Bite your tongue….rise above the small minded, vindictive, evil and cold hearted people of the world.
Karma always works.
I haven’t put pen to paper/fingers to the keyboard to post a blog in a loooooong time; I genuinely haven’t had the time or motivation to share.
Today however my thoughts and feelings and general outlook has altered immensely. My life, my Husband’s life and my children’s lives have been turned inside out and upside down.
Me – I am back on my “happy pills” and have been for the last few months. Yes the need for the antidepressants came back to bite me in a HUGE way. For a long time, maybe longer than I care to admit I had been suffering with depression. Hiding behind the mask, putting on a front and not being honest with myself.
I hit rock bottom earlier this year; I have never been quite so bad. It was as if I had been in a trance. I found myself sitting on a bench looking out to sea, contemplating very morbid, upsetting and sad things. Things that to this day still make me shudder. Depression can make you feel extraordinarily alone, disposable, invisible, weak and broken all at the same time. You can’t simply snap out of it. You can’t just smile and feel the joy. And usually you do not recognise the symptoms until you are at your worst. You are haunted daily by the dread you feel the nanosecond you open your eyes, the enthusiasm you once had becomes so false and so meaningless, but it also becomes a way of life. You live in a constant denial that “you’re fine“, that you’re “just tired“, “nothing is wrong, honestly“…..
Like anything you have to come down, sometimes a long way down before you come back up. I realised I was ill again, but I didn’t know how to deal with it. I didn’t want to say anything to anyone, my Husband, My mum, anyone, for fear of being thought of as an attention-seeker, someone who is overreacting. I carried on, playing the game, keeping my mask securely up, working in auto-pilot. It was exhausting. Get up, get kids to school, avoid those who made me feel invisible, do housework, pick kids up, do dinner, go to bed.
The penny must have dropped with my Husband, he must have realised, because I remember him saying to the me “Please go to the Doctors“. I cannot however, remember much more than that. Everything seems muffled and jumbled up when I look back.
I know I sat in my car on the phone to my Mum in tears, worried that the Doctor would not believe me and wouldn’t help. (He did by the way)
I know I sat in the Doctors room feeling like a little child with no voice. Speaking a language that was complete gibberish. I know I felt immeasurable relief when the Doctor listened, gave me tissues and talked to me, not at me but to me. We talked about what causes depression, coping techniques, how the medication works. He gave me the tool to help me be me again.
Long story cut short; a few months down the line, I am ME once more. The ME I used to like, the ME who enjoys socialising, the ME who likes people and who doesn’t shy away. I am no longer the person who backs away from others, scared to look people in the eye, scared to be in a crowd.
I can very happily say that the dark cloud, the rainstorm, the shadow which clouded my mind and the dread I carried with me have now been replaced with sunshine, love, smiles, laughing and all thanks to some wonderful man-made drugs.
Depression is not a laughing matter. I may refer to my medication as “happy pills”, but they are still medication prescribed to me to help me deal with and live a mental illness. It is a medication which allows/helps me to be live as myself again. A medication which has stopped my children loosing their mum and has stopped my Husband’s marital status being changed to Widower.
Mental illness is a disease. A disease which is very lonely, debilitating, and carries such a stigma, because it is widely misunderstood. I guarantee that there are many many people who live with it, suffer because of it, who receive treatment for it and who hide it, and you wouldn’t even know it.
I am not here writing this for sympathy or to lecture. I use this blog as a tool, as a coping mechanism. If I can help others while I am doing it, that is epic.
If you know someone who is suffering with/living with depression; I implore you just listen if they want to talk, just offer a shoulder to lean on, sometimes just having company and not being on their own will be all they need.
Please don’t lecture. Don’t brush off their feelings. Don’t put words in their mouth.
Offer support and listen.
And to all those amazing people out there who like me deal with/live with/suffer from depression or a mental illness; remember you are absolutely not alone. You are amazing and I send you a hug from behind my computer screen.
My five year daughter, is a complete girly girl. She loves everything pink, sparkly, glittery, princesses, fluffy, purple, cute; you get the picture.
She already at the tender age of five is very clearly not an outdoorsy/sporty/messy/untidy type. She hates anything outside, hates wildlife and insects, she is even spooked by birds. On the rare occasion when she is outside she will insist on wearing a party dress and party shoes
She has very clear ideas about what she likes when it comes to what she will wear and will not budge from these, unless she absolutely has to. Even when it comes to her school uniform she will NOT wear a summer gingham dress unless it looks “pretty”; she HATES wearing her navy blue pinafore during the winter term.
