Friends

Over these past few months I have learned to really value friendship.  I have received love, care and support from so many people.  From those who were already my friends, and from those who I now class as my friends.

I have felt genuine love and understanding, people willing to hold out their hand, offer comfort, give their time, offer their shoulder – and expect nothing in return.  People who have sent a message of support, just to let me know me and my family are cared for and thought about often.

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I don’t think I really ever appreciated before the necessity of these people in my life – took them for granted I suppose, didn’t give it much thought or concern.  All these people form either part of my inner or wider circle, some whom have a daily impact on my life, some who just add that bit of something here and there.  But without them, without their words, messages, letters, cards, thoughts and prayers I’m not quite sure where I would be right now.

I have had people share some of their most personal and heartbreaking experiences of their own grief, the journey that they took, and how they have survived it.  It has helped so much to know that whilst no-one can really experience exactly what you are going through, its so unique to each individual,  but that they understand, they will listen, they can reassure.  I don’t feel a burden to them when I express how I feel, when the outpouring of tears and sadness won’t stop – they have listened, they have hugged, they have understood.

What a privilege it is to have those warm, loving, caring people around me, to lift me up, often to drag me a long (whether I want to or not!).  So many people in this world are alone, have no-one, have to bear their burdens without anyone there to help.

It feels pretty amazing to know that I am not alone, and I never will be.

 

 

 

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Weekly Daly Roundup 2018 #1

I thought I’d re-instate (or try to) a weekly roundup of me and my families week.  Its easy to lose sight of the things you’ve achieved, enjoyed, found challenging, would rather forget!

So I’m going with

  • Highs
  • Lows
  • Good
  • Bad
  • Out of the Ordinary
  • The Mundane

High

Enjoying the sunshine on Bank Holiday Monday – went to Hemsworth Waterpark where we slowly cooked ourselves lazing in the sun, had a picnic, caught up with friends we’d not seen in quite a while.

Low

Being the emotional eater that I am (whether that be happy or sad lol), indulging far too much. Mr Cadbury along with Ben and Jerry are very much my best friends at the moment.

 

Good

Feeling the benefits of my increased anxiety meds – only way to describe it is feeling more even.  Doesn’t sound much, but believe me, I’m grateful, more than grateful that my range of emotions aren’t quite so extreme from one minute to the next (I think the family are grateful too!)

Bad

Insomnia – manageable most of the time, but not all, a few pretty bad bouts this week resulting in reduced ability to remember anything.  This is what I am blaming for losing my keys in the garage not once, not twice, but 3 times this week.  You know, you open the garage (which is actually my store room for all my business stuff).  Put the keys down whilst you go searching through the storage boxes, trollies, shelves etc, and instantly forget where you put them down.  Then due to the fact you’ve moved loads of stuff around, realise they could be anywhere and spend the next 20 minutes getting more and more frantic that they are forever lost in the abyss.  Actually, one of those times, after an extended, long, stressful search in the garage, I actually found them under a tea towel in the kitchen – how they had got from the garage to the kitchen I have no idea!!

Out of the Ordinary

Had to attend an appeal for Jessica’s chosen high school.  Not an everyday occurrence.  To sit in front of a panel of 3 along with the headmaster of the preferred high school and plead your case is pretty stressful to say the least – fingers crossed for a positive outcome – find out Monday.

Mundane

Sorted my office – its been getting increasingly worse as I piled more and more stuff on my desk over the recent weeks that I just wasn’t ready or able to deal with.  But took a deep breath, gritted my teeth, made lots of different piles all over the desk, floor, in the bedroom. Filed stuff, binned stuff, actioned stuff (well, put in in the action pile.. promised myself I’ll actually action it later!)  I don’t work well in chaos and cluttered environments, tidy space, tidy mind.. so here’s hoping I can get caught up on all the stuff I’ve been avoiding doing over the weekend.

Turning Corners

So I keep thinking I’ve turned a corner.  Today will be better, or maybe tomorrow, and sometimes it is, and sometimes it isn’t, and sometimes is worse.

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I hate wallowing, and am not generally a wallower, more of a get up and get on with it sort of person, which is probably why I am finding it so difficult to get to grips with the fact that I simply can’t get on with it.. its just too hard.

