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Learning the World.

Musings on relocation, exploration and other general oddities.

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emotions

We interrupt your regularly scheduled programming to bring you this important announcement….

This has been the strangest St Patricks Day. I know you don’t need me to tell you why. My anxiety wouldn’t let me type it out anyway (although it has supplied me with some great pitches for post apocalyptic fiction).

Today is also my daughter’s first St Patricks Day. And I’m thinking about what this all means for her – not the impact of the virus, but the impact of my mental health.

Me and my brain are not always the best of friends. I am so much better at balancing my mental health than I used to be. But it’s not great. And this whole thing isn’t helping.

I don’t want to hide my bad days from her. But I don’t want to scare her with them either. I want her to know that it’s alright not to feel okay. I want her to know that this too will pass. I want her to know that her feelings are valid and always allowed in this house, even when her feelings scare her or feel out of control. And I worry that I’m not the best person to teach her that, even though I’m doing my best to keep myself going, even though I can put words on my own experiences, even though I have taught children to feel and name their feelings for years.

I couldn’t be the person – or the parent – I am today without the person I married. A few weeks ago, the two of them went out to the library, and came back with “Happy Hippo, Angry Duck” by Sandra Boynton. It’s everything I needed. To quote “I hope you are happy, but if you are not, you have friends who will help you – we like you a lot. And a difficult mood is not here to stay, everyone’s moods will change day to day”.

I know that my moods will not always be easy. I know that we’re all facing something incredibly stressful. I believe we will get through all of this. I hope we can raise our daughter to understand that difficult days don’t last forever and that even when I’m sad, angry and anxious, I still love her. And that her emotional outbursts, however strong, will never stop me loving her.

Just keep boobing…

Today is the last day of World Breastfeeding Week. Without doubt, breastfeeding has been the hardest part of becoming a parent for me. I’m not going to detail all the issues, because frankly I can’t be bothered, but in brief – tongue tie, nipple shields, expressing, top ups, hospital trips. But as I look down at my little one, snoozing on the boob and sleep smiling to herself, I don’t regret my decision. But it’s not always an easy decision to make.

Continue reading “Just keep boobing…”

What a difference a year (or two or three) makes

This time last year, I was stuck in Belfast, at the mercy of Sneachtageddon, writing about daffodils  – and, like many others who campaigned for Repeal, I was looking forward to May with a mixture of trepidation and hope. Today, it’s unseasonably warm out – although it did just start raining – and I’m once again looking forward to May with a mixture of trepidation and hope. But this year, it’s because I’ve to finish building a new person in the next two months – and in May will be faced with the terrifying task of naming them (as well as the whole pushing a rugby ball sized thing from my vagina, but let’s not think about that too much right now). But I also have bodily autonomy, and that’s pretty amazing too.

Continue reading “What a difference a year (or two or three) makes”

Lessons learned.

My current status: emotional whirlwind. A week after the polls have closed, I almost still can’t quite believe that we won the referendum to repeal the 8th. A landslide no less. I think it’s going to take a while for that to sink in. There has been many media/internet opinions on how the campaign was won – many, sadly not emphasising the grassroots feminist aspect, and ignoring the importance of donuts, or correctly folding t-shirts. But today, I am not going to give you another hot-take – instead, in another attempt at using writing as personal therapy, I’m going to talk about genies, ants and growing up.

Continue reading “Lessons learned.”

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