Friday, 20 July 2012

Reflection and Re-direction!

This last couple of weeks have been tough for a variety of reasons and from a range of angles, and I felt like I was in a blizzard and couldn't find my way out. So I did what I always do when under this kind of stress and tackled each event on it's own, sometimes by thinking it through (in my head and on paper) and sometimes with direct action:
  • At the beginning of the week I thought long and hard about my fearful reaction at being harshly judged and criticised by another adult for my parenting decisions. It, along with the next event in the week, brought back painful memories of being bullied as a young adult and this is clearly something I need to deal with at some point.
  • Two days later My five year old daughter was punished by a gymnastics coach for saying 'no', I went to her aid and challenged the coach on the spot. I later decided I couldn't let it pass and made a complaint to the welfare officer. Their response was unsatisfactory and I have escalated my complaint to British Gymnastics. Suffice to say she is not returning there! In thinking through my reactions to this event, although it added to my feelings from earlier in the week, it confirmed some positive things. The main one is that I have an intuitive, trusting, loving relationship with my daughters. My commitment never to compromise this, no matter the situation, the lost opportunities or the repercussions is the right one and my daughters rely on that as the foundation stone for their confidence and consolation. I won't go into the particulars as it would fill a whole blog post but my heart was already overflowing when......
  • Two days after that My older daughter was tested as severely dyslexic and dyscalculic and I was distraught..... I knew it already but being told is a different matter! I came away very sad and cried my heart out for the third time that week! I reached out to friends and family and had some amazing support in response and after talking it through with my husband we began to take some positive steps towards dealing with it OUR way rather than the prescriptive way we were being told to deal with it..... but this really IS another blog post and one I will definitely be writing as I'm so excited about it.....
  • Whilst all this was happening, in the background, our house purchase was quietly falling apart - to put it in context, this is the third house this year that we have tried to buy and have now either spent or are liable to pay, thousands of pounds even if we never actually purchase it! I did everything possible, e-mails, phone calls, more phone calls, asking nicely, asking not so nicely but still it crumbled..... until this week when it seems to have quietly got back on track so we are now cautiously optimistic!
Despite having tackled all these things though, it just wasn't enough, I was only fire-fighting and I knew it! I had had no energy since before then for the really important things, like putting my children and husband first, eating healthily and sleeping and there was no room on the horizon for them either. My to-do list was stacking up to 'critical' level and the pressure was so intense that I couldn't relax or decide what to do first when I actually HAD time to do something!

Drastic action was needed and I'm dubbing this the 'dump and run' technique - I cut out all non-essential commitments and activities:
  • The Open University course.
  • The child minding network that made extra requirements on my time in paperwork, meetings and 'compliance visits'.
  • The foray into 'terrific for two's' - the government initiative for funded places for two year olds that WOULD have required me to do extra paperwork and be checked more often!
  • I drastically reduced my working hours to ensure regular time focused purely on my own children.
  • I put away all paperwork that I've been doing in a bid to gain an 'outstanding' rating at my next inspection and have decided that 'good' is good enough and outstanding will just have to be in the eye of the beholder!
Initially, instead of feeling better I felt guilty, inadequate and low - I decided not to push things and just give myself time and that my head will naturally adjust to the new status quo and we will go from there. I am already feeling more peaceful and hopeful and have been enjoying reading without feeling guilty that I should be doing something else instead! Despite a stinking cold, I feel better than I have felt in months and have relaxed now that certain battles and torments have been removed.

I have been here before - this is a cyclical process of mine unfortunately but I DO get better at recognising and dealing with it I think! And it isn't an entirely negative experience - far from it in fact - I am always amazed by the bright new directions I am led in after I emerge from the dark and murky unpleasant bits! My husband and I used to call it the 'silver lining effect', that something good would always come after the bad stuff - I long ago learned to attribute it to God and His plan for me and perhaps I am just learning to listen better!

Although we are all - apart from Idris - showing varying signs and symptoms of 'soul fever', we dealt with it in the main part with humour, affection, empathy and patience. I am truly grateful for the hardcore of friends and family that were around to prop me up in my hour(s) of need!

Now for the next chapter - beginning tomorrow with my baby boy's first birthday!!!!

1 comment:

  1. Well done for stepping back taking a long hard look and for having the bravery to act.