Monthly Archives: March 2017

Mothers day hints for single mums

I’m not a fan of Mother’s day. It’s up there with Valentines day for making you feel a bit crap.
I don’t have a mum, I haven’t had for almost 18 years now and the whole Mothers day thing being shoved in my face does sting a bit. Being a single mum also means there’s going to be no day of being spoilt so really I could do without it.

HOWEVER the kids? They bloody love it!  They love making a fuss and so for them really we have to just smile through it.

I’ve been a single mum for getting on for a decade now and I have picked up some hints along the way to share with you.

1) Buy yourself a gift

There’s only one rule here. It doesn’t matter what the gift is but it has to be something you want not that you need! (I see you there thinking about treating yourself to a new iron – No. Not allowed.)

Can be something as simple as a box of chocolates or a trashy magazine. Just have a treat. I’ve tickets to see Wicked (yes again) this year. If you’ve older kids let them wrap it, they love that, it just might take all day day to get through the whole roll of sellotape that’s been used!

Extra handy hint:If you  do go down the chocolate route buy two boxes, you’ll have to share the first one with the little people, have a box B for when they’re in bed!

2) Breakfast in Bed

The kids love the idea of breakfast in bed. Obviously as a single mum this is not going to be a full English brought on a pretty tray after a lazy lie in until 10am. That’s OK, we are adaptable.

Buy croissants and orange juice. After you’ve gotten up at ridiculous o clock and seen to the kids, put on the laundry and more than likely watched more cbeebies than is mentally healthy you can make a big deal out of going back to bed and let the small people fetch pastries and juice. If you’ve older ones you can push the boat out to tea and toast, though you’ll probably have to remake the tea when you ‘get up’ as tea made by children is rarely good. In saying that I’m a bit picky with tea as it is and there’s probably only a handful of adults I’d trust with that job!

3) Take 10 minutes

I know this is way easier said than done but it’s Mother’s day, we’ve got to try and make ten mins peace happen. Let the kids have a bit of extra screen time (do not feel guilty  about it)  take the Sunday papers and a coffee and just sit for a little while. If you’ve a whole tribe of kids like me you can suggest to elder ones that doing a jigsaw with their sibling while you flick through a magazine would be a huge mother’s day treat and sneak a cup of (well made) uninterrupted tea.

4) Speak to a non single mum.

This may sound mean but make it one with a partner who’s not great. Don’t talk to the woman whose perfect husband let her lie in until lunch before waking her with their children clean and dressed before having a great family day. That woman is really lucky and we’re happy for her but being a single mum on mother’s day can feel a bit flat. You see happy families everywhere you turn, letting a mum who does have a partner but the only mention of Mother’s day she’s heard is him asking her what she’s got HIS mum rant will make you realise you’re not alone in your Mother’s day misery.

5) Take social media with a pinch of salt

For every #soblessed perfect family picture there’s rows and bickering children and too much washing and not enough hours in the day.

As single parents we may not have someone to to share the chores or help with parenting duties or even ask how our day’s been and that can be really tough and lonely. Really though all us mums, single or not, are just trying to do our best and not mess up too badly. Don’t let social media be a stick to beat yourself with.

Have a lovely Mother’s Day
You’re doing an amazing job.
You are enough.
You are irreplaceable.
You are entitled to a hot drink and a solo loo trip today!



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Mummy Times Two

 

I’m Going To The Blog On Mosi Conference Icebreaker…. 

​Hi everyone I’m Kelly. 

I blog at daydreams of a mum. 

I’m @daydreamer_mum on Twitter 

Blog on msi is my very first blogging conference. I’m still not sure I’ll dare actually go to be honest – images of being turfed out for not being a ‘proper’ blogger keep flitting through my mind! So this Icebreaker idea I thought was great!! 

Share a recent picture of you (if you are an anonymous blog, a drawing is fine)

Describe yourself in three words

Ridiculously absent minded

How long have you been blogging and what made you start?

4 years. I started as a therapeutic way to document my new life after domestic abuse. Only in the past year though have I been really trying at it as though people may actually read and joining in with the (brilliant) social side! 

What was the inspiration behind your blog name?

I’m legendary for my, they say dozy and gormless, I say daydreamy ways! Daydreams of a mum was born. 

(though I am also stuck with the Kelly and the kids name on wordpress as it looks a total faff to change.. .) 

