First of all I am going to be honest in saying I never wanted to be a parent.
I was brought up with my aunt and uncle who I called mum and dad after I was removed from my real parents because of abuse and neglect.
I've kind of grew up to not be ashamed of saying that now and when people ask me then give me that look of them not wishing they had and say that awful word ''sorry'' as if it was a dirty secret I didn't want to reveal, I have to tell them '' I'm ok'' and ''I've learnt to deal with it''.
Fact of the matter is I have learnt to deal with it although there are always going to be days where I remember how much hurt it still causes and how much the things that have happened still to this day effect me, I feel I have learnt to balance the good that came out of the bad .
My past is my past and I've been through some pretty shitty things but I'm not here to go through absolutely everything , I don't feel I need to try to explain it all now I've grown to just try and let it lie but although I have had a small amount of people there to help me through life from then, it still seems very much a lonely one except for the fact I have my ow family now who are my only compfort.
From being only 7 years old I seem to remember only ever having my mum , dad , brothers Michael and Trevor and older sister Glynis and of course the many Social services , weekend respite carers and councillors that came and went .
I loved my new family so much and they were the only family I could ever truly feel I belonged to.
I seemed to have a new social worker etc every two month and over the span of 10 years I must have had so many I cant actually ever remember one name other than the one man that stuck in my head after an encounter where he totally changed my life for the worse during my teenage years .
See I was not an only child , in fact I did have a younger sister who I literally played mum to before we were removed and added to the care systems list. She was two years younger than me and I was placed in one aunts home and she the other.
We made regular holidays visits to see each other and we grew up never having that sister bond, infact councillors warned for us to never be placed together and marked us down as chalk and cheese and a danger to each other if we were ever put together.
It is not the fact that we simply just did not like each other but I think the obvious way she was always made out to be the favourite by our birth parents made me spill more hate for the fact she made me feel unwanted . I suppose I merely became that child that was pushed to one side as a new child came into the equation and as the younger one was being smothered with effection , I seemed to be the one being pushed out .
We were aloud supervised visits with our real mum, she rarely turned up and one Christmas I remember meeting her in a nursery which was used on rare occasions for times like this.
I remember being very young only about 8 or so and being excited not to see her but to see my sister .
You see, even being very small , I was never truly able to let go for what she had done to us before we were removed and if I'm truly honest never had that mother / daughter bond.
I suppose it stems from being locked in a bedroom at age 5 while you know shes left you alone to go out , you only know that because you hear her falling in drunk hours later and with numerous men at that. She never made me feel protected ,in fact when I was with her I felt so scared and alone , so much so it still scares me now being alone .
There were many occasions where my Aunty who eventually became my mum picked me up from school because she forgot about me. I would walk to school on my own at age 6-7 and she would not pick me up so my aunty would and then only a week later when she returned home would she come crawling back to get us.
It was not much longer after that ,I was about 7, that my baby brother died from SIDS (sudden Infant Death Syndrome) and our neglect was highlighted and brought to the attention more that my aunty took me to live with her and her family.
Anyway, so I was so excited to see my sister and our real mother turned up.
We were told that she would be bringing our christmas presents and when I seen a big black back in her hand I gave the biggest smile ever.
All I ever wanted was to be accepted, loved and thought about and although this looked like a small gesture from her and not anywhere near the mother I desperately seeked.
She soon took that smile and turned it into a frown when that big black bag was passed with tons of presents to my younger sister .
I stood there waiting for her to pass me one ,maybe she had another in the car and was just letting her open hers first.
Maybe theres one in there for me right at the bottom.
I sat there hiding inside the nursery role play toy phone booth alone watching my younger sister rip open every present in excitement and our mother watch her every move with that look I never seen her give me.
I know now that look was a mothers love , she never looked at me like that,ever.
I remember being sat there so upset and staring at the look on her face hoping she would turn it to me ,I so desperately wanted her to just turn around, " Just look at me please" , I kept saying to her in my head, but when she did it was not the same look.
At 8 years old I realised the look my mother gave me was not that of love but infact hate!
At just 8 years old it was then I realised she was not my mother and I infact hated her too.
