Husband, Love

An open letter to my husband; The quiet man

As a little girl when something went wrong there was only one person who could comfort me and make things right, My Dad. Although I know it will frustrate me at times, its something I hope our daughter grows up to need also. There is no greater feeling in the world than knowing that you are the light of your Daddy’s life, his little girl who can do know wrong (ppfft!) and that he has your back no matter what. It’s already happening, I can see it in the way her little eyes watch you when you come into a room, there is nobody in the world like you in her mind. You are the king and she is a princess, even at 5 months old!

I was very fortunate to grow up surrounded by amazing men in my life. A granddad who adores and still spoils me, A wonderful Dad who guided me through life and two gorgeous brothers who have become my closest friends. Then I met you. The life and soul of every party, always up for a laugh and slightly wild, but polite and mannerly like a mammy’s boy should be, chatty but shy and unassuming.  I’ll be honest I didn’t expect much, thought you were too wild for me but it didn’t take long to realise you and I were made to be together, I tamed some of your wild ways and you brought out the wilder version of me, Now almost a decade on and we have experienced so much together. Everything we have encountered along the way has been met with us standing side by side, stronger together and ready to face anything that comes at us and my God there has been so much coming at us!

I was always independent. From a young age I always worked hard and paved my own way, I never relied on handouts or favours and I always did things my way. In my head I didn’t need anyone but myself. How untrue this has proved to be! I now see that gently and almost without me realising, that over the years I have come to depend on you in so many ways. You have become that person that I need when things go wrong, your voice is the one I want to hear on the end of the phone when I’m having a disastrous day, your arms are the ones I want to fall into at night and dissect the crappy day I’ve had, When someone hurts me, the only way the sting is softened is by hearing your reassuring words and knowing that no matter what happens, and even if the worst should come that you are there. Always there, standing by me ready to catch me if I fall.

I know this has not been easy, That I am not an easy person in general to deal with yet alone live with and you handle me with such grace and gentleness. You never complain or get angry about the way things are,you seldom take time for yourself and how you have the energy just to keep going I will never know.

I want to tell you that I am sorry. I am sorry for being a substandard wife at the moment while I give in to my sadness and let it consume me, I am sorry that I don’t always put you first like you do me, I am sorry there isn’t always a dinner ready for you when you get home or freshly ironed clothes, I am still struggling with this housewife thing and you are being so great about it. I know the last thing you want to do when you have been working for 12 hours is to come home and make a dinner but you do it anyway. I am sorry for starting arguments over the most stupid things just because I am frustrated with something else and need a release. I am sorry.

I don’t do it nearly enough but I want to thank you, for everything.  For being so understanding and patient while I try to get myself back together, and for helping me to do this. For putting up with my mental family and all the drama that brings, for getting up in the dead of night to go out and provide for us even though I know there are mornings you would rather pull your eyelashes out, for always supporting me and helping me achieve whatever it is im striving for this month, for being the best listener and knowing me so well. When I need to talk but can’t and we just sit there and have that silent conversation, you know the one. For never letting me down like so many others have done, for loving our daughter in a way that overwhelms me and loving me more than I deserve.

I love you so much and know you deserve better than me at the moment but I am positive I will get there with your help. I may not be the girl you fell in love with all those years ago, there are chinks in my armor, wounds that will never fully heal and although I sport bigger jeans now and need to dye the greys I am still in here so please bear with me, stretch your patience just a little bit further and don’t give up on me, I will come back to you.

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Depression

Fighting the demons

I haven’t been diagnosed officially with post natal depression but I know I have it. Actually,it’s just depression that happened to rear its ugly head following the birth of my baby. Honestly I think it’s something I’ve had for a long time but with all the changes in my life over the last two years I never took the time to give in to it. I just kept going. Now I can’t. Now the demons have finally come and I can’t fight them any longer.

