How Am I Responding To Challenges? Groovy Mums.

It is 2012 and this year I commit to responding to the Groovy Mums challenges.

1. Lotions and Potions – To be honest, in the grip of post-natal depression, my whole self-maintenance routine took a nosedive. Probably best not to go into details (disgustingly yucky) but there was not an awful lot of self-love going on. Things have improved but post-natal depression’s aftermath does not quit on the day you notice the sunlight again. If only it was so simple! I was never that much of a pamper myself type of girl anyway. Since starting the journey into the groove, little signs appear in my bathroom that suggest I am making an investment in the physical side of me. New body sprays, different deoderant, bubble baths and soaps. I won £150 worth of beauty creams last year and they still remain unused. Perhaps I should have a go with them if only to experiment a bit. I think part of getting the groove back might involve trying new behaviours just for the hell of it. What do you think?

2. The very wonderful women who link up with Groovy Mums are struggling with my challenge to list the best things about themselves. Lord knows why as they are all absolutely fabulous. I had better have a go myself to show them how it is done. Physcially, I have always had a good skin and hair that one Groovy Mum tells me has a va-va voom all of its own. The love of my life told me I had very feminine wrists, not the most normal compliment but hey, we will throw that in the mix too. I don’t have a hourglass figure but I do as an old friend once said go in and out at the right places and have a booty worth of those seaside postcards. My son tells me that I have eyes that give hope. Isn’t that just amazingly lovely of him? My daughter tells me that I am the best mum in the world and my other son tells me that I help people. My husband said I am sexy and when pushed for a more realistic answer said I am a very determined person. What do I think of myself on the positive side? I know that I really do care about people and like to go the extra mile for them. I know I gave up the chance to make huge amounts of money feeling I would be more useful on the frontline making a difference. I know I gave Him Indoors faith in himself for the first time in many years and that led to great things for him. I know I cocked up with my step-daughters but that I did dig deep to try to do my best by them. I know that when the missing child returns home to her birth father, she will get a very warm welcome. I know I am the child that cares for my Dad whilst my brothers get on with their own lives. I know I am shy and yet I will push myself to try the really scary stuff. I know I have walked on fire and did it with huge aplomb. I did throw myself into that boudoir photography session too despite wearing the carpet out before knocking on the door to the venue. I have passion. I have wit. I can be naughty but also very nice. To summarise, I ain’t all that bad, not really. I also have a high IQ apparently which does make me question how come I have got into so many scrapes over the years. I know whilst being a chaotic mum, I do tell my children every day how much they are loved. I teach them how to care for others and how to aspire and not necessarily to what society will try to force them into. I am creative and very much an ideas person. I challenge authority and authority doesn’t always like that but it so needs that kicking of the ass. Hey, once you start, you really can think of positives about yourself.

3. It is World Religion Day this week. I was brought up a Roman Catholic. A counsellor I had in my early twenties told me all Catholics have an A-Level in guilt. Is mine compounded by hearing from being a toddler that it was important to my birth mum that I kept the faith? I stopped going to church when I had my first son and he made a noise in church and there were so many funny looks. I would sort of like to go back to church if I am honest. I see my Dad go early on Sunday mornings and would quite like to join him. I think he would like it too which is good enough for me.

4. What good can I do with my blog? I think I have already really helped people in terms of being honest and telling it how it is for me. That seems to free other people up to do the same. I am not alone with my thoughts and feelings. I also want to help good causes and try to feature them on the blog when I can. I am hoping to do so much more. Watch this space!
Oh, and Groovy Mums is the most lovely thing really for both myself and those who join in.

5. The big question is who can I ask to help? In the home, I really do need to get more input from family members in housework and so on. 90 per cent of it falls on me and then I end up getting resentful. You don’t want to know me when I am feeling that way. I throw a fit, I blast, I am not nice at all. On the work front, I need to say that there are issues in the past that are holding me back. It is OK to ask for help with references and the like. I made big progress on this one recently. I have also received help from bloggers and the Groovy Mums when struggling with relationship issues.

Early this morning, things seemed bleak. I feel much better now. We went to the most depressing town on God’s earth today but managed to have some quality family time of a sort. Dancing on Ice is back on the telly. I have a little tipple at my side and I am still blogging. Him Indoors loves me perhaps in a totally cack-handed way but the feeling is still there. My children adore me. The outside world has started to beckon too and the application for a driving licence is in the post (Thank you Polly!).

It could well be that I am getting into the groove. How about you?

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Originally posted 2012-01-15 21:19:38.

Just A Woman And Proud

Have you seen the advert on the telly where women bang on about “This is me!”

Well this is me, just a woman.

So what do you see? An overweight lady with tension in the face. Actually it is not tension, it is me trying not to smile so that the double chin does not turn into a quadruple one. Bingo wings to die for. No make-up whatsoever. Not a pretty woman.

Is that who I am? Why would I have any reason to be proud?

