July is here!!

Hey, Well its been a good few months since I last posted.  I’ve not been back at work as doc signed me off for another six weeks which took me to the end of term.  I’ve been in touch with work and will be back in August.  I’ve been to 4 out of the 6 sessions of counselling and they have been great.  Really got me being aware of my thoughts and how they have been affecting every aspect of my life. Some sessions have been quite intense and have left me tired, which is a good thing. No point in going if I don’t do the work, right?

So the good news is that I am feeling and acting way better than I was.  I am in such a good place now.  Its brighter and not so low. I know that people do like me and want me around and I am changing the filter for my thoughts to be more positive.  I have had a few days where I’ve had big breakthroughs. I’ve been driving home from family time or days out and realised that I didn’t have any negative thoughts all day.  I was in the moment and really enjoyed myself.  I realised then just how bad I had become.  I used to always think that people didn’t want me around. I would be paranoid that I wasn’t liked, or wanted and people were just putting up with me, this would make me withdrawn internally and hating being where I was but without any real reason or proof that this was the case.  I’d hide these feelings and paint on a smile going through the motions until I was home then I would feel rotten and worthless.  A phrase the counsellor has identified that I said a lot was ‘I have no worth’ We are working together to change that, and I’m aware that this will probably be a lifelong change we are working on.

Jess is amazing. She is the one thing I know I am doing right.  She is learning her letters and keeps asking ‘What is for …….?’ meaning what letter does the word start with. I’ve had her spelling bed and dog and cat as well.  Going to have her working on her wee learning books over the summer before she goes back to nursery in August.  She will defo be ready for P1 next year.  We went away for a few days up north to have some proper time to chill and relax.  It was amazing.  I read three books and reminded myself how easy life can be when there is no stress added to it.

My challenge to myself over the summer is to try and bring that feeling back to my day to day life.  Let things go and have no pressure.  I will take that to work too and do what I can whilst at work and leave it there when I finish.  Not bring that stress home with me.  It doesn’t belong here.

Oh i got some news about him the other day.  He has changed jobs which mean his earnings are lower so the maintenance is going to drop by about £70 a month.  I know before that would have affected me greatly I would have spiralled down internally into hating him all over again and being annoyed at how his actions still affect me and J’s life. Truth be told I didn’t do that.  I was annoyed for a wee while then got over it.  Yes it affects me and I’ll need to re-do my budgeting, which is a bit of a blow, but it has no bearing on me as a person or mother.

I hope in the next few weeks I continue to improve and stay living in the moment, whether it a a sun filled smiley moment or a rain covered cuddly moment.

 

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. 🙂

 

 

Christmas!!!! 

We put up the tree tonight. And danced, together for the first time ever!! I was holding Jess and she said “down.” Then took both my hands and started to swing her hips. I melted, and laughed, and smiled and thought this is it!! This is what being a parent, a mother is. It’s these small moments of allowing myself to be in the moment and enjoy it. I’ve not been able to do that for a long time. So glad I’m doing it now. 

The tree is up! We are singing jingle bells. We are loving each other. I am climbing out my black hole and going to really enjoy this holiday. Smile real smiles that reach my eyes and touch my heart. That’s my plan.    

    
 

Another trip to a&e

Jess had her first X-ray today!! She was leaning over the back of a chair and it tipped over and trapped a finger. 😦 luckily no broken bones!! Just lots of bruising and a good few tears.  She was very good getting the X-ray and being in hospital generally. She was cute holding her wee hand up like it was in a sling! Poor baby.  

It’s hard because she won’t get strapped in and when I’m with her at th table she sits fine, I had gotten up to make more toast, she walked to be my chair and leaned over to watch me, I’m guessing. My back was turned as I was putting toast in. As I say very lucky. 

Teeny time

so we have had five nights dry- do I risk it and put her to bed in pants??? Or do I wait till next weekend when I have time to deal with an accident in the morning? Hmmm big decision! 

