Finding out I have a neurological disorder:

Finding out I have a neurological disorder:

This is something I have been struggling to come to terms with and with my health anxiety at a high I tried as hard as I could not to research my disorder but I decided it was in my best interest to know what I’m battling. So basically, a few months ago I found out I have functional neurological disorder. It’s been quite upsetting to accept but I guess it’s a part of me now and something I just have to take in whether I want to or not.

How I found out I have functional neurological disorder:

To cut a long story short, I had INTENSE shoulder pain radiating from my arm to my chest. I put of going to the doctors due to trying to over come my health anxiety and i was sent to the doctors by counsellor who could see i was getting breathless from the pain. When i got there my arm had started to become numb and i thought it was just a seriously intense pulled muscle. They where worried and sent me immediately to the hospital. When i arrived i had numerous neurological work ups, bloods and x-rays and a ct scan. They believed i had a stroke but after the ct scan couldn’t pick up anything i was sent home with very strong painkillers and told to come back if it got no better. A few days later i lost function completely in the arm. I ignored it but then i got so much pain in my chest i had a asthma attack from struggling to breath. I called 111 where they where going to send a ambulance out again worrying i’d had a stroke. Instead we drove to a and e after waiting and cancelled the ambulance. After being in a and e again they did more extensive checks this time and after being poked and prodded by around 8 different people we came to a conclusion i needed more tests. The stroke team came down this time and could see i had lost function and worked out my reflexes are less down one side of body and on that side i couldn’t feel as much and was a lot weaker than my other side. I was sent for a MRI scan and sent to the stroke ward. They discovered after more testing that i have functional neurological disorder. I was discharged with not much information other then a website and a letter confirming to my doctor i have functional neurological disorder.

What is functional neurological disorder?

Basically suffers with functional neurological disorder have problems with their nervous systems functioning. It effects the signals by brain wants to send to my body parts. The body wants to communicate something and cannot. The messages get confused and this causes the body to be confused. The pain is real. The symptoms are real. The symptoms are very similar to those who are experiencing/have experienced a stroke and very similar to those suffering other neurological problems such as MS.

The symptoms of functional neurological disorder:

  • Non epileptic seizures.
  • numbness.
  • Inability to use a part of the body.
  • Conversion disorder.
  • Weak limbs.
  • Confusion.
  • Fatigue.
  • Paralysis.
  • Speech issues.
  • Numbness/ tingling feelings.
  • Pain.
  • Vision disturbance.
  • Tremors.
  • Spasms.
  • Irritable bowel and increased urination.

Causes of functional neurological disorder:

  • Childhood trauma.
  • Mental health issues.
  • Chronic pain (yay endometriosis).
  • Stress

Is there a cure?

In short no. Study’s have shown that Physiotherapy and counselling can help individuals but it is not completely effective. Pain relief can help but again does not cure and you could become addicted from taking pain killers to frequently.

Will I get worse?

At the moment I have no idea what will happen. Some days are better then others with the pain. I’m normally okay and then after some sort of stress or over working myself I’m in pain again. For now I try not to think of the future and think of today. I’m grateful for my family and friends and my health I have today. I won’t worry about the future until I’m firmly in it.

As always thanks for reading love Charlie x

Messy play in partnership with Hartley’s fruit !

Messy play in partnership with Hartley’s fruit !

Hi all as we reach day 2636526 in lock down we’ve been thinking of ways to keep our little one busy and thought why don’t we share those ideas with you. The lovely people at Hartley’s fruit gifted us lots of jelly to share with others what we get up to with jelly!

I know what your thinking jelly? That’s just for eating? Well yeah it’s for eating BUT you can also play with it. You can hide things in it and explore the texture as you try to fish bits out of it! SO if you’re looking for a cheep and easy activity then look no further!

All you need is jelly, you can buy Hartley’s jelly in most supermarkets and corner shops as well as online! Then you can get inventive. I like to set a theme today I used Elijahs little dinosaurs and we had a dinosaur theme. We have previously done jungle animals, the lion king theme and we’ve even used fruit too! If your child is still at age where everything is in the mouth I suggest bigger toys they can’t choke on or cut up fruit!

How to make: Simply follow the manufacturer’s instructions and when it’s starting to cool out the fruit or toys in. Then when it is completely cool put in the fridge to set for a few hours I suggest a minimum of three hours!

Now the fun part! Get it out and put some old clothes on and get ready to get messy! Get some tools out if you wish, I got a spoon but we’ve previously used whisks, chopsticks and lots more to squish into the jelly.

