Imagination: a fairy next to arailway line.

My children always want me to play with them. They seem physically incapable of playing by themselves, and I often have to ignore their pleas of ‘please mummy, PLEASE-WE DON’T WANT TO PLAY ON OUR OWN,’ not only because my house is a total shit tip, which is in grave need of my attention, but also because my imagination appeared to be completely dead.

They can hand me a Darth Vader, and they’ll be shouting: ‘And Luke Skywalker is going to jump out of God’s mouth, fall through heaven, collect eleven five ten thousand bajillion stars on his way down, then use the light power he collected to kill all the baddies, and the Ewoks will see him falling from God’s mouth and use power from their minds to save him. He will use his pants as a parachute, and use fart power to jet propel himself to somewhere safe, and the Ewok’s minds will stop him hurting himself, and build him a castle of chocolate to live in. What does Darth Vader do then mummy??’

‘Erm, get out his lightsaber and hurt some people?’

‘No mummy, that’s boring.’

‘Ok, yea, I am kind of lame…’

I always think that I could never write a children’s book, because I’ve lost that part of my brain that delights in simple, magical adventures. I can’t think of anything remotely exciting to bring to their games-I don’t know why they insist on trying to include me to be fair. I did think I’d completely lost all imagination-a brain deadened by a mundane adult life. That was, until a few recent car journeys…

I was getting really annoyed by someone driving a few inches from my bumper, recently. It’s the kind of driving offence I put up there with people who drive in the middle lane, and people who don’t indicate at roundabouts. ‘If he gets any further up my ass, he’ll need to use a condom,’ I muttered. ‘WHAT DID YOU SAY MUMMY?’ ‘Nothing!’ And my brain then proceeded to imagine a world where all bumpers were fitted with sensors, which when another car got too close, made a neon flashing sign rise up in the rear window, saying ‘STOP VIOLATING MY ASS, THIS IS YOUR FIRST WARNING.’ If they continued to drive so close, they’d get a second warning, then if they still didn’t back off, cars would spray theirs with condoms, which on impact, would cover their car with a corrosive material-surely a sure fire way to get people AWAY FROM MY ASS. Maybe repeat offenders could then have their heads placed on spikes at the entrance and exit to motorway junctions, along with those of people who drive in the middle lane, to serve as a deterrent to not be such a dick.

I realised I’d gotten massively carried away. I also realised I did in fact, have an imagination-just translating that into the innocence of my children’s games, is just a whole different ball game, right…?!

mental health

I’ve been telling myself for quite a long time now, that ‘it’s ok, you’re just a little bit mental at the moment, you’ll be alright soon.’ Because often, we find ourselves tired, stressed, juggling 6.2 billion plates with just two hands (often while the other halves casually spin just the one on the tip of their finger-they totally have the other hand free to catch it with, if it falls,) and it all can make us feel just slightly crazy.

Except I noticed that I was telling myself week after week that the mentalness was going to go away, and making more excuses when it didn’t. I needed ‘that event’ over with, or when I’d had ‘that day to myself,’ that’s when I was going to be fine. Except, I still wasn’t. Before I knew it, I was in a painfully familiar pit of not wanting to leave the house, making excuses not to leave the house, crying in secret, and trying to hide the fact that I wanted to be crying the rest of the time too, but didn’t want to do it in front of the children, and everyone else I know, and dwelling on the fact that I wished I’d punched Becky from school in the face in 1993, when she said the best thing that could happen to me would be for me to be run over by a bus. I know we are told that violence solves nothing, but responding like that would’ve been really fucking satisfying.

