Tag: family

Introducing…Our Beautiful Chaos

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Let me introduce myself, my name is Manda and I’m a mummy to two boys and wife to Phil. I’m known on Instagram as our beautiful chaos. We are currently renovating out forever home which is what made me start my blog … interior design has always been my passion, even as a little girl I remember helping my mum arrange and decorate our home. I would spend hours rearranging my bedroom and making houses for my dolls out of anything I could get my hands on. I’ve always been more creative than academic, I sketch and paint and love designing things. I also love upcycling things for our home, I love natural materials so our home is full of branches, plants and rocks that I have sourced on our adventures and made home worthy. I have a hippy soul and I’m very in tune with my spiritual side.

Starting my blog was an outlet for my creative side, for my love of interior … that’s what it started with anyway …

My childhood was conflicted, on one hand I had a gorgeous family unit, my mum is and always has been my hero. Myself, my mum and my sister are known as the A team we have always been so close. Unfortunately, I had to grow up very fast and experienced another side to my childhood, I am still not ready to tell the world exactly what I went through but I suffered abuse as a child and then fell into a dangerous relationship and was physically, mentally and emotionally abused. I have also lost two babies, which I found to be the most traumatic experiences of my life.

One day I got brave and I wrote a blog post about myself and what I had been through, it was one of the hardest and scariest things I’ve done. To put myself out into the world was terrifying but it also set a little bit of me free. Since that blog post I’ve posted a lot about domestic violence, mental health and everything in between. It’s become my therapy and my release. I’ve wrote about things people who know me didn’t even know, it’s helped me so much. Then came the messages from people, they flooded in telling me how they had connected to the blogs, telling me what they had been through and saying how much the blogs had helped them. I can’t express how thankful I am that I have this platform to help others going through what I have been through.

And so, our beautiful chaos is now just that … it’s my life, all of it … motherhood, interiors, mental health, it’s the real raw me.

If I can help just one person I know my fight, my pain and my past wasn’t in vain. I’m now happier than I ever thought possible, I have daily adventures with my boys … I’m a mum trying to do this thing called motherhood, sometimes I smash it, sometimes I fall flat on the pile of washing I’ve not done but every second I adore it.

I’d love you to join in my journey, if you want to read more about the crazy life that is our beautiful chaos please come for a read, follow, message … I would love to get to know you too.

Manda xx

Instagram – ourbeautifulchaos__

 

Blog – ourbeautifulchaos.blog

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To read the previous Introducing… article featuring Trust Your Gut Click here.

 

[Written by Our Beautiful Chaos | Edited & Published by Dawson.xo | Photos by Our Beautiful Chaos | Subject to copyright]

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The problem with Big Bloggers

I always find starting a blog post is the hardest part of actually keeping up a blog, finding a theme, setting up your social links and adding pictures is the fun bit. But actually sitting down and thinking of something to say is a completely different thing.2018-03-19 10.38.19 1

I have quite a few people who say to me they’d love to start a blog but they just don’t know what to blog about, truth is, neither do i.

Blogging is half about having a passion and talent for writing and half about building up the confidence to actually share yourself online. You could write a fantastic blog piece about ‘All the reasons kale is good for you’ or ‘How to become a ‘girl boss’ in ten days,’ the typical kind of blog post you’re likely to see get thousands of hits but is it personal? Unless that person is a kale farmer or really is making thousands in a few days, then no it isn’t.

So should you make a blog that’s personal and bare all to the world or should you stick to the generic ‘popular’ posts? I realise I am being very hypocritical here because I, like many others, find myself slipping into the cliché stereotypical blogging category a lot of the time (and probably with this post). But blogging should be a passion, it should be something you are proud of and can happily say ‘I wrote this’ or ‘I made this’ ‘I took this photo’ and people to look at it and know that that is truly you.1521202204118

Trouble is, in the past few months blogging has become a phenomenally large, saturated, hobby,  with hundreds of thousands of people competing for a space on the popular page. Because of this competitiveness the lesser known blogs are pushed under the carpet and just like everything else in society, the blogger behind the page begins to try to conform just to get noticed.

Do we not teach people to be themselves and be honest no matter what other people think? Do we not teach people that looks don’t matter? That we should be individuals?

