Some days I feel numb. Some days I feel completely overwhelmed.
I keep trying to analyse it all. 
Why do I feel this way one day and not the next? And vice versa.

That's why. 
These feelings inside me all colliding and creating an explosion...that each day creates a different reaction. 

The hurt. Anger. Confusion.
The loneliness. Feeling inferior. Feeling second best.

The not knowing who I am. Who I want to be. Who I should be.
Not knowing what other people expect from me. 
Or what I expect from myself.

Sometimes I feel clear on what I want. 
On how I want my life to be right now. 
I have moments where I am clear that I am my priority. 
That no one else matters but me and my boys. 
And then those moments happen where other people feel important. 
I want to curl up in a ball and let it all out. But then I feel angry at letting this take over my mind and my body.
My eyes tingle at the thoughts of things not being simple. 
Of how things are so complicated and how I can't do anything about it. 

I feel confused over how I have let feelings take over my mind and my heart so much that there feels like no way out.
I have moments where I want to push people away, and run away from it all myself.
And then other moments where I want to hold onto them so tight and never let go.

But the realisation kicks in that I have no control. 
I'm not in control of much. 
I can't control situations and I can't control myself.
I can't control my feelings.

I try to be kind to myself. To protect myself. 
I build up these barriers, and become a little stronger, a little more harsh. 
I remember who I am and how I was this person who was once a little weak and has gradually become stronger and stronger. 
And I don't want to break that. I love that person. 
That independent person. 
But she sometimes seems so distant and small. 
Unreachable and like she will never come back, despite the amount of effort I put in. 
So matter how much I try to get her. 

And soon enough I am weak again.
Dependant on others to make me feel strong. But there is no one there. 
No one to make me feel like the person I want to feel.

I am back to fending for myself. 
To provide for myself, in every way I can.
Emotionally, mentally. 
To feel something.



Mothers Day: I Can Do This

Mothers Day used to mean something different to me. It meant a lay in, promise of the breakfast I had requested, a long soak in the bath, and a general relaxing sort of day doing whatever I wanted.
But it's different now.
Last year the boys were with their dad, something we agreed because it was his weekend with them and because it was just after his birthday so time for them to celebrate that with him. And Mothers Day wasn't the same for me anymore.

I am lucky at times with the boys. Although they can be hard work they do have such kind hearts. They will tell me I am amazing, they will look after me and will spoil me as much as they can.
This year I have the boys, but Mothers Day isn't how it is reflected in the cards.

"A day for you to feel appreciated"
"A day for you to rest"
"A day for you to feel spoilt"

Last week I got a trophy for being the best mummy. Just a general Tuesday morning, whilst Harry got ready for school, he made all this effort to make me a trophy to tell me I am the best. That meant more to me than a Mothers Day I'd be celebrating because I am told to celebrate.
I cherish those trophies, love notes, pictures, cuddles and effort that is made to tell me how they feel on any random day.

​I felt a little odd looking at cards and seeing adverts about how Mothers Day should be. It was almost another dig at how my life doesn't fit that stereotype or that ideal.
As I picked up two boys from after school club on Friday and they mentioned my present and shushed each other, hinting at what they got me, and as Charles slowly walked upstairs to his room holding a package ordering me NOT to look in his wardrobe at all between then and Sunday I realised how it is more important to them than to me.
I realised how grown up they are and how it doesn't matter that I am this parent on her own, because I have these two boys who have taken on the role as an adult in charge and have managed to get this gift into the house and to make me feel special.
I realised how being a separated parenting team can still work. How even though we are not together we are doing a good job because without him the boys wouldn't have been able to do what they have been done. They wouldn't have that sense of pride at making me feel special.

And I also realised that Mothers Day, like any day, is simply what you make it.
I want Mothers Day for me to feel pride in who I am, what I am capable of.
For me to prove I can do this, to feel strong and as though I can be the person my boys need me to be.
I don't want to be celebrated. I don't want to be told "thank you for being our mum". I want that one day to prove I am a mother.
To have one day where instead of relaxing I can prove to myself that despite my situation, despite the tough times and the moments I feel I am failing, I CAN DO THIS.

