Category Archives: conversations

Teach your children not to live in fear

So, the last few months have seen us endure some pretty horrific terrorist attacks around the world as well and 3 in 3 months in this country alone, and I hear more and more people online sharing their fears for their children’s future in such a world. I too share those fears even though I have older teens now I wonder what will become their ‘normal’ in say the next 20 years with regards to terrorism, policing and our country’s safety. What will they be bringing their future children into in many years to come?

However, I am  from Belfast, born in 1970 and lived my youngest years into my teens throughout the height of ‘The Troubles’ in Northern Ireland. The absolute full extent would probably never have been covered in the national media forums unless it involved the mainland itself, but still it continued on a very daily basis in my area as well as many others. My parents back then probably had the exact same fears about our future as children with armed police and the Army patrolling our streets and wondering where it would all end up.

Yet here I am! Old enough to have my own family and worry about their future in the way my parents did before me. Coming from a very loyalist area ( being Protestant) my parents never discussed religion or politics in front of us. We were never brought up with extremist views one way or the other. They never stopped us playing outside, or going anywhere or doing anything…………………life just carried on. We were never brought up to actively ‘hate’ anyone just because a paramilitary group had decided to plant a bomb,or  kill innocent people, or shoot a single person in retaliation for another attack. We were not brought up to think that ‘tit for tat’ killings where OK. As kids we had been segregated to either Protestant or Catholic areas to live and for schooling etc. Yet I remember how excited I was when I got my first part time job in Belfast city centre working inn Argos knowing that I would be ‘mixing’ with Catholics and working in a ‘mixed’ area. I had a blast in that job. The people I met and the friends I made just made my time there brilliant fun.

What I am trying to say is that my parents never made religion and the issues surrounding it in Northern Ireland and issue for us growing up. We were not brought up to ‘hate’ a person just because they were a different religion to ourselves.

So  if you are afraid of what the future holds for your children then teach them that not everyone of that race or religion believes the same as those extremists. I never once thought that all Catholics ( back in the days of The Troubles ) were affiliated or believed the same as the IRA and I can only thank my parents for that.

Do not get me wrong, my absolute heart goes out to each and every person who has been affected by these atrocities and yes I would love to see an end to them too, it’s a total heartbreak that most of us cannot even begin to imagine or understand what they must be going through.

It is a scary world, but do not pass on your adult fears to your children before they are able to comprehend or begin to understand. Instead, teach them to see and take everyone on face value, to not be afraid when they see armed police or possibly armed forces on the streets- these people are here to protect us. I was in my mid teens on holiday in Plymouth when I saw the very first policeman in shirt sleeves with no body armour, unarmed and on his own!! Until then armed police and Army on the streets was my normal- and yet here I am a normal person. I haven’t suffered any detrimental affects, all grown up with my own family.

Our world is always going to be scary with everything that is going on across the globe, but for your children’s sake concentrate on the everyday normality and the good. I have seen a great quote online telling us to ‘look for the helpers’ in those awful situations and it’s true. There will always be many more people willing to help than to harm. Never let those people affected be forgotten but celebrate those who go to selfless measures to help in the most awful situations regardless of the danger they put themselves in.

In short, I am proof along with many others, if you teach your children to live without adult fears and teach them not to hate a race of people or a religion because of the actions of a minority of extremists then your children will adapt and live normal lives too. It’s possible, we as adults have to make it possible.

 

The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge Rant….. For or against?

I will warn you now that this post will deteriorate into a rant and I cannot be held responsible for my language that may follow…………..

I have watched loads of these videos and laughed at the person being iced without ever having any intention of doing it myself. Then I watched a video that changed all that. This video is heartfelt and shows the reality and the fear that someone who cares for someone with this disease or has it themselves.

WATCH IT HERE

I have also been chatting to ‘friends’ on Whatsapp who over the last few days have shunned and slated people who are nominating them to take part. I warned them I had been nominated and would be doing it anyway ( I don’t bow under peer pressure!). However, in the conversation one lady put out a HUGE long list ( obviously copied from the net somewhere) giving other things I could do to ‘walk a mile in ALS shoes’………

* put weights on my ankles and take the stairs 2 at a time to feel what they feel going upstairs

* put weights on my wrists and try and lift a cuppa or feed myself

* lay in bed for an hour in one position without moving

* put marshmallows in my mouth and try and have a normal conversation and make myself understood

This got me riled to say the least so I ‘POLITELY’ put back….

‘ I may already qualify for those as I have M.E / Fibromyalgia meaning severe and chronic muscular skeletal pain ALL the time and have NOT been pain free for the last 4 yrs at least- NEVER in that time, EVER, even in bed. I use a walking stick daily due to severe exhaustion and ankle pain and a wheelchair for anything longer that a short walkabout. I have nausea and migraines regularly and I feel as though I carry a full extra persons weight on my back and bones and muscles all the time and my bedroom is up 2 flights of stairs- hope that helps! ‘

RUDE? No I didn’t think so but guess what…… I haven’t heard a peep back from that particular person! When I relayed this to my family and gave them the alternatives that she offered my youngest ( whose is 13yrs old) just said ‘ That sounds like you Mum’.

