JOULESMAKINGMEMORIES

For as long as I can remember there was something about the great outdoors I connected with.

As the cool autumn breeze delicately brushed against my rosy cheeks during a Sunday morning trot through the fields. Wellies paddling in shallow waters watching my children’s smiles radiate upon my own. Those Sunday country walks, energising and clearing our minds for another successful week. The crisp leaves crunch beneath our wellies and conkers that fall upon a bed of sunset coloured leaves. As the orange glow of sunrise breaks the darkness of a cool summers night, a slight breeze gently disturbs the calmness of the lake, mesmerised by the glistening from the awakening summers sun.

There is without a doubt behind these memories made, boasts an incredible British countryside endorsed brand which ensures our grand adventures are kept stylish, comfortable yet compatible and truly accommodated for all weather conditions that Britain prides itself on, the ever changing unpredictable weather that is. Above all with an added extra splash of uniqueness which made joules stand out from a crowd.

The 30 years of success from Tom joule, whom prides the brand on reflecting the countryside’s character into his designs has had a flourishing start since the clothing line first started to be introduced at a Leicestershire country show in 1989, the bright vibrant colourful wellies you see upon display set the benchmark for the British brand, from 1999 joules produced its most loved iconic harbour top selling 3 million to date. The Phenomenal success of joules lead to Little joule being launch in 2008 bringing a vividly colourful outdoorsy, family focused clothing.

This is a brand that I have seen grow within my family for nearly 12 years. A hallway lined with vibrant patterned wellies, bold rich rainbow like coloured rain coats injecting a little fun to our walks, gone are the days of the dull green hues of wax jackets to protect us from the unpredictable British weather, this is a brand we truly believe in and love enough to be seen passing down our generations. As part of Joules’ 30 Years of Making memories campaign, I will share some of the beautiful memories joules have helped create with my family.

Alivia-Ellen wearing a Peter Rabbit collection rain jacket.
Climbing trees is a must.
Who said baby boys coats shouldn’t add character?
Vibrant designs doesn’t mean they lack their strength and durability.
Family of joules wellies.
Luka-james wears his joules jacket and wooly hat.
Alivia in her jacket and wellies enjoying the waters.
Glazing across the lake.
Joules picnic bag (current).
Picnic in joules accessories.

My go to bag for all of my children’s essential needs. (Current).
Alivia and her trusty wellies to get her over the rocky hill.
A baby Parker in his snowsuit.
A young Alivia in her vibrant pink jacket.
Luka with his jacket at the farm.
My first pair of joules wellies at 16 which was used in a photo shoot.
Parker catch a snooze in his joules snowsuit
Alivia enjoying the Park with her jacket and hat.
Parker’s snowsuit lasted so well.
Joules dungarees set. Not just outdoor clothing.
Alivia and her wellies.
Luka in his zip sweatshirt.
Livy horse riding in her jacket and joules wellies.
Wellies in action on another walk.
Wearing my joules wellies. I’ve had these for 2 years, no signs of wear and tear.
Alivia catching a quick break.
Parker enjoying the autumn leaves.
Alivia exploring in her wellies.
Luka enjoying the pumpkin patch.
Rainy weather safe.
Always trust joules raincoats.
Farm time!
Enjoying another sunny walk.

FRIENDSHIPSANDMOTHERHOOD

Friendships and Motherhood.

Life before becoming a professional bum changer to a champion wiggler that’s more slippery than the average fish trying to escape the clasp of a fisherman’s hands, I have found that once you’ve upgraded your life to motherhood every breath you take will be child-consumed. The last four years of motherhood I barely have had a chance to take care of myself, the housework or the mountain deep washing pile, so that i think we’re running low on clothing, so I buy more clothes then realise the top i had been looking for is 3 foot deep in the washing bin!!

An epic ‘Beksie fault’, guilty as charged.

I know first hand that it can be mentally, emotionally and physically difficult even maintaining a close relationship with the father of your children, on any scale, yet alone hoping for friendships outside the family unit to last.

Specially after giving birth to my son who is currently 17 months old, I didn’t get to experience those hazy, blissful loving first few days of bonding and having lots of company from family and friends. My poor boy spent 6 nights in the ICU unit. I felt myself slowly yet surely sinking deep into the baby blues. I cried every time the father left, I missed being home with my two babies, and I missed being surrounded by sheer chaos and noise. Instead I was in this big spacious white, clinical room with a continuous beep of the baby’s heart beat and oxygen pressure. My boy shared a room with one other baby, whose family popped in and out throughout the day. Which was comforting but during the night I was lonely and just had my precious poorly boy for comfort, who was nursing from me.

