Category Archives: Christmas

#Blogtober17 – day 25 – year in review – My year in blog posts

Aarrgh I’ve fallen behind with Blogtober , so playing catch up by a day at minute. 

As such I’m afraid this is a bit of a lazy one , I’m sorry . My year in review is going to be a year in blog posts.

January 

2017 was to be the year my elder 3 children were to gain a step mum. Always going to be tricky . I wrote a letter to my children’s soon to be stepmum , and that was our year off to a start!

FEBRUARY 

Always a hectic month here. The middle two children’s birthdays are just over a week apart. Also my sister’s birthday in Feb , and of course so much Valentine post I don’t know what to do with makes for a busy February. I wrote a  slushfest of a letter to my youngest son to celebrate his 15th birthday.

MARCH 

Mother’s day month. This year was a really lovely mother’s day. Now the kids are older they’re ok to go out shopping and choose me a gift as opposed to me picking present from them. Mother’s Day can be really tough if you’re a single mum so I wrote hints and tips for mother’s day for single mums

APRIL 

The children are all getting older ,seemingly at a speedier pace than ever before. At 17,16 and 15 they just don’t need me in the same way that they once did and had a bit of a midlife/kids getting older crisis

MAY 

May was a big month for a blogger!! I attended BlogOn a blogging conference , my first ever one. I picked up some great tips and was proud of myself for having the courage to go! Also in May there was a blogger storm when the Daily Mail *eye roll* published a piece ripping mum bloggers to shreds. The response from bloggers made me really proud to be part of the community and I wrote a love letter to mum bloggers as an antidote

JUNE 

Was another month where reading judgy articles in newspapers made my blood boil. I wrote about how my children do not come from a broken home

JULY 

OMG….

I’m still not over the excitement…

It still makes me giddy with tummy butterflies when I think of it!!

In fact it’s one of my 2017 highlights!

WE GOT A FEMALE DOCTOR!!!!

We are huge Doctor Who fans in this house and I was so overwhelmed that the next Doctor will be female it made me Ice Queen girl into a total crybaby , amongst other things

AUGUST

I’ve lots of family highlights to look back on in 2017 , a personal one though for me has to be a trip to Edinburgh Fringe. 

It sounds like the hugest exaggeration but it was a total mindset changer!

SEPTEMBER 

Back to school!!!!

I made new school year resolutions

I’m not doing so badly so far  , I think I have upped my organisational game ever so slightly!!!!

OCTOBER 

So here we are !!!

I decided to take part in Blogtober. A blogging challenge that means blogging every day in October. I thought it would be interesting to test myself to write based on prompts rather than just whatever pops into my brain. 

I had fun writing an A-Z of me!!

NOVEMBER

Ok not yet arrived but willing to bet on it being a rainy one here in Manchester. As part of Blogtober I put together a guide to rany day activities in Manchester 

DECEMBER 

Again still to come but last year I wrote a letter to a woman in an abusive relationship at Christmas time . So I’ll just leave this here.

So there’s my year in blog posts!!!

Wonder what I’ll have written about next year?!

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To the mum enduring an abusive relationship at Christmas time… 

Dear friend, 

We don’t necessarily know one another  but maybe we do. Living with abuse I know is torturous and I know you feel so alone, so I just wanted you to know that I know.
 
I know how your abuser hates Christmas and uses this as a mantra in order to justify his behaviour. That he’d never have torn the Christmas tree down if you hadn’t made a fuss when you know he hates Christmas. 

I know that you’re going to spend the whole of the festive period treading on eggshells, trying not to draw attention to yourself or the children. Trying to quietly play with them,make them feel loved and nurture them whilst keeping  them from being too noisy or too messy so as not to unleash his temper. 

I know all the work will have been left to  you, all the food shopping and present buying. Even if he’s withheld money you’d still have been expected to get presents, and you probably have. 

I know whatever presents you have bought will be wrong. You’ll either have bought the wrong thing or you’ll have bought too much and he’ll call the children spoilt. He’ll tell you you’re an awful mum but he’s wrong. You’re not. You’re incredible. 

I know that Christmas time might be a lonely place for you. Maybe you’re isolated from your own family and friends so have to spend Christmas with his. Having to watch him turn on the charm in public and play the devoted family man. 

I know you’ll have not been able to get it right if you’ve been round his family. If you’ve been quiet he’ll accuse you of rudeness and being stuck up, asking who the hell you think you are and ensuring you continue to feel like shit. 

Alternatively if you’ve been chatty you’ll be accused of flirting with his brother, his friends, his dad. Accused of having an affair, called a slag whilst simultaneously told you’re  so fat and ugly no one else would ever want you. 

I know maybe he’ll not buy you a Christmas present, he’ll tell you you’re not worth it. He’ll spit that he didn’t get you anything from the kids because you are such a terrible mother. Maybe it’ll go the other way though, maybe he’s presented you with the grand gesture, an expensive gift in front of people that’ll likely be smashed into pieces at his hands by new year.

Alcohol is a factor at Christmas too I know. He’ll use it as an excuse for his appaling behaviour. Blame it on the drink. Should you pour a glass of wine though then you’re back in awful mother territory. An alcoholic. A disgrace. 

