Category Archives: parenting

A boys first love – A guest post from my eldest

I couldn’t let the 20th anniversary of Harry Potter pass without comment. JK Rowling is a hero and inspiration of mine. Harry Potter though , well I know a guy who can talk about his love for that with way more passion than me.

My 16 year old first born. He fell in love with the books as a little little kid . They’re his go to books when he’s had a bad day or is ill or just needs a bit of comfort. I’ll let him tell you all about it,

 

 

Harry Potter. Where do I even start? Hooked at 6 finished by 11. Almost cried when I didn’t get my Hogwarts letter but it probs just got lost, it’s cool, yours did too, right?

I won’t claim to be an expert, for some it means more, and many know more. It will always have a special little scar spaced slot in my heart, from crying when I was younger, when the actor for Dumbledore died, so I was of course terrified that without Dumbledore, who would stop Voldemort? All the way to the woman sat behind us when we saw the last movie, who sobbed all the way through.

But in so many ways it’s so much more than a story. The idea that one happy memory (a patronus) can hold away an army of negativity (dementors) is an incredibly powerful one, as she says “help can always be found at Hogwarts, for those who ask for it” (or sommat like that anyway) That message is incredibly powerful.

Teaching young children about toxic environments, and encouraging imagination will have an impact for generations to come. There will never be a day that someone in the world doesn’t think a positive thought about Harry Potter, and in turn JK Rowling.

Somewhere, in a small café  in Scotland, one woman created a story and a universe that would last long in the memories of millions, some like me who hadn’t even been considered, yet alone born. She would change the lives of millions, and create strong role models for all, no matter what your age, race, gender, or sexuality namely herself, Emma Watson, or even Rupert Grint, for gingers everywhere!

I’ve read so many fan theories, from small little sad ones, like how Sirius and Harry had such a strong relationship because whenever they looked at each other, they both wished to see James.Simply insane ones too, like that Dumbledore is a time travelling Ron Weasely. Each day a new theory pops onto my facebook news feed, and that is how you know when something truly amazing has been created, when after 2 decades, people still can’t get enough, and that is the sign of a true legend.

It creates moral issues, like whether Snape is a good guy or not.I mean apparently abusing and bullying innocent school children isn’t an issue anymore, but that’s a whole different blog, possible series. But it gets young minds thinking on their own, raising their own moral issues, and allows them to gather their own opinion and voice it. In this world, there is nothing more important than standing up for what you believe is right, and that is exactly what she has started to encourage teenagers to do.

It makes us cry, laugh, and fume, sometimes all at the same time. And I could, have done, and almost definitely will reread them over and over again, because with truly beautiful, informative and intelligent writing you learn something new on every page.There is absolutely nothing bad about that, it means that generations upon generations will be passed down books from their parents, grandparents, and great grandparents, and millions will be inspired by her writing, inspired to be a Harry, and do good. For that, from billions of potterheads across the globe, thank you JK Rowling

“We’ve all got both light and dark inside of us. What matters is the part we choose to act on. That’s who we really are”. -Sirius Black, Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix.    JK Rowling.


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My children do not come from a broken home 

There are way too many phrases that make me want to scream. The term ‘broken home’ has to be up there at number one.
It’s a phrase usually accompanied by statistics.
“Children from broken homes 5x more likely to suffer from mental health problems” (Daily Mail)
“Children from broken homes nine times more likely to commit crime ” (Telegraph)
” 7/10 young offenders come from broken homes” (Telegraph)
I’ve read through these articles,Ive read the statistics and it seems that broken homes in these instances are those where there are not two biological parents living at home with the children. Broken home is often used to mean fatherless home,although there are of course motherless homes too.
I just think that these articles and statistics and panic inducing headlines do single parents a huge injustice.

