Wednesday, February 1, 2012
A Confronting Question
Do you want to go on anti-depressants or would you like to see a counsellor?
December was a really tough month for me. There have been times in the past 10 months or so that I've really felt like i haven't been able to cope, but December found me faced with severe anxiety, moodiness and anger. This was not normal for me, I needed some help.
But this question? I wasn't prepared for this question. I'm just a frazzled mother with three children four and under. I've got a lot on my plate and I need a few coping mechanisms. Tell me to take 10 breaths, walk away, have a massage, whatever, but this question?? What the??
Six weeks and three counselling sessions later, the layers are peeling and I've come to many realisations. Just a frazzled mother I am not. A frazzled mother with internal pressures and whose ideals were so far from reality is closer to the mark.
You see, since the beginning of my adult life, I've had a clear picture of how I want my life to look. With the exception of a career focus, (which has been put on hold as I have my children at home with me) mostly everything else is just how I pictured it. My marriage, three children, even the house and our new town. But what is missing from this picture (deluded picture I may add) is that being at home would be blissfully happy all of the time and that I could always be a calm and in control mother. SNORT!! The reality is so far from that. It's like I entered this new world of parenthood with a map that I knew inside out and back to front. But hold on, this place doesn't look like my map. They don't even speak the same language here!
As parents we try to do what is right for our own families, we create our own family values, and to me it's important to live by them. All I'm doing is trying live by my own family values, not anyone else's. What I do for my family is purely so I can live by and up to my own values. I'm not doing things for my family to make out that I am better than anyone else, or to prove something. I'm doing these things because this is how I want my children to be raised, and this is the family life I want for us.
Subconsciously, I was putting so much pressure on myself to be the happy, controlled mother that I had pictured myself being. I was failing at living up to this ideal and I wasn't coping with the reality. I was moody, angry, anxious, and worst of all, these negative emotions and energies were rippling out to the rest of my family. Behaviours were being mirrored, and I was looking at a fast moving downward spiral. Right now, I'm so grateful that I had the strength to ask for help.
All this pressure. On myself! And now that I realise where this is coming from I can let go a little. I now know that I am responsible for the way I've been feeling, and therefore I can change it. I've acknowledged that reality is not how I imagined it to be, and that's OK. I'm learning to embrace this life of being a mother to three young children; the day to day mundane, but more importantly the small snippets of pure joy that make it worthwhile.
These are the moments of joy that I live for:
I've got a long way to go, the layers are still peeling and there is more to work through, but these realisations, in their very simplest form, have already had such a powerful impact. I'll continue to strive to live by my family values, but know that it's OK to not love every single moment. The pressure, the weight, has been lifted, and that makes me feel good.
So, what's been making you feel good lately?