Single parent studying sucks.

Studying isn’t going well. I actually am experiencing quite a lot of regret about partaking in studies, and the only thing making me continue with my degree, is that in about 6 weeks, I’m done with the OU for the year. Yes, the year, I am not going to be doing my third of six years until 2020 because I simply cannot find the time or energy to get it done.

I’m very aware I am sat in a place of privilege and the opportunities I have, are not available to everyone, and so I feel very ungrateful when I say these things.

But all the same, I’ve only got me to pull me through every single week of independent study and every assignment. I’m trying to balance that with everything and truth be told, I can’t hack it. So to put it simply, I am waiting until Reuben is 2 and in nursery to continue with this degree.

I am considering going to an actual university. That would mean starting again, but doing a distance learning degree is way harder than I thought it would be. It was hard when I was working, and it’s certainly a lot harder now that I am a stay at home single parent. Finding the discipline within myself to get the work done is so hard. The motivation wavers away. I feel that this kind of studying is very lonely.

Currently, I should be writing up a paper but I’m finding it incredibly difficult to concentrate as I am overwhelmed and angered by the assignment itself. I just don’t want to do it. I have been trying so hard this year to achieve better grades and I haven’t been getting better. I’m truly disappointed in myself and thus, I am procrastinating. This is the second to last assignment of the year and there’s maths involved. It’s definitely not my strong point.

Anyway, I better just crack on with it. At this point, I just want it out of the way. I have two weeks to do it but next week is a break and I really do want a break from my studies (as if I haven’t been slacking with it for weeks on end). I recall, of course, why I want to do this degree. I want a better life for my son and I. I want to help others. I’ll get there.

Thank you for reading,

With love, Rebecca xo

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Life For Us Lately

Hello again,

I thought today I would take a moment to sit and write about how life is at the moment.

Starting with Reuben, of course, my little buddy. He just turned 16 months old, and is a cheeky toddler, who’s currently a bit poorly. Poor mite has a cold. They’re not that bad, are they? But they’re not fun either. Who knew you could become an expert nose wiper in 1 hour? Not me. But I know now. And so do you.

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Parenting is rough at the moment. My mental health is a bag of… a bag of… not good things. The brain fog has been awful, which is a massive sign that the CPTSD has flared up once again, because I am too exhausted to think straight. Today, I’ve got a good few hours on my own so I have an opportunity to breathe without expectations.

I don’t know if that makes sense. But lately, I’ve not had very much time on my own and I have both yearned for it and feared it. I don’t want to be left alone with my thoughts but feeling like I am suffocating all the time isn’t fun either. Flashbacks, low self esteem, sensory overload, brain fog, anxiety attacks, nightmares, self doubt… they’re just a few of the things getting to me lately. It’s been hard.

The hardest thing is that I should be happy. Matthew is amazing. I’ve never felt so well loved, never felt so sure about a person before. He’s loving, supportive, funny, handsome, and definitely, a very good man. I am happy. “Honeymoon period” or not, this one’s a keeper. And I feel like my mental health is trashing up my life like some sort of hormone tornado. It’s ripping through my ability to feel good, stomping all over my parenting, throwing my relationship through the air.

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I’m lucky though. Matthew isn’t the only one who’s been incredibly supportive through this hard time. My sister, Hannah, has also been making sure I am okay. She’s been helping mentally, and physically… babysitting, cleaning, being someone to talk to. We never used to get on, but now we’re best friends. And I trust her with my child. I trust both Matthew and Hannah with Reuben and that’s a wonderful feeling, to know that I don’t have to be alone.

I mean, I still feel isolated. They’re being as supportive as they can, but I am too afraid to speak about half of the things that are going on my mind. I try sometimes, but sometimes I can’t find the words. I have done before, in therapy, but I knew that my therapist is a person who is trained in knowing what to say, how to react, how to help. There’s no guarantee with that in real life, no matter how much the person cares about you. I hate when I’ve opened up about something big in the past, and I’ve had a “is that all?” response (usually in their facial expression), and it’s hurt. I wonder; did the words not do the trauma justice? Am I just pathetic? I guess ultimately, I’m worried that I’ll be seen differently if I open up about things.

