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Toddler

William is fast approaching turning 3 years old. Fuck me – that’s frightening . He will be 3 in October – what the actual hell.

He is coming along so much at the moment – since probably around Christmas 2018 his speech has really picked up, he can put several words together, okay the pronunciation isn’t great, but the sound and everything is there, and its so so lovely to be able to hear him chatting away to himself or singing Twinkle Twinkle or Wheels on the Bus, it makes my heart burst and sometimes I get a little tear in my eye because I just honestly, this is going to sound dramatic and im sorry if it does, but I honestly was so worried he just would never speak. Since Christmas like I say, he has come on leaps and bounds, nursery are pleased with him and we have had 2 visits from our Health Visitor (which were bloody pointless if I’m honest, but hey ho we’ve had the visits I guess) and everyone who sees him tell me how much he has come on and is just doing so well. he even got a sticker from nursery a couple of weeks back as he told one of the girls there all the colours of the blocks (NO YOURE CRYING). With the speech, a new confidence is also coming with him, and he is so much more outgoing and likely to go off and play rather than needing me there holding his hand all the time . Which also makes me so so proud and happy for him.

I fel so down in the dumps and guilty when we were told he had glue ear. It all clicked in my head and made sense. He was so quiet because he couldn’t hear properly. He couldn’t speak because he couldn’t hear properly. He couldn’t understand the sounds of speech. He didn’t speak or interact at nursery because it was too loud and he couldn’t hear what the girls were asking of him, he was confused, he stopped eating at nursery because it was so loud and busy and he couldn’t hear what people were saying to him. It made me so sad – your childhood is supposed to be so much fun and filled with happiness and it was obvious that William wasn’t experiencing this, and writing this and thinking of that still makes me have a little cry. I just felt so bad for him and that there was nothing I could do to help him and felt sad that he was missing out. Nursery were great though, they make such an effort to do things with him in smaller groups were he can hear clearly, they give him his meals in a smaller setting of around 3/4 children and he is eating so much better, and because they are taking more time with him he is then coming out of his shell and every week they tell me he has done something new or said something new – it makes me feel so happy.

But with all this there have also been hard times, the terrible two’s are a THING. Like. I cant even tell you. He has SUCH a bad temper!! Like, my goodness, I know I have a short temper but frigging Nora, he gets so frustrated and angry so quickly. I do think a lot of it is to do with the whole speech thing – he is still learning and there are obviously times when he will blabber something at me with such conviction, and I literally have no clue what the hell he has just said. And there’s only so many times I can ask him without him getting cross at me for not understanding what he’s just said.

He is so head strong. Honest to god – he is going to be a bloody nightmare! Here’s a list of all the things William loses his shit over:

  • sharing
  • having to have tea
  • having to have lunch
  • not being able to have 3 bowls of cocoa pops
  • not being able to have peanut butter sandwiches for every meal and snack
  • not being able to eat cereal bars at 8pm
  • putting his shoes on
  • not being able to wear wellies
  • wearing wellies
  • having to put a coat on
  • having to take pj’s off
  • having to have a bath
  • having to change his nappy
  • having to go for a wee on a potty because he doesn’t want to wear a nappy
  • having to wear a nappy because he doesn’t want to to use a potty
  • daddy being home
  • daddy saying hello
  • mummy leaving the room
  • mummy having breakfast/lunch/tea
  • mummy having a shit
  • mummy having a wee
  • mummy not carrying him everywhere
  • not being able to play in the street

The list goes on. You can see a pattern here cant you? Basically everything he doesn’t want to fucking do and even the things he does want to do he kicks off about having to do. And the ATTITUDE. He can also be aggressive too, and violent which really does worry me sometimes. He has been particularly hard work this week, he has thrown little chairs at me, took his little folding table apart and threw a leg of that at me, books, shoes (wellies, of course), toys, dummies, nappies, toothbrushes, the list goes on. And if there is nothing for him to throw at me, he will just hit or kick me. It can be so soul destroying, and really hard to manage sometimes. Sometimes I just go outside while William is kicking off, and hide behind the shed just for five minutes to calm down. They really know how to push your buttons don’t they?! And yes, yes, Sheila, before you say anything about how he is just “pushing the boundaries” (fucking boundaries) that really doesn’t help me now does it. Ill just remember that when Will is nipping my neck, or pulling my glasses off my face and slapping me, “Oh no need to worry, its just him TESTING HIS BOUNDARIES”. Fuck off. I couldn’t give a toss if he was the Queen Of Sheba, you don’t go around treating people like that, least of all your mother.

