{The Birthday List} What I have learnt this year

So every year some time around my birthday I complete a list of all the things I have learnt in the last 12 months. It’s far from a comprehensive list (one would hope I learn more than 30-something things a year) but I really enjoy reminding myself how far I have come and what I have come to realise about those around me, my life and more importantly myself.

So here we go the 2017 edit:

  1. You will get a chocolate Labrador puppy who you love madly and will make your every day brighter, but she will eat your shoes.
  2. You will recover from postnatal depression but you will never be the same. Something has intrinsically changed in you forever.
  3. You will be paid actual money for writing. Some might even call you a freelance writer.buganni
  4. Your husband is a solid 10 and continues to make you a better version of yourself.
  5. She who forgets to add baking powder ends up not rising to the occasion.
  6. Your little sister will get married and it will go swimmingly – dolphins and all!
  7. The world will seem quite dark some days but your children will remind you of the sunshine.
  8. Despite the fact you have two children who sleep really well your third will not.
  9. No matter how many times you try, you still hate eggplant.
  10. You will finally convince the hubs that a Kitchenaid and a Thermomix are two very different appliances and you need both.
  11. You learn that you can’t keep expecting different reactions from the same people. Some people are just sucky.
  12. Dumplings are always a good option.
  13. Pelvic floor exercises are no longer an optional way to spend time, they are an essential element to everyday.
  14. You will go on your first cruise, get weird seasickness but love every moment and realise how important girl weekends away are.bugshayne
  15. Hangovers and children are the worst combination.
  16. You cannot please everyone.
  17. Your toddler will use sleep withdrawal as a torture method. You. Will. Survive.
  18. You will basically break your toe while walking up the aisle at your sister’s wedding. I warn you not to look to your other sisters for emotional support, they only offer laughter and sarcasm. Bennett_0509
  19. Even though you thought you had reached premium procrastination levels before, this year you will achieve a whole new skillset. Enter Youtube cute goat videos.
  20. You join the gym and actually like it. Then you get pregnant and nearly pee all the time so stop going. Just promise yourself that you will join the gym after the new baby.
  21. The kids will eat basically anything in a wrap. Keep wraps in high supply.
  22. Pregnancy is tiring. You already knew that, but this time especially.
  23. You will continue to have friends who are closer than blood ever was.
  24. Macaroni & cheese is an entire meal for three children under six.
  25. Letting go isn’t a thing you do once, it is often an action that has to happen over and over again. bugshayne2
  26. Listen to podcasts. They teach you stuff about things.
  27. Despite all the nay-sayers you do wear all seven pairs of your sunglasses on a fairly acceptable rotation system.
  28. As frustrating as studying law is, you are so much closer than this time last year.
  29. Not everything has to be perfect all of the time.
  30. You will still hide in the laundry from your children some days.
  31. Don’t say maybe when you actually want to say no. You’re only hurting yourself.
  32. The heartbreak from missing loved ones never goes away, but it does eventually change to a dull ache.
  33. Some people just let you down but you can’t fix them.
  34. Good coffee matters.
  35. People in power are not always good but the good people don’t always seek the power.
  36. For the second year in a row you will not need any moles removed. Just remember though, you are basically one big mole so don’t get too comfortable.
  37. You are enough.bugcruise

{This is life} Why I run to save my mind

This is an article contributed by one of our fabulous nesters. She chooses to remain anonymous, and we are super okay with that! So, let’s keep it positive and supportive and let her know she is not alone x

watercolourPreface: I wrote this not because I’m pro running or I wanted to encourage people to exercise. Not because I wanted to shame people who sleep train or those who don’t. I wrote this for the all mums who are at their wits end. To the ones who don’t get regular breaks from their children. To the ones whose kids don’t sleep. The ones who feel their control slipping, their world crumbling. The ones who are dying inside.

You, you reading right now, you’ve got this.

You can.

So find what works and do it! Do it every damn day until everything finds its place. I promise that this too shall pass xxx

Let’s talk exercise. It’s always been proudly a word that wasn’t in my vocabulary. Although I consider myself an fairly active person, I mow the lawns, walk my boys to school and I’ve always been the mum that chases her kids at the park. But I’m talking formal exercise. The kind the makes me sweat. A lot. To be honest, it’s not really my cup of tea.

Last year in August I found my mental health slipping, my youngest was nine months and had never really slept, he was, and still is really hard work. My gorgeous little bundle of joy has been a right handful since the day I met him. My baby, he doesn’t like to be carried or cuddled but at the same time doesn’t want you out of sight! Before he could move on his own that would make for a stupidly hard situation. Pick him up to carry him he would thrash and squirm and squeal. Walk to put the washing on and not take him with you?

