Sunday, 14 September 2014

Giving me wings

Life is a funny old game! Ever sat to evaluate your life, only to feel like you haven't progressed but then you look back and realise how different your life now is!? My progress has been at the forefront of my mind recently. It's fair to say it's something that keeps me awake at night. As a single parent I NEVER switch off and feel a constant panic in how I can provide the best for my daughter and myself. Not having that extra pair of hands for help or those extra pair of ears to listen/chat to can make it even more daunting and knowing you cannot escape can leave you feeling very vulnerable.

I am a very active person and professionally in life I want to succeed in my dreams that I have for both myself and my daughter, which include Dream Bear being the huge success I envisage. I know it is taking blood, sweat and tears to get there and things take time however with everyday issues arising such as family issues, time, money and a creative mind, I get very overwhelmed to the point I cannot function. I literally switch off and become disconnected from everything and everyone. I go completely in on myself and just like the weather can change, my mood is switched into a deep sense of despair! I panic, I fear and I cry. I know these feelings and emotions are preventing me from progressing but at the same time I don't know how to deal with them. I go from a positive succeeding single parent to a failing single mum!

One sunny day I was grabbing some lunch with my friend Jeff who was bringing me up to speed on his new exciting venture as a life coach. For me knowing him personally I knew there was know one more suited to this profession. His life experience, skills and personality make him the perfect fit for such a role. It seemed too fitting and the fact he was specialising in single parenting was an even bigger bonus! When he offered to life coach me I naturally jumped at the chance. I was a little bit nervous because I wasn't sure if I could fully open up to him about my demons or if being a friend would jeopardise the seriousness of the session.........of course neither of those were the case.



Each session I have had with Jeff has helped me address key issues in my life that are holding me back. I've been able to identify personal traits I have that cause me problems. I have set goals and looked at ways to plan better. I have addressed current concerns and ways of dealing with them and I have looked deeply into my own way of parenting. The last session we had was quite intense, with me describing how I felt I was in the ocean drowning whilst weights continued to latch onto me sinking me further and further. Whilst I was drowning Isla Mae and the world around me continued to develop and grow by playing on the sandy beach above. I had lost control and and I was giving these weights the value they craved! Jeff helped me to solve this scenario through guidance techniques that helped me discover the solution. Until that session I hadn't really realised I felt like this and that was probably half the reason why the weights continued to attach themselves. I now knew what I needed to do, one of those things was to say NO more often.

Single parenting is not for the faint hearted! When you have no other parent involved in the upbringing of your child's life it is very hectic. There are times when things go wrong, there are times when you lose control or your temper, there are times when you cry yourself to sleep and there are times when you feel sick with constant worry.  One of the hardest things to do is to hold your hands up and say "I need some help" you are embarrassed and feel like you are failing. It was so nice to be able to talk to Jeff in our life coaching session about these experiences in a trusted environment. Opening up alone released another weight that was sinking me and also he understood where I was coming from. His own single parenting experiences give him the most valuable skills and knowledge in dealing with these complex issues. I am not a bad mother, I am a hard working focused person trying to succeed and put my daughters wellbeing first. I am fighting demons along the way but the more they keep coming the more I am going to kick them straight off.

Life coaching has been my breath of fresh air and life line in the past couple of months. I have had some real rocky patches which without Jeff's coaching I'm not sure I would of dealt with in the best possible way. It has helped me but it is also developing me as a mother, an individual, professionally, in relationships and friendships. To me this is gold and will now form part of my life for the forceable future. 

 I think there comes a time in all our lives when we just need someone to talk to, whether because we are lonely, busy or completely stressed out. Life coaching with Jeff has empowered me to make the changes necessary for progression. I have been able to explore myself as a person and learn how to become more happy and fulfilled in ALL areas of my life. I cannot recommend Jeff and his team of life coaches enough! You are my guidance and I am truly grateful and blessed to have you as a friend, you have helped me spread my wings to fly! 


If you are interested in having life coaching then please check out comecoachwithme.com or tweet @ComeCoachWithMe



Tara x

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

A new relationship.....

It was in the tasty Costa coffee that I overheard two women discussing a new relationship one had started. We overhear so many conversations in so many situations but what caught my attention to this particular one, was the topic of when to introduce that new partner to their child! For me this is such an important subject as a single parent, this is something I feel I have got wrong in the past.

So when is the right time to introduce your new partner to your child? Whilst I think that only a few weeks of dating is too soon I also believe there is no right or wrong here. Relationships can last or they can end, the most important factor should be in considering your child's feelings and needs. Maybe introducing that partner as a friend at the start would be best suited, as it gives the child time to adapt, does not put pressure on the relationship and also helps ease the situation if the relationship ends.

