A Christmas Meme


I had been wondering what to write this year for Christmas and had toyed with the idea of starting a Meme when the beautiful Jaime over at The Oliver’s MadHouse tagged me in this meme that has been making the rounds. As a blogger I love nothing more than answering questions about myself and my family as well as reading about the traditions and events that my blogging friends have. So if you would like to have a go at this Meme I am more than happy to tag you so do let me know and Merry Christmas and Yule. 

What is your favourite thing about Xmas?

Oh my goodness where do I start with this one. Christmas starts when we put the decorations up, this is a big moment as in other homes. In previous years I have had to beg The Hoarder to let me put them up at the start of December and this year he let me. Last year Smaller Princess was only 15 months old and was still not sleeping. Everything felt like a chore. I was not even bothered that we could not put the tree up until after the 15th December. So I think this is one of my favorite moments of Christmas. We also celebrate Yule on the 21st of December. This is the Winter Solstice; the longest night of the year. We light a fire in our fire pit in the back garden and drink mulled wine or hot chocolate whilst burning the Yule log and toasting marshmallows. I have tried to convince The Hoarder that we should give a gift to each other but he is having non of it as he prefers to celebrate the giving of gifts on Christmas morning. Our pagan celebrations are fairly new traditions that we are forming as we do not come from pagan families rather we have identified this path together and that is something very valuable to me.

 

Whats your favourite make up look for the season?

I only wear make up when I go out really. As this is not very often I tend to stick with old faithfulls. Smoky eyes, but with natural shades, a dark lip shade such as black cherry or even something with a bit of sparkle in it and some natural blush. I may even opt for a little glitter over the festive period

 

Real or Fake tree?

We have a fake tree that has served us well for the last 6 years, although we also have a small real fern tree potted outside that also has lights on it. In Paganism the tree, especially the evergreen, is very important and celebrated over the Yule festivities. This is a symbol of life through the dark winter months along with others such as the holly and the ivy and ponsetta’s etc. 

 

Giving or receiving presents?

I love getting just the right gift for someone, something that really says “I have thought about you”, 

I love the look on peoples faces when I get it spot on. Sometimes and especially this year when money is tight this is a real struggle, but also a reminder that it is the thought that counts and simple does not mean there is less thought into the gift, if anything there is more!

Simple means that in difficult times…you have been thought of. So as much as I love choosing and giving just the right gift…I also value being thought of.

 

What is your favourite Xmas film?

The christmas film that I really associate with christmas time has to be Santa Clause the movie! This is my childhood christmas film and really makes me feel as though it is christmas. I love having this film on christmas day whilst opening or playing with our new toys. I must admit to loving It’s a wonderf life as well…this is a night in on my own and christmas lights on with some Mulled Wine.

What’s your favourite Xmas food?

I love it all! Food brings people together. Isn’t that what this time of year is all about? A celebration of love and being with people…being with family? That said, I would not have my Christmas dinner  without Turkey and all the trimmings, but I will give my share of the sprouts to Leyla over at thisdayilove

Ok that’s all there is too it. 

Now I tag these beautiful folk!

Anna @ digfortea.

Jo @ slummysinglemummy

Helen @ mummytothemax

Sammy @ mummytoamonsterxo

 

Blessed be )0(

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It’s Christmas time in the city


“I must be insane”.

I thought to myself as I pushed a tired, screaming 2-year-old around the hustle and bustle of a city centre on a Saturday weeks before Christmas. Not only that I had a 5 year old in tow, who after getting a warm chocolate smeared waffle, decided she wanted to go home.

“Who’s idea was this?”

Oblivious shoppers stepped out in front of my push chair…very risky especially as I could quite happily have rammed them with said push chair after the 3rd or 4th time! Some even shoved passed my slow-moving buggy just to stop in front of me, those I could also have rammed with my push chair, quite happily.

The crazy frantic women who assault small children with their large quantities of baggage…sometimes even just their handbag as they rush from shop to shop. I lost count the times I heard “Mummy, that person just hit me on the head!” or “That man/lady just shoved passed me…isn’t that rude mummy?”

