Challenging some Myths and Stereotypes around Down’s Syndrome

After having my daughter Ellie I was suddenly surrounded by a lot of outdated facts, myths and stereotypes of Down’s Syndrome; some made me laugh and many I chose to ignore. However 10 years later I have chosen to challenge those myths.
First let share my thoughts as a parent and to offer some education.
Please note everything written here is just my opinion, however many myths have been contributed by other parents.

So let’s begin with the most popular one; all people with Down’s Syndrome are always happy and loving. All I can say here folks is ask a parent! All our children have every emotion just like yours, they are angry, frustrated, cry, have tantrums and can be very annoying (sound familiar?)

Another stereo type that may have come from the medical profession or just an outdated view was when another mum was informed that her child would not come to much. Seriously??? Have you seen the actors, the dancers, the pianists, and not forgetting the legend Sarah Gordy who received a MBE in 2018. Ellie is currently in mainstream primary, can read, do mental maths, spell, and goes to drama with her friends. She has achieved her 100m swimming certificate and recently went on her first field trip with school, without us.

One myth I admit to worrying about when Ellie was born, was what would happen to her as she got older. Yes our children are no longer taken to care homes to be looked after but would she live with us forever. It’s been a lovely surprise to see so many young adults including the awesome Heidi who moved out at 20 to live the life she wants here’s a link to her page
https://www.facebook.com/Heidi-Crowter-Living-the-Dream-473919313091896/

Another common myth about babies with Down’s Syndrome is they simply cannot breastfeed. I admittedly tried only once with Ellie and didn’t pursue it but other mum’s have had no problems showing every child, as we should accept, is unique.

Age; the common stereotype that only older females have children with Down’s Syndrome. I personally was only 34 (I don’t consider that old, do you?) and statistics show there are more females under the age of 35 than older that have children with Down’s Syndrome. Down’s Syndrome is a chromosome abnormality and therefore has little to do with age.

Children with Down’s Syndrome stay babies for longer, have you heard this – many parents might feel like this when given the diagnosis due to stereotypes, but again ask a parent if you want the truth. I feel Ellie turned into a teenager when she was 7 with all the same fun attributes of moodiness, stubbornness and emotions that you would expect from those teenage years. Others have said the same. Many parents teach their children age appropriate behaviour to try to dispel this myth.

All people with Down’s Syndrome look the same. Yes many children have similar facial features (slanted eyes, small nose), a smaller stature and may need support with their gross, motor and oral skills; however each child is unique and will have similarities to their parents and siblings just as much.

So there you have it, some very common myths and stereotypes of Down’s Syndrome challenged. My last thought on this matter is terminology; a person is a person not a Down’s Syndrome person or a Down’s; a better way of saying something that is similar is ‘Here is Ellie, she has Down’s Syndrome’ – person first.

Thank you for reading and as always if you would like to connect, connect with me via linktr.ee/shaz_crowley.
Do you think I’ve missed one out, comment below? Until next time,
Sharon x

Taking Action

Taking action to achieve your goals is imperative but what if you don’t have any goals or understand what you want to do, how can you? Last week I wrote about my next chapter titled ‘The Next Chapter’ which you can see here
https://sharoncrowley.wordpress.com/2019/04/24/changing-attitudes/
so this week I will start to explain what I have been doing.

My first investigation was to see where I could go locally that was dog free as my daughter Ellie, who has Down’s Syndrome is frightened to death of dogs. Whilst we, as parents, work closely with her to encourage her to be brave and to let dogs walk on by. It was beginning to feel disheartening to find many let their dogs off leads in public and more recently I spotted a dog in our local children’s park. That was the last straw, as they say and the day I began to take action. I emailed, telephoned and researched and then went live on Facebook with Ellie to explain our findings (see here)
https://www.facebook.com/sharon.crowley.14/videos/vb.707793674/10157347055773675/?type=3

Next stage; journalling which began on a daily basis, often twice a day, just writing down my thoughts, what I wanted to achieve in life, who was I, could I inspire or motivate others? During this time I felt that most children with Down’s Syndrome were supported very well from birth through therapists, community groups and lots of resources from the Down’s Syndrome Association but I felt it was a different story once they became teenagers and this was something I wanted to address.

However after various conversations and finding a Facebook group which provided this support, for secondary school age (see here)
https://www.facebook.com/search/top/?q=fod%20secondary%20school%20age%20support&epa=SEARCH_BOX
it appears there is plenty of material out there, just maybe not advertised as much which I could find and share.

