Today I have been kind to myself. As I’ve mentioned previously I have a problem with anxiety and depression. I’m not sure if it still comes under the heading of Post Natal Depression since my youngest is 2 now, but whatever it is, and we don’t need to label every little thing, it’s unpleasant. For all of us that have it, and the people around us too.

So today I’ve been kind to myself. 

I got up late this morning. Only 20 minutes but when you’re trying to get 3 children ready for school, a toddler up and dressed and remind two teenagers it’s time to get ready, pack bags, find ties etc it can be the difference between twenty minutes lateness at school and being right on time! Still, not the end of the world, but definitely a dip before I’d even started. Heels dragging, head down, I forced myself to get dressed. I got the children ready. I was kind to me, the children were kind to me – my eldest took the 4, 6 and 9 year olds in to school. The 14 year old went to the supermarket and bought me nappies and wipes so I could be in and not worry about the necessities. I was kind to myself; I asked for help. The children were kind, they gave it freely.

I tidied up. The toddler and I went about our daily routine – slowly, but we got there. I deep cleaned the kitchen and then the living room. Lots of sweat, lots of work. It looked lovely – it still looks lovely. I was kind to myself; I took my time, and I didn’t give myself any expectations. I just did. No thinking, just doing. I visited the butchers online and ordered a weeks worth of meat. Same for the groceries, online shopping that will last a good week or two. Plans in place for next week to get a big cleaning shop and then top ups after that. Sensible shopping; the way I used to do it. Need to save some money on food shops so I can start picking bits up for Christmas. Kindness to ones self doesn’t always involve the immediate future; it can be kind to take the pressure off yourself next week; next month, even just tomorrow.

I got tucked into bed; I get so, so tired. Exhausted after just a couple of hours up like I haven’t slept in weeks. Toddler boy sat in with me – he was in his pram, naughty I know but he likes it for chilling out so I’m okay with that. He watched Pocoyo on Netflix – if your small person has never watched it, I thoroughly recommend. It’s highly entertaining. That lasted long enough for me to talk to the doctor on the phone. She’s giving me a new prescription for ‘rescue’ meds; they will help me to calm when I’m in the midst of an anxiety attack. She renewed my Sertraline and said that I can now get it ordered with the chemist so that I don’t run out again. So that’s that done too; kindness can be keeping myself medicated and in chemical balance.

Naps, small people picked up from school, a clean house and my baby. That’s a good day, even when it isn’t. My smalls came home from school well, the 16 year old picked them up. Kindness again. I cooked a Friday meal – easy peasy and something everyone likes. They all ate and off they popped to play. It’s just about bedtime and they’re all chilled and happy. The 4 and 6 year olds are in bed chilling and playing. The 9 year old is drawing, the baby is in bed and the older lads are playing computers. Im freshly bathed and relaxing. My mood is still cautiously lifting. I’m feeling fragile and still somewhat vulnerable but I’m okay. That’s the important thing. It’s been a good day, full of kindness and caring.

 Sometimes you have to let go of the expectations and the parental guilt and the hammer you hold yourself with. Sometimes you have to take that sword from over your head and set it down, ready to pick it up again another day. Sometimes you have to draw a line in the sand, climb into your little nest and hide from the world. Sometimes it’s enough to be yourself in the bosom of your family. To be kind to yourself. To be kind to others. Sometimes we all need a little kindness.