So after finishing my course of medication for tonsillitis this week I then had a visit from Mother Nature, started a new extreme fitness regime, spoke to Jodie Marsh, celebrated Father’s Day without my son and Millie caught chicken pox. As a result I’m feeling a massive hormonal/emotional put-the-world-to-rights rant, so if you don’t feel like a whistle stop tour through a woman’s mind right now then feel free to scroll on past until next week and I’ll keep your seat warm for you. If you’re brave enough to join me then hold on tight, buckle up and scream if you want to go faster! Rarr!
Despite having my period, this week I committed to starting the infamous extreme Beachbody Focus T25 Alpha training routine from America, and although I’m feeling blah, bloated and cramping I’m going at it like a bull in a China shop and giving it my all. In just under a week my body has responded super fast and I feel so much firmer and stronger already. It goes to show how a little bit of dedication and focus can go such a very long way. I’m not looking to lose weight as at 5ft8″ I normally stay at around 9stone, but when I train I put on muscle and can reach up to around ten at most. I’m doing this routine because I love testing myself, pushing my limits and feeling alive by getting my blood pumping, my heart racing, lungs gasping and skin tingling. There is nothing more satisfying than earning your sweat. After a week of feeling so sick and feeble whilst resting in bed, I’m so happy to be back with a bang and fighting fit, just what the doctor ordered! My T25 review will run for twenty-five days and cover my results for which I’m already a fifth of the way through, bring on some cool before and after photos soon.
Now it’s not everyday that you get to speak to the gorgeous model and INBF champion that is Jodie Marsh, bodybuilding extraordinaire and anti-bullying campaigner, but I was more than pleasantly surprised when she sent me a wonderful fitness bundle of her products this week covering everything that I needed to see me through my T25 challenge from supplements, equipment and clothing. What a difference supplementation makes to a fitness regime, I am full of energy, my muscles don’t ache and hurt after training and my results have been so much faster and better than average. Being a scrawny vegetarian for twenty-one years, it’s difficult for me to get proper protein, nutrition and consume the sheer volume of food needed to fuel my workouts; as eating your body weight in salad and fruit does very little to help a workout in comparison to lean meat and eggs. Thankfully Jodie’s supplements are vegetarian approved, natural and delicious and have given me the rocket fuel and energy to go harder for longer which has paid off so quickly as I’ve achieved my results at lightening speed. You can find everything you need at JstJodie as there are plenty of tips, help, advice and products for all of your fitness needs. I would like to say a huge thank you to Jodie for opening my eyes to the benefits of supplementing a workout, and her creme brulee whey protein is out of this world! She is a role model to so many and an inspiration to all.
It was Father’s Day at the weekend, which meant spending the day away from my two year old son Gabriele. On a Sunday he usually goes to visit his dad, but with it being a special occasion it was strange to not have him with me, as I visited my father and went out for dinner with my family. Gabriele was the only person missing from the table and although it was far more civilised to eat in a restaurant without a high chair, nappy bag, toys, tantrums or toddler tears, I still would have preferred to have had him with us because it felt wrong to celebrate without him. Gabriele has become such a yo-yo child which really upsets me. When he is with me he is sweet, polite, helpful and always willing to please, as he responds to acknowledgement and rewards so well and loves to be praised, kiss, cuddle and giggle with me. However when he’s away from me, he comes home like a crazy Tasmanian devil, running riot, refusing to sleep, demanding sweets instead of dinner and throwing tantrums if I walk into another room without him, clinging to my legs, begging for a cuddle and refusing to let go of me even when I need the loo. He literally becomes my baby kangaroo again. I know it’s not his fault and he’s too young to understand right now, but it breaks my heart how in just a day away from me he goes from being my content little confident cherub to a clingy whinge-monster and everything becomes too much for him and such an emotional struggle. My heart goes out to him, because there is nothing either of us can do to fix this, it is sadly the way his life will be now because of his father leaving. Now whatever I say about the separation is going to make me sound like a bitter man-hating spinster, but surely I have a right to be honest about the issues we face. I really can’t sugar coat it no matter how hard I try or at what angle I look at it from, my son’s behaviour is suffering as the direct result of him being taken away from his home so young to see his dad. I’m not calling him a bad parent, I’m simply acknowledging the negative effect it’s having on my child, and how it has worsened over the year since he left as opposed to Gabriele adjusting and accepting it as normal. He simply isn’t ready to set up a second home elsewhere. And as a mother I have feelings, I face the reality of repairing my broken family and plastering over the cracks of todays single parent culture, where men sow their seeds and run away from responsibility whilst the women are left holding the baby, supporting a family and facing life alone. It wasn’t my choice, it isn’t easy on either side, but all that I can do is try to make the best of it and show you the world from my perspective because I know there are hundreds of thousands of single parents out there, both men and women going through the same struggle as I. I want you to know that you’re not alone, and if your child is behaving in this way too then it’s not right and it does hurt. I’m really not here to man hate, but trust me I have a truck load of reasons why I should hate the men that I’ve met in life! I don’t want to tar an entire gender with the same brush and start burning bras, because I recognise that we are all individual and you cannot judge the masses based on the actions of a few. But I realise that I am rubbish with relationships!
