Why it’s hard being ill when you’re a parent.

Why it’s hard being ill when you’re a parent.

When you become a parent you have certain responsibilities that come with the job role. From the day they are born you need to meet your own and their needs at the same time. That means feeding them, cleaning them and their environment aswell as keeping them happy aswell as taking care of yourself. But what about when you’re ill?

When you’re ill you are still a parent. Although unlike previously when you where childless you where able to just feel ill. You where able to stay in bed completely undisturbed and look after yourself untill you felt better. However when you have children that’s gone. You have to cook, clean, entertain a child and look after their every need while desperately wanting a nap or be able to just feel ill for a minuite. Also being a parent typically mean they catch your illness or you’ve caught there’s and not only do you feel rubbish but they do too. You then struggle with being ill and trying to keep them happy when they get really grizzly and do things like refuse food and water exetera. On top of this you have to cook and clean your house so you have a clean household to live in and keep your strength up. Typically unless you have a great support system from family you have to do the caring all by yourself. You can’t ship them off to someone else why you recoperate and even if you do they come back at the end of the day and still need all their needs met and all your energy.

It’s hard to want to still do things you would want to do when you’re normallly I’ll. for example if I was feeling a little under the weather I would still go to meet my friends for coffee or something but since having a kid I’m less likely too because not only will I feel a bit bad but I’m also grouchy because typically Elijah will pick up when I feel bad and be naughty and everything is ten times more exhausting. Kids really for some reason sense when you feel unwell and for some reason they get a little naughty and I have no idea why even if you act normal when feeling ill.

Also if you’re having a bit of a bad mental health day there’s no break from that either. You can’t just say please stop tantruming because mummy’s feeling a little upset today because they just wouldn’t understand. There is no personal space or dealing with your emotions in ways you used to be able to. Before having Elijah I used to have down days where I would relax in bed for the day watching greys anatomy with food and to be left alone. I would then normally feel okay the next day and like I’d calmed down. But with a child there is no escaping for the day or being able to feel your emotions out in the open as it upsets them too. You also have to put a brave face on every day and act like everything’s okay and it’s so hard. It’s hard to not be honest with your feelings or be able to take a break.

It’s okay as a parent to ask for help when you feel ill from family and your other half’s. It doesn’t make you a better mum for struggling in silence or a worse mum for accepting help. If someone is willing to help take the help because at the end of the day your health is so important. If you can’t get help I salute you too because a lot of the time I don’t get any help either and it can be so exhausting so I’m thankful when ever a offer is there.

Mum shaming is a real issue.

Mum shaming is a real issue.

One thing i see a lot of on social media is mum shaming. People who hide behind a keyboard and publicly put mothers down because of how they are raising their children.This isn’t limited to social media as people will do this in public, on the playground, playgroups and just about anywhere. People really feel that motherhood is a competition now. Being a mother is so hard these days because not only have we got to try and raise a tiny human but we also have to do it in a digital world where people judge every last thing you do.

I really hate seeing people mum shame. Especially online or loudly in public so they can be heard. E.g at a restaurant when someone loudly moans about someone’s toddler crying and how the mums dealing with it. I mean sometimes you can’t help but to judge someone elses parenting style as it is different to your own but you absolutely do not say it to them as that may cause upset. I feel really horrid for celebrities sometimes. Because peoples jealousy turns them into keyboard warriors that feel they can hide behind a screen while being horrid to someone else. Take the kardashians for example whatever they do upsets someone. They could feed their child a carrot and someone would be upset and call them uptight for buying a organic carrot or evil because its not chocolate. It must be so hard having your parenting ripped apart by others every day constantly and being able to see what people say as well must take you to pretty dark places seeing this over and over. I once was trolled and it felt awful. I was told i was a terrible mother because i once spoke about how we shouldn’t judge how people feed their babies. I have no idea where they got that from but just the words where enough to make me cry and make me want to delete my blog which has been therapeutic for me. I honestly can’t see why people have to directly mum shame knowing that this will cause upset.