While your child plays talk to them while they explore. Talk to them about the texture and ask them questions. Ask if it’s squishy? Ask if it’s cold. Ask how it feels in their hands. Talk about how it is cold and how it is wobbly. Talk about what your using to get the toys/fruit out. Count how many objects you remove from the jelly and talk about if they’re sticky or not.

We enjoy getting bigger toys and splashing them in the jelly also! It’s a great play idea which you don’t have to worry about them eating the product!

We find this a super fun idea we play with other children when they come round and can’t wait to do more play with others after lockdown!

To clean up, once all the toys have been removed allow them to eat some jelly. If you’ve made to much save for later in the fridge. To finish just simply wash up as normal and add the toys and utensils to the washing up pile. Remove dirty clothes and wash hands it’s that simple.

Have fun and enjoy yourself! Let’s play with our food that little bit more! Thanks again to Hartley’s for supporting our play today! (The jelly used was gifted).

For more play ideas be sure to check my Instagram play idea highlights where I’ll be adding more as we play! Follow: @lifewiththehazelwoods and tag me and Hartley’s in any jelly play you do!

Thanks Charlie!

Being a parent in a pandemic

Being a parent in a pandemic

Good afternoon, i hope everyone is well today and feeling a bit more positive today. I am coming to you today from a more positive mindset then i was in last week which was me at a very low point. I was at a point in life i was struggling with both my mental and physical health and the lockdown did not help things atall. On a normal day parenting can be hard, but throw in lockdown, terrible twos and potty training to the mix and we are really struggling.

First of all i’d like to say i cannot praise my son enough for how well he has done with all of this. To be told you can’t see your friends, family or even leave the house must be such a horrible thing for a child to endure let alone if they’re too old to understand why they are stuck in. It seems everyday he asks to see his family and friends, i think it’s quite sweet because it shows he thinks about others and how much he loves them. We had a pretty active social life by anyone’s standards, we would be out everyday seeing friends and family or going or just as mother and son (or the three of us). We’d do different things all the time such as meals out at different places, go swimming, soft play, bowling, the zoo and to different parks. I think he struggles most with understanding that he can’t go for play dates at peoples houses or they come to play here.So i do feel horrid when we have to stay inside each day, infact i have major mum guilt that just won’t shift. I try so hard to come up with play ideas and to keep him in contact with friends that it physically drained me last week so much so that i didn’t want to try to come up with anything new and wanted to give up my creative side for a few days.

Obviously we still have all the same cleaning responsibilities around the house, in fact more. For some reason being locked in makes me feel i need to be productive and clean and organise the whole house in every nook and cranny. The issue with being a parent is you struggle to have time to clean or perhaps do some diy like everyone else seems to be able to do such as painting the whole house or doing something from scratch. I can’t say to my son entertain yourself i’m off to redecorate or to deep clean a different room then he’s in. It gets you a bit down watching others enjoy this time to be productive. Of course my house is always very clean but i feel there is more i could do. I did a big clean the other day and brought elijah in each room i cleaned (except bathroom and kitchen) and let elijah watch his tablet too entertain him and i felt so guilty for taking time to clean the house. Some positives of this have however been that my son has took more interest in cleaning and likes to help sweep, dust and wipe the surfaces down with me. He’ll even try his hand at mopping, hoovering,tidying his toys away and he even has started to make his bed. It’s good to teach him that houses don’t stay clean and we all must work together to keep it clean. Aswell my house does look a bit more tidier as I’m not out all the time and don’t find cooking and cleaning as much of a chore then I did before. Its enabled me to slow down and really appreciate my house, how we’ve decorated and who and what is inside of it.

It’s quite hard being on my own with elijah by myself everyday with nobody to talk too till james is home at teatime and weekends. It must be so hard for single parents in this lockdown my heart really does bleed for them and i have the upmost respect. I really struggle with feeling lonely in this time and I kind of spiral from that. I feel so alone, when i am not alone because my son is here but he is two, he cannot hold a conversation and has much better things to get on with like playing with his dinosaurs. I also feel a pressure not to let him know i feel sad and be upbeat which feels so fake and horrid but i want to make my son feel happy and safe in this scary world. The positives of this is we get to spend more time together just the two of us and I’m able to construct more learning through play as I have the time. We spend a lot more on the floor playing and try to keep busy the best we can. It’s nice that Elijah seems to be learning well and hopefully he won’t become shy when he leaves the house again.

