Posts tagged #me

“Your blog makes me feel bad about myself”

Anxiety truth who i am Mama Pyjama Blog

This is something I’ve heard several times over the last two years.  It’s never said with ill-intent, and it’s usually always followed with something like, “because you’re doing all this stuff and I’m just sitting at home watching the TV.” 

I won’t apologise for how my blog makes others feel…but I will say I’m not here to make you feel bad.  I want to motivate you and support you, but most importantly I’m here to share my life honestly with you.  Because honesty is important.  Because there’s not enough of it in the world.

So in case there are any misconceptions about my life – I’ll lay it all out for you to see.

I’ve always believed that there are 24 usable hours in every day.  I’m an achiever.  I am driven by a need to make things happen, to be great at what I do, to be leading the pack.  It’s how I’m programmed, and it’s tied up in my self-worth.  It can be a really awesome thing – I get stuff done, and most of the time I do it well… BUT, it can also be a truly destructive force in my life.

Three weeks ago I crashed and burned.

It was like everything was happening all at once.  Instead of having five or six colourful balls in the air to juggle, I felt like I had forty three flaming fire sticks….  Work pressures had mounted. My extended family were going through a significant period of pain and change.  My son’s health issues were growing.  I was trying to launch my new website which took crazy hours and was a huge learning curve.  Financial pressures were increasing just as I was launching myself into the world of e-commerce, and I was feeling quite dejected in general after several setbacks and lost opportunities over the last 6-12 months.  Put simply, the world was spinning around me with crazy speed and force, and I was standing in the middle feeling exhausted, undervalued, nervous, helpless, vulnerable, anxious, and well and truly out of my depth.  

I found myself sitting in my manager’s office, attempting to have a conversation about a resourcing issue I was having on my project.  It wasn’t a fun conversation, but it’s certainly not something I haven’t done before.  All of a sudden the room felt like it was on fire.  Hot.  HOT like I’d never felt a room feel before.  I could feel the colour filling my cheeks.  I took off my jacket.  My voice changed tone and I was talking really fast.  It was like I was in an inferno and the walls were closing in.  BAM.  I was having my first ever panic attack.  I’ve never felt so out of control in my whole life.  I walked out of the room and straight out the front door and found a park bench to sit at. 

I sat.  I breathed.  I wondered what the hell just happened.  Then I took myself back inside and kept on going.

I should have stopped.

The following week I got influenza.  The universe clearly wasn’t taking no for an answer on this one.  I was bedridden.  I am never bedridden.  I hate being still.  I find it virtually impossible to sit and do nothing.  I was so sick that I literally couldn’t even muster the energy to watch TV, yet I was sitting there with off-the-charts anxiety because I was ‘wasting time’.

I had to take 1.5 weeks off work.  The Sunday before I went back, my youngest was diagnosed with pneumonia.  That same week, my eldest nearly broke his foot.  It doesn’t stop.  But what can we do?

Well me?  I take a deep breath, and I keep going…because that’s who I am.

I’m still going to push myself and I’m still going to try everything in my power to ensure I’m living my life to its fullest potential but my dad, who’s a fellow ‘achiever’, had some good advice for me.  “It's about knowing when to get off the merry go round or change direction”. 

So I will continue to look for new directions, and I will be focusing more on speaking up, saying no, finding balance, supporting my health with supplements, asking for help, and finding ways to get more restful sleep to ensure I don’t reach breaking point again.  I'll also look at ways to slow down a little, and to manage my achievement anxieties a little better too...because if I didn’t, that'd just be stupid, right? 

So there it is.  My life’s not perfect.  I’m not super woman.  I do have a break point.  I do yell when I shouldn’t.  I do take it out on my family sometimes; in fact I completely lose my shiz sometimes.  I do watch reality tv (with a passion way disproportionate to the quality of the show).  I certainly don’t succeed at everything I do.  I do drink too much wine.  I am terrible at phonecalls with friends and family; I often miss texts or emails completely.  My house is an absolute bomb-zone, ‘cause something’s gotta give.  And last week I forgot to supply the grated cheese for all the kids making their own lunch wraps for my son’s 100 days of school celebration. 

