It’s a new year…

It’s a new year…

Whilst i wanted to write a blog post talking about the highs and lows of the last year in a reflective manor i couldn’t feel more against it this year. Normally i would set myself a list of unrealistic expectations and then feel sadness when i could not keep simple promises to myself. The simple fact is last year was terrible, Not the sort of year you try to find positives from but a year you shut the book on and perhaps think of burning. To many i am sure the last year had some positives that they could find but for me the only positives to come from the last year has been that i have learnt that i do not need to invest so much time and energy into others and to nurture myself. It is because of this new found self love that i am able to separate myself more before i become victim to my depressive and intrusive thoughts. Last year i became very invested in my phone, like many people had found themselves i realised that i had become addicted. The need to keep up to date with others gave me many expectations on what i should be doing with my life, how i should have myself together, how i should have life that is to be a insta worthy place. I would find more and more that i would question my appearance based on others, I would think does my house look good enough? I would think am i parenting correctly? am i doing enough? I would find myself in the endless scroll that never ended. Though i do not blame myself for becoming attached to my phone as it was my only means of contact to the outside world i still feel that it sucked the life from me. Since discovering my addiction i decided to use my phone less, take breaks and to remember the things that are posted online are often snippets of reality that are only showing the best bits of a persons life…

With that being said this is why i have often gone missing for chunks of time, i needed to concentrate on me and to take away the expectations put onto myself to create content that would be worthy of reading or seeing. There will no doubt all over the world be new fitness fanatics, artists, dieters and peacekeepers being created as we land on the other side of the chapter of last year creating more pressure for us to perfect our personal flaws. But know this, we do not have to improve ourselves, we are perfect as we are. Creating unrealistic goals and achievements can put extra pressure on us that at a time of such uncertainty that only sets us up for more disappointment. Remember if there are goals you wish to achieve set them for yourself in the mindset that there is no race to achieve them, there is no failure in giving up and it is okay to have no aspirations for this year.

I feel we will still struggle on this year as we all continue to battle the biggest pandemic in our lifetimes that forces us to hide away in our homes to keep ourselves and our loved ones safe. The battle has still only just begun but know that you do not need to change yourself in a pandemic because others are, all you need to do is survive. To not only survive but to find your own happiness, to listen to the stresses and thoughts you have and to try and make yourself feel happiness in yourself by doing things you may love and by taking the time for you.

It is a new year and instead of making crappy pointless goals this year how about you make only one to be happy, to look after you first and let everything else fall into place. So watch your favourite films, cry reading books and have so many baths you become a shrivelled mess. But do not think of yourself as a failure or a underachiever. We do not and have never needed to change. May this year be a year that brings you comfort and joy.

The TRUTH about buying a house in the coronavirus pandemic.

The TRUTH about buying a house in the coronavirus pandemic.

Buying a house has always been hard, You save all the money you can scrape together then put your hope into a lucky bank you’ve chosen to give you what you need to make your dreams reality. We brought our first house almost 4 years ago now. We gave up holidays and luxury to obtain our goal. It was full of whirlwind of high and lows as we went through the application process and then the actual buying of our house. We Ended up needing a broker after our bank refused to lend to us and went for a house we could afford. Once a bank told us what we could get we had to go for a cheaper house. I thought that would be stress over once our offer was accepted and we found our house. We then spent a long time chasing solicitors and dealing with the drama that comes with buying a house. Also add in the fact i was pregnant and working full time it meant i cried way more then my hormones should of allowed for. I thought once we had moved in that we would never have to do it again, i loved our little fixer upper house but it appears the neighbourhood has gone downhill as new people moved in and we no longer want to live in our own house so we have decided its time to go. So here we are in a pandemic moving house and But this is how it is different now,

First of all obviously with the pandemic going on it means that buying a house is so much harder, Buying a house is counted as a business transaction so viewing houses and all the little bits that come together to enable a house sale is allowed no matter if in a lock down. House viewings are done in face masks. You can only view a house with your bubble at a time so viewings cannot be done as quickly. This means viewings can take days to take place at a time. I once asked to book a viewing for a house and they wanted to book me in ten days later! One issue i had is that a lot of places wanted only online viewings and i personally don’t think i would be comfortable buying a house i have only seen through a screen. This means that i can not see the area around the house, listen to the area around and get a gist of the the neighbours which is why we are leaving so going in blind was not a option when it came to viewing.

Currently the government has a holiday on stamp duty. Which is great and a big saving to many, many people. However this means the market has gone crazy. So many houses are going for sale and buyers are biting up anything that comes up on the market. This panic affected us when buying. A house we liked was a bit too much money for us. Our first broker told us we had the money so we went for it as there was a offer on the house we wanted already so we wanted the house due to its location. We rushed looking around and decided that the house was the one we wanted and put the offer in which was accepted.

