Pen-pal for your mental health!

Pen-pal for your mental health!

For years i wanted a pen pal then all at once i had quite a few, from all over the world. I simply put a call out online and now here i am with new buddies from many interesting and exciting places. I’ve wanted a little something to give me joy and something which allows me to rediscover my love of writing and reading. I have always wanted to write, perhaps a book or write for newspapers but it is my anxiety and my dyslexia that gets in the way. My handwriting is questionable too. But despite my lack of skills in grammar and spelling i still love the allure of writing.

The thing i love about pen palling is learning about others, getting to know someone. Not through social media and through cryptic tweets and photos but threw someones heart, their souls they spill on to paper and send to you with complete confidence of your secret keeping. I have often spilled my life down on paper to a complete stranger turned friend. It is slightly like a therapy sessions at time. Whilst i often talk about emotions, the struggles of me and my mysterious writer i always like learning about their life. Its so interesting finding about what people like and dislike. It’s interesting finding about culture and food from other parts of the world.

The stationary usage is well worth it too. I love buying cute stationary but never have a reason to use it. I love receiving the pretty little notes from another person too. When i write back i always love putting effort into my little notes. I love being crafty and working on my little project. I often make little lists with books my pen pal would enjoy. I also put in some lists of songs/artists i like others will like. I put in mental health promoting cards and positive words and affirmations on sticky notes. I also send over some photos that make me happy and even put a poem in each letter. As well i like to put a little pick me up in the post too so they can enjoy a flavoured tea or coffee or even a sweet.

Life is to short to live behind computer screens. Write to new people, live in someone else’s life and escape reality while you are reading their letters. Talk about you, your life in the purest way. It gives me a short relief when i get too write to someone. I love waiting for and receiving the letters. I love buying bits for my pen pal letter and things to put inside. I love being able to be creative and not being judged for it. So do it! Find a pen pal, send them a letter and make a friend.

Thank’s for reading! Charlie x

Social anxiety about solo parenting in public.

Social anxiety about solo parenting in public.

Sometimes we all have such busy schedules that we never really just spend the day with our child out and about on our own. I am forever guilty of spending lots of time with friends or as a family out and about. This isn’t a bad thing because Elijah loves spending time with others and asks to go out everyday. However normally on days we have no plans we stay at home watching tv and learning. Again this isn’t a bad thing either as we love spending time together at home. But one thing i have always been anxious about is going out just me and my child. When he was a baby it was fine. I loved pushing him around in his buggy and going to community centres and baby groups. However as Elijah got older the tantrums started.

Of course it is natural for children to express their emotions in the form of a tantrum. With the amount of emotion they are feeling and the incapability of explaining their emotions they become upset and warrants a screaming on floor session. However i have always been someone who cares about other peoples opinions whether i like it or not. So a tantrum would cause my social anxiety to go into over board if i was alone because well all eyes would be on me and there would be nobody else to help distract him.

The thing is when a child has a tantrum. It is natural to stare and look, not to judge as so many people do but to see where the noise is coming from. Curiosity always wins, if someone was to scream in a supermarket or shop would you not ping your head round to look for the route cause of the noise.When you have social anxiety if anyone looks at you it is your worse nightmare. Frankly i dislike being in any sort of a attention platform so also don’t really like when we are out and Elijah is being good and many people come to talk to me about him. I don’t mind being nice to others and speaking to strangers but it does make me feel uncomfortable. Especially when people touch him (even before covid) or don’t take the hint the conversation is over.

Because i suffer from a chronic illness as well i sometimes don’t have much strength as apposed to other parents. I can’t always pick him up and carry him long when he flops to the floor. We have also gotten rid of his buggy because he wouldn’t sit in it and also i think he is too old for it. He is sometimes tired which causes more tantrums and because we often go for nice long walks he can sometime get bit touchy. However when i go oit without james i never take him anywhere which will over tire him because of this.

I always panic about taking Elijah to restaurants because when he is bored he acts up and misbehaves. But however i have found that if i take him a bag of toys out with us he is normally quite well behaved. I have been known to take games and even playdough if needed. But being alone again is still stress full.

However i have been trying to go out of my comfort zone a lot more these days . I have been forcing myself to overcome my anxiety and take Elijah out just the two of us at least once a week. I started by taking him to the library, then to soft play and then out for meals and trips into town. I have started to slowly build up my confidence and i just try to keep myself calm if Elijah does have a tantrum. I try to remain calm and speak to Elijah calmly and explain things clearly to him, i try to distract him or structure my day so we don’t go out when he is sleepy or going to get tired walking around too much. I will not let my anxiety control me or my sons life. Lock down affected me a lot in regards to going out because i am so scared of covid but the more i go out the more i journey outside the more i feel a bit more comfortable. I teach Elijah to distance as well as hand washing regularly. I just have to accept this is the world we live in now and it’s not healthy to stay in one place for the rest of our lives, so long as we are careful and i overcome my anxiety then we are able to live a relatively normal life.

If you are feeling anxious about going out solo with your toddler remember you are not alone. Baby steps can help at times and things do get better. Things are not always as bad as our head makes it out to be. Yes there are times i take him out and his naughty but sometimes he can be a complete angel. He will be the best behaved little boy ever. It is rare he is naughty but when he is the odd time it makes me still feel anxious and stressed but i try to remember this is just a bad day and we will get through it.

Thanks for reading, charlie x

How to improve your child’s vocabulary from a young age.

How to improve your child’s vocabulary from a young age.

One thing i always hear from other people is how they are so impressed with how well Elijah speaks. People have always been shocked when i tell them Elijah’s age. I am proud of his language skills and how they have came along. Elijah at 6 months old could say hello. Lot’s of people didn’t believe me and then where shocked when i would show them a video or Elijah spoke to them and said hello. From this point his language grew and he could say many things by a year. At a year old he could count up to ten himself and by two he could count backwards and improved on to twenty. He can say every colour and speak in full clear sentences. He still has times he struggles as he is still learning but it is incredible how far he has come. I think it is so important that we spend time concentrating on vocabulary with a child because where else will they learn it?

I’ll be honest i’m no expert or anything but one thing that i have always insisted on is speaking properly to Elijah and not making up knick names for objects to make words easier. I don’t want to say my advice will help but you never know, my advice has helped friends. I also want to state children grow at their own rates, they will learn to speak when they learn. There is nothing wrong with your child taking longer to learn certain things then another and do not compare your child to others. If you are ever at all concerned just pop along to your health visitor!

