So I’m super open about my struggle with anxiety – which often takes people aback.
I’m also generally a really confident person.
But I’m anxious. And I’m super awkward.
I’ve been called intriguing, mysterious and even appealing – which I kinda like.
I’ve also been called batshit crazy. I didn’t like this so much, but hey – it’s probably true.
So at the moment, my anxiety is really bad.
I am riddled with self doubt and insecurities. Sometimes I can barely even get the words out. Other times a billion words come out none of which I actually intended to say.
It’s really fucking conflicting. It’s narcissistic because everybody is talking about me. And it’s nasty, because of course they all hate me.
Everyday, I get up and I just go. I mean as a Mum of 2, with a part time job, a small business, a husband and *gasp* a social life – I don’t really have a choice. And I CAN do it. I mean, it’s really hard, but I’m high functioning which means my anxiety doesn’t stop me from doing the things I want to do – it might suck all the fun out of them – but it doesn’t stop me.
But I’m tired. I’m SO tired. My mind is so busy. My first doubt starts about .2 seconds after I wake up and ends about 3 hours after I should’ve fallen asleep.
And yeah, I could just stop. And I have. My body stops. I rest, I watch bad TV, I stalk exes on Insta… but my mind is still there, and it’s still racing.
I remember when I was a kid, pre-diagnosis and I asked my friend if they ever feel like life’s not real. They looked at me like WTF, “like you’re just kinda watching yourself,” I explained. They had no idea what I meant and laughed it off. I laughed along too. But I died a bit inside. It was the first time I realised that I wasn’t normal and that’s a really hard pill to swallow – even at 28!
So yeah, I’m not normal. I’m intriguing. I’m bat shit crazy. I have anxiety and right now I feel like I could explode at any moment whilst simultaneously falling asleep because I’m so.tired.
How’s your week going?
Yo, if any of this resonates with you you really don’t have to go through it alone. The best piece of advice I can offer you is to book an appointment with your gp, or if you really need to talk call beyond blue!
Over the past 12 months I have been knee deep in diapers, kindy drop off, birthday parties, PTA meetings, mushy food, playgroup, laundry, school enrolments… and all the other cliche things that mums do.
And here’s the thing:
It’s not me.
Don’t get me wrong, I loved it. I am SO lucky I got twelve entire months to saturate my newborn baby in love. And even luckier that the timing coincided with O’s last year before school. I loved it. And I thought I’d miss it.
But I don’t…
After my first week back at work, I can honestly say that that is not me.
I realised something.
Happiness and satisfaction are not always the same thing.
Yup, I was happy floating away in my mummy bubble. But I wasn’t satisfied.
I dunno, I guess I should feel guilty. But I don’t. If anything I feel guilty for not feeling guilty… because #mumlife, but I don’t feel bad for enjoying my career and being an individual for 25 hours a week!
Did I think about my kids whilst I’m working? Yeah, a bit… but not as much as maybe I should have. Did I worry about them? No, not at all.
They are safe. They are settling in, but they will be happy.
And I’m me. Still, always. And popping out a baby or two hasn’t changed that.
Whether it’s working for the man, staying home with your babies, or a little bit of both, heck even a little bit of neither- babes you’ve got to do you. You’ve got to be happy, but you’ve really got to be satisfied!!
If I had a dollar for every time someone told me to enjoy my last few days of freedom I’d have, like, 5 bucks by now.
So next week, I head back to work after just over 12 months on maternity leave and seriously HEAPS of people keep reminding me to enjoy my last few days off.
Honestly, I’m as giddy as a kid at Christmas. I love my kids but I am SO excited to get back to work. Sorry not sorry, it’s just part of who I am as a mother and as a person.
- Laundry. Because I’m going to find the bottom of my laundry basket before I go back to work so help me.
- Working out. I am *like* 2kg away from getting my work pants to zip up, and these days I’m a true believer in if it zips it fits.
- Meal prepping. More money, more problems- right? Well there will be if we spend all our wages on lunches.
- Cleaning. Because in theory if we’re not home, we can’t mess the place up right? So it’s worth my effort.
- Transitioning the kids into care. This not only includes orientations and trials. It also includes calling centre link, paper work, clothing and shoe shopping, and labelling ALL the things.
And don’t worry guys, I’ll be spending plenty of time with the kids- but I’d do that anyway because they are my entire life and I live every second with them… but I feel like my first day at work will be a break, and a start to my perfect work life balance… right guys? Right!?!?
P.s. If you too have admired my wonderful maternity leave tan here’s how you can get one of your very own: Simply try walking anywhere with a tired 5YO lagging along, whilst baby wearing a bouncing one year old… and before you know if you’ll be spending approximately 75% more time in the sun, and voila, your VERY own mat leave tan!
2016 sucked yeah?
Well, not for me actually.
It was hard, but it was one of those challenges that has entirely bettered me as a person.
You see, I went into 2016 thinking, knowing, that I could do it all. And you know what, I can. And in 2016, I did.
I freelanced, I raised my kids, looked after my family, kept my house clean all.the.time, lost a shit load of weight, remained at my friends, aquaintences and even people I didn’t like, beck and call. I sat down for a total of 15 minutes in 2016, not including all that damn driving I did to keep O in kindy.
I was seriously run off my feet.
And I loved it. It was amazing. But I didn’t get to enjoy it all that much. I went from one thing to the next without so much as a breath. I wanted to keep EVERYONE happy. So much so that I forgave my own happiness. I remember sitting in the car after driving to 3 different places, typing my next destination into google maps and just crying. I’d had enough. But sure enough I wiped my eyes, painted on a happy face and got on with in.
But I made myself a promise. NO MORE!
How can I be the best mum if I’m not the best me?
