I spend 90% of the time solo parenting

My partner is at work more than he is at home, working hard to support us. I don’t have a large amount of support from family and friends, I’ve only really got my mum and my nan who I can ask for help and a small group of friends who I don’t want to burden with my problems. Most of the time when my partner is at work, it is just me and Kory and I feel very lonely when he’s not home.

Every day I do the same thing and I do it by myself. I get up, I make Kory breakfast, I tidy the house, I play with Kory, I make him his dinner, I tidy up again, we play some more, I make tea and then I go through the bath and bedtime routine. Every night before bed I read Kory a story, I tuck him in, kiss him goodnight and tell him I love him. After that I usually end up getting in bed myself because I’m just so exhausted, no time or energy for anything else. Then when I drift off to sleep, more often than not I’m usually woke by Kory in the middle of the night who’s woke for a drink or a cuddle, so I settle him, drift back off to sleep and before I know it it’s morning and it’s the same thing all over again.

Today is Saturday but it might as well be Monday because every day feels the same for me right now.

Sometimes part of me feels like breaking down but I can’t, that’s not an option, my son needs me. Who else is going to take care of him? So instead I choose to try and embrace the way things are. Instead of feeling sorry for myself and thinking ‘i’m parenting on my own again.’ I try to look at it as one on one time for me and Kory, I remind myself how fortunate I am to be able to stay home with Kory and how lucky I am to have a partner who works as hard as mine does because staying home and raising Kory wouldn’t be possible otherwise. I try to remember that as much as I miss my partner whilst he’s at work, Kory misses him as well and it must be hard on him too. When Kory is testing my patience and I think to myself ‘I’m stuck at home all day with Kory again.’ I remind myself that my partner isn’t having a break away from this stress, he’s at work, working hard and he probably wishes he was at home.

Someone once said to me: ‘how do you do it? Oh no I wouldn’t be able to.’ And I thought to myself ‘it can be hard but honestly what choice have I got other than to just crack on. Either way my son needs me. It has to be done.’ It would be so easy to just fall apart, easy to get mad at my partner or to take it out on Kory, it would be easy to just drag myself through each day, just sit Kory in front of the tv to pass the hours by and not really enjoy my time with him but I don’t want that. Yes I spend 90% of the time solo parenting and yes it’s hard but I still want to do a good job!

This solo parenting thing is hard. Heck, parenting is hard full stop. But I’ve learnt to accept that my situation, is what it is. Yes I’m allowed to be tired and feel lonely but what good does dwelling on things do? I might as well try to pick myself up and make the most of the way things are. Most days i’m unrecognisable to myself when I look in the mirror, I’m not the same person I was before I became a mother. I look like a zombie most of the time (as you can see from my picture!) I wander round the house looking lost wearing my pyjamas, I can’t function without 1,2,3 cups of coffee, I have tired eyes, messy hair and I’m so forgetful. Kory runs me ragged all day every day but my heart is full. Oh so full.

Please note: I don’t want to offend anybody by using the term ‘solo parenting’ I’m not trying to compare solo parenting to single parenting in any way or even trying to say that they are the same thing. If you are a single parent, I praise all the hard work that you do, my mum was a single parent for some years when she was raising me so I’ve seen first hand just how hard it can be and I know that what I’m going through is not the same as what a single parent may go through. I support all mums, dads, all their different circumstances and how they choose to parent.

Sleep training

Lately Kory will only take naps during the day if i get in his bed with him. It’s not always that Kory needs to take a nap, most days he goes all day without napping but some days, for example on days when he’s been to nursery and he’s extra tired, he needs to take a nap otherwise he will be ready for bed by 4pm! Kory will go down to sleep in his own bed at night just fine but if he wakes in the middle of the night (which he usually does!) he will only go back to sleep if either one of us gets in bed with him.

I’m sure some of you are probably thinking, what’s wrong with that?

Well, i’ve already got a shit ton of stuff to be getting on with during the day without having to lay down in bed until Kory finally decides to give in and take a nap and the broken sleep at night is slowly starting to kill me off. Kory wakes at least once every night without fail and I don’t know why, this is not something he’s always done and it’s not like he actually wakes for anything in particular, sometimes he wakes for a drink which is right next to him anyway but mostly he’s just tossing and turning in his sleep and waking himself in the process. Once Kory’s awake he won’t settle himself back off to sleep, he needs me or his dad to get in his bed and sleep beside him which is sweet an all but I’d just like it if my 2 year old could go to sleep and sleep straight through till morning. Not only that but once I’m in Kory’s single bed with him, I hardly sleep anyway. It’s like sleeping next to a star fish!

So I decided to start sleep training him.