I had moved to a new town and felt pretty isolated from my family and friends. Although most of my immediate friends aren’t mothers, for the times they visited myself, the two toddlers and baby I questioned and listened to their adventurous life that I once had. I would love to hear what they was doing, experiencing and what seemed little problems, taking it in joyfully as if I was that young woman in my 20s again. I found these precious girl times was slowly becoming less frequent and harder to maintain, although we text daily it’s not the same.

But luckily one of my old teen friend who is also a mother to a gorgeous 7 year old recently moved too. Pretty much the one thing you can do with a newborn surgically attached to your boob is chat. And chat we did. The closeness you so quickly form with your new mummy friends is beautifully deep.

Rare Mummy’s night out for Chloe’s birthday with Lindsey.

When your non mummy friends come round and slump on the sofa and kick back and exclaim they’re exhausted. Had a awful day at work, emotionally confused from a heartache drama and still slightly hungover… I quite literally smiled how blissfully unaware they was to how hard it was being a mother to multiple of children and fighting off baby blues, ‘try being in my shoes’.

Not one of my non mummy friends could ever share the same enthusiasm or understand what an phenomenal achievement it is that your little darling slept from 11pm instead of hourly cluster feeding until 2am before waking for their first feed of the night, and most certainly cant comprehend with your obsession with the colour, texture and frequency of your breast fed baby’s poops to your now toddlers poop that quite frankly is the worst smelling thing to date, and know that they will never understand the true feeling of engorged breasts, cracked nipples and comparing the ever changing post-partum bleeding from all your children’s birth, these aren’t conventional topics for a non mummy. To finally find a friend that truly gets why your dressed in your pjs at 3pm, a face that hasn’t seen a mirror to know you have crusty baby vomit on your chin, mascara that’s kindly hugging onto your under eye bags, your top has one wet patch from your leaky boobs, someone that takes pure delight in recalling the birth of your children, it is such a relief to find that you’re not alone.

At the start you get friends you forgot about messaging you like they’re your new Best friend again, completely ogling over your newborn. Your Facebook messages explode, and you gain more likes on a photo than you ever get in a year! The royalty of having a new born soon wears thin, specially when the development starts to change the tiny little bundle of newborn cuteness into a crawling, drooling, climbing human which then discovers its legs and can run before walking, then the chat and boy do they chat!

You begin to feel you will never finish off a sentence and your non mummy friends are looking at you with either sympathy or pity I can’t work that one out yet, it’s a struggle to finish a sentence, let alone a conversation, when your 4 years of age son is asking you the same damn question on repeat, and your replies of ‘just a minute Darling’ turn to a solid ‘WAIT’, your darling daughter who is profoundly deaf climbing up onto something that will injure the girl, yet she’s feral at heart so shes on a repetitive mode and climbs some more making your total trip of getting up and down off the sofa and muting your conversation for the 20th time. And then your baby is no longer in that sleeping, cute squidgy baby stage. It’s a hungry, teething monster, and full on suffering a serious case of ‘man flu’. Maternity leaves come to an end, and your little bubble of long, lazy days hanging out with a tight-knit little group of mamas and babas is suddenly burst.

Chloe and Livy.

My then sweet little babies are now energetic, talking rambunctious 4, 2 and 17 month year olds with busy social lives of their own to be maintained at nursery and little siblings hospital appointments as well as my own, working part time and maintaining a family home thrown into the mix as well, meet-ups with these wonderful women are few and far between. And when the childcare stars align we manage a quick catch up over the children’s squeals and wars.

Non of my pre-children friends had babies of their own when I had my eldest and to date they still don’t, I am so excited to spoil their children when their time is right and be their biggest support and helping hand. After all I should be a pro at it by then (Haha!). Whilst they were generous with their cuddles and gifts, but their lives carried on in much the same way. And what was hard for me, mine had undergone a seismic change and I felt as if I was stood frozen observing them through a pane of glass, able to see but not reach out to them.

Rare night out with my best non mummy friends.

But soon it won’t be long until they have children of their own, understanding the curfew of 11pm, why we take advantage of the pee in peace on rare odd appearance during a meal out, why I generally have splodges of someone else’s bodily fluids somewhere and that’s just common occurrences. But then they will truly understand how harder it will be to see them, and harder still to actually listen to them. And how hard it was being a mummy on your own. And appreciate the company.

