Cheers To 2017

2017 came in with full force. And not a very good force. I had every intention of starting the year out with an awesome kick ass blog post about how I was going to rock this year. I was going to have a New Years Resolution. I was going to have a focus word. It was going to rock. Completely and totally rock your socks off.

Then reality came. On January 1st I lost an aunt to cancer. Another aunt was in hospital (she is out and better now). And yet another Aunts health is failing. It has been a lot to deal with. My anxiety has been so bad. So hard to deal with at times. This invisible monster is leaving visible scars.

This year I have no idea what will happen. I have no idea what my goals are. I do know that whatever happens, I want to make the most of it. So cliche isn’t it?! But it is true. 2017 is already proving how precious life is, how important it is to take advantage of every day, tell people you love them, let go of things, move forward no matter how scary. My anxiety and depression monsters will not control and dominate me this year. Their lies will not weaken me. (Easier said than done!)

This weekend I will be traveling to the states with my parents and my toddler. Sounds easy enough right? Tell that to my anxiety. I am having non stop anxiety and panic attacks about it. This will be the longest my toddler has been away from my husband. She will not be happy to be away from her daddy and brothers for so long. And I have never had to take her to a funeral before. All of this causing so much anxiety on top of the grieving. The truth of it all? None of this is about me, despite all my anxiety crushing me, this is about a life lost and going to honour this persons amazing life. Like I said before, life is too short, I will move forward no matter how scary. I will face my anxiety monster head on and go on this trip with my daughter.

Days after getting back my daughter has a pre-op appointment and then the next week she will have surgery. My anxiety is not giving me a break this month so far. I will not let this monster have me. My daughter needs me, my sons need me, my husband needs me. Heck, I need me!

So maybe I do have a goal? Kick my monsters butts? Or maybe my goal is more simply put, to take it one day at a time, to survive, to rise above and soar?

Despite not having clear goals written down, not having a focus word, despite the hard start to 2017, I will try my damnedest to rock this year.

~ Michelle

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Depression And The Holidays

Hello New Day.
Hello New Week.
Hello New Adventure.

HelloMonday

One step closer to Christmas, and yet I feel like I took 50 backwards. How is that even possible? One of life’s great mysteries, along with were they socks in the dryer go, or where toddlers who don’t sleep at night still get all their energy from.

Last week I did really well with working out. It was much fun to get back into it on a daily base. I was feeling really good. Happy. Then I went out dinner Saturday night, and then out to the movies Sunday afternoon. Hello unhealthy food. So gross. This week is about eating healthy and working out. Which I admit is a bit hard to do before the holidays. All I want to do is drink hot chocolate, and eat cookies and comfort food while wearing comfy clothes and hiding under a blanket. A warm cozy, crazy soft blanket.

With the holidays quickly approaching, depression and anxiety and go into overdrive. I am trying to get a jump on it by staying active and eating right, but like I said, I want all the cookies and junk food. I’ve also started to make a point to have some ‘me time’. Nothing major, just little stuff I can fit in during the day, facial masks, painting my nails, reading, bubble baths, journaling. Anything small that I think can help. You know what they say, its the little things that matter the most.

The holidays are always hard. Mix in everything going on, mix in being a birth mother. I sometimes have to try extra hard to get out of bed and put a smile on my face. Its not that I don’t want to, its not that I’m not happy. Its just that it is hard. Its hard to explain to some who doesn’t understand or has experienced it. I can be happy, but still be so physically and emotional drained that it is hard to show just how happy I actually am.

I have a feeling this holiday season will be the most exhausting holiday yet.

~ Michelle

How I Gave My Daughter Separation Anxiety With A Pixar Movie

I try to be a good mom. Every day I try. I try to be the best mom I can be to my beautiful children. Some days are better than others. However I never thought I could or would give my daughter separation anxiety. And most definitely I never thought it would be caused by a Pixar movie! Of all things, a Pixar movie! A movie made for children!

My beautiful girl. We have always had a close relationship, going back on 2 and half years now! But seriously, we have always had a close relationship. I joke that it is because I was on bedrest for pretty much her entire pregnancy so it was just me and her alone in a room and she never got used to anyone else’s voice. Breastfeeding for a year and half may have contributed to our close relationship as well.

The other day I thought it would be a good idea to watch Finding Nemo with my daughter, you know getting her ready for Finding Dory. My daughter right away realized something happened to the mommy in the start of the film. And kept asking for her. When Nemo went missing, she got so sad. She kept saying over and over “Nemo gone”.

And now thanks to watching what I thought would be a cute movie, my daughter freaks out when I leave the room. At night my husband can no longer put her to bed, she has to know where I am at all times. At night when she wakes up she calls for both of us just to make sure we are both there still.

My sons grew up watching Finding Nemo and it never once bothered them. I never imagined it would cause this reaction in my daughter. Can you say hello Mommy Guilt?!

Despite the happy ending in Finding Nemo, she still asks at the end of the movie if they will find the mommy. Hello Mommy Guilt! “Nemo mama gone. Gone! Nemo mama gone!”

