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My Top Five Stress Free Tips When You Have A Poorly Child

So this week Poppy has had Tonsillitis! And what a long week it has been.

It can be tiring when they are poorly. They don’t understand why they feel that way and can be very hard work which leads to a stressed parent!

Here are my top 5 tips which have really helped me out this week and kept the stress at bay!

1. Dose them up.

This is a very obvious one. I can only guess that most of you are like me, you have a cupboard full of paracetamol, ibroprofen, cough medicine etc. I used to buy all the branded medicine but now I buy the pharmacy own because I found my littlies prefer the taste plus you can get a big bottle for half the price! Just ask at the counter.

2. Let them pick!

We all know when we aren’t well we sometimes don’t want a big meal. Especially when it comes to tonsillitis. As long as they are drinking plenty there is no need to worry. If they are being sick then dairy is a definite no no but if they are able to keep anything down, cereals, yoghurt and jellies with fruit are good and also cold on the throat. Especially ice cream!

3. Fresh air

As long as they aren’t contagious and able to, still try to get some fresh air. Even if it is just a walk around the road or popping over the shops. As you know we all go a bit stir crazy if we are stuck inside to long.

4. Accept help

This week I don’t know what I would of done without accepting help from family. We are all guilty of over loading ourselves and think we can do it all, I know, I am one of them. Let someone take the other children if needed so you can have break and concentrate on the poorly one. Let someone else collect the medication.

5. Lots of cuddles

Nothing beats a mummy/daddy cuddle when you are poorly! They can be unsure why they are feeling the way they do, especially if they are young and just want to be cuddled. Make the time. Sod the housework, that will still be there later. Put a film on or read some books. Snuggle up in bed or make a den in the sofa.

Well there are my five top tips on what to do when the kids are poorly. I hope this helps you as much as it helped me stay stress free ❤️

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Living with Depression and Anxiety: My Story

In light of September being Suicide Awareness month (even we are now in October!) I thought I would write about my, not so much a battle but my story.

I was 14 years old when I took a trip to the doctors and heard the words “you are suffering from depression.” I was put on Floroxatine and had to take one a day.  I was feeling low because I wasn’t doing very well at school, close family had moved away and I had fallen out with my best friend. 

The lead up to the doctors appointment was awful.  I would cry at the smallest thing (I put it down to hormones!!), loose my temper really easily.  I remember one day I got a hairband stuck in my hair and I completely lost it.  I was screaming and crying, literally pulling my hair out.  Worst of all, I put my parents through hell.  Running away and telling them I didn’t want to live with them anymore.  They eventually took me up to my grandad, who had recently moved to the isle of sheppy in Kent which was a 2 hour car journey.  He was the one who convinced me to go to the doctors. 

My moods were up and down for years, on and off the anti-depressants.  Then I became a mummy for the first time.  Everything was fine until I moved out.  I had become very close to my parents and even though I was ready to go, I was dreading being alone.  

My husband didn’t live with me yet so Poppy used to go to stay with him Monday to Wednesday.  It used to break my heart every time she left and I missed her like crazy but it was good that she was spending time with daddy.  For those three days I didn’t bother getting out of bed, I wouldn’t go out or see anyone.  I became very very low.  One day it just hit me that I couldn’t live like this anymore so I went to the doctors.  I was diagnosed with post natal depression. Back on the tablets I went!! 

Things settled down again until I had my 2nd and 3rd baby.  I had these two very close together.  Being we still live in our 2 bedroom flat, we are very cramped.  We are all on top of each other and have literally no space.  The immense pressure to keep it tidy is getting too much.  I cannot keep in top of it.  Everyday is a struggle for us.  

I wake up every day feeling sick, difficulty breathing and feeling like something bad is going to happen.  Anxiety is such a difficult thing to explain.  I feel like I am failing my husband and my children because I can’t give them everything they need.  Although the children are happy and healthy, I still feel they deserve that little bit more.  My depression and anxiety has never been like this before. 

Although whilst writing this there are tears rolling down my cheeks,  I am pleased to write that I do have a doctors appointment tomorrow.  Hopefully I can get myself sorted out so that I can be the best I can be for my family.    I hope this post reaches out to someone, even if it is just one person, to let you know you are not alone.  Please do not suffer in silence.  ❤️

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My First Week As A School Mum

So that time has finally arrived.  Our baby girl is starting school! It has come around far too quickly!

The first 3 days she had to go in 09:05-11:45 so we were literally walking backwards and forwards! She was very happy everytime we picked her up and no problems going in.  By day three she knew where all her stuff went and was even helping the others. 

Thursday she stayed for her first lunch.  She had spaghetti bolognaise and ice-cream!  She was over the moon that they had ice-cream! She was so happy that she could sit with her new friends and show her teacher how well she can use a knife and fork.

