My sparkle’s somewhere amongst the seabed

You know them days where the sun is out then all of a sudden the clouds come along and block the sun? Well that’s how I feel most of the time. But there’s always clouds with just a glimmer of sun here and there.

I still laugh, I still smile, I still feel ‘ok’ but I’m not actually ok.

My shoulders are tense because that’s where I hold the stress, tension, anxious thoughts and how I hide. Hunched up. But I don’t realise this until my shoulders ache.

I forget stuff ALL the time, I can’t concentrate very well and even when I think I know something my mind tells me I’m probably wrong and makes me doubt myself. So when you question what I’ve said, this is why I say I think so rather than yes. This is why I can’t make decisions- in case I make the wrong one- and why I ask questions that we both know I already know the answer to.

The headaches are becoming more and more frequent. The racing heart is back.

I need constant reassurance and I know that’s f’in annoying- it annoys me too- but I can’t help it. If I do something that’s good I literally have no idea unless someone tells me… and then I still think I’m shit.
I constantly think people don’t like me, that I’m a pain in the arse and annoying. I know I’m flaky and disorganised. If you don’t reply to me I think I’ve done something to upset you, but I don’t always have the energy to reply myself.

I constantly feel like I’m letting people down. I’m always busy because I’m not very good at getting stuff done. I forget, I get easily distracted or I just don’t have the energy.
I’m always stressed because that’s how my anxiety works. It makes me stress. It affects everyone differently and because I refuse- point blank- to let it stop me from doing stuff, instead it makes me stress about everything.

You know them arcade games where the things pop up and you have to smash them back down with a hammer? Well that’s what my anxiety’s like with any happy thoughts. Any excitement. SMASH.

I struggle to make eye contact with people I don’t know that well, I never know what to say. Sometimes I don’t even know what to say to people I do know… or I just chat pure shit and no-one can get a word in edgeways… then afterwards I think I’ve been rude and whoever I’ve been speaking to won’t want to speak to me again!

I think my husband will get sick of being married to a stressed, miserable cow. I’m ugly anyway, it’s only the kids keeping him here.
I annoy everyone else.

I am SO f’in tired.

I can’t cope with any sort of pressure. I am purely just surviving daily.

My mind is literally scrambled. Thoughts shooting out here, there and everywhere.
It’s not like this all the time, just quite a lot. Like waves, and they gradually pick up pace and a huge one washes over me before being back to just on the edge of the sea again. Calm is restored. Well as calm as it’s going to be. Everyone knows I can’t swim.
Sometimes I want to run away. But then I’ve never quit at anything in my life. That’s the only thing my anxiety can’t seem to squash. My determination. I’ve always been a stubborn bitch- I get it from my Dad, although I’m not quite in his league of stubbornness yet.

This isn’t attention seeking. This isn’t dramatizing. This is my life as I’m living it and I just want people to see.
Telling me not to panic and to calm down just makes me shut off. I don’t want to panic, I want to be calm but I can’t. My mind won’t allow it. It shows me you don’t get it and I feel even more alone than before.
I need someone to take control. To take over and not ask me questions. Just tell me what to do. To understand. To see behind the ‘I’m ok’ or ‘I’m just tired’. To see past the stress that isn’t really stress. To ask me how I am then not shrink away when I tell the truth or try and solve it for me, you can’t. To just come and get me. To just be there. Ask me what’s going on in my mind and talk me through it. I know it sounds stupid- I think so too- but sometimes I can’t move past that until I’ve analysed the thoughts. The ‘at least’s’ in a situation don’t help either. It makes me feel even shitter for dwelling on the bad in the first place. I know you don’t know what to say, you can’t make it better- I have to do that all by myself. I just need support, to know you’ve got me. Just see past the mask and tell me you know I’m not ok before I have to force myself to say it out loud. Unload some of the weight, carry it for me and walk along beside me. Please.

I’m drowning and I can’t swim. I won’t actually drown- I know this too- but my sparkle’s somewhere amongst the seabed and I can’t swim until I find it.

