New Year New Me and Other Bullshit Cliches

I still, even more than last year, can’t get behind having huge and unattainable resolutions that you’ll struggle to keep and will beat yourself up about when you don’t.

It’s that time of year, you’ll see the #NewYearNewMe posts flying around, everyone will be raving about New Year’s Resolutions and how to keep them.

Last year, my biggest resolution was in the form of my bullet journal, you can read more about that by clicking the thumbnail at the bottom of the post!!! This year, I’m carrying on with my bullet journal, and my biggest resolution is to be well on my way to affording our first house. GOD I FEEL SO GROWN UP TO SAY THAT.
 
That’s not to say there aren’t any mini-resolutions, in fact, there are loads of mini-goals I want to achieve and things I want to do:
  1. Travel more
  2. Go to the gym regularly
  3. Have a French-speaking day every week
Plus I generally want to worry less and be happier in myself! That may take some work as it’s the way I’m wired to worry about everything, but by making my small changes I hope to achieve the bigger change too.
 
I still, even more than last year, can’t get behind having huge and unattainable resolutions that you’ll struggle to keep and will beat yourself up about when you don’t. Part of me thinks that the new year’s resolution idea in itself is one massive bullshit cliché, but sometimes it works, it gives us a chance to reflect and focus on things we want for ourselves and our loved ones. It’s the #NewYearNewMe bullshit I have more of a problem with…
 
Yes, some people are easily able to say they want to lose 2st and will do it – GREAT! Do it! Well done, and a massive pat on the back. But does anyone feel that the whole resolution thing sets you up to fail? You don’t normally announce to the world when you’re going on a diet, especially not with that oh so irritating #NewYearNewMe.
 
The reason I can’t stand it? Well, what’s wrong with the current you?
 
My mother-in-law send me a facebook chain mail message earlier about how if women were cars, we’d constantly be trading ourselves in for newer models without any bumps, lumps or dents. But we are not cars. We are immaculate vessels of life and we should be celebrated as we are, not made to feel like we need new parts.
 
Whatever the resolution is behind the #NewYearNewMe social media post we’re all bound to see this week, it’s probably more apt to say it’s not a “New You”, not even an “Improved You” – it’s probably all to do with the outside packaging and while, if that’s what you want, that’s great, you shouldn’t strive for it because you feel you have to. Please, ladies and gents, remember that your bodies are maps of your life’s journey. Love them, look after them, but don’t think that you have to improve them or that your appearance is all that defines you. This time of year, lots of companies will be betting on the fact that you’re making those exact resolutions and add to that pressure to change yourself when maybe, deep down, you’re happy as you are…
 
It’s not a new you. You’ll be the same you that you always were, whatever you look like. You’re all beautiful in your own unique ways – beauty isn’t universal despite what we’ve grown up being told and shown.
 
Does anybody else feel the same way or have New Year’s resolutions always been great at motivating you to achieve your goals?

 

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Learn to love yourself

The title says it all really, all I have seen lately is people beating themselves up whether they are too thin, too fat, too tall…the list is endless, but when did it become okay for us to beat ourselves up this way? Essentially, we’re torturing ourselves whenever we look in the mirror.

You could say that since becoming a single mum I have been doing a bit of soul searching and a bit of self discovery and gradually I am coming to love the things I used to hate. You see I am a rather tall being 5ft 9 and a size 14 with a bit of a bum on me, and I always used to harshly criticise myself for this but lately I’ve learnt to love my curves and my height, after all they’re what make me, me. Besides, what kind of image am I setting for my son if all he ever hears and sees me doing is loathing myself?

I also have Excoriation Disorder which does mean my back, shoulders, chest and legs are covered in scars and skin blemishes which I still struggle to accept but i’m sure as time goes on i’ll come to accept them.

This might all seem a bit “Pie in the Sky”, especially for those battling with their own mental health, but I promise you, you are worth so much more than you think! Love what is quirky about you and what makes you stand out from others. In the space of a few months I’m wearing the type of things that once upon a time I never would of dreamed of wearing let alone leaving the house in it!

What I’m trying to say in all of this is: next time you’re stood in front of the mirror, just remember that for every flaw you find, there are possibly 5 qualities to counteract that flaw, and that flaw is what makes you, you! And one day your little girl or boy will come to you pointing out every flaw they can find with themselves and it’s our job as parents to help to show them a way to love themselves and be confident in life.

Things to remember when you fall out of love with someone you thought you’d love forever.

