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GrungeMum Est.1994

I am not boring or shy. I am a introvert. An artist. A dreamer. A fighter. A seeker.

Trying to stay fit: An Ode to semi fit mums.

Trying to stay fit as a mum has been a challenge from the moment I tried to start getting back into exercise. Before I got pregnant with Rarrie I wasnt a fitness fanatic, I was naturally really slim and could eat what ever I wanted to without out gaining a pound. I struggled to gain weight all my life, until I had Rarrie and my metabolism slowed down, a lot. I started the gym again when Rarrie was 4 months old, I remember getting on the crossfit for the first time and moving like a snail, I was out of breath after 2 whole minutes! Around that stage rarrie didn’t sleep great, waking every 2-3 hours so there was always a battle with tiredness and exercise. If I wasn’t exhausted from a long day of tending to Rarrie’s wants and needs, I was too exhausted to take Rarrie out to play from exercising the night before. I would get asked “oh, why don’t you exercise before he wakes up?” Haha, you see Rarrie has this radar where he can sense I’m awake and automatically gets up too! So that’s a no no. After I left the gym, probably after a month or two into my fitness journey I gave up as my body failed to shit a pound and I started to eat really bad, the pounds came piling on and I was the heaviest I had ever been. I did manage to lose a lot of weight after telling myself enough is enough, I started eating healthy and making meal peeps, but that all stopped as christmas came around last year. At this present moment I find it hard to eat healthy some days, I’m at a much better weight than I was this time last year and my bmi is in the safe zone, so I’m not motivated to eat as healthy as I did last year. Even when the little voice in my head says, you dont need to eat this, my stomach says yes you do. I also buy healthy food and feel annoyed everytime I open my fridge to see broccoli and asparagus staring back at me.

What I have found that works so far in my journey is taking part in a free buggy exercise class run by ourparks.org.uk, which is amazing, I’m not sure how old my instructor is, she must be at least 50 and she always kicks by butt every week to the point I cant even walk up the stairs after doing squats and lunges (just shows how unfit I am lol). Because I do take part in a form of exercise weekly I wouldnt say I’m 100% unfit, but I’m not fit, fit. I’m not one of those fitness fanatics that work out 5 or 7 days a week, I dont wake up 6am to work out, I dont go for runs, I eat healthy a few days a week but that isn’t where I want to be. But at the same time I have to realise I am a mum who dedicates almost all her time to a boisterous 22 month old. I want to reach out to all the other mums in my position, the semi fit mums that think you arent doing good enough, you are ! I want to reach out to the mums that dont exercise but think about it, you’re doing great also, you see, once you come to the realisation that you want to look after your body is the first step in making that change, whether its picking up a dumbbell or going for a power walk. To the fit mums that find time to work out before their children wake up or at nap time, you’re also amazing. See, there is no right and wrong, but if you want get into fitness you have to want to do it for you and not because someone else told you so, or you’ve seen a celebrity back in their size 6 jeans 2 months postpartum. Our bodies are all different. Almost 2 years postpartum I’m still not my original weight, I have mild diastasis recti (separation of the abdominal muscles) which I have been trying to repair for the longest amount of time. But does that stop me from being a beautiful bad ass goddess that brought life into this world… hell no. We are all amazing, semi fit or whatever you want to label yourselves. We are all mums and we are all adored and loved by our little people, no matter our weight.

Thank you for reading

GrungeMum xo

Feeling high and dry or is it just mercury in retrograde?

