Dear women…

Yesterday I witnessed women viciously attack another woman on social media. It was disgusting. I was disgusted…

As women, we endure all sorts of things. The pressure of having children or a career. The pressure of being able to fall pregnant. The pressure of not having children too young or too old. The ‘tick tick’ comments. Dealing with society and the fact that we cannot do the things that men can do, without being judged. The pressure of being a good, no – GREAT Mum. Abortion. Miscarriages. Children with learning/physical/mental disabilities. Rape. The constant worry about your children. Learning to love our bodies – pre-baby and post-baby. And the list goes on. But the people that judge us the most…are other women.

We are always so quick to judge each other, compare ourselves and attack each other. Being a woman is hard. Being a Mother is hard. Being a good Mother is even harder. I was talking to a Mother of four the other day and she asked me how I am finding motherhood. I told her that it was hard, harder than I expected. She replied – “Motherhood is hard. Well, it is if you give a shit about how good of a job you are doing.” Motherhood begins the moment you conceive a baby, well I think so anyway.  It affects us all, whether we notice it or not and in different ways. Motherhood affected me physically (and being an emotional person already, emotionally) while some people are affected mentally. For a while after I had Amaya, I felt like I had failed. Like my body had failed her. But then I realised that I can blame myself all I want, it won’t get me anywhere or help us in a positive way. I also then realised that I was not a failure. I did everything the doctors told me to do, but at the end of the day, I can’t help that my body was rejecting DNA that it had recognised as not mine.

Having a miscarriage is not your fault and does not make you a failure.  Having a stillborn does not make you a failure. Not breastfeeding does not make you a failure. Having an abortion does not make you a failure or a bad person.

Those pro-life protestors would tell you differently, but they are also probably the same people that would judge you for not breastfeeding. (I legit rolled my eyes as I typed that). 

Not being able to conceive naturally does not make you a failure. Having trouble conceiving does not make you a failure.Giving your baby a dummy does not make you a failure. Postnatal depression does not make you a failure. Becoming a Mum is very overwhelming. The post-pregnancy hormones can kick you while you are down too. Whether you deliver your baby with no complications, whether you didn’t, whether you had an abortion, whether you were raped, whether you went back to work ‘too soon’, whether you put your baby in day care, whether you had a premature baby, whether you had postnatal depression, whether you don’t feel like yourself since the baby, whether you do…you are not a failure. If I am not a failure, then neither are you.

People can judge you all they want. But they do not know your situation. Even if they think they do, they don’t. This is your journey, and you are free to make your own choices. We are all in this together, why can’t we help & support each other? Is it really that hard to have compassion in your heart? If someone asks for help, try to help them. These days people are too proud to ask for help, because everyone is trying so hard to make it ‘appear’ like they are bloody kicking goals, all the time. So to ask for help is a big deal.

Some people might find this harsh, but I am honestly sick to death of women shooting each other down. What, all to make themselves feel better? Don’t get me wrong, I am not perfect and I am certainly not claiming to be. But I do try my hardest to support and help other women, even if I don’t agree with their decisions, as I know that they would have their reasons and you know what…it’s not my journey! If you are coping, then more power to you. I cope too, but there are definitely times where I cry, I feel like I am a shit Mum, a shit friend, a shit girlfriend and I am more tired than I had ever thought possible. This is not to make anyone feel bad about coping.

I know that we are all busy, but please take the time out of your day to tell a girlfriend how wonderful you think she is. You could also start telling yourself this, daily.

All my love,

B Xx

 

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Movin’ on

I have always struggled to remain angry or hold a grudge. I forgive almost immediately (in most cases…) and then just have the lesson with me (that doesn’t mean that I don’t think they are an idiot still). I will always remember what you did, but I can’t be angry for too long. I just cannot do it.

Forgiveness is a big thing and sometimes you have to accept the apology you never got. Swallowing my pride and apologising has never been an issue for me, I love peace too much. Shady people have come in & out of my life, as they do everyone’s, for years. I was never very good at spotting them. I always gave everyone the benefit of the doubt and trusted people from the get-go. Most people handled my trust with respect and care, others abused it. It took me a long time to realise that people act a certain way when they are hurt, miserable and angry. Happy people don’t go around destroying people. The moment I realised that, I stopped taking it personally. Life is too short to hate. Just learn the lesson, forgive and move forward. My lesson, was to learn to stop trusting everyone from the get-go. It took a while for me to learn this, so the universe  kept sending bitter, shady characters my way. I finally stuck up for myself and I stayed strong (I can often give in, just because I want things to be peaceful again & honestly am over it), but I knew that this was a lesson I had to learn, so I had to remain strong.