So why is their post not good enough to get the attention?

Whether you are working on an old school hot pink flip Motorola (always wanted that phone) or a brand new Olympic pen. Or if you walk around with a rucksack of different lenses and a camera that weighs more than your entire body, every single individual puts time and effort into the content they create.

It’s not a secret that I know nothing about photography, but the photos I take I try just as hard to make them look aesthetically pleasing as a professional would do. Sometimes I am lucky enough to get to pick the brains of Hayley and learn a bit more about taking high quality images but a lot of the time my content is mediocre.

It’s also no secret that I have the academic level of a goldfish and sometimes can’t seem to even get my words in the right order before a large cup of tea in the morning, but when I sit and write a post I put myself into it, grammatical errors and all.

IMG_20180317_095610_343The problem is however, in the last few months I put all this effort in and I don’t get anything out of it. Instead I see more and more beautifully taken photos by hired photographers in luxurious backgrounds surrounded by the biggest fruit spread dominating the popular page leading to a blog post on……. ‘How to gain 100k followers by just being you.’ But you read the post, you see the photo and it is completely hypocritical. You’re telling people to hire a photographer, is that being you? You’re saying to travel to these locations [Insert some amazingly expensive holiday you wouldn’t be able to afford to go on even if you sold your soul], is that being you? You’re saying photoshop yourself to show your curves and attract attention, is that being you? You’re advising to remove any necessities that everyone has in everyday life out of the image and only have high end, pretty looking objects in view, is that you? And most of all, is the entire blog post YOU? Because im sure we haven’t slipped into some Charlie brooker fantasy where everyone lives their life in a conformed list of instructions just yet.

It is disheartening when you put your real self out there and yet someone with 500k followers talking some utter shit about something they aren’t passionate about blocks out all your content altogether. Because that’s exactly what happens.

If your image doesn’t get a certain rate of engagement within the first 2 minutes, Instagram then blocks your photo from being discovered by people who haven’t engaged with you either; ever, or within the last 24 hours. That means around 60% of even your1521455157978 followers probably don’t see your posts, let alone finding any new followers. And if like me, you are shadowbanned (Instagram claim this is a glitch on their software) then no hashtags ever work on your photos and no exposure outside of your engaging followers is given. At all.

So ‘what’s the point in doing it?’ People say to me. I’ve heard so many people say ‘ I used to blog but I stopped because no one was reading my posts’ and honestly, I feel ya.

Sometimes I sit here trying to think of witty posts or come up with an idea that covers a topic that’s really popular at the minute in order to gain traffic to my blog or my Instagram, but then I read back and think, this isn’t me, this isn’t personal.

I want to look back in a few years and laugh like, ‘oh remember when we first got luna and she shat on my laptop because I took my favourite bra that she was chewing off her’ or cry because I remember the pain of losing my two babies. I want to look back and go ‘aww look how small they are here, remember when she just started sitting up?’ or ‘Gosh look at me complaining about being tired here when im legit dying of tiredness right now, I didn’t have a clue back then.’ I want to look back and remember my writing fondly, I don’t want to look back and read ‘5 self help books that cured me of depression’ because truth is in the future no one is going to care, I’m the only one who is going to care and im going to regret getting a few thousand views on that verses a funny update that reminds me of a great time or a feeling.

IMG_20180319_212906_025I’m not dissing ‘big’ bloggers, they work hard and they are great at it, they deserve the exposure they get but what i’m trying to say is don’t change yourself or your blog to conform with them just because they are popular.

You wanna write a blog on how your dog’s poo progresses through life? You do it. You want to write a diary entry documenting your mental illness in the most personal way possible? You do it. You want to share you latest tinder date in every gory detail? You do it. You write about what you want to write about, write what you enjoy and what you know that ten years into the future you can look back on and say ‘I’m so glad I wrote that, Id completely forgotten about it!’ Don’t write for someone else.