The frightening thing is I still don’t really believe it, I still think even writing this I’m being so dramatic,there is a possibility this post won’t even make it to the blog because I may not publish it. I read all these blogs about depression and brave people talking so openly about it and I feel like they are writing about my life but yet I feel so detached from it all. Total denial. Even if I do post it, afterwards I will go and pick my daughter up from her nap,make lunch,put a wash on,welcome my husband home from work,make dinner and just carry on as normal. I will utter the words ‘I’m fine’ to D twenty times this evening because he will ask,he always does. He knows but he is at a loss as how to fix it,to fix me.

They say a good strong support system is important for someone with depression, mine is my husband and he’s my one man therapy team. He does everything he can for me,it used to be enough but now nothing helps. The reason I keep going is for him and my daughter, they need to be looked after,loved and cared for. They are the reason I get up every morning, they need me. My mother left our family when we needed her and I am determined not to do the same thing. I am determined just to get through each day but I’m not getting any better. In fact it’s getting worse.

This is the first thing I’ve written in weeks because I just can’t face it. I haven’t dressed or left the house in a few days now because I my mind won’t rest long enough to accomplish the simple act of getting ready or facing anyone that isn’t my husband. I don’t want to see anyone or do anything, and even though I can’t sleep, being awake is such a struggle. Its hard just to be. Days roll into each other and all of a sudden a week has passed and I don’t know where its gone or what I have done with the time.

I’ve always been slightly uneasy in myself. I had a happy childhood but it was a difficult one. I carried a secret through my teenage years which has left me unsure of things, I carried my family in my adult years when tragedy struck us and although I still try to look after everyone elses well-being now I feel I can no longer look after my own. I want to pull the blinds, lock the doors and pretend everything is fine.

I am the problem solver, the champion advice giver, the one who everyone can come to for anything they need. I am reliable and safe and I do my best to make sure everyone else is fine. I know what I should do for myself because I am a fixer, but I can’t do it. I cant begin to look for the help I need because I don’t want to talk to anyone about it, I wouldn’t know where to start. I think people wouldn’t believe me, that they would play it down or say I am just a stressed out new mother and I would say Okay, you’re right lets forget about it now and then I would have embarrassment and shame to add to my nightly worries. I also don’t think anyone would really understand. Dont get me wrong I am loved and have very special people in my life, but when you are the strong link in most relationships, people don’t really know what to do when you fall apart. This is based on experience.

For now I am just going try to get through each day until eventually it  starts to feel better and I really hope it will soon.

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Ireland, The Irish Pub

Ireland’s Best Days

I have just finished watching the documentary The Irish Pub and I’m feeling sadly nostalgic. Nostalgic about an era that I was not even a part of, a time I was not here for and things I did not actually see.  It’s a film about old-fashioned Irish pubs around the country, the publicans and their stories paint charming pictures of what Ireland was, and how they, in their own ways are trying to keep a part of it alive. Long known and famous for our drinking culture, this film is not about the alcohol, but more about a way of life in times gone by, how the local pub was the heart of the town. Where families met to discuss dowries, where the local bookie would take bets and run into the big town to place them, where couples courted and the dead were celebrated with wakes. Everything was so simple.

It got me thinking about Ireland today, and what it will be remembered for. What will my great-grandchildren be taught in school about the generations before them? What will be printed in the history books? Where I was lucky to grow up learning about the great Irish writers and poets such as James Joyce, Patrick Kavanagh and Wilde, will they learn about the modeling career of Vogue Williams and listen to greats by Jedward? Will that be our legacy? Will they learn about the bank bail-out, dirty politicians and brown envelope carry on? Yes this will be history, but hardly what we want to be remembered for!

Life back then was so simple. People went to work, raised their families, were part of a close-knit community, lived long happy lives and then died peacefully. If you wanted to make a call you had to cycle to the next town ( Some 20 odd kilometers away) nobody had a passport because what would they be doing leaving Ireland when they had all they wanted here.Nobody had any money but nobody cared.People were remembered by great stories and songs and lived remarkable lives.

Today life is so much more complicated. People are contactable all the time. We have appointments for acupuncture and reflexology, we spend money on holidays and nice cars, we have big important job and small families but are we happy? People of Ireland today don’t sleep, they worry too much, there is so much stress all around and we wish everything away. I can’t wait for the summer, I can’t wait to go on holidays, I can’t wait until Friday, I cant wait until it’s over.

Before the credits begin to roll on the documentary, they asked the publicans for advice to the people of today, and my personal favourite came from James Curran in Dingle who simply said ‘Slow Down’.

James-Curran

To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist. That is all. – Oscar Wilde.

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Life

The right way to do things?

In the week where I am focusing on staying positive (this has proven more difficult than I imagined with a sick teething baby!) I took the time to sit last night and take stock of my life to date and the worst thing anyone can do……compared myself to my friends. I did fare better in my mind than some of them but in any case it got me thinking about things, and the way society dictates where we should be in our lives and at what stage, and then contradicts by telling us were too young for this too old for that, It’s a vicious cycle.

I left school at 17, I was offered my college place but decided I was too young to go yet so took a year out and deferred my place until the following year. I got the taste for money and never actually made it to college much to the disappointment of my parents. I got a great job and worked hard and within a year I was running my own department. I met D when I was 18 and moved in with him after 6 months. Totally frowned upon. Where my friends all still living at home thought this was a very cool grown up thing to do, most people said we were too young, it was too soon and we would never last.  We spent two years bumming around, working hard but playing hard too and then we decided to get serious and settle down, We spent the next two years saving our little  bums off and we bought a house. I was 22. My parents, having since come around to D were actually happy because we seemed to be going down the ‘traditional’ road, (They were 17 when I was born so I think they were just happy we hadn’t done that first!) but everyone else of course had an opinion, We were giving up our youth to tie ourselves into a mortgage, what is the rush? Think of all the things we were going to miss out on. My friends were completely perplexed and had no reservations about telling me what a big mistake I was making and how I would regret it. Nevertheless we carried on. We got engaged when I was 24, Married at 26, G was born earlier this year when I was 27 and now I am the grand old age of 28!  A lot to accomplish in ten years. People have said we were lucky, we were in the right place right time job-wise, we bought our house after the boom which means were not stuck with a huge negative equity mortgage but i resent this statement always. It wasn’t luck. We worked so hard for so long to get where we are today.Yes we gave up lots of things and had to make sacrifices but all for the end result which we got. Did they not think we knew what we were doing when we began on this path, that this was the plan, to have lots of the hard work done by time we were thirty so we would have time then to sit back and reap the rewards of our hard work? Did they not trust our judgement?

Fast forward to now and all of a sudden we were so smart! We had the right idea,aren’t we so lucky to be so settled and ‘have it all’ ?!

Friend 1 – Engaged but living abroad with no hope of returning because of our shitty economy even though all she wants to do is come home. She left Ireland and gave up a good job to follow a guy. She is now marrying said guy so it all worked in that department but its possible she will be stuck living somewhere for the rest of her life that she does not want to be.

Friend 2 – Also gave up an amazing job to follow a guy on his travels. They’re back now a few years and engaged to be married but are both jobless and living separately back with mammy and daddy. Wedding is booked with no idea how they are paying for it, trying to find somewhere to live and all the while all she wants is a baby.

Friend 3 – Ever the career woman. Spent all her days telling us she was never getting married or having kids. A city slicker who has crazy life. Now has heard the ticks of her biological clock, decided she must buy a house, get married and have a baby in the next 6 months or she will just die! Oh, but how do you pay for all this stuff she asked me as we drank coffee out of mugs that cost her €200 ??

Research says the perfect age to buy your first home is 35, get married at 29 and have a baby at 34 (but finish having babies at 35..WTF??) So basically you should get married, have a baby and then find somewhere to put said baby and spouse, Hardly ideal!

