Questioning myself as a mumma…

How strange is it, that the best parents I know all question themselves, when the ones that lack the fundamentals to be a parent, all think they could write the book on it?

Being a mum is one of the hardest but most rewarding titles I could ever wish to hold. I have a beautiful and highly intelligent toddler who makes me question my parenting abilities each day. I suffered with post-natal depression and it took a long time for me to bond with Luna as well as I do now. And looking back, it breaks my heart that I let fear and worry stop me from being the best. Kieran will argue and say I have always been one of the best mums he knows but I don’t believe it.

Luna has grown in leaps and bounds! She is becoming more independent every day and her sassy little personality shines through in everything she does. She has an attitude and that attitude will be a blessing and a curse. I look at how happy she is, and I still can’t believe that she is mine. She loves the outdoors and spends more time outside than she does in. She isn’t afraid to go exploring and she will talk to everyone. She cuddles everyone and is the warmest person I have ever met. She meets every milestone with enthusiasm and determination that nothing will stop her. She will take her books and flick through them tucked up in her bed under her covers and has the biggest imagination, finding fun and joy in everything.

I have such a happy and content little girl that you may find it strange that I question myself. I am so worried that I’m not doing enough. I’m worried about so many little things like if she’s happy, is she is learning like she should, is she building the key skills she should be, and do I give her too much attention. I worry that I am a negative influence in her life and that my mental state will be detrimental to her. I worry that she will have the kind of memories that Kieran and I have from our childhoods and that’s something we both don’t want to happen.

We tried to include everyone in Luna’s life. We tried to make sure that she knew her family and that she is very loved and very wanted in everyone’s life but unfortunately that hasn’t been the case and I’m scared that one day, that is going to break her heart. She has great family (i.e. aunts, uncles, nans and grandads) that cannot be bothered with her, some of which even live in the same town. She has a biological nan that she has never met who was given chance after chance to get to know her and come out with things like “why would I ring a baby?”. I’m scared that she’s going to realise that they don’t bother with her and it’ll break her heart. I just hope that she realises she’s better off without them.

I recently had my parenting skills questioned. They were questioned by someone who stated my daughter was being neglected. ­-My biggest fear regarding my daughter is failing her and having social services take her away. – And a few weeks ago, I had a phone call from social services about this allegation. It came from someone we gave chances to meet her, to get to know her, and after a year and a half of giving her chances to be involved and see her, and she didn’t try at all. The day we decided to cut her off, she makes this up. If she could do this, I knew she defiantly wasn’t the type of person who I wanted in Luna’s life and confirmed my decision. It didn’t stop me crying my eyes out because for a moment, I thought there might be a possibility that she was telling the truth. After speaking to social, they concluded that there was nothing wrong with my daughter and she was far from neglected. We were told that there would be no further action because there were no concerns.

Since that day, I have had the nightmare that they come and take my daughter away from me because of her and it scares the life out of me. So, I question myself in order to make sure that day never comes. I question myself, so I’m constantly finding new ways to brighten Luna’s life and give her what she needs. And what she needs is a happy home. She certainly has that. She doesn’t have to ask for anything because she has it before she gets a chance. She eats better than most adults I know, with the biggest taste for fruit and vegetables that I have ever seen. She is so strong and determined, that I shouldn’t worry. But I do. If I didn’t, I’m scared that history will repeat itself and I don’t want that. I want to know if any mothers feel the same. If they find they question themselves to make sure they’re always doing their best. I want to know if they too feel like they fail at being a parent, because I do, all the time. And my daughter is the happiest little girl I have ever met.

It’s hard being a mum, especially when you question yourself so much. But if you know your child is happy and healthy, it should be enough. What ways do you cope with the doubt that comes with being a parent? Let me know either down below in the comments or on various forms of social media, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter and as always, keep smiling. Ferrari.

 

Family is something we can’t choose…

I am and have always been family orientated. My family mean the world to me and I’d do practically anything to make sure they are happy and healthy, but there’s plenty that I wouldn’t do as well.

Being a mum is one of the hardest but most rewarding titles I could ever hope to hold. My daughter is my biggest motivator and best friend. She is adorable beyond words and her happiness is paramount to me. I’d go above and beyond for her because she’s my daughter and that’s what you do for your children. However, there are times where I must do things that would make me seem unfair to certain people.

