Favourite time of day – Brit Mums Prompt

20120531-014552.jpg

One of the Brit mums weekly blog prompts was the question

What is your favourite time of day?

I took my time answering this it’s the blog persona versus real life debate. Should I be making myself out to be this truly devoted l mother whose favourite time of the day is the moment the children awake or shall I be honest and confess my favourite time of the day is the end of the night when all are asleep and the house is quiet and I get some me time.

Now don’t get me wrong the time I spend with my children is a gift. I only know too well how precious life is and how short time can be.

Yet that moment when the house goes quiet and the television is mine or the peace to write is there, then that is bliss.

My life is chaos and I love it. I have two teenage girls one just sitting her GCSE’s and one trying to change the world. I also have an adorable 11 year old who seems to be growing up overnight, trying to be like her older sisters yet still wanting to hold on to the fun of childhood. I also foster children with special needs, so yes my life is chaotic.

If we add running the charity Livvys Smile, studying and blogging into the mix life is very full.

So it’s in this quiet time I find my peace.

No phone calls to answer.
No emails to read
No children to tend to
Chores can be ignored

It’s my time and it’s my recharging time.

Brain is switched off and I am happy to just watch television or read or just let the words flow into my notebook.

Just my time

So yes my favourite time of the day is when the house goes quiet around 10pm at night.

And all these monkeys are asleep. (or pretending to be at least).

20120531-014855.jpg

The encouragement I needed.

Last week I watched my first ever episode of The Secret Millionaire and I was seriously moved by it. So since then and thanks to 4OD I have been playing catching up with the series.

;

What has really struck me about the programme hasn’t been the money given, even though the money has made a big impact to the charities involved. No what has really struck me is the people.

;

These wonderful inspiring people who selflessly live their lives trying to make the world better for others.

;

To them it’s never been about money, its about giving dignity and respect to others. It’s about raising people up to believe in themselves and simply saying, simply showing that someone cares.

;

The secret millionaires have all seemed to have took away something from the whole experience too.

;

When we founded Livvy’s Smile we never naively considered the financial side of it all, the fighting for funding etc. All we could see was the smiles on the faces of children with disabilities and their families, and still when the paperwork seems endless and the exhaustion hits. its those smiles that keep us going.

;

The individuals involved in the charities on the Secret Millionaire really inspired me.

;

It was the encouragement I needed.

;

Life isn’t defined by the money you make. It’s the love and compassion you share that matters.

The boiling pot.

I was reading this post by Bonnie Grey over at Incourage and was really struck by her words.

You see Bonnie had realised that she had got a high tolerance for pain both physically and emotionally and that she had issues she had buried deep within , ( go read the post, as Bonnie explains herself so much better than I could. I would do an injustice to her words).

Anyway after reading this post I realised something, Pain is something I too have just to have learned to live with, to just tolerate. In fact I was only over at the Dr’s a few weeks ago and actually found myself in a position of being told off in a kind caring way. It seems that I have just accepted the pain my condition causes and don’t recognise when there is something new going on. He told me pain was our body’s warning system. By ignoring it I didn’t allow my body to warn me I was heading towards pleurisy.

Pain as a warning system, I had never considered that. When we feel physical pain it’s a sign that something is wrong within your body, be it a broken bone, a chest infection, or something worse.

I have spent some time thinking over this since the doctors appointment but I was just really focusing on the physical where the truth for me is that this could well be said for my emotional pain too.

I think my tolerance levels for emotional pain started to rise when Livvy went through the regression, I had no idea what was happening to my beautiful baby girl but I knew no matter how much it was hurting inside I had to just press forward and care for her and to protect her. Then when the diagnoses’ came it was a situation that I just had to face and move forward. Burying the pain deeper and deeper inside.

Life was a gift and we had to make the most of it, no time to face the pain of the why’s and why nots. This was the hand we had been dealt we just had to learn to play the game.

Then Livvy died and my heart broke but still pain was something one just had to tolerate, her sisters needed me. I couldn’t allow the pain to overwhelm me, I had to teach her sisters that life could still be fun, that they needed to laugh and love just like Livvy would have wanted them to.

