Monday, 16 October 2017

Review - The Worry Plaque

' A fairy's magic changes red to green, gone are your worries never to be seen'

When we were offered the opportunity to review this product, I jumped at the chance. If you have read my previous blog post you will know that Isabelle is going through a bit of a hard time with over worrying and anxiety at the moment. I had actually heard of this item a few months ago but never got round to looking into it fully.

Around a month ago we actually purchased a fairy door for Isabelle's room and she fell in love with it. It leaves little gifts for her and it's helped with her sleep as she believes if she's not asleep they won't visit. Over all it's been a very comforting thing for her and I love seeing her believe in the magic of fairies. The worry plaque was actually created by the Irish Fairy Door Company and has a very simple concept behind it. A child simply places their hand on to the worry plaque, it turns red while the child is thinking about what is making them anxious and it changes to green as the fairies take away the child's worries. The worrying thoughts that have been taken away are then turned into positive magic and used to grant wishes, which is a lovely touch.

Isabelle has been using the worry plaque in the morning before school and it has been giving her a great sense of relief. It has been giving her a positive start to the day and I can see that she truly believes her worries are being taken away. It has stimulated her imagination and even though it's not a cure to her over worrying it has given her something to focus on. I definitely could have used something like this when I was Isabelle's age, such a beautiful, simple but effective product. We are willing to try anything to bring Isabelle some comfort at the moment and this has been a welcome addition to her routine.

The Worry Plaque is available to purchase from Smyths Toys and Argos priced at £19.99.

* Not sponsored. I was kindly sent the Worry Plaque in return for an honest review. 


Tuesday, 10 October 2017

World Mental Health Day 2017

The 10th of October is world mental health day. Of course mental health can affect us on any day of the year but it's another great opportunity to talk openly about it. World mental health day is focused on support for better mental health and taking care of yourself too. This year is all about mental health in the work place. I am so glad they have chosen this subject this year. Even though I am not working at the moment a lot of my mental health issues stem from previous jobs where I just didn't get the support I needed. We all know how stressful working is but there is a huge difference between being stressed and it taking a toll on your mental health. Considering that a great deal of the population spend more time at work than in their own homes it's important to keep some simple practices in place. 

My favourite mental health charity has always been Mind, they are just incredible. The work that they do has raised so much awareness in the UK and you can find some great tips on their website for helping you cope in the work place. A few of these are-

Taking a deep breath, this mind sound a bit silly but taking some deep breaths can help to ground you when your situation is feeling overwhelming. 

Make sure you take your breaks. We can all be guilty of skipping our breaks when we don't want to get behind with our work but this can have a negative affect on our working day. Making sure that you eat properly and just having some time to recharge is very important. 

Make sure you have clear boundaries between work and home. This means leave work at work. I know not everyone can do this but it's important for your personal life that working at home is kept to a minimum or at least to a designated area so that it doesn't invade your home space. 

Most importantly talk to your colleagues. If you know you are not feeling yourself or anxiety/depression is making you feel over whelmed at work then tell your work colleagues how you are feeling. Just talking can take a huge weight off your shoulders and they are there to support you especially when you are working as part of a team. 

Why not set yourself a challenge on Tuesday 10th October and simply ask someone how they are? Get the conversation going and lets keep talking about mental health!

For more information on world mental health day or for mental health support please visit the Mind website. 

Tuesday, 3 October 2017

My worst fear has become a reality

I can't believe I'm here. The fear in her eyes, the panic upon her face. I feel helpless, I feel like this cannot possibly be happening. But you have it they have said, you should know what to do. Until now I thought I would know what to do. 

My child has anxiety.

It's real, it's happening and I feel like I'm reliving my own childhood all over again. It's like she is writing down my story but with her own words. Since the start of the year we have seen a change in Isabelle, a slow and steady change. We know what the trigger was and have tried hard to help Isabelle over come all of this. Ten months later and we are still here, watching our daughter struggle, seeing her consumed with worry. Like most with anxiety if it doesn't happen in front of you or I haven't told you personally, you wouldn't know anything was wrong. We have tried to play it down as much as possible, to not make it into a big thing if that makes sense but it's still here. 

