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Making a change

If you read yesterday’s blog post, you’ll know that i’ve been feeling a bit low lately and i’m sure that many people who read what I wrote thought:

What problems do you have?

What have you got to complain about?

And they’d be right to think that because my problems are a lot less significant when I think about what problems other people are facing. I know that and there will always be someone who has it worse than you. I hate feeling down and stuck in a rut (who doesn’t?!) I don’t choose to feel this way and I’m not usually one for feeling sorry for myself, in fact I’m usually the person who everyone comes to with their problems but I’m only human myself and I just think things had got a bit much for me.

Since then I’ve had some time to think about things and I’ve realised that although I can’t necessarily help how I think and feel, if I want to change my mindset and how I feel then I’m going to have to actually do something about it. Sitting around and feeling sorry for yourself has never helped anyone. Life has a habit of trying to bring you down and it can keep you down too – if you let it.

I read a quote that said ‘Remember when you used to wish for everything that you now have’ and it really resonated with me. I used to dream of having a family of my own, a son, a daughter, a partner, a car, a nice home and to be happy and I have all of that. I am so lucky and I realise that but when you feel like I do, you could have everything in the world and you would still feel sad and that made me feel so guilty because what a waste. I have everything I could ever possibly want and I’m not going to enjoy it because I’m going to let my negative thoughts and feelings get in the way of that? I knew I needed to make a change.

I have already started to make changes. I read back to myself my blog post from yesterday and it was clear for me to see what the problem was/is. The problem lies with how I think.

So here is what I think I need to do to help with how I’ve been feeling:

  • I need to train my brain to think differently.
  • I need to remind myself that small inconveniences don’t have to be such a big deal.
  • And I need to think more positively.

Yes the knob on my oven has snapped clean off but at least the rest of the oven still works and the knob can be replaced.

Yes the headlight and side panel on my car are broken but at least I have a car that runs and these things can be repaired.

My phone screen has smashed but my phone still works and I can always get a new screen.

I feel lonely because people don’t spend much time with me and/or my kids? Then that’s their loss. I have my kids and they have me.

I am not a person who sits around and feels sorry for themselves, that’s just not who I am, it never has been and I’m actually quite embarrassed by how low I’ve let myself get. I thought about quitting but then I remembered who is watching… My kids.

So watch this space because I’m about to find Kirsti again…

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What a sh!t start to the year

I entered the new year feeling very optimistic, I was thinking positively and I had high hopes for the year ahead but the year really hasn’t started off so great for me. Literally nothing has or is going right for me at the moment. Or at least that’s how it feels to me anyway.

For the last few days my anxiety feels like it has come back in full swing, it really has hit me like a ton of bricks and knocked me for six. I have cried at least once every day, the kids must think I’m bat shit crazy. I feel awful. I feel exhausted – physically, mentally and emotionally, I feel inpatient and I feel like i’m ready to snap. I feel like there is a million thoughts going round my head all. the. time and that my head could just explode at any given moment. I have never felt lonelier. I have spoken about this before but I still feel that no-one bothers with me or the kids, no-one asks do we want to go anywhere or even if we’re okay and it sucks! Not only this but the knob on my oven has decided to snap clean off, the headlight on my car has stopped working, the side panel is hanging off the side of the car door and to top everything off I’ve smashed my phone screen as well which is just absolutely fanfuckingtastic.

These may not seem like big issues to most of you because, let’s be honest, well they’re not. There’s people out there with much bigger worries and losses in their lives than a smashed phone and having a broken headlight isn’t exactly the end of the world either but when you feel like I do, which is complete and utter crap, whenever anything like this does happen it just adds to my already never ending list of stresses when I already feel like I’m drowning in a sea of things that I need to sort or worry about.

I realise that I do need to change the way that I think and try not to let things get me so easily worked up. Worrying about things doesn’t change anything and I can accept that things could be a lot worse, it’s just that when you try to remain positive even through all the doubt and everything still goes tits up for you it feels like a slap in the face. I don’t want to be a negative Nancy (even though I am being) and be the one to complain and rant, in fact I feel quite pathetic for doing so but I’m just finding everything so hard at the minute and besides, I am allowed to have a good old moan, right? I guess I just felt like I needed to get all of this off my chest since I feel like I don’t have anyone else to talk to about all of this anyway.

