A mom or a referee?

Sometimes I feel less like a mother and more like a referee.

Always negotiating, enforcing rules.

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Image courtesy of vectorolie / FreeDigitalPhotos.net 

Everyone warned me that it could be like this but I never expected a war zone to be found in my living room.

I love my girls and while I accept that growing up and finding their freedom is part of life’s journey. I’m not happy that they have decided each day is an opportunity for a battle.

How can they go from being best friends to worst enemies?

Seriously it’s driving me mad.

I am proud I have raised such independent spirited young woman but hey please let them take on the world and leave their poor mama alone.

I am tired and emotionally shattered with this parenting stage.

Reminiscing and yearning for the days of night feeds and dirty nappies. I may have been exhausted back then but at least they didn’t answer back so much.

I know its a stage that all go through and one day my beautiful kind caring girls will return and the dragon headed all knowing beautiful monsters will disappear but its so not easy.

Image courtesy of AKARAKINGDOMS / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image courtesy of AKARAKINGDOMS / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I recognise this year is going to one of big changes, university, college it certainly is  going to bring a new dynamic to the relationships of the girls.

A new dimension in their sisterhood.

I’m praying a little space will make hearts grow fonder.

Who knows?

I guess until then I will resign myself to the role of mediator for a little longer.

So does anyone have a whistle?

 

Our weekend in Liverpool

Last  saturday we had our first night of respite for this year.

We were so looking forward to the rest and relaxation and getting to spent some quality time with our youngest.

Also we got to hide away from the big two who are super stressed studying for exams.

So off to Liverpool we when.

on our way

 

It all started off so well we visited with friends in New Brighton which was lovely we had a fantastic lunch followed by a trip to the beach and ice- creams.

seeing friends

Then after not checking our Sat Nav and having the avoid all toll- roads setting on we turned a ten minute journey into over a hour, oh well we live and learn.

We finally reached Liverpool rather tired and harassed and we were so looking forward to checking into our room at the Travelodge Liverpool Central The Strand.

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Again fate was playing games with us as after struggling for over an hour to find the hotel we found ourselves completely lost. We got directed to another of the Travelodge’s who then thankfully directed us to where were supposed to be staying.

We finally got onto the hotel exhausted and ready to relax.

We were so pleased to find that the rooms were beautiful, clean and fresh looking and the bed looked so welcoming.

travelodge

We all wanted to just jump in and sleep but first we had to eat.

We decided to stay in and eat at the hotel’s restaurant as we were so tired and wasn’t really in the mood to go out.

liverpool 2

We all ordered the same starter of chicken wings which were lovely, all three of us munched our way through them in no time at all.

Alan and I ordered the chicken burger as our main meal and Brodie had the quarter pounder. Lets just say Brodie enjoyed hers. Our chicken burgers were rubbery and really not nice.

The staff were lovely and helpful and the restaurant itself was beautiful but I do think they need to look at providing a better quality meals as breakfast was lacking too and we heard many other guests complaining too.

Then thankfully it was bedtime, I was so looking forward to a good nights sleep, the bed was so comfortable and the television kept our daughter happy and quiet.

We were super impressed with the hotel rooms.

Travelodge has been updating their hotels and this was evident in our room. The surroundings were clean, calm and relaxing and just want we needed.

I slept the whole night through and work up feeling really refreshed. A whole 8 hours, did you read that 8 hours wow.

On Sunday we had decided to to take Brodie on a ferry ride we didn’t know the times of the sailings but the staff were incredibly helpful and happy to check the times for us.

We really enjoyed the trip across the Mersey, especially when the ships horn gave Brodie a big scare my goodness she jumped.

Liverpool 2014

All in all Liverpool was fun weekend, we got a chance to spent some quality time together and make some memories.

We were really impressed with the quality of the new refurnished Travelodge. It was fantastic. The rooms were beautiful and  the bathroom super clean which really impressed me. We will certainly think about staying with them again in the future.

The staff were really helpful and genuinely wanted to make sure you enjoyed your stay

The only things I would suggest is to improve the food.

Because to the Meredith family food is so important.

So after an busy but fun weekend we drove home to a poorly boy and a visit to A & E and a broken toe.

And people wonder why I needed a break ha ha.