I forgave her for the neglect,
I forgave her for letting me feel scared ,
I forgave her for allowing me to be abused and even forgave her for her abusing me but that was it.
I decided then to never want to see her again . That look of emptiness ,that dead stare of loneliness was the one sure thing that made me realise I was alone.
I grew up trying to forget her and my aunty and auncle brought me up as their own.
I finally found what I had always wanted and that look I so desperately seeked for came from my new mam every single day.
It felt amazing and I never wanted it to end. Finally I had a mam and she loved me.
We spent so much time together, I went everywhere with her and the happy memories of us dancing to hot chocolate or Shakespear sisters doing the side shuffle in the hallway together will always stay.
When I was 11 and had just started my new school , my new mum and dad lost their eldest son. He was my big brother and I wrote my letter to him while he was away working in the Army not long before that , his reply letter is all I have left of him now .
The social services thought it best that I was to go and stay with my sister in a different city while they grieved for the loss.
We agreed that after his funeral that I would attend , I would return home.
He was amazing and he had an amazing big brother taken too soon from us , I know it broke mam and dads hearts so much but I had to be strong and let them grieve so I left hoping to be back in a week or two max .
My dad and I still come to tears when we get flashbacks of that day we attended Newton Aycliffe's Young persons Centre .
We attended a meeting not even 1 week later that was arranged immediately by social services where we presumed was for me to return home after but instead I was literally dragged screaming away from my dad to another room where they informed me I was not able to return and instead I was to be rehomed like a lost dog because the system decided it was in my best interest.
Those words still make me so angry. MY BEST INTERESTS? "LIERS!"
I have and always will hold Social services fully responsible for breaking my heart and turning me into the nightmare teenager I soon became.
I turned to hate everyone and came up with this sad unfortunate thinking that if I became close to anyone they would either get rid of me or die.
Being somewhere I did not want to be and being left to feel alone once again made me feel so angry .
I had fought for so long to have a family then had it ripped from under my feet instantly made me rebel.
I started to do things like smoking, drinking, taking drugs, self harming and hanging about with boys to get that attention back I so desperately needed . I misbehaved in school and at my aunties and fought daily with my younger sister. My aunty tried so hard with me but I simply just wanted to go home and Social services denied any possibility of that ever being able to happen.
I made my teenage years a nighmare for any parent and I promised myself I would never ever have children .
People kept saying it's a circle effect.
Basically because my real parents regected me that it was only natural for me to do the same if I became a mother too and so remembering that hurt myself , I knew instantly I never ever wanted to have anyone feel like that ever.
After begging to go back home through all of my comprehensive years I finally ran away, two days I wandered the streets of Sunderland before eventually getting my friend to steal a bike so I could attempt to ride 45 miles back to my family.
I was only 16, terrified, cold and lost and after reaching just 23 miles before being so scared that I stopped at the only place open at 11.30pm ,I decided to hand myself in .
The police had been looking for me for 2 days and I was classed as missing .
After spending 6 hours at a police while they tried to get hold of someone ,I fell asleep exhausted in a side room. There was no way I was going back after all that
Early hours in the morning, I was finally put into a car and reunited with my family I had so desperately been trying to get to.
Seems once your 16 years old the care system allow you to make your own choices and then dump you like the many social service ,carers and councilors before.
It was like I had never left although the loss of my brothers presence was definitely noticed , my mam and dad had a trophy cabinet made which held his beret and a british flag along with some of his other bits and bobs and it brought a little comfort to me knowing we were some what back altogether .
I moved in with my older sister Glyn and we grew amazingly close .
Mam and dad made me feel like one of the family again and I tried to spend as much time as I could with them .
I had signed up to join the Army before leaving Sunderland and so within months as soon as I was 16 I was in there doing the best I could to try and make them proud of me.
In all honesty I just wanted to be like my big brothers who were also in the army but I simply just could not cut it and only 6 months later I was medically discharged .
I moved back in with mam and dad and as soon as I was 18 I was given quite a generous compensation sum.
No matter what people say , compensation does not make things better , my past always creeps up with me and I have some really bad days where I remember or have flashbacks from some of the traumas I hide from my close ones. I simply just get on with it , it's part of me and it's part of my learning process I still deal with.
