Review No2 Far Infrared Cocoon From Get Fitt

 

So in April I reviewed the Far Infrared Professional Sol Cocoon and Earth Mat (chair mat) from Get Fitt.  I had amazing results, and thought I should update you how things are going since then.  Plus I’ve had over 50 people try the Cocoon and Chair mat, so I”ll let you know what I’ve found out from those trials.

Things I have learnt:

  1. The Cocoon is much stronger than the Chair mat; if you have a chronic illness you are going to need the Cocoon, if you want to get better.  But the Chair mat will help you keep going.
  2. Using the Cocoon 2-3 times a week at my Salon & Spa is not the same as using it twice a day; doh!
  3. I’m lucky to be able to use it twice a day; some people are so sick they can only use it once every couple of days at first.  I’m not sure why, but potentially as I had my supplementation, nutrition, exercise, meditation and pacing in place.
  4. Circulation is King in recovery from every illness; I really hadn’t understood how important it is, so I’ll write more about this with more tips.
  5. I’ve been focussing on being able to work and be with the kids, not healing; this is a big shift in thought process for me, that I’m still working on it.

Pro’s of the Earth/Chair mat:

FIR earth mat

I use this for about 30mins at night and 5 mins in the morning.

  1. It’s much prettier than the Cocoon
  2. It helps me stave off a flare, or hold it off until I can get in the Cocoon.
  3. It helps me to relax ready for sleep each night
  4. Both kids love it before bed during reading time (it’s on a rocking chair).
  5. It’s great for bad backs (no it doesn’t fix them forever, you need to keep using it and go to Pilates).
  6. It can give a boost of energy, just not as much as the cocoon – I don’t think it would last more than a couple of days in someone like myself.
  7. It’s easy to use because you can sit on it while you work
  8. The kids also like to lie on it watching films etc when they are tired.
  9. You can lie it on your stomach or knees for pain relief
  10. Everyone who has tried it has found it’s great to reduce the pain and grumpiness of PMT (like magic!)
  11. It means I can take it with me when I go away and still enjoy my holidays

So I’m really glad I bought one for myself personally and for my clients and I would really recommend it either as:

  1. A cheaper option that you supplement with a Cocoon at a salon/therapist
  2. Or for pain relief/PMT/energy boost if you are not chronically sick

Pro’s of the Cocoon

Willow FIR

  1. Massively reduces POTs symptoms and stops a flare up (heart palpitations, feeling as though my arms are tightly bandaged, pain across back & shoulders, fainting sensation on standing up).
  2. Almost meditative in nature; it seems to put everyone into a state of peace and calm that creates a really deep sense of rest.
  3. It helps me with the sense of overwhelm that being a mum of 2 young kids + a new business + Lyme disease brings on.  Honestly, there are times when I think it is the only thing that keeps me going.
  4. The Cocoon shape definitely has a psychosomatic reaction and relaxes people; it must be a bit womb like.
  5. Using it 2-3 times per week is keeping me going.  But I’m not making the degree of progress in improvement that I was making before.  There is some improvement, but not noticeable day by day as I was getting before, and life isn’t helping me maintain the improvements at the moment.
  6. It’s great before or after a massage of for people who are too stiff or don’t like the intimacy of a massage as a replacement.

Case Studies:

Cocoon sol

Here is a list of the types of problems that people have come to try the Cocoon for.  I would like to try a few of them in more depth.

Relaxation, stress relief, exhaustion: This is the prime use of the Cocoon at the salon and it always works for this.  If they go racing out into the world, the energy will last 1-2days.  But if they pace, it will last 4-5 days.

Children: All react really well to it and it seems to be very calming and relaxing.  For mine, I get a lot less tantrums kicking off and their health seemed stronger.  It’s good with the Chair mat (better than before), but not as strong.  I’d love to try more with hyperactive or sensitive children.

Recovery from hard core physical exertion: I was really excited to have a Polar Explorer tried it out on his return from the pole.  So I can be sure it helps and that it fits very, very, very tall people!  A mum tried it after doing a moon walk and it helped, but I should have popped her on it again for her to get no fall out from all that walking.