I will also be the first person to stand in-between my daughter and those who wish to cause her harm or negativity. That includes family! I am not about to let any single person on this planet, treat my daughter like she doesn’t matter, and I certainly won’t allow ‘family’ to do the same. Call me strict, but I don’t want my daughter going through the same heartache and pain that I went through.

My daughter is really lucky, because she does have so many people around her that love and cherish her more than I thought possible. I know there are a list of people that would go to the ends of the world for my daughter, because they love and care for her. They also want what’s best, however, all her family won’t be involved in her life and it won’t be Luna missing out.

Luna has family she has met once and will probably never see again. She also has family she will never meet, and that’s not through her faults and when she grows up, I’ll explain it to her but that does break my heart. I grew up with having a chunk of my family not bother with me, and they still don’t really care to this day. They will be some of the people missing out on Luna. Not me. I get to see her adorable little smile and her bubbly personality each and every day. Those don’t and wont.

I won’t give people the opportunity to walk out on my daughter, the same way they walked out on Kieran and me. I won’t allow people to let her down repeatedly or say that her birthdays don’t matter. I won’t allow other people to make her feel like she is any less than what she is. I won’t allow “grandparents” an automatic right in her life, just because they may share DNA.

Luna has two parents that adore the life out of her! She has four grandparents that spoil and cherish her and each of them have an ever-growing bond with her. I mean, she goes so shy whenever my pops come over, but that doesn’t stop her from backing into him for cuddles every ten minutes or playing chase in the garden. Every morning, she calls for nanny cats and goes into the living room to see her and gives her the biggest smile! Then we have Katie and Ste, Kieran’s dad and step mum. They are incredible with her, so much that it makes me cry. They came down when she was readmitted to hospital, even though there was snow on the roads, and they had to drive the two-hour journey. That was the first time they met her, and they went through some difficult situations but still they made the effort!

I have my best friends who ring me up and always ask how my daughter is and generally, they all have to have conversations with her, but I don’t mind. Because they are actually taking the time to make an effort with my baby girl. Luna has aunts and uncles that she has built such strong bonds with, so sometimes taking her away from them for bed or naps can become a problem but she still gets special time with all of them.

So now, to the family who can’t be bothered with my daughter. The family that can’t be bothered to send a message asking how she is or what she’s learnt to do this week, because she is always growing and learning. To all of you that want to claim you have an active part in my daughter’s life, you don’t. She doesn’t know who you are and that’s not my fault. I can’t force her to know people that can’t be bothered with her and I won’t make her put up with you just because your family. Most of you, don’t deserve to know the happiness and love that my little girl can bring. You won’t know the way she laughs when the claw comes out or how much she loves animals and being outdoors. You won’t get to experience her sassy, cheeky nature. You won’t get to see how smart she is, when she’s reading her books and understanding the words. You won’t get to feel how loving and cuddly she is, because she will give everyone attention. And that’s not my fault. I’m not missing out on her because I am her mum, which means I am her strength each and every day. That strength, means stopping people I consider toxic, being an active part in her life.

But thank you. Thank you to those that put in the effort. Thank you to those that never let Luna forget who they are. Thank you to those that may come round to see me but still make effort to play with Luna and make her smile. You are the ones that Luna will grow up around. And for that, I couldn’t be more thankful.

We don’t have to allow family in our lives just because they are related. If they don’t boost you up or show concern when you’re down, they don’t deserve a place in your life. You deserve to be happy. You deserve people around you that make you happy. So don’t settle for anything less than happiness.

Thank you for reading, as always you can follow me on Twitter and Insta @openupwithme or head over to my facebook page by searching ‘openupwithmeblog’. Until the next time, keep smiling. Ferrari. ❤️

Bug bears as a first time mum…

When you’re a first time mum, you have so many people around you telling you all sorts of things. Now I don’t know how many would agree with me, but honestly, they drove me up the wall!! I know the kind of parent I want to be and I know the kind of parent I don’t want to be. I don’t need outside opinions about what I should and should not be doing with my daughter. I LOVE Luna, and I’d do absolutely anything for her but I’m going to learn how to be a parent the best way I can, by being her mum. As a first time mum, I’ve heard and been through enough to know which people to listen too. So I thought I’d discuss some of the key ones that jump out.

