How To…

…Stay Sane!

Sometimes life just feels like its on a constant mission to make you crazy and I think things are particularly mental just after you’ve had a child, whether it’s your first, second, third, fourth…(if it is your fourth then you’re actually legitimately insane and you either don’t really, or really do, need to read this article) the adjustment is always huge and things can take a long time to settle.

I have a couple of things I need to do to stay sane, but mostly I’m not that great at doing them, so I thought I’d write it all down…

  1. Self-love! Trying not to make crass jokes about masturbation here, but if that is the thing you do to (quite literally) love yourself then do it (after your stitches have healed). I like to knit. For me. For myself. I have knitted one or two things for my child but honestly I’m only really interested in knitting clothes for myself. So sue me, I’m loving myself with yarn baby!
  2. Meditation! I am a meditation pusher. My mother is a Vitamin C pusher – if there is anything wrong with you from a common cold to a phobia of lemons, she will tell you that Vitamin C will solve it. I’m the same with meditation. People always tell me that they’ve tried it and they didn’t think they were any good at it. Well what did you last try that you were good at the first, second or even third time? People who hate running do the couch to 5k challenge all the time and it’s hard but its good for them and eventually they become a habitual runner. Meditation is just the same. I use apps or I look up meditations on YouTube and I always feel at least five times better than I did before. End. Of. Speech.
  3. Medication! Granted this isn’t for everyone. I have depression so I HAVE to take it. Although not everyone with depression does but I keep doing this really annoying thing where I decide I don’t need medication any more and come off it, then chaos ensues and it never takes long before I’m back on. Now I’m a mother I can’t afford to do that (I did – chaos ensued), so medication is a key ingredient of the sanity cocktail I’ve invented (along with gin, obviously).
  4. Getting Out! If you don’t have a child promise me you’ll do one thing? Next time you leave your house just take a moment to relish picking up your bag or keys and just gleefully stepping over your threshold and out into the world mere seconds later. Once you have children THIS WILL NEVER HAPPEN. It takes at least two hours to get out of the house these days, there’s just so much detritus that I need to take with me! Including a baby! But my son wants to be out, staring down strangers to the point when they say things like “it’s like he knows what you’re thinking, isn’t it?” followed by nervous laughter. So we spend much time out the house. Sometimes I just get in the car and drive, no idea where we’re going but we always end up where we’re supposed to be. It is hard and you won’t feel like it because you’re exhausted and you haven’t had a shower in five days, but dry shampoo the crap out of life and get out and about, it will make everything so much better!
  5. Eating Well! Before you think I’ve turned into one of those “insta mums” who puts on freshly ironed pyjamas, a full face of makeup and cuddles a neutral-coloured bowl full of fruit and flaxseed, while my husband takes a picture of me not actually looking at the camera and post it with the caption “Morning lovelies! I just love these sunny mornings where I can tuck into a healthy brekkie while my baby sleeps until 10:30am. #perfectlife #valenciafilter #dontyoujusthateme”. Because to me eating well doesn’t necessarily mean eating healthily. It means finding a balance between crying and frantically shoving cake and cheese into your mouth when your child FINALLY sleeps, and only eating salads and porridge oats because you’re trying to lose baby weight while also keeping your child alive with your own body by breastfeeding. For me, eating well has become about compromise – salad is good for your body, but cake is good for your soul. Eat both.

Douglas feels a different way about eating well, he thinks it means you have to wear food like facial hair…I mean, he’s not wrong.

Douglas food

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How to…

…move house.

Let me first say dear readers that I am writing this from my sick-bed, cough, cough. But the marvellous invention of the laptop means that I don’t have to be out of bed to write things down – why do you think I want to be a writer so much?

Alas, one thing you really can’t do from the comfort of your big warm bed, is move house. So here are my five tips for doing such a thing:

  1. Do you have sherry? You’ll be needing a big bottle of sherry before you commence any part of this process.
  2. Bribe and beg those you love to help you. I mentioned in a previous blog post mental breakdowns and that I had one when facing the prospect of trying to single-handedly move all of Chris and mine’s stuff from one residence to another. After said breakdown my beautiful family rallied around me and made sure that I wasn’t trying to do such a momentous and stressful thing alone. I also had some truly wonderful friends come and lug boxes with me just out of the kindness of their own hearts (and on the understanding they would be paid in wine and oven pizzas). Don’t try to do this alone. Bets are that you have lovely family and friends, ask for their help and give it to them when they ask too. What else are we all here for?
  3. Label your boxes. If I had to choose one thing that moving house taught me, it’s that I live in a world of “misc”. The only thing I could actually specifically label my boxes as was “books”, they all went in together, everything else was “misc”. Sometimes it was specific misc (paradoxical), like “kitchen misc”, “fragile misc”, “dressing table misc”, etc. but mostly just “misc”. It really didn’t help when we came to un-packing said boxes, but I’m pretty sure that the next time we move exactly the same thing will happen all over again.
  4. Helpers like tea and biscuits. The first thing you should bring into your new home is a lovingly packed little box filled with a few cups, a kettle, tea and coffee, a selection of biscuits, a little flask of milk and a sugar for those who don’t care about dental cavities.
  5. This is my favourite one. BUY A CAT! I have been waiting for YEARS to own my own cat/s and now after almost a decade of getting misty eyed over cat videos, and friends and family buying me cat birthday cards (often, in fact, the same card) I will finally be the owner of TWO beautiful CATS! As soon as we signed on the dotted line I started looking for some feline friends and they’ll be chez CooperKelly by the end of october – I’M SO EXCITED! So I urge you, lovely, wonderful, beautiful readers – buy some cats.
Burmese Kitten
My Catbaby Gustav

These are my most important pieces of advise for buying a house – go forth and apply them as you will but always with affection, responsibility and cats.

Burmese Cats
Noor and Gustav

Can’t wait to write How To Bring Up Catbabies…