I make a plan, of what I’m going to achieve that day, of how I’m going to do it.  Of how I’m going to be positive and turn that corner, then from the moment I try to get out (or rather crawl out!) of bed begins the struggle and carrying out the most mundane normal everyday to day tasks.  I have no motivation, no desire to accomplish anything.  I am literally forcing myself to be social, to see friends, to try and have fun, when really, I want is to close the door, see no-one, speak to no-one.

I wasn’t coping, or at least I didn’t feel I was, I was hearing from many about how amazing I was dealing with everything, but I knew on the inside and on the outside (just when no-one could see) I was crumbling.  So I took the plunge and went to the Doctor.  A short discussion later, lots of tears and tissues and I came away with a prescription to increase my anxiety meds, a number for bereavement counselling and a hope that with the increase in my meds I would start to feel some sort of level of control again.

And I do, 10 days in to the new dosage and I am more in control – most days.  Thats not to say I’m all ok, I’m far from it, but I am functioning more evenly on a day to day basis.  I am not so constantly overwhelmed by my sadness that I can’t function.  I still cry (usually in the car as its the only time I’m on my own and don’t have to subject anyone else to my breakdowns).  Note to self.. really must remember to check makeup after car journeys – arrived a number of places to catch myself in the mirror with panda eyes and streaky cheeks!

Corners I’ve turned this week:

Today, I actually managed to get myself to call the bereavement counselling service, so now waiting for an appointment ( probably about a month or so)

Yesterday I managed to get to the gym (today, I did not, but I did manage to eat half a tub of Ben and Jerry’s – perhaps I turned more of a bend than a corner today??)

Last night when to a local amateur production of Little Shop of Horrors – great show and only cried when I was in the car home – more because my first impulse was to tell mum about it and I couldn’t

Today – sorted my office – over the past month or so I’ve just piled things higher and higher on my desk, just not having the wherewith all  to deal with anything.

These might all seem insignificant, minor achievements, but for me at the moment, they all feel pretty major.

Every day a new corner to turn, hoping they will lead to a more even, straight path forward to my new kind of normal.

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Good Grief!

Its funny that I am writing this today, as compared to a lot of days, today hasn’t been so bad. I’ve only cried 2 or 3 times, I’ve only eaten one donut and half a bar of Dairy Milk (I totally admit to being a comfort eater – I generally feel that most of lifes problems can be solved with the right amount of chocolate)

But,  despite me trying to find some positives, there is nothing good about grief.  I am finding grief to be the worst emotion I have ever experienced.  It is dark, it knows no depths, it is all consuming, it is totally selfish.  It is not limited to emotional pain, but physical pain too.  There seems to be no end.  Just when you have a day when you think its easing, the following day you are back where you were, in total despair with the inability to have any clarity of thought, functioning on any level feels like wading through treacle.  Your greatest wish is to pull the duvet over your head and never venture out.

Sadly, that is not an option, children have to be cared for, shopping has to be done, house has to be cleaned, washing does not do itself.

And then there is work.  I have a great job, one that in the main I love and wouldn’t change.  But its a job where you don’t have an option of not going, you can’t ring in sick, and when you are there, you have to smile, be totally upbeat – I call it my Disney face.  Behind the Disney face you are crumbling, fighting to keep the smile fixed.

I am fed up of grieving,

I am fed up of crying, uncontrollably crying at any given moment.. whether that has been stood by the bitter lemon in the supermarket, queuing at the traffic lights, ordering a hot chocolate at Costa (I am sure that people think I am going mad, I have had some very strange looks – funny though, no-one has ever asked if I am ok?? usually just give me a wide berth)

I am fed up of having a nose full of snot.

I’m fed up of pretending that I am ok

I’m fed up of being so sad, so deeply deeply sad that I feel like I am suffocating, that the very life is being pressed out of my chest.

Sad.. that word.. its the only word I can use that expresses how I feel, but it seems so inadequate.   It doesn’t seem powerful, enough.  People can be sad for lots of reasons, but this sadness is different.  I keep looking for the joy, somewhere, the places I usually find it – in my children, in my home, with my friends .. its just not there, not for me, not at the moment.  The thing is, I’m not sad for my mum, thanks to my faith, I know she will be happy as larry where she is, I’m ok with that.  I’m sad for me, thats what I mean by grief being selfish.  Its all about me, about how I feel, about how I can’t cope, how I don’t know how I’m going to cope going forward.  I’m sad that my life has changed for ever and I didn’t want it to.

