I Survived my Trip Away

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So, I did it. I spent four days and nights away from #mumlife. It went quicker than I’d like to admit, but it gave me time to think and recharge, something us mums don’t always get time to do. I got to sit down and eat a breakfast out of the house without aggressively throwing half the menu at a tiny dictator in hopes that she’d sit still and let me finish my food. I got to dawdle… That’s right, dawdle. I was in no rush to go or do anything. I got to sleep… well kind of alright my mum snores so it was almost the same amount of broken sleep, and I had ear plugs in. I mean hey we can’t win it all.

The day I left, poor Stuart had to drag Veyda out kicking and screaming because it was past her bed time and we wouldn’t let her keep my mums boarding pass (how mean). Stuart and quote “Looked like I was abducting her”. So, I went upstairs to have a drink to feel better about that tantrum he had to deal with.

Getting on the plane felt surreal, I kept thinking I was forgetting something and then I’d have to remember that I had purposely left my extra 10kg of walking talking carry on in Perth. I didn’t have to attach that stupid infant seat belt and for the first time in almost two years I got to actually enjoy in-flight entertainment without anyone pulling my ear phones out or trying to escape the plane. This just goes to show how much as parents we really do enjoy the simple things, I mean I hadn’t even landed in Adelaide and I was already so relaxed.

We arrived and were greeted by a chauffeur that a friend of my mums had organsied. Is there any other way to be greeted other than a nice drive in a Chrysler to your Airbnb?

We did a wine tour in the Barossa Valley (my first, I’m now an expert in fine wine), and we went and saw Birds of Tokyo and Bon Jovi in concert! Great experiences. I’ve never seen my mum happier.

It got to about day two and I was asking Stuart for Veyda updates and more pictures, and then every toddler I’d see I’d feel a twinge of guilt or just overwhelmingly miss her. I honestly wasn’t sure I’d feel these things, I’m not sure what I thought I’d feel. Stuart kept me up to date with their activities and her poop schedule (I mean what else do you love being updated on?). It’s funny I actually felt excluded at some point, it was so weird, I had FOMO. I loved my quiet mornings, and if I’m honest since being back my first morning I was very intolerant to the noise.

The days just went so quick, sometimes I felt like maybe I wasn’t taking advantage of everything. Then I got this frantic feeling when it was the night before I left, like NOOOO I’M NOT READY I CAN’T LEAVE, DON’T MAKE ME LEAVE! You know? Like fight or flight? Obviously, I had to choose flight. Damn it.

When I got back Veyda wouldn’t kiss or cuddle me, punishing me for leaving her maybe?It bloody hurt my feelings. I felt victimised by a 21 month old. But then we spent an hour and a half at a café snuggling and colouring in and I realized that… She was fine! No permanent damage to her development because I spent four days away. But I swear she had changed so much. Maybe it was just things I didn’t notice because I’m with her all the time.

Since being back I’ve felt more at ease, more loving and more patient. Things I’ve really needed to improve on. It’s not to say I’ll be in this state forever but it’s definitely nice to know I am capable of improving on them. It also goes to show that parents really do need breaks from their day to day life, I think it’s so important. I realized that I’m still a person without Veyda, I’m still funny without her, I’m still me without her, which is something I wasn’t sure I could be anymore. The extended time away was great, I’m not sure I’ll get to do it again anytime soon but it was definitely helpful. Now I’m excited for all the family time we get now that we’re heading into the Christmas period. This will be our first Christmas as a family in our home. I feel a sense of completion, like nothing is missing this year. I didn’t feel it before when I was stuck in my day to day routine, in some way I actually felt ungrateful. I don’t anymore.

Not So Fit, Fitspo Part 2

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When I moved to Perth the first thing I did was join a gym. It had a creche! That was a game changer. I felt so free, I didn’t have to wait for Veyda to fall asleep. I didn’t have to dread looking at my phone in case someone had messaged me telling me to come home because Veyda was awake.

 

Let me just talk about my diet quickly.

 

In all honesty my diet has never been great, I would go from starving myself because I couldn’t be bothered making something, to eating a whole pizza and cheesy garlic bread.

But because I worked out I was and am able to keep a steady weight. It was a wayward deficit I call it. Sometimes I beat myself up about what I could look like if I actually put some effort into my diet, But, then I remind myself that it is OKAY. I’ve considered bikini comps and one day I’d love to just to see what I’m capable of but right now I just don’t think I’m in the right mind set.

 

I started to get bored with just the gym, so when a friend invited me to play netball I couldn’t have been more excited! Something new! I hadn’t played since high school!

 

So now I was gyming most days and playing netball twice a week. I was having so much fun, my diet was still so-so. But still every time I went to the gym or netball it was because I wanted a break from the mum life, I wanted to think about something else other than changing baby, feeding baby, keeping baby happy. Not once did the thought of how many calories I’ve burnt run through my mind as I was going up and down a court. Then I found a pole course with my friend! We do that twice a week and it’s honestly the most fun thing I’ve ever done! I can see how the gym is paying off through my achievements in pole. So, as you can see I’m extremely active! But none of it feels like a chore! It’s productive time away from Veyda, and these days dropping her off to the creche doesn’t always feel like I’m trying to get away from her, I feel more relaxed, plus she loves hanging out with other kids. In the beginning I was desperate for time away because I was drowning in motherhood, but these days I’m not trying to escape her anymore, and I feel better for it.

