9 articles Articles posted in #LoveYourself

Keep Decay At Bay: Five Reasons To Focus On Your SMILE!

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When we have time to focus on our health, we tend to keep a closer eye on one thing or another. We try to eat healthily, of course. A healthy weight is always a focus, whether you want it to be or not. We will focus more closely on anything that runs in our family, or that we ourselves have had an issue with. But how much do we focus on our teeth?

Let’s face it, when it comes to personal health, our teeth have become the poor relation as compared to issues like weight. But although it may feel lower on the priority list than some things, it’s still vital to pay some attention to your SMILE.

S, for Social

Yes, as you may have noted from the fact it was all in caps, SMILE isn’t just about gleaming pearly whites. There are several reasons to keep your teeth in good nick, and social niceties are among them.

Dental equipment suppliers are making more and more gadgets available, and it’s worth shopping around for the best. A sound oral health regime will keep teeth clean and breath fresh.

M, for Medical

If the first reason seems a little shallow, this one is anything but. You see, we talk about brushing as though it’s all about the teeth. They need to be kept in order, no disputing that. But your entire mouth will benefit; your whole body, in fact.

If you don’t keep up an oral care regime, you open yourself up to a higher risk of dangerous conditions. These include heart disease, dementia and respiratory issues.

I, for Inspiration

If you’re a parent, it’s all the more important to look after your teeth. Although you may be able to excuse yourself a slip, it’s setting a bad example to your kids, who need to learn sound habits at an early age. Brush with them, if needs be, to ensure they see what it takes to keep a good regime going.

L, for Laughter

A recent study showed that a third of teenagers are too embarrassed about their teeth to smile in front of friends. Given that other studies have shown that the mere act of smiling or laughter can make you happier, imagine the logical conclusion of that! When you’re happy or amused, you want to be able to laugh. So don’t get to the stage where you’re ashamed to!

E, for Employment

If you walk into a job interview with your hair done, new stylish clothes and flawless makeup, you’ve got a better chance of getting the job. If you then open your mouth to reveal decaying teeth, it will put any interviewer off. See, they aren’t just considering your aptitude for the job, but how you’ll fit in a team. Poor dental hygiene can make others uncomfortable – and cost you a dream job!

Tips to find joy in the motherhood

singlehappymomThere are days when motherhood is one of the most fulfilling and rewarding time in your life. When your baby smiles at you with its little arms around your neck and refuses to let go because mother is the only one who can tuck him or her into bed.

But there are other times when you’re exhausted and nothing seems to go as it should. Your baby may wake up multiple times in the night which will result in little or no sleep for you. It’s something almost all mothers go through at one point or another. Being a mom is 24/7/365 days of the year job and it’s normal to feel overwhelmed sometimes.

But there are ways you can find the joy of motherhood:

Try to be the mom you want your child to remember.

As being a mother should hold the glimpse of joy of who your child truly are no matter what they do.

As a mother try to have control on your own emotions as it can have an effect on your childs emotions.

Try to build a closer relationship between you and your child especially while the kid is growing.
The child should feel safe in a mother hands when he/she goes through a difficult situation in life.

Listen keenly to what your child wants to convey to you, no matter how silly it sounds to you.
Try to play games with your child and also make sure to give some time for your self by play online bingo at GameVillage, which relaxes you from all the house hold works.

Make sure to find joy in the little things in life with your child. Once they grow up you will be missing all those fun days.

Being a mother is all about the happiness and the relationship you build with the rest of the family when you welcome the new one into your life.

You can’t control your situations. you can’t control many of the bad things that come into life. But you can choose to cherish all the joyful moments regardless. Enjoy the rest of your motherhood mommies!

Valentine’s Gift Ideas

Lovehoney lickable candleOkay, so I realise I wrote a post last week talking about how most people simply wanted time with their partners for Valentine’s Day, but no-one specifically said that they DIDN’T want an actual gift! With that in mind, I thought I’d give you a few suggestions for the big day:

Something Naughty

We’re all grown-ups here, we can talk about sex toys without blushing, right? Right?! No? Okay, well that’s fine because Lovehoney is the perfect way to buy sex toys and other naughtiness with complete discretion. You can buy online in the privacy of your own home and the packaging is always a plain brown box, saving your blushes! Plus, there are some great
Lovehoney voucher codes around to help you get a bargain.

