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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The Weekly Daly Roundup #5

Our week that was… been a tough week in all honesty, tiredness really taking its toll, anxiety levels a little elevated, general grumpy demeanour this week..

High

Fun day out at York Maze with the kids

Its been about 4 years since we last went, and wow, there have been some great additions the the venue. This truly is a place to visit if you can and I feel excellent value for money.  Went with friends and their kids, weather was good, loads to do, list is a long one, so thought the pictures may give a better view of everything on offer.

A few of the mazes to explore

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Adventure playground

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Amazing sandpit and waterplay

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Bouncy Pillow

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Pig racing, crazy maze golf, snake slides & water wars

Other activities 1 collageMotor boat driving, graffiti wall, Crowmania ride, House of Confusion

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The gang! Icecreams! Medals won! – what fab day

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Low

Spending a night at A&E.  Natalie went over on her ankle at York Maze – being a bit enthusiastic on the bouncy pillow.  We had a few tears at the time, but a quick inspection of the foot, wiggling of toes and rotating of the ankle, I thought she’d survive.  She solidered on for the rest of the afternoon with a bit of a limp but without complaint (my kids are used to not complaining.. I’m not the most patient when it comes to potential injuries, unless its dropping off, then stick a plaster on it and get on with it).  That evening, getting them ready for bed, socks pulled off – minutes later her ankle had ballooned! .. despite the lateness in the evening, figured it should be checked out and bundled kids to the car and took them to the local minor injuries unit. Arrived there at 9.02pm (by their clock on the wall), to be turned away as their X-ray dept shut at 9.00pm.  (Disgruntled would be an understatement!) So made the journey to a main Hospital A&E – 5hrs, one X-ray, and 2 very tired and fed up children later we were told it was a sprain, treat with a bag of frozen peas and keep it moving.  Arrived home at 3am!

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Good

Made it through Soap & Suds week at Mini Mess without any accidents, injuries or mishaps.  This is the week that I fear the most.  Regardless of the risk assessments I complete on the activity, despite the health and safety precautions and warnings I make, its always a worry that given the nature of soap (slippy, slidey), that something might happen… but phew..it didn’t.

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Bad

No let up with the insomnia – it really is starting to grind me down.

Enjoyed

A bit of a get together with friends and an impromptu pamper time with them and the kids.  Footspas, mini pedicure, painting of nails along with a natter and catch up.

Pamper collage

Didn’t Enjoy

My grumpiness this week.  Its been a tough week.. maybe as we are in to week 4 of the holidays and having to constantly juggle work and home, keep the kids entertained, keep some sort of eye on the budget, all whilst having very little sleep is taking its tole.  More than usual I’ve found my current living arrangements with hubby a strain.  Trying hard not resent being in a marriage, but for all intents and purposes still a single parent very hard.  The whole trip to A&E on my own with two kids a prime example.  Normal married couples would’ve had a partner there to help – hmm.. but not me.  I know it will all come ok eventually, its just this week ‘eventually’ seems an awful long way away.

The mundane

Ramping up the marketing activity for resuming classes in September.  I reduce my work load considerably over the summer to allow myself more time with the kids whilst they are off school.  But being more than half way through the holidays now, thinking has had to return to business.  This has meant starting to put together, plan and start some activity to promote classes in September.

The out of the ordinary

A random act of romance from Hubby.  We eat out fairly often.. we are a couple that like our food! But generally its just a quick decision, lets go out to eat tonight.  However, this week, with us taking on the competition challenge of seeing how many random acts of romance we can do for each other for the remainder of the month, Ron took it upon himself to make an advance reservation, not only that but at my fav restaurant ( and one that is not particularly his I might add).  He didn’t tell me where we were going, drove a totally different way to keep me guessing, and I have to say, was a total surprise when we rocked up outside.  What was the most touching, was not only had he gone to the trouble to book a table, keep it a secret, but had taken me out to a place I love, for my absolute favourite food, despite the fact that in all honesty, its the type of food he can take or leave.  To top if off, on the way home he made a detour past Passion Gelato to pick up deserts we could eat later at home ( alot later I might add.. we were stuffed).  BIG score for him on the romance front.

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Grateful for

The NHS.  For as disgruntled as I was at being turned away from Minor Injuries, and for as much as I had totally lost the will to live after 5hrs at A&E – at least I was able to get my daughter seen, treated and cared for – more than many many families and children get.. and for this, I am very very grateful.

