Tidy house, tidy mind?

I hear this saying a lot, and I never really take it in. Recently however, I’ve started to understand it. I’ve not long gotten out of a depression spiral, and the house suffered for it. Even small tasks seemed impossible, asides from things for TJ – mum mode seems to override my depression in terms of getting him up and ready for school, meeting his basic needs like getting him food, drinks and keeping him clean and tidy. On Tuesday of this week I went back on my antidepressants which I’m already contemplating coming back off them because I’m not sleeping, but that’s another story. As well as this, I sat and made a list of everything I needed to get done housework wise, it was a very long, daunting list and I couldn’t see me doing any of it with how my brain was fighting against me. Anyway the day carried on, I forced myself to go into town even though I didnt really need to, just for something to do to keep me from laying on the sofa overthinking all day. Whilst out I saw some products that I kept seeing on all the cleaning Instagrams etc, they were cheap enough so I picked a few up.

I was eager to use them but by the time I got home, because buses are awful I didnt really have time before getting TJ from school, and then TJ had a rough time at school and had a sensory overload when he got home and needed my full attention all night so not alot got done and we ended up ordering food in. (At least that’s less washing up to catch up though haha)

Bedtime finally came for TJ, and I was flicking through Instagram and came across cleaning accounts, all these people had perfect show homes that barely got dirty enough to need cleaning, which made my mind worse! Why isnt my house this perfect? Anyway it got me thinking, what about a more realistic cleaning routine? After joking to a friend about making my own cleaning account, I took the plunge. The account aims to be for when lows hit and you still want to get things done, and realistic cleaning regimes for houses that actually get dirty! The account is @disinfectingmymind if youd like to give it a follow.

So Wednesday comes, I drop off TJ at school and I finally get the chance to try these new products. It was like I was possessed, I had my list and things were being ticked off, and it felt great. Some jobs took a lot longer than others, like my sons room – who new a kid could make so much mess? But I got most of them done before I needed to pick up TJ, when he came home we played for a bit in his nice tidy and clean room and he promised me he’d keep it tidy. (We’ll see!)

For the most part the house was tidy and clean, and I already felt so much better for it. I managed to get myself in the shower once TJ was in bed, and I didnt even feel bad about the fact that there was a few bits left on the list, whereas usually I’d be really anxious and feel like I hadnt accomplished anything if my list wasn’t all ticked off. The jobs that weren’t done have been added to today’s list and theyll get done eventually.

So tidy house, tidy mind?

I think there’s definitely some truth there!

My child, my lifesaver.

He doesn’t even know it, but my beautiful little guy saves my life daily.

Depression is awful, but as a parent – you kind of just get on with things. You know you have to for your little. You force yourself to do things because they rely on us. Even when we feel like the worst parent in the world, we know we have to carry on for them.

On my worst days, when I get the worst of thoughts, I know that I can’t do that to my child, I can’t imagine the pain that must cause, and it’s something I dont ever want my son to go through. That probably sounds irrational but it helps me through the urge.

I came across a good quote that has actually helped me so much.

The way I transfer this quote to my life is my lists. I always make lists of what I need to do in the day. I get so frustrated with myself if I don’t finish the lists but with this quote in mind, I shouldn’t see it that way, I should see the bits I did get done as a victory. Today has been one of those days, I’ve not done much at all housework wise. However I did watch the new series of Black Mirror, so it ended up being a kind of chill day, which is also good sometimes especially if you’re feeling exhausted etc. Tomorrow I can tackle the list of stuff to do.

If you’re struggling with mental health, reach out. Reach out to a friend or family member if you can, but if you dont feel like you can do that then there is many different resources available.

Anxiety UK

Charity providing support if you have been diagnosed with an anxiety condition.

Phone: 03444 775 774 (Monday to Friday, 9.30am to 5.30pm)

Website: www.anxietyuk.org.uk

Bipolar UK

A charity helping people living with manic depression or bipolar disorder.

Website: www.bipolaruk.org.uk

CALM

CALM is the Campaign Against Living Miserably, for men aged 15 to 35.

Phone: 0800 58 58 58 (daily, 5pm to midnight)

Website: www.thecalmzone.net

Men’s Health Forum

24/7 stress support for men by text, chat and email.