 

I just want people to see that not all fitness journeys are about weight loss and having an 8 pack, 6 months after giving birth (not that there is anything wrong with that). My fitness journey is about creating a strong mind as well as a strong body. Skinny is out of fashion finally! Being strong in any way, is where it’s at! Strength comes in many forms! Someone who is skinny is not necessarily strong and someone who is bigger is not necessarily unhealthy or weak. This is the difference I want to make clear. Going to the gym every day to lose weight is not everyone’s MO anymore.

 

If you had of spoken to me when I was 15, that would have been a different story. God, I hated myself then. I had no understanding of healthy or fit. I thought running on the treadmill until I couldn’t feel my feet was what I had to do to look like a model. I wouldn’t eat at school because that wasn’t cool.

 

In year 12 there was a shift. Eating healthy became more of a trend, thanks to the wonderful world of Instagram, even going to the gym. My friends started bringing more salads in or sandwiches packed with goodness, slowly we all started to alter our lunches. I’m sure I wasn’t only one that noticed. Looking back, it was quite interesting. Then on weekends we’d all get blind drunk, but that’s another story.

 

Social media can be our best friend or it can be our worst enemy. As a new mum seeing all the celebrities bouncing back or just seeing beautiful made up women looking fabulous after babies can really bring you down if you’re not feeling confident in yourself. It’s completely normal. Our bodies have just changed completely, we look nothing like we did before falling pregnant, so of course we are going to be scared to look in the mirror. But getting to your goal weight or goal body takes so much time! It doesn’t happen overnight, I’m certainly not there. Even the “fitspos” took time to look how they do after babies, but they worked their asses off like everyone else. If you don’t believe me go check out Emily Skye, Revie Jane, Chontel Duncan and Tammy Hembrow, these women all have kids and they’re all a part of the fitness industry. Lipo or tummy tucks do not give you abs, you have to work for those regardless of who you are. I see so many people tearing them down for how they look after kids because it’s not “realistic” I’m tired of seeing it because it’s bull shit. They were working out before falling pregnant, they exercised during their pregnancies, and when they were given the all clear, they started to work out after. They are not exempt from doing everything else others do.

 

I saw a post not long ago of a mum bringing down other mums who were thin or toned after having kids saying that it’s not a real representation of postpartum motherhood. It’s bullshit because no one has the right to say what’s “real” or not for a mother’s postpartum journey.

Whether you’re tall, short, big or small there is no right way to look after babies because let’s face it no one in this world has the exact same body as anyone else. Some people can bounce back with little effort, some people can’t and some people aren’t worried about bouncing back at all because we’ve all just had babies! Don’t ever make someone feel guilty for how they look, because they are on their own journey, and so are you. I know I’m not alone in receiving these comments or looks, which is why I wrote this. No one is any better than anyone else because of how they do or don’t look.

Not So Fit, Fitspo Part 1

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I feel like this has been coming for a while, I keep seeing so many posts and there are so many opinions out there and so much hate around the subject, and I’m prepared to get some interesting comments.

 

Post-partum bodies.

 

What are they meant to look like? Am I too fat? Am I too skinny? What do you and don’t you do? What do you eat? What programs do you follow? How do you get the motivation? Why don’t I look like Kendall Jenner?

 

Over the last 19 months and even when I was pregnant I’ve been called “skinny” and “lucky”.  I’ve come to hate those words.

 

I’ve been made to feel guilty by other women because I’m not bigger and even because I have the time to go to the gym.

 

I have been asked countless times how I did it, what the secret is to bouncing back. Well, I’m about to tell you.

 

Hard work.

 

As people know I keep myself busy, by being active, being in the hospital made me feel so stuck and so lonely that when I left I couldn’t wait to get my body moving. I started walking a week after Veyda was born, not for very long as I was still recovering, but long enough so that I felt free from my confines. When I returned to Para it was just cooling down from the never-ending summers we have up there. So, the mornings were bliss! Since my mum had gone back to work I was stuck in the house all day everyday with nowhere to go (as are most mothers). So, I’d get up, get dressed and walk my 6kms every day. I wasn’t walking to lose weight, I was walking to escape my solitude. I walked so that I could talk to my best friend every day, I walked so that I could breathe fresh air, and occasionally swallow a fly. I breast fed Veyda, so to be honest the walk was the longest period of time that I didn’t have to hold her. It was amazing. I was dropping weight, and I felt better every time I looked in the mirror if I’m honest. I’m not telling you to walk 6kms a day to lose weight. I’m just being honest with how I got to where I am. My soul purpose was to have a freakin’ break.

