Matthew

Weary, tired and wandering

wiping away the sleep

reaching out to touch your skin

and holding you near to me.

 

My boy you are the sunshine

in my sometimes darkened world

your eyes are blue and deep and still

housed here within my soul.

 

I’ll be forever grateful

for everything you gave me

for bringing love into my life

in many ways you saved me.

 

A mum is who I’m meant to be

a mum is who I am

you have my heart my little boy

you’re part of a bigger plan.

 

A plan to change the world today

and make them see more clearly

the life and love you have within you

the things I hold so dearly.

 

The way in which you see the world

for all its joy and colour

the music that you love so much

that we share with one another.

 

I’ve said it once i’ll say it more

for giving me this label

for choosing me to be your mum

i’ll be forever grateful.

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How do you do it???

What happens on those down days? How do your drag yourself out of the pits of darkness?

Oftentimes when I’m feeling particularly low and alone in my thoughts, I wonder how other people cope with feeling that way. I have a few little tricks that work for me, and they all pretty much involve getting down on the floor and playing with my son. But I wonder how other people help themselves. Do they have people they can talk to? Do they allow themselves the time to wallow in their deep, sunken thoughts and come out of it in their own time. I wonder.

Writing has definitely been a massive help in my quest for a level head and a happy heart. It has allowed all of the crazy and often irrational thoughts to come out and ultimately be released from my overflowing brain. I don’t always share those thoughts… in fact most of them will remain safely tucked away within the confines of my notebook. But it does help me. Massively in fact.

I also find that immersing myself in a good and thought provoking book is good therapy. This doesn’t have to be any specific genre… just something that speaks to me. Right now I’m enjoying The Life Changing Magic of Tidying. This might be funny to be some people but it’s providing me with the tools I need to remove the clutter from my home as well as my head.

Another book that I reach for is Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur. I can’t recommend this book enough. No matter how I’m feeling, whether that be sad, lonely, overwhelmed… The words written on these pages are so cathartic. Even other worldly.

Music as well. What a wonderful joy it is to have this amazing tool at our disposal. I can simply “ask Alexa” and she will deliver any and every song I need to hear at that moment. You might be interested to hear that my ultimate song at this moment is Stormzy, ‘Blinded By Your Grace’. If you haven’t heard then get yourself over to Spotify and give it a listen! Thank me later!

Anyway, these are just some thoughts I’ve been having on this Monday morning. Carry on.

 


Netflix & Chill

So I’m like most people when it comes to unwinding and relaxing at home. If I don’t have a good book in my hands (which has become less and less an occurrence since the tiny human came along), I’m inclined to load up Netflix and get lost in “TV World”. Why not? Oftentimes “TV World” is better than the real world. There’s no bills to pay in “TV World” (except of course the Netflix subscription), there’s no dirty nappies to change in “TV World” and most importantly, there’s no such thing as falling asleep and missing the rest of your film/ TV show cause you can just re-watch from wherever you left of!

Anyway, I thought I’d share some of my favourites from Netflix, in case you’re lacking in inspiration for what your next ‘binge-watch’ should be.

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This choice may be a no-brainer for most people, but for those of you who haven’t yet discovered ‘The Big Bang Theory’ – YOU ARE MISSING OUT!!! It is an American Sitcom based on a group of genius-level geeks and the women (or lack thereof) in their lives, who befriend a beautiful, albeit ditsy blonde actress-wannabe. It’s funny and clever, with some great characters. There are 10 seasons available on Netflix to watch so binge away!

Californication

This show is quite possibly THE BEST SHOW ON NETFLIX! It follows Hank Moody, the writer, womaniser, drinker, smoker and occasional drug-taker on his path of self-destruction through LA. It is written brilliantly and beautifully. If you’re thinking its going to be David Duchovny à la ‘The X Files’ then you are VERY mistaken… There is absolutely NOTHING ‘Mulder’ about Hank Moody! There are 7 seasons available for your viewing pleasure, oh and be prepared for lots of swearing, sex and general bad behaviour!

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So if you’re not British or you are and you’ve been living under a rock somewhere you will not know of the genius that is ‘Gavin & Stacey’. Written by James Corden (The Late Late Show host) and Ruth Jones (who can be seen pictured at the far left and far right of the picture), it is the story of Gavin and Stacey (the couple in the middle) who after months of chatting on the phone, finally meet and fall in love. Their relationship turns the lives of their friends and families upside down and inside out and it is absolutely HILARIOUS! There are 2 seasons available on Netflix. Do yourself a favour and whack this onto your watch list – you won’t be sorry.

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Now, if you’re not Scottish then you will most likely never have heard of this show before. It is a comedy following the lives of Jack & Victor from Craiglang (a fictional town in central Scotland). The comedy duo are pensioners (not really) living their day-to-day lives with their friends in the local community and spend the majority of their time in their local pub the Clansman. It’s a brilliantly funny script, with brilliantly funny actors executing their lines with the most satirical, comedic value you would want in a TV show. You might struggle with the accents at first but persevere… It’ll be worth it. You can enjoy 6 seasons of this little gem on Netflix.

