RSS

Tag Archives: knowledge

Benefits Street.

Okay, so there’s this new series on a certain TV channel called Benefits Street…

The main characters all live in houses on what appears to be a run down street and they all claim benefits and are unemployed.

I’m totally split in my opinion of the show…

One half of me thinks that the production company has hand picked the worst examples just to turn the country against people that claim benefits.

I’m not going to name the characters or go into details but there are people with poor hygiene, bad etiquette and rough speech going to get their payments then shoplifting alcohol from hardworking shop owners and laughing about it, There are people claiming benefits as single people but are in a relationship who have had their benefits stopped but are complaining that it’s not their fault and the benefits agency is in the wrong, the children are grubby looking and eating crap and the house is a tip… 2 adults are at home all day and the house is a bloody tip… They are rough and brash and if you were walking down the road with them, their calls of “oi wanker” to their friends would make you cringe…

Then the other half of me remembers how my life used to be and what sort of friends I had and I remember the feeling of hopelessness and worthlessness and depression and confinement.

I remember the ‘fuck ’em’ attitude I had towards the world.

In my last few year in care, when I was living in a bedsit at 16/17, I was asleep and the guy from the room next to me snuck into my room, I woke up immediately, I was used to being on alert when I was asleep… he had a hammer in his hand, it was wrapped in a blood stained tea towel and he was trying to hide it. I was terrified so I let him hide it and then he realised I was awake. To cut a very long story short, he forced me to sleep in his bed and lie to the police that we’d been there all night, I had felt safe there until that night. So I clung onto other teens in my position. We’d all sleep over each other’s bedsits, we’d shoplift for food and clothes, we’d spend any cash we got on drugs and alcohol. I didn’t care about what drugs they were, who cared? They blotted out the bullshit of life and made me feel like I was living someone else’s life. I really didn’t care less if they’d kill me, life was seriously shit and I couldn’t handle it without drugs, men and a sharp object to harm myself and anyone else who took the piss. We’d fight, we’d steal, we’d commit criminal damage, we really didn’t care.

I used to sit on the tube watching other 16/17 year old’s with their parents with bags of new stuff, laughing and hugging, on their way home to somewhere safe, they could sleep without fear and I’d seriously feel hatred… no-one was there for me so ‘fuck ’em’… they’d get home and probably realise their purse was missing, the money spent on drugs they’d never have to take to blot out the life they’d never have to live… fuck ’em.

When social services had finished with me at 18, they handed me the keys to a flat 10 miles from where I had been living and a bundle of benefits forms, a leaving care grant of about £500 and a community care grant form (that I had no idea about) and that was it…

I was a scared, pregnant 18 year old girl, standing in a cold empty flat with no support and no idea what I had to do next.

I filled in the forms and messed that right up, I managed somehow to scrape some furniture together and of course I met the locals… I stopped the drugs and tried to sort my life out but knew that the local junkies would get you anything you wanted for a much lower price than the shops… all you needed to say was ” I need a new kettle” and half hour later they’d be on the doorstep with a £50 kettle asking for £20. You could easily haggle it down to a tenner and course you never asked where it was from but of course everyone knew.

People were always getting evicted or going into prison so furniture was easy to get hold of cheap or it’d be dumped at the back of the block for the kids to set alight to later for a bit of entertainment.

I had an on-off relationship with my eldest son’s dad and by 19 I was a single teenage mum of 2 little boys… A right gobby bitch, smoking, drinking, swearing, stealing, fighting, looking for trouble at the same time as trying to stay out of it and the local police knew my details on sight. That was life, it was normal, it had been normal for years… it was what people expected from an angry careleaver, it’s what they expected from a teenage mum and most of us knew no other way.

Then something happened to change my life forever. I woke up and saw things differently, I saw what I was and what I could be. I learnt to value myself and to value those around me. I learnt about ambition, education, about love, about accepting and letting go of the past, embracing the present and jumping headfirst and grasping onto the future.

I learnt to love myself and value my own life and in turn value other people. I learnt compassion and empathy and tolerance.

I did parenting courses, I went to college and gained childcare qualifications, I spent my days trying to be a better mum and a better person. I made better choices, I started working and being productive, I found a boyfriend, he joined the army. Our army friends had no idea of our pasts so it was easy to change, no-one could point the finger and say “That was her that did ****”.

I changed because I was lucky… I am still in touch with my friends that weren’t so lucky, and I’d love nothing more than to change their lives, but it’s so so hard… they’re not getting away from ‘Benefits Street’ any time soon.

