11 signs the honey moon period is over

Ahh!!

The honey moon period.. What a wonderful world of flowers, chocolates, cute dinner dates, ironically you agree on everything (number of kids you want, your fave holiday location). You look glowing and happy, your best perfume makes an appearance, Victoria secrets staff members know your name, the world around you disappears.

I thought I’d delve into the world of relationships as you guys probably think I have an imaginary boyfriend, so I thought I’d better incorporate him at some point 😂

The world of the honeymoon periods is a thing of the past for me, 10 years in the past to be precise. But if I’m being honest my honey moon period lasted for the best part of 5 years.. No arguments or disagreements (could partly be do with the fact that we were long distance for 3 of the 10 years 😂). You can read more about our journey in “A no flaws relationship”  

People say they don’t want the infamous “honey period” to end as the cute gestures stop but If I’m honest I was pretty glad when they fizzled out. I didn’t have to pretend to be perfect anymore, i didn’t have to wake up before him to brush my hair and teeth. 

With that being said there’s pros and cons to both and most definitely CLEAR signs the honey moon period is over.. You may be able to relate. 

11 signs the honey moon period is never to return

The lack of toilet etiquette 

He thinks it’s ok to burst into the bathroom while I’m having a pamper session, candles lit, lavender in the bath. He decides it’s the perfect opportunity to sit on the toilet and talk to me about the meaning of life? 

Why don’t you…. anymore 

Now I start my sentences why “babe why don’t you do …… anymore”. It’s normally me asking why he doesn’t buy me flowers anymore? Him: “Because on your birthday in 2010 they died because you didn’t look after them, I’m not buying you anymore” this is true but like i said I’m a new woman now. I have children, I know how to look after things. 

We have our own lives 

We can’t wait to have a break from each other, we have a break from each other and miss each other, we reunite and piss each other off again. Him: “oh so you’re still annoying” 😂😂 Me: “Yupp” 

Holding the door open.. yeh right

Suddenly the doors being opened for you stops and Instead end up merely missing your face (ok this could just apply to my relationship😂). Suddenly he stops pulling the chair out for me at dinner. Me: “It’s ok I’ll get this”. You wait on your side of the car to have the door opened for you like old times but you realise he’s already in the house LMAO. 

I mean I tell him that he deserves and Oscar for his awarding winning performance during the honey moon period, and that it was false advertisement that won him two kids and a fiancée lmao. We laugh and he says “it’s too late now, all signed up”

You become telepathic

Suddenly he knows exactly what I’m thinking without me even saying it. Particularly when I’m pissed off. It normally goes something like this “%@##@#£&£*”

You know how to push each others buttons

This normally consists of him leaving the toilet seat up or putting his dirty socks next to the laundry basket not in. He knows that one really sends me psycho. 

Despite all this I want to address the sweet side chapter after the honey period because this honestly is my favourite. 

You grow in sync 

You become so ridiculously in sync. I know it may sound so cliché but once you overcome the honey moon period, the feeling of being in sync is magical. There’s no room for awkward conversations because you just ”get each other”. So many times me and my partner have called each other at the same time to ask the exact same question. Too many times we have come home with the identical trainers for our little boys. We can finish each others sentences. We do amazing Impressions of each other. 

He knows how you feel by Just one look

He knows the inner layers of me. He senses the emotion in my eyes. And he reacts accordingly. Isn’t it crazy that no matter how hard you try to conceal your emotion your partner just knows when somethings up. 

You accept each other in your most vulnerable form

My partner has seen me stripped of all my layers, he’s seen my ugly cry (and it’s not very nice 😂). A side of me that no-one has ever seen or will ever see. 

When we see social media we see the beauty of relationships, the love. We see the fun, we see the presents with the huge bows. But vulnerability is what makes a  relationship beautiful and unique. Many times I’ve had a difficult day of motherhood or I’ve had a hard day at work and held back the tears. Waited till I’ve got home to my other half and just poured my heart out. 

Silence is golden 

When you’re comfortable being in each others surroundings without a word spoken. There are no awkward silences, no desire to exchange words. And no verbal affirmations are required. 

The look

The look you give each other in a room full of people but only you two notice. There’s nothing that makes me feel more attractive than noticing him stare over at me and admire from a distance. And that’s after 10 years. 

I would love to know how long you’ve been with your partner and what makes your bond special?

Honey moon period

More than “just a M* mmy”

Seriously I know I’m going to sound like such a hypocrite as a lot of my content is Mummy motivated but seriously, I want to take it back to basics .. Who was I before I became “Mummy”. I was “P”… Not just a Mummy.

My reason for having such a Mummy focused blog at present is because I pride myself on blogging based on how I feel at the time. This ensures that my content is authentic and straight from the heart. For the last 6 months I have been strictly in Mummy mode, so my posts have been predominantly based around my Mummy Shenanigans. 

This was set in stone last weekend when my son said “Mummy, why are you going without us, don’t you love us?” and at that point the mummy in me wanted to unpack my bags and cancel my girly weekend.  But the “P” in me replied ‘Son of course I love you, but I love myself too so it’s important that Mummy has a break and refills her cup”. His reply “what cup” 😂

Who were you before you became “Mummy”

Now you’re going to either love this post or you’re going to hate it. But during my daily scroll through Instagram. I connect with so many mummies, and mummy bloggers. I know so much about their children (age, likes, dislikes) yet I know so little about The amazing women who created them. What makes you smile? What was your dream as a little girl? What’s your favourite wine? Who are you? 

And more importantly Who the “fuck am I” I’ve asked myself for the last 6 months of maternity leave. The truth is, I know who I am, I know what I want out of life, I have robust expectations and I refuse to compromise . But every now and then motherhood throws me out of sync, just when I think I’ve got my shit together. 

This whole loss of identity stuff

Hands up if you’ve ever had a Mum identity crisis!!?? I’m a cross between a drunk off paw patrol, sleep deprived, converse wearing zombie. With a hint of 6 inch heels wearing, hair flowing through the wind Kinda girl when I get a quick boost of energy.

Loss of identity is a real issue, and I’ve spoken to countless mothers who have experienced the loss of identity phase. In fact today I left my house with only one hand of my nails painted because I needed to take my son to school.😂 (me trying to create an identity.. But once again being humbled by motherhood). 

