An Amazing Woman.

So I’ve been having a pretty crappy stressy time of it lately. The kids are driving me up the wall and I’ve been wound up and cross about everything. My husband isn’t around at the moment and there’s a number of other reasons for me to be stressed on top of it all, and it is all getting on top of me and I’m not getting any sort of a break from the kids. So like I said, they are literally driving me crazy.

Yesterday we were out in the shopping centre in the next town over and we had been trying to get a lot done in a short amount of time, the kids weren’t listening, we were trying to run from one place to another to another, the baby was in the buggy screaming her head off – and I was stressed to high heaven.

And as we walked out of one shopping centre I saw a woman walking towards me that I recognised and it took me a minute to realise who she was. She worked as EPU nurse, the Early Pregnancy Unit nurse.

I had first met her in 2009 when I was having what they thought was my second miscarraige but what turned out to be an ectopic pregnancy. So over ten years ago. She had been so knowledgable at the time, she was honest and told me her honest opinion of the situation even though it wasn’t exactly what the doctors said. When we first thought it was a second miscarriage she gave me advice and explained the way the system works here regards help after multiple miscarriages (needs to be three in a row before they investigate) and gave me the names of books to read to help. Then when the signs were there for the ectopic, and the doctors discharged me without doing anything, she rang me with results and told me to take care and basically that she thought it still was an ectopic. She was right.

Because of the ectopic, in every following pregnancy I had to go to the EPU for a scan at 5 or 6 weeks to make sure that it was in the right place. So this woman saw me a further four pregnancies, and the kindness and compassion she showed me was unbelievable and unforgetable.

My fourth pregnancy was my second successful one, but I had been sick throughout my first so even though she had seen me a number of times for peace of mind in the first few weeks, at 17wks my sickness disappeared and I panicked. I rang the EPU and explained, and she brought me in for a scan even though it is very normal for sickness to stop after 12wks, and thankfully he was still there safely but without that scan I would never have believed it.

She then had to tell me that my next pregnancy wasn’t progressing and dealt with me over a few weeks of me trying to allow it pass itself like my first, then take the medical option – which ended up with the surgical option. But she just was so amazing throughout, her kindness and straight forward honest information helped so much. I then saw her a number of times over the next two pregnancies, she came and found me on the ward after I had no.3 as she’d seen my name on the board. When I thought I was losing no.4 she got me straight in for a scan and was as happy as I was to see the little heartbeat there on the screen – it was 2pm that day when she saw me even though my appointment was for about 2hrs before and she apologised for keeping me waiting – but I knew that if things were delayed, it was not good news for whoever she was with. After we saw the little heartbeat, she said she had been so worried she was going to have to give me bad news again, and that I was the first person that day she had given good news to. That was her day, full of heartbreak.

This woman made a number of horrible, sad and heartbreaking situations a little bit better for me. She honestly will stay in my heart forever.

Yesterday when I saw her, and remembered all the heartbreak I had gone through. And how lucky I am to have my children. How so many women go through pregnancy loss time after time, and don’t end up with any successful pregnancies. How lucky I am to have my four healthy children. I had spent over three years petrified that my daughter was going to be an only child like I was, and couldn’t believe that my second child would make it here safely. And not only did I get a second child safely, I got a third and a fourth. I am so so lucky, and of course I’m allowed be tired and stressed and cross, but just seeing her and remembering all those years of heartbreak and fear, it just shook me up a little bit and reminded me how grateful I am.

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June is for Joy!

Love love love this!

I only saw this today, so that is why I’m starting this late! But it is just a lovely idea, and to be honest it is exactly what I need at the moment. Another daily reason to post something that brings joy (and hence gratitude).

It’s not my idea, I saw it on Instagram this morning, on the thefinancialdiet page – and didn’t even get to read their full post (I’m planning on going back to it!), but just absolutely loved the idea – and all day I have been thinking about keeping June is for joy in my mind, and I love it.

