Friday, 31 August 2012

Safety v's Freedom - a mothers dilemma

Through the Summer holidays I've been thinking about when I was younger and how much freedom I had.  I wasn't much older than my oldest is now when I would spend the whole day out with my friends; we'd be up the mountain with a picnic (that the sheep would inevitably eat).  I'd be gone first thing in the morning and would go home when it started to get dark.  There were no mobile phones; no way to let my parents know that I was safe.  

What has changed so much in the last 25 years to make me worry so much about my 6 year old riding his bike out in the street, or meeting a new friend and going to his house?

Hubby keeps telling me that I worry too much and that I need to give the children a bit of independence but I really struggle with it.  My oldest has learnt to ride his bike and I do allow him to ride around the street on his own, but I get these feelings of rising panic when he goes any further.

He rode up to the park on our estate on his own yesterday.  It's only a few minutes walk away but I felt like I stopped breathing for the whole time he was gone.  I'm not used to this and I don't want to let go.

He asked if he could ride up to the park again today, but I said no as his brother was with him, and he's not even five yet.  I told them that they could play outside where I could see them from the window.  The next thing I new they were back and telling me that they'd made a new friend and asked if they could go to his house.

I just stood and stared at them with all sorts racing through my mind.  Extreme, ridiculous stuff.

I didn't know this little boy, or his parents.  Hell, I didn't even know if there was a little boy!

What if someone was just tempting them into their house?
What if they were abused?
What if I never saw them again?

I didn't know what to do.  The baby was in bed so I couldn't go with them to this unknown house.

I got them to show me which house it was (I could see it from my window) and after asking a few questions about the little boy (including if he could come to our house instead) I decided to agree to them going.

And then spent the next 15 minutes in a state of panic.

I stood at the window hoping to see them running down the street, but all I could see was where they had abandoned their scooter and bike.  For the first time, I wished my boys had a mobile phone so I could check they were okay.

I was really panicking.

I have never been so happy to hear my little one wake up and call for me.  I picked him up and went straight up to the house that the boys had said they were going to and knocked on the door with trepidation.

The boys were inside, eating a packet of crisps and watching a DVD about dinosaurs, completely oblivious to the emotions I was feeling.  They were happy that they had made a new friend, and even happier that this friend had a dog and a rabbit!

I had a chat with the mother (who thankfully, seems really nice) and then took the boys home.

It all worked out okay, but I wonder now if I did the right thing in letting them go.

So, what has changed since I was small?

Is it that there's more traffic, more reports of children being abducted, abused, murdered?  Surely that risk has always existed?  I used to spend hours on end in the middle of nowhere, where anything could have happened to me, but nothing ever did.

Did my parents worry just as much, but I was as oblivious as my children are now?

Every time I read or hear about something bad happening to a child, I want to hold mine a bit closer.  I want to keep them next to me where they belong; where I can watch everything they do and make sure they are safe.

But I know that they are getting older and I need to give them more freedom.  They need to be able to enjoy days out with their friends, just like I used to.

They'll always be my babies, but I need to let them grow up.  How do I keep them safe while letting go of them a bit?  Being a mother is so hard.

Thursday, 30 August 2012

Sunshine moments

I couldn't resist posting this photo from today. It's not often we see blue sky at the moment so it's been great to get outside and have some fun in the sun.

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

The sky isn't blue; it's red!

I've got a six year old who is always right.  Apparently, I don't know anything and he knows everything.  In his six years of life so far he has acquired more knowledge that I could ever possibly have.

He has got more knowledge than me of some things.  For example, he knows the names of every single character from the Super Mario and Sonic Wii games, he can work every electronic device better than I can,   and he knows every superhero and the power they possess.  I admit that I don't know these things.  My husband once tested me on the names of a few obscure superheroes and I'm ashamed to say that I didn't know any of them.  I also extremely gutted as he told me that he'd give me £50 if I could name them.

But I do think that my knowledge base is slightly larger than my darling sons.

I do happen to know that the sky is blue (or grey as the case has been these past few days).  Now, he will attempt to argue with me about this point.  The conversation goes a little something like this....

