blog

Mother to mother, mom to mum

Different countries, different ages, same feelings, same facts.

Both being mothers & having had our 1st children at a younger age we thought it would be interesting to see how we compare and identify with one another. We found we had way more in common that we had different. When we as women learn to listen we will find as women and as mothers a shared commonality that helps us help each other grow. Let us know who you are, how you liked this and please share with others. Peace and blessings to each of you that read this!

The Introductions:

My name is Millie, I live in the US, am 34, married now with 4 wonderful sons. I had my 1st child at 19 and can still remember the inadequacies I felt and the adjustment into motherhood. It is so interesting to speak with another mother and get to share that with our readers!

**picture by Veronica Angel Designs; www.facebook.com/veronicaangeldesigns **

My name is Megan. I am from England and I’m 18. I have one beautiful 9 month old daughter. I was 16 when I got pregnant and had her at the age of 17. It’s been so difficult being a mummy so young but I’m loving every second of it.

The Interview:

1. Did you enjoy actual pregnancy? If yes what was your favorite part? If no, why not?

Millie: I was pregnant with my 1st son at 18 and I mostly enjoyed pregnancy. I think it was being young and energetic and fun! Everything was new and fun with my 1st son.

Megan: Unfortunately, I didn’t enjoy my pregnancy. I had hyperemesis gravidarum so I was extremely sick all the time and in hospital because of dehydration and malnutrition. Once I got to 34 weeks pregnant and was on 3 types of anti-sickness medication 3 times a day, I finally began enjoying it.

**Hyperemesis gravidarum is basically extreme sickness during pregnancy. Reasons for it aren’t clear just yet but there are 2 theories. First one being, a maternal liver disease. The second one being, our bodies aren’t use to the change, automatically thinking its a foreign object in the body and the constant throwing up as a way of trying to get it out. Let us know in the comments if you have had this.**

2. Did you have any challenges during childbirth? What was your biggest memory from that experience?

Millie: With my 1st son I was in labor 19 hours when our heartbeats started to drop rapidly, I was not dilating and they made a decision to give me a C-Section. I remember being devastated and so scared! I had never had a major surgery before. I tried very hard to act like I was okay, but I had tears running down my face as they wheeled me into the operating room. I think the hardest part was feeling somehow like there was something wrong with me because I could not deliver naturally, but I came to peace with that later on (many years later I want to add).

Megan: That sounds horrible, Millie. I bet it was all worth it in the end! The challenges I experienced were nothing in comparison to Millie’s. I went into back labour so that made it harder than normal. My blood pressure went up so high that the doctors and midwives were scared I was going to have a heart attack so I had blood pressure medication. My contractions stopped so I was put on a hormone drip. After 12 hours of labour, I started pushing and the midwife decided to do a double episiotomy. **An episiotomy is a surgical cut made in the perineum during childbirth** I had two of these. So, I was essentially cut from one hole to the other. After the labour I had to have a blood transfusion as I was so anemic that I couldn’t walk unaided.

Millie: Wow Megan! That sounds so scary, especially for being 17! Who was with you during this? Did you have support in the hospital and afterwards?

Megan: Iris’ father was with me during contractions, alongside my parents. I had my mum and dad in the room with me when she arrived. I was also in hospital for 3 days and they were both tied to my hip! I had loads of support.

3. What was one of the 1st biggest changes when you came home as a new mother?

Millie:No sleep! Really I think the biggest thing was just not being able to do things whenever I would want to, like nap or go out with friend. It was such an adjustment being responsible for this other life, knowing that I had to put him 1st. I couldn’t go to every party or to a movie or even for a walk with the girls as easily. There is some sacrifice becoming a mother, whether we always want to agree on that or not, well at least in my opinion. Young mothers, especially in our teens, when we are supposed to be the most selfish and learning who we are, have to put a lot of that to the side in order to care for our children. I know for me it was more than an adjustment, but it took time for me to learn who I was and I felt like I was always behind the curve compared to my friends.

Megan: My answer is similar to Millie’s. Although I did get a lot of sleep, I never was able to go out with friends. A typical teenager was able to go out to the cinema, bowling, to their friends house and even out drinking. Selfishly, it was horrible. I hated seeing my friends do what I couldn’t do. I hated not being able to be a normal teenager. However, I accepted the negatives once I became pregnant. Even though I still find it difficult now, I’ve accepted that I gave up my teenage years to grow up alongside my daughter and I really do love it.

4. What are some challenges you feel you face as a young mom?

Millie: I think I touched on this in number 3., but a big part is giving up the time we are supposed to be learning ourselves to care for our children. It takes time for anyone to find balance with motherhood and independence of who we are, but for young moms we can face even more setbacks.

