It takes a village…

This post rang true for me today, written by Alicia Keswani, it almost brought me to tears.  Sometimes being a mum is lonely.  It feels like you try and please everyone but someone is always left out or feeling sad.  Some of the time its you feeling this way.  It definitely takes a village.  To help you maintain your friendships, relationship with dad and other children in the family but also to help you maintain a positive relationship with yourself.  Take the time Mama’s to reach out when you need it – use your village, if you don’t have one, find others who need support and build one.  We all need each other at some point or another.

“A new mom can lean hard into her community as she learns how to feed a baby, how to discipline a toddler, how to handle her home and work and relationships. Others around her contribute to her needs and she does the same for them. Her contribution is valuable. And the investment into her life gives her the encouragement and guidance she needs in the tough moments.”

via Weary mama: You are many good and beautiful things. But you are no village. – Motherly

Raising Teenage Girls

So true – my oldest is 12, almost 13 and some of the points Elisabeth Egan talks about already seem eerily familiar! In particular the ones where you aren’t sure who will greet you in the morning, Instagram, her closet and staring at the young woman she is becoming before she tells me off.  I certainly hope she knows that I am, and always will be her number one fan, biggest supporter and safe place to land through the years to come.

When my first baby was born, the doctor handed her to me and said, “Meet your future teenage daughter.” Then she got on the phone with her own teenage daughter, and the two of them got into a loud argument about what to eat for dinner. I still remember the daughter’s aggrieved voice, audible through her mother’s flip phone: “That is REVOLTING and I would rather eat DOG FOOD.”

via Raising a daughter? Handle with care — especially when she’s 14 – Chicago Tribune

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12 weeks ago…

So 12 weeks ago, I gave birth to my second girl.  Towards the end of my third trimester I stopped writing as I had so much going on in my life personally finding time to write was just not possible.  Twelve weeks in – I am finally finding my feet, feeling more like me again.

I spent weeks 34 to 38 of my pregnancy in and out of hospital appointments, scans and of all things breast clinics.  On top of my gestational diabetes, my baby decided to stop growing and I discovered a lump in my right breast.  Of all the things I had been through the lump was the worst.  I couldn’t find it in me to write without bursting into tears and what my life had become – I was a ball of anxiety and fear.

In week 37, I got my lump biopsied and luckily it was a fibroadenoma which is a non – malignant lump.  This horrible lump will be getting removed when I stop feeding my baby as I hate it with a passion.  It needs to go.

In week 38, I got induced as my girl’s weight according to scans plummeted from the 90th percentile, to the 50th – in reality she was born in the 20th percentile which is all the more horrifying because how could all those scans be so so wrong?!

The labour was 2 hours long from start to finish once it started but my girls heart beat kept dropping to below safe levels.  There was no calm labour for this small girl.  She was pulled into this world as quickly as possible.  She was not breathing when she arrived – I saw her for 30 seconds max, before they took her away.  It was 15 – 20 minutes before they brought her back to me.

But my girl is here.  She is safe.  We are 12 weeks in, that’s right, 3 months and how that time has flown.  For all the stress, anxiety and health problems I faced – we made it.  Through the 4 days in hospital due to small miss having low blood sugar, the jaundice which nearly saw us hospitalised again, the anxiety around would I be able to breast feed or not and the many sleepless nights.  We made it.

So to all the mama’s to be out there and, well, to the all the mama’s in general facing their very own battles – I hear you.  I have your back.  We have to stick together.  Pregnancy, birthing, motherhood – what a journey it takes us on.

Oh and welcome to the world Isla Dawn – You are very much loved and adored.

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It’s officially official! 

I haven’t posted in a while. I have had a bit going on health wise with the little lady living inside me and I have taken quite a bit of time just for me, to get my head around the changes going on in my body.

My body which has decided, against my better judgement to slow down it’s insulin making and cause me to be officially diagnosed with gestational diabetes. But it is what it is.

My job is to help my body the best way I can and much to my disgust, this means being very careful with what I eat. I am an absolute lover of food so this change has not been easy for me. Quite simply – I miss pizza and all the other foods I took for granted before now. 

However, I am also lucky that it is not forever and that realistically if I do my best now there is likely to be no long term effects for baby or her future.   Or mine for that matter. And that I have only got 6.5 more weeks of pricking my stinking fingers. The women who do this from early pregnancy, I have so much respect for you, it’s been hard and I have only been doing it a week and a half! 

And before anyone thinks to ask – I did nothing to cause this. I was fit and healthy, ate well and looked after myself and baby.  Even my midwife was surprised when the test came back positive as I tick none of the boxes that indicate I should have this. But I do. It is hormonal, no woman wants to deal with this – it’s not an exclusive club that we strive to enter, its our bodies struggling a bit through some massive changes. That’s it.  That’s all it is. 

The big GD – I have it. It’s a pain. But it could be worse. There is nothing like a bit of reality to help you realise that it could always be worse. For me this came when a friend of mine with a newborn shared the fact she is starting treatment for Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.  Suddenly, my whinging was checked, and I realised in the scheme of things it could be so much worse.

So here is to 6 more weeks of stabbing my fingers and prayers to friend and her family as she starts her chemo.  

