Super Single Mum's Blog

Life and all the shananigins!

What a Difference a Month Makes

Well today marks the end of the NaBloPoMo Challenge, where bloggers have been writing a post a day for the whole of November. When I decided to take up the challenge I was just getting back into blogging and mainly did it to get back into the habit of posting. I am proud to say that I have made it to the end!! I will admit I missed 2 days when I first went off work, mainly because I was feeling pretty low and just couldn’t find the motivation.

So what has happened over the month?

The biggest subject of my blog this month has been my depression. It seems so long ago I wrote a post about how low I was feeling which inevitably has led to me seeing the doctor, being diagnosed with depression and being off work for most of the month. I would love to say I am getting there but I still feel pretty rubbish. I went back to the doctor today who has signed me off for another 2 weeks. The tablets aren’t yet making a difference but I have been reassured this is nothing to be concerned about in the short term because it can take up to 4 weeks to feel the benefits.

Also, Christmas is coming and while I struggle to find my enthusiasm I have almost finished my shopping and have started the wrapping, I’ve even delivered pressies to family that I won’t see on the day! I need to get the tree up as this is the first year since I left home 12 years ago that the tree has not made it into the house before the end of November. I guess NaBloPoMo has taken up more of my time than I thought!!

This month also saw the arrival of some welcome exciting news………but you still have to watch this space on that one for a while!

Now I have to decide how often I will post from now on. I think every day is a lot, although I know some bloggers do, and I have in the past written a daily post. I don’t want to end up not writing very often though and losing any new readers that may be out there! So I think I will aim to do a minimum of 3 a week. What do you think, did you take part in NaBloPoMo and if so how much will you blog now it’s over? Or how much would you like to read from me? Some days I could waffle on for a long time and others I don’t have anything to say so any opinions are welcome!!

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November 30, 2011 Posted by | Blogging | | Leave a comment

How Rude

I’ve had a really rubbish day today but this morning I had to go to Tesco as I had nothing in for lunch or tea. I walked round Tesco in a daze, yet again the store had more managers about than customers and they kept getting in my way but despite all that I managed to remember everything.

When I had done I made my way to the checkouts. We have about 20 in our local store and only 3 were open so I joined the smallest queue. Obviously Tesco no longer honour the promise to open another till if there are 2 people in front of you, but I was in no rush other than wanting to get back to the security of my car.

Behind me an older chap joined the cue, who decided he would jab into my back with his hand while he rushed to load up the conveyor with his shopping. He hit me a couple of times and the fact was I couldn’t move forward because, well, we were in a queue!! So I just moved a little to get out of the way and then soon enough it was me being served.

For a change the checkout girl was very nice, she didn’t rush my shopping through and was quite happy for me to finish packing before demanding money. When I had finished she handed me my change and receipt. Before even saying thank you and goodbye, I felt a trolley push into my hip with enough force that I actually moved side ways! I let out a sigh, thanked the checkout girl and walked away.

If I was myself I would have asked this nice man if his mother had ever taught him manners, but I’m not myself at the moment and I actually felt so small that I wanted to cry.

So my moral to this story is 2 fold – 1. Being Polite costs nothing and 2. You might not know the person your actions effect, but that means you don’t know how your actions will effect them so don’t assume they won’t notice!

November 29, 2011 Posted by | Current Affairs | | 1 Comment

Exciting News

Last week I received some really exciting news. What that news is I cannot say because it’s not my news – but the news itself is not important for the purpose of this post.

Regular readers will know that I am going through a pretty rubbish time at the moment. I’ve been off work for almost 3 weeks and I am back to the doctors on Wednesday to see what the way forward is. I’m very much living in my own bubble at the moment and as much as I want to get out of it, for the way I am feeling it is safe to stay in this bubble. Looking forward is really hard at the moment. I can’t see past the day I am in. I’m trying to look forward to Christmas but even that is happening on auto pilot.

So, last week, I got some news completely out of the blue that I never expected to get. It’s something I’ve wanted for a long time but for purely selfish reasons. To say it made me smile is an understatement. It brought tears to my eyes for a good reason. It’s also made me look forward to the future, which is less of a blur now. I wrote the title to this post meaning it. I haven’t felt genuinely excited for a long time but about this, yes I am.

Life is still hard day to day, I’m sat here writing in my pyjamas, looking and feeling a mess with no motivation to get showered and dressed because I know it won’t make me feel happier. I’m not looking forward to 3pm when the girls come home because I have to paint on the smile for them. I’m not looking forward to the doctors on Wednesday as I have blood results to get which have been giving me nightmares and I’m scared of what he might tell me. Suddenly though I can look forward to the mid term, the not so distant future. To get there I have to get through today, tomorrow, Wednesday, next week, Christmas etc. So in a way, the news of the future is getting me through today – and hopefully by then I’ll have found me again too.