Preparation for exercise: a couple of OCR enthusiasts (Obstacle course racing) have found it really helpful.  I’d like to try out a few more to see if it helps with their results and preparation for races.  Now personally I think these people are C.R.A.Z.Y and doomed to hurt themselves, but heh ho, who am I to judge, and at least this will help protect and/or heal them 😉

Recovery from viruses: Loads of people tried if for recovery of bugs/illnesses that they couldn’t shake off and it either worked immediately or by the next morning.

Cancer: It definitely helps with the exhaustion, stress and pain relief.  I would consider it a supportive therapy, but I wouldn’t want to claim or promise anything else.

Chronic illnesses: (E.g. Fibromyalgia, M.E., CFS. Ehlers Danlos Syndrome, Lyme Disease, Rheumatoid Arthritis).  It’s not a replacement or short cut for lifestyle changes.  It’s great for the exhaustion that often goes hand in hand with them.  The detox can be brutal, so care needs to be taken to not over do it initially; it even detoxes emotions (see my post on the sudden burst of grief about my parents death).  For some people it helps with pain relief straight away and for others it takes time; it’s going to take a few more clients before I can set people’s expectations clearly.  I definitely to keep going with more long term case studies on this.

What I’m going to keep investigating:

Dog On FIR mat

As you can see dogs like Far Infrared too 😉

I’m really interested in how it helps with PMT/Menopause and Depression, so I’m going to do some 2 month case studies in the coming months.  I’m pretty convinced it will help with these two really ‘normal’ problems, which would be amazing.

What’s not clear is which chronic illness is can not help or how many sessions my clients will need to make an improvement.  So we need to do more repeat treatments.

I reckon it will be good for weight loss, because of it’s motivational and detoxing abilities, but I haven’t focussed on this yet.  I can’t wait until it helps me, but the guys at Get Fitt reckon it will take another 4 months before my system normalises; argh!  (Yes, I know this shouldn’t be a priority, and I know I would tell you it’s not important!).

I’ll probably start all those case studies in a month or two, and just focus on continuing treatments with the people who have tried it so far.

In the meantime I’ve made a big decision; I’m going to take the Cocoon home for another month and see if I make as much improvement again as I did the first time.  this might seem really sensible to some people (and selfish to others), but it’s massive for me, as it’s a sign that I’m really prioritising myself ahead of other people and is a big step forward.

If I improve again, then I know that for the chronically sick I can only offer slow improvement/keep going treatments at Espiritu and that they’ll need their own cocoon to really improve (not knocking ‘keeping going’ as an option, as it’s better than ‘spiralling downwards’).  Also I’ll know whether I need to buy a Cocoon for my home usage.

But don’t worry, anyone who really needs it can still use it; I’ll bring it in once a week to Espiritu, or you can use it at my home or use the chair mat at Espiritu.

Want to try it?

Pop me a message on Facebook and we can have a chat.  If you are close, I really recommend you come and try my Cocoon.  I offer the first consultation (with a little coaching guidance) and first Cocoon treatment for free; that way if it doesn’t help there is no pressure on either of us.  My case studies are either free or on a large therapeutic discount.

If you aren’t close, Get Fitt do a ‘try before you buy’ option where you rent it for a month and then if you buy it, that rental comes off the price.  Do you mind mentioning to them that you read my blog posts, if you do take this option please?  They’ll give me a little reward and I’m putting any I get towards more products; there is no doubt that I’m going to need more support to recover completely from my Lyme disease.

At Espiritu I’ve created 10min, 20min, and 30min Far Infrared Cocoon services, a 15min coaching session for afterwards and packages of 6 for the price of 5 and 25% off 10 treatments.  Really popular is the Chair mat upgrade to pedicures/manicures/blow dries and the Cocoon upgrade to the Spa services (but remember, it will only be available 1 day per week for the next 2 months).

Remember to subscribe to this blog if you want to make sure you don’t miss the next instalment of what happens when I take the Cocoon home again and start using it on a daily basis again.

I’d love to hear from anyone else using the Get Fitt products and how it has helped.

 

Far Infrared Mat from Get Fitt Review

Sunshine

I’m better!

