Too much of a good thing

Good morning!

Yes, this is me. Smudgy mascara from not removing yesterday’s makeup, pjs still on and a bucket of coffee to boot!

How was your Easter weekend?

I’ve eaten far too much chocolate and naturally, indulged in a little too much wine.

Just after midnight, my poor little 8 year old woke up (in my bed) and yelled, “Mum! Mum! I think I’m going to be sick!” Dazed and confused I jumped up, switched on the dim wardrobe light (so not to wake the other children) and yelled “Well, run to the toilet! Quiiiiiiick!”

Now, if you know me personally, you’d understand my sleeping arrangements in my house differ somewhat from the ordinary. We have a king sized bed which normally hosts myself (husband, when he doesn’t have a 3am start) and one or two children. We also have a futon which pulls out to hold another child and a double air mattress for the remaining children.

When my husband has to work early, (like this morning) he normally commutes to the girls room so that he can get a solid few hours of shut eye in. (Perhaps, rather than “girls room” it could be better described as a storage room that is home to their toys and wardrobe. It is NOT a room in which they actually sleep. This goes for ALL my children!)

So, last night poor Tyler happened to be situated on the far right side of the bed, which meant he had to squeeze past the air mattress and shuffle between that and the futon to make his way to the bathroom.

Its difficult enough when you’re taking your time and it’s daylight, let alone, when you’re tired, it’s dark AND you’re rushing to make it the bathroom before…you…puke!

Think he made it? Ha.

Nope.

He was just CENTIMTRES shy of the tiles and ended up producing a lovely thick blanket of chocolate vomit all over my white carpet. (Cheers, Easter bunny!)

Not to mention, on route to get to the spot on my white carpet just before the tiles, poor Tyler was desperately trying to hold it in as he hopped through the maze of sleeping obstacles which resulted in a few chocolate puke sprays and dribble all over the array of blankets and pillows, carpet and, potentially unknowingly, sleeping people. 🤷🏼‍♀️

At 1am, Poor Tyler stood, pale and exhausted in the bathroom, while I scrubbed and scrubbed the awful stain from my carpet with carpet cleaner and disinfectant. (Dry retching in the process.)

Ugh. Spew. I have THE worlds weakest stomach. The smell of vomit makes me gag. I struggle with nappy changes, cleaning toilets, changing my cats kitty litter, seeing maggots in the garbage. I’m not built for cleaning up gross things and yet, I’ve been doing it all non stop for years. Still, my skin doesn’t get thicker and my stomach fails to show any signs of getting stronger or becoming immune.

So here I am, second coffee for the day. Third load of washing on. Tyler woke up after a sleep in and had a bath. He seems to be perfectly fine now. I’m grateful it’s not a bug. Likely, it’s from consuming too much chocolate.. which brings me to my other issue;

In the past 3 weeks, I have consumed approximately 9 Cadbury chocolate bunnies.

It’s all catching up with me now. Ive been feeling sluggish, Ill and even, constipated 😭(TMI?) I haven’t exercised in weeks and I can’t recall the last time I ate something green!

This morning I decided to do an Epsom salt cleanse. Until recently, I didn’t even know you could drink them! I thought they were just for bathing in when you had sore muscles. Apparently not!

They taste awful though. In fact, I’d highly recommend continuing to use them purely for muscle soaking and not for drinking. For 40 minutes, me and my weak stomach sat there uncomfortable and sweating as though I’d just had a row of 10 tequila shots!

This afternoon I intend on going for a run. (Unless of course I’m on the toilet!) it’s time to get healthy and clean up my act. I’m putting myself on a chocolate ban, a serious alcohol “cut back” (oh come on! Baby steps!) and later, i intend on making my way to the shops… to purchase some broccoli.

Hey mama

Hey mama,

I see you anxiously looking about the shopping centre as your child throws himself on the ground in yet another screaming fit of rage.

It’s hard not to notice the scowl on your brow and the colour rising to your cheeks.

Although I can’t physically hear your heartbeat, I’m willing to bet it’s beating hard and fast enough for you to feel the frantic thud in your ear drums like a hammer to your head.

You’re feeling hot and flustered and your hands are clammy. You’re avoiding making eye contact with any passers by because you just know they are looking at you and you can’t stand to feel their eyes on you – judging you, accusing you… or worse still, trying to sympathise with you.

I feel you.

Hey mama,

Congratulations. You’ve finally got your baby girl. She’s everything you’d ever hoped for. She’s beautiful and angelic, a miraculous gift for you to love and call your own.

Everyone tells you so.

Then it’s no wonder you feel too ashamed to admit that sometimes, you don’t agree.

In your mind, this perfect little miracle is a demon who purposefully deprives you of your sleep, demanding too much of your time and stripping you down to a mere shadow of the woman you once were. You have no independence anymore. When you look in the mirror all you see is an ugly ghost staring back at you. The light in your eyes, gone.

How can you possibly explain this to anyone though? For how selfish of you! How could you ever think such horrid thoughts! Those voices echo through your head, “Be grateful you have her!”, “It’ll get easier, I promise!”, “Oh come on! You’re just fibbing! She’s amaaaaazing! Look, she’s sleeping now!”

I hear you.

Hey mama,

I know it must be hard doing this on your own, raising three school aged children the best you know how. You refuse to allow the stigma of being a single mother determine how you will parent. I see you trying to balance school life with extra curricular activities. I notice you looking frantically at your watch during school pick up, stressing the traffic will delay you getting to your son’s soccer training on time.

I know you do your best to be organised, by making school lunches and pre preparing dinner. I understand how it must hurt when your children barely touch their food, neglect to say thank you for all the running about and proceed to scream, “I hate you!” when it’s time for bed.

You’ll cry yourself to sleep tonight after downing a bottle of wine to try and take “the edge off” because you lost it. You lost your shit and you screamed so loud that all the neighbours probably heard you.

I get you.

Hey mama,

Yes you, the working mother who constantly struggles to find a balance between being a mother and a full time/part time worker.

I see you holding back the tears when you have to drop your four year old boy off during his first week of school only to rush off because you need to get to the office in time.

I know you work a job where you most likely feel undervalued and overworked to make ends meet and that just adds to your guilt, doesn’t it? It leaves you questioning your worth. “Why am I even here?”, “Why can’t I just quit and be just a Mum?”, “It’s not fair!”

When you get home late, you’ll still have chores to do. You’ll also need to break it to your daughter that once again, you’ll be missing her school swimming carnival.

I see you.

I wish I had the solution to make this parenting journey more comfortable for you and you’d believe me when I whispered, “It’ll get easier” but that would be like pointing to the light at the end of a dark tunnel that you still can not see.

I can however, offer my hand to walk this path with you.

Even with plenty of practice and ample support, these overwhelming feelings of hopelessness and frustration don’t discriminate. After all, we have decided to embark on life’s most complex challenge and that is, raising a human! And because there is already so much evil in the world, we want to succeed in raising a strong, compassionate and good human to not only survive in a dog eat dog world, but to contribute in making it a better one.

We put ourselves under enormous pressure to do this, which in turn leaves us neglecting our own needs and desires. We forget that we too, need caring for. Lean on your partner, your family, your friends, write down your feelings or get some outside help. You are never alone on this journey even if you think you are! You are most certainly, never a failure. Consuming ourselves with feelings of inadequacy are an unfortunate flaw in our genetic makeup.

With no professional guidance and armed only with the experience of motherhood myself, the best I can preach to you is that if you are trying your best, then that is enough. You’ll have good days and then, you’ll have bad ones. When the sun goes down in the evening, it’s another day passed and when it rises again (which it will!) it signals the beginning of a new day and ultimately, the chance for a brand new start.

Keep at it. You’re tougher than you know.

Hey mama,

You’ve got this.

Take a break from self-hate

Over the weekend I had a lot of different ideas about what I wanted to write about. My crazy mind drafted up close to 100 topics I felt a need to share. I “accidentally” polished off a bottle of Sav Blanc on Friday night, which I normally steer clear of these days (that’s another story) and at the latter part of the evening, I popped up some random post on my Instagram account regarding vanity and how superficial the world has become. I referred to a picture of my younger self in my Army uniform and compared it to a different version of myself during the height of my selfie-taking (and rather insecure) phase. I wanted to demonstrate how once, I seemed comfortable in my own skin – makeup free and untamed eyebrows yet, I wore an authentic smile, one which represented both pride and a curious lust for life.

