This will be the first in a series of posts about motherhood, pregnancy and self-care. Bear with me beautiful readers because this is all stuff I really, really had to write. Partly for me and my own healing and partly to be totally real with all of you. So buckle up and here is the first instalment.
Note: I wrote this post almost a month back now, I can’t believe how time flies. Things are already steadily moving on for me, This post meant so much to write, and was something I wanted to share to be truly authentic about what motherhood, pregnancy and self care has meant to me over the past few months, so I am still going to share it. For anyone who feels all the reals, reach out, tell me how you are doing or share with a friend that could do with a dose of ‘it’s not just me’.
Part 1 – If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all
Pause has been well and truly pressed for some time on this creative outlet of mine. I’m a story teller, a creator and someone who passionately loves to spread positivity. I also enjoy writing as a free flowing process – minimal planning, a roughly sketched idea and then the form comes once the words start to flow.
Circumstance has meant that none of this has been possible and as the weeks have slipped by, I have even let go of my disappointment and guilt at not nurturing Feel Better Collective because quite frankly I have had to turn inwards, and as any self-development professional knows, this is critical to a healthy return to ourselves. My need to keep it real on the blog means that I really can’t be writing here if I’m not feeling myself. I can’t make up chirpy articles that chivvy my readers along when I don’t feel like getting out of bed, and I don’t want to write about feeling like shit in the moment, it’s just not how I roll.
My best friends will tell you – even they are often in the dark when I’m not ok. I think it comes from dealing with the loss of my sister at a young age, I go very very quiet. I don’t want to get in touch with people just to tell them I’m unhappy so I don’t. Of course, my besties almost always notice and reach out into the silence because they fucking rock like that and then I will be honest and tell them how it is. Sometimes if it’s short lived, they get to hear about it afterwards. There have been legendary times where years after the fact I have let slip a story I never told them.
Inwards. Thinking. Dealing with myself. Focusing on what I need to get better.
So what’s been happening? Honestly, it has taken me a few months to work it out and be truthful with myself about the answer to this. And the truth is this – the core of the matter is that I’m really struggling with my second pregnancy, more than I have been able to admit to myself or anyone else until now.
- It’s hard to be pregnant.
- It’s hard to be pregnant with a toddler.
- It’s hard to be pregnant with a toddler and working four days a week in a demanding corporate job.
- It’s hard to be pregnant with a toddler, working four days a week in a demanding corporate job and insisting on cooking healthy family friendly meals every night, keeping a clean house and generally trying to run a life.
- It’s hard to be pregnant with a toddler, working four days a week in a demanding corporate job and insisting on cooking healthy family friendly meals every night, keeping a clean house and generally trying to run a life as well as building a house, then moving across the state.
- It’s hard to do all of this as an expat with no family support.
It’s no wonder I fell apart.
And of course on top of that, the crushing guilt for being any less than overflowingly grateful for the unbelievably blessed life I have is also a bit of a creativity killer. But I even stopped writing in my gratitude journal, I sort of went numb and was in ‘let’s just get through this difficult patch’ mode.
And honestly, there is nothing wrong with that per se – sometimes we all need to just get our heads down and get the fuck on with it right? Like who’s going to do it for us if we don’t do it ourselves, really. But months of keeping it together through tough toddler times, sleepless nights, expat blues (I haven’t felt so far from home since the first few weeks I was here) and waning energy levels just finally took their toll and I have been really unwell.
So obvs, with my personality profile, I am also a TERRIBLE patient. I hate being ill because I rarely am. I find it hard to accept that what I deem to be ‘just a cold’ can mean I can’t do simple tasks, and I must actually rest – especially as I am pregnant! I have magical powers that turn colds into sinus infections, just by being unable to slow down and allow myself the time to heal. And I end up in uncontrollable raging sobbing fits when I JUST CAN’T DO SOMETHING.
Thank goodness for Janis. And thank FUCK my mum was here. After five long weeks of illness (preceded by months of exhaustion) I am feeling back to myself. With a warning label attached to me. No more being silly. No more being superwoman. Plenty more letting things go and looking after myself.
I’m in bed by 9, eating wholesome healthy foods (and quite a lot of biscuits), drinking lots of water, getting outside in the fresh air, spending quality time with Frankie and Janis and importantly, being kind to myself.
So this is it, my first proper return. There are no real nuggets of advice, no resources or genius solutions – this was about sharing how situations and not listening to ourselves can quite quickly get out of hand and about saying – we are in this together, let’s help each other not be so silly.
It feels good to be back.
Are you guilty of running yourself into the ground? Own worst enemy? Don’t even realise what you are doing until it’s too late? STOP SISTER. Take a break. Sit the fuck down with a nice cup of tea. The world will not stop turning. I promise.