2020 · March 2020

Rise, Common Sense! – 17.03.2020

I’m going to be really honest here, I have struggled to blog over the past few days as I have found myself saying things that may be frowned upon, but I can no longer silence myself.

I am very aware (thanks to the media) of the current outbreak and associated risks of COVID-19. The most common symptoms of coronavirus are recent onset of:
> new continuous cough and/or
> high temperature
For most people, coronavirus will be a mild illness

Facts
If you or anyone in your household have symptoms of coronavirus illness, however mild, stay at home for 14 days from when your symptoms started.

Those most vulnerable and at high risk of the coronavirus are currently:
> The elderly
> Those with chronic diseases
> Those with a weakened immune system, for example, because of chemotherapy or HIV
> Those with respiratory illnesses
> Those pregnant

Now I have a question for you…..
From the list of those most vulnerable above, which of those are not at risk from catching a common cold or any other bug/illness such as sickness and diarrhoea?

Where has our nations common sense gone? Have you never heard the rhyme “Coughs and sneezes spread diseases”? If you have a family member that has sickness and diarrhoea, you are always advised to keep the patient at home for 48 hours. When you have common Flu, the NHS guidelines state you’re more likely to give it to others in the first 5 days – so stay at home and rest.

We have all been told for years….
> wash your hands often with warm water and soap
> use tissues to trap germs when you cough or sneeze
> bin used tissues as quickly as possible

Yes, it is scary that COVID-19 has killed people, but so has Cancer, Flu, Drink Driving and Suicide (to name but a few).

But do you know what is scaring me most? It’s the effect that COVID-19 is having on our mental health and the mental well-being of our children; this is something that will scar for a lifetime.

Our children are witnessing mass hysteria, selfishness and uncertainty. They are hearing people talk about closing their schools, they are witnessing their parents panic about getting food and nappies for the next week and they are worrying about their grandparents getting poorly, be confused and not being able to look after themselves. And they are seeing people worrying about loosing their homes if they can’t work.

Stop and think for a minute, if our children are told to stay home and not go to school, who is going to look after them? Parent’s? Ok, a few days holiday might work, but what if it is for 2 or 4 weeks like proposed? Can working parents afford financially to take a leave for that amount of time? Because don’t forget, we have the summer holidays in July too. So, us parents have one week and then who’s going to have the kiddies? Grandparents?? Is that the best option? Are we not encouraging the most vulnerable to look after our children?
And what about the parents that can afford to take the time off? What about the businesses they work for? Who is going to do their work for them? Is the business going to cope with such a high level of staff not at work? How many parents work for the emergency services? How can you be looked after by medical professionals if they are at home looking after their children while the schools are closed?
You want a lockdown? You have a self maintaining home whereby you can feed yourself and loved ones from your own grown resources? Because if we are on lockdown, why should the supermarkets open? Why should the emergency services continue to be of assistance? What makes your life so more important than their life?

Is this the example we should show our future generations?
Is this the example shown by our previous generations at the time of rationing and war?
No, previously they pulled together. They waited, they looked after each other, they listened to the facts and acted accordingly. There was no social media to create hysteria or to feed the negativity. They looked around them, they made sure they got what they needed with food and water, had walks and looked after their communities.

We need to start pulling together, we need to be offering help and assistance to those most at risk and the vulnerable. We need to drink plenty of water, have a healthy balanced diet and go out for a walk to get some light exercise – all of which we have been told by our medical professionals for years!

We need to show our children how to beat this!

Please, spread love, spread kindness and have some common sense. ❤

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

To do list… 03.02.2020

On reflection, this is how my to do list should have looked this morning. Instead my bright yellow post it note was filled with, call…., reply to ……., chase ……, speak to…….., meet with….., text……. ironing….

Whilst at twin club my friends were chuckling at my list and my mission to complete it.

How often do we set our physical to do list to one side and work on our inner self to do list! Take time to breathe, sit back and listen to a book, take a walk for the sake walking. As I picked up our girls from school, I walked home hand in hand with Aj (Pops walking ahead having a happy little chat with herself), we saw birds in the hedge beside us. They were so close we could see the colours of their petals and the type of birds they were. AJ and I had a lovely chuckle at seeing Sam the Great Tit there.

I am so very grateful for the luxury of being able to be with our girls at these times. I love the cuddles on the settee watching The Masked Singer, I love the idle chit chat over dinner and I love the hand in hand wanders whilst observing the world around us.

