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If Father’s Day makes you feel bad

My track record with Father’s isn’t great .

My own is dead , I do not live in a nuclear family with either of my childrens’ .

Father’s Day then can be pretty tough.

I’m sure some of you can identify.

Those of us without a dad around to cook for , or take for dinner or spoil well it hurts . Even if years have passed ,like they have for me ,the emails shooting in your inbox advising us to spoil our dad ,get him the perfect gift , take him for the perfect day out ? They sting a bit . I’m not going to spend the day crying in a corner with grief . I’m not going to weep seeing people on social media putting posts on about how fab their dad is. In fact I like them , they make me happy and make me smile. Not having parents doesn’t make me resent other people having that (most of the time !)

We’ll all think of our dads I’m sure. Maybe tell a tale or two.

Some of you may have never known your dad ,again Father’s Day must sting a bit.

Some people may have had a terrible father – absent, abusive , estranged . You may see happy families everywhere you look and wonder why you never got to have that. Feel sad that you’ve not had this relationship through no fault of your own. I hope if that’s you you have other people in your lives who have stood by you , supported you , loved you .

Mums who aren’t with the fathers of their children . Having to feign delight at the kids best dad EVER cards , having to help them make lovely gifts and cards resenting your time spent doing this . Doing it for the kids through gritted teeth. Passive aggressively weighing up whether to equal your rubbish Mother’s day gift for shitness (Mr Grumpy socks anyone) or whether to rise above it , be a bigger person .

To mums whose children’s dads simply are not part of their lives , treat yourselves . It’s tricky when you are all people to your child , breaks are hard to come by. Pencil in 10 mins with a trashy mag or a long bubble bath when the kids are in bed if that’s possible. You’re doing an amazing job in tough circumstances and you rock!

Mums in abusive relationships with their children’s fathers. Being expected to run around after him and serve him even more than usual. Whose presents will not ever be good enough , whose meals will be mocked and thrown at the wall , whose efforts and attempts to create one day of calm will never ever work. Well I just hope you get through it .

To all these people , it’s just one day. Father’s Day at least . Get through it however you need to . Be kind to yourselves . Stay away from social media if that helps or enjoy other people sharing the love . You know what works best for you .

To all the fab dads out there …. have a fab day of being celebrated and spoilt …even if that means being woken up at the crack of dawn by overexcited kids desperate to hand over their gifts !!

See you on the other side !!

Xxx

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The People Puzzle

Check me out – actually blogging , like an actual blogger !! I’ve been lame recently ,well for a while now. I thought this blog had probably come to the end of its natural life. I’d deleted WordPress from my phone. Had stopped promoting posts , joining in with the linkies I love and just finished . People had come across my blog , people who don’t like what I have to say, people who are part of the story I tell and didn’t like the way I told it. It quietened me a little and made me self censor and if I’m going to censor my own thoughts this blog becomes redundant really. ANYWAY I missed my blog and everything about it . Seems when you use something as an outlet for your thoughts and then you stop ,all those thoughts stay whizzing about in your head and that’s no good for anyone .

So thats my explanation for being missing in action , shall I get on with what I wanted to talk about now ??

I always thought myself a fairly antisocial person. That I wasn’t keen on people as a whole and that my own company was much better than people en masse and really I was a happy little hermit .

What I definitely am though is a little lacking in the old self awareness.

Dealing with toxic people has altered my mindset over the years. When the elder 3 were little I went years without real adult social interaction as we all do , an abusive relationship was isolating as they are , low self esteem added to the mix made me think I didn’t really need ‘people’ in my life , I wasn’t used to it and I didn’t miss it.

I must take the time here to say that I still and always will crave and love my own company. Dinner and theatre alone is the ultimate treat. I will forever be an advocate of the solo date , you can read why here .

What I was missing though when I believed I was better avoiding social situations was the concept of choice.

