March madness

Yep its official March is here and the lambs are in the fields.  Spring is just around the corner, although it was snowing the other day and roads were closed. IS the saying March come in like  a lamb and out like a lion? or the other way about? it’s definitely still cold enough to be in the grip of winter, even though we have seen a few warmer days.

How is life? Well, I’m off work just now with anxiety and have started a course of anti-depressants.  How do i feel about this? Well….A few years ago I hurt my ankle, I went to A&E and accepted painkillers without asking too many questions, I trusted the doc.  I got a cast, crutches, a moon boot and signed off work. I would get better. Three years ago I was rushed to A&E again, with abdominal pain, I accepted IV drips, saline, antibiotics, painkillers, morphine, I even signed to allow docs to go in a possibly remove all my reproductive organs. My daughter had to go live with my parents for about 6 weeks. I would get better.  Last week I went to the docs and got offered pills to help my anxiety and I faltered, I questioned, I worried if they were the right thing to do.  I am not coping, I am not happy, I am anxious.  Why would I not trust the doctor this time with my mind? I signed away my body easily enough as I could feel the pain, it was obvious, I was in hospital.  Why when I can see the symptoms of anxiety are I not willingly accepting the help? I am scared of what others will think! that is it! no other reason and you know what. I shouldn’t be! No-one thinks any less of you when a cyst grows on your ovary and you need it removed under medicine so why should they think less of you when a darkness affects your mind and you need some medicine too help focus on the light again?

I’m trying. I’m taking time to focus on me.  To sit in coffee shops in the hustle and remind myself that life goes on. I know I am a good mum.  I hope that I shield Jess from my darkness and she only remembers the light that was in her early life.  The cuddles, the time, not the lazy days and the weekends where we don’t leave the house.  She thinks these are great as she gets to have a jammy day and a bath with mum.

Yes I want this year to be a year of change but I want to be strong enough to make those changes and to decide on my future rather than let the future be dictated to me.  I first need to calm my mind.

I’ve contemplated closing this blog down this past year many times.  Or getting it all printed out as a book to give to Jess on her 18th or something like that.  I’m not sure yet what to do.  This is out story, well its the beginning of our story, where it all began.  Yet, so much has happened in the past year that I haven’t documented, or added to the story.  Why??

Well one reason is because I didn’t want to be a moaner and every time I came close to posting something it was a moan: about work, about life, about doing it on my own, about how hard it all is, about how lonely I am, about how very few understand, about how I’ve needed therapy, about how unsupported I feel from my family. Every time I was going to post was to acknowledge these more darker moments.  This is not to say the past year has been negative because it hasn’t.  We have had some ace times and some truly great memories are stored in my head.  The summer was fabulous and I spent lots of time doing stuff with just Jess.  My brother got married, I had a few good girlie days, even a spa treat, yet I guess that 2016 was not the best year of this parenting journey.  i just hope that I managed to hide it all from Jess and give her a great year.

So.. what f0r 2017.  Well I am going to make changes.  I hope to move or change job completely and move further afield.  There really is nothing keeping me where i am apart from a fantastic landlord and affordable rent…..

I need to give my finances an overhaul again, just a sit down and re-assess type of thing.  And last but not least I need to give myself an overhaul.. I need to re-look at all my therapy paperwork and remind myself of coping mechanisms.  I need to shift some of this 2016 fat that has appeared all over my body and i need to do it on my own without gym or PT (see finances note above) I might even start a new blog about weight loss.

Jess update:

OMG I don’t know where to begin.  She is amazing, she is gentle and a sensitive soul.  Where did 3 come from??? Has it really been 3 years she’s been in my life? Her vocabulary is out of this world, she listens to everything and takes it all in, is super polite and to be fair we didn’t really have the terrible twos.  A few wee mini meltdowns was it.  However when she turned three it was as if someone switched a switch and we are learning together that tantrums don’t get you what you want.  I’m being firm and fair.  She always comes and apologises after one on her own time.

I’m enjoying watching her play on her own with the toys she got for Christmas as a lot of them are wee people for imaginative play.  Its great fun hearing her with them.

