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Sunday, 31 May 2015

My Anxiety And Me

I'm not ashamed to say that I've lived with depression. I'm also not ashamed to say that I live with an anxiety disorder that I usually manage to keep under control, although it's always there. My anxiety comes with OCD tendencies. And no, this doesn't mean I have to keep my house sparkling clean or have tins of baked beans all facing the front of the cupboard (although this sounds quite nice!). The way I experience these OCD tendencies Is in the form of what some people would call morbid thoughts. When I'm feeling stressed, under pressure and tired I can begin to experience symptoms. I will have strange thoughts that those close to me are going to die. I then feel that by having these thoughts I have projected them to the universe and therefore have to perform some sort of ritual e.g hand washing in order to prevent this death from happening. Now of course, I understand that these rituals will have no impact whatsoever on a persons life, and neither will my thought processes. That's the thing about a neurotic illness. You're more than aware you're being, well, neurotic! But knowing this does not stop the constant clawing in the back of your head. Taunting you. Continuously. 
Most days I can prevent myself from carrying out rituals.  However, by doing this I miss out on the sense of relief and comfort that they provide. Instead my anxiety is bottled up and I can live for days with knots in my stomach, unable to eat properly, and walking around like I'm in a world of my own. When I first began taking control (or so I thought) I stopped doing rituals & instead started "doing" alcohol. Obviously this didn't fix things. Instead alcohol made me behave stupidly. Yes, I came across as a fun loving person who was up for a laugh, but the next day my anxiety would be worse than ever and I would need to drink to make it better. I soon became wise to the fact That I'd replaced one undesirable coping method with another. I cut back on drinking and for a while I managed to float along in a sea of calm. 
When I had my son however the anxiety started all over again. I was convinced he was going to die. I would stay awake just to check he was breathing, I cried when he vomited for the first time, thinking I'd almost killed him, I cried when I first pushed his pram, thinking I'd cause it to shake too much and give him shaken baby syndrome. Nothing I did was good enough. I was a terrible mother. Something would happen to him and it would all be my fault because I'd sent my morbid thoughts out to the universe. I began washing my hands until they bled and cracked. I told nobody. I lied to the Health Visitor when she gave me the questionnaires to check if I was coping. If I told the truth I thought they would know what a terrible mother I was and would take him off me.
I lived with this for about a year and eventually it subsided. But It's always there. Some days worse than others. 

There are probably many other mothers in the world who have gone through this or are going through it right now. You can't tell who they are. They pretend everything is fine. Some of them will not divulge what is going on, not even to their partners, friends or family. Some of them will behave in a way that's hard to understand when looking in from the outside. 
But all of them will need kindness. For people to not pass judgment, or make comments that undermine other mothers. Don't question things they do. They may be already judging, undermining and questioning themselves far more than you could ever do. A flippant remark may seem small to you but it can have a huge impact on someone else. They are doing the best job they can. They are battling. 
This can be said for any mother, not just those who live with anxiety or other mental health conditions. Every mother at some point will have the feeling they aren't good enough. So just think twice before you comment on how their child should be crawling by now, or how you never gave your children as many baths as they do, or how you occupy your child's mind with educational books rather than the TV. It's not necessary, it's not called for. You don't know what that mother is going through. 
Over time I've become more accepting of an invisible  illness that could potentially cause people to judge me or think there is something "wrong" with you. 
But this is me. 
And by writing this I hope I can reassure anyone else who is experiencing this that they are not alone, and more importantly it can and will get better. I have my bad days, but I mostly have good days.
 I'm a fighter. 
And I'm the best mum I can be. 
And that's all that matters.

Saturday, 23 May 2015

Are You Accidentally Abusive To Your Partner?

