Tag Archives: Stress

Fighting feelings; mind over matter.

Storm in a teacup

Before I even begin to write this post, I already feel an element of guilt, concerned by how my words may come across. I even feel bad about thinking these thoughts and sharing them on a public media platform, for others to read and share. However, from the beginning of my blogging journey, I have always been open and honest, accounting each day, each moment as honest as possible. Every emotion, guilty thought or happy time, I write it all down and share this with you no matter how dark, I dig deep into my thoughts and I pour them into my writing when they are fresh and raw in my mind. My thoughts are very real and brutally unforgiving.

You know, I recently became a new Mother, something which came as a surprise and a very big shock to the system. Whoever said that all babies do is eat, sleep and poop lied. There is a grey area in between all of theses stages, an area that is not so simple to define.

Motherhood, its a whole different ball game to anything I’ve ever experienced, there are no rules and it can often be isolating. Yes, a baby is a breath of fresh air but the newborn phase doesn’t last forever and the bubble must burst at some point. With that, a baby can be a slap to the face with the force of a tornado when a storm is already brewing.

Is there ever a good time to fall pregnant and begin a family? Is there ever a good time to say goodbye to our own lives, our own person and to step up and become a Mother?  I for sure have lost some of my old self with this new transition, I don’t recall much of the person I was before ‘Mum’. A part of me will always miss the child free days, the days where I had time and I had personal space. I could do as I would please and had no routine and I was in control. I feel I have ventured into this journey perhaps too soon, there were things I had hoped to achieve, places to see, places to live, before settling to family life.

To admit struggle feels as though admitting defeat. To speak up and hear myself aloud say and write all of the thoughts from my mind, makes the struggle feel very real, makes my thoughts come to life, to be true and not just tucked away in mind. I’m going to get down to it and talk about my struggle with Motherhood and becoming a new Mother working to find a balance that seems non existent, working to fight a battle that seems endless, working to provide what she can’t provide physically or mentally. To be there not just for her baby, but for herself and her partner. Fighting the good fight against a healthy mind and wellbeing, if there is such a thing as a good fight. I struggle to know how I should feel or what I should feel.

When I discovered that I was pregnant in January 2017, I cried. Not tears of happiness, tears of fear, of unwillingness. I was not yet ready to be a Mother, my relationship was new, could it withstand a baby? I had high aspects and prospects for myself, I wanted to achieve and create but with the discovery of a baby on the way, I had to put on hold everything I wanted for myself, to try to be less selfish and more patient with my body and to wave goodbye to parts of me that now seem so distant. I was afraid, but I was optimistic and open to the idea of a baby. Family is everything right? A baby is all sunshine and rainbows… right?

To become a Mother and take those first steps into family life is one of the most powerful things that we can do. To create life, to raise young , to love and to nurture. It’s almost what is expected when two people come together in union, it is only a matter of time before we procreate. I can only wish that I had more control with when that time would be. I wasn’t ready, I still don’t feel ready and fear I never will be. I was barely finding my feet, how can I be expected to guide my Daughter to find her path?

Becoming a Mother has changed me in ways I can’t describe, not all good. I have become reborn as a lesser version of myself in some ways. I feel deprived of social interaction, I feel a great deal of isolation and loneliness and I no longer resemble myself in the mirror, I no longer even like to look in the mirror. With this, there is the counter argument, I may be a less version of myself but I have never been able to love as I do now, I see beauty in things I hadn’t previously and I have learned that the little things in life, have the biggest meanings. My baby has taught me how to feel and Motherhood has/is a whirlwind of emotions,skyscraping highs and rock bottom lows.

I find flaws with myself more than ever now, flaws that are much planted much deeper than the surface. This may be because I am set to lead by example and want to lead the best example I can but I fear that I will never feel good enough, not within myself or as a Mother. There will always be someone who can do it better. I shouldn’t compete with anyone but myself, I know this but from time to time, Motherhood and my lack of self awareness can all get on top of my mind, especially on those days that have been particulary testing. I should be kinder to myself, I know this . I hope that I am a good Mother, a good friend, and  lover.

