Welcome to Mombieville

“They” say that the worst thing about having a baby is sleep deprivation. (Not sure who “they” are but) “they” are right. Throw a full time job and a toddler into the mix and welcome to Mombieville!

It’s no secret or surprise, that I’m struggling at the moment (see recent posts). And lack of sleep is by far the biggest barrier to reaching the other side.

We tried some gentle sleep training with Peanut (a.k.a. my handsome baby boy) a couple of weeks back, which was in itself exhausting, but we pushed on through knowing that many nights of soothing sleep would be the reward (for all of us). But, he’s had some visits to the hospital since then and a weekend away (with the rest of us, to be clear). So, it’s basically all gone out the window.

The hospital visits and the, more complicated than we thought, future outlook for Peanut, I’ll share with you another time. I can’t get my head around it at the moment, thanks to my Mombie status. And for once, I do mean “thanks” to the sleep deprivation as I’m quite happy to delay that thinking process for a short while.

I’m currently finding car keys, hair clips or the tea caddy  in the fridge on a weekly basis, my natural clumsiness has taken itself to another level and I’m having daily  conversations with my Beloved that go like this:

Me “I, err……”
B “You…?what?”
Me “Em…..”
[Some time later]
B “When you’re ready…?”
Me “I can’t remember now, couldn’t have been important”
B *rolls eyes* “I Love You” *Sighs*

[Next day]
Me “So, what do you think?”
B “About what?”
Me “Do you think we can go on holiday this year? I think we need a break.” *huff of impatience*
B “I’m not sure. Sorry… did we talk about this before?”
Me “Yes, yesterday. Oh no.. wait… I, err…”

Still deadlines are deadlines, and my BFF has given me to the end of January (3.5 days from now) to finish wallowing and then it’s time to get positive, get healthy and get living again! Better find that baby sleep book…

Mombie

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Up and at them!

I met up with my BFF, yogaswerve, last Friday for a coffee and a chat. I hadn’t seen her for weeks.

I was slightly nervous about seeing her. I didn’t openly admit to her that my green eyed monster was begrudging her less than 2 weeks before. But, she reads my blog, so she probably knew that. And besides, I was feeling marginally more upbeat due to the fact that I’d actually gotten out of the house the day before, I’d also had a shower and put some make up and some heels on. All because I had a rare “on-site” work day.

She brought me flowers. She had sensed via our communications (or perhaps from reading my posts) that I was feeling a bit down. It was so thoughtful. My green eyed monster was shamed!

Talking to her helped a lot. I forced myself to apply perspective to the feelings I was sharing, which made me adjust my own view of my situation. I helped myself. I was a little bit proud of that, I have to say. My friend helped too. She consoled me with the notion that it’s OK to feel a bit poo when you’re tired and worried (and have been for some time) and she also gave me a deadline. I’m allowed to wallow a little but longer, until 31st January.

After that, it’s Up and at them! I’ve to face life with my head up, eyeball to eyeball. And in the words of Maya Angelou,

“If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude. Don’t complain.”

Oh, and then we talked about starting yoga again. And so my quest continues for a healthy 2013. Steps taken so far; 1) short term goal set, 2) yoga classes in local area researched, 3) confirmed, with my Beloved, current location of yoga mat (it’s in the attic).

To be Me

So much to do, so little time.
So much time, so little drive.
Want to excel. Want to be free.
Want to have fun. Want to be Me.

Me is altruistic, Me is self-absorbed
Me is levelheaded, Me is foolish
Me is magnificent, Me is uninspiring
I don’t know what it is to be Me.

So much to do, so little time.
So much time, so little drive.
Want to excel. Want to be free.
Want to have fun. Need to find Me.

I’m a (Role) Model, you know what I mean? And I do my little turn on the catwalk

Even more shocking than the ode to Right Said Fred in the title of this post, is the realisation that I am a role model!

Why has this just hit me?

It was something that my Beloved said this morning that illuminated the point to me, in huge Vegas-style lights.

Strawbug went to day care today, carrying a tiny white, vintage style, handbag. It was her choice to take it, I had no influence in the decision. The bag was given to her (preloved) by her Auntie who lives in London. (Note to the reader: Strawbug has regular bouts of obsession with London, but that’s another post).

She carried it over her arm, the strap cradled in her elbow. She looked like a mini Jackie-O, without the hat and gloves… and in some leggings and a pair of baby converse. OK, so, she didn’t look exactly like Jackie O. But, she did have an aura of 1950’s glamour about her, in the way that she carried herself, or more specifically her bag. I digress.

