Its Ok to admit when you’re NOT ok

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We all have our personal issues… demons that we wrangle in the deepest recesses of our minds.
Mine? … I question my ability as a mother each day. Friends tell me I’m doing great and I’m managing just fine. Truth?… I feel like I am floundering in a raging pool of perpetual hormones. I’m tired, strung out and in no mood to even have another human being anywhere near me.

I get irate when I hear “mummy” uttered more than three times. I lose my cool when I can’t be left alone for thirty minutes simply to think. I have no patience for stupidity or ignorance. I become distressed and tense if there is uncontrollable mess in my space. I am an impatient, neat freak introvert who has issues with noise and excessive energy.

I ask myself if I am a direct product of my childhood…but while my father was the noise control police and my mother was the neat freak, there was a sort of balance where my childhood was fun yet I was expected to have responsibilities. I would never say that I was screamed at or punished as much as I scream and punish my child.

I berate myself everyday when I hear about parents playing games, snuggling up and doing fun projects with their kids. I wish I could do that…but I just can’t bring myself to. I am tired and I need to have some ‘me’ time. I want to be left completely alone with my own thoughts. Being a parent is more like being an acrobat. I am juggling to keep our life afloat from a financial side. I am wearing the trousers and fighting the current with the rest of the crabs. I carry the stress of my day to day existence like a backpack full of rocks. I can’t for one second take it off and rest because there are neverending bills to pay, groceries to buy and incidentals to worry about.

How can I truly be a parent and fulfill my duties as a mother with the burden I carry day in and day out? I lay in bed tossing and turning praying for the sandman to blow sleep dust in my face….to no avail. I worry about the future…I can’t help it. I try to meditate, I try to pray and I sure as hell try to “let go and let God”. Some days I’m on top of the world and the rest of time I feel like the ground is crumbling and my fucking backpack is dragging me down into the pit of despair.

I don’t want to be the screaming stress- head mom who makes her child cower in a corner. I don’t want to lose my patience over a simple spelling error because I’m freaking out over the expensive school fee and questioning if I’m sending her to the right school. I don’t want to turn into a red faced raging bull if she spills a cup of juice or refuses to eat the food prepared because I know how much I spent at the supermarket, and I can’t afford anything to be wasted.

Ok fine… I admit it…I’m NOT Ok! I may appear strong like an ox and resilient like a mule on the outside…but I cry into my pillow under the cover of darkness and die a little each day. I have lost my youthful sparkle and I can feel myself withering. I’m scared….there I said it…I’m scared I made a mistake being a parent! Judge me if you will…but I’m scared I will ruin my child and her childhood because I’m spending more time trying to make ends meet. I’m trying hard to make sense of my own purpose in this universe while trying to to raise another human being in the process.

I don’t expect a lot and I don’t desire much. I simply ask Life to intercede and help me. Help me to remain calm while the boat is rocking, stay focused while I try to find a secure foothold in the storm and stay strong while the burdensome backpack tries to weigh me down.

I know that this too shall pass and sun will shine on me once again…but for now I say to anyone fighting their own personal demons: the first step to fixing a situation is admitting there is a problem…its Ok to admit when you’re NOT Ok.

The moment my repping days came to an end.

mummyYesterday made 6 years that my mummy passed away. She succumbed to her illness at approximately 11.30pm on April 23rd 2009. Today, I figured it would only be right to dedicate this blog in her memory, since my blog profile picture is her at the age of 10.

My mummy is my inspiration in everything I do, say and think. It was with her support and her encouragement that I was able to accept every challenge and obstacle in my life with grace and poise. It is because of her why I am who I am, and it is because of her love of the creative why I have started blogging.

My mum was a lawyer by profession, but as the years passed she morphed and changed like a caterpillar into a butterfly (several times). She was an author, a certified reiki practitioner, a mediator, a yoga enthusiast and fluent in french. Above all, she was a best friend, a confidante, a motivator, a hero…a mother!

She allowed me to soar high like an eagle, and if there were times my wings failed, she was always there to catch me. She always stood in my corner, ready to help me fight any battle – especially if she knew I was right. She gave me free reign to express myself and to grow freely like a beanstalk. She told me once – “Don’t ever let anyone tell you that you can’t do something. You can do anything once you set your mind to it”. She had a loving hug and a listening ear for every one of my friends – and all of them were known as “sweetie” and “sweetheart” as far as she was concerned.

