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Putting the Children First

My husband and I separated early last year and though our marriage was over, he has been a huge part of my eldest 2 sons lives and we have had 3 children together. We made the decision to do what not too many separated parents do and always put the needs of our children first. This means we don’t argue over the raising of our children, we once loved each other enough to bring children into our world, we chose each other as parents for our children because we have the same values so the least we can do now is stay on the same page and raise them with those same values we had when we decided to have them.

It’s been a difficult year for both of us since splitting, he’s now settled and has built a new home and we decided that as I’m going to be moving away from here (only about an hour away) that my 22 year old son (his stepson) and our 16 year old will be living with him as the 22 year old has been working at his job since he left school at 16 and has built a good base in this town, and our 16 year old has built a stable happy life here and doesn’t want to move away, he was given the choice and chose to live with his dad, they have a super strong bond that I’m happy to see grow ever stronger though I miss them both already.

I have the youngest 2 who are 8 and 6 living with me.

I have already had a few people accuse me of almost abandoning my older sons but as someone who was abandoned by my own mother at 2, I am well aware of what abandonment means and the damage it can do. I also know that taking a teenager away from the parent that he has the stronger bond with will undoubtedly end up causing resentment and rebellion. I haven’t abandoned my children, they are old enough to choose where they want to be and my  (ex) husband is an amazing father. I chose to include him in my eldest 2 son’s lives when I was a single parent and I chose to have 3 children with him, of course he is an amazing dad so my children are all with the parents that can offer the best for them at this moment in time.

I have no idea why people think that the mother is the only parent that can successfully raise children, our decision was well thought through, it was mutually beneficial to us and to the children and they are all very happy and though I dare say our split has affected them, it isn’t nearly as bad as I have seen some children affected. My older sons visit me often and our younger ones go to their dads 3 times a week. He is invited to school events and meetings, we are able to sit in each others houses and chat about the kids over a coffee and we recently attended a special presentation together to see our 8 year old awarded his bronze scout award and we took him out to eat afterwards. Our children know that Mummy and Daddy are still both there for them as we always have been, only now much happier, I just wish that all children could be raised this way and not put in the middle of their parents battles.

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Posted by on March 8, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

Sharing the Seasonal Love.

This year we decided that though we’re not in London now and there isn’t so many Children’s Homes around here, there are still children in the care system that aren’t as lucky as other children, this especially shows at this time of year.
So I decided that we would organise our own toy collection that we would present to Social Services for them to allocate the right gifts to the right children.
We started buying a few extra little bits here and there…

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Then the word got around and more people started to give us toys!
So far we have quite a stack of toys tormenting my own children!
They know where they’re going so they’re happy about it.
I am so proud of the people I live around, they are so kind and generous at a time where money is short and we all have our own children to make happy.
A huge thank you to those that have and those who are still going to donate. We hope to deliver them on or around the 12th of December so I hope we have even more by then!!

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Posted by on November 30, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

Magic Elf Elfcapades!

I’ve finally written the list for this year’s elfcapades! Better late than never seeing as it all starts tomorrow!
The children got their letters from Santa in yesterday’s post, the elves are on their way in the next few day!
So the fun begins…

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Posted by on November 30, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

Preparations for the Magic Christmas Elf…

Well, in our house we have 2 magic elves that visit us and stay for December, going home to the North Pole with Santa on the 24th December when the presents are delivered.

We have a girl and a boy elf and they get up to all sorts of mischief while we’re all asleep.
We decided not to have the ‘Elf on a Shelf’ style elf, we opted for the ever so cute Peppermint Elves by Gund.

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This will be the 4th year that my youngest 2 children have had the elves visit and the ideas are running dry!

We’ve ‘tweaked’ previous years antics to make them a little different but I’m not entirely sure how we’re going to thing of 24 new ideas to surprise us all.

We’ve planned the usual, with tweaks…
Magic fairy/elf door appears on the wall on the 1st and a trail of Hershey’s Kisses (or similar) will lead the children to the elves with their letters and sticker charts (for the Naughty or Nice List)

Elves leave instructions to plant red and white tic-tac’s in sugar to ‘grow’ candy canes (never gets old!)

