Super Single Mum's Blog

Life and all the shananigins!

Five Years Time

Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?

To answer i look at myself 5 yrs ago. 2005. B was 2. I was working part time in TK Maxx. I was about to move to work with Carphone Warehouse. I was happily married. I had no money. I had hugs. I had love and I had stability.

Now??? I have money, B is 7 and H is almost 2. They are both happy. Me? I live for my kids.I have a handful of friends and half of them are 7oo miles away. Hugs from my girls mean the world. I get no other hugs. I am strong. I have to be. My babies need me to be strong and stable so I am. Nothing in this world stops me being what I need to be for them.

Fast forward. In Five years time, B will be 12, H will be 7 and I will hopefully be happy for me not just for them, because there is a difference. I can provide for them and it means the world. But at the end of the day I forget myself, forget what to do for myself and because everyone sees the happy, everything is great me, they think it’s all ok. I miss hugs, just being close, and falling asleep in someone’s arms.

Next time you speak to single friends who say they are happy – please do read between the lines!!!

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April 30, 2010 Posted by | Me, myself and I | 5 Comments

I didn’t know Wilkinson’s did Baby Products!!

I received an email last week asking me to try out a new range of baby products, from Wilkinson’s! I must admit I was a little dubious. Thing is, Wilko’s to me is for cleaning products, and garden items. That’s because when I was younger that was what my parents and Grandparents bought there!

Oh how my view has changed. I was asked to review 3 items, Baby Wipes, Baby Wash and Anti-Bacterial Wipes. I was very pleasantly surprised. All three products smelt fresh and were pleasant to use. The Baby Wipes come in a pack of 80, which I believe from looking at other packs is standard. At just 97p per pack I was unsure what to expect. I have used low price wipes before and found the quality to be low too, but these smell great, are very strong and feel soft. I have even taken to using them to remove my make up!

The anti-bacterial wipes were a surprise. I usually just use normal anti-bac cleaners around the home so having such a wipe was actually really handy. The best thing they are for is wiping down the table and H’s seat after meals. I no longer need to get out the spray cleaner and find a cleaning cloth etc. Just grab these wipes and I know that it’s job done. They have a pleasant lemon fragrance and the packet says they give 4 hours protection against the nasties. There are 30 wipes per pack and at 77p I will definitely be buying these again. I also think they are ideal to keep in a changing bag for when your out and about. I know I have been caught in situations where I haven’t 100% trusted that a high chair in a cafe has been cleaned down properly, so this is a handy way to know your kids are eating from clean surfaces because lets face it, a 2 year old has a habit of dropping food off their plate and then eating it from the high chair tray!!

Wilkinson's Baby Wash

Finally the Baby Wash, at just 97p per bottle I was again a little wary. I don’t tend to use products on H, she still has fantastic baby soft skin and just bubble bath in the water is enough for her. So this I tested out on me and B. My skin is pretty sensitive and own brand body washes tend to irritate me. I have used this without any issue and B has used it and got on with it great. I have no hesitation that in the next few months, when the time comes that bubbly water isn’t enough for H, then I will use this with her too.

So well done Wilkinson’s, you’ve surprised me in a good way and I will definitely be buying these again and would recommend all 3 of these products to anyone with kids!

April 29, 2010 Posted by | Product Reviews | , , , | Leave a comment

The Gallery – A Portrait or Four!

I look at it every month and never get round to doing it, but this week I have decided to give my attempt at The Gallery. For those of you who don’t know, it’s run by Tara Cain on her Blog Sticky Fingers. Go over and take a look and have a go. This week the topic is portraits, old or new, including whoever you want so I looked through my pictures, and I managed to narrow it down to four. A portrait to me is a snap shot of time that is captured perfectly, although not the best quality pictures in the world, these pictures fill me with emotion!

 

 I don’t look glamorous, I hadn’t done my hair and I felt like hell, but this is the moment I held H for the very 1st time. She was about 36 hours old and was breathing for herself again after being on a ventilator. She was 2 weeks over due and went through a pretty traumatic birth, but she’s my little fighter and you’d never know what she went through from looking at her now. Apgar score of 1 at 1min old and 3 at 5 minutes long – for those who understand that, you will know that’s a pretty close call. This is a portrait of Love, Thankfulness and Relief.

