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PND | First Counselling Session | An Update

A few weeks ago I wrote a post about how my doctor had diagnosed me with Postnatal Depression.

I was referred for counselling and said I’d update you guys on my progress…so here it is:

I was given a call back and a telephone assessment, basically going over why I felt depressed. He also agreed I had “Perinatal Depression”, which actually covers more than just Postnatal Depression which means after birth, which is more accurate for me since my Depression first started when we lost our first baby.

We discussed my options and he thought 8 sessions of counselling would be a great starting point, at this stage the waiting list for counselling was 17 weeks! But because I fall into the “perinatal” category, I got moved up the waiting list so I was only 6 weeks away, but I actually had an appointment within 3 weeks, which was great.

I felt positive and happy to have taken the first step to help myself, which helped my mood to be lifted.

My first session nearly didn’t happen, the room was in a huge complex, hidden right in the middle around the other side of the building, so at first I went to the wrong reception. In my head this was a sign I shouldn’t go, I almost stormed off to go home, but I knew if I missed this session I’d be knocked off the list, so i fought my own mind’s negativity and although I was 5 minutes late, I found the room.

The counsellor was a lovely welcoming lady, I basically word vomited my whole life to her with all my anxieties and fears thrown in too, but she was great and didn’t make me feel silly for blurting it all out. She didn’t even need to say much, she just supported me in the decisions I was unsure about and basically told me that the way I am raising my children and living my life is OK and that I need to let go of the negative comments people make and just let them go over my head, she also thinks I’ve had a lot of trauma over the past five years of my life with losing two babies, Jack being really premature, my Dad passing away and a lot of other personal stresses that have caused me a lot of anxiety.

She thinks CBT will help me, once I’ve finished counselling. So I’m optimistic about that.

So my first counselling session went really well, I’m excited about my next one.

For those struggling with Depression who are thinking about starting counselling, I would say even after one session I feel more positive, it’s amazing the feeling that just making a forward step with supporting your own mental health can do.

There are so many options to help and support you if you feel depressed, you just need to take that step forward and the support is there, it isn’t a one size fits all and everyone’s story is different, but one thing that is true for everyone is that you should NEVER keep your feelings to yourself if you are feeling Depressed.

I’m keeping you guys updated to show how getting support for PND does work!

Here are some support links:

Samaritans

MIND

PANDAS

If you are in Lancashire like me this is who I get my counselling through:

Minds Matter

I will continue to keep you guys updated on my progress and if anyone wants to get in touch, share their success story or just to talk please comment or get in touch.

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When the protective Lioness roars

As mothers, we have built in “feeling sensor” it’s when we get a feeling something just isn’t quite right with our little ones.

Even if they aren’t in the same room, building, town or even the same country, no matter how old we get or how old they get, it never goes away, when there’s something amiss we just know!

I have to say, sometimes it can be a bit off, I’ll have the strongest feeling something is going to happen or something is wrong, but in reality it’s fine, but I’d say I have a 70% accuracy for knowing when my little ones need me.

So today in a play area we go to quite a lot, I got the feeling.

Jack ran off on his own, as he does and I was sat in a place I could see all parts of the play area, so I could see him at all times.

I didn’t even hear him scream, I just suddenly got this feeling he needed me.

I stood up, to look at him…Jack was walking away from this other kid who was following him and hitting him, Jack fell to the floor and this kid started kicking him!

This all happened within a few seconds, I was there by his side within this time, but it felt like a slow motion lifetime.

I felt this rage in my belly, I can’t explain, but it was as if my inner lioness was roaring, like I needed to rescue my baby cub…

OK OK, I know it wasn’t that bad, we aren’t at war and my son’s life wasn’t at risk, but he was scared and being hurt by another person, all-be-it this kid was no older than 3, definitely around Jack’s age, but still when someone is causing your child to be upset, the feeling you get as a mother is indescribable.

If it had just been a “toddler smack” I’d of probably waited to see if Jack either “toddler smacked” them back or told them off (the more likely option from Jack), but I saw the fear in my baby’s eyes and this boy wasn’t hitting like a toddler, he was using his fists to punch, this little boy was obviously used to playing rough.

So before I had a chance to compose myself, or even think about it, I found myself hunched over in the soft play area telling a strangers kid he was naughty and he shouldn’t hurt other kids.

Was it wrong of me to call another person’s child naughty? Probably…

Do I regret it? Probably not…

Should I have just pulled my child away, comforted him and left the parents to deal with whether their child should be punished? I don’t know…but I know it was my instinct to protect my child and to show him that if someone hurts you it is NOT ok.

I know if my child was that intentionally cruel and hurtful to another child, their “play time” would be over and they’d either be sitting out until their siblings finished playing or we’d be going home.

Usually, I’d wonder if I’d overreacted, to how bad a situation was. But me and every other mum in that place were sat gawking at the destructive rampage this kid was on, even after I told him he was naughty and he continued to hit and kick other children.

I have to say hats off to the mum, she brought him over, there was a bit of resistance, but she relented and got her kid to apologise.

