Behind the joy

So, I started this new life in England. I left my sons to do this course so that we can have a fresh start. So that Skye can live in a country where old grumpy women don’t shout at me to take him out of the park, where he can come with me into most stores and his favourite – where he can come to the pubs and never be discriminated against by the speciesist Trinis. As if people are better than animals, pffff. They wish. I made this move so Charlie can grow up in a place that is more open minded, where there are more opportunities, where he can have his own bedroom lol. And last but not least, so that I can feel fulfilment from my job and gain back my independence. Because nothing makes you feel less independent than bunking up with a baby and dog in one bedroom in your parents house.

But we all know that fresh starts are not easy.

Those 10 weeks were tough because I missed my boys who got so confused when we skyped that we had to take breaks for days in between because it was stressing them out too much. But the weeks were also wonderful because I was able to put all of my focus into work, into making friends, into living my own life again. I was afraid to say it at first but I think it’s always better to be honest… it was glorious having a life again. My life. All mine.

Life: SLAP.

Me: Crying on plane.

And that’s where I left off in the last post.

The 10 weeks wasn’t all fun and games, though a lot of it was fun. I came up to England in a relationship and very shortly after arriving, it ended. And I will not go into detail but I will say this. Fellas…women don’t need you. If a woman is with you, it’s because she wants to be with you. So please, don’t get confused. That woman will be perfectly fine after you’re gone just like she was before you arrived on the scene. Okay? Greaaaat.

Finding a house, a car, internet, phone, gas company, registering for council tax, starting a Dartford fricking charge account, getting fines for not paying your charges on time…and the list goes on. Figure out where the hell the grocery is and which one is the best (by best I mean second cheapest, or maybe 3rd cheapest – ASDA styles because the cheapest cheapest I just cannot cope it’s like they just fling things around the place into random piles and that’s okay maybe if you’re trying to find clothes on a very low budget m maybe but not when you’re doing groceries), where the nearest park is with the best playground, bank, train station, parking lot in town, baby store so you can buy pampers in bulk, pharmacy for cal pol and neurofen, hospital because you know someday you will have to end up there for some reason or other. THERE IS JUST SO MUCH TO DO. Furnish your house. All while working and adjusting to night shifts. It was a lot, but I was alone so it was no problem…Now I was on a plane to go home. I cried because I was afraid. So scared that I wasn’t ready for all of it to come. The first part of the move passed so fast and now the really hard part was coming. Also I get anxiety about going home because everyone is so damn out of timing with their comments which yes, you can ignore the first 5 but when it reaches 20 its gets overwhelming…”How you looking magga so?” “You look like you weigh 15 pounds” “Are you sick, you look sick” “You not eating?” “You want some food? You should eat some food.” *Side note did anyone know that’s how to spell ‘magga’? I didn’t*

Because no one cares to ask actual relevant questions like “How was the course? Did you learn a lot? Are you okay, how are you feeling?” Nope, none of that. Just “you look like shit”…thanks everyone. And if I went around telling people that they look fat imagine the bad talk I would get. Steups.

Well Skye cried and cried and Charlie ran up to the car screaming MUMMYYYYYY at the top of his little lungs (which is very loud) and then didn’t let me out of his sight for the next 3 days. He slept on top of me and literally held my hand and sat on my lap just like those new couples who are overly PDA-ing and you know it ain’t gonna last cause this is real life – like that but SO CUTE because it was real true love. I basked in it. And I felt joy. But we had one slight issue which was that Charlie STILL hadn’t gotten his visa back.

The entire week passed and still Charlie had no visa. The stress that it caused I cannot explain. I had to leave him again. But to be honest I wasn’t feeling ready as yet to have him and Skye alone. It gave me an opportunity to come back with Skye, fix up the house properly for when Charlie arrived and sort out my work schedule. It went step by step instead of all at once and it really eased off some of the stress in the end. There truly is a reason for everything.