Yes it is! It is one thing to shove and jostle each other as you wander oblivious through city streets, but keep an eye out for little heads and feet around you. I can’t imagine how scary all those shoppers look to little people, at elbow hight who are knocked and hit simply because they are too small to be seen under all your Christmas treasures.

Fortunately there are those out there who restore my faith in human nature. I seem to find them around me when I need them most; like little angels bringing warmth and compassion to our cold, hard city shopping malls and high streets.

I don’t look for them, they just appear out of no where and then slip away again. . . This post is for you.

The lovely lady who chatted to my children in the street about Santa and school, who didn’t bat an eye lid at my chatterbox 5-year-old not pausing for breath.

The lady who tapped the two ladies in front of me on the shoulder and asked them to move after she had spotted me stuck there but unable to make myself heard over the loud Christmas songs and shoppers.

But most of all the man at the fruit and veg stall where I bought some chestnuts for the girls to try. He bought my children a small handful of cherries that Big Beautiful had her eye on , but I could not buy today. You made two little girls very happy in what had been a very stressful hour for us all.

As I look back on today, because of some very special strangers we met, I don’t feel harassed or in need of a glass of wine (well maybe a small one?)  Instead I remember the girls joy at seeing the City Christmas lights for the first time, the wonderful Christmas market and the warm waffles we all had with chocolate or Maple syrup, seeing the wonderful Fenwick’ Christmas window, looking for gifts for our family, dancing and singing to Christmas songs in the shops like no one was watching (I’m sure they were lol) and free cherries!

I have learnt a valuable lesson today:

Don’t venture into the City Centre on a Saturday with two small children, especially just before Christmas. I can only imagine it will get worse!

And if I really have to?

It might not be too bad x

{This Moment}


{this moment} – A Friday ritual. A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. 

If you’re inspired to do the same, leave a link to your ‘moment’ in the comments for all to find and see. as found on Mothering with Mindfulness and  Inspired by Soulemama.

 

{This Moment}

 

Living with a hoarder and 2 princesses.


This used to be the title of my blog.

I changed it for many reasons.

The title was more about what I needed to write about than what I was about or the sum of who I was. When I started this blog, over a year ago, I had no idea who I was so I used the three most significant beings in my life and how I saw them at the time, as my blog title…does that make sense?

Really this title is something I need to write a post about, something I have put off for a very long time. I put it off because I did not really know how to explain it to anyone, I put it off because it is such a raw subject for me that just touching on it causes me to shrink away from it…to hide from it. I am not entirely sure that I can fully explore what it’s like living with a hoarder, especially a hoarder who is in total denial. I also suspect that he has OCD although this is a new realisation and I’m still trying to learn more about it all. I have tried not to make this post sound like I am whinging about my other half. He does have some good qualities, otherwise I would not still be here.

He is a brilliant father for one and our children adore him

He still makes me laugh…sometimes despite myself

and he works really hard to keep a roof over our heads and food on our table…as do I.

That said It’s really not easy living with someone who likes to keep stuff. Often I feel like I have 3 children. I know, I know men can be very much like children I hear it all the time from struggling mums.

But I feel this is slightly different.

I regularly hear “It’s mine”

“that belongs to me, I’m keeping it. You can’t get rid of that broken computer I can still use it” (this is the pc sat under my kitchen/dining table for the last 6-8 months)

” It’s ok I can fix it up and it will save us money. I’ll put it  in the shed (We have 3) We can sell that, don’t throw that away” (about…anything)

The Hoarder: “Emma where is that magazine? I have not read it & there was stuff in it I wanted to keep”

Cycling Mummy: “That was from last September”

The Hoarder “but it was mine.”

This is often the same conversation I have with my 5yo over a toy the 2yo took…He is in his late 30’s!

If I move anything or throw them away it causes a huge argument…even if the items I throw away belong to me or the girls.

Last year our dryer started playing up, so The Hoarder headed to the auction to get a new one cheaply. It didn’t work (Durr!) He got a man out to fix it, he found a broken part and gave it to The Hoarder to get a new one…but The Hoarder could not throw away the part the man had given him…I had to do it for him. That broken dryer is still sat in one of the sheds to this day and my dryer has to be kick started by hand to get it to spin!

