#NMMHD – New Blog (its been a while)

So I haven’t blogged for a while, sorry, what with easter school holidays and being jammed packed every day its been hard to find the time to sit and type.  Although I might add that although I made sure my 4 year old had a full social diary for the Easter holidays she proceeded to tell me on the way back to school that she was glad to be going back to school as the holidays had been ‘boring’!!  Happy days……so for 6 weeks in the summer I’m gonna do sod all with them, pack her off to holiday club and take myself away to some deserted island and drink endless porn star maritinis in the sun!  HAHA If only.

Today is National Maternal Mental Health day.  I did not know this until I browsed my facebook timeline this morning, obviously avoiding getting out of bed.  The reason my time line was full of stories and reports about today is because I follow a LOT of pages concerned with post natal mental illness.

I myself suffered at the hands of postnatal mental illness following the traumatic birth of my 4 year old.  I had post natal depression, anxiety and PTSD and it took me two years of medications and trauma therapy to actually feel able to move on.  It is still something I struggle to revisit mentally as it was such a dark, infact it was THE darkest time of my life and has had such an impact on my life today.

I’m not going to go into detail about that time because it is something very personal to me and I’m not ready to share the indepth facts on social media.  But what I will say is that period in my life that was so so dark and scary also shed light on who I am as a person and made me think of things and the world in a totally different light.

Peri and post natal mental health awareness, thankfully, is gaining more and more recognition these days.  Probably due to the awareness on social media and especially with the ‘Heads Together’ campaign that the Royals have fronted.  As someone who has suffered greatly at the hands of mental illness it almost brings a sigh of relief at the coverage the topic receives today.

Too often an element of ‘shame’ is placed on mental illness when infact it is not a ‘weakness’ in fact it shows great strength to accept that you are suffering and need help.  Many people think people with mental illness need to be treated differently or they shy away from asking about it, but know one really knows why.  It is seen as such a taboo subject when all it is at the end of the day is a chemical problem in the brain.  Yes it makes people behave different and say things they normally shouldn’t but underneath all of that there is still a person wanting to be accepted, wanting to be involved.

I have been moved to tears at some of the recent campaigns to highlight the importance of mental health awareness.  I literally sobbed at a speech Kate Middleton made at a conference when she admitted she struggled to cope as a mother.  I felt so real to me and the most important and beneficial thing I have found when times are bad is to know that you are not alone.

I don’t want to go on and on about it because trust me I could talk for days.  I have always said and will always stand by my wish in that if I can help just one mother with my story of post natal mental illness then I will feel very humbled.  I never want anyone to feel how I did during those dark times, when you really can only see one way out of the black hole you are falling deeper and deeper into.  Mental Illness is scary, it is lonely and it is debilitating……….and it is something everyone deserves a chance to fight!!

Peace and Love

#mumlife

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Food Trial Fails -Trials and Tribulations of an Allergy Mum

Both my girls have allergies, multiple food allergies and some animals. This is probably something i will blog about a LOT mainly because it is probably THE most restricting factor of my girls lives. No matter where we go, what we do, who they are with, who i trust to look after them i have to be 100% certain that i am prepared as a parent to provide for their dietary needs. For them it is not a case of ‘we’ll get lunch, a snack, something to eat, while we are out,’ i have to be prepared to take enough food for them or research everywhere before we go to ensure their allergen foods are suitable. 

I dont want to sound sorry for us as a family or them because it is what it is at the end of the day, and we deal with it and it is our way of life now. My goodness I am eternally thankful the allergies are not lifethreatening, my heart goes out to all those affected by anaphalaxis, those people deserve a medal!! There are two types of allergic response to foods, IGE (anaphalaxis) and non IGE. My girls are non IGE to Dairy, Egg, Gluten, Citrus and my smallest also to Beef, Potato and Brocolli. Being non IGE is difficult to diagnose and affects systems of the body such as digestive, respiratory, behavioural etc…..

Food allergies and intolerances are a whole different world and not something you can explain in one blog, its not until you are faced with them that you actually begin to realise the extent as to which they can affect lives.

So anyway, i digress! This blog is meant to be about our most recent food trial fail….egg!!! Food trials are when you try and reintroduce an allergen into a diet to see if you still react. As a parent its extremely hard emotionally to start a food trial, you are going to introduce a food that you know potentially will cause upset and harm to your child!! Pretty selfish really, infact why do we even bother, just to make our lives easier?! Hmmmm!! Oh no its because the ‘professionals’ tell us its the right thing to do. 