Website: www.menshealthforum.org.uk

Mental Health Foundation

Provides information and support for anyone with mental health problems or learning disabilities.

Website: www.mentalhealth.org.uk

Mind

Promotes the views and needs of people with mental health problems.

Phone: 0300 123 3393 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 6pm)

Website: www.mind.org.uk

No Panic

Voluntary charity offering support for sufferers of panic attacks and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). Offers a course to help overcome your phobia or OCD.

Phone: 0844 967 4848 (daily, 10am to 10pm)

Website: www.nopanic.org.uk

PAPYRUS

Young suicide prevention society.

Phone: HOPElineUK 0800 068 4141 (Monday to Friday, 10am to 5pm and 7pm to 10pm, and 2pm to 5pm on weekends)

Website: www.papyrus-uk.org

Rethink Mental Illness

Support and advice for people living with mental illness.

Phone: 0300 5000 927 (Monday to Friday, 9.30am to 4pm)

Website: www.rethink.org

Samaritans

Confidential support for people experiencing feelings of distress or despair.

Phone: 116 123 (free 24-hour helpline)

Website: www.samaritans.org.uk

SANE

Emotional support, information and guidance for people affected by mental illness, their families and carers.

SANEline: 0300 304 7000 (daily, 4.30pm to 10.30pm)

Textcare: comfort and care via text message, sent when the person needs it most: www.sane.org.uk/textcare

Peer support forum: www.sane.org.uk/supportforum

Website: www.sane.org.uk/support

YoungMinds

Information on child and adolescent mental health. Services for parents and professionals.

Phone: Parents’ helpline 0808 802 5544 (Monday to Friday, 9.30am to 4pm)

Website: www.youngminds.org.uk

New Year, New Mindset

This year, I’m making resolutions but not in the conventional way. By the end of the year I want to have:

  • A new home for me and TJ
  • Lost weight, I dont care how much as long as I’m happier and healthier
  • Saved some money, spent less on stuff I dont need
  • Stopped biting my nails

They are pretty much new years resolutions, but I’m not forcing myself (except the housing one, that’s one I need to do and soon). I’ll set mini goals each month instead of thinking of the year as a whole.

Also this year, me and a friend are doing a monthly challenge. So far we have January, February and March sorted. January is RED January, which we will be walking a mile every day for MIND, which is a cause close to my heart. February we’re doing Dechox which is giving up chocolate for a month for British Heart Foundation, and March is 10,000 steps a day for Walk All Over Cancer (Cancer Research). You can find donation links and a master post here: https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=1816563145138094&id=100003532786205

I mostly hope 2019 is a better mental health year. It’s definitely needed!

Half Term Hell

I’ve finally had a chance to sit down and write, so decided I’d cover half term and what we got up to!

Thursday – First day of half term

We had a homework and library day. We spent the morning reading TJs school books and we did the work in his homework book. Then we took a walk to the library, found out about some Halloween events and picked up a few new books to read. Then we had a lunch in lunchboxes because TJ always asks for packed lunch but because he’s eligible for free school meals I’m mean and say no. We then played with different toys and read some more books for the rest of the day.

Friday

Today’s activities for today were reading, playing with Lego and another lunchbox lunch before heading to the park to burn off some energy that he seems to have all day everyday.

We then walked home along the beach and got a slushy. I will never get bored of living at the beach.

Saturday

Saturday is a martial arts day. We got to martial arts for 10, and he went in for 45 minutes whilst I waited outside in the freezing cold because parents can’t stay on a Saturday, and it’s too far to walk home because I wouldn’t make it back in time to pick him up. We then went to the doctors because I had to have my flu jab and were in and out within 10 minutes. After a bath when we got home, we changed the bedsheets and curled up watching movies for the rest of the day.

Sunday

Today has been a reading morning, we read one of TJs school books, and then we decided to make a pritt stick monster set. I’ve never been so stressed in my life. It kept falling apart everytime I tried to do anything.

We got there in the end though, and about 5 minutes after I took this picture the dinosaurs head fell off, along with a spike from his back and his tail. Looks good in this picture though so that’s all that counts right???

The rest of our day is going to consist of making rice krispie cakes, and eventually sorting TJs toys out because we need to make room for new ones.

