Snapshot

I hesitate to write this.  It’s a bit of a ‘snapshot’ post, a glimpse into my current psyche, a very honest post. And now I know people who know me IRL are reading this, it’s much more daunting to be 100% honest and vulnerable.  

Things are a bit shit in my head at the moment. I don’t know why, conversely I am also simultaneously very aware of a grateful for my many blessings, but I guess that’s PND for you: unreasonable sadness, anger, depression. 

Feeling throughout the day like all I want is for night to arrive so I can go back to bed.

Feeling the days stretch out before me like a bland, orange stripe…monotonous and unchanging…and dreading it.

Feeling terrified that my husband is going to turn to me and tell me he is sick of my sadness and mood swings and has had enough.

Feeling like an ungrateful, selfish shrew.

Feeling like my friends hesitate to share their ups and, more importantly, their downs, with me and blaming myself for that  [What kind of useless friend am I]

Feeling defeated. Maybe I can’t beat this with talking and exercise and mindfulness. Maybe I do need medication. 

Feeling so confused at how I look at my two beautiful, amazing children and my pretty spectacular husband and feel a love like nothing else and yet, almost simultaneously, have this feeling of total disconnect with my life. How is that possible? What is wrong with me?

I am so sick of being unhappy.  And believe me when I say:

  • I am not unhappy ALL the time.
  • I try very hard to always talk myself out of my ‘down’ moods.
  • I am aware of how fortunate I actually am and it makes me feel worse for feeling sad when I think about that. Just another brick on my pile.

Is all this just motherhood? I really hope not. I really hope I start to feel more ‘normal’ soon, hope this is just a bad couple of weeks brought on my the extra stress of Christmas. And it may well be… I know I was starting to feel quite positive up until about 2 weeks ago – I’m trying to hold onto that. 

There’s hope for me yet. 

And I am ok. It’s nothing drastic…it’s just draining and sad and I just want to feel the joy on the scale I “know” that I “should” be feeling it. 

Til next time…be kind x

S.

And just like that..

He’s gone again. Such is the life of a fifo wife.

I walked into the ensuite tonight and it really hit me how single it looked. My end of the vanity: clutter of stuff. The other end: blank canvas. My other half keeps his toiletries in a travel bag so when he’s here, I have a guest, when he’s gone I have half a hotel bathroom. Devoid of signs of habitation (well – half devoid).

There’s other stuff too: only my clothes to wash. Only one adult meal to cook. The empty seat beside me on the couch at night when [finally] the kidlets are asleep. And of course the bedroom all to myself. Both good and bad I think!

It’s a seesaw, this fifo life. So much good and so much bad. Easy to get lost in the elements that drain you, hurt you, anger you. But a much better idea to focus on and practice gratefulness for the elements that are truly awesome….the long breaks of togetherness. The fact I am able to stay at home with the kidlets. The opportunities afforded to my other half by his work. These really are silver linings. 

It’s not easy. And especially on days like today, I say goodbye with a smile and a wave. Holding it in for him, and for my little girl. Hugging her as she cries for her daddy now she’s old enough to understand he’s going away but too young to understand he is coming back. Trying to just plug away and get through the day ticking off everything that needs doing, mostly to distract myself from the sadness in my heart. 

It’s not easy.

But it’s our life right now. And I’m still lucky and grateful and aware of our blessings. I’m just also acknowledging that we miss him, each and every day he is away, and that we always can’t wait to welcome him home.


And to not feel like a single woman in a hotel bathroom. Ha. 

x S

My 12 Days of Christmas

christmas

On the first day of Christmas, my true loves gave to me…

Twelve I love you Mummy’s,

Eleven hidden keys,

Ten cheeky grins,

Nine uneaten dinners,

Eight ED visits,

Seven swallowed beads,

Six broken toys,

Five Golden Showers……

Four drawn on walls,

Three smelly farts,

Two violent spews….

And a dirty stinky napppppeeeeeeeeee!

Merry Christmas everyone, and a Happy New Year!

