10 Blogging Tips To Stay Motivated

I’ve put together 10 blogging tips to stay motivated. We all get a little stuck at times and it can be so hard to keep yourself motivated. Remember everything you need to do on the blog can be stressful. With products to review, personal posts, keeping up with social media plus the real world getting in the way it’s easy to lose track.

I am always complaining that I am slacking so I decided to try and keep myself motivated and last week it most definitely worked, I managed to post on 6 out of 7 days! 6!!! I usually struggle to get 3 done! So what changed? How did I manage it?

10 blogging tips to stay motivated

  1. Post it notes – Yes, that’s right those simple little pads of paper you can stick anywhere & everywhere! I have always loved post it notes and I have a few that have lines on for lists. I’ve been using these to note down all my account links, special days coming up (WMHAW17 etc.) as well as my weekly stats for each platform.

    Post it notes

  2. Weekly Planners – It can be difficult to remember which products you’ve agreed to schedule for which days and trawling through emails can take hours. To save time & keep me on track I use these awesome weekly planners, which you can pick up in most pound shops, to jot down which posts need editing, scheduling, pictures uploaded & of course sharing across social media. This in itself has kept me on top much more than before!
    weekly planner
  3. Notebooks – I love stationary, purple pens & notebooks make me way happier than they probably should but having a few notebooks handy has helped me jot down some ideas to go back to later. The Mr bought me a few different sized purple ones so now I have them EVERYWHERE!
  4. Set goals – We all set goals but how many of us keep to them or actively work towards them? Jotting down my stats each week lets me see which platforms I need to spend time on. I generally go up in 10’s, 50’s, 100’s then 1k for each goal. Seeing the difference each week helps me work out what I need to do more or less of on the blog & social media.
  5. Read other blogs – When I find myself stuck for something to write I often head to Stumble upon. I spend an hour or so flicking through a billion posts. Although it doesn’t always happen it usually gives me an idea of something to write about. Even finding new crochet stitches can be useful as I can write about them as I learn them.
  6. Take a break, Go for a walk – Ever sit at your desk and feel like your head is going to explode & you just can’t think? Take a break & do something else, maybe go for a walk. Sometimes we waste too much time stressing about what we need to do. Stepping away gives you a chance to think without feeling pressured to do so. Sometimes just going for a walk can give you ideas. Take your phone/camera too as you never know what you will come across.
  7. Chat to other bloggers – Sometimes running ideas past another blogger can be so helpful! General chats can lead to ideas for posts. Tracey from Hooks & Dragons recently struggled to remember which WordPress plugins she needed to use after buying her domain. I realised it’s something I had no clue about when I began. Sharing My Top 10 WordPress Plugins I helped Tracey & other bloggers find useful plugins they didn’t know about.
  8. Chat to friends & family – Whilst they might not know about or understand blogging sometimes the best ideas can come from those around you. A lot of my ideas come from talking to the Mr, the girls, my brother & friends like Mike (Slim to me) from Keep it Mike who I introduced to blogging before he went off on his travels last year.
  9. Clean workspace – Having a clean workspace can make the world of difference! If your desk is cluttered your mind probably feel’s that way too. If you can’t find paperwork or samples you need because they are buried it can get pretty stressful. I keep clearing my desk as I find if it’s cluttered I tend not to sit & do much at all. If it’s clear I enjoy sitting at my desk & get so much more done.. even with my granny squares taking up some space haha!

    clean workspace

  10. Use time saving apps – IFTTT is an absolutely amazing app Martyn from Inside Martyn’s thoughts passed on to me. It allows you to link social media accounts. Say I share a picture via Instagram, I have it linked so that it then shares to my Facebook & twitter too. I use Buffer too to schedule tweets/posts across the day. This frees up time leaving me free to write or chat with others on social media.

What do you think of my 10 blogging tips? Do you have any tips for keeping motivated?

My Sunday Photo – Purple Angel Flowers

This week for #mysundayphoto I’m sharing 3 of my favourite shot’s of these purple angel flowers the Mr has taken this week. I took a similar photo which I shared on my Instagram & people pointed out how it looked like a purple angel! I love these different shot’s of the stunning ‘purple angels’ and how they seem to bleed into the white, some with small splashes of purple around the edges too.

Purple Angel flowers.. aren’t they pretty!?

#mysundayphoto

 

Purple angel flowers

 

purple and white flowers

I want an entire garden full of these when we finally escape the hell that is living in a high rise! They are so pretty & interesting to look at too.

