Giving myself a kick up the backside

I’ve been struggling a little lately. It happens from time to time I find, being a Stay at Home Mum isn’t always easy and as our children are constantly growing and changing, nothing stays the same for very long and it is oh so easy to suddenly feel a little lost.

It’s hard to explain exactly how I feel but put simply, the house is a tip. I’m frustrated with LM a lot and the TV is almost constantly on. Now I’ve been criticised before for saying that using the tv to entertain your kids makes me feel like a bad mum as of course it doesn’t make you a bad mum. But the truth is that I haven’t been only using the tv while I clean up or do other important things. I’ve been sticking it on as I don’t know what else to do to make LM happy. Then instead of doing some jobs I sit and play on my phone.

That isn’t what being a SAHM is, not to me anyway. I’m not saying that it isn’t ok to do that occasionally but it’s when the balance tipped and that was happening more and more that I knew I was not OK with it. Continue reading

Little Miss or Little Madam?

Our little miss is a feisty one. Always has been and being completely honest I actually think for girls, and children in general, a bit of feistiness is a good thing. I want my children to grow into strong adults and not be doormats. It makes it hard work as a parent but still I am glad my kids are a bit feisty.

Lately though LM’s feistiness has stepped up and ooh she is being a real little madam. In truth I am finding her quite hard to deal with at times right now. She’s in a funny transitionary phase. She doesn’t have many words but understands everything and knows what she wants. She just can’t communicate that to us so there are LOTS of tantrums rooted in frustration. I know this is the root cause but that still doesn’t make it easy to cope with the screaming.

She has always been an incredibly loud child and the volume and pitch of her screaming and whining when she can’t get a toy to do what she wants it to, or if she doesn’t get her way in general is just insane. And I am finding that it well and truly grates on my nerves!

20160727_130913She’s always being so so wilful. She is a really bossy britches and constantly demands things. She comes and takes my hand and pulls me where she wants to go. She stands waving at me to follow her, shouting her “err-ow” sound at the top of her lungs until I acquiesce. And when I don’t acquiesce, oh my goodness the volume of the tantrum. There are times I do what she wants simply so I avoid the aftermath… But other times I just don’t. Sometimes she presents me with shoes and tries to drag me out of the house. At 6.30 am I’m sorry darling but it’s just not happening.

I don’t generally take pictures of tantrums a) because I’m usually stressed b) because I don’t want to somehow encourage it by taking a picture and c) because I don’t like my picture taken when I’m upset so it feels a bit mean. But, this tantrum amused me because of her sticking her legs in the air, so I did take a picture on this occasion!20160727_100853

She is pushing my buttons all the time. She throws things and hits things when she is frustrated and when I tell her not to do something she deliberately ignores me and does it again and again until I remove her from the situation. And then tries to return kicking and screaming.

Food is a huge sticking point at the moment too as she is beyond fussy and just refuses to eat almost anything, even things we know she likes. I try not to worry, to make sure she doesn’t have snacks too late before mealtimes and trying to do what I can but I just feel I can’t win. The result is that she is even grumpier and screams more than normal because she is hungry… But she still refuses to eat. We worry that it is her teeth or something so offer her something else to eat but then she eats so it is more like fussiness than anything else. In which case we don’t want to keep giving her what she wants as that will limit her diet and set a precedent she will expect. It is so frustrating and I feel at my wits end at times when she refuses food I know she likes. It even got to a point where I take photos of happy mealtimes as they feel so rare. How daft is that? PhotoGrid_1469698821371

For her life until now distraction has been pretty good at moving her on from any tantrums and upsets.. But now that very often just won’t wash with her. It is time for some stronger discipline.

I know it is just her age and I also know she needs some firmer boundaries to help her make sense of the world. I know it isn’t for everyone but we found the naughty spot technique from Jo frost, aka Supernanny, worked really well with Monkey. I don’t agree with everything she says but that definitely worked with him. I wanted to wait until LM had more words before starting more discipline with her but the truth is that it is time now. I hope it works with her as it did with her brother but they are such different characters so we will have to see.

