Isn’t it a contradiction that you can feel so alone but yet be in the presence of two children, a new born and a 3 year old, who could talk the legs off a donkey.
Prior to maternity leave, I worked full time within the Criminal Justice System so I was constantly busy. However, this is a far cry from my life now I’m on maternity leave, I’m busy, but in a completely different way.
When the loneliness strikes
It’s crazy, when your baby is first born you have heaps and heaps of visitors coming to see you and baby, then little by little they all dwindle away. Your partner goes back to work and suddenly you’re by yourself just you and the little humans. When my partner first went back to work I was actually scared of my children. 😂😂 I laugh but honestly, I couldn’t wait for him to be home, not just for adult conversation but so I could finally breath a sigh of relief that I had help and back up (and that I could finally run away to Narnia).
Many times I would wait by the window when I knew he was due home. And when I received a call saying “babe I’m going to the gym” my heart would sink a little. But I knew I had to allow him to have time for himself so I never complained. Now you’re probably thinking get a damn grip girl, but the feelings were real. Even I didn’t recognise me!!
This was unfamiliar territory for me as there were weeks I would work 5/6 days on high profile criminal cases so my mind was completely stimulated. By contrast my conversation now consisted of why Marshall and chase from the Paw Patrol were dogs not humans LOL! I’m a get up and go type of girl, always planning and doing different things, so I really got to know a new dimension of myself. Don’t get me wrong, I get out and about with the boys and do activities with them. But, there was still that sense of isolation, if you’ve not long had a new newborn or you’re a stay at home mother you will totally get it.
We make eye contact with the new mother at the ball park or the supermarket, and it’s almost like we speak the same language through our eyes, but no words spoken.. and what’s crazy is, I understand exactly what she is feeling.
Few of us mothers actually have accurate expectations of what motherhood will be like particularly if this is your first child. For many of us motherhood and loneliness can work hand in hand. It can be so bitter sweet. During the first few months of having my second baby, I was so beautifully connected to my baby in every way yet so disconnected to those close to me. The world continued to go round, however I felt like time was on pause in my little bubble of motherhood. Check out this post to see how I survived the first three months of motherhood
Reality VS Fantasy
We will have mother and baby meet ups
I wanted to do an online course while I was off
We would have chill days in bed ALL DAY
I would have time to think (HA-HA)
I would go on coffee dates and cute shopping trips
There are days where I feel physically and emotionally drained.
I’m rarely on time lol.
Baby wipes are my best friend
Pyjamas will be in your top five essentials.
How much does your partner understand
So, my other half came back from work the other day complaining that he was tired. “I know the feeling” I said. He asked “well what have you been doing all day”. I gave him a look and at that point he knew that he had fucked up. What have I been doing you ask? Cooking, cleaning, feeding your children, educating your children OH and keeping them alive. I do feel that he said that out of frustration however it highlighted the sad stigma attached to stay at home mothers.
What helped me
The starting point for me was processing the feelings of loneliness. I didn’t want to admit I was lonely and I definitely didn’t want to share with others especially as this was my second child. I was meant to be a veteran in the game. Again, there is a stereotype that new mums should be happy so for a while I actually thought it was me.
I spoke with loved ones about it and reached out to other mothers who had recently had babies. I absolutely love hearing and reflecting on the experiences of others. At this point I realised that there were an overwhelmingly amount of mothers who were experiencing the same.”I’m NORMAL” *Does the lonely mum dance* LOL!
It was time to “work it” and embrace this loneliness, talk to others, share experiences, push myself to get out, and most of all raise a awareness of this feeling of loneliness. It’s so real, it’s so relevant and it’s so important.
You’re selfless and courageous, you made a commitment to dedicate every inch of yourself to your child. There are many times you compromise your own happiness to ensure that your child does not feel that they’re any less due to an absent parent. Single mothers you’re total Bosses!!
