Self love and motherhood musings

Since my last little episode, I’ve recovered quite nicely. Relatively speaking of course. 

I’ve taken a few showers. Yesterday I even made myself breakfast. Boom.  

 
Caring for myself is so much effort when I’m depressed. Sometimes loving myself is one of the most difficult things to manage to do. I think it’s rooted to my upbringing and being molested. I never felt good enough. So often I have negative questions in my mind like, “what makes you worthy of looking after yourself?”. 

This in turn means I run on “empty” often. I don’t pour enough love into myself to give it in a healthy manner. Because I do give love. I give my everything. I give too much which leaves me with nothing. No energy or want to love myself. You know, I can’t even remember the last time I put on lotion after a five minute shower. It’s just shower. Get dressed. Finish and klaar. 

I can’t blame the three kids. I can’t blame the husband. I can’t blame my parents. I can only blame myself. I’m stuck in a world of complicated psychological mess and I need to get out of it. 

How do I do it? One way I thought of was taking ten minute showers. I know it seems stupid but that extra five minutes can seem like a luxury when you have a two year old banging at your door, “mummy, mummy, mummy!” 

I need peace. Not necessarily quiet because that’s just impossible. 

I need the peace of mind to find ways of looking after myself. 

I need freedom. Not necessarily freedom away from the kids, because duh. I’m a mother. But I need the freedom to love myself. Without the guilt. 

Guilt is painful. I’d starve myself if I could just for my children. I hear mothers say things like that all the time. I love my children fiercely but I can’t can’t can’t sacrifice myself or who I am for them. That’s my opinion. I give them my all, daily, but there comes a point where I see women give themselves away in the name of motherhood. Is that motherhood? I know my mother did that. She gave her everything and ended up being so bitter. She’s great now but I think she had it wrong- like many of us sometimes do. I think it’s part of the reason why I can’t show this weight. There are other reasons but I’m not focused on myself anymore. There is no me. There’s “us”. “We’ll” be there. “We’re” running late. “We” can’t make it. My baby making days started early. I just turned 21. So I missed out on quite a few great years because I had to be punished for having kids before marriage. 

Ok, Maybe I’m bitter. But that’s besides the point. I’m married now and although I’ve grown since 21, I still feel pressures from the online world and soccer moms to be a certain kind of mother. Like Maz from Caffeine and Fairydust referred to in one of her post. Moms with Instagram filtered lives. Moms who do no wrong. Moms who aren’t wearing slippers in the car on the way to fetch the kids. Moms who aren’t suffering from anxiety and panic attacks daily. Moms who know how to deal with tantrums and crying fits. 

Basically moms who have their shit together. 

I’m not that mom. But I’m feeling the pressure to be that mom. I’m feeling the pressure to need to give everything up to fit into that box. 

I try my best not to judge others, especially moms who don’t seem to get it right. I know how it feels. I judge myself and I’m particularly hard on myself. Why? That’s therapy convo. 

I’m tired of mothers judging one another. In fact sometimes I get tired of being a mother. It happens. There are moments when I want to throw in the (dirty) towel (into the washing basket). But I don’t. You simply can’t. You think you can, but you can’t. You love them way too deeply. Every mother loves their child so deeply in a way that is sometimes too difficult to understand. 

You will never be able to understand it. (Pity). 

But you can embrace it. 

What did I want to say with this post?

Self love is important. Don’t lose yourself in motherhood. 

Live it up,

Yvette

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D-day has arrived: Operation Hernia, here I come

When I was at the clinic for depression, we discovered a few other things that were wrong with me. You know, the usual, hernias and lesions on my brain. Gah! It was scary trying to deal with all the emotional stuff and these new physical things but I think I managed to keep myself sane. A few people helped along the way. I could never have done it alone. (Thanks Blahpolar and fam). I was diagnosed having an umbilical hernia observed while doing a sit up in the gym. It put me off exercising- that’s how embarrassing and awfully uncomfortable it was.

Source: An umbilical hernia in adults usually occurs when too much pressure is put on a weak section of the stomach muscles, due to factors including:

  • being overweight
  • frequent pregnancies
  • multiple gestation pregnancies (having twins, triplets, etc.)
  • fluid in the abdominal cavity
  • stomach surgery
  • having a persistent, heavy cough

I tick a few of those boxes, lol, especially the frequent pregnancies bit.

Anyway, I’m off to surgery to have it fixed. I’ll have more on the brain lesions when I get a chance.