We’ve started looking after our neighbours a bit more. I regularly ask my older neighbours if they need anything as they are being shielded. we’ve gone to fill there gas and electricity cards for them and shared our food and brought them bits from the shop. We’ve also ordered them a box of fruit, veg and dairy products to arrive Monday. It’s been quite nice as we’ve started talking to them more and getting to know them more. Luckily we can see them as our fence fell down but obviously it’s not getting done for a while now! It’s quite nice because she said she was feeling lonely because of it all and we’ve been chatting because her family can’t help either! We made them a card from Elijah as Elijahs starting to call them grandma because they have white hair! So we joked he’s adopted a set of grandparents. They even made us some delicious cheese and onion scones and we had them for our lunch today! It’s nice to feel like a community and everyone seems so much more friendly. Maybe it’s the missing of everyone’s family and friends that brings us together .

We’ve however sorted the garden mostly and that means we get to play in the garden more. Elijah’s fabric toys where all ruined from the storms but I was able to salvage everything else. Looks like I’ll have to order a new tent and paddling pool if I can’t fix the old one up! It’s been nice watching Elijah enjoy the garden and getting some exercise in. We’ve done lots of sensory play in garden too so saves my living room from the mess. I feel for people who don’t have gardens so try to make my play ideas adaptable for people living in flats as well. T

his weather is pretty nice to so I’m making the most out of getting out alone. I know I should take my son when I can but I only get one form of exercise a day. When i’ve endured Elijahs grumpy behaviour all day I need that me time for my mental health. I do take him out some days but I really worry about him getting the virus to be honest. The way people still get too close really makes me anxious and I worry about him or me getting it. I also worry about him having a breakdown he wants to do something like swim in the lake or play on some play equipment in the park. I don’t want to feel like there’s more no’s o have to say to him and it makes me feel guilty enough. I try to take him out when James is off work so that we can enjoy family time as every weekend we would go out and I want to keep some element of reality even if that is just walking to the meadows by our house.

When home I like to open all my blinds and enjoy the sun beaming in now. I like to feel like I’m not in a prison but I’m safe at home and the weathers nice and warm so I can go in the garden and relax. I like to get dressed everyday so I remember it’s a different day and it makes us all feel a bit more positive. I’ve got really into taking time to enjoy food and experimenting in the kitchen a bit more. I don’t want to know how much weight I’m gaining from all the cakes and bits I’ve been baking or cooking. I’m finding more time for me to do my skincare at night and finding new hobbies all the time. Although all of this is great I do still miss leaving the house and having social interaction. I miss going out with my friends for dinner without the family too because it was my little bit of freedom to be again except for mummy.

The thing is being a parent really is hard. When a child is upset they fixate on it and have a meltdown to process those emotions the only way they know how. Although we understand they are trying to express those emotions and want to be supportive it’s hard to push our feelings down. For example being upset about a tantrum. After a whole day of dealing with tantrums it can really upset you. Physically and mentally. It is possible to accept their feelings and your own and you should not feel guilt about that. You are allowed to feel stressed when your child is being a terror and that is okay to feel emotions about it. So long as your not taking those emotions out on your child it is okay to have these feelings. Just because other people want to paint a perfect picture that they never have any negative feelings towards a child’s behaviour that doesn’t mean that what they say and post is true. We are human and we are going through a pandemic. Everyday we must try and adapt to new changes. We are afraid of others and the world around us. When it will go back to normal I do not know but I wish that we could start supporting others and say it’s okay to be struggling. This reality we live in is new and you have done damn well to adapt to it. You continue to support yourself and your children through every emotion and take on the role of superhero to get through this. You are staying in to save others, to save your family and friends. If you got up today and got on with the day you’ve done all you need to do! So well done! Continue to stay safe and be proud of what you’re doing everyday. You’re allowed to feel stressed and you’re allowed to feel down. My inbox is always open. Be safe and stay well.

Romantic date ideas for lockdown in the UK.

Romantic date ideas for lockdown in the UK.

So you and your other half are on lockdown together and bored thinking of things to do. Normally you would go out for a movie or a trip to your faviourite coffee place and find something fun to do. But now you’re stuck inside. Nothing is open and your stuck thinking….What can we do? Well here’s some ideas.

First of all try not to see being home together as such a bad thing for a few hours. In reality we are all getting a bit bored stuck in the house but try think for a few hours your in the present it is what it is and enjoy some time with your spouse. Once you have a more positive mindset you may feel a bit better about the day and be ready for a indoor date.

First of all, dress up. Yes i know the tracksuit bottoms you have had since your 15 because they were once the most comfortable things you ever owned but don’t want to admit they’re now a food stained scratch mess are a comfort clothing choice during the lock down but think would i go to a date wearing that? If the answers no, change! You want to feel like you’re on a date so that means washing your greasy hair and having a shower. It’s amazing how much a shower or bath will lift your spirits. A spritz of perfume too will make you feel super fab even if there is nowhere to go. It has become a luxury from a time long forgot.If you want to wear make up to feel like youre going out it is not a waste if it’s going to make you feel good for a few hours and if you don’t want to and want to give your skin a much needed break then as shia labeouf would say “just do it”!