So my first tip is to well, speak to your child as if they are an adult. Yes the appeal is there to coo, speak in baby talk but their is a difference to calm, loving tones of voice to talking gibberish. For example if someone spoke to you like a baby and making up random words you’ve forgotten how to say would you be able to repeat that word? I’ve also never shortened words. Although Elijah has as he was grasping words i would still always say the whole word even though i knew what he meant. I would never refer to a object he has named something different to what he says it is or he then learns that his word is the correct word. I would also always speak in slow clear sentences when talking to him. I would speak short sentences at times but always in sentences. I know some parents say thing like “bottle? “Shortening the sentence” would you like your bottle?”. If you teach them to shorten sentences they will only learn to shorten the sentence. I taught Elijah to count by counting everything we do since a baby. I would count 1-2 putting his legs through clothes and socks and shoes on. We would count walking downstairs. Count the toys, count anything we could. A few friends have told me their children have learned from this.

Another thing i use to teach vocabulary is use physical images and letters/numbers/ items to teach the words. Flash cards are your best friends. You can grab a box of first words cards for about 3 pounds in some shops like tkmaxx. I also used picture books too. I would tell Elijah what was on every card each day and as he got older i’d ask him to tell me what was on the cards and he would tell me. You can also teach colours and sound animals make too. I would pick up a card with a pig on. I would say it was pink and then i would make the noise of the animal. This really helped elijah to recognise animal sounds to the animal and helped so much with his colours.

Magnetic and wooden letters numbers/ these are fantastic for learning. Elijah recognises all his letters and we are starting to build up to words. Visual aids are so helpful too. Just incorporating letters and numbers into play helps too. Putting them in a tuff tray or putting in slime or anything worlds. I try to add anything i can into play so we learn more.

Read to your child, children can benefit from being in the womb. It forms a emotional connection as well as helping to learn. Elijah now reads a few books in full with us and recalls most of the gruffalo in different voices too. Pointing to pictures and explaining what things are helps too. As they get older ask questions about the book.

Let them have tablet time! Let them only watch things they learn from.. Put reading eggs on, watch videos where they talk. Even blippi has some educational bits to his shows. Children are sponges and love to learn so let them watch films and videos that teach them things and sing even if they are annoying. I’m not saying all day but a little a day helps.

Be around other people. Take your child out for dinner, take them to see friends, to play. Social skills and being around others all help to teach both confidence in using language but also allows them to pick up language.Elijah has many times said things hes picked up from others and i am all for it if it helps him to learn.

Anyway hope some of these bits of advice help! They may work for you or may not but they have worked for me and others! Thanks for reading! Charlie x

10 signs you might be depressed.

10 signs you might be depressed.

Sometimes when you’re depressed you can’t even notice the signs. A lot of people just think of depression as sadness but also as just a emotion that passes. This is why I put together some small signs I have presented which you may recognise in yourself that indicate when I am feeling depressed.

One- You struggle to find motivation in household chores. You can’t find the energy to make the bed, chores such as washing up are exhausting and you put of jobs as long as possible. Your house gets more messy as your mood drops.

Two- Your personal hygiene may fail you. You may find having a bath or shower the absolutely last thing you want to do. You may say tomorrow to having a wash. You may go a long time without washing or brushing your hair. You may stop washing your face because you lack the motivation to do it. You may wear the same clothes for days because they’re comfy and you can’t be bothered to change them.

Three-You loose interest in things. Watching tv becomes boring and draining. You don’t enjoy reading, texting, or anything else you normally would enjoy. You get overwhelmed forcing yourself to do things you normally enjoy.

Four-You loose focus. You’re unable to take in information. Unable to concentrate on conversations. Your mind wonders and you don’t follow what’s said.

Five-You’re easily confused. You are unable to remember things at times and situations confuse you. Sometimes following simple instructions is confusing as you are unable to concentrate on the task at hand.

Six-Your easily upset. Other people upset you easily. You find offence in a lot of situations and you don’t know why. You randomly cry sometimes for no reason.

Seven-You could struggle to sleep or sleep too much. Choosing to sleep in instead of getting up and ready. You also may be wide awake all night.

Eight-Finding negatives in every situation. Thinking you will fail or things will go wrong for you all the time. Loosing hope in the future.

Nine-You may also suffer from anxiety which you didn’t suffer with before. You may become worried constantly. Anxiety normally comes hand in hand with depression.

Ten-You think what is the point of life. You question why your here. If it would make a difference if you where gone. You may feel you’ve become hopeless thinking about your death and existence.

If you are feeling like some of these things I’ve listed you may need to contact your gp and get some advice and help. You may also want to talk to someone about your feelings. If you are thy inking about death it is very important to speak out now and seek the help you need. You can find help with mind.org or calling the Samaritans on 116 123 at any time of the day or night. My emails are always open too.

Thanks for reading, Charlie x

Mens mental health is as important as a womens.

Mens mental health is as important as a womens.

When mental health is spoken about sadly I see a lot of women speaking about it more then men. Why? Because sometimes they can be more comfortable talking about it. It doesn’t mean men don’t have mental health issues but they are a victim of sexism in the form of being told to man up. Which is only more damaging to someone already not in the best of places. A woman may get a lot of sexism in the way people can say it’s hormones or women are just sensitive. Yet men are stigmatised thinking their genetic make up means no sadness is allowed to be felt.How often have you watched a film and seen a man cry? I don’t think I ever have. Yet I see so many films and tv series when woman cry all the time.

One person dies of suicide every 40 seconds. Now we know that did you know that more men commit suicide then women?

With media and social pressures to be a manly man there is no real help out there aimed at men sometimes. Counselling is normally advertised as women with girly fonts and colours. If a man was also to say he was going to counselling it would be more judged then a woman saying it. We need to normalise crying, emotions and allow our men and boys to feel as deeply as they can without feeling judged.

With facts like this it’s hard to ignore that men need the care and love women do. Why is it we have so many people that go around spreading love for the women and for women’s mental health but not for men. Men are barely ever spoken about. The issue is simply men have always been seen as in charge. This is a generational thing as long as history goes where men have been seen as the ones who have to have it all together. To support others and to never complain. But we don’t live in the fifties anymore. We live in generations where the burden shouldn’t be on the men as much as if we can learn from everything else that’s gone wrong in the world, we can learn to respect one another’s sex and support them and their emotions as equals.