I asked someone after the funeral, what happens now, what am I supposed to do and feel now.  Are things just to return to normal, life continue as though nothing has happened.  Am I meant to smile and laugh.  His response… “well yes.. the worst is over”.. he couldn’t have been more wrong. The worst for me feels like it is just beginning.  The first few weeks after mums death are a fog.  I was literally incapable of keeping a thought in my head, of organising any sort of coherant conversation, activity… anything really.  I know now that was my body and minds way of coping.  To just shut down, as I was not physically or emotionally able to process or deal with what had happened.

One of the worst things I am experiencing though is fear.  Fear of lots of things.  I can’t imagine how I am going to make it through life without the person that gave me safety.  I simply don’t know how I am going to make it.  It seems ridiculous to feel like this, afterall,  I am 44, married, with children, with my own business, but I am scared that I can’t do this whole grown up thing on my own.  My mum, regardless of anything going on between us was always there, would always be there, would rescue me, would pick up the pieces, would make up where I fell short.  What happens now? I feel so exposed, so inadequate and isolated.

I have developed an intense fear of losing someone else, mainly my dad.. the only other person in my life that has always made me feel safe.  Rationally I know that  parents aren’t going to live forever, but honestly  I don’t think I could do or go through this again.  I am scared that I don’t speak to him enough, that I don’t see him enough, that he doesn’t know how important and essential in my life he is and that under no circumstances is he to die .. EVER!

I fear of something happening to me, I couldn’t bear for my children to have to deal and cope with these feelings of grief, loss and pain.  Of them feeling the fear, abandonment, loneliness and despair.

Grief – Sadness and Fear, the most destructive of emotions on every level

I know this is a process,  I know there are various stages that you go through – I’ll be honest, I’d be quite happy to go right back to the denial stage, I was comfortable there, I had no idea what was going on, I couldn’t think straight.. well actually, I couldn’t think at all!  This current stage (which I’m not really sure what you would call) totally sucks.

I know that everyone’s experience of grief is unique to them, that it takes time, that over that time you get used to a new kind of normal. I’ve been told this by many now, and I accept it, but its so hard to envisage a point that I will be ok,  at the moment, it means nothing, it is of no comfort.

You know, my biggest comfort has been Jessica.  She is 11, she is amazing.  She has seen me at my most upset.  She asks no questions.  She doesn’t ask whats wrong, she doesn’t try to offer words of comfort, she just hugs me, she holds my hand, she just says its ok to be sad mum, sit with me and we’ll be sad together.  And she stays with me till the latest wave passes, no matter how long that takes.  Then she makes a joke about my red nose, passes me another packet of tissues and we carry on with life.

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And I suppose, thats the point at the moment, to just carry on with life, to just keep going.

 

 

Mums the Word

“Mums the word” – definition – to keep quiet, stay silent

No-one really likes talking about it.. death that is.  Everyone feels a little awkward, not knowing quite what to say.  Knowing that no matter what they say it doesn’t make anything better for those affected.

The grief I am experiencing from losing my mum is beyond anything I could’ve expected,  some days totally unbearable, all consuming, a crushing abyss of despair and pain.  There are days that I cope, there are more days that I don’t.. and most of it you keep to yourself, you hide away, cry on your own..

People care, of course they do, they ask the question with a bit of trepidation – “how are you feeling?” and they smile with just a hint of relief in their face when they see  a slight smile from you and hear an answer of “ok, fine, thank you for asking”.  They know and you know that on the inside you have the deepest sense of loss, abandonment, loneliness and fear, but you don’t mention it, its not talked about.

My mum passing away has hit me hard, its hit all of us hard – well.. thats an understatement to be honest.  This is a distressing entry to write and probably read, but one I need to record, a cathartic exercise maybe.  For anyone reading, feel free to stop here, do not feel obligated to go further.

The weeks leading up to mum passing I want to remember, the night she actually died and the events of that evening I would rather forget, but in reality thats never going to happen.

Mum had a chest infection, a bad one, been to the docs, given anti-biotics, a week later she was no better.

