This week was a blah week. You know, the yucky but not that bad. Nothing tragic happened, I got to go to my cool new job, hang out with my kids. It was the kind of week where you feel flat and then start self-loathing because you think ‘I must be a privileged soft ass bitch”. You try to do a Tay-Swift and shake it off but you can’t.
And then you snap. Everyone and everything is at you and you crack and do a pretty shitty thing – take it out on your kids. I’m not saying I did anything too crazy. But I did yell at them. You know the kind of yell that actually hurts your vocal chords and your soul simultaneously. They started crying. I immediately I felt terrible but also so overwhelmed, so this is what I did…
1. Put the TV on. Yes, this made me feel guilty too, but I figured less damage would occur with the kids watching some Playschool than watch me have one of my meltdowns.
2. Got stuck into the domestic chores whilst I processed what just happened.
I think we have all been in a similar situation. When we are just feeling flat and have stuff going on. For me, I’m grieving my mum like never before. The grief has changed, but not dissipated. The selling of the family home has made it crash down on me, and actually taken me off guard. Throw in having my period, being sleep deprived, a few other things and forgetting to take my anti-anxiety meds for a few nights (which is NEVER helpful). Yes, I understand why I was feeling how I was, and yes, no one is perfect, but this doesn’t give me a free pass to yell at my kids. These might be reasons, but not excuses.
Earlier in the week, I met with one of my soul sisters and she shared how she is dealing with one of her flaws. She has chosen to be constructive instead of wallow in self-criticism and I was inspired.
I realised I needed to take action.
Because to be completely honest, I have had a few of these outburst lately and I hate it. And as a mother 100% committed to doing my best for my kids and motivated by the overwhelming fear of screwing them up, I came up with this action plan:
1. Booked in to see a psychologist. I haven’t seen a therapist since my massive mental breakdown in my early twenties (that is a story for another day, one I promise to share, but basically I was a mess for a year, had to stop working and was hospitalised a few times due to suffering from Conversion Disorder). Years of intense cognitive behavioural therapy were a crucial part of my recovery. I have never been to therapy as a parent, and I want to learn strategies to allow me to process grief and stress in healthier ways as a mum. Because with kids you can’t always ‘go and take a breather’, or’ go for a walk alone’, or even ‘go and use the toilet in peace’. I need new tactics.
2. I will book in for a massage. Self love and care is number one if we are to give to others. Basically, what can you do when you are running on empty? Jada Pinkett Smith expresses this concept brilliantly in this video.
3. Be more aware of triggers and keep up the self-care which always consists of eating well, exercising regularly and scheduling in fun stuff like hanging out with my friends.
I’m not 100% sure why I am sharing this. Sometimes I just keep getting bugged to write something and the idea will not stop bugging me until it is out there (similar to what Elizabeth Gilbert discusses in her latest book Big Magic). Hopefully, it helps you in some way. I know I’m not perfect and never will be. But as I get older I realise that we are all here to keep on growing. Yep, seems a bit modern hippie but I totally believe it. I’m not really into getting ‘stuck’ and it isn’t fair to the two souls entrusted to me, so I am going to keep on trying to evolve.
Ps. I wrote the above last night. Had a much better day today and feeling great about my plan of attack. Hope you all have a wonderful week, and if it is a blah one, remember you are loved and to take care of yourself.
How about you? Have you ever had a turning point like me? What did you do to get on top of things?