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.

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.