Saturday, 22 August 2015

A slight rant.

 By doing this blog i completely understand that i am opening myself up to peoples thoughts and opinions of me and what i do or say. I get that and i am absolutely fine with that. I know people aren't always going to agree with me on some things. And i totally respect that.

What i am not ok with is it being assumed that i cannot possibly be a decent mum for no reason other than the fact i have a mental illness. That even though my daughter is a thriving, happy little girl, i must be doing a shit job because I'm "mental" or because "i have issues" (Yep, people have used these very words to describe me).

How dare anyone put me, and effectively any other parent with mental illness, in the same category as those who neglect and abuse their children simply because i suffer with depression. An illness. Something i cannot help.

This is exactly why there is such a stigma attached to mental health conditions. Why so many people suffer but won't ask for help for fear of being judged. Why so many new mums struggle every single day with post natal depression, pretending they are ok, but ultimately missing out on so much because they are constantly at war with themselves. Why people find themselves in awful scary situations because they are too afraid to reach out for help. 

And what irritates me so much is it is people who have NEVER experienced any form of mental illness that are so SO quick to judge those of us who have. 

Since when has it been ok to constantly criticise and speak badly on a matter you have no fucking idea about? To label and stereotype a potentially very vulnerable group of people because you are too small minded and ignorant to see the bigger picture? 

I am so completely and utterly sick of hearing it. 

The only advice i can give to these kinds of people is the following:

1. Educate yourself - 

2. Stop reading my blog. 


Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Rock Bottom

This is a post i have had in my drafts for a long time, but i haven't had the courage to publish. Only a few close friends and family know what you are about to read. I have spent a very long time being ashamed and embarrassed about it. Feeling weak and pathetic and undeserving. I have finally accepted that this happened because i wasn't in my right frame of mind, i wasn't 'me'. It feels totally alien to read it now. I should also warn some you that there are some potential triggers within this post. 

If I'm honest suicide is something that i haven't ever really fully understood. Ive never been able to get my head around how someone can feel like death is the only way out of a situation, no matter how bad a situation they were in. Particularly people who have family and friends around them. I have found myself in awful places in my life where i have felt like i will never get to the other side, but never suicidal. 

And yet this is exactly where i found myself when i finally decided i couldn't continue with my relationship with Betsy's dad.  

I couldn't carry on being in a relationship with someone i didn't love. Someone who deserved so much better than me. 

I couldn't live with the guilt of admitting this to him and breaking his heart. My heart. Ripping our family apart.

I couldn't even begin to comprehend how i could continue to live my life on my own, when i struggled so much with things already despite knowing i have someone by my side to help me. 

I couldn't bear the thought of Betsy having to be stuck with me and only me when i am having bad bad days and the thought of leaving the house makes me want to cry. With no one to walk through the door in the evening and sort everything out.

I just couldn't do any of it. All that stood before me was the longest blackest tunnel, with not even the faintest hint of a light at the end of it. 

And so, on that day, i very calmly decided i would simply remove myself from the situation.

I had the loveliest morning with my girl. I arranged for her Nanny to pick her up for the afternoon. 

I wrote my notes. One for Ashley. One for Betsy. I begged them to forgive me, to not forget about me. I tried to explain why this had to happen. I cannot remember exactly what i put. I was numb. I was emotionless. 

And i went upstairs. I went into Betsy's room, picked up her pillow and took it into my bedroom. I sat on the bed and clung to it, staring into space. I thought about what i was going to do. And i panicked.

I called for an ambulance. I told them i was not safe to be left on my own, i told them exactly what i planned to do to myself. I cried, begging them to help me. The rest of the day is a blur. 

I was taken to hospital. I was met there by Ashley, who had rushed straight from work. My notes had been found and read, he knew why i wanted to do it. He knew i didn't love him. He told me he didn't care, that he will always be there for me. That it wasn't my fault i didn't love him. He continued to be amazing. 

He reminded me that i was a mother to a beautiful girl, a girl who adored me and loved me. 

I hated myself more then i had ever thought was possible. For the many hours i was in that hospital, i wished desperately i hadn't of been such a coward, that i had gone through with it.  

 I was broken. 

I was spoken to by a doctor and nurse. They weren't sure whether it was safe for me to be allowed to go home. They spoke about sending me somewhere, I've no idea where. Ashley left me briefly to go home and get some things for me. Eventually i saw a member of the mental health crisis team within the hospital. I will forever be grateful to this lovely lady and the things she said to me. I was terrified they were going to take Betsy away from me, that was all i could think about. How could i be allowed to be a mother to her after all of this? She reassured me that this wouldn't happen. And of course it didn't. After a long chat we agreed that it would be ok for me to go home, provided i wasn't left on my own. 

I'd had a complete breakdown. I was tearful, i shut myself off. I struggled to be around Betsy. I hated her seeing me in this way. I just needed time away. I needed to get myself sorted out. Ashley rang my best friend and told her everything, and she drove down to collect me and i spent the weekend with her. And gradually i started to feel better. 