Just you wait until (enter next milestone here). My daughter is incredible and learns at her own speed. I could not and would not fault her for it. She can say about 6 words and know their meanings as well as walking, crawling, feeding herself with a spoon. She has about 12 teeth in her tiny little mouth (and oh my goodness, they hurt!), and loves music. She started walking for the first time days ago and I couldn’t be prouder because it means that she’s going to be exploring the world right there next to us. People that say, you’ll wish she weren’t walking are wrong. Because yes it means being vigil but as a parent of a toddler, you’re supposed to have eyes on them at all times unless you’re prepared to clean up the mess.

Oh look at her attitude. She’s your double, better watch out. Well done genius. She’s made up of half my dna which means she’s gonna take after me. She’s got an attitude? Yes. 100% got an attitude. But that’s not a problem. She is a sassy little mare and I love her for it. She will start spouting “blagger blagger blagger” and then puts her hand up and walks away. She said what she had to say and clearly she was done with the conversation. She’s one. Why would I punish that? She is growing into her character and she’s exploring. She’s a child and I hope that she continues to be the sassy little princess I’ll raise her to be. The girl can have manners and a bit of attitude.

In my day, we did this… no one can tell you how they used to do it. I mean it’s currently the older generation that’s in charge of the country and look how that’s turning out. Their priorities have always been in the wrong place and I don’t want my daughter growing up the way I did. I don’t want to ever be scared to come home, I never want to know that she can’t tell me when she’s upset and I never want her to feel like she can’t hug me.

If you pick her up every time she cries she’ll become attached. What a crock of shite! I know the difference between my daughters cries. And if my daughter wants a cuddle, guess what, she’s gonna get a bloody cuddle. No one gives a cuddle like she does. I stand by the phrase, you cannot over cuddle a child! Luna isn’t attached. Yes she has her clingy days, but that’s because she’s teething and it must really hurt to have teeth push through your gums. I mean could you imagine that 🤣. She is one of the happiest little girls you could ever meet. She will hug pretty much everyone and doesn’t get shy that often (there are a few exceptions).

Now I could go on but they are the biggest bug bears that I hear all the time at the minute. Luna is by far my greatest achievement. She gets up and dances when she hears a song she likes, she will sit and stare every time she sees Felicia in Shrek. I swear she loves the end credits of the third film more than the film itself. Her smile can lighten a room and make you awe. Luna is my creation. And I honestly can’t express how perfect her laugh is, it’s a joy that everyone should know.

She stole them from me to try them on.

What are some of your bug bears as a parent? Let me know. @OpenUpWithMe on Twitter, Insta and Facebook. Thank you for reading. Ferrari. ❤️

I don’t even know…

I could really go to town on myself today. It’s an extremely bad day and I really don’t feel like myself at all. Physically, I am exhausted. I slept for like two and a half hours and woke up feeling worse. Mentally, I’m defeated. My brain has been in overdrive all day and nothing is distracting it.

I feel bad because I had a piece in mind. A piece that I spent so long writing and yet I criticised it at every turn. I have had so many people drumming in the negatives that it’s all I see when I’m writing. I mean there are things that I know I still need to come to terms with. Things that I need to stop punishing myself over because it wasn’t my fault and people’s words that I need to forget. I wrote three different documents about triggers and it was extremely emotional to write. I think that’s part of why I can’t share it at the moment. It’s still really real and very hard to accept. But I feel like I’ve let you guys down. Because this isn’t the post I promised.

I spent a chunk of today asleep because I was drained and exhausted. I slept through my baby brother and sister coming over and I feel gutted about it. I missed out on a really cute moment between Luna and Beaudicea and I’m kicking myself over it. I haven’t really done anything today. And that in turn has made me feel lazy. Add that with the extra sleep, and we’ll I’m just a mess.

I thought when I started this blog, that it would be my way of coping because I can write a lot better than I speak, and it’s easier to write how I feel rather than say it. But I can’t. I have so many things that I can’t talk about because it will hurt a lot of people. Things I can’t talk about because I will receive criticism and crude remarks. Things I can’t talk about because I still can’t cope with thinking about let alone writing. I thought that if I could help one person by writing my blog, I’d feel like I could make a difference. Yet, I can’t even get out of bed right now so how can I make a difference?

