Getting back to Me

I did something new this morning………… I swallowed my first anti-depressant tablet.

The irony is not lost on me, the lady who goes on about the benefits of gratitude, the lady who has received the most lovely emails and messages from people saying how they wish they were as positive as me, that same lady is on anti-depressant.

I have even had a chuckle at this situation (although it is not funny).

It also brings me shame to admit that only a few weeks ago I made a comment on being confused as to why a friend of mine who seems to have it all together is taking  an anti-depressant.

Time to eat my words.

After crying for hours on end for most nights this week, with the slightest thing setting me off, after anxiety attacks, and the constant feeling of walking through a cloud of fog, after realizing that I was no longer taking the joy from life that I normally find, after all of that I begged my husband to come to the Dr with me.

I’m glad he did, he had to do the talking for the first 5 minutes of the consult……….. I couldn’t talk through my tears.

The Dr was lovely, he explained that we all have our stress thresholds, and I have reached mine and just keep going over it.

In recent months we have had to deal with:

*Phase #567 in our renovations, but what is without a doubt the most extensive part of our renovations that have been going on and off for the whole 9 years we have lived here.

*unexpectedly taking our 15-year-old niece on (just as renovations commenced)

*Family dramas with extended family

* Financial issues

* Miss 5 finding the change in our house hard and commencing to have 2 hour daily screaming fits

*My husband working long hours, and every weekend, meaning we only get family time in school holidays.

And of course many other little things in between.

I had been attempting to deal with it myself, thinking just a few quiet afternoons in the hammock with a book and a cuppa was all I needed.

I was wrong.

So here I am, where I never thought I would be, but where I need to be right now.

I have started a “Happy Book”, and I am going to write down the things that make me happy at the end of each day.

The Dr suggested I take the time each day to look back on my gratitude project as well, for some inspiration.

In two weeks I commence cognitive behavioural therapy.

Hopefully by then the anti depressants have started to kick in.

I have used every inch of my courage to share this story with you, if there is anyone reading this who feels down, lost and stressed, and it is just not going away by itself, please do something about it, do something for yourself, go to your doctor.

Now I really know how horrible it is to fall into that dark pit of despair.

Now it is time to get out.

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The question that changed my thinking

The beautiful Sassy from Sassys Sanity celebrated her birthday this week.

I am fortunate enough to call Sassy a friend, and on her personal Facebook page she asked if her friends could share with  her their favourite birthday memory.

It got me thinking, I thought through the 31 birthdays I have had in my life so far, of the things I did, the people I got to celebrate them with.

What was my favourite memory?

I came to the conclusion it would have to be the year I got my first bicycle.

You see, I was not a child when this happened, though I did beg Santa for one every year. Mum had an accident on a bike as a child and would not allow us to have one as she thought they were unsafe.

My sister was given a second-hand one from a friend, but she was always on it, so I hardly got a go.

My heart ached for a bike, we lived on a quiet street and the neighbourhood kids would get together to go for rides, I would look on with jealousy.

I was 23 when I got my first bike.

Jamie and I were newly engaged, and I had no idea that he had even planned on buying me one.I felt like a little kid again when I saw the shiny purple machine in our loungeroom.

My heart was beating so fast, the excitement of having a bike AT LAST!

I rode my bike down the road, as wobbly as a child learning to ride without trainer wheels for the first time.Jamie ran alongside me, helping to keep me, a grown woman steady on her first bike.

We went riding in nearby parks, me squealing in delight the whole way. (people passing by looking on with confused expressions)

I smile when I think of my first moments on my first bike. I really did feel like I was reliving my childhood.

The thing is that this story doesn’t end here, you see, when I stopped for a moment to think more, I realized what else my 23rd birthday meant to me.

It was the birthday that made me older than my older sister, who sadly lost her battle to cancer at the tender age of 22.

Ever since I have played down my birthdays, as I rack them up and my sister never gets to have another one again.I have only ever remembered the tears that fell on my 23rd birthday, the guilt I felt, the sadness in my heart.

I had forgotten that my 23rd birthday also held some pretty special memories as well.

So thank you Sassy, for reminding me that even in our saddest memories, there are some bright sparkly moments to be thankful for xoxo.

And thank you to Jamie, for making my childhood dream come true, 2 decades later.

Losing my shit

So Thursday evening had just been a typical long day, I had made a pot of soup for dinner, hubby is always home late Thursdays, so I am used to dealing with the chaos alone.

Mr 3 had decided to use his bowl of soup to paint the entire top of the table while my back was turned doing dishes. The kids then proceeded to mash cupcakes into the entire loungeroom floor, the type of hard mashing that a broom aint going to sweep up.

The kids were tired and grumpy, like myself. I got them in the shower, had to wash their hair as they had both been swimming that day (on top of the school sports carnival that had left everyone tired as well)

It was late, so I had to blow dry Kiaras hair so she could go to bed. In the process of combing her hair, I found something I had been dreading to see in my 6 years of being a parent…….. a NIT!

