Christmas is fast approaching and its brought with it this year, a range of emotions for me. I love the buzz in the air over December holidays. I love the Christmas carols in the malls. I love decorating our home. I love our real Christmas tree that goes up every year. But this year I have a different feeling as Christmas approaches, and I reflect on the year past, and I wanted to share with you why…
Last year ended on a high, I had a 3,5month old son and 20-month-old daughter. I had a killer year at work and bounced into the holidays with the joy that a young mum could. It took 2 weeks of holidaying before the wheels fell off. We were at my in-laws up the West Coast, and daily I found that I was finding it harder and harder to get out of bed in the morning. This horrid feeling didn’t go away and after a doctor’s visit in the Cape, I was put on an antibiotic for tonsillitis. Whilst I was glad to be on meds, I knew that it wasn’t tonsillitis that had me so down.
Christmas Day is usually my favourite day of the year. I’m a sucker for tradition and so the fact that I now have kids who can wake up to full sacks had me giddy with excitement in the months leading up to Christmas. I had bought them sacks with their names on them. I had wrapped their gifts at home before our trip to CT. It was going to perfect.
Except it wasn’t.
I’d been up all night with Noah, and lay awake from 3am sobbing. Christmas morning came and went and I stayed in bed with tears rolling down my cheeks. I was simply too tired to care. My mum managed to get hold of a tranquilizer of sorts to try and get me up and about and I managed to join in on Christmas lunch (40 excited humans) but I left straight after I’d eaten, blaming the kids and their upcoming nap times.
When I look back to that holiday now, I feel my chest tighten up. It was me at my worst.
I got home from the trip, saw two more doctors and eventually was diagnosed with glandular fever. Although this was definitely what had knocked me quite literally off my feet, it was more than that. It was my immune system that had simply shut down. You see we hadn’t slept much at all since Sarah was born; Noah being born when her sleep was at it’s worst. H and I were sleeping in separate rooms, not out of choice but more out of necessity as we each had a kid to wake up for. I had cruised through the early months of mommying 2 but then it caught up with me, as all things do, and I was simply falling apart.
Was it postpartum depression? I suppose we could call it that. But more than anything I’d label it “Sleep Deprivation to the point of torture”. I was just tired. Too tired to go on.
2018 has been incredibly difficult following this. I just couldn’t get back into my usual positive groove. I was doing all I could to be happy, but still I felt shattered. That was until late July when I threw in the towel and booked H and I a trip to Turkey. Yip, we left our kids and we just WENT. And good gracious did it shake things up. We came back refreshed, refueled and with a game plan.
We have made many changes since our trip. We have hired a live-in nanny, done weekly date nights, ensure we both exercise daily and choose to tackle challenges as a team. But the biggest change has been SLEEP>
We saw a sleep trainer..but not just anyone (we had seen one before but she did zero follow ups which turned out to be useless). This time we spent the money and saw the BEST in the industry. And YIP we’re sleeping! For the first time in 2 and a half years, we get at least 4 nights a week of 8 uninterrupted hours of sleep a night.
I feel like a different human. I’m me again. And it has felt SO good!!! I launched a Mums course, at a similar time to getting my groove back and I have LOVED connecting with these mums world-wide as they too, embrace this journey of establishing their BEST life post-kids. I always thought I knew myself and that I needed little sleep (which I do) but not to the extent that I was getting. For sure, we’ve had to spend to get the reward but gracious I’d do that again ANY DAY!
I’d love to hear how your year has been my friend. You’re welcome to email me or comment below..