There are so many factors to keep in mind. How does this new relationship affect the children involved, the new partner and the biological parents of the children?! I have in the past been in the position where I have allowed a new partner I was dating to meet Isla Mae. I must say I was lucky that they seem to adore her, however she did get a little bit attached and when that relationship came to an end she could not understand why she would not see them again. I was at blame here as I let her become part of this relationship early on! however I have learnt from this and I now know that when that time comes again I will not introduce them to Isla Mae until I am certain the relationship is serious enough.

You could say let's wait 6 months, you could wait a year.......but who knows what is round the corner! Relationships can last twenty years and then fall apart, as long as a child is thought about, loved and cared the transition should be a smooth happy change.

It is nice to hear stories from parents, who are re-married with children from their previous relationship but who get on extremely well. For some this is not the case and I have a couple of friends who are at constant battle with the other biological parent over their new relationship. I guess for myself this is a privilege I don't have! As Isla-Mae's biological father is not part of our lives and never will be.....every cloud ;)

So i guess the moral of the story here is, no time is the right time but the way you handle the situation can be! Don't put pressure on yourself or beat yourself up if you get it wrong. There is no right or wrong, just be patient and caring to your child's needs and let them know how much they are loved. I would definitely recommend introducing that new partner as a friend at the start. I know that when Mr Right knocks on my door I will be doing just that :)

Love to you all






Tara & Dream Bear xxxxx



Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Christmas

The realisation has hit me that Christmas is just round the corner! I think I have actually gone into panic mode! I have done absolutely nothing, not one single present bought for anyone, I have not even wrote a single Christmas card. This I feel guilty about, as I love to send cards to the people who mean a lot to me, especially the ones who I don't get to see or stay in touch with as much as I should. I am now going to make it my mission to make these people know how much they mean to me this festive period. I feel that we all lead such busy and hectic lifestyles that sometimes we don't show our friends how much they mean to us, so I am taking Christmas as the opportunity to do this.........you may be receiving love from me ;)

So Christmas as a single parent, what does it mean to you? How do you spend the festive holiday? Do you look forward to It or do you dread it due to circumstances or financial worry? It is such a magical time for not only children but adults too yet through years of increasing commercialisation we seem to have lost the meaning of what Christmas is really about, which is the birth of Jesus.


It seems the focus is completely on decorations, food, drink, and an expensive list of presents! Whilst I am not disputing that I myself are amongst the people who think of Christmas in this way i still fear that we are to blame in the way this celebration period is changing and what views our children are starting to adopt.


I really want that magical feeling back, I want to go carol singing and I want my daughter to grow up appreciating Christmas and not expecting the latest IPad or other techno gimmick. This should be a chance to celebrate with love and feeling and spend it with the people we care about. For me I feel this is a great time to also reflect on the past years events and give gratitude for all you have.

With the increasing commercialisation of Christmas, single parents and parents in general are feeling the pressure and stress of fulfilling the "idea" of what Christmas is today, which is presents, presents and more presents! I was walking with Isla-Mae the other day and two boys were stood chatting, I could hear they were talking about what they wanted for Christmas, what upset me the most was the fact they were then comparing how many presents they each got and the value of each present! How upsetting that our children today see this as a competition and not only is this a bad view to have but this also places parents under pressure too.

I for one will not be stretching my budget to accommodate the commercialised Christmas that we have today! I will be gifting my friends and family with what my budget allows for. The gift in my eyes is about thought not price tag. Isla Mae gave me a leaf the other day and with it came the words "I love you mummy" to me this means more than any gift money could buy and if my budget buys this kind of response from my child then I am one happy mummy.

Single parents have a hard time through out the whole year struggling financially, feeling the stigma and trying to fit in. There is no shame in not being able to afford Christmas......love and company is all you need! I have come up with a few ideas for Christmas gifts on a budget that I hope will help some of you who are feeling the struggle this year and these are as follows:


  • Pound, pound and more pound stores! You will be surprised what gifts can be found in the pound store.
  • Charity shops/boot sales/selling groups online- are great sources for gifts, second hand is not to be knocked and you will be surprised at the quality of gifts that can be found today.
  • Shop early- prepare for Christmas 2014 by grabbing reduced and sale items in January! Keeping a box of gifts in your wardrobe and topping it up gradually through the year, spreads the cost and eases the stress.
  • Special offers- keep your eyes open in stores at the special offers


Remember Christmas is to be enjoyed not feared! If you are feeling stressed or are going to be spending Christmas alone and feel very lonely and lost then PLEASE message me as I would love to chat to you. Let's make this Christmas a magical one for our children.

Love to you all

Tara and Dream Bear xxx

Monday, 18 November 2013

The Beginning

With a glass of red in one hand and a cigaret in the other, I have, after a few turbulent weeks finally found my bloggers mojo! It has taken me an evening of copious amounts of alcohol and close friends to reach my next blog.....the beginning!!

