Guest Blog by Brittany Scala @fashionable_fitmum
Something that many people do not know about me is that I suffer from a severe anxiety disorder - I have become very good and hiding it and most the time people mistake my anxiety for me being rude, shy or a plain old bitch. In a lot of social situations I tend to come across as quiet but most the time it is just because I am anxious and am afraid of judgement.
Over the years through seeing psychologists and psychiatrists I have learnt what triggers these overwhelming feelings and how to best control and manage them.
Even though there are many reasons for my anxiety the underlying cause has always been a fear of judgement by others, my lack of confidence and the self hate I had for myself, my body and my appearance.
I have come a very long way over the years and I believe it is because of the help from my psychologist who taught me how to practice self love.
Here are some techniques I use to to find and believe in the voice of self love and block out the one of self hate.
TELL YOUR SELF SOMETHING YOU LOVE ABOUT YOURSELF EACH DAY AND WRITE IT DOWN:
Every day stand in front of the mirror and tell yourself something you love about being you! It doesn't always have to be physical it can be any great quality you believe you have.
Get yourself a diary and every time you think about something you like about your self write it down. When you're feeling bad about yourself and those voices of self hate are coming back take a look and remind your self of why you can love yourself.
HOW DO YOU WANT TO BE REMEMBERED AND WHAT IS YOUR PURPOSE:
Once my therapist said asked me what would be more important to me when I die - whether people remembered me for the way I looked or remembered me for the type of person I was? This really stuck with me - I would much prefer to be remembered as a good person rather than a good looking person.
When all is said and done appearance does not and should not define you or your life.
What do you want your life to stand for? Do you want to be some one who inspires others, some one who is a teacher, some one who is an adventurer or someone who loves to help or care for others. Find reasons to have self worth that are not about your appearance and you will find that you have a lot more reasons to love your self.
Personally, I want to be a person who inspires and teaches others.
BE THE BEST VERSION OF YOU AND DON'T COMPARE YOURSELF TO OTHERS:
My favourite quote of all time is - "The only person you should try to be better than is the person you were yesterday."
Always remember that everyone is different and everyone is special in their own way, including yourself. Do not compare your self to others or worry about what others are doing - this is only going to cause stress as it is IMPOSSIBLE to be any one but your self. Stop worrying about being as skinny, muscly, toned, tanned or as pretty as someone else and just make sure you are doing everything you can to be the best version of YOU everyday.
Remember those people that you aim to be have their own insecurities - no one is perfect! (even if they try to portray themselves to be on social media!)
DISTANCE YOURSELF FROM THOSE WHO BRING YOU DOWN:
Don't waste your time, your life or your stress on those who bring you down. Know your worth and stand up for yourself. Whether its a boyfriend, so called friend or employer - do not waste your life being brought down by others - most the time these people are facing their own battles and insecurities and are trying to bring you down with them and other times they are just plain jealous. Cut ties with these people and move on.
Surround yourself with those who support, love and encourage you. Life is also not a competition so don't let those who try to compete bring you down.
DO SOMETHING THAT MAKES YOU HAPPY EVERYDAY:
Whether its going for a walk, the gym, bike riding, reading a book, cooking or meditating - find something that makes you smile and do it EVERY.SINGLE.DAY! If you feel happy you are more likely to enjoy being you.
For me it is and always has been exercising - I love to train in the gym or exercise outdoors.
LEARN TO HAVE A VOICE OF SELF LOVE:
Any time you have those thoughts of self hate about yourself or your body find a voice of self love or rational and speak those thoughts out loud.
For example when I hear those thoughts of self hate telling me I'm not good enough I remind myself of all the good things I have in my life and why I am lucky to be me.
This one takes work and is a skill that you will develop over time as at first the voice of self hate is so much stronger than the voice of self love.
FIND A MANTRA AND STICK TO IT:
Find yourself a life mantra and stick to it through everything.
My personal life mantra is "This too shall pass." So anytime I'm feeling anxious, bad, upset or I'm in a situation that scares me I repeat this over and over in my head to remind myself that these feelings can and will pass.
