The Petulant Inner Child, The Pain in my…

OK, so I’m just going to continue as if nothing ever happened and I haven’t been gone for absolutely ages, just bear with me :) (I do like a good smiley face, it can say a thousand words…or something).

 
As someone who prides herself on supposedly being a strong woman, I have said as much on here before, it is a difficult thing to finally admit to actually not being OK, not being happy… having a thousand undealt-with issues shrouded in this “I am a strong woman” faux identity. Since we last conversed, I have started seeing a doctor and a therapist and am hopefully on the road to feeling a whole heap better.
 
An interesting concept I am ruminating on this week is this extremely petulant, rebellious and pretty miserable inner child I have lurking inside me who is so bolshy and bossy that she overtakes any attempts at self control or self-care I make. She makes me eat a donut when I don’t even want one, she makes me stay in bed on my lie-in day twice as long as I really want to, she makes all sorts of counter-productive decisions for me which leave me with poor nutrition, bad habits and plenty of self-loathing. 
 
I am working on pausing and having a conversation with her before I make these decisions, on questioning why I am making  the decisions. When I was a kid, even if I was just about to start my homework, if my mum told me to do it or even reminded me gently that it had to be done, I would get angry and I would no longer be able to bring myself to do it. That child is still alive and kicking but hidden behind this facade of mother and wife.
 
Take this scenario, I have some vitamins and fish oil supplements that I need to take twice a day as part of my plan towards feeling better. So the inner dialogue goes like this; “you need to take your supplements now, no f#@ck you, I don’t want to take them, don’t tell me what to do” and I don’t take them. It is beyond ridiculous. I wonder if any of you do this or if it’s just me…
 
More soon I promise.
Here's my inner child, she is wearing an awesome haunted tree t-shirt

Here’s my inner child, she is wearing an awesome haunted tree t-shirt

Creativity and Hyper-Focus

I’ve experienced a return to creativity lately. It began at the end of the summer when I threw myself into the preparations for my daughter’s Harry Potter-themed birthday party. I busied myself making paper bag owls, milk bottle owls, flying keys and banners. My neighbor and I spent many happy hours painting and brainstorming and I was overwhelmed at how much I enjoyed myself. I have also been sewing more, I volunteered to make signs for a recent renaissance carnival at my daughter’s school, I’ve been knitting and finally I am writing again.

One of many things I have learned about  myself this summer is that I tend to hyper focus on things. On mentioning this to my other half, he rolled his eyes, to him it’s a complete no-brainer, “of course you do”. Let me explain…

When I first started writing my blog, it became a complete obsession. Every second of the day I would be thinking about things to write, new design ideas, taking photos, looking for inspiration. I learned how to monetize it in different ways, how to increase readership, I shared ideas and feedback with other writers. I spent hours changing the layout of the blog, i taught myself basic Html, learned how to design functional buttons and banners, all sorts of things. Then all of a sudden, I didn’t know what to write, and I just stopped. For about 5 months I have barely written a word or even checked in on my beloved blog, though it is still very precious to me.

Again when I started sewing, i got into making bunting and just churned them out. I would study different fabric patterns online constantly looking for the best designs. I even got 80% through setting up an Etsy store and decided what I would sell things for. Suddenly my sewing machine wouldn’t work properly so instead of doing anything about it, I stopped dead and didn’t sew for about 3 months.

Recently my husband gave me a kindle and I began reading a lot more. At first I read books that had been recommended to me by my now beloved therapist.  Soon after, I began to read for leisure, but then before I knew it, hyper focus kicked in again, BOOM, in the past ten days, amongst my usual activities of running a busy home, volunteering at my daughter’s school and looking after two young children I have read all 4 of the Twilight saga books, Wuthering Heights and have started Frankenstein and Madame Bovary. I am fully aware of how ridiculous this is and unfortunately it leads to self-loathing as I can’t feel like I have accomplished anything when I know other areas of my life aren’t getting the attention they need.

As a natural reaction to rediscovering my creativity I have begun to miss dance intensely again. This time, now that my tummy has had a whole year to recover from being repaired, I am finally in a place where I can actually pursue it again. I have found a class locally that sounds great but have not taken the extra step to actually attend, and I have also made a date this week to meet with the students from my neighbor’s class so that I can start planning a dance workshop with them in the near future. This is huge for me. If I can pull this off it will be a major step forward as far as self-confidence and escaping inhibition goes. I’ve even found a circus class that I am very excited about, I just don’t know if our budget can stretch to all this.

