It’s Rushe To Raise Time Again!

SAVE THE DATE

Sunday December 1st at 1pm

The S-Mum Blog and Rushe Fitness are delighted to announce that this year’s annual “Rushe to Raise” fundraiser will be the classic favourite, THE GRINCH, starring Jim Carey.

Myself and Himself are very much looking forward to our annual fundraiser, in association with Century Cinemas, to raise much needed funds for two very deserving local causes.

This year, all proceeds will go to the Donegal Hospice and to the Paediatric Ward at Letterkenny University Hospital.

Come and kickstart the Festive season on December 1st with a funfilled family afternoon and help us raise money for these incredible causes.

Tickets will cost €10 and will go on sale at Rushe Fitness next Sunday, the 3rd of November, between 1pm and 3pm.

You can reserve your tickets by messaging Maria or Emmet on social media or by emailing maria@rushefitness.ie

(PLEASE NOTE: Tickets are non-refundable and must be paid for and collected by 3pm on Sunday, 3rd November.)

Hope to see you there!

Maria & Emmet
🎅🤶🎅🤶🎅🤶🎅

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HOW Do You Work With Teenagers?

HOW do you work with teenagers?

I get asked this quite a bit.

My answer?
Very easily actually.

Because ‘teenagers’ are wicked.

They have SO much to offer society and they have so much brilliance in them, if we’d only stop sometimes to listen.

Teenagers are in limbo; stuck in the chaotic chasm between childhood and adulthood; trying not to be children, trying desperately to be adults, and landing somewhere in the middle.

They are brilliant. They are intelligent. They are fun and they are inspiring. They are kind and empathetic and sensitive and brave.

Surely there are moods and hormones and stomps and grumps and huffs and eye rolls and attitude; but guess what?

They were huffy and stubborn as toddlers and children too.

And as adults, we’re pretty partial to the odd huff or eyeroll or attitude too, are we not?

Being a teenager is hard. And I wouldn’t return to that period of my life for all the tea in China. (Well, maybe for an hour to give myself some advice.)

We expect them to act grown up but then criticise them if they do anything “adulty”

We expect them to stop acting like children and yet, can treat them like children in the next breath.

We often assume that they are moody and grumpy just because of their age, rather than asking them what is actually bothering them.

We assume that they are all addicted to computer games and incapable of doing anything for themselves, when actually, so many of them are creative and capable.

We brand them impossible and useless and tut at their inability to make decisions or solve problems.

And in so many cases, the things that we complain that they can not or will not do for them, are because we didn’t show them how to do it, or trust that they could.

Now listen, I know that some parents get it incredibly difficult with their little Sweetums-turned-Satan, and as a teacher believe me, I have been on the receiving end of some teenage angst and attitude in my time.

But I have also learned that often, the behaviour that is causing the adults to eye roll and stomp feet, is not a result of ‘bad’ kids, but often a result of frustration.

New emotions, new feelings, new situations, new relationships, new friends, new worries, new realisations, new expectations, new disappointments… everything is new.

The level of overwhelm on a daily basis is unreal for many.
And don’t even start me on the kids who are dealing with all sorts of chaos at home before they even get to school in the morning.

Why the hell would a young person who has spent the night listening to rows, or who hasn’t eaten properly in 2 days, give a continental shite about right angles, or Shakespeare’s soliloquies, or that you are “so disappointed“ in them for not having homework done again or for being late.

Some teenagers are going through things that most of us, as adults, wouldn’t have a clue how to start dealing with.

Sometimes we need to cut them some slack.
Sometimes we need to ask how they are.
Sometimes we need to ignore the attitude and continue to be pleasant and nice to them.
Sometimes we need to NOT respond how they expect us to when they kick off.
Sometimes, we need to trust them.

For many young adults, all they want is trust. To feel trusted and to be given some responsibility to try, and to prove themselves. They need to know that failing at something is not as important as having TRIED it in the first place.

And again, guess what?

The magical 18th birthday does NOT with it bring the key to all things adulty. I’m a long-time, “experienced” adult and I’m still experiencing all of the NEW things I listed above. And sometimes I feel like a teenager who needs an adult to show me how to fix or deal with things.

Life doesn’t change. We get on with adulting and being adulty and we continue to deal with new problems and fears and worries and people.
Adults just don’t get criticised so much when they make mistakes or get overwhelmed.

We need to give teenagers some credit.

They are wonderful.
They are brilliant.
They are kind and they are caring.

If you trust them, or let them use their own initiative, it’s incredible what they can do.
If you let them express their emotions, they might just learn to understand them.
If you tell them things are going to be OK, they might just believe you.
And if you tell them you believe in them, they might just start to believe in themselves.

