Sticky (Sicky) Tricky Day

I am trying to write this whilst the little sausage has his nap, so please forgive initial mistakes and I will come back and correct them at a later date (hopefully).

So obviously quite a lot has happened since my last post, namely the birth of our beautiful little boy. I have pondered on so many posts that I thought I would like to write, but a combination of my brain feeling like it lives somewhere between my bum and the floor and the complexities of learning how to be a parent have rather taken over.

There is a half written blog about “Time to Talk Day” floating around somewhere, which was an excellent day and supporting an initiative I obviously feel very strongly about. There is a scrambled of words and thoughts somewhere on my phone about childbirth, motherhood and identity, something that has been a huge time of self exploration for both me and my husband.

However, I am sure I might mention some of those things in this post, todays impromptu post is mostly driven by the fact that I am having a really tricky day and is a bit of therapy. I wish I could tell you about all the things that I feel have accumulated into the big ball of rock that is sitting on my chest, but I don’t think it would be that interesting and in a way they’re all irrelevant, but I won’t because the point is that the rock is there. It’s sticking to me like glue, even when my happy boy giggles or smiles, or frowns in adorable concentration and it lifts a little it still slams back into place.

We definitely all have days like this, I know of several friends who have articulated that they have felt this way in recent memory. So what can we do to help with this? Well, there are so many things but the most important is self kindness and self care. I don’t mean having a bath or taking time to savour the rich taste of tea as it warms your throat and helps to loosen that knot, although those are definitely advisable in any situation. I mean be kind and don’t judge yourself too harshly for sitting in bed longer than usual, for eating a full cheesecake out of the box with a fork or even for having a complete tirade and being a bit of a bitch about a person or situation that has upset you. I know I have mentioned it before, but once I sheepishly told my counsellor about how I had seen someone who had bullied me at school and she was no longer the slim and glittering beauty that she had been in those days that she tormented me. I told my counsellor how this had made me feel glee, I fully expected [baby just woke up, grammar and spelling likely to go downhill from here on] her to say ‘thats awful’ or question my motivation for thinking so cruelly about this woman (who is almost certainly a world away from the schoolgirl she was) but she simply said,

“It’s Okay to be a bitch sometimes Anna’

This simple sentence has had such an impact on how I manage my self expectation because obviously we are none of us perfect, in fact it’s often our imperfections that are our most interesting aspects, because in one sentence she has embodied a large chunk of what feeds that little demon called self loathing. How many times have your own feelings of inadequacy or self-deprecation been linked to how you feel you have judged another person, or yourself, or a situation?

When I remembered this earlier as I lay stewing in a pot of my own thoughts, still in my pyjamas and boob out to feed the little sausage, I suddenly felt a bit more at ease. Thoughts I don’t mind sharing with you:

” x is a nincompoop’

“I am such a bad person/I am singularly made someone I love unhappy”

“I am a bad mummy, he knows I am sad and I am making him sad”

“I am scared of the future/what have I done”

“I don’t remember when my baby was 5-7 weeks old? Is this normal or is it because I was so stressed at that time that I have forgotten?’

“I wish I could show that X is not only wrong but cruel”

“I am so tired, how will I get through the day. I am a bad mummy”

“I love him so much, I don’t want to be a disappointment”

I could carry on, but this isn’t an Anna pity party, this is an exercise in me saying to you, whether you’re a mum, whether you’re a brother, sister, husband, friend or whatever you are. The feelings that make you have a sticky tricky day are all so maddeningly normal, please be kind to yourself as you have them.

Oh and the sicky is a reference to the fact that I am a sleep deprived snot pot, which incidentally has always been a trigger for my anxiety and, as crappy as I currently feel, I have to remember that a day like today would have once been a better anxiety day. This is the impact having a child has had one me, long may it continue.

Over and out, baby is making “I’m pushing out a big one” noises.

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