Here is an example of my stream of consciousness, when I’m particularly batshit:
*Wake up, ears are ringing, head feels foggy for no reason*
‘This is going to be a terrible day.’
‘Don’t leave the house today because BAD THINGS WILL HAPPEN.’
‘The children won’t eat anything decent all day. Go on, give them the full sugar breakfast, and then they’ll get diabetes, and you’re going to feel like SHIT.’
‘Ooooh, what’s that on the news? Someone has a terrible illness? You better add that to the list of illnesses you need to be vigilant for, because the children can’t be left without a mother.’
‘Well, they could be, because you’re actually a shit one, and they’d be better off without you.’
‘In fact, if you did die, nobody would actually notice, because nobody really cares.’
‘Remember not to go out today, or if you do, just go to the park and stay in one corner, where you don’t have to talk to any other humans-you are shit at making friends, and you’ll make a dick of yourself.’
‘Oh, you’re looking forward to Mr W coming home are you? I don’t really know why he stays with you-you’re completely dragging him down. He should be with someone much prettier, thinner, funnier, and just, well, better, than you. He’ll probably be off at some point and then what will happen, you’ll have NOBODY.’
‘Stop snapping at the children, you used to be so patient. There’s another good quality you can tick off the list, that you don’t have anymore.’
‘Conserve energy for bedtime, because the children have decided that as you’re the worst mother ever, they’re going to bring you to your knees-you totes deserve it though, for being an all around crappy waste of space.’
‘By the way, while you’re being selfishly self absorbed with these thoughts, and only thinking about yourself, your mum told the eldest off for saying bugger. He’s replied with “it’s not as bad as fuck, nanny.” who swears in front of their fucking kids?’

Like I said-totally batshit. And it’s just soooooooo exhausting. I start every day feeling like I’ve run a marathon. Stuff hurts, that has no reason to be hurting. My eyes ache, my throat feels course, my stomach cramps, and my arms and legs feel like they’re made of lead. Everything sends me into fight or flight-even just handing over money at the till at the shop. The thought of coming to my laptop to write something, was making me feel sick. Plus, not going anywhere, and feeling like I was on the precipice of some kind of life destroying incident all the time, was becoming too much.

I went out last week to get my hair cut, which I was actually looking forward to, (I took this as a step forward,) until the hairdresser heard ‘can you please cut it a couple of inches below my shoulders,’ as ‘do whatever the fuck you want!!’ and gave me a long bob. I didn’t panic as much as I thought I would, about a) actually going there, and b) not being able to wear my hair in the bun it’s been sporting everyday for the last 5 years. It goes into a half bun now, so I resemble a mental hipster, minus ironic beard (unless you count the odd PCOS related chin hair flapping around.)

I’m also seeing a person. Someone actually qualified to deal with the mental. Someone taking my mental seriously, who has a plan. I feel better knowing there’s a plan, because although I’ve tried to embrace the crazy as being one of my quirks, and as a part of me, I also can’t and don’t want to, live with it to this extent anymore. So, it’s time to take a stand.

There was once a woman who lived in the South of England. She was wife of a Keifer Sutherland lookalike, and slave to the role of parenting. Nobody ever listened to a word she said, or ate anything she cooked. She was either found repeating herself like a useless parrot, into an abyss, or trying to reduce the size of her cellulitic, insulin resistant ass, by #shabammingtheshitoutoflife and letting out a bit of wee.
She had started to wonder if she had anger management issues. She had always prided herself on being calm-in her old job as a nurse (pre #shabammingtheshitoutoflife and incontinent days,) she was often referred to as ‘the calm one,’ or ‘the kind one.’ Outwardly, she mused, she was probably still those things, except pretty much 99% of situations nowadays, led to her screaming a stream of expletives in her head, or into the abyss (98% of the time out of earshot of the children, but she was only human, and has let out the occasional shit and twat around them. They don’t listen to a word she says though, so it’s ok, they’ve never repeated it.)
Old ladies tutting at her moaning children in coffee shops-old her thinks: ‘oh gosh, I really must stop inconveniencing these poor people.’ New her thinks: ‘FUCK YOU, YOU CRUSTY OLD BINT.’
Her child at playgroup is trying to ride one of the bikes down a slope, with the moderate threat that he might fall off. Another mum tells him he shouldn’t be doing it. She tells him it’s ok. The other mum won’t leave it alone. Eventually the little one is crying because of the other mum’s persistence, eventually leading to her blocking his path. Old her thinks: ‘She only has his best interests at heart, she doesn’t mean to be completely annoying.’ New her thinks: See above.
She watches a barista put ice in her children’s drinks while taking them out for a treat. Old her thinks: ‘Oh dear, brace yourselves for the shit storm peeps! You’re just about to ruin my children’s day my love!’ New her thinks: ‘WHAT ARE YOU DOING?????? WHAT ARE YOU DOING??????? WHY ARE YOU NOT PSYCHIC, DON’T YOU REALISE MY CHILDREN HATE HAVING ICE IN THEIR DRINKS, AND WILL MOAN LIKE HILDA ACROSS THE ROAD DOES ABOUT HOW HER PILES, YOU ARE RUINING MY LIFE!’
People moaning on Facebook, about the same things-old her thinks: ‘Oh dear, I hope they feel better for moaning about that for the millionth time.’ New her: ‘You stupid reprobates, just find some more meaning in your lives, for the love of God!’
And her current favourite-people making a huge announcement that they’re having a social media ‘clear out,’ old her thinks: ‘Oh gosh, I hope I’m not cleared out, I will wonder for years whatever I did to offend them.’ New her thinks: ‘If Jeffrey Dean Morgan followed me on social media, and announced he was having a clear out, and got rid of me, I’d be devastated, and would probably cry. ANYONE ELSE AND YOU DON’T NEED TO MAKE THE BIG BLOODY ANNOUNCEMENT!! JUST. STOP.
I’m sure you’re all getting the picture. She even has a friend she messages for certain rants, and asked that friend the other day, if she thought she had an anger management issue. Said friend kindly recommended a yoga DVD, and a headspace mindfulness app…
There could be many reasons for the woman’s ‘problem.’
She could maybe just not be walked over in the same way she had been accustomed to being.
She had previously astounded herself with the fierceness to protect her offspring, which made herfar less quiet than she had ever been-maybe this had carried on, and she was turning into the feisty woman she always wished she’d been.