Almost 2 weeks later my hero of a mother brought him up to England for me. He projectile vomited all over her in the airport. Then all over the back seat of my new car (lol not a big deal but I’ll admit that I was grateful that most of it was in the car seat) and he was so sick, miserable and jet lagged for the first few days. No one slept a wink and I was f-r-e-a-k-i-n-g out that this was just the new way of life. BUT a miracle happened and when we all recovered from the bug that he gave to us, he was even happier than normal. He loved his new bedroom. His own bedroom! A big boy bed, all of his books, his new toys, his new garden, swing, his new home. Mum changed her flight to stay longer because we had been worrying so much about how he would cope without her. But guess what? He did totally fine 🙂 Absolutely incredibly fine. Kids are so adaptable.

My veryyyy close friend from home moved in with me and is helping out with Charlie while she does renovations on her home and I am happy to announce that we are the new brown, hip, young, lesbian couple on our street – according to our neighbours. Someone actually asked us the other day whether we were a “cute little vegan family” to which we replied no only because Charlie was eating sausages and there was smoked salmon on my plate BUT we do feel like a couple haha and it’s wonderful. This is what a couple should be like. SHARED love, shared responsibility. It’s amazing.

Unfortunately though, most relationships with kids is not shared responsibility. It’s mostly the mothers responsibility even though in some cases the man may have wanted kids even more than the woman. It will always be more your responsibility, ladies. And to the single mothers in the world, from the bottom of my heart – You amaze me. No one will ever understand the strength it takes, the amount of tears you cry and just how flipping tired you are. No one. Not your friends, not your baby’s dad who may or may not be trying to also make your life a living hell just for fun, I don’t even think Mary knows because I feel like Jesus was pretty much a grown up right after he was born maybe I’m not sure. But the point is that I see you, and I appreciate you and you are awesome.

And here are a few points I wrote to myself because a distraction was necessary before I started hyperventilating on the train journey from Scotland to England to start the in-clinic block training:

Mum goals:

1- Make things EASIER for yourself – life’s hard enough girl

2- Think about ONE thing at a time – ain’t nobody got time for panic attacks

3- Be PATIENT – it’s very hard though (maybe have a glass of wine? or tequila…)

4- Give THANKS – to whoever/whatever you believe in; if that’s yourself, go you!

5- LOVE – yourself, your family, your pets, other people’s pets, all the pets, your friends

7- Practice MINDFULNESS – what is mindfulness? Well:

Mindfulness is understanding yourself, knowing your limits and taking care of your thoughts. Anxiety and depression can often get the better of us but we can avoid that by practicing mindfulness. You don’t have to sit down on a yoga mat and contort your body to do this. I certainly don’t. When you have a moment of free time (which may only be for about two and a half minutes per day) just take a moment to reflect on the way your brain is processing information. You might sit down for that moment and a sneaky negative thought might try to sabotage your peace. It may tell you that you aren’t enough, that your child is missing out on a proper family. But guess what? As that thought creeps in, you recognise that it is transient. You know that it isn’t true and you watch the thought pass right through your mind. In and out, that’s it. You don’t listen to it or take it personally because you have compassion for yourself – you know that you can accomplish anything. You are a woman, afterall. And don’t forget to breathe.

“When you’ve mastered the art of breathing, you will finally be at peace with yourself and the world” – Quoted by Dr. Danny Pelman in his book ‘The Art of Breathing.’

The manipulation of breath movement, also known as Pranayama in the yoga world has roots in ancient India and has been reported to reduce heart rate and blood pressure – apparently leading to an almost immediate reduction in stress and anxiety. There are many types of Pranayama but yoga really isn’t my thing, I just like the little science behind slow breathing exercises cause it makes sense. Practicing slow breathing exercises for 5 minutes induces dominance of the parasympathetic nervous system aka rest and digest, calming the body as it takes over from the sympathetic nervous system’s fight or flight response. Parasympathetic dominance in turn allows the mind to calm down and starts your healing. Once you’re healthy this practice is safe and can be done daily or multiple times per day. You can also only do it when you feel like a panic attack is imminent (this is usually when I do it) and it will help you then, too. Take a slow, deep breath in for 4 seconds, pause, then exhale for 4 seconds, pause. Try it…right now 🙂 You can be in the shower, on a train, a plane – you can even do it while your child is rolling around on the floor throwing that tantrum. If you need someone to talk you through it, the lady on has a really nice voice lol.

I promise you that it helps ❤

Sometimes you drive home and park your car to find that thing you had been looking for earlier…

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