Trying to Evade Total Madness

Hey all, how are we?

I am sorry if you have totally forgotten who I am, I have been painfully quiet I know but due to still being ill and 14 days away from the dreaded op I am still the worlds most boring person and quite frankly I highly doubt you want to hear about the movements of my neighbours, how much sleep I haven’t managed to get or the fact that I am watching Sons of Anarchy from Season one over again. Being honest the reason for this is two fold, one it’s an amazing series and two have you seen Charlie Hunnam?

Anyway I have a few bits to report and have actually managed to leave the house a couple of times and although felt crappy afterwards it has been a nice to get a little fresh air. As you all know I am usually a keen runner and exercise is a big part of my life. Since this most recent bad spell of health I had been really enjoying my running and the scenery around me however I have found that it just isn’t an option for me right now so the inevitable lack of exercise plus expanding waistline blues have kicked in.

Endometriosis has a way of kicking you when you are down, not only does it mean no end of ‘womens’ type issues but also aches and pains and various other ailments. I slowly feel like I’m going mad. All the things I love I am mostly not able to do, I am having to rely on others to help me live normal life and I can’t seem to sleep.

I recall earlier in the year a friend telling me about a potter called Keith Brymer Jones who has his studio in Whitstable and that just prior to Christmas he often has a studio sale and that I should go. I am a big fan in my old age of pottery and have come to have an almost addictive relationship with Emma Bridgewater in the last year. So when I saw on Facebook the sale was coming up I figured I should go to get some of the presents that need to be bought and wrapped before the operation. So my Mum who has also become one of my three chauffeurs came with me for one of the few times I got out of my pyjamas in the last week.

We got some lovely bargains and I even got to chat to the man himself about where he lives in Margate and the local area. I took a few pictures of his studio which was very quirky and matched his personality perfectly.

I also managed a very short walk to the woods where I usually run. I walked for only a few minutes before going back to the car. I had Karl with me and just wanted to feel like I had been out and seen the nature I usually take for granted as I run past. It gives me such a feeling of empathy for people who cannot get out of the house due to illness or disabilities and also the need to rely on others to help you. I cant imagine how down you must feel if this is how your life is. Especially at this time of the year when it is cold and dark.

So I find myself trying to not get too down, trying to keep my sanity and also trying to do all the things I normally would such as care for the boys and run a home. I am struggling with each and every one. This weekend while Karl has been working I have ruined two meals I have tried to cook (I thought they were fine but the boys begged to disagree!) watched the carpet in the boys room magically disappear under a pile of lego, cars, dinosaurs, playmobil and pants (bloody boys!) Watched as my eyebrows are slowly becoming one and the hair on my head gets more silver and yet haven’t really managed to do much about any of it. I did do some washing up and felt very pleased for myself but then went dizzy and needed to sit down!

I can’t wait to be writing once the operation is done and I can live properly again, I am so sorry that you have all had to listen to me moaning for so long. Anyway my thought for this week comes from the amazing Samantha Jones from Sex and the City, ‘You can’t go listening to every fucking voice that runs through your head. You’ll go nuts.’ Amen to that.


 

 

 

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Advice for the younger you

Morning all, wishing you a very happy new week.

I have been thinking a lot lately about what I would tell younger Lucy if I could. What advice would thirty three year old me give the me of years gone by?

I imagine that the majority of us at some point consider this question. Of course we all make decisions which we regret in later life and there isn’t a person walking this earth that hasn’t. There is much thought behind this that our mistakes, our questionable decisions make us who we are today and we learn from them in order to grow as a person. I imagine this is true and most of us come to some sort of peace with things from our past.

What about though the things you didn’t do? The things you were scared of or just couldn’t have the confidence in yourself to achieve? The job you didn’t apply for, the date you said no to, the place you didn’t travel to or the decision you should have made about changing a friendship or direction your life was taking.

We as human beings are all guilty of not wanting to make a fuss, not wanting to upset people or put ourselves into positions where we might get hurt. Sometimes this is to our detriment as we stick with relationships, situations and circumstances that we shouldn’t to simply avoid rocking the boat. I think that there is a concern about appearing selfish, being too focussed on yourself or that you are making the wrong decision in the eyes of others.

It makes me think though that the people you may worry are judging you for a decision you have or haven’t made aren’t the ones who will have to live with the consequences of it, you are. So what right have others to make you feel bad for making decisions about your own life.

When you look back at some of the female icons of our times they have all had to make hard decisions that they have been criticised for, often publicly and you can’t even imagine that kind of scrutiny into what is your life, your business. Audrey Hepburn who is one of my icons said, ‘Pick the day. Enjoy it to the hilt. The day as it comes. People as they come. The past, I think has helped me appreciate the present- and I don’t want to spoil any of it fretting about the future.’