And now i understand. I understand how it feels to be so desperately out of control of everything that suicide seems like the only way out. To have so much to live for, yet be so blind to all of it. 

When i think back to how i was that day, it doesn't seem real. Huge parts of the day are blurred. I feel ashamed to know that i was prepared to leave my daughter without a mother. I feel sad to think of all that i would have missed out on. But most of all i feel absolutely determined to never ever allow myself to get to such an unbelievable point ever again. Nothing is ever that bad. 





Sunday, 16 August 2015

A little update

It feels amazing to finally be blogging again, i have missed it so much! If there is one thing i have learnt these past few weeks, it's to never ever take wifi for granted! 

Anyway. As most of you may know (if not, you can read about it HERE), me and Betsy's Dad have separated. My last few posts have been somewhat negative about this. I have struggled with so many things in so many ways. 

Its something that i am still getting to grips with. For the most part me and her Dad get along wonderfully, we have had a 'family day' since it happened and it was great. It is so important to us both that we get along for the sake of Betsy. She is and will forever be the most important thing in all of this.

Going it alone hasn't been quite as tough as i imagined it would be. I have surprised myself with how well i have generally coped. My depression and anxieties have been manageable. Admittedly there have been a few occasions when her Dad has had to step in to give me a break, and i am forever grateful to him for helping me, but i generally feel like i get on alright. That's not to say that it isn't unbearably hard sometimes. The days are so long and the evenings drag with no one to tag team it with. There is no more taking it in turns to get up with her, when she's with me i have to get up regardless of what the time is or how early she had me up yesterday. If i don't feel great, it's tough. The pressure is solely on me when Betsy is in full on meltdown mode. And as much as she drives me utterly insane, i wouldn't have it any other way now. I love our time together. I feel that in knowing there is no choice but to continue with things on the bad days, i manage better. And knowing i have the time to recharge when she goes to stay with her Dad is always in the back of my mind too. 



We are totally settled into our new home. I love that it is somewhere completely new for us both. Betsy settled in straight away and excitedly chants our door number as we walk up to the front door. She seems totally at ease with having two homes and there is never any fuss on 'handover'. Generally as soon as she see's the other parent she is saying bye straight away to the one who has her.

Myself and people around me have noticed a change. I am a more positive person. I spent such a long time in a situation i wasn't happy in, pretending and trying, thinking i was doing the right thing. It has taken a while but i have learnt that you cannot force feelings that do not exist, no matter how much you try. I will always feel sad for the break up of my family. I will always feel responsible. I will always feel guilty, and i hope Betsy can understand when she gets older. But i am finally at a point where i can understand and accept my feelings and begin to move on. 



Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Me

I am writing this after a particularly shit night with Betsy. Awful bed time, numerous wake ups throughout the night and then a 4.23am start. I literally cannot remember a time in my life where I have been so tired, so exhausted. I am counting down the hours untill her daddy picks her up. I feel like I have absolutely nothing to give. I don't want to be a parent today. I don't want to have to entertain a toddler. I don't want to do it. 

I don't know quite why I feel like this. Obviously the lack of sleep plays a major part. But I've had bad nights with Betsy before. And I've still not felt like this. My depression has been relatively at bay lately, apart from a bad day last week. I look at my gorgeous daughter and wonder how I could possibly not want to be around her. 

Of course not every day is like this. I love being around her. I love having her. Of course I do. She's my daughter. 

I don't know what is wrong with me. I feel like she deserves far more than a mummy who counts down the days till she gets a break. 

There is only so much I can blame on depression, anxiety, the stresses of being a single parent to a particularly challenging toddler. More and more I wonder if the problem is simply me. I'm not cut out for it. I know other mums say it's hard, but I don't know if they find it as hard as I do some days. I'm not good at being a parent. It doesn't come naturally to me. I don't deserve to be her mummy when I feel like this.

I know tomorrow is a new day. And I'm sure il wake up feeling completely differently. But for now I'm stuck on today, a day which feels like it's never going to end, one which I just want to get back into bed and shut myself away from. 

Friday, 10 July 2015

Guilt

I've not done a blog post for a little while. I've had lots I want to write about, but no time in which to do it really. What with moving out and adjusting to life as a single mum. So this is just a quick one, as I feel like my head may explode if I don't get out what is going on inside it. 

This overwhelming feeling of guilt just won't budge. It won't go away. Every time Betsy asks for her Daddy. Every time I get stressed out with her when she is going nuts. Every time I have to hand her over to her Daddy, and every time he hands her back. Every time she cuddles me, and every time she pushes me away. It never leaves me. 

I don't feel like it ever will.

I feel guilty when I think of his family too, who have done so so much for me. Things they didn't have to do. I miss my relationship with them, so much. 

I am so grateful that me and Ashley continue to get along. I can turn to him when I'm having an awful day with her, and know he won't judge me. I absolutely couldn't wish for a better man to bring up my daughter with, something I have of course always known, but something that stands out massively now. 

Us separating was for the best, there is no doubt about that. We both know it. I wasn't happy and quite frankly treated Ashley appallingly. I will be the very first person to admit that. 

