Monday, 26 June 2017

Would you abandon your children?

No you wouldn't, this however has repeatedly happened to me during my life. I have always feared writing this post in case my parents ever read it but why should I feel ashamed? This has happened to ME.

Let's start from the beginning. I have always had a very strained relationship with my parents. I have always felt like I have never been good enough and that I was just a huge disappointment from day one.

I struggled with anxiety since I started secondary school and I was unable to sit my exams. I left school and at the age of 16 I started my first job and began paying my parents rent. I worked hard but as I previously mentioned nothing I did stopped me from feeling inadequate. The arguments became daily and they were always about nothing, just very picky and draining.

I counted down the days until I could move out of home which happened a month after I turned eighteen. They couldn't have made it clearer how happy they were to see the back of me and I started a new life with my now husband. Years later they admitted that they didn't want me to go and that they were angry at the time, hence the reason I had to leave such a toxic environment. 

The years following me moving out of home were so up and down. They would be in my life for a few years then they would find an excuse and walk away again. Every time leaving me in such a mess that my husband/friends had to pick up the pieces. When I found out I was pregnant with Isabelle our first child they were in my life. They had been for a while and things were good for the first time in years. They were the first people I called when I went into labour and seeing them meet their grand daughter for the first time was so special. Fast forward two and a half years and they were gone again, with no explanation. I was pregnant again with Charlie and they knew. For me it was like my whole world had fallen apart. I was used to the feeling but to walk away from a child? To walk away from a time where another grandchild would be coming along. From Isabelle, someone so innocent who was getting to know them, who looked up to them. As awful as it sounds at least Isabelle would be able to forget them and there would be no upset. There is no point trying to comprehend this because to this day I still can't make any sense of it. 

Now I need to add that my Nan is my rock, she is my best friend. We have been through everything together and without her I don't no how I would of got through everything. Every time I let them back into my life it was for her. A few weeks before Christmas 2015 and she called me to say that my Dad wanted to know if we could meet to talk. It took me a few weeks to decide what to do but I eventually decided to hear him out. We met at Costa and he wouldn't acknowledge anything. He wouldn't explain why they stopped talking to me and expected us to just be able to have a nice chat. This made me so angry. It was clear they wanted to be back in my life and even though I did not feel comfortable with this I had to do it for my children. At least at the time that's what I thought.

They met Charlie who was 14 months by this point and Isabelle again who was now three. We rebuilt our shattered relationship once again and for the usual two years things were the best they had been in a while. At the beginning of this year things were incredibly hard for myself and my husband, they still are. In normal circumstances we really have to watch our money but back in February after having to pay out for a few things we had to ask for help. 

I called my Mum just to borrow £20 and she wouldn't let me talk and said 'what do you want I'm busy'. I will admit I hung up the phone, it was happening again and I didn't want to say anything I would regret. Weeks went by and Easter came around. They sent the children a package and trying to be the bigger person I sent them a video of the children opening it. This was ignored. Fast forward to June and Isabelle's birthday. By this point they had not spoken to my daughter since February and had sent me a message to say her birthday presents would be late but they were on the way. I replied that I had no issue accepting gifts but only if they contacted her. This may sound harsh but I don't want either of my children to think that gifts just come out of the sky. For me what my parents were trying to do just wasn't right. You can probably guess the next part. They did not contact Isabelle on her birthday and for me this was the end. They had officially broken me. 

I contacted them and advised that I could no longer have any form of relationship with them and I asked that they not contact me or my children again. 

The reason why I am so upset this time is because I no it is the end. It's one thing to do it to me my whole life but I stupidly let them back into my children's life and for that I feel overwhelmingly guilty. I could have saved my children from so much hurt. Isabelle asked my why they hadn't called on her birthday and I just couldn't find the words. How do I even begin to explain this to a five year old?

If I had done something so horrible over the 29 years that I have been alive then maybe I could understand but I never have. I have written this post to try and help myself get over this as it is so raw. It is also one of the topics that I am going through with my psychology practitioner. The way in which they repeatably walked out of my life has left me feeling completely lost. They are my parents, I should feel loved, supported. Now I feel nothing. 

They have repeatedly abandoned me over the years and now I have to say enough is enough. I have to protect myself once and for all and more importantly I have to protect my children. My children could never do anything to stop me being there for them. I will never abandon them like the way my parents abandoned me so many times. The thought of not being there for my children makes me feel sick to my stomach. I always try to look for the positive in situations and for me this is finally putting myself first. 

