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 ♡

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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 ♡

I’m Unmotivated

From talking to people I know, to reading people’s social media posts, it’s evident that a lot of us are struggling to stay motivated – so I’m not the only one, which is comforting, but it is a problem.

Maybe it’s because of the weather. Or, the more probable explanation, in my case, is the fact I am overwhelmed with pressure. Pressure, that I put on my self to get this and that done, and do it perfectly, and juggle all the balls.

Well I’m sorry, but I’m gonna have to break it to myself that I need to chill the 🦆 out!

When I write a list of the things going on in my life, I realise there’s not that much there and the reason I’ve made such a mountain out of a molehill, is because I expect far too much from myself.

Have I forgotten that I’m a one-man-band? It’s simply just not possible to do it all, not in one day anyway!

If I want to do the shopping and take Reuben to the park – or just be out for the day in general – I can’t expect a spotless house that night. Getting out and about as a parent is tiring and you don’t get a rest when you return. Suddenly there’s 53 things to do and the house is an absolute pigsty, then your child is in bed and you have to drag your exhausted carcus around tidying and cleaning. Or you leave whatever you can until tomorrow. Either way, it still has to be done.

And I’ve realised if I want to study, I can’t clean. If I want to clean the flat, I can’t go out. Or I can, but it’ll have to be a quick, cleverly timed trip out. Because there’s meal times and nap times that play a role in how you can both be ready to get out at a convenient time.

For the longest time, I was so angry at myself for not being an up and out in the morning person. Everyone else seemed to be doing it just fine, especially parents on the school run. And then I realise; what does it matter if I’m not able to be ready early in the morning? Who cares!? And that sorted that one out for me.

But lately, I can’t be bothered studying, or cleaning, the laundry is constantly getting on top of me. I’m putting this off, and that off. I’ve become the Queen of Procrastination – Case in point; writing this instead of getting on with nightly cleaning chores.

*big inhale, big exhale*

So, I guess what really matters is how I respond to this lack of dopamine in my system?

Well, first, I’ve got to understand why without being angry with myself. And since I’m barely taking care of myself like I was earlier this year, I’m going to say that’s a reason. Secondly, I’m overwhelming myself with unrealistic demands for how much I should get done a day. Thirdly, it’s because I want to focus on Reuben more than I want to do anything else.

So what’s the solution? I need to take better care of myself to increase all the happy hormones, stop putting so much pressure on myself and also, I think some kind of weekly rota or clearer time management would seriously help!

So that’s what I’m going to do – starting tomorrow, of course. Tonight, I need to sleep! Tomorrow is another day…

Thank you for reading,

With love, Rebecca ♡

Letting Go: Mama Standards

I wanted to blog every day this month, for no reason other than it was a goal I set myself. But for the last two days, I couldn’t.

Now I have decided that I don’t blog when I don’t have Reuben. This is because I really struggle with my mental health when he’s away from me. It’s become apparent that’s it’s more than parental separation anxiety, although that does play a part, it’s also the weight of depression. But I don’t want to talk about that today. I don’t want to dwell.

Today, I’d like to talk about how lovely it is when Reuben comes back and I’m so excited to be back on parent mode. I can give 110%. I can be more patient, more loving, more energetic – and that, dear parents everywhere, is why taking breaks is important.

I didn’t stress at all this morning. I thought “we will be ready when we are ready and that’s that on that!” because I realised there was no point in rushing around just to go out to the shops and back, what a waste.

I made sure Reuben was napping before I started to get ready and I took my time getting ready when he did. I had the changing bag and buggy sorted by the time he woke up which made it really easy.

He woke up around 12:45 so we went straight to the Asda cafe for some lunch. I gave him half a ginger bread man to nibble on (which had gone a bit soft – but I like it like that more) and we made our way there.

I ordered my favourite hot sandwich and chips with a diet coke, and for Reuben I got him the chicken nuggets meal with carrots and sweet potato waffles.

For once I wasn’t scrambling around, I always get a bit anxious in these situations but I felt like I was managing it well. I have read that when we suffer with anxiety, we think it’s really visible to the people around us, but apparently that’s not true. So I tried to reassure myself by remembering that. It’s just hard when you think people, the older generations in particular, are watching you, critiquing you. And I wish that was paranoia, but I’ve had a comment or two thrown my way at the worst of times. I do get nicer comments too though, or at best, nothing at all!

So we finished up our lunch… Don’t worry I was holding the plate! In fact most of the time I just passed Reuben bits of food so he didn’t have the option to send things flying. You need to do that, in a public place, I think. It saves a lot of trouble to the waiting staff!

Then we did our shop, which I have posted a haul video of on my new Facebook ‘Aspirebelievemama’ page (self promo alert!), and once home and settled, I put Reuben down for a nap. He’s currently sleeping now. And I opted to do this instead of studying because tomorrow I will be studying my ass off. I have promised myself that. Cleaning can wait until tonight, and speed cleaning is enjoyable exercise I like to do every other day or so.

I feel like I’m finding the balance on days like today – you’ve got to let go a bit, when you’re a parent. It’s taken me 50 weeks of motherhood to realise that.

… Yep, I really REALLY need to invest in a camera. I have fallen out with Android, to my dismay, so you might find that I upgrade to an iPhone next year! I just think Apple are a bad company for creating expensive products that break so easily, need replacing often and *breathe*… if you can’t beat them, you’re supposed to join them, right?! Unless anyone’s got any android recommendations?

Thank you reading!

With love, Rebecca ♡

November!

Hello November,

I love this month. I mean, there was always something about November that I loved. But this year, its not just home to Bonfire Night and the festive season kicking in, it’s also Reuben’s 1st birthday too!

I mean, I’m all kinds of sad that Reuben is growing up but first birthdays will do that to you! This the marker that my baby is no longer a baby. I mean, he will always be my baby but he’s nearly walking and is starting to cause mischief. So, he’s really officially becoming a toddler on that day.

I’m also going to slowly start decorating for Christmas. Last year I put fairy lights and the Christmas tree up in time for Reuben’s arrival because that’s what I wanted to bring him home to. I want this to be a little tradition so I’m going to make sure there’s decorations up for his birthday.

Wow, I am already emotional realising that it’s very nearly one year since I welcomed my little one into this world with a fierce and healing kind of love. I’m so excited to see him open his presents (and take interest in the wrapping paper in boxes, not the gifts hahaha!) and play with balloons and bubbles. It’s going to be lovely!

A personal goal now is to blog more frequently, find more time to study and not get my knickers in a twist over the housework building up. It’s overwhelming but it always takes a lot less time than I think it will.

So, hey November, be good please!

Thank you for reading!

With love, Rebecca ♡