The pain was there of course, like a heavy weight tied to my soul. The brave face exhausted me at times. ” I’m fine ” became my byline.

But of course I’m wasn’t fine, I’m not fine, I have to allow myself to slowly release the pain I have buried deep inside. It’s not easy, I’ve been holding on to it for nearly 11 years now. Maybe little bits have drifted out like steam escaping to stop the pot from boiling over.

I need to learn to recognise the pain now to allow myself to feel. Because this isn’t just about the experience of pain it’s about the experiencing the joy too.

Because if you can’t feel one can you really feel the other?

Can you appreciate happiness if you have never know sadness?

Can you enjoy the light if you have never faced the dark?

I’m not sure, what I do know is that I’m in a place where I feel I can let it out. I know I can trust my pain to others that care.

I know that I’m not on this journey alone and when I feel weak, others will be my strength.

I just have to trust and allow myself to open my heart and say ” you know what today I’m not fine, today it hurts”.

The truth is I have to let the pain out so I can remember the joy and to feel new joy.

Allowing myself to heal so that I may start to really feel.

“Getting over a painful experience is much like crossing monkey bars. You have to let go at some point in order to move forward.” -C.S. Lewis

Acceptance

Watching secret millionaire last night really moved me, the way Matthew Newbury spoke about trying to avoid being stereotyped as disabled really hit home for me.

It was a two part whammy I guess, firstly with Livvy we faced a lot of discrimination. People saw the syndrome not the individual. So many times we had to fight for services and equipment it was crazy. Once we were even asked ” What was the point ?” in the sense of the fact that she was never going to improve. This as you can imagine made me so mad, I had to prove my child’s potential, her ability. 

Secondly it’s been a personal,journey for me into the world of disability, like Matthew said I don’t see myself as disabled, yet if you read my medical reports I am.

Yet what does being disabled mean, how does it define us and should it be a stereotype that I’m afraid to be part of?

To be honest the term disabled is strange one as the scope of disability is vast ranging. A disability may be physical, cognitive, mental, sensory, emotional, developmental or some combination of these.

I know I am personally lucky, yes I do live in constant pain and my days of dancing are far behind me, but I’m mentally fine (yes that’s open for discussion another time) and I’m also able to live a “ normal life“.  I’ve highlighted that word normal as its one I hate as I always ask the question ” who defines normality”. Anyway what I’m trying to say is that I am blessed.

Yet even in my knowledge of disability I find myself shying away from allowing the term to be given to me and I should know better. 

Disability doesn’t define who we are!

Barriers are being broken down and I’m so inspired to see this. The world is slowly beginning to see the people beyond the disability.

For me it’s been a journey of acceptance one that to be honest I’m still travelling on. It’s a place where I have to let go of the old me and embrace the new one. Yes it’s a little different but yes it could be a hell of a lot worse.

I am inspired by the courage of the stories that were told on secret millionaire just as I was daily inspired by Livvy’s courage.

Now I just have to find my own courage and my own acceptance.

Men are not prisoners of fate, but only prisoners of their own minds.
Franklin D. Roosevelt

I’m excited for Brit Mums Live

So on June 22nd, I’m packing my suitcase and heading off to  London our fair capital city. It’s a weekend I’m so looking forward to. I’m heading to Brit Mums Live an amazing conference for bloggers. 

Yet while I’m excited I’m rather nervous. I’m attending the event solo, not knowing anyone is going to be rather strange but hey ho nothing ventured nothing gained. 

 

The conference is offering so much that I am going to find useful it is going to be hard to choose between the workshops I want to attend. I’m still trying to decide but with the  choices thats on offer its not going to be an easy decision.

 

The workshops and speakers offer so much, i’m sure i’m going to learn loads.Maybe its time that I did start paying attention to stats and things, see how technical I sound ha ha. Seriously  though it looks like its going to be a conference for those who want to know more and  for those like me with their head in the sand.

I am excited to hopefully learn some savvy tips that will help me here and over at my alter ego Livvy’s Smile. 

One thing that’s really added to my excitement of this event is making the final of the brilliance in blogging awards in the Inspire category, this has left me glowing inside since the announcement I can tell you that. I’m really looking forward to meeting the other finalists as I admire their writing tremendously.

