This week I’ve mainly been…. driven bonkers by kid’s and sick doggies!

So it was eldest’s parent-teacher interview yesterday. His second to be exact. I have never been so nervous. Mainly because they never tell you anything and, I quote, ‘why are you always asking me how my day was? It’s so annoying’. Oh, so very sorry son! His last one had been rather embarrassing as I had to sit there whilst his teacher informed me that he spent most day’s glueing his artwork to his face. This made perfect sense when she said it as, I had been wondering why he was covered in marker and Pritt Stick most days. Hubby had to go alone as I had to look after all the kids and the dog needed to be picked up from the vets. Lo and behold, it was all good news. What?! I know I should have been happy but I was also rather suspicious. I mean, I observe him most mornings, before the bell rings, chasing after other boys and knocking lamps out of them. Anyway, beggars can’t be choosers, I will take good news when it is available. His numeracy skills are on fire and his reading is getting there. The only negative thing the teacher had to say was that he is too lazy to push his chair in when vacating it and, she has tripped over multiple times. But I assume she can go on Claim’s Direct or something so, positives all around! His school hosted a ‘Funky Friday’ theme today also and I found myself spraying his hair green out the back at 8am whilst putting sweatbands all over him (see pic). He loved the sweatbands abit too much and has asked can he wear them to bed. Okay then.

Middle is being a complete disaster. His speech has come on tenfold this last month alone and, so has his unique way with vocabulary and voicing his honesty. He is calling everyone in nursery ‘stupid’ and ‘poo poo face’ and is not one bit ashamed either despite the punishments. He even said it to a line of P3 boys when we were on the school run this week. One of them turned to me, rather incensed and said, “what did he just call me?”. I had to then explain that it’s almost like a compliment from middle as he calls me it all the time. He was not placated and still looked appalled, as did I. Worst thing is, when I ask whom he learnt that off, he is saying mummy! I can assure you that this is not the case. I have never used the term ‘poo poo face’ nor called anyone other than myself ‘stupid’.

Baby is still one legged crawling (lazy) and pulling himself up on things when he can be bothered. He now spends all day shouting “dada” “nana” and even “momo” (the dog) yet has said “mama” a few times only- rude! His favourite thing now is to go into my bottom, kitchen drawer, lift out all the pans and scrape them across the tiles. Usually the second I have started a phone conversation. Maybe he has ambitions to join the cast of Stomp one day but. for now, the sound is haunting me even at night.

The dog has now taken over middles pre-potty training mantra and has spent the last few weeks christening my floor with an abundance of urine. So I am now back to buying bleach in bulk. Having been told it was probably old age, I didn’t think much of it. That was until she started drinking bowls upon bowls of water these past few weeks. I actually thought I was going mad and had just imagined I’d filled it up! Sometimes I can’t remember what all I’ve done in a day as I am always on a mission of some sort. Off to the vets she went and, she has diabetes. We must now inject her twice a day. This has added to the insanity as, after giving it the big I am, it appears that I am an utter wuss. I keep needing to vomit upon even going near her with the needle. I thought I was over my fear of them after all the blood tests with the kids. Obviously not. She has been back and forth now and they still can’t stabilise her. Her weight is awful because of this, despite eating twice as much a day and I’m now faced with having to explain mortality to eldest which has been very difficult due to his sensitive nature. The vet’s bills are pouring in and, despite paying £25 a month, we have to pay 20% off all costs. Please check your pet insurance as mine was £11 when I took it out years ago and I’ve been so distracted that I hadn’t realised it had gone up that much. Argghhh!

 

 

Why It’s Time To Talk And End The Stigma Surrounding Mental Health!

Today is ‘time to talk day’ ladies. A day in which we should all be talking about mental health openly and honestly. After all, one in four of us will suffer from some kind of mental health problem and yet, there is still a shame attached to having these sorts of problems. Some of you may know and, others may not but, I have been quite honest about my own struggles with regards to mental health: https://youandmeplusthree.uk/2018/05/03/why-its-ok-not-to-be-ok/ I wrote this about my struggles with postnatal depression not so long ago. At first, I just put it down to the kid’s sending me absolutely batty but, it turns out it was much more than that.

