Enough now… Why Can’t I Sleep?

Hello all, how are we? Relatively quiet in the last week and I’m sorry about that. It’s all been very busy and full of stuff and I blinked and we are back on Monday again.

As the title suggests I am struggling to sleep, which has caused me to reflect on some of the things I have going on to try and work out exactly what is bothering me and how I can handle it.

One of the issues I believe is that I am not tired in the right way, I get absolutely shattered in the early evening and end up either falling asleep and then finding myself wide awake in the small hours or I am overtired and I don’t wind down enough to sleep properly.

Last week was the leaving drinks of my lovely friend who is moving off to France. I spent much of the week leading up to it trying to decide how I would be, I am so hugely happy for her but also so sad that she is leaving. I ended up drinking far too much and although had an amazing time certainly paid for it with the two day hangover that followed. It almost makes you feel uneasy that things can change completely in such a short space of time. Someone who had been a constant over the last four years at work is gone and she is never coming back. Of course we will speak and see each other again but in a very different way to what I have been used to.

I have always been one of those people who views change with suspicion and concern, don’t get me wrong change is so often for the better but I often worry that changing everything will have disastrous consequences and I struggle getting used to the new computer programme, the slightly smaller chocolate brownie or the addition of some new exotic alcopop favour.

I also wonder whether my sleep is being attacked by the ongoing doubts and nerves of all the rubbish things I am doing as a mother. The boys who lovely as they seem to be for everyone else often behave like a mixture between Dennis the Menace, Horrid Henry, Kevin the Teenager and WWF Wrestlers.

Leo’s constant moaning about various issues has this week almost turned into it’s own language, you can’t quite make out what it is other than a distinct moaning like wail which usually ends with the only words you can discern, ‘it’s not fair.’ Now I appreciate at the age of five things often might not seem fair however I refuse to believe life is that bad when you are moaning about not being able to wear jogging bottoms to school, having to put shoes on, not being able to eat 17 ice poles before breakfast  and not being able to have kebabs for every meal.

Nate has decided that he doesn’t need to wash so this has become a daily battle of me running a sink, bath, shower and then the inevitable stand off where he gives all the reasons why he can’t possibly wash which include things like not caring if he smells, he washed last week, soap is for girls and he just wants to get on with playing with toys.

There is of course also the issue that the boys have both decided that Mummy and Daddy’s bed is a far more comfortable option for sleeping so on a nightly basis I end up sleeping alongside both Daddy and the boys, all who snore, fidget, talk in their sleep, bring a vast array of cuddly toys with them (the boys not Karl) and in general make me wake up with a bad back after having to contort myself into a space that  I can fit into.

I think really that I may have answered my own question in relation to why I can’t sleep, in fact you could say I have always known the answers however how will I resolve them? The answer I believe is that I can’t. I can’t stop stress affecting me, the boys wanting to come in with us or the bad back that seems to be coming with age and experience!

There will likely come a time in my life when I desperately wish that they boys would want to come to me for comfort instead of dealing with it on their own, when I too will be making massive decisions and will need the extra thinking time and when I finally realise that change is a part of my life that will come whether I like it or not and that I should welcome it and all the new things it brings with open arms. However for now I am tired and grumpy so I will leave it there!

Wish me luck and if anyone has any remedies other than sleeping tablets I would be very grateful of your advice!

Loads of love, Lucy xx

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Caffeine, wine and chocolate….

I got to thinking this morning while writing this months column for the paper about fitness and health, what are my vices? What are my go to things for comfort when I feel bad and need something? Well I came down to three main groups, caffeine, wine and chocolate.

I am a tea drinker, my mum is a tea drinker, tea is a family institution and can make everything better. I make tea in the mornings, before bed, if there has been an upset and whenever I sit down for a good chat. Tea is a British institution which tends to go with cake which leads quite conveniently onto my next vice, chocolate. I can think of nothing better than a good catch up over tea and cake with friends. I think it’s the Alice in Wonderland lover in me and being honest at times the conversation makes just as much sense as the Mad Hatter did!

I am a particular fan of Chocolate, aren’t most of us. I often crave things like Ferrero Rocher, the trouble I have though is not eating a whole box at once (whoever has that kind of willpower is my hero!) I have to be very careful to not have them in the house too often as I can’t leave them! I have also become a huge fan of dark chocolate of late. I think sadly this comes with getting old, like wine I used to find it too rich and too complex a flavour. Now I would happily melt it and drink it as my main source of nutrition. I am a particular fan of Aldi chocolate, not only is it reasonably priced but the dark choc with nuts is so packed full again I get carried away and munch the whole bar.

Now moving onto wine, well alcohol really. I have had many discussions with some of my friends lately about our concerns of how often we get to the end of the day and find ourselves fancying a glass of something. I imagine that for most parents the end of a stressful day can breed this kind of habit. My issue is my favourite is Prosecco and let’s be honest it’s not the kind of drink that you can leave in the fridge for the next night is it?!