Last but not least I want you all to think about the type of woman you want your daughter to be or the type of person you want your son to marry and then go be that person.
I want my daughter to be strong, caring, independent, thoughtful, confident and full of self love.
Please feel free to comment on my Instagram or DM me with any questions or feedback.
I hope I have helped at least one person to try to find some self love because everyone deserves it. xx
If you would like to read more from Brittany click, here.
Guest blog by Vicki Moore @Vickimoore99
You, who is sitting on the hospital bed questioning why this has happened.
You, who knows it wasn't supposed to be like this.The romantic notion of how you thought this would go has been cruelly taken away and left you hollow.
You, who gave birth only hours ago to a beautiful baby. The same beautiful baby has been taken away and is now being admitted into NICU.
You, who does not realise the significance of being moved from the ward to a side room on your own. Away from the mothers and more importantly away from the babies by there sides.
You, who looks at your phone to see all of the congratulations texts, Facebook and Instagram notifications but can't face replying to a single one.
You, who despite your health and how sore you are, manage the walk from the ward to NICU numerous times a day to watch your new born baby covered in wires and tubes.
You, who doesn't even feel like their mother, as you've only been able to get your baby out and hold them on day three of being in the hospital.
You, who wants this end and for them to tell you they got it wrong and your baby is okay and there is nothing wrong with them. But, there is and nothing will change that. The future appointments, operations and the treatment are needed, and that is your life now.
You, who has become so adjusted to hospital life, it is now routine.
You, who feels this is unfair, and who feels robbed. Robbed of being able to take your baby home like the other mums in their brand new car seats with banners and bunting with lots of visitors waiting for you when you get home.
You, that feels resentment to others, friends even, who go in and have their babies and come straight home.
You, who is struggling with the denial, confusion, anger, worry and self pity.
You, who feels more comfortable confiding in a nurse rather than your friends and family.
You, who cannot believe it when they discharge you both and know how important it is that your baby is home.
You, who now begins to miss the familiarity of the hospital, the security of the machines and medical staff in the event something happens.
You, who is petrified for the future.
You, who is sleep deprived and a nervous wreck and can't cope on your own.
You, who cant bear the pity in people's eyes when they ask you about the baby.
You, who begins to lie to people as you cannot keep talking about it.
You, who starts staying in more and more and cancelling plans rather than facing the questions.
You, who resents your partner for going out and working every day and not seeming to let this bother them.
You who feels like this is all your fault as you grew them, carried them and gave birth to them.
You, who cries all of the time.
You, who may have find silent ways to cope, secret ways to cope, sleeping pills, anti depressants, not eating.
You, who feels guilt. So, much guilt. Guilt for laughing and having fun, guilt for doing something normal, guilt for forgetting about things for a few hours. Then like a punch to the stomach it will hit you again.
You, who is looking at your baby knowing they need a life saving operation.
You, who always knew this was needed.
You, who is terrified their baby is going to die.
You, who is waiting to take your baby to theatre not knowing if they will come back up.
You, who is a mess.
You, who after months of waiting returns back home with their baby now 'repaired' ready to continue to start some sort of normal life.
You, who struggles to be happy that this chapter seems over for now.
You, who still feels a mix of emotions.
You, who cannot seem to move past this.
You, can move past this.
You, will accept this.
You, will become stronger for it.
Because YOU are a Parent.
From Me, a NICU Mum who's been there and come out the other side.
If you would like to read more from Vicki click, here.
Making new friends after the arrival of your little cherubs can be surprisingly hard. Having kids of similar ages does not necessarily a friendship make. Similarly, keeping your old friends after you've had kids can be difficult too. Just because you've known each other for 15 years doesn't mean that you'll develop the same kind of parenting style, or living via the same life philosophies. With both, it's a bit of a balance. It's about being open and accepting, and not forcing your opinions, nor is it about judging others for their choices. So in light of this, I've compiled a small list of things that you shouldn't do when making (or keeping) friends with kids...