I then turned my attention to social activities as I didn’t believe I had seen many for teenagers with Down’s Syndrome, but once again there are a few but still a lot of work in this area needs to be addressed. A local Down’s Syndrome group advertises such activities in the South Manchester area, (see here)
https://www.facebook.com/SMDSSG
and these include movie nights, pizza nights and plenty of football action can be seen at Manchester City. In addition, I am hoping to restart our local Bury support group and work closely with parents to see what other ways we, as parents and carers can support our children to help them reach their full potential and be included in the community.

Activities

So that’s me for this week, until next time. Feel free to connect with me via @linktr.ee/shaz_crowley or share to anyone that may also find these links useful and thank you, as always, for reading.
Sharon x

Changing Attitudes

When you find your passion, the reason to get out of bed each morning, you will give it 100% focus and make plans and take continuous action. This is what I have found recently, as I became a little jaded with the path I was on so therefore I took some time out and now I am back to begin the next chapter of my work from home journey.

What has changed?
Let me introduce myself especially if this is the first time you are reading my blog. I’m Sharon, mum of two and full time carer to my daughter, Ellie who will be 10 next month. Ellie has Down’s Syndrome and my life changed direction when I gave birth to her. Not only did I become a new mum at 34, but I had a child with a disability and a disability until then that I had not heard of.
Fast forward ten years and I am now a work from home mum. I take both children to school, to their clubs and not missing Ellie’s appointments. After being in work full time since I was 16, becoming a full time housewife was not for me and as such an enjoyable journey working from home. Three and a half years of Network Marketing has helped me build a network of friends, business skills and a lot of social media tips but the passion for me wasn’t there in the end.

Meet Ellie & Billy

Which brings me right up to today. After a coaching call with @LeonaBurton from #mumsinbusinessassociation I was advised to journal daily and reflect on what I enjoy, what excited me, what I don’t enjoy too and with a tonne of personal development daily I chose to find ‘me’ again. I want to find something I can do that will help others, something that is inspiring to others and that brings me to sharing my version of ‘Changing Attitudes’, the inspiration derived from my children. I am now on a mission to help, with many others, change the attitudes towards people with Down’s Syndrome. In addition, help my daughter and others feel accepted, included and above all reach their full potential.

Do I know how, not yet? But isn’t that the exciting part? I’ve taken the first step and put this blog out there for you to read and I hope you will follow my journey as I plan to play big and share regular tips, ideas and inspirational stories from now on.

Thank you for reading, if you would like to connect with me, you can via linktr.ee/shaz_crowley and comment below if you know someone that has Down’s Syndrome.

Sharon x

Mum on a Missions Guide to….Carbs

Hi and Welcome to the Brand New Series of Mum on a Mission’s Guide to…..blog 1

After going through a recent phase of time out and reflection; I have been brainstorming with myself on where I would like my online work from home business to move forward and after much debating I have come up with this title for a series of blogs. Along the way I will be sharing topics that inspire and motivate me towards a healthy happier lifestyle and I would like to share them with you for the forseeable future.

So who am I? I’m Sharon, mum of two, carer to my eldest, Ellie and have been #mumonamission for just over three years. See a little more here
https://sharoncrowley.wordpress.com/2017/10/18/first-blog-post/

So let’s get started with my thoughts on carbohydrates, carbs for short. With the majority of the world on a lo -carb diet (or it feels like it) courtesy of many healthy eating programmes recently that have been hugely successful for weight loss including @thebodycoach are they really that bad? The latest research suggests it can even reduce belly fat
https://www.msn.com/en-gb/health/weight-loss/heres-why-experts-say-you-should-cut-back-on-carbs-if-you-want-to-lose-belly-fat/ar-BBVtSDN?li=BBoPH6F&ocid=U452DHP

I am no expert, so these are my own opinions only, but I truly believe carbs are needed on a daily basis to maintain a healthy lifestyle; I personally feel tired when I cut them out completely. However do we need as many; probably not? Could we live without them for one meal, probably and more so if not exercising in the evening? Could we change to healthier alternatives such as wholegrain, yes?

Here is a facebook live I did recently with a colleague on healthier habitsand how to implement them during your typical day
https://youtu.be/Nir5ddzeRU0

I would love to know if you are cutting back on the carbs, have maybe switched to healthier versions or think it is a load of baloney; feel free to comment below and click follow to continue with the series as I will be seeing you again soon

Sharon x

How to Overcome A Mental Block.