No I don’t want to be around people who drain me ,I wrote about drains and radiator type people and I absolutely stand by that. I don’t want to be around people who make me feel crap. I don’t want to be around dementor type people who suck your soul dry of any joy or happiness . For years and years I did do this . I spent time around these people . Out of habit , out of duty , out of simply struggling to say no .

No wonder I wasn’t a fan of people.

More recently though I’ve learnt to be much more choosy . Our spare time is so very precious isn’t it ? It’s probably the resource we are most lacking in most of the time. Its a pretty crazy thing to do then isn’t it to sacrifice this precious thing on people who don’t deserve it.

To anyone else who suffers from this affliction , who finds themselves spending time and money in social situations having a thoroughly miserable time because they didn’t feel able to say no . I cannot recommend more enthusiastically The Good Girl’s Guide To Being A D*ck by Alexandra Reinwarth (totally not an ad by the way ,just a recommendation from one doormat to potentially another )

Anyway,I digress (that’s absolutely the title of my autobiography by the way) Choice , that’s the key for me now when it comes to people and socialising . A huge revelation for me recently has been how much I absolutely love socialising with people who I like , who like me in return !! Seems so simple doesn’t it ? Spending time with people who enhance your life or make you happy to be around ? Hopefully you do the same for them. I’m sure there are people for whom I’m that person they should discard . If I am I hope they do. That simple concept though , when put into practice really IS that simple .

Of course there are draining, negative people sometimes who you are stuck with , again the book I mentioned earlier has some great advice on how to deal with that instance.

I’ve had a sociable few weeks ,took a trip with that handsome man , spent some time with some fave people in my fave place . Made me sickeningly happy . One of my other fave people got married and just spending the whole day with fantastic people just made my soul happy.

Doesn’t sound like someone who hates people does it ? It’s more the behaviour of someone who avoided EVERYONE to avoid the company of toxic people. Daft decision in hindsight. The people who make my heart happy make my heart REALLY happy.

A favourite blogger of mine Enda wrote a post a few weeks ago that I really identified with about how introverts are extroverts when they’re relaxed . It’s here , give it a look . Well that’s me . I don’t dislike people.

Turns out I just dislike people who make me feel rubbish….I think that’s fair enough really!!

Musings Of A Tired Mummy

“Reflections


Your shouting voice is now silent

A strange , surreal thing happened to me over the past few weeks.

I realised after leaving a job interview. A job interview where I wasn’t sick with nerves. One in which I think I was chatty and friendly (they may have thought have thought me an idiot ,that’s not really the point)

The point is I went to a job interview.

I only heard one voice before ,during and after. The one that said :

You can do this

You’re a sociable creature

You DO like people

You can make conversation with most people

You’re capable and intelligent

If they don’t like you ,well you don’t want to work with them do you ?

Afterwards the voice , the only voice, I heard was the one saying you did bloody well in there , well done you !

For the record , when I’m talking hearing voices . I don’t mean in a mental health crisis way. I have many mental health niggles but hearing voices isn’t one.

There’s been a voice though . A negative ,mean , bullying one in my head for so many years. One that like one of JK Rowling’s dementors just wants to suck the joy out of anything I do. It wants me to feel stupid and useless and fat and ugly and ridiculous for having any kind of ambitions or dreams or plans.

The voice used to have a body accompanying it. It used to be that of the long , soul destroying abusive relationship. It was his voice. It was very successful too. Over the years ,repeated like a mantra I came to absolutely believe I was pathetic and stupid and worthless. That by having ambitions I was thinking I was better than I was that I had ideas above my station. Don’t worry with words and actions he made sure that any dreams were knocked right out of me . Keep me grounded .

For years I accepted this as my lot . This was my life , I chose it . This was me forever now . The voice didn’t whisper but screamed how I was too stupid and pathetic to ever get out of it . I couldn’t live without him. Who else would want someone as fat and ugly as me ?No one! I should be grateful he did. This scream was so loud no other thoughts could permeate my thinking.

Not for a very long time.

Then I left.