Here’s some indoor activivities you could do.

First up a cocktail making night! Get all your alcoholic drinks and fruit juices and fizzys and experiment making cocktails. You can order a fun cocktail making kit offline if you wanted to be more professional in your cocktail making skills. You can make mocktails to so it doesn’t have to be alcoholic i.e if you don’t drink or pregnant or something like that! Google some recipes online and work together to make some cocktails together as a team and obviously after sample them. Play some music in the background and just enjoy being free for a little bit. You might even end up a bit tipsy after so there is that too. You could always face time another couple and do the same and double date!

Try and cook something new from scrtach together. Then enjoy a candlelit meal together. You could flick through a cook book looking at something new you both might like and pick one at random. Or you could raid the cupboards for things you have that might go and make your own recipe up together. You could also challenge each other too cook a dish each and have your own master chef at home. Brownie points if your other half can’t cook and learns too.

Obviously hand in hand with cooking something new you could bake a cake or some cookies together. Helping each other and helping to decorate together can be quite a nice bonding experience and something to be proud of when finished. Also if you have a sweet tooth like me it’s great for being able to eat something naughty afterwards too.

Have a movie night. Get your favourite snacks. Set it up nicely so it feels a bit better (not eating from packets) put the lighting down low and choose some films. Watch a favourite each or choose something random too! Turn your phones off cuddle on the couch and get a blanket out. If you’re not a movie watcher binge, binge, binge a series!

Have a gaming night. Get some terrible multiplayer games out and shove a game on. Get competitive and have fun. Play things you wouldn’t normally play and retro classics to fully enjoy the experience.

Have a indoor picnic. Pack a picnic blanket and make space in your livingroom. Push sofas out the way and put a blanket or picnic mat down. Sit down together and turn everything of and just chat and enjoy your food. Have some wine if you like, Treat yourself!

Play some board games. Get uno out, monopoly, a puzzle or any games you might like. Make a competition of it and stop a game if you get bored> if you don’t have games make your own or play charades. Anything that makes you laugh. Again you could invite friends to play charades or drawing games.

Try and do a fancy dress with what you have and make a competition of it. Dress up as a cat, a Disney character or whatever you can think of. You can use paper, clothes or anything and have a bit of fun.

Do some art and crafts together. Make something or paint something together play some calming music and just relax together. Start a new hobby together.

Learn how to dance together watch a video online and learn how to dance. Or just have a simple bad dance session together. It’s always good for stress release to dance it all out.

Write each other letters. It’s romantic as heck and a great moment to keep. You can even do as a paper anniversary gift.

Have a self care night, have facemasks, spa trearments and give eachother massages. No it doesn’t always have to be erotic as i’m sure you don’t find it erotic at a spa. It’s wuite nice to show someone you care by treating them to a relaxing treatment every now and then and if the spas aren’t open bring them to you. Light a load of candles and get the aromatherapy essential oils on the go and just relax.

These are just some ideas of things you could do together obviously it’s not the biggest list and you might just want to chill in pj’s with a takeaway too as its a age old date from when you first started dating no doubt. Also remember we are still able to exercise once a day.. So go for a romantic stroll in the countryside. Go somewhere new everyday and look at different things. You can try bike riding together if you both have one and having a race against each other. Take your phone or cameras and take some photography and enjoy taking photos of things you see and each other. If you are away from partners too a lot of these could adapted to face time.

Being afraid of the unknown

Being afraid of the unknown

Good morning everyone! I hope you’ve had a peaceful weekend and had lots of fun. I thought i would write this blog post because i’m feeling quite anxious at the moment and many others are too. I’m talking about the unknown which is the corona virus or covid-19 for short. As each day passes more and more scary articles and posts are being put up and the world is going mad i am afraid of the unknown.

I am not scared about getting the virus as i have been with other illnesses. Previously when around many illnesses as a healthcare worker i had all sorts of fluids all over me and never caught anything bad such as hiv, mrsa, hepatitis or any other nasty illnesses. This is because i have always practised good hand hygiene and followed policies which have been put in line for a reason. If i was to catch covid-19 i will hope for the best and practise self isolating and look after myself to the maximum i can still following exceptional personal hygiene standards. However i am afraid of my family and friends catching it and that scares me. The thought about someone around me catching it makes me very anxious indeed.