 

* We were gifted a nights stay at the Travelodge for the purpose of this review, but all opinions are honest and my own.

 

Spreading their wings.

I’m throwing in the towel.

Where school holidays and the older two teenagers are concerned.

I seriously give up.

Nothing ever pleases them.

Nothing is right.

One doesn’t want to go out.

One doesn’t want to do childish things.

So I’m giving up trying to find things that make all happy.

The older teens can just bog off and that’s me being polite.

My younger two have the right to do things they enjoy and what the older two used to enjoy before they grew up into annoying pains.

So no more.

We are going to have fun without them.

Their choice not mine.

It’s not easy letting go but its time.

They need to spread their wings and I need to allow the younger two to be young.

I knew this time would come.

Just wish I was ready for it.

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My baby girl

Sometimes you have to fight to be happy.

Someone once told me that “happiness is a choice”.

I’m not sure if I fully grasped at the time what they meant but over the last five years I have had to choose.

Choose to be happy. 

You see emotions are like waves, sometime’s they can be calm and peaceful.

Yet at moments they can be raging against the elements, wild and unforgiving.

waves

 

Grief especially is a whirlpool.

It tries it’s hardest to suck you down into the depths of despair.

So I have had to fight.

Fight to be happy.

And you know what thats ok.

I’ve learned a great lesson in life

That happiness isn’t a given.

You have to look for it

At times you really have to search for it.

You have to remind yourself that darkness is only the absence of light.

So you have to look for that light.

I call that light hope.

I find the light in my children’s laughter.

Listening to their plans and dreams for the future.

It’s there in memories that I hold dear to my heart.

Never forgetting the strength and courage of the one I have lost.

I find my light in the knowledge that life is for living.

That I have to make each moment count.

It’s there in the promise that one day I will hold my daughter again.

Sometimes life gets does get hard and I find myself fighting against the waves.

Frightened that I’m drowning.

But I still search for the light.

The promise of a new day.

The chance to make another memory.

I remind myself that although the whirlpool will never leave me.

I don’t have to let it consume me.

Keep swimming

Ride the waves

Tomorrow is always a chance for hope.

tomorrow

Choose happiness 

 

 

 

Bee – Happy

Seriously I have a happy buzz going on right now.

I’m not sure why as I’m still physically shattered and the bills still need to be paid.

Yet regardless of all this I am really happy.

My girls are doing well, my eldest passed her theory driving test and my youngest conquered her stage fright to sing and dance in a local theatre.

My middle one is getting great grades at school in her mock GCSE exams and even better seems to be really happy in herself.

My foster son is changing daily and is such a gift to have as part of our family.

Life is pretty good.

It’s so easy at times to look at the negatives of life.

Focus on the crappy bits and miss the beauty and joy all around us.

I know I am guilty of this at times.

But not this week.

I want to post something joyful and say life is good.

I’m getting to work with some great people and support some great charities.

I’m surrounded by family and friends that I cherish.

And we have sunshine.

What more could a girl ask for, well besides a cambridge satchel.

Life is good xxx

beehappy

We are all in this together.

Throughout our lives we find ourselves becoming parts of communities, part of set groups or to use the sociology term subcultures.

Be it a group of work colleagues , all the technicians together. Be it a parenting group, parents of two year olds please hang here. We come together through shared experiences or passions.

We are never really ever only in one group, different aspects of our lives play into different groups.

Myself I belong to many, parents of teenagers, parents of 12 year olds, foster parents and also the one group I really wish I never had to join parents who have lost a child.

All these groups I am proud to be part of but one thats on my heart right now is parents of children with special needs, especially as I like to call them my Special Kids in the UK family.

This is one amazing group, you find us  in all shapes and sizes . We have varying beliefs and certainly different personalities. Our children have different conditions even with the same diagnoses or in some cases no diagnoses.

So what makes this group rather special?

We can bitch and moan as good as it gets but when one of us is hurting we stand along side them.

If you were my friend on Facebook today you would see that my news feed is full of pictures of Minnie mouse. These pictures are our way of showing one of our members that we stand beside her. Most us wish that we could literally be standing beside her tomorrow as she lays to rest her beautiful son. We wish we could swap our virtual hugs for real squeezy ones.

