reason or another. That’s all on me. Just me. I feel like the world’s most awful failure of a parent on those days. I question my parenting abilities and my sanity and on days like that feel lacking in both.
Thankfully those times don’t last too long and someone will do something nice and all is almost forgiven,but oh they’re the worst.

The ‘I need to split myself in two days’. The elder 3 want to see something different at the cinema to the seven year old. The older kids want to go go-karting whilst the youngest wants to go the petting zoo. If I just had another person around we could split activities and keep everyone happy. As it is my negotiation skills have to come into their own those days. Worst is if sports day collides with prize giving or parents evening is same night as a concert. That’s the real killer of a decision and one you can only ever get wrong.

THE UGLY
This one is all in my head.
Totally.
A combination of anxiety and a huge, huge chip on my shoulder about being a single mum make my mind drive itself nuts.
I hate the fact that at Parents Evenings where the two chairs are set up I only occupy one. It’s always just me. My mind starts telling me that everyone is thinking ‘Oh look there’s the woman with a million kids and no father to be seen’ (I’m referring to the elder ones here little one is lucky to have a hands on daddy)
I always feel like I’m the youngest mum around at the eldest school things too which adds to it.
I think and hope I’m finally beginning to lessen that chip on my shoulder, but I think it’ll always be there in some form!
Bloody anxiety.

On the whole I love being just the children and I. Our (not so) little family works well for us and really that’s all that counts.

A little bit inspired by Paris for One

I picked up Paris for One by Jojo Moyes when I was in the bookshop a few weeks ago. I don’t usually read shorter stories , but I’m glad I did this one.( the Sophie Hannah quick read is great too)

The premise of the story is that a woman is stood up by her boyfriend and ends up away in Paris alone . The whole idea of it has gotten the cogs of my mind whirring .

I’m no stranger to doing things on my own. I’ve been single for years and realised a while back that if I didn’t want to miss out on eating out and cinema trips and the like I’d just have to do them alone. My friends and family do have a giggle at my little solo evenings out but I quite like it. When the kids are away I like nothing better than going somewhere nice with a book for lunch , or dinner reading with a glass of wine. I know it sounds a bit sad but when I look around a restaurant and see couples out eating both looking at their phones without a word to say to each other, then I don’t feel so  bad.
I admit the time I went to the cinema alone on Valentines day wasn’t the most uplifting and there was a low point at the theatre one time when an old lady shared her boiled sweets with me and kept patting my hand. I just thought she was being friendly but after the show she said ” it’s such a shame he didn’t turn up love , you look so nice ” She’d assumed I was on my own because I’d been stood up !!

After I’d read this book though , new thoughts started whirling through my mind. There are so many places I’d like that to visit, Paris being one. I’ve been kind of waiting to meet someone to do the whole weekend away thing with. What if I just did them on my own though?? I could go wherever I wanted , no need for compromise on destination.

 

I may have even found myself browsing the Eurostar website… The kids go away for a week in summer holidays…
Paris for One maybe ??!!!

My favourite book this year

I am a compulsive reader. A 2 books a week kinda girl ( moving up to 3/4 on weekends when the children are away at grandma’s for the weekend). Books are my pleasure, my little departure from real life for an hour or two. I get to know characters I never would usually , I  fall madly in love with men that ask nothing from me in return. It has been noted by those around me that my reading habit could be in part responsible for my dire love life. In my nutty blog though I rarely feel moved to write about books I’ve read.

Over the weekend I’ve come across my favourite book this year , one of my favourite’s ever. I love it so much ( and I know I’m being gushy) because it’s probably the first time I’ve identified so much with a character and a story.

Runaway Wife by Rowan Coleman tells the story of Rose , a woman who one day packs up and leaves her abusive marriage and runs away . She takes her daughter Maddie to a little village chasing love and kindness , but finding so much more than that in the process.

This was my story. I was the woman who one day left with little more than children , a bag full of soft toys  and a change of clothes each. I was the woman who ran away far from home without a clue or plan what would happen next , not daring to believe I wouldn’t have to go back.
Like Rose , I relied on the kindness of strangers while my mind caught up with my actions. In the book Rose cuts her long hair drastically short in order to reinvent herself. I tried to find ‘me’ after I’d left too , only I realised that I no longer knew who I was . Only the me who my abusive partner had allowed me to be. I didn’t much like her.

I’m not keen on the term ‘chick lit ‘ but this is the genre I generally read. When I’ve read books that have touched on domestic abuse before , because I do read this genre the abuse has been glossed over , it illustrates a point , it isn’t THE point. This book is much more authentic , feels more real to me. That’s not to say it’s an easy read . Despite being away from the abusive relationship for all these years talk of voicemails from the ex threatening how ‘everyone ‘ knew how Rose was unstable did bring back the tiniest touch of fear.I felt that because I’d lived it.I think if a book can tap into emotion like that though the author is doing a great job.

