Official Motherwell Cheshire Blog

3. May, 2019

One thing I always struggle with online is when someone doesn’t accept a friend request or they remove me as a friend. I can obsess over it for days, wondering what I’ve done wrong? Did I say or do something to upset them?

Then my thoughts drift to all the previous people who have done the same. Is it just me? Am I unlikable? Am I unlovable? Is it because I am unfiltered and I am forever saying the wrong thing? Is there something wrong with me? In all honesty, these people probably aren’t even close to me, and not everyone likes the same things-otherwise the world would be boring (or so they say)

 

Why do we take it to heart so much? No one likes to be rejected. Perhaps because of my BPD I take it more personally. I worry more about what I say because I wonder if I am acting ‘normally’ or not. 

 

From now on, I will try really hard to let it go, and not allow it to overtake parts of my life, worrying about something that I can’t change. Social media can be a good resource tool, but at the same time it brings its own set of problems for those who already have mental health conditions, and it can actually be the fuel for starting them in some people.

 

So this weeks advice, try not to get too hung up on the online life and live in the real world a little bit more. Advice we could all take notice of, and care less what others think of us, especially those who we barely know.

26. Apr, 2019
I have suffered with my mental health since I was younger. I was bulllied in high school for being too fat, for being too smelly, for being a slut, because my face didnt fit and I wasn’t popular.  In fact, at times it was those meant to be my friends who were the bullies. 
 
I began self harming when I was 12 years old. I didnt know how to deal with these words that people said about me, and self harming was a distraction and made if a physical pain that I could control. Of course, this didnt tackle the problem, simply created something else I had to hide.  My self esteem and confidence took a blow. I wouldn’t go out if I knew the bullies would be there, and it could become isolating. 
 
I was bounced around CAMHS and my GP, but they didn’t have any advice to tackle the problems I was having, only the symptoms of self harm. 
 
I wish there had been more services around like ‘Inspire’ when I was growing up, because it could have given me more confirdence in myself and allowed me to take control of my own mental health. 
 
Life as a teenager is very different these days, with the introduction of Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat. This opens up more avenues for teens to be ‘shamed’ for how they look or how they act. I was mocked because I didnt have designer clothes and my favourite jumper had hippos on it. The transition from primary school to secondary school brings with it these new challenges on what is accepted as ‘cool’ or ‘on trend’ (I fear I am neither of these as I write this)
 
The pressures to conform as an adult can be overwhelming, so I can only imagine how difficult it must be for adolescent girls to do this. Children have to grow up far too quickly, and deal with things we didnt have to until a much later age. 
 
I fear I am showing my age with what I write, but want to follow it up, that if youre aged between 14-19, and youre suffereing with mental health issues, then please get in touch with the Inspire team via referrals@motherwellcheshirecio.comor call 01606 557666
18. Apr, 2019
This day 3 years ago was very bitter sweet for me. 
 
My day started well and I woke to the great news that my son had got his first choice primary school. We were over the moon! We headed out to soft play to celebrate,,, only, which we were there I began to get abdominal cramps and heavy bleeding. I suppose I should have mentioned earlier, that I was 6 weeks pregnant at this point. Thoughts of the new school quickly vanished, and all I could think of was what was happening to me and my baby. I was terrified but the hospital couldnt do anything because of how early I was. I was left to deal with this alone, and to take a test again in a few days, and go back for blood tests if I was unsure, but it sounded like I was miscarrying. I was devastated that this was happening to me, to us, to our family. And there was nothing, nothing at all that I could do to stop this happening, nothing that ANYONE could do to stop this. I felt like it was all my fault. Had I lifted something too heavy? Had I not taken my folic acid religiously? What had I done to make this happen? In truth, there was nothing I had done to cause thiis, but it was MY body that let me down, MY body that lost this child, so I felt like it was MY fault. 
 
A test a few days later revealed I was no longer pregnant, and my periods returned as usual. There was no help or support offered to me, I was simply left to deal with it myself. I thought that was the end of it. That I could process the thoughts and feelings, and get past it on my own. That was until M started school in September, and there was another parent who was pregnant and due her baby just 2 weeks before I would have been due. Watching her bump grow, and her due date come and go, and she delivered just 5 days before my due date, I felt crushed all over again. Of course I was over the moon for my friend, her baby boy is gorgeous, but he reminds me of what I could, or should have. Even now, I look at him and I’m reminded I should have a toddler causing havoc in my house, but that one day 3 years ago changed all of that. 
 
1 in 4 women experience the loss of a child. This can happen without warning, whoithout a care for how long you’ve been trying, how wanted the baby is, or how many precasutions you take. 
 
