Sunday, 30 March 2014

SuperMum | "All that I am, or hope to be, I owe to my mother."

As you are probably aware by now, I'm moving out in a few weeks and the thing I'm most nervous about is leaving my wonderful mother. My mum is the strongest woman I've ever met, but there is just something unnerving about leaving and her being the only woman of the house. Wether that be leaving her to be the one to clean up pee from the toilet seat, or have no-one to talk about women things to. I just never want her to feel alone.

I can't claim to have been the perfect child, because I wasn't. I was moody, irrational and remember saying disgusting things (shudder) I would have never have said if it weren't the heat of the moment. Mum always stood by me though. She may have sent me to my room and told me off, taken my phone away or banned me from the internet. I might have slammed my door shut, screamed at her and thrown a temper tantrum but everything she did was for my benefit, and I don't think we really understand that until we're older. All of what we have been through together has moulded me into the person I am today, and if there is anything she should be proud of, it's that.

mummyI don't know about you, but my mum would do anything to ensure my happiness. Over the years she has given me everything I could have dreamed of and more. When I was tiny, I took up Irish Dancing. This was not a cheap hobby, but she made it work. Dresses were in the hundreds, fake tan, wigs, dancing shoes, socks... It all amounted to a lot of money that we didn't really have but that never stopped my mother from helping me pursue my dreams. Then from the ages of 11 to 18, I was part of a theatre school and went there every weekend. Mummy P would drive me to and from these lessons every saturday and pay the money required, sometimes having to pick up extra shifts to be able to cover the cost. She'd take weekends off work to come to London to watch me perform in shows, even though it would cost her an arm and a leg. She encouraged me constantly to be the best performer I could be and fulfil my dreams. Money wasn't an issue for her because the reward was so much greater. That's the sort of person my mother is. There is nothing she would not do for her children.

It sounds cliche to say that my mum is my best friend, but she really is. She is the one person who has been there for me through everything from the very beginning and there is nothing I can say to thank her for that. She carried me for 9 months, cradled me for years and stuck by me when things got tough. She is a super-mum. When I have felt like there is nothing left to live for, she reminds me how strong she is and how I can be that way too. If I turn out to be half the mother she is to me and my brothers, I will be one hell of a mum.

This lady is the most warm, loving mother I could ask for and I wouldn't change her for the world. There is no-one in this universe that could even come close to her. 

Note to Charley: Tell mother how much you love her everyday.

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

The Lullaby Trust | "If love could have saved him, he would have lived forever."

teddy cheese

This is Teddy Cheese, a beautiful little boy from Hanham, Bristol. Sadly, he passed away earlier this year, three weeks before his first birthday. 

His parents are raising money for 'The Lullaby Trust', this charity is dedicated to helping save babies lives. They also support families that are shattered by the death of a child and support research into why babies die suddenly and unexpectedly. You can find out more information about the trust in the link above. 

I really admire the fact that Matt & Emma are making something amazing out of such a devastating situation. Losing a child is just about the worst thing you could go through as a parent, and it just goes to show how strong they are that they are focussing on helping others and promoting awareness so soon after. Already, they have raised over £1000, and the money just keeps rolling in.

It's overwhelming to see the amount people are willing to do to help people in their community. The Jolly Sailor Wetherspoon are having a day to remember and raise money for Teddy & The Lullaby Trust on the 7th of April. There will be a bake sale, cookie decorating, raffles and lots more fun things. If you live in or around Bristol, it would be absolutely amazing if you could come down, indulge yourself in cake and help us raise money on the 7th. 
It seems that everyone on the High Street wants to do their part which is absolutely incredible. The shops have offered to help out in one way or another and I've seen people going round the streets with donation pots and coming back with £100. Hanham's community have been so generous and I'm just hoping that we can see that same generosity online.

If I could even help them raise £10, that's another £10 toward a great cause. It doesn't matter what you give, every little penny helps. If you can't give anything, it'd mean a lot to me if you could share this page. This is one of the most worthwhile causes you could possibly give to. No parent should ever have to bury a child, so lets support the charities that help them through it. 