Only I didn’t leave the voice behind . The voice came with me. I’d heard those cruel words so often so long the voice became my voice. Despite being free from abuse I still told MYSELF now his mantra. I was useless , pathetic, thick.

So brainwashed that he no longer had to even put the work in to make me feel crap ,I was doing it all on my own . Any other critical or negative voices along the way were added in to the mix . If other people thought I was rubbish too ,not just the abuser then obviously he was right.

Everything he had said was true .

Your head is such a delicate thing when you’ve been emotionally abused , it’s almost as though you spend your time waiting for someone else to repeat his horrible words so as you can confirm to yourself that you are indeed totally pointless and worthless.

Over the years I’d gotten used the voice. With help though ,and time the voice has been hushed . It was a gentle whisper . It was still very present though, I’m always quick to follow up mistakes I make with “I’m so stupid ” or “sorry I’m a bit rubbish” eager to vocalise my rubbishness (made up word alert!) before anyone else gets the chance to …yes I know I’m stupid no need for you to point it out.

Somehow though , and it must be fairly recently that voice has been silenced . I don’t know when it happened or how it happened. My theory is I make a conscious effort these days to surround myself with positive people , anyone who brings negativity and nothing good into my life had to go. So I now am lucky to have lots of positive voices in my life. Friends , family just good , kind , motivational people and they’ve joined together like a huge choir and drowned out that long lasting dark , mean , ugly voice for once and for all.

As part of the job interview process there was once of those horrific group assessments. Previous me would never have even shown up for that. The thought would have had me so ill I’d not have made it through the door. Being assessed?? Someone actually watching you for how rubbish you were? Absolutely not.

Only without that voice , I was free. I’m a reasonably intelligent woman . I like people (absolute revelation!!!) I gave it a go . It was fine,they liked me enough to give me an interview . I went to an interview , I put myself out there and talked myself up ….to other people and the only voice there was was my inner cheerleader with a big well done .

It’s taken way , way longer than I ever could have expected to get that bullying , cruel voice to pack it’s bags . It’s really gone though . There’s space freed up in this head of mine lately and it’s about time it was filled up with positivity and self belief and that pretty great cheerleader of mine – me !

Oh….and I got the job !

”MrsMummyHarris”

3 Little Buttons


Musings Of A Tired Mummy

Bringing up baby , without your mum.

How gorgeous was it to see Prince Harry’s joyous ,yet shellshocked little face yesterday. Telling the world about his new son and his amazing wife ,pride shining right out of him.

I wondered immediately , as I did about his brother before him , as I do about anyone who brings a baby into the world without their own parents. I wonder if they felt it too?

20 years ago my mum died.

19 years ago….almost to the day my eldest was born. Airy fairy me thinks maybe he was a little gift to me , realistic me is grateful that I had such an amazing distraction from the hideous first anniversary of her death.

The thing is , having a baby without your mum (or dad – or in my case neither parent) is a really strange feeling .

The loss of course ,you feel that. Here’s the next generation . The next hope for your family. In laws beam with pride and fuss and pour love into this tiny little human you’ve grown….you are grateful for that love and affection bestowed upon your baby you really are.

You’re already feeling the but aren’t you? Well here it comes …BUT there is such a huge hole , a huge gap where your parents should be . It’s massive and it feels massive and never before or after have I felt a grief as raw as that.

The other side of the family taking family pictures , telling stories about previous family births and babies . Maybe passing down shawls or other heirlooms. All I can contribute is me . This is where the family ends. There is noone above me . That’s gone. It feels as hard as it sounds. Add post birth hormones into the mix and really , you’re screwed.

It’s not just the loss though , huge as that is.

When I had my son ,I can’t tell you that as soon as our eyes met I fell completely in love . Wasn’t like that for me . When our eyes met I was exhausted , full of gas and air ,sore and traumatised. No room for sentiment.

That gush of love you read about in the books. The one you see in the movies ? Well it took us a couple of days. It came though , hard and strong one night at 3am during a night feed with the 2000 Olympics playing in the background. That sudden realisation….oh wow I would die for you …I would kill for you . Overwhelming in its brutal purity.