Monday
In the morning, she was struggling to breathe, so called an ambulance.  The paramedics arrived, checked her over, said she was ok and advised her to see her GP, which we did that very same morning.  Her breathing was really laboured, she was getting no sleep, so added to her being unwell was her total exhaustion.  She also had swelling in her ankles and legs, and it was all this put together that prompted the doctor to refer her to Blackburn Hospital that day.

The hospital were concerned and on an ECG picked up on an irregular heartbeat, prescribed some blood thinning meds, arranged a cardio echo and we went off home (this did take a full day of sitting in the hospital).

Tuesday & Wednesday
All seemed ok, mum was still tired and not well, but didn’t appear to be getting any worse.

Wednesday night
I’m a bit of a night owl (get long periods of pretty severe insomnia), so was up late, around 1am.  I heard the familiar sound of mum in her slippers shuffling along on the floor in the hallway (the times I thought ‘I wish she’d pick her feet up!’), figured she was off for one of her numerous night time trips to the bathroom.  I decided it was late enough and to attempt to get some sleep and take myself off to bed.  Going in to the hall I could here odd noises from the bathroom.. I stood, waited, listened – I didn’t really want to just walk in, but the odd noises continued, I knocked on the door and went in to find mum on the floor, she wasn’t able to get up.  She had a severe cut over her eye and was very disorientated.  Ron and I managed to get her up, got her back in to bed and tried to settle her.  A bag of frozen peas on her eye, and a make shift bed on the couch for me.

Thursday
Arranged for a friend to come and sit with mum whilst I went to work.  She clearly wasn’t right in herself, but given I would be back by lunch time we thought we’d see how she got on.  On my return I found mum to be very confused, disoriented still.  Most definitely time for a trip back to Blackburn hospital.

Following scans and examinations, the hospital advised that mum had suffered an acute stroke and she was admitted.  Her sight had been affected, her mobility was fine (well, no worse that it had been before), but she had some cognitive impairment which would need to be assessed.

Mum spent the next week in hospital undergoing further assessments.  She was bright within herself, for the most part was lucid, clear of thought, recognised and understood most of what was going on.  She needed assistance now in showering and dressing.  She had no appetite (in fact, was going to write to the Prime Minister on the shocking quality of food in the hospital!)  But generally, it was felt, with assisted care at home she could be discharged.

The most worrying thing however, was that following a Cardio Echo, they had discovered that mum had severe Ischemic Heart Disease.  They prescribed the necessary medication, made the referrals to specialists that were required, made arrangements for support at home – and she was discharged.

Over the next week mum was doing ok.  I assisted her showering, washing hair and dressing (on the couple of occasions she tried to dress herself, most items were on back to front, or she forgot what she had already put on, so ended up with trousers and a skirt on, or a couple of jumpers – she did laugh about it and insisted she was starting a new fashion trend).

She was able to go to church, and one of the most wonderful things to see was that she went straight back to playing the piano  – all be it hitting a few (well, quite a few) wrong notes, and playing the intro to hymns a few too many times.  But she loved playing the piano at church, it made her feel useful and needed, and it brought me such joy to see that she was still able to.

I had started to make adjustments to my work schedule, knowing that moving forward she was going to need extra care.  In the meantime we received such amazing support from her friends who came and sat with her during the times I had to work.  Who kept her company, talked to her, stayed with her whilst she dozed off.  Made sure she was safe and loved.  I can’t begin to express my gratitude for the help and support offered so selflessly during those 2 weeks.

Friday
Mum had had a really good day.  She’d had company, the carer had been round for a chat and under supervision mum had made herself a sandwich and warm drink.  Some additional mobility aids had been ordered to make her life a bit easier.  Ron and I had come in from work after lunch, sat and had a good chat with her.  It was our wedding anniversary, and we were meant to be going out.  The children were off to Ron’s mums for the night and we had planned to go out for dinner.  But I was tired, and decided we would stay at home and order a takeaway instead.  However, the girls were excited to go to Grandma Betty’s, so rather than cancel and have them home, they still went off for their sleepover (I can’t even begin to express with hindsight the relief that they had gone)

Mum was tired early evening, I helped her shower, wash her hair, clean night clothes on and got her in to bed with a book.  I explained we weren’t going out, and did she want anything from the takeaway – Chips and Gravy was what she wanted, and so its what she got.  My Aunt Jean phoned around 8.30pm and I took the phone in to mum for her to have a chat.  She was so bright, telling my Aunt about her day and our plans to go out for a drive on the Saturday.

