B.A.D. halo life

A support page for peeps living with Bipolar Disorder, Brain fog, Anxiety & Depression by a Melbourne gal who has been battling these demons for 40 years. The more we talk about our "invisible" struggles, the more the stigmas will lift. They have to…………….. don't they? PLEASE SHARE MY BLOG, ADD YOUR COMMENTS & TELL US YOUR STORY..

7. Parenthood, chores & other swear-words

My family is a blended one in every sense of the word. We’re a mixture of blood-siblings and step-siblings; of kids with an interstate father and a child with 50:50 shared custody. I’m from divorced Australian parents. My partner is from a single parent family in a different country. Between us we have 3 kids, 5 pets and an extremely hectic lifestyle. We fucking love it….. most of the time.

At the moment though, notsomuch.

I’m having a tough time with parenthood at the moment. Of course, most other parents would have similar problems. Not enough time. Not enough money. Not enough fun. Any parent will tell you that kids are all-consuming. They are whirlwinds of emotion; of arguments and tantrums; of neediness and selfishness. They’re time-wasters and time-sappers. They have the fun and the energy that we seem to lack. They take everything good from us. But on the flipside they also give back in ways that the childless may never understand. They teach us unconditional love, empathy, compassion and self-sacrifice. They teach us that to love another more than ourselves is the ultimate life lesson.

But what does that mean to a parent with a mental illness? What does that mean to someone who needs to put their own mind first just to survive the day-to-day slog?

How do you support your kids’ emotional well-being when your own mind is in tatters? How do you keep up with housework when you just want to sit in the corner and read? When the washing piles up, how do you ignore the little voice inside that says chores = punishment? What about work – how do you keep on top of that too? How do you look after yourself and your mind when not doing what is expected is letting everyone else down? How do you balance it?

What keeps YOU going? How do you look after your loved ones without compromising your own needs?

Comments please guys… I’m sure every parent on here could do with a few tips!

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5 comments on “7. Parenthood, chores & other swear-words

  1. Dani Acciarito
    May 20, 2015

    my tip – from a non- mental illness sufferer (but l have days where l am overwhelmed and fatigued beyond functional) … sometimes you should just give yourself one small task for the day , that you do for no more than an hour tops, and just do that. Could be fold washing, could be sort the pantry, it doesn’t matter. Just the 1 chore… the rest sorts itself out sooner or later, for the other 23 hours; sleep, read, baby chino with the kids, walk around the block…..on your death bed are you going to regret not doing the dishes more? not doing more laundry than what you have done? nup…it’s always about the people we love and not loving/giving them our time and attention .

    Like

    • badhalolife
      May 24, 2015

      Thanks Dani! Sometimes even just one chore can feel too hard when you’re depressed. So start small, keep it simple. Put your dirty clothes in the hamper instead of where they drop. Sweep the floor. Do just one load of washing from start to finish. If you have kids, move their assorted crap out of the way and make their beds. Then relax. Chill out and do the same tomorrow. Eventually you’ll get a bit of mojo back and you’ll have the energy to do a bit more. But while you feel low, keep the chores to a minimum. But always do at least one.

      Like

  2. Sid
    May 31, 2015

    I’m afraid I’m a little bit the opposite. A sufferer of depression, I lose myself by keeping busy with a dozen things at once. None of them bring me contentment or fulfilment and rarely do they get finished but it means I don’t sit still because when I sit still, I disappear. This is all well and good in terms of getting things done but it robs me of precious time with my child and the opportunity to nurture myself – which is probably what I need most. I’ve never liked what I’ve seen when I look in the mirror, I’ve spent years wondering who could actually love me and whether I’ll ever truly be happy. I sure as shit don’t know what “real happiness” feels like so how do you go about trying to achieve it? But if I keep busy, I might just stumble across it. Right?? I’m self-aware, I know that if I actually did the things I know I’m supposed to do (the counsellors and books told me what I need to do) I might have a shot at it but somehow, that seems so much harder than doing a dozen things, or a million things, at once. I can push my body to it’s physical limits, I can run with the best of them in the work that I do, I can renovate a house down to the last detail and absolutely get off on people’s wonder at my vision and practical ability but I just can’t seem to like myself very much at all. There, I said it – I’m outed! I don’t like myself. But today, I actually sat in the Autumn sun, reading my book for a couple of glorious, selfish hours and allowed myself to savour every minute. It’s a start and I’m not going to feel guilty about it. Today, I also found myself a little closer to a long lost friend (my fault I lost her BTW, it was because I didn’t like myself and found it easier to blame other people…) who has the courage to face her own demons and reach out to help people like me who need to just be a little kinder to themselves. Thanks BADhalolife lady…old friend…love you, love your work. x

    Like

    • badhalolife
      May 31, 2015

      Thanks for your honesty lady! You are amazing and need to lighten up on yourself. I think happiness only comes when we stop looking for it. It’s a cliche but I feel it to be true. Distractions seldom work – they just stop us from feeling. We have to face our demons head on. It’s fucking hard but it’s the only way to get on the path to happiness. You can do it, one step of those fabulous long legs at a time! I’m here if you need any support xx

      Like

    • badhalolife
      July 3, 2015

      We all have our demons Sid.. And we all fuck up from time to time. Everyone deserves a second chance, after all nobody knows what’s going on inside someone’s else’s mind. Everyone has their coping mechanisms. Keep listening to that little reminder in your head that tells you to read your book in the sun and sit down and be silly with your child. Doing a million things can be a great distraction, but depression won’t be distracted for long. STOP and face the darkness head on. You can’t outrun it forever. You are brave and strong and resilient: give yourself a break, stop chasing the impossible. Live in the moment, in your child’s moment. Replace the “shoulds” with “coulds”. Happiness is not a destination, it’s in the now.

      Keep being that brave woman we both know you are! xxx

      Like

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