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How to make a Friends

My daughter asked me; ’Mummy, how do you make friends?’ All my children’s lives, I have been a very protective mother. And this has meant that when they went to Playgroup or Nursery if I wasn’t comfortable with a child’s parents my kids played with then the friendship would not go beyond the playground.  I left home at the age of 15 and growing up in a domestically violent home I knew what it was like not having anyone to protect me. Because of that I have always felt that one of my responsibilities as a mother is to protect my kids and make sure they are only around safe people.

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This level of overprotection has meant that my kids didn’t  make friends on their own. I would speak to the parents for a few months and watch how my kids played with their children in the  playground, or I would ask the teacher to give me a report on how my children interacted with the other kids and then I would approach the parent(s) and ask if they would be okay to organize a play- date.

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I don’t hang out with the parents of my children’s  friends, but I like to know that if there are issues about the friendship and they can’t resolve them, we, the parents, can ask the children what happened and try to help them resolve things without leaving any resentment. And my children have kept all their friends from Nursery, Primary school up through the years.

So when my eldest daughter was starting High School I told her ‘now you are on your own when it comes to making friends and try to keep them.’

So this is why she asked me the question  about making friends. I told her ‘ I know many people but not everyone is my friend.’  She said ‘Mum, I watch you when we go shopping and you start talking to a lady for a long time and then you tell her we can talk some more give me your number and I will text you.’

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I told her she was right. If I feel it is someone I want to get to know then I will give my number or take theirs, but sometimes we text and then we both find that we don’t have anything in common so they become my acquaintance. We text occasionally but we won’t hang out.

I gave her this example: I went clothes shopping one day and started chatting with this lady for  about half – an – hour and then suggested we exchange numbers. We contacted each other and we started to learn about one another. We learned that both of us  worked in similar industries  and then both chose to be stay- at- home mums. Then we started giving each other advice on relationships, kids etc. And then we became friends.

I told my daughter when she started at High School if there is a  girl you want be friends with but are not sure about then write your number down and give it to her. If she starts texting you that is a good sign and you can learn about each other.

So, she took my advice. She was scared but she did it. Since the lockdown, her friends have been calling her and texting her. There is only one rule😂😂. No boys are allowed to text or call her.

Friendship is a wonderful gift. Friends make us laugh and cry; friends can teach us how to share, compromise and handle some conflicts that your family can’t help you with. We learn from a very young age that talking is one of the great benefits of friendship. But what happens when friendship withers and fades? As we get older this seems to happen. Friends move away or they get into relationships that take them away.

It is a fact of life that even some very close friendships somehow come to an end. You may have experienced that sadness and sense of loss. If so, you can start afresh.

The key to making friends is talk to people: at work, the supermarket, anywhere. Preferably people of your own age, sexual orientation, life experiences etc.

But talk, and see what happens.

Don’t for get follow this blog🙂

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Do you know how to increase followers on WordPress? Part 2

This is the continuation of my earlier blog. 

Another thing that is recommended to increase followers is social media. I don’t have Facebook or Instagram. But I do have Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest. They are linked to my WordPress account so all my posts get shared there automatically.

When I was running my business, word- of- mouth was how I got my clients. I also went businesses networking. Meeting people face- to- face and doing voluntary jobs got me clients. As a single mum, I wanted to make effective use of my time. So when I met someone I would let them know about my business. I didn’t let shyness stop me. I would ask them if they could make use of my services. Some said ‘yes’ some said ‘no’.

I wasn’t shy, but I was authentic.
It is the same with social media. Building an authentic relationship with people will help you reduce the amount of hours you spend on social media.
You are not going to become viral in one article. It takes dedication, patience and authenticity.

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The Terrible Twos

I wrote this poem when my first child, started her terrible twos. I was frustrated and I needed to release that frustration and anger and writing poetry is how find my release. Hope you enjoyed.

Today, I have learned the meaning of patience

Today, you have tested me

Today, you refused to eat

Today, you refused to have bath

Today, I am left me feeling as if I have been wounded

Today, this powerful battle seems never-ending

Today, lunch is not on your mind

Today, dinner has made me understand why so many lose their temper

But, today, I have decided to remain calm

Yes, I feel angry

But, I know that it is not your fault

The terrible twos have kicked in.

 

If you haven’t started following this blog please do.

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Do you know how to increase followers on WordPress? Part 1

With so many people blogging nowadays and so much amazing content out there, how can a new blogger on WordPress get followers?

I’m still learning and I would like to get more followers, but how? I like to write my own thoughts. Original content is important to me. From my recent research on blogging it seems you need to post regularly at first in order to be  successful. This worried me because I didn’t want my followers to be overwhelmed by my blogs in their inbox.