I didn’t like the idea of letting Kory cry it out so I stay with him until he falls asleep in his own bed so he feels safe and secure and then make sure I leave without nodding off myself or disturbing him. But let me tell you, I’m finding this whole ‘sleep training’ malarky bluddy hard on my own! My partner is at work during the day so I can’t really expect him to help with the sleep training at night when he has to get up for work first thing in the morning the next day. The lack of sleep, constantly feeling so tired and still trying to enforce routine is starting to take its toll. It would be so much easier to just carry on as we are and let Kory continue to wake and for one of us to then get in his bed with him but I know in the long run getting him used to sleeping in his own bed is for his own good as well as ours.

Kory has slept through the night in his own room from being 6 months old, he’s always been a good sleeper so I don’t know why this has started happening which only makes me feel guilty when it comes to sleep training him.

Has this started because of something I’ve done?

Maybe he just wants to be near his mum and dad?

I love sleeping next to Kory, I feel really close to him and it’s like he’s my baby again… But I think in the long run sleep training him is for his own benefit, he needs to break the habit of sleeping with us and learn to sleep in his own room, in his own bed by himself.

Am I doing the right thing? Have any of you been through something similar and have had to sleep train your child?

Wave of light 2018

Yesterday was pregnancy and infant loss Remembrance Day. Having been so fortunate enough myself to have never had to go through something as devastating as losing a baby, I only know people that have experienced this themselves and I can only imagine the pain, suffering and heartbreak they feel. As a mother I can imagine it is something that never leaves you.

So in honour of all parents who have lost a baby by miscarriage, stillbirth or by other early death. I light this candle in memory of your precious babies, for every baby lost too soon, for your baby existed, mattered, is loved and for as long as you shall live will never be forgotten.

Not just today, but like every day I will be thinking of those with angel babies.

I light this candle for you.

Autumn craft; leaf picture

As you already know, I love autumn. So I couldn’t wait to start creating some DIY autumn crafts with Kory! Starting with this leaf picture.

One morning we decided we would have a walk to a cafe near where we live. On our way there, Kory spotted fallen leafs on the floor and he wanted to stop, look and pick them up. All the way to the cafe he was asking me questions about them, telling me all about the different colours and sizes of the leafs he’d collected. He wanted to keep them.

That’s when the idea came in to my head We’ll make a picture with them!

To make your own leaf picture you will need:

  • Tissue/toilet roll
  • Paper
  • Scissors
  • Glue/Mod podge
  • Small brush
  • Picture frame

To start, I wrapped the leafs in some tissue to dry them out. Once they were dry, I cut a piece of paper to fit the size of our chosen picture frame and me and Kory got to work placing the leafs out on the paper where he wanted them. After Kory had decided where he wanted them (with a little help from me!) we stuck the leafs down by brushing on some mod podge on the paper and over the leafs. Once we’d finished doing that, I put the picture to one side and allowed it to dry. When the picture had dried, I wrote in the bottom right hand corner as you can see from the picture above and then put the picture in the picture frame. And that’s all there is to it. Quite easy really!

A nice, cheap and easy autumn craft. Kory got to keep his leafs and I got a lovely frame to decorate the house with.

I hope you liked reading about our DIY leaf picture. If you make one of your own, I would love to see it! Keep your eyes open for our next autumn craft idea…

It’s autumn!

My absolute favourite time of the year.

We had a good summer this year, lots of nice weather and sunshine which allowed us to spend a lot of time having fun outdoors, making lots of memories we had in the summer but for me, you just can’t beat autumn. I love everything about this time of the year. I love that it’s cool enough to wrap up but still warm enough to enjoy a walk outside. I like being able to wear layers, wrapping up and stepping outside into the autumn air. The air just feels fresher and crisper, the colours are beautiful and I love the way the leaves crunch beneath my feet. There’s just something cosy about the early nights and dark mornings. I always look forward to the many celebrations, Halloween, bonfire night, the run up to Christmas and the autumn themed activities that come with it; trick or treating, pumpkin carving, fireworks, christmas shopping and so much more. I use my slow cooker more than ever at this time of the year, I love making comfort foods like hearty stews, casseroles and soups. Can’t forget that it’s pumpkin spice season too!

Where’s my pumpkin spice latte?!

These are just some of the things that I love about this time of the year. With me being such a huge fan of autumn, i’ve got lots of exciting blog content planned that I just can’t wait to share with you all, such as arts and crafts ideas, diy projects, recipes and much more. With a new season comes new possibilities, new goals and new things to look forward to, focus on and write about.

I was browsing the internet for some autumn inspo and came across this amazing blog post 25 autumn blog post ideas by www.jennyinneverland.com that is filled with lots of autumn blog content ideas that had me feeling inspired, motivated and eager to write. I will definitely be using some of these ideas she so kindly shared, they’re great!

Are you an autumn lover? If so, what do you love most about this time of the year? Have you got any of your own autumn inspired blog posts planned?