Me: The sky is blue
Z: No it's not, it's red
Me: But I can see that it's blue. What makes you say it's red?
Z: Because I know.
Me: How do you know?
Z: Because I know everything.
Me: Oooookay then!

He is the type of child that has got an answer for everything.  It doesn't matter what I say, he will say the opposite.  He's a nightmare to argue with because he is totally convinced that he is right.

A friend of mine once said that he will be a managing director of a company one day as he's got the gift of the gab.  Either that or a politician....

As he's getting older he gets more and more cheeky.  It's constant Why's and No's for everything.  I can already see the teenage years looming.  I'm so not ready for this.

A few weeks ago I wrote a post about the Terrible Twos but these are a doddle compared to putting up with the nagging, argumentative sixes.  There's lots of stamping of feet and slamming of doors these days.

Please tell me I'm not the only one who thinks this?

I thought it got easier as they got older.  It does in some ways but it also gets a lot more frustrating.  They push me to the limit and then just as I'm about to break down and start sobbing in the corner, they tell me they love me.

Parenting is a tough job and it has challenged me in every way imaginable, but it is so worth it.

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Win My First Play World Farm from HABA

The lovely Haba Toys UK have given me one of these amazing My First Play World Farm play sets worth £35.99 to give away to one of my readers.

Children who enjoy imaginary play will also love HABA’s My First Play World Farm - a fully contained farmyard, with animals, farmer, tractor and trees. All of the pieces are contained within a box with carry handle, which converts to become a barn with a fold down scene depicting a farm yard for added play value. It’s an absolute must have this Christmas!

For more information about toys from HABA visit

For a chance of winning this fantastic prize please complete the Rafflecopter entries below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway Loquax Competitions ThePrizeFinder - UK Competitions

Monday, 27 August 2012

It's good to dream

I think I found my dream house today.  Well, maybe not my dream as in millionaire mansion, but a dream house for now.  Until I win the lottery anyway.

We had picked the boys up from their sleepover at their grandparents and on a whim decided to drive through a new housing estate close to where we live.  The boys were still in their pyjamas and it was pouring with rain, but when we saw that there was a show house open we couldn't resist taking a peek.

Hubby and I have got a bit of a thing for show homes.  We've been to see a few over the years and usually end up wanting the house.  I suppose that's what they're designed to do, and it works for us!

So, we all went to look around the house.  And we all loved it.  The boys were ecstatic that there were three floors and that (in theory) they could have a whole floor to themselves.

Hubby and I were quite happy about this too.

We kept walking around the house and finding new things to love about it.  The lights in the base units of the gorgeous kitchen to the massive garage.  The lovely big bedrooms and the balcony off the lounge.

The views were to die for and it is in a lovely village.

Need I go on?

To put it mildly, we wanted it.

The only problem is it's a bit out of our price range.

I caught hubby gazing with adoration at the plan and specifications later on this evening.  At least I think it was adoration; I vaguely remember that look....

I've told him that we need to have a dream.  This one may not materialise, but I like to think positively.  Who knows what will happen?

If it's meant to be then it will be.

In the meantime I'm off to sell my soul my body all my belongings to try to raise the money to buy the house. Who needs furniture anyway?

Saturday, 25 August 2012

It's started

One thing to tick off my list.  The shopping has begun!

Friday, 24 August 2012

Disorganised mum

There's just over a week to go before my older two boys go back to school.  My oldest will be starting Year 2 and my middle boy will be going into Reception.  They are both looking forward to seeing all their friends and I am looking forward to no more fighting seeing their happy, smiling faces at the school gates.  I can't wait to see them back in their uniforms, with their new shoes and packed lunch bags.  The only problem is I haven't actually bought any of them yet.

I'll make all the usual excuses now.  The holiday has flown by, it's hard to go shopping with all three boys, work, life, money, children, everything seems to get in the way.  The truth is though, I'm really disorganised. I spend a lot of my time planning but never actually doing anything about it.  It's all in my head but I find it difficult to put things into action.