Maybe she was starting to realise that she gave less of a crap about the less important things in life, and wished everyone else was the same.

Maybe being asked for snacks 5 minutes after every unfinished meal, had finally driven her round the twist.

Maybe the lack of personal space, proper working conditions, lack of adult company, and scrutiny of her every bowel movement for the last four years, had finally become too much.

Whatever the reason, she didn’t like it too much, and will be working on it over the next few weeks.

Just don’t say that this sometimes happens to ‘women of a certain age,’ she might punch you.

I absolutely love leaving the house with my exclusively breast fed children, watching them skip and form deep bonds with each other in the park, having an outdoor Kumon session (taught by me obvs,) before eating our organic lunch, freshly prepared by me from scratch that very morning. That’s until I realise that I stomp from the house, trying really hard not to just constantly fucking shout at my kids who were mixed fed, have more interest in picking their noses/bums/willies than learning what I think they need to be learning, while bribing them with chocolate to just put one foot in front of the bloody other, who would rather chew off their own faces rather than eat fruit, all while spending about 95% of the day trying to kick the shit out of each other.

And while I’ve written many times about not being the mother I thought I’d be, this is nothing new-it has happened to every generation before us. Every generation thinks they invented sex drugs and rock and roll, when the truth is it’s always been around, just under different guises. And every generation has decided exactly what kind of parent it’s going to be, but will never be that parent, because we will never have the children we thought we’d have. But yet it will go on-my mum smiled and nodded as I made all of these sweeping statements about what I was going to be like as a parent, and I’ll now smile and nod in the future when my children make the same announcements.

I went away at the weekend-just me and my husband. And I won’t lie-IT WAS FRIGGING AWESOME. We arrived, we drank. We (I) shopped, we drank. We went to the hotel, we slept. We went back out in the evening, and I drank my body weight in vodka, and we chatted like toddlers on speed. I totally forgot about my carb free diet, and spent the end of the evening inhaling carbs like I’d just been told potatoes had become extinct. We had hangovers the next day, but it didn’t matter, because nobody was screaming at us to do shit. Having a hangover while reading magazines and watching crap tv, is only a moderate inconvenience.