If this is not even enough, she now has discovered make up! I am not sure when she started watching me when I was putting mine on in the morning, but I remember the first time she asked me “why do you have to wear make up mummy?” – I was driving at the time, so I could not give her my complete attention but I tried. Sitting in the passenger seat was my then 17 year old step-daughter who is a complete mirror looks obsessed teenager, and who does not go out without make up on, EVER! I told my daughter that you don’t HAVE to wear make up, but I liked wearing it and that it had become something I did every morning. That was that, or so I thought!
Then a relative very kindly bought my daughter a childs play make up set for her birthday. Fabulous NOT! So now I had to not only answer questions and try to field question after question about why this and why that, I now also had to deal with her walking down the stairs grinning as she had “just done her make up”…..by this she looked like a psychedelic maniac clown. It wasn’t long until she wanted to put it on every day, until she wanted to put lipstick on before leaving the house and then the straw that broke the camels back……it wasn’t long until she started playing with MY make up!!!!!
That was it, I knew I had to do something to try to douse the flames of this obsession before it grew to big.
It was during the Easter holidays I chose to do this project….to wear NO MAKE UP AT ALL! To anyone reading this who has blond eyelashes, you may appreciate that this is difficult to do. I think that I look like I have piggy eyes when I don’t wear mascara, but I had to do it.
Advanced warning and apologies for the following photo…..I am wearing NO MAKE UP!
So without advertising my little project one day I just didn’t wear make up, and to my surprise she didn’t notice. In fact it took her three days….?!?!?!?! I was noticing. I’d forgotten how quickly I could get ready, I was noticing how nice and clean my skin felt, and I also realised that no one else really cared if I wore make up or not. My daughter noticed on day four when she was in the kitchen helping me make bread. She looked closely at me and asked why I didn’t have any mascara on. I replied that I didn’t want to wear any. I then asked her “Is mummy prettier with or without make up?” Her answer…..”You are pretty both ways mummy”.
Since then I have worn the absolute minimum of make up. Below are photos of what I have worn up until recently….
Now…..or since then I have been wearing only tinted moisturiser and mascara, sorry I can’t do without mascara!
But I have noticed that my daughter hasn’t once asked for her make up, or for any to be put on her at all. So, is she only interested with make up because Mummy is? I believe so and although there is nothing wrong with wearing as much make up as you want – everyone is different; there are no rules – I do think that a five year old who is slightly obsessed with it and putting it on is a step too far. And so I am going to endeavour to keep it to a minimum for a while for both of our sakes!
Yes, here you go my opinion on everyone else’s opinion concerning Fifty Shades of Grey, the notorious book by E.L James, which took the world by phenomenal proportions in 2011 and the subsequent film, which was released this past weekend.
Yes, I have read the books. No I have not seen the film, and neither will I, unless I am in my own home watching it on Blu-ray; I have no intention of going to see it in the cinema surrounded by strangers. I am not a prude, but I know what the story is about. WHY would I want to watch a film concerning BDSM, “vanilla sex” and light erotica anywhere other than at home?! Equally I have absolutely no problem with people who do chose to go to the cinema and watch the film, why you would want to go there on Valentine’s night bewilders me slightly, but hey each to their own.
What I DO have a problem with is people, on the news, in the newspapers, on the internet, in magazines, friends, acquaintances, presenters the television, the woman in the street, the man in the shop, all moaning about it, going on and on and on and on. If the story offends you, DON’T GO TO SEE THE FILM! If the story turns your stomach, DON’T GO TO SEE THE FILM! If you consider it porn, DON’T GO TO SEE IT!
For the love of God, please just stop moaning about it. It’s not as if this is a classic story, a childrens story a majority of us may have grown up with which has been manipulated, tweaked and completely changed by a film studio to make millions. No, this is a film which has been made purely because the book was such a complete and utter surprise hit with EVERYONE, women and men.
I myself also got caught up in the bubble of Christian Grey the summer of 2011. I can clearly remember standing in the playground at going home time, and noticing how almost everyone was talking about it in their own little friendship groups. Hands up, I did too! “What part were you up to? Have you got to that bit yet? I can’t put it down” But I wasn’t alone in the fact that nearly halfway through the second instalment, I got bored of all the sex. It became to frequent and “samey”. I wanted to read the story about how Anastasia and Christian got over various and sometimes bloody big hurdles, to be together, not necessarily keep reading about their sexual escapades.