But how the actual F do you discipline a 2.5 year old? Like, he doesn’t understand properly, and he wont sit on a naughty step, so I have to just walk away and leave him to it – it seems to be the only way at the moment and then talk to him when he has calmed down, then he does say “ARRY MUMMY” (Sorry) and we have a hug and a kiss and he seems to understand that better than me shouting back at him or removing him, How can I tell him off for shouting or screaming or being aggressive, and then do the same to him? Talk about confusing.

But all in all, things are good with Will, he still makes me laugh every day and we DO have a really strong bond and I know he does love me really, but I’m not going to lie, some days I count down the seconds until bed time, because it can be INTENSE. And this post was really just to put it out there really, just in case you were in the same position as me and looking at everyone else and thinking “what the hell? why has she got all her shit together” and I’m  here getting beaten up by my kid (slight exaggeration) and eating cheddar biscuits with tszatziki  for tea because that’s all you can be arsed to make – along with of course a wine.

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It’s Been a While

Hello! Its been such a long time AGAIN! I really have been so busy and life is hectic – William is hectic!

Most of you here reading this will follow me on my instagram (@diaryofahullmum) – and will probably have seen a while ago that William has glue ear. We have battled with the Doctors every couple of months in 2018 when Will was having ear infection after ear infection, and we noticed that his speech wasn’t coming on a lot despite his age – he was 2 in October. Plus the fact that nursery had also flagged up that when he was at nursery he was quiet and barely made a noise. He had been referred but we were just waiting for an appointment. It seemed to take forever – I obviously work for the NHS and understand first hand how stretched we are and how scarce appointments are, but still, when it’s YOUR child you want an appointment there and then.

So we were seen and the Doctor confirmed that he had glue ear. I was so relieved I let out a few tears – it was so good to finally know that it wasn’t “just because” or “one of those things” – and that I knew I was right to trust my instincts – but why do some doctors and medical professionals think that you are being an over-protective and hypochondriac mother? Like – mate – I know my own child – I grew him after all and spend EVERY DAY WITH HIM. Give me strength. Anyways – we got there in the end, and we are going back to see the doctor at the ENT department again towards the end of the year, as the Summer can help with glue ear, and as he grows the tubes within his ear will widen, and if they do, even just a fraction, he will hopefully be able to recover naturally from it and not have to have a procedure – which of course if he needed then I would say yes go for it – but he is still only 2 years old, and if we can avoid unnecessary surgery then I will endeavour to do so.

We have also been going through some family issues – I’m not sure if I have mentioned it before but there is some illness on my In-Laws side, and it’s not been great, to be honest. The family member is quite unwell and basically there isn’t much that can be done unfortunately. It has been a rollercoaster of emotions and it has really tested and stretched all involved, but things seem to be coasting along nicely and at the moment seem to be doing okay. It’s just one of those things unfortunately which needs to be taken one day at a time, and we all need to stick together. We also had a family bereavement at the beginning of the year, so yeah, it’s been a tough one and me and Norms have been tested a lot and it’s been a hard slog – not going to lie. And unfortunately it will only continue to be so – but all we can do is stick together and remember not to take things personally if we (I) get snapped at.

SO yeah, it’s been a mental few months, and to be honest Instagram has taken a back seat. I love stalking everyone’s pages, but the things that have happened this year have made me realise that there really are more important things in life to be worrying and putting your energy into – rather than stressing about the amount of likes you get on a picture, if someone finds your stories funny,  your number of followers – it really is just so ridiculous and taking a step back has made me re-evaluate it all, and I must say its ever so refreshing. But- saying that – Instagram is SUCH an escape for me – looking at my feed and seeing all the beautiful places and things people are doing, makes me escape the day to day life for just a few minutes. But also – side note – a lot of what we see is not real – people only want to show the good bits – and of course why shouldn’t they? But always try to remember that, because trust me it is easy to get sucked into this fake “insta-reality” .

