2020 · Home Schooling · May 2020

Six weeks – 05.05.2020

Sending love ❤️, compassion 🥰 and hugs 🤗 to everyone doing their best……

Not my words but wanted to share! 💖

Dear parents in the U.K.,

Today marks six full weeks since our country went into lockdown.

You have had your children home for the same time now that you would if they were on summer holidays. People will say ‘but they are your responsibility’ and whilst that is true, no-one could be expected to have imagined this period before they chose to conceive.

You have protected, nourished, educated, supported and entertained your children during a period of national and international uncertainty and fear. You have experienced emotions for yourself and your family that you never knew existed, never mind experienced before.

Six weeks is a long time.

Think about how you feel at the end of the summer holidays, how ready you are for routine, how badly your house needs cleaned from children home, how much work you are ready to catch up on. Remember that exhausting feeling of having so little sleep, much less money and hearing ‘mummy/daddy’ every time you happen to sit down.

And you wonder why you are exhausted after six weeks of lockdown?

You are amazing! You have achieved something no other parent ever has during our time. You have faced six weeks unable to take your child or children anywhere, six weeks of no parks, holidays to break up the boredom, no day trips, no family to help. On top of that you have juggled work demands, loneliness on a level never experienced before, information overload from the internet and emotional turmoil of not being able to see people you hold dear. Even getting food to eat has been a major drama!

So it’s ok to feel drained. It’s ok to feel like you would sell your soul right now for five minutes alone. It’s ok to feel uninspired about another day of homeschooling, another day of never ending laundry and cooking.

It’s ok to be so very tired.

Six weeks is a long time.

But you have made it.

Be proud of yourself. Stand tall.

History will show you for your courage, your children will remember this period as a time knowing they were safe and loved and teachers everywhere are deeply grateful that you are there for your children when they should be but can’t be.

In short: you are awesome!

And so are your children.

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.

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. ❤️

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

Weekend done! 26.01.2020

I’m not going to lie, today has been a pretty hard day. I have spent most of the day feeling overwhelmed. The two big girls worked really hard last week to achieve their full contributions and were very excited to have full pocket money. I spent some time sorting out their pocket money owing for the past three weeks, and with the contributions they haven’t done, the money I have subbed them and their breakfast monies, it has left them with practically a nil balance, which as you can imagine, hasn’t gone down well. I wrote it all down on a sheet, detailed the income and expenditure and then left it for them to make the totals. Their attitude when they got up today was vile. We all had a lie in this morning. Peach & I were downstairs for 10am, and the girls made it downstairs from 11am. The girls leisurely got themselves up, but when told to make their own breakfast it was like we had asked them to clean the floor with a toothbrush.

I have spent most of the day with the feeling that Peach and I are here to serve. The bigger girls are quick to say “I didn’t ask you to do it” but if we don’t do it, we get “why do we have to do everything”.

I have struggled to snap out of my aggravations which has left me emotionally drained.

We all have tough days and today was certainly challenging. When the girls went to bed tonight I explained that I was feeling overwhelmed and that I felt disappointed because I would have liked to do some family activities today. The difference is, their agenda for today was very different to mine. And that’s ok ❤️

#magnificent7 #bigfamily #family #emotions #recharge #feelings #itsoktonotbeok