About doubt

I’ve spent so much of the last 9 months feeling inadequate and overwhelmed as a mum. What I’m realising is feeling like that doesn’t mean I’m falling apart or failing. It just means I’m human. I thought I’d share some of my thoughts about motherhood on the blog despite my fear of becoming a ‘mummy blogger’. Today I wanted to explore something I’ve been thinking a lot about. Doubt. (Yes I’m a poet and gosh-darn do I know it!)

Going along on this journey of motherhood exposes you to a lot of challenges. For me, the biggest challenge is that it’s impossible to feel completely confident as a mum. Confidence for me comes from knowing I can ABSOLUTELY ace something. Anything less than being super bad-ass at something is just not enough. With a baby, life is full of “maybe” and “probably” and “who knows” and “I don’t know” and “there’s no right way to do that” and “just take a stab in the dark”. No one can tell me if I’m doing this thing right. No one can confirm that I’m doing the best I possibly can. I can’t be sure I’ve made good choices or, heaven forbid, the RIGHT choices (whatever they are!). And all of this leads to the ‘D-word’… DOUBT.

How do you live with Doubt? He’s such a horrible companion. Doubt takes your shoe soles and turns them to soap. Doubt fills your mind with booby traps and hides monsters in your cupboards. And the worst thing about Doubt is that he rarely flies solo. He’s super social and constantly invites his friends Fear and Self-loathing to every occasion. Ugh.

I’ve found that mummy life is a big old magnet for Doubt and keeping him out has become my full time job. Only problem?… my full time job SHOULD be to care for myself and my daughter!! 

So much of my time now is spent asking everyone and their dog and their dog’s fleas about how I should be raising my child and caring for myself. I convince myself that if I get the right affirmation or advice, it’ll help me ace this mummy thing i.e. See ya later Doubt! Then, when I get said advice, I still feel the same. I’m trying to take things on board and accept the help people offer but it’s hardly scratching the surface of how I’m feeling

Why am I struggling so much when I’m surrounded by love and support? I’m not sure I have a bullet-proof answer but I’m getting the gist. Here’s where I’m at with this whole thing…

I’m just going to put it out there and say maybe being ‘not ok’ is perfectly ok. Maybe not knowing whether I’m kicking butt as a mum is ok too. Maybe my inner feelings are just that – feelings. Maybe Doubt is just that friend who means well but kinda sucks at being a friend. Maybe confidence is not about being great at stuff. Maybe I can live without confidence. Woah. Did I just type that? Overachieving, perfectionist old me?! Know what? Yeah. Confidence is overrated and I just don’t have time to keep up this dead-end search for the holy confidence grail. For now, I’m trying my best to just ‘be’.

A letter to my blog

Dear heidibideyblog,

I confess that you have been oh so neglected of late. Rest assured little blog, it’s not you, it’s me.

You see, late last year I was given a promotion (yay!) and I got really busy in a way I’ve never been. Before that all happened, I knew I was already a busy little bug at work – lots of late nights and stressful days. But you were always there for me to come back to in my quiet moments. I had big plans for us. I would open you up and dream of all the things we were going to talk about. I love style and I knew you loved it too. I’m curious about lots of the little things and you were too. I like to play around with makeup and craft and you did too. It was so lovely to turn away from my grey old day and look at all the sunshiney, warm things we shared.

But everything changes and so did we. I panicked. I shut you off and shut you out. I forgot about how happy you made me feel. It was a short affair but we had big plans. I liked that. I liked you from the moment I met you. But I forgot to take the time to talk to you and type on your blank spots and post pretty pictures on your posts.

It’s funny. I got busy and sad and angry but the first thing I did wasn’t to pour myself into you… it was to leave you behind. So I’ve had nowhere to tappity-tap on the keys, leave a few words, drafts some thoughts. It’s made me sadder, angrier and I end up being busier in the end because I’ve filled your little nook with lots of other big, bad, yucky things.

Really what I’m getting at is that you and I were good together. I’d like it if we could get to know eachother again. Maybe even do some of those things we’ve dreamt of. For reals. What do you say?

