It’s been a while…

It’s been a while since I wrote and oh my goodness, do I have so much to tell you amazing readers. I thought it was about time I gave you all an update and an answer for my few months of ghosting my blogging site. It’s not that I have forgotten about any of you, it’s that so much happened in such a short space of time that I needed to gather my thoughts and make something of myself.

Back in September, I got my first flat in my hometown with my baby girl. What was supposed to be a fresh start for us all, turned into a girl’s place for me and my little princess! And if I’m honest, I am finally starting to have a more positive outlook. It’s taken two months, but the flat is looking more like a home than just a moving sight. Thing’s are starting to find their own places and slowly but surely, we are building up a routine that works for both of us.

After four and a half years, Kieran and I have decided to call it a day on our relationship. We had many issues that we never worked through and instead they got pushed back for our daughter to be our focus. We stopped acting like a couple and were co-existing for the sake of her. It’s heart breaking to know that she doesn’t have her two parents under the same roof but it’s going to work out for the best. She will be lucky and have two loving homes filled with parents that adore her more than she will ever realise.

I will not pretend to be the innocent party in the breakup, I was far from it. He tried to love me for all my faults, but we couldn’t make it work. For nearly two years, I have felt like I trapped him. Our daughter was conceived during one of our break ups, and since then, I have felt like he only stuck around for the sake of a child. We stopped paying attention to our issues and focused all our time on Luna. I wish we had done the mature thing and went our separate ways before all the extra drama but that wasn’t the case. I tried to make it work for her sake, as I know he did, but it wasn’t enough. That’s okay, because not everything in this life was meant to work out.

Mentally, I wasn’t okay. I was exhausted. I wasn’t bonding with Luna, I tried to avoid doing things with her because I didn’t want to hurt her or fuck her over. I stopped taking care of myself and didn’t care much for my appearance. I would pretend to be okay for the sake of everyone else. I buried things in the hopes that they would disappear and it’s only recently that I realised just how much it was affecting me.

Since the breakup and him moving out, I have turned the flat into a home. I have done things that I asked him to do and got bored of waiting for. I have organised Luna’s room into a child friendly place and given her a place to call her own. I have managed to get control of my eating and although it’s still not at the routine it should be, I am getting better. But I’m also learning how to be a mother because I have been failing recently.

Its only been since Kieran left, that I realised how much I was thankful for him for. I will not start to badmouth him, but it was definitely an eye opener. I realised how much I relied on him and how much he did without me asking. I am beyond pleased to say that 9/10 times he’s a great dad, which is far better odds than how I was as a mother until a week or two ago. Luna is learning that rubbish goes in the bin and will take it there herself. She is learning to put toys away after herself and that tantrums will not get you attention. But oh, my word, it’s so difficult.

I love my little lady more than anyone will ever know, but she has pushed me to breaking point so many times that I’ve rang Kieran or my mum in tears because I couldn’t cope. I couldn’t cope with telling her off and having to listen to her cry for me. I couldn’t cope with her hitting me and worse, I couldn’t cope with not being her dad. He is her idol and for the almost two years of her life, he did way more than I ever did.

Being a mum is by far one of the most rewarding titles, but it will never cost me my daughter. I may have many areas in which I was lacking, but I am trying my hardest to change that. I am finally getting out of the depression that I sunk so deep into. I am finally recognising the happiness in each and every day. But most of all, I’m finally starting to look on the brighter side to living. Sure, it’s hell sometimes. And I hope that many of you will continue this journey with me.

Lastly, I want to say thank you to every person that liked my Facebook page dedicated to my blog. Unfortunately, that was tied to an account I no longer have access too. I will however be making a new one and I hope that you will all give that one the same love and support that you gave the last. I hope to be blogging more often now and have already started making plans for Blogmas next month! It’s going to be brilliant (I hope). Thank you all for the love and support I have received recently, especially to those that saw I was struggling and held out the arms to welcome me in. I truly appreciate it. You can still catch me on Instagram and twitter by clicking either of those links and I hope to have a new Facebook page up soon. Hopefully it won’t be as long next time, but until then, keep smiling. Ferrari.

Since I posted it, I have now managed to create a new Facebook page, so if you could all go give it a like, I would really appreciate it. 🙂

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.

 

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. ❤️

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 #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. ❤️

On the sixth and seventh day of Blogmas…

On the sixth day of Blogmas, I intended to give you a display of us getting into the festive spirit with our beautiful Christmas jumpers, however, I was so tired. The night before last, Luna had one of the worst nights in a very long time which meant we got little sleep. That meant that the whole of yesterday, I was exhausted. By the time I put my head on my pillow and comfy, I was asleep and didn’t wake up until Luna did this morning. So, I thought, I would do a joint post for both days rather than two separate posts.

Luna wore Rudolf to go and meet Santa. The family photo will be uploaded soon.

Merry Christmas Ya Filthy Muggles.❤️ Thank you to my niece who got me it a few years ago 😍. Comes out every December ❤️

On the seventh day of Blogmas, I want to give you Santa Claus! Today, we took Luna to see Santa Claus for the first time. She couldn’t go last year as we got out of the hospital at 6:40PM Christmas Eve and he already left. We made a point of taking her this year, unfortunately she has been under the weather over the last week, so today when she was a lot brighter, we took her and let’s just say, she was different.

