Happy Mother’s Day

This year’s Mother’s Day is a very different one for me as not only am I Mum to my daughter but also kinship foster mum to my nephew!

I have battled about what to do in relation to Mother’s Day and his mum and decided no gift or card on Mother’s Day would be better and maybe a little card next time he sees her – I’m sorry if I made the wrong choice but I think a card on a day she doesn’t see him would be more upsetting – this has been an internal battle for me all week – fingers crossed I have made the right choice.

The last day I wrote a post about Mother’s Day I reduced a few readers to tears – sorry if I do it again but I have realised recently that although I listed lots of mums two years ago I didn’t list them all.

Mums who are no longer with us, mums who are not with their children at this point in time for various reasons, foster mums, kinship foster mums, mums, mamas, mams, mother in laws, grandmothers, Nanas, mum’s who have lost touch with their children, godmothers, stepmothers, single mums – Happy Mother’s Day to you all.

I hope you get spoiled rotten or at least get a lie-in.

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Last few days.

www.justgiving.com/Victoria-Williams40

My Ladies Captaincy at Cardiff golf club comes to an end this week. The Captains Last Dance tomorrow and then the AGM on Wednesday to hand over the mantle.

I’m proud to say I achieved what I set out to – get more women and girls playing golf and raising awareness and funds for Parkinson’s research. Including offline donations we’ve raised £2117!

The true inspiration behind this has been my amazing mum. Life changed dramatically for her and the rest of our family when she was diagnosed with Parkinson’s 12 years ago and it is her sense of humour and good grace that gets her through.

She has good days and not so good days and this year has been tougher than most but she is still my rock and my inspiration.

Thank you for all your support and help to fund further research into this disease.

Mixed emotions

Today is a day of mixed emotions for me – firstly it is a huge rugby day – Wales are taking on Ireland with the grand slam in sight but anything could happen.

It’s not just an emotional day rugby wise but also an emotional day in our ever changing family.

Today is the first day it’s just me, hubby and little boy J – in December we started fostering our youngest nephew which has been highly challenging and rewarding at the same time.

Little girl J has been coping remarkably well but is well enjoying a well deserved girly weekend with grandma so that is where she is – so this morning it’s just been me and the boys!

I’m out to watch the rugby later and leaving the boys to have an afternoon to themselves and then home for the night shift while daddywithlplates has a well deserved night out.

We are slowly adapting to life as a family of 4 and the constant shift changes and juggling of birthday parties and after school activities and some days I wonder how we do it – but we are just taking things a day at a time – sometimes and hour at a time.

Most important thing today though is c’mon Wales!

Time to Talk

Today is “Time to talk” day – when mental health charity Time to change encourage people to start a conversation about mental health.

I can not advocate this enough – talking has helped me massively not just over the last year but for many many years.

I am open and honest about my depression – I managed to baffle doctors for years who have diagnosed a range of things including bipolar disorder and mood swings but it is safe to say I suffer with the black dog of depression – if you haven’t seen the video explaining black dog – look it up – it is an amazing explanation of what is a very misunderstood illness.

I suffer with depression and it affects me in a range of ways – some days I am absolutely fine I would go so far as to say I am the life of the party and other days it is a monstrous effort just to get up and have a shower and I just want to curl up and ignore everyone and everywhere – the worst thing is I have no idea what triggers these episodes which can last days, weeks or months.

I am lucky though – I have a very understanding husband who hugely supports me and an amazing network of friends who I have reached out to for support many times occasionally without them even knowing.

A pleasant walk, a coffee or just a chat can really help even though when the dog is with me I don’t want to do any of those things.

I am not proud of the fact I have thought about ending my life in the past but I think it is important people realise how low depression can make you feel – most of my friends will have no idea I have ever thought about ending it all but I have more than once – not for several years – I have learned how important it is to talk about my feelings and realise that few people judge – there are some who will but hopefully they are getting fewer.

Statistics show 1 in 4 people in the UK suffer with depression at some point in their life and my friendship network shows that stat is more than accurate.

So if you do nothing else today – find “Time to talk”

Questions questions questions

In the last month I have been described as resilient, tolerant, patient and brilliant.

I’m not sure I would describe myself the same way – I think I would describe myself as scattered, anxious and stressed.

I have had many a sleepless night worried about things totally out of my control but those thoughts don’t stop my brain spinning around with 100 plus thoughts at 3 am.

Add in the added stress of six weeks school summer holidays and it is no wonder I am feeling a little stressed.

I have just made it through a tough six weeks living with a husband with acute laryngitis barely able to speak and a four year old who is suffering from less than 25% hearing in one year – to say my patience has been tested would be an understatement.

