Cyaaaaa 2016, you bastard

So here we are. It’s New Year’s Eve. It sounds so very cliché, but I cannot wait to say goodbye to 2016. This year has been my most challenging year to date. 

It’s been a long, hard year, full of pain and sadness, with still some good times, but not enough to level out the negative. I’ve lost friends, made some new ones. But, of course, the light in this very dark year has been my beautiful (but sometimes feral) son and his daddy, keeping me sane, and sometimes driving me insane. Just the way I like it. 

I don’t set New Years resolutions, but 2017 will be a year where I finally set some goals instead of sticking myself in a rut. 

You’ll still find me as Abi, the foul mouthed, sarcastic bitch, that likes to parent with biscuits and drink wine, but hopefully I’ll be able to drive, and I’ll be closer to becoming Mrs Daddy! (I’ll have a two year old next year, so wine consumption may well be at an all time high). And who knows, maybe I’ll really throw myself into this whole ‘writing a book’ thing. 

I’d like to take this opportunity to wish all of my family, friends and supporters a happy, healthy, and wonderful new year. As much as I’m looking forward to seeing what it brings for me, I’m excited to see what it brings for all of you too. And to the haters and fake friends, don’t change. You fuel me to make a better me just as much as the true ones. 

So, fuck you 2016, don’t let the door hit you on the way out 👋🏻

See you all on the other side! 😘

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Christmas… with a toddler… and depression

As I’ve gotten older, and wiser. I’ve really started to hate Christmas. There’s just so much pressure and build up for this one day to be so perfect and happy. 

Mine wasn’t so good this year. N was up all night Christmas Eve with a cold, and I had to wake him at 8.30. Even at nearly 2, I’ve waited to see the glee and happiness on his face at all of his presents. He still doesn’t understand. 

He doesn’t understand that the badly hidden boxes wrapped in sparkly paper actually have something inside them. He didn’t want to open them. And when they were open, he couldn’t wait to get them out of the box to play with… couldn’t have given less of a fuck about opening the rest if he tried. And that’s okay, he’s only small. I can deal with that. I found it harder to deal with the fact that he didn’t eat any of his Christmas dinner, and threw fucking huge tantrums all day because things weren’t going his way. 

Christmas dinner was fabulous aside from me breaking a plate, tipping a whole jug of gravy down my wall and fucking up the trifle (that’s near impossible because it’s a packet one)… but i just couldn’t cope with it all. I found myself miserable on Christmas Day. I wanted to be happy and jolly. 

When people ask me how my Christmas was, I so badly want to turn around and tell them that it was great. That we ate, drank and were merry. 

It wasn’t. And we weren’t. 

Nothing really bad happened, and I feel so guilty for not enjoying it. I felt so much pressure to make everything wonderful and perfect, that it took away from the magic of it all. 

On boxing night, I found myself rocking alone in my bedroom, crying into my pillow because I’m just not okay. And it’s finally cracked me. I don’t see happiness and joy, even though I have so much to be happy and thankful for. Some of my friends and family have had a really shit year. They’ve lost people and has their lives blown apart by said losses. But just because that hasn’t happened to me, does not make my feelings any less entitled or justified. 

My feelings are validated

Depression is a demon that forces your mind to battle with itself everyday. It tells you that you aren’t good enough. You aren’t a good enough mum, you’re a shitty fiancée. You aren’t good enough at anything. They would all be better off if you just didn’t exist (not a suicidal threat, just a theoretical). All you do is moan. You’re never going to be happy again. People don’t like you, they aren’t your friends. Who would want to be your friend? 

It’s time to admit, once more, that I am not okay. And I need help. I need support with fixing myself. I am a good mum, I’m a good fiancée, and I’m a fierce and fantastic friend. I know that, it just sometimes takes a beating from the depression. I’m sick of second guessing myself, and I don’t want to be like this anymore. 

I don’t set New Years resolutions. I prefer to see them as goals. This time next year, I want this to be all a bad memory and a learning curve. I have to accept that I’m going to have a shitty day here and there, but I’m not ready to accept that this is how my life is going to be forever. 

Next Christmas, I will be better. And next Christmas will be great. I just know it. N will be more engaged with the idea of Santa, and maybe he’ll even open a few presents without losing his shit. Who knows? But I won’t be crying into my pillow on Boxing night. You’ll find me on the sofa with Daddy, eating shortbread and drinking wine. 

