15 Apr 2016

Diamonds and Dysons - My Happiness Non Negotiables

When I was tasked to write about my happiness non-negotiables, I thought it would be easy, but I ended up thinking more about `why` certain things made me happy - what they did that made me actually "happy" and content - why they had the innate power to do so.

I'm not sure what I, as someone with intermittent depression and panic disorder, even mean by happiness. Even at my most depressed, I have experienced happiness or joy. If material objects make us happy, does that mean someone with "nothing" (eg latest gadget, expensive handbag, gig tickets) is not happy. Is happiness a state of being - does it mean being "not-sad" or does it mean "content"? 

If it means the opposite of sad - "not-sad"- does that mean that rather than being elated with our life it more about being "satisfied" or content with our lot in life - whether that be a 40 bedroom mansion or mud hut? It's often said that money can't buy happiness, but it certainly makes life much easier and can reduce worries leaving a person "not sad".  I guess, for this post, I went with what keeps me on an even keel and helps me enjoy the good things in my life. whether I'm simply content, or euphoric at times.

Let's assume that we know that the basics are covered - food/water, shelter/safety, good health. Those are standard requirements and in any context or time in my life, have not caused me worry - thus creating a feeling of "not sad". Ditto with books, music, good relationships and good food/wine - things that nourish the soul, regardless of how much they change within my lifetime - the books that make me happy as an adult, would not have made me happy aged 5. 

So then, what are my happiness non negotiables and what have they got to do with vacuums and jewellery. They break down into 3 main areas.

28 May 2015

Emotions In Pregnancy - Interview no.2: Run, Jump, Scrap Blog.

Continuing in my weekly interview series - `Emotions in Pregnancy` - tonight's interviewee is Sarah, who blogs at Run, Jump, Scrap! here's her story..... If you've not been following the series, you can read last week's interview here and check out this post to find out the reasons behind the series.


Hi my name is Sarah and I blog over at Run Jump Scrap! I’m predominantly a Mummy blogger but I also blog about fitness and showcase some of my scrapbook projects. I am married to Chris, Mummy to my little gremlin and work as a dietitian.

1. How did you feel when you found out you were pregnant?

Relieved and elated. I was one of those people who had been on the pill for 10 years and convinced I would not be able to get pregnant. I had lived and breathed “trying for a baby” for 3 months, which is no time at all when I look back. It’s just that silly fear. Didn’t help my hormones must have been trying to settle down after stopping the pill. I didn’t want to tell anyone when I fell pregnant, apart from close family, until 12 weeks. Then it was closer friends and I didn’t tell the social media world until I was 21 weeks after the 20 week scan. I was worried about tempting fate and something would go wrong.

2. How did your mood vary over the course of the pregnancy and did it vary by trimester or milestones? How did you feel about buying things for your baby at different points in your pregnancy?

Generally I was quite perky throughout my pregnancy. Tiredness and nausea did make me tearful at times. I always remember my younger cousin not switching her light off when we shared a room once so I could sleep got me into a right state. There were times I felt a bit anxious about the birth and being a Mum but I was trying to always enjoy being pregnant. My Dad and Grandad both passed away during my pregnancy which of course was very tough. However, I do think being pregnant gave me the strength the get through these times as I had to look after myself for my baby and the thought of the baby was a comfort.

3. Did your symptoms affect your mood and emotions at all?

I was always hungry throughout my pregnancy and if I did not eat enough my rages were legendary. I remember throwing some dishcloths across the room as hubby had dared to buy the wrong ones. This was because it was getting close to lunchtime! The gremlin inside me would kick like a loon so I tried to control my temper a bit. I wasn’t that tearful generally so that was good.

4. If you did have low mood or have any mental health issues during your pregnancy, how did you feel? 

Apart from the grief of losing family members I did not have any specific mental health issues when I was pregnant. If I had done though, I would have sought help.

5. Did the medical side of pregnancy affect your feelings and mood at all eg: scans/regular appointments/complications/general care?

I was always a nervous wreck going to my scans as obviously was worried something was going to be wrong. I had to have an extra growth scan which was a bit scary but luckily all was ok. My midwife care was pretty good and straight forward and I didn’t tend to feel too anxious when I was reviewed.

6. How did you feel about giving birth?

I was cleared for a midwife-led birth at my local unit and hubby and I attended NCT classes so we felt pretty clued up. I was more bothered about having to being induced, as heard the labours can often be harder. Luckily my labour started early. The concept of giving birth didn’t really frighten me. I just wanted to “do” it. I was very much go with the flow and strongly believe if you are destined to have a natural birth you can do it. If complications are destined to arise, there is nothing you can do but ride with it. So I went into labour quite open minded.

7. What advice would you give to any mums-to-be on this subject?

Don’t suffer alone. Since having my daughter and going back to work I had some anxiety and insomnia for a month. It was horrible. I felt so stressed and did contemplate going to the doctors. Luckily hubby, Mum and some friends were very supportive so talking helped. I tried meditating and this was brilliant. I realised it was anxiety stopping me sleep as when my head was cleared I was nodding off. You need to admit to yourself there is a problem, confide in others, try self-help and if all else fails seek medical help. People are more understanding nowadays and there are more things to try before medication.