Because if they think we don’t like them or believe in them, how can we expect them to like themselves?
And while sometimes, we want to give them the proverbial kick up the *&^%, they’d probably do a whole lot better, if we gave them a smile or a hug.

Because sometimes a hug is all we need. Teenagers and adults alike.

So How do I work with teenagers?
Quite happily thank you.

Stop It.

Don’t.

Just Don’t.

I’ve written about this before but it seems that it’s like non-parents parking in mother and baby spots, or people feeling the need to comment on how your baby is fed; it doesn’t go away!

STOP ASKING PEOPLE when they’re going to start a family or going to ‘go again’.

I know people don’t mean any harm when they insist on telling you that you should “be going again” or “getting a move on”, and yet often, these innocently thrown statements can stab a couple through the heart.

Firstly, why do people think it’s OK to assume that everyone wants to have more Babies?

Or actually, even A baby for that matter?

Many people make the conscious decision that parenthood is not for them; that they are quite fulfilled and happy as they are.

You do you Boo.

Then there are the people who, no sooner have you popped out little Charlie or Nancy, but they’re telling you it’s time to get working on Jeremiah or Jezebel.

Why, oh WHY, do people think that it’s OK to ASK why a couple aren’t “going for number 3″… or 4, or 8?

And can I ask why people think it’s acceptable to write under someone’s FB or Instagram post of a photograph of themselves, such utter nonsense as “Oooooh is that a Baby Bump I see?” or “Am I seeing some news coming?” or “Is congratulations in order?”

THIS is PARTICULARLY not OK.People who write such twatwittery should be locked in a room with Boris and a can of hair gel and not allowed out until one or both of them understands Brexit.

And as for the people who tease a newly married couple, or indeed ANY childless couple, about ‘getting a move on’, well that is just a whole other level of silly beggar.

Footprints+in+the+sand-squarespace

Here are 6 reasons to NOT comment on a couple’s NON pregnant state:

1. It’s none of your business.

2. You don’t know their situation. You don’t know if they’ve had a miscarriage recently. People don’t generally go around announcing that do they? In fact, we good Irish still fall into the trap of thinking that we aren’t allowed to tell anyone until the sacred 12 week mark, and so when things go wrong, couples often have no one to share their grief or help them through it.

3. 1 in 6 Irish couples currently struggle with fertility. How do you know if the person you are innocently teasing about “going for another one” or “filling that big house” isn’t one of those couples?

You don’t know if they’re trying EVERYTHING and being constantly heartbroken.

You don’t know if she’s injecting herself daily, undergoing physical and emotional and mental turmoil to try to help matters.

You don’t know if he’s struggling with the fact that his sperm count is low.

You don’t know if they’ve put every penny they have (and don’t have) into rounds of treatment, over and over again.

You don’t know how deep your playful, well-intentioned words can cut. And oh my Gosh, do they cut deep…

4. Not EVERY couple WANTS to have a baby, or another Baby. For their own reasons. That they don’t have to explain to you.

And when a couple tells you that they’re all done or quite happy with their lot thank you, do NOT raise your eyebrow in a smug and all-knowing, “we’ll see” or tut at their ‘nonsense’. You’re in murky waters now and you need to paddle back Dear. Paddle fast…

5. Maybe that couple are in the process of adoption, or surrogacy. Maybe that couple are at breaking point, physically and emotionally and maybe…

6. …it’s NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS!

Of course people mean no harm when we joke about “filling that big car” or “getting a wee brother for Nancy”, but like all things Parent related, innocent comments and harmless questions can cut through people like a bolt of lightning.

We shouldn’t comment. End of.

So next time you find yourself about to joke or jest or ask someone about the state of their baby situation, consider this: If they asked you about the state or your uterus, or indeed your sperm situation, how would you feel?

Would you be comfortable if that person sighed and answered with “Well actually, we’re on our third round of IVF and we’re emotionally and physically exhausted and I’d love to tell you about it”?

Or if they said, “Well actually, we’ve had three miscarriages in the last 18 months” or “Well no, becuase we’re pretty sure we won’t be together this time next year.”

If you would be able to deal with those answers, you possibly know the person well enough to know not to ask anyway.

If not, don’t ask and don’t comment.

 

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Simples.

Blue Peter Badge Required…

Does anyone have any spare Blue Peter badges lying around?

Anyone?

Because apparently I should be doling them out on the hour, every hour, today.

Instead I have resorted to hissing things like “Oh you did did you?” and “Yeah like I do EVERY FUCKING DAY!”, (under my breath obviously.)

Until approximately 5pm when we pulled up outside a supermarket… When Mammy may or may not have LOST the fricken PLOT.