Consequently I try to keep my prosecco for times when I am drinking with another so we can share and I don’t feel the need to drink the whole bottle. I am very into adding rose and elderflower cordial to my fizz these days but again this is probably a bad idea as it just tastes like some exotic kind of juice! I found this out to my embarrassment a couple of weeks ago when a friend and I got through four bottles of prosecco over one evening and I devoured a very large piece of chocolate cake using only my hands. Hey we all have our vices!

Any way, back to my cuppa, it’s getting cold!

Never forget a little bit of what you fancy does you no harm, four bottle though can be seen as excessive! xx

 

Mother or Superhuman?

Morning all and a very happy Monday to you. Monday’s are usually one of those days that we would all rather stay in bed and let the world around us go by however I am lucky this week to have a Monday off.

I got up then full of the zest you get on a day off, I can take on the world, I’m going to get loads done, I am going to skip with the children to school full of little tales from their weekend to share with their friends. I am full of Joie De Vivre and looking forward to new eyebrows later (HD Brows, apparently it’s time I got with the future of eyebrows!)

Anyway it all went a little bit wrong when I put the boys breakfast on the table. A simple action that involved the mixing up of two breakfast cereals because why would any child have only one kind in their bowl. The arguments started, ‘he looked at me strangely’, ‘he is wearing my favourite pants’, ‘he had two more chocolate pillows than me’ and it went on and on and on. Fast forward almost two hours when we should have left for school fifteen minutes prior and Nate still had no shoes on.

I got to the bottom of it quite quickly, Nate had a huge issue, a massive problem, perhaps one of the biggest ones of his little life so far. To provide some context to this I need to explain that the school sent home a letter on Friday asking that every child come into school on Monday with a water bottle that they could take sips from throughout the day and mean that they won’t have to ask every time they want a drink. It also of course promotes to children how important it is to stay healthy and hydrated. A marvellous idea. Well other than Nate who doesn’t drink water. Doesn’t like it, almost has a total aversion to it, like it burns as it goes down his throat.

Nate’s issue of course was that he wanted juice. You would have thought that knowing the inevitable tornado that would follow I would have just said yes however I tried to be a good parent. I patiently explained that the school had asked for water and why, how important water is to us and most importantly that if I let Nate have juice and all the other children in his class had water it really wouldn’t be fair.

This prompted one of the biggest tirades he has ever had, I make him miserable I am so mean, it’s not fair, Can’t I do something to the water from the tap to make it taste differently, he wants to go and live with Nana, she would understand. It was a bit like all the things I worry I am rubbish at as a mum being confirmed but in a screaming voice. I was quite flattered though that Nate seems to believe that I have god-like powers and can turn water into another tastier clear liquid with only my mind (I know vodka isn’t suitable, but it’s the first thing I thought of!)

So we arrived at school, late, hot, stressed, tired with two grumpy children with faces like thunder marching into their classrooms like I am the worst mother in the world. I spoke to the kind teaching assistant at Nate’s door and explained the mammoth episode he had been having this morning and why only for her to say, ‘bring a bottle that isn’t clear then the other children won’t know what he drinking’. Brilliant, not only am I an awful mother but I also have the problem solving skills of a walrus (nothing against walruses but it was the thing I felt matched me best both physically and mentally!)

So off for new eyebrows…. what could go wrong? xx

Away with the fairies

So…. Here I am, after about four years spending most days adding at least one picture to Instagram and surrounding myself with all the beautiful images, like minded people and ideas I have decided to start a blog.

When I first thought about it I changed my mind as I thought, what do I have to offer? Why read my musings over some of the other amazing bloggers who are like me and then I thought even if one person reads what I write and takes from it surely that’s a success so here I am!

Maybe I can help, how many working mums are there out there like me? Struggling to keep fit, keep on top of working, bringing up children to be the best they can be and with manners, trying to be a good wife, a good daughter, friend, aunt (you get the drift!) all the while trying to have a lovely home, time for being creative, to keep healthy and above all to keep smiling. If that sounds like you, well you are in the right place!

After many months of soul searching and probably many more at points to come I realised that I can do good and as well as volunteering as a youth mentor I also am trying to promote happiness, mindfulness and confidence in others by reading as much as I can, attending courses and generally listening to the world around me a bit more!

As Eleanor Roosevelt so eloquently put it, ‘A woman is like a tea bag; you never know how strong it is until it’s in hot water’. Now as a tea lover I always find this inspiring quote makes me smile but I also think it is an amazing place to start for my blog.

Please enjoy and tell me what you think.

 

A New Year…..

Hi all, how are we?

I have always loved this time of the year, it’s all about new beginnings, new hopes and dreams, aspirations for another academic year. We all seem to get a new sense of purpose and look forward to the next part of the year, Autumn, Christmas, booking next years holiday and how much more grown up and personality filled will our children be by the end of this year.