She has chicken pox just now and boy is it awful…No-one really speaks about how awful childhood is for mums.  I know its because a week is a tiny time in a child’s life and they are not really in that much danger, not like a child in hospital or anything but gosh is it hard work on your own. She has been grand, no complaints during the day and jumping everywhere.  Been great at not scratching and asking for cream, however at night she is a different animal.  She has been really unsettled and crying, wanting to be near me but not cuddled, awake and moaning but can’t really tell me what is sore.. its been a shame and hard work but we have got through it together. I’ve done nothing all week apart from the most important job – be her mum.  I’ve sat with her all week, managing a quick shower when my folks came over for a visit.  At times I’ve felt like rubbish just because there really is no-one to talk to.  its the loneliness that is the worst.  I’ve got a great group on facebook that  I can vent to and they are super supportive and understanding as they are all in the same boat.

So there may or may not be another post on here.  time will tell.  I do think that this helped my mental health as I started to lose control when I stopped posting as often.. it was like I didn’t have any way to get out all the feelings.

better sign off as she is climbing over me – I think I’ve had enough time to myself – she demands to be played with. 🙂

 

 

The Dating Game

It is fair to say that Mr Piano Man was not for me.  I played that game and it just didn’t feel right.  He wasn’t great with Jessica, he was too sloppy and dopey with me and he couldn’t kiss very well.  I like a good old fashioned kissing session, on the sofa and prefer it when it leaves you wanting more, wanting it to never end, wanting ,wanting,,,, NOT wanting to stop right now and go wake the baby, or thinking about how much stuff you still have to do that day.  Poor chap, he will be perfect for someone just not this gal.

It did leave me a bit blue, I mean I know that it was the chemistry between us that was wrong, but I couldn’t help but think that maybe I just am not ready to date… anyone. Maybe I don’t have enough time to fit soemone else in and maybe I don’t have the energy/inclination to try?  It also got me thinking though about what I have to offer someone? What cool, hip, funky guy is going to want to be lumbered with me and my little one?  I know that that is the wong way to view life but I feel like I am in a huge slump right now and can’t find a way out.

A friend told me I was brave for taking a chance and going for dates.  I’m not sure I agree with her.  It certainly hasn’t left me feeling brave or confident.  It has had the opposite effect.  I just want to eat my weight in custard creams (which would be many) and hide away.

to be contd….

Do we ever really change?? 

I was thinking the other day about changes- how have I changed in two years? Is it for the better? Or worse? Am I nicer, more patient, friendlier, or am I hostile, closed off, or non-trusting? How will I know? 

I must have changed- I doubt very much many people could get knocked like that and remain exactly the same. I do t want to have become a different person though and I fear sometimes that I have.  I need to still be true to myself and Jess needs that from me too. I feel like I’m still wound up in the whole situation in my head that I’m not allowing myself to just be for a wee bit. 

Which is why I am going out on a date, or two, with a man who is outside my comfort zone of being older than me. What have I got to lose? He can’t be worse than a secret crossdresser, or a 30 yr old teenager, or someone who changes the locks on me! I survived all that and I’m still shining. I wondered about doing this because I ‘have a child’ how do I date? What happens? How do I act? Etc etc than I found myself re-reading my Paris journal and discovered that I told myself in 2008, to always live in the now. Don’t worry about the past, don’t fret over tomorrow. Stop, look around, breath. This is the now, you only get it once. So yeah who knows what will happen, who cares? Jess is safe, I am safe and I am living. 🙂 

Making memories

Back to work tomorrow after 2 weeks holiday and I’m starting to feel anxious and slightly panicky. Not so much about work, although it will be extremely busy next couple of days, I know work will get done. I’m anxious about the holidays- have I done enough? Did I make enough memories? 

I am very aware that for the next few weeks it will be full on busy and work routine means there is little time for jess time. I can’t remember the first week of the holidays so how can I have made enough of the two weeks? I know she won’t remember exact days but I need to do that so I can tell her when she is older. I painted her room, and we had the girls over and she amazes me every day but still….

Am I good enough for her? She deserves the best and I worry that I’m not fulfilling my part of the mummy deal. I guess maybe this is what they mean by mummy guilt? It’s just manifesting itself with me as anxiety and panic!! 

I could spend all day watching her and laughing at her wee face. She does something new every day. Today it was feeding her teddies at the table, yesterday it was recognising a carrot and saying carrot very clearly. We chase each other round the living room, and dance to Taylor Swift. I love those times and wish there was a camera somewhere that could record us together. Catch the delight in her face and the awe and wonder in mine. It’s those moments I want to record. Sometimes I just catch myself pausing and smiling and grab her and hug her, tell her I love her and continue with the chase.  