I’m in if you are.

Heidi x

New Year thoughts

I have been trying to start this blog post for a while now and have decided that instead of trying to be articulate about a particular topic or tidbit, I will take this opportunity to empty out the bucket of my mind and just simply list a few things that have been occupying my thoughts of late.

Being the beginning of another year, my mind has been racing with a lot of questions…

Will my husband and I be able to have kids? This is a question I ask myself a lot. We seem to know many people for whom having a family is just a hope and the journey for them seems harrowing and often frustrating and empty. Little souls have been taken home to heaven in my own extended family and it makes me scared that I may experience a similar situation. I accept that I sound like a bit of a pessimist but I think it’s more that I grew up knowing that if I expect the worst, I’m often pleasantly surprised – it’s become a kind of survival technique. At the moment, I just find myself riding the roller coaster of fear. When I’m due to get my period, I worry that it won’t come and we’ll have a surprise pregnancy but then when it does come, I immediately feel a pang of sadness and fear that I might never be able to conceive. Not quite sure how to shake this weird habit but I am careful to always be open with my husband about my fears and we often have chats about it to help me find other ways to look at the situation.

What do I want to do for a living? This is a really hard question for me because it includes the phrase “what do I want”. My whole life, I have convinced myself that I don’t have opinions and that the most important thing in life is that the people around me are happy. Whatever I could do to bring happiness to others, I would do it. Me? Well, I didn’t really count. In 2012 I began seeing a psychologist about this exact thing. For over a year, I worked through that part of who I am and challenged my ideas about my own goals and well being. Even though I have now finished up therapy and have come a long way, I still find it very unnatural to think of what I want instead of what everyone else does. My job is a big part of my life and it constantly circles in my head with question marks around it. It’s not that I don’t like what I do but, if I’m honest, it’s a part of my life where I spend a lot of time just being a passenger. I certainly don’t sit around thinking of where I want to take my career or what I’d really love to aim for in the future. I just sort of ‘am’ at work and that’s it really. Growing up I knew I loved to write and a lot of where I am now in my career is thanks to my natural ability to write and my magnetic relationship with communication of any kind. I feel now though, it’s time for me to actively seek a path for myself and make my own way in the world instead of just going along for the ride.

How can I deal with the guilt that comes from being in a ‘better place’ than those around me? I grew up in a family that seemed to survive far more crisis than what I feel is ‘normal’ – whether it was poverty, abuse, trauma, grief, mental illness or relationship breakdowns. I grew up knowing what it was to hurt and to ache over a life that is far from perfect or fair. I love where I came from and I wouldn’t change any of those painful circumstances for the world. That seems a shocking thing to say when a lot of the circumstances I am talking about were harrowing for everyone involved. But the reality is that I learnt so much from going through hard times and I feel it helps me relate to people from all walks of life and also appreciate everything I have. I find it much easier to accept challenges and shortcomings in my own life because I have seen just what life can throw at you and just what you can survive. The problem with such a realistic approach to life is that when times are particularly good, it’s hard to cope. Whether it’s the fear of things going wrong or the guilt of things going right… I find myself regularly thinking “why do I have it so good when so many of those I love are struggling just to survive?” My husband and I are planning a trip overseas at the moment. I have been overseas twice for short periods of time but it was always with others and it wasn’t my own holiday. This trip planning is tapping into the part of me that hurts and aches over the injustice of life. When I get excited about it, I instantly feel a pang of guilt that my family can’t all come with me. I was always taught by my mum that we should live a generous life and I know she would want me to travel but I still feel that, in some way, going on this trip is selfish. What is hard to grasp is that generosity doesn’t always look life personal deprivation. For now, I’m just trying to remind myself regularly that I do all I can for my family and that is enough. I love them all so much and I tell them all the time how brave they are, how much I admire them and their tenacity when it comes to the ups and downs of life and how many of my decisions I make having learnt such invaluable life lessons from them and their pain. I often say that I want my life to be a testimony of what my family have given to me. If good things can come from the hurt and pain of the past, I want to be part of that. It’s just hard to be the beneficiary of lessons learnt the hard way. I’m sure though, that when I am having a tough time in life, my family will always be there to love and support me. And it’s true what they say… Make hay while the sun shines. That’s a legacy in itself.

