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Its ok not to do it all

I’ve been kinda not well this last week and I feel like it’s been self-inflicted.

I’ve been in go go go mode pretty much since just before Christmas and I’ve not really had the chance to unwind. And it’s because I’ve not gave myself the chance. I have been working on the store, I’ve been trying to get the house into some kind of organised state, I’ve been trying to create blog posts (though not actually having the chance to type them up, trying to spend time with the Agents and at some point in this trying to have some me time - All while in a mental health slump.

Today I decided to stop.

I let myself have a small breakdown - almost like a reset and after which I looked at everything I was trying to do. I was juggling too much and it was making me stressed and tired. I’ve been randomly throwing up for no reason too, which I’m starting to think might be stress related.

It all got too much.

So as of today I am going to give myself a break. I don’t need to stay up till 1am folding washing - Its ok that I get it in the morning. Its ok that I didn’t get round to washing the dinner dishes tonight, cause I can get the plates washed in the morning - I’m allowed to go soak in the tub and read a chapter of my book. Does it matter that I didn’t get a chance to hoover today? It’s not putting the Agents or myself in danger … and neither of the Agents have even noticed that I didn’t hoover so really, being annoyed about it is really silly.

I’m going to allow myself to breathe. I’m not perfect and to be honest I never want to be, that’s too much pressure but from now on I’m going to give myself work hours and if I don’t manage everything then that’s ok … the world will not end and I can always get it tomorrow.

Boobies - Friend or Foe

First off i want to advise this post comes with a Trigger Warning.

So as you may have noticed i have been off line for a while. I felt i had to as i was having a really rough time and i didn't want that to convey in my posts. Its took me a while to get back on an even keel but i'm getting there. Part of it is sharing so others don't feel as alone.

At the beginning of December i went to a doctors appointment which i assumed would be routine but turned out to be mind altering. You see the nurse found a lump.

Years ago we discovered that there is a gene in our family which makes you more prone to breast cancer and since then i have been quite vigilant about checking. Silly me that i didn't actually realise i was checking wrong.

The reason i went to the doctors in the first place was i discovered my nipple was 'leaking'. And when the leaking turned to blood in my bra - i decided it was time to get a second opinion. I went assuming it was an infection but knew the nurse would insist on checking my breasts for any abnormalities. Did you know that you should check under/in your arm pits? I didn't! So when she found a lump i was floored.


It was a scary few weeks till i went to the hospital for my mammogram. As you can imagine i had many thoughts going through my head. I had horrible thoughts that Agent M was going to be left alone. Every time something sad came on the TV i was in tears. I spent the first 20 minutes of Fantastic beasts in tears terrified that i wasn't going to be around when the movies previewed came out.

I have always had a love hate relationship with my boobies. I have an 'ample bosom' and where many women would love to have a large natural chest, i haven't always liked them. They are heavy and they draw attention to me which i don't like. You find the nasty side of sexism when you have big boobs. At the same time my breasts (rightly or wrongly) make me feel more feminine. They had the ability to nurture my child (though i don't hold it against them that Agent M couldn't latch on - it happens). But when the lump was discovered - I felt like i was carrying a bomb around on my chest. One that could go off at any moment and ruin my life.

I felt really alone. I didn't really have the opportunity to talk to anyone as i didn't want to make it public unless there was something to tell. As much as Agent D was physically there, he just kept saying "you'll be fine" which didn't help as i just wanted to talk about my fears. Re-reading my journal from that time, i was in a really dark place. Its only afterwards that i found there are loads of groups i could have spoken to and many of them online so i could have spoke to someone in my darkest hours (night time while Agent M slept).

On the day of my appointment, i didn't actually want to go in. I was convinced that if i didn't know - then nothing would be final. I didn't want to hear it was bad news.

Looking back i realised how lucky i was. I was sat in the waiting room with other women who may have been diagnosed, some who may be going through treatments. Some who may have the all clear. It was pure luck on my part that i ended up being in the latter group. When i was examined by the doctor it turned out that the lump was actually a cyst and the nipple leakage was "perfectly normal".

I could have cried with relief when the doctor told me. I know that not every woman who has the same experience will get the same diagnosis.

So what is the reason for me sharing this?

Well after i spoke to some family/friends after it was all resolved. Only one woman knew to check under her armpits and 2 didn't know how to check at all.

So this is me sharing my experience and how to actually check your breasts. I want women to know that yes it might be scary but that finding a lump doesn't need to be the end of it. I was terrified and i could quite happily have burred my head in the sand but then i know my mental health would be even worse than it was.

Not every lump is bad - The NHS website has lots of information on other possibilities. But it is important to keep checking your boobies. Cause even if it is bad, its better to know early on as there is more that can be done.

Below is a video of how to check your breasts - Obviously it contains a topless woman but its important to know.