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I’m not weak because I am struggling. I am strong because I am fighting. This is another storm that I can and will sail through, no matter how rough the tides are, and I am not afraid of it. I am not alone. There is hope.

Hope, such as, that house move I am hoping for this year. If you don’t know, I am bidding for council houses so I am on a waiting list to be moved. Every week I bid on available properties that I am eligible for, and every week I do get closer and closer, looking at where I’m ranking at the end of the each week. I reckon I have maybe 6-9 months of waiting. It would be less but I am trying to move to a much better part of this city, where the housing and schools are better, so I am prepared to wait a bit longer. Even if living here is literally a source of stress and anxiety, I know holding on for the best is worth it. I want to give Reuben, and myself actually, a better life.

So I guess I really better pull my socks up with my degree. Studying has been bothersome lately. Mentally I’m not doing so good (have I… have I mentioned this?) and the last thing I feel like doing with any available time is opening my textbooks. I have been doing it here and there, but I’m definitely struggling to find the self-discipline to get the work done. Hopefully it doesn’t cost me too dearly in the next assessment. I did really want to get a First this year but it seems like it’s out of reach due to my first two assessments. I’m awaiting my third one to be marked but I really hope I’ve done better because I tried so hard to improve. As you can imagine, a blogger’s style of right doesn’t fly with the tutors, so it’s always a challenge to be concise and formal in my essays. I am trying though, isn’t that what’s important?

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I know that my mental health isn’t great but that’s all under the surface stuff, I still feel really appreciative. I still find myself having moments, hours, or the odd day where I feel truly happy. I’m still pushing through. I’m still making sure I go to the gym once a week, laugh whenever I can, and cry whenever I need to. Right now, despite knowing I’ve a huge list of housework to complete, I am okay. I am happy I have found love, support and gratitude this year.  And I’m sure when my skin clears up, and this sad phase ends, I will truly find myself blossoming. Life is changing, everyone, and I am really delighted to say that.

Thank you for reading,

With love,
Rebecca x

The Parent I Was Before Becoming A Parent

It’s funny, isn’t it? Before you become a parent, you are full of idealistic preferences on what sort of parent you think you’ll be and what you think parenting will be like.

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pre-baby beccy.

And then motherhood, or fatherhood, comes in it’s full glory and runs you the fuck over. “Choo choo, bitch. You thought wrong”, it says, as it flattens your expectations and your blob of an exhausted body to the ground. And in your cemented-to-the-floor status, you have to admit that they were right about how hard being a parent is and that it was easier to parent before you actually became one.

For me, the dark truth hit as soon as I became pregnant. My symptoms started about a week after conception. And I had Hyperemesis Gravidarum. Otherwise known as: haha your body hates being pregnant and you are going to spend a small eternity weeping into buckets and toilets, starving half to death, convulsing up your body weight in fuck-knows-what (since you haven’t eaten in days) in a possessed fashion.

Honestly, HG is a violent reaction to pregnancy, it hurts a ridiculous amount and I preferred my God awful induced labour to the first 18 weeks of my pregnancy (after that it was manageable with medication). It was vile. And I was thankful to be pregnant, but the 21 year old me who was hugging the bedroom wall at a 35° angle, trying not to be sick (again, please god, no), was so miserable and so isolated and so afraid.

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around 15 weeks pregnant 🙂

And yet, during my breadline pregnancy, I still managed to keep a romanticised view of motherhood. I’d like to add I knew it wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows but I was imagining motherhood as if it was going to be this holistic, healing walk through a Disney movie. I had no idea of the horrors of attempting to breastfeed a baby with reflux or looking after a newborn for days at a time on my own. I had no idea that I’d hate babywearing, and that it wouldn’t work for me, or that the stairs of my flat would often prevent me from going out because it was such a mammoth task. I had no idea I’d have to choose bottle washing over eating, that I’d worry about SIDS constantly for the first six months-ish. I cried so much and I didn’t have PND, I had a severe case of exhaustion. It was hard in the ways I didn’t realise it was going to be.

