A picture tells 1000 words, right? With some topics that can be hard to discuss properly, pictures and memes can do a lot of the talking. This is definitely something I’ve found with chronic pain and mental illness – it’s easier to laugh from the outside than talk from the inside. I follow a lot of other Chronic Illness warriors on social media, Instagram in particular. Their sharing of memes and funny pictures, as well as inspiring quotes, keeps me going on rough days. I share them with fellow pain sufferer friends. As well as telling 1000 words, they open up conversation lines in ways that we normally can’t. So I’ve grouped together a few to give as examples of memes that describe life with chronic pain. If you’re a sufferer, or love someone who is, then you may relate.
Ireland’s national holiday, St Patrick’s Day, falls this Friday, 17th March. In celebration of St Patrick who got the credit for bringing Christianity to Ireland (apparently Palladius didn’t kick up enough of a stink about it), we have parades and family events as well as a bank holiday. St Patrick’s Day has a reputation for being linked with alcohol consumption, so I’m encouraged to see how many family friendly events are taking place this year. I did a roundup of the events happening in Cork previously and it went down well. As of yet I’ve not found a concise list of events in Cork, so this may be of help to you in picking what you are doing with your family that day.
I saw this brillant post from Nicola at Simply HomeMade that she’s turned into a linky and decided it was definitely time to get nostalgic. Music is such an incredible method of pulling back vivid memories in seconds. I close my eyes and I’m back ten, fifteen years. This has been a lot of fun to put together, and it’s gotten me listening to old classics again! Here are the songs on the Playlist of My Life.
The word “Pacing” has come to mean something different to me since being introduced to the Chronic Pain community. Prior to that, I had linked it very much so with parenting – pacing up and down corridors waiting for news, pacing up and down the house with a crying infant. In the chronic pain/illness world however, pacing is a coping strategy, basically “to pace yourself”. It’s a skill that can be quite difficult to get the hang of. In essence, you find out what your limit is, and then figure out your schedule to what you can do.
And then parenting comes along. Boom. My toddler DOES NOT CARE for pacing. Parenting and pacing are not the easiest of combinations to master.
I’ve lived in Cork City since 2009, meaning that this year is my 7th year here. In 2014 I gave birth to my son, which meant that I started to view the city in a whole new light – accessibility was a very real issue and I started to see just how accessible and inaccessible certain places were with regards to wielding my buggy around. I looked in envy at Mama’s whose babies were happy in a sling or structured carrier, as I wasn’t able to do the same thanks to a back injury and a disagreeable kiddo. I began to structure my almost daily wanders around where was best to have the buggy with me. It’s changed the way I look at the city, and am constantly on a search for different places to go, so in the nature of sharing the wealth, here is my guide to Baby Friendly places in Cork City in 2017.
What are your plans this weekend? Time with the family? Wrestling a toddler, or getting a newborn to sleep? Or will you take some time (five minutes even) for some me-time? It’s something that can definitely be neglected as a mama – we have a million and one jobs to do, and self care is put bottom of the list. There’s always another nappy, or another toy explosion, or the dishes, the school run…. We need to take a few minutes for us. As mums of small kids, it can be hard to be like the person you were before. There isn’t time for the full face of makeup, the well styled hair, before dashing out the door with a tantrumming child. Boots has apparently heard our plight, and is launching a special event for Mums this weekend.
I bought a car in August. I’d passed my theory test nearly two years earlier, then put off that whole learning-to-drive malarkey because of issues with back pain. So I kickstarted this whole right-I’m-doing-it-learning-to-drive thing in June, bought the car in August and applied for my driving test. Fairly simple, right? The six month waiting period was null and void because I’d gotten the licence almost two years before. So aside from the twelve lessons (and the many more besides), I was golden. How difficult can getting a driving licence be? As I’ve discovered, for me, very.
It’s Friday. This week hasn’t been like a normal week. I’ve been off work again with my back since the start of the month. It’s meant mid-day naps and discovering that folding clothes is a task that causes pain. To add to the fun, we’ve all got that super fun cough-cold thing going on. I’m praying it doesn’t turn full chest infection. However, I’ve got a coffee, it’s Friday, and it’s time to look at the positives of the week. Linking up again with Coffee Work Sleep Repeat‘s linky “LittleLoves”, so here goes. Here is what this Bad Mammy has been loving this week.