Sure some families will struggle after splits and divorce.Sure some single parents will find it hard to cope so maybe we could look at how best to support them rather than write off their children as future thugs.
I don’t know one single parent who always envisaged this as the dream they’ve always wanted to persue from being a young child.I think most people would wish to raise their children in a marriage or long term relationship with their father.To have a calm,stable family life of mum,dad and children where the little ones can learn about healthy,respectful relationships from just observing their parents. Unfortunately though,this sometimes simply doesn’t happen. Scary headlines don’t help. I for one have a bit of a chip on my shoulder about being a single mum. That chip wasn’t put there by me through. I feel judged because I am judged,often. 

An academic,Patricia Morgan,who has written several studies on family break up says this 

“Broken families and serial fathers produce homes full of conflict and chaos and they are terrible for children”

Well Patricia, I am not as well educated as you . I’m not an academic. I am however on the front line of single parenting,everyday. This house you speak of terrible for children full of conflict? That was our life when we were living in the conventional family that you are so keen on. The fatherless ‘broken’ home we live in currently is one of relative calm , of happiness and laughter , of comfort.

As for the serial father bit that you chucked in there Patricia. We happen to be single parents we’re not animals looking for the next particularly fertile mate. 

Yes there are families where the headlines and stats and stereotypes unfortunately ring true. That’s huge shame for all involved. It’s a shame for society. 
The single parents I know though,raising our future thugs and villains?? We’re actually doing a bloody good job in really tough circumstances. We’re resilient, we’re adaptable, we’re hardworking and we’re tough. Rather than looking for the next serial father to jump we’re actually making a cosy haven for our children,making sure they feel safe and loved and secure . We’re doing a two person job single handedly often whilst working or caring for other family members or studying.
The conventional family my children lived in once was a stifling,suffocating one. It was unhealthy and dangerous. It was not the calm nurturing environment it should have been.
My children are not from a broken home. They are from a fixed one.


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          Mummy Times Two

Out of my hands 

Back when we left the abusive relationship all those years ago.

Back when my now taller than me teenagers were still little tiny things. 

Back when my now college boy was still in infant school. 

Back when my articulate chatterbox 2nd born still couldn’t talk properly (damn you speech therapy it was THE cutest) 

Back when I thought baby no. 3 treating brother baiting as if it were an Olympic sport was a phase she’d grow out of (poor deluded me) 

Back then. 
I had one priority – to keep them safe. 

It was hard at times. I was still so damaged from the abuse, I wasn’t strong mentally but still that fundamental aim remained. 

Keep them safe. 

I often felt like I was fighting the whole entire world and noone would listen to me and help me. For years through the family court nightmare with social services dragged into our lives by him every concern I had was met with ‘he’s their father, he has a right to see them’ 

I had to stand firm and unwavering at a time when I’ve never felt so fragile, but I could do it for them- to keep them safe. 
The children have seen their dad intermittently. They go to their paternal grandparents every fortnight and though he rarely took up the opportunity I was clear he was welcome to visit them there.  I didn’t want to be keeping my children from their father. Don’t get me wrong it suited me when he didn’t bother, I’m not claiming to be a saint here. 

Now though, at almost 17,15 and 14 it’s no longer my call. It’s no longer my decision but theirs. It’s out of my hands. 
This weekend they’re going to stay at his house for the weekend for the very first time. I’m really not dealing with it very well. 
The thing is it’s no longer about their safety. They want to go and stay and I can’t stand in their way. They really like his girlfriend and I actually think she could be the draw of why they want to go. 

It’s not that I believe them to be in physical danger – believe me if I thought that was even a possibility they’d be going nowhere.  
The discomfort I’m feeling is for selfish reasons.  The thought of them being there has triggered all the old feelings. Mentally I’m transported back to when I first came here – fragile and vulnerable and just feels bloody horrid. 
When we first came here my anxiety manifested itself as a ridiculous phobia of fainting in public. My physical anxiety symptoms feel very much like that second before you faint. Erratic breathing, throat tightening, light headedness and back then I was new to the anxiety game and didn’t realise that’s what it was. It used to happen daily back then but it’s not happened that badly in a good 7 years. Then yesterday it happened again. I know it’s because of this weekend and I just can’t stand to feel this way. It feels as if all my strength and mental stability has been whisked away and I’m back to that shaken girl of old. 

