I’m still alive, just.

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In all honesty I had forgot about this attempt at a blog until someone messaged me out of the blue a few weeks ago saying she found comfort reading my posts and she was going through it all too and then about a week later one of my clients mentioned  she missed reading my rants.

In truth I have had nothing much to ramble on about, well, nothing particularly new.

Yes, I still have the regular days when I don’t really want to get out of bed, wash myself or eat but funnily enough my ass is growing faster than Olivia and will soon send her flying across the room if she doesn’t watch what she’s running into.

I have still been moseying through motherhood with not a clue what I’m supposed to be doing. Olivia still takes a bottle, she usually pees on the floor and not in a potty when she’s parading through the house in nothing but her wellies on a dreich Wednesday afternoon – am I meant to be doing anything about that yet? Who really knows… ive gone as far as buying an all singing/dancing plastic mini toilet (flush and toilet roll holder to boot!) and all she does is sit on it fully clothed watching repeats of Sophia the sodding First.

I do know that I have grown a bit in confidence since last October when my fears were realised and the good ol’ Doc informed me I had PPD. I don’t know if I’m through it – like I said you have good days but then there’s still bad days when I have zero energy and just want to sleep and hope when I wake up I have a new lease of positive energy and that ‘get up and go’ attitude I think you need to battle through the drawn out boring as shit monotony of being a parent – it’s tough as hell doing nothing all day yet somehow you’re doing everything.

Ive started (and even paid a MEMBERSHIP) to be part of a toddler group, just to be a regular face at something other than my own parents house and to let Olivia loose on those poor unsuspecting kids – sorry Mums.

Yeah, so a year after being told I had ‘The Black Dog’ I now like to think of it as my Grim – oh yes… I’m going all out Harry Potter geek on you now. At first you think it’s out to get you, then over time you realise it’s just there to remind you that things aren’t as bad as they are in your head, and that’s half the battle.

I call my ‘Black Dog’ Snuffles and we have a tempestuous relationship.

*If you get all the Harry Potter references we are now best friends, congratulations.

 

 

 

365 Days Later

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So, 365 days ago I pushed a human out of me and I’m still standing to tell the tale.

What. A. Year.

From being over the moon happy some days to staying in my dressing gown for days on end (I think my record was 3 days, no showers and no leaving the house, eating cereal for breakfast, lunch and dinner and generally avoiding all human interaction where possible). It’s just as well my husband works away a month at a time – poor bugger.

Ive felt the ecstatic highs of watching your baby learn something new for the first time, feeling those arms wrap round your neck and hold on tight while your heart is fit to burst but I’ve also had dark and long nights where I’ve stared into space just wishing I had an escape plan, or even just wanting to get out for a walk in the fresh air at 3am but knowing you can’t with a sleeping child depending on you upstairs. Trapped best describes some of the nights under my own roof.

I used to think PPD was synonymous with wanting to harm your child or wishing you hadn’t had them – I now know this just is not true. It comes in many shapes and forms and it is a lot more common than you think. They say 1 in 9 women suffer from it, I beg to differ and say at least half of all women have at some point gone through it and maybe not recognised it. No matter if it was a month to decades living with it.

I’m not proclaiming to be an expert, far from it, I’m winging this shit called motherhood and I’m as good at it as I am winging my eyeliner (I’m shite by the way).

The one thing I have learnt over this past year is that whatever motherhood throws at you and sometimes the stuff being thrown at you is literal shit from darling cherubs arse or soggy weetabix flung past your head and splattered against the wall is that you get through, you make it work and you learn to cope.

Learning to cope has been a steep uphill learning curve and I’m far from being able to say it’s all downhill from here – the toddler years are fast approaching! FML.

Its getting harder, Olivia is becoming a little girl who wants to explore, touch everything, put everything in her mouth, demanding constant attention and interaction and sometimes I’m too bloody tired so I stick on The Disney Channel and hope PJ masks grabs her attention long enough for me to have my breakfast or even a hot cup of tea at 12pm. Should I feel guilty? Absolutely not!

I’ve fortunately had a lot to look forward to lately, a hen do where I had a whole weekend with friends and my own Mum, dressing up as OAPs and letting my hair down care free for 2 nights. I had a friends wedding where I was honoured to be her bridesmaid, I had my hair and make up done and felt absolutely amazing for the first time in a long time (thank you Spanx).