I’m not that much better off now, I live in social housing, only just above the poverty line and I can barely afford the bills, I’m unable to afford to replace our broken cooker or carpets and we have no real luxuries.

But now we pay our own way, we never break the law or take drugs, we’re a world away from Benefits Street but I’m under no illusion… it only takes a small action, a marriage split, getting laid off… we’ll be back on Benefits Street and I’m well aware of the struggle to survive…

So when I watch Benefits Street, I watch it with open eyes, I see the state of the woman’s house and see she has no support, she has no reason to keep a tidy house, it’s going to look just as bad with the toys away. The guy drinking is trying to blot out the bullshit of a life with nothing, and it is a life with nothing.

I ask those of you who have nice jobs and live in nice houses in nice areas, would you trade lives with those on Benefits Street? I am assuming the answer is a resounding “HELL NO!” So free money and free housing isn’t a great life.
Have any of you tried to live on £70 a week? £15 on gas, £15 on electricity, £5 tv license, leaving £35 to divide between water rates, food, phone top-up, bus fares, clothes, and everything else a person needs to get by. Now you can see there’s no money to make a home look nice, can you see that the house will never look tidy? Tired old carpets and walls?
And hardly enough to fund a drug or alcohol addiction is there?
And before someone even thinks about that issue of all the benefits claimants owning big TVs etc… Ever heard of Bright House? It’s one of those shops that no matter how bad your credit, you can get a nice modern tv, and better still, you can have it and pay just a few pounds a week… But for a few years! You’ll pay 3 times the rrp for the privilege. A bit like those provident loans where you can borrow £400 to get through Xmas or buy a new sofa but you’ll be paying back £700.
The poorer you are, the more you’re exploited.

You have to be so careful when you’re judging another person’s situation… there is a much bigger picture and no-one is truly happy to live on benefits.

Entry level jobs are hard to get…
You can’t walk onto a building site nowadays an pick up a broom and become a labourer… You need a cscs card before you can get on site. And to get a cscs card you need to be literate, pass an exam and have a few quid for the card… £50 will get you the card alone… Out of your £70 weekly benefit.
The big corporate businesses like British Telecom have sold out our job seekers. Instead of those jobs being available to our unemployed, BT and other companies use call centres in countries like India because it’s cheaper than paying British people a living wage.
And we are constantly being told how single mothers are a drain on the system… But our government is happy to help with child care and pay childminders to look after children so they can force single mums back to work, but are unhappy to pay the mums that same amount to take care of their own children for just a few years?! It makes no sense.

But our government and our media will continue to demonise those on benefits… not the 50% that are pensioners… Nor the disabled (though they are beginning to be targeted) but the 4% of claimants that are unemployed. This is like a modern day witch hunt. Only the media is a much more powerful tool for the hunters….

And remember… Child benefit, DLA, state pensions, housing benefit, child tax credits, working tax credit… These are ALL benefits and those who live in glass houses…

Advertisements
 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Always the Attention Seeker…

Ok, When I started this blog I wanted to write it as a care leaver because there is so little written about or by care leavers which ultimately makes us feel very alone and misunderstood especially as we become adults. We lack much of what most people have growing up and becoming adults and all that most care leavers have in the way of support are other care leavers with their own set of fucked up problems or social workers who really have no clue and who most care leavers avoid unless they really mess up!

I was going through the comments on one of my other posts and there was this one comment (on the post about being there not being enough for my friend) that didn’t much grammatical sense but the jist was that I needed to stop whinging about my life and stop being attention seeking on my blog…

now here’s the thing… firstly I’d like to point out that it’s MY blog so I can pretty much write whatever I want, and to be honest I never expected anyone to read it, it’s just my way of speaking aloud, it’s my therapy as it were. Secondly, all care leavers are accused of being attention seekers but to be fair most of us spend the majority of our time trying to blend in and appear ‘normal’ so as not to bring attention to ourselves.

Of course that isn’t to say that I can’t be a bit of an extrovert, but that’s usually a front or with a few glasses of wine and the right crowd. 😉

Anyhow, I don’t write about my life in care to gain attention, I have to write about some of the shit times, not to be attention seeking but because it would be difficult to connect with someone unless you know a little of their story, and believe me I only touch the surface on here.

As for whinging, I think I’m pretty positive about how my life’s turned out, yes I have my negative moments where I find it difficult to move forward and get a little trapped in time and find it hard to escape my memories, but they’re the times when I recoil from life a bit and avoid being around people, but hey you can’t be positive ALL the time!

The things most people work towards; education, work, home, friends, family, life, happiness… are things that are much harder to come by for most care leavers, but with a lot of hard work they are attainable.