There are times that I’m on the brink of a melt down and my partner comes to the rescue to help. So when I think of all the mothers that have 100% responsibility for their children I find it completely inspirational. You are so so so appreciated and recognised. “To the women of the world”
Stay at home mothers
Stay at home mothers, you are the chef, the house keeper, nurse, the therapist, the chauffeur, the teacher. I know that your days seem long yet your nights so short. I know that you never really “switch off” because you’re on job 24/7.
I know that there are times when you’re defending your role as a SAHM mother even to those who are closest to you. Sometimes even our partners can’t understand what we do all day. I say we because I am currently on maternity leave and through this experience I have a new found respect and admiration for you. I’m in total awe of you, you’re amazing. “To the women of the world”
End note: As parents let’s talk, communicate, share experiences, and support each other. Because at some point in our motherhood journey we have all felt lonely. Talk to the mother in the supermarket, ask how her days going. It could make all the difference in her day.
As you’re aware, last week my blog post was focused on mental health and emotional development. So for two further weeks my aim is to raise awareness on both topics. This week my focus is developmental disabilities. I am featuring 4 amazing and incredibly courageous mothers and their sons to help others step into the shoes of their children who’s behaviour often gets misinterpreted for being “naughty” or inadequately disciplined. It’s so easy to walk past a parent and their child in the supermarket and pass judgement. However, moving forward I want you to take a second to consider that this child may have a disability.
As a Children’s Services Practitioner I work with children and adolescents who require a tailored intervention to support, safeguard and empower them to make pro-social decisions. Many of the young people I work with have developmental disabilities and are often labelled as “disruptive, naughty and rebellious”. It is my role as a practitioner to advocate on their behalf to ensure they’re receiving the appropriate medical intervention and support from the relevant agencies including Child And Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAHMS) and Young Minds. I am by no means an expert in this field, however I am passionate about raising awareness on such topics which is why I am so excited about sharing this post with you.
SPD is a condition in which the brain has trouble receiving and responding to information that comes in through the senses. Some people with sensory processing disorder are oversensitive to things in their environment. Common sounds may be painful or overwhelming. The light touch of a shirt may chafe the skin”. (Moni, Psychologists) Blog & Instagram
Demand avoidance disorder or PDA ie Pathological Demand avoidance is a behavorial trait or profile that is seen in some individuals on the autism spectrum. This demand avoidant behaviour is rooted in an anxiety-based need to be in control. Most cases of PDA cause a heart murmur (an extra or unusual sound in the heartbeat), which a doctor can hear through a stethoscope. A chest X-ray may also be necessary to see the condition of a baby’s heart and lungs”. (Moni, Psychologist).
ASD is a developmental disability which affects a persons ability to communicate socially and therefore relate to others. It is a lifelong disability and is a spectrum disorder commonly referred to as Autism. It impacts how they view the world and requires a formal diagnosis as it impacts their development and learning. (Gurpreeti K, Trainee Psychologist) Blog & Instagram
M, Age 8 (Sensory Processing Disorder, SPD)
Inside my head is a funny place. I don’t think it’s the same as inside my friend’s heads. Sometimes it is hard for me to say what is happening inside my head and what I think and how I am feeling.
You see, the world is sometimes a bit too loud for me. It can be a bit too hot for me, there can be too many people. Big bangs and loud noises when I don’t expect them make me want to scream and cry. They don’t seem to annoy other people like they annoy me. Other people think they are funny or don’t worry. They make me want to run away and hide, or stop what I am doing and cover my ears.
I don’t like it when there are too many people around me, and it’s hot, noisy and busy. It makes me feel scared inside. My mummy says a lot of people feel this way, but it is worse for me. We have a secret code for when I have had enough of a place that is too busy. I go to her and I squeeze her hands really tight. She knows this is me telling her I am done and we need to go. Sometimes she works out I need to leave before I have and helps me to get away.
I don’t like being touched, or people hugging me, or being sweaty, or too hot. I don’t like strong smells, and places that are dark with lots of noise and light make me very worried. I find it hard to go on the trains, and hot and busy buses make me very upset. I find it hard to switch my brain off. Inside my head can feel very busy and noisy even when it is quiet around me outside my head. This makes it hard for me to concentrated sometimes and I get frustrated. It makes going to sleep very hard. If I have had a very busy day or been to a new place, or tried a new thing, it can take a long time for my brain to stop me thinking about that.