Till next time…

H

Tales of a minibreak – Part 4

We’re waking up with plans this morning. Surry Hills is where we’re spending the day and our three spots to find are Elly’s, Bourke St Bakery and Chur Burger.

Elly Hanson is our gorgeous hairdresser. When I first met her, I realised pretty quick that she was a country girl and I promptly decided to like her a lot. Elly did the hair for my wedding and today she’ll put some colour through my hair and then give Mr the chop.

We’re ready now and on our way. We’ve taken a different route through Surry Hills today and I don’t recognize the streets. It’s such a different Surry Hills to what I know. It hits me today that this suburb is one of contradictions. Some spots are filled with government housing and others are filled with polished little cafes and hipster fare galore.

Bourke Street Bakery is our first stop and we can see it up ahead. It’s so cute sitting out on this corner on its own. You certainly can’t miss it with bunches of people shuffling in and out and round the entrance. We squeeze in and order some coffees and a danish. Our little wooden table sits in the blazing morning sun and we’re basking – as much as two people with terribly pink complexions can… We’re surrounded by an eclectic mix of locals and I don’t feel out of place.

Surry Hills feels very homely. It’s kind of like when you go to someone’s house and you walk in thinking “it really feels lived in here… in a nice way”. Surry Hills is not a cold, developed or perfect suburb. It’s got that lived-in feeling and I like it. I also like my flat white that’s just landed on the table. The Danish is perfectly delicious and Mr is in his element. I’m sure he’s looking at the mouth-watering bread in the window thinking about the baking course he wants to do.

Once we’re finished we decide to go find some shade. Here we are – a park bench safely tucked away under some big trees. We sit for ages just watching the world go by. We’re a little early for our appointments so this is perfect.

Now we’re off to Elly’s. I’m so excited to see her again and have a good yarn. Elly’s recently started working for herself and I feel so proud of her. I chat to her about how I love being loyal to great people and she is one of them. Going to the hairdresser is such a treat and it’s nice just to sit here and read while Mr is off exploring and my hair is getting prettier by the minute.

Mr’s back and we switch over. Elly is really good at men’s haircuts and Mr is soon looking dapper and more like the gentleman he is. Thanks Elly!

My new hair - don't mind the frizz from yesterday's crazy humidity...
My new hair – don’t mind the frizz from yesterday’s crazy humidity…

It’s afternoon now and we’re thinking about lunch. I’ve told Mr about Chur Burger and he seems keen so we head off to find it. Mr orders the chicken and I order the pulled pork. I can only get half way through mine but it’s really nice. Mr’s chicken is spicy and he approves. We’re sharing some sweet potato chips before we go and they’re great – they remind me of baked dinners!

Sweet potato fries YUM!
Sweet potato fries YUM!

We’re worn out now so we head back to the apartment. I’m thinking about doing a spot of shopping tonight and Mr thinks that’s a good idea.

Shopping it is and I find the most gorgeous little bedtime playsuit that is one of the softest things I’ve ever felt! I fall in love and Mr says “get it!”… So I do, even though it is very difficult to buy something pretty like that 😉

The playsuit I got. It's by Chloe & Lola :)
The playsuit I got. It’s by Chloe & Lola 🙂

All in all, it’s been a really great day and one of my favourite type of days too. We’re watching an episode of the X-Files now and soon we’ll go to bed. I’m so glad we did this. Just one more day to go and our little break will be over. I’m sad it’s nearly done but I’m glad we’ve made the absolute most of it. Huzzah for taking time out and exploring the city we live in but rarely ‘visit’.

Tales of a minibreak – Part 3

Today was a real highlight of our break so far. After grabbing a brekky wrap at the little coffee place down in Sussex Lane, we found our way to The Rocks. A walking tour was what we wanted to do and I’d hopped online over breakfast and booked two spots.

