When you feel you’re not ENOUGH

you are good enough
With my PPD I often have feelings that I am not enough, that I am worthless, that I am nobody and that I am invisible.
It’s not something I want to feel, its not something I like and its not something I want to be pitied for.
You see I am not a person who likes to ask for help or speak about my problems, I’m that person who always listens, I am a BIG listener, mostly because I like to listen to people but also because I feel like other people’s opinions and words matter more than mine.
There are some days that I hate being me, some days that I wish I was someone else and then there are days when I am ok being in my own skin, in my own body, regardless of how much I hate my body and how it looks or how it works.
Sometimes I feel alone and sometimes I get overwhelmed by too many people, does this even make sense? In many ways I even confuse myself. I love being around people though, I love meeting new people, like a blank canvas to explore and, I am a blank canvas to them, it’s exciting like a mystery. And I love the new, the exciting and the unknown.

There is no need to be more – you are enough. Everybody is enough ~ Osho

I am scared a lot, to show the true me, I have so many ideas, thoughts and wonders to share. Am I the only one who feels like this? I doubt it. Scared of being the odd one out because I hate to fit in, I was born to stand out, but just not too much! We were born to be amazing but just not too amazing or more amazing than the next?
I love other people’s successes, it makes me happy, it makes me smile but it also makes me sad, it makes me look back at myself and wonder what am I doing to be successful? Why am I stuck, why am I not moving forward at the same pace as others, and then realise I am comparing myself to others, how hard is it to not compare though? Do you struggle with this too?

You alone are enough. You have nothing to prove to anybody ~ Maya Angelou

In truth, feeling like I am enough is a feeling all too foreign! I want to be enough for my kids, my husband but mostly just for myself, and the battle to feel like I am is so hard its like walking up a mountain backwards. How can you feel like you are enough when there are days so frequently that you feel like a failure?
The saying you are your own worst enemy is so true, NO ONE judges me as HARD or as HARSH as I judge myself. So when I feel like I am not enough, what do you I do?

Well here is what I have tried….

1) I Look at my kids – they are the purest and biggest examples that you are enough and worthy.
2) Focus on the good – sometimes its hard to see but there are so many silver linings
3) Appreciate the little things – like your messy house- means you have a house, your unbrushed hair and teeth – means you were too busy to do it, you have things to fill your time and life with.
4) Surround yourself with your family and friends- we all have people who love us, they are our support structures, lean on them.
5) I look at photos – and remember those moments in time, the memories, the smiles.
6) Write them down – feelings, thoughts, hopes, inadequacies anything you want.
7) BE creative – THIS is my most trusted outlet. It soothes my soul and refuels me.
8) Remember it will get better. Trust that you are enough as a mother, a daughter, a wife, a lover, an aunt, a grandmother, a person an individual.
9) SPEAK – to someone, anyone who will care to listen. Venting or expressing yourself helps as well as outside perspective.
10) Openness – open yourself up to the good vibes and the positive energy.
11) Do things that make you happy – be it me time, recreational activities, shopping, dancing, singing whatever.
12) Contribute – The feeling of not being enough can be helped so much when you give back, when you do something for someone else, be it small or big, I can’t tell you have amazing it feels to know you have helped someone in some way, it makes me feel like I am enough, I was enough for that person, even just for a moment. The joys of giving are end-less.
13) LOVE – Love heals all things, A husband, partner, a boyfriend, girlfriend, basically anyone who shows you love shows you ONE simple thing, and that is that you ARE ENOUGH!

Do you ever feel you aren’t enough? Well from me to you, I want you to know you ARE enough!
Thank you for reading this. If it helped you or you related to it in anyway please share it with me.

An-Affirmation-For-When-You-Feel-Not-Good-Enough

Yours in Mommyhood,
Mama N

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Why I’ve asked my husband to put my kids before me

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My husband and I always wanted a family and after 8 years of being together we finally decided we wanted to start our family.
We had so many hopes and dreams and discussions of our future and one of them was how we would raise our kids and our priorities.

 
It is and has ALWAYS been an unspoken rule that our kids come first, and this is something I will not change for nobody.

 
You see I have read and spoken to many people regarding this subject and ALL of them have given me the same answer, they choose their husbands / partners and their marriages before their kids and I respectfully disagree, it works for them, its just not for me. I’ve read countless blogs, articles, books, letters, interviews on this same subject, not ONE single piece of writing is yet to be found on putting your kids before your husband. Why? Probably because most people have a certain way or mindset on the subject, and if you know me I am NOT part of the crowd and not a people pleaser. I DO not choose my marriage before my kids and I never will and I’m sure there are countless people who are doing the same but maybe feel bad about it? Like hello, what type of mother are you if you are putting your husband or partner ahead of your kids, but you are not if you do, and if its best for you and your family –  do it. I think its kinda GREAT regardless~!

