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Dog Free Zones

I wondered how I was going to write this blog as it is something that is extremely personal to me and I’ll explain why as we go, but I didn’t want it to come across as controversial. In the end I decided to write from the heart and be open and honest. For the record this is just my opinion.

Why did I want to write about Dog Free Zones?
My daughter, who is now 10, for the last eight years has had a phobia of dogs. I don’t know how it happened but it did and has since got progressively worse, it has also been passed onto other animals over the years. I understand phobias are not pleasant for anyone but when you have a learning difficulty, as in Down Syndrome, calm rationality is not even an option.

Over the years I have seen Ellie have a melt down on more than one occasion. I have seen her shake from head to foot, scream the place down and cry in hysteria. It has not been pleasant to watch and has caused the family great concern. We live in a lovely area that has many fields, parks and pubs that are dog friendly so knew it was important to get a handle on this.

As time has gone on, depending on Ellie’s emotional needs some days she can actually stand still, stay calm and let a dog walk past her, some days she can run past dogs cheering herself on for being so brave, but there are still days that involve emotions which result from having a phobia.

So why am I writing this? 
I am writing this quite simply because Ellie is not the only child to have a phobia of dogs. Ellie does not have a phobia of dogs because she has Down Syndrome, many other children have this phobia too and I wanted to let all the dog owners out there understand what can be happening when you walk past with your dog and see a child screaming.

Actions and Considerations
First, please consider that a child is literally petrified of your dog, therefore saying “She won’t hurt, just pat it” and bringing your nice dog nearer to said child, doesn’t actually help. Please ensure your dog is on a lead if in a public place, I personally was told by the police that in all public spaces, all dogs must be kept on a lead and it is a criminal offence not do so. A good friend shared this link with me, which clearly states that in public spaces that have PSPO’s, a dog must be on a lead.

https://www.gov.uk/control-dog-public/public-spaces-protection-orders

Other actions to consider if you have a dog with you, is that if you are asked to put your dog on a lead because a child is frightened (just for a few minutes), please don’t ignore it. If a restaurant or park has a sign saying ‘No Dogs’ please don’t take your dog in there. My daughter has seen her brother get jumped by a dog, her brother be chased by a dog and a dog ran that ran that close to her one day, off a lead, that she pushed it away.

I understand this is a work in progress for our family and I know there is wider support out there such as The Dogs Trust but for now, please be considerate as we will too.

Information relating to The Dogs Trust

If you are in the same situation as my family, here are some places that are dog free that you can attend and enjoy

  • Most beaches on the Isle of Wight (during the summer) are dog free
  • Most beaches in West Wales have summertime dog bans (eg Saundersfoot, Tenby)
  • RSPB Old Moor in Wath upon Dearne
  • Cleethorpes Beach is dog free between Good Friday and 30th September
  • Butlins
  • Haven Burnham on Sea
  • Fairthorne Manner in Botley Hampshire
  • Brockholes
  • Lytham St Anne’s beach in the summer
  • Lytham St Anne’s beach in the summer

I hope as always you have found this useful and I would love to hear from you if you have any coping mechanisms or know of any Dog Free Zones that I can add to my list.
Thank you as always for reading and if you would like to connect with me through any social media platforms please click on the button

Until Next Time
Sharon x

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

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

Blue Light; Dangerous or Not

What is this blue light that is making headline news recently?
Quite simply it is a source of wave length that is associated with computer screens and mobile phones and as you can imagine we are getting more exposed to them in today’s world with modern technology.

Blue wavelengths are beneficial during the day as they help to boost attention and mood, however they are clearly disruptive at night as the light throws the biological clock into disray and this isn’t great if you already struggle with sleep. Artificial lighting and light exposure suppresses the secretion of melatonin which then in turn has an affect on your circadian rhythm

Even worse, research into blue light states there may be links to the cause of cancer, diabetes, heart disease and obesity.

While light of any kind can suppress the secretion of melatonin, blue light at night does so more powerfully according to Harvard researchers.and their colleagues whom have been conducting many experiments.

If blue light does have adverse health effects, then environmental concerns, and the quest for energy-efficient lighting, could also be at odds with our personal health. Those curlicue compact fluorescent light bulbs and LED lights are much more energy-efficient than the old-fashioned light bulbs we once knew, but they also tend to produce more blue light

man in white dress shirt sitting on black rolling chair while facing black computer set and smiling
Photo by bruce mars on Pexels.com

So what can you do to start protecting both yourself and your children from the dangers that are being linked with blue light;  here are three top tips that are strongly recommended

  • Avoid looking at bright screens approximately two to three hours before bed.
  • If you work a night shift or use a lot of electronic devices at night, consider wearing blue-blocking glasses or installing an app that filters the blue/green wavelength at night.
  • Expose yourself to lots of bright light during the day, which will boost your ability to sleep at night, as well as your mood and alertness during daylight.

I hope you have found this helpful, feel free to share and if you have any concerns regarding your children and technology these days, please comment I would love to connect. Alternatively connect with me via (linktr.ee/shaz_crowley)

See you next week,

Sharon x

Half Term Over and only 6 weeks left

Hey sorry I’ve been AWOL for a while and to be honest with you it has been because I have been a little confused about the direction to take this blogging malarky. Do I share my life with you, would you be interested or do I speak about serious, information, tips? lol Maybe you could help me.

