Anxiety

Anxiety

Everyone has anxiety, right? Worrying and being anxious about certain things kinda comes hand in hand with motherhood. You worry about your children from the moment they’re born. Are they feeding enough? Pooing enough? Everyone worries.

I never realised anxiety could be something people actually suffered with or that would become a problem in day to day life.

Yet I am sitting here typing away, with a weird sick nausea feeling deep inside me that I can’t quite shake, and I don’t really know what has made me, or why I feel like this.

Also I don’t know if I am feeling sick because of the anxiety or I’m anxious because I feel sick? It’s one big cycle I think… which makes it hard to nip in the bud.

I can be feeling totally fine and ‘normal’ (dare I say it) and then all of a sudden it pops up when I’m least expecting it.

For example, earlier this week I was standing outside school with the pram waiting for the gates to open, listening to the birds chirping, feeling relaxed, happy and fine.

Out of nowhere I felt what can only be described as a hot bad feeling slowly creep up my body from my toes to my chest, like a massive weight of doom covering me. For no reason whatsoever. As soon as I realised it was happening my heart rate began to speed up and I felt like my face was going really red and hot. My first thought was that I was going to be sick, so I looked around for where I could be sick, standing in a busy crowd of parents. I tried to talk myself round and tell myself that I wasn’t going to be sick and I was fine. It wasn’t working for what felt like ages and ages (but was probably only seconds or minutes) and my internal panic was getting worse. I decided to pull out my old faithful calming technique, my hypnobirthing 20/20 breathing.

Almost straight away I felt the hotness and the ‘bad’ feeling easing off, my slow breathing worked again. To everyone else surrounding me outside the gates I was just standing there calm and normal, but inside I was in turmoil. I think it’s so odd that I could be feeling like that yet probably show no external signs of it at all. (Although I reckon my face was really red with panic!)

The funny thing is I wouldn’t describe myself as a particularly anxious person. These issues seem to have sneaked up on me gradually.

Is it just being a mum? Is it hormonal? Or neither?

This particular feeling of panic is happening more and more to me, randomly, along with feeling the ‘fight or flight’ response over seemingly small things. Also being on the verge of tears a lot of the time. For no apparent reason. 

Also I’ve noticed I think about worse case scenarios a lot when there isn’t a likelihood of danger. Like cars mounting the pavement and hitting the kids as we walk along.

I’d love to hear others’ experiences of anxiety / panic and whether this is common amongst parents because life in general is more worrying now? 




 

 

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A full and honest review of my experience at the Rural Retreat Beauty Salon in Shorne, Kent 

A full and honest review of my experience at the Rural Retreat Beauty Salon in Shorne, Kent 

Today I was treated to an ESPA Face, Back and Scalp Treatment at the Rural Retreat. I was so excited as I love having massages and haven’t had one for so long. Being a mum of 3 means I don’t get much me-time anymore so this was an ultimate treat for me.

There is customer parking to the front of the salon, but this was full when I arrived (on a Saturday), but I found there was lots and lots of spaces to park less than 30 seconds from the salon, I parked along the street about 15 steps from the doors.

Entering the salon, it’s such a lovely, beautifully decorated and calm space. The reception is gorgeous and has lots of products on display as well as some lovely crushed velvet chairs to relax whilst you wait, and straight away Ellie welcomed me and put me at ease. I used the toilet (as every mum does after a drive!) which smelt divine – to me a nice smelling toilet is important!

Ellie led me to the treatment room and it was lovely – cosy, comfortable, low lighting, low chilled music and the most important bit – a comfy treatment bed calling to me with a luxurious furry blanket on it. Even without any treatment, an hour and a half of laying on this bed is going to be a treat!

Ellie explained about the treatment and what order things would be done in, and told me how naked I’d need to be and what to do. She left whilst I undressed and I got in the bed very excited at the imminent pampering I was about to receive.

The back scrub and massage was first, which was amazing – Ellie asked what pressure I usually like and I like it HARD (haha) and she did not disappoint. First my back was brushed down with a spiky brush (nicely spiky!) and then a scrub rubbed all over it and taken off with a lovely hot towel. Then the massage with oils that I had selected at the beginning. It was incredible, I’m sure I was dribbling by the end of it. But this was just the start…

For the facial, I got to select which scents/oils were used and Ellie looked at my skin under a special light to see what type it was (I’ve never known what my skin type is!) and advised which products would be best for me – the facial was totally tailored to my needs.

I feel that the word facial isn’t really reflective of what the treatment is, it’s so much more than that, it’s like a face hydrating treatment and cleanse with a wonderful neck/shoulder and face massage with so many times of product application I felt like it lasted SO long, the use of different scrubs/cleansers/hot towels etc it was just divine. I think I fell asleep towards the end as I was so relaxed. It was perfection. For anyone who has never had one or has been thinking of having one – please do it!