My non mummy friends, We try to meet. But a simple brunch at a child-friendly cafe in town quite possibly could have scared them off having children for life! Sometimes simple things like this, can feel more frustrating than enjoyable, for the both of us, we don’t actually get to talk to each other very much. And I’m consistently thinking two steps ahead of my children’s actions, what will they do next? Who will get off the chair first? Who will launch the first item of food off their plate? They don’t necessarily play nicely together just because they’re siblings . I can be desperate to hear their news, their views on the current political situation, even just to find out where they bought their lovely (albeit non food splattered stained) coat, but I can spend 2 or 3 hours in their vicinity without any of us finishing a sentence to each other because i’m too busy coaxing a two year old to sit still and eat her sandwich.

Cheralyn and I before Christmas.

In reality until my children are schooling, a mere text is a reminder I still exist and I still care. You will soon learn the chasm of friendships in motherhood and take some brief comfort from the fact that we are not alone in this.

It’s sad when who we deem friends, are ones who live in our phones. Merely because the luxury of meeting them face to face is almost as existent as seeing a dinosaur cross the street. In a biter sweet reality, the nature of friendships change and move on. The intensity you once had with teenage relationships with friends does not carry on into adult life. Life viciously pulls you apart in different directions. Those young carefree, late nights that blissfully unawarely turned to early morning drinking sessions don’t necessarily survive geographical dispersion and fledgling careers with 9am or a baby screaming at the top of his lungs at 4am. But it is worth holding on. It is worth making the effort, even when it seems impossible, because when you do achieve the holy grail of a real conversation with a proper friend, the residual feel-good factor can keep you going through an awful lot of splattered pasta sauce, toddler tantrums and extreme tiredness. I’m lucky enough to have a small group of remaining non mummy friends. And when we reunite it’s like we’ve never spent so long apart. Cheralyn and I go back to senior school and I still remember in science class sending her a note asking if she’d be my best friend. We’ve experienced many laughs, experiences, holiday abroad, troubles and changes, boyfriends and heartbreaks. She’s watched me grow as a mother a different path to what she’s chosen, a career driven woman in HR. She’s travelled to many beautiful parts of the world, whilst I nurtured my children. I’m grateful for the times we do have together even if they’re limited. It’s a friendship worth hanging on to, and I’m so excited to see you grow too.

Being Luka-james’, Alivia-Ellen’s and Parker-james’ Mummy has fulfilled my life in more ways I can ever express, but I need the people in my life who still see me as Beksie a 27 year old woman.

VALENTINESFOR£10

Valentines Day For Children.

One day a year we celebrate romantic love on, 14th February. Solely this day was to gift a card anonymously to somebody we admired… but with such a social media generation my curiosity was who buys their children Valentines gifts? Who felt the pressure to keep up of this ever growing trend of ‘showering your money, for social media purposes’? Never one to truly be behind the hype of this event. An overrated, money making ‘holiday’.

I was the type of woman who turned their nose up at the isle with the sickeningly sight of red and pink hues, the seabed of cards making me cringe of how much recycled waste, the heavily fragranced candles which will sit gathered with dust on the shelf forgotten about. And the flowers… ok I do love a bunch of flowers. But not for the sake of ‘showing devotion’ for a day.

But I must say from the moment Luka-James was born I have softened and I have absolutely been captivated in all holidays from Valentines to Easter or celebrating Summer. I will ensure the days are celebrated some what differently to feeling the need to gift my children and panic about the costs. We celebrate with creativity within the themes.

There are such fun ways to celebrate valentines day all under £10, from crafts to gifts and baking. Here is my guide for little ones and how we intend on celebrating the day of love.

At the end of the day, the gifts aren’t the knowledge of showing and proving your love whether that be towards you’re partner or gifting children. I believe the family activities we spend together will be the most important part of the day.

Cheap friendly hacks:

Card Making.

Memories to keep and gift to other family members, I’m sure as parents we all have paints and paper laying around. Use handprints to create flowers of all colours and then with a green finger tip make the flower stem. Or simply draw a big heart outline and encourage the children to do lots of colourful fingertip prints to fill the heart.

Decorating biscuits.

Use any icing you have laying around or simply for £1 and some red food colouring to make pink or red icing. Cover plain biscuits with the icing and apply any sprinkles you have. Yummy yet creative.

Cupcake making

I admit I’m a cheat when it comes to cupcake making. I simply buy plain tea cupcakes for £1 and then use frosting or icing to decorate the top. Not costly, time consuming or making lots of mess in the kitchen. Again you can either buy decorations for £1 or use what’s left at home. The kids love making their own cakes!

Also I buy asda’s own rice crispies and melt chocolate to make little cakes and with extra melted chocolate we add sprinkles or heart marshmallows and flowers.

⁃ Sensory rice play.