I am incredibly proud of what I’ve achieved against the odds.

Care leavers statistics

From now I will only leave positive comments on this blog, I don’t mind a debate but there is no room in my life for negativity so if you have nothing positive to say, please say nothing at all.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on September 24, 2013 in Believe, Care Leaver, Life, The Past.

 

Tags: , , , , ,

Kids Being Kids…

Before you read this post, I’d like you to read this article

I read that article this morning and I have to be honest, I thought it was a case of a mum receiving a letter and being a little over-sensitive in her reaction, assuming people had complained about her 3 year old daughter but being a mum I get that, you’re lucky to have a safe area outside your home and let your 3 year old play outside in the fresh air with neighbour’s young children. They pick flowers and bark and act like young children discovering the world around them.

I happen to log into facebook and a certain tabloid rag has a twisted version of this story advertising their latest edition on their page talking about ‘kids running amok and ransacking other people’s garden’s’. This has escalated into a huge thread of people slating this woman’s parenting skills and her children. Comments like @she looks like a little monster!’ and ‘a 3 year old out on the streets, 2 words… BAD PARENTS’ and a barrage of people offering ‘useful’ snippets of advice like ‘social services should get involved’ and ‘the mum should get an asbo’ and ‘the mum should tan her daughter’s backside’.
It’s obvious no-one actually read the article properly, or I’ve totally misread it myself because what I got was that little girls were playing and maybe picking flowers and trampled a few plants. There has been some degree of anti-social behaviour in the area so the police decide to issue each house with a warning about how anti-social behaviour won’t be tolerated. This mum felt as there wasn’t a problem in their particular road, that it was aimed at her children and got defensive. Why do tabloid rags have to turn it into ‘Britain’s youngest child threatened with an ASBO’???
Let’s get this into perspective now, they’re not smashing neighbour’s windows or shouting profanities or smoking drugs or stealing cars, they’re picking flowers… that’s what children do.

My children have spent the best part of the last 2 weeks exploring our local woods, discovering plants, (and yes, picking some!) collecting sticks, leaves and basically being children! We’re so lucky to have the woods so close by, there is a children’s playground built into the woodland and a bmx track so children can enjoy the space.
When my older 2 boys were younger, we lived in London and the streets and local parks were their playground. They were good kids and I knew roughly where they’d be if I needed them. I had an ‘open door’ policy, our door was always open to them and their friends for drinks, snacks, lunch, toilet or a safe place to be for a while. They had the odd mischievous moment, #2 came home one day soaked to the skin and ran upstairs sheepishly, 2 minutes later a frail lady knocked and told me she’d just thrown a bucket of water over him and followed him home as he was playing ‘knock down ginger’ at her door and she was poorly. I made him come down to apologise and told him off, apologised to the lady and that was that. I have to admit to having a giggle later on as I remember being 8 and doing the same (without getting caught!) as I’m sure most did. It was naughty but hardly deserving of an asbo. He’s now almost 20 and working at the same engineering job he’s been at since he left school at 16, my eldest has just graduated from University. Neither has a criminal record or an asbo. 🙂

My point is, we’re so quick to judge kids behaviour and adults parenting skills nowadays, they really can’t do right for doing wrong. If the children sit indoors playing games consoles or watching TV- the parents are bad, they play outside and their parents are still wrong because it’s irresponsible or the kids might get an asbo.
Really? Is this where we are now? Have people forgotten what being a child was about? Full of wonder, full of energy, a bit mischievous but today’s discovers, explorers, creators, inventors… are tomorrow’s Lord Sugars, Richard Bransons, Larry Pages, Cesar Pellis and Sir Norman Fosters.

How can it be ok if we imprison our children and stop them from reaching their potentials by holding them back out of fear of being branded ‘bad parents’?

 

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on August 17, 2013 in Family, Kids, Life, News, Parenting

 

Tags: , , , , , ,

My Reasons.

Ok, in my last post I outed my Pagan beliefs and this has obviously bothered some of my friends so I’d like to explain a little, particularly on behalf of my many, many Pagan and Wiccan friends.

I’d like to start by apologising in advance if anything I say here offends anyone, I can assure you this is certainly not my intention, I’d never wish to hurt someone’s feelings, least of all my friends.

Right, firstly there is obviously still a stigma that goes along with being Pagan/Wiccan.