I also remember feeling inadequate or not like a real mom around the “normal age mothers”, like they looked at me differently. I didn’t fit in with my friends who still “had lives” and I didn’t fit in with other moms because they saw me still “as a kid”. I felt like it took me longer to find my place. Megs, did you ever feel like this?

Megan: Yeah, I feel exactly the same currently. My friends aren’t mothers so they obviously don’t have the same responsibilities as me which makes it difficult to relate to them. Other mums, who are older, see me as a child. I get funny looks in public and awkward conversations occur when someone asks me my age. The ‘you’re not old enough to be a mum’, is probably the hardest part. My age has nothing to do with how I will be as a mother but annoyingly, others see it very differently.

I’m unsure as to whether Millie experienced this or not but I lost many friends during the pregnancy. People never really bothered with me as I couldn’t drink or go out. That is one of the things that affected me most. Apart from the wonderful being in my tummy, I felt very alone during my pregnancy.

Millie: I did experience that! I mean people got tired of me cancelling that they just stopped inviting me. I felt very alone even though I had this amazing child. I lost a lot of friends, but I eventually gained new ones. I can also fully relate to the awful comments from older women. I understand that we are not the norm, but we as women need to be more careful of what we say to each other. There were very few women building me up then. I am obviously not a teen anymore, but I am always respectful of any mother, any age, because I know how words can hurt. That was a hard time for me, an adjustment period, but I found support in other younger mothers through activities which helped me form a new circle of friends.

Megan: Exactly. I am always respectful to other mothers as we are all essentially experience the same thing, just with different twists and turns. Women should build women up and it’s so horrible hearing that at the time you didn’t receive that, Millie.

5. What is one suggestion or piece of encouragement you would want to give mothers of any age?

Millie: It gets better. Time takes time. Just because you become a mother does not mean that you will automatically have the house, the career, the car, the husband. As a young mom I always felt like I fell short of these ideals I built up in my own mind of how our life should look, the life my son deserved and everyday we didn’t have those things somehow meant I was not giving my son a good quality of living. That is wrong. I may not have had everything in the order I was brought up to think we needed them, but I love my son and I did my best everytime. It didn’t happen overnight, but today that child is an amazing 15 year old soon to be man, we have all those things I thought I would never have because little by slowly we earned them. Breathe easy mothers! It gets better. It really does.

Megan: I completely agree with Millie. Things will not always happen in the ‘ideal order’. Things take time, you must have patience. I’m still waiting for ‘the house, the career, the car, the husband’. I have none of those things. I’m just focusing on my daughter and waiting for those things to come along at a later date.

Being a mummy is the hardest thing in the world, not everyone will agree with you on how you bring your child up. You’ll get advice from here, there and everywhere but do what is best for you and your little one. A mummy’s instinct is usually the right answer.

For more about Millie:

www.livingnowlifecom.blog

www.facebook.com/knowwhereyourfeetare

www.instagram.com/billandmillie

www.twitter.com/billandmilliea

www.pinterest.com/billandmillie

For more about Megan:

Www.meganappsx.wordpress.com

Www.instagram.com/meganappsx

Www.twitter.com/meganappsblogsx

blog

Anti-bullying Policies

I’m pretty sure the majority of us will have been to secondary school so saying that, you will be aware of what bullying is. All schools must have an anti-bullying policy in place. The use of this is to stop or prevent bullying in order to give students a safe environment to develop, intellectually and emotionally. The policies have the discipline procedure. Although the schools claim to use it, I have to completely disagree that they do.

I went to a school which was seen as one of the stricter ones. It’s was ‘one of the best in the area’. Disagree, again. I was bullied & harassed, followed round the school,private information written on walls and threatened on countless occasions. The girls who did this were put in lunch detention a couple of times but continued to do it. The school thought they couldn’t do any more than what they were…exclusion, isolation? My parents came into the school multiple times to sort it out. I ended up going on early study leave because the staff wouldn’t do anything to help. Turns out that to exclude someone, it costs the school money! The bullying affected my mental health massively, which I will never forgive the school for. So that’s my experience with an ‘anti-bullying’ school. I know that experiences like mine aren’t uncommon, unfortunately.

What I don’t seem to understand is; there are so many cases of suicide due to bullying within a school but schools claim they’re ‘knuckling down on bullying’. Bullying is at an all time high and nothing is physically being done. Punish the children or teach them not to bully before it even begins. What is being told in assemblies and lessons isn’t enough. “Don’t bully.” Show the children the affects of bullying, tell them why they shouldn’t be like that, tell them to look out for one another. Do not just say ‘no bullying’. They need to know people die because of it.