Do you think they look like purple angels or something else?

 

Photalife

Living In A High Rise With Anxiety & Chronic Pain

Living in a high rise can be hell for me! My regular readers will know quite a bit about my anxiety & chronic pain and those that read my #worldmentalhealthawarenessweek post will know a fair bit more about my mental health. Living in a high rise flat makes all of this much more difficult. When I’m having a bad day it isn’t a case of just opening the door & stepping out into the sunshine. Being 11 floors up makes it feel like a full blown mission just to get out of the building. Sometimes it leaves me feeling so trapped I lock myself away for days at a time just to avoid the going out & coming in the block.

I definitely spend more time worrying about going out now than I did when we were in a house. Living in a high rise means you WILL bump into people on your way in and out which stresses me out, especially on bad days. I’m not a people person, I can’t do small talk, I feel awkward and panic about how I look & sound. Knowing I live in a block with some extremely violent neighbours including the guy above us (who attacked the Mr back in March) can make me panic.

The worst part about living with anxiety & chronic pain on the 11th floor is when there are issues with the lifts. If they go out of service I am either stuck upstairs or downstairs or have to push myself through the pain which generally leaves me struggling for DAYS! Our lifts go out of service quite regularly even though they were ‘replaced’ last year.

On Wednesday, after over 12 hours of hearing one lift screeching up and down and people screaming, banging and ringing the bell getting stuck in the other lift the Mr got stuck for 10 minutes. Eventually he got up to the 14th floor & the doors opened, the Mr instantly called the council to try and get them fixed.

I tried to go out an hour or 2 later and found the lifts just wouldn’t open at all so I had to brave going down the stairs with Izzy. Going down isn’t so bad but with a 2 year old sliding down the concrete steps for 11 floors my back was agony by the time we got downstairs. Relieved to have at least got out we wandered off to town and the lifts seemed to be working when we got back.

We ended up stuck for 5 minutes but we were luckily let out again at the 14th floor and the Mr ran up to meet us and help Izzy as she was a little panicked. Fuming the lifts were still in service and trapping people the Mr went off to hunt down the caretakers to try and get the issue resolved. My anxiety was quite bad at this point and I kept going very dizzy. Trying to remember my calm breathing from CBT I slowly managed to calm myself down.

I’d agreed to do the afternoon school run as the Mr needed to wash his jeans (he’s a nightmare and ruins them instantly) so I started worrying about that too. We left quite early so Izzy could try walking to the school & back for the first time, roughly a mile each way. It’s a good job we did as the lifts were still not working. Again we had to go downstairs & I was dreading coming back.

After a lovely walk to the school & back we stopped a caretaker on our way home to check what was going on. He rang through to the council for me and told me the engineers had fixed it in the time we had been gone. When we got to our block though 2 other caretakers were stood at the bottom with a lift open but dropped a good few inches. They told us it should be fine but there may be a step.

Panicking I asked if they were sure & even joked if we got stuck I’d blame them. The lift stated to move ok, no noises until we got to around the 7th floor where the lift stated banging and jumping/dropping. We had another lady and her teenage son in the lift with us & we were all trying our best not to freak out, especially as I had both girls with me. With the lift doors refusing to open and the lift dropping along with ‘Doors opening, door’s closing’ repeating over and over I had to seriously work on controlling my breathing.

The girls were getting quite upset at this point so I tried to calm them down by giving them juice as the lift was getting extremely warm. Suddenly we heard the Mr’s voice asking if we were ok and what was going on. I managed to shakily shout back that we were ok and explain what was going on. We didn’t realise at this point but the 2 caretakers had come up in the lift beside us and had got stuck too. They managed to get out & the Mr asked them to call the fire brigade which they apparently aren’t allowed to do if people are stuck in the lifts!?

The Mr rung the fire brigade instead, he’s not one to hang around when something needs doing & explained there were young children in the lift and people with anxiety. I was sat with the girls at the back of the lift, both of them crying because they were scared. I honestly just wanted to scream myself but I knew I had to keep calm for the girls so I kept them talking instead. ‘That’s daddy, he’s the other side of the doors, it’s ok. You know daddy will fix it, daddy fixes everything’ I told them. Izzy bless her said ‘Just like he always fixes things’. That seemed to calm them down slightly.

