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Autumn colours – a reflection

Ten years ago today I received the keys to a new flat after being registered Homeless for eight months.

I was working closely with the mental health team at that time since being diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder the previous year. I was heavily medicated with anti psychotics and life and the way I dealt with it is a world away from how I live now.

My life had been hampered with mental health problems, alcohol abuse and self harming behaviours, issues stemming from sexual abuse as a young child. I lived with guilt, fear and depression that at times I could run away from but it always eventually caught up with me to pull me back under. They were issues I wouldn’t discuss until my late thirties and am now still addressing.

It’s hard to believe that now I now live in my own home with a loving wife and four amazing daughters. Mentally well and dealing with life and it’s pressures very differently. Without escaping through drink or drugs or other distractions.

My past is for the most fragmented memories of sickness and traumatic events. I have this last year worked with a counsellor to try and unravel my past experiences in the hope of being able to understand myself more. To just talk to someone about those experiences was beneficial.

I am currently awaiting an appointment to see a specialist counsellor who deals with men with a history of sexual trauma. I’m well enough, and strong enough now to deal with my past without all the negative emotions that are tied to it.

A new life

My advise to anyone suffering as I once did would be never be afraid to talk to someone. There’s no shame in it. If your life is spiralling and you are struggling to maintain a stable life because of past trauma you have every right to seek help. I’m so glad I had the willingness to do so. I also found a solution to stress using a free meditation exercise. The link is below.

A lot has happened over the last ten years, from meeting Stacey and buying a home together, to the unexpected arrival of our trio. But if there has been one consistent thread through it all it has been the willingness to improve myself and never to go backwards – too far.

There are times I stumble, and times I make great strides, but one thing is certain. Like the falling of the leaves in Autumn, change is inevitable. And as I continue to shed the emotions surrounding my past there is always a new chapter ahead. One I can choose to live in without fear, and one where I am free to grow and be the best version of me I can be.

https://tripletdadcouk.wordpress.com/2019/01/19/the-meditation-2/

A slice of normal

There’s no escaping the fact that lockdown has had it’s challenges, especially with raising the triplets and keeping them entertained.

Stacey has done a great job in finding thing’s to do. From finding arts and crafts to singing and dancing. For the most we have managed well as a family under testing conditions.

It’s been great having them start their new school. They love going and we love the time to ourselves after months of being under each other’s feet.

Free fun at the garden centre

I am also returning to work next month after being furloughed since March. The added financial strain has taken a toll on us as it has many others in these unprecedented times. Hence the change to my blog which will be back, advert free very soon.

My health has had no improvement and the fatigue has been difficult to get around. I am getting a sleep study done soon to see if I have sleep apnea. Any improvement to my exhaustion will improve my pain management. We are dealing with it as best we can with long waits between neurologist appointments.

Il sleep any chance I get

Meditation has kept me out of depression and kept me present in dealing with home life. Im sure I will get answers soon, until then there is no point in speculating. I just need to keep my focus on raising my family and managing my CPS.

I look forward to getting this blog back to what it was and getting back to some sort of normality with work.

The triplets are at a stage of development where they are falling out constantly. They wind each other up, fight and battle it out and it gets exhausting on a daily basis. We are on top of dealing with them with discipline. They are slowly realising that fighting is off the cards when they don’t get their own way. There are also times when they hug and love each other.

Little monkeys

I hop you are all well and safe. I understand that this is a difficult time for everyone. If you are struggling with depression or stress il add a link to the free meditation I use. My wife also finds it useful in dealing with home-life.

https://tripletdadcouk.wordpress.com/2019/01/19/the-meditation-2/

My book is also available on Amazon

World mental health day

Firstly I apologise for slightly different feel to my blog. With being furloughed from work and with a family to support I have been unable to pay to keep my blog as it was. So this is only a temporary look.

This Saturday marks world mental health day. A time that serves as a reminder to me that life and personal struggles can become overwhelming at times. I have experienced depression myself over this last year due to the pressures I have faced with my health and with financial concerns.

