I forgot

I’ve been doing really well since I stopped therapy and anti depressants. But today I forgot.

I’ve forgotten what anxiety attacks feel like. Either I’ve gotten really good at managing my anxiety, or I just haven’t been in a situation where I felt anxious. Today I spiraled. It was a small thing, I asked my husband a question and he didn’t answer. And I stressed and fretted about the non answer till I exploded into a mess of emotions and heart palpitations. Because obviously it’s my fault that he didn’t answer me. Logically I know it wasn’t my fault, he is a notoriously bad communicator. But I still stressed and freaked out.

It sounds stupid, but it was simply the last straw. There have been a lot of things completely out of my control the last few months and the pressure has finally got to me. None of the things are particularly stressful on their own, but combined they are doing my head in.

So I’m taking a step back tonight. I’m not available. Don’t ask me questions and don’t expect anything from me. I’ve forgotten that I’m not superhuman. I’m not a one-man-band. I can’t do everything on my own and I have to remember that I’m allowed to rely on others. If they let me down it’s not a reflection of my skills, it’s them. I’m not responsible for everything all the time. Especially not tonight. Tonight I’m only responsible for me.

The part time single mom.

We’ve had some massive changes in our lives since the last time I posted. We’ve slowly restarted with our renovation, the Husbeast and myself have joined a running club, and I’ve become a part-time-single-mom. The Husbeast was offered his dream job, international travel and problem solving, all in one easy package. It’s great. It really is. He arrived home on Sunday and he’s already gearing up for his next trip. It’s freaken great. If I wasn’t so exhausted I would be smiling right now, I promise.

I’ve gained so much respect for all the single parents out there, it’s so hard being both good cop and bad cop. My biggest struggle so far has been trying to do everything. All the chores, the cooking, cleaning, laundry, dropping off, picking up, going to gym, keeping the kids occupied, going to work, looking after the dogs, wrangling the cats, trying to fit some running time in…. it didn’t go so well. It actually went better than I thought it would but it took a toll on me. I had lots of sleepless nights while stressing about getting everything done. I can’t help it, I stress about small things. And I hate feeling like a failure. Even if everything went perfectly to plan I would still feel like I let my kids down cause it wasn’t good enough. I wasn’t good enough.

I guess that will be my goal this year, cut myself some slack. I don’t have to be perfect all the time, I’m allowed to fail, I’m allowed to disappoint other people, I’m not responsible for the behavior and opinions of other people. Cause being a part time single mom is hard, and I’m only human.

Waiting my turn

As I’ve grown older (and hopefully wiser) I have realized that I spend most of my life waiting.  Waiting in ques  at supermarkets, waiting for my turn to speak, waiting for someone else to finish up so that I can have my moment in the spotlight, waiting for my kids to sleep on their own beds, waiting for others to see my potential… The list is endless.  So I have now decided to stop waiting, that it is OK to sometimes step in front and demand attention.  And that it is also OK to give up and accept that change is not always inevitable, and that sometimes going with the flow is just easier and healthier.  

I will be the first to admit that I don’t always know when to stay my hand and when to dive in headfirst, hopefully it will come soon. Until then I can see that my ego might be bruised and battered:)

I am a Radiotherapist

I am a Radiotherapist. No, I do not fix radios, I am not a radiologist or a nurse, I do not give patient’s bed baths, no it is not super depressing and yes, I do know that all my patient’s are going to die. Want to know a secret? EVERYBODY DIES! Now that I have gotten that off of my chest I feel much better.

Radiotherapy is not a career that just anyone can walk into. It takes a special type of person who is willing to come into someone’s life at their darkest moment.  I have been sworn at, shouted at and publicaly humiliated by patients. And yes I was pissed off about that but I understand that they cannot control what is happening to them.  It must be terrible feeling to be that helpless, knowing that you have to entrust someone else with your health and life.  So I get shouted at, I can handle it, I’m a big girl.

The problem with dealing with negative emotions all day long is that you become almost desensitised to emotion. I know I have.  In order to cope with the pressures of my job I tend to bottle up my emotions and eat away my problems.  Thank goodness for the Husbeast. He has been my emotional punching bag on more than one occasion, when I needed an outlet.  Of course this places a huge amount of stress on our marriage, fortunatly we have survived all of my “moments”, tantrums and random floods of tears.

