April 2020

Stillness – 16.04.2020

We had such a calm and peaceful time at Sopers Bridge today.

Leaving the house, the big teen was still moody. She had decided to stay in bed all morning, refusing to join us for breakfast and not taking part in our normal activities.

It’s so hard to explain to our children that we can see their behaviour, we understand why they are behaving that way and actually the best thing to work through it is to talk, eat well, get some exercise, drink plenty of water and rest well.

When we got to Sopers Bridge, which is absolutely picturesque and so very calming, the big teen regretted her decision of not having any breakfast. She decided that her mood of not wanting to take part with her sister’s activities, was actually making her miss out on some fun. 5 minutes into our time there, she was running around, climbing trees and laughing with her sisters. It was lovely to see them all playing. They were absolutely filthy, they all had mud on their arms, hands, legs and bums; they loved rinsing their hands in the stream.

Four of the girls had took camera’s with them, I hope to show them tomorrow.

Even with all the laughing, it was still peaceful. I was able to hear the stream running over the stones and a woodpecker in the trees; it really was beautiful. We are so very fortunate to have this on our doorstep.

April 2020

How are you? – 15.04.2020

How are you? Just wanted to check you’re ok? How are you getting on? Are you ok?

Me, I’m fine

.

.

.

Actually, I’m not fine. This is really hard. I mean, really really hard and it’s taking every piece of my patience, love and soul to keep it together.

Nearly four weeks ago, I sobbed. I was an absolute mess. It had just been announced that schools were closing for at least two weeks and the idea of being at home with five daughters, who depend on structure, stability and routine (as much as they may say they hate it) scared the shit out of me. My anxiety went into overdrive, my old insecurities resurfaced and opinions of others crippled me. I tried to keep it away from Peach as I knew he had his worries about our uncertainties and I couldn’t turn to my core friends, as I felt they had their own stresses to deal with, so I crumbled. At 7.30pm on Friday 20th, I sobbed. And when Peach came to find me curled up in a ball on our bed, my thoughts, my worries, my fears – they all came out. I shared them all with him and he held me.

Over three weeks into this pandemic and I still sometimes think that I’ll wake up tomorrow and everything will go back to “normal” – kids will be at school, Hubby will be at work, I’ll be back running the groups supporting families and the local kids and I’ll be able to give hugs to my extended loved ones.

But then I ask myself, do I really want it back to “normal”?

Our daughters have never had this time with Peach and I. We have never before been able to spend this length of time with them and just find the best way to enjoy each other’s company. We may never get this time again and we can learn so much from this.

The financial side of this scares us. My income is extremely minimal; Peach is our breadwinner. He is also self-employed in the construction trade and is not able to carry out his work safely. We have applied for support from the government and have been told that we qualify for the help.

We are now working on our family. Finding ways that we can grow as a unit. Become the best versions of ourselves and help others around us. And as beautiful and inspiring as this may sound, reality is – it’s flippin hard!

5 kind, caring, funny and intelligent young ladies, can also be 5 little witches. Witches that don’t want to do as they are being asked to, don’t see why they should clear up after themselves and don’t see why they should have to do the adults jobs of cleaning or cooking. 🤦🏼‍♀️

As an adult I’m struggling with not being able to see my friends as freely as I would like to, so I completely understand their frustration of not being able to spend time with their friends. As Peach said to one of them tonight, the whole country has been “grounded” and told they’re not allowed out for the foreseeable.

We’ll get through this, hopefully, we’ll all have a stronger appreciation for key-workers, we’ll appreciate those nights out with mates, and the freedom of being able to walk into a shop at will and maybe we’ll all have tidy gardens and houses to come home to, having spent weeks and weeks being told to stay at home. But most of all, we’ll have a more sincere, a more meaningful and a stronger relationship with our children. So that in years to come they know how to love one another, how to laugh with each other and more importantly, how to help each other.

That’s what I keep telling myself. ❤️

Thank you for checking in on me, I really do appreciate it. And thank you for inspiring me to write again. 💞

2020 · March 2020

Help is on it’s way – 04.03.2020

This is the folder of Pops. All documentation that relates to appointments, doctors notes, scribbles of conversations, leaflets and reports.

Around September 2016 Pops started to display what I then called twitches. The first one I remember noticing was her eyes, she would move them side to side like on an action man doll. Not fully understanding what the situation was, I used to get stressed at her doing it all the time. After the action man eyes, came the bunny nose twitch, we’ve had the clearing the throat, we’ve had the raising the eyebrows, we’ve had the constant blinking and now we have the eyes wide. Over time and with a fair bit of research and diagnosis; I have come to discover these actions are all Tic’s. Our baby girl, then aged 6 years old, had developed tics.

Pops has always been our precious; since she was little we’ve mentioned numerous times that she’s in cloud cuckoo land and she was/is happiest when there.

I have been uploading some of my old blogposts recently, and reading them now with the knowledge of where we have been in terms of her medical and mental situations, I can see we have had our concerns with Pops since she was very young. But at the time, it was just Pops, that’s how she was.

Our little Pops is such a caring, kind and clever young lady. She’s a people pleaser and so dainty that she can win over anyone.

We have tried to raise our concerns with Pop’s behaviour time and time again. We have been to the GP and been referred to a Paediatrician. The Paediatrician has referred us to a Dietitian. We’ve seen a Neurologist, ENT Consultant, School Nurse, Health Visitor, various class teachers, School Head, Play Therapist, CAMHS and have lost count of the number of blood tests she’s had. The number of times we have been told, “You need to speak to your GP” to then be told “you need a referral from the school” is just crazy!

