My name is Karen. I have been writing the Mad House of Cats & Babies blog for almost 10 years. It started out as a place for me to just write about motherhood, when my small son stopped sleeping, cried a lot, and it seemed to me that things would never get easier or better. It was a place to vent and get my feelings out so I didn’t constantly take my sadness, anger and frustration out on my poor husband.
The blog has grown. It has become a place where I can earn some money, share reviews and posts that may be helpful to other families, and write about our not so ordinary parenting journey.
I became a mother when I was 30. I entered into motherhood thinking I had it all cracked, having been a nanny and then a pediatric nurse working with children, and families. I thought I knew it all.
Of course, motherhood is a very different journey when you are in it, and what I know now, I wish I had known, way back then. We struggled to get pregnant, and I suffered a few miscarriages and had very challenging pregnancies, and if I said that none of our journey has been like it should be according to the parenting books, then I wouldn’t be lying.
I had no idea how tiring it was, or that you don’t get to end a shift and go home and leave someone else to take over. You are emotionally linked to the small humans in your care in a way you never were when you were being paid to look after or care for them.
Your body changes, and your mind changes. Your relationships and friendships change.
I parent two children, and I also have a diagnosis of anxiety disorder, and I have struggled with both post partum depression and long term moderate depression. I have had therapy and taken medication. I have dealt with things from my past that have clouded my view on life and learned how to manage my own emotions better, and balance the needs and relationships I have with people in my life. I am not cured, but I am managing life better. I spent the first 18 months of my daughters life in what I would describe as a very dark place, and it was only when I realised something wasn’t right and sought help that I began to work on my own mental health needs in a way that I had never tried before.
I had a mental health break down in 2013, due to sleep deprivation, my son’s extra health needs, and relationship pressure that wasn’t being managed well. I spent months in therapy, and learning how to cope with the more fragile me, that had finally surfaced.
Motherhood has made me stronger but it has also made me realise how vulnerable I am.
I now parent a “tweenager” (which is somewhat terrifyingly like parenting myself, except in younger form) and I homeschool our son with a diagnosis of Sensory Processing Disorder.
I work two jobs, writing this blog, and the life it gives me, and I also run a small family charity, locally to where I live.
I drink too much coffee and constantly battle my love of food with a desire to still look good in non mum jeans.
I love crime documentaries and secretly wish I had trained to be a geologist so I could spend my time visiting volcanoes. I have a mid life crisis happening, and like unicorns, the colour pink, and things that involve glitter, in a way that is probably not sensible for someone of my age.
I keep it real, I try to be honest, and above all, I have realised that if I loose my sense of humour, then I may as well just give up.
You can find me on Instagram, you can friend me on Facebook, join our Facebook page, Twitter and if you need a group of like minded parents who are all in this job together, you can join our Tired Parents groups here.
Thanks for reading, welcome to my world. Grab a coffee, or a gin if it’s the right time of day, and do feel free to comment on our blog, we love to hear from you!