It is embarrassing, really we’re all in the same boat, with these tiny dictators trying to show us up at every opportunity, it’s always a worry if you’re going to have to face the “judgemental, snooty mum”, well that definitely isn’t me, I have three very normal, very cute but at times extremely irritating children, I’m in no position to judge…

I mean at the end of the day, they are kids!

They push the boundaries, that could have easily been Jack making another kid cry, sometimes he shocks me with how brutal he can be to his own brother, so I’m not one to judge. All kids want to see what they can get away with and I don’t think anyone is exempt from their kid misbehaving, it’s how we deal with it that counts.

So maybe I should have waited for the mum to come over, before telling her son off, but I know if that were Jack he’d be less likely to do it ever again if a stranger were to tell him

 off, it would terrify him, so I don’t think I’d thank someone for telling my kid off, but I think having the fear that someone, especially a stranger might tell them off, would prevent future naughty moment (we can hope).

But to be honest kids are pretty unpredictable, so they’ll probably just do what the hell they like whilst making us look like terrible parents at the same time.

I’ve diverged a bit in this post, I’ve been thinking about it all day, knowing I’d write it. To be honest I was pretty upset when it happened and I was angry that my son told me “Mummy I’m too scared to go back in” but throughout writing this piece, it’s put it into perspective, that we’re all mums just trying to raise our kids into semi-descent human beings, so instead of judging the mum and her son, I need to look at the bigger picture and not let my inner mama-bear take over before thinking.

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Calling Bullsh*t On Mum Shaming

Breast might be “best” but the truth is if formula didn’t exist a lot of babies would of died and if you lined a class of children up you’d never know who had been formula fed and who had been breast fed. You don’t know if someone has struggled breast feeding or if they just preferred formula and simply it is none of your business. Also when a breastfeeding mother does it in public it’s because the baby is hungry, believe it or not we do not find our leaking, engorged breasts being sucked on until they are raw as attractive, so no it’s not to “get our boobs out” it’s to feed our hungry babies. Just be happy that the baby is getting a full tummy, that’s all that matters. I’ve done both breast and formula feeding and now they both throw the same psychopathic tantrums.

Stay at home or working parent? I’ll let you into a secret, you don’t love your child more or less whichever you do, they’ll still keep you up at night, annoy the life out of you at times and cuddling them will make you forget all your problems for that moment. Judging someone for their working circumstances just shows a lack of experience in it. Children have long survived working and stay at home parents and either way they are going to grow into teenagers that don’t want to speak to us anyway.

Losing the baby weight. The reality is you’ve just created a human who has turned your life upside down, that is accepted. It’s accepted your house will change, your routine will change, your priorities will change…this is all accepted without question, yet your body where this little person has set up camp for 9 months is expected not to change! Shaming someone for their appearance at any other time would be considered bullying, yet we’re given unrealistic expectations on the front of magazines of how celebs have their 6 pack back a week after giving birth. So many mum’s beat themselves up for not dropping the weight as soon as their baby is born, you’ve just created a mini-person, give yourself a break and look at the bigger picture, you’d give anything for your child to be happy and content in their own skin, so why not be the person they learn that from, instead of society giving them an unrealistic perception of what is “normal”.

Time alone, really once you have children then there is no time alone, even when are sat in an empty house. Your mind doesn’t switch off from the minute they are born, ever! To any non-parents reading this, it isn’t as terrifying as it sounds, but the truth is in the back of your mind there is always a little worry when you aren’t with them, but you wouldn’t have it any other way! This however, does not mean that you aren’t human and don’t need a break from time to time and also that you are important and it’s ok for you to enjoy time without them there. The general consensus seems to be it’s ok for Dad to go down the pub to wind down, but if Mum goes on a night out and let’s her hair down then she is a terrible mother. Don’t get me wrong if you’ve left 2 year old Junior home alone with only the TV to keep them company, while you’ve gone out to get wasted and woken up in a police cell, then you probably don’t deserve mother of the year. But don’t be ashamed to admit you have another name as well as mum.

The truth is we’ve all got different children, so there isn’t one way to parent and really we’re all just fluking it in different ways.

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The time I knew everything about parenting

Before having children I knew exactly how many children I wanted, what age I was going to have them at and the age gap between them.

I knew how I would discipline them so they were perfectly polite, with no tantrums, they’d eat organically, never have sweets and everyday would be filled with educational sensory fun and strictly no TV.

As well as having perfect children, I’d be the perfect parent, I’d never lose my temper, always look presentable, the house would always be sparkling and I’d definitely never swear!

Pregnancy would be a doddle, I’d conceive the first time of trying, there’d be no stretch marks, my hormonal outbursts would be cute and I couldn’t wait for my “pregnancy glow”.

As you can see it was going to be pretty much perfect, I had it sussed even before the word GO.

There was just one problem, a snag that stood in my way, I bet you’re thinking what could possibly bring my perfect parenting plan crashing down?

Becoming a parent, that’s what!

There’s nothing that can quite show you how little you know, not just about parenting, but about who you will view the world than becoming a parent!

Not only does the textbook baby never show up, but neither does the textbook parent. Not only has this tiny person changed your day to day routine but they’ve changed the way you see the world.

