Wrapped in Cotton Wool

Good Evening,

I often read and watch the news. I listen to the stories about terrorism, murder, and other types of violence and it leaves me terrified. Don’t get me wrong it does scare me for my own benefit but the thing that terrifies me the most is if something were to happen to my children. This would be my worst nightmare. I find myself wrapping the children in cotton wool just to keep them safe. What kind of life is this though?

When were out I like to keep my children close in fear that something might happen to them. It’s not just about crossing the road, watching them near glass products. It’s about them going missing, or worse being kidnapped.

I have tried to make a game out of stranger danger with Tyler. Even though the topic isn’t funny what’s so ever. Tyler has only just turned 5, and I needed to ensure that he understood what I was telling him. I needed to imprint the facts into his brain. We played this game a few times and at first, he didn’t quite understand what I was trying to teach him, but now he does. He knows exactly what to do if he ever found himself in a situation where he felt threatened by a stranger.

Am I as a parent taking this a step too far? Some people might think this is the case. I just know that it seems like the world is getting a darker place to live and I would rather lead him through the darkness, than allow it to swallow him whole.

Maybe sometimes I am a little too safe with my children. I need to stop worrying so much and allow them to make some small mistakes. Allow them to do things where they might hurt themselves. Let them learn that they’re not invincible and they might get hurt. By ‘small mistakes’ I mean things like, throwing themselves upside down on the swing in the park, and Leap frogging over metal posts.

I fully hope in my heart that we can turn this world around. I believe if we all work together, we can make a difference. But for now, whilst that is in the process, just remember that there is bad stuff out there and we must educate our kids. Let’s make this world the best place to be, the best place to live in. Let’s do this for us, let’s do this for them, our Future.

 

Love as always;

Donna Marie Howard

 

Sticks and Stones

Good afternoon,

 

I’m sure you have all heard of the phrase ‘sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me’ this use to be a playground saying when I was little. How incorrect is this though? I know it has a deeper meaning behind it, but the idea of the phrase itself is absolute rubbish.

The world is full of bad stuff, bad people with lots of negativity. On the other hand, the world is also full of good stuff, good people with lots of positivity. So why it is then that our focus is always shifted to the negativity? Why do we always place our focus on this? All it does is cast shade on the positive.

It makes me happy when someone says something nice to me, but I do struggle to take compliments. I always feel awkward when I’m given one. I over think it, my brain starts thinking how do I act, what do I say as a reply? Most of the time I will just make it into a negative compliment. Someone tells me that they like my hair and I reply with ‘oh my roots are terrible aren’t they and I really need a haircut, I have so many split ends’. Instead I just need to learn to say thank you. That is all that’s needed. That positive compliment can easily be erased though, no matter how happy it made you. Just by someone making a horrible, nasty, and negative comment.

I have often struggled and held on to the negativity. I like to think that since having my children I am a much stronger person than I use to be, as I must be for them. But in the past, I have allowed the comments to overcome my thoughts and that has made me feel so sad. I believed that it must be true just because someone has said it. That comment and that thought sticks, and that is a lot harder to erase.

So why are these comments made? Why do other people feel the need to cast their opinions on us? I believe it’s down to jealously and their own insecurities. Every person in the world is different. We’re not all built the same on purpose. We all have our own identities, and insecurities but we all sparkle in different ways. We’re not about one single thing. We’re about the entire package. So, start looking a little deeper, unravel the negative comments and love each other for who we are.

Next time you’re on social media, or out on the streets just give someone a compliment. If we focus on spreading the love instead of casting the darkness around then maybe the hate in the world won’t seem so big.

 

Love as always,

 

Donna Marie Howard

Facebook Blues

Evening,

Do you ever find yourself getting the Facebook blues? Where you scroll and scroll reading everyone’s posts and looking through their pictures and the result is that you feel quite down. Looking at other mum’s posts about their children, how partners have treated their other halve, people going on holiday, or just nights out. You get the ‘my life isn’t like that’ feeling. After you have spent time on Facebook a sort of emptiness hits you, like you must be clearly missing something or doing something wrong, and then jealously kicks in.

Have you ever really sat there and thought properly about Facebook? Have you really delved into what it is that we’re all looking at, what we’re seeing and reading?

We’re all seeing what the person in question would like us to see. We’re seeing their best bits. We’re mostly seeing the positive side to everyone’s story. What they deem acceptable to show to the Facebook audience.

There isn’t anything wrong with doing this, not at all. I know that I’m guilty of doing this. I like to show when I’ve been somewhere nice, or when something good has happened to me. I never show the parts where I’m stressed out so much from repeating myself over and over to the kids, asking them to pick their toys up or just stay sat at the table whilst they eat their tea. Me personally I think this is because I feel that I will be judged, that it’s not social acceptable to admit that as a mother of three I sometimes feel so stressed out that I need to cry a little. Well guess what? That’s exactly what I do. I don’t really receive ‘me’ time, hey I barely receive ‘toilet’ time to myself without the door opening and a crowd forming. But this is part of my package now. I accept this.

I miss the days of the disposable cameras. You would just take a picture and until it was developed you didn’t know what it would look like. Even when you did get the pictures back, you couldn’t change them. Now a day most people have the luxury of owning their own mobile smart phone, which comes with a very handy camera. The pictures taken on these can be seen and deleted and took again if they’re not seen good enough. We keep going until we believe that we have taken the right picture that is acceptable to show to Facebook. Even still in some cases parts of the picture will be cropped down so we can hide the parts of the picture we dislike.

These are my examples of what I put on Facebook recently. My weight loss picture I took my hair down and shook it a bit to try and make myself look a bit better. Even still I didn’t deem the picture taken to be any good until the thirteenth picture that I took.
2 stone

The next picture is currently my profile picture. I searched the house to find a room that had good enough lighting. I took twenty-three pictures until I decided that the picture was good enough.
21015948_10154764195681606_6419513370219298272_o.jpg

I think we should all appreciate what we’re shown on Facebook. No judging, no jealously. Everyone has their bad days, everyone has their good days. We don’t know the full story. That holiday that we keep seeing pictures of, probably took a long time to pay for. That night out that looks amazing, might be the only night out that person has had in months. That mother that appears to have her shit together, probably dealt with a numerous number of tantrums that day.

We all have a story to tell, no story is perfect. Everyone has imperfections. We all work with what we’re dealt with. We’re all strong and each person in life achieves different things, but no one is better than the other. Don’t let the Facebook blues cloud your judgement, lets listen to the story being told to us. Let’s support one another and be happy for each other’s achievements.

Love as always;

Donna Marie Howard