I know it’s only temporary though. I know when they arrive home Sunday after a lovely weekend all will be back right with my world. I do know that so I’m going to try to take a positive from this. I’m going to use it to acknowledge to myself how far I have come, how I am a totally different stronger woman now. 

I did what I set out to do. I took my children out of an unhealthy environment and I kept them safe. 
I have 3 down, happy, level headed (most of the time) teenagers and I have to allow them the space to make a relationship with their father if they choose to. 
I kept them safe. 
I just was unprepared for the time to come when it was out of my hands.  

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<a href=”http://www.motherofteenagers.com” target=”_blank”><img src=”http://i36.photobucket.com/albums/e14/Motherofteenagers/3%20rsz_1rsz_1rsz_teen_logo_launch_zpslcprplei.jpg” alt=”Mother of Teenagers” /></a><br /><br /><br />

It’s coming up to that time of the year again.. .. 

We’re here again. The anniversary of the date I left the abusive relationship is on the horizon. I think by now I’ve possibly bored you all with my take and insight on that particular subject. I just wanted to talk about The Freedom Programme though and what an invaluable resource it is when you’ve suffered abuse (or indeed still are) 

That scary day, all those years ago, that I fled I didn’t expect to succeed. I don’t remember much about that time due to a shed load of unhealthy coping mechanisms as I spoke about here. What I do remember about that day though was the fear. Standing at the train station with the kids – sick with fright fully expecting him to show up and force us back. To this day I still occasionally have dreams of that exact scenario happening. They’re truly horrible. 

I did do it though. I got away. 

That startled girl in new city though is a million miles from the woman I am now. I’d naively expected to be able to  shut the door on that relationship and magically transform back into the person I was before him. Confident and ambitious. It sounds silly but it came as a shock to me quite how damaged I was. Thankfully here, years of therapy and using this blog as an extension of that down the line I am in the main healed and healthy and stronger. 

My healing process began with The Freedom Programme. I’d really like to share with you how it helped me so much. 

Firstly the fact that it’s a group scenario becomes really helpful. I know I know! That ironically was what almost put me off doing it in the first place. I had no confidence back then. I could barely look anyone in the face. How could I stride into a room of women and talking about things I hadn’t even with my closest people?
Well of course it wasn’t like that. 
It was a room of kindness and gentleness. Women just like me, who had the same stories to tell as me. That’s where the fact it’s a group scenario becomes empowering. You’re so isolated when you’re in an abusive relationship the relief of another woman saying “me too” when you talk of your experiences is incredible. When you speak of incidents that you’ve not mentioned to others as you worry they’d be seen as trivial and women relate,that’s powerful. Nothing sounded silly to these women, they knew. They got it. 

Secondly it’s just a brilliantly put together programme. The woman who devised it really knows what she is talking about on this subject and you can feel it. 

Each week you look at a different side to the perpetrator, the different behaviour they use. For me I for  the  first time acknowledged shared beliefs with the perpetrator which really helped me gain an understanding. You also are introduced to his opposite. Identify the characteristics of a more supportive man. The decent human being. Helpful in itself. 

Another amazing thing I gained from doing the Freedom Programme is that it helped me to allow myself to let go off the guilt I felt for not being able to get  the children out of that environment sooner. I wrote a whole blog post covering that here but it really was weight of the world lifted off your shoulders stuff. 

Lastly, and really importantly, the Freedom Programme stays with you. Here I am still banging on about it all these years later, I probably will be in another 10 years. 

There’s a section in the programme about being able to identify early signs of abusive behaviour. Kind of red flag warnings you can spot at the beginning of a relationship. I come back to these often. Between learning these on the programme and a good few years of just interacting with people I do feel quite well equipped to spot a twat from a distance these days. It’s helpful.

