Oh Hello Again!

Would you believe, it has been a whole 7 months since my last blog. In all honesty losing my best friend in February took the wind out of my sails. Life has been a little harder. (Please visit the ‘jelly tots’ page of this blog or click this link if you wish to make a donation)

I stand now fully appreciating life in general but particularly the encounters of being a working mum. As the kids have gotten older the challenges have taken a linear increase! Reeyan is now a forever talking three year old and Leela (our teenager trapped in a toddler’s body) will soon be two in November. I cannot be more grateful for them. They have been my source of inspiration to get fitter and eat healthily, as well as keep my forever wondering mind focussed on completing my PhD – which I have you know, is currently the sun to my Icarus and I’m trying my hardest not to get burnt!

Mums will agree that there is an astounding amount of circus tricks we need to do – predominantly juggling of all sorts. Whether it is maintaining household chores, keeping up with work deadlines or simply ensuring the children have enough cognitive stimulation so they don’t resort to beating each other up – out of sheer boredom. On that note, I find it incredibly shocking how instinctive our sibling rivalry is – I mean they literally slap each other in the face, pinch and pull hair, it is disgusting! However just like any loving relationship – they can’t live without each other. If one is out of sight, the other would not rest until their location is known.

Reeyan and Leela are now often mistaken for twins, he’s really tiny and she’s really chunky and well – they’re nearly the same height. I often find myself watching them play together and drifting into thought about how quickly time is passing. I’ve blinked and a year has gone. Reeyan is now able to vocalise his wants and not-wants and Leela can too! I’m surrounded by people screaming their demands and as much as I have my own – theirs, simply comes first.

I have managed to take my health into my own hands. This was something that I struggled to do after having Leela, but I put that down to postnatal challenges. I now exercise five days a week, either at home or at the gym and I have taken the drastic measure of reducing my gluten intake. The results are fabulous, if I say so myself. I have not stepped on to the scales to measure weight changes, but my clothes are looser, I’m not feeling bloated or irritated anymore. I am starting to like my ‘mummy-bod’. Don’t get me wrong, there’s always room for improvement but I have taken that first step in achieving physical and mental contentment. This also means drinking wine and scotch! Funny enough champagne has taken a backseat – I still love it, but now I drink it when I’m with my fellow ladies, it adds that bubbly sparkle to any afternoon/evening out. So health-wise these months have done me good.

The dear man in my life consistently listens to my battles. He was my rock when I lost my best friend and he has not failed to encourage me to keep speaking to him about her and any other troubles I have. He continues to be an incredible dad, putting the happiness of his family before his own and without him, I wouldn’t have been able to concentrate on achieving this incredibly difficult task of PhD. So, Mr R, although I often tell you in person, if you’re reading – thank you and I love you x

This blog gives me the opportunity of reflection. As well as being a great form of self-help for me, I hope it gives some encouragement to those who also have energetic little people causing mayhem and are in similar circumstances of juggling life.

Thank you for reading!

Tasharama x

 

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Nappies, Muslin Cloths and Literature Searches

This is my last week at home. It is the end of an era, my time as ‘full time mum’ has come to an end and I am now looking forward to being a ‘part time working mum of two’. I cannot tell you how excited I am. A lot has happened this last month, health and parenting-wise. I have realised that part of my recent anxiety lies with the simple notion that I won’t be with my children a few days a week. I am known to over-exaggerate and perhaps this sounds like just that to some, but I can’t explain how big a deal this is to me….

I have formed a huge attachment with my first, who recently turned two and not forgetting my 10 month old baby girl. All I have done since 2014 is take care of their every need. I have been their ‘constant’ and actually come to think of it, they have become mine. Even within two years, I feel age is on me, times have changed and I notice it. This leaves me quite anxious, but now I can see, it’s anxiety based on overwhelming excitement.

