Why it’s important to let yourself heal – even as a parent

Last week the realisation that I should take a little bit of time for myself and to relax was forced down my throat.

I, like most mothers, never really feel I get any time to sit down. If I’m not pareting I’m out at work, if baby is asleep I’m cleaning the house or working on my writing work. Time to relax and just do nothing is none existant.

So when I broke my wrist I just tried to carry on as normal, because I felt I had to. If I didn’t do all these jobs then who was going to? I pushed the hospital into giving me a clinic appointment as soon as possible, so that I could do the shift at work the day after. I put myself on light parenting duties true, avoiding lifting Pip into her bed or her bath, but only for about a week, if that.

Four weeks in I felt pretty much back to normal and I was doing a lot more. I did a couple of extra shifts at work, long walks pushing the pram, jobs around the house, painting a chest of drawers. .

Turns out that sort of thing can shift your nicely setting bone and leave you needing surgery.

We should all know that it’s ok to heal, and I’m not necessarily talking about after a physical injury here, but for our mental health and our wellbeing too. Even after birth women are idolised for ‘bouncing back’ despite going through what I can only describe as hell, despite the reward at the end. I felt like that after my cesearean, that I shold be doing more, doing better.

That’s our downfall sometimes, we put ourselves at the bottom of our priority lists. It is important that we remember that we have to look after ourselves too, we need care and time to just be us. This isn’t wrong and it certainly doesn’t make us bad mothers, everybody needs a break or help sometimes.

This is my wake up call. Wires being put in to hold the bone in its original position and a further six weeks in a cast.

I was due in work the afternoon the Doctor signed me off work for six weeks, and I asked him whether that was possible: he said no. That was me told.

If I’m healing as well as I hope I will have the k wires out next week, and then another four weeks in a cast. Frustrating, but necessary and potentially avoidable if I had given myself the time I needed to heal.

 

Building Work and Comparisons

I’ve been feeling a bit down in the dumps and disheartened over here, and I’ve been struggling to put my finger quite on why. My OCD has been kicking my arse, I’m tired and everything has felt like a lot of hard work.

Then I realised why, because it is bloody hard work! I’m mum to a toddler whilst also trying to renovate a house (still), working and trying to manage my writing work too. We are also keeping each other awake most of the night because we’re all sharing one room still. I’ve been beating myself up because everyone has had all these beautiful Instagram photos full of their children picking pumpkins and dressing up and we’ve done none of it because time and money are so tight.

Despite me never celebrating Halloween and really disliking it as a holiday I’ve found myself kicking myself because Pippin is missing out and it is all my fault.

Then I realised that actually it doesn’t matter if we’re not doing what all the other families are doing, because we are our own family and Pippin is enjoying herself just fine, she has no idea what a pumpkin is, let alone that she could have had an Instagram photo taken of her sitting on one.

That’s not a criticism of people who do, but more of my own need to compare myself with others, and negatively at that. Ok, so this year she hasn’t had a lot of outings, but she’s had cuddles, and playtime and her family round her.

She hasn’t had a holiday, but she will have a home that is safe and warm for her.

In a world where pretty much everyone and their dog has social media it is really, really easy to get sucked into comparisons. This will become even more evident the closer we get to Christmas, I think we need to give ourselves a break and look at our own children: if they’re healthy and happy then I’d guess we’re doing alright.

Baby Birthday Guilt

I’ve written about mum guilt before, and I’ve felt guilty a lot before. I’m not sure I ever felt as guilty as when I realised that Pippin’s first birthday wouldn’t be spent in her own home, and wouldn’t be celebrated with a homemade cake and party.

Logic dictates that she won’t know, and it also tells me that if she ever realises that we didn’t throw her a first birthday party she won’t even care. I have no idea if my parents had a party for me, I’m guessing probably not and I’m pretty sure that hasn’t caused me any hurt.

I guess I didn’t expect the renovation to be going on quite as long as it has been, I thought we would be home in plenty of time for her birthday. It wasn’t to be.

I shouldn’t be looking at this as a negative though. Pippin has enjoyed spending time with her grandparents, and I know they have enjoyed spending time with her.

She’s also hit lots of her milestones whilst living here; she’s learned to cruise, and to say her first proper words. She can now also show you Mama, Dada and her toes when asked, which I am sure will stand her in good stead for the future.

Living in another part of our town has also led me to meet some new people, who I can now count as friends and their children are now Pippin’s friends too.

In the last few months we’ve moved from what was a quite difficult time in a house that wasn’t suitable, to a very positive future, and I know that Pippin’s second year of life is going to be filled with as much, if not more, fun than her first.

When we get back into our home it is going to be a safe and wonderful place for Pippin to grow up, and I’m excited for the memories we are going to make there, but I’m going to look back fondly at the time we’ve spent living here too. She may not have the homemade cake, or the bunting and party we’d hoped, but she will have a birthday surrounded by all the people who love her and I am absolutely sure that whatever we end up doing her grandparents, aunties, uncles and cousin will make it a lovely day for her.

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