We are both ok with what has happened. 

But I don't know that Betsy is. And this is what I struggle with. All I can do is explain my reasons when she is old enough to ask, and hope she accepts them. 


Friday, 29 May 2015

What has happened

I have tried over and over and over again to write this post these last couple of weeks. I haven't felt able to, and i still don't, but i need to. I need to get out everything in my head.

Me and Ashley have separated. 

I am in the process of moving out of our home.

It is something that needed to happen. We both know this. And i think we can both live with that. Sometimes things just don't go to plan, things don't end up the way you thought and desperately wanted them to go. 

But something i am struggling with is the guilt.

Our family is broken. We are no longer a unit. Betsy will never remember, never know what it was like to have her parents together. Her life from here on out is going to spent split between me and her Daddy. A few days here, a few days there. 2 bedrooms. 2 homes. Both separate from each other. 

Will she grow up to hate me, will she resent me for what has happened? Will she ever be able to forgive me?

Because it is my fault entirely. 

I have tried and tried so hard, but i have just fallen out of love with Ashley. It devastates me to have to type that. I have struggled with these feelings for a while. I have tried so desperately to push them to one side and carry on. Thinking it was just a phase, maybe its my depression, maybe I'm just having a bad day. But it hasn't been any of those things. I don't want to feel like this. I would do anything to change the way i feel. 

Ashley is my absolute rock, i cannot imagine how i am ever going to cope without him. He knows everything about me. He knows my little ways. He knows how to deal with me when i am in the midst of a horrible depressive phase, or when anxiety is trying to take over my life. He knows what to say. 

Even this last week, since we have separated, he has been amazing. Helping me to find somewhere to live, to work out how i am going to manage. Everything. He has been there. He is still there. And i have no idea why. It isn't something i deserve. 

We agree that the only thing that matters in all of this mess is Betsy. We are still getting along, and will continue to, because of her. We don't hate each other, i could never hate the Father of my daughter, never. We will do whatever it takes to ensure this affects her as little as possible.




Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Entering the unknown!

I have been referring to Betsy as being a toddler for a couple of months, but if I'm honest i am only just accepting that she is one. The realisation is slowly creeping upon me, especially as her fascination with 'Bebe's' (babies, don't you know) grows. Everywhere we see one and she chants the word like a toddler possessed, i am reminded. I'm relatively ok with this. Whilst i liked the newborn days, i have loathed the baby ones. Where most people say it gets harder when they can walk, talk, etc.. I think the opposite. Of course the tantrums and demands and constant no's get a bit irritating after a while, but overall she is able to keep herself occupied for a reasonable amount of time, meaning I'm able to stuff myself with chocolate in peace. 



So, yes, being in charge of a toddler is alright. 

However, with the acceptance of her being a toddler comes the entering into the unknown. The no mans land. The 'shit got real' stage. 

The stage where i actually have to think about what i am doing. What i am saying. How i react to things. 

I actually have to be a responsible person, a role model, an actual parent to Betsy. No longer just a mummy.

If i see a spider? I have to man up and deal with it. Gone are the days where i can run and frantically ring my mother in law to save me. I don't want Betsy to grow up with my intense fear of the ghastly things. Partly because it just isn't nice to be so scared of something that one is highly likely to come across on a fairly regular basis. But mostly because i hope to raise Betsy into a fine spider catcher. And in order for me to do that i need to refrain myself from mentally scarring her with my dramatic and if I'm honest unnecessary reactions to them. 


Mine and Ashley's relationship is based upon bickering. It is what we do all day every day. Mostly just messing around, although occasionally one of us will touch a nerve. Our bickering can to some seem quite childish at times, and there may or may not sometimes be some kind of physical violence involved (i should stress at this point that we do not beat each other. I'm talking horse bites and chinese burns). We like to take the piss out of each other and wind each other up. However, we are now having to think very carefully about how we behave in front of Betsy. She doesn't know we don't mean it, and to her tiny toddler mind i imagine it can all seem somewhat aggressive. And i definitely don't want to be bringing up a thug. 

Gone are the days i can sit and eat chocolate and crisps all day. Whatever i eat, Betsy has to have. And she knows i eat rubbish. She knows that whatever i eat is something that she shouldn't be eating, which makes her want it even more. I can't even make a cup of tea without her clawing her way up my leg because she has learnt that with tea comes biscuits. I regularly hide myself away to gorge on all of the naughty food. But more often then not i am rumbled, and then i feel bad. I don't want Betsy to inhabit my unhealthy ways. 



When Betsy does something utterly hilarious but also a bit naughty, no longer can i laugh. For laughing only encourages her to continue doing it, and it quickly becomes something that is no longer hilarious, just naughty. And when i tell her no, she stares at me with her defiant little eyes, reminding me that i gave her the green light to do whatever it is she is doing by laughing. Or if I'm having a shit day whereby i want to let her do whatever she wants just for a quiet life, i can't. She won't understand that just because i let her pull out the entire contents of the kitchen today, doesn't mean she can do it tomorrow. It's all or nothing, this parenting lark. Shit days are no longer allowed. 

