I wasn’t ok.

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If you were anywhere on social media last week you probably would have seen a bunch of posts urging you to ask someone you know “R U ok?”.

I think it’s a wonderful idea, anything that encourages people to open up and to know it’s ok to ask for help when they are struggling is a great thing. Those of you that follow my Facebook page or twitter might have noticed the lack of posts or memes from me on RUok day. (or maybe not, with Facebook limiting peoples reach and news feeds, it’s not hard to lose track.)

And the truth is, this is a cause I wholeheartedly support but I felt I was in no position to ask anybody else R U OK?

Because I, most definitely, was not ok.

This last year or so has had it’s fair share of ups and downs and I think I’ve been handling them fairly well for the most part, but this last week something went wrong. I don’t know if it’s this seemingly never-ending Melbourne winter getting to me, the two and a half month bout of bronchitis that just won’t bugger off, or my gorgeous “threenager” who is testing lots of boundaries these days (not to mention testing my patience and sanity on a daily basis too.) but somehow my juggling act fell apart and I landed in a big heap.

I’ve since picked myself up and dusted myself off. I’m not completely back to my regular snarky self yet, but I’m getting there.

If you know what depression feels like, then you have my wholehearted sympathy. I wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy. A friend told me “Depression is such a sneaky bitch”. She was so right. You think you’re doing ok, you think you’re holding it together and then all of a sudden, BAM there she is, the bitch is back. And there’s really nothing you can do except wait till she gets bored tormenting you and leaves you to pick yourself up and start over.

If you don’t know what it’s like, I really envy you.

It’s so hard to explain, because everyone’s experience is a little bit different.

For me, it starts out just a tiny little negative thought or feeling the kind that you can normally brush away or ignore, except that this one won’t go away and it’s just rolling around in my head kind of like a tumbleweed blowing down the street in an old cowboy movie. As it’s rolling around it picks up speed and gets bigger and bigger until that little puff of wind blowing the tumbleweed turns into a tornado. It gets bigger and bigger, sucking everything else in until it blots out the sky and my entire mind is this chaotic, dark, swirling mess going a million miles an hour and it feels like my head is going to explode. And just like a tornado, there’s nothing you can do. You bunker down and wait out the storm and hope there’s not too much damage afterward. After a while you start to notice that you can hear other noises through the howling of the wind, that the sky is getting a little bit lighter, the clouds are starting to lift, the fear is loosening it’s grip on your chest, it’s a little bit easier to breathe, you start to look around and see that everything is still where it should be, the storm is finally over and you survived it. This time. And you pray it’s going to be the last time, but you know it won’t. That fucking black dog will be back and there’s nothing you can do about it, you just keep going because there’s nothing else you can do, you just keep going and taking it one day at a time, and if it when it comes back (because it always comes back) I will keep trying and keep going until one day I will beat this fucking thing.

imagesI will.

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** note **    I wrote this last week. I am feeling a lot better now. Not 100%, but a hell of a lot better than I was this time last week. I almost wasn’t going to publish this post, because I don’t want to worry anyone and I don’t want your sympathy, but this is my blog and my blog is like therapy for me. This is my place to share whatever I feel I need to share, good, bad, funny, whatever. But everything I chose to share with you, I share honestly and from the heart, so I felt that if I didn’t publish this, then I’m not being honest, not with myself or with you guys and I need to do that.

Also, I have checked in with my GP and discussed my medications and what’s going on and he’s ordered a bunch of blood tests just to double check there’s nothing more sinister going on.

If you are struggling, please, make sure you reach out and get help.  If you need it, there are some wonderful people at Beyond Blue, The Black Dog Institute and Lifeline that are trained to deal with these sorts of things and are there to help you and know that I am sending a heap of good vibes your way xoxo

 

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3 year old tantrums and a book review

 

My 3 and a 1/2 year old is bright, funny, creative and very strong willed and independent.

I love and want to nurture these traits, but it can be difficult.

Especially when she just Does. Not. Want. To…{eat, get dressed, go to bed, stop hitting her brother… etc.}  and far too often ends up in with everyone yelling and crying. I’ve tried time outs, taking away toys, bribery, even smacking.

None of these feels right to me.

In search of some parenting tips, I paid a visit to my local library.

I grabbed 4 books that looked promising;

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Planning With Kids (Nicole Avery), Attached at the Heart (Barbara Nicholson and Lysa Parker), The Mummy Coach (Lorraine Thomas), and Buddhism for Mothers of Young Children – Becoming a Mindful Parent (Sarah Napthali)

This is what I thought of them:

Planning With Kids.

I didn’t even realise till about 1/4 way through, that I am already a follower of this lovely lady’s blog and FB page!

I really liked this book, lots of really useful, practical suggestions about getting organised to help avoid melt-downs and tantrums. I took lot of notes of ideas to try out, including getting meal times under control, setting yourself 15min “jobs” to do, looking for solutions instead of blaming, setting goals, finding ways to deal with morning and evening “peak-hour” to avoid tantrums.