If your blog isn’t getting great views, that’s okay, it doesn’t mean its shit. It doesn’t mean you should change and fit in to ‘what’s popular.’ So please, please, please, if you want to blog but are scared no one will read it, just do it! Do it for yourself. If you already have a blog and are unmotivated by it and low about it, please keep going because you started it for a reason.  Remember the reason why you considered blogging in the first place? Was it to ‘get rich quick?’ probably not. It was to express yourself, share yourself and have a little place on the internet that’s all yours. It doesn’t matter what anybody else thinks of it.

YOU DO YOU.

 

xoxo

You-do-you[I do not own this image]

 

As a way for bloggers to gain exposure I have recently started up my ‘Introducing…’ series, so if you are interested in being a guest post on my blog in order to reach a further/different audience please check out my page and show your interest or let know on Instagram.

Thank you to everyone who has already applied to be a part of the series, you guys are what makes it worthwhile!

Introducing Brief

It’s a Girl!

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We’re having a baby girl!

A full blog post to come soon but i was too impatient and wanted to share the gender with you all first!

But here are some outtakes featuring a very awkward Jaiden:

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A Letter to my Mum…

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I know you shouldn’t only appreciate people on a certain day, but I have a cold hearted and emotionally reserved persona to up keep in regards to my family. So for this mothers day only (and you’re only getting this once mom so I dunno, copy and paste it, print it out and frame it if you have to) I will give you the gift of cringiness and honesty. All those face mushes and ‘why don’t you show me affection. I LOOOOVE YOUUU’ whines when you’ve had one too many glasses of prosecco have come down to this post. And only on this post can I express my love and gratitude because quite frankly I have at least 24 hours before I have to face you with embarrassment.On Friday the 13th October you had a visit from the dreaded midwife who continues to call me ‘scrawny’ and together you joked that because it was the day of the devil, on week 34 out of 40 in your pregnancy, ‘wouldn’t it be funny if she came today.’

Well, the day of the devil it was.

You stepped out of the car into the carpark to go to your antenatal appointment, like I

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have since done in that very place, when your placenta separated completely from your uterus. This is called a placenta abruption and can be life threatening to both mother and baby.

Although you woke up days later, being bathed by some old fuddy nurses after blood transfusions and life saving treatments, you was now baby-less. But like a bad scent ever since, I was merely lying in an incubator with cotton wool on my knees making all the midwives wish theyd never met the emergency premature 666 child you had traumatically and unconsciously brought into the world.

We were never a well off family and I didn’t mind, you would spend days making angel delight or jelly with me as if it was some gourmet baking when realistically Luna could probably do it if it weren’t for the fact she doesn’t have opposable thumbs. And mom, sorry but you’re cooking hasn’t improved since, you’re the only person who manages to burn super noodles, but I love it. I love that you served my previous boyfriends raw vegetables so they had to eat it politely and I love that you are so in denial to cooking

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instructions because ‘you know best’ because it is what makes you, you. I can’t wait for my child to say ‘I hope grandad cooks because nanny’s food is horrible’ like every grandchild is supposed to say.

One Christmas, dad had lost his job and you had been ill all year, I didn’t understand what mental health was, I didn’t understand how a person can struggle because you didn’t let me see the hardships. I thought you were feeding me frozen sausages and frozen sweetcorn because you just wanted me to never develop a palette, when all my friends got green giant sweetcorn with its sugary canned taste or butchers special sausages. I didn’t know that a person could be unhappy because you always laughed when I said 1051 was

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my favourite number (I still don’t get why that’s funny) or I (very out of tune) composed a rendition of the cuckoo clock song in the sound of music, because I didn’t know that one could smile but be in so much pain then. On that Christmas you had warned us we had no money and not to be disappointed, (I knew santa wasn’t real obvs ,but alex still believed) we made m&m cupcakes for ‘santa’ because I was a fussy eater and despite the fact you wanted mince pies, you let me have my way, and we watched shrek lying on our first ever brand new sofa (that alex immediately dropped cake icing down), until alex went to bed and you let me eat all the m&m cakes. But that morning, you still handed us mountain after mountain of presents, I got exactly what I wanted that year and more, despite the fact I now know we couldn’t afford it and you had to go without so much for yourself.