Not fixed.  But dramatically and unbelievably better!

It’s like someone switched the lights back on in my body!

And now I look back I can see that I was degenerating badly.  It’s actually quite scary now I feel better, to see how I was on an inexorable spiral downhill.  It was obvious if you had a little look at my house or Espiritu, which had become untidy and clogged up; I’m a lover of systems and organisation and the mess was a sign of my overwhelm.

Now I’m not underestimating the general stuff I was doing, CBD oil (since Sept and crucial for getting me out of bed), and more recently a naturopath (great for support, knowledge of Lyme and starting the healing process).  But this change was sudden, has continued, and is continuing and is all down to the Far Infrared mats from Get Fitt.

Here’s a list of the majority of the current improvements:

  • Physical stamina and strength improved dramatically (I can walk the dog on the same day as Pilates and am at last up to my old weights on my legs on the Stott Reformer machines).
  • Pain reduced, even during period (normally chronic).
  • Brain fog, depression and overwhelm blown away (Business decisions are about 50times faster and life is generally much sunnier).
  • POTs symptoms: Heart palpitations and pain from lack of circulation in top half of my body from POTs improved (scary shit – I didn’t like that)

So how did this happen?

Get Fitt Far Infrared

A few weeks ago I got a message from Lisa from Get Fitt. I’d heard of Far Infrared and even tried a sauna, but I was feeling so ill it took 2 weeks before I felt I had enough stamina to ‘waste’ talking to someone for 30mins.

On Friday 18th March she turned up with Mark the founder (a very passionate guy with that endearing ‘mad professor’ way to him).  They sat me on one of their chair mats for 10 mins (I was too sick for more apparently) and explained the science behind it.

Basically the mats improve your circulation.  By the blood moving around better it:

  1. Reduces pain
  2. Helps improving the immune system, thus with battling the bugs in funky illnesses like mine
  3. Gives energy, a bit like that ‘summer holiday’ feeling
  4. Has a detox effect without the sweat of a sauna
  5. Speeds up recovery from exercise
  6. Helps regain energy from over doing life.

Who can’t go on it?  Pregnant women and haemophiliacs, that’s all.

Off they went, and I was left with the feeling that they were really lovely people.  Then the magic started to happen.  Myself and one of my stylists reorganised the whole of the colour area at work, which required puzzle solving skills I’d been completely lacking for weeks and physical graft.  I should have been dead that night, but I was ok.  I was fine on Saturday too.

Sunday morning and it went PFFT (technical term!). OMG it was gone and suddenly I felt like I did before – it was a shock to remember how bad I had accepted feeling.  So I cheekily messaged them saying I needed another demo; after all it could have been coincidence.

This time they popped me in their Professional Sol Cocoon.  Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday were amazing – I spent time with the kids, solved business problems in 5 mins that had been troubling me for a week and started to sort through the mess at home and the salon.  There was NO way I was going without it anymore – it was definitely my new addiction.

By Thursday, less than a week after first trying the mats, I had booked another ‘meeting’ and built my business case to buy 2 mats:

  1. A beautiful Amethyst Chair mat (the earth pad) as a lovely upgrade to blow drys, manicures & pedicures and help clients with back pain, tiredness and PMT.
  2. The Professional Cocoon Sol for those needing it therapeutically like me, pain relief and clients who had pushed themselves too far; basically more of a relaxing and healing experience, all on it’s own or following a Spa treatment.

BUT I took the cocoon home and the continued improvement was so good, that I decided to keep it home during the Easter holidays.  I’d at last learnt the lesson to put myself first.  When faced with a week in a caravan and no mat I realised it was never going to be enough for me to just use the mats at work, so I bought myself a chair mat (the Super 7 body mat with 7 different crystals and minerals) for home.

So what have I achieved that is so extraordinary?