I miss that feeling of providing and of feeling like I am strong. I haven't felt it for a while.
So this Mothers Day, when the boys are in bed, I hope I can look back on the day and praise myself for doing it. For showing that I can be this mum. Not the perfect mum.
But a mum who is capable at least.



February Lust List

Although I've had a Pinterest account for a long time now I had mostly used it for quotes. Until two years ago when I discovered tattoos and then more recently I've become absolutely obsessed with it.
Pinning tattoos, nails, make up, hair, quotes and articles.

I wanted to put together monthly posts..."Lust Lists" sharing basically what I have been lusting after the most.

A little bit late with my February lust list...however here are a couple of things I was lusting after last month.

After accidently ending up with half a tattoo sleeve it was inevitable that I would have a full sleeve at some point. I didn't want to rush into anything and really liked the idea of either having a peacock on the top of my arm, finishing it off and not going further onto my shoulder and back...or a Russian Doll.
Pinterest for me is the best thing when it come to searching for tattoo inspiration and the dolls below helped me to decide that I definitely HAD to have one.

Since Christmas I have been wanting to change my hair. I tend to spend a lot of time on Pinterest looking at tattoos or quotes and decided to broaden my search and look at hair ideas.
In the past I have used it to look at short hair styles but never really to search for colour.
I was either going to go grey/silver, ice blonde, a rose gold pink or to go darker.
These were a few of my favourites.



I'm Failing My Children

I'm failing my children.
Not in every area, there are some things I do right but there are other things that I am doing wrong.

I almost took Harry to the doctor last week about his behaviour. When it came to it I couldn't go, simply because I couldn't sit there and say that sometimes his tantrums and melt downs aren't because of me. Because they are.
I am not the best mum I can be. I am lazy and I get snappy too easy. And I fail at not putting them first often enough.

Harry is off school ill today. It resulted in me having a panic attack and having spent the rest of the morning exhausted and wanting to curl up and cry because I felt like such a failure.
A failure because I was letting work down.
I was snappy with both boys this morning. Mean. And questioned Harry's feeling poorly even though it was clear that he had a slight temperature and couldn't swallow easily because of a sore throat.
I didn't put him first. I was putting work first. Putting letting them down first. And as a result fell out with my children and sat on the sofa in tears, struggling to breathe, being comforted by a 7 year old and 5 year old.

That's not right.
My children should not need to comfort me.
I shouldn't have to apologise to them for failing them. For not putting them first.
Instead of helping Charles get ready for school and making sure Harry was ok I frantically tried to work out a way around the work issue. A voice in my head was telling me to calm down. To focus on my family and not on something where there should be a process in place in case I am ill or unable to get to work for whatever reason.

These two children who rely on me. Who I have to keep alive and well were not my priority and I feel ashamed of that.
I did the school run with sunglasses on to hide my puffy eyes and tears.
We got back to the car. Harry sat in the front, promising to lay on my back when we got home and to help me breathe. Telling me we would count to 10, just as we did a week ago when again he helped count me down during a panic attack.

I filled with anger, at myself.
Why is my 5 year old promising to look after me? Why is he the one comforting me and taking charge when I am the parent?
I am the one who should be doing that for him.

And the feeling of failure came in strong. And I realised that again, as usual, my priorities were wrong.
I'd told Charles, as we walked into school, to stop snapping at me and talking to me without respect, but thinking about it, he is simply mirroring how I am talking to him.
How Harry's short fuse can simply be down to me. How I take the smallest thing out on them.
How I let everything else take over and overshadow any time with them.

They tell me I'm the best mummy, but I am far from it.
I am failing my children.



Still Just The Beginning

When I seperated from my ex-husband I thought I was almost at the end of "finding myself" and changing.
I felt like that freedom from the marriage and being able to spread my wings meant that I was then able to be Lauren.
I liked who I was becoming. I felt confident being her.

A year and a half later I've realised that actually, I was only at the very beginning and that the journey to finding yourself and becoming yourself isn't as easy as you may first believe.