Whilst waiting for the fire brigade the Mr kept trying to call the lift to different floors to see if the doors would open at some point. Each time it got stuck I told the other people to ring the alarm so they knew the lift had stopped again. We went up to the 14th but nothing happened, we went back down floor by floor with the lift still jumping & banging as it went. The doors finally opened when we reached the 7th floor with the lift dropped down a good few inches and we all got out as quickly as we could.

As soon as we were out we headed for the stairwell & made our way back up to our floor. I was visibly struggling & the caretaker suggested I stop & sit down but I explained I have chronic pain as well as anxiety so needed to keep going before my legs gave in. Living on the 11th floor of a high rise is not fun! I needed to get us all indoors so I could calm down as the pain was making me shake & struggle to breath along with my heart & head racing like mad. The Mr came looking for us and met us at the 9th floor & took over helping the girls up which was a huge relief.

We got through the door & all collapsed on the sofa, except the Mr. The fire brigade had arrived a minute after the doors opened so the Mr ran down to let the firefighters know what had happened. They agreed the lifts needed turning off until an engineer had been out again like the Mr had been asking the caretakers to do all day. Finally they were shut down & it seems an engineer came out in the early evening as one lift now works but the other is out of service.

I’m extremely nervous about going out again now, more so than before. Living in a high rise is so damn stressful for such a range of reasons. I can’t deal with the pain throughout my body after so many flights of stairs in one day as well as walking. I’ve taken all the meds I can safely take and it’s barely even taken the edge off.  The girl’s are still a bit shaken up & Eva was so worried leaving for school this morning too. I hate living in a high rise with chronic pain & anxiety, things like this just add to it and make me panic and worry more.

The most terrifying part was finding out the alarm isn’t connected to ANYTHING. It simply rings & your best hope is someone will hear it and try to call the lift to get it working again. How can I calmly step into the lift knowing if I get stuck it could be ages before someone hears? We were lucky the caretakers had known & the Mr had been watching for us to come in the block knowing the lifts were playing up & then kept an eye on them. My head keeps going over the what ifs even though I am trying to block them out. We got out safely, we are fine… But what if it happens again?

Do you live in a high rise? Do you struggle with it too?

 

 

 

Rainbow Rabbit Puzzle Review

I received an adorable Hape’s George Luck’s Rainbow Rabbit Puzzle, suitable for 3+ from Debenhams to review with Izzy. Wooden toys are always a favourite for us, the quality can’t be beaten! This colourful wooden puzzle is made using eco-friendly water based paints too.

Rainbow Rabbit Puzzle

Rainbow Rabbit Puzzle

I showed Izzy the puzzle and she excitedly took it from me and tipped the pieces onto the floor. Looking at the picture on the back of the box Izzy quickly pieced the puzzle back together again. We have a few wooden puzzles but the rainbow rabbit puzzle is different as the pieces fit together instead of separately.

This gorgeous 7 piece wooden puzzle makes up an adorable rainbow mama rabbit and baby rabbit. The design is so cute even Izzy aww’d when it was complete again. The rainbow rabbit puzzle kept Izzy busy for quite some time. After a day or so the box was no longer needed as Izzy had remembered where the pieces go.
Izzy playing with Hape's George Luck rainbow rabbit puzzle

 

Wooden puzzles are one of Izzy’s favourite thing’s to play with. Puzzles help toddlers with hand-eye coordination and problem solving skills, two important factors in child development. You can also use the puzzle to help teach your toddler their colours & count to 7 as they piece the puzzle together.

This puzzle is great fun for any toddler and would make a brilliant gift or addition to the toy collection. Izzy keeps going back to play with the puzzle and I’m sure it will stay a favourite for quite some time.

Do you love wooden puzzles too? What do you think of the Rainbow Rabbit puzzle? Would your little one love it too?

 

 

 

DIY Daddy Blog

Nuu Addition Baby Gift Sets

Nuu Addition offer a range of Baby gift sets with free UK delivery. From outfits to wicker baskets to Mother & Baby gift sets there is something for everyone with a range of budgets too. Whether it’s a gift for a friend or a treat for your new arrival it’s easy to find the perfect gift.