A Promise

Cinema vouchers, in my opinion, are a really nice Valentine’s gift as they’re basically the promise of future date nights. If you’re busy people or parents, getting yourself out of the house for some dedicated alone time might not always be a priority, but if you have some vouchers sitting around it might give you the impetus you need to do something together.

A Recipe

Cooking a meal for someone is really nice, but cooking together can actually be really fun and rewarding. When you write their Valentine’s card, print off either a menu for dinner or the recipes and slip them inside, then have all of the ingredients ready for an evening of culinary togetherness.

Something Personal

Now that Google is a thing, it’s really easy to find map co-ordinates. If you have a special place, for instance the place you met or the place that you got married, you could have the co-ordinates printed on a small canvas. It will look like a jumble of numbers to anyone else, but you and your loved one will know that it represents somewhere very special.

Consideration

Sometimes, it doesn’t take lavish gifts and spa days to make someone feel special, just a few hours of letting them get their own way! Declare your other half to be “King/Queen for a Day” (or President, if you’re a republican!) and allow them to make ALL of the decisions; they get to choose what’s for dinner, what TV you watch, whether they get to sit in their favourite armchair. Little considerations like this can make someone feel very special indeed and it costs basically nothing.

What are you hoping for, for Valentine’s Day?

Pyjamas on the School Run

school runUnless you live in a cave with no internet access, you’ll likely have seen the stories all over the news about one headteacher who came out to slam the school run mums who have been wearing their PJ’s for the morning drop-off. She reportedly sent a text to parents stating “have noticed that there has been an increasing tendency for parents to escort children to and from school while still wearing their pyjamas and, on occasion, even slippers. Could I please ask that when you are escorting your children, you take the time to dress appropriately in daywear that is suitable for the weather conditions?”

It’s one of those topics that pops up every now and again, usually in a Mumsnet community thread, where everyone will air their opinions, but for a headteacher to now comment, the debate seems to have been lifted to a new level.

I have a love/hate relationship with the school run. On the one hand, I hate the stresses of getting both girls ready in time, piling them into the car on cold mornings and eventually having to say goodbye to Sausage for six and a half hours, 5 days a week. Having said that, we also get some really nice time together to chat, listen to music and connect for little while, which is something I love. Now that we live further away from school, we have to leave the house at 8am every day in order to beat the traffic and get a parking space within a decent distance of the school, so our school run is over an hour by the time I get back home in the mornings, meaning we have to get up earlier than ever.

I think I speak for a LOT of stay-at-home Mums when I say that getting ME ready in the mornings is an absolute last priority on the list. When you’ve got children who need to be fed, watered, clothed, hair brushed, bags packed, various bits of homework remembered, drinks bottle filled, and myriad other things, being presentable myself is only just about on the radar. If I were going straight to work or out for some important engagement after the school run, things might be different, but if it’s a toss-up between an extra five minutes in bed or putting on mascara, I know which one I’ll choose.

I also feel that, as long as Sausage is cared for and presented to school on time and in order, what the hell does it matter what I look like? I’m not there for a fashion parade and I certainly don’t care what anyone else is wearing. Headteachers are certainly not paid to judge parents unless it’s a matter of welfare for their pupils. I cannot help but think that the headteacher who spoke out did so on a popularly contentious subject knowing that they’d get their five minutes of fame from it all.

Having said all of that, I do think there’s something a little off about pyjamas in the playground. It doesn’t take much to stick on a pair of jeans and a t-shirt, even if you have a shower once you get home. It definitely sends a message to the kids that it’s okay to have low standards – I wouldn’t take Sausage or BB anywhere in their pyjamas but if they were to see me doing it they’d get the impression that it was an okay thing to do.

What do you think? Should teachers keep their opinions to themselves? Are we all just busy mums trying to stay on top of everything? Should we be showing our kids that we value ourselves a little bit more by taking even 5 minutes for ourselves? I’d love to know what you all think so please leave me a comment below.

