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.

The pressure to have more children.

The pressure to have more children.

Quite often the subject of having more children inevitably comes up with family, friends and even strangers. I’ve written previously on whether i want another child or not in a previous blog post but i think i guessed things would change as Elijah got older. I have always wanted a few children but since having Elijah my opinion has changed. At the moment i’m unsure if i want another child. If i was to fall pregnant again i wouldn’t be sad or anything but at the moment i am happy being a mother of one. I quite like being able to give him all my time and energy and i think he thrives from that too. I don’t want to feel obligated into having anymore children.

However as Elijah has gotten older more people have told me i should have another child just so my son doesn’t feel lonely. First of all this is not a reason to have a child. You don’t have a child to make a little friend, you make a child because you want to bring life to the world and expand your family. It is possible to be a only child and happy. I have experience of both being a only child and then a sibling. I grew up with my mum and i was her only child and until i was 9 and i didn’t have any siblings (that i see). I can honestly say that i did not ever feel lonely and i only really felt somewhat lonely when there where 2 tiny babies around the home and i was a bit lost in my role as a sister at this age.Obviously my brothers and I are close and i love my with all my heart but i don’t think my mum decided to have another child because i was lonely.

I kind of feel a bit anxious when people talk to me about having more children. I get alot of family members like my parents and grandparents telling me to have more children. I know they don’t mean to cause offence but i kind of feel like is that all i am now? a baby maker? I also kind of think do they not think Elijah is enough or something? Has he become boring to them or do they want another newer model to play with? I am sometimes left questioning why it is brought up so often aswell i at least hear it from a family member or two at least once a month. Is me saying i’m happy as we are at the moment not enough? Like i am not going to have another child just to please my family.Which to be honest sounds like something i would do to the extreme where i have this need to please everyone and not offend anyone. Family seem to forget sometimes that people do have control over there own lives as they get older.

Strangers also have a big role in talking to you in public when with your child and say oh when will you have another one? First of all i do not know you and i will never speak to you again so why do you need to know or care? It is a bit odd going up to a stranger and saying when will you have another one or oh they need a baby brother/sister! If you have to say something talk about how happy my child is or something!

Also i have noticed a lot of media /films/ tv series and the online world only really shares family as at least four people. It is really rare i will watch a film or series when there is someone be it a child or adult that a only child and doesn’t have some sort of brother or sister. I also find as well that people seem to react better when people have more than one child like it means you’re a more wholesome family or something like that.

I think as well as other people putting pressure onto us i think we put pressure on to ourselves. Like when i give Elijah clothes to charity sometimes i feel guilt like i should be keeping his clothes just in case we have another child. I also sometimes think about being pregnant again and having a newborn and then i feel somewhat pressure like that’s what i should do again just because i have a thought that pops into my head. I also feel like i set plans in my head when i was younger of the perfect family of four and because of that i think my mind sometimes still thinks that’s the dream. Even though dreams can change when your reality changes. I think my health has a part to play also since being diagnosed with endometriosis i have a slight concern i may not be able to have more children one day and that means I need to rush it.

Maybe one day i might change my mind and want another child but at the moment we are happy. That is okay. I never say to my friends or family oh you should have another child because i know it can trigger people sometimes.Also remember when you may be saying this to people they could possibly be going things and not telling people such as miscarriages, IVF, fertility issues or mental health issues.

It is okay to not want more children and even a child at all if someone has decided not to have kids. It is not our business what happens in anyone else’s life but our own. So lets not try to pass our opinions to others that can cause upset. Having a baby is a BIG responsibility that lasts the rest of your life. It is not something like getting something that is temporarily cute and little like a puppy.

You also should not have to defend if you do not wish to have anymore children and you are also entitled to change your mind. If i was to wake up tomorrow and want to change my mind and want a child that is okay and my choice. It will not be because someone told me too. Remember your life is your life and your choices are your own and you do not have to justify them.

Mum shaming is a real issue.

Mum shaming is a real issue.

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

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

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

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

Weekly counselling

Weekly counselling

It’s a bit weird thinking about all these things that just randomly come up. Things that have happened to me and I have buried to protect myself. I’m getting to know myself finally. I think I try so hard to protect myself that I don’t even know who I am. It’s been therapeutic being able to be somewhere I feel safe to talk to someone about my feelings and my past. Someone who doesn’t know me and cannot pass judgement. It’s odd how trauma attaches itself to your memory and gets tangled up in all past experiences and you don’t even know it.

I’ve gone from going every few weeks to weekly which I think has been quite a shift. A good shift non the less as I’m more trusting and I feel I have a better relationship with my counsellor. She has picked up one of the biggest issues I have is trust. Trusting people to let my guard down and trusting people not to abandon me or hurt me. So I think creating a better relationship by seeing each other more is helping me to open up more. Last week I was actually enthusiastic about going to counselling. When I first came in I barely spoke and felt uncomfortable but the more I’ve gone the more comes out and the better I feel after.