Social Media Links

Pinterest http://www.pinterest.com/runjumpscrap

25 May 2015

Ten Reasons Why Toddlers Are Like Celebrities

You might be reading the title of this blog and be thinking WT-actual-F is she on about - toddlers, like celebrities? But stick with me, I'm pretty sure you're going to identify with some of the below....

Why toddlers are like celebrities.....

1. They are often papped in compromising positions....

Busted with mummy's juice...
2. They order "off -menu" when you go out to eat and everything has to be "on the side". God forbid one should allow bean sauce to contaminate one's frites.

Mummy had the audacity to suggest a picnic in the sun
3. Their social life is planned with military efficiency and they need to be booked up sometimes months in advance.

4. They have to be bribed, coerced, cajoled and eventually blackmailed into doing things that are usually for their own benefit.

5. They have tantrums if they don't get their own way. And the bigger the audience for these the better.

We weren't paying attention to him.
6. They love selfies (Kim Kardashian has nothing on my son....)

Potty selfie #pelfie
7. They never clean up after themselves. No really, nothing like someone bending over so you can wipe their pooey bottom.

8. They change outfits several times a day. Living with my son is like being in a Lady Gaga concert.
Gruffalo/Bloodhound Gang mash up
9. They have to be protected from the harsh realities of life such as Iggle Piggle not being a real actual person and that you can't visit the cloudbabies.

10. When they start talking, no matter what it's about (soliloquies on storm-clouds, where mummy's boobies should live) everyone hangs on their every word as if they're God passing down the ten commandments.

Bunny listening to Mike the Knight under duress.
Agree with me? Have I missed any? Would love to hear your toddler's celeb-like behaviour so please leave me a comment below!

Thank you and goodnight,

Stupidgirl has left the building

PS If you liked this post you might like this one and this one...and also this one...

A Cornish Mum

21 May 2015

Emotions in Pregnancy - Interview no.1: Life As Mum Blog

Very excited to be publishing the first in my interview series - `Emotions in Pregnancy` - check out this post to find out the reasons behind this interview series. Tonight's interviewee is Beth, who blogs at www.life-as-mum.co.uk, here's her story.....

Hello! I'm Beth. I am a 22 year old Mother of two. I live in N.Wales with my Partner and two daughters, Mia & Elliw. I started blogging in 2013 to document my family life and something that my girls can read back on, when they are older.

1. How did you feel when you found out you were pregnant?
FIRST PREGNANCY - I was only 16. I was stupid and didn't think about contraception. I honestly just thought it wouldnt happen to me, but obviously it did. I was scared. I was scared of being a single teenage mother. The baby's father denied that she was his because of silly rumours but he knew very well she was his. I went through pregnancy and first 6-7 months of her life alone, with the help of MY Dad.

I was scared of telling me people because i wasn't actually in a relationship with Mia's Dad. Although he knew very well i really liked him. When i found out i was pregnant at 7 weeks Mia's Dad started a relationship with another girl a week or so before i found out. I had a lot of abuse, people telling me i should abort (including Mia's Dad) and i even had people giving me sick comments which i won't go into. I was scared of disappointing my family most of all.

SECOND PREGNANCY - My second pregnancy was unplanned and unexpected. I was on the pill and i had missed 2-3 days. I was only with my Partner for about 3 months. Again, i was scared telling other people and dissapointing my family. I had the support off everyone and from my partner.

2. How did your mood vary over the course of the pregnancy and did it vary by trimester or milestones?

FIRST PREGNANCY - I didn't buy anything for Mia until my 20 week scan. I felt like i wanted to buy sooner but looking back, I'm glad i waited. My moods got worse in the 3rd trimester as i had a condition called Obstetric Cholestasis. OC is a liver condition, where you itch CONSTANTLY all over your body.

SECOND PREGNANCY - The same with my first pregnancy, i didn't buy anything until my 20 week scan. My mood changed in the first trimester because i suffered with bad nausea every evening, but i was better in the second trimester. I got back into a bad, emotional mood in my 3rd trimester.

3. Did your symptoms affect your mood and emotions at all?

Having Obstetric Cholestasis affected me quite badly. I couldn't sleep at night and i found it much harder going in my second pregnancy because i still had to wake up to my eldest daughter in the morning, whilst my partner went to work. I would try to sleep without covers, on the floor and even on the sofa downstairs. It was really hard to feel 'myself' during the last 10 weeks of my pregnancy.

In my second pregnancy as well as having OC, i suffered depression. I think having OC was part to blame for getting depression. I felt useless. I felt like i couldn't do much with my first child. I also had that feeling where i thought i wouldn't be able to share my love between two children.