The hard bits were reassuring though. Doing what I did was hard .Leaving , not giving in and going back , building a new life , trying to not cause the kids more anguish than necessary was hard . I’m further on though now. My family is happy and content and though some of the book brought back buried feelings , that’s not my life now , they’re no longer my feelings and I’m so very , very grateful for that.

So my favourite book of the year so far is this one. It’s lovely and funny and shocking in parts , but it’s real. The characters are almost all delightfully endearing. I loved the complicated little girl , Maddie and I had a huge soft spot for Tilda , I’d like to know her story.

I’d so love to hear what Rose and Maddie and Shona got up to next , though I did spend a lot of last night making up what happened next in my mind ( oh come on did you hear the gale force winds??? I couldn’t sleep!)

That’s why I love books so much. You can live a story as you read it.The really good ones make you feel the story as you read it , but the extra special books , they’re the ones you think about long after the last page is turned.

If I were to tell the truth on dating sites…

I contemplated giving the whole internet dating thing a go a while back , it didn’t work. Turns out I don’t have the patience to weed out the knobheads. I often play with the idea of giving it another go , but then I snap out of it. Wouldn’t it be refreshing though to read a profile without all the cliches and lines. A brutally honest this is who I am type thing.

I think mine would read like this:

Name: NOT sweetheart/love/babe/princess

Body Type: Wobbly. Huge arse. Boobs that should NEVER be seen braless.

Drinks: never/socially/heavily depends on what kinda bloody day I’ve had!

Hobbies: Theatre and eating out ALONE

More about me
Am mentally sound most of the time , but when I veer to the wrong side of sane it’s not pretty . I’ve many emotional problems including being incapable of both intimacy and falling in love.
I have the table manners expectations of a Victorian lady. Lick your knife or speak with food in your mouth and I will leave the restaurant instantly never to be seen again.
I love crap TV and fantastic books.
Famously indecisive, incapable of talking about feelings *shudders*, bottler upper , compliment averse.
I find myself hilarious, I’m the only one but hey! Talk to myself often.
I haven’t had a man in my bed in so long so please don’t assume any of those shenanigans will be going on. They probably won’t.

Honestly I am A CATCH!!

What I’m looking for:
A chatterer
Makes a good cuppa
Patience of a Saint
Pizza bringer
Giggler
Oh and you mustn’t be a total knobhead. Though I fear if you are a total knobhead you won’t realise you are a total knobhead, you probably think you’re a right charmer! Hmmmm send me 500 words on why you’re not a knobhead and we’ll take it from there!

No emojis , use of the word banter or shortening of my name without permission.

Cannot wait to hear from you!!


Petite Pudding

Inspired by A Hundred Pieces of Me

Yesterday was one of those days when the children were playing nicely enough together that I thought I could chance a sit down with a cuppa and a book for half an hour. The book though was A Hundred Pieces of Me by Lucy Dillon, and I’m ashamed to say the children were allowed much more than their allotted computer time as I couldn’t stop reading. As soon as they were in bed I finished it. It’s such a stunning book and everyone I know will be getting it for their birthdays. I adored Gina and I fell head over heels with Nick(it’s a possibility that if I spent less time falling in love with characters from books and actually met real life people that I’d be less single, but hey I’ll work on that when I run out of books.)

The premise of the book is the idea of keeping hold of only one hundred items. We seem to surround ourselves with so much ‘stuff’ having to think about what to choose to keep is one I find really interesting . A hundred is really not many at all when you think of clothes and shoes, DVDs, books. I’ve been spending time thinking about my favourite things. Things I keep because they make me happy. I won’t bore you with hundred but I’ve come up with 10.

1) Books. I know obvious right!! Not all my books though,there’s way more than a hundred of those. It’s the books I read as a teenager.Such as Paula Danzigers The Cat Ate My Gymsuit and  Judy Blume’s Forever. Who could forget Ralph?. I love these books as I was a weird teenager and spent a lot of my time at the library or reading.These books are cosy and comfy and I’ve re bought them over the years to give my daughters in a few years. Well maybe not Forever!!

2) A dress I have never ever worn.
I bought a beautiful little black dress to wear for an occasion. It cost more than I have ever, to this day, spent on a dress and it’s lovely. Unfortunately I was in the midst of the abusive relationship at this point. One of his favourite games was to say he’d watch the kids while I went out then wait for me to get all ready and change his mind and I couldn’t go out after all. This is what happened on the night of this dress. It’s still hanging in my wardrobe because I really love it and I just know there’ll be a day I can finally wear it. There may be the matter of dropping a dress size or two first, but if it’s meant to be…

3) My old school reports
These are really just for proof to the children that I was exceptionally well behaved, hard working and a model student when I were at school. Just in case we ever get to a point where they ask ‘So you never got into any trouble at school?’ and I can confirm that actually, I never did.