 

So hotel is booked, train tickets too, now I need to attend to the most pressing issue of it all. 

 

What in the world shall I wear? 

 

I’ m thinking smart casual is the way to go, not business like but not hanging around the house casual. I’ve been through my wardrobe twice and can’t find anything suitable so it looks like a shopping trip is in my future. Clothes can make a big difference to your confidence and I’m so going to need that extra boost. These are the excuses I’m trying on my husband anyway.

 

So as the countdown to the event begins, are you all ready? 

 

Have you got your wardrobe planned? 

 

Are you going solo?

 

Are you nervous like me?

 

So ignoring the nerves and lack of suitable wardrobe I am seriously looking forward to Brit Mums live. I’m sure I’m going to leave with some new blog know how and hopefully some new friends. 

 

See you there!!! 

 

*P.S  If you are nervous, don’t worry, I’m sure someone mentioned wine.

 

 

 

 

True Wonder

Last night I attended a show organised by the awesome pastor from our church at the Think Tank planetarium. The show was to explain to us the wonders of the universe, the stars, the galaxy’s and so much more.

20120520-075629.jpg

It has been known that I don’t really have a scientific bone in my body, I’m sure that’s not true but I do tend to glaze over very quick when someone starts using technical terminology. It’s strange as a young child I used to love biology and at times chemistry but physics, well let’s not go there.

Anyway back to yesterday the planetarium show was amazing, I was surprised by the amount of stars that fill the universe and how much more I actually didn’t know about, shepherd moons, stars bigger than the sun and so so much more.

20120520-075720.jpg

One of the reasons I moved away from learning about science when I was in college was the fact that I believe in an awesome God and a few tutors I have had along the way have been atheists and while I respect anyone’s opinion and always will, I struggled to listen to their version of the truth while in a learning environment.

So to hear about the stars and the wonder of the universe explained by our incredibly intelligent pastor was as they say a breathe of fresh air.

But what I really took home with me from the evening was simply WONDER.

The wonder of God’s creation.

Evan spoke of scientists who have learnt about matter and energy but cannot yet recreate it.

Have learn of the beauty of the human body, the genetic makeup of each organ and cells yet cannot breathe life into existence.

A blade of grass so simple and so perfect, we can know it, we can understand it, yet we cannot create it.

20120520-080357.jpg

This is where I find the wonder of the universe in the unknown.

When there are no answers we find the answer.

“By the word of the Lord the heavens were made,

and by the breath of his mouth all their host. (Psalm 33:6 ESV)”

God is the only answer we need.

All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. (John 1:3 ESV)

It is here I find my wonder.

Yes I find beauty in the nights sky

The innocent in the birth of a new baby

The world is full of beauty!

It can be found in love and laughter,

It can be found in people and friendships.

Yes the universe is full of wondrous things.

Yet for me my wonder, my awe is in my God.

My Saviour

My friend.

Am I still part of this tribe?

I’ve been feeling lost the last few months. The groups, tribes I belong to are changing and in doing so is my identity.

Who am I?

9 years ago I entered a group I wasn’t prepared for.

One that scared me.
One I didn’t want to enter.

I entered the world of Rett syndrome.

Yet being part of this world brought me fear an pain but it also blessed me with friendships and faith.

I was mom who found herself lost in an unknown world.

Yet by being lost I got found.

By being scared I found courage.

And In weakness I found my strength.

Together with my family we faced moments that took our breathe away with joy, but also moments that broke our heart with pain.

Yet as a member of this tribe I belonged.

Now I don’t !

It is said once a Rett mom always a Rett mom but is that true?

A community that I belonged whole hearted to, seems to be moving on without me.

Of course my friends are still my friends, but do I really walk alongside them anymore?

I just don’t know!

Can you stay part of a group if life changes.

I don’t know,

While my heart and soul prays desperately and faithfully for the cure of Rett syndrome, my heart aches that it’s to late for Livvy.

Is this evil of me?

I think it’s this that is tearing me up inside If I’m honest.

The barriers I’m forming may be built on the fact that I hate that I feel this way.