 

 

My next portrait is of my two girls, soaking it all up, studying each other. It was such a natural moment when H was only a few weeks old. B was smitten with her from the moment she came home. She had found it hard coming to hospital and seeing her Mummy with tubes and unable to move easily, and her new baby sister also full of tubes and very ill. But when H came home, B was full of love and affection. This portrait is of Love, Understanding and Sisterhood.

 

I adore this picture. It captures the spirit of Sports Day so well. This was the 1st year that B actually managed to do the sack race without anyone helping her, she came last but she didn’t care she loved it!!! This portrait is of Fun, Sun and Laughter.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And finally we have my darling girlies recently. The smiles say it all. I look at these pictures and see how much B has grown, how much H is just a normal little girl and the fact they are both happy means the world to me. This portrait is of my life as a Mum!!!

April 28, 2010 Posted by | The Gallery | , , | 12 Comments

Politics and Me

It’s a week till we all descend on the polling stations and mark our X’s in the applicable box. And for the 1st time since I have been old enough to vote I actually think my solitary vote could make a difference! But I have to admit, of all the research and discussion I have done, I still can’t say I am 100% made up in my decision. I’m probably 95% there, but the 5% of uncertainty is enough that I am still looking for more information!

 

I live in an area which currently has a Conservative MP. His leaflet came round today. Ok so it’s the 1st to be addressed to me rather than just a leaflet through the door. Thing is though, the leaflet just harps on about what Labour and Gordon Brown have done to damage our country whilst in office. It doesn’t tell me what he is going to do for me in my area though.

 

As for Labour, well, I don’t trust Gordon Brown and never have, but, just because to me he has untrustworthy eye’s does that mean enough to disregard him. I know the country is in a state, and yes the other parties can argue that they would have dealt with it quicker or differently, but WE the public, all jumped on the band wagon of free and cheap credit, buy now pay later, and that all contributed too. It wasn’t all down to 1 man. And it wasn’t just our country. Again though, Brown just seems to go on about what the Tories are proposing!

 

So that leaves Nick Clegg and the Liberal Democrats. Great. I have voted Lib Dem in every election up until now. They speak in a language I understand and although I don’t always agree, they win a lot from me for using plain English. In the 1st debate Clegg was winning all the way for me – until Trident. Now I am in no way saying I agree with Nuclear weapons, but they are a very important deterrent and the thought of Clegg scrapping Trident scares the hell out of me. It leaves us wide open. If everyone decided to get rid of nuclear warfare then yes great all for that. Seeing as how we have it in the 1st place to protect us from those who may use their weapons against us, well why the hell would we want to now say “Ok we will disarm, you should all do the same”, like hell any of them will!!! So I am stuck, money, life the lot could be great under a Lib Dem government, but is it worth it for the possible extra threat??? Or am I understanding this wrong, does Clegg plan on keeping Trident just not revamping it?

 

It’s really not an easy choice but one thing is for sure, I will vote. Not for the suffragettes, although there is the argument there too. No the reason I will vote is down to the fact that it is OUR choice as a nation. If I don’t have my say then I don’t have a say. Not just next Thursday but every day. So much comes under the umbrella of politics – the price of fuel and other goods, the cost of a TV Licence, the amount of foreign people moving into our towns, the state of the streets, how safe our towns are, how much we earn, the benefits and pensions we and our families receive. No matter your opinions on these things, if you don’t vote you really have no reason to complain. In the words of my Mum “I will vote, because my vote isn’t helping Cameron get in!” But it’s true, if you don’t vote you are helping out the parties you don’t agree with!

 

I’d love to know your opinions, I know a lot of bloggers have touched on this, but with a week left, I am still a floating voter so all opinions help!!!

