Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Coming To Terms With Becoming a Single Mum

So, this post wasn't actually what I had in mind today. Try as I may, I just couldn't stop myself from writing it... I know that I rarely write about things that can be seen as too personal, but it's time to get real, we've known each other for long enough now... 

I won't get into the nitty gritty of why things didn't work out with my daughter's father, as I'd like to keep that sort of thing private, but the main part of these new circumstances was realisation that I was now a single mum. For some reason, that thought kept me awake at night for weeks.  

I would see these incredible single parents raising children alone and always feel such admiration for them. I was so certain that I would never be able to do anything like that. Coping with it all totally alone sounded like my idea of hell and would feel quite blessed to have my family together. 

Now that the shoe is on the other foot, I want to step in a time machine, go back to that past me, take off that shoe and slap myself round the face with it... repeatedly. What an absolute idiot I was to think that way! Of course I've been able to do it alone, and I know now that I'm doing a fabulous job of raising my daughter. But don't get me wrong, it has taken me quite some time to get to this point. 

When Zara's father and I first separated my paranoia was on some crazy, over drive. I couldn't do anything without thinking someone was judging me. With motherhood filled to the brim with contrasting opinions and very little positivity at times, throwing in the fact I was a single mum made me feel worse than ever! Don't ask me why, but being labelled as a single parent kicks up a lot of negativity from my experiences, and it's almost considered the worse thing possible. 

I felt as though I couldn't bribe my toddler with a treat to stay quiet, couldn't let her go out looking messy and defiantly not run riot at any parties or soft plays. In my head, if someone saw me with a naughty, crying, messy child, I was basically showing the world I wasn't coping. All because of this stupid stigma I had built up in my head about my new situation. I just couldn't shift the thought that people were looking at me, eyes full of pity and thinking "she's doing it all on her own, poor girl" not to mention, "well that's what happens when you don't get married first." Yes, I still have older generations say that to me.... usually when I don't really ask for their opinions... 

I honestly thought I was going to fail at the most important responsibility I had in the world. I was filled with so much self doubt that I was almost certain that this huge life change was some dreaded curse that will hang heavy round my neck forever. 

It wasn't until one sunny afternoon Z and I were strolling back from the shops, me with my arms full and Zara following behind, clutching the mushrooms she had insisted on carrying... We ended up bumping into a neighbour, after some pleasant chit chat, she looked down at my grinning daughter, she laughed and said "Isn't your mummy doing a great job with you?"
With that one simple statement, I was floored, my knees started to shake and my palms become clammy. I found myself opening and closing my mouth, like some sort of strange fish, I wanted to throw my arms around her and hug her so tightly she would have differently breathing. With just one simple sentence, this lady had managed to stop the stresses and worries that had been flooding my head for months. It was after that day that my paranoia and over active imagination basically took a chill pill. I have found I've relaxed and started to enjoy myself again, the fog has lifted and I feel as though I can proudly say "Yep, I'm a single mum" 

I must say that the dooming thoughts of doing it all alone no longer seem that scary either, the amount I do hasn't really changed, and if anything I get a lot more me time when Z is out and about with her dad. You could even call it some what relaxing, and I find myself finishing a cuppa whilst it's still hot a lot of the time too!

So, yeah I'm a single mum nowadays. Doesn't make me a bad person or some sort of failure. Instead it's given me a burst of fire in the stomach to reach for the stars, maybe even higher than that! I am blessed to have a beautiful, healthy little girl who is the light of her father and my own lives. She has taught me so much already and shown me I can be stronger than I ever thought I could be, physically, emotionally and mentally. 

I guess I wanted to get a little deep and meaningful today as I figured even if this post helps just one person out there, that will make my day. So if you're reading this, and you have or had the same thoughts and concerns as me, then this is a reminder to let you know you've got this. Don't you dare doubt yourself, I know it feels like utter crap now, but you'll impress yourself with what you can achieve. I mean, you're a mum for crying out loud, you're practically Wonder Woman already! 

There you have it, a little subject that is the most controversial I've written to date. Don't worry, there'll be something a little cheery up soon! 

Happy Hump Day my loves XO 

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Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Raising A Smile With Aquafresh

Red Nose Day is almost upon us, are you all set for Friday? Whether your donning a signature nose, sitting in a bath tub of baked beans, or popping some spare change into a box, it has never been easier to donate to this brilliant cause. 

Now, I always have every intention of pulling something out of the bag to raise the funds, but I can't fib to you all, time does get away with me. Which is why I love the fact that Aquafresh will be donating 10p from every pack of toothpaste sold to Red Nose Day. I mean, how great is that? They've done all the hard work for me and I can still feel happy with the fact I have donated. Good vibes all round! 

Donation aside, there is another little addition to your Red Nose Day toothpaste too, there's the chance to win a Bonkers Brush Timer.... I know what you're thinking, "Pardon? A what now?" 