Thinking of you xxx
Thinking of you xxx

But we cannot,

Life, children and distance keeps us separated. Yet nothing will stop us thinking and sending our love and wishes in support, compassion and remembrance tomorrow.

This same group right now are also sending prayers and healing to children in hospital. Sending strength to parents who are utterly exhausted. Families that are at breaking point.

At times we cannot offer more than the words “I’m here”  but believe me over the years those words have meant a great deal.

I am blessed to be a member of this group. For over the last 8 years they have been my strength. I have made friends whose friendship goes over and beyond the fact that we are special needs parents.

When I lost Livvy one of the crazy worries I had in my head was that I would lose these friends. How wrong was I, our children may have been what introduced us but they aren’t what bind us.

Maybe our binds are forged in exhaustion, endless battles with professionals and way to many late nights. Maybe they were joined in the many melt downs and medical jargon and repetitive forms.

Who knows, who cares, regardless of the why there is simply the just is.

I am so thankful to be part of this unique subculture to know and to share my life with these crazy people. At times I am not sure I would have coped without one or many of the group members.

Together we have faced the worst.

I am so grateful that one day many years ago I stumbled upon a small yahoo group. I have watched in grow over the last 8 years watched the number of members change from the tens into the thousands.

Being a member of this group means that although we may be facing uncertain futures with our children. We are never facing them alone.

We are all in this together.

 

I am not a burden

I sat watching the Kerry Katona documentary last night about her journey through life and her bipolar disorder.

I cannot put into words how much it affected me. It wasn’t the bipolar disorder that tore at my heart even though my heart aches for those that suffer with this condition.

No what got me was her feelings regarding her childhood.

Unwanted

Rejected

A burden.

These feelings have left her with a great desire to love and to feel loved.

That is simply my heart.

Thankfully I didn’t have a childhood like Kerry’s but due to divorce and miscommunication and a few other things I never felt wanted.

I never felt good enough.

Now as a 37 year old woman I am still coming to terms with this.

I have craved affection all my life and sometimes made grave mistakes when searching for it in the wrong places. I was erratic as a teenager swinging from the possessive girlfriend to the free spirited couldn’t give a damn wild child. I self medicated with alcohol and drugs just to feel the freedom of not worrying or caring.

It seemed as if i wanted to be wild when all i really wanted was to find home. Trying too hard to be what I believed others wanted me to be.

Still

I am one of the lucky ones,

I got to change my story.

I fell in love with a man who loved me right back crazy bits and all. Even when I pushed away he held on. But it has still taken many years and many late open hearted conversations to get to a place where I can but things in perspective.

I was loved,

Both my parents cared for me but the separation of them led to miscommunication that thankfully my adult years have repaired. The father I never felt good enough for is now my best friend. He is the best Grandad my kids could every ask for and I am so very grateful that I get to call him Dad,

But it is amazing how those emotions we feel as children can and do effect the rest of our life.

I drive my children mad, from the moment they were born they knew they were my everything and I simply hug them to death.

I want for them to never feel unloved or a burden.

I want them to go out confidently in this world knowing that I am behind them all the time.

I am in their corner

I am their fan base.

They are my heart.

 

Now I also want this for myself to.

I want to feel confident when making new friends.

To believe that I am worthy of love.

Childhood is one of the shortest periods in your life but it is one or maybe the most important when dealing with emotional growth.

I believe every child needs to know they are loved.

Maybe this is why I am a foster carer I don’t know.

What I do know is that everyday is an opportunity to let those dearest to you know how very special they are.

I want to break the stereotype of the stiff Brit and become an open and affectionate country.

So do me a favour guys,

If you are parent make sure you children know that they are loved. Praise them more than you scold them.

If you are in a relationship tell you partner how much you love them. Tell them what you find special about them.

Call your parents and remind them how awesome they are.

Ask your work colleague if there is anything you can do to help them.

Smile at a stranger.

Thank the waitress for your order.

Lets make this world one of love, it may sound crazy but I honestly believe a hug can save a life.

So lets get saving lives.

A hug revolution.

hugskisses

 

* I just want to add that I don’t for one second believe a hug could cure Bipolar this isn’t what I’m writing about. If you feel that you are suffering with this illness please seek help and don’t suffer in silence. The charity MIND is a fantastic organisation and are always willing to help.