 

 

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Saying goodbye to today

Every day I watch my children getting a day older.
I watch them growing, without realising they are growing… until that piece of clothing becomes too small. That outfit doesn’t fit. I hear “Mama my shoes are hurting”.

Then it hits me- BAM.

As I’m tidying their rooms and finding discarded toys that they’ve now grown out of. When the baby is getting her sister’s hand me downs and I can’t comprehend that they were last used over 5 years ago. 5 years!!!

Then it hits me- BAM.

As I walk into my eldest’s room whilst she’s sleeping and look around. I see Barbie’s, Monster High, Perfume, Roald Dahl books, real writing not squiggles. I see her fast asleep in a high sleeper bed. I see her school uniform ready for the next day.

Then it hits me- BAM.

When I look at that school uniform and think how it wont be long before she’s heading into year 2. YEAR 2! How her first day at school is long gone and the school run is the norm.

Then it hits me-BAM.

When that baby photo pops up on timehop. I start to reminisce and think of times gone by. Memories that I still feel too young to have as distant memories. Memories of a baby that are blurring with her baby sister’s memories. Memories that don’t feel like they happened six years ago. I look at pictures where at the time my eldest looked so grown up, but now she looks so young. Pictures where I was pregnant with the youngest before anyone knew. Pictures of me heavily pregnant with the youngest. Now she’s one and not even really a baby anymore.

Then it hits me- BAM.

Christmases, birthdays, Easters, holidays… Pretty much any celebration we’ve had.

Giggles are turning into laughter. Crawling is turning into walking and climbing. Words that have turned into sentences and stories. Nursery rhymes that have turned into chart songs and dance moves.
Each BAM is like I’ve been electrocuted. Volts running through my body. My heart. I feel a twist in my stomach and an ache of longing for time to just slow down.

So many days I’m just waiting for bedtime. I’m tired, I want a break and the pressure from every day is immense. But each day that I’m waiting and counting down the hours, I’m wishing time away that in a few weeks I want back. There has never been a truer quote than ‘the days are long, but the years are short’.

I think about my own childhood memories and where I was 10 years ago, 15 years ago. It makes me feel funny because although I don’t want to go back there, I can’t quite believe that time has passed so quickly. I think about old school friends and how my own daughter is making these memories of her own right now. I think about my parents and how they must feel to have grown up children and now grandchildren. I wonder if they feel the same as I do about time.
I think back to meeting my husband and how we spent our time before we had the girls. Our wedding day and each significant moment we’ve created together.

I find myself looking at my eldest daughter more and more and whilst my heart swells with pride, it also feels like someone’s squeezing it until its about to burst. I look at my youngest and see that fluffy haired baby morphing into her sister. I see me and my husband getting older. My parents and grandparents. Our friends.
Television programmes from when I was a teenager that are now played as the old shows- how I remember watching different old shows that are pretty much nonexistent now! Old songs that me and my friends hung out to, made mix tapes of, danced to at the Friday night disco. Changes in technology, phones, home décor.

Then I’ll hear a little voice or feel a little hand that will bring me back to the present and I remember that despite not wanting to say goodbye to today we still have lots more memories to make.

 

It’s a Dad’s life

How many of you have husbands or partners who more often than not come home from work and put the kids to bed? Who change nappies? Who got or get up to do night feeds- occasionally or regularly, do the school run? Cook tea, cuddle the kids, bath them and wash their hair, settle them in the middle of the night? Plays games with them or make them dinner?

Lucky aren’t we!

My husband does all this whilst working full time too. Not just any old job but his own business. This means that it’s 6 days a week and if a jobs not done he stays late. There’s no set clocking in and out hours. No set holidays. No actual break even when you are off.
He doesn’t do all of these all the time but he still does them.

How many of you have heard: ‘Oh isn’t he a good Dad’ as he’s winding your screaming baby in the café’. Or  ‘He’s great with the kids isn’t he’ as he’s running behind them on their new bikes’. Or even ‘Lucky you, Dad doing the night feed last night’.