The very next thought after this little bombshell for me was ….f**k ….that’s how my parents felt about me ! I mean I knew I was loved …but not like that! I didn’t even know THAT existed.

So there I sat as Linford was being disqualified….weeping over my baby-literally dribbling tears over him (sure I’m not the only one to ever do that!!) Not only about how much I loved him but how much I missed being loved that fiercely.

Another tricky part of not having parents when you have children of your own is advice ? I was the first of my friends to have babies so no one to ask there . Not particularly close to extended family in that way. Was just me ….and him…..and that 3rd person I always turn to in any time of great need .

A book.

That book became my everything,its all I had. I have to say I also had the paternal grandparents of my son. Who were spectacular. Grandma did an amazing job of not sticking her nose in and only really giving advice when asked for . Which as a mum now I am aware must have been so hard and I’m not sure I could do it as well.

I’m not going to sell it as an upside as I’d rather have had living parents and a loving family to help out. However bringing up babies without parents did allow me a bit of freedom. There was noone advising me to do things a certain way because that’s how everyone had always done it . Or we did it like that and you turned out okay.

I found my own way through those early days . Me and my book and my textbook baby (he really was !) My sister was still living at home too so her auntie skills whilst I napped were invaluable!!

We worked it out between us he and I ? How to be a mum , how to be a family .There were times during a horrid bout of colic where I just thought I’d gotten it all wrong . He hated me !

After that though , we worked it out . Teething , weaning , potty training.

I still miss not having grandparents for my children. All the time . School plays and assemblies I feel it hardest. My mum in particular would have loved that . She’d have sobbed along right next to me .

Bringing up baby without your mum is a rollercoaster of grief and emotion .

As the babies grow though, and get older and you can tell them stories about the grandparents they’ll never meet , as you’ve carved your way , as you settle into dynamics it eases slightly. In the tricky way grief does , not completely,not everyday but most of the time.

I’m sure Prince Harry and his lovely new family will manage just fine and well but I’m sure there’ll always be a little thought of the special person missing .

Life is not a rollercoaster Ronan…

It’s a fu***ng see saw .

Up and down and up and down.

Not a teeny bit of an up followed by an ever so slight nudge down though .

It’s all or nothing , at least that’s how it feels at the moment.

Sorry , you know me and my analogies!! I’ve been pondering this one a while.

So when the man himself Ronan Keating sang to us “life is a rollercoaster you just gotta ride it ” well I see his point , you do “just gotta ride it ” not getting off any time soon. It’s just a rollercoaster is fluid and you can see what’s coming up ahead. Brace yourself for that huge dip before it happens. Hold on tight and you’re climbing up up up with the sounds of the cranking machinery in your ear.

My life doesn’t feel much like that at the moment.

Definitely more of a seesaw .

My new house is finally coming together , it’s been a long old trek . Emotionally exhausting and hard work. It’s all coming together though. I’m back running , that’s doing wonders for my mental health . There’s much talk of plans for the future within our family. Youngest boys uni plans , teen girls post school plans ,small girls high school plans. Our plans as a family. So I was there . I was up on the seesaw of life . At the very top , looking around savouring the view. Till whatever weight was keeping the other side down disappeared leaving me back to to earth with a huge bump. No warning , no bracing for the drop. Just suddenly I’m on the floor .

Makes me think of good old Alanis and her ironic lyrics !

Well, life has a funny way of sneaking up on you
When you think everything’s okay and everything’s going right
And life has a funny way of helping you out when
You think everything’s gone wrong and everything blows up
In your face

My sister and I , despite being pretty cynical types always agree about the latter bit of this statement. No matter what , no matter what turns up to stick a spanner in the works of your life , things generally turn out ok . Something turns up and everything is fine.

I don’t want to be someone who can’t appreciate the happy because they’re waiting on something spoiling it . I don’t want to be high on the seesaw unable to appreciate the view because I know at any minute it could be spoilt.

