Browsing Tag:

Hard days

post-natal-depression

When I got married just after I turned 18, I was sure that I was on-track to having the life I’d planned.

You know the one. Just like the TV ad families with a happy marriage, beautiful kids, a nice house and permanently tanned and fit bodies.

And 15 months later, when a bubbly blonde little girl made us a family of three I expected her arrival to be the next step towards our perfect life.

But I knew something wasn’t right when I sat there holding this darling little human, feeling empty and confused.

And when my milk refused to come, that was when I started to believe that I’d ‘failed’ at being a mum. I had started taking notice of what I considered were my failures. I was a harsh critic.

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storm-pass

I am going to be completely honest with you:

I have not had the easiest year so far when it comes to motherhood.

Other areas are all going well, but this mothering gig has been a lot tougher than usual the last few months.

Whether it was the start of a new school year (and for my youngest that meant getting used to 5 days a week away from mum) or the fact that we had just returned from a 4 week holiday  trip back to South Africa, living out of suitcases and traveling from pillar to post or maybe just a random turn of events, both my children hit a big wobbly.

For my oldest that meant a severe bout of anxiety over a variety of things, even though he has always been my easy-going adventurer that didn’t know the meaning of the word fear. My sleep was interrupted several times each night as he struggled with nightmares and falling asleep again afterwards.

My darling youngest returned to the tornado-like temper meltdowns he had when he was two. We all bore the brunt of his angry outbursts, copped an enormous amount of verbal abuse and had to tread on eggshells constantly.

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crying-babies-cry-heaven

Flying across an ocean is a great equalizer.

Everyone is uncomfortable. No one can really sleep despite their body’s cry for rest. The food leaves everyone feeling hungry but also, without desire to eat what is handed to them. And, at the end, we all walk away feeling dirty for no particular reason other than the air which leaves us all inexplicably musty. 

But what I find most interesting about these flights, is the way people interact with the little ones around them. 

I have never flown across an ocean with a small child, but I have many friends who have done it alone; going to or from visiting a deployed military spouse. And I applaud them.
I applaud them because it takes courage to walk down an aisle with a rambunctious toddler and face glaring eyes, annoyed by simply the presence of a child.

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motherhood-pride

About 18 months ago, I was tagged in a Facebook post to participate in the “motherhood dare.”

You know the one: someone dares you to post one photo that makes you proud to be a mother.

I struggled with this. I flipped through the photos on my phone, but felt that none of them reflected pride. You see, it didn’t matter how cute the photo seemed, I remembered what happened behind the scenes just before or after it was taken. The tantrum or the complaint or some form of defiance from (mostly) one of them and the way I reacted to it.

I had to admit to myself that I wasn’t particularly enjoying motherhood at that stage and definitely did not feel proud.

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cultivate-calm

Summer is here. Which means the birds are singing, the weather is warm, and kids no longer *need* shoes outside. But with this newfound freedom (you’re welcome, toes) comes the chaos of the season. Unstructured days bring unpredictability, frustrations, and a great need for a few minutes of calm.

So here are 4 ways to cultivate calm in your home this summer:

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rejecting-lies-pnda

Some days are not so good and I’m not the best mother on those days. Some days I don’t deserve to be your mother. But my prayer is that you won’t remember these days and you will never doubt how much I love you…

The above entry was added to my journal when my first baby was almost 3 and my second was 18 months of age. Soon afterwards I was diagnosed with PNDA, however I’d been struggling long before then.

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weary-reminder-labor

“And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.” -Galatians 6:9

My mom, a saint who is still in the process of raising ten children, quoted this verse to me at least once a month throughout my upbringing. Homeschooling brought some unique challenges, one of which was not being affirmed in how her parenting choices were correct. Until I was in college, it was hard to see where I stood with my peers and how her parenting philosophies held up to time.

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