I am very much the type of person that likes to work under pressure; I find I get more things done when I've got a deadline looming.  I'll sit and think about everything I've got to do but unless it needs to be done instantly I file it away somewhere in the dark recesses of my mind.

Then I have these really proactive days where I get loads done, I feel full of energy and positivity and life is good.  The problem is that these are few and far between.

Every so often I decide that I need to get organised and make lists of everything that I need to do and not wait until last minute.  Then all of a sudden it is the last minute and I haven't done anything again.  How does that happen?

I've always called myself a lazy mum.  I don't believe in making things difficult for myself and will always try to find the easy option.  My children all slept with me when they were babies as I was breastfeeding and so it meant I didn't have to get out of bed to feed them (and I also liked having them in bed with me).  I even used to joke that I breastfed because I was too lazy to make up bottles (that really is a joke as breastfeeding isn't the easiest thing to do, not in the early days at least).

I do get things done (eventually) and I don't think that it has any real detrimental effect on anyone (though it probably frustrates friends and family who expect things done quickly).

This is even a disorganised post.  I intended to talk about getting my children ready to go back to school and I end up going off on a tangent.

So, back to school.  Sometimes good things really do come to those who wait.  I like to enter competitions and today I won a £25 voucher for Clothing at Tesco, so this will go some way towards buying their uniforms.  That will be a huge help as there's a lot to get for the two boys.  I'm also going to get their school shoes this weekend so that'll be another item ticked off my list (if I had one that is).

I know I'll get it all done.  I did last year.  Don't my boys look handsome in their uniforms?

So I've decided that I'm going to make a list of everything I need to do and buy over the weekend.  By the time I go back to work on Tuesday it will all be bought or ordered.  But perhaps I'll write my list tomorrow.  After all, it's late now and I've got tweets to write cleaning to do before bed.

If anyone has any tips or advice to help cure me of my laziness and rescue me from my disorganised life then I'd love to hear it.  Otherwise a slap across the face may work.

Wednesday, 22 August 2012


I've just had a big reminder to be careful of what I say to my children.

It was a struggle to get the boys to bed tonight. They all came downstairs when their father got home from work and it was clear that they didn't want to go back to bed.

My middle boy asked me if he could have some warm milk before going up, so I made it for him and as I handed it to him I said "up to bed now and I don't want to se you again".

He went up and I settled down.

Five minutes later my oldest son came down and asked me why I didn't want to see Ethan again?

I didn't know what he was talking about at first, then it clicked. I ran upstairs to see Ethan and he was lying on his bed, sobbing his little heart out.

I gave him a huge cuddle and explained that I meant I didn't want to see him for the rest of tonight. He thought I didn't want to see him ever again. My poor boy.

That'll teach me to think about what I say to the children. They take everything so literally.

As if I wouldn't want to see this gorgeous face again.

Breakfast #SnapHappyBritmums

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Time for change

I wish I was brave. There's so many things I want to do with my life but taking a step into the unknown is so difficult. I'm feeling antsy and need something new and different. I should take a leaf out of my six year olds book and just go for it.

Monday, 20 August 2012

Just a coincidence?

I love telling people the story of how I met my husband, as it all seemed like such a coincidence, so when I read the Britmums blogging prompt this week it was the first thing that came to mind.

In 1999 my best friend asked me if I'd like to go to her fathers leaving party from his current job.  I was working in 24 hour supported accommodation for adults with learning disabilities at the time and was down to work the late shift on the night of the party so I didn't think I could go.  When I checked the rota I realised that there were four of us down to work when only two members of staff were need, so I booked the night off.

We got to the party and my friends sister pointed out a boy at the bar.  He had his back to me so I couldn't really see what he looked like, but later that night my friend started chatting to him so I sat down with them.  We talked for ages and I really liked him.  He told me that he wasn't going to go to the party but his mother thought he needed cheering up so had forced him to go as he had worked with my friends father for a short while.

So both of us only went on a last minute decision.

He took my phone number before he left and told me that he'd call me the next day.

The next day came and I went to my friends house to help her move.  I waited for him to call.  And waited, and waited.  He didn't call me.

I forgot all about him and carried on with my life.

