parenting

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Achievements all round!

Published August 4, 2017 by reachandflexibility

180.2lbs. That’s what I weighed in at this morning. I am so damn close to the 179 healthy BMI. I had a few weeks of relaxing as the summer holidays began but the last 2 weeks or so I’ve been back and better than ever. This makes a total of 64lbs down.

So achievements. I’ve spent 1 1/2 weeks internet free. It was meant to be 3 weeks but it slowly crept back in and I’m a slave to it. It’s my lifeline to the world. In that time I’ve :

  • Managed to finish “Futuristic Violence and Fancy Suits” by David Wong. Good if you’re into that sort of thing which I am.
  • I’ve started reading “The Fifth Mountain” by Paulo Coelho, which is a very different genre from the other but still one I would recommend.
  • I’ve completed Persona 3. Took me 3 attempts to get through this as I just kept losing interest but I finally did it.
  • I’ve started crocheting again. They’re not completed projects but its a start after months away.
  • I’ve started writing again. Well I say writing. For our Pathfinder game, I’m the group’s Bard so I’m keeping track of the weekly adventures. It’s good fun. Very accurate….
  • I’ve finished, that’s right FINISHED C25K! Yesterday, in the rain, I managed 5km in 34 minutes. It was probably the first run where I actually had a pace rather than just dragging my legs along and it felt so good.
  • I’ve spent time with my husband and daughter. We’ve done trips to the beach, the zoo and on the train to a town not too far from us.

It’s been great. It’s been a long few weeks due to the demands of a 3-year-old but it’s been nice having the whole family together. We were preparing for Beth to go back to school on Monday but it looks like it may be a few more weeks together as today she has come down with chickenpox. So far she seems fine, just spotty but we’re pretty prepared. What we are not sure about is whether I’ve had it before or not so it should be a fun few weeks.

Soon though I’ll be back for my second year of university and I’m so excited so go back. Sad of me I know, most people savor the holidays but I need the routine and the pressure of deadlines to keep my mind active. And not only that but I’ll be doing my first teaching practice soon. Excited!!!

Anyways, Back to the demands of the toddler.

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I did it!

Published August 23, 2016 by reachandflexibility

I passed the interview. Starting the 1st September, I will be doing a 4 year degree in teaching. I’m just so full of different feelings right now. Excited, nervous, unsure but determined.

I have a goal now, a life again, something to aim for and to focus on. I feel like a person again. I feel like me again.

To give you all a backstory I finished my GCSE’s with good grades but at 17 went off the rails and flunked my AS’. I managed 3 U’s and an E in psychology. The only reason I managed that was because I had a panic attack and got seated by myself for the exam where I could focus and relax. I dropped out shortly after that and went straight into a working life. No qualifications for me. It wasn’t until 2013 that I went back to college and found out within 2 weeks of being there that I was pregnant with our long awaited daughter. I aced the 1st year despite the tough pregnancy, 3 weeks after the exams had Beth and then 4 months later we unexpectedly moved to Denmark. I never even started my second year. I just became a mother and nothing else. I never regained any sense of purpose. Only that sense of jumping through hopes to try and achieve anything.

But I’ve finally got it now. And I don’t want to lose this. I will do my best to get through this, to work hard, to be a good mother, to be a good role model to my little girl. To be a good wife to the man I love. I owe him that much after all these years of him supporting us. I can do this. I know it,