 

When my walks would end I would make a smoothie bowl or just something light and fruity, purely because I knew it would make me feel good, and I was pretty hot after so I would want something cold. I don’t know if it was because I was breastfeeding or what but I just drank a shit tonne of water. Being in hospital after having Veyda, I had to keep my catheter in for a couple extra days. Know what I did? I drank a soooooo much water because for the first time in 38 weeks I didn’t have to waddle to the toilet after half a sip! It was amaaaazing.

 

As the weather got warmer my walks would dwindle. Did you know it’s possible to get heat stroke at 7am? It is.

 

I had been thinking about getting a gym membership for a while but my confidence would get in the way. I was scared people would look and I would look like an idiot trying to operate the leg press, or get crushed. The thought of walking in by myself scared the shit out of me. So, a friend invited me to go to the gym with her. I was so excited, we had so much fun! She made me feel confident and weights didn’t scare me so much! It wasn’t until I went to the Pink Ribbon dinner that I plucked up the courage to bid on a membership at the silent auction. It was in my price range, and I felt my confidence sky rocket. One thing did put a damper on my excitement… I had two women say to me “What are you bidding for, leave the membership for the people who need it, you’re skinny.” I know they meant it as an innocent joke but of course I took it to heart I’m a sensitive person, what do you want from me? Just because I was skinny didn’t mean I didn’t want to go to the gym and that I was less deserving. I had been walking for months, I wanted to see what I was capable of, I needed more than a walk or the odd gym session that my friend would sneak me in for, I wanted a challenge, I wanted more time to myself. So, of course, I won. Because as people know, I’m competitive as shiiiiit.

 

I would have to wait until Veyda would go to sleep at night, which would be anytime from 630-9pm. I would duck into mum’s room and whisper “She’s asleep, text me if she wakes up.” And off I’d go to the gym. I knew I’d have maybe an hour and a half until Veyda would wake. But I wanted the freedom bad enough that no matter what the time was I went.

 

When I first walked in, it was empty. I felt confident already, and I put my body to work, and I haven’t looked back.

 

I went to the gym to do something for myself, not because I wanted to look a certain way. Sure, I’d see pictures of girls with nice butts and I’d say to myself “Hmm maybe a couple of squats won’t hurt…” (They do by the way, but that booty poppin’) Being able to squat 100kg even for one rep is so empowering! For so long we’ve been told that weights are for men. Well, let me tell you, some women are proving that wrong! I worked out every day, because I LOVED IT! Not once did I feel obligated or like it was a chore. If you feel like working out feels like a chore, then I honestly don’t think you’re doing it for the right reasons. Because you “want to look like Kim Kardashian” is not a good enough reason. I won’t let anyone tell me otherwise. You need to dig a little deeper to find your real source of motivation, otherwise you’re fighting an uphill battle.

A Good Week

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This week has been completely different from the last. I found myself smiling more, reaching out more, planning days out that didn’t feel like burdens. The heavy weight in my chest wasn’t constantly weighing me down. I was able to laugh things off, I didn’t give certain looks or comments from other people a second thought. Not much kept me up.

 

I found myself staring at Veyda for long periods of time, just marveling in her and her personality, the way she stacked her cups or pretended to feed her dolls.  Something I hadn’t found myself doing since she was a baby. I felt excited to be around her and I missed her when we were apart. I felt connected to her again and it’s made me so happy.

 

I’ve started setting goals again, looking into pathways into Uni, mapping out plans for the future. I feel excitement. But I also feel a lot of fear. How long will this feeling last? Will this coming week be an uphill battle again? What’s going to trigger me? Nothing really feels solid for me these days, I could turn a corner and crumble or I could fail miserably and feel joy. I’m not sure why it all has to be so complicated but I suppose it’s all part of the journey.

 

As a family we were able to connect more on the weekend. There were less arguments and things just seemed to flow. It was beautiful. When I have weeks like this it motivates me to keep up with what I am doing, but it can also add pressure, like if I was to have a meltdown because I couldn’t quite get everything I planned on doing, done then I would feel like a failure and lose my momentum. This is something I’m trying to break. I just want to keep on keepin’ on. But farrrr out it’s hard to manage sometimes. But I really need to start calling a win a win. Without adding the “but”. I need to take that win and run with it, stop finding something wrong with everything and accept the imperfection.

 

It’s been a relief to just have a break form being so miserable, I have so much more energy and patience. I feel passionate and loving. I don’t feel so alone at the moment. I’m going to write down some affirmations for the week to come, I need something to remind me to stay positive and take a step back to enjoy. It can feel silly looking at yourself in the mirror and reciting “I am beautiful, I am strong and I am not failing.” But I swear it helps. I am worthy of feeling those three things, so I’m going to continue to remind myself.

 

I am beautiful, I am strong and I am not failing.

 

 

Trying To Keep My Head Above Water

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I thought I could write something every week about my negative experiences and I was hoping I could always end them with something positive, like a realization. But this week I just don’t feel anything positive, I’m not happy.

