The Avalanche of Chores

Dear Mummas,

It’s widely known that the avalanche of chores, demanding pets and a baby may cause your anxiety to thrive and flourish. We obviously don’t want that to happen!

The anxiety has been with me since childhood, I have used multiple techniques to cope with it but having an infant and two pets in the household definately makes managing anxiety more challenging.

What I’ve been doing is keeping everything under control by controlling my breathing and fleeing the chaos😎

Unsettled baby, the house being up side down, a cat running around like a headless chicken, anxiety, hopelessness and frustration rising quicky? Sounds familiar? If yes then…

STOP FOR A MOMENT

TAKE A DEEP BREATH

INHALE, EXHALE while drawing a cirle and a square with your pointing finger up in the air five times with your eyes closed (it’s a distraction method).

NOW GET UP, GET YOURSELF AND YOUR BABY DRESSED.

LEAVE THE HOUSE AND GO FOR A WALK.

THE CHORES CAN WAIT AND YOUR MENTAL HEALTH IS MORE IMPORTANT than washed dishes.

Dear P

Dear P,

I never thought I would experience unique love which derives from motherhood. It’s a different kind of love and is exclusively available in the Universe. We are all part of of it, creating a wholesome mosaic which consists of miniature elements.

I belong to a highly sensitive, empathetic and extremely receptive group of creatures on this Earth who cannot decide if it’s a curse or a gift to be very perceptive to feelings, sounds, smells and surroundings. My imagination runs high helping me with creativity, my anxiety often kills me with exhaustion of constant worries and my heart breaks into milion tiny pieces seeing others suffering. I mould, shape and live my life the best I can. It has been enriched by you. You are a hard work Munchkin but I would do everything to make you smile. When you had your injections, I cried with you, the nurse probably thought I was another hormonally distressed mother but I cried because you were in pain and I couldn’t stop it even though it was for your own good.

I may not be perfect and I’m a simple person but I intend to teach you empathy. I vow to show you music, nature and the Universe from my own perspective. You may not be interested in it at all but I believe experiencing it during your childhood will be a treasure in your adult life.

I want to teach you to embrace your body & mind. I would like you to be able to treat it as a temple and look after it dearly. I want you to remember that there is no other human being like you. You are the most unique, the most impressive and the most amazing copy of yourself.

I will always love you, support you and protect you no matter what because motherly love never dies.

Love,

Mama

Enlightenment

My little beautiful terror is asleep, I should get up and go to do chores but as a sleep deprived mother I have every right to sit down with a GIANT mug of coffee and contemplate.

I want to share with you what I have discovered right now, my brain doesn’t stop overthinking, I always find myself feeling this heavy weight of future prediction. I’m full of ‘what ifs’ and it makes me tired. I’m fed up of trying to be prepared for the worst outcome in every single situation. I just want to relax and go with the flow. I’ve been sitting with a cup of coffee and I have stopped thinking and putting pressure on myself for few minutes and it’s felt good.

My tips of how to do it… I don’t have any yet except this one: stop everything and slow down in order to put yourself together.

I want to master living without that weight made of life predictions and worries and I’m going to update you guys with what I’ve learnt during my journey.

The Truth About Postpartum Period

You’ve just had your baby. You’ve been expected to return to your former glory within few weeks after giving birth but it hasn’t happened yet…. hmmmm.

While being pregnant, you imagined yourself strolling with a pram, full of energy and optimism through the town few days after birthing your baby. Currently, you are willing to invest in the IV coffee drip constantly fighting exhaustion and tiredness. You’ve got mum’s body, no energy and you know what else we could add to your newly emerging list?

POSTPARTUM RECOVERY

I’m sorry but NO ONE told you that it would be difficult. In your head, you were meant to bounce back after pregnancy survival mode and a childbirth camp like a bunny sprinkled with the morning dew drops. That did not happen. Instead:

– you bled like a slaughtered lamb

– you ached and you were bruised all over like you’ve just been in the car crash

– you wished you could pull out your insides while pooing

-you wondered about your vagina being badly grazed and swollen for days

– you fought dizzy spells and fatigue caused by hormonal havoc

– you burst into tears (you were hormonally overwhelmed ) because you convinced yourself that your cat was going blind- she fell down from the water butt while trying to climb up the window.