I was having a down day and yet two of my good friends messaged me words of encouragement without prompting. My lemon messaged me out of the blue and told me that it was okay to have a nap, and take time for myself because my body must have needed it. It wasn’t me being lazy. And that helped. Some how she knew that I was kicking myself and sent me exactly what I needed to read. Another friend told me that how even when I feel weak and defeated, that I’m still one of the strongest people he knows, and that I shouldn’t give up fighting. And they are how I know I am making a difference.

My friends are amazing, my daughter and my best friends are the reason that I could never give up. They are my strength. They would use words like strength and determination, caring and loving, funny and contagious smile to describe me. Words I may not agree with but still. They say that I help them because I can go through hell and smile so they can do it too. And although I feel humbled, I’m not a good example. My best friends will tell you how I got them through some of their darkest days by being me and I know that I made a difference.

So although today maybe a bad day, I had enough and just couldn’t face it, they helped me remember why I do. They make me smile till my face aches and laugh like a baboon, they love and support me even when I can’t love myself. If you’re having a bad day, look at all then look at the people closest to you, because I can guarantee that they are the difference that you make. Even on your darkest days, they are the difference you make every day. I know that I wouldn’t be me without my best friends or my daughter. And that I never want to be without them.

Thank you for reading my jumble. I appreciate it. And I hope your days are a lot better than mine. Ferrari. ❤️

Postnatal Depression and me.

When I first had Luna, I turned round to FOUR different doctors and told them that I had postnatal depression, they said it was just baby blues and it would pass… 13 months later and I still have those “baby blues” and yet it took a self referral to the mental health to get help. But the second the mental health team said that I had it, I had so many people say “oh I could have told you that”…. really? So why didn’t anyone stand up for me when I first said it? Why was I just brushed off and ignored? And now you wanna claim that you knew? No.

Yes. I have postnatal depression. But that doesn’t mean that I don’t love my daughter, and it doesn’t make me a bad mum. It makes me a troubled one. It makes it harder to bond with her and I punish myself for it. I couldn’t get attached to her because I was constantly scared I was gonna lose her. Partly due to something sinister and partly because I had people threaten to get her taken off me before she was even here. I had nightmares that someone was gonna kidnap my baby girl every night and it made me not want to sleep.

My daughter is just over a year and I have never had a bath with her like most mothers would. I have never taken her out alone. I can’t be there when she goes to sleep and I get so nervous about being alone with her. I have spent probably about 5 hours alone with my daughter in her entire short life and that’s not because I don’t want too. It’s because I can’t. I get scared that I can’t cope and I panic. I’m scared that somethings going to happen to her and it’s gonna be all my fault. I’m scared of being a bad mum and neglecting her. And I wouldn’t have any sort of relationship with her if it wasn’t for Kieran. Because he is well and truly my rock.

My daughter is by far the most important person in my life and all I do is worry. I over think and I panic because I think of the worst things possible. But it’s only recently that I’ve actually started to bond with her and I won’t do it without support. I mean for the first 11 weeks of her life, I breastfed her and it was one of the hardest challenges I’ve had to face. She was an extremely hungry baby. She clusterfed so much that for the first few weeks, I had about 7 hours sleep a week. It wasn’t that much. I ended up in hospital because I was rundown and my body was suffering. It got to the point where she was having both breasts, whatever I could express and top up formula and I felt defeated. I felt like I couldn’t even give my daughter what she needed.

The day I made the decision to stop, was the hardest and was when I went downhill. Everyone told me that I wasn’t a bad mum and I had given her the best start to life but it didn’t matter to me. Because I felt like I failed again. I couldn’t go full term, I couldn’t give birth naturally and then I couldn’t breastfeed her. I saw new mums bonding with their babies and I felt even worse because I couldn’t. I saw mums lose their precious ones and I felt guilty. Here I was with a perfectly healthy baby and I couldn’t do the one thing they longed for. And still to this day, I punish myself because of other people and I shouldn’t.