So there you have it… 4 fantastic shows to get your teeth into. Just do yourself a favour… Get comfy, make sure you have a snack and a beverage, and enjoy!!!


The Importance of Positivity

The aim of this is not to be preachy or to proclaim that this is how I live my life. It is definitely not. I am what you’d call a “glass is half-empty” kind of gal – but in the most constructive of ways. I’m not a ‘Debbie Downer’ or an overly negative person, but I definitely see myself as being realistic in terms of what I consider to be the outcome of certain situations.

It’s only recently, since I’ve started to work on myself and my “self-care” that I’ve realised, this might not be the best way to look at life, and here’s why.

Not allowing yourself that inner hope and excitement for what may come, is just plain cruel. Yes, its good to be realistic as then your less likely to be disappointed, but letting yourself think that the impossible is sometimes “possible” isn’t a bad thing. It builds confidence. It tells your inner self that “you know what, you can do this… you are worthy of this”.

Just some thoughts I’ve been having recently that I wanted to share. I hope that anybody reading this, if you’re like me and always trying to be level headed and not get carried away, that you cut yourself some slack. Let that dream you have, seem even a little bit more possible. It might encourage you to work a little harder to achieve it, and more importantly it will let you believe that you are worthy of achieving it.


Sensory Triggers

When it comes to Autism and all things “spectrum” related, I have found that no two individuals are the same. There are similarities, but that’s as far as it goes. However, I thought that by sharing our experience of the things that seem to trigger Matthews meltdowns, that maybe it would be helpful to parents/ carers who are going through the same thing at the minute and don’t have an explanation for why there little one is acting out.

There is a big difference between a tantrum and a “sensory” related meltdown, and this is quite possibly one of the biggest misconceptions about children on the Autism Spectrum. Many people believe that their reactions are merely due to behavioural issues, and that discipline or lack thereof is the issue. However, parents or carers of “sensory” children will know the difference between a simple tantrum because there little one can’t get there own way, and a full on “sensory” meltdown that makes their child both mentally and physically uncomfortable.

Before I go any further, I want to reiterate that these particular triggers may not apply to you or your child. Each person reacts differently to different sights, sounds and smells. These are just the ones that we have experience with.

  • Strong smells

It isn’t one smell in particular but we have found that especially at feeding time, if Matthew can smell the food he is being served, he will point blank refuse to eat it. Things such as fresh fish (despite him enjoying fish fingers) and eggs. Just having these foods within eye view upsets him, because of the strong smell they give off.

  • Loud noises

There are certain noises that bother him more than others, but generally speaking this is a big trigger. Particularly the hoover or the hairdryer. He also gets very distressed in a loud social environment, unless he has a distraction such as a toy or is being held tightly by my husband or I. He is a lover of music, but gets very overwhelmed if it is extremely loud. He usually indicates that this is bothering him by holding his hands over his ears.

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  • Certain music

As well as being frightened by loud music, Matthew also has some particular songs/ pieces of music that upset him incredibly. These may seem like silly little things to someone else, but they aggravate him beyond measure. So much so that these are the worst kind of meltdowns he currently exhibits.

  • Tastes/ Textures

I put these together because they seem to go hand-in-hand with Matthew. If I give him something to hold that has a strange or abnormal texture to him, it’s as if he can taste it in his mouth. He grimaces and gags at the feel of it. This is the exact same reaction he has when he tastes food that he doesn’t enjoy. It’s a very physical reaction, where his body is almost not entirely in control of its reaction.

I hope that this has been useful for anybody who is going through the diagnosis process at the minute. There is a lot of information thrown at you when you first suspect your child may have “sensory” issues and it can get a bit overwhelming. Please feel free to have a look at my previous posts regarding our journey so far…

Having A Toddler With Sensory Issues

Planning A Party For A Sensory Challenged Child

Entertaining A Sensory Challenged Toddler

Our Sensory Red Flags

Sites/ People To Follow Regarding Autism/ Sensory Issues


Telling It Like It Is

Sitting down at my desk to write this post, and I’m not entirely sure as to how much I’m going to share. I don’t want it to be one of those “woe me” posts but I also don’t want it to be a ridiculously happy and fake one either.

So I’ll just take a swing at it and hope that it all comes out making some kind of sense.

I’ve been an over-emotional person my entire life.

This is no surprise to my friends and family at all, in fact it’s old news.

So when I fell pregnant with my son, I felt every ounce of hormone changes in every possible way. It was a whirlwind of mood swings, over-bearing love and eventually anger at my body for what happened.

It was obviously heightened considerably during my sons hospital stay and it’s had its peaks and troughs throughout this last 2 years.

It’s something that I’ve always dealt with myself and never thought about getting help with. However, known only to close friends and family, it all came to a head a few months ago.