Life is a precious thing.

Yve

Loving the family time

I’ve been much more stable and present in my children’s lives after my last medicine change. I can’t only thank the meds for it, I also have a great therapist who has been working relentlessly to bring me back to my world. I haven’t had a long term therapist for years, so this adds to my recovery. 

Yesterday, we took a short trip to Paternoster close to where we live on the West Coast in South Africa. I decided to take some pictures – even add some pictures of myself which I never do. 🙂

say “cheese” mom!

  

while dad’s at work, we play around with mom’s camera!

  

I’m the easiet to throw up in the air

  

my three boys

  

i am one!

  

not -so-baby Gabriel- stillness of heart

    

paternoster beach

 
My camera didn’t quite capture the simple seaside beauty of the town. But then again, a camera can almost never do that anyway. 

I look forward to being part of my children’s lives every day now and that’s one of the best gifts a mother (with or without mental illness) can ever receive. 

Mommy, wife, woman. 

World, Yvette is back. 

Yve

That feeling when your toddler pees straight into the potty!

Can I get a yay? or even a middle class whoop whoop?

WHOOP WHOOP!

Cheese and Ham!!!

Cheese and Ham!!!

I woke up at 9 am today, I lie, read that as 11:30 am. My husband had a work function last night and so I had to delay taking my tablets. That just means me having half a day to do things.

Anyway, something told me that I needed to step in with my middle child’s potty training programme. (You know that stomach churning feeling you get when your instinct screams at you from the core. Just go with it.).

We’ve been doing this potty training thing on and off for a few months now and he’s always failed miserably. But today, I knew we had to try again, but this time, do it the right way. (Ag, then again whatever works for us). After asking about tips and tricks on a Mamahood Facebook group, a member told me about a 3 day potty training idea. I thought it was madness, but googled it anyway. It’s on Baby Centre’s site and although it seems a little extreme at first, it worked for us.

It’s all about quick training, which apparently isn’t a new concept. Since publishing of the book Toilet Training in Less Than a Day by Psychologists Nathan H. Azrin and Richard M. Foxx in 1974, many have come up with their own versions of this quick training solution.

I used the one technique – the “potty training in three days” strategy outlined in Julie Fellom’s Diaper Free Toddlers program – (which is outlined on the site). It’s easy to follow- all you need is to have a naked baby running around for three days and get them pee in a potty as much as possible. And then of course celebrate when we get the pee in the potty.

Today was different. While I was cooking breakfast, the nanny saw Alexander make his way to the potty (which was stationed in the TV room for convenience of course), he sat down by himself and did his thing. (He pee’d his pee).

“Mummy, look, Alexander pee’d in the potty.” and just like that I melted.

You don’t have to invite me twice to do a victory dance. There we were, nanny, Alexander and myself boogy’ing while baby Gabriel stood staring. Boogy’ing turned into heavy metal jumping, but with more smiles and less grunge.

I’m feeling very proud. I now know that he’s ready. He’s growing up and we’ll be spending less on nappies.

Amen to that!

Yve

Jumping for joy

Jumping for joy

xoxo

School is IN and blogging is OUT

Phew! What a hectic past few weeks I’ve had. But I’m not going to complain much. I’m kidding. I haven’t been blogging due to my mom commitments as well as the writing schedule I made for myself.

Cayden started his new school term three weeks ago. I’ve also been getting my ass in gear for the usual pick up and drop offs with regards to extra murals. I’m a proud soccer mom. Cayden also played rugby but we found out today that he didn’t make the team. My sensitive son cried a million tears. Why he cried so much I dont know. He’s never played it before and never even watched a game on TV. But I comforted him as is my job. 

I’m also part of a lift club and this week was my turn to haul three boys to school and back and to their activities. At first I was hesitant to make such a commitment because I was so afraid of letting the parents down. I was scared that I’d get depressed again and embarrass myself by not being able to take the kids to school. Good news people: I made it. I was a success this week and managed to be on time, every day! I only go on duty in three weeks again which is fabulous news.

In other good news: I went for a jog on the beach today! Yep, got some vitamin D too. I must admit it was very cold so my lungs were a slight problem. Breathing ice and managing caving knees are way better than the energy sapping bipolar disorder though. So it shall be my daily routine: drop the kids and shed some load straight afterward.

Tonight I celebrate my victory with the last cup of hot chocolate in a very, very long time. 

Cheers!
Yve

Happy Mother’s Day (I’m so late)

This post is all about me.

How selfish some may think,  because most posts are… but this is a post I’m writing to myself to pat myself on the back as a mother.

My eldest made two mother’s day cards and I found the messages just so beautiful that I had to share:
“Dear mom, thank you for always being there when  I need you. ” and
“I love you when  you are sad, I love your cooking. I love you in each and every way.”

Those who know Cayden are aware of his passion for writing and art (like his mom) so these messages came straight from the heart.

I know I’m not perfect but at least I know that I’m doing this ‘mother’ thing right.

I hope you felt appreciated as a mother or caregiver of  mother’s day, Thank you to my mother AND my mother in law for bring loving and so supportive.

image

Yvette

Happy Birthday Gabriel!!! Republishing of Gabriel’s story

http://wp.me/p1Wt53-jm

It’s Gabriel’s birthday today! He is a 1 year old angel from the heavens above.  Thank you God for blessing us with a healthy child that brings us smiles everyday.  You brought him into this world, very much on the traumatic side,  but we see him as a gift. He’s so friendly,  loving and I have a special bond with him.

I watched Grey’s anatomy last week Monday and they delivered a baby from a dead woman. It was traumatic to watch.  They revived the baby and put him in the same incubators I saw Gabriel in. All the memories came flooding in.  All the painful times I’d worry whether or not he’d make it sat right in my stomach and wouldn’t budge. 

I started weeping ghosts of the tears I cried then. I changed the channel because I knew I hasn’t dealt with that trauma yet.

Even right at the beginning,  we were told to not tell anyone you were inside my womb because there was no heart beat. It was a scary ride from the get go.  But you made it.  We made it.

Gabriel,  my angel. We thank God for another year.

Darryl, my husband thank you for being my rock during this year. No one will ever know what we had to endure as a couple but we appreciate all the prayers.  Darryl, my soul mate, we have a baby angel, and we should be grateful to God for this surprise blessing. I’m sure God has a plan for him, like he had a plan for us.

Thank you to my in laws especially my mother in law who has loved my children as if they were her own. Thank you to my parents to who do miss out on the milestones but you’re always part of our love for our family.  Thank you mummy for coming down to see what our lives look like, to help and to see how wonderful mommy Lucy loves the children.  We feel that you’re really part of our lives now.

I say that all because Gabriel can’t, yet!

Thank you God once again.

I say this all in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost

Amen.

Pirate Whoo Haaa!

There were pirates everywhere!

What a wonderful and truly blessed day! Today we celebrated Cayden’s birthday party and the help from his aunties and uncles and his grandma and grandpa, we pulled off a spectacular event!

We started off with some speeches, a prayer (by Darryl’s mom) and of course the birthday song. Thereafter the pirates were split into pirate teams and named their crews:

The Golden Swords,

Hunters and

The Crocodiles.

The treasure hunt began with some pirate trivia- the kids got all excited and were eager to answer the questions. The scores were tallied and we were on to the next challenge: each team had to build a pirate ship! They were judged on their efforts and creativity (the empty boxes from the move really helped with this one) I provided them with paint, glue, scissors, box tape and pieces of material as their tools. Turned out really great!

Thereafter they had to bob for apples. They were blindfolded and had to get  the red apples floating between the green apples. Their team mates were instructed to help the blind folded ones.

The fun didn’t end there. It was time to find the key!

They all took turns to dig into a deep bowl of gloopy jelly to find a key (I took several days to make this goop- took around 20 boxes of jelly). Screams and squeaky voices exclaimed “Eww!” Two children found the key and off we went to open the garage where the treasure was hidden (The sign that read “BEWARE” flew off so I promptly stuck it back on). They decided to not nominate team members, but rather ALL fight the monster that guarded the treasure chest.

They unlocked and opened the garage door. Out charged half-dressed Darryl, with a six pack and chiseled chest drawn on his body- with eyeliner. His curvy twirly mousache was quite the touch. He charged towards the children! The children screamed and tackled him. Swords and punches flew. Darryl had no choice but to surrender. He fell to the ground and one of the children had their sword to his neck, “spit it out!”

“2-6-2” Darryl said, dragging each number out. Some of them dashed to the treasure chest and used the combination to unlock the chest. The other remainding children holding Darryl ransom. After much deliberation, they got the chest open and they all shouted: “Gold!” Dozens of golden chocolate coins, easter eggs and giant bunnies and other treats were grabbed left, right and centre. A violent chocolate feast it was!