This caused a lot of issues for us. Whilst we liked the house as time went on and we viewed again we realised how small the house was in fact. We realised that the house had alot of issues from our soclicitor finding issues with the house which set of very red alerts. As solicitors are completly swamped at the moment taking on so many clients issues take alot longer to move. They promise six weeks to move but we where 8 weeks in when we decided to pull out after our mortgage was rejected.

Our mortgage was rejected due to many points, The main being our broker lied to us and also gave us the wrong figures on what we could get and as well as that he applied with too little information then what was required. Then there was the big issue that is affecting many, many people at the moment…Covid.

Banks are now being way more strict with their lending criteria. Covid had become a list of questions on many, many forms. All applicants for a mortgage have to prove that they can work through further covid lock-downs. They have to be “covid secure” that means no time off, no loans, no acceptance of government grants and no furlough. I have spoken to many people who are in the same situation right now have been turned down for small loans and mortgages just because they where furloughed or accepted a loan based on the corona-virus. Banks are also trying to process as much deals as they can as so many are buying and selling that this means that they can make money in the long run but need to make sure their selection is for the best. I can understand why but it is not a fair way to decide someone can get a mortgage.

James is self employed and as i no longer work as i became a stay at home mum there is no longer my employed paycheck as a stable salary is now gone. James now makes double our salaries and didn’t have to stop during covid as he works outdoors.However the banks are being really judgemental of those who are self employed which is not right at all. Also only a few banks will give to self employed at the moment and accept this years books so it is SO,SO much harder to get a mortgage being self employed then ever before. With that you also have to prove if you had to isolate you can still keep an income.Which we could as we have insurance and contract work to others. But again it’s another hurdle to jump through.

A mortgage decision can now take months. The survey on the house can also take months and the full connection from searches to solicitors doing their bits and bobs to connect the dots take even longer. My in laws are not moving till January and they sold and brought in September. Selling your house is hard too, you need to keep competitive with others whilst also getting the best deal. We sold and took less so we could get out quickly and get the house we wanted at the time.

So my advice to anyone buying now is look if your covid secure if you are not contact a broker to get advice. Do not look at a house without getting a broker to look at your file to see how much you can get and get accepted for. Also do your research into the best brokers in your area. We went with who we used last and they messed us over big time. We tried another and got a realistic amount we could borrow and we went for a house we loved for less money pulling out of the old deal. Take your time when looking around don’t rush, look at many, many places to get your moneys worth. Before we pulled out we looked around and realised we where paying too much, The house we wanted was a semi with lots of trees and on a hill and the new house is detached, bigger and is quiet and still near family a 3 minute walk from the old house. I wished we didn’t rush into the first house but thankfully some issues came up that meant we had to rethink and i think we’ve got a better deal.

Get a full home buyers survey. Your banks survey is basically a quick run round the house to basically check its there and it’s worth. However we paid for a full report to put our mind at ease so we wouldn’t buy a house that may fall apart the next day. We picked up the need for a new electricity box so we will be getting someone in to test the electrics to check if we need to lower our offer.

We are still awaiting our mortgage to be decided on which has took 4 weeks but we should hear this week. So remember your sale and purchase will take longer and patience is a virtue. You won’t be out in 6 weeks like they promise and it will be pure stress. People are slow on the selling and buying process such as paperwork and helping with querys.

We have decided that houses might fall in value next week so if we do not move we could loose out when buying again. There is also lots of people pulling out because banks are refusing to lend. So if we do not get our mortgage this time we will go into renting until the corona virus calms the housing market a bit but here is to hoping we get our dream house and our mortgage goes through.

Then maybe i might sleep again and not refresh my phone constantly. That and i won’t live in boxes anymore. Good luck to all of you buying and selling houses right now. We all know we all need it!

Has bullying affected who i am today?

Has bullying affected who i am today?

In short the answer is yes, when people push their trauma and jealousy upon you to lessen their load you will obviously have that load weighing down on you. This year has been a year of reflecting and boy have i had a lot of time to do that. It seems no matter your age being a child in school, a highschooler who doesn’t quite fit the mould of society or as a adult minding their own business when apparent “friends” begin indirect tyrains against you well, it can happen to anybody. But the thing is, some of us grow up, some of us don’t thrive on the sadness of others.

My bullying started as a high schooler and why? Because in a conversation to another girl a “friend” i said something as a question, obviously kids can be mean and twist what you say. After this happened basically the whole year hated me. For something so pathetic i was physically and emotionally bullied for three years. As a young child at the age of 11-13 every day became a tyrant of abuse. It got bad and eventually i moved school. You know what i left that school and i no longer felt scared, i found my people, i had lots of friends and i was never sad a day of high school any longer. I remember crying on my leaving day as i was afraid to leave my new safe place and my friends. But you know what a few of those friends stuck around and now 12 years later are still my closest and bestest of friends.

