What better way to celebrate feeling positive again than a new tattoo. Nope, tattoos aren’t for everyone since they’re pretty much a forever thing but my tattoos mean a lot to me. They signify a point in my life, a change, a passion, a positive mindframe. Since becoming a Stay At Home Mum just before Little Bean was born, my world changed. Drastically. But for the better. Harder. But simpler in an odd way. For a while though, I felt like I lost a part of me as I felt overwhelmed, panicked and stressed having to survive the day with two little ones, while attempting to control my home and indoctrine myself into a routine that was more alien than a pile of mashed potato. Anxiety hit. Depression slid in. I felt lost. Abandoned. Alone. And overwhelmed. But I have reclaimed so much of my life in the last month and finally feel like the tag line of this Blog is coming true. I’m finally becoming the new me … the new new me… through parenting and through understanding my place in this life.
The past few months haven’t been easy but I genuinely feel like I’ve turned a corner. Folks I’m kicking that Fricking Flamingo’s butt.
One night last week, B came home from work to a worn out, tired wife who looked haggard and ready to fall at any minute, excitable kids who were loud and exhausted, the house somewhat turned upside down. He asked, almost whispered, was I ok? There were trademark signs that the ten hours he was out of the house were not all plainsailing. A worried look on his face, I could tell he was expecting to hear, “We’ve had the shittest day. Take me away from here. I’ve lost the will to live. I can’t do this anymore” with the swagger of a 1950s housewife ready to collapse under the burden of, dare I say it, ordinary, regular, run of the mill, home life. But nope I said, “Grand, we’ve had a great day!” as little miss looked up at me and I scooped her into my arms, attacking her with raspberry kisses.
His eyes lightened and the surprise was spread over his face. I told him how the day was incredibly hectic, how we fought, we loved, we danced, we sang, Momma Bear never sat down and sipped a scalding hot cup of coffee, burning the roof of her mouth in the process, in a desperate attempt to drink something before it cooled down to tar – FYI it’s not worth it, let it go cold.
He then said something that will probably stay with me for a long time. He said, “You don’t have anxiety anymore!”
Oh but I do B, but I do. The difference is, I have learnt to deal with the anxiety. Counselling, meditation, visualisation have all helped to keep me focused, to divert away from the anger, frustration and hurt that causes an attack. I’ve learnt to be me again amidst the crazy days and stressful moments because, let’s face it, being a parent is not without its incredible frustrations. But the anxiety has levelled off, I’m finding control. I’m enjoying life. I’m happy. Sshhh don’t jinx it. Whisper.
I’m becoming the new me, all over again. And I’m beginning to love the new me as I gain control and see the smiles and hear the happy laughs of our two kids. I’m feeling the positive in our days more and more. One of the things, my counsellor suggested I do was to list off everything I hope to achieve in a day. Tick off the things I managed to do and recognise how well I am coping.
Well, the list was long.
And I ticked off everything. Even better, I added to the list throughout the day and found that most days I achieve more than I need to. I am winning! And I need to give myself a big old pat on the back. *pat pat pat* Because it’s not easy. This parenting lark. Dealing with depression, anxiety and flying pink birds. It hasn’t been easy but I’m reclaiming my life.
And it’s exciting me. I see this new path as an adventure, for me as Momma Bear and for the little cubs who are stuck with me all day. God love them, me of all people. But Momma Bear is finding her spark and becoming not just loving but kinda cool and kinda fun.
But alas! My dear dear friends, the new me is not just Momma Bear though.
I may be at home with these two little bears who keep me on my toes every second of the day until their tired eyes close to sleep, but I’m also Geraldine. Me.
I’m remembering and taking time to focus on little old me during the day, in the evening, at weekends. I’m forgiving myself for desperately wanting alone time. Time to recollect my thoughts and congratulate myself for getting through another day without letting the pressure of life tie me down. Without anxiety or stress building up. For a gentle pat pat pat on the back. I’m my own cheerleader because if you don’t cheer for yourself then who will? We all have our own drama in life. So give yourself a little cheer in case no one else gets a chance to. 🎶 Gimme a G, Gimme an E 🎶
And so I pat pat patted a little too hard and it stuck or at least my new tattoo did. Admittedly, a tattoo is not the most obvious choice for celebrating finding my feet again. But this one (it’s not my first) symbolises my life, our kids, our family and how I am strong, impenetrable and rising above anything that may knock me down. The owl is my babies, the cogs and wheels show my life ticking happily along and a compass on the other side which I can’t seem to photograph without twisting my arm off but trust me it’s there, keeps me focused on the direction I need to be going in with B and the kids as my directional guides.
My life is changing. I’ve learnt a lot about myself the last few months. Some of it I love, some of it I could do without but I have learnt that I can do this. I can manage. I can change and learn. I can be in control – not of everything but enough to keep myself on track. This is my life and I love it. I’m not going to enjoy every moment. There will be days that suck. But that’s the neverending rollercoaster – a ride I’m happy to be on. And so, folks, I’m becoming the new me through accepting that I’m not wonder woman. I’m me. And I like me.
FYI: these tattoos were done by the amazing artist Lisa of Liilee Art and Tattoos in Navan, Co Meath. I can not recommend her enough! Thank you Lisa ♡♡♡