Here’s to next week.. bring it on!

Linking up with #TWTWC

TWTWC
Linking up with #TWTWC

Blended Family – Nice stuff & Niggles

Blending together as a family is one thing, blending together as a couple is another matter entirely.  Its almost unheard of nowadays for couples not to have lived together before they get married, we however didn’t do the the try before you buy scenario.  Not only did not live together before we married, but haven’t done since we married either.  That is set to change in the next couple of months, and its brought to my mind recently on how I’m going to manage the transition from being a married yet singleton so to speak, to being real life couple and all that it brings with it.

I’ve lived on my own for 4 1/2 years (with the kids of course).  I’m a bit set in my ways, used to ruling the roost, making my own decisions, getting my own way pretty much all of the time (except when the kids pester power gets the better of me). Mr Daly is here only a couple of days a week, and as such has little impact on the way I go about everyday life, but there are the odd couple of things that I’ve had to take note of, little reminders along the way that he has his own way of doing things, his own foibles and little quirks.

Blending together as a couple has meant embracing the good and the bad, the odd compromise here and there, keeping a balanced and honest view of our relationship – recognising the positives and keeping them at the forefront of the relationship and accepting that there will always be a few negatives.  No one is perfect, perfection would afterall I think get boring anyway.  However, it can be so so easy to take the good bits for granted and let the little, insignificant annoyances fester.

its the small nice things I love the most.  I don’t need big gestures, hearts and flowers are a bit lost on me really.  The little things are not –

  • He walks through the door, and before doing anything else he kisses me hello
  • He is always the first to ask me how my day has gone.  What I’ve been up to, how have the kids been.  Despite him working very long hours, often being very tired and usually arriving at mine pretty late in the evening, he always puts first my need to off load my day.  Only after I’ve rattled off everything I’ve been up to, do I take a breath, and remember – his turn.
  • We’ll sit down at the dining table to catch up on our day, and he always holds my hand whilst we talk
  • No matter what I cook for dinner he remembers to thank me (and proceeds to eat the lot, thankfully he’s not a fussy eater, just a wheat intolerant vegetarian!)

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Then, there are the niggles – small, insignificant things, but as insignificant as they are, they haven’t gone unnoticed!

  • He squeezes the toothpaste tube in the middle instead of at the end
  • He brings a glass of water to bed, but never takes it down again in the morning- amazing how quickly a collection builds up

niggles collage

  • I  find socks anywhere but in the washing basket
  • He uses the nicely folded towel in the bathroom, but never refolds it afterwards

towels

But you know what, even though I give a bit of a mental ‘tut’ when I am re-folding the towel again, or a resigned sigh as I squeeze the toothpaste from the bottom of the tube back up to the top.  I also have an inward smile, a bit of a warm feeling.  Because as tiny and unimportant as these niggly things are, I’m grateful for them.  When I pick up his stocks from the bottom of the stairs and throw them in the washing basket, it reminds me that he’s here, and due to the way we currently live, thats a bonus as the majority of the time he’s not.

I recognise the fact that I am most definitely, without doubt not an easy person to live with or even be around sometimes. I would hate to see his list of niggles about me – endless is a description that springs to mind!  Quite often my stress levels are off the scale for which unfortunately my family bare the brunt of – but he accepts this, without question, with patience and understanding (and lots of hugs).  This is what I mean by me trying to keep a balanced view of our relationship – keeping and remembering constantly of what is good, what is really of value in our relationship, my husbands true worth rather than any of the occasional trivial annoyances I come across.

Blending together is a process for me that has and is taking time, patience (hmm.. need to work on that.. not my greatest attribute),  and love (we’ve got plenty of that thankfully). I am having to learn that I am not the centre of my world , we both are.  That means working together, seeing, understanding and sometimes accepting (only sometimes mind!) an opposing opinion.  I learn a lot from him – mainly a better way to deal with stuff other that screaming my head off, and I do try (not always successfully I admit).  Blending together has wanted to make me a better person, better mother, better wife (again, not always successfully, ha ha…but I’m trying)   And isn’t that the ultimate goal – to become better  and happier people together than you were apart – I hope so, thats certainly where I want to head.