I’m aware I’m rambling a little , but this was the purpose of my blog from the off. Get the thoughts out my head onto the page and work them out from there.

Do you guys ever feel the same ? That when things look like they’re just chugging along nicely , things finally feel like they’re coming together something unexpected will always seem to come along and spoil it ??

I think maybe I just need to stay away from the seesaw . You need two people for that to work anyway. I’m almost 40 and have a sizeable arse ,seesaws were never gonna work for me . Maybe I should just hop on Ronan’s rollercoaster after all (not a euphemism!!) hold on tight ,deal with the nausea and scream a bit and wait till it stops .

Balls….that spoils my blog title eh ??

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“Reflections
”MrsMummyHarris”

3 Little Buttons

Things that are bringing me joy currently…

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Things have been a bit stressful here recently.

Between moving house , dealing with real life human versions of JK Rowling’s dementors and basically just existing as a human are coming together to ensure I have that permanent shoulder pain , you know cos you’ve spent all day tensed up ??! I need a massage (except I don’t like being touched !) I almost wrote a big old moany post but I thought no. Let’s turn this around . Look for the gratitude , the happy moments.

So here are some things that are bringing joy into my life at the moment (goes without saying the kids and my friends and family do right?)

Yoga

I’ve dabbled with yoga in the past but never stuck with it but I’m in for the long haul this time.

The shoulder pain mentioned above disappears after yoga , so effective is it for releasing tension. I’m learning to breathe too. I know I know I’m fast approaching 40 I should know how to breathe by now ,but concentrating on breathing and focussing on it is helping me in other areas of my life. I’ve talked about suffering from anxiety a bit in my blog and the uncontrollable breathing I feel for days before a flair up or even during an anxiety attack is really crippling for me . Well suppose it would be for anyone ! Breathing pretty necessary. By taking control of my breathing , concentrating on it though I feel I have more power than the anxiety and it helps.

Fleabag

We’re all watching aren’t we ? If you’re not then treat yourself . You’ve a series and a half to catch up on and I promise you’ll not regret it *

It is ,in my opinion, one of the best pieces of writing around.Pheobe Wallace Bridge is an absolute genius (did you know she wrote Killing Eve too !!talk about talent!) It’s so so moving whilst at the same time being so raw your emotions surprise you. I look forwards to Mondays currently!

David Tennant podcast

Ok we all know I have a bit of a ‘thing’ for Tennant ….ok ok a LOT of a thing . This series of podcasts though are just great. There are some huge names in there and my uber crush feels absolutely justified the man is witty and charming and ….

Ok I digress . Who fans I recommend the Jodie Whitaker episode for a double crush.

Running

This one is as much as a surprise to me as it is you. I’ve ran on and off for years and years and years . Thing is I’m actually quite lazy so talk myself out of doing it . This is such a shame because afterwards (and recently even DURING) I really love it.

Where we’ve moved to is on the edge of a pretty view which has absolutely improved my running motivation. The sunshine helps too. Long may it last .

Art Therapy

Stop rolling your eyes !! I know it sounds all touchy feely and out there but I’m really enjoying it at the moment. I’d share some of my art with you but you’ve most of you kids who could provide you with superior art but that’s the thing. It doesn’t matter even if you can’t draw or paint !! I wrote about the benefits for me here and I stand by them!

So that’s where I am right now , having all these things bring joy to my life and for that I’m grateful!!

Always helps during stressful times to stop and smell the roses eh??

*Should you regret it ,then sorry I’ve no hope for your soul!!

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The benefits of art therapy

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I suffer with a multitude of mental health ailments if truth be told . Anxiety and occasional low mood have been around so long they’re like old friends checking in from time to time. Like an overbearing relative that irritates the hell out of you when you see them and all through the visit you’re counting down to them leaving. You DO know exactly what I mean , don’t fib!