You see, we had driven to the supermarket in the silent understanding that we needed to acquire foodstuff for the dinner.

This genius deduction arose from Daddy asking “Did you get anything in for the dinner?” to which Mammy answered “I don’t know, did YOU get anything in for the dinner?”

You see, the fridge is empty. And quite frankly, so is Mammy. I’m burnt out and tired and so, having clawed my way to the weekend, am happily rejoicing in the NOTHINGNESS and UNTHINKINGNESS that cometh with spending a weekend with my beloved family and my beloved Husband…

Having made every decision and organised all the everything for the past, oh, I don’t know, eleventy fucking billion YEARS, Mammy mistakenly thought that it MIGHT just be possible for someone ELSE to figure out what the feck we might eat for “the dinner” for ONE NIGHT.

Mammy, it turns out, was mistaken.

Up pulls Himself to the supermarket.
He stops the car and says “Go on”, indicating that Mammy should pop in and pick up something.

“Sorry what?” growls Mammy.
“Go ahead. I’ll wait here with Princess.” (Snoring in the back seat)
“What exactly am I Going in for?” snarls Mammy. (warning warning…)
“The dinner?” answers Daddy, a slow realisation dawning on his handsome face that he might just have pulled the pin form the grenade.
“And what exactly will “the dinner” consist of?” hisses Mammy
“I don’t know” answers Daddy
“Well if YOU don’t know, how the FUCK should I know?”
“You were the one who said go to the shop.” he tries, knowing already that he is not winning this one…

Calculating that Mammy’s current level of hormental is probably not worth the weeks of sleeping with one eye open that may follow should he continue on this tirade of fuckwittery, he concedes that he shall go into the supermarket.

And so the valiant gallant knight in fucking Underarmour that he is, dismounted his trusty steed, puffed up his manly chest and announced that he was “going in then”…

And in he did go. (accompanied by Mini-Me who knows to supervise incase he buys a chainsaw to go with the power washer.) And out he did come with a bag of sustenance with which to feed his family, muttering something about having to “do everything”…

Which Mammy ignored as Mammy had had a full 8 minutes of quiet time, to take deep breaths and wonder just how I could go about getting a box of Blue Peter Badges for the fucking hero that he is…

(I do love him really though.)
*(may be slightly exaggerated for entertainment purposes. :))

Reposting – Because Anxiety Doesn’t Go Away

Grab a cuppa Ladybelles… it’s a long one today.

It’s #Worldmentalhealthday so I’m reposting!

💙💙 My little Bitch, Anxiety💙💙

Being a Mammy is hard.

Everything changes.

Your body. Your home. Your routine. Your relationship. Your friendships. Your mind.
Everything.

But it’s worth it. It’s soooooo worth it.

Yes, you’ll experience exhaustion like you’ve never imagined.

Yes, your hormones will be a mess for a few months (I’d argue forever more, but I’m no expert!).

Yes, life will never be the same again, but the love and the joys generally outweigh the negatives.

And while you might feel like you’ve lost “you” on your journey to bring another human into world, YOU WILL return, a better, stronger, more wonderful version of yourself.

Before I had my Mini-Me, I thought I was on top of things.

I’d never really struggled with my thoughts, with my mind. I could sleep when I was tired. When I went to bed at night, my brain generally allowed me to sleep. I lead a ridiculously busy life and I felt invincible.

We were over the moon to find out that she was on her little way, and began painting and shopping and all the rest.

Then, at 16 weeks, my heart decided it was going to misbehave and landed me in hospital. It misbehaved for the duration of my pregnancy. I was put off work for the remainder, I had to give up so many things that I loved: my exercise, the show I was choreographing and (gasp) caffeine. I went from being Everyone’s “reliable somebody”, to sitting on my ever expanding bum at home…

The world carried on around me…
For the first time in my life, I struggled.

It was only 5 years on and another baby later, that I recognised that I was probably, definitely, possibly, certainly dealing with anxiety and I was probably, possibly, definitely, a little bit depressed.

Have I ever been diagnosed with anything? No.
Have I ever told my Doctor I was struggling? No.
(I was afraid they’d take the baby off me. Ridiculous eh?)

Can I say categorically that I have struggled with my mental health, both after and during pregnancy?
Yes.

For the first time ever, I can say it, or rather, I can write it.
In the same way that I now know, The Him knew. My Mum probably knew. My sister has no slows on her.
My closest friends probably knew. But of course, because I pretended that I was fine, no one said anything out loud.
I convinced everyone around me, and myself, that of course I was fine.

I’ve still never said it to a Doctor. I have however said it to my Husband. And the day that I told him that I was struggling and that I didn’t know what exactly was wrong with me, things began to get better.

