Christmas for the Elderly

I’ve been taking my kids to the nursing home I work at every Christmas Eve for many years (even before the little ones were born). They hand out chocolates and lollies and wish them all personally a Merry Christmas. It teaches them that Christmas isn’t just about them, or presents or Santa. I’m grateful that my teenagers are still happy to come along to do this together with me.

The elderly absolutely love children, seeing them makes them happy and fills them with joy.

I hope if you have any relatives or friends in a nursing home, spare a thought and maybe if you can, to pop in there personally- give them a big hug, wish them a very Merry Christmas and tell them you love them

 

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Christmas Rescue Plan

5 more sleeps til Christmas.

To many, it’s a joyous occasion and they can’t wait to spend the day opening presents with their family and their loved ones. Spending time with people they love and care about, and an opportunity to catch up with people they don’t get to see very often.

To some, it can be a very anxious time of the year. You may feel like you have to spend the day with people that are negative or are quite toxic to you and your family. Maybe some of them have made it very clear to you that they “just don’t like you”. Some of you may feel like you haven’t got a choice, you’ve got to just suck it up and play “happy families” with everyone on this one day that is meant to be happy and joyous. Some of you may have decided that this is the year you’re going to “do our own thing”.

Either way, don’t forget to protect your own sanity, your own safe space in your head. Choose what you want to do on that day, choose to make that decision where you’re not going to let certain people get to you and how you are going to react to those people.

It is not them that is going to affect your version of Christmas Day. It is YOUR reaction that will affect it. Keep calm and enjoy the day the best way you can. Come up with #myrescueplan, think about how you’re going to deal with difficult people – in a positive manner for YOU. Think about it NOW, before Christmas Day, so you don’t react in a negative way at the last minute. Or they will win, by ruining YOUR day. Protect yourself and your family. And find a way to enjoy this day.

 

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Exercising Makes You Feel Better!

The other day I said I’ve started to do something about my weight. I love love love food. Cheese, fried chicken, noodles, rice, curries etc. I cringe at the thought of eating anything that resembles healthy-eating. “I’m not eating rabbit food.” – is my normal go to excuse. I’m not a big drinker, but I’m a big eater.

So what’s the other alternative? I’ve started exercising. I used to say to everyone that I exercise “solo”. I’d put on my headphones and go for a run. I used to love it so much. Just being on my own. But over the last few years I lack the motivation and the time or time management skills to actually get out of the house to go for a run on my own. Family came first. Then cooking meals or catching up with friends for coffee was waaaay more important. Oh and joining the gym is just financially not possible.

Then the weight piled on. I went off my meds, hated my body etc etc

One day my friend Kerry asked to join her for a 30 min exercise class at the park. It was fantastic, I was sore for days. So I put on my personal FB page “Who wants to train with me? It’s only for 30 mins!” And I was so happy that quite of few of them said YES!

The moral of the story is, it’s so much better exercising in a group, especially if it’s with your fellow sisters. ASK your friends to do this with you, and if they do, EVERYBODY WINS. It’s sociable, great for your mental health and you get to lose weight.

Look for exercise groups in your local area. Then drag a friend or a group of friends with you. Our trainer charges us $5 per session and it’s only for 30mins (for a high intensity work out). We take our kids with us and they play together while the mums work out. You might even make new friends.

And remember, ACTIVE WEAR IS OPTIONAL 😂 T-shirt and shorts is fine. Nobody actually needs fancy active wear to exercise.

Today’s session, someone said, “Oops I peed a little” and we all burst into giggles. Our trainer nearly swallowed a fly and we all cracked up.

Take the first step. Ask your friends. I did. I had a shit day yesterday. But I feel great today. Let’s motivate each other ❤️ One day at a time ❤️

 

#MyRescuePlan

So Adam and I talked about having a “rescue plan”.

I’ve been on and off my meds for a few years. Every time I went off them, I had no real plan to deal with the aftereffects and the withdrawals. I would wait for the side effects to happen and then the meltdowns. I can handle the physical effects (head zaps and wobbles) but the mental ones were really hard. I didn’t know how to cope, and Adam didn’t either.

We talked about it last night, about how to deal with these uncontrollable meltdowns – when my state of mind is all hazy and messy and all over the place. When I’m like that, nothing Adam could say would help me. So I came up with a plan. A “rescue plan”. For days like I had a few days ago.