 They. Are. Everywhere 
The ones just beginning to chip away at a beautiful woman. The ones further down the line in absolute control of other people. The ones still single yet give off a waft of ‘abusive tendencies’ so strong  you can almost choke on it. 

If you are experiencing abuse there are agencies that can help you. That can safely support you. There are a whole army of women out here ready to mobilise on your command. 

Refuge 

Women’s aid

And of course the brilliant Freedom Programme

Are all here if it’s safe for you to get online. 

Doing the Freedom Programme started off my healing from abuse in the most positive way. Writing this blog and years of therapy have a big  part in enabling that healing to continue and there are also some spectacular humans who have helped me to get to where I am now, which is in no way a spectacular place to be but thinking back at this  time of year is way better than I’d have dreamed my life could be back then. 

Thank you all of you 

Xxx

 


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Rhyming with Wine




JakiJellz


Hot Pink Wellingtons


The Pramshed




A love letter to mum bloggers…

 

Dear Mummy Bloggers ,

 

After the vileness of THAT ridiculous article by Anna May Mangan about how we are bringing the country to its knees with our gin soaked potato waffles ( oo wonder if that could work!) in that horrific newspaper that the devil would be proud of I felt compelled to tell you all how much I bloody love you.

 

 

As a mum blogger I love my little blog. I like having a little corner of the internet that’s mine. I’m proud of my blog too. Blogging makes me brave enough to share my thoughts in public . I’m grateful to my blog for being part of a really helpful therapy in my recovery from abuse.

 

 

Do you know what I like more though?

 

Your blogs.

 

I love reading your blogs , I love sharing them , I love finding a brand new blog then bingeing ( that spike in your views where you panic someone is reading everything you’ve ever written …that’s probably me!)

 

 

My favourites being those of you who bite the bullet and write really honestly about the realities of motherhood. Strangely I take it as a given that you all love your kids to pieces , I take it that we all know how lucky we are to have created actual humans who get to share our lives with . I don’t assume unless I see #blessed on your social media you’re just not that fond of them!

Reading your blogs full of love and joy and happiness is uplifting . Finding an idea for a new day out by reading reviews on your blog is really helpful.

When you share with us though , quite often in a raw manner , that sometimes you struggle. When you comment on how bloody hard this parenting lark can be. That some days it all feels impossible. That’s so very important too.

 

 

Parenting can be isolating . It’s terrifying. It’s so much harder having to deal with the constant feeling of being judged whether that’s by the woman tutting in the supermarket , your mother in law , your ex partner or a bloody national newspaper.

 

 

For an ordinary mum having one of those impossible days. Maybe she’s not seen another adult in a week. Maybe she’s exhausted and desperate and feels like this mummy gig is just too tough for her. Maybe she feels like a failure and is too worried to reach out in case everyone else agrees she’s a useless mother.

Well your blogs help save their sanity.

Maybe this tired mum comes across your blogs on an impossible day. Reads that other mums out there have had impossible days , that it’s normal , that she is not the only one. That she is not in fact a failure but a member of a massive club. A club full of women who have impossible days sometimes fish fingers and gin and all. That can feel like the biggest relief , the weight of the world falling from your shoulders. It’s a comfort to know that sometimes impossible days are followed by magical days. It’s a comfort that there are women out there who you can identify with and communicate with and that it’s ok to find it tough.

 

 

You’re not just a sanity saver though mum bloggers. You’re entertainment.

 

There are some supremely talented writers out there.

 

Blogging is not merely a load of self indulgent mums having a moan. So many topics are covered in this umbrella of the ‘mum blog’ Inspirational , moving writing covering heavy topics. Racism , mental health ,divorce, politics , feminism , abuse , grief all covered in various of your blogs I’ve read and written well. These are not just fluffy headed women half drunk on their 11am gin indulgently bleating about how shit it is to be a mum despite what the Daily Mail think. I’m unsure the writer of this particular piece has ever really read much of your work.

 

 

You’re funny too , so funny!! Your witty , intelligent writing can cheer up a miserable grey day!

