Where has respect gone?

I won’t lie this blog may come over as a slight rant at society but it will also come across as something far too familiar to many of you.

As many of you know that follow of me, I have been doing some gardening to help with my mental health and overall well being. It was supposed to be something positive in my life and having my garden to look at would be a perfect reminder to enjoy the little things in life.

Well today that was thought was driven over. This isn’t a metaphor. Nope. Someone had drove over my front garden, knocked down my fence and smashed up my plant pots.

Firstly my reaction to this was pure rage! I mean what is wrong with society. Does anyone have respect for anyone or their property anymore? It’s really sad to think my daughter is going to live in a world where know-one shows respect for her or her feelings.

I grew up in a family where we were taught to be nice to everyone and be respectful to one another. Now if I’m correct in thinking, this is not that difficult. It’s not that hard to NOT drive over someone’s garden. If you feel I’m wrong please take your driving test again to know the difference between road and grass.

Secondly I felt and overall sadness for what had happened. I always keep to myself where I live I’m not noisy or messy I am what I call a good neighbour. So for someone to do this it’s made me question was this out of stupidity on their part or out of some sort of hate towards me. It’s left me feeling pretty low this afternoon. I had a lovely time with my daughter painting this morning and then when I saw my garden I have just felt the opposite of how I am meant to when I look at my garden.

I guess I am writing this blog out of sadness that the world just isn’t a place that I would like it to be. It isn’t inspiring and caring and loving. It has these people that just have no regard for peoples feelings. It isn’t easy for me to find time to do my garden having my daughter full time and I was proud of myself for doing it and making it look nice. I would just like to say to those out there who also have these idiots around them to know that I feel your sadness and anger, however it is those people that have lack of respect. It is those who lead these lives that don’t care about others. So yes it’s upsetting but it’s more upsetting that these people exist.

I won’t let these people ruin what I’ve worked so hard to achieve. Mental health is hard enough to cope with. We all need to be there for each other and support each other. Here for anyone who needs to rant too! ☺️

Be caring to yourself xx

Loosing yourself

It’s not until I meet up with a friend by myself or pop to the shop alone that I realise my identity isn’t the same now I am a parent.

My journey started with IUI fertility treatment. I went through this as I was in a same sex relationship. I really wanted a child and so I made it happen. Luckily I was successful. When I chose to have a child I didn’t really realise how my identity would change. Obviously I knew I was going to be a mum but until you are a parent you don’t think about some of the changes to your life.

I’m not your average stereotypical mum. I certainly don’t dress like one and I’m not into all those mum groups and coffee meet ups. Not saying that there is something wrong with these at all. It’s just not me.

Be a single parent it’s really hard to do the things you love that makes you feel a bit more in touch with yourself. For example there are times I’d love to go for a nice walk in the evening or pop to the beach and watch the sunset. However when you have a little one you can’t just do that when they are fast asleep in bed. I love my little one to pieces but it’s been hard for me to loose my identity. Yes I identify as a mum of course. However when you are alone either at work or on a date it’s really hard to then go from a mum to you as a person. It’s almost like I’m having some sort of identity crisis at the moment.

I remember when I was pregnant I felt like I had to be someone I’m not. I’d say I’m fairly tomboy so to be pregnant it felt like something did match up and I did become more feminine because of this. A lot of the time it’s probably because I worry way too much about what others think of me. It doesn’t help when you get called a boy when you have short hair. It’s 2021 women have short hair!

It’s not that I’m not happy identifying as a mum but I am also many other things and I feel like these parts of me get forgotten about. When people ask what are your interests and hobbies I honestly don’t know how to answer because I don’t have any now that I’m a full time mum. I guess I find this upsetting because it shows that I’ve lost myself slightly.

I think it’s time I found a new interest or hobby that I can enjoy for me. Soon my little one will be in nursery. I want to use that time for myself. To do the things I love and maybe I will start to feel a bit more at peace with myself. I’m sure I’m not the only mum out there that feels this way.

Be caring to yourself xx

Gardening & Mental Health

For the last four days I have been clearing out my garden. Originally I was just going to remove a heather that had surrounded one of my palms. It then lead to weeding the border of plants and well now four days later I’ve had a big transformation of my garden.