 

I feel like I’ve stepped into a pool with no shallow end, my ears are under the water, everything seems distant and hard to understand. It takes too much energy to think about ways to get out. I thought after being away on the weekend it would mean having a better week, because I was able to have a break. But that is not the case.

 

I’ve been tired, overly sensitive and just low functioning. I can’t get the washing off the line, I can’t get to the gym. I don’t even want to see other people because the thought of it stops my heart. I’m feeling very isolated.

 

I’m starting to regret my constant façade of happiness because now that I’m so down people think I’m being a bitch, another thing that’s hard to handle. Who has the energy to explain to every person why you can’t give a smile or get through some simple pleasantries. I want to get out of the house but I don’t have the energy to chase Veyda all over a playground. She seems happy enough to do things at home but now there’s more guilt.

 

I had a moment of not feeling worthy, I didn’t want to live I just wanted to cease to exist. I didn’t want to be a mother or a partner. Luckily, I pulled myself from that mindset, and realized my worth. I’m not sure how, I think Veyda reminded me how lucky I am. But feeling worthy doesn’t always fix the feeling. I think I need to look at different avenues. Reevaluate my coping mechanisms. The fact that I’m realizing my struggle is good. I know something is not right within myself so I need to really shift my focus.

 

I took the week off the gym and didn’t get to a pole practice, I only played netball on Monday and I thought it would help me slow down and take a minute, but to be honest I was bored and I had more time to wallow in self-pity. So now I know that my exercise schedule does make a difference, but it’s not fixing the problem. At the time I feel calm and my thoughts are positive, but a few hours after once the serotonin wears off, I’m back to being a sad little shell.

 

My depression and anxiety was at its peak this week and I was scared of who I was. Stuart struggles to understand why I feel this way and I don’t blame him, it’s not something he’s been around. I get so angry at him, yet I don’t try and educate him. Stuart asks me if I need to talk and I always snap a no at him or don’t respond. That right there is part of the problem, how can I expect him to understand if I don’t communicate what’s going on? And trust me it doesn’t make for a happy household when no one is speaking, and the air is full of frustration.

 

So, I’ve set myself some goals this week.

  1. Tell Stuart how I’m feeling and work together to try and make a difference.
  2. Keep to my gym schedule, but don’t overdo it.
  3. Take my mac to get cleaned or something because I‘m sick of my fucking keys jamming because there’s a speck of dust in the way.
  4. Take Veyda on some adventures, despite the hassle it can be to chase her.
  5. Find things I love about myself and don’t focus on the things I hate about myself.

 

 

I just wanted to add an in-depth explanation as to how I was feeling this week, even though I posted on Instagram I just want to be as open as I can. As I saw, there are so many people out there that feel the same, but feel alone because they don’t see anyone else being open. The support I get for being so open is so rewarding and just solidifies the fact that what I’m doing is right and that there is nothing wrong with being open about your struggle. Half of this blog was written at the beginning of the week and half was written at the end. I can really see in the beginning that I saw no end, I saw no solution. Then, towards the end I find some solutions and I see some light at the end of the tunnel. This really shows how different and quickly my mindset changes. It’s interesting to see in writing. It further instils the fact that writing my feelings is an amazing thing to do.

 

 

 

 

Filling My Cup

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We are always told that when we have children we must find some time for ourselves, whether that be something as simple as sitting down with a coffee before the kids get up, watching our favourite show when they go to bed, going to the gym or hanging out with friends. There’s so many things that we can do that can fill our own cups (we need it, we spend all our time filling someone else’s),  but the trouble is finding the right thing sometimes. Another thing people say is, “Say goodbye to your free time!” so you never really know what to do! But when we do get a spare minute we never want to waste it, because then we feel reaaally shit about it. Time to yourself that doesn’t include doing the dishes or washing (unless that’s something you enjoy of course), it’s about doing something that relaxes you, and gives you time to do whatever it is YOU want.

I’ve been on the search for something that really satisfies me, and makes me feel like my time was not wasted, and to be honest it really depends on my day and how I’m feeling. If I’ve had a really stressful day, like Veyda has been in my face and just needing all of me, I feel trapped and I can feel aggressive, so I find venting my anger through netball helps so much. I play WD which means my main role is annoying the shit out of my WA, so for the first time all day I’m in someones else’s face, not the other way around. When I’m feeling insecure and I’m hating my body, I look forward to pole practice because it’s one of a few sports that are incredibly empowering, there is no one body type and everyone is good at something. When I’m feeling like a horrible parent, like I just couldn’t connect with Veyda or I couldn’t give her what she needed, I write. I vent and I try to take all the pressure off my chest, I write to figure out the exact root of my feeling of failure, and sometimes I realise I didn’t fail, I just had to learn something new.