I also had no idea that the love for my unborn baby would not even begin to cover how much my heart would burst looking at Reuben. I had no idea of the indescribable love that would flood through every single cell in my body. I still can’t describe it. My child is now at an age where he’s starting to misbehave and it’s still there; the disbelief that this beautiful baby is mine and I’d give anything to protect him. The thankfulness I feel when I look at him, whether he’s being an angel or a little shit, often is overwhelming. I feel joys every day that my pre-baby self could not possibly understand.

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exhausted mama? yes. run down? yes. happy? yes.

But my pre-baby self, undoubtedly so, could not imagine being a parent at all. It’s not like babysitting at all. It’s not like looking after anyone else’s kids – and if you want to know why – it’s because they’re not yours. When the child is yours (I include adopted children here), it’s different, because the love you feel for them shapes an intricate bond. You hurt with them, you feel joy with them, when they’re testing you, it hurts. It all hurts. It hurts so much.

Nobody tells you how much it hurts watching your baby grow up and out of your arms, no matter how proud of them you are, it hurts. It breaks your heart, especially because all the hormones of the fourth trimester render you incapable of remembering the blur of new motherhood. All the days mash together in the roast dinner that is motherhood.

And it is a roast dinner, yeah? It is. You are the yorkshire pudding in a plate of chaos and you best believe you can hold your gravy if you want to survive. Otherwise, you’ll be a soggy messy, wondering why that mum on instagram has conquered parenting, cleaning and baby group in the time it’s taken you to get your baby sorted and finally have your breakfast.

My advice to you if you ever feel like that is to whisper good for you but fuck off and enjoy another cup of coffee in your pjs. Stop comparing yourself. Contrary to popular belief, there’s no set routine for your days and if you let go of it, you’ll be happier, I promise.

Routines for your baby are good but routines for you? They’re overrated in my opinion. Go with the flow, learn how to breathe when you’re overwhelmed, and care less about the state of the house. It’ll get done, okay? It’ll get done, but for now, snuggle your little one while they still want snuggles & ignore the pressure to Mrs Hinch your rug and Marie Kondo your knicker drawer – it doesn’t fucking matter. Tidy house, tidy mind, is a thing but you’re going to a miserable mama if you’ve lost your sanity trying to achieve instamum perfection.

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photos taken around this time last year, the photo of reu in the blue hat is exactly 1 year ago today!

It might be hard to let go of the parent you wanted to be. I found it hard. But I had to realise that I was given a set of skills to work with in my specific situation and all I could do was hold on, and get through it the best I could.

I promise you, you’re doing a fab job, okay? Bad parents don’t worry about being bad parents. Good parents do. Chill out a bit.

Thank you for reading,

With love, Rebecca ♡

New Year, New Chapter

happy new year

Here we are, another year comes to a close & a brand new year begins. I think, personality, there is no better opportunity to feel a sense of renewal in your life.

A lot of people scorn the very idea of making new year’s resolutions. And whilst I’m not screaming “new year, new me”, I really like thinking about what goals I have for the upcoming year as I reflect on the year that has just gone. In fact, I like to try to predict or manifest the changes I’d like to see.

Last year, I knew 2018 would be a year of personal development – and personal development does not come without it’s woes. You don’t grow through things that make you happy, you grow through what you go through. 2018 hasn’t been a bad year, but all the same, it’s pushed me to change.

The year before, I knew would be a year of change and it really was.

But this upcoming year, I don’t feel like there’s anything big happening. There’s things I know I would love to happen, but I haven’t got any “this is the year of” motifs. I just feel a sense of calm.

Now, I’m not saying in psychic! Don’t worry. I just believe in the law of attraction enough to know that you manifest what you’re thinking about. It’s not as fanciful of dreaming up the winning lottery ticket, there’s no instant results, but that subconscious has a secret way of making things go a certain way.