Every day however, I make Luna her night time bottle, kiss her forehead and tell her how much I love her. Every morning I wake up to her massive smile and I tell her how much I love her and how happy she makes me. Every day, I give her the biggest cuddles I can and sing her favourite songs to her. I help get her dressed and we play with her toys. We watch Shrek cuddled up in bed and we sing “if you’re happy and you know it”. But I still feel like there is so much more that I should be doing and could be doing.

I was severely depressed before I had Luna and it made sense that I had postnatal depression because I wasn’t in the best frame of mind. But every day I try for that little girl and every day it does get easier. If you were to ask Kieran how many times I asked for reassurance, he’d probably say way too much. I honestly do believe that I suck as a mother because the little I do is nothing compared to what I should be.

However, I do know that I love my daughter and I make sure that she is happy. Believe me, she is. It’s very rare that she’ll cry and she makes me so proud. She doesn’t need a perfect mum, but she does need a happy one. And battling this, is hard but for her, I’ll kick it’s ass. I’ll show her that even at my weakest, I can be strong. That even when I feel like I’m failing, she’s living proof that I’m not that bad. One day, I know I’ll be the mum I’m capable of. One day I will make my daughter as proud as she makes me. I just have to take this one day at a time.

Thank you for reading. Ferrari. 💝

Positive Thought #4

I didn’t miss #3, it’s on Instagram @openupwithme and on Facebook @openupwithmeblog.

Being brave isn’t the absence of fear. Being brave is having that fear but finding a way through it. – Bear Grylls

Today could be a bad day. I’m tucked up in bed shivering with a headache and pains all down my side from coughing so much. I feel so drained and defeated. But I refuse to let that keep me down. I mean normally I’d hate the fact that I’m cooped up in bed whilst the day passes me by, but I know my Addisons and if I don’t take this time for myself, I’ll end up even worse.

Even though I hate the idea of being tucked up under a cover, I’m gonna make the most of my bed rest and read another one of the books I got for Christmas. I’m going to get lost in the pages and focus on something else. I get to forget all about what’s going on in my life and lose myself in the characters in whatever story takes my fancy.

But before I started to lose myself in my book whilst Luna went for her nap, I faced two things. Despite how rough I felt, I still managed to get the courage to face some fears of mine.

1. The dentist. I know so many people that are afraid of the dentist and all of them are much braver than I am. When I was younger, I would go to dentist and have no worries and no fear. I would sit in that chair and knew that my teeth were perfect. That was until I was about 8 or 9. I had to have my first filling and the dentist was an asshole. My mum was an asshole. That day, I had a nurse and my mum physically restraining me whilst this dentist waved around a needle to numb my gums. I was fine with having a filling but the second I saw the needle I freaked! I was panicking and hyperventilating to the point I couldn’t have it done. My mum called me so many names, told me I was a baby and needed to stop being pathetic. And every time I got in the chair after that, people were on call so I could be retrained whilst the dentist checked my teeth. When I developed my eating disorder, my teeth got terrible. The stomach acid I was bringing up, was rotting my teeth and I refused to go to the dentist. I couldn’t quite manage it. I was 21 before I managed to get the courage to have my teeth fixed. I was going once a month to be sedated and having them fixed slowly but it was great. It took me a few visits to get in the chair but the lady at Guys Hospital was incredible! She wouldn’t force me to do anything I wasn’t comfortable with, she spoke to me, she let me listen to my music and would always make sure I had a sugary drink next to me in case my blood pressure dropped. See, Addisons can cause complications, and when having any sort of stress, we are made to double our tablets to ensure that our body can cope. Throw in a phobia of needles and dentists and I turn into a wreck. But, being at guys, there is an endocrinologist in the same building and only once have they needed to get him to make sure I was okay. Today however, I’ve managed to sort out my referral and will again being having my teeth fixed by Guys Hospital.

The second being getting the courage to book a cervical cancer smear. After I had given birth to Luna, I had to be examined because of the c-section and the pains that were appearing, and found out there was a legion on my cervix. I went to that appointment alone and scared. I dreaded going and got myself into a right mess. Thankfully, it was just due to the pregnancy rather than anything more sinister. But after having it happen to my mum and her having the lump removed by a laser, I’ve been paranoid ever since. I’ve made the appointment twice before and chickened out both times. So today, I made the appointment and come next week, I will be making sure that I’m okay.