Baby Gift Sets

Nuu Addition Baby Gift Sets

 

Gift Sets

A Simple 5 piece Layette Gift set costs £19.99 available in Blue, Pink & Yellow.  Each set contains:Neutral Gift Set

  • Sleep Suit
  • New born hat
  • Booties
  • Baby Blanket
  • Silk hanger

 

 A Unisex Hamper for £139.99 contains: Unisex hamper

  • White Wicker  Pod Basket,super soft mattress size, 74cm x 28cm accompanied with a blanket
  • Cream baby Shawl
  • 2 x White Hooded baby towels
  • Bodysuit
  • Short Sleeve newborn Bodysuit
  • Printed baby Hat
  • Pair of newborn Mittens
  • Bib with a Bear Embroidered on the front

 

A Neutral Baby Gift Box for £130 contains:Neutral Gift Box

  • 2x White Hooded baby towels
  • Long newborn Bodysuit
  • Short Sleeve Printed Bodysuit
  • Printed newborn Hat
  • Pair of Mittens
  • Bib
  • 3x White Soft Face Flannels
  • Yellow Sleeping baby Suit, 100% cotton
  • Printed Hat
  • Pair of Embroidered Booties
  • Printed baby Blanket
  • Silk Hanger
  • Beige baby Bodysuit with the words Be Happy on the front
  • Unisex Deluxe Padded Changing Mat
  • 2x Baby Bottles 125ml
  • Pack of Premium Protection baby Nappies 4-11 lbs
  • Jar of Nappy Cream 250g
  • Box of 200 Fragrance Nappy Bags
  • Pack of 80 baby Wipes
  • 2x White Soothers

Nuu Addition also offer Starter Sets for girls & boys containing: Starter Set

  • Hooded baby towel
  • White Shawl sewn with a silk bow on both side
  • Sleeping Suit,
  • Printed newborn Hat
  • Pair of Embroidered Booties
  • Printed baby Blanket
  • Silk Hanger
  • 3x multicoloured Soft Face Flannels
  • 3x Vests in various designs
  • 7x Bibs, Days of the week printed on each one
  • Deluxe Padded Changing Mat
  • Pack of Premium Protection baby Nappies 4-11 lbs
  • Jar of Nappy Cream 60g
  • Box of 200 Fragrance Nappy Bags
  • Pack of 80 baby Wipes
  • 2x White Soothers

What do you think of these Nuu Addition baby gift sets?

*This is a sponsored post.

 

Good Bubble Natural Bath Products For Children

We received a set of Good Bubble Dexter Dragon fruit natural bath products to try out with the girls at bath time.

Good Bubble Natural Bath Products for Children

 

Who are they?

Good Bubble provide a natural range of bath and haircare products for children. With a range of colourful characters and exotic scents which are allergen-free it’s no surprise these products were backed by Deborah Meaden on Dragons Den in August 2015!

What’s in it?

Good Bubble products contain at least 98% naturally derived ingredients to clean skin & hair without stripping natural moisture from children’s young & sensitive skin. All Good Bubble products are free-from artificial colours, Sulphates, Parabens, Phthalates & PEG.

All products proudly feature the Leaping Bunny logo, celebrating Good Bubble’s recent certification by Cruelty Free International. Rigorously tested and approved by mums, their little ones, dermatologists and ophthalmologists, the bottles are recyclable and the range is also certified by The Vegan Society.

Our verdict

The bubble bath creates plenty of bubbles to keep the girls happy! Having used this set for a week or so now it’s definitely made a difference. Myself & the girls have eczema, Izzy more than Eva but we had absolutely no problems at all.

They both came out of the bath smelling lovely with soft skin. We will be continuing to use this as it seems to be improving the dry skin on Izzy’s arms. We’ve had no eczema flares at all after bath time thanks to the natural ingredients in these bath & hair products. If your child has sensitive skin like ours do, I would definitely recommend the Good Bubble range.

Good Bubble Ranges

There are two ranges of Good Bubble Products; Dexter Dragon Fruit & Clara Cloudberry. The girls received a bottle of Bubble Bath, Shampoo & Conditioner in the Dexter Dragon Fruit Range.

Both Dragon Fruit & Cloudberry are currently available in:

·     Super Bubbly Bubble Bath (400ml) RRP £3.99

·     Clean as a Bean Shampoo (250ml) RRP £3.69 

·     Smoothy Softy Conditioner (250ml) RRP £3.69

·     Bish, Bash, Bosh! Hair & Body Wash (400ml) RRP £3.69 

·     Gift Sets with a Dexter Dragon Fruit or Clara Cloudberry Bubble Bath (400ml) and luxurious bath mitt RRP £8.00

·     Dexter and Clara bath mitts are also available separately for £3.39

Dexter Dragon Fruit range

Chinese folklore has it that Dragon Fruit was created thousands of years ago by a fire-breathing dragon! Be it Chinese legend or Chinese whispers, Dragon Fruit is still packed with moisturising properties and anti-oxidants to nourish young hair and skin and protect against free radicals.