I am becoming increasingly more anxious about other humans and their behaviour. I have witnessed and experienced fear when shopping where we can’t find the basics we need in shops. Toilet roll, pasta, tins, meat, milk, nappies, wipes, children’s snacks, formula, bread, rice, cleaning products and soap nowhere to be found in many places. Others are panic buying and developing a me before you attitude which is so toxic. I’m now worrying every time i buy something if i am being judged or now if i have brought enough i am genuinely scared that one day we will go hungry. The weird thing is why are people stock piling at the moment there is no need so i am completely confused. I also don’t understand why people are taking away toilet paper and soap from shops because surely other people need to be able to exercise good personal hygiene to avoid the spreading instead of being unable to wash their hands or wipe their bottom while people have cupboards full of soap. Let’s remember to leave some things for those at risk and only buy what we need and maybe one extra not trolley loads. Also remember that not only the elderly are at risk and that there are many young, pregnant or immunocompromised people who rely on cleaning products to be able to keep well and healthy from all germs not just covid-19.

I am afraid of the unknown on what is happening. I live in the uk and our pm has basically just said some people will die and good luck essentially. I feel like we are in the hunger games at times like this. We have been told that schools will close and then they will not. Some events are being closed without notice. There is no communication to the people. There is limited information and people want and need information in order to process things calmly and rationally. I also feel the appropriate steps are not being taken. I personally do not agree with schools shutting unless everywhere is put on quarantine and bills freezed till everything is back to normal so that no income is lost. My reason behind this thought process is that children have TERRIBLE hygiene standards and i know full well parents will be going out with their children and not staying inside which means more people around and more risk of infection. Where as if they stayed at school they would be more contained to one place and somewhat safer. If only schools closed many parents would loose their jobs or incomeand not be able to recover from the time taken off too look after their children. This would be because there would not be a nationwide quarantine with bills frozen. If everything was quarantined and all bills stopped at once the world could continue as normal but there is no plan and they’ll wait till it’s too bad. I also feel for people who would still need to work such as the whole of the health and social care section. How would they be quarantined however with them going into work and then coming home after work? Would they count this as reduced quarantine. However if bills are frozen there should be good incentives for those staff to be going in full stop.

There is too much negativity in the press and social media and all it is doing is scare mongering. All that is being spoken about everywhere is the virus and i myself can’t help it now too. I tried my hardest to avoid it, to be calm about it but now it seems to of become so much worse.This is why i am writing this blog post now Every time i listen to the radio or pick up my phone it’s death toll this, quarantine that and everything is being reported like it is the end of the world and i am worried. I am starting to worry we wont be able to pay our bills and/or food will run out and things will go terribly wrong. All people can talk about is corona virus and it gets pretty heated at times out there. People shouting at one another. Negative storys constantly and none of the good about recovering people is reported on. Everyone is thriving on fear and it’s causing everyone to be in a state of panic and concern.

I am scared to be in public now because of my health anxiety and if someone sneezes near me i worry oh god am i going to get it or my son and then everyone here? People are being very angry and panicky in public and busy places are now empty. I am getting anxious about peoples behaviour to others and keep hearing about fights breaking out in the news. I’m scared someone might hurt me if i grab the last of something or someone will bite my head of if i suddenly cough due to my asthma. I am also growing increasingly worried about people who might struggle or go hungry. I want to donate to food banks as i usually would in cases of these terrible times but i now think what if i need that pasta at some point and i am giving to others and then we go hungry ourselves. We do however still and will continue to donate cash to homeless shelters and chairtys monthly through direct debit or donations when we can. I want to help everyone i can at times like these but i am now asking myself can i really help anyone with such uncertainty at the moment. If i place food in the food bank will it be stolen as so many are stealing things now? I am unsure about a lot of things and i think a lot of others are unsure too. Over the weekend while away (in the uk close to home just in case) i was scared to spend money and at times be out around others. I worried things where too much expense in case we couldn’t afford our bills at some point due to people loosing money and not needing my husbands custom or being in quarantine due to him being self employed. We actually cut our holiday short kind of because of this too because their was so many people at times in places we couldn’t keep much space at then end!

I am hoping a vaccine can be made or a cure found sometime soon and the infection spread rates drop and we can go back to normal. But at the moment i am scared. I am sorry if this has scared anyone else but i feel it is therapeutic to talk these things through instead of bottling up. My blog is my safe space. My e-journal if you will and it’s how i process my emotions now without annoying others as it doesn’t have to be read. I am trying to not scare monger and only using facts i know to be true when i speak about the virus but it’s all rather scary isn’t it. I am trying to stay in as much as i feel i can and trying to avoid soft play and teaching my child hand hygiene as much as we can. Not that i wasn’t already but i feel we need to do it more now with how quick this is spreading.

