Tuesday, January 21, 2014

As Small As A Mustard Seed


(from the archives - something I need to remember)

I'm so tired. I've been deeply, down to my bones exhausted for as long as I can remember. The feeling of being young and tanned and carefree is SO far behind me its as if it never even existed.

My life is in the home. Surrounded by these walls I go about my day completing menial tasks whilst doing the most important job in the world- raising babies to be real humans.

Much of the time I do a great job. I really do, but there are occasions when I fail in embarrassingly significant ways.

Sometime in the last week I had a tiny little thought. A thought that was as small as a mustard seed.

I was awoken in the morning in the usual way, by adoring children pitter pattering their way into our room and accosting my senses with their presence. Usually I rustle around under the covers for a little longer before making my way to the kitchen for coffee. But on this occasion I pressed my face into my pillow and thought 'I just can't do it any more- I can't face another day when i'm THIS exhausted'.

Alas, I rose from my bed and schlepped into the kitchen anyway. The day rolled on and the kids behaved in their usual manner- equal parts naughty and nice.

But with the mornings and days that followed that tiny mustard seed of a thought grew and grew and grew until today where I find myself completely overwhelmed with everything about motherhood. All of it.

I can make no sense of breakfast, lunch, dinner, naps or nappies. It's beyond me.

That mustard seed is now a tree and it's roots are choking up my scrambled brain. I'm foggy and distracted and miserable and it feels wretched.

Something has got to give and it's not going to be my mental health for any longer.

If that tiny little negative thought can grow and develop over the course of a week then surely some positive thinking could do the same!

Today, right now, I'm claiming my brain back. I'm claiming my heart, finding some faith in my God and strength beyond my own. I'm planting a seed of positivity*and I'm going to watch it grow. I'm reminding myself that I am capable, my house may be messing and my washing may remain unfolded but I am capable.


 I can do this.




*gosh, so bloody corny




38 comments:

  1. I've been awake to one of my kids since 2.30am. I really needed this today. I'll try so hard to turn my negative thoughts positive. Thank you.

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  2. See if you can get your parents or in-laws to watch the kids for 3-4 hours so you can lay on the couch, read a book or fall asleep. It will give you a chance to be refreshed and it will be worth while. Exhaustion is tough with a busy day with young kids however a few hours of sleep can go a long way and can help with your positive attitude. No surfing the net, putting washing on, just lay down and stay in the one spot for 3 hours. Regards Kathy A, Brisbane, Australia

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  3. All you need sometimes is ten minute, well ok maybe more than ten minutes.
    Have a read of "parenting inc"by Terri Hardwick
    If you are having a moment it kind of puts things back into place!
    And if that doesnt work, keep chanting this too shall pass!!!
    We have all been there ( I'm a mum to three lovely little horrors as well), and it does get better!

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  4. Oh Em, I feel you. I have 2 boys (3 and 1) and over the last 3 years there have been many mornings when I've said to myself, 'Today I cannot parent!' The first year of my second son's life was particularly difficult - for 9 months he was such a crap sleeper. I was a basket case. I had a sleep nurse come to help set new sleep habits and that really turned things around. The last few weeks have been really ordinary (bouts of strep throat, gastro and teething among the ranks). In fact, I'm heading to the docs this morning for what I suspect is my second lot of strep throat in three weeks. Oof. I'm plain tired. I hear your words. I wish you happier times for you in the immediate future and am sending virtual hugs of solidarity.

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  5. Keep your chin up. Keep going. I guarantee it, you will look back and wonder at how teeny tiny incy wincy that time was. You will marvel at it. You will.

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  6. I know that weariness Em. Couple a 6.5 month old with a hubby who works 4:1 FIFO, two boys aged 13.5 & 10.5 & being PREGNANT AGAIN, it all adds up to one very very tired mama. On those mornings where I've had 5 hours of broken sleep what gets me through is looking at my biggest two & knowing this time passes. They learn to sleep ( now too much!), they become capable of doing things for themselves ( yes cereal can be eaten for dinner) & they become helpful ( the teenager will be threatened with a techno ban to get him doing his chores). It all passes rather quickly ( soon they are taller than you & will not let you hug them) so while I'm not saying enjoy it but know it will get easier one day xxx