April 27, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | 5 Comments

A Whole New World

What is this feeling, I don’t understand it. My girls are at Daddy’s, I’m sat home alone, trying to sort out things for a car boot tomorrow and I’m just feeling fantastic! For the 1st time since I have been a single Mum I am actually enjoying my weekend off without wondering what they are up to every second. Yet I really wasn’t prepared for it, as you will know from reading my blogs on the run up to Daddy coming home.

 

Yesterday I spent the morning with Daddy, H and L, going through the changes in both B and H’s routines and boundaries. The afternoon was spent sorting things for the car boot, then I took B’s bike over to Daddy’s and saw my other baby girl, our dog who I haven’t seen since H was born almost 2 years ago. I nearly cried when I saw her and she went mental, you can definitely say that she remembers me!

 

I got home, ate, showered and changed before heading to the pub for the 1st time in 2010!! It’s been a long old 4 months I can tell you. Going out with friends is my 1 release, the time I can be 100% myself without the girls, without thinking about work, just be me!! And actually for the 1st time since I moved here I was out in male company for most of the night (We had to do the obligatory drink with the parents!!!). I have always got on better with blokes than women, I don’t know why just have and as much as I love all my girlie friends I have made here, I do miss the different humour a night out makes with blokes – maybe it’s the military humour I grew up with and the fact it takes quite a bit to offend me!

 

So at 3am this morning I rolled into bed. I was fairly tipsy it has to be said. But actually I wasn’t completely hammered! I slept not too well, as is the case when it’s alcohol induced sleep. Woke up, shower, dressed, done some jobs round the house. Ate left over kebab for lunch. And after writing this I’m off for a BBQ at my parents. It’s nothing special but right now I’m sat thinking, this is the life. I love my girls to bits as is probably obvious from this blog, but I had forgotten how much I enjoy and need this time to me. As a single parent there is never time for the things you need to do for you – but now I can again! Think I may even get booked in for my hair and nails next weekend – as it’s payday!!!

 

Anyway, that’s all I wanted to say, hadn’t posted in a few days and it’s because at the moment I actually feel like I have a life, and I’m loving living it!!!

April 24, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | 6 Comments

Patience Grows with Age!

When I started my blog about 2 months ago, I also wrote my list of 101 things to do in 1001 days and I have been doing really well at crossing things off. I haven’t mentioned it for a while because what with starting work time just hasn’t been on my side. But don’t worry I am still working towards them!!

 

So last weekend the girls were meant to be with Daddy for the weekend, but due to the Volcanic Ash Cloud, he didn’t make it back in time. It meant however, that I had no plans as to what we would do with our weekend. I had to go to the local Warehouse store to get some craft bits and pieces for work and, wait for it, I bought paint! Oh no hang on, I mean for MY girls not for work!!! Yep, I decided the time had come that I would brave letting the girls do painting at home!!! Guess what, yep, they loved it. B was in shock that I was letting them do it and H spent the whole afternoon saying “painting”!!

 

The thing that really got me though, wasn’t the fact that it made a mess, because it didn’t. It wasn’t the fact that I didn’t have a clue how to help them to do it, because I let them both take the lead. The thing that was surprising was the amount of patience I had with the whole activity and it got me wondering if that’s just an age thing or if it’s another sign of how I have changed in a person over the years. To show what I mean, when B was the age H is now, I went to work part time and she went to nursery. This is no different with H, although my working pattern now is much more family friendly. I didn’t work weekends, again that’s the same now. We lived hundreds of miles away from family with mountains and the sea all within 10 minutes of us. However, when it came to doing kid things with B, like crafts and painting, I just had no patience at all.

Ok since then a lot has changed and I am not even going to begin to try and pinpoint why things have changed in this area, but we now play with playdough, moon sand, painting, drawing. We don’t just do these activities but all three of us love it! Maybe it’s because it is second time round too. I do feel guilty now when I pull out the craft stuff and B is trying things for the 1st time with H, yet H will grow up with these activities always having been in her life!!

 

As you can see from the pictures we had a few different things to use with the paints. Of course there were brushes, but as well we had sponges and some plastic cutlery. Now back when B was little I wouldn’t have even had the imagination to use these different objects in a painting session! And the pictures the girls did now have pride of place on the kitchen door!