How are you dealing with the virus hysteria? Have you been effected by the news and everyone else reaction to what is happening? Are things running out near to you and are you able to buy a full weekly shop with your basics?

Well i i hope you are keeping as safe as can be and keep calm in times of uncertainty! Remember to be kind and safe at all times and check on others if you can but do not put yourself at risk before tacking care of yourself. Stay safe!

Dealing with separation anxiety in toddlers

Dealing with separation anxiety in toddlers

Elijah is in a funny old stage again when he is obsessed with me. The stress of being locked in together has caused Elijah to go from this independent child to a child that needs to be around me all the time asking where I’m going if I stand up to leave the room. Although I’m flattered I do need my personal space at times just as he needs his. There is a point when it becomes a bit unhealthy.

Set boundaries:

Toddlers need to be taught boundaries. Obviously they need to learn about them or they will never understand. I make sure I spend time telling Elijah I need some personal space or I’m having five minutes to myself. I explain mummy doesn’t need to be brought toys or snacks to open while I’m on the toilet. I explain I don’t want to be climbed all over like a climbing frame all day either. I explain if I don’t like something too. Elijah has a new habit of using me as a slide I explain all the time I don’t like it and it must stop. He normally gets the memo and walks of but before when I didn’t tell him he couldn’t understand why I wouldn’t turn into a happy little human slide.

Teach through reading:

We have brought a few books about personal space. My favourite his Harrison Spader personal space invader. The book talks about being overly close to people and setting boundaries. It explains that people can get upset by it and we understand why you do it as it’s showing your love!

Spend time sharing the love:

Spend time cuddling and watching films together and lots of time playing together and explain when you want a break so your child understands. Don’t just walk of when they’re playing but tell them mummy’s going to have a little break you continue to play nicely!

Spend some time apart if you can:

If your self isolating with another adult spend some time away from your child and let the other adult take them for a walk or entertain them while you have some alone time. This way you maintain a bit more calm and your child understands you aren’t constantly at their beck and call and it’s ok to be around others. It’s good for the child to bond with that person too. There should be other relationships formed.

FaceTime other people:

FaceTime others so you can catch up and your child can talk to them too. This reminds them you’re not the only person in the world to them and puts them a bit at ease. They love a FaceTime session as they get to be silly too!

Take a breather:

You can get really stressed out having someone in your face all day and if it was a adult you’d tell them where to go but with a child you can’t do that. So instead if you feel stressed perhaps take a few minutes outside the room have a cup of tea and calm down. When you come back take a calming moment with your child too so they can calm down too. You will feel so much better for it.

Hope my advice sometimes helps, I’m no expert but just a mum. Stay safe, Charlie x

Torchnights – Chillow

Torchnights – Chillow

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I’m loosing patience

I’m loosing patience

As a mother you develop a sense of patience. A limit to how much you can handle and how long you can keep calm and a level head. As they get older your patience grows. However now more than ever my patience is being tested to its absolute limits. Elijah has become quite obsessed with pushing boundaries at the moment. I understand that yes this is part of his development but he almost seems in complete overdrive at the moment.

I mean I’m struggling because I can’t go anywhere without him. I go to the toilet he decided to shove something in my face while I beg for alone time. I cook dinner he’s at the stair gate screaming. Clearly he’s developed a attachment to me more now which is flattering but at the same time really annoying. Everything he seems to do is something to grab my attention. Normally something he does is quite negative such as I sit here right now in my little mind full corner he’s being told of by his dad for constantly jumping of sofa and throwing things. The sarcasm from that child is something else completely.

I know he’s in that development stage where he’s learning who’s the boss, what’s right and wrong and what he can get away with it. The terrible twos certainly are living up to their reputation and breaking me. It’s causing my depression to creep back in with the exhaustion that comes with it. I am struggling to have the energy to argue anymore and he’s worse behaved when I don’t argue to tell him to stop being bad.

Talking to other people about the stress I’m feeling at the moment keeps somewhat being put down. “Oh I remember when mine was 2! It wasn’t so bad!” Well yes I imagine it wasn’t. Why? The simple difference is that not only is my child 2 he has also not left the house other then for a walk for almost 3 months now (we started isolating at the beginning of March with Elijah) . I mean yes it must of been hard your child being two but imagine not being able to go out and let your hair down. Imagine not being able to go to your mums for a cuppa to unload or be able to have a night or day off it it all got to much. Instead it is 24 hours of the repeated arguements, tantrums and mood swings that leave you in a frazzled sleepy state of mind.