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Things to remember when you fall out of love with someone you thought you’d love forever. 
  1. Your worth hasn’t decreased due to their inability to see how valuable you are. Whether they’ve dropped a diamond whilst flicking through pebbles or they’ve neglected the best thing that’s ever happened to them- it is their problem and not yours! 
  2. Your ability to love so relentlessly, passionately and fearlessly is a strength. Not a weakness. You have SO MUCH to give. Never let anybody tell you any different. 
  3. Try to let go of the hurt. Holding onto it is only hurting you. Easier said than done, but whilst you’re replaying scenarios- they probably can’t even remember the half of the struggles they’ve caused you! 
  4. You will love again. It seems impossible, but you will. You have no idea of who or what could be around the corner for you. You have no idea of the love and adoration you might find it you just let yourself try. 
  5. Celebrate all of the good things you’ve done together. They’re still achievements. At one time, you made the best team- if you’re coparenting the chances are that you’re still a sturdy unit. You’re allowed to be proud of all the wonderful things you’ve done together.  
  6. Even if you’re angry, even if you’re hurting. Don’t throw away a chance of friendship with the one who once meant the world to you. Try not to regret anything, even a bad ending doesn’t have to spoil great times, triumphs and memories. 
  7. Give yourself all the time you think you need to heal. Let yourself hurt, let yourself cry. You are more entitled to everything you are feeling. Don’t give yourself the “so and so had it worse” treatment- stop belittling your pain, it’s not a healthy way of dealing with things! 
  8. If there are children involved, never let either party or their families speak badly of the other. This breeds distrust between both parties, a quick nasty comment can drop out of an angry mouth in a heart beat- but the chances of it being forgotten by an impressionable child? Not likely! I’m not saying to necessarily hide the hurt you’re feeling from your children or the heart break your feeling, as these are great lessons of resilience and overcoming emotional turmoil- just keep hurtful truths and hyperbolic stories away from minds that can buy too much into them.  
  9. Remember that everything you’ve felt with with person, everything you’ve been through- is an example of better things to come. Keep reminding yourself that better things are just around the corner. that relationship and the subsequent breakup could be exactly what you needed to go out and find the better things.
  10. Let the pain remind you that your heart can heal. The likelihood is you’ve hurt like this before and maybe you will again. You’re alive to feel so many different emotions, to experience so many different experiences- life is like a cardiograph, the ups and downs are just a good sign that we’re still alive- kicking and fighting. 
  11. I’ll reiterate- PLEASE never, ever forget your worth. Never, ever, ever, ever, ever. You are so worthy. Scream it from the rooftops until you believe it!

Putting yourself first

So one thing I’ve noticed recently is that, as mums, we rarely prioritise ourselves. We put everything before our wellbeing, seriously…even the washing comes before putting ourselves first and my question is why? Why is it “normal” to be over tired and under-appreciated…when did it become acceptable for mums to feel this way?Personally, I believe that society has set such an unrealistic goal of “the perfect mum” and with constant derogatory remarks as to whether you’re a “stay at home mum” or a “working mum”, it makes sense that us mums aren’t looking after ourselves as much as we could be.

We are care givers first and foremost to our little ones, but how can we care for them when nowadays most mums are neglecting their own needs? Think about it, how many times have you sat down and had a drink and 5 minutes to yourself today? We need to put ourselves first to help give our little ones what’s best. It’s like running a car on empty.
Recently, I decided to start putting myself first and trying to make myself happy. I’ve accepted a new job and am doing small things that will make myself happy, and now that I’m happier the time I spend with Oliver is more cherished, we’re laughing more together, playing more together instead of what used to be the norm (me sitting down and letting him run ragged because I had no energy for anything else). I have more energy and self-worth and I think, overall, I respect myself more as a mum.
One thing my mental health team suggested to me, and, of course, I never listened to it until recently, was the importance of having time to unwind. I used to think letting my mind wander was a dangerous thing to do, but now I love those thoughts that I’m able to have to myself, I love thinking towards the future and I know since putting myself first and foremost, I can make myself happy.
Of course, you must find yourself thinking “but where do the children come in to all of this?” Well that’s the part I found most difficult. You see, Oliver always has been and always will be my priority, he’ll always come first in my world…but I found that where I wasn’t looking after myself that perhaps I wasn’t being my best for him. I’m not saying I didn’t care for him because I did, however since I’ve started having a bit more self-worth, both me and Oliver seem happier. Let me make this abundantly clear, I’m not saying under any circumstances to put yourself before your children, what I’m saying is after your children you should put yourself before everything else.
I urge all mums to start putting themselves first, you’re doing an amazing job and don’t ever bring yourself down or beat yourself up.Do whatever you need to do to put yourself first: Have a night out with some friends, message the guy you’ve liked for a while, love yourself more. There is a saying my grandfather used to say, and although I never met him it’s a saying I find myself saying frequently; whatever you’re going through, no matter how tough it is, you can’t go over it, you can’t go under it…you must go through it and ultimately, you’ll be a stronger person once you’re through to the other side.