It is no secret to anyone that I have no problem admitting that sometimes being a parent is like wrestling an octopus. An octupus who is an Olympian wrestler. In a Jelly Flood. It is a paradoxically delightful and horrifying time and last night was one of those witches that came out of the blue, unannounced and armed with wandie. (I didn’t swear. Honest).
So we are tired. Teething. Crying. Baby sympathy crying with baby. When did that empathetic crying start?? Why can’t I join in?
So yes. I could really whine about my complaints this morning. There are so many. I am broken in bits since having baby two and the injuries won’t just bog off.
Today however I am going to drag myself out of the wallowing mud pool. Instead I am choosing to focus on the positive. It is difficult but I need to stay happy. This is for you all who are struggling. Babies or not.
So here are a few ways to stave off the feelings of losing it.
- Small Steps. Think in small, achievable steps. Lunch time. Playtime. Bath time. Bed time. The brain will thank you. Routine may take over but you need it.
- Happy Food. I am comfort eating at the moment and it is bad. Think full packet of Fox’s Chocolate Rounds. No help.
Yes, I said packet. I know I always feel better about life after eating an apple but the masochist inside me heads for the biscuits, despite being in possession of some sort of intelligence that got me a bachelor degree and a masters degree. I need to pick up the apple. Bananas are good for mental health they say. Nuts are too. ‘Stay sane’ food. We need to do it. Think happy banana, crotchety biscuit.
- Make a day release plan and stick to it. I am heading out tomorrow night with colleagues and my husband and I are having a weekend away later in the month. I have thought up twenty reasons not to go to either. I still am uncertain if I will go tomorrow night. Why the self sabotage? I was never like this. Therefore I must abide by my own rule. Stick to the plan! Talking to the outside world will maintain my internal sanity, possibly quelling an internal squeal. You will reconnect. We must leave the situation to want to return to it.
- Belly Laughs. If your toddler isn’t in form for them, ring a friend and meet for ice-cream or a walk. The story about the poo on your shoes as you head out the door for work will become hilarious in the retelling and you may forget the urge to put your head through a glass window.
- Indulge a Passion. At a rough moment, give yourself the promise of five minutes to do something you have a passion for. Sure, you may not get to it for a few hours, but whatever you do, DON’T TALK YOURSELF OUT OF IT!! It could be reading. Nail painting. Running. Or mine, which is writing a new blog post. I love that blank page inviting me to write. Blogging reminds me that I am not failing in life and in fact the struggles only make me stronger.
There we have it.
The burst nappy. The inexplicable tears. The tantrums. They will all pass. Dimples. Chuckles. Baby magic. They will all remain.
You as a person? That will return too.
Stay kind to yourself in the meantime.
Myself? I will put down the biscuits. Take my own advice. You know, before it goes too far…
Apple? Where are you? Show yourself! I need to stay happy. Bite, please.