 

 

So sneer all you want Daily Mail. You hate women as it is , of course you’ll feel threatened by a group of them who don’t behave as you think they should. Who build women up, who stand in solidarity with one another. Female empowerment was never really going to be your thing though. We’ve seen your poking fun at unflattering bikini shots and your misogynist headlines. To be frank some of the pieces I’ve been unlucky enough to come across from your ‘newspaper’ are nothing short of a hate crime .

 

Well love wins over hate.

 

Mum bloggers I bloody love you!!!

 

Kelly xxx

 

 

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Naptime Natter



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Mummy in a Tutu

 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The identity crisis bucket list! 

Earlier in the month I wrote about how now the children are getting older and a little less dependent I’m feeling about wobbly and unsettled about who I am as a woman, not just a mum. That particular self indulgent post is just here.

How do you find out who you are though? I’m a bit short on babysitters, time and cash to go off on some retreat of self discovery in the Himalayas for 6 months.

I thought a good place to start was think about things I like doing. The important word being I,rather than ‘we’. I know what we like doing as a family. I’ve spent the vast majority of the past 17 years finding things ‘we’ like doing and I really, really hope there are years and years of that to come.

I am lucky though in that I do generally  get a weekend a month to myself when my elder kids are with grandma and small girl is with daddy. I’ve even almost a fortnight in the summer holidays – that’s too long though I’ll be moaning about missing the kids by day 3. I’ve gotten better at utilising my child free time I did spend years just sitting home whinging about being lonely. I just need to keep doing that, maximising my free time . Try and find that woman that’s tucked away in here, rediscover the passions and interests that don’t lie solely on keeping these gorgeous human beings of mine alive and well.
I did what I always do.

Made a list.

It’s nothing earth shattering or awe inspiring but just a gentle start of remembering or discovering what makes me tick when the kids aren’t around.
Can I share them?

Go camping – on my own 

I’m a fan of doing stuff alone. I’m the advocate of the solo date, I enjoy my own company. I’m quite lucky where I live too with the Peak District almost on the doorstep so one weekend when I’m heartlessly abandoned by my children I’m just going to go walking up there. Look at beautiful scenery and collect my thoughts to the picturesque backdrop.

Go to Edinburgh fringe festival 

I’ve always wanted to do this. Wall to wall theatre and art. The children are away for over a week during the summer and I’m going to have myself a little holiday and head Northwards for some culture!

Exercise 

Stay with me here I’m not going to go all gym bunny on you. I loathe the thought of running and swimming so much so it actually puts me off doing it. This is really silly because when I do go for a proper run I do enjoy it. Working up a bit of a sweat with just my cringe worthy play list for company always makes me feel really good. Running is great for keeping my anxiety at bay too. So I’m going to stop being a lazy arse and get out there.

Write the book (or at least try) 

Everyone has a book I them don’t they say?  Mine is just struggling a bit with the getting out part. Do you know why? Because I feel daft. I worry that people would think “bloody hell we have to put up with her shockingly shite writing with her blog – who does she think she is writing a book?”

It could be true. I could invest time and effort only to produce the world’s worst book, but even if this were to be the case well it’d not have hurt anyone would it?

Let’s crack on with that.

Visit new places 

I read a short story by Jenny Colgan once called Paris For One. A woman gets stood up by her boyfriend and ends up visiting Paris alone. I’ve wanted to follow suit ever since.  I spent my younger years child rearing so have never really seen anywhere I’d have liked to yet. I might not manage Paris but I could start off with some UK cities surely?

So that’s my list so far.

I’ll bore you to death with tales of my adventures ticking them off but I feel so much happier just having written them down. I’ve showed them to you guys too so that means  I HAVE to do them right?
So here’s to making the most of child free weekends instead of moaning about abandonment.
After all the children certainly aren’t pining for me when they’re having fun at  grandma’s or having adventures with daddy!