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When we got a little older, you were still really ill and getting worse, I was starting to understand a little that there was this thing called depression, but I was ignorant and I didn’t understand. I thought you were just crazy and moaning all the time, enjoying arguments. I remember we went on a family trip to Ikea and the whole journey we were rowing, you and dad, you and me, we were screaming louder than we did when skindred came on and youd hide down whilst me, dad and alex blew whistles out the window on the motorway to the song in embarrassment. When we finally got out the car after you had stopped screaming you immediately fell over the curb and face planted the floor. I found it hilarious and im ngl im laughing thinking about it now but you got back up and strutted off not letting it phase you and you were a boss.

I remember when I came home from pontins and I was moody with you because you

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explained you were ill because of stress and I thought it was fake. Stress? Whats stress?

When I was 16 you sat with me in a box room covered in white walls and listened as I explained I wanted to take my own life by swallowing lots of pills to some random woman. I knew then what you had suffered all those years and what I had ignorantly begrudged you of in those hard times. I had begrudged you a you. I hadn’t sat in the room letting you explain how you feel without judgement, I hadn’t held you when you were sad and I hadn’t said it was because you were ill you were acting out of character and then helped you get better, I hadn’t been there for you like you were for me. You let me sleep in your bed every night so I didn’t panic, even though it was the only real time you got to be with dad and you gave up all your days to look after me and make sure I was okay, watching repeats of shitty channel 5 films.

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You come with me to every hospital appointment even when I don’t want you to come, youre just so stubborn and even when I don’t know I’m ill you always do and you help, even when I push you away.

I was a child and couldn’t give that to you but I want to say that if I could go back, I would, and maybe we wouldn’t have lost so many years to the illness we both struggled with.

When I was 18 and I had gotten involved in drugs and alcohol we hated each other, we couldn’t live under the same roof because I didn’t understand what the problem was. I’m 18 I can come home at whatever time I want, in whatever state I want and with whoever I want. And I can categorically say that my child aint ever touching alcohol. And sex? Nope, they are gonna be virgins for life if I have anything to do with it. So in hindsight, I know I was troublesome and you weren’t really an evil bitch, you were just a mother. My mother.

Despite the fact we didn’t get on you still let me cry on your shoulder and ordered me a

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dominoes when I split up with my boyfriend. You let me make my own decision to go back to him even though you knew he was bad because it was what I wanted and when he hurt me again you didn’t say I told you so, instead you encouraged me to get back out there. You even suggested I went on tinder and would be my back up on a date, which back then I would’ve rather died than take my mom as a back up.

Since then I grew up.

Since then, even though you embarrass me when I come home to find the front door open and you passed out drunk on the floor, when you feed my fat dog human food against my will or when you put your feet up on my sofa with your dirty boots still on I wouldn’t change it.

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Since then you have become my bestest friend. I can talk to you about anything and you make me laugh, I don’t understand how we ever disliked each other because right now you are my favourite person in the world. You lost your mum young but you still became the perfect mother without any guidance and my life would never be the same if it weren’t for the things you did for me or the way you brought me up. So because of you I am able to be an amazing mom to my child.

I hope my child doesn’t end up hiding in the car when I face plant the pavement on boldmere highstreet and let strangers help me up whilst they duck down as if to say ‘that ain’t my mom’ or tell me the rapids aren’t fast and then laugh at me as I nearly drown.

But I hope that my child has a mom like you.

We never saw eye to eye but you are my best friend and I cannot wait for you to be a grandparent and keep saying ‘god you’re just like me’ or telling me off for disciplining my child. I can definitely wait for all those ‘I told you so’s’ and karma coming back to hit me as my child puts me through all the things i put you through.

So happy mothers day momma, I love you lots. You are my hero, my best friend and my mom.

P.s. We don’t ever speak of this post again.

xxxx

me and mom

Mother’s Day Gift Guide

For something a little bit different, to try to branch out on more of the ‘Lifestyle’ theme i decided to share with you my ultimate mothers day gift guide. I.e. A list of things i really want for myself with the occasional thing thrown in that my mom might like…

(John you better be looking at this i ain’t making it anymore obvious for you)

It’ll (Kind of) be my first ever mothers day so here’s a guide for all of you if you’re like my sister, who probably still hasn’t realised mothers day is actually this Sunday and you need to rush to get a gift!

Enjoy!