I’m not saying we did it the right way, but we did it our way, and now they are doing things they’re way and I don’t have an opinion on it one way or another other than I hope they all get what they want in life and are all happy. Everyone always has an opinion on what you should or should not do and when is the right time, and this has never been more relevant than with having a baby. Judgement and comparison go hand in hand with parenting. It can be hurtful if you let it get to you, It can make you doubt your decisions, decisions you have made with your partner that no doubt you have put a lot of time and thought into. When we should wean, when baby should crawl/walk/potty train, breast or bottle. Its endless!

I’ve learned to trust my instincts, even though I’m a new parent and there is lots to learn still I know I will never know it all. I will do my best and not listen to anyone’s opinions unless I have asked for them! Definitely the way to a happier life!

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Uncategorized

10 Things that make me happy

I’ve been feeling very negative lately and down in the dumps but no more! This week I am taking back control and focusing on things that make me happy and I will fight to remain positive no matter how tough the day gets.

So to kick this off, today I’m focusing on the things that make me happy and that I love about my life right now.

1. The fact my husband works short days. He starts work at 4 am so is home most days by 2.30 which means G and I are lucky to have a huge chunk of the day with him.

2. The good weather (At the time of starting this Blog the sun was shining!). I am a SAD sufferer (seasonal affective disorder) which means weather and seasons  really make a difference to my mood.This current spell of good weather has been amazing. Longer days filled with sunshine makes it so much easier to get up and get going.Long may it last.

3. Being off work. I get to enjoy my days with G without the stresses of office work and commuting.

4. Early nights for baby. She doesn’t sleep all night but she does go down by 6.30 meaning that I get the whole evening with D and have even gotten back into a few box sets!

5. G’s christening is coming up soon and I’ve enjoyed the planning of it. It’s been ages since we had a good celebration so I’m really looking forward to the day.

6. My tan. Not being couped up in an office for ten hours a day means I’ve gotten to enjoy the sunshine when it comes and this has made for a very impressive summer glow considering I still spend most of my time in the house!

7. Good friends and family. I’m blessed to be surrounded by a great group of people who couldn’t do enough for me and adore G. As they saying goes it takes a village to raise a child and I am so lucky to have my own village!

8.My Husband. Honestly the most patient man who ever lived. Sure he drives me crazy, but mostly that’s because I let stupid things annoy me but he is the only one that knows what to do for me in a crisis, and the only one that can comfort me when I need it.

9. My baby girl. I’m grateful every day to have her in my life and can’t believe how big of an impact this tiny creature has made in the short space of 4 months. She makes the future  so exciting and her little bones are the reason I get up each day.

10. Blogging. I’m new to blogging,and I started to do it because I’m the type of person that always has a lot to say and find that it is my release now. Even if nobody reads anything I write it helps me to keep myself going and makes a stressful situation seem so much funnier in hindsight when writing about it. I’ve met some amazing bloggers since I started and made some great friends so far so for that alone I’m so grateful.

K xx

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Teething

A bad few weeks in the Undone household!

There has been no sleep in our house for two weeks now and as a result no time to do anything at all yet alone take 5 minutes to blog!

G is teething and had injections recently so has been unwell. She also decided her little spell of sleeping through the night a few weeks back was far too boring and has decided to get up 4 times a night of late, not because she is hungry, not because there is actually anything wrong with her but for the craic! To have night-time banter with mam and dad because clearly we do not spend enough daylight hours with her anymore.

She is 4 months now and I know this happens as at this stage there is a huge leap in development but it doesn’t make it any easier and I feel that every time we make some progress we take ten steps back, Its exhausting!

When she began to sleep through the night I stuck to her routine like a sergeant major, making sure nothing would mess with my girl and her full restful night of sleep. We made the difficult decision of moving her into her own room, I cried for a day over this but D thought it was time and to do it while the going was good, and wasn’t that the reason we had spent a fortune on a fancy monitor so we could ship her off to the west wing of the house and still hear her.

You would think that with not sleeping during the night the days would be filled with peaceful naps but you’d be wrong. She doesn’t want to sleep at all! Sure we can sleep when were dead right? There is a reason that sleep deprivation is used as a form of torture! The days have been spent in a haze of a coffee filled starving state, bouncing, rocking, tears and cuddles, and that was just me! I have longed for bed time just to have a few minutes of uninterrupted silence, but then the dinner has to be made and eaten, the clean up has to be done and by the time this happens the sleep stealer is up again to start all over again. Its cruel.