Monday

Soft play day! We went to our local soft play area allll dayyyyy, literally opening until tea time. TJ had a mini meltdown at lunch because “the beans on his plate was touching the other food” but other than that, no problems! He played nicely with others and even saw a couple of his friends from school.

Tuesday

This morning we made the other pritt stick monster set, it went a little easier seen as how I cheated and used cellotape.

Next we had lunch, and then it was Halloween cakes time! We made rice krispie cakes with Halloween decorations and Halloween cupcakes too!

They turned out great!

Not long after we had to head to martial arts, where TJ got yet another stripe! Only 5 more to go until he gets his next belt!

Wednesday

Today was a clusterfuck. And thats putting it politely. TJ woke up in an awful mood and literally everything set him off. He didn’t want to do anything and everything was upsetting him. I finally got him to put his patch on because it needs doing for an hour everyday, and we started writing his numbers and then spelling the numbers. He wasn’t really concentrating but we got through it. Then we did some sums which he adores so he did them easily and it was fine, then I asked him to write Tristan, which he’s more than capable of doing, and all hell broke loose. He started screaming, kicking, throwing stuff, the anger coming from him when he has one of these outbursts honestly scares me. The school provisionally have said he’s got ADHD and a low level of autism (due to not wanting to be touched, not allowing eye contact and having sensory issues when he’s having one of his outbursts) but I really am unsure. What I do know is that there’s no stopping him when he’s like it, I just have to let it fizz out. He went onto the naughty step and after being put back 3 times after getting off, he took himself upstairs and into his bed where as I write this he’s fallen asleep. I’m gonna let him have an hour nap and see how he is when he wakes up. We were supposed to be going to the duck pond to feed the ducks and the park nearby but I threatened that we wouldnt go if he was naughty so I can’t go back on that, so we won’t be going. Which is a shame because we don’t have another free day where we can go, unless we squeeze it into Friday somewhere. Here’s hoping for a better afternoon because I am exhausted already.

Turns out he wasn’t asleep, he was just quiet. He came down a little while later and seemed to have calmed down. We had lunch, and then decided to go to Tescos. Big mistake. Meltdown after meltdown and then he crawled most of the way home.

Thursday

We started our day by going to the library for a Ghosts and Ghouls stories and crafts session. TJ loved listening to the stories, and made a Frankenstein door hanger and then a ghost, and also some colouring.

Bowling and arcades was our plan next. He almost beat me at bowling, which was not good for me ego, and we played lots of different arcade games.

Friday

Sea life centre day! Today we went to the sea life centre for the Ascarium 2018 Halloween event. Luckily we had some half price vouchers for kelloggs cereals so it didn’t cost too much, and we had a lovely family day out.

TJ had to find different items throughout the centre and write them down to win himself a little treat. At the end of the walk round, there was a witches lair set up, and the woman dressed up as a witch explained all about recycling and keeping litter out of the oceans etc, and it was really good. She asked the children to pick up rubbish she had scattered around and then gave them a plastic cup in return. After this room was the reptile room where TJ got a badge for touching a cockroach.

Saturday & Sunday

TJ was at his dads, and me and Keiron had a chill weekend which was lovely

Overall we had a fantastic half term, and I hated it when TJ went back to school, I’ve realised we really need to make the most of the time we have when he’s not at school, because I miss him so much all the time!

Starting School

So it’s been a month now since my little guy started school, and today was his first parents evening.

I have been a bag of nerves about it since the appointment times were booked. TJs outbursts have always been a problem, and I was hoping seen as how I hadn’t had notes home for a while I figured he was doing better, but of course nagging doubt was on me.

It turns out he’s doing amazing at school. Yes He has his outbursts, but the school are helping him so much, he gets extra active time to try and calm him and get him to focus, and a new reward system has been introduced that goes back and forth between home and school to help reinforce good behaviour. Asides from behaviour, academically his teacher said he was doing fantastically. He’s always the first to put his hand up to answer questions and is always eager to learn something new. His maths is amazing, and he can count to 100 and beyond when he puts his mind to it. His letter forming is improving and he’s sounding out phonics and words a lot better than when he first started.