So, if you’ve made it all the way to this point I’d like to thank you for reading the whole of this blog post and listening to my complaining. I hope your year has got off to a better start than mine has!

I promise the next time you hear from me it will be on happier terms but in the meantime, f%ck dry January… Pass me the wine!

Kirsti, xo

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Goodbye 2019

With only 6 hours left of 2019, I thought I would try to write this post before we enter the new year.

Firstly, I would like to recap on the year. And what a year it has been… Kora was born and completed our family, Kory became a big brother, I learned some things about myself and I honestly feel like I’m in a better place now than I was when the year started.

2019 has been a better year than I could have ever imagined!

Last year I set myself some goals for the new year, as I do every year. And these were:

  • Read read read. I used to always read, I used to always have my head in a book but it’s been so long since I started a book and actually finished it. It’s not because of lack of interest – I love books, it’s having the spare time to read that’s an issue! But I’ve made a promise to myself that I’m going to make more time for reading, even if it’s just a couple of pages at night and in doing so, hopefully fall back in love with reading all over again.

  • Blog more. I’m really enjoying blogging at the moment and eventually I would like my blog to go somewhere so this year I’m going to blog as much as I can and take blogging more seriously.

  • Stay positive. I like to think I’m a pretty positive person anyway but sometimes I let things get me down and I can get quite stressed. But life’s too short for that and I just want to be happy

So how did I do? I honestly think I could have done better. I did attempt to read more but I didn’t read as many books as I’d have liked to but with two kids to look after, I don’t get a great deal of time for myself.

I did try to blog more and for a while I was doing well with that but then I started to let it slip again and I also neglected my social media too. I still am neglecting my social media if I’m being completely honest. I don’t know what it is I just don’t feel in any rush to get back into that just yet and besides, I think a social media break can do us all some good from time to time.

I actually think I did quite well with the staying positive one. I’m quite positive anyway but I am known for letting things bother me quite easily so that was something I wanted to work on for myself and I think I managed to do that. I let things go over my head a bit more and I feel better for doing so.

So with the year coming to an end, I think it’s a good time for me to set myself some more goals. If there’s ever something you want to achieve or work on there is no better time than right now to make a start but I just think there’s something about a new year with new beginnings and new possibilities that makes it a great time to focus on what you want for the future.

So here goes…

  • Make something of my blog. Yes – no more excuses, this year I am going to take my blog seriously, knuckle down and seriously put in the work. Blogging started off as a hobby for me, it’s still a great way for me to talk about my feelings and share my experiences with you all but blogging has also given me a lot of opportunities and I’m interested to see where else I can take that.
  • Spend more time together as a family. We do spend a lot of time together as a family but a lot of it is spent just at home. Since having Kora I’ve found it difficult trying to get out of the house, I am getting better at it but it has taken me a while so my goal for the new year is to take the kids to more places, do more things and make more memories together.

And that’s it. Not much really, nothing big and extraordinary but small goals that I’d like to achieve. I’m not going to say I want to read more because I feel like I say that every year so this year I’m not going to and I’m just going to see what happens.

I hope you all have a lovely New Years Eve whatever your plans may be. Every year on New Years we do the same thing, it’s sort of a New Year’s Eve tradition for us if you will.

So, goodbye 2019. See you all in 2020!

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Loneliness in motherhood

I have wrote about my own experience with loneliness in motherhood previously in a past blog post called another lonely mum. I won’t go into too much detail about what I spoke about as I have attached a link for you if you’d like to have a read for yourself but I did speak openly about how as a first time mum how isolating motherhood can feel and how no-one really talks about it.

Since that last blog post I have become a mum for the second time and whilst some of you may think that I would have made some mum friends since the first time or that it would mean i’d have at least got a bit better at dealing with feeling this way by now, you couldn’t be more wrong. If i’m being totally straight, I felt a hell of a lot lonelier the second time round than I ever did as a first time mum. Being a mum of two means I have even less time for myself than I did before, which means even less time to socialise or even less time for anything else at all to be honest!