The lack of sleep has made me psychotic. I’ve fought with my husband about the amount of time he has slept, the fact he gets to go to work ( because obviously that’s so much fun for him! ) and have all that free time! I have walked around the supermarket with my head down for fear that if someone said hello I would assault them, I’ve been rude to the postman who after hammering on the door got an earful, obviously he didn’t know my child had just gone to sleep for the first time in 17 hours. I have avoided seeing my friends because I do not have the metal capacity this week to cope with their stories about boozy antics in the sun without slapping them because I so need sun at the moment, and booze, lots of booze! I have been a bad mammy, getting frustrated and impatient with G when she needed a cuddle and I had to deal with the more pressing issue of laundry.

Its been a bad few weeks.

I’m allowing myself this weekend to end my crazy mammy streak, I will indulge in self-pity and more chocolate than I should and then on Monday we will start again.

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Maternity leave

Oh how you’ve changed… The ‘return to work meeting’

I had the ‘ return to work’ meeting with my employers yesterday, as my maternity leave is officially due to end in the next few weeks, they were keen to know my plans. This meeting was anxiously awaited on my part as I have not stepped foot inside the building since I left to have my baby five months ago and with good reason. You see, I could not wait to leave, not just because I was excited to have my bundle of joy arrive, but also because I spent six months of my pregnancy in utter frustration with my workplace. I’ll tell you a little about my job.

I work for a large firm which is more male dominated than Old Trafford on a Saturday afternoon. Where women are fine to work with (or in my case work for) if they are young and single, less so when they are married and they become totally defunct when they become mothers. Despite this I love my job. I have worked there for a long time, worked hard to move my way up and always thought I was a valued asset to the company so you can imagine my surprise and disappointment when I announced my pregnancy and was met with and I quote ‘ Oh… are you coming back?… are you taking the extra maternity leave?…. I never thought you would get pregnant!…Oh Congrats! ‘ I shit you not! Even though my maternity leave was not due to begin for several months, my replacement was hired and put in place the following week ( A guy, just saying! ) and I was pretty much left to sit on my big pregnant arse and await my special delivery. This may sound great to some, but it was not done in the ‘ Oh you’re pregnant, have a break you deserve it’ kind of way. No. More the ‘ Oh you’re pregnant therefore totally useless to me’ Kind of way. I was pushed aside, excluded from meetings I would have always attended and my opinions were no longer deemed relative in decision-making. I was looked at with disappointing eyes and spoken to in condescending tones. When I would get angry at incompetent staff members, it was brushed aside with an expression that read ‘ don’t mind her it’s just the hormones’. Nothing I did or said was taken seriously and I was undermined constantly. I had let them down. My potential to be successful was ruined and they had wasted ten years getting me to where I was.

I left a month early having been diagnosed with gestational diabetes and put on bed rest which in hindsight was the best thing that could have happened as the last month of pregnancy is a bitch and someone would have definitely been murdered with a stapler had the treatment continued. I have to tell you most of this backlash came from my manager, who is a woman. This was the lady I was meeting yesterday.

As soon as I arrived I knew something was different. I was greeted with hugs and countless questions about how my maternity leave was, how I have been since giving birth, how was the birth and the real giveaway was when she asked to see pictures of G…. But of course…. SHE IS PREGNANT!!!! Oh how I laughed (In the car on the way home of course, I’m not an animal! ) what followed was a very positive meeting, lots of talk about sore boobs, the exhaustion of the first trimester, the sickness, insomnia, and of course how she was finding it so difficult to work at the same pace now that she was growing a tiny human!

Lets just say my requests on returning were met with a lot of positivity and understanding, you see now we share some common ground and she finally gets it. When I go back she will be in her last few months and I can’t wait! Karma and all that…

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