Fun

  1. I ran a 3hr training course, standing up the whole time, that I’d prepared for late into the evening for 4 nights running as it was the Easter holidays.  With no fall out the next day in pain levels or exhaustion.
  2. I went to Ikea with 2 children; a 4hr round trip, including lugging boxes and an amount of walking that would normally have killed me.
  3. I went to a wedding; normally a nightmare for noise and people overload.  I didn’t rest the day before, and just had a quiet day afterwards.  I had FUN!  And I DANCED for an hour!
  4. I’ve reorganised the whole of the downstairs kitchen, utility and playroom, and my bedroom, which required a lot of physical graft and organisation skills, I’d been lacking for months.
  5. I took the kids on holiday for 5 days ALONE to Park Resorts at Camber Sands, and although I was tired (what parent wouldn’t be), I had a wonderful time, as I was able to actually BE present with the kids properly.  We played on the beach (so I didn’t just sit and watch them play like normal), went swimming in the pool every day, and I just needed a couple of gentle days on our return to recuperate.
  6. Within a couple of weeks I was back up to my original pre-June 2015 leg weights/strings on the Stott Reformer machines at Applied Pilates.  My upper body, is still weak, but the constant feeling of constriction, like my arms were in bandages has gone.
  7. I’m not having to constantly ‘count spoons’ as us Fibro/Lyme people do, worrying that I’ve taken too many steps in a day.
  8. Work wise, I’ve been back ‘on the ball’.  It’s actually really scary to think how much I’d degenerated, I was really scared that the Lyme had gone to my brain, but it looks like it was just lack of oxygen.

And it’s not just me!

Willow FIR

So far my kids go on it once-twice a day especially little dimples; it helps when they are tired and reduces tantrums.  The big hairy northerner has used it to recover from migraines and exercise, and his Dad was a big fan (he’s not the type to be easily persuaded about anything).  It’s helped several friends with their backpain, but I want to investigate further to see how long the improvement lasts for.  It definitely dramatically reduces the pain and grumpiness of PMT in a couple of my girls at Espiritu.  The Amethyst Chair mat (or earth pad) has been in regular use, as much by my girls as clients over the last couple of weeks, so I’m really excited to catch up with everyone to see what happened during my holiday.

So tomorrow the Cocoon goes to the salon (boohoo!) and I’m very excited to see what magic it can create for my clients on it’s own as an experience, or as an upgrade to Facials.  I hope to see just as dramatic differences as it seems able to help a massive list of problems.  I’ll be offering it out for free for the first week and contacting as many friends and clients as possible.  Then it will be at a reduced price for the second week for those who couldn’t make it.  But I’m also thinking of permanently having a day where it’s heavily discounted, to help those who need regular treatments.

I’ll write more soon, but I want to let you know that I’m better, and it’s been a month, so it’s definitely lasting and continuing to improve even more.

Update: Read my second review here.

Exhausted Mums

Does it help to know I struggle too?

Exhausted MumsDoes it help you when you are shattered to know that there are days or big periods of time when I struggle too?

Does that make you feel better about it, and normalise it?

Or does it make it seem hopeless?

Practially speaking, the only reason I can write the tips I write, and the whole inspiration behind my book ‘Six Steps To A Sparkling You and Enjoying Being A Mum‘ was the fact that I have experienced the struggles that Mums have.

But I’m not sure that you want to know that I still have bad days? Or that sometimes I literally have to make myself read my own stuff to sort myself out?  Or that this means that there is no ‘permanent fix’ out there?  Is it more helpful to see a constantly positive image like Annabel Karmel gives?

 

So I’m having a ‘bad period’ at the moment.

Looking at the list below, it’s nothing major, it’s more the quantity.  If I write down everything that has happened it makes total sense that I’m knackered, shattered, overwhelmed, and not sure which way to turn.

 

1) Constant side of back, shoulder and jaw pain – improving, but had it for a couple of months, and haven’t been as often to the Osteopath as I needed to go because family life ‘got in the way’ (that old excuse).  So can’t run and get the escape I used to get and it’s affecting what little sleep I get.

2) Unreliable childcare – the lovely Nanny bets was ill, so the big northern one offered to cover my client sessions, then he couldn’t do it either.  I’ve literally stopped booking client sessions until I can be sure of my availability, and I’m frustrated by not having had enough time to publish V2 of my book with a paperback version and get on with my new book.