The trouble is that her behaviour is just so draining and feels almost impossible to deal with! She can also be the loveliest happiest, sweet, kind little thing too… So I really hope this phase doesn’t last too long!20160719_131356

Are your children feisty? How do you deal with discipline?

Feeling a little nostalgic

This week has been a bit tough at points. I always find it the same in the holidays, trying to keep both kids entertained and happy invariably makes me feel like a bit of a failure and questioning my choice to be a SAHM.

In truth we have done better this time but because of a combination of chicken pox and tummy bugs Monkey has actually been off pre-school for about a month and he is definitely ready to go back now. He is bored and flitting from activity to activity. He is clingy and jealous of the attention his little sister needs and demanding so much attention from me constantly. In short he is driving me a bit nuts. I’ve really just tried to keep busy and not focus on this too much. Next week we will be back to routine and I am sure things will improve. I have felt a bit low this week though which may be why certain things are making me feel a bit nostalgic.

20160405_161021First of all, our little lady’s feet have grown, meaning it is time to say goodbye to her pink wellies (and all her other shoes but somehow I don’t feel nostalgic about those!). I’m not sure if it is because she is the second child or because we have decided she is our last baby but I am definitely more nostalgic about some things with her. Perhaps also because she seems so diddy. Monkey, on the 90th percentile of the growth chart and seriously tall for his age, has never really felt diddy. Anyway I also love her wellies so much. She has had so many adventures in them over the winter and I am a bit sad to say goodbye to them.

Another element with her being the second child is that we don’t always pay as much notice to her milestones as we did with Monkey. The big ones yes of course, but the little ones, not so much. With Monkey I was keeping an eye on his hand eye coordination and fine motor skills to make sure he was on track. With LM I haven’t paid nearly as much attention. This week I decided to have a look back at my blog to see what I was up to with Monkey at her age, I really do love my blog for the ability to do that and it was so lovely to see what he was up to at her age and remember what he was like as a little (ish) toddler!

We do do a lot of the same activities but there are some I did with Monkey by now that I haven’t done with her. I guess it goes back to what I said earlier about her being so diddy and because she is our baby… But I think of her as not being able to do things yet because she is too young.. When she really isn’t! So I have tried to make more of an effort to do a few more activities with her and will try and do more of this when Monkey is back at preschool next week and she and I have more 1 on 1 time together.

Then Monkey and I had some 1 on 1 time together on Tuesday and did an activity that made both hubs and I feel nostalgic about our childhood. Bubble painting! I will share more about that in a day or so but it really was great fun!bubble painting

The final reason I have been feeling a little nostalgic is because I have been looking through some of my childhood photos with Monkey. During a chance encounter with a friend’s parents they mentioned that they thought LM looked like her Nanny (my Mum) so I was having a look to see who she did resemble and Monkey very much enjoyed seeing his Mummy and Uncles when we were little (more on this to come in a few days too!).20160407_200205 (2)

I hope the holidays get easier as the kids get older, as I have always hoped I would be the Mum who looks forwards to the holidays nd enjoys them rather than wishing them over. for now though I am just getting through the week as best I can.

How was your week? Do you get nostalgic when your little ones reachmilestones or grow out of certain outfits?

The Reading ResidenceEthans Escapades

Clumber Park, Chicken Pox and a very short holiday!

A couple of weeks ago Monkey came down with Chicken Pox and though he is much better and his spots are nearly gone, it has been a bit of a waiting game to see if /when LM would catch them too. With an incubation period of up to 3 weeks, we knew it could potentially coincide with our weekend away in Yorkshire and after lots of um-ing and ahh-ing about whether to go or not we decided to go. And, well, what do you think happened? Yep she got poorly while we were away.

She had zero symptoms the day before and we thought that if she was coming down with it then she would probably have some cold type symptoms so got all packed up and ready. Woke up Friday and there was a few little spot like marks on her back but she was still fine and we were ready to go, so we headed off.

We broke the journey at the National Trust site Clumber Park. We do like to make the most of our NT membership and feel a stop off at somewhere like this is a bit more fun than just a service station. Shame the weather was wet and grey but we all had wellies and waterproofs so set off for a good explore.