Texture play is a great way to entertain children I use different food colouring to dye the rice gains. And leave over night. I then pop them in a tray with stencils and allow the children to put into used bottles to shake or run their toy cars and fingers through. Luka-James loves to make letters in dry rice too!

Salt dough decorating

creative keepsakes for all the family such a lovely personal touch for all the family to enjoy.

Home made play dough

Red of course! This is something for the older ones to help prepare before you play! Great way of introducing maths too!

Help making dinner

My children are always so proud to eat their own food that they’ve engaged in making with!

Remember, kids thrive of you spending time with them and learning from you. Showering them with expensive gifts are loved for a short period of time. But your time is priceless as are the laughs and memories you make together that last a life time.

Recipes below:

Home made play dough.

• 1 cup of flour

• 1/4 cup of salt

• 3/4 cup of water

• 3 tablespoons of lemon juice

• 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil

• Food colouring

• Any seasonings, scents or glitter and confetti you would like

1. Add the water, oil and lemon juice to a medium non-stick pot and heat on medium heat on the stove (maybe even slightly lower heat depending on your stove).

2. Add in the food colouring, liquid scents to the water mixture.

3. In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, salt and any dry seasonings you are using.

4. After the water is hot, but not boiling, slowly add the dry ingredients to the pot and while mixing to combine. I use a wooden or plastic cooking spoon.

5. Continuously stir until the ingredients combine, dry out and begin to form a ball. If there are parts that seem a bit sticky still, just flatten the dough out and put the sticky side down on the bottom of the pot very briefly. Flip back and forth frequently until it doesn’t seem sticky anymore. However, don’t cook it too long. It is better to be a bit undercooked as it will firm up as it cools down.

6. Place on a sheet of wax paper before it cools down a bit. Then knead the dough for a minute or two to bring it all together.

Salt dough recipe.

This is the best link for making salt dough

https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/howto/guide/how-make-salt-dough-recipe

HAPPY VALENTINES DAY.

Enjoy x

SURVIVING.

I’m currently on a new life changing path, experiencing pain like no other. I have lost majority of my sight in my right eye, with no professionals being able to say if I shall regain this… doing what I only know how to express myself is through writing. Whether it shall be read or not I feel better in myself putting my story out there.

Battling a invisible illness has really crippled me, mentally, emotionally and physically. I know that phrase is used often and so over worn like your favourite pair of jeans.

I’ve fallen out of love with things that truly identified ME. I stopped doing these things, no longer was they enjoyment and turned into a chore. The illness had gripped me, left right and centre, there is no ignoring the chronic daily pain I’m in. There is no escape from the attacks, just like there is no knowing when it’ll strike. Night time feels like only what I can imagine graveyard shift to be. Slowly anticipating when or If the enemy is approaching. The lonesome of dawn being in the most agonising pain, pacing the lounge floor. Googling each forum, each medical reports… no amount of pain relief… oxygen support… hospital admissions free you from the grips of this. Your own brain is destroying you… LIVING A LIFE WITH SUICIDE DISEASE.

Beneath the surface of a late twenty something woman, who’s life must portray a easy going, happy care free mother of three, but that’s the thing with social media it stimulates a fictional character.

But beneath the surface, behind closed doors, I suffer deeply from a disorder so intolerable it is sometimes referred to as “the suicide disease.” The condition is called trigeminal neuralgia, and it’s said to cause the worst pain known to man. And I genuinely would much rather endure tummy crunches straight after a c-section, 100 times over, than suffer an trigeminal attack.

The condition simply causes unbearable pain known, there is no treatment no cure. I remember being on oxygen support, looking towards the register with a longing look to hear something comforting. It was only when he told me my condition is beyond medication. I may stop responding to the nerve blocker medication at anytime. No pain relief touches the sides whilst the attack is flaring, the only thing to do is sit back and take on this anticipated, most excruciating pain of your life, not knowing how long this attack will last.

Like the rare few others with this disorder, the pain is so tortuous it drives us to our knees. There are multiple of sensations we endure whilst the attack is blazing through our nerves, being slashed with razor blades. Like a searing hot knife ripping through your jaw; being constantly jabbed with a cattle prod; or like you’re face is on fire. And once an attack starts, there’s nothing you can do but endure it, which is why some take their own lives.

Painfully these sufferers see it as the only way to end the pain. They simply became victims of this agonising disease. It’s a life-changing, debilitating disease, and you wouldn’t want your worst of the worst enemies to have it…

ANDTHENYOUWASFOUR

As your floppy blonde hair falls across your face, lashes so thick and dark to make any women envious, that fringe your sleepy eyes. The way you clasp ‘Teddy’, that now slightly off white bear you loved immensely since you first set eyes on it, tightly under your chin. Those first set of tiny toes I have ever loved. I find myself mid day dream, having a ‘pinch me moment’.