Where to buy

These products are available in Sainsbury’s, GoodBubble.co.uk & Holland & Barratt, find more retailers at Goodbubble.co.uk

*I received these products in exchange for an honest review.

Tots Up Red Bus Reward Chart

The Tots Up Reward Chart

We were sent a Tots Up Red Bus Reward Chart to review. The Tots Up Reward Chart is a 3D Magnetic Red Bus with 10 people included to reward good behaviour. Izzy absolutely loves red buses which you may have noticed in a recent #MySundayPhoto so I had quite high hopes for the Tots Up Reward Chart. The chat also works with an IOS spp. I’m not a IOS user but there will be an android version being released sometime soon.

Tots Up Red Bus Reward Chart

Inside the box

The chart arrived including a magnetic board bus with a stand for the passengers to board and a magnetic board bus stop with stand for the passengers to ‘wait’ on before boarding the bus. A leaflet is included explaining how to set the chart up and how to use it. There are also letter stickers to spell out your child’s name on the bus. Izzy surprisingly decided she wanted her full name – Isobella on the bus so we got to work spelling it out with her.

Tots Up Red Bus Rewards Chart Contents

Using The Red Bus Reward Chart

We explained to Izzy what the chart was for and how to use it. Reward charts tend to work best when the child understands how they can earn a chance to add a passenger to their bus. With Izzy we decided she could add a person to her us each time she did some of the following:

  • Putting away her toys
  • Eating her food nicely
  • Walking nicely to/from school/town when she chooses to go
  • Putting her rubbish in the bin
  • Sharing & playing nicely with her sister
  • General good/helpful behaviour

We have also agreed she can pick her special treat each time she has 10 passengers on her bus.

 Bus Stop

So Far, So Good

The Red bus reward chart has worked really well with Izzy so far. She is really enjoying trying to find new ways to earn a chance to add another person to her bus. After Eva’s birthday Izzy was a little jealous and was a bit mean so the reward chart really helped encourage her to be nicer.

At £22.95 for this set it is well worth every penny. We will definitely be buying the 10 festive characters pack & 10 Animals pack so Izzy can swap between them on her reward chart. The Tots Up Bus Reward chart is also available in pink.

Izzy absolutely loves her reward chart and her behaviour has been much better in general since we started using it. I can see us using the reward chart for quite some time as it makes behaving much more fun. I’ll be keeping an eye out for the launch of the android app too!

Red Bus Reward Chart & Bus stop

What do you think of the Tots Up Red Bus Reward Chart? Do you use a reward chart with your little ones? How well have they got on with it?

 

 

 

 

My Sunday Photo – Eva’s 7th Birthday

It was Eva’s 7th Birthday on Wednesday so this week I’m joining in with #MySundayPhoto and sharing 3 of my favourite pictures from Eva’s birthday.

Eva’s 7th Birthday

Eva's 7th birthday

You can’t go to school on your birthday without a huge badge to let everyone know it’s your birthday! (And rip a hole in your school top doing so 😉 haha) She was so happy to get a pink fidget spinner for her birthday too and I love the smile on her face in this picture.

Eva's 7th birthday cake

Eva had a lovely day and had friends & family over to share her cake with her. This lovely big cupcake had plenty of colourful icing, sugary stars and a surprise middle too! Topped off with a No.7 candle & sparkler!

Eva sized Pinkie pie balloon

Her Uncle Slim bought her a huge Pinkie Pie balloon which has literally made her year! I love this picture of her cuddling Pinkie Pie, My little pony is one of Eva’s favourite things along with Shopkins!

What have you shared this week?

 

 

Photalife

#WorldMentalHealthAwarenessWeek – Opening Up

#WorldMentalHealthAwarenessWeek

It’s that time of the year again, #WorldMentalHealthAwarenessWeek!