Them being old pals so long I’ve pretty much mastered the art of dealing with them . Anxiety can still manage to knock me sideways from time to time but knowing it won’t last , because it never has , helps enormously with acknowleding it’s showed up and waiting for it to piss the hell off again. Low mood similar , this too shall pass a credible mantra for me . As I always say when talking about mental health , I can only tell my story . Your experiences and techniques and symptoms will be different to mine but there’s often some kind of common ground there.

More recently we have a new mental health buddy to join the crew. Our newbie being trauma related . he brings with him flashbacks and nightmares and generally being scared of my own shadow. Loud bangs , noisy sqwarky birds??Yep that’s going to make me jump. In the stormy weather this morning a single leaf blew at me and had me jumping , heart racing ??? Not great!!

I needed a new way to deal with the bits in my brain that don’t work corectly and when Art therapy was mentioned i jumped on board. I know it sounds very touchy feely…new age …making clay out of your emotions nonsense , but for me it is a revelation. Here’s how it helps me?

EXPRESSING EMOTIONS WITHOUT TALKING

I’ve documented often on this blog how much of a struggle I find expressing my emotions verbally. That’s why writing this blog is really helpful to me actually. Expressing myself via the written word is so preferable to sitting talking to someone face to face *shudder*

Expressing my emotions with art , I have been amazed at how easy I find it. The session is led by an art therapist and there will always be a theme or some kind of a prompt. Themes such as resilience , feeling lost , guidance have all come up so far. As soon as I’m hearing these themes pictures and images just pop into my head and before I know it I’m there making art!! (ME the woman who struggles with stickmen!) I’ve also been surprised the emotions it’s stirred in me I’ve been teary a couple of times.

IT’S A GROUP THING

I wrote earlier in the year about how I feel like my my social anxiety has disappeared , walking into a group of strangers once upon a time would have been impossible to me . I’ve learned of late though , I really love people . I like hearing their stories and experiences and that although I am a big fan of my own company. Other people are great too!! The group is particularly nice and everyone listens and that dark humour that those of us in the know thrive on is apparent.

IT’S ALSO VERY INSULAR

My goodness I am a contridiction. The group setting for a chit chat before the session and then later to discuss our art is great . What I am benefitting from thoutgh is for that half hour, alone with my thoughts and my art materials I can completely absorb myself in my own emotions. Feels quite self indulgent , but for that time I am fully concentrated in expressing myself and it feels so good to be able to turn the world off for a little while.

IT CAN BE AN INDIRECT WAY OF DISCUSSING YOUR FEELINGS

So for a voacalising feelings phobe such as myself , and a woman who LOVES an analogy this works for me. We discuss our art and what we’ve made at the end of each session (you don’t have to noone will force you) I know I’m using whatever I’ve created to discuss my internalised feelings but it’s so much easier to discuss my boat in a stormy sea than talk about how lost I feel?

THERE IS TIME FOR REFLECTION
This is a clever one. Like i say I’m usually quite quickly inspired to create. Not too much though just get those ideas down. Afterwards though , later at home or a few days later even I can look at my own picture and almost appreciate the little touches and what they might mean.

As I say this probably isn’t for everyone , but it feels like it’s helpful for me . Expressing myself without needing to look someone in the eye and talk and getting to create at the same time . Well I don’t know why I didn’t try it sooner .

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Ah poor , neglected blog…..

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I have been a bad blogger of late !!

My posts have been sporadic and I feel like I’ve kind of lost my voice somewhere along the way. This isn’t the first time that the dreaded bloggers block has hit so I know it’ll pass but sitting and just writing seems to have become tricky for me .

I do have a lot going on at the minute. Moving house , trying to keep my mental health in a reasonable condition whilst in a stressful situations , continuing to Grab that wheel and get stuff done! Writing just seems to have taken a back seat. Which is a shame really as blogging and those amazing folk who read and comment on my blog do wonders for the old mental health so it really shouldn’t be the first thing to drop.

I’ve mentioned before how I had some blogging unpleasantness after my blog was found by someone who didn’t like me telling my story and though that hasn’t silenced me , I am a bit more cautious . I censor myself more than usual. I read too much into my own waffle and cut and edit way more aggressively than I ever had.