I was recently browsing through my Facebook newsfeed when I came across an article that had been posted on to one of my friends timeline. The title of the article was "Woman Realises She Has Been Accidentally Abusing Her Husband." At first I laughed. The article had been posted by my friends husband and was clearly done to provoke a bit of lighthearted banter. I then found I couldn't get the article title off my brain. So I went back and read it. Alarm bells started going off. 
I thought back to a time not so long ago when I had been at work with a group of female colleagues moaning and laughing about something my partner had done that had particularly irritated me. At the time this conversation was taking place there was a shift handover, and my comments were overheard by a male member of staff who works occasional shifts with us through an agency. To my surprise this staff member later took me to one side and gave me a telling off. In short he told me that I should have more respect for my partner, I sounded like a nasty person, and a relationship should be filled with love, not criticism. I was furious! How dare this man who hardly knows me say these things to me! What business is it of his!! I immediately jumped on the defensive! I explained that ALL women speak about irritating things their partners do (which they do), tried to explain that I love my partner and that our relationship and how we act towards each other is personal to us only.
After I had said this I then went home and wondered why I had felt the need to defend myself. If I truly thought I had done nothing wrong, then why was it playing on my mind. As with most things, the incident eventually faded from my mind. Until this article. 
A number of thoughts sprung to my mind whilst reading it that made me feel extremely uncomfortable. In fact they made me think, I am a total BITCH!!
Let me explain. Yesterday we had fish and chips for tea. As I went to the fridge to get some butter for our bread I discovered that my partner had used the last of it, and hadn't informed me of this at a reasonable time for me to go and buy some. I went crazy. I screamed up the stairs to him "YOUVE USED ALL THE BUTTER!!!"
I then proceeded to slam the fridge door and mutter obscenities under my breath. When he came downstairs I laid in to him. He explained to me that he thought there was another tub in the fridge which is why he didn't tell me we had run out. I continued to hurl abuse at him. You should have looked! I'm not a mind reader! What are we going to put on our bread! Why didn't you tell me! Basically, I was saying "why are you so stupid?" I stopped when I saw the look on his face. He looked defeated. He quietly said to me that he hadn't done it on purpose. And he hadn't. Let's face it, running out of butter isn't a huge problem is it? There are far worse things occurring in the world than the fact that I can't have some bread and butter with my chippy tea.
Like the woman who wrote the article I mentioned, I realised that I actually behave like this all the time.
I can think of a million reasons, or should I say excuses, of why I may act like this. I work full time in a mentally demanding job, I have a 3 year old who is also mentally and physically demanding, I don't have family nearby therefore lack the support that a lot of mothers have and most of my friends with children also live far away. But all of these factors don't really justify the way I sometimes act towards my partner, and I am very quick to look at how I am feeling, but fail to realise how my behaviour must make him feel. 
How awful must it be to be belittled, shouted at and scorned like a child for making simple mistakes? 
Now don't get me wrong there are many things that he does to annoy me. And it's fine to be annoyed. He has a habit of grilling bacon and then pushing the grill pan back in the oven and "forgetting" to wash it, he can sometimes lack responsibility and falls back on the assumption that I have everything covered. It's ok to be annoyed at these things. What is NOT ok is being offensive and in reality, abusive because of this annoyance.
Yes, when I work a 12 hour shift and come home to cake crumbs on the rug it does make my teeth itch, however this makes me overlook the fact that he has cared for our son all day, fed him, played with him, cleaned up to the best of his abilities, washed the dishes and has a cup of tea waiting for me. And really, is the world going to end because there are a few cake crumbs on the floor? No. 
And instead of hurling abuse and stomping round the house cleaning up wouldn't it be more beneficial to say "would you mind just hoovering up? Im really tired." I'm sure I'd get a better response. So, in future I am going to try and let things go. I don't want to be this nagging, belittling witch. It doesn't make for a happy household, it doesn't make me feel good, and I'm pretty sure it doesn't make my partner feel too good either. If I am annoyed with other people in my life I sure as hell wouldn't react in the same way as I do with my partner. So it's going to stop. I'm going to look at all the wonderful things he does for me. He buys me flowers spontaneously, he never minds when I fall asleep in bed with my son at 7pm and stay there until the next morning, he brings me a cup of tea and breakfast in bed on my days off, he buys things for me that he knows I'll like, he always notices if I've had my hair done or have a new outfit. He supports me and tells me there is nothing I can't do in life. Why would I overlook all this and focus solely on his not so great characteristics?.......
I don't know either. But not anymore. 





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Monday, 18 May 2015

Be A Parent Not a Friend. Really?

Be a parent, not a friend.
Have people ever said these words to you?
When somebody first said this to me about my relationship with my 3 year old I was a bit shocked. I looked at my son and questioned whether I was getting parenting all wrong. The more I thought about it the more it kind of pissed me off. Why can't I be a friend to my child? Why do I have to choose between being a friend or a parent? Can't I be both? 
Clearly some people think not. I disagree. I googled the definition of friend. Here is what i was presented with.

