So today started out like any other day…
I woke up, tired. Went downstairs to my 4 and 5 year old eating breakfast while my other half bless him was tackling our 1 year olds morning nappy. I took over the nappy job (as he had let me have an extra 10 minutes in bed) I dressed the baby and went straight to the kettle…coffee!
I made a coffee, stopped the 2 oldest from fighting over a balloon?! I then got them dressed for school. My other half took the big ones to school and the baby got placed in the bouncer with some baby television on while I gathered bits and packed my bag. Baby is happy, the big ones have gone – morning pick me up time – coffee and a large cigarette!
I finish my coffee and cigarette, I still feel tired but I am running late so I get the baby out of the bouncer, cuddle him for a minute (because I have always got time for that) and I get him in his coat, into the car seat and I take him to the childminder. It’s 8.15am.
I drive the 3 miles to work which takes me 45 minutes in traffic. I get to work (still feeling sluggish and tired) and I make another coffee before I sit at my desk. I know I’m going to be there a good 3 hours before I move so I tell myself the coffee is needed.
It is 12 noon. My back hurts so I get up go downstairs and I make another coffee, I have a cigarette and I go back to my desk where I sit for another 3 hours. The phone rings and my nana can’t pick my little girl up from school so I jump in the car, drive to pick her up and I come home. I get her settled with a snack – I make – you guessed it – a cup of coffee. I put a load of washing in the tumble dryer and one in the washing machine, I wash the pots from this morning/last night. I tidy up the kitchen a bit then it’s time to pick the baby up. My coffee goes cold but I drink it anyway!
I come home with the baby (who is really tired and hangry) it’s feeding time at the zoo!
I make homemade meatballs and spaghetti because my 4 year old is adamant I said that I would make them tonight. I can NOT remember this conversation (but you teach them to stick to their word) so here I am rolling mince up into balls with my eyes streaming from onion and I am making them. Luckily the baby loves them too and he also enjoys watching me cook or I would be royally screwed!
It’s 6.30pm. They are all fed. I run a bath, put them in the bath, wash them, dry them (my little girls hair is down to her bum so it takes a while) PJs on, bed and finally they go to sleep at 8pm.
It’s now 8.30pm (yes, I have just sat on the back door step and given myself a pat on the back with a coffee and a cigarette). I am absolutely starving and still tired. So I eat the leftover meatballs and spaghetti. I get in the bath and I get into bed.
I’ve survived the day. I survived.
On about 6 coffees, 6 cigarettes and a drive to be ‘successful’ I have got through the day.
I kept my kids alive, fed, educated, clean and watered. I worked hard at my job, I have made the business I work for money and I have kept their customers happy. I have done the washing and kept the house semi tidy so I’ve kept my other half happy(He has clean clothes fo work tomorrow) and now my kids are happily sleeping. My hubby, who also hard works 8-5.30pm has helped with all of the above is now sat doing invoices as he’s self-employed and we’ve got a tax bill to pay.
We are a total tag team, a partnership, we share all jobs, we share all responsibilities (albeit we are better at different things) but our method of madness keeps us surviving and I absolutely just could not do life without him.
In the back of my mind I have always known that this surviving was going to come to a head at some point. I’ve had friends say to me “You’re going to kill yourself if you carry on like this” and “I don’t know how you do it”. My gods honest response – I don’t know how I do it either. I’d then put my head down and carry on regardless.
I absolutely knew that my life needed to change. Somehow in this hectic, very un-healthy and fairly lonely lifestyle I had lost the “why”. Why was I doing what I was doing? My body was starting to give up (although I’m not surprised surviving on coffee and cigs) my mind was all over the place and my heart just wasn’t in what I was doing anymore.
My grandma was an incredible lady, she once said to me “you can’t make anyone else happy unless you are happy in yourself”
Was I happy? No.
I felt like I was failing in all areas.
My health was the worst. I didn’t eat well (most days not at all), I smoked, I drank at least 5 times the daily caffeine allowance and to top it off I couldn’t exercise much (which I’ll come on to). I totally wasn’t looking after myself, my hair, my skin, I just felt horrendous constantly – permanently exhausted.
This affected everything.
I was not being the best mummy, I was doing the best I could, but it was not good enough! My babies should have the best of me-always.
I was a crap friend! Where in any of the above does leaving the house or having the energy or time to socialise come into my life?!
My better half has always said to me “You do what you think is best for us”. He has never pushed me to go back to work after having my babies, never asked me for anything other than to keep the kids alive and happy! I made my own choices to live how I was living so yes – I completely felt that I was letting him down too.
I was trying so hard to contribute monetarily to our family success that I wasn’t making us thrive.
We were surviving not thriving…
So why I’m writing this?
I wanted to write this for a few reasons.
First and fore-most to raise awareness of a long suffering health condition in the hope that other women and particularly young women will be brave enough to speak up, be heard and get help. Hopefully it will help other people’s lives or at least get them the help and support they need.
Secondly I love to help people, when I look at my previous jobs and the reason I do pretty much anything in life I discovered I am happiest when I am helping people. I am hoping that by being brutally honest and open about my experience, my illness and my lifestyle changes I will inspire others take a step in the right direction for themselves and their families too. I’d like to help others change their lives for the better – however I can.
Lastly a selfish reason is to keep me going. I’m going through a massive change over the next few weeks. I’m having major abdominal surgery, therefore going through a lifestyle change physically and mentally. I’m going from my worst to hopefully my best…and I am not going to lie I was kind of worried that I wouldn’t get through it emotionally very well. So the third reason is entirely selfish…but I hope that my reasons are sincere enough for you to choose to stick with me as I take this step into thriving not surviving.
We only have one life – surviving is not good enough!
If I can change – anyone can – I’m going to find my glow…