I’ve noticed I can’t concentrate much at the moment as I’m trying to keep my head above water and focus on keeping together. At times I zone out to try keep myself from failing. My head is a constant headache and sometimes I can’t concentrate on tasks I’m doing. I grow impatient very quickly now and I have become bored of the same thing everyday. I’m hopeful I’ll regain more patience as more things are lifted with the restrictions but for now I’m exhausted and tired of it all .

Just because someone has it worse of then you doesn’t mean you’re not entitled to your feelings .

Just because someone has it worse of then you doesn’t mean you’re not entitled to your feelings .

We’ve all heard it before. You tell someone your feelings and someone’s immediate response is “someone always has it worse“. I am not arguing that people experiences are different on this planet and people do in fact have it worse. However…. they are not you. They are not living your life, someone else’s experiences being worse does not effect your emotions. You are entitled to your feelings as they are not living your life. Every emotion you have is valid. You do not need to see things in a light where things are worse and be positive. It is not healthy.

When your feeling sad you do not need to feel how others have it worse like you’re not aloud to complain. Of course you’re aloud to complain let it out! Keeping emotions in is hard and also more upsetting. Let it out. If you hear someone say but someone has it worth. Just day I understand that but this is my life and my feelings are valid.

Growing up I was always told someone had it worse. Normally compared to African children starving or children being abused at home. Which is a wildly different scenario to saying I’m upset about something. You’re not going to become a desensitised robot and feel instantly better because someone told you you should be grateful for not having things worse.

Our emotions are different to others. Some of us feel things way worse than others and that’s okay. It’s part of who we are, our personality. Never feel that your opinions and emotions are worth less than anyone else’s. If you need help or want to talk to someone don’t be afraid to! It is the most natural thing talking about our feelings and more people should be more willing to both share and listen.

As always I’m always here if anyone needs a chat. Charlie x

Stop making all the effort

Stop making all the effort

One thing that lockdown has taught me as a life lesson is that I put way to much effort into other people. I’m always first to start conversations and I am always trying to keep relationships with friends/family members that don’t perhaps deserve the time.

Yes we are all going through our own personal battles during lockdown and it’s hard enough trying to keep your head above water let alone reply to a text… but have you noticed that those who choose to ignore your texts or calls are the ones who didn’t bother pre lockdown? I find it so frustrating always reaching out to people and trying my hardest to share my love with others and have it thrown back in my face repeatedly.

I would always be the first texter, the one making plans, the first to talk in a room but not anymore. I have come to find life is to short to worry about what others want and need from me.When all you need to worry about is what you need from yourself. If you’re noticing your always the one who cares and someone else doesn’t, do you really need them in your life? Is your life really effected by them not being in it? After all if they can’t be bothered to reply what’s the difference in complete silence?

My life is so much easier not waiting anxiously for texts of people worrying if I have perhaps upset them now. I no longer worry about making awkward plans and having to make all the conversation effort. I don’t worry about upsetting someone by not replying because it’s what they have done to me for many moons. I also don’t feel like I’m an issue. I don’t worry what’s wrong with me anymore and thinking I’m always to blame.

Know your worth. Know that you need to communicate with someone as much as they are communicating with you. Don’t embarrass yourself chasing others for a conversation but at the same time realise that’s you need to put in as much work as them. If they’re texting you first text them first every now and then. Arrange plans more frequently and share the responsibility. A friendship/relationship works two ways where both of you benefit in partnership. If one of you is letting the other side down then all that will happen will be resentment and the slow fizzle into a void. You cannot expect someone else to do all the legwork while you sit around moaning about everyone else not bothering with you. Do remember that people who used to bother may not bother as much in lockdown and that’s okay. Remember who’s been there before lockdown and who hasn’t.

Find your friends, love your friends, love your family, make new friends and enjoy your life don’t be weighed down by some sort of moral obligation. You only have one life and it’s to short to go round with resentment. If your friends/family come back one day and want to try to build that trust up again let them. But don’t be walked all over. Love yourself

Thanks for reading Charlie!

Guest post by @alifetwintastic- A new routine:

Guest post by @alifetwintastic- A new routine:

Ellie is a mum of three from Gloucestershire, UK. A wannabe perfect housewife, to-do list checker and mental health advocate with dreams of a healthy lifestyle, unburnt cookies and mini adventures. Find out more at alifetwintastic.blog here.

I’m usually all about the routine. It’s embedded into my DNA. The need for structure and organisation. To know what’s coming next and to feel a sense of control. Routine has served me well in the past {hello baby twins} but as with all things, life changes and routines adapt.