It's a tough old road. One that i am crawling along in a slow but frantic manner, keen to reach the end destination. 

Adulthood. 
Best of Worst

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

The first baby

Back in september 2009 me and Ashley found out we were expecting. A pregnancy test, followed by countless others, confirmed it. We were having a baby. I was about 3 weeks when i found out, so very early. 

We were beyond excited. We told close friends and family. I told my work. There was something in the water it seemed, as i was the 4th lady to become pregnant at my work within a couple of months. I told the other 3, and we all shared our pregnancy excitement. It was nice having others to chat to about it, who knew how i was feeling. They were a few weeks ahead of me.

Around about 6/7 weeks, i started to feel different. The only way i can describe it is that i stopped 'feeling' pregnant. I hadn't had any major pregnancy symptoms really, but i had experienced nausea in the evenings, and my boobs were quite sore. This all disappeared. 

I began to work myself up. I began to google. I stumbled across a statistic that told me 1 in 4 pregnancies end in miscarriage. I thought of the three other girls, all of which had had their 12 week scans and knew all was well. Was i going to be that 1 in 4?

I grew more and more anxious as the weeks went by.

 Everyone around me reassured me that i was being silly, that i shouldn't get myself so worked up. The weeks dragged by but the closer it got to my 12 week scan, the more i started to think they were right. Maybe it was all in my head, and maybe my baby was growing perfectly well. I always think the worst, and this was a perfect example. 

A week before my 12 week scan i went to stay with a friend. She was having a night in and there were a few of us there. She had bought the baby a little present. A little plaque that said "Twinkle twinkle little star". I could have burst with happiness and excitement when i opened it. We all chatted excitedly about the baby, was it a boy or girl, who would it look like, what would we call it. For the first time in what seemed like forever, all of my anxieties about my pregnancy went away, and i allowed myself to believe it was all going to be ok  I was elated, over the moon. I imagined my little bean kicking away inside of me. It was perfect. 

The next day was Sunday 9th December. 

I usually worked an early shift on a Sunday, but i had swapped with a colleague so that i could go up to see my friend the night before and not have to come in early the next day. So my shift began at 2pm. Off i went to work. Ashley had a night in with his sister and his dad. Everything was as it should be. 

At around 6pm, i went to the toilet. And saw blood. A lot of blood. So much. 

I froze. I didn't know what to do. I just stared at it in absolute disbelief. This wasn't happening. 

I ran out and rang Ashley. I could barely speak through the tears. Couldn't bring myself to tell him what was happening. When i did, he told me he was coming to pick me up. I stumbled across the car park to the other side of my workplace, to tell the shift leader what had happened. I went to get my bag and coat, and Ashley arrived. This had probably taken no more then about 5 minutes to happen, but it felt like hours. 

I got back home and went straight into the bathroom. I could hear my sister in law asking if i were ok, and Ashley's muffled voice explaining what was happening. I knew he was trying to stay hopeful, trying to believe that maybe it wasn't what i knew it was. 

He rang NHS direct, who said there wasn't much that could be done. They said there wasn't much point going to the hospital. I didn't listen, i said i wanted to go. 

The journey was a blur. I rang my friend, one of the three girls from work who was pregnant, to tell her what had happened. Of course she said all the right things. She reassured me, she told me it might be nothing. I hoped she was right, but i knew she wasn't. 

We got the hospital and sat in the a&e waiting room. I felt so numb. I was back and forth to the toilet. I couldn't believe what was happening. Eventually we were seen. The nurse gently explained that they would need to have a look and see if my cervix was open. 

I was a mess. A hysterical mess. Ashley desperately tried to calm me down. I lay back and let her do what needed to be done. I was incredibly tense and just couldn't relax myself, so it hurt. She said my cervix was closed. Next she asked to do a blood test. Then she sent us home. We had an appointment with the Early Pregnancy Unit for a scan 9.30 am the next morning. Monday 10th December. My sister's birthday.

After the longest night of our lives, we arrived back at the hospital. We made our way into the EPU. We made ourselves known to reception, and we sat and waited. I looked around at all of the other people, wondering whether anyone else was in the same situation as we were in. I felt sick. We were called in. 

I was scanned. First an ultrasound. They couldn't see anything and explained they would need to do an internal scan. Like the night before, i was worked up and tense, and i tried to calm myself and take deep breaths. The room went quiet.

And then we were told what i already knew. We had lost our baby. My body had failed.

They told us the baby was only measuring about 6-8 weeks, not the nearly 12 weeks it should be. I had had a missed miscarriage. My body had deceived me, it had carried on pretending it was growing our baby. For the last few weeks it had led me to believe i was carrying a living developing baby, when really i was carrying a dead one. My baby had died inside of me. 

I will never be able to put into words how it felt. The emptiness, the sheer overwhelming devastation, the frustration and unfairness of it all. I felt like the crying would never stop. Nothing would ever go back to how it was. I would never recover from this. So absorbed in my own grief that i ashamedly overlooked Ashley in all of this. He hugged me and we cried, we cried so much, but at the time i wasn't able to give him any comfort. I was drowning. I buried and lost in a sea of despair and heart break. 