I think 2019 is going to be a steady, calm year. I think big decisions are going to come up though, so we’ll see what happens there. I do think I’ll be moving into a house at some point – and that’s going to be stressful! But that’s the only big thing I can imagine happening next year. If anything, I’m trying to get ahold of the reins in my current life. I did therapy this year but I need to develop the skills I learnt through Cognitive Analytical Therapy. I forget. I don’t make time for myself. I get too stressed, too overwhelmed, too upset too easily. I want to work on that. I want to get the hang of looking after myself. Because where parenting is concerned, I know I’m doing my best to meet all of Reuben’s needs, but I neglect myself all the time. And yes, sometimes it’s because I’m too tired to do something for me, but I know I’d be less tired if I felt looked after. Heaven knows, nobody is looking after me… not on earth, anyway.

Four years ago, I was an insomniac on antidepressants, totally dysfunctional and struggling every single day. I’ve come so far. I don’t allow people to treat me badly. I know the difference between a healthy coping mechanism and an unhealthy one. I am a mummy to a gorgeous little boy. I am stronger, more resilient and very thankful. And when I falter, I don’t falter for too long. I don’t have any dirty little secrets where the shame is eating me alive; I’ve beared them all and it’s been ridiculously hard to, but I did it. I’m at a part of my journey where I no longer define myself as ‘in recovery’. I’m not ‘recovered’ either, I’m still learning, but I’m not defined by who I was then. The version of me that was, feels like an old friend I sometimes think about (and feel sad when I do) but cannot relate to anymore. I have dreams, still. And I hope one day I will love again. But I have plenty of time for that, don’t I? What’s meant to be will be & all that jazz.

Do you have new year’s resolutions? Let me know in the comments below if you do, I’d love to know. Here are mine:

  • Learn to look after myself better (body, spirit & mind).
  • Be more present in my parenting!
  • Don’t sweat the small stuff.

I just want 2019 to be good to me though, I really do. I hope I’m in for some nice surprises, less loneliness & more laughter!

Thank you for reading!
With love, Rebecca ♡

Psychology Babble #1: Violence and Children.

Hello there 🌿

I’ve found it quite hard to study lately, but not for the reason you might think. I am very interested in what I am studying right now, so when I have time, it doesn’t take much motivation for me to sit and do the work that needs doing. What’s particularly difficult at the moment is the content of which I’m studying in relation to the way it makes me feel.

I am currently studying the effects that violence has on children and although the studies vary in their conclusions, the facts and theories I am learning makes me think about my own childhood and the ways in which I have been let down. I then, naturally, think about my own parenting and my own child and I hope that I can use this knowledge to parent just a bit better than I might have done.

Facebook is the biggest culprit for what I am about to complain about; people who post things along the lines of “I got smacked, never did me any harm!” and also the “kids have no respect these days!” and there’s some wistful story about what childhood’s used to be before “we went soft”.

First of all, if you think there is nothing wrong with hitting kids but you wouldn’t hit your spouse, your work colleague, or your dog – then yeah, I’m sorry to break it to you, but it obviously did do you some harm because you will be harbouring resentment dressed up as respect. You’ve got to ask yourself; why is it okay to hit your child but not your spouse when they do something wrong?

People have literally said to me when I said I am not hitting my own child, that I am, and I quote “just gonna let him get away with it then”. And for a moment, I was stunned in the ignorance but then I at least attempted to defend my beliefs.

Because without examining my own childhood too closely, which is something I am not prepared to do publicly online, did being hit cause me any significant damage?

Yes, it fucking did.

It had long term lasting effects on my mental wellbeing that followed me into my adult relationships and caused even more long term lasting effects on my mental health; hence the complex (or chronic) post traumatic stress disorder. Because sure, it’s okay if they hurt you as long as they love you, right? That’s healthy, right? Wrong! It’s not okay at all.