 

 

 

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Not Just The 3 Of Us

 

The one where…. My child ruins Friends for me 

One thing I love about the teens getting older is being able to introduce them to TV shows and movies and books that I used to love when I was their ages. It’s so nice now they’re older to make the tv snacks, get on the sofa and watch something together.

Some of my shows and movies are more successful than others. Dawson’s Creek was ridiculed and heckled throughout, much to my dismay.

Friends though. Friends was welcomed with open arms. We went through every series. We began recording the actual programmes we would have ordinarily watched on tv as they just wanted to watch ‘one more episode’ of Friends.

I was smug.

Told you it was good eh?

“Hey! How you doing? ” became the eldests greeting as he got in of an evening. .. to his brother! To himself even! Inappropriate yet really quite funny.

” I’m FINE! “a la Ross when Rachel and Joey are together became code for anything that was clearly anything but.

Smelly cat was sung out loud.

” could I BE wearing anymore clothes ” became the answer to my insistence they wrap up warm to go to the football.

All was good.

I was cool mum.

I am the best.

Then it happened.

We’re rewatching some Friends more recently (yes they loved it THAT much) we’re at a later series, close to the end and my 15yo youngest son spoils it all.

Youngest son : Mum I’m surprised you wanted Ross and Rachel to end up together.

Me: Why? You know I’m a sucker for a love story!

Youngest son : love? Is it though? That whole relationship is just toxic. Ross is too  controlling.

I am stunned into silence at this point.

That’s OK though because he’s going to elaborate.. .

Elaborate he does. .

How unsupportive Ross is when Rachel lands her dream job.

The suffocating manner in which  he behaves about Mark. Becoming a stalky control freak creepfest.

How he never takes responsibility for cheating, using the “we were on a break” excuse.

I couldn’t disagree with any of it.

I mean Ross was never my favourite – he’s a sexist idiot. Remember the fuss he made about Ben playing with a doll? How he mocked and sacked the male nanny? ?

So the lesson learned here is this-beware of sharing your old favourites with your children, they they might just spoil it.


Not Just The 3 Of Us

 
Sha    The Tale of Mummyhood

She’s off on her soapbox again…

I am too.
I’m just so sickened and furious I can’t possibly not climb onto my soapbox. So forgive this long, rant post.
We currently live in a society where Tax Credits will only be paid for the first two children. I have thoughts on how we can meander into effectively being a 2 child state but they’re for another blog. I am aware that the welfare state is under excruciating pressure and that cuts have to come, again I’ve thoughts on why the cuts have to come from the poorest rather than the richest but again whole other blog post.
The one exemption to the 2 child law that is in place is if a third or subsequent child is “conceived as a result of rape or an otherwise coercive relationship”

All you have to do is fill in form NCC1 4/17 (an 8 page long document) to be assessed as to whether your rape counts or not.

Simple eh?

Nothing for you ladies to get your knickers in a twist about. The government are merely making sure they put a end to all those hoards of women getting themselves pregnant for benefits and one of those massive mansions some channel 5 documentary shows us they all live in.

I find this law abhorrent enough as it is. I can imagine many women having to struggle financially rather than go through the humiliation and reliving of a hugely traumatic event filling in the rape form then having to discuss it again with a third party.

The law itself isn’t what has me seething though (well it does but it seems I can get to a higher seething level). My issue here is that whoever dreamt up this Victorian, barbaric law and every person who signed it off along the way know nothing about domestic abuse and less than nothing about coercive control.

The thing that jumped out at me was that women still living with the father of children born through rape or in a coercive relationship are not allowed to claim this support.

So here we are at the first ridiculous notion. That if you are in an abusive relationship which, as they often do, include sexual abuse you are able to just pack up and leave. Now  even without taking into account the slashing of funding for women’s refuges, making it harder for those who are able to leave, there’s the simple fact that many women in abusive relationships can’t just leave. Here’s why I couldn’t.

Then we get to rape in relationships. The people who dreamt up this law are obviously those who are experts in how rape happens. They clearly think it’s exclusively something that only happens in dark alleys, by big scary monsters of men who attack strangers.