I guess in times when you are feeling so low that only yourself can describe as lost! Is the time when you have feelings such as being engulfed in a black cloud, where you feel you have no where to run but then realise that you have everything, everything you ever wanted or needed around you! My friends :) At times it can be hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel, to see where your future lies, but then suddenly it's like a light switch flickers on and you see that your destiny is a future from the current journey you are riding.

My journey started with that Teddy bear known as Dream Bear, the bear that has not only brought my daughter such happiness and comfort but also brought me a vast amount of love and reassurance! To some this may seem silly or even ridiculous however this Teddy Bear has become the glue and missing jigsaw puzzle to so many things in our life.

He is our guidance, our support, our friend, our family, our neighbour, our counsellor, best friend and soul mate. Dream Bear is our passion and he will continue to help us grow as a family and hopefully help other single parents.

From the the day I got my new bed from Dreams bed store, the teddy that was given to us free with that bed has given my daughter the extra support structure that she needed and lacked from another parent......her biological father.

Being a single mother I have always been passionate about the rights, advice, support and information that is available in such a crucial and hard role. It is my passion and aim to help other single parents in such positions to succeed, feel happy, loved and parent their child in the best way possible with the use of my wing man Dream Bear. I genuinely feel that there is a shortage in help for single parents as there is so much that goes with this label, such as depression, financial worry, social acceptance, emotional support, physical support such as funded childcare, abuse, relationship advice etc, my list could go on and on. Sometimes and not just single parents, go through such pain and will feel completely overwhelmed by certain circumstances, I want to open that communication channel where when in these situations a person can come to Dream Bear and feel like they have a friend :)

Dream Bear is a support network I have set up to help do just that. I have been overwhelmed by the feedback and messages I receive across the UK from single parents in similar situations, which each day gives me the acknowledgement and reassurance in knowing that I am doing the right job! It started with me writing (blogging) about my thoughts, feelings, behaviours and fears and has now travelled into the social media world with myself being made an official blogger for mumsnet and I am also having a website created where there will be a forum for single parents to chat, along with lots of information, advice, offers and lifestyle content. Dream bear is on a journey, we have a clear direction but with day to day life experiences and feedback from the public, we continue to evolve, heading in many directions. We have celebrity backing which helps us immensely and also confirms our worth.
Our beginning began the day I fell pregnant and continues to grow 4 years on!

If you would be interested in volunteering in anyway then please contact myself (Tara) on the Dream Bear Facebook page :) We would love your help! A special thanks here goes to all those who have helped me make this dream a reality! I love you all long time, you know who you are :)

Good evening guys and dolls
Tara & Dream Bear xxxxxxx



Thursday, 26 September 2013

I don't like today but I love you

I don't like today

I don't like today! I don't like the thoughts in my head, the feeling in my stomach and the things I have seen. I don't like today because I feel negative and I don't like myself. I don't like today because I feel I have not given my daughter any attention and I don't like today because I feel all this is due to one underlying factor and that is because I don't have a stable home and relationship where I feel loved. I don't like today because I am jealous of everyone around me, for what they have for who they have and what they are doing. I don't like today because I want to run away and I can't. I don't like today because I don't have what I want. I don't like today because I'm not rich and I want to be. I don't like today because today is a struggle and I am tired. I don't like today because someone was rude to me. I don't like today because I feel so lost.

I will love tomorrow because it is a new day. I will love tomorrow because I will be positive. I will love tomorrow because I have a great meeting arranged. I will love tomorrow because I will meet someone new. I will love tomorrow because I will learn something new. I will love tomorrow because I have survived another day, I will love tomorrow because I get to wake up to my beautiful daughter. I will love tomorrow because I have a fantastic life. I will love tomorrow because I am worthy of a great life. I will love tomorrow because I love myself. I will love tomorrow because of the people in my life. I will love tomorrow because I am grateful for the air I breathe and I will love tomorrow and every day after because I have the greatest gift of all man kind and that is my daughter who I created and who I unconditionally love and that is the most pure and fantastic thing over anything in this world.

Good night.

Sex

Lets talk about sex baby lets talk about you and me! So everyone does it, it is human nature yet we don't openly talk about it (unless in close circles of friends) so I thought I would write a blog about Sex.
First of all what is it? Sex is an activity between two consenting adults that involve the sexual organs ;) this can be between male and female or same sex couples. It is an activity that I am sure everyone will agree is extremely enjoyable with the right person. It is also that act that creates new life helping the world to go round. So throughout my life and reaching an age where I began to become sexually active I have learnt a lot about sex and have come to my own conclusions on what I think it is and should be about. I believe that the best sex comes with a connection and that sex with emotion is the best type. I'm sure it is safe to say that I have experienced what you would call a "one night stand" and looking back this was probably the most degrading and horrible sexual experience I have ever encountered. I guess you get to an age where you realise being celibate is far more satisfying then just sleeping with anyone for a moment of so called pleasure. Sex is a massive part of life and what someone interprets as their best experience will be totally different from someone else, however I do believe that you should trust someone and feel comfortable enough to perform such an intimate act. I would not necessarily say you have to love someone as that can develop later on in a relationship further down the line.
I've been having a chat recently with some friends about "swinging" not that any of us wish to participate in this but about people that do! With lots of documentaries on the TV and various advertisements around I find it very hard to comprehend how you can watch someone you are meant to "love" perform a sexual intimate act with another person! Do they really love each other? Is it a form of cheating? Could we even say its a form of self-harm? I for one would not wish to be involved in such behaviour and cannot understand the reasons why someone would. 