We were spoken to by a midwife who went through the motions of telling us how sorry she was for our loss. She was lovely. She told us what our options were, and we decided we would go home and wait for nature to take its course. And off we went. 

Of course it wasn't as simple as that. I ended up going into A&E on the Thursday in excruciating pain and being kept in until Saturday, to have an ERPC. Evacuation of Retained Products of Conception. That's what my pregnancy, my baby, was classed as. A retained product of conception. 

I hated my body. I hated what it had done to me, to us. To our baby. I felt so alone. I felt like a failure. Nothing was fair. What had i done to deserve this?


It will forever remain the most indescribably traumatic and devastating thing i have ever gone through. We have ever gone through. 

Though it was only for 6-8 weeks, my baby was alive. Though it was a tiny blob of cells, inconspicuous and invisible to all except a few, my baby existed. We might not have ever been destined to meet, but i was a mum to be for those few weeks. 

Monday, 18 May 2015

Realisation

Something has happened recently that has made me question myself. I am not ready to share what exactly, so I'm very sorry that this is like one of those annoying cryptic Facebook statuses. To be honest, exactly what it is that happened is irrelevant. 

It's more about what it has made me realise. 

Sometimes life is a bit shit. No matter how hard you try, how much effort you put in, how desperately you wish things could be different, it continues to beat you down.

 Things don't go the way you wanted them to. 

They don't happen when you wanted them to happen.

Sometimes, things change. It isn't necessarily what you want, but it is the way things have to go. 

People have to be let down, angry, disappointed. 

I hate the saying "Everything happens for a reason". But actually, i think sometimes it does. 

Sometimes from something bad can come something utterly amazing. What looks like a bad decision to people on the outside, is the absolute best one for the people inside. 

Sometimes we reach a position where we have to stop, and look, and listen to what is happening. 

We have to regroup, dismiss everyone and everything, and focus on ourselves. 

I have realised that sometimes you just need to do what's best. You need to not worry about what other people will think, or what they might say. What presumptions they may make. You need to do what is right. 

  Above everything, what is right for me and my family will always be the most important thing to me.





Monday, 11 May 2015

A letter to a mum like me

Hello you.

You're a mummy. Can you believe it? 

And it's nothing like you imagined it would be, is it? I know. I so understand. Hide yourself away for a minute and read this. 

I know you find it hard. 

I know sometimes you get annoyed, sometimes you are short tempered, sometimes you are impatient. You feel guilty for being too busy to play, for letting your child watch too much tv just so you can get a moments peace. You have days where you literally do not believe you will make it to bedtime. You get worked up when your child cries at you because you just don't know what to do, what your child wants. You stand there wishing you were anywhere but here, here in front of this screaming, whining child. You get so upset when your child won't sleep at night, waking every hour, every two hours. Not caring how you feel, how tired you are, whether or not you have to get up for work. You feel so angry at your child in the mornings, which then leads to guilt because you know it isn't your child's fault. You sit in floods of tears, unable to stop them. Tears of frustration and exhaustion and guilt. I know this. 

I know that when you muster up the courage to venture out into the big wide world on your own with your tiny tot, you soon wish you hadn't. You go to baby groups, full of so many other mummies. You wonder how they do it. How do they manage to look so wonderful? How are they so confident? How are they so happy and upbeat? How have they taken to motherhood so well? How do they not find it such a struggle? What is wrong with you? 
You go to soft play, or cafes, or parks, or just a walk round the block. You pray that your child doesn't kick off over something. If this happens, you feel like no matter what you do, you have handled it wrong. Like anyone that is watching you thinks you are a bad mother. Thinking you can't control your own child. They tut under their breath, or look at you with judgmental eyes. They are all judging you, you think to yourself. You and your shit ability to parent your own child.

I know you feel like a frumpy mum. Everywhere you go you see mums who have it together, they have nice hair and nice make up and nice nails. Baby weight gone. Smiles all over their faces. You compare yourself to them. You look at your scraped back hair, your make up free, dull, grey face. Your bags under your eyes. Your flabby belly. Your flat, empty boobs. Your plain clothes. You feel like an embarrassment. You feel hideous. You feel like a disappointment to your partner. You wonder what they see in you. 

I know you feel forgotten about. You see status updates from people your age, people who used to be your friends. You see what they are getting up to. You stop hearing from people. People who you thought would always be there. You feel lost and left behind, in a bubble of milk and nappies, while everyone else moves on with their lives. You feel isolated, unable to accept how things are now. Wishing you could still be the person your were before, then looking at your child and feeling guilty.

You struggle to adapt to your new life. The pressure it puts on everything. The pressure it puts on your relationship. You wonder how you will both ever get through this. You feel like an awful short tempered nagging witch all of the time, yet you cant seem to do anything about it. You feel angry that they get to go off to work while you are stuck at home. They get a break. You resent them. And you feel ridiculous for being like this. 

