How are you?, would have to be the most complex question I could ever be asked since becoming a mum to Ryder and now Skye, thoughts race through my mind about what should I share and as always I begin with fine, good, tired, you know, the expected answers however sit a little longer and I go much deeper into what it’s really been like over the last 3 months 2 under 2 has taught me so much more about myself in 12 weeks than at any other time in my 31 years of existence.
I wrote about being in my third trimester and feeling like I had a little bit of baby blues which you can read about here. What I’ve come to understand is baby blues can begin in pregnancy, for me I felt its affects in my third trimester and I’ve learnt it can affect you when your little bundle of joy arrives earth side. I felt like I was in mourning, I was sad about the change to our little family dynamic we had going for the past 15 months. I questioned whether or not I could love another baby the way I loved Ryder did I have space in my heart for another? obviously these questions were a little too late when your driving to the hospital about to have baby number 2, but it’s exactly what I remember thinking before I left Ryder at home with the nounou (nanny). I cuddled him before leaving and felt a deep sense of pain in my heart, shed some tears told him I loved him and walked out. I felt overwhelmingly sorry for him because of how the impact of a new baby would create immediate changes to our relationship. A scheduled cesarean meant recovery would take me away from doing my mummy duties with my first born who at the time had been my everything for 15 months! I then felt guilty for feeling sad, she (meaning me) who struggled for so long (5years) to fall pregnant the first time was pregnant again naturally and so quickly after having Ryder should be happy…right!? Skye arrived safely into the world which I wrote about however I still had a sense of sadness
criticizing my emotions made things worst, like most of us I am my worst critique and I’m not that kind to myself, the expectations I placed on myself were more than unreasonable in the first couple months as I healed from surgery and got back in to new baby life. I noticed I stopped myself from experiencing the experiences that were happening right in front of me, it was the worst thing I could ever do I wasn’t enjoying the moments as they were happening because, I was too busy multitasking. We live in a world were this type of attribute is seen as a positive characteristic to have however juggling so much all at once was actually ruining being in some beautiful moments with my babies. I had a light bulb moment or as Oprah Winfrey use to say a A-HA moment where I realized doing laundry while feeding and face timing family over seas whilst preparing dinner and putting Ryder in the corner to occupy himself with dry pasta while i thought about how I needed to vacuum the house re arrange my cushions and remember to go to the supermarket brought me absolutely no joy and a lot of anxious feelings that manifested physically I’d feel like my skin was crawling my heart would race a little my hands would be sweaty my mind was all over the place dedicated to every task which felt overwhelming, I was a mess!
Acknowledging what I was feeling and speaking to Alex freed my mind I felt like my soul was a little lighter as I cried in his arms. I was hesitant at first I wanted him to think I had my sh** together however once I shared the physical and mental struggles I was having he simply said,
“me too, I know what your going through”.
I had forgotten this change was not just happening to me but to him as well What helped was talking, acknowledging what I was feeling, and now finding ways to work on me.
Working on me
trying to pull myself back into the present and focusing on what is in front of me was difficult to begin with, but I’m learning and reminding myself to remain present and experience the experience as it is happening!
Physical exercise has helped me feel good about myself nothing too intense and it has helped give me a more positive not so overwhelmed outlook on the rest of my day. A cesarean had put limits on what I could do immediately following Skye’s birth but I love using the Nike Training Club application for my phone
Its free and you can download workouts that suit your level of ability your desired intensity and what you want to focus on for example, strength, core, endurance etc. You can also select 15 minute, 20 mintue 30 minute and 45 minute workouts depending on how much time you have. The fact that it is a free download is what sold me and I couldn’t recommend it enough to other mummies who don’t have the luxury of being able to go to a gym or have a personal trainer. There are videos to show you how to correctly do each exercise you can synchronize your own music playlists and it has a voice over so you can without looking at your phone know exactly what to do next. Amazing!
Mindfulness is something I’ve known about but never considered like I said before I’m my worst critique and quite hard on myself, does it really matter if my sofa cushions are not all nicely set in a row 2 under the age of 2 is testing this theory for me. Creating awareness around my thoughts and how I speak to myself is something I need to work on I’ve found someone to help me in this area.
Making lists to get everything that I’m juggling in my brain and dedicating at least 1 hour to a task then stopping and picking up at a later time was the single best advice another friend gave me while at coffee.
What has amazed me is there are so many shitty moments (literally) in a day with 2 under the age of 2, however there are so many more moments that make my heart full of joy the key is being kinder to myself remaining present and continuing to create awareness and change around things that really aren’t that important.
Always living learning and evolving.