Every day I am pretty sure I do at least one thing wrong. Most days I do more. I used to think I was alone, until I talked to other parents who were honest. Here is a place for more parents to feel less alone, and more "good enough".

Sunday, 14 August 2011

"Make New Friends And Keep The Old, One Is Silver The Other Gold"

I can't sleep. I had chinese takeaway food. I forgot this makes me not sleep. So I got up to drink lots of juice in the hope of rehydrating my body and possibly getting a couple of hours sleep before I need to get up again. This week I decided, as I don't have my children, to get ever so slightly involved in MAD week at Shipley Salvation Army, where I have started attending again. MAD = Make A Difference. They do lots of things in the community, and a kids club and cafe at the hall, and basically just try and make a difference I guess. And what I have written there will not do it justice at all, they've been doing it 6 years and do shedloads, but I'm no expert on the matter so can't really give you any more details without possibly getting something wrong. I think they try to show people that church doesn't just mean "at church", it can be out there in 'real life' too, or even better it can become 'real life'. I am tentatively getting involved, quite often when I am there on Sundays I feel like an untamed foal, ready to bolt at a moments notice. I think they may have noticed this, they are also quite tentative with me. I *want* to become involved, I really do. But then, I also have this issue with getting too attached to things, to people, to communities, to letting my walls down and then something happens and they have to be rebuilt all over again, but with more broken bricks than the last time. And then it's too late I've come to rely on that support, that friendship, that community, and well.... I struggle without it. So yes, I'm reluctant to get too attached, but maybe I'll overcome that, we'll see. James is happy for me to go. He's not religious in the slightest, but he's also not against it, and he quite likes the supportive community aspect of it. So that is a good thing. I'm not over sure the kid's dad is that pleased with them going, but he hasn't openly opposed it. And I think children need somewhere to belong. When I was a child, I needed somewhere to belong. Plus, Adam decided to believe in Jesus all by himself from when he was little, so who can argue with that one?

So, today, at the Army, the band played People Need The Lord. And all I could think of, was Emma Richardson (now Emma Jones), stood at the front of Music School end of week show (which wasn't called music school anymore at that point, but that was the colloquial term so let's just go with that :p). Singing the solo, People Need The Lord. And all I could think of was, I'd really like to get back in touch with her. When I say "back in touch", she is on my facebook. But, well, as much as I try to keep it trimmed to people I either talk to a lot or know well in real life or just quite simply care about, that doesn't mean I actually talk to everybody on there frequently. I'd put Emma in the "just quite simply care about" category. Which means I haven't talked to her in ages. I even just had to look on her facebook to see where she lived, because I couldn't quite remember. And it says she lives in London, which I genuinely didn't know, and now feel rather bad. When I say I haven't talked to her in ages, she sent me a lovely message when Isaac passed away last year xx. Emma, if you're reading this, it would be nice to have a talk sometime soon xxxx.

The song, in my head, is always an instrumental piece. Because whenever I hear anybody else sing it, it never sounds as good as that night, in that atmosphere. It took me a long time on YouTube to find a decent version of it, they were either shaky camera work or harsh trumpet tones - being from the Salvation Army background, you really learn to appreciate the cornet as the better alternative ;) If you want to know the lyrics, I believe they're pretty easy to find on google. I'm not putting them on here, because well, for me this song isn't about that. And also, I don't want anybody to accuse this blog of being 'preachy', because, well, it's not. I am far from perfect, as is everybody else in this world, and certainly no better than anybody else, in fact probably quite a lot worse than some others in many people's eyes.

From me, good night (or good morning), I am going to attempt 2 hours sleep xxx.

Friday, 12 August 2011

Crazy little people ;)

Today has been a crazy day, a busy day, a fun day. A walk to Shipley for Lego minifigures and fruit, and a walk home with two full bags of shopping. For some reason, as the children are going to stay at their Dad's tomorrow for a week, I ended up buying a load of food for them. Hmm, strange that.
So, the morning started off with Jessica "stealing" Adam's chair, and pouring her cereal all over the floor. Then I banged my head on the door and got told to "shurrup" by Jessica for saying ouch. Other events throughout the day included me cutting the knuckle of my finger open, gaining a new (to me) table and 4 chairs less than 12 hours after wishing out loud on facebook for them, and a rather stressful 2 levels of Lego Star Wars III on the Wii. Which has led to the new rule of the house - only one level per day. Adam has taught Jessica to say "fine", as in Me - "Please go tidy your bedroom before bedtime". Adam - "Fine!", followed by Jessica - "Fine!" up the stairs they went. Jessica decided to stand in the wastepaper bin, according to Adam this was because she wanted to throw herself away after she hurt him. According to Jessica it was because she was stuck and needed chocolate. We compromised and they had strawberries and milk for supper - mainly because that was what Jessica raided out of my fridge. I need a higher fridge. But I immensely love my new table. It has already been eaten off and play-doughed and drawn on and sat at with a coffee, and the chairs have already been argued over 3 times :D Believe it or not, since I moved out 10 years ago, this is the first time I've had a proper table and 4 chairs. Previous ones have either been fold-up jobbies or small patio sets. It makes me feel settled to have a proper table.

