Tag Archives: Stress

Messy

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One thing I am learning and becoming all too aware of as my daughter grows is that motherhood is messy.  It’s messy in a literal, physical sense where there are always sticky hand prints around, or toys in the wrong places, or mud trekked in through the house via the soles of little shoes.  I am ok with that side of messy.  Yeah, I have to clean up the same thing a gazillion times, but still, I can cope with that.

There’s the other side of motherhood that’s messy though and not so easily cleaned up-the emotional side.  Ever get those days when everyone just falls apart?  Voices rise, tears fall, harsh words come gushing out, doors slam.  The mess is nasty, and hard to sort through.  It puts cracks in relationships, builds barriers and everything is stressful.

We have had so many of these messy days lately.  Developmental changes have brought new challenges for both of us as we try and figure out how to live harmoniously with each other, with our needs and our personalities.  Miss E has been fashioned by God’s good hand into a very independent and strong character.  All the qualities that are such a difficulty for me right now as her mother, will, one day, stand her in good stead as she ventures off into the world alone.  But it’s getting from here to that point that is proving difficult.  It’s a fine balancing act and a skilled dance as we figure this whole thing out together, and often we get it all wrong.  We fail to understand each other.  We fail to communicate with each other in loving ways.  We fail to choose loving reactions.  Yesterday was one such messy day.

On these messy days, I am thankful for two gifts:  GRACE.  Grace to try again.  Grace to start anew.  Grace to change.   Rich, abundant grace.  Where would we be without it?  NATURE.  Our happy place.  A therapy for the soul.  A place we can go together to ease the stresses and rediscover our way on this journey.  There is colour therapy given via the flowers and the greenery, music therapy from bird song, the wind, water passing by, raindrops falling.  There is peace, time to reflect, time to reconnect.  Grace and nature: our balm to soothe away the strife.  How do you cope with the messy days of parenting?  How do you reconnect with your child?IMAG0604

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!

My Spa Hotel Break

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Recently, we have had a lot of stress and it has been taking its toll on my health.  I am struggling to sleep due to the stress, hearing rats running about overhead in the middle of the night(yes, folks, they are still here, but the problem does not lie with us we have found out) and also a bad infection in a wisdom tooth.  Miss E has also been struggling to sleep as some more of her teeth are coming through.  This has meant that time in the evenings for unwinding was taken over with entertaining her.  So I was struggling to cope with that as well…being an introvert I need space to recharge.  Mr P had mentioned booking me into a hotel for a night so that I could get an undisturbed night of rest.

Finally this week, I decided this would be a very good idea indeed!  I then took very ill Thursday/Friday after a homeopathic treatment sending my body into a healing crisis, so we didn’t book anywhere in the end.  The plan was to see how I was on Saturday and book in somewhere in the afternoon.  I had a lovely full body massage around midday, yesterday.  I used to go and see this lady quite often a few years ago, and then stopped, but due to the amount of tension in my body, we felt it was time to see her again.  After that we all went and had lunch at Pizza Hut.  BY the time we got home, I was so tired and relaxed from my massage I couldn’t even have thought of packing and bag and getting to a hotel.  Mr P suggested it wait until another time, but he would sort the room out so I could spend a nice evening relaxing in our bedroom instead.

This is what I ended up with instead:

Keycard for my "hotel" room....he's so creative :)

Keycard for my “hotel” room….he’s so creative 🙂

 

lots and lots of candles

lots and lots of candles

 

There was also a room service menu, and of course I had to make use of that 🙂  I had a lovely evening continuing to unwind, crocheting, reading etc.  I fell into a deep slumber and for the first time in many, many, many months I didn’t even hear Miss E wake up.  In fact, I am so relaxed I’ve been having to fight falling asleep again all day since getting up. 🙂  Many thanks to Mr P.  I think I may have to book in for a spa break at this hotel again in future. 🙂

 

 

Time To Call It A Day?

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Well, before we left one of the cats I was caring for ran off the first day I took over their care which was rather stressful.  On Tuesday, I took over caring for another cat, my all time favourite.  Usually, this goes without a hitch.  I’ve never had any issues with him, and, after the stress of my last charges, I was looking forward to an easy time of it.  Alas, it has not been so.  The cat has had a poorly tummy.  Thinking this was due to some of his treats, I stopped these, but it hasn’t helped.  I decided it was time to let his owner know.  She had me call the vet this evening and now I have to take him in the morning as he may need antibiotics.  Since starting pet sitting at the beginning of 2011, I have never ever had to take any of my furry friends to their vets.  So this is a first.  I am wondering how I am going to deal with a cat who hates to be in a cat basket and at the vet along with a toddler.  This has got me wondering if it’s time to give up pet sitting entirely.  It was fine before becoming a mummy as I had all the time in the world, could stay late, go at any time of the day etc to deal with the pets.  Now, my main priority is Miss E and the past two jobs I’ve had on have caused more stress than I need.  I shouldn’t have to drive around housing estates and worry about a missing cat, and I don’t really have the same freedom any more to be running to a vets with someone’s pet.  The extra pocket money is nice, but I’m beginning to wonder if it’s worth it.  So, I guess I have some soul searching to do and some praying as well.  Maybe this is God’s way of telling me it’s time to call it a day….