4. If you did have low mood or have any mental health issues during your pregnancy, how did you feel? 

I don't know if i could call my low mood as depression in my first pregnancy but i was pretty much in a low mood at most parts of my pregnancy. I was just really scared on becoming a single mother. I have lived with my Dad all my life and my Mother is pretty much useless and never does anything with me so i was brought up by a single parent so i know how it feels and i never wanted any of my children to have a single parent (i have nothing against them by the way, as i was brought up by one myself!)

I didn't seek help when i fell into depression in my second pregnancy. I kept it all in and i do think it was the wrong thing. I should have sought help. I should have spoken to to someone about how i felt. Although I did have a few night time cries with my partner but he didn't and still doesn't understand how i felt. I really felt useless. I felt like i wasn't going to cope with two children. I remember telling myself that i will try my best to enjoy my whole pregnancy second time round. But i didn't. I couldn't wait until it was over with. Which is a big shame.

5. Did the medical side of pregnancy affect your feelings and mood at all? 

In my first pregnancy i had to go to hospital to be monitored twice a week and see the GP at hospital once a week on a Friday, for the last 10 weeks. It made my pregnancy feel quicker and in a way it helped me. I felt like i had a routine and it kept me busy. Even though sitting on the bed for over an hour twice a week was pretty boring. I had an extra scan because she measured small. Everything was fine and she was 8lbs 9oz when she was born.

My Second pregnancy i only had to go to hospital once a week to be monitored and a GP at hospital once every few weeks. I had to go for an extra scan because yet again, they said she was measuring small. She was 9lbs 8oz when she was born!

I felt exhausted. I was on so many tablets in both pregnancies. I had to smother myself in a cream to help calm down the itching and i just felt helpless. I had to keep on movements as i was a little bit paranoid in case something went wrong but luckily nothing did. Having OC really effect my last ten weeks in both pregnancies, emotionally and mood-wise.

6. How did you feel about giving birth?

I was induced 3 days early with my first and i was induced again with my second but 6 days early. I was happy and i was over the moon that i was getting induced. I felt like i couldn't cope with the itching anymore. I couldn't enjoy my pregnancy, i felt disgusting and i really didn't feel myself. I couldn't wait to give birth, even though i was petrified.

7. What advice would you give to any mums-to-be on this subject?

I would advise anyone who suffers with depression during pregnancy, to seek help ASAP! Depression is a horrible illness and i found it worse when i was pregnant. I would honestly advise you to seek help as soon as feel or think you are depressed. I wouldn't want any mum-to-be to go through what i did.

Here's where you can catch Beth on social media:

Blog - Life As Mum
Facebook - www.facebook.com/lifeasmumblog
Twitter - @lifeasmumblog
Instagram - @lifeasmumblog_SW

If you'd like to answer these questions on my blog, just get in touch with on twitter @stupidgirl45. I'll be publishing the next interview in the series next thursday - hope you'll join us then!

Thank you and goodnight,

Stupidgirl has left the building

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19 May 2015

Emotions In Pregnancy - A New Interview Series!

Writing my series on Ante-Natal Depression and Anxiety was incredibly cathartic, which I wasn't expecting. It was a very stressful period in my life, not just for me but for husbando as well, so to have the response it had and the comments and shares made it worth "coming clean" about my experiences. 

Part of the response showed me that my experience *was* on the more unusual side but equally that I wasn't alone and that sadly other women experience these negative feelings also. It was a small comfort to know it hadn't been just me, but I was saddened at how many mums felt they couldn't be open about their experiences or even knew that AND existed and to seek help if they wanted to.

If you have no idea what I'm talking about - here's the posts I've written - parts 1, 2, 3 and 4. I hope that by putting these out there, my experience in some way will help another mum feel less alone and less alienated and more able to seek help. 

As a result of the discussions around the posts, I came up with an idea that I am very excited about - a new interview series focussing on mums talking about their emotions and emotional-well being during pregnancy. It's something that's not much mentioned - how we're really feeling, and at all the different stages of pregnancy, in the middle of that hormone soup. It's a rollercoaster even without mental health issues to contend with - anyone else cry at andrex puppy ads?! 

My `Emotions in Pregnancy` series of interviews will go live this Thursday - 21st May - and from then on, every Thursday weekly and we'll be able to hear from different mums, dads and bloggers about their emotional experiences during pregnancy. My aim of the series is to show mums-to-be that how ever you feel, that's just fine but to seek support if you're not feeling quite right.

As you'll see from the interview, there's a whole spectrum of experiences out there, no two mummies are the same. The interviews so far have been incredibly personal, honest, humbling and emotional to read. I think you'll love them just as much as me and I hope you'll join in with comments and shares to encourage mums to be to read the interviews also! If you're interested in being interviewed, drop me an email on stupidgirl45 at hotmail dot com and I'l ping you over the questions.

Finally, If you're currently pregnant and looking for support, or know someone who is, here are some links that may be able to provide support and help. I would also always encourage people to talk to their midwife and GP.

PANDAS Foundation - Pre and Post Natal Depression Advice and Support
House of Light - Help and support for women affected by post and ante-natal depression

Thank you and goodnight,

Stupidgirl has left the building