Get to know @notyour_averagefamily

Hello everyone!

So I’ve been thinking of something a bit different to post on my blog and I came up with the idea of ‘interviewing’ / getting to know some other parents / special guardians accounts. So I put up a poll on my instagram stories and 87 of you said you’d be interested in this. I then had a few recommendations of who they’d like to see interviewed and a load of dms saying they’d love to be involved.

When @notyour_averagefamily messaged me saying they’re up for it I just couldn’t say no. When writing the post for my stories, I’m not going to lie I was secretly hoping they’d be up for it. They’re an account that I’ve followed for a while now and speak to quite a bit and I honestly think they’re all round amazing and I’d love for other people to check them out and/or get to know them a bit more. So here goes.

Can you tell us a bit about you / your family / background?

Just over two years ago Uncle’s sister passed away suddenly, leaving two children without a Mummy. After a very in-depth discussion we decided that we would like to be responsible for our Niece and Nephew. The following year, we legally became their Special Guardians (which is basically a step below adoption).

How old were you both when you became special guardians? And how old were your niece and nephew?

Uncle was 27, Aunt was 25, our Niece was 5 and Nephew was 4.

How did you find the transition from being child free to having 2 young children to care for?

Very different to say the least! We were living with Aunts family at the time, so had to rearrange the house so our Niece and Nephew could have a bedroom. Living at home still really helped us though as we were able to have support 24/7 and were able to maintain regular date nights (something we felt was very important). We have a lot of support from both sides of the family which really helps.

What do you find the hardest about being special guardians?

Aunt: For me, the most difficult thing is feeling under pressure. It’s not that anyone makes me feel that way, I just feel all I want to do is make their Mummy proud and I wonder if I’m doing that. I also feel pressure for our relationship to be perfect which is just ridiculous considering what we have been through!

Uncle: I don’t find anything hard about being a special guardian, but the hardest thing for me mentally is worrying about how our Niece and Nephew are going to deal with everything they have been through when they get older. I also find working full time really difficult but I think that’s more of a parenting thing than a special guardian thing!

Do you often talk about niece and nephews mum? How is this conversation handled?

We talk to them about their Mummy all the time. We do this generally in conversation, things like “mummy liked this didn’t she” and also more in depth. The in depth conversations usually come after something specific, like reading a book or watching something on the tv. We are always very open to all conversations and talk with our Niece and Nephew as honestly and openly as we can. We’ve always let them know that the emotions they are feeling are okay and that we have those same emotions too.

How do you / the children cope with grief?

Dealing with our grief is something that changes from a day to day basis. But in general, open communication really helps us all. Knowing that it is okay to express our emotions is really important and also ensure that their Mummy’s death isn’t ignored or shied away from. It’s part of our journey and talking about it helps us to process our grief.

Do the children see / know their dad?

Their “Dad” has never chosen to be a part of their lives, before or after their Mummy died. He didn’t attend any of our court proceedings. They have asked question about him and we have answered these honestly.

Do you still get date nights / time for yourselves / each other?

We try to. It’s hard to prioritise it sometimes. But we make a conscious effort to go on one city break a year just the two of us. When we lived with aunts family it was much easier as we could pop out whenever our hearts desire. We don’t really have many date nights and instead tend to use babysitting for doing things with our friends.

Did your friendship with your friends change? Did you lose any friends?

Not at all. If anything, our close friends became closer. Everyone is so understanding of our situation and loves our Niece and Nephew. If anything, it was our Niece and Nephew’s mums “friends” that fizzled away. Her close friends obviously didn’t. But there were a lot of people who, after she died, were apparently very close to her… we hear absolutely nothing off them now.

Do you want children of your own?

Yes, definitely. But that isn’t something we want to rush. There’s a lot we need to consider. Even though it will be our first child, it will actually be like having our third! So the timing need to be right. We would also like to a buy a house first before we think about having a child of our own.

I’ve loved doing this blog post with @notyour_averagefamily and we hope you’ve enjoyed reading it.

If you don’t already follow them their instagram account is @notyour_averagefamily where you will find their personal blog in their bio, and mine is @_erinhaf .

Thank you for reading

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The 12 Questions Of Christmas Tag.

