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

Having a covid-19 test.

Having a covid-19 test.

Hi all it’s me again. I’m currently laying in bed in heaps of pain after being discharged from hospital yesterday with a endometriosis flare and a unknown infection. I was in for three days so yay! I’ll do a blog post on that soon for full details but for now I wanted to do a quick post on the Covid -19 test as there’s a lot of stigma out there on how horrid it is. To clarify I do not have Covid but you are tested when admitted to a ward as to keep others safe.

So the coronavirus is pretty much still taking over our daily lives and consuming the world wherever it touches. However it is pretty simple advice now. If you show symptoms isolate and get a test. Which isn’t too complex. Although I have seen many people online scared to get a test but it is so important to get a test so we can track raises in infection rates.

So this is how it went down.

The test it’s self is done by a nurse in full Ppe. A visor, mask and apron and gloves. You’re instructed to take of your mask.

The swab is done with something that looks like a really long cotton bud. Nothing daunting. No needles, no tissue collecting just a simple swab.

First they do your mouth and ask you to open your mouth and stick out your toungue and say ahh. They then rub against the back of your throat. If you’ve ever had a swab for strep throat it is exactly like this. It will make you want to cough or gag but it’s not that bad it takes like five seconds.

After that is the slightly disgusting part. They then insert the cotton bud that was used in your throat and use again pushing to top of the nostrils. It’s not overly comfortable but it doesn’t hurt. They insert into both nostrils and it takes a few seconds again. Then it’s all done.

The good thing is atleast they don’t do the nostrils then the throat as that would be seriously rank!

No weird feelings after either! They simply just put it in a bag. You put your mask back on and that’s that.

The results are normally back by the next day.

Any other questions just ask! Thanks Charlie’s

My endometriosis #wombstories

My endometriosis #wombstories

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

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

What is endometriosis?

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

What are the symptoms?

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

My story.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thanks for reading! Charlie x

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thanks, Charlie x

The government needs to help to support our eating habits encouraging healthy eating instead of restricting us.

The government needs to help to support our eating habits encouraging healthy eating instead of restricting us.

Me again and a subject I thought I would never be speaking about. Healthy eating. I’ve struggled for years with my weight. Being younger I always thought I was fat when I was skinny and now I see myself as fat because well I have finally became it from years of unhealthy eating.

Why have I eaten unhealthy? Well when I was a teenager at 18 I got a job as a carer. I had to take my own food in and it had to be made quickly so it would be takeaways and unhealthy snacks as and when I could. As a carer you don’t get time to prepare a nutritious meal and it became habit to have takeaways most nights. Some sort of canned meal or microwave meal became my life for ease and also because of exhaustion from my working patterns . My mental health made me not want to eat most days so ordered terrible food I enjoyed in a bid to cheer myself up. It never worked.

The issue was also that it’s normally cheeper on my pathetic pay packet I got to order a takeaway or get a frozen pizza then get all the bits to create nutritious and filling meals. When you basically live at work it’s hard to want to spend your personal time meal planning and batch cooking too.

It’s a shame because I can cook. I used to love to cook. I also took courses in nutrition and cooking for work but it’s sort of came to a point I’ve aqquired a taste for unhealthy meals. Why change what you love.

Frankly I eat my feelings and since having Elijah I’ve really struggled to loose weight. Although I mostly eat healthy I have quite a few treats which cause the struggle with weightloss. However hard I try I can’t stick to a diet. Why because I struggle with restrictions. I always want what I can’t have. If the general public can’t be told no in a pandemic I doubt they’ll eat healthier because of the governments and rebel against that too. I’ve also felt there’s no support. My husband would offer to diet with me. But my husband works of a lot of calories and eats healthy so I wouldn’t want him to be underweight at the cost of me.

Putting calories on a box is great but who actually reads these things? yes the calories may be high but you kind of guess that when ordering a pizza. This is also a negative because those with eating disorders may not eat treats as much or fixate even harder or calorie counting.

We need support in perhaps advise sheets advising how we can incorporate healthy food more and remove some of the junk from our diet in a way we can have full informed choice. We also need more support for gyms exetra. Why can’t we do a 10 pound of a month scheme from the government where they help fund gyms and perhaps swimming vouchers too. The cost of memberships and days out puts people off straight away. Whilst I’ve used some pretty expensive gyms in the past I’ve always thought they where a little on the pricey side and thought about whether I can afford it. Money of schemes would mean more money spent on gyms and more gyms opening up and more people loosing weight and being healthy which is only a mega plus for the government, economy and the nhs.