Socialising with friends without Veyda is one thing I didn’t realise how badly I needed until this weekend. I am responsible for a human 24/7 and I am responsible for running a household, the pressure of it can sometimes feel too much. I respect any woman (or man) that gets all their washing dried, folded and put away in less than 12 hours. If no one has told you that you’re doing a great job lately, I’m about to. Taking care of children is hard, making sure your house is clean is hard, trying to get dinner on the table with someone crawling up your leg or pulling everything out of the cupboards is fucking hard! Yes, it’s just daily life as a parent, but just for today don’t down play it. Some days we get on with it, and some days we don’t.  AND THAT IS OKAY!

Taking the time to recharge reminds me to take a step back and enjoy! I felt guilty for using my free time to go drink and hang out without doing something that wasn’t deemed as time wasting. The guilt is real. When I go to the gym, pole or netball the guilt is less because I tell myself that because I’m exercising I’m not wasting time, I’m doing something productive, and I feel like it justifies spending time away from Veyda. But I’m realising it’s okay to not to anything productive with your time, there’s no right or wrong way to spend your time away from your kids. I feel like since realising that in the last 10 hours I’ve felt a pressure being lifted. Of course I’m not going to spend every  minute I have free, drunk, ain’t no body got money for that, but it just means that it’s okay to do so! Take the pressure off of yourself, go take an hour and do whatever you want, even if that’s doing the food shopping alone (I live for that shit).

I’m excited to try a few new things in the near future, my mission is to try to be bit less active, and not throw all of me into something fitness related. This week especially I want to take a bit more time to reflect, a friend of mine actually reminded me to do this and I’m so grateful.

I know not everyone can be as lucky as to spend more than and hour away from their kids every week, and I know I shouldn’t complain because I do SO much but there’s really no right or wrong way to do it. I get judged a bit for being away from Veyda, but in all honesty I don’t care, I’m doing the best that I know how, to stay a float and be a good mother and partner. But like I’ve said before I can’t be a good mother and partner if I’m not good to myself #treatyoself.

So I hope everyone had a great weekend, full of laughs and food! Here’s to a new week with new goals, new challenges, hopefully less guilt and a fuller cup.

Imposter Syndrome

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There’s something I really want to speak about, and that’s imposter syndrome. I’ve only just recently put a name to this feeling and I’m so glad I have more of an explanation. If you don’t know what Imposter Syndrome is, it’s known as a “psychological pattern in which an individual doubts their accomplishments and has a persistent internalised fear as being exposed as a ‘fraud’” (cheers google). But it’s not just that, it’s also being put under pressure to be what everyone else is because that’s the “correct way” to be. It’s something we pick up as preteens and progressively gets worse throughout high school so then we have to go “find ourselves” before Uni starts (if you go to Uni). BUT because of the beautiful universe of social media, it goes beyond the school years, it goes beyond the work environment, because you take it home with you. There are pictures of social media influencers everywhere telling you who to be and what to wear, even what to write. I still fall victim to it, every day. “Follow the herd, or you won’t be heard”, we’re told.

It’s perfectly okay to be sucked in, it’s the world we live in. You can really use it to your advantage if you wanted to. As always, it’s also great to go against the grain and be your truest self, which is what I’m trying to be. I’ve had so many years of trying to be the perfect someone else that I’m not 100% sure who I really am (Cliché as shit, I know). But that takes time and a lot of self-exploration. I think that’s why I do a lot of the things I do, to see if I’m comfortable doing things others might not like or simply don’t do. The blog, pole dancing, opening up about mental health and motherhood. Yes, these are all things people do and speak about, but if you really look at it, it’s not something the majority do. All those things mean putting yourself out there and being vulnerable because it’s not the “norm”. I’m not trying to make a point of being different, I’m just trying to find ways to bring out the real Hayley, and stop trying to seek so much validation from this “imposter” in my head.

Self-doubt is the biggest bully around, in my opinion. Nothing can tear you down quite like you. Ignoring negativity from others is actually quite easy, it’s ignoring that imposter in your head that’s agreeing with them. It’s extremely hard to ignore that. That’s what kept me from doing things. I put off my blog for years because my imposter kept telling me that no one would read or care about what I had to say. I put off trying pole dancing for years because I was scared about what people would say, and I was scared people would think I was copying them, even putting my mental health struggles out there, I was worried that people would think what I have gone through and am still going through is nothing and not worth even a sentence. I was worried people wouldn’t care about my journey as a mother. All of the things that this imposter had told me seemed to ring true.  I used to believe everything it would say, I let it control me. I don’t know what it was that encouraged me to kick my imposters arse, honestly, I have no idea. I think one day I literally said to myself “Fuck this, I’m doing it”. It’s not as easy as that but it helped me take the first step and that’s all you need to beat anything.

Every day I still struggle with Imposter Syndrome, but every day I seem to prove it wrong or do something that invalidates its voice. I’m the one that gives it power, so I just have to keep proving it wrong. I strongly believe it’s the best thing for it. You are your biggest competitor, not someone else. You have to find the strength to tear down the imposter and build a positive and encouraging voice. I know it will take a long time, but to me I think it’s worth it, because what you do is worth it, everything you say and do is worth something. If you can create that strong positive inner voice it will help combat the negativity around you. Whether that be negative people or negative situations.