I thought about the problem and decided that the way forward was to post short content and publish it twice a week.

That way my followers were not snowed-under, and it gave me time to think about my blogs. A win-win situation. So, if you are new to blogging you might like to consider that.

The second piece of advice which I think is worthwhile is use your own images and photos. WordPress does have some free-to-use images,

and I have used them occasionally, but I think it is far more interesting for your followers if you use your own. That way your followers are tasting something of your life and experiences.

And then you have to decide the title of your post. This is a difficult one. You don’t have to decide straight away. Read through your post and think what title would reach out to me if this was some one else’s blog?  The answer will come to you. My answer usually comes when I have left the article for a while.

Subscribe to get part 2 of ‘ Do you know how to increase followers on WordPress?
Part 2’

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How to make a face mask for your kids and yourself

I need to let you know that I am not a medical person and so far as I am aware a fabric face mask ain’t going to protect you from getting covid-19, but it could stop you from spreading the virus to someone else when you are out and about.

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African Fabric

The fabric face mask has become the new fashion trend on the street and variations of it are springing up around the world.

I ordered four face masks a month ago, and I am still waiting for them to arrive, so I decided to make some for myself and my kids.

You may be wondering why I didn’t make them straight away instead of ordering them? The simple answer is that I am not an experienced sewer, and I needed to work out how to do it.

In recent days while queuing outside our local supermarket, I have had the chance to observe people wearing face masks. Only after weeks of observation did I attempt to make my own. I have to be honest with you. I made several mistakes before making two that I felt comfortable with. My son is wearing my first successful one in the photo above.

This is what to do:

Use a large round plate for adults and small round plates for children. Place your chosen fabric upside down on a flat worktop and then place the plate on the fabric. Draw a circle around the plate and cut two pieces as I am doing below. Then fold the fabric in the middle and fold again, so you end up with the pointed end at the top.

Cut the pieces, so you have four equal sides and sew the two bottom sides together and do the same with the other two. You don’t need a tape measure, just a plate, scissors and a sewing machine. If you don’t have a sewing machine, needle and thread will do.

* What do you think about this article ‘How to make a face mask for your kids and yourself’? Please share your thoughts in the comments below. Thank you for your time and support. I look forward to reading your comments. *

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Coronavirus


Oh Coronavirus

If you were a person
I would ask you,
Why have you come?
I would offer you a cup of tea or coffee
I would listen to your persisting rusty chatter
Oh Coronavirus
If you were a person
I would check your temperature
But I would be left confused as to whether you had the infection or not
Oh Coronavirus
Why have you come?
Spitting your misery and pain
Is it fun for you to watch us die?
What pleasure do you get from spreading your venom, oh coronavirus?

And because of you
face masks and gloves are a must
Schools are closed
Everything is gone
And because of you
lovers are torn apart
Families are getting less by the minute

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Oh Coronavirus
If you were a person
I would drive you out myself
I would say to you
I’m sorry for not paying attention to you earlier
I would say please forgive me for my ignorance
I would say thank you for leaving
I would love you for letting us live again.
And because you stay away life can start again

 

* What do you think about this poem ‘Coronavirus’? Please share your thoughts in the comments below. Thank you for your time and support. I look forward to reading your comments. *

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How to make yourself feel better (with mental health)

Suffering from mental health problems like depression, manic stress disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder and others is a life – time’s battle in the mind of the sufferer. There are not adequate words that can totally explain how one feels at these moments of internal conflict and torment.

Sometimes, reading a book, watching television or speaking to a friend can give a little relief, but thoughts still keep replaying in your mind. Intense emotions of fear, anger, and disbelief are all there and so real in these moments of depression.
We reach out to loved ones, but when our mood is low we can feel ashamed to share our burden with them. We love them, we hug them, but when our mood is low, we feel ashamed sometimes to share the burden with them.
You start asking yourself what you have done to bring this on yourself.
Please listen, you have done nothing wrong. It is not your fault.

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Don’t suffer in silence. There are organisations out there that give emotional support. The Samaritans new free helpline number is 116 123. Their volunteer listeners are very kind, friendly and supportive. I used to be a volunteer listener with them.
If you feel you cannot call them then sit down in a comfy chair; take a few deep breaths, close your eyes and do this three times: imagine letting go of all those negative feelings. All of them. Release your grip on them.
Then get up and make yourself a cup of tea or coffee, and with every sip, you drink imagine receiving a loving feeling.
You are giving yourself that loving feeling. You made your drink, you did your breathing, you showed yourself that you care about you and love yourself enough to help yourself. Once you have done that why not call someone and ask how they are.