I’ve also seen quite a few people i follow on Instagram be given a lot of grief on Instagram for simply posting things like toys, days out exetera. It’s like people can’t do anything to please these people. A lot of it is competition i think. I don’t know why people need to get so mean to try and win some make believe contest in their heads. It doesn’t make you a better parent to mum shame someone. It doesn’t set a good example for your children or for yourself. I want to teach my child to be kind and not to bring others down. I would never want to make someone feel sad or doubt their mothering style or anything like that. You already as a mother have to contend with the thoughts i’m not good enough, am i doing enough? can i be better?Without someone telling you that you aren’t good enough like it is at all constructive. Obviously if your worried about something you could always politely message them in a kind way and speak about your concerns but nasty comments especially publicly are not acceptable ever.

Be kind always. Just because someone parents differently than you please do not upset someone by telling them your thoughts. You are entitled to your own thoughts but please just keep them as that just thoughts. You never know what someone is going through so try to spread happiness not sadness.

Managing my health anxiety

Managing my health anxiety

Since having my son i have really been triggered by health anxiety. Before having him i didn’t have any health anxiety at all. Until i had a traumatic birth i didn’t have any concerns over my health or anyone around me really. They say traumatic events can cause certain fears and it certainly has caused this.

What is health anxiety? Basically its a catastrophic thinking but relating to health. It’s like if you have a temperature you worry your gonna get sepsis and then you’re going to die. When quite frankly you just have a temperature from the cold you’re suffering or something like that. You really worry and get anxious whenever your ill and think of all the possibilities that can happen. Google becomes your best friend and you think the worst out of every situation

When my son was born and he was ill it caused me to be petrified whenever he was ill. I worried every time he got a cold, a rash, threw up or even had a funny bowel movement. As he got older and got ill more i would panic and think the worst. I knew i was being anxious and desperately wanted to not worry so much but i couldn’t stop it. On the odd occasion that Elijah was seriously ill which resulted in admissions to hospital would always get panicky thinking the absolute worse and wrap him in cotton wool for days after. It would cause my ocd to be excessive i’d constantly be anxious and on edge and terribly sensitive to anything and everyone.

Since starting my counselling i have been able to learn a lot about myself and that the traumatic birth caused this. When i was having my c-section i was terrified i was going to die. Since i came round i have been a little petrified i will die. This has caused me to be anxious over and over when ill and it doesn’t help having a chronic illness. Also because Elijah was so ill when born and they have never found a real reason why he was ill it really caused me to be anxious about his health because i was so worried he would die or end up in hospital again. Over time i have been able to rationalise in my head when illnesses aren’t significant and just minor. Talking about why i have felt so anxious about my health has caused a lot of unresolved feelings to come out and for me to be about to explore why i have felt the way i have. I still worry when Elijah hurts himself or is quite unwell but i don’t worry as much anymore. I have been able to rationalise and think things through clearer as well as my anxiety has come down a bit with the help of counselling. I’ve been practising mindfulness and avoiding negative things in my life and that has been able to help me keep a clear and level head.

Overall i am so proud of how far i have come and if you’re feeling the same level of anxiety as i was please speak to someone it can be just the push you need to feel a bit more normal again.

What i would of changed about my post natal care.

What i would of changed about my post natal care.

After having my son there are quite a few aspects of my care that i would of changed for the better. i felt neglected and although i had a few nice staff my care was pretty appalling. After talking with my counsellor and my mother the other day about aspects of my care i would of changed i thought i’d talk about some things i would of changed so people can feel somewhat comforted in the knowledge they should and can ask for more from their care staff. After all you expect the moments after your babies birth to be the most beautiful moments of your life but for some people it can and is the complete opposite.

So first of all the first thing i would change is the staffs introduction to you. In previous jobs in healthcare i have always been told to introduce my self and then explain my role to put the person i am treating at ease. This was not done for me and it was quite confusing when different heads constantly popped in and out. There was also no goodbye from the staff so i knew they had gone home. In shift rotations i expect to of been introduced to who was looking after me but i was not. This made me feel quite unsafe and scared at times as people would touch me without explaining who they where. The few staff who introduced themselves i remember and the others i do not and this is why.

If you are coming into my room knock. Do not just barge in and start touching me without speaking to me. Do not just presume i will be okay with strangers waking me from my sleep by putting a blood pressure cuff on me. For many woman this could cause great upset and also if you’re a victim of domestic violence or something similar it can really unsettle someone. In healthcare you are supposed to always explain you are about to touch someone and really its just polite to ask if you can do certain things.

