5 articles Tag New Year

Redefining Relationships – A Reflection on 2016

Redefining Relationships - A Reflection on 2016As most of you probably know by now, I stopped contact with my mother in 2013, when I was pregnant with Burrito Baby. Although she’s tried to control the narrative, telling people that it was because she showed concern about my weight because of my pregnancy or that it was because I was being controlled by my Husband or that I was bipolar, none of these things are true and were constructed by her in order to make her look like the victim of the situation.

The facts are these: I was systematically groomed and sexually abused by a family member for several years of my childhood. The person in question was technically still a child himself (which, by the way, is NEVER a justification), but a lot older than me and certainly old enough to know that what he was doing was wrong. I never told anyone about this but my mother read about it in my diary when I was 13 and chose to ignore it. I was then forced to tell her about it when I got engaged to Husband because my whole family decided to attempt to bully me into inviting the person who abused me to my wedding.

In the years that passed after it came out, it was kept secret from certain family members and even those in receipt of the knowledge continued to maintain a relationship with my abuser. I’ve been questioned, accused of lying, treated like was the one in the wrong, told that it was “all too stressful” for my mother and that I was making a mountain out of a molehill. Being told that “I can’t congratulate you on your pregnancy because the last one was stressful for me” was the final nail in the coffin for my relationship with that woman.

I mourned the loss of our relationship for a long time, but not the loss of HER, just the loss of a mother in any form. I felt like I’d been robbed of the chance to have a decent mother/daughter relationship and I felt hugely resentful to other people who had close, nurturing relationships with their parents.

After a while, it occurred to me that my life was actually less stressful. I realised that I’d spent my ENTIRE LIFE being the butt of their jokes, being called nasty names, being taunted for being a “calamity” (which, incidentally, was as a result of meningococcal septicemia leaving me with gross motor function issues), having the mickey taken out of me for the way I walk, my weight, the way I held my bag, having my self-esteem chipped away bit by bit.

What it also made me realise is that relationships aren’t defined by blood. My husband, the one she’d accused of being controlling (seriously, can anyone who knows how much of a gobshite I am REALLY imagine me being controlled?!), has my back constantly and reacts with love and raw emotion when he thinks I’m being mistreated, something she never managed to do. I’ve forged friendships with people who GET me and who’ve been properly fucking loyal to me in a way that certain blood relatives have never been.

Let’s not forget my Dad. The man she worked SO hard to decimate in my eyes, to destroy our relationship beyond repair so that he’d never get a look in. He’s man enough to admit that he made mistakes in the past and hasn’t always been a perfect parent but he’s been there, properly been there for me when I’ve needed him. I hadn’t told him about the abuse until he read my Mother’s Day post this year and I heard his heart break when he called me to talk about it. I hate the fact that it’s hurt him but I wept when I heard how sad he was because FINALLY one of my parents had acted like they give a shit instead of trying to deflect blame and make it about them.

I’ve kept a dignified silence for SO long and not risen to the barrage of messages to both me and my friends and family, the “accidental” phone calls, the self-satisfying Facebook posts where she pretends to be the victim of MY cruelty (what a fucking joke…) and allowing her friends to call me names and question my character  but NO MORE.

This is my line in the sand.

So, this is my Happy New Year post. Happy New Year to my friends (the ones who cook me crumpets and watch girlie films with me and call my Facebook trolls a c*nt and offer me help when I need it and just generally have my back, as well as the ones who I never see but speak to on Facebook who tolerate my ramblings and political posts) and my family (the best in-laws I could ever ask for, the mums and sisters and aunts and uncles and beautiful nephews and cousins by marriage who’ve been my rocks for almost eleven years, but especially in 2016, as well as my Dad and Tracy, my baby brother who’s a foot taller than me, and Uncle and Aunt and Joe and everyone else who I love) but most of all to my Husband and our girls, my reasons for living and trying to be a better person. I love you all.

Turns out, I’ve got everyone I ever needed.

The Year That Was.

NEW YEAR2015 has been a pretty odd year for us. We started the year living in the little bungalow that we’d lived in for the previous 5 years but knowing that we had the prospect of moving hanging over us because our landlord wanted to sell. We moved in March, thinking we’d found a long-term home, only for our new landlord to decide to sell up so by September we were living in our third home of the year. It’s all  very bittersweet; we’ve been messed around and had the rug pulled out from under us but we’ve ended up in a home which is a bit of a dream for us, so while I wouldn’t want to repeat any of the process that got us here, I’m kind of glad it all happened.