We chose to do a simple walk as though we would love to walk around the lake there is no way little legs can manage it at the mo, not on such a quick visit anyway. So we explored the gothic Chapel, the pleasure ground and the lake.
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Monkey also enjoyed exploring amongst the trees where he found an amazing den that someone had made.PhotoGrid_1458655123309

For her part, LM was enjoying exploring and was still perfectly happy, and her usual, independent self.
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We stopped for food at the cafe and enjoyed a view out the window and LM loved sitting on a big girl chair.PhotoGrid_1458655523226

After lunch we visited the fab woodland play area where lots of fun was had. LM got cranky and it was nearly nap time so time to resume our journey North. There’s so much we didn’t get to see at Clumber, including an indoor play area but I am sure we will be back another time.PhotoGrid_1458655715481

We headed to our holiday cottage in the gorgeous village of Hutton le Hole on the south of the North York Moors, which is such a stunning part of the country. The village is amazing, so picturesque with a gorgeous little stream running through and we loved the cottage we stayed in as it was so full of character (including some very low doorways haha) , had everything we needed and wasn’t too expensive either so we really want to go back!PhotoGrid_1458656012705

We had a good explore of the village before heading out to nearby Pickering to buys supplies and have a fish and chips tea. LM wasn’t eating much which is weird for her but was otherwise fine. At bath time we noticed a few more spots but she was still fine in herself and both kids went down to sleep no probs.

The next morning however things took a turn. LM woke up at 4am really unhappy with a terrible high fever. She was suddenly covered in nasty looking spots and was clearly unwell. Cue decision making time and both of us feeling that we just needed to be at home for her. We obviously also felt guilty for coming away at all at this point but we really weren’t expecting it to get worse with such a bang.

So anyway we packed up and got ready to go home, while LM watched some TV and thankfully perked up with a bit if medicine. She even managed a bit of an explore around the village and a go on the trampoline in the garden. She is really not one to sit still!PhotoGrid_1458656316166

We re-questioned our decision again but still felt it was time to go. She slept in the car for nearly the whole journey home (bar a quick stop for a nappy change and to put on her coat as she was cold) which just never happens, to sleep nearly 3 hrs in the morning?? We got home and she was still unhappy and slept for another couple of hours in her bed. Definitely the place to be.IMG_20160319_100606

20160321_090535 (2)So it was possibly the shortest holiday ever and a long way to go for such a short amount of time… But we did have a nice time and it was worth coming home to where she is most comfortable. She has been very up and down and has so so so many spots poor thing that have been really really irritating her.

She does seem to be a lot better now though thankfully so hopefully we are coming out the other side and hey we never have to worry about chicken pox again do we? Unfortunately since we have been back Monkey has also had a tummy bug so it has really been a week of poorliness! So that is my word for this week. Poorliness. Here’s hoping that everyone is well for Easter!

The Reading ResidenceMy Travel MonkeyAnd then the fun began...We're going on an adventure

Questioning being a Stay at Home Mum

It’s been a tough time lately. We have all been a bit poorly which never helps. Endless coughing and a lack of sleep does nobody any good. Then, potentially as a result of her poorliness, LM has been incredibly clingy. I know it’s just a phase “separation anxiety” etc…. But boy is it hard work!

She wants to be on me at all times and with me whatever I am doing. I can’t go to the loo without her standing at the gate in the lounge screaming at me. I can’t sit down without her clamouring all over me, pulling my hair and necklace, standing on me and generally wriggling all over the place with her perfect little elbows and knees digging in wherever they land.

I can’t look at my phone without her trying to snatch it off me so she can push buttons or play a baby game. There is screaming galore if I resist and hide my phone because I have had enough of her using it. I can’t have a drink without her clawing at me to have some so I have to hide whatever I am drinking and just grab a sip when I can… Meaning I certainly don’t drink enough at the moment. She wants to be carried by me at times when I can’t carry her resulting in her clinging on my legs and clawing at me while I try and make lunch.

