Monday, 28 February 2011

5 things that make you feel good!

So I was tagged via twitter by Mummy Beadzoid and although she did that a while ago, I still wanted to do it once I was feeling more up to it.  I too will copy and paste her intro so others know what I have done and why!  I probably won't get time to tag others to copy, so please help yourself and copy!!

The blog chain which originated from Scottish Mum called ’5 Things That Make You Feel Good, Scottish Mum says:

“I have seen lots of posts about what we struggle with, or things that we like to do, and I’d like to find out a bit more information about all of you. This is my way of doing it. I am looking forward to visiting some of you on the blog hop.”

What you cannot choose. The Rules are Simple
We all know that blogging/facebook/twitter is in our arena of what we like to do, so I am going to rule them out as one of the 5 that you can post about. They really are not very girly. Likewise, phones, computers, ipads are all out of the running. I am challenging myself to this, as I am really not a girly girly type of person, and I want to find that within myself. It’s not all about power suits, filofaxes, ipads and designer phones.
If you want to pass this along, pick bloggers that you want to find out more about, and challenge them to write up their 5 secret passions that make them feel good. The idea is to lift our spirits this week. The fact that there is a linky added, just makes it all the more worthwhile in doing.

Here goes then........

1) My girls have to come first for so many reasons.  They are the ones that keep me sane, keep me smiling and a cuddle from them can sort anything out.  I am not saying they are perfect, no-one is, but to me they are.
2) Writing makes me feel good. Especially when I have a lot in my head.  I wish I had more time to do it and was more a regular blogger like others around.  I have decided just to write whenever I can.  I want to save up, buy a laptop and then I can sit in the garden or in my bedroom and just write away to my hearts content.

3) Taking pictures is a joy.  I love going out with the family and taking contrasting shots.  I would never say I was a photographer, but I enjoy it so for me it is a hobby I hope to continue.
4) Films - in the cinema or at home.  I am not one for romantic films although there have been a few that got me like Notting Hill...... I like a film to keep me guessing till the end.  I love to watch the directors ideas take shape on the screen in front of me.  The cinematography of a film has to be just so to enjoy it.  I like it when you are watching and the special effects take you by surprise and before you can say 'wow' you are plunged further into the story line.  Films are like a form of escapism to me. I have to watch with no chatting - something my husband has learnt - mainly so I do not miss out on the tiniest piece of information.  Film making is an art form and should be respected as such! I use to love creating short films but alas, children came and that part of me has drifted too.

5) This last one is a culmination of things.  You see, I love to 'do things' so whether that be working, playing with the children, reading, writing, days out and even learning, I enjoy it.  I like the 'being busy' part and I suppose that is the 5th one, being busy. 

Well if you read all of that, I thank you.  I found it quite cathartic in a strange sort of way!

Monday, 14 February 2011

Mad little monkey

Mad little monkey is a great title for my 3 year old.  Amélie is so crazy it makes me laugh.  Her older sister was not as crazy and so I find myself going over the pregnancy to see if I did anything different.
I cannot find anything!  I had a few problems with Amélie and when she was born, she was in intensive care.  This was mainly because she came out faster than expected and I suffer from Group B Streptococcus which she caught from me.  I do not think this can be a reason for her madness though!

Last night was a prime example of what is happening.  She was put to bed at 8pm, had a story then lights out and I go downstairs.  I spent the next 2 hours finding her as she ran out of bed and hid upstairs!  We did have problems a few months back which meant she would not sleep unless I was there beside her.  I tried the control crying and the 'moving away in silence' as Supernanny says!  None of these things seem to help with her.  These latest night time moments are just so tiring and I cannot let it continue for as long as it did before!!

Where to go from here?  Well, I think it best that I keep putting her back.  She has to know where her bed is and that I will not give in first!  There is no point putting up a gate as she can open that now and no point taking things away as her response always is 'ok mummy, here take it' and she is not fussed!

I don't mind the madness during the day and try to let her in the garden as much as possible or do as much as I can with her but the night times are very very tiring!!

Any ideas or comments would be appreciated!!!


Friday, 11 February 2011

Yes I suffer from Anxiety and Depression!

Oooooo that felt quite  a relief to write the title!  I was going to make a seperate blog just for my mental health issues but after some thought, I do not see the need.  Those issues are who make me who I am and to accept them is to accept me.  So they need to be one of the same.  The longer I keep them seperate, the harder it will be to ultimately defeat.

Just a quick background to my issues, I first suffered from Depression during the pregnancy of my first daughter.  This developed into post-natal depression and anxiety issues that ultimately stopped me living.  A few years after my daughter was born, I got help and started anti-depressants.  I saw a councellor who was great but after a few sessions, I thought I had cracked it.  After 10 months of medication, I stopped and carried on with my life. 

Now I don't know who is reading this or what drew you to my blog, but I wonder if you can relate to the following.  I spent the next few years trying to fill something in my life.  Not sure what that something was but I was always trying to 'get somewhere'.  I still had periods of 'down' but I do not feel I was depressed.  I built a bubble around myself and limited my life and my families life.  I became very good at saying no to events and always had an excuse.  If not, I was good at getting ill.......

