How do I parent my other children when I’m grieving?

My hubby and I had a discussion about our parenting styles. I felt he is too much on the children’s cases, telling them off for this and that. He feels I’m too inconsistent, one minute strict the next turning a blind eye.

It’s so hard. We were good parents once. We had it sussed. We had our routines and rules, nothing over the top, just clear and manageable boundaries. But then grief stepped in and cocked it all up!

One day I’m set on re-establishing rules and boundaries, the next I’m beating myself up with guilt for depriving them of the things they want or shouting at them for making a mess or not doing what they are told.

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Has working from home made me frumpy?

Is it just me who finds wearing clothes tiring?!

No, I’m not about to reveal that I’m a secret nudist!

This is about the effort of choosing clothes to wear, putting said clothes on and walking about in them all day.

I saw a mum the other day. She had high heels on, a knee-length patterned skirt and a short jacket. She looked amazing! But as she tottered along, I thought ‘Flip, that looks tiring!’…

Having to be careful how you tread. Walking like a ‘lady’ (unlike me, charging along always late!). Legs rubbing in scratchy tights, a bit sweaty and prickly. Skirt fabric swishing around, riding up, VPL. Jingling bangles…

This mum (and most other people in fact) wear a different outfit every day – different tops, bottoms, shoes, bags… I expect even matching underwear…

Me?

I LIVE in jeans and t-shirts!
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Is healthy eating doing us more harm than good?

Do you worry about how much healthy food you’re eating?

Yes, you read that correctly!

Not bad food, good food!

My relationship with food is far from healthy but as I sat reading yet another magazine article that warned me of the dangers of my tuna pasta salad and skinny latte, I realised that I was feeling stressed about some of the choices I make.

It didn’t then surprise me to read that there’s been a significant rise in a new eating phobia.

A phobia of not eating healthily enough. It’s called orthorexia.

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How did Jesus feel about child loss?

My Bible reading is quite sporadic at the moment, but I have been rereading the gospel of Luke. One morning, I had some time to myself so I picked it up and began to read. It was the time in Jesus’s early ministry when he was healing the sick.

I read about the account of Jesus raising a widow’s son from the dead.

‘Soon afterwards Jesus went to a town called Nain, accompanied by his disciples and a large crowd. Just as he arrived at the gate of the town, a funeral procession was coming out. The dead man was the only son of a woman who was a widow, and a large crowd from the town was with her. When the Lord saw her, his heart was filled with pity for her, and he said to her, “Don’t cry.” Then he walked over and touched the coffin, and the men carrying it stopped. Jesus said, “Young man! Get up, I tell you!” The dead man sat up and began to talk, and Jesus gave him back to his mother.’
(Luke 7: 11-15)

The words ‘his heart was filled with pity for her’ jumped out at me from the page and repeated over and over in my mind. I continued to read but was drawn back to this passage. It was hard to digest any other words.

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Coping with pelvic pain in pregnancy

Huffpost Parents shared a link to this blog post today about the reality of pelvic pain in pregnancy. I wrote my own post when I was heavily pregnant with Grubbalo at the end of 2013 but never got round to posting it. I know many readers have suffered with this common ailment so it might be useful to read my story.

I’m so grateful that I’ve got this far in my pregnancy; that the baby seems to be okay, squirming around in there. But I can’t deny that it’s physically and emotionally demanding. I see lots of women whose bumps seems to be attached to them and other than that they look pretty much the same, can get around the same and it doesn’t seem to slow them down. It’s hard not to envy that when you have pregnancies like mine.

I wouldn’t say I have difficult pregnancies, far from it. I’m very lucky to not have months of sickness or problems which leave me on bed rest or in hospital. I know getting pelvic pain is simply ‘how I am’ when I’m pregnant.

I had this with each of my four pregnancies, getting worse with each one. And despite being physically fitter before this pregnancy than I was with my others, I’m six years older so perhaps that’s a factor?

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School days shortcuts (homemade doesn’t always mean better)

My seven-year-old son (Crackernut) came running out of school this week and told me he needed to go to school dressed as an Iron Age man. Rather a random request – but I then realised it was their term topic (scoff, scoff, I should really be on top of this stuff right?).

Despite being in year three and knowing exactly what day his birthday or half term is, or when the next Wii game is out, he usually has no idea about dates and times – where it doesn’t really interest him. So something that has been told him half an hour before at school is quickly forgotten as he runs ahead home to watch TV. Selective memory!

His school isn’t too bad at giving notice, but this costume could be needed in the next couple of days, so I was relieved that this time they’d put a note in the bag as well as relying on our children to give us the full details. Thankfully, I have a whole week to sort it out (I can tell you’re already envious).

Crackernut said they were told they can’t wear a ready-made bought costume, I expect so the school isn’t forcing people to spend money and is encouraging the children to be creative. Fair enough, but we don’t all have boxes of material at home, and inevitably it’s the parents who have to be the creative ones!

Have you seen an Iron Age outfit? For boys it’s brown and cream or red clothes. Brown trousers and an oversized shirt with a belt, and a cape and boots. Here’s an idea…

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Honestly, do we not care about other people’s feelings anymore?!

In the media, everything is scrutinized: how we look, what we do with our time, what we eat, what we wear. And any significant event has people posting in droves on social media.

The General Election is over. Conservatives won.

And boy, do we know about it!

Social media went crazy with opinion from dawn to dusk on the day the result was announced. The outcome was bound to spark debate, but it seemed that suddenly people found the need, or confidence, to voice their opinions about the result, telling others how they voted (having been silent about their views prior to that), and putting down, either directly or indirectly, other people for their choice.

It was a contrast to the positive vibe the day before (polling day) with people encouraging each other not to waste their vote, and use it! The aftermath felt like a public strop!

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