Category: Lifestyle

Ten things that make me happy

I have been tagged in the 10 things that make me Happy tag by the fabulous Lianne over at Mrs Mummy Harris. You can find her post here. I have been feeling a little bit sad of late so this is a wonderful idea for some positive thinking. It also gives you the chance to find out a little more about me. So here are my 10 things that make me happy:

It also gives you the chance to find out a little more about me, so here are my 10 things that make me happy:

Happy

My Children

Finlay made me a mummy. Even though he is probably the naughtiest little boy I know he is so full of character and love. He has a wild spirit and not a day goes by that he doesn’t get into some sort of trouble. It doesn’t matter how naughty he has been though, every night before I go to bed I give him a goodnight kiss, watching him sleeping so peacefully makes my heart melt.

Emmie only recently joined the family, but she made it complete, she is a bundle of calm happiness in a whirlwind of mayhem. Always smiling, always happy. They have both made my dreams come true.

Chris

Chris, where would I be without him? The father of my children and the man I have chosen to spend the rest of my life with. Sometimes I want to bash him and I’m pretty sure sometimes he wants to bash me! We have our ups and downs, but as long as we have each other, I know we’ll be happy.

My Cats

I say Cats, but in reality it is now cat. We lost our Ginger buddy Milo, a few months ago but he is still very much part of our lives. He left such deep beautiful pawprints in my heart he will never be forgotten. We are left with our little posh pedigree, Sebastian who is an Havanna Brown Oriental Shorthair. He is so funny and cuddly and am so glad he is part of our family. I am so thankful that both of these boys entered our lives, they have given me some of my happiest memories

St Lucia

Ahhhhh St Lucia, the Carribean life. In 2007 I spent 4 months living and working in St Lucia recording data on an endangered species of whiptail Lizard for my MSc dissertation. I have the fondest memories from these 4 months, it was such a big adventure. It was before I had responsibilities, life was so worry free, working, meeting wonderful people and drinking cocktails on white sandy beaches watching the sunset nearly every evening, I love St Lucia!

Chocolate

Any Chocolate will do I love it all. I could quite easily polish a huge bar all to myself. In fact I hate sharing choclate, I may smile and offer you a bit, but inside I’ll be cursing you if you accept, haha!

Summer

I just love the buzz of summer,Sunshine drinking, BBQ’S, Social gatherings.  Everybody seems extra happy.  When everyone else is happy, it ultimatley rubs off on you, Summer happiness is contagious. Happy summer days, I love them. Summer is the best season (….and its my birthday!).

Nature

This planet is amazing! It has so much to offer and it is so important that we look after it. Without Nature I think all our lives would be quite drab and dull, how very sad. I feel happy when I am out and about, the sounds, the colours, the diversity and to top it of, its completely free, Now that does make me happy!

My Health

I think Health is something we all take for granted, especially when we are well. Thankfully, apart from the odd minor thing, I have been fortunate to have my health. So having my health makes me very happy and appreciative. My heart goes out to those that don’t.

Cameras

How lucky are we to live in a time where we can document everything?! I know cameras have been around for some time now, but I remember in the 80’s/90’s not knowing what you got until you had your film developed. Half would be rubbish!! Now we can capture and store everything instantly at the click of a button. It makes me so happy to think I can look back at my children growing up and not have to forget a thing.

Ed Sheeran

OMG I realsied recently I have a huge crush on Ed haha. Although I’m not technically old enough to be his mum, it feels slightly wrong, but that voice. Yes Ed, you make me happy!!

I now tag these lovelies to share their happiness:

Cup of Toast

Woman in Progress

Majella Rose

Blissful Domestication

Popitha

Better Together Home

The Habitual Blogger

Burnished Chaos

Proper Livin

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The Terrible Threes no one told you about!

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The Terrible ones, twos and threes

Whoever termed the phrase the ‘Terrible Twos‘ blatantly never had kids. They obviously never experienced the ‘Terrible Threes’.  I knew when Finlay began crawling just shy of six months I was in trouble with this one. Very determined, very head strong. Little did I know what was in store for me!

As Finlay turned one, the tantrums began, we seemed to hit the magical Terrible Two’s a whole year early! Most things would result in a huge meltdown. Not being able to balance his toys, the offer for help, not being able to get to get somewhere quick enough, anything and everything would set him off. The worse part was watching him hurt himself. Nearly every tantrum would involve Finlay furiously banging his forehead on the floor at full ferocity. The resulting bruise almost became part of him, it was always there.

Was this behaviour Normal?

I sought advice from the health visitors over and over. Each time I was told not to worry, it’s normal, it’s frustration, ignore it. Well, I can say it didn’t feel normal. It was impossible to ignore. Especially when at the park, Finlay would throw himself down screaming. Banging his head as hard as he could on the ground. All while the other mums stared. All because the swing wasn’t free or we had to go. It was extremely embarrassing. I questioned if I was a bad parent. Had I been too strict or not strict enough? Did I feed him the wrong foods? is it something I did when pregnant?