I feel a weight is lifted of my shoulders immediately and I am able to think a bit clearer every time. I’m able to understand why I feel a certain way about certain thinks and how I process situations. Personally I think my childhood has a very big input into my behaviour and thought process. I have spent so long thinking everyone hates me and that I’m the issue when i am not. I worry everyone I love will leave me and I think it’s made me scared and a bit bitter. I am slowly understanding how to deal with my emotions which has been great and I think I might even be able to come if my anti depressants soon. I’m starting to take more time for me and for my family and to voice my emotions instead of holding them in incase j upset someone. I’ve got a long way to go but I’m so proud I’ve stuck to it and kept too a weekly appointment even if childcare can be a struggle. I know I need this for me and will continue trying to make myself better however I can. I have another counselling session today and I’m feeling positive not scared and I never thought I would be here today feeling this good.

How friendships can change when you’ve had children.

How friendships can change when you’ve had children.

Obviously you’ll loose some friends and make some new ones when becoming a parent but you never really accept it when you first see those two positive lines of a pregnancy test. You want to believe your friends are well just that “friends” and will be as excited as you when you have a child. But sometimes it goes quite the opposite way.

When you find out your pregnant everyone is so excited and they can’t wait to call themselves auntie this and uncle that, but when that baby’s popped out it’s unread messages and less interest. Maybe it’s jealously or just not wanting to be around a crying baby but you certainly see who really is and isn’t your friend.You’ve had a baby and instead of celebrating having another little friend to play with some friends go darting the other way.

You’re no longer available all the time. You’re tired and need to get childcare to go out at certain times. Some friends expect you to constantly have childcare when you see them like your child isn’t a part of you now. Conversations can run dry because you’re exhausted from sleepless nights and busy days. You don’t want to go out too long because you want to go to sleep early just incase your up all night. They get embarrassed when your kid tantrums at the dinner table and seem to think they know what’s wrong with your child and wishes you could shut them up instantly if they have a tantrum.

However you do make closer friendships with the ones who stay. You see them more, they become more family then friends as they’re accepted into your family unit for hanging out. Your friends may have kids too so you have play dates and get to watch the children grow up together aswell as you growing with them. Your friends gain another friend and it’s a joy to have them in their life’s.

Sometimes people come and sometimes people go but it’s the ones who stay that matter the most. If they’ve gone they where never really a friend if they cannot accept your family now.

Things I do to calm myself down.

Things I do to calm myself down.

We’ve all been stressed, depressed, anxious and worked up at some stage in our life and we will be again. Instead of dwelling in your emotions you need to try to separate yourself from these emotions with some self help tools and objects even if it feels impossible. Sometimes just looking out the window and watching how the rain falls can make us feel better just for that second.


I’m not saying colouring in is going to cure your depression because it most definitely hasn’t cured mine but distraction can help even for a little bit. So what do I do to distract myself so I can relax just a tad?


I read. Reading is really great for your mental health. It’s somewhat changed my life, when I’m stressed I’ll start a new book and read till I feel a bit better. My imagination is put elsewhere and I don’t sit there over thinking as I am distracted. I find the kindle a brilliant tool for this as you can buy a book immediately and read it so you don’t have to choose a book you have and you don’t have to wait you can just do it now!


I use my fidget cube. It has different textures and things to do like a switch, buttons and dials. I play with it in my pocket when I’m out and feeling particularly anxious or if I’m watching tv on the sofa and feeling I can’t calm down. The switch on it has really helped my ocd I don’t flip the house switches as much just the one on my cube.


I journal. I have several self help books which involve me talking about my day, what went wrong and can go better. It enables positive thoughts and makes me think. I find the smallest things to be proud of myself for or went right today and try to be “mindful”.


I colour. Colouring is very therapeutic and occupying the mind is too. I’m not talking colouring a basic baby colouring book dog but intricate designs that take time. I have several and my favourite two are my cath kidston colouring book and my swear word one which I do when I’m feeling angry about something. Yes it’s crude but instead of swearing I colour it in and Elijah can’t read yet so I see no issue.

I look back at photos. I look at photos of happier times and remind myself life can be good and I will smile again.


I burn candles. I burn candles and use in sense/essential oils to relax myself. The smells and soft flows can relax me and not feel so over stimulated by everything going on around me.


I watch a film or series. I distract myself watching something new or old and try to commit all my focus into this. It doesn’t always work but sometimes if I don’t feel up for much this little activity is enough to keep me calm.


I practice self care. I’ll have a nice candle lit bubble bath or hot shower. I’ll use my best products, exfoliate and then I’ll moisturise so I’m slippery enough to belong in the ocean. I’ll wear fresh pjs and change the bedding. I’ll spend time doing my hair and if I’m going out I’ll do my make up.


I’ll do housework. Although I mostly hate housework when I’m feeling particularly over whelmed I reach for a cloth and clean. Having everything clean and tidy makes me feel good so I’ll get to scrubbing the house to take out my emotions. I’ve been known to have a cry washing up at times and feel miles better after.


I cook and bake. I love making yummy treats so when I can I like to bake or cook something new which gives me a bit of a boost when it tastes somewhat decent.