Six months later I was working at a bar in my local area.  It was a quiet night and I was sat at the bar when he walked in.  Well, I wasn't sure that it was him to start with.  It had been dark the night we met, and a long time since I had seen him.  He also lived about 30 miles away from me and this was very much a locals pub so I didn't really understand what he would be doing there. It was only because he called me by my name all night that I decided that it must be him.  I served him throughout the night and he didn't once mention the non phone call.  After about two hours he left.

Then came back in.

He told me that he hadn't called because he had lost my number, but would it be okay for him to have my number again.  I gave it to him......

but didn't hold my breath.

He called the next day.

The rest as they say is history.

We went from this......

to this......

which became this.....

Was it all just a coincidence?  Or was it all meant to be?  I like to think fate brought us together.

Sunday, 19 August 2012

A day out with Thomas

My youngest adores trains and has developed a love of Thomas the Tank Engine, so when I had an email to say that Thomas and friends were visiting Dean Forest Railway I just knew we had to take him.  We'd been there a few years back when my oldest son was obsessed with Thomas and had a great day riding on the trains, so was looking forward to going again.

We arrived at the railway and it was a bit wet and miserable, but the squeals of delight from my youngest when he saw all the trains quickly cheered us up.  I don't think he could believe his eyes.  Then, when he saw Thomas, he didn't know what to do with himself.  He refused to leave the platform.  Thomas was pulling Toad the brake van so we went for a few rides on this, and the children got a junior engineer certificate.  Then we went for a ride on the steam train to Lydney Junction.  This was so nice.  We got drinks from the buffet car and enjoyed the ride.  Even my oldest son was enjoying it, though he pretended that he wasn't!

He was so excited when he realised that Thomas was next to us

Pleased as punch to get a sticker

Talking about punch, there was a classic Punch and Judy show being run at intervals on the top platform.  My older two loved it and couldn't stop laughing, though the little one was a bit scared and wouldn't watch it.  I'm not sure that I blame him!  These puppets were also up there and they look very creepy.

There was also face painting on the platform and my older boys just had to get theirs done.  As you can see we've now got a dinosaur and Spiderman with us for the day.

While they were getting their faces done, my youngest was still staring wistfully at all the trains.  All he wanted to do was see Thomas and he wasn't going anywhere until he did.

Much to my relief, Thomas came back out so we had another ride on the brake van.  Everyone was getting a bit tired by this point so we decided to go for one last ride on Daisy the Diesel.  First she raced the steam train, and then there was a story telling trip to Parkend.  The children had a little nap and then woke up all refreshed when we got back to Norchard station.  Just time for a trip to the shop, quickly followed by a ride on this Thomas.  

We all had a fantastic day; it was so nice to ride the old steam trains and to watch Thomas and his friends get up to some antics in the station.  The boys loved it.  There was just one more thing to do before we got back to the car.  Find every single puddle in the car park and jump in it!

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Saturday, 18 August 2012

Saturday is Caption Day

I've been looking through some of the photos on my phone and came across this one. I'm looking forward to reading your captions.

Check out more SatCap entries over at Mammasaurus

Friday, 17 August 2012

The downside of after school activities

I'm sat watching my older two sons in their kickboxing class. Tonight is their second class this week and I love that they've got activities they enjoy doing. I wanted them to start kickboxing as it teaches them new skills as well as teaching them discipline. I need all the help I can get with my boys.

There is a downside though. I have just had to go into the corridor outside the class for one reason.

He manages about 10 minutes (and that's only if he's eating) of sitting still. If I turn my back for a moment he races up the hall to try to join in with the class. I can't wait until he's old enough to, but that's another two years yet.  For now, I try everything to keep him occupied.  I take toys, food, offer him my phone to play with, but nothing works for long.  He wants to do all the same things as his older brothers and doesn't understand why he can't.  He is learning some kickboxing though, and I'm sure he'll be a star pupil when he actually gets to start.

Has anyone got any tips on how to manage the younger children when the older ones are doing their after school classes?