I found the transition from one child to two very difficult. In an instance everything changed and it was a lot for me to grasp and at certain times I wasn’t sure whether I was capable of even doing this. During the first few weeks of staying home with both children everything was new, everything was a lot harder and I didn’t really have anyone that I could talk to about how I was feeling. I became engulfed in loneliness and my days started to feel like they were stuck on repeat. I’d wake up, feed both kids, tidy up, play, feed both kids again and play some more until bedtime just to wake up the next morning to do the exact same thing over again. I felt so unhappy. I would look in the mirror at myself, see the bags under my eyes, the pale skin and greasy hair and I wouldn’t even recognise myself.

‘So why not get out of the house?’ I hear you ask. Well, it’s not like getting out of the house with two kids is exactly easy. I’d have to get everyone ready, pack everything I needed which i’m pretty sure i’d forget something and then when we did eventually get out of the door, where would we even go? As depressing as it was, at the time staying at home seemed to be the easy option.

The loneliness this time round was so much more profound and I felt like I was drowning with the weight of trying to deal with everything all by myself and feeling like this on top of everything else. Having no-one to speak to and to share your troubles with really sucks and the biggest mistake I made in trying to deal with my loneliness was that I didn’t try to deal with it at all, all I did was try to mask how I was feeling and I never expressed it to anyone until one day the overwhelming feeling of loneliness took over me and I just couldn’t keep it to myself anymore. My loneliness was turning to sadness and it was taking me to a dark place.

It was only after speaking to someone that I realised I didn’t have to feel like this and in order to not feel like this, I had to help myself. I have to take time for myself instead of talking myself out of it, I have to take time away from motherhood and I have to spend time speaking to other adults.

My daughter is now 12 weeks old and although I feel like I have come along way since those early days and I’ve got a whole lot better at juggling this whole mum-of-two thing, I still have days when the loneliness creeps back in, when I wonder if it’s just my 3 year old that is capable of screaming the house down or my baby that has episodes of crying no matter what I do to try and settle her, wondering if i’m even any good at being a parent and asking myself if it’s because of me that me and my kids don’t seem to get invited anywhere. Motherhood has a way of doing that to us but now when it does, I try to remind myself that i’m not the only one to have ever felt this way.

So, to all the other mums out there struggling to fit in or make friends or feeling like you’re a million miles away from the rest of the world, just know that you aren’t and while you may be going through what feels a hard time, this too shall pass.

Here are some things you can do to help end this cycle of loneliness:

  • Join a baby class.
  • Go for a walk.
  • Smile. Strike up a conversation.
  • Get your hair done.
  • Read a book.
  • Or even message me! I don’t mind!

I am that mum that will smile at you if i see you in the supermarket with your crying baby because I know what that feels like, I will hold your baby while you eat your food and drink your coffee, you can come round to my house any time and I will always pick up the phone.

So, from one lonely mum to another, I get you and i’m with you.

 

Kirsti, xo

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QuaintBaby Ultrasound Art

I came across Quaintbaby Ultrasound Art on Instagram and I couldn’t believe my eyes. I had never seen something so incredibly beautiful.

QuaintBaby Art is a sole trader small art business whose owner hand paints ultrasound paintings to capture the experiences, the magic and baby’s personality for you to be able to visually visit that time in your life time and time again. The time that is entirely unique to every individual but one that can be beautifully captured as a piece of ultrasound art.

After seeing images of QuaintBaby Art and reading more about the business itself, I knew straight away that I wanted to work on a collaboration with Laura who owns QuaintBaby and after exchanging emails with Laura she agreed to collaborating together and I was so excited about this!