Luna loves a cuddle, she hugs everyone except Santa. She refused to let go of me and refused to go to her dad. She just wanted mummy which I was not going to complain about. She did wave to him when she was leaving but being less than a year old, she was more intrigued by the things moving on Santa’s workshop. And I got thinking, when I was growing up, what did Santa mean to me?

I could swear blind that I once saw Santa Claus. I was about 7, possibly? I can’t be 100% sure but I could swear blind, that across the road, I saw Santa on the roof on the houses. Now, I am pretty sure that I was half asleep, still dreaming but it felt real to me. From that point, I can always remember having Christmas spirit inside me. Even when I got told that Santa wasn’t real and how the presents really came in our stockings, but I still believed in Santa.

I believe that Santa isn’t a person, but more the memory. He is the memory that we should always keep giving without expecting something in return. He is the memory of innocence. A time when things were simpler, and we loved more freely. When we are children, we play with everyone. We make friends in seconds of knowing people and don’t tend to judge. Sure, you get the asshole brats that are everywhere, but generally, when you’re a child, you are friends with everyone, you talk to everyone and you don’t discriminate. Yet, we grow into judgemental assholes. That isn’t fair. We forget what it’s like to be children.

I think for young children, its about a big guy in a red jacket but as you get older, he just becomes a dude dressing up. But think back. When you were children, how excited did you get when you saw Santa? How many of you asked your parents why Santa was at your local shopping centre and not in the North Pole getting ready for Christmas? I mean, I for one, loved to go to my local town centre and see Santa. I remember being excited and telling a stranger what I wanted for Christmas and have no fear.

Now? Well I still believe Santa exists but not in the conventual way. He is the Christmas spirit that lives in us. He is the one who grows with us from children and that we pass onto ours. He is someone who brings hope and excitement all around the world and he is more than just the person. It is the spirit that grows in children all around the world on Christmas Eve, his gift to them is belief. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I want our children to hold onto the belief of Santa for as long as they can. I think we have no right to take that away from them. I mean I’m 25 and I believe in the spirit of Santa and that is my choice.

I think that children learn on their own that he isn’t the big fat man, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t exist. He exists in our hearts, the same as our favourite stories are embedded into our hearts. He is our childhood story. I want Luna to believe in Santa for as long as she can and even longer if she’s like me. People believe in all sorts of things and we shouldn’t tell people they are wrong for it. I can still remember the day I learned out that a fat man didn’t deliver my presents and that was well over ten years ago. I remember being hurt, until I realised that he may not have delivered my presents, but they were delivered in his name, but the person who did, made sure that we believed it was. They went through time and effort to keep up his façade in the name of Christmas, and that was how I came to believe in the spirit of Christmas properly. The spirit that gets people excited to wrap presents, to give gifts and see their excitement. To give without worrying about receiving although, it is always a bonus.

What do you think of Santa? What does he mean to you? Tell me on Twitter @RariAyliffe, Facebook @Openupwithmeblog and Instagram @Openupwithme. Until tomorrow, Merry Christmas.🎄❄️⛄️❤️

My silver lining. ❤️

I feel like my post earlier was pretty dark. I mean yes I have bad days but I have the greatest light of all.

My daughter is my everything. I live every day for her! I push myself when I feel weak because she is my strength. She has the cutest smile and the best cuddles. She has the brightest eyes and the warmest laugh. If you ever have the pleasure to meet her, I bet you remember her.

She saved me. Last year, I was going through some of the hardest moments of my life. We found out we were having her and it gave me purpose. She gives me purpose. She is such a happy baby girl that I couldn’t have asked for more. Every morning she will wake up between 7-9, she has her breakfast, listens to music and dances about. She loves a good swivel! She laughs and plays with us. She’s learning to walk and loves to explore. She’s such a little character. She has her nap and sleeps at about 8. All day we are on our toes but all day she keeps us smiling.

I live for cuddles with her because they make everything perfect.

See. No matter how bad my day may get. No matter how low I feel. She is enough to keep me sane. She gives the sloppiest kisses and the silliest high fives. She will copy my laugh and then laugh at it. It’s beautiful. There is nothing more honest in this world, than a child’s laughter.

Yes today was a bad day. But Luna is alive, she’s happy and she’s healthy. And that’s all I could ever ask for as a mother. So although mentally it was exhausting and draining, I have way more to be thankful of.

I am truly blessed. And I am so thankful for her each and every day! She is by far my greatest moment. She is the love of my life. A love that is pure and unconditional. I will love her beyond my lifetime because she is my legacy. And if I get one thing right in this world, I know it will be her.

I am thankful for being alive and sharing memories with her. I am thankful that I get to be her mum and bring her up with her amazing father. Because I am beyond thankful for him. He keeps me sane most of the time and is beyond perfect with her. He is the definition of a father. He lives and breathes for her. And that’s all I could ever ask. I love you both beyond words. Beyond actions.

I am thankful for all my readers. For helping me smash records. You let me write what I want and read it with great feedback. You support me and I truly appreciate it.

I am thankful for my friends that know who they are. That I don’t give enough credit to. Thank you for still being here even though I’m tough to handle sometimes. And to my family that put up with me day in and out. I love you all. ❤️