Dreams are illustrations from the book your soul is writing about you
As a child I used to dream vividly, almost every single night. I was told that it was no great surprise, since I spent most of my waking hours with my nose in a book. How I loved to immerse myself into fantasy worlds, into the heads of amazing characters and into the adventures of the unknown! An hour spent without a book was an hour wasted, in my book. And all of those adventures seemed to come alive when I closed my eyes to sleep. Not always in a good way- as nightmares seemed to come hand in hand with the fantastic dreams- but I was always fascinated by what those dreams could mean, or what they said about me as a person. I used to pore over books that claimed to know the hidden meanings behind dreams, but in the end concluded that they were nothing more than the result of an active imagination.
As I got older, I truly believed that to fall into a sleep without dreams was a rather sad prospect. To simply drift into blackness, heavy with nothing, didn’t appeal to me at all. I began to love talking about my dreams too, and I think that is where my children get it from too. (more…)
I posted recently about finally stepping into the GP’s office and walking away with a label around my neck. Post Natal Depression. It hasn’t sat well. It’s off centre, like a pendant too heavy on a delicate chain. Swinging, useless, lopsided and ugly. The wrong label. A little bit off. I couldn’t really explain it, but my heart was saying no. And then I remembered that I’d been there before. In the early days after my son was born, and they told me I had PND and I argued, and they told me over and over again that I was wrong. Back then I stuck to my guns, and those around me who knew me best agreed. Not depression, something else. Something far too complicated to deal with maybe. And so this time, too, the label doesn’t quite fit, and I’m not the only one to believe it.
With my first Think Positive counselling session behind me, I am more assured and more confident that I have not lost all sight of myself. I don’t know why a professional opinion on the state of my mental health means more than my own, but it does. We’re in agreement: post natal depression doesn’t sit right because it’s not right. I’m not depressed. I’m not.
Post Natal Anxiety is my label now, and its of no great surprise at all. And so I am learning to talk about the things that make me anxious, and the reasons why they do. The hope is that I learn to deal with them in a different way, and re-learn how to think positively and with a clearer, more rational response.
I am at the beginning.
I cannot see the end of this tunnel.
No light, not yet. (more…)
I don’t know about you but the summer holidays make my bank account hurt. Like, really hurt! Having four children at home needing entertainment is not only tough physically (and sometimes emotionally) but it’s excruciating financially too. It can be hard to find the balance between wanting to keep the kids happy, make memories for them, help them make the most of their precious holiday from school- and needing to stay afloat rather than descend into bankruptcy in six short weeks. So how to make the most of the pennies this summer? Here are five ways to stretch your budget in the summer holidays. I hope they help!
I work from home, so missing days costs money, and finding childcare costs even more in some cases. So I tend to work around the kids as much as I can, which usually involves lots of early starts and late nights. But that’s nothing out of the ordinary for me so I’m used to it. However, it is out of the ordinary for friends who don’t work from home and who are now struggling to afford childcare for the next six weeks. So we’ve set up a kind of buddy system to help us all out.
I take their kids one day, they take mine the next. So this means I have literally two days in which to cram ALL of my work, but believe me it can be done! Needs must and all that. The added bonus is that the kids get to play with their friends, and that makes them happy too. Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you know another parent is in a similar situation to you. We also have a Facebook group for mums at our school where we pop on and ask if anyone is free on certain days etc, so that can be another way to hook up, make new friends and solve a pricey problem.
Spend some time hunting out the bargains
There are always going to be rainy days in the summer holidays- it’s just a fact of life when you live in the UK. So while a top tip might be to choose days out that don’t cost anything, such as the park or the beach (if you’re lucky enough to live by the sea) some days this just isn’t going to cut it. So you need to get clever about bargain hunting, and when you have kids its just easier to do that online. Believe me, taking kids to the toy shop and telling them they can only choose from the ‘sale’ section rarely works! That’s one reason why I love sites such as BargainBuysForBusyMums.co.uk. All the bargains in one place, so you don’t need to spend ages searching. (more…)
We were recently asked to take part in a challenge at mealtimes, and since most mealtimes in our house are challenges in themselves, I thought why not? What’s another battle at the table in the grand scheme of things? With fussy eaters, allergies, intolerances, attitudes and vegetable aversions, we’ll literally take any help we can get when it comes to sorting out the kids’ eating habits. So what is the #ReThinkToddlerPortionSizes campaign all about?
This video explains it all really well, actually: