It takes a village

It’s been rather quiet around here lately. For our little family & some others close to us; life just seems to be throwing a few curve balls. I don’t know whether it’s a half year hiatus that arrived a few months late, or that we have been floating on baby cloud nine for the past three months and I’m finally coming back down to earth. Don’t get me wrong, every day is amazing with our tiny human. It’s just that life happens, & I can’t just take a break from parenting you know?

Last fortnight my dad had a fall in the front yard and cracked his head open. He’s okay, other than being less than impressed that I’m now calling him Humpty Dumpty. He had to stay the night in hospital & due to a prior arrangement my Mum was unable to collect him the next morning. Humpty uses a wheelie walker & has poor mobility so it would have been rather difficult to collect him with a tiny human. My mother in-law kindly watched Sophie while I went to pick him up. After retrieving Humpty from hospital; I went to collect my tiny human and started the drive home. As I was driving, I got thinking about this quote:

“It takes a village to raise a child” – African Proverb

It made me realize that over the past few weeks I have seen the above proverb, lived out through the people around me. I don’t know how I would have gotten to this point in motherhood without the support network that I have around me. I am blown away at the support from my husband, my parents, my in-laws & my amazing friends. It’s the little things that have made the biggest difference to our little family.

Little things like: having someone offer to cook us a meal, my mother in-law watching Sophie for me, my Mum coming over to clean my house, & my friends texting me to see how I’m going. I feel for those who don’t have this kind of community around them. I can imagine that it would be really difficult.

There was a time when I didn’t have a lot of people around me. I didn’t have a child, but I had managed to build a proverbial brick wall around myself in some twisted attempt at self preservation. It sucked. A lot. So after a few months of wallowing in self pity, I pulled myself out of my funk and found ways to connect again. I got online and found some groups that were running in my area. I love photography, so once I found a group of people who had something in common with me; it wasn’t so hard to get talking. I also got connected in my local church. The amount of times that my church community have been there to lift me up when I’m feeling heavy have been too many to count. It also means that I now have a resource pool of many generations of mums who have gone before me to bug with questions about tiny humans.

I guess the point I am trying to make is: life is hard & parenting is even harder. You shouldn’t have to go it alone. If you don’t have friends or family around to support you, branch out and find some people who can. I came across this site a few years ago and I tell people about it all the time. Meetup.com is a website with a group for every interest you can imagine. There are groups for web developers, introverts, knitting, mums groups and extreme sports lovers. You can narrow down the search to groups that meet close to your home or city wide. Another way you can branch out is to check out your local play group. If all of these options are still daunting, then please feel free to drop me a line and I can try to help you look at options near you.

I hope whoever you are & wherever you are that you’re having a great week.

Keep living the dream
Sasha Fierce
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Tales of a sleep deprived mum Episode 1

So blogging is all about being honest and getting it out there right? Well, with that in mind I have a confession to make.

I tend to become a little odd when I’m tired. It’s not that I go into nervous breakdown mode or anything; but more that I sometimes can be awkward, clumsy and just a tad like Phoebe from Friends when I’m low on the zzz’s.

Earlier this week I had to make a phone call regarding a service that I have. It had been a rough night with Sophie but I was determined to kick over a few things on my ‘to do’ list before I caught up on sleep. So I made the call, went through the automated system and got connected to a customer service representative. For the purpose of this post lets call her Maggie.

Maggie was very understanding regarding my issue. She spent some time initially checking my details but then allowed me to fully explain the situation. I went on to tell Maggie that I hadn’t been receiving my bank statements each month and how this was causing a lot of confusion when it came to paying my credit card bill because I never knew the minimum amount required for payment. I also politely reminded Maggie that I had purchased a product and how I was disappointed in the bank and their ability to deliver said product.

I didnt get angry, but I did make clear my frustration in regards to the situation and strongly requested that the matter be looked in to and resolved as soon as possible.

I still think that Maggie deserves an award for her patience and willingness to listen to my concerns, because  after I had finished my toned down rant, she calmly explained that whilst she understood my frustration; was I aware that I had called RACQ insurance and not my bank?

Insert awkward silence here. In that moment I wanted to crawl into a hole and die. I had no idea what to respond with other than “I’m sorry, I’m a new mum and I’m sleep deprived”. Maggie responded with giggles and some encouragement from one mum to another. I’m sure though that there may have been an office wide email telling the tale of that phone call, or even a meeting to discuss what to do if that girl calls about her bank again.

So what have I learnt from this experience?

  1. Don’t zone out when going through an automated phone system. Usually they provide helpful information such as identifying where it is you are calling
  2. Be kind to yourself, this new season comes with many new experiences, including making a huge fool of oneself

I have deliberately included Episode 1 in the title because I have no doubt that there will be many more of these to come in the future.

Has anybody else had similar experiences? I’m keen to hear about them.

Sasha Fierce