Elves bake cupcakes and make a total mess of the kitchen including ‘flour angels’ on the work tops!

Elves make a gingerbread house!

Elves bring some Xmas crafts with instructions.

Elves decorate Xmas tree with pants and knickers.

Elves draw red noses on everyone while their asleep! (And on the photos with whiteboard markers)

Elves toilet roll the children’s bedrooms.

Elves have a cotton wool ‘snowball fight’ with all the other toys.

Elves ‘dress up’ in doll’s clothes.

Elves make a chocolate and sweet picnic breakfast!

Elves make a zip wire from the curtain pole to the sofa/obstacle course of furniture!

Elves make a table tent.

Elves bring Xmas cards to write to classmates.

And we’re still planning…
Ideas welcome!

 
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Posted by on September 17, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

Neglected…

I absolutely don’t know where to start with this because there is so much involved and it’s all very raw and jumbled at the moment.

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To cut a long story short, I met my husband because his brother D and my cousin K were a couple with children… Unfortunately those children were neglected at best.
Anyhow to cut a very very long story short, while they were expecting baby #3 they had their 2nd house fire and K’s younger sister… my 16 year old cousin Jodie, and her (our) nieces, 2 year old Lou and 1 year old Becky were trapped upstairs. After Lou had collapsed unconscious, Jodie (we would assume consumed by smoke and knowing smoke inhalation is what kills people in fires) dropped Becky out of the window in a bid to save her life and afterwards dropped herself out. Tragically Jodie (our hero) died that sad day 3rd June 1998 and Becky’s life support was switched off a few days later on the 6th June 1998.
Within 2 years of the fire D and K’s relationship went sour and they had premature twin sons who didn’t survive who were buried in the same grave as Becky, and their (by now) 3 children were ever more neglected and finally taken into care where they stayed.

Anyway, now it’s been 16 years and we went to the grave this year and this is what we discovered. (Bearing in mind that Becky’s birthday was last month and tomorrow is the anniversary of the fire)

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Now the cross has been there for around 12 years or so and has Becky’s name and date of her death wrong.
It was put there by her dad, and he also omitted K’s name and just put his and the siblings names on.
Well we tidied it up and put fresh flowers on there but now we’ve decided to try to raise the money for the headstone ourselves. Those babies deserve better than to be neglected by their parents in their deaths as they were in their lives.

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The people who should care (these babies Mummy and Daddy) don’t care about those babies enough to take cards, flowers etc to the grave on their birthdays or anniversaries.
Their parents have moved on and are in relationships and have had more children…
Their parents don’t care enough about putting a few quid away every year to mark the grave with something more that a hashed cross. Their siblings aunties, uncles and nanny deserve to have somewhere they can pay their respects (though most of the uncles aunties and the nanny have always been reluctant to go to the grave due to the arguments it causes… The children were used as pawns when they were alive and their grave has been used in the same way.)
But now we are hoping to raise the funds between us to buy the headstone that they deserve.

 
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Posted by on June 2, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

Where is that rope?

I consider myself to be a fairly positive person but just lately, life seems to have hit me like a hammer.

We spent years building up a fairly nice home and we had a fabulous support network of friends. But since we made this move to a small town in Suffolk, I’ve never felt so alone and life seems to be going from bad to worse and it’s all I can think about.

We’ve taken a huge cut in income, now barely surviving on 17k p/a, we lack the funds to be able to make the house look like a home so I’ve not made real friends as I’m too embarrassed to invite them round. I just want out of here now and back to an area where people know us. I miss London and I even miss Essex.
I don’t drive (couldn’t afford to) so we don’t go out, this little town has nothing to offer and even the kids are becoming hermits and that’s never been us.
#3 has been talking about the times over Primrose Hill and Regent’s Park and I can see he misses it too.
So where does that leave us?

Well, we’re in a housing association house so we can get a mutual exchange with someone that wants to ‘swap’, but we’d need a few quid for removals so that puts us in limbo for however long it’ll take to save… bearing in mind we live hand to mouth and get into debt to get through every Christmas.