Yep, we have been lucky to go 6 years without head lice in this house (we have had an infestation of bird lice thanks to migrating Mina Birds, but that is a whole other story).

So I get out the conditioner, lather her hair up in it, and proceed to comb, and comb her hair out.

We are both exhausted by now, I am thinking of the pumpkin soup I need to clean up, the mashed up cupcakes, the pile of dishes and the washing in the machine that keeps beeping at me.

Meanwhile Miss 15 is on the (broken) lounge chair, heated up, almost passed out by the nasty bug that has been going around our house.

I finally get Miss 5 nit free, re washed and off to bed.

It’s late, I decide no school the next day, it’s the last day of the term anyhow.

I lather up my hair with conditioner as well, “just in case”, hold the phone in the crook of my neck as I ring the school absentee hot line to tell them Miss 15 is too sick and Miss 5 is undergoing nit treatment.

I talk as I work through the mountain of dishes, hubby walking in at the same time, home from work at last.

Suddenly there is a huge noise on the kitchen window. I thought for a moment a bird had flown into it.

I look up…….

There is a cracked egg, sliding down the window………..

It takes a moment to register.

I rush outside, there is eggs all over our front yard (which is enclosed by a 6ft fence mind you), they have narrowly missed my washing.

Hubby creeps up to the fence to peek out, to see if the culprit are still there, his plan is to scare them quietly.

I have no time to think……… my blood is boiling.

With my hair still piled on my head with conditioner, food splattered all over me, exhausted, tired and over this shit, I proceeded to lose my shit.

I stormed out onto the road of our usually quiet neighbourhood, pulling our front gate open, I stood on our front lawn and screamed at the top of my voice

“YOU MOTHERFUCKERS!”

An appropriate quote a friend found for me on facebook

It was partly aimed at the egging culprits, partly just at life in particular.

Not my finest hour, and I immediately looked back to the house to make sure neither of the 2 younger kids had woken up to find Mummy losing her shit in an undignified manner in our front yard.

I did not find the little shits, I have no idea if they saw me, it was dark out there, but I did loose my shit……………………

Then it was time to plod back inside, hose up the cracked egg, do the dishes, hang out the washing, clean up the table, mop the floor……….. and crash.

Losing your shit is rather exhausting.

Little Moments #2

Another week of little moments to share:

A local suburb is called Yorkeys Knob, they hold an annual fesitval aptly named “The Festival of the Knob”. We finally went there for the first time.

This years theme was “The Knob Sparkles”, nothing like a sparkly knob 😉

The kids got to go on the giant slide

Enjoying an ice cream each at the festival

Kiara has loved taking photos for a while, she has her own compact camera, but has recently been asking to use my SLR.

She posed me for this set of photographs she took this week, it was a lot of fun.

Zen, our forever smiling dog playing dress ups (photo taken my Jazz, my niece)

the ants go marching one by one……..

Hubby’s Birthday was an excellent excuse for a yummy afternoon tea .

Teaching Noah how to do the peace sign

The kids fairy garden was looking a bit tired, so we got some new flowers for it.

One year dancing trophy (wearing burlesque costume for this weekends dance concert)

 Dr Dog Storm making sure Kiara gets better soon

Back to Basics

It feels a little lately that I am juggling things, and not doing a very good job of that either.

In the last few months we have had loads going on as a family, and in a way it feels like we have not had the chance to stop for a breathe.

The pile of hurdles, obstacles, things to deal with has just grown.

If I am going to be honest, I will tell you I am overwhelmed.

I don’t think I am the only one either.

We have been brainstorming ideas on how to make things work at a little less hectic pace around here. I don’t know all the answers, but have come up with some ideas.

Next term we are cancelling all after school activities. Kiara has been anxious about dancing lessons each week, her passion for it has faded. She is a wonderful little dancer, but I am not going to push her to do something she doesnt want to do.

Swimming lessons are getting a break too. Thursdays have become full on with 2 seperate lessons for the kids. The kids have learnt a valueble life skill there that we need to keep working on, but the formal lessons need a break, even if only for a term.

I’m cancelling my dance lessons too. I have loved them, and know I will be back. I have enjoyed the time for myself, the knowledge that I will get to walk out that door by myself on a wednesday night. The social aspect of it all, the fun, the excercise, the challenge.

Dancing however has added to my exhaustion, the mental exhaustion of worrying about getting the dance right, pushing myself out that door after a draining day, and the feeling of any last module of energy being zapped.

A quick calculation of what we will save by taking a term off of these activities actually had me shocked at the expense we have been forking out.

I have put myself down, wondered why all these other families can deal with X,Y and Z in their life with little issues.

I know that life is not always as it seems, we all have our issues, our dramas, our moments. It is not that any one of us has it worse off, or finding it harder to cope with. It is just that we are all individuals, with our own set benchmark of limits.

I have come to mine.

Does that make me weak? I don’t know.

Does it make me a whinger? Perhaps.

What I do know is things need to change.

