Life With Pink Princesses https://lifewithpinkprincesses.co.uk A personal blog from the heart of a young Mum Fri, 17 Jan 2020 16:55:29 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.3.2 98180168 Parenting With Social Anxiety https://lifewithpinkprincesses.co.uk/parenting-with-social-anxiety/ https://lifewithpinkprincesses.co.uk/parenting-with-social-anxiety/#comments Tue, 21 Jan 2020 08:00:00 +0000 https://lifewithpinkprincesses.co.uk/?p=36501 My name is Jodie and I suffer from Social Anxiety. I have tried on numerous occasions to pinpoint a specific thing that may have started or caused my anxiety. Some sort of trauma in my life. I had a rocky start in life but these were things that happened to me as a baby and …

The post Parenting With Social Anxiety appeared first on Life With Pink Princesses.

]]>
My name is Jodie and I suffer from Social Anxiety.

I have tried on numerous occasions to pinpoint a specific thing that may have started or caused my anxiety. Some sort of trauma in my life. I had a rocky start in life but these were things that happened to me as a baby and not something I remember personally.

However, I do remember some things from my childhood that I can look back on and know that was anxiety causing them. I was about three or four years old when my mum married my step-dad (now ex step-dad), I was a bridesmaid and spent the entire night before ill. Then spent their wedding day as pale as a sheet. This also happened at my mum’s third (let’s not go there) wedding when I was about thirteen.

This sort of situation, where I’d feel ill before big events or holidays turned me into a quivering wreck. My family put it down to nerves and that was it. I also remember the way I’d practically disappear under the desk in an attempt to avoid answering any questions in front of the class. Reading in groups made my skin crawl. The school performances were terrifying.

Sleepovers were horrendous and we should probably take a moment to talk about parties. One that I remember was when my mum organised a surprise party. I walked into our living room none the wiser and everyone screamed “surprise” at me. I ran away and cried in the hall! 

Another issue for me growing up and through to adulthood is eating in front of people. Any people. I would hide my mouth by putting my hand over my face, it was that extreme. I look back now knowing that this probably drew more attention to me. Eye contact is also something I struggle with and Hubby still laughs at the way we met, I would pretty much turn away from him to avoid the eye contact.

As you can see anxiety seemed to have riddled my childhood and most of it was surrounding social situations. I now know that this is a real thing, Social Anxiety or Social Phobia. I did have a few very close friends and I felt truly comfortable with them but I tried to avoid speaking to anyone outside of that or putting myself forward to approach possible new friendships.

Getting pregnant with Freya at fifteen years of age didn’t help. Part of social anxiety is having the fear of people judging you and I am completely guilty of experiencing this. Being a tiny, teenage girl with a huge bump meant I attracted unwanted attention, little comments in the school corridors and people approaching me with questions. I hated the idea of going out and even once I’d had Freya, I avoided baby groups and chances to socialise.

In 2013 I experienced my first ever panic attack. That day was a pretty horrific day for me. It started with me suffering my first ever hemiplegic migraine. These are migraines that give you stroke-like symptoms, I had numbness down one side and aura in my eyes, it also felt like my head was going to explode. 

At the time, Eva was only six months old and exclusively breastfed. My mum decided to get me to A&E, as we arrived into the carpark my breathing escalated and the panic attack hit. I couldn’t breathe. It was honestly one of the most terrifying experiences of my life. Which thankfully has not been repeated since.

When we moved to Kent, I told myself this was a chance for a fresh start. At first, I continued to avoid the chances of meeting new people. My mother-in-law tried her best to involve me in baby groups. I’m pretty sure she initiated the first friendship I made actually.

Freya had started school and had begun to struggle with her friendships and I think this was the biggest kick up my backside that I needed. I didn’t want my daughters to suffer the way I do. 

So I started attending local playgroups. Despite going weekly, I felt the nerves and my brain tried to make excuses for me not to attend. During the walk to the groups, I could hear my heart thudding inside my chest and my breathing was erratic. I’d take a deep breath and get through the group showing a confident side to myself.

That’s what I learnt to do, tell myself I was a confident person. That these people didn’t know me, I could be absolutely anybody I wanted to. I made some amazing friendships there and going to the same group each week allowed me to feel less insecure and more positive. Anxiety soon became excitement.

I think that parenting when you have social anxiety is both a blessing and a curse. It offers you an array of social situations from playground greetings, coffee mornings, playdates and parents night outs. These can be exciting and terrifying all in one sweep of emotions.