4 Years

Published March 21, 2016 by reachandflexibility

Today marks my 4 year anniversary of blogging. It’s been a wild ride. From infertility to parenting, work to studying to unemployment, Ireland to Denmark. It doesn’t seem to slow down here. Today I’m trying to find some purpose as usual. My life of solely parenting and useless language lessons has finally got to me. I need to have something to aim for. The lessons are not near good enough and my Danish is still terrible. Like seriously, I can’t even say a simple sentence. There is simply no point me ever speaking it as people speak English anyways.Yes, I know, excuses,excuses but come and be me for a week and see how it is. Me and Kim have been over it a hundred times but I have to be honest with myself. It’s not working. I will not be able to speak this language let alone go to university and study a degree. If I spend at least another year learning it in school then it will be 8 years before I graduate. I’ll be 37. I hate to say it but I don’t want to be a burden that long. I’ve been it long enough already. And Kim might say otherwise. But I’m the one who’s doing this and I have to do something. I have to feel like I’m accomplishing something. I’ve started showing off my crochet work in a hope that someone will buy from me but again realistically that won’t pay well enough. Especially when Facebook limits how much you can show off your work. You have to pay to boost your posts. I’m sorry, but fuck you Facebook.

So I’m left trying to find something I can accomplish over here. I looked at Open University but even with their pay as you go system it’s still too costly for us to afford. I’ve looked at Roskilde University but with the mix of random qualifications I have, it seems I may still not be able to take any of their courses. I’d basically have to still do the high school 2 years here before I could even think of university and of course those courses are in Danish. Talk about a big load of regret being rubbed in my face for not just doing it when I was 17. I don’t like regretting things, everything happens for a reason but fucking hell. If I had just finished my A Levels then I wouldn’t be stuck in this shitstorm right now.

And then there is the issue of Beth, Can I even take a full-time course at a university while taking care of her. Yes there is childcare, but there is also travelling to and from to get her, there’s homework, studying at home, the list goes on. Can that be done when you don’t have family or friends around to help?

Currently I’m just waiting on answers from various people about my options. It’s Easter break though so I don’t expect replies any time soon. I could speak to my work lady at the job center but she already hates the fact that I don’t speak Danish fluently enough to get whatever backwards job she has lined up for me. Like seriously, I want to work but gravedigger is not exactly my preferred choice. As always I’m waiting on others before I can do something myself.

Been a while.

Published January 25, 2016 by reachandflexibility

So I’ve not updated in nearly a year. It just slips my mind and finding the time with a now 19 month old is difficult. Especially between savoring the times she’s asleep.

Things have gotten easier as she has gotten older but for the last 3 months we’ve been in the world of tantrums and technology obsession. She has to have the tv, or the pc or the iPad if she sees them. She can access most games  on them with no prompting from me. It’s a worry but how can I be a hypocrite and say no when the first thing I do in the morning is check my phone updates? She also has a few words now. An amount that I shouldn’t worry about as they all figure it out at some point. These consist of “up”, “hi” and of course “video”. Everything else is whinging or dragging you to whatever it is she wants.

She now loves the water. Considering the screams we had for baths when she was younger you can’t keep her away now. She still hates water on her head so hair washing is a pain but it’s better than her not getting in the bath at all.

She sleeps through and naps well for 2-3 hours which is a nice break for me to recharge my batteries for the next round. She doesn’t sit still ever. Maybe 5 minutes at most before she is up again. She climbs everything. Chairs have been removed from the table as she will climb on there. Leave her for 2 seconds and she will be at the highest point she can be. It’s nerve wracking. Nursery rhyme videos if the correct one for her mood will hypnotize her (and i do mean she will ignore everything around her, no matter what it is) for an astounding hour but I hate to do that. It’s not parenting to put your child in front of the TV all the time.

She eats now. Not meat which she will selectively pick out of her food but she’s on solids. Something that took a very long time for both her and me to deal with. She didn’t start weaning onto real solids until 9 months old. I was too terrified she’d choke and she just didn’t seem ready in my eyes. She is picky though like any toddler. Or selectively picky it seems. If it’s yours then she wants it. If it’s hers it will be on the floor or in the dog.