I have a 4 year old.

There is no denying you’ve existed little in our lives but without a doubt have you shaped me to be the best version of myself and these 4 years have been the best years any Mummy could ask for. I will cherish these next few years to come being called ‘Mummy’, how have we moved on from ‘Mama’ so suddenly. Something us parents take for granted because with a sudden blink of an eye I’ll be just ‘Mum’, I guess in a way this is just another bitter sweet reminder of how fast our babies grow.

This year embarks you on an individual journey of independence. And I’d be well and truly fooling myself if I said I was ready to let parts of you go. In just 7 months you’ll be attending school, I am not even ready for the realisation to hit me hard of having a school boy. My eyes prickle by the thought of allowing you to grow up and find your way in the big wide world, although I’m sure you’ll take it in your stride and continue to make me beam with pride.

It’s almost suddenly you’ve developed into a little boy, the way you’ve become obsessed with anything transportation, from cars to trains, lorries to diggers. They completely captivate you, playing for hours. It’s beautiful to watch you grow becoming infatuated with different things. I love how you remind me of myself, out in the open is where you feel most comfortable, the way you shine inside and out whilst horse riding or simply inquisitive whilst on our family walks. The questions are endless and you absorb every detail, deliriously excited about how the world works and the need to know more.

I am intensely proud of the young boy you’re growing up to be such a caring, polite, inquisitive yet sensitive little boy and I couldn’t be prouder to call you mine.

NURSERYFORNEEDS

Becoming a parent comes with no manual. No instructions. No guidance on how to deal with the emotions that surround bringing up our children.

Often we feel a permanent pressure to defend our choices we make on our journeys and the comparisons become endless.

Since Alivia-Ellen was born I have found myself become a personal negotiator from comparing a ‘normal hearing child’ needs to my ‘profoundly deaf’ child needs. There is so much interest from outside people wanting to know how different parenting really is between them both.

When I explain that Alivia-Ellen’s needs are not much different to her hearing brothers, I expect no less from her just because she cannot hear, I still send her to nursery, the same one her brothers attend. Her disability is no block. And she still needs the same introduction to early years just as much as ever.

The benefits Alivia-Ellen receives from attending nursery from a young age will strongly influence her development and independence from childhood to adulthood.

As much as I wanted to wrap my daughter in cotton wool and smother her in protection and love, she still needs to learn her way in world. Holding her back due to fear of potential diversity and later bullying the maternal guilt will only affect her development and ultimately confidence, self esteem and independency.

I am often asked how Alivia-Ellen fits in at nursery, how does the nursery cope and is Alivia-Ellen treated any differently.

Her first nursery during her baby years was lovely, she was close with her keyworker and was doing just fine development wise. But when she hit two i was beginning to worry, with a nursery with such a huge ratio and a large free flow area within multiple of rooms, I worried Alivia-Ellen wouldn’t have that 1-1 guidance or a 1-1 experience with a key-worker, filled with confidence, patience and a loving nature that would replace me when in the setting.

We was recommended to Rushden Kids Club, and from the get go we had a pleasant warming feeling from the manager Natasha. A feeling where the nursery just isn’t about turning money over, a nursery that truly prides themselves on nurturing, caring for the children, encouraging their individuality and embracing their own ways of development.

Natasha is a women who you warm to instantly, feel comfortable with and confidently enough to turn to if in doubt or in need. Her visualisations on how she wants the nursery to look and endorse is fascinating. She has adopted the ‘textbook rules’ and moulded and catered it into a way that’s exciting for the children to learn and develop accordingly to each child’s needs.

She encourages key workers to work closely with families and build a relationship to ensure the child’s day runs smoothly. If the children have had a unsettled time, you don’t feel judged, you are comforted with reassuring words and also advice, it normalises your experience. And each child’s interest is always at heart. which I have also found to be the most comforting and important aspect to your child’s nursery/pre school experience.

The key advice to other parents with a child of hearing loss is simply looking out for these:

⁃ Does the management and staff come across as friendly, welcoming and disability friendly.

⁃ Do they show a strong interest in their ability to help develop your child’s language and communication skills.

⁃ Do they have a good listening environment. For example Alivia-Ellen, she needs minimal background noise and a quiet place for her to learn, engage and socialise.

⁃ Are they happy to learn skills to develop better understanding and support towards your child. This could be learning BSL/ adapting skills to care for a hearing aid.

⁃ Encouraging a working relationship between parents and key workers.