I seriously question now why I didn’t see this coming, why I didn’t think of this before hand?! My poor daughter! This was not the reaction I thought was going to happen. I figured she would just love the little fish, just like her brothers did!

Mommy Guilt comes in many shapes and sizes, never did I expect to give my own daughter a bad case of separation anxiety! As if we don’t spend a lot of time together, I am a stay at home mom, and we co-sleep, yet I still managed to freak her out.

So now the question… Do I hide Finding Dory and Finding Nemo forever and never let her watch either one, or maybe I should let her watching Finding Dory and she will be happy as Dory finds both of her parents at the end! Maybe I can help undo the damage of Finding Nemo?!

~ Michelle

Almost Time For Our Road Trip

Hello New Day.
Hello New Week.
Hello New Month.
Hello New Adventure.

HelloMonday

Time is quickly approaching for our week long trip to Florida. I wrote about a million lists and started packing, but that was all put on hold when my two boys and husband got sick this weekend. Fingers crossed they don’t pass it on to my daughter and me. And even more fingers crossed our trip is still on. After months and months of saving and planning I would hate to see it fall apart now.

This week is all about survival and getting all the germs out of my house. Any anxiety I had about this trip before got multiplied by a million when sickness was added to this mix, so I will be working and deal with that this week. Also I will need lots of coffee. Because right now coffee is my very best friend. Coffee makes me feel like I can accomplish anything, it believes in me, it loves me and I love it.

Now back to the trip and packing. Have I ever mentioned that I hate packing? Especially when I am packing for myself, and 4 other people! We are only going for a week but by my list and the things I already have packed you would think we were moving! I didn’t even put this much effort and pack this much stuff when my husband and I went to Kenya for two weeks! Also I am pretty sure that about 60% of the stuff I am packing we don’t actually need. But I like to be prepared. I would rather pack it and have it with me and end up not needing it than needing something and not having it. But still… Holy Crow! Its a lot of stuff!

How do you entertain 3 kids in the car for over 24 hours straight?! Including one toddler that hates the car?! Well stay tuned and I will show you what I have come up with. Honestly, the thought of all this scares me. But I know it will be fine. My parents did it with me and my siblings, and that was long before in car dvd players and iPods and laptops and all that, and some how we all survived. I’m sure we will too. I just don’t know how right now…

~ Michelle

 

 

Lets Talk, About Anxiety and Depression

I don’t normally talk about this. I don’t like to talk about this. Talking about anxiety and depression gives me anxiety and makes me feel depressed, sad and weak, sick and stressed. A whole whack load of different emotions.

I have been facing my fears and talking about anxiety lately. See, we are going on a family trip soon, and yes I am happy, I am thrilled, but the thing is, I have severe anxiety and chronic depression. So even though I am happy about something, I am never truly *just* happy about it. There are ALWAYS underling feelings and emotions going on. Always. It is none stop and it is beyond exhausting.

So why am I talking about it now? Is it because of the trip? No, not really. I am talking about it because I am sick of trying to ‘cover it up’ and act as if its not there. But it is there, its always there. Sometimes its small, and sometimes its so over powering I don’t know how to explain it. Sometimes I even think its gone, but it always comes back. It is there, it is a part of me.

I have severe anxiety and chronic depression. I am in a constant battle with myself to do every day things every day. I am always in a struggle to ‘put on a happy face’. I am always gauging my mood, trying to stay one step ahead of it. Always on the look out for the next trigger, but most of the time I don’t even know what the trigger is. It can be so exhausting. Always on the look out, always putting on a happy face. The truth is most people would never even guess that I have anxiety and depression, that in its self is exhausting. Always holding a mask up so the world won’t see the true me.

I want to talk about this, because I want anyone else to know who is going through this that it is ok! There is no shame!

For years I used to walk around confused, feeling so alone because I could never properly voice what was going on. Some days I still can’t. People would say “get some sun”, “cheer up” or “its all in your head, just be happy, its easy”. But it really isn’t that easy some days. I want to be happy, and even when I am, I’m never 100% happy. I will always feel some degree of sadness, some degree of anxiety. And that is ok. That is who I am. I am still a good person. I am still (for the most part) a happy, go lucky, look on the bright side, find the silver lining type of person. I am still a good mom, wife, daughter, sister, aunt, cousin, and friend.

There is no shame. Yes I have anxiety, yes I have depression. And that is fine. It is ok. It doesn’t make me less of a person, even if sometimes I feel like it.

Like anyone else I have good days and bad days, mine just tend to be a little bit more up or down, sideways and all around swirly than other people. And thats ok.

So if you are out there, and you have anxiety, or depression, or both, if you are scared, or feeling alone please PLEASE know that it is ok! You are not alone! There is help out there. There are people out there that can help you, that you can talk to, and people out there that you can relate to and understand you. You are not alone. Despite what lies your anxiety and depression may be telling you, you are not alone! There is help!

Writing this  post right now its giving me so much anxiety. I feel physically sick right now. Trying to explain that I have anxiety and depression but still a good person sounds so stupid and hard to believe, but it is true. Trying to explain how having anxiety and depression feels is one of the hardest things. I still haven’t figured out how to properly explain how it feels, and I don’t know if I ever will.