So I think that would be the best piece of advice I would give to the younger me, do what you think is right, make the decision for the right reasons as you will have to live with it forever more. Of course this is now a four person process including my husband and children but you can adopt the same philosophy. If we as a family are happy with what we are doing then that is all that matters.

Of course I would be lying if I said I still don’t worry about others people opinions but I will not get old and look back with regrets on decisions I made with other peoples thoughts in mind. I am not into politics and will not give my views on my blog but look at Donald Trump as an example, whatever you think of him I imagine there were huge numbers of people who will have told him he was being ridiculous even considering standing for American President. He didn’t listen and made a decision and in January he will be one of the most powerful men in our world. Andy Murray has constantly faced scrutiny about his tennis and calls to give up at times when he hasn’t quite got there however this morning he is the world number one in tennis.

I keep dwelling on my decision to have such a serious operation in three weeks. Taking myself out of the game and not being able to be the mum I want to be for my boys and up to being the wife I want to be for my husband. Now this decision won’t make me a president or number one in any sport but it will after a period of hardship mean tat life will be better, I will be more capable of being the mum and wife I want to be with no more suffering or pain. I am happy with my decision and am going into it with an open heart and positivity.

What decisions have you made or not made in your life that you would like to talk to the younger you about?

 

When even a Mum feels useless

Hey all, how are you?

So this week is National Anti Bullying week and only last night on Facebook I read a post by a friend about her four year old son who is in reception coming home from school covered in scratches and refusing to go back after a bully had been picking on him at school. Being honest this really shocked me as you struggle to believe that four year olds could be capable of bullying.

Fast forward to this morning and after a night of hardly any sleep from me Nate came in to our bedroom in tears and wanting to talk. Nate who is my eldest son and in Year two at Infant School as I have written before is a beautiful, loving boy who loves all the rufty tufty boy stuff but also loves singing and art. He told us that he didn’t want to go to school as some boys have been being nasty to him. He was literally breaking his heart and I could feel mine breaking in the process. I had never imagined that at the age of six we would be having tears and upset about such a thing. now I’m not saying this is full on bullying but as a parent when a usually very happy child is in tears and worried to go to school this is something that concerned me greatly.

To see one of your children in such a state is truly horrible and I can’t even imagine how other parents must feel when sadly we know that bullying is commonplace in our world today. I remember my own days at school at how nasty and unkind children and teenagers can be to each other but as you grow and make solid friendships you almost block out things that happened at school if you can. This however bought it all back to me, how children can make cruel jibes at each other and particularly anything that is different.

I am not for a second suggesting that this is all children or all the time and I know that mostly Nate and his brother who are at the same school have a lovely and happy time however as a mum one morning of tears was enough. I have of course spoken to the school who have been very good and reassuring about how they will deal with this. It’s an amazing school so I would never think they would do anything less. But how do I deal with it? I want to teach my children to stand up for themselves and not be oversensitive but I also don’t want them to be full on or aggressive. How do we equip our children with the ability to be strong and yet gentle? To know that the best thing to do is to tell a grown up and to not let themselves be scared or put off by the inevitable mean person you will meet in life?

We can’t protect our children from everything, we can’t wrap them up in cotton wool but in a world so full of things that potentially they need to worry about surely it’s not too much to ask that they can get through Infant School without being scared of others or feeling like they don’t want to go in? It should be about learning, fun, exploring, meeting people, developing skills, laughing, smiling and gaining independence. Why does no one tell you how hard being a parent is and just how frustrating it is to not only not have all the answers but also to not be able to be there all the time to get them through tough times.

As Dr Seuss said, ‘Be yourself, because the people who mind don’t matter, and the people that matter don’t mind’.

Build your children up, let them know how fab the are and how important their voice is.

 

Lucy xx

There is no way to sugar coat it….. a moan

Hey all, how is your weekend?

I as you know like to talk about my children, I often mention how lucky I am as well as funny anecdotes and musings about life in general.

Today though despite how lucky I am, how fantastic the boys are and how fortunate my life is I find myself feeling stressed, low and being honest a bit on edge. We all know I’m poorly (yawn, change the record) so some things I can usually do with my eyes shut are currently evading me and sadly patience seems to be one of them.

