This morning, I opened Facebook up and it showed me what I was doing five years ago today. Thank you for that turd on my day, Facebook. I still had agoraphobia when I was camping here, but it was less restrictive. This little break was extremely difficult but so, so lovely. Being with my children on holiday was the best feeling.
I still had agoraphobia when I took this photo, but it was far less restrictive. I could go much further than I can now. This little break was extremely difficult but so, so lovely. Being with my children on holiday was the best feeling.
Seeing this lovely photo from five years ago was like being slapped in the face. To me, it feels like a highlight of what I’m continually missing out on and the pain is so raw it takes my breath away. Why could I go then and I haven’t been able to go since?
An annual camping trip called The Summer Meet is a family event run by CZOwners Club. MrLovely is CZOwners so it’s hosted by him. Anyway, I digress…
Holding On To The Positives
I’m grateful my children don’t miss out on their childhood because of my illness. It’s so hard not to get caught up on how I feel like I’m failing them. However, they are getting things other parents might not have time to give them. Agoraphobia affords me time. A lot of time.
I have time to teach my children how to cook and the importance of good nutrition. There are no potato smiles here. Both myself and MrLovely enjoy cooking so our dinners tend to be healthy meals cooked from scratch. I could count on one hand how many times my children have had frozen chicken nuggets at home. They have more experience of me getting grumpy from having the egg and breadcrumb goo stuck to my fingers whilst making them from chicken breasts (maybe I should be buying them…).
If you come here often, you’ll know I’m currently following Weight Watchers. During a Girls Night In, LissyLu and I had a microwave meal. Weight Watchers actually do some pretty yummy frozen ready meals (check out the selection Tesco have to offer – I particularly like the chicken hotpot). So there you have it, my dirty confession: We ate a microwaved dinner from a single use plastic oblong.
LissyLu thought it was ridiculously exciting. In her eleven years, this was her first ready-meal. I think that’s pretty good going.
My children certainly aren’t going to be able to say I wasn’t around much. I’m sure they feel like I’m their stalker because I’m so present. I do like to hear what’s going on in their lives. I do enjoy hearing about the current gossip in Sophie’s life. We’re lucky that she’s so open and I get far more than the monosyllabic answers of your normal teenagers.
There are things you can do at home to create that away from home feeling. I have a corner of my garden that I’ve created a beautiful, relaxing area that feels like a Morrocan retreat. If you follow me on Instagram, you’re bound to have seen it, I post pictures of it and of us all being out there a lot #sorrynotsorry. In the evenings, myself and the children frequently toast marshmallows over a fire and make smores, whilst chatting away to each other. I treasure our time spent out there.
Sustainability & Rearing Meat
We’re able to rear our own meat and grow our own produce, so our children have a better understanding of where their food comes from and how to prepare it. It’s lovely to see the joy when our tomato obsessed tween picks tomatoes from her tomato plant that she grew herself and pops them like smarties. They’ve also had a go at making clothes using our sewing machine – not that I’m much good as a teacher unless you’re going for the wonky legged look! My skills are limited. They do enjoy creating things on the sewing machine though. I won’t be making in onto The Great British Sewing Bee anytime soon though.
All Is Not Lost
So whilst I can’t pop off to Butlins on a long weekend, there are some benefits to being home so much. My children know they are loved, I tell them a million times a day. They always know where they’ll find me (at home…). Being so restricted is devastating but surely that doesn’t determine our ability to be a good parent?
Maybe we need to think of ourselves as their anchor. If you’re suffering, remember you’re not alone. There are many of us in this together.