Finding my way again

14 11 2011

In my PND group last week we were talking about expectations and positive and negative thoughts and how you may say and think one thing but if you take the time to examine it then you realise that actually you are wrong.

One thing I have said over and over to Mr C in the past few months is that ‘I don’t get anything done on the days that I am with Piran and Kate all day’ (Tuesdays and Thursdays). Now before people lynch me I know that there are many people out there that do the full time stay at home thing with two and more children all the time but I am talking about me here, and how I cope.

When I talked about this in group I set myself a homework to actually take note of what I did on these days. I feel like I don’t achieve anything but the truth is that on those days the house gets very untidy and I rarely manage to clear the kitchen and do the washing up before Mr C gets home.

So last Thursday I wrote a list of everything I did all day. It was pages and pages long and it made me realise that if I lower my expectations a little (why do we expect so much of ourselves?) then more of my days will be a good day.

For weeks I have been going to group and the two other ladies say that they are feeling positive and that they are getting better and I drag myself in feeling like I am getting worse and that I am always bringing the group down. But I am now thinking that if I lower my standards then more of my days will be good days and I will feel better.

It really is already working. I didn’t do the dishes or tidy up on Thursday last week but I did get two children dressed, fed and out of the house twice. I did a bit of laundry and played with my children. I was tired and stressed but overall it was a good day. And since I lowered my standards a little there have been more and more good days. Accepting that a bad hour doesn’t ruin a day has helped a lot as well.

Finally I feel that the good days are outnumbering the bad. I do feel like the fog is lifting somewhat and I have the sparks of a bit of energy to expend on something other than just getting through the day. I feel a bit inspired and a bit silly. I have noticed myself laughing a little, and teasing Mr C. Behaviours that I didn’t miss when they were gone but am shocked when I find myself doing them again. I sat and wrote my love letter to myself and it reminded me of more of these things. Like the fact I love animal socks and comedy dancing. I know I still have a long way to go but I feel like I am looking up, not down for the first time in a long time.

With clarity comes some sadness and regret. That my darling husband has had to deal with all of this. That I have perhaps not been playing with my children as much as I should have. Details, like the fact that at Kate and Piran’s Christening I didn’t get pictures of them with their godparents. I am really upset about that. I really was in a state back then.

But there is no point dwelling on the past, it is time to look towards the future. And the future is all sparkly and Christmassy so that is a winner. It is our first Christmas at home since we became a family and my mum and stepdad are coming to stay. The inlaws will be here too and I really hope that it is a special time. I am taking back control of me. I have lost 15.5lbs and gone from a size 16 to a size 14. Today I packed up all my size 16 clothes and put them in storage bags with my summer clothes. If I haven’t had to get them down from the loft by next summer I will get rid of them.

I am also trying to get myself organised and back on track, with the blog and with life. I have many reviews to write so I may be posting one every day or two until they are cleared. I also have a couple of posts that I really want to write (this was one of them) as well as the Make it Monday posts so it might be a bit busy round here!

Because I don’t really like a post without a photo, but I don’t have one that goes with this post I have these two instead. Firstly, my MIL bought round some old pictures of Mr C and his sister and I made this little collage last night. I think they look so alike!

Secondly it is my wonderful Mum’s birthday today so I thought I would put my favourite recent picture of her too.

Thank you all for all the love and support that you have shown me over the past few months. Every comment, every tweet means the world to me and I cannot imagine what my life would have been like if I didn’t have such a wonderful amount of support.


A love letter

4 11 2011

As part of my ‘homework’ for my PND support group I have to write myself a love letter, seal it up, address it and hand it over. At some point in the future, once the group has finished the same love letter will be stamped and posted back to me.

I have been mulling this over for a couple of days and this is so hard. I keep coming up with things that I could write and then stopping myself in my tracks with my counter argument. I am too inside my own head I guess. I want this to be real, not just a list of platitudes that I somehow think should be included. I am the only person that is going to read this but at the end of the day I want to do it properly. I am going round in circles and driving myself mad.

You are a kind person. But I have unkind thoughts about people all the time.
You make your children laugh. Not enough and I also shout.
You have friends in your life that love you. But that don’t have the time to show me that these days.
You are a wonderful wife to a great man. But I snap and bicker and take things out on him.
You should be proud of all that you have achieved in your life. But there is so much to be ashamed of too.

I need to switch off the voice in my head that tells me that I am no good, that I am useless and pathetic and not a nice person. I need to stick her in a box and throw away the key. I am just not sure how to do it right now.

Good days v bad days

25 10 2011

Last week in Norfolk was wonderful. It was our first ever family holiday that didn’t involve other members of our families and was just the four of us spending lots of time together doing things we enjoy. It was so much fun. The cottage that we stayed in was perfect, cosy and had all the nice touches that make you feel at home. There was a delicatessen next door with yummy treats and we ate out most lunchtimes so there was very little cooking involved.

