Life has a funny way of changing your perspective on things. For us, the idea of our family tree spreading didn’t start with that giggle and jiggle under the sheets. The drawn-out two-year conversation about whether it was the right time to start a family, hung like a cloud over us as we thrashed out the whys, the ifs and the buts. It was a long process. It’s the old story of I wanted kids, he wasn’t sure, I pushed the issue, he pushed back, and I won in the end.
It’s possible I should start off by the saying that you should really enjoy the baby making sessions because there may come a time when squeezing in more than a thirty second smooch becomes tedious. But that may put you off the idea of having kids and what would be the point of that. Let it be known, sex as a parent is both limited and glorious for all the obvious reasons. But when is the right time to add a baby to your daily grind?
My recovery was a long eighteen months combining so many actions on a daily basis to keep my head flying higher than the flamingo. What did I do?
I was once asked, on the radio no less to thousands of listeners, to describe what anxiety feels like. Where do you start? Anxiety isn’t simply a nervousness that makes you indecisive. I’m sure I’ll list off how I was feeling and any woman who has suffered will nod in agreement. It’s painful, physically painful. There is nausea, headaches and dizzy spells aside from the mental overload. It feels hopeless and it can pass before it hits you hard again. The lull and low of anxiety didn’t affect me all the time but it sure did like to linger and attack quickly.
Something transpired out of motherhood, rising from the ashes like a giant pink flamingo. It probably began earlier than I care to admit, but a few weeks after Devin was born, my focus was gone, my routine and schedule, all fragmented and I suddenly felt this overwhelming urge to blow up. It was less to do with the fact that we had a five-week-old baby and more to do with the extreme possibility I was suffering from intense postnatal anxiety and depression.
Something struck me the last few days. Struck me hard, like a lash of a whip or one of those instantaneous paper cuts right on the knuckle. Or a slice from tin foil which oddly happened to me last week. I’ve been overly tired – emotionally, physically and mentally the past while. I’ve been crawling through the sludge grabbing for a rope to pull me up and out. It’s been a case of being hit hard by “the overwhelm”. You know those days when everything seems to need to be done two or three times before you can move on to the next thing. And the next thing and the next thing. I’ve had friends and family worry about me this week. And I can see in the back of their eyes, a little dancing Flamingo.
Lets jump on the Marie Kondo bandwagon shall we? Now I know most of you heard of her before the Netflix series took centre stage, but I, my friends, had not. Despite her sailing into our lives in 2014 with her book detailing the KonMari method of de-cluttering, in other words retaining only what “sparks joy”, my order conscious self missed her inspirational overhaul of life. I do love a good reshuffle and I appreciate the motherload of organisation but I must admit, her method of living and loving is not as easy as it looks.
I’m living in fear of snow this week. Last years snow drifts, while beautiful and temporarily fun to play in before the ice cold creeps into your bones, has left me willing and wishing the weather man will say we’ve escaped with a sprinkling of the white stuff. When I was five, I longed for snow. At 35, not so much. Indoors I stay. Indoors I do my best to keep warm. But I’m also living in fear of the oil running out before I can top up the tank. Which got me thinking about how the cold seeps into our house on days like these. Practical as ever, I have a few tips for keeping the house warm without leaving the heat on all day.
Here it is. The start of a brand new year when expectations are high and disappointments seem so far away or even impossible. When new beginnings can mean everything and anything and certainly have no place for failure. When day one is exciting with a new mind embracing new challenges. What will you do in 2019?
Being Momma Bear has changed me. I’ve changed drastically and dramatically and for the better. We grow up, drag ourselves in to the world of adulthood and expect nothing. For some people things don’t change. They blend from one decade to the next with the same ideals and shoes. Others change quickly, become bigger, better versions of their younger selves. And then there are new parents. The change is sudden and immense. The growing up and learning is vast. Parenthood is like an affliction that changes the internal mechanisms of your body and brain – in a positive yet frightfully severe way. Has parenthood changed you?