Activate Release Response

Activate Release Response

It feels like forever since I’ve written a blog post though I have shared things directly to my Facebook Page.

Things have been pretty hectic lately what with the daily grind of Mum Life and emotional overload. It’s been over this time that I’ve realised I have again been putting myself at the bottom of the priority list. My energy is spent on housework, the kids and hubby’s health drama’s. July is birthday month with 2 of the kids birthday’s a week apart but with an almost 5 year age gap.

With overexerting myself I ended up having a massive argument with Hubby which due to the overload of my emotions I had a panic/anxiety attack.

 

Normally, I recognise my signs of overload and take action to avoid exploding, however this time most likely due to exhaustion especially with worrying about Baby Girl I was unable to stem the tide of emotions that overwhelmed me.

 

My outlets are going for walks, writing and online shopping (of course) and I’ve neglected my walks unless they had a practical purpose to complete an errand, I think I’ve neglected my writing as I was trying to control my emotions instead of allowing them to be released in a healthy way.

 

I’m grateful for many things and one of those are family and friends that allow me to unload, even when it may be an annoyance or inconvenience. Its with some of them that I’ve been able to talk to in my moments of complete meltdown; even those who aren’t the closest of friends have been a sounding board. Some of those that I’ve talked to have let me know that what I’m feeling or certain things I’ve said are not abnormal and that if I didn’t get into ever argue with hubby that would be abnormal.

 

I’ve always tried to not allow people to see me in what I think are moments of weakness. I normally am someone who tries to keep my emotions in check but that’s not always possible and when I force those emotions down eventually everything comes rising to the surface and explodes if there has been no release.

 

There have been the odd occasion when I’m unable to stop myself before I explode and when I lose my temper, I hate myself for it and this leads to an even more intense panic/anxiety attack.

 

In retrospect I think part of the reason I’ve been a tad more stressed lately is because of Rylee’s Birthday Tea Party and my desire for it to be perfect which is probably unattainable as you can’t control every aspect. I know it won’t matter to her as she’s 2 years old and most likely wont remember it anyway but there are times when I want some semblance of control. When it comes to the boys’ birthday parties I’ve become a lot more relaxed but with baby girl its different and though I try to add reason to any expectation it’s like my own disappointments define my expectations for my girl’s parties.

 

I think I better sign off now as since its school holidays my boys like to get up early.

 

Anyway, one thing to remember is: Activate your release response before explosion is imminent.

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Find Your “One Reason Why Not”

Find Your “One Reason Why Not”

You matter

I recently finished watching the second season of “13 Reasons Why” and it got me thinking about my own experiences with suicidal thoughts and the darkness that sometimes feels overwhelming. It’s the reason why this particular Netflix series was something I could not willingly binge-watch, the material in it were very heavy and due to losing my mother to suicide and the thoughts that I’ve had since a teenager hit me very hard.

It did get me thinking about why I never actually took my own life and the reason was that there was always at least one thing to hold on to; that seems to be what stopped me from carrying through with those enveloping destructive thoughts. As a teenager the reason why I didn’t was because of fear of disappointing others and that at the time I believed that suicide was a selfish act. When I became a mum the thing that stopped me was the fact that my children needed me and that I didn’t want them to go through what I went through – and still do some days – with my own mother.

 

There have been times when the fight was very hard, and the thoughts made it difficult to hold on to anything positive though eventually I would suppress those thoughts and now those times of wanting to end my life have become rare.

This is what has helped me to manage those moments, unfortunately though there are those who find the fight impossible to win through and their lives are taken because of suicide. These people may have been in such a downward spiral that NO-ONE may have been able to help. Even the encouraging, uplifting words of their friends or family may not have been able to break through the darkness. Its my opinion that having at LEAST one thing in your life to hold on to is important but it may not be positive words from others. As sometimes the negative thoughts are stronger.

May be another reason I am still here today is because of my belief in Jesus, but there have been times when even scriptures can be hard to believe in and can’t hold back those destructive thoughts and a person may feel that they are loved by God alone and only want to be with Him in heaven, because the truth is Satan will use anything to tear us down and rob us of our joy.