What is the best thing to come from your blog so far?

Messages from other women who have been through abuse saying that reading my blog makes them realises it’s not just them who feel this way. 

Your most remembered thing from your childhood

Holidays at Butlins with my parents and sister 

Something interesting you might not know about me is . . .

I have a fish phobia-dead or alive they turn my stomach. I’ve never eaten fish in my life. 

Which social media platform best describes your personality and why?Probably Facebook as it combines my blog and writing about things that are really important to me AND bickering with my family! 

What is your happy song?

Flashdance!! 

What is your favourite alcoholic drink

Gin and tonic 

What is your favourite cake?

Aaargh not a huge cake fan! I know I know that’s weird, takes an exceptional one to get my attention 

What is your favourite takeaway dish?

Chicken jalfrezi , rice AND chips and aand chapatti. No I don’t know why my size 10 jeans no longer fit me either. 

Where is your dream holiday destination and why?

Private island in the sunshine! 

If you had a magical power, would you want to have and why?

Teleporting – because EVERY day on the  school run, small girl laments my lack of one and therefore making her legs ache! 

What one weapon would help you survive a zombie apocalypse?

Oh I’d be easy prey, I’m a huge coward! 

What would you have on your gravestone?

She was a bit daft but she did try to be nice

You make headline news around the world in 2 years time… but for what reason?

Oh I’m so clumsy, prob some viral vid of my trousers splitting or walking down main road skirt tucked in knickers or getting my hair trapped round a tree branch (all true stories) 

If an EMP wiped out all mechanical forms of transport, how would you get to BlogOn?

I’m lucky enough to be close enough to walk. .. It’d take a while but worth it I am sure! 

Can’t wait to read everyone else’s. I am the noisiest! 




Here’s my Facebook page 

A little relapse, a stumble backwards doesn’t mean back to square one 

I’ve had a weird couple of weeks

.

Nothing huge has happened, no trauma, no incidents of note.

I’ve just not felt ‘right’. I’ve not had a real anxiety attack for a while and none of the usual triggers were present. I could just feel it creeping up on me. That sinking feeling walking around ASDA, you know the kind you get  when you’ve messed up in a big way or forgotten something really important? You feel panic and nausea and dread. Well that feeling has been present intermittently for no reason at all.
The reassuring thing about my personal anxiety disorder is that it’s usually fairly predictable, but this was new. So I’ve spent  a couple of weeks permanently looking over my shoulder waiting for the prod that my anxiety was giving me to turn into the huge shake that usually follows.

Only it didn’t.

So of course this made me anxious. I was anxious that my anxiety disorder wasn’t presenting as I expected. Well played anxiety.

This escalated over the last few days into another classic of mine but one I really thought I’d seen the back of. The waking up in a morning, not even opening my eyes but already feeling my breathing pattern wasn’t right, feeling  dread and panic. It’s been a real nuisance and left me shaken a bit and unsettled.

Shaken and unsettled, in my case then trigger the big guns of my anxiety. Ridiculous thought patterns culminating in horrible self loathing and self doubt and all round a lot of thoughts about how rubbish I am.

Last weekend this little blog of mine had been read lots and I’d had the most lovely, flattering comments about it. Such positive words that ordinarily I’d have been proud as punch about. Now when this happened whilst anxious brain was in charge of things my thinking went more like this “Oh no people are saying nice things about my writing because they feel so sorry for me about how shockingly shit it is. That’s it I’m deleting the whole thing – who did you think you were anyway putting your nonsense out there? ? Why on earth would anyone want to listen to you? ”
I suppose one good part of knowing your own mind can go rogue on you from time to time is that I can acknowledge I’m anxious and never to make any decisions at that time!

 

I mean, I was feeling rubbish and hating on myself a bit so reached for the tortilla chips and salsa for comfort. Between the salsa jar and my mouth the salsa dropped  off down my pj’s. Now ordinarily I’d roll my eyes at my clumsiness and carry on. Not when anxiety brain is in the house though. Thought process then was “Oh for goodness sakes  you can’t even EAT now? Is there anything you can do you useless arse”  At this one I’ve got to admit once the feeling had eased I even managed to giggle at my own craziness! Tortilla related trauma, that’s a new one.

I talk often recently on this blog about how healed I am after the abusive relationship, how I’ve never been stronger mentally. This is true, really it is.