I was tagged by the lovely Ellen (https://cariad.blog) to answer the 12 Questions Of Christmas.

When does your Christmas tree go up? Who will decorate it?
Our tree goes up on the 1st of December! Although I’d love to put it up earlier my partner isn’t so keen on the idea!
Christmas Eve or Christmas Day?
Oooh this is a tough one! I LOVE Christmas Eve because it’s so exciting! I love seeing Elliott’s face when he gets his christmas eve box and leaves the milk & snacks out for Santa & Rudolph but waking up on christmas morning has to be my fave!

What is your favourite Christmas advert this year?
Sainsburys, no doubt about it!! I just love that little plug!
Is there anywhere you would love to visit at Christmas?
It’s my dream to visit lapland over Christmas!
What traditions are you looking forward to most this year?

We visited santa the weekend just been which I was really excited for, now I’m looking forward for my partner to finish work in 2 weeks time and spend 2 weeks with me and Elliott having the best Christmas! We are also taking Elliott to watch a christmas show!

What are some foods and treats you can count on having every Christmas?

Has to be pigs in blankets for me. If there’s no pigs in blankets is it even christmas?

When did you stop believing in Santa?
I was 9/10 years old.
As a kid, did a sibling or friend ever receive a present that you wished was for you?
No, I was a very lucky girl.
Do you like giving gifts or receiving gifts better?
Giving, I absolutely LOVE buying for others (I aicctuslly think it’s a bit of a problem!) I get so excited for them to open their presents I often end up giving them early and having to buy something different!
Are you guilty of peeking at your presents or do you like the surprise?
I like a surprise but I ALWAYS ruin it for myself by peeking or pestering until I find out what I’ve got!
If you could be in any Christmas movie what would it be?
Elf! It’s just the best.

Or home alone so I could be at New York for Christmas..

What would you like to find under your tree this year?
A rich persons credit card would be fab! I’d love some new fluffy pjs!

Feel free to copy the questions and answer them yourself.

I’m tagging @notyour_averagefamily to answer these questions!

A letter to my boy – 18.11.2018

To my darling baby boy.

I don’t know where to start on this one, there’s so much I want to say to you but there are no words that would show you how special you are to me. You are the best thing I’ve ever laid eyes on and to have you as my child makes me the luckiest person ever.

The past 2 years have been the best. We’ve laughed, cried, had the worst days and by far the best days and for each day I get to spend with you I am greatful. You made my dreams of becoming a mummy come true (a bit earlier than planned, but none of that matters now!) and it’s even more amazing than I imagined it would be. We really are the best of friends and have been since day dot.

You’re the cheekiest, happiest, most loving, clever and funny little boy ever. You keep on surprising us with what you can do / say and continue to make everyone proud each day. Watching how loving you are with your family, friends and Maui melt me.

If someone had told me 3 or 4 years ago that I was to have a 2 year old now I would have laughed in their faces and said no way! But there’s nothing I would change.

People often say that no matter how old a person is, they will always need their mummy, but you see, I will always need you too, you’ve helped me. You’ve kept me going and made me stronger than I even knew was possible. You’ve made me get up on days I just wanted to stay in bed and hide from the world, you’ve made me smile when I’ve spent hours on end crying, and you’ve also made me cry some happy tears in the middle of my sad tears. You’ve made me push myself to be the best mummy you could possibly want and I promise you I will keep trying my very best to be the perfect mummy for you. I will fail at many things but I hope I never ever fail to be a good mummy for you. We have each other and we always will.

You’re two now and you’re very challenging some days, but although your tantrums and meltdowns often make me wonder my parenting, I know I’m doing a good job when you’re happy, polite and being your usual funny self. I always feel guilty when I have to tell you off but I also know that’s the only way you’ll listen (sometimes) and know right from wrong, but when you’re asleep I give you a lot of extra cuddles and kisses to make up for my guilt.

I hope that one day you see just how special you are to me, that day will probably be when you have children of your own, but for now, just know that I’m doing everything I can for you and when you’re older, know that you’re everything I ever needed and a whole lot more.

I love you my perfect boy.

Pregnancy – Birth & in between.