You sit there wondering why you are feeling like this. Why did no one tell you it would be like this? Maybe its just you. 

Well, guess what? It isn't 'just you'. Those mums you see who look like they have it all together will have absolutely felt like this too at some point. Being a mum is so incredibly tough. It is such a massive thing to happen to us. How can we adapt to it just like that over night? Finding things hard at times (or even all the time) does not make you a failure. It doesn't mean you are doing it all wrong. 

And all of this? It will get easier. I promise. Don't give yourself a hard time. Don't tell yourself you are a bad person. Don't compare yourself to other people. You are the absolute best you can be. 

Don't dwell on the bad days. There are good ones too, even though they may seem few and far between. And one day, you will realise that you haven't had a bad day for ages. Your child will give you the biggest grin, a kiss or a cuddle. And suddenly, it will blow you away. 

You are an amazing mother. The best. There isn't anyone else in the whole wide world who could be a better mother to your child. 

Don't forget that.

x




Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Dermocare plasters - Review

I am always needing a plaster. Whether its for a cut or a blister, they are very handy to have. I usually have at least 50 loitering about the bottom of my handbag, for emergencies. And i don't know about you, but when summer approaches, i feel an urge to stock up. Blisters for me are rife in summer. Sandals and flip flops always give me incredible ones. It is annoying, yet inevitable! 

So when i was offered some DermoCare plasters to review, i was very happy! These beauties aren't just any old plasters, oh no. They are ocean life and safari  plasters. Thats right friends, long gone are the days of the boring old same as everyone else browny beige things. Now i could cover up an unsightly blister with a shark! Or a panda! Perhaps an orang-utan?! The possibilities were endless! 
For the first time in my life i found myself actually wanting to have a minor plaster required accident. 




When you buy these, not only are you getting the most amazingly patterned plasters, you will also be supporting WWF UK (find their website here!), which is nice to know! 
 I have a major plaster allergy, my skin swells and becomes all red and itchy if i use a normal one, and i had no reaction to these whatsoever!



The plasters are hypoallergenic and latex free, and can be used for all ages from birth. They are super easy to remove, unlike normal plasters they don't weld themselves onto your skin! The ocean-life ones are waterproof, and especially fabulous! I managed to do the washing up whilst wearing one and can confirm that it was still entirely in place afterwards!



There are 18 in a pack and they come in three different sizes:
6 4x7 cm
6 2x7 cm
6 2x4 cm






Betsy was absolutely obsessed with them. She ended up with a lion one one her arm, much to her amusement. She spent the whole time roaring!

So, when stocking up your first aid box, why not pop some of these beauties in? 

For more information have a look at the DermoCare website: http://www.dermocare.co.uk

You can also find DermoCare on Twitter: https://twitter.com/DermocareUK

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Things I wish I had done before I became a mum

Obviously i have no regrets about having Betsy when i did, she is the best thing to ever happen to me (apart from when she is mid-strop). However there are a few little things i wish i had done before she came along. 

Learnt to drive
This is probably my biggest thing. I really really really wish i could drive. I feel like it would make life so much easier, there are only so many times we can walk to the same high street or park. I am able to get to places, i can go out with people who drive, of course. But it would just be so nice to have that independence. 

Gone to University
This doesn't have anything to do with Betsy really. It is something i have always regretted. I want to do social work, particularly with families and children, and to do that i need to go to Uni. I went to sixth form after school, but only completed 3/4 of my first year before i dropped out. As my tutor had warned, i regret it massively. I don't really know why i dropped out, i was just young and stupid. If i could go back in time i most definitely wouldn't have dropped out, and i would have gone on to Uni like i had always planned to!

Gone on a girl's holiday
I'm 25, and i have never gone on a proper girls holiday. Does that make me a bit sad?? Maybe! I feel like my anxiety would hold me back too much to go on one now, but when i was a bit younger and more carefree i definitely should have done it. 

Bought a house
It doesn't bother me massively that we rent, particularly as the house we have just moved in to is so lovely, but i would love to be able to call a house our own. For Betsy to grow up in the same house, same bedroom. To create memories in that she can relive in years to come. It's just the slight uncertainty of renting that bothers me a bit i guess. I am a massive pessimist so always think the worst and worry that we would suddenly have to move out and struggle to find somewhere.

Gotten married
We were due to get married when i fell pregnant with Betsy. She was born less then 2 weeks before what would have been our big day! Obviously i didn't care about any of that when i found out I was expecting her, i was just totally over the moon. But as there was no way we could have brought the wedding forward, we had to put it back two years to this December, which has just caused a whole heap of aggravation! I also have hated that i have had a different surname to Ashley and Betsy. 

Overcome my mental health issues
Readers of my blog will know all about my struggles with depression and anxiety. As much as i try, it just doesn't seem to go away. And anyone who has experience of this will know how hard it is, especially with a child thrown into the mix. I am full of guilt about how it might affect her, I worry she will grow up and have the same problems as me. I desperately don't want that. And actually it might be bit over ambitious of me to think i could have shaken it off before she was born, maybe that would never have happened even if she wasn't here for another 10 years. I know that i just need to accept and deal with it. But its always in the back of mind, wondering what motherhood would be like if i hadn't  of entered it with this over my head. 