That has to stop.

The reason my blog is therapeutic to write is because I never have censored myself. I tell my stories , I talk about my experiences . I sit with a notebook or a keyboard , open my mind and let the words fall out. it’s the only way I can , or know how to write. So this sanitized , over thought version of my writing is never going to work for me , or you guys either really I don’t think. When I get comments it’s usually from women telling me they feel less alone for me discussing my experiences , or that they know what I’m talking about …they’ve been there too. Whether I’m discussing mental health or parenting or domestic abuse I like that my words connect with people. They’re the kind of blogs I love reading you see. One’s that touch me , make me feel , that i can identify with.

So how do I pull myself back to the girl who writes from the heart , overshares a lot and gets way more out of writing my blog when it feels free??

I’ve some ideas…

Firstly I need to actively make time for the blog. Set aside a block of time each week to look at my blog , reply to comments , join my beloved linkys , actually write . I need to then stick to that plan. I’ve always been a bit haphazard with writing and focus generally does me the world of the good.

I’m going to worry less about negative voices and focus on the positives. You want to hush me then chances are you were never someone reading my blog just because you like reading my stuff. Some of you DO like reading my stuff though , you’ve told me and everything so I’m going to focus on that.

I’m going to write about things I feel so passionate about that getting the words from brain to screen is no real hardship. They usually do , the posts that people seem to like. They’re the ones I’ve just brain dumped in 30 mins. Those posts that feel like hard work ?That feel like wading through treacle to get down? Well maybe those stories don’t need to be told after all.

So there we have it . The plan to get my blog back to how i like it . What makes it feel like mine.

A little bit waffly ,  scattered with rogue punctuation , chatty , raw , passionate , emotive.

Wish me luck!! xxx

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“Reflections

Our last World Book Day…..

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World Book Day…absolute pain in the arse am I right ???

All that fuss and nonsense and extra work and expense …why can’t they just encourage the kids to sit and read for an hour eh?

Why oh why oh why do we have to come up with an outfit and add to our school run stresses ….drives me mad…except..

Please don’t judge me , but all that moaning there was totally , utterly fake !

My name is Kelly and I bloody love World Book Day !!

I’m sorry . I know you’re going to hate me but I love every last face painting , glueing , flicking through books for inspiration of who to dress as minute of it !

To make things worse I’m going to have to confess to you the reason as to why I think I love it ( please remember how nice I am really !)

The thing is my first World Book Day was over 10 years ago. It was when we were still living back home in Hull and that primary school did things a little differently .

THEY HAD A WINNER!!!

Anyone who knows me will know make anything competitive that I think I have half a chance with and I am on board , and on board big! Firstborn has been a Harry Potter nut pretty much from second he could read so there was only one costume was going to be made. You couldn’t buy the Harry Potter robes then so i made them , I added a cloak of invisibility and believe me if I could have added some kind of optical illusion to make it real I would have. I spent an hour creating the scar….and I (I mean eldest ) won!

This I can only assume sparked some kind of madness in me and I have loved geting the kids dressed up ever since!

I can only apologise to you for not adding pics to this post , but elder 3 are teens now and my life would not be worth living!!

We’ve had some crackers though! Despite the earlier victory book costumes became less competitive after that it just became a kind of nice thing between the kids and I . Almost like Challenge Mummy!!! Teen boy the younger was especially good with this game . He’d pick obscure characters and was my challenge to produce an outfit. My Gingerbread man was a particular highlight , as was his Gangsta Granny that he insisted on for the laughs! (they’re as nuts as I am these children , have I mentioned that??)

Teen girl was never as really into it as her brothers , she’s always been a bit cooler than the rest of us in all honesty . We’ve rocked some Malory Towers stuff though (pretty painless one!) and a rather terrifying witch.

So here we find ourselves . Staring down the barrel of our last primary school bookday , and it makes me a bit emotional to be truthful. I can document in my head so many school years in bookday outfits and time spent chatting with the kids about who they would be and how we could make that costume.

