Friday, 19 July 2013

The ten commandments

If you are a parent to one or twenty children, you will know no matter how much preparation you put in to anything or how well you think you know your child they will always amaze you with always being one step ahead of you.  I have put together a list of my favourite life lessons my children have taught me over the past five years......
1. If you have something rattling in your games console it is probably a camera memory card.....or two and they wont come out again !
2. You can't wash mini cheddars
3. Your favourite/most expensive mascara will never recover after your daughter or son has got hold of it
4. However good your speed tidy up before visitors arrive was, your child will locate the most inappropriate object they can find to show your guests
5.  When speaking to someone you really don't know your newborn will suddenly gain fantastic coordination grab your top and bra and expose your breast to them!
6. Baby ballet is totally the place to stand still in the middle of the room making poo noises while filling your nappy
7. Children will always mispronounce, drop letters from or use their own interpretation of words when out in public, my current favourites are clock,  and catch it
8. No matter how many times you asked your son if they need the toilet before you leave home they will always need to go when you are nowhere near one resulting in a fun 100 metre dash
9. If your child hands you a snail shell with no occupant think the worse :p
10. Never underestimate your childs ability to point out your embarrassment,  a sudden gust of wind resulting in everyone in close proximity knowing what colour knickers you are wearing is a great story to recount to anyone they meet.....
No matter what they do and how much they make us blush, we are very lucky to be a witness to their little journey into life and we will all be there waving those ah bless photos around when they grow up
Emma x

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

my little man Joshua David

my beautiful boy - trying out a police car !


Joshua David is 5 years old and my eldest cheeky monkey, he started life very much like his sister 14 days overdue and decided to grace me with his presence only after threat of eviction the same day........ since then he has been my world.  We have had our ups and downs (sometimes it has felt the downs have outweighed the ups), but no matter what he is my little boy and I will fight for him forever.

The first glimpse I had of Josh was not the most photogenic!  I had resisted temptation to find out if he was a boy or girl and had asked for him to be delivered onto my chest, which meant the first thing I saw if him was his bottom!  I remember thinking firstly ooooh a little boy and secondly is that supposed to be blue? :D.  That first night laid next to my newborn son was totally surreal, I did not sleep a wink for fear he would just vanish or stop breathing and I couldn't stop staring at him.  Everything from his perfect little fingers, and toes to his incredibly long eyelashes captivated me and I really did feel I was watching someone else watching their child sleep.

Pretty much from the word go I could see my little boy could and would show me when he wasn't happy and would throw a hissy fit if things weren't to his liking.  The looks of horror his paternal family would throw me when during one of his moments I would simply lay him on the floor until he had stopped being silly were quite frustrating, I was determined that I would not pander to him and as a result his paddy's became few and far between for me.  It was however soon to become apparent that a constant battle between being with me and how I did things and how things happened elsewhere was on the horizon.  I had no control over what happened when Josh was with his other family and very quickly Josh realised that this made things boring and rubbish at home.  Yes I did and still do shower him with love and attention, but at the same time he had a routine and boundaries that sadly were not being followed through elsewhere.

Fast forward to four years later, our family has grown from just Josh and me to Josh, Daddy, Isabelle and me and Josh staying with his other family every other weekend for two days.  Our lovely caring little boy had started playing up at home and at school and it became apparent that I was fighting a losing battle.  I would spend almost two weeks getting him back into his bedtime routine and reminding him that we use manners and have rules in our house so that everyone gets on with each other and we have a happy home without arguments.  Then he would go away for the weekend and I would have to start all over again!  Frustration really isn't a good enough word to cover what I felt.  I felt I was banging my head against a brick wall and no matter how many reward charts/ incentives my normally sticker orientated little man was given he battled with us constantly.  His behaviour at times was starting to frighten me, Josh could lose his temper so badly that I would have to sit on the floor behind him with my legs and arms crossed over him to stop him hurting me or himself.  He would not care about anything being taken away from him due to his behaviour as he knew at the weekend he could do as he pleased, talk about living for the weekend!

Feeling completely at a loss as to what to do with him and after realising that this could not go on any longer, I called in the big guns!!!  I had a chat with his paternal grandmother and told her everything that had been going on, to say Josh was mortified is an understatement!  And her reaction to completely agree that it was no longer acceptable behaviour and that she wanted us all to be on the same page was a huge relief.

So here we are two weeks later and what a transformation!  Josh has been making such a huge effort both at home and school that people are actually commenting on how much happier and less angry he seems.  At home we still have a few power struggles but on the whole he is being great.  I think he sees being good at home as a challenge, and being my son is stubborn and will see things through, luckily in a good direction.  For the first time in years Josh tells me he loves me without prompting even in front of all the mum's and dad's today at sports day!  My happy smiley little man is coming back and life at home for for the first time in what feels like forever is happy.