To start the process for Laura to hand paint Kory and Kora’s ultrasounds for me. I sent over to her the ultrasound images and from then we kept in touch to discuss the process of the paintings. She kept me informed throughout the entire process and answered any questions I had. The paintings themselves take between 1-10 days for Laura to create as she likes to dedicate lots of time and care into each painting she paints. On completion the painting is then varnished and framed and the original ultrasound image is printed off and attached to the back of the frame. To me, painting ultrasounds is genius and I cant believe that I haven’t seen this done before until now and that I hadn’t heard of QuaintBaby up until working together considering the business has been featured in Vogue UK, HerFamily and Businessinsider but I am so happy that I did come across QuaintBaby Ultrasound Art and that I got to know Laura more through working together on this collaboration. Laura promised to bestow something special to me that I would treasure forever in painting both of my babies ultrasounds and that she most definitely did, she took any expectations I had and blew them out of the water. When I received my paintings in the post, I bawled my eyes out when I opened them. Seeing the paintings and looking at my babies ultrasounds definitely made me look back on both pregnancies with a lot of fond memories. Working on this collaboration with Laura has been a very enjoyable process from start to finish and Laura has been amazing throughout the whole experience.

QuaintBaby Art also creates paintings of pets – because not all babies are human and heartbeat and soundwave paintings. So if you’re looking for a special way to capture and treasure an ultrasound, a heartbeat or a fur baby then I absolutely 100% recommend QuaintBaby Ultrasound Art to you.

To have Laura hand paint a piece of art for you, you can simply fill in an order form by clicking here or you can contact Laura by email to discuss further what it is that you would like her to create for you. Laura aims to respond to all emails within 1-3 days but during busy periods this may take longer. QuaintBaby Ultrasound Art can also be found on Instagram and Facebook and for more information you can head to the QuaintBaby website.

Thank you for reading my review on QuaintBaby and thank you so much to Laura over at QuaintBaby Ultrasound Art for the opportunity to work on this together. It has been an absolute pleasure and I will treasure forever the hand painted ultrasound paintings that you have created for me. What you do and what you create for people is truly special and I wish every success and more for QuaintBaby.

 

* Please note, I received this product in exchange for an honest review. All views and opinions are my own. *

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Palmers review

I’ve spoke openly in the past about how I’ve always been image conscious but how I was even more conscious of my body during my pregnancies and how I am even EVEN more conscious of the way my body looks after giving birth to two children.

I never took or shared any pictures of my bump when I was pregnant with Kory, I just didn’t feel comfortable in my own skin and I wasn’t loving my new, bigger body shape but looking back, it makes me sad that I didn’t embrace having a bump and I wish I had took more photos of my bump to look back at. I wish I had loved my body more because it gave me my son.

Which is why when I was pregnant with Kora, even though my pregnancy was a lot harder, a lot more tiring and just all round different, I made a promise to myself that I was going to take photos of my bump and that this time I was going to embrace my new body shape. My body has given me two beautiful children, that’s pretty amazing.

It’s because of this that I decided I want to take better care of my body. So when Emma’s Diary Parent Squad sent me these Palmer’s tummy butter and massage lotions to try out I couldn’t wait to use them! For the past few weeks I have been using these products and I have already noticed that any stretch marks I had have drastically reduced in appearance and using the creams has also helped to improve the elasticity of my skin. I love that the products are made from ingredients such as: pure cocoa butter, Shea butter, natural oils, collagen, elastic and lutein which are great at keeping skin moisturised and smell amazing.

I highly recommend these products for anyone who’s pregnant, recently had a baby or for weight loss and just see for yourself the difference using Palmer’s makes to your skin.

Thanks for reading my review. Please do let me know your thoughts in the comments!

* Please note, I received these products in exchange for an honest review. All views and opinions are my own. *

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What I do all day

At the moment I am a stay at home mum but that wasn’t always the case, I did have a job as a receptionist before Kory was born. Once Kory was born it made sense for me to stay home and take care of him myself rather than fork out so much on childcare costs so i chose not to go back to work. Since then I have become a mum again for the second time and the same situation applies.

When I tell people that I am a stay at home mum, i’m usually asked the following question:

‘So, what do you do all day?’

Well I don’t sit around all day drinking tea and watching tv if that’s what you think. (I wish!) Below is a basic list of what I do all day on a typical day when I’m home with both kids.

7:00am, Wake up feeling tired and wishing I had gone to bed earlier. Make Kora a bottle, grab Kory some breakfast.

7:15am, Feed Kora her bottle.

8:00am, Grab Kory his iPad or put something on the tv for him. Change Kora’s nappy. Get her dressed for the day.

8:30am, Put Kora on her play mat or in her moses basket whilst I tidy up after breakfast.

