Goodbye Plaster Cast

Freedom is finally within my grasp. Tomorrow they’re removing the pins from my wrist and I get to see if this has all be worthwhile, and also just how much more recovery I have to do. I can’t say I’m looking forward to it, although I am looking forward to getting rid of the cast once and for all.

These last few weeks have been challenging, my patience has been wafer thin – which, as I said to my husband – has a lot to do with how frustrated I am with myself than anything to do with Pippin.

Pip herself has become more inquisitive and more determined to do things for herself than ever before and that has been challenging.

It’s been the first time that she’s reached for her dad over me, and even the breastfeeding has started to decrease. It’s hard not to read into that a reflection of how she’s feeling about me right now.

I’ve found myself saying no an awful lot, which I know is a pointless exercise because things go a lot more smoothly if I talk to her calmly and face to face! I even found myself, after telling her four times in a row not to pull the seedlings up, that she wasn’t allowed in the garden anymore.

Way to go on an idle threat, and also not really the parenting style I strive for.

So I’m feeling a bit fraught, guilty and sore. I know my shortness of temper comes from feeling out of control. I’ve caught myself shouting in frustration at my inability to do my hair, or buttons – or even when Argos wouldn’t confirm my transaction. This isn’t me. I’m not serene by any stretch, but I’m not usually so tense.

I’m just trying to remember that Pip isn’t being naughty, that she’s learning all the time and following the naturally inquisitive nature we are working to foster. I also have to remember to cut myself some slack, I’m sore and things are a little more difficult right now. I’ve never been very good at letting go of things, or delegating  so I’m very much on edge, but sometimes you have to remember to rest and heal.

And if Pip is learning all the time then so am I. Each stage of her development is a new stage in motherhood for me and we’re both taking this journey into the unknown together.

 

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.