 
Yes, I met my now husband first, yes, he was there before my kids, yes, he was a husband before he was a father, I get all that, but my children come before my marriage on any given day and its something I FIRMLY and STRONGLY believe in.
Why would I ask my husband to put the kids first? Its simple really, and I will get to my point at the end!

 
Think about this…. Let’s say you were in a situation (a bad one) and your partner chooses you over your child, fine you will live and survive the ordeal but will your marriage? Or your sanity or the guilt. If my husband chooses me over my children on any given day, we would fail, our marriage would fail, and HE would FAIL me!

 
So, I hear you maybe asking so how is this choice going for me? WELL its going AMAZINGLY, I have an amazing husband who agrees strongly with my sentiments on this subject and because of it, he is the MOST amazing father to our kids. I cannot ask for a better husband and Father, I am absolutely overjoyed with how he parents our kids. He puts them first in all he does. HE is a fierce protector and they LOVE him with such a VEROSITY that I can’t sometimes explain!

 
Which brings me to the subject of involved parenting… As I feel this subject is so important. An involved husband and father is what I get out of putting my children before my husband. Since I have a husband who puts my children first I reap the following benefits (if you will) …

 
HE helps with absolutely EVERYTHING, he is involved with EVERY aspect of parenting. The Bath time routine, the playing games, learning, reading, homework, the nurturing, the loving, the sleep time routine, the waking at night, the putting to sleep, tending to the ouches, brushing and washing hair, making lunches, cooking, cleaning, discipline, bedtime, feeding, caregiving, holding hands, kisses, brushing teeth, chasing the baddies away, washing their clothes, watching their sports games or ballet recitals, changing nappies…. The LIST is ENDLESS… I have left out a lot of things, but you get what I am saying right??  I am working on a blog post on “involved parenting” and how it works for us and its benefits to our family.

In saying all of this, the above is not what matters to me, the most important thing I get from asking my husband to put the children ahead of me is to see him ‘father’ like no father I have ever seen. Him In his role of father of my children knowing he will protect them with his life even before my life, knowing there is someone who loves them ABOVE ANYTHING else gives me the most amazing piece of mind and this feeling and sense of peace I WOULDN’T trade for the world.

I am most content that he chooses his kids and fatherhood OVER me, it’s the most beautiful thing in the world to me and that’s why I have asked my husband to put the kids before me and I do the same too.

For anyone who thinks my relationship suffers because of it, after 15 years of being together of which 7 years are marriage, we are still fine, still in love, and still happy.

Let’s talk about the disadvantages, the no time for ourselves or our marriage, the self-absorbed and sense of entitlement kids or self-centred children, the jealous wife or husband, they are real issues, and I DO not disagree with them at all or take them lightly, as with everything in life there must be a balance. We need to of course make a conscious effort for our marriages, alone time, reconnecting, loving, communicating, its all HARD work, but I don’t see the fact that we put our kids first as jeopardising my marriage, maybe I am wrong, who knows, but it works for me.

Self – centered kids – I don’t yet have these monsters, I will try my best to avoid this behaviour, but like ALL things in life there is almost always a good and a bad side to everything.

There is no book on parenting, it’s the hardest thing in the world being one, so do what is best for you and your circumstance or situation.

Any thoughts, I would love to hear them!

Raising K Squared LOGO

 

 

Sleep Deprivation and Post-Partum Depression

 

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I read an article the other day about a man who decided to do some sort of sleep research, he decided that he would sleep for 3 hours a day but broken up into bits of sleep here and there, but it totalled 3 hours, he gave up on the 5th day, SERIOUSLY, this article touched a nerve it really got to me! WHY? Because he gave up after 5 days as he was in pain, he couldn’t function couldn’t speak properly, he was having some health issues and it was too much to bear, HELLO DUDE! I’ve been doing this now for 14 FREAKING months, you (A MAN) did it for 5 days! What the HECK????

From the moment I fell pregnant with my second child that’s when sleep flew out of the window. You’d think all that sleep inducing Progesterone surging through my body during early pregnancy would make me want to just sleep right? By the last trimester sleep was a distant memory for me!

