Tag Archives: Mental Health

A Very Long Break

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I’ve had a super long break from writing anything, and that is mainly because the past few months have been pretty stressful and I’ve not felt like writing at all.  My energy was taken up by just getting out of bed in a morning to face another day.  Things have improved slightly, so I feel like writing a bit again.  Life has been interesting and the results of the last few months are that we are getting our house ready for sale so we can move.  We thought we had found the right house for us which was a new build and would mean it would be easier for us and we would be able to make use of the new Help To Buy scheme in the UK, but  it hasn’t worked out.  It was in the same area as we are now, so I am not sure whether it was the house that was wrong or the location that was wrong.  There are so many reasons we have to move that are affecting my mental health and well-being as well as the more practical/financial reasons.  Here’s a little list:

-The enormous amount of work needing to be done here and the huge amounts of cash the house is swallowing up with problem after problem.  We bought the house as a project, and when it was just the two of us it was fine as we had time to work on it.  Now, with Miss E, it is just not fair to spend all that free time on doing up a house that we always intended on selling on anyway, and we have lost the heart and vision of it with the fact it’s just draining our cash.

-The long commute Mr P has to and from work.  This is a major factor (which is probably why the other house just didn’t work; it may have been a case of right house, wrong location).  As it stands Mr P doesn’t get to see very much of Miss E at all, and she misses and needs daddy input into her life.  It would be nice to have more family time.

-To clear debts.  This house just increases our debts further with all the work and issues we have had to sort that keep mounting up.  We can longer afford to do this, so we need a few years in somewhere that needs minimal work to breathe and just enjoy living again.

-Problems with rats…this is still an ongoing issue (although for now they have left us in peace) and the stress of the last 3 months of rat toture is just too much especially with a little one to think of.

-Issues with neighbours; this is a big one for me as all summer I am trapped in the house due to the obnoxious, bullying behaviour of our neighbours’ 4 children while they are on break.  Yes, children can really cause that much emotional and mental stress to an adult to the point where after 4 years they can’t take anymore of it!  It is unfair to Miss E not to be able to use her garden when she pleases (and she loves her garden), and I can never let her out if they are in for fear of what they might say to her.

So that’s a brief little overview of the last few months and what has been keeping me busy and away from here.  Now, I am just kept busy with things like stripping wallpaper so we can finish the house up and get some buyers in to look around!

Please Forgive Me

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Dearest Daughter,

Recently, I have been doing a lot of soul searching, a lot of praying.  There have been some areas of our relationship that could be better, areas of your behaviour that seem to have been getting progressively worse, and I had no answers as to how to fix them.  There is only one thing to do in such situations and that is to pray for wisdom and understanding.  I realised in these times, that my behaviour and feelings have a huge effect on you.  I learned that I should first look inward to see if there is anything I need to change before expecting you to change or thinking the issues we are facing are in anyway separated from me.  And as I looked inward I saw a lot of stuff that needed to be cleansed from my life, dealt with and shipped out of there.  I saw a woman who was filled with resentment for the terrible pregnancy and the fact it so impeded me from bonding with you, resentment for the ill health for months after that stopped me from doing much more than feeding you and caring for your basic needs again hindering bonding, resentment for the fact that just when it looked like your daddy and me were getting a break from all the stress we had gone through from the start of our marriage and could look at reconnecting the pregnancy came and took that away.

 

I love you with all my heart, I truly do.  There was, however, this huge wall to break down.  Now that I have faced the problem and am tackling it, our days are much smoother, and that crazy behaviour you have always displayed that drove me near insanity?  It’s pretty much gone 🙂  Amazing, huh?  I am so so sorry it has taken me 15 months to sort myself out in the inner self.  I am sorry this resentment has lived in there further blocking us from having a free and open relationship.  I am sorry you have missed out on so much due to the fact I have been so ill.  I am sorry that we did not get to connect while you were on the inside.  I will never understand why things were how they were, but I cannot change the past.  All I can do is ensure the present and future are beautiful as possible.  I can leave that past hurt, frustration and resentment behind, walking through the door that leads us into a more loving, gentler way of being together.

 

Please forgive me for my shortcomings as a woman and as your mother.  Please forgive me for the frustration I threw your way due to the fact I had not taken a long hard look inside my own heart and soul.  Please forgive me.