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But Why?

Now, I don’t want this to come across as arrogant or like I’m stuck up my own arse, because honestly, I am the LEAST stuck up person you will probably ever meet. But, I just wanted to do a post about how doing this blog and my instagram (@diaryofahullmum) affects me, mentally and personally, and how it makes me feel.

When I started out the blog, I had instgram and I rarely used it. I think it was around 2011-2012 when I installed the app, and I never used to post, maybe the odd “inspirational quote” or a ridiculous photo from a night out that I didn’t want people on Facebook seeing. (actual LOLS that last comment hahaha). I started following bigger accounts around the time I was getting married (2013), and would see that they had SUCH big followings, and shared lots of different aspects of their lives. I did start sharing more, granted nowhere near as much as I do now, but the odd thing here and there. It wasn’t until I fell pregnant with William, that I really started to enjoy Instagram. There were a few of the “big accounts” who were pregnant around the same time as me, and I enjoyed secretly stalking them, seeing if they were going through the same things I was in pregnancies/married life, and I found myself starting to read blogs, written by some of the bigger accounts I followed. When I had William, I would lay awake in the middle of the night while he was crying, or doing bottles at 3.13am and find myself reading these blogs. Sure, lots of them were great and I enjoyed reading them, mainly the topics were food (because why wouldn’t it be – have you seen me? I like to eat) and babies, something which was relevant to my new lifestyle as a first time mother. But the more I read, the more I found myself thinking – ” my god, I am NOT going through the same things as these people, they all have husbands who work 9-5, and I don’t, as you all know mine works away a lot of the time within the week, so I do solo parent quite a lot. I didn’t have anyone to “take the  pressure off” me, well not until a Friday evening or a Saturday morning, whenever it was that he finished work. And everything on these other blogs looked so lovely, the photographs I was seeing were of immaculate tidy homes, with things bought from Barker and Stonehouse or Laura Ashley, freshly cut flowers and babies dressed in all pristine white “The White Company” or “Jojo Maman Bebe” baby grows with not an ounce of sick or bright yellow shit on them. Was I doing something wrong? My house resembled an Aldi Special Buy Aisle after black Friday, and my baby was in mis-matched leggings and vest from Primark and George at Asda, or was given to us by friends so wasn’t white anymore. Where were all the NORMAL people??? So, I decided to write my own blog, mainly to show people (if anyone was going to be interested, I didn’t think so at that point) that it was OKAY to have washing from 7 days ago still on the kitchen table, and your baby to have sick on their baby grow, wilted flowers in the vase, and to be surviving on super noodle sandwiches (don’t knock it ’til you’ve tried it – bacon super noodles and beans in white bread. With cheese. Thank me later. Unless you’re Vegan. In which case I have nothing for you – sorry about that.) I wanted to show people that this was OKAY, and THIS was actually normal, not the bullshit you would see on everyone’s heavily edited feeds.

Its the same with Facebook, like when people check in at the hospital and then when people comment to say “oh no – whats wrong hun?” they reply with “inbox me bbe xo”. People only share what they WANT to share or what they know will get the most attention. Well, I for one am fed up of it. I wanted to see the warts and all, realistic side of parenting. Hell, if I had, it might have prepared me better for what the hell was about to happen after I had pushed this little bright red little baby out of my vagina, instead of expecting this made up reality about how everything is a walk in the park, and everyone is always so happy after the birth of a child, and everything and everyone is followed by singing cherubs and flowers grow everywhere you have stepped foot, and unicorns dance around your kitchen  sterilising bottles and cleaning up for you. It’s all a load of bollocks. Why wasn’t this being shared?