After eldest, I suffered from postnatal depression. I didn’t realise this at the time however and just thought I was being overly emotional what with the lack of sleep and constant crying (him and me). I tried to let it slide for months, ignoring how I felt and making excuses for why I felt that way. I was tired, I was so busy, making bottles and changing nappies was so monotonous and, finally, I was just feeling this way now but it would eventually pass. Alas, it didn’t and I found myself on antidepressants for over six months. I told very few people. I was embarrassed and almost frightened that they would consider me a failure as a new mum.

With middle, I was wobbly afterwards. Not as bad as before but, also not great. His birth had been quite traumatising for me and he suffered badly from reflux and colic. There were days he would cry for four hours straight. My mum came to stay to help me one week as hubby was away in America with work. She left after two nights it was so bad! I found it very hard to bond with him, I’m not going to sugar coat it. I felt awful that I couldn’t make it better for him and viewed myself as a useless mother. The guilt I felt surrounding the lack of bond, made me extremely down and anxious. But, I got through it and came out the other end once he was on solids. Now he is a walking terror but, one that makes me laugh daily with his huge, gregarious personality. I still feel guilty to this day for feeling how I did when he was a baby. There’s the mum guilt again!

This time, with baby, was entirely different. I actually developed full-blown depression whilst pregnant with him. There were many reasons for this looking back. Mainly wondering how I would cope with three and the stress of looking after two other children whilst carrying what felt like a rhino in my tummy. When I gave birth, things got much worse. I didn’t even want to get out of bed most days. Which, is not an option at all when you have kids. Meeting friends filled me with dread and I retreated into myself. Motivation was not to be found and I didn’t even recognise myself any more. The feelings I had felt throughout his pregnancy came back to haunt me. How could I have thought those things? He was perfect and I was so in love! This quickly manifested itself in me becoming obsessed with every little thing that could be wrong. His weight, his eyes, oh my god- cradle cap! Basically, my anxiety was through the roof. I was placed on anti-depressants once again. These then had to be doubled as there was no change. Now I find myself having to wean myself off the ones I am on currently so they can be changed to another type. I’ve also attended counselling sessions and enrolled on a course that promises to boost my self-esteem and confidence. I am fighting against it with every part of me yet it still defeats me most days.

It’s time that we talk about our mental health to others and, especially, those who don’t understand it. How will they ever learn if we hide away from sharing how it affects us? No one wants to wake up each day feeling sad and hopeless. I’m also a firm believer that today’s society is causing more and more people to feel this way. We are expected, as women especially, to be all things to everyone. Wife, mother, cleaner, cook and worker. There are not enough hours in the day and it’s no wonder we are all feeling so overwhelmed. If you feel this way please talk to someone and don’t suffer alone. Even if you don’t suffer from mental health problems, make a point of speaking to someone who does. Ask them if they are ok over a cup of tea. Sometimes all we need is to feel supported and understood.

 

 

 

Remembering Our Furry Friends Amidst The Madness

It’s no secret that the boys provide me with endless material. Their weekly antics are usually enough to fill multiple pages, let alone one. But, not only I am mum to three, boisterous boys, I am the proud owner of the only other female in my life- Mad Molly (as one groomer named her- whoops!). Molly was there long before the boy’s and, even long before the husband. That little white, ball of fluff has been present during all the monumental stages in my life. Through breakups, makeups and breakdowns. I can’t even detail all the occasions she has lay on my lap whilst I sobbed into her hair and offloaded all my woes. It was me and her against the world.

