I am indulging in some positive thinking for mum.

Not too many days ago, I was feeling a bit blue as the fatigue and disruption of the house move took its toll. Today, I feel that I have emerged from that and am moving forwards positively in our new life in Hampshire.

1. I think the marital spark may have disappeared a bit whilst we were living apart. So I took action and asked my husband on a date night. OK so we had the children with us but we took a break from unpacking boxes and went out for an evening meal at a local pub. We enjoyed it so much that we spent the next two nights out and about too. We seem more like a couple again. It can’t be all work and no play and I intend to ensure there is plenty of play in this new chapter.

2. The children are playing out and making new friends. This is helping them settle into the new area and will help when they start at school with already established friends.

3. My oldest son has realised he can retain his friends from Yorkshire even though we have moved. He is happier as a result.

4. We have all our belongings here now although we had to give things away or send them to the tip as we have moved from a big house to a small one. Fortunately, the space here is good in terms of storage so a lot of things don’t need unpacking just yet.

5. After a blip, we have managed to get the washer plumbed in today which is a huge relief. You take these things for granted until they aren’t there.

6. I have been enjoying getting to grips with a new piece of work.

7. For the first time in ages we have felt able to go out and buy things without stressing so I have a new value hoover from Argos which is superb, a new rug to protect the carpet near the back door and a new kettle. The last purchased was not planned but after somehow getting blue dye in the old one, I could not face a coffee from it again.

8. I found the knickers I lost in the house move along with the bag of my son’s clothing that had also gone missing in the move.

9. I got an email from school today so hopefully we can arrange a quick return for the children who are clearly getting bored and ready to return to education.

10. I have found my Dad’s memoirs so will be posting more of those soon.

11. There is a Bank Holiday weekend coming up giving us the chance to explore the stunning countryside round here and also to see the sea.

12. The week was polished off nicely with news that I am shortlisted in the Inspire category of the Brilliance in Blogging Awards.

I find myself mentioned as one of the inspirational bloggers

Yesterday, I got a huge surprise when I was informed I was shortlisted in the Inspire category in the Brilliance in Blogging Awards 2014.

I had not even looked for my name when the shortlist was published so sure was I that it would not appear. To be honest, I have hated the quality of my blogging this year. I really do feel it has suffered due to my distraction as we tried to re-establish our security and happiness following my husband’s redundancy. It seems to me all I have done this year is moan on even whilst knowing so many bloggers and readers face far greater and longer-term challenges than myself.

I never set out to inspire people by blogging. I think I did help some mums via Groovy Mums and also getting naked that time but I think that was more by fate than design. I do like helping others where I can. Is that inspirational? I just think if you can lend a hand to someone, why wouldn’t you and anyway it gives you a good feeling to know you make a difference.

Is it because I am open and honest that I inspire? The truth is I treat this blog as my very best friend and sanctuary and often think my readers are just a pretend world that I can escape into from time to time. I am quite scared when I meet them in real life having never expected that to happen.

So if you nominated me, know that I appreciate it and will try to live up to the inspire tag somehow this year. I am not sure how yet but with a new home and my husband back in work, there will be time and space to contribute something.

If you read my blog, please do check out the amazing company that I am in on the Inspire category not to mention the shortlist as a whole.

I am not asking for votes. If I won, I would only end up drinking too much rum beforehand and fall up the steps to the stage flashing grey knickers. I would be lifted up only to babble on inanely for far too long and forget to thank all the important people.

How would I hope to inspire in the coming year?

I would like to throw my heart and soul into something new

I would like to get involved in a campaign of some sort

I would like to get that book finished

I would like to do what my mum did for me and teach my children to aspire

Most importantly, I have learned that if people say you inspire or say anything good about you, however crazy it sound to you, you just have to go with it out of respect to them.

How many of us see ourselves as others do?

Today, I am wondering what is right when it comes to children playing out?

As a child, I was out and about climbing trees and playing with other local children. I tended to play with boys more than girls so there was a lot of cowboys but I could always come up with a female character to convince them to let me join in.

I remember the building site at the back of our house where I once wrapped myself in yellow insulation material pretending I was at a posh ball. Delusions of grandeur from a very young age!

As a parent, I have being a vigilant one trying to prevent my children getting hurt in any way. My first son was nearly ten when I let him go to the corner shop. I did this on instinct that I could not explain. It just felt right one day. Both he and his Dad were stunned I was allowing this sudden freedom.

My daughter turned 10 at the start of the month and pointed out that her brother was allowed out when nine years of age so why wasn’t I allowing her out? Well, it’s different with a girl, isn’t it? I hate that in myself but we know what threats there are out there to women and girls and she is my precious babe. How could I let her out and about?

Eventually I agreed that she could go with her brother to the fish and chip shop next door.