9:00am, Get Kory washed, teeth brushed and dressed for the day.

9:30am, Make the bed, wash, brush my teeth and get myself dressed.

10:00am, Tidy the house, wash the pots, sterilise the bottles, feed the animals, do the washing, put the drying away, hoover, mop, put pots away, put washing out or on the radiators, ect. (All whilst checking on Kora, entertaining Kory and answering his gazillion questions all at the same time!)

11:30am, Make Kora a bottle, feed and wind her.

12:15pm, Change Kora’s nappy. Put her in her bouncer.

12:30pm, Make Kory some dinner.

1:00pm, Realise that I haven’t yet eaten or drank anything. Make self a coffee and maybe some cereal. Eat and drink.

1:30pm, Tidy up after dinner.

2:00pm, Play with Kory and his toys in his bedroom. Sit with Kora.

3:00pm, Absentmindedly wonder if I’m doing everything right.

3:15pm, Leave Kory to carry on playing. Make Kora a bottle, feed and wind her.

4:15pm, Change Kora’s nappy.

4:30pm, Put something on the tv for Kory so that I can let myself ‘relax for just a moment.’

4:45pm, Look what I can make for tea. Make tea whilst also trying to keep my eye on both kids.

5:15pm, Rory comes home from work.

5:30pm, Dish out tea, eat tea.

6:00pm, Put dishes in the sink.

6:10pm, Bath and bed routine. Bath Kory, get him changed into his pyjamas and into bed.

6:45pm, Read story to Kory.

7:00pm, Let Kory watch a little tv in bed whilst I feed Kora her bottle.

7:45pm, Kory is usually asleep by this point. Change Kora’s babygrow and nappy.

8:15pm, Put Kora down to sleep in her moses basket.

8:30pm, Go back downstairs to tidy up after tea.

9:00pm, Finally get into bed myself at which point i’m usually struggling to keep my eyes open.

Sleep, wake and then do it all over again the following day… So there you have it, an itinerary of a typical day in the life of a stay at home mum.

 

This parenting thing is hard!

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Sometimes you just need a break

When you’re a mum, looking after the kids, running a household and dealing with everything else that life throws at you all at the same time – sometimes you just need a break.

I understand that going to work all day as a parent isn’t fun or easy either. I get that I’m lucky enough to be able to stay home with my children. I haven’t always been a stay at home mum, I do understand the responsibilities and stresses of life outside of motherhood.

As a stay at home mum, when I say I need a break I don’t mean a holiday or a reward for doing my job which is looking after Kory and Kora every day. I’m talking about just being able to have five minutes to myself so that I can feel sane. I want and need a break from time to time, not because I’m bored or looking for some fun, I want and need a break because I put absolutely everything I am into staying at home and raising my kids and let me tell you something, it isn’t easy. In fact, it’s damn well hard some days.

I can admit that I need a break but I won’t ask for help and sometimes even when the help is there, I don’t accept it. Or won’t accept it shall I say. Not because I’ve got too much pride but because I feel like accepting help is me admitting that I find life as a mum hard sometimes and that makes me a failure. And even when I do get time to myself I just feel guilty the entire time. Guilty for ‘palming’ my kids off. Which I know is a load of rubbish and it’s silly for me to even feel that way but in my mind that’s how I think and I can’t help it.

So what do I do instead? I end up pushing myself until I feel totally empty with no energy for anything at all. Which is no good, is it? It isn’t good for me and it isn’t good for my children. Because although I feel like I’m being the best mum that I can be by being with them all the time, I’m not really am I because when I’m with them I’m doing the bare minimum with bare minimum effort because that’s all I can do. There is nothing else left for me to give. I can’t summon up the strength to give anything else because I’m pouring from an empty cup.

I really am my own worst enemy and I need to remember that it’s okay to accept help, it’s okay to admit that i’m struggling and it’s okay to have some time just for me and to actually enjoy that time without punishing myself for doing so. If I want to be the best mum that I can be, then I really do need a break sometimes and if I don’t want to go insane, then I need to do it for myself too, even if it’s just for an hour so that I can refuel.