Firstly I’d like to explain the word witch. The root wit in the word just means wise. The word witcraft was shortened to witch and it just means craft of the wise. You have to remember that the early Christians from Rome who bought Christianity to Europe were so determined in their quest to convert they used propaganda, torture and genocide. The ones who stayed strict to their Pagan beliefs were seen as rebellious and going against ‘God’ and were tortured and killed in barbaric ways. (drowned, burned alive, etc) people in those days saw this as entertainment. Laws were passed against witchcraft and were only repealed in 1951! So dedicated witches who wanted to preserve the religion were forced underground and formed secret ‘covens’.

“Although the word Witch is hated the word Pagan still rings alarm bells in the minds of many Christians or people in the sub-Christian culture. Why? Because Paganism was the enemy within. The church of Rome was determined to stamp it out by any means available and successfully built up an image of evil around Pagans so that even today ordinary people think Pagans and/or Witches sacrifice babies, perform evil spells and so on. The church also masked out or absorbed Pagan celebrations, for example Jesus was not born on the 25th December but was more probably born around April in 7 BCE. This was moved to the 6th January (the Eastern Orthodox church still uses that date). Then at the council of Niceae in 325 the western Christian church persuaded Emperor Constantin to move the celebration of the birth of Jesus to that other celebration of the birth of the sun, in Roman times the festival of Mithras, the God of Light at the winter solstice (which was thought to be 25th December).” (taken from Isle of Avalon, a great Pagan site with a wealth of information)

Witches were (and are) great healers, using the things that nature freely gives to us they were able to cure a great many ailments. This is a craft that is fast being recognised as the way forward. People are starting to use those age old ‘spells’ again!

Before I even realised I was swaying toward Paganism, I have a cupboard full of arnica for bruising/swelling, echinacea and garlic capsules to ward away those colds, lavender to aid sleep, willow bark to ease cold and flu symptoms, ginger root to help with sickness (I have had 5 babies after all!) and way too many more to go through! I would once have been told these were nothing less than witchcraft and if I wanted to feel better then I should just pray!

Anyway, my answer to those questions “But don’t you think being Pagan is a bit far fetched? I mean it is a bit weird isn’t it?”

Firstly no, I don’t think it’s far fetched to believe in a God and Goddess. It takes a male and a female to create life, so why would it seem strange to have a male God and female Goddess who each have different roles but are equally as important as each other? Don’t we want our children to be raised to know that men and women are equal?

It is my belief that Christianity in it’s early form (and even now in some ways) oppressed women. Men were allowed to be educated, women were not, women were forced to marry without having any say, women were not able to be important parts of the church (ie priests) and men were most certainly more ‘important’ than women. It has taken centuries for women to be accepted as equal in our society and in some ways society as a whole still has many prejudices against women.

I don’t think it’s far fetched to revere nature. We cannot live without it, simple. So if I’m thankful for nature, then I’m not being weird, I’m being grateful for something I know we can’t survive without.

I don’t think it’s far fetched to believe in reincarnation. We are made of energy, energy is transferred (scientific fact) so it makes sense to me that when my body is dead, my spiritual energy is transferred.

It’s much more believable than when I was raised a Christian that If I behave, I’ll go to ‘Heaven’ (when the Old Testament… the word of God, doesn’t mention humans going to heaven) and if I’m ‘bad’ I’ll go to hell. Forever…

Sounds like a way of regulating human behaviour to me.
Don’t sin… Love thy neighbour… as long as he’s not gay, having sex before marriage, having sex for enjoyment, using contraception, masturbating, lying, having an affair, wears clothing designed for the opposite sex, is a prostitute or reading Harry Potter!
Ok, I’m taking it to the extreme here, but this is what has been done to the Old and New Testaments in translation.  It’s always interpretated by different people with different views which sends different messages. In translation the word for ‘inn’ has more than one meaning as does the word ‘hate’ (which can mean dislike strongly, or detached) so I always found it difficult to know what the interpretations were.
I found it hard to believe in a God that condemned people to death. Parts of the Old Testament (God’s word) are full of murder, rape, abortion and genocide. Leviticus 20:13, Leviticus 20:9, Leviticus 21:9,Numbers 5:11-21, Numbers 31:17,  1 Kings 20:35-36, 2 Kings 2:23-24, Exodus 31:12-15, Hosea 9:11-16, Isaiah 13:15-18 are a few of the things that I find hard to imagine a God so right and true, would condone.

I think my big problem with Christianity, and my reasons for change, is that there was too much ‘demanding that man should do’  going on and then contradicting itself. The Old Testament was supposed to be God’s word, surely God’s word is final unless He gives it again? But then we are supposed to believe that God… God of the Jews (as Jesus was) takes his kingdom away from the Jews? God says bad people go to hell then (in the New Testament) it’s said that if they repent, they’ll not.