Let me know.

World Mental Health Day

With today being World Mental Health Day, I wanted to raise awareness and speak about the importance of this. So in order to do so, i’ve decided i’m ready to share my own personal story with you.

There is a massive stigma around mental health which is why I think a lot of people don’t talk openly about it. But the more we speak about it, the more awareness we raise, we give a better understanding to others about mental health conditions and for anyone suffering, it helps to talk. Without thinking some people when they’re trying to be helpful can actually be quite insensitive and say things such as ‘well you don’t look depressed?’ As someone who has dark days, when you look at my picture do I look like someone who suffers with anxiety? Another one I’ve heard a lot through the years is the phrase ‘Just snap out of it.’ If only it was that easy for many of us…

For years I’ve suffered with anxiety, panic attacks and even depression. I don’t know why or what brought it on and it’s something that’s never gone away but do you know what helps me when i’m feeling lost and lonely? Talking. For a long time I always kept so much to myself, only ever speaking to my partner or my mum about how I felt and sometimes feeling like a burden for doing so. As a teenager going through this, I felt weird and felt like I was the only one, I stopped going out and lost friends because of this. Maybe if I’d have been more open they’d have been more understanding? As I’ve grown up and seen that people are starting to talk more openly about mental health, I felt less weird and less isolated, I realised just how many of us are actually affected by it and it’s a lot more than I thought.

I’ve been like this for so long that I don’t think I’ll ever be any different and sometimes when I think that, it scares me a little and then other times I just accept it. I just accept that maybe this is who I am and as long as i’ve got someone to talk to, i guess I’m okay with that.

Do you know someone who is suffering with mental health? Or someone you think might be suffering? Invite them round for a cup of tea. Have a chat, inbox them. You never know what someone else is going through so just be kind. Are you suffering with mental health? Reach out. I know that can be scary but find someone to speak to because I can promise you talking will help.

It’s okay not to be okay. It’s okay if you need medication to help you feel better.

It’s ok.

Don’t compare your child to others

I read this quote somewhere and it said

‘Don’t compare your child to others. There’s no comparison between the sun and the moon. They shine when it’s their time.’ And it’s absolutely right.

I know I’m not the only parent to have done this as it’s so easy to feel under pressure to meet guidelines and to worry about being judged because ‘your child can’t do something yet’ but all children are individuals, each and every one of them is unique and special in their own way so why would they all meet milestones at the same time? They wouldn’t. They are each reaching their own personal milestones. Kory learned to walk quite early but his speech is something we’re continuing to work on. Where as another child may have took longer to learn how to walk but can say all sorts of different words.

I don’t do it as much anymore but in the past I was guilty of comparing Kory to other children his age. For example, I would see other children speaking clearly and in full sentences and wonder why my child wasn’t doing that yet. Kory is in no way behind or anything like that so then I would get upset and start to wonder was it because of me.

Was I not spending enough time speaking to him or learning and teaching him different things?

When actually I spend every waking moment talking to Kory, when he asks what something is I explain to him, we always go on days out, on little adventures, he’s always seeing new places and things, we always play together with his toys and I always make sure I read to him. That’s when I realised that as parents we’re so quick to blame ourselves and to put ourselves under pressure to be the absolute best parents we can be, no matter how good of a job we’re doing it’s never enough and we always strive to do more, to be more and that’s absolutely fine but let’s not forget that we’re already doing everything we can and there’s no need for the extra stress, Kory isn’t even 2 years old yet and I feel like him putting myself and him under massive amounts of pressure and why is that? Because another child his age can do something he can’t yet?

Children will do things when they’re ready and there is no need to rush them.

I did some research of my own on speech with toddlers and I learned that although a toddler may not say much, it doesn’t mean they don’t know words, in fact their vocabulary is bigger than you think, they are like sponges and everything you say to them they will be taking in so they might not say the words, but they understand them.

Funnily enough, whilst working on this blog post Kory’s speech has come on a lot. I’ve been teaching him all the different animals and their sounds and I was amazed at how quickly he learned them. I only repeated each one a couple of times and when I asked him about each one he knew what animal they were and what sound they made.

He now knows the cat, dog, frog, fish, cow, goat, rabbit, mouse, lion, bird, duck, pig, dinosaur, horse, sheep, snake and monkey!

What I’m trying to say is, don’t feel the need to compare your child to others, if you feel like you need to compare them, compare them to themselves a month ago and see how far they’ve come!

This will tell you all you need to know.

Clingy toddler!

Kory has been super clingy now for the past few weeks. He’s always been a mamas boy but this is something else!

Now I’m not expecting Kory to play by himself for hours, I love spending time with him but sometimes I need to go to the bathroom and I can’t even do that without him getting upset! He won’t stay or go with anyone else, I can’t even leave him in the same room as his dad without him getting upset and wondering where I’ve gone. He usually loves going to my mum’s house to see her dogs but when we go to see her, he just won’t leave my side. He seems to panic whenever I leave the room.