After the birth of my second child, the anxiety appeared properly again and I realised that enough was enough.  I could not even go shopping for the weekly groceries!  I needed help.  I went to the doctor and have been put on lighter tablets so I can still function and work through issues myself.  I did a quick course of congnitive behavioural therapy and am just waiting for the next stage. 

I have been on the medication about 18 months now and I do not see an end at the moment.  Things are getting better but I am battling it all myself.  I have a couple of close friends I can talk to which is great.  My family do not talk about it with me, I tell my mum about appointments and she sounds supportive but like my husband, I know they think I should 'snap out of it'.  Now don't get me wrong, I love my parents and my husband dearly but I fully understand where they are coming from.  They have the mind set I had before I sort help the first time, hence the delay.  It is all the questions on the logical side of your brain 'why are you freaking out?' 'what is wrong with jumping on a train?' 'why won't you go out for a meal or to the pub?'.  If I cannot answer those questions, how can I explain it to them.

For that reason, I keep a lot of it to myself.  I do not want to bore them with the day to day living of anxiety but I know I need to get it out, hence the blog.  I am looking forward to continuing my treatment so I can live a more 'normal' life.  I want my children to remember a fun filled childhood not one where mummy wouldn't go out.

If you too suffer, feel free to contact me to talk about it.  I really feel, talking is the way forward.

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Students, Education, Students, Education.......

There has been much in the news at the moment about students in the UK and their 'cost' of attending College then University.  I am not for or against any side, I have my own opinion which is set somewhere in the middle.

To begin with, we need to be clear, there is a huge difference between College and Uni and these should not be lumped together as if they can be argued side by side.  I will start with College.

In the UK, going to College or 'Further Education' was something that most students already had mapped out in their life path, it was never an option, it just happened.  Those students are the ones who were academically able to achieve at A Level in a range of theory based subjects.  Where it all started to unravel is with BTEC's.  I do not mean that in a negative way, but as more people were able to stay on at College, more and more saw it their right to stay on and thus felt it should be funded.

I will take small breather just to explain about BTEC's.  I am FOR BTEC's and in no way see them as a negative within education.  Parents, I feel, never had it explained to them properly, what a BTEC entailed.  I meet so many parents who say 'well my little boy can't do a BTEC, they are for the thick kids' this shocks me and this is the problem.  BTEC's were introduced so that more people could gain further qualifications.  These students included ones that are not great with theory based courses and exams such as A Levels but would be great with vocational practical based courses such as BTEC's.  This does not make them 'thick' in any way shape or form.  It means that everyone can further themselves and their future.
I could go on for ages about this but I need to get back to where I was!  In conclusion, you have to weigh the whole BTEC versus A Level argument on what it is your child wants to do.  Everyone is needed in society whether it be as a doctor or mechanic or artist or teacher, so the courses enable whoever to follow whatever path they want.

Back to the point......more and more students started to go to College and the government introduced EMA to help the poorest families.  I do not think EMA was a great idea.  Some students already get free travel depending on where they live, Colleges offer help with books and meals so there was no need to introduce EMA.  Going to College always was a life choice.  The government had not made it compulsory for students to stay in some sort of further education until they are 18; but the current year 9's at school have to stay on until they are 18.  This changed the ball game!  If they want the students to stay, then they should help them.  Free travel and food is what is needed.  The food  budgets could go to the colleges and they give out 'credit' cards with allowances on for food enabling every student to get a meal.  Travel passes to get to College could be rolled out.  These would negate the need for EMA and that money could be used towards those schemes.

What I am shocked with is parents saying 'oh my boy is an A grade student and we need that money to get him to college' or 'without EMA then my daughter will end up on job seekers' ; but no-one receives that help for travel to secondary school? Free meals yes, but travel?  Colleges are further away, which is why there should be help with travel.  The government need to see College as an extension from secondary school and thus the same rules should apply.  Child benefit could also be used, this is what it is for.

University.......well this is a totally different kettle of fish!  University is a life choice.  You choose to go to University, it is not compulsory.  Students rioting about the fees took the whole argument too far and dampened the real issue.  All people will remember are the minority who took it upon themselves to smash windows, throw things at policemen and generally make a nuisance.  The big issue here is the cap being removed from the fees.  That should never have happened.  I believe that students should pay something towards going to University but so should the government/tax payer.  These future workers will pay back into the economy via their jobs.  Without them, many jobs may not have enough skilled people to do them, which should not be an option.  We should be able to sustain ourselves as a country and feeding back into education is the way to do it.  Think of it as a huge circle of life.  The current students will be the ones washing you, caring for you, dispensing your medicines or operating on you in the future.  We need them to grow up as well adjusted humans who see life not as an easy ride but if they work hard, it will pay off. 

As the old saying goes, 'children are our future' and as I add, 'we should teach them about life even if that means at times it will be hard to get where you want to be.  It will make them stronger and more determined.'