~ May the best of your 2016 be the worst of your 2017 ~

Letters to my daughter, #2

Dear LLC,

Today I told you yes, we could paint your nails when you asked me in your sweet, toddler way. “But,” I added, “Not until your brother is in bed.” You were happy, I was happy, all good. In due course your baby brother went to sleep and today, it took a while. When I finally got him down I headed straight to the kitchen and started peeling and chopping potato, tidying the bench, putting away shopping. All those things I could see needed doing. 

It suddenly struck me, as I diced some eggplant, that I hadn’t done your nails. You hadn’t asked – but you might, any minute, and what would I say?

I’m sorry honey but I don’t have time. I have so much to do because I’m mum and dad while your daddy is away at work. I can’t leave any jobs ’til later’, because later – once you’re in bed for the night and your brother is too – I will still have lots to do until at some point I will finally sit and relax for an hour before I go to bed.

And all that would be true. My ‘to do’ list is never ever complete. I look around and constantly see things I need to do, things that need to be done and, as the sole adult in the house, if I don’t do them they don’t get done. I’m not complaining, just stating the facts. 

So I sighed and hoped you wouldn’t ask and finished prepping the eggplant. 

And then I stopped again and looked around and wondered which, of any of these competing priorities, mattered most to me? Which was most important?

Suddenly it was easy to wipe my hands and go get your nail polish.  Call out to you and ask if you were ready to have your nails done. Your excitement was real and contagious and you were so, so pleased with your ‘so cool’ pink nails. And we sat together on the couch while they dried and I knew I’d made the right choice.

I won’t always be able to choose these little, fun things to do over house jobs that need to be done. But I promise, wherever, whenever I can, I absolutely always will.

I will choose you.

I love you. 

Love mamma x 

Mamma, don’t stress

My little boy recently [as in yesterday!] discovered he could flick a toy on his dangle gym thing and it would spin.  He’s now happy to lay on the mat and flick the toy over and over and I am happy to watch him and stare in awe at his developing coordination and intellect. And then I sigh because he’s super frustrated stuck on his back but Will. Not. Roll….even though he physically can. I’ve seen it! But that little connection in his brain that would allow him to remember and repeat the roll hasn’t quite cemented yet. So he doesn’t roll…at 7 months… I should note that, right? And speak to someone? I mean, the books say….

No. No I should not.  What I should do is remember is this: All our tiny humans develop completely differently.  How could they not? They’re individuals, created perfectly each time, and they most certainly do not read parenting books, milestone charts or development timelines!  Sure, this items are a good guideline – something to keep in mind – but I need to stop fretting.  I try very hard [and succeed, quite often] to ignore the part of the book that says ‘By xxx months, your baby should be..’ and skip straight to the part that reads ‘Discuss with your health professional if, by xxx months, your baby is not ….’ because that is the important part.  The fact that my boy won’t roll at 7 mths means nothing at all – my daughter didn’t roll until 9 months, crawled pretty much immediately and walked by 11 months.

But despite intellectually knowing, as well as having experience with a late, almost non-roller, I still give weight to that little voice in my head casting doubt in my mind as to how OK it is for my boy to not roll yet. Ridiculous.

Its parenting guilt. Its parenting self doubt.  Its me, wanting to do the absolute best for my kiddies, notice any problems super early so intervention can be sought, to not miss ‘the signs’ [signs of anything at all, that is], to be a perfect mamma and never let them down.

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That this is the root of my worrying is a good thing; it proves that I am a good parent despite my own self doubt. And I am confident, in my logical moments, that this is so and that all the other good parents out there go through the same feelings at some time or other on the parenting journey.

I just need to tell myself this [ie read this blog post] next time I look at another baby and compare Baby J and wonder if something is wrong… because its overwhelmingly more than likely that my tiny human is totally fine.  And if you’re reading this, and can relate, so is yours x

Women can not have it all

Yep. I said it. I, as a woman, can not have it all. I can not do it all. I can’t run a household, be a 100% mamma, have a successful career and be an 100% wife/partner all at once. Feminist come at me.

It’s just not fucking possible to do all those things on a day to day basis.