I always regularly ask my husband if he’s okay or if he’s too stressed. I ask him to be honest with me and when I can see signs he’s stressed I try my best to allow him to talk about it or get rid of those emotions the best he can. Whether it be playing video games all night or perhaps we sit and watch a film together with our phones off. Or we go out for a long walk as a family or he even goes out with his friends for a drink. I try to actively look for signs because I always worry he won’t want to talk to me about it if he did feel low. We all need to look out for our loved ones and notice changes in their behaviours. We should all talk to each and ask how one another is doing.

Knowing I am raising a boy I want to know that he will grow up and talk about his emotions to me. I want him to know his emotions are as valid as anyone else’s and there is no need to ever man up. I want both my son and husband to always know that I am here to talk. I am always here to listen and I will never judge.

If you’re a man reading this and you have felt the stigma to not show your emotions then just know that it is okay. It is okay to cry. It’s okay to admit you may be depressed. It is okay to go the doctors to seek help. It’s okay to have medication. It’s okay to not want to go out with the lads sometimes. It’s okay to struggle and when you struggle you can and should speak about it. You can talk about it and blog just as woman do because I promise you this, you are not alone. Other men are felling the same and are also creating fabulous support groups for other men out there and blogging to show just because their a man doesn’t mean they can’t feel.

I’m hoping one day the stigma fades away as we are the generation of change it is how we raise our children that determines how the world goes on. I’m hoping for a more loving and understanding planet for all where emotions are felt without any stigma and when you can drop your mental health issues into a conversation without worrying what someone else will think I’m hoping for a planet where I see more men crying in films, where men talk as freely as women without stigma.

If you ever need someone to chat to my emails are always open.

If you are ever in crisis and need someone to talk too contact Samaritans here on- 116123 or check their website here- https://www.samaritans.org/

You can also get help and support from looking on the mind website here- https://www.mind.org.uk

Thanks for reading, Charlie x

My endometriosis #wombstories

My endometriosis #wombstories

I have endometriosis. If you’ve followed and read my blog posts over the year you will be more than aware of the fact that i have endometriosis and it rules my life at times. One day i can feel completely fine and go about my life as normal then the next moment my stomachs swollen like a balloon, i am in intense pain and i am crippled by it sometimes even hospitalised. But it’s a weird thing being a endometriosis sufferer, i used to feel so alone but now i know i am not alone. Since starting my blog i have made so many connections with so many beautiful people who also suffer with endo. We all know what it is like to be sick but not look sick. We know each others struggles and go through it together. Like some sort of badass period gang. There is a reason they call us endo warriors. It is because we get up and start the day despite at times feeling like we are dying. It’s that a lot of us are there to give support and talk about what we are going through in the hope that it helps someone else.

Did you know that 1 in ten woman can be suffering from endometriosis and that it can take around 8 years for a diagnosis?

What is endometriosis?

Endometriosis or endo as many of us call it is when the material of your uterus grows elsewhere in your body. Causing internal bleeding, scaring and in many cases damage to organs. The only way to know how severe or diagnose is through surgery. It is barely ever picked up on ultrasounds and you have to be extraordinarily lucky to have it found in other ways. There is also no cure for endo. You can have patches of it burned of but it just grows back like weeds and sometimes it comes back worse.

What are the symptoms?

  • Pain, intense pain on periods.
  • Heavy bleeding.
  • Nausea and sickness.
  • Constipation or diarrhoea when ovulating or on period
  • Pain when peeing or pooing on period or ovulating.
  • Difficulty getting pregnant.
  • Exhaustion.
  • Back pain and pelvic pain.
  • Pain during or after sex.
  • Lots more.

My story.

Growing up i found periods uncomfortable but it wasn’t until my twenties i started to have more intense periods. I would also get very frequent urine infections which would burn. I’d sometimes live on the toilet. Once i had elijah i found out i had endometriosis through my c section. Which in turn caused my endometriosis to get way worse and start presenting severe pain more than ever before. As I started to fuse back together my endo grew with it infesting my insides and destroying my life. Every month on the return of my periods i started to notice extreme stabbing pain in my side. Like i had a knife inside of me. I would also always describe it as having a burning hot ice cream scoop inside of me scooping away at my organs and pulling at the flesh. I would be exhausted, bed bound and in so much pain i would cry on the floor. If you’re a endo sufferer you also know that the pain your in is determined by how low to the floor you get. If you can stand it’s a okay day. If your laying on your stomach or back in pain on the middle of the bathroom or living room floor it’s pretty unbearable.

I also loose my appetite for days and feel sick the whole time. I bloat and look pregnant whilst also suffering intense bowel and urinating issues. I have hot sweats and cant do anything to soothe the pain. I spend the week of my period attached to a tens machine, cooling pads or in tropical temperatures with a hot water bottle resting on my stomach. The more severe the flare the more it causes me to feel so week I feel faint and unable to concentrate. The worse thing is when I feel shaky and unable to function .

I was one of the lucky ones who had a diagnosis. Only on a accidental find. But being told i had endometriosis wasn’t the end. Even though i had a diagnosis doctors would still make me believe it was in my head i would turn up to their surgery in so much pain i couldn’t stand up properly hunched over and i would be made to think it was all in my head. I’d be prodded over and over and cry in pain as touched where it hurt. Over and over i would attend a and e begging for help thinking i was going to die. Turned back to my gp after a day of sitting upright crying or writing in pain needing the floor or a bed. I would Rarely be Admitted to gynaecology where after having scans seeing cysts I’d be sent home later that day when i could barely stand and had been drugged up to the nines.

The medication never really helps sure it sometimes takes away some of the pain but a lot of the time it barely scratches the surfaces. I’ve often had the strongest medications you can have and still lay writing in pain on the floor crying pressing into my stomach in the hope of stopping the tsunami of cramps and pain. Many times i have had to give up going out because i am bleeding so heavy. I’ve leaked in public and been forced into adult nappies. I become anaemic every month because i loose so much blood and have massive clots. I run on empty feeling faint because there is no option when people can’t see your problem but to get up and carry on. The condition also messes with my hormones causing mood swings and extreme depression and lets not even go there with the beautiful spots i inherit from aunt flo visiting. I often feel like a failure as a mother and wife because sometimes i just don’t have the energy. Sometimes i struggle to get through the day and sometimes im laying on the floor crying like some crazy woman. I know often i should go to hospital when it gets overly bad but with the little understanding of doctors in the hospital i am treated terribly and would rather writhe in pain at home just praying that this isn’t it, that i’m not actually dying this time.