Rape doesn’t always happen in badly lit streets after dark. Sometimes it happens in a comfy bed, in her own home, by the man she loves.

Keep in mind too that a tactic abusive men use too is to keep a woman pregnant. Ensure she’s stuck in the house. Often she’s denied access to contraception as she’s not allowed solo doctors visits.

So the people at the top who make these laws. Well you’re doing the work of the abusive man for him here. You’re telling these women that you can’t be raped if you live with someone (he’s probably been telling her that for years) Then when he does impregnate her without her consent she’s going to struggle financially, trapping her further. Well done decision makers. Research a project called The Freedom Programme they’ve helped many a woman like me get to grips with their own abuse. I’m sure a little read could educate even the most ignorant.

The rape clause also tells us that children conceived as a result of a coercive relationship are also exempt from the 2 child policy.
Except again this women have to have left to count.

Sigh. .. .
Coercive control in its nature begins  so subtly you often don’t realise it’s even happening until it’s too late. You no longer question why you shouldn’t wear make up you just stop. You know you can no longer go out with your friends but are unsure how it got to that.
I can envisage many a scenario where coercive control in a relationship would result in pregnancy.
It’s the man telling his partner if she truly loved him she’d have a baby despite her not wanting one , after all doesn’t he live with the kids she already has by some other guy?
It’s the woman accused of having an affair because she doesn’t want to have sex. She knows from past history that line of questioning will likely end in violence so she lays and doesn’t protest whilst he has sex with her.
It’s the exhausted brand new mum, newborn by her bed whose partner is so jealous of all the attention she’s giving her baby. She’s sore, she’s exhausted, she certainly doesn’t want to participate but she’s told to just lay still and quiet so as not to wake the baby.

I could go on, but I’ve probably gone on enough. I just can’t understand the mentality behind this law in a country that considers itself forward thinking and free and fair.
I’m at a loss as to what I can do as a woman living in a country where the government shows such disdain for women’s rights and such a misunderstanding (or maybe a choice not to understand) how abuse works.
I feel for these women, abused by the person they live with then to have their experiences gaslighted by the government too.
I fear what comes next.

There’s a petition here against the cuts if you feel like I do. 100,000 signatures means this must be debated in parliament

My Facebook page is here

 

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/

 

 

          The Tale of Mummyhood

Who am I? 

*Did you just sing the Les Mis song there in your head when you read the title? I have been! *

ANYWAY… Before I even begin this blog post I really want to emphasise that I love my children with all I have. I am even loving motherhood right now, I haven’t always and I can admit that. Currently though I’m really enjoying this part of our parenting journey. 
Being a mum does define me and so it should. My eldest is almost 17.  I’ve been mum a long time. Being a mum has certainly shaped me in a whole different way than I would have been had I not had children. In fact I think being a mum has made me a better person than I would have been. 

So we’re clear on that yes? 

I’d never dismiss motherhood. 

I’m certainly in no way complaining at my life as a mum. 

I am incredibly grateful and so very lucky to have the family that I have. 

The thing is this. Behind the mum-who on earth am I as a woman? 

Before I had children I was only 19. I’d had grand plans to change the world. Nowhere in these plans was any ideas of getting married and having babies. In fact the one steadfast plan I did have was never wanting children. 

I’m so glad plans don’t always work out. Having children allowed me to discover parts of myself I never even knew existed. 

My children are getting older now. The elder 3 are teenagers, the little one is almost 9.

Well meaning people keep commenting how how now is MY time. Time to take back my life, that the children don’t need me as they once did. 

I have a few problems with this mindset. Mainly the children do need me still. Not with the intensity of younger years admittedly. Parenting teenagers is tricky though, you have to pick up on cues that mean ‘I’m sad, I’m angry, I’m worried’ because they can’t always articulate it. Much like newborns  and  their differing cries that usually only their parents can decipher. Call me needy but I’m not redundant just yet. 

The other bits though? Taking back my life? Well that’s a weird one, the little people are my life. 