This wasn’t an irregular occurrence either. We were lucky if we had a meltdown free day. We were drained as a family, not knowing how to deal with the anger! Mostly I ignored it as much as I could, it was my way to cope, but Chris found it more difficult. He wasn’t able to just switch off. Finlay’s tantrums would result in us all shouting at each other. My only respite was the fact this was ‘normal’ it would end hopefully, sooner than later. If we hit this stage early perhaps we would bypass the terrible twos phase.

The Terrible Threes!

That was wishful thinking. Moving forward we have endured the terrible twos and moved into the terrible threes. There was a small respite period where the head banging seemed to disappear, but recently it has begun rearing its ugly help. The tantrums remain. I comfort myself with the fact that he has good reports from the nursery. His behaviour isn’t perfect (he is, after all, a little boy), but nothing has been flagged up that would ring alarm bells.

Sometimes, Finlay’s behaviour reduces me to tears and I sob my heart out wondering if I went wrong somewhere along the way. Of course, I love him dearly and unconditionally, there’s no questioning that. In between the tantrums, Finlay really is the most loving, caring little boy I know. Always concerned when people are sad, giving cuddles of comfort. However, as baby number two grows, I can’t help but worry. What if it’s just like Finlay, how on earth will I cope?

As I sit here in soft play, he’s currently lobbing balls at every poor unsuspecting victim, his character makes me smile, but I am well aware he is the only one doing so!! However, I do feel recently, the tantrums although more intense, seem fewer and far between, perhaps this is the light at the end of my tunnel?
Have you experienced the terrible ones, Terrible twos and terrible threes? I would love to hear your stories,your tactics and coping mechanisms!

Living with Anxiety – A Constant Battle!

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The beginning…..

Anxiety is something that has been with me for as long as I can remember. Even as a small child I would worry about anything and everything. My main anxieties came from social interactions, I was painfully shy to the point of sometimes being mute. This felt normal for mw though and I don’t believe any alarm bells ever rang, with me or anyone. It wasn’t like it suddenly happened, it just was, I had always been been like this. I was quiet little Heidi, and anxiety was just part of me.

Growing with Anxiety

As a teenager, my shyness and anxiety became very intertwined. I had only a few friends and I found it near impossible to make new ones. My fear of social situations and interaction had a huge impact on my everyday life. I began to withdraw, and declined any invitation that may lead me to any kind of unplanned interaction with people. On the outside, no one would ever know. I hid it well, I smiled, laughed, disclosing my fears to no one. The more I worried though, the more I would worry about things. Accidents, death, danger, fear were always on my mind.

I struggled immensely with the torment inside, school and college suffered. I feared asking for help when I needed to, mainly because I didn’t know how to ask and it meant having to talk to people. At college I started failing exams, an administration mix up meant I missed my main exam, but I did nothing due to anxiety. University was my dream, but a combination of poor results and not being able to ask for UCAS advice meant I never got my application in. I ended up taking on my part time job, full time. All my hopes and dreams slowly disapering.

Moving Forward and Recovering

I don’t know when I changed but at some point I told myself enough was enough. I was fed up with anxiety defining me, contolling me. So I began to push myself, go out more. My social issues remained, I struggled to talk to people, but I made friends, not deep friendships but enough to go out and have fun. Although I still constantly dreaded anything social, but I forced myself. Sometimes it worked out fine, sometimes I wish the world would swallow me whole. This is how I continued for many years, wishing I didn’t struggle, but I was controlling my anxiety, not it was controlling me.

Anxiety Relapse

I think it was when I had Finlay that my old anxieties began to return. At first, I don’t think I noticed. I put a lot of things down to being a stressed out first time mum. I had a pretty traumatic first few weeks after Finlay’s birth. Maybe this is what triggered it, being rushed to hospital? Maybe it was caring for such an innocent little human and realising there’s a lot of bad stuff out there and wanting to shield him from that? Slowly, slowly I began once again to withdraw.

I found trying to fit in with mummy friends and mummy groups tiring and no matter how hard I tried, I just never seemed to fit. I started  to groups on my own, hoping I would meet some friends, but I never did. Everybody already seemed to have their friends, clicks. Then I began to dread going, so I stopped. I stopped meeting my mummy friends and today I have probably isolated myself to the point they don’t even remember who I am now. All because of stupid anxiety!

Getting Help

Earlier this year, I had a traumatic time at work (you can read about that here if you wish) and my anxiety became too much. New symptoms began to develop. Chest pains, insomnia and just a general lack of wanting to go out at all. Worrying about the slightest thing that could happen. I took a step I had never taken before and went to the Doctor. The Doctor and I talked, I was diagnosed with generalised anxiety and offered CBT. I haven’t got round to booking in yet, as typically they had the wrong contact details. They wrote to me to ask me to call for an appointment and calling people is something I really struggle with because I don’t know what to expect from the conversation. I really need to get this sorted, but I am not sure I am ready just yet, my confidence is at an all time low.

