Bath Time Ponderings

I like baths. Baths are my break from chaos. My life feels chaotic and sometimes I wonder if I’m going to lose my mind a little. Just a little. My life consists of chore after chore, demand after demand.  There’s no rest from it. From the moment I wake up until the end of time I have cleaning to do, and the endless tasks of being a parent. I’m also doing a Masters in Counselling and the word “doing” is an exaggeration. I’m behind on my work. I wanted to be a trooper. I wanted to storm my way through parenthood whilst being a masters student. It’s as insane as it sounds. I have a 2 and a half year old and an almost 1 year old. I don’t have time for essays, I don’t have time of my own. So I have baths on what I consider to be breaks. Eva is having her nap and Florence is in her jumperoo (stand up kind of seat that a baby can bob up and down in safely-?). I’ve decided that on my Birthday I want to drink champagne (I’ll settle for decent cava) and I want to drop a Lush bath bomb in the bath and get in it. There’ll be water too, not just me, champagne and a bath bomb.

Yesterday I started doing simple exercises because I think I’ve got diastasis recti. It sounds worse than it is. That sounds like a bum related disease. It’s not. It’s the separation of the stomach muscles which is common after pregnancy. I pretty much had back-to-back pregnancies and never really did much (anything at all) to tone up. Let’s just say my stomach is very attractive. Mostly I’m not too upset by it but I recently developed an obsession with underwear. I got some Tommy Hilfiger underwear and I have matching things! But then I noticed my… droopy stomach and well, I wasn’t a fan. So, I’ve started some exercises to sort the underlying issue (the diastasis recti) and then I want to tone up all over. I have so many insecurities about my body but I’m trying to accept the way that I look. That doesn’t mean I can’t improve some of it naturally though. I don’t have time or motivation for the gym and everything can be done from home anyway. I’m interested in Pilates or yoga though and I’d like to maybe join a class. I don’t really know what Pilates is but it’s similar to yoga and I don’t know, it involves a mat and… yeah, I need to watch some videos on it. I think it helps with the core muscles…

It’s Florence’s 1st Birthday next month and we’re getting her a ridiculously expensive bear that she can’t play with. And regular baby toys. Eva also had a special bear, she’s held it a bunch of times but it’s a sentimental gift for when she’s older. I got it with the intention that she’d see photos of her with it when she’s little (though I stupidly didn’t take one from her 1st Birthday) and she’d keep it forever. These bears are so gorgeous. I want one!

Anyway, life is all about ASMR in the bath. ASMR has become such a huge craze now, it’s strange to see it everywhere.

 

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Brief Journaling

Today I’ve bought multi-vitamins and powder to add to juice that contains vitamins, I’ve also bought orange juice and a single serving bottle of multi-vitamin juice. I’ve been feeling unwell for over 2 months. It started as the flu. I found it really difficult to take care of my kids. Unfortunately being a parent doesn’t include sick-breaks, I don’t know how I got through it. Since then I’ve felt generally unwell and exhausted. I still have common cold symptoms and around 2 weeks ago I started to get headaches everyday. I’ve been taking painkillers for 2 weeks also. Headaches aren’t normal for me, especially not daily headaches. I wake up to one everyday. I also can’t taste or smell fully. I’m not sure what’s wrong with me, but I’ve already Googled “tumour” like a dramatic son-of-a-bitch. It got me thinking though, we could get ill at any point. It could start off by feeling run-down, by your immune system not coping, by getting headaches. My 80 years of life isn’t guaranteed. I might have just a year left, or maybe 5. That shit is terrifying. I can’t bear the thought of knowing I’m terminally ill and just trying to continue with my life, and trying to somehow fit in. How do you have a conversation with a person who is terminally ill? I remember this experience with my mom’s ex boyfriend who passed away. We met up with him twice during the short time that he had left. I didn’t know what to say to him, I couldn’t think of anything appropriate. I imagine that it’s impossible to belong in this world for a lot of people. And tragically lonely. My current essay is on coping with loss so maybe that’s playing on my mind a little.