I think that there is likely still a tiny glimmer of hope inside you. You’ll ignore it for the most part because it is terrifying, you can’t let your mind begin to daydream about another way. You’ve just got to put all your energies into making the kids feel loved, keeping them safe. Focus on just surviving, your thoughts almost exclusively trained towards preempting his next move, keeping him calm. 

You probably have even forgotten it was there, than tiny spark of hope. It’s been dampened over the years certainly but not extinguished. It’s lying dormant waiting for the day it’s safe for you to leave. It makes me sick to even say that. Safe to leave. We know the statistics though, we’ve read the newspaper stories, we know leaving abuse can be dangerous. 

When it’s safe though, when you’re ready that tiny glimmer of hope will see you through. 

I’m sorry that your Christmas is an ordeal. I’m sorry everywhere you look you see happy families enjoying cheery Christmases with devoted fathers and husbands and you wonder why you don’t get to have that. Even the TV bombards you with smiling festive families and I know it just makes you want to weep for your children and for yourself. I know you do your weeping in secret. I’ve been you.

 
I’ve done years of Christmas being a time of violence and of criticism and shouting and screaming and pain. I didn’t think there’d ever be a time that that wasn’t my life. I couldn’t have ever envisaged that one day the children and I would be safe here in our house, able to do Christmas our way, able to enjoy rather than endure. Here we are though. It is possible, there can be a light at the end of the tunnel. I know you can get there too. 

Just please know this, 

You are valuable and you deserve to be free. You are loved and cherished and there is a whole army of women out here ready to mobilise and support you when you are able to make those steps. 

I wish you a safe Christmas and a peaceful new year

Xxxxx

If you are in an abusive relationship and you need help the Women’s Aid website is here for help and advice 

The Freedom Programme which helped me immeasurably after I’d left the abusive relationship but also is open for women still in the relationship has groups around the country as well as an online course. Their website is  here

My Facebook blog page is here

 

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Not Just the 3 of Us

JakiJellz

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Christmas ads fib!

I love a soppy Christmas advert, I do. They make me feel emotional and nostalgic and warm and fuzzy inside. You can’t beat them to make you really feel festive . They make me feel something else though too.. a bit of a failure. Our Christmases don’t look like the ones on the ads, I feel guilty about our non advert perfect Christmas.

Then I get a grip. It’s all fibs to fool you into buying stuff!! I’ve thought about the perfect Christmas scenes the ads sell us and how my more real scene unfolds at home!

 

Christmas ad scene :
Perfectly wrapped colour coordinated gifts under an exquisitely decorated tree. I’m always so jealous of the trees.

 

Real scene:
I’m a good gift wrapper. I love it, luxury paper, ribbons, bows, sprigs of holly (too far I know). That only extends as far as grown up gifts though. Kids gifts are usually wrapped in £1 a roll Asda special paper. The tree?? Oh my!! I let littlest girl decorate the tree so it’s now become her thing. She’s so giddy and enthusiastic about it and the tree always looks… interesting.

 

Ad scene :
Gorgeously dressed table, glistening turkey, perfectly cooked vegetables, mountains of food.

 

Real scene :
I do a good line in table dressing. I can compete with an M&S ad, no problem.

It. Ends. There.

Lovely food on the table, candles, place names it’s all there. Then I take my seat at the table. There’s a call of “where’s the pigs in blankets?”

I can’t even say ‘shit!’ silently in my head what with it being Christmas so I rescue the pork products from the oven JUST before they burn and return to the table. I should confess here that dinner is always at least an hour later than I say it’ll be. It’s become a tradition.

Soooo.. dinner late, close call with the pigs in blankets but it’s OK. We’re still on for ad perfect Christmas dinner. Let’s pull the crackers.

Chaos ensues – cracker pulling elbows knock over drinks. I still can’t say ‘shit!’ silently in my head what with it being Christmas. I chirp ‘It’s fine’ clean up mess and yet again return to the table.
“mummy my gravy tastes of lemonade”
For jingle bellsy  ho ho ho sakes!!

 

Ad scene:                                                                                                                                         Huge family Christmas
Loads of kids, mum and dad, aunts and uncles, grandparents. Everyone smiling and dozing and having fun.

 

Real Scene :                                                                                                                                        Loads of kids, that I can do.
 Other than the kids though, there’s just me! Lots of smiles though… well until the early start and excitement catches up with everyone and there’s a bickerfest around 5ish!

 

Ad scene :
The bit at the end where mum sits on the sofa, sighs a huge sigh and curls up with a much deserved glass of wine.

 

Real scene :
There’s a brief sit down post dinner before tackling the washing up. Glass of wine that was poured with lunch remains largely untouched but slurps are stolen as operation clean up begins. Then time to prepare supper buffet. Doctor Who is sit down time though. That’s the rules.

 

So our Christmas isn’t ad picture perfect.

 

Our tree decs are wonky. Dinner will almost certainly be late and missing a vital ingredient. There are only the kids and I and no rest until Doctor Who. You know what though?? That’s our perfectly, unperfect Christmas.

I love it.

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