It’s a time to raise awareness of the personal struggles we all face from time to time. Especially those with mental health disorders who are battling with life as well as raising children.

Men are less inclined to discuss their mental health, pride can get in the way of reaching out for help when the screws are turned. Depression and anxiety among fathers is more common than you may be aware.

We have a lot to deal with. Not to take anything away from the pressures a mother faces, but we also have our own issues to deal with whilst raising children.

It is our role to bring emotional stability to a home. To be a rock for a family as we tackle the ups and downs of life. And without a way to deal with stress we can become overwhelmed. We get lost in negative thinking and our over emotional state creates problems within our relationships at home.

If you are struggling with negativity, depression or anxiety I will leave a link to a free meditation exercise. You may be at a time when you have exhausted all other avenues of help and alcohol or drugs may have become your go to for relief. And you want to stop the ride you are currently on for the sake of yourself and your family.

This is a simple way to pull back from the stream of thoughts and to just observe the overthinking mind, without getting dragged into the whirlpool of thoughts that can overwhelm us and cause us to react. Sometimes with anger or out of fear.

https://tripletdadcouk.wordpress.com/2019/01/19/the-meditation-2/

If you can sit with this meditation you will discover that it is a life changing exercise. Incredibly simple and also free, with no ties or gurus to follow. It is a very personal affair one I hope you find use from.

Please share this post. Someone may need it.

My book is also available on Amazon. It is my personal journey into fatherhood from a life of self destruction.

Parenting – best friends or worst enemies

I have discovered first-hand over the last five years what is involved in parenting. From problem solving, nurturing, to discipline and encouragement. The job is huge and ever evolving (the Frankie we have now is not the same daughter we had a couple of years ago) . It is a role that needs a special approach, such as my willingness to grow with my children’s changes, and to give my full attention as a father.

There were times in the past I felt my own emotional pulls from Frankie’s attachment and talk of her ‘real Dad’. As understandable as it is for her to have that attachment, my pride took little hits occasionally as a step parent providing for her and stepping up to the role of Dad. That pride was just a fear of losing her approval down the road, a self-centred fear.

I was aware of how creeping doubts can create divisions in any relationship. So I needed to be aware of that fear in myself and not give it any attention. The last thing a child needs is a parent putting the untold weight of their need for emotional approval on them. It’s a suffocating burden of a void that a child can never fulfil. It’s why many children grow to resent the people who they are not supposed to feel that way towards. It creates deep conflicts.

I have always encouraged Frankie to talk to me about her Dad, I don’t want her to suppress anything that emotional, through fear of upsetting me, and Frankie carries that type of consciousness with her. She hates to see people upset, especially if she’s involved at all. We have a good relationship, one of respect, love and trust.

My relationship with my children requires it to be unlike any other relationship I will have. Especially as they grow and develop in their formative years.

My Dad sat me down on more than one occasion and explained that I could either be his best friend, or worst enemy. Those talks have stuck in my memory because I wanted neither of those choices as a child. I wanted someone in my life to guide and encourage me safely into the big wide world. Someone who believed in me.

I am not a Father to be a best friend, I don’t need my children’s approval. Love will be a natural side effect of my consistency and outgoing love, rather than any need my ego may want.

As a Father I also don’t have the right to force any prideful will into my children. I have been entrusted with them. They are not me and their paths will be different ones, as their own personalities begin to develop. I can only guide them and show them a path of love and courage in their early years while under my care. Nor am I here to assert control through self-will. But teach right from wrong with loving discipline. There’s a big difference.

I am here as their Father, to be just that. An example of loving, caring authority in their lives. To practice patience, kindness and virtue. Not to take anything from them emotionally but only provide, so they may discover themselves with a confidence.

A parent is a role like no other. And I must treat it as such.

Back to school

Firstly I hope you are all well and safe.

After a bizzare few months we are now getting ready for the girl’s to go back to school.

We managed to keep a structured routine in place for Frankie whilst she has been home. She has worked hard to keep up with the work provided by the school.