So for now, anxiety is a big part of my life again. I am determined to beat it, not let anxiety win. I sometimes I wonder If I’m strong enough. All I know is I don’t want to look back at my life with regrets and to feel Anxiety defined who I always was. Its extremely hard and very tough, but its a battle I want need to win.

Sig

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Back to Blogging – Reviving Southern Mummy!

Back To Blogging

Blogging History

I wanted to write a post about why I decided to get back into blogging. I  first started in early 2013. My Son was born with Plagiocephaly, I  wanted to raise awareness about his condition, and help with fundraising towards his treatment. I had never blogged before, to be honest I never thought I was great at writing due to having dyslexia.

To my surprise, I loved it and writing about him and our experiences came naturally. I ended up collaborating with quite a few well know brands in the parenting circles. I even ended up as a brand ambassador and was sponsored to attend Britmums. Unfortunatley I had less and less time to put into the blog, juggling work (a senior promotion) and first time parenthood. The blog took a back seat and eventually with a sad heart, I abandoned it.

Creating Southern Mummy

I decided to try again last year and created southern mummy. I missed blogging, and all the friends and opportunities that came with it. After using Blogger, I decided I wanted the freedom of self hosting and taught myself all I could about wordpress. I set my site up, but I struggled to find topics, I felt lost in a sea parenting blogs. I struggled to find my voice.

I know now this was the my anxiety developing. I began withdrawing from friends, activities, social events and once again my blog. I had lost my confidence and my voice. Whereas before I had a topic, a health condition, I found it easier to tell our story, our journey. As my anxieties took hold, I questioned myself as a parent and my parenting abilities. Everyone seemed to be a perfect parent and I felt I couldn’t compete. One day I just stopped blogging (stopped being me altogether) and southern mummy drifted off.

Gaining my Confidence back

Not too long ago, I sought the courage to speak to my GP. I worried they would brush me off, but they were so kind and understanding. Although my confidence remains low and my anxiety is still very much present, I found my self more determined to move forward. I am not happy in my work and the cost of childcare is a struggle. I decided to look into ways to increase my earnings from home. I hope  that maybe once day I can leave work and support myself. What better way to document my journey, than blogging it?

Southern Mummy Returns

I decided that with this new gained confidence I would try and resurrect my blog. Blogging was a hobby I loved. As I overcome my anxiety, I want my blog to grow and flourish. I want it to follow my journey, my families journey. I want Southern Mummy to be a true reflection of our life.

Sometimes I shout at Finlay, yes even in public. Sometimes I swear in his presence (yes he then repeats this at the most inappropriate times). No he doesn’t eat organic all day.  Yes he eats chips and beans, even sometimes those ready meals. Sometimes he doesn’t have a story before bed. Sometimes I pull my hair out. Sometimes, sometimes, sometimes, BUT sometimes we play all day. I cook us lovely wholesome meals. We go days without raising our voices. Together we have wonderful adventures.  Most of all and more importantly he is loved every single moment of every single day.

What I am trying to say is we all have bad days and that’s ok.  I want this reflected in my Southern Mummy and to banish the mum guilt. Sometimes we achieve and sometimes we fail. We all have ups and downs and this will be the story of ours every step of the way.

Sig

 

25 Facts About Me!

25 Facts About Me

Well, this is my first blog post on Southern Mummy, so what better way to introduce myself than 25 Random facts about me!

  1. I don’t know how I am thirty something, I still feel like a teenager (How can I be a parent!?!)
  2. I am Mummy to Finlay.
  3. My all time favourite film is Walt Disney’s ‘The Incredible Journey‘ from 1963.
  4. Cows hate me – They actually do!
  5. I love animals (even cows).
  6. I have two cats, Milo a 13 year old ginger moggie and Sebastian a 7 year l old posh Oriental.
  7. I am Extremely shy, especially around people I don’t know – it really annoys me!
  8. I don’t really have much dress sense – as long as its comfy, hey!
  9. I LOVE cherry pie and custard.
  10. I’m Dyslexic – I love to write, I’m not sure that’s the best combo, but I try!
  11. I have a pea head – I have to buy child hats and glasses as a result.
  12. The thought of meringue currently makes me want to spew!
  13. Chewing cotton also makes me want to spew – I discovered this chewing on a duvet when I was about 3.
  14. I can’t dance.
  15. I can’t sing.
  16. I am a qualified PADI open water diver – although I need to do a refresher.
  17. We are a zombie loving household.
  18. Chris and I got engaged in 2012 – no pennies to get married yet – sad face!
  19. The news often makes me cry.
  20. I suffer with Anxiety.
  21. I have an MSc in Conservation Science.
  22. I lived in The Caribbean during 2008 carrying out research on an endangered population of Lizards.
  23. I like the smell of rain.
  24. I’m scared of Flying.
  25. I believe in magic!

Sig