I’ve never been able to control it, but I’ve always found that I’ve been able to cope. This changed when my sons “Autism” symptoms became more and more apparent. I found that instead of crying a couple of times a day at random adverts or songs I’d listen to, that I was flying off the handle and getting aggressively angry at the tiniest of things. I’d be filled with so much anxiety that I didn’t want to leave the house. I felt like everyone was looking at me, judging me… thinking the worst of me. On the rare occasions I did venture out I’d have panic attacks, and if I was without my husband and son it would be even worse. I wouldn’t go so far as to say my thoughts were venturing towards anything dark or that I was a danger to myself, but there were certainly moments where I thought somebody else would do a better job with my son than I could. I felt worthless.

So I got help.

It wasn’t easy to ask for it, but it was necessary and fortunately my doctor was brilliant.

He diagnosed me with Anxiety Disorder and PTSD (this in particular was a result of life in the NICU). He prescribed a small dose of anti-anxiety medication for me and after several months I can say for sure that it has made a world of difference.

I feel much more level headed about life in general and feel like I am capable of facing any problems we have full on and without fear.

This doesn’t mean I’m “cured“. Not at all. In fact, this last fortnight has been a real struggle, but I’m always hopeful that tomorrow will be better.

I’m sharing this because I’ve done my research. Mental Health, even in 2018, is still such a taboo subject. Being told you just have to “get on with it” is such an ignorant and old fashioned way of thinking. We are all built differently, and what works for some doesn’t necessarily work for others.

Being a mum is the most wonderful and rewarding aspect of my life. I mean it wholeheartedly. But it’s hard.

I only have my son to base this on, but he is 100 miles an hour, every waking moment of the day. The only reason I’m able to write this is because he’s playing in his playpen – and by playing I mean he’s throwing all of his toys out of it onto the floor and screaming at me to give them back so he can do it again. Peppa Pig is both a life-saver and a curse. I hate her because she is obnoxious beyond reason, but she gives me half an hour of rest-bite throughout the day to get things done, so she can stay. He hates his playpen with a passion, but if I need it otherwise my trips to the toilet would result in the utter destruction of every precious and breakable item in my home.

I’m not the perfect mum, not by any measure. I have flaws and I struggle like everyone else, but I think it’s about time we were able to admit it without all of the judgement and calls for public flogging.

Just some thoughts I had on this dreary morning. I’m now away to lift my screaming child out of his playpen and watch him in awe while he tears my livingroom apart in 30 seconds.


My Valentines Day Wishlist

So before all of you hopeless romantics get excited and ready for the typical romantic, PDA filled post regarding that good old holiday we call Valentines Day, don’t get your hopes up.  This is my idea of how this special day would play out if I had my way…

MORNING


The Dream: After having a long lie my hubby will bring me breakfast in bed – pancakes with bacon and maple syrup is my preference. Orange juice on the side and the remote control to watch some Netflix while I eat.

The Reality: My hubby is at work so there will be no breakfast in bed, and instead of being awoken gently with the delicious smell of bacon and buttery syrup, it will be the smell of my toddlers very pungent poo drifting through the hall and into my bedroom that wakes me from my slumber.


The Dream: After devouring my delicious breakfast I have the time to jump in a shower and sing along to my Spotify Playlist, while indulging in my most expensive bath products and skincare. Even having the time to style my hair and put my makeup on, while my husband looks after the tiny human.

The Reality: Grab the tiny human, and head downstairs wearing the only clothes i could find in the pile of dirty ones on the floor. Dried in toddler snot and milk splattered clothing is all the rage right now, is it not???

AFTERNOON


The Dream: The house is gleaming from top to bottom and there are vases filled with the most beautiful red roses you’ve ever seen dotted all around the livingroom.

The Reality: The house is still a mess from the night before when I just couldn’t muster the strength to tidy up before I dragged my weary backside to bed. The tiny human is now only adding to aforementioned mess by throwing his toast aggressively across the livingroom because he actually wants chocolate for breakfast.

EVENING


The Dream: The day passes by beautifully and come 6pm the hubby presents me with the most delicious home-cooked meal and a sweet wine to accompany it. The tiny human plays happily in his playpen having already had his dinner. The 3-course delight that my husband cooks is topped off with a glass of Pink Gin and Lemonade while he puts the tiny human to bed. The rest of the evening is filled with more Gin and Keeping Up With The Kardashians, without a single moan from the hubby.

The Reality: The day drags in and the tiny human has pressed all of my buttons, and destroyed the entire ground floor of my house. I have lost count of the amount of times i’ve tidied the livingroom and it now stinks of the 4 poo filled nappies he’s so proudly presented to me over the course of the day. The hubby comes home at 6pm and after snapping at him because I’m so tired, he decides to make dinner (toast and beans) while I feed the tiny human and get him ready for bed. After trying for 2 hours to get him down to sleep I finally settle down on the couch only to find its Champions League night and the football is on. I drink half a bottle of Gin, three quarters of a box of Milk Tray (who am I kidding, it’s the entire box) and go to bed.

Happy Valentines Day lovelies! ❤️