So I’m going to try to post a daily moment of joy here, and because it is going to be such a busy busy month, I am not going to pressure on myself to post every single day (even though I will try to) but I am going to allow myself catch up… like I’m doing today, catching up on these first three days of June!

On the 1st of June, my longest time (not oldest lol) friend came to visit with her two little children and we had a lovely day together catching up. She has been living abroad for years and years now, and has only just moved back recently. It was such a lovely day with her, and it brings such joy to me to spend time with her and even more to know that she will be around and much more accessible to me to see more from now on! We’ve been lucky if we managed to see each other once a year for the last two decades almost. She makes me feel positive about myself and my life, and is just on my level without any pressure.

On the 2nd of June, yesterday, I brought my son and grandson to the cinema. Well I didn’t actually go in, my 12yr old brought them in. But it was a birthday treat (for my April born son!) that has been getting more and more delayed so I was delighted to get to finally follow through on my promise, and I had to entertain my small two girls in the shopping centre while they were watching the movie – which was fun and difficult in equal measures, we had coffee and cake and looked in some shops….. while the baby screamed and attempted to run away, a lot. And even though it was a busy day I also managed to bake some things for my daughters cake sale (for today) which felt like a giant win because I usually have great intentions and never manage to follow through!

And today, 3rd of June, it was all about my daughter and her football. Her team won the County Championship this morning, and then this afternoon there was a fun day fundraiser (hence the cake baking yesterday!) for the whole team to go to an all Ireland football weekend at the end of the month, that they got through to go to from our county. My daughter didn’t even get to play in this mornings game, but it was a close match and the girls all played so well that there was such a sense of pride for both teams. It definitely brings joy to see the skill, the pride, the respect and the support today at the game.

Hopefully I’ll be back tomorrow with another moment of joy! It is the simple things that make life wonderful, and the idea of #juneisforjoy is a lovely way of reminding us of the small things and to notice them and be grateful for them.

Day 31 of My Month of Gratitude

This is the last post in my Month of Gratitude. I have loved the idea of this keeping me accountable to myself to actually post and I feel a great sense of achievement for the fact that I actually got the full 31 posts up – not all in time, but I’m not worrying about that – life gets in the way and instead of letting it get me down I am looking at the positive side of the fact I did get so many up in time!

  1. My Husband
  2. My Children
  3. My Step-Children
  4. My Step-Grandchildren
  5. My Family
  6. My Friends
  7. My Home
  8. Our Utilities
  9. Our Health
  10. Education
  11. Coffee
  12. Technology
  13. Being Alive
  14. Baby Smiles and Laughs
  15. Special Occasions
  16. Healthcare
  17. Being Irish
  18. Being a SAHM
  19. Chocolate
  20. Books
  21. Online Recipes
  22. Sunshine
  23. Online Shopping
  24. Grandparents
  25. Sleep
  26. Podcasts
  27. Support
  28. Community
  29. Handy-man Skills
  30. Having More Than Enough
  31. Being Grateful

Possibly sounds like a silly one.

I am grateful for being grateful.

But this is one thing that I love about myself. I can see so much to be grateful for, in my life and all around us. In general I see the silver lining of things, and when something horrible happens I tend to automatically reply with a “At least…. insert silver lining…”.

A few years ago a very close friend was going through her divorce, and I can’t remember how it came up but she said “Sometimes people don’t want to hear the positives” – my at leasts, or looking at it from another angle, weren’t helping – she didn’t want to hear it, and so it made me realise people didn’t want the silver lining or alternative view, so I tried to tone it back. Purposely tried to not say positive things when someone was upset. It was hard! I do understand when you’re going through a crap time you don’t want to hear an annoying upbeat person saying its not so bad, you just want them to empathise with how crap it is. But the whole situation made me second guess myself, and I still do now. I said it to my husband the other day, I think that friend broke “Positive Me” lol.

But it is my automatic default in my head to look at the silver lining and the positive out of the situation. Particularly for other people. I do find it harder for myself, I tend to beat myself up more. Again though, think that is natural!

