I'm going to be honest! I've never really coped as a mum! I have always struggled! Never really believed I was doing enough, doing the right thing or providing the kids with the right amount of attention. I was always so busy, trying to get through each day, make sure that I was "keeping" up with the other mums, especially the ones you see on social media, with their best dressed kids doing craft activities without a spill in sight! That wasn't what was happening in my house! It was chaos!
Looking back now I know it was my mental illness that was causing me to feel bad about myself, lowering my confidence and telling me little negatives in my ear! It wasn't that I was doing the wrong things, it was that I didn't believe in myself and feel comfortable with my decisions! Also by constantly running around like a lunatic and flitting from one task to another, I was never able to have time, time to really sit and appreciate the kids. I hate myself for it now, I hate the thought of the time I have missed with them !
So, after my recovery journey began everything started to change, it was small things at first, then abit bigger, when all of a sudden I was able to sit and spend an hour with kids, being silly, laughing and enjoying their company. Please don't think of me as a bad person.
After my first child, I suffered incredibly with Severe Postnatal Depression, its sad because I can't remember a lot of his first achievements, and I am so so lucky that at that time I remembered to photograph and video things because otherwise I wouldn't be able to visualize those moments and smile.
Mental Illness really stops you from seeing the bigger picture, it puts a bubble around you, that you can't break out of, that you can't see through and distorts how you perceive situations. So, when I started to break through my bubble... ( I see it like the magic spell bubble that surrounds the Hogwarts Castle in the Harry Potter during the last battle, but without it being the death eaters breaking the bubble its me) ... become more organised in my life, feel more on top of the chaos, (check out my "Organise My House" download to see what I did (it's free)). I was able then to have time with the kids, in the knowledge that all my jobs were done and I wasn't going to be chasing my tail later on to catch up with myself.
After school, the first thing I do is get the kids uniform off and change them into normal clothes, if the uniforms need washing it goes straight in, they have a snack and a drink and then I sit down with them, ask them about their day, what they had for lunch..
(is it just my kids that can't remember what they ate 3 hours ago, but know instantly when you eat their last sweet from the packet???)
... and we play silly games, the kids try to tell me stuff about their favourite YouTube star ( I have no idea what they are talking about but I have nodding and saying 'wow thats incredible' just at the right moment off the a tee!) but what's important is the time we are spending together.
Kids will be kids and as much as they love me, there are usually far more interesting things to be spending their time on, so they usually just start to disperse after a while, and I use this time to crack on with tea, as just like every child they are starving from the minute they wake up to the minute they close their eyes at night! Whilst doing tea, I put the uniforms in the tumble dryer, make the youngest's packed lunch, make sure the shoes and coats are ready for the next day and get their PJ's out etc. By doing all of this, and getting the little but important jobs done, it means that after tea, I can have some time with them again before bed. Yes they may be tired, they may argue, try to wrestle each other but that's kid right?
So what I'm saying is, its ok if right now you feel as if your not coping, because actually in reality you are, you are doing an awesome job and smashing every day! Take time to work on what is causing you to run around madly, get more organised and no matter what is going on in life, there is nothing more important than setting everything else and focusing on the kids!
YOU'VE GOT THIS!!!!