I am not sure I like the word "Sex" I feel this is more suited to one night stands and sexual experimenting. I find "making love" cringe worthy so I think I prefer the term "sleeping with someone" it also leaves more to the imagination.

I also believe that as much as we may joke about sex, it is an intimate act that should remain personal between two people. We all have that animal instinct that needs to scratch an itch but after having my daughter and becoming a single mum I have really started to appreciate the value of sex and to recognise that I only want that intimacy with someone who I potentially will end up with. My body is to be respected not abused and for a healthy mind we need a healthy body! 
I have been very fortunate in having a fantastic sexual experience where I felt butterflies and the feeling that I could not breathe with lust! What it taught me was that I won't settle for entering that situation with someone who makes me feel any less than they did. When you are a single parent it is very easy to grab a one night stand because you are craving attention, but that attention is short lived and the best feeling comes when you wake up still in that persons arms :)
Tara xxx

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Innocent Minds

Today I had the greatest pleasure & privilege to be the first person to read my friends poem. This was no ordinary poem, this was a poem created from the emotions, thoughts & experiences of becoming a single father to two beautiful boys. Something I know would of been hard to share and open up about as a man. This poem is totally inspiring and beautifully written and I really believe he deserves to have this published. We are always hearing about single mothers so it is refreshing to have the perspective from a single father, especially in this context. So tonight a huge thank you goes to Richard Harvey, for not only sharing his story but for being a good friend and father :) I hope you get all what you deserve in life because you truly are a wonderful guy. Girls and boys I give you: Innocent Minds by Richard Harvey:

Innocent minds:

The Pain hit me so hard
Deep inside my heart
Day by day it grew
Taking away all I knew
Clotting my veins
Beating my brain
I was battling inside, just to stay sane

My life was on hold
No way to escape
I was crying inside
And starting to break

I had lost all that I knew
And thought my time was through
My head felt so numb
My body refused to run
Days were too long
Nights were too short
I was dying inside or so I thought

Hide away and be no one
Put up a barrier to everyone
That's how I felt
That's what I did
Hide all emotions to all that lived
No one will know
No will care
I'm alone in this world
Refusing to share

The guilt set in
Happiness was gone
I was stunned and alone
Lost in a world below the unknown

I tried so hard to find the way
The way to end every crying day
Scared to be free
From a life I thought was right for me

I couldn't find the way 
The way to break free
From all this pain, building up inside of me
I fought from inside to find me again
Tears, sadness was all I had gained
Days, weeks, years became so lame

Time had stopped 
Passed me by
I had become a single cry 
Lost in the dark far from the sun
This is where I found no one
I needed to realise this battle could be won
And that I was not the only one
In this situation feeling so numb

Deep down I knew this wasn't for me
Beneath the surface I was dying to break free
The help I needed was there for sure
Accepting this was harder than ever before

Throughout it all the innocent minds kept on
Keeping me battling when all felt wrong
Eyes deep with emotions
Hearts flowing with gold
Minds so pure
Story's un told
A thrive for life I felt was no more
This was the answer for me for sure

Without the innocent minds
Who knows where i would be
That love cleared the way
And showed me the path to stay

On that path I found just me
Not alone or sad 
But happy and ready to be free

I liked who I found
And took pride in what I was bound
Crushing the pain beneath the thumping strain
This was the way
The way to a happy end of day

They showed me the way 
The way to be me
Guided by the love that they shared so free
I took hold and prayed
I had reason to be brave
The same reason that made me feel so grey

I learnt I had more
More than ever before
A life so strong
One that will last forever long

That was my life
A life to provide
Provide for the ones that gave me reason to survive

I was happy again
Stronger than before
Proud of all the minds so pure
The smiles
The laughter
It all meant more
So much more than ever before

I swore I wouldn't look back
Positive and happy is what I lacked
Except to remember what it was that attacked
Back in the day when it all seemed so black

Now is my time 
My time to shine
Stay happy and continue to climb
Those are the words that will ring in my mind

I must not forget the bad times I survived
And the power from those who allowed me to thrive 
The innocent minds that change my time.
The minds that belong to two children I call mine.....