Introducing a food generally takes a ladder type form, you start of with tiny tiny amounts of the allergen baked to oblivion in a form that normally resembles a biscuit or cake and if u pass that ‘step’ of the ladder you then move onto the next which is less baked. You keep going until you fail (react) or basically eat the allergen raw with no reaction. Easy hey!!

Well not so easy as it appears when babies and children are involved. You see a reaction could be something such as a runny nose, cough, grumpiness, upset tummy, etc etc the list is endless. So i will give a million pounds to any baby/small child who has gone a week without any reaction type symptoms from other causes, colds, teething, growing, generally being a baby.  (Just for the record i dont have/have never/ will never have a million pounds) So you get my gist……before you start a food trial you have to be 100% sure that the symptoms are a result of a reaction to the food and not due to any other factor which it appears is blatantly impossible in babies and children. 

It is because of this insane factor that i have waited so long to start food trials. Both my girls attended nursery and so were constantly ill from there and teething was not easy for either of them. My youngest has got all her teeth now and has been (dare i say it) relatively germ free for a while. What with it obviously heading into warmer sunny (germ free) months i bit the bullet and said to myself ‘right then kiddos im Gonna poison u with egg!!!’ Not quite like that but actually that is what your doing!

So day 1. A quarter of a free from pancake which contained egg powder! Easy right? Who doesnt love a pancake…..err well that will be my 2 year old! Pancake dropped on floor, ‘no mummy, dont like that!’. 4 year old wolfed it down like all her christmasses had come at once…..result. No reaction. Yay!!

Day 2. More pancake, this time a half. 2 year old launched it in disgust, 4 year old couldnt get enough!! No reaction. Yay!!

Day 3. Half a crumpet (lets mix this up a bit!) Launched again by smallest, loved by oldest. Slight upset tummy….however child fine in herself….hmmmmm what to do? Contact a bestie, also allergy parent, ask her what to do…..we both agree….carry on!

Day 4. Given up trialing 2 year old, might as well trial the cat!! Treated 4 year old to half a free from angel cake slice…..no increase in reaction. Yay!!

Day 5. Half a crumpet again. Send kiddo off to school and after school nursery…….HIVES!!!!! FFS!!!! DAY 5!! I honestly thought we were onto a winner!! And why has this bloody happened on the day she goes to two potential poison venues!! Dose her up on piriton and frantically call school and nursery for EXCACT ingrediants of things she has eaten….back to square one!!

So we have failed the egg ladder…..or have we?, despite having a bit of a poorly tummy and hives my little girly is actually fine in herself. What to do??….call up bestie (other allergy mummy) again for advice. We agree to maybe reintroduce again in two days…..if the same happens then stop for 6 months as the ‘professionals’ say (We r not professionals so they must know what they are doing!?) Today was the start of trial 2………its ongoing!! 

Another issue with allergy babies/children is food aversions. Babies are actually pretty intelligent and they soon realise that some foods make them poorly and some dont. Therefore they only eat the foods they know wont upset them. In some cases this can be so extreme that babies wont wean onto solids food or textures for fear of how it will make them feel. My 2 year old has developed food aversions. Not anything drastic thank god but enough to make food trials a challenge. She will refuse point blankly to attempt to try the ‘unknown!’ So with her we almost fall at the first hurdle before we have begun!!! Although she did inform us the other day that she only eats cucumber at nursery, not at home!! Hmmmmm. She is still young and her systems still have a long way to develop so im not overly fussed about pushing her to eat new stuff. Id rather she was happy with the foods she eats than begins to question them as well because we are pressurising her so much! 

So there it is really, my first blog about being an allergy mum. It is a mind numbing subject and to be honest i wouldnt be surprised if you are neck deep in a box of wine after reading this one! I might crack on myself! 

Being an allergy parent is hard, as being any parent is. I absolutely salute all parents of kids with allergies and intolerances, the struggle is very real. However it is also a topic that the general public are much more aware of and keen to learn about. So hopefully we can raise more awareness to help our mini me’s for their future.

Peace and Love and plenty of vino

#mumlife

Mothers day!! – how it works in our house!