Olivia turned 1 the following day after the wedding and I realised looking back at the years worth of photos of her that she had changed before my very eyes into a little girl – I’m not ashamed to say I cried. I cried not because I felt I was losing my little baby but because of what she’s becoming and how I’ve been her number one, her constant since day 1 of being born and for that I should feel proud, not guilty that sometimes I feel that I can’t cope.

I’m her mum and I’m a god damn superhero.

*Along with the help of quavers, ‘In The Night Garden’ and remote controls.

 

 

What January blues? 

So, it’s 2017 eh? When did that happen? How am I here again?

It’s the 2nd of January already and I’m fighting the blues, I took some time this afternoon to go for a walk, fill my lungs with fresh air and focus on what I need to do this year. I made some resolutions that all basically stem from the need for me to love myself and fight thinking negatively, it really is like a black cloud that follows you around that some days you can’t see the sun through.

One day I’m happy as Larry and playing with Olivia on the floor and the next I’m sitting on the sofa staring at the TV thinking I need to get out – January is the worst time of year but I refuse to let this shit get to me. 

I won’t promise to go to more toddler groups, I won’t promise to work more and I definitely won’t promise to diet – they don’t work.

What I have quietly promised to myself is that whenever I feel like I’m having a dark day is to imagine I’m one of my loved ones, how hurt I would feel if I saw someone I love feel this way about themselves. What would I say to them? Why is how I feel any different? 

Of course this is an exercise from my Cognitive Behavioural Therapy coming into play but it does make you see that you need to break the vicious cycle of negative thinking that eats you up and spits you back out right back into square one.

My resolutions…

Love and nourish myself (body and soul) – do what makes ME happy and stop shovelling shit down my gullet in a feeble attempt to make myself feel better.

Say ‘no’ to people – I’m a pushover and I need to look out for me and stop doing things or agreeing to shit, especially for people who wouldn’t piss on me if I was on fire. 

Put my phone down.

Drink water.

Eat my greens.

Delete the Just Eat app.

Of course the last 3 tie into the whole self love thing but I’m sure you get the idea.

✌🏻

The black dog

I didn’t think I would ever have a problem with post natal depression but I’ve been going through it now for a couple of months and finally seeing a doctor this last week has confirmed – I’ve got the baby blues big time.

Nearly 9 months later I’ve recognised that there is something not right about me, I’ve given up on me and put all my efforts into Olivia that I’ve emotionally, physically and psychologically drained myself in the process. It’s almost like it’s tied in with giving up breastfeeding at 7 months which was proven to stave off post natal depression. Go figure. Too late to stock the milk bar up again. 

Everyone is quick to offer their support in the early weeks and maybe even months but what about 8/9 months down the line when the monotonous everyday routine creeps in and leaves you feeling bat shit crazy? When you cry in the shower as it hits you like a brick wall that this is your life now? Sleep deprivation and sometimes going whole days not talking to another adult but equally not actually wanting to socialise at all. The thought of toddler groups fills me with fear! Waking up feeling as tired as you did when you went to bed. Letting yourself go and thinking what’s the point in even trying anymore? Self esteem? Non existant. 

Of course, now I know that I’m going through what I hope is a small bout of depression and finally telling my Mum (sorry Mum, I actually went to the doctors last week – it just took me about a week to pluck up the courage to tell you because it’s down right embarrassing to admit that I’m struggling emotionally) and friends (who jumped at the word depression and filled me with support and love) to Jeffrey (who said he noticed I was being ‘a bit of an asshole’ recently) – I don’t blame him, I really have been giving him a hard time over absolutely nothing. 

So, I was handed a book (or rather a brick)  on Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and I’ve got to help myself, be open, talk about it, rant, get it off my chest etc and start to think positively. This is where I can utilise my blog. I don’t know how many people actually bother to read it but to me it’s an outlet. I actually thought if I should bother posting this but what do I have to lose? 

I know there is nothing wrong with my life. I have a beautiful healthy baby daughter, a happy marriage, a wonderful family and I’m earning my own money so why do I feel like this? Empty? Like I want to runaway and just walk out the door? One way ticket to paradise please! 

Thing is I’ve been putting everyone first except me. If I’ve got a spare couple of hours while Olivia naps then I’m drawing orders for other people, washing her clothes, cleaning her bottles, tidying the house. Nothing is about me anymore – heck my toenails still have varnish on them from before she was born! 