I think my intention was to compare that photo to a time several years later, where I felt lost, unsure of myself and with a desperate need for validation disguised in the form of “likes” on a filtered, airbrushed (and most likely), filtered again, selfie and show the evolution of personal growth from then to the present day.

I deleted my Instagram post, because, at the peak of my “vino high” I was in fact, executing a false sense of confidence. I hinted that I was beyond the insecure phase and that I had somehow, woken up one day to discover the secret to self love and acceptance. I insinuated that I was now some kind of empowered “confident woman”.

Pffffffffffffffttttttttttttt

To be clear, am I confident? In some ways. Have I learned to accept myself for all my flaws? Not really. Do I still take selfies and wack on a filter? Well, yes, but these days I prefer to use my camera phone to capture events and memories rather than my face . I’ve also long dropped the airbrush tool. Thank goodness.

I have four children. I don’t want them to see me constantly in the bathroom with my face masques, makeup and fake tan. I wish they could see their mummy throw on a tshirt and track pants and head out to tackle the world, makeup free, rocking a “DGAF” smile. No matter how much I run this dream through my head though, I don’t think I’m anywhere close to making it a reality. I wear a slither of foundation to spin class for Pete’s sake! Yes, I KNOW it’s only going to sweat off and clog up my pores! My fake tan sometimes sweats through my light coloured tank tops too and I look like I’ve been rolling around in clay and smell like a rotting coconut. Ew.

It’s funny how it all works though. How many of us can see the beauty in others and aren’t afraid to let them know, “Your skin is beautiful” “You are such a caring friend” or “Congratulations on your promotion. You work hard and deserve it!” Accepting a compliment however, without being over-modest and shrugging it off or feeling the urge to respond by self-deprecating, is a challenge for many of us.

We can be successful, kind and compassionate. We might be raising articulate children, living a healthy lifestyle and outwardly, looking like we’ve dam well got it all worked out.

We can also have everyone fooled.

I don’t have to stand in front of a mirror to recite all of my physical “flaws.” I know each and every one better than the back of my hand. My head is too big for my body, my teeth are chipped and crooked, my nose is too wide, I have a double chin when I look down, I have scars all over my stomach, stretch marks on my boobs, cellulite on my thighs, I can’t wave excitedly, for fear of my “tuck shop lady” arms joining in on the party. My heels are so dam dry, they look like cracked mud plains. In fact, they’re so dry and cracked they look like an earth quake has erupted on each of my feet.. and they hurt when I walk. Yikes.

So that was kind of brutal.

Last night, I quietly cried to myself under the covers about something I recently felt excluded from. Childish, perhaps. I can beat myself up about things sometimes and I overthink and over assume and it can cause my heart all kinds of agony. I had my 6 year old daughter, Sophie next to me, and although it was pitch black and I thought I hadn’t made a sound, I felt her little hand reach out to me and touch my face. I don’t know how she knew or if she even did, but she gently patted my hair and held my face as though she could sense my sadness.

I wiped my tears and I snuggled close to her. I’m not even sure if she was awake or asleep, but that one little act reminded me of what my purpose in life is.

I am a a mother and I am loved. I am a wife and I am loved. I am a friend and I am loved. I am flawed, and still, I am loved.

And I love, right back.

I may pick my physical self to pieces which results in spending too much time in the bathroom but I am pretty content with the person I am on the inside.

This week, I have been truly overwhelmed by all the love and support I have received from family, friends and acquaintances surrounding my new blog. The encouraging and heart-felt words have really aspired me to take the reins and see this thing through. I can’t remember the last time Ive had a good dose of “determination” and how bloody amazing it feels to have some goals. Thank you.

Today, I’ve decided is the day that I stop picking myself apart and instead, I am going to transform every negative thought I’ve held of myself in to a positive one.

I might give myself a hard time about the 9 years I’ve spent out of the workforce instead of building a career, but instead, I’ve been fortunate enough to spend that time being a full time mumma and guiding my four children through to school age.