Now there’s two ways that I think a child turns out after being abused, and I haven’t studied this, this is purely what I think… I think a child either turns out quite aggressive and quite likely to use violence in order to get what they want or they become aggressive when they cannot deal with their emotions and are quick to fits of rage – these children are often quite tough, don’t cry easily and grow up like that. Then, on the flip side, there are the children who are soft, cry easy, struggle to defend themselves and tend to be quite passive so avoid the anger of the person who is walking all over them (or worse).

Guess which one I am? I am now, if I’m honest, since having a baby quite angry and this isn’t just the whole mama bear thing, it’s the child within who’s really upset that she couldn’t be loved and protected like I love my own. You see, I will remain timid unless I feel my child is in any danger, or I’m being disrespected as a mother, and then I find that an aggressive side of me does reveal itself and yes, that’s the mama bear side of things.

Anyway, I have no data of any sort to back up my own theory on how children tend to turn out but I’m sure there are studies out there which will either support or disparage my claim. All I’m saying is, I’ve literally seen the way children grow up when they have been victims of child abuse.

Now, what I’m studying hasn’t even delved into child abuse and the effects it has. It’s touched upon it when studying the authoritarian personality and I’ve read about it in the criticisms of studies on how violence in the media effects children (and I’m not sure I can reference any of these studies without giving full references of where I found the information so I won’t elaborate on those studies) and I’m just so worried.

You know, I have always been the kind who won’t put anything remotely violent or upsetting on the TV if my son is awake – and that’s been since birth pretty much – and people have literally laughed at me for this. For me, I didn’t want him to see anything traumatising which might give him nightmares, but I also didn’t want him to see anything that promotes aggressive behaviour. I also would rather not see gore and violence, but it does mean I can only watch The Originals when Reuben is sleeping or is away at his Dad’s. But on with my point, I’ve now got some supporting evidence for what I’ve been “soft” about. I mean, is it really so bad that I am actively monitoring what Reuben sees on TV? No, I don’t think so. But if you’re wondering, there is evidence to suggest that seeing media violence can traumatise a child but too much of it can desensitize a child – and honestly, I don’t know which one’s worse!

Either way, my son is only 1, so right now it’s just about me holding off on that kind of media for as long as possible. I had no problem with letting him watch baby programmes and animated movies and PG tv shows and films… I mean let me clarify I know media isn’t bad for children, it can actually be a very positive thing, and anything you can find online, for example, you can also find in the real world – I think it’s more about trusting your child will come to you if they find anything upsetting. Kids are resilient when they are supported, that’s something I think we all know.

But deep down, I know I’m sensitive to what I’m studying because I don’t want my child to turn out like me. Although I have good qualities, I am still a troubled person. It’s not just failed relationships that have made me feel like I’ve got a broken heart, my life has done that. Sometimes I can’t quite accept how many people have let me down in such a way that I struggle to look anybody in the eye. I feel like they can see what’s wrong with me if they do. I’m scared I make everyone uncomfortable because of my mental health because I’m not any fun to be around, I’m on edge all day every day most days of my life. And yes, I know there’s no real reason to be on edge but my brain at this point, is constantly expecting something to happen no matter what. It’s exhausting. Writing this paragraph has brought tears to my eyes, and I am little afraid of exposing my own vulnerabilities like this, but on the off chance it might help someone else feel a little less alone, I’ll post it anyway.

I am determined to study my degree as hard as I possibly can because it’s not just about gaining the qualification, it’s about truly understanding the mind, because if I have understanding there is a chance that I can change other people’s lives… and possibly my own. I’m still in recovery myself but I think by the time I’ve done my degree, as long as I keep myself safe and keep doing what I’m doing, I should be a much stronger person by the time I’m done. I *think* after I’ve done my degree in psychology, I will have to do a further course to practice as a therapist but I am going to seek advice to make sure I can’t do that during this degree when picking modules to study each year.

But make no mistake, studying psychology takes its’ toll sometimes because you start to understand and notice patterns and problems in your own life and lives of those you care about. A lot of things you see people write and do become frustrating because you’re not so ignorant any more, and you know if you try to tell people something that you’ve learnt because you know it will help, you’ll just come across as patronising and lecturing, and do you know what? I could do without being seen like that.