3) Unreliable cleaner – it was only a couple of hours a week, but it meant that I had 2hrs that I could play with Little Dimples or not do 1/4 of the weekend doing chores.  Don’t know what it is about me and cleaners, but I must have been through nearly 10 in the last 7yrs.

4) The journey to find a nursery – I must have been to every single one locally now, confusingly ranging from £14-£37 per morning.  I was hoping for a cheap option in order to reduce the worry about paying for nursery, but ended up in tears just before the Jubillee after a rubbish settle; they didn’t introduce themselves to Little Dimples and only spoke to her for 5mins.  When I asked how come they thought she would stay with them next time they just looked bemused.  I’ve found a great one, but it’s in the expensive list and I still have the settles to do.

5) I’ve missed my mum; I’ve pretty much sorted my grief i.e. I remember her without pain, but it’s the best times and worst times that I miss having a Mum most.  I’ve also not been chatting to my mates enough on the phone because I used to phone them on the way back from the school run.  Last week I found my Mums favourite cousin had died; he was 88 and I saw him last year and knew I probably wouldn’t see him again; but I’m still very sad about it.

6) Of course I’ve been worried about Curly Headed Boy changing from private to state school, and there have been times when the nerves and excitement meant he’s had a few massive meltdowns.  Little Dimples has not adapted to the new school run at all and I regularly have a screaming child on one of the trips.

7) I got a stomach bug, which left me exhausted and feeling nauseous just before the half-term.

8) I’m finding it weird adjusting to the northern one being a contractor as it means not taking a monthly salary and I worry that we’ll over spend.  Ironically he doesn’t appreciate the fact that I don’t want to spend too much, so it’s not a popular thing to be worried about at home.

9) I just don’t seem to have the time to get all the work, family and to do’s done and it feels like walking through thick mud trying to get anything done.  For example, we’re trying to work out what we need for our first camping trip, but the time it takes is ages (I’m making some Pinterest boards so that if you guys need help I can make it quicker for you).  We’re worried that we picked the wrong tent and went to see another one at the weekend, but the horror of the ugliness of them all literally had me in tears ….. yep that’s the other problem, I’m like a walking waterworks at the moment.  Plus I’m behind on all my health stuff – I need to see a dentist, reckon I need glasses and the old smear test reminder came through the other day.  Just looking at my diary to see where I can fit them in is stressful.

10) Little Dimples dislocated her elbow poor little mite which meant that there’s been very little sleep for a week

 

Oh and I forgot to say that a squirrel bit me! Evil squirrel!

 

So it’s nothing major really.  I’m just whining really, because there’s been good things or are good things to look forward to as well –

1) I have a small group of really great mates, and felt loads better after speaking to one of them last night.

2) I was really chuffed to be nominated as a finalist in the BiBs and the MADs 

3) I’ve been really lucky with treats for me and the kids from my blog, from a wooden trike, to visit to whipsnade, and outfit from Joe Browns for Britmums, an invite to both the Penn Festival and Just So Festival and a weeks holiday in Siblu france.

4) The big hairy northern one’s contract seems to be going well at the moment and there are possibilities that it will be much longer than thought.

5) I really enjoyed being interviewed by Danny Smith over at Radio Verulam and have got an exciting new project coming up with them in the next couple of months.

6) Curly Headed Boy has just taken up Tap and Street Dance, so there will be lots more time for me to get some writing done on my book before the summer holidays.  Plus, although it’s taking a while to settle in with the kids he’s loving the school and it’s making a big difference for him (more about that soon).

7) The nursery I’ve eventually found for Little Dimples looks really good and will take her straight through to school, with great gardens and lots of space.

8) I’ve loved the Jubilee parties, it was all great fun and felt very community orientated.

9) I’ve got a new pillow which has really helped and a new mattress arriving tomorrow.

10) I’m really looking forward to the discussion den I’m helping with about online negativity next week at Britmums live.  Getting together with a pile of bloggers is bound to pick me up.

 

I’ve done all the tips that I wrote up on how to get energy quickly and then got hit by little dimples getting hurt.  So I’ve also cried, as that’s good for us too.  I probably just need some sleep and some sunshine.