(I think one of the reasons I liked this was that she seems like a normal real mum, you know, the kind that yells and loses her shit sometimes just like the rest of us. I get a bit suspicious of parenting advice from anyone who seems too perfect. )

{I’ll pop the link to the FB page here >>     https://www.facebook.com/PlanningWithKids?ref=ts&fref=ts

Attached at the Heart.

An interesting read about attachment parenting. I wouldn’t say that I’m completely won over by this style of parenting, but there are a lot of elements to it that I strongly agree with too. I would say this book would probably be more use to someone with a younger baby and looking for some gentler ideas to try, but I still found it interesting and informative. A good read for anyone who wants to know more about the concept of attachment parenting, and they back up their ideas with a lot of research.

The Mummy Coach.

I really did not like this one, in fact certain parts of it really pissed me off. (If it wasn’t a library book,  I probably would have chucked it out a window!)

I found a lot of the “advice” to be quite patronising, for example: “Believe in yourself!” “Visualise a calming colour and count to ten” (when your child is having a tantrum) “Draw a love-heart and write your child’s name inside it and stick it on the fridge” (????) “Make sure you get plenty of me-time, book yourself massage”

I’m sorry, but this chick is living in fairy-land. I can find all the airy-fairy, affirming quotes I could possibly ever need on Pinterest, visualising a calming colour is definitely not going to help me when Scout is having a tantrum and pushes her brother over, splitting his lip on the floor and I have two, hysterically screaming little banshees to deal with. Vodka and a time out, maybe, but visualising? Not so much. And if I had the time to have “me-time” and get a massage… then I wouldn’t be stressed enough to be consulting your book for advice now, would I?

Ok, rant over.

Buddhism for Mothers of  Young Children.

I’ve noticed a heap of blogs and parenting sites lately talking about mindful parenting, so I was curious to find out a bit more about it. I really enjoyed this book, in fact I immediately jumped on Amazon to order this book and her previous one, Buddhism for Mothers. I found so many ideas that resonated really strongly with me, I’ve covered the book in a confetti of post-it notes of things I want to come back to read again. The main theme that comes through really strongly for me is wanting to really “be present” for my babies, right now, and that means having to let go of my worrying about the past and the future and just take each moment as it comes and do the best I can.

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So, there you go, my little book review.

If there’s any books you’d like to suggest for me to check out, parenting or otherwise, let me know in the comments section here or on the FB page.

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A word to live by…

A few gorgeous bloggers I follow have set themselves a “word” for the year.

I think this is an awesome idea, but I had to think about it for a while to settle on what I want to focus on.

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There are so many things I need to let go of in my life and this is going to be the year to do it.

Let go… of expectations.

Let go… of the past.

Let go… of stress.

Let go… of clutter.

Let go… of self-doubt.

Let go… of anxiety.

Let go… of anything I no longer need around me.

Let go.. of anything that holds me back.

Let go… and be true to myself.

Let go… and follow my heart.

Let go… and enjoy the ride.

Let go… and embrace life.

Let go… and live in the moment.

Let go… and be happy.

 

As I work on letting go in different areas of my life, I’ll keep you updated on how it’s going.

Feel free to leave a comment about what you’d like to let go of this year, or if you have any tips for me 🙂

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365 Days.

 

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A year can feel like a long time, but really, they tend to just sneak past when we’re not paying attention.

365 mornings. Getting up, scrambling to make coffee and kids breakfasts, find socks and lost toys. Looking at my ever growing to-do list and knowing I’m not going to have anywhere near enough time to do everything I need to do.

365 evenings. Dinners to be made, stories to read, rushing around, trying to get pyjamas on and teeth brushed. Trying to get everything done and everyone to bed so Kane and I can actually get to spend a bit of time together. Too many evenings where we are both too tired to even talk, one or both of us falling asleep on the couch unable to stay awake even to the end of a t.v. show.

The days blur into each other.

Sure, there are some highlights, great some moments that stand out, but seriously if you asked me what I’ve been doing for the last year, I would struggle to think of an answer that doesn’t include changing nappies, doing dishes and being tired.

Now don’t get me wrong.

I’m not complaining. I want to be a stay-at-home mum, I knew there would be a lot of cleaning and nappies involved.

What I am saying, is that there has to be a better way.

Less stress. Less yelling. Less rushing.

I am not a “routine” kind of person. My home could be, at best, described as organised chaos. But I am starting to realise that I am going to have to set some kind of routines to get things running more smoothly around here.

I want the next 365 mornings to not include tears and yelling. I want to start my day feeling positive instead of exhausted. I want bedtimes to have stories and cuddles, not arguments and tears.

I haven’t worked out exactly how I’m going to do all these things, but I’ll get there. One day.

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Why I Still Love Social Media.

Hi there, thanks for stopping by.