When I told my Beloved about how much everyone smiled when they seen her, he said “Aww, she wants to be just like you. She loves you.” And the lights went on…

I have lost count of the number of times that I have reprimanded my Beloved for things he has said, or done, in front of the kids. “I know that they are only little, but they are like sponges. They take it all in” I say. To the point where now, I only have to look over at him and he says “I know, I know, SPONGES!”. And to prove my point, Strawbug regularly walks around the house reciting “Oh, Blimey!” continually. (To be honest, it could have been worse). I have a stack of parenting books that back up this theory (and, it seems now I have Strawbug backing me up with real, live, evidence).

I’m always so careful about what I say in front of the kids, because the feedback from their learning tends to be rapid. (i.e. they pretty much repeat what you say, word for bloody word, immediately – especially if it’s a word you shouldn’t have said within earshot of them).

But I often forget that they are soaking in all that I DO as well. Because the impact of this learning appears (to me, anyway) to be more subtle or, at least, deferred until later. Now that I have seen my first exhibit of evidence, though, is it time to start moderating my behaviour as well? That’s seems like a big ask.

But surely I would only need to change my behaviour, if my behaviour was defective. And well, if your a mother, (and you are anything like me) you probably question your behaviour (and your abilities) on a daily basis. Every day I think about how to help Strawbug be the best Strawbug she can be. And now, it has finally dawned on me that the best way to do that is to be the best Me that I can be.

So, here I am. My life is a catwalk and I’m being watched, admired and looked up to, by my babies. I need to show them how to face life with dignity and grace. I need to show them what beauty really means. If I come across an obstacle I need to show them how to find a way to the other side. If I find myself at a crossing, I need to show them how to choose the right path. And if I fall off my heels, I need to show them how to get up again, dust yourself off and keep going. Because I am a role model!

The Green Eyed Monster

I don’t know if it’s the January blues, or some delayed post natal melancholy, but I feel a little sad today. The feeling has been triggered by the sight of a photo that my BFF published on Facebook last night. In the photo she is glamourous, slender and blonde and tanned, with her two adorable children. She’s on holiday, so there is blue sea and blue sky behind her and it’s very, very sunny. And she is smiling such a beautiful, genuinely happy smile.

Cut to me – as they say in Hollywood – sitting in baggy sweatpants that might walk off me, of their own accord, at any minute now. Dyed dark hair that makes me look even more blue than my natural Scottish skin tone. It’s more than a little peppered with grey, which coupled with the deep set wrinkles and deathly pallor of my face add about 15 years to me. Then there’s the wobbly, podgy, size 15 body, which hasn’t been cared for in months (no, make that years, if we’re being honest). And I’m scowling, a genuinely gloomy scowl.

I’m envious, though I shouldn’t be. She has had the toughest year of her life and she really deserves to have come out the other side with a huge smile on her face. And I love her deeply. She’s my BFF. But I can’t shake the envy.

Envy is a green eyed monster, a monster that’s only concern is with the destruction of its beholder.

I’ve learned though, from many years of psychotherapy and from many more years of managing issues at work, that what looks like the problem is often not the problem at all. I don’t mean to be mysterious, so, I’ll expand. The envy I feel for my BFF’s perfectly tanned, slender and happy life is, as I said earlier, a trigger. Designed by my subconscious to make me think more deeply about something that is actually causing me unhappiness.

I’ve experienced many of these “triggers” in recent years. Some quite major and others more superficial. All of which result in finding an issue around a similar theme; Me.

I’ve just had a tough few months of my own. My Beloved and I have had to work very hard together to get through them. We’ve had significant financial challenges, even greater emotional challenges and toddler challenges that require the diplomatic skills of Kofi Annan. And we’re not out of the tunnel yet. *DING* And there it is…

She’s out of the tunnel, and I desperately want to be too.

Patience is something that no one in my little family unit has much of. Especially me. (Try teaching patience to a 2 year old when you struggle with it yourself!) So, I guess I’ll have to revert to walking the walk… One little step at a time. Today, I’m going to take some time out and meditate. And outside of that, try to practice being present. Enjoy the moments, not long for the future. It won’t be easy, but, I have just re-read I Breathe In, I Breathe Out, on Yoga + Living + Life, and I’m drawing support and inspiration from this simple mantra.

Thank you for reading what has been quite a cathartic post. I feel a little less blue now. If you’re felling sad today, leave me a comment. Maybe we can help each other through it.