Father’s Day; Happiness & Sadness

Father’s day is a happy/sad day for me, as I’m sure it is for countless people. I thought I’d share my Father’s day feelings with you, even if to just reassure other people that they are not alone if their weekend will be tinged some form of sadness.

The role of a father is so important,  yet so overlooked by many of them; they make or break their children. I’m guessing there are thousands of broken hearts feeling extra tender this weekend in the UK, all for very individual reasons; your dad may have been taken away too soon, you may never have known your father, you may wish you’d never known him, it may conjure up painful memories, there may be bitterness, resentment,  and maybe even regret.  Whatever the reason for your heartache, know you’re not alone, and know there is always hope.

Father’s day for me was pretty average for my first sixteen years; a once a year celebration of someone who was my dad by blood, and it usually revolved around alcohol,  pretty normal to an abnormal me.

Once my parents parted ways it became a different story, a much harder occasion to get through. Up until 16 my mother had sorted the plans, the presents, the cards, but now it was up to me. How do you celebrate someone who has caused you so much unacknowledged hurt and brokenness? Not very easily is the answer.

By the time I was 21 the tiny fragments of a father-daughter relationship had been completely lost, and Father’s Day became a constant reminder of what I lacked and my constant feeling of not being good enough reigned. Memories would erupt into full volcanic swing, and the only solution was to act as though I had no heart,  noway could I deal with the emotions, I didn’t know how to, not in a healthy manner anyway. This went on year in, year out, and I thought it was a day destined to bring me sadness for the rest of my life,  but I was wrong.

In 2010 my little bundle of loveable rogueness entered our world, and my healing process was in full swing. Little did I know that Father’s Day would never be the same for me again, thankfully. My husband becoming a father was like watching a duck take to water; I may be biased but he is an amazing daddy. He totally revolutionised my concept of a father, he showed me how a father loves, protects, and sets an example to his children. He is patient, kind, never aggressive, creates beautiful memories, and sacrifices everything for his family. His children are not scared of him, they enjoy him being around, they do not tremble at the sound of his key in the door, they jump up and down with excitement.

My children have never seen their daddy hurt their momma, they see their daddy love and cherish their momma. My children don’t lock their bedroom doors before they sleep, they know they are safe. The darkness doesn’t scare my children, they know no harm will come to them. When they have bad dreams they run to their daddy, he isn’t their worst nightmare.

My husbands selfless fathering has taught me that I am not the reason for all I lacked growing up, and that I am enough. My mindset of what a dad is has forever been changed, and I now know I’m not the problem. This makes Father’s Day a happy day for me, obviously you cannot eradicate your past, but it no longer holds me bound in misery and self loathing. However, I cannot lie, it still has a tinge of sadness, I’m not sure if it’s for the father I lost along the way, or the father I would have loved to have, time will tell.

Whatever your reason for a heavy heart concerning your dad, please know you’re not alone, let’s support each other. Your story may be of terrible loss for a loving father, very different to my story, yet our hearts hurt all the same. Keep going, hope is very much alive.

How To Survive Grocery Shopping With Kids

Do you find grocery shopping with your children stressful? Are you looking for some top tips on ways to make it less stressful? Well you’ve come to the right place! For a complete stress-free grocery shop make sure you go ALONE, and if that’s not possible then do it all online!

I’m pretty sure I suffer from some type of memory loss regarding doing a grocery shop with my kids.

Often my husband or I will stay in the car,armed with plenty of sweets, with my 5yo & 6yo whilst the other one of us grabs the few items we need. Kids and grocery shopping are just never a good combination in my experience and why I didn’t remember this today I will never know.

We’d spent a few hours at the park the other morning, had lunch out, and even had icecream. Before heading home to play in the garden we needed to stop at the supermarket for a few things. Both children wanted to come in with me. I said yes. I said yes?! Had I forgotten the monsters they transform into once we enter supermarkets? Apparently so! Off we went, all four of us!

One didn’t want to walk, he didn’t want to sit in a trolley, he wanted Daddy to carry him. We got a trolley (a double seated trolley). We karate chopped one into the trolley, the other refused to sit in there, he wanted a separate trolley. I said no. I know, I know, bad momma, but this was meant to be a QUICK shopping trip. He now wanted to sit in the trolley with his brother. The seat had a mark on it. Meltdown approaching. Meltdown avoided. Mummy used her scarf as a seat cover, of course.

We entered the supermarket.

One no longer wants to be in the trolley, it’s uncomfortable and hurting his “winkle”. He walks, and is told to hold my hand. The other wants to walk, he is not allowed out. His ‘runner’ reputation goes before him and he cannot be trusted. I put my scarf back on because it was longer needed to be used as a somebody-elses-crap-coverer. The trolley sitter looks at the mark on the empty seat next to him and starts dramatically gagging. Mommas scarf returns to the seat. He then asks to be carried, as opposed to sitting in a trolley being pushed around like royalty.

