Tag Archives: stress

Public lives and behind the scene

I have spoken before about the public face and private face of social media and how very few of us (including me) share the ugly stuff of life in all its rawness when we post. Every now and then I break the rules and share some of the gritty stuff, not as a cry for help and attention but as a way of letting other people who are also going through a hard time know that they are not alone. I have a safe space on Facebook in a group of parents who have kids on the spectrum, or with ADHD, or the myriad of acronyms our children are diagnosed with. It is wonderful to talk about school refusal, medication side effects, the latest broken appliance or hole in the wall (none for a while luckily!) with people who don’t judge or offer advice like ‘you need to be stricter’, or ‘you need to stop them manipulating you’ or ‘have you tried changing his diet’. But I don’t tend to post that stuff in the open.

Sometimes it is because I just don’t want people to know how hard life is, other times I don’t want to deal with their pity. Because one of the absolutely hardest things in the life of a single parent of kids with special needs is that there actually isn’t anything anyone can do to make it better. It is my responsibility and my joy and my burden. And it is exhausting and rewarding and draining and bloody hard work. And even though I really just want to run away and hide some days, I don’t. Because where would I go, and how much worse would things be when I got back?

So my reality for today is that while I am feeling particularly broken today there is always something to keep me going. Today I managed to get my boy to school for the first time this week and as I sat outside the school after dropping him off, waiting to see if he would run away in the first 15 minutes, so I would know whether it was safe to drive away I felt like crying. But then I decided to drive past Spotlight to see if they had any new colours of t-shirt yarn and found they had a sale on all yarn! A full basket later I was back to counting my blessings and remembering how privileged I am compared to so many others. Because shopping therapy had brightened my day. (Well – lifted it a bit anyway.). Then I then popped into an op shop and heard a well dressed young woman with three kids in tow explaining that she was there for the food bank because her husband had left and she had no money to feed her children. I would put money on the fact that she wasn’t advertising that on social media. And yet there she was, being brave and resilient for her children. Getting on with life.

My message in all this? You know that saying about not judging people because you don’t know what they are battling? It is a good one to hold on to and to practice. It doesn’t matter how people are dressed or where you see them shopping. You don’t know their story and you don’t know how much kindness they need in their life. Be kind, always.

As for me? Creating is my therapy of choice as you know, so I have been busy making things and trying to ignore housework. And drinking tea.

Bookweek

One of the things that contributed to my stress over the weekend was the concept of organising book week costumes. Not really a big deal, but just one more thing to add to the list that I thought I should be fulfilling. Fast forward three days and I can report that it is all under control! The boy is going to wear his martial arts outfit and his Jedi knight robe (made by me for his birthday last year) and go as Luke Skywalker. The middle chick is going as Arky Sparkles, the heroine of a series of books she loves (who wears ‘normal clothes’ with a yellow scarf!). That left the eldest chick, who announced that she wanted to go as Susan from The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe and in fact from other Narnia books. Hmmmmm….. Thanks to the advent of the movies, that was trickier as she had ideas about what she wanted, based on the movie costume, rather than the book description. But – I have done it! A trip to the fabric store where I discovered that everything in stock was 30% off (yay!!) and overcoming my fear of sewing knit fabric (hooray for the overlocker!) resulted in a long ‘medieval’ dress and cloak that took me about an hour in total to make. She is happy and I am proud, so it is a win all round! The middle chick has crafted her a bow and arrow from pieces she found in the house and garden, and she will look great! OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

With that bit of sewing under my belt I have also pushed on to applique more t-shirts for my Etsy store. I am not thrilled with my photos and need to work on my lighting, but for now, at least I am happy with the shirts themselves!

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This week has been a bit disorganized so far, with my planned day off on Monday, and then two half days yesterday and today due to illness of various family members (none of which has turned out to be serious). Despite this the house is still a bit messy…… I am going with the concept of ‘lived in’ to get me through until the weekend when I will tackle it in a methodic way!

The good news is that I am starting to get back onto a more even keel. Some phone conversations with my parents, friends and MIML have helped. Taking the pressure off myself so that I don’t expect myself to ‘do’ everything is the biggest step. Now to maintain the momentum!

The rest of the week is filled with more sports training, and hopefully some full days in the office! I may even get some more sewing done – stranger things have happened! I hope that your week is travelling well, wherever you may be.