I felt very alone during my time of pregnancy often, this is something which hasn’t changed, I guess it is part of my reasoning to blog, to find a community of my own and to connect. Loneliness can be quite harrowing, it brings with it a great deal of anxieties and worry. It’s not all magic and rainbows that surround a new born and Motherhood is tough. I’d say I find it very tough, especially in my situation..an introvert with a lack of social skills, and a great deal of OCD and horrific mood swings. With Motherhood there are feelings of worry, of isolation, of fear, defeat..they take over and consume my mind. The highs and the lows, I go through it all, every day.

My baby is not exactly a breeze to care for. Eleanor cries, relentlessly. She is a breastfed baby who will not take a bottle, who seldom gives me a break and cannot be left alone for screaming. I have to co sleep as I have previously shared.  This is not something which bothers me greatly as at least this way we all get a nights sleep, but it does affect my relationship and I miss having the closeness of sleeping next to Euan. Often, we are left on the outskirts of the bed as Eleanor stretches out in the middle. Talk about a bum deal.

This may seem funny, but please understand that I must take Eleanor to bed for 10pm each night, week night? Weekend? Yep, EVERY NIGHT , wether I’m tired or not, wether I’m busy or not. I have to retire early and can’t stay up to watch a show or have a mini date night with Euan. Co sleeping and breastfeeding have left me robbed of alone time with my partner. I know that I may be at fault of this, my decision to breastfeed at the beginning meant I had to be next to Eleanor, she fed compulsively and to catch any sleep at all, I would have to take her to bed next to me and sleep while she fed for comfort.

To battle with a screaming baby who only wanted comfort from feeding at all hours of the night with severe sleep deprivation was just not plausible and I had to take the easy way out, or in my case, the only way out.I too have to function daily to provide the best care for my baby that I can, to do so, I must rest. I will never feel guilty about my decision to breastfeed or co sleep as it was the option available to myself and the best one at the time, I do have regrets and would have liked to do things differently, get better habits in place, sure, but I don’t have guilt.

When you lack time for affection with your partner it can cause strain, and you do tend to forget about one another when a baby is thrown into the mix..not literally. Tensions arise and bickering occurs. It is tough to get the right balance and share time together as well as with Eleanor. Our relationship is on the back burner for now, we are more like colleagues just trying to get the days work done, than we are lovers. We are passing ships, it is sad and the reality does hurt. I miss my partner and I miss the alone time that we have previously shared. I can’t help but fault Motherhood for taking away precious time that I could have  with my partner. I do wonder if we had waited, got pregnant at a later stage, if I didn’t breastfeed, would we have had a happier baby and a healthier relationship?

Please note that I feel guilty that I think about this and I know that had I got pregnant later, there would be no Eleanor , I can’t see life without her. My little fireball of strength and emotion so pure. My Daughter has brought me life and a reason to be better, I feel guilty that I ever want to have a little alone time without her. She is mine and she deserves nothing shy of my best, my full attention. Some days, I feel I don’t have this to give and that can hurt.

Motherhood isn’t to be taken light, there are worries, there are boundaries that get crossed, the stress..the social anxiety that I have developed.. It can all get too much and there are days I don’t even want to get up and face the world never mind the list of chores to catch up with (seems to grow over night!. They don’t call Motherhood a full time job for nothing,.. if only it came with a salary. I can’t face the outdoors alone most of the time lately, a trip to the shop can feel like climbing Ben Nevis when Eleanor is in her Pram screaming blue murder and passers by or fellow shoppers pass looks my way. This happens often, most of the time if I am alone, I choose to stay indoors to avoid the blood pressure hike. I choose to settle and admit defeat. Can you believe I am twenty five years of age and a baby is ruling my life? Not something I thought I would ever be contemplating at this stage. I miss the freedom that I once had.

There are days that I don’t want to have to sit and try to play or entertain my baby when I lack the energy to do so. Okay, that’s a lie, I love to play and interact with Eleanor..but there are days when I just can’t do it. I don’t have the energy and I can find myself sitting in the floor just staring blankly into space as my baby lays on her change mat trying to catch my attention, some times with tears rolling. I sit and feel nothing in a trance like state, completely numb to the sounds or any sort of feelings. I ask myself what is wrong with me, how can I not be bothered? I snap out of my trance and rush to grab her as the guilt washes over me. How could I ignore her? I scoop her up and give her endless cuddles and know that she is mine and I am OK.