As humans our identities change and evolve as we progress through the differing stages of our life. And the last 6 months have taught me that you can have more than one identity . I am the career woman, the goal getter, the fiancée, confidant, the travel junkie, and a millennial girl facing millennial problems. 

Feeling like you’ve lost your identity can really compromise your emotional well being so if you’re going through this, and need some one to talk to. Please, email me,  message me, DM and let’s talk about it. I’m always ready with an open ear. You can read more about my loneliness and loss of identity here

 

Not just a Mummy

 

So! With that being said, allow me to re introduce myself and Include 10 facts aside from being a mother of two gorgeous boys.

Hey, my names P. 

  • I’m the “strong friend” the go to, and the comforter.
  • Career wise, I am a children’s services practitioner, a court advisor, a youth engagement officer and now a blogger. 
  • I have a degree in Criminology & Criminal Justice and another in Applied Criminology. 
  • I pride myself on helping others, I don’t have a bad bone in my body and those of you that know me will know I would give you my last pound. 
  • I’m a sucker, for 6 inch heels, lippy and a cute cocktail bar. 
  • Generally I’m not designer mad but I love cute designer hand bags.
  • I’ve been with my partner for 10 years and I can’t get rid of him 😂 I think he’s here to stay. 
  • I’m an advocate for female empowerment. 
  • I brought my first house when I was 22
  • My favourite hobby is boxing.

This is ONE for you! 

I want to know three facts about you aside from being a mother? 

 

Have You Ever Felt Powerless As A Mother?

Have you ever felt powerless as a mother?

From the moment we learn we are carrying life, our only mission is to strive to protect our children. We hold them close, we nurture our bumps, we vigorously research guidelines and we anticipate the day we will finally meet our Crown Jewels. 

In some circumstances, we don’t get the chance to meet out Crown Jewels because they’re needed in heaven where the angels belong. But those memories of their tiny hands and feet will forever remain in our hearts. I would like to honour this post in loving memory of Baby O’Toole. Baby O’Toole is the angel of Katie, who is our first story. Rest beautifully angel. It’s never good bye, only see you soon. 

The bond we create while pregnant is indescribable. We tell our babies we will always protect them, we will never let harm come to them and that we will be by their side till we take our last breath. BUT! What happens when you’re faced with a situation that prevents you from doing all the things you promised? 

“10 Mothers, 10 Stories”

I have brought 10 women from around the globe into one forum to share a time they have felt powerless as a mother. WHY? Because there is no magic guide to motherhood, it’s unpredictable, it’s scary and it’s a whirlwind. It’s time to talk, it’s time to raise awareness and it’s time to empower. In a world where our parenting skills are scrutinised the minute we walk out the door. I WANT, I NEED mothers to know that we have all felt powerless, and that’s ok. 

    Mother of 3

There was no heartbeat” 

Last August {2017} I went in for my 19 week OB appointment. I remember being so excited because the following week was our big ultrasound so we could find out the gender of our baby that would be joining our family in January. At that appointment, there was no heartbeat and my baby was only measuring 15 weeks. It felt like someone had sucked all the air out of the room.

They sent me over to get an ultrasound to see if they could figure out what had happened. I lay there sobbing as they did the ultrasound. This was supposed to be such a happy time. After they did the ultrasound the Doctor came in to talk to us. He told me that from the ultrasound they still couldn’t see what had caused the miscarriage and not to blame myself, there was nothing that I did wrong.

The Guilt

Of course, I blamed myself. I had never felt so helpless or powerless in my life. I was this baby’s mom. My one job while being pregnant was to keep this baby safe. Help this baby grow and develop. A year later, there isn’t a day that goes by, that I don’t think about that baby. Think about what I did wrong. Did I not eat healthy enough, did I not drink enough water. Did I not rest enough or did I push myself too hard? The list went on and on and to this day I still don’t’ know what happened. I never will.

As mothers {and women} we all want to be perfect. We all want to be the best. But that is such an unrealistic goal. If it weren’t for the other moms and women around me, I don’t know how I would have gotten through that time in my life. I had so many women sharing their own stories with me, telling me they loved me, or just sitting and crying with me. It made me realize how important we all are to each other as we go through motherhood. It has made me step outside of myself and look around at other women and mothers who might need that same reassurance that I had been given.

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 Mother of 1 

Our genes had created his illness” 

I had a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach, unlike anything I’d ever felt before. My son had a genetic disorder. Because of us, our son isn’t quite the perfect baby we thought he was going to be. The moment we were told by the consultant that Fletcher had Cystic Fibrosis, was the first experience of feeling like a powerless mother.

Before we were given Fletchers diagnosis, I’d never heard anything about Cystic Fibrosis. A few days after Fletcher’s heel prick test we were called to visit the hospital because “something” that came up in the heel prick test we were not informed as to what exactly it was. This, as you can imagine, was extremely frightening.

When the day came and we were in the hospital waiting room, we felt nervous waiting for the unknown. A consultant called us in and dropped the news on us like a tonne of bricks. Throughout the entire conversation I kept looking back at my gorgeous newborn baby.

I felt like it was our fault. Our genes had created his illness. I was at the lowest I had ever felt in my entire life and I just couldn’t contain the tears. Nothing prepared us for what we were told and I just wanted to turn back time and pretend it never happened. You just don’t imagine something like this to happen to your new family. Will he be able to live like like a normal child? So many questions rattled through our minds, due to being totally uneducated about CF.

The overwhelming emotion

As a mother I felt guilt, sadness and complete and utter helplessness. I couldn’t take it away from him. I couldn’t make him better. I wanted to pick him up and hold him close and tell him everything was going to be alright. We both, as parents, felt like we’d already failed our son. Emotions were high for at least a week after his diagnosis. Reading more information about CF both frightened us and gave us hope. We had no idea what lay ahead and we just wanted our son to be happy and healthy. Thankfully, this was the lowest point and it only got easier from here.

There is no worse feeling than feeling like a powerless parent.

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 Mother of 2

“We have to be stronger than the struggle, we have to KNOW we will overcome. Together we will, one problem/one moment at a time”

Honestly, I feel like choosing just one moment of feeling powerless is doing a disservice to other mothers-expectant, new, even seasoned moms who are currently in a time of struggle. The truth is I have felt this way many, many times in my motherhood. I feel this way today actually.