4) A DVD of a family Christmas.
This is a real precious thing. My brother was a bit flash in the 80’s and were all impressed when he bought a video recorder. One of those huge ones. He’d recorded a Christmas Day when my sister and I were little and he had come round. There’s my dad singing and my mum hiding from the camera as she fusses over everyone. My sister being a huge show off and I love it. It means I can show it to the children too and they can get a tiny glimpse of how their grandparents were,  having never met them.

5) A box of letters.
I still write letters and I love receiving them so so much. My box of letters people have sent me is definitely one of my favourite things. There are letters that my niece writes me from time to time saying how she misses and loves me, usually accompanied by an unflattering drawing of me! Letters from my old primary teacher that I write to, and letters from my friends when we were teenagers and used to write to one another… Usually about boys. They’re really special and a huge pick me up on a rotten day. I do lament the distinct lack of love letters in there.. But there’s still space!

6) A half finished patchwork blanket.
I decided to make littlest girl a blanket after one particular sunny summer when she’d had a variety of sweet little summer dresses. I thought I could use the dresses to make the patches as I’ve memories of different days out in each of them. Unfortunately my haberdashery skills are lacking so it remains unfinished. One day I’ll get round to completing it though as we’ve gotten through a few other dresses since then.

7) GCSE/A level English work.
I’ve a folder with assignments and work I did. I’m unsure why it’s only English that survived but sometimes I look through it and makes me happy. Because some of it is really quite good. I’m impressed how fresh and thoughtful my mind was then. Admittedly I had a few off the wall ideas about A View From A Bridge and Lord of the Flies, but there’s some really quite well written work there and it’s nice to reminisce about the days before my brain was addled by child rearing.

7) Our art gallery.
Last year sometime we had the paints out for little girl to do some creating. It was one of those lovely days when having four children is lovely and fun and no one is bickering (yes one of those rare occasions) Anyway everyone decided to have a go and we all spent the afternoon laughing and chatting and painting and we then transformed the living room into an art gallery. Was a nice family moment and not one I had to painstakingly manufacture. So post art gallery I put all our paintings in a folder to keep

9) Cards
Birthday cards, Thank you cards, baby congratulations cards. I’m a bit of a hoarder on the greeting cards front. People are always coming in and out of our lives aren’t they? Looking at past birthday wishes even from people who drifted out of our life for one reason or another make me smile because at one point they cared enough to take the time to write a card. Oh my! this list is making me realise quite how sentimental I am.

10) Notebooks
I always have half a dozen notebooks on the go. Some contain nothing but to do lists or (failed) diet plans. Some have funny things the kids have said at some point or activity ideas to do with them. Some are Christmas shopping lists. My favourite ones though are those that I’ve used to write down things that are really bothering me or playing on my mind. I’ve always done this as a way of trying to get things straight in my mind or make sense of things. There is something really reassuring in reading back what were huge issues at one point and knowing those worries are tiny now. It’s hopeful and optimistic.

I’m not sure how I’d cut my ‘stuff’ down to a hundred,  but it is nice to have been inspired to think about my special things. I think it’ll make a good conversation topic too to have with everyone I know!!!

#Blogtober day 2 -A note to the me with 3 under 3.

Dear Kelly,
Firstly I’m aware you probably wouldn’t be able to read this. You’ve not slept properly in 3 years and your eyes are probably blurry with tiredness. In fact the only reason they’re open at all is because even a threat of your eyes shutting invokes a child shouting mummy/crying /throwing a tantrum /tripping over/vomiting.

Here’s the good news.

You’ll never be this tired again.
The kids learn to sleep and you perfect the art of the power nap.

In the mean time I know you feel guilty about putting the baby in her moses basket and getting the toddlers in your bed for an afternoon nap but don’t. It’s necessary. It’s as necessary to keep yourself ticking over as it is to keep the kids fed and happy.

Everything that you’re beating yourself up about is pointless. Dummies, late potty training, weaning, failing spectacularly at controlled crying, cuddling on demand. None of these are going to do the children any long term damage. Strange eh??
I know that they all seem such huge massive massive things but the day will come where you realise you were worrying over nothing.

L is 15 today you’ll never guess what?? He doesn’t have a dummy AND he drinks out of a glass. He gave up the precious bottle that caused you so much stress.

You’re so concerned you can’t split your time between the three of then, but your method of ‘doing the best I can’ that’s pretty effective, don’t worry. The staggered bedtime strategy you came up with to ensure each child gets at least some one on one time every day is brilliant.