Hiding from a nappy change

Hiding from a nappy change

It is exhausting and I feel like I have zero personal space and zero opportunity to just have a bit of peace. In fact the only times she doesn’t cling to me are when it is time for a nappy change – when she runs away and tries to cram herself behind a chair or something to hide, or when she has spotted some opportunity for mischief making. She throws her meals on the floor and deliberately spills he drink so she can splash and play in it (if anyone can direct me to a genuinely non-spill cup I would be massively grateful) and likes to push the buttons on the side of the TV no matter how much I say no, with a look of absolute glee.

This has been made harder by the fact it is half term. I adore my little boy and I wasn’t dreading half term at all. I don’t want to be a mummy who wishes away the time spent with my children… But I find it so hard to entertain both of them I really do.

I have tried loads of activities but one or the other gets bored. Monday we were due to go to soft play with friends but unfortunately they were poorly. I decided not to worry though and take the opportunity to do some messy play and get cracking with some finger painting in the bath. Great fun for all of 5 minutes until Monkey announced he’d had enough. LM lasted about 5 more minutes and then started crying to go and play with her brother. So it ended up with them both shut up in his bedroom while I cleaned the bathroom. (our stair gate broke so I have to shut them in to keep LM safe). It was so stressful and honestly I ended up wondering why I had bothered. PhotoGrid_1455867923529

We have had some lovely times this week and I have grabbed every opportunity to get outside when the weather has been nice. We have blowed bubbles, chased balls, run down hills and visited the playpark. But every happy time is bookends by whining and moaning. Monkey doesn’t want to go out while LM is chomping at the bit to get outside. LM is crying as she has had enough and is cold (will she wear mittens for more than 5mins? What do you think?) while Monkey is protesting like mad as now he doesn’t want to go home.

Fun outside, bookended by whining and moaning

Fun outside, bookended by whining and moaning

We have been to soft play with friends and both kiddies have had outings individually with the grandparents meaning I have had some nice 1 on 1 time with both of them. But the rest of the time there has been more TV on than I would like and I have been left questioning being a stay home mum. What am I doing? Why am I doing this? It is so so so hard sometimes and weeks like this I really don’t feel happy or fulfilled. So I start thinking about going back to work. But despite how hard it is at the moment I still don’t like the thought of sending LM to nursery. Of someone else doing the things I feel I should be doing with her.

I have utmost respect for working mums and I have no judgement on anyone for sending their child to nursery so they can work. I just can’t seem to extend that to myself for some reason and feel like having made the decision to be a SAHM that I would be failing if stopped now. I think it would be different if I had a job I loved or a career I wanted to further, or if financially I had to work. But I don’t, we are so fortunate that we manage on one salary (we do have to be sensible and a bit careful with money but we do fine) so I guess it just feels wrong to think about going back to work just so I can escape my children!

Its a difficult thing to balance, the needs of me vs. the needs of them. I know that this has been a particularly tough week and I know that when Monkey is back at preschool and everyone is well again things will be different. I hope so and this may juts be a blip… But I am questioning my choice a lot at the moment and wondering whether it is still the right decision for me. In truth I have no idea. And I have no idea what the solution would be as I am so conflicted between wanting something more for me… And wanting to do everything I did for Monkey with LM.

It is such a short time when they are small and yes it is tough but do I want to throw away this opportunity? Surely I have years and years ahead of me where I can do things for me, is it
really too much to focus on their needs for another year or 2? That sounds perfectly reasonable until I have two children fighting over me and my hair being pulled….

I know it doesn’t have to be an either or situation and I could work part time but then it is whether the costs and negative would outweigh the wages I would earn or the perceived benefits. The questioning continues..

A bit of a break

My word of the week this week is break. You may have noticed that things have been a little quiet on here this week and that is because life at home is currently very hectic, so I have taken a bit of a break from blogging. There is still tonnes I would like to write about but I just haven’t the time or energy for it at the moment with everything that is going on.

Our garage conversion and building work is going really well and when this is published, in theory the new room/old garage should be finished and ready for furniture to go in. As I write the plumbers are plumbing in the radiators and the carpets should go down in a few hours. This is a huge relief as the last couple of weeks have been hard work.