I still have shit days. Who doesn’t?

And even though I know on certain days that I have NOTHING to be sad about, it doesn’t stop me being sad. There are still days and weeks where, regardless of how wonderful my life is, (and it is mostly!), I can’t see past the great big clouds that seem to be getting in the way of my sunshine a little bit.

I’ve come to realise that that is not just me.
That is life.

But I’m learning how I need to deal with it, for me, as me.

I’m feeling good now. I can honestly say that 18 months after Princess was born, was when I finally started feeling like the old me again.
Physically and emotionally.

But the anxiety is always there.
She lurks.
She fizzes through me, usually when I’m not stressed, ironically enough. It seems that adrenalin and stress keeps her at bay, and then when things are sailing along nicely and I’m physically relaxing, she bubbles from my tummy, right into the tips of my fingers and it stays there until she’s done.

How do I deal with her?

Writing. My blog has been my therapy, even when I didn’t understand that it was. Also, for me, exercise, walking and music … and telling My Him.

Getting outside helps…cliched but true.

Even saying the words “I’m anxious and I don’t know why” makes it OK. Once I know that it’s not just me, in my head, it’s easier to batter that little bitch back into her box.

She’ll never go away. She’ll sit in the box and wait until she senses my weakness again, until life seems quiet and good and this Mammy thinks she’s got her shit together again.

And then she’ll pop up and say “Ahahahahha! Oh no you don’t Madam”…

And if I think back over the years, she’s always been there. Hindsight is 20:20 isn’t it?

I just didn’t recognise who she was. I thought she was low blood sugar, or exhaustion, or stress.

She was actually panic attacks and I was just so ridiculously sure of my own mental health that I didn’t recognise her.

Why do I say “she” and not “it”?

Because how I feel is not an IT.

My feelings are part of ME. But these particular feelings are not only ME, they are a different, unwelcome little PART of me, and so I will refer to her as She, because it makes me feel like I’m in charge.

I’m not afraid of her. I’m just sometimes influenced by her negativity. But I will not give her a name.

She’s not THAT significant. And just like my two minions, I’m in control of her…mostly!

I’m not sure if this makes sense. Maybe it doesn’t.

And I’m very aware that someone who has suffered and been diagnosed properly with such issues, might be tutting at my ramblings, but all I can do is say how I have felt and how I feel sometimes.

I’m not saying that I understand depression or anxiety. I’m simply saying that just because a Doctor has never typed it in someone’s notes, it doesn’t mean they haven’t dealt with it.

Was it becoming a Mum that brought it to light? Yeah, probably.

And a few other things over the last few years made me re-evaluate important parts of, and people in, my life.

Mammies are afraid that admitting weakness makes us weak. One of my most empowering moments, as a Mammy, as a wife, and as a woman, was realising that admitting weakness gives me strength.

“There’s strength in numbers”.
“A problem shared is a problem halved etc”. Clichés yes, But there’s truth in most clichés, isn’t there?

And so there we go.

The post I never thought I would write. Because S-Mum has NEVER suffered from mental health problems. Officially. On the record. I’ve never been diagnosed, but yes I have struggled. Show me someone who hasn’t…

Maybe there is nothing to diagnose now, but in the past, if I had only had the guts, or in my case, the cop on, to realise or admit that things weren’t right, a doctor might have said the words out loud.

Who knows?
She might some day.

And so be it. Because it’s about time that we, mums especially, should be able to admit that sometimes, it’s not all simply a phase.
Sometimes, it’s not just tiredness. Sometimes, it’s not just hormones.
Sometimes, it’s something more and sometimes, we need help.

I’m not qualified to counsel, or diagnose, or treat. I am not a psychologist. I am not a Doctor. I am not a councillor. I’m not going to suggest that just because I’ve come to realise that I have a little Bitch called Anxiety to batter every so often, that I am an expert.
Of course I won’t. That would be ridiculous.

Just because you’ve sat in a Ferarri doesn’t mean you can fix one does it?

NO, so just because someone has experienced something, that doesn’t mean they know what YOU should do to fix YOU.

But if you feel that you can empathise with a little too much of what I’ve written, please ask for help.

Tell someone you’re struggling. Be strong and admit that you feel weak.

Say it out loud. It won’t sound as ridiculous as you think it will.

And you’re allowed to be weak. No one is strong all of the time.

And do you see that little Bitch Anxiety?

She’s only as strong as we let her be.

She’s like a bully. If one person stands up to her, she stands her ground, but when she sees that you have back up, she’ll soon retreat to her box.

So ask for back up.

And put that bitch in her box.

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