Being a SAHM.

Since becoming a mum I seem to be in a ‘Stuck’ phase. I am not who I was before children, yet I am not completely not that person either. Confused? Good, so am I! I have always wanted to be a mum and am so grateful I have been blessed with 2 healthy lovely boys. Personally though since becoming a mum I have struggled to find ‘Me’. Before kids, I had dreams, goals, I was driven and would go for what I wanted. I only had me to think about. It’s a freedom I look back on and see I took for granted. I would be lying if sometimes I longed for those long gone never to be seen again days, of waking up when ever I wanted to, not needing to think of anyone else but me, being able to do as I wanted when I wanted, not a nappy bag or pram in sight. Go shopping for me for clothes that I like and not have to worry about boob access, or to cover my mum tum and not to have to worry about baby sick or food staining and ruining it! However, I wouldn’t change my current life for anything. I’m 3 1/2 years into this mum life, yet I am still adjusting! I wonder if I will ever figure it out, or if it will always be a constant adjustment? Ive wanted to be a mum ever since i could remember, I am living the life ive always wanted yet why do I struggle personally? shouldn’t I be able to handle this with ease, love every moment, not let stress bother me and get me down. nope, life just doesn’t work that way!

I seem to have lost that personal drive I once had. After Timmy was born I struggled for a good 2 1/2 years to figure out which career path I would take when I eventually went back to work. I have always worked since I was 15, I love working. Since becoming a mum, this is the first time I do not have a paid job and rely soley on my partners income, however I definitely work, being a mum is the hardest job ive ever had! There are no days off, no sick leave and it is a 24/7 job! So when I go back to paid work I could go the path I know and have years of experience in and can do with my eyes closed, Reception/Admin. Or I could go the avenue which I have thought about loads but just not done as it requires more studying, and I would be starting over right from the beginning -Childcare. After we moved to Oz, Carl couldn’t work for the first 3 months, I did some temping casual reception work and was bored and hated it. I enjoyed the adult conversation and the break it gave me from being a “mummy” for a few hours, but I hated the mind numbing role. Sometimes the phone did not ring for hours, I sat there bored out of my brains and knew this was not what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I decided childcare it was! So after Elijah was born I enrolled in a Diploma in childcare. It has since sparked an excitement in me I had not experienced in a while for my personal goals and future. I enjoy studying and it feels good to be doing something for me. I have been struggling with the stay at home mum role, don’t get me wrong I love being apart of my children’s early years. I don’t miss out on anything, and im proud as punch watching my boys grow, learn and develop, but I do struggle as one day rolls into the next and into the next and weeks go by and I wonder where the days have gone? what did I achieve? Nothing gets done day-to-day and I have no idea what I’m doing every day! I wake up every morning with  “ill do this and this and sort this” attitude and by the end of the day I am lucky if any of my lists gets done. Staying at home each and every day gives me very little motivation and inspiration, by the end of each day I feel very disappointed in myself for not filling my days as how I intended at the beginning. Most days are filled with washing clothes, washing dishes, repeat about 6 or 7 times through the day, it’s never ending and drives me mad! Then there is the 3 year olds mess, he is a tornado! I seriously can not keep up with him.  From one room to the next, books off the shelf, play dough on the front step, and the back…how and when did that happen? Trains everywhere, Puzzle pieces in different boxes, Lego everywhere plus clothes he has mixed up…my fault…shouldn’t leave clean clothes lying on the floor with the dirty clothes for a toddler to get into and mix up! At any given time one or more….ok so all our rooms look like they have been burgled, it’s just so easy to shut the door and “deal with it later” yep…that door never opens! I want to be that mum that’s got all her shit together, that can cook and have a clean kitchen after, that does all the washing and puts it straight away instead of leaving it for days…ok sometimes weeks until we run out of clothes and search the basket! I wish I always had clean floors and that there wasn’t some sort of crunchy cereal I step on daily that my son dropped on the floor and that I step in daily…hmm, yep, probably should have cleaned that up by now. Every day I set myself up to fail in the house department, I just don’t have the motivation and get up and go to spend all day every day cleaning, sorting, repeat. Seriously, how on earth did mums manage 50 years ago with less appliances, more children, times were harder. Here I am struggling and compared ive got it a whole lot easier! I guess there are a lot more distractions these days, computers, social media, tv ect, more toys and stuff kids have to make more mess (my fault, i keep buying stuff!) I do hate that Carl comes home and is faced with the chaotic messy house and a girlfriend with messy hair, hairy legs and vomit and/ or baby food all over her clothes. It’s not fair on him, but to his credit he rarely complains, in fact he never complains, he only ever sometimes drops the slightest hint when he runs out of socks or underwear or when he feels its necessary I guess. Its sad, ive let my pride in my appearance go beyond acceptable. I desperately need waxing done, hair cut, new clothes and my weight has gone stupidly out of balance. I know im stuck in this rut, and need to get out of it. I have joined a gym, I love doing gym classes, there my time. Something I do just for me, its nice! I just need to get stricter with my eating. I eat mostly out of boredom, it’s a terrible habit!