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Sibling Love

At the beginning of May we visited our local bluebell woods and at the time I completely forgot to share the pictures on my blog. I didn't think you would mind me sharing them now as there are some really lovely ones of the children. As you can see we went twice as it was just stunning!

Now would you think that this was actually situated behind an industrial estate?! As much as it seems a bit blogger cliché to do this type of post/share these pictures this really is one of my favourite times of year. I have been every year since I was pregnant with Isabelle and I love adding to my collection of family bluebell pictures.

This years ones really show the bond that the children have. The fact that it's not forced and they just genuinely love being around each other is all a Mummy could ever ask for. It was always a worry bringing a sibling into the world for Isabelle and when Charlie first came along she honestly didn't want anything to do with him! As they have gotten older they have more than made up for it. 

Isabelle always tries to include Charlie in everything which is just the sweetest. She introduces him to her friends and makes sure he's not left out. When Isabelle gets sweets she always makes sure to pick Charlie up something too. Really small simple things but at the same time show just how much she cares for him.

Now don't get me wrong they still love a good squabble but recently this is becoming less and the sibling fun is on the increase. I adore being a Mum of two and I'm so glad we made the decision to have a second baby. I can't imagine Isabelle ever being an only child now or Charlie not being in our lives for that matter. It was just meant to be.

Sunday, 18 June 2017

Celebrating my husband on Father's Day

This might be a slightly odd post to some but because my own Father is not in my life it's important to me to celebrate the Father of my children.

He has now been a Daddy for five years and he is the children's best friend. Our situation has dramatically changed in the past eight months and because of this he doesn't get to see them as much as he would like. The second he walks through the front door I am forgotten about and you know something, I am completely ok with that. I sit back and watch my children continue their absolute obsession with their Daddy. 

On the weekend I watch my husband fight through his total exhaustion from working two jobs to shower our children with love and his complete attention. You would think that they would be too young to understand how hard he works but they just seem to know and they show him so much love and care in return. 

Because of my own situation it's so important to me to raise my children showing them that their Daddy will always be there for them no mater what and that they can always go to him. Their connection is so strong and I hope that they stay as close as they are now. 

Thank you to my husband, the father of my children for being the best Daddy to our children that I could have ever asked for. 

Thursday, 15 June 2017

What did I actually do before my children?

(six years ago, one year before I had Isabelle)
Does anyone else have those moments were you wonder what you actually did before you had children? I feel like I lived this totally different life up until I had them and now I can't help wonder what I would be doing if they hadn't come along.

I went straight from school to working at the age of 16 and stayed in employment until I became pregnant at the age of 24. Before children every day I would be working full time and I would live for the weekends. I still do live for the weekends but now it's for a totally different reason. Back then we would be down the pub at any given chance (No I didn't used to be an alcoholic) and it was all about the socialising with mine and my then boyfriend's friends. It does make me wonder though how on earth we afforded to go out every weekend. I guess the money we used to spend now goes on the children and making sure they have everything they need and I couldn't be happier with that fact. 

(8 years ago)

As much as I used to like going out and more to the point not having to find childcare or worry about staying out too late, these days I am content with just getting cosy with my children and watching films. It's all about the quality time, nothing else matters anymore. 

If I hadn't of had children I don't think anything would of changed and I'm so glad it did. Before them I had no real sense of purpose or direction with my life and becoming a Mum was simply what was meant to happen to me. I do have those moments as I'm sure most Mum's do were I think is there anything else I want to do with me life. Being a Mum will always be my number one priority but I'm still not sure with where exactly I would like to see my self in say ten years time. Maybe that's because right now I'm exactly where I need to be and let's be honest life was pretty boring before children! 

Monday, 12 June 2017

It's ok not to be ok

Today for the first time in five years I met with a psychology practitioner to seek help with my anxiety. I have seen these types of people a few times before I had my children but since then I have used the classic excuses of I don't have time, I don't have childcare to go or I can cope with it on my own.

So much has happened in the past year that a few weeks ago I finally realised that I don't have to always deal with the way I feel on my own. That I need to look after myself for my family and most importantly for me. Going along today was a huge step for me and I can honestly say I already feel better for it. 

We sat and talked for 45 minutes about everything that had been going on and the way I have been feeling. Talking to a stranger is always nerve racking especially when its something so personal but at the same time I found myself being able to be more open. It was like I had opened the flood gates and it was such a relief.

If you have read my other blog posts on my mental health you will know that I have had anxiety since I was 11 years old, I'm a pro if I can go as far as saying that. Going along to my appointment today I knew what I wanted to achieve and I'm happy to say that even though it's early days I can already feel that I can get this back under control.