I see how much I have in life to be grateful for, I am grateful for everything that I do have and I feel so so lucky to have so much in my life and to be so lucky to have this life. I know how much I have to be grateful for, and I am grateful for everything I have. I am grateful for having this outlook and for realising how much there is to be grateful for. This is something that I want to instill in my children, it is so important to be grateful in life for everything that you do have.

 

Day 27 of My Month of Gratitude

This is one that I am so grateful for time and time again!

  1. My Husband
  2. My Children
  3. My Step-Children
  4. My Step-Grandchildren
  5. My Family
  6. My Friends
  7. My Home
  8. Our Utilities
  9. Our Health
  10. Education
  11. Coffee
  12. Technology
  13. Being Alive
  14. Baby Smiles and Laughs
  15. Special Occasions
  16. Healthcare
  17. Being Irish
  18. Being a SAHM
  19. Chocolate
  20. Books
  21. Online Recipes
  22. Sunshine
  23. Online Shopping
  24. Grandparents
  25. Sleep
  26. Podcasts
  27. Support

There is a lovely feeling when you are getting ready for an event, and your family and friends realise that this is something that is important to you and your family and they offer their support in their own ways.

Tomorrow is my daughters Confirmation, a Catholic celebration where she confirms her faith in the Catholic church.

I have Atheist friends who have sent a card for my daughter and have been checking in with how all the preparations are going (on my side – as in the clothes and planning!) My step-children have all taken the day off on Thursday, a work day, so that they could be there for the day with their little sister. They have offered help with things for the day. A family member who is definitely not a fan of the Catholic church sent my daughter money, but didn’t want to buy a specific card because she didn’t want to be seen to be supporting the church but did want to support my childs choice.

I notice this support at so many different times of my life, at Christmas, at birthdays and at all events that come up. And it gives a huge warm fuzzy feeling to have so many supportive people and so much support around me. I am really thankful and grateful for the loving support that I have around me.

Day 18 of My Month of Gratitude

Today is a Bank Holiday Monday here in Ireland, seeing as Paddy’s Day was a Sunday. For me it doesn’t really mean much as I’m at home every day, hence todays choice.

  1. My Husband
  2. My Children
  3. My Step-Children
  4. My Step-Grandchildren
  5. My Family
  6. My Friends
  7. My Home
  8. Our Utilities
  9. Our Health
  10. Education
  11. Coffee
  12. Technology
  13. Being Alive
  14. Baby Smiles and Laughs
  15. Special Occasions
  16. Healthcare
  17. Being Irish
  18. Being a SAHM

I’m a SAHM, a Stay-At-Home-Mum.

We decided years ago, that one of us would stay at home with the children, my husband has bad memories growing up of kids being minded while the parents worked and the kids were treated really badly. Over the years we have both been the person to stay at home. There were times where I had a job, and my husband didn’t and there were times were he was out at work and I wasn’t, moreso this way as he has higher earning potential than I do. When we had only one child, we did both work for a period of time, me mostly from home and when she was almost 2yrs old I put her part-time into creche which was great for her for socialising.

To be honest, I don’t know how I could actually go to work, with four children – there’s just too much to juggle, and we don’t have anybody to help with childcare. However I know that a lot of families do have both parents working, and have no choice. And some parents need to go to work for their own mental health or they love their jobs and want to work, and they make the time they have with their kids into pure quality time. This is not a one is better than the other post, this is what works for us.

There are times where I wish that I could have a job, where I could go out to work some days and be an adult with a lunch break and clean clothes and something to use my brain for, and not just to be mum.

BUT I would not change it. I think it is so important to be around for your kids as much as you can be, and I am so thankful that I get to stay at home with mine and watch them grow and learn. They learn so much week to week, and day to day things change. And I get to be there for them, to hear about the things that happen each day. I have time to help them with their homework and their hobbies (well, technically I should have time, but not at the moment, the baby makes everything impossible).