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With my first child it was so different, almost immediately after falling pregnant and I mean from 3 weeks pregnant the exhaustion and tiredness was extreme, it was a tiredness like no other, I couldn’t even explain it or put into words (I’m sure you mama’s know what I’m talking about) but with my second child it has been so different. From 3 weeks pregnant I literally couldn’t sleep. I found myself never ever going to bed before midnight, my whole pregnancy was like this, you’d think that being pregnant I would want to sleep and be tired a lot, NOPE not me I just couldn’t sleep and looking back now… it was the first sign of things to come!

 
My sleeping woes during pregnancy was a sure sign of things to come, I feel like I haven’t slept since June 2016! Here’s why…

 
1) From week 3 of pregnancy I only could fall asleep after midnight and was up at 6:00am with a lot of tossing and turning in between.
2) Even when I was asleep I often had that feeling of still being awake, like my mind was always active. Does this happen to you?
3) When I gave birth and after I was on heavy medications, you’d think after giving birth and being on morphine I would be knocked out? Nope the night after giving birth I was up most of the night, listening to my husband snore (not too loud luckily) waiting for the midwifes to bring my son so he could breastfeed.
4) When we got home my son never ever slept, he was in constant pain, silent reflux and severe eczema and gas kept him up 90% of the night. I am not exaggerating, luckily after being put on meds he would at least get a 40 minute sleep cycle before he woke up again, slowly this gap of waking up increased, but not by much, he still wakes every 2-3 hours. Yes there have been those miracle nights maybe a few times where he has slept through or slept for like 6-7 hours, but they DO NOT come frequently at all.
5) In the beginning I just thought I was exhausted and that’s why I felt tired, unhappy, anxious, sad and helpless, since my son was not sleeping I was the way I was because of the lack of sleep but only later did I see how post-partum depression and sleep deprivation go hand in hand. I still often ask myself the question “Would I have PPD if my son slept well?’’
6) My husband would be with my son from 8:00pm-1:00am every night and then at 1:00 or whenever he woke up would be my shift. This was the only way we both got sleep, you’d think I’d be sleeping from 8-1 right? NOPE I’d be mostly awake wondering if my son was ok, wondering if I was a bad mother, wondering when we would ever get any sleep, wondering why me, why him. Anxious and worried all the time.
7) I would sleep each night anywhere from 1-3 hours MAXIMUM! and some nights I got ZERO sleep at all.
8) At about 8 months old Kieran started sleeping 3 hour stretches which was like a GOD send, people always asked how he was how he was sleeping, and I would always have the standard answer “He now sleeps like a new born” up every 1-4 hours!
9) When he teethes we obviously get even less sleep?
10) My psychologist told me 2 months ago that I am at the brink of a break down with little to no sleep. HE gave me sleeping tablets which I refused to take because it meant I am admitting defeat or I am a bad mother. See Depression affects the sleep too, BIG time! Arggggg it is just a never-ending cycle and yes I’m constantly on EXHAUSTION mode!
11) At 14 months old my son still wakes up every 2-4 hours, with some surprises here and there, few and far between. Sometimes he surprises us and if he isn’t awake then I am, I go and check if he is alive, why? Well because he is still asleep! Hahahahahaa!
12) I get EXTREMELY frustrated when people tell me they are tired, DO they know what tired is? NO, they don’t! DON’T talk to me about being tired or having no sleep, you have no idea what having no sleep means! Try having 1-3 hours a night of interrupted sleep for 14 months then come and tell me what TIRED actually is! – Sorry its obviously a sore subject…
13) On the odd occasion that I do get sleep (like when my boy sleeps) I find myself sitting awake, waiting for him to wake up. I now have what you’d call a serious sleep problem. Almost like if my body gets more than 4-5 hours sleep it can’t handle the amount of sleep and then it must be up. Honestly, I can’t sleep more than 5 hours a night now, its just too much. My brain and body are not used to this HUGE amount of sleep now. Strange right?
14) I find myself quite often looking at sleeping babies and wondering why they sleep and mine doesn’t. Also, often when my son does sleep I like to stare at him! I love sleeping babies, but seeing my own sleeping baby is a God-Send!
15) When my son does sleep – I often find myself reading, being on social media or watching a series instead of sleeping and then cursing myself afterwards! LOL! Suppose I just want some me time regardless of how exhausted I am still.
16) Hopefully this too shall pass, the late nights, the no sleep, the frequent wakes, the not wanting to sleep and wanting to play at 3:00am in the morning, the teething, the moaning and crying etc. One day I will sleep again… WHAT a day that will be! Still I’m pretty sure I will forget this time in my life when sleep was non-existent and for the weak!?