I am just going to say here , we make our outfits but they always slightly resemble those articles you read about people trying to recreate Pinterest masterpieces and it failing spectacularly .We did the roly poly bird from Roald Dahl one year and the poor girl looked like she was off to baby burlesque or something. Come the assembly where they show their outfits to the school my kids are the ones with a bit of their costume hanging off or smudged facepaint. That I think is the crux of it for me . The kids don’t mind their costumes that are not quite right , where mums sewing has caused a wardrobe malfunction , where the choices are so obscure them and I are the only people in the room who get the reference ( last years Pugly from Pugly bakes a cake- a pug dog cook. I glued the letters of his name on the apron but by assembly it said pug-y..) They embrace it still. They know they love their books and any character they could pull out of thin air we could work out together how to make it happen . They know mum and her huge enthusiasm ( which unfortunately is not accompanied by her craft skills) will try her best to get to a costume that we recognise!

Sob….so bye bye Book day I will miss our crazy costumes and quirky craft…

Oh and this year small girl wants to be Hermione , her favourite character ever!

Easy peasy right . Borrow big brothers Gryffindor robes ( no we didn’t buy them for dress up , just day to day life!!) and easiest book day ever !!

Except …she wants to be Hermione after she has drank polyjuice and is mid transformation half cat , half Hermione…..hmmm leave it with me small girl!!

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Grabbing the wheel…with both hands

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Last week I wrote here about how I was increasing feeling like a passive person in my own life. Always reacting to events happening to me or to those around me rather than actually making things happen!

After writing it then reading it through and chatting it through with you guys who had read it I realised actually it wasn’t so much about not being in control , more to do with being unmotivated and absolutely lacking in get up and go!! Those of you who suffer with poor mental health will realise that this can be a red flag that all isn’t well in the old head! Losing interest in everything , to me certainly is a flashing red light with a siren accompanying it! Only on this occasion , thankfully, it wasn’t a signal of a mental health wobble. It was as simple as feeling uninspired and unmotivated.

So what was I doing to seek inspiration , how was I looking at getting some of that Kelly motivation going?? Well nothing actually . I was sitting around waiting for motivation to find me , for inspiration to ‘hit’ . We’re back to being a passenger in my own life again. Waiting for life to seek me out and kick me up the bum…..hmmmmm think I’ve tried that one many times and strangely enough there’s never a knock on the door to answer with motivation stood there hand outstretched hand to shake

” Hey , I’m motivation -I have been looking for you EVERYWHERE!!!”

Nope on this one Kelly , you’ve got to get off your bum and do this yourself.

The most amazing thing about this story is that I did!!

One of my worst character traits , that winds me up let alone anyone around me is that I’m very much of the mindset of why do today what you can put off until tomorrow! Therefore nothing gets done until it becomes of critical importance and that’s just a very stressful way to live. Someone once observed that I spend an awful lot of time crisis managing when it’d be completely unnecessary if I just stopped bloody procrastinating!

Definitely something in that.

Last week i began to pull it back.

I made arrangements to do things I know make me happy , make me relaxed , keep me mentally healthy. Things that have slipped by the wayside one way or another. I didn’t make excuses to myself about being restricted by time , by money, by my mental health. I just did it . I ran ,I wrote , I went back to a yoga class for the first time in years, I went to my very first art therapy sesson ( blog post on THAT revelation to come) , I’m sat here writing this post rather than draft a title and add it to the hundreds of potential outpourings currently languishing in my drafts folder.

I’m not going to say doing all these things have me on fire , super motivated and out there rocking life. In fact I don’t feel so much different to this time last week. What is different though is that I’m so looking forward to the week ahead. I’m excited to get back to yoga again , to revisit art therapy , to writing some more.

I’ve always been someone who needs to fill her time. The less i do , the less I’m motivated to do!

So here’s to a good week …and as for the world changing super motivated and inspired stuff. Well I’m sure it’s coming .

Watch this space…

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