I feel as though I want to throw my head back and scream with frustration. All that I can compare my situation to is a cat having had kittens, and they nuzzle to their mother and feel safe and protected in a quiet little box in the corner of a cosy bedroom, when suddenly out of nowhere a hand reaches in, snatches a kitten away without warning, leaving the mother and baby in distress pining for one another helplessly; before eventually plopping the kitten back down in the box when they’re bored of it and the panic of the separation takes time for the poor little kitten to calm down and feel secure again with its mother, so that it can rest peacefully once more without the fear of being taken. Children shouldn’t be raised as yo-yo’s and I see absolutely no way that this can ever be healthy for my son, we’ve tried giving him two homes for a year and it’s only getting harder. He is turning into a scared Mummy’s boy, and as much as I love his cuddles and am always there to comfort him, I wish it wasn’t under such distressing circumstances that he needs me in this way. It wasn’t Gabriele’s fault that his dad left us, and he shouldn’t have to be pulled from pillar to post to suit others because of this. I don’t care about material things, him having two beds, two sets of toys, two separate wardrobes etc. because it isn’t his material gains it’s his mental state that matters. As exciting as the idea may seem for him to go away to visit and play with different toys or bounce on a different bed, it’s crushing for him when he realises he’s ready to come home to his Mummy but he can’t leave because he’s there for a set amount of time to see his other family, and when he sees me he holds me so hard and tight for so long without even speaking or moving that it chokes me up. He needs stability and a constant loving home, and it’s clear for me to see he’s not ready to be living a double life yet. I haven’t been unreasonable, I have waited almost a year whilst biting my tongue as he cried each time he was handed over at the door. I did exactly as I was told, accepted everything that was asked of me and allowed Gabriele to leave without protest to be fair to my son. But I know this isn’t working and it isn’t right, after giving him space and time to adjust to his new life I’ve have to watch my son go from content and confident in our own home to a frustrated and impossible mess when he returns. The poor tot can’t make head nor tails of his routine, rules or expectations even after a year because everything around him is in utter contrast and conflicting behaviours with two entirely different families and cultures. Children are normally happy to visit their friends and extended family and stay for the occasional sleepover as a treat whilst living at home with their parents, not set up individual lives with different people, eat differently, dress differently, speak differently and behave differently in two different lives and identities. To start with I actually thought that it would give Gabriele balance and an understanding of both ways of life, but all it’s done is confuse the hell out of him and turn him into an emotional wreck. The poor boy is going to end up having no clue where he belongs or who he is.
I think this world has turned into political madness, where laws are imposed that are designed to suit the masses and not the individual. I agree that a child should have the right of access to both parents providing they are suitable to be within their life. But I strongly disagree with a child’s upbringing being so disrupted by having to lead a double life with such conflicting beliefs and values. If a parent doesn’t raise their child and still wants to be in their life, I believe they should be the ones to put themselves out and adjust to fit into the child’s existing life, by integrating into their current routines and activities, not taking them away from a safe and happy environment to make up one of their own before sending them back distressed. As a mother I know my son better than anyone else on this earth, and it is crippling me to see my little boy become such a Jekyll and Hyde. It would be far easier for an absent parent to play with a child in their own home just like when friends and family come to visit, they could join in on a family walk, help to feed them at meal times or prepare a bath, read a story, settle them down for bed and kiss them goodnight before leaving. That way when the child reaches an age where they have a strong foundation in life and are confident and comfortable in themselves to be away from home, then it can be their choice to say that they are ready if and when they want to stay over.