My feet are cracked and sore, but I’ve got two strong legs to stand on. My teeth are a little crooked, but I’m lucky enough to have good dental hygiene. I look like a bobble-head, but that head of mine is host to a creative mind. Ive got scars and stretch marks, but those are a constant reminder of my ultimate honour – being fortunate to carry and deliver four healthy children.

If I could flip myself inside out and put my heart out on display, you would see that every part of me is sincere and I would never be afraid to show that to the world.

I AM confident in my character.

I hope that for any of you who are reading my blog and who lack confidence and the inability to see what others see, can take something away from this. Together, let’s start practicing how to love ourselves and take care of ourselves. We don’t have to be cocky or over confident, but we do need to give ourselves a break from time to time.

I’m a work in progress. To some extent, I think we all are. Some of us are harder on ourselves than others and many of us are just better at focusing our attention, elsewhere.

I don’t know if I’ll ever hit the gym without a tiny bit of “something” on my face, and I can’t promise I won’t revert to hair extensions if these sparrow feathers of mine don’t hurry up and grow!!

And, while I work on my ability to genuinely accept a compliment on my appearance, I’ll continue to do my best at just being an all- around good human – and so should you! ❤️🙌🏼

If only, people could see their souls, instead of their faces in the mirrors they hold – Sulekha Pande

Beauty from the inside, out and the outside, in

I actually wrote this little piece a while back, so to those of you close to me, it might ring familiar. It was a little rant I had late one night on my Facebook page after downing a couple of glasses of wine. A lot of the time, this is when I get the itch to write about the things going on inside my mind.

My mind is like something you might see in the comics, with all the thought cloud bubbles surrounding some poor, confused looking cartoon. Day and night the bubbles fill up, sometimes with trivial things like, “I need to ask my neighbour what those strange fruit like things are hanging off her tree?” Or “I really need to get my nails done. It’s almost February and I’m still flossing Christmas colours from when I was feeling festive” to more niggling things, “Why won’t my children sleep in their own beds?” “Am I doing this right?” “Am I doing Anything right?” Eventuality, there are no bubbles left to comprehend my husband when he starts talking about tax and BAS “stuff”. I just nod and stare blankly at him like a deer in the headlights. Sorry babe. There are zero bubbles left for that kind of talk around here. 🙅🏼‍♀️

Another thing I do think about, that often fills my bubbles is how to bestow confidence within my children. How do I fill their cup every day so that they feel positive and accomplished? How do I ensure I’m doing everything in my power to enable them to grow up to be self-sufficient, contributing members of society?

I might not know a lot about what goes on at the accountants office, but I sure do know how to insist my children feel loved and humbled each and every day.

___________________________________________

Setting: One silent evening in late 2017, approximately 11:30pm. Drink of choice: Likely a Brown Brothers prosecco or a drop of a crisp De Bortoli Villiages Sav Blanc. Feeling: content

I didn’t grow up being told I was “pretty” or “beautiful” by my family – Any such praise was reserved for things such as performing well in sport, or acing an English exam.

It’s important of course, to know you are much more than face value, (which is a credit to my parents) however, I’ve only recently learned to be more outwardly confident – and for me, it’s still a continuous work in progress.

I tell my children every single day how smart they are, how talented and kind they are and I do not forget to remind them of how beautiful and/or handsome they are. I need my children to face this world with the utmost of confidence so that their little hearts are less likely to crumble at the harsh words of a bully.

Confidence not only comes from within. You need to feel comfortable & beautiful within the shell that carries that gorgeous soul, too. You need your child to be able to look in that mirror and see what you see. Otherwise, without that confident exterior, it makes it hard for all that special stuff on the inside to shine through.

It’s not perfection – it’s contentment we strive for. It’s not vanity, it’s self acceptance & self love qualities that we want our children to carry with them in to adulthood.

I hope that by doing this, I am giving them the tools they need to be less susceptible of falling victim to this materialistic & plastic world we live in. I don’t want my children wishing they looked like the model they follow on Instagram. I want them to want to look like themselves.

I want them to know, that there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.

K x

Children who grow up feeling loved deeply become adults who are prewired to love deeply. – Karen Salmansohn

My Sophie bear. The epitome of beauty from the inside, out (and the outside, in)