After that victory, the children decided it was time for a swim. Oh, how awesome it was to see 20  children in the pool!

Ice cream, cake and party packets were given to each child.

I’m really glad we got to meet the parents of the Bergvliet primary community. And I’m really glad the children all had a great time.

Oh yes!

For the costumes and black board decor, my sister in law made those (hers, her boyfriend’s as well as Cayden and Alexander’s)- Monique Hess. She has her own label, Danni. She is very talented and oh-so-creative. She currently sells at markets around Cape Town. 079 872 2109;  moniquehess11@gmail.com

For the cake, we used Carmen Parsotam- Carmen@carmenscreations.co.za 0837811231. She really did an amazing job!!!

Happy Birthday Cayden, we love you so much!

Days gone by- emotions running high

Ah. Sometimes I am scared to stop. So I keep going and going and going. I don’t want to stop. Because once I stop I realize, hey. maybe you’re doing too much. Or hey. you’re doing too little. It’s just an ugly cat and mouse game where no one wins. The cat eventually gets food poisoning (that’s what the don’t tell you).

Last week Cayden’s school had their first week of extra mural activities. Because there was no exposure to such things in his previous school. we decided to take advantage of it this year. It’s Arts and crafts, Chess and Choir (he auditioned and got in). But so this meant I had to drive him to school, fetch him, bring him home for lunch, take him back and then fetch him again just before 4pm. All this with those two little ones in and out of their car seats.

Over the weekend, my mother-in-law helped put by taking the the eldest and middle (number 1 & 2) for the weekend. I filled my weekend with making all the decorations for Cayden’s Pirate themed birthday coming up on Saturday. It’s going to be a really big one for me. This is the first party I’ve thrown for him, as I am not going to count Spur parties. He’ll be turning 8. I cannot believe 8 years ago, I gave birth to this intelligent, charming little boy. Phew, let me get my tears in check!

Today was Alexander’s first day at a nursery school. Oh my. There are no words that could accurately describe that (almost) sinking feeling when your second baby goes to school (nursery schools are schools too okay). He’ll make friends, and eat without me. He will draw without me. He’ll even seek comfort from his teacher, and not me.
I felt empty.
The house was quiet without him.
I was quiet without him.
I was empty without him.
Is this normal?? I didn’t know how to deal with this so, after I dropped hubby at work, I sat at the beach for a bit. It didn’t help much.
Sometimes an emotion flows over me, drowns me a little and then leaves me. I then shoo it away.
At the point of shoo-ing, I decided to go shopping. i thought it may fill the empty spot inside. It made me feel worse. Actually, my bank balance saddened me. I got a nice new nailpolish and great pirate stuff.

Before I had the chance to work through the emptiness, I had to do whole fetch Cayden thing: fetch Cayden, bring him home, feed him, pick up Alexander, drop Cayden, drop Alexander at home, fetch Cayden, then go to my Chiropractor appointment (which BTW is EXTREMELY painful- this is still a big problem for me). I arrive home and start cooking supper. Babies cry intermittently.
There’s screaming, laughter, loud Cartoon Network, “WHY?”,I water the garden, do washing.

It doesn’t end, I can’t feel, but yet I’m drowning in: THIS.

It’s almost my birthday.

That was a reminder.

Oh and between all of this, I’m still doing my memoir course AND i finished my second draft of a short story I’m working on. It’s a modern South African story that centres around race and love and ghosts of the past. I love the story and I’d love to turn it into a novel. I think this distracts me, distracts me from doing more? I’m supposed to replying to comments! I want more time, I can do more, give me more time.

Time, give me more, me.

Am I doing enough?

Pass the Merlot…

Yve

P.S I don’t feel like doing #goodmoodMonday

THAT call to the psychiatrist

As you can see in my previous blog post, two days leading up to the mentioned birthday party I arranged for my sister, I planned everything, cooked all the food, painted the owls in the babies’ room (because I didn’t want people to think I do nothing at home), I forced, I mean SUGESSTED, my hubby put up the 6 family photos on our photo feature wall. Luckily my sister-in -law helped with the decor at the last minute because I got too involved with the food, and my mom-in-law helped with the platters as I ran out of time. I swear I was buzzing throughout. Two to three days, no sleep. The Seroquel wasn’t having much of an effect. I’m sure one may call me a bipolar zombie.