You can donate to Teddy's page here. 

Friday, 7 March 2014

Body Image | "To all the girls that think you’re fat because you’re not a size zero, you’re the beautiful one, it's society who’s ugly."

Fat. Thin. Huge. Skinny. Curvy. Skeletal. Chunky. Hefty. Thickset. Scraggy. Twiggy. Scrawny. Chubby. 
Fat. Thin. Huge. Skinny. Curvy. Skeletal. Chunky. Hefty. Thickset. Scraggy. Twiggy. Scrawny. Chubby. 
Fat. Thin. Huge. Skinny. Curvy. Skeletal. Chunky. Hefty. Thickset. Scraggy. Twiggy. Scrawny. Chubby. 

We've all heard these (and many other horrible) words at least once in our lives and even though we've probably tried to shake them off they hurt and sometimes they stick with us forever. It only takes one person to say something and the way you feel about yourself can be completely changed. I understand  people have different opinions on how we should look but surely as long as you're happy (and healthy) it shouldn't matter? 

The media has completely redefined our perception on body image. What used to be perceived as 'beautiful' is now something that is looked down upon. 60 years ago it wasn't diet pills people were after, it was pills to make you GAIN weight. 
body image
Nowadays, if a celebrity puts on a bit of weight for whatever reason, it's front page of a gossip magazine and it's not to tell them how great they look. There is no respect for people anymore. It makes me sick to my stomach when there are stories about girls in primary school having eating disorders because they want to look like the 'ladies in the magazines'. Children shouldn't be worrying about their weight at that age, they should be out playing in the garden, learning the basics at school, eating as much rubbish as they want and not having to give a damn about it. We're persistently told that being 'fat' is wrong and we need to change. It might not be said outright but it's certainly implied. Take the Christmas period for example, it only needs to get to boxing day and the diet adverts are in your face. Then there is shop mannequins, barbie dolls and models... Each one of those is a slap in the face to someone with a little more body fat than others. There is little to no space for the 'larger' model on a catwalk. Barbies are completely out of proportion but it's okay for a child to have her as a role model, and mannequins make you feel like crap because it's hard to imagine how you would look in those clothes if you're not a size 8. 
Shout out for the shops that have started to use plus size mannequins, you're great.

I'm sad because I'm 'fat'.
 I eat because I'm sad.
I'm 'fat' because I eat because I'm sad. 
And repeat. 
I am one of those people (there are plenty of us) who finds comfort in food. My weight tends to fluctuate depending on how I am feeling. If I've had a rough few weeks, I usually put on a few pounds and then lose it again when I find the good in my life again. We end up living in this horrendous vicious circle and there seems to be no escape.

skinny girl

Above are some photos I've come across photos of myself when I was younger and a size 10. Now I wonder why the hell I ever thought I was fat. I would kill to be that size again. I don't understand why people would make fun of my size. What did they gain from it? I was healthy, wasn't half as big as I am now, yet I felt so upset that I looked that way. The reason for this being the people in my life and the nasty things they would say about me.
I'm so frustrated with myself for letting peoples words get to me. I'm mad at myself for thinking my body was disgusting and I'm horrified that I've hated myself for so long because of it. It feels like the things they said had been engraved into my mind and I just started believing them as though they were fact. I'd look in the mirror and all I could see was those names I had been called.
I'm finally realising, even though I don't like the way I am at the moment, it's who I am at this point in my life. Instead of dwelling on what I'd like to be like, it's time to do something about it but enjoy my life at the same time.

Society is always reminding us of what is 'acceptable' and if you don't fit the criteria then you won't be accepted. I'm hoping in time people will just come to terms with the fact not everyone will look the same but it doesn't mean they aren't beautiful. We all come in different shapes and sizes. Nobody should be able to make you feel ugly, too fat or too skinny. You can never please everyone, so you should stop trying to.

Your body doesn't define you. You are more than your dress size.