Today has been rather eventful. I'm pretty tired. But good tired. I haven't a clue what I'm going to do with myself for the next week. I was supposed to be sorting all my house out, but I've done quite a lot of it these last two days as Adam decided he wanted to "help" me do it. This "help" mainly consisted of him putting all his toys on a high shelf, and then playing Lego Star Wars whilst Jessica tried to climb up to get them all. He likes having a little sister. He doesn't have to get rid of anything, everything that is too small (or that his friends will say is too small) he just "gives" to Jessica. He puts it on one of her shelves, and then just plays with it whenever he wants. Magic.

I needed to write this, because it's been one of those days where so much happened, but all normal every day family stuff, that it all needs to come out, and also it's good, that despite the fact it's been a crazy mad day and I got hurt and Jessica is going through a spurt of hurting Adam, it's actually been a really good day. It's been a laughing and bonding and making a home kind of a day.

If you're free next week, say hi, because I won't have any crazy little people to talk to.

Thursday, 11 August 2011

A steep learning curve........

This Year Of Adventures, being true to myself, standing up for what I believe in and being honest, is throwing up some interesting things. Some sad, some good, some interesting.
I have learnt that I really detest discrimination of any kind and judgemental people too I can quite happily live without. Believe it or not, I have actually lost friends this week for NOT being racist, homophobic or 'class-ist'.  What a crazy world we live in.
This week, I am feeling quite angry. Unlike many of you, not about the riots. I am sad about the riots. Yes, I am annoyed with the people that have done it, and no I don't think their life experiences, whatever they may be, are an excuse for what they have done. But mainly, I am sad that they happened, sad for the people who have lost their lives and businesses and jobs, sad for the families of the metropolitan police in London who had to sit home with their children during the riots just waiting for their partner to come home, hoping nothing happened to them.
My anger, is reserved for two separate things.
The first thing, is anger for the reaction of many people to the riots. The fact that people can say, without thinking anything of it, that "it was the blacks", "it was the asians", "it was the benefit scum", "it's because they weren't smacked as kids", "it's because they came from broken homes". WHAT?? Anything to distance themselves from it, pretend that nobody that they could vaguely be connected with would have anything to do with it. It was individuals who rioted, not one specific group of people. It was people from many walks of life and all different areas of the country. By blaming specific groups, all that happens is the country becomes more divided, is that really helpful? I am just so angry that people can turn against each other so quickly. There are so many areas of my life, that I don't publicise, for fear of judgement. I don't keep them secret as such, but I also don't openly talk about them. Why? Because I am worried about being judged. But people need to realise that things are not mutually exclusive. For goodness sake, living on a council estate doesn't mean you are thick, and living in a 4 bed semi-detached doesn't mean you are clever. Being a single parent  with children to two different fathers doesn't mean you wasted your life or had more than a handful of boyfriends, and having 4 children to one man doesn't mean you didn't sleep with 100 men when you were younger. I am sick to the back teeth of people thinking they are better or worse than others, and generalising about people's situations. The people who rioted were wrong. It doesn't matter where they are from or their background or their reasons, they should not have done it. End of.

The other reason I am angry? Well, that's more personal. Yesterday, was the first birthday of my angel nephew Isaac Edward Mundford. And I have been mentioning it on facebook the last couple of days and also other times in the past few weeks. And one of my close friends, who is on holiday, remembered last week before she went and gave me a hug. One of my close friends yesterday sent me a text and wishes. All of the people on facebook, who copied my status, or commented, or posted on my wall, or simply "liked" my status because they didn't know what to say, or text me because they wanted it to be private, well they are people that I like, and care about, and am friends with, and some I thought of as quite close friends, others I have only just got back in contact with or don't know too well but do like. But do you know what? The people that I (up until now at least) considered my closest friends, the ones that I try to be there for and spend time with and are first on my mind when checking how people are or planning a night out or a night in or just a christmas present list. Only 2 of those people gave me any thought at all. One, before she went on holiday, and one text me even though he is extremely busy and we haven't really talked much for a month and he's not on facebook that often. From the other people, nothing. And yes, I'm aware that posting this is going to mean I get a backlash. About how busy they are and how I didn't remind them and all the times I have missed things and how they are going through a hard time at the moment. But, do you know what, I can take it. Because friendships need to evolve, and if I have missed things and they are going through a hard time and I didn't know or say anything to help, then we're both at fault and I need to know in order for the friendship to continue. And because, true friends, can take criticism, can say "I'm really sorry I didn't say anything and I'm sorry I wasn't there and why don't I come down for a cuppa and we'll catch-up and start over". And because I am so full of all these feelings this week that I have to get them out, and if people take it the wrong way and stop talking to me because of it, then that's their loss.

This is not really a positive post. But it's not really negative either. It is good, that I am learning more about myself, being able to be true to myself, not sitting back and thinking that unsupportive friendships are the only kind I deserve because I'm not good enough for the other kind. And also, it's helped me see more clearly who are my true friends, who out of the people I've recently met or re-connected with or met through forums, actually should be in my "REAL friends" list, should be nurtured and more effort be made with on my part. And that is a valuable lesson to learn.