Monthly Archives: September 2014

The big ‘C’

I’ve been reading a lot of posts recently about people who have cancer.  Some are battling it and some have lost their battle with it.  Cancer affects all of us – my mum battled breast cancer aged 36 and thankfully won.  My husband’s dad battled bowel cancer and is also thankfully still with us.  One of my best friends lost her mother in law just a few months ago to this horrible disease.

I reached a breaking point on Sunday morning – Chris had been away most of the week and I was exhausted.  The twins were both screaming, Max was throwing toys and spilling cereal everywhere and Chris was on a work call.  It wasn’t even 9 0’clock and I’d already had enough.  All parents have their moments when they say ‘I can’t do this’ and then we have a break to re-charge and we say ‘It’s alright, I’m ok again now’.  The importance of having support from our loved ones.

Once Chris came off the phone, he gave me 10 minutes to re-charge.  During this time, I read a heart-breaking blog written by a mother who had lost her battle with cancer.  She urged parents to hug their children tightly and to embrace every moment you can spend with them – she will have no more minutes with her loved ones.  I was in tears reading her blog because the timing couldn’t have been better.  This might seem a bit dramatic to those of you reading this – what does having cancer have to do with having children?  But at that moment I needed a reminder of how blessed I am – a reminder of how lucky I am to have time with my children and a reminder that time can be taken away with no warning.

Some people will never experience the joy of having children and I always remind myself of this as I realise how blessed I am.  However, those people will also never experience the hardest job you can ever do – the daily challenges that push us to our limits and learning what heart break really feels like every time our kids hurt themselves and every time we worry about them.  Hearing these heart-breaking stories won’t make the challenge of raising three children under two and a half any easier, but they do make me stop and take a breath.  The challenges I’m facing are good ones and sometimes I just need to be reminded of this.  And of course there are a million happy moments to the one bad ones – this is why we keep having these gorgeous little people!

If you are having one of ‘those’ days, stop and take a breath.  We all know there are people worse off than us – we don’t need to be told this – but sometimes we do just need a reminder of our blessings.  I’m going to go and give my blessings a big squeeze.

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14 minutes

Time becomes very precious when you are a parent.  5 minutes on your own in the toilet feels like a break; having 10 minutes to eat breakfast without it being spilt on your lap or it being stolen by your toddler feels like an achievement; spending 10 minutes doing your hair and make up without a baby attached to you or a toddler trying to put lipstick in your eye feels like going to a spa.

You are never more productive than when you have kids, mainly because you usually have just an hour or two of nap times to get everything done – I usually manage to eat food, hoover the whole house, wash laundry, do all the washing up and get the dinner in the slow cooker all in an hour!  Now I have the twins, who think it’s fun to tag team their nap times, I’m not so productive but when all is quiet, I have the speed of superman.

One of my best friends told me last week that she managed to shower, do her hair and make up and pack an over-night bag in 14 minutes, whilst she cooked fish fingers for her two children!  Now that is using time efficiently.

The reason I write this post is to urge all my friends who don’t have children, to savour every minute they have to themselves – every hot cup of tea you drink, every time you go to the toilet by yourself, every time you have a shower by yourself, without having to fill up the plastic tea pot and cups for the pretend tea party, every time you read a book with no interruptions or torn pages, every time you go to the gym rather than doing squats in your front room holding a baby, every time you use the hoover without a child riding on it, and every time you use two hands to eat your dinner.

Time is a precious gift we forget to cherish.  But I know I’ll be lonely when I get to eat dinner on my own…

The daily grind

I think I’m just coming out of the hardest year of my life. Sounds dramatic I know. I’m not feeling sad, just reflecting on a whirl-wind of a year. Carrying twins was easily the hardest thing I’ve ever done – physically and emotionally – and the last three months haven’t exactly been a walk in the park! Some of my best friends have lost their parents at such a young age, which is something you can never prepare for and is truly heart breaking. Our family have had challenges to face and even though you support one another through them, you never feel like you’re doing enough.

Like my wise friend, Jon Hancox, once said to me, the three areas of your life, (personal life, work life and love life), can’t all be good at the same time – it makes the world unbalanced. When 2 out of 3 are bad, then life is hard; and this past year I’ve truly learnt how great my friends and family are. Although I wouldn’t wish hard times upon anyone, I do believe that it is only through suffering that we develop our characters and discover who we really are. Without suffering, we don’t develop humility, kindness, strength, love, compassion, empathy, endurance, patience, appreciation…
Hard times have really brought the best out of my friends and I know we will stick by each other to the end! Sounds morbid but life is short and we should surround ourselves with good people, spending as little time as possible on the bad ones.

I’ve never been very good at living in the present; I spend my time looking forward to the future, even though I remind myself that life is a journey not a destination! (A cheesy quote I came across on my travels!). This is proving hard at the moment, staying home with twins – I’m not sure when we’ll be able to go on nice holidays again or trips away, which is what I like doing most! I’ve written blogs about finding yourself again when you become a mum – it is especially hard when all the usual things you like to do are not accessible. Going for drinks with friends, going to the gym, going out for dinner, travelling the world and going on nice holidays are all the things I do to be ‘me’. You can feel a bit lost when all the ‘normal’ every day things are temporarily taken off the agenda.