I put it to a Christian friend that if a 15 year old girl walked into her church and declared she was pregnant with God’s son but had never had sex, would they embrace her as the Mother of God’s son, or call social services and claim she was crazy… there was a lot of umming and erring but no definitive answer. Surely if you believe in the story of Jesus, then you’d embrace her? Just my opinion.

I have a problem with the Christian Sabbath being on a Sunday. The bible states that God rested on the seventh day, Saturday, and blessed that day as a day of rest. it is observed in the Ten Commandments so why was it changed to the day that many Pagan’s worship the Sun god?

Christmas is another contradiction. Yule is a Pagan festival, as Easter is a Pagan festival of rebirth.

The bottom line is this, No-one can (or should) dictate to another on what they should believe, nor mock them, calling them weird or far fetched. All religions are based on a belief system that cannot be proved no disproved. They all have the influence of man, who makes mistakes even when passing on a story however true, so things get altered or lost in translation.

I still respect my Christian friends, my Muslim friends, My Sikh friends, my Jewish friends and my athiest friends among others. I respect them and their beliefs, I don’t see them as weird or wrong, just as they are, their beliefs. I respect them as I do those who believe that their child is the most intelligent/best looking in the world. lol

Paganism is NOT bad, as with any religion it is open to abuses (as we’ve seen with the Christian Crusades or the Muslim Extremists for starters)

If you look at the history of Paganism, nature revering religions, most are looked at as being peaceful… the Native Americans, Aborigines, Ancient Greeks, Ancient Romans, Japanese, Indians, etc all have very similar beliefs, but they don’t have the stigma that we seem to have. Paganism is on the increase in Europe, people are looking into it and realising it makes sense to them.

To the friends who have contacted me to tell me they’ve been in the broom closet for years and are afraid to ‘come out’ to friends and family, well I hope that one day you’ll be able to practice your religion with pride. Until then, I’m always here.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on October 24, 2012 in Believe, Faith, Life, Thoughts

 

Tags: , , , , , ,

Out of the Broom Closet…

Religion… now this has always been a touchy subject for most.
I find this down to 2 main reasons… either non-religious people don’t want other people’s beliefs to be rammed down their throats, or the religious people don’t want to hear people discredit their beliefs.

Then you have that whole different angle, the stigma and prejudice that goes along with religion, especially those belief systems that are ‘different’ or that people are unable to understand.

Now I was talking to a friend today, and our beliefs came up and the fact that we have exactly the same religious beliefs and never knew it…I guess only a few of my friends, the ones that know me really well, know what my religious views are, but for those that don’t know me so well, I am going to publicly come out of the broom closet as it were, and define my religious standpoint…

I would describe myself as spiritual, nature loving, I believe in positivity, I believe we have the power to heal using things that nature gives us freely, I believe in and respect the sanctity of life, I believe in karma, I believe in the Rule of Three, I believe that all living things should respect all other living things and treat them as you wish to be treated, I don’t believe in being wasteful, I think we should share what we have an abundance of…

In a nutshell, I’d define myself as Pagan.

There, I said it… I worship nature… don’t laugh, I can prove it exists, and that we are totally unable to exist without it.

Image

But the stigma attached to Paganism still exists, ever since the Christians wiped out Paganism from most of Europe, it’s become a word that is used as such a negative. Paganism was around long before Islam or Christianity. It has many similarities to Buddism, and Native American beliefs.

Image

People still have misconceptions as to what Paganism is, or what we do.

We do NOT worship the devil, in fact, I don’t even recognise the existence of ‘satan’!

We do not cast evil spells on people, as I said, we believe in the Rule of Three, any negativity would come back to us threefold, a bit like karma.

Image

New Age beliefs, those beliefs that herbs, plants, crystals, precious stones, meditation etc can cure ailments and make us feel better isn’t new at all…

Image

We all know that many of our ‘Christian traditions’ are not in fact Christian at all, but they’re Pagan traditions and celebrations that the first Christians couldn’t wipe out of our strong Celtic-Pagan roots…

For instance;

Sunday is the Pagan day of worship to the Sun God, Christians worshipped on Saturday, until the 4th Century when Roman Emperor Constantine, himself a Pagan at the time, ruled that the official day of worship in Rome would be Sunday. .
Easter was a fertility holiday, a time to worship the Goddess Eastre . As you can see this Goddess also gave her name to such things as Estrus, the female reproductive cycle, and Estrogen, a female hormone. This holiday was amazingly popular and in Pagan times, rabbits, and eggs, were fertility symbols used to celebrate this holiday.

