It's taken me some time and consideration to write this post.
I have struggled with Post-natal anxiety and depression since having my first son 6.5 years ago. I got much better and came off medication when he was about 4 years old. Since having my second son a year ago, I have again fought the battle of keeping my head above the crashing waves that threaten to pull me under.
I thought I was doing well. I thought I was fine. Then I started to take on far too much. I trained to become a Kangatrainer. I became a Jamberry Consultant. I started a business making and selling children's clothes. Then my husband started working away Mon-Fri. My 6 year old started really missing Daddy and hence his behavior has been 'challenging'. My 1 year old is sick and miserable and just wants time with Mummy. I'm so exhausted at night that I just go straight to bed at 7pm after putting the kids to bed.
I can't keep going like this. Something has got to give or I will end up in a very bad place.
Why is it that we feel like we have to keep up with everyone else? Why is it that we compare ourselves to others? Other Mums who run businesses. Other Mums whose husbands work away. Other Mums who work outside the home. Other Mums with other kids.
I constantly feel like I need to be able to 'do it all'. Have the family, the career, be an entrepreneur, contribute to the family finances, be an attachment parent...
So as I sit here in tears at the end of one of the most stressful and awful weeks, I have made decisions.
1. Let Ollie and Quinn go. Do I love the clothing I created? YES! Do I enjoy making it? Some of the time. Is it causing me stress? YES! Is it worth missing out on my family and countless hours spent in anxiety and frustration? No. Do I feel pressure from others to do it? Yes. Do I want to do it anymore?... I don't know. It's so hard letting this go. I've been told that anything worth having is worth fighting for and that not everything can come easily / just get handed to you. Talk about pressure!
2. Go back to my Doctor to discuss my medication levels and further counseling. We discovered when my 1 yr old was 2 weeks old that I have a chemical imbalance and a wonky thyroid. I think it's time to revisit this.
3. Blog. Not on schedule. Not consistently. But I find it therapeutic. I find that I am better able to understand where I'm at by writing. So don't expect consistent posts but do look for them occasionally.
4. Focus on my children. I have been told that I need to exist outside my kids, that I need to focus on ME. But the more I think about it, being a Mum is what I've always wanted and what I've fought to be able to be. I WANT to be with my children constantly. I WANT to be a stay at home Mum. I WANT to continue breastfeeding my son until HE is ready to ween (not when someone else tells me!) I WANT to slow down and make family time a priority. I am at the stage where I WANT to be enthralled with motherhood and my children. So I'm going to let myself. Seriously - why do I feel like I even need permission??
5. Focus on finding quiet time with God often. In the midst of being busy, I've lost that closeness I have had with God. I miss it so much and I miss God's presence and speaking into my life. How can I hear from Him if I don't have time to listen?
6. Realise that I am allowed to be the Mum I want to be. Not the Mum others say I should be. Not the Mum I see at school. Not the Mum my sisters are. Not the Mum my Mum was. Not the Mum in the books. All of those women are incredible and I admire them. But they aren't me. They don't have my children. They don't have my exact circumstances. They aren't me.
7. Reconnect with my husband. Last night after he finally got home from a work trip at 9.30pm we did something we haven't done in a very long time. We lay in bed and... talked. Holding hands. No phones. No children. No TV. No distractions. Just talk. Just looking at each other. One thing my husband said has been ringing through my mind since last night. "Hello, nice to meet you". He captured the moment exactly. Who are we now? 10 years married in January. We don't have a "bad marriage" by any means and love each other tremendously. But who are we 10 years later? Who have we become?
So here's to being honest. May it continue.
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