Tag Archives: reading

A-Z of Life – Insecurities

insecuritiesThose little niggles that we all get that we are not good enough, or we’ve done something wrong but we don’t know what (or is that just me?).

Those little worries that just sit there quietly eating away at all the other thoughts in your head.

Until they grow so large they are all you can think of and not only that but they are completely true and you aren’t good enough, and it’s always your fault.

Annoying, aren’t they?

But how do you conquer those little niggling doubts inside your head?

Is it possible?

More importantly though, do you want to?

Personally, I think that if you want to get rid of them, it’s most definitely possible. After all, as Buddha said:

What you think, you become.

What you feel, you attract.

What you imagine, you create.

So, if all you can think and dwell on are insecurities, the wrongs people have done you, etc, etc, etc, then all you attract is more of the bad stuff and none of the good stuff.

But how do you change?

Well, it’s not easy, but it does all start with that very question.

If you know you want things to change, and you know you have to change in order to make that happen, then believe me, you are on the road there.

I have come full circle.

When I was little no one was ever going to beat me – at anything.

And then life happened and I let life beat me. I let everything else control me, but me. I clammed up and hid. I was totally afraid to show any feelings, I was never good enough for anyone, I was never good at anything and even if I showed any hint there was always someone only too willing to slap me back down into my place again.

I spent the best part of my life being afraid.

But then, a couple of years ago I had an epiphany.

It wasn’t one of those Damascene (?) epiphanies, more a case of a culmination of a whole heap of crap (for want of a better word) and me saying “STOP! I’ve had it!”

I knew I couldn’t change other people, but I sure as hell could change myself and how I reacted to certain situations.

Since reading is what I do best, I read and read anything I could get my hands on regarding personal development and changing perspectives. I’ve read about chimps, psychopaths, the universe, gratitude, psychic vibrations, etc. Some brilliant, some good and some not so good.

Little by little I managed to chip away at those in-built insecurities that had been a permanent fixture in my head for more years than I care to remember.

And you know what?

I’ve come to like myself again. I may not be to everyone’s cup of tea, but I’m mine.

I’ve realised that I have a right to be here, just as much as anyone else, and I don’t need to excuse my presence to anyone, especially not me.

What ever happened in the past is exactly where it needs to stay. Firmly in the past. I have learned from everything that has happened to try to make myself a better human being. By forgiving others and equally forgiving myself has lifted that feeling of eternal guilt that I am always in the wrong.

I am responsible for my own happiness, no one else is.

I have learned that I cannot control anything else apart from my actions – and if truth be told, that’s quite a scary one to learn, especially as I don’t like the feeling of uncertainty – but I take a deep breath and enjoy those opportunities and curve balls. After all the fun is in the journey.

I have learned that worrying doesn’t solve anything. It actually makes things worse. By worrying we create problems out of nothing. And going back to Buddha if we are feeling worried, insecure and not in a good place nothing good will come into our lives.

They’ll never completely go away, the fear and insecurities, but by flipping my thinking I have now learned that they are merely opportunities in disguise. A further chance for me grow by casting the ghosts of insecurities past aside and simply trusting.

Never mind Peter Pan saying “to die will be an awfully big adventure”, living is the biggest adventure of all.

Life is amazing.

Life can be wonderful, if we just stop worrying, start trusting, start believing and more importantly love.

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Top 5 Tips for New Parents

Royalist or not, as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (along with millions of other parents around the world), welcome their new bundle of joy into the world (and yes, I have a bet on the name!) I thought I would rake my brains to come up with a top 5 tip list.

When I had SC (just over 6 years now) there was all the build-up for 9 months and then there he was this tiny little human being that I was in charge of looking after and nurturing. It was very emotional – before they arrive you have absolutely no idea how much a child completely and utterly takes over your life. I was very much, before I had him, “Oh, I’ll be back working within a fortnight.” In reality the moment I held him against my chest a few seconds after he had been born I never wanted to leave him for one second, he was, and is so precious. I never wanted to miss a minute of him.

Children are a precious gift and from the moment they are born, we, as parents have a responsibility to raise them to becomes good, kind, thoughtful and responsible adults.