GIFTS

 

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1. Mum, never forget how much you are loved. Jug | £9 | Sainsburys
2. Indigo Floral Velvet Cushion | £24.99 | TK Maxx
3. Oh Yeah! Cream Donut Sweatshirt | £16.99 | TK Maxx
4. Personalised Bear Family Print |£28 | The Drifting Bear Co.
5. Personalised Enamel Planter | £12 | Sophia Victoria Joy
6. Large Scented Candle | £17.99 | H&M
7. Ribbed Eyelet Swimsuit | £29| Topshop
8. Blue Rug and Llama Mug | £5.99 | New Look
9. Multi Coloured Mango Slogan Water Bottle | £5.99 | New Look
10. Listography: One List a Day: A Three-Year Journal | £14.99 | Waterstones
11. BOD Exclusive 20 min Mermaid Bath Prep – With Pink Shimmer | £11.99 | Asos
12. Textured Box |£8.99 | H&M
13. Michael Kors Sexy Ruby 50ml Fragrance Set | £40.78 | Boots
14. Two Tone Striped Tee | £7.40 | SHEIN
15. Vans Old Skool Women’s | £60 | JD Sport
16. White Plant Embroidery T-shirt | £5.99 | SHEIN
17. Gold Metal Edged Glass Star Ornament | £18 | Dunelm
18. Rose Gold Flower Ring With Swarovski® Crystals | £15 | Accessorize

 

FASHION

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HOME

mothersday 51. Hand-painted stoneware plate | £6.99 | H&M
2. Harlequin Savannah Cushion, Lemon | £55 | John Lewis
3. Disney Bambi Photo Clip | £1.50 | Primark
4. Shell Pink Pig Mug | £5.99 | New Look
5. Umbra – Steel wire brass plated ‘Hello’ ornament | £17.50 | Debenhams
6. Metal salad servers | £9.99 | H&M
7. Glass Candle Holder | £8 | Primark
8. Home Collection – Gold cosmopolitan globe | £26 | Debenhams
9. Prosecco Print | £4 | Slay My Print
10. Salvage effect metal Lantern | £42 | Next
11. Scandi Pom Pom Throw, Grey | £65 | John Lewis
12. Stoneware Cookie Jar | £17.99 | H&M
13. Boja Set of Four Gold Foil Champagne Flutes | £32 | Oliver Bonas
14. Copper Coloured Metal Shelf | £180 | All Things Chloe Jane
15. Peachy Clean Bath Matt | $39 | Urban Outfitters
16. Set of two Contemporary Canvases |£15 | Next
17. Luxe Bar Table |£295 | Oliver Bonas
18. Liv 3” Footed Planter | $12| Urban Outfitters
19. Dirraw Washed Medallion White/Blue Rug | £54.55 | Rosalind Wheeler
20. Ziggy 49cm Tripod Table Lamp | £44.99 | The Lighting & Interiors Group

 

 

*I realise i didn’t link the websites and to be honest i’m not going back to find each individual thing to link them now cause its 5pm and i want food, you’ll have to search for it yourselves.

xoxo

 

 

 

Ngl, Pregnancy kinda sucks!?

I know its been quite the while since I last posted and promised to be more attentive with the blog but I’ve been fairly busy with my head in a sick bowl.

Whoever said pregnancy is supposed to be the loveliest 9 months of your life was clearly a joker and my previous two pregnancies had me fooled. Now i know the whole concept of pregnancy is so wonderful, a life is growing (extremely slowly and painfully) inside you and your life and body is changing for the better and all that bullshit but to be quite honest, its actually pretty shit isn’t it?

For starters, my handbag has now been emptied of expensive perfume, light coverage makeup for touch ups and all things girly that are assumed to be hiding around in there. Instead I have jars of vitamins, some granny looking headache stick so I don’t go blind from these ‘pregnancy migraines’, foundation thick enough to disguise my appearance completely, and copious amounts of ugly panty liners, cause someones gotta say it, girls the amount of random shit that’s coming out of your vagina is not pre-warned or talked about! Okay you don’t get a period, but you piss yourself every day for  6 months straight if someone makes a joke and lets not discuss the latter. All i’m saying is no period for 9 months is no cause for the sexy thongs, you want those granny pants more than ever!