I am beyond proud of him. I know this is just the start of the journey and lots more could happen, but it’s all looking like he’s settling in well. I’ll keep in contact with his SENDco teacher, and hopefully together we can keep him on this track!

A Day in the Life

My days are all over the place at the minute, we do allsorts. But Mondays through to Thursday TJ is at nursery, so I decided to wait until today (Friday) to do our Day in the Life. The plan for today is housework, picnic in the park and some movie time if we have time.

Our day started at 5:30am, with TJ yelling about it being morning already. Although actually I was awake at 4 because the cat decided that was exactly the right time to meow in my ear hole and wake me up.

5:30am

Not going to lie to you, I’m a terrible parent. I put Peter Rabbit on for TJ, and dozed back off beside him. He kept waking me up every 5 minutes to inform me of what was happening in the film.

7:30am

I’d been awake on and off now for 2 hours at this point, still groggy and moody because I stayed up until midnight video calling my partner (who I fell asleep on the phone to as always because I’m always tired) I figured it was time to get up properly. Woke up to some messages from said fella, wish I have to lame and admit is one of my favourite things ♡

8:30

I’m up and dressed, it took an hour to persuade TJ he needed to actually be dressed for the day. Eventually he settles on mismatching top and jogger bottoms, before going down and forcing his nana to make his breakfast of cornflakes.

9:30

Time for kiddos patch, he has to wear a patch for an hour everyday to strengthen his right eye. Which is fine except to get the best from it he needs to be doing something that requires him thinking etc, we tend to do puzzles, or practice his writing. Today we did a puzzle that needs the words spelling out. It took the entire hour but he did really well, and then of course wants a sweet.

10:30

I finally get some breakfast, I’m supposed to be following slimming world, but I slipped and enjoyed a massive bowl of cornflakes. TJ spots my breakfast and screams until I make him some toast.

11:30

My uterus is attacking me and I want all the chocolate, send help

11:35

Some giant chocolate buttons may have fallen into my mouth.

11:45

Nana has gone out with her friend, so me and TJ have come upstairs. He wanted to watch Peter Rabbit again (he doesnt have this much screen time I promise, i just feel crappy)

12:30

Sandwiches for lunch, nice and boring. Followed by a trip to the park.

I had to run to and from the park to add some miles to my MyMarathon miles- we did 1.2 miles! (https://mymarathon18.everydayhero.com/uk/danielle-kirk if youre interested)

3:00pm

I think the sun tired TJ out a bit, he wanted to come home. We went to the library on the way home and picked him up some books. So here we are chilling at home again, watching telly.

4:15pm

The attacking uterus wants chocolate again, only there’s none left and I’m skint. Send help.

5:15pm

Just realised I should probably feed my child at some point. There’s hotdog pizza in the fridge that was brought yesterday reduced. Definitely a lazy meal, but I feed him fullof fruit and veg as much as I can the rest of the time so it’s all good.

5:30

Nanas friend just came over with a minion fart gun for TJ, I give it an hour before I throw it at the wall.

6:00pm

The demon has been fed. Went upstairs, and im out of pads, had to ask nana to sit with TJ so i could leg it to Tescos.

The woman that served me gave me the most sympathetic look ever, it was wonderful.

6:30pm

TJ is supposed to be heading up to bed so he can brush his teeth and get into his pyjamas and then have a story before bedtime at 7pm, but hes decided now is the perfect time to give the dog a hug. Good job they’re cute.

7:10pm

The demon is finally in bed. After a fight over what pyjamas he was going to wear for bed, and some casual bribing with a story. I read The Dinosaur that Pooped the Past to him, which he adored, and I enjoyed the Back to the Future references of course.

7:30pm

We’ve got chicken thighs and some potatoes that were brought and needed eating up today so I made a tomato sauce and fried the chicken with it, and cooked up the potatoes with some veggies for mine and nanas tea. I’ve gotta say, it was pretty tasty! And all syn free on Slimming World.

I’m now sat watching Emmerdale and the other soaps, and then heading to bed to eat those giant buttons from earlier, watch a film called Forever My Girl, and video chat with Keiron. I need an early night though, TJ’s going to lunch with his dad tomorrow which means me and Keiron can go see the new Avengers film, even though its already been spoiled for me, before taking TJ to the beach after the movie. Then Keiron is staying in Hunstanton so we can hang out Sunday too 🙂

Mother’s Day

This Mother’s Day was hard for me. It was the first one since me and TJ’s dad broke up, and TJ was at his dads this weekend too so it made it even more difficult. He didn’t come home until about 2 that day.