So I now pledge that when my Mum takes Olivia on a Friday night so I can get to work on Saturday morning I won’t go home and tidy up or draw. I’m taking the night off, going for a bath, switching my phone off and taking a big deep bloody breath! 

I’m not failing, I just need to look at Olivia to know I’m doing a good job so far but Olivia goes out the door looking like a Next model and I look like a homeless crack addict who’s given up. 

Time to make time for me again, self love starts with self kindness and if I’m not kind and compassionate to myself then what am I teaching Olivia? 

So here’s to taking a deep breath and powering through, I’ll have shit days, today was one, I haven’t left the house and Olivia took 2 hours to settle but tomorrow is another day. I’ll have good days too I’m sure but I just need to remember that nothing will change unless I change myself.

Positive vibes please. 

🚫 The milk bar is now closed 🚫

PASS THE GIN! It’s official. This morning Olivia received her last feed via my chesticles.

The decision was made after the doctor advised me to go back on to the combined pill now that Olivia is down to 1 feed (during the night) in 24 hours.

Not only will my milk supply take a hit due to the hormones in the pill… *blah blah blah* but it will force me to not be tempted to just ‘whap out a pap’ at 2am and maybe Olivia will get used to just been comforted with a bottle – or better yet sleep through the night!

It’s a bittersweet feeling coming to the end of the road with breastfeeding. During the first few weeks I always thought about giving up and even attempted giving Olivia a bottle which she profusely refused for weeks until one day about 2 months ago she just guzzled it down – bliss! From that day I started weaning her, slowly but surely as well as introducing her to food.

We’ve come a long way since the tear fuelled nights of my chest being invaded every 2 hours by this ravenous creature thinking I’ll never have my body back – now 7 months later I do.

Breastfeeding wasn’t easy but it came naturally to me which I know isn’t the same for every Mum, she latched on minutes after being born and that was that. No cracked nipples, no infections, an abundance of milk but plenty of leaking and embarrassing moments walking out in public with my arms folded suspiciously high 😐

Now I look forward to sitting at the dinner table with my little Lady Nippleton… my Nipple Nazi, and enter the world of finger foods, sippy cups and all things food!

One thing I will take away from breastfeeding, it’s brilliant if you can do it and you’re lazy like me – no bottles, no sterilising and plenty of sleep in the early days with co sleeping and feeding during the night. Not so good when you’re out in public and you’re terrified of people catching an accidental nip slip! Watching Olivia thrive in the 4 months I exclusively breast fed was reward enough and I will no doubt do it again, no questions asked. 

As for now? Back to wearing normal bras I go, JOY! 

6 Month Review

Just like in a new job role there’s usually some awkward review at some point where you’ve given the new role a go and an overpaid manager decides whether or not you’re up to the task.

Well, I’m 6 months into Motherhood, a job I had no experience in (heck, I didn’t even like kids, sticky dribble sodden wee creatures). It’s a role I was never interviewed for and a new life I never expected or could have possibly imagined.

So, what have I learnt so far?

1. I took sleeping all night for granted and thought I was tired after working all day. Motherhood means I’m switched on ALL THE TIME. 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The slightest peep from Olivia in the next room during the night and my eyes bolt open and I’m on high alert. It’s like I’m hard wired to her every waking moment and I can not shut it off. It is exhausting but yet comforting that I know there’s that bond between us. Who needs sleep anyway? If I could snort coffee and shoot up some red bull though, I totally would. 

2. My body is different. My belly button looks like a lived in sad vagina and my stomach is littered with stretch marks. My boobs have had to stretch to accommodate ‘milkies’ so yes, I’m now left with a couple of spaniels lugs but it’s all good. I can deal with it. It makes me question how many kids I’ll have though or else I’d end up scratching my cracked nipples and shaving my ankles simultaneously.

3. Body fluids ain’t so bad. I’ve had shit in my hair, spew down my bare back, dribble in my mouth and I’m still breathing. I’ve also been trying to start a new trend where I walk around with dried in milk/spew on my shoulders. Hasn’t taken off yet though. 

4. I spend half my time trying to get her to go to sleep and once she’s sleeping I want to wake her up because I miss her. I also watch videos of her and look at her countless pictures when she’s napping. #InstaBaby 

5. There is no ‘me’ time anymore. I barely fake tan, my hair is usually tied back in some weird man bun creation, I only shave the bits of my body that will be on show – so ankles usually and I can’t remember the last time I had breakfast before 10am. As long as Olivia is clean, dressed, fed and happy then that’s when I’ll take my opportunity for a quick shower. 