The day she died it felt like the rug had been pulled from under me. It felt like I was free falling in an abyss with no sign of hitting the ground. I felt like I was in a dream which had suddenly turned into a nightmare. I felt hopelessly alone while surrounded by so many people. I did everything in an expressionless daze, totally unaware of the harsh reality that I was presented with. That was the precise moment my holiday repping days were over for good.

Every time I would close my eyes I hoped my mother was going to walk through the door. I had actually made myself believe that she had only gone for a little holiday and she would be back very soon. 6 years later…and she still hasn’t come back from her little holiday. I guess I’ve had to make peace with the fact that she’s never coming back.

I have framed pictures of her all over my house so that I can be reminded of her beautiful smile every day. Her smile could light up the darkest night, and it is her smile that I remember the most. It’s weird – as the time passes, the memory of her starts to fade…but her smile is what stays with me. I can no longer hear her laughter, or smell her perfume. I can barely see her face in my head, or remember the tales she would tell. Everything seems to be faraway memory…so faint…almost unreal.

My daughter did not get a chance to know her grandma – and for that reason I live forever in a state of sadness. My mum wanted grandchildren so badly. She used to tease me that I was going to have 10 and all of them would love her and call me ‘mean mummy’. (*smile*). I would throw back my head in fits of hysterics at the thought of 10 children, and I would say, “That’s absolutely fine. You can keep them! I don’t want 10 children anyway”. I didn’t know I was pregnant when I sat by my mother’s death bed. I never found out until after she was gone. If she had known would she have fought a little harder? Would she have stuck around a little longer? Would she have recovered completely? These thoughts are just ‘what if’s’ that float around my mind – I am fully aware that I will never know.

We didn’t always see eye to eye – but who does as a teenager? I really couldn’t stand her though, and I used to wish she was dead. As far as I was concerned my life would have been easier without her in it! Stupid teenager I was! – wishing my mother dead because she said I couldn’t go to some dumb party. Looking back, I’m appalled that those thoughts even came into my head. How could I have been so callous and unloving? What could have been so bad? As a teenager you never think your parents are going to die…they’re invincible. In your 20’s you never think your parents get sick…they’re unstoppable. So you can imagine the shock and the horror when you receive a phone call from halfway across the other side of the world, in a totally different time zone, and hear the immortal words – “whatever I say…don’t panic!”.

I remember the day like it was yesterday. I was working in Fuerteventura (the Canary Island), and the phone rang. It was my mum. She sounded a little weak, but nothing to get overly concerned about. She made casual conversation, and then said,

“I wasn’t planning on saying anything. I would have preferred if you found out after I was gone. I’m sick. I have breast cancer. Its stage 4 and there’s nothing they can do. I was told I had to tell you – but I didn’t want to”.

Nothingness is probably the only word I can use to describe the emotion I felt in that moment. I didn’t know what to say, do or think. This was in the February – I had just left in January after spending 2 months with her. I didn’t notice anything strange then and she definitely didn’t say anything. What on earth happened in the space of a month? Why was she telling me this now? Was this a sick cruel joke – if it was, it wasn’t funny.

I flew back home March 2009, when the company could finally release me, and I will admit wholeheartedly I ignored what I had been told. I saw her lying in the bed looking frail, but 2 months prior she and I were driving and behaving as if nothing was wrong. Who was that person lying in the bed pretending to be sick. I had convinced myself it was a joke…and she would jump up and go “GOTCHA!”. The only “gotcha” I got was when the doctor called to tell me she had passed away, just after a week of being admitted into hospital for dehydration. I guess she got her wish in the end – I got that final phone call from a stranger after all.

Just when I think I have cried all the tears I have left – a fresh wave of tears trickle slowly down my face. I could write and say that this time of year is especially hard – but I’m made of stronger stuff. I could say that some days I don’t want to face being a mother or an employee. I could say that there are moments when I want to run… to run fast and far away. But I can’t say any of that.  Because my mother is – and always will be- my inspiration. Her tenacity for life, her youthful demeanor and her positive outlook, is what gets me through my darkest days – and when all else fails – I remember that smile… that smile that could light up the darkest room

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To eat or not to eat

Even though I am currently reliving my youth through my blogging adventures, in reality I’m really a mummy. A mummy to a no-eating, stubborn, back chatting little monster who is showing signs of being the ultimate diva.