It is true though that I do have more spare time these days. This first week of the Easter hols has highlighted the two sides of the coin on this. I had 5 whole child free days! I had a weekend away. I had the most glorious time just wandering about, sitting in pubs chatting undisturbed. Relaxed- none of the rushing around my everyday life has, lazy lie ins. I couldn’t have enjoyed myself more. 

When I got home to a empty house though I was at a bit of a loss. Did the house jobs I’d been putting off, cleaned, cooked. Then what? 

What do I do to make me happy and content? 

What is it I actually like to do? 

Who even am I when the children aren’t around? 

I have a bolognaise scenario that sums it up perfectly (keep with me not as nutty as it sounds) 

One thing I do like to do is take a book and go for dinner on my own. If ever I go to an Italian restaurant my initial feeling is to order bolognaise, because I love it. 

UNTRUE 

The kids love it, it bores me to tears. The kids love it so I cook it, I eat it and somehow I’ve become indoctrinated into believing I love it. 

I wonder how many other things fit the bolognaise mould. What other things do I think I like that is really no more than mum habit. 

I want to discover who I am as well as the woman with the overactive womb. I want to find out and nurture a bit the woman behind the mum. (bit tosspotty I know, I’m sorry) 
I’m quite excited by the prospect too. 
Needless to say I’ll bore you guys to death with my little adventure of self discovery.. . after all it’s highly likely when I discover this woman, she’ll be a bit of a knob! ! 


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Bringing up Georgia

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My BFF boys…

There’s just 18 months between my 2 sons. They’re the eldest of the four children and have been one another’s playmates from the off. 

The minute my eldest met his baby brother he was besotted. Brother became his new favourite and most used word. He couldn’t quite manage to pronounce Luke so Guke he became – unfortunately for  Luke this has stuck and we do all still call him Guke from time to time. 

Now at 15 and 16 they’re proper friends. They really do get along and enjoy one another’s company. I can’t tell you how giddily happy this makes me. 

What was once playing with the wooden train set together has become playing X-box together. 
What was once playing in the garden as toddlers is now going off to play tennis or a kick about in the park! 
What was once sat on the sofa with snacks watching Cars… Well actually that’s still the same they bloody love that movie!! 

When they were pre schoolers playing together in their room I’d sometimes listen in from behind the door, so curious was I to know what kind of conversations they had(I know!  I know!  needy mum much?!!)  

Now when I’m pottering about I’ll pick up snippets of conversation they’re having. 

Chatting about football or mutual friends they share.  

I’ll hear eldest giving his brother advice about his GCSE options or helping him with homework. 

I’ll hear plans being made for cinema trips or a Star Wars marathon in their room. 

They both go to the football for home matches of the local team. They don’t go together but the eldest decided he was going to go to an away match. When I asked who with his answer was “I’m going to see if Luke fancies it” 

My initial thought was aaaww that’s the loveliest… It was speedily followed up with nooooo you guys can’t catch the train to a whole other city alone. They’ll get lost and end up stranded and.. .breathe .. How nice they want to do it together. 

 I’m just so full of joy that these boys brought together by genes and circumstance get on so well. 

As someone whose sister is my best friend and favourite human in the universe I just hope their lovely friendship continues.Having a sibling as a best friend is a special thing. On top of really enjoying one another’s company there’s so much shared history. There’s someone in your life who you can rely on wholeheartedly, who has your back, who genuinely wants the best for you. I feel lucky that my relationship with sister survived teenage years when we didn’t much like one another because now I have the best friend ever. 

I’d love to think in years to come my boys will feel that in their brother they will always have a friend, a refuge, an open ear and a positive influence. 

Of course the boys argue as siblings do. The ‘Stupid Football Game’ seems to be at the root of most of their quarrels. There’s a whole etiquette regarding when you can and can’t save games that goes way over my head. 

All in all though, these young men I’m lucky enough to be raising are a close little duo. 
I think that’s just the most special thing. 



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