And while this lack of confidence doesn't make itself known to the world at large, it is crippling in it's ability to lay me out, when all I want to do is shine. I couldn't even tell you what the voices in my head are saying, I don't hear them any more, because it is so deeply ingrained in my being that I am not that I can set myself into a tail spin without even opening my mouth.
Sophie is bringing me things from the garden (seeds, fruits, weeds or such), while I stare at a blank page. I'm in the "any excuse" phase of being shit scared to write, because what if trolls comment, or somebody hates it, who am I to think that I can do that? I mean, I've been blogging for 9 years, I've seen bloggers go and I've seen bloggers grow, what do I know, why can't I grow? These noises plague me so much that I forget to just write, I make excuses for not getting things done, it's only my goals that I'm missing, it's only me that I'm letting down, what does it matter? Then I look at that grubby little face that's bringing me weeds, and I remember that I'm telling my story for her, whether it's through photos of her growing up or tips and tricks I've learnt on my parenting journey or foods that get inhaled in 5.3 seconds. I don't actually want to be that big blogger, I just want to inspire the 40-something mum who finds herself living toddlers again, the mum struggling with teen behaviour, the mum cooking chicken nuggets and sausages every night because kids are fussy. #iamenough #tellthestory #catestory #catescup #longwinded #inmybackyard #olw_growth
Take blogging for example. I've been at it for 9 years now. I love writing, and preserving my story, our story. Toni and I joke all the time why aren't we big like that blogger who's been blogging for five minutes?, after all, we've been at this gig a long time. But I realised last week that I've been chasing the wrong dream, someone else's dream. And once I realised that, the rest of my struggles melted away (well, not quite, sitting at the computer without a child on my back is still difficult) But it wasn't until I started to ramble and actually voiced the words that were caught up inside me that I could see that I had value, that I was important in my blogging journey.
So, while I'm emotionally hungover (my new favouritist term in the world) and struggling with feeling right, how do I remember that I have value?
By focusing on the things that I can control, and reminding myself, as I try to remind the kids on a daily basis, that the only person who's actions I can control are mine. Because while it's really easy to say the words, and compare myself to someone else's journey, actually doing something to change that response is probably the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. I'm the excuse-slayer, remember?
But if just saying the words to yourself "I am enough" isn't enough, how about these ideas
1 - create a list of all the valuable things you doI'm obsessed with lists at the moment. Maybe it's my bullet journal finally rubbing off on me, but if I'm thinking something over, the easiest way to see it outside of my head is in a list. And the second I finish writing this, I'll be creating a list of all the valuable things I do, and reminding myself often of them.
2 - listen to musicLike lists, I'm obsessed with Robbie Williams' new song "Love My Life" Have you listened to the words? "I am powerful, I am beautiful, I am free, I love my life" I think the kids are fed up with it already, because it is on repeat. endlessly. every. day. I've just created a playlist that I titled "inspired" and filled it with kick-arse music that
3 - affirmationsI've never really understood the power of affirmations, but playing that Robbie Williams song over and over has finally explained it to me. In a fabulous piece of synchronicity, this marvellous post from Marc and Angel was shared in the One Little Word® classroom this month. Another thing to create a list for!
4 - time out for self-careI have always prioritised doing my thing over housework, because I have always truly believed that "to have happy kids, you need a happy mother" But as we walk this path with Douglas, I've come to realise that it hasn't been as a high priority as I thought it was. I mean, my practise for One Little Word® this month is to create every day, but I've given myself all sorts of outs like "baking is creativity", "writing is creativity" (and while I believe all those things are creative, the point is I've made an excuse not to focus on just one aspect of creativity) And while self-care is more than a glass of wine and a bath, taking time for those basics is important, too.
5 - ask someone elseWhen I popped that post up on instagram, I didn't expect to connect with other people who were also struggling. In fact, it wasn't even the thought I had intended when I started writing! But it struck a nerve with other mums and bloggers alike, who commented and messaged and said out loud we see you. Sometimes sharing the weight with someone else really does make it seem so much less. And if you're looking for some realism, just ask your kids what they think you do all day, they'll bring you down to earth with a bang!
How do you remember your value to the world?
Linking up with Capturing Life