Friend:
1. A person attached to another by feelings of affection or personal regard.
2. A person who gives assistance; patron; supporter 
http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/friend

3. A person with whom one has a bond of mutual affection.
4. A person who is not an enemy or opponent; an ally.
5. A familiar or helpful thing:
http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/friend 

So forgive me if I'm wrong, but do all these definitions not also describe a parent? I am definitely attached to my son with affection and personal regard, I give him assistance and support him, we have a bond of mutual affection, I am definitely not an enemy, and I am obviously familiar and hopefully helpful! 
So what is the issue here? 
I get what the statement is trying to convey, but I just think it's a load of bollocks if I'm honest. At the tender age of 3 I think I'm probably my sons ONLY friend! We play together, laugh together, enjoy each others company, we learn from each other, and we have built a solid foundation of love, trust and respect. 
Eventually there will come a time when he does have friends his age. He will confide in them, do stupid things with them, laugh, play, share secrets, and fall out with them. But I'd like to think he will always know that I am his friend too. I won't be his friend in the same way. I won't be sat with him, donning a pair of ripped denim shorts over tights and a crop top (or whatever the fashion is then) and smoking a spliff with him and his mates, whilst throwing back shots. However, I won't be so naive as to think he isn't getting up to these types of things. I don't want to know all his secrets, just as he probably wouldn't want to know mine. I do want him to know however that he CAN tell me anything and I will support him and guide him in the best way I know how. I want to be non judgmental and supportive. I want to always be honest, tell him when he's done something wrong or something I disagree with, give him advice and try my best to compromise on things we don't agree on. 
I want him to know I'm approachable, that if he makes a mistake or gets himself in trouble he can turn to me and doesn't have to deal with it alone.  I want him to know that I'll never turn my back on him and I will always respect him enough to allow him to make informed decisions. This is what being a parent means to me. I think as a parent you ARE a friend, and more. Yes there are boundaries. There are boundaries with all relationships. Relationships do not fit in to boxes where you can state "be this but don't be that". Be whatever you feel is appropriate. Be the best parent you can be. Be a parent who is a friend. 



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Saturday, 16 May 2015

10 Days of Grossness

When it comes to boys there is no limit to the endless tirade of yucky stuff they do & say. When they reach a particular phase in life the whole world revolves around poo, wee, trumps and bogies....or is it just mine? I've taken 10 different days in which Oliver did something that made me shudder and compiled them in to one lovely long yucky list. I intend to keep this list & present it to his first girlfriend. It's only right that she should be prepared for what she has let herself in for.
Over a period of 10 days Oliver has: 

1) Asked me if he could wee on the wall on our upstairs landing

2) Did a poo and jumped off the toilet. I asked him to sit back on the toilet so he could wipe his bottom to which he informed me that if he sat back on the toilet the poo that was in there would go back up his bum?!

3) Asked me where my willy was. I told him I was a girl and I didn't have a willy. He became extremely concerned that without a willy I couldn't wee and insisted I needed a willy.

4) Informed me that his willy was "too big!"

5) During a meal at a restaurant I left the table to use the toilet and as usual Oliver followed. As I was sat on the toilet (number 1 not 2!!) Oliver insisted that he needed a wee also. Instead of doing the logical thing & waiting for me to finish, he decided to walk round the side of the toilet and wee down my back. 

6) To the tune of Scooby Doo Oliver has sung "mummy stinks of poo" on a daily, if not hourly basis. 

7) Asked if he could poo on my head

8) Passed me a bogie and demanded I eat it

9) Asked me if I'd like to look at his poo

10) wee'd in my bath.