I’m sure there are many mums out there who can relate. I would love to hear any advice or feedback you have! I love being a mum, but I am struggling to find ‘me’ in my role. I thought I was finding my self after Timmy we had a great routine and I felt on top of it. but once I had Elijah, our routine completely disappeared, and Timmy entered the terrible threenanger stage which threw me a new curve ball I wasnt ready for and then I had a bad spell of postnatal depression which sometimes I still find creeps in. Im blessed to be a stay at home mum, yet I struggle to find the ‘me’ amongst the chaos of daily life. I feel im constantly letting everyone down every day, not enough attention to Timmy and even to carl. He mentioned the other night he misses cuddles -which is all my fault, Im always too tired and just fall into bed exhausted too tired to stay up, chat, cuddle. Ive dropped the ball everywhere. I would be a hopeless juggler as this balancing act is hard work! Through the postnatal depression I fought hard to dig myself out of that hole, but it’s not completely gone, some days are great, others not so much but I’m dealing with it by talking to people, seeking professional help and writing about it along with reading self-help books.

I just wish I could feel comfortable and confident in this role as stay at home mum. Most days I feel like a fraud, like I’m going through my days dazing through trying be something i’m not and failing at it. My mum guilt on a daily basis is ridiculous, I constantly feel guilty over everything. How much time Timmy spends infront of the TV or on my phone playing games, or when he gets himself into a tantrum how I could have handled it better, or I didnt feed him a proper dinner… spagetti tonight kiddo? The only thing I can be sure of is I love my little family so damn much, my boys are my life and my world! They bring me purpose and a love only I can get from them. Their stressful, tiring and exhausting but I wouldn’t trade a minute of it for anything. I guess the rest of the chaos and mess will just sort itself out. well I hope it does! I guess we can’t have it all. I want to be a great mum, I wont sacrifice that to be a great housewife also. I read somewhere once that when your kids are grown, they wont remember the messy house or dishes in the sink, but they will remember the memories and laughter you create together. lets hope that’s true!

lots of love to all you mummas who feel a little lost and overwhelmed, you’re not alone! XXX

The Parental Stress Centre

So those of you that follow me on my Social media accounts such as my Facebook Page will know that 2 weeks ago I had a Mummy Meltdown. Let me give you the back story so you will understand how I  got to that point.