We have piles of unopened letter near our front door ( I just counted them and there are 76 approx) There are two carrier bags in our bedroom from the months before and a bag in one of the sheds from years ago…they all belong to him. Speaking of sheds we have 3 sheds that are full…one of which is on my patio (wine drinking area) that I managed to get to use for 1 summer.

 

He hates putting things away. If there is a space then he needs to fill it with something…anything. I love clear empty work tops in the kitchen…he likes to see his stuff .

I see and hear women complain that it’s hard to get the man in her life to help in the house and I also have friends whose partners are so helpful that I often wonder how I can get one. Getting The Hoarder to help in the house is a chore in itself. I can often get him to eventually do the washing up and if forced will put clothes in the washing machine and switch it on. He refuses to put washing up away, or clothes away, even his own. He also has to be forced to put the shopping away. I have often come home from work at 11pm to find the tins and packets on the work bench (which is on top of the cupboards where they live) He claims he didn’t see them there (yes he put them there).

There are elements of OCD to his hoarding and  I’m convinced there is a link, despite a lot of my internet search claiming there is no such link between hoarding and OCD…Rubbish! I am continuing this research so that I can learn as much as possible.

He can never drive home in the same way that he went.
This caused havoc when I first moved to this city as it took me ages to figure out where anything was. Every time we went to a friend’s house we went several different ways, we always go home a different way. I could never figure out where I was or got two routes mixed up…so annoying.

Recently we went to a retail warehouse so we could buy washing powder etc in bulk. There are two entrances…he could not drive out the same way he went in as this would not form a circle and would not be right. If this is not OCD then I do not know what is!

I have brought this up with him and he denies having OCD or hoarding tendencies, but did say he has to complete the circle or it wont feel right…like that feeling something is wrong.

Needless to say he drives me to distraction!

If I get rid of any broken toys or unused toys to make way for more around xmas & birthdays I have to hide them at the bottom of the bin or get someone else to take them to a charity shop…if I don’t…he raids them, taking out toys he has to keep for the girls. His step mother watched the girls at her house over night last weekend. When she came home she brought back a small toy house and toy van complete with dolls that I had tried to sell on a carboot sale back in the summer. I don’t remember her taking it…but here is this toy now back in my house and I am convinced he asked her to take it to her house rather than get rid of it…It’s going in the bin now. the same Step mother had a clear out of her cellar recently…guess where most of the tools, bits of wood and odd and ends ended up? This is despite me asking her not to let The Hoarder know about them or ask him to come and get them…especially the huge metal filing cabinate…Why would we need this?

***bangs head on table in frustration***

His family says it is a family trait and they are all like that…but I cant see it in their houses…I see items being used or utilised creatively…I don’t  see piles of stuff in their house or areas like my patio being used to home a  third shed. Despite this they still talk amongst themselves about my house and the amount of stuff we have. They still buy the girls hundreds of toys and clothes they don’t need and they still buy us other people’s junk from car boot sales that we don’t want and need…but because The hoarder likes his stuff, he will accept it. No matter how much stuff I try to get rid off…I will never get rid of enough to keep up with him. Yet the state of this house will always be my fault and my problem according to them…never his!

I asked him to take a bag if my old clothes to a charity shop, they were in really good condition, but I’m never gonna be a size 10-12 again, so I was honest and ruthless with my wardrobe…he went through each item pulling out ones he thought I should keep and made me explain why I was getting rid of it.

These are just some examples of his Hoarding and OCD behaviours. It is exhausting just trying to fight against him to stop us drowning in his stuff. I have read posts from other blogs and articles on Hoarding and OCD and they all talk about how it isn’t the persons fault, that it is an illness and they simply can’t help it. As a counsellor I would treat a client with total respect, I would not judge them. We would explore their behaviour together in a safe environment so we could reach an end the individual was content with. Living with someone who has OCD or who hoards is very different from counselling them. I am too involved to help him, and as a helper I find this the most frustrating thing of all. That I might actually be part of the problem. That said, until he admits to having these behaviours there really is nothing I can do.  That sense of hopelessness is also exhausting. Knowing I have to get up tomorrow and fight through more arguments over materialistic shite!