Oh, it’s that time of year again, where the shops are filled with roses and distressed looking men. There are cards to tell everyone you love them, from your husband, wife, lover, mistress, even your cat if you’re so inclined. Couples will be romancing to dinners by candlelight, men will endure 50 Shades of Torture, yes it’s Valentines Day. But, oh wait, you’re parents. And it’s midweek. Even your babysitter has plans… Time for a Plan B.
Yesterday, 20 January 2017, Donald J Trump was inaugurated as President of the United States. He sits in the most powerful seat of the Western world, elected to there by the electoral college system, not the electorate. The last two years have been filled with moments where the world has wondered how anyone could put someone like him into that seat, but here we are. Four years to go until potentially someone else gains ownership of the seat. Four years is a long time to be anxious, but I fear that it all we have ahead of us.
Here we are again, the start of another year. Bit of a dramatic one on a global scale, 2016, between Brexit, Trump and the size of Toblerones decreasing. The situation in Syria and across Europe is ever terrifying and anxiety creating. The attack in Istanbul has shown us that 2017 isn’t set to automatically be more peaceful. Life has been full of ups and downs, and it’s been great to watch the idiosyncrasies of E growing up into a proper little boy over the last year. As with other years, the lovely Sadhbh of Where Wishes Come From has hosted the 16 from 16 linky – here is my contribution. A look back on the year that was, while looking forward to the year to come.
The end of 2016 is here. A year that certainly won’t be forgotten, that’s for sure. As with every year, bars and clubs will be filled to capacity, parties will be held around the world and countdowns shouted in every household. If you’ve got small kids in the house, you’re likely not in the night club ringing it in. If you’re looking for great ways to commemorate ringing in the New Year in a kid-friendly way, here are some ideas which might float your boat.
As the crazy days of Christmas come to a close, it’s got me feeling nostalgic of the year thats gone by. It’s a year that certainly won’t be considered boring to look at, that’s for sure. Politically, the world seems to have fallen on it’s head and decided that right wing is the right way to go. In the world of celebrity, the heroes of many have fallen to the will of death – David Bowie, Alan Rickman, and most recently George Michael and Carrie Fisher, with many more in between.
Personally, it’s been a mixed bag. I’ve returned to the workplace after being out for 17 months. E has grown up into a toddler with crazy energy. I’ve had work published, and appeared in other publications. I’ve had medical procedures that hurt like a mofo, and struggled to keep on top of my mental health with my pain. I bought my first car and learned to drive, but failed my first driving test. 2016 for me is a “Work in Progress” year. Lots done, more to do, to quote a certain political party. Looking back on my Instagram, it’s a nice look at the year that was. Here’s my Instagram Best 9, and a bit of an explanation for each one.
Life is rather hectic when you add a small person into the mix. Suddenly the days race past, the bedtimes all seem to be like Groundhog day and there just never seems to be enough time in the day. It would probably help if I was a tad more organised. It’s on the to do list, to sort my life out, to rid myself of the stress of “oh crap, I was meant to do that TODAY”. Yes, that happens all the time. I apologise profusely to those I’ve missed coffees with, handed in stuff late to, and completely forgotten to text you back. Life gets distracting. The lovely folks in Busy B sent me a Busy Life Diary to check out upon hearing my disorganised plight. I’ve seen them the last few years and thought they were ingenious.
This is a hard post to write. I don’t particularly know why, as it’s not the first time I’ve addressed it. I’ve written extensively about my experience with depression, with being medicated, with chronic pain. However, I decided this week that I would write about anxiety. Anxiety which has been exacerbated at this time of year. I wanted to share my story in the hopes that others would feel less alone in their feelings. I planned to write it for my Mental Health Monday post. Â And then I became too anxious to write it. Oh, the irony.
I’m getting into the festive mood now with so few days to Christmas. Having spotted this tag online, I thought I’d take part – lots of bits about what makes a fab festive holiday time.Â It’sÂ certainly very different since having a child, there’s a lot more magic than it had for my jaded retail staffer self! I’d love to see other people’s answers to theseÂ questions. So, withoutÂ further ado, here is the Christmas 2016 Tag.
