So here it is. The next chapter of Madaleine’s story. This time as an extract from her journal. If you missed the first part, you can read it here.
It is nearly two years since I last wrote in here. I can’t quite believe it has been that long. The last year has gone by so quickly. So much has changed and yet some things still haven’t changed as much as I would have liked them to. S is now four and a half and starting school in September. She has grown up so much and is becoming such an interesting, questioning, bright and caring little girl. Quite a contrast to the chaotic, volatile toddler we have lived with for the past two years. That part of her character is certainly there, but more beneath the surface than in plain sight for all to see and judge! That toddler has certainly been taken over by this older, more confident and emotionally capable four year old. Pretty amazing really as she is only four years old. Perhaps I expect too much of her? Love her loads and more every day. E is now two and very much her own person. I am sure that having grown up in the company of her boisterous sister has ensured she has developed her own strong character. They are really starting to become quite a formidable little team! Monkeys!
I have taken advantage of a quiet moment to have a bit of time and space for myself and to write about my feelings after my session with Bonnie this morning. It is interesting that I sat down to write about myself and then start writing about my children. I think that says quite a lot actually. Quite a lot.
This morning I had a personal coaching session with Bonnie. I’m not sure quite sure what I was expecting when I arrived – maybe a handout, some ideas of how to change your behaviours. Maybe it was just the mood that I was in which led it in the direction it did but it ended up being more like a counselling session with me spending most of the time crying and blowing my nose in between talking about myself, a lot. I read back to my journal entry when I had some counselling for (post natal) depression a couple of years ago and I felt similarly about the experience today as I did then – embarrassed to be even talking about myself so much, particularly to a complete stranger, and almost like a failure for even needing to be there in the first place.
However, despite these feelings my session with Bonnie was actually really helpful and thought provoking. She guided me through my thoughts with clever, gentle questions. The main outcome from today is that I really seem to need some ‘mindspace’. This is my term which means personal space, time to myself away from home, away from the house, space and time to think and try and clear out some of the thoughts clogging up my brain and stopping me from thinking clearly and feeling positive about life… and breathe. The other insight today was that I need to try and ‘talk’ to myself in a more positive way and use vocabulary which is more positive, which puts me more in control and helps me to practice putting myself first.
This is my aim … to try and avoid using words (in my thoughts and speech) like SHOULD, MUST, NEED TO, HAVE TO and replace them with WANT TO, WOULD LIKE, WILL, PLAN TO. I am also going to experiment with putting myself first … and creating ‘mindspace’.
Day 2:What would happen if you put yourself first? When Bonnie asked me this question yesterday I just couldn’t imagine doing it. The thought of putting myself first seemed impossible. But, it’s an interesting thought, and quite empowering actually. Quite an inspiring and strengthening thought. I’ve been trying to think of times when I do put myself first or have put myself first in the past. On a daily basis it is as simple as having a shower, putting on some make-up and jewellery and doing my hair. Taking this time to make myself feel good really makes me feel better and more ready to face the day feeling like me. But … even when I’m doing it I feel guilty. I should be getting the girls ready, getting their breakfast, making sure they’re being nice to each other. Spending that time on me feels self indulgent, selfish and vain … (inevitably this has been interrupted by the girls coming up and telling me the other one has been hitting/pinching them – quiet moment over, I will try again later).
Just taking little moments like this is good though. Helpful.