Saturday, 5 April 2014

What a brilliant idea - I'm inspired

I love my two girls so much and it has been really important to me right from the very start of parenthood that my children know how much they are loved and wanted. I hope that I never let them down. 

As a result I was really excited by an idea I saw on Facebook today. One of my local friends has set up an email account for each of her two children that she will hand over to them on a significant birthday. It contains messages and anecdotes from loved ones. 

What a lovely, simple and effective method of journal keeping. You can attach photos and all sorts and you can do it from anywhere. Up until now I've been trying to update a scrap book but it's honestly so difficult to find the time to select and print the photos and glue in the book. When I'm not working I'm parenting, and when I'm not parenting I'm housekeeping and then when I'm not housekeeping I'm shattered and most likely social networking and if I'm lucky enough, I've got the time to write a blog post!  

I am was so inspired by what I saw I put my phone down and fired up the laptop for the first time in ages to create the email accounts. Now they're up and running I can send emails from my phone. It's brilliant. So brilliant I felt the need to share it on my blog. 

Tonight the girls are with their Dad. Unfortunately since my last post we have parted ways. This is how I find myself with the time to post to my blog for the first time in ages! Since the separation, the depression mentioned in my previous post has lifted due to having less expectations to deal with, so it was definitely the right move to make.   

To mark this massive life shift I have changed the layout of my blog :-)

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

When a bad mood becomes something more

A year ago I was very organised with this blog, I would write in advance and schedule the posts to be released on certain days. It is funny that by the time my blog post suggesting 10 ways to alleviate a bad mood was published, I had been diagnosed with depression. 

Within weeks I became the polar opposite to the person I had been in preceeding months. My daily routine went out of the window, replaced by procrastination stemming from an overwhelming feeling of dread by the thought of simply getting dressed in the morning. The pregnancy made me feel fat & ugly, and my clothes didn't fit. There were various other triggers which lead to this, but I will spare the details.

As a result I seldom left the house and my daughter was the only thing that kept me going. She was my only motivation, and days were filled with indoor children's activities and somehow these disorganised days passed really quickly. Days quickly became weeks and months and nothing really seemed to get done, including this blog. My husband and I have been at loggerheads as a result of my inability to prioritise in accordance with his goals for the business and the family and I felt torn between meeting his needs and those of my own. We have differing views as to what is best for our children.

Daughter number 2 arrived safely 2 weeks and 5 days early, my mood took a dramatic swing and I felt elated. She is now 11 weeks old and we have settled into a relaxed rhythm based on the work of Tracy Hogg aka "The Baby Whisperer". I don't like to call it a routine, the times vary each day, in fact they vary with each 3-4 hour E.A.S.Y. phase and we wake at a different time each morning. As we follow a general pattern I prefer to refer to them as phases.

I recently found the strength to return to the office. It was as if I'd emerged from a deep, thick fog and that the last 6-9 months hadn't existed. None of my filing made sense, nothing at all made sense and it was a stark realisation of how bad things had been. I hope I am on the road to recovery and can begin blogging again. I'm not going to blog as regularly as I had been as I don't want to put myself under any pressure. Hopefully this space will be worth watching...

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

When did you start to play out?

I am the oldest child of three. I think it can be a bit tough being the oldest, it's almost like being the guinea-pig child. Obviously parenting doesn't come with a guidebook and you have to almost learn as you go along.

As a result I think that my two younger siblings got an easier ride thanks to me. I had to fight for a lot of independence and to push boundaries. First time I was allowed to go to a mixed sleepover, first time I was allowed to dye my hair, Pierce my ears, get a pair of doctor martens... all the things I had to fight and practically rebel for, my siblings were able to subsequently do no questions asked!

Most notably of these was being allowed to play out. I remember it so well, coming into school in the morning and my friends discussing the fun they'd had playing out the evening before. Poor little me, I wasn't allowed beyond the neighbour's gate!

One evening I sneaked out after school right up until tea time. I must have been eight years old. I have no idea how I thought I might get away with it. My parents were waiting for me on my return. As it was the very first instance where I had done something seriously naughty I wasn't smacked or yelled at. My parents must have been a bit shocked by my behaviour and a bit worried. Instead I was explained to how much I had upset my mother. I was eight years old and I'd just had loads of fun playing in ditches. I didn't care!

But now it's my turn to be a mother. I went on a buggy walk on Monday and on our estate I noticed an unkempt overgrown area where a fence had fallen down. Amoungst the overgrowth it was the perfect hideaway and hangout for kids. I imagined it would likely be the kind of place my little girl will hang out with her friends when she's a bit older. Although I'm sure it's harmless and it's exactly where my mother in law, who grew up in the house we live in, would have played in too but nevertheless the thought filled me with a little dread. What will I do when it's my turn? How old will I let my girl start to play out? I have to remember what I was like when making my mind up, eight years old seems far too young to play out but that's how old I was when I rebelled!

I asked my husband what he thought and he had a really good answer which made perfect sense. It depends on the child and how responsible they appear to be. I realised I was worrying about nothing for the time being!  