 

For me, I don’t believe that my faith in Jesus is a crutch as there have been times when I have tried to turn away from Him especially after losing my Mum and later on losing my first-born daughter, it was at these times that if I had been brain-washed the pain I felt from these losses would have broken it. I did change after the loss of my daughter, I became more of a realist and lost a lot of optimism – there were even times when I was quite pessimistic. The pessimism opened wider the path for anxiety to lead to depression and at times lead me down a very DARK path. It did not help that from a young age I had a need to please people and when I felt I had disappointed someone or that they didn’t like me caused me to turn down that path that I hate, it caused me to question the encouraging and positive words of those that loved and cared about me.You are you

 

I’m surmising that for some people it may take more than one reason to keep on fighting and only take one reason to give in; It is my opinion that suicide is not really giving up but more like giving in to those negative and destructive thoughts.

One of the hopes I have for my children is that they’ll always know that I love them no matter what, and will always be ready to listen to them even if I may not like what they have to say. I also want my children to be there for each other and to be there for their friends.

I also want my friends and family to know I am here to listen or even if all they need is a hug. I have experienced those negative and dark thoughts I understand that sometimes just having someone to listen can help as its not always easy to just choose life.

virtual hug

Memory Banks Full of Love and Fun

Memory Banks Full of Love and Fun

Parenting is a journey full of trials and wonder. There are times when I’m surprised by my reaction or my kids’ reaction to a certain moment. For example, when my boys who are 5 and almost 7 hopped on the school bus for the first time, I thought “how little they look” I had become so used to their growing independence that this reaction caught me off guard.

Boys catching bus

This moment made me consciously aware of that every moment in your child’s life though may seem small can have significant meaning.

 

When I had my eldest boy I was so excited for him to say his first word and to take his first step because as a first time parent it was a huge milestone. Those milestones I wasn’t in so much of a hurry for when my other kids came along. Anyhow, as my children got older important milestones seem to be fewer and my excitement seemed to lessen, I was unaware of this fact yet the love I have for my kids has not lessened.

Alex and Jase award

There are moments where we’re not exactly thrilled about. When our child has their first public tantrum it can bring feelings of embarrassment and sometimes guilt. There’re probably moments in a tween or teen’s life that does not make us proud; it is something I have yet to experience.

With my kids, so far it feels like up until about 6 years old each age gets worse. My 5 year old can be defiant and/or disobedient to point that I want to tear my hair out. My eldest boy who’s almost 7 can be a big help – when he’s not fighting with his little brother.

My little girl is 2 years old in a few months and has already started with the “two year old” tantrums, though most of the time she is very sweet and easily placated.

Some of the moments that I love, are when my boys are caring towards someone else whether it be to each other, their little sister, another child or on rare occasions an adult. It’s those moments that I cling to when my boys seem to be doing their best to try and kill each other.

Clinging to those good moments, moments of kindness, politeness and empathy can help me feel like I’m actually doing a good job s a parent and up not screwing my kids’ lives up even though I lose my cool sometimes.

Those good moments are the things kids will remember the most as long as those times are the majority and not a rarity. Take every chance you can to build up their memory banks full of love, good times and fun experiences.

Childhood memories

 

Opinions, Expectations and Reality

Opinions, Expectations and Reality

Just before Easter weekend, my youngest boy started school. Before he started I didn’t want him to be expected to have the academic ability that his big brother did when he started school. I let the teacher know that the brothers are different in their abilities.

Alex and Jase award

What I have figured out is that I myself had unknowingly but those expectations on my son even though I’m well aware of their differences.

This has made me think how sometimes as mum’s we compare our children to other children of similar ages and somehow expect them to have the same strengths or are achieving certain milestones at the same time.

If my boys are different in their abilities why would non-related children be the same; yes, sometimes children do progress the same as their peers but more often than not they progress at their own pace. While one child may be chatting up a storm yet they’re not mobile another may be running around yet have limited vocabulary and both situations are fine.

My husband and I love all our kids and are proud of any achievements they make even if it’s a small one compared to the achievements of one of their siblings.

Alex and JaseThere is only 20 months difference between the boys and sometimes that can seem to be a small gap, however the differences in their abilities are immense.

My eldest son Jason is definitely an academic with a strong flair for sports, whereas his brother Alex excels more at puzzles and patterns. Jason is an avid reader and though he is just over 6 and half years old can read books aimed for 8/9 year olds, Alex is slowly getting there in reading, he prefers more to be read to than to read himself.