 

So anyone out there who shies away from doing such craft activities at home, give it a go. Honestly the negatives that put you off are nothing compared to the enjoyment you will get from it! Make sure you put down newspaper or a plastic sheet to protect the table, and if you have a carpet then maybe a plastic sheet to protect that too. If it’s laminate flooring, well I took the risk and the few paint splashes washed off easily. Real worst case scenario the kids end up in the bath, so just make sure you allow time for this just in case!! If I can do it and enjoy it then so can you!!

April 21, 2010 Posted by | Entertainment, My 101 Things | , | 7 Comments

What’s in my Handbag?

A few days ago I was Twittering away and the lovely WeeWifie asked if anyone fancied being tagged in a Meme. Well I hadn’t heard of the one she was on about so piped up and here I am after being tagged!

So, the aim of the game is to tell everyone what is in your handbag. Now I am assuming the purpose is to hopefully find something really interesting in there, or be able to read into the contents to find out more about the person who’s bag it is. Or maybe it’s just a more interesting way for us women to sort out our bags, because come on unless you recently got a new bag, when did you last sort out yours?

Here’s what’s in mine………

So on to my tags, I want to know what’s in your:

Kerry, your an Avon rep so bound to have loads of interesting things in your bag, and Becky because I am nosey!!!

 

April 20, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | 6 Comments

A True Blogging Breakthrough

Nope this has nothing to do with stats, comments, hosts or anything like that. This is a short thank you to everyone who has offered their opinion to my last post The Reintroduction of Daddy. From reading the post you will have gathered I had been quite worried about the whole Daddy coming back after 3 months away and ending up hating me for leaving her with people she hardly remembers. Well after some direct words from some people – it was needed – I decided to just admit to myself that the only way I would get any kind of let up of anxiety was to talk to J.

 

So, tonight I rang her and we spent 20 minutes talking about the plan for Thursday and what I was happy for her to do with the girls and what she was planning if it was ok with me. There was a lot of tension in the air initial, I think the nerves were on both sides, but I had arranged to phone her so we both were prepared and there was even a little bit of laughter in the call.

 

So it has now been agreed that not only will H go, but that I will leave it entirely to their judgement as to whether she stays with them over night or if they think she will be happier to come home.

 

But my point is that without the help of completely impartial comments on my blog I probably wouldn’t have picked up the phone, I would have got more tense and that would have passed on to the kids. It would have been the start of an argument between me and Daddy and to be honest, that’s not what I want from now on. So, here’s to amicability and being the adult, here’s to the best of a not so perfect family set up, and here’s to the future!!!

April 19, 2010 Posted by | Parenting | , , , | 10 Comments

The Reintroduction Of Daddy

Regular readers will know that my Ex has been working away for the last 3 1/2 months and I’m not going to pretend I haven’t enjoyed it. He was due back last Friday but due to the Icelandic Volcano erupting on Thursday, that’s all on hold at the moment. The plan had been that he would spend some time here with the girls on Saturday morning and then take them back to his with him till Tuesday morning, when he would drop them to school and nursery. Then J (his new partner) would collect them on Thursday afternoon to take them with her to his Medal Parade and then they would again stay at his over night.

 

Due to natural occurrences beyond anyone’s control he has obviously not got back yet, but through some long winded itinery they are now hopefully going to be back by Wednesday. That means the Parade will most probably still go ahead. It does however leave me in a little bit of a quandary. Before I start, I am in no way trying to stop him seeing my girls as much as he wants when he gets back – but I do have a gut worry about how it’s all going to effect H.

 

H lately has had a massive attachment to me. She hates it when I leave her at nursery, walk out the room, or even leave her with my Mum, who she sees 4 or 5 times a week and used to willingly go to on every occasion. My worry is that should he return Wednesday and the parade still be on Thursday, that she will be collected by J and my MIL (who she has seen twice in the last 3 months), taken to an out door parade which is due to start bang on tea time. Then be taken back to his home and expected to sleep. B understands it all, she remembers who Daddy is and remembers his house etc. H is 21 months and although she has spoken to him on the phone in her own way a few times, she hasn’t seen him in what is a long time for a toddler.