I gave birth to Elijah back in March and since bringing him home I have been feeling very anxious, stressed, overwhelmed and feeling I am not coping on a day to day basis. Elijah is now 3 1/2 months old. Before I had Elijah I was a lot more in control, and I felt like I could handle Timmy most of the time. There were rare occasions where I would have a bad day, but these were far and few between! I guess the timing of Timmy turning 3 just after giving birth to Elijah hasn’t helped. He has turned into a little Threenanger. This is a serious thing, forget terrible two’s they were a breeze, but once they hit 3, WOW! So trying to cope with his outbursts and tantrums while managing a new born baby has not been easy to say the least. Every day I suffer from major mummy guilt over trying to give Timmy the attention he needs and trying to breast feed Elijah and change a thousand nappies a day. I forgot how much stuff comes out of such a little human being! Every day for the past 3 1/2 months I have been feeling guilt ridden, felt like I am not coping, feel like I should be able to do all the washing, keep a clean house, give enough attention to both children, cook dinner, and make them healthy and something every one would like. I would be lucky if I got through a load or two of washing, and that doesn’t include putting it away! No one else was putting this pressure on me, but me! I feel like every day I should be an octopus with 8 arms. My expectations are way too high, on myself and on Timmy. He is 3. Yes, he is naughty, cheeky and testing. I feel I should be able to handle this, and honestly I have not been able to. Every night when I put him to bed, I promise tomorrow will be better and I will be a better mum who doesn’t loose her temper and who is more patient and understanding, but then the next day is just as it was the day before. The stress had just got too much and I am fearful it is turning into depression, if it has not already. I feel like I have no control and it does not help when well meaning family tell me i’m not doing things right, or I should be doing more of this or that. I don’t think social media has helped much either, with people only posting the most amazing pictures and stories of clean houses, kids playing incredibly well, outings where kids behave, home cooked meals from scratch. That is why for me, posting as honestly as I can about my struggles and my reality is important. Whether it be on my blog, instagram, fb or twitter. You will always see pictures of a messy house, my imperfect arts and crafts or cooking attempts and basically the reality which is life. Of course there are days which do go wonderful, and I go to bed feeling like the best mum in the world, however of late these are less and less. which seems to be my problem

Enter the Parental Stress Centre. In the midst of my mummy meltdown, telling my 3 year old son I couldn’t take anymore, I didn’t want to be a mummy anymore and I was going to go to work instead, an ad popped up on my facebook feed. The weirdest thing is, I never looked them up, I was not seeking outside help, it just randomly popped up on my face book computer screen at what could only be described as the exact moment I needed it to. I am the biggest skeptic out there, and I never click on these facebook ADS, but curiosity got me and I was at my wits ends so I clicked on the AD, what did I have to loose?. It was the best decision I made! Reading about there programs, how they can help, what they offer….I thought perhaps this might just be what I need. So I registered! I signed up for their 28 day program, find my calm challenge. We are currently on day 11, and I can honestly say this is EXACTLY what I needed! I love the live Q&A once a week with Jackie Hall. She explains everything so well, clearly and everything makes sense and i’m always left wondering why I did not know this before, or how did I not see this or understand this earlier?

Every day they send you an email in the morning, which comes with an audio version also. I prefer to listen to the Audio version then reading, I find I absorb what is being said better and each day it will cover a new topic such as ‘Understanding your Toddler’. I love waking up to these, especially after a bad night with Elijah being up and attached all night and i wake up feeling tired and irritated before the day has even began. Then at the end of the lesson they give you home work, these are tasks they ask you to do, which you do not send in, there just extra to help in your understanding and to help put the lesson into practice. You can choose to do them or not, they are up to you. I do them when I can. The past few days I have not had a chance. Things have been a little hectic, so ill open the email and listen to the audio version if I’m busy and don’t have time to sit and read, ill put the audio on while washing up or cooking or breast feeding and listen to it that way! Honestly, everything they say makes so much sense, and the hardest part is getting myself to rethink and rearrange my old habits and stop myself conflicting against the reality of what is happening as apposed to my expectations of what should happen. It is so easy to get myself stressed and worked up. But then I just need to stop, think about what I have been told, how to handle it and try the best I can in the current situation. This is easier said then done, some days I can handle, others get the better of me, and I just give up! I am working on it.

They have a closed face book group which I LOVE because every single other person on there you can relate to! They are all strangers, and you can post your problems and they all post with advice or there personal story. It is such a relief and just feels really nice knowing your not the only one who struggles as a parent. Obviously you already know you are not the only person which struggles as a parent, however some days can feel isolating, even if you have close friends, family and your partner/husband/wife ect around you, you can still manage to feel very alone with your problems.