6. I have never known love like this, that full on afraid I will actually bite her cheeks off kind of love. It’s electric and sometimes overwhelming that I know I’d do anything for her. Although if there’s a spider in her room and she asks me to get rid of it. Well, I’d chuck her in and bolt the door and sacrifice her – there’s a line. 

6 months in and I’ve learnt to love with my whole heart, I’ve cried because I sometimes felt like I can’t do it anymore, endured countless sleepless nights alone that feel never ending and wanting to chuck in the towel with breastfeeding over and over again.

I’m always told that this is the best age, her character is shining through and the days of breastfeeding are nearly done. I’m sad she’s not a newborn anymore but I’m even more excited about what’s to come. 

“The best way to make children good is to make them happy.”

I’ll try my best. 

Here’s to the next 6 months, Happy 1/2 Birthday Turtle. 

Who are these ‘experts’ anyway?


I want to call bullshit on every single ‘how to’ baby book on the shelves. Confusing, conflicting advice and exploiting new Mothers because they think their baby should fit into the these preconceived, unrealistic, ‘textbook baby’ moulds that were totally non existant and unheard of not that long ago.

There are so many, too many, ‘experts’ claiming that they know best when it comes to bringing up babies and I know I’ve only been at this for 5 months but I haven’t followed any of it and Olivia is a happy and normal baby – whatever ‘normal’ or ‘a good baby’ means.

I listened to my gut and took Olivia’s lead and she did it all herself which leads me to believe that Gina Ford, is once again, full of shit. 

I’m apparently making a rod for my own back by breastfeeding and allowing Olivia to use me as a dummy tit (which is amusing because dummies are actually fake hard plastic cold rubber nipples – what do you think their purpose is? Oh yeah! The same as my real ones?! Go figure). Give me a break, I only get to do this for a short period of time so let me enjoy it instead of saying my 5 month old baby has some ulterior motive and is manipulating me. Never heard a bigger load of shite that a baby has the brain capacity to wrap their Mothers around their finger – that will come later I’m sure. For now I’m going to hold my baby and rock her to sleep and the experts can ram their ‘sleep training’ and ‘controlled crying’ up their well informed hoofs. 

I don’t like routines, they drive me insane. To know what my day will entail from 7am to 11pm would send me over the edge but apparently babies need routine. I’d like to know how they found this out, which clever newborn baby told these dickheads they really just need some continuity in their hectic and busy life between napping, filling their nappy and drinking milk. As long as they’re happy from one event to the next you can stick routines right up there with sleep training.

I’ve done everything wrong by these experts standards – I didn’t swaddle Olivia, she shared the bed with Jeffrey and I (sometimes sleeping between us), I let her sleep on me, I’ve rocked her to sleep and fed her to sleep. I’ve ignored routines, schedules and nap times.

Instead I’m enjoying my baby, taking each day as it comes and in the eyes of her I am the expert – I am her Mum. 

I was ready to stop breastfeeding…

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Sad but true, yes folks just a matter of weeks ago I declared to my Mum in Inverness M&S café that I was done with it, I couldn’t be assed anymore – I needed my life back. Olivia was wrestle tackling her breastfeeding cover trying to get air while treating my nipple like a chew toy and I was trying my best not to flash the table of young men beside us (extra milk with your coffee gentlemen?) who were looking at me like I was trying to conceal an angry ferret beneath the flimsy feeding cover – I also think these are cruel, have you tried eating your Mac and cheese with a cloth over your head?! Not easy.
All the while my drink was getting cold, my delectable cheese toastie was turning into a soggy chewy sandwich and it felt like my cheeks were going to explode from the heat, and quite possibly embarrassment. Olivia was wriggling about in my lap threatening to expose me to all the poor OAPS who were just trying to eat their scone in peace before buying another nice pair of beige slacks – I just wanted to cry. It was at that point I was ready to put Olivia on EBay at the lowest starting bid let alone stop breastfeeding.

Fast forward a month or so and I regret thinking that I was ready to give up, sure it is extremely hard to exclusively breastfeed but the bond we are forming is unbelievable and to see her developing so well because of me is reward enough but now begs the question – when do I stop now that it’s become second nature?