What was also happening in the background is the normal financial matters, like there’s only one breadwinner and the sudden breakdown of my husband’s car when we were on holiday. We were then forced to service and replace the [insert mechanical technical term i didn’t bother memorizing]. This put us back a couple of thousand rand. Then when we got the news that hubby’s car’s repairwork will cost double mine. These stresses are not talked about out loud. I mean we don’t randomly bring it up in conversation. Person A: Oh dude, my mom looks so hot now. She went for lipo. Person B: That’s great. Speaking of hot, my pockets are burning. My car is going to cost R10 000 to fix. Person A: okay. You get my drift. Those stresses are hidden tensions that can fuel arguments, or in my case, it adds coal to my slowly building manic fire.

[As a side note]: One thing I’d like to write about is how I have this uncanny ability to flip a switch and turn into anyone I believe my audience wants me to be… Like at my sister’s party nobody knew, nobody knew that I was on empty. Only I did. I don’t want to make my problems, your problem. Mental illness is such a burden to me, why would I want to put it on you? You know? So I twinkle and shine. The show must go on madam! Anyway. [Exit side note]

During the party. The speeches part was really intense. I became very emotional delivering my speech- I don’t know if it was the days’ work and all the love behind it. I just know it was painful. Is it a bipolar thing when emotions are so deep they are painful? When it hurts to breathe when you’re sad or when you so deeply connected to the memory of a moment?

Maybe it’s just me.

Seeing that I was on empty, the only quick fix was and always is alcohol (We don’t have chocolates in our house).

Ah, so I drank. I felt a different kind of buzz. Every sip took the edge off- brought me to that happy place. That place where you feel cozy, free and oh-so-courageous. In this case, not in a I-want-to-undress kind of way. Just you know, to keep the conversation and laughter flowing. And i I think my jokes are funnier too. It’s almost like it brings me to the surface for air, and my soul is delighted in it and dances on the lips of everyone’s smiles.

*Twinkle, twinkle little Yvette*

When everyone left, I took less Lithium and no Seroquel. They left around 4am so I felt there was no need for high doses, right? Later that SAME morning we had a birthday lunch to go to (My mom-in-law) and an airport send off. By the end of the weekend I was so cruising on hangover farts and sea air.

Instead of going down mentally- I stayed up. I thought it was great, at first. I mean who couldn’t do with some extra energy? It’s sexy. But when does this become unsexy? Uhm I know, I know! When you go to pour water in the kitchen and in the corner of your eye you, see someone, and then you see them walk past the corridor. I probably check the house three times a day when I’m alone (especially when the wind blows or when I am naked) when I’m in this state. Was it due to stress? Was it my meds?

I think I was running low on lithium and high on manic. Yes the energy levels were up, yes I was irritable, yes I probably had 5 business ideas written down, my memory was rotten and I became really paranoid about mice and spiders… I’d be on edge all day. Everything is HD I tell you. Poems? Easy. I’d break it to you in rhymes, I was spoken word. Then I read some blogs of some of my bipolar friends. Uhm, seems like I was on my way to loopy town. I didn’t want to be institutionalised. I was lucky I always shut my mouth went I went down that road. “It’s embarrassing,” I’d tell myself. So, to save me from that I decided to do my lithium levels. And then after not hearing anything from my doctor, I called. BRAVE move because she is the type to whip my ass if I stray. But a nice kind of whip. hehehe. Of course she was busy, she’s booked until March. I always have this problem- I think she’s probably so good that the whole of Cape Town want to see her. That sucks because I need her.

Results revealed that my levels were 0.5. She asked me if I’d been compliant. My response: “Semi-compliant. It was the festive season.” I told the truth and but tried to sugar coat it. “Alright, up your levels and wait for your session.” I couldn’t tell if it was in a bitter tone. I could lend her some sugar if she wanted.

I was relieved. She didn’t send me to the depression clinic.

But maybe she would if she read my blog.

She’d know that I’m typing this while hand-making each pirate invitation for Cayden’s party coming up in two weeks, planning to make everything myself again, covering his school books, ironing his shorts, designing his week schedule and his reward chart posters. All while feeding a husband and seeing to a teething baby and attention-seeking toddler.

Is motherhood driving me crazy? Or is the guilt I have for so many things I’ve done driving me to be perfect? Leaving me sick, bringing me closer to the doors of the clinic.

*How I wonder what you are*