When routine gets the better of you

I for one am someone who needs excitement and adventure in life, some spontaneity so to speak, I get bored with one single thing so quickly and need new things to stimulate me. Having a 9 month old however, makes this very difficult if not impossible.

For those of you who are new here, I live in a rural area about an hour from the Botswana border, we own a few businesses in the small town Ganyesa, and I am a stay at home mom. We live 70 kilometers from the nearest town, and its a horrible town haha. So I do start to feel a bit isolated most days.

Looking after my baby girl is a blessing don’t get me wrong, but I feel like I am not doing anything some days, when in reality; I run after her crawling little body all day, feed her, play with her, cook,clean and try to get some time for myself, she wakes about 3 times a night, and we all know weekends are not what they used to be before we had children! Haha.

Its easy for stay at home moms to feel like they are not adding to anything, they don’t have a job and don’t feel like they are accomplishing anything really. When in reality, you have the most important job of all; raising a child that will be kind and compassionate to others, so that they can go out into the world knowing that they can be all they want to be, with you cheering them on with every step they take. Its A VERY IMPORTANT JOB !

Its so tiring to do this every day all day, and then I think of the moms who work, come home after a long day and still have to get up at night for their babies, the point is we all have struggles and hard days with our children, or, with just being a mother in general. Its important to remind ourselves that life is full of phases, the sleepless night, the fighting with your husband, the snotty noses; they all end, and we get to see them grow up. Is that not amazing ?

I hope there is someone out there that needs to hear this; take everything in stride, have your bad days, be down, and the next day get up and pit a smile on your face and do it all over again- because one day you will miss it !

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Motherhood is far from glam

I stay at home with my baby girl, and yesterday it was midday and I glanced at myself in the mirror for the first time that day… and cringed! – What!? Is that really what I look like !

I had a C-Section, and needless to say; my tummy looks and feels horrible. It does not even feel like it is attached to my body some days. In the beginning, after the surgery, I could handle it because it would get better with time, now, 7 months later, it has gotten better but I HATE my body !

It has gotten so bad that it is actually affecting my marriage, and just everything really, clothes shopping is something that I used to LOVE, now I dread it! I even get dressed in the bathroom so that my husband does not see me naked in the light. I know this might seem extreme to some, and it definitely does to my husband (who bless him, still thinks I am gorgeous), but I just don’t feel good about myself.

Isn’t it weird how we can be our own worst critics? No one is harder on someone than you with yourself, on the one hand its good because you should push yourself to be better, but sometimes (like in my case) it becomes a sort of obsession, obsession to look like that woman on TV that your husband stared at, obsession to think that people who walk pass you think “wow she is fat”. When in reality , they don’t even notice you, they are busy battling their own insecurities.

At the end of the day, you always have a decision, I can either hate my body and wallow in self pity, or I can try to do something about it, exercise a little eat a bit healthier, even if the results are not miraculous or amazing, just trying would also make me feel a bit better.

So here is to being happier, and healthier.

The “mom itch”

Ever notice how once you start doing something with your baby , and you have no free hands, you start itching somewhere ? The mom itch!

As if motherhood is not hard enough already right? Now you find yourself trying to hold a bottle with your chin while trying to scratch your nose with your way too short arm! In reality it is called “phantom itching” but I truly think its the mom itch, it always happens when I am busy with my baby girl, and ALWAYS when I cant scratch !

The moment I stop with what I am doing, the itch goes away! It is so frustrating, and no way to stop it from happening again. This is one of those phenomenas that makes no sense, just like motherly instinct and how you can function on 2 hours of sleep. Yet, all of the above is very real.

This made me think of all the things we as moms go through that no one sees; the emotional turmoil when your baby is crying, hurting or just unhappy, the hurt when your partner goes straight to bed instead of spending some time alone with you, the tiredness that comes with it all. It can be so difficult some days that it feels like there is no light at the end of the tunnel, yet, the next day; we do it all over again.

I don’t know about you, but I tend to keep quiet because I feel like my husband and friends don’t really understand how I feel or what I am going through, and sometimes I just do not know how to put my feelings into words, keeping my feelings to myself just less effort in the long run.

Its like an itch you cant scratch, knowing that if you talk about it; it will only turn into a fight and you will still feel alone at the end of it. Being a mother comes with so many internal struggles that we often don’t talk about to others.