After the facial ended, Ellie gave me the scalp treatment which involved a mask for your hair (which was optional if you didn’t want this bit!) and this was such a lovely ending to a completely relaxing experience.

After the treatment I had a lovely cold glass of water, and I was given an ESPA card with some of the products used on it, but no hard sell to buy the products. Ellie was really knowledgeable about what I could do to help my skin day to day and gave me a little sample to take away.  

I was so impressed with the entire treatment, impressed isn’t really the word, it surpassed all my expectations and I felt SO relaxed at the end, the most relaxed I’ve ever felt in my life. For a mum who doesn’t get out much (haha) it literally was the perfect treatment. I felt renewed, indulged, relaxed, pampered, rested, and the skin on my face is still glowing!

This treatment is honestly the perfect way to de-stress and indulge, or to treat someone who needs it. I can’t recommend it highly enough and will definitely be treating myself to one every now and then!

Thank you to Ellie and the Rural Retreat for being so welcoming and for making me feel properly relaxed for the first time in a long time!

*Disclaimer – I was not paid or asked to write this review and this is my own personal opinion of the ESPA Face, Back and Scalp Treatment, cost £68.50

The Rural Retreat website is: http://www.theruralretreatsalon.co.uk/

School attendance is not something to be effing rewarded!! 

School attendance is not something to be effing rewarded!! 

Things that are totally annoying #452

I know it’s a total first world problem, but it really annoys my brain when school’s reward children for having 100% attendance. THIS MAKES NO SENSE TO ME. It actually pisses me off.

Who thinks this shit up? Lets reward children for coming to school every day. However it’s not really the kids’ achievement if they go to school every day. It’s the parent or carer who gets them up, dressed and ready and takes them! Clearly the child has been lucky not to have been ill all school year, and of course well done to the mum for getting them there every day. But what message does it send to the kid that has a long term condition and has hospital appointments or a bout of illness, or the kid who caught a sick bug and had to have a day or 2 off after being sick (school’s policy to prevent illness spreading!)? I just think it is such an odd thing to reward.

Why not reward the kid who has tried and tried and tried his best to accomplish something but may not have quite got there – but has really given so much effort? What about the kid who has still managed to do all their homework despite hospital appointments for a long term condition? What about the child in care who has had a hard few years but always has a smile in school? There’s so many more things that can be rewarded! Or plain kindness! 

Some of these kids will NEVER be able to achieve 100% attendance – what can the kids do to improve on this? They can’t do anything at all….  so it’s just silly to reward it!

Also, I think because school’s now reward this ‘achievement’ it means that the kids that are unwell for whatever reason are being taken into school when they should be kept home, because parents don’t want to jeopardise their attendance record. Which means illnesses are being passed around the school, pox, virus’ and bugs are being spread more because parents are marching their kids to school when not totally recovered from their illness to make sure they get their wonderful attendance award at the end of the year. Why? To make the school look good?

The school my 2 attend have a reward system – bronze silver and gold certificates for the kid’s who have full attendance. That’s bad enough. I’ve seen various schools do stuff like theme park days out for the 100% attended kids…. yes, THEME PARKS! Also special lunches (McDonald’s lunch was one I heard of!), parties and soft play days. It really bloody boils my piss. WHY??????

Does your child’s school reward 100% attendance? What do you think about it being rewarded? 

The Loneliest Place in the World

The Loneliest Place in the World

When you have young children, you’re rarely alone. You are constantly taking care of them, perhaps feeling a bit claustrophobic at times. ‘Me’ time can be rare and you are spending all your time feeding, playing, clearing, preparing, cuddling, loving another human being(s).

So how comes at this time when I am never truly alone do I feel a deep, empty loneliness that I can’t shift?

Even surrounded by friends, school runs, playdates, family, your partner, I’ve discovered that being a mum can feel like the loneliest place.

I’m very lucky to actually NOT be physically lonely. I have friends that are also at home with little ones. But the loneliness I am describing is more of a deep rooted black hole I feel like I’m trying to climb out of. An internal void.

Maybe it’s because I don’t feel like I am doing a very good job at any aspect of motherhood. I love my kids but I snap at them, I am pretty rubbish at housework and keeping on top of it all, I am a crap cook and make too many freezer dinners. The 2 year old watches too much TV and getting out with the 3 of them feels like such a moutanous task. It’s easier to stay in the safe confines of our home and then the loneliness kicks in even more. As well as all the housework jobs I have done badly… staring at me, mocking me.

In this age of social media, you can connect with everyone you’ve ever known by scrolling through a feed of highlights, making your shortcomings seem even worse. 

