Thursday, 26 January 2017

Fab Friday Linky #68

Welcome to the Fab Friday Linky hosted by the fantastic Su at Ethan n Evelyn and co-hosted, this week, by me!

I linked up to one of the first Fab Friday linkys and was a featured blogger so it's lovely to be asked to co-host for the fiftieth Linky!

So come and share your posts with us today!

Please grab the badge code from the sidebar on the Ethan and Evelyn homepage and add it to your post. 


The posts could be about anything relating to parenting, lifestyle, crafts, reviews and related competitions. Either Su or I (if you are lucky you get both of us!) will comment on your link and we will pick two to be featured on next week's #FabFridayPost blog.

#FabFridayPost weekly linky open every Friday – Monday, (11:45pm)

Here are the rules:

  • This week you can link up to 3 posts – old or new.
  • Please add #FabFridayPost Badge – it is only fair that everyone play by the same rule. If not, it will be deleted. Thank you.
  • PLEASE kindly Tweet us with #FabFridayPost @ethannevelyn & @attwtwo to let us know that you have posted and we will RT back. Thank you.
  • Share the love – please do not drop and run away! Comment on all host posts and also comment on at least 2 other posts, including one in front of you.
  • Please also share all posts you have read on Twitter with the #FabFridayPost hashtag. After all this is what it’s all about!
Onto the posts! Can't wait to read them all and thank you for linking up :) 

Wednesday, 25 January 2017

A Love Letter To...Myself

Dear Me

I have something I need to tell you.

I'm not being conceited. I don't think you're perfect and I think there's room for improvement.

But I've come to realise something.

I love you.

For a very long time I felt like I couldn't love you. Like you had to be flawless to be worthy of love.

I saw your Mummy tummy and wobbly thighs as barriers to my love.

I heard you groan at the children or sigh because they wanted your attention and thought that your attitude, your very personality, was unlovable.

But I've recently realised that that simply isn't true.

There are a lot of very special people in my life and I love them all dearly. Some so much that I would die for them.

Yet they are not flawless.

The Mr sighs at the children's demands for attention sometimes. But I love him fiercely. I understand that he's sighing because the kids have uttered his name fourteen times in the same sentence and he was woken up three times last night. So I cut him some slack. He is only human.

Talking of the kids and of loving people fiercely, had someone once told me I would give my life for a person who threw a fruit smoothie at me because there were bubbles in it, I would have been pretty sceptical. But he is only a toddler and he is learning that he wants to control his environment. He doesn't possess the complex language needed to negotiate bubble removal from a smoothie (which is, FYI, impossible) because he is just not developmentally ready. So I give him a cuddle. He is only a tiny human.

I am so busy cutting everyone else some slack that I kinda forgot about you.

I'm sorry.

You are not as skinny as you could be or as patient as possible sometimes.

But you are only human. And you deserve to be loved. Not given a hard time because you haven't conquered flaws and learning curves which I fully accept and quite literally embrace in others.

People have a hard time saying "I love myself" because it suggests something it really shouldn't. It suggests a superficial arrogance.

When actually it should simply mean what it says.

I love you, flaws and all. Sometimes I don't like you a whole lot and sometimes you make a lot of mistakes.

But I do love you. And from now on, whilst I can't promise to put you first too frequently, I can definitely promise to be kinder to you. To cut you some slack.

You are only human.

Love Me x

Wednesday, 21 December 2016

Monday, 5 December 2016

It's OK

Parenting is a tricky business. Full of wonder and joy and......doubt. But SCREW THE DOUBT. It has no place here.

It's OK to feel guilty about conceiving easily when your friends are struggling. It doesn't mean you're ungrateful.

It's OK to have really struggled to conceive and still think FML a lot once the baby is here because CHILDREN ARE HARD FRICKING WORK. And it doesn't mean you're ungrateful.

It's OK to be ridiculously smitten by your children one minute and want to ship them off to Nanny's the next. It doesn't mean you're ungrateful. It doesn't mean you can't stand to be near them.

It's OK to want a large glass of gin once the kids are in bed because CHILDREN ARE HARD FRICKING WORK. It doesn't mean you're ungrateful. And it doesn't mean you're an alcoholic.

It's OK to sob uncontrollably when your 18 month old still wakes in the night and you are exhausted by the constant broken sleep. It's OK to hold him close out of all consuming love but to be slightly resentful at the same time. It doesn't mean you're ungrateful. It doesn't mean you're depressed.

It's OK to be annoyed at your partner because 'they get to go to work everyday' or because 'they get to stay home with the kids everyday'. It doesn't mean you're ungrateful. It doesn't mean you hate them. It doesn't mean you want what they have.

It's OK to mutter obscenities under your breath. It's OK to not want to read The Gruffalo AGAIN for the seventh time that day. Its OK to want to remember who you are It doesn't mean you're ungrateful. It doesn't mean you hate spending time with your children.