I’m thankful for all of you that read, and help me with your messages of support. I’m thankful that even if I feel alone, I’m not. This is where I need to thank Daddy for being my rock in such dark times. He’s pulled me through everything so far, and I’m sure he will this time too. 

So thank you, and I hope that all of your Christmases were what you imagined and that your 2017 is the best year yet. I’m striving to make mine good. I’m lucky enough to be here, and I’m going to fight to get better. 

The two year sleep regression 

When you have a newborn, you’re conditioned to learn how to survive on no sleep. You expect the small squishy little bundle of love to wake every few hours on demand, regardless of whether it’s night or day. 

I remember the first time N ever slept through the night. I woke up at about 7am and instead of feeling fantastic, I had convinced myself that he’d died. Daddy had to go and check on him, and right enough, he had just slept through the night. 

We’ve faced every single developmental leap with courage and deploring strength. With developmental leaps, comes FUCKING sleep regression. Let me tell you that when you’ve waited a year for your child to sleep through and then he suddenly decides that actually, he doesn’t want to go to bed anymore… it’s more than upsetting. It’s fucking soul destroying. 

As I write this, N has been in bed for over an hour. He’since thrown every available object in his bed out onto the floor and is now trying everything within his power to get our attention. Let me show you the general itinerary. 

1. Open the door and talk sweetly to mummy and daddy. – it generally varies from “Hiya!”, “Mummy, Daddy, I here!” 

If that doesn’t work, we up the anti a bit 

2. Throw the dummy out and whinge – Usually, mum or dad will go in and tell him nicely that if he throws the dummy again, there will be no dummy for N. 

3. Throw the dummy out a further eleventy hundred times – until suddenly, after a day of being an arsehole toddler, mum and dad are actually quite pissed off and make the brave move to actually follow through and take the dummy away. Massive what the fuck look from the toddler followed by; 

4. SCREAMING like a mother fucker – he’s been going strong for a good hour and a half now, and isn’t showing any sign of giving in at all… I have Daddy here to eat food with me and to keep each other going, like we’re running some sort of marathon. I’m telling you, I have hit the wall. Half of me wants to go in there, give him his dummy to shut him up… 

HES JUST CLIMBED OUT OF HIS COT FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER. WHAT IS THIS MAGIC AND HOW DID MY KID GET SO SMART?! 

Winning the fuck out of today

So, yesterday was a bad day for me. I’ve accepted it, and moved on. 

But today, today has been pretty fucking good. This morning, N woke up with a cold, which thankfully isn’t bothering him too much at the moment, and sneezes are the flavour of the month for him. If I sneeze, he laughs. If he sneezes, he laughs. Winning. 💪🏻

After mulling it over, I decided to brave a trip into town. Usually, I pop N’s reins on for a short walk around the block to tire him out, but since it would take him approximately a year to get to town and back, I decided to take the buggy. N was more than compliant with dressing and putting shoes on than usual. Winning. 

We got to town, we looked at the cars and buses (N’s favourite thing ever). We went to the shops where he was as good as gold… and then we went for lunch together. Just me and him. It was great. I didn’t feel anxious, I didn’t feel scared. I sat and ate a toastie, whilst he munched his way through a chocolate doughnut. Unhealthy I know, but hey, it kept him quiet and happy and we don’t do lunch out very often. 

And now, as I’m writing this, he’s taking a nap. And I’m going to do the same. Later, I’m going to clean the house, write some Christmas cards, cook dinner and wrap up Christmas presents. 

100% winning the fuck out of today ✌🏻️

Bathing with your child

This morning, on my browse through social media, I came accross a post that shames parents for bathing with their child. 

I have bathed with N since he was born. I get undressed in front of him and I often walk about naked in front of him. How long will I do it for? Until he’s uncomfortable I suppose. I’m not sure what I’m inflicting on him other than I am not embarrassed or afraid to show my true self to him. 

My mum and I have always had a close relationship in the fact that we would share baths together. In fact, some of my fondest memories are of me sitting in front of her whilst she shampooed and conditioned my long hair and washed my back for me. With my mum being so open with her body to me, I learned about puberty and menstrual cycles without embarrassment at what most would consider a young age. My mum didn’t hide or change the subject when I asked her questions about where babies come from, why ladies bleed down there and why she had breasts and I didn’t. 