The best part about my job? The Princess thinks I make superheros. I told her that I work with radiation, radiation=super powers so mommy makes superheros. Yay me!

When the house fights back

Today the Fixer Upper threw another curve ball at us.  I have wondered why on earth there is always a huge puddle of water outside the back door.  I realised that the drain right outside the kitchen door was blocked, which means that every time I wash the dishes or do a load of laundry I basically flood the place. I am sure that the Fixer Upper hates us and just lulls us into a false sense of security before striking back

The Husbeast immediately rode to the rescue, pouring large amount of drain cleaner down the drain (pun intended).  It didn’t work.  He then attempted a daring unblocking mission using a hose pipe, head lamp, long stick and a spade.  It still didn’t work.  After swearing at it, the water level started dropping (at this point I was falling over with laughter).  I haven’t had the guts to attempt another load of dirty clothes. I will wait until the Husbeast does it himself, that way if it doesn’t work, it wasn’t my fault:)

 

Being a rugby widow

It was the first game of The Husbeast’s rugby season tonight (and his 5/6 “last season”).  I am not a huge fan of rugby simply because I have the attention span of a fruit fly, I cannot sit still for nearly 90 minutes.  The kids thoroughly enjoy going to watch their dad play.  They love running around next to the field, trying to identify The Husbeast  on the field, watching the other kids and of course, eating junk food (it was cold so they got hot chocolate tonight).  I get to watch a few minutes of the game, the rest of the time I’m changing nappies, traipsing off to the loo with the Princess, breaking up world war 279… you get the picture.  All in all it was a good first game, I survived without losing my marbles, the kids are both still intact and The Husbeast didn’t receive any debilitating injuries.  Yay us! Now we just have to keep our winning streak going for the rest of the season.

 

 

Riana’s kitchen nightmares

As I stumbled  walked into my kitchen this morning I stepped into a puddle.  Now in a normal household the puppy would be scolded and the offending puddle would be cleaned up.  In my house the freezer towel gets dragged closer with one foot and the puddle mopped up while making the coffee.   Yep, I have a freezer towel that lives on the floor in the kitchen.

 

In a nutshell, when we first got married my grandmother gave us her old fridge.  It was positively ancient and most probably caused the hole in the ozone layer.  We promised ourselves that we would replace it soon.  A year later we were given another second-hand fridge/freezer.  Needless to say I was not very impressed as I wanted a shiny new one.  The Husbeast promised me that it was only temporary and that we would replace it soon.  Its been 6 years.  The fridge is constantly frozen, any veggies or liquids in the fridge freeze within days.  The freezer is always defrosting for no reason, hence the freezer towel.  The freezer actually forms so much ice that it pops the door open, defrosting the whole thing.  I can hear that door pop even in my sleep. I once had to cook 7 packs of bacon because the freezer had defrosted while I was at work.  I love bacon:)

 

Do not even get me started on the stove! When we bought our house we bought the stove as well.  We were promised that it was in prime working condition.  Notice a theme here?  Only the freaken grill works! If you want to use the stove  you have to pre-heat  the plates for at least an hour and then add an hour’s cooking time on as well (for some or other reason the plates do not conduct heat very well).  When did I discover that the oven was not working? On Christmas Eve while I was trying to cook a 3 course meal for my family (all 10 of us).  Great stuff.   Thank goodness for my electric casserole dish, electric wok and slow cooker!  Needless to say we eat a lot of soup, stew and stirfry.  And tuna sandwiches cause I LOVE tuna sandwiches.

 

Thank goodness no one in this house is a fussy eater! Otherwise they would most probably starve to death waiting for the oven to heat up.

It’s the guilt that gets you

I’ve been man down this past week with some virus that most probably hitched a ride home with one of the girls. Obviously I’ve had loads of time for reflection as I sprint too and from the loo, wait to take my meds and lie awake at night shivering and sweating with fevers. I wish I could say that this was a random occurrence but its the second bout I’ve had this past year. I’m so busy trying to be the perfect mom and wife that I have neglected myself really badly

I can honestly not remember the last time I had a proper meal (at least while the kids are around). I usually end up eating the Tomboy’s leftovers.  By the time I am finished wrestling the kids through the bath and into the bed I’m so bone weary that I snarf down some junk food, just to keep my eyes open.   Don’t even get me started on my ‘beauty regime”!  Most nights I’m so tired that I cannot remember where my face is, let alone how to cleanse, tone and moisturize.