Have you ever had one of those days where you feel tired and a little disoriented from life? I’ve been feeling like this for over a week. Last week I took Rarrie to his grandmas, little did I know we would be travelling on the hottest day of the year so far .And ever since that day I’ve been a little disoriented. I ended up staying at my mother in laws with Rarrie and Ajay for 5 days but in that time I started to feel a little woozy. I’m definitely not sick, maybe I haven’t been sleeping properly or maybe the planets are in retrograde again (something I like to say when things start going left). No matter how much I sleep or rest I still feel the same. I remember feeling like this earlier in the year, I got some bloodwork done and nothing! Not a single thing showed up in my blood. Pretty disappointing when you feel like cow pat and you cant figure out why? Only thing I can blame it on is the planets, it sounds silly but I felt fine until they decided to move closer to earth πŸ˜…With this new feeling of disorientation is also a feeling of calmness. I dont feel as stressed as before, yes I feel exhausted, even after sleeping 10 hours, but I haven’t worried about anything once. At this moment in life I’ve come to the point of letting everything that is going on go on and I’ve stopped trying to have control over everything. Maybe I’m exhausted because I’ve made a big shift in the way I think? Maybe I’ve realised that I’ve always had control over my life.I’ve come to this balance where I have learned to balance Rarrie’s needs and my own. I’ve spent so much time in the past making sure Rarrie has enough water, the right amount of sleep, social activities and nutrients I’ve forgotten my own. But more or less these days I’m telling myself, drink some water, exercise, eat some grapes, take your vitamins, it’s almost as if I’m parenting myself. But it’s doing the trick when it comes to balancing my needs. Am I disoriented or am I feeling euphoria ?

Thanks for reading

GrungeMum xo

A letter to my therapist: My unspoken words.

Dear D,

I barely know you or anything about you, Yet I’ve shared my fears, secrets and the most intimate parts of my life with you. You were kind enough to sit through my repetitive toxic coping mechanisms, you listened to me cry about my past and you watched me stand still in the same stagnant area of my life, until I had the courage to move forward. When I first met you, I looked at you and thought, now this is a woman who has her shit together. You see before you, I never felt comfortable expressing myself to people and I definitely didn’t feel comfortable expressing myself to people of the same ethnic origin as me. I was intimidated by you, a strong beautiful black woman embracing her emotions, intuition, culture and natural hair. Something I’m not use to seeing much, even from family members. I felt uncomfortable to express myself to people from the same ethnic background as me because I was always judged, told to toughen up and to be strong. You taught me its okay to be black and vulnerable, black and sensitive, black and pure! You pushed me straight out of my comfort zone. 45 minutes felt like forever when it came to our sessions and in a good way. 45 minutes away from home, my son, my boyfriend, my mum and siblings. 45 minutes to just be me. But who are you ? Who is Shenikah? A question that popped up often in the first few months of our sessions. I dont know I’d always say. A mum? An Artsit ? A lover ? An empath ? A confused vessel riddled with anxiety ? I don’t know, Is what I would always say. What do you want in life? You’d often ask. Again I would say, I dont know. Because before you, I didn’t know me. I had no sense of self, no self love or self worth. I remember I was late to a session once because I hardly slept the night before, because my son kept me up all night. I confessed I wasn’t going to turn up and I was going to cancel our sessions all together, because I felt so anxious about missing one session. You said to me, “I wouldn’t allow that, I would of called to see if you are okay, because I care about you” I almost cried when you said that, because how could a stranger care about me when I dont even care about me?

In my first year of being a mum, questions I was asked by friends, my partner and family were, “is Rarrie okay?” “Hows the/my baby doing?” “How did Rarrie sleep?” No one ever said are you okay? did you get enough sleep ? Remember to look after yourself too. I could barely even function to ask myself these questions. I came to you when I was in the darkest moment of my life. I knew at this point I couldn’t even look after myself anymore and I needed help in order to look after my son. Despite all the people around me that offered help, no one could see how I was dying inside so badly. The sleepless nights were the darkest nights of my life, and in the day I was left wanting to just sink into a black hole so I didn’t have to pretend to be okay anymore. The more I came to our sessions that black whole got smaller and smaller and I coped a little better.

I remember the day when I decided to make a change for myself, not because I was told by you. But because I realised I wasn’t moving forward. You always told me to keep creating art and to bring some in, but I never did. I kept thinking about how I didn’t want you to see how pathetic I was at drawing and I was a fake because I wasn’t as good as I made out to be. Then I took your advice and started drawing again and I got so caught up in my art that night I went to show someone at home but everyone was asleep. So of course the next session I brought in my drawings and you praised my work and expressed how much you liked it. I felt like a child again. When I would show my mum my art as a child she would just say good girl and that was it. When I showed you my work you studied everything about it, from the way I shaded to the light handedness of how I used my pencil, something I never got a lot at home or even at art school.