When there’s a new coffee morning or an evening out arranged, I get so excited then as that date draws closer the anxiety kicks in. My brain goes into overdrive and I try to come up with the most random of excuses so that I can avoid the situation without feeling judged that I just let my social anxiety win.

Right before the social events, my heart thuds so hard and my breathing gets faster. I start questioning my outfits, my conversations and whether I’ll be good enough, whether people will like me. Then during the social, I get worried why someone didn’t laugh, whether my laugh is silly, have I dressed wrongly or said something I shouldn’t, not said enough. Afterwards, it’s a continued evaluation of the event. It’s like I can’t rest. I’m petrified of judgement and rejection.

In the lead up to our Orlando holiday last year, I developed this rather annoying cough. It was like an “out of breath” empty cough. Coughing didn’t clear my throat, it was just a persistent cough that drove everyone, especially myself, mad! This cough is known as an anxiety cough and was caused by the stress of organising our holiday. When we touched down in Orlando, the cough disappeared. It does come back now and then when the girls are causing a great deal of stress or if we are dealing with something stressful.

Over the past year or so, I have been working on dealing with my social anxiety by myself. Like I said earlier, I don’t want anxiety to affect my daughters and I’m most definitely ready for it to stop affecting my own life.

Last year, I took a giant leap by booking a Christian camp with my church. That was terrifying and I spent a lot of time collecting my thoughts and my breath inside my tent whilst my girls played freely with the other church children. That camp changed my life and was the tipping point in my anxiety battle. I was able to see that I can achieve confidence, make friends and not let the anxiety rule.

Following that trip, I spoke in front of my church. This was the scariest thing for me to overcome but I did it! I think I’ve been implementing little tricks to help me cope in social situations and turn, things are getting easier for every social occasion that comes my way. Here are the things I use:

  • Saying yes to the invites. Try not to automatically say no. Then you have time to build up the courage.
  • Start with organising a social get together at your own home. Whether that’s a coffee morning with mums from school, or just having friends over. Your home is your safe place and things can be done on your terms, you are in control here.
  • Take a deep breath before you enter any social situation and tell yourself you are confident. It doesn’t matter what others think of you. The more you tell yourself that, you can gradually begin to believe it.
  • Go to every social event you are asked to go to. I know that’s easier said than done for someone suffering from social anxiety but I’ve found the more I am attending the easier I am finding it.
  • My biggest tip is to tell the people you are interacting with that you are struggling with social anxiety. I have not had a bad experience of this yet. Telling people has allowed them to be reassuring and supportive when I might turn them down for an event, or if I overtalk from nerves.

Those tips are probably really stupid but they are helping me at the moment. Being inside my head can be so consuming. I am the worst critic of myself and I just can’t help it. 

It’s ok to not be ok. I find myself sometimes chatting to everyone on the playground to stop my brain from overthinking the playground dynamics, then other days I’ll stand by myself attempting to avoid catching the eyes of parents who may want to chat.

I just want to say a huge thank you for getting to the end of this post. I hope it has given you a little insight on how I am affected by social anxiety.

The post Parenting With Social Anxiety appeared first on Life With Pink Princesses.

]]>
https://lifewithpinkprincesses.co.uk/parenting-with-social-anxiety/feed/ 2 36501
Our Christmas 2019 https://lifewithpinkprincesses.co.uk/our-christmas-2019/ https://lifewithpinkprincesses.co.uk/our-christmas-2019/#respond Thu, 16 Jan 2020 16:55:28 +0000 https://lifewithpinkprincesses.co.uk/?p=36443 I am sorry that I am still mentioning the C-word this far into January, but it helps to ease my own January/post-Christmas blues. Hands up if you are already thinking ahead for Christmas 2020? Christmas 2017 and 2018 didn’t feel like Christmas at all for me. I didn’t even get round to blogging about 2018 …

The post Our Christmas 2019 appeared first on Life With Pink Princesses.

]]>
I am sorry that I am still mentioning the C-word this far into January, but it helps to ease my own January/post-Christmas blues. Hands up if you are already thinking ahead for Christmas 2020?

Christmas 2017 and 2018 didn’t feel like Christmas at all for me. I didn’t even get round to blogging about 2018 at all. It was horrific. But I don’t want to dwell on it now, instead, it gave me that oomph to make sure this Christmas was a magical one.