For once I am able to say I know exactly how another person feels. I have a connection that is so strong because she is mine. Now there is another connection, an unfortunate one which I have always prayed would never happen to either of my children. The tears roll down my face as I blame myself. Have I some how passed this on to her, have I slipped up at some point and she has seen weakness inside me, has my worrying seeped out into her life. All children worry, some more than others and I know that. Once you have seen your child have what is basically an child's form of a panic attack it is imprinted on your mind forever. To not be able to take away that worry, to feel so unbelievably helpless. I can't even explain it, it's unbearable. 

As I have written before my children never see any of my anxiety, I have always made sure of it. Now I feel I have to be stronger than ever. She saved me by coming into my life when I least expected it, now it's my turn to do all I can to help her get through this. Every morning I now tell her 'You've got this'.  I squeeze her extra tight and say how proud I am of her, that she is my everything. 

We have taken her to the GP several times but have always been fobbed off, it's just a child worrying. Last week we saw a GP who just understood, he could see it and we are now on the road to getting some support for her.  I have known what has been going on for ten months but last week the realisation finally happened and I broke down. I broke down because I wouldn't wish the way I feel on my worst enemy. I can't think like that though, she is so much stronger than I am. She shouldn't have a care in the world and I will do everything I can to make that a reality for her again. 

So this is why I have been absent across my social media and on here. She comes first, without explanation. I know she will get through this. My feisty, clever, beautiful girl. 

Monday, 25 September 2017

Potty Training, second time round

Potty training first time round with Isabelle was a breeze. I think a lot of it was purely down to luck but she was fully potty trained by the time she was two and a half. She just took to it like a duck to water and we had hardly any accidents during the day or night. She was brilliant and took it all in her stride.

This time round though, things have been a little more interesting to say the least. Charlie turned three at the start of September and I have tried since the start of the year to begin potty training him but to no avail. Every time it was brought up he would get very upset and would beg for a nappy to be put back on. Moving the nappies to some where he couldn't find them didn't work as he would get hysterical. I just took this as a sign he still wasn't ready and we moved on from it. I tried again over the summer holidays but I would still get the same reaction. 

Last Monday I tried again, we had hardly anything on so for the most part we stayed at home. As soon as he realised what I was trying to do again he got upset but I persevered and I did my best to take his mind off of it while still trying to do what was needed. Everyday however was the same, he would hold it in all day until late afternoon and he would have an accident. Of course I gave him constant reminders and reassurance but he kept telling me he didn't need to go. It does seem he doesn't like the potty as he just won't sit on it. I have tried him on the toilet on a child's toilet seat which he would sit on but then quickly asked to get off.

This week again I have purposely not planned much so that we can stay in and try and turn a corner with it. I know I shouldn't but I do feel the pressure that he is now three and he is starting pre school in January. A friend of mine has suggested if I can get get him to sit on the potty then I can give him bubbles to blow so he's sat on it but so he's distracted at the same time. I will definitely try this and I am open to other suggestions on how to help him.

I think it does make things harder when the first child has done something so quickly/found it easier but I really don't think children should be compared especially not siblings. I know we will get there and he will do it when he's good and ready. If you have an tips or advice for us it would be greatly appreciated. 

Monday, 18 September 2017

Why I've been quiet

Depression, it can be brewing in the background for weeks or it can just slap you in the face when you least expect it. This time it came out of no where and boy has it hit me hard. The unbelievable sadness that cannot be explained and that also cannot just be fixed so easily as I wish it could. Feeling so hopeless and clinging on to this ride that is life. Rock bottom. 

The past few weeks have been truly horrendous for not just me but the people closest to me too. There is no feeling like not being able to help someone or knowing how to for that matter. Life can be hard, really, really hard and it feels like things will never get better. It's the classic case of people looking at me and not knowing the suffering that is happening and how I am praying that I will catch a break and things won't be so damn right hard. It has been one things after another for over a year now and there comes a point where I have to put my hands up and say I'm not coping, it's OK not to be OK. 

I want to thank those people who have been there for me recently, the people who I can be 100% honest with. The people that know the whole story as to why things feel so down right awful right now. You know who you are and you continue to be my guiding light in all of this.

