Are you guilty of……….procrastination?

Are you one of those people who puts things off? Or someone who finds excuses for not doing important or even simple things?

I am a delayer and I only delay when fear or self-doubt is involved. I’m sure confident people procrastinate too but perhaps with things of lesser significance. I used to be decisive and be able to stick to the choices I made. Nowadays, discussions follow decisions as there is never any certainty. I no longer stand by my choices with strength and belief. Instead, if someone questions me, I fall into a pattern of defending myself and the choices I’ve made.

When you think you make all the wrong choices why do things when they need doing?

I have to admit, my whole family are like this. Neither parent would go to the doctor when needed until their pain or problem would be too much to bear. My father would wait until the petrol was almost empty before refilling it. My hubby will allow the ironing to mount up to a sky-high pile and still won’t attack it even as the clothes spill over.

I guess the last point is sheer laziness but sometimes that huge pile in the corner of the room seems too overwhelming to tackle so it’s left to continue out of fear of dealing with it.

When life gets too much, too hard, too stressful, we all put things off – the washing, cleaning, decorating…….

Most of all, forgetting the household chores we should be doing, we tend to put off the most significant thing of all:

TAKING CARE OF OURSELVES

Get a facial, a hair cut, have a sit down – a rest – put your feet up for five minutes. These are the daily procrastinations we all make. We put off giving ourselves the time to breathe, the time to rest, the time to stop and realise that life is short and we must enjoy those small moments when we can.

Take that shower, read that book and leave the washing up till tomorrow 🙂

xxx

Are you guilty of……….Self-Sabotage?

Having recently read an article on this subject, I have discovered that my husband and I are very much guilty of self-sabotage. In fact, my husband has raised this in the past knowing that he often deliberately ruins things that are going well in his life because he expects them to fall apart anyway. We are creatures of habit and naturally learn ways of life that aren’t necessarily good for us. We do them anyway because we feel that they protect us and we have grown accustomed to them.

Living with my father and receiving daily insults about my character, programmed me into thinking I was incapable of being loved. When someone showed signs of caring deeper for me, I’d usually push them away. I’d think it was a trick – a trap. A way for them to use me for their benefit. I distanced myself from them until I realised what I was doing and quickly tried to mend it yet by then it was too late. My self-sabotage would earn me a broken relationship with no respect from them or for myself. It would throw me into a vicious cycle where I’d berate myself for my actions only to act them out again as a form of self-preservation. No one else can hurt me if I hurt myself?

Both my husband and I have anxiety issues. I constantly doubt myself. I do not have an ounce of self-belief. It has not always been like this but ongoing stresses have crept in and now I am battling with my anxiety. Writing helps and as long as I have an outlet, I feel okay. I am better with self-sabotage now although some would question whether staying in my marriage in a relationship that’s had so many let downs is not another form of it. I like to think it isn’t.

I am trying to be positive. In every aspect of my life and for someone who is prone to self-sabotage, this is quite a feat. However our daily stresses remain, we feel anxious most of the time, we doubt ourselves, we argue. We are trying but not quite on the road to success.

I guess the first step in overcoming it is recognising it and we have done that. We know what triggers the self-sabotage so can anticipate it before it happens thus sometimes even stopping it. A bit of anxiety is good. We as humans find ways of protecting ourselves and being cautious about things is a part of that. It’s when it takes over your life and stops you taking a chance – you have to break it.

Get perspective.

Get focussed.

Know that good things in your life are happening and they are allowed to happen. They can continue to happen.

Just don’t sabotage it!

I’ll Find you in the Darkness.

I’ll find you in the darkness

I’ll shelter you from the storm

Travel far beyond the horizon

To keep your body warm.

You’ll find me in the darkness

You’ll carry me in the night

Set fire to the burdens

and keep our love alight.

I’ll find you in the darkness

I’ll keep you close to me

Walk hours till I reach you

and love you endlessly.

You’ll find me in the darkness,

You’ll turn my life around

To share a life together

In you my heart is bound.

