When I started writing today I was going to tell you a story about how my blog came to be. How over the months that it took me to create the blog, and now the couple of months its been ‘live’, I found parts of myself I had lost somewhere in the journey of motherhood & wife-hood. Parts that have laid dormant for way too long. Instead, I find myself drawn to taking down my brave face for a minute and sharing part of my journey about how life’s continual curve balls have impacted my little family. How slowly losing your village as a mum can be soul crushing.
I have a decent husband. A man who I love with all my heart. Sure he drives me crazy and pushes my buttons, but when you’ve known someone for so long it’s bound to happen. We all learn over time what makes the other one tick. Hubby and I started dating 13 years ago and in 8 days we will supposedly celebrate our first wedding anniversary together, but here I sit reflecting on what a turbulent time we have had of late.
I won’t lie, it hasn’t been all ‘rainbows & butterflies’ for a while and if anything the last few years have hit us hard. It’s like being stuck in the ocean in a wild storm and you’re on a tiny boat trying to find land but being pounded relentlessly by crashing waves with barely anytime to catch your breath.
Before that storm our life was good, we had just had our second child. We lived in a beautiful home. I actually think it would have been my favourite of all the places I have called home. (We have called 6 houses home over the last 6 years across 3 different states and that doesn’t include the temporary apartments, hotels or caravan parks we stayed in whilst waiting to move in to some of the houses)
Back then we had rhythm, the kids were happy and settled. We had home made pizza nights and loads of family days out exploring the new state we were in. Life was good. Of course there were still some challenges, sleep deprivation, hubby travelling for work etc… but we managed, ‘We’ were all good.
Then the storm rolled in. Hubby’s mum was diagnosed with cancer. We packed up our little family and moved interstate to care for her. The same week that we moved hubby was unexpectedly made redundant from a six figure job. For 6 months we juggled our new life in another new state. It was hard, physically, emotionally, financially… but we had a rhythm and we had each other and we made it work.
We lost friends during that time. I am sure anyone who has been through it can understand how that happens but back then I didn’t. I personally needed a village during that time. Caring for my 2 kids under 3 and still exclusively breastfeeding my son, I was sleep deprived. All the while I was trying to create a home for my family whilst supporting my hubby and helping with all my mother-in-law’s needs and appointments.
My son had his own health issue which included us undertaking an elimination diet for 12 months (removing gluten, dairy, eggs, nuts & sesame seeds – that was a journey in itself). I was giving from an empty cup. I needed my own support crew but had no one to turn to. Instead I had some close friends and family members sit and judge me for not giving as much to them as I normally would have. It was one of the many soul crushing experiences I would have over the next couple of years. My village diminished completely all the while suffering silently.
One day, very unexpectedly hubby got a call around 6am to say his mum had passed. I can still relive that day as if it was yesterday. That day my hubby not only lost his mum, but he also lost a best friend. His cheer squad and confidant. Not long after that we got a letter from the Real Estate saying the owners wanted to move back into the house we were renting. So, with that we were to move out by Christmas. With no real purpose, no job and nothing holding us down we took a leap of faith and moved to the Northern Rivers. A place for the kids to grow up with some space and nature. A place to get back to basics.
The problem was, and still is since that initial move 3 years ago hubby and I have lived out of each others pocket. Day in and day out. It’s not a healthy thing for anyone to do especially if there is no rhythm or clearly stated roles for each person. What worked for us before the storm wasn’t working now. Hubby was the breadwinner and he enjoyed what he did and had purpose in his life. I was the homemaker who dabbled in my doula or website work when I didn’t have newborn babies. Now our roles have merged and overlapped. We constantly step on each others toes. We have become tangled in a whole lot of heart ache, frustration, exhaustion and confusion. He lost himself and is still grieving. I’m the same.
I don’t know what the answer is or how to break the cycle. I just know that I have to keep trying with the knowledge of knowing that no storm, well nothing really, ever lasts for ever.