It’s just going to be a matter of writing a list following my Dump/Delegate/Do/Delay motto and slowly working my way through all the things and accepting that I can’t click my fingers and make it better tomorrow.

But I’m going to make sure it’s better in time for the summer holidays so that I can have a lovely few weeks with the kids – that gives me 5 weeks to get through the list.

 

 

Exhaustion Tips – Always start with Physical

I’m pretty much a past master at dealing with exhaustion, having not slept through the night for 5 years.  However, it’s not really as bad as it sounds and only sometimes gets as bad as I described a couple of months ago.  In my situation, it isn’t a case of changing the kids, it’s more about dealing with it, and still enjoying my life.

I know when I’m exhausted because I want to shout at people/kids or cry.  That is the sign that it’s gone too far.  The emotional side to it can get thoroughly overwhelming, so I always recommend that we focus on supporting our bodies first of all.  If the body feels as good as it can, considering the lack of sleep, then it will help us to keep our emotions more balanced as well.

I was particularly reminded of this recently, because things had improved, and so rather cockily I had stopped taking the supplements I listed below.  Suddenly things got worse (Little Dimples at 15 months has decided to develop molars; Oh joy), and I was absolutely knackered, like someone had let all my energy down the drain.  I was thinking which of my exhaustion tips to publish this week, when I realised that I hadn’t yet published this one, and oh yes, had actually not been taking my magic potion (see point 1) for a couple of weeks because Ocado has stopped stocking it.  So I’m back on it, and perking up already.

(Please note, I am not a doctor, these are not meant to replace being sensible and going to the doctor.  If you have any medical issues, please check with your doctor before trying anything that you haven’t done before).

Things that keep the body going are:

  1. Floradix – this is a magical iron and mineral supplement, which makes a huge difference to me.  Pricey and for some reason it’s no longer available from sainsburies or Boots or Ocado.  But you can get it from a health food shop and other chemists (My local health food shop in Radlett sells it)
  2. Blueberries – seriously, I had a mate who visited once every couple of weeks, and I found that although we worked all day and I was tired, I seemed to be fine the next day.  Then I realised that she came with a big packet of blueberries, and I got the same results if I bought my own.
  3. Drinking water/squash – if your body doesn’t get it’s 8 glasses of water a day it thinks it’s in a desert: enough said!
  4. Bathing in Epsom Salts – you buy a huge bag from a health shop and pop 2 cup full’s in a bath.  It helps MASSIVELY with the sense of overwhelm.  It also helps to ensure that you get 1hr alone each week.
  5. Not too much chocolate – If I eat too much I get a headache and feel worse.  I’m not cutting it out, because it works for me right now, it’s just about limiting it daily, just as it is wise to limit caffienne and fizzy drinks.
  6. 15 min walk – I mentioned last week how fresh air always helps.  I’m not talking about running or anything strenuous that might tip your body over the edge, just a brisk walk every day.
  7. Massage/Reflexology – I’m a big proponent of massage or reflexology.  Even if you can only afford it once a month or less, you can do some yourself or find people in training you are cheaper.
  8. Omega 3,6 and 9 oils keep my brain more in order than it is without!
  9. Vitamins – as I’m still breastfeeding, I am taking pregnacare, because as much as I love Little Dimples, I know that she is basically a parasite sucking all the nutrients out of me.
  10. 5 fruit/veg a day – it takes a little effort, but is worth it, and I can feel the difference when I don’t manage it for a couple of days.

Not all of these things are cheap, but I suppose that being nearly 42 I’ve prioritised my health a bit higher up my list now, so it just means not doing something else.  Feel free to add your recommendations for people below, every little helps!

For more ideas …..

You might like to check out the rest of my tips on dealing with exhaustion.

UPDATE February 2012 – I’ve also just started a whole series on ‘Healthy Eating For Rubbish Cooks‘ which will take you through the most simple and basic nutrition that you need to know and some simple recipes.

For a whole life makeover, check out my book ‘The Mummy Whisperers Six Steps To A Sparkling You and Enjoying Being A Mum‘ – only 99p and you don’t have to have a kindle to read it.