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The photo that broke a billion hearts.

https://secure.avaaz.org/en/no_more_drownings_loc/?ceTXJjb

Is a link to a petition to sign and prevent any more beautiful innocent children and babies from drowning with their families for a want of a better life. My days will be haunted for a long time after seeing little Aylan Kurdi’s body, laying lifelessly at the edge of the sea. As a mother, a woman and a member of this human race, it kills me to see these beautiful children losing their precious lives when we as a nation could be helping, protecting and even saving them.

Right now, I am ashamed of Britain. Our doors aren’t as open as other parts of Europe and I hang my head down low. I hope you all sign this and support the cause.

Rest in peace little ones. xxx

Aylan Kurdi and his brother Galip in photo provided by the Kurdi family.

Aylan and his brother in happier times

(photo courtesy of Reuters/Guardian)

The Right to: Have some ME time.

Whether you have a hectic career, you are a busy mother, you work late or just have too many things to do: everybody needs some ME time. Stress is a killer. It is one of the causes of high blood pressure, asthma, obesity, depression. Stress is a part of everyday life and we meet it at times when we’d rather not, usually when everything seems to be happening at once. The best way to take control of it is to have some time away from it.

Taking ten minutes to read a bit of your favourite book or watch that programme you saved on SKY + can be the difference between keeping your sanity and reaching breaking point.

It is not selfish to have some time to yourself. Yet the pressures around us tell us we don’t deserve to put our needs first.

Last year I posted something on Facebook about wanting to pamper myself – haircut or massage, can’t remember. Many mummies liked it and could empathise greatly. One woman found her way to it and commented that I should be more focussed on my daughter and should not have time to think about myself. This kind of comment was not meant maliciously but it was written sarcastically and it did bruise me. I really struggled with being a preemie mum especially in the first few months. I had only worried about my daughter, so much so that I hadn’t left the house in ten weeks for fear of infection. I was neglecting my mental health which was clearly starting to affect my relationships with others.

If I hadn’t taken any time out for myself, seen a friend for a coffee, gone shopping, had a haircut, I would have gone insane. The stress was overpowering me and I constantly felt ill. I can deal with not brushing my hair for three days or eating lunch at four in the afternoon because my exhausted baby refuses to nap. I can handle waking five times through the night not knowing what is upsetting my baby or wearing an unchanged, sicky t-shirt all day. I can do all that as long as I have some time for myself.

I have been lucky. Even during the worst times with my husband this year, he has always given me a bit of “time-off”. He has taken baby our for a little walk or watched her while I read a magazine with a cup of coffee for ten minutes. In that sense, he was amazing.

Channel 4 in the UK, shows a programme called, ‘The Three Day Nanny’. The nanny goes and helps a desperate family in need of her services. Last week, they showed a couple at breaking point with twin girls. The mum looked after the girls for the majority of the week, solely on her own. She barely left the house and was unable to complete the simplest of tasks as the toddlers were such a handful. In an interview at the start of the programme you could see tears in her eyes as she seemed so anguished at not having any time to relax and do something exclusively for her. Sadly, she did not have a husband that offered her this. In the two years since the children had been born, he had NEVER offered her a hour on the weekend to have the girls and give her a break. He admitted it freely like it was a norm. I’m sure it does happen and many mums are put in this position.

To have a healthy relationship with anyone, you need to have breathing space. That includes your children. Many women get that when they return to work but like the struggling mum on the show, I will be at home every day looking after my little girl. It was my choice (to a point, we could not find affordable childcare) so some will say, “Deal with it” but I am entitled to have a break.

Thank you David for all those breaks you have given me.

And to the woman who told me off for wanting to take care of myself, like I said to you before:

Happy mummy = happy baby.

The Right to: Disagree.

We can’t all agree on everything otherwise what would be the point of having opinions? What kind of a life would it be if we all just nodded in agreement with each other even when we believed differently. I know people who do this – conflict haters. Shamefully, I have acted this way before as some situations deem it, especially when confronted by an aggressor; nodding along can save hours of torment. However, in the actual world, away from abuse and when dealing with people of trust or friendship, you hope that your opinion is taken and respected whether others agree with it or not.

Recently, a “friend” on Facebook un-friended me. I use the term “friend” pretty loosely here. We were friends once, maybe not close friends but good friends. She was a good enough friend to be invited to my wedding and clearly I was a good enough friend for her to accept and attend it.