So I started posting to Instagram more, uploading stories when that became available, and writing my blog on the things that I feel I want to speak about, the things I wanted to share and tell MY side of it, rather than looking at everything else which looked like an advert for John Lewis. I must admit, I was SO nervous about posting my blog posts, because I am and always have been a very open book, and I sometimes overshare, im sure if you all follow me on Instgram then you will probably have already gathered this, and I was worried about what people would say. Would they think it was a load of shite? Would anyone even read it? Is my writing really bad? Does it make sense, or am I just babbling a load of codswallop and people are going to be sat there rolling their eyes at their screens? But then I thought to myself, No, Come on, if I myself wanted to read a true and realistic approach to parenting, then surely someone else in this big wide world would want to as well? SO I just thought sod it, and here I am.

Now, I’m not going to lie, my Instagram has gone up by followers a LOT in the last few months, (This is the bit where I don’t want to sound like a tosser and I apologise if it do – I don’t mean it to). I’m currently at nearly 10k (what even is that – oh my goodness me), and I’m not going to lie and say it doesn’t feel good, because of course it does. But not for selfish reasons. I do my Instagram and my stories (that’s generally my preferred method of social media posting – I’m crap at uploading arty-farty cute photos if I’m honest. My photos only got better recently because I got a new phone because the one I had been from when the Pharaoh’s were still around – no joke) because I ENJOY it. I have met so many wonderful people through instagram, some of them I am even lucky enough to call my REAL LIFE friends. I also get to talk to so many other people from different backgrounds from all over the world! Where else can you do that? I LIKE being silly and stupid, ask any of my friends and they will always say “Oh Tara, yeah shes the one who is always cracking jokes, the class clown, etc etc”. It’s just what I DO. I don’t like awkward silences, or confrontation, and in these sort of situations, I laugh, or try make people laugh, and just generally act like a tit. Instagram is the same, I try to make light of things that may be rubbish at the time that are happening, by being silly. It takes my mind off things. It makes ME feel better, it makes me laugh, and therefore whatever stress or shit I may be going through at the time, soon washes away, because, as they say, laughter really is the best medicine. And let’s be honest, after you’ve had a child, all your dignity and self-respect are thrown out the window once a room full of strangers has seen your vagina and seen you poo yourself. (true story)

But aside from how it makes ME feel, more importantly are the messages I receive after I’ve done a stupid video, or done a post/video about how I am struggling with something, usually William-related. The messages of support I receive are unbelievable. I get so so many messages offering a virtual hug, or amazing advice I’d not even thought to try before. It honestly is an amazing community that I am proud to be part of. But not only that, the messages I receive when I’ve posted a story of myself doing some wacko dance in my kitchen, in one of my many dressing gowns, the response is amazing. People message me saying that they are having a particularly tough time, for one reason or another, and they message me to say that they feel better for watching my stories, or that I made them smile after a particularly rough day. THATS what I want to do this for. Because even if I just make ONE person smile, or ONE person feel less isolated, then that is good enough for me. Because I know that I myself could have done with that at one point, and fi I can make someone feel a little more themselves, then that makes me happy. Because, contrary to popular belief, I’m not actually that much of a stone hearted bitch with a resting bitch face. Well, I do have a resting bitch face but what can ya do.

But that doesn’t mean that I don’t worry about putting myself out there. recently, I had an article written about me and another Hull Blogger, and I was worried to absolute sickness about how it would be taken, should I of put myself out there, what happens if I get trolled, etc etc. Why am I even worrying about these sorts of things? Why am I worrying about what other people, who I don’t even KNOW, are thinking about me? Why am I worrying if they are going to write something mean about me somewhere? Why can’t I just be my stupid, bad dancing, ugly Monday, frizzy haired self without wondering if things are going to be “perceived” in a certain way? Online trolling, abuse and bullying is becoming more and more apparent in society now, and it is affecting people from all ages and backgrounds, and it shouldn’t even be a THING for people to be worried about. How sad is it that I have to over think what I am going to say, in case I offend someone, or in case someone thinks I can’t parent, or in case someone thinks I should lose weight. Why should we have to worry about what other people think? I sure as hell don’t walk around the streets covered from head to toe ans whispering in case I offend anyone with my outfit/conversation/way I parent, so why should I do it on my own social media account? I have only been trolled the once, and I’m not going to lie it was absolutely fucking awful. I received a message telling me that I was a disgrace as a mother, that my language in front of my child was inappropriate, I should be ashamed of myself, and that my child would be the one child at school everyone talks about because of me, and nobody would want their kids hanging round with William and it was all because of me. She then went on to say that my Instagram was laughable, and there were places people went to talk about me and slag me off, and that my blog was shit and who the hell did I think I was? I’m not going to lie, it knocked me sick. I cried. I felt like a piece of crap. Was I really a bad mother? Do I swear too much? Does everyone hate me and William? Do people really go online and write nasty things about ME? A working mum from Hull? But then, the moment passed, I realised she was just a troll, and blocked her account and carried on with the rest of my day. But the words she said still stung me, and if I wasn’t comfortable within myself, then the repercussions of that thoughtless message could have been so very different.  Why do people think that these sorts of messages are okay to send to someone? It’s utterly disgusting and I am thankful that for now, that was my only experience of such vile actions. At the end of the day, when you choose to send a message like that, you aren’t seeing the bigger picture. I am, under all this, still a wife, a mother, someone’s daughter, someone’s sister, someone’s granddaughter.