Mother’s Day Without a Mum

I was talking to a friend today and it reminded me of this post, something I wrote this time last year but never had the courage to publish. In honour of moving forward as my own person, and of finding someone who feels exactly the same as me at this time of year, I decided that now was the time to hit publish.

Now that I’m a Mum, Mother’s Day is all about hand-painted cards and nick-nacks bought from the school sale, thrown together by the PTA to shift all of the stuff they didn’t manage to flog at Christmas. However, for most women I know, Mother’s Day is never really about themselves, but the previous generation, everyone striving to make it about their own mother rather than themselves. It’s quite an ironic celebration really, as most of us break our necks to make something special happen for the matriarchs in our lives and never take a moment for ourselves to celebrate our own mumhood. But, what do you do on Mother’s Day if you don’t have a Mum?

My inbox has been filling up with marketing emails from florists and gift shops, flogging their wares ahead of the ‘big day’ and all of them have been going straight in the bin. A few weeks ago, I got an email from a PR person asking me to nominate my Mum for some sort of award with the chance for the “most deserving” mum to win a holiday, which felt like a swift kick in the teeth because I had no-one to offer up.

I’m not, however, lacking a mother because of some tragic bereavement. If I were, at the tender age of 30, I’m sure I’d be getting lots of extra tea and sympathy (and maybe a private psychiatrist) on Mother’s Day because the day, naturally, would be so much harder for me. But no, I simply have no contact with my mother, entirely of my own volition. Don’t get the wrong, that’s not me saying that I wish her dead so I could be a martyr on Mother’s Day, I simply have no wish to have a relationship with her. The fact that it’s my choice, however, doesn’t make the loss any easier.

Because the role of ‘mother’ is one that has become associated with a type of benevolent sainthood by society, when I tell people that I don’t speak to my own the general reaction is that I must be some sort of hard-hearted bitch, an ungrateful, insolent child who doesn’t appreciate the sacrifices made for her. It doesn’t occur to them that I might actually have very good reason to have cut contact with her, for the sake of my own mental health and the protection of my children.

Having no mother to celebrate on this hallowed day is like buying a house with no onward chain; the love is passed along like houses from buyer to buyer until you get to the person with nothing to pass on and suddenly it stops. My children will endow me with hugs and kisses, trinkets and treasures and I’ll have no-one to pass my love to.

The thing is, it’s not even like I want my mother. I no longer mourn the loss of our relationship because I realise that she’s not a person I want in my life. But I do mourn the lack of a mother. It’s not like I’m asking for much. I don’t need a Martha Stewart/Claire Huckstable/Jill Archer amalgam to fill my life with love and wisdom. Just someone to chat to on the phone and ask for remedies for teething or nappy rash would be enough. Someone who doesn’t judge and manipulate and tantrum like a child when they don’t get their own way. Someone who believes me when I tell them about years of sexual abuse and doesn’t turn the spotlight on me, like it was somehow my fault for not stopping it. Someone who doesn’t lie and cover their tracks and maintain a relationship with my abuser.

So no. I don’t want MY mum. But it would be nice to have A mum this Mother’s Day.

I guess I’ll have to concentrate on myself, or one of my two amazing Mothers-in-Law who are the closest thing to a real mother that I’ve had for the past few years. I’m sure I’ll find a way to continue the chain of love and appreciation. And if I don’t, there’s always Father’s Day…

How to Switch Off and Relax After Work

relaxWe’ve all had a stressful day at the office at some point in our careers, and sometimes relaxing after a hard day is the last thing we’re able to do. But despite some people’s inability to switch off, there are a few things that you can do in order to destress after a long day at work.

Here we’re going to take a look into the five best ways to help you unwind after the daily grind.

Run a Bubble Bath

There’s nothing more soothing than soaking in a bubble bath. If you’ve had a particularly difficult day, put on some music and read your book. Add a few drops of essential oil into the bath water to make it even more relaxing. You will find it relaxes your mind and your body, giving you a refreshed feeling that will help you to get a good night’s sleep.

Exercise

Exercising releases endorphins, this is one of the reasons why you feel so good after exercise. While you might feel tired after a stressful day at work, exercising is a great way to get out all of the stress that has built up in the office and you can go to the gym to work up a sweat or take the dog for a run in a local park. Let off some steam by getting physical and you’re more likely to feel energized and reinvigorated, ready to tackle the next day.