         

What these holidays have taught me is that it takes at least a week to calm down and find a new routine, I need to budget better for the summer holidays and I also need to plan things, and possibly book things to do because if I don’t the weeks will fly past and I’ll be left stressing out wondering where my time went.  

Well cheerio 2014

It’s half ten on Hogmanay. I am sitting in bed, Jessica is asleep next door. I am happy and content. I did not get asked anywhere for the bells or invite myself anywhere either, and this doesn’t bother me at all. I can’t believe what has happened in the past year, this time a year ago I was in hospital, poorly and weak. Missing my new baby like crazy. Half way through the year I faced homelessness and went through the motions of visiting the homeless unit and seeing the possibility of being put in emergency accommodation. I was jobless, homeless, man less and still smiled through it all.

Now I am in a whole new world. I have my own rented house that I can afford, I have a job that is challenging, busy and full of hard work and also offers time with Jessica. I also have a future to look forward to that could have anyone in it. 🙂

This year has seen some old friendship re-alight to shine brighter than id ever imagined, new friendships that have been my anchor and strength and I’ve also had to let some friendships drift, perhaps to be brought back to shore, perhaps to drift forever. Time will tell. I value friendship above everything. I need people in my life to chat to and moan to and to get hugs from. They do not realise me how important a part they play in my life.

I’ve learned so much this past year, about who I am and who I want to be. I hope I’m living to my values that I’ve set myself. I’m taking time to stop and play, to stop and smell the roses. I look at Jessica at least once a day with awe and adoration and I can’t believe she is mine. She astounds me with her cuteness and her intelligence. I can see so much of me in her.

So, that’s that for the year. It’s been full to bursting with life and love, tears and laughter. Tomorrow is not only a new day but a new year and I am looking forward to the adventures that awaits.

Has it really been a year?

I cannot believe my wee peanut is one year old, well as i write this she is one year and 5 days old.  The past year has truly been the most amazing, most difficult, most exciting and most happiest year of my life so far.  There have been many many ups, a few very low downs but mostly days spent in giggles and in awe with this little person I created.

Jessica truly is a little miracle.  She is so content and happy with life and always has a smile on her wee face.  She does so many many things that I’ve not recorded in this blog and I don’t know why.  Her birthday was good, we went to Jo Jingles, had lunch with friends and then had a roast dinner with family where she opened loads of lovely pressies and blew out the candles on her delicious hand made cake from her big cousin.   I wasn’t that emotional, there were nearly tears when one of my pals put a touching comment on my fb page, but apart from that I was just excited and so happy.  It does kinda feel like its just been another day that has passed, no more significant to her than today for instance.  I’m happy with that.  I didn’t want to put a whole load of emphasis on that one day.  We had a few gorgeous cherished moments and she also had them with the family and thats all I could ask for.  I know that I wouldn’t be the mum I am without all their support.

So what is my big one year old up to now? Well apart from practically running…. She does this super cute walk when she can’t find something or someone and her hands are upturned and arms bent with hands out, and her wee face has this looks as if to say ‘where’d they go?’ or ‘I don’t know’  It truly is super cute.  She can climb up on the red train all by herself and sits on it going choo choo. She knows the noises a cow, horse and dog make and can tell you when you point to a pic of the animal or ask her.   She can go find Becky in the next room if you ask her, or any particular toy that she knows.  She can climb up and down the stairs, though I still stay with her just in case.  She can feed me and play the ‘no you’re not getting it’ game with me and giggle through it all.  She loves to dance and has this half twist/sway move that cracks me up. She has four teeth and her hair is much lighter but long and thicker.  She can throw a beaut of a tantrum if she doesn’t get her own way, so far they have all been small and controllable but I can see many chats taking place in the future.  She loves her Becky Bunny and needs it at bedtime.