To all the exhausted mama’s I salute you, I know I am NOT alone. How do we do it? Mom’s are amazing! We just keep on keeping on even though our eyes are burning and red from tiredness and exhaustion and we want to tear out our hair at 4:00 am.

I suppose we are all #TEAMnoSLEEP for some parts or points of our lives, I’m glad I have an outlet to rant, and I’m glad and grateful for my nights of no sleep because of my kid/s some people are having no sleep for so many other reasons. I hope to one day be able to write a blog post on how I beat Post – partum depression and cured my sleeping problems, but that’s just not happening today.

Are you team #NoSleep or team #AlwaysAsleep?

Below are some useful links on Post-partum depression and Sleep problems.

http://metro.co.uk/2017/10/30/sleep-deprivation-vs-postnatal-depression-am-i-depressed-or-just-really-bloody-tired-7029136/

http://mummyitsok.com/blog/sleep-health-during-postnatal-depression/

https://www.baby-sleep-advice.com/sleep-deprivation-effects.html

 

Raising K Squared LOGO

 

Mommy ”REAL-NESS”

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With Mother’s day coming up its got me thinking about motherhood, gosh that just sounds funny, I’m always thinking about being a mommy but this time I’m thinking about the REALNESS thereof… and what real moms do, I don’t mean the awesome stuff like caring, nourishing, loving, being the rock of the household, being the heart of the home, super-hero, parent of the year stuff, I mean the REAL-MOM things we don’t like saying out loud or pretending we don’t do!!

I’m all about real motherhood because lets face it, motherhood is the realist thing there is!
From the moment you become a mother the (realness) begins.

Inspired by the Baby Dove #RealMoms campaign, I thought I would write about some of my own real mom-ism, there is no perfect way to be a mom, only your way!

I want to share some of my ‘’real-ness with you’’
Here are some of the real-mom things I’ve done (Shhhh don’t tell anyone)…
-Forgot to brush my teeth. (Basically the next few are all gross sorry). #MomLife
-Didn’t shower for like 3 days.
-Didn’t wash my hair for more than a week.
-Wore the same t-shirt like 4 days in a row.
-Used wet-wipes to ‘’wash/clean myself’’
-Peed while putting the baby to sleep or breastfeeding.
-Changed a nappy in the dark and the next morning saw poop everywhere.
-Tip toed out of a room like my life depended on it so that I could go unseen.
-Asked my 6 year old to ‘’look after’’ her brother for a few minutes so I can watch TV in peace.
-Slept through Barney and my little pony while pretending to watch it.
-Forgotten on purpose, to do the washing or cook or clean just because.
-Fed my child 2 minute noodles because I was too tired to cook.
-Put a movie on for my child so that they can just keep quiet for like a while.
-Told them mommies got a headache so that the noise level can be kept down.
-Forgotten to put money under the pillow and told my child the tooth fairy was sick.
-Said to my child that if they are quiet they can have anything they want.
-Took my child to a playdate so I can have 2 hours of peace.
-Went grocery shopping to buy ‘’water’’ even though there is water in the tap. (You get this right?) the famous grocery shopping vacation.
-Went to the movies or the toilet or garage or laundry room to cry alone because motherhood is sometimes too hard.
-Or Cried In the shower so that everyone thought it was water and not tears because well I was overwhelmed.
-Hid chocolate in my sock draw from my kid because I can’t eat anything alone.
Or Gave the kids chocolate just so that they can be still and eat for 1 minute.
-Let my kids destroy a packet of wet wipes or draw on the wall just so they are occupied.
-Sneaked my child a sip of coke that I was drinking because I was too lazy to go get her juice.
-Sat in the car a little longer before fetching my child from creche. LOL.
-Played the SILENCE game, too many times. EEEEkkkkk!
-Given into something I know my child shouldn’t be doing just to stop the nagging.
-Swore and then tried to convert it into another word in front my kids.
-Blamed something I did on dad so that I wouldn’t look like a bad mom.
-Blew my kids nose on my top or wiped it with my hand and just left it.
-Used Santa and the Easter Bunny to induce good behaviour.
-Saw a piece of art my child made and thought WTF is this!
-Chanted in my head, don’t embarrass me, don’t embarrass me over and over again or
-Kicked or poked my child’s foot under the table and mumbled some WORDS to get her to stop OVER-sharing or being a brat.
-Pretended to call the police when they did something bad! – I know I’m so naughty!

Oh my word, I look at this list and think wow I’m a bad mother, but I’m not a bad mother maybe I’m just a REAL mother? I don’t know!

Have you done any of these? Or maybe some other (REAL) mom things? I would love to hear about them!

Yours in mommyhood,
Mama N.

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