The first stage of the building work was all outdoors and so other than being noisy didn’t really interfere with our day to day life much. Since cutting the doorway between the new room and the lounge it has been a very different story. The dust has driven us mad. Not fun at the best of times it is definitely less than ideal with a 10 month old crawling everywhere and getting in to everything!

So we have been covering furniture with quilts and sheets (meaning lots more laundry to do, as if we don’t produce enough laundry already) and I have lost count of the amount of times I have swept the floor and steamed and been on my hands and knees trying to clean up the dust…

Dust

It has also still been noisy and smelly (paint) and there has been people in and out a lot. Our builders are a really good bunch and they love the kids but having strangers in your house all the time is just a bit weird and parenting with an audience really isn’t fun! Plus the conversations I have had to listen to/be involved in (generally moaning about their wives and women in general, fun, and occasionally sharing how little sex they have, way tmi for me!) is just a bit weird.

So the kids and I have been playing upstairs a lot to keep put of their way. Plus of course lots of trips out in between the rain (or even when raining).

Going for a walk in the pouring rain ay 9am on bank holiday Monday while the builders fitted the door tp the new room

Going for a walk in the pouring rain at 9am on bank holiday Monday while the builders fitted the door to the new room

LM has actually coped really well with it all so far, basking in the adoration of the builders and giving them the biggest smiles, but the strain is starting to show with Monkey. He still wants to be a builder and is ok with them but he doesn’t like them being in his domain I don’t think. If I have to pop out of the room to deal with LM he doesn’t like being on his own with the builders so wants to follow me everywhere or stands and cries. Honestly this morning I was settling LM to sleep while the builder was cutting bricks outside (SO noisy) and she was trying but obviously struggling through the noise. I got her to sleep and came back down to find Monkey (who I had convinced to stay downstairs for a few mins) hiding with tears in his eyes. Pfff. Poor thing but I am at a loss what to do sometimes, I can’t be with him every second of the day.

We also haven’t had a front door for a couple of weeks now so have been traipsing round the back all of the time. Meaning the buggy, shoes coats, etc have all been living in the lounge along with the dust and the builders… just not ideal, any of it really and I have to say that being able to actually use our new front door for the first time was very very exciting!!

front door

One of the purposes of the new room will be toy storage, which is also making us think about storage throughout the house. It is also going to be Hubs office so a lot of the office stuff and files will come down from upstairs and go in there. So my word of the week was nearly sorting as we have been using any spare time (?) to go through cupboards. We have been throwing away lots of old stuff and have sorted some things for charity shops too. I have started to ditch some toys (charity shop again) and have more boxes to go through yet. (I swear toys multiply of their own accord, they are taking over our house!!).

So yeah not a lot of time for blogging really (I wrote most of this on my phone while watching bake off and the rest in 5 min bursts as today has been chaos).

At one point today we had the builder, 2 plumbers, an electrician, and a carpet fitter here at the same time. t worked well and lots got done but it was chaos!

At one point today we had the builder, 2 plumbers, an electrician, and a carpet fitter here at the same time. it worked well and lots got done but it was chaos!

But a break probably is no bad thing. I have been feeling slightly disillusioned with blogging for a while, possibly because life is busy and I am exhausted, but all of the commenting and linkies and sharing, let alone writing, has been feeling like a chore.

But I do love writing and that is why I blog really, as well as to create a record for the kids to look back on. So it won’t be too long a break I am sure… just a break until we return to something resembling normality I think!! I was going to add I some shots of how it is all looking now but it has taken me so long to write this post that I can’t be bothered so will save them for another post.

How has your week been? Slightly less chaotic I hope?

The Reading Residence

Relentless…

My word of the week this week is relentless. It hasn’t been entirely bad but in truth it has been pretty hard.

LM’s naps are all messed up and she seems to only wnt one nap a day (at nearly 10 mths old) so I have had to get used to having at least 1 child with me at all times. Plus she is now crawling, climbing, pulling up and standing alone constantly. Which means I need eyes in the back of my head and a lot of falling over too. No break for mummy to blog, get jobs done, relax at all – relentless.