A perfect parent I am not, I have made mistakes and probably will again but what I have learnt is that loving and caring for a child isn't just about making them happy and giving them what they want, it is about having rules, routines and boundaries which in turn will enable them to feel safe happy and secure.

Emma x

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

fighting the stereotype - biting back

basic principles of life..........work hard, be honest, treat people as you wish to be treated, manage with what you have, love always and never give up!  

These were values that I learnt growing up, not from those people that should have been important but from the few people that were and still are.  I grew up having dreams and ambitions as any little girl or boy should, but they were either shot down in flames...("you can't be a hairdresser, get a real job!") or were put way too far out of my reach that they were just impossible.  This blog is not in any way a 'woe is me' type blog but rather this is what I got given and how I have dealt with it.

I lost my father to a Brain Tumour when I was eight years old, and it caused my world to implode!  No longer was I the centre of anyone's universe and the one person who had always encouraged me be whoever I wanted to was not there any more.  So life was going to be what I made it, good bad or ugly!

I am and have never been a snob, I like to see everyone's point of view but sometimes just sometimes I have to have my say!  For years I was the quiet young lady to wouldn't say boo to a goose, who would say nothing to being walked over, then a few years ago I was told something that I will never forget "if people don't like you, that's their problem not yours!" and they were right, ever since I have tried where possible to stand up for myself and can finally breathe as I no longer tie myself in knots trying to be someone I'm not.  I know I'm not everyone's cup of tea and have lost people in my life due to no longer doing as I was told or just going along with things, but you know what ? I am so much happier for it!

Social networking sites, media and general gossip have been alive with talk about certain groups of people recently, and I tend to try and not get into debates with anyone other than my friends and family as conversations in text can and usually will be taken out of context and I really can't be bothered with the drama.  So why not blog about it ? I mean I am the only one talking so no interruptions, and any comments that are too nasty can be deleted!

Definition of stereotype

noun

  • 1a widely held but fixed and oversimplified image or idea of a particular type of person or thing:the stereotype of the woman as the carersexual and racial stereotypes
 a person or thing that conforms to a widely held but oversimplified image of the class or type to which they belong:don’t treat anyone as a stereotype
That is me! A walking stereotype!!!! well I fit into several so does that make me a stereotypererrrrrer? lol

  • grew up on a council estate
  • in a single parent family
  • my parent was disabled so didn't work
  • didn't go into higher education
  • spent time being a single parent
  • spent time claiming benefits to get by as a single parent
  • now lives in social housing on a council estate
  • is a stay at home mum

oh and two more just for good measure

  • is blonde
  • and female
now that list looks awesome doesn't it?  sadly they were/are all me.  When I say sadly I do not mean for me but anyone who has an opinion on any of the above!  I think it's best to go through the above individually to make things a little clearer........

  • up until I was seven I lived in the Isle of man, where my amazing hard working dad was a warehouse manager.  We dropped everything over there for the opportunity to move here for my dad to run a farm ( his family trade up until I was a baby and after serving his time in the armed forces) , alas when we got here the farm had fallen through and we were left potless and homeless.  Now some may ask why we should be entitled to social housing? well my parents were English and had moved to the Isle of Man to start a new life together and had worked hard all their lives so why not?  And before you may think that we were on benefits we weren't, my dad secured himself a very good job pretty much straight away to support us.
  • yes I grew up in a single parent family, that sort of happens when you lose one of them!
  • my mum is disabled with rheumatoid arthritis and is very much entitled to benefits, she does however do voluntary work.  And if your husband dies without any life insurance you're pretty much limited money wise.
  • I left home at fifteen, and without any better advice went straight into work to pay rent and feed myself.
  • yes I was a single parent when my son was eight months old, no shame in that at al
    • l.....but I worked 3 days a week 10 hours a day to pay the bills
  • and yes I was entitled to some benefits as a single parent, I didn't like it but the same as any type of parent will agree my son came first and feeding/clothing him was my priority!
  • And now ? Well my husband our two beautiful children and myself live in a housing association property, we were not given it on a plate infact it was a lucky fluke we managed to find a mutual exchange.
  • And finally I am a stay at home mum, yes it was a decision me and my husband made together after the birth of Isabelle and yes we live week to week but we are very happy with our decision! 

We don't have bags of money stashed under the bed for cinema sized plasma tv's or Caribbean holidays, infact we have tv that was very kindly given to us when we could no longer stand the illuminous picture on our very old and second hand one.  We have only ever been on one family holiday two years ago to Cornwall for a week in the rain! But we loved every minute of it together.  Me and Sean hope one day to be in a position to buy our house, and if we do it may well be a long time off, when Isabelle starts school next september I will be going back to work and hopefully take some pressure off Sean.

But am I moaning ? Erm not at all! Am  I the happiest I have ever been? erm yep.....

So next time you hear someone moan about any of the above stereotypes please remember we are not all given the same opportunities in life or dealt the same cards, but some of us just get on with it and appreciate what we have.

Emma x