Today Karl has been working and I have had ‘one of those days’, the boys have used three boxes of Christmas cards to write to their friends and family but because Leo isn’t too au fait with the spelling of some names and he couldn’t possibly wait for me to write out the names he wanted for him I now have a giant pile of cards written in some form of half English, half hieroglyphic mix. Because he has used so many cards and can’t be sure exactly which ones are for who he has requested another box which is fine but mummy can’t drive (another poorly mention, sorry!) so it will have to wait. Of course he isn’t happy to wait and I am not only the world’s worst mother but I am also ruining Christmas. .

I also made the mistake of giving the boys a pack of small Christmas stickers each as I thought it would be a good way for them to decorate their envelopes and would also amuse them. I didn’t realise when I bought them that they have a peel off back so my carpet looks like small Christmas shaped pieces of white paper have snowed all over it and every time I ask one of the boys to pick them up they blame the other one and refuse. This has led to a large number of time outs which have taken up to an hour when actually they should only be five minutes.

Nate and Leo have also been watching Home Alone 2, Lost in New York which has prompted much conversation about what would happen to them in the same situation. Nate did at one point say he would find a member of staff at the airport and seek help before changing his mind completely and deciding that actually he would like Kevin McCallister go wild in New York using our money. Leo has asked repeatedly since the first time of watching if we can go to New York and stay in the Plaza Hotel too. We are now on the fifth showing of the weekend.

We have had arguments about Lego, jumpers, colouring pencils, hair styles, the best dancer this week on Strictly, the best judge on Strictly, the fact that Nate has had to share ‘everything he has ever had’ with his brother, the amount of juice in the others cup, whether Chicago is in America, who sealed an envelope the best and my very favourite who should get to lay on Mummy’s side of the bed (guess what it’s not Mummy!)

I have also had to assist with a number of small disasters which have included getting the knots out of Nate’s shoelaces that Leo had tied too tight (who knew he could tie knots in the first place!) locating the pencil that draws Father Christmas the best as Nate had lost it and getting some peanut out of Nate’s eye after him running in and screaming at the top of his voice, ‘There’s peanuts in my eye!’

Now it’s a Sunday and there s nothing I love more than a nice roast and a glass of wine however for us tonight it’s a Chinese and water followed by a cup of tea chaser because in case I haven’t mentioned I’m poorly! But I do like a Chinese!

Hope you have an amazing Sunday evening whatever you are doing! xx

A little catch up…..

Hey all, how are we? Wishing you all a very happy Friday.

Just a quick catch up as you may have noticed I have been decidedly quiet of late. Being honest this is because I don’t want to bore you all as I am still off work sick and spend the majority of my time sitting around in my pyjamas (literally moaning if you listen to my husband but I beg to disagree!)

I have decided that endometriosis is a total arse and I’m starting to get quite sick of feeling rubbish. This weeks new fun symptom is terrible pain under my arms which is apparently due to how endo affects our hormones and makes glands and lymph nodes swell hence the pain. I have to be honest that originally I thought it was because my bra was too tight due to putting on weight from all the sitting around, not being able to run and chocolate hobnobs (dam you Mcvities!) However after wearing a different bra each day, on some days no bra (controversial) I came to the realisation that getting fat is just another by product and actually the awful pain was being caused by something else.

So how much insight into the world can you have from your sofa or bed? How much writing can you do about being a mum when you are needing so much help to do the job you feel that you aren’t really in a position to talk about it?

The boys both know that mummy isn’t at her best and we are trying to do as much as we can inside the house while I am here on my own so that if I’m not feeling up to going out I don’t have to. Thank goodness the weather has been rubbish so neither Nate or Leo seem to mind. This week we have singlehandedly done every kind of Christmas craft imaginable, the boys have both written all of their Christmas cards and we have also been through the Argos catalogue with a fine toothed comb looking for present ideas for friends and family. Tomorrow will be making Christmas cakes with the assistance of Nana and Grandad and Sunday will be homework and a nice dinner.

I have managed to get out of the house on  couple of occasions this week though which on one occasion meant not only getting out of my pyjamas but also putting make up on my pale and somewhat ill looking face! I met up with a dear friend who kindly collected me from home (still not driving, boo!) and we went for lovely cake and catch up in the town. It was really nice and although I moaned quite  bit about my ailments I also laughed which was a welcome break.

Then we had to go and look at one of the possible Junior Schools for Nate who is going into year three next year. This is a huge time and I didn’t want to miss looking around where he will potentially be spending the next four years of his little life. I have written about this process and how challenging it can be in one of my Whitstable Times articles recently. I was most shocked to find that the deputy head who was showing us around used to teach both Karl and I at primary school (yes we have known each other that long!) It was most annoying that she didn’t look a day older and yet I felt like an old lady needing a zimmer frame walking around with all my ills!

