surrogate mum duties and a PTSD update

This time last week I was getting ready to spend 4 nights\days with 4 crazy & wonderful kids…My friends were going on a short trip to check out a potential job opportunity, but since it’s in another country they couldn’t take the kids. That’s where I came in!

The children are 11, 10 year old twins, and a five year old. Over the course of the weekend we were also joined by a 17 month old and a 5 week old! 6 kids total.

You might think I’d have gone a bit mad or felt overwhelmed… But I was totally in my element ☺ The thing I have learned is that bigger kids can be trusted to do things for themselves with less supervision, and can get certain things sorted by themselves too. They like independent time (but did still want to play!) Which is in huge contrast to littler ones who need more entertainment and definitely require more supervision!

We had a great weekend with only one Timeout, one head injury (me!*) and one moment of horror when one of the kids gave themselves Kylie Jenner lips by sucking on an aerosol lid until they swelled like a duck! I was not amused, especially when they came down the next day with a huge bruise around their mouth…

(* it turns out I’m not too wonderful at judging other people’s kitchen cabinets and avoiding the doors smacking me in the head…)

Since my surrogate mum duties (school run, feeding, laundry, entertainment,  bedtimes, discipline, general life sustaining) ended on Wednesday I at first felt a but bereft – turns out I really like the busy-ness of getting 4 kids where they need to be with everything they need. I have also come down with a horrendous cold which personally I think is massively unfair since I only just got over my last cold.

This cold is the kind where you sneeze all the time, need tons of sleep, and cough your guts up and strain your stomach muscles in the process 😢 Fortunately I made it through the week mostly intact but today….I have not gotten out of my PJs, let’s just leave it at that.

I was well enough for my first counseling session this week though, and I was really please that my scores on the wellbeing questionnaire show that I’m now on the borderline of “mild\moderate” anxiety, and on the borderline of “healthy\mild” depression. It turns out that I’ve unknowingly been using CBT techniques on myself to manage my anxiety, which I found rather hilarious. My counselor confirmed my PTSD diagnosis and likened my previous work situation to a 5 year domestic abuse relationship. We worked out it has still only been three months since I really cut ties with the old company, even though I officially quit before Christmas. You can’t really “get over” 5 years of emotional abuse in 3 months… But the positive news is that I’m feeling so much better!

An interesting turn of events was that last week I attended a training course about attachment theory, and the biological effects of abuse\neglect on the brain. As well as being totally relevant for my work, it helped me on a personal level to know how my brain responded to the environment and my day to day situation in order to protect me, and how the trauma started to have its main effects once I was out of there and in a safe emotional space. Plus it filled me with awe that God made something so amazingly intricate and complex! Astounding really.

So that’s the latest update from snuffly, sneezy little me. This post was brought to you on my fancy new Lenovo Tablet which I treated myself to this week (and then I received an lovely financial gift which more than covered the cost! I felt so blessed as it also covered the cost of my latest fabric shopping spree! Awesome!

Happy weekend