So I’ve decided to do a little series of blog posts that are directly related to what I’m learning about and how I’m finding that it’s affecting me. I thought it would be quite good to write about what I am learning too. I don’t know if it’ll be interesting to anyone but I’m going to do it anyway 🙂

Thank you for reading my post,

With love, Rebecca ♡

P.s. If you know that I should be referencing what I’m learning about, please let me know. I am worried about plagurism and also I am worried that by not referencing the psychologists that I might be also committing an offence. So please, get in touch using the contact page on this website.

Shadows.

I held my son to my chest, and I felt my heart swell with love. It’s almost overwhelming sometimes; the way I feel such a pang of deep sadness intertwined into that pure, unconditional love. It’s especially strong when I stand at my bedroom window, as the light of the day fades (or has faded) away and I look out at the city lights. There’s some strong feeling that takes my breath away that I have tried to articulate time and time again, but have failed each time.

This time of year has always been my favourite. It’s cold, it’s dark a lot and I find it comforting. It’s not necessarily nice being outside when you’re freezing, but I love warming back up, getting cosy. Christmas lights and hot chocolate make me infinitely happier. But this dark time of the year reminds me of dark times in my past, of haunting memories, and it seems as though the ghosts of that trauma seem to hang in the air.

And when I look out at the city lights, it’s like I can feel an older version of myself when I look out and I can feel her hurt and sadness. I suppose, psychologically speaking, the feel of the air and the night which is so different to any other time of year, is a reminder. A trigger, if you will.

But I remember that she is a younger version of myself, and she was absolutely heartbroken to find herself so destroyed, but she found the courage to fight. She had this dream of being a mother and it was all she wanted. She knew one day, if she kept going, if she worked on getting better and healing her heart and mind, she might one day have her baby in her arms.

Flashback to the 21st November 2017, when she was in labour. She looked out at the night sky, knowing that she’d fought very hard and finally, finally her dream was about to come true. And no, it hadn’t happened in the circumstances that she wanted it to. But she felt euphoria, she felt the world shift. She was a little afraid but she believed that her baby boy would make it. Why? A psychic reading done the year before had proven invaluable when her Nana told her she was sending her, her baby back, and that he would make it. There was a feeling in the air that night too. Like there were still shadows and it made her feel deep sadness too. Luckily, by the time her son was in her arms and her head had stopped spinning, the dawn had arrived and she watched the sunrise. The world was new. Her heart felt healed. She was so, so happy.

But she had not healed.

I have not healed yet.

I have healed to an extent, but trauma is still being carried deep in the pit of my gut. I still feel that haunting, of memories, that should be gone but they won’t be forgotten. How can they be forgotten when there are so many things that I associate with them? From things such as the fresh, cold night air to the way some stranger might walk, from a song she might hear whilst shopping to people in her life that serve as reminders. That’s how trauma works. You don’t have to be thinking about it, it comes to you.

So maybe I’ve figured out why I feel such joy and such sadness when I hold my child and look out of my bedroom window. It’s such a beautiful view, but it’s more than a ‘bittersweet’ feeling. That word doesn’t do it justice.

Never in my life have I claimed to be perfect, or innocent. But I know that there’s a fire about me. And I’m sure people still think I’m a pushover, and there’s people who think much worse of me, but…

Through all the grief, anger and trauma, there is still courage , compassion, and hope.

So, those shadows may stay but… So will the resilience. And the memories may never fade… But the determination to create a life I love won’t.

Tonight, I held Reuben to my chest and we were looking out of the window when the skies were deep purple, and the city lights flickered, and I told him…

“These days are special. These lonely days of just you and me, they have taught me I am strong”.

I gave him a kiss and told him “I love you” and I was crying a bit when I did.

I was told that because of my mental health, that I wouldn’t be a good mother. But that person was wrong. I have struggled with my mental health this year, especially when therapy was opening up badly stitches wounds, but I have never let it affect the way that I parent. I’ve even felt like I couldn’t cope being alive anymore, but I’ve held on and asked for help, because I just would not leave my baby behind. Mental pain can physically hurt, and I have suffered… But I’m starting to understand why things are the way that they are.