First of all, let me apologise for being AWOL recently. This is my first blog of 2019 and we are already in March, yikes. Why have I had some time out, well quite simply I have hit a crossroads in my business life and I started to doubt what I was doing and therefore unsure of what to write about. I had a mental block.

Today I would like to share how I have since taken the courage to start back up and trust my journey and the process. Thus the title of my first blog of 2019 is ‘How To Overcome A Mental Block’. As a mum we often face challenges on a daily basis; some small, some huge. Smaller ones like fighting with our children over what to have for breakfast to getting ready on time to bigger challenges like bullying and financial issues. We simply have to find a way to overcome these and I hope how I have overcome my current block can help you too.

Not sure where to go

First, I decided I had to admit my block to myself, rather than stifle it inside and this allowed me to acknowledge it existed and understand it was having an affect on myself as well as my business. Second I knew I had to share it and this I didn’t find easy, admitting I was unsure about my business, I mean who would trust me from then on but I knew it was necessary to move forward. The best part of this stage was it allowed others, my friends and colleagues to share their mental blocks too and we began to not only trust one another more but help one another. Then I sought coaching, this was from various people who I found I could be truly honest with and not judged, there is nothing worse than trying to be open but inside holding back through fear of being criticized.

Finally I began to journal and seriously if you haven’t tried this yet, I would strongly recommend it. I hadn’t believed in journalling before but it has allowed me to often write down my thoughts, without over thinking and question myself on paper and then give myself answers in a pragmatic way. Simple but effective. With the help of two courses I’m currently taking let’s get the show of 2019 back on the road.

So to sum up actions to take if experiencing a mental block
1. Admit it to yourself
2. Share with others, they may be able to offer some advice
3. Ask for expert advice, people who can be non partial and be prepared to listen and take action
4. Journal your thoughts on a daily basis

Thank you for reading and if this has helped in any way or you could add to the tips, please leave a comment below. If you would like to know the courses I’m currently taking then comment below or message me via @linktr.ee/shaz_crowley

See you very soon,

Sharon x

Why lack of sleep could be affecting your weight loss?

As a mum I don’t believe you will ever get enough sleep again. From the joys of a newborn through to the strife of a teenager. I’m not here to slay being a mum in fact it’s one of the areas in my life where I am so proud looking at my two children. 

However, lack of sleep which comes with this fact can be having an impact on your weight loss journey, how? Let me tell you, your hunger hormone increases which is why you always feel hungry and revert to sugar cravings. As loss of sleep also messes with your leptin hormone it makes it much harder for you to feel full and satisfied.

https://manychat.com/l6/ShazsBeautySecrets

As you cave into your sugar cravings and start to over eat another impact is your metabolism starts to slow and this increases with age (disaster). Do you find your emotions start to increase with interrupted sleep and you become more emotional resulting in you choosing less healthier options. 

So how can we stop what is a given fact, most parent sleep less. Try these four little tricks to see if they have an impact on your sleep routine 
1. Stick to a routine even at weekends so your body gets used to being tired at a set time and waking at a set time.
2. Have your food prepared, those that plan their meals succeed more than those that don’t
3. Try a little daytime nap, 40 winks should do it but if you’re not sure what that is set the alarm for no later than 20/30 minutes and grab a power nap.
4. Take some vitamins that can help with sleep/and or with energy. Nothing wrong with a little help along the way. 

I hope this has helped as it made me realise what an impact lack of quality sleep can have on your body if you’re also on a health journey too. I would love to chat to you if you are struggling with sleep, please reach out and comment or connect with me via (linktr.ee/shaz_crowley)

See you soon,

Sharon x



Routine, mum’s do you need one?

Routine, do you have one, do you need one?

As a busy mum of two young ones, I kind of thought I had a routine going and to some degree I did. I got up, fed the kids, shipped them of to school, picked them back up etc However once I started building a business online I realised that my ‘so called’ routine just simply wasn’t working anymore. I picked the kids up and hadn’t even thought about tea, I began rushing to complete homework last minute and you can only imagine the rows I had with my husband. He wanted to know what on earth I was doing between 9 & 3 and to be honest so did I!

So I started to implement a routine with a planner, blocking out time that was needed with my family first. Next came the essential chores within the household and this started to make me decide somethings could be delegated (I hadn’t thought of this before but my children are now of an age they can help) and the time left was for my online business and the all important ‘me time’. I slowly started to work smarter, concentrating on what needed to be done and what really could be left and this is still an ongoing project.