Oh and a message from my depression…………

“The exciting news won’t happen. Something will change and it’s not going to be. Then you’ll come running back to me with open arms because I am safe, I’m the only thing you can depend on for the rest of your life.”

November 28, 2011 Posted by | Me, myself and I | , , | 3 Comments

Silent Sunday

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Soon be time again!

November 27, 2011 Posted by | Blogging | | Leave a comment

Christmas Spirit

I love Christmas. I love the carols, the excited children, everyone talking about their plans, I love Christmas shopping, putting up the decorations and the tree. I am really looking forward to Christmas this year. It will be the first for many years that I wake in my own home and hopefully Santa will have been. The girls can open their pressies before going to my parents for dinner. Santa has been good to them this year because they have been good and their lists were done on time for once!

Thing is though, I’m missing the Christmas cheer this year. Today Mr D has put up his tree with his children and I have joined in but really not got excited about it. My tree will need to go up too, but I can’t find the enthusiasm in me to do it. My tree always goes up before the end of November but this year I am wondering if that will be the case. The Christmas shopping is almost complete, the wrapping is well on it’s way to being done but I just want to pause things until I find me again.

Tonight I should have been on a night out with my work colleagues for our Christmas night out. As I am currently off sick and the destination meant an hours drive, I made the decision that I wouldn’t go. I can’t drink on the medication I am on and with how drowsy I get in the evenings didn’t think the drive was a wise idea. I know I’m not myself though because the “real” me would be gutted about missing a night out and right now I’m not bothered!

Mr D said to me earlier “You don’t want to be here do you?” and I replied with “Right now I don’t want to be anywhere!” That shocked me, but that’s how I felt. I didn’t want to be here with them, I didn’t want to go home or to my parents. I just wanted to hibernate and wake up when I feel better! It’s a weird feeling. I say I have felt like this for years on and off, but I most definitely feel worse than I have ever felt. I have lost all motivation and operate on auto pilot and I really want to feel better for Christmas!!

So that’s my goal, I have decided no matter what happens on Wednesday when I go back to the doctors, my goal needs to be slightly longer term. I was thinking my recovery would be a couple of weeks but that just hasn’t happened. So my aim is to be able to enjoy Christmas as the “real” me. Here’s hoping!! I have 4 weeks, the search continues!!

November 26, 2011 Posted by | Me, myself and I | , , , | 3 Comments

Had Enough Now

On Monday i blogged about the fact I was starting to feel better. Oh how I wish I had kept my mouth shut! Tuesday and Wednesday I had that awful numb “I feel nothing” feeling. Then yesterday the tears returned. I don’t like to cry although I do cry easily. I find it’s a release if I am angry or upset about something, but when it is just uncontrollable crying for nothing I feel like a complete idiot, even when I am sat here on my own!

I have a week until I see the doctor again for a chat about how I am getting on and how to move forward. I know I was told that the side effects would last 1-2 weeks and I would start to feel better in 2-4 weeks but I was possibly kidding myself last week that the tablets were kicking in. I think as it turns out, the drowsy side effects were just meaning I switched off from my feelings for a while. The side effects are now wearing off, I no longer feel sick when I eat and I’m not yawning as much, but emotionally I feel back where I started! I am due to go back to work next Thursday and whilst that is a week away I am already getting panicy about it – not that I don’t want to get better or go back to work because to be honest time with my colleagues is something I do miss. Yet I’m convinced that going back to work is going to knock me back again. I know it’s a week away though and hopefully I will be feeling different though.

Thing is though I am really conscious that the people around me are fed up with it too. B keeps asking me if I am ok, to which I always say yes, so she asks why I am not at work! Mr D comes round in an evening and I can be happy and chirpy one minute and in tears the next, with no explanation. As for my family they are there for support but I don’t think any of them really get it. I don’t want to talk about it all the time but it’s always there.

I’ll keep on going, I am fed up big time of feeling this way. I wish I could just pull myself together and cheer up, but it’s really not that easy. I really feel like I am loosing me at the moment and that’s the scariest thing!

November 25, 2011 Posted by | Me, myself and I | , , | 9 Comments

Story Time with a Twist

I was recently contacted by Gianimo to have a look at their sticker story range. Now I know what you are thinking “more books with stickers”, nope, these are fantastic quality wall stickers, containing 27 characters, props and backgrounds to create a start point for any child’s imagination.

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There are 4 different mini adventures to chose from, so something to appeal to all children. The colours are bright and bold to capture the eye. Each mini adventure also comes with a brief synopsis of each of the characters to spark the imagination, and a sample story idea to start you off. The idea is that whilst it offers great child friendly decoration, you can sit with your child and make up adventures about the characters too. The stickers can be removed and reapplied but obviously if you are doing this you need to make sure that as little dust as possible gets in contact with the backs as they will lose sticky over time.