I spent most of the day wondering whether I should give TJ’s dad’s girlfriend the present I’d let TJ pick for her, in the end I did. I decided that she probably does more for TJ than his dad does (by the sound of it at least) and she definitely deserves some sort of thank you from TJ. When TJ got back I let him give her it and she seemed genuinely thankful. I’m glad I made the decision to give her it.

Week One: Slimming World

Week One started out really well, however: on Saturday I had my best friends engagement party, which involved a Chinese restaurant- I overindulged. Luckily I had been on plan pretty much the rest of the time.

So this week I lost: *drumroll please*

-3.5lbs!

I’ll take that seen as how I’ve been doing it at home for a while so my body was already used to it, and I had that naughty Chinese. The only thing I have planned this week is soft play with TJ on Thursday and then we are going to wisbech to see my friend Michelle on Friday which will be tough for me because we meet in Greggs and I guarantee I will want everything! As for soft play I’ll take a healthy picnic, to make it easier on myself!

Here’s hoping for the same if not more this week!

Fat Club Part II

So tonight I took the leap to restart at a Slimming World group! I got a voucher from Closer magazine and only had to pay the membership fee which was £4.95

I stayed at group, and it worried me that they read out if you gain, but Jo the consultant was really kind and helpful about it. There was no shaming for it.

I’m really excited this time, and I know I can do it. I’ll be doing weekly posts about my progress 🙂

This is my starter picture and one that really gave me a boost to lose weight. Especially since it’s the maid of honour dress for my best friend’s wedding in August 2019. The goal is to lose between 8-10 stone before the wedding. So here goes! Week one, let’s do this 💪🏼

The Countdown

Isak adjusted his tie for what felt like the 50th time in the last 20 minutes. 

“Stop fidgeting, it’ll be okay” His mum reassured him. 

“I know, I’m just scared. What if she doesn’t like me?” 

“That’s physically impossible Isak, you’re soulmates.” 

“I know, but-“

“Look, you know what you’ve got to do, you’ve been through the soulmate guide more times than I can count.” She cut him off. 

He knew the routine, he’s been over it a million times in his head. According to the ruling society guide, you are just to do whatever feels right and you will find each other. His mum had told him the story of his dad and her meeting many times before. His dad had walked around the city when he stumbled and fell into the road, she’d only just missed him when their timers started beeping and hit zero.

Isak’s plan was to walk around aimlessly and hope a car didn’t hit him. He was terrified because he had no plan in his head, most of his friends that already had gotten to zero had a plan in their heads, like Jonas had travelled two cities over because it felt right. 

Isak lifted his sleeve and checked his timer, 20 minutes were left. He decided he should probably start to leave. 
Isak found himself across the from the local park when he saw a girl with a black pixie cut and a warm face walk out from the other side of the park. This didn’t feel right, he was looking straight into her eyes and she locked onto his and smiled brightly at him. He felt nothing.  This wasn’t supposed to be how it felt. She walked closer to him and heart sank. This wasn’t right at all. He waited for the beep of his timer but it didn’t come and the girl walked straight past him. Confused, he he checked his timer.

21:160:00:05:00

He sat down on a nearby bench, hope slowly fading when he couldn’t see anyone around. He lifted his sleeves and watched as the seconds slipped by.

21:190:00:02:00

The only thing occupying Isak’s mind was the overwhelming feeling of nausea that was swirling around in his stomach. He had tried to hold it in but knew he couldn’t keep it up much longer. He walked through to the nearby community centre where he knew there was public access bathroom. He knew the bathroom wouldn’t be where his soulmate was but he needed to get there now, maybe he would run into her on the way. 

He opened the door and stepped into the bathroom, only to find a man in a denim jacket standing at the paper towel dispenser pulling them out one by one. Everything in Isaks body felt like static. Every nerve tingled. Isak heard the soft beeping of the two men’s timers running out, whilst the man continued to pull the towels out. 

“Did you also need paper towels?”