So for now, my daily grind has to be feeding babies, changing nappies, doing laundry and generally running around after my family. We all have our daily grind – some enjoy theirs more than others and we enjoy it more in different stages of our life – but as long as we have good people beside us and 2 out of 3 areas of our lives are good, then I think we are doing ok.

Welcome to terrible twos…

So we have been not so warmly welcomed to the world of terrible twos… my oh my, do you need to find the patience of a saint.  It doesn’t help that Max is two going on twenty – he has the art of negotiation down and how does he manage to ask so many questions that I don’t know the answers to?

What do zebras eat?  What does a platypus do?  What’s a baby squirrel called?  Why is this cheese?

Our days at the moment go like this:

6am – Mummy, I’m awake now (whilst jumping on my head) I want my breakfast.

6:15 – Mummy, where’s my breakfast?

6:30 – I want warm milk and some chocolate.

Then for the rest of the day we hear, ‘I don’t want to get dressed’, wail.  ‘I want to wear my pyjamas’, wail.  ‘I don’t want to brush my teeth’, wail.   ‘I don’t want to go to the childminders’, wail.  ‘I don’t want my shoes on’, wail.  ‘I don’t want to get in the car’, wail.

I drop him at the childminders and he’s like ‘Oh hi friends, lets play!’ smile, laugh, smile…

I then have a few hours of no talking back (give the babies a year) and I miss my little man – his smile is like a ray of sunshine, and yes i know how cheesy that sounds!  He is such a gorgeous boy…  I look forward to going to pick him up, especially when he grins as he sees me, shouts ‘Mummy!’ and I get a big hug.

And then it starts again…’I don’t want to go home’, wail.  ‘I don’t want to go in the car’, wail.  ‘I don’t want to put my pyjamas on’, wail.  ‘I don’t want to go to bed’, wail and an extra wail just to tell us he’s really serious.

Ok Max, into bed and we’ll have two stories. ‘I want three stories and an ice cream’.  And breathe…  How many hours until we have to play this game again?!  And please don’t remind me that when the twins turn two, it’s going to be double trouble!

Liebster award!

I had a lovely surprise yesterday! Mrssurreal nominated me for a Liebster Award! As I am fairly new to the blogging world, I had no idea what this was. According to her:

It is an award for new bloggers with less than 200 followers. It is a way to hopefully get your blog out there to share all it has to offer.

Here are the Official Rules for accepting the Liebster Award:

1. Answer the questions given and then come up with 10 new ones to ask your nominations.

2. Nominate 8 other blogs, let them know you have nominated them and put a link to their blog in your post.

3. No Tag backs.

4. Nominations must have under 200 followers.

5. You must tell all the blogs that you nominate that you have nominated them.“

So even though this is a non-achievement award, it was really lovely to be nominated!  Here are my answers:

1.  Why did you start blogging?  As a way of sharing my experiences and so my husband doesn’t have to hear me go on and on!  I’ve discovered that I really love writing.
2.  What do you do like to do in your free time (assuming you have any 🙂 )?  I love seeing friends, drinking cocktails, working out and eating good food – I don’t get chance to do any of these things much at the moment!
3.  Most unexpected thing about being a parent?  How protective I am of my children.
4.  When do you blog?  Whilst feeding a baby!  Or when they are both asleep…
5.  What/Who most inspires you as a person?  All of my mum friends inspire me as I know how hard they work, how much they look after their families and how much they do for their kids.  All of my non mum friends inspire me to go out and do things for me, like exercising, going for spa days, working hard at work, and socialising!
6.  What is your go-to recipe?  Spaghetti bolognaise or fajitas
7.  Do you have a personal mantra, and if so, what is it?  Everything in moderation.
8.  What is your favorite store?  Anywhere that sells shoes!
9.  Must-have baby product, what is yours?  Muslins and lots of them!
10.  You have the chance to stop at your favorite drink place (coffee, tea, soda, etc.), which place and what is your drink order?  Any cocktail bar and first order is a mojito – could drink those all day!

I am going to nominate (& apologies if you have over 200 followers, I can’t find the stats on your pages!):

Chris Bradley

 noahonemummynil

ariaandmummy

beautifullifewithcancer

I’m sorry to only nominate 4 – I don’t know of any others I’m so new to this!

And here are my interview questions for you:

Why do you write your blog?

What is your favourite book?

Where is your favourite place you have visited?

What was your favourite experience?

What blog do you enjoy reading most?

What is your personal mantra?

Tell us something most people don’t know about you.

What is the one thing you would like to achieve in your lifetime?

What do you like to do in your spare time?

Which three people would you most like to have dinner with?

I look forward to reading your answers!

I was nominated by Mrssurreal