My mother will tell me to just bag it all up and throw it all out. It’s easy for an outsider to judge our lives to be as simple as throwing something away. It is not her who has to face the backlash of throwing things away. Just putting “junk” in the shed while he is in bed or at work causes huge blow outs. I also have to think of the kids, because at the end of the day it will be me that blows my lid the most as a result of all this frustration on a daily basis and it will be me who walks out with my girls never to look back at this hell hole house again.

This post has been so hard to write. It’s actually the 3rd time I have tried in the last year. I always wanted to explain why I call him The Hoarder and  to talk about what it is like living with one.

I am sorry if it is a little self-indulgent rant, but this is the first time I have shared this…to anyone, in so much detail.

It’s theirs…all theirs and there is nothing I can do about it.

{This Moment}


{this moment} – A Friday ritual. A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savour and remember. As found on Mothering with Mindfulness

If you’re inspired to do the same, leave a link to your ‘moment’ in the comments for all to find and see. Inspired by Soulemama.

Getting to know you Meme


I’ve been tagged by www.vevivos.com and theoliversmadhouse.wordpress.com  in this meme that’s all about Getting to Know You.

The rules are simple:
– post 5 random facts about yourself
– choose 5 other deserving blogs with less than 200 subscribers to nominate and link their blogs in your post.
– tell your nominees you have chosen them for this award by leaving a comment on their blogs
– answer the 5 questions the tagger has asked you and ask your own 5 questions to the people you nominate
– no tag backs
Here are 5 random facts about me:
1) I Had childhood Epilepsy. My last seizure was in 2002 (I was 22). Although I had them from birth I was not diagnosed until I was 14. before then the doctors had told my mother she was being over protective (if you met my mum you would realise how funny this is) The meds made me ill so at 15 I taught myself how to meditate and could pretty much control them with that.
2) When I was younger I wanted to be a radio talk show host or radio psychologist. I have a BTEC in Media, communications and Radio production and a degree in Psychology and Counselling…wonder if I could still do it?
3) I suffer with mild social anxiety. This means it’s often an effort to make myself attend new places or join a large group of new people. So much so that I have missed out on baby groups and fun things for the kids to do. I’m working on it.
4) I hate Milk, it makes me sick. I don’t eat yoghurt or anything with cream in. Cheese, butter and chocolate are all good though (despite the damn migraine they give me)  **munches on twix and a buttered cheese sarni!**
5) I had a mole removed from my left leg when I was 7 as they thought it was cancerous (It wasnt) I now have a lovely long 1 Inch x 1cm scar where it was removed.
And my questions to from them are:
1. Why did you start a blog?
I was inspired by some of the blogging Mummies I met on Twitter, especially MammyWoo (go find her, you won’t regret it!) I tried to avoid being another mummy blogger as I didn’t want to step on anyones toes and didn’t think I was good enough. However being a mummy is such a huge part of who I am and my journey of self discovery that I found myself writing about them more and more. So after a break I came back to it and changed my blog name to embrace my mummy journey. It’s still all about ME ME ME ME though! 
2. Which is your favourite day of the week and why?
I like Thursdays. This is when I see my clients in the counselling service I volunteer for. This is when I am truly me…doing what I adore to do…Just wish I could earn a living at it.
3. What is the most memorable day of your life so far
There are many memorable moments. My graduation, the birth of my children. I’m going to choose November the 5th 2007. This is the day my Big Princess came home from the hospital – 2 weeks (ish) after she was born as she had been really poorly. This was earlier than anyone had expected her to come home…those fireworks each year mean so much more than they ever did now.
4. Who is your biggest idol?
Wow. Ermm……I don’t think I have one. There are many who inspire me due to their courage, strength and talent. I don’t look up to anyone …I’m going to go with my children. They motivate me, inspire me and often leave me in awe at their determination, caring personalities and their ability to love me when I find it hard to feel that way about myself.
5. What is your favourite piece of music?
I would like to put a super cultured response here, Mozart, Bach… but I can’t as I have no clue. My taste in music is so eclectic and changes with my mood. I’m a little rocker at heart, but I also love soul – Al Green and Otis Reading are my go to chill out artists they go great with wine or whiskey (not both)
Back in March I was tagged in a Q & A by Mummy Stuff I never got around to doing it, so I am adding it on the bottom here & tagging her in this Meme too. Sorry Debs x

Now for my Q&A;

1) What’s your all time favourite movie?