Explain what is happening each step of the way. When coming around from GA after my operation i didn’t know what was happening and scared. Then i was taken to my ward and not explained to where i was going and still i was scared. I wasn’t explained to what checks where needed and how often and to my baby and i wasn’t explained to how to breastfeed exetera and just left to it after dumping me in my room.

If mum and baby are separated due to their baby being unwell please explain to them what is happening and make the effort to find out. I wasn’t told what was wrong with my baby and they couldn’t even tell me how he was. I sent James with the baby and was left alone with no answers and nobody to talk to sobbing. Every time i asked for a update they didn’t even know why he was downstairs in the first place. It is so important that staff familiarise them self’s with every last patient and their babies case so they can put them at ease.

Check mums regularly if in nicu. I missed meals, medications, observations because i was with my baby on the ward. I was forgotten about and i got quite ill from being forgotten about. The pain intensified as they forgot about medications top ups as i was forgotten about as i wasn’t in my room. They where always made aware i was downstairs and asked to call me for meals and medication and so on yet they did not bother.

To check on the mums mental health. Check they are okay and feel okay emotionally as well as physically. When a mum is going through hell with a complete change in life a little how are you feeling ? do you want to have a chat about your birth and how life has changed now would of made me feel so much better. A mums mental health can take a complete beating and how they are treated can worsen that experience even more. With one in ten mothers getting post natal depression it is really surprising there is no information available to mothers and fathers/significant others are not explained to what the signs are either. You just have this baby and your expected to know everything and sent into the big wide world.

Have a information point. To have someone or something to give out information. Such as leaflets or advice on practical things like breast feeding, bottle feeding, safe sleeping, basic first aid , basic care of your baby,numbers for support and the list goes on. Any number of mum knows the anxiety of taking a baby home knowing nothing and with internet causing panic of the risk of sids and so on these information sheets can be a godsend and put someone at ease having a little just in case to have readily available.

Overall there is much more that could of been improved in my care but i wont mention it all. I also completely understand the nhs is underfunded and understaffed but that is no excuse when duty of care is repeatedly failed and polices not met.But if you feel something isn’t write with your care please pull them up on it while you’re there. Don’t be afraid to talk about how your’e feeling and remember how you’re feeling is justified and completely normal. Giving birth is a crazy thing and getting used to being a parent straight away with no previous experience is a crazy thing. So be kind to yourself and remember your midwife and g.p are only a call away.

Goodbye to anti-depressants

Goodbye to anti-depressants

Since November i had to take anti-depressants after hitting a really rough patch. I found that they helped me a great deal until i could do something about my thinking process which came in the form of counselling. I started counselling in December and have been going weekly since January. It really has been the break through i needed. I needed the safe space to talk, to let all my emotions out and to truly feel somewhere where the pain was controlled. I’ve been able to talk in counselling and talk to myself in a way and work out things in my head. I can process thoughts better and not take everything said to me to mean offence. I’ve been able to think about why others work and act a certain way and understand why others may treat me badly. I’ve learnt to not get so upset by many things and walk away from situations that may upset me. I have learnt to say no and that i am in control of what i do, what i say and my life. I

have learnt that i matter as much as everyone else and that not everyone will like you sometimes. But that is okay. I’ve learn’t its okay to talk about my mental health and it is not attention seeking but being honest to both myself and to the world in the hope that others can find that courage too. I’ve learned i am a good wife and mother and that i may not always think that but i am loved. I have learn’t how lucky i am to have such a lovely friendship circle and that they also love me too.

I have been of my anti depressants for a whole month. I spoke to my doctor first and she agreed that i sound and look better than ever. She said i seem a lot more relaxed and happy. The truth is i think that i am… Happy. I just don’t think I’ve been this happy in so long that i have forgotten what that emotion is. Of course if things change i will happily ask for another set of pills but for now i’m me again. I see the beauty in the world again and smile that little bit more, i step out of my comfort zone and am rewarded with joy.

Thanks for reading x

Parenting is not a competition.

Parenting is not a competition.