(Although after my recent discoveries that many a so-called ‘friend’ only really showed up for free food and a party, I can pretty much put her into that bracket).

I had noticed she un-friended me the week before but thinking, perhaps hoping, it had been a mistake, I re-requested her back. She accepted which led me to believe albeit naively that the prior case was true. That was until a week later I was “dumped” again. She hasn’t had a request from me since and she won’t.

There are several reasons I believe she has done this.

Six weeks ago and as something I often do, I asked some mummy friends on Facebook for some advice about my daughter’s sleeping patterns. We discovered that she was going through something called “Sleep Regression” where at a certain point in their first year, when baby is learning to sit up and crawl, they will find it hard to switch off their brains at night therefore will spend many hours waking up on all fours VERY upset and frustrated. It’s frustrating and incredibly upsetting for the parents too. No one wants to witness their little one so distressed and unable to do the one thing that brings them so much peace. We all need our sleep but especially babies. It is crucial for not only their physical development but their mental strength too.

Having witnessed my daughter waking every hour on all fours three consecutive nights and rife with worry, I asked my mummy friends for their take on what was happening. Many responded with past and current stories, sympathies and support. A few contrasting comments were made and many we could not all agree on. Much advice was offered too and I was extremely thankful for it. As a mum you question everything that you do and worry you aren’t fully doing your best so to hear different techniques was incredibly welcomed. I answered as many mums’ responses as I could, embracing each offering. Some were quick to dispel others but for me, any advice was good advice; I was at my wit’s end!

A couple of nights later I realised that some of the techniques that were suggested were not suitable for us as a family. They went against what we believed was right for us and our child and I posted that on Facebook. Something that was suggested that we did not agree on was given by the woman who has now disowned me. I was so shocked that she seemed to have taken personal offence to my words. All I had said was a certain technique was not for us. It was her choice to be offended by it.

I have the right to disagree.

I have the right to realise something does not suit me.

It does not question or disapprove someone else’s beliefs but it’s my right to make that decision for my daughter. After all, we know our own children better than anyone else.

To delete me is absurd but perhaps your motives were something else entirely?

You barely uttered two words to me after my wedding, joining the gang of pathetic girls who did the same. Yet, foolishly, I believed you were better than that. Educated, caring and responsible are how you came across, people liked and like you. I often hear very good things about you. You even gave me well wishes when my daughter was born prematurely.

There are many people that do things that look good.

What about just doing good?

No questions. No expectations. Just true.

Thank you to all the mummies who helped me last month. Your advice is very much appreciated.

xxx

Tagged – 11 answers to 11 questions.

Thank you to Krista over at From Food Stamps To A Future for nominating me to answer these questions. Please make sure you check out her blog. Although Krista once suffered at the hands of an abusive husband, she has turned her life around and become an inspiration to us all. Living life with a positive outlook can be difficult when you’ve lived with endless hardship, but not for Krista, she oozes positivity and it’s been a pleasure stopping by her insightful, happy blog.

Number one:

What the most embarrassing thing in your night stand (bedside table for all you Brits)?

I’m sorry Krista but in England we usually have bedside tables that are literally just TABLES. I have one of those therefore nothing embarrassing in it or on it for that matter. Just a fan for the hot weather and a clock. BORING!

Number two:

What is your favourite thing to do on a stormy day?

SLEEP! However with a baby under one that is pretty impossible at the best of times. Before the little one, I’d usually snuggle up on the sofa and watch a good film.

Number three: 

Do you sing in the shower?

No! It might wake the baby!! Haha, not often. I’m more of bath girl myself and baths are for soaking not singing 🙂

Number four:

What’s your favourite book?

The Adventures of Spot? Pop up Peekaboo? Where’s my Monkey? Currently, those are the books I am reading daily. With my daughter. Did I say daily? 🙂 Never really been a big reader of novels but I tend to do most of my reading on-line in blogs, news etc.

Number five:

How many career titles did you have chosen as a child? Did you follow through with any of them?