What have been up to since last post? Well getting into the swing of working and nursery- it’s very tiring I tell ye! I do miss not having no time in the summer to prepare for the term ahead. I’m really feeling the pressure this term. Jess is loving nursery. She actually had a full blown meltdown when we left one night- she wanted to back in and see Bali (Allison) and the rabbits she had brought in. Poor Jess. It was the worst I’ve felt, a would have been easy to just give up work and never have her miss something like that again. She doesn’t even cry for me like that when I drop her off!! 😦 

This weekend all she done is eat. Almost constantly!! Which is much better than she was last week when she was too distracted and hyper to sit and eat and basically picked at things.  I think this was one of the effects of moving up a room at nursery! 

Oh a big thing happened the other night. I got my pal Tony round to help take the bars off her cot and turn it into a toddler bed! Officially a toddler now!!!! 🙂 She has fallen out a couple of times, onto a pillow and never woke up!  She still likes to fall asleep on my bed cuddling but then I lift her into her own bed and she stays there till morning. I do enjoy those night cuddles! Her wee arm comes across my neck and she says, sleepily, ‘cuddles’ before falling asleep nestled into me. 

   
 
We have Simon visiting from nursery, he is a share bear and I need to write a wee diary for him! So I’m remembering to take pictures of what he gets up to. 

What a summer

Summer is well and truly over as I write this snuggled under duvet and cover wishing I’d put the heating on earlier. Jessica is growing up fast and furious.  She still amazes me every day and I am so fortunate to know her.  

At the start of July I tried potty training as she was showing all the signs but alas she was not ready and after three days I stopped. I still sat her on the toilet before bath and talked about pee-ing and poo-ing but she went back to nappies and all was well. Then near the end of the summer, about the start of August little miss decided one Sunday morning that she was wearing pants!! I did say that she would need to tell me when she needed to pee and she said ok! And that by and large has been that! She is now daytime trained in the art of using the toilet. No potty for Jess. Nursery are amazed and ever so happy. I do not miss washing nappies and every other morning she is dry too so I’m sure nighttime isn’t too far behind.  

Her vocabulary and language skills have just sky rocketed over the summer!! Sentences, words, tone and texture are all there with her speech. She likes me to ‘look!’ And ‘show me’ she also has called me ‘mother’ on occasion when I was taking too long to react to her call. 

Bedtime was stressful over the summer but I think we have cracked it now, I changed the routine a we bit and it works 99% of the time.. Those nights when she doesn’t sleep I take as nights when she just needs me and I’m not gonna fight it and I’m gonna give her me. 

Playing with my peanut

One good thing about this holiday is that I have had all day with Jessica.  Even though now I crave adult chat ever so slightly I have loved every second, even the ones with her screaming.  She is so amazing right now.  Her vocabulary is growing every hour.  She remembers things so well.  Time isn’t measured by the big steps and milestones in her ife but by the little things that she can do, like:

  • Use the handrail to go down the back stairs
  • climb her chair, turn round and strap herself in
  • say please and ta
  • walk down the stairs at nursery all by herself
  • choose her own outfit in the morning
  • put on and pull up her own trousers
  • sit on the toilet
  • eat a full yogurt without spilling anything
  • eat a smartie and a malteser
  • know everyone’s names, including her own.
  • know party games like ring a ring of roses
  • play on her own pretending to feed her teddies
  • take her teddies for walks in the pram and cover them in a blanket and go night night

I’m sure there are loads of other things that I’m missing.  her tantrums still are not of major proportions. they are still there though.

Here she is with her cousins playing a game.

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Someone missing mummy

so we had another night here of Jessica refusing to sleep. I did the usual bedtime routine, at the usual time and she just shouted on me. Came into bed with me and got all comfy and watched a bit of Atonement , played for a bit, chatted for ages, giggled a while and eventually after 10.30 fell asleep. I fell asleep also and woke up at half twelve. I’ve popped her back into her cot, got some work done and now going to sleep too, it’s after half one!! 

This is getting more common now so I’m maybe going to have to speak to nursery and see if we can reduce her nap to an hour? Or maybe I just need to not get anything done between her coming home and bedtime, but that defo won’t work in the winter…. Hey ho, just need to go with it. 