So I did my challenge knowing that iced water was definitely going to give me severe problems later in the day, however, my reasoning was that MND is degenerative to the point of taking your life, my illness is long term and chronic also but wont take my life unless I choose to make it so.

My #IceBucketChallenge for ALS/ MND

I know there was a bit too much vengeance in the throwing of that water. But what  I hope you notice is that I was rendered speechless, and the cold literally stopped me from doing anything apart from shake, which is the whole idea of the challenge. Just after that my OH had to help me up and by the time I had walked to my back door to go inside I had a searing pain in my left temple and a complete wave of nausea!

I was quite proud of myself though for doing it and my 2 boys have completed theirs today and my OH is doing his tomorrow ( revenge will be sweet!) and we are donating as a family with everyone contributing.

I felt good about myself that I had done something ‘good’ for charity, a great cause that most people know very little about and really is a horrible degenerative disease.

BUT……

Then tonight I saw a random comment on Twitter ( and I know and understand that everyone has their own opinion and I do respect that- hence I didn’t get into a Twitter row) that simply said ‘I am so over this #icebucketchallenge bollocks’. This one comment sent me completely off my fecking rocker. Bollocks? Bollocks? Really?

Ok I know this challenge is a bit like Marmite and you either are for it or against, but really raising awareness for a degenerative disease- Bollocks- I think NOT!

I would LOVE to know if that person has taken the time to visit the MND or ALS site. I would like to know if they have a person in their family who suffers with a chronic illness that is NEVER going to go away let alone take their life. I wonder if they would be of the same opinion if someone in their family or they themselves were diagnosed with ALS.

Answer me that………. would they be so fecking cold hearted if they had. This is what it is all about, raising awareness and funds to help with research into this disease and to help people who have to suffer this. I mean come on you wouldn’t see your family pet in that sort of distress let alone a member of your family.

So you can shove your ‘Bollocks attitude’ where the sun doesn’t shine, empathy and compassion costs nothing and it really wouldn’t hurt you to show some occasionally!

RANT OVER

To Donate just text ICED55 to 70070 to donate £5 to MND Association- it will take seconds for you to do this but could make all the difference to future sufferers.

 

School Holiday Tourettes Syndrome…………it’s a serious condition!

I can vouch for this as I am a true sufferer. It starts a few hours after the kids finish school for the holidays and then subsides the day they go back!!  Weird I know.

It starts small with the odd feck just in my head. However, the longer the kids are off the worse the condition gets, until I’m shouting/ screaming……..

F**k, Sh*t, B**locks…………….in my head of course!

Ok, Ok I admit the odd one MAY just pop out uncontrollably.

There is no cure for this condition (story of my life) however, there is a management treatment that seems to help…………………………………..It’s called ALCOHOL.

I have tried and tested this to the full and can definitely say that it does help the situation.

Anyone else suffer with this VERY SERIOUS condition?

Things they used to say

My boys are now 12 and 14 years old. Most days I’m lucky enough to be grunted at, and if I’m even luckier ( is that a proper word?) they may well even have a proper chat that doesn’t begin with ‘ Can I have…….’

Anyway, after finding my Teenager Manual  ,yes I really did find it in the library, I started to reminisce about the little funny things they used to come out with.

So here’s a few of ours :

blackcurtains………………..for blackcurrant (juice)

stemming alive………………instead if staying alive ( The Bee Gees song!)

wanking wheel.………………for wagon wheel-yes this was said by my youngest although we wont mention this one until he is older!

go-go ……………………………for Gordon from Thomas the Tank Engine

scooby driver..…………………for screwdriver (my favourite)

These are just a few off the top of my head but there is a story to each of them which we still laugh about ( especially the wanking wheel one!! )

Now they are teens it’s more like

nuffink- nothing

s’up- what’s up

kk- Okay ( don’t ask me, text speak I think!)

That’s the stuff I can repeat in between their normal bouts of insult slinging and silent treatment. Oh the joys…..

Anyway, what do yours say for the words they just cannot pronounce yet?

I decided to link this post up to the lovely Actually Mummy‘s linky ‘What’s so funnee’

If you haven’t already been over there pop over and take a look or actually link up a post!

 She has committed to doing something funny for Comic Relief whilst raising money………so pop over and take a look at what she is going to do

Wot So Funee?

The Teenager Manual

No I’m not kidding I actually found this in the library today!

Yes the Haynes Teenager Manual!! So I couldn’t leave it on the shelf. I have 2 boys aged 12 and 14yrs and dealing with them is a complete minefield. They are both VERY different in character and also deal with similar situations in different ways. It is true that they cannot breathe the same air and DO NOT get on in any way!

I don’t want them to grow into delinquents or become estranged in any way and yet I do believe that it comes down to us as parents to do something about it.  WE must be doing something wrong if that were to actually happen and  to be fair I would be distraught.

So, in true fashion of ‘prevention rather than cure’ I saw this and thought………………well it worked out OK for cars didn’t it.

Well it can’t hurt can it?