Friday was her first full day.  We were all pretty shattered by now so was glad that she had a long day!  She had a lovely first full day, told me that she had made some new friends,  ate all her lunch of fish fingers and chips but she was so tired, she could do with a rest.  

Our Princess had a lovely first week of school and has settled in beautifully.  We couldn’t be prouder ❤️

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My Body Issues: Before and After Pregnancy 

I have always been in dispute with my body.  I have always been a big girl and it bothered me so much.  

When I started at secondary school, I discovered all these different body shapes and sizes.  Most of the girls were skinny or had lovely curves, then there was me.  

I had already started to develop breasts which made me look bigger than I actually was, I had a massive bum and tree trunks for thighs.  I was often called “fat” or “big tits” and even though I used to laugh it off, I was crying inside. Most evenings I would stand in front of the mirror trying to find something I liked about myself, but I couldn’t. 

As I got older I started to worry more and more about how I looked.  All my friends were skinny and could wear little shorts, short skirts and tight dresses.  I envied them so much.  I used to dread going shopping and having to look up the other end of the rails in the bigger sizes. 

When I started working as a domiciliary carer, the weight started to drop off, especially when I was cycling every day.  I was starting to feel good about myself.  I was able to start looking through the clothes at the other end of the rack!  

Then I met Jonathan.  Again I started to worry about how I looked.  I became paranoid that he wouldn’t find me attractive and it took me a long time to feel comfortable but he always told me that I was beautiful and I shouldn’t hide my body away.  After a few months, I began to feel confident again. 

5 years later, I found out I was pregnant.  I was so excited and couldn’t wait to get my baby bump.  All my insecurities went out of the window and now I was eating for two, nothing mattered.  It never occurred to me about after the birth! Poppy was born in November 2012 and I had gained 4 stone! 

At first it didn’t bother me, until I found it a struggle getting up and down off of the floor.  My knees would give way and I would become so out of breath.  So I decided to do something about it.  I joined a local slimming world group. 

It was hard to get my head around at first but once I had it figured and with support from friends and family, I reached a 1.5 stone loss.  I starting to feel better and was seeing results.  Jonathan and I got married, the weight continued to drop and I reached 2 stone.  I was more energetic and able to run around and play with Poppy and not get out of breath.   

When I found out I was pregnant with Douglas, I wasn’t worried as I knew I could still stick to my sw diet but with a few tweaks.  Unfortunately I suffered with Hyperemesis Gravidarum (severe morning sickness) and had to be hospitalised.  I dropped right down to 15st 7lbs.  This was the smallest I had ever been, but not for the right reasons.  The sickness came and went throughout the pregnancy so I wasn’t able to attend slimming world anymore. 

After he was born in December 2015 I didn’t feel as big as I did after Poppy.  I still felt huge though.  I didn’t have time to do anything about it as… I found out I was pregnant again!  Douglas was 3months old.  All body insecurities and worries went out the window.  I had 2 children to concentrate on and another baby to grow so I didn’t have time to worry or diet. 

In November 2016, Amber came into the world.   My weight didn’t even enter my head. 

“who cares anymore?!” 

When I did get on the scales, I was back to where I was after Poppy.  I didn’t cry though.  

My body is amazing.  It was my babies home for 9 months.  Who cares if I have a flabby belly.  Who cares if I have a bum that could block out the sun? Who cares if I have thunder thighs? My children certainly do not.  My husband does not. 

They love me for who I am, not what I look like.  Poppy tells me everyday that I look nice or a I am beautiful.  

I am loosing weight without trying.  My dispute with my body is now over.  I am happy with how I look.  There is enough of me for everyone to have a bit to snuggle up to….. Because nobody wants to cuddle a stick 🤣

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Mummy’s Still Learning 

Becoming a parent the first time around can be pretty scary, especially if you aren’t used to children.  Nothing prepares you for what is about to come.  

When Poppy was first placed in my arms I felt a mix of emotions.  Awe, love, and fear.  

“I don’t know how to look after a baby! I didn’t think this through.” 

But over the next few days, I really surprised myself. Through the broken sleep, I was learning to change nappies, breastfeed, bathing and dressing.  She was like a little China doll, so precious and delicate.  

In the following months, I knew what cry means what and I was just getting on with it.  She learned to roll over, sit up, feed herself, stand up and take her first step.  With every new milestone, i learned something new too.  Don’t leave things on the floor,  roll up a blanket behind her when she is sat to give her support and that when feeding, she will gag! Its all part of it. 

I finally got used to being a mummy.  Although I was still learning every day.  When I found out I was pregnant again, I was excited but also nervous.  What if I couldn’t do it.  Poppy was used to my undivided attention and I was worried that I wouldn’t have time for her anymore, but she was soo excited! 