But as the day wore on, and I started to miss the children, I started to make new rules about the parent I was going to be once we got back to them. I was never going away again-they need a mum who is always present and there for them. I’m never going to shout at them again, because some random article written by someone who isn’t a psychologist, and has no actual scientific research to back up their opinions, says I shouldn’t do it because I will make them end up in lifelong counselling, and I will need to answer to the devil. I will totally overhaul their diet-it’s appalling, and they will end up contributing to the childhood obesity epidemic. I will be patient with them when we are trying to leave the house, and they are getting undressed quicker than I’m dressing them, and are suddenly fascinated with where babies come from, and with a barely visible ‘baddie’ on their left toe. I will explain where babies come from, because I’m a really fucking cool mum like that, and nurse that baddie with every nursing skill I own-it’s the small things that count right?

But, just like when you were given fresh exercise books at the start of the school year, and vowed to always write in them with your bestest, neatest handwriting for the whole year-then end up making a right fucking mess of them by the end of the second week, like on New Years Eve when you say you’ll never drink again, but manage to make exceptions such as the cat’s birthday, or next Tuesday will be a really hard day so I’ll have one then , and like the generations of ‘I’ll be this kind of parent’ before me-I wasn’t home five minutes before I was muttering ffs into the snack cupboard, looking for Pom Bears to alleviate the incessant moaning into my face which started the second I walked in the door, which my mum assured me she’d seen absolutely bloody none of the whole time we’d been away, while planning my next bid for freedom.

I do it every time I go away too. I have these little epiphanies about all the shit I’m going to change. And it never happens. It’s the circle of parenting life-I’ll always do it, as have those before me, as will others after me. And it’s a funny old thing to keep doing, and never learn your lesson from really, isn’t it?

So this week has been a bit hard… Firstly, my children have been REALLY hard work-including the day I spend much of the afternoon at my GP surgery, being prodded around by several doctors, while the children swung from the curtains, attempted to destroy blood pressure monitors, emptied drawers, and generally made me want to die from shame. In fact, they’ve generally been like that all week, but at that time, I was really feeling the need to tell them in my best angry-but-trying-to-sound-kindly hiss, to just calm the heck down.

Anyway, as you may have guessed from the Drs visit, I haven’t been feeling too well this week. Despite that, I’ve still made it to Sh’bam, spin, HIIT, and body combat. But First, LET’S TALK ABOUT HIIT. My lovely friend convinced me to go along, ‘it’ll be great!’ she said, ‘there’s pair work, we can work together, it’s an amazing workout, better than circuits,’ she said. YOU WILL WANT TO THROW UP DURING THE WARM UP she DIDN’T say…. Jeez, I have given all the classes so far, a really fair shot, but I think it’s fair to say, I am 100% not going back to that. By the end of the next day, my legs were crippled, and I was still suffering the humiliation of being a hot and sweaty mess beside the rest of the class who were MACHINES, and feeling like I’d give myself a black eye from my gut flapping up to smack me in the face, during what felt like hours of ‘high knees.’

Food wise, I’ve stuck to all my usual meals pretty much the same as last week if you wanted to check out last week’s menu! But as well as being a bit under the weather, I’ve had one of those totally unmotivated weeks-you know-where you’re just a bit unmotivated with life in general? My appetite hasn’t been great, and I definitely feel like I’ve been running on empty-physically and emotionally. I was useless at combat today, and spent most of it kind of rolling around on the floor wishing I was at home (it was a very quiet class!) and it’s usually my favourite one.

(What I really wanted to be doing this week…)

I’m hoping I’ll have my mojo back a bit next week! So far, I’m not planning on making any changes to the food, although I might have to look at it again next week if I’m still at a plateau (because I haven’t lost anything this week,) but I have stayed the same, which is fine (I’m a bit disappointed, but trying not to be too hard on myself about it.)

lbs lost: Still 14…

What’s hurting: MY LEGS.

 

Update: Nearly a week after HIIT and my legs are still screwed!

*This is part of my ‘Cysters Are Doing It For Themselves’ series, about trying to kick some PCOS/insulin resistance ass. Other posts in this series can be found below.

PCOS Has Ruined My Life

A Change Is Gonna Come… Food And Exercise Changes I’m Making

Hey Cyster, Go Cyster, Soul Cyster, Go Cyster

Why Does PCOS Always Feel Like A Battlefield, A Battlefield, A Battlefield

Not So Fat Bottom Girl 

See you for next week’s update!