Review of bewilderwood and their glorious lantern parade!

Review of bewilderwood and their glorious lantern parade!

Last weekend we visited bewilderwood after being invited along on a gifted basis in exchange for a review. We primarily came for the glorious lantern parade but where also given some day tickets to use too. We’d seen a lot of photos on Instagram of bewilderwood and it seemed like our sort of day out! We love the outdoors and especially the forests so to go somewhere Elijah could enjoy and be outdoors ticks all the boxes. This will be a completely honest review from me and James’s point of view of both the event and the day trip.

So first of all we traveled from Suffolk which took a hour and half to get there but we regularly travel (lockdown postcode checked first) for days out. So this was no issue for us as we love going for a drive too! We arrived at 3 pm due to the fact our lantern event wasn’t till 7:30 and didn’t want Elijah to be tired. First of all the customer service team are fantastic, I had to isolate for a few days due to a family member I was near too having Covid symptoms so couldn’t go to the first event on the opening day of the lantern parade so had to rearrange. Luckily the family member did not have Covid so I could go the following week instead. They rearranged with no issues and they where lovely! The customer services also told me I had no time I had to turn up but the last admission was at 4 and they shut at five. So we arrived for 3pm.

So the good bits of the day trip! First of all the place was really lovely, there was a fairy tale fantasy vibe. The place is based on a book and the characters in the books are hidden around the park for you to find. The fact it’s in the middle of a forest is great too because you get lots of fresh air and can take in the scenery. The place is full of climbing frames, zip wires, treetop houses and slides galore. There’s lots of places to explore. There’s also arts and craft huts, story readings and much more to do during the day (before it starts to close).

Elijah loved running around and exploring. He even tried a big slide and wanted to go down a few more hundred times. He loves exploring all the tree houses and running through the woods. We looked out for characters and statues and Elijah got very excited spotting some bats and a giant spider! We loved the Halloween decorations too! There was a outdoor cafe with lots of picnic tables. They served hot food and drink too! It smelt really nice!

Being so close to Norwich it’s only twenty minutes to Norwich so there’s shopping and food places locally too that you can visit after or before. There is a gift shop with lots of little bits to remember your visit too! There is a boat ride that goes around and looked super fun although they didn’t allow us on as we where a minuite late.

Whilst we arrived at three we were a little disappointed a lot of things where closed when we arrived. The story telling was finished, many things where shut and it felt a bit like a race against the clock to look at everything in time for the place in time. When we arrived I also asked the staff what time the boat rides finished as we where most excited to do that. They told us they would run till 5pm when they shut so that everybody could have a go. So we decided to explore the park instead of queuing first. The downside of this was in fact the staff member was wrong and they shut at 4:30. Despite us arriving to the que for the boats at 4:31 they shut the gates in front of us. I asked if we could join as we where told they shut at 5 and it was one minute late the staff said no so we where all very upset. Elijah started to cry as we walked away and was sad and ended up in a tantrum. We left immediately as being around the boats again would of upset him all over again. I was surprised that they would state a last admission at a full paid price be a hour before they shut if everything is already closing. Perhaps they should advise a earlier arrival time. This way it avoids rushing and disappointment.

However we knew we where coming back later and we went locally to Norwich for dinner. Whilst bewilderwood would make a fantastic day out I would visit earlier if we where to go again. They did have a fantastic scheme with wristbands that you write your details on should your child get lost which I thought was fantastic. Overall we would come again but perhaps earlier to enjoy the story telling and arts and crafts. We would also come to have a go on the boats. The place is more suited to older children but so long as you follow your child along there’s no limit to the fun you can have together.

Now the glorious lantern parade. What can I say other then the fact it was fantastic!

First of all I’ll apologise for our photos we tried to walk through quickly to social distance and my camera didn’t want to focus. But none the less I can only describe the event as beautiful! Lanterns and fairy lights lit the whole way which took us about a hour to complete.

First of all we checked in and we went to make Elijahs lantern. The place was a light with lanterns absolutely everywhere and the energy from the kids was really sweet. There was a witch who opened the event and made everyone excited to go in the children loved it. However the only issue I had the whole time which lots of people loudly commented on was the fact they crammed us all through a small gate and didn’t filter people in so it created a big crowd and social distancing wasn’t happening. We tried to keep our distance but a lot of people ignored the social distancing rules.

When we followed the trails it was so pretty following all the lights and there was music and sound effects. Elijah enjoyed carrying his little lantern and kept trying to spot things. All the play frames where lit up and looked beautiful. There was story telling and characters too. The food and drink was open too and there was no rush to get to the end. We will book again for next year we loved it that much. It was well worth the travel and it was nice to experience some sort of festivity in the bleak of the corona virus pandemic.

