Taking my own advice…literally.

I recently had a bit chat (the modern version – online of course) with a beautiful friend who is questioning herself a lot.  Her fears/worries/thoughts so strongly echo my own that after I’d given her this advice, I thought I probably should take it myself. After all, if its solid advice then it should apply to me too right?

Anyway, so here it is, a bit edited to make it able to apply to me – so Sharna, next time you’re beating yourself up (again), please read over this letter from me, to me, with love x

Its so very important to not feel guilt that you want space and time. Its normal – and for those women who you know that ‘manage’ it all, without complaining, keep in mind that you have no idea what goes on in their head and there could be a million reasons why they seem to have it together. They may even think YOU are the one with it all together. Perception is a funny thing and there are always 3 sides to a story – your truth, their truth and the actual truth.

Make sure you get out and about with the kidlets – even just down to the park or something, take a book and a coffee and a blanket and plop them down to enjoy fresh air. The house is claustrophobic and the outdoors can amuse them so much, even just for 30 mins, so you can have a bit of ‘you’ time even if they are with you, technically.

And just remember. You ARE grateful, you’re grateful for them, and for their health, and for all you have. Its not natural, however, to be grateful for things that hurt or upset you, like the feelings of isolation and boredom and frustration. Those feelings are what you are not grateful for. You don’t have to feel grateful for that type of shit, in fact it would be weird if you did!! So don’t confuse what it is that you feel resentment against – not them personally, but the feelings that you are experiencing (which are no-one’s fault, they just are) and don’t feel guilty.

As for resilience … you don’t give yourself enough credit, you’re still going aren’t you? And keep in mind we are all of us good and bad at things. I am good at organising and spreadsheets and helping people. I am not good at monotony, and I am not great in the areas of mental reality and stability. I have anxiety and I tend to catastrophise everything and I’ve learned (thank you to my great psychologist) that these are just parts of me that I need to learn to manage, rather than constantly try to fix. Like someone who has a limp – sure, its not ideal, but its not game ending either, its just a small fault in them that they acknowledge and work with and get on with life. I’ve stopped asking myself ‘what’s wrong with me? why can’t I just be normal?’ and I now accept that this is my normal. My husband has shitty eyesight and I think no less of him. I have anxiety and he thinks no less of me. He wears glasses and I see a pysch.

We all have our faults, and we all have areas we excel in too. Just because motherhood doesn’t make you fart glitter, doesn’t mean you are any less of a great mother. In fact – it means you are an AMAZING mother because every day you fight against reluctance to give your little humans a wonderful life and bucketloads of love. So start appreciating you.

be-kind

x S

Seriously. F today.

Well. Today was certainly a memorable day. If this was an NCIS episode, it would begin with me standing in a vomit-filled kitchen, covered in vomit myself, laughing hysterically with tears running down my face. There would be a freeze frame on my maniacal, regurgitated-mushroom-risotto spattered face, it would turn black and white and then we would flash back to the beginning of the day. It would be an awesome episode start.

Actually  – I guess it would start with me sitting at this laptop with that giant glass of wine, typing…. not such good dramatic value though, eh?

Anyway.

Today was one of THOSE days. With a kick in the nuts just for shits and giggles. Have I ever sworn as much on one day as I did today? I think probably not. Despite my earnest efforts of late to curb my cursing, by replacing – well, you guess what – with ‘fairies and unicorns!’, today a fair few plain and simple ‘fuck’s’, ‘for fucks sakes!’ and ‘fucking hell’s’ came flying out of my little mouth. Geeeeeessssussss.

Started, really, at 11.30pm last night when my 3yo repeated the previous nights performance and woke up, coughing and crying. (I wasn’t mad – I was sad – I hate that she’s unwell. See my previous post about that here. I’m not all fairies and unicorns, I promise). Anyway – she came to my bed, which, thanks to a FIFO husband, was conveniently half empty – and promptly fell asleep, still coughing her little heart out every couple of minutes and turning more than a wagon wheel. Hence she got a pretty decent sleep while I ‘woke up’ at 6.30am feeling like I’d been rolled through a pasta maker (flat and stretched, not pliable and supple, in case you were confused).