And yes, maybe it “comes with the territory”. But come on. When is it ever okay to send such things, such hurtful things from behind a computer/phone. I wouldn’t go up to Shannon in Tescos and tell her that her hair was awful, her trousers looked shit, she shouldn’t speak to her kids like that, etc etc. So why is it acceptable for us to do this online? Anyway, I have digressed.

So, that’s how I got here. And I’m thankful for all of you guys, friends old and new for keeping me going along the way, and enjoying what im posting and engaging with me! I’m glad I make some of you laugh, and I hope to continue doing so, for as long as you’ll have me.

Food, General, Parenting, Parenting, Personal, Uncategorized

What’s Been Going On?

It’s been a while Again since I have written a blog post, it’s been Christmas and New Year, and then the struggle of getting back into the swing of work/housework/parenting after having a little time off at Xmas is always draining. When is it you should stop eating crackers and cheese and pate and chocolate for every meal..? Asking for a friend that’s all.

So, as usual, Christmas was hectic and stressful, but honestly this year has been the first year that I have ACTUALLY enjoyed Christmas Day from the beginning to the end. We had Norms’ family over in the morning, and then Will had a sleep after playing with his new toys, I prepped Xmas Dinner, then we ate, opened more presents and just played for the rest of the day. It was very relaxed, none of this to-ing and fro-ing which I HATE doing, as awful as it sounds, we always say to people that if they want to see us on Xmas Day, then  they can come to us, as our parents live at complete OPPOSITE ends of the city. We did it for a couple of years Pre-Will, and we weren’t getting in until late afternoon and we were having to please everyone else instead of pleasing ourselves. So we knocked that on the head, and Norms’ family just come and see us because that’s what they like to do.

As some of you may know, I found myself worrying and getting myself so stressed and anxious about Christmas. Would William enjoy it? Would he have enough presents from me and Norms? Will I get good pictures that I should share on social media? Will I need to buy him more presents? Should I of bought Norms more presents? Will the dinner be nice? Will Norms Grandma be out of hospital? “AM I GOING TO PLEASE EVERYBODY ON EARTH AND THERE WILL BE WORLD PEACE??”

I was driving myself crazy, not sleeping, seeing the Instagram stories of people buying their kids all these bloody gifts, several stockings full of presents, their partners expensive watches or designer clothes. And there was me, with a book shelf from eBay  and a stuffed toy duck for William, and a Body Shop gift set and a top from Sports Direct for Norms. I felt so inadequate, and I know, I know, it’s not about the money, but sometimes, let’s be honest, it is. You work all year, and want to spoil the people you love the most. And unfortunately (because 1. I don’t earn a great deal of money and 2. I am shit with money and don’t save up and buy kebabs with it instead. #real) But, the gifts that William received were fine, lets be honest, the kid is 2 years old and hasn’t got a clue about what day it is, I mean he didn’t give a toss about his Xmas dinner. Do you know what he had for his Xmas dinner? Tomato Soup. So festive. And Norms fully understands the circumstance I am in with the whole money situation, but he liked his gifts he received, and to be honest it was just nice to be able to spend some proper quality time together, as his hours are erratic with his job, so we rarely spend proper time together as a family, so just to be able to do that was lovely.