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Reeyan’s 2nd Birthday
Initially, the anxiety didn’t manifest as positively as it does now. My health took a hit. Stress is a known culprit of illnesses and ailments but it’s worse when you don’t actually know you’re stressed or when you take the burden of everything and try to keep on going. Last week I hit the finish line. I had enough, I couldn’t cope. It was quite bizarre to have these feeling so far after having the babies, but oh well, I crumbled. Reeyan happened to be a little sick, combined with a walking 10 month old – this was the initial test. Throw in, health problems, a sub-heading for thyroid related issues, which I have you know, can affect your mood, skin, appetite, energy levels, it can cause muscle ache and fatigue. I needed people around me and I needed them fast. They were there, without a second thought.

Last week I sat down with Roy, my mum, dad, mother and father-in-law and they understood that things happened to be a little difficult. Talking it over with them helped, it gave me some clarity. I could see that actually, all this un-wellness, un-easiness stemmed from the simple fact that I am returning to work, taking on a huge project to finish a PhD but more importantly, leaving my little lives a few days a week. By understanding the core of my anxiety, I felt like a huge weight had been lifted.

I have noticed a pattern in conversation when I’m out with the kids. Young mothers enjoy talking about age differences and developmental milestones. Older mothers simply tell me to enjoy every moment I have with them. I have had my fair share of craziness these last two years, but looking back at when these two bundles of joy were placed in my arms, I can honestly say, I have cherished every minute. I am blessed to be at a stage in life, where I can go back to what I am passionate about as well as continue to bring up my little sproggs. They are my purpose in life, my motivation to do better, be it career-wise, parenting-wise and health-wise.

Things are going to be just fine…..

From One to Forty Thousand…..

 My journey to MPhil and possibly PhD is something I want to focus on now. I am sure there are many academic mothers out there and I would love to meet a fellow academic woman who has had to put her studies on pause whilst bringing up the next generation. It is the woman, who again puts her career on hold. There is no funding, there is no money for what we study (if there is, it is a pittance). And all this is to be able to contribute to a wealth of scientific knowledge. To join a community of academics where your research is valued. To be part of history, where people site your name – ‘Ramachandran et al’. That’s what I’ve wanted. I am nearly there, why oh why, would I want to give it up?

I turn from my computer and hear the singing and babbling in the monitors sitting on the kitchen counter. The babies are awake. It is easy to give it up. They are my life, they are my history and they are my ‘Ramachandran et al’. But surely I am more than just a mother?

I recently attended a meeting with my university to discuss where to go next. One thing for sure, is that I don’t want to sacrifice two years worth of data collection and literature searches, simply because I have had my children. Funding has never been so difficult. On a separate note, it is a damn shame that we as a country are leaving the European Union as that has simply put an end or even halted the thought of obtaining any such funding from our European neighbours. The world of science and research will never be the same.

I haven’t really proven myself in the corporate world, as I have always believed that academia was the career branch for me. How can I possibly let that go without giving it the best I’ve got? I have decided to attempt and leave the university with a minimum of a Masters of Philosophy in Psychophysiology. That means no income and looking after two babies whilst I attempt to write a thesis of 40,000 words. I will also have to defend my work to an external and internal examiner during, what I can only imagine as a gruelling viva. I aim to do this by the summer of 2018 – will you follow my journey?

 

 

 

Living The Dream?

Here I sit having mastered the routine. The washing machine is humming, the TV is on but I’m not watching and the babies are napping. I have already eaten lunch and it’s only 11:30am, the dishes have been washed, the ironing done and there’s not much else to do but to reflect on the madness of the morning.

My bonkers toddler and 7 month old who’s suddenly found her screeching voice has something to do with this madness. I am incredibly proud of them, but boy do they demand. I haven’t actually sat down since I woke up which was at 6.00am and don’t get me started with eating….Well since I have…..Reeyan is curious about all food at the moment. Whatever I am eating, he demands a taste, so I’d hesitate to eat that spicy noodle dish left from the night before with the fear that he might throw his tantrum when it starts to burn his mouth! Its crazy mornings like these which make me wonder about my ‘position in life’, being a mother but above all my future career. Yes, yes, yes…I live for the day, but something has been bugging me lately and it very much affects my children and I.

Continue reading “Living The Dream?”