We have been busy every evening this week, Monday we had friends round which was lovely, Tuesday I took some old baby bits round to my friend with a 2 mth old and again it was lovely to see her. Weds Hubs had a work night out and then Thurs was meant to be our first eve this week relaxing together – but LM had other ideas. Since she was just a couple of mths old she has always gone to sleep really easily in the evning, even when she has been poorly it hasn’t taken much to get her to sleep. Last night took hours. Nothing worked, she was so tired but so fidgety and uncomfortable. It took hubs over an hour of rocking and singing before she finally got into a deep enough sleep to stop idgeting and sleep in her bed. By which time hubs was exhausted so there weent our evening. No rest in the daytime or the evenings – relentless.

Then there is toilet training, which is going really, really well. But of course there are sometimes accidents. For Monkey these tend to happen after his nap. He doesn’t need to nap every day and on the days he does he wants to wear pants. Which is fine and he can hold it. But sometimes he wakes up really grotty and that’s when the accidents can happen. So this week we have had a weed on sofa :( and a wet bed. Both manageable, but after the wet bed I tried to get him to do a wee on the toilet. He wanted to stand, which was fine, except he then started pooing on the floor!

Add to this the fact that as LM isn’t napping much she was there and wanting to be involved. She is crawling and climbing everywhere at the moment and just wants to be involved, so as I realised he was pooing and tried to sit him on the toilet, she was crawling through my legs headed right towards the poo! aaaargh!! So imagine the scene, trying to be calm as Monkey is a bit egg-shelly after waking up wet, picking LM up and dumping her in the hall (where she immediately starts heading back to the bathroom) trying to pick up the poo and find antibac wipes to clean up before LM gets there. Like I said. Aaaargh.

Today I am meeting my friends and all our kiddies, it is rare these days tha we all get together and it will be lovely but honestly the arranging of the get together does my head in. One person doesn’t want to go here, one person doesn’t want to pay, one person doesn’t want to drive too far (and we all live in completely different areas). Then we have no idea what the weather is going to do so indoor or outdoor and so many indoor places get so busy now it’s the holidays, and again, aaargh!

I know we will have a nice time all together and I just need to learn not to get too involved with the planning of where we are going and just go with the flow once the decision has been made I think.

Thankfully there has been lovely moments too this week, even if they are a bit difficult to catch amongst the relentlessness of it all, so here are a few pics of lovely times with my kiddies this week.

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a 5 min snuggle watching aladdin before LM woke up

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Crafting with Monkey

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Post poo incident cuddles

 

Giggly kddies beng tickled by mummy on the sofa

Giggly kddies beng tickled by mummy on the sofa

How has your week been?

The Reading Residence

Our Dorset Holiday

You may have seen that we have just had a very lovely holiday in Dorset. We have been house sitting for just over a week for some friends of ours who live in a very cute, quaint little country cottage. It is picture postcard pretty but also a little run down with cracks in walls and damp ceilings and TONNES of spiders!

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It is also in the most gorgeous setting, on a farm in the middle of the countryside. The farmer’s (massive) house is nearby along with a few holiday cottages they rent out but otherwise it is just surrounded by fields, trees and rolling hills.

countryside

Being on a farm there are lots of animals around too, cows, horses, sheep, dogs, a”barn cat” who is a mouser that lives in the barn. She’s also about 1010 yrs old, very gentle and so good with the kiddies! The little ones have loved stroking her and even when LM has gotten a little over excited and pulled her fur (eek) she has barely flinched! Lovely pussy cat.

animals

We had the real extremes of weather, from blazing sun to torrential rain and we obviously had some highs and lows. Some highs of the trip include gorgeously sunny days out to the coast and on steam railways to castles (posts about those to follow) and actually a wonderful day at Stonehenge which was in parts disastrous but also lucky and just good fun, despite being a very wet day! More of that to come in another post.

