Category: Finding Me In Motherhood

Not Enough

I’m not good enough, not good at that, not talented enough, not outgoing enough, not clever enough, not enough.

I am not sure about you but ‘not enough’ thoughts have been part of my thought process for as long as I can remember. It has eased a little over the years but recently I noticed that it was back big time. Most of the reasons that were coming up for me as to why I hadn’t written a blog post for a long time were centered around ‘not enough” thoughts. “I am not a good enough writer”, “why would anyone read what I write when there are so many better writers out there” etc.

I almost talked myself out of applying for a job that I think would have worked for me well right now because I told myself that I wasn’t good enough to even have a chance. If I am honest, I let the ‘not enough’ thoughts stop me from doing lots of things.

I am guessing that most of us get these thoughts sometimes to varying degrees. Do you? Do we do it because we really think that we are not good enough? Is it our sense of self-worth? Because we are scared to step out of our comfort zone? Because we have been told that we are not enough by others? Because we have been told we are too much of something by others? Because we have been conditioned to think that it is not ok to think positively about ourselves? I certainly remember being told at school that I thought I was “too good” for other people or “up myself”.

I suspect it is a combination of all of the above and more.

So what do I (or we) do about it? For me, once I realise what I am doing (like now), I try to challenge those thoughts. Am I really a ‘not good enough’ writer? I suspect I am never likely to publish anything anywhere other than this blog but this is just a blog, it isn’t about perfect writing, it is about my thoughts. Why would anyone want to read what I write when there are so many other great blogs out there? Why do I care so much? What I need to do is just write when I want to, people can choose to read it… or not. I cannot control it. Am I really not good enough to apply for that job? What evidence do I have that I am not good enough to do the job? None. What evidence do I have that shows that I can? Um… maybe the several years of doing a very similar job!

Not enough thinking comes up in our parenting. We have a bad day and yell at the kids, we don’t feel that we feed them enough vegetables, we can’t afford the latest gadgets that the kids want – we tell ourselves that we are not a good enough parent. I want to ask you to look at the evidence which says that you are good enough. Are your kids fed? Are they happy? Clothed? Safe? Are you doing the best that you can? Then you are a good enough parent!

Next time you are telling yourself you are ‘not enough’, challenge those thoughts. Find the evidence that says that you are good enough. That is my plan anyway! It won’t always work but if we do it regularly enough maybe we can change our thoughts from ‘not enough’ to knowing that we are enough.

 

The Ache of Wanting Another Baby

ache of wanting another baby

I haven’t written a post for a while, and haven’t really felt like it. This post is why. This is what I have been feeling and grieving and I just haven’t felt like I could write anything because this was what was in my mind, taking over my mind. The ache of wanting another baby.

Firstly, I want to acknowledge that this post may seem selfish to some. You may wonder why I can’t be grateful with what I have, why do I want more. I completely recognise that I am extremely lucky to have three children, extremely. I know many people would just like to be able to have one child and here I am with three, saying I am grieving not having another. I can’t imagine their pain and grief.

My youngest child is 3. I tried to convince myself when I was pregnant that I did not want any more children. It didn’t work. I have had an ache for a fourth child that just hasn’t seemed to go away no matter how much I wish it would.

Unfortunately, my husband doesn’t have the same desire.  He is done. I do not feel like I am. It is a horrible place to be in, for both of us I am sure. I think I thought he would change his mind. I wanted him to so much that I think I forgot to consider how he really felt and his reasons and just focused on my intense need for another child.

The intensity of my wanting another child has been so strong, so primal for me. An ache that is there in my chest, in my gut, an ache that can bring tears to my eyes easily.

I wish I was one of the women who could say that I knew I was finished having children. I imagine it would make it a lot easier. Instead I have felt consumed at times by my need, and by my grief at knowing that this will not be my reality. That there will be no more children for me. No more growing a baby in my belly. No more feeling them squirm in my belly. No more birthing babies. No more nights where I feel like I am awake all night feeding a baby. No more falling in love with a little person I have birthed. No more watching a new little life that we have created develop and grow. There have been many, many tears.

