I’ve just come downstairs from nursing Josh before he goes down for his afternoon power nap. As I sat there feeding him in the calm and darkness I felt that familiar tiredness I often feel in my oh so comfortable nursing chair, and felt my eyelids grow heavy. I make sure I never full on fall asleep whilst feeding Josh, but I do shut my eyes and try to use it as relaxing time. And as I was doing it I thought “I wonder when I won’t feel this tired again”. Then it hit me – what if it’s never. Am I destined to be this shattered for the next 18 years!
Us Mummies are built of strong stuff. When we have our babies we manage to adapt to this insane sleep deprived lifestyle. We do it cause we have to. There’s no choice in the matter, but it’s so worth it; our babies are everything to us. But you are tired 24/7! There are days it literally sucks the life out of you. Today I heard a Mummy friend of a friend had proclaimed how easy she found being a mother; “it’s no big deal” she allegedly spouted “I don’t know why people complain, it’s not hard work at all”. Now there is a teeny tiny chance this women said this whole heartedly and honestly…. but I’m 99.9% sure it was bullshit from someone who wants to be seen as WonderMum! Someone who gives off the impression she’s got her shit together, she goes to all the classes, the baby weans on only organic food, the baby sleeps through the night (sometimes I think I may actually weep if I hear one more smug mum who I don’t even know, tell me their baby is sleeping through and therefore why isn’t mine. I’ll tell you why! Cause he loves the tit, and I’m not stopping that till he’s a year), in fact the baby skipped crawling entirely and is now walking around perfectly……OK, well there’s that pretty picture painted, but I guarantee behind closed doors she’s just like the rest of us. She’s effing shattered, she has days when she doesn’t shower till 10pm (embrace the evening shower on these hot summer days, they are lush), she has a sneaky glass of wine mid week cause she’s had a tough day. Sometimes she feels alone and doesn’t tell anyone how hard she might be finding things because it may be seen as failure.
I don’t want this woman, or any woman, to feel that way. Us mummies are made of strong stuff, but we’re human. We’re surviving on a huge lack of sleep and whilst juggling 8 balls in the air at once. But sometimes you don’t realise, until someone points it out to you, that you have to take a step back. Fuck trying to be WonderMum. Just be Mum. Don’t put so much pressure on yourself and over do things cause it doesn’t always bode well…
In the space of three days, I’ve had four different friends show concern for me because I’ve lost weight. I’m naturally quite slim anyway, so when I lose too much weight it really shows and it’s not a good look (yes there is something that tastes as good as skinny feels – cake, cake and more cake)! Now I can assure you , just as I assured my lovely friends, it’s not been an intentional weight loss. I have no desire to loss weight. But I can admit, I’ve not been looking after myself. I think it all started whilst on holiday. Josh is still very young remember and despite what people say, I do believe he is affected when he’s in different surroundings. We lost his routine that week, which I knew we would but I just went with it because I didn’t want to let it spoil our holiday and I thought I could get things back on track once we got back. The last couple of days there were particularly tough because Josh’s first tooth began to trying to cut through and, understandably, sent him mental. We got pretty much no sleep the last couple of nights and I was a bit slack with eating. But then we got home and I felt completely run down and terrible. It was very annoying that we’d come back from holiday and I didn’t even feel remotely refreshed. Don’t get me wrong, I had a lovely time with the family, but I didn’t feel relaxed or rejuvenated.
Since being back I tried to get sleeping back on track, as well as getting back to cooking most of Josh’s food as we used a lot of Ella’s Kitchen pouches whilst away thanks to their convenience. On top of the usual day to day looking after Josh, on less sleep than I had been used to a month ago, I’ve been doing PA work from home along with blogging (which I know I’ve neglected a bit, which I HATE), seeing friends, taking Josh to classes and keeping the household in order. All normal stuff, things us Mums do every day. But I can honestly say, I am fucked!!!! I’ve felt so tired for the last two weeks it’s really gotten to me and made a few old feelings of anxiety crop up. Nothing major, nothing like what I’ve dealt with in the past,but that familiar feeling of being overwhelmed because you’re trying to do it all and not taking time out for yourself, and to enjoy life with my son every day cause I’ve been rushing around rather than prioritising and taking my time. And this all goes back to the fact, I’ve not been taking good enough care of myself. And I have to make sure I do – as a breastfeeding Mum I have a huge responsibility to Josh to be a healthy, happy Mummy who is on top form. By attempting to do eighty things in one day this just isn’t possible.
So this week I’ve taken that huge step back. I’ve cancelled a bunch of appointments that can wait a week or two, whilst I use this time to look at what I’m doing and make some goals and plans to manage my time in a healthier way:
- Find a diet plan to help me maintain a healthy weight. I have a fast metabolism, I know I’m very lucky but when I’m stressed it doesn’t work in my favour. So I want to find a way to gain a bit of weight back in a healthy way so I’m not just eating cake all day every day (hmm, maybe every other day)
- Come up with a schedule for the blog. I’ve never really planned my blog posts; I just go with it. If I want to write, I write. But I think if I have a time each week to actually post, even if it’s not when I’ve written them (I like to write when I’m really feeling something strongly as I type) it will help me feel more organised and dedicated to my blog which is my non human baby! If any of you wonderful bloggers out there have any tips for organising and scheduling your blog I’d love to hear them
- Schedule my PA work. Now that I am a virtual PA too, I don’t want this work to slide or become half arsed. I am one of these people who likes to put 100% into all that they do, but I can’t do that if I am doing several things at once. So I’ll be setting aside some time each day to get this done.
- LISTEN TO MYSELF!! I know that sounds like a weird one, but one thing I’ve learnt from suffering with anxiety is to listen to yourself. And that’s exactly what I am trying to do now. I had a couple of nights of lying in bed thinking about everything I had to get done. And I felt that familiar worry clouding my head. The stupid thing is, all these things don’t have to be done that instant. So I didn’t do the washing today; so what! Who cares!! Life is all about enjoying each day, not missing a moment. Yes of course we all have regular, tedious day to day things that do need doing, but life is already overwhelming enough, we shouldn’t make it any harder for ourselves. It’s all about balance and prioritising. It’s more important to me that I take Josh out for a walk in the fresh air every day and enjoy it rather than stress about getting the washing done!
So that’s what I’m going to do going forward. I’m going to be a strong and happy Mummy. Not a frazzled and stressed Mummy. Only I can control that and I will because I am a lot stronger than I give myself credit for. I always liked to think I was a tough cookie but I never did myself justice in how strong I am until I admitted suffering with anxiety. That may not sound like a big deal but to anyone else who has suffered with it, you’ll know that speaking up and opening up about how you feel is a huge step. So I am going to stick to being that strong woman, one who can take on the challenges we all face day to day, and balance them and take my time. And by doing this I’ll continue to build my resilience to my anxiety. I’m a strong woman, a loving person, a good soul, an open book, a big heart and I’ll continue working on myself positively and giving myself a bit of credit where it’s due.
I hope you lovely readers don’t mind me babbling on. Sometimes us writers just find a flow with writing and it comes from the heart. And given what I’ve said, I’m going to make sure I do a regular post just on me, and how I’m getting on with things and coping with good times and bad. Sometimes you need to hear these things to relate to someone, and find comfort that it’s not just you who feels that way sometimes.
Thanks for reading beauts xx