When it was announced that a film was being made, I laughed with my friends and joked that we could have a girly night out, and attend the cinema together. I thought that I wouldn’t have a problem going to see it. I enjoyed the teaser trailer which was released last year. But as the release date got nearer such a fuss has been made about it, it’s turned me off the film altogether. My local Tesco had made a display within their underwear section for “Fifty Shades of Grey”. I saw that my local Peacocks store had made a window display for the film…….for me it is too much. It’s almost along the same lines as having Christmas advertised to me in August! Too much, too much, too much.
I enjoyed the books, a bit of escapism into a world where money is no object, desire is fraught with curiosity, lust and potential danger. I wasn’t alone in enjoying it. Admittedly I dare say that a many number of people read the book purely out curiosity, the books popularity soared by word-of-mouth and was dubbed “mummy-porn”, I even know a few men who admitted to reading it to find out what the “fuss was all about, the wife is clearly enjoying it!”. Even so, all I seem to keep hearing over the last two days is people/media saying how rubbish the film is, slating it for various reasons, it’s not as good as the book; it’s not going to be is it?! If it was it would definitely be porn!
I will watch the film when it is released on Blu-ray. I will make up my own mind on whether the screenwriters have been successful in transposing the delicate and difficult story with its debatable sexual topic and putting it on the big-screen. If you find the film, the book, the topic of sexual tastes within the storyline uncomfortable and as some have been heard saying “dirty”, DON’T WATCH THE FILM. DON’T READ THE BOOK and please please please STOP moaning about it. If the film hasn’t lived up to your expectations, WAKE UP it is NOT PORN! But please people stop saying negative things about it – you along with all the those other establishments pushing the “Fifty Shades of Grey” brand have completely made me NOT want to watch the film, and I DO actually want to watch the film.
At the end of the day IT IS JUST A FILM. IT IS NOT REAL.
Thanks – Rant over.
That time has come. The time I never actually thought would ever happen. My babies all of sudden, way too quickly, without me even seeing it have grown too big to share a bath any longer. This makes me sad, very sad.
T now 5, and G, now 3, have taken baths together since G was a small baby. Initially I started bathing them together to save time, water, energy, as I imagine many other mums with do when they have more than one child under 2 years of age. It was a success on all counts. I managed to get both children bathed and ready for bed, two for the price of one, I established a good evening routine, and both T and G developed a good strong bother/sister bond, and I had two clean children!
But over the last three years, the bath times have slowly become more infrequent, the evening routine has slipped, and the playful baths have turned into more of a squabble over space, toys, attention, who gets to take out the plug, and who gets out last.
Tonight really was the last straw for me, a sad one I realise now, but the last nevertheless. I lost count of the number of times an argument broke out over the lack of space. T wanted to practice her swimming, G didn’t want to move out of the way so he splashed her in the face, she pushed him, he kicked her, he got her hair wet, she pulled the toy out of his hand, it went on and on and on and on. Referring siblings is difficult at the best of times, but add a bath full of water and it just becomes a nightmare.
Therefore, for the sake of my sanity more than anything, I announced rather loudly in the middle of the last shouting match “That’s it! From now on no more baths together. You will have baths on your own!” . I rather naïvely thought that that would bring a halt to the noise; it did but not in the way I expected. They both cheered! They seem to like this idea.
So, while I have been clinging on to the idea that they enjoy their baths together, they have probably been wondering when Mum is going to wake up and realise that they want to bath solo. So it appears that another chapter in their childhood is closing. I’ll leave the bookmark in there though and revisit it when I want to remember my babies when they were at such a fun time in their lives; it has been a period of time and growing that I actually enjoyed witnessing and will miss.
So I saw this picture on Twitter recently…..
It got me thinking about my children: Girl one is 10 years old (going on 17!), Girl two is very nearly 5 years old and the boy is 3 on Saturday. Does this apply to my children in any way?
Coincidently, I was recently struck by a realisation that despite I have brought my children up in the same way, by the same rules, values and beliefs; they are all very different in personality. Girl one is sporty, tomboy-ish, nervous and eager to please and fit in. Girl two is a girly-girl, wants everything purple and sparkly, wants to wear dresses, be a princess with lipstick. Boy is football mad (yes even at the tender age of 2!), loveable, stubborn and loves laughing, and wants a bit of everything. So even though they have been raised following the same rules as each other, their individualism is starting to creep out.
But does the pecking order of birth into the family have anything to do with it? I have looked at the list and broken it down.