The plan is for Adam to first recognise the signs. Then this:

Don’t offer solutions
Don’t say only I can fix this
Don’t remind me it’s my depression (because I already know that)
Don’t tell me to “calm down”
Don’t be defensive – It’s not about you

INSTEAD

Be soft with me
Tell me you “get it”, you understand
Let me ramble, even if you don’t know what I’m rambling on about
Hold me tight while I cry
Kiss me
Stroke my hair
Offer to take me out for a meal, just the two of us
Go for a walk with me, hold my hand or put your arm around me
Tell me you love me ❤️

Please remember I’m not telling anyone to go off their meds if it’s working for them. This post is for anyone who ISN’T on their meds. This doesn’t have to be targeted to husbands only. This could be for partners, parents, friends who are here to support you. Come up with your own “rescue plan” and the plans can ALWAYS be changed and altered ❤️

Please please please share 🙏🏼

#myrescueplan #postnataldepression #awareness

I Screamed At My Husband and He Didn’t Deserve It

I screamed at my husband on the phone this morning. He didn’t deserve it.

As some of you may know, I’ve come off my meds. It’s been about 2 months now that I’ve been completely off them. Most days I can handle. And when they’re really good, I keep thinking I should put up a positive blog on here to let everyone know that it’s all good. But I didn’t because I didn’t want to jinx it.

Last couple of weeks have been hectic and quite the strain on me emotionally and physically. More so emotionally. I’m letting idiots get to me. I’m letting people from every part of my life get to me. I’ve allowed people I don’t even really care about get into my head.

My kids are driving me crazy. Both toddlers and teenagers. The younger ones broke one of my favourite Christmas bells that I’ve had for 15 years. When I got home from work last night I found about a hundred (ok maybe less) sultanas all over the living room floor. And then I couldn’t find Miss 4’s school uniform, so I had to turn the house upside down. I can never seem to find anything in MY OWN HOUSE.

And the tears. The tears keep flowing.

I go to bed every night planning the next day and nothing goes to plan. Other shit keeps coming up because I can’t say no.

It’s end of the school year and I see everyone all organised with gifts for teachers. I haven’t even started and it’s the last week of school.

There is so much more but if I listed every single thing, my words would seem hazy and messy.

Last two nights at work have been mentally draining. So I let out a rant on my personal FB page about feeling so burnt out. I got so many messages from friends asking if I was ok and lending me support. So I quickly deleted that post. Last thing I’d ever want is for my friends to roll their eyeballs thinking I was being dramatic or attention seeking.

Then this morning I got a message from one of my friends, who opened up to me and was so honest in how he feels about his life. He said his life feels like it’s “wash, rinse, repeat”, and it annoys the shit out of him. Then he went on to give me the best advice “You’re a ripper Sharon. You’re a good person and the people around you enjoy your company. That’s a bloody good start. Take a small problem and make it go away, then work on the next one.”

I dropped Miss 4 off to school and went to Coles. Sat in the car for ages and stared out the window. Is it still postnatal depression? My youngest is now 3. How long is this supposed to last? Or is it no longer PND? Is it something else? Is it just “regular” depression? OR is my life just too busy?

I rang my husband on the phone in the car. I started off silent because I was all choked up. We talked about how I’m feeling. And as I’m telling him, I know those things are nothing in the grand scheme of things. But I couldn’t quite articulate it as well as I can write it. So it sounds like everything is shit. But it’s not. I don’t remember the whole conversation but it ended up with me screaming. I don’t even know what I screamed about.

I came home from Coles and there he was, Adam pulling up into the driveway. We had the same conversation in the kitchen. Everything he said or asked me, I took offense to. Naturally, he’s at a loss. I started crying again and told him it’s better if he left.

How do I explain to someone that it’s “not you, it’s me”? It’s not the untidy house, not the usual stress that we all go through, not anything that can actually be fixed. It’s my STATE OF MIND. It’s all over the place. Ask me what’s wrong and I can rattle off a list of things that’s pissing me off but I know every single thing on that list can be fixed. So what else is it?

How do I fix my mind though? Exercise? Straight jacket? Meditation? Medication? Probably. But right now, I’m just expressing my raw honesty of what’s going through my head. And the honest truth is, I don’t know what the hell is going on.