From seeing some samples of the stickers I have to say they really are bright and eye catching as well as being brilliant quality. Each mini adventure costs £58, which to be honest I initially thought was a lot. However, if you consider that this is for the decoration of your child’s room as well as a fantastic prompt for imaginative activities.

Here’s what Gianimo say about their product:

“At g!animo we believe a child’s bedroom can be more than a sleeping space. In an electronic age, which asks less and less of a child’s imagination, we hope to give children and parents a starting point from which they can spend quality time together making up their own adventures. Childhood development experts agree on the enormous benefits that creative play has on a child’s social, cognitive and communication skills. g!animo’s high quality wall stickers and accessories turn a child’s whole bedroom into an attractive picture-book experience, encouraging a love for stories and reading.”

So if your looking for a way to get you little ones to use their imagination, and looking for a novel way of decorating, then look no further, pop over to Gianimo now, what adventure will you be having tonight?

November 24, 2011 Posted by | Product Reviews | , , | Leave a comment

Too Posh to Push?

It’s all over the news today. All women in the UK now have the right to ask for a c-section if they want one. This has stirred up mixed feelings with me.

The idea is that by offering the choice, many women will make an informed decision and as such the amount of emergency sections particularly those due to mum’s who have fears about the birth, will in turn reduce. It is also suggested that if a woman requests a section and is then given all the facts, she is more likely to decide on a natural birth than a section. There’s plenty of debate going around saying that this just opens up the doors for the “Too posh to push” generation of mums. There is also debate that it is the mothers right to chose exactly what birth she wants and so if she wants a section she should have one. I can kind of see where these guidelines have come from but at the same time it does make me wonder if this will lead to sections that are not medically necessary.

As a mum of 2, both born through sections but in completely different circumstances I have to say I am trying to look at this impartially. B was breech and so was born by elective section 2 days before her due date. With H I wanted to attempt a natural delivery (VBAC). I was told of the risk of a natural birth and the risks were pretty low so I felt safe in my choice. It was only when I came close to my due date that I asked what the course of action would be if I went over due. I was told that I would be induced, they would use a lower dose so as not to start labour too fast but that there was no further risk. I asked about a section and was told that induction would be preferred as there was no medical reason why I couldn’t deliver naturally. I did go on to be induced. I did experience labour. And I was rushed into surgery for an emergency section, putting me and H at risk, as my uterus did tear. I looked into it a few months down the line and found most guidelines state VBAC mothers should not be induced due to it increasing the risk of uterine tearing significantly. Whilst I was dead set for a natural delivery, when I asked the question I should have been given the facts correctly, it may have made a difference. Whilst yes more expensive than a natural birth it would have been easier and cheaper than the 5 days in SCBU, blood transfusions for me and keeping us both in hospital for much longer.

I don’t think the issue is that women have the right, I think the issue is what is termed as medical reason. Up until now, the only medical reasons taken into account have been the physical health of the baby and mother. If you have a mum who has experienced trauma in child birth previously, and has a phobia or post traumatic stress or depression from the last birth this to me is medical reason, yet up until now has not been reason enough. If you have a woman who has previously had a section, whether she wants a section or not she should be given the risks specifically for her. If a woman is offered counselling and support to prepare for the birth but is still too anxious and fearful that she asks for a section, this is a medical reason. Mental health covers phobias, anxiety, depression the lot, and is a medical reason even if not physical. If a woman wants a section to fit in with her diary, this is not a medical reason and I don’t think in this case a woman has the right to this choice.

A woman’s body is designed for child birth. At the same time I wonder if it is advances in medical science which have led to 1 in 4 women requiring a section. I use myself as an example again. My body doesn’t make babies easily. I was on fertility treatment with B and I wasn’t able to safely deliver naturally. H was conceived naturally but my body couldn’t deliver naturally. In years gone by I wouldn’t have had children, but had I conceived naturally the first time, I would have most probably died in childbirth as B was hugging her feet rather than being in the foetal position. Sometimes we do override the bodies natural instinct with medicine and sometimes this can cause further problems. I wouldn’t change my kids and I wouldn’t say I disagree with fertility treatment, but I wonder if my issues are because my body wasn’t actually right for bearing children!

I have to conclude that I am on the fence with this one. I agree that every mum has the right to the birth she wants. I do worry though that some will see an elective section as the easy option as it really is not. H is 3 now and my scar still itches at times. Getting my tummy back is impossible. Recovery straight after the birth is very long. But I know some mums who I believe want a section on medical grounds have in the past been told no for the wrong reasons. So what do you think?