I will start with the First born: Girl one
Natural leader: When amongst her siblings, yes she is very much a natural leader!
High Achiever: As with most children I suspect, only when it comes to subjects she likes, enjoys and is good at. Jujitsu for example, she is doing brilliantly with this.
Organised: Not at all! I am afraid that her bedroom is like a constant bomb-site, clothes everywhere, can never find anything let alone remember where she left something. Very much the opposite in fact.
On-time: Mostly, but as with any child her timekeeping is usually handled by the parent. I suppose I will have to watch this space on this one.
Know-it-all: She very much likes to think so, but she isn’t afraid of asking. She will argue her point, especially if she knows she is right. Like Mother like Daughter!
Bossy: Yes Very. A mini-me in this respect. Occasionally she will over step the mark with her siblings. But she does like a good boss-about.
Responsible: She likes to think she is, and when given the confidence is showing good signs that she can be.
On to Middle child – Girl two
Flexible: Mostly yes. Although routine has always played a big part of her life, as she is getting older change doesn’t faze her, and usually as long as she sees that the end result is the same, she isn’t overly bothered.
Easy-going: Yes she is very easy-going. She doesn’t look for arguments, and is a delight to spend one-on-one time with, but she can be demanding when the need calls for it.
Social: Extremely, especially with people she is comfortable and confident with.
Peacemaker: To date she is showing no signs of being a “peacemaker”. Unless you want to turn it on its head and use the phrase “walk-over” in which case I would say that she can be a walk-over, particularly when she is the less dominant child in the room.
Independent: A close relative recently defined Girl two as “having the perfect only-child personality” By this they meant that she is more than happy to go and play on her own, she doesn’t require her siblings to entertain her. Yes, independent she is.
Secretive: Oh my goodness, She is a child of such subtle cunning, you have to see it to believe it. She is such a good little liar, actress, and sneak that I have to stop myself from smiling a lot when telling her off. Her slight of hand is AMAZING!
May feel life in unfair: I am sure if you asked her this, she would say that it is unfair, and then probably perform the worlds best sulk to prove it.
Finally, Last child – The boy
Risk-taker: He knows no fear. He is the boy who will jump feet first into the swimming pool without any armbands on and give Mummy a heart-attack in the process. He is the boy who will try every type of new food put in front of him without asking what it is. This is the boy who will jump off anything. Why? Because he can. Because he wants to be Superman and fly.
Outgoing: At first he isn’t. Put him in a new environment with new people and although he is comfortable and confident, he is not what I would call “outgoing. For example he recently had his first settling in session at his new preschool, he went in and focused on the toy cars and trains. He was more than comfortable playing on his own with these. He didn’t immediately hunt out someone to play with. When other children came over the join in with his game, he was more than happy to make friends. He seems to be more silently confident than outgoing.
Creative: When he goes off on his own with his many toy cars, planes, trains, action figures I love listening to him. His imagination is simply wonderful to witness.
Self-centred: He is mostly a very caring and loving little chap, however he does have a streak of self-importance about him. This comes out occasionally but not all that often.
Financially irresponsible: Not relevant in this child – He is not yet 3 years old. Time will tell, but I sincerely hope he isn’t.
Competitive: This should be his middle name. Everything is a race or competition. Who is going to be first up the stairs? Who will finish breakfast first? Who will get dressed the quickest? It drives me absolutely insanely nuts! I am always the referee!
Bored easily: Like any child he is capable of having a short attention span. However, he attends football matches and manages to stay focused on those (which is more than you can say for me!).
What’s my conclusion of my children and whether or not their personalities match up to the picture. If I am honest I don’t really have one I suppose. Not at this stage of their lives. I feel it unfair to base their entire temperament, personality and outlook of life on their ranking of birth. I am sure that many people could turn it around and say that Girl one is bossy because she is the eldest, but I can assure you that the other two are equally as bossy.
Each child is different. Each child has their own sparkle. Each child has it faults. And each child brings something different to our family, whether is it stubbornness, kindness or competitiveness. By bringing them up in the same way and loving them same, they will grow and develop in their own way. And I will continue to love them regardless of where their “ranking” is in the family.
It is only recently that I have started to notice a real difference in energy levels between girls and boys. It’s ridiculous that it’s taken me this long. Maybe it’s only now that the “baby years” are now well and truly behind me that I can make a conscious observation.
My son, G, is two and half and a complete bundle of combustible energy, and endless enthusiasm. He simply cannot sit still, unless he is on the potty or asleep! Long gone are the days when he would have a loooooong nap midday. He doesn’t need to recharge his batteries anymore.