We instantly felt the above, and not long after Alivia-Ellen joining staff had been encouraged to use supported communication towards Alivia-Ellen by learning makaton, signs which assist speech. They replicated this throughout the setting so not only do adults know how to communicate with Alivia-Ellen, children increase their curiosity around how adults engage with her and they begin to explore their own development and communication skills by doing this, it brings awareness of Alivia-Ellens additional needs of a lack of communication and this facilitates it.

I believe that It is important for children to play in a variety of activities and places in order to stimulate and develop their imaginations, curiosity and creativity for children both hearing, and hard of hearing or any special needs. Majority of the time the first interactions with other children are often at nurseries, or playgroups/meets and it is important to ensure children with varying degrees of deafness to learn how to build relationships with peers by pursuing that they are included in all creative and developmental opportunities.

Rushden kids club have a fantastic open free flow layout, but not on a large scale to create huge amount of background noise. In the morning when you drop off you can see all creative stations laid out for their activities, this is incredibly encouraging of reminding us how amazing they are to accommodate all children’s way of learning. Sensory play is a very stimulating way of learning for children with additional needs. But just as stimulating for normal hearing children, by doing this it brings playing together and building those vital relationships.

Also another positive factor is the acceptance and a welcoming manor to all professional involved in Alivia-Ellen’s care. The teacher of the deaf whom visits at home and in the setting, has always reported back that the staff and Alivia’s key worker positively take on board advice and tasks to support Alivia-Ellen and have a close working relationship. We both feel this has had an amazing impact on Alivia’s increasing development.

I have nothing but praises for the two management ladies, Natasha and Gail. Both of these ladies not only support the children but they have invested a lot of time to also help in other areas. The compassion and care shown towards the family unit make this nursery standout from others. The bond between Alivia and her key worker Chloe has an outstanding amount of patience as she can push a lot of boundaries, she needs a lot of reassurance and encouragement. Chloe’s consistency and persistence towards supporting her needs she has excelled in ways I didn’t know would be possible, sending her to nursery I know she can release her inner mountaineer, her inner Van Gogh and her spontaneous personality can be guided and flourish a lot better than what I could achieve alone with three children under four. There is a lot of trust in Chloe. With her standing in my position whilst at nursery I feel very comfortable sending her and have no worries of guilt.

I can guarantee you, when you find the right childcare the staff become an important extension to your family.

AFAMILYOFFOUR.

I write this post with a knot in my throat. My heart shattered in a 1000 pieces. A mind full of memories reminding me of past happiness. Not through sympathy but in hope to provide just an ounce of comfort to someone, somewhere to know that behind the lens that portrays a collected mother raising her three children alone, amongst the country walks and funny posts but a life that has the begins of an unveiling life that is both painful yet rewarding.

The process of picking up the pieces of a broken home comes with a grieving process. A process that you cannot control. A process that you cannot predict the length of its duration or of its irrationality. Whether you build a hard cold solid wall emotionally straight away. Or whether you cry a thousand tears for days on end. There’s no right or wrong way on how you intend to grieve the loss of a family life you couldn’t even imagine could be possible.

I’ve always been closed off towards my emotions, I’ve never really felt my heart ache in a way I should. I have lost dear family members as I have lost valued friendships. I have been in relationships but never felt too attached to suffer a heart break that’s portrayed in songs and films.

But to experience the heart ache through my babies, boy did this hit me hard. As if Luka-James smacked me in the face with a cold hard shovel of reality.

A man who saved me from myself, my baby daddy, a man who guided me through some of my darkest of days when the light wasn’t visible for me but he could always find the way. He is now gone. It’s taken a while to swallow the pill of, no more ‘us’. The type of pill that slips down your throat side ways and painfully slowly scratches your throat.

Our relationship was no magical fairytale, I was no princess, as was he no Prince Charming. We met eachother at our lowest. We was fighting our own demons on a whole other ends of the spectrum. But through his gentle kindness, persistence and consistence. A seed of love was planted and it blossomed into having our first son, following on two more beauties. We pissed each other off as much as we supported each others dreams. During our lowest of times, when money was a distant memory and struggled to make ends meet doing a weekly food shop of just £20 a week. The love we had far out weighed the poverty we faced many moons ago. How we got through those times and didn’t hang the white flag of surrender I do not know.

Love conquers all.

Life together was occasionally complicated. I came from an abused childhood, he had a generally nice childhood with lovely memories. I have never opened wounds to allow them to heal and move on. And this always proved trouble in our relationship. I believe my irrational, protective defences from my childhood storms and he also didn’t understand my thinking and played on these. Perhaps without knowing the true extent. We laughed lots, experienced a lot, changed a lot and taught each other many a lessons. But just like that, were over.