I also find that i am starting to get issues with ovulating more now. I cramp and hurt and have many of the same symptoms as when i bleed but without the blood. It wasn’t enough to take a week of my month but now it is two weeks.My doctors all push for me to have another surgery to look at how bad my endo is but i refuse as i cannot bring myself to go under again after my traumatic birth. I also think what would be the point? There is no cure. It will grow back. Whats the point in more scars and more pain. So I spend my days engulfed in the fire that burns its way through me.

However in our darkest hours there is unity. I have joined many endo support groups where we all give each other love, support and advice where i don’t feel like such a freak. I talk to fellow bloggers and people i follow or follow me about the struggles of our endo flares. It makes me not feel so alone. It has also enabled me to learn about more related symptoms and that i can relate other issues to my endo.

I talk about my endometriosis not because i want sympathy but because i want understanding. I want people to understand what i am going through. I want awareness for my people and i also want to be able to help others. i talk about endo in the hope that the girl sitting on the toilet in agony knows that it is not normal to have this much pain. I talk about it in the hope of more seeking help and also being there to help. I talk for everyone. Just because we do not look sick does not mean we are not sick. Chronic pain is real and it is hard and honestly every day i wish it would go away but it never will no matter how hard i wish or how many heat packs i put on my stomach and back,

If you or anyone else have similar symptoms then i have please speak to your gp. It may be that help you need. My messages are always open and you can always dm me on my instagram @lifewiththehazelwoods or email or comment here.

Thanks for reading! Charlie x

How having a traumatic birth and NICU (neonatal intensive care unit) baby affected how i bonded with my child.

How having a traumatic birth and NICU (neonatal intensive care unit)  baby affected how i bonded with my child.

When you get pregnant all you can do is imagine bringing your perfect little baby home the day you give birth. You can almost smell in your imagination that newborn baby smell and your heart aches for time to move that little bit quicker. Of course you wait patiently because well you have no choice and wait as the excitement begins to build. Nobody expects when you are pregnant that things can go wrong. Because well in honesty you can’t predict the future. As my pregnancy progressed i was so worried something would be wrong when the baby was born. I could sense it. I was called crazy for worrying and i was even prescribed anti anxiety tablets later in my pregnancy. When i was around 34 weeks pregnant i had reduced movements from Elijah, Basically i couldn’t feel him move all day for some reason. I was made to think it was all in my head and that i was crazy. Still i did as you’re supposed too i called the midwife switch board that always told me to go to hospital to be checked. I would sit in a busy or empty waiting room panicking. I was good at hiding my emotions but inside it was pure panic. What could be wrong with my baby?

Of course nothing was wrong that was seen from fetal monitors, but i could still not feel my baby. After the all clear was given i was sent home. Feelings returned the next day but then the same happened again and again and it got to the point i didn’t want to go to the hospital but i knew it shouldn’t be avoided. I went again and again and sat and sat until one day i was taken to the labour suite and kept a bit longer, deciding i wasn’t in active labour and no feelings they arranged me to have a scan the next morning. Despite the many, many people touching my stomach they did not pick up that my child was breach until the scan and this is why i didn’t feel him. After this it was decided by all that we would try and have him turned. After the most painful experience of my life and the little bugger not moving at all we gave up and booked in for a c-section.

When we booked the c section that was it for me. Anxiety through the roof and panic. I was convinced i would die or something would happen to the baby. For two weeks i didn’t sleep and pretended to be excited despite being so nerve wrecked i didn’t know how i could go through with it all. On the day i was booked in i felt strange, i was still convinced i was going to die or something drastic but i also felt like perhaps it was all in my head. That i was wrong, it would all be okay. I was right as i normally am when my anxiety is involved and things did go wrong. Firstly the medicine to paralyse me and stop feeling basically didn’t work and you can guess the rest in regards to feeling. I was put to sleep screaming and panicking and missed my sons birth. This is something that i will never, ever get over. Missing the birth of your own child is something i cant describe. When i think of it now my eyes swell up in tears, my stomach hurts where Elijah was and my throat goes hard. It is something i would not wish upon anyone.

Elijah was fine at birth and everyone was in love with him. James and my mum told me how beautiful he was but i was so gone from the drugs i thought i had imagined this whole thing and couldn’t really accept the baby was mine. I mean how could i? I hadn’t seen him be born. They could of stolen him for all i knew. It was weird to accept and everything still felt like a dream i barely remember this wet thing latching and trying to appear present when i was still so scared and didn’t know what was going on. As i said before i am very good at acting like everything is okay with me when it really isn’t. As I started to come round and after James parents had visited the baby he became unwell. Quickly. His blood sugars dropped dangerously low and as i had started to look at this new child and start to warm to him he was ripped away from me and taken downstairs to the NICU. I sent James with him because to be honest i didn’t know what would happen and didn’t want the baby to die alone if that was to happen. Obviously i couldn’t move. I was paralysed from the drugs. I sat in worry not knowing what was going on and nobody would tell me. Everyone had left, nobody came to tell me what had happened and those few hours where the hardest of my life.

Eventually James came back with basically no information and someone came in and said i could see Elijah in the morning but i explained if she wasn’t going to help me into a chair i would fall to the floor and drag myself there. I was helped into a chair and wheeled down to see him. Nothing will ever prepare you for seeing your newborn baby in a incubator. Nobody will ever be able to explain what it’s like watching your child’s chest rise and fall as machines and wires come out of every limb and bit of skin you can see connecting to medicine or monitors that alarm constantly causing a panic. I thought then and there he would die. Immediately i closed myself off to him because i didn’t want the hurt.

As the days went past Elijah would get better and then worse again. I had no hope past the third day. Seeing your child scream in pain as blood test after blood test and heel prick after heel prick is done. I struggled to breastfeed. I mean i couldn’t i was of course unsure of how and being in a busy ward with other people constantly looking at wires and alarms going off every time i tried put me off. I tried to get him to latch but he would barely ever. He would scream he couldn’t get enough from me and refuse to remain latched. I remember sobbing trying to pump and getting barely anything out. I would pump all day long to get as much as i could for him which was barely anything so i would have to top up with formula.I had never felt like more of a failure as a mother and as a person. Why didn’t my body work? Why could so many others do it and i couldn’t? Why where there people who refused to even try! I would frown when i would give a pathetic amount of my milk to my child and rely on something else to feed him. I wanted that bond of feeding him everything he needs but I had failed him.

