Keeping Up

Keep up with who, exactly?

I feel that I should have posted this on #WorldMentalHealthDay but as many of my friends have pointed out, every day should be World Mental Health Day, so here it is, a few days short of the mark…

I had this long winded and detailed description about how difficult it is, to not look at the people around you and think that whatever you’re doing or however you are, is not good enough.

I wrote about how I love Illustrator because I like to make everything pixel perfect and it was some sort of analogy for all the areas of my life that are indeed, not, pixel perfect. But you have this version instead – Straight to the point:  I realised that every aspect of my life is shrouded with a sense of being sub-par – If I could just be a bit better, more dedicated, stronger… I know that I’m not alone in this, it’s consuming, overwhelming and since becoming a mother, this has increased 10 fold. Do other people think I’m slap dash with my responsibilities? Do my children think I’m crap? Am I in perfect role-model mode 100% of the time? Is my house up to show home standards? (Ha! HAHAHAHA!)

The answer to all of these is ‘no’.

Not only is this ok, but I believe it’s preferable because it makes life manageable. People close to me and more importantly, my kids see me try, they see me fail and they see me win. They see me happy, sad and every shade in between. And as time goes by, I feel that I am empowered by this acceptance of my reality. I would so love to be as fast, as strong, as talented or as patient as some of the people I admire. But I have my strengths, they are mine. I earned them, just as you earned yours. Remember this when you’re desperately trying to keep up with someone or something. You may not know it, but there are people trying up with you too. If everyone was the same, this would be a very dull world indeed.

I wear my heart on my sleeve, and I have learnt much from talking to people. People with kids, people without, people who have their own business and people who have no similarities in their life to mine. I have learnt so much about others in the way they respond to my emotionally exhausted, bedraggled Facebook posts about why I’m considering selling my offspring to the circus. And the cat. Don’t get me started on the cat.

I am lucky enough to have realised where my strength in communication lies. I use it as a tool to get me through my own personal stormy weather and I’d like to think that it helps others through theirs too. Maybe. (Or maybe I’m just raging into the ether… But that wouldn’t sound quite as inspiring)

So I am going to leave you with three things:

1. You’re awesome – Cut yourself some slack. No, seriously… You get up each day and you do your thing. If you want to tap out and spend the day in your pants, then do it – Pants days are good for your soul.

I posted this smug picture after we completed the Frome Triathlon. It was an awesome achievement – It’s important to remember these things.

2. Living in this lovely little town means that we have things like this – ‘I Know…’ is a community group that supports parents – Any parents at any stage. Everyone in this community knows the overwhelming pressures that can come with making, nurturing and raising small humans.

Don’t feel like sharing? That’s ok too. Look out for people wearing their little badges – You don’t even need to exchange any words for a little reassurance.

Check out their Facebook Page

Me and my badge! I had to buy two because I couldn’t decide which colour I liked best. (As a side note: Bombdiggity is our fridge word of the week, because our kids need it in their vocabulary)

3. I’d like to share my little mantra with you. I use it often and decided to make a cover for a journal that I keep so that it’s always to hand. It seems relevant to share it with you at this point. When things are getting to me and I lose sight of which way is up, I just utter these words to myself (or indeed to whoever needs to hear it) to remind myself that I’ve got this. You’re welcome to use it, if it helps…

My Mantra – Plus the very early stages of my Graphic Mummy Identity 🙂

R x