I was only able to put a name to this feeling thanks to a podcast called “ProBlogger”, even if you don’t blog I’d recommend giving it a listen as it was quite eye opening! Hearing about real people and their success just motivates me to keep going and kick that imposters arse!

I plan on writing more about how I’m building a more positive me through different actions, I’ll be sure to keep you updated. I feel like if this can help me, maybe it could help someone else drowning in negativity. I wish someone had told me a long time a go to not listen to the negative voice in my head, so I’m going to tell you not to listen. If that voice is telling you, you can’t, I’ll tell you that you can. If that voice is telling you that you’re not worthy, well you bet your arse I’m going to tell you that YOU are worthy. Put yourself out there, please. Even if it’s just starting something small, that something small could turn into something big and you’ll be so grateful that you took that first step.

Moti-What?

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MOTIVATION!

Let’s talk motivation. What motivates us to do things? To be who we are? Who motivates us? Do we motivate ourselves?

To say I’ve struggled with motivation would be an understatement. Being unmotivated is probably the thing I’m best at. It’s a super self-sabotaging quality that I have. There’s a beauty to how great I am at being unmotivated. Even writing this I’m thinking of ways to get out of it. But I made this commitment to myself. I’ve given myself deadlines and I must meet them. If I can’t motivate myself to write one bloody blog post a week then where the hell am I going to go in life?

Abso-fuckin-lutley nowhere. That’s where.

This is all part of a bigger picture. Well, that’s what I tell myself.

I feel like motivation and commitment go hand in hand. I’m not sure if anyone else does, but hey this is my blog post.

If we can’t motivate ourselves to commit to things, even as simple as a blog post, how do we expect ourselves to commit to bigger things? Like educational courses, jobs, relationships or even social events. Social events are important guys, don’t ever think they’re not.

In school I struggled with motivation, I didn’t commit to deadlines or group assignments. I was not reliable. It’s not that I wasn’t smart, I’m fairly smart when I actually apply myself, believe it or not. But it seems to take a massive kick up the arse for me to actually find the motivation to start, continue or finish something. Like not being able to graduate, it took me having to repeat a year or potentially not graduating to motivate me to fucking apply myself. I motivated the hell outta myself and graduated with a few awards as well. Plus, a Uni offer. But I look back and think “why the fuck did it take THAT to motivate me?”.

At one point I was homeless (well there were two points) I couldn’t for the life of me get up off my arse and actually plan my future. I was broke, I had no where to live, nothing. All because I wasn’t motivated enough to realise that I was in some deep shit. I couldn’t pull myself out of the hole I was in. A lot of it was to do with my mental health, I couldn’t look beyond the next day. But I look back and think to myself, all I had to do was plan a head, secure myself a job, and I would have avoided all that. I wallowed in that situation for farrr to long. That’s a story for another time.

 

When I DO commit to something I’m all in, some would say I even have an obsessive personality. I have to be the best at whatever it is that I’m doing, I think about it all day everyday. But holy shit if there’s even an inkling that I might fail or I don’t get something right away, I give up. How shit is that? That’s what I’m trying to break here. I’m trying to motivate the motivation. I’m trying to commit to life here. I don’t want to half arse my way through life anymore. I want to commit and enjoy it, I want to find my purpose. Am I destined to be a housewife for the rest of my life? Am I destined to save lives? Am I destined to write a blog about the tiny midgies that obsess over my house plants? I DON’T KNOW! All I do know is, I need to keep finding the motivation to continue otherwise I’m never going to figure out what the hell I want to do. I need to commit to the motivation.

Using excuses like, “Oh I just don’t feel like it”, or “My index finger is a bit crampy today” FUCK THAT, I’m doing it. I can still type with my middle finger. Somedays I don’t feel like being a mum but obviously I still have to do it. I need to be in that same mindset.

Yes, you run into obstacles but the point of those obstacles is to find a way around them and become stronger. The bigger the obstacle the bigger the success is when you get around it. BREAK THROUGH THE BARRIER!

I don’t think anyone understands how big of an achievement this blog piece is. I was moving into that unmotivated mind set, all week I hadn’t even looked at my blog. I felt nothing when I thought of it. Yet when I started planning it, I felt such passion and love for my safe little space. So, to me this is the first step I may need to beating my toxic cycle of giving up. I’m damn proud of this achievement, no matter how small.

Either way an achievement is an achievement, don’t let anyone steal your thunder.

I’ll just be here feeding my motivation for life.

