Soul searching

Soul searching

It has come to my attention that I can be somewhat of a negative Nelly. No one told me this, I was reading through all my blogs and months worth of Instagram and Facebook posts because I’m a psycho like that and the general vibe was I’m a bit of a Debbie downer. I don’t want to make excuses or justify it but sometimes it is hard when the hubs works over 1000km away so we can afford our mortgage but he hates his job and my job literally pays me in shitty nappies and my only employee cries when I tell her no, throws food at me and constantly runs up the back of my heals with her walker while I’m trying to cook dinner for her to throw at me. Not to mention the bloody dog has ADD (yeah, it’s a thing) so I can’t walk him whilst pushing a pram so he sits at the glass door all day guilt staring me and currently insists on only shitting on the paved patio (FML) and the cats allergies are playing up so there are tumbleweeds of cat fur floating around the house (she’s fine, season change always gets her scratching more) so I’m constantly sweeping the floor so its safe for Chloe to crawl around. Ok, maybe I am making excuses but they are all shit reasons to be ungrateful for the amazing life I have been blessed with.

I have never been a glass half full kinda gal, I can always find the negative before the positive but I think it’s more to do with my horrible self-confidence rather than the situation itself. I am the worst case scenario person, if something is going to go wrong I will convince myself it will probably happen to me and that negative mind frame will inevitably sabotage me. I think it’s easy enough to say ‘I’ll be more positive’, burn a bunch of lavender oil and buy a shit tonne of crystals to reinvigorate your chakras or some shit (yeah I did this #totzspiritual) but if you have been living as a pessimist for most of your 20s it can be hard to shake the negative Nancy off your shoulder.

I haven’t always been negative, I believe it all started when I was 20 and started working as a recruiter in the booming mining industry in Port Hedland. The expectation was huge and the pressure broke my spirit, I was only 20, never travelled, lived in remote WA for most of my life and jumped straight into a challenging career before really enjoying my early 20s. Recruitment for mining was brutal back then and if you couldn’t handle the big personalities and charm the big bosses then you wouldn’t make it far (that’s possibly a bit dramatic but I’m just not that naturally charming and always felt awkward trying to mix it with the bosses at the big mining companies). I’ve always likened recruitment to real estate, you will either love it or hate it and I sure didn’t love it. But alas, it bought me massive opportunities to build up my qualifications and allowed us to save the deposit for our first home so I definitely shouldn’t complain. But it also turned me into a bitter old bitch.

I really do try to see the positive in each day but sometimes it is really hard to find. A lot of people say they don’t know how I manage as a FIFO wife/mother but I have that same admiration for single parents. Yeah I’m alone for a few weeks out of a month but I have someone out there working their ass off to provide the best for me and our baby girl, I have a comfortable home that I love and I’m surrounded by things that we have worked hard for but that a lot of people our age with a young child don’t have. I can only image what it would be like to be a single parent, I understand the being alone part as I am alone the majority of the time but to do it completely on your own, to be the mother and the father, to be the carer and the provider – that takes such a strong person. Not downplaying how hard it is to be a FIFO family because it is hard and lonely but I am so very grateful for the lifestyle we have and I’ve said it before, it’s a lifestyle we have chosen so I try not to cue the violins too much.

I think being a positive person has a lot to do with feeling fulfilled and passionate about life. Don’t get me wrong, I’m extremely passionate about my family – that’s a given. But I will always remember the day that someone asked me what I was passionate about, what I truly couldn’t live without. I honestly couldn’t tell him one thing that I couldn’t live without (other than my family and brow defining products), the thing that I would turn to if I was sad, the thing that would bring me calm and happiness. My husband immediately said music. When he’s sad he listens to music, when he’s angry – music, when he’s happy – music. He just couldn’t live without it. This persons reply to me was “You must feel so empty”. Was I hurt by this, a little but only because upon reflection I would have to agree with him. I’ve never had a hobby, I’m not super creative and I can honestly say I have not yet found the thing that makes me feel warm and complete inside (again, aside from my family). I’ve tried reading but I’m a little OCD so I’ll get a few pages in then get up to do dishes or clean the toilets and forget about the book for a few months. I can’t dance or sing (except when I’m in the car, I’m friggen Taylor Swift when I’m rocking it at the traffic lights), I don’t have any special talents and although I like to blog I’m still fairly new at it and kinda feel like a rambling amateur after reading some of the brilliance from other mumma bloggers. I know, get your violins ready ah. I’m sure I have something that makes me special and unique, I just haven’t found it yet.

I used to be fairly inspired by health and fitness pre parenthood. I ran a 12km City to Surf and was aspiring for the half marathon but got preggers so that hasn’t happened yet. I know that you can maintain a healthy lifestyle with a baby, I follow plenty of fit mum Insta accounts that I frequently stalk whilst devouring a bag of lentil chips (they are healthier than regular chips but probably not when an entire bag is eaten in one sitting, awks) but it’s my first time and it hasn’t been the smoothest of rides. When Chloe wasn’t sleeping (praise Jesus that she did sleep) she was generally screaming and fighting the bottle for 2 hours straight so when she was asleep that was my chance to recuperate and prepare for the next 2 hours of screaming and fighting to eat. My health certainly played second fiddle to miss silent reflux demon baby, I’m hoping to get my mojo back but I know it’s all about me taking responsibility for my body and treating it better. Something I’m definitely going to work on!