For me it started when after 2 days of labor my first child still would not come out!! I was powerless to make that happen. It continued through times of colic, when I couldn’t soothe my baby whatever I tried. The first days of preschool when they clung to me not to go and I cried in the car afterwards feeling like I had no power to give them that courage to say goodbye for a few hours.

I am now in the elementary school time of my motherhood and the powerless voices are still ever present in my head. When they walk into school I am powerless to help them find their voice against bullies or to be brave enough to make new friends. I can”t make a teacher “get them” or help them learn a new concept. Outside of school, yes. Inside, no- I’m not there. This feeling is like a neighbour that plays their music too loud, it’s there no matter how you try to quiet it or hope it will move to another neighbourhood.

It’s OK not to be ok.

We cannot prevent disabilities (learning included), other children that hurt their feelings, unforeseen illness or moments of difficulty. What we can do, what we will continue to do is to show up, advocate, have hard conversations, worry, and put in the time and effort. We will never stop searching for answers, methods and resources to help and to give this everything we have. There’s a reason they say “the struggle is real”…it is!! We have to be stronger than the struggle, we have to KNOW we will overcome. Together we will, one problem/one moment at a time.

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Mother of 2 

Your child is struggling to breath and there is nothing you can do…. Powerless would be an understatement”

Imagine this, you get a call from your child’s nursery asking if you can collect them as they aren’t presenting as their normal happy selves. “But don’t worry it’s nothing to worry about” they insist. 

As you approach the nursery you see an ambulance parked in the middle of the road which prevents you from driving down the road so you spend a few minutes looking for parking. As you walk past the ambulance, your hands start to sweat and you think “I hope that’s not for my child”. But you quickly talk yourself out of the idea as the nursery confirmed everything was ok. 

Before you even have the chance to ring the bell, you are greeted at the door which is so strange as they normally take a while to answer. As you walk past the members of staff they all have a look of worry on their face, and ask if I can make my way to the office. I ask where my son is… They all remain silent. 

As you approach the office, you hear silence, followed by a weep! As a mother you recognise your child’s cry’s for help from mile off! My foot steps begin to pick up pace and I begin to run towards the office. 

Imagine seeing your child, on the floor, on a stretcher being held down by two paramedics. With his arms out reaching for you to hold him. Imagine being told that you can’t hold your baby because they specialist help. Your child is struggling to breath and there is nothing you can do…. Powerless would be an understatement. 

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Mother of 2 

 “Being a mother while trying to repair yourself mentally and emotionally is the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do.” 

I’m zpowerless as a mother when I can’t find the remote to mute my mental monster and he goes:

“You woke up late again today. So many moms do it & you can’t? Wow!”

“So what Sebastian doesn’t sleep, do you see anyone else complaining? You should be able to do this.”

“You have time. Stop making excuses cause you have time.”

“Why can’t you do this?”

“You’re not a good mom.”

“Tell someone? No don’t, you don’t want pity. You want people to feel bad for you? No you don’t! Good.”

“Give up. Can you imagine just laying back not doing a damn thing! How come they can and you can’t!?”

“You can’t do anything. Good luck living the life you want.”

I open my room door and the lights are off, everyone is asleep. I hear it again and it goes “Oh perfect. Another day lost, great job at this mother/wife thing.” 

I peak on the kids and my fiancé and hope to be a better a person for them tomorrow but truth is I can’t promise anything. I’m mentally tapped out but I’m hopeful.

I read a quote the other day – “Being a mother while trying to repair yourself mentally and emotionally is the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do.” Someone out there feels me.

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Mother of  2

Diagnosed the day after she was born, she was then fitted with a Pavlik Harness which held her hips in a frog-legged position”

There are many things that occur in our children’s lives that makes us feel powerless. Things that leave us with that painful sting in our heart when we realise there is nothing we can do to take it away.

I’m no stranger to this feeling. We are currently treating our daughter for Developmental Dysplasia of the Hip (DDH). Diagnosed the day after she was born, she was then fitted with a Pavlik Harness which held her hips in a frog-legged position. She was two weeks old and cried and cried as she was being put in. I cried and cried. I felt awful. I felt like she’d done nothing to deserve it and useless because there was nothing I could do. She just didn’t deserve it, I thought.

I was powerless. I supposed to protect her and I simply couldn’t.

The light at the end of the tunnel

Since then, I’ve tried my best to draw from the strength that powerlessness can give you. It can allow an enormous level of bravery and courage that only your children can draw out of you. I had to choose to be brave, for her, even though I didn’t want to have to because I didn’t want her to have dislocated hips!

So, yes, I am powerless to take the problem away. Despite feeling as useless as I do, I can choose to believe that I can still be enough for her, help her and love her and bring her through this the very best I can. Because I’m her mum.

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 Mother of 3

“Having to stand and watch as that four day old baby had a seizure was and still is to this day the worst thing we have gone through”

As a mum it is your job to protect your baby. You have this idea of what type of mum you are going to be and you also have this idea of what your child is going to be like too. Realising that none of this will go the way you had once thought is devastating. 

The moment I watched my babies tiny body shake and jerk in abnormal ways left me with a huge sense of feeling powerless. Having to stand and watch as that four day old baby had a seizure was and still is to this day the worst thing we have gone through. Waiting for the minutes to tick by whilst watching and waiting is the hardest thing I’ve ever done. Not being able to take away the pain and make it all better kills me every time. 

The Mum Guilt

When we got a diagnosis I knew it was the end of my searching. We had been given a diagnosis which could never be cured. I knew there was nothing I would be able to do to make this go away and that somehow as a parent I had failed to protect my baby from having a “normal” life. Not being able to take away the seizures leaves me powerless as a parent. I hope one day the guilt of him suffering rather than me goes away.

Acceptance

I know deep down it’s not my fault and that he’s just extra special but the feeling of being powerless will never leave me. My son has ARX (Aristaless Related Homeobox), a rare genetic disorder. The ARX gene provides instructions for producing a protein that regulates the activity of other genes. This condition affects Ethan’s development and at the age of 8 is still at the developmental level of a 6 month old in most areas.

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Mother of 2 

“The ER doctor comes back and tells me that the preliminary spinal tap results came back and that baby boy has meningitis”

Baby boy was not being himself and had a low-grade fever. The pediatrician said that because of his age (7.5 weeks), I should take him to the ER. They did so many tests on baby boy. So many needle pricks because his veins were so small. Then the ER doctor comes in and says that because of baby boy’s symptoms, they have to do a spinal tap. I had to step out of the room because I couldn’t watch them do that to him.