My body was so exhausted from the surgery but i never rested i would sleep four hours a day and stand as much as i could possibly bare to change and feed Elijah. I wanted so hard to feel like his mum and not like another nurse on the ward to him. I felt he didn’t know who i was despite the fact i stood there feeling my stomach rip apart as i soothed him when he cried. I didn’t like being away from him i was terrified he would die so would barely go back to my bed to sleep or eat or drink only when doctors did there rounds.

Even when Elijah started to get better after a week i was sure he wouldn’t be. When they said we could go home we still had no answers as to why he was ill and i couldn’t accept no answers. My rational mind had nothing to hold onto. When we got home it wasn’t the glowy memory i once had it was panic. I sat watching him breath panicked that sids would happen. I was meticulous about him drinking enough and sanitising anything and anyone who entered my house. I was worried every time he made a sound or moved. I was so adamant he would die. I was worried we would be back to the hospital every time he didn’t finish a feed or had reflux down me.

When James returned to work and i was alone i had never been so scared. A part of me wanted so hard to love this tiny human but the other part of me was in panic and was controlling my feelings out of fear of being hurt. I was on auto pilot just doing everything for the baby and not being present in my mind to enjoy it. I don’t remember much from the early days except the pain of over exerting myself when i was recovering whilst also trying to keep everyone around me happy. I remember having many visitors and seeing family because i was worried i’d upset someone when inside i was so panicked someone would get him ill and he’d be back to square one. I remember needing to be alone but in so much company I was alone.

As time went on and Elijah grew i eventually learned to stop panicking as much. I realised Elijah wasn’t going to die any time soon and i calmed down. Slowly i became more attached to him. I accepted that he was my son and that i was his mum. I stopped trying to not feel hurt and accepted it and in time i became more and more of a mother. Then one day it just clicked and i suddenly knew that i loved this child with all of my heart and that i would die for him. I realised all that worry he would die was because i was being his mother and caring. I still doubt myself as a mother everyday and i think everyday how would my relationship of changed with Elijah if i was to see him be born and then to of took him home the same night healthy and happy. Would i of breastfed and bonded better? Would i be less worried even now almost three years on when he gets a cough or cold or goes to spend time in anyone else’s care but my own?

Who knows but all i know that is that the experience effected me to no bounds. That i wish that things had been normal and that i could be normal but they weren’t. I wish i has someone to talk too about it. Explanations and reasons why things happened. I wish i had understanding when i would have to tell my health visitor that i had to give formula as my body wouldn’t work. I think this post has been one of the most raw posts i have ever wrote. I may even show my counsellor this because i am having counselling for my traumatic birth!

I am as time goes on healing slowly and i hope one day that i can accept what happened to me. But i think there will always be parts of me that constantly worries about me as a mother, my son and the bond that we have. Whenever Elijah has been ill in the past my brain flips out i want to take him to a hospital straight away and when a hospital in past has confirmed he is ill and needs admitting my brain had shut off again taking me back to the newborn stage where i was present but not feeling and incredibly closed off. But for now i am so proud how far me and Elijah have come with bonding and he is not just my son he is my best friend who i love with all of my heart, something at the start i could never of imagined. Although I will perhaps never understand what happened to us both I will be forever thankful we are both here today and healthy.

Thanks, Charlie x

Online haul with cherryz

Online haul with cherryz

This is a advertisement of gifted products in exchange for this blog post review.

Cherryz gifted me a thirty pounds gift voucher in exchange for a review of their company so here is what i thought about cherryz, So first of all its really easy to use download the app and create a profile its that easy. Once you’ve done that its simple just scroll for what you want. With separated sections from everything from cupboard essentials, cleaning products to pets it sells basically everything you could need in your cupboards, I am a fan of doing many hinch hauls and going shopping and i end up spending way too much money. This enables me still to buy my favourites but from the safety of my own home. I also am able to monitor what i spend and not get distracted as easily. The app easy to use and is quick too. Everything i would normally buy cleaning wise was there as well as all the snacks i would often buy for Elijah.

They also sell some lovely garden and home bits and i had to stop myself from filling my house with even more things that need homes! I focused with my thirty pounds on getting the most for my money and also trying bits from each department. The pet range is really good and ill definitely be buying more dog bits in the future. I decided to get some treats for dog, poop bags and some pet cleaning supply which i definitely will be needing. I also got a microwave steam cleaner which i have since used and made a hard job easy! ill keep more on top of it now! I also ordered lots of snacks and treats as well as packed lunch basics for James and cereal. There where lots of cereals and crisps and whole range of cupboard food in stock too. Don’t shop when hungry. I ended up getting i think 26 items for 30 pounds which is amazing in my eyes. A lot of the products where cheaper then supermarkets. The checkout process was easy and theirs tracking and updates up to the day your parcel is due. The delivery only took two working days which was good. All products arrived well packaged and all where with good dates on too.

I can honestly say i will be using them again in the future to save my arms from the hauls i get myself into.

To check them out download app here https://cherryz.app.link/lifewiththehazelwoods and you can use my code LIFEWITHTHEHAZELWOODS10 for 10% OFF your first order on the app!

Thanks, charlie x

10 things you should know before you have a child.

10 things you should know before you have a child.

Disclaimer : I am writing this from a more comical side then serious side. I don’t hate my child by posting these facts. These are things I believe that everyone should know before planning a child. Why? Because having a child is not all sunshine and rainbows. Sometimes it’s poo and tantrums galore.

So to kick this of I am Charlie-Jane. I’m 25 we planned and tried for a baby at 22 and Elijah was born whilst I was 22. Elijah is now 2 and a half and sometimes I think he might be slightly possessed with his temper at times. Clearly doesn’t have my temper because I’m of course a angel. Ok perhaps not a angel but not someone who thinks rolling on the floor will in fact allow me to have cake for breakfast. Anyway these are some of the things I wish I new before I had a child. So I could of mentally prepared.

Number one: There is less we time and me time. Your days become worshipping little evil spawn. Instead of having a zen bath or going for a date with your loved one your life revolves around being a snack bitch or cleaning the path of destruction that your child’s created. You find conversations normally revert back to your child and your so drained from parenting you really can’t be bothered to do anything. Enjoying peace and quiet is a thing of the past and conversations always interrupted.

