Lisa

Nurse. Mummy. Wife. Life.


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Anxiety & Depression

What a huge heading to attack. I have never been diagnosed with anxiety or depression, but I have certainly without a doubt had moments of both.

I have always considered myself a confident and resilient person. I always felt I had my head screwed on well. That was until I was alone with 3 children, whose husband was away on deployment. That is when I realised that I am not coping very well.

For anyone that is raising children as a single parent, or has a partner that has to go away for periods of time for work- Then I take my hats off to you!! Oh My Goodness!! I can say this with all honesty, it is the hardest thing I have ever had to do. And even when you have family and friends around to call on, I have never felt so alone in my life.

I am not writing this for sympathy or to prove how hard I had it, I am simply sharing this because up until a few months ago before my husband left me for many weeks with a 3 month old, 2 and 3 year old, I thought I was a woman who knew herself pretty well. I thought I had my shit together!!

My depressed moods and feelings of inability to cope led me to the doctors, who referred me on to a psychologist. Next thing I know I am pouring my feelings out to a stranger, and for the first time in weeks, I felt myself again. Because it occurred to me that I was only human. That it was okay to feel completely out of your depths, and to feel like it is all too much to handle. I only saw the psychologist a few times, after a few sessions I felt like I had gotten everything I needed to get off my chest and had nothing more it talk about. She helped me to untangle the thoughts and feelings in my head, and help me understand exactly what it was I was feeling.

My husband returned from deployment shortly after that, and it was then that I told him the honest truth. I was not cut out to be a single mum to 3 little children. Essentially being a navy wife, is living a single mum life when they are away. When they are gone for weeks and months, you need to adjust to life without them- sink or swim. I sunk like a dead weight the last time he went away, and I recognised then that I was never going to be able to get used to this way of life.

People say “oh but that is the life you chose when you married him!”. Yes in one respect I married a man who was in the navy, so obviously with that comes time apart. But what people forget is that I fell in love with my husband because of the amazing man he is, not because he is in the navy. I would have married him regardless what he did for work. So although I knew what I was in for, no one is really prepared for what the future has in store. I was willing to face that challenge if it meant I could be with the man of my dreams.

The main message I am trying to say in this post, is that we are all only human. We all have strengths and weaknesses, but what we all have is limits to how much we can handle. It is okay to put your hand up and say “I am not coping” or “This is too hard!!”. Because I guarantee that someone around you is thinking or feeling the exact same thoughts, but too embarrassed or scared to speak up. I am glad I did speak my truth. Suffering in silence is a bitch, and just not right.

 

 


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I’m back!!

Oh my goodness………I am back!!!

I honestly never thought I would return to this. A lot has happened since I last posted. Another baby, moving interstate, 2 new jobs……My husband and I just love the crazy life!!!

I think I was a bit lost on the direction I wanted to take this website, and to be quite honest, I lost my nerve. I convinced myself that no one really cared about what I had to say, and did what I have to say really matter anyways?……..Looking back, I now know I just had too much going on. I was too busy just trying to stay on top of everything going on inside me and around me.

But with a new found energy and purpose, I can honestly say I have plenty of wonderful things to share with you all. It occurred to me that I have a world of knowledge and insight about parenting from the perspective of a child and family health nurse. I am also a mother of 3 very small children (8 months, 2.5yrs and a soon to be 4 year old).

I plan to share my knowledge and empower my readers. I want to change societies expectations and ideals about parenting. I want to challenge my readers, and hopefully give you all plenty of food for thought.

 

 


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Try not to compare.

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My little daughter Olivia is growing up so fast. She will be 1 in two months, and I feel like it was yesterday I brought her home from the hospital in her little tiny onsie. She is my little bubble of energy that keeps me on my toes.

Before she was born I thought I had this mummy job thing worked out. My son Jensen, was a little text book baby, who honestly was the easiest going little boy. Play, sleep and eat. He was good at all of them. I was confident, and excited about baby number 2.

Then Olivia came along, and shook me to my core. She wasn’t doing the things I was expecting her to do, and was nothing like Jensen was. She wouldn’t sleep at night, and if I wasn’t holding her or near her, she would cry for me. She was so tiny, and so damn cute and so exhausting. And unlike your first child, I didn’t have the luxury of devoting all my time and energies on her. It was shared between two babies.

Please don’t think this is a post about all the negatives. Quite the opposite. I am writing this to let people know what I have learnt with my second. What Olivia has shown and taught me about my abilities, and strengths and the love a mother has for her children.

Olivia is 10 months now, still wakes at night, and still loves me holding her all the time, but that is what I am here for. It is tough at times, and I wake up some morning looking like something out of a horror movie, but that is the beautiful thing about your children. They can drive you mental one minute, and make you laugh the next. Olivia can literally drive me to exhaustion, but then come the morning I will walk into her room and the way her face lights up and smiles when she sees me is priceless. Those moments make it all worth it, and so grateful that I am her mummy.

It is so easy to compare your children, and assume you know what is in store. But if I could make one suggestion, it would be to keep an open mind, and remember that each child is different in their own special ways. Whether you have one or ten children, each one comes with their challenges and blessings.

