4 articles Tag grown-up

Learning a New Hobby and Picking Up Some Old Ones

I think I can speak for a lot of parents when I say that we’ve all had a moment of feeling a little bit like we’ve lost ourselves. Our days are spent working, looking after the kids, keeping the house tidy, and maybe occasionally socialising in the little time we have left – having a hobby didn’t seem like something I had time for.

When I was a kid, I had all sorts of hobbies and some of them felt like they helped to define who I was. Just lately, I’ve been trying to do more things for myself, now that the girls are older and don’t need constant attention, and as well as picking up some old hobbies again, I’ve also been trying some new ones. Here’s a look at what I’ve been up to:

Cross Stitch

My Hobby - Baby Yoda Cross StitchCross stitch is probably my favourite hobby and this one of The Child from The Mandalorian is the one I’m most proud of!

If you follow me on social media, you might have got a peek of a few of the cross stitch projects I’ve completed lately. I’ve always enjoy sewing and crafts, but I’d never tried cross stitch before. Then Husband bought a kit for Sausage and I to try and I haven’t looked back! As well as being a great way to pass the time and stretch myself creatively, it’s SO gratifying to put that final stitch in a piece and enjoy the rewards of your hard work. I’ve even been making them for people’s birthdays! I think it’s probably my favourite hobby right now.

Online Casino

In our pre-kids days, Husband and I were members of a casino and used to love a night out amongst the slots and tables. We’d have a meal, play a few games of blackjack or roulette, check out some of the latest slot singapore has to offer, enjoy some cocktails and wander around, soaking up the ambiance. Sometimes you just can’t beat going to an actual casino, especially as some casinos have some of the most beautiful venues around. It’s been a fair while since we’ve been able to do that, but that hasn’t stopped me enjoying a little flutter online, especially when you can find some great deals like 25 free spins no deposit.

Gaming

When I was younger, I loved playing computer games. I had a ZX Spectrum in the late eighties, a Nintendo Gameboy which I was GLUED to in the early 90’s, an N64 (Goldeneye is still one of the best games of all time, DON’T @ ME), followed by a PS1, PS2 and so on and so forth, but my gaming time dwindled as I got older and busier. And, while 200 percent bonuses on the aforementioned online casinos are fun, we also seriously appreciate playing a good computer game. Husband has a PS4 now, and he’s managed to get me into playing Red Dead Redemption, and I also recently got SIMS 4 on my laptop. Oh, and don’t even get me started on the remaster of Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1&2 for the PS4. Pure nostalgia for Husband and I!

 

Soap Making

Another hobby I’ve discovered is soap making. It’s surprisingly easy to do if you use pre-mixed soap base (yeah, so I’m not a purist, but the thought of trying to use chemicals like lye when I’m a clumsy calamity is scary!) and I love finding combinations of essential oils which are theraputic for the mind and body. I’ve given soaps as gifts over the last few months too, and it’s all been very well received. I love making personalised gifts like this, based on what I know about the person I’m giving it to.

Baking

Authentic German Plum CakeAuthentic German Plum Cake

I’ve loved baking for as long as I can remember. When I was in Primary School, we had dedicated kitchens for the kids to use to bake in and the heady smell of sugar and margarine being creamed together before being baked with flour and eggs still takes me back to those days. Husband recently bought me a stand mixer as part of my birthday present, because I wanted something with a dough hook to take some of the stress out of kneading bread, but I’ve actually used it to make SO many different things! I think my proudest bake so far was the German plum cake I attempted in homage to Husband’s late grandmother – he said it was just as good as hers, which is HIGH praise indeed!

Being an Adult Sometimes Sucks

Don't Make Me AdultIf there’s one thing I could teach my kids it’s that they need to manage their expectations when it comes to being an adult. Yeah, it’s all fun and games when you’re 18, in your first full time job so you’ve got pots of cash but no real responsibilities, but once you start having to actually be a PROPER ADULT, the sheen wears off pretty damn soon! If I’d known when I was a kid that there are some aspects of adulthood which, quite honestly, SUCK I might not have been so keen to rush towards it. Here’s just a few of them:

Christmas is No Longer About Me

When I was a kid, Christmas was something that just happened to me. I didn’t have to think about budgets and present buying and food and making it magical, it JUST HAPPENED. Now that I’m the adult, I have to be the one to think about these things (although I am EXTREMELY lucky in the fact that Husband does most of the Christmas shopping every year so that I don’t have to) and it really reduces the magic levels. The one thing I DO like is that Husband and I usually wait until the January sales and treat each other then, and this year I’m hoping for a new bag in the handbags sale!

I Have to Make Crappy Decisions

This ranges from the small and seemingly insignificant to the huge and life-changing, and decisions from every part of that spectrum can feel really rubbish at times. Sure, it’s fun to decide where we go on holiday or what cute outfits I’m going to dress BB in, but everything else can feel like a crushing weight when we don’t know what the outcome of our decisions will be.

THE PRESSURE!!!