So that’s where I am. I hope I can manage to balance my loves a little better and to enjoy them without the resulting feelings of self-loathing and selfishness. For now I am  happy to get back into so many things I enjoy so much.

Extreme Trouble-Makers

If you are yet to know the joys of parenthood and have asked yourself what all the fuss is about and if it’s really as hard as parents make out, I’ve been thinking about the little things you may not have considered.

Tonight as I was getting the kids ready for bed I walked into the bathroom to discover my fancy makeup brush had been dipped into a pot of hair gel and then shoved back into my makeup bag so that everything was covered in a sticky mess. It’s those awkward unexpected surprises that makes the more mundane tasks, such as getting the kids in their beds washed and fed, so much more exciting and demanding.

So you have to change your baby’s diaper when you are out and about, not too bad you might think. You find a changing table, undress your darling child, and then discover their poop has squirted out of the back of the diaper and covered them all the way up to their shoulders. As you try to stay calm and start wiping and delicately removing the offending articles of clothing, your child, feeling the cool air on their nether regions, proceeds to pee, washing the poop, the wipes and the clothing into a pool of almost unimaginable poopy mayhem. I’m not making this stuff up.

Perhaps while you are waiting to pick your other half up from work, you allow your small children to play in the car to relieve their boredom. If they find your spare change stash and slot it into your cassette deck, the whole thing might need to be replaced. Replacing a fitted stereo is EXTREMELY expensive. It’s no longer picking up your husband, it’s spending hours trying to get the pennies out in new and imaginative ways, days without the car and never being able to leave any loose change in your car ever again.

Imagine a long haul flight with a child…then imagine there are actually two children…now please imagine you are traveling alone with them. Next I want you to imagine that both of them, after many many hours have finally fallen fast asleep in your lap, aww … little angels, how nice. Now…I want you to imagine that one of them opens her eyes, and a split second later with no warning, vomits at least a liter of very foul-smelling liquid into your lap. Imagine, if you will, that you are wearing a dress and that the dress catches the sick like a bowl between your legs. The sick is also seeping in its warm stealthy way around your backside and is soaking into your underwear. A member of the cabin crew passes you a handful of paper towels with a very troubled and sympathetic look on his face. Your children are both crying. You have to get off the plane with all your stuff, a very sick child, and only half an outfit on, having had no choice but to take the dress off, rinse the rest of your clothes off whilst wearing them in that tiny airplane sink, and put your cardigan on backwards to hide the fact that you are not wearing a top.

You move house, you set up your children with something to do and install your beloved cat in one of the bedrooms, you set up her litter box, her food and her water. When your beautiful, relatively well-behaved 3.5 year old girl asks if she can keep the cat company, you of course say yes. When you go to check on her, you discover she has mixed the kitty litter into the water bowl making a slippery cement which she has then thoroughly pasted all over a chest of drawers, that stuff is extraordinarily hard to clean up. Moving house isn’t just moving house when you do it with kids.

So when you see a friend frazzled from the demands of parenthood and wonder if looking after a cute little baby is really that hard, after all… you miss out on sleep all the time when you go out at night, bear in mind she may have had to change at the last minute because her baby spit up over her shoulder, it may have run down the back of her top, if she was particularly unlucky, it could have made it’s way into her underwear requiring she change every item of clothing except her socks. She may have put her shoes on only to discover food, sand, mud or soap in them. Her babies diaper may have leaked on the way soaking the car seat, she may have had to return home if she didn’t have enough changes of clothes and had to line the seat with a plastic bag till she has a chance to launder the seat cover. Washing a car seat cover is very tedious and time-consuming INDEED.

Parents reading this, I would LOVE to hear about the ridiculous messy situations you have had inflicted on you, it will make me feel less alone 😉

Oh and FYI, even when none of this stuff happens, it’s all-consuming and bloody exhausting, but you do get the privilege of helping these incredible beings achieve their potential, that is the most rewarding and terrifying thing of all.