A mum of 2 trying to stay sane in an overly airbrushed world.

Friday, 30 December 2016

Finger In The Door

We had our first emergency dash to the hospital last week, the title of the post says it all - my eldest suffered the most common injury seen in children's A&E 😰. Seems a bit silly making a big deal of this when people are dealing with a lot worse; but the trauma of it has had an effect on everyone that was involved so I hope I can help anyone who finds themselves faced with the same injury.

As with most stories about Henry (nearly 3) it starts with a tantrum, this one fighting over a packet of crisps he should of been sharing with his best friend. I dealt with it in the usual way - separation and time out; putting Henry in the hallway and shutting the door to give him time to calm down. Unknowingly this would be the start of something that is still haunting me one week the struggle of him not wanting to be in time out I had shut his little finger in the door hinge 😵.

The minutes that followed when I went to open the door were some of the most surreal and worst of my life. Seeing him holding up a totally flat middle section of finger (no exaggeration) covered in blood  instantly filled me with dread, regret and fear. I was convinced he was going to lose his finger, be scarred for life or need an operation to fix it. Thankfully I wasn't on my own and my amazing friend took over in examining and inspecting his finger (a massive deal for her seeing as she fainted watching Twilight at the cinema), almost instantly she told me to call an ambulance. It was at this point that I started to lose it, I got through the first stages of the call but when she wanted more details on the injury and his state I had to pass the phone over I had gone into shock and felt as though I was going to be sick. Again my friend took over and the 999 operator instructed to:

1. Not move him.
2. Use a clean tea towel to lightly assess and stem the bleeding.
3. Not give him anything to eat or drink.
4. To elevate the arm as the bleeding increased.
5. Ice on stand by for if anything fell off (good old frozen peas.)

From that lady who picked up our 999 call to all the NHS staff we've encountered they've all been nothing short of brilliant. There really is not enough words of praise to all those workers - I'm sure the majority are underpaid and over worked but they are still able to smile whilst tackling my terrified toddler. 

We've got more hospital visits ahead, they're being very thorough in ensuring the injury heals properly, but we were lucky; physically he's only suffered a minor fracture on the top joint of the finger - whether it will be scarred or misshaped only time will tell. Mentally he's been a lot more clingy, quicker to cry and hyper sensitive - I'm assured this is all normal and the only thing to do is offer more praise, reassurance and cuddles as he processes what's happened without disturbing the usual routines and rules of the house.

As for me - I had always imagined I'd be good in an 'emergency' situation, I'm typically calm and laid back with most 'normal' stress. Sadly all the cliches you read about the feelings of despair and helplessness when seeing your child suffer are indescribably accurate. Nothing can prepare you for it and once you've felt it I think you'll forever live in fear of having to feel it again. 
Although everyone insists its 'just one of those things' or 'something kids do' I will always blame myself; I shut the door on him, I was short tempered, I should have been able to deal with him better or made him listen better so he would have stayed in his timeout corner. I struggle to not stare at the place it happened and over analyse it all, imagining his finger in the hinge and what might have happened if it had been worse. 

First thing to get booked into the 2017 calendar? 
A baby and toddler first aid course! Hopefully it will help in easing some of the paranoia I now feel about other potential accidents.

Saturday, 17 December 2016

REVIEW: Baby Brains vs. Mind Games

No scientist could ever convince me having children doesn't affect your brain... 

  • Hours of disturbed sleep (or lack of). 
  • Added responsibility. 
  • Constant demands.
  • Lack of time to focus on your own self. 
Even my DD (science GCSE not bra size) can see that will have a detrimental effect on a persons mental ability whether man, woman or beast we're all a little more 'Densa' than 'Mensa'. 

For me even the mere thought of not having to parent for a few hours is joyful. Its so rare to actually get a couple of 'non-responsible' hours off where I don't have to be the sensible, well tempered, non swearing mum I'd like to think I am. Imagine my delight when I was recently gifted my first ever spa day! The whole concept blew my mind; this was 8 hours to sit, relax and do whatever I wanted - I could even sit and do nothing if i wanted! 

Since then I have advocated all future gifts for myself or other parents to be of the 'me time' variety. A spa isn't going to appeal to everyone though; and for men especially its tough to find a gift which is enjoyable without involve drink, food or sport.

But after hours of searching Google and Groupon...I FOUND ONE! 

Live escape rooms offer groups of friends a challenging mind puzzle to solve while immersed in a real life scenario. Locked in a room with your team you must work together in order to escape within 1 hour. With different rooms and scenarios available they're designed to test all abilities or ages - but will always require team work.

Trappd is our most local set of rooms(Leicestershire/Northamptonshire)they currently offer 3 to choose from:
  • Area 51 - escaping a compound with files showing proof of alien lifeforms.
  • Maine State Prison - escaping the most secure and worst prison on earth.
  • Motel - escaping the clutches of a sadistic serial killer who happens to be the motel owner.