So today, for now, I am going to share how much I have loved having the kids at home for the May half-term and how much more I have loved them going back to school today. I am not a horrible mum but I do crave and enjoy my own time and I am trying to run my own online business which is involving so much learning yet I love it. The fact that I can earn some extra cash for my little luxuries is a bonus.

The half-term was most enjoyable, helped by the weather and some lazy mornings. Spending time in the garden whilst working from my phone as the kids played was a bonus. But as you can see this from the above title, this is the last academic half term now and only 6 weeks until the dreaded summer holidays. The despair of six  whole weeks to fill  whilst keeping both fingers and toes crossed that the weather is kind.

Generally I do book a few days out here and there and balance it with a holiday and some freebies, like the park. If you are local to me, Manchester UK, and feel the same say Hi and I’ll send you the ‘What’s on Guide’ for children’s activities when I get it. I would love to hear from you if you feel the same as me, looming holidays. However, I do feel lucky though that I do not have to worry about child care these days given that is the main reason I left work but on occasions I do wonder which is the easiest.

On that loving note, any critic of the blog is most welcome. I’m here to learn as well as have fun.

See you soon,

Sharon

Why motherhood is like the fairground. Do you agree?

I thought about this analogy one morning last week, just as I had dropped the kids off at school. I started to question why motherhood is beginning to feel like I am at the fairground, I also found I could relate it to my online business but that’s another story. Let me share my thoughts to see if you agree?

First of all there is the roller coaster; as well all know motherhood has it’s fair share of ups and downs, from the emotional to the physical to the mental challenges it brings daily. However the unconditional love, early morning cuddles and token gestures from school often make me forget about the times I throw them to bed after a tantrum and a long day, hey it’s all about the fun.

Some days it feels like I’m on the waltzers and that I’ll never get off. Hanging on by a thread as there is no way I can get off, feeling green as I simply spin round and round and round and round, feeling like I’m getting nothing done except the feeling of nausea.

Then how about the ghost train? Scary times happen often as a parent, from the first fall to even a stint in the hospital it happens, expect it in motherhood and it won’t seem as scary.

But as they say it really is all about the fun of the fair, from the laughter, the giggles, the treats and the tears, us mum’s wouldn’t have it any other way and some even go back for more.

If you often feel like this, or it has struck a chord, then please get in touch as I would love to chat, I’m always connecting with other like minded mum’s to share insights and strategies for surviving the next few years.

Chat soon

Sharon

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

Should you Change your Skincare in your 40’s?

As we  get older, unfortunately, so does our skin and as I begin another year in my 40’s it has made me realise that not only is my shape changing but so is the texture of my skin, it’s feeling dryer.

After doing some research I have since found that our skin-plumping collagen levels reduce dramatically in our 40’s as does the elastin which keeps it springy so find products that will help with this. In addition, a woman will start to produce less sebum which can result in puffiness around your eyes, therefore a daily massage whilst applying your moisturiser can help with this as can a monthly facial by the experts.

I would highly suggest to start applying a face mask regularly, and give your skin what it needs some extra TLC. Finally, start to look for products that do more than one thing, products that can help with anti-ageing, contain vitamin ingredients and SPF coverage.

Don’t be upset by all these changes, as we all know us women in our 40’s are wiser and more confident in our own skin than ever before.

If you have found some value in this, please do feel free to comment and share, however if you would like to see what I’m currently using for my own skincare routine reach out and we can have a chat.

Sharon x

Why your ‘diet’ isn’t working for you!

Have you ever wondered why your ‘diet’ just isn’t working for you? You may even not say you are on a ‘diet’ and call it a healthy eating plan as these days the term ‘diet’ sounds so negative.

Here are my top 4 reasons why I believe your diet just isn’t working for you at the moment.

  1. You are eating food that you don’t like; there is a reason you stopped eating Kale and Spinach when you were twenty, it is because you don’t like it. If you do not buy avocado’s regularly, just because they are now classed as ‘free’ does not mean you will like them any more. Stop eating food you don’t like.
  2. You are not eating with the family; this was an all too familiar theme on my many quests to find the perfect diet. I rarely ate with my family. I tried to avoid tea times if I was fasting or alternatively I was cooking separate foods which resulted in an increase in shopping costs. Meal times should be family time where you can sit and chat together and enjoy the same foods. Therefore start cooking what you will all eat.
  3. You are craving the foods you have been told you are not allowed to eat. Your diet starts and straight away you know you have ‘this’ or you can’t have ‘that’ and what is the first thing that you start to crave, ‘the forbidden list’. Yes, to lose weight you do need to reduce the calories and to get healthier you do need to change your habits but complete withdrawals will generally only lead to binges and lost willpower. Tread carefully and either choose healthier versions of the treats you want or have a little of what you fancy but no more.
  4. You have not got the right mindset. If you are constantly thinking negative thoughts such as the shopping bill has increased, I can’t believe I can’t eat any more chocolate, weekends are going to be so boring then this will have a huge impact on how far you get on your journey. Turn this around to thinking more positive thoughts such as how much more energy you will have, think how much your confidence will grow as each day you become more successful.

I hope you have found some value in this and it has shed some light on why your diet just may not be working for you at this moment. If you are working to get healthier this year, do reach out as I would love to connect with you.
https://linktr.ee/sharon__crowley

See you next week
Sharon x

(written from the heart)