The ER doctor comes back and tells me that the preliminary spinal tap results came back and that baby boy has meningitis and that we have to be admitted for 2-3 days. If it is viral, we can go home. If it’s bacterial, we have to stay longer. My mind goes blank. What do you mean he has meningitis?

The NICU nurses come to administer antibiotics (in case it was bacterial) through a series of shots. Great… more needles. He had been through so much already that when they gave him the shots, he only had enough energy to cry for less than 10 seconds and just collapsed in my arms because he was so tired. I felt awful. He was just whimpering in my arms and all I could do is say sorry and hold him close. My poor little guy!

Then it was just a waiting game. Wait to see if anything grows on the blood, urine, and csf cultures. 24-48 hours they said. In the meantime, they will keep a close eye on him. I slept maybe 2 hours the first night…

My emotions throughout this whole ordeal:

Powerless/Helplessness – that’s what it feels to know that your baby is fighting off the infection on his own and you can’t do anything about it.

Guilt – maybe if I washed my hands more than I already did, we wouldn’t be in this situation. What else could I have done so this wouldn’t have happened??

Overwhelming sadness – my baby. My rainbow baby who came to us after 2 miscarriages could potentially be fighting for his life

Finally, on the fourth day, the doctor had great news! No bacterial infection in any of the cultures! Baby boy has viral meningitis and because he was eating well (it’s in our genes ;)), and was producing enough wet diapers, we can go home!

Hope – everyone praying for us and pouring their love on us. Hope that God hears all our cries and that He will get us through this somehow.

Love – over the next three days, so many amazing people – family and friends – came to give us a hand, prayed for us, and cheered us on from near and far.

Relief – my baby is going to be ok 

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 Mother of 1 

The guilt of putting her eye mask on after a feed and putting her down as she cried and needing love and attention”

My first experience of this was before Imogen had even made her entrance. After being in labour since 1am. I went into hospital after contractions and waters braking. The midwives found out Imogen was breech and that was it. A C-Section was decided.

I felt SO powerless knowing that the opportunity of the natural birth I had hoped for was snatched away from me. But not just me, I was so upset that I had taken this away from Immy. Knowing that C-Section babies struggle more with mucus, and Imogen really did. But also that our first skin on skin moments were not at all like what I had dreamt about for the both of us.

Shortly after, Imogen had Jaundice. Seeing her go through phototherapy for near on 24 hours. Not being able to hold and comfort her when she was upset. The guilt of putting her eye mask on after a feed and putting her down as she cried and needing love and attention. I felt like I was letting her down and not being the mummy that she needed.

Luckily for me, I haven’t experienced Post Natal Depression, but like all new mummy’s, I have had my down days. When I have felt exhausted and ‘not good enough’. Meaning I didn’t have the get up and go that I usually would to interact and meet Immys needs. This then made me feel 100 times worse as I would feel like I was ignoring her and being the worst mum in the world.

Empowering each other

Being a mother truly is something no one can prepare you for. I also think it is important to talk about how normal ‘not feeling good enough’ is. I think I get this feeling at least once a day, and that is okay. Through talking and sharing our experiences we realise this is completely normal and we are all good mums in our own ways.

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Mother of 1 

“One thing I do know is that I will always be there for my daughter no matter the situation, even if it’s out of my control.”

When I gave birth to my little girl, everything was going fine. She was a healthy baby. Before we left for the hospital I was having a little bit of trouble with breastfeeding but figured that would happen since this was a new experience. 

The nurses and doctors were just a little concerned with her bilirubin level but sent us home anyway. I noticed within the first week that she was really yellow so we took her to the doctor to check her levels. Once the results came back they told us to go to the emergency room.

This really scared me. Sometimes this happens when you are breastfeeding but I thought in my mind I was giving her enough. It was confirmed that she had jaundice and her bilirubin levels were high. They had to immediately put her under the light therapy. They put a mask on her eyes and put her under that light. I felt so helpless watching her. I wanted to reach out and hold her in my arms but I knew this was what she needed.

Doing what was best

Since she wasn’t getting enough milk they recommended giving her formula and breastmilk between feedings which I had no objections to as long as it helped lower her levels. I have never been so scared in my life. I just wanted it to be over and take her home in my arms. It felt like forever having her under that light wondering if her levels have changed or not. But eventually it did and she got better. I was able to have a lactation consultant help me with breastfeeding and then we were able to take her home. So glad it did not get too severe, which is what I feared.

Embracing vulnerability

I’ve never felt that vulnerable and helpless in a situation like that before and I know plenty of mamas go through it. One thing I do know is that I will always be there for my daughter no matter the situation, even if it’s out of my control.

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Have you ever felt powerless as a mother

To ready more collaborations from powerful women click here

Childhood Fantasy VS Adulthood Reality

Disclaimer: * I apologise in advance. My posts do not normally contain swear words however this particular topic I’m very passionate about! Adulthood is damn hard!

Like many little girls, when I was younger I had big dreams for my future. Even at such a tender age perfection was imbedded into my existence. I had practically written my autobiography. You know the usual stuff, two kids (boy and girl) a husband (tall, dark and handsome, like Ken from barbie and ken). And a huge detached house with a water feature in the front garden.

As I grew up… Shit got real

However!! What no one warned me, was that “Shit Gets Real”. The heartache, the frog kissing, the fuck boys, AND the mobile phone contract bills I should have paid to ensure I had a good credit rating. Basically I got fucked over 😂 .

Why is it that on all the films I watched as a little girl it was so easy to be a princess with a Prince Charming who would open doors for you and pull your chair out. Why in 2018 are Instagram and Facebook forums to declare our love and seek validation. The truth is modern day dating is just one big fuck up! People want and expect the commitment of relationship but with a no strings agreement! (Welcome to new age dating).

The truth about relationships 

Now I’m lucky enough to have met my soul mate from quite young age. However, with that being said what a shit show it was to get to this point. No-one told me that I would have a crazy ex girlfriend, who stalked me on Instagram from a hair weave account. No-one told me that she would want to kill me over her relationship that ended 5 years ago. AND no one told me that I would end up in a different city with her, at the same university on the same course as the DAMN ex. Only me. Click here for the full story.