When the boys were babies I quickly realised in order for me to survive {mentally} I greatly needed some stability and control in the way of a routine. This worked to a certain extent and it got me through that seemingly impossible first year but not without sacrifice. I became highly set on our schedule, blinkers on and my anxiety at an all time high. I struggled to see past the next job on our list and became irritable and stressed when the routine was messed with {including snapping at my mum in the car one day when I was trying to get the boys to nap}. Having the boys in the same routine was my coping mechanism. Being a first time mum of twins and being naturally inclined to like control and structure caused a huge wrecking ball type effect.

It’s hard to admit it but those days were dark. Postnatal depression crept in. Not accepting any kind of help, feeling like a failure and distraught

With Penny I have always been more relaxed. Be it being a second time mum, a single baby or her generally chilled personality. I don’t know. Again probably all of these things. Penny’s start to life was anything but straightforward. Almost constant morning sickness throughout my pregnancy, a breech baby, emergency c-section, diagnosis of hip dysplasia and subsequent Pavlik harness and then CMPA. But these things didn’t phase me in the same way as they probably would have done the first time round. Don’t get me wrong it was hard. There were dark days but overall the whole experience was much more relaxed and enjoyable.

We have never had Penny in any kind of routine. She woke up when she liked, slept when she liked and fed on demand. She fitted in with our lives as younger siblings do. As a result we were all a lot calmer and relaxed. She made her own daily routine and adapted it when needed. I felt like I could read her better and knew what she needed. This is not to say things were easy. Another bout of postnatal depression hit but this time I was more accepting of it. I accepted help more readily and didn’t blame myself in the same way.

Fast forward to today and I still have a strong sense of routine {on paper} however my mindset has shifted in recent years. Be it an age thing, a family thing or personal growth – probably a mixture of a lot of things. The boys have just turned 5 and P is in full toddlergedon mode. We are in the midst of a National pandemic which has seen us basically locked up at home for the past 7 weeks.

This is a time of surviving and supporting. People are putting their health at risk to keep the majority of us safe. Routines have changed. For us it’s been a time of stepping back and slowing down. Time to spend with our little family and letting the days merge into one. No alarms set. No set bedtime. No real routine. There has still been work and homeschooling but everything seems to have slowed down and relaxed. Increased flexibility it will be hard to let go of when life gets back to normal. Different ways of connecting and supporting one another. Retreating into our bubble and taking time out from being constantly busy. A taste of what life could be. Maybe not all the time but certainly some of it. Time out. A new normal. A new routine. 

Ellie xx

www.alifetwintastic.blog Instagram: @alifetwintastic

www.alifetwintastic.blog Instagram: @alifetwintastic

How avoiding the news has helped me.

How avoiding the news has helped me.

So it’s been about a month since i stopped watching and reading the news. I deleted my personal twitter, disabled the news notifications on my phone and went out of my way to avoid listening and talking about the news. Why might you ask? Well in short Coronavirus.

I decided that watching the news all day and reading the news all day was causing me to get unnecessarily anxious. Why? Well if people only talk about death and what others are doing you are no doubt going to get yourself worried and in a bit of a situation where you are glued to your screen. I found that i was becoming increasingly more angry at the world and the people not following lock down rules. It was causing me to watch the news more and be more angry if i saw online someone was perhaps not following the news to the absolute t.

Of course there was the worry i’d miss something big but i realised i follow so many people on all sorts of platforms that if things really changed i’d see a news link on someones profile being shared and click on it. This is what i have been doing to educate myself on the virus and the new lock down guidelines as they change but to also not find myself watching that god awful press conference everyday where i want to pull my own hair out at the lack of leadership and confidence i have in the people running this country…

I have found since i have been avoiding the news that i am a lot more happier in ways, I don’t see as many sad stories. I don’t read about all the horrific crimes and incidents happening. I just read what i want to and that is less than a article a week and only if i have seen it a few times. The only press releases i’m excited for now is a local takeaway opening up again and i see that on pages i choose to follow. I have also noticed a abundance of trolls. It’s nice not looking at the news online and seeing horrid keyboard warriors pulling apart each other from the comfort of their sofas while they dunk their hobnobs in their teas and go about their day as normal. The amount of negativity i have cut out of my life from this change is amazing .

If i can recommend one thing to anyone it is that you try to remove as much of the news from your life as you can. Unfollow news pages such as your local news. Turn of notifications and listen to the radio instead of the morning news or programmes that talk about the news such as good morning Britain. Check once a day and then try cut it more. Read the news that you’ve seen a few times shared by peers as this means it may be important but other then that try to avoid it. If you feel you need to watch the news there are plenty of happy news channels out there too so get your fill of cute puppy instead!

Stay home, stay safe and as always i am here if you need me. Charlie x