You’re doing a good job. You won’t believe me of course because there’s a much louder, bigger voice telling you that you are the worst mum to walk the earth. Every. Single. Day.

There’s the elephant in the room.

This life you’re living now?
It’s not forever.
I know you’ve accepted this as your lot. That this toxic, abusive relationship with that man will be how you end your days.
You think there’s a possibility your days will actually end at his hands. On the darkest days you wish he’d just do it and quickly and end this.

Right now the prospect of a happy family life is not even on your radar. You’re emotionally numb and so very mentally wounded. He’s taken your mind and your hope.

One day though you’ll be living just you and the kids.
You’ll all be happy and content.
Home will be calm.
Life will be so, so good.
You’ll all be free.

It’s going to be a rough road I won’t lie. You’ll have to keep proving yourself, you’ll be endlessly tested and will need every bit of resolve you have. You’ll do it though.

You’re stronger than you can even begin to imagine yet.

I promise.

Lots of love,
Kelly xxx

Ps baby no. 4 – She’ll rock your world in the most incredible way.
You’ll be totally soft though and break all the parenting rules you set yourself with the elder 3!!
That’s all OK too though. You’ve got this!


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#Blogtober17














My daughters are a real handful.. I’m so glad

My parenting journey started with 2 sons, born 18 months apart. I wanted to raise thoughtful, kind, compassionate boys and I think I did. As they grew to be the teenagers they are now I wanted them to grow to be aware of the world around them. I want them to make it a better place. I want them to be aware that as intelligent, white, males that they have huge privilege. I want them to use this privilege well. I want to raise good men.

Parenting is no walk in the park be that daughters or sons, we all know that. It’s a long, tiring, emotionally draining slog. I don’t need to say it’s worthwhile though do I? Well it is!
I may be looking through rose tinted spectacles but I never felt parenting my sons a particular challenge. There were challenging times certainly, but they gave me confidence I was getting this parenting lark right. At 14 and 15 now they are respectful of boundaries, know how far to push them and know what behaviour won’t be tolerated. I know it appears I’m making these boys seem like the world’s most perfectly behaved children. I’m not and they’re not.Raising the boys so far though has been a relatively calm experience.

When my eldest daughter came along it was a shock to the system from the off. Where the boys as toddlers would stop what mischief they were up to at the “No” word,my daughter would laugh and carry on. She’s always identified boundaries then taken a run up and leapt over them. She questions, she talks of unfairness and gets frustrated when she sees it in action. She shouts and argues and needs to say her piece at all costs. So much so she is happy to take any consequences that come her way such is her need to be heard. I feel I should say here that she’s not shouting that she doesn’t want bolognaise for tea or just being obnoxious. In her mind the things she argues for are hugely important to her.

Her little sister shows similar traits of identifying how girls and boys are treated differently in school sometimes and she does have a moan in a way that a 7 year old can. It makes me wonder if girls just inherently know from a young age that they will always need to shout louder to be heard, will have to work harder to be recognised, will always have to fight for every bit of space they want to take up.

In the same vein, maybe my boys know that they can afford to be laid back and a bit lazy as there are so many fights that they’ll simply never HAVE to fight.

Maybe I’m over thinking. Maybe I just have 4 unique individuals and their personalities have nothing to do with sex. I’m doubtful of that though.

My eldest daughter talks of being in the top maths set where when boys finish first they get extension work, whereas if she finishes first she’s asked to help those struggling ( what with girls being all nurturing obviously!) She’s been told off for questioning this, but as long as she’s polite she’s my backing.
She’s written letters to sports shops because she had to buy shin pads for football labelled boys as the shop didn’t label any girls or children’s. It was boys or nothing.You can read her letter hereshinpads

I’ve been in a shop with my daughter when she’s witnessed a dad tell his daughter she couldn’t have football stickers as they were for boys and to get Hello Kitty ones instead. I saw how she wanted to ask him why? I saw her biting her tongue but really not wanting to (I regret speeding her out of the shop that day. I should have let her ask him why)
Faced with all this and only 13 (I know she’s a whole ton of misogynistic crap to deal with yet) there’s no wonder she’s frustrated. She’s way more aware of the world and sexism than I was at her age. Feminist mum will do that for you I guess. It’s going to make a person question and want to stand up for themselves and others.

I know my daughter will be labelled stroppy and mouthy and feisty (yuk), words never used to describe her male counterparts who behave the same way.

If we can channel her spirit though, surround her with strong females who do listen to her, who don’t hush her or tell her to behave more ‘like a girl’ (something I’ve been picking people up on all her life) I’m hopeful that these daughters of mine can and will try to change their world for the better and that can be no bad thing.

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