So then if I don’t document the slips, if I gloss over the hard times I feel like a bit of a fraud.

The thing I’m taking from this bout of crapness though is this-it’s a not a big disaster, not really.

A couple of hard, horrid weeks doesn’t mean I’m back to the beginning again. It doesn’t mean anxiety wins. It doesn’t mean all huge steps forward and the achievements I’ve made are wiped out.

I’m still here looking forwards, I’m still lucky enough that an anxious period is the rare thing not the 24 hour nagging noise that it once was.

I know it will pass
I’ve  stumbled.
I tripped, but I’m back on my feet now and surely it’s the continuing to get back up and try again that counts, it’s talking about the highs AND lows that helps.
So let’s keep trying.


Here’s my Facebook page 

 

Shameless plug : If you like my nonsense and fancy nominating me in the #BiBs2017 you can do so just here http://www.britmums.com/nominate-for-the-bibs2017/

 

A Thank You to the women who shaped me on International Women’s Day. …  

I’m so very lucky to have known many amazing women in my life. Ordinary women whose everyday life may not seem that extraordinary. Who may go through their lives not realising that they’ve impacted on another person. I dislike the thought of that. People have made a difference to me. I want them to know that, today more than any other surely has to be the time to say. 

It started as a kid. Surrounded by strong women who made being a mum and keeping an organised house and working look effortless. 

My mum, my grandma, aunties. Older cousins, my mum’s friends, my friends mums. Just these capable women who made life look easy. It’s only now as a mum and so called grown up that I can appreciate how much hard work and stress must have been going on behind the scenes to keep juggling all those balls. 

You made us all believe it was possible for us too, I’m grateful for that. 

To my teenage friends, the girls I grew up with. Some of those girls I don’t even know now but their influence has still shaped me somewhat.  

My teenage friends are the girls almost solely responsible for the fact that as a teenager I did have a healthy amount of self esteem and confidence in myself. I got such positivity from those girls and as we found our way around boys and exams and nights out (there were some brilliant nights out and thanks Al for keeping the unsuitable boys away) 
My dad died when I was just 15.You all called up and checked on me. I have a 15 and 16 year old myself now and that you girls had it in you to be so supportive so young is something again I can appreciate even more now than I did then. We were only young-bloody hell life had barely even begun to throw the kind of crap at us that the next couple decades would but your empathy was amazing. 

Years later when my mum died, you were all there again. I felt looked after and cared about and loved and at that time that was exactly what I needed. You took my sister under your wings like she was your own. I’ve probably never really told you all how you made the most shitty of times less so with your friendship. 

Thank you

I’m the worst at keeping in touch and I am sorry. I’ve got to be able to rectify that now the kids are getting older and I have that weird thing of spare time back! 

Let’s crack open the taboo and lemonade, grab a bottle of Metz (how nice was that stuff?) and relive our youth! 

To the friends I made when I ran from the abusive relationship. The one woman in particular who took me and made me feel less alone, who introduced me to her own friends knowing I didn’t know a soul. That kind of compassion has never been forgotten and I honestly think without your kindness and friendship there were times I’d have been tempted to run straight back. Again I’m so bad at keeping in touch and I’ve no excuse. Just know you kept a fragile woman semi sane. Thank you Janette you made such a difference. 

To the bloggers who inspire and amaze me daily, thank you for sharing your stories. In this crazy whirlwind that is life to feel like there are other women going through the same old crap as you is a powerful thing. 

To my mum friends – the Playground crew, the schoolyard mafia. 

You rock. 

You’ve all so much going on in your own lives and it’s kinda inspirational how you keep going day after day with a shed load of shit going on at the same time. I’ve never had school mum friends before, in all these years, what with my social anxiety and the fact I’m generally just not keen on many people when it comes down to it. In you guys though I feel like I’ve found my tribe (and my PA’s – organised Kelly is on her way-you just wait! ) 

Obviously then there’s my main woman. My best friend, fave adult human and sister who enhances my life immeasurably just by being around. You’re funny and kind and brave and I hope to be a little more like you when I grow up! 