I have an actual plan to leave the house without the children, be out in public and drink a few beers soon! This is huge for me, the only time I ever go out is to uni. It’s so important to still have a life as a parent but aside from uni, which is only ever stressful, I’ve got nothing. I’m trying to pay attention to that; I’m much more than just a parent. I believe in being absolutely devoted to my kids and still wanting my own life. Both things should exist together and I’m going to try to go out occasionally.

I really ought to get working on my essay now. I really ought to write something moderately interesting soon too…

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Life as I know it #2

Bath blog therapy.

I have a busy week this week. I’m double booked tomorrow. I have my counselling session and Eva’s development review. I told my counsellor about the clash and asked if he had another time available, he did but it wasn’t helpful, so I told him I’d try to reschedule the appointment which was booked about six weeks ago. I tried that too and we’d have to wait another month for an appointment and I’m not waiting; I’m kind of looking forward to the appointment. I had to fill out forms that I’ll take with me and Eva ticks all of the boxes. I’ve thought for a while now that she’s a very clever little girl. She’s just two and she can talk very well. I might start taking small videos of her interacting and share them on Instagram. Yesterday we played in her grandparents garden and it took me back to my childhood. I loved being outside all day. I loved nature. I reconnected with that side of me yesterday with the best company. Eva is able to understand emotions quite well. If she has been selfish, I’ll react by telling her how I feel and I start to walk away from her. She immediately fixes the problem and asks if I’m okay and if it’s better. The kid is 2! My work is done *dusts off hands*. I know some people might not agree with my walking away but calm down, I’m not really going anywhere. It’s important to me that Eva is kind. I feel fortunate to have another beautiful little girl who is very quickly growing up. She’s recently learned to crawl backwards. Florence helps me to teach Eva to share, though she has no idea. Eva is such a sociable girl, she always talks to people in shops. If you don’t smile when she tries to interact with you, you have no soul. I’m so so proud of her.

She starts nursery next week and I’m so looking forward to her progress there.

I’m currently working on my 3rd essay, I got to choose the title myself. It’s about how people cope with loss, not limited to grieving a death. I haven’t got my mark back from essay number 2 and I won’t get it for a while yet; I handed the bugger in late (with an agreed extension of course). It turns out that I’m doing too much at once and whilst it wasn’t hugely logical to do the course with two young children, I’m proud of myself anyway.

 

 

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Florence

I just want somewhere to write this: It’s Florence’s first night in her “own room”. I always put Florence to bed late because she’s a night owl like her mama so it’s after 1am and she’s been put into her brand new cot for the first night. She’s not a very good sleeper. I got used to waking several times to pop a bottle of milk in. If she wakes Eva later as she no doubt will I’m worried that it won’t be as simple as giving Florence milk and going back to sleep. Their cots look so sweet in one room.

That’s all for now I guess. Another essay is due in soon and I’m really enjoying working on it, but there’s so much that I want to read for it and so little time. Being a parent to a 7 month old and a 2 year old is so, so time consuming. I might need a few really, really late nights.

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Christmas Time

This year I’ve been much more thoughtful about Christmas not always being a lovely time of year for everyone so I want to just acknowledge that first.

I enjoyed Christmas this year. On the 20th we took Eva to see Santa at Trentham for the first time. As I previously mentioned it’s like getting tickets for Glastonbury, something I didn’t succeed in this time around (or last time). I tried to get Glastonbury tickets whilst holidaying at the lakes with Eva, Florence, Mike and his folks. Amid ordering breakfast at the holiday parks mediocre restaurant back in August, Mike and I continuously refreshed our tickets page with no joy. Anyway, that really wasn’t the point. We went to see Santa with Mike’s mom on the 20th and we were all impressed by him. He’s a genuinely elderly man with a real beard and a gentle, approachable nature. He took time with Eva, she’s only recently turned 2 and is a little fearful of men she doesn’t know. Within a few minutes Eva was sat next to Santa enjoying playing with his Christmassy singing bear. Santa gave a gift to Florence too even though we hadn’t bought a ticket for her (she’s only 6 months), with my permission he held Florence and gave her a gift. I took photos of all of it! Such a lovely day. I’m going back to Trentham soon to buy a new plant, I love plants and flowers. I’m also looking forward to a second visit to the monkey forest when it opens again; Eva visited on her 1st Birthday, but this time, over a year later, she’ll be quite excited to see the monkeys I think.