It was later that night, around 9.30 / 10pm that I went to give her a night time tablets.  She was in bed, the lamp on at the side of her, duvet tucked under a chin, eyes closed.  I didn’t want to wake her, but she needed her last lot of meds.  I tapped her lightly on the shoulder, but she didn’t wake.  Mum was deaf as a post without her hearing aids in, so I gave her another tap and said her name a bit louder, but still no response.  I got louder and gave her a gentle shake.  There was no breath, there was no movement, but she was warm, normal colour, she just looked asleep.. but I knew.

Then things got crazy – I ran for Ron, he called the ambulance and they instructed to start CPR – I am first aid trained, but you never in all your life expect to have to perform CPR on anyone, let alone your mum.  With each compression I knew in my heart that she had gone, with every breath I gave her the fear inside me grew.  We had to get mum on to the floor – I know it was necessary, but it seemed so wrong, so undignified.  She was so peaceful, so comfy, and in the space of minutes she had been dragged from her bed, I felt her rib crack with one of the first compressions, and I was frantically trying to pump and breathe life in to her.. but I knew

Ron and I took it in turns to continue CPR until the ambulances  arrived – what seemed like a lifetime was in reality 11 mins.  A team of 4 paramedics continued to work on mum for 40 minutes. I prayed, harder than I have every prayed before… but I knew

Ron phoned my sister – she had to come, and come now – but she lives near Doncaster – a good hour and a half drive..

They got mum in to the ambulance, I travelled with her, the paramedics as gently as they could advised that the prognosis wasn’t good, that whilst they would continue to administer CPR on the way to the hospital, the likelihood would be she would be pronounced dead on arrival to the hospital.  I sat by her in the ambulance, watching, praying, trying not to vomit.

I witnessed the most horrific sight I have ever experienced.  CPR is not a gentle process, it is severe, it is a violent assault on the body- essential I know to try and sustain life.. but I knew

Mum was pronounced dead at 12.44am Saturday 24th February.

Her passing had been painless, peaceful, the aftermath was anything but.  The only comfort I can take from our actions and everything I had to witness is that my mum whilst not frightened of dying, wasn’t ready to die and she would’ve wanted us and the medical professionals to do everything they could, no matter what to try and keep her with us.  Sadly, and devastatingly, it wasn’t to be.

Her last meal – Chips and gravy
Her last conversation – with her much loved sister Jean
I was told by the Coroner after the her postmortem that her heart would just have stopped beating.  She would have closed her eyes, and her heart stopped.  There would’ve been no shock, no fear, no pain, no knowledge.

Her heart stopped, and mine broke.

I feel very blessed in many ways for the couple of weeks leading up to mums death.  If it wasn’t for the chest infection she would never have gone to the doctor, the doctor wouldn’t have referred her to hospital, the hospital wouldn’t have been put her on blood thinners, and the stroke she had a few days later would likely to have been fatal.  Having the stroke gave me the opportunity to care for her for those 2 weeks.  To do things for my mum that were a privilage.  To show love and compassion in a very special way .. my mother – a formidable woman, whom I didn’t always have the closest or easiest relationship with over the years.  For those 2 weeks, I will be forever grateful –  she knew despite our fall outs, differences, arguments – that I would have done anything for her, that I loved and cared for her, and was willing to do what ever it took to take care of her.

 

let-go

 

Back to Blogging

Its been a while, probably about 3 years in fact.  But with recent events and changes in my life, I’ve decided to return to the occasional blogging.

As a teenager I used to keep a journal, a daily record of all I did, thought, woeful teenage angst etc etc – I kept them for around 7 years – and wow, to read back on them now is totally cringe worthy for the most, but a good reminder of how I felt and the events that helped shaped the person I am today.

This was what I had in mind when I started a blog some 3 years ago, it was to just be a personal account of our daily (Daly lol) lives.  Just a way of keeping for posterity stories about our lives together, and sharing our experiences with anyone that cared to have a read. But suddenly (or rather over a few months), I found I became more concerned with what I thought people might want to read, how I would be perceived and were the photo’s good enough!  Everything we did, everywhere we went became a photo and story opportunity for the blog.

So I stopped.. I was doing things to blog about, rather than just because it was part of what we were doing for a family.  This was not what I wanted my blog to be, so I stepped away from it.