What Dreams May Come

2) What’s the furthest you have ever travelled and was it business or pleasure?

Pleasure…not far, I think Tunisia is the furthest? 

3) If you were a fruit, what would you be and why?

I would be a Kumquat…I just love the name, it always makes me giggle inside my head like a child and can be found in posh restaurants (I wish)

4) What is your perfect day out?

Out on the bikes with the kids, a picnic and not knowing where we are going (probably park or beach though)

5) If you could morph into an animal, which animal would it be and why?

I want to be a hedgehog. I love them, Snuffle around at night, roll up onto a ball and sleep for months and prickle anyone who tries to pick me up or generally irritate me.

6) What was your favourite TV programme when you were a kid and what did you like the most about it?

I loved prisoner Cell block H…I used to sit and watch this on a night with my dad, after he got in from work an everyone else was asleep. These were my favorite moments.

7) Night owl or early bird?

Night Owl

8) It’s your last meal ever. What do you choose?

Pizza and Chips followed by  Tiramisu and an espresso (Or Nanny Plums Jelly Flood to escape the reason it’s my last meal ever!)

9) What do you like most about your life?

I’m struggling at this right now, but my children are the most consistent beings in my life that make me smile…so I love that they are in my life 

10) What do you dislike most about your life?

That I never learnt to listen to my needs or value my own judgement and opinions until I had children. I would have made a lot of different decisions

11) Your dying wish….?

My children to be happy. healthy and not to ever have to worry about money in any shape or form.

Ok so Tagging yes I know there are only 4…I need to be more social I think. (some of these bloggers have not posted in a while and I really think they should…so here is a nudge!) and questions:

Mummy stuff

A Blonde Wife

A real Mummy Diary

Trying to land on mother earth

amelias mum

1, If you could have 3 wishes what would you wish for?

2, What are you addicted/obsessed with?

3, 1 thing that really makes you angry

4, 1 thing that really makes you happy

5, What is your perfect idea of relaxation?

Teaching kids to see the good in someone they don’t like? A Nature v’s Nurture debate?


I saw this title in a tweet from stress free kids. It made me think about my children, mainly my eldest.

Big Princess has always had a wonderful attitude towards other people.

From the moment she was born I recognised how empathetic she is. If I was stressed out/upset it always had a negative impact on her, as I’m sure it does on most young children, but often she would pick up on it before I had said or done anything! If she was upset I could ALWAYS calm her by slowing my breathing and entering a very calm and relaxed state. I mainly focused and was mindful of her hearing my heart rate and me slowing that to a gentle soothing rhythm.

As a toddler she would gravitate towards people who were calm and less (but not avoid) from those who I would describe as highly strung.
At this time The Hoarders dad was gravely ill with cancer & Big Princess could usually be found curled up with him asleep or watching tv, she would always be gentle & quiet with him as though she knew exactly what he needed.

At nursery this had not changed. She can be boisterous & lively as any child, she is creative and according to her reports is often found making up games for everyone to play…everyone.

This included a little boy who often had problems with the other kids, Including Big Princess. In first year of nursery he had a fascination with her hair…he kept pulling it regularly. They had to be separated & I even stopped putting colourful hair bobbles and pigtails in her hair until it stopped.

Despite this Big Princess would invite him to play her games & include him in the group she played with on the condition he would be a good boy. When he was naughty, like the time he pushed her down a hill, she would talk to him & ask him why? Could he try to be nice so they could all play together?

Now they are at primary school. Some of the other parents had told me he would not be in the same school & how relieved they were at this…The little boy is in the same school & in the same class (there are 3 reception classes) He always shouts for my Big Princess on a morning and she always goes over to see him.
Apparently he plays nicely at school now, she even told me that when she was upset he ran over to her hugged her & gave her a really smoochie kiss!

We never taught Big Princess to be like this with people, we have not consciously taught her empathy, although granted she could have picked this up from the way we treat and talk to her… Rather I think it’s who she is and we encourage her to be who she is. This is nature rather than nurture. Especially since Smaller Beautiful is totally different. She has a wonderful firey temper and is hard to calm, whilst still being a very loving child…it is under her terms!