I am proud because I am changing.
I am proud because the dress is a size 16 whereas just weeks ago it would have been a 20 or 22.
I am proud that I have dyed my hair red because I like it whatever others think. It makes me smile.
I am proud because I have invested in new clothes. It is a long time since I dressed up at all and this photo shows that I am making mistakes but with a little practice, I will get it right.
I am proud because I went out to “We Will Rock You” and the tension went and I smiled so much, real happiness. I am proud to identify with the individuals and the bohemians in the play.
I may well be a fat and frumpy one but oh yes, I am an individual with the ability to challenge the status quo. There is a rock chick waiting to emerge from this particular chrysalis.

An individual who has overcome ..
Being abandoned as a baby
Bullying in the playground and at work
Post-natal depression
Relationship breakdown and infidelity

An individual who commits to parenting and step-parenting even though finding both to be very challenging.

A bohemian who lost her way a bit but at least has the guts to try and do something about it.

Here’s to the #groovingmums and all the bloggers who are helping me so much on this journey. I thought of you all last night when they sang “We are the champions” cos you all are even when you don’t realise it. That sounds very corny but is meant totally, heartfelt.

I am just a woman and I am proud.

You should be too.

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Originally posted 2011-11-23 10:46:22.

Dark Day

I am picking up now but for much of the day my mood was so low. Black clouds weighing me down.

I hate how even with post-natal depression long gone (years ago), I can still be right back in the depths. I am not a nice person to know at such times. I get taciturn and solemn. If Him Indoors is around, I get angry and raise every real or imagined sin with him.

What were the triggers this time?

The weight gain this week and the malfunctioning scales. I have felt so in control of things for the last couple of months and then suddenly the scales were telling me either that I had not lost any weight at all or that I had reached my target weight already. It felt like I was going slightly mad and that it has finally happened, happened …

Untidiness of family. This is a bugbear for me. Am I the only person that can see when things need tidying, putting back, cleaning up? I hate how you just think you are on top of things when you walk in another room and it is a disaster zone and not of your making.

Husband texting one of his female work colleagues outside work hours. I hate this side of me but when you are stuck at home and lacking in the glamour department lifestyle wise and looks wise, I can feel really easily threatened.

Son’s birthday. He is sort of on the cusp on becoming a teenager and right now I have no faith that I am equipped to help him navigate all the challenges ahead.

So what did I do? I drank too much last night which is so very self-sabotaging. I ate too much. I had a big go at Him Indoors for anything I could think of.

My son’s birthday has motivated me to get sorted and I am Ok now, not quite as up as I would like but functioning decently enough and capable of enjoying his birthday tea and so on.

I just hate how these dark days can creep up on me and have such an adverse impact on my own life and those around me.

Before anyone has a dig at me because some mums once did saying I was too needy for them to want to know, I know that lots of mums feel this way. Blogging has taught me that if nothing else.

I am going to post later with a fun meme thing to make up for dragging readers down with this one.

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Originally posted 2011-11-16 15:14:31.

I Am Feeling A Little Tense – Thinking About Pre-Menstrual Tension

I had a pleasant evening last night and fell asleep on the sofa. When I woke up towards 11pm, I was in a foul mood. Nothing had changed apart from how I was feeling.

An argument with Him Indoors ensused. I had an idea that I was pre-menstrual but when in the grip, it makes far more sense to rant at the world and its husband in general. When I am like this, I am very insecure but instead of seeking reassurance, I lash out with wild accusations based on nowt or nowt much. This does not make for marital harmony.

I am less patient with the children and animals too. To be honest, I just want everyone out of my face. I remember how with good female friends when students we used to curl up on sofas and eat chocolate at these times whilst watching nonsese on the telly. Men just don’t join in like that, do they?

This morning, I felt like wallowing but managed to write my #groovingmums post. I can’t be bothered with people when feeling vaguely yucky but not enough to be ill. There is also that lacklustre feeling and a lack of motivation to do owt really.

I did not go out with my Dad as I normally do and enjoyed some me time. I laughed at myself a bit on Twitter and on the blog. Therapeutic stuff. Then I thought I would do something constructive and look up PMT on the internet. Most pissed off to be told it affects people aged 20-40 years. Bloody Hell! I am even too old for PMT. Menopause and hip replacements here I come. Oh, the deep joy of being a woman!

Dad came in asking why charities ask for money at Christmas as if it were my own personal fault they do so. “You know about charities” says he. Yes, I worked for charities but only a tiny minority of them and they are a very diverse bunch. He had his view and was not to be moved. I had to really concentrate hard not to snap. “They should ask for money from businesses”. Tried to argue that yes they do and companies do offer support but that did not fit in with his world view. I hate clashing with Dad so retreated back to my cuppa and the sofa.

I hate pre-menstrual tension and I hate our society does not work round the real lives of women. Why can’t we all have a few days in a posh hotel paid for by the state when we are feeling this way? Why can’t working women have proper flexible working so they can fit in little inconveniences like PMT? Why don’t they cover things like pre-menstrual tension, post-natal depression and the realities of women’s lives in our education system?

Now in any other circumstance, having a good rant like this would lift the black clouds but PMT does not work like that. Come on virtual friends, hand me some cyber chocolate and take me away from it all.

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Originally posted 2011-11-08 17:13:57.