Not only that, isn’t it crazy that as a little girl/teenager we perceived marriage and having a family as the end goal? When in actual fact it’s just the beginning, where your journey starts. I honestly thought it would be a walk in the park. But in reality it’s not till that point that I actually began to unravel the layers and depth of myself. While having to do the same with my children and partner. It most definitely comes with its own reward and challenges.

Where were the single parent families?

Something I noticed was that there no coverage of single parents when I was a child. From around the age of 4, I was part of a single parent family, so I’m well aware that relationships don’t always work and separation can be inevitable. However, society tells us that the norm is to have a family, yet no one warns us that “shit happens” and often family’s separate. For that reason I feel there’s so much stigma attached to single parent households and it actually makes me want to puke in my mouth.

DISCLAIMER: *A complete family doesn’t always equate to happiness and a separated family doesn’t always signify dysfunction*

Why didn’t they tell us?

  • Why didn’t they tell us that going to university doesn’t always equal success.
  • Why didn’t they tell us that getting married and having kids doesn’t always equate to happiness.
  • Why didn’t they tell us that budgeting, saving and that having a good credit rate can determine our future.
  • Why didn’t they tell us that getting a credit card in university is a no no.
  • Why didn’t they tell us that growing up was a trap. We have to pay bills, cook dinner and actually be organised.
  • Why didn’t they tell us that in this life nothing Is free (In the UK we even have to pay 5p for plastic bags. “Do you want a bag”. “No thanks I’ll just carry my full trolley of shopping in my hand”.
  • Why didn’t they tell us that as you grow older no-one gives you money for your birthday ( I need it more than ever now).
  • Why didn’t they tell us that by the age of 30 we will only have around 2-3 friends.
  • Why didn’t they tell us that love hurts.
  • Why didn’t they tell us that we should live with our parents till We hit 40.

What did I even learn at school.

Why is it that at school I didn’t have a single lesson on money management, promoting good mental health, and healthy relationships. We merely had a sex education lesson which helped us put a condom on a banana. Great we can protect ourselves from pregnancy and STD’s but not from Barry over there who is a narcissist with 7 girlfriends (2 of them pregnant). I’m so sorry, I digress!

 

The childhood bubble 

The point I’m trying to make is that growing up I was in a bubble of childhood fantasy and I wanted so much to grow up! I was that little girl who tried on my mums bras and heels! However, I was neither mentally or emotionally prepared for the storm “adulting” had waiting for me! Honestly most days of adulthood is like a car crash waiting to happen, it’s like a baby calf learning to walk, it’s like a newborn with colic, it’s like when you go to make cereal and realise there’s no milk, it’s like that heart broken feeling you get when you find out your guy cheated. Adulthood presents a whirlwind of emotions.

Now I’m a parent myself with two children, I realised that my mother was trying to protect me from this ugly world and preserve my innocence. However, money management, confidence & self esteem are imbedded into my engagement with my son, even at the tender age of 3 years old!

I may not be talking to him about spotting the signs of Barry the narcissist.. But I will be talking to him about “Cindy”. Cindy has her shit together, she is ambitious, caring and selfless, that’s the kind of woman you need but not only that.. You will contribute equal amounts to the table, you’re a man of your word, you can provide for yourself, you know what it means to have a family and how to empower and support both them and yourself.

To my younger self

To the little girl growing up, to the teenage girl going through puberty. To my 10 year old self preparing to start high school. Self-love may not mean much to you right now but this is what’s going to carry you through life baby-girl. Because you see social media, if you’re not self assured and confident in your skin, it has a way of making you feel inferior, it has a way of making you desire the lives of others. Little girl what glistens isn’t always gold! What you see isn’t always reality. You must first learn the art of loving yourself before you seek to love another.

You will make mistakes, you will cry tears, life will throw you curveballs. But this will be the making of you. Ride the storm and stand strong. Society tells us that by 30 we should be married with kids. I’m here to tell you it’s not that simple! The most important attribute you can carry through your life is happiness. And it’s down to you to define what that picture will look like.

 

I Am A Woman, I Have Been Vulnerable

“The little hand book of empowering stories” (The women’s directory)

So I have had the pleasure of being the “middle man” in uniting women from all corners of the world to share their empowering experiences.

Stories from real woman who have chosen to share their most vulnerable and personal moments with us. The purpose of this post was to to share, unite and support each other. No matter where we are in the world, you have no idea how much you can empower and uplift some one just through words alone. You never know how much your journey can inspire some one who may be experiencing the same.

This may be quite a long post, so grab a cup of tea or coffee and get comfortable. I intentionally chose to have many stories wrapped into one post as I endeavour that people will refer back to this when they need a little encouragement.

While preparing this post, I have cried, I have smiled and I have looked deep within mysef. Most of all I’ve learnt that behind every beautiful face is a story. I hope you enjoy ❤️

“See when you delve into the world of self harming it stays with you for life”

Jody (Devon,UK) I am a woman, and I have been vulnerable. I remember what it felt like the first time I self-harmed. It was a feeling of relief to feel something real rather than just emotions. To watch it slowly bleed away as if all the bad feelings inside me left too. I felt cleansed of my lack of self-worth;punishing myself for who I was. Never the intention to die but to suffer. The after pain was weirdly comforting. The more injuries I inflicted on myself, the stronger I felt.

I was still living at home when my mother found me at my worse. Lying on my bed cut up like an old pair of jeans. Nobody ever wants to see their child in that way. When I saw the way she was hurt I knew that it had to stop. It wasn’t fair on my family, my friends and deep down somewhere I knew it wasn’t fair on myself. So I went and sought help. I made a promise to myself to never hurt myself like that again. I broke it. A handful of times.

See when you delve into the world of self harming it stays with you for life. Much like anxiety, you can never get rid of it but you learn to deal with it. Sometimes it gets the better of you like when you go through a miscarriage or life’s just being plain nasty. The only difference is now I know there are other ways to feel strong and it’s a fight I will never stop fighting.

If you’re reading this and struggling with your own battle just know that you are never alone. There are so many people in this world who would happily offer an ear and a shoulder to you. You just have to find the courage to come out of your comfort zone slightly and you will be so pleasantly surprised. Please don’t leave it until it starts to consume you like I did.  Tell your story, make others aware of what you’re going through and you will be amazed on how much strength it will give you to fight your battles. You owe it to yourself!