Thursday, 14 May 2015

A letter to Oliver: Tongue Tie & Let Downs

Dear Oliver,
Today I watched a Vlog about tongue tie division, which focused mainly on Breastfeeding problems with tongue tie, and before I knew it I had burst in to tears! The whole time I have been insisting professionals look at your tongue tie I have never once become upset to the point of tears, and I couldn't understand why this vlog, presented by a woman who I have never met, speaking about a child I have no emotional connection with would get me so worked up. Then I realised. I wasn't upset, I was absolutely furious. 
As I listened to this lady talk about the problems she had Breastfeeding due to her sons tongue restriction it occurred to me that I had similar problems with you that I had never actually identified as a problem at the time. You had a shallow latch, fussed a lot at the breast, and seemed to feed continuously. You tried your best though and you compensated the best you could. You were gaining weight and at birth you weighed 4lb 12oz, so I presumed this type of behaviour was "normal" for an underweight baby.
I then looked back further, to when I had just given birth. To a time when if your tongue tie had been identified it would have been a simple case of it being snipped there and then. I remembered our first experience of Breastfeeding. Straight after birth you latched on fine. After that we had problems. I couldn't get you to latch on to the breast, and when you did it would be for a few seconds, at which point you would come off or would fall asleep. I was becoming more and more stressed, worsened by the fact I had maternity assistants coming in to my cubicle every 2 hours demanding I feed you. When you wouldn't latch, instead of spending some time with me and trying to assist me, they put a syringe to my nipple, expressed a small amount by hand, and then fed you through the syringe. I was told that I wouldn't be allowed to take you home until I could "prove" I could Breastfeed. That made me feel awful! It felt as if they were saying I couldn't be trusted to care for my child.
If I wasn't such a stubborn, strong willed person I think I would have given up. At the time I thought it was all me. I wasn't doing it right, I couldn't do this!! Now I know that I hadn't received the right support. No one even looked in your mouth to see if tongue tie could be an issue. Maybe if they had they could have prevented 2 years of speech therapy and all the other appointments that we've had to attend to rule out reasons of speech delay.
I finally had a Breastfeeding team come to the ward and assist me. They helped me find a position that I could feed comfortably in, and that you were responsive to. They still however did not look in your mouth. 
Happy that I could Breastfeed we were discharged & sent home. A Doctor did not even look you over before we left. I had to arrange a visit to my own GP the day after leaving hospital in order for you to have your first checks done. 
I hadn't exactly had the best experience prior to giving birth to you. I was admitted to hospital at 36 weeks pregnant due to preeclampsia which had gone unnoticed by my midwife. My waters were leaking, scans identified that you were losing weight inside me, and I had to stay in hospital with monitors on me for a whole week before there was room on the delivery ward for me to be induced. My whole birth plan went out of the window. I wanted a water birth with no pain relief, and had specifically stated that I did not want to be laid down to give birth. I ended up on the high risk delivery ward, attached to monitors and more or less forced to lie down because they couldn't hear your heartbeat when I moved positions. I only had gas and air, but I'm convinced that if I'd been allowed to follow my birth plan I wouldn't even have needed that. Shortly before I was ready to push they decided to take blood from your head as they felt you were in distress. My poor little boy, you had your head scratched until it bled before you had even entered the world. I had people pushing and pulling on me and I kind of lost it a bit for about 5 minutes. And then you were born! 
The experience in the hospital before and after birth had given me anxiety regarding health professionals, and due to this I didn't reach out for support. Any problems we came across I sought advice from the internet or online communities. If I had felt that I could reach out to somebody, perhaps they may have recognised the tongue restriction. But I didn't.
So yes, I'm angry. I'm angry because I don't feel like you received efficient care. I'm angry because not only did they fail to identify this at an early stage, but  since it has been identified we have been pushed from pillar to post and told that it is definitely not what is causing speech delay, without being signposted to a trained professional. I'm also angry with myself. I wish I had been stronger for you and not allowed a bad experience to cause me to be reluctant to seek help, and to doubt my own instincts for so long.
I suppose if we'd had major problems feeding I would have sought help. But the problems weren't that bad! We managed to Breastfeed for 2 years. And now I guess I feel relief that somebody has finally listened to me and we have been referred to a specialist. Perhaps that specialist will also say that the restriction is not causing speech delay, in which case I will be happy. I don't want you to have an operation. I'm scared. All I have ever wanted is for you to have the right to be examined by a professional who is adequately trained in tongue tie and who can make a decision in your best interests of what action needs to be taken. 
So I'm sorry Oliver. I think the reason I got upset when watching that vlog was because I feel like I've let you down. I let you down because I was let down. And now, at the age of 3 you may have to go through something that could have already been done and forgotten about by now. 
So that's why I cried. And in our years to come I will probably cry a lot more over you. Because as you can probably tell from this story, from the word go you were always going to be trouble!