As usual, Christmas comes with a stereotypical family crisis. Norms’ Grandma has been unwell and was in hospital over the festive period so the family was a bit upset about that, and also there are some other things happening with his family at the moment, which I wont go into as it’s not for social media, but things were a bit fraught sometimes. Plus my mum was poorly over the festive period with that horrendous flu bug thing that makes you feel like you’ve got the Bubonic plague and are on death’s door, so we didn’t get chance to see as much family as we usually would over the festive period. But that’s just the way it goes sometimes. We just chilled out, spent time together as a 3, and that was lovely in itself.

I also spent a little less time on my phone over the Christmas season. It wasn’t so much a conscious decision, I just have realised that a lot of the time I have spare at home is often spent with my face in my phone on instagram, and not concentrating on the here and now, and I was missing out on family time, things that were perhaps happening and would maybe not happen again, all for the sake of what? A double tap and a funny 15 second video? Plus, because me and norms don’t see each other a great deal, when we are together I am aware that (as the majority of other couples probably do as well), most of our time is spent with our faces in our mobile devices, when we should be talking and interacting with each other. And to be honest, it was good to get back to basics.

Another thing which has happened recently is William’s speech. He is coming along SO MUCH at the moment. He can say a few little words, and I feel like now I can actually COMMUNICATE with him and he can communicate back to me, don’t get me wrong, there are still PLENTY of times when I just look at him in disbelief and think to myself “what the actual hell is he trying to tell me??”, but the difference just in the last few weeks has been amazing. And because he is speaking a little and can communicate with me, the temper tantrums are becoming gradually less, and I believe it’s because we I can understand him and what he wants and needs. His personality is now starting to come out too, and his nursery have even told me that he is coming out of his shell more and more, and is willing to get involved and play more, which for me as a mum makes me SO happy, knowing that he is going to be there for the day and not be feeling sad or upset or scared, he’s getting stuck in and making friends and it just makes my heart hurt with pride and love.  We also had a health visitor appointment just after the new year, I am going to write a blog post about how it went and how the whole lead up to it made me feel, it didn’t go as badly as I was expecting it to, and afterwards I felt relieved, one because it was over but two because she didn’t say she was concerned about him, so that was also a massive weight off my shoulders.

I have also been receiving a lot of positive feedback from my instagram account, which makes me really happy. I’m not going to lie, when I gain new followers it DOES make me nervous, because I feel like sometimes you are expected to keep up this massive “insta-prescence” , but in reality I am just a normal working mum who just does silly stupid shit on a social media app, and people seem to like it. I will be writing about how it makes me feel personally too, as I feel that it’s probably how many people who use social media probably feel too.

And that’s about it! Nothing exciting really, however I just thought I would check in with you guys and let you know I am still here,  I’m going to try and blog more, but do let me know what sort of stuff you would like to see, I am always open to suggestions and ready for a ramble (understatement on my part).

General, Personal

It’s fine. I’m fine.

It’s been a while since I last wrote a post, and I really have no idea why. Sometimes I guess you get like….a block? And also, stuff happens, life gets in the way too I think.

Recently I’ve been feeling a bit down in the dumps, stressed and worried, not sleeping great and just generally a bit MEH. Which is hilarious, because it’s coming up to “the most wonderful time of the year” (who can say that sentence without singing it to the tune – I can’t). And it’s been my birthday too, which of COURSE is always supposed to be such a joyous and all singing-all dancing time.

The truth is, I’ve been feeling a bit low about a number of things, and I thought, instead of stewing on it, just come here and blabber it all out to you unfortunate lot who happen to read the stuff I put out there. So here I am.

I don’t know why, but whenever it’s like, birthday season, for me, you always expect something AMAZING and MASSIVE to happen, like when you see all these people on social media posting photos of themselves, in a candid pose lying in their bed’s on their birthdays with the room filled with balloons and home-made cards from the kids and a lovely breakfast and flowers on the bed, for some reason we now feel like that’s how birthdays SHOULD be, so when you wake up to just another day, getting ready one handed and trying not to have a mascara wand stuck into your eye while a 2 year old is hanging off you, and your husband hasn’t got you a card to open and you have no home-made card from your little ray of sunshine, you can’t help but feel a little, well, disappointed I suppose.