There needs to be more support for low income families too. it can be expensive to resource all of the items in a food shop which equates too a nutritious diet for a family. Especially now in uncertain times with the covid situation putting jobs at risk and people unable to provide and looking to the government for help. Could there not perhaps be a discounted price on healthy items instead of just unhealthy items.

The government needs to provide support and offer more advice to those who cannot access their resources. There needs to be more support and understanding of eating disorders too. Such as those who eat their feelings and those who connect feelings to food. We shouldn’t ban unhealthy foods because we deserve treats but we need the advice and resources on how to enjoy in moderation and how to maintain a healthy lifestyle when you dislike vegetables exetra. I know the foods I can pick to be healthy but I don’t enjoy them. And whilst I’m starting my diet on Monday I wish I knew how I could treat myself without getting addicted to going overboard. I wish I had the support to know why I eat my feelings and perhaps have that support from the government with not only my eating choices but the mental health issues that cause me to eat badly and he unable to substation a healthy life too.

I know I’m shouting to the wind but this is just my opinion. I feel shunning unhealthy living is not enough when shame never helps anyone. It is support that helps us through.

I will be starting my diet Monday and eating what I can which I enjoy to be healthy but I know I will never know when enough is enough, how much of a treat I can have without putting on more weight. Because believe me I’m not going to only eat 5 magic stars on a cinema trip and I’m also not going to munch on a banana.

Thanks for reading. Charlie x

Quick tips on settling a puppy into your household

Quick tips on settling a puppy into your household

It’s no secret we’ve got a puppy. His name is Henry and he is a dachshund x jack Russell. He’s now 5 months old and thinks he owns the place but soon became a part of the family. He is very cute and playful. However as much fun he has been he has also been a challenge and if your planning to get a puppy it is a very, very big commitment to make. Make sure you really are ready for the stress that comes with having a puppy and the trouble they can cause before you commit. I’ve had dog’s before but a new puppy can be really demanding and require a lot of hard work. But here’s some tips if you’ve decided the time is right for you!

First of all set a routine. Dogs like children need routine. This means set regular meal times and things such as bed times. If you don’t want to be getting up in the middle of the night with a yelling dog then it’s best not to bring them in the bedroom or go and see them. The first night henry came home I slept downstairs with him so he would sleep. The night after i went to bed in my bed and he cried once I didn’t go down and he gave up after a minute. I haven’t came down since that second night but now goes to bed about 8/9 and wakes when we wake in the morning. we keep this routine key. Even if we are watching a movie he goes out and to bed for night at the same time.

Toys. Have lots and lots of toys. Your puppy will love to play and also learns through toys. Have lots of different types and remember they will rip them to shreds. Kong toys are long lasting and fabulous if your looking for a suggestion.

Lack of Mental stimulation is something that causes puppy’s to misbehave. We got henry a snuffle mat where he can forage for food, slow feeders, puzzles and kongs to hide treats in. The smelling and sniffing calms him down. We also use a licki mat when we go out to entertain him and calm him down. Henry is bursting with energy so this has really helped.

Be on the same page with training. If there’s two of you talk to each other about training and both be strict. It’s caused a few disagreements when someone’s done something different and dog misbehaved because of it.

Get a trainer. Even if you think you know everything get a trainer. We have learnt so much from our trainer such as calming techniques and asked for advice on so many things. We where taught how to train him basically and shown things we where going wrong.

Frozen fruit and veg save your dog’s teeth and also furniture from being chewed on. Henry’s never chewed on anything we own but his toys as we’ve always redirected him he won’t touch anything that’s not his because we’ve always redirected and used commands such as leave it.

Do not use puppy pads for toilet training. I know I’ll sound bizarre here. We used them but our trainer told us to get rid of them. Once we got rid of them he learned within days to go outside all the time. The puppy pads teach the dog it’s okay to go inside and whilst he used them on the odd occasion he saw anything like a rug or Mat he’d wee on it expecting praise. We took him out every half hour to try and praised whenever he used the toilet. He eventually learned to tell us by coming to us and gesturing or running straight to back door and touching it.

Remind visitors that they need to help you out when coming round and not hype dog up. If your dog gets excited like mine and looses bladder control ask them to greet him in garden so he can urinate there. This way your not cleaning your house and visitors. If a guest doesn’t like dog’s don’t force them to be around a dog that can’t control themselves keep them dog calm with you or in their designated area. The dog needs to understand not everyone is a dog person the same as not all dog’s are friendly on walks and not to approach everyone with excitement.