We have been super lucky to have had such beautiful weather. The sun is definitely a mood changer for me and I am a lot more cheery and have more energy on sunny days. Today it’s cold and cloudy and all I want is to snuggle into a blanket. Since I’m sitting and not doing as much I am noticing my mood. Not that I’m in a dark place but it’s the fact I am noticing it.

Since I was born I have been a really active child always playing outside and keeping busy and this went into teenage years and as a young adult. Then I met an ex partner and I drifted into a more relaxed person. By the way this felt so uncomfortable for me. I felt irritable not doing things. While I’m sitting here writing this I’m recognising I am not a relaxing person. Don’t get me wrong I love a hot bath and a sit in the sun! But I fidget all the time it’s like my body wants to do more. I’m looking around what I can do next. I’m sure there are many of you reading this thinking I’m either crazy and need to chill out or there are the other people similar to me thinking well that’s ok to be active most the time.

So back to gardening. I’ve had such a nice time clearing out the gardening and making my patio nice with pot plants. I haven’t had a second to think of anything negative and I haven’t had any anxiety because of this business. It’s been really nice. They say that spring cleaning in the house is a good way to create a space in your mind and well for me the garden has been the same. A mixture of the sun, fresh air and clearing up has almost been therapy for me. Plus the added time spent with my daughter blowing bubbles brought my inner child out which was really lovely.

I made sure I have made my garden easy to maintain but also an opportunity to get outside more. Just going to water the plants or do some weeding will give me the opportunity to get out of my mindset and just enjoy being in the moment. It is also nice to just put the phone down too as that’s something I can struggle with when I’m indoors.

For those of you who don’t have a garden but have a window ledge why don’t you think of having some indoor plants or even some tomato plants etc. Bring outside in and try being with nature a little more instead of the daily electronics that take over our lives.

Be caring to yourself xx

No more Dummy/pacifier

Every parent tries their hardest not to use a dummy with their baby. Thing is it’s not that easy sometimes. I didn’t buy any at the start. I had one that came with my bottle set though and one evening my daughter woke up in the night and was not happy and was screaming down the house. Only weeks old at the time. I was exhausted and she wouldn’t let me put her down. Trying to make her milk at the same time was just not working out. So I did it. I got the dummy out and peace was restored. She is now 30 months old.

So I’m not actually a fan of the dummy for a couple reasons. One being that it can effect their speech. Children are more likely to pronounce words more with a lisp or incorrectly if they talk with their dummy in. Secondly it can have an effect on their teeth and oral hygiene. Thirdly it becomes a safety and comfort support which is not always helpful.

So I knew she would be starting nursery next month and I really don’t want her going there with a dummy. Main reason I can’t keep an eye if it falls on the floor and it’s not cleaned before it goes back in her mouth and this is a big problem for me. So it was time to say goodbye to the dummy for the daytime at least.

So what method did I use? I didn’t actually plan this by the way. I just sat there one morning and said to myself let’s do this!

I told my daughter to come into the kitchen and explained to her that there wasn’t going to be a daytime dummy anymore and that they were going to be taken by a fairy. I said they have to go into the bin and she will collect them when we aren’t looking and in return she will give you some chocolate buttons for being so kind to her.

Ok this worked! I was shocked to be honest but thank god it actually seemed to of worked. I then went on to say she will bring one dummy back at night time as you have shared it in the day. So before bed I say let’s check your special pot to see if she has left your dummy. Honestly her face was so happy when she saw she had left it and she got so excited it was adorable to see.

Since then, which was about two weeks ago she has only mentioned the dummy a couple of times. Usually when she hurts herself. I explain to her that she doesn’t have the dummy anymore in the daytime but i will comfort her and give her a cuddle and this seems to help. This was another worry that she would hurt herself or be upset and the only way she would be ok is with a dummy and I want her to learn to share her feelings and cope in a better way as she can’t have her dummy forever.

I waited this long to loose the dummy as she still also hasn’t got all her teeth so teething has been an issue and it was her pain relief. Now I suggest Calpol to her and she either has it or doesn’t it’s up to her.

