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

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

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

Strawberry picking 🍓

Strawberry picking  🍓

Being a somewhat dry day in suffolk we decided to go strawberry picking before the heavens opened on our way home. What is strawberry picking? Well the answer is basically in the name itself. You basically pick strawberries and get to take them home. The good thing about strawberry picking is you get to choose your own fruit so you can be sure you get the best quality strawberries. At this farm you could also pick blackcurrants, redcurrants and blackberries.

So safety wise its quite a safe activity to do at the moment all you do is pick your own basket and then you have a whole farm to social distance. It was very easy to keep away from others. When we needed to pay we just went into shop and paid. I also brought some fresh fruit and veg and other little bits from the farms shop. There is something about things that don’t come prepacked in plastic that gives a much better taste and experience.

Elijah is just over two and a half so i was a bit worried he wouldn’t enjoy it. I couldn’t of been more wrong. When we got to the strawberry field and told him what we where going to do he told us he was “excited” and launched himself towards the giant strawberry on the farm. He enjoyed picking a basket and running around. As we where on a farm he was interested in the vehicles on the farm. He liked looking at the tractor and asked for a photo in front of some big yellow digger. We then went to pick the fruit he was excited when he could spot the strawberries. He picked his favourites at first he grabbed as many as he could see then we explained we needed to look for the reddest ones and he got very particular on his choice. He enjoyed running around and picking the strawberries too he did eat quite a few despite us explaining we had to pay first eventually stopped scoffing them down. (we told the shop hes eaten about 6 and they didn’t care).

Overall it was quite a fun family experience we all enjoyed selecting what we like the look of and knowing it was ours to eat. It felt quite nice completly picking our food completly fresh. The strawberries taste amazing and we have plenty to last. We will defo be going again! Hopefully before it’s time to go pumpkin picking!

Thanks for reading, charlie x

Our first class at little kickers.

Our first class at little kickers.

After five months on the waiting list we finally got offered a place for the little kickers weekly classes. We have been excited to get him onto the class after we decided to stop swimming lessons due to parking and repetitiveness of the classes each week. We wanted to join a group that would be fun and teach him how to work with other children to work on his team work and communication. We saw a while ago a few celebrities had taken their children to little kickers and rugby tots so we decided we would try little kickers as they had a class near by.

So today we got to start lessons and it was quite a lovely little lesson. The coaches are very kind and lots of fun, the children adore them. The classes use lots of props and equipment such as cones, goals, mats, whistles, balls, teddies and mats. Today the kids where taught to shoot goals,pass balls and do obstacle courses. They also used play to teach them skills and control with the ball and speed.The children where all of the same age so it was lovely that there was no expectation of the children and their where all there just to play together and have fun. The lessons are not overly expensive at 30 a month and the classes are intimate too for more hands on lessons.We really enjoyed the session and Elijah was smiling and giggling the whole time. He really looked adorable in his little outfit to and we are excited for next weeks session. The best part was when the children where all given a high five and a sticker for doing a good job! Elijah was very proud of himself and had to show everyone for the rest of the day!

What we get up to at the weekend

What we get up to at the weekend

It’s no secret that my favourite time of the week is Friday evening when the weekend starts. It means James has finished for the weekend and we get two whole days together as a family. There’s nothing I enjoy more. We’re always trying to make memories while also remembering resting and spending time together is important too.

Our weekend starts with a coffee from the other person made as we roll out of bed. On a Saturday I or James will have a lay in and on a Sunday we swap and the other person does. I say lay in but we always wake for about 9 am now. The other gets up with Elijah to give him breakfast and play with him. We normally then decide what we’ll do for the day if we haven’t already. We’ll decide somewhere family friendly to go and almost always will eat lunch out. If we go for a walk we have lunch after or before or if we go for a trip to town we will wind up at food at some point too. We quite often go for walks though and decide where on the day. For a treat we will often take Elijah for a day at soft play, to a museum or to the zoo. We normally do this on a Saturday.

After we’ve done our day plans we will normally come home for the evening shove on some pjs and watch something then have a small meal together before putting Elijah to bed and watching a film or series. Or we go too see family for tea and relax round there’s before returning to put Elijah to bed. On a Sunday we like to normally keep this as our chill day. Sometimes we’ll go for a walk or to the shops for something but mainly we like to relax. We get the housework deep cleaning done while Elijahs asleep for a nap. Things like washing, mopping, dusting, polishing, de scaling and scrubbing of rooms if I haven’t done it already. We spend the rest of the day cuddling up watching films, Playing with Elijah and doing some sort of arts or craft. We’ll do painting or do play dough or sometimes baking. We try to do a family activity as much as we can so we have real family time. Sometimes we will invite family or friends over but we normally like to cuddle up just the three of us.

We do like to try and do different things as much as possible so we go to different places for lunch, walks and more. We like to look out for events near us and look for different things in the area. We like to go to museums and to themed days and fates too. We often take strolls on the beach and end up on the amusements. We do love spending time together but also appreciate sometimes it’s nice to have our own time too. So sometimes I’ll go out with a friend or James will. Sometimes I’ll take Elijah out with me so James can have some time to himself. This happens very rarely though as we both agree we like to spend our weekends together and often go out weekdays instead with friends.