 

B went through a similar experience at a slightly younger age. We were together then and even with him being in her home it took her a week to come round to him properly.  So my worry is based on past experience. Plus, he is going to have to face this with his other daughter he now has with J who is 8 months. It won’t be easy, but at least little L has her Mummy there the whole time, there is stability. The only stability H will have is B. So, I am kind of wondering what is my best line of action with this. Do I let her go and hope that between them they can comfort her enough. Do I let her go but insist she is brought home afterwards rather than stay at his. Or do I say B can go but not H – which I really don’t want to do for a number of reasons. Had I not been at work I would willingly take my girls with me. As much as my relationship with him is over and ended in a lot of hurt, I really do respect what he has to do for his job and am proud to be a part of that even if far removed now. I just don’t want to cause unnecessary upset to my daughter by just going along with the plan as if nothing has changed.

 

I guess at the end of the day I will just have to wait until he is home and then discuss it with him. But I would really love some feedback as to how it’s best to deal with this, best for H that is. I want her to have a relationship with her Dad, but I don’t want her to feel it is forced upon her. Parenting is hard enough at the best of times eh!!!

April 18, 2010 Posted by | Parenting | , , , , | 13 Comments

What Happiness Means to Me

Ok so I have banged on about happiness a lot lately. It is honestly just sheer coincidence that I have found happiness since writing this blog – or is it that the writing down of feelings and discussion of issues has helped me focus and find my happiness. Who knows! However, I am conscious that when I wasn’t so happy what I wanted more than anything was some advice on how to be happy rather than listen to someone else bat on about how happy they are. So with that in mind, here is my guide to being happy…….

 

  • Take some time each day to think about what you are thankful for. Today I am thankful for not being alone. I had been due to have my 1st child free weekend in 3 months but my ex is stuck out of the country. I am thankful that means I get extra time with my girls and we have so far had a fantastic weekend.
  • Think about what you have achieved recently. I don’t just mean the big things like the fact I have started work in the last month, but the little achievements. I sorted out my food cupboard today, threw out the out of date stuff that I will never use and actually was very happy with myself when I had done.
  • What have you done to make someone else smile? B smiled lots today, when I let her help make tea, painted her nails and play with bubbles outside. H smiled when I videoed her talking about Peppa Pig and when I told her to get back in bed for the fourth time tonight!!
  • What has improved in your life recently? For me this is financial ease. The fact I can take the girls on holiday this year, run a car and not worry about my debts. But on the whole I try not to focus on money because to me it’s not the be all and end all.
  • Do something that makes you happy every day – this is something I had to really think about in the beginning. I found it hard to give myself the time to dry and straighten my hair every day rather than tie it back wet. I completely stopped wearing make up other than for going out and I can’t remember the last time I had a hair cut or manicure. But now I make time, I do my hair and make up every day, I make myself a cup of tea every morning, and allow myself time to drink it. It’s the hardest thing to get used to doing but even if some days it is only 5 minutes, make sure you fit it in because it will really make a difference.
  • Always find the positive. I used to always let the bad things really get me down. Now no matter what I look for the positive. Like the volcano cloud meaning I can have extra time with my girls rather than dwelling on the fact I still haven’t had a lie in!!!! As a parent, I just have to look at my girls to know the true meaning of happiness. I am a firm believer of “Happy Mum, Happy Child” and I do have my days where I doubt myself as a single mum, but when I look at the smiling faces on my girls I know I can’t be going far wrong. They are my world and ultimately they are my happiness, so when you look at your kids, no matter how many times they wake in the night, or refuse to eat your cooking or do something just to wind you up, smile and know that happiness is what YOU make it. There is no magic formula and the above is what I do, it may not work for you. If you found something else that helps with your happiness I’d love to hear about it!

April 17, 2010 Posted by | Me, myself and I | , , | Leave a comment