The house is slowly starting to run a little more smoothly, I am not running around like a headless chicken and the family are adapting to this new routine.  School holidays however can be a nightmare, especially when building an online business but having the planner and ensuring that sometime, no matter how small, is spent on the essentials; it should work. This will also help me focus more when working, rather than looking busy (another story) and ensure I fit it in around the family (for instance when they are sleeping).

My motto is to always look for the win /win.

I hope this has helped you and understand that mum’s not only need a routine, it is essential to get things done on time, all the time and the kids do appreciate it too; it is even more important when building an online business. If you are struggling with routines, I would be happy to send you my FREE  guide ‘How to plan your day’.

Thank you very much for reading and do comment and share if you have found this of value as I always reply to your comments personally.

Sharon

Time to Spring Clean your Fragrances

Time to Spring Clean your fragrances. What, I hear you say but I always wear my favourite fragrance whatever the season, uh oh!

As the seasons change so do our scents, our skin and our emotions and therefore so should our fragrances. A wardrobe of fragrances is no longer a rare commodity as these days we change our outfit to our mood so why not our fragrance.

Say goodbye to the Winter scents which are usually musky and warm to help our mood with the weather and dark nights. Therefore come Spring we should lighten up with fragrances that are fresh and bright. Many high street fragrances relaunch in the Springtime with traditional florals and sparkling citrus scents.

Think peony, lime, fresh green notes to bring about energy and freshness, allowing you thoughts of the sun beaming on your face and look for base notes that include Cedar and Tonka Bean as these give the fragrance a powerful base that can last for hours.

A little tip when applying your fragrance. as they contain alcohol is to never apply to clothes or jewellry to prevent staining.

I hope you have found this of value, I would love to know what scent you will be wearing this Spring and if you would like to reach out for some fragrance , please tips please do. You can connect with me here (linktr.ee/shaz_crowley)

Sharon 

Are you hitting your goals?

Ok, we’re two weeks in  –  are you hitting your goals? Did you start your healthy habits? Two weeks in is generally when people start to waiver, the negative thoughts, the excuses start to kick in; so let’s take a look at some of those :

Excuse 1 “It’s hard work this, not sure I can keep it up”

Nothing in life is easy, what gets us through it is why we started in the first place. Think about all the reasons you wanted a healthy new year; Did you want to lose weight? Get fit? Have more energy? Think of those rather than that one that will stop you. Create some vision to help motivate you, a dress hung up that doesn’t quite fit right now, maybe a picture of a younger you when you felt happier – stick it on the biscuit tin. Quitting will not get you healthy.

Reason 2 “I just can’t follow it”

Now this could be if you’re following a plan, look at it, is it realistic? Yes a 3 day no eating plan will help you shift some weight but it’s not going to help you get healthy. Find something that will work for more than a day, that could be Weightwatchers, Slimming World, 5:2, Joe Wicks. All of these and many more plans have worked because people have stuck to them, but all our bodies and lifestyles are different so it has to work for you! Consider writing out the pro’s & con’s and once you have decided – give it 100%.

Finally Reason 3 “You’re not seeing the results you wanted”

I do understand this one, I really do. Everyone wants a quick result but remember you didn’t get unhealthy quickly, it took time and it will take time to adopt the right healthy habits for you so that you can achieve your goals. After one really good week of eating healthy, not drinking, no rubbish and exercising, my scales actually said I had put on weight. Did I want to cry and quit, of course I did? But within minutes I remembered how I had slept better, how my clothes fitted better, how much more energy I had and actually enjoyed exercising again and that is why I’m going to carry on as I know and understand I will not achieve my goal if I quit.

There you go my top 3 reasons why I have quit in previous years. Reach out if you have used these before but will not again and this is going to be your healthy year. Simply leave a comment below as it would be great to connect and I hope you have got something from this.

See you next week, Sharon 

Healthy New Year

Helloooo and Happy New Year.

Is this the year that you have decided that you are finally going to change and get healthy once and for all, if so read on. After 25 years of dieting, trying every available plan and learning many exercise routines, I have gained weight, spent alot of money but learnt alot. Therefore I write this with determination and a type of accountability that I’m sharing this with the world that 2018 I will get healthy. Do you fancy joining me?

Here are my top five tips on how to get started to have your healthiest year ever.

I hope you have found some value in this and do let me know if it has helped. The year has started well as I managed to lose 5lbs over Xmas, if you would like to know how I did that, message me and I’ll get in touch.

https://youtu.be/anIUzyU76YY