I know just how fortunate that I am to have been gifted with my girl, my beautiful, fiery girl, the girl with a hot temper and full of charisma. The girl with the smile I will always look for in a room first. I know how much love and hope that she has brought my way. Believe me, I know.. the sparkle in her eyes when she catches a glimpse of me could reduce me to tears some days. The smile she pulls each morning she awakes next to me. Each day she teaches me to love a little more, to be a little kinder and to grow more patient.

Each day I am thankful for this little spark of life that I carried and grew, this little soul that I can love and nurture to my best efforts, this little girl who has stolen my heart and taught me more than anyone ever could in such a short period of time. Each day, I wonder how I can feel so empty from time to time yet be surrounded by so much love? I struggle to know how am I supposed to feel right now, some days I feel everything, others there is nothing and I wonder if I am doing this whole existing thing well.

I wonder if I ever will find the pure magic of Motherhood, if I will ever be able to have and hold it all together as some do and I wonder if I will ever be able to feel truly at peace and comfort as a Mother. I hope that as time passes I will become more at ease with myself and my abilities. I know that I am a good Mother, I know my baby is loved and healthy, she is happy, nurtured and safe.

Honestly, you couldn’t find a baby more loved, it surrounds her and if I could, I would like to keep that love with her throughout her whole life. I want for her to be protected and sheltered, forever safe in a bubble of love. To never feel pain, loss or hurt..yes Motherhood brings with it a fierce need to protect and believe me, I will protect my baby for the rest of my life with all my might, it is my job and a privilege to be able to do so.

I just fear that with having to give so much of myself away to my baby, to others, to searching and finding a whole balance that seems unsustainable I will have nothing left to call my own. Nothing left of myself for myself but an empty and broken shell.  Those empty thoughts, empty feelings will take over and consume me and my mind will be swallowed whole, only functioning on a form of auto pilot with no real thoughts or feelings left to give or to hold sacred as my own.

Some days, some days where I am a tired, anxious and a broken shell of myself, I feel that I have lost everything. I feel that Motherhood came all too soon and with it took parts of myself that I fight to find. The feeling of emptiness and loneliness are feelings that I have to fight. A battle with my mind and a sanity that is on edge.

No, Motherhood has not brought me everything that is magic, Motherhood is so much more than I could have ever imagined and it is more powerful than anything I will ever experience. The emotions are raw, the exhaustion is real and the task of raising young and supporting a family is tedious. The want to do better is constant, the feeling of judgement is ongoing and the fear of doing wrong, of simply failing is all too real. Motherhood brings not just happiness and sunshine, it can bring a bitter pill to swallow and a new reality.

Motherhood has brought with it pain, it has brought worry and it has brought defeat but it has also brought a determination to do better, to be better. Motherhood is a force not to reckon with and so long as I can put up a good fight, I think that I can overcome consuming thoughts and find my happy place between all the chaos and mess. I’m fighting the daily fight for me, for my baby, for my family.

Babies first… Mother’s Day weekend.

Can you believe the time of year already? I am shocked at how rapidly time is passing with this new year, as we enter those Spring months. I haven’t seen much of Spring yet, though.

Snow, rain, sleet, wind..yep..the Beast from the East got that lot covered but no hints of Spring which is a little disappointing. Here is hoping that the flowers begin to bloom and everything starts to become a little brighter. I’m so ready to be over with the Winter, to pack away the heavy duty clothing and to see the World come to life once more. I’m ready to regain the spring in my step and to watch the lambs bound around the fields nearby.

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March marks the month of Mother’s Day, an occasion that is celebrated all around the World and for good reason. March brings with it my little Sisters birthday, Females all around celebrate International Women’s day. but most importantly, March also brings to us Mothers, Mothers day. May we celebrate the women in our lives, praise our Mother’s and feel a sense of pride as we Mother our own young. March is the month of girl power, for sure. An incredible month for celebrating strong women all around.

This year round, I had the privilege to celebrate my first Mothering Sunday which I will share the details of with you. My little bebe is now six months old and in her short time with us, I’ve never felt happier. Eleanor was meant to be mine and brings with her a daring amount of responsibility. She is a privelige to Mother no matter how tough some days can be.