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  7. Em,
    I totally lost it yesterday around lunchtime. It felt like I'd fallen over the edge and the thought of dealing with lunch, cleaning up, putting a baby to sleep, listening to said baby cry and not sleep, washing the hands and faces of the bigger boys, reading to them, putting them down for their naps, and then having to deal with the bags of dirty nappies was just too much for me to handle.
    I decided I needed a date (by myself) to regroup. So when Rick came home, he freed me up to nap and shower, then I put on a black dress, some make up and drove myself down to the beach for a nice three-course dinner with just yours truly. It was divine, and when I came home, I felt human again.
    I'm not saying everyone can do this, but for me, a little date with me was just what I needed...
    Sending you lots of love, and I'm totally with you and know that feeling of "I just can't do this anymore."
    You are utterly awesome in my books.
    Ronnie xo

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    1. This is great Ronnie. I was just saying to my husband that I haven't been out at night by myself for such a long time.
      Maybe I should organise a "me date" :)

      Hope you can find some time to yourself too Em.

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  8. Mummy's day off is needed. Come do a road trip, meet me at the white rabbit gallery and we can talk about art and stuff for a while.

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  9. Whilst not for a moment downplaying the exhaustion that must come from managing with THREE little ones, it might be possible that the brain foggyness etc you are feeling is at least in part due to the hormonal upheavals that continue to happen for a while post birth. Having done it three times already, you would know way more about this than me, but still. Never hurts, I think, to remember that sometimes there are even greater, uncontrollable forces at play. Be kind to yourself x

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  10. No need to worry - we all feel that way some days. At least those of us that aren't over medicated or completely high on the smell of whatever junk food we have bought our pleading child in a temporary moment of insanity born of desperation to make the pleading stop. Not that I have ever had that happen myself or anything (ahem)!

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  11. Oh my dear. I love your blog so much, I think you are amazing and stylish, love your home and your 3 little lovelies. But I also love your honesty - I wish I could offer some advice, but I have none, as I have just one babe who is nearly 11 months. I love the idea of planting a seed of positivity, and letting it grow into your brain though - myself and many of my lovely mothers group are going through a 10/11 month slump, and I think if we all did this, it would really help. You;re a gem, and I hope you get some rest.

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  12. Yes, you can do this. Actually you already are. By recognising that little dark seed has been growing and replacing it with some positive "white light" (as my hippie best friend calls it:) you are doing brilliantly. You are capable. You are resilient. Forgive the advice but I find it always helps to look at my life through "work" frame or eyes. See that the company is going through some tough times at the moment due to winning too many contracts/ lack of personnel and as CEO, you are going to have to put in some emergency measures to ensure the company keeps going. My actions revolved around hiring a cleaner (the BEST decision I ever made...never had one before, can least afford it now but it has SAVED my mental health) and notification to support personnel (my mum and dad) that extra help was required in the short term to keep the company afloat. You will look back in a few years and realise how truly magnificent you are at this time. xxx

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  13. Can I just say "Have we had the same week?". The sheer repetitive meniality and yet the vast importance of what we're doing was getting me down too. The comments are wonderful; supportive AND inspiring, a difficult feat of balance, I think. Thank you for writing Emily, and thereby providing an opportunity for comments. Ronnie, I love your idea and will be going out on my own tomorrow!

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    1. Thank YOU for commenting and yes, this blog community is an amazing place. Really, it is!

      xo em

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  14. I dropped around to my friend's place yesterday - she has a 3 week old and I have a 7 month old. And we just had a good cry together. Sometimes it's nice to know that some one else is feeling overwhelmed by the whole motherhood experience. It's a tough gig and we have to give each other praise for the great jobs that we are doing raising these little people! You my friend are doing an outstanding job - I often look at your beautiful photos and think 'gosh - I don't know how she does it'.

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    1. It's cathartic isn't it Shari, the shared tears and stories.

      thanks for the encouragement xo em

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  15. Thank you! It feels that you just wrote the contents of my mind.
    We're living in a tiny 1 bedroom cabin at the moment and I am so over it. I can't wait to have a house again. Physical and mental space, a vegie patch and an oven. Can. Not. Wait.
    I too shall plant that little seed of positivity... x

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    1. Oh they are trying time, huh.

      I hope your seed grows Kitty, and I hope you get some space soon

      EM

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  16. Oh Em, I love that your words provide such imagery & evoke such empathy & understanding from all who read them. Yesterday my body failed me after feeling exhausted for weeks. I left my little Year 2 class early (feeling guilty for leaving them) & I went home to bed. I slept for 5 hours in the middle of the day. I could do no more. I needed rest. I'm hoping you get some rest soon too. xo

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  17. I just had a total whinge about how hard it is working! It's all bloody hard isn't it! Lack of sleep is the pits, I hope you get some more soon. And until then, keep on believing in yourself because you can do it. You are doing it! Happy weekend to you, lady. Kellie xx

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  18. I truly love your honesty Emily. So many times I have read a post of yours that has just rang true. None more so than this one. I love reading through the comments too and thinking Thank you, I’m not the only one. Motherhood is amazing and tedious, fulfilling and draining. It is all things at once which is what makes it so exhausting, that and the sleep deprivation.