I refused to believe that being a mother defines me now. Of course I am a mother above anything else and I love my daughter beyond words but I’m not one of those people who was born to be a mother. A few years ago I would have dry heaved at the thought of having a child, similar to how I do now when I think of having a second child. I didn’t lose myself when I became a mother because I never truly found myself before becoming a parent. She has my whole heart but does she get my whole soul too? Is that a selfish question now that I’m a mother? I feel like I need to disclaim here: I love my daughter, like it hurts how much I love her but I want her to grow up seeing first hand unrivalled passion and excitement for life, I don’t want her growing up not knowing her place in the world. I want her to grow up being confident and excited for the miracles each day brings. I know I need to be the one to show her this but how can I when I struggle to see the miracles and doubt my self-worth daily?

I have so much in my world to be thankful for, I feel ashamed when I catch myself being negative or ungrateful by wishing for more or for things to be different. I know it has a lot to do with unbalanced thoughts and the perspective I have of myself but I’m working on that, got a bunch of self-help books for soul-searching to read the first few pages of (clutching at straws I know). I’m still trying to find that thing that gets my juices flowing and brings me calm, maybe I’ll start making pottery (probably not). So in the meantime I will burn my lavender oil, drink my green tea (and 2 coffees a day – let’s be honest, I’m a more pleasant person for it) and share my thoughts with those that are interested in the hopes that one day my passion will slap me in the face. And I will try harder to appreciate the miracles each day brings and show Chloe how beautiful life can be when you just let go and enjoy it.

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To my baby Chloe

To my baby Chloe

I find myself bitching a lot about how hard parenting is (soz to all my friends that still care to ask how I’m doing – I promise I’m not about to jump in front of a car like it may seem) but the other day I got to thinking how hard it must be for Chloe. She is still fairly new to the world and she’s had a rough trot what with the silent reflux and a psycho mother wailing hysterically at her most days for her first few months of life. All she expects of me is love and some days I couldn’t even give her that, I was so consumed by fear, frustration, dispare, guilt..I was lost and I think she could sense it. Geesh I don’t blame her for being so miserable, I must have been a real wet rag to be around. There are still hard days, PND is a cunt and rears its ugly mug frequently but we are getting there – now days there are more smiles than tears but it’s all a part of this insane ride we willingly get on that is parenting.

This is not only for Chloe but for any parents out there that have struggled in the early days, we all have challenges and parenting is fucking hard but we all make mistakes and our experiences help us grow and make us stronger. You’re not alone, stay strong and remember your beautiful baby will always forgive you because you are their everything.

“To my baby Chloe,

I remember the day you were born so vividly, I know a lot of new parents say that but it really does feel like yesterday. You surprised us all by coming a lot sooner and quicker than we thought. I think I remember it so well because I was the most scared I’ve ever been in my life. I was alone and terrified, I thought I was prepared but I wasn’t prepared to experience it alone. I won’t go into details but it was painful but quick and when you arrived into the world I knew I wanted to always be there for you even though I was alone for the biggest moment of my life (not that it was any ones fault, your daddy and nanny were planning on being there but you had other plans).

Everyone says you get an overwhelming feeling of love when you first hold your baby in your arms, I definitely felt love but I also felt immense fear. Fear that I would fail, that I wouldn’t be a good mother, that I would ruin you. It may sound irrational but it’s something all new parents feel I think. I will never be able to put into words how much I love you but there are a few things I want to say sorry for, things that I know you won’t remember but that I regret beyond belief..

I’m sorry for the day you started showing signs of silent reflux. I’m sorry that I didn’t understand the pain you were in or that I couldn’t figure out how to help you. I’m sorry I didn’t hug you more and tell you it would be ok. Sorry I didn’t make more of an effort to bond with you as I was too busy trying to fix you. Sorry for the pain you went through and that you got scared to feed because of it. Sorry it took so long for me to let go of control and let you grow out of it. 

I’m sorry for the day you wouldn’t sleep and I got so cross I shouted at you and scared you. I’m sorry you had been in so much pain all morning from reflux that you were over tired and distraught. I’m sorry I didn’t just sit with you and hold you and tell you it would be ok. I’m sorry for being selfish and just wanting you to sleep so I could get some time alone. I’m sorry the sound of my voice that day made you cry harder. 

I’m sorry that I left you to cry in your cot more times than I can remember those first few months. I’m sorry that I couldn’t keep it together and had to walk away so I didn’t explode. I’m sorry if you felt abandoned in those moments, like I wasn’t going to come back to you. I’m sorry that it took so long to find the strength I needed to go on and to figure out how to comfort you. 

I’m sorry for the day I tried to go shopping with you and ended up leaving in tears after 7 minutes because you wouldn’t stop screaming. I’m sorry that I didn’t check your nappy to realise you had a massive poo explosion. I’m sorry I cried hysterically all the way home and that you did too and that I did nothing to comfort you. I’m sorry for not being patient and taking a moment to remember the simple things.

I’m sorry for all the times I wished things were different, easy or more like someone else’s experience. I’m sorry I didn’t appreciate the challenging moments more, appreciate them for what they were – just a bump in our lives that would pass. Sorry I didn’t realise they were the moments that would make me stronger as a person and make our bond that much stronger.

You see my girl, we all make mistakes in life and some we can’t take back but we grow from them. We learn so much about ourselves when challenged and we need to embrace the situation and conquer it the best we can. Every moment in life good or bad has a lesson, the universe will throw what it can at you to break you but the pieces can always be put back together. Please know I will always be there for you and I will always forgive you, I will teach you, I will hold your hand, I will guide you and I will encourage you. I will let you learn with experience but I will try my best to protect you through the bad experiences.

Please never forget how much I love you. 

Love you bigger than the moon sweet girl, Mummy”