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My journey into Motherhood has not been easy, I’ll never deny just how tough I’ve found this time. I had a difficult labour, the cluster feeding left me feeling drained, we’ve had the crushing effects of colic and reflux, a needy baby who wants to be held and will not sleep alone or even be left in the care of anyone other than myself without a drama. I battle with a feisty, breast fed baby every day who refuses a bottle point blank and screams each time I put her down or into her stroller. I can’t get a out alone often as it’s not worth the battle or the cries that do not end, it beings too much stress.

I have to go to bed at 10pm each night wether I like it or not. I cannot watch any movies or cuddle up with Euan, I have to lay in bed awake and nurse Eleanor to sleep. I could stay up, but she will scream, it doesn’t stop. Don’t even mention control crying, we have tried and I can assure you, there is nothing controlled about it.

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My little Eleanor, my Snugs, is full of personality, full of strength, full of temper, charisma and might. Each day with her, I learn more about myself than I could ever imagine. My baby girl has taught me true love, she’s taught me patience, she’s taught me a sense of compassion and flexibility. She’s taught me how strong I can be and how amazing the human body is. Not only do I teach her, but she teaches me.

I couldn’t be more honoured or grateful to be Mother to such a strong willed little girl. It is an exceptional privilege to hold her, to nurse her, to love her and to see the love and the pureness in her eyes as she looks at me. I only wish I could see the world through her eyes.

To watch her grow will be a whole new level of amazement and I’m sure there will be many challenges to come. After six months of playing Mum, I am now confident within my Patenting abilities (to an extent) and I know that as a family we can over come any challenge together and move forward through each stage.

It’s been a busy weekend celebrating and I can finally catch a break to have a coffee and write a post. On Saturday, I headed out with the females of the family for an afternoon tea to ring in my sister’s birthday. Saturday was pouring of rain and cold, I was dropped off by Euan and I met with my Mum, Sister, Aunt and Cousin at the City centre and we then headed off to the chosen venue for our tea and a catch up. Euan went to the cinema as he waited for us to finish and got us back home after. Eleanor was with me also, though sleeping in her stroller.. this didn’t last ten minutes once we got to our seats.

We went to the Carmelite.. our Wedding reception venue, only I didn’t make the call to go here, it was my Sister’s choice. The hotel was busy with parties of Women and families, I assume celebrating Mother’s Day. The table we were placed at was rounded and made for easy communication. The tea/coffee was served promptly and we all dined on a variety of sandwiches, cakes and scones. Lush.

I had a veggie option and had tomato sandwiches, a small mug of soup and snacked on the sweet treats. The variety on display was great and we all had plenty to choose from. My Sister had a great time and that was the main thing, it was her day after all. Eleanor was a grouch, mot untypical of her right now with an ear infection and teething. Nothing would settle her when she became feisty and tired, not even a feed. I had to call it quits and leave a little early.

Though most of my time was spent trying to entertain Eleanor and stressing over her cries, I still had a lovely time and it was good to catch up in a setting away from home.Besides, I am a sucker for an afternoon tea.If you haven’t already guessed, coffee and cake is my kryptonite.

Come Sunday, I woke in a great mood next to my two best friends in the World. Happy Mothers day to me! We had morning cuddles and took it easy before heading out for a latte to kick start the day. The sun was shining so we grabbed our dog Fern too who happily obliged to come along for the walk. I do love a slow paced morning where there is no rush and no plans to commit too. Just me and my family against the World.

We got back from the trip and spent the afternoon doing chores while working through a Wedding song playlist which we have created for the day. We will have no DJ or live band but can play music from our own device freely. With the wedding just months away, we decided to get going and create the playlist to have ready and adapt if necessary.

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Late afternoon, we headed  to Tesco to grab flowers before going up to my Mum’s house for a second birthday tea. Only, I left empty handed as the shelves were stripped of any flowers. There was nothing left, it’s a good job that I had already gifted my Mum with a print or she may have been saddened by this outcome. At Mums we had a full table of snacks and goodies, Mum always goes all out on a Birthday, no matter what age,

This time there was a huge cake for the taking. Homemade carrot cake? Don’t mind if I do!! We all tucked in to juice, snacks, pizza, egg rolls.. you name it. I’ve definitely gained the lbs this weekend. Thank god for breastfeeding and the magic calories it burns, otherwise I’d not be able to maintain a slim frame. Eleanor played in her bouncer that was set up and was happy to be passed around for cuddles..until she became grizzly and wanted nothing more than milk..typical. My Grandad had a hold of her and she burst into tears! Drama Queen.