I go for a walk. I take myself or my son with me if nobody’s home to watch him and walk through nature. I take in the worlds beautiful views and smell the natural air and it almost always makes me feel more open minded and clear. It helps me make decisions in stressful situations and I work our anger I have built up sometimes.


I buy stuff. I indulge in buying a new ornament or new top or toy for my kid. I love buying new bits and a treat always makes me feel better.
I go out and see friends or family. Something about being around others at times just makes you feel okay again.


I have a hot drink. Warning myself up makes me feel warm and cuddly and it can help me relax into myself and let my walls down.

I sit in the dark and relax. I try to rationalise my thoughts and relax into myself . No stimuli works for me.

I turn my phone off and avoid the news. I avoid negativity, and there’s plenty of that at our finger tips I can feel so much better when I don’t use my personal social media or read news articles on politics or horrible disasters that have happened.


I go out for the day. Staying in can make you feel lonely and horrid so going out for a adventure can make you feel so much better.


I listen to music. Either loud when I’m angry or relaxing music when I’m sad to listen to the music and calm myself down.


I use White noise. It not only helps me sleep I also use it to make myself feel safe when I’m over stimulated or out and nervous about something like an appointment. I also like to watch the rain and they’d why I like thunderstorm sounds the most.


I talk to someone. When I feel particularly bad I speak to someone about it and I feel a load is taken of my chest and sometimes we need help.

it’s all about finding things you like to do that occupy your mind. For example my husband likes playing video games or editing photos he’s taken. He’ll sit there for hours but he always feels better afterwards. Sometimes things get hard and that’s okay. Sometimes you need to be selfish and do things for you and that’s okay too. Just remember that you matter too and you can get through this. Distraction is a short term fix and if your are suffering talk to someone or your gp. As always my inbox is always open.

Being organised at Christmas

Being organised at Christmas

Now that Halloween is over and done with we will be packing away the decor and getting ready for Christmas. There’s nothing better than lighting your first Christmas Yankee candle if the season which I’ve already got chosen! But one thing we always do around the Christmas time is stress. We stress over who we’ll see and when, if we are hosting or being the guests. Many people don’t enjoy Christmas as they have to yoyo around to so many family members houses they cannot enjoy the day.

This year I’m staying put. We decided it’s not worth the stress we will stay in and have Christmas dinner at home. We always go to family’s and end up at 3/4 different houses a day and not only is it exhausting and tiring it’s also a bit rude it’s like thanks for the presents now I look like it’s all I came for as I’m on to the next time slot! When you have a kid it’s even harder of course they love the attention but they get very tired and angry as they don’t want to stop playing and miss anything.

Organising at Christmas for me is looking after myself and not getting all stressed and uptight. Who knows I might really enjoy Christmas this year if I just try to relax. Here are some organising tips I’m going to live by.

Don’t stress Christmas presents, buy what you like for people and if you think someone will like it then that’s all that matters. Don’t bankrupt yourself and don’t worry if something’s on the cheeper side it’s all about giving and spreading joy not the cost. Also slowly buy things before Christmas to one save a big cost at once and also so you are organised and know you have everything in time.

Make plans in advance even if it annoys family talking about it. You need to make plans in advance if you have a lot of people to see.

Try not to over book yourself. If you do that you’ll end up stressed. I will do the Christmas present drop offs on Xmas eve for those I don’t see on Christmas Day or day after Christmas as I always have done. I feel like Santa and it’s something I enjoy but this year I won’t be doing as many stops.

Great lists on what you need to buy, gift ideas and food shops. Being able tick of what you’ve brought is such a great feeling. I love my Christmas planner I’ve had for four years and this year I’ll need a new one, it is so helpful for not only knowing what I’ve brought but also what I’ve spent and wrapped so I can budget.

Wrap and label presents as you buy them. Saves the stress of wrapping everything quickly and also if you want to give people their gifts early you can just put them in a bag and if you go.

Any time sensitive presents need to be sorted well in advance. I’m making a little photo book for my grandma and nan so I need to get the family together before hand to take photos. We’re doing this ourself as we have good cameras and a tripod so would prefer to take ourselves at the park. Obviously we have to arrange a day all my family can come and then have to send to be put into a book or on a canvas So we’d need extra time. If your planning anything hand made and not shop brought you could be waiting a while at Christmas so it’s best to buy well in advance.

If you’re dieting try not to be too strict. But also don’t go to mad. Buy a few Christmas snacks and don’t restrict your Christmas dinner but don’t pig out for days. Your essentially going to get snacks for Christmas it’s inevitable so this year don’t eat as you get them stretch them out over the next few weeks/months. The foods not going to do a runner. You may think this isn’t organising but sometimes you need to organise what you buy so you don’t go crazy!

Buy yourself a gift. When your buying other people gifts you forget about yourself. See a nice bath set or cosy pjs you’d quite like buy them. Sometimes we need to treat ourselves and a bit of retail therapy is just the way. After all that shopping you deserve it.

Overall just enjoy Christmas and the season try not to worry about pleasing everyone and just relax because it’s all about the memories and nothing else.