I spent it all on furnishing my new home and taking my mam and dad on holiday for a week to Turkey and we had a fabulous time.
Two years later mam and dad turned up to the birth of first child and were right there with me , mum holding my hand by the side of the birthing pool as I gave birth to my first daughter, their first grand daughter. The most amazing experience anyone could ever have and I wanted them with me all the way . My mum was amazing and it was as if we were so close she was feeling my pain .
As my contractions ended , she said she could feel my pain and it was as if hers were starting and so we fought for the gas and air through our rally .
We laughed, cried and then cried some more , most amazingly they held my daughter and saw her being born and for the first time I gave her that look that my mam beside me gave me.
A memory never forgot but cherished as soon after my mum found out that Cancer had taken her and only three months later she was gone from all of our lives.
The most amazing woman ever , the only person to ever understand me and give me love I desperately needed. The only person who has ever shown me THAT LOOK.
Looking back now , I can see it so much more clearly.
My life was a test. I proved to myself that not only can I be loved but I can also love others. More importantly love my children and that nature does not mean I will follow that cycle that others feared I would.
There is not one time ever I have looked at my children with that stare or hate and emptiness. I love them all too much to hurt them .
Obviously I am not going to lie.
It is not easy being mum to 8 and I don't think there is ever a time I get some me time, I certainly do not get time to go out with friends , treat myself to nice things or even do things most people take for granted .
I barely sleep , worry constantly about the kids getting ill or falling down and my clothes are older than the kids themselves and don't even fit no more as I've let myself go a little, feed them before myself if need be but that is a sacrifice a mother makes.
I don't favour one child over another , leave one out on special occasions or give them that look of hate.
So when you look at me with my 8 little ones, don't judge me on why you think I might have so many kids but think of those kids who are judged for being unwanted because me and our children will never feel alone again as long as we have each other.
You're only ever as alone as you make yourself feel.
So I thought that it would be fun to do a nice little monthly Instagram post here on my blog to keep you up to date with my most favourite pictures I have taken and posted .
I have always been a happy clicker and sometimes have ended up getting wrong from people over on my Facebook for posting too much but I really do love capturing every special moment that I can and so Instagram has been one of the greatest places I tend to share them.
You can follow me over at @Lisamprince and if you give me a follow , I promise to follow you back .
So let us see what gorgeous pictures have been taken this month .
I take quite a few so I wont post every single one , you will need to follow me to find the others.
For the past 8 years since getting with my husband , our family has grown into something a lot larger than we initially were ready for and so we have spent our time trying to find the perfect place for us to live with enough space for us all .
We first moved from our home to somewhere not too far away and again back at the start but soon realised that the area was no good in the sense their were no parking spaces for our vehicles nor were there any gardens big enough to let the children play so looked to move a little further away and at that time we had my two daughters and our youngest son who had just turned 1 year old living at home with us .
It was only in Our last home , two years ago, a three bedroom home, that from upsetting circumstances we ended up having my husbands other 3 children come live with us full time with another staying throughout holidays and weekends so we went from an average family of 5 to a staggering 9 overnight and so we had no option but to find a new home that fit us all in and it seemed like forever to get one that seemed big enough and also in an area safe for the children .
We brought the children up in 4 different homes over the past 8 years and 4 different schools meant that they were constantly feeling uplifted and not at all settled, our last home gave us many happy memories like our wedding day and being united as a family as well as numerous happy summer smiles but we had no choice to move as we all felt like sardines in a tin .
We were over the moon to find a home close by that had the parking space for the works and family vehicles , extra bedrooms and even an office for the husband to run our family business which he has worked so very hard to do over the past few years.
Not only have we found our perfectly sized home to fit us in but we were truly blessed to be even given a very large garden at the rear of the house which for the first time was not in the public eye and quite secluded from the passing community and like the last home, not been trampled on by school kids walking past.
The only place people can see in is a small community centre at the back of the garden which was rarely used .We also found out that half of our garden had been made into an allotment for the community centre to make vegetables and although people in the village keep telling us it is still ours we have no wish to take another large piece of land unless thy no longer want it at a later date , its nice to see them in there making some fresh vegetables and it keeps the elderly people who run it doing something they enjoy.