Of course i can still do all of these things. Having Betsy will in no way prevent me from doing them, yes it might be bit harder to do, but i can still do them. Having her isn't a hindrance upon my life. It just means i will have my little mate at my side throughout it all. 

Friday, 1 May 2015

Make-Up!

Since having Betsy I have found that I spend less and less time on my appearance. Although I have never been a massive make up girl, I would tend to stick to what I knew; concealer, foundation, blusher and mascara. Nowadays if I slap on a bit of BB cream and brush my hair then it's a good day. This doesn't massively bother me, as to be honest I feel like the time it would take me to apply some actual make up could be better spent doing something more worthwhile like drinking a hot cup of tea! However, i feel that the situation might need to be addressed.

Since I live in a tiny town, I tend to stick to brands that I know I can find in my high street. We have a little Boots and Superdrug, so it's usually along the lines of Rimmel, Maybelline, Barry M etc. All the brands you find down the make up aisle basically. And while these do the job, i decided i wanted something a little more long lasting.


Knowing nothing about make up, I decided to visit a Benefit make up counter. My sister in law booked me a make up lesson, and her and my mother in law came with me. I was a bit apprehensive, as I always imagined the staff who worked on these counters to be a bit pushy and intimidating, however the girl who was doing my make up was anything but. She was so lovely and friendly and make me feel so comfortable. She asked what I had in mind for how I wanted to look and I had no clue. All I knew was that I didn't want to look caked in make up. She cleansed and moisturised my face and got to work. She used some fabulous concealer and under eye cream to cover up my humongous bags. I don't really have spots or anything but do have problems with redness and dry patches. She introduced me to the wonder that is powder foundation. I was shocked by the coverage I got from this, I tend to stick to a liquid foundation and then a setting powder. The powder foundation felt amazing on my skin, really light as if I was wearing nothing, and was super quick and easy to apply.  


As I tend to just wear mascara and sometimes eyeliner, she didn't want to do anything to much on my eyes. She applied a subtle shimmery light coloured eyeshadow, then a light golden colour along my lash line and in the outer corners of my eyelid. I never ever wear eyeshadow so I wasn't sure at first but the more I looked at it the more I loved it! She used a brown eyeliner which again is something I never use, I always stick to black. I loved the brown though, it really complimented the eyeshadow. Next was my mascara, which I hate applying. I make the most ridiculous mess of my face, i shock people with the amount of mascara i end up covered in, and as i like to use waterproof stuff it then has to be scrubbed off... total nightmare. I tend to push the wand up against my lash line and then zig zag it all the way to the end of my lashes. She showed me a much less aggressive way of applying it!

She applied my blusher, and used a pinky/gold shade to go with my eyeshadow. Then highlighter, and I realised I had been putting it in totally the wrong place my whole life. She explained everything to me as she went, and answered any question I had, regardless of how silly they were!

And that was it! I was so impressed! She wrote out all of the products she had used and left me to decide what i wanted to buy. My lovely sister in law treated me to the eyeshadows, and i bought the powder foundation and the under eye concealer. I had a voucher for John Lewis so ended up only paying about £20 for it all! I still have the list incase i decide to go back at any point and buy a few more bits. 







Wednesday, 29 April 2015

The A-Z of Me!

I have been tagged by the lovely Motherhood The Real Deal to produce an A-Z of Me. Which i found surprisingly easy! Enjoy..


A is for Ashley

The man i am marrying, Betsy's Daddy, my rock!

B is for Betsy

My frustrating, irritating, whiney but beautiful girl. The love of my life.

C is for Clumsy

I am the most clumsiest person. This is fact. Just the other day i stood up from the sofa, barefooted, and in a spectacular fashion slide across the carpet landing on my knee which was bruised and carpet burnt as a result. 

D is for Depression (and anxiety)

A massive rubbishy part of my life.

E is for Eating

 I love to eat, i am at my most happiest when i am eating. Especially if it is chocolate. 

F is for Flowers

I love having flowers bought for me. Luckily Ashley seems to like buying them for me too!

G is for Glasses

I am shockingly short sighted without them!

H is for Housework

I absolutely despise it, which is plain to see the second you step into my house!

I is for In-laws

I have the loveliest in laws ever. I feel very very lucky!

J is for Jelly

I try my hardest to like it but i just don't. And it makes me so sad!

K is for Kitchen roll

Bit of an odd one, but i get through an alarming amount of kitchen roll. I use it for everything in the kitchen.

L is for Labour

I hate the think/talk about it, i don't care what anyone tells me, i will never forget about that!

M is for Migraines

I have awful awful migraines, i hate them so much!

N is for Notebooks

I love notebooks. I am very old fashioned in that i prefer writing something down on paper then typing it into my phone etc.

O is for Organisation

I am shocking at being organised. I like to think i am amazing, but i'm really not.