Thursday, 16 August 2012

The Terrible Twos

My littlest one is 22 months old now and he is adorable, funny and very, very cheeky.  He's going through an amazing transformation from a baby who would nurse for hours, to taking his first steps, and now starting to talk and develop his own unique personality.

Of course, I've been through this process twice before so I should know what to expect, shouldn't I?  If only I did!  Every child is different, and they have all challenged me in different ways.  I never know what to expect and I certainly haven't got all the answers.  Every single day I need to adapt and learn about my children and how to deal with their behaviour .  Sometimes I get it right, but I suspect that it's down to more luck than judgement.

My children constantly test me in every way imaginable.   I left school quite a few years ago and thought I'd left all the exams behind me.  Oh no.  Not with my boys.  I get spelling tests, maths tests and English language tests.  Then they'll move on to religious studies, history, geography..... The list goes on.  I really wish I'd concentrated more in school.

But the biggest test of all is the parenting one.

Some things were easy to pick up.  How to feed a baby, change their nappy, hold them properly.  I can manage all that.  In fact, anything to do with a tiny little baby  I can deal with.  It's when they become independent little beings trying to assert their independence that I start searching for that manual that all babies should come with.

I remember my oldest having his first ever toddler tantrum at the age of 15 months.  He wanted a Postman Pat van in a shop in Centre Parc and I told him that he would have to wait.  He lay face down on the floor and started screaming at the top of his lungs.  I felt like everything was moving in slow motion except for the thoughts racing through my sleep deprived, pregnancy (35 weeks with number 2) addled brain.  I felt like everyone had stopped and was watching and waiting to see how I would react.  Would I give in?  Would I ignore him?  What should I do?  It was my First Big Test.

I didn't give in.  I picked him up and took him out of the shop.  I also quickly learned not to care about what others think.  There were plenty more of those tantrums to come.

So back to my youngest.  I think I can safely say that in the last two weeks he has entered that unknown territory called the Terrible Twos.  He shouts, he pouts, he demands.  He too lies face down on the floor in a fit of temper if he doesn't get his own way.

He has gone from this......
to this..........

in what seems like a very short space of time.  Luckily there's lots of this in between........

I don't think that it matters how many children you have; it never seems to get any easier.  In fact, as my children get older, their behaviour becomes more complex, and more difficult to manage.  I reflect on everything I've done with them and analyse my parenting skills (or lack thereof), to see if I could have done something differently.  Why is my oldest so cheeky?  Why does my middle boy still have temper tantrums?  Can I avoid this with my youngest?

The only answer I can ever come up with is that they will be what they will be.  I made them all (with a little bit of help from hubby of course), I am raising them all in the same way, but they are each unique little people.  They are growing into their personalities and they fascinate me as I watch how they learn and develop.  For better or worse, I love them for who they are.

But if someone ever finds that manual, please pass it on!

Technorati claim


Tuesday, 14 August 2012

My blogging challenge (update)

I'm two weeks in to my personal blogging challenge so thought I'd do a quick update on how it's going.  I'm very happy to say that I've managed to write a post every day so far, though will admit that some of my posts have been slightly ropey.

I do struggle on some days (like today) when it feels like all of my brain cells have been eaten away by work or small people.  I think I find it more difficult on the days that I work as I haven't got a lot to talk about after a day in the office.

Thankfully there are some wonderful bloggers who host linkys which usually give me some inspiration for a post.

I have noticed that I have got a few posts without any comments and I wonder if this happens when you write more posts, or whether it's just because those posts are rubbish!  Or maybe I'm not very good with promoting my posts.

I'll keep going, and keep thinking of those shoes :)

Monday, 13 August 2012

Up to mischief again

I got home from work at lunchtime today and as soon as I walked through the door I could sense that there was mischief in the air.  You've been there right?  When you can't see anyone but you know by the noises from somewhere within that there are little people up to no good.

Boy was I right.

I wish I wasn't.

My father had kindly looked after them for me to work and they had run him ragged.  Shouting, screaming, nagging and fighting had been the order of the day.  Needless to say he didn't stay long after I got home.

I made them lunch while they ran around the garden and got themselves covered in mud.  I can cope with that.  They are boys after all.  The noise levels were high and my tolerance levels were dropping fast.