Shes probably like any other toddler. I have nothing to compare her to so I just assume she is. Her tantrums and reactions to sound/light toys worry me. She headbutts the floor and hits things when she doesn’t get her way. She hysterically screams if something is too much for her. She hates people. She has a scowl worthy of her father if anyone (even a child) comes near her. People in public result in her either sitting on the floor until they pass or clinging onto my leg for dear life. Sometimes we may get lucky and she will run through crowds of people but the scowling is more often a reaction. She’s been at school nearly a year now and still responds with hysterics when dropped off in the morning. These end pretty quickly once I leave but it’s just more struggle each morning. Her teacher even asked about her talking as she refused to make sounds to the carers there. Not even babbling. She has improved but only with time there. She’s most likely the way she is because we live so far away but quite frankly I don’t want to socialise with people. I share nothing in common with people. Even those with children. Very rarely do I meet someone I can chat to without feeling fake and like an outsider. Maybe she is the same way.

To be honest my life in Denmark is complicated at times. I sometimes wonder if we’d be happier in the UK but I know we wouldn’t. The food is shit, the people are idiots, the jobs would all be the same. And then you have the politics of my family to deal with as well as the unfairness to Kim and Pup. And then cost of uprooting again and it’s all not worth it. I know my problem here is the language. I’m isolated further because I’m not one of them. I’m further the outsider I would normally be. I can’t find a job until I learn it. My dream of going to university seems more impossible with every setback to my school. Whether it be illness, weather (we’ve been snowed/iced in), the terrible organisation by the school etc… Since august I’ve learnt little more than I have on Duolingo and I still can’t have a basic conversation with anyone as I can’t “hear” what they are actually saying. It’s like the words they say are different to the words that exist on paper. I hope and yet dread Beth learning it. Because I know if she does she will just be further away from me than she already feels. I’m lonely. I dream of being home and yet I have no home. I guess what I really dream of is a purpose where I matter. Because right now I don’t.

Siblings

Published April 23, 2015 by reachandflexibility

I am one of 4 daughters. Growing up was reasonably good but there were times I wished I was an only child. School trips we couldn’t always afford, the competition for attention. The usual that comes from being a large family. There were of course the other times of company to play with and fun Christmases but mostly it was a clusterfuck of jealousy from what I remember. Especially once I entered my teenage years.

I mention all this because as Beth is now nearing a year old, the questions spring up of “do you plan on having another?” or “don’t you think she would like a little brother or sister?”. I seem to be in 2 minds about the answer to give currently. If you had asked me when Beth was 12 weeks old, the answer would have been a resounding NO! Ask me now and I have to weigh up options. I was thinking over it again last night and when I asked myself the real question of “Well, why do you want a second child?” My immediate reaction was “Well, I don’t really”. That should be the answer that matters and yet why does my mind sit and think I could go through it all again?

I hated trying to get pregnant (Well I enjoyed one aspect of course) but the obsession and let down and the time it took were too much to cope with.

I hated being pregnant. The morning sickness for 30 weeks and heartburn for 32 weeks were shit. The sheer exhaustion and I cant even claim I was doing anything too strenuous. College is not difficult if you stay organised. Trying to do is all again with what would be a toddler sounds like a nightmare though.

Childbirth, The one area that most repeat mothers would dread is not a concern to me. Except for perhaps how quick it would be. That sort of freaks me out a little but not enough for me to say I wouldn’t want to do it again. Like chances are I’d either need to be in the hospital the moment a twinge happened or go for the home birth. Not something I’m too confident with.

After childbirth though is something I don’t even want to think about. The sleepless nights, the crying. Oh so much crying. The physical pain and the trying to return back to normality. And this goes on for months. Almost a year down the line and I don’t sleep properly. She may wake for a feed and if she doesn’t I wake worried that she hasn’t even stirred.  I don’t want to go through that again. I don’t want to be as depressed as I was again.

And then there are the future plans. Me learning this damn language and providing for our family properly. It will take time and energy. Something I wont have with a toddler and a new baby.