If you do discover any lumps or bumps its important to go to the doctors. I know its scary (trust me) but its better to know and get it sorted than to leave it blowing in the wind.

There are many support groups you can also contact

Breast Cancer Care in the UK
Lump to laughter in the USA

Please remember that you are not alone - and that no matter what, you are a wonder woman and can get through anything

Hugs xxx

My 2016

Yeah so that Blogmas project went down like a led balloon.

I did start with good intentions but we have been so busy this year and with me opening my Etsy store i feel like I've been stretched thin.

Even now that its in holiday mode - I'm trying to get as many kits ready for re-launch, all while cooking big meals, extra housework as everyone is coming and going, de-christmasing my house, trying to find a bit of me time and spending time with my Agents ... Oft no wonder i am tired.

I need to get a bit more organised in 2017 before i end up running myself into the ground.

So how has the year been?

The only thing that jumps to mind is 'Busy'!

Its been fun having Agent D around a bit more during the holidays and Agent M has come on leaps and bounds with school. There are no more issues with him being bullied (thank goodness) so he's back to loving school. I'm maybe not where i would have hoped i would be. Not completing college really upset me but then i needed to think about my long term mental health and i know i was i a terrible place thanks to that lecturer. I'm slowly but surely building myself back up (even if its going slow, at least its a step in the right direction.

So what do i want for 2017?

Well next year is going to be a big one in the Crafty household. I'm turning 30 ... Agent M is turning 10 and my wee mammy is going to be 50 so there are big celebrations to be had. I'm hoping this time next year i will be back to my kick ass old self and be reaching for the stars. I'd like to think that Agent D is still coming along for the ride. We like having him in our club :)

I'm wanting to make my Etsy store a great wee business as i find so much joy in it and I'm wanting to take my blog to the next level. I just need to work out how lol.

Till then I'll still be here ... taking one day at a time and sending out massive hugs and lots of love to you all.

Have a great new year folks

Stay safe

Sarah-Jane
xxx

Blogmas Day 13 - Why i wont be spoiling my son this christmas

I want to preface this by saying i don't judge anyone for the amount of money they spend on their kids. That is a personal choice each person makes and is no-one else's business. I'm just sharing my point of view.

We are a low income family. There is no going round that. And the fact that I am a single parent means that we will always have a limited income. That's just a fact.

I think that's why I find Christmas so stressful and really struggle at times to get into the festive spirit.

Stores are trying to push the sell and at this time of year, there is always the latest piece of tech or 'it' toy that kids just have to have. I see so many parents clambering to find this toy or that and end up paying over the odds for a random toy (Hatchimals anyone?). I know of parents buying their toddlers iPads and 6 year olds getting phones. It's all so much.

I can't afford to spoil Agent M like that. And to be honest, I'm not sure that I would, even if I could. Agent M has grown up in a low income family from day dot. Being a single Mama, I've had to work hard to provide him with the basics that everyone else takes for granted sometimes- and I know that it's only made us stronger as a family unit. 

We know how to live on the tightest budget. I have gone days before without eating just so he could have dinner and I've had to go up to my Grans before to give him a bath when I couldn't afford gas. We have lived counting pennies and walking to stores at night to get reduced items just to make ends meet. I don't want any sympathy. It's just the facts. That's how it was. So if anyone knows the value of money, it's us and I won't ever let us get back in that situation again. It's just not an option.

Living like that has made Agent M more realistic when it comes to Christmas. He used to always ask Santa for the expensive present cause he knew Mummy couldn't afford it - and yet I worked my ass off and did get him what he wanted. And now that he knows about Santa he asks for only what he would really like. I will always try my best to get him what he wants and a little bit more but when push comes to shove, I just cant spoil him like other parents do their kids.

I need to use my money to get gas and power, not a new bike. I need to put clothes on his back and food in his tummy, not another game for an Xbox or PlayStation.

I'm raising a future gentleman; I want him to learn that while it's nice to get things, having a home to live in and food to eat is more important than any toy. Its about necessity over luxury.

Make it Monday #42

Hey lovely's ... Welcome to my linky!

This one is for all you creative people out there to showcase your favourite craft or recipe posts. Wither your a savvy stitcher or a brilliant baker, i want you to share your posts for us all to swoon over :)


If you made it, We'd like to see it :)

I've also set up a Make it Monday board on pinterest so I'll be adding your posts there for everyone to share.

The rules are simple ...
  • Link up maximum TWO posts - They can be old or new. Please don't just link up your blog home page.
  • Comment on the 'Host' post and at least 2 others, though more if you have the time. Its all about sharing the love here.
  • When commenting use the tag #MIMLinky so that they know where you found them.
  • Add the "Make it Mondays" badge to your linked post so that others can find the linky and join in. 
Feel free to tweet your post(s) along with the hashtag #MIMlinky and mention @justacraftymama so i can retweet for you.

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