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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mum shaming is a real issue.

Mum shaming is a real issue.

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

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

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

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

I identify myself as a mum and that is okay.

I identify myself as a mum and that is okay.

One thing that had came up several times in counselling is the feeling that I have lost my self identity. When my counsellor asked me “if I could describe myself what would I say?” and I said probably I’m just a mum. In itself it is not a bad thing but sometimes I feel like all identity has been stripped from myself because I am a mum now. In the simple fact that people ask about my child before me, my life is just a constant cycle of raising a child and when people ask me what I’ve been up to I can’t really tell them much that doesn’t involve my child. But I’ve come to think of it as not a bad thing that I identify only as a mum sometimes.

Because truth be told I’m not just a mum to my son. To him I am his whole world. Even if he’s screaming on the floor with frustration that I won’t let him have cake at 6 am in the morning. To him I’m there for him. I am always there for him. I’m there to teach him every little thing he needs to learn and I am there to wipe his tears when he’s sad. I’m there to always make sure he is happy and make memories that will last a lifetime for both of us and to shape him into the boy he will become. Yes my world may of changed and selfishly sometimes I may miss aspects of my independence but I have importance in my existence now. I have created this beautiful little life. He grew inside me, I gave birth to him and I have raised him. I have taught him to walk, talk and anything else that he does. I teach him as much as I can through play and telling him things I know. I get the gift of watching him grow up and sometimes my heart cries at how proud I am of him. I’m not just a mum. I am his mum. That makes me the luckiest person on this planet.

Why I love eating out with you

Why I love eating out with you

I love eating out with my little buddy as I think it is so good for not only bonding but I use it as a teaching opportunity. I use it to teach him how to behave in public to not tantrum and how to eat nicely at a restaurant. We use it as a treat for being good being able to eat out and if he’s been really good he may even get a dessert. I love eating out together because I love being able to spend time with him be it just us two or with friends or family. I think it’s really good to help with not only my social anxiety but to get him used to social and public situations.

Elijahs started to sometimes sit at a chair (if tall enough) instead of a high chair and no longer try’s to run away. Sometimes if he’s being a bit grumpy because he is over hungry or tired we get some toys out, do colouring and if everything else fails we allow him to watch educational videos until food arrives. If we’re somewhere child friendly we will go play till dinner time. Elijah knows there is no play or electronics when dinner has arrived and toys and phones go away. He used to have a issue with this but because we always go out he has now support the tantrums.

I love being able to share my love of food with him too and watching him try new things. I love that when we eat out he’s always so excited by his food and shows his appreciation. I do love it when he talks to other people and they smile and wave back. I love trying new places with him and finding out what he may like and don’t like. I love that we go to eat out every weekend as a family of three and love spending time out the house the three of us.

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.

It’s good to get away

It’s good to get away

Being a parent it’s okay to get away sometimes. To have some me time every now and then as a couple. We went to London to see a show for my birthday and was the furthest we’ve been away from him. A whole two hours. Compared to the most of half hour it felt a bit odd. But it also felt like freedom. It felt like a bit of our old life, the parts I miss such as adventure. Not that we cannot adventure now we have a child but we are more hindered in activity’s and distance and time. For example there’s only so long his little legs will walk before he’s tired and needs a carry while out for a country side walk.

It’s good to dust of the cobwebs and have the freedom to have some us/me time. To see a show or just walk around somewhere you don’t have to knock someone with a buggy out the way. Where time constraints aren’t hindering your fun and you can just relax on the day. It’s important for relationships to try and have we time then all of us time. So nobody feels neglected and to always remember you’re still a couple too, you’re not just parents and you both want dates and adult conversations. You both need a break together sometimes not just one of you but both of you. Sometimes we forget our partners need time of and that they also miss you too.

Although being a family is one of the best things and a beautiful experience sometimes it is good to get away and enjoy things again as a two some and return to family life and enjoy it that little but more having time away.

Managing anxiety in London.

Managing anxiety in London.

Recently we visited London again. Now London is obviously a capital city so is always very busy. Especially when in tourist spots, shopping or using the public transport. It is easy to get anxious and perhaps even a bit frightened when travelling around London. So here’s how I kind of over come a lot of it.

Before you go plan routes, tubes, destinations, directions the lot and screenshot or write down incase you loose signal because shocker you won’t have signal on a tube miles underground. Plan what you want to do and when. Try to avoid rush hour and before 10am. It is pure hell travelling at this time. Find out what you want to see and do and don’t over book yourself you don’t want to be panicking all day about the next thing you’ve got to get too.

Breath, take some slow steady breaths and close your eyes quickly when you feel particularly anxious. Remind yourself you are okay and you’ve got this. I really struggle with tubes and trains since a family member died in the 7/7 attacks. For years I wouldn’t want to go on one out of fear of something happening to me. I’ve slowly got out of the fear but if it is particularly busy or the tube/train stops I get really anxious and panicky. I sweat lots, my heart goes and my fight or flight mode is on overdrive right. The way I stopped myself having one or two panic attacks was to concentrate on my breathing slowing it down and either closing my eyes or looking down at my hands or shoes. I grounded myself and told myself over and over everything is okay it’s almost done now.

Take photos. Be a tourist and get lost. Taking photos really helped me to destress and not focus on what is going on so much. If I can’t appreciate something at that second I can look back and see the moment through new eyes.

Don’t drink too much. Toilets are not everywhere and some you even have to pay for and you don’t want to be busting for a wee when there is none near by. Use the toilets when your close even if you don’t need to go. Do stay hydrated though those tubes a sauna no matter the weather.

Take a buddy with you. Take someone to share the experience to talk to and distract you while you’re feeling anxious. They can also help you if you get lost.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help if confused. A lot of Londoners can be helpful sometimes and tell you where to go or what way you need to go.

Save up. London is pretty expensive especially if going for a show or something. I brought a slushy puppy for 7 pounds which would cost 2 in my local shop and a bottled water for 3.50 which would normally be under a pound. Everything is more expensive in corner shops exetera and in theatres and some restaurants. So be carefull not to be out of pocket and expect to spend more than you would being from outside London.

Wear comfortable clothing. It’s hot in tubes so wear thin layers and be comfy. Wear comfy shoes heals are a pain walking around all day and don’t think about any shoes that will give you a blister!

Have your phone charged, emergency cash and anything else you might need like medication on you.

Just try to enjoy yourself and remind yourself your safe and having fun.