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20.5.16

I'm Going to #BML16

My name: Lauren

My blog: Real Housewife of Suffolk

Find me on social media at:
Instagram: www.instagram.com/realhousewifeofsuffolk
Twitter: www.twitter.com/laureninsuffolk

How I look: Blonde hair, blue eyes, 5ft 5.

Is this my first blogging event? It isn't. It is my 4th Britmums Live event.

I will be wearing… I bought a beautiful dress for a work night out that I didn't end up going on and fully plan on using the conferences 5th birthday as an excuse to wear it. It is rather dressy but totally worth it.

What I hope to gain from #BML16: I feel a bit out of the loop when it comes to the blogging community because of my marriage break up and other life overhauls so I'm hoping I can gain that comfort and support I always felt. I'd love to meet new people and make new friends and just have an amazing experience.

My tips for a great conference:
1. Relax and take time out if you need to.
2. Don't worry about what everyone else is doing. If your friends are going to a different session don't let it put you off going to the one you really wanted to go to.
3. Don't worry about sitting by yourself in a session. Most of the time you are sat writing notes so it doesn't really matter if your friends are sat with you or not. It's also a great way to meet new people and to make friends.

10.5.16

"It's ok for you" he said...

"It's ok for you" he said, "you've got children and you've been married...."
At that point I felt like my heart and my stomach had been punched.
It was easier in one way, I'd just ended something that would never go anywhere with someone I didn't expect to have feelings for. I didn't expect him to have feelings for me too.
It went from what should have been "a bit of fun" to something that was "fun with baggage" and I had to protect myself.
I spent the morning crying on my bed, surprised at how much my heart ached.
And all of a sudden, that ache turned into a different kind of hurt as I realised he didn't really get what I am going through.
I realised that maybe this is what others think. How others see me.

I snapped back.
"It is not ok for me at all. I have children yes but I have *BEEN* married" I went on about how I only get to see my children for half of the time I should. How I actually FAILED at keeping a family together. How I FAILED at marriage.
My exact words were "this is actually f*cking sh*t".

Being (almost) divorced was never part of my life plan.
Get married.
Get a kitten.
Get a mortgage.
Have children.
Have a holiday.
Get divorced.

Divorce wasn't what I wanted. I wanted a good marriage. I wanted to be with someone who made me happy. Someone who I loved.
Divorce wasn't an easy choice, it was the only choice.

I wonder if that's what others think of me?
It's ok, I have two children, I did the whole being married thing so I have nothing to complain about?
I can just get on with life.
I should probably avoid men, like him, who have no children and haven't been married because I've done that. And clearly couldn't do any of that again?!

Are my options limited then to men who are in the same situation as me? Men who, like me, it's ok for because they also have children and have also been married.
How are we supposed to tell each other apart?
"Hi, I'm Lauren. Nice to meet you. Do you have children or have you ever been married? No? Oh sorry. You can't even consider being anything with me".
Is it something I need to announce? Or straight away introduce?
Does the slight indent on my ring finger not give it away enough?
The box and option on a drop down menu that almost shouts "FAILED MARRIAGE RIGHT HERE!!!"
The "are you ms or still mrs?" questions when asked my title.
The marks on my tummy from carrying those two children.
The fact that my tummy is not as toned as that of a woman who hasn't yet had children.

I felt, as I have before, that those two things...the divorce and my children, again stuck me in that pen. The one that doesn't let me run as free as those without children, those who haven't been married. The ones who have no "baggage" and are 100% eligible.

I'm in this pen that reads "Probably desperate for attention and fun. Do not consider for anything serious. Dates must be avoided".

But it's ok. I've just come out of a marriage right? I won't want to experience those early days of meeting someone. Of falling in love and wanting to be together a lot.
Surely I must still be in love with my (almost) ex-husband because how dare I have fallen out of love with him before we actually split?!

I have children so of course I wouldn't ever consider carrying a child for someone else who I love. Whether or not he has children with someone else from a previous relationship.

Last week during a chat with a guy friend, about this situation, I was told that I deserve more. I deserve more than what he was offering me and what he was giving me.
And I didn't believe it. I still don't.
Because that's how you are made to feel. Or at least how I have been.
I don't deserve more than being anything but "fun".
Even if I know the rules from the beginning. If I know that "it will never be more than..." I am totally out of order to then turn round and say "hey. I deserve more than this" because it's ok for me. I've done the serious thing. And now, I'm only ok to have fun with.

I am this odd mixture of someone with confidence yet low self esteem. Low self worth.
I believe I am the person that others treat me as. And to be strong enough to turn around and say "actually. It's not ok for me in the slightest" makes me feel kind of proud.