If your a someone with a active social life after the dogs settled in slowly go out for a few hours then work up how long your outhouse. Make staying home safe and happy for them. We leave henry in his crate with his favourite toys food and water and a snack that requires a long time to eat so his mind is elsewhere when we go out. This stops him being stressed and us. If you put a lot of stress on going out and don’t distract the dog with positive rewards the dog may well become distressed especially if your too scared to ever leave the dog alone for very long. The dog may develop separation anxiety from this.

Obviously I’m no expert but all these things have helped me so much when training Henry. We’re still working on his excitement of strangers because he gets way to excited and we’re also working on when he gets to playful and a bit nippy but it’s all a learning process too! But remember dogs are hard work they don’t just sit on your lap all the time as a puppy sadly.

Online haul with cherryz

Online haul with cherryz

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

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

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

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

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

Thanks, charlie x

A day out at roarr! dinosaur adventures!

A day out at roarr! dinosaur adventures!

So last week we took a trip to Roarr! Dinosaur adventures. After Elijah starting to show a mild obsession in dinosaurs I thought it was time we go. I was a bit anxious he would get scared of the dinosaurs so we’ve put it off for so long but we decided to give it a try.

We live a little drive away so decided we’d get lunch from them instead of having hot and sweaty sandwiches so checked before we went what was open due to the coronavirus pandemic restrictions and we where surprised quite a lot was open. So after looking we booked our tickets and time slot. You have to book before you come so they can operate staggered opening times.

When we arrived it was almost like driving into Jurassic park spotting the odd dinosaur in the car park before we went to enter . Once we arrived we realised Elijah was slightly shorter then 90cm so they refunded Elijahs ticket which was really good of them to do! Once we’d sanitised and checked our selfs In it was time to enter.

There where lots of dinosaur foot prints to show social distancing and wear to go and lots of pumps scattered around although as few where empty we carried our own anyway.

Elijah was very excited and kept telling us all the names of the dinosaurs and jumping with excitement. We did come across one dinosaur that moved and roared and this made Elijah really scared as he thought it was real and he immediately asked to go home and back to the car and repeatedly said it was time to go after some encouragement and avoiding that dinosaur he became calmer. We then went on the trials and Elijah got excited again and pointed out all the dinosaurs he could see. He had a absolute blast.

It was a cold day so we didn’t do the splash water park but a few children seemed to not mind the cold and looked like they where having fun getting soaked. We had ago at the escivation dog where children can play in sand and find dinosaur fossils! We then went for a walk round the petting zoo and saw some farmyard friends and a few snakes and lizards. Elijah quite enjoyed seeing the animals but loved the dinosaurs so much he wanted to go see them again.

The dinosaurs all looked realistic and it was a fun day out. I was sceptical at just looking at statues but I guess it’s what you do in a Museum and we all used our imaginations. There where information boards at every display and you could climb for photos if you wanted. There was noise boxes with some of the dinosaurs too! We may return one day for the treetop climbing!

After we had finished walking we stoped by the takeaway snacks and got a large pizza and chips and drinks each to share and it wasn’t to expensive the food was really nice. There where lots of play equipment to play with and play park to play on so there was no shortage of ways to burn your kids energy off.

We where disappointed that the gift shop was shut till 1 so we didn’t want to wait half hour to go and Elijah was quite sad as we promised him a toy but we went to a toy shop on way home and he still got his dinosaur! We where lucky when we left as it rained so heavy as we got in the car it was like a monsoon. On the way out we grabbed a medal as there was no stamps to collect we picked up a medal instead.

We can’t wait to go again! Thanks Charlie x

We’re getting a puppy!

We’re getting a puppy!

Many of you who follow me on Instagram already know that we are adding a little addition to our family. Well the dogs out of the bag say to speak and we’ll be picking up our little guy next week. He’s a dachshund and will be 8 weeks on the Sunday we pick him up!

This isn’t something we suddenly decided it’s been a ongoing conversation for years and the time finally feels right. We’ve researched into training puppy’s, puppy needs and demands and everything you need to know about puppies.

Obviously puppy’s need a lot of care and attention which we have to give. I’m home a lot and not working means I can always be home more often then needed. James work patterns means he can take the dog for a short walk before work and I can do the evening walk when he’s home or take Elijah with me. Now that Elijahs potty trained I feel Now’s a great time to bring a puppy into the home so come when Elijah starts nursery in January I can leave the dog to do this and not worry about him being upset.

We own our house so there’s no worry about landlords and our house is already baby proofed so will be dog proofed too! We have a big garden and a park behind our house and we live next to many lovely places to walk.

We’ve looked into a lot of training and a lot of my family have or had dogs so I know how to basically train a dog. Obviously not every dog is easy to train and if I couldn’t get him to behave I’d take him to puppy training classes.