The physical aspects of postpartum recovery are hard enough to soften the strongest human being but the mental side caused by the immense hormonal imbalance after childbirth is equally hard. You are a new mum, you are trying to physically recover while trying to look after the newborn and you mentally struggle. You are emotionally overwhelmed and filled with joy because you love your child so much but you feel constantly worried. You are worried because you are not sure if you are looking after your baby well enough and because you are simply trying to adjust to having a new responsibility 24/7. You are also concerned about your physical well being- feeling rotten and unwell doesn’t help you in any way BUT IT’S GOING TO GET BETTER.

I’ve been through it, nobody has told me about hardships of postpartum recovery. I expected everything to go back to normal almost instantly after going through the labour of my daughter but it obviously didn’t happen. It’s been a slow and bumpy process of adjusting and accepting a new situation in my life. I love my small family consisting of my partner, our daughter and two crazy cats.

My advice to you would be to take each day as it goes, ask for help and talk about your feelings out loud. Don’t beat yourself up if you feel and look like a train wreck but make an effort to take few mints to do something just for yourself- nails, hair, long shower or a bath or simply have a nap or a cheeky drink while listening to a favourite album.

You are doing great mumma x

Initial Thoughts

It’s been almost two weeks since our baby girl was born.

It’s been a challenge to gather thoughts and categorise them.

It’s been a turbulent ride of feelings and emotions.

It’s also been a wonderful time of a unique life transformation.

It’s been, it’s been… a journey of a lifetime.

Second of all, I want to say that nobody talks about postpartum mental and physical recovery of both parents. When you are pregnant you are bombarded with information about antenatal care, you are given basic info about postantal care but nobody really goes into details. Postanatal recovery is an individual process of bonding, healing ( mentally & physically) and accepting the new reality for both parents. After few first days with my newborn the reality of having a third person in the household ( apart from our demanding feline kids) has struck me hard. I’ve realised that this little person is with us and we are responsible for her. I quitely said goodbye to undisturbed days & nights. I was instantly flooded by waves of anxiety. I questioned myself how I was going to adjust to motherhood without treating my daughter like a third wheel. I simply let those intrusive thoughts go, I took small steps trying to be present in the current moment. After almost two weeks of being a parent I have accepted my daughter as a new member of our little family. I love her so much and I admire her every single time I hold her.

My partner has been amazing, he is a pro when it comes looking after our daughter. I know that he is going to have a unique bond with her and that’s what I’ve always wanted. He suffers with chronic migraines. He pulls through them like a warrior to be present for both of us. He looks after our child and offers me his support during my hormonal breakdowns ( they’ve gotten better, my hormones have started to settle- finally).

I still tear up ( I don’t think I will ever stop) when I think about first moments when I saw and held our little jumping bean. I also reminisce about my partner’s first moments with our daughter- seeing them both together having a skin to skin contact, him smiling & being the proudest father in the whole wide world and her just cuddling up to him and looking into his eyes filled me with pure joy and contentment. She is our miracle whom we love and adore. We intend to raise her as a descent human being.

This post is really made of many scattered thoughts which are still being categorised and grouped in to a descent order. I just wanted to share my initial thoughts with you of this amazing rollercoaster parenthood ride.

Body Image in Pregnancy

Body image is such a sensitive subject. You go through different stages in life and your body changes. I could compare it to a flower. When you are a baby you are like a bud then you pace through the mayhem of puberty and you begin to blossom. When you enter adulthood you are blooming with your uniqueness and personal beauty. You may bear scars and marks presented to you by the mighty existence but you are still exceptionally beautiful.

The individual perception of one’s appearance is another matter. You can be an astoundingly stunning lilly but in your own eyes you may look like a wilted and chewed by cats dandelion. You work on your body, you treat it as a temple by eating healthy and working out but….

What if you are physically restricted?

What if your body has been rapidly changing and you don’t have any control over it?

It’s frightening because all of the sudden you are not in control. A situation like this is comparable to being imprisoned in a box with peepholes in it. Yes, you are incarcerated in the box and carried around by the giant. You don’t have any influence on where you are going to be taken next. Is it going to be a good place or a pungent swamp? The only thing you can do is to hope for the best and enforce positive thinking about your body-image. That’s what happens during pregnancy.

During pregnancy you take part in this rapid not only physical but also mental transformation over the period of nine months. People keep telling you that you look beautiful, you are blossoming that the pregnancy suits you and you find it difficult to comprehend because in your mind it’s like telling a rotten egg that it’s a delicate rose. You are grateful for kindness and warmly hearted words but all you can see is a big fat blob and you are thinking- ‘ What on Earth has happened to my body?’. You are genuinly happy for being pregnant, you have positive feelings towards your unborn baby but you are terrified which is absolutely normal. You keep telling yourself that after pregnancy you will get your old body back and you will embrace any new stretchmark or loose skin because these are life scars which represents an important period in your life. You are a warrior. You’ve heard it from so many people around you but yet you need to give birth and experience it yourself to come to the final conclusion.