I have had friends and family message me offering me advice and reassuring me I am doing a great job and I am not alone in how I am feeling, they assure me “we have all been there”. I truly appreciate these messages of support. Carl has been great, booking me a night away so I could take some time off. Much needed. I think Carl puts up with a lot, most night he comes home after working all day to a messy house, no dinner cooked and Timmy still awake as he refuses to go to bed for me! But when he walks through those doors, it is like a wave of relief, I have help, I have a team member who can step in so I can breathe. I feel happy, relieved and guilty all at the same time. I think I have let the stress and pressure every day get to me for too long and it is now weighing too heavy so this is why I decided to sign up to this program. Honestly, if there are any parents out there struggling and you feel you need help, you must look them up! They offer other programs besides the one I am doing. Its only day 11, and I have a long way to go, the program I am on is 28 days, but what I have learnt so far has been eye opening. I am really happy I chose to click on that AD when I did. I have a lot of self work to do, but I am looking forward to it and hopefully I will improve my every day outlook on life! I will be sure to keep you updated on my progress and let you know my final thoughts at the end of the program.

If you feel you need extra help or are feeling stressed or struggling to cope, please look them up! parentalstress.com.au I highly recommend them!

XX Candice XX

PLEASE NOTE: I have not been asked to write this post or in no way has this  post been endorsed, paid or otherwise. This is purely my experience using this service. I love sharing useful and helpful tips when ever I come across them!

The Gruffalo

My Son’s Favorite book at the moment is The Gruffalo. I must say I really enjoy reading this book. The first time I had ever heard of the Gruffalo was in 2014, after I had Timmy. I went to a soft play with My partners mother, and on the wall was painted a huge picture of this ugly cartoon character. I asked, “What is that?“. She looked at me shocked, how had I never heard of The Gruffalo? Well, I soon learnt very quickly what it is. I absolutely love it! That year I got to watch the cartoon as it was on Christmas day, which It reads just like the book. It is the cutest cartoon, and very very clever!

If you have never heard of The Gruffalo, you need to read the book and or watch the cartoon! The book is about a little mouse who walks through the deep dark woods, he comes across various animals who wish to eat him but he manages to get out of each situation by saying he is meeting a “Gruffalo”. He describes a bit of the Gruffalo, Such as  he has Terrible Claws and terrible teeth in his terrible jaws and then mentions what The Gruffalo’s favorite food is, such as when he comes across a snake, he says the Gruffalo’s favorite food is scrambled snake. The snake gets scared and scampers off. The mouse says, “Silly snake doesn’t he know there’s no such thing as a Gruffalo!” This continues until he comes across The Gruffalo, with all the exact same features as what he describes through the book. The Gruffalo wants to eat the mouse, but the mouse convinces him hes the scariest mouse in the woods. So they walk through the woods and come across all the creatures again, each one see’s the Gruffalo and scuttles off, the Gruffalo is convinced they are scared of the mouse, so the mouse says he is hungry and his favorite food is Gruffalo crumble, at which scares the Gruffalo and he scampers off leaving the mouse to enjoy a nut in peace. The book is very easy reading, and Timmy loves finishing my sentences while we are reading.

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we love the The Gruffalos Child also!

We also have the follow up book “The Gruffalo’s Child” which is just as delightful and easy reading as The Gruffalo. There is a cartoon version of the book also which is another joy to watch.  This version tells of the Gruffalo’s child who should not go into the deep dark woods as if he does the big bad mouse will be after you. The child does not listen, is brave and ventures out into the woods. He comes across all the same lovely characters as in The Gruffalo. Each character says the mouse is close by eating Gruffalo cake ect… until finally he comes across the mouse who doesn’t seem scary at all and thinks he would like to eat him, until the mouse tells him he has a friend who he needs to meet and describes him in a scary way, then moves into the moonlight where a big silhouette shadow of the mouse comes across the snowy floor and scares the Gruffalo’s child back home. Seriously, how could you not love these books?

If you have read these books, what are your thoughts on them. Please share them with me and I would love to know what books are currently your and your child’s favorites!

xx Life In A Mum Shell xx