Is anyone ever really 100% ready to become a parent? Finding out that you’re pregnant is a whole mixture of emotions, the happiness, fear of the unknown, the what ifs. Is there really such thing as a right time?

At 19 years old, I can tell you I thought my world had come crashing down and that my life had practically ended. I was absolutely petrified, but little did I know my little bundle of joy would be what keeps me going 2 years on.

I didn’t find out that I was pregnant until I was over 6 weeks. I hadn’t had any signs that I noticed, I mean, I slept a lot more than usual but I thought that was just me maybe just catching up on all the sleep I had lost beforehand. Then I realised that my period was late.

It was a Friday night in January 2016 and I decided to do the test, my plan was to do it the following morning but I just couldn’t wait – and there it was. A very clear positive that said 3-4 weeks. Jake (my partner) had gone out with his friends and at this point he didn’t even know that I had my doubts so there was no way I was going to tell him whilst he was drunk! At that very moment in time I was numb. I wasn’t sad, I definitely wasn’t happy, I didn’t know what to do.

I didn’t tell Jake until the Sunday. When I told him he wasn’t best pleased, he was shocked and most of all scared but he soon came round and was nothing but amazing from then onwards. Our families and friends were all so happy for us and extremely supportive! Once I’d finally come to terms with the fact that I was about to be a mummy, I was so happy! We were so excited! His little nursery room was ready within the first 2 weeks of us being in our new home (although I kept him in our room until he was 1 years old! Oops).

So fast forward to July 2016 and after some long hard months of applying for houses and multiple viewings we finally got the keys to our first family home.

The pregnancy was nothing but amazing. We had such an easy ride.

On my due date at 40 weeks I had an appointment with my midwife and for a sweep (ew!) to see if the little man would make an appearance, she said that usually by 40 weeks, people tend to have dilated 1cm at least and she said there was no signs. I had a sweep every other day after that then at 40+6 she said I was to go in to hospital the following day to be induced. I remember being at home that night in floods of tears not wanting to go. I remember lying in bed next to Jake absolutely hysterical saying that it’s a waste of time and that it won’t work (psychic?) Anyway, the next morning I went in for 11am and got induced with a propess. They said that if nothing had happened in 24 hours they would try again – and that’s exactly what they did. 3 times! They tried 3 times with a propess, then once with a pessary! On the fourth day after inserting the pessary (which is apparently meant to work within 4 hours) they said that there wasn’t much else they can do if this one doesn’t work as I wasn’t dilating, not even 1cm!

So the following day on the 3rd of October 2016 I had my beautiful 8lbs 8oz baby boy via csection! And in that moment all the doubt and fear went away. I fell so deeply in love with my perfect little bundle of joy that I forgot what my life even was before him.

He’s now 2 years old and is the light of my life. I can’t imagine my life without him in it nor do I want to.

I often read posts on social media about how ‘you’re only a real mother if you gave birth naturally’ and that is completely untrue. To anyone reading this who has ever felt that way, you carried your baby inside you for 9 months, you gave that baby everything he/she needed for that 9 months, you went through major surgery to make sure that your baby came into this world safe and you are the one who cares for and loves your baby. So don’t let anyone make you feel like you’re not a mother!

Introductions!

Hi everyone!

So I thought I would keep our first blog post nice and simple and just introduce myself and my little family.

So I’m Erin, I’m 22 and I’m a mummy to a little boy – Elliott-Shay who’s 2 years old. We are from North Wales and we live with my partner / Elliott’s daddy – Jake who’s 26.

If you’re reading this then you probably already follow me on instagram, but incase you don’t, my instagram is @_erinhaf if you want to follow me.

It’s mainly photos of Elliott on there as that is literally all I do is take photos of him. I’m starting to think I have a problem as he’s now two and I’m still taking photos all the time!

You might also find some discount codes for some small businesses on there as we rep for some amazing insta-businesses!

If there’s anything you would like me to write about please don’t hesitate to get in touch! I’ve got a few ideas for the first few blog posts and I am so excited!

I’m sure you’ll get to know my little family and I a lot more throughout my blog posts (if I haven’t already bored you that is!)

Thank you for reading!