Life over the past 2 1/2 years has changed so much.  We moved from the big smoke, a large Yorkshire City, to a small Lancashire town.

Ron and I are still adjusting to sharing a life together

My girls are growing up quickly.. too quickly

My mum recently passed away .. she had moved and was living with us, so currently, adjusting and accepting life without her here is the biggest, hardest life changing event I’ve ever had to deal with.  It is all consuming, and I’m not really sure if I am dealing with it yet.

So.. here I am, back to the blog, but with a fresh approach, to keep a record of my family as we move through time.  Something for me, for us as a family, and a read for anyone else that might want a little peak in to our lives from time to time.

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{Ordinary Moments} #8 The things kids say

The one liners – love em.  Kids just can’t help themselves.  They are honest, to the point, no holds barred. Don’t get me wrong, mine are at ages where they understand manners, being kind with words (and deeds), showing respect etc.  But here and there they just say whats on their mind, things that just simply appear obvious to them.

For example

Natalie – ‘Grandad.. people are all different shapes aren’t they’

Grandad – ‘ Yes Natalie they are’

Natalie – ‘That would make you a circle then’

This has got to be one of my all time favourites – as it is true, Grandad is rather round

Another – seems that Grandad has been in the firing line recently!

Jessica – ‘Grandad, why do you walk so slowly and get tired?’

Grandad – ‘Well, I’m old and fat’

Jessica – ‘Grandad, you’re not fat!’

Grandad – ‘Thank you Jessica’

Jessica – ‘You know that I said that just to be kind don’t you’

Ha ha.. teaching them that honesty is always the best policy doesn’t always pay off!

Whilst I love listening in to the girls conversations together, I often cringe as I hear them repeat things they have heard me say, in a tone that I must use.  I certainly helps make me more mindful of how I speak, the words I use and the response I’m trying to achieve.

Linking up with #ordinarymoments

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The Weekly Daly Roundup #6

High

Day out to Bolton Abbey.  This is a place I remember vividly visiting as a child.  My memory of it is of sunshine, a river, open green space.  So went along with the kids this week.. and its as I remember.  The kids played in the river all afternoon – how simply wonderful it was to watch (I did get about a third of the way across the stepping stones before turning back, not quite brave enough to join them for anymore.. the water was freezing!!)

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Low

Laptop died a death, so had to invest in a new one.  What a chore as I have no interest in technology, so having to choose one (yawn), then figure out how to use new operating system (more yawning), get all my stuff transferred (cue heightened anxiety levels as I panic that all my itunes library and playlists are lost!)  But its all up and running now.

Good

Final week of Mini Mess completed – means that I am on the final countdown to a full week off work (almost never heard of).

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Bad

Camera on phone (which is my only means of taking photo’s) is not working properly.  All pictures are blurry round the edges.  Phone has to be returned to manufacturers – a task I am putting off as the chore of transferring everything to a new handset in the meantime is more than I can bear.  So for the time being I am putting up with naff photo’s

Enjoyed

Some much needed family time.  We don’t get much of it, so treasure what we do get.  A couple of hours out on Sunday did the trick to a local play park with sand, bouncy pillow, zip wire etc

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Didn’t enjoy

Having to console the children after being let down by their dad.  His weekend to have them, something they look forward to so so much.  Collected them as usual, all good.  45 mins later a text to say he was brining them back as they were bickering and arguing.  10 mins later, 2 very distraught little girls on the doorstep.  It can be so hard to hide the frustration and anger sometimes.  Trying to explain to and 8 yr old and 6yr old the reasoning of his actions when I don’t really understand them myself.

Mundane

Shopping at 7am on a Saturday morning.  The insomnia still hasn’t improved.  So thought I’d utilise the time and get the shopping done.  The downside being that because I had loads of time, because the aisles were empty of people I spent time browsing (what that actually means is putting loads more stuff in the trolley than I usually would) and spending double what I would do normally – I took a big gulp when it got totalled at the checkout!