It's OK to feel what you feel. Its OK to say what you feel. You are feeling what a billion others are feeling, or have felt, or will feel, at some point during their lives. Don't be scared that you'll sound ungrateful or depressed or hateful or like an alcoholic.

You might be some of these things. But keeping it to yourself will NEVER help - whether you are or you aren't. And the people that want to listen are the people who'll want to help. If they're not listening, they're not worth it.

Sometimes you just need a glass of gin, or a good nights sleep. And sometimes you need to say "THIS IS HARD" out loud and have others say "I TOTALLY AGREE," just to feel like you're not failing.

You're not failing. You're parenting. And if you care enough to say "AM I FAILING?"

Then you definitely aren't.

Wednesday, 9 November 2016

The Price We Pay For 'Great'

Before I go on, I totally understand democracy and I totally respect it. I wrote about the importance of respecting the rights of everyone to vote, based on their own opinions and judgements, just after Brexit was announced. We all have different ideas and opinions and we all have the right to vote and express these views. It's what makes the world so wonderful. It's called diversity.

A diversity soon to be potentially depleted in America in Donald Trump's bid to make it great again.

He is not a fan of immigrants. So much so that he suggests building walls to keep them out. Obviously there are exceptions to the immigration rule. Women who are attractive enough are obviously allowed in. Like his wife.

He's actually a big fan of women so I suppose gender diversity will still be strong in the great US of A. Any women fancy working at the White House now, with a president who can, by his own admission, 'do what he wants' to women? I suppose one perk would be that you'd probably get your dry cleaning paid.

He's 'for the people' of course. And there are a lot of his voters who opted for him over 'Killary' because they believe she sacrificed American troops and covered it up. If these people truly believe that Donald Trump will never sacrifice anyone physically, politically or emotionally for his own gain, then they have fallen hook, line and sinker for his ability to 'talk the talk' on the news and social media.

But what strikes me most about all this is not the ridiculous promises to build walls and imprison women who have abortions (but not the men who helped make the baby obviously - they're exempt from blame). It is not that the Democrats chose the wrong candidate and did a piss poor job of trying to gloss over Hillary's obvious shortcomings. It is what struck me about Brexit.

It is this notion that we can only be 'Great' Britain or that we can only make America 'great' again by being self sufficient. By 'standing on our own two feet'. By making all of our own decisions.

That's not how life works. There cannot be complete autonomy and independence of everyone in the entire universe. We HAVE to co-depend. Otherwise, as a species, we'd have died out years ago. Complete, individual autonomy would result in anarchy. We can't all just go about doing as we please. Nor should we. It'd be chaos.

Every job description I have ever read for any job (and I scoured A LOT of job descriptions as a penniless student), has included one key criteria: teamwork.

Why? Because nothing works effectively when people don't co-operate with others. Sometimes your team love your ideas and implement them. Sometimes they don't. It's called compromise.

A lot of people voted during the US elections and during the Brexit referendum out of fear. Fear of terror. You know what makes people a really easy target for terror? Being alone. Unsupported. Without allies.

When did everyone become so egotistical that they are so intent on absolute power for their ideas? When did it all become about greed? About wanting everything for ourselves and nothing for anyone else. About negating a treaty between America and Europe and holding the American military to ransom if we are attacked unless we pay for it? When did we forget how to compromise? To co-depend? Or are we simply refusing?

As a teacher, I can see a growing trend of young people who have a misplaced sense of entitlement. A misplaced idea that the world revolves around them and only them. Is it any wonder?

Donald Trump wishes to Make America Great Again. I wonder if he thinks America was great in 1861 at the outbreak of its Civil War. Because, if so, he may just get his wish.

Saturday, 5 November 2016

Motherhood is not all beautiful

It is ugly. It is feeling on top of the world one day and down at rock bottom another. It is crying so hard in the difficult moments that your face is puffy and red and you think you might never stop.

It is scary. It is losing control. It is feeling anxious and nervous and terrified at that loss of control and your simultaneous need for it. It is lying awake at night with your heart racing and a nauseous feeling in your stomach, anticipating being woken up yet again.

It is vulnerability. It is having your heart opened to so much love that you can't bear to think of losing it or using it wrong. It is sobbing into a cup of tea at 5am because you feel hopeless and you wonder when this phase will end. It is feeling guilty for being angry and for wanting a moment for you. It is the guilt of neglecting everything else in your life a little bit more.

Motherhood is not beautiful. But it is extraordinary. It is knowing unconditional love. It is being a role model. It is being reminded, in the moments of hopelessness and ugliness that it's also pretty amazing. It is first steps, first words, first kisses. It is a miracle. Sometimes miracles are messy. But they're miraculous all the same.

Motherhood is not beautiful in the traditional sense. But there is beauty in ugliness. In fear. In vulnerability.

And there is beauty in miracles.

Pink Pear Bear