The photo that broke a billion hearts.

https://secure.avaaz.org/en/no_more_drownings_loc/?ceTXJjb

Is a link to a petition to sign and prevent any more beautiful innocent children and babies from drowning with their families for a want of a better life. My days will be haunted for a long time after seeing little Aylan Kurdi’s body, laying lifelessly at the edge of the sea. As a mother, a woman and a member of this human race, it kills me to see these beautiful children losing their precious lives when we as a nation could be helping, protecting and even saving them.

Right now, I am ashamed of Britain. Our doors aren’t as open as other parts of Europe and I hang my head down low. I hope you all sign this and support the cause.

Rest in peace little ones. xxx

Aylan Kurdi and his brother Galip in photo provided by the Kurdi family.

Aylan and his brother in happier times

(photo courtesy of Reuters/Guardian)

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The Right to: Have some ME time.

Whether you have a hectic career, you are a busy mother, you work late or just have too many things to do: everybody needs some ME time. Stress is a killer. It is one of the causes of high blood pressure, asthma, obesity, depression. Stress is a part of everyday life and we meet it at times when we’d rather not, usually when everything seems to be happening at once. The best way to take control of it is to have some time away from it.

Taking ten minutes to read a bit of your favourite book or watch that programme you saved on SKY + can be the difference between keeping your sanity and reaching breaking point.

It is not selfish to have some time to yourself. Yet the pressures around us tell us we don’t deserve to put our needs first.

Last year I posted something on Facebook about wanting to pamper myself – haircut or massage, can’t remember. Many mummies liked it and could empathise greatly. One woman found her way to it and commented that I should be more focussed on my daughter and should not have time to think about myself. This kind of comment was not meant maliciously but it was written sarcastically and it did bruise me. I really struggled with being a preemie mum especially in the first few months. I had only worried about my daughter, so much so that I hadn’t left the house in ten weeks for fear of infection. I was neglecting my mental health which was clearly starting to affect my relationships with others.

If I hadn’t taken any time out for myself, seen a friend for a coffee, gone shopping, had a haircut, I would have gone insane. The stress was overpowering me and I constantly felt ill. I can deal with not brushing my hair for three days or eating lunch at four in the afternoon because my exhausted baby refuses to nap. I can handle waking five times through the night not knowing what is upsetting my baby or wearing an unchanged, sicky t-shirt all day. I can do all that as long as I have some time for myself.

I have been lucky. Even during the worst times with my husband this year, he has always given me a bit of “time-off”. He has taken baby our for a little walk or watched her while I read a magazine with a cup of coffee for ten minutes. In that sense, he was amazing.

Channel 4 in the UK, shows a programme called, ‘The Three Day Nanny’. The nanny goes and helps a desperate family in need of her services. Last week, they showed a couple at breaking point with twin girls. The mum looked after the girls for the majority of the week, solely on her own. She barely left the house and was unable to complete the simplest of tasks as the toddlers were such a handful. In an interview at the start of the programme you could see tears in her eyes as she seemed so anguished at not having any time to relax and do something exclusively for her. Sadly, she did not have a husband that offered her this. In the two years since the children had been born, he had NEVER offered her a hour on the weekend to have the girls and give her a break. He admitted it freely like it was a norm. I’m sure it does happen and many mums are put in this position.

To have a healthy relationship with anyone, you need to have breathing space. That includes your children. Many women get that when they return to work but like the struggling mum on the show, I will be at home every day looking after my little girl. It was my choice (to a point, we could not find affordable childcare) so some will say, “Deal with it” but I am entitled to have a break.

Thank you David for all those breaks you have given me.

And to the woman who told me off for wanting to take care of myself, like I said to you before:

Happy mummy = happy baby.

The decision to stay at home.

Leaving your job, that you love, is not an easy decision to make. As a new mum, people will make assumptions and judgements on whatever choice you make. Stay at home or return to work? A choice that many working mums are faced with. When I got pregnant, there was no such thought in my mind. I wanted to return to work. My job was a constant for me, an achievement and most of all something that gave me a great deal of confidence and pleasure. Leaving was not an option.

However, nothing could prepare me for the feelings I had when my daughter came into this world. I had not expected to feel so overwhelmed with love and be distraught at the thought of leaving her with somebody else. In fact the very notion of it haunted me for the first few months of her life.

We researched many options for child care, shocked at the cost and left in despair at how we, two full time working people, could not afford to put our little girl into a day nursery for the week. The only other choice was for me to return part-time and for my daughter to be placed in a much less costly environment at a childminders’.

Sadly, even the few we visited left me feeling a little sick. Not because they were bad in any way but simply because I had to deal with my separation anxiety and not hers. She seemed to adapt well to one particular childminder, surprising us all (as babies often do) and both my husband and I felt happier instantly.

It seemed to be all sorted at work too as I was to return for two days a week while my little one was at her childminders’. Unfortunately we were dealt a little shock as we didn’t realise childminders charge something called a “retainer fee” to keep a child’s place free until they are due to start. In our case, her place needed to be retained for 6 months which would cost us an un-refundable bomb. We just couldn’t stand to lose that money thus putting us in a very difficult position.