Jody’s Instagram

“Depression is a terrifying and dangerous place to be without help, but I refused to accept I was vulnerable, so I kept quiet

Rachelle (Florida, USA) I am a woman, and I have been vulnerable. I hate being vulnerable. It is such and uncomfortable feeling for me. It makes me feel I am weak, even if I know that’s not true.

Battling mental illness has probably been when I’ve been the most vulnerable. I try to handle everything on my own to avoid feeling vulnerable, including my mental health. The negative stigma attached to mental illness makes people feel they should keep their suffering to themselves to save face with the rest of the world. I was not the exception. Depression is a terrifying and dangerous place to be without help, but I refused to accept I was vulnerable, so I kept quiet.

I kept swallowing my emotions, putting on a brave face for my family. We are moms we have to be tough right? After a while, I became emotionally numb, and that was bad for me and for my family. After suffering in silence for months, I decided to open up to my husband. I was scared. I don’t know why because my husband has never been anything less than completely supportive. That is how messed up my brain was.

Instead, he reacted in the way he always did when I had a depressive episode. He hugged me, and told me “it’s going to be ok.” He told me he loves me just as I am and that vulnerability didn’t equal weakness. It wasn’t the first time he had to say this, but I am making sure it would be the last!

That was the moment I realized it’s ok to be vulnerable. Our vulnerabilities do not define us, but they are part of what makes us who we are. Now I know that people who use my vulnerability to hurt me don’t matter. Surround yourself with those who lift you up, not those who want to tear you down.

Rachelle’s Blog

Rachelle’s Instagram

“He told me that the world would be a better place if I killed myself”

Kim (Ontario, Canada) I am a woman, and I have been vulnerable. I’m not the first woman to fall in love with the wrong man and I’m not likely to be the last. When it happened to me, it was like living in a room with no air. I felt suffocated unless he was there beside me. I couldn’t function without him which became dangerous because when we fought, he would “forget about me” for days. Dating a narcissist is one of the most dangerous habits you could have. Everything started off wonderfully, dating him was exciting and we were always doing something fun.

When I first met him, we were friends and he would often refer to me as his “Princess.” I could do no wrong and his loyalty to me kept me warm. It was like I was high on a pedestal that I would never be able to get down from. When we started dating it was that man that I had been friends with for years that I thought that I would be dating. But within a few months, things started to change. He had always called me intelligent and smart; he was impressed with the fact that I was a writer, but suddenly everything I did was “stupid.” He started saying it so often that it made me wonder if I actually was

It’s sad when you love someone so much and you have a hard time understanding why they have changed. You assume you must have done something wrong and they make you believe that you did. He used to be so kind and now I was struggling to do anything I could to please him all the while he was telling me that I was “the worst girlfriend he ever had.” I had a hard time processing that because I was trying so hard to make him happy.

We got into a huge fight one day and he told me that the world would be a better place if I killed myself. I knew then that if I didn’t leave that he would probably push me to do just that. Leaving was a struggle because he would always pull me back in with promises that things would be better.

I know I’m not the only woman or even man who has struggled in a similar situation. There was a time in my life that I used to think that I was too strong ever to get involved with an abusive man but with a narcissist, you are often blindsided. You don’t see the signs until you are already in love and committed to that person. I made a mistake but I was able to correct it by leaving and I know that there are so many women out there that never do. They don’t realize that there are women just like them, a support system that can get them through anything.

Kim’s Instagram

Kim’s Blog

Kim’s book

“I learnt that my expectations were drastically different from the other persons

Adrian (New York) – I am a woman, and I have been vulnerable. I recently found myself broken hearted over an incredibly valuable relationship in my life. After months and months of investing myself into the relationship, I learned that my expectations were drastically different than the other person’s. I thought we were headed in the same direction. But we weren’t. And I found out from this person’s very mouth. But it wasn’t a clear and direct conversation about how our expectations differed. It was with this phrase: “I’m dating this girl…” What. A. Life. Shattering. Moment. I had allowed myself to disclose deeply personal information to this person. I had allowed myself to spend my precious time on him. All for this person to completely disregard our relationship in the most unemotional manner imaginable. How did I begin healing? Almost instinctively, I surrounded myself with my sisters. My support. I had a “sister” date planned for nearly every night after my relationship with the person essentially died. Heart break is hard. That’s why we have sisters. If we support one another, we will find so much healing, comfort, and love.

Adrian’s Instagram

“I had two miscarriages between my firstborn and my last”

Maria – (Maryland, USA) I am a woman, and I have been vulnerable. I had two miscarriages between my firstborn and my last. It took me a while to share it publicly because it seemed to me that no one ever talked about it. Only close friends and family knew at first. Even then, I felt like I shouldn’t share it because it would mean admitting that something was wrong with me or that maybe I was being punished for something. But once I decided to share it, I found many others going through the same thing! It was eye opening for me because I didn’t think it happened too often. By opening up, I was able to find a group of people who shared the same pain, the same thoughts, and the same feelings of inadequacy. I’m not sure if anyone can feel fully “healed” after losing someone in their lives, but I do know that having a community who understands what you’re going through helped a lot. Knowing that I wasn’t alone and that others have gone through the same thing helped me realize that I wasn’t a failure. I don’t know why these things happen… and I’m not fully on board with the whole “everything happens for a reason” mantra. But what I do know is that God puts people in my life when I need them the most. And that, has made all the difference for me.

Maria’s Blog

Maria’s Instagram

“One doesn’t think that heartache would be knocking on the other side of the door”

Angel – (Florida, USA) I am a woman, and I have been vulnerable. Going through a miscarriage left me vulnerable as a woman. When getting a positive pregnancy test, one doesn’t think that heartache would be knocking on the other side of the door. I was so excited for my daughter to have a brother or a sister and I had already picked out names for him or her. I didn’t think I would have trouble because I had already had my daughter but that wasn’t the case. It threw me off guard knowing that I was having a miscarriage. I was stunned. I mostly blamed myself wondering what I did wrong but sometimes things are just beyond our control. Just know that if you have gone through this or going through this, you are not alone. Sometimes we are not prepared for what lies ahead in the future but what we do have is support. What helped me get through this was reaching out to other mothers and friends, who gave me comfort when I needed it the most. I truly appreciated it. So try your best not to isolate yourself. Whether the good or the bad we all need to stick together and support each other a women.