Suddenly everything and everyone is much more frightening, suddenly you’re not the centre of your world anymore, you thought you knew how much you could love someone, think again.

I speak to so many parents who are devastated and guilty they didn’t live up to your own expectations, but let’s be honest those expectations were always unrealistic. There’s nothing wrong with that, the truth is no-one knows what to expect and if they do (like me) then they are wrong.

The guilt will continue (sorry to tell you) for the rest of your life.

Some of the expectations we put on ourselves and some are inflicted by others, fellow parents, the news, Facebook (that ones the worst), but the truth is if you’re keeping your child alive and if you love them and care for them, then you’re doing a good job, there are variations to how we parent but that doesn’t mean one is right and one is wrong, it just means we’re different.

So now as I sit here using my newborn as a plate for my sandwich while she sleeps, one of my boys is eating crumbs that he purposely crushed into the carpet this morning and my eldest is laughing insanely at a dinosaur app on my husband’s phone all at 9pm when they “should” be in bed. I think back to the time when I thought I knew everything about parenting and smile at how I thought that my expectations were what would make it perfect but now I realise the imperfect child and the imperfect parent are what really make it perfect and I wouldn’t change one snotty, tearful or stressful moment for the world.

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Christmas Gift Guide Request

I’m creating a Christmas Gift Guide of tried and tested toys!

I will try some my self with the kids and also accept reviews from real mum’s & kiddies with pictures!

If you would like to get in contact for my boys aged 1 & 2 to try your product or to send your review in for consideration then please get in contact via Facebook or Twitter!!

Happy Holidays!christmas-presents

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Halloween with kids ideas!

I had so many ideas for Halloween with the boys but unfortunately they got struck down with a sickness bug, they are recovering now, but since they are too young to understand Halloween I saw no need to dress them up when it would benefit them more having a cosy day in their PJs. Plus it’s the one night a month they spend at Nanny’s house, so they’re having a quiet one!

But saying that I do love Halloween and think kids are adorable dressed up for it! I really wanted to do Jack dressed as Chucky and Mikey as the baby from The Adam’s Family. I then saw a friend of mine on Facebook, Harriet, who has a baby the same age as Mikey, dressed her and her son Luca up for a Halloween competition and won 1st and 2nd Place!

Like me, Harriet likes to create a lot of homemade sensory activities for her son, she gets creative and look at the results!

Luca1 Luca2 Luca3

Harriet was kind enough to let me use her pictures for this post!

So there you go a fun and creative way to dress up with your little on for Halloween.

If any readers have pictures of their cute little ones, comment with them or send them in via Facebook or Twitter!

Happy Halloween!

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The screaming, kicking & punching terrible 2’s are here!

Jack turns two on the 11th November, it’s hard to believe that my tiny premature baby that was born at 29+5 weeks Gestation is almost two!

... jack

Especially since he started not even being able to breathe by himself and now he has got a whole personality of his own, saying words, starting to string sentences together, feeding himself, knowing he does NOT want to use the potty and of course the reason they are called the terrible two’s….the tantrums.

He’s always been very loving and affectionate especially to his little brother, but I will give you a few scenarios in the last week that have shown the sudden change in his behaviour.

Tantrum 1 – Biting

We were playing “tractor” which started with me getting a picture of a tractor on google images for Jack to point at and say “tractor” to on my laptop, we have gradually progressed and now he says around 30-40 words, the other day we were playing a lovely game of tractor when Jack started smacking the laptop, so I looked at him and said “No Jack, that’s naughty”, he looked at me with anger, his body went rigid with rage, he ran over to his Daddy who was laid on the sofa and without any warning, bit him on the leg! There was pure anger, from nowhere! All of a sudden he was fine and accepted being told off, he gave Daddy a kiss and a cuddle with an apology. But it was so shocking! He has never bitten before!

Tantrum 2 – Raisins

Jack loves eating his dinner, him and Mikey sit side by side in their high chairs and never have any objections, except for Tuesday, on Tuesday this all changed. He screamed and went rigid, he wouldn’t calm down and just stormed about screaming, then all of a sudden walked over to the table and pointed at a box of Raisins, we handed him the box and he was fine, he then got in his high chair and ate all of his dinner. I didn’t see this as giving into him, as I’d happily give him a snack and considering he ate all of his tea, I saw his anger as frustration that he couldn’t communicate what he wanted.

Tantrum 3 – Bath time

Bath time is Jack’s favourite time of day hands-down, so when I get him out of it, there is a 5 second struggle until he remembers he then gets to watch a bit of Peppa Pig and have his night time bottle. Tonight I laid him on the towel and he kicked, punched and scratched, it only lasted for maybe 20 seconds then he was fine, he had his nightly inhaler and calmed down, I was in shock though, shock that my tiny snuggly baby that needed me to survive would try and hurt me! I know he doesn’t know the difference and is learning from his emotions, but still it’s hard to deal with!

They say that a toddler’s hormones are the same as a teenagers, well if Jack’s feeling the hormones I felt as a teenager I’m going to run and hide…this can only get worse!