I am going back for a second assessment in a month and then I will most likely be going back for CBT to re-train my brain to help with the basic anxiety and over worrying. Every GP that I have seen has always said it's 'just anxiety' and they have wanted to put me straight onto medication. Yes I have tried this and no I do not like it. As well as my social anxiety it was confirmed today that I have generalised anxiety disorder and probably have done for over 15 years. This is a long term condition that means I feel anxious about a wide range of situations/issues rather that a few specific things. Which is exactly how I feel, as soon as the practitioner explained this to me it all just made sense. 

Today was the first step in getting back in control of my anxiety and admitting that I need help. Sadly while I was waiting to be seen there was a couple sat next to me and then a man on the other side of them. He was clearly having a panic attack and I wanted to help him but he had already pushed a few other members of the public out the way. He was called into be seen and the couple sat next to me started to pick him apart. 'The state of him, what on earth is wrong with him, he needs to get a grip'. It makes me so angry that people with mental health issues are still so cruelly judged. If you go to see your GP about a stomach ache or an ear infection do you get judged? No you don't so why should mental health be any different?

Even though my children are too young to understand about mental health right now, one day I will tell them how important it is to share how they are feeling. It is not something to be ashamed of. It is so important to open up when we need help and after going to my appointment today I do wish I had gone sooner. I hope today is the start of me taking back control and learning new ways of helping myself. It is ok not to be ok, my life is not and will never be perfect and if there is help out there then why should I not accept it? 

The first stage of getting help is admitting that you need it and today that's exactly what I did.  I have a long road ahead but I know I can do this.

Thursday, 8 June 2017

The week I became even closer to my children

This half term was utterly perfect and I am now counting down the days until the next one. I completely embraced having both children at home and we really made the most of it.

I had booked Isabelle into a gymnastic crash course for the week which was an hour everyday. Let me tell you, she has completely fallen in love with it. It seems that she has found her 'thing' and she hasn't stopped talking about it since. The smile did not leave her face the whole time and every day you could see she had a great sense of accomplishment. I have booked her in for another week during the summer holidays and also put her name down for the weekly club. There is a wait to join but we're hoping it won't be too long of a wait. 

The afternoons were filled with crafting, trips to the park, going up to the allotment and meeting lots of friends. You could definitely tell Isabelle was missing school though as she didn't stop talking about her friends. I always feel so much pressure on half terms to give her the best possible time but with things being tight money wise it's not always easy. I just want her to have fun and most importantly just have a break as she works so bloody hard at school.

The week was completely topped off by celebrating Isabelle's birthday with a party with her school friends. It was brilliant and I made sure to take it all in and at times just stood and watched her (in a non creepy Mum way). On the Sunday before she went back to school there was a big surprise waiting for the children in the back garden. My amazing mother in law had bought Isabelle a trampoline (something that she has always wanted) for her birthday and because the weather was due to be awful we decided to give it to her a day early. She was over the moon with it and I know it's going to get so much use. 

When Isabelle went back to school I had this over whelming feeling of sadness, purely because we had had such a good time together and I really missed her. I feel like just when you think the bond with your children can't possibly get any stronger, it does. It's amazing what one week of quality time can do. It continues to teach me to never to take them for granted and to make the most of every second we have together. 

Now to start planning for the next half term! I hope you all had a brilliant time too.

Monday, 5 June 2017

A letter to you, my daughter on your 5th birthday

To my first born child, to the little girl who changed my life forever, happy 5th birthday.

First of all I thought we had agreed on slowing this whole growing up thing down a bit? The last year especially seems to have flown by and you have nearly finished your first year of school already.

I still remember it like it was yesterday, you came in to my life and suddenly everything made sense. I can't seem to think what I ever did without you before you were born. You were and still are perfect. 

You are strong, caring, funny, independent and the best big sister your little brother could have ever asked for. The bond you have with him fills me with joy every single day. You are fiercely protective and you definitely know what you like! There are times where you drive me crazy, like your already a teenager and you have the attitude to go along side it but please never change who you are.

I cannot put into words just how proud you make me and I still can't get my head around how I made something so beautiful. You keep me going everyday and I miss you so much when your at school, I don't think I will ever get used to it.

Talking of school you try so hard that sometimes you get so frustrated and feel like you can't do it. I want you to know that as long as you try and give it your all that's all me and Daddy could ever ask for. We will always be here to help you every step of the way. 

I love you Belle, more than I could ever put into words. Just keep being you and continue to grow into the amazing young lady that you are already becoming. 

Have an amazing birthday beautiful girl, all my love