How did our mothers cope, without mobile phones and online support? They had to get out in the fresh air and make friends, speak to people, and wasn’t constantly comparing themselves to their friends’ highlights. It was simpler, and must have been lonely too.

Motherhood is hard, and surrounded by people and things, it can feel like you are alone in a dark room, screaming for help but no-one is listening.

To the mum’s who seem to breeze through, how do you do it? I’d love to know. Are you just good at pretending all is OK, or do you not feel this way? I’d genuinely love to know. I envy you! 

I KNOW I will look back on these times and long for the children to be young again. I know I am so very lucky.  I know all this and remind myself daily. I know the years are short. But being a mother is harder than I ever dreamed possible.

Mother knows best… doesn’t she?

Mother knows best… doesn’t she?

When you have a baby, usually it’s because you are in love with someone and want to produce little mini humans to share your life, hopes, dreams and family with. Sometimes you find yourself pregnant by surprise, and you aren’t sure you want a baby, but you decide to go ahead with the pregnancy and have a baby. Some people try for years to get their bundle of love in their arms, experiencing heartache, loss and many tears. Some fall pregnant easily. Some people adopt. Some have a baby via surrogate. Whatever your situation, however you found yourself here – you now have a new role that you’ve never had any training in (even if you think you have!), being a ‘mum’ means all of a sudden you are the whole world to a tiny person, who needs you, every inch of you. Being a mum isn’t a job you can quit from, you can’t call in sick, and lunch breaks are few and far between.


Babies are hard work, we all know this. They need feeding, comfort, love, changing, cleaning and constant care. When you have a baby you think this stage lasts forever, it feels like sleepless nights and nappies never end. Oh the crying! You are trapped in a cycle that means you put someone else’s needs before your own. You’re exhausted. It’s gotta get easier right? WRONG!
Then your baby grows, becomes a toddler (see here for my views on them at the moment:My Toddler is an asshole!) and the hard work continues, just in a different way. The toddler grows again, into a child, and all of a sudden, there’s a LOT of questions. The child questions you about the big wide world, how did we get here, why does this and that happen, and you start to realise you might not actually have all the answers. You in turn question yourself. Why don’t I know the answer to this? Should I? Where’s the mum manual? I don’t know all the answers! Help! Am I cut out for this?

 

There’s so much pressure to do things one way or the other. Are you a gentle parent? A routine based parent? Strict?  Rewards/naughty step? Attached, comfort, love, no punishments? Breastfeeding/bottle feeding? Weaning early/BLW? Is your child allowed screen time? Are you an outdoorsy mum? A craft mum? Football mum? How are you going to shape this child into being a decent, loving, happy, rounded, emotionally stable human being…. when you’re not even sure that’s what YOU are at the moment?

 

Well the point of this post (I’m getting there slowly!) is that yes you are the mum and you do know best for your own child. Trust your instincts. Of course ask for advice if you need it (we all need it!), but you are the BEST person to care for your child because no-one else loves your child like you do. No-one else has their interests at the forefront of their priorities like you do.  You are absolutely the best mum for your child/ren. You know best. Doubting yourself is part and parcel with being a mum. That mummy guilt that niggles at the back of your mind with every decision you make is only there because you care. Do your research, ask people but ultimately YOU know what to do. Even if you think you don’t!

 

Also, with this in mind, and on the flip side. You are allowed to not have all the answers. You are the mum but you are not the information central of the world. You may have to sneakily Google stuff, we all do (thank you Google!) How did my mum survive without Google? But it’s OK for you to not know everything. I’ve found my Big Boy doing stuff in first year Junior school that I didn’t do til Secondary. I can’t remember some of this stuff! But that’s okay. *

 

So this is sort of a shoutout to mums (and dads of course, but I’m a mum!) everywhere. You are amazing, you are exactly what your child needs and you are the best parent for your children. If you have the awful guilt or the constant worry about things then it just means you care and you want the best for them. Don’t beat yourself up for the little things, no parent is perfect. Even the ones that seem to be. Just be yourself, try to do your best every day. Some days you’ll shout, cry or want to run away. That’s okay, everyone feels this way at some time. Some more than others, but everyone is different, no two children or families are the same.

 

Trust yourself, give yourself the credit you deserve, and try to keep a positive attitude. Motherhood will be the hardest thing you ever have to do. But it also will be the best thing.

 

Please share this post with a mum who you think needs to hear those magic words:

 YOU ARE A FANTASTIC MUM!!!!

Disclaimer – I need to remember all of the above myself, as I am the worst for thinking I suck at this job. But today I’m giving myself a pat on the back. I am a mum and I am the best mum to my three demons darlings.

*Please note I have no idea on the trials that come with having teenage or older children – my biggest is 7 and this is hard enough! Here’s a nod to the mums of teenagers, you did it this long! Keep going! xx