All I would say is don’t stress too much about it,do it when you are ready otherwise it can be quite overwhelming and don’t make the situation too upsetting for your little one. These things take time like it does if your an adult and give something up. There may be steps backwards but in the end your trying your best for your little ones. Hope my tip helps anyone wanting to try! Please feel free to ask any more questions in the comments section.

Be caring to yourself xx

Dating as a single parent

Let’s face it most of us want to have that person who we love and share adventures with. As much as we love our children it’s not quite the same as adult company. Ok it’s nothing like adult company.

Question is how do we date when we have children and there is no other parent? Well it’s complicated to be honest. I have a 30 month old and well I love her to pieces however I would like to date someone. Thing is if I do want to date I then need to find a sitter and usually it’s my parents as I don’t have a childminder that I can trust. Especially at night time. This can get difficult if you want to continue dating and trying to get your parents to keep having your child, which in my case becomes an issue.

Next you have to try and turn off mummy mode and turn into single adult mode which is not the easiest of things to do. We want to check our phones incase something has happened or bring their names into every sentence. We can’t help it we adore our children and they are in our lives 24/7 so how can they suddenly not be in our thoughts. It’s trying to find someone who understands this. People might think o well maybe your not ready to date? No actually I am a mum and that doesn’t change wherever I am. When they say children are part of the package we mean it. We can’t just drop them at any time. Does this mean you won’t get anytime with me? Of course you would it’s call making time and making it work.

What I can’t stand is not acknowledging my child at all. I’m not saying let’s spend the whole date talking about them but at least acknowledge I have a child and so my interests and hobbies might not be as exciting and staying out until 4am every weekend. Also if I want to go to bed at 9pm I will, I’m bloody exhausted! And there is a strong possibility she will wake in the night. I can’t afford to go to bed late every night or i will burn out.

Introducing your child…. well this is a tricky one. If your lucky enough to find someone who loves kids or has kids this isn’t that difficult to be honest as they are more likely to say they can’t wait to meet them so it takes a lot of stress out the situation. However if you have a child like mine I’ve learnt to hold it out. She gets really attached quickly so without being negative if it doesn’t work out then it can cause upset for your child. Maybe give it a couple months see how it goes first.

Sometimes I feel that people think single parents shouldn’t date because it’s too complicated or they don’t want to be the other parent to the child. If you feel that way then don’t date someone in this situation. Simple as that! It’s really hard for us to find someone. Not only are we looking for the person of our dreams but we also have to look for someone who is going to be loving and caring towards our children. Add being Vegan on top and it makes it even more complicated haha. On a serious note to all single parents… you deserve to find happiness and have those exciting adventures with someone. They do need to be on board that you have a child. If they aren’t don’t waste your time they aren’t right for you. Most of all just enjoy it. Enjoy the adult company and conversation. Have fun!

Be caring to yourself xx

Celebrate every success

What a crazy year it has been! I think everyone has felt a bit pants with this virus and it has lead to living a almost negative lifestyle. But there are things we should celebrate more that we fail to acknowledge.

So what sort of things am I talking about? Well it can literally be anything! It’s spring so why don’t you have a mini clear out and spring clean while your stuck inside more. Not only will the house look better but it will naturally make your mind more free of negative vibes. Cleanse your mind as well as you home!

I’m naturally an anxious person who can get into deep depression easily so for me this has been an eye opener. Recently I have left my work to look after my daughter before she starts nursery. Believe me it’s not easy being non stop all day with a little one. So to all you stay at home parents your doing a great job! Celebrate this. Have an evening where you have some treats and feel good about how your coping.

Getting your child through milestones can be exhausting. I’ve not long potty trained mine and I was knackered at the start due to the constant taking her to the toilet every hour and then changing her or cleaning up accidents. I found it mentally draining. But hey I bloody did it! So I’m going to make it a big deal. We always just brush over these moments like they were nothing but in fact they are really big moments for our little ones and we helped them get there so don’t ignore it!

If your feeling in a bit of a crappy mood then look for something you can complete however small it may be and then celebrate that you have done it.