Tuesday, 12 May 2015

10 Words To Start A Parent Dictionary!


Since becoming a Parent have you gained your own vocabulary? Made up certain words and terms relating to aspects of parenting? We have the Urban Dictionary so why not a Mums/Dads Dictionary?! Here are 10 phrases that I use as a Mum. Some are common ones you may use yourself, some have been borrowed from others, and some are my own. They've probably all been used by a Mum somewhere in the world! If you have any more then feel free to add to them in the comments section! Let's start our own dictionary!! 

1)Poonami - A poo that somehow escapes a nappy and becomes slathered all over your child's back.

2)Poobomb - Just when you thought the Poonami was the worst it could get, a poo bomb is when you're mid way through changing your child's nappy and they poo. The poo bomb is usually let off on to a changing matt, towel, or on occasion, your knee.

3)Milk drunk - Post milk drowsiness. Ties in with Milk Coma which is when your baby is KO'd after a feed.

4)Threenager - a 3 year old who acts like a teenager. 

5)Sanctimummy (or if you're American, Sanctimommy!) - a fellow mum who is practically perfect in every way, places judgment on other mums and is very quick to make remarks on how you're a big fat failure as a parent

6)Mad Half Hour - Usually occurs just before bedtime when your child appears to go stark raving mad, bouncing from one end of the room to the other, possibly head banging the couch and usually ends in tears.

7)Momster - The term used for a scary mum. Any mum can turn in to a Momster. It just requires the correct buttons to be pushed.

8)Horizontal parenting ( I borrowed this term from http://putyourboogerinmypocket.com) This is where one parent, usually Dad, does all the parenting whilst laid down on the couch. 

9)Pram Warrior - A mother who thinks they have the right to take up the whole street and push passed people just because they have a pram. When 2 Pram Warriors cross path, the term Pram Wars is used.

10)Mum Crush - A Mum Crush is a character from a kids TV show that you fancy the pants off. We have to find some enjoyment from the endless tirade of Cbeebies etc. I'm partial to a bit of Mr Bloom. And I probably wouldn't say no to Andy from Andys Dinosaur Adventures if I'm honest. 

Do you use any of these? Have any others that haven't been mentioned? Let me know!! 



Bad Reactions!!

So yesterday as I was walking through my local town centre watching my son chase pigeons with his cousin, said son let out an almighty screech. He tends to do that. He's loud, jumps about constantly (even on the spot) and is a bit crazy. I suppose I'm used to it. A person who quite clearly wasn't used to it was a middle aged lady who was walking passed with her husband and proceeded to tut, cover her ears & rudely question (very loudly) as to why my child has to scream in such a horrible way. Big mistake.
I wasn't feeling too hot yesterday. I'd just recovered from a sickness bug, I hadn't really been able to take Oliver out of the house for a few days because if it, and due to this he was behaving in a rather rambunctious manner!
When I turned to the woman with the intention of giving a filthy look that I hoped would silently say, "I heard that you horrific witch" I instead had a sudden animal instinct swoop over me which resulted in me screaming "BECAUSE HE's A CHILD!! THATS WHAT CHILDREN DO!!! THEY SCREAM!!" No kidding, the pigeons that Oliver had been chasing actually flew away. Or that's how it felt at the time!! And I saw people edge back from this crazy screaming lady in the middle of a quaint town centre.
Now, there was no excuse for this outburst, however I feel there was less of an excuse for the comment which provoked it, that was clearly said with the intention of me hearing it. WHY do people do this! It's not the first time this has happened to me and I'm sure it won't be the last. I just wish people would think before they open their gigantic mouths. 
If you don't like children perhaps you should become a hermit? Or think about purchasing some ear muffs when you venture in to territory where there's likely to be a child? Perhaps you would like me to use a muzzle on my son? Or you could look in to buying one yourself to prevent you from verbalising your rude and judgmental thoughts? Or maybe you could just GET A GRIP, because guess what? You see those miniature little maniacs running about there? YOU USED TO BE ONE!! 
Now, as you can clearly see I am not yet over this incident..in fact, I am raging! I am angry at what she said and I am angry at the way I reacted. The only person I am not angry with is my son, who caused the outburst to begin with! I'm not angry with him, because he's a child. He's innocent. He was playing, he got overexcited, he squealed. So what? 
It got me thinking. What if this incident had occurred to another mum. One that was less confident. One that actually gave a damn about other people opinions. What then? How would she have reacted? Would she now have the mindset that her child's behaviour was wrong and therefore prevent him playing in the street, chastise him for being loud? Feel anxious about taking him out in public? And if she did react in this way, what knock on effect would that have on the child? 
Im not proud of the way I reacted, and I'm annoyed with myself because I just know that the woman will have walked away and commented to her husband that it was understandable why my child was so loud with a "mother like that!" But the thing is, SHE turned me in to "that Mother!" By rudely commenting about the most precious thing in the world to me. I was a mother looking out for her young, 
So please! For the love of God! If you have something to say about someone's children, say it quietly, say it when you're out of ears reach. Or don't say anything at all and let our children just be children!
Glad I've got that off my chest! 