I loved it there in our little bubble. I felt pretty much consistently happy for the whole six days that we were there. I kept trying to explain to Mr C what this funny feeling I had in my stomach was and then suddenly it dawned on me, it was happiness and excitement. How sad that I didn’t recognise it in the beginning and how wonderful that it was there.

We walked and talked and played. We ate lovely food and drank endless mugs of tea. We had just the right amount of stuff that we needed and it was easy to keep organised and everything tidy. The four poster bed was comfortable and had bedding on it that made me feel like I was snuggling up in a cloud. We laughed and joked and taught Kate to sit up.

We spent lots of time by the sea and taught I taught Piran how to make a proper sandcastle and how you must tap it three times for luck after turning it over. We took loads of lovely pictures and the sun shone and shone. We had one solitary rain shower the whole week and we were in the car and got to see a rainbow.  We were sad to come home but we felt rested and relaxed.

Twenty one hours and 14 minutes after we walked back through our front door I felt terrible. Everyone has the inevitable come down after such a lovely week away but being back in our house where I can see every little thing that I want or need to do makes me so very, very anxious. I cannot breathe because the house is too full of stuff. We have more than we need, and more than we have space for and it makes me feel so on edge. I hadn’t realised what a dramatic effect it had on my mood.

I had three very dark days this weekend where the gut wrenching, heart breaking heavy soul feeling ruined everything I did. I felt a little brighter on Sunday afternoon when we went to a birthday party for one of Piran’s friends and we were out and having fun and Piran gets so excited over things it is wonderful. But the rest of the weekend was so very hard.

I want this to be over now. I want to be ‘better’. I want to be able to relax and enjoy myself. I want to be the fun mum from on holiday, not the shouty, frustrated, upset one that I have become. Every time I feel like I am crawling out of this hole I seem to fall right back in, and then climbing out becomes harder because I am so very very tired all the time. I know that this shall pass but I feel like I have suffered enough now. I wish there was a magic potion but there is not.

But I will continue to try. Small things brighten my life and give me hope. Piran doesn’t stop talking and now we are having conversations with him and it is amazing. He loves his sister so much and is always cuddling her. Kate is still unpredictable but every day I read her a little better. She has a killer smile and a wonderful giggle. I have lost 12lbs in 6 weeks and really want to keep going. I fit into a pair of size 14 jeans this week. It might be shallow but it made me smile.

And so onwards I go. Letting myself have bad days, but ensuring that the good days do not go past unnoticed. Trying to fit into my days a little bit of decluttering as well as time to spend doing things I love. I am going to stay positive and moving and hoping that soon those good days will outnumber the bad.

Checking in, checking out

13 10 2011

At my PND support group each week we ‘check in’ when we arrive and ‘check out’ when we leave. Just a few short sentences to say how we are feeling, before and after the group. I am usually surprised by what I say, I guess because you only really think about it when asked.

So, checking in: Tonight I am anxious, as I have been for quite a few days now. I am up and down hour by hour but today has been a good day. Piran and I had a lovely day, including some time with just the two of us.

It has been an odd couple of weeks. Mum was here and Mr C was away. We had a great week where I did lots of lovely things but I felt pretty crappy most of the time. Then she went home and I always feel low after that because oh I miss her so much. Piran keeps asking where ‘Ma-Ma’ is and that makes it even harder. They had a wonderful time though, the two of them. Grandparents are quite amazing things aren’t they? The time and energy that they can give the small people in their life is just wonderful. I am too tired to play, too busy but Grandma will go on a trip to the park that lasts for 3 hours and every one comes home all rosy cheeked and happy.

Anyway. I am trying to stay positive and take note of the things that make me feel good, or that make me laugh. It is a shame when a laugh is a notable event in your day to day life (days should be full of laughter) but at least it makes me sit up and notice and appreciate them. My happiness jar is filling up with memories when I remember (or when nice people on Twitter tell me to do it). But here are some things that never fail to make me smile.

A spontaneous hug from Piran :: The smell of rain on hot pavements :: Piran’s dancing :: The silence of a house when all babies are sleeping :: Kate’s laugh :: A letter from a friend :: Conkers :: A walk by the sea :: A cup of tea and a chat with a friend :: A phone call from my mum :: Tickling Piran :: Watching Kate and Piran play together :: Cuddling Mr C :: A sleepy Piran :: The smile Kate gives me first thing in the morning :: The crunch of leaves beneath my feet :: Waking up naturally 

And so, onwards and upwards. Tomorrow morning marks the start of our very first ever week away on holiday (Cornwall doesn’t count) as a family of four. I have hardly packed but I will just throw everything together tomorrow morning. We have all day to head to the North Norfolk coast and I am looking forward to it so much. I can’t wait to spend some time with Mr C and just enjoy ourselves. The house sitter will be here watching our Sky plus and we will be away from wifi and all things computery. Well except our phones but whether they work will depend on 3G. I am looking forward to it and nervous about it in equal measures.

Checking out: I am happy that after three nights of trying I have finally found time to write a blog post. I am excited about my holiday. I would love it if you would let me know in the comments what never fails to make you smile.