I am still learning how to be a mother to two children. It isn’t something that comes naturally at first. It takes trial and error, and lots of tears and tantrum from us all. I think you never master it, because your children are ever changing and growing, and reaching new milestones. You just have to learn to be flexible and roll with it. Don’t get comfortable, because before you know it, they will change that script on you.


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Child Care

I have friends from all walks of life, some have had to return to work when the baby was 3 months old, and some have been stay at home mums till the child goes to school. I believe it is a personal choice, and should be made by the parents, what ever their reasons be.

When I was on clinic for my course late last year I remember very vividly a mother that came in with her little daughter. The child was 13 months old and the mother was asking should she send her child to day care as it will help with her social skills, and becoming a bit more independent. The mother couldn’t afford child care, but wanted to know if it was a bad thing she couldn’t do so.

What the nurse said in response has stuck with me, and will never forget. The nurse basically said “what could your child possibly learn in child care that she can’t learn with you?”. “You spending quality one on one time with your child is all your daughter needs”.

Basically what the nurse was trying to do was make the mum realise that just because she couldn’t send her child to a child care facility, her child was in no way going to miss out on any vital learning opportunities that the mother couldn’t teach her herself.

So before one goes and judges a parent, it may be more helpful to remember that whether it be financial or personal reasons, not all children go to child care. There are good and bad child care facilities, and there are good and bad parenting. Children flourish in all sorts of environments, as long as it is a safe place that gives them the opportunity to grow, learn and play.

I will never judge a parent and their choices, because I know that not everyone thinks the same. Not everyone has the same options in life when it comes to raising their children. I believe there are plenty of different ways to successfully care for a child, and set them up for a wonderful start in life. Given the right environment, a child can reach all their milestones and thrive.


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Self Soothing

My friend recently who has a 4 month old baby was talking about self soothing, and helping her son fall asleep on his own. It got me thinking about my experiences with that, and it occurred to me that I actually never put any real thought into it.

My son who is about to turn 20 months, is a really good sleeper. He was a finger sucker from the day he was born, and still does it to this day to put himself to sleep. You can find thousands of websites that tell you that you should not let your child do this, and give them a dummy instead and blah blah blah. But the way I see it, is that a baby will find something to help comfort and settle themselves, and all of them have their pros and cons. Whether it be the dummy, thumb, blanket, music, cuddling, co sleeping, rocking, pram, car seat, nursing, it is very rare to come across a child that has been sleeping through the night from a young age and not used one of these tactics to help them do so.

Choose your own battle. Figure out what it is you are willing to live with and roll with it. I don’t judge anymore. What ever it takes to keep the peace, and get you some sleep then do it. No one is perfect, and there is no one hard and fast rule to parenting. Don’t worry about what everybody else is saying and doing, and do what is going to best suit your family and their needs. Take comfort in the fact that if you do what you want to, then life will be a lot easier, and most likely involve a happier baby.


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Grateful

I recently read an excellent blog written by a mother.

https://boganette.wordpress.com/2015/02/26/i-am-grateful-now-fuck-off/

Basically what she said was that she is grateful, but life can still suck at times. Her message was that as a mother times can be really hard, and having a vent and whinge about the kids, and being tired etc does not mean you are ungrateful.
I can relate to that. Sometimes you fear judgement if you complain, or aren’t feeling 100%. When you have had a really bad night, feel like crap, and just want to tear your hair out, having a cry or venting your feelings can help. That doesn’t meant I am not grateful for all I have. It just makes me human, and not super mum that everyone expects me to be.
I always try and put things into perspective, and I know I have a lot to be thankful for. I have never for one minute forgotten how lucky I am, but some days do suck, and it should be okay to say so when it is.


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Friends

Quality Not Quantity.

It is not how many friends you have. It is about having those few friends in your life that you can truly connect with and be your true self with.

I have recently been thinking a lot about the friends I have in my life, and how things have changed since having children. Having children changes your availability and priorities. Suddenly those delicious cocktail girls nights aren’t so important. Instead it is trying to figure out what is going to get your baby to sleep that matters.

It is very easy to drop off the radar when it comes to your social life after having a baby, and turning down invites. I always said before my son came along that having a baby wouldn’t change me, and he will just have to come along for the ride. I was in for a big shock, and it took some time to realise that if you want a happy baby, then you have to surrender to them running the show for a while. They are not babies forever, but they need you, and no mother can be in two places at once.

So thinking about friends, there is a shift and change when a baby comes along. I remember before having babies, having no interest in hanging out all the time with friends with babies. I wanted to be out partying and tanning on the beach. I wanted to go shopping, and go out for dinners. I had no interest in listening to someone talk about potty training, or breastfeeding, etc. And now after having a baby those are now the things I want to talk about and analyse. I am not saying I have dumped all my non-baby friends, but I have found myself naturally gravitating towards friends who do have children. People I can be brutally honest with and they get it straight away, and hopefully have some tips to help.

I have some wonderful friends around me, and not all have children. I am grateful for all their love and support. I guess since having a baby, my time is precious. “Me time” is limited, but as the kids get older it will increase. And hopefully through it all my friends will still be there on the other side.