When your in the depths of depression it's so hard to be able to see past it, to feel like things will get better. One look at my children and it's all taken away, maybe for a brief second or maybe for longer. I have said it a million times and I'll say it can they have no idea how much they keep me going. The moments where I lose myself belting out the Moana soundtrack, where I'm judging scooter races or where they are just in my arms and it feels like all is right with the world. Yes they can be hard work but life would be pretty boring if being a Mum was easy. 

I will continue to write about anxiety and I will continue to write about depression. I needed the past two weeks off from my blog to be present in my life and to be there for the people who needed me the most. Writing helps, it releases so much of how I am feeling so I feel like I can breath again. 

Right now Coldplay's fix you is playing as I'm writing this, seems like fate to me. I need to look after myself and get back to me again, I have done it before and I'll do it again. 

Monday, 4 September 2017

Back to school dread

As I write this its the day before Isabelle goes back to school and a wave of sadness has come over me, one that I can't seem to shake. It's been building up for the last week. As I have labelled her new uniform, as I have put her P.E kit back in it's bag and as Monday get's closer I'm not ready to lose her back to school yet.

There is no dread for Isabelle, she is so excited to go back and if she had it her way I'm sure there would be no half terms! This was our first summer holidays since she started last year and I feel like it went by in a flash. I did everything I could to make it the best possible but now it's over I find myself regretting certain aspects of it. Did we do enough? Did I let a lack of funds ruin it? Did I say no too much? Did I spend enough one on one time with her? Will all she remember be me asking her to stop fighting with her brother so many times. And of course none of these things matter it's just me over thinking as usual. 

When I actually sit and think about the past six weeks we did so much, more than I actually thought we would be able to do. I have to stop being so hard on myself I know. Isabelle's first year of school taught me that she does get so stressed and I wanted her to be able to have the best break possible. She doesn't even go back until tomorrow but I miss her already, my heart aches, how is that even possible and maybe it sounds a bit pathetic? 

The other aspect of this is that my social anxiety really hasn't missed the school runs and the awkward chats with other parents when I can't make conversation. I am determined though not to let this get to me too much this time round. I over think it far too much, I just need to be accepted for who I am and to stop trying to fight it. 

As much as I don't want tomorrow to happen I need to be thankful that Isabelle loves school as much as she does as this would be so much harder if she didn't. I need to embrace her passion and let some of it rub off on me I think. By the time this post goes up she will have done her first day back at school in year one and I will be hearing all about it. It's just breaking the routine for the six weeks of half term and then getting back into it again. 

Most of me knows that I just need to pull myself together, the rest of me however just wants to cuddle this little one and not let her go! Back to reality...........

Friday, 1 September 2017

A letter to you my boy on your 3rd birthday

Time seems to be going so fast and you have reached your third birthday even quicker than your sister did. I remember the day you were born so clearly and it really doesn't feel like three years have passed already. In the past year you have really come on in leaps and bounds. Your speech has gone from strength to strength and your definitely not a baby anymore.  You and your sister are a force to be reckoned with when your together and she is 100% your favourite one of us all. In the next few months as we head towards January I want to try and live in the moment with you as much as possible before you start pre-school. How is it nearly time for you to go already? 

You definitely have your toddler moments especially when you don't get your own way and we still need to work on your lack of danger awareness. The not looking before you cross a road really isn't good for Mummy's stress levels! You love nothing more than running around like crazy and it's a challenge to keep you entertained these days. Those blue eyes of yours mean you get away with practically everything, I see that carrying on into the future! You still love paw patrol, trains and everything construction related. You also enjoy walking round the house in your sisters shoes and wearing her nurses outfit. Your newest 'thing' is to give us a thumbs up when your finished telling us a story which is just hilarious. You also give the best cuddles and one of my favourite parts of this last year was when you started to say I love you back to me at bedtimes. 

I am finding it so hard to know I will lose you in a few months but I know it will be the absolute making of you. You make me laugh until I cry and I can't imagine life without you. Now if you could just work on the sleep side of things that would be great! 

Happy 3rd Birthday Charlie, Mummy loves you so so much xxx