In positive news, the 11mo had slept well and didn’t wake up until 6.44am. WINNING on that one, lemmetellya. When a kid, who until now has considered 5.30am a sleep in, sleeps until 6.44am….. well HALLELUJAH. I was grateful, but apparently not enough to stop the karma fairy punching me in the face with a thunder hammer.

Anyway. The morning went OK…. made pikelets for breakfast and then packed the kids in the car for a trip to the park (the house was already seeming a bit claustrophobic). At the park noticed the 3yo left eye was all gunky… awesomeballs. Conjunctivitis. Or sand? Maybe sand. Let’s go with sand. Enjoyed my coffee and the company and then packed the kids into the car to go home. 11mo fell asleep on the way home… which was great, except he woke up as we got home because the 3yo insisted she was a baby and I needed to carry her inside to put her in the portacot to sleep…. and grab that toy for her… and a pillow… and by then the 11mo was woken by the motionless vehicle. Sigh. No worries, he needed lunch anyway right?

I won’t bore you (more than I already have) with the mundane details of the day, suffice to say it was one of those days where what could go wrong kinda did, could have been a lot more bad stuff happen I know and I have perspective; but, when you’re very tired from 2 nights of little sleep, you are doing it alone cause your partner is not around, you have a 3 yo who is just loving saying things like “No!” and “I don’t want to do that!” and “Why?“, and you have a list of things you have to do and things you should do and things you just want to do and NONE of them are getting done… well, it can be a little draining.

And then, suddenly, it all improved. Somehow, I had dinner cooked by 4pm, we had all our little jobs done, we got all our many animals fed and put away and we were sitting on the trampoline enjoying a warm autumn evening in golden sunlight, and I thought – “Wow. Isn’t this a lovely way to finish off a pretty stressful, pretty unpleasant day? All the ‘jobs’ ticked off, looks like an early bedtime, probably get some time for me before bed even! And this is nice….I’m so glad me and the kidlets could have this fun time to end the day.”

Bahahahahahhaha.

Get inside and start cleaning up. Give the kids their milk – her a cup of milk, him his bottle – while I do dishes. They have enough and start playing, she follows him into the kitchen and does ….SOMETHING, I don’t know exactly what, to him, just behind me and he starts screaming his head off. Whole head turns bright red. Like a tomato.

I pick him up to soothe him and tell her to “GET ON THE COUCH AND WATCH TV!!!” (Yes, parenting 1-0-1, but by god I’m so glad I did) and then it happens. The kick in the nuts I mentioned earlier… my little guy does this weird little burp …. and then he power vomits half digested mushroom and chicken risotto mixed with 200mls of formula all over me, my kitchen floor, my kitchen cupboards and himself. So. Fucking. Awesome.

Sigh.

Cue the early bedtime going out the window because I spend the next hour cleaning up the boy, me, the floor, the cupboards, re-feeding the boy (carefully), putting on a load of washing (after rinsing off the chunks, of course!) and only then, did I tackle bedtime. And of course part of that was giving my 3yo another dose of the eye drops for her (maybe, and in hindsight, probably unlikely) conjunctivitis. Which went down a treat, I tells ya. Even better than the first dose earlier in the day. Cause, memory….. sigh.

But – you know the real kicker? The moment of today that really, truly broke me? That made me cry when telling my husband about it on the phone?

It was when, as I was putting my 3yo to bed, she touched my face and told me that I’d been ‘sore’ at her today, all day. That she was a good girl. That she knew I was sad because daddy was at work.

I can justify 100% my frustrations of today – I know I’m extra tired, I know my kids have been quite challenging and I have a lot on my ‘must do’ to do list.  So on one hand, I forgive myself for the short tempered, impatient and shrill moments I had today, the times when I raised my voice or showed clearly my frustration.

But – on the other hand, and any mother or father can probably understand this – I feel terribly, horribly guilty for being so obviously shitty today that my little girl noticed enough to talk to me about it at bedtime. And that’s just a contradiction I have to live with, as a parent, every day pretty much. It sucks balls.

Anyway. The day is done. I’m ready for bed. I can hear the 3yo coughing and I am fervently hoping she settles without needing me and sleeps all night in her own bed so I can get some much needed catch up sleep.

So yes. The NCIS freeze frame would be me, at a laptop, with a big (now empty) glass of wine. Its time to close down the PC and hit the shower. Cause, you know, I can still smell the vomit …. on me….fun times.