Women. You’re the best! 
Thank you for being in my life and I will work harder on keeping in touch. 
All your amazing woman-ness (Yeah made up word I know) has played a part in shaping me into the  woman I am today.. . Yes. It’s all your faults!!! 
Xxxxxx

Reading in bed : The Ultimate comfort 


There’s nothing makes me happier than hopping into bed made with fresh bedding, an early night and a great book. Nothing.
It’s the soother at the end of a rough day, it’s a comfort when you’re tired or ill, it offers an escape from the day to day stresses of life. It’s the one simple thing that I can do that soothes my soul and is just a haven of calm and indulgence.

It’s always been this way.

When I was little, and my dad worked nights  or away I’d get into my mum’s bed and we’d sit and read my Enid Blyton books for an hour or so before I went off to my own bed to sleep after probably sneaking in one more chapter! It’s   a really nice, cosy memory of books and chat.

When I was a teenager laying  in bed with a pile of books was still an indulgence I loved. It just was no longer limited to being a bedtime activity. I’d go to the library first thing of a weekend, get get a load of books then just spend the majority of the weekend just sitting in bed reading for as long as I could get away with. Whole weekends were spent in the company of Paula Danziger and Judy Blume books. It sounds like I was an anti social hermit and I suppose I was a little bit, but I’ve always been a fan of my own company and well books don’t ask anything from you in return!

My snug, reading in bed hobby had to take a break for a good few years though. The mummy years. The days when I really could have done with soothing and calm comfort. Only I’d not have been able to keep my eyes open to read with 3 little ones. Having a baby roommate in one guise or another for pretty much 5 years wasn’t conducive to bedtime reading either. When you’re at that sleep deprived place so grateful all 3 babies are sleeping you’d never dare risk that with switching on a bedside lamp. That way lay madness! ! My babies always slept with one ear open it seemed anyway. They woke for a 2am babble and cuddle if they so much as heard me turn over in bed, turning pages, reading would have had them thinking it was party time! !

It came back though, eventually.
It took way longer than I’d expected.

Long after small girl came along and I was back room sharing with  a cute little human who believed even me breathing during the night was secret code for please come and play for an hour. Long after horrible debilitating bouts of anxiety left me unable to read as I simply couldn’t concentrate on a whole  sentence let alone  a paragraph.

It’s back now though.
An early night, fresh bedding, a good book. The trio that make up my ultimate indulgence.

Last weekend was the culmination of the middle two children’s birthday celebrations. It was a noisy, chaotic weekend (in a really good way! ) Once everyone was tucked up in bed though, I did likewise and spent a good couple hours reading, cosy and in silence.

I think that will remain forever my ultimate treat.




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My favourite book of February… 


I’ve had such a great reading month this month. During half term I had 3 days and nights child free. I absolutely maximised the quiet in this house and read a lot. 

It got me to realising that reading, for me, is more than an indulgence but a necessity. A good book or even just half hours peace reading keeps me balanced and restored. It keeps my anxiety at bay and my mood relaxed. A good book does me as much good as a good night’s sleep for replenishing the spirit. So reading surely isn’t just an indulgence but healthy. My story and I’m sticking to it. Anyway, I digress. ..as per. . 

My favourite book of the month was one I read in one day. Now I can rarely do that in a 4 child household! My fellow bookworms will know the book you can consume in one day is a good one. 

The book is All I Ever Wanted by Lucy Dillon.  

I must confess to being a big fan of hers. One of my favourite ever books was A Hundred Pieces Of Me which inspired this blog post. So I had high hopes for this one. 

All I Ever Wanted tells the story of Caitlin, a very recently separated mum of two. After her marriage breaks down her youngest child, Nancy who has always been a chatterbox,  stops speaking. We see how Caitlin and her ex Patrick deal with this whilst navigating separation and parenthood. Though at times throughout the book you just want to shake the pair of them it’s easy to identify with their attempting to parent whilst separated. 

We also get a glimpse into the life of the children’s aunt Eva. The widow of a famous man , the diaries of whom  are about to be published. Eva was my favourite character in the book (I’d certainly like to read HER diaries…it’s OK she’s a book character, normal non diary reading rules don’t apply!) As secrets from her marriage come to light you feel such empathy for her. This is why I love Lucy Dillon’s books, her characters are so rounded you can feel irritated by them and heartbroken for them in the space of a couple of chapters. This story drags you in from the start (and in my case keeps you there for a whole day, under a blanket only pausing to make more tea) 

It’s a really beautiful book which would make a lovely Mother’s day gift I reckon. 



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