 

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Covid-19 Staying Safe

With the recent outbreak of Covid-19, many of us are left feeling fearful and uncertain as to what we can do to protect ourselves and our loved ones. There are a lot of misconceptions about the cure and there are many scams telling us that if we purchase such and such a thing we will be safe from catching Covid-19, but the truth of the matter is nobody is safe. But what we can do is help our bodies to be in a position to fight back.

As we know from the advice and the recommendations of GPs and our NHS; we need to:

Make sure we wash our hands I have taught my children to wash their hands for 20 seconds. I have told them to sing ‘ Happy Birthday’ twice; that way they know that 20 seconds is up. Not only is it cheerful and fun. It encourages them to actually do it.

Take hygiene and cleanliness seriously. For me and my children, this is about showering and changing clothes every day, washing everything that has been used. I also clean all packets of food I buy. Fruits and vegetables are washed the moment I get in from shopping, and I sanitise doors etc.

  • Ensure social distancing is maintained. If like me, you are a single parent, you are probably used to this type of lifestyle. The one area I struggled with was to make the decision to leave my children at home when I go food shopping. I take them everywhere so this was hard, but they have shown that they are more mature than I had expected. This gave me the confidence that I have now. And I know when I’m going to the supermarket all I have to worry about is me staying 2 metres from other shoppers instead off looking around and telling my kids to stay close or not to touch that.

This is one of the things I do to keep my body and mind to stay well. I drink lemon water. Every night I boil the kettle and make hot lemon water sometimes adding a bit of sweetener, but sometimes I drink it without. It is an acquired taste, but you do get used to it.

I have been drinking lemon water for 14 years and my children will occasionally drink some. But I have always made a point of them taking vitamins every morning. I started drinking lemon water to help me improve my immune system back in the day. As I researched into it I learnt some great benefits and here are some:

  • Increased immune system
  • Cleansing of liver, kidney and blood
  • Eliminating waste from the digestive tract
  • Flushing out toxins from the body
  • Increasing energy and lifting mood.

If you have any suggestions which will help others, please leave them in the comments below.

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How to Parent When you Suffer from Mental Health Issues

When I found out that I was pregnant with my first child, I received much advice from experienced parents and grandparents. Advice on the morning sickness, not being able to sleep on my stomach or my back as my belly grew more prominent. That sort of advice. At the time, although I was ecstatic at being pregnant, it also seemed like the worse experience than I could ever have. I longed for the day when my child was born so I could lay flat on my stomach again without fear of squashing my unborn child. I wanted to be the best parent I could be so my baby would not be shy like me or lack self-esteem. I wanted her to be confident, outgoing, kind and have many hobbies. So, I studied various courses: parenting, sewing, baking, making pieces of jewellery, rock climbing, yoga and knitting thinking that I would have all the skills and the energy to teach them to her. When she was a toddler, before she started nursery, we had beautiful days of doing just some of those activities together. I wanted to create positive childhood memories for her, unlike mine. Being a stay-at-home mum, I devoted my time to my eldest daughter. I had a business that I ran from home (which I still do), but somewhere down the road, I started to lose my priorities. My eldest daughter welcomed her sister and younger brother with an open heart, but she now had to share her time with me. There was less of ‘me- and -mummy- time’. There was less baking time together as I was now struggling to focus on all the important little people in my life.

And above all, I didn’t even know who I was and what to pursue in life. After my divorce I felt lost as an individual and mother. All the advice I took and the books I read didn’t resonate with me anymore. I thought dating would help me find some stability and focus. Instead, my struggles worsened. You see, parenting when you suffer from mental health, is tricky. You have a constant battle in your head. Negative thoughts and negative images that were implanted in you when you were a child become your core memory and your core view of yourself. That you are not good enough, you are not a good parent. No matter how hard you try you still feel that you are not good enough.
You have days, weeks and months where these thoughts emotionally cripple you. You don’t have the will to do anything. When you’re alone having to parent three children, guide them to make good choices when you can’t even get out bed or take them out to the park for bike rides it’s sad for the children. However, I have three amazing children, who from being toddlers have to learn to live with ‘crazy mum’ as I like to say to myself.

This blog is about you learning to cope as a parent with mental health issues and is designed to empower you and me with the belief that we are good enough.

Remind yourself:

1. You matter to your children and your community.

2. You are not a mistake, and it’s okay to cry over the pain you have suffered but leave your past hurts behind. Today is a new day.

3. You can reconnect with the beauty within yourself and find the real you

4. Your parenting skills matter. Focus on raising your children with unconditional love and a miracle takes place inside you. You begin to start loving yourself unconditionally too.