Sometimes situations play out unfairly (I used to think so anyway). I tend to keep things to myself or within my cliquè, therefore my side of the story can be left untold. I used to think this was so unfair, but then I realised, that the people that matter, don’t believe untruths about you. What Susie says about Sally, says more about Susie than it does about Sally – you quickly learn who knows this. My Dad always told me that you don’t need to reveal people, they will always come undone and reveal themselves in due time.

As long as you can justify your actions to yourself, then that is all that matters. If not, then it is really not that hard to say “I am sorry”- and mean it. You may not be friends again, because the friendship has served its purpose – but it never hurts to apologise & move forward with no bitterness in your heart. When I was a teenager, I used to apologise just to keep the peace, but these days, I don’t apologise unless I think I have done something wrong. That does not mean that you can’t approach someone with compassion in your heart in an attempt to ‘let it all go’ and move forward.

We aren’t here for that long, we need to co-exist and look after each other. That is the easy part, but something I will always struggle with is bitterness and jealousy. YOU are unique, there is no one else here like you – so why be jealous of other people? It is so obvious when someone is nasty to someone or dislikes them based on jealousy – it is not a pretty look and just shows your insecurities. Don’t hate someone because they are beautiful or have a lot of friends. Take the energy that you would WASTE on jealousy and use it to improve yourself, or just put it towards loving yourself, because when you love yourself – you don’t ever get jealous, you just get envious. Envy is the non-evil version of jealousy. You might be envious that someone is about to go traveling, but jealousy would be you hating them because they are going on a trip. Jealousy doesn’t feel good or look good, and you never are in a better position due to jealousy. It will make you bitter. Envy on the other hand, might motivate you in a positive way.

Someone once said something really horrible to me (so horrible that I either blocked it out or I didn’t really care, cos I can’t remember it), BUT what I do remember, is what they said to me after their nasty comment – “THERE. Now you know how I feel ALL THE TIME!”. Wow. First of all I felt compassion for them, how horrible to feel that way. Ever. Let alone all the time. Then I felt even more compassion for them, for the simple fact that they thought that it was everyone else’s fault that they felt that way. Happiness is a choice. They could stop feeling this way today. Well, they could start to stop feeling this way today.

 

“You have to learn to select your thoughts the way you select your clothes every day.” – Richard from Texas (Eat Pray Love).

 

Now, don’t get me wrong. I know what it’s like to feel down. Last year hit me harder than a tonne of bricks, for an array of reasons. A lot happened, some I shared with everyone, some I chose to keep within in my super close circle. So I know that sometimes you can’t just shake it off in a day. You have to process it. But here are my steps of how I dealt with some of the hardest shit that has ever happened to me..

  • I accepted it. It is, what it is. If you can’t change it, don’t waste energy on it. Open your eyes.
  • I talked to God. A lot. I talked to him like he was my friend.
  • I let myself feel the emotions. If I felt sad, I cried. But then I picked myself up. I believe in giving yourself a time limit. If something shit happens, then you say “ok, I am going to let myself feel this for a total of 30 days. Then I am going to start moving forward. In that 30 days I will cry as much and as often as I need to. I will talk about it with my friends, over and over if I have to (if you have good friends like me, they will listen to you over and over again – thank you to my saviours). Once 30 days is over, time to improve and take action.” You choose the time limit. Just be patient with yourself.
  • I approached my friend, she always has the spiritual stuff I am looking for. She told me to meditate. So now, every night before I go to sleep, I meditate. This was a game changer for me. If I miss one night, I am out of balance the next day.
  • Don’t accept people’s judgement. They don’t understand it like you do. If they judge you, get rid of them. YOU are the boss of your life.
  • Choose happiness. Everyday, find something to be happy about. I remember my spiritual guru told me to focus on your surroundings – what do you hear? What do you see? – the questions threw me off when she asked me. I replied “nothing”. Then I really listened, I heard the wind, the crickets, a car backfiring, someone laughing. I felt calm instantly.

Sometimes, when I think of last year, I still get tears in my eyes. Sometimes tears of amazement – not only because I think I am super strong and amazing, I know I have some super strong, amazing people surrounding me and that’s pretty brilliant, because good people are often hard to come across.

 

All my love,

B Xo