What a year it has been??? I find myself wondering how i’ve changed? Has motherhood changed me? I know it has, and I also know it could have changed me for the worst, I’ve seen it happen to other people; they suddenly become too hard on themselves, or start to compare kids and become competitive, or forget the real world is still out there.  I hope I’ve changed for the better. I know that I let a lot more go, I don’t let things/people get to me the way I used to.  A lot more runs off my back, its just not worth the energy to carry grudges or annoyance around with me.  I have certainly realised that I cannot control how people perceive me or what they think of me.  What I can control is how I deal with the way they treat me.  That was a hard lesson, I can love someone totally and trust them completely but that is worth nothing if they are lying to me and they feel differently.  I hope that the changes that have happened to me make me a good mum, a good role model and friend for my little peanut.  I want her to know that she will always be able to trust me and I’ll always be there for her.  I also want her to know the real me, the fun, crazy Gump that my friends know. I hope so far I’ve shown her this.

The year ahead??? Well…..

…….I’m back to work.  Got a new job starting soon.  It was a tough few weeks trying to make decisions about work.  I wrote about ten blog posts in my head but never got round to typing any of them up.  I’ve accepted a full time, term time job locally.  Jessica will go into a nursery probably rather than a childminder as no childminder has spaces at the moment.  I’m really looking forward to having a proper routine and being in control a little bit more, sometime things spiral out of control here with no direction or purpose to each and every day.

I remember starting this and thinking it would only be the first year but I enjoy writing it.  keeping a record of all her wee personality traits as they show themselves.  Who know what the next year holds???

Been a while

It’s been a few weeks since I’ve blogged. And a busy few weeks at that. I’ll probably do a few focused blogs on each aspect that has happened over the past weeks, well that’s my plan anyway. So what has been going on? Well…

The referendum- it was a no vote in the end- 55% to 45%. The campaign/yes movement to make this country a better, fairer and happier place goes on though.

Jessica’s party- although not one yet she did have an early joint birthday with her wee pals Murray and Harper. It was a great day. A bit weird as not any of my ‘old’ pals could come so it was just family and my new baby mums. I was busy on the day making sure everyone was okay and cutting the cake with the other two mums, checking Jessica was good. I didn’t really have time to think about anything. Plus, it was a month before her actual birthday so I didn’t have any of the emotional ‘my baby is a year old’ to worry bout. That is still to come. 🙂

We moved house. Yes, finally, we are no longer homeless or just visiting. We have found an affordable two bedrooms house.Across the road from a very good pal. It has a garden with some decking and a nice big driveway. I’m finding to hard to fit all our stuff in at the moment as there isn’t really any built in storage so a lot of stuff is still lying around. Getting there though. It feels like home already.

We are having a wee holiday. I’m at my brothers just now as a friend is getting married. It’s nice to be away from home for a bit and have other people around to entertain the wee one. She loves it, is totally wandering around. Blabbing away. We went to visit my old work today. Didn’t get a chance to see everyone but caught up with some folk. It was nice.

I’ve been offered a job. It’s p/t, starting early nov. I also have an interview for a full time, term time position. More on that later.

Making ends meet

So in two days I will be officially unemployed.  I will be entitled to claim benefits to help me survive. This has been the topic of conversation with many friends and family over the last few weeks/months.  They all have their own personal opinions and feelings of benefits and work.  I kinda don’t really have any.  I’m still not really believing that this is my life now.  That I am even contemplating claiming benefits.  It makes me so mad at him.  Madder than ever actually.  

The house is, fingers crossed, selling and I went to see about housing.  HA HA!! first off all there was a notice in the very open plan waiting area that said ‘do you want to avoid crystal meth’ I couldn’t help but ask myself Why was I there? What had my life become? It wasn’t until the advisor guy told me that a certain scheme in my home town ‘wasn’t that bad’ and was most likely where they would house me should I become homeless that I really thought someone up there was having a joke.  I almost broke down in tears in the car, but I managed to hold it in.  It’s like this is all happening to someone else.  I have a great life just now with Jess and with friends, old and new and having family close by.  if I break down now all that might crash around me and then where would I be? Jess needs me to be strong, have faith that we will continue our good full life.   

I’m not stupid, I’ve been saving where I can and buying the big things I need when I’ve had the money so there shouldn’t be any huge outlay coming my way.  I’m okay for another couple of months but after that I have no idea.  I’m applying for jobs and in fact got offered one but it really wasn’t worth it and since I don’t know where I’m gonna be living couldn’t take it, organise childcare then possibly leave it, if everything fell through.  There is just too many variables going on just now for me to get a good clear picture of what my future will be like, therefore I can’t visualise it or get stressed about it.  