As a child I loved other children, older and younger. My mother was a teacher and even taught me so I was often surrounded with children. I knew I wanted to work with them which made my mother very happy. Yet it wasn’t until my mid-twenties that I actually pursued it having started off by carving a career in Drama. That was never the right path either as I always wanted to work behind the camera as a teen but my family weren’t overly supportive of my job choices. Instead, it was hoped that I’d follow in my sister’s choice of science. That would never have been the case. I was a creative soul just lost in the unpleasantness.

Number six:

What is the meaning of life from your perspective?

I have no spiritual beliefs so find it hard to answer a question like this. All I can say is that life is a gift and a special one at that. It’s the greatest gift you can give someone. The right to breathe, exist. The right to grow and evolve. It is a magical thing not to be taken for granted.

Number seven: 

Do you prefer fruits, vegetables, or meat?

I am a meat eater and could NEVER be a vegetarian. That’s not to say I don’t like veg. Coming from an Indian background, vegetables are a massive part of our diet so I’ve grown up eating all different kinds. I especially love salads.

Number eight:

Do you write your post on the PC or paper?

I write straight onto the computer. I used to find it hard to get a flow on the screen but now it comes naturally. Practice makes perfect and all that!

Number nine:

Where is your favourite place to shop and why?

I mainly shop in Oxford Circus, Central London especially for shoes and coats (TOPSHOP LADIES – GO. SERIOUSLY!!!). I love Central London as it’s so easy to get around. Once you’re there, everywhere’s accessible by foot. Great shops, great restaurants, great everything.

Number ten:

What is the most exhilarating thing you have ever done?

Calling my abusing father a “Bastard” to his face and not regretting it the moment it passed from my lips. Oh, and revealing everything he did to me finally after keeping it hidden for over twenty years.

Number 11:

Do you have a bucket list?

I used to live like this, you know the twenty things to do before you die or fifteen places in the world you’d like to visit kinda thing? Now things are more simple than that. I just want my marriage to work, my family to grow and to one day feel good about myself. Maybe that’s my bucket list and I will have to let you know whether I fulfil these three wishes in the future.

Nominating,

Here are your questions.

  1. Where is home and are you happy there?
  2. Are you where you thought you’d be in your life right now?
  3. What would you say to your younger self?
  4. Does true love exist? If so, how have you experienced it?
  5. If someone could cook you any meal perfectly, what would you request?
  6. What makes a good friend?
  7. Do you have nightmares, what haunts you?
  8. Where is the one place you would tell someone who’s never travelled to go on holiday?
  9. Do you have a high pain threshold?
  10. Do your dreams feel real, what do they consist of?
  11. Are you a positive person?

I hope these aren’t too time consuming or difficult! Thanks again Krista, it was a fun thing to do on a Sunday afternoon (while baby napped!).

*Image Google*

The Right to: Have Boundaries.

In recent months I have forgotten about my one vow two years ago of being assertive and actively pursuing my personal rights. For many many horrible years, my rights were abused and I neglected what most humans do for themselves without thought.

My husband and I are re-assessing ourselves.

He wants to change and so do I. We know that what we’ve been doing isn’t working so something needs to shift. Happy that we are on the same page, I need to build my confidence, self-belief and assertiveness to become strong and secure whatever our future may bring. My husband’s aims are confidence, communication and drive. We all have personal goals we long to achieve. I am more of a talker than a doer sadly but all that is about to change.

We all have the personal right to have boundaries.

My father encroached on my personal boundaries daily. He regularly interfered with all aspects of my life from reading my bank statements to rifling through my drawers and bin (trash), from checking the bath’s cleanliness after my every use to locking me in his bedroom to “think about my behaviour”.

He had no sense of boundaries when it came to me. It all began as a child. He was always too tactile and it always felt too much. Sometimes a child needs reassurance not with a cuddle but with words, with support, with laughter. He never respected that and I was wrong to question him if I dared. So I didn’t.

I came from the generation and background where adults made every decision for the child even if it infringed on their personal choices. There was a lot of sitting on laps at parties and gatherings even up to the age of ten. I was a child who had to do as they were told. After all, these people were friends, not paedophiles or child abusers…………well would anyone have ever known otherwise? I never liked hugging strangers. I resisted many a time only to be reprimanded for doing so. It was deemed rude to refuse a kiss or cuddle from a male or female friend of the family no matter how uncomfortable I felt. My feelings were rarely acknowledged as a child in these matters.