I am often very tired after school because even though I like school and my teachers and friends, I find a lot of what goes on hard for my brain to work out. It can be noisy and busy and hot, and I have to work hard to be able to move from one task to another, and if I am not finished something I often feel sad that I can’t and have to stop. I like to play games and work with other people and my friends but I want them to stick to the rules and play nicely and I get very sad and upset when they don’t. When I come home I feel safe so I often cry or get cross because I am tired and it has been a hard day, and my Mummy has to help me calm down. Sometimes when I am feeling tired or worried, my tummy hurts and I feel sick. I try to tell grown ups, but they often don’t understand. My mummy knows that if I say I feel sick, that it doesn’t always mean I have a tummy bug, but that I am worried or need to talk about something in my head.
I don’t like big changes or things not being the way I am used to them, and it can make me frustrated and angry, or very sad. I try to understand but sometimes I can’t. I like it when things are explained and people stick to the plan. I am learning to tell someone when I am upset by a change in a plan but sometimes I can’t. Inside my head is a funny place. I wish more people could see that I am not being naughty or bad, but sometimes I just can’t find the right words to explain, so I hold it all in. Holding it all in is hard. I wish I didn’t have to, and sometimes I forget to. I wish people could understand and see inside my head a bit more, and see.
My mummy says that my brain just works harder at some things that other people’s and makes things work a bit differently and that it makes things harder for me. I like being me, sometimes, but sometimes I wish I didn’t have to hold it all in.
Hi there, my name is ‘Little Bear’, I’m 8 years old and have been diagnosed with autism. For those of you who don’t know what autism is, it’s a lifelong developmental disability that affects how I communicate and perceive the world around me.
Autism has taken my voice away and I struggle on a daily basis to communicate with those around me.
Imagine waking up every day wanting to talk to your loved ones and share in their conversations but not being able to. Imagine waking up feeling sad and not being able to tell someone that you had a nightmare last night and were scared during the night. Imagine wanting to tell your family how much you love them but not being able to get the words out. Imagine wanting something so badly but not being able to tell someone what it is you want. You try so hard to get the words out but no matter how hard you try they won’t come. You start to get so frustrated and angry with yourself because the things you want are so close yet so far because no one understands what you’re trying to say.
I get so frustrated that I have no control over my emotions or my body and will scream and cry in anger, I will start hitting things and often hurting myself because my body has been completely taken over by my emotions that I very often don’t understand. People will stare at me and judge me for my behaviour, all too often labelling me as being a child whose parents have not disciplined, a child who has no manners and is very naughty.
When you give me that disapproving stare it hurts my parent’s feelings, they try their best to keep me calm but all too often I find my environment too overwhelming and will react the only way that I know how to communicate my emotions. Please don’t judge me when you see me in the supermarket and I’m crying and screaming, the lights are too bright, the noise is too much, inside my head it’s like I have 100s of tabs open and they’re all playing videos at the same time but yet I can’t close them.
There are so many people around me that I start to feel anxious and my world feels unsafe and unknown to me as I’m no longer in my home where I can shut all these things out. I might behave very differently to other children around me but inside I am exactly the same as all the other children. I have the same wants and needs as them, I love to run, jump and play just like any other 8-year-old child. I still want to be able to play with children my age, but I don’t quite know how to approach them, my eyes light up with excitement when I go out to play and I want to run around with the other children, but they don’t understand me, and I don’t understand them.
The world can often seem like a scary and unknow place to me and this makes it hard for me to be out and about so please be kind and patient with me as I make my way around learning how to cope with the world that I so struggle with.
Always remember that different is by no means less.