It’s so easy for us to be hermits right now and self destruct but finding little things to make us feel better is a start to living a more virus free life.

Having anxiety I find even going outside for a walk is an achievement. For others it may be super easy but for me it can be very overwhelming leaving the house. Still if you aren’t quite there yet don’t despair you could do something else to help with your anxiety like trying a meditation session. This can also be a success.

Find one thing today that you can do. It can be cleaning the house, doing some washing, sorting through paperwork, going outside or just looking back at those times you have accomplished something like I did with potty training and just take a moment to praise yourself! You deserve it.

Be caring to yourself xx

Always saying No!

I never noticed how much I say ‘No’ until my ex partner brought up the conversation.

It’s a word that seems to be used so much as a parent that I even noticed that someone brought out a film on Netflix called Yes! It is worth a watch by the way. It’s about a family who have created a Yes day for their kids and they have to say Yes to everything. Just watching it I was laughing as well as cringing at how parents get stuck in this rut.

My daughter is 2 and a half! She is exploring everything, touching everything and just throwing herself into danger. So how do I not say no to these things? Do I change my language I am using to don’t do that please or not now if she wants to do something she can’t. It is so difficult to change your words especially when your mind is already ticking at a hundred miles an hour. I’ve read parenting books regarding it and they do say this can help.

The question I ask myself though is should I be more relax with my child. Should I stop seeing the danger in every single thing. I’m on a constant worry all the time with her because as most parents they are our world and they rely on us.

I’m sure all she is wanting is to just have fun and be herself. Of course I won’t just let her cross the road but maybe I should be a little more relaxed on other situations where really she could learn from things. Soon when she is in nursery I won’t be there and I do worry that she will hurt herself.

I think when you suffer from anxiety you are naturally heightened with danger and emotions. I’m sure there are more parents out there that feel this way and it’s not just me, but if there are any tips or good books anyone knows of to help then please feel free to comment below. The book I’ve read and can recommend is by Phillipa Perry called ‘ The book you wish your parents had read’. It’s explains many things about parenting, I found it useful when it came to teaching my child her emotions.

Let’s all try to stop saying No at everything!

Be caring to yourself xx

Where is my energy?

One of these days I would love to wake up with lots of energy and just smash out the day! I shouldn’t do it but looking at Instagram is making me feel so out of condition and like a heap of potatoes.

I was a really active child and teenager. Joining the Army after I left school, fitness was my favourite thing to do all the time. Even when I left the army I went into personal training. Then out of knowhere I completely lost my love of sport and exercise.

I’m not sure if I had some sort of mental breakdown or something but it’s been like an identity crisis for me when I lost something I loved doing. Now I have little motivation for anything active. Which as you can imagine just makes everything worse.

Funny fact; I’m current writing this blog while on my spin bike. Trying to gain some sort of inspiration from my life. Plus I had an Easter egg yesterday so the guilt has kicked in haha. No I don’t go on it every day at all!

So what I am trying to figure out is whether this is all in my head this lack of energy or there is something going on in my body to make me feel this way.

I have a two year old daughter too which I raise by myself so obviously that takes away a little bit of my energy. Or could it be that I’m 30 this year and energy just isn’t the same! Surely this can’t be it!

I’ve started being really strict with taking all the essential vitamins plus a few extra ones to help with my pms. I also make sure I eat healthy too. Water I could drink more so I need to really focus on this one as they say it can help with your energy levels.

If it is a mental barrier what can I do to change this? Should I push myself to get up everyday and just go for a walk to help kickstart my energy levels? I think I will start doing some sort of diary and get back to everyone on this. I’m pretty sure lockdown hasn’t helped with feeling so shut in all the time.

How about yourselves? Is energy a problem that you suffer with on a daily basis or are you still out and about working your ass off and looking fantastic from it? Please leave comments if you have been in the same situation and managed to solve it!

Be caring to yourself xx

Routines

I am a person who likes a routine of some sort. By this I mean I generally get up in the morning and get ready, have breakfast and get my daughter ready at the same time.