For us, mothers day is generally no different to any other Sunday in this house. My husband goes to work (albeit starting a whole hour earlier and finishing a whole hour later on mothers day because he has over 600 mothers and their families to serve, feed and be nice to, and im pretty sure there are only a select few who enquire as to who is waiting on his wife and mother of his children on this special day!!) I am very bitter about these days as you will discover, however it is always the same bitterness that overcomes me every year, every ‘special day’!! I love him no less, it has always been the way it as and im sure it always will be. And although i would never say it to his face when i am psycho bitterness wife, deep down i am bloody proud of my husband, how hard he works and everything he has achieved in his career 😍!

So anyway, back to mothers day. Sundays are very much a day of rest in this house, and mothers day is no different!! (Mainly because im all out of strength and threats by Sunday) The kids will watch a few hours of surprise eggs and peppa pig in german on you tube (why do kids always want to watch it in different languages?), we will no doubt head to costa for babychinos and so i can rub caffeine into my eyeballs!! Buy the kids a magazine which they then shred in the car and throw the cheap toys all over the place only to moan they are bored and having nothing to do until lunchtime!! 

Quite often i get the ‘im bored, theres nothing to do!’ Winge!! This infuriates me no end…we moved house not so long ago so the girls could have a playroom…..a playroom that is FULL of toys, millions of toys, toy bleedin heaven….and yet they are bored!! Yet give them an ipad and you tube and they watch some random child unwrap surprise eggs for hours…..how does that work!!

Anyway back to mothers day (again! Sorry). I generally sack off the roast on mothers day (it is mothers day after all) and my amazing mum brings a whole heap of afternoon tea food delights from marks and spencer (there is something about a m&s sandwich that is like no other!!) This is how mothers day generally ends, we scoff our faces all afternoon on delightful sandwiches and cake until we literally cant move. The kiddies are happy because ‘nanny and grandad’ (best people evs) are round and my sis and her boyfriend (also best people evs) take on child entertainment duties so i am one happy mumma!! The husband will (eventually) walk through the door and all bitterness will be forgotten lol. 

Im not entirely sure what ‘mothers day’ is all about if im honest. To ‘thank’ mothers for all their hard work?? Surely all mums should be thanked more than one day a year!! (Cue a weekly flower delivery actually!) I certainly am thankful to my mum every day of the year for everything she does and has done for us. But how about those people who dont have mums to thank, for what ever reason, or those who so desperately want to be a mum but cant, for what ever reason. Does anyone ever stop and think about those people for who mothers day must simply be heart wrenching?? One things for sure, i will take a few minutes out of my day to think of those people and to say ‘you know what….no matter what day it is….you are all special!!!’

#mumlife

What is a blog anyway??

So i guess the blog is now ‘facebook official’ so feel free to like and share and do whatever it takes to get the blog noticed. Obviously not expecting fame along the lines of ‘unmumsy mum’ ( hero) or ‘hurrah for gin’ (also hero) but would be nice to see some people, who i havent actually invited myself, to like the blog lol.

So burning question from husband this afternoon ‘what is a blog anyway?’….errrr im not really sure tbh, im just gonna write all the stuff that fills up my mind and share it with the world!! Im guessing that is somewhere along the right lines. 

When you join the world that is motherhood you never for once think you will spend hours upon hours of sleepless nights scaling the internet on your phone mainly for ‘can i die from sleep deprivation?’ Facts, but also searching for some hope that you infact are not alone in the struggle!! It was during these pretty mind numbing moments of early parenthood that i myself, became aware of mummy bloggers. The likes of ‘unmumsy mum’, ‘hurrah for gin’, ‘Giovanna Fletcher’ were who had me crying with laughter when i was seconds away from crying with despair!! 

As i said in my previous post, im hoping that with this blog i can bring a little brightness to those embarking on the long relentless challenge of motherhood as others have done for me. 

Peace and love 

#mumlife

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First blog post -here we go!!

So here it is…..my blog….my very first post. Not entirely sure what to blog about here, should i introduce myself or leave that til a little later?? Blogging is new to me, something ive been thinking about doing for a while but havent got round to!! Mummy blogs are inspirational to me, they get me through the highs and lows of daily parenting, making me realise that im not alone in the trial and tribulations and in fact the struggle of balancing mummy hood and sanity is actually very real!! If i can reach out to just one person with this blog and make one person sit back and think ‘im not alone on this crazy rollercoaster we call life’ then my purpose of starting a blog has been met!

So i hope you get the chance to grab a coffee, probably the cold one you made at 5am this morning when woken by a sleep thief, and have a read and enjoy. Much love #mumlife