Monday, 11 May 2015

3 Things That Have Made My Teeth Itch This Week

So my son is renowned for being an irrational stropper who will have a tantrum over the smallest of things. I recently wrote a blog post on the 15 things that I had done to annoy Oliver this week, and then realised there have been things that have really pissed me off this week also!  Maybe he gets his temper from his mother? Here are 3 things that have particularly made my teeth itch this week. 


1) Sickness Bugs - On Friday morning I woke up with a screaming headache which was unusual as I don't tend to get them unless I have low blood sugar or have had a knock to the head. I had a busy day with Audiology and GP appointments for Oliver, so I took a few aspirin and it eased off. The day was going pretty good. Oliver was unusually cooperative at his audiology appointment and I was feeling quite smug. At 3:45 I took him to his GP appointment. Sat in the waiting room I started getting stomach cramps. Oliver was talking to me & I was struggling to concentrate on him. Realising what was happening I rushed to the toilet with Oliver dragging his heels behind me. Having the runs is embarrassing enough, without having them in a doctors waiting room with your 3 year old stuck in the cubicle with you. To make matters worse I had Oliver switching the light switch on and off, unlocking the door and narrating what was occurring with my bowels very loudly!

When we went back in to the waiting room we continued to sit and wait. Our appointment was at 3:50 and it was now 4:15. I asked the receptionist if they were running behind to which she informed me that they had already called Oliver through and we had missed our appointment. This then forced me to explain my little issue with her and request the doctor squeeze us in. I then had to keep rushing to the toilet and back again to keep checking that we hadn't missed being called in again. When the doctor eventually saw us I had sweat dripping down my head & my hair was stuck to my face. I think he was unsure of who, out of me & Oliver were the ones that needed attending to. Very humiliating. Not something I want to experience again!


2) Adults Who Are Moody - One thing I can't stand is grown adults who strop about like children because things haven't gone their way, ensuring they make every other person in their vicinity feel as uncomfortable as possible. I've been in contact with a couple of these individuals this week and to be quite frank it's not on. Grow up, get some perspective on life and straighten your face. I deal with an irrational 3 year old day in day out, I certainly don't need an irrational 30 plus year old acting in the same way. We all get pissed off, as this blog post evidences! However the whole world does not have to suffer for it!! Give your head a good wobble and if you're feeling pissed off have a rant, perhaps have a little cry & MOVE ON! I do not need your negativity in my life.


3) Snoring - Oliver's Daddy is the culprit in this case. I have no choice but to go to bed at least an hour before he does so I am asleep before he is. If he falls asleep before me I can't sleep. He is like an elephant with a knot in it's trunk. Even if he falls asleep before me & he isn't snoring I STILL can't sleep because I know he soon will be! If he is snoring and I ask him to turn on his side he states to me that he isn't snoring as he's wide awake!! YOUR BLATANTLY ASLEEP!! 

I can physically hear the tissues in your airway vibrating in my ear hole! More often than not I give up sleeping in my luxurious, specially designed for lower back problems, king size bed, and migrate in to Oliver's bed where I have to endure being kicked in the ribs and smacked in the face all night.

Snoring has been particularly bad this week!


This was supposed to be a list of three, however whilst I've been writing and getting myself all stirred up I've thought of a fourth so I'm just going to go with it!


4. People Who Tell Me What To Do - DONT! Advise me by all means. Construct your words in to something suggestive rather than demanding. Because if you tell what to do I will do the complete opposite, just to prove a point!! 


And breathe......!! 