We did have some lows too, including the most disastrous trip to the beach ever. I was on my own with the kids while hubs got his head down to do some work and as the forecast was for sun headed to the beach. It rained a little on the way but hoped we were headed to blue sky. I had researched and found what I thought was a sandy beach not too far away. Then we arrived and saw this mountain of stones at the edge of a completely stony beach.

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Walked around a little and could find no sandy beach so at the lowest point I could find proceeded to make a few trips up and down the hill of stones to get me, 3 bags, buggy, both kids and a wind shield onto the beach. Only to be faced with an evem steeper decline on the other side of the hill towards the sea.

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LM decided she didn’t like the noise of the sea so I didn’t want to get any closer, though it was blimmin windy at the top of the hill! I started to set up the wind shield,and the heavens (which had been darkening but I had been ignoring in my task of just getting up the hill) opened. So we ended up huddled behind the windshield, both LM and Monkey crying because they were cold and wet,trying to eat a picnic. Then the rain stopped, a few more trips back down the hill later, more screaming from the kiddies,and I packed them back in the car. Disaster!! Talk about best laid plans!! My feet hurt so much after all the running up and down the stones barefoot (my flip flops made it even worse so had to go with bare feet) and that was by far the low point of the week.

Some of the best bits though were seeing my kiddies having a whale of a time on the playpark on the farm (which had an awesome boat swing that I want to get for our swing at home) and just in running around the cottage garden.

 

playpark

Oh and watching Monkey jumping in muddy puddles on the very wet days!

puddles

Lots of happy times and though hubs was working a lot of the time we also got a lot of time together as a family which has been very lovely. By the end I both didn’t want to leave and get back to normality, but was also looking forward to getting home and our creature comforts, family and friends.

And then the fun began...

Best of Worst

Accepting that I have Postnatal Depression

PNDIn general I am quite an upbeat positive person but for some time I have been feeling very very low and not myself. I have felt very negative about pretty much everything and feared I was sounding like such a misery on my blog. I considered the possibility of Postnatal Depression but the label seemed too big, if that makes sense. I think of PND and I think of Mum’s suffering with it and I just feel like “no, not little old me, I’m just a daft woman struggling to cope. I just need to get on with it and sort myself out.” So for some time that is what I have been trying to do.

I’m a big believer in faking it till you make it. I felt if I told myself I was happy then eventually I would get there. So I kept trying and making myself take deep breaths and stay positive and fixed on my goals. But the problem is that anytime anything went the slightest bit wrong I would crash and be right back to rock bottom. My attempts weren’t working. My motivation for my diet has gone too and I have been comfort eating like crazy but not feeling any better.

A good friend of mine used a great analogy for depression recently. “It’s like you’re constantly cycling uphill and you’re giving all you’ve got. You can’t stop peddling as you know you’ll go downhill, but you can’t keep going the way you are either.” I felt this summed it up perfectly and I have been trying so so hard to just keep going but it wasn’t working. I know how lucky I am and I have a wonderful husband and 2 amazing kiddies but I really haven’t been enjoying, well, anything, for some time.

It has also started to affect Monkey too. The last couple of weeks in particular were really low for me and I have been in tears quite a lot and very snappy. Monkey is a sensitive little soul and he really takes it to heart when I shout at him or am upset. He obviously copes with the odd time but the frequency lately has had a cumulative effect on him. He has been going through a bit of separation anxiety at playgroup and crying a lot about going and when he is there. He is waking up some mornings crying. When we ask him why he just says “Mummy.” Which makes me feel awful I have to tell you.

So last week I finally accepted that this isn’t normal. That it was time to get some help. I went to the Dr and after a chat with a very lovely lady Dr she confirmed my suspicions. I am suffering from postnatal depression and it does need to be treated for my sake and the sake of the children.

As well as the low-dose antidepressants my lovely GP said I also need to let go of my need to be in control. I need to stop trying so hard to be a perfect Mummy all the time as I am dooming myself to failure. She said I need to remember that I am a person too and not just Mum and have to put myself first sometimes. I need to make time to do some exercise as that will help my mood too. She really was helpful and understood exactly how I felt.