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  19. Gosh Em, if l could l would give you a big old hug.... :-)

    After my daughter was born, l quickly realised why they use sleep deprivation as a torture technique. Sleep is such an important thing, get it where and when you can.

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  20. You poor dear thing. Its so hard hey?! You've got this though!

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  21. As a woman without children, can I just say that I watch you through this blog, and I think what you do day in and day out is amazing. All of the strong mothers also with stories, in these comments. You are my heroes, every day!

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  22. We all have days and weeks (and sometimes months) like this. <3 Just a little note, among many, to say that you are not alone. xo

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  23. Yes we all have days like this and my advice to you is when the children are sleeping ,you sleep or on the weekend get your hubby to mind the kids and rest or ask for help,no one notices the house but you,i have cleaned and spent all day on my house only to find no -one else had noticed I did all that hard work,be "kind" to yourself hon ,no one else will xx Lisa Mckenzie

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    1. Thanks Lisa for your kinds words! Yes, i did have a sleep in today and it was AMAZING!

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    2. p.s my children are NEVER all sleeping at once! It kills me! shah

      xx

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  24. Positive thinking is something I have been trying to teach myself over the past few years. Sometimes I can recognise when I need to do it, so I guess that's a step forward! Fingers crossed for a little break or something for you soon, so that seed of positivity can grow more.

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  25. There might be something in the air, I've been feeling a lot the same and each day just rolls into another over and over and the exhaustion just becomes greater. I keep wanting to change my mindset, but I'm struggling a bit, I know its only going to take something simple and its only ever so slightly out of my reach, I can feel it. Wishing you well and sending positive, happy energetic thoughts your way..x

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  26. I stumbled upon this blog this morning and this post was music to my ears. I have felt so alone in my feelings. Being a mom is the most marvelous/hard thing you will ever do. How do those two mesh so easily? I don't want to do anything else. . . But when I've slept 3 hours and I have a two year old screaming in Hobby Lobby ( a much needed trip) I feel like all these older women are walking by me thinking what an awful mom I am. Probably they are wishing they still had their kiddos at home. Long story short. . . . I'm in love with your honesty. Keep up the good work;)

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    1. Hey lady, yes it's just SO hard and SO great at the same time- crazy how that happens.

      Hoping you're feeling better and have got more than 3 hours sleep. Nothing is possible when you're sleep deprived!

      x

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  27. A beautiful post. And yes, he's got your back xx Hope all this rain is watering your seed of positivity xxx

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  28. Thanks. I needed this today.

    It's funny. Sometimes it feels like we are learning the same lessons over and over. We think we've had a breakthrough, learnt how to take things in our stride, learnt to see the good, then all of a sudden... we fall apart. I thought I had this? But right now the thought of wiping crumbs and noodles off the floor is just too much for me to process. Except, here's the thing: maybe they're not lessons we're relearning over and over. Maybe they're actually just seasons* that keep rolling over and over. And we've had this really great spring and summer, then suddenly autumn and winter roll around and we've forgotten how to relish in the cold. We're not failing the lesson, we just need to remember what to do in the season.

    *gosh, so bloody corny ;)

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  29. I absolutely look forward to your posts, your honesty is so refreshing. I know exactly how you feel, the mundane lifestyle of motherhood can be a daunting one at times for me also. The guilt I also feel when thinking this way also overwhelm me at times. For me I have started to change those negatives and can't do's into positives and belief, including accepting that I am only human and I can't do it all. My secret has been not focusing on what I didn't do today but saying it's ok to let things go. Thanks for sharing x

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  30. Have you considered seeing a naturopath? Or maybe gotten blood tests? I totally get where you are coming from, and I find (on top of the panic attacks/anxiety/depression! I'm a little bat crap crazy) that when I'm lacking in iron everything is so much worse. The lethargy from being low in iron, on top of everything else means that I just can't handle my "condition". After a couple of weeks of supplements everything gets easier. It may all be in my head, but I figure hey, if it works, it works!!!

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  31. Sweetheart, I wish I could help in some other way than by watering your mustard seed with positivity xxx PS mustard sauce is perfect with corned beef. Oh, how corny! ;)

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Thanks so much for your words of encouragement, advice and solidarity.

xo em