On a trip to see family abroad and when an important member of the family passed away, my refusal to kiss the lifeless body of this relative was deeply frowned upon and angered some of the people closest to me. However, I was a young girl who had never seen a dead body before let alone someone I knew. It was terrifying. I desperately wanted to leave the room where everyone else was weeping. I was out of my comfort zone, awkward and numb, there were no tears, only a need to be elsewhere. On my abnegation, I was almost forced by one family member to approach the bed to “pay my respects”. It was only then that I felt emotion. I was embarrassed and angry that my personal rights were being ignored and disregarded. It did not matter what I wanted at that point. The extreme anguish my family were feeling was not mirrored by me and for that I became a monster.

Death is not something any child should have to come face to face with but if they do, it should be dealt with calmly and in a controlled environment putting the child’s feelings and needs first.

A child should not be condemned for not acting as you would. They are their own person and that should be celebrated.

I couldn’t assert my boundaries as a child. I wasn’t allowed any. My family broke boundaries as often as they breathed. Everyone was far too involved with each other and crossing endless emotional lines.

As we grow, we put up barriers, guards to protect ourselves. Having a life where boundaries do not exist makes you more open to letting people through your fragile borders. The lines of infringement become blurred thus allowing people to take advantage of your weaknesses. Boundaries can be established at any point in your life. You only need to know them and assert them when the need arises.

Saying is often easier than doing but ultimately, placing down rules of what is acceptable and comfortable to you will only make life better. We all want to feel safe and boundaries do just that.

They are your personal right.

The decision to stay at home.

Leaving your job, that you love, is not an easy decision to make. As a new mum, people will make assumptions and judgements on whatever choice you make. Stay at home or return to work? A choice that many working mums are faced with. When I got pregnant, there was no such thought in my mind. I wanted to return to work. My job was a constant for me, an achievement and most of all something that gave me a great deal of confidence and pleasure. Leaving was not an option.

However, nothing could prepare me for the feelings I had when my daughter came into this world. I had not expected to feel so overwhelmed with love and be distraught at the thought of leaving her with somebody else. In fact the very notion of it haunted me for the first few months of her life.

We researched many options for child care, shocked at the cost and left in despair at how we, two full time working people, could not afford to put our little girl into a day nursery for the week. The only other choice was for me to return part-time and for my daughter to be placed in a much less costly environment at a childminders’.

Sadly, even the few we visited left me feeling a little sick. Not because they were bad in any way but simply because I had to deal with my separation anxiety and not hers. She seemed to adapt well to one particular childminder, surprising us all (as babies often do) and both my husband and I felt happier instantly.

It seemed to be all sorted at work too as I was to return for two days a week while my little one was at her childminders’. Unfortunately we were dealt a little shock as we didn’t realise childminders charge something called a “retainer fee” to keep a child’s place free until they are due to start. In our case, her place needed to be retained for 6 months which would cost us an un-refundable bomb. We just couldn’t stand to lose that money thus putting us in a very difficult position.

I now had to consider leaving my job.

I read an article at the start of the year about more working mums in Britain, having to leave their jobs as they could not afford expensive childcare. London seems to be the most costly of places and sadly that is where I am. Other European countries seem to have this base covered a little better or a lot better should I say.

In Sweden, the state subsidizes the child care cost so the parents do not have to pay more than the equivalent of £113 a month.

£113.

The fee for our local, well known nursery per month is £1600. Yes that’s right – £1600!!!!! Fourteen times more than Sweden. It’s ridiculous.

I could have easily gone back to work part-time/full-time if childcare in this country cost an average of £113 a month! Instead, I have had to leave work to be at home with my daughter. Undoubtedly, there are positives to this decision. I get to do what sadly, a lot of mums cannot – look after my daughter daily and spend these precious moments with her. I am thankful that I can do that. I only wish I had more of a choice.

On the job front I will be registering as self-employed in the near future and starting a career that fits around my new job of being a mummy 🙂

After all, it is one of the hardest jobs out there and certainly one of the most rewarding.

The natural state of motherhood is unselfishness. When you become a mother, you are no longer the center of your own universe. You relinquish that position to your children.