Around the Mediterranean, even before Jesus, the death and rebirth of Attis, was celebrated at this time. Attis was born to a virgin (sound familiar?). He is the god of Vegetation, the lover of the fertility Goddess, and he dies and is reborn annually at this time (sound familiar?).

This holiday was too popular for early Christians to ban, so over time they simply reassigned meaning to the traditions and let people continue to celebrate.

Most people, even Christians, realize that December 25 was not Christs actual birthday. In the old calendar December 25 was the winter solstice, a day to celebrate the returning of the sun. In Rome December 17 was the start of a seven day holiday to celebrate the birth of the god Saturn. The Iranian sun God Mithra (also linked with Helios) was born of a virgin birth, on December 25. In many parts of the world the holidays’ original name was Saturnalia. Saturnalia was a celebration that lasted several days and involved feasting and the exchange of gifts. Evergreens, which represented life, were brought into the homes and decorated. Nearly every Christmas tradition, from the wreath to the star, have pagan origins, there are too many to list here, but a link is provided at the bottom. As with Easter the holiday was too popular, so rather than forbidding newly converted Christians from celebrating it, the Church renamed the day and over time reassigned meanings to the traditions, for example, the nativity scenes which were originally made to honour the birth of Saturn where now referenced to worship Jesus.

All Hallows Day was originally celebrated in the spring, but with the Celtic Holiday of Samhain being celebrated October 31, a move was made to place All Hallows Day on November 1. Thus October 31 became known as All Hallows Eve, eventually, Halloween. Indeed Samhain was a pagan holiday, one where people dressed up and reversed roles. They pulled pranks and partied with the people who had died during the year. Pagans were not afraid of their dead as many of us are today. Rather these spirits were welcomed.

(read more http://relijournal.com/christianity/borrowed-pagan-traditions-of-christianity/)

Yes, Pagans do have rituals and ceremonies that may seem strange to some, but when you see the secret ‘Handfasting’ ceremony in Braveheart you probably didn’t realise this was an old Celtic-Pagan ceremony to bind the hearts of two people in love and there are many rituals and traditions that are equally wonderful and becoming more popular.

Image

I guess the bottom line is this, don’t judge, just ask if you don’t understand something.
I don’t judge someone who believes they’ll go to hell because they’ve made some bad choices, I don’t have the same beliefs but each to their own.
I am just the same person as I’ve always been, If you know me and this is the first you’ve heard of this, you’ll see no difference in me. I still spend my days cooking and cleaning, I do the school run, I have a laugh and a joke and a gossip. There’s just more to me than you probably realised.
Image

For more information on Paganism, take a look at http://www.paganspath.com/index2.htm or  http://paganpages.org/content/2012/10/pagan-theology-35/

Image

 
3 Comments

Posted by on October 19, 2012 in Believe, Faith, Life, Thoughts

 

Tags: , , , , , ,

A Sunshine Award to start off the Summer!

When I started this blog, it was for a few reasons… Firstly, I guess it was just because I like to write, it’s something I enjoy doing almost as much as I like reading.  It’s also a form of therapy for me… I write about things and those things become clearer in my mind.

The thing is, for some reason, it hadn’t occurred to me that people might actually read it! So imagine my surprise when I checked my emails today to find a Sunshine Award from fellow blogger justbetweencousins!

I’d like to say a big Thank You (!) for nominating me for the Sunshine Award and for actually taking the time to read my thoughts on here, it’s much appreciated!

Now, in accordance with the Sunshine Award Rules, I agree to;

  • Include the Sunshine Award image. (check)
  • Thank the person who gave you the award. (check)
  • Answer 10 questions about yourself. (Apparently, the giver can make up new ones. It could get interesting!) (check)
  • Pass the award on to 10 Sunshine-worthy bloggers (Only 10?!) (check)
The Questions…

Love or Money? Love (can I have some money thrown in?… no?… okay just love!)

Favorite Book? I love childhood memoirs, my favourite being Ugly by Constance Briscoe.

Who is the Television Character you simply adore? Waynetta Slob… Kathy Burke is truly a comedy genius! (Though I do love Nan Taylor too, Catherine Tate is too funny!)

Favorite Music? I love strong women that say it how it is. Pink, Linda Perry, Eva Cassidy, Jessie J and Amy Winehouse to name a few.

Favorite type of movie? I like comedies best, thrillers are great but NOT horrors!!

Facebook or Twitter? ooohh, I can’t decide, I love both… facebook just edges it… for now!

Favorite number? 13. I was born on the 13th so consider it my lucky number!

Favourite Animal? Horses, I love them just because they are so beautiful.