Hope your day was better than mine, or if not – hopefully this brought you a little smile and a feeling of at least not being alone 🙂

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x S

Joy in my 3 year olds pain

Let me set the scene. It’s 11pm, I am cursing the book I’m reading because I came to bed over an hour ago fully intending to read just one chapter, I flick the monitor from 11mth old to 3yo for my cuatomary check before lights out and I see her coughing and crying out, half asleep, coughing again. 

Instantly I’m up, getting panadol, carrying her to my room, fetching water and tucking her in, soothing her as she coughs, finding the Eukybear rub, and finally fishing out the (ridiculous) giant Peppa toy I bought her on a whim days ago but never gave her (because it is ridiculous). 

Seeing her pale little face light up like she’s the luckiest girl in the world delights me, she snuggles down still coughing and lets me rub Eukybear on her chest (“because my tummy is a bit sore, mamma”) and then some Eukybear on her feet (“My feet are a bit sore too, both of them!”); she is soon asleep, cuddled against (ridiculous) Peppa with her normal buddy Eyeore clutched in her hands. 

And I am so joyful. It sounds wrong, so hear me out, but in her pain / discomfort, I have found joy. Because I have again found my place.  I’ve found peace. Contentment, certainty. Of course I’m a mother. Of course I am right where I’m supposed to be. Of course it is me, specifically, that these two little souls need and depend on.

I’ve had a few weeks now of a bad mood settled on my psyche; of feeling stretched beyond my capability, of not being able to be the person I was constantly needed to be.

Teething, sleepless nights, colds, birthdays, visitors, parties – all these things have pulled at me, demanded my attention, been competing priorities. I’ve just felt so unable to get it right and had a recurring feeling of “Just go away and leave me alone!” Even as, bizarrely, I have truly and honestly been enjoying the events going on. Well, the birthdays, visitors and parties, obviously, not the shit stuff! 

I’ve felt like an imposter, like I’m playing a part but this isn’t really me or my life, like there is no proof I’m really the mamma here. I’ve felt like I am trying so hard to be some one and some thing I am not. 

It’s a feeling that has cropped up a lot this past year, well it started in September and that’s when I went to my GP and was diagnosed with PND. Point is, I have had this feeling before but not for a little while – I am feeling more and more like Me and less and less like Me with PND, so having this cloud over me the past three weeks or so has made things a bit worrying.

Until now, tonight. Suddenly it’s lifted. Caring for this tiny human who is only slightly unwell came so instantly. So naturally and instinctively. Of course I am Mamma. Her mamma. I’m not failing or in the wrong spot or doing the wrong thing. 

Yep, it’s hard when they’re tired and whiny and clingy and it’s just me or they just want me, but that’s par for the parenthood course. I have to keep reminding myself that getting sick of the consent demands or feeling tired or overwhelmed by this journey is pretty normal and doesn’t make me a bad person or mother. It makes me human.

Feeling resentful of the little humans doesn’t make me a bad person or mean anything malignant. It means I’m tired and I’m human. 

Feeling like I want to go away and have a whole day or two to myself without any demands on my time doesn’t mean I don’t love my children fiercely and completely. It just means I’m human

Phew. What a weight to get off my heart. I only hope the next time the cloud descends I remember this wee epiphany and revisit this post before I beat myself up too badly.

Sweet dreams little LLC. Thank you for making me your mamma once again x

Reflecting on Year 1, v2.0

My how our world has changed in 12 months. As I count down to Jaxon’s first birthday I’m looking back over these twelve months and all the ways I’ve grown and shrunk and failed and succeeded and changed and stayed the same.

Motherhood is a crazy, tough, beautiful and strange journey that I am fortunate to be on. I’m grateful every day but I also get angry every single day. 

My kids amaze me and infuriate me. They bring out the best in me and five minutes later they bring the worst of me out. 

We struggled to have kids and so feel exceedingly lucky to have them both. But at the same time I sometimes want to run away. 

I know so many other mums who would nod along as they read this with bits and pieces, or maybe all of it, and they are my village. They know. 

Motherhood is a privilege but it’s like that saying, ‘with great power comes great responsibilty’….sometimes the privilege sits so heavily on my soul and my heart but it really is true when they say it’s the hardest and best thing you’ll ever do, and that these tiny humans, despite their interesting moments, really do make it worth it x