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As her analyst had told her: the deeper buried the distress, the further into the body it went.  The digestive system was about as far as it could go.

~Richard Matheson~

Thoughtful Thursdays

A Week To Forget

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This has been a bad week, a very bad week for many reasons!  The week starts on Saturday past.  When I left teaching, I started up my own pet sitting business which was going well and it also funded my reflexology studies.  Since having my daughter, I have cut way back and don’t take on any new clients, but I still do the odd week here and there for clients I already had previously.  So, Saturday saw the start of me looking after 4 cats and a rabbit.

When I went to get the keys etc I was told that one cat I had looked after before had died and had been replaced by a new cat.  The cat was brought in so I could see it.  As it turns out, it was to be one of the only glimpses I got of her!  On Saturday morning, I got to the house and couldn’t get in.  I turned the key, pushed down on the handle…nothing.  I wiggled and jiggled the door this way and that…still nothing.  It was as if there were locks on the inside stopping it from opening, which I knew wasn’t the case.  Mr P assumed there was some knack I clearly didn’t know and he’d be able to get in.  So an hour later with Miss E in tow we went back again.  He couldn’t get in either.  The panic that welled up inside as 4 hungry looking cats peered back at me wanting fed and wanting to get out.  A neighbour was in his garden and asked if we wanted help, after a few minutes, somehow he got the door open, not even he knew how.  At least we were in!  Thankfully, there is a gated to access the back, so I have since been using the patio door key to let myself in and going out the front door…yep, it works fine on the other side!

So, we’re in.  All cats are meowing but the new one is going totally mental.  At first, I thought she was playing, but then I realised she was absolutely terrified.  Every room we both found ourselves in she was clambouring at everything to get away from me even climbing up the kitchen blinds.  As soon as I opened the back door to let them out, that cat was off like a rocket.  Silly me, thought she would be back that evening, but oh no.  Repeated checks turned up nothing til after 11pm when she dashed off yet again.  She was not seen again until Monday morning when I opened the back door to go feed the rabbit and she almost came in until she saw it was me and she took off yet again.  She has not been seen since despite repeated callings, drives round the neighbourhood, later night trips back to see if she’s returned.  No sign of her.  So this is a major stress and oh how I wish I got paid for overtime!

The major underlying stress is a trip we are taking to allow Miss E to meet all her relatives on my side of the family.  She has yet to meet any besides my parents and brother who all live here in England.  So tomorrow we shall be catching the ferry.  Im not looking forward to the travel time, the sleeping on a ferry, the dealing with a toddler who does not want to go visiting lots of strangers all day and ends up having repeated meltdowns out of boredom and frustration.  Oh the joys I am imagining!  Add to this that Miss E’s body has decided now would be a good time for her to ramp up the teething process again, so cue bad sleeping, clingy fussy baby and it’s a good recipe for disaster.

We planned our trip to coincide with a wedding which we were invited to.  Since losing loads of weight being on the anti candida diet, all my lovely dresses no longer fit me.  I had eyed up some dresses to match a pair of shoes I have already, but then discovered that a friend of ours was setting up her own sewing business making bunting, cushions etc and also doing alterations.  Great!  No need to buy a new dress.  I had the perfect dress already in the closet; it just needed a little nip and tuck here and there.  I took a few skirts and the dress round and was told they would be ready at the end of the following week.  Two weeks later, still nothing and no word.  More time passes and I am getting anxious!!  I fiiiiiiiiiinally get them back.  The skirts fit fine, so I didn’t try the dress on until last night (remember we travel Friday).  MAJOR< MAJOR mistake!!  I could barely get into the dress, and there was NO way that dress was zipping up.  It was snug when she pinned it and I asked her to loosen it then!  And as well as that it wasn’t straight anymore.  Needless to say the dress is no longer fit for purpose even if I could squeeze into it!   Cue mild cardiac arrest at 10pm last night.  Time to do some internet searching to try and find a dress that matches the shoes and stuff I already have.  I found quite a few, but the majority were out of stock in my size or had a two week wait!  I ended up ordering three as I have no idea which size I need and which one works best(two will obviously be returned pronto!).  Two have just arrived while I have been writing this (thank you, Lord, for same day delivery), and I just need to hope that one of them fits and works, and the other turns up early tomorrow and fits so I can choose.  If they’re too big, or too small, I am heading on that ferry tomorrow night with no dress for a wedding the following week!!!  Never in my life have I been so unprepared for such an occasion!

And that, my friends, has pretty much been how my week has played out, one thing after another.  I am surprised I’ve still got it somewhat together!  Anyone else had such manic, crazy, stressful weeks they’d like to share?

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?