I recently commented on my observation during a catch up with a very good friend and fellow SAHM, Trim (her nickname). I was moaning, there is no other word for it, I was moaning about G and his boundless energy, his need for speed, his need to be in front and faster than everyone else around him. I compared him to a naughty disobedient puppy when using his reins. Trim just nodded and said she knew exactly what I meant and remembers only too well how her son was at that age.
Trim has a daughter who is four months younger than G, and they get on brilliantly. In actual fact when they sit together you could be forgiven for thinking they were twins, they look so alike.
Anyway, we began discussing the differences between girls and boys. I mean, I suppose it’s obvious when you think about it. But only ever having girls meant that I had no fore-warning of just how exhausting a little boy could actually be. I should in theory be a size 8 with all the running around I do, but those damn yummy foods keep finding their way into my mouth! I’m sure I comfort eat to congratulate myself on surviving another day with my kids!
Going for a walk with a little boy: It’s physically demanding. You spend a vast majority of the walk almost jogging to keep up with them. Forever apologising to people who have they hurtled into as they are going to damn fast. They’re not interested in browsing through shop windows – unless it’s a food shop and there may be a possibility of getting fed. They will jump in EVERY puddle, regardless of size and what footwear they have on and you can’t stop them, they’re too fast. If you run after them, they run faster and laugh while they’re doing it! They will kick at anything which is on the floor (stone/a leaf/a bit of rubbish, etc) and shout “GOAL”. I’m assuming of course that all little boys are like this, and it’s not just mine!
Going for a walk with a little girl: It’s mentally draining. Girls will happily walk, or skip, along side you holding your hand. They will embrace the window shopping. Although they too love puddle jumping, they know that unless they have their wellies on, their shoes will get ruined. They will occasionally run ahead, but they will not do it at full speed and they will not pretend to be a rocket/motorbike/car/lorry/train/tank with the obligatory sound effects. They will however talk and talk and talk and talk and talk and talk. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy a good chat. But sometimes they enjoy talking about people who are within earshot, quite loudly! This is most of the time all fine, until some poor unsuspecting sole becomes subjected to a four year olds scrutiny. Everything comes under question; their dress-sense, their hair colour, their choice of bag/shoes/coat. It can be very draining, and sometimes embarrassing.
With a little boy: oh lordy where do I start. I’ll start with the fact the they do not sit still, unless it is on the potty/toilet or sleeping. They will run around pretending to be “Superman” and rescuing you – this involves running up behind you, usually when you’re in the kitchen cooking dinner and wrapping their arms around your legs shouting “saved you”. They will run up and down the lounge/kitchen/hallway, wherever they happen to be, racing with themselves – slapping the wall and turn around to race back again. I found this lovely to watch at first, but now it just tires me out. They will run up and down the stairs as fast as they can, giving you a mini-heart attack every-time. They will fling themselves over the back of the sofa, headfirst, and find it highly amusing when you try to stop them repeating it, this making them want to keep doing it. Quite simply; THEY DO NOT SIT STILL!
With a little girl: Girls will sit quietly playing with their toys in the corner of the bedroom, tucked behind a chair, under a table. It will be a make believe game and usually involves some kind of doll/Barbie/soft toy. BEWARE: if they are too quiet, it may be worth investigating! My make up drawer was recently been tampered with….! They will cuddle up with you on the sofa, to watch a bit of telly which is absolutely lovely. However, sometimes this is not as straight forward as it sounds. “Mummy, can you tickle my feet?” “Mummy, can you play with my hair?” “Mummy, can you plait Barbie’s hair?” They will come into the kitchen to watch you cooking and ask to help. Please don’t get me wrong with this, but my kitchen is a galley-style kitchen (quite narrow and long) and sometimes having a child asking to help/watch is not what I need when doing dinner. Generally girls do not run around being noisy and boisterous.
So is the difference in the sexes something they are born with. Is it in their DNA to be completely different? Or do we condition them, subconsciously from birth to act and play in a certain manner? I guess it’s the age old argument of dressing girls in pink and boys in boy. If we didn’t do it, would they grow to like those colours naturally? Blue is a masculine colour, whereas pink is girly and “not for boys”.
In the end Trim and I agreed that we should swap children for a day, so that we can each have a break from our own child and embrace a day with a child of the opposite sex. Whether we will actually do this, remains to be seen. But it would be interesting.