I shall continue to apply for part time work, apply for benefits when I can and take each day one at a time.  Ends will meet where they meet, my faith will see to that. 

 

Decisions, decisions

This is such a long post!!! It took me a few sittings to complete.

First things first, there were many factors to take into consideration whilst making this decision. I remember when I moved to Mull, it was like: hey, I’ve got an interview on Mull. Mum, where is Mull?? Decision was easy, let’s move miles away and start a life. Then moving to Dundee was easy too. Mull was too far away and I was fed up of the winters with nothing to do. Now, though,there is this HUGE tiny person to consider and the decision of whether to stay in Ayrshire without a job or move back to Dundee is so difficult. So to try and make some sense of all the whirly burly going on in my head the past few weeks I’ve broken it down.

HIM
So yes, for a few weeks he did fill my thoughts. I wondered how I’d feel working and living in the same city where he works. Would I bump into him? Would he look at Jessica or ignore her? Would that affect me? I then had a chat with a good friend (you know who you are) and she said that I needed to go and face my past, not run from it, as well as some other good points. Well I went home after that chat and thought long and hard about him and came to the conclusion that actually it didn’t matter if I ever saw him again. I don’t need to prove anything to him or his family; me and Jess are a great unit, unstoppable, bonded and unbreakable. That relationship is one that I will never get fully over or ever forget as Jessica is a result of it. There will always be unanswered questions, always been that tiny wee bit of me waiting, expecting some contact, prepared for that contact. However it is not filling my every day and I am not obsessing about him. I am now in a place where I am proud of where I am, and if I did see him on the street, I’d walk on by.
FAMILY
So, with that dealt with in my head, sorted out and filed I got thinking about family. Family is super important to me, and although i have some uncles that I would walk by in the street now, I remember growing up with loads of cousins around and spending the odd afternoon with aunts and uncles, babysitting my own cousins, also, since I’ve been back here my cousins have been great. And I realised I want that for Jess. I don’t really want her to grow up with only seeing cousins and grandparents at weekends or in holidays. A 2 week holiday once a year does not make for closeness and that feeling that family are there for you. Now I know that if I’d stayed in fife and had Jess there this was the future she would have but I have the choice now! There is already such a close, amazing, sweet delicate bond between Jess and her cousins. I also feel that I am still figuring this whole single parent life out and I need my parents by my side. There for the wee silly questions, the cuddles, the silence. I have leaned on them so much this past year, if I’m honest I’m just not yet ready to leave that security.

WORK
A huge factor was my job is full time, 37.5 hours (sometimes more) a week. That would mean that Jessica would be spending around 40 hours a week with someone who is paid to look after her. Not her primary caregiver, not someone who loved her, not someone who had 100% responsibly just for her, not someone who would move heaven and earth just to see her smile. Considering she is in bed by 7.30 every night I worked it out that I’d only see her for around 30-35 hours a week. So more time in childcare than with me. I would be working to pay for someone else to bring up my child. I know that other people do this, I know that nurseries and childminders are top grade, I know that I would have gotten help with childcare but the bottom line was that this is not how I want to live. The thought of it actually scares me. I want to continue the bond and life I’ve started. Again if I’d stayed who knows what would have happened?

EMOTIONS
When I seriously considered life in Dundee I cried and felt my heart breaking.

SINGLE PARENTING
After I had a chat with another pal I considered who would there be to call on when she is ill? What if I got a call from carer to say she couldn’t stay there? I know that staying down here doesn’t always mean that I will have my folks on hand but they would be there. Having been in hospital I know this is true. No matter how close friends are or how helpful they want to be they are not family and I would find it hard to call on them to go pick up Jess. My pal said she would seriously struggle with this if she didn’t have her folks nearby, and that is with her and her husband. This was something that I hadn’t really considered.

So, with all these thoughts whizzing around, I was not sleeping, not really in the zone, preoccupied all the time. It was time to decide, once and for all and the decision was to stay in Ayrshire. To resign from my post in Dundee and put all my energy into making the future work in Ayrshire. And that is what I’ve done. It’s gonna be hard, I’m gonna need to find a part time job and Jess will have to go to a nursery for a few hours a week. But we will make this work. I have family surrounding me, I have no stress of being alone and Jess will have her cousins to show her the ropes. So look out future we are coming.

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