Giving or receiving? Totally giving, I just wish I could afford to give some more!

Favorite flower? Poppy… that’s why I named my daughter Poppy!

And last but certainly not least, here is my list of Sunshine Award bloggers in absolutely no particular order…

One Fierce Mama I love Mummy blogs, they give us mums a way of expressing ourselves and proves there is a lot more to us than ‘nappies and baby sick’! I especially like the ones that keep it real!

Journey to my Heart… a day to day discovery we’re around the same age and have so many things in common, yet are so different. It’s refreshing and interesting to read about someone that you feel even the smallest connection to.

Heaven 4 Earth I love reading things that make me think… truly think on a really deep level. This is a blog that makes me think.

A Three Day Hat Another Mummy (or Mommy!) blog that ‘tells it how it is’!

Grenglish I went to school with Sarah and though we weren’t in the same circle of friends, the power of Facebook put me in touch with her blog… brilliantly written and touches on subjects everyone can relate to.

Cathy’s Voice Now I love her honesty and her fearlessness when it comes to her sharing her voice.

Texas Gaga because repurposing and upcycling is a dying art… but the only way we’ll save our planet…

Precious Paper A new blog but proof that upcycling is beautiful!

Missy B & Family She is ME!  But she makes it much more interesting!

Pearlyqueennotebook reworking beautiful things… I need say no more than that!

These Bloggers old and new have caught my interest, inspired me, or made me look at my own life differently. I think that’s an amazing talent to possess and should be recognised.

Enjoy your Sunshine Award nominations and pass it on.

 
 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Earth Mother?

I have a simple philosophy on parenting and that is this… I am not my children’s friend, they should have enough friends if I’ve done my job as a parent properly… I am their parent. Their teacher, their chef, their nurse, their confidant, their coach. but in my opinion, while they’re still children I’m certainly not their friend.

I have made many mistakes as a parent, especially with my eldest two sons. I allowed the emotional and messy break-up with their father affect me and I neglected my boy’s needs. I made it difficult for my eldest to confide in me and without realising, I allowed him to feel that it was his fault and because I was wrapped up in how I felt, I became unapproachable in his eyes.

But part of being a parent is being able to recognise when we’ve made mistakes and trying to adapt and be a better parent, I patently didn’t learn that from my own parents!

Children should be nurtured. I use the ‘Earth Mother’ loosely but I had natural births, I breastfed until they self weaned, I BLW, Cloth nappy, co-sleep, and pretty much follow my instinct.

I am a bit of an Earth Mother… I believe in a Mother’s Instinct and Intuition, that feeling you get that tells you if you’re right or wrong. I believe in my instinct and I am in tune with my intuition.

We co-sleep. On hearing this, people are so quick to point out how ‘dangerous’ this practice is but I’d like to bet that most of us have at least had the odd night where we’ve put baby in our bed to get a night’s sleep…

I read an article once on sleeping arrangements of babies. Parents were asked where their babies slept and all answered “In his/her cot/moses basket”… when questioned more indepth, a huge proportion then admitted to having their baby in the parental bed for the majority of the time.

We just admit to doing it full-time for at least the 1st year. I breastfeed so it seems the most natural thing to do so that baby has his/her feeds and goes back to sleep without being disturbed. At around a year old, we’ve put a bed in their room and introduced the joys of having a ‘big boy’s/girl’s room’  and they’ve been really happy with it… then again, although they’ll go down great, by morning they’re very often in our bed again and we’re absolutely fine with that. My attitude is what could be more natural than sleeping in the warmth and security of the people you love the most?

I breastfeed… I believe it’s simply what we’re supposed to do. I have no idea what the ingredients in formula are and to me they sound like a chemistry lesson, so I choose to breastfeed… I don’t try to make others do the same and no-one should feel guilty either way, though I do believe there’s not enough information for those wishing to breastfeed and there’s a lot of misinformation which worries new mums into quitting early, believing they ‘aren’t producing enough milk’. Breastfed babies DO feed every hour or two for the first few weeks and they do often stay on the breast for half an hour or so… that doesn’t mean you don’t have enough milk, nor does it mean you’re not doing it right. At 6, 8 and 12 weeks, babies tend to have a growth spurt and demand to be fed more often… these are often times when mums quit thinking they’re not producing enough to sustain baby’s needs. I have found health visitors to tell mums to ‘top-up’ with formula (which will hinder mother’s milk production!) as baby won’t be gaining the right amount of weight. (you know, the amount the chart in their red health book says they should!)