Ok…so she’s not a monster all the time. But she sure as hell makes me feel like one when I have to turn into the demon mother. Sometime I wonder why we can’t just birth adults who will simply leave home as soon as they’re born. I know its harsh to say, but let’s face it, this parenting thing is tough…and it gets tougher as the years progress. You sit on the toilet pondering life and then it hits you that for the next 18 to 20 years of your life you are entirely responsible for the person you deliberately birthed. Phew! That’s a hard pill to swallow sometimes. Especially when they reach 5 years old and you realise that you still have another 13 years…which means you didn’t even make a dent by bringing them this far.

Each child is different. Some are short, some are tall. Some are skinny, some are chubby, some run fast, some like to play dolls, some dance and some are cry babies. But one thing makes them all the same…they love to eat! Well…not all…my daughter put the ‘picky’ in picky eater. Actually no…a picky eater eats more than my child. My child just downright doesn’t eat. If it doesn’t look the way she thinks it should, if it doesn’t taste the way she remembers it and if she so much as smells something which is out of place, then she refuses to even look at it. My child’s 5 senses are sharp as a tack and there is no tricking her with hiding medicine in juice or blending vegetables to disguise them as tomato ketchup. Oh no… my child with her super human nostrils can smell a rat a mile off and she won’t be duped or coerced into allowing anything past her lips to “just taste it”.

As a child (and as an adult) I loved food! I would eat anything and everything…except mushrooms and onions (despise that stuff…its horrible). I enjoyed spicy food from a young age – Indian cuisine being my favourite. My daughter refuses to even try the mildest dish on the menu – I question if she’s really mine at this point.

I offer her fish fingers, chicken nuggets, pizza, fries, KFC. I offer her Chinese noodles, rice. I offer her pasta dishes, meats, seafood. I even go as far as offering her cake and ice cream. Most kids go crazy for that. Not mine. She is very particular about the type of cake she has and the ice cream better be the right flavour of chocolate…if not then I might as well throw it out because she will not be eating it.

Other parents have offered advice, and many say she gets too many choices,I  should let her starve. “She won’t starve herself because she must eat”. I’m here to tell you that my kid is a super human being born from another planet…I have tried everything from ignoring to coercing, from forcing to bribing. Nothing works! If she doesn’t want to eat, then she will spend days not eating. But get this…she doesn’t  lose weight, she’s as healthy as they come and the doc says she’s perfectly normal. Normal?? Normal by which textbook, because last I checked, kids at age 5 actually like to eat…especially sweet things.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my little monster. I wouldn’t exchange her for the world. There are those moments when I get a little worried, and I wonder if she’s really from this planet.

Being a mum without a mum…

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Being a mummy has taught me a lot. I wish my mummy was here to see me following in her footsteps.

Many can relate to this, and understand how difficult it is to be a mum without a mum. As I was scrolling through facebook I came across a link for a blog entitled, ‘Being a mum without a mum’ (see link below). Normally I scroll past these links, completely uninterested…however, the title of this particular one hit a chord.

My mum was one of those – the one who everyone wished was theirs, the one who was cool and took the time to listen without judgement. She was the mum that had the best snacks and had ready supplies of candy for all the neighborhood kids. She’s the mum who always had a recreation room in her house so that everyone could hang out and feel comfortable. She was the mum who kept up with the latest songs and dance moves, and wasn’t afraid to get into the groove – no matter how embarrassed I was. She was the mum who called everyone ‘darling’ and ‘sweetheart’ and had her arms open for an immediate hug. She was the mum who listened and paid attention to every story and took the time to remember every name.

A day certainly doesn’t go by when I don’t yearn to be someones daughter again – to be the one wrapped in a big hug and to be told that everything is gonna be just fine. To bring me a glass of water and rub my head when I feel unwell. To wipe my tears when I feel upset. To be my confidante and keeper of secrets.

Being a mum without a mum is probably one of the hardest things I have had to face. So for those of you who have a mum – cherish her, love her, hug her, tell you adore her everyday. There is going to come a point when you will no longer be someones daughter – instead you will be someones mummy – and that is when you realise how much you miss your own mum.

http://www.selfishmother.com/being-a-mum-without-a-mum-2/