Number two: You will only ever hear children’s tv show songs in your head. Inside my head is a collection of blippi, andys adventures, waffle doggy and mr tumbles greatest. You will get really into kids tv. You find yourself sticking a episode of hey duggee on and having a laugh and then realising your child’s having a nap. You start conversations with talking about the latest kids tv series you watched not the latest show on Netflix. You find yourself wondering how does Justin have so much time to dress up as all these characters and I haven’t even washed my face this morning???

Number three:You will never have a relaxing meal or drink again. Infact you’ll make a cup of tea and your child will distract you so much that your tea is ice cold and your full of disappointment. Eating your dinner peacefully? Forget about it! Your child wants to throw food at you, eat your food or get down. I’ve lost count of the times I’ve had a drink hurdled into my meal or my child ran of with my last sausage or smushed his food into the walls and across the floor. Eating at a restaurant becomes stressfull keeping you child entertained and on their best behaviour and sometimes you’d rather not eat out with them atal!

Number four: You will never have privacy. Your child comes everywhere with you. Staring, watching, planning their next attack! If you need a poo? Well child is coming too and going to throw a giant stegosaurus at your face. Trying to talk on the phone? Child decides all of the sudden they want to sing at the top of their voice! Just minding your own business shopping when your child decides nows the time to lift your top down and show everyone your boobies! Note to self, always wear a bra after the Morrison’s incident.

Number five: Kids are expensive. Always growing like some hyped up sunflower! One minuite they’re tiny and the next they’re twenty feet giants that weigh 77 tons. You go through clothes quicker then you can buy them and that expensive toy you brought well it’s been five minuites and it’s trash to them now. There’s always some new thing they’re into and new toys to buy. You’ll be really glad when you spend loads of money on something and they don’t care about it atall.

Number six: You’re always tired. Of course the sleep steeler cry’s all night or apparently like my child sings Elton johns can you feel the love tonight at 3 am like that’s the norm. Of course I want to be awoken to Elton John mate thanks! Your days start before the sun and yeah that coffees going cold so there is no help with the fatigue. Your running round all day playing and cleaning and your so stressed you don’t know how to function. Your mind is tired, your body is tired, you don’t know what day it is anymore. 9 months was not enough time to catch up on rest like they tell you!

Number seven: Your child will have a meltdown over ANYTHING. They picked up the wrong toy, you don’t have doughnuts in the house, you won’t let them lick a trolley while out shopping. ANYTHING. There is no reasoning with them either, everything is a complete battle at times. Want to get your child to put their shoes on? Cue half hour screaming meltdown on the floor wiggling around like a worm that’s been cut in half. Oh and yes they’ll be plenty in public and yes it’s humiliating!

Number eight: Say goodbye to your freedom. Want to go to the shops? Better pack a suitcase and load the car and pram and pack snacks and three changes of clothes and my life’s ambitions. Want to go on a romantic date? CHILDCARE!!! There’s no more dates without someone to watch your child. Want to go for a walk alone to calm down? Well you can’t! Want to wake up when you want and go to sleep when you want? You can’t! Want to go to a fancy restaurant? Well I’m sure there is no baby change or high chair facilities! Trip to the cinema forget about it! long walk? Lug a baby or buggy around or just bin it off and forget about it!

Number nine: Your body will change. You will put on weight everywhere, your face will change shape, your hips, arms, feet, hands and everywhere else! Your stomach may sag and you’ll have horrid squiggly lines scatted over your tummy. Your hair will fall out in clumps and you’ll block your hoover and drain almost daily. Your skin will get spotty or dry and itchy. Illnesses you never knew you had will come out of the pipework. You will get tired more often and if you need to sneeze or want to laugh?There is gonna be A lot of wee accidents. Wrinkles and bags under your eyes will be your latest accessories in your beauty quest.

Number 10: Your life will become filled with poo and sick. Yes you will have poo explosions where the watery poo reaches their hair. You will have the potty training poo in the pants. Your child will take their poo out their nappy and smear it all over their bedding, walls and cot because why not? It’s clearly scented paint! your child will throw up in your mouth at least once and my god a sickness bug makes you want to leave the city. So prepare for being covered, your child being covered, your house being covered and you’ll contemplate whether it’s easier to burn the house down sometimes then clean a smeared poo explosion.

Of course I love my child and I love my life now he’s in it but boy is a bit of a prick at times. Hope you had a laugh! Charlie x

The perfect Father’s Day gift

The perfect Father’s Day gift

The people over at hooray heroes kindly gifted me a book for Father’s Day to show my followers and readers what I think about it. I’ve been eyeing up their books after seeing many ads so I was very excited to be gifted one!

So first of all you choose the book you want. Then you design your characters. This is the fun part! You can choose hair style, colour, freckles, skin tone, eye colour and more! You can put your names in as well so it makes it super personal to you. It’s really nice knowing that something your helping to create will be in a book. Especially if you have a hard to find name in a gift store this is the perfect personalised gift for you.

I love that you can also choose what stories go inside you can preview and select up to ten mini stories to go in the book too.

Once you’ve ordered it only takes a few days to come I think I waited five days and I was alerted when each step of the creation process was completed and a time my parcel would be delivered.

When it arrived it was in a nice cellophane wrapping to preven damage. The book is hardback and the quality is amazing. Each page is full of colour and keeps your child’s attention. This was a gift to the whole family really which was nice because we all get to share it.

It’s something that will last for years and we love all the stories, you can read as little or as much as you like!

We will defo keep them in mind for our next personalised book adventure!

With Father’s Day coming up now is the perfect time to get idea and this is the perfect book for lots of family’s!

You can shop here! https://hoorayheroes.co.uk/personalised-books/fathers-day

As always thanks for reading Charlie!

Why are there not more honest parents

Why are there not more honest parents

One thing I have really noticed since being a mother is how hard it can be. It’s not all sunshine’s and rainbows as people like to portray in their perfect little photos. Now more than ever I will scroll through my Facebook or Instagram and all I see is smiles and happiness when in fact I know full well behind the heavy filters and fake smiles is a kid who screams all day because he just feels like it and a parent at the end of her tether wondering what she ever did wrong to the kid.

I have always aimed to be an honest parent. Not only in my blog but on all social media platforms too. No matter if people judge me for my honesty i do it for the other mums. The mums who like me want to see the truth. Who want to see more photos of mums pouring them self a big glass of wine at the end of the day to try have some sort of happiness on those hard days. I want to see mums talking about their child’s tantrums, about how their child who drives them completely potty.