Sunday, 10 May 2015

15 Ways I've Annoyed My 3 Year Old This Week


1) I couldn't "hug his nose" when he fell over and banged it
2) I had the audacity to sleep in my own bed rather than in his, with him
3) I put ham inside his sandwiches instead of on a plate NEXT TO some sliced bread 
4) I asked daddy to make him a drink instead of making it myself 
5) I downloaded the wrong SpongeBob Squarepants game on his iPad 
6) The Guinea Pigs did not want him to pick them up
7) I gave him a drink in the wrong coloured cup
8) I told him he couldn't break Buzz Lightyears wings
9) There is no such thing as a "Zombie Surprise Egg"
10) He can't see his own back
11) I touched his hair
12) I said "No"
13) His cheese on toast looked like it had cream on (I'm still clueless as to what this meant)
14) I helped him zip his coat up 
15) I wore Nanas slippers instead of my own 






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In Defence of Disney

So! We go to Disneyland in  4 weeks!! Yayyyy!!! And I will be writing a review whether you want one or not!!

Amidst my excitement however I seem to have been greeted with a flurry of judgmental opinions which quite frankly I do not care for! As I've been blabbering on about Disney, getting Oliver all worked up to the point where he asks me when we are going nearly every day I have been subjected to a number of remarks such as; 

1) He's too young - He'll be tired & cranky after a couple of hours!

My response - He is not too young! He is at an age where he truly believes in magic! Disney characters are REAL to him, they are his idols, his superheroes and he gets to meet them! As for becoming tired & cranky, that's what pushchairs are for! 

2) He won't remember it!

My response- So? Maybe he will maybe he won't! Does his future memories of the holiday effect his ability to have an amazing time in the here & now? NO!! Plus, if he doesn't remember it that's the perfect excuse to go again! 

3) You're wasting your money

My response - Last time I checked I worked 36 hours a week, earned my own money & therefore earned the right to spend that money on what I please! If spending my hard earned money on a trip that allows me to spend quality time, filled with fun with my 3 year old is what I choose to do then so be it! To be honest I couldn't think of anything better to spend my money on!

I'm entitled to treat my family! 


On a daily basis I deal with guilt. Guilt from having to leave my son with his daddy whilst I leave for a 12 hour shift, guilt for having to leave my son in childcare when both me and his dad are at work, guilt from being too tired to play when I've just done a night shift, guilt from leaving for work whilst Oliver is still fast asleep in the morning and returning to him again fast asleep in the evening. We all deserve this trip. And everything isn't just about memories for your child. It's about memories for you as parents too! Being able to look back at what a fantastic time you all had, cherishing them moments where you were all together in each other's company, enjoying life. 


Because the thing is, I LOVE being a mum! The best times I have are when I'm with Oliver. Yes, he drives me crazy, but he's my little sidekick! We do everything together! When people ask me if want them to have him so I can have a break I say no! I don't want a break from him! Every moment we have together is precious. I spend enough time having a break from him when I'm at work. I know I sound sad, but that's the way it is with me. 


So yes, we are going to Disneyland, and I can't wait! I can't wait to see Oliver's face as he meets the characters he watches constantly on the TV, whose stuffed toys he has on his bed; I can't wait for him to become immersed in a magical world and let his imagination go wild; I can't wait to see his reaction to eating breakfast with his idols, and to eat in Pizza Planet surrounded by Toy Story props; I can't wait to be a child all over again with him! How amazing will that be?! 


Image taken from  www.reise400.de

Thursday, 7 May 2015

Baking Banana Loaf (The Puzzled Mummy Way)

1) Add 125g butter, 150g caster sugar and 1 tsp of vanilla essence to a pan and melt
*empty the washing machine ~ realise that the clean washing is sopping wet as you shoved too much in there, sigh and shove it all back in to spin again
2) Once melted, remove mixture from the heat and add in 2 mashed up ripe bananas - mix well
*realise you need an egg for the next step and you haven't got any in. Send partner to the shop. Tap your foot impatiently until they arrive back
3) Add 1 beaten egg to the mixture - mix well
* put washing in dryer
4) Add 190g self raising flour and 60mls milk to mixture. Mix in.
*moan because there was a hole in the bag of flour which has caused flour to sprinkle all over your freshly mopped floor. Aggressively mop the flour up
5) Pop in a greased loaf tin - shove in the oven for 35-40 minutes at gas mark 3 or 150
*realise you're about 10 minutes late for the preschool run. Grab keys, coat and leg it.
Arrive back - pull cake out of oven (pray it hasn't burnt) and spend the next half an hour repeatedly telling your child and partner that it's too hot to eat!