After lunch I put the little one to bed and went upstairs to do my ironing, leaving the older two boys with the threat of bed if they didn't behave.

All was quiet for a while and I was enjoying watching Come Dine With Me while working my way through the mountain of ironing.  Then, about 30 minutes in, they started fighting.  I went downstairs, shouted at them to behave and went back to my ironing.

I appreciate that a day stuck in the house is boring for young boys, but sometimes it just can't be helped.

I must have gone down about three more times in the next 10 minutes to tell them off.  They were jumping on the furniture, taking all the photos off the shelves and fighting in between.

I could feel my blood pressure rising each time I went to speak to them, and all I got in response was cheekiness.  I was desperate for bedtime.

I told them that they were having a bath and going straight to bed after their dinner.  More cheek!  They don't listen to me, and just answer me back.

The baby got up and joined in with his brothers nonsense while I slowly banged my head against the wall  tried to regain some control.

I carried through with my threat and sent them straight upstairs after they had eaten.  No treats, no DVD, just bath and bed.  They shouted, they cried, they begged to be able to watch a DVD.  I said no.  They cried some more.

They ran around upstairs, naked, refusing to listen to me, yet not understanding why they weren't getting any treats.

I put them to bed and they were still making demands.  There was no way I could back down as I needed to show them I was in charge (I don't think I believed that any more than they did).

Hubby came home in the middle of all this and went up to see the older two.  I was happy to leave him to it all, but then I could hear "mama, mama".

I went up to see my smallest boy and this is what I found.

He's a cheeky little monkey, but he always makes me smile.  He is definitely following in his older brothers footsteps!

I'm linking up to A Strong Coffee for Mischievous Monday

Sunday, 12 August 2012

A superstar in the making

I'm struggling to write anything tonight.  We had an amazing day at a wedding yesterday (hence my hasty post that I didn't even manage to link up as I couldn't do it from my phone), and I'm struggling to stay awake today let alone write coherently.  There was one special moment yesterday, and no it's not the first kiss, or the cutting of the cake.  It's the moment my amazing little four year old took to the stage (bale of hay) and sang to his audience.  I don't think there was a dry eye in the house (garden).

Excuse my video; it's not the best quality, but I just love how much he is enjoying it.  He can be the type to take the back seat at times, especially when his older brother is around, but when it comes to performing he's straight up there.

You should have seen his breakdancing later in the night.  I wish I had moves like him!

Friday, 10 August 2012

Future Olympians?

As a parent I am expected to help shape my children's future.  I should help them to develop skills and a good understanding of how to deal with the world around them.  I have tried my hardest to do a decent job with this.  I've tried to instil a sense of what is right and wrong, encouraged them to respect other people and their views and opinions, enforced good manners and politeness, all while allowing them to build their confidence and develop independence.  I didn't realise that my children would change who I am.

I have always been a bit apathetic.  I've never really had much interest in anything that involved politics, religion, sport....  I was always happy to just coast through life, not worrying about much and not having any strong opinions of my own.  That was until I had children.  I started to realise that everything is political; my children's schooling, healthcare, our family finances.  I had to start caring about what was going on in the world as it affected almost every part of our lives.  

Even my religious beliefs have been tested as children have absolutely no boundaries in their questioning.  In school they are told about Adam and Eve.  When they asked me about this I tried to explain the concept of Evolution while trying to be very diplomatic and saying that different people believe in different theories.  Evolution is not that easy to explain to four and five year olds, but I gave it a shot.  I don't think they really got it!  Whether they did or not doesn't really matter, I'm just trying to educate them; to provide them with all the information that they need to make their own minds up.

Having children has changed me in ways I had never thought about.  I have never really understood sport.  When I was younger I liked watching gymnastics and ice-skating on TV; I was a member of a netball team and a cross country running squad many moons ago, and I even did a bit of ballet dancing.  As I got older I lost interest in watching sport on TV and didn't do anything myself.  I'm not that active, preferring to drive most places and only dabbling in the occasional bit of exercise when I put on a few pounds.  I had never bothered to watch the Olympics as it never interested me.

