How many times, as Momma Bear, as Papa Bear have you put your needs to the side? Dropped your needs over by the “side board of lost intentions” only to be remembered as you fall into bed, or as you sit on the loo with an audience complaining about being hungry, bored, tired or sore. How many times have you thought, yep I feel hungry, bored, tired and sore too, only for the thought to quickly evaporate as their needs outweigh yours? I wrote an article recently for the Irish Examiner about being an introverted mother and since writing this feature, I’ve relaxed a bit more and allow myself those five, ten, fifteen minutes – if I can get it – to regroup, refocus, to be still and recover from the never-ending exhaustion of a day with kids.
I always say life has a funny way of throwing you a curveball. Whether you can hit that ball out of the ballpark or not is really the issue. Last Friday a curveball came in the size of a Lexus as it swerved onto my side of the road and collided with my car, sending us spinning with the gas and smoke from the airbags suffocating us.
I’ve spouted the term mindfulness about throughout my posts recently without really telling you what it is or how to concentrate on it. I’m obviously no expert having only come across the term less than a year ago but I’ve found it be the best thing, or rather, concept if you will, that has eased me back into real life without panic or stress. Being a Momma Bear who is also a Working Bear has had some pretty hefty challenges which could have easily knocked me downwards if I let it. But mindfulness has kept me focused in a way that calms my mind to the storm that often swells up around me.
I’ve had some incredibly mixed emotions lately. Little Bean is almost one and I can’t help but think back over the year it’s been. It’s been good but it’s also been bad. And those bad days are standing out more. But I am ending today focusing on Little Bean and her big sister because while the year has been a challenge, guess what, we got through it.
I absolutely can not explain to you how much I am terrified of the dentist. I don’t know why I’m afraid but I do know that I struggle to find my way to the dentists office let alone the chair. It’s a common fear and and for me it’s right up there with clowns, creepy kids and china dolls. Little Miss has always been good at brushing her teeth. Even more so now that her Montessori teacher gave her a tooth brushing timer. But I’m terrified I’m going to pass on this fear to her.
*** This is a collaborative post but don’t be like me and avoid the dentist. Look after your oral hygiene, your teeth and your gums. ***
I’ve always loved the idea of having a Rainy Day Fund or as my folks say Funny Money, which is an awesome way to say “here’s a few bob. Let’s treat ourselves!” Myself and Papa Bear don’t drink, smoke or pop any drugs stronger than paracetamol for the migraines that come our way. Alcohol is something neither of us are bothered about and I hear we’re saving a tonne by skipping it all together, although the odd Lidl wine has said to be a bargain and there’s something to be said for making your own moonshine! Even so, we like to splurge on our favourite vice – food! Little Miss has a saying which goes something like, “Can we go somewhere nice to eat?” So Lord knows we gotta save for these little treats now that we’re down to one income and a bit!
It’s been almost two months since my anxiety “blip” which left me floored for two weeks with intense frustration, anger and anxiety that I lost control of. I wrote a letter to my Fricking Flamingo and kicked it out of the door. Before this blip I thought I was ok, in the safe zone, and had let life jump back on board making me forget about the ways I manage my anxiety.
Or rather, getting enough sleep and staying hydrated is pretty much the best any parent can hope to achieve. I have to admit, and I should be embarrassed as I say it, but my health is not at the top of my agenda. Since quitting my job and having two kids run rings around me, earning money and putting clothes on their bums is what keeps me going. So writing is my wealth but with that stupid attitude my health has taken a nose dive. Stress, anxiety, yada, yada, yada, we all know the drill. But to be good to my kids, I have to be good to myself.
Lately I’ve found myself talking about relationships a lot. And it’s not because Papa Bear and I have hit a personal milestone. It’s more to do with the fact that being a family of bears takes its toll on even the most stable of relationships. It’s hard. We know that. We’re up against quite a lot when kids come along. Intimacy, conversation, time for each other stalls. And Hollywood doesn’t help. The Hollywood Ideal lures us into a false sense of security, almost as though it’s not necessary to work on our relationships daily. But we do, oh we really, really do.