Bullying is one of the most dangerous things that goes on in todays society. The majority of the bullying is within a school and it makes me angry that schools don’t seem to understand this. I know it isn’t the easiest thing to tackle but they certainly need to start taking some steps forward.

Megs x

blog

The Failure of the Justice System

If you know me then you’ll know ‘My Story’ and what I experienced when I was 15. So this relates to me as well as millions of other people. Let’s begin.

Did you know that 98% of accused sexual predators walk away free after trial…crazy, right? But why is this? There are many reasons… well not really, there’s one. They get found ‘not guilty’ by a jury of 12 people. If you aren’t fully aware of how it works, its ‘innocent until proven guilty’. So obviously there wasn’t enough evidence to prosecute or, on many occasions, the victim is blamed. This can usually be based on what clothes they wore at the time, the relationship with the defendant, alcohol consumption and sometimes even the victim’s sexuality. Don’t get me wrong, there are cases where the ‘victim’ makes it up but surely, every single case of that 98% can’t be a lie.

This brings me on to my main point. Rape Crisis centres experienced an increase in genuine calls from 2016 to 2017 but police reports had a decrease in 14%. Why aren’t people reporting what happened to them? There are two main reasons for this:

1. The victim was sexually assaulted or raped by a partner or relative and are protecting them.

2. They are scared that they will be called a liar by 12 people in a jury. Not just that, they are ‘hung out to dry’ in a court full of people.

I can massively relate to point 2, unfortunately. The system makes victims afraid to speak out and take their abuser to court and even if they did try, there’s a very slim chance that the defendant will get prosecuted. So what’s the point in even trying when we’re bound to fail anyways? That is what’s wrong with the justice system. The fact that people are scared to do the right thing. In a survey, it was recorded that 5 out of 6 victims do not go to the police. The exact reasons being, the fear of a lengthy investigation and giving evidence in court. Victims are supposed to feel safe and comfortable during this.

Another reason for failing to go to police is; the fear of the victims private life being spoken about openly. For example, there was a case that the victim decided not to go ahead with because she didn’t want to discuss her previous abortion in front of the public. This happened again in another case but for a woman not wanting to discuss her anorexia. Both of these things were not relevant to the sexual abuse yet were still going to be spoken about. Why should the victim’s separate private life be involved in a case which is about something completely different? Past issues or mistakes shouldn’t be considered in a case happening in the present. It makes no sense to me. The defendant and the situation should be investigated, not the victims past.

Another thing, is that the public are allowed in the court room, even if they have no relation to anyone in the trial. For some cases, I personally think it’s absolutely fine however, I think rape trials are very different. Although personal information is shared throughout a trial, rape and abuse is a very sensitive subject. (Along with others but I’m just using this as an example.) It can be very degrading and you can feel violated just speaking about the experience or even hearing people speak about it. I know I certainly wouldn’t want random members of the public knowing the ins and outs of my life, even irrelevant situations.

‘Consent; permission for something to happen or agreement to do something.‘ Consent is given in multiple ways; body language and speech. In some cases, (the majority of them) the jury is not aware of ‘consent’. If the victim does not speak and does not partake in the sexual act then no consent was given. If the victim says yes or shows interest in having sex then consent was given. It’s confusing why some people fail to understand this. In a case that I have followed, the defendant said that the woman did not say no but was just laying there, not resisting and not acting interested. By saying this, the man told the court he had raped her yet was found not guilty as she didn’t say ‘no’. The jury failed this woman, as they do for many others.

The cold, hard truth is that very few sexual predators end up in court. Unless something is done, this will only continue to get worse.

blog

2018.

It’s been an eventful year.. there’s been huge downs and major ups. It’s been one big rollercoaster.

In March, I unexpectedly lost my Nana Carol. We still aren’t 100% sure why she passed, but it’s to do with her breathing problems. This was an awful time, especially for my dad. Then to make it even worse, we lost our dog between Nana’s death and her funeral, in April. Kimi was a massive part of our family, she was dads best friend. She even went to work with him every day.

Anyone that knew me at the time knew that my daughter was due to be born on the 4th of April 2018. She ended up being born on the 7th, 3 days after she was due and 2 days after my Nana’s funeral. So this was a hugely emotional time, especially for my dad. He said it was ‘life for a life’, which I think is beautiful!

Then in May we got a new dog. We weren’t trying to replace Kimi, it was because dad got really lonely. Weirdly, Aryton was born on the 9th of March, the day my Nana died. My dad says that they ‘passed at the rainbow bridge’. If you don’t know what that is, look it up. On the 24th of May, Lewis & I FINALLY made our relationship official. He’s truly amazing and I couldn’t ask for a better boyfriend. I am completely smitten.