I’m quite sure that if you have children who have been home for the holidays like me, you have a new sense of purpose because the house looked a little bit like it had been hit by a tornado! I got more housework done yesterday in two hours than I did in the whole of the holidays and that included a stop for a cuppa in the middle (who doesn’t love a cuppa mid clean!)

I also got pangs of sadness as I looked out of the window over the garden and saw all of the things the boys have been up to over the last few weeks strewn all over the place. It was like a scene frozen in time, the slide in the paddling pool, the football goal with various craft creations tied on to it, the buckets and spades piled on top of the sand pit, the trampoline with a number of balls inside and of course a number of toys that should really never go outside that I had either forgotten to pick up or not realised the little monsters had sneaked out! Only this time there was no laughter, no boys running around playing imaginary games of cowboys or space men because they are both learning about life and expanding their amazing little brains.

I was very sad this week to have not been able to drop them off for their first day of school. It’s a big thing going into year one and two and sadly I had to take them and their gleaming new shoes and uniform to my parents who took them to school for us as we both had to work. I also felt very guilty as I so often do. When I did get the opportunity to do the school run myself the next day though it ended up with Leo refusing to put on shoes (yes again!) then not getting into the car. Nate moaning because Leo was making too much noise and then Leo in the playground getting into a small tussle with another boy about who was the best at football even though Leo tends to pick it up and walk around with it much to the annoyance of the other children.

Back to aspirations, I love how this time of year reminds us about being young and how it felt to be going off to school for another year. I still find that it inspires me to start something new, to take up a new skill or just make some changes. This will mostly involve some changes to the garden for us however I am in more of a consultancy role as building sheds and erecting fences really isn’t my strong suit. Maybe that could be my new skill!

How does back to school feel to you? What exciting projects or plans are on the horizon for you? As usual I would love to hear.

Much love xx

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Post Natal dilemma

Happy weekend all…. How are we? 

I’ve had a busy week as usual full of all the normal things you would expect, ill children, untidy rooms, the occasional tantrum and an awful lot of Tom and Jerry.

I took the boys on Thursday to a local wildlife park with one of my lovely friends and her children who are six and two. We then went back to her house for a sleep over. The children had fun in the paddling pool, Nate managed to catch a goldfish from their pond (no harm to any animals I promise) and they had a feast before bed. 

As you can imagine my friend and I really needed prosecco by the end of the evening and suffice to say I was a tad tipsy when Nate at midnight came down still wide awake! So cue two slightly tipsy women in their thirties trying to get a blow up mattress to do just that, do you think we managed it, oh no! 

I ended up spending the night on what was actually a very comfy sofa with Nate. It was only when I woke up in the morning that I realised I had eaten the biggest chunk of chocolate cake I have ever seen, two slices of pizza and between us we had got through a bit more prosecco than we should have!

We went and met another friend of mine at a play place in the afternoon and while the children behaved like absolute loons we sat with tea and managed to catch up. My friend has a new baby, he is five months old, absolutely gorgeous and growing well with a beautiful smile. 

My friend looked stunning, her hair was lovely, her outfit was stylish and her skin looked great, she certainly wasn’t the greasy haired, spot covered mess I was when I had a new born who didn’t wear anything that wasn’t covered in snot or baby sick. As we were chatting she looked sad and confided that she is being treated for post natal depression.

I’ve known this friend since school, she has always been strong and forthright and she is an amazing mummy to her older daughter who is two. I’m not saying it shocked me to find that she has been suffering the way she has but that it just shows that even the strongest of people can suffer after the emotional roller coaster that bringing a small person into the world can be. 

My very wise friend said that if she had broken a bone she would go to the hospital to get help so she felt she had no choice after three days not feeling able to get out of bed and constantly being in tears but go to the doctor. We discussed the stigma attached to making such a disclosure and how often it comes out of nowhere knocking you down like a bus and leaving you with no idea what to do next.

The three of us discussed our own experiences of post natal depression and I was quite shocked to find that even though all three of us felt we had suffered after having one of our children only one of us had sought help. I didn’t, I was so angry at ‘failing’ and letting my emotions get to me and my other friend said she felt that if she just carried on it would be okay and eventually she was although it took a considerable amount of time.

Whilst sat holding her gorgeous baby boy I listened to my friend explain that with a mixture of anti-depressants and attending a weekly group for mums suffering with PND themselves she is slowly feeling brighter.

I honestly don’t know if I had have sought treatment after having Leo whether I would have gone on to have my eating disorder and the anxiety and depression I have suffered with. I suspect I delayed the inevitable by not being strong enough to seek help. 

It doesn’t matter who we are, what our character is, what we do for a living or how we have grown up, we still can all suffer when it comes to our mental health. I can’t implore anyone reading this enough to have a think about there’s and if you feel you need some help know there is no shame in being honest. There are people who can help and actually you will be a happier mum with a happier family if you are happy with you.

Have a fab weekend xxx