I decided to join in by opening up a bit more & sharing some resources too. My mental health is far from fantastic and I suffer from Anxiety & Depression. I recently started CBT to help me with this. In doing so I have discovered my problems are much more than Anxiety and depression. I panic over the smallest things, I have nightmares and flashbacks, constantly feel guilty for EVERYTHING and after my most recent CBT session I’m pretty sure I have PTSD too. I’ve highlighted a few issues and things I can do to help my mental health which may helps others too. *May contain triggers

Guilt

Along with chronic pain having a big effect on my mental health it turns out my childhood has had more of an effect than I realised. Discussing my issues with my therapist has made me realise so much that went on when I was growing up was wrong. I always tried to protect my ‘mother’ growing up. Knowing she’d had a rough childhood herself and moved down south to get away from it all, knowing my ‘father’ had beaten her, knowing she fought regularly with my brother’s dad and knowing she had mental health issues herself I always tried to defend her.

I always felt guilty somehow, my brother being in care felt like my fault, her struggling felt like my fault, her losing her temper felt like my fault. Surely I must have done something wrong to deserve it all? I’m starting to realise it wasn’t my fault how I was treated but I know it’s going to take a long time to get out of this way of thinking.

Shame

Explaining to other’s what that went on can be difficult, most of the time I’m convinced I won’t be believed. I mean come on! Seriously, who in their right mind lets their children know they are into BDSM. Who show’s off their ‘toy’s’ (whips, canes etc.) to their kid’s? I grew up thinking it was normal, at 14 I was learning to crack 6ft bullwhips. I won’t lie I thought it was cool, that part I still do! Trying to understand that lifestyle as a teen though obviously had some major effects.

Chatting to a few people about it this week has really helped me look at my childhood in a different way. I’ve felt ashamed opening up about my past but I’m beginning to see it isn’t me who should be ashamed! I didn’t ask to be brought up that way, I was a child who had no choice in what went on around me.

 

Loneliness

With my brother going into care & my ‘mother’ out most of the time at clubs of events, I spent a lot of time alone. I watched her go through so many relationships some ‘vanilla’ some very much not so. It’s only recently I have realised this had such an impact on my relationships.

I found it hard to trust, or feel and most of the time just became obsessed with an excuse to be out the house. Of course this meant I was selfish, didn’t care about her or the fact my brother was in care. I broke up with people simply because I couldn’t deal with the stress and moaning at home. It was easier to be lonely.. less stressful. I was always told no man would ever love me & they only wanted one thing. I couldn’t put my trust into anyone fully.

When a close family friend died the day before my 18th birthday my world literally fell apart. That man had stood by us through so many problems, he stood up for me on more than one occasion and I knew without him there things would spiral out of control at home. After this I tried to overdose several times. Luckily I failed, after the first 50 odd tablets I tried I kept throwing up and eventually I slept it off.

 

Friendships Growing Up

I struggled to make friends growing up always being the weirdo’s kid but I did at least make a few over the years. Some were disgusted by what my ‘mother’ got up to but chose to ignore it, other’s were slightly interested and thought it was ‘cool’. The kids in our street all knew quite young what she got up to and I can imagine their parents were horrified.

By the time I hit my teen years only one other parent would talk to her & I think that was more for us, she covered for me a few times saying I was sleeping over or having dinner with them so I could get out for a night. I remember one huge argument between my ‘mother’ and her boyfriend, freshly laid patio being smashed up, plants & pots flying everywhere, me & my brother were so upset and confused. I grabbed my bear ‘Bestie’ (The girls now have him!) and my brother and stood in the street crying, this friends mum took us in for a few hours to get us away from it.

Leaving Home

As a teen people thought my ‘mother’ was cool for a while but then they started to encourage me to leave home. Bit by bit people were seeing what she was like when we were home alone. The majority of people I knew all felt I needed to get out as soon as possible, part of me wishes I listened sooner but it’s difficult to believe you aren’t just an awful teen causing problems!

I guess I’m glad I stayed so long as I might not have got back with the Mr and have our gorgeous girls. The day I did get brave enough to leave we had an argument, I was pinned to the bed and when she raised her fist I got brave. ‘Go on fucking hit me!’ This made her back off physically and instead she started screaming at me how I was such a horrible person, how I hated her & my brother, I’d ruined their lives because I was so selfish. She got ready to leave for work screaming how she was going to go jump in front of the train and kill herself because that’s what I wanted.

Panicking I sat in my room sobbing until the front door shut. I couldn’t do it anymore, whether it was her or me causing these problems I just couldn’t carry on living that way. I called the council explained everything & was told I needed to head to Women’s aid as what had just gone on was classed as domestic abuse. Because of my age social services couldn’t help.