I thought i had left highschool behind, in that i mean the term childish bellittling and bullying. Apparently adults old enough to be my grandparents in previous work places have even felt the need to bring me down for no reason whatsoever. Strangers have commented on my social media and given me abuse for no reason what so ever. Friends who i’ve told my darkest secrets too belittling, copying and slandering me everyday in places they think i couldn’t see. All i have ever done is try to please everyone and do right by everyone and you know what screw that! I’m done!

Going to therapy enabled me to think. To stop playing the victim and move on. In therapy i was once told i have two options, to forgive or to accept what has happened and move on. I decided that forgiveness is the way, this way i don’t allow anyone to hold a power over me anymore. Whilst forgiveness doesn’t warrant a message to everyone i have ever been wronged by it is by rationalising peoples actions and relating to my own life.It is also forgiving myself for when i have became like others and pushed my trauma on others too, when i have reacted meanly to others.

I worked out that a lot of people have trauma like me, they feel angry at the world. Whilst i hold it in and cause myself more upset the way they process is through upsetting others. Of course this never solves any ones issues and just causes more guilt to ad to their portfolio. I have accepted that this is why i have been bullied, not because of who i am. Nobody really cares about me or my life some people just fixate on something they don’t like and can’t let go. I can now see why others do it, i understand and i am saddened that this is the way someone would push their feelings out.

I have given up caring about my past regarding bullies, sure the trauma stays behind but i now know why, i know i am not the issue, the defendant is. But still i have the feeling of extreme self consciousness. I regularly get anxious about others and the need to be liked, i struggle with everything regarding myself. I have times i want to delete my social media so that i don’t get others a chance to see into my life and judge me. But i know that i am able to grow from this, I am able to deal with bullying better. I am able to understand others emotions better. I am not as upset by others actions and im able to process things with a better head.

I am able to know how to deal with any issues that may arise as Elijah starts school and can teach him to be kind and compassionate. I can teach him to be strong and respectful for others and their feelings.

But i give no bully’s power over me anymore. Whilst others move on with their lives now i will slowly do it too.

Review of the lollipop baby camera! 🍭

Review of the lollipop baby camera! 🍭

I was kindly gifted this camera in exchange for a review. All opinions are my own!

So my baby camera started to break about a month ago and I was looking for a camera that didn’t require to be turned on constantly and carrying around a monitor whenever I went. The sound of static would stop me sleeping and the out of range was useless. So when lollipop contacted me I was excited to try something new. I immediately jumped at the chance and I’m so glad I did.

The turn around time is so quick It arrived the next day and was a beautiful camera. You can even order it with prime! It was really well presented and easily shows how to connect and fit it. I choose the colour blue as we’re planning on decorating Elijahs new bedroom in the new house and wanted something that wouldn’t stand out too much! The camera can wrap around bits and bobs or be hung against the wall with a stand they supply which is fantastic! The Camera is really flexible and you can move it around. It also comes with wire hiders so you can attach to wall or hide against a wall without damage and need for nails for the wires!

Setting up was a bit confusing but once I worked it out it was fantastic. The camera works through a app on phone and sends notifications if your child moves across a area, Cries or even makes any noise. You can also have camera set as background audio so hear constantly or just have notifications and open when you hear them. I sleep and wake up when I hear a notification. I thought I wouldn’t but I hear it when it’s on loud. It’s fantastic if your walking round house or hanging washing out too. I can now have a bath without worrying about a monitor breaking or not hearing.

The sound quality is fantastic. The photo quality is amazing. The day and night mode both pick everything up and you can also set up recording of your little ones moments. You can also talk thorough the camera which is interesting and the best bit is you can play music or white noise so that your child sleeps. Elijah already has a white noise machine but sometimes I play the hoover sound and he notices no different.

You can change a lot of settings for your child. You can change how sensitive you want it and loud you want it. As the photos below show the clarity and the notifications so you know what’s going on when you watch it. Elijah is rugby tackling James when he went to read his bed time story and get ready for bed which I found hilarious I got a notification about the noise. The second he was talking to James after refusing to sleep 😂

Overall it may be a bit pricey but you get what you pay for I’ll use for a few more years and if I was to have another child I’d buy this again! I wish I had it when he was a newborn!

Thanks for reading! Charlie x

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

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

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

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

What is binge eating disorder?

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

Symptoms of binge eating disorder:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thanks for reading!

Halloween activities you can still do!

Halloween activities you can still do!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hello again.

Hello again.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pen-pal for your mental health!

Pen-pal for your mental health!

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

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

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

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

Thank’s for reading! Charlie x

Social anxiety about solo parenting in public.

Social anxiety about solo parenting in public.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thanks for reading, charlie x

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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