So sure, I’m actually quite sick. I’ve spent most of the day either asleep or with the blanket over my head because it was pounding that much. The pain is so intense that it’s taken me all day to write this post. But I did it! I managed to keep the sickness and pain at bay long enough to press send. But that’s not what I’m proud of. Today, I’m proud that even though I may have my fears, I will not live my life hiding from them anymore. ❤️

Positive Thought #2

Every cloud has a silver lining. You just have to look for it.

A little under a month ago, I attended an assessment of my mental health at my local hospital. I was referred there after being told there was a strong possibility I had BPD and it would be the only way I would know for sure. I attended said appointment and it was awful. I’m not going to sugarcoat. I was a wreck and I felt like I left in a worse state than when I went in. He said another appointment would be in the post but I’m still under assessment.

Fast forward to today and I received two letters from the hospital. The first stating that I had my next assessment appointment come through and the second was my care plan. Because I’m still under assessment as “I have a long history” (their words not mine. Talk about make me feel like I’m loosing my marbles. What they meant to say was, it’s not easy because for a 25 year old female, I’ve had to deal with a fair amount of crap) and we had time constraints. The second point being that I need to see a psychotherapist because he doesn’t believe counselling will help, because he believes I need something more long term.

Normally, this would send me into an anger I can’t get back from. However, I am trying to see the positives. I mean sure, I have a letter confirming I do need help but it’s more than I had last week. I mean sure come the 17th, I’m going to want to cry my eyes out but maybe, just maybe it will help. Maybe, if I actually just stop worrying that I won’t be okay and believe I might be, it won’t be looming around like a bad smell.

I’m one step closer to being able to get my head back to thinking straight. I mean I know it’s not going to happen overnight but the steps are there. And I want you guys to know that you can do it too. Your mental health is important and you are the only person that can make it better. But you have to speak up.

Believe me, I know how hard it is to want to talk when every fibre inside you is telling you not too. I know that most days you don’t even want to get out of bed. That doing normal things like brushing your hair, getting dressed and taking a shower become some of the most difficult. There were days I didn’t want to get out of bed. There were days I wouldn’t shower or get dressed. There were days I was a disgusting slob and I didn’t care. But not this year!

Yesterday, I refused to let myself stay down and sure I was tired and drained from the night before but I managed to get myself out of bed and to socialise with people. I managed to sit and play with daughter without needing anyone else there because I finally felt I could. I know there are days where I haven’t given Kieran the credit he deserves because my goodness he puts up with a lot. And it’s about time I started to dip my toes.

He has been both parents most of the time. He looks after our daughter every day. I have tried. My goodness I try but I know I could do more. I love my daughter more than I ever thought possible but I haven’t been anywhere near as good as a mum as I can. I can’t remember the last time I changed my daughters nappy, put her to bed or even gave her a bath. I can’t remember the last time I read her a story or got her dressed. Kieran does all those things and so much more. To begin with, I breastfed her, I got her dressed and I would bathe her, all with him but i knew he could leave me alone and I would still be fit to look after her. Not so much at the moment.

Now I can tell you that even though I have been at my weakest, I have still cuddled her every time she cried, I have still sung to her at times when she wouldn’t relax and I have sat and listened to music with her dancing. But that’s not enough. And she deserves so much more. But I have tried. Today however, we sat and sang songs and played for an hour this morning. We had time together that I missed so much! And because of her, I knew I was gonna be strong today. Because she needed me to be. So I got up, I got dressed and did my make up and went into town by myself. I may have had a massive panic attack in town and not stay there for very long but I did it and nobody can take that away. I may not have got everything I would have liked done, but I did get what I needed done. And today, even a little bit off a long list is okay.

It’s day two and today, even a little was enough because that’s still more than I did yesterday. So remember, It’s okay that you didn’t get everything you would have wanted done, because you got something done and even if that’s just getting out of bed. That’s worth be proud of. Don’t let your mind dictate what can and can’t be a good day. Let the bad things pass and focus on the things you did today! Because what ifs and could haves aren’t as important as the things you’ve accomplished when you felt like you couldn’t do anything.

I love you guys and thanks for reading. ❤️