I had to remind myself today that she is my job and she should come before anything else.  If she is shouting for me, there is a reason and I should respond. Last night I couldn’t sleep, I tossed and turned and believe me if there was someone in the house who could have comforted me and cuddled me till I drifted off i’d sure have called for them too. 🙂 

  

The night of no sleep

it is 5am!!! Jessica has been awake since 1.30am, I only fell asleep at midnight. There is nothing wrong with her- she is not ill. She is hyper!!! Kicking me, bouncing on the bed, giggling, telling me she had a dirty nappy. No cries or need of cuddles or anything. I am exhausted, I am tired, I have racked my patience threshold.  I have put her back in cot and she cried for a couple of minutes and is now silent. I’m not going to check in case she is still awake. 

When your baby is ill and needs you, it’s amazing what strength and energy you find from places you never knew existed. Why can’t I do that tonight? She might be ill, I just can’t see it.  

I snapped at her, i couldnt help it, what did she do? Laughed at me! Thought it was hilarious. 

I hate that I have to get up for work soon. I hate that I will never know why she was awake all night. I hate that somewhere someone is sleeping all night and will never grasp these mixed emotions. 

Goodnight 

Road trips, elections and swimming.

Last weekend me and Jess went on a little road trip to Liverpool.  We went to stay with a old school pal of mine.  It was bliss.  The road down took 5.5 hours because we stopped twice, once for me to pee and then again to chance Jess.  She never slept on the way down at all and only cried when she dropped Teddy.  It was good fun, a bit of a boring road driving down the M6 but easy.  If i had petrol money I would do it once a month.  Seeing my pal was great, it reminds me of the true definition of friendship and family as she welcomed me in and we just click like we did when we were 6.  I felt truly relaxed, more than i have for a long time.  Jess loved all the attention and chased her new wee pal K around the place all the time.  K is 3 months younger and just on his feet.  They made quite the pair.  She didn’t like going to sleep in the travel cot and cried for a while at night going to sleep, but she stayed sleeping and was as good as gold.  Mini meltdowns did occur as she tried to assert her authority and demand a few things,  but she quickly learnt I was having none of it and got back up to play.

Her mini meltdowns make me laugh,  She generally throws herself down and kicks her wee feet whilst crying (beginning to add ‘mummy’ to the cry)  As long as she is safe I ignore it and they last about 40 seconds.  HaHa.   I always try and see things from her point of view and work out if what she is asking is reasonable or not, usually its not.  Like today I took her water cup off her as she was tipping the water out and wiping it everywhere.  She did not like this.  but i just hid the water cup, wiped up the water and gave her another toy to play with, the game was quickly forgotten.

It was so good to have adult company all weekend, to have other people to watch Jess and entertain her, to chat about life and motherhood and sit in silence and mostly it was good to not be alone.

She got her first stranger kiss when we were down in liverpool.  A wee boy followed her out the play bit at soft play and hugged and kissed her, she just stood there sucking her thumb, looking kinda dumbfounded, poor wee lad.  she was fine though it did make me wonder about that side of her personality.  Will she alwyas stand and let people hug her or will she walk away?  I wonder if I will revisit thia in 15 years or so and say there Jess that was when I noticed how nice you were?

The general election was last week and SNP sent 56/59 MP’s to Westminster.  I knew that Scotland and Scottish people were engaged in politics but I did not realise they were that disappointed with Labour.  Time will tell how much input they will have and how much of an impact they will have.  I’m not sure it will be huge, Tories are in for another 5 years of cuts cuts and more cuts.

We went swimming when i was down in Liverpool and Jess was not really that impressed.  To be fair I didn’t reallyy know what t do with her in the water.  She started to shiver and chitter and laughed a bit but clung to me like a wee monkey. So, when i get home i called up the council and we found a space on a parent and child swim course,  7 weeks of a 10 week course and we had her first lesson last week.  She loved it.  wore little arm bands and floated away. absolutely great fun.  lots of splashes and lots of giggles.  Plus i know now what to do with her when i take her myself.

The other day my mum said that she looked like her dad.  it was the first time she had seen him in her.  it went quickly and she looked like herself again. I told my mum of course he is there.  They share dna.  It saddens me because it reminds me of something that she will never have.  It angers me because it reminds me i will never be free of being reminded of how hurtful humans can be.  I wonder about the future, about the conversations we will no doubt have.  I wonder about a time when i will see her look like him and feel nothing.  When all the pain and doubt will be gone.

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