For example, yesterday I was trying to cook tea and because I was in the kitchen and I’d left him in the living room, when he realised, he came running in, wrapped himself round my legs and started screaming for me to pick him up. I can’t even stop and speak to someone in the street when he’s with me because he kicks off big time and wants us to go!

When he first started behaving like this I just said to myself ‘oh it’s probably just a phase he’s going through’ but I feel like he’s been like this for a while now and I’m concerned because he’s now at nursery – even though they tell me he’s fine when I leave him, I want to know in my mind that he absolutely is.

I feel like I’ve tried everything. I’ve tried telling him I’m going to be leaving the room before I go but he runs straight after me and I always reassure him and tell him ‘mum is only going in the next room, it’s okay.’ I like to think I’ve raised him to be independent, in the past Kory has never had a problem getting something for himself, I encourage him to play alone, he has a lovely bedroom and he enjoys playing in it with all his toys but at the same time, if I’m tidying up or cooking, I ask for his help so he feels involved and surely he can’t be craving attention because he has my attention all day over, I’m always finding different things for us to do together.

I’m at a loss here.

So I did some research online about clinginess in toddlers, I was just trying to find some answers or information on how to help him get passed this phase he seems to be going through because I’ve honestly no clue what’s brought this on but I kept seeing the same answers.

  • Change in routine
  • Sickness
  • Child’s temperament

As you know I am a stay at home mum so me and Kory do spend quite a lot of time together. However, there have been no changes to our routine that I can think of so I don’t see how it could be that.

As for sickness, his health has been perfectly fine as far as I can tell. He’s eating, drinking and sleeping just fine.

Kory from being a small baby, has always had a pleasant and sociable temperament. I’ve never had any problems leaving him at my mum’s house or at my grandparents house. He usually waves me off!

The only time Kory seems to be clingy is when he’s just with me or if there is one or two other people there with us. I took him to play group the other day and he was absolutely fine there. He went off playing with the other children and didn’t come to find me once! I thought we were getting back to normal but as soon as I brought him home the clinginess started again. I love that Kory loves me and it’s me that he wants the most, I have no problem with giving extra cuddles and reassurance but he’s constantly whining for me and it’s exhausting, I feel selfish saying this but it’s actually getting me down.

Can anyone help me? Do you have any idea of what’s brought this on? Is this common? How should I react when he screams at me to stop talking to others? And how can I help him?


Since we have been switching rooms round with Kory (see previous post Project; Kory’s bedroom) we haven’t been out of the house much as we’ve just stayed home trying to get as much done as possible so that Kory can be in his new room and so that I can get the house back to somewhat normal again. (Stuff everywhere!) I feel guilty that we haven’t taken Kory anywhere so today I had planned to take him to the park to go conker picking while it’s nice and fresh outside but the more I think about going, the more I don’t want to go.

I don’t know why but I keep thinking silly thoughts like ‘what if there’s just me and Kory at the park on our own and someone comes over?’ And to me it makes going there by ourselves seem scary and unthinkable. I know that it’s silly to think this way but I can’t help it!

So instead, we’ve ended up just staying at home again. Right now I’m watching Kory play in the living room with his toy cars, he seems happy enough but I feel so guilty for not taking him out and letting my anxiety get the better of me (again!)

I don’t know why but I’ve been feeling so anxious lately… I don’t quite understand why, I’ve always had to go places and do things on my own with Kory, I haven’t had much choice so why is this bothering me so much now? I haven’t felt this anxious for a long time.

Project; Kory’s bedroom

Sorry I have been absent lately but we have been super busy. Since we last spoke we have decided to swap bedrooms with Kory and with that decorate the rooms, get rid of his nursery set (yes I cried) and replace with as I call, big boy furniture.

Our bedroom is pretty big, it’s nice to have lots of space but to be honest it’s wasted. We don’t spend a lot of time in our bedroom other than to go to bed and we just thought that Kory would benefit from having the bigger bedroom and the space that comes with it for all of his things and he’ll have plenty more room to play. Just in time for Christmas I suppose as he’s only going to get more stuff!

Kory’s old bedroom isn’t huge but it’s a nice size and perfect for us really, it’s just the size we need so we don’t have a problem with switching with him. Besides from switching the rooms round which when you have a 2 year old in the house, was a challenge! We decided we’re going to paint kory’s new bedroom a pale blue. I figured this would be nice for him as his previous nursery was just papered cream so will be nice for him to have some colour in there.

Well that’s all from me for now, I better get stuck in! Will keep you updated and will let you know when Kory’s bedroom is finished and what he thinks about it.

Watch this space…