Angel’s Blog

Angel’s Instagram

“Vulnerability you are a friend to me but please knock first and I will let you know when you are welcome”

Cin (Orlando, USA) I am a woman, and I have been vulnerable. That statement alone is strong. How many women and men can stand up and say that right now? My chapters of vulnerability are endless but we will turn to the page of friendship. I have had friends whom I have been so vulnerable with and in return receive the opposite. I would tell them absolutely everything, my ideas, goals, relationship/family problems or just common talk and I believed they genuinely wanted to hear about it. I am such an open book and I felt like everyone knew everything about me, but I knew nothing of others. I am completely exposed and everyone knew my every move. They kept up with me and not to cheer me on, but instead to invert negativity on to my plans even if they did not maliciously intend to. It’s the flesh and we all experience some “How could she do that and I can’t” moments. Follow me? So many people knew what I was doing and I am a huge believer in the energy you put in and out of your life. Unfortunately some people do not want to see you doing better than them and then taint your visions. Sometimes those people are in your tribe. Maybe a pinch of salt comes over them when they hear all the things you are doing, want to do and will do. I started catching on when one day I just felt like it made sense, I didn’t know my circle. They are all moving in silence and here I am in openness to them because they are my friends and they care about me. Now I’ve learned this ninja skill. I have accomplished more now than ever before just from the golden rule of focusing more on my goals to myself and if I needed to say it out loud, I would in prayer or write it down in my gratitude journal.  Vulnerability is beautiful in its own ironic way and I know you too well Sir but as my life flourishes, I too have learned this hard lesson; I am my own best friend. I want to see myself succeed in all honesty and purity. Let me work on my mental direction of positive and negative thoughts without fighting the thoughts of others while I am at it.

I am strong. I am successful. I am beautiful. I will continue to strive through life as an empowered woman. Vulnerability you are a friend to me but please knock first and I will let you know when you are welcome.

Cin’s Blog

Cin’s Instagram

Mia had developed an infection in her lungs. Her heart began to overcompensate for her lungs just not working”

Ashley – (Louisiana, USA). I am a woman, and I have been vulnerable. At 19, I had my first daughter 6 weeks early. My water broke while watching tv with my mom, but it didn’t completely break. I went to the hospital to get the strip test to see if there was any amniotic fluid present. The nurse did not perform the test correctly and said I must have just peed myself and sent me home. I knew all night that something was VERY wrong, so the next morning I called the doctor again. I went into his office and he did another strip test, but this time the correct way and determined my water did indeed break and I would be delivering that day.

I made it to the hospital and got prepped for an emergency C-section. Mia was delivered into this world less than an hour later at 6lbs 10oz. Mia’s lungs were not functioning properly. She was sedated and put on a ventilator. She had also developed an infection in her lungs. Her heart began to overcompensate for her lungs just not working. She was put on two different blood pressure medicines. We weren’t allowed to touch her since over stimulation would raise her heart rate. A nurse in the NICU did tell us to prepare ourselves for possibly not taking her home.

Beyond all the odds, she got stronger! After two weeks, she was completely off the ventilator and moved to the hospital nursery. She spent another two weeks there before we were finally able to bring her home! Mia will be 13 this year. She is a straight A student in honors classes at a STEM Academy.

Her birth and first 6 weeks of life completely shaped the mother I turned out to be! As much as we try to plan out every aspect of motherhood, it can be thrown into a loop at any second! Going through the process of having a NICU baby made me a stronger person and gave me confidence that I could do this motherhood thing and rock it!

Ashley’s Blog

Ashley’s Instagram

“My baby had incredibly bad jaundice, Sepsis of his lungs and he was holding his breath in his sleep”

Gemma- (Dorset, UK) I am a woman, and I have been vulnerable many times! But after the arrival of my little boy I was more vulnerable than ever. I left hospital probably earlier than I should of, But I thought home would help us all bond better.. But my Harvey became incredibly poorly.. when I phoned the hospital to say I felt like he was unwell I was told I was over reacting and made to feel like I didn’t no my baby. This made me feel awful.. however on the second day at home I was so sure something wasn’t right I phoned again.. and again was told to just relax ‘I was a new mum’ bla bla bla.. I remember sitting with my little boy and thinking I must be the WORST mum ever I couldn’t even tell if he was sick or not. I cried a lot in that first few days.!! However that night my inner strength seem to build up and I phoned the hospital a 3rd time, and listened to the same excuses, but rather than argue, I drove him to a&e and forced them to see him.. Low and behold I was right.. my baby had incredibly bad jaundice, Sepsis of his lungs and he was holding his breath in his sleep..  and as bad as it sounds I suddenly felt relief.. I was right.. and although he could of died, and we had some tough times ahead, he was finally being treated for it and he had the help he needed. I am a woman and I have been vulnerable but it’s also taught me that I am strong, and no matter what I know my baby better than any one.

Gemma’s Blog

Gemma’s Instagram

“Fertility, so much of our femininity is tied up in that word”

Caiti -(Ohio, USA) I am a woman and, I have been vulnerable. And I’ve never felt more vulnerable than when I finally told the world that my husband and I lived through three years of unexplained secondary infertility. Ironically, while my finger hovered precariously above the ‘ share’ button, my eight-week-old newborn was laying right beside me. I’d already been through hell and back. I had my miracle baby. And still the thought of coming out with it to the world made my chest physically ache. Would it be like a Scarlet ‘I’ forever embroidered on my chest?

Fertility. So much of our femininity is tied up in that word. I mean, our ancestors weren’t carving up ‘infertility’ goddess statues, right? It’s primitive. Basic. And I was about to expose myself to everyone I knew. But I did it. I told our infertility story. And do you know what happened after that? I was immediately swallowed up by a tidal wave of love and support. People I hadn’t talked to in years were thanking me for sharing because it was happening to them too. I realized there was such beautiful purpose for my pain and I had never felt more powerful in my entire life.

I learned a crucial lesson that day. We are never stronger than when we stand exposed and vulnerable before world. When we say this is me. I am a human being with a breakable heart. And I’m still here. This is true strength, ladies.