I am coming to a place of acceptance. Acceptance that I will not get to do these things again with my own child. Acceptance that my husband does not want any more children and I need to respect his decision. Acceptance that I do not want to change his mind, I do not want him to resent me. Acceptance that I am grieving the end of my baby growing years.

It isn’t easy, and I still feel deeply sad about this. But I will be ok. I will hold my children extra tight and be grateful for them and all the beautiful, crazy, mischievous, wonderful things they do. I will choose to try to look forward to getting a full night’s sleep and to a new season of my life. A season of growing children rather then babies. I will look forward to new nieces and nephews coming in to my life and being able to get my baby fix from them. I will be ok…. Eventually. And my tears flow….

How To Start Journaling

A few weeks ago I was having a conversation with a friend and when I mentioned journaling she asked what I did when I said I journaled. I thought maybe there were others reading who might like to know more about journaling so I have written a little about how I journal and how it helps me.

When I was a teenager, I used to have a lockable diary that I would write in. Often, I would write important events in it, but I would also write about how I was feeling and what was going on in my life. I found this useful particularly when I was sad or angry. A place to get my emotions out.

As an adult, I only journaled occasionally, generally when I was going through a difficult time or record events such as when I was going through IVF or when my Dad passed away.

A few years ago I began to journal more frequently. I have found it to be beneficial for various reasons.

I have found journaling can be beneficial in the following ways:

  • As an emotional release, particularly when I am feeling frustrated, upset or angry.
  • An opportunity to clarify my thoughts. Journaling can be a very useful tool to sort through the thoughts, emotions and ideas circling around in my head.
  • It provides an opportunity to reflect on my experiences and thoughts.
  • After writing things out I gain a different perspective or insight in to what is going on for me.
  • I can keep a written record of my goals, ideas, and experiences.
  • It can be useful when my mind feels overloaded. I often use it as a ‘thought download’ – writing down everything that is going on in my head. Sometimes it helps just to get it out of my head and on to paper.
  • Journaling can help me come up with answers that I need.
  • I learn more about myself.

 

All you need to start journaling is a notebook and a pen. I personally like a hard-backed spiral bound notebook, or a hard-backed journal. I like a hard back because I usually write when I am in bed on lying on the couch and find having a hard back easier. I also like a good pen that flows well because once I get going I can write quite fast and hate my pen feeling like it can’t keep up with me!

I like to journal when it is quite so that I can just tune in to my thoughts and write without distraction.

When I started journaling, and even some days now, it can feel like I don’t know what to write. It can feel forced. Honestly, I have found the best thing to do is just to start writing and keep going. After a little while I find that my thoughts start flowing on to the page. Sometimes I just start by writing out questions that I need answered and then the answers start coming after a few minutes of writing out the questions.

I don’t always expect (or get) answers via journaling. Sometimes there is no clear answer. I do find that it helps sort out my thoughts, calm down if I am angry, or at least get my thoughts and feelings out.

Sometimes I use journaling prompts to learn a little more about myself, such as the weekly self-discovery questions that I post for my readers. I find that answering it by writing in my journal lets me explore the answers more deeply than just thinking about it.

 

Some things I find helpful when journaling are:

  • Privacy is essential. Knowing that no one is going to read your private thoughts means that you can feel comfortable to write. If you do not feel comfortable with having a written journal you can use online password protected journaling websites such as Penzu or 750words (I have never used one so not sure which site is best to use sorry) or write it on a piece of paper and burn it.
  • Don’t censor your thoughts. You need to be open to being honest with yourself. This isn’t always easy in the beginning but will come over time.
  • As I mentioned before, a good pen is ideal!
  • Do it regularly. Even if you set aside 5 minutes a few times a week to begin, or even once a week. You will probably find soon enough that that 5 minutes turns in to more.
  • Just keep writing until your words flow and the answers come.

 

Essentially, the key to journaling is just to put words on a page! So what are you waiting for? Grab a notebook and pen and put pen to paper.

I would love to know if you already journal or if you are inspired to start one, let me know in the comments.

