Life’s a beach

image

 

I love this photo from shared on https://www.facebook.com/Be.A.Fun.Mum/ originally from http://daisyanddaydreams.com/2013/04/17/lifes-a-beach/
I’ve saved it on my phone as something which might be good to do…. However as much I would love to actually live in my Pinterest world the reality would be somewhat different. The jar would get filled with various sands from our seaside trips and then no doubt my children would ask to take a look at the jar and wear me down until they were actually holding it. Then whoops oh no “mummy it just slipped out of my hand, it was too heavy” and wouldn’t you just know it. The sand was mixed up never to return to its original segregated state.

Would that be such a tragedy? Well yes and no.
Yes because I would no doubt be cross that years of collecting sand and carefully transporting it home in a plastic sandwich bag and remembering to fish it out of the car boot without it getting forgotten about along with the soggy sandy swimming costumes, fishing nets and windbreakers. Then placed along with the shells collected and stones to be painted it will lay languishing somewhere and noticed daily as a thing to do when the children are at school along with my scrapbooking pile, photos to album and messy corners to be tidied. It will then eventually be placed lovingly in the jar and labelled and I shall make everyone visiting my house admire it and they would wish they could be amazing like me (!)

Until that day..the day when it slipped from their hands and all the sand became a sandy mess.

Would I scoop it back in the jar or would I put it in the bin thinking my good work of creating this jar had been all for nothing. I would like to think that I would put it back in the jar and it could become a jar of our sandy memories. Because after all memories kind of stay in our minds, we could remember specifics about the ice cream incident or the day we found a huge crab in the rock pool or buried daddy in the sand but eventually all our memories become mingled into one so perhaps this visual analogy of all our childhood trips to the seaside and then perhaps I could be at peace with my heart and head and my continuous endless striving to have that “perfect family life” which I have created.

Advertisements

Watching Inside Out has turned my thoughts upside down.

image

Watching Inside Out has turned my thoughts upside down

I have not been feeling so great emotionally these past few weeks

So on a gloomy half term day and with to be honest an emotional morning behind me, me and my girls began our afternoon. After a bit of homework to counterbalance the CBeebies TV fest we some snacks and got cosy on the sofa to watch a film.

Inside Out, I had heard a mixture of reviews about this but decided as I am currently in a vulnerable emotional state and I’m getting the idea that my eldest is too and my youngest is picking up on both of our sensitivities then it might be a good film for us all to watch.

Here’s the plot summary from Pixar;

Growing up can be a bumpy road, and it’s no exception for Riley, who is uprooted from her Midwest life when her father starts a new job in San Francisco. Like all of us, Riley is guided by her emotions – Joy, Fear, Anger, Disgust and Sadness. The emotions live in Headquarters, the control center inside Riley’s mind, where they help advise her through everyday life. As Riley and her emotions struggle to adjust to a new life in San Francisco, turmoil ensues in Headquarters. Although Joy, Riley’s main and most important emotion, tries to keep things positive, the emotions conflict on how best to navigate a new city, house and school.

– Pixar

Although the story centres around a girl and her emotions, the Emotion characters in the film are adult and its was easy to relate to them. Joy; wants everything and every memory to be happy and if Sadness even touches a memory ball then it is almost tainted with sadness. Fear sees the worst possible scenario and is like the ultimate health and safety officer whilst Disgust is the epitome of a surly teenager “whatever”. Anger is as you would expect; angry and when he gets really angry his head tends to catch fire!

As expected the detail of the film tended to go over my four year olds head but my six year old was totally entranced. Not to give any of the plot away, but the moral of the story is that for a human being with all its complex emotions they need all the emotions working together and in particular to know joy you need to have experienced sadness and vice versa.

It was a thought provoking film which my eldest still refers to, in particular the Joy, Sadness and Anger characters. It’s interesting that I’m still thinking about the film and actually want to watch it again without the children so I can take it all in again. Yet my husband and other friends who haven’t experienced depression felt that the film was anything from okay and profound to a bit deep and an odd topic.

Whether it’s because I have a mind that overthinks things or can completely relate to the Joy, Sadness and Angry characters more, exactly like my daughter could be perhaps why I think this film is really important to watch both as a parent having experienced depression or as a parent to a emotionally sensitive child. It’s worth a watch.

 

My Journey with Postnatal Depression led me to help other mums

The amazing Rosey shares the fact that after experiencing her darkest times with Pnd and antinatal depression she has helped support thousands of other women through her weekly Twitter chat #pndhour every Wednesday between 8-9pm

PND and Me

Almost 8 years ago I began my motherhood journey, only I had unwanted company – Postnatal Depression.

I was a 19 year old new mum, struggling to breastfeed and lacking the emotional support I so desperately needed, it is no wonder than the cloud of PND descended and a wall between me and my daughter came down. I was still doing everything for her but it was if I couldn’t quite touch her, smell her, hear her. Those feelings are simply awful, not feeling good enough, wondering what you did wrong, why all the other mums are coping when you are fighting each day just to survive.

I wish I’d known then that none of it was my fault, I was poorly. I was the 1 in 7 mums who suffer with Postnatal Depression. I wasn’t alone but my god I’ve never felt so alone in my entire life.

I felt…

View original post 696 more words

Connect

image

There’s a lot to be said about connecting with others. This week in particular the 22nd February is celebrated by 10million Guides and Scouts all over the world as Thinking Day or Founders Day. It is the date which happens to be the joint birthday of the founders of scouting and Guiding; Lord and Lady Baden Powell.

Having grown up as a Brownie and Guide with parents who were leaders in these organisations and now as a Leader in Girlguiding in the UK. I am reminded that I am member of a worldwide sisterhood. Some of my best friends and most memorable life changing moments are as a direct result of being a member of the World Organisation of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts aka WAGGGS.