Being a mum is very isolating, self healing a broken heart is isolating. Combine both into a single mum is an incredible daunting lonesome experience. The longing for someone to hold you tightly and squeeze all your broken pieces together is unreal. But day by day, we slowly collect the pieces and the puzzle soon gets put together again.

Amongst the physical, mental and emotional pain we all feel with heart ache, the type of pain that is consistently burning away inside like unwanted acid sitting in your chest cavity as a daily reminder. And when we think we can’t physically hurt anymore…

We then look into our babies eyes which are flooded with tears and confusion, when they ask ‘where daddy?’, ‘daddy come home?’. Their voice feels heavy as if a ton of bricks is weighing down their little voice. You can almost feel their chests tightening. It hits you hard all over again and you find this vicious circle is on repeat for days that turn to weeks. Having just solely my own arms to comfort and hold all three of my babies has been incredibly emotionally draining. I ache for the man I’ve lost. A man who shares half of these beautiful little loves. A man whom I’m reminded off the moment I open my eyes everyday.

The change of atmosphere and routines hit our children harder than we will ever be aware of, the start of attachment issues occur and they start piling into mummy’s bed…

One by one.

By 3am I am faced with 3 babies in bed. With one body part of each child placed upon me. The drop offs at nursery become an emotional rollercoaster and stick to you like blood thirsty leech, fighting for that last drop of blood. They feel our tension, sadness and need reassurances and this comes in many forms. And then we are overwhelmed with excruciating mum guilt and feel the need to agree to buy that £7 magazine with the shitty little plastic figures and stickers… it will make them happy… for 5 minutes and we find it shoved under the couch by 7pm.

Soon we learn to experience all feelings imaginable the denial. Anger. Betrayal. Sadness. Relief.

You’ve hit the ultimate low and you begin to accept it, you start to befriend the hits of the cycle for what feels like the 100th time today you’ve belly sobbed hot salty tears, which burn down your face. We realise we’ve got to put this hurt on hold until bed time. And when the days fall into nights 24 hours are pretty close to feeling 2400 hours long. You find yourself slumming back into the sofa with the company of galaxy and the only two men you can truly undeniably trust… Ben and Jerry, how the fluck did I just make it through without losing a child. Burning the house down. Or flooding the place. Autopilot parenting is a wonderful strength I’m beginning to find.

I didn’t set out to do this journey alone, nobody imagines their life becoming broken and undone. A life where you was hanging by a thread, slipping of the edge wondering if the fall would take you back to another time.

And with each day i make it alone, each day provides strength to see me through the next.

x

LIFEASAPOLICEOFFICER

For some reason our police service can never do right or wrong… for 5 amazing experiences there will always be 1 that will get publicised and the goodness goes amiss.

Luka-James has been obsessed with the Police, every police car that’s parked he needs a photo with it. Every police officer he comes across he always politely says hello beaming with happiness.

For his 4th birthday I really wanted to give him an experience to remember rather than over priced materialised presents, specialty so soon after Christmas.

Through a friend, he so helpfully managed to make Luka-James’ dreams a reality…

At the Wellingborough station, we was met by a lovely officer, PC Wilson. Luka-James became immediately shy and overwhelmed. But his little smile behind his coat was so worth it.

We was taken to the cells and recording room where everything was explained to Luka-James in a age appropriate manor. He nodded whilst absorbing everything in. My usually shy boy confidently listened to instructions whilst holding the badge, Luka-James confidently beeped us out to the yard where we was shown the officers kit and riot gear. Allowing Luka-james to proudly wear uniform.

I thought this would be the end to our visit as i value our emergency services and didn’t think they would have given us more than 20 minutes of their time. But so kindly we followed the officer into the yard with the cars and vans.

Luka-James hopped into a van and was shown all the buttons to put the sirens and lights on. The excitement from his face was priceless a moment I will never forget.

We then met a lovely officer called Jess, whom showed Luka-james how to car works and explained what the car is used for.

Lastly Luka-James experienced his first arrest and was shown how to apply hand cuffs to an arrested Jess!

The priceless act of kindness shown towards my son was beyond anything I could have imagined. It may have not been much other than a tour, but to a little boy this has developed his imagination and role play skills. As well as making him very happy it really boosted his confidence around other adults. It was such a joyful experience to share together. Something which will be valued more than opening presents.

What our police force do for the community needs to be shown and applauded. We need to install respect through our children towards our emergency services a lot better than the generation of youths do currently. At the end of the day behind the uniform they’re just everyday people.

Huge Thankyou to PC Wilson, Jess and Wellingborough Police Station for kindly letting us visit and have an amazing experience.