Anxiety

Blog Posts

Over the past year or two I’ve been dealing with anxiety, I would say it was triggered by my pregnancy. Something quite different to what I’m used to feeling. I’ve battled with depression for a long time, I’m used to that deep, hollow feeling. I’m used to feeling so numb and just down that I can’t function. I’m used to just sleeping and sleeping.  But my god anxiety is so different. I can’t sleep, I can’t walk anywhere without freaking out about everything. Are people looking at me? Why are they looking at me? Shit, I forgot my shopping bags, I can’t go back in case someone thinks I’m leaving and wants my parking spot. Thinking about al the coulda’, shoulda’, woulda’s of my past. Lying awake for hours thinking about every conversation I’ve ever had, wondering about what I should have said differently, if I should have said anything at all. Unable to keep friends because I just can’t physically deal with situations, so I just block everyone out and shut down. Absolutely losing myself to a chest crushing feeling. Feeling anxious about if my method of parenting is going to produce an absolute drop kick of an adult. There is so much going on that my mind just feels like the middle of Times Square.

I’m not going to sit here and tell you that I’ve conquered my anxiety, because that would be a lie. I’m not going to sit here and say that I am no longer depressed either. I’m not going to sit here and tell you all the things I’ve done to make it go away, because to be honest not much is working at the moment. I guess this is just me now. Being active has helped to some extent, but mostly it just tires me out enough that I fall asleep quicker than I would if I’d done nothing during the day. Talking about it to another person has made it overwhelming. I cannot physically get everything to come out of my mouth without a lot of blubbering and some snot bubbles.

In the past to try and conquer my depression I had tried medication, healthy eating and psychologists. It was nice to let it all out, and just to cry. It made it manageable. But what I’m finding with anxiety is that I cannot talk. I mean I can talk, obviously. But I cannot let the things that wind me up, out. It sends me into this frenzy and it’s incredibly uncomfortable. So, I tried Hypnotherapy. The first therapy session where I didn’t really have to talk, I just had to tap my finger and listen to a soothing voice. It made me actually sit there and listen to my mind and what it had to say, without talking over the top of it. I learnt to be accountable and I learnt that in some situation’s things were out of my hands and there is nothing I could do to change them. I explored my mind, I was able to sort my emotions which is what I really needed to do, because I just let them run wild. I live an active lifestyle, I play social sports, I go to the gym, I do Pole fit and I do Yoga. It’s a lot, but as I said, it does help me tire myself out, it’s also an outlet, but I’m still not 100% looking after my mind like I should.I think that will come with time. I thought I could just treat my anxiety like I treat my depression, and I held onto that for so long that I was ignoring what my body was trying to tell me. I simply couldn’t treat them the same. Now that I’ve come to terms with that things are a bit better, hence the blog.

This blog is helping me keep track of my thoughts and emotions, the same way people track their food intake I suppose. Of course, this comes with its own set of anxious thoughts. Will anyone read this? Will people pull the piss out of me? Will I fail?

Well.

People have read this, it’s not my problem if people pull the piss, it’s theirs. I started, so I will never fail.

I have always prided myself on being somewhat open with my struggles with my mental health, especially with close friends. But one day I just stopped talking about it, I buried it so deep it started to fester. Not talking about what was going on made me hateful and it made me so bitter. I think it comes back to a comment a friend made.

“It’s not that bad.”

It hit me so hard that even today I don’t want to be open, in case someone says that to me again. That simple sentence made me feel so small, it made my inner struggle seem minute. It was not the first time. In high school when I was at my peak with my struggle, I opened up to my friends. Know what they did? They ignored me. There was no offer of help. Nothing. It brought me back to that moment. So I just didn’t bother her with my problems anymore. I didn’t bother anyone.

Isn’t it funny how things can be traced back to something so seemingly small?

I get told all the time that I’m such a bright and happy person, that I seem so driven. Well in absolute truth, I am not. But society and personal experiences has told me that I should not air my dirty laundry. That when people ask how you are, or if you’re okay, that the only response you should give is “Yes I’m fine, you?”. That in truth they don’t really want to know. I’m so sick of that. When I ask people how they are, I genuinely want to fucking know. I want them to feel like they don’t have to give me a robotic response. I know some people, even myself, say to themselves, “Oh I don’t want to bother laying it all out”, well I can tell you that you should. Because in absolute truth, how can anyone know that you are struggling, if you don’t tell them? We are not mind readers. I know people will go onto say, “Oh but you would know if your friend/family member was depressed/anxious”. Well, no because all it takes is one person to make their situation feel like nothing and the walls go up. It’s fucking dangerous. So please, if someone reaches out, don’t ignore them, don’t tell them that it’s not that bad. Just be there, try to be understanding. Don’t be a dick.

Leading up to writing this my anxiety has been crippling. I’ve been scared to go out in case I run into old friends, I’ve wanted to cancel and hide away. I’ve been struggling to be nurturing towards my daughter. I’ve wanted to just hide away into the darkest parts of my mind. Well, I did. But I just cant do that anymore. Veyda is so innocent and does not deserve to be punished for how I’m feeling, neither does Stuart. But it’s so fucking hard not to project. So I’m working on it. I’m trying to push through it.

I just wanted to be open about how I’m feeling. Because I know I am not alone. I also want people to know that reaching out is scary, but my God it is so worth it. You are worth it.

When you feel so worthless all the time it’s nice to hear that.