Sometimes you just need a break. A break from the responsibilities of being a parent, a break from the craziness and even a break from the kids and that is totally okay. In fact it’s more than okay. It’s necessary.

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Deep Freeze review

Since having Kora and having two children to take care of and run around after now, I’ve been rushed off my feet and I’ve found that I’ve been having a bit of lower back ache at the end of each day.

I don’t really like to take pain killers if I can help it so I was looking for an alternative to help with my back pain. That was when I decided to get in touch with Deep Freeze, who then so very kindly agreed to send me some of their Deep Freeze pain relief cold patch samples to try out.

After receiving my samples, I put them straight to the test…

I have to say, the Deep Freeze cold patches worked like a miracle on my lower back, with a menthol scent and easy application, after applying the cold patch I could feel it start to work instantly and it provided me with long lasting relief.

I highly recommend the Deep Freeze pain relief cold patches to anyone suffering with any sort of pain and/or muscle problems. These Deep Freeze products offer fast acting pain relief that is drug free which means that they are also suitable for use during pregnancy at a time when you are unable to take pain killers and certain medication which is very useful and I only wish I had used the cold patches myself when I was pregnant!

The Deep Freeze cold patches are available to buy from Boots, Superdrug, local pharmacies and all major supermarkets. They cost £4.99 for a pack of 4.

Thank you for reading my review and thank you to Deep Freeze once again for agreeing to send me some of their samples.

 

* Please note, I received these products in exchange for an honest review. All views and opinions are my own. *

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My hands may be full but my heart is fuller

This little one doesn’t want me to put her down today but at least it’s Saturday and we don’t have to rush out of the house to be anywhere, it’s okay that there’s still pots to be washed and it’s perfectly acceptable that Kory is still wearing the same pyjamas he went to bed in the night before.

Because I realised something today.

I realised the house work can wait.

Everything can wait.

I’ve always liked to keep a nice, clean and tidy house. In fact, I like to keep everything in my life neat and organised. I’m known for being quite a particular person.

When I was pregnant with Kory, people would always tell me ‘you’ll have to get used to mess once the baby arrives’ but that wasn’t the case for me. Without sounding like I’m blowing my own trumpet, after Kory was born I somehow still managed to stay on the ball with everything. I still managed to keep on top of the house work and keep my home looking nice. There’s been times when I’ve found it difficult to do so don’t get me wrong, like when Kory dropped his naps during the day and started to sleep only at bedtime but I still caught up and got done what I needed to get done. Even if it meant waiting until he had gone to bed before I could make a start on the house work.

But since having Kora as well as Kory to look after, I’ve found it really hard to find the time for house work or the time to do anything in fact! I have every intention of getting through my to do list for the day but I’m busy looking after both kids and running a house that I feel as though I blink and the day is over with before I even know it and once they’ve both finally gone to bed I’m way too tired to be cleaning the house.

But you know what? It can all wait.

I don’t want to lose my patience with Kory because there are dishes in the sink or because I haven’t managed to hoover yet. I don’t want to put Kora down as soon as she’s been fed, changed and fallen asleep. I want to cuddle her.

It was much easier to keep up with the house work when it was just Kory I had to take care of because he goes to nursery 3 days a week and when he’s home he likes to play in his bedroom which means I had a lot more free time to get stuff done. I think one of the things I have found the hardest since becoming a mum of two is accepting that I may not be able to get as much done as I used to be able to and to not punish myself for that.

What could be more important than playing with your child and cuddling your baby? Nothing. Because even when I think I’m doing ‘nothing,’ playing and cuddling is doing something and it’s a lot more important than those pots that need washing.

Kory is now 3 years old and the time I have had with him has already gone by so fast and I want to treasure my time with both of my children. He isn’t going to be my little boy forever and Kora isn’t always going to be this small. One day when they’re both grown up and they don’t want to play with mummy anymore, I’ll feel sad and I’ll have all the time in the world to tidy the house.

When Kory and Kora look back on their childhoods, I don’t want them to remember a mum that never had the time for them, a mum that would always brush them off because she prided herself more on what her house looked like. I want them to remember a mum that made them laugh and smile and actually spent time with them.

I want them to remember all the mess we made and all the fun we had making it together.