A Bonkers Brush Timer is a very helpful little fellow who makes the task of teeth brushing a lot more enjoyable. I know from my experience when my daughter is over tired and teething, even mentioning the words teeth or brush result in a full blown, Oscar winning meltdown. It wasn't until I introduced her to our Bonkers Brush Timer that suddenly, teeth brushing was a hilarious event and now she grins and squeals "Teeeeeeeeeeeeeth" why she spies him, perched next to the toothbrushes. 

So what does this little guy actually do I can hear you thinking. Well, once all your toothbrushes are loaded with a good amount of Aquafresh Complete Care toothpaste, press the Bonkers Brush Timer and it will time you for two minutes of totally bonkers brushing, with toe tapping jingles, encouragement and count downs, all the way until your brushing is over! Now, once you've completed that, your tots, and even your own teeth have been cleaned properly and throughly for the correct amount of time needed in a super easy way! 
I can only say for myself here, but I know for a fact I brush my teeth a tad shy of the standard two minutes, and I know some people who take well over five minutes.... whilst leaving the tap running.... (huge pet peeve of mine, if you're one of those people, stop it now!) 

But anyway, I digress.. With thanks to Aquafresh and their comical Bonkers Brush Timer,  I can now breath easy and know that my family and I can grin our biggest grins with some well cared for teeth, which have also raised a smile for somebody else out there too! 

Have a look for the special packs of Aquafresh toothpaste, with a 10p donation to Red Nose Day, available in your local supermarkets, Boots and Superdrug. You can also take a look at their website here.

For more information about Red Nose Day, take a look at their website here 

Are any of you doing anything to raise some funds? I'd love to know XO 

Don't forget to give me a follow 


Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Why Should Girls Get Their Nails Done?

Firstly, huge apologises for going AWOL these last couple of days...perhaps weeks... I've had some huge life changes going on and just as my choice of bed time reading suggests, I've been getting my sh*t together. 

Secondly, this post is totally up for discussion! I do enjoy a good debate, especially when it involves beauty. Just fancied passing on my opinion on the matter. So, why is it so important for girls to get their nails done? 

I've been late to the manicure party I must admit. It wasn't until I was expecting my daughter that nails began some what important to me and their upkeep was something I've become very interested in. Prior to my new love for a good mani, I would try a pathetic attempt at home. The idea of it all was enjoyable, choosing a shade, looking at various brands, even painting them. It wasn't until I'd look down at the nails I had painstakingly painted to find they looked like utter crap.... Honest to God, they were hideous. I'd spend the rest of the day trying to hide them...I know right, ridiculous, hiding your hands isn't the easiest thing in the world! 

So once I got over the fact I just wasn't a natural at DIY manicures, I set off on my quest to get myself some beautifully pampered nails. It was shortly after this I got thinking about how a manicure made me feel. Call me absolutely crackers, but somehow, I felt "put together" as though anything could happen, and I could handle it. Like I got my life sorted and could be one of these proper adults... you know the type... the ones that don't spill their coffees on a clean white shirt, don't get ladder in their tights or even lipstick on their teeth! Those adulter adults. Nothing like me, especially with the help from my toddler, who isn't happy until she covers me with snot and toast crumbs. 

It was on one particular, drizzly morning I was in the petrol station, sans daughter. I had embraced my comfy/rock chic outfit I had thrown on and faced the day, make-up free. You can only imagine just how naff I felt. It wasn't until I handed my card over that the cashier 'ooed' at my nails. They were just a simple oxblood red, but she did love them and after a couple minutes of girly chat I skipped my way out the door. Something as simple as having a well pampered and looked after set of nails somehow upgraded me from tired looking slob, to a woman who looked after herself. I felt so content and happy with that one compliment that the rest of my day continued to get better and better. Call me fickle all you like, but there is nothing greater than that boost you get from stranger that makes you feel good about yourself. 

I have also found that I seem to hold myself in a more sophisticated manner when a good mani is backing my corner. Perhaps it's something psychologically built in me to be more lady like, rather than my usual heavy handed self. It's also a different feel good vibe you have after leaving the hairdressers with a gorgeous, bouncy blow-dry. Imagine teaming to the two together? Somewhat euphoric I'd say! 

Of course, I'm not saying that booking yourself into your local salon or spa will solve all your problems. But I'm a great believer in the power of feeling good about yourself, will make everything else fall into place over time. 

So, to sum up, why should girls get their nails done? I would have to admit that out of the vast treatments available in the beauty world, to me, manicures are 10 little doses of self help, much like my new favourite book, Get Your Sh*t Together by Sarah Knight. Something so simple, that could basically become a daily reminder of some self belief and an extra boost to let yourself know, you've got this. 

Do any of you feel the same? Or perhaps any other opinions? I'd love to know XO