Jason has a large appetite and always seems to be hungry. His meals can be almost as big as his Dad’s, yet he’s as skinny as a rake. Alex has a smaller appetite but is a bit more solid even though he is also very active; these differences kind of show that appearances are not always what they seem.

In this day and age with Social Media having such a strong presence it’s easy to make snap judgments about some-one else’s parenting practices. It’s very easy to voice our opinions but that doesn’t always mean we should. What we see on Snapchat, Instagram or Facebook is merely a glimpse into a person’s live and very rarely tells the whole story.

As parents we are allowed to bring up our children how we feel is best – irrespective of the opinions of others. If we are truly putting our children in obvious danger then yes in those situations someone should speak up. Though if the reason is just because they do something different to how you do things does not make them bad parents.  For example, if a mum always gives their children nutritious home-cooked meals and another mum may allow their children to have fast-food a few nights a week does make either mum wrong, it makes them different and that they are doing the best they can in this thing called parenting life.Childhood is a journey

Mum Guilt: Sometimes Leads To Over-Reacting and That is Okay

Mum Guilt: Sometimes Leads To Over-Reacting and That is Okay

I haven’t written anything for a while as we had at the time seemed a serious incident where my 20 month old daughter got under her Dad’s feet and he accidently tripped over her, which ended up with me taking her up to the hospital with what turned out to be a Greenstick Fracture to her tibia and fibula in her right leg. Fortunately she was seen almost straight away and was examined and taken in for an x-ray (which she did not like) and a back splint/half cast was put on her leg. She had this on for a week to allow for the swelling to go down. A couple of days after the first back splint was put on it somehow came off which of course meant a frantic morning getting the boys ready and off to school/kindy and then getting her up to the hospital for another back splint.

Rylee pre cast

This all happened a few days before my youngest boy was having his party for his 5th birthday so while prepping for the party I also had to keep an eye on my girl to my sure she was happy and not too mobile. My niece who is a few months older surprisingly was very caring towards Rylee and would often bring her toys or her water bottle. Rylee being a 20 month old toddler wouldn’t stay in one place but on that day didn’t try anything too adventurous.

Hubby felt terrible about the incident and how at the time I said to myself that this would never have happened on my watch. I felt guilty for leaving her with her Dad while I popped down the round to get dinner. The thing is, it was an accident and I shouldn’t have felt guilty because the truth is it could have happened even if I had been there.

While at the hospital I started second-guessing ever leaving ever leaving our girl at home with her Dad in charge. The boys are of an age where for the most part they can entertain themselves so I don’t worry about them as much; though being boys they could still get into mischief.

I didn’t realize how protective of our girl I am – I hadn’t planned to be as I’ve always wanted her to grow up into a strong woman who will stand up for herself if need be and someone who’s not afraid to try anything. A young woman who won’t allow anyone’s opinion to determine what she is or isn’t able to do.

She’s such a bubbly happy little girl and really suits her name, which means ‘Valiant’ and is something I want her to be, somehow though I’m more protective of her than I am of her brothers. Maybe it’s her age and her being so petite I want to protect her more. All I know is after this accident I felt like I would be hesitant to leave her with her Dad in charge; this has not really been the case as a couple weeks down the track now I’ve had to leave her with him but most of the time she’s asleep.

Rylee Pink cast

If I hadn’t left her with him that would have been a bit OTT as he loves her just as much as I do and he felt bad about the whole accident. I think that part of my reaction is that I feel like the responsibility for our children rests more on me, however they are OUR children and we are equally responsible.

Social Awkwardness With A Smile

Social Awkwardness With A Smile

Birthday party

Birthday Party Season for my kids has started and its made me think about my reaction to social situations.

As a kid, social situations seemed easier as I had my mum as a buffer. These days however there are times when I feel like I have to work at being social – especially when the kids are socially adept like their Dad, even my 19 month old daughter seems to have little issue. When Jason was little it sometimes took a while for him to warm up to new people, at Kindy he would mainly play with the same 3 kids. Alex seems to fit in anywhere and has a diverse range of friends.

Looking back to when I was a teenager I was socially awkward and felt out of place; being friendly was never an issue yet making close friends seemed to be. I felt like I was the square peg trying to fit in a round hole, I felt like I was one the edge of my “friends” group and never really a part of the group. Of course it could have been all in my imagination because of low self-esteem, like I was never good enough to fit anywhere.

social awkwardness

Being a mum means that I’m in social settings where I feel out of my comfort zone and there are times when I want to flee from that surrounding – especially when I’m in one of my negative moods. Sometimes it feels within me that I’m meant to act a certain way – yet don’t know what that way is.

