A mums life …

My weekday morning starts with repeating myself over and over, brush your teeth, get your breakfast, where’s your shoes, did you pack your bag? I even get fed up of the sound of my own voice! I’m not alone as I know this is the life of most other mums trying to get our kids up and out of the door. 
I’ve never been a natural mum. I vividly remember when my first was born the realisation that I would have to take him everywhere with me and I could no longer leave the house on my own! I even rang the hospital when he was 9 days old as he wouldn’t stop feeding and I had no clue what to do! I’ve been a mum now for nearly 14 years and have accumulated another 2 children along the way. 

Being a parent is the hardest. No one gives you a manual and everyone has their own opinion on what the right way of parenting is. I’m just clinging on and hoping for the best.

As well as dealing with my (sometimes) lovely kids on a daily basis I also struggle with anxiety. I’ve lived with this far longer than I have the kids. It was a seed that was planted after a random holiday to Goa over 20 years ago with my mum. My mum had a whale of a time, I was stung in the eye by a mosquito and returned home with a stomach bug. It has haunted me ever since as it left me with a fear of being stuck somewhere and suddenly having a bad stomach. This has affected my life in so many ways. There are many things that I know there’s no way I can do as that seed is already embedded in my mind. I come with many quirks due to my anxiety. I am always one of the first at my kids assemblies, not because I want a front seat but because I need a seat near the door where I know I can get out if I need to. I hate sharing a car ride unless I’m driving, being stuck in traffic is a scary thought. Airport security is a huge fear of mine too. I tell people I was normal once ! 

But actually, the few times I’ve shared my anxiety quirks with others I’ve been surprised by how many people admit they suffer from anxiety too. So in reality I’m not so weird, infact, I am pretty normal! 

My new Go2 is my B.calm stick. I always carry one in my bag or my car so I know I can grab it if I feel my anxiety rising.

My worst occasion was a few years ago when we were making our annual trip to see relatives in Sweden. I was already nervous as airport security loomed ahead and all I could think about was getting through. My children are all quite self-sufficient now so for the first time instead of being mum and helping them through with their boarding passes. I just handed them out and went through on my own. I didn’t even notice my 8-year-old daughter couldn’t get through until my husband called me back (told you I’m not a natural!) What followed then was my worst nightmare. As my daughter couldn’t get through she had to join a manual queue, when she finally got to the front we were told the airline had blocked her out and the only way we could remedy it was by my husband taking her back to the airline desk. This meant as I was already checked through with my 2 sons I had to stay and wait behind the security desk. This to me was torturous. I tried to remain calm but my husband seemed to be taking ages. I ended up ringing him beginning to panic. His words were ‘use your calm stick’. 

So now when I feel that awful fear, I remember what he said. It doesn’t make my kids any more organised in the mornings but it definitely helps me deal with it better.

About Fran Shipman

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