'You got this', A little encouragement & my own mental health

It's amazing how simple words of encouragement can impact our thought processes, sometimes even turning our entire day or week right around and before you know it one small, yet thoughtful gesture has made the biggest difference in our life!
 Ironic as it may seem but becoming a parent has been both the most empowering life event for me as well as being the toughest, speaking honestly.

There is this phrase that has both taunted me and frightened me in my own journey of motherhood; it's often thrown about in the parenting world and it runs along the lines of 'find your village' and basically stick to it. For some, that means relying on the elder generations of our families; grandparents, aunts/uncles for that invaluable support in raising the next generation. For others that means finding like-minded friends, possibly sharing similar journeys to you and leaning on them through the highs and lows of parenting.

 It's something Eddy and I have talked about so much over recent months; that concept of having a village for our boys; even for ourselves. How do we communicate to people in our lives that while we might look like we have it all together, actually sometimes we don't. And sometimes, when you're battling through real troughs that honestly feel so much heavier than you can bear, (in my case, my lowest point was dealing with postpartum depression), you're at your most vulnerable and then you feel this maddening sense that you have to remain in it on your own, until you finally figure it out for yourself.

I think particularly in our instance, we've travelled around a lot over the years and so, as a result, we've never had the same level of 'hands-on' support as others around us. We've had to start from scratch in new towns and communities and naturally, we've kinda adapted along the way to dealing with things on our own and making our circumstances work to the best of our ability.

 It's a mindset I was always quite proud of because I felt like I was doing the world a favour by not talking about mental health and 'passing the baton' if you like. But actually, I see how toxic that mindset has been, crippling in fact.
In my head, I always thought this idea of a 'village', of supporting young parents like us was made for others, for those that shouted the loudest or somehow just happened to have luck on their side.  And it always comes back to this crazy deep-rooted concept that I didn't want to burden people around us with our problems, bad days, parenting fails or even a 'tantruming toddler' in tow!

Being frank, we've not had the easiest few years in many ways but I do think they were made harder by me always putting on a fake smile and not actually addressing the real stuff of life. Out of the two of us, it's me who has predominantly kept my mouth shut. My husband is way better at talking openly and honestly about where he's at; he's wonderfully authentic in that sense; one of his loveliest qualities!
Yet I am wired completely differently. I sometimes think the very people in my life don't actually know the 'real me', much less if I'm 'okay' or not. Why is it that we put on such a front and pretend everything is fine when it's not?

I know I have so much to work on mentally in getting to a place of freedom, in accepting the things I can't change and embracing the things I can.
Parenting, I think, has to be about staying in your lane and focusing on doing it your way; as long as your way is centred around giving your children the best of yourself; your love, time, support...all those crucial elements that make up the foundations of a parent-child relationship.
It's so easy to begin comparing your parenting journey with others around you and to wrestle with the stark differences in circumstances. And had somebody told me these words sooner, I would have had them decorate the house!

"You got this!"

It's as simple as that. YOU got this.

People might not remind you but with every little thing you do to love your family, you prove to the world over and over that you really do have this. And it might not always be comfortable, plain sailing or look, dare I say it, 'instagram-worthy'. But by the fact that you are a mother or father with little ones depending on you; every single day YOU GOT THIS and you should take encouragement from that, even if some days it's one of the few things pulling you through.

When Jade, the ever so talented designer at Jade Dare (who also happened to design this rather poignant tee) spoke to me about the concepts around it, I felt so drawn in; like it completely encapsulated my headspace and answered so many of the questions I had been relaying internally.
Designed in her own (beautiful I might add) hand, the slogan 'you got this' speaks light into my day; reminding me that I am more than the sum of my worries and concerns.
 As parents, we are our children's whole worlds and somehow that qualifies me and grounds me in this awesome role.

I've mentioned a few things in this post that I realise I haven't fully answered but I hope you will get the jist of what I'm saying. I think like with anything, we need to BE the change we want to see in the world. I know that our own journey has convicted Eddy and I SO much that we need to be there for those around us (and possibly BEFORE) we go about addressing how to find our village, or whether such a thing will exist for us in the same way.

Jade has totally hit the nail on the head with this gorgeous tee though and I would encourage everyone to go take a closer peek at her shop! Hey, we all need a little encouragement now and again!

*Jade kindly gifted me her beautiful tee for the purpose of this post.


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