I am so grateful we are in a position where I can stay at home with the children, and that I have a supportive husband who realises how difficult and draining it can be to stay at home (and not just think that I swan around as a lady-of-leisure) and he appreciates the work that I do at home.

Day 17 of My Month of Gratitude

For the day that is in it, proud to be Irish, Happy St. Patricks’ Day everyone!!

  1. My Husband
  2. My Children
  3. My Step-Children
  4. My Step-Grandchildren
  5. My Family
  6. My Friends
  7. My Home
  8. Our Utilities
  9. Our Health
  10. Education
  11. Coffee
  12. Technology
  13. Being Alive
  14. Baby Smiles and Laughs
  15. Special Occasions
  16. Healthcare
  17. Being Irish

So it popped into my head as the obvious one for today, but I wasn’t sure if it was kind of for the comedy factor that I was thinking it.

Then I realised that so many of the general things on my list that I am grateful for, the things that we take for granted, are because I am living here in Ireland. I do love our little country. I love the fact that there are no snakes (thank you St. Patrick!) or giant poisonous spiders (#fear) and that our weather is generally quite steady (although that could be questioned a bit the past few years) and that we are a peaceful country overall.

But also the Irish people do seem to be a particularly good sort in general. Oh I know that is a generalisation, and that it is true of some and not true of others. I have seen tourists here in our country looking for help to find something and no-one stopping to help, and we do have loads of mean-spirited horrible people who would be the opposite of a “good sort of person”. I don’t spend much time with people like this, most of my friends and family would definitely be the lovely Irish people you would want to meet. I think though in particular when we leave our country we see it more clearly, how we become even better, more fun lovely and friendly, very helpful and our true colours show.

I would always be proud to say that I am Irish, because I am proud of our country and I am proud of our people. I am not saying we are perfect, and nothing bad happens here, or is done by Irish people here or abroad – because that would not be true. But when you hear what can happen in other countries where maybe there are harder struggles for people to deal with, or the amount of things we have available that we take for granted are not available, I realise again how lucky I am. How lucky I am to be living in my country. I am grateful that I am Irish, and for all the luck of the Irish that comes along with that! 😉 I am sure that people all across the world will feel the same about their own nationality and their own countries, and that is brilliant!

Happy St. Patricks Day! Hope you all enjoy the day, if it is something that you celebrate. As it is here, we are not sure of our plans for the day but the kids all had dress-up days in school on Friday where they wore their green clothes in and had their faces painted with shamrocks, which they all loved! With it being a Sunday, even if it is just a day that you get to spend together and enjoy the little things, I hope you get to do that! x

Day 16 of My Month of Gratitude

I thought yesterdays post was late?! This one will be barely squeezed in on the 16th!

  1. My Husband
  2. My Children
  3. My Step-Children
  4. My Step-Grandchildren
  5. My Family
  6. My Friends
  7. My Home
  8. Our Utilities
  9. Our Health
  10. Education
  11. Coffee
  12. Technology
  13. Being Alive
  14. Baby Smiles and Laughs
  15. Special Occasions
  16. Healthcare

This one is spurred by the fact that my husband is currently in the hospital with one of his older children, who was in pain all day and realised she had to go to the doctor this evening and they sent her directly to the A+E (Accident and Emergency Department).

This just made me realise how lucky and grateful I am that we live in a country where healthcare is so accessible. Our healthcare system here in Ireland is not perfect in any shape or form, there are huge gaps and holes and failures in the system. But in an emergency situation, you can access emergency treatment pretty much straight away (or within a few hours wait depending on the urgency) and at not a huge cost (I think the cost is €100 to go to A+E to be treated). I know that in a lot of other countries the healthcare system is not up to scratch, or in others if you cannot pay huge fees, you do not get treated. We are very very lucky to live in a country where we have a really good healthcare system, which we take for granted most of the time and focus on the failures of.

I am extremely grateful for our healthcare system, and hope that in general I can be thankful and grateful from afar, as opposed to needing to use it often!