Which I Know sounds HORRENDOUSLY selfish and so so ungrateful of me. In reality, I don’t actually give a shit that I’m not surrounded by balloons (bloody hate balloons me). And I’m not all about the fuss and the big grand gestures really. I’m happy with a bunch of flowers, a couple of beers and a burger. (honestly, love me a burger.) But for some reason, I build up this big thing in my head based on what EVERYONE ELSE is doing. It’s one of my biggest flaws, I am a very jealous person. I’m jealous of everyone else’s lives as they all seem to be so perfect, and free of problems and the usual day-to-day boring rubbish, it’s all parties, events, well-behaved children and family days out with no limit on expenditure. I’m jealous of other people’s relationships – they seem to be so in love, never argue and always make time for each other. I’m jealous of other people’s children, how they behave as opposed to mine, how “much further on” they seem in their development, basically, I’m always just thinking that I’m either doing something wrong, or that I’m missing out on something.

I know that everyone’s relationships aren’t all peachy keen and like a fairy-tale. I KNOW this. But yet I still compare mine to others. I KNOW that every child is different, and that William will get to where he needs to be whenever he gets there. Yet I still compare him to other children. Why? Why do we do this to ourselves? Because on social media, at the moment, people seem to want to only show the good bits. If you follow me on my Instagram account, you will know that I really do try and keep it as real as possible, and share when I’m having a good time and also when I’m having a not-so good time.

I think Christmas also brings a lot of pressures to us. I know I go on about it all the time, but Norms works away a lot, but he does that in order for us to have nice things and to get the money in. The more he works away = the more dollar he earns. This obviously puts a strain on our relationship, as we don’t get to DO the normal things, like he doesn’t come home at 5pm every day and I get to toddle off for a bath or go paint my nails, he can sometimes be away Monday right through to Saturday lunch time. And yes, I know that others have it worse, for example military families, but it does take it’s toll on us as a family. But, at Christmas what do you need lots of? MONEY. Hence why he does it, and why I try and do whatever overtime is available at work, to earn some extra money. CHRISTMAS is another time that always makes me feel like utter shit, because everyone is posting there homemade fucking chutney’s, and homemade footprint cards, and the halls are decked and the presents are all wrapped in biodegradable brown paper made with unicorn tail hair and costs £6 a roll. “ALL FOR THE GRAM.” Which is great, if you can afford to buy your wrapping paper from Harvey Nick’s then crack on, but sometimes I can’t help but get sucked into the whole thing, thinking I should do it this way, or that way, or buy a certain gift or whatever because it’s what EVERYONE is doing. The reality is, I work 2 and a half days which, lets be honest, doesn’t pay that great and after my wages have gone in, within a week I have around 80 quid left to last me the rest of the month, after all the bills and nursery fees etc have come out. So I really do have to be careful with the pennies. And that’s just the circumstance we are in, but we are happy and healthy, and in reality that’s what is really important. But even though I know this, it’s still hard for me to not compare myself to others. I would love NOTHING MORE than to be able to go out into any shop, even just Sainsbury’s or Asda, and pick up clothes and gifts for myself, William, or anyone and think “yeah, I want to buy that, I am going to buy it.” Because in reality, I can’t do that. I have to SERIOUSLY consider whether I should buy a five pound concealer because if I do, I might not be able to afford to put fuel in the car, or get some Pampers for Will. Like, that’s the reality, I have to be so SO careful. And it hurts a bit when people complain they are skint, right after buying a new car, or spending £200 on their partner for Christmas, or buying a new kitchen appliance just like that, no worries. Like, honey, you literally have no idea.

I’m making a real conscious effort to try not to put so much pressure on myself this year, because it really doesn’t do me any good, I get told off by my friends ALL THE TIME for putting myself down, worrying about things that haven’t even happened yet, or comparing my life and my family to others. I’m often the one in my groups of friends who is there for everyone else, always lending an ear, or letting them peck my head, but quite often I don’t return the favour, and peck their heads back. I moan about it to Norms all the time – how he never talks to me and keeps his feelings to himself and never opens up to me, yet I do the same thing to my bloody friends. Such a hypocrite.