Stage 10 meltdown.

What am I supposed to do with that?

Getting him to sleep was hard. He never wanted to be cuddled to sleep. He wouldn’t lay in our bed. I couldn’t bare to leave him to cry. How was I supposed to get this kid to sleep? Everyday,  for every sleep I would put him in the cot. He would cry. I would pick him up and try to cuddle him and he would squirm until I put him back down.

Over and over and over.

Sometimes I could power walk him around the house in the carrier, but he was getting heavy and once he was asleep apin drop would wake him. I could never transfer him to the cot, so I would have to sit slumped over with him asleep on my back crying, balling.

The struggle was real.

I was convinced I had post natal depression. I went to the doctor. I begged for help. I asked anyone that would listen for more than five minutes. No one had any advice. Usually as a parent you are surrounded by people who love to dish out unsolicited parenting advice but when you actually ask for it you get nothing.

Tresillan was all I was offered over and over. I read their parent information book so many times. Their sleep School techniques just weren’t for me.

I yelled at my husband. I blamed him because I couldn’t make it work. I was being pushed into a corner, being forced to do something I didn’t want to do because the alternative was dire, really dire. I was on the edge.

It effected my whole life. I couldn’t remember taking my older boy to school. I would constantly lose things.

My patience was gone.

When the baby did finally sleep, I would lay there so consumed by my exhaustion it was take hours for me to drift off. I was the kind of tired that “here I’ll take you baby for an hour just couldn’t fix” I would laugh at the suggestion, not that it was offered often. Unless you’re taking him for a week, there’s no need to bother. That hour would only be used laying in bed thinking, trying to fall asleep only to have the knock on the door and reality to be staring me back in the face.

I went to a therapist, I told her I was depressed. She assured me that is was indeed just suffering from extreme exhaustion.

It takes a village to raise a baby and my village is small, really small. I passed the baton and that was it. It was my husband’s turn.

My husband,  my hero.

He took the night shift from that day, very day. Every shift. For the next month I slept, every night. I woke up every time the baby made a sound but I slowly drifted back off.

After two weeks, I decided I was going to make a change. I couldn’t just hope forever that sleep was coming. I was now convinced that the baby would never sleep through the night and this was my forever.

So, I started running.shoes

I mostly started because listening to him wake up and cry, killed me. It was a reminder that although the nights are over, the days are here, I was on my own and they were even harder.

Every morning at 5am he would wake up screaming.

So. I set my alarm for 4:30am and run.

I ran from my problems, I ran from the baby and his cries, I ran from my life.

The problem is as I mentioned earlier, I had never actually exercised before. So, really, technically, I didn’t run. I walked, ran, stopped for a stitch and hobbled.

Then came home.  Every day.

Now I can run.

Now the baby sleeps through the night and he doesn’t wake up crying (probably because he sleeps through the night) and now when strangers say “what a happy baby” I don’t feel the urge to kick them in the shin.

Monday to Saturday  6 days a week I run. Not far. Only about 2.5kms to the end of my street and back.

Some days it’s easy, some days it’s hard.

I haven’t lost any weight and let me assure you, I’m not very good at it. You know those coordinated women on the Nike ad? Yeah, no, nothing like that. But everyday I get up and give it a go because I want my kids to know that even though they are hard work, it’s all about attitude. It’s all about trying, giving it a solid go. Not giving up when shits really fucking hard and to never ever be afraid to ask for help!

I found Instagram a place of inspiration and in particular @mrs_paulie. She is a powerhouse and has been my girl crush for so long it’s boardline stalkerish, check her out!

So on that note, Peace lovers This rad bitch is going for a run xxx

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{My Story} The crippling effect of post-natal anxiety

Today is World Mental Health Day and talking about my experience with post-natal depression and anxiety is difficult but if I don’t and someone else is feeling this way and thinks it is normal that is not okay. After my third daughter was born I lost myself for a while and it was genuinely the most scary time of my life.   group

The alarm sounds and I wake from a broken sleep. I don’t even know what time I eventually got to sleep, plus the baby woke four times.

An ache controls my entire body. Continue reading

{The Nest Health} Dads with PND

The moment you choose to have a child is momentous, not only will you be responsible for a real life tiny human but your life and existence will never be the same.

Sometimes no matter how prepared you think you are, it doesn’t quite go the way it should. dads

So here is some information for the Dads out there who may be sad. Please, I beg you don’t feel alone, 1 in 10 fathers get diagnosed with Post Natal Depression, but they are only the ones that are diagnosed.

