Tag: Anxiety

I’ve been a Gone Girl!

It’s been a while since my post. Actually 5 months and 26 days ago to be precise. Wow, that is embarrassing. I hadn’t actually realised it was that long. I have been gone far too long!

 life was throwing me Lemons too right, but I was drowning in lemonade!

I would like to take this opportunity to explain myself for my rather abrupt hiatus. Having left, with no explanation why I abanded a blog I had so much enjoyed building.

I’m an anxiety sufferer and that’s the reason. Life just got a bit too much, I buried my head in the sand (I should have been an ostritch!). It started with a few little things, christmas was coming, our team was understaffed at work, my fur baby was poorly (which financially was crippling), I was pregnant, the icing on the cake was being diagnosed with Gestational Diabeties. You know they say if life throws you lemons, make lemonade? Well, life was throwing me Lemons too right, but I was drowning in lemonade!

I only thought about what I needed to think about. If I dwelled too much, my mind filled with negativity, especially regarding the diabeties. I couldn’t think much about anything, so writing a blog post was impossible, I had no thoughts, no ideas. I couldn’t even add to my unfinished drafts. Then the longer I hadn’t posted the more of an issue it became, so I ignored the blog too! To be honest I wasn’t finding enjoyment in many things. I was just plodding along.

I know this probDoing Nothing - Goneably seems like a poor way to deal with things, but for me it works. As pooh states ‘don’t under estimate the value of doing nothing’, nothing for me is definitely a healer. Although I would never advocate ignoring things to anyone. I would say if your mind and body says you need a break, listen to it!

I’m sure if anyone I know reads this, it may come as a surprise how anxious I am and how much it affects me. I have learned nearly every trick in the book to look and act like there’s nothing wrong. I smile, I laugh, I do my hair and make-up (well that can be questionable to some, I try haha). Hiding my anxiety and insecurities from everyone, even Chris most of the time. Why? I do it to fit in, it’s easier, it’s better to act normal than to have to explain something that is so hard for someone else to understand unless they have been through it themselves. The days I can’t act, I hide.To be honest I stopped venturing out, meeting people, staying inside the security and familiarity of my four walls.

I’m happy to say that right now, I’m feeling positive! Things have got better. I am forcing myself back into life. There will be ups and there will be downs, and unknowns, but I know one thing for sure, anxiety will not beat me.  2016 for me, decided to be extra cruel but I’m hoping 2017 will be a lot nicer. I have decided (to try very hard) not to dwell on the things I cannot control and just try to enjoy what I have. I am back now, revamped and ready to kick some blogging butt!

(singing Kelly Clarksons: Since you’ve been gone!)

Mudpie Fridays

 

Bump Watch: Tiny Tuppen #2 Week 22

week 22

Another week has flown by, I feel I am beginning to feel like a broken record, somehow I have got to week 22 already. For those that have been following my bump watch, No I haven’t made any further progress getting organised, hey I have about 18 weeks! That’s looking back to say July, that’s aaaaaaages right? Oh Crumbs maybe not! Actually, I bought a packet of newborn nappies this week, there, progress, I’m getting there slowly! Anyway, there are far more pressing things to think about, Halloween is now over which can only mean one thing, Christmas planning!

Week 22

I think my hormones have been really messing me this week, I have been a little bit of an emotional wreck.  Getting upset over a few things like my cats health. To be honest, I will probably be upset whether pregnant or not, but I have gone from happy to crying in seconds, which must be my hormones. However, crying over accidently crushing a snail is definitely the pregnancy hormones (I’m a softie)!

I feel that the hormones are also playing havoc with my anxiety. I have felt quite good the last few weeks and have pushed myself to get out and do a few things with Fin, which I just avoided in the Summer. However, I have found myself worrying more and more about the birth and what could go wrong. My anxieties, as do most peoples tend to go from something benign like eating an apple, to how that apple then ends up killing you. Ok that sounds dramatic, but anxiety is a horrible horrible thing.

So this week me thinking about the upcoming birth and a nice pleasant VBAC has on a few occasions left me sobbing thinking I will need to have a C-section and then bleed to death. It’s irrational and I try hard to remind myself that. I’m quite lucky that I can pull myself out of it quite quickly, but it’s just silly and annoying.

Also, I had my Eye check up this week and I suddenly felt quite anxious, I find myself looking for the door for an exit, not that I would ever just run out. That would be too embarrassing! However, as I sat there I suddenly thought to myself Do I smell of Poo? I have no idea why this thought entered my head, I don’t think I have ever smelt of poo. Not even when I had a pooey newborn. Also having showered an hour before, it was doubtful I would smell of anything. There was no poo I recall on my walk from the car, Why little head would you plant that seed? Well, it had been planted and I spent the next 45 minutes hoping I didn’t smell of poo, embarrassed and uncomfortable!! I definitely blame the hormones, My eyesight has also got worse! Boooo!

I have begun to feel lots of kicking this week which is really nice and reassuring. Mostly down the right side of my tummy which makes sense as that is where the baby was sitting during the scan. I have tried a few exercises to encourage baby to move from the breech position. This involves me elevating my pelvis higher than tummy for 30 seconds at a time. I found the easiest way for me to do this is to lie on the floor and lean my legs and hips up the wall. I did try the one leaning off the sofa/bed but that made the blood rush to my head and I don’t like that.

Hopefully, this will be enough encouragement to boot its bum out my pelvis! Its early days those so I’m not too concerned right now. If in a few weeks it’s still breech I may have to spend the next weeks walking on my hands!

There doesn’t seem to be any pattern at the moment to the movement, I guess the placenta is cushioning a lot of the movement still. There’s been the odd moment when I have had a good wallop, especially in my bladder, so baby is definitely getting stronger. I look forward to getting to know a more regular pattern in the coming weeks so I can keep a better watch on the babies health.