Linking up with #bestandworst

Best of Worst

Blended Family – Their Two Dads

There are many challenges being part of a blended family.  Balancing parental duties and responsibilities is often one of them. Trying to maintain positive relationships between everyone is another.  Ensuring regardless of what is happening in the adult relationships, that it has minimal impact and bearing on the children.

These are not easy things to do.  There are ups and downs along the way, a bit of a juggling act of people’s emotions and opinions.  It feels like a constant (rather steep) learning curve that changes continually.

juggling

For instance – there is the childrens ‘real’ dad.

He is in the childrens lives regularly, he loves and adores them I’m sure.  His relationship with me is a bit of a rollercoaster.  There have been periods where we have got on great, almost returned to a solid friendship where I’ve been sure that he’s finally moved on.  And then there are periods where for what ever reason (and usually I am unable to figure out the trigger or the reasoning behind it) that the relationship is terrible, communication stops entirely and this can go on for months.

The effect on the children is what worries, frustrates and makes me down right angry.  I do as much as I can to protect them, with reassurances that whilst mummy and daddy don’t always see eye to eye, what we both do is love them to the moon on back.  So no matter what, just remember how much we love you and don’t worry about anything else.

It is so difficult to explain to children the intricacies of adult relationships when to be honest, I don’t understand them myself.  When your 4yr old (as she was at the time) tells you that Daddy says ‘you broke the love mummy.. why did you do that, can you not fix it‘ or when your daughter says ‘Daddy doesn’t want to talk you anymore, why aren’t you friends?‘ the hurt that it is obviously causing them breaks your heart.

Them being witness to the ups and downs has an impact on how they view other relationships.  For the first year of Ron being in their lives they fully expected us to split up.  Their assumption was that nothing was permanent and even with reassurance from Ron and I that we would be together forever (here’s hoping lol!) their response would be, but you and Daddy aren’t together now.  Even after we married Natalie once asked ‘mummy, when will you get deevorced again?’

Trying to reassure them of the permanency of Ron in their lives has been trickier given that we don’t live together.  This is of course set to change, but at the moment the facts are that the children have a part time dad, and a part time step dad. However, 2 part time dads, do not a whole one make!  What the children do get is just the good bits from their two dads.  Which is great for them, the laughs, the fun the excitement of seeing them.  However, what they don’t get is the continuity, the discipline and structure.  .

The alternate weekends at their ‘real’ dads consists of no rules.  No bedtime, no brushing of hair, a bath only occasionally.  Food that a child would choose rather than what constitutes healthy well balanced meals.  So for them Daddy is amazing, its all fun times, no telling off, no boundaries.  I try not to be too critical – afterall, this is his time with his children and his parenting style is his choice.  It is only every other weekend, and how much can it hurt for them to go a weekend without brushing teeth or hair, eating too much junk food and running riot.

But I have to be honest, it niggles, I can feel the hairs on the back on my neck rise when they come home like ragamuffins full of tales of staying up till midnight, having icecream for breakfast and nutella sandwiches for lunch. AND if I’m really honest, I’m jealous.  How can life with me compare, at home they have bedtimes, they have to eat their vegetables, we have routines and rules about behaviour and consequences for non compliance.  Is there any wonder that occasionally during fall outs they throw at me ‘I want to live with Daddy’ – heavens.. who wouldn’t! (Well, actually me, been there, tried that!)

The girls know which day Rons here, and they look forward to seeing him.  They know he’ll play games with them (limbo and the quiet game are their favourites, and Monopoly occasionally too), they will be able to climb all over him, receive big bear hug cuddles.

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They are still learning the boundaries with him, they push them here and there (generally when I’m not around) and to Rons credit, he is calm, never raises his voice, is consistent and rational with them (ha ha.. things that generally I’m not when the girls are pushing my buttons).  But in the main, as they only see him for a few hours a week, its all positive fun stuff..

They see their two dads as the men in their lives that play games with them, that throw them in the air and tickle them till they scream, that give them treats and money when the icecream van is outside the house.

Where does that leave me?  

  • The person that offers stability
  • The constant in their lives
  • The person who they know is there day in day out, night in night out.
  • The person they turn to and want when they fall, when they are upset and need comfort.
  • The person they learn from, who teaches them

Overall – the person who blends it all together for them and tries to make sense of their unconventional family

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