I now had to consider leaving my job.

I read an article at the start of the year about more working mums in Britain, having to leave their jobs as they could not afford expensive childcare. London seems to be the most costly of places and sadly that is where I am. Other European countries seem to have this base covered a little better or a lot better should I say.

In Sweden, the state subsidizes the child care cost so the parents do not have to pay more than the equivalent of £113 a month.

£113.

The fee for our local, well known nursery per month is £1600. Yes that’s right – £1600!!!!! Fourteen times more than Sweden. It’s ridiculous.

I could have easily gone back to work part-time/full-time if childcare in this country cost an average of £113 a month! Instead, I have had to leave work to be at home with my daughter. Undoubtedly, there are positives to this decision. I get to do what sadly, a lot of mums cannot – look after my daughter daily and spend these precious moments with her. I am thankful that I can do that. I only wish I had more of a choice.

On the job front I will be registering as self-employed in the near future and starting a career that fits around my new job of being a mummy 🙂

After all, it is one of the hardest jobs out there and certainly one of the most rewarding.

The natural state of motherhood is unselfishness. When you become a mother, you are no longer the center of your own universe. You relinquish that position to your children.

Please deny this man entry to the UK!!!!

This morning, I signed a petition on https://www.change.org/p/uk-home-office-deny-julienblanc-a-uk-visa to ban Julien Blanc (a professional ‘Pick up Artist’) from entering the UK.

I had never heard of this man but was horrified to read more about him.

Julien Blanc classes himself as a pick up master, able to seduce and lure any women into bed. He is not charming nor does he woo with romantic or genuine methods. No, instead, he encourages men (who pay over £1000 to take his seminars) to use force, derogatory comments and any means possible to have sex with whoever they want.

He has been denied entry and had his Visa revoked from Australia after they realised how shady and disturbing his message was. Now the UK government needs to do the same. This man (and I use that term lightly) has tour dates coming up in the UK. It is bad enough as it is in this climate. I and many thousands of women have had to endure sexual harassment from idiotic men who believe they can say what they want, anywhere at any time.

It happens every day and we, as women, are made to feel guilty or rude or stiff if we dare to say ‘No’ or worse. We become “pathetic” and “miserable” because we can’t take their ‘compliments’. Well telling me that my bum is “good enough to take a bite from” and then gnashing your teeth together menacingly, is NOT a compliment. Or making kissing noises as I walk by you six months pregnant is NOT a compliment.

Get it?

Domestic violence, rape and sexual harassment are as prominent now as ever.

Julien Blanc is giving these inbred men a reason, a justification to their obscene behaviour.

PLEASE! Do not allow this man into the UK.

Go to change.org and stop sexual predators like this doing what the hell they like.

Saturday’s awakening.

Saturday's awakening.

For some reason, WordPress would not upload any of my photos on the weekend but thankfully it seems to be back to normal. Here is what my husband, my mother and I woke up to Saturday morning. After the gales of Friday night and the horrific stormy weather, we were shocked and frightened to see a huge 10ft tree had fallen onto our lawn from the neighbouring garden. It is nothing compared to the horror that the rest of Britain is going through but scary nonetheless.

A new low for self image.

www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-25962930

Just look a this. It’s a sad portrayal of what women in Venezuela have to endure to be accepted and valued. Women, who are beautiful in their own right, are being made to feel worthless by a man. Mmmm, that is not an unfamiliar feeling for me. However, this man should know better but he uses his power to degrade and criticise naturally beautiful women to make them change and alter their looks to the extreme.

This programme (shown last night on the BBC in Britain) tells the story of several Venezuelan women on their quest to be crowned Miss Venezuela. It intensely worries me that women are encouraged to amend their appearance from such an early age. Many of these women are ‘persuaded’ to have breast enlargements, nose jobs, liposuction and even (and more disturbingly) have a ‘mesh’ sewn onto their tongue to stop them from eating solids. It’s ludicrous!

Women everywhere are fighting to be heard, we are fighting to be respected. Our natural beauty should be praised not judged. I suffer from low self-esteem, I have many insecurities about my appearance. I can’t imagine living like that. In a society where my body, my face, my beauty is constantly monitored and criticised. A world where ambition is fading and women are seen to have no real purpose, other than to be “beautiful”.

We were never meant to all look the same. We should be nurturing individuality not distinguishing it.

Say it together.

We are beautiful girls.

.Image

Just as we are.

Ros xx

Insomnia!

I have absolutely no reason to still be awake. It is one thirty in the morning in London, UK. I am sitting here at the computer after an hour of tossing and turning next to my husband. The bed is getting tired of my movement, making awkward sounds as I turn from side to side. I’m worried I might wake him up; so I leave.

Why am I awake? Why am I restless? I am not used to being out of my usual sleep routine. That’s what holidays are for right? Instead, I feel guilty to relax. A lie-in feels wrong and unjustified.

I suppose that’s the downside of working in a school. Your body clock is always set for an early start and any other way just ruins it. The temptation now is to stay up until I’m exhausted and wait to conk out completely. Only to wake a few hours later as my husband goes to work to reset my body clock.

I may have to say ‘goodbye’ to the lie ins.