I am 5, I’m not like other 5 year olds. For one I don’t talk to you. I may make noises and can repeat things and read anything but I won’t talk to you and I won’t acknowledge you unless I really know you. When we go out with my friends sometimes everything gets too much for me, the noises from children screaming, the background noise including the radio playing, and it all gets to me, the only thing I know how to do I throw myself on the floor, this means I get removed from the noise and into quiet. I like quiet. This is why I don’t really like to go anywhere new. I don’t play with my friends like they play with one another, but I enjoy watching them. I like to laugh at them and run, I love it when they chase me but can’t catch me because I’m faster than them all.
I’m not like the other 5 year olds I can’t ride a bike, I can’t kick a ball and I don’t know how to play games with them. Sometimes other children look at me funny, they laugh at me until recently I was still in pull ups and was called a baby. I’m not a baby I can do my numbers even my 17 x table and I can even spell xylophone. Babies can’t do that can they.
People always look at my mam when I run away and she is shouting at me, it’s not that I can’t hear her, but the water is so much fun, it doesn’t matter that I have to run across the car park first I don’t see danger only what’s in front of me and when I have my mind set on something I have to do it. I don’t understand why I can’t go for a paddle in the river.
Everyone always takes notice of what I can’t do, but no one ever notices what I can do because I don’t tell them because I don’t like to speak to anyone, just because I don’t talk doesn’t mean I’m stupid though.
Any where new… this is because I like to know where things are, what the chips taste like because when they are served in the same dish they are the same and I know I like them. I’ve gotten to know the place. New places can be louder and brighter, the chips are not the same and I don’t like things not being the same.
I woke up this morning feeling unhappy. My sister is going away on a European Trip with the school. I don’t understand. It’s the weekend and she should be
with her family at home. I don’t understand. I went to the school to see her off.
There were lots of people there all looking excited. Why are they excited? I don’t understand. When I get home, it is quiet and I have my mummy and daddy’s full attention.
I don’t want to go to bed because it doesn’t feel right. I shut the outside world out and cocoon myself in my own little world. It’s safe in here, it’s predictable. What are those voices that are trying to invade my safe place? Daddy sounds different. Who is he telling me that I’m ignoring him? I don’t understand. Mummy is talking to me but her voice is really quiet. I have to listen hard to hear her and that means coming out of my safe place. I don’t want to do that! My bedroom is my place so I’ll take myself there. At least then the voices will stop. Now I’m on my own and my sister enters my head. I miss my sister. She should be here with her family, with me. Why did she want to go away? Why has she left me? I don’t understand.I feel sad and worried. I want my sister home. What happens if something happens to her? Why do people want to go far away from their family?
I don’t understand. My mum has come into my room and is talking to me. Why has she come into my safe place? I just want my sister home. Why have things had to change? This doesn’t feel like my safe place anymore because things have changed. I don’t know what to do so I don’t do anything. I don’t feel in control.
I wrap my arms around myself and start rocking. The movement is familiar and comforting. I feel odd and my mum tells me that it’s ok to miss my sister because that shows that I love her. Of course I love her, she’s my sister. Why has she gone away? I don’t understand. How can I go to sleep when things don’t
feel right? My sister is missing and it doesn’t feel right. I don’t understand. I can’t do the things that I know I should be doing. Everything sounds so loud that it hurts my ears. Things just don’t feel right. There is no order. Without my routine I feel lost, I feel out of control. When I’ve felt like this before, adults have been angry with me, they tell me that I’m naughty. How can I be naughty when things don’t feel right? I don’t understand.
Why do people do things that are wrong? Going away from your family is wrong. Not sticking to the rules is wrong. Why do I get into trouble for trying to tell people to do things right? Rules are rules. People should follow the rules. Night time is a scary time for me. I don’t like the dark because I can’t control it. I’m not in control of my dreams and that makes me anxious. At least that’s what mummy tells me. I just know that I don’t feel right. I don’t want to go to sleep. When I’m awake I’m in control of my thoughts. I know that mummy and daddy want me to go to sleep but I just can’t. I hope that my mummy and daddy understand that I’m not being naughty. I just don’t know how to be any other way.