Frankie

The triplets will be starting at their new school which is a minutes walk from our house. And with other children from our estate starting too they will make friends close to home which will great for them as they grow up.

Ava

We’ve done well to survive lockdown as a family through the added stresses and pressures that have been added to our lives. Stacey especially has been instrumental in keeping the triplets entertained. I’ve enjoyed taking them for walks and seeing the changes that come with the end of summer.

Lacey

The trio are fully active now and for the most play well together. Blakely still gets left out at times her frustration shows. Lacey and Ava tend to stick together as they are ahead of Blakely in their development, not by much but enough that they make games together. Blakely has her own way of playing.

Blakely

I will hopefully be returning to work in October, so with the triplets and Frankie at school Stacey and I will have some free time to ourselves for the first time since March. We have worked hard to keep our relationship afloat and to work together. It’s time we will make the most of.

So as we return to a bit of normality we run into my favourite time of the year. Autumn. Where the landscape changes and the leaves turn to burst into colour. We have much to look forward to this Autumn from birthdays to Halloween and the run up to Christmas.

It’s been a surreal year. Let’s hope it ends a little better than it began.

Thank you

It’s been three years since I began this blog. I originally wanted to keep it a place of honesty and positivity. To share my experience as a new dad trying my best to raise a family under the principles of love and tolerance and to help others who may be struggling.

So much has happened looking back over those years. From publishing a book to having to deal with a chronic health condition. There are times life has been difficult which I know has reflected in some of my posts. Especially over the last year where deppresion has had a grip on me.

I feel now as though the clouds are clearing a little. I didn’t want to use my blog as a platform to complain but the truth is that I have struggled to remain conscious and present. This last year has been a real test on my mental health.

We dads have a lot to deal with, from providing for a family to bringing emotional stability under our roofs. I feel as though I have failed in these areas since central pain syndrome became a permanent condition in my life. I haven’t coped all that well.

It humbles me to admit I have been defeated by depression again. A black cloud that I thought had gone forever returned as I battled with my condition.

I have questioned whether or not to continue writing (I probably will for my sanity). The truth is that I will have highs and lows and at times I will wobble. With my health condition it’s unavoidable.

My focus is almost always on my role as a dad. It’s tough going at times and inspiration can be hard to find. It’s not always easy to write posts that are without complaint. Parenthood as I have discovered is a mixed bag of emotions and trials.

So whatever I decided to do I just want to thank you all for taking the time to share in my journey over the last few years . It’s been one hell of a ride so far

Si x

Love is all that matters

When my wife fell pregnant with the triplets my purpose in life was cemented. To be a stable presence in my family and to grow in patience and tolerance.
The girls are three now and I still question if I am doing enough to contribute to their wellbeing.

Life has got tough over the last two years since being diagnosed with central pain syndrome. My patience has been shorter and my tolerance has been thin at times as I I deal with toddlers who are a law unto themselves.

I have buckled at times and given in to deppresion as I have had to give up full time work for a part time role. I guess I’m grateful to still have a job, and we have all felt the sting of Covid-19 and the pressures that has brought with it.

What I have learned as a relatively new dad is that dealing in the kids is easy. It’s the external pressures I have faced as a dad that has brought the difficulties but we are surviving as a family.

At home love patience and tolerance from me is the only real thing that matters to my daughters. It is those principles at the centre of my life that allow my family to thrive. And when practicing those principles everything else becomes easier to manage.

My job as dad has always been to bring emotional stability to under my roof. And I see from the confidence and kindness of my daughters that those principles are paying off.

At the end of the day, love is all that really matters at home.

Three times the back-chat

There are many times as a parent I feel I’m banging my head against a brick wall. None more so than now.

The triplets have crashed their way into the three’s and show zero sign of improvement when It comes to doing what they are told. At least with out back-chat, snarling faces, massive tantrums and several trips to the naughty corner.