I was looking at doing an Open University course but we can’t afford that either so it looks like we’re well and truly trapped below the poverty line. I’m an ambitious person and I get sick to death of not being able to push myself forward because there always seems to be a brick wall in the way. Now I’m losing the only thing that got me through… my positive attitude.

I’m beginning to question what there is to be positive about… I know I have a husband and great kids but there is nothing outside of that. I don’t go out, I don’t enjoy being in and everyone says “yeah but you’re lucky… you have your kids that love you”. I know that and I am more grateful than anyone could imagine for the love I have but shit man, love doesn’t feed your kids does it?

I have struggled forever and I just need someone to throw me a rope… believe me I’ll work my arse off to pull myself out of the shit I’m in, I don’t expect anyone to pull the rope, just to chuck it to us would be great.
That ain’t going to happen though so it seems we’re stuck in a small town with no way out and loads of wasted ambition…

 
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Posted by on February 3, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

Mother’s Instinct, Women’s Intuition, call it what you will…

Mother’s instinct, women’s intuition, call it what you will but TRUST in it!

My little #4 who is 4 ½, has been 12.4kg since his 2 ½ year check up and we’ve been to the doctor about it but as he sleeps well, isn’t lethargic, his behaviour is normal and he eats (albeit minimally) they don’t seem as concerned as I do.

He also has obstructive sleep apnoea where he can stop breathing for up to 30 seconds at a time ALL through the night which is often scary especially when he’s poorly as it gets much worse!

Then there’s his MASSIVE tonsils, I’m not exaggerating, they are HUGE! I have always believed that his tonsils are at the root of is failure to gain weight, his sleep apnoea and the fact that he had to have 6 teeth removed last year. (He used to hold food in is mouth and not swallow it, he could keep it in his mouth for ages before we noticed!)

I kept going to the doctors but I know how silly I sounded. They finally referred him (us) to a dietician (who put him on prescription high-calorie shakes) and paediatrician, but didn’t refer to ear, nose & throat as he’d never had tonsillitis!

To cut a long story short, I filmed him sleeping on my phone. The doctor took one look and referred him to the dept of paediatric respiratory medicine. He had blood tests, echocardiograms, sleep studies and a number of other tests.

The results were somewhat worrying… PRM… “Although there was no dysmorphism he had chest assymetry with a degree of pectus and a sternal dipping. His tonsils were enormous and there was no nasal airflow of note. Importantly, he did also have a degree of right ventricular heave and a rather loud pulmonary secondary sound that might indicate a degree of pulmonary hypertension”

The echocardiogram was a bit better… “From the cardiac perspective, he has an entirely normal heart.”

The sleep study… “Channels monitered: oxygen saturation, heart rate, chest & abdominal movement, nasal airflow & video.”

 

“The study showed a reasonable baseline saturation of 95% but several periods during the night, he demonstrated significant obstruction. His saturation dips were generally to around 85% but occasional dips down to 70% were noted. During these episodes there was paradoxical chest and abdominal movement with airflow obstruction typical of obstructive sleep apnoea. His apnoea/hypopnoea index was 10. Summary: significant abnormal study with moderately severe obstructive sleep apnoea.”

A week later I had a phone call to get him admitted to hospital for a tonsillectomy the following week!

So last Thursday, #4 had his tonsils removed and for the 1st time ever I heard him sleep peacefully!

I have to say the actual experience of having a child go under general anaesthetic is absolutely awful but when you know their quality of life is going to improve it’s bearable.

That night we stayed in hospital as they wanted to keep an eye on his sats which were still very low. He was on a monitor and it had an alarm set to go off if his sats went under 91% and it went off all night and most of the next day! He was put on oxygen and had steroids put into his cannula and they improved enough for us to go home.

Although he’s a little sore, he’s breathing much better and we’re yet to see if it improves his eating.

I do wonder though… if the doctors had listened to us in the first place (2 years ago!) would his growth and breathing have been as affected? I guess we’ll never know but I say a Mother’s Instinct is a very valuable tool and health professionals should take that into account more often.

 
 
 
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