Thanks for reading!

The perfect Christmas gift guide for her.

The perfect Christmas gift guide for her.

So Christmas is coming up and I’m starting to scan the stores both online and offline for Christmas presents for loved ones. Coronavirus be damned it will not stop us enjoying Christmas and I will drop off presents on the door step wearing a Santa outfit if I have too. Don’t push me I will purchase one Boris. So here are some ideas I’ve had that I would both like for myself and as a gift for someone else!

So first of all I’m going in big. I’m not a materialistic person or someone who expects big gifts but the only thing I want this Christmas is this…

Photo from hotel chocolat

A hotel chocolat velvetiser. Have you looked at them? Not only are they beautiful but a hot drink connoisseur like me aspires for a new tool to master the battle that is making the perfect hot chocolate. Tassimos be gone we all know the new kid on the block is taking the lead. It gently warms and froths and mixes at the same time. Leaving you to do nothing but pour in and pour out! They also come with two snazzy cups for you to share your experience. It also comes in three beautiful colours and it’s a toss up between copper or charcoal for me. You can also indulge in some of the 16 hot choc flavours hotel chocolat have to offer making this the perfect luxury gift. And if you like me enjoy a good hot chocolate this is the way to go!

Next up we have a obvious and affordable choice. Bath bombs. Obviously we have the high street brands such as lush which are king but there are also little small businesses to try. Instagram is crawling with them and if you look on my gram I’ve been lucky enough to try some myself. they’re often very high quality and smell fab too.

My fav lush bath bomb!

An even easier choice now. Feel like you don’t know a person well enough or their very picky? Don’t want to give money? A gift card is the way to go. But where from? Well if into make up and skincare a boots or Superdrug voucher is somewhere you can’t go wrong. They sell all sorts from vegan to high end makeup there’s sure to be something in these places that your recipient will love. If you have a film fanatic on your hand I normally would suggest a cinemas gift card but because we have seen Covid destroy the film industry perhaps a Netflix gift card (yes they exist) or a hmv gift card for people who enjoy physical copies of films is the way to go! If you know your person is a foodie then a gift voucher to their favourite restaurant is always appreciated. If your not sure which one to get there are lots of gift cards that cover quite a few. Also you can help small businesses by asking if they do gift cards for eating out another day too! With moving house being a theme for us this year I know I would love a next/ dunelm or John Lewis voucher! I adore picking my own home bits and I’m very fussy about what I like. Play it safe and if you know anyone planning to move or moving this is the perfect gift to give. If you’re really, really stuck a amazon voucher is great because then someone can buy absolutely anything they want from a game to shampoo, you name it they have it.

Photo taken from wired.com

The way to my heart is through smell. If you want to get in my good books a candle is the way to go. For affordable options head to tk maxx where you will hit the mother load of candles every time. Theirs a scent there to suit every person. Want to support a small business there’s lots of small businesses out their making candles and wax melts! Check previous blog posts and my Instagram for my reviews on them!

A small business I worked with before and have even brought as gifts for others since is am botanical.

Beauty boxes/well being boxes. I love a pick me up and a surprise in a box. Many companies do one off boxes or you can subscribe someone for a few months as a gift. The perfect gift if you hate choosing things out! Take the hassle out of selecting and know you can’t be blamed if something goes wrong!

The contents of a well being box i received to review which screamed my autumn personality and vibes available from http://www.thewellbeingbox.com.

Another fantastic gift which would also be perfect for a anxious mind is a diffuser. There are many diffusers out there small and large depending on what you want to buy. Coupled with the right essential oils you can really help someone relax and they’re also great for keeping illnesses at bay. Many people are scared of candles because of the fire so if you want to give someone a nice scented replacement this is the way to do it! My favourite essential oil smell is lemongrass! Just make sure you check for pets as some oils can’t be used around them!

This diffuser was gifted to me from Smellacloud

My favourite gift every year without fail is pjs and cosy socks. Specifically overly fluffy ones. I love to buy other people cosy pjs too for Christmas and couple it with some chocolate and your golden!

These super cosy bed socks are from perillasocks and are previously gifted

Make your own hamper. You can buy a basket and then fill it with their favourite things. This can be done really inexpensively as well. I often make friends chocolate boxes filled with their favourite chocolates I’ve gotten from Poundland and thrown some tissue paper and they’ve loved the thought and effort!

Hope some of these ideas have helped and I’ll be doing a his and little ones gift list too soon! So that you can get ideas for the whole of your family! Thanks for reading Charlie x

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!

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

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

Being a stay at home mum – one whole year on.

Being a stay at home mum – one whole year on.