Parenthood doesn’t come from instruction manuals – no matter how many you read (and I read quite a few) – it’s a massive learning curve, especially with your first-born and we all make mistakes (I’ve made plenty) but if we do our best everything will turn out all right.

So here are my personal top 5 tips for new parents:

5.  They don’t break!

I remember when I first held SC how incredibly clumsy I felt. I was holding this tiny wriggling baby and it just felt as if every time I went to pick him up my hands had suddenly morphed into clown hands – you know where the hands are five times the size, just like those false ‘pointy finger’ hands people wear at Baseball games – and that if I picked him up wrongly he would somehow break like a china doll. It did take my midwife and my mum to reassure me that this wasn’t the case, and it really was just a case of practice makes perfect. Like changing a nappy and lifting up the legs to pop the clean one underneath the baby’s bottom – you are not going to do any harm lifting the feet up together in one hand…Oh yes, you do learn how to do many things one-handed – chopping vegetables is a positive art form one-handed!!

4.  Work Together

I was not fortunate enough to have a ‘hands on dad’, someone who would do his share of getting up early in the morning, or even just taking the baby out for a walk whilst I did a normal thing like take a shower! If you are that fortunate, you need to work together to find a routine that works for everyone – so that dad gets his fair share of changing nappies, and the early morning shift, but that he also gets to help out with the fun stuff like bath time and bed time routines. The early days are very testing for any new parents, mothers get very emotional around day 4/5 after the birth – the baby blue period – and the lack of sleep in the early days doesn’t help with tempers which is why being supportive and there for each other is vitally important in my opinion.

3.  Talk to your Baby

This might sound completely crazy, after all it’s a new-born baby, but read to your baby, talk to it, sing to it, make silly noises – it all helps with the bonding process. I started reading stories to SC the day he was born – I know he didn’t understand the stories (it was one of my favourite childhood books “The Tales of Blackberry Farm”) – but its the sound of your voice and the closeness that reading together creates. Even now, at the grand old age of 6 he will climb onto my lap with a book (we have progressed to Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn) and snuggle into my arms whilst I read, and he still has a story before he goes to bed. The other thing I used to do was have him facing me in his buggy, and talk to him whilst going round the shops about what I needed to buy – I swear everyone in the supermarket thought I was completely nuts, but all interaction is good interaction! And I used to sing to him, anytime! I would pop him lying on his back on my legs and sing nursery rhymes to him and then I would pop on my musical CDs and belt out showtunes…no wonder he has a penchant for them now (and ABBA and rock music!)

2.  Cuddles

Everyone loves cuddles and there’s no need to wait for an excuse to cuddle your baby! Cuddles are fab! Cuddles are part of the bonding process. I think I spent the first 2 years cuddling SC. Literally! If we weren’t playing, he would be in my arms whilst I was doing chores. He fell asleep being cuddled. And now, we have a morning cuddle routine where I sit on the floor and he rushes from one end of the room to me and jumps onto my lap and we give each other the biggest cuddles ever, and a night-time cuddle routine, and then after-school cuddles and plain old ‘jus cos’ cuddles. Children will grow out of cuddling parents all to soon so you need to get a lifetimes worth into a short space!

1.  Trust Your Instincts

My top tip is to trust your instincts. You know your baby better than anyone. Everyone will be all too happy to give their own opinion and advice. You will read far too many text books. But trust me, no two babies are the same. Use advice, opinions and parenting books as a guideline only. Trust yourself. New parents feel under so much pressure to get things right, they feel a failure if their baby doesn’t sleep through the night within 8 weeks (it can take longer believe me! My empathy kicks in at a year, sympathy at 3, mine didn’t sleep through the night til he was 4!) You are made to feel a failure if you don’t breastfeed, if you don’t employ the ‘crying technique’, if you wean too soon, or too late, or you don’t take them to every single toddler group under the sun! Every child is different and you are the best judge of what is right for your child. Trust your instincts, they won’t fail you!

 

I lay no claim to be an expert. I am not a perfect mum. I make mistakes – I wouldn’t be human if I didn’t. But I do the best job I can. I love SC more than anything and can’t imagine life without him now.