Thursday, 20 September 2012

Hoorah the Autumn is coming!

The mornings are getting chillier. There's no doubt about it, Autumn is on it's way and I love it, it's my most favourite time of the year.

I love the colours of the leaves as they turn to shades of reds golds and browns and fall to the floor, the muddy smell of them composting into the ground.

I love evening walks in the dark with the smell of bonfires and fireworks, and the sounds of excited children.

I love cosy chunky knits, high denier opaque tights, fleece-lined boots and wooly hats and scarves.

I love that cosy feeling you get when you see the steam of your breath in the air but you're not cold because of your wooly clothes.

Then I love the cosy night indoors in front of our open fire.

I've recently come to also love the Blackberries coming out at this time of year because my daughter enjoys picking them.

As the festive spirit of Christmas looms the atmosphere around us grows more excitable, it's even better now we have little girl. I look forward to gathering holly and making decorations with her. 


Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Top ten ways to deal with a bad mood

It's been a tough week. I won't go into a boring rant, but it made me think about the things that make us feel happy in life and I thought I'd brainstorm some ideas to feel better when in a bad mood! I'm sure this has been done countless times before and I won't do any research as it might cloud my thoughts so here goes... Top ten ways to feel better straight from my heart...!

1. Talk to someone. When I'm having a tough time sometimes I mull it over with my sister. She's particularly brilliant at trying to make me see situations from other points of view. But remember that friendship is two way, don't become the depressing friend and always be willing offer an ear in return.

2. Play with your children or pets. My daughter is the sunshine of my life, playing with her and seeing her smile makes the daily grind all worth while.

3. Read a novel. Escape to a fictional place for an hour or so. 

4. Watch your favourite movie and indulge in your favourite treats. More escapism. 

5. Book a holiday / short break / commit to a date to visit a relative or old friend you've been missing. It's nice to have something to look forward to.

6. Have a night out and dance! Dancing is a great way to live in the moment and forget about things for a while.

7. Dress appropriately for the weather and go for a lovely long walk. I find this is particularly wonderful in extreme weathers. There's something liberating in getting your heart rate up and feeling cosy in your chunky knit on a bitterly cold day or enjoying a cool walk in the breeze of the sea air on a hot day. It will also give you a chance to mull over what's bothering you.

8. Exercise at an intensity that works for you. If you need to vent some frustration go for a hard run or lift some heavy weights. To mull things over try a gentle swim or a jog.

9. Pamper. Exfoliate, paint your nails, apply a face pack... even better invite a friend and try suggestion #1 at the same time.

10. Make a plan and deal with the issue head on. Sometimes the best way to deal with a problem is to just face it. Break it down into small manageable steps in which to overcome the problem and move on. All you need is a pen and paper and your thoughts. Try asking someone you trust to help you brainstorm.   

What things do you do to cheer yourself up? I'd love to hear :-)

Thursday, 13 September 2012


I lived in Cardiff for 3 years from 2003 to 2006 and I was there to witness the amazing atmosphere as Wales won the Grand Slam in the 2005 Six Nations. 150,000 people went to the park where a big screen showed the game. It was impossible to see anything so my friends and I rushed back to our local pub, the Yellow Kangaroo in Roath, to watch it there instead.

For some reason the atmosphere was such that I found myself thinking about taking up the sport. I phoned the local club with a ladies team and that was it. I was advised to buy a pair of studded boots and I made my way to Llandaff North Rubgy Club the following Wednesday. The rest is a muddle of adrenaline-packed rucking, several nose bleeds, a copious amount of Brains SA, worse injuries in the bar than on pitch, a couple of messy rugby tours, a lot of fancy dress and a fair bit ladette style behaviour! 

Llandaff North - My first rugby club ahhhhhh!

I have to admit that whilst it took me a while to adjust to it, I ended up loving the comradeship off pitch just as much as the adrenaline of a match and I was very disappointed to find that the same ethos just wasn't there within teams I joined when I moved back to Essex. I ended up joining a small team of just 6 to 8 regular members and helped to promote the team until we had enough players to register with the RFU. I paid a lot of emphasis to comradeship and off-pitch fun, mostly for player retention but the side ended up very serious and ambitious, frowning upon my apparent lack of seriousness. My work in establishing a team was obviously done and it was time to leave. That aside I had graduated from uni and I was building a career so I needed to shed some commitment!

Now back to the present, there is a reason for my reminiscence. I have just signed my daughter up for a trial session at RuggerBugs. They are opening up a new centre at Brentwood Rugby Club which is just round the corner from us. My girl is a bit of a live wire - she doesn't even sit down to watch TV. This is good because when she does sit down I know she's poorly or tired. She loves the outdoors and loves to run around so I think she will be well suited to it. She won't have to do any contact until she's about 8 years old, by which time she might tell me she doesn't want to do it anymore and I wouldn't dream of making her do it if she doesn't enjoy it. I really look forward to seeing how she does get on with it though on Saturday, and hope she gets as much fun out of it as I used to. If on the other hand she doesn't enjoy it, I know she's now old enough to go to the other extreme and do ballet...!