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Why Oliver is Partaking in Den Day for Save The Children


Why am I encouraging Oliver to take part in Den Day for Save the Children? There's a number of reasons really. The first and most obvious reason is to raise awareness & funds for a brilliant charity who help children in areas all around the world who are being affected by disaster or conflict. 
My other reasons are personal and educational. Ive always strived to encourage open mindedness within Oliver and want to raise him in a selfless, non judgmental and empathetic household. Working in mental health I see stigma on a regular basis and part of my job is to challenge this. I have always explained individual differences to Oliver in an age appropriate way and tried to teach him to embrace peoples individuality, whether that be their ethnicity, culture, disability etc. Oliver regularly comes in to contact with rough sleepers who we pass sometimes in different areas of our community. He has always chatted to these people alongside me, (some know him by name) and has never shied away or given the impression that he is uncomfortable in their presence. This is the wonderful thing about young children. They have no judgments about anybody.
Oliver has come to an age now however where he is asking questions about peoples circumstances. He is taking an interest. He is realising that something is different to his own life. He recently asked me why one of these people he sees and speaks to was sleeping on the floor. He has also asked me why a boy he was playing with not so long ago in the speech therapy waiting room was in a wheelchair. I've answered these questions as honestly as I can that is understandable to a 3 year old and have tried to highlight how every human being is different to another in many ways, shapes and forms, and that is perfectly ok. He is now starting to realise that the world does not necessarily revolve around him and he is starting to gain empathy.

At the same time Oliver is still in the phase of "mine mine mine" and is reluctant to share anything. I want to use the Den Day activity to raise Oliver's awareness that materialistic objects are not always important. Yes, they are lovely to have, but there are more important things in life such as being safe, having shelter, food, warmth, a family to care for you. I'd like Oliver to realise how lucky he is to have the things he does and to perhaps grow some understanding of how this should be appreciated. 
I'm not saying that I want my 3 year old to take on the worries of the world. I don't. I'm not going to expose him to things that might make him afraid or anxious. He has his entire adulthood for that. I just want to help him gain some understanding that there are people who are sometimes less fortunate through no fault of their own and sometimes it is nice to help. I want to show him how helping people in the smallest way can actually make the biggest difference. Whether that be doing something obvious such as a fundraiser, or simply holding a door open for someone, sharing a toy, or even smiling as you pass somebody in the street. I want to teach him that being kind and open minded is a way of life.

Oliver will be fully involved in Den Day. As we are making the den I intend to tell him about how some children in other countries would be really grateful for a den to provide them with shelter. When we collect our fund raising money I will explain to him what that money will provide for the children we are sending it to. 
I want him to be proud that his mum has taught him these things and given him the opportunity to understand and make a difference to peoples lives. I also want him to have fun. Giving a helping hand to others isn't a chore. 

Perhaps some parents don't agree that young children should be made aware of others misfortunes at such an early age. I think they do. I think it shapes them in to the adult that they will soon become. I think it allows them to have understanding, which is a key factor in preventing discriminative and prejudice attitudes when they are older. It's common knowledge that most stigma is born through lack of education and experience.

So there are my reasons. We will be holding our Den Day between 29th May - 6th June. If anyone would like to become involved with their own children then please do contact save the children and request a Den Day Kit which they will post to you. 
Alternatively you may like to sponsor Oliver. Here is his link!





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Monday, 4 May 2015

10 signs that you're a mum that works nights

My job requires me to work a rota which includes 2 weeks of days and 2 weeks of nights. More often than not I have to work night shifts and then remain up all day with Oliver due to my partner working and Oliver only being in Preschool twice a week. Here are my 10 signs of a sleep deprived mum who works night shifts! 

1) Bedtime is a military operation as you are desperate for your child to be asleep before you leave for work

2) You gain the ability to still function after you've been awake for 48 hours

3) You become skilled at dosing during the day whilst still being aware of every movement that is going on around you

4) You tiptoe in quietly in the morning so you can sneak in to bed and catch an hour before the kids wake up.....

5) Then you see a pile of dishes and a load of laundry that needs doing and see to that instead! 

6) Your kids are used to seeing you walk around in your pyjamas all day

7) You accidentally let your kids have ice cream for breakfast 

8) You settle your kids in bed with a story and wake up the next morning in their bed with the book over your face

9) You never know what day of the week it is

10) You look for items at home that are actually based in your workplace and vice versa!