Right now it’s approaching Christmas. Elves are popping up on shelves everywhere.  Beautiful, handmade advent calendars. “December 1” boxes overflowing with Christmas crafts to be completed throughout the month. 

I have provided none of those things for my kids. 

I think it’s vital to note that all of the above examples were from different women…but when we see all these achievements pop up on our Facebook news feed somehow they merge and we suddenly feel like EVERY OTHER MUM IS ACHIEVING ALL THOSE THINGS.

A) they are NOT; and, 

B) even if they were it does not mean you NOT doing them makes you any less of a fantastic, outstanding mamma.

There is a lot of ‘women can do anything’ and ‘women can have it all’ sentiment flying around these days…and I think the idea behind it is right and good but somehow the message that your gender should never hold you back morphed into ‘women can do anything and therefore should do everything.’ 

And #sorrynotsorry but NO. No person, man or woman, can be everything all at once. We have to make a choice to sacrifice some aspect of our lives in order to give that attention elsewhere. You could try doing it all but I guarantee you will do a crap job. 

We all only have 100% of ourselves to give. If you give equal attention to 10 different tasks/roles, logic says each task will only get 10% of you.

However if you focus on one main ‘role’ at a time, say 60%, and two other ‘roles’, that’s 20% each…, well you are going to be achieving loads more aren’t you?

I’m not sure when it happened or how but suddenly it’s become unfashionable to “just” be a stay at home mum…. It’s become the norm to expect working mammas to still provide home made, organic baby food for their children…. We, as a society, expect that a woman can be a wife, career woman and mother, all at once and all successfully. 

I call bullshit. This is an incredibly unfair and unreasonable expectation. I certainly accept that some women may feel they can achieve all three simultaneously – maybe they can – but that makes them the exception, not the rule. 

And what is so wrong with a woman wanting to focus on her career, or her relationship, or her children? Why do we look down on a woman who clearly advocates that one area of her life is her priority, whatever area that may be? 

Why, for example, is it suddenly uncool to be a stay at home mum who doesn’t also do some kind of work?

Why does the mean parent club frown on  the working mamma who doesn’t participate in the whole Elf on a Shelf bullshit, get that promotion and show up at every activity on their child’s calendar?

Do I sound annoyed? I do, don’t I – well I guess because I am. I think parenthood is just so absolutely hard enough…navigating these uncharted waters with precious, highly impressionable pure little hearts and minds relying totally on us to also be their guide and teacher….well that’s a hugely important and stressful task. Adding to that stress by making mothers feel like they are somehow a failure if they aren’t ticking every available box is just unnecessary and cruel and infuriating.

I’m proud to say I am a stay at home mother and right now, my priority is my kids. Not my career. Not my ‘post baby body’. 

There are many facets to me and my day but I have a clear priority and for now,  everything else is secondary. And I refuse to apologise for that. This isn’t about equality and women’s rights – it’s about being realistic and not setting ourselves absolutely impossible standards to reach. 

Women can be anything they want to be and I want my little girl to grow up knowing she has unlimited potential. But I also want her to know that being anything is so different to being everything, and she never has to take it all on herself. 

Those days when…

…’tired’ doesn’t cover the exhaustion you feel on every level: emotional, mental and physical. The absolute weariness, so strong it’s all you can do to not close your eyes and lay your head on the nearest available surface. 

…anger is your constant companion; always near, listening, watching, waiting for any opportunity to explode from you and take no prisoners.

…defeat is an overwhelming feeling – when any goal or task seems to beat you, sometimes before you even try to tackle it.

…despair runs through your veins; “Why do I feel like this? Why can’t I snap out of this? When will I feel normal again? What’s wrong with me?!”

…fear makes your heart heavy, fear of there being no light at the end of your tunnel, no other side to come out on, no day in your future when you can look back at this time and know it’s over and done.

…loved ones notice your mood and step in.

…loved ones think of reasons to chat just a little longer.

…loved ones lighten the burden, add some laughter to the somber day, some reassurance to your doubt, distract you from the monotony of your own darkness.

…when bed and sleep are so welcomed and hope rises for a better day tomorrow.