Play Online Games

If you work hard all day, then one of the best ways to chill out at home is to take some time out for just you. It has been shown that gaming helps you relax, so get online and have some fun playing games in an online casino – put your feet up and spend just half an hour to help take your mind off things.

Get a Massage

What better way to sit back and relax than with a massage? You can chill out while someone eases your stress. Massaging is good for the mind, body and soul, and people benefit from different kinds of massage treatments depending on their profession. If you’re a teacher and find you’re standing up a lot at work, then a foot and leg massage may be beneficial, but if you’re desk-based then a back and arm massage might be just what you need. You can organise a massage whenever suits your schedule from once a week to just one time a month and it can be anything from 30 minutes to three hours, depending on how much time you have free.

Treat Yourself

Whether you enjoy a glass of wine in the evening or a few pieces of chocolate, it’s important to be able to relax after a hard day at work – you shouldn’t be afraid to treat yourself. If you’re sticking to a strict diet and finding it hard following a hard days work, then you should set aside a treat night once a week that allows you to indulge in something tasty – this will help you to feel more motivated to stick to your diet for the rest of the week.Whether you get a massage, run a bath, indulge in some chocolate, go for a jog or play some online casino games, taking part in various activities after work is a good way to bring us back to the real world after a stressful day at the office.

How to Unwind After Christmas

Family walkI don’t know about you, but I always find the build-up to Christmas pretty stressful. As parents, we all put a ton of pressure on ourselves to make the festive season perfect and by the time Boxing Day rolls around, we’re all well and truly spent (physically, emotionally AN in terms of our finances). This year, Christmas falls on a Friday and Boxing Day a Saturday, which means that we get an extra Bank Holiday day on the following Monday, making the whole Christmas period a 4-day extravaganza, so I thought I’d suggest some ways for you to wind-down after the craziness.

Take the Kids to the Cinema

If there’s one way to keep the kids quiet for a couple of hours, it’s taking them to the cinema. Your ears are probably ringing after 2 solid days of SingStar, Pie Face and general Christmas fun, so going along to the movies to catch a flick is a great way for you to all wind down and spend some quality time together. The chances are, a lot of cinemas will be pretty empty around this time, too.

Mummy/Daddy Time

No, you gutter-minded wretch, I don’t mean THAT kind of mummy/daddy time! If you’ve got willing family or friends around you who will happily take the kids for a couple of hours, why not take yourselves off for a couple of hours to decompress and unwind? Find a hotel bar or quiet restaurant and go for a drink together to have a chat about something OTHER than crackers and paper hats!

Online Bingo

If you really can’t get away, you can usually find some escapism through your laptop or PC, which is where bingo comes in! Take an hour or so to indulge yourself (click here for free bingo games) and you might even win back some of the money you’ve spent across the festive period!

Get Outside

After days and days of over-indulgance, there’s really no better way to blow away the cobwebs than to go for a lovely walk. It’ll give you a chance to wear your new scarf and gloves (because EVERYONE gets a new scarf and gloves for Christmas, right?!) and will definitely help to rid you of the bloated feeling after eating all of that rich grub. Take a ball and have a festive kick-about, too!

Go Into Hibernation

If getting out and about is the last thing on your mind, have a day of hibernation. Unplug the phone, switch off your devices and have a good old fashioned day of book reading and snuggles in your cosy living room. Shutting out the outside world can be the perfect antidote after days with masses of family and friends and will help you to reset your brain a little!

Are You In the 50%? #oooopsmoments

It’s fairly safe to say (especially if you’ve read THIS post) that my bladder is a bit useless. In fact, I’ve always had a weak bladder, even before having my girls, but after two c-sections it’s worse than ever. That’s why, when I read that 50% of all women suffer some form of bladder weakness, I felt sort of relieved – YAY, I’m not the only one, not even by a long shot! The guys at Tena, makers of lights by Tena (for those #oooopsmoments), have made this little video:

 

For me, the worst time is when I’m dealing with a cough. All that hacking has an unfortunate side effect for me, and having something like lights by Tena to rely on would really give me some peace of mind. I thought I’d ask some of my friends to share their “Oooops Moments” too, to show you just how common these incidents are!