Not too much happened in the summer. We went to the imperial war museum in London and saw ships at Portsmouth. I started my blog. I passed my maths GCSE and enrolled on three A levels, Law, Sociology and History. I then started college in September and Iris started nursery too. College has been really good, I absolutely love my A levels… heading for that law degree!

December 24th (yes, Christmas Eve) I finally hit 18! I went on my first night out then got a tattoo in the morning.. of course, the tattoo is of a couple of iris flowers on my wrist. Then it was Iris’ first Christmas where both of us got absolutely spoilt.

That’s basically my year in a nutshell. It’s been a highly emotive one but its safe to say that I’ve learned a lot of things this year, but that’s for another post!

Megs x

blog

Mental Health Awareness Day

Hey everyone,

Sorry I’ve been inactive recently. I’ve got SO much going on. I’m currently doing my A Levels, focusing on earning money through selling beauty products on social media and my daughter is becoming a fussy bum.

Today, 10th of October 2018, it’s mental health awareness day. I’m not going to go into the issues I’ve had with regards to my mental health because today isn’t about my issues, its about mental health as a whole. My blog has always been about raising awareness to issues we go through. This includes the impact it has on our mental health. It is so important that everyone is aware of it. Everybody has a mental health state, good or bad. 1 in 6 people report about a mental health problem in their lifetime. This is ranging from depression to PTSD to even anger issues. It is really common for someone to experience a problem with their mental health. Our mental state can be altered but a PMA must be had, regardless of state. PMA is ‘Positive Mental Attitude’ so basically, knowing you can get through anything means you will get through anything.

There is around 16 reported suicides per day in the UK. This is a crazy statistic, but also a very accurate one. This predominately stems from mental health issues. This statistic can be lowered by more awareness. Awareness is usually raised in educational settings and on social media, thus being the reason why I have a blog and not a notice board.

I will continue being more active from now on. My next few posts will be random personal stories throughout my life that have had an impact on me.

Megan x

blog

How to stay positive on a bad day.

It’s difficult staying positive if you’re having a bad day or woke up with a negative mindset, I do it regularly. I have a few tips on how to stay positive.

1. My dad told me to have something to look forward to. Even if it’s getting home after college and watching telly. Always have something to be excited about even if it’s simple, it really helps you get through the day. I still do it now.

2. Do the things that make you happy. Scrolling through Facebook, looking at memes makes me laugh & evidentially puts me in a better mood. Reading a book or listening to upbeat music makes me happy!

3. Write down what you’re feeling because 9 times out of 10 you’re unlikely to talk about why you feel the way you do. Write down what you’re feeling and why you’re feeling it. This is what I do for my blog and my goodness, it helps a lot. Lifts a massive weight of my shoulders.

4. Go for a walk. Walking/exercise releases endorphins which is a group of hormones which can make you feel good. It’s the same as hugging someone. It releases oxytocin which increases the levels of feel good hormones.

Shoot me a message if you ever need help feeling better, I’m sure I’ll have some memes in my camera roll 😂

Megan x

blog

Controversial Questions 3

“Should gender neutral toilets be in all buildings & public places?”

I am aware that this is a fairly strong subject and no judgment will be passed with all your opinions. I also have a strong opinion on this which I will state at the end of the discussion.

Firstly, there wasn’t many people saying yes, it was mostly no’s. However the people saying yes gave reasons such as, gender fluid people may not know whether to use male or female loo’s or they may no feel comfortable using either. Non-binary people don’t have a gender therefore aren’t permitted to use either loo so a gender neutral toilet they would feel like they belong in society, understandable.

However the people saying ‘no’ to this question was for the right reasons. Granted, there are people who don’t say it for the correct reasons and who are in disagreement with the thought of people other than male or female. The reasons I received via Instagram said there would be an increase in sexual assaults and violence which I definitely agree with.

Gender neutral toilets can be used as an easy place for sex and/or not consented sex. If there was only a gender neutral toilet at location I was at, I would not use it. Not because of gender fluid or non binary people, but because of straight men. Being a woman who was raped at the age of 15, it takes me a while to trust a man.

I personally think that whether your non-binary, gender fluid or transgender, you use the toilet you feel comfortable in. Scientifically we were all born male or female, with regards to genitals. If you know you’re the other gender or neither, you just use the toilet you most comfortable in. Whether that be male, female or disabled. (Disabled if there’s no disabled person there) I don’t feel it necessary to have gender neutral toilets, it would put people off using them.

Thank you to everyone who contributed and to the people reading this. I really appreciate the support my blog & I are receiving.

Megan x