Big Beautiful, naturally, see’s the good in people, even those who may not be good to her. I hope that this stays with her and that no one hurts her so much that she turns her back on the goodness that can be found in human nature, especially as some days it’s hard to believe that there is any at all

Sometimes I wish I could be more like her.

What does xmas mean to you?


Whilst thinking about this question I initially though “Well, that is quite simple isn’t it, it’s family.That is what matters, that is what Christmas is all about.”

But is it? Xmas means different things to different people and I have become very aware during my journey of discovery, that we are all made up of many different parts, all working together. Not just internally but externally the people around me complete part of me, my environment completes another. I feel the most connected and complete standing barefoot in a field staring out across the country side or the sea. So perhaps there’s more than one meaning of Christmas to me that connects all aspects of my being, even that part of me that craves to be alone sometimes (READ: A lot of the time) Afterall, family itself is an interconnected mass of different parts of people and animals who are in our present or our past and feelings about those.

So here is what xmas means to me, under the umbrella (ella heyhey) of family.

-Tradition:I have put this first for a reason. I love tradition and xmas seems to be full of it. Some new and some old. Some so old I have no idea where or when they started. One of my favorites was started in my childhood.

Christmas morning aged 4 or 5

As it got closer to xmas eve the fairy from the top of our tree would disappear. Apparently she flew to the north pole to tell santa if my brother (go follow the crazy kid on twitter @mikeybensonesq ) and I had been good and how often we had been fighting. Then on Christmas eve a new fairy would take her place. My Dad has always been “Po-workers rights” and worker equality so the fact that our fairy worked flexible shift patterns or even a job share was never questioned.

It was not until I told him I started doing this for Big Beautiful that I found out the truth about our work shy xmas fairy.  In the early 80’s, when I was a little ‘un, our faithful fairy,  sat on her highest bough, was set on fire by the lights on our Christmas tree . As curious and inquisitive children we were instantly aware of  her absence so when a new one appeared my parents had to think fast…and so a new Christmas tradition was born.

-Stories are another aspect of christmas that I love and really bring this time of year alive. Stories of Christmas past, stories from our grandparents, other people’s childhood christmas memories, The nutcracker, the story of St Nick, or Mr Winter, and my favorite The little match girl. Then of course there is the story that surrounds us all. The nativity story which happens to be Big Beautiful’s favorite. The story of Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus.

Don’t look so shocked, I may be a Pagan but that does not mean I am ignorant. While I don’t push my children in their love for this  christmas story I would never ban it. My children can choose the right path for them when they are ready to do so. This takes us nicely to

-Religion, faith and beliefs, this is exactly what I mean about the interconnectedness of all things. Traditions, stories and Religion and beliefs all coming together to make this time of year have meaning to those who want it.  On xmas eve as part of our Yule celebration we will take our Christmas walk with the Princesses where we will collect pine cones and fallen berries, fearns, holly and ivy to make the wreath on our door. This is our celebration of life. It may look dark and dead out there but our wonderful earth and it’s amazing knowledge of life and interconectedness still encourages life and growth even in the most extreem conditions. Christmas tree’s  and ponsettta, holly and ivy all survive in this cold and dark time of year. This is hope that we can get through the dark days and soon it will be Spring when life will bloom around us.

-Yule:  This is the reason we also celebrate Yule, usually on the 21st December as this is the Winter solstice or midwinter. We celebrate the coming of lighter days. From the 21st onwards (more or less) our time spent in the dark nights and dark mornings begins to reduce ever so slowly.  This year we will be celebrating with good warm winter comfort food, mulled wine or other warming winter drinkies, a small fire in our garden and some Christmas songs.

The thought alone makes me all warm inside.

My Dad once said to me “You will make your own traditions” at that time I thought How odd. Traditions are old and passed down the generations. This is how we know about long lost pagan traditions and the value of the earth, what it provides at this time of year as with any other time during the year of the wheel. But even back then, they all started somewhere and for one reason or another. So why can’t they be new as well as old and handed down.

The one tradition that I hope will stick around and that has been one that is focused on since forever, is family. All of the above and anything else you want to add to the meaning of Christmas is nothing without someone to share it with.