PS: the picture is of my new bestie – it travels with me everywhere!

Protective Instincts…

A few nights ago, my angry wife instincts were on high.  In fact I have sat on posting this for a few days because I wasn’t sure it was appropriate, so I checked with the person who, for this particular post mattered most, and he said to go for it.  So here it is.

Last Friday night, I received an email at 8pm at night, well after work hours that made me so mad I just couldn’t comprehend what I had actually read.  The email brought up a lot of anger at how people take my husband for granted. I was so hurt and upset at how I have seen my husband treated by people he was meant to be able to trust.  Not to mention how disrespectful specific people had and have continued to be towards him. I wanted to punch them in the face.  Luckily, when I read what was being said to others via email he was next door, having drinks with a friends, it gave me time to breathe.

My need to protect the people I love is high. I automatically wanted to respond to this email I had received at some dumb hour with a whole bunch of expletives expressing my feelings about the issue but I couldn’t.

You see we work together. We have for the last 3 years and we work together well. We have different roles. We work in different areas and have not a lot to do with each other in a company sense and as his wife and an employee of the company I need to keep professional distance from certain situations.

Normally I am okay with this. I rant to a friend, a close friend and she can normally talk me down. Which is perfect. I know it is not my place to go running to his defense. He is a grown man and he can fight his own battles and he does this well. He has his morals and values and the choices he has made recently are within these.

My job is to support him. I think I do this well and if I’m being honest, I am much more emotional then him, so at times I know for a fact I react far more to situations then he ever will or will ever see a need to. The moment I feel someone, in this case him, has been mistreated by those he trusted and believed in, I get mad.

We have been together 7 years, married for almost two and in that time I have seen him work so hard that it has almost broken him. I have felt what it’s like to come second to his job but been okay with it as it wasn’t going to be forever. I have seen him be there for staff when they were struggling and put his own needs last because the company required everything from him for one reason or another. And so to see him treated like crap by his peers made me angry – I was and still am hurt on his behalf.

He tells me I don’t need to be – he is okay with it – and believe me I am trying to be okay with it.  He smiles and tells me, although what’s happened isn’t ideal, it will be okay and I love him enough to leave it alone because I know he is trying to comfort me. Yet, I know it must hurt and that he must be feeling betrayed by what has happened because as his wife,  I know how much he loved what he did and I can imagine how hurt I would be if I had been treated this way.

I guess this is what part of what being a wife is – Listening, supporting and being there particularly when things are not going quite right. He does not need protection from the big bad world, I know he can deal with it and he does and he does it well. But even though I know this – I still want to protect him from it.

So here is to my husband. Who listens to me rant on his behalf. Who listens as I jump up and down in anger at how he has been treated. Who I know, is already aware of everything I am saying to him because it is happening to him and he feels it all more keenly then I do – for allowing me to be me and after I am done – smiling at me and telling me it will be okay and that he is okay, it could be a lot worse. Thank you for being you – I have a lot to learn from your quieter, more gentle way of approaching life.

The First Time

Today, I have taken the plunge into blogging for the first time.  I am sitting by myself, in my house and for the first time in I don’t know how long, I am alone.  My husband is away and my daughter is at camp.  For the first time, in years I will be by myself not just during the day but for the night as well.

So I figured why not take the plunge and get started.  This is my first post ever.

I have contemplated the idea of writing a blog for a long time but for I found it a very daunting task.  The idea of putting who I am and what I believe on certain topics onto the world wide web for others to comment on was something I struggled with but moving on from the fear, I feel that a lot of women struggle with trying to find balance in their lives.

Through sharing my thoughts, feeling and ideas on where I am at with my identity as a wife and mother but also as an employee, a friend, a student and an individual with needs of my own I am hoping to create a supportive, encouraging forum for women of all ages to be themselves and discuss the challenges they may face themselves.

I am well aware of the struggles that come with keeping balance in life to prevent yourself from feeling overwhelmed and allowing yourself time for you in this hectic world.  I know first hand the guilt that can come when you have hefty decisions to make, and how sometimes just making simple day-to-day decisions can feel too much.

But I also know the fun and amazement of when it goes right.  When everything comes together and you sit back and smile, or look on in wonder as the people you love make you so proud you could burst.  It’s why we stick at it right? To see the end results.

I am intending this blog to be an open, honest account of my successes and failures as a mother and wife.  I want to share with you the good, the bad and the ugly and believe me there are times when life gets ugly!

The other side to the blog, the “Martinis” as such, gives me a chance to encourage and write about making sure that fun is apart of life also.  Fun without kids and husbands occasionally.  Making time for friends and yourself.  I truly believe that putting yourself first occasionally, is a good thing for everyone that is in your life long term.

Putting yourself first makes you a happier person – this is something from experience I know to be true.  I am a better parent, wife and friend after having some time for me and it is an area that I think we all forget about sometimes in the busy nature of our lives.

You may be asking what makes me qualified to speak about this stuff, well to be honest

  • I am a wife
  • I am a mother (of an almost teen and a baby due in June)
  • I am a teacher.
  • I am a woman trying to balance her life

I feel this makes me, like many of you, qualified to talk about life from our perspective.

So here are to first times around the world, whatever they may be and a positive future for my posts to come.