We stopped off at the ever-intriguing Museum of Contemporary Art and spent an hour there before continuing on our way.

Sally from The Rocks Walking Tours was our guide for the afternoon and she was so lovely! I was pleasantly surprised at how happy she was to accommodate everyone in our little group. She walked slower for those who were a little less mobile, she walked through the entire group showing photos so each of us could see them and she answered any questions we had with a great big smile and a lovely manner. I couldn’t speak higher of Sally and the Walking Tours group. For just $25, it was such great value and took a neat 1.5hrs to see all the behind-the-scenes spots in The Rocks. We really loved our time wandering about the historic area.

For a late lunch we found ourselves at The Fine Food Store and the food really was nice. Pity the service was a bit yucky – having never been there before, we had chosen meals from the menu but were abruptly told that it was just “whatever is in the window”. The lady serving us seemed to be having a really bad day so I chose to believe that maybe her pet had died or she’d found out some equally bad news that made her surly and abrupt. The guy I presumed to be the chef, was so lovely and took the time to help me choose something from the window, which helped make me feel more at home.

After another big day out, we took a break and then went for a swim. Dinner was made in our apartment tonight and we took great delight in setting up our simple pasta and salad meal on our little balcony, complete with a wine glass full of chilled orange juice on ice. Little moments like that remind me that you don’t need a lot of money to enjoy a ‘fancy’ meal. Moments are what you make them.

Oh and also, we watched the end of JFK. Overall, I thought it was good but a little awkward. Not sure how else to describe it. It was spooky to realize that very soon it will be 50 years since Kennedy died. What a coincidence!

Here are some snaps from today…

The side of an original gas lamp. The local council has been restoring them and placing them around the area.
The side of an original gas lamp. The local council has been restoring them and placing them around the area.
An ornate grate in one of the old sandstone buildings.
An ornate grate in one of the old sandstone buildings.
I loved the mouldings around these windows.
I loved the mouldings around these windows.
One of the beautiful old buildings with original signage.
One of the beautiful old buildings with original signage.
Here, you can see the Harbour Bridge right next to one of the old store house buidlings.
Here, you can see the Harbour Bridge right next to one of the old store house buidlings.
Some of the amazing sandstone brick work created by the hands of the convicts.
Some of the amazing sandstone brick work created by the hands of the convicts.
A close up of the sandstone  mortar that was mixed with seashells to save money.
A close up of the sandstone mortar that was mixed with seashells to save money.
A modern carving into sandstone in The Rocks.
A modern carving into sandstone in The Rocks.
An old stairwell going nowhere.
An old stairwell going nowhere.
Wood meets stone.
Wood meets stone.
Always remember to look up at all the beautiful architecture!
Always remember to look up at all the beautiful architecture!
Stunning old trees growing through a walkway.
Stunning old trees growing through a walkway.

Tales of a minibreak – Part 2

It’s Tuesday afternoon and we – Mr and I – find ourselves tucked up in our quaint little apartment on York St. The rain has swept out of the sky and now it’s a perfect blue, dotted with puffy white clouds… quite a change from yesterday’s steely grey scene washed with thin sheets of rain, rain and more rain.

As we woke this morning, the clouds were still strung up in some sort of gloomy protest – like dirty washing on the line that needs to be taken down and given a good clean. After getting ready, we grabbed our things and headed out in search of a good coffee. We originally set out looking for a place listed on one of our good coffee apps but, after finding naught, we went for a bit of an explore. After wandering up and down a little, we broke out of an underground walk to find a gorgeous old brick building housing some little cafes. This was definitely a find!

cushions coffeecup Fat Coffee decor wall

After coffee, we jumped on the train and headed to the Powerhouse Museum.

wall holes copy Powerhouse game

We spent the majority of the day there, taking our time to read every little label and try our hand at all the interactive installations. For me the highlights were the light play room (which reminded me so much of dear old Questacon) and The Beatles exhibition celebrating 50 years since they came to Oz.

sign jukebox phone

We enjoyed a bite to eat at the café inside the museum and it was surprisingly good. Mr ordered the corned beef sandwich with slaw and I chose the burger and chips. Both the meals were well seasoned and executed. The chips were perfectly crispy and my burger had a pickle – yay! I love pickles!

burger Powerhouse sandwich

It’s now no longer the afternoon. We were zonked after our day out so we decided to come back to apartment for a swim and a rest before dinner – which we had at my very favourite sushi place Makoto on Liverpool St.