Then, eldest arrived. Nothing much changed, albeit I had less time. She got walked the same amount as before and, doted on even more so. From the second we arrived home with our blue, bundle of joy, Molly was in love. She adored him and, as he grew, the feeling was mutual. Then something happened. That something was the walking madman that is middle! He didn’t respect her space, despite repeated telling off’s. He mounted her daily screaming “giddy up MoMo!”. In the end, Molly became wary of him and, rightly so. Now she also has a baby to contend with who loves nothing more than tipping her water bowl over his head. The dog deserves a Victoria Cross for patience alone.

Whilst becoming increasingly exasperated, I stumbled across a series of books. Zara DogDog promises to teach children how to act around dogs and, read their body language. Middle loves books at the minute (Peppa and Paw Patrol one’s mainly) but, he became completely absorbed in the story. He also loved the illustrations and we had lots of fun pointing out the dog on every page. I read this to him three nights in a row and there was a marked change in his behaviour around the dog. It was almost like he suddenly respected her, in as much as middle respects anything. These two pages resonated with me, as a mum:

When I’m not running late in the mornings, Molly usually accompanies us on the school run. Kid’s are drawn to her. As a West Highland, she shouldn’t have floppy ears but does. She is an adult puppy essentially.  Kids can’t tell nor, understand that she is thirteen and doesn’t like certain things. They swarm around her and dispense a multitude of affection, of which she can tolerate in small doses. This book (one of a series) will make your children stop and think before approaching a dog and realise that they have their own boundaries and feelings too. There is no better lesson in life than to respect our non-verbal family members. You can purchase the book I reviewed here: https://www.zaradogdog.com/. Not only this but, you can also register for their club and receive tips to help both you and your children going forward. It’s so easy to become submerged in daily kid’s shenanigans and forget how much our furry friends are dealing with. We love you to the moon and back doggies!

Poor Mad Molly!

This week I have mainly been… unable to write anything though loving the two new additions to our family

Don’t worry reading this title, I haven’t popped out another two sprogs (that would literally push me over the edge). I also just couldn’t for the life of me write this week which, is highly unusual. I kept attempting to, but, was unable to formulate any kind of brain to webpage function. This is my tenth attempt so, let’s see how I fare. Maybe it’s the increase of dosage in my tablets? Who knows.

This week my sister in law’s welcomed the most beautiful little twin girl’s into our family. A family that, up until now, has been dominated by my three boys. My very boisterous ones at that! They are so utterly beautiful and, more importantly, I now have another two little humans that I can buy pink for and that will hopefully bother their arses to visit me in a care home one day (preferably with smuggled in alcohol). My sister in law’s journey to parenthood wasn’t as straightforward as mine. Sometimes you forget that other people face challenges and hurdles just trying to become a ‘mum’. Ultimately it is a title all us girls grow up assuming we will have. Just thinking that had already put things into perspective for me. What put things more into perspective is, how we are all just the same when introduced into this new whirlwind adventure. We are frightened, exhausted and, we will never think we are doing a good enough job. But, you are. No one can ever prepare you for those first weeks home but, one day you will be wishing them back. One day the visitors will stop and you will be wanting company. It’s funny how this whole thing works isn’t it? It’s only when we get some more sleep and, feel more normal, that we understand that. You will feel normal again! I promise.

In the boy’s news, baby is teething at an alarming rate. On Thursday I was single-handedly dealing with his seventh explosion in a few hours. Where was it even coming from? Like how is that even possible?  I began to think it could only be one of the plagues the Bible forewarned me about. There could be no other explanation (I am being brainwashed, read on).

Middle is doing great on the potty though seems to have developed quite the aversion to doing a poo on it. This is leading to what I can only describe as a daily apocalyptic nightmare. I literally gag every time this happens. He laughs hysterically of course.

Eldest is still loving school though randomly keeps returning home every few days with the same picture coloured in of an ark. The first few times I was thinking “well, he is certainly getting better with the colouring, that’s something”. However, we are now onto what seems like the twelfth ark picture in a few weeks and I am seriously concerned that he, and I, are being subliminally messaged. I’m not sure who by exactly, Noah maybe? I have two words for you Noah, the first begins with a F and the second is off. We are led by science in this family and, the drive to be kind and good people.