November 23, 2011 Posted by | Parenting | , , | 2 Comments

Light at the End of the Tunnel

A few weeks ago I blogged about how I have been feeling lately and I got some fantastic responses, not just through my blog, but on twitter and email as well as plucking up the courage to let Mr D in on just how bad I was feeling by getting him to read my post! I did wonder whether to follow up on this because it is a pretty personal thing, but figured that 1. I found it quite therapeutic to write how I was feeling and this may be of help to me and 2. It may well help someone else out there who is going through similar issues to do something about it.

Two weeks ago I went to see the doctor, I walked in the room and burst into tears. I felt stupid. I thought I was wasting the doctors time. I was expecting to be told to pull myself together and get on with it. He requested blood tests to rule out any physical issue that may be making me feel this way and gave me a questionnaire to fill in and bring back a week later. I then drove to work and told my boss how I was feeling. Thankfully I work with people who understand all about mental illness and I was advised to take some time off, because although not physically ill, it was clear I needed to get sorted out. I shared how I was feeling with my family. I had my blood tests done and I waited for the results.

On my return to the doctors I was told my blood tests were fine and although I have to have one of them redone due to a borderline result, there was nothing there as cause for concern. I handed my questionnaire to the doctor and he said “Hmmm yes”. That was the moment I heard the words, “You are suffering from moderate to severe depression.” I wasn’t surprised, to be honest I was relieved. I wasn’t making things up. I wasn’t just in a bad mood all the time. I had an answer.

I have been taking anti depressants for a week now. The side effects are pretty yuck. They make me drowsy and so my doctor has signed me off for another 2 weeks, by when the side effects should have died down. I feel nauseous when I have eaten and my concentration isn’t what it normally is. Doesn’t paint a great picture I know, but, I am now starting to see the light. Yesterday I woke up with a smile. I still didn’t want to get out of bed, but I did. I dropped off the girls, went to Tesco without feeling paranoid about people watching my every move, I wrapped a load of Christmas pressies and I cooked a lovely tea for me and the girls. I’m getting there. I’m starting to feel like me again. And I can honestly say I am now so glad I posted that blog post!

Depression effects 1 in 4 people in the UK at some point in their lives, yet so much is still not understood and accepted. For a long time I have gone through hard times and been scared to talk to anyone for fear of being judged as inadequate as a mother, a partner and just in general as a person. Truth of the matter is though, depression is caused by an imbalance of chemicals in the brain and whilst can be brought on by trauma, is not something anyone should be judged on. I know I am lucky to have a supporting partner, family and boss, but I would urge anyone fighting with depressive symptoms to ask for help. I won’t sit with regret that maybe had I spoken up sooner I could have got through this without medication, with counselling and other drug free remedies, hind sight is a wonderful thing. I would however, love for the prejudices and lack of knowledge about mental health to change!

I can definitely see the light at the end of the tunnel and I can’t wait to get there!!

November 22, 2011 Posted by | Me, myself and I | , , | 4 Comments

Making Friends and Keeping Them

I’ve been thinking about writing a post about friendships for a little while now. The main reason I haven’t is because I don’t want to cause upset and also because sometimes the words don’t sound how they are meant. So bear with me and we will see what happens.

I’ve never been one to have loads of friends. I tend to have a few friends but the ones I have are good ones that I can talk to about anything. Since experiencing the worst deception from a friend almost 4 years ago, it is safe to say that I am and continue to be wary of new friends. There is no way of knowing if a friend will deceive you. There is no way of knowing what the future holds.

Not long after H was born I got involved in some groups at my local Children’s Centre and made some really good friends. They restored my faith in friendship, nights out were back on the agenda and all was good. Unfortunately, as happens in life, we all went our own way. One moved to Australia, another found a new group of friends nearer her home and the rest of us just don’t see each other much because of work, new babies and other commitments.

Now from my point of view, I have tried. Obviously when someone moves to the other side of the world it’s hard to see each other but I am sure we will see each other again and continue to keep in touch. When I see others from the old group I let them know my day off and say for them to give me a shout when they are free. The calls or texts never come. It hurts but I know we all have our own lives and things are always harder with kids about. Thing is though, there are only so many times I will try and get together with someone before I decide that my effort is in vain. Friendship has to be two ways surely?

My friends now consist of Mr D, friends of ours who live 30 minutes away and my family. Of course I have friends around the country from previous chapters of my life, but right now, there’s not really anyone who is my friend, who comes over for coffee, who I can tell everything to. That sort of friendship takes time, and in the last 4 years no one has stayed around in my life long enough to develop that kind of friendship.

So I’ve begun to wonder if it’s me. Having been diagnosed with depression last week I’ve thought a lot about me. Do I drive people away with my fear of being hurt by them, or am I no fun to be around? I do find it hard to approach people, I hate the school playground and cannot just walk up to a group of mums and join in, but a part of me is hoping that when H starts school in September, it will be a new start for me too and hopefully I’ll find a like minded mum who will stick around in my life!

November 21, 2011 Posted by | Friendship | | 4 Comments