People surprise me and shock me sometimes.
We are all here for the same reason. And I feel so often that as humans we kind of forget that we should be supporting each other through life.
It is hard for all of us. We do well to get through each day.
Yet instead of support we make these rules up of where we can each go next or how we are to live our lives due to past experience.
Right now, I feel I need that fellow human support more than ever.
I feel like whilst everyone I running I am slowing dragging behind. Injured. Needing someone to hold me up to help me along.

But that's ok of course. Because I've had children. I've been married.
And struggling is obviously what I now deserve.

9.5.16

6 Tips for Decluttering a Crowded Home

Most of us take pride in making our house feel like a home using furniture and decorations to add character to otherwise bland spaces. However, there comes a point when you realise you might be overdoing it, and the cute knickknacks that were once appreciated start to look more like unwanted junk in a maze of clutter. Indeed, compulsive hoarding can be a housewife's worst weakness and is undoubtedly the root cause of having an unorganised home. With that said, here are five tips you can use to restore your free space and peace of mind:

1. Find Some Extra Storage Space for the Non-Essentials

The first step you should take is identifying which objects are not necessary for maintaining the comfort and convenience of your home. Anything that is not needed can be moved into a self storage unit to free up space. There are a number of companies that can help you with this task, such as Morespace Storage, which provides a variety of self storage solutions tailored to accommodate the needs of any home size.

2. Practice Proper Space Management

Sometimes the space isn't really crowded, it's just improperly managed. For example, it may look as if there's no room for anything on your dresser, until you stack everything neatly side by side and suddenly realise that more than half the dresser top is unoccupied. Examine the contents of your drawers and shelves to ensure that things are neatly organised in a space-efficient manner rather than thrown about haphazardly.

3. Relocate Furniture for Ease of Access

Oftentimes, we situate our furniture in such a way that it hinders the navigability of the room. Whenever you have to go around something, there's a psychological response that says “this space is crowded.” In actuality, you could completely eliminate that crowded feeling just by practicing feng shui and relocating your furniture so that all components and areas of the room can be easily accessed.

4. Re-position Visible Objects

The feeling of being cluttered has a lot to do with visual perception rather than the actual usage of space. If visible items are positioned sloppily (i.e. - facing in different directions rather than stacked or aligned neatly) it can be easy to get the impression that things are in disarray, when in reality they're just poorly positioned. Displaying items in a logical and space-conscious manner is the best way to restore an organised look to a crowded area.

5. Consider Adding Built-in Shelves

Shelves, dressers, armoires, and other storage pieces can take up a lot of space in and of themselves, especially when you compare them to their built-in counterparts. Consider installing recessed shelf space or entertainment system to increase the available square footage of the surrounding room.

6. Sell Some of Your Stuff

Finally, if you've tried all of the above tips and your home still feels cluttered, it might be time to sell some of the things you don't really need. Of course, you could pay for a storage unit and have an off-site place to store them, but what's the point in doing that if you're never going to use the items? Save the storage space for the things you actually want and sell the things you don't.

1.5.16

#singlelife 001 | Being In Control

It's Saturday. It's 8.43pm. I got home from work at 7.30ish. And despite feeling exhausted from a night of panic attacks and then a full days work I headed straight upstairs, carrying the bedside cabinet that my mum got from a local charity shop. I rearranged my room to fit them in, only one fits without the room looking too cluttered.
I phone my mum, it seems to be the best time to sort things out. The distraction of talking to my mum makes me super organised and within no time most of my room is sorted, or at least ready for me to tackle tomorrow when hopefully I've got a bit more energy.
I'm sitting in my room. No tv. No music. No children.
I hear a train go past on the nearby tracks. I hear heels on the pavement from women as they walk to the nearby pub.
Laughing from men as they follow behind.
Part of me does feel a pang of jealousy, I do wish that it was me.
I wish I had those friends, or a man to go out with. "Couple" friends...something I always wanted.
I wasn't feeling hungry when I got in from work, and then decided, with limited food options in the cupboard and trying to avoid the usual easy takeaway option, to just stick some chips in the oven.
Whilst the chips cooked I went back to my room, made my bed, put the tv on and sat there.
I could still hear the odd person going past outside, on their way to the pub.
And I made a decision which to some is probably normal or could indeed be frowned upon but I decided to embrace this life I have now.
In my old house we didn't have a tv in our room. It was annoying. Really annoying. And here I am now able to watch whatever I want in bed.
I was also not allowed to eat in the bedroom. Breakfast in bed was never a possibility so I decided to almost feel like a rebel and to eat that plate of chips in bed.
Eating in bed whilst watching tv. Not terribly exciting but one of those moments that made me realise how different life is and how much control I have over it now.
I don't have to compromise or abide by any rules.
And I like it.
There are those moments still when I want to be the one walking to the pub with couple friends.
But for now...this is ok too.