Our little precious has anxiety, she is 10 years old and since she was 4, she has had IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome). She has rages over what would seem to us as a small everyday task, like having a shower, that shut down any rational thought. Her mind is constantly thinking of all possibilities to every situation and how best she can please those around her.

But all that comes at a price. And more often than not, if it’s not Pops that suffers physically, it’s Peach and I that pay the price.

You see, Pops likes to wear a mask. When she is at school or in new situations, she puts on the mask and to outsiders she lets them think that everything is ok. But if you sit and watch her when she doesn’t know you’re watching her, you’ll see it. You’ll see the little girl that’s trying her hardest to keep everything together. The little girl that’s battling with the voices in her head, the emotions running around her mind and body and you might just get a glimpse of the little girl who’s struggling.

I’ve attended the Positive Parenting Training recommended by the Health Visitor and School Nurse. I’ve gone along with their recommendations of behaviour management and positive praise. And whilst that may have helped with my methods, it’s not helping Pops.

Her school reports show that she is a clever student, they have no reason to believe there is a cause for concern. She’s either at age related or working towards greater depth. I have been left with feeling like I’m banging my head on a brick wall. Questioning myself as to whether I’m making too much of a fuss, is it my parenting? Am I imagining it? Am I making it a bigger deal than it is? Am I being over sensitive? Why is no-one else seeing this?

However, I have a feeling that we are now talking to someone who has the ability to see what we see, to look behind her mask. Hold tight Pops, help is on it’s way…..

2020 · February 2020

Be kind… – 15.02.2020

Heartbreaking news today about Caroline Flack, and what a legacy to leave us with….

“In a world where you can be anything, be kind.”

None of us know the demons she was battling. What we do know however, is that she was a person, she had feelings, she has a family that loved her and she had a beautiful smile.

Who are we to pass comment on what happened behind closed doors? We read the stories, we listen to other people’s opinions and we judge.

I genuinely do believe that many people have anxiety in one form or another. When you hear kind words or see kind actions, you can see the greater good and can work through those anxieties. However, when you hear one person say a mean thing to you or more often about you to another, it creates questions in your mind. And when it’s someone you care about, someone you value the opinion of or someone you believe knows you the best, you start to believe those mean things.

Reach out to your friends, check in on your loved ones and fill their hearts and minds with as many kind and loving words as you possibly can. To you it might seem like nothing, but to them it could mean the world. ❤️

Rest in Peace Caroline Flack ✨

February 2020

One step at a time 02.02.2020

Our beautiful precious DiddyPops. She’s constantly keeping us on our toes with her bubbling emotions. She was given the fantastic opportunity by her school to attend a drama day at another local high school yesterday. Pops was over the moon to be invited and thoroughly enjoyed her day.

Pops is currently receiving play therapy through CAMHS to help with her anxiety. Since she was 6 years old, Pops has suffered with IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome), in recent years she has developed a variety of tics and has rages that you honestly wouldn’t believe could come from such a gentle being.

We have had various appointments with paediatricians, dieticians, neurologists, school nurses and GP’s, including various training sessions on encouraging positive behaviour in young children.

We often find Pops in her bedroom, on her own, happily playing with her Monster High Dolls.

However, it’s Pops that will worry that she doesn’t want to be seen as mean, she will worry that she heard someone say something hurtful and she’ll be the first to notice that you have beautiful nails, a new haircut or a lovely top on. She worry’s that her army inside her (what we have called her immune system) is dying when she feels overwhelmed.

Tonight she has gone to bed asking about her next play therapy session. Peach and I agreed that we wouldn’t tell her when they are as she frets about it, constantly asking questions, reminding us not to forget and telling us what she thinks she might be doing and what she might miss at school. Pops had a session on Friday last week and I made the mistake of giving her the letter with the appointments on. She knows this will be the last one, and appears to be playing the appointment over and over in her mind.

We can do this Pops, one step at a time. Take our hands, we’ll help you through it. ❤️

2012 · September 2012

My mood for today :o( – 08.09.2012

This has been my mood for today 😢 Grumpy!

I’ve not been able to shake it off all day and Peach has tried really hard to make me smile or laugh, but I just haven’t been in the mood. I can’t really explain or give reason for my grump. I’m tired – what’s new? I’ve not got the jobs done that I wanted to – and? We didn’t go out for the afternoon like we had planned – my decision, make your bed and all that…

I decided not to go to the Victory Show as Ruby still isn’t feeling too well. Whilst she’s not actually been poorly in anyway, she’s still lethargic and feels really hot. We’re just topping her up with Calpol at the mo. We were meant to be going for the afternoon, but that’s when Ashleigh would be having her sleep. As it was Ruby and Penny both ended up having a snooze this afternoon for 2.5 hours, so it was probably best anyway.

I’ve had a tough time with DM today. Peach says I’m being too hard on her and to remember she’s only five. But the way she is talking at the moment and her general behaviour towards other is really upsetting me. She has started hitting men when she sees them, almost as if it’s she wants to hit them with her affection. It upsets me that she feels she has to do this.

My day of clearing the ironing has resulted in nothing of the sort! Because of my grump, everything I have done has annoyed me and everything I haven’t done has annoyed me even more!

It was nice to forget about my bad mood by having good friends and family round for a Que-Be-Bar 😉 It actually took my mind off my grumps and helped me to relax a little. I think I have used all my energy today in holding on to my negativity as come 10pm, I’m shattered and in bed!

Fingers crossed this mood shifts….. Tomorrow’s a new day with a happy future 😊