I find being organised helps me to feel less overwhelmed and a little more in control. Even preparing clothes for the next day can take that 10 minutes of deciding away.

So knowing I like routine I have always been pretty strict with creating a good one for my daughter. From morning to night we both know what will happen in certain times of the day and this way she is never surprised when I’m saying it’s bedtime.

In the morning we always do the boring task of getting dressed first and going to the toilet. I think most adults do this one without noticing. We then have breakfast together and then teeth brushing before the day begins. I let her have a choice of breakfast, that isn’t part of a routine. However she still has her soya drink. Same goes for lunch and dinner. I give her a couple of options to choose from.

Now we also have routine of leaving the house. Let’s face it when you have a two year old, a hyper dog and bags to get out the house it can be rather stressful. So I normally get things ready before I start calling everyone. I get my own coat on first then My daughter while my dog I put outside if it’s dry because she will knock my child over out of excitement bless her. I find this works best.

The most important of all is the routine we have at bedtime. Now there may be some of you that don’t really stick to a time. However I have since I can remember and I find it helpful for both of us. My daughter doesn’t nap in the daytime so her bedtime is quite early at about 6pm. We have dinner before hand, then a bath and then straight to bed. I lay out her pjs and anything else she needs while the bath is running so I’m not trying to find her teddy she sleeps with while she is meant to be sleeping. I never read with her in bedtime routine as I feel it just excites her and wakes her up. I then lie her down, give her a kiss and that’s it. She knows I’ll always come to her if she needs me as I have since birth. I wasn’t a parent that let their child cry I’ve always cuddled her to sleep when she was very small and I believe this has given her the confidence and security that she needs.

Routine has been such a big part of raising my daughter and I will always stick to it. It gives reassurance to my daughter and it takes away stressful situations that can lead to those arguments. Also if the child knows how it is they are less likely to play up and ask for something else that adds another 30 minutes to your evening.

Have a think about some stressful times you have with your child and maybe start to incorporate a routine. Even the smallest change can make a huge difference to both your lives.

Be caring to yourself xx

The pressure of Child Milestones

I remember reading all of the pregnancy books and what to expect in your first year with your baby. Well all I want to say is don’t take what you read too seriously and stop worrying if your child isn’t quite doing things others are.

My first hurdle with my daughter was tummy time! Now this is one everyone seems so obsessed with. Yes I understand the reasoning and importance of it. However I had quite a sicky baby and it made it worse even if I timed it between feeds she just couldn’t do it without being sick bless her. So as a parent after reading all of these things I was thinking she wouldn’t get enough neck strength. All because these books and mum groups are constantly making it the biggest thing in the world. It made me feel like a terrible parent. My daughter has never had a problem with her neck she used to lean back a little when I held her and as she grew and started to move around herself she naturally got into the position she needed.

Next I had. Is your child not crawling yet, mine is almost walking. Well good for you but no I’m not forcing mine to do things when they aren’t ready. I’ve always let my daughter just do things when they are clearly ready. For one of when you force your child too early it can actually cause harm to their development as their brain hasn’t had time to catch up and learn how to do things for themselves.

For example I taught my daughter to use the potty at age 2 and a bit. I asked her and I had a potty in the house but she kept saying no so I told her it was ok and we will wait until she is ready. She is now two and a half rarely If ever has an accident because she was ready and she can actually communicate with me. For me it was important she could actually say mummy I need the toilet. Otherwise you have a 6 month old constantly wetting themselves because they don’t know how to say they need the toilet.

My child is a happy child. Who has had the chance to just be her and at her pace. Yes I spend a lot of time with her teaching her new things. The books I don’t read. Other opinions from mums who actually don’t know their kids I don’t listen to.

Basically get to know your child. I haven’t sent my daughter to nursery yet as she has started to have all her feelings and she can’t understand them yet. So I’m taking the time to tell her it’s ok and understand them herself.

You know your child more than anyone else and if they aren’t ready then they will be in time and when they do accomplish something they will be confident and happy because they have done it themselves and know and understand. Stop worrying about the little things and just enjoy being a mummy in their first few years. It’s so easy to get caught up in the milestones.

Be caring to yourself xx