The Health Visiting Team are an OPTIONAL service that I opted out of, I gained my own support network of like-minded mothers and I feel I am wasting the time of a Health Visitor to be honest, though my last one was fantastic, I just felt that after 5 babies, I kinda knew pretty much all they could tell me.

Weaning… I follow my child. Baby-led Weaning is the only way in this house. I did it all by the book with my eldest and when he was still gagging on lumpy food and spitting out the lumps, I was at my wits end… ‘The books said they MUST be having lumpy food by 10 months!! He was surely going to be eating pureé forever at this rate!’…

With my others, I introduced finger foods when they were ready and baby rice and home pureéd foods occasionally too. We didn’t stick to any particular way or age, just what felt right.

What did piss me off was a Health Visitor telling a friend that she was an unfit mother for introducing baby rice to her 4 month old son when ‘The World Health Organisation’s’ recommendation is to exclusively breastfeed for 6 months and not to introduce solids until at least then… What they failed to inform her is that the WORLD Health Organisation includes 3rd world countries where there isn’t sufficient nutritious food… this is England! When my eldest 2 were babies, we were told that if we DIDN’T introduce solids before 6 months, that we’d be hindering their speech as they need to exercise their jaw muscles!!! And now they’re back to 4 months again!! I prefer weaning when baby shows signs that it’s time… much more reliable!!

Nappies… I like to cloth nappy… Most are shaped like disposables and velcro or popper closed, have gorgeous waterproof ‘pul’ covers and look adorable… not to mention they save hundreds compared to disposables, especially if you use them for subsequent children or swap them around with friends. I don’t buy into the fact that they are more ‘eco-friendly’ as it really does depend on how you wash and dry them, but they certainly are easier on the pocket than disposables. To be honest, once my kiddies are toddling, they often go without nappies in the daytime, you can often tell when they’re about to go and you can get them to a potty and let their skin air.

Don’t even get me started on immunisations!! Firstly they are optional… how many parents actually feel they are optional though? Most parents I know thought they were compulsory! Secondly, when you get drugs from the chemist, you ALWAYS get a leaflet that you HAVE to read before you take the medicine… it lists all the active ingredients, things that could cause adverse effects, what those effects are (even rare ones) etc… when you take your 2 month old baby to get those 1st lot of jabs, do you really know what’s in them or what the adverse reactions could be? Two of my children had serious adverse reactions to immunisations and I am against immunising babies so young. I’ve really done my research on this and I once had a bit of an argument with a ‘medical professional’ about my children’s delayed jabs… they claimed that by not immunising my children, I’m putting their childen at risk! What?! If you are 100% sure that those jabs are effective then how is my child risking your child? Your child is protected surely? The only way my child could possibly be infected is through other non-immunised children, and your children are protected so there should be no problem at all!! I made an informed decision to delay my children’s jabs. I am not entirely happy allowing them at all to be honest, but I’m delaying them at the very least.

We all make choices as parents, I’m not claiming my choices are right for anyone else but my family. I’m not disrespecting anyone else’s choices.

There are women out there who eat their placenta’s… not for me but hey, if they feel that it makes them better mother’s and they certainly aren’t affecting anyone else, then go for it, that’s their prerogative.

We all have our beliefs. I certainly do. I know that a lot of what I’ve done, at least with my eldest is totally against what I believe now, but that’s through learning and experience. Making mistakes and wanting to better them. None of us are perfect parents but I’m sure we all strive to be.

I believe that children thrive best in a secure family with good role models, ideally with their mum and dad. As a couple we should teach our kids by example, how to deal with problems in relationships, how to love, how to work as a team. Whether those parents are together or not, they made that child and should act as business partners, working together to raise a well-adjusted child. No-one says you have to get along but you both have something in common… love for your child and a want to give that child the best upbringing you can possibly give.

A mother should raise her daughter to be a woman with morals, values, self-respect and self-worth. To know herself and be independent. Not to depend on a man for money but to know she can work and be successful and support herself.morals, values, self-respect and self-worth.  To know that a couple balance each other as equals, neither one is more important than the other.

A father should raise his son to be a man with morals, values, self-respect and self-worth. To know himself and to be independent and be domesticated. To respect women and not to depend on a woman to look after him, to know he can take care of himself. morals, values, self-respect and self-worth. To know that a couple balance each other,  they are equal, neither one is more important than the other.

None of us are perfect but we can try to be better, that way maybe our children will be better parents than us…

(core values image from http://www.all-about-motherhood.com/index.html )

 
1 Comment

Posted by on January 12, 2012 in Believe, Family, Kids, Life, Parenting, Thoughts

 

Tags: , , , , , ,

 
%d bloggers like this: