Monthly Archives: November 2017

Being more kind….

It’s world kindness day.
Out of everything I hope my children grow to be , kind was always a huge one. I always thought if I could just bring good , kind , compassionate people into this messed up world than I’d have achieved something parenting wise.

I’d like to think I am kind. I certainly try , there’s always ways to improve on that though isn’t there? So I’ve been thinking of ways we can be a bit kinder in everyday life and I’ve come up with a few ideas:

Compliment people

Depending on how brave I am feeling on any given day I really like to tell people if they look nice or if something they have done is great or if I’m in awe of them.

I’m the person in the clothes shop changing room who tells you you look gorgeous in that dress and you must buy it , I’m the person in the supermarket who empathises over a toddler tantrum.

I’m really only mostly any good at this with strangers though! I struggle with telling people I know that they are amazing. I always worry I don’t sound genuine , I think that’s part of my social anxiety rearing its ugly head but I’m going to try harder.

Make people’s lives easier 

If you ask me to do you a favour I’ll try my best to , as most people do. What about the favours that go unasked though. What about the people desperate for a little help but would never ever ask . Maybe I could nip in there and save them from that. Take soup to a pal feeling under the weather . Be the listening ear on the phone to the friend who is trying to keep it light hearted but you can tell really needs to vent. Be more instinctive I guess would help with this , go with my gut feeling , if the person I attempt to help doesn’t want it then that’s cool but try at least.

Let people know you care

Especially people who you love but have fallen out of touch with , the friends that have fallen by the way side but you miss. I’m a letter writer (I know I’m like a Victorian!) it wouldn’t take any effort just to send a note or an email or a text to those people . Enough of I keep meaning to…and actually do it!

Rein in Ms judgypants 

I like to think I’m not a judgy person , let’s face it ,when you are me and your day to day life resembles a chaotic shambles you’d have a bloody cheek to judge anyone else. Sometimes you do though , I’m ashamed to admit it but I have to if I’m being honest. Just silently in my head I may contemplate strangers choices but it ends here.

Help with loneliness

I don’t mean force yourself upon people who actively choose to be alone (like me most of the time) The mum who has come to toddler group that first time though , terrified of the mummy mafia not tricky to make her a cuppa and make her feel welcome. Listen to the person who is sat next to you on the bus giving you their life story , you might be the only person they’ve spoken to all day. Get the kids to make extra Christmas decorations or cookies and take them to people who are on their own over the festive period.

In all this extra kindness though , don’t forget about yourself. It’s often ourselves we’re the least kind to , we’re the most judgy of and we don’t help enough. As the saying goes you can’t pour from an empty jug and if you’re all out of kindness towards yourself you’ll struggle to pass it on others.

Have a well-done Wispa when the kids are in bed finally , tell yourself you’re doing a great job , have half an hour with a trashy mag to recharge your batteries.

Self kindness is key!

Happy Kindness Day!!!

Do you have any kindness tips to share?

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Getting older doesn’t totally suck!!!

In my 20’s I dreaded turning 30. I don’t know why , just seemed to feel as though that would be the point where youth ended . That at 30 I’d be stepping onto a conveyor belt that was just all systems go to old age. I didn’t much fancy that. I was too busy whinging about how I’d wasted my best years with shitty men.

Turns out I was wrong.

Right now, at this moment , at 37 I am more content than I’ve ever been .

A few things seem to have come together to make this the case . Is it egotistical for me to talk about them? Maybe it is , shut this down if it is , accept my apologies and there’s no hard feelings.

You still with me??? Fab?

First reason getting older is good is that parenting has changed. Having 4 children was never going to be a walk in the park. Now the elder 3 are teens though , that physical exhaustion that comes with early parenthood is gone. These kids sleep and aren’t constantly demanding your attention , time , soul… Parenting teens is a different type of hard it’s mentally and emotionally tricky . You have to learn a whole other language , the non verbal kind . You don’t worry less but that bit of ‘me time’ you get and the occasional lie in means you can worry with more energy in the bank and that’s handy!! Once the kids get to teenage age though you’ve grown into your parenting style and the self doubt that comes with early parenthood isn’t so severe.Things feel a little more relaxed these days.

Secondly , for me , is realising that I’ve changed as a person in the past few years and embracing that! I’ve gone on enough on my blog about feeling healed after toxic relationships but that is such a major thing for me. Not all the changes I recognise in myself are so major though. A couple of years ago I wrote this about my hug hatred. I assumed hating physical affection was just a personality trait I was stuck with. As it turned out the more healed I got , the better I felt about myself , the more I relaxed and allowed people in rather than keep my icy little wall built around myself complete with KEEP OUT sign!!
As it happens I’m not cold hearted and I do like affection and even a hug or two! Might have taken me till 37 to learn this about myself but better late than never I guess!

This links into my 3rd reason getting older is great . I’m much better socially these days. It took so many years to truly believe that people don’t always think I’m an idiot and stupid and pointless. Took even longer for me to stop caring about the people who do think that. Once I did get to that point though it meant I became more relaxed in social situations.

I like people,I like talking to them I enjoy socialising. I had an epiphany in  Edinburgh over the summer along these lines. My life and my mental well-being are enriched by having good people in my life!
I’ll always be the woman who loves her own company and will happily do dinner , theatre ,cinema alone. I also though am happy doing these things in other people’s company in a way I wasn’t when I was younger. I was too busy in my ice queen ice castle .
Also though quite crucially I’ve almost mastered the art of not spending time with anyone who makes me feel negative . Now that skill took WAY too long to learn , but hey Rome was not built in a day.

Finally something that really pleases me the more I get older is having that bit more confidence in giving my opinions, in stating my view, in being braver in vocalising issues that are important to me. You poor unfortunates who read my blog know that. Feminism, the quest for equality,Domestic abuse, emotional abuse, politics… I’m willing to nail my flag to the mast about my take on these things. Younger me would have been way too afraid of upsetting people.

All in all 37 year old me is a more confident,more relaxed woman that 27 year old me could have been.  I am at my best when relaxed and not giving in to old neurosis like the hug thing. Finally I am happy with who I am , my take on the world , what I will stand for . I choose to surround myself with people who who make me feel empowered and positive and I hopefully do that in return .

37 is really quite good , bring on 40 I say!!

3 Little Buttons


DIY Daddy

          #ablogginggoodtime

 

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Not Just the 3 of Us

JakiJellz

Me, Being Mummy

A surprise gift that made my heart happy!

I love random acts of kindness.
I really love ‘just because’ presents.
I really, really ,really love thoughtfulness.

My sister nailed all three this week.

She made me a mix tape! Well a YouTube playlist , so a 2017 version! If you follow me on Social Media you’ll have seen my excitement about this! 

Back in t’day my sister and I were all young and thin and hot (we didn’t realise it then of course we were all full of hang ups that you don’t realise are absolute nonsense until you’re 37 and look back at photos of younger you and think ‘oh I looked great then why the hell did I waste those years on undeserved boys?’) We loved nothing more than going out dancing and staying out late and generally just really having fun! 

(My hair is tied back here I am not indeed bald)

Though my sister is my favourite adult human in the world we just don’t do that anymore! When the opportunity arises to spend time together these days we’re way more content to get in our PJs and start slurping on the wine. 

For an hour though when I whacked on her playlist full of the songs I really loved or that used to be played when we went out back then I was transported back to being a young woman who loved a good dance (I admit eldest girl cringed and said she hoped I didn’t used to dance like that when we went out ) and was giddy with nostalgia!

Music is so good at that isn’t it ? One song can bring back such emotions and such vivid memories and feelings . Unlike anything else I think! When I heard JLo, I wasn’t dancing round my living room but out happy and having fun like a youngster.

This gesture just made me so happy for a few reasons. Firstly nothing makes me happier than feeling that someone knows me well , all my quirks and weirdness and yet still loves me and knows how to make me smile. My sister can do this without trying , she just is another part of me. 

Secondly that she went to the effort of putting that together to make me smile is just sweet!

Thirdly the song choices were perfect!!

So I’ve got a challenge for you all ….

Make some one a 2017 version of a playlist , even if it’s only a couple of songs.

Maybe a friend you’ve lost touch with except to like the occasional Facebook status but there are songs that just remind you of her

Maybe it’s your partner and there are songs from way back when that you just both ‘get’

Make someone a playlist. I promise that they will love it and appreciate the sentiment….then come onto my Facebook page here and tell us all about it ,share it if you like!

Here’s my playlist if you’re interested

3 Little Buttons

         


When 4 become 1…

You’re thinking of the Spice Girls now aren’t you?? ….yeah me too,  but this post is kid related not a 90s throwback. Although I might start giving them Spice-esque nicknames : Grumpy kid , Stroppy kid , gob almighty kid , perma-hungry kid ??Might catch on!! 

Anyway , I digress….(that’s going to be the title of my autobiography by the way)

When you have a whole tribe of kids and only 1 of you the all important one on one time can be tricky. Well when I say tricky , 1 into 4 simply does not go. It can be impossible.

Now the children are older it has become easier. I’m now able to do something with one child without everyone else wanting in! In fact these days they generally like being left alone to rot in front of a screen.

Recently there have been a few occasions though where indulging the individual children’s interests and passions has made me appreciate even more just how good it is to have those one on one times. 

My children all have very different interests. The one thing they have in common though is that when they love , they love hard. Much like their mother when they have a passion they are very enthusiastic about it!

This is how I found myself joining hundreds of people in a queue at 9 am in a Waterstones in Manchester. 

Eldest child has been into F1 since he could point and make zoomy noises on the TV whilst men in cars drove super fast (look I’m not the expert here!)

As with many things (Doctor Who , Hull City…) I got sucked in by my children’s enthusiasm and ended up being way more interested in it than I would have been. So I have found myself getting up at stupid o clock to watch races with him , I was happy to see Lewis Hamilton win the world title again and I do have a basic understanding of the rules (well except they seem to change every season!)

Anyway eager to please mum here saw Jenson Button was doing a book signing in Manchester so I told him about it. I’ve been to a few book events and signings here myself. Always very civilised affairs you buy your ticket, arrive 10 mins before the event and have a lovely time. 

This was different. I didn’t realise this was different until I had passed on the info and accepted his invitation to go with him (I’m a bit needy and they rarely want to hang out with me these days) 

This event though , involved queuing. 

Lots of queuing.

4 hours of queuing.

We were total amateurs though, the guy in front of us had travelled all the way from Northern Ireland and the man at the front of the queue had been camped outside all night! Our 15 min train ride and 4 HOURS OF QUEUING was pretty minor relatively speaking.

Despite the queuing. It really was a lovely thing to do together. I learnt a few things about my son that morning. Mainly that his F1 knowledge is almost encyclopaedic. Also though that he is a lovely ,polite , funny , chatty ,  young man (of course I knew this already but it’s quite a special insight into the kind of human he is and I just felt proud )

So the boy met one of his heroes , I know they say not to do that but Jenson was lovely and chatty and unrushed and just look at the boys face? He may be 17 but that is a look of joy … they’re rarer those moments as they get older , you’ve got to work harder for them. So what’s 4 hours between friends!!!



One Messy Mama




The Pramshed


JakiJellz



Not Just the 3 of Us



Rhyming with Wine

How my words ended up a real actual book!!

This little blog of mine began life as a secret anonymous blog.

I’ve always said I can only tell my story , I can’t speak for any other woman’s experiences . I wrote about life after domestic abuse, my emotional intimacy issues , about parenting a whole tribe of children. All the things that were specific to me.

My blog developed , it became a place to just write about what was going on in my head at my given time. It’s my little spot in the internet to talk about shared parenting woes and how teens and toddlers are similar and about how much I fancy Andy Murray *swoons*

Writing about my mental health struggles though. That was terrifying. I was so scared of pressing publish on the first post I wrote about it I did that thing were just just shut your eyes , click and squeal ? What do you mean you’ve not a clue ?

What if everyone thought I was nuts? .What if everyone thought me an awful mother ? What if my family and friends were embarrassed of me ?

I needn’t have worried of course . Suffering with anxiety doesn’t even register on the reasons people are embarrassed of me !!There are way too many better ones (yes one is the Andy Murray thing!)

I suffer with anxiety.

When I first moved away from home it was an all encompassing , debilitating condition. It was every day , it had a huge impact. As time has passed I’m lucky it’s eased a lot . Still shows up at times to bite me on the arse ,remind me I can stumble at any time but nowhere near as bad as it as that first year.

Writing about it helps.

So when I was asked for permission for one of my posts to be used in a book I was surprised but proud. That must mean my writing isn’t utter horseshit right?

My post had been published on the I am 1 in 4 website previously and now they were making a book as a fundraiser in order for them to keep up the amazing work they do to tackle stigma associated with mental health.

I’m very proud to be featured alongside some raw and heartfelt pieces by some great writers.

Also…. seeing your words on actual pages in a book feels pretty special

The book itself is here … it’s a fundraiser so I promise I’m not trying to force it on you so I can buy a holiday home in St Tropez…. that’ll be my novel!!!

The I am 1 in 4 Facebook page is here if you want to join a supportive community without any worries of stigma.

My Facebook page is here if my ramblings are your thing!!!

Reflections from me

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Bringing up Georgia

Dear men worried a smile is now sexual harassment..

I’ve read so much panic from men recently who are worried about women coming forward with their experiences of sexual harassment.
“Where will it all end ”
“can we no longer put a kiss at the end of emails?”
“Can we no longer ask a woman on a date ?”
“No man is safe from these allegations ”

I’ll be generous and say yes there will always be people who make up stuff. Believe me though when I say the number of women who do this is so , so small  compared to the number of women who play down their experiences , that have never and will never speak of what they’ve been through , that have been told by their harasser or abuser that they are making an unnecessary fuss and have believed it . That have had their lives made worse by their experiences ,whose mental health has  been ruined by what they have been through.

I’ll again mention of course this happens the other way around too.

Sexual harassment towards women is there all the time , every day.
It’s been in our lives forever , it’s exhausting and relentless . Our mindsets have been trained over years to behave in the way we can best protect ourselves. We don’t walk alone in the dark. If we do we’ve our phones in one hand and our keys ready to use as self defense in the other. We know the creepy guys in work that we would ensure no other woman was left in a one on one scenario with.

Some men probably should be worried that we are daring to speak out . That we are daring to say no more. That names are being named. That we are coming together to protect women who are being silenced , that we are backing other women , that we are saying #metoo.

I’m not close to many men. The ones I am  though aren’t worried or fearful. They’re ready to stand by these women too. Men who use power and privilege to harass and intimidate women make them ashamed to be a man .

As a man , if you have never laid your hands or any other part of your body on a women without her consent (in fact call me a feminist loony I’m going to say enthusiastic consent) , if you have never made sexual comments to a woman that has made her feel uncomfortable , if you’ve never invaded a woman’s space or relentlessly persued her ignoring the word no , then there’s nothing at all to worry about and I think the good men know that.

Keeping silent about something awful that has happened to you doesn’t mean it hasn’t happened. Sometimes we keep quiet because we just can’t face digging up that memory.

Sometimes we keep quiet because we put ‘just’ before our experiences “it was JUST his hand on my leg”

Sometimes we don’t speak out because we minimise our experiences as it wasn’t as bad as what had happened to another woman.

Sometimes we’re still intimidated by the man’s power or influence and stay quiet.

So when women do speak , loudly . When we come together .When names of men who ‘aren’t like that ‘ are mentioned. Then listen , give oxygen to their words.

There are so many of us , with so many stories whether they are ever told or not. The good guys , the men who love us and respect us will stand by us as women , not just because we’re sisters or mums or aunties or wives ,but because we’re human. They’ll stand by unworried and supportive. We need as many of those as possible.