Again, children has changed all that as I want to show my children what is happening in the world.  I took them to see the Olympic torch when it passed in a nearby town and I was so excited.  I felt very proud and extremely patriotic.  This was quite a new feeling for me, but seeing my boys excitement was priceless.  My oldest son had written a letter to Tim Baillie & Etienne Stott as part of a school project and they had replied and sent a photograph.  The school had also arranged for an Olympic torch to be shown to the children, so anything to do with the Olympics was huge for my boys.

I still never thought that I would actually sit down and watch the sports on TV.  Yet, every spare bit of time I get I find myself looking to see what sports I can watch.  I love to show the boys what they could do when they grow up.  They are both learning to swim so it was great to show them the swimmers and tell them that if they keep practising then they could be just as good one day.  I even watched a BMX race today as my oldest has just leant to ride a bike so this was very appropriate.  Then tonight I got obsessed with the men's diving because it's just edge of your seat stuff (nothing to do with fit, muscular bodies, honest).  I'm gutted now that I didn't get any tickets to actually take them to watch some of the Olympics live.  

I want my boys to see that there's a big wide world out there and they can do anything they want if they work hard.  There are so many options open to them and I will try to give them all the opportunities they need to decide which is best for them.

They're already practising their skills.                                                                                                                                                                 
Future Bradley Wiggins??
He can do some cool tricks on his scooter
I think wheelybugging could be the next Olympic sport
For now though, they're already collecting medals and trophies.  I think I could definitely have the next generation of Olympians.

Trophies and medals from their latest kickboxing competition

Thursday, 9 August 2012

One of those days

I've had a bit of a shitty day today due to my shopping arrive more than an hour and a half late resulting in me being two hours late for my lunch with my friends, then I had really bad toothache this afternoon and there wasn't a single painkiller in the house.  Combine this with the boys not listening to a single word I said and I can safely say that it's been 'one of those days.

For this reason I've decided to spend the rest of my evening eating junk food and watching reality TV to cheer myself up but I knew I had to write a post first to make sure I get my new shoes at he end of the month.  So for today I'm going to post my favourite photos from the day.  Because even with everything that went wrong, the boys still had fun.

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Best friends

I've been looking through some old photos and reminiscing about times gone by.  My boys are growing up so quickly and I find it's so easy to forget what they were like when they were small. There's only 17 months between my oldest two boys and all they seem to do these days is fight. They are also inseparable and it's very much a love/hate relationship.  They look the same, they laugh at the same things, but they are also worlds apart in their personalities.

When they were little I was quite stressed and suffering with my phobia and I felt like everything was a struggle.  Looking back at photos from that time brings a mix of emotions as I remember feeling scared and exhausted yet besotted with my boys.  I remember being sat with one either side of me, both wanting cuddles.  I can't remember what they were like with each other.  I suppose this s the reason we take lots of photographs of our children.  I found this photo, memories come flooding back, and my heart melts.

As they get older they think it's 'uncool' to show that they love each other, but I know from their laughter when they're together that they'll always be best friends.  Though now they've got another brother to add to the mix and nothing makes me happier than when I watch them all play and laugh together.  I hope that nothing ever breaks their bond.

I am linking up with dear beautiful boy See It Snap It Love It.

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

The Day That....

I got the birth I wanted.

I had my first son by emergency caesarean section after being induced.  It was amazing and I was instantly besotted with this tiny little bundle of joy.  I also had an overwhelming feeling of sadness that it hadn't been a natural birth.  I felt like my body had betrayed me.

I got my natural birth with my second son.  It was agonisingly painful but I got my gorgeous baby at the end of it and it was all worth it.  Except that I had to have three months worth of physiotherapy following his birth because I had traumatised my body while in labour due to having Symphisis Pubis Dysfunction.  I had done everything wrong when in labour.