When it came to our last session I wasn’t ready to let go of our sessions but I knew I was getting better and it would be selfish to keep coming back. It was finally time to stand on my own two feet again as Shenikah, A mum, an artist and an empath. I left our sessions around the time when my parents started having problems, they finally settled on a divorce. I thought at that time in my life was when I needed you the most. But it turned out I had the power to cope all by myself. You helped me see my worth and just like you said on our last session when I thanked you for helping me “girl you had the power all along, I was just their to assist you on the side”. You see, I dont just see you as a counsellor or a psychotherapist, You were like a spiritual helper to me. You allowed me to embrace my roots, Express my heritage and talk about my beliefs with a deep interest in what I want. I miss our conversations and some days I hope to see you on the street, I know we will cross paths again but until then I’m going to keep staying in control of my life. I cant thank you enough.

Thanks for reading

GrungeMum xo

Finding myself in the process of losing myself.

Me before GrungeMum: Ego

When I found out I was pregnant with Rarrie I went through a whirlwind of emotions. The two emotions that stood out were excitement and fear. I was excited because my body had finally been able to create life ! I had only been with my partner for 5 months and I kept thinking what others would think. “Why did I get pregnant so early for someone I’ve only know for 5 minutes?” “Why did I decide to get pregnant in my last year of university?” “Why did I get pregnant 2 months into a new job ?” I never doubted my boyfriend Ajay once, I knew he loved me and would stick by me no matter the situation. I never doubted myself because I knew I was a talented Artist and a hard worker. But those thoughts of everyone elses imaginary assumptions never left me as my pregnancy went on.

You see, before I had Rarrie or fell pregnant, I was extremely hard working. I guess you could say I was very proud about how much I worked and how hard I worked at that stage in life. Before going to university I was a slacker, who was lucky to be smart enough to just scrape through my classes with passes and merits all through out my educational career. I always skipped classes and school all together because I suffered with severe undiagnosed anxiety and depression. But when I got into university I was a whole “new” person, (I became what I thought was the best version of myself, my feisty alter ego). I worked hard all day everyday (I had no time for anyone) and it was comforting to my anxiety and also my ego. When I studied filmmaking in art school I used all my anxious energy into analysing films instead of analysing life and other things that made me anxious. It wasnt until I was 21 when I got my first CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) session for my anxiety. Even after CBT nothing really changed, I was still the same. Which brings us back to around the time I got pregnant a month after therapy.

Becoming GrungeMum: Ego Death

Shortly after giving birth to Rarrie I experienced something called a Ego Death. I will try and explain in the best way possible how it happened. A few days after giving birth I was hysterical, I couldn’t stop crying and I had no clue why, apparently it was “The Baby Blues”. I kept thinking to myself I have nothing to provide, I still live at home with my parents, I dont work anymore, I’m a bad mum and he doesn’t need me. I kept telling myself this up until Rarrie was 11 months, (when I got referred to therapy again). At this point it didn’t matter who tried to massage my ego I just didn’t care anymore. But the truth was I was blind to it all, I wasn’t a bad mum, I was a really good mum and I was so in tune with his every want and need. I was just detached from my own reality to the point I was hypersensitive to everything I wasn’t aware of before. I felt as if I had been stripped of everything that I thought served me and I was pushed out into the real world feeling vulnerable and exposed. I hadn’t just become a empath to my son but I was becoming aware of everyone elses wants, needs and emotions, besides my own. It was completely and utterly draining for me. There would be days where I would pick myself apart and tell myself, “maybe I’m not a good artist like I thought”, “maybe I’m not as hard working as I thought, because I no longer work” and “I’m definitely not the fun, sexy outgoing woman that I was before, I am a mum now.” I was my own worst enemy. I crushed my ego so bad, there was barely anymore left of who I was before a mum. But after crushing my ego so badly what was the next move, there was no more room for destruction, only room for healing.