 

I’ve decided to de-clutter my life and let go of the guilt.  Guilt about not being super skinny and fit and not being the perfect wife and hostess (I would rather play with the kids than clean). I am also going to stop trying to control things I have no control over.  I cannot control other people’s reactions to me, I cannot expect things to always turn out the way I want them too.   I also have to let go of my mom guilt, I love being a working mom, I love my job, I love interacting with patients and the challenges that brings.  I refuse to feel guilty for wanting to stimulate my brain!  So what if my kids go to school and after care?  They are surrounded by friends and teachers who love and care for them almost as much as I do.  They are happy at school! I know it sounds like I am trying to convince myself and maybe I am.

 

So now what? Hopefully remembering to put myself first will help me become a better mom, wife and person.  I am going to play a little more, stress a little less.  Bake some cookies with the kids and have a picnic in the playroom and leave the dishes till later.  Have long, relaxing bubble baths and leave the Husbeast to look after the kiddlets.  Take the kids and dogs to the beach and not stress about how I look in my bikini, instead I will throw caution to the wind and just have fun with my family.

 

And I realised, it’s the guilt that makes you fat, not the calories.

My darkest days

I truly dislike this time of the year.  3 years ago, in 2011 I was 13 weeks pregnant with our second baby.  I woke up one Saturday morning with a “funny feeling”.  I had an appointment to see my Dr that Monday so I wasn’t too concerned.  I went to the loo, as all preggy ladies do first thing and noticed a weird discharge.  Not bloody so no alarms went off but my feeling intensified.  I convinced the Husbeast to take me to the Casualty department, just for a check up.  We dropped the Princess off with my parents and set off to the hospital.  On the way there I started unsubscribing to all the pregnancy and parenting newsletters I was receiving monthly and made a detailed list for the Husbeast of all the baby items that were lying around in the flat, so that he could pack them away in the worst case scenario.

 

I managed to convince the Casualty staff to send me for an Ultrasound.  I was still feeling pretty confident until I saw the scan.  The problem with being a Radiographer is that we receive some exposure to the different disciplines.  And I remembered what the Princess’s scans had looked like at 13 weeks.  This baby was very small and just didn’t look right.  Then the Radiologist said the words that no person should ever hear “there is no heart beat”.  I was inconsolable.  I had a D&C on the same day.

 

I blamed myself for months,I actually still wonder if there is anything I could have done differently.  I still feel that my body betrayed me.  4 months later I had another miscarriage, this time at 7 weeks.  My progesterone levels were dropping for no reason.  After the first miscarriage everyone was so supportive and told me all these wonderful stories about having miscarriages and then falling pregnant less than 6 weeks later, to not give up and “get  back on the horse” and that I will have my baby soon.  After the second miscarriage I was told to take a break, not to rush, my body needs a rest and to emotionally heal.  It was heartbreaking, I felt like I had no support.

 

The Tomboy was born in July 2012.  Throughout my whole pregnancy I was petrified that I was going to lose her.  I really battled to bond with her until she was born. Even up to the day she was born I was secretly worried that I was not actually pregnant.

 

Society places such huge pressure on the grieving mom to “just get over it”.  Talking about it is a double edged sword.  If you tell people how you feel you make them feel uncomfortable and you lose their support.  So you try and deal with these huge emotions and feelings of guilt and then you feel guilty for being a burden to your friends.  If you keep quiet you are either not coping, or you have moved on.  Either way, you end up having to monitor your behavior around your friends and family to make them feel better.

 

I have a void in my heart where my babies are.  I often think about them,  I grieve for them even though they never actually were.  I also grieve for all my hopes and dreams for them, that they would be happy and successful.  That is what makes this so terrible.  I have no proof that they ever existed.  A few ultrasound pictures that will eventually fade away is all  there is.

 

Because of those babies I am the person that I am today.  My marriage went through a very rocky patch but we have come out battered and bruised but still alive.  It has also changed my parenting style, I am still very laid back and relaxed but now I appreciate every moment with my  kids.  Even when they drive me up the walls.  Whenever I feel overwhelmed I simply hug my kids tighter and just keep treading water.