It helped me take ownership of my body. I was informed and prepared for what would come when I began puberty. I wasn’t afraid to tell her when it was sore downstairs. I was comfortable with my body, and I still am. Even now, I’m more than comfortable to get undressed in front of her, and talk about things that ladies talk about. 

Maybe it’s different for boys, I don’t know. So, when exactly is the right time for me to not be naked in front of my child? And why is there such a stigma around it? Surely N seeing Daddy and I naked will help him distinguish the difference between men and women, and allow him to open up to us about his own body. I’m not sure if it’s because of the media bringing child abuse situations to light… But are we too quick to cover ourselves up for fear of scarring our children? 

Whilst we are on the subject, what do you call your privates to your children? We’re a big fan of willy here in the Tepid Tea house. Again, I have learned that children of about 5 years old will be having watered down sexual education on what to call their private parts. I’m just not sure if I’m okay with saying to N ;”now then darling, I just need to wipe the excrement from your testicals and penis”. But, saying that, it would be so much easier to catch potential abusers when a child confides. If a child says “they touched my moomoo or my doodah” that could mean anything. If they say “they touched my breasts, vagina/penis” there’s more of a chance that the potential abuser will be prosecuted (thrown into prison and the key thrown away). 

It’s so sad for me, to feel that it’s wrong for me to show the beauty of the human body to my child and educate him on it in a private and safe environment. But, that’s society for you, and I’ll do anything to keep him safe. 

Am I enough?

I’m really struggling today. 

Something that no one tells you how lonely motherhood can be sometimes. Some days I feel so bogged down by everything that I don’t know what to do with myself. Sometimes I don’t get dressed, I don’t shower. I just stay in my pyjamas and let the day pass me by. 

I’m struggling with the fact that my kid won’t eat the lunch I’ve prepared for him. He wants shreddies again. I’m struggling that he seems to have lost the ability to listen to me. I’m struggling to contain the frustration I’m feeling about the fact that my house looks like toys R us in a hurricane, with mini cheddars scattered across my stained carpet like little cheese land mines. 

I’m just struggling. 

Tomorrow is a new day, and that’s a motto I try to live by when things aren’t going my way. But today, it’s hard. I’m stuck in today. I can feel myself clock watching until Daddy gets home to relieve me with some adult conversation. We can endure in the night garden together, and make jokes about how Upsy Daisy is basically a prostitute. 

I’m lonely. I don’t know what to do with myself. I want to wrap up the Christmas presents but can’t whilst N is in Tasmanian Devil mode, and I don’t want to waste the precious nap time wrapping. I want to spend it lying in bed waiting for him to wake so that I can find something else to make the day go quicker. 

It’s days like today where I realise that depression is never far behind me. Once I’m alone, I realise just how alone I feel on the inside. I want to have the get up and go to do something fun with N, like go for a walk, or go to town and get a hot chocolate… But today, my get up and go has gotten up and gone without me.  

Tomorrow is a new day… and I’m hoping it’ll less shit than today. 

Christmas with a toddler

Christmas really is a magical time of year. Yesterday, the Tepid Tea Household put up the Christmas decorations. 

N was beside himself with glee, helping put the baubles on the tree (placing them on the tree but who cares?), enjoying the lights and finally… we have a Christmas train that goes around the bottom of the tree! N is bessotted! 

Although this morning… I have been ready to go back in time and slap myself round the face several times for putting the fucking noisiest Christmas train around in my house. N has been so excited that he just can’t let the train go on the track alone… it has to go around the whole perimeter of the living room… And he goes beserk if  I turn it off. He’ll lose the plot when it eventually runs out of batteries. (Currently having a wtfhid moment again, they’re becoming more frequent).  On the bright side, the tree has been up about 19 hours so far, and hasn’t been pulled over yet. 

All of that aside, N still doesn’t understand the concept of Christmas. So I can’t threaten him with a “Father Christmas won’t come to our house if you don’t stop climbing on the table”, “Father Christmas will put you on the naughty list if you don’t eat your dinner that I just spent lovingly making for you… so stop crying and eat it!” BUT, he understands the concept of unwrapping things. He unwraps the packaging from anything and I can’t wait to see his face when he opens up all of the lovely things Father Christmas is bringing. (Although, I’ll probably want to throttle Father Christmas for bringing him all of those noisy toys by Boxing Day). 

I hope Father Christmas brings me lots of wine 👍🏻