There is nothing more I hate then these parents who treat everything as a competition. Thinking their child is the best shiny trophy in their hall of fame and no other child will ever be as good. But have I got news for you. Your perfect child is perfect to you as my child is to me but I do not for a second believe my child is this angel because of my opinions or that I need to put my child above others. All children are equal and they all have tantrums at some point. If you’re lucky enough to have a mellow child look out because one day it will come. Until then don’t be an ass and only talk about how great your child is. Also don’t be that braggy and comparing mum.Nobody cares about your child reaching a milestone a day earlier then your friends child.

I want to hear about your sleepless nights, your child throwing their dinner against your white walls and carpet, I want to relate to you. I want to know that your just like me. Like I’m not alone in this world. I want to know that it’s normal to have a sob once a week because your child has relentlessly misbehaved because you perhaps didn’t let them have cake for breakfast or something equally as stupid as jump off a sofa face first.

I want you to know it’s okay to be honest. It’s okay to cry. It’s okay to shout sometimes. It’s okay to feel stressed. You are not alone. Every other parent goes through this even if they don’t admit it. You’ve got this mama!

Hang in there because one day when they’ve moved out you might actually get to finish a hot drink or have a conversation that doesn’t relate back to your kids at some point!

Dms are always open for a moan about your kid I’m listening! I know you love your kid and accept that they’re little balls of anger. You are not a bad mum. What you see on the internet is not the whole picture. A second of the days does not compute someone’s whole day and what goes on behind that camera screen.

I’m always here, Charlie x

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!

Why is binge eating disorder never taken seriously as a eating disorder?

Why is binge eating disorder never taken seriously as a eating disorder?

The other day I did a few stories on Instagram about my eating disorder which is binge eating disorder. I was amazed and the amount of people messaging me saying they suffer too and how it rules and destroys their life’s too. The thing is people never worry until someone is loosing weight. But what about when someone gets addicted to eating their emotions and cannot stop eating? When someone gets in the mirror as they are getting bigger and cannot do anything about it? It’s not as simple as someone who enjoys big portions, it’s a uncontrollable sensation which you can’t stop. It’s a feeding frenzy, once you start you just can’t stop. You’ll continually put on weight and get judged as someone who likes to eat. You’ve tried to diet but depriving yourself just makes you worse.

However with binge eating disorder sometimes you do not even enjoy eating and are not be able to stop yourself. You can spend your nights crying and thinking why can’t I stop myself? Then your left to feel sick with yourself every time you eat and eat more out of that emotion. It’s like bulimia without the throwing up. It’s keeping the bad stuff in with no way out.

What is binge eating disorder?

Binge eating disorder is when someone eats food emotionally and is unable to stop. They may eat untill way past full and even cause themselves pain. Often we go out and buy bags full of snacks and eat all in one sitting. It’s having dinner then later eating crisps and three chocolate bars and a milkshake because you can’t help yourself. It’s like a addiction. You cannot stop. Despite staring in the mirror feeling sick or feeling horrible after a binge. It’s struggling with diets as you cannot control yourself and depriving yourself only makes it worse. It is never really feeling full. It’s eating to try and fill the emptiness that will never be satisfied.

Symptoms of binge eating disorder:

  • Buying lots of food to eat all at once. Some people refer to these food as a treat. Even if it’s every night. It could be a carrier bag full of snacks for one sitting.
  • Eating when sad. Not being able to stop.
  • Eating way past being full and it hurting.
  • Eating when not even hungry.
  • Hiding to eat or hiding evidence of eating.
  • Feeling like a failure or digested in yourself and body after eating.
  • Storing food as not to run out.

Normally people become binge eaters because of emotional issues or things such as negative body image. Anxiety and depression are normally the main cause.

There are times I wish I could stop. I’ll buy healthy food and meal plan and try to diet. Then a bit of stress comes in my life and I’ve spiralled. I feel disgusted in my self. I don’t want to look like this. I don’t want to be big I want to be skinny. I don’t want to be such a mess that I reach for a multi pack of chocolate bars to myself because something of minor inconvenience has caused this emotion.

Doctors never seem to care either. Obviously they are more concerned with people who loose weight from conditions such as anorexia and bulimia and rightly so. Loosing weight is dangerous to internal organs and is starving the body. However, when you can’t stop eating doctors just judge you. Like your forcing yourself to be big on purpose. They seem to not care about the negative effects of weight gain. They don’t seem to care that obesity causes a lot of issues medically too. Such as increased risks of cancer, diabetes and heart disease. The sluggishness, breathlessness and fatigue also clouds our lives too.

There are resources such as support groups,books and you can obviously talk to your doctor. However most people have sound that cbt therapy is the best help.

If you feel this is you then remember you are not alone. It may control you now but hopefully one day with a bit of help it wont! There are so many others just like you out there and you’d never think it!

Thanks for reading!

Halloween activities you can still do!

Halloween activities you can still do!

Now that it’s more and more clear Halloween won’t be happening in the normal way this year there’s still lots of ways to have fun. Last year I threw a Halloween party for Elijah and his little friends and this year we can’t even trick or treat. But with a little positivity we can still enjoy ourselves!

So here’s some things you can still do to celebrate Halloween safely.

Pumpkin picking. You can go pumpkin picking outdoors and safely. There you can distance, sanitise and make a day of it. Most places require a time slot too so there’s not too many people out there with you. It’s a great way to exercise and enjoy some time with others and feel the escape of the house. You also support the farms and small businesses too! We love it and have been every year for last five years!

Pumpkin carving. Once you have a pumpkin you still can enjoy carving or painting it. You can download stencils online and print of or you can design your own pattern to carve. Kids love the sensory activity of scooping the pumpkins out! Make it into a fun activity for all the activity.

Halloween crafts. Colouring and paining activities with themes such as Halloween can be great too. There’s so many printable activity packs free online for the taking. You can also paint some loo rolls and add pipe cleaners to make spiders! The possibilities are endless.

Halloween baking! Bake a cake or cookies with a Halloween theme and enjoy making spooky treats! Cut cookies before baking with a ginger bread man shape and you can make a skeleton! Make hotdogs and cut bits up to look like fingers then add ketchup for blood!

Dress up and have a little disco at home! Make Halloween snacks too! Have your own party. Play party games and enjoy yourself. Skype friends and have a virtual party too!

If your not isolating see family or friends for a coffee and call it trick or treating? Track and trace compliant of course!