Dad’s and Post Natal Depression – Help is available.

Make sure you pass this onto all the dads in your life.

{The Nest Writes} Things I have learnt this year

What I have learned in one whole year.

  1. Pelvic floor confidence and three children is an either/or option.
  2. You will survive fairly severe post-natal depression. It will crush you, you won’t feel like you can breathe, let alone function. You can though. You will get through this. There will be sunshine again.
    group
  3. Plain flour and self-raising flour have VERY different outcomes when baking.
  4. Sudocream can be removed from carpet. Over time. Long amounts of time.
  5. Even though this year marks 12 years of being with the hubs you will still love him more than you ever thought possible.
  6. You will wear studs and think that’s cool. Your sisters will openly (and very vocally) disagree.
  7. You will be nominated for blogging awards that you didn’t even know existed one year ago.
  8. Your gut is always right. Trust it.
  9. You will get a brand new niece on your birthday and she will be completely wonderful.tori
  10. You will learn how to actually, successfully cook meringue.
  11. You will dance in front of 300 odd people to raise money for cancer and not die/wee/fall over/
  12. Despite your best efforts this year a ‘sarcasm font’ still won’t exist.
  13. There will be breakups and engagements for those you love most.
  14. When the toddler advises that the baby is painting the cot with chocolate. IT IS NOT CHOCOLATE.
  15. After living the first 32 years of your life knowing no different, you will grieve for your two grandfathers this year. You will never have another birthday where they exist in the world with you.
  16. Your baby will start at daycare, and thrive.
  17. You have family members who you will no longer count as family. They say and do some completely horrific things. Let. it. go.
  18. For the first year in a long time you will not need to have any moles removed PLUS they will extend the time until you have to come back! Well, saying that you’re due now so make an appointment.
  19. Stop collecting cook books. You already have too many. You are getting out of control woman.
  20. The toddler will empty an entire container of talcum powder into the cot with the baby. Be aware, according to her this is not her fault that it snowed.party
  21. You will learn the hard lesson that not everyone in the world is good. Some people are just inherently bad and despite how much you try you won’t be able to save them.
  22. Your children will hide your phone. Often. You should look in the toy box or the bathroom bottom drawer most often.
  23. You will struggle learning to balance parenting and working. It is hard and you will cry. Really ugly cry.
  24. You will finally get back to tropical North Queensland with your lover and it will be perfect.
  25. Sometimes step back and realise good enough is enough.
  26. It the sign says electric fence. Trust the damn fence!
  27. You will compete in ROC Race and Miss Muddy and you will have an extraordinarily brilliant time.miss muddy
  28. You will fight with the toddler about going to kindy. She will not want to go because she has ‘brown hair’ and will only go if she is ‘yellow haired’ like her sister. You will win this battle.
  29. This year will be the year of ‘Netflix and chill’ and that is fun
  30. Life happens. Coffee helps.
  31. You and your firstborn will survive and triumph in kindergarten.
  32. She who cuts chillis and rubs eyes cries.
  33. Don’t do shots. You are too damn old.friends
  34. Don’t trust your tongue when it is bitter. You will probably regret it.
  35. Don’t worry so much. It will eat you up.
  36. The thermomix will be worth every goddamn cent.
  37. You will desperately miss your five year old while she is at school. Like deeply. More than you can even imagine.
  38. The world will change this year. It will become subtly darker due to terrorism and fear mongering. You are fully capable of being shiny happy though. Don’t let the baddies win.
  39. I am proud of you.bug

{This is life} What Post Natal Depression really feels like

Soul crushing guilt.

Shapeless days.

Horrendous threats.

The choice to have a child is a big decision, but somehow when you make that choice you don’t ever consider that you will get post-natal depression.

Read this post about what Post Natal Depression Feels Like. This story will break your heart and make you realise how many people out there are suffering and you wouldn’t even know.  post natal

This article by an anonymous author is powerful and raw:

In my head, it was perfectly normal to be slumped on the floor of my completely disheveled home when my husband walked through the door at night. I was tired and resting, leaning against the wall with my eyes closed, perfectly happy to stay that way for a couple of hours.

I was unable to move, but not too fussed about it.

My husband became used to walking through the door quietly, greeting me gently, stepping over me and taking over the care of our kids while I enjoyed my time on the floor, my mind completely blank, my body devoid of even a scrap of energy.

If you think you or someone you care about may be suffering from Post Natal Depression then please, I urge you to stand up and seek help. It is paralysing and heartbreaking but treatable.

You can find more information at: 

PANDA – www.panda.org.au

Or by calling 1300 726 306