Family, that is what it’s all about. Isn’t it?

 

Do share your Christmas stories, I love to hear them all x x

Merry Christmas.

Why do I have to ask why all the time?


OK so lately I have been stomping, I’m sulking and I have really felt like crying. I could cry but I am too damn busy.

I tell you it is a bad day when I don’t even have time to cry!

The thing that really gets me is that I am crying and fighting over the same issues. This makes me really angry…so now I am sad and angry.

As always behind my anger is a great deal of hurt. It will do your understanding no good if I simply tell you what happened recently to upset me so much. I need to explain it all to you, I need to let you into my life.

Lets start with my spirituality. One of the main appeals of paganism, the thing that attracted me to this label was the focus on equality. The Goddess and the God as equals. Not a singular man controlling everything, I love the interconnectedness of paganism, everything connected to everything else…all working as one. It is the Gestalt therapy “The whole is greater than the sum of the parts”

I love fairness, acceptance and empowering myself and others. I am an open and passionate women and paganism really speaks to me and hugs me like a warm coat on a cold Autumn day.

So when I find myself in a relationship that is anything less than equal I feel so frustrated. I often feel that my relationship is a battle between who I am and what my relationship makes me be. My darling Hoarder once told me that he feels reluctant to do what he considers to be “womans work”. This apparently includes polishing, hoovering and putting washing away (yes even his own clothes). He will put a load in the washing machine and he has to iron his own clothes ( I refuse), he will do the washing up, but only if I refuse and we run out of cups.

As a pagan I also respect that I am responsible for my own beliefs, actions, opinions and personal development. So the statement “Who I am and who my relationship makes me be” is sitting uncomfortably with me. Yet I feel I have tried what I can to resolve this battle.

It is with this in mind I tell you more about my relationship with The Hoarder.

In the spirit of fairness and equality, this is my side of things. Every relationship has two sides, this is my perception of events and more importantly how I feel in the here and now. Feelings are not wrong, they just are and I feel hurt.

I didn’t have our beautiful children on my own. The hoarder helped and did his share of the creation. So why do I have to ask why all the time?

You know where I am going with this don’t you?

I know you do…I’ve read your tweets.

Why do I have to check what The Hoarder is doing with his life and make my plans around them?

Why is it ok for The Hoarder to do exactly as he pleases, not looking after the Princesses as he has better things to do.

I can’t do this…yet we created them equally.

Last week I made plans to meet an old friend from college. He is doing his research dissertation on Counselling and Spirituality and asked if he could interview me. I duly checked The hoarder could pick Big Beautiful up from nursery so I could meet my friend.

The night before the meeting The Hoarder informed me he had stuff to do at work and could no longer do the school run, this meant I had to cancel my meeting with my friend. I was really annoyed as I had “booked in” first, but there was nothing I could do. Until the next day when he slept in for work and re-arranged his day in one phone call and told me he would do the school run now.

As I stood staring at him while he made that one phone call and changed all his plans…because he could, I felt so worthless and unimportant than I have ever felt before.

I was lost for words, this lingering feeling, a lump of hurt sat in my chest for the rest of the day as I got on with my life (read as list of chores). I got through the day thinking I would take all the frustration and hurt out on my bike in my spinning class that evening. Turn it into something useful. Turn it back into a boost for my self-esteem and feeling good again.

So when the princesses were fed, I had my work out clothes on. The Hoarders food was done (grudgingly, but it doesn’t happen often) and 6pm came and went. I felt totally deflated.

He forgot. He forgot to come home from work. He did remember to go to the shop to get stuff for work and bread and milk for home…but he forgot about me.

I have always had a fairytale image of what life with my partner and our children would be like. I never expected a bed of roses, at least not without some thorns. In my head I would have a wonderful lover who wants me, who cares what I think, how I feel. Someone who is my soul mate (I’m reading Brida by Paulo Coelho)

The Hoarder is a fantastic dad. He really is good with the princesses. I always thought though, that the role of the daddy was to stop the mummy going insane and to be a great mum. That is the way great children (Princesses) thrive.

I guess it’s too much to ask of him. To remember me sometimes?