1. Talk non stop about how well your kid sleeps...
When Eliana was about 6 months old, I was at the park with both of my girls. A pair of women showed up with kids in tow, kids all around the same age as mine. As the little darlings began to play together, the mums started to chat. I found myself thinking,
"Oh sweet, potential mummy friends that live nearby! Woo!"
About 3 minutes and 42 seconds into the mummy bonding session, one of the women (with sleeping 6 month old on her chest.. ugh) said to me,
"So is she sleeping through the night yet?"
I couldn't help it. My reaction was borne from years of sleep deprivation, and such dickheadish questions, and I practically snorted my breakfast all over this woman. I'm pretty sure there was even a 'HA!' and a hint of stink eye. All I could think was,
"Is this how women start conversations now?" and maybe even "I hope the 8 month sleep regression hits you like a mofo"
Now, I realise that to some, this may just seem like an innocent question, and I'm sure that it was... but sleep has always been an issue for me, it's my sore spot (or one of them). Maybe replace sleep questions with,
"Are you breastfeeding?"
"Did you have a natural birth?"
"How long did it take you to fall pregnant?"
And it might just conjure up similar emotions.
2. Live in complete ignorance of your child's shitty behaviour...
All kids misbehave. All of them. Little Johnny isn't an angel. Don't rant and rave about how well behaved your kid is while they're wrestling mine to the ground in a choke hold. I will probably lose your number.
3. Belittle me, or ask me about my birth, breastfeeding or child sleep story, just to tell me that I should have done things differently (read, better)...
I can 100% guarantee you, that I've been beating myself up internally for (insert child's age here) about that. I've been wondering about the 'What ifs' or where I could have possibly gone wrong. I don't need you to regurgitate what could be years of negative feelings about it. I've pretty much come to terms with the way things went down, but right now you're risking a fly kick to the crotchal region.
4. Hand out advice to me, ESPECIALLY if i haven't asked you for it...
Pet hate here. Don't do it, just don't. If I didn't ask you for your advice or opinion, then I don't want it, just keep it. There is a big difference between dishing out advice, and sharing stories about how we approached certain aspects of parenting. A very big difference. Don't bang on about how I should have done it your way. If your kids turns out to be ok, then I might just ask you how you went about it for the next of my spawn, until then, keep it in sister.
5. Compare your kids to mine...
Look, we all do it. It's only natural. I think we all look around and compare people, compare them with ourselves, and we definitely compare our kids... BUT there's a time and a place. What you don't wanna do is,
"Oh, she's not walking yet? Well, Jimmy was walking about the time he turned 6 months, just stood up and went for it"
That... Don't do that. It's just downright annoying, and it makes you look like a jerk.
I'm sure there are plenty more that royally piss us off on any given day, but these are the top 5 for me. The ones that are guaranteed to give me the shits!
Guest Blog by Tahlia Mammone @bloomandblossom.aus
At 7:09pm on the 27th February 2015 the doctors held up this screaming, tiny human that I had spent the last 40 weeks creating, and announced “It’s a girl”. I looked at this little person, half myself and half the man I loved with her hands outstretched as she took her first breaths in our world and the only thing I could think was ‘now hurry up and close me up’.
My partner looked at me and said “we have a daughter”, I smiled back at him and closed my eyes as I could feel people moving around below the curtain – I just wanted it to be over. The nurse brought my daughter over to my partner and I and I honestly couldn’t even look at her, because of what was happening to me.
This was the last thing that I ever did purely thinking about myself.
The nurse snapped a few ‘first family photos’ and whisked my freshly born daughter and my partner away for the standard health checks. I lay on a cold operating room table for another two hours, all alone, whilst I underwent major surgery for another non pregnancy related complication. During this time, I wondered weather my newborn daughter was ok and if my partner was handling his newly found life with ease.