It is a hard job, the hardest job you will ever do voluntarily! You will get stressed, anxious, cross, vexated, tired, emotionally spent, I could go one, but ultimately it is the one thing that will give you the most joy and happiness in the world!

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10 interesting (or not) facts about me!

So, here you go 10 interesting (or not) facts about “l’il ol’ me!”

  1. I don’t smoke or drink – prefer not to harm my lungs or liver! I don’t drink purely because I don’t like the taste – some wines really would be better being poured over a plate of chips! And smoking, ladies, whatever the magazines and films may make you think does not look glamorous, or cool. But just because I don’t drink or smoke does not mean I don’t know how to enjoy myself 😉
  2. I love the smell of coffee but cannot stand the taste. Seriously, I love the smell you get from opening a jar of coffee, but can’t drink it, no matter how milky, frothy or decorated with sprinkles you make it! I prefer a good old cup of tea. Brewed the builder’s way – tea-bag in mug, milk, no sugar, preferably de-caffeinated but not compulsory 😉
  3. I’m allergic to e-numbers and chocolate! That’s right chocolate. I go totally haywire, and you end up having to scrape me off the ceiling. Not a pretty sight. Chocolate gives most people an incredible high – that’s why everyone loves it – but some for some people it has the opposite effect. As for me, well if I have chocolate or e-numbers I make Mr Hyde look like a pussy cat. I literally writhe about on the floor wanting to rip every limb of my body out of its socket to replace it as my muscles completely tense up.
  4. I’m an old-fashioned romantic at heart – still waiting for a handsome prince to sweep me off my feet. I don’t think there’s anything wrong in that. A girl should be wooed by a potential suitor – hearts and flowers (deep red fragrant roses obviously and happen to be my favourite) and all that jazz. It is all about romance – don’t let Cosmo or Elle tell you any different. Deep down, every girl wants the fairytale.
  5. I love reading. I’ll read anything. I pick books literally by scanning the shelves and looking at the front cover. If I like what I see I’ll buy it. I’ve read some hummers mind you. But have also read some surprisingly good ones. I am lucky that I can skim read (I can also read upside-down, but that’s only handy in interviews 😉 ) so without interruption I can read a book in about a day. I went on a fortnight’s holiday once and took 6 books with me. Take away the 2 travel days and 3 excursion days. I read all 6 in the remaining 9 – and still had time to read one again!
  6. I am completely obsessed when it comes to washing my clothes – no one, but myself can touch my washing. For the simple fact all washing machines shrink clothes! Once they are washed – on the gentlest cycle and lowest spin setting – they have to be stretched to within an inch of their life. I am at one with my obsession! But don’t think you’d be doing me a favour by doing my washing, seriously, and don’t even think tumble drier unless you want Mr Hyde to reappear!
  7. Pants – another obsession. I want a pair of pants to cover my backside. I don’t do dental floss up my bum and seriously if I wanted boy shorts I’d grow a penis (they are just as bad as G-strings as they end up stuck up your bum. Why is it so difficult to find a pair that covers your bottom. Even those that are supposed to … don’t – yes I’m talking M&S!
  8. I love cooking. I have a raft of recipe books, but at the moment very little time to actually try out different recipes. My friends used to call me the ‘dessert queen’ as I always came up trumps with pudding – essential I feel to finish off the meal. If I go out to eat I prefer main and dessert to starter and main.
  9. I’ve been vegetarian since I was 14 – not through any moral standing, just purely based on watching a video in a biology lesson about how they killed animals. My friend and I looked at each other and said “not eating meat again!” – she caved after a few weeks, I’m still going. To be honest, never was a huge fan of meat. I eat fish, and have no problems handling and cooking meat for others.
  10. I am a single mother. It certainly wasn’t a path I envisaged, but that just serves me right for picking a toad! Still, I am blessed with SC, and thank the angels every day for sending me such a wonderful gift. I didn’t want SC to be an only child, when I was little I always wanted 6 children! Now I think 2 or 3 would be a good number – if pushing it, considering my age and lack of handsome prince. But if I’m a really good girl, one day, who knows, maybe I’ll get to play happy families like everyone else 😉

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