Out of the Ordinary

Losing my enthusiasm for being organised.  I am usually sooo organised, have a list for everything.  Life is timetabled to maximise use of time and daylight lol.  I don’t know whether I’m finally getting in to the swing of the holidays – but just can’t motivate myself to organise my life.  This is both good and bad, means that life has a bit more of a relaxed pace than usual – even culminating in a Pyjama day – literally the kids spend the whole day in the their PJ’s watching TV, whilst I figured out the new lap top/  They thought it was an amazing day and out of all the fun stuff we’ve been doing over the holidays its what they’ve gone on about the most!. But it also means that I am double booking stuff, getting behind on things – and this doesn’t help my insomnia and anxiety levels.  No doubt, normal organisation will resume shortly – but for the time being I’m just looking the other way!

Linking up with #TWTWC

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Linking up with #TWTWC

{Ordinary Moments} #7 Family Time

Family time – for most families is something that occurs pretty much everyday at some point, whether that be sitting down for a meal together, watching some TV, bath and bedtime stories etc

Not so in our blended household.  For until the time that Ron and I live together, the Ordinary Moments of family time that most people enjoy, are probably more extra ordinary moments for us.

So because of this, the few hours snatched here and there each week that we have together as a family are precious, and to be made the most of.

Generally, every other weekend the girls go off to there dads – as much as I miss them, its also has its upside that Ron and I get to have couple time on a regular basis.  This weekend the girls were meant to be at there dads, so we were looking forward to having some time together, not planning much, playing things by ear.  However, for one reason and another, at the last minute, plans changed and the girls ended up being with us.  Our ‘no plans, lazy weekend’ suddenly became a distant memory, so we got stuck in to ‘family time’

I love family time – we don’t have to be doing anything major, costly or exciting, just being together for longer that a hour at a time is a luxury to be enjoyed.  I love watching Ron with the girls, and the girls love being with him – I think because of his childishness childlike ability to have fun on their level.  He will happily play games with them, climb, swing, hide and scooter

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ron scooter

Favourite family time activities are usually the simple ones –  a walk in the woods, wandering round local beauty spots, a trip to the park, rock scrambling etc

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rock scrambling

As ordinary as these moments are, its the things that I hope our children look back on and treasure.  A price can not be placed on the time and attention we give to kids – it has meaning to them beyond value (especially if icecream at some point is involved!)

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Linking up with #theordinarymoments

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Bad Mummy / Good Mummy – Grumpy Mum Syndrome

I often try to live under the guise that I am always a positive, upbeat, everything has a silver lining sort of person.

Reality check – I am of course totally and utterly NOT, certainly not all the time.  Especially recently, on more days than I would like to admit, I’ve been GRUMPY.  I have most definitely been showing all the ailments of Grumpy Mum Syndrome.  I find symptoms manifests  in a number ways, it usually has more than one cause (a bit of a build up) and I can advise on tried and tested ways to cure it.

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Grumpy Mum Syndrome

The Signs

please be aware that severity of signs and symptoms can increase dramatically and without warning

  • Tutting and sighing
  • Gradual increase of shrillness of tone
  • Gradual increase in volume of voice
  • Underbreath muttering – this can often escalate quickly to outright screaming
  • Banging of cupboard doors, room doors, car doors – any door really that will give a really good loud BANG
  • Gesticulation of hands in every direction
  • Use of stick rather than carrot to get desired results (manifesting as  ‘grounding if you don’t, .. rather than ‘ice-cream when you do’..)

The Causes

What makes mum grumpy – where do i start!

  • Repeat, repeat, repeat – if I’ve  asked once, I’ve asked 100 times – SERIOUSLY!
  • Continual making of mess – especially immediately after cleaning
  • Inability to follow any sort of instruction or request without questioning it
  • All in the household appear to have lost their hearing
  • Bickering, whingeing, whining, moaning

silence is golden

The Cure 

Try them, they work!

  • Employment of a full time nanny, cleaner, cook, taxi driver, homework tutor, fashion advisor
  • Failing that – just a bit of consideration, help, love and cuddles – would be a start

The thing is, I don’t want to be grumpy, I want to be the eternal optimist, seeing blue skies and sunshine beyond the grey clouds, I want to be happy, and cheerful and emanate positivity – but who am I kidding! Unless I manage to suddenly transform my family in to the Waltons thats just never going to happen.

Ok, deep breath, centring ones chakra (REALLY!), I can do this parenting thing I’m sure. Tomorrow is of course another day (thankfully), I get to wipe the slate clean, try again – banish  bad mummy and let good mummy reign supreme once again.

stay p

linking up with #bestandworst

Best of Worst