When you’re a kid, or even a young adult, no one expects much of you. You don’t have to have an immaculate home, you don’t have kids so there’s no healthy meals, good schooling or extracurricular activities to think about, you aren’t even expected to be sober for much of the time. When you’re a proper grown-up, being a drunk, slovenly mother who’s kids don’t go to swimming lessons is FROWNED UPON. So, even when times get tough, you have to hold your shit together for the sake of the small people you grew in your body and just keep on keeping on.

Which parts of being an adult do you hate the most?

Creating Our Own Spaces

In the past, our sleeping arrangements as a family have been somewhat…bohemian. In our last house, Sausage was nervous about sleeping in a new room and BB was still tiny and so shared our room anyway and we all ended up sleeping in the same room for six months. When we moved here, the circumstances under which we’d been forced to move meant that we were reluctant to make the house our own, in case we were asked to leave again, so once again we slept like a pack of wolves, all sharing a room.

A few months ago though, we decided that enough was enough and we needed a space of our own, as did the girls, so they moved into their own room and we took back our own space to make it a proper grown up bedroom. This has meant lots of lovely window-shopping for new bedroom furniture, including plenty of excuses to look at Julian Bowen collection from bedsos!

At the moment, Husband and my bedroom is looking a little bare; we’ve had some problems with damp and have been waiting until it was resolved to decorate, but this decidedly UN-summery weather really isn’t helping! The girls however have been able to put their own stamp on their room with some beautiful while bunk beds and some very handy cat wall stickers, which are totally removable but make the room look fabulous!

BB is absolutely in LOVE with her first ever big girls bedroom! She wants to spend ALL of her time in there, especially when she can rope her older sister in to play with her, and Sausage likes having a place to work at her desk and watch her Pokemon episodes!

Husband and I also enjoy having a space to ourselves. Often, we’ll spend the evening in there  once the girls are asleep (GET YOUR MIND OUT OF THE GUTTER!) watching TV, reading or using our various laptops/smartphones and other devices. It’s just nice to have somewhere to sit that isn’t the living room sometimes.

Another thing I really enjoy is shopping for bedding; I’m definitely in the camp of ‘love slipping into a freshly made bed’ and that feeling only intensifies when that bedding is brand new! Husband and I own a fair amount of bedding but some of it has seen better days (yes, I’m a horror for boil washing everything and making it fade!) so choosing new bedding which co-ordinates with our newly decorated room is something I’m really looking forward to. Yes, small pleasures, but pleasures none the less!

What’s your bedroom like? Is it a wolf cave or a grown-up only space? Do you love your room or do you feel it’s in need of a real overhaul? Leave me a comment below.

 

Telling a Grown Up

It doesn’t matter what age you are when you finally tell someone that you were abused as a child, the questions are always the same; where, when, how, who…but perhaps the hardest question of all to answer is “why didn’t you tell a grown-up?”. It’s very difficult, as an adult, to look back and try to process the reasoning of a child. Aside from the fact that many survivors of abuse have huge chunks of repressed memories which don’t allow them to answer the questions, even if they wanted to, sometimes the overwhelming pressure which comes from being asked the questions in the first place is enough to render them unable to answer.

I’ve had a lot of time to think about these questions and I’ve come up with a number of reasons:

Fear

When you’re a child and these awful things are happening, there’s fear in all directions. Fear that the ramifications of telling someone about the abuse will be worse than the abuse itself, fear that you’ll upset people, fear that you’ll get into trouble and fear that no-one will believe you. If you keep the abuse hidden until you’re an adult, your thought processes are different but the fear is still there. You also, as an adult, have the added fears of being dragged through the trauma all over again and potentially dragging people with you. I think I kept my childhood abuse hidden because I was scared that no-one would believe me or that I would somehow end up the villain in it all, and sadly I wasn’t wrong to suspect this.

Guilt

When you tell someone about what’s happened to you, one of the overwhelming feelings is guilt. Guilt at having to upset someone by telling them what has happened and having to put them through a horrible experience. Seeing their heartbreak, even though that heartbreak is FOR you, can be unbearable and sometimes it feels easier to internalize it all and not force anyone else to go through the horrible spectrum of emotions that they might have to go through.

Disbelief 

When you’ve been abused by a manipulative older person, you’re often left feeling as though the abuse was somehow your fault or that you’ve somehow encouraged it, or even that you’ve overblown it in your mind and that it’s not worth telling anybody. This is never usually the case but when you’re dealing with something by yourself for a matter of decades it’s really easy to let the disbelief creep in.

 I’m sure there are a million other reasons for not “telling a grown up” or even telling your peers once you’re an adult but these are just a few that spring to mind. If you’re ever in a position where you have to ask someone “WHY”, use one of these answers as your guide, rather than putting it on the person who’s been mistreated.

If you’re an adult who’s dealing with the effects of historical abuse, you can contact The Survivors Trust for support, advice and counselling. If you suspect that someone you know is a survivor of abuse, one of the most important thing you can do is treat them gently. Don’t ask questions which could trigger bad memories and allow them to take the lead. They may not talk to your right away (they simply may not be able to find the words) but if you let them know that you’re a willing pair of ears, they may open up.