They are a force

Being new to this gig, I have naturally gone into each phase of the triplets development with expectations of what may be coming. Like the ‘terrible two’s’ that were shaken at me as a warning from other dads. Like teething was before it. It was a time to dread! Well I can report they were wrong. Because so far the terrible two’s have nothing on the completely irrational three’s.

They are demanding, intolerant and have little patience with each other and all I can do is wonder if there are mistakes I’ve made that have contributed to their total lack of respect for anyone who tells them what to do. It may be normal behaviour for toddlers but it’s all new to me.

We are on the ball with discipline, and even so, they often frequent the naughty corner, screaming back because they aren’t allowed to hit their sisters with toy dinosaurs. All the while practicing calm and patience whilst being shouted at that I am being a ‘Naughty Daddy’.

To say it’s frustrating would be an understatement.

Back chat and telling tales on each other is the in thing

Even though we are quite strict with them it has little effect. Partly because they are toddlers, and largely because they bounce off each other. Some days it’s like losing a battle by the time they have gone to bed.

They are exhausting, fired up with energy and hormones and living their lives to the full regardless of what us, their parents want. They are like short teenager’s with less of a vocabulary to argue back with. Thankfully.

I’m told it’s just a phase. I guess I just wasn’t ready for the even more terrible three’s, where the attitude is one of ‘don’t tell me what to do’ without any fear of any consequences. And they are fearless, which one day will come I in handy for them. It’s just not that easy to deal with right now.

My book ‘From triples to triplets’ is available now on Amazon.

Fatherhood, meditation and growth

As I am discovering, this journey of fatherhood is a mix bag of emotions. There are times I am on the ball and time’s I struggle with the pressures. But through it all there has been one constant practice I have kept up. Meditation.

Dealing with the stresses involved with parenting has always been my top priority. The ability to stay out of anger that comes with non contemplative meditation is a vital ingredient in my life.

If you have followed this blog or read my book you will be aware of the problems I suffered in the past. From alcoholism to serious mental illness. Those experiences have been the driving force in my need to improve as a husband and father. My present and my future can be nothing like my past.

I had no idea that becoming a dad would bring such intense emotions with it. Since the accident I have had to deal with chronic nerve pain on top of parenting triplets and Frankie. I haven’t always lived up to the man I want to be, but there is always room to improve. My failings become lessons as long as I am willing to learn.

The free meditation exersise I practice is like no other. There are no mantras, no getting lost in thoughts or replacing negative thinking with positivity. There is only stillness and practicing observing my thoughts and negative emotions. Which some days are relentless as I try to stay afloat.

It takes a willingness and a commitment. And it has changed my life. I don’t believe there is a better way to improve and grow as a human with such responsibility.

Men need to be present in the lives of their children, and if you are struggling with negativity, deppresion, anxiety or just need something to help you deal with life in a different and more concious way, this meditation may be just what you have been looking for.

Non-Contemplative Meditation™

My book is also available on Amazon

Dad doubts – the heavy reality of multiples

On the ever spinning roundabout of fatherhood it can be easy to question myself in as far as being a dad goes.

We are taking a break with family at the moment, a welcomed trip away from our little house that has been our lockdown centre. I’ve been needing this break after feeling run down a little from the relentless routine at home.

When I’m not running on all cylinders, negativity has a way of creeping in. I begin to question myself as a dad. How I’m doing and more importantly how can I improve.

The triplets are at a full on, energetic stage in their lives. They demand constant attention which can be draining as we do our best to keep patience and tolerance at the centre of our home. I find myself teetering on depression. Partly from the pain and partly out of sheer exhaustion and being locked in a situation where my presence is needed 100%.

There are times I feel deflated in the evenings, emptied by the knowledge that tomorrow will be the same routine. I do my best to stay out of resentment, I cannot change the situation I’m, only roll with it in the hope i am doing enough as a dad to raise them in a way that will benefit them.

This post my seem like a bit of a whinge, and perhaps it is. In all honesty I struggle sometimes to stay afloat. But I will, because as exhausting as it is I have a job to do and my family need me.

The reality of being a multiple parent is just heavy going at times.