During the next coming days I smiled as people visited and gushed over my baby only fairing to ask how I was feeling as they scooped her up to get a sniff of that fresh newborn smell while I was struggling with even rolling over in bed. As people visited my protective mother instincts kicked in as I didn’t want people to hold or touch her, yet nor did I. She was content in her crib and I just wanted my loving guests to leave her as she was. At feeding times my stress levels grew and my attachment to my daughter whilst there, the enjoyment was not. I just wanted to sleep and recover from the previous 24 hours. Why wasn’t anybody letting me do this? Everybody kept looking at her and telling me how perfect and relaxed she was; she didn’t even cry! I had the perfect child, she was doing everything right…so I must be wrong!
I honestly remember looking at my perfectly sleeping daughter at 2am before I woke her for food and I thought “What the hell have I done? I am 22. I was meant to travel the world! How can I take it back?” I wanted to break down and cry. There was a screaming baby in the bed next to me clearly dealing with nicotine withdrawals while my angel was sleeping soundly without a peep. This young 16-year-old was gushing over her upset baby yet I couldn’t even bring myself to look at mine. Wasn’t this meant to be natural, the most natural thing you ever do? That first moment aren’t you meant to get this rush of love and for this human being you had created? What had I done wrong?
The day came to introduce my daughter to the big wide world and take her home. Everything that I had been preparing for for the last 40 weeks had finally happened and this was the last major milestone and the final hurrah to my pregnancy. I walked in and settled my daughter in her bassinet in our room and I went and saw my dogs for the first time in 5 days. Within 10 minutes she was awake! What the hell was I doing? I couldn’t be a mum? I couldn’t even look after myself!
Within the next few days my breastfeeding journey came to a close and the next 4 months would be filled with expressing – just to add to my stress of a first time mum, I added pumping to the régime. With each new day my distain for my new life grew and grew. It was no longer a high powered corporate career, something that I had been working on for the past 4 years. My day was filled with mundane schedules that consisted of naps, feeds, changing and repeating, every three hours. This tiny human, who’s arrival consumed my Facebook and Instagram for the past 24 weeks, my thoughts for the past 33 weeks and my body for the past 40 weeks, was here and life wasn’t all it was cracked up to be, it was nothing like I had planned in my head. My partner continued his life, he went to work, he went out, he continued with his hobbies yet my life had not only been turned upside down but it barely resembled what it was before. This was something that took two people yet I was the only one dealing with the consequences.
My relationship suffered because all I wanted was my partner to talk to me and spend time with me and we couldn’t talk because our daughter was asleep in our room and when she was asleep I wanted to sleep. And when she actually was awake it was all hands on deck to get her back to sleep for me to get some rest. It was this endless cycle of a mundane lifestyle that I didn’t anticipate.
I didn’t get the newborn love bubble and I didn’t like my daughter, she was hard work, a lot harder than what anybody had prepared me for.
Was it post-natal-depression? No, it was the reality of dealing with someone other than myself 24/7.
Did I love my daughter? More than life itself. And would I do anything and everything to protect her and give her everything in the world to make her happy? Absolutely, she was my perfect little miracle.
Everybody wants to tell you how amazing life is with a newborn, and nobody wants to accept that it sucks, because how can something so innocent and precious be so horrible? Nobody wants to step forward and say yes it was hard and no I didn’t enjoy it. Because how could anybody be so horrible to not enjoy a newborn baby!
My daughter is currently 6 months old and she is the absolute love of my life! Those first two weeks were the hardest thing I have ever done in my life, but how could I not do it all over again to get something so amazing.
She now has a personality, she doesn’t like the wind, but she loves her dogs, she hates lying down but loves to stand up. She is just a miniature adult with the looks of her father and the personality of her mother. She is no longer that little piece of wriggling flesh that got cut out of me at 40 weeks’ gestation, she is my little piece of perfection, my saviour, my little Melody Grace.
Behind the blog...
‘The Mummysomniac’ is a lifestyle, motherhood and most recently, pregnancy blog, founded in 2015 by Kirsty McKenzie. She’s a mum of three, blogging about the highs and lows of motherhood, with a straight forward and honest approach, as well as a little bit of humour. Kirsty is passionate about sharing the realities of #MumLife, not the cookie cutter, high gloss version