Every week I get a notification saying what week in my pregnancy I am in and how big the baby is now, which okay is cute, but instead of telling me my baby is now the size of some exotic vegetable ill never eat, how about telling me that at this week my boobs are gonna explode into mismatched bag of potatoes and ill be freeing the nipple for the next 4 months because no bras fit?

You’ll be blooming soon everyone keeps saying, but im struggling to understand how one can bloom without starting the day with a strong coffee or being allowed to devour a whole camembert for lunch?

‘Your skin may start changing now’ the midwife told me at our last appointment to which I was eagerly awaiting the morning I looked in the mirror to discover I was no longer a reincarnated Michael Jackson and my skin was glowing and full of colour. What I seem to have developed instead, is a reptilian trait of shedding my skin every day, my face is literally peeling faster than the snakes that live in the corner of my dressing room. Also, to add to the long list of nice things us pregnant women can’t have, we add hair dye. I was quite happily continuing my façade of being a natural light blonde and ignoring the fact that my hair had turned into a grey brownish colour by keeping up with my roots every few months. The confusion when people tried to work out whether it was my hair or my eyebrows that were the real deal was a much preferred first world problem (both are fake incase you hadn’t worked that out) because now im walking around with proper ‘council house’ hair, it’s a good job its winter because im living in hats so no one knows my true identity. The best thing about us moving to burton is the fact that I am 95% anonymous and I don’t have to bump into anyone I know for them to offer me some change and directions to the nearest St Basils.

We are nearing the midway point of my pregnancy and with that comes the gender reveal, probably the most exciting milestone in the pregnancy and everyone keeps asking me whether I will be finding out. To which the answer is of course I am, I’m not a philistine. I will be spending the rest of my pregnancy hoarding every single gender related item I can, so yes, I will be finding out the sex, (If the second child is a different gender they’ll just have to lump it cause everyone knows you go all out for the first and the second gets the leftovers). However, finding out the gender isn’t all that simple either, especially when your baby thinks your womb is some sort of Guantanamo bay and must escape any detection. It’s hard to tell whether I am feeling them moving, despite the fact the midwife informs me they are constantly wriggling away when she tries to use the doppler, because im not too sure what im expecting to feel? Having Crohns, I have a load of weird feelings inside my body like a Chest-Burster is gonna be born any day (Dropping in Alien references so John shuts the F*&k up) and so its hard to tell what is the baby moving and was is just a fart building up. We have tried many different techniques to try to get the baby to do a 180 just so we can tell the difference between constipation and a baby kick. At around 16 weeks your baby can detect light and will turn away from it, so we have been using our phone torches as some sort of siege to terrorise our child to ‘come out with its hands up.’ (Not literally come out I mean like show yourself, im already having a heart attack thinking about childbirth and ive still got 4 months left).

Finally, its not a secret that with pregnancy comes a whirlwind of hormones, whether it changes physical attributes or your mental state it is important to report any changes to your dr or midwife. But im not sure my midwife was expecting to have such a paranoid pregnant woman on her, when she said you can text me at any time I don’t think she was expecting me to be like a bad smell and be texting her like ‘I’ve had diarrhoea and three farts in one go, is this normal? Is the baby still alive!? Have i gassed them!?’ ‘I’ve got hair growing in weird places, is this normal!?’ ‘I can’t stop eating olives, does this mean my baby will have good skin?’ ‘I rolled onto my back for like 10 seconds, have I killed my child!?” “Can you tell me if it’s a boy or a girl based on my symptoms? Go on! Just give me a guess?!’ Needless to say I bet she is looking forward to me having this baby more than I am. John has gone into a vegetative state of nodding with glazed eyes and saying ‘Yes, everything’s fine, here have some Mcnuggets” (HINT HINT. MCDONALDS SPONSER MY POSTS!)  to shut me up when I’m having a 2007 Britney meltdown.

As usual, I will end the post with a little positive disclaimer, because if you hadn’t already gathered I have a dry sense of humour but some people still seem to think im deadly serious in my posts. Obviously, there are negatives and positives to all pregnancies and I am thoroughly enjoying the experience of becoming a mother and can’t wait for the baby to come despite any nasty symptoms. There are also a hundred different things going on and I cant fit them all into a readable blog post.