Still Apologising

Even after that call I still felt like everything was my fault. I thought I was causing her to have this temper and ruining everything for her. If I wasn’t there that solved the problem for her. I wrote a letter apologising for being such an awful daughter. Writing how I hoped me leaving would mean we could build a better relationship, not being on top of each other. I left my keys with the letter packed a bag with a few essentials & my birth certificate & headed to women’s aid.

As I got to the women’s aid centre I got a call which I was told to ignore as she would have just discovered I’d left and be angry. They were right and I quickly got a text saying if I couldn’t ‘be bothered’ to answer the phone not to bother her again. I didn’t contact her again after that and it took another 3 months before she discovered a diary of mine and called me. She had read a paragraph loosely mentioning I had been abused and she wanted to know what had gone on. I still felt guilty and told her nothing, I made out it was me being scared after we had been burgled.

Trying Again

I felt so guilty after that call that I agreed to meet up with her in London. We met and things were ok for almost a year, I fell pregnant with Eva and she showed interest & helped me out where she could. At this point my brother was in Northampton after several suicide attempts. It was difficult to visit him especially after a C-section with a new born to look. I had a chat with his social worker and we agreed on a home visit at our flat. We would have to be checked out by Social services and have the flat looked over for escape routes etc. I figured this would be better for him anyway, in a more comfortable setting.

Our ‘mother’ wasn’t allowed home visits, looking back it’s not surprising! I talked to the social worker and managed to get her to agree to our ‘mother’ being there too since it was supervised contact. We had a great day and took loads of pictures for us all to look back on. I had high hopes that this family setting would help us all be a little closer.

Giving Up For Good

I was asked to email over the photo’s to our ‘mother’ so I did. The next morning I got a rather aggressive text demanding I sent the photo’s. I replied to say I had sent them but would try again. She refused to believe I had sent them as she hadn’t received them. I sent screenshots of the sent messages & she blew up at me saying she had told me it needed to go to her work email not her personal one as she could only access her work one.

By this point I was in tear but sent the pictures to the correct account whilst still receiving abusive messages. I’d apparently not sent her the pictures because I hated her. Apparently I thought she was a shit mum and didn’t deserve pictures of her family. No matter how much I tried to explain I had sent them, I was wrong. Even when I realised she wanted them sent to her work email and did that it still wasn’t good enough.

The argument quickly took to Facebook where she tried to embarrass me which she seemed to enjoy doing. The Mr had had enough at this point. He’d seen what she was like when I was living with her. He had also seen how it affected me and how hard I tried to please her. He stepped in and told her to stay away from his family from now on. I haven’t spoken to her since and never want to again. I gave up for good on that day.

Relationships

The Mr has been absolutely amazing and helped me through a lot of issues. He has had to put up with so much because of my dysfunctional upbringing. When things started to get worse with chronic pain on top of everything else it caused a lot of problems. I reverted back to being extremely defensive and told him to leave far too many times. He shared this article with me the other day and I have to say it explains anxiety in relationships so well! I actually felt less guilty for reading it. He doesn’t deserve to go through it & it’s difficult for him just as it is for me but it can’t be helped. I can honestly say the Mr has had a great impact on my life though and has stuck by me through some of my biggest crashes. I have a lot of issues to continue working through which will take time. The Mr has already helped me massively, but it definitely hasn’t been the easiest ride.

Self care

Whilst CBT and the Mr are helping me I need to help myself too. Self care is majorly important for our mental health. Growing up to believe I was selfish means I struggle badly with self care. Usually I have to find ways to justify doing something for me. It has to somehow help someone else too or do some good. I’m slowly working on this though and trying not to feel guilty doing something for myself or something I enjoy. I’ve been conditioned to think nothing but negative thought’s about myself. I hope eventually I can kick these negative thoughts. I’m looking into mindfulness and ways to look after myself & have some me time to help.

Talk about it

Blogging has been a big help, somewhere to rant and ramble when I need to. Uplifting comments & people understanding what I’m going through has helped a lot. I’ve overcome a lot of the years and have a lot more to work through. I still have nightmares that wake the Mr, violently hitting out & screaming in my sleep. Explaining a lot of this and reading up on guilt, shame, anxiety has pointed me in the direction of PTSD. Due to my nightmares & flashbacks the Mr also seems to think I have PTSD.