The walker picks up a butternut squash and shouts “What’s this mummy?” I see a lady give me the once over. I feel paranoid that she now thinks  I don’t feed my children vegetables so I say “It’s a butternut squash, you’ve tried it before!” I lied. I outright lied for the benefit of a nosey stranger. Idiot. I am an idiot. He now wants the butternut squash.

The trolley sitter asks to be carried.

The other asks if we are finished yet.

My husband and I have a conversation about dinner, my youngest takes this as an open invite to shout his preference; pizza. “Pizza pizza pizza!” he bellows over and over again. I told him he wasn’t having pizza for tea this evening because he had it four days ago for dinner. He continues. My blood pressure rises. We walk by the pizza without stopping.

The walker now wants to sit in the trolley, the actual trolley, not the seat part, but it’s full of shopping. He was not impressed. He decides he now wants to stand by the hot chicken counter because “It’s warm!” The counter is empty, we feel awkward but he appears in his element.

Bread, bread, bread. Never choose bread when your children are there. Such a simple item to get, yet my brain had decided to malfunction. “Pizza pizza pizza!” yelled the 5yo as the 6yo took a big birthday cake off the shelf and sat with it cross-legged on the floor to inspect it. I asked him to put it back, instead he heard me ask him to tip it up onto it’s side for a closer look. I put it back on the shelf for him. I didn’t put it back where he got it from. He had to put it in it’s rightful place.

Bread, back to the bread.

The trolley asks to be carried.

We’ve now been in the shop for 15 minutes. Our 5 minute trip had tripled in time. Right, momma on a mission.

The 6yo wants to buy a pack of icing because it has pretty cookies on the front, he won’t believe me that the cookies are not in the packet too. We compromise on sweets instead. He wants jaw-breaking type sweets, I make a few (sensible) suggestions, he suggests 3 more jaw-breaking types before settling for mommas suggestions.

The 5yo asks to be carried. Again. I say asked but really I mean squawks like a bird that’s been hit by a very large truck!

My shopping list in my brain has disintegrated. My husband couldn’t think straight either.

The 6yo decides to spin round in circles instead of walking. I felt like my brain was doing the same.

Cheese next. Oh and milk. Oh crap, we forgot the bread.

We pass the lotto stand. Both scream for the pen on a chain. I internally scream and dream of winning said lotto. I’d hire a nanny for sure 🤣. The eldest gives off a high pitched scream and I decide I’m gonna do the lotto online when I’m alone or maybe I’ll go the whole hog and play roulette. Wow, imagine that? Me, a share bag of doritos, a wine and me looking through reviews of betting and gaming sites to increase my chances of never having to shop with kids again!

The 5yo squawks. And squawks. And squawks some more.

The 6yo can’t walk anymore.

Let’s go. Screw the rest of the food. Who needs groceries anyway? Not us! Not ever again! Quick dash to the cashier, and lets get out. Out, out out!

Annnnnnnnnnnd we’re home.

I think going grocery shopping with children can be likened to some kind of traumatic life event. My husband and I walk into a supermarket with two children, and we leave with two gremlins and high blood pressure.

I love my kids, but not enough to take them grocery shopping with me in the near future! (Joke)

Oh, and the 5yo had pizza for dinner! 😉

 

Getting Rid Of Crap People In Your Life

No matter what walk of life we’ve come from we all have one thing in common and that’s people. We all have people in our lives; colleagues, kids, partners, husbands, wives, family members, acquaintances, friends. The list is endless. But some of these relationships are relentless in the impact they have on our lives. And let’s face it some people are just crappy human beings. So why do we put up with it? I literally have no idea!

I’v spent more of my life wanting to please others and begging people to love me than I have not. I look back now and think NEVER AGAIN! But in the midst of all these relationships and encounters I was blinded by their deafening roars. I believed I was not worth loving. I believed I was not good enough. I believed the world would be better without me.

In the last few years I’ve realised a lot of this was because of my untreated depression and anxiety BUT these shitty people, who by the law of DNA should have treated me better, much better, should have stepped up their game. But you can’t change people. As agonising as that is. It’s taken me a good thirty plus years to understand this.

Life is far too precious to waste it by letting toxic people ruin it and take away your happiness. Don’t let them. I know it’s not that simple but it really is that simple.

I had one major toxicity in my life. He hurt me over and over and over. Sometimes he had verbal remorse once or twice over 21 years. But nothing says sorry like changed actions, and nothing ever changed. He almost ruined my life. Almost. But he didn’t. He hasn’t. And now he’s a distant memory. A memory that will no doubt always come to haunt me but it’s something I have to bear. Because he will NOT ever ruin anything else for me. After 21 years I cut him from my life. It was an horrific time. It was hard. He made it harder. I let go of him and snatched back my worth. I realised it was not me who was the problem. I made a promise to myself that from now on I was in charge of my life.

It was THE BEST decision I’ve ever made. It was the start of freedom.

I lost a lot of people when I cut loose from this burden BUT it was still worth all I lost. The whatifs nearly stopped me but I couldn’t live in the toxic cloud of darkness anymore.