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Heading home we left with a full tummy, a full heart and an even fuller bag of goodies that was packed up for us, courtesy of Mum (a serial feeder). I always love to spend time at Mum’s with my Brothers and Sister, it brings a sense of nostalgia and I always feel at home, it is as though I had never left. It is comforting for me to be back in my comfort zone and childhood hang out, only in very different circumstances. I love to see my Family with Eleanor and interacting with her as she grows, the more that I age and grow, the more precious I believe family to be.

Back home, we created the last of our playlist and had a brief listen before I went off to bed with my baby for a big sleep. A weekend well spent brings a week of content. I have had a superb, family packed weekend where I was certainly not shy of love. A truly great first Mothers Day and I look forward to many more years just like this, if not better.

 

Keren x

 

Learning to be thankful and lead a minimal lifestyle.

I will be the first to admit that I’m very used to getting my own way and getting the things I want. A lifestyle that tough to maintain and keep track of online orders. Lately, with a whole new family life, a rather large wage cut and a whole lot to pay out for, (ahem, adult life) it has made me start to change my ways, my habits and begin to live as quite the minimalist. A change of tune you could say.

I was never privelaged by no means. However, growing up, I was always provided for and gifted treats and shopping days. Nothing lavish, but enough to keep a gal satisfied. I had a whole lot more than some but always wanted more. When I turned 16 and began to work, I made my own money and got used to having little ties, a monthly income and weekly treats.

My shopping habits increased from odd treats here and there to weekly packages from Topshop. I didn’t care, I had no concept of adult life, bills, the cost of living etc. I took much for granted and lived reckless. Nights out, consuming too much alcohol, shopping sprees, cigarettes. You name it.

I dread to think of what i could have saved had I been more aware of the daily cost to survive in this climate and been less greedy. It was all too easy and made for temporary bouts of happiness. There is nothing that a new pair of shoes can’t fix, right?

Wrong. Since moving from home and beginning my own chapter in life, I have come to realise that the shoes in my closet don’t Infact bring any element of happiness. If anything, they are a danger hazard as they collapse from the wardrobe on a daily basis.

I suppose what I am getting at, is that I now realise how foolish I was to have such ludicrous spending sprees. No material will find you happiness, something I have soon discovered. Happiness comes from the heart, feeling good and a sense of well being. I’m trying to be more grateful of what I have, than cry over what i don’t have. I still have the ability to buy treats but I don’t necessarily have a need for treats any more. A blue sky and a dose of fresh air can provide so much more thought provoking feelings than any material item may bring.

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Treats are my family: My baby girl, my fiance. The life we build together surrounds me with hope and joy. Five years from now, I don’t know where we will be, I know we will have to work damned hard to get there and to live cautiously for some time in the process and I am OK with that…That is of course that I don’t fall victim to a shoe collapse and rot under a pile of black boots and Nike.

In all honesty, learning to be more frugal is a bit of a struggle. I am very used to having my own funds to spend freely. I have gone from daily shopping and trips to the store for some goodies to returning items to the shelf, making cuts where I can in weekly shops and letting online shopping baskets remain filled with items now “out of stock”

I miss the freedom of having no ties with money and having a lifestyle where I could get away with being a little lavish, treating others. Now, as a parent and a wife to be, there are more important parts of my life than shopping. Cutting past habits is tough and feeling the strain and the stress of money is tough.

Im working to find a better health and well being, a better balance and a stronger version of myself. So long as my baby is always provided for, my partner is happy, I shall be happy.

It is funny. Life really does change you when you become a parent. Everything is seem so differently. Worries grow, your mind works around the clock, you get by on a lack of sleep but most of all, your heart grows and you grow with it. My daughter has brought so much happiness and given so much purpose. I suddenly feel everything and every emotion.

I am most absolute in love, not just with Eleanor, but with Euan, with life. I am in love with our future plans,the idea of more babies, the thought of a new home, a new City. Life, there is so much on offer.

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As a child, I would always wonder why my Mother would always treat my siblings and I but never dare splash out on herself, now that I am a Mother, my perspectives have changed and my motives of happiness differ, I can understand why my Mother never put herself first. She was a Mother and a child’s happiness is what brings  happiness all around.

Today, I feel thankful.