Sausage and Burrito Baby have taken the upheaval totally in their strides. Sausage is doing well at school and is adjusting brilliantly to it all while BB seems to be growing into a lovely little girl. We’ve struggled with her fiery temper and have worried about her on and off but she’s started talking NON-STOP which seems to have curbed her frustration at being unable to communicate and helped her blossom into a wonderful little person who is loving and sweet, just like her big sister.

Husband loves life in the country and is thriving on having space to walk Chuck. At the beginning of the year, he set himself some personal goals which he not only achieved but actually completely smashed and I’m really proud of him for sticking to his commitment to living a healthier life.

As for me…well, this year has been a time for contemplation and adjustment. I’ve had a lot of personal turmoil over the past two and a half years, monumental things that have happened behind the scenes which have really thrown my whole world into disarray. I haven’t blogged about any of it, nor talked about it on social media but needless to say, it’s meant that I’ve had to change the way I view a lot of thing, including what the word “family” means.

Removing people from my life for the sake of my own mental health has meant that I’ve had to re-evaluate and restructure – Husband, Sausage and BB are the most important people in my world and I’m lucky enough to have an extended set of in-laws who I probably wouldn’t have coped without for the past 2 years. It’s taken a long time for me to deal with the fact that my world, and my family, is a lot smaller than I expected it to be at this stage of my life but that I’m also happier. Calmer. More at peace.

Moving forward, I’m hoping that 2016 is free from major changes or upsets and that I can continue to develop my career and take on new projects. Mum’s the Word has been in existence for over 5 years and I’m not feeling any less in love with blogging than I have been since the beginning. I’d like my writing to evolve on to other things and obviously I’d like to make a bit more money somehow, but for now I’m content with the way life is going. I also want to make more time to help others; I don’t have the resources to donate endlessly to charity, but time is one thing that I do have, I just need to work out what it is that I want to do – any suggestions are more than welcome.

I hope you all had a great New Years Eve and are moving into 2016 with a clear idea of what you want from this year, even if (or ESPECIALLY if) 2015 wasn’t kind to you. And just think…there’s only 511 days until the next Star Wars film is released!

New Years Eve: What Should I Do?

Christmas is almost upon us and we’re all turning our thoughts to how we’re going to make the festive season special this year. We’re lucky enough that we have a lot of family around us, so the main days of Christmas are filled with family, fun and food, but by the time New Year comes around, we’re often feeling a little flat and unsure of what to do with ourselves. I discovered recently that Butlins offers New Years breaks, which could be a great way to extend the festivities and keep everyone happy.

They’ve thought of everything too, even offering a Christmas Panto (Oooh, yes they are!) as well as Ice Rinks, Christmas arts and crafts, plus a Winter Wonderland and Skyline Snowstorm, which will make your stay really special. Here’s a table which shows what an average weekend at Butlins could be like for your family over the Christmas period:

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I must say, after the madness of Christmas and Boxing Day, the thought of getting away and letting someone else do all of the cooking and bed-making is seriously appealing. The really impressive thing is that prices start at just £39 per person, depending on which site you visit, and that includes all of the activities above with a red ‘thumbs up’ symbol next to them.

Sausage has only ever done ‘fake’ ice-skating; there’s a soft play centre near us with a kind of acrylic ice rink which is okay, but it doesn’t really give you that authentic ice skating experience, so I reckon she’d absolutely love to visit Butlins for their rinks, as well as all of the other activities on offer. I must admit, the Christmas Arts and Crafts sound like something that I’d  like to do, let alone Sausage!

For more information about Festive breaks at Butlins, please click on the link above.

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Mum’s the Word – A Retrospective (Pt. One)

It seems weird looking at the calendar in the bottom corner of my screen and seeing 01/01/2013. This year will be my 29th birthday, Husband’s 34th birthday, Sausage’s 5th birthday, 7 years since we adopted Chuck, my 7th wedding anniversary, my baby sister’s 21st, my baby brother’s 14th….and so on and so on! I remember the days that my brother and sister were born SO vividly and it’s hard to believe that they were that long ago, let alone the fact that I have to get my head around the fact that I’ll have a 5-year-old!

 So, before I look forward to the exciting year ahead, I thought I’d do a ‘Mum’s the Word Retrospective’, a look back at the posts that I’m most proud of from the last 12 months. Yes, it’s self-indulgent, but it’s MY blog, so ner! *blows raspberry*

JANUARY

At the beginning of January, I was saying goodbye to Bob Holness who was a childhood favourite of mine and his passing sparked some fond memories. In this post, I was waxing lyrical about my new iPhone 4. I’m not sure I’d be so effusive now!

This time last year, I was still reeling from the passing of my stepmum, who’d lost her battle with cancer just 10 weeks before. Here I talk about how certain Buddhist teachings had helped me with my grief.