Caiti’s Blog

“There are impossible standards set for us to be fully immersed in our children’s lives”

Kristy – (Canada) I am a woman, and I have been vulnerable. I have always struggled to be the perfect mother.  There are impossible standards set for us to be fully immersed in our children’s lives, the perfect display chefs, the perfect activity planner, party planner, playdate planner, perfectly involved in EVERY activity, and looking refreshed while doing it.

The day that I decided that it was okay to just stop was my most vulnerable as a mother ever.  I worried about the judgement, misunderstanding that would come my way when I was to show my not perfect face at an event I didn’t plan or even help at, while sporting yoga pants and a messy bun, as I say “No” to  a playdate. Saying no has been lifesaving for me.  To the outside I was a perfect mom of 6, who helped at everything, with a smile on her face.  In reality,  I was exhausted.  I was screaming on the inside for a break, for some help, for a nap and for wine by the box full.

I sat down and decided on what my priorities were and my non-negotiables.  I then decided that everything else had to go.  I removed myself from committees, as a family, we gave up activities that weren’t  loved and I began concentrating on quality family time, and more self care.  Saying No was amazing.  I started out small, and can not confidently say it guilt free.

When asked if I want to bake something for a bake sale last minute, volunteer at a class fieldtrip at a loss of my lunch hour, folding laundry that isn’t mine, when I am so tired my eyes hurt, “No”.  I no longer field guilty.  My family hears it more, my friends for sure.  I have had some heat from committee members, teachers, co-workers etc because I no longer put in ALL the extra time.  But for my own mental health,  and my overscheduled family, it was worth it.   We are all happier and better energized now that we actually have free time to breathe.

It’s okay to feel vulnerable, especially as a parent.  The goal is to power through it, believe in your decisions and trust your gut.  That’s when we truly grow.

Kirsty’s Blog

Kirsty’s Instagram

I stood in a brand new house surrounded by boxes and two small kids wondering how life had brought me to this moment

Janet (Florida) I am a woman, and I have been vulnerable. A memory floods my mind of the most vulnerable I ever felt. 3 1/2 year ago I stood in a brand new house surrounded by boxes and two small kids wondering how life had brought me to this moment. I had spent my first 36 years in the same city. A big extended supportive family behind me with every step I took and wonderful friends to pick me up if I ever fell. I was thousands of miles from all of them, not knowing a soul but my husband and feeling lost, alone and vulnerable. My husband walked out the door to begin work at his new job and it was just the three of us. In my head I wondered if this was how it was going to be from now on-two little faces staring at me for direction and a clueless feeling of how to give them some. I only knew we were going to have to be all the day to day family we needed for awhile and that was daunting!! I was a grown woman who just wanted her mom to come and make everything ok, anyone relate?

I had to decide right then what my attitude was going to be. This was new to us all and as mama and house CEO I was going to have to set an example. My children would need to see me putting myself out there in this new place, I’d have to be even more vulnerable. I’d have to open myself up to the possibility of rejection from new people. I had to become involved and search for a Florida tribe. I joined a local Moms Club, I volunteered at the elementary school as a class mom and met some friends organically too. As a result of doing so, this place so foreign became home. Strangers became friends and some are even family now to us. I learned my personality translated in Florida too, not to everyone but to the right people. In opening my heart and immersing myself shyly and not very confidently at first in where I was right then and putting away my desire to return to what was safe and comfortable- I grew as a woman. It was hard initially but I found my people. I also found parts of myself I didn’t know existed and I’m proud of this life we’ve created here. Take those first shaky solo steps ladies, the path does get smoother but have you have to start with one foot in front of the other with the attitude that eventually you’ll reach your destination!

Janet’s Blog

Janet’s Instagram

“I told the father and he wanted me to have an abortion

Monique (Texas, USA) – I am a woman and I have been vulnerable. When I first found out I was pregnant, I was devastated. I had plans to go to China to teach. Everything was already set in motion. I told the father and he wanted me to have an abortion. At the time, I had highly considered it. I even went to the clinic and everything. As I sat in the clinic, I realized that there was no way in hell I was doing the right thing, despite the fact that I would be throwing my chances of teaching in China away.

When I told my son’s father that I couldn’t go through with it, he was pissed. He said some of the most hurtful things to this day, I still am hurt by. Months went by that we didn’t speak and I was over it at that point. I turned down the job in a China and got a job here in Houston as a writing teacher, which is my passion: writing.

As my pregnancy continued and then I gave birth to my son, I kept thinking about had I not gone through with my pregnancy. I look at my son everyday and think about how much I would regret not having him. Sometimes I do feel bad that I even considered aborting him. I look at him and he’s my biggest inspiration for everything I do.

What I learned is that I have to do what’s best for me and not worry about someone else. He’s teaching me everyday and inspiring me to go after what I want.

Monique’s blog

 “I was about a year into school when I went through a nasty custody battle due to domestic violence. I was scared, devastated, beyond stressed and had so much on my plate”

Tabith (California, USA) I am a woman, and I have been vulnerable. My youngest daughter was two years old when I realized that working in retail was not going to get me where I want to be in life. I decided to go back to school for Respiratory Therapy. The schedule was taxing and because it was an accelerated course we had weekly tests. I had a two year old, had clinicals 36 hours a week, class 8 hours a week, and endless hours of studying.

I was about a year into school when I went through a nasty custody battle due to domestic violence. I was scared, devastated, beyond stressed and had so much on my plate. I lost half of my support system with my daughter and ended up on welfare so I could keep her in preschool and pay for gas and food. Thankfully I still had my parents to help with giving us a place to live and dropping/picking up from preschool when needed but that was it. I didn’t have any me time and was so caught up with court drama, school, and raising a toddler I didn’t even realize the toll it was taking on me. I just kept telling myself it will all get better soon. Just keep on keeping on and that is exactly what I did.

I graduated at the top of my class (for respiratory classes only I kinda slacked in my general education classes). The night of my graduation I found out that I had a job offer pending my state license, I took my state boards 5 days after graduation, and waited two very long weeks for my results. I passed! I did it and I was finally able to sit back, breathe, and reflect on the past 16 months and the nasty storm I went through. Life was finally coming together and it made me so much stronger. I realized at that very moment that I could do anything. With hard work, determination, and persistence I would succeed at anything I set my mind to. We all know that being a woman and mother can be hard but never back down to anyone. Stand up for what you believe in. Chase your dreams and never give up.

Tabitha’s Instagram

Tabitha’s Blog