The last 34 years has taught me to accept all or accept nothing. There’s no fence for me. This had led other people to leave our lives too, but it’s been a mighty good riddance. I will never let people make me question my worth. Never. They have no right. And I most certainly will never let my children wonder about their worth. They are loved outloud. I’m fiercely passionate about that. I don’t want them to spend their adult life recovering from their childhood like I’ve had to.

I’m a big believer in second chances, but not third chances. My door will shut. Yours should too. Your happiness and peace should be your priority. You matter! You’re worthwhile. Don’t settle for a life of pleasing others or keeping the peace only for your own peace to be destroyed.

It’s never too late to change the direction of your life.

 

 

Are Your Kids Hard Work?

Kids are hard work, and anybody who thinks other wise either doesn’t have kids or is riding a unicorn in the land of delusion.

I love my kids more than anything in this world, but jeez do I long for bedtime some nights, a lot of nights. And do I feel guilty saying that? Hell no! They drain me of every bit of sanity and strength I have. And I know I a not alone. But this doesn’t mean I dislike being a parent. I love it. My kids saved my life.

Bing a parent is the most amazing yet most draining job in the world. Even when your kids are being well behaved it’s one task after anther. It’s endless. It’s relentless. This doesn’t mean I don’t like being a parent, because I do, not all the time, but I do, sometimes. Ha. Jokingggggg.

I often think back to my pre-kid days and get annoyed that I didn’t sleep more! Or enjoy the quiet more! Or enjoy restaurants more! Or enjoy peeing alone – how did this become a luxury? The luxury of being alone to pee has long gone in this house, and I doubt it will return for at least another 10 years! When I pee it obviously sets off some sensor in my kids who need things immediately, things so important thy cannot wait for me to get out the bathroom i.e. a snack. And if I had a dollar for every time I was asked for the stapler to clip together the nine millionth 2-page comic that day I’d be hiring a fulltime nanny. Joke. A fulltime cleaner to be precise. No joke.

I hate meal planning too, with two kids with different tastes and a gluten-free husband it takes so long to meal plan. But, you cant please everyone, and at meal times you can’t please anyone! It’s better to just accept this and serve what you want anyway! Don’t get me wrong we have quite a few pleasant meal times, and by pleasant I mean burps are reduced to 3 or 4, nobody picks their nose and eats it, no drinks are spilt, and nobody kicks each other sneakily under the table. I don’t allow technology at the dinner table, but on the rare occasion when I legit need silence before my head literally combusts I tell the kids to get their tabs to watch a cartoon on Sky TV. You gotta do what you gotta do. And do I feel guilty? Nope. Why? Because it’s hard work being a parent and sometimes we just need 10 minutes of uninterrupted peace without people pinching each other or moaning their brother looked at them or showed the other one their chewed up gross food.

Kids take anything simple and make it a chore. Wow, I sound a bit harsh, but if you’re a parent you know the heart I mean it from. I hope.

I also have a love/hate relationship with things such as our trampoline. My boys love it. It’s the best purchase we made, but also the bane of my life. They enjoy going on there together – for 2 seconds, and then it turns into a death match with wailing, screaming, shouting, tears, and it drives me bloody insane! And no doubt our neighbours too. I am an only child so all this sibling arguing and fighting is alien to me. Anybody else have kids that argue on the trampoline or just mine?

We have sibling arguments over anything in this house. They would argue over a turd. I kid you not! We have the top bunk sleeper dribbling onto the bottom bunk sleeper, we have snot being wiped on each other, elbowing, kicking, punching, arguing over who left the Lego out, arguing over who used a flannel, fighting over the colour of a pen despite them both having black ink in, arguments over who is opening the front door, arguments over the seat they sit in at dinnertime, arguments over who has 1mm more apple juice in their cup etc, the list is endless. My kids would argue over arguing. It drives me crazy!

Parenting is not easy. Not at all. So on the hard days remember we are all in this together, and the people who look like they have it all figured out and the perfect little family are just better at covering up their shiz than other people.

It’s hard. And it’s ok to say it’s hard. It doesn’t make you a failure, it makes you real. And real is the very thing this world needs.

 

Schleich Dinosaurs Review

We have shared various toys with you from Schleich over the years, we love their products so much, and these Schleich dinosaurs we received did not disappoint! They are fab!

My boys love dinosaur play, they enjoy setting up little scenes with rocks and leaves and dinosaurs of all kinds. It keeps them entertained for a long time, especially if we add a little swamp to the equation.

We received a lovely little package with three dinosaurs in; T-Rex (rrp £15.99), Dinogorgan (£7.99) and a Psittacosaurus (rrp £7.99). The figures are amazing quality, and very factually accurate. The T-Rex also has a moving jaw which adds to the enjoyment.

These figures will guarantee hours of imaginative play, which I am a very big advocate of. Imagination is the key to success, and Schleich really promotes imaginative play. They are recommended at age 5 and above.

We’ve really enjoyed these dinosaurs and can’t wait to add to our collection!