I am writing this for me. I am writing this for you if you feel the same way. I am writing this for my kids, because if they ever feel like this, I want them to know it is ok! I want them to know there is no shame. I want them to know I understand. I want them to know, and for you to know, that you don’t have to hide away all of your complex feelings and thoughts. You don’t have to hide any part of you. You, all of you, every part of you, you are beautiful. So beautiful.

I found these photos on Pinterest the other day. Apparently the universe was pushing for me to write this post because these two photos showed up in a mix of other photos about recipes and decorating for the holidays. I believe everything happens for a reason, I may not ever understand the reason, or know the reason, but its there, some where.

I am going to say this again, please, please, PLEASE know that if you have anxiety, or depression, or any other issues going on, there is always someone you can talk to. There are people out there that can help you. People that will understand you, and help you.
If you can’t reach out to them, you can reach out to me mommyhoodland@gmail.com

~ Michelle

Planning A Family Trip

Hello New Day.
Hello New Week.
Hello New Adventure.

HelloMonday

This weekend I had lots of plans. Then germs hit the house. You have got to love back to school! So pretty much nothing got done this weekend, unless you count cuddles and naps! Then yes, lots got done.

So now here is Monday morning, I feel it mocking me and daring me to try to accomplish everything I want to do. And all with very little sleep and no coffee! Which basically means I am writing a lot of lists and notes down so I don’t forget anything! Because truth be told, I don’t have a lot of time to sit around being sick, I have so much to do! See in less than a months time we are taking a family trip! Not just any family trip! We are taking a week long trip to FLORIDA! And we are driving! Driving! Driving with my toddler who, to put it nicely, HATES the car! And we only have a week to get there, and back! So it should be very, VERY, interesting!

So I need to start planning what I need to pack, and buy for the trip, and it true me fashion, what I can make for the trip!

This will be the longest car ride for my toddler, and the longest time away from home. So I want it to go as smoothly as possible. Because no one likes a cranky, tired toddler that can scream like a angry screaming banshee on fire.

This isn’t the first time we have made this trip, but it is the first time with my toddler, so it feels like the first time and I am so scared and nervous and I have no idea what to expect. See the last time we did this trip, I only had my two boys, and they were 6 and 5 years old. They could sit in the car the whole time we were able to drive straight down over 24 hours with no meltdowns or issues. Also we had my parents. The adults outnumbered the kids, and it was wonderful!

This trip, it will just be my husband, me and our three kids! The kids outnumber us, and that is kinda scary! Not that they don’t outnumber me on a daily basis, but this is going into unknown territory.

So far I have snacks planned. Lots of snacks. Because growing boys love food, and my toddler loves food. As for anything else? I still working on that! Snacks, food, bathing suits, more snacks!

And did I mention we are leaving in less than a month?! The days of last minute packing and planning and so far behind me, I don’t even remember them! Everything now is plan, plan, plan!

It may seem a bit much, but if I don’t plan like crazy and have a million lists my anxiety will go crazy. Think of it as feeding the beast so it shuts up. Ok, maybe not shuts up, but at least calms it down just a little bit!

Back to planning and writing! And just when I thought our trip to Niagara Falls with all three kids for 2 nights was a big deal…

~ Michelle

 

One Step At A Time

Hello New Day.
Hello New Week.
Hello New Adventure.

HelloMonday

Oh, what will this week hold? What do I hope to accomplish this week?

I am starting this week out completely and utterly overwhelmed, filled with anxiety, stress, and I’m already tired. I want to think positive, I want to believe that this week will turn out completely wonderful. But honestly, thinking that positive just seems like a lot of work right now. But that doesn’t mean I won’t try. One step at a time. One step at a time.

So this week I decided to start writing out weekly goals again. I hope it will help me to focus, and relax, so I can accomplish everything I need to, and mostly so I don’t end up crying on the kitchen floor. (Why is it always the kitchen floor?!)

So my goals for this week:

Home:

1. Get on top of laundry. Laundry is seriously evil.
2. Nightly clean up. Some days, especially lately I am just too tired at night, but I always regret it in the morning.
3. Home cooked meals. Having home cooked meals every night helps everyone moods and not to mention everyones tummy!

Family:

4. Have more non-tv family nights. Movie nights are fun, but card game nights… those are hilarious.
5. Go for more walks. I miss walks. We haven’t go on many walking adventures this summer. And that make me sad. I like going on walks with my kids.

Personal:

6. Remember that I am only one person and there is only so much I can do in a single day.
7. Starting working out regularly. My workouts have been so random, most days I don’t have time, but I need to start making the time!

Work:

8. Focus on one thing at time. I have a million ideas, but I can’t do them all at the exact same time!
9. Clean up and organize my work space.
10. Step out of my comfort zone.

What do you hope to accomplish today? This week?

I really hope this week is a good week. I really hope my anxiety monster stays at bay. This week is going to take a lot of effort. I hope my toddler lets me sleep this week! If she doesn’t that possibility of me crying on the kitchen floor will most likely happen.

~ Michelle