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.
Ah, television, the great divider of opinion. I, along with many parents, prior to becoming a mother was a “My child won’t watch it” type. All I can say to my former self is Ha. Ha. Ha. We worship at the church of Netflix some days to get by, it’s just how life is when it’s hectic and the toddler needs distraction so we can make dinner. However, that doesn’t mean I’m happy to stick him in front of just anything – there’s definitely stuff I don’t want him watching.
Since E doesn’t really watch conventional television, most of his watching is Youtube or Netflix based, which makes things a bit easier to monitor. I’ve been thinking a lot more lately about the content of what he’s watching, and after taking a look, have found a lot of options both entertaining AND educational. So, here are 9 Educational Shows that will appease both parent and child on Netflix.
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.
The boy child is nearly three. He’s at that brilliant age where he’s a proper little human who you can actually have a conversation with. Okay, so his topics are limited and almost always come back to Fireman Sam or Paw Patrol, but we’re getting somewhere. He’s managing this whole new grown-up-toddler thing alongside his Tyrant-In-Training gig, so it’s a fine balance we have to work with. He tells me he’s a big boy (or a big girl, dependent on the day, we’re leaving him to figure it out), we’re half way to toilet training and I’m given a spark of joy each time he makes me a “cuppa-coffeee” from his toy kitchen. These are the good days.
In Ireland, women aged between 25 and 60 are invited to obtain a cervical smear once every three years. This screening process, run by Cervical Check from the HSE, was put in place to combat the number of women diagnosed with cervical cancer. I’ve written recently about the importance of getting a regular smear test to ensure you’re healthy. However, what happens if it doesn’t come back with a clean bill of health? What if your cervical smear comes back showing abnormalities? What does a referral for a colposcopy mean? It can be easy to panic and assume “Oh god, it’s cancer, it’s definitely cancer”, but that’s not the case. Here’s a look at what those abnormal results can indicate, and how they’re treated afterwards.
The world is filled with commentary about the recent inauguration of Donald J Trump as US President Trump. The executive orders, the tweets, the Muslim Ban – all of it is filling up our news feeds and media. When we’re not hearing about that, we’re hearing about Brexit. Or Putin. Or Syria. Our own politics here in Ireland is not making many waves (aside from the Health Service) in comparison. We’re fascinated. It’s like Car Crash Watching – just so awful but we can’t turn away. So, in the spirit of not quite looking away but finding a distraction from the doom, I’ve found alternatives. Here are 9 Political Dramas on Netflix to satisfy curiosity but protect from the doom.
Last night I was watching Dr Eva Orsmond’s documentary on RTE 1, Medication Nation. I sat on my sofa with a heat wrap around my neck, debating whether or not I’ll get one for my lower back. I’m in pain. I’m moving around as needed, as I can’t sit still for too long or my back starts to seize. It’s on the back of my mind to remember my tablets before bed, as I have to do every night. I’m listening to medication being called “the easier way out” and I can feel my (currently low, thankfully) blood pressure rising. I live with chronic pain and depression, and medication makes my life easier, yes. That doesn’t mean I’m taking the easy way out.
The boy will be three in March. He’s long gone from being a baby, and is even losing his toddler ways. More and more, I’m seeing a little boy when I look at him. We’re enduring the TERRIBLE twos at the moment. Defiant. Tantrums. Enough attitude for his own punk band and then some to spare. He has his own little group of friends from creche, whom he loves. And now he wants a baby brother.
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.
I’m a scatterbrain. My mother used to describe me saying that I’d lose my head if it wasn’t attached, and she’s right. Over the years I’ve lost rings bought by teenage boyfriends, numerous locker keys, various money notes (thankfully most showed up again), and various other things. I’ve not ever been one to lose things on a drunken night out though. No, I manage to do it stone cold sober. At the age of 25, it’s probably time to do something about it. The real impetus to get my act together happened just before Christmas, and has brought the Tile Mate into my life. So, inspired by Bumbles Of Rice posting about the things that make her life easier, here’s a look at something which makes mine infinitely easier.
Oh New Year, how predictable you are. We enter into the freezing cold January mornings telling ourselves that THIS is the year we will stop being fat, lazy, unmotivated and engaging in dangerous hobbies. We start crash diets to be derailed by the horrible people in Tesco’s merchandising department who start selling Easter eggs alongside the unsold Christmas chocolate stash. Every year, we tell ourselves that by December, we are going to be different people. Oh yes, this is the year. I am completely sold on the idea of “New Year, New Me”, but putting it into practice is proving a little harder. There is, however, an industry that takes care of that – the Self Help Book industry.
This industry takes care of everything. If you have a problem (real or imagined), there’s a book (and possibly an audio cd) to help you fix it. Some are preachy. Some are full of it. However, here are five which I have found to actually be of substance AND aren’t condescending – a difficult balance. So, for the New Year, this Friday’s Five is “5 Books for the New Year, New You That are Actually Worthwhile”.
Every year I try to get “Read More” on my New Years Resolutions list. Now, I’ve lost a lot of faith in New Years Resolutions, but this is probably the one I’ve got the best chance of completing. For one, since E now somewhat sleeps (I don’t want to jinx it), I’m now getting more sleep AND more time to read before bed. So when I spotted the Goodreads reading challenge for 2017, I decided to join in.
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.