I myself have told people what a good dad he is and how he’s done all this stuff. How the girls idolise him.
None of that’s a lie, he is a fantastic Dad and does do all that stuff AND the girls do idolise him- especially Bunny. He can’t even walk through the door without her getting excited. If he doesn’t go straight to her she screams the house down.

BUT…

I can’t help feeling like I’m selling myself short. I do this stuff every. single. day. repeatedly. And more besides. So much more. Yet get nowhere near the same amount of credit that he does. I also find it very frustrating that despite him doing this he has a freedom that I don’t.

And before anyone makes THAT comment, this isn’t some kind of hate blog against my husband. I think it happens in most relationships- or this is certainly the norm for me and my friends anyway.
This blog isn’t about JUST my husband, but Dad’s in general.

Why do we put them on a pedestal?

Because there’s no doubt about it we do.

How many of your partners or husbands don’t do the majority of the stuff off their own back- they have to be asked?
Which is frustrating in itself. This means that I have to think for 4 people.

How many of your partners or husbands do the standard man thing of washing up and acting like he’s cleaned the whole house from top to bottom?

Or if they want to go somewhere after work, they just go? My husband finishes whatever time he wants- unless he has to be home to have the girls because I have a set time to be somewhere. When he wants to go for an appointment, his hair cut or a night out with the lads he just goes. A night out he always checks it’s okay first but that’s just so he doesn’t get hassle.

I on the other hand, do have to clean the whole house from top to bottom, and do the food shop and have any appointments all whilst working round the school run or school holidays and both kids. If I ever want to go anywhere I have to ask first because I need someone to be there for the girls. When I’m back at work next week, I wont be able to just nip here and there afterwards as I’ll have Bunny to pick up and then the school run. Clubs and groups to go to. I basically have to set my working hours round the kids.

How many of you hear but I’m at work or I work full time?
He’s the main earner. So you pick up everything else.

Who are the lucky ones now hey?

I’m not saying they don’t deserve it, because Dad’s are bloody amazing, but don’t sell yourself short! You’re bloody amazing too!

We need to stop giving Dad’s credit for the things Mums do day in, day out. The things mums exhaust themselves doing repeatedly. The things mums spend their time agonising about if they’re doing it right.

A dad could sit there and bottle feed his baby and no-one would bat an eyelid as to whether it was expressed milk or formula in that bottle YET mums are STILL facing prejudice if they don’t want to use their boobs to feed.

Changing rooms are still predominantly in women’s toilets.

A Dad at a baby group of whatever kind is still seen as an exclusive.

Dad’s I love you but c’mon man- you need to up your game.
Your woman is busting her gut, let her be acknowledged, praised and get her up there with you on that pedestal. ♥

Aspirations for 2017

As we head into a brand new year I thought I would share some of my aspirations for 2017. I don’t make resolutions as such, but I do like to have some goals to achieve in mind just to give me that push when I’m feeling a bit bogged down by life in general!
By writing them down for all to see, not only can I keep coming back to them to refer to but I also feel like I’ve got to really try to achieve them as everyone else knows about them!!!

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Generally I want to be more organised… this is one of my major weaknesses so I really want to work on this to help stop me from getting so stressed! There is quite a lot I need to do to be more organised so I’ll update you in a separate blog on how I plan on doing this!

Alongside being more organised in general, I want to manage my time effectively. Another one of my major weaknesses and this is why I don’t get half the things I want to done. I want to drop the faffing and just get shit done!
My husband always goes mad because he says I start a job then move onto something else before I finish it. Since he pointed it out I have noticed that I do actually do this quite a lot (don’t tell him I’ve admitted that!!!) so I’m aiming to stop this too!!

In order to be able to do the two things above I think I need to put down my technology more- i.e. my phone and iPad. This is probably the main reason that I get distracted and don’t accomplish half the things I want to but it is increasingly difficult to do this when its either my work or the only way I connect with people… Ooo that’s just given me an idea for a feature… !!!

