After our missed miscarriage, we flew on holiday. Not the best time to go away but hey, these things don’t give a heads-up or warning, do they? Timing aside, in hindsight the space was really good for us, just what we needed as we were away from our everyday lives back home. Whilst trying to deal with what had just happened, towards the end of our trip, my husband started to write ‘a plan’. He began writing notes, a to do list as such, covering what our goals were, as a couple and individually. Things that we wanted to achieve, something for us, and for me to focus on after our heartache. Sometimes when you experience a loss, it can help to have something to work towards, something to get you back on track.
Have you heard about or do you know what ‘Self-Care’ means? Is it something that’s on your radar or is it more in the Bermuda lost triangle zone as far as you’re concerned? Do you even know what I’m talking about?! Self care is essentially about taking responsibility for yourself, your health and mental wellbeing. It essentially means to look after YOU. I knew of the term but despite doing a lot of things for ‘myself’ I didn’t really acknowledge that what I was doing was called ‘self-care’. Listening to Women’s Hour on Friday (I know, I’m WILD) there was a segment about this topic, where it took one woman finding out she had cancer, going through all the treatment and coming out the other side, before she realised that she hadn’t been taking care of herself at all. She realised pre-diagnosis that she’d been burning candle at both ends, running herself into the ground working and partying too hard. Having cancer made her realise she needed to slow down and start loving herself a bit more. The programme really got me thinking. Certainly leading up to IVF I was really good at meditating on a regular basis, I was getting loads of sleep, drinking loads of water etc but then the pregnancy and sickness stopped all of that, and then after my miscarriage everything went to shit, quite frankly. I went off track by way of rebelling and showing my anger I suppose. I stopped doing all of the things that were good for ME. I realised that I hadn’t been looking after myself at all.
Being a mum is a whole load of swings and roundabouts emotions. It’s a constant up and down from the moment you have your baby. A lot of people suddenly have an opinion on your business. It’s like the world now has the right to chip in about how you adult your children. And what with being judged, there’s also us judging ourselves. With Social Media now there’s a lot to compare ourselves too. You can’t but help look at that ridiculously smiley, perfectly edited family on Instagram and wish your child would just bloody well sit still for a photo, wearing those hilarious comedy glasses you bought. Social Media can at times make us think that our lives aren’t pastel enough, colourful enough, or fun enough!! Argh!! You can also (without meaning to) spend a lot of time comparing yourselves to other mums that you meet, at playgroups, softplay or at the school gates. This post is about not being that mum who seems to have it all.
No amount of information or advice from friends or family really, truly prepared me for having a baby. I read every book going, did NCT and even did the free NHS classes too. I was a complete swot and asked lots of questions and wrote a whole heap of notes. All in preparation for becoming a ‘parent‘ (dun, dun, duuueeerrr!) I was ready, like a runner lining up in the starting blocks, or so I thought. But when my baby arrived, everything I’d learnt or read went out of the window. Funnily enough never at one point did I refer back to my trusty ‘notes’. The last thing you think about doing during a 3am feed followed by a ‘poo-splosion’, is consulting your pages and pages of handwriting. You genuinely have to wing a lot of it. There were some very confusing moments when my baby was new (often involving poo or sick) but I got through those dark times and hey presto, I came out the other side having learnt a new skill, wahoo! (to any potential or new parents, you will at one point be stood covered head to toe in sick, holding a baby also covered in sick and you literally won’t know where to start) Here are a few truths for you, a few things that I’ve discovered along the way.