For some reason the second you have your child the competition starts. Be it about how big your child’s birth weight was, how well they slept and how much they cry. People feel the need to compare every last detail about your child to there’s. Silly things like how much hair they have to if they’re reaching a milestone first. It is a totally toxic world out there. It doesn’t stop with parents though I’ve had grandparents make competitions of their children’s development thirty years ago and they try to out do you! My own Nan once told me she potty trained my uncle at six months when i was telling her how we where trailing potty training. I for one no its total BS considering he couldn’t talk or walk then. My grandma since confirmed too that was a lie. I honestly don’t see why people feel the need to compete their child against another.

Especially when children are young the development stage is something parents and carers cling to. People ask are they talking yet? My child could say this many words how many could yours say? Oh is he not walking yet? Mine has been walking for months!

It can be so damaging as well,parents could be worrying about their child’s development behind closed doors and someone who is not a professional saying your child should be doing this that and the other creates all sorts of emotions. Especially as around this stage in young childhood is when signs of autism can occur and it can cause parents to worry constantly. The truth is alot of children can and do develop at their own rate. They may be slow to do things like talk or walk but when they are ready they will do it. There is no rush and i wish other parents would accept that. And if your child does have autism then that isn’t a bad thing it’s just a part of who they are and more love to give you will not care for the many less.

There is unfortunately a lot of jealousy in parents too because if their child isn’t doing something they sometimes try to beat other children’s accomplishments down. Sometimes they also like to compare and say well my child can do this and yours can’t. I understand this need and have felt it myself when someone has been beating down my child’s accomplishments for their own satisfaction.

There is a lot of behaviour comparison to which i have been guilty of too but i just wish people would stop lying about how perfect their children are as if every day is sunshine and rainbows.

At the end of the day it doesn’t really matter what your child can or cannot do in comparison to other children. It doesn’t matter if your child is a angel or a child who is so badly behaved you wonder how you will get through the day. Because i can guarantee you that those angel children have their bad days too no mater how much their parents only want to project their perfection to the world.

Remember your child is perfect too and will get to where they need to be when they get there. Just so long as your child is loved, your child is healthy and they are happy then what else matters really? Do you look at your peers and think oh well you CLEARLY weren’t sitting up at six months old and it shows. When you grow up these things do not matter any more. Someone who spent hours upon hours watching tv when they where younger could grow up to be a doctor, the same as someone who read books every day and attended every group under the sun could end up the complete opposite. So lets keep our opinions and comments to ourselves because really our opinions don’t matter. Also lets not compare our children. They are perfect to us and that is all that matters. They will always be perfect to us and they will achieve great things no matter what.

Getting over my fear of trains and tubes

Getting over my fear of trains and tubes

This is a bit of a weird one because technically i am not really afraid of trains anymore! But i thought i should write a little something on it just in case it might help someone else.

Any how my fear all started after a member of my family died on a tube. Not in a normal way at all but in the 7/7 terrorist attacks. After then i got really funny about being on public transport especially trains and tubes. I wouldn’t even go on one for years. Eventually id go with my mum to London for day trips but i would feel like crying on them and was scared. I was to young to realise i was having panic attacks.

I think as the years went on the more i went the safer i felt but i would never go alone and relie on whoever was with me at the time to keep me safe and know where we going. It wasn’t until i was about 17 when i got on a train by myself for the first time. This was because the guy i was seeing lived a train journey away so i would have to get used to getting on a train alone sometimes. The first time i had a full on panic attack and cried at the platform. The thought of something happening or getting wrong train or something like that made me sick with worry. Luckily a train conductor calmed me down and walked me to my train. While on the train i was very anxious and unsettled the whole journey, the only thing that made me calm was watching outside the window and seeing the country side. When i got there i was relieved and felt proud. The ride home felt better and after time it felt better. I tried to keep using the train as much as i could to get over my fear and it worked. However trips to London still made me incredibly anxious and using a tube. Now however after using them so often i have started to feel calmer on them. I do feel anxious getting the correct tube and when it’s busy and stops but counting in my head to ten an closing my eyes has helped. I try to go weekdays too so it’s not so busy and avoid rush hour.

So my advice to you is to try and keep trying it as it will get better with time. To try to distract yourself with things like reading or looking our a window. To take someone with out who may be able to help you keep calm. To organise your time and day going, also look into journey, times and where to board.Ask for help if you need it.Practice breathing exercises when feeling stressed. Most of all remember you will be okay and its worth the journey!