*Featured photo designed and shot by Hayley Leaver Photography, click here to see more of her stuff.

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What I Actually Do – Day in the life of a Crohnie

Last week when I was having my 10am trip to the sick bowl, I was watching an interview, or rather a ‘debate’ on This Morning involving two women. One woman was a full time stay at home mom and the other a 9 – 5 working mother, and as much as I applaud the efforts of the working mom she caused a lot of uproar with branding the other as ‘lazy’ and questioning what exactly stay at home mom’s do.
This is a close debate to me because very often some ignorant person slides into my dm’s to ask me exactly ‘what I do?’ and yes I am a self proclaimed lazy arse, but I also work hard and do not do “nothing.” After talking to a lot of other Crohn’s sufferers I find myself telling them to not feel guilty about doing nothing or achieving nothing more than a 6 hour nap on a day they aren’t feeling great and yet I feel myself having to justify what exactly I do still.


So first off I’m going to state that I don’t feel I have to justify myself but there are a lot of you who are non-maliciously, genuinely interested in what a week is like for myself as a Crohn’s sufferer, work from home, M.E diagnosed, pregnant, student.
Already, my illnesses are a type of job, they are something I live with everyday and they can determine the path I go down in my life. A year and a half ago I gave up work to focus on my health and have not returned to a career since, and I do not regret that, nor do I feel like I am lazy or a ‘doll scrounger’ because of my choice to focus on being mentally and physically well over the 9-5 grind. I work hard to do normal tasks some days, sometimes getting dressed is an exhausting task or even a walk with Luna (despite the fact she’s pop-eye on a leash) can tire me out for the entire day and with the build up of my exhaustion comes a flare up, with a flare up comes a debilitating change in life, days in hospital and watching loved ones suffer the thought of what will happen to me this time. So when I say I do not work full time or have a ‘proper career’ I am not ashamed or feel guilty for being a stay at home person and any other chronic illness sufferer should not feel guilty that they too cannot work or cannot pay into the state like many other people in society can and do.
With that said this is what an AVERAGE day (there are obviously days I lie around in a vegetative state with one arm round my sick bowl and the other in a pic n mix tub watching Netflix) looks like for me.0001
I wake up when my natural body clock wakes me up, because if I don’t, boy do I know about it. On the days I have to set an alarm I fight a battle of morning sickness and body fatigue as my digestive system hasn’t clocked in yet, my body has awoken before my functions have and so they work at dysfunctional time differences. So majority of the time I let myself wake up naturally to avoid any premature trips to the toilet and alleviate the chances of a midday nap. I go down to luna, who has already attempted her prison breaks and escapology routines in which she somehow manages to escape her cage even with cable ties and a padlock on (I don’t even know how she does it but I can earn big bucks from her skills, Houdini is shaking in his grave). Feed her some goop whilst trying not to gag and then have a cup of tea, or on a bad sickness day, a cup of boiled water (wild, I know) and then run to the toilet and sick it all back up again…
“Welcome to the second trimester” they said… “Morning sickness will be going now” they said…
Well my stomach and my toilet disagree. So once ive gotten my vomiting out the way I go get dressed, which I think is the actual hardest part of the day. It’s the part where you mentally make the decision that your day is beginning and you mean business, despite feeling like its time to go back to bed already.
0003If it’s a work from home kinda day, then ill be lucky to be arsed to do my makeup cause that is commitment usually only saved for leaving the house. Joggers on, messy bun (that looks more like a sparse turd on my head because my hair is too thin to do a proper messy bun) and eyebrow-less. Our post lady (despite being half blind and unable to tell what number our house actually is) delivers my ‘blogger mail’ (again this is NOT something that happens EVERYDAY) with the same astonished expression that Michael Jackson really hasn’t died and is living at number 11 in her home town when I greet her. I spend a couple hours doing the house work and talking to the dog like a mad woman who has had no human contact in years whilst debuting my new album at top volume and a well-choreographed cordless vacuum dance to accompany it. Then by lunch time I have finished boring mundane chores and sit down to go through my emails. I argue with a few collaborators about how I deserve to be paid for advertising their brand or products and write up briefs or ‘pitches’ to them with my set fee in the hope they accept and delete all the spam about how I need a penis enlargement for my non-existent dick. Then if I have Instagram or blogging jobs to do I try to do them whilst its still light outside, setting up the brands product in some shitty layout and blab on about what I think of them in painstakingly unnecessary detail that the company are happy with. Although this proves to be a lot harder than anticipated because there are only so many flat lays or backgrounds I can use for variety within the four walls of my house (and yknow, eyebrows off means I ain’t leaving the house unless for emergencies).