This year, as a family, we want to see more of friends and make more plans with them! When my husband isn’t at work we have gotten into the habit of just being us, which is lovely, but sometimes it’s good to spend time together but with others too! I’m quite a social person so I get really agitated if I feel like we’ve not seen anyone when we’ve been off work. I’ve messaged our group to see if they want to do a ‘breakfast club’ once a month where we all meet for breakfast then go for a walk or do something (that doesn’t cost a lot) afterwards so I’m going to organise our first one soon!

I want to look in to, learn about and try to practice the laws of attraction and channeling positivity. This is something that really interests me and with having some larger, finance related goals this year I’d love to see if it really works! Also with having anxiety I can get bogged down by the monotonous routine of life and anything negative going on so I really want to focus on positivity rather than negativity this year.

I want to use my strength to not be frightened of confrontation, something that I’ve let affect me massively in the past. I also want to not let people and their actions drag me down and just focus on me and my nearest and dearest.

Stress less! I tend to get really worked up by things that I don’t need to so I want to let more things go, to just wash over me and just concentrate on what really matters!

Go to bed earlier! Me and my husband are in the habit of going to bed quite late and then we’re both up really early or in the night with Bunny so are ALWAYS tired. We’re going to make a conscious effort to go to bed at 10.30 pm every night. I have a feature on my IPhone clock where you can monitor how much sleep you’re getting and set an alarm for going to bed so we’re going to try and work out how to use it and hopefully it’ll give us that extra push to get to bed much earlier.

family

 

My main family focus this year is to make more memories!

 

 

work  After taking a year’s maternity I am now due back to work. (Arghh)

So… I want to focus on settling back in and finding my feet again as well as getting a good work/life balance and routine- something that I think is going to be quite tricky to start with. After being off for a year, it’s quite nerve wracking to be going back but I’m hoping that it’ll be much easier than the thought of it!

I am looking forward to my new role and want to plough into meeting my targets and goals within this role.

As the majority of my working hours are going to be done from home I really need to get this organisation and time management into place. I’m extremely nervous about fitting everything in without running myself into the ground and I know that I’m going to have to keep my mind really strong and really look after myself this year because of this.

house

 

The house is something that really gets to me and I struggle to keep on top of it so I am extra nervous about this with going back to work.

I want to have a massive de-clutter and freshen up of each room (something I’ve already started to put into plan) and go for a minimalistic approach in all rooms. We seem to accumulate SO much stuff that this makes it extra hard to keep everywhere clean and tidy. I’m thinking that if we keep our possessions to the bare minimum it will be much easier to maintain.

The biggie with the house is we want to move. We’ve essentially outgrown ours although we can still manage here but we are already looking into moving. I’m not entirely sure if this will be achievable this year but it is something we are looking into and finding out what we need to be doing to achieve it!

anxiety

 

My main aim for this year is to get back in control of my anxiety and try and prevent it affecting me on a daily basis. After having a full summer where I managed to keep it at bay, the end of the year hit quite a low point with it. I’m keen to get myself back to where I was over the summer.

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I want to carry on pushing forward with all my social media to do with The Non Perfect Parents Club, especially my Facebook page. I’ve really pushed this towards the end of the year and I feel like I’m finally moving forward with it. I’ve received quite a lot of positive comments and am really enjoying meeting new people and getting to know familiar names of people that are supporting me.

I want to try and do a few collaborations and work with some local businesses. I really love what I’m doing and promoting local businesses even more so. I love the buzz of connecting with like minded people and how we all help each other out. I ran my advent calendar giveaway throughout December and it was lovely to get messages of thanks from businesses that I’d helped get their name out there and hearing about orders they’d got from my posts!

I’m planning on doing some awareness projects, a couple of which I have already got lined up; One on miscarriage/stillbirths and premature births and one on Special Needs.
I also have a HUGE event that I’m going to be organising to celebrate how hard we work as parents and to acknowledge all what we do for our children. It will be the first of it’s kind in our local area as far as I’m aware and I’m very excited to make a start with that.