I love this amazing connection I have with some incredible and inspirational women. Some who I have known for over 20 years, others I have yet to meet.

It makes me think about the other connections we have with people who aren’t family. There is always things or experiences that bind us, be it university, work, motherhood, or particularly poignant for me; postnatal illness. It is with these mamas that are my kindred spirits which I feel pulled towards.

Like moving house to new areas my pull towards the Guiding community was so strong that I knew that even if I didn’t know anyone I could feel connected to them just by joining in. Likewise with living in a new area I would slowly feel more connected with my community once I became a mother. I know also have another community for which I have a strong connection to and that is with mamas who are struggling, often in silence with their postnatal illness. Within my local community as well as my online community I want to ensure and make my passion to let other mums know they are not alone.

So if you feel that pull. Strike a connection, reconnect and build your community back up.

In the meantime Happy Thinking Day.

I’ll have a glass of positive please

image

There are very few friends who I see regularly (I mean in my local area) who knew me pre-baby.
Don’t get me wrong I have lots of friends and love them all very dearly. What ever brought you together give you that bond that binds you in quite a special way.

I have a strong set of fabulous best friends who are scattered around the country who I know I can call upon at any time. I have very few long term friends who I am still in touch with that knew me in my school days, though some which, only recently, to my absolute joy we have reconnected via social media.

A handful of great friends who knew me as I started out in my work life up north. Friends which have shared huge mind blowing travel experiences with and an amazing set of mummy friends who I only really got to know when I had a bump or a baby.

All of whom I love dearly and are very special to me. I always try to connect to everyone in some way via phone call, text, messenger, social media, on a regular basis but with everyone having families and commitments of their own it’s often a tricky matter of actually meeting up and catching up face to face. No matter how many times you “chat” to them nothing beats actually giving them a huge hug and catching up over dinner or coffee.
This week I had just that. It had been long, far too long since we had met up. When we worked it out;18 months too long!!! This dinner arrangement had taken pretty much 3months in organising; family diaries and husbands work commitments. This was one dinner date which we were not going to reschedule again!

We had met with our rather large bumps 7yrs ago whilst bouncing ridiculously on a yoga ball and our friendship blossomed. When we had our babies we met frequently. She didn’t like leaving the house with her baby and I couldn’t wait to get out. Both of us struggling in our own ways with becoming mummies for the first time. We could be more open with each other than with our other friends who knew us pre-baby as we didn’t have to hide anything. Didn’t have to pretend everything was alright, don’t have to fake that smile and say we were fine or claim we were enjoying these precious moments. We could just “be”.

Our friendship continued through the rocky journey of planning and having second children and soon enough (too soon) we could only see each other in the school holidays. Inevitably this is where it can get tricky, our children don’t know each other well enough to play together so we found it easier to continue to meet in the evenings. Giving us the added bonus of a night out, child free and uninterrupted conversation and undivided attention could be given to properly catching up with each other.

These moment with friends both near and far are very special to me; catching up, laughing, sharing stories, proudly sharing our children’s achievements. I truly see it as part of my “self-care” package. And no matter how infrequent these catch ups are its always like I just saw them yesterday.
That’s how I know that the friendship will stand the test of time and that’s how I fill myself up with a “little bit of positive”.

Its been a two sticker kind of day

 

 

image

Stickers feature in my life as a parent with great frequency. More often than not I am scooping out the remains of the soggy ones from the inside of my washing machine. I am playing referee and divvying them up equally between my 2 girls, they lie languishing in a drawer or toy box forgotten yet when they reemerge they are fought over again as to who they belong to. They are used as quick fix gifts when I return from a rare day away without the children, a boredom buster in the holidays or on a long road trip and as a result can often be found on the back of our seats in the car.

They are revered as “gold” when given out at school by a teacher and I’ve woken from a cheeky sofa nap wearing a lot of them. I’ve been given them as a badge of honour to wear before I head out on the school run and woe betide if I am not wearing them at pick up. My husband has even got a peppa pig sticker permanently stuck to his Mac book and it’s often an ice-breaker in his meetings.

Today was a two sticker day. It was a Sunday and a rare weekend without any children’s parties to go to. We’d had a nice family breakfast and headed out to the local park so the girls could get some fresh air on their bikes. It was windy and soon despite wrapping up warm my eldest was complaining of being cold and was wearing not only her scarf but my snood and gloves too. We warmed up back home and chilled for the rest of the day relaying between CBeebies, homework, and playing or should I say getting stuff out of toy boxes, putting it on the floor and walking away to another room to do the same thing again!

It was a nice end to the weekend and and soon enough it was their bedtime and time for us to zone out with Sunday TV on the sofa. It wasn’t until I was getting ready for bed when I realised I had two cute stickers on my jumper. I hadn’t really noticed them. I can’t even remember when they were put on me and I vaguely recall my youngest having some stickers in her hand but can’t be sure it was her who placed them on me.

Nevertheless I was awarded these stickers by one of them and that got me thinking. Should we measure our achievements by stickers? All in all it had been a pretty good day. My hubby had been on top form and had cooked not just breakfast (pancakes) but a Sunday roast as well. Plus had let me have a well earned afternoon nap. The girls had played nicely together and I can honestly say I enjoyed the day and felt at peace. So if today was a two sticker kind of day I’m going to take that and keep it in my happy memory bank. It doesn’t mean to say that if I go to bed and I’ve not got any stickers on my jumper then that it has been a bad day. It means I need to think of those good moments and award myself a sticker right there and then.
It’s important to recognise these good days as when a bad day comes along you have something to look forward to or remember fondly and know that even if that sticker ends up a soggy mess in the wash there is always another sticker to replace it and there is always another good day to be had.