It’s not that I begrudge the cure gosh NO. I sincerely pray and hope to see all released from the torture of Rett syndrome and will continue to do all that I can to make this cure happen.

I’m just angry it’s too late for Livvy.

I’m cross that I’m not part of this group anymore.

I’m missing my baby and my life as her mother.

Where do I belong now?

20120519-005301.jpg

Protecting Childhood

I came across this article yesterday and to be honest it has left me shock.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2145534/Teach-year-olds-dangers-sexting-expert-warns.html

The idea of teaching 5 years olds about sexting appalls me.

A) Five year olds should never be unsupervised while using the Internet

B) Five year olds should never be unsupervised whilst using a mobile phone

C) Both of the above.

At five years old children should be playing with dolls or toys cars. NOT mobile phones or the Internet.

Maybe I’m alone in this thinking but if a teacher had tried to tell my daughters about sexting at five I would have pulled her out of school.

The thing is its not going to just stop at “please don’t send naughty or rude texts to your friends” it’s going to open up the whole concept of sex at such a young age.

While I am all for sexual education at an older age, at five years old no way. This is what the first year of primary school, way to young. Totally inappropriate.

The truth is the education shouldn’t be aimed at the five year old children, it should be aimed at the parents. It is there the responsibility lies.

As parents we need to allow our children to be children this is what we should be protecting.

CHILDHOOD

My Electric Enemy

That’s it I can’t take it any more!

You are relentless

Invading my mind, my sleep, my dreams

Enough is enough

I know you have a job to do but come on!

A girl needs her rest, her peace.

Constantly watching the seconds, haven’t you ever heard of live and let live.

Each morning you are the first thing in my mind.

Its a curse that I hate you but need you.

You blasted thing.

I will name this foe of mine

My enemy

Let me introduce

Mr Alarm clock.

20120517-015042.jpg

*yes he is a man, how do I know?
He is constantly annoying ha ha

My children are out to get me!

Seriously I’m beginning to believe my children are out to get me.

I have this image of them huddling together each morning discussing ways to drive me insane. I wonder if it’s 10 points for a raised voice, 20 for a scream and tears well that’s a bulls-eye.

 

I don’t really believe this for a minute. I am rather blessed with amazing children. Just sometimes I wonder if God really planned for us to survive this thing we call parenthood.

 

The truth no matter how many parenting books you read or how many episodes of Super Nanny you watch being a parent is blooming hard.

 

I mean what’s with this growing up thing! Let’s be honest we are all living longer so wouldn’t it be fair to allow our children to be kids a little longer. When did 11 year old’s become too old for dolls and why do 15 year old’s have to have boyfriends?

 

I know, I know, the problem isn’t with them it’s with me. I’m having the common issue of overprotective parenting. I’m scared of them growing up.

 

They are changing so quick,  forming their own identities, each so very different but totally awesome.

 

I  do love this, I love watching them find themselves, but in their own discovery I’m realizing that they need mom a little less.

 

I feel like I’m on fast forward and I want to hit rewind.

 

I’m not finding it easy at all (can you tell?). My role in their life is changing and I’m not sure I’m ready to stand back.

 

Grown don’t mean nothing to a mother.  A child is a child.  They get bigger, older, but grown?  What’s that suppose to mean?  In my heart it don’t mean a thing.  ~Toni Morrison, Beloved, 1987

 

Ok, ok,I’m trying to calm myself down and i’m getting there just slower on the adjustment than they are.

 

Yes my eldest has a boyfriend who in fact is a great young man, I’m coping.

 

My second born has decided that she wants to grow old surrounded by a thousand cats, I’m coping

 

My little one is now only now talking in an American accent with a hand on her hip, I’m coping JUST

 

Changing but I’m getting there.

 

I’ve been known to say God was being ironic when he gave this tomboy four girls. I’ve never got that girlie way but I’m learning. Each one of my kids are teaching me in their own unique way. 

 

Being a mom has changed me more than words could ever express, love, joy, heartache and pain I’m living it all.

 

And while I may take a quick nosey around their bedrooms for that scoreboard I do love being a mom.

 

Yes it’s pretty awesome, well close to awesome as it gets when one is trying to survive the teenage years.