Motherhood & Madness: I knew this would be hard but this is REALLY hard.

I am staring at the computer screen trying to think of how to illustrate to you how difficult I find my life now. This does not mean I hate it, it just means I spend a lot of time wanting to throw my hands up in the air and say “fuck it”. After having my son, I was supposed to not work for a year. This did not turn into a reality. B was supposed to be actively involved. This did not turn into a reality. I am trying to hardest to balance caring for my son and work to bring in money. I also take on the majority of the responsibility for the physical chores and mental work (ie: noticing my son’s needs and what our household needs to function). I am not different from the millions of women and femmes that are in these beautiful and strenuous loving caretaker roles. This is new to me though and the adjustment makes me want to rip my hair out.

I finally know what sleep deprivation feels like and it feels like stupid. I am very forgetful and cognitively slow. I never feel rested. I always feel like I’m pushing myself and running on fumes. I find myself spending longer in the bathroom or shower when I can so I can have more time to myself. I bubble with rage when B says that he’s tired because I know he has slept longer than I have. I cannot for the life of my figure out why B has time to watch a movie and I don’t. How is it that he has finished 2 books since our son was born and I have started 4 books and abandoned them all?

I am trying to balance everything because I need to radically accept that this is what is happening in my life. I was life-balance_23-2147533397given a colouring book day planner and have started to attempt to organize my time. I have decided to dedicate 2 days a week to each of my jobs. None of these days will be weekends. All the other days will be solely dedicated to my son and to doing enjoyable activities during his naps such as reading, colouring, meditating and whatever else I want. I want to enjoy my son and when I am worried about fitting in work I do not enjoy him. He deserves all of me.

Well, a new year is a chance for a new me right?

I wish you all a very happy new year and that 2017 brings you one step closer to wellbeing 🙂 We got this!!

Work and Life Conflict

If there is one thing I do not like about this world is that we work to live and live to work. Everything revolves around work and the need to make money. The majority of us spend more time at work than with our families, friends and ourselves. There is always more time to work and less time to play. For some, taking the time to play means a loss of money because we do not get vacation pay, paid days off or even paid sick days. We can’t even take care of ourselves properly because the money is so important. I find all of this especially difficult because my work with children is partially based around making sure families, who do have time off, have a good time. What about my family? When do I find time to have a family? I need money to have one of those. I guess it’s one of those days.

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy working. I love my work and I like who I work with. I just find myself trying to switch days off because I need more hours and sitting at home alone because B is trying to get together enough money so we can move out, save money and live comfortably. I am glad we are both working and can move forward with our lives and relationship, but I want time to enjoy what we’re building.

I know the work/life balance is something everyone struggles with. Some master it and others will continue to struggle. I hope one day it all comes together.

Bell, Let’s Talk…About Something Else

I understand and support Bell Let’s Talk. You all know that I work to eliminate discrimination and spread awareness both online and offline. That is why I’m going to talk about something else today.

Ontario’s Premier, Kathleen Wynn, is gong to move quickly to raise the province’s minimum wage to $11. Currently Ontario minimum wage is $10.25 and it’s not enough.

I have lived off minimum wage and it is very oppressive. The only thing I can do with my money is pay and buy essentials. I spend my money of food. If I buy something for myself such as a book or a shirt I am usually wracked with guilt because you money quickly dwindles to nothing when you barely had any despite working your ass off.

The idea that raising minimum wage will negatively effect job creation or jobs in general is a load of bull poop. If I have money then I will spend which means there is a demand and people will be needed to meet that demand, there, jobs!

Maybe I’m simplifying it but Ontario isn’t helping itself if a large portion of it’s people aren’t able to survive or are barely.

We shouldn’t have the working poor.

I am the working poor. I want change.

I Have Been Busy

I have been busy this week getting ready for camp and since I am the director of my particular camp a lot of that responsibility falls to me. Example, I didn’t get notebooks so need to find a replacement activity….que matching game team builder on literary genres!

I’m hoping to complete all my work and chores today because I would like to just chill this long weekend (it’s Canada Day on Monday).

In terms of mental health and madness on my end nothing is really happening there. It’s hard to find time to think about yourself when you’re busy thinking about work, which I would say is a good thing. I do love my job and feel up for the challenge of being a camp director.

One thing I love about my job is that every time I work with children I am breaking the discriminatory stereotype that people with emotional differences cannot or should not be around children. I am good at my job and that has been made clear to me by the children and colleagues I work with. I may struggle at times but what caregiver doesn’t? I enjoy working with children so much and now that I’m studying early childhood education in the fall I will be extremely prepare to have children of my own. That is just a bonus though. Whenever I feel down I can look at the cards on my fridge that are from my kids and it really helps! Here is one of them 🙂

Every time I think I'm horrible I look at the cards I have on my fridge from my kids! This is one of them :)

” Dear Kristen. Here are a few words to describe you! Awesome, amazing, rainbow, cool, pretty and smart. Thank you for being here with us.  Love ARC”  The marker of this card drew a cat, rainbow, microphone and an Ipod because those are things she knew I liked 🙂 

 

Monday Musings: April 8

MusingMondays5

Musing Mondays asks you to muse about one of the following each week…

• Describe one of your reading habits.
Tell us what book(s) you recently bought for yourself or someone else, and why you chose that/those book(s).
• What book are you currently desperate to get your hands on? Tell us about it! 
• Tell us what you’re reading right now — what you think of it, so far; why you chose it; what you are (or, aren’t) enjoying it.
• Do you have a bookish rant? Something about books or reading (or the industry) that gets your ire up? Share it with us!
• Instead of the above questions, maybe you just want to ramble on about something else pertaining to books — let’s hear it, then!

Odd Girl Out, Revised and Updated: The Hidden Culture of Aggression in Girls

I didn’t buy this book but I borrowed it from the library some time last week. Odd Girl Out has been on my ‘To Read List’ for at least a year and I was in a non-fiction mood so I picked it up. It didn’t even occur to me that I grabbed this book at a really important time.

Some of the girls I work with are experiencing girl on girl bullying (and are behaving as bullies themselves). I learned a lot about girl on girl bullying, why it occurs, how it occurs and most importantly what we, as adults, can do to help these young girls.

My plan is to write out the suggestions and bring them to work with me 🙂

Training At Work

As part of regular staff training at work I am going to be giving a 20-25 minute mental health presentation. This will be the first time I give a presentation by myself and for added stress it’s for work!

It’s not just the fact that these are my co-workers but I know how they are in training (mostly rude, complaining about not wanting to be there and not being good leaders) and I don’t want to be sharing information that I feel is important to people who don’t care. This of course has never been reaction I’ve gotten during a mental health presentation because people are very nosy in wanting to know about how fucked up I am OR, more positively, have been wanting to have this conversation for a long time but never had the chance.

I will be sharing my personal experience with mental health, barriers to services, discrimination, and alternatives (this includes ways of thinking and treatments).

One part of the presentations that I’m involved in that I feel is very important is how I introduce myself. Many of us (and I used to) lead with, “I have this disorder, on this medication, used this treatment service” etc. I decided that if I introduce myself first with where I work, my age, my education, a little bit of info on my family and then go into my mental health stuff. I hopefully get the point across that I do not feel my mental health is the main thing in my life, that there are many other parts of me.

This is happening next Friday. I hope it goes well!