For my husbands birthday I teamed up with another set of parents and booked us in to Maine State Prison. I can honestly say it was one of the best gift decisions I have ever made! Its hard for me to review without going into too much detail and potentially spoiling a future experience for you, so here's the facts...
  • You have 60 minutes from entering your room to escape.
  • Everything around you is or could be a potential clue. 
  • Various types of problem solving are required to crack each stage of the it mathematical, logical, physical or mental.
  • It is as realistic as it can be without being dangerous.
  • You are constantly monitored via CCTV and clues can be administered to help you if you are struggling at any point. 

Prior to entering we were very clear on what we thought each of our strengths would be and being the competitive soul I am, I really wanted to try and get out without using any clues. Once in the situation though pre-thought tactics will quickly elude you and natural instinct takes over. We did need clues - but I was surprised to discover they did not take away from the fun of the challenge as they're so cryptic they don't make it easier. Believe me when you're in there with the time ticking away the worst case scenario is putting all that work in and not getting out! As for the scary scale...I'd say I am not someone who is easily spooked, but there were moments which caused audible screams - don't underestimate the powers of those in control and your own imagination! 

We escaped within the hour (49 minutes and 15 seconds), could have been quicker but missed something vital early on. 

Overall the whole experience was a fantastically different and affordable way to spend time with friends that leaves you thirsty for more! We will be returning to tackle the other rooms in 2017! 


Saturday, 10 December 2016

I'm a Mum...Get Me Out of Here!!

The definition of motherhood: 

the state of being a mothermaternity.
the qualities or spirit of a mother.
mothers collectively.

For me its more like a secret club which everyone thinks they know all about, but really you only ever know the truth in the weeks/months/years that follow your first child beginning its life with you. 

Embracing the spirit of a mother and the fact we all want the same thing i.e. to be a successful parent should mean entering a collective group of other mothers should be an enjoyable experience. Women sharing their highs/lows and understanding the realities of the job faced by us mums each day. Maybe its just me, but the reality of attending any function, place or group which attracts other mums is something I can only compare to the joys of being a teenage girl or encountering what I like to call the 'Mean Girl' mums:
  • bitchy
  • competitive
  • judgemental
  • unforgiving
  • gang driven
So, why so much hate amongst fellow mothers? Surely we should all be over the teen angst and insecurities of adolescence. My heart should not literally sink when I see 'certain known offenders' entering a room 😭! What should be an enjoyable hour (or two) out of the house letting kids play and interact, more often than not quickly descends into a virtual minefield. The only difference being the weapons of choice are tutting, huffing, puffing, overly loud commentary of what child A has done to child B and other unnecessary bullshit?! 

My eldest is a boisterous terrible-two nearly three-nager, I fully appreciate he is badly behaved 50% of the time at the moment. This is not from a lack of trying on my part - I spend most of my week travelling to and from the naughty step/room/corner or fireman's lifting him out of places due to repeat offences. If you're reading, thinking 'silly cow - just stop going and putting yourself in these situations' please be aware that in any local area there are very few groups which cater for those in the under 5 age bracket and even less that are suitable for both toddlers and babies. So when you find a good one and word spreads its inevitable you will end up with the same bunch of bastards most days, so not going is like a form of house arrest or solitary confinement - surely that is not what a motherhood or equally a childhood should ever feel like.

What do I hope to achieve by writing this? 

Well, I hope that if you are a slightly overprotective judgemental parent(nothing wrong with that); tutting and sighing your way through situations - maybe just take a moment to think that one day your child will do the same and show a little more understanding and kindness to the poor parent who is clearly not having the time of their lives in that highly deserved hour out of the house, and if you're a mum like me who is embarrassed or sick of feeling the eyes of cliquey mums discussing your parenting - you're not alone! We could form our own group... I'm pretty sure ours would outnumber theirs within minutes!


Friday, 25 November 2016

Imperfect is the new Black Friday!

My first proper post about motherhood 😨 so I will start as I mean to go on by being 100% honest about who and where I am right now...

I'm loving the #ImperfectIsTheNewBlack campaign on social media at the moment. Its all in in aid of Pre and Post Natal Advice and Support UK (PANDAS Foundation UK). Headed up by these fab ladies on Instagram:

Its about creating a supportive online space for parents, stripping back social media falsities of 'perfect' parenting and showing the ugly truth!