Not doing it all doesn’t mean failing. It means respecting yourself and your limits. Saying no every once in a while doesn’t mean you’re a shit bloke, it means you’re human. And it may come as a shock to you, but I too am a mere mortal… I know right!?!
So here’s my pledge for 2017. I’m going to chill the fuck, I mean I already have and it’s so liberating.
I’m going to say no. And sometimes it will be no just ’cause I don’t wanna.
I’m still going to be an amazing mum, wife and friend- but I’m going to keep some for me.
Oh and I’m going to start playing music again, because I love it and I keep telling myself I don’t have time. And I probably don’t, but I’m just going to have to make time.
So here’s to 2016, for being nothing like expected but for being exactly what we needed!
Happy new year everyone. To all the loved ones I’ve met and all those I’ve kept, thanks for being such a big part of what made this year amazing and I can’t wait to share 2017 with you all xx
I’m going into 2017 with a new attitude, ‘if it’s not fun, don’t do it!’
We’ve worked hard to get where we are. So, so hard. And now, it’s time to enjoy.
You see, I have always been a firm believer in ‘you get out what you put in!’ We, I, have sacrificed so much in the past 9 years. And I’m SO proud of what we’ve achieved.
And now it’s time to flippin’ enjoy it!
So if it’s not fun, I’m going to say no. This lil’ people pleaser is going to struggle at first, but fuck it! I deserve it. My kids deserve me to be happy. And my hubby deserves me to chill the fuck.
My first New Years resolution in a lonnnng time, but I’m tipping it’s going to be one I can stick with!
What are you resolving for in 2017?
Sure, I am a wife and yes, I’m currently on maternity which makes me a stay at home Mum.
But I am not a housewife.
My husband and I are 50/50. I cook, he cleans. He does bath time, I do bed time. He works, I work.
Except at the moment my work involves keeping two children not only alive, but-like- happy.
It’s the hardest job I’ve ever had.
We recently got a cleaner, because no matter how hard I tried I just couldn’t get on top of the cleaning. I haven’t seen the bottom of my laundry basket since 1995. And my house looks more like a play centre than a living area. Oh and we eat fast meals, I have tried, but spending more than half an hour in the kitchen every evening is just no beuno.
And no, he doesn’t get a day off. Neither do I. He comes home and normally I take half an hour to just debrief, go for a run or maybe even treat myself to a poo in peace.
He doesn’t babysit the kids either. I go out with my friends and he stays home with our children. He goes out with his friends and I stay at home with our children. We’d love a date night but our youngest is too small to be with someone overnight, so at the moment our adult time is spent apart. Because we’re both adults and we both need it.
We’re also both parents and there’s no me in that.
Yes, I support him. And he supports me. We’re a team, and there’s no housewife in this team. Just two people dedicated to raising our children the best way we know how whilst trying to hold on to some sense of self.
And you know what, that’s okay. It’s taken me a while to comes to terms with my perpetually messy house and eating meat and two veg every night. But this our journey, and I figure my kids won’t remember how messy the house it. What I hope they’ll remember is the moments we spent with them.
What about you? Have you found the right path for your journey?
It’s been 4.5 years since I last had a newborn in the house, and in those 4.5 years my hind sure has thickened.
The first time around I spent far too long reading parenting books, magazines and blogs- hanging on to every.word I read. But the thing is one article will tell you one thing, whilst the next article will completely contradict what you’ve just read.
It’s all a bit of a head fuck really.
So I decided to add to an already flooded discussion. Here are my tips on how to be a new Mum…
1. Don’t let your newborn cry. Or do let them cry. Because sometimes you just have to pick your newborn up at the first sign of distress. And sometimes, you just can’t. And that’s okay, because this newborn business is hard and sometimes putting a screaming baby down in their cot and walking away is the best thing for everyone.
2. Ask for help. Or tell people you don’t want their help… Man it’s nice when your nearest and dearest pop over with a big plate of food and head straight to the kitchen cleaning everything in their path. But sometimes, having guests in your house when you have a newborn is more stressful than it is helpful. Sometimes, your morning doesn’t go as planned and you’re allowed to call up your scheduled guest and tell them not today, that’s okay they’ll understand.
3. Try and leave the house everyday. Or just have a pyjama day… By about day three of being home from the hospital I was going stir crazy, all four of us were! Our first outing was absolute bliss, so we tried it again the second day. It was a nightmare. Too much too soon. It’s a balancing act, this parenting a newborn gig and it’s not simple. But as long as you don’t over do it, and stay true to you, you’ll do fine!
4. Eat a healthy diet, or just eat really. You are what you eat, and whilst you’re breast feeding- so is your baby. So it’s great if you can eat three healthy meals a day, but that takes a LOT of effort, effort that you probably don’t have. So stock up on some frozen meals, grab some cold meats and have a pizza night every now and again. The main thing is that you and your family eat!
5. Enjoy your newborn, but it’s okay to cry. You’ll never get this time with your newborn again, it really is a magical time. But you won’t enjoy every moment. Some days you will just go through the motions with your baby and go to bed feeling like you’ve accomplished absolutely nothing. And sometimes it all feels too much, I mean having a newborn is REALLY hard and occasionally you might fall apart. And that’s okay, because tomorrow is a new day.
Being a parent is hard enough without trying to follow every piece of advice out there. So here’s one final piece of advice don’t take my advice. Do what is right for you and yours. Sure find out what other mothers are doing, but don’t stress out if it doesn’t work for you. Just remember, every baby is different and every parent is different.
What’s the best piece of advice you ever received? And how about the worst?
*If you are really struggling with this new parenting gig, don’t go it alone. Contact Beyond Blue for resources.