Being Grunge Mum: Rebirth

I wish I could say I healed myself alone. I wish I could say, I practiced mindfulness straight away and signed up to mum and baby yoga classes and got my shit together! But I didn’t. It took 7 months of therapy and only half of my problems were solved. I had to rewire my brain to shut off negative thoughts and replace them with positive thoughts. I had to dig deep into my past to see why I felt the way I did. My mum was always hot and then cold with me as a child, she’d praise me then tell me off, moments later for something else; she’d tell me she loves me then to tell me she cant cope with me and shes going to send me away. I became mindful to why I was treated this way by my mum, she was put into a care home at the age of 14 and so was my grandmother when she was a child. I was grateful my mum had broken that cycle with me and I understood how hard it must have been for her when she had me at 19 years old. I chose not to resent my mum I chose to forgive and understand. Now it was my turn to break the cycle and to realise how different my life was so far from the women before me. I told myself, I am a stay at home mum until Rarrie starts school. I am going to enjoy every moment I get with him, I want to make the most of him being this small. Because I understood he would soon grow up and I’d beat myself up some more for not making the most of his toddler years. In this process I’ve found myself again, I’ve realised how important it is to look after myself because if I’m not feeling good inside neither will my child. I started my journey to getting better by realising my therapist wasnt going to give me the answers I had to figure it out for myself by myself in order to be healed. My therapist spoke to me about connecting with myself spiritually, artistcally and culturally and that is exactly what I done. I fell in love the the Artist Basquiat and started to create abstract work (something I was uncomfortable with) as well as expressing myself through different ethnic hairstyles, I stopped caring about trying to wear make up to cover up my freckles and acne scars and I slowly started to fall in love with this new pure version of myself. It’s now been 4 months since my last therapy session and I do practice mindfulness and I also go to a mum and baby exercise class, my shit still isnt together. I don’t know when it will be or if it ever will be. But I’m realising we all grow through life and its okay to not be okay.

Thanks for reading

GrungeMum xo

Social Anxiety, Postpartum Depression and Hyperactivity! how I deal with it as a SAHM.

Rarrie has always been an active little tot from the moment he found his feet. I remember our first holiday away from home over 1 year ago now, we visisted sunny Sussex. On that holiday Rarrie learned how to pull himself to stand, he was only 6 Months old ! I couldn’t believe my eyes, my tiny baby was standing and that was the just the start of all the fun and games ha!

I lacked a lot of energy during the first year of being a mum, Rarrie hardly slept and neither did I. It wasnt until he was around 11 months that he started to sleep longer periods of time. Even with an improvement in both of our nights rests, it wasnt enough for my tired soul. I was suffering with Postpartum depression and didn’t even have a diagnosis. I had suffered from depression in the past I thought the feeling of being low would fade but it stayed for a whole year and a bit more to be honest. I finally went to my GP and had a quick analysis done and was referred to a therapist in the next two weeks. I had decided to take therapy instead of medication. A month into therapy and I had arranged a play date with a local mum and a few others from a mums app called Mush. I was petrified. Luckily I had my therapist on hand to encourage me to go, as I had previously discussed how active Rarrie was and it was tiring for me. So I went on our first ever play date! And it was fun πŸ˜… I arrived late, but the mum that had arranged the playdate stayed a extra hour at the soft play cafe just for me and Rarrie. I felt so bad that Rarrie had missed out on soft play and playdates because I was too exhausted and depressed to take him anywhere besides the local park which was a 2 minute walk. But I praised myself for going ahead to the playdate.

Our first playdate was almost a year ago now and we have come a long way, well I have come a long way when it comes to being social. Rarrie has always been outgoing, I remember the first day I took him to our local children’s centre for stay n play and he crawled off and then got up and ran, the nursery nurses didn’t expect to see him get up and run Haha. To be fair I dont enjoy stay and play, the awkwardness, the stares from other mums because I have a new hair style or colour every other week. But Rarrie loves it so who am I to take that away from him! Days where we stay in, are crazy. Rarrie loves to climb and there is no stopping him, and there are only so many times I can say Rarrie stop it before one of us starts crying (I usually want to cry first ha).

We now have a set routine that keeps us both active and me out of my brain fog, even on low days I push myself to stick to our routine.