Get cosy, watch Halloween movies, listen to spooky music. Whatever it is you do to get in the Halloween spirit. Just remember you’re not alone we’re all in this together.

No matter what you do just enjoy yourself and have a spooky time!

Hello again.

Hello again.

Sorry it’s been a long time. I’ve been battling a bit with lack of enthusiasm both with writing and with life. But i think I’m slowly coming out of the other side. So what’s new? Well I don’t think I’ve spoken about it on my blog as yet but we got a puppy. A blog post will surely come next all about him but for now you can’t say I didn’t tell you! we’re also in the progress of buying a new house.

Yes we choose the pandemic as the time to move of course…how typical of me. As if a global pandemic wasn’t enough I thought you know what let’s pick up everything we have and move. So obviously I’m stressed out of my mind with that. You know they say it’s one of the most stressful things you can do moving house? Well it’s true and even more so now we are sellers at same time as buyers. I thought we would stay in this house forever when we first moved in but as lockdown broke it came increasingly clear that we didn’t like our neighbour hood and me coming to the rescue of my neighbours and treating injury’s on the side of the road came to common a occurrence.

James’s business is doing really well despite the pandemic. He was able to work throughout due to being a outside worker and being able to distance. This has meant that we wanted to move more for the fact of James wanting to create his own water now and having parking at the house.

So we decided we’d move. At first we thought about moving to the countryside then I realised I barely ever see my family or friends anymore since moving so decided to move back to where I grew up. This meant we’re able to see family and friends and walk to each others more which will be lovely for Elijah growing up. The house we’re buying is beautiful we have loads of privacy and trees lots of space and heatedly attached to our neighbour. The perfect place for us all to enjoy. It’s a shame neighbours can make your life a miserable time and cause you to move. But I guess that’s life. So five weeks later we’re still waiting for a date while everyone works behind the scenes we want to be in before Christmas but who knows.

The exciting thing will be making the new house our own and more trips to Ikea! I went to Ikea for the first time in years and years the other day and I’ve never been so excited! Ikea is literally a dream! Everywhere you go in the show room is beautiful styled rooms that you can then go ahead and purchase. Honestly I was mind blown and had to seriously stop myself from buying things till we move.

But for now organising and sorting. We’re trying to enjoy the last moments in our house and make as many memories as we can. I get sad at times thinking how well leave the house we brought Elijah home too, the house he took his first steps and said his first words. It’s going to be odd seeing the house empty. I’m sure they’ll be lots of tears when we leave. I’m scared Elijah and the pup won’t understand we’re moving we tell Elijah everyday but still the fear lingers.

Not the most thrilling of posts but this is why I’ve been gone. It’s funny how stress messes with us! It can consume you when things are time pressured. But here’s to hope things will move forward soon!

Christmas gift guide- personalised hooray heroes books.

Christmas gift guide- personalised hooray heroes books.

Disclaimer- this is a gifted item sent for this post.

As you have seen before I was previously sent a book for Father’s Day for Elijah too give you his dad as a present! We absolutely loved this book so when they asked us to try another we couldn’t say no! With Christmas coming up and my dads birthday I thought this would be the perfect time to order for my dad something from Elijah they can read together!

So making the book is quick and easy you can customise everything about the characters to freckles and hair styles! You put your family’s names in and have chance to dedicate a page to them too! The personalisation is lovely and makes it a truly unique gift. As well as personalising it you can choose what stories you have in the book too!

Elijah already loves it and says he can’t wait to wrap up for grandads birthday as he’s starting to understand birthdays more. He knows that it is Elijah and grandad on the front too! My dad is quite young so it’s great that he is still able to look his age in the book too which I find is a issue when buying personalised gifts for a grandparent.

These books are fantastic quality and made to last for years! I am excited to give him a great keep sake he can have for years to come and store away for memories as Elijah gets older. Maybe he will give back to Elijah when he is older too!

They sell plenty of different stories and personalised bits so make the perfect place for presents for parent, grandparents or even themselves! Go check them out at

https://hoorayheroes.co.uk or https://hoorayheroes.com

Thanks for reading! Charlie-Jane!

Weighted blanket review – The kalm koala.

Weighted blanket review – The kalm koala.

Disclaimer this was gifted in exchange for review:

If you like me have seen the many, many adverts out of weighted blankets you will also of been interested into what they’re really like. I was intrigued into if they really work or if they where pretty much a money making scam. But i was offered one in exchange for a review so how could i say no. All opinions in this post are my own and honest. As with any post if i do not rate a product highly enough too talk about it i always tell the company and offer to send back and explain i won’t be reviewing it. However this is not the case with this product.

Weighted blankets are advertised to use weight to relax your central nervous system to relax you. They are advertised to help anxiety, depression and autism sensory overloads.

So first of aesthetically it is very pleasing. The cover has a warm and cool side. The quilted side you use in winter and the silk side in summer. The Silk underneath is navy so looks lovely too. I use it as a runner in the day and it fits over the both of us with our feet hanging out the ends the blanket goes from my shoulders to ankles which is good because its weighted and feet with pressures not the best combo. so perhaps socks in winter if not using another cover on top. I mainly use it however not at night but as to sit on the sofa with if i am particularly stressed or sit in the bed in it. The quilt is heavy so it really is weighted i was surprised when the post man dropped it off. I got the largest and most weighted due to my weight.

Does it relax you? It feels like a cuddle and like some pressure. Considering i hate cuddles it is quite nice to be able to have that tight compression feeling without the emotions and people involved to make a cuddle happen. (yes i cuddle my husband and son). You can really feel the weight and it feels like a weight is not only taken of your body but your mind when you take it off too. For it too work i take myself quiet or watch or read something i like to relax myself. I really do notice a difference when i use it to calm myself the added weight is quite nice and also warming too when i need the warmth. I sort of only really concentrate on the weight for a little while which enables me to calm a bit and i only use when anxious so i know it is something i can use.

I haven’t used it overnight much because it has been too hot to exist and i have been in hospital but i used it two nights and it certainly relaxed me. It felt like all of my body was being pressed down and i felt at ease. I fell asleep with it. It still took me a while to shut down but my insomnia reacts to nothing. It did however take less long to fall asleep which could be the blanket or the fact i am still poorly.

So i would recommend this blanket. Id suggest a smaller one for single use however as i got this to be a runner at the same time. This product would be excellent for those who suffer sensory overload particularly autism suffers as the pressure can calm the body without physical contact,

Thanks for reading, charlie x