I have also had the joy of starting the Christmas Shopping online really early as I want it all done and wrapped by the time I go in for my operation on the 12th of December. This has basically meant I have ordered stuff, been asleep when the delivery has turned up and had to send poor Karl to various neighbours and post offices to collect the parcels.

But on a very positive note I have been reading a book on the Danish practice of Hygge, which is essentially embracing cosiness and the simple things in life. It is an amazing book and I have really enjoyed reading it so far (between moans, naps and tablets of course!)

More about Hygge in the newspaper column soon and also on here once I have the energy to do anything more than light candles and sit under a blanket.

Have a fab weekend you lovely people. Much love, Lucy xx

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Perfectionism….

I watched Cheryl Cole on The One Show this week talking about her new position as an ambassador for Child Line. She spoke very frankly about her own insecurities as a child and a growing teenager and how she worries that children today are growing up in a world where they think everything needs to be perfect like we see on Instagram, Facebook, magazines and on the television.

Cheryl and I are the same age and I think that is one of the very few things we have in common, she as we all know is a beautiful, talented and very famous woman who has been in the spotlight since her teens. We also know that she has publicly been through considerable heartbreak, battled issues with her weight and has her every outfit and decision scrutinised because that is what we as a world now seem to do to celebrities.

My life has of course been far removed from Cheryl’s, I have children, I have never been famous, no one would pay to hear me sing and my every life choice has not been put under a microscope by people who don’t even know me. However we do all suffer this kind of scrutiny from people around us don’t we? There are always people in our lives who judge us based on the idea of what we should be and what we should do in our world which is so focussed on being ‘perfect’.

So if I as a grown woman am aware that what I do is measured against this almost impossible standard set by the world around me how right is Cheryl that we need to be concerned about how the children growing up around us feel. There is a saying that the only way we can be truly happy is to learn to drown out the opinions of others and let our own opinions be the only ones that matter. Of course we all know this is so much more easier said than done.

As an adult I can filter things out of my life, my family unit are the most important thing in the world to me and this includes some of my close friends who I see as being family. I can make a conscious decision about who I chose to have in my life and if there is nothing but negativity and unkindness then I can cut that out because lets be honest who needs it! However children cannot, they can’t decide not to see the person at school who is being nasty about their hair or another physical attribute. They can’t cut out those who deem themselves to be better or more worthwhile than them so understandably they end up in a position where they need some help to get through these times.

It is the same with family, as adults we can decide if we have given all we can to a family relationship and move on, as children we have no choice other than get on with it and try to keep our heads held high. We know and I have written many times before that we absolutely cannot get on with everyone that we meet. It would be lovely but totally impossible. Personalities are so diverse and we all love and like different things, variety is definitely the spice of life.

This is where the work that Child Line are doing becomes so important as it helps to communicate to children and teens that it is okay that everything isn’t perfect and do you know what nothing will ever be totally perfect. But…… that’s totally okay, in fact that is totally ‘normal’.

I also like to think that what I write emphasises this point also, I was chatting to a friend of mine this week about how bloggers have a niche, a thing that they are particularly good at doing and writing about and this makes their blogs well read and they gain popularity. This of course made me wonder what my niche is, I am a mummy blogger, I write mostly about my life with children however on reflection I realised that actually my niche is normality. I don’t pretend to be anything other than me, I am not perfect, I am not even close. I struggle with being a mum on a daily basis and being honest I’m really not sure that I am very good at it, I have little confidence in myself and self esteem is something I have always struggled with, I have in recent months made conscious decisions along with my husband to step away from some toxic people in our life and I have a tidy magazine worthy home about once a year when I have people round and I spend two days before cleaning.

If you look at my Instagram you could be forgiven for thinking that my house is tidy, I always wear make up, the boys are impeccably behaved, I have a wardrobe full of beautiful things and a social life that Cheryl would be proud of. If however you read what I write on the comments of my pictures, the things I write in this blog and my column for the local paper you will know I don’t pretend to be anything other than normal. I have grey hair and only get around to dying it every few months or so, I have a close circle of good friends but don’t spend all my time out socialising, I worry about walking onto the school grounds for fear of what other mums think of me, I worry when I leave work what my colleagues think of me, my Ugg boots have a hole in them and my children behave like monsters more often than they behave like angels. But do you know what, who doesn’t feel like me? Maybe not all the time but sometimes and I think this is the point that Cheryl was trying to emphasise.

People will always be there to criticise, to say the things you do wrong, to act like they are better than you or can do the things you do better than you do them. As long as you are true to yourself and you accept that you will never be perfect and neither will they then you will always have the upper hand. Surround yourself with people who feel like this also and you will truly be blessed.

Much love, Lucy xx