I am autistic with demand avoidance traits and I see the world differently. I have an anxiety based need to be in control. If I don’t have that control, my anxiety takes over and I panic. Please understand, I’m not naughty, I don’t want to be naughty. I don’t understand the world the way that you do. Please help me to cope. Please give me choices so that I can have control of my world. Please don’t judge me and don’t judge my parents. They understand my need for control. They are not letting me be naughty, they are just picking their battles in a way that helps me to cope with the world.
So I’ve had the pleasure of collaborating with the beautiful Mannie Nanni and her gorgeous little boy Adam on my latest post! Ive had so much fun working with her to put this blog post together and I think it’s one that so many boy moms/mums can relate to.
It’s crazy to think I’m a boy mum of two!! I always imagined myself having a little boy and a mini version of me with perfectly matching nails, going on Shopping dates and girly adventures.. Instead, I am standing at the side of a football pitch freezing my butt off thinking “Is this life”. Haha! That being said I am both my sons biggest cheerleader and they make me so unbelievably proud. Nearly 4 years into being a boy mum I honestly wouldn’t have it any other way.. boys are extremely loving! And you cant beat conversations with a 3 year old who wants to celebrate his willies birthday because it “Growed” a bit. 😂😂
However, I will always consider what it would be like to be the mother of the bride, the realisation that I may never get to be a birthing partner to a “daughter” and one day when I am old to do anything who will wipe my butt and tie my hair up for me. But most importantly I hope that in a world where men are expected to be as hard as steel, my boys will always feel they can talk to Mummy about their troubles.
OK , so my kids are 3 and 3 months old! BUT I can’t be the only boy mum that has thought about these things! It’s not quite the same being the mother of the groom! I would’ve loved to have had that rush of emotion when I saw my daughter in a beautiful white dress as she prepared for the biggest day of her life.. instead I will be sat in “anticipation” as my son walks out the fitting room in a suit that looks exactly the same as the the last 5 he tried on but in a different colour.
I wonder if my daughter in laws will want to have me in the birthing suite when they give birth or if I will be that Grandmother sitting outside in the waiting room, listening anxiously for the cries of my precious grand-child. Honestly, I long for a good relationship with my daughter in laws. I hope to be some one they can look up to and confide in. I only hope that they’re not total bitches and my son has good taste in women haha!
I bet I sound so harsh right now! But this is in the mind of a boy mum so I have to be honest!
Finally, as a man I honestly feel that there is so much pressure on them, to be the bread winner, to protect their family and to be a macho man. Although I will raise both of my sons to provide for their family and stand on their own two feet. I really hope that my sons never feel that weight of the world on their shoulders and that they have emotionally strong women to pick them up when they are down. Because the truth is I won’t always be around.
Mannie, since you had your little man 7 months ago.. What are the things that go through your mind as boy mom?
“Do I really wish I had a girl like everyone asks me even though I say no? Who am I raising my son to take care of and love when he becomes an adult? Am I hurting my son’s privates when I hold him on my leg or hip? Is it just me or is the girl’s clothes section WAY bigger than the boy’s section?
Welcome to our male dominated World! Let’s start with the first question we constantly ask ourselves. Do I really wish I had a girl like everyone asks me even though I say no? At least for me, deep down inside, I always knew I was destined to be a boy mom. I am adventurous in spirit and I just always had this feeling that I was being prepared to raise a boy. So when I heard the news that I was having a boy I was naturally thrilled!
Who am I raising my son to take care of and love when he becomes an adult? From the moment I felt him alive and kicking in my stomach, I began thinking about the woman that he may someday be going on this journey of giving birth with. How he would treat her and take care of her. I immediately felt an obligation to show him how to stand by a strong independent woman, and how to support and love her for who she is.
Am I hurting my son’s privates when I hold him on my leg or hip? While I don’t have pediatric confirmation of this, I have convinced myself this is a solid no, and that baby boys are strong dudes. Feel free to enlighten me here, but I hold my son for the most part as if he were a girl in multiple different positions. Although every once in a while my brain sneaks in a questioning thought as to whether he is in pain, but then my little guy gives me a reassuring smile, and my mind is again at peace.
