The power of the mind.

IMG_0329.JPGThe sleep programme is now three weeks in and I’m amazed how much difference it has already made. The even better thing is that I don’t feel like I’m actually doing loads different so far. I’m not tied to a strict routine, I have not been told what to do. I know this – dare I say it – Gina Ford approach wouldn’t and doesn’t work for me and Charlotte and I’m so glad I’ve found Jennie who approaches toddlers sleep issues by trying to work out the cause and dealing with that, rather than actually trying to implement any ‘one size fits all’ sleep techniques.

I am also realising that I am open to using alternative remedies and the power of the mind. How my mind is affecting my mood, how my mind is affecting Charlotte’s mood, how Charlotte’s mind is affecting her own sleep and how other people’s moods and minds are affecting both of us.

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I wouldn’t put myself down as a particularly spiritual person…I don’t practice any religion and not sure I believe in a higher being deciding all our moves for us but I do believe in energy and positive thoughts and how much having those can affect your mood and mindset. Despite the huge list of crap that has rained down on me and my family over the past 10 years I have generally been optimistic that things will get better. I’m not sure I believe the old adage ‘things can only get better’ because I have seen evidence that, unless you put in the effort, things just get worse and worse. My ex was (still is) a lifelong pessimist and is still wallowing in a dark depression because he is not willing to put the effort in that’s needed to get better. This was the main reason we split and is still a cause of massive frustration to me as it means he is not playing the role of a dad to the full extent and because he doesn’t or can’t we a need or reason to want to move onwards and upwards, he is stalling signing divorce papers.

Jennie is teaching us techniques to deal with the daily stresses and negativity that both me and Charlotte face on a daily basis so, not only will we both come out of this with a lot better sleep but I honestly believe our relationship with each other will be better and we will have more tools to fight the crap times together. We still have homework, house moves, potential new men on the scene who potentially might have children themselves, school, teenager-hood, boyfriends (or girlfriends), and break ups to go through so we need all the help we can get!!

Hope you all have a great week. This week is my first week back to full time so any good energy you can send my way would be very helpful!!

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What lurks beneath…

Well I got most if the way through my decorating project, although despite being able to move my wardrobe out from the wall (eventually), I can now not move it back. I keep finding spots of paints on my person and feel like I’m high from the fumes when I walk into the room because it’s too cold to have the windows open all the time (stupidly I didn’t choose one of the low fumes brands).

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But despite the fact it’s not quite done I’m proud of myself for getting on and doing it. I am one if the biggest procrastinators I know so getting started was a challenge. It is also lovely to have a bedroom that feels like it is mine and has no history. It is fresh and bright which is how I’m starting to feel again.

Obviously, before the painting comes the big sort out has to happen which has been cathartic in itself but I have come across so much stuff that I have no idea what to do with. What is the protocol when it comes to canvases of your wedding pictures that you used to have over your bed? Do you chuck it? Do you hide it away? Do you ask if your ex wants it? All of these options feel weird. It’s not like it’s ever going to be displayed again but tossing it in the trash seems harsh in someway. A photo album of wedding pics can easily be stashed on a book shelf only to be looked at periodically but an A3 size canvas??

I have also come across and amazing selection of crap from under my bed and a wide selection of make up and hair accessories I had forgotten I had! I’m not going to mention the dust behind the bed or someone will dob me into Obsessive Compulsive Cleaners and I’ll have some crazy, neurotic bleach freak knocking on my door. Everything in moderation I say…and on that note I think I deserve a glass if wine! Cheers!

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A fresh coat.

I think my ex has had some sort of ‘episode’ which has changed him. I would be worried and flag it to the professionals but, after being open to discussing his issues with the divorce (which, apparently, after all the faffing and stressing me out and expense…he doesn’t really have any) and offering to have Charlotte from this evening (Thursday) until Sunday rather than the usual paltry 27 hours over the (alternate) weekend. I am more than happy for this personality change to continue!

So I have a full three days sans child this weekend and I have no idea what to do with it. It’s getting near the end of the month so any money I did have has diminished which rules out jetting off to Barcelona or anything, but maybe I should finally get round to decorating my house? Maybe a bit over zealous – let’s just start with the bedroom first. I’ve only been talking about it for the past nine months!

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This does however mean I have to choose a colour which generally takes me longer than painting the walls themselves. Duck egg, primrose yellow, meadow green…? The choices!! So wish me luck and if you hear an almighty crash from the midlands area I’ve just fallen off my step ladder and I’m drowning in paint – please send help…and a painter and decorator!

Paddle, paddle, paddle!

Last week I received one of these through the post…and it was a fat one.

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For those of you who don’t know this is a letter from Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs and they don’t generally like to send out letters saying “you’ve paid us too much, here have a cheque for £1000” No. They like to send scary letters. Aggressive, scary letters containing phrases like ‘suspension of payments’ and ‘if I do not comply…’.

Since I have been separated I have been entitled to a small amount of Tax Credits that are meant to help with Charlotte’s childcare. It does help but it all goes in the bigger pot and gets used up on necessities as soon as it comes in weekly. I hate the fact that I am someone who has to rely on benefits to help her through her month but I also have a job and have been paying my taxes for ten or so years now so it’s not like I’m not putting anything back into the pot. (In fact if they taxed me less I would have to take less out of the pot but that’s a futile conversation!)

So they sent me a letter saying they think they have my payments wrong. Now, I’ve told them all the correct info, I gave them all my incoming figures, I haven’t lied anywhere but I’m petrified. If, for some reason they take these away from me or reduce the payments drastically I will be – to use a well known phrase – up shit creek without a paddle. The bank of mum and dad are paying for my solicitors fees which I desperately want to pay back at some point, my mortgage and nursery fees pretty much leave me with no way near enough to cover bills, petrol, food and any sort of extras that are needed. Tight, to say the very least! The tax credits and the payments (however minimal) from my ex’s child maintenance help me to just about keep my head above water so the fact this may change has scared me to death.

My ex had lots of problems with debt and when we split I vowed I would be good with my money as I hadn’t had the chance to control it before but no matter how good you are if you don’t have enough, you don’t have enough.

I’m maybe seeing the worst in HMRC and after collecting my hundreds of bits of evidence they have asked for they may say that actually they owe ME money but I’m not holding out much hope.

Who needs anything more than beans on toast for tea five nights a week anyway?