I’m slowly beginning to realise none of it was my fault. I was a child and not in control at all. I’m beginning to realise it’s not normal for a child to find out about BDSM so young. Seeing people walk around dressed up (or not so dressed up!) and hearing/seeing people being beaten messes your head up. Regardless of the fact it was 2 consenting adults, a child shouldn’t be seeing that.

Positive’s

Growing up in a dysfunctional family  leaves it’s mark for the rest of your life. You are probably wondering how I’ve managed to find positives. I know it’s affected me negatively. I also like to think it’s made me a better person in some ways too though. I’m more open minded than a lot of people I know. I’m the first to admit when I mess something up. I love my girls to the moon & back and make sure I hug and kiss them always. Affection was something we lacked growing up. Cuddles were extremely awkward. We were told it made her feel ‘dirty’. I think I remember being hugged maybe 5 times growing up. I hate how that felt even now and I promised both my girls the day they were born I would smother them in love, hugs & kisses for the rest of their lives!

It was a struggle to believe for a long time the Mr loved me, I didn’t see how he could. Now I know that I’m extremely lucky. He DOES loves me & would do anything for me which he’s proven time after time over the last 8 years. He’s stuck by me and supported me through some rough times even when I’ve been a complete bitch.

Whilst I don’t have a lot of friends those I do have I would do ANYTHING for! I understand when friends are down and need to just be around people even if we don’t talk. I know sometimes people need to rant essays at me and don’t want a real response just something to let them know you are there, you are listening, you do understand they are struggling & they have somewhere to vent.

Getting Help

It’s taken a long time for me to finally reach out properly and get professional help. Always believing I’d be wasting their time! Now I realise just how messed up my head is and how important getting help is. Get a referral if you can. It may take a while but do what you can in the meantime to get help, take time out for you, there are online sites & telephone lines to help anyone struggling too.

If you need someone to talk to DM me on twitter (@lentlesslypurpl) or email me (Relentlesslypurple@gmail.com), I’m usually around somewhere and more than happy to chat. I’ve provided a few sites & numbers below for those in need of help.

If you or someone you know need a little help the numbers & sites below may be useful:

Womens Aid – 0808 2000 247 – Available 24/7

NSPCC – 0808 8005 000 – Available 24/7

Mind0300 123 3393 – Available 9am-6pm Mon-Fri

Heads Together Support – Contains A list of different services available

Sane – 0300 304 7000 – Available 4.30pm – 10.30pm daily

Find Mental Health Services in Your area using NHS Service search

It has taken me the entire week to write & rewrite this post. My anxiety made me worry for so many reasons, I wasn’t sure I was going to post this. Tmore we talk about these things though the easier it is for others to open up and get help too. I’m not hiding anymore.
This is my story in support of #worldmentalhealthawarenessweek

Turning #TearsIntoSmiles With Elastoplast

We’ve been turning #tearsintosmiles with Elastoplast this week! Eva can be rather clumsy at times and quite often hurts herself in some way. It has become a family joke that Eva could win an award for the most medical forms sent home from school! We joined the Britmums & Elastoplast #TearsIntoSmiles challenge and were sent some awesome Frozen and Star Wars Plasters to join in with.

Elastoplast

We headed out to the park at the weekend, the girls really enjoyed running around and playing on this awesome ship! Whilst playing outdoors is important in child development falls and scrapes can happen often. Eva loves to climb but she managed to lose grip fall off the climbing frame and hurt her arm. We dusted her off and she seemed ok, just a small scratch. We gave her a quick cuddle and tried to distract her with pirate jokes.

#TearsIntoSmiles with Elastoplast

Playing in the park

When a cuddle doesn’t help usually distractions work best. Usually joking helps but when she has a cut it can be quite difficult to calm her down. Luckily I had the Frozen plasters we were sent in my bag at the ready. We quickly cleaned the scratch and popped a plaster on it which instantly turned her #TearsIntoSmiles. We headed home for a cuddle on the sofa & watched a film and Eva soon forgot all about her cut.

All kids react differently when they hurt themselves but when they do get upset a cuddle and distraction seems to work for us. Izzy rarely cuts herself and is one to get straight back up and dust herself off like nothing ever happened. Occasionally she will ask for a cuddle but cheers up fairly easily and carries on playing.

 

How do you #TurnTearsIntoSmiles? Do your little ones love character plasters too?

Check out Elastoplast’s #TearsIntoSmiles video below! What do you think?

*This post is an entry for the BritMums #TearsintoSmiles Challenge, sponsored by Elastoplast.