Is it just me or is the girl’s clothing section way bigger than the boys?? You really don’t start to notice this until, you have a to dress a boy. Although every time, I walk in to a store my mind immediately goes into shock mode at the fact that there are 500 super cute girly items while the boys have about 10 pieces which mainly say “cool dude”. And then disappointment sets in, and like a superwoman in the night, my mind immediately rescues me and says, That means more for us girlfriend!” (Mannie Nanni, guest blogger)
Mothers, tell us what goes through your mind as a boy Mum/Mom. We’d love to hear your thoughts.. ❤️
If I had a £1 for every time someone said to me “ohhh you best have all your fun before you have kids”. Or “you can’t do that you have two children now” I would be a rich mofo sitting in a gigantic castle bathing in champagne. Honestly the ignorance and tunnel vision of some people is barbaric.
I told some one that I had plans to go on holiday, their reply “With your kids, good luck”. Now these types of comments only serve to inspire me more to achieve everything I wish in life with my two gorgeous boys right by my side.
NEWS FLASH MAMA’S: Your life is not over because you’ve had children, in-fact your life is just beginning.
When I was pregnant with my first I was completely oblivious to what was to come and it’s crazy that I actually started to believe everything the “Debbie Downers” told me, so much so that I was quite down in my first/second trimester of my first pregnancy. I was a 22 year old girl who was just starting out in life.. drowned with thoughts and anxieties that this baby would act as a complete burden on my life.
Now I’m here to tell you, that although my life has totally transformed with two children, in that my house never stays tidy, I constantly have a headache, I’m constantly picking up mini boxers and I’m accustomed to conversations about willies and poo. I am able to pamper myself, go on girly outings, have date nights, leave the house (after 4 hours of getting the boys ready😂), I’m able to get my eyebrows done and have me time.
Because the truth is self-care is so extremely important. Looking after yourself is looking after your kids. Now this may sound completely controversial, but when I hear parents say. “Aslong as my kids have everything, I don’t care about myself”. I completely disagree. Why should you now neglect yourself because you have children?
Now right now I sound like a complete hypocrite as I treated myself to 4 tops and a pair of jeans today and had a complete meltdown so I ended up spending loads on my kids to counteract the guilt! But honestly this is a cycle that both you and I have to break!! I was never like this with my first child but with child number two I have suffered what they called “Mum guilt” however I’m currently approaching the phase of “fuck this sh%t “I’m going to buy those shoes! What’s the worst that can happen..
I understand that some people do really struggle with the concept of having children and how much responsibility these little humans are (who don’t come with a damn manual) and it can be so overwhelming in the early stages.. I was someone who suffered with baby blues/borderline post natal depression. However it’s like with anything you have to allow time to adjust, and get to know these little people, it’s like blind dating! (OR CATFISH IF YOU EXPECT A BABY WHO IS WELL BEHAVED AND SLEEPS THROUGH THE NIGHT BUT INSTEAD YOU GET A KID WHO SCREAMS WHEN YOU LOOK AT THEM). I digress 😂
But honestly, a lot of people say to me “I don’t think I’m ready to have a child” my advice is you will never be 100% ready but you adjust and make it work.
MORAL OF THE STORY: Our kids should serve as our motivation to want more from life not spell the end of it. Buy those shoes, book that holiday and most of all!! FORGET WHAT OTHER PEOPLE SAY! Because none of those people are feeding , clothing or housing you or your children.
I wasn’t scheduled to do another blog post until Friday. However yesterday I put a post up on Instagram about talking to your child about abuse “The Pants Rule” and I had an overwhelming response in my messages with questions about the Initiative that NSPCC introduced in 2016.
So the main principle is to help protect your child from abuse. NSPCC provide a really fun way of explaining by incorporating a dinosaur by the name of Pantosaurus. The website provides, videos, games , fun activity packs and a downloadable app. Talking about such a sensitive subject with a child can be difficult. However these resources really makes it a fun learning experience for both you and your child.
That being said I just want to do a quick post with information about “talk pants”. My son is 3 years old and the video and resources that are on the site helped me significantly in explaining abuse to him. To check out the website please CLICK HERE