I Feel Most Like Me When I …

This weeks self discovery question is to finish this sentence ‘I feel most like me when I…’

Have a think about when you feel like you. Is it when you are out with friends? When you are at home with your family? Maybe when you are exercising or doing your favourite hobby? When you are alone?

I think I feel most like myself when I have a day or weekend to myself. When I can choose to do whatever I want. Read, meditate, walk, eat, have a bath. When I am taking time out for my own self care and to tune in to my self and my intuition.  I feel myself when I am relaxed and enjoying a peaceful night at home with my husband and kids. When I am dressed in clothes that I love. I also feel it when I am talking to people and helping them… you can take the girl out of Social Work but not the Social Worker out of the girl…

I would love to know what makes you feel most like you. 

What Makes You Feel Alive?

What makes you feel alive? What makes you feel excited, exhilarated, in awe of the world?

Think about and make a list of all of the things that come to mind that make you feel more alive. Can you add more of these things in to your life? When you start to feel like you are in a rut, grab your list and do some of the things that make you feel excited and alive.

Some of the things that come to mind that make me feel most alive are:

  • Being at the beach with sand in my toes, feeling the wind in my hair and hearing the sound of the ocean.
  • Being outside and feeling the sunshine on my skin.
  • Watching my kids play and have fun, or better still, playing and laughing with them.
  • Laughing out loud
  • Sitting under a full moon.
  • When I am fully present in the moment. It might be when I am at the dinner table enjoying a family dinner or when I am having a conversation with a friend.
  • When I achieve something I felt scared to do in the beginning.
  • Doing something I am passionate about.
  • Doing something risky…. although my idea of doing something risky is pretty tame these days!

 

I would love you to leave a comment telling me what you have on your list!

What Do You Love About You?

What do you love about you? Seriously, it is important to think about it. I know people avoid thinking about it because it can feel uncomfortable. There is the ‘I don’t want to seem like I love myself’ fear from our teenage years. We have a cultural norm where we are supposed to put ourselves down and not talk up the good parts of ourselves. I certainly thought this way. You should have heard the negative self talk that used to go on in my head! I never really stopped to contemplate what I actually liked let alone loved about myself… it felt too uncomfortable.

This week, write about or think about what you love about you. For some of us it might be hard. You might have one thing to begin with but keep thinking and listing things. Maybe it is as simple as you like your smile or you like that you are a kind person. You don’t need to show anyone or tell anyone, although I would love to know if you want to share.

DO NOT let this question get you down! Do not start comparing yourself to others. Do not start thinking about all of the things that you don’t like.

This post is part of my weekly self discovery questions. You can find the others here, here, here, and here.

Write A 2017 Bucket List

 

Do you write a yearly bucket list? A list of all of the things big and small that you want to do, see, visit, and achieve in the year. In last weeks post I told you that I am going to post a weekly self discovery question for you, my readers, to ask yourself each week. I will be journalling about it to, or perhaps have done in the week prior. This week I want you to think about, and write down, a list of things that you would like to do this year.

I want you to write all of the little things you would like to do this year, all of the places you would like to visit, things you want to see, things you want to achieve, all of the big dreams you have for the year… even if they don’t feel achievable right now you never know, they may be later in the year. Think of it as your 2017 bucket list. I want you to try to get at least 50. 100 would be even better! If you cannot think of 50 you can always add to it as the year goes on. Write your list and keep it somewhere you will remember it so that you can revisit your list during the year and add or tick things off.

Last year I aimed to write 100 things that I wanted to do in 2016, I think I only wrote about 70. I probably only completed about 40 to 50 of the things on the list but just the process of writing the list was motivating for me. Without my list I suspect I would have only done half of what I did. Last year I included lots of little things like have a coffee with a new mum at kinder, have a pedicure, go to a yoga class, paint something, read a complete book (it had been years since I had read a complete fiction book). I also included a few bigger things which other then starting this blog I didn’t get to tick off… BUT it was motivating and felt good to have some big dreams.

Have fun with it, dream big!