If you’ve experienced the loss of a child and require more help and support to deal with this, then Motherwell can help you. Email us at referrals@motherwellcheshirecio.com or call 01606 557666 for further information. 
5. Apr, 2019

Ok deep breath, here it goes:

 

List of women’s faults…as judged by society

Too fat

Too skinny

Looks like a giant

Looks like a dwarf

Wears make up? Looks like a slapper, tries too hard

Doesn’t wear make up? Needs to make more of an effort, plain Jane

Wears short skirts? Too tarty

Wears long skirts? Too frumpy

Talks a lot? Too gobby

Doesn’t talk a lot? Not a girl’s girl, too quiet

Assertive? A bitch

Reserved? Cold

Open about sex? A slag

More reserved about sex? Frigid

Shows an interest in others? Too nosy

Keeps to herself? Not a people person

Too strict with the kids

Let’s the kids get away with too much

Works? Doesn’t spend enough time with the kids

Doesn’t work? Should be using her brain

 

….I could go on for pages!

 

We get told to breastfeed and then get encouraged to bottle feed. Bottle feed then ask why we’re not breast feeding. Get told not to use dummies, then get asked why the baby doesn’t have a dummy when having a cry in the supermarket. Get instructions on how people don’t know your baby think your baby will best sleep. Co-sleep, don’t co-sleep, let the baby cry, don’t let the baby cry.

And I have to be honest, the harshest critics are usually other women. The comments I used to get about my 6 weeks early1.98kg baby were gems like: “don’t you feed him enough?”. I’ve had many friends who haven’t felt comfortable taking their kids to CHILD FRIENDLY establishments too worried about what others might think and in fact apologetic if someone says anything. (My advice is if they’re offering a children’s menu, high chairs and advertise themselves as family friendly and you don’t like kids then find somewhere else!)

My point is with all this conflicting information, advice and endless judgement it’s no wonder us women are pulling our hair out and getting stressed. We need to teach our girls to trust their own instincts, listen to their own bodies and have the confidence in themselves to make the choices that make them happy. Not the choices that make Josephine Blogs down the street happy. I have boys and try and instil the same thing in them. My eldest asks me “Do you like my toy car mummy?” I say to him “Do you like your toy car? If so, then it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks.” Of courseit’s important to raise children to respect others and listen to various opinions but it’s just as important, if not more so to help them make their own judgement. Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, Selfies...crikey imagine if you were in a room top to floor mirrors 24/7 with people commenting through a loud speaker on everything you do? No wonder people and particularly feel so self-conscious. 

There’s no easy solution and no one rule fits all, but a lot of the mums I’ve met who have had postnatal depression or felt down about motherhoodworried a lot about what other people think and therefore didn’t talk about it. When my friends and I started families, I was naïvely surprised by the mothers who had postnatal depression. They were typically the ones who seemed on top of it all and it was only after they’d received help that they opened up about it.

Later in parenthood, people wonder if XYZ is a normal thing for a child to do, or are they only ones who’s kid has had an epic meltdown because their banana has broken? Is their child the only one who never ever sleepsThe amount of times I’ve heard “Oh I’m so glad to hear that someone else didn’t have the energy to cook their offspring a 5-course meal with 10 varieties of fruit and veg. My kids got Weetabix for dinner too...”. We need to be more open and discuss both the highs and lows of parenting. We need to prepare our children for having children. When you were thinking of having a family or when you’re pregnant how many horror (reality) stories did you hear? I swear before my 1st was born I was expecting sun-kissed fairies to dance a merry tune and his poo to be the colour of a glittery rainbow. The fact is, the reality wouldn’t have put me off having kids and even though nothing could prepare you, talking about the good, the bad and the very ugly (child in cot, thought he was napping I walked in and he’d effectively taken off his nappy and had a dirty protest) helps us. It helps us understand that others are going through the same, it helps us because it can feel liftingto talk and it helps us because it makes us realise that comments like the one I’ve mentioned in the list above are a load of tosh.Women are amazing and don’t deserve the criticism we get. We need to support each other. Everyone is different but by talking we can see that we’re not the only ones going through the tough times and who knows? It might help others in the process.

19. Mar, 2019

Do it for the love….