I have quite a few restless nights this week. Not that I can’t sleep, I feel I could sleep for the world right now. It’s more relating to getting comfy. I wouldn’t say the bump is huge right now, but I feel it has really got in the way sleeping. I leant on it too hard the other night and woke myself up. It must have pulled on a round ligament. So as a result of disturbed sleep, this week I have been really sleepy too!

You can read about Week 21 here in my previous instalment, but otherwise join me next week for week 23!

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MaternityMondays

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Living on a tight budget

Living on a tight budget

I was reading an article a couple of days ago on the BBC about a predicted rise in inflation. My heart just sank. As a family, we live on a very tight budget. I guess we are what is known as the Middle classed squeezed. We both work, our salaries are nothing to shout about, they could be better but then again they could be worse! We can not apply for help as we just earn over the threshold, everything we pay for comes from our wages. There’s nothing to fall back on.

Living in the south has it advantages. It’s beautiful, but being on the commuter belt to London, everything is very expensive including housing. We don’t own a home, I doubt we could get a mortgage. If we could we have no deposit and no way to save for one. So we rent. The cost of renting is extortionate. Although our rent is high, we are lucky that it’s on the cheaper side for a 3 bed house in this area. However, we get stung paying over £200 a month in council tax. On top of that we pay between £150 – £200 of nursery fee’s. This is before we pay out for all the other bills, food and cars.

At the end of the day we just manage to balance the books at the end of each month, this is after having to budget in a wage cut when my employer decided to reduce my hours back in August. However unexpected bills are a struggle. So the thought of a 4% rise in inflation scares the life out of me!

I find it extremely embarrassing that we struggle so much financially. I mean on paper we should be comfortable right. What must people think of us when time and time again we have to say we can’t afford it. Sometimes it feels like we are stuck in a perpetual loop of doom. Friends who are on the property market pay lower mortgages than our rent, some by half (not that I am dissing them). They have stability and each year they own more and more of their home. Over the past 4 years we have paid over £40,000 towards someone else’s mortgage. How I wish that had been towards our own home. I know we could afford to pay a mortgage, we just can’t get one!

So what does it mean for us living on a tight budget?
  • We don’t have luxuries, family days out are rare, and we constantly budget.
  • Holidays don’t exist. We have never been on holiday together as a couple or as a family. I can’t see it happening anytime soon either.
  • A perpetual engagement (4 years and counting). I would love to get married, have a special day, of course on a budget. However, we have no spare money to save anything. Friends who have had beautiful weddings say ‘just go the the registry office’ but would they be happy with that? Why should I miss out on a day I have dreamed about forever? Don’t get me wrong I won’t be spending thousands, but even a budget wedding is off the cards.
  • I often stand in a shop weighing up if Finlay’s clothes will do another week or two or season, I cry when they don’t!
  • Chris having put up with me whining every time he spends some money on himself – sorry Chrissy, I just worry.
  • Me walking around in tatty clothes that are already years old because I can’t justify spending on myself when there are bills to pay and Finlay needs clothes more.
  • Currently trying to squeeze into normal clothes and not wanting to spend on a maternity wardrobe, even Ebay seems expensive!
  • Borrowing money from my mum when we have an emergency like when Milo became poorly.
  • Feeling like I can’t give Finlay stability – who knows when the landlord will put the rent up or sell up. I dread to think how we would pay the admin and referencing fee’s to move which came come up to £1000!
  • Constant stress and worry about when the next bill will arrive – let’s not even mention the yearly MOT’s. I wish we could live with one car, but it’s impossible around our work and nursery schedule.
  • I get anxious over a £5 shop in poundland!
  • Chris and I rarely go out on date nights – but we make up for it snuggling on the sofa with our ‘parasitic’ Netflix account!

Sometimes I get so tired of constantly budgeting, I just wish we could live without the financial worry. I don’t know what the future holds or what else to do. I feel I have budgeted down to the last penny, I have transferred to the cheapest tariffs. We have cancelled nearly all unessential direct debits. To be honest, unless something changes drastically I think it will only get worse, especially with Maternity coming up.  Luckily I have quite a bit of annual leave I am allowed to tag on and a good occupational maternity package! All i know is the impact of a 4% inflation rise will hit us hard.

I haven’t meant to write this post as a whining poor me post. I know a lot of people are in a similar situation and I feel for them. With inflation set to soar throughout 2017 I just needed to vent my frustrations. I would love to hear if you have any budget or money saving tips that I might not already be doing!

Sig

Twin Mummy and Daddy

 

 

 

 

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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. However for me this was normal and I don’t believe any alarm bells ever rang, with me or anyone. It wasn’t like it suddenly happened, it just was, as it always had been. 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. However on the outside, no one would ever know. I hid it well, smiled, laughed, disclosing my fears to no one. The more I worried though, the more I would worry about. Accidents,death, danger 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 (it wasn’t until many years later I would learn I was Dyslexic). At college I started failing exams, an administration mix up meant I missed my main exam, but I did nothing. 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.

Moving Forward and Recovering

I don’t know when I changed but at some point I told myself enough was enough. So I began to push myself, go out more (alcohol helped, in a good way!). My social issues remained,I struggled to talk to people, I made friends, not deep friendships but enough to go out and have fun. Although I 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 form any years, wishing I didn’t struggle, but getting by just fine.

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 would often go to groups on my own, hoping I would meet someone, but I never did. Then I began to dread going and then I stopped going. I stopped meeting mummy friend 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 and I was diagnosed with generalist 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 will but in my own time.

So for now, anxiety is a big part of my life again. I am determined to beat it, not to let anxiety win, but sometimes I wonder If I’m strong enough, I guess only time will tell!

Sig

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