On Christmas Eve morning I got up at 6am, got the kids ready and in their pushchair and we went out to meet Mike in Starbucks. It was so lovely and I felt all Christmassy and happy. We went into Waterstones, Eva loves looking in there but hates the leaving part. To make the leaving part nicer I asked her if she wanted to put a pound in the Paw Patrol ride, she agreed and happily left the store. I think we met up with Mike’s dad that day in M&S cafe and we bought more Christmas food, then we went home. Later on and after Mike had gotten a few hours sleep we wrapped the majority of the gifts up which was enjoyable seeing all the toys for our babies. I took photos of Eva’s gifts and of Florence’s, not for social media because I don’t agree with sharing those sorts of photos, I’ve probably done it a couple of times with regret. I do plan to put a photo of Eva on her new Trike on Instagram but that’s different to posting everything. Florence had a jumperoo, the Finding Nemo one which I’ll also share a photo of. She loves it and it really is something parents can appreciate too. On Christmas morning Mike’s parents came over, they gave me some lovely gifts, including a Dartington Flower Bottle vase. I told her I loved them when we visited John Lewis recently. It sits next to my little green Dartington vase from Mike for our first Christmas together. Anyway his parents bought the trike, I noticed it in Halfords during that trip the day we saw the vases (in Telford). It was such a lovely size and red and only 65 pounds (there’s no pound symbol on this old piece of crap). Anyway, after I told Mike about it he really wanted Eva to have one so he suggested it to his parents and they only paid 50 which is great. She loves the trike. Opening gifts took up a lot of the day because Eva’s in no rush and she wants everything out of the box. At the dinner table it was me, Mike and Eva. I took a nice picture of the two of them sat down. Eva barely ate it of course, she did eat yoghurt though, of course. After Eva went to bed we did something quite unforgivable…we watched Eastenders! An advert for the Christmas episode came on just before Christmas and half jokingly I said I wouldn’t mind putting it on for Christmas Day and he agreed. We’ve been watching it since the 25th… I’m ashamed, lets not speak of that any further… We also played Scrabble which I lost dramatically, I won’t say by how much… It was a simple, small but pleasant Christmas Day. On Boxing Day we took Eva for her 2nd Boxing Day walk only this time we had a Florence to take. Eva tested out her new wheels, Mike and I had to mostly push her because she hasn’t mastered it yet. Again I have videos and photos of the walk, I’m going to print 100 or so off soon.

Eva can count to 10 now, not always accurately though, she tends to miss out number 7  sometimes. I’m really proud of her. Also, because she’s been struggling at bed times, I allow her to watch Little Baby Bum on the laptop whilst she’s in bed, it contains song after song with sometimes strange videos to go with them. She sings along though which is adorable. Otherwise she requests Fireman Sam, Masha and the Bear or Hey Duggee. It’s not a good habit but I rely on ASMR most nights and I’m happy with that.

I’m going to upload a few Christmas snaps now and put Eva for a nap.

Happy New Year x

 

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Christmas Empathy and My Essay

I used to have a fear that I was mostly doing counselling for the money but I realised during my training that I’m really empathic and that I’m often able to see other people’s point of view even if it disagrees with my own.

 

Today the tickets for the Santa and Mrs Clause tickets went on sale for Trentham Gardens. It’s been said that this Santa event is really good and that it sells out like Glastonbury, so I sure as hell wanted a ticket for my Eva. The site blew up yesterday which was the original ticket sale day because so many people were trying to access tickets. I went to their Facebook page to see what was going on and they told customers that there would be notice given for another sale day a little later. Trentham decided to sell tickets at different intervals today: 10am, 11am, 12am and 1pm, for each time there were different dates available. I tried to get tickets at each time and each time my heart sank for Eva. I couldn’t bear the thought of her missing out. The tickets were selling out within a minute each time, literally. Trentham stated that they only have 1025 tickets available and the event is in really high demand. During the last time slot, at 1pm I managed to get her a ticket!!! I felt a rush of adrenaline which might sound ridiculous but I was so elated that she could go. There are reasons other than the obvious why it’s so important to me but I won’t go into that publicly, that’s for my journal which I need to purchase soon. I found lovely little exercise books in Waterstones that I would like to use as journals. I’m so chuffed that we get to have a lovely Christmasy day at Trentham; every little thing counts at Christmas.  I kept shouting that we got tickets and Eva didn’t really know what I was so happy about.