In fact it was a conversation today with my ex-husband that actually made me realise that I'm not yet done with my transformation.
As he said "It's not good but I think you're allowed some crazy stupid moments while you get your life back on track" I was slightly offended at first.
How dare he not think my life is back on track or that I am stable! Buy given the topic of our conversation I sat for a minute and realised he was right. And actually, my life isn't back on track yet.
Last year was hectic and was a blur. And only this year as the divorce hit me and has it become real.

I think back on how my life was last year. Who I was and how I was. It has helped me in who I am becoming.
However, I often think I am taking a back step and the confident woman I was last year is being replaced by someone who is questioning who she is.

I wrote a list of how I have changed in the last year and a half and I looked at that list.
All of it to do with looks, and as I wondered whether or not it was right or wrong of me to change any of these things I focused on the fact that right now they make me feel like me. And as much as other people might not like some of my decisions, I am confident in them.
And if changing my appearance makes me feel more confident, makes me feel more me, then that is how I will continue.

Being single, being divorced, with two children, confidence is hard to come by a lot of the time.
I feel judged, constantly. I feel like I am competing with everyone.
I know I am not special. I know I am not the one who stands out. I know I am not the one anyone wants to make special memories with, or to spend any amount of time with.

So the tattoos, the lip fillers, the nails, another ear piercing, debates over a darker hairstyle, all help to build up who I want to be.
Someone different to who I was before.
Building up to someone who maybe one day, someone will look at and love.
Who someone will one day look at and appreciate.
Who someone will one day look at and think is special.
Different from the rest. And worth taking a chance on. Worth getting to know.
Worth helping to complete.
Because I can only build and create so much of me.

Whoever I am becoming. Whoever she may be. I just want her to feel loved and respected.
To be understood.
To be enough.
To be everything to someone.


The Girl Who Hated Tattoos

I've been thinking for a while about starting a little series on here about my tattoos. Whether or not anyone is interested.
But I put it off for so long.
It's almost been 2 years since I got my first tattoos and even back then I wanted to write about them but felt like a fraud.
"Three tiny tattoos does not make you a tattoo expert" I thought and put it off.
Now...here I am with half a sleeve and with work started on the top. A thigh tattoo, a finger tattoo and plans for lots more.

I went to Hayley, always my blog voice of reason, and asked if she felt I was "qualified" enough to even write about my tattoos. Probably worth pointing out that Hayley does call me a "painted lady".

I realised that if I am comfortable and confident to wear my tattoos, then I should be comfortable and confident enough to write about them.

I take pride in my tattoos, and my choices.
Ok, I've already had a cover up however that was down to a poor tattooist and thankfully a new one who is an absolute star and was able to cover up my "shit birds" and basically move them elsewhere.

Mentally, it has taken a lot for me to get to the point where I want to talk about my tattoos.
In all honesty, Instagram has helped. When I post a photo of a new tattoo I get support and confirmation, I guess, that they are ok.

People have their own opinions about tattoos, and as with breastfeeding, have no problem in letting you know their opinion...invited or not!
And I tend to focus on the negative comments I've heard. And I let them take over my head too much, not in a way that I let it regret my choices, but more that it made me want to hide my tattoos away. To not talk about them.

I was at another appointment recently and as I sat and talked about my tattoos I realised how proud I should be of them. How I had a story behind each and every one.
How nothing was "because I like it" or "because it's fashionable at the moment".
Everything has a reason behind it.

I want to feel proud of how I've chosen each tattoo and to share my experiences.
I need to realise that I am qualified to talk about it and to give advice because, even though it's been a short time and I am slightly (a lot) addicted, I have been through it and so far, have no regrets and no tattoos that I am not happy with.
I have certain rules and plans when it comes to finding a tattoo I like and I want to share those ideas.

And also, I want other women to not feel ugly because they choose to have tattoos.
To not feel like they are any less attractive than anyone else.
Because that is how I was made to feel.
And over time, I've realised that it doesn't make me any less attractive.
They don't change who I am inside. They don't change me as a person.
They are simply marks on my skin.
That make me feel beautiful and so much more.

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