When little man arrived,  again came the rush of mixed emotions, accept stronger.  I now have to children to look after.  It was strange having a new born again, especially as he was 2lbs smaller.  Again I had my fragile little doll.  Finally settled in to having two children, luckily Poppy is very helpful and loved getting involved with nappy changes, feeding and bathing.  

Poppy was still learning something new every day at pre school and I was learning what Douglas needed.  He was a completely different ball game to Poppy.  

Then when he was just 3 months old, I found that I was pregnant again.  I cried and cried.  I was just learning to juggle 2 babies! Me and my husband sat and talked all night. After much thought, we decided to go for it! It was the hardest decision we have ever had to make.  

Whilst my bump grew, the older 2 children were exploring and learning each day and so was I. We were in a good routine, which I had learnt is very very important in a child’s life.  

Amber then arrived and I jumped straight into it.  The midwives left me to it, knowing that this is my third child.  We settled back into a routine very quickly.  Amber, again, was a completely different ball game to the other two.  Very demanding and wanted lots of attention. 

To this day I am still learning about being a parent.  What cry means what, new fads and that the park is the best place in the world! The biggest thing I have learnt so far is that children don’t want the latest toys or clothes (well they do for about 5 minutes) they just want your time, attention and love. 

But all the other things…… Mummy is still learning 

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My First Experience Of A Pre-school Mum

My  first experience as a Pre-school mum is now over, and what fun it has been! 

I was very nervous about Poppy starting and leaving her with complete strangers, but as soon as  we stepped in the building on our first visit, I knew we had made the right choice. 

The first term flew by and I could see a big change in Poppy.  Her confidence was growing, she was learning something new every day and she was making friends.  I had driven passed a few times just to see if I could see her playing outside and she had been playing alone or just wondering around by herself and was growing concerned but when they told me she was mixing well, I was so happy.  I suppose being an only child at this point, she was used to playing alone. 

Every session she was bringing home a picture she had done or something she had made.  She was also singing new songs she had learnt and taught them to me.  

Christmas soon came and after a lovely play they put on at the local church , we were invited back to the school for a party.  She showed us all her friends and we got chatting to the other parents and I soon found I was making friends too! 

 Spring time arrived and it was time for the Carnival! Because it was the pre-schools 90th birthday, there was a theme, David Attenborough in the jungle.  Everyone looked fantastic! It poured down with rain but the children didn’t complain once.  We were right behind the band so we just danced along in the rain! 

The second year flew by just as quickly as the first.  Every day she was learning more and more.  

I can’t believe my baby starts Infants in September.  We can’t Wait for the next adventure 

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Our Day At Manor Farm 

It was a little while ago we went to Manor Farm in hedge end but I want to share it with you.  

As I am without transport and the kids were driving me absolutely crazy being stuck indoors, my mum offered to take us out for the day.  I have never been to Manor Farm ( according to mum I had been with my primary school, I don’t remember what happened last week let alone 20 years ago ;-)) and it is a lovely place to go!  

Before we went into the farm we stopped and had a cup of tea and milkshakes in the nice little picnic area.  The drinks were reasonably priced but I don’t mind paying a bit extra if it goes to a good cause like the upkeep of the place.  

When we went in, I was amazed at how big it is!  The first thing we saw was a cute little bunny rabbit.  He was out of his cage and Douglas made a bee line for him!  Luckily he was so gentle and didn’t bash the crap out of it like he normally would(phew!).  A member of staff was stood with the bunny and was telling all the children that the bunnies are all named after King’s and Queens of the past!  Poppy was taking it all in. 

Next we went to see the pigs, we didn’t stay long as the kids didn’t like the smell! 

After the kids stopped holding their noses,  we had a look in the house which is set in the war time.  It was used in the filming of  ‘War Time Farm’ and on a Sunday in the kitchen they have cooking sessions with the children and they can make jam tarts, treacle pudding and all the old fashioned treats!

We the went through to the school and Poppy was fascinated.  They had the top opening desks and inside was a chalkboard and chalk.  Poppy asked what it was for and we told her that they didn’t really use pen and paper in those days.  She was taking it all in and asking lots of questions.  I love it! 

We then came across a park! So far Douglas had walked the entire time and I was surprised he wasn’t tired by now and climbing in the pushchair but no he was still going!  The park had tractors and diggers that they could climb on, an astro turfed track with trucks, tractors and trikes they could pedal around on and an under cover sandpit.  We spent over an hour at the park and was hard work getting them to leave as they were having so much fun! 

There were a few little animals the rest of the way around like ducks, chickens and goats.  We also came across a mock cow that you can ‘milk’ but water came out.  Poppy having done this to a real cow whilst on holiday, got stuck straight in and even Douglas had a go! 

We then went back to the picnic area and ate our picnic. 

I definitely recommend Manor Farm in hedge end, Southampton!  It’s educational and fun.  They are holding a fairy and pirate event in a few weeks and I cannot wait!