I love you, little one.  I am thankful for the gift of you in my life.  I am thankful for the changes your presence has caused. I am thankful for your love for me.  I am thankful for the lessons you teach me, and I will strive all my days to be a better mother for you.

 

All my love and sincere apologies,

Mummy xxx

It’s Not All Fun And Games

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While there are many fun, joyous, sweet moments on this journey of motherhood,  there are times when the road is long, the terrain rough and you feel totally unprepared and inadequate at dealing with the role.  I’m not the only one who feels like this, right??  There are those days that just go completely wrong, where tempers flare, tears fall, harsh words spill out, and you want to crawl into a hole never to see daylight again.  You wish there was a way to resign; you wish you had the ability to have a few sick days; you wonder why on earth this child is in your life as you can’t seem to handle them, appease them or understand them.  That’s exactly how I have been feeling.  If you could hear my prayers you would often hear phrases like, “God, you’ve made a big mistake here!” “I’m not cut out to be a mother.”  “You placed this child in the wrong home.” and so on.  For a while now, my health and energy levels have been pretty low.  This leads to low moods where everything just seems so dark and extremely daunting, which triggers my Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome, which leads to further low moods; add to this a screeching, unhappy, will not be settled by anything, clingy, grouchy, needy child and it’s a total recipe for disaster.  Dealing with that further depletes my energy which leads to low moods, and so the vicious circle goes on.  Of course, my low moods have caused Miss E’s behaviour to worsen further which really doesn’t help at all!  I have felt trapped; I have felt frustrated; I have wished for a way out; I have felt distant from my child; I have felt isolated, depressed, angry, sad, guilty, pretty much every emotion there is to feel.

I don’t want to feel this way.  I want to get back to feeling happy, healthy, balanced and to have the energy I need to face the day.  One day last week it all just came to a head and got way too much.  I seriously wanted to just run away from it all as I felt like a total failure.  Alas, as a mother, there is no way out; there is only a way through.  Finding that way can be hard and it can take a while.  I’ve taken a few steps to try and improve our situation, and it has made some difference. There is still a way to go, but our week did get brighter.  I went to bed super early….rest was clearly much in demand by my body, so ensuring I got lots was a huge priority.  MrP made a suggestion that has helped immensely.  Instead of  me feeding Miss E as soon as she wakes up and getting us getting breakfast and getting ready after he has gone to work which resulted in our days getting off to a stressful start, Mr P takes Miss E down for breakfast once she wakes and brings me my breakfast in bed-those moments are a great time to have some peace to gather my thoughts for the day ahead and ask God to help me to keep a clear, focused head and to remain calm and patient (this does not come naturally to me; I was not born blessed in this area).  I then shower and get ready while Mr P sorts Miss E out with her clothes etc.  Once we’re ready she then has a feed from me, and we start our day fully prepared at 7:30ish.  This has really helped to get our days started off on the right foot and sets the tone for a calm and peaceful  time together.

Another thing that Mr P has helped me with is to draw up a daily routine.  I find I need structure to my day and, without it, the whole thing just falls apart.  We flit from one thing to another and never finish anything.  Now with my new routine, it’s amazing how I can fit everything in with less stress (notice I didn’t say zero), but I’ll do a separate post about our routine.  So, I am hopeful that with taking care of my body, my new routine and Mr P’s support I will be better equipped to cope with Miss E and her difficult days as other areas of my life are in order and not adding to the stress pile.  I want to be the calm, under control, peaceful influence in Miss E’s life that she truly deserves.

 

Despite my extremely low moods, we have managed to have some good times this week:

 

Off on a stroll to the library

Off on a stroll to the library

 

A trip to Belton House to meet up with a friend and her little ones-talk therapy with a dear friend is the best!

A trip to Belton House to meet up with a friend and her little ones-talk therapy with a dear friend is the best!

 

 

an outing to White Post Farm with more friends and their little ones

an outing to White Post Farm with more friends and their little ones

What strategies do you use to cope with the not so fun moments of parenting?  Have you got any hints or tips that would be worth sharing?