It’s great to be back! The boys and my husband have basically been snot/sore throat/teething monsters since just before Christmas, with the boys having a round each of chicken pox for good measure. At least we’ve got the pox out of the way before they start school. Calpol, Virosoothe and wine (for me not the boys!) got us through. My youngest (2) obviously had far too much time on his hands while he was quarantined as he discovered how to climb out of his cot. Nice he’s learning to be independent. Not so nice at 3am in the morning. Ironically when I put him to bed in the toddler bed he patted the pillow for me to put my head down and declared it “sleepy time mummy sleepy time” and then proceeded to prod, poke, whack and giggle away. After a few sleepless nights and then tantrums (toddler or me…take your pick!) and a particularly bad day I joked with my husband that if I’d been a nanny I would have quit my job! Of course, once toddler got through to the other side of the phase and gave the biggest smile and cuddles and I’d had some sleep, it all seemed brighter. I’m holding on to that thought for the next toddler phase G. goes through.
A lovely stage the kids are going through at the moment is to want to help Mummy. It’s very sweet. They don’t always get it right, things get spilt, the dry washing gets taken out of the machine and the wet washing gets put back in etc etc…but talking as a child who wasn’t allowed to use a washing machine in case I damaged the clothes (embarrassingly my first time using one was when I went to uni at 18 and housemates had to show me how), was nervous about making a sandwich in the kitchen in case I didn’t clean up properly (the one time I did there a single crumb on the floor but I was told that apparently they breed!), and still struggle to make beds as I never “did it properly” so gave up, (ps. I say struggle …I did until I saw this amazing video…IT WILL CHANGE YOUR BED MAKING LIFE!!! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c1IzS2oBBN0). I have to sit on my hands so much not to take over from them when it’s not going to plan. If needed I offer but try not to force help and attempt to show the right way rather than shout at them for not getting it right. It’s not always perfect (especially if we need to hurry to be somewhere etc) but I love that they give it a go (2 & 4 years old).
Well the other day, I asked my 4yo to help me put a load of washing in the washing machine and he did a great job. I was about to offer him a sticker for his good work when before I could open my mouth, he came out with “Mummy can I have a sticker now?”. I asked him “Did you do this to help Mummy or did you do it to get a sticker?” he said “To get a sticker…” my heart sank a little bit and then I remembered an assembly we had at school (NB: teachers…just goes to show it’s not all in one ear and out the other. Thanks for the work you do!) and a what I thought was a poem about a child who gave an “invoice” to his mum for all the jobs he’d done. She read it and gave one back for all the jobs she’d done. The assembly was a looooooooooooooong time ago but thanks to the power of Google I put in the subject and it turned out it wasn’t a poem but a country song!
Anyway, I asked my son “When Mummy washes your clothes does she get at sticker?”
Son: “No” I said “that’s right, I do it because I love you and want to help you”
Me: “When I help you tidy your toys do I do it to get a sticker?”
Son: “No”
Me: “that’s right – I do it because I love you and want to show you how to tidy toys so that you know how
when you’re older”
Me: “When I make your dinner, do I get a sticker?”
Son: “Yes mummy!!! You do get a sticker!!!” (ok not best example…I’d forgotten the day before I’d made his favourite sandwich and out of the blue he gave me a sticker for giving him such a delicious sandwich)
Me: “er well that was so sweet of you to give me the sticker and thank you but I did it because I love you not to get a sticker…”

I think he sort of understood. I’m so glad we had that assembly all those years ago. This might sound like a big dollop of cheese but I’m hoping to teach my kids that sometimes love is all the reward we need.
Video: Johnny Cash No Charge
NO CHARGE – JOHNNY CASH
http://lyrics.wikia.com/wiki/Johnny_Cash:No_Charge
Our little boy came up to his mama in the kitchen this evening
While she was fixing supper
And he handed her a piece of paper he'd been writin' on
And after wipin' her hands on her apron she read it and this is what it said

For mowin' the yard 5 dollars
For makin' my own bed this week 1 dollar
For going to the store 50 cents
For playin' with my little brother while you went shoppin' 25 cents
For taking out the trash 1 dollar
For gettin' a good report card 5 dollars
And for rakin' the yard 2 dollars
Total amount owed 14 dollars and 75 cents

Well as mama looked at him standin' there expectantly
And I could see the memories flashin' through her mind
And so she picked up the pen and turnin' the paper over
This is what she wrote and I read it to him

For the nine months she carried you growing inside her no charge
For the nights we sat up with you doctoring you praying for you no charge
For the time and the tears that you've caused through the years there's no charge
When you added all up the full cost of our love is no charge

For the nights filled with dread and the worries ahead no charge
For advice and for knowledge and the cost of your college no charge
For the toys food and clothes and for wiping your nose there's no charge
When you added all up the full cost of our love is no charge

Well when I finished readin' he had big tears in his eyes
And he looked up at his mother and he said mama I sure do love you
Then he took the pen and in great big letter he wrote Paid In Full