Pregnancy & Fear of the Future

Can’t you sleep?

Why do you wake up in the middle of the night with anxiety and worries looming over you.?

It’s so stresful to be pregnant and be awoken by the fear. Thinking about an upcoming labour doesn’t help. Being flooded by imaginative thoughts about your funeral based on childbirth are terrifying but absolutely normal.

What do you do to distract yourself and break the pattern of self-destructive thoughts?

Our brain never stops working and it processes thoughts 24/7. When the anxiety strikes it acts like a net which catches and traps a thought, we begin dwell on it, we realise that it’s unpleasant and we try to get rid of it as quickly as we can. The problem is that this newly captured thought could be compared to a tick who has already embedded itself in our skin. Pulling it out won’t solve the problem but it may bring a new layer of fear which will only add up to our exisiting anxiety stricken misery.

How to fix it?

The best thing to do in this situation is to let the anxiety be and the thoughts flow freely WHILE BEING OCCUPIED. It might be tricky at 2am in the morning but nothing stops you from getting up and grabbing a book or watching a movie. You will be relieved and amazed of the fear (which has caused you feeling low) slowly dissipating and loosing its worth as you proceed with keeping busy.

Fear of Motherhood

Congratulations if you are pregnant.

If you are trying to conceive- Good Luck.

If you are thinking to conceive but are flooded with fear and doubts my advice to you is: go for it, there is never a perfect time or an opportunity to have a child. Life is full of hurdles so if you really want fo bring a new life into this twisted but wonderful world just do it.

Life without a child as a couple is very convenient. You are solely responsible for yourselves, indulging in existence is joyful and planning expenses is much easier because you don’t bear the burden of making sure that a tiny human being who is not capable of sustaining their basic needs entirely relies on your physical, mental and financial support. I’m going to be brutally honest with you, as a mum to be, I’m terrified of that whole new sense of a responsibility. My partner feels the same. We are both excited about our new arrival, we can’t wait to meet our baby girl but at the same time we are both petrified. Hence we take everyday as it goes without assuming things or rushing into despair or fortune telling which is not an easy thing to do. For instance, I’m on maternity leave and have begun to sort my my baby’s room, I know people who thrill while doing it but I could compare the whole experience to walking barefoot on the shattered glass which has been maliciously scattered on the floor just for me haha. I know, I sound very dramatic but going into my daughter’s room is a reminder of the unknown and I associate this unknown with struggle, pain and fear. Let me explain why.

I have dealt with anxiety atleast 80% of my life and I’m already 30 years old woman. My mind is like a library. Every situation and every thought is carefully categorised and placed on the shelf. The biggest collection of ‘books’ reside on the shelf which is labelled ‘fear’. I could almost compare that shelf to Purgatory ( which is a place where Roman Catholics believe the spirits of dead people are sent to suffer for their sins) where new occurances in my life are initially placed before being adequately categorised. Sometimes I despise myself for it because if I’m being rational the fear doesn’t occur to me as much. I use the fear as a coping mechanism which suppose to protect me from unpleasant experiences. It’s obvious that this self- invented self- security system fails most of the time making my mind overwork itself. So after years of sending new experiences to Purgatory I decided to change it. Don’t take me wrong, I haven’t gotten rid of mighty selection of ‘Anna’s fears’ because it works like a filter for me. It’s a bit like OCD, I analyse my thoughts preparing for ‘the plan a and b’ but then I simply face my fears. If I didn’t face them I wouldn’t go in my baby’s room and I wouldn’t start sorting it out. I would stay the heck away from it hoping for the best ( solely relying on my partner’s help). I take one step at the time while dealing with it. For example, yesterday, I washed baby’s clothes and today I will take care of the nursery equipment and accessories. That’s my plan of action. Again, I would love to say that doing it is a pleasant experience but it’s not. The only positive idea which I’m able to think of is a sense of pride and achievement after I finish working on tasks which I have set myself to complete. I know that I will feel the same after finishing my baby girl’s room or her arrival. Afterwards, I will move the book of I’m terrified of becoming a mother’ to a shelf labelled ‘life’.