On the bright side, we are about to head into week 3 of the summer and we still have plenty of activities planned including a week in West Wales, a trip to Folly Farm, big birthday for grandparents turning 60 and another birthday for little girl J turning 5.

Amazing to think this time five years ago I was feeling like a beached whale desperate to give birth and now when I am on question number 50 before 9 am I wish and dream of those peaceful days.

The latest questions to baffle us into silence include:

Why don’t train have seatbelts?

How do you have a baby?

And my personal favourite and a daily battle – why do I have to go to bed so early? This question will be asked without fail whatever time we attempt to put her to sleep.

A gentleman who met my daughter for the first time on Friday evening described her as a bundle of energy and he was not wrong – fingers crossed I can get at least one night of a full eight hours sleep this week.

Roll on week 3 just 21 days until her 5 birthday so 21 days for me to work out how on earth she can have a ride on a unicorn – the one and only thing she has requested!

any suggestions gratefully received.

Friendship

As many of my nearest and dearest know I have had a tough month or so but that is not my story to share.

The story I want to share today is that of friendship – I am about to embark on a return to work after 6 weeks of sickness leave due to (non-work related) acute stress and anxiety but I am still feeling a little overwhelmed about going back tomorrow morning.

Thankfully during my six weeks absence I have had the good fortune of great support and friendship. Not least seen this weekend when celebrating a dear friend’s wedding day in Fareham.

Not only was it a pleasure to attend such a beautiful service and celebration – the casual style of the day was nothing short of sublime. It totally encapsulated the wonderful couple but it was also a reunion of some of the girls I played rugby with back in my Exeter University days (including the bride) – some I have seen regularly over the years and others I have not seen since 2004.

We may have had many children between us, a number of marriages, some divorces and many have lost loved ones since we last met but our friendships endure – we have fond memories of our University days (some memories better than others) and we had plenty of tales to tell of our somewhat different lives now, but we could also just sit around and talk about the real stuff.

The stuff that matters and the stuff that doesn’t matter so much – some time it is just good to talk and what better way than with old friends.

Daddywithlplates and I also enjoyed a weekend free of Little Girl J as she stayed at Grandma’s and we were very excited about buying and reading newspapers and drinking hot coffee as an added bonus of the weekend wedding celebrations.

Small things please in life!

Not all partners were able to make it but those who did were like naughty kids sneaking a peak at the football at the back of the church as the wedding clashed with Kick-Off.

I just hope that Little Girl J has the good fortune of developing great friendships in her life – at the tender age of 4 she appears to be a little fickle with her friends although she already seems to have a definite little group in school but I hope she will one day be able to celebrate and reminisce with good friends like I have this weekend.

I know I haven’t mentioned all the other friends who have helped me over the last 6 weeks but I am sure you all know who you are and even if it was just a text or a cup of coffee or something stronger – it really has helped.

Thanks for being my friendsb82ce19e-10a4-4dbd-a3a0-9b2b0a18e38f

Happy Fathers Day

So my gift to my dear husband this Father’s Day is taking his daughter out for the day so he can have a day to himself – I imagine he will watch some of the football.

It sounds like I am cheating him out of a gift but neither me or Daddywithlplates really celebrate these Hallmark holidays.

Little girl J has made him a card in school and then upset him this morning by saying she could give it to anyone – maybe Bampi would like it – obviously school must have said children could give cards to whoever they wanted as not everyone has a father figure in their life. So it looks like at some point today we will be making another card for Bampi – I have got shop bought cards as well but don’t generally go down the gift line.

Although I have been talking to other wives who have bought a range of gifts including steak ready for the bbq and one lady whose children are grown up who was worried she hadn’t done anything for her husband for Father’s Day who did laugh when I pointed out he wasn’t her father and it was really up to her kids – little girl J is 4 so can’t really be held responsible for organising anything for Father’s Day but apparently neither are some people’s grown up children.

My parents also never really celebrate Hallmark holidays so Dad may get more cards than he has ever received on Fathers Day if we manage to create one today.

I definitely think Daddywithlplates deserves a day off though – we have had a stressful month or so and he has been super strong throughout.

He is currently bouncing around a trampoline park with little girl J while I nurse a hangover having had yet another Friday night at home alone with Little girl J.

There is no way I could be involved with the PTA and be Captain of the golf club and hold down a job and have fun with friends without the amazing support of my husband.

Don’t worry girls he still drives me mad with all the things he doesn’t do but I am very lucky the amount he does do.

Hope you have a lovely day off tomorrow.