This may have been a little unconventional for a blog post, but I feel that it’s something I need to talk about.

I’ve figured out why I feel so much joy and so much pain when I look out at the city lights and night & now I can accept it.

Thank you for reading,

With love, Rebecca ♡

The Extended Insta Post #1

I’m awake way past a reasonable bed time once again, and why? Well I’m sure that many of you will understand the desire to get in some me-time. And there is always the realisation you must pick between getting the nightly chores done and seeing to yourself. Sometimes (*ahem* all the time!) you find yourself procrastinating too.

I finally sat down with some hot orange dilute, a cold-and-flu tablet and my brand new notebook at 23:17 tonight. That was my me-time today; writing a journal entry for what I want in 2019. I felt eager to write something in it because I bought it on impulse knowing I couldn’t afford it because I was sad. I do that kinda thing a little too often, I think we all do.

I have spent the best part of the day trying to catch up on laundry (there is now a mountain of washed laundry residing in the travel cot as well as a mountain in the laundry basket awaiting their transfer to the washing machine), keep my newly clingy baby – though i hate using that word it’s true – entertained & I have made a start on the deep cleaning of the kitchen. I have washed the Christmas dining set ready for use and cleared out the cupboards. I’ve found an alarming amount of things that needed throwing/donating/recycling hiding in there. And I’m not yet done. The bottom half of the kitchen will need cleaning tomorrow. But why am I writing about this? Well, it’s because I’m proud of myself. I’m going to bed knowing I made my baby happy and the place is clean and if that’s not a win, I don’t know what is!

I even tried to study today, and it didn’t work out because Reu is a little harder to settle lately, but I did make a start and I have an action plan. I am genuinely interested in actually reading the chapters of my textbook (except the methods book that accompanies it, what a load of boring shite that is) so that does make it easier when I do find the time to study.

The truth is, lately I’ve been really trying to find the balance between motherhood, housework, studying, and finding time for myself. I thought since I literally have a 24 hours break from parenting every week, I would have plenty of time to accomplish everything, but I’ve discovered it’s not as simple as booking in appointments of self care or studies. I’m a human being and sometimes I just don’t feel like it and then I find that I’m often just too sad when Reu is away to be productive. If I am productive then I haven’t taken the opportunity to rest, and if I have rested then I haven’t taken the opportunity to be productive. But I’m slowly finding that it doesn’t have to be one or the other; I don’t need to plan everything. Because somehow, it always gets done and then it’s there again tomorrow. So why worry?

Like I mentioned in my previous post, I’ve been feeling very nostalgic about this time last year. That pang of sadness I keep getting when I look out of my window and see the way the lights look at this darker time of year, isn’t fading. I know it is my heart clinging onto a time when the world felt as though it had been renewed. I had this brand new baby and I was a brand new Mama. It was an incredibly special time. I acknowledge that it makes me feel wistful and melancholy, and I accept that – it’s okay to feel sad.

The sadness is easily outweighed by the big sloppy kisses Reuben plants on my cheeks, by the sound he makes when he cuddles up to me – he loves doing this thing where he sticks his arms by his sides when I cuddle him and he tenses up (I think he’s stretching?) and makes this “uuhuhmmmm” giggly kind of sound. It’s delightful. The sadness also doesn’t overshadow the way I have felt my heart heal recently. I have started to move on from certain things/people that I were grieving for; certain songs don’t hurt. I have been healing from these experiences and that’s an incredible feeling.

And yes, lately, I’ve had bad days and weeks with my mental but that’s okay, I got through that too… It got kinda scary but luckily I wasn’t alone when it all came to a climax and I couldn’t hide it anymore. I’ve learnt it’s okay to reach out. I’ve learnt more about the people around me recently too because of it.

And on that note, I bid you goodnight!

Thank you for reading,

With love, Rebecca ♡