Inspiration

Look lady, you are your own worst enemy

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After recently writing a piece for my Fight or Fade BlogSpot, I realised a reoccurring theme for me seems to be guilt.

Writing my blog has become my personal therapy session. It allows me to sift through the journey I’ve been on, and vent all the feelings that have arisen. It has definitely helped me, and from the beautiful feedback I have been receiving it seems to be helping others as well — which to me is equally as important.

Re-reading my past blogs, it’s evident that guilt is one of the main feelings I write about. I was diagnosed with cancer of the cervix, which had spread to lymph and ovary, when my children were just 18 months and 3 years old … still babies. And we were already planning on number three.

At the time, I know I felt rattled and overwhelmed by the situation, but it is only now on reflection that I am dealing with and processing the feeling of guilt. A very intense, real, double-pronged feeling of guilt. A guilt that I will never be able to provide my husband with more babies, or my children with more siblings, and the guilt that I was not an active part of my babies’ younger years due to being so ill.

My husband is an amazing man and support. Right from the start he has repeatedly assured me  “I just want you around, happy and healthy, I have two beautiful children that you gave me, I don’t need anything but the three of you to feel complete”. So the feeling of guilt definitely does not stem from anything he has said. My children are happy, healthy, laugh with me all the time and tell me they love me, so the feeling of guilt does not stem from anything my babies are saying or any behavioral signs they are displaying (they are just regular kids that I love and drive me bonkers at the same time!).

So… what does this tell me? That the feeling of guilt purely stems from myself.

But why do I do this?

Over the past year or so — as the kids get a little older and I am out and about chatting to more people, more mums —  I have realised creating your own guilt is not something that I alone do. This is a common theme for most women, most mothers; we put huge pressures on our selves to be perfect. If we don’t feel like we did something perfectly, in walks guilt. I would call it ‘mothers’ guilt’, but I have friends without kids and they are not exempt from this.

Life is getting more demanding, more hectic, more in your face, and we are running on all engines to keep up with – and basically one-up — ourselves and others constantly! We have something I like to call Instalife and we have real life. Instalife is the curated life … all the fun pictures and fabulous status updates. And this of course is fab, beause I love seeing all my friends’ piccies of fun times flash up.

No-one is really supposed to like broadcasting the fits/tantrums/fights/bad hair days, but sometimes I like to mix things up to make people laugh when they are having a bad day. I post a two framed pic, one ‘Instalife’ and one ‘real life’. For example I posted a pic of my baby girl posing like an angel all dressed for ballet, and next to it a photo taken an hour earlier when she had turned into the exorcist child after being told ‘no you can’t have a biscuit, its 730am!’  Everyone loved it… why? Because it is what we all experience day to day, it’s real.  So here it is I propose a new instagram phenomenon to make us smile #instalifereallife piccies.

Everyone I chat to is saying the same things, “I’m tired”, or “I’m good, would love to catch up, but everything is so hectic at the moment”. I feel like I can’t keep up, my head is spinning most of the time, but why? Is it because I am getting pressure from other people? Maybe a little, but mostly it’s because I put so much pressure on myself!

I feel like I should be an amazing mother by cooking healthy meals, snacks, doing arts and crafts, taking the kids to after school sports and birthday parties. Work, wash the clothes, iron the work clothes, keep the house immaculate, go the gym, and then find time to do things for your husband and kids to maintain a happy family life. Somewhere in all that I have to find time for me… something I rarely do.

But something I have been told a lot since taking my path of recovery after cancer is that putting yourself first is actually one of the most important things. If you are not healthy and happy, how can you expect your family to be? Okay, so if I know this to be true… why do I still beat myself up so much when I want to have some ‘me’ time?

So advice to oneself… STOP IT!!!

Don’t strive for perfection, strive for happiness. Don’t compare yourself with others; they aren’t living your life in your circumstances. Maybe we all need to simplify, spend more time doing the things that make us laugh ourselves stupid. Advice I really need to take myself.

About Heidi Bryant

A registered nurse with a background in Operating theatres, now in the field of cosmetic aesthetics. A mother to two beautiful children and wife to an ex-professional athlete (NRL). An enthusiastic soul who has experienced a battle with cancer and with support, love and an inner fight beat the ‘c’ word and now using her battle to help counsel others via the blog Fight or Fade

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