Having moved to a cul-de-sac, we were out the front when she walked up to a girl and made friends immediately. Lots of children including incredibly young ones play out here so I could hardly say no. My eight year old son saw this and expected the same treatment.

Surrounded by boxes and black bin liners after the move, I have not really had time to reflect as usual but have just decided to go with it. They are clearly enjoying themselves and becoming part of the community. They are getting fresh air and thankfully leaving their various gaming devices alone.

It’s a good thing and yet I hate not having them in my sight all the time. It’s so scary but I guess you have to let them go.

Tune in a few years when I have the door locked on a permanent basis so that they can’t leave home.

Not easy this parenting gig, is it?

Do you let your children play out and from what age?

What safety precautions do you put in place?

Children Playing Out - What Is The Right Age To Let Them?

So we have moved. I was so giddy about the move but right now I am just not feeling it in terms of being positive. I hate this in myself but I hope blogging it out will help.

Maybe I have relocation stress syndrome.

I think I am a bit battered and bruised by the last year. So much bad luck in recent months, one thing after another. I remember feeling a bit this way after I was royally dumped on by my ex boyfriend. Not quite trusting that anything good can turn up after so much angst. I also realise that people have far bigger problems than those we have faced so I start feeling guilty for not counting my blessings.

We did the move ourselves surrounded by pets and children so it was not the easiest and we moved hundreds of miles too so it was a bit of a challenge all round. We don’t have a ready support network of friends and relatives to help. My brother said how Mum and Dad would have pitched in to help and I am reminded as ever of how much I miss them. It bothers me that they will not visit this house tumbling in with bags of sweets and toys for the children and outfits for me that I would probably not want to wear. That’s the thing with grief – you even miss the bits that used to wind you up.

The new house is nice enough. I was relieved as I agreed to take it without seeing it. It is smaller so less of my hated housework and gardening. The neighbours have spoken to us but I know from experience sometimes they are not friendly but merely checking you out. The area is beautiful but the town/village is a bit spread out so there will be a long school run which appeals to me not one bit. We know there is space for the children in local schools but are waiting for confirmation on start dates.

I do feel at home in the house but the town/village feels like a stranger as does the area generally. It is not a county I know and I feel bit lost. I remain isolated too but that is nothing new. I think I am a person that people just generally do not take to for whatever reason.

The children went out and made friends in the street on the first day we were here. My husband has work colleagues. And then there is me.

I hope to change the isolation but that will be a bit easier once the children are in school and I can look into local opportunities for volunteering, study or whatever.

It is rotten but I put a lot of work into holding things together in the last year. Trawling job sites, helping with job applications, trawling accommodation sites, trying to tell everyone it would be OK when I was not sure of that myself.

We have ventured out about 4 times in the last week to eat or to check out the shops. It has been OK and sometimes fun but yet I sense something is missing.

It seems to me I have spent the whole of the year trying to sort stuff out and I would just like a period where I can relax and enjoy myself a bit.

Relocation Stress Syndrome

What a week! We have done the relocation and I wanted to talk about my feelings about the move.

We have moved hundreds of miles and are starting a new life in a new county.

Unlike the me of old, I am feeling a bit jittery. It’s not as if I had dozens of friends nearby anyway but there were at least some familiar faces. Right now, it all feels a little scary and daunting.

I am also struggling a bit to get used to living full-time with Him Indoors again. i guess both of us have got used to doing things our own way.

There is lots to be cheerful about in this slightly exhausted and stressed out week.

1. We are in our new house. It suits us well. It is so much smaller in some ways than our last place but a better use of the space there is so I have a bigger bedroom as do two of the children plus some really family-friendly storage. I have gardens front and back both of the small variety which is good as I hate gardening.

2. I had a couple of days with my brother whilst my husband took on the big move of our first load of stuff. It was good to do very little, to drink red wine and to spend a long time in the bath. The children enjoyed the mini-break and played dressing up games and had late nights.

3.When the whole family moved it was a good drive down and the pets behaved very well.

4. We visited the local bigger town and the parking ticket machine was not working. As we were parked right next to it, myself and my son kept warning people to not put their money in it. My husband put an “Out of Order” sign on the machine and with post-move hysteria, I did a sign “NO TWERKING” Most people looked at my sign but clearly read it as “Not working” but the odd person saw the funmy side and giggled away.

5. We seem to have been quite quick to get the house comfy to live in despite a lot of unpacking to do.

6. I am reconnected to the InterWeb which as regulars know keeps me sane.

7. My children went out in the street as it is so safe by the look of things and have made friends already.

8. I have done a bit of research and there seem to be a lot of volunteering opportunities quite close to us. I may try this as a route to making some new friends and finding my feet in a new area.

It will be OK, won’t it?