We are more than happy with the oversized garden we already have .
Our new little Cul-de-sac semi detached home was perfect and we have settled very well here and love it.
So we had a bumpy shock when we first moved, not only did I have to get the kids into a new school again and just before my oldest daughters SATS , but we also found out that we were expecting again and believe me it came as such a shock that our settling in mode kicked in even quicker.
With all our other homes , we never felt ''AT HOME'' or ''SETTLED'' , we instantly felt comfortable and welcomed into our new community and knew straight away it was our forever home.
So the making our home a real home started almost immediately and first thing we had to tackle was the garden .
The one thing that came with my husband as well as the kids was his love for dogs and we have ended up with three German Shepherds which have grown from small cute puppies into huge fluffy dogs and with them comes mess so with past experiences of the dogs and muddy gardens our first plan was to make an area for them where they could not drag any soil or dirt into the house .
I am determined to get new carpets and until the garden is finished , it was never going to happen .
My husband and I decided that we needed a full garden makeover and it went from just building an outdoor dog area with kennel , to having decking for the adults and then eventually the kids area and we split the garden into three sections and got doodling with pen and paper until we eventually came up with something that seemed easy to do and perfectly suited for the whole family .
When we initially started thinking up plans , we never imagined how big this project was going to turn out and we had a few problems at first but eventually my husband with help from his brother and our neighbour over come the struggles.
If it was not for my husband working everyday, we have counted up the hours spent doing this garden would make just one week , if it was anything other than time on his hands holding him up it was getting the cash to buy the wood that slowed us down but after 8 long weeks I am proud to say my husband is amazing and he has finally finished it (except for those small little touches of flowering the boarder and decorations of course ).
Our first Struggle was the fact we had a couple of trees that did not look such a worry, but until my husband started to dig them out, trying to not damage them and bring them up from the root to replant them elsewhere, we found that the roots were in fact heading close to the house and ran a lot longer through the under soil than we thought but once removed from the ground the only thing left staring at us was the large area of grass and soil .
The whole garden was measured up and my husband bought some line spray to section each area to get it started.
The biggest problem which put my husband on hold for a couple of weeks was that the garden seemed to have a huge slope from the back of the garden leading to the house and if we wanted to put a seating area in one of those corners and a small play hut which the kids had already in the garden in the other , then it simply had to be flattened .
What took so much time, as well as my husband having to work everyday , was the fact that him and the boys ended up digging the whole garden up to remove the grass and also make the surface area flat for renovating .
I am not going to lie, there was so much mess and endless amount of mud and rubbish being piled up waiting to be removed for quite sometime as well as trailing through the house .
We resolved the issue of over loaded leftover top soil by contacting our local community centre and donating it for their gardening areas and also some other locals who were in need of top soil ,we had so much that we ended up with over 4 van loads but eventually all was taken to be reused again and Eventually the kids swings, play house and climbing frame and slide ended up on the scrap mans pile.
I made the first jump by saying that I would just buy them a new one as the one we currently had was dated and worn anyway.
Later on this was found not to be the case , John wanted to make a statement of this garden .
It took the lads a whole month between working, school and trying to do the garden to clear the area and have the rubbish removed , grass removed and a large raised boarder put in place ready for late summer planting later on.
My husband has always admitted that he is not green fingered and so having a large planting place for me and the kids to add some flowers or shrubs was definitely something I had asked for otherwise he would have had no plants at all.
I am the type of person who always tells my husband just to pay someone to do the work and after a few weeks I could see that he was becoming over tired and aching from toe to head , but he carried on knowing it was only 8 weeks until the children broke up for their school holidays and he wanted it all finished in time for us all to be able to sit out and enjoy our summer.
He had endless blisters, bleeds , cuts and scrapes but luckily nothing major got broken or damaged and as the digging began to slow down , we could see that the garden was finally taking some sort of shape .
After a month of digging, our attention went towards the dogs as they seemed to be locked in the house with me and the children in it for most of the day due to not being able to let them out in all the commotion and so the first task was the dog area and kennel had to be made so they could get some fresh air while the project was underway.