If I don’t have any blogging or insta jobs to complete then I log onto my student account and do some of my uni work, or rather, I pretend im doing uni work but actually got side tracked by the latest serial killer documentary that I have on in the background and then come deadline day I cry into my laptop until ive finished and then repeat the whole cycle again come next assignment. The great thing about Open uni is its so flexible, if im having an ‘ill’ day, where I don’t get anything done, I’m not reprimanded or lectured, instead offered extra support should I want it. You get out exactly what you put in, and there’s no in-between. If I only do an hour a week of uni then I’m not in trouble for missing online lectures or activities, I just notice a decrease on my own ability come the next marked assignment. You are given your assignment due dates for the whole year when you start so there isn’t really any excuse as to why I could miss my August 2018 deadline because I knew it was coming from October 2017. Still, im a pro at leaving it to the last minute.
When I’ve finished work there is usually only an hour or so before john gets back from 0004work so I usually just chill, watch some shitty American tv show and sleep because by now im exhausted. Im exhausted every hour of the day thanks to Crohn’s but when my tasks are done that’s when I reward myself with a nap (it’s the best part of everyday). When john gets home and ive awoken like someone having a nightmare in a horror film, wondering what year it is and where ive been for the last decade, we take luna out for a run. She has developed a keen talent of finding any way possible to get into the River Trent and swims around for a little bit providing the current isn’t strong. If the current is strong, I turn into a crazed mother running after her screaming like she’s the kittens in the ‘Aristocats’ about to be swept away but she never is because y’know, shes a dog, shes a good swimmer. When ive finished having heart palpitations and accusing john of not caring or getting in the river after her, we head home and argue about what we want for tea. The system is fairly simple, ‘Did we have pasta yesterday?’ ‘No?’ ‘Pasta it is’. If the answer is yes its, ‘Okay think of something today and we’ll have pasta tomorrow’. I cook tea and we watch some shit tv before retiring like an old age pensioner to bed at like 10pm where I kid myself into thinking im going to finish my book tonight but instead end up falling asleep to family guy.
Like I said previously, days differ, sometimes I meet up with friends for a drink, sometimes I have to go to venues for various things, sometimes I am at doctors or hospital appointments or tests, some days I check up on the Etsy shop (full feature coming soon) and some days I do absolutely nothing.
So yeah, I do do ‘nothing’ but I don’t do ‘nothing’ at the same time and I’m not ashamed to not have a full time proper job. Of course on a bad day I think badly of myself, chastise myself for not being stronger or having the motivation to push through and get a 9-5 job and feel guilty that some people don’t have the choice but to work. But everybody has their own guilt battles, mom guilt, breaking a diet guilt, work guilt, not going to the gym guilt, spending money on irrelevant things guilt. It’s a natural part of mental health to feel guilty for things we have or do that we know others may not be as fortunate, but it doesn’t mean we are in the wrong. If you have a chronic illness and cannot work, if you are mentally effected by work or if ‘work’ is deteriorating your own health, there is no shame and nothing wrong with taking the back step. It doesn’t make you ‘lazy’ or a ‘doll scrounger’ or a ‘freeloader.’
In July I will be adding to my list of jobs, I will be a full time stay-at-home mom, and I have no shame in being just that. My life aspiration was to be a mother. So I am proud to be able to achieve that and focus all my energy into being the best full time mom.

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*As you may have noticed some of the photography is 100% better than any of my own, including the main header photo. These photos were taken and are owned by HND Photography student, Hayley Leaver. Click on any of her photos (Watermarked) to check out more of her work and show support. More of her images will be featured in upcoming posts.

xx

 

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