We are going to get outside more, to be honest it seems I have to encourage the kids to do that.

I am going to be more gentle on myself. The thought that I need to be back to “normal” in a set time is unrealistic.

The focus is going to be on the simple things.

Time together as a family, and time alone to recharge those batteries (as that just does not seem to be happening).

It seems our family are all tired, worn out and cranky, we are all stretched to our limit.

I’m hoping that getting back to basics, and away from the daily rush of endless destinations and activities will be just what we need.

Little Moments

No matter how hectic a week, or how dull  it may seem, when you take a moment to think about all that you have done, all you have experienced, you then realise that amongst all the “normal” moments, there has been many special little moments.

I am going to start doing a weekly post on my little moments.

Here is some of the last few weeks in my life.

We stopped on the side of the road to look at this amazing rainbow

An impromptu twilight visit to the beach was loads of fun, with lots of giggles.

 We all attempted to do the biggest jump. As you can see, Jamie, my husband won hands down.

Poor little fella was so exhausted that he fell asleep on the toilet.

Lucky I was there to catch him!

We got to watch a fireworks display put on at a local school fete.

It was loud, it was bright, it was magical.

The kids had fun swapping clothes with each other for dress ups.

I had a great time laughing too!

Sorry dude, but this is so coming out at your 21st!

The local cane fields are starting to look so beautiful with all the flowers coming out on the cane.

car painting has become rather popular with Noah.

She gets anxious and worried, and makes a mountain out of a mole hill.

If I look deep enough into her soul, I see so much of myself, and need to remind myself of how often I have felt exactly the same way in life, even when I was as young as her.

I am reminding myself to practise as much patience with her as I would want with myself.

Mummy’s Reward Chart

I recently set up another reward chart for my kids.

It seems that people’s opinions on reward charts vary, some people swear by them, others feel that you should teach your children to behave without having to have a reward to do so.

Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but all I can say is that since we have implemented reward charts in our house, the behaviour of my children has dramatically improved.

We use a whiteboard, with a tick for good behaviour, and one rubbed out if undesirable behaviour continues after two warnings.

After 10 ticks, the kids get $2 to put in a jar to save up to buy something for themselves.

It works, that is all that I care about.

As I handed out the latest instalments of $2 coins to the children yesterday, much to their excitement, I wondered about how nice it would be to have my own little encouragement for good behaviour, or the threat of losing a tick for negative behaviour.

I shrugged this strange idea off, but then found I kept thinking about it again.

A Mummy reward Chart, yeah, I could so do with one of them!

This morning I walked around with an imaginary reward chart on top of my head.

As I herded the kids on the daily task to get ready for school, I remained calm, even when Mr 3 refused to get dressed, then proceeded to spill his cereal EVERYWHERE.

I kept my cool when Miss 5 wouldn’t put her shoes on, and Miss 15 went missing right as were climbing into the car.

Mr 3 then ran off on me at school, right when the bell rang, and Miss 5 had her daily dose of screaming down the class room as I left.

TICK, TICK, TICK  went my chart as I remained calm, and did not lose my shit in the face of stress.

I ended up finding myself laughing at things that were probably not so funny.

The day continued, much like any other, the same little hurdles that come our way.

Miss 5 cut her foot open after school, Mr 3 refused to eat his dinner, then refused to go to bed.

TICK, TICK, TICK.

This Mummy jumped these hurdles, and I gave myself an imaginary tick each time.

I also found that I was more willing to award the kids with ticks throughout the day with the knowledge of just how much we need to be aware of our feelings, and actions, and just how easy it is to loose it all when the going gets tough.

And if its that easy to loose your shit when you are an adult, I can only imagine how hard the ups and downs of a daily routine gets for a little kid!

The Nut Cracker

The other night I woke up in the early hours of the morning to a scratching sound on the floor.

“oh no!” I thought to myself instantly.

“We have rats again!”.

We have had a bit of a problem with rats outside over the years, but never in the house. Those little creatures get me into a bit of a cold sweat, I know they are probably more scared of me then I am of them, but the freak me out!

I try to nudge my husband awake, gently at first, but he is one deep sleeper, and I am starting to get a bit worried that these turbo rats are going to try to jump into bed with us, so I start nudging him a bit harder.

I give him a big push, or more of a hit, then I hear a blood curdling scream, and he instantly sits up in bed, clutching to his man hood and groaning.

It seems I misplaced my hit, and when I thought I was getting his leg, I did not see in the dark that he was laying on his side, not his back, and I had accidentally hit my husband, in the nuts, hard.

Well, I decide to leave him be, to groan in peace, and put on my brave face to find out how many monster rats are on our bedroom floor.

I creep, tentatively towards to bedroom door, I crouch down, prepared to jump at any moment the killer rats strike…………. then I see the cause of the noise.

The fan was making a giant drawing the kids had done for me move around in the breeze, and the sound of the paper rubbing against the floor was making a scratching sound.

So it turns out that I hit my husband in the balls, all in the name of a piece of paper!

Sorry hubby!