Blogging aims are to keep up to date with it as it often gets neglected when I’m busy. Within my blog I want to set up my first linky!
I have now set up a schedule for my You Tube channel, which will mean I am uploading a video every Sunday and will be sticking to my Facebook live feed every Wednesday at 8pm.

mind-body-and-soul I’m already a gym member (check out my fitness story here: https://thenonperfectparent.wordpress.com/2016/10/02/i-work-out/ ) so I want to keep on pushing myself at the gym and really concentrate on improving my fitness and getting in shape ready for the summer!!
I’m really looking forward to getting out in the fresh air, now we have the puppy, and enjoying some family walks!

I know that I’m really going to have to look after myself this year otherwise I will wear myself into the ground!! BUT, hopefully with all of the above put into place this will be manageable… and if not, then I’ll have to re-evaluate and lighten my load! I have a habit of taking too much on so I’m conscious that I might be biting off more than I can chew at the moment but we’ll soon see!
As I’m steaming towards turning 30, I’m still using this to keep me strong and say yes to lots of opportunities.

So, there we have it- Lots of aspirations for 2017 to think about and work towards!

What are yours?

2017 is a blank page… write a story to remember!

10 things motherhood has taught me

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Motherhood. When does that begin? Is it the moment you find out you’re pregnant or is it the moment you give birth and hold your baby in your arms for the first time?

The first thing I know about motherhood is that from the moment you find out about your child you would do anything to protect them and make sacrifices for them without a second thought. You sometimes don’t realise this until they’re here but your whole outlook on life and your priorities change. Completely and utterly. Life gets a whole new meaning.

Number 2; your whole life changes. It becomes a whirlwind of happiness, chaos, bliss, frustrations- basically an emotional rollercoaster. You can’t plan or predict anything, nothing is guaranteed other than the fact that despite the lows the highs will always outweigh them. You will also cry at anything and everything.

Number 3; Some days will be shit. Like proper shit. And really tough, so tough that you want to throw the towel in but you can’t. And then that little face will look at you and you’ll just want to smother them in cuddles and kisses. Your heart will hurt with so much love that it will feel like it’s going to burst out of your chest… You will often get that feeling when your children are sleeping…!!

Number 4; The people you thought would be part of your child rearing journey may not actually be. Time plays a massive factor in this, as does conflicting opinions or a different outlook on life. Child free friends wont always get ‘it’ and you don’t have the time, patience or energy to encourage them to get ‘it’. Which leads me on to

Number 5; Your baby and then child will suck every ounce of energy from you. You know when you feel so tired you’re like a zombie? Well multiply that by ten… and then double it!! You no longer have time for meaningless confrontations- i.e. confrontations with anyone outside of your household UNLESS they are in some way affecting your children… Then Mama Lion comes out roaring to protect her pride.

Number 6; It doesn’t matter how you parent, someone will ALWAYS have an opinion on it… and tell you their opinion regardless of if you want it or not! Ignore judgement, take positive comments (and keep them stored up because you will need them on the tough days) and just do your thing- a happy mum often means happy kids and happy kids make mums life easier- up to a point of course!!

Number 7; Asking for help doesn’t mean you’ve failed, it means you’re normal. And you will need help, so take it if it’s offered- but only if you want to. Don’t feel like you have to accept help from people that you don’t feel comfortable doing so just because its being offered.

Number 8; Nipping to the shops or just leaving the house in general will take five times as long as it used to, and as it should do!!

Number 9; Motherhood has taught me an awful lot about myself! It has taught me about my strengths, my weaknesses and how strong I am as a person. It has taught me that some things are worth stressing about and others just really aren’t. It has taught me a massive amount about other people and reminds me to stay true to myself. It has taught me about what kind of person I want to be and what kind of role model.

and lastly, but most importantly

Number 10; The main thing that motherhood has taught me is what it is to feel strength like no other and a fierce love that I never imagined I’d ever find.  A love that is so strong that I’ve never known love like it. The rush of relief, pride and that love I felt the first time I held my babies, well nothing in this world compares to that and probably never will.

Motherhood turned my world upside down and inside out. It changed my life in ways I never thought possible. I wouldn’t change it for the world ♥