I’m not here to make you feel bad.  I’m here to make myself feel better…because all this?  This is my passion.  I’m here to inspire you to find your passion too.  And I’m here to spread the honesty around the universe.  Life’s not perfect.  I’m not perfect.  You’re not perfect.  And that’s ok.  That’s exactly as it should be.

Voices

"Has that crazy lady gone yet?"

"Has that crazy lady gone yet?"

You know when you hear your recorded voice and think, “oh my god, that’s not ME, I sound TERRIBLE!”?

Well sometimes I feel like I’m living inside a stereo with a recording of my own voice playing over and over again.

Before I had children I was blissfully unaware of the many voices that lay waiting in my voice box for their debut.  There’s:

The Darth Vader in Drag: “Get back here rrright NNNow.”

The Raving Lunatic: You know the one where you’re pretending like you’re talking to them but you’re really just talking to yourself?       “I just don’t understand why I have to ask you sixteen times to do something. I just don’t get it.  I don’t get why you listen to everyone else.  Why don’t you listen to me? It’s driving me crazy……I SAID GET INSIDE NOW!”

The Strangled Seagull: “Stop it, SQUAWK, put that down, SQUAWK, stop picking your nose, SQUAWK, give that back, SQUAWK, get off your brother, SQUAWK, don’t touch that!”

The Town Crier: This one comes out in playgrounds (usually in front of the masses) hollering across a sea of children “You’ve got five minutes until we leave, five minutes!  Ok?!!  Five minutes...say ‘yes, mummy!’ ... Thank you.  FIVE MINUTES!”

The Manic Negotiator: “It’s ok, just breathe, it’s alright it’s alright it’s alright, don’t scream, calm down, it’s your turn next…”

The I Don’t Care Who’s Listening: Usually emerges in the car park shortly following a grocery shop. “GET IN THE CARSEAT!  I’M SO UPSET WITH YOU RIGHT NOW! YOUR BEHAVIOUR IN THERE WAS DISGRACEFUL!!  I SAID GET IN THE CARSEAT! NO YOU CAN NOT HAVE A LOLLLLLLLYPOP!!!!!!”

This is something I definitely wasn’t prepared for!  There are days I actually hate the sound of my own voice.  I had no idea that this was such a big part of the parenting gig!  I had visions of Lullaby Mama, all gentle and sweet (not to mention coherent and reasonable!)…not this Negative Nancy!

But it seems that even if you approach it in a positive manner, offering them options or choices, telling them what they could or should be doing in lieu of what not to do…no matter which way you spin it ultimately you’re still the bearer of bad news.  You spend a great deal of your day trying to convince them that not doing something they want to do, or doing something they don’t want to do, is the way to go.  Despite all my best efforts, I still hear myself speaking and think “my god you’re so annoying!  You sound so negative all the time”.

And how is it that someone so small, and someone you love so much, can push your every button so very well?!  No one else has ever managed to bring to life the I Don’t Care Who’s Listening or the Spitting Dragon (I’ll leave this one to your imagination). 

I’m sure that the voices will die down as my children get older…(did that just make me sound totally crazy?!).  Until then I guess I just need to try to keep the less productive ones in check and look for ways to bring out Lullaby Mama more (I used to get sneaky when they were infants and change the words of songs to vent my frustrations…like Brahms’ Lullaby “Go to sleep, little one, Mummy’s looosssing the plot”.  Yeah, that was a bit of a fail).  So…work on Lullaby Mama, and try to find ways to balance out the seemingly negative banter.  Pick my battles - I’m not going to win all of them.  Try to find a healthy medium between letting them be kids yet ensuring I stay on top of the necessary discipline.  Sounds good in theory, I’ll let you know how I go with it!  In the meantime I welcome any tips, advice or shared experiences!