The girls woke up at around 6 am, I was a mean mummy and made them go back to bed for an hour more so we could all wake up properly. Then we gathered at the stairs to venture down as a family.

Our tree is conveniently placed by the door to our living room so they were initially greeted by their Father Christmas presents. Father Christmas delivers mainly joint presents in this household, things to bring them all together and this year the girls were pleased. Books had been delivered and craft items too.

This year we had reigned in our spending quite a bit. We are known to go a little overboard on pressies. This year we put a budget of £100 per child and made sure we were thoughtful with our gifts.

We then put the gifts into sacks this year. Usually, we bundle them up on the sofa, but putting them in the sacks made it all very exciting for the girls. I love watching their faces beam with delight at even the tiniest present.

We had a lovely and very relaxed morning at home before heading to my mother-in-law’s for the rest of the day.

Being around family makes Christmas feel like Christmas. It was what was missing from our previous two years. We arrived to find my mother-in-law had bought the girls a huge cuddly Santa Advent for next year and little stockings to get them started.

The girls enjoyed opening their stockings then running around like noisy, overexcited children until it was time for Christmas dinner. Hubby and I enjoyed chatting with other family members and being able to chill out a little. 

Christmas dinner was delicious! It tastes even better when you don’t have the stress of cooking it yourself of course.

My mother-in-law always hosts events well and she’d planned a secret Santa for us to take part in. My secret Santa gifted me a really cute jute bag (the theme was to buy a gift under £5 that begins with the letter of the person you are buying for… so J for Jodie, Jute bag…)

After dinner, we all gathered round to play various board games whilst the kids entertained themselves with iPads and toys! Oh and lots of sugary treats. We gave our gifts to each other and just generally enjoyed the company.

I genuinely had the most magical Christmas this year. Being surrounded by family, chocolate, great food and Christmas music makes it feel so wonderful to me.

I filmed our day, of course, so please take a moment to have a watch. I understand it’s not Christmas anymore but who cares right?

 

The post Our Christmas 2019 appeared first on Life With Pink Princesses.

]]>
https://lifewithpinkprincesses.co.uk/our-christmas-2019/feed/ 0 36443
An 11th Christmas Eve Birthday https://lifewithpinkprincesses.co.uk/an-11th-christmas-eve-birthday/ https://lifewithpinkprincesses.co.uk/an-11th-christmas-eve-birthday/#respond Fri, 10 Jan 2020 10:29:01 +0000 https://lifewithpinkprincesses.co.uk/?p=36473 Not only is Christmas Eve the exciting day before Christmas, but it’s also our eldest daughters birthday.  After living in denial during the lead up to her 10th birthday last year, this birthday was really exciting and I felt like everything was organised for her as she turned a huge 11 years of age! Freya …

The post An 11th Christmas Eve Birthday appeared first on Life With Pink Princesses.

]]>
Not only is Christmas Eve the exciting day before Christmas, but it’s also our eldest daughters birthday. 

After living in denial during the lead up to her 10th birthday last year, this birthday was really exciting and I felt like everything was organised for her as she turned a huge 11 years of age!

Freya always wakes up early but this time we woke her up. She’d clearly got the memo about having a birthday lay in but the rest of us were too excited for her.

Due to Freya’s autism, it’s sometimes hard to know if she is happy or grateful. This year it was so clear how content she was and I genuinely don’t think I’ve ever seen Freya smile as much as she did on Christmas Eve this year.

As you can see by the photos, she was extremely spoilt this year. We went thirds with my Mum and Grandad to buy her the Lego Hogwarts Castle. It has over 6,000 pieces! It’s something she’s asked for for a while now and after the brilliant year she’s had, we thought she deserved it.

The original plan for Christmas Eve was to head to Toby Carvery. It’s Freya’s favourite place to go and eat so we’d specifically booked for the Father Christmas Breakfast. Sadly, I had a phone call fifteen minutes before we were due to leave to say that their ovens were broken and they had to cancel.

I was devastated as we had decided to keep it a surprise from Freya. Instead, we had to rearrange the plans so that my mother-in-law came to our house instead. She brought with her a delicious McDonald’s breakfast. Freya was very pleased as she drenched her pancakes in syrup!

Traditionally, we take the girls out to do something they love on their birthdays. On their previous years it’s been things like the pantomime, Jump In or Clip n Climb.

This year we opted to stay at home to enjoy family time and allow Freya to get started on her Hogwarts Castle. It was really nice to take a more chilled out approach to Christmas Eve.