In this post, I share some of the harsh realities of adulthood that I’ve picked up on along the way, but it’s not as grim as it sounds, don’t worry!

FEBRUARY

In this Silent Sunday post, I proudly display the partially erupted wisdom tooth I had removed, despite some people thinking that it was a weird picture of a nose!

This was my first attempt at short fiction. I tried to make a linky out of it but didn’t get much interest, but I was still quite proud of my efforts. Here, I discuss the stress of being a working Mum and how hard it is to relax at times. Finally for Feb, I overheard a conversation in Waitrose which literally tickled me pink.

MARCH

March began with me musing over what I wanted to be when I grew up. Turns out, I still haven’t…Sausage kept us amused with some surprisingly subversive humour for a then-3-year-old.

In a more serious post, I talked about how you tackled the subject of mortality with your little ones, which provoked some interesting comments. I rounded the month off with a satirical post about things that, at 27, I’d realised I was too old to do. This is a personal fave for 2012.

APRIL

The beginning of April saw Husband and I changing our strongly anti-Barbie stance, me doing some serious Sausage related trumpet-blowing, attempting to talk about the dangers of Melanoma and celebrating my move to being self-hosted with a post about being reborn.

MAY

At the beginning of May, I wrote about my Nan and Grandad, which is still one of my favourite posts ever. I also mused about what it would be like if our brains were like a computer harddrive and posted a Silent Sunday featuring a very personal subject for me.

This month also featured part one and two of my Cybher run-down.

This post about parental choices was one of my favourite posts because of the debate it sparked in the comments. I still stand by my original thoughts, which were brought into sharp focus later in the year with the horrible events in the news. I often wonder how people’s opinions will differ now.

JUNE

The beginning of June saw me thinking about the parental instinct to protect and why it’s lacking in some people. Here’s another favourite Silent Sunday, featuring a house-guest we had with us for a while. This photo was one of the things to spark the idea for Closer to Nature, a linky that I started later in the year.

I was having a pretty bad time of things in June and this post is me trying to make sense of my thoughts and feelings, the prevailing being that of loneliness. Later in the month, I also discuss euthanizing a beloved pet and when is the right time to say ‘enough is enough’.

 

A bit of a bleak finish to the first half of the year, but I’m amazed to see how much I wrote in that time. I hope you enjoy reading through and come back for part two!

Happy New Year from Mum’s the Word.

Yellow Days

2012

I started to write a post about how rubbish 2011 was and about all of the negative things that have happened, when I stopped myself. If there’s one thing that the last year has taught me, it’s that I’m grateful for every day that passes and that we’re lucky just to be here. So I thought I’d write a little post about what 2012 represents to my past, present and future.

  •  This month marks 6 years since I left home and moved in with my friends. The first time I ever really struck out on my own and became a grown up!
  • I met Husband in February 6 years ago and so much has happened in that time.
  • I was just doing my sums and this year will mark SEVENTEEN years since I started secondary school and eleven years since I left – how can this be?!
  • April will be time for us to decide whether we’re going to stay on in our current house, or look for somewhere new. Either way, we won’t be going far as we want to stay in this catchment area. It’s also two years since we got Happy, our hamster.
  • May will be the month that our friends have their new baby, a second little man added to the family. We can’t wait to meet him!
  • June will be my 28th birthday and rather than the gripping fear that I’ve had in previous years about getting older and that much closer to the big 3-0, I’m relishing the thought of enjoying every birthday that I’m fortunate enough to have.
  • Husband’s birthday is in July and although he doesn’t like to celebrate, Sausage and I like to make a fuss of him.
  • August is a big month for our family, 2012 will be six years since Husband and I got married, which falls the day after Sausage’s 4th birthday!
  • I cannot quite believe it, but Sausage will be starting school this September and I reckon my little bright spark is going to well and truly flourish in an academic environment.
  • October will be six years since we got Chuck and will be his 8th birthday. He may still be a bit rough around the edges (like trying to make love to any guests we have in the house), but he’s the best dog we could ever have hoped for.
  • October will also be the 2nd anniversary of Mum’s the Word, two years of blogging completed!
  • November and December will be the same flurry of Halloween, Bonfire Night, Christmas and New Year festivities and I plan to do a lot more baking and partying in 2012!

I’m also looking forward to starting a much healthier life in 2012, along with starting a new module of my degree in a completely different subject than I’ve studied before, as well as much saving for our Disney trip and hopefully getting our new car and doing a lot of visiting and day-tripping. Oh, and I also have several tattoos planned this year too…

I’m exhausted already!

What do you have planned for 2012? Oh, and Happy New Year everyone!