BESTVERSIONOFME

As the New Year fell upon us, our timelines influx with the ‘New Year New Me’ posts. When in reality we all know the unnecessary weight loss, fitness and health kicks will last no longer than 3 weeks at the very most, before we cave back to the ‘original’ version of ourselves.

How about we dig deeper than wanting to enhance our outer shell appearance, why do we never pay attention to our mental health? After all a little self care goes along way.

For me, this year I am all about working on myself. Towards the end of last year I was diagnosed with a neurological disease, which has massively negatively impacted my life. From the physical pain, to emotionally. Although medications are stabilising the condition. I’ve been left battling my depression and a family break up. Making myself a priority shouldn’t be seen as selfish. After all we are our longest commitment. And as the saying goes, ‘we can’t pour from a empty cup’.

I’ve spent far to long living my life in a shade of grey. The wounds I forced shut from my childhood need to be opened, bleed out and allow to heal. Once and for all.

I intend to listen to my body, slow down when I need to instead of feeling such a commitment to portray a strong woman juggling 4 disabilities, raise 3 kids and keep a job and family home running through the grid of photo squares.

So unrealistic.

It’s ok to struggle. It’s ok to admit your days are harder than others. It’s not ok to compare your life to other ‘best bits’.

I honestly don’t have my shit together as I portray. This is where I intend to show my reality, how hard parenting truly is. How hard managing my daughter’s disability as well as my multiple own. It’s not all it’s cracked up to be.

I’m leaning towards giving my children experiences this year rather than buying them materialistic things. Sometimes through guilt, I find myself buying things. Things that buy short term happiness. But the happiness we feel out exploring lasts in memories for ever, to see the enhancement of their curiosity and excitement, Livy the sensory stimulation is amazing for her. The bonding and togetherness of exploring woodlands and new places really brings us together as a family. Because for those hours. When the phones go down and we lose ourselves in priceless moments, magical things happen that we often miss when consumed living a social media driven life.

We have got to nourish ourselves in order to truly flourish.

x

CHRISTMASGUILT

This morning I looked at the date and thought, 

‘Shit’. 

It’s two weeks until the Christmas Eve rush, where we panic and buy more crap we don’t really need or never intended on buying. We splurge buy. 

Thoughts ran through my head whilst the kettle boiled I slowly anticipated the days left, 

‘Crap, I’ve still got so much to do and buy.’ 

‘Have I brought enough for my children?’

‘Will they have as much as others?’ 

‘Will my children be disappointed?’

‘I need to pay such bills…?’ 

‘Will my family think bad of me…?’

‘Am I letting others down’ 

‘Such person on insta has brought so much’

‘She always buys such expensive gifts’ 

‘ I AM A FAILURE’

‘My children deserve better’ 

STOP. 

This year I want to spread a little awareness. That we’re not all in the same position, some are more fortunate than others, some are less. But I can hand on my heart guarantee we all love our children the same. 

Now, I’m not shadowing the fact that if you can afford to buy your children what they want. I’m so happy for you all, well done to you guys. 🙌🏼

This year, I have personally decided that all these gifts that suffocate our living room truly aren’t necessary. The toy they first opened will soon be screaming unheard from under the wrapping paper… I have leaned more towards providing experiences as a family we can enjoy. Luka loves horse riding and Alivia will be having rugby tot sessions, family days out to the zoo and castles to explore. These are the memories as a family and children we truly remember. What we really remember about our childhood. 

I am so done with the need to compete for social media likes and keeping a unrealistic image. 

Since being made redundant, I felt a huge pang of guilt and sadness that I wouldn’t be able to afford the Christmas I thought my family deserved. I worried my children would be left out and I worried upon Christmas morning I would see mountains of presents on social media compared to my own home. 

Then I compared myself to families on universal credit, or simply on low minimum wages. Whom barely can make ends meet on any other month, I cannot comprehend how they must feel on the lead upto Christmas. 

I simply wonder why there isn’t more awareness around something I will call ‘festive depression’, the feeling of worthless and failure can affect anybody. 

Family members that bring you down, feeling body conscious, the struggle against alcohol, struggle between paying debt, living upto a fake image, stress of money. 

If you’re reading this and feeling apprehensive about whether to pay your bills or debt compared to Christmas presents, please remember your children love you no matter what, they will look back and remember the struggles and respect and admire how hard you fought to provide the important things we all take for granted as kids. The images you see on social media may be keeping back hidden struggles and also failure thoughts like your own. 

keeping a roof over their heads and food upon the table is most important than the latest gadget youll possibly find under the bed in a few days forgotten about…

Please be kind this year, take care of you.