You may wonder then why I even contemplate it all again. I certainly have enough reasons not to.  It’s because looking at Beth something stirs in me. An urge to do it all again. Something I can’t explain. When she was around 6 months I finally understood the loving feeling that mothers had described. And now each time I look at her I get that same feeling. Yesterday she finally started saying mama after months of only dada. And my heart swells each time she says it. I can’t explain what I want by going through it all again. I don’t want another child. I have my perfect child. I have my little miracle. I guess this is just something primal that doesn’t make sense in today’s world. Will she have any siblings? Not any time soon. Is it even an option? More so than it was. At least in my head anyways. Maybe I just need another basset hound. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Where were we….?

Published February 16, 2015 by reachandflexibility

I was ranting last time I was online I think. I cant be bothered with ranting today. By removing myself from the parenting world I actually feel a lot better about how me and Beth are doing. I’m not scared about her progress or how I am as a mother as I have nothing to compare it to. Nothing to remind me constantly that I might be failing in some areas. It’s a good feeling. Yes they suggest the groups for support but if anything, they just made things worse for me.

It would be nice to have the company of people sometimes but I’m terrible at conversation and as much Beth is a conversation starter I don’t really want to spend all my time talking about her. It is limiting though as she really is all that’s in my life currently. Aside from pup, Kim and WoW that is. And Kim is normally the only one I’m chatting to. You’d think I’d be lonely but I’m not. I’ve never been very good with people. There are times where I want to be surrounded by life of course but to actually converse with people. I’d rather pass.

If anything I want the opposite of parenting groups right now. I want non parents. I want to go out for a meal or a drink and talk about movies and video games. It’s not a cry for my old life but a cry for some sort of individuality at the moment. Our paperwork finally came through meaning a trip to the capital this week and from there my language lessons. It’s going to be so nice finally having my own little life again. I love Beth to bits but I really can’t wait to be by myself doing something worthwhile. Selfish of me? I don’t think so. I think it will do us both good. So far the only people she ever sees are me and Kim. It’s going to be an interesting day the first time she’s left at a creche.

She loves Kim to bits. As much as I do almost. We both wish he could be here more but we understand that he needs to work as much as he does. I wish I could help out more so that he didn’t need to. I’ll find a way soon enough I’m sure. Typically it all takes time though.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

As you can see, she doesn’t approve of my antics…

Judgemental mothers

Published January 27, 2015 by reachandflexibility

Today I left my birth group. 300 women some of whom I’m now friends with, left simply because I’d had enough and wanted to go alone. It seems rule one to becoming a “good” mother is to judge the parenting of every other mother in terms of “what is best with these weeks fads”,”safety guidelines from this decade and country” and “loving your child the most”. If you don’t fit under this category then you’re more likely to be like myself worrying if you fit the expectations of these perfect mothers.
Today’s reason for leaving was a girl mentioning that she was pissed off her child wouldn’t sleep and a picture of him looking like he’d fallen between the bed and his travel cot. Not the best picture to see if there was any actual danger and a poor choice of words from herself but rather than people trying to figure out the situation the comments started flying instantly about how she was a bad mother putting her baby at risk, and how dare she be pissed off at a 7month old blah blah blah…this girl has enough on her plate and had been up numerous nights in a row. She wanted support and instead got slammed down by the perfect parents.
It’s crap, these women go on about how they are there to support each other and yet in typical female fashion it turns into high school bitching. It’s not something I need in my life. I’m tired of feeling the need to justify myself for not breastfeeding, for not following each guideline to the word simply because that is this weeks safety lesson. I’m tired of being looked down on because I don’t want to co sleep or wear my child every day. I’m sick of feeling like my child is slow because they’re not sucking on a piece of toast the moment they hit 6 months. Parents are meant to act like parents, not like the children they are raising.
This has been a long building rant simply because I know I’m not the best mother in the world. I pre prepare bottles and store them in the fridge, I let her cry, rather than cuddling her if she even so much as whines. I let her watch tv *gasp* and not just babyTV but actual movies like die hard and lethal weapon. Is she happy? Yes. Is she like any normal 8 month old? Yes. Has she gotten sick at all? No. Is she fed, clean, loved? Yes.
Get off your high horses and raise your own children. Not mine.