We decided to fence this area of because we did not want the dogs running around where the children were and nor did we want them doing their business in their play area .
We wanted to give them a place to run and also somewhere to hide in the shade when the weather was warm and so my husband got to building a kennel and gravelled the floor area .
We seemed to spend our days walking around B&Q picking up tools , wood and screws and we were spending a fortune but nothing compared to what it would cost from a store if we bought things flat packed or in ready to build sets and my husband was enjoying the fact he could say he made it himself , it somehow seemed more rewarding to him that he was achieving something he was not usually used to doing .
I have to admit that the big tool we really are greatful for throughout our whole garden project is the power tool that cost us a little under £200 and it was the JCB rotating mitre saw and the folding , extendable JCB work bench which was paired with it.
This tool was the one thing that hurried things along a lot more and made life a little easier for my husband and his sore hands.
Our dogs do not stay in here for a long length of time, it is merely for them to enjoy the fresh air as we will in the summer without being tormented by our small children.
The area for which we were building for us to sit on became gravelled with a very large decking area , again from B&Q as it was the best deal we could find for the larger sized decking boards and although in this picture you can see my husband and his friend looking comfortable , I assure you , they were still in the middle of working on electrics and lights which have now been added to the decking area for when we wish to entertain friends and family .
We still have a few more lights to add but you can see how lovely it looks on the night time and having the electrics available , means I can sit out in the sunshine and work without worry my laptop will run out of charge or we can bring the Music system and disco lights out if we wish to.
Before the garden was finished , my husband and his brother and neighbour spent many late nights sat out with their fire pit on keeping them warm after a hard busy day working on the finishing touches.
Once the dog area was finished, decking area fitted , electrics wired up and gravel all down we then had one bit left to tackle ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
The biggest project of the whole garden, the kids area !
We spent weeks deciding on what we were going to do with the childrens area.
It all started with the idea that we would just replace the metal swings and such, then I seen some amazing wooden play parks online and really wanted one .
The prices were ridiculous, there was no way that my husband was prepared to buy something that he thought was easy to build him self. I asked him to buy one and he said no!
Instead my husband decided to go the whole way and decided that there was no way he was going to spend £1600 on a wooden play park from store , instead he was going to buy the wood and screws, swings and slide and build one from scratch .
Now if you have ever met my husband and know him well you will know he always does his best at everything he does and if he has his mind set there literally is no way I can change his mind and so I eventually agreed into letting him make one although I felt very sceptical it would be a complete shambles and he would break something or just waste money.
I have never known my husband to work with wood never mind build a whole park safe for our children to play on.
My husband firstly build a step up area for the children to have their own part to play on covered in bark for those soft landings if ever a fall happened and then the construction work began.
I feel ashamed to have originally thought this way , I should have known better that what he had just started would soon become the top topic of discussion with some people in our village and family and friends.
The lady at the community centre which faced the back of our garden could see the work taking place and even suggested I start charging the kids to come play (a joke of course) , it was merely her way of saying how fabulous it was and we even had comments to say that the one my husband had built was actually better than our local park .
So here are some pictures of the progress of the park itself.
It seemed to just get bigger and bigger and the more he worked on it, the more I got excited for the kids .
I was absolutely over the moon at the fact that my husband had put his mind into doing something that he had never done before and he had completed it with nothing but determination, hard work and all for the sake of the kids.
He really did work hard and for not being one for garden work or even working with wood, he has done amazingly well and I for one am imensely proud of him.
The children are making the very most of the new park what their dad built them. I think the biggest favourite is of course their swing and the big slide .
There are two towers , each with an under section .
One of the towers has a shed for their outdoor toys underneath and is all enclosed so they can sit in even when it rains and play and the other is an open tower which has a sandpit underneath for them to sit in and a large slide coming of the top and of course joining them together is the bridge across the centre.
The enclosed tower has the swings adjoined to it and it consists of two swings and also a nest swing which is in the centre .
We are still looking to add bits and bobs onto the park such as climbing ropes and telescopes for the children to enjoy but it is all the little extras and for now they can finish enjoying the park as it was intended.