Every morning I take one of these:     

Fluoxetine (Prozac) is an antidepressant which I've been taking for about 3 months now...but I have never actually felt 'depressed' - I am lucky enough to have everything I could ever want (apart from an endless supply of money!!)so how could I possibly have Post Natal Depression (PND)?! But as my GP eventually told me: 
Depression is a chemical imbalance in the brain - not a reflection of how grateful you are for your life..
Looking back I think its something I've had since Henry's birth in 2014, I just did a good job concealing it with work, parenting, life and then having another baby. 
Getting through the door of the doctor's and asking for help wasn't easy, it took a drunken night at the pub with the girls, one too many bottles of wine, a lengthy group heart to heart in the street outside our local wine shop (following our eviction from the pub - glamorous irony at its very best) and then a chat with my health visitor to convince me I was not OK. 

My main symptom was the feeling that I was sleepwalking through some of the best years of my life (so far); regretting time I could never get back, feeling guilty about not being fully present or enjoying things like I once would have. I was unattached from my life to the point of rationalising everything that happened to me, no matter how good/bad/big/small I could brush it off - but if anyone else was in the same situation I would've been concerned, sympathetic, and actually care. Since visiting the doctor I have discovered I also had the following PND symptoms:

  • feeling emotionally numb
  • irritable/easily angered 
  • food aversions
  • low mood
  • not looking forward to things
  • looking for ways to get out of going out
  • constantly feeling not good enough 

  • Long story short I am now medicated with the antidepressant, have weekly counselling to deal with some other underlying issues and I FEEL BETTER 😊. I'm not cured, but the turnaround in my mood has taken weeks not months and every other mum I've opened up to about this has admitted similar symptoms, thoughts or feelings and being afraid of tackling it.

    So...please spread the word, join the imperfect bus with me and talk about how you're feeling. ITS OK NOT TO BE OK!

    Join in and share your imperfect moments with #imperfectisthenewblack and help mums with Post Natal Depression.

    Text PANDAS £3 to 70660 and donate to PANDAS.

    Thursday, 17 November 2016

    The Story So Far...

    Within my bubble I have: 

    Husband (AKA Dr. Evil)
    Henry (2 nearly 3)(AKA Mini-Me)
    Louis (5 months)

    I put on a shed load of weight in my pregnancy with Henry, I felt hideous, so much so I couldn't bear having my photo taken and now regret the lack of photos I have of his birth and the weeks that followed. 

    I lost the weight following the Exante diet solidly for 6 months, shedding 3.5 stone to get to my target weight. I then maintained this weight loss for 18 months following Weight Watchers to begin with and then Slimming World.

    When I then fell pregnant with Louis I vowed to never get in a similar state again...I clearly don't do being pregnant well as I still gained nearly 2.5 stone - not as bad I know but still leaving a huge task to get back to 'me' and undoing the hard work of the previous year and a half.

    That pretty much brings you up to date, I am currently back to hardcoring the Exante diet. The relaxed approach just doesn't work with me, I need the stringent lines a diet like Exante brings - there is no in-between you either do it right or not. 

    I want to get back to target weight by Xmas - all being well i will achieve this and then i can have a break over crimbo to eat, drink and be merry. 

    I only have a stone to go 5 months post birth...but this last stone is a bugger to shift. Sticking to a diet when you're trying to get back to yourself, look after a baby, manage a toddler and still have a life is not easy. Sometimes you need something more than just the urge to lose weight it takes a big occasion/event to get your head in the game (part of the reason behind this blog) but read on to hear what the ultimate goal is...


    Tuesday, 15 November 2016

    What's This Shizzle All About?


    You may be wondering why you should bother reading another entry into the already over-saturated 'mum blog' is why I think you should:

    1. Having 2 children under the age of 3 I value the honesty of other parents over anything else these days. Gone are the romantic ideas of what having children will be like; as every day seems to now bring a new challenge. Too many accounts I see still paint an unrealistic view of the parenting world, making people feel inadequate and shitty about their own attempts. I would like to be a person that can reassure you that your children are not the worst behaved or that your parenting is falling short and that the tantrums and piss stains on the sofa happen to us all!

    2. A lot of blogs are heartfelt essays (nothing wrong with that.) I am going to try and bring a bite-size slice of mum banter to your life, content that you can sit and take in during those precious minutes of the day when you get to drink a cold cup of tea or eat the scraps your toddler has refused.

    3. Writing is a good therapy for me. I'm indulging my need to vent, share and moan about my kids, husband, bitchy mums at baby groups and my constant need to diet in order to maintain an acceptable mum bod, so even if only a handful of people actual read this - its OK!

    4. Note to all readers - no matter how much I moan and bitch about my kids/ husband I do love them to bits and they are amazing (unlike the bitches at various kids groups - they really do deserve all the abuse I will throw at them.)

    5. I will be reviewing and rating various products on this blog, please remember I am not a professional photographer - I am a mum who has to make the choice between brushing her hair or doing her make up each if I can be arsed to set up the perfect white background and stylish shot of a dummy or a nappy etc. I will however be brutally honest as to how good and useful something actually you can decide whats more important.

    Let's go!


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