Before bed, we watched the first 2/3 of JFK. It’s a movie I’ve been meaning to watch but just never had the chance. Mr kept on saying I’d love it so I was really looking forward to it. Apart from some weird moments which seem awkward as they’re a little far-fetched, I’m really enjoying the movie. I had no idea what even happened surrounding the JFK assassination (yes, I know that’s shameful… I’m really bad with history and geography… Mr is trying to change that!) so it was good to feel like I didn’t really know the ending or what was about to happen. I’ll have to wait till tomorrow to see how it finishes and decide what I think about the movie as a whole. All I know now is that it’s very looooooong. Too long to watch in one sitting if you’ve had too much fun walking around Sydney all day and spending a million hours on your feet inside a museum.

Tales of a minibreak – Part 1

The Mr and I are on a mini-break. It feels kind of sneaky because we’re on a holiday but we haven’t left the city. It’s kind of a staycation

We arrived here yesterday as weary workers in much need of a break from things. After we’d opened every cupboard and door, checked out the nooks and crannies of the place and got a bit of a happy mess going with our bags open and spilling out, we left the apartment to trundle about the city in search of Christmas decorations and other interesting things.

We lazily trekked through this side of the city, curling our way through bookstores, rain-soaked streets, a Dr Seuss exhibition and the good old ABC shop. I showed Mr the Strand Arcade and it was adorned with Christmas lights! They looked so beautiful and it was so nice to not only walk through pretty places like that but to take the time and look around, down and – most importantly – up… When you walk through the city, you do a lot of looking down and around but up? Up is where it’s at! The moody sky was framing building tops old and new. I saw strange sculptures, amazing modern architecture details and spots where old sandstone met steel and glass. It’s a whole other world up there.

After a relaxed dinner at Miss Chu’s we came back ‘home’ and, while it was still drizzling, headed down to float about in the spa for a little while. I loved the feeling of the cool air whisking up the steam around us. After we jumped out, we took a few minutes to try the sauna. No matter how old you get, it’s always fun to splash the cold water over sizzling hot rocks and watch the steam hiss up into the room. As we escaped back out into the cool, I breathed in deeply. Our mini-break had started and I was beginning to relax a little.

Country living

I grew up in small towns in the Mid-North Coast, Manning and New England regions of New South Wales.

Even though my growing up was done mostly in town, I always loved the rural and coastal aspects of the areas I lived in.

This year is the 14th that I’ve spent living in the city of Sydney and I still cannot shake the feeling that I’m really a small-town girl at heart with a dream of country living lit up within me like an old flame.

Today, we visited a semi-rural area called Kurrajong. We have some family moving out there and we spent the afternoon looking around the beautiful property they’ve just purchased. Driving out there, I felt so mournful for the loss of my small-town youth and saw every little cottage and sprawling property as the “kind of place I’d like to bring a family up in”. It’s a funny thing, my love of the big open yonder outside of the city. I never lived on a farm or property but I feel most exuberant and hopeful when I’m driving out of the busy city into peaceful places like Kurrajong where life seems to move a little slower and feel a lot more natural.

I found a quote online about the area and it says…

To those who would soothe their shattered nerves, revive their jaded spirits, regain their vibrant health and vigorous appetite, to all who would seek the tonic of pure air and the exhilaration of beautiful scenery, the call of Kurrajong is simply irresistible.