I am a few days into the tablets and have felt a bit odd at times, which I think is normal. But in general I am already feeling better. I think even just the act of accepting that I need some help, and taking the pressure off myself instead of constantly trying to pretend all is fine has made a big difference.

Hubs has been great and supportive. He has said he feels guilty like it is his fault and he should have done more and of course that isn’t true. In true man style he wants a solution and he wants to ‘fix’ it but he is coming round to the fact that medication is the right thing for now. I never wanted to be on antidepressants and never thought I would be, not that there is anything wrong with them, I just didn’t think I would need them. But right now, I do. They are low dose, non-addictive so I can stop anytime, although my GP has recommended I use them for at least 4 months.

So we shall see how things go, hopefully the tablets will just help me stay a bit more level and stop the crashing lows I have been feeling, meaning I can enjoy my little ones, and everything, a bit more. The label of “postnatal depression” still feels a little uncomfortable, like I don’t deserve it, but I guess like anything it is a spectrum and there are varying depths of it. I still feel uncomfortable writing this post but I have accepted that I need some help and I will come through the other side of it, I know I will.

Have you suffered with postnatal depression? How did you feel about the label?

My word for the week is “acceptance.”

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Mama and MoreAnd then the fun began...

Birthday Celebrations

My word this week is a great one, it is Celebrations, because we have had a week full of birthday celebrations!

Last week my little big boy Monkey turned 3! Sadly the poor thing was terribly poorly (believe me, poorly could easily have been this week’s word too as we have all been suffering) with a stonking cold and conjunctivitis, so it was a very chilled out birthday at home with a visit from his grandparents for lunch and an uncle & aunt in the early evening.

Monkey birthday 1

Saturday was the big celebration though with lots of family round for his party. He was so excited bless him and even though he was nowhere near 100% he was feeling a lot better, though by then poor hubs was really suffering. I made a Lightning McQueen cake, which didn’t work out quite as I hoped it would, but you could tell what it was meant to look like and Monkey loved it (and everyone said it tasted nice) so that’s all that matters.

Monkey's birthday party

It was a lovely family day with yummy food and lots of fun :) Monkey was a lucky boy with lots of very lovely pressies and lots of attention from all his favourite people. We spent most of the time inside until Monkey commanded that we all went outside. “Let’s go outside, with Mummy and Daddy and Lots of Family!” When people weren’t forthcoming he stood in the doorway shouting “come on everybody!” lol love him.

Sunday was a fairly chilled day at home then Monday saw more birthday celebrations for my Father-in-law’s birthday. Another lovely happy family day at Grangranny and Granddaddy’s house.

Before we left we had got out a bag of hand-me-down clothes for LM who is growing all the time and found this gorgeous little tutu. I just couldn’t resist dressing her in it and she looked so cute in it! Granny loved her little pink princess and LM was so good even though she was really coming down with the cold by then and had conjunctivitis too.Granddaddy's birthday

Thursday saw the celebrations continue with one of Monkey’s friends turning 4 and a birthday party at a soft play centre. It got off to a very bad start with Monkey throwing the mother of all tantrums as he didn’t want to go. He screamed continuously in the car and made himself sick. I was so stressed and so angry…. but thankfully he perked up a little when he saw some friends and a piece of cake later he was much better and had great fun on the soft play. All that stress and hassle for absolutely no reason, toddlers eh?

Thankfully two of my best Mummy friends were there (we missed our very heavily pregnant friend that makes up our foursome but at nearly 40wks pregnant she understandably couldn’t make it!) and they helped remind me that they have had days like it with their kids recently too and as always it’s just nice to support each other. LM was cute again in her tutu and it was fun, though obviously ever so slightly chaotic with a bunch of kids at soft play! I was shattered by the end of it but Monkey was happy and we did have a lovely time so I am very glad we went.

soft play party 2

This marks the end of a couple of months full of birthdays of family members and friends. In April we have 6 and in May there are 8! (there may be a 9th depending on when my friend’s baby arrives) So it is full of fun but also is a lot of birthdays in a short space of time. There are only 2 in June and none in July so I have to admit it will be nice to have less birthdays to think about for a while.

Do you have a time of year where there are more birthdays than any other?

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