Freya was so happy the entire day and it was so lovely to just see her gorgeous smiling face. 

You can take a watch of our Christmas Eve in this video. I really love capturing our moments so if you’ve just stumbled across my blog, I’d love it if you could head over to YouTube to subscribe too!

The post An 11th Christmas Eve Birthday appeared first on Life With Pink Princesses.

]]>
https://lifewithpinkprincesses.co.uk/an-11th-christmas-eve-birthday/feed/ 0 36473
Fakemas Our First Christmas Celebrations Of 2019 https://lifewithpinkprincesses.co.uk/fakemas-our-first-christmas-celebrations-of-2019/ https://lifewithpinkprincesses.co.uk/fakemas-our-first-christmas-celebrations-of-2019/#respond Sat, 04 Jan 2020 14:46:43 +0000 https://lifewithpinkprincesses.co.uk/?p=36439 Christmas is most definitely my favourite holiday of the year. It has this magical ability to bring everyone together, doesn’t it? I also love the decorations everywhere and the sparkle. It just makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside and it makes the worst season of my year (winter) much more bearable. You may …

The post Fakemas Our First Christmas Celebrations Of 2019 appeared first on Life With Pink Princesses.

]]>
Christmas is most definitely my favourite holiday of the year. It has this magical ability to bring everyone together, doesn’t it? I also love the decorations everywhere and the sparkle. It just makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside and it makes the worst season of my year (winter) much more bearable.

You may be wondering why the heck I am dressed up as a Santa, matching my three daughters who are rapidly catching up my height. I spotted these dresses in Primark and knew they’d be the perfect outfits for our Fakemas celebrations.

We do Fakemas with my family at my Mum’s house every year now. It’s sort of become a tradition and we get very excited for the day. This year it fell the Saturday before Christmas Day so it felt extremely festive.

My Mum always says that she won’t go crazy with presents, but she always manages to. This year the girls had a few “main” presents then a whole giant gift bag of pressies too! I don’t know how she can call it not going mad, but of course, the girls were very happy with the situation.

We arrived around midday and the girls didn’t wait long before they got stuck into opening their gifts. Elsa was a whizz and opened all at once, whereas Freya and Eva both took a little more time to look at the gift they’d be given. My ears hurt from all of the squealings in delight.

The best bit about celebrating Christmas Day more than once is that you get to eat ALL of the food and not feel guilty. Christmas calories don’t count, well I certainly don’t count them. There was twelve of us sitting down to eat, I never know how people cater for more than like 8. It baffles me.

Fakemas food was kicked started with a soup starter, complete with bacon bits and croutons. Delicious! Elsa had a different menu and she tucked into sausage rolls, chicken nuggets and ham. 

Freya was impressed to see Brussel sprouts on her plate. I love a roast dinner and it’s extra glorious at Christmas time. Elsa didn’t eat much because she was full on her starters but we all delved in with gusto.

Dessert was mince pies, custard, profiterole trifle and a chocolate ice cream roll. We all drowned in sweetness and left the table feeling very full and ready for a nap.

The rest of the afternoon was spent enjoying each others company, playing games with the girls and chilling out in the chaos of toys being everywhere. Hubby spent ages attempting to turn a transformer toy into the car it’s meant to be.

This year went smoothly because the girls were all occupied by various people. Elsa has a little attachment to my step-sister’s boyfriend so he was entertaining her most of the day, Freya adores my brother and Eva floated about between everybody as she does.

I love Fakemas and the excitement it gives us for actual Christmas Day. It’s like a little teaser. It genuinely feels like real Christmas and then you have a few more days to wait rather than experiencing the instant Christmas blues that Boxing Day brings for me.

I filmed our day as part of our vlogmas videos so you can be a part of our fakemas too, I hope you enjoy it!

The last thing to share is of our generation photo. I wish we’d taken these when my Nan was alive but hope to continue the tradition. My not-so-little brother is to the left, my Mum in the purple, my wonderful Grandad who is head of the family in the middle of us, my Auntie with Eva, and of course Freya, Elsa and me to the right. Let’s not forget Mum’s pup Millie in Elsa’s arms.

The post Fakemas Our First Christmas Celebrations Of 2019 appeared first on Life With Pink Princesses.

]]>
https://lifewithpinkprincesses.co.uk/fakemas-our-first-christmas-celebrations-of-2019/feed/ 0 36439