To the Parents Raising Boys

I am Momma Bear to two boys, two very different yet very similar boys. Before I became a parent, I had no idea about raising boys. I am, well I was, a girly girl. I loved all things pink, glittery, and Barbie (sad I know). Then BAM, I was given two boys, and my gosh are they different to anything I have ever experienced in my whole entire life. Gross has been given a whole new definition! I’m also an only child so I have no idea about sibling reationships either, so this has been a big learning curve for me!

Some days I look at my little boys and swoon over them, and other days I am ready to fly kick them through the window (joke)! This mothering gig is hard, and if you say otherwise then we can’t be friends! Just kidding, well kidding a little. I thought I’d share some of the things I have discovered over the last 5 years.

Boys like to wrestle! A lot! Well, mine do, and I am assured by my husband that this is normal, despite my panic. They wrestle when they’re happy and they wrestle when they’re mad. A simple board game always results in wrestling of some form. Puzzles end up in someone being sat on. train track building results in someone in a headlock. watching a DVD ends in someone being thrown onto the sofa, tea time ends in someone being dragged onto the floor, and retrieving the post from the postman always end up in a death grip around one another. They wrestle from sun up, until sun down. And you now what? It’s normal! Don’t beat yourself up thinking you’ve raised wild animals, they’ll grow out of it. (I hope!)

Boys like to play with their ‘winky’! Winky, tiddler, privates, tail, willy, penis, whatever you want to call it, it doesn’t matter, they will play with it, squeeze it, pretend it can talk, grab it (even in public), and sometimes put things around it (A friend of mine caught her boy putting a Hula Hoop (brand of English chips) on his!), dance naked proudly shaking it, and will think nothing of talking about it very loudly. This is still something that shocks me, but I better get used to it!

Boys like to climb! My boys climb on everything, it doesn’t matter if it’s two centimetres or two metres. They climb on walls, fences, fallen tees, standing trees, benches, tables, chairs, ledges, rocks, curbs, the sofa, stools, tv units, and generally anything that you’re not supposed to climb on. They also enjoy climbing on people. This climbing gives me heart palpitations, especially with y 3yo who does not see any danger. I am not sure they ever grow out of this need to climb either?!

Boys find trumping hilarious! Trumps, farts, botty burps, wind, whatever you call it, it all stinks the same! What is it about wind that boys find s funny? I will never understand this one. The louder, the funnier, apparently!

Boys get their pee everywhere! Pee in pants, pee on the bathroom floor, pee on their hands, pee on the toilet seat, pee on one another, pee everywhere, even in the bath. Little boys have a very hit and miss aim!

Boys eat bogeys! (and enjoy them!) This is self-explanatory. Vom!

Boys are hoarders! My boys pick up anything they find and assume it’s treasure! Old raisins, pennies, elastic bands, beads, hairpins, ear buds, anything. They are sneaky about it too, my 5yo especially. They shove it  in pockets, or hide it in their toys. They are like little pirates hiding their treasure!

Boys can wreck a room in under 60 seconds! I never remember this either until it is too late. I have no idea how a room can be trashed in such a short space of time. It is a record in itself! Rest assured if you have boys you will know this already! Sixty seconds to trash it, 3 hours and drive-mummy-insane-moaning to tidy it up!

And last but not least
Boys LOVE being loved!
Hats off to all the parents out there raising boys (and girls of course!)

The Reality of Depression

I have not really written in quite a while. I was in two minds whether to write this post or wait until  I felt better, but I’m  going to write it anyway. I think, as my readers, you appreciate the honesty whether it makes you laugh  or makes  you cry, and I cannot be anything other than myself,  despite often wishing I was anyone but me. I am hoping that sharing my story will help me in some way, writing is therapeutic to me. I am able to type things that I cannot easily verbalise.

I know a lot of you, or someone you love, live in the silent nightmare of depression and anxiety, so I owe it to you to be a voice in the darkness, to let you know that you are definitely not alone, and definitely not crazy.

I go through cycles of depression. Sometimes I have weeks where I feel strong enough to walk through the day without letting the black cloud grip me. I feel loved, I have patience, I feel ok, then wham bam it gets me. Right in the heart. Sometimes totally out of the blue.

Other times I feel the big black cloud creeping upon me, those days I dread waking the next morning because I know a day of torture awaits me.

The last few weeks have felt particularly rough for me, for so many reasons, but mainly reasons unknown to me. I feel absolutely nothing, but feel everything all at once. I need someone with me all of the time, but I want to be alone. I feel like I can’t breath. I don’t want to stay home, but the thought of going out grips my throat. I feel worthless. I know without a doubt my husband and my family love me, but I feel unlovable. I often feel like they shouldn’t love me. They deserve so much more than me.

I have fought this monster for 21 years, I’m weary, and the cracks are showing. I want to be strong, and who my family need me to be. I paint on a façade, a face, but I’m also painfully aware that it’s a transparent exterior to my family. I am not pretending too well anymore. I want to be the fun momma who does crafts, and makes fun memories, and whilst I still do that I am scared my yelling will erase the happiness.

I feel more snappy, less patient. The additional needs of my children overwhelm me, and scare me. It’s a new world to me, and it is so hard. I try my best but I am terrified of not being a good enough parent to them. I am scared they will feel how I have been left feeling. I just want them to feel loved. I desperately want to be good enough for them but this big back cloud robs me of that.

Do you know how tiring it is to constantly tell yourself that the world would be better without you? Depression tortures your brain and there is nothing you can do to stop it. You cannot snap out of it. I feel ashamed of it, but I refuse to keep it secret. I need to know others feel the same too. Loneliness is a killer.

I know it sounds almost crazy to talk about not wanting to be here, but that is the reality of depression. This is how it makes you feel. It makes your heart weary. I want to be honest. I need to be honest.

When you find yourself in this big black cloud tell someone, anyone. Do not let depression silence you. Do not let anxieties keep you quiet. There is freedom in talking, texting, messaging. Fight every urge you have to end things. Do not give up. Depression is a liar, a big fat stinking liar, but a very convincing one.

Depression doesn’t make you a bad parent, despite it telling you otherwise, it’s an illness. An invisible illness. That’s what makes it so difficult to admit to, but there is no shame in speaking about it, which is why I am sharing my journey with you.

Some days I feel way below par on this motherhood journey. It’s way too hard. I long for things to be different. I don’t want to waste my precious days with my kids feeling like this, but I have to plod on through those days. I worry if people knew the true extent of this monster that they would think I am not up to the task of being a momma. I think I need to work on my self esteem.

Please know that you are not crazy, and you are not alone, I am right here in this fight with you, and despite every feeling I have I vow to stick around to win this fight. I owe it to my babies. I owe it to myself, one day I will believe this too.

You owe it to yourself too, be honest, be you. Keep fighting.