Of course I’m not suggesting I breastfeed until Olivia is 7 and she comes at me uttering the word ‘bitty’ but the amount of grief I see directed toward Mothers who feed their children past their first year is damn right disgusting – why is it a problem yet you can give them milk intended for a calf after their 1st Birthday?

I have no idea how long I will carry on feeding Olivia, probably until she weans herself once solids are established but I see no wrong in night feeding my child well into next year – not that I’m going to be taking pictures and posting my bare breast on social media for all see but I see absolutely nothing wrong with that either. If you’re proud to breastfeed and feel strongly about normalising the act then by all means whap them milk jugs out.

Me? You’ll still find me sitting in the corner of some café trying to discreetly feed my angry little nipple nazi while she thrashes around under her cover and me trying to avoid awkward eye contact with fellow diners.

*I use a cover not because I’m ashamed to breastfeed my baby but because it would be unfair to everyone else to be this good looking AND expose my exquisite breasts to the public, it’s a service to people’s self esteem really.

**I am of course joking, I just don’t want perving Mervin taking a deek at the goods.

Free the boobies and all that.

The Wonder Weeks


Apologies for my lack of devoted ‘Mum blogging’ as I’ve been trying my best to handle life with a 4 month old who has been refusing to nap, having psycho meltdowns for no reason and all the while still managing to melt my heart when she does flash that gummy smile! What can I now say that I haven’t said before? Life is mental with a baby who is finding her voice and becoming more and more active by the day! 
I remember reading something about the theory of ‘The Wonder Weeks’ when Olivia had a fussy few days back when she was around the 2 month mark (when she slept most of the time, those were the days…) and thinking it was a load of bull, babies will be babies regardless of some scientific developmental leaps BUT now I’ve followed it for a while it seems the theory is spot on with the timing of these ‘leaps’ and when you can expect your baby to go a bit loco – at least I can start to mentally prepare myself now. 
Seriously, if you’re a Mum, a Mum to be or just out of interest, take a look at The Wonder Weeks and see if it strikes a chord and remember there may be some good reason why your wee one is screaming the house down the moment you peel them from your chest and that it won’t last forever! 
Leaps are usually led by the three C’s 
‘Crying, cranky and clingy.’
Understatement of the year. Olivia is an angry nipple dictating limpet who is literally sucking the very life from me. When she does finally sleep and I’m left with ‘me’ time you can find me flaked on the sofa consoling myself with chocolate buttons and binge watching TV. 
Joys. 

Behind the Instagram filters…


Browsing through my Instagram you’d be forgiven for believing I have an angelic cherub of a baby, always smiling but this past weekend could not have been further from the picture perfect perception of Motherhood I’ve inadvertently created online.

The pictures taken today were captured in between two measly naps and a shit load of crying, and I mean screaming the house down crying where no position or amount of winding or swaying while walking with her soothed whatever was bothering her. I even ranted to my husband that I couldn’t do this and how I was having a ‘fuck my life’ moment. Of course I can do it, it’s just when you think you’ve settled your young one for the umpteenth time only to be met with shrieking two minutes later you kind of lose heart, as well as your shit.

Saturday morning Olivia had shit up her back while I was in the shower. It was through her clothes, through the sheet, through the mattress protector and onto the mattress which I had to scrub while she balled her head off after being dunked in the bath – no amount of baby wipes could have taken away the waft of shite emitting from her. All the while the door went, my asshole pet rabbits stomped their feet at the sound of Olivia crying. I then attempted to put my rabbits out to their hutch, usually they’ll go right in but because everything was going tits up this morning they decided to join in. So there I was, crying baby under one arm, bowl of rabbit food in the other trying to coax two fluffy paps into their run while the neighbours dog barks his head off. I got my ‘breakfast’ at 1pm and felt like sobbing into my fruit and fibre. 

Not for one second am I ungrateful for the perfect little human I’ve created and the second she stops crying and falls asleep or grins at me (pictured) I snap back to the doting Mother and call her a little shit in my softest baby voice. I know I’ll have more days like this where I can’t even fathom how to leave the house with a fussy baby and by the time she’s calmed down and finally sleeping for more than an hour at a time it’s usually time to ‘wind down’ for bed. I don’t know if she’s teething, maybe a growth spurt or she is just being a dickhead on purpose but I think I’ll write this weekend off, chuck it in the fuck it bucket and tomorrow is always another day (provided I survive the night).