We’ve already signed up at a vets and also booked his first injection and everything that comes with it for the next year such as de fleeing and deworming treatments.

We did want a bigger dog like a Labrador. I’ve always had a soft spot for sausages but we wanted a bigger dog. After seeing a photo of Henry we had to go see him and that was when we knew he was our dog. Just the way he settled into us and looked into our eyes we knew.

We decided to get a puppy that wasn’t quite ready so we could prepare everything we need and prepare Elijah. We wanted to mentally prepare our selfs and experience a bit more excitement. It’s also been nice to see Henry grow from 2 weeks till when we can pick him up. We now have everything from a bed to toys and were so excited for him to come live with us every time we see his little bits and bobs.

We’re super excited to pick him up next weekend and I’m sure we’ll have tons of questions and worry’s like bringing home a newborn again but I’m so exited to see Elijah and Henry grow up together.

Bet you can’t wait for the puppy spam!

Charlie x

My social needs still exist after becoming a mum.

My social needs still exist after becoming a mum.

One thing that is a constant since having a child is that once you have a kid, the kid is all that is spoken about. Even when I’d just had my baby and had recently been ripped open and feeling awful at home the phone calls never started with how are you? it was hows the baby? It’s something that still happens today. Straight away people ask how Elijah is and never me. Or people call and straight away say can I speak to Elijah or hows my boy before I’ve barely even answered the phone.

There’s no talk to me just Elijah. Also many people are disappointed if I see them without the kid. If I pop by someones while child free or meet up with someone they moan that they wanted to see Elijah and they’re disappointed and I’m like sorry? shall I just go home then? I forgot I don’t exist other then to assist my child’s social life.

If I try to talk about myself it’s kind of returned back to the kid. It can be really frustrating and a bit upsetting to be fair. Sometimes it feels like your existence doesn’t exist beyond your kid. My friends are quite good and don’t start conversations with hows Elijah because they know I exist and have feelings too. Although my friends adore my child they would never dream of telling me they’re disappointed it’s just me who’s come to see them.

I still want to be invited out too. I found since having a kid I had lost a few friends because people just thought that’s the end of Charlie. But no it wasn’t. It was the birth of me. Having a kid enabled me to be more confident in myself. To want to actively go out more and have a social life instead of hiding in my room on my days of work. I wanted freedom to be alone and be me again in the strongest light. People worried all I’d speak about is the baby and I don’t think I’ve ever been that person to only gush about my kid either. If someone asks I tell them but I know lots of people who don’t have kids just don’t care. They’ve in fact told me they love that about me that I don’t bore them with talking about my kid all the time. People without kids just don’t care. Like I didn’t when I didn’t have kids.

I still have a personality. I still want to meet up with my mum friends with our kids but I also enjoy meeting up with friends and family alone at times. I like being able to talk about myself sometimes. I’m not vain but it’s quite nice being able to talk about adult subjects without a little earwigger.

I choose to become a mum but I did not choose to not exist beyond that title.

I still enjoy going out for meals with friends, cocktails, date nights and shopping trips. I still love the cinemas and going on walks too. I miss getting dressed up and not being dressed down because my child will destroy my outfit.

Just because we’re mums doesn’t mean we can’t struggle to. Ever noticed that a lot of mums don’t talk about themselfs so therefor don’t express their own feelings. It is so important to appreciate that there is someone behind the child. Mental health issues exist in the silence and it’s because this that depression can hideaway. I know for a fact my depression got so much worse after a child. Because it’s not all sunshine and rainbows, it’s sleepless nights, puke and a lot of attitude from your child.

Tbh my child is pretty cool and I could talk about him all day but tbh I don’t want to. Not only will I bore others but it also creates that weird online vibe where people think another kids better then theirs. Or worse I’d come across as one of those parents that I hate which think their child is a god and the best child to grace the planet ever. No child is perfect. Sorry not sorry. You also look like a bit of a tool. Still not sorry.

So when your friends and family have a kid ask them how they are. Ask what they’ve been up to. Talk about things not related to their children. Ask them if they want to meet up with kid or if they prefer child free time. You do get the odd parent who never wants to leave their child and that’s okay. Start a phone call talking about the person who’s number you rang and then ask about the child. Never tell someone your disappointed their child isn’t with them. Remember they existed before a child and they’re still the same person. You don’t have to meet up with the child all the time either. It’s a bit nicer for a parent to not have to worry about the child’s behaviour all the time so seeing someone in their child free time is a privilege which shouldn’t be wasted insulting them and making them feel bad about themselves.

Thanks for reading, Charlie x