There’s been a lot of talk recently about the “evils of social media” and the tragic death this week of Charlotte Dawson just seems to highlight that fact. There’s certainly no arguing that a lot of sad, little people take to twitter and FB and attack others as a way of feeling better about their own pathetic lives.

But I don’t want the trolls to ruin what can be a really wonderful thing.

When I started this blog it was as a way of documenting this crazy adventure we’d started on; and also because living in a shed, up a mountain, with a baby was incredibly isolating and I needed to feel connected to the rest of the world.

So “Mama Up The Mountain” was born and eventually evolved into “This Is Beck”.

Over the last year and a half I have shared everything with you, the birth of my gorgeous Squishy, my (ongoing) struggles with PND and anxiety, everyday dramas associated with living up the mountain. The highest of highs and the lowest of lows.

And you know what?

The response I get from you guys always astounds me.

Every. Single. Time.

Somehow I still am blown away that people actually read what I write.

And this has turned into such a gorgeous little community, there are some lovely ladies who I have gotten to know through this, some are other bloggers, other are regular commenters and I wouldn’t hesitate to call you guys my friends, even though we’ve never actually met. You guys help me every day, whether you realise it or not. 

Other bloggers who opened up about their own experiences with depression that made me feel I wasn’t alone and inspired me to share my own story. Commenters who told me that they had been through similar things and gave me hope that I could get through it too.

There is a really lovely side to the internet that doesn’t get as much news time as the trolls, there are amazing people who really want to help and inspire others, there are some great resources out there like #pndchat on twitter and The Anxiety Disorders Association of Victoria (adavic) Facebook page as well as some wonderful pages and groups that give people a place to connect and chat.

So, I just wanna say thank-you guys and girls, you make my little corner of the internet a much brighter place; and if I could ask you to do just one thing for me, when you’re scrolling through your newsfeeds, (or twitter feeds) take a second to stop and comment or like things from the pages and people you really like, because that interaction from you is the reason we do what we do.

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Till next time,

This Is Beck xoxo

A Very Buggy Birthday

Both our little munchkins have January birthdays so this year we decided to throw them a combined “Bugs in the Garden” birthday party.

I don’t usually do huge birthday parties for the kids, but after the year we’ve had, I really wanted to do something special to celebrate getting through it all.

Here are a few pics of the day:

Party Yumminess

Party Yumminess

 

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The birthday boy... already a hit with the ladies ;)

The birthday boy… already a hit with the ladies 😉

Sharing his cake with Mummy

Sharing his cake with Mummy

 

And of course, the cake ;)

And of course, the cake 😉

 

Of course I turned to Pinterest for inspiration, and got the ideas to make these:


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IMG_7503It was a hot and sunny day, plenty of cold drinks were had, the kids had a great water-fight (led by the biggest kid of them all, my darling Hubby)

I was absolutely thrilled to see ALL of the kids playing fantastically together, ages ranging from my itty-bitty 1 year old, to a couple of gorgeous boys who started high school this year. The big ones play so well with the little ones and they all get along wonderfully. It’s really lovely to see.

A fantastic day was had by all, and my little bugs had a very happy birthday.

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What a first year.

This week my not so little Squishy-Bear tuned one!

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What a year it’s been, my little one.

The joys of teething, colic, poop explosions  and sleepless nights.

ok, maybe not.

 

But there has been some wonderful memories.

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The very first gummy smile.

The first giggles. The great big chuckle I get when I blow raspberries on his tummy.

This little bundle of cuteness is 9 month old Carter, also known as Squishy-baby

 9 month old Squishy

The gorgeousness of a still-damp from the bath, powder scented baby cuddles.

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The adorable kitten-y noises he makes when he’s just about to drift off to sleep.

The way his whole face lights up when he sees his big sister.

Snugglebug & Squishy

Snugglebug & Squishy

Ittyy-bitty chubby little baby fingers and toes just begging to be nibbled on.

The little half-curl of hair just above his left ear that always sticks out and makes me wonder if he’s going to have his daddy’s gorgeous curly hair.

Miss Snugglebug meeting Squishy for the first time.

Miss Snugglebug meeting Squishy for the first time.

 

The very first time he said “mama” and then quickly progressed to “mummy, daddy, nan-dee, pow-ee” (polly) He can’t say his sister’s name yet, but just hearing it brings a huge grin to his face.

The first time I saw my babies playing happily together.

The way that, sometimes, only Mummy cuddles can fix whatever is wrong.

A happy little Squishy

A happy little Squishy

 

Seeing our son snuggled up sleeping soundly in his Daddy’s arms.

Squishy baby & Daddy

Squishy baby & Daddy

A million firsts; trips to the shops, visiting people, getting to know his cousins, trying different foods, exploring, learning, tasting, seeing so many thing for the very first time. The fascination in a single blade of grass, the determination to pick up the teensiest speck of dirt between two very careful chubby fingers, the look of pure joy the first time he succeeds in doing something, the dreamy, peaceful sleeping face that I could stare at for hours.

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Happy First Year, my little Squishlet, love you to bits,  mummy xxx