Anyway, this all got me a bit down because I thought about all the angry parents on Facebook and I could see their children in their profile pictures next to their comments and ugh I feel awful for them. These poor parents are upset because they’re children don’t get to go, it’s so sad that I feel like crying. That hit me.

It’s going to be incredibly hard facing all the disappointments with the kids, only I figure that parents feel extra disappointment and sadness.

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On a different note I’m handing my first essay in tonight. Last night I felt like I hadn’t answered the question at all and I felt shit and today I feel better about it but I just don’t feel confident. I feel like I’ve answered the question but I could have missed endless important points, however,  I’ve put more effort in that last year and I know that I’ve been working on it quite a lot. It’s a 50% pass mark at level 7 and I’m hoping I’ve achieved at least that. I’m hoping I have showed a good understanding and linked ideas together well. I really, really want to do well.

It’s not over yet, I have the rest of today and all night if I need it. This is everything to me. I know if these essays go well and if all the other things go well that I can give my kids the best childhoods and I would do a lot to make them happy. I don’t care how much of a challenge the course is, I’m fighting my way through it.

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My First Masters Essay

(“Why do we do what we do?” As a developing practitioner learning about person-centred practice, draw on your experience as client & counsellor, and link to person-centred theory, to critically explore what you hope to offer your client and the rationale behind this.)

 

I’m doing a masters. Me… a masters course…

I’m currently storming through my first essay of the year (there’s 2 years because it’s part-time). I say storming and that sounds better than it is. I’m actually really enjoying working on it. I’m going to miss this bad-boy when it’s all shipped off. I started as I meant to go on, I posted a photo on Facebook of books and a glass of wine, stating that the essay is sponsored by wine and I must say that the sponsorship is going well. I’m not saying I’ve drank much because I haven’t and being a parent I don’t really drink generally but I’m really enjoying a little tipple.

At first I wasn’t excited about the essay title and people have said that it’s bullshit, yada yada but honestly I feel that it’s a wonderfully, unexpected complex question. My hand-in day is Wednesday so I haven’t got long to go but I feel like I have so much to read and got so much to think about and to piece together. I have high hopes that by Tuesday evening it will be a really decent and complex answer.

Or maybe it’ll turn out to be a piece of shit; maybe I’ll have missed the point and failed to properly answer the question.

There’s so much in this title. What is it that we do? Why do we do it? Academic examples, personal examples, link everything to the theory but explore it with a critical voice, what do we hope to offer to clients and why. This is just the basics. What do we do and why is so many things, its: UPR, empathy, congruence, self-disclosure, frame of reference, non-directiveness, relationship etc. Then there’s all the explanations and theories of personality and human structure. There’s conditions of worth, actualising tendency, locus of evaluation etc. There’s a 100 different aspects and they all need to fit seamlessly and have explanations and examples.

I seem to be adding more and more to my “to do” list and therefore getting less and less done and now here I am wasting time writing to my future-self.

It’s so hard trying to write an essay with two very young children. Honestly I barely get any time and it’s really frustrating. This course means so much to me. I don’t feel worthy of it.

I love being in education, there’s just something so exciting about it. I’m so passionate about mental health and about this amazing direction that I’m heading towards.

I think I’ll cut this short. I just wanted to say that I’m enjoying writing my essay. There’s so much I could write, not just about my essay but about various other things. Things that are weighing me down but there are seldom safe places to self-disclose. I’ll save such things for counselling.

 

One thing though and if I ever bother to read this I’ll feel sad at this: I don’t think anyone will be proud of me if my essay goes well or if my dissertation next year is good or if I graduate or if I become a therapist…

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