Why impose conflicting rules in an alien setting on a young child who is already content and stable in their life? Children should not be put out, the parents should be the ones to adjust; we have maturity, understanding and logic to adapt to a new situation, a young child doesn’t. As you can tell, this is something I feel very strongly about. I have two beautiful children, and my daughter Millisent who is six years old, I raised as a single parent in a single home; she flourishes in school, is extremely polite, intelligent, thoughtful and caring and receives praise wherever she goes from everybody she meets. She is my absolute angel. My son Gabriele is two years old, to whom I became a single parent to almost a year ago now, again he is very intelligent, polite, helpful, healthy, active and loving, yet when he is taken away from home and returned to me he is the complete opposite and it takes me days to ease him back into routine and calm him down again. I feel like a lion protecting my cub, yet I’m held in a cage and have to watch him being pushed and pulled about in front of my with nothing that I can do about it. I don’t want to deny my son access to his absent parent, but I am sickened by how it is disrupting his life because of it, when it could simply be handled far better. It is something so fundamentally important that will effect a child for the rest of their life. And if you’ve read all of this please leave a comment below about what you think, whether you agree or disagree with how a child should be involved with an absent parent when they are having difficulty adjusting to being away from home. You can remain anonymous if you wish, I just really need perspective right now because I feel blinkered with my hands tied and I’m trying so hard to be fair to his dad whilst doing what is right for Gabriele. Argh, hormones!
If my heart wasn’t breaking enough already for my little baby boy, when his dad dropped him home the other day, Gabriele ran up to me, squeezed his chubby hands around my face and kissed me hard on the lips saying “Mumma!” before running back to his dad, kissing him on the lips and saying “Daddy!” All I could do was sit and ache for him as he ran between the two of us several times, kissing us both on the lips and smiling with astonishment that both of his parents were in the same room with him. It literally killed me to realise how ecstatic he was, and how billions of other children wake up everyday in a home with two parents and think absolutely nothing of it, oblivious to normality, but my little two year old, who was not so long ago my tiny baby is reacting like a child on Christmas morning when he realises his parents are both stood in front of him. How cruel life can be, and how fortunate so many children are for the freedom and luxury of a complete family, may God bless them all.
Poor Millie woke up on Thursday morning with chicken pox, which I was relived for her to finally have as she’s always managed to avoid them despite all her friends seeming to have had them over the years, yet at the same time it’s not nice to see her itching and suffering. It’s best to get it out of the way whilst little ones are young and it’s not as severe as it would be for an adult to have it, but there’s never a good time to be ill is there? Millie has been off of school resting up and trying not to scratch, and the pharmacist advised within the next week it should pass. Millie has three forms of medication to help, the first being Piriton Syrup Chlorphenamine Maleate which she takes a spoon at a time every 4-6hrs to help with the symptoms of skin irritation, reaction and itchiness. The next is calamine lotion, a mild white liquid astringent and antiseptic to soothe and protect each sore from infection, which you shake well and dab onto the skin with a cotton pad when needed. She also has 10ml of Paracetamol Calpol four times a day to help with the pain and discomfort, and can also take a cool bath to soothe the itchiness, and place soft flannels on the skin providing she pats herself dry after and doesn’t rub or scratch the sores.
She has handled it so well, I am incredibly proud of her. Millie isn’t one to make a fuss, and after talking about why we have to have chicken pox, what it involves and how long it lasts, she understands that she has to leave the spots alone and not scratch them or they may scar. She pulls funny faces when they itch, and kicks her arms and legs with frustration but keeps strong willed and doesn’t scratch. She is so upbeat and positive, and we had a long chat about seeing it through and staying focused, how every hour that passes is one less until the chicken pox are gone and she will never have to go through this ever again. She’s been covered in lotion, nestled up on the sofa watching Disney DVD’s and summoning me for glasses of cool milk, fruit, her favourite dinners and teddy bears bless her. It’s incredible how a child can be so accepting of a situation, to realise what is happening, what is yet to come and what she must do to overcome it. She has so much more reasoning and understanding than I ever did at her age, and I’m sure with such a level head and positive outlook in life that she will have the most fantastic future ahead of her.
Finally I popped into the dentist to have my braces tightened on my teeth as I’ve had the Six Month Smile for three weeks now and I’m already noticing a difference in alignment, so let’s hope the next five and a bit months go just as well. I reached 17,000 followers on Instagram this week and 1,000 on twitter and I’m loving all of the love, support and kind words from people all over the world. I hope you have a wonderful weekend and enjoy the sun, fingers crossed by next weeks post my period will be over, my hormones back on the shelf and an adjustment I’ll be making to Gabriele’s time away hopefully helping with his clinginess. Although I shan’t hold my breath…