I guess what this post was, was just a way for me to ramble, have a rant, and let off some steam. We’ve got a few things going on within the family at the moment, and sometimes having a RIGHT GOOD MOAN can do you the world of good. So, if you have made it this far, I owe you a favour, because it’s probably made NO sense, but thanks for sticking with it, and I promise I’ll make the next post a bit more upbeat! (*hopes nothing goes wrong from now until then)

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Mess Around East Yorkshire

*We were kindly asked to go to a local Mess Around Sensory play time in return for a blog post – as always all thoughts and opinions are my own*

So, I have probably mentioned it before, but I do sometimes struggle with things to do with William, especially as the days are getting colder and darker and wetter. So when Amy from Mess Around East Yorkshire got in touch and asked us to go and see what their Halloween sensory play activities were like, I of course jumped at the chance.

William is always a bit shy when trying new things. When I pick him up from nursery, they always say he is the last to have a go at the messier play activities, he likes to watch everyone have their go and then when he is sure of what to do, he will then participate. So I was interested to see how he would get on in this new environment, as we have never done anything like this together before. I was also intrigued to see what one of these sorts of activities would be like.

We got to the village hall and it was PACKED. I wasn’t sure if we would get parked! When we got there, I’m not going to lie I was AMAZED at the selection of activities that were there for the kids to play with.

William was unsure at first, but then got stuck into the slime! They had attached a big drain pipe together, with two buckets at either side of it, and provided ladles and big spoons for them to spoon the slime into the drainpipe and watch it slide all the way down. And of course, there were added Halloween themed toys and decorations in the mix too.

There were various other activity trays too, one including a pumpkin with baked beans and rakes for the children to scoop and move around the tray, a tray filled with shaving foam and spiders to look like a spiders web, a tray filled with oats and skeletons and various spoons/pouring equipment, another filled with coloured spaghetti and another filled with multi-coloured rice and cauldrons and other spooky toys. There was also a tray filled with some green sort of sand, I was unsure of what it actually was, and another filled with jelly! Honestly, the selection was incredible and there were so many different things for all ages, from baby to toddler.  There was also a witches cauldron and inflatable toys and balloons. There was also face painting in one corner, by a local company called Fantastic Faces who did an amazing job and loads of the kids ended up with their faces painted. There was music playing the whole time, and in one corner there was a painting area where the kids were free to play with the paint – there were certainly some artists in the building. (Banksy watch out).

William LOVED the slime. He played with it for AGES and laughed every time it slid down the pipe. He loves scooping, mixing and playing kitchens so this was right up his street, he was there mixing it all up and plopping it into the drainpipe. He also really enjoyed the rice, filling the cauldron up and then pouring it all out again, then repeating. He actually poured it on one of the mum’s head (oops – always my child). Mega LOLS for that thanks hun.

He also loved playing with the spaghetti, and was chucking it around, it was EVERYWHERE. It was in his hair, down his top, on my shoes, in my hair, honestly, the simplest things make the best toys! Why is that? He honestly loved it! Wasn’t too sure on the jelly and shaving foam though – which is fine, he hates wet things on his hands, and nags me to wipe his hands if he has even fallen down onto WET GRASS (*insert eye roll here*).

There were such an array of different activities for all ages of children, up to probably 3-4 years old, there were plenty of little babies sat in the middle of the jelly and shaving foam and were having a whale of a time!

Mess Around East Yorkshire also cater for children’s parties, with really reasonable prices and LOADS of different themes, I know there have unicorn themes and also seaside/under the sea themed parties most recently.

If you are local to Hull then I would definitely recommend looking into one of the play sessions near to you I will link the East Yorkshire page here, or also anywhere in the UK, they have lots of areas that are covered within the UK, so if you are stuck for something to do, I will link the main page here and you can go and have a look to see if it’s something that takes your fancy or that you think your child may enjoy.

Thanks again Amy for inviting us, and we will definitely see you at one of your future events!