It’s no secret that after I had Elijah when he was about ten months old I returned to work. I was full of guilt and anxiety and I was riddled with stress from work too. When I stopped working it took away a bit of my identity and slowly I’ve been working to get my identity back. I don’t want to be known as just Elijah’s mum but Charlie too. A year ago I had officially left work and I look back with no regrets. Whilst I miss doing a job that gave me purpose at times I don’t miss the long days and being away from my family.

Now that it’s been a year my thoughts on me working have changed. At the moment as it stands it is financially better for me to not work. We do not take benefits or have any help just to clarify to those who think I just gave up my job and expected the state to pay. My husband funds everything. This was also a decision we spoke about and decided before anything was done.

Through me stopping work he has been able to earn way more than we earned collectively before I had Elijah and he is only getting more successful because I am at home. With me at home this means James doesn’t have to do the school/nursery runs and loose out on hours of work everyday. This means he’s able to work as early or as late as he wishes and we don’t need to worry about Elijah. Whilst Elijah will be starting nursery in January I will not be returning to work for now. Because nobody else can drop him off and pick him up and childcare is a big issue for us. Also if I went back to work it just wouldn’t really be logical aswell because with my career path I’d only want to work in healthcare again and the hours are nowhere near flexible which I learned before I left work. The issue would still remain most healthcare jobs need you to work 8-8 and that would mean again James doing the childcare run and I’d be on a crappy wage and we’d be worse of.

My view on stay at home mums has changed too. I invisioned it to be easy and happy. That I’d be doing all these fancy crafts everyday and baking everyday. But that was not the case. It was in fact draining mentally and physically. When you don’t have plans often you sort of fade into the darkness’s where everything’s a repeat and you feel like you’re on auto drive. I expected to have this perfectly clean house all the time but then reality hit. Sure my house was clean when I worked because I was never in it! Days off normally spent going out as a family or seeing friends so when I tidied up it was a quick and easy job. Now the house often looks like a bomb has hit it when I spend my day trying to survive and entertain a toddler who loves to make mess wherever he goes.

I underestimated what stay at home mums do too. Planning days out all the time trying to find new things to do so it’s not repeated is exhausting. There is only so much you can go for coffee before being bored of the activity. Not just entertaining your child out and about but also in the house is so hard. I’ll set up a activity I’ve spent ages thinking of and Elijah picks it up puts it down and walks of demanding something else.

There’s also a limit to how much I can teach Elijah before it becomes a chore. I try to spend a lot of the day teaching Elijah so we do learning games and play but sometimes I get so sick of repeating myself I want to rip my hair out. Like this is everyday. How many times can I repeat the same sentance before I turn insane.

There’s also the no escape from your child. One thing that lockdown has done is open peoples eyes to what stay at home parents really do. People really got sick of their kids crap and it showed. People understood what it was like to have no me time and children wanting their attention 24/7. They understood that silence was a thing of the past and you never get a moment to yourself even when they’re asleep you still tidy their crap up. There’s no escape and nowhere to send them if you need a time out so you just keep going hoping your head doesn’t explode with the stress at times.

However I try not to moan about my child too much there are elements I love. I love that I get this time with him and that I don’t have to share his milestones with others. I love watching him learn and knowing that I’ve taught him that. I love playing with him and making up games.

I love seeing him grow and watching how his mind works and grows with him. I love days where we have good days and we sit and play games nicely or cuddle on the sofa. I love that I am always there to wake him up and cuddle him before bed every night. I love that I’m always there to hear his stories and when he’s seen family for the day I get to be the one he tells me all about his time.

I like being able to be at home too and when I do housework around the house I enjoy it a bit more it’s not just a quick scrub ready to return to work where I’m cleaning the house at 10pm after being out 12 hours working and knowing I have the same the next day.

I’ve noticed a change in James too. He is more happy and likes not having to drop Elijah and pick Elijah up working silly hours and working twice as hard to get work done. He no longer has to come home and cook every single night and clean up all the time. I do not cook every night or clean everyday as we both understand that it’s our house and nobody’s responsibility to do everything.

I love that I’m able to see friends more and make more time for my hobbies. I. E this blog post I write now. I also love that I don’t have to miss out on a lot of things I used to aswell.

I also love the positive effect it’s had on my anxiety. I’m not full of stress and busy working all day making myself ill. I am able to concentrate on myself more and take more time for me and my self care. I take more care in my appearance and also in the relationships I have. I don’t hold on to toxic people anymore because I now am able to see my worth.

Although life can be hard and stressful as a stay at home mum I will always be thankfull to my husband for the opportunity. I know that when I’m older and look back on these hard times with fond memories of how perfect life really was.

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