I sneezed in the early stages of labour and starting celebrating my waters had gone, then they examined me and said no actually I’d just peed myself!”

“Sneezing….. coughing…. jumping.. lol I can never think about going on a trampoline ever!”

“My brother in law picked me up during a party with all his rugby mates and I had to *squeeze* like a beast! A friend of mine got drunk at a wedding and decided to have a go on the kids bouncy castle… she pissed all over it and had to go home in shame!!”

I also had a ‘moment’ on a bouncy castle!! Didn’t realise it was going to happen, that’s what having 2 kids does, especially the 9lb 1oz beast!!”

“Jumping on the trampoline!”

Trampolines seem to be a bit of a running theme with a lot of women…I’m thinking they should probably come with a whole set of health warnings for women of a certain age! The beauty of lights by Tena is that they aren’t a full size set of incontinence pads, just a discreet liner which can be worn without anyone knowing. They also contain Feelfresh technology which neutralises odours, so you don’t have to worry about any unpleasant smells, should you have a little accident.

I think, given the fact that almost half of us suffer (and, to be honest, I suspect the number is probably slightly higher as some women still don’t admit it), it’s really important to destigmatise bladder weakness and accept it as a normal thing which happens to a lot of women. The more we talk about it, the less ashamed we’ll feel.

If you’d like to try Lights by Tena, you can request a free sample from the site (details in the video) and I guarantee, once you’ve tried them you’ll wonder how you coped without. With cough and cold season coming up, I know I’ll be stocking up just so that I can cough and sneeze without worrying! Also, I’d love it if you’d leave me a comment, letting me know about your little #oooopsmoments!

#LoveYourself – A Self Confidence Challenge

The past couple of years have been pretty trying for me, for a number of reasons. I tend to pour my heart out on these pages, but there have been things happening behind the scenes which I’ve not written about because I didn’t want to air my dirty laundry in public; needless to say there have been plenty of dramas which have left me at my lowest ebb at times. Husband, as usual, has been my rock but I’ve felt pretty lonely and some horrible childhood issues have reared their ugly heads, leaving me me with a real sense of abandonment and low self-esteem. Couple this with weight gain, social isolation and a baby who seems determined to test me at every turn, and I’m not the woman I used to be.

My 30th birthday is coming up and I’ve decided that enough is enough – I need to make some personal changes so that the next 30 years of my life (should I be lucky enough to live that long – I never take that for granted) are what I make of them. I’ve spent my entire life allowing myself to be walked all over, manipulated and treated like I’m not even second best, but maybe third or fourth. All that needs to stop and I’m the only person who can change that. I’ve made some changes and removed certain negative energies so far which have impacted me positively and I want that to continue.

So, I’ve decided to challenge myself. I’m taking positive action and forcing myself to learn to love…well, to love ME. Every week, I’m taking a suggestion from a fellow blogger of something I can do which will positively impact my self esteem and trying it for a week, before coming back to tell you how I’ve found it. Make sense?

I’m also opening this up to you, too! Every week, I’ll attach a linky to the post so that YOU can try the suggestions for yourselves and then blog about how you’ve got on over the course of the week. I’d love it SO much if you could join in (you don’t have to join in every week, of course!) and come with me on my journey towards self improvement and self love and hopefully by the end of this challenge, we’ll all feel SO much better about ourselves.

This weeks challenge is an easy one to kick off with. My gorgeous friend Becky from Baby Budgeting has suggested that I ask commenters to leave me a comment with two words that they’d use to describe me:

“Asking people to share one or two good things they think about you and writing out a list with all these on is really useful feedback. For example, Jayne; I think you are funny and wise. You could ask everyone and end up with a big list that will help you see your self positively and truthfully through other people s eyes. It may bring up some surprises too!”

So, go ahead, tell me exactly what you think of me! Then, go away, write a post asking your readers and friends to do the same and come back here to link up. I’m made a snazzy little badge for you to add to your posts

Mum's the Word

Go on – I bet you’ll be really surprised to hear what your friends think of you and it might just help you to start seeing yourself differently, too.