I’m okay though, really I am. I’m not suicidal (but possibly just a tad homicidal), I still love my husband and kids with every cell in my body. I don’t want any of my friends to come up to me and feel sorry for me, or even worse, see me as someone that needs fixing. If they try to fix me, I’ll probably fix their face with my fist.

Adam, I’m sorry. And thank you for coming home and I’m sorry for today. I appreciate your love and your patience. Don’t know where I’d be without you, I love you so so so much.

Friends who have sent me messages and the big warm hug I got from one of the most awesome friends I’ve got, thank you.

My state of mind right now, is all fucked up but I know I can fix this 💪🏼

Mr 3 has fallen asleep in my arms and there’s no better feeling than this. Look at that squishy face.

 

I Should Be Happy With My Body But I’m Not

I’ve seen plenty of positive body image videos and campaigns on Facebook and social media sources – enough to make me believe I should be happy with my own body.

I should. But I’m not.

Now I know I’m not overweight, nor am I obese. But my body makes me very unhappy. I feel like my mind is completely separate from my body. I’m outgoing, happy and positive with every other aspect of my life. I’m confident and strong, and there’s never a moment in my life where I’m bored. I’m constantly busy.

But when it comes to my body, I am embarrassed, I’m depressed and I hate it with a passion. I look in my full length mirror everyday and I hate what I see. I criticise just about every part of my physical self. My tummy, after 4 pregnancies, has been stretched like a shade sail over a family sized swimming pool.

I’ve told some of my friends about it and whether they’re being kind to me or if they actually do mean it, I don’t believe a word they’re saying to me when they say I still look great, or that I’m the perfect size etc etc. A few days ago a friend of mine said to me, very gently, that I’ve got serious body image issues. Yes, I know I do.

I’ve been so down with my body that at times I’ve cried to my husband, asking me why he’s still married to me. That he could be with someone so much thinner and fitter than me.

I know this may seem ridiculous to some. I know I’m UNdoing the work of many women who fight hard to tell the world that we have to accept and be happy with who we are. I know that I should be an example to everyone in my life, to show them that life is not all about your dress size.

At the moment, I can’t do it. I hate that I’ve allowed myself to get to the weight that I am now.

As a young woman, I could out-eat my two brothers. I could eat anything, whenever I wanted, and not put on an ounce. It’s a totally different story now. My metabolism has slowed down as I’ve gotten older. I still appreciate rich foods (ok, mainly KFC lol) and as an adult, I allow myself to give in to whatever I am craving at the time. The weight has now piled on.

But I want to say this. I’ve started doing something about it. If you’re happy with your body, great. If you’re not, the only way to deal with it is to do something about it. I’ve put off exercise for the last 3 years. I go through stages of going out for a run for a week, then I stop for 6 months. But this time, I’m taking charge of my own body. I’m not proud of mine right now and I want to be. I want to be happy with my body again. And it starts now.

I Baked My Son’s Birthday Cake, And It Was Awesome

That, my friends, is a happy face. He didn’t see a single crack in his cake, he didn’t see any of the imperfections that I focused on and he didn’t see the stress I was in nor hear the swear words that came out of my mouth.

All he saw was an amazing Thomas the Tank cake that his mum made, and spent the day with all his friends playing and jumping on a big bouncy castle that we hired.

Yesterday was a very special day for him. He’s been invited to so many birthday parties this year, and could not understand why he couldn’t keep any of the presents and wasn’t allowed to blow out the candles.

We spent months going to Big W looking at Thomas the Tank toys and I had to tell him he had to wait for his birthday. And not once, did he ever throw a tantrum.

And so yesterday, he got to blow out his candles on his cake. He was over the moon. And when it was time to open presents, with EVERY single present, he asked me “Is this mine? Is this one for me?” (And there were a lot of presents lol)

I wanna thank all my friends who turned up yesterday, it was really special for all of us, especially for our little Luke. He woke up this morning still on a high (probably from all the sugar he had lol) ❤️

To all the parents who make their own cakes, or buy their cakes or buy a woolies cake with sprinkles on it, thank you for being you, for wanting your child to be happy on their special day.

This is my Facebook post prior to this blog! https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2F120fingersandtoes%2Fposts%2F1113081225396468&width=500