When I was pregnant with my third son I was determined to get the birth right this time.  I was with the midwife when my waters broke.  They sent me home and my contractions started while I was driving.  I got home and my husband arrived ten minutes later to take me to the hospital.  I was trying to phone my mother as I wanted her with me but I couldn't get through to her.  We got to the hospital car park and there was nowhere to park and I started panicking.  I felt sick and realised that I was in transition and I screamed at my husband to just stop the car!  I didn't want to give birth in a car.  As I was getting out of the car I could see my mother walking out of the hospital towards me.  It felt so surreal and my husband later said it was like seeing an angel as we were both panicking by this point.  (I will point out that she was working at the hospital on this day and she had come out to try to phone me).  My mother took me up to labour ward while my husband got my bag and parked the car.  He only just made it as ten minutes later my beautiful baby boy was born.  I'd had a 40 minute scary, intense labour but it was perfect.  This photo of baby, myself and my mother was taken just 10 minutes after he was born.  I look at it and remember the happiness and joy I felt.

This is my entry into The Boy And Me The Day That competition.

Monday, 6 August 2012

The emotional me

I've been sat here faced with a blank screen as I don't what what to say.  I've had an emotional day and emotions are the one thing I find really difficult to talk about.  It's quite ironic really as I work in mental health and spend most of my time asking others how they feel, but I can't talk about myself.  I know it's not healthy to keep everything in (I tell my clients that all the time) but I'm supposed to be the strong one; the one that everyone else can rely on when there's a problem.  I don't really know why as I don't think that I cope with problems very well.  So I apologise if this post is a bit disjointed, I just hope it makes some sense.

I found out today that a good friend is seriously ill.  So ill that the outcome isn't looking very good.  I don't want to focus on her too much as I don't think it's fair for me to discuss her illness but I just wanted to explain what has brought me to this point.  Hearing something like that starts putting everything into perspective.  All the small things that I worry about seem trivial in relation to what her family is going through and my heart totally goes out to them.  I spent my afternoon in work trying not to cry and wondering what I can do to help.  I wanted someone to come and tell me what to do; I didn't want to be strong any more.

Before I found out about my friend I had been feeling very low and unable to control my feelings.  I have tried to snap myself out of it but that isn't very easy when you feel stuck.  My husband has tried to understand but he lost patience with me by the end of the week.  I've got three young children and I need to look after them, though I've been fine with that.  The children are an excellent distraction and catering to their every whim has given me some purpose.  It's when I sit down after my busy day with them and start to dwell on things that aren't going right at the moment.  Some of it is normal stuff - lack of money, concerns about my job, arguments with my husband.  All the normal day to day issues that I think cause a lot of people anxiety and worry at times.  But over the last week I have felt like everything is against me.  In a world surrounded by people I have felt very alone.

I've been trying to do some self reflection and I know that I'm a bit of a control freak and I wonder if this is my downfall.  I wonder if I put too much pressure on myself to do everything and whether I should ask for more help at times.  After all, I am extremely lucky in that I have a very supportive family and some great friends, but I always feel the need to put on a front of being totally capable.  I want to be a supermum to my three boys, great in my two jobs, while running my house and being a good wife and friend.  I want to be able to support all my friends and family with everything they need.  I want it all.  I am mostly cool, calm and collected and able to make decisions and deal with problems.  On the outside at least.  Underneath I feel that that swan; seemingly confident and calm but furiously paddling away below the surface.

I worry about silly things.  I over analyse everything.  I take things personally and am afraid of upsetting anyone.  Yet I've been called an 'ice-queen' and a 'hard bitch'.  Probably because I'm afraid to show how I feel.  I'm afraid to let my guard down.  I'm afraid of getting hurt.  I see a facebook comment and wonder if it's aimed at me.  I feel ignored a lot.  That makes me feel worthless.  I wish I didn't feel any of this.

I wonder what I can do to be better.  To not be afraid and not to worry about what people think.  Surely all that should matter is that my boys are happy and healthy (though that's another massive worry on its own!)

I'm struggling where to go from here.  I want life to be like a Disney movie where there is always a happy ending.  Something deep within me really wants to write that I feel much better now and life is good.  Even I know that it's not that easy.  So I'm going to leave it at that, despite my urge to write some sort of conclusion.  That's it.  For now at least.