I really hope that one day me and mine can find ourselves a little spot somewhere a bit less busy than the big city.

s144869-29519-002-open2viewid234345-123oldbellslineofrd_kurrajong.jpg.ashx kurrajong-village-9361986 kurrajong_street_slnsw_1918_s Kurrajong_station_sign

What I wore: simple grey day

I love comfy clothes and my work outfits are usually quite simple and fuss-free. I love soft, flowing fabrics and boots are a must in winter. I’m also a real ‘jeans girl’ and I wear them as much as I can to work – you just have to be sure to make them look slightly dressy to make it work-appropriate!

So, here’s a really good example of a go-to work outfit suited to a cold, grey day in the office.

full body

I’m wearing:

Jersey waterfall cardi – Target

White silk tee – Portmans

Bib Necklace – Just Jeans

Black jeans – Target

Boots – Diana Ferrari

Nails – OPI’s Don’t Mess With OPI

Lips – Revlon Balm Stain in Lovesick

side face nailpolish front toptight neckalce

What I’m loving: July favourites

July has come to a close and I wanted to do a little recap of all my favourite things this July.
So, here’s what I’ve been loving this month.

Beauty:

beaty1
The Devil Wears Nada (by Miss Ashleigh) & Don’t Mess With OPI (by OPI).

Cream polishes are always what I gravitate towards. These two colours are so beautiful – the perfect nude and a creamy, calm take on green.

beauty2
Maybelline Lumitouch Concealer in Ivory & Revlon Balm Staines.

I have just run out of my Lumitouch Concealer but I will be buying another! This concealer is light, brightening and has great staying power. I use it to even out my skin tone before applying my BB Cream. I get really red skin, so it helps with that. And these Balm Staines from Revlon are insane. I love that they apply like a lip balm but stay like a stain. They wear away quite naturally and keep your lips moisturised. Magical!

Health:

health
Berocca Performance effervescent tablets in Original flavour & Centrum for Women multivitamin.

I’ve been taking multivitamins each day for the past month or so and I’ve noticed a big improvement in my mood, skin and general feeling of wellbeing. I’ve also had less headaches – this is good for me as I suffer from migraines quite regularly.

Noms:

noms
Imperial Mandarins & Flake Snow chocolate bar.

I’ve fallen back in love with mandarins! There seems to be nothing else I crave of an afternoon in the office. Imperial are my favourite. Now, I love good old Flakes but how about this… take a flake, make it white chocolate and then cover it in milk chocolate… mmm yum! I’m a big chocolate girl and this has been a yummy snack of an afternoon some days.

Entertainment:

shows
The Newsroom television series

Two shows have been keeping me enthralled this month – The Newsroom and River Cottage Australia. After I go over the fact that the guy from Dumb and Dumber (Jeff Daniels) was the main – and very serious – character of The Newsroom, I really got into it. It isn’t designed to be very realistic and more looks at if we could ever do the news right, it might look something like the crew on this show. Even though it does make liberal use of hindsight, being set in real life a few years ago, I’ve enjoyed watching a show that doesn’t have huge amounts of horror, extreme drama or lewd content. It’s been nice.
Speaking of nice… I have always been a sucker for River Cottage. It’s a show about sustainable living, community and living on the land. When they announced that the British show was going to plant an offshoot in Australia, I nearly peed my pants! My husband and I have been watching the brand new show and we absolutely love it. It’s wholesome, dock style TV and it’s good for the soul I’d say.

Housey things:

terrarium
My homemade terrarium

I can’t list my monthly favourites without including my beloved little terrarium (which is still alive! yay!). You can read a post on how I made it just over here.

Fashion:

fashion
Colourful pants these are from Sussan.


Throughout this winter, I’ve been trying to do all I can to lift my mood and make the most of a time I usually really don’t like. My husband is convinced I’m a lizard (which is why I can’t regulate my body temp or keep warm in the winter). Anyway, I can’t make the days warmer but I can add sunshine to what I’m wearing. Coloured pants have now become a thing in my wardrobe. Wearing crazy bright pants makes me smile and I always get loads of compliments. So, here’s to you coloured pants.