Sometimes , just sometimes, it is okay to put yourself first, to take a moment and give your baby to someone for a few hours and just let it all out, have a good cry, go for a walk , get some retail therapy, read a few pages of that book you haven’t touched, just take a moment.

I am horrible at this, when I leave my baby with someone, I always feel like I have to hurry back, like that person is doing me a favor and therefore I must not push it because maybe they wont do it again then.

In reality though, most people that offer to babysit; understand that moms need a break, and wont even mind if you take that extra half an hour to go for a pedicure instead of rushing back home. For me; this is an ongoing process, I am learning everyday that it is okay to take a minute, some days I feel more anxious than others , but I am getting there.

Take a break, it is so rewarding and just so necessary for a healthier, happier you!

Getting into the “mom groove”

A lot of people talk about how amazing and rewarding motherhood is, and this is so true, but what no one seems to tell you; is that it takes time to adjust to this new world you find yourself in. There is new lingo you did not even know about, new brands and products that may seem overwhelming, new stages of life you did not even know existed, and most of all, this new inner strength you never knew you had.

Before I became a mom, I did not even consider how long it would take for me to “feel myself” again, and by “myself” I mean a well balanced person that does not cry over every little thing, does not loose her temper all the time, and has patience with herself and those around her (mostly my husband). The only thing you think about is that cute little bundle, and whose eyes she will have, and rightly so, these are the things we need to look forward too.

But not knowing how hard it will be to adjust, really caught me off guard, and I was not prepared mentally for this struggle at all. I was not concerned about my own recovery after the C-Section (this is the way it is supposed to be, mothers put their babies first), or the emotional recovery for that matter. Only the well being of my baby.

This type of thinking though, soon caught up with me, I was emotionally and physically drained because I felt asking for help meant I am not a good enough mother, this is such harmful thinking; we place so much unnecessary pressure on ourselves, and we simply cannot handle it alongside everything else. When my baby girl was small, and we got visitors, I used to dread it, I did not want people holding my baby and giving me advice at all, even the thought of it made me mad (I was a bit irrational at the time as well). Now, 7 months later, I am so excited when family comes to visit – Yay Babysitters!

As time goes on, I am not insecure about my baby anymore, I know I am her mother, and no one will replace it, I still get the odd unsolicited advice from people, but it does not upset me, I just nod, agree and move on with my day. I feel like I can breathe now if it makes sense, I don’t feel so stressed out all the time anymore, I know what she likes and dislikes, I know her cries; when she is just moaning, or unhappy or sick. Although I am sure as she goes through different stages in her life this will change again, I find myself in a state of contentment as a mother now and this took me 7 months.

It took me 9 months to create a little human being, 9 months for my body to completely change, 9 months of crazy hormones (and a little after) and 9 months to prepare for this amazing little human, don’t rush yourself to adjust to all these new changes, it took me 7 months to feel good and to confident in my abilities as a mother, and to completely immerse our baby into our lives.

Good things take time, and as we all know – It is oh so worth it!

So breathe, and give yourself a break, it will get easier, and then harder and then easier again, and in the midst of all these ups and downs, you will find yourself again; not the old you, but a new you, stronger, happier and yes, emotionally stable.

 

 

 

When Even Your Insides Are Tired || Mom Tired

Have you ever felt like your tired like in your bones ? I don’t know how else to explain it , who am I kidding , off course you have ! This happens to all of us , but I honestly believe “mom tired” is a thing !

This is me today , after this week with Paige , I just feel drained , emotionally, physically , mentally , and wait , is there another one ? I forget 🤫😳

Today we had friends over , and as much as I would love to kick back and have a few drinks , have some snacks , chat to my friends or just relax a little bit , but I cant , I have a 5 month old that is still busy sleep training !

But then I put my baby girl in my lap and just hold her , and everything just disappears, every single day I look at her and think “I cant love you anymore than I do right now” , and every day that love grows ! 🧡

So yes, today I am extremely exhausted to the point where I want to ugly cry , but I wouldn’t have it any other way, looking after my baby girl is the biggest blessing in the world !

Angelique

Days where everything just seems to go wrong

I should rewrite this headline to “weeks where everything seems to go wrong”!