Maybe one day I’ll talk about what brought me to all this. But to be honest it’s got so many twists and turns that I think I’d just get lost at this point trying to get it all out.

My biggest goal right now is to not let the coulda’, shoulda’, woulda’s consume me. It is what it is. It’s that simple.

Sleep?

Blog Posts

So we all know that when you first find out that you’re pregnant, the first thing you say goodbye to is, sleep! I know this all too well, I waved sleep off like a 1940’s woman with a sailor as a husband did. With the same doubt, and longing. Would it ever come back? Would it still love me?

Well… My sleep went on an 18 month deployment. Not counting the 6 uncomfortable and restless months I endured when I was pregnant. The first 3 weren’t so bad once I got over the vomiting. I got well acquainted with the toilet, and not in the fun drunken way I was used to. That was my old life.

Everyone said to me, “You better sleep while you can!”, like I could back log all my pre baby sleep…

I would always reply with, “Oh you bet I will!”, with a massive roll of my eyes once I turned away.

I was prepared to be sleepless! In fact, I was going to embrace it! You know what I wasn’t prepared for? The dairy farm exhaustion. You know what I’m talking about right? You know those videos the animal activists post, showing the dairy cows going around and around being milked over and over again! Well… That was me… and that is what I called exhaustion. That was tired! The amount of times I’d smash my body into the door way trying to get to the baby before she reaally woke up was ridiculous! It wasn’t just a physical exhaustion it was mental! Veyda had reflux and the way she would cry still haunts me. She had tongue and lip ties at the time which did not help at all. I thought I knew tired, like the tired you feel after a massive night out. Except with those nights you have hilarious stories to tell! I’d just walk into playgroup and we’d all talk about our almost identical sleepless nights while gulping down our 4th coffees before 9am.

That was solidarity.

I expected all of this, sure it was a different kind of tired, but it was kind of manageable once you reached a state of acceptance. It was when I realised it was never going to end… We hit the 6 month mark and some of my friends were rejoicing in the fact that their babies were sleeping through! They were new people! Their bags had started to fade and they suddenly only needed maybe 2 coffees before 9am! IT WAS OUTRAGEOUS! I was still getting up at least 4 times a night, I was hating breast feeding and I couldn’t get her off! I felt so down, and just down right exhausted. We got her tongue and lip tie lasered, which helped with the reflux, which meant Veyda didn’t have lots of air sitting in her tummy. I was promised it would make her sleep… Nope. Sure, the cries weren’t in pain anymore but she just wanted me in general. All. The. Time.

Pretty soon I just learnt to accept that every baby was different and mine just enjoyed taunting me. I made peace with it. Kind of.

That didn’t last long.

Soon more and more babies were sleeping through. We’d hit the 10 month mark. I was dying. Trust me, 10 months of minimal sleep can feel like 10 years. Veyda was still getting up between 2-5 times. I had called sleep consultants in the middle of the night during my weekly mental breakdown, I had read blogs and books. They all told me the same thing… “They sleep through when they’re ready”. All I could think was, WHY AREN’T YOU READY?! I was even more drained because now she was mobile. I couldn’t just cuddle her all day and nap. I had to chase the little Houdini.

I just accepted that this was going to be my life for the next however long it would take until Veyda moved out. Which I hoped would be the following month. I wasn’t so lucky.

When your  baby doesn’t sleep, you really start to beat yourself up. You blame yourself and think about everything you could have done differently to solve this problem. You cope during the day because you can surround yourself with friends, there’s always someone to call. But it’s as soon as everyone goes to bed that you just feel so damn alone.

When I was living with my mum while Stuart and I were looking for a house, I’d dread when she would go to bed. I’d try and get her to stay up and watch movies with me, but she worked long hours so that didn’t happen. I would cry, every night right after my mum went to bed. Because I was just so petrified of being alone with myself. I knew that I’d have to get up every 2-3 hours by myself. It was those times in the middle of the night when you’d rethink your decision to have a child. Exhaustion is an incredible thing, it can make you feel so many hateful thoughts. I always have so much empathy for mothers with children that don’t sleep, I think about them when they’re getting up for that 2am feed and I hope that they’re okay. No one ever gets as excited for sunlight as a new mother. Because that means soon they won’t be so alone. Night time fucking sucks when you’re a mum.

Eventually it got better. Eventually.

 

Fast forward to 16 months old, and soon 3 out of 7 nights she was sleeping through! It was craziness! Fast forward a couple more weeks and now she sleeps through 85% of the time!

I’M A NEW WOMAN!

Is this what everyone was feeling all those months ago?

This euphoric wonderland that was a full nights sleep, had granted me the patience to not murder my child!

It just took time. I’m lucky it happened, I know people still struggling with their 3 year olds.

I value my sleep so much that I’ve decided to not have anymore children! How great is that?!

Sleep?

Turned into…

Sleep.

I just want people to know that yes, losing sleep sucks and yes we can read all we want about how to and what not to do, but at the end of the day… babies will do what ever the hell they want, so relax… “This too shall pass.”