January 2020

Compassion – 29.01.2020

Today’s training has been Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT). I am attending a four week course (as part of fostering) to encourage me to be compassionate towards myself.

We have been given an incredible diagram of the flows of compassion.

🧍🏼‍♀️(ourself) ➡️ 👩🏻‍🤝‍👩🏼👩🏻‍🤝‍👩🏼(others)

👩🏻‍🤝‍👩🏼👩🏻‍🤝‍👩🏼 ➡️ 🧍🏼‍♀️

🧍🏼‍♀️ ➡️ 🧍🏼‍♀️

Stop for a minute and think about which flow is easier for you….

Mine is the top one, I will happily, easily and confidently give compassion to others. I rarely accept compassion from others and will only ever give myself compassion when I am at breaking point.

“My dear friend;

Because there is some part of you that is imperfect or broke, it can motivate you to work hard to overcome it, and can ultimately bring you success in life. It can also help you to relate to others and become more compassionate. Do not despair over what is imperfect in yourself. Instead, look at your flaws with love.” – Haemin Sunim Love for Imperfect Things

I heard that quote on my audio book as I made the journey to training. So quickly we can be compassionate to others in need, and critical to ourselves for not coping as well as we feel we should. Why is that? Who are we hiding from? Who is putting that level of expectation on us? It’s us, it’s ourselves. You’re having a bad day? That’s ok! Are you not coping well today? That’s ok too! Own it! Today I am happy, today I am stressed, today I am disappointed, today I am overwhelmed – any of it, all of it; That’s ok

“Learn to express what you are feeling without agonising over it. It is a life skill every bit as important as learning how to read. Without it, dissatisfaction builds up, arguments break out, and relationships can blow up like volcanoes.” – Haemin Sunim Love for Imperfect Things

It is not selfish to say I need help, it is not selfish to say I can’t help and it is not selfish to say I need 5 mins to myself.

Take the time to love yourself, be compassionate towards yourself and allow yourself the time to do something you love; read a chapter of the book you love, take the dog for a walk, cuddle up to your loved one or watch your baby sleep. By allowing yourself those moments you can reconnect with your happy self ❤️

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Photo credit to my incredible daughter DM ❤️

Uncategorized

Family Contributions Pt 2.

I’ve woke up this morning with such a fantastic thread of complimentary comments on my Family Contributions blog over on my Facebook profile.  Thank you 😍

I’d just like to take the time to thank you for reading my posts, it really does mean the world to me. ❤

So in answer to your questions….

Where did I get the sheets from? 

I made them

How did I decide how many contributions each child does?

Each child does twice their age: 13 x 2 = 26 (26 over seven days is less than 4 contributions a day)

How was it decided who would do each task?

Originally I made a list of the contributions that I felt were acceptable for the girls to do.  I then put them individually on small pieces of paper and let the youngest pick one first.  I had twenty five tasks, with a view that the girls had 5 tasks each.  (Girls were ages 13, 12, 9, 9 and 7)  They each took a turn and when it came to the final two picks each, I separated the tasks to more age appropriate to allow the younger girls to select the easier tasks.  After a couple of months of trial and error, I reevaluated the tasks and switched them around a bit.  They are given more contributions than they need to do (age x 2), but that allows them the freedom to not do any contributions should they have after school activities, or not be ‘in the mood’ to help around the home.  We have a weekly tasks sheet that is separate to the Contributions list, which breaks down the week into days and is a visual reminder for the girls which tasks is theirs to do on each day in the morning and in the afternoon/evening.

What’s the purpose of the other contributions that are not assigned to a child?

This is to allow the girls to be recognised for helping around the home over and above what is assigned to them. Making tea/coffee for guests, watering plants, cleaning the bathroom (like that ever happens!) and such like.

What’s the parent special credit?

This is where Peach or I give the girls an extra credit for going above and beyond. I have given credits for acts like being the only child that takes their water bottle out of their bag at the end of school, or the only child that has took their dirty plates and cutlery into the kitchen and put it straight into the dishwasher without being asked and for kindly helping her sister tidy her bedroom without being asked to.

Is it possible to get a copy of the Family Contributions file?

Absolutely – download it here ……

Is it possible to get a copy of the weekly tasks file?

Again, absolutely – download it here ……

Thanks again for taking the time to read my blog posts.

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