 

I’ve always wanted my kids to thrive when it comes to life and that includes socially as well, so from babyhood would take them along to playgroups, music groups etc; even if I didn’t really want to be a part of it myself. It felt like a sacrifice which I’m finding is part of being a parent.

The boys especially seem to make friends easily and Jason will often ask to have a playdate at one friends’ place or another. If I myself feel comfortable around the other kid’s mum I don’t have any problem especially if I don’t need to be there. Yet if I’m unsure about the other kid’s mum I’m a bit hesitant to allow a playdate to occur.

I know I make mistakes socially, say things I shouldn’t or do things I shouldn’t. I will often beat myself up emotionally over what I deem or what I think the other parent things is faux pas in the social setting. Even if I feel like I have a god relationship with another person there will be times when I doubt whether the friendship is real or superficial. I know a lot of this comes from my struggle with self-esteem and often will try to bring myself back to a more positive frame of mind; however it doesn’t always work and the negative thoughts seem to cement themselves.

Most of the time I don’t allow this to bother me, there have been times though that I’ve allowed those thoughts to bother me, I just hope that none of my children ever have this issue.

Reflecting on Words of Condolence

Reflecting on Words of Condolence

images (1)

I have unfortunately lost a few loved ones in my life and one thing I found interesting is the words of consolation that people use. I found that when people were trying to console me after my daughter Zoë was stillborn most likely have been well-meaning but some things weren’t exactly helpful for Rob and I; these things were said maybe out of not knowing exactly what to say which is understandable.

Some of the phrases used were:

  • “She’s with Jesus” – Honestly that didn’t help at the time it was said as I just wanted her with me and it felt unfair that Jesus got to be with my firstborn child when I couldn’t. I believe it now, but in that time of raw and numbing grief all it seemed to do was increase my anger at God.

 

  • “You will have another child” – While for Rob and I this was true the people that said it didn’t really know that for sure. What if we had been like some couples who couldn’t have more children, this particular phrase could have been really hurtful. Another reason this wasn’t exactly helpful was the fact that another child could not/would not replace the baby we had lost.

 

  • “She wasn’t meant to be” – This was said when after she died and when informed some people about what the diagnosis was (one of the reasons we told few people when we knew). This phrase probably upset me the most; if “she wasn’t meant to be” then why did I get pregnant with her in the first place, “if she wasn’t meant to be” then why did I carry her to term when I wasn’t expected to and I ended up needing to be induced.

 

I’m sure that for the most part when these phrases were used they were said with the best of intentions; however even if something is said with the best of intentions it doesn’t always mean it will be helpful. For example when I’m in my darkest of moods I can get upset with someone simply saying “I’m Sorry”. Grief can make a person illogical and take offense at the smallest of things.stages of grief

There are times when the phrase “I can only imagine how you must feel” is used. Truthfully when it comes to losing a child no-one can truly imagine and I wouldn’t want anyone to know what it feels like to lose a child. Even when you’ve lost a child you can’t truly imagine what another person is going through, even if it’s a similar situation their reactions could be different to what your reactions were and everyone acts differently.

I can remember times I’ve said that losing Zoë was like losing a part of myself, yet I have never lost a limb or the use of one in reality don’t know what it’s actually like. I guess I use that phrase to try and get across the awfulness of losing a child – so it’s more a metaphor than a fact.

One more thing that used to get to me after any of my losses was when people would say “they were there for me” It got to a point where I would shrug it off as something people feel they have to say – even subconsciously – the reason being was if I did need someone, I must have asked the wrong people as the ones I asked never seemed to have the time for me or wouldn’t get back to me when they could. This experience unfortunately made we weary about calling on people when I needed someone.

There’s something I also noticed about going through the loss of a loved one is that it’s not just in the first week or so you need support but also in the following weeks after the numbness of grief has passed and reality hits – that’s my experience anyway as there were times when I felt left alone in my grief and didn’t want to be a burden to anyone.

These are only my reflections on looking back over my past experiences so doesn’t necessarily mean I feel alone now.

Have a great day

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