P is for Phone

It is always with me, i rely on it a ridiculous amount!

Q is for Quavers

Since having Betsy i am never far from a bag of them!

R is for Reading

I love reading, i used to read such a lot when i was younger but, apart from blogs, i rarely read anything now! I would love to start again.

S is for Sponge

Sponge is one of my favourite words. It is just such a good word. Sponge. 

T is for Tea

I love a good cup of tea, it solves everything.

U is for Umbrella

I once had one shut on my head in front of everyone at a crossing. I am always wary of them now!

V is for Vaseline

This stuff is magic. It can be used for so many things, from sorting out unruly eyebrows to getting a too tight ring off of your finger!

W is for Wedding

Mine will be taking place in December!!

X is for Xylophone

I'll be honest, i really couldn't think of anything for X. It's a tricky word! Although i did buy Betsy one for Christmas, so actually it could work...?

Y is for YouTube

This has saved my life so many times. In the night garden, Baby Jake, Mr Tumble.... The list is endless. I owe so much to this website!

Z is for Zzzz's

I love sleep, but i definitely do not get nowhere near the amount i should. I think i would sacrifice almost anything for sleep.


And that's me! 

Monday, 27 April 2015

A is for Anxiety

The last week or so, my anxiety has been sky high. It has been triggered by one thing, but it is affecting everything. It is constantly there, from the minute i wake to the minute i sleep. And even then, its still there. It causes me to have the most vivid dreams. That Ashley has left me, that i have done something unforgivable, that Betsy has been harmed. Awful dreams that mean even when i am asleep I've still not escaped it. I don't wake up feeling rested and refreshed, regardless of how much sleep i have had. 

It is so hard for me to explain my anxiety. I feel like depression is a lot easier to put into words. I don't really talk about my anxiety much, simply because i feel like i just sound ridiculous. Like whoever is listening is just wanting to tell me to get a grip. It is so exhausting; the constant knotted feeling, the racing heart, the breathlessness, the sweatiness, whenever i am in a situation i am not comfortable with. 

Thursday, 23 April 2015

Betsy and the toddler bed

If you read my post about how i had everything pinned on the big move, i am sure you are eagerly awaiting an update. Is she still in with us? Does she actually think our bedroom no longer exists? Do the neighbours hate us?

Well, here is where you will find your answers. 

The cot is history, instead we have converted it into it's cot bed form. I felt like the cot was the issue, i'm not too sure how i would feel about sleeping in what is effectively a cage to be honest. I felt like we both had too many negative associations with that thing. Even though the toddler bed is of course just the cot in disguise, i felt like was enough of a change to fool Betsy.

She seemed to like it when she saw it. We made a big thing about this being BETSY'S bed, etc. She climbed onto it and laid down and jumped about. 

The first night she went down like a dream. I couldn't believe it. Had her bottle and then climbed into bed without any fuss at all. It seemed too good to be true, and it was, though in fairness not necessarily down to her. I came down with a horrid sickness bug that first night, just after putting her down. She is going through a bit of a funny (bloody annoying) phase at the moment of only allowing me to put her down. If Ashley attempts to she goes wild. And she usually wakes up at around 9pm for a bit more milk. Which meant that as i had my head down the loo Ashley had to go into her, and I'm sure you can imagine what she though of that. There was no way he was going to be able to re settle her, so into our bed she went. Who knows how that first night may have gone if i hadn't of so selfishly became ill!

The second night she became ill. High temperature and an awful cough, just not herself. Really whiney and upset. She was beside herself when i tried to put her down, i knew she wasn't right so didn't push it. I still felt horrendous myself anyway. So she stayed in our bed. 

This continued for the next couple of nights. She had a nasty chest infection which we might have possibly caught earlier had there not been so much going on with moving house. She had had a cough all week and without us really realising she had gotten worse and worse. It was particularly bad in the evenings, she would cough and cough so much and get frustrated. She was so hoarse. I didn't mind having her in with us, i felt confident that once she was better she would go in her bed. 

Now she is better. And not much has changed. Put her down at 7pm, no problems. She then wakes up a couple of hours later for a bit more milk and just won't resettle. Or if she does, she is waking continuously, until i break and bring her in with me. Tuesday night i was determined not to give in, and lasted over two hours up until about 4.20am. But I'm just too bloody tired!

What baffles me is that she has been having her naps in her bed everyday absolutely fine...



We have a bit of an issue with her bottles at night too (yes i know she shouldn't be using bottles anymore, but she does). She still has her second bottle in the evening, usually 1.5-2 hours after bedtime, which i have been hoping will drop soon, but it hasn't. And since moving she has started waking in the night too for milk, something which i really struggle with as often she takes a while to settle back down. I don't know what to do about it. I have tried and tried to resettle her without milk but she just won't, she gets herself so worked up that its impossible to settle her. 


Nighttime from start to finish is all just a bit shit. I'm trying to remain optimistic by keeping my fingers crossed that either the issue sorts itself out, or some kind soul opens a boarding school for disobedient toddlers. 




Best of Worst