So the first part of the project of our new home is complete.
We saved so much money doing it ourselves and I have to say B&Q has become like a second home for us this past few months.
The tools we bought made DIY so much easier and not at all at a massive cost .
Through all the hard wearing the tools went through from tape measures to the mitre saw , nothing became broken or unable to use and I for one would recommend their products every time.
We bought wood and screws , electrics and lights , last week we bought a new umbrella and very large BBQ and I know we will be back soon as the planting season is going to keep me busy for that huge raised border which is in need of making pretty as well as some more decorations and furniture.
''I have my eye on a gorgeous suite to sit on my new decking . There is so many fantastic garden furniture sets that would look lovely to finish it all of so I will be back''.
So what next?
Garden is all done, I think it is time we popped back to see what B&Q have to offer for the decorating the inside of my home before baby arrives.
Keep an eye on our next project.
I will never ever doubt my husbands talents again , I am very proud of him , well done John-Paul Prince from Princesvaleting.co.uk , best dad ever.
So as you may now know there are so many different ways to engage with other likewise bloggers such as yourself or you may even be interested in finding out more about what we do.
Twitter has been a fantastic social media site which all sorts of different bloggers can get together and share content and interact with each other easily .
Not only can bloggers use Hashtags such as #bbloggers for beauty bloggers or #Lbloggers for lifestyle (there are many more) along with their tweets to highlight their new posts to share with others but you can also join in on many Chats which are organised each week at certain times to talk about your most loved subject.
For example ,you do not have to be a Food blogger to join in on the #Fdblogger chat but you will find that there are some very interesting subjects and talks between the bloggers over on their Twitter weekly chat as well as all of the other chats that are featured in my updated timetable.
For me , I find it so much easier to print of this timetable and hang above my work station or desk in my room where I blog each day .
This way I can see if there are any chats which I will have time or wish to join in on later that evening.
I am sure there will be many more chats but for me these are the most used ones for the subjects I find interesting and have joined in on.
Please let me know in the comments below if there any that need adding or I have missed .
Most of the chats (well all) I have on here are aimed at evenings for those bloggers mainly that spend their days with family and work or just every day routines , we usually enjoy a natter in our spare time and if you are like me , you will enjoy those late evening chats and gossips and this is where Twitter comes into a world of its own.
Being mum to 7 with one on the way means I do not get to go out often at weekends or late nights so it is a great place for me to unwind when the children are in bed and I have some me time spare where I can (when not pregnant) pour a glass of wine and cut a slice of cake and join in .
You will Find that with each network of bloggers , their interests are shared but you also end up making some very good friends and having someone to talk to about what you love doing who can understand exactly what we do and appreciate the hard work .
With each network, friendly talks and advice is given and the more you join in , the more of a network you and your blog will build.
I try my best to join in on chats as much as possible, not every week as I find my routine is a little off at the moment with moving home and being pregnant, but I always feel welcome even if I have been a way for a while , there is always someone who remembers you from a chat a month ago and will pop along to say hi and welcome you back.
So next time you have an evening where you feel a little lonely or need some friendly advice or just a natter , take a look at the Bloggers twitter chat time table and join in on one of the chats .
All you have to do it type in the required hashtag like this example - #Lbloggers or #Bbloggers depending on your chat and add this to each tweet you post ,it will soon get answered and you will find many people in the chat wanting to have a natter with you .
I have been enjoying reading some Blogs this past few months, more than I used to.
I tend to read around 30+ a day at least as I am rather a nosey kind of person and love to read true life events , finding out what other people are doing in the world and simply enjoying others peoples great adventures in life and their experiences no matter what their subject.
I thought I would share with you a list of my most loved Blogs to let you know who I am reading most of this month and hope you would go pop over and have a read and send some support too .
There are so many more blogs that I enjoy as well as these ones , but I find that these particular blogs tend to spend a lot of their time interacting with their readers, give honest opinions and have also given me tears of sadness and joy reading some of their posts , plus I can not actually fit every blogger into this one little post.
Here is my list in no particular order -
So what have you been reading this month and are there any blogs you would recommend?