My week in a nutshell

I know I am not alone on this, this week has been the most intense in so many ways and its only Wednesday; we started of with having to make a unplanned trip to Johannesburg (which is 5 hours way by the way) in order to do bio-metrics for our trip to Australia soon, get there, only to hear that they only have an appointment for my husband and not our baby girl, long story short, we sorted it out after much effort!

We then had to stay over because the trip is just to far for our baby, and did another 500 km’s the next morning, got home to find out our water cooler had leaked in Paige’s room and the carpet was damaged, settled and then we heard that my horse’s foal had sadly passed away – this the day before her new owner was supposed to come and fetch the two of them.

All this in a matter of three very long days, and a baby in-between who is out of routine and teething!

One thing I have noticed is that when I am upset, she is upset, how crazy is that? Today I busted into tears while changing her nappy, and she immediately started crying too, I felt so bad that I stopped and so did she, we forget sometimes that our babies’ sense what we are feeling, or if we are stressed or having a bad day, they feed of us when they are this small.

I am exhausted to say the least, you know when one night’s good sleep does not even make you feel better? That is where I am at that point, so I thought I would write about it as this always help to work through issues and just to feel better, you know, put it all out there. Life just sometimes throws these weeks at us just to make sure we still got it – ha ha

Bouncing Back

Apparently, I do, it is amazing how resilient we all are, somehow the sun always manages to come up the next morning and you look at life with a little more positivism.

I always say that it is fine to have a breakdown or to feel down, own it, you are human, and you can’t always be strong, keeping emotions bottled up is so unhealthy for the mind and the soul. The most important thing is to always get up afterwards, brush yourself off and stare life dead in the eye, and smile!

I am so lucky to be surrounded by so many family and friends that are always willing to lend a hand (or an ear) in difficult situations.

My baby girl must know that her mama needs a break today because she is sleeping so well, and giving her mom a well-deserved break to write 😊

Angelique

 

Developing Your “Mom Self”

There is some fundamental shift once you become a mother, all the “me” issues you used to have disappear into thin air, and you see the world differently than before, this effects every part of you being, your thought process, your relationships, your patience, your priorities, your day to day activities, the way you think, basically everything about you changes.

Don’t get me wrong, my personality is still in there, and I am still me, I am just different, I know how weird that sounds, but for me; I am stronger emotionally; when you become a mom, you have to put your emotions aside sometimes, you cannot have a breakdown right now because you have to feed or bath your baby, so you put it away for later, when later comes you are over it ha ha.

There is just this whole new side of you, and that’s what I call – The Mom Self.

This takes some time to master, as with any new role in your life, practice makes perfect, and this one particularly is so overwhelming and takes some time to get used to.

The day my baby was born, everything was chaotic, so many people, doctors, nurses, and the moment is kind of just too big to fully grasp and take it all in, you and your partner don’t really seem to get the time to chat or to get used to the idea because then grandparents and aunts and uncles pitch up to see the new bundle of joy.

I had a C-Section, so the whole process was just such a shock to my system, I read so many things on the procedure and talked to so many moms that went through it, and yet, it was nothing like I thought it would be, it was so scary being awake (that was the worst part for me) and the adrenaline and the excitement is overwhelming (I use this word a lot, because well, there is no other word for it).

That night I was alone at last in the hospital, they took my baby and looked after her during the night for me to rest after the surgery, the next morning at 5 am, they wheeled her in and left her, I remember thinking oh my word, you can’t just leave her here alone with me, what must I do with her?

The feeling I had was pure panic!

What was I supposed to do with her? I read so many books on what to do, and talked to so many new moms, and yet, in that moment, it all disappeared, and the reality was staring me right in the eyes! I was a mom, and I had a baby, a tiny one at that, and was even unsure about how to change her diaper in that moment.

Now, 6 months later, and I am so comfortable with her, don’t get me wrong, I still has days where I am not sure what is going on and second guess myself, but these days are less than they were. The only way to get to this point is time; give yourself time, don’t be so hard on yourself in the beginning or well, ever for that matter, being a mom is a very big change for a woman, and like all changes in life, you need time and patience to master this role and to fully be comfortable in it.

So, take a deep breath and give yourself a break! You will get there!

Angelique