Looking forward to our next weekend where we are hoping to take Elijah to his favourite place the zoo! James has had too work the last two Saturdays so we’ve had to put of plans and relax more on sundays. What do you get up to at the weekend and have you got a set relaxation day too? What’s your favourite thing to do?!

The importance of the outdoors and your child

The importance of the outdoors and your child

Children need exercise as much as they can but we often forget the greatest free activity there is which is exploring the outside world. Nothing beats a bit of fresh air and the wind in your hair so why do we often forget to take a walk on the wild side? Children absolutely adore the outdoors and it is so good for their development too. Not only learning to walk on different grounds but learning textures and the sensory play that comes from the outdoors. They love discovering new things and learning about the outdoors. They love to see different objects and different surroundings and using their imagination.

We love to explore the outside be it for walks in the park to feed the ducks and see the squirrels and hunt for leaves. Or whether it’s a run down a windy beach front to watch the waves crash against the rocks. We love walking through the forests and seeing dogs and talking about what we see and taking Elijahs bike. We look for the gruffalo and imagine the animals that could be hiding. We love building sandcastles in the sun on warm beaches or crabbing and feeding the crabs and letting them go. We enjoy trips to the park and pretending we’re in a house or on a helicopter ride or flying so high. We love finding muddy puddles to soak our wellies into and collecting pinecones and conkers for sensory games and arts and crafts at home. It is so important to enjoy this beautiful world we live in while it’s still so beautiful. The world is the greatest gift of them all and some of my happiest memories have always been outside. The wind and rain cannot stop us! Dress up warm find some wellies and return for a reward of a hot chocolate!

Why we love soft play

Why we love soft play

Although it can be my idea of hell, soft play is a great little place for youngsters to flourish. They learn to make friends with other children and to do things like take turns and share. They also get exercise and a space to let go and be as loud and messy as they want. It is a place you get to be a child too and run round chasing them remembering the fun of your youth. It’s somewhere you can go and take a back seat and just sit watching them play and having fun. Where you haven’t got to run round and can just breath for a little bit. As they get older you can watch from further away until they’re big kids and you could have the luxury of a hot drink while they play in peace. (I cannot wait for this day). I

t can be a place to go with other mummy friends while the kids play together you can talk. You get out of the house and you get grown up conversation while your child has a fun experience. I love watching my little guy play and have fun smiling as he realises where he is and runs off to play. I love playing with him and racing him down slides or playing in the ball pit with him and showing him how to use and play with new things. It’s a great activity no matter the weather too, because it means Elijah can keep dry and warm instead of wet at the park on bad weather days. The thing I love the most is that it keeps Elijah healthy and happy and I’m up for anything like that.

Mum guilt when children hurt themselves.

Mum guilt when children hurt themselves.

Yesterday Elijah and I had gone for a nice trip to the park to feed the ducks and run around. All was going well until Elijah fell over on the path. He didn’t seem to hit the floor hard but when I stood him up he was bleeding and crying a heart wrenching cry. Immediately I felt awfull and like I could of done something to stop this from happening. In reality he would of fell over no matter what and there’s nothing I could of done as it was a complete accident. Elijah fell and his tooth cut through his lip to the other side and scraped his chin at the same time. now it’s starting to scab over everytime I look at him I feel so helpless and can’t help but keep cuddling him even if he’s completely fine. I feel absolutely awful for no logical reason whatsoever.

I always say to my friends when they’re kids hurt them self’s it’s not their fault and can’t be avoided but here I am sat in a mountain of guilt. Could I have dived for the floor to catch him when I didn’t even know he’d fall? Could I wrap him up in bubble wrap, a helmet and shin pads and send him out like that? Obviously I know kids are going to bump and hurt them self’s. They’re super clumsy and it’s how they learn to say for example not to run head first into a wall or nose dive down a slide. I think I’ll always be this over protective mother who feels pain when my son does like my heart weighs ten times the amount it should. I’ll always end up feeling terrible his hurt himself and giving him snacks or toys to make it better but that’s just me. I just have to accept he’s learning and accidents happen especially to his beautiful little face!

Balance bike fun!

Balance bike fun!

For Elijahs second birthday we have brought him a balance bike and a matching helmet to keep his head safe! Although his birthday is not till the fifteenth we had to let him have a test drive first!

A balance bike works by a child standing and pushing the bike or sitting and using their feet to push the bike. There are no pedals so it’s easy for little ones to learn how to balance and steer. The balance bikes are recommended as a alternative to stabilisers so that when it comes to riding a bike with peddles they require very little practice before learning. It’s great exercise working on their coordination and muscle memory and great fun too!

We took Elijah to a nearby forest walk, the best thing about living in Suffolk is all the nature walks around us! Elijah was excited to sit on the bike then nervous when he realised it moves. He quickly got over the nerves and loved it and learnt to do it by standing and had lots of fun! He enjoyed pushing and steering and kept asking to go on his bike when we came to a hill. He also loved the helmet and stood still while we put it on which I was shocked at. I think having a design they like is what swayed him. He loves lion king so we brought the bike in a lion king design and helmet too. We ordered both to Halfords and cost 46 for both. They are so worth the money and can be used till 4! I can’t wait to take him out for his birthday on his new bike after his birthday! Because it’ll be wrapped up again as he will of forgotten about it then and know no different haha! It’s a great family activity as well to take him and teach him and when he’s got the hang of it we could all ride bikes together!