 

Don’t Make Food An Issue

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Recently, we attended the birthday party of a friend’s child.  We got to the food, and, wow, what chaos!  Granted, the food wasn’t food I would choose to serve like pizza, processed chicken and fish, but there were also veg sticks.  We have always used baby led weaning.  There have been no purees in this house, no forcing food down our daughter’s throat.  We have firmly believed that she knows better than us what her body needs and when it needs it.  She gets offered the same food as we eat.  If she doesn’t want to eat, she doesn’t eat.  It is not unheard of for her to go over 24 hours with just water and breast milk and then start eating again.  Does it make me anxious?  Yes, of course, it does.  I am her mother, and, despite the fact she remains happy without the food, I worry that she’s ill or going to get ill.  But I choose not to force the point or make an issue out of her refusal to eat or project my worry onto her because I know she will eat when she feels the need.  She has never had a screaming fit over food being forced into her because we have always given her control over what goes into her mouth.  We don’t make a deal over how much she chooses to eat.

Here we are at this party, and Miss E was given her food and tucked in right away.  The other kids (many of whom were a lot older than Miss E) screamed and fussed like crazy, parents were shoving them back in their seats saying things like “eat your dinner!”  They were bribing them with ketchup,trying to push the food into their mouths and all sorts just to make them eat.  But nothing doing.  All that was happening was parents getting increasingly frustrated and children starting to associate food with bad memories.  Miss E ate with a very bemused look on her face the whole time.

We want our children to grow up with a healthy association with food.  In order to do that, we need to provide them with nutritious, good quality, well balanced meals and leave the rest up to them.  They will eat when they are hungry, and they will eat as much as they need to eat.  If we don’t leave that decision up to them, we may well be building the foundations for eating disorders and unhealthy eating habits in the future.

Caught In A Downward Spiral

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Life has been particularly stressful over the past few weeks.  There have been plenty of incidents within the family to cause steam to come out of the stress’n’worry-o-meter as it blows its top. From miscarriages(not me personally)to loads of ill relatives being rushed into hospital and wondering how long they are still going to be with us.  Today, my dad is having an extremely risky heart procedure done, which comes with a whole new level of stress and worry.  Add on top of that the fact that teethy, high needs baby is refusing to sleep, refusing any sort of sustenance that is not mummy milk, refusing anyONE that is not mummy and there we have a complete recipe for disaster.  Me: worn out, worried, stressed, uptight, frustrated, and in a very low mood = Baby: worn out, stressed, uptight, frustrated, grouchy, shouting, teary.  And round we go on a endless downward spiral, the two of us, feeding off of each other and escalating this situation at break neck speed.   I try to do nice things for her, for instance, yesterday we went to the park to play on the swings as she loved her first experience of it, but,of course, yesterday swings were not what she wanted and she let me know big time.  So, I end up taking it personally and getting really cross and falling out with a 9 month old because she doesn’t appreciate the nice things I’m trying to incorporate into her day.  The rational part of my brain knows it’s pointless falling out with a 9 month old who doesn’t understand, but, hey, that part isn’t in control right now!  Add to this, 2 hyperactive dogs who seem to know just when to stir up trouble, and long hours of being just the two of us (or 4 counting the dogs) as my husband has such long commutes to and from work, and every day has just been getting a little worse and a little worse.  I feel like I’m on some awful high speed carousel ride that’s spinning round and round with no one at the controls to press the stop button to let me get off and shake this dizzy, nauseated feeling.  I want to take this dear child and hand her over to someone else who I imagine is more capable of caring for her than I am. I want to hand in my resignation letter, except I have no one to hand it in to!  So, we are at a stale mate, she and I,on the battlefield that is strewn with angry feelings, mistrust, confusion, frustration, disillusionment, worry, stress, fear.  Where do we go from here?  How do we get off this crazy ride and start again?  Can we get off this crazy ride to start again, even?  How do we repair the damage done?  How do we rebuild that which has been ruined?  There is no one to press the stop button on this ride, no one, but me.  I started the ride, and I must choose to press the button.  I must make the decision to stop this downward spiral before any more damage is done.  For her sake, for my sake, for my husband’s sake, for everyone’s sake.  But I have no strength left with which to do it on my own.  I’ve been carrying on in my own strength and look where that’s got me.  So what do I do?  The only thing I can do and the only thing that will help………….PRAY.

Lord, I’m choosing to press the stop button on this crazy ride of life.  I’m choosing to stop trying to do it alone.  I’m choosing to admit that I cannot go on without Your help.  I need Your grace, Your strength, Your rest.  I invite You to come now and help us restore our relationship, to bring peace to our hearts and minds, to start loving again as we should love.  And, Lord, please, now that I am choosing to press stop on this downward messy sipiral, keep me away from the start button!!  Amen