Secret Santa is great. Instead of having to buy lots of presents for a variety of people, the focus is placed on just that one present. Generally it’s also under a price limit which makes it all fair – and easier on your wallet. Lots of Secret Santa arrangements will be doing their swap this week, so if you’re looking for a last minute idea, here’s the post for you. Here’s a look at nine gift ideas for your Secret Santa under €20.
On a lot of Christmas lists this year sit requests for new technology devices. The market has soared over the last few years and it’s led to a decrease in price and uptake in use by younger and younger users. Tablets and smart phones are incredible tools and are high on the wish lists of many young teens (and perhaps younger kids). However, they’re also something that parents can’t hand over lightly, which can create some worry when it’s number one on the Santa list. If iOS Devices (iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad) are on your kid’s wishlist this Christmas, here are some tips to ensure they stay safe, while enjoying their new tech.
Although I live in Cork City since 2009, a special part of my heart lies in Waterford. It’s where I was born, it’s where I spent the Summers and weekends of my teenage years. It’s where a whole lot of my family live. I may have been brought up in County Wexford, but Waterford was MY home. On our visits home I love to share this love with E, which I’m hoping will become more frequent when I’m fully road legal! I love coming to Waterford City for Winterval, the Winter Festival which has been a massive success in recent years. Although we were down to see the festival last year, this is the first year we’ve been down to visit the Winterval Santa Grotto in the Medieval Museum. I think I was looking forward to it more than the child! Here’s how we got on….
November has been a bit of a hectic month. I’ve somewhat fallen off the blogging bandwagon. Not for any major reason, aside from PLAGUE and Â ILLNESS that has ravaged the house. Only a slight exaggeration that. The boy child, of course, brought it home from creche in the form of a lung infection. Ridiculous high temperature (39.4!), scary lethargy and all. He was miserable and refused to sleep alone. So, off toddles Mammy to his room, co-sleeping for about a week. Surprise, Surprise, he passed it on. And in the way only I seem to be able to do, I managed to multiply it, getting struck down with an ear, throat and chest infection that will NOT go away. So, I’ve been out of work and unable to write because…. well, because my brain is fogged down with medications and illness and thoughts of naps.
I’m a big advocate of the internet and how it has enhanced my experience as a mother. Through my online communities on Facebook and beyond, I’ve met some incredible parents who have shared their experiences. I’ve made fantastic friends who I never would have met otherwise. I’ve had conversations late into the night about the frustrations of motherhood and been made to feel less like I’m going crazy and more like I belong. I have found my village. It’s a wonderful resource, a fantastic element which many people find essential to their daily lives. However, with all great power (the power of the online community), comes great responsibility, and I feel that this is something which can be easily ignored in the heat of the sleep-deprived moment.
For many of my teen years, I wanted to be Rory Gilmore. The grades, the relationship with her mother, the boys, the unashamed introvert love of books and writing. Her ambition. Her out-of-the-norm name! Now, I’m not sure I could ever speak as quickly as her, but I’m sure that my binge-watching of Gilmore Girls on Netflix before the new episodes air on the 25th November,Â I could give it a good stab.
So, I’m not exactly going to get back to being 16 and in Chilton (who wants that uniform anyway?), or studying at an Ivy League, but a girl can dream. Like Rory though, I do have a love of books and of writing, so when I came across this A-Z of books on Claire Hennessy’s blog (she has a new fab book out now too!), I was compelled to do it too! So, in embracing my inner Rory Gilmore, here is my life according to books…
It’s two years since I came forward on this blog to talk about my journey through PostNatal Depression. Two years. Twenty Four Months. My son has grown up into a little boy, and me? I’ve changed too. Over the last two years I have come across a whole lot of different experiences when talking about my mental health. Most people are well meaning, and some interactions are really lovely. Others leave a lot to be desired. I got to thinking, perhaps a how-not-to-do-it list might work for a Mental Health Mondays post. (And then I got distracted by all the doom in the world so here we are on Tuesday, better late than never) So, here we are: 7 Things You Really Shouldn’t Say To Someone With Depression.