Our routine:

  • Monday: Buggy Exercise class at 10 am in a local park which lasts 45 minutes. Rarrie usually plays with the other mums babies or stays in his stroller and drinks milk or has a snack while the class takes place. After the class we go to the playground and park cafe. Rarrie usually burns alot of energy here.
  • Tuesday: Toddler Explorers. A stay and play class for 1-2 years old. 9:00-11:00am. (I usually arrive just before 10am). We do numerous activities such as painting, sandpit, ball pit, Mud kitchen, snack time, storytelling and nursery rhymes.
  • Wednesday: on Wednesday’s I go food shopping which is tiring alone. I usually dont take Rarrie back out after this. We stay in and play or go in our garden.
  • Thursday: We go to our local library to return and pick up books. I found going to the library saves me so much money on books. I started to pick up more books so I can read to Rarrie to help with his speech and imagination.
  • Friday: We either stay in or go to Stay and play which is ages 0-5 years olds 1:00-3:00pm.
  • Saturday: Rarrie has Football training, he started when he was 18 months. Football starts at 9:15am. (Lately his dad and I have struggled to keep him active in football class because he was going to bed late. Hence why we made a change in his daily routine, go to my previous blog post to see more). Apart from that Rarrie loves football and I cant stop him from playing it in the house. His football class isnt just for physical fun but also helps with development when it comes to listening, coordination, team work, colours and numbers.
  • Sunday: Sundays are for Rest!!! πŸ™ŒπŸ½

And that is our weekly Routine. Of course I excluded a detailed version of our new daily routine which I started just a couple of days ago (it’s still a trail and error process),I’ll leave that for another day. But this is how I combat hyperactivity with Rarrie. Despite all of our activities that take place, he still is climbing the chairs and walls Haha. But taking him out almost every morning has definitely made a big improvement in him as he isn’t as irritable as he was before from not having enough physical stimulation indoors.

Thanks for Reading

GrungeMum xo

Terrible Two’s, Tantrums and Routines ?!

Rarrie is now 20 months, few months away from 2 years old and let my tell you, routines, tantrums and sleep have been a challenge from the moment he graced this planet πŸ˜…. I had no clue about a routine and didn’t start one until he was 13 weeks old and from 0-13 weeks old was an emotional rollercoaster. The first month of being a mum wasnt too bad, Rarrie woke every 3 hours for milk day and night and then something changed, he just didn’t want to sleep anymore and he definitely didn’t want to sleep alone ! So what did I do ? Yes, you guessed it, I let him sleep next to me and my OH. I was scared at first but researched how to safely co-sleep, he had his own blanket and no pillow. I cant say it was comfortable for us, but he was definitely happy to be next to us. Then Rarrie finally reached 13 weeks and it was time to get him to bed early, and also get him use to his cot again. Long story short, he went straight into his cot the first night of trying at 13 weeks without a fuss and was waking every 3 hours as before. His routine has always been pretty much the same as hes gotten older and hes dropped most of his naps and sleeps through the night πŸ™ŒπŸ½ but as I said before hes now 20 months and something has changed in him again πŸ˜…πŸ€¦πŸ½β€β™€οΈ. It is time to drop his last nap! I noticed the past few months now Rarrie has been playing peek a boo in his cot when it’s time to go bed, he doesnt want to settle like he did before and doesnt want to be in bed by 8:30. Last night he didn’t go to bed till 11pm!

Today was the day I said enough! No more naps, I done what I could to keep him entertained, we played, done drawings, listened to music and nursery rhymes, which all resulted in numerous tantrums. I was slowly losing my cool as bed time approached and that’s when Rarrie had the Mother of All TANTRUMS when I tried to read him a bed time story. My non verbal son was screaming, jumping and scratching me because I wouldnt let him sleep in a dinosaur pyjama top and vest in my overly warm loft converted room πŸ€¦πŸ½β€β™€οΈ (25 degrees to be precise). I gave him his warm milk and read him a story (Sleeping Beauty) and he slowly started to drift off… his eyes became small and he was out for the count! I had done it, I got him through the day without napping and hes in bed on time.

It might not seem like a big deal to some but it’s a big deal to me that he doesnt go to bed too late, especially when we have to be somewhere in the morning the next day, as I do tomorrow, I plan on taking him to Toddler Explorers so he can socialise with toddlers his age feeling refreshed. Getting him up in the morning when hes gone to bed late is not nice, but I’ll leave that story for another day πŸ˜…

GrungeMum xo

Who am I ?

I am a 23 year old young mum living in the heart of LondonΒ β™‘ I’ve recently graduated university and I am trying to make my way into the arts. This blog is about my journey through motherhood. The ups and downs, the ins and outs. You’re probably wondering why I’m called grunge mum. Well grunge is my every day aesthetic plus I’m not your typical mum. I’m here to change the rules in motherhood and share my experiences with you all.

 

GrungeMum xo

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