Exhaustion Tips Starting

I’m so excited, I’ve been meaning to start a pile of tips on how to manage the exhaustion that goes along with being a Mum and having babies or children, but I just haven’t had a chance until now.  So today is the official announcement of my weekly tips!  I’ve broken them down so that they don’t exhaust me to share, and I hope that you will pass them onto your friends so that they can help as many Mums as possible.

Ages ago I wrote a post describing exhaustion.  It’s not just parents who have to handle it, often there are people with particular jobs that deal with it daily.  But there is a particular unpredictability and sometimes unendingness to a parent’s exhaustion and having not slept through the night in 5yrs, I reckon I’m very experienced at it!

Curly Headed boy was a particularly bad sleeper.  Things improved when I co-slept from 6 months, but he didn’t actually sleep through the night until I fell pregnant with Little Dimples and had to get up every couple of hours to pee.  Contrary to my belief that the universe is kind, so after a rubbish sleeper I’d get a great one; Little Dimples has actually been worse!

Just before she was born I was contacted by Channel 4 to be their ‘attachment parenting’ expert on a sleep documentary (some of you probably saw it).  I was really flattered (heh, it’s TV, of course I was chuffed!), but it wasn’t doable with Little Dimples arrival.  Thank goodness!  Because I’m not really the expert on sleep.  I’m the expert on making sure that my sleep choices work for my kids, and on keeping myself going without body parts falling off.  Plus the good news is that Curly Headed Boy (5yrs now), is a brilliant sleeper now, and I actually had hardly any of the typical problems people have with their kids and sleep/bed; so I must have got something right.

I’m quite surprised at my resilience to be honest, as before kids I was rubbish without sleep.  So to all parents worrying about lack of sleep, seriously don’t; you’ll deal with it, we all do and you might be one of the lucky ones!

First I’m going to introduce you to my ONE BIG RULE:  I am exhausted sometimes, but I’ve not tipped over the edge into not coping.  I might teeter occasionally.  But I don’t go in.  If I did, or was worried that I would, then I would definitely change my strategy.  I’m no angel, and I wouldn’t sacrifice my health for my children.  Generally, I might not be at my peak of energy levels, but I’m doing OK and it isn’t a problem for me day to day.

So, if you struggle with exhaustion, please make sure you don’t miss a tip by subscribing to my blog via email, RSS or on the kindle.  Oooh and if you want to see how close you are cutting it to going over the red line of too exhausted, sign up for my newsletter and you’ll get a free Life Health Questionnaire to give you some clues.

Exhaustion …. What it feels like

I’m writing this for three reasons.  (Well, I actually started writing it 14 days ago, but have been that exhausted that it has taken this long to finish!).

  • Firstly to share with non mums what it feels like.  I’m sorry to do the whole ‘you can’t understand what its like’ card, but seriously, I reckon that only Mums or people who have illnesses or who work shifts, can really understand the true meaning of ‘exhaustion’!
  • Secondly so that other mums know it is not just them.
  • And finally to remind me when these days are over, that my body really is too old to get broody again!

It starts with overwhelming sleepiness. I like the feeling of this stage as for years I was a rubbish sleeper. My eyelids get heavy, blinking takes twice as long, and it takes a huge effort to reopen my eyes. Suddenly I find myself asleep on whinnie the pooh. Max (4.5yrs) will either be shaking me awake or kindly putting a blanket over me, depending on his mood. But in a couple of months time this type if tiredness will be potentially dangerous when little Willow starts to crawl; there are stairs, small toys, so many potential problems. I remember waking up oneday with a start to find myself asleep on the floor and max nose to nose with one of our old dogs, who just woken up was trying to work out if max was a dog (who could be bitten) or a child. (We sadly found him a safer home very shortly after, which was extremely heartbreaking to do, but he was worried, let alone us).

Soon sleep becomes more difficult though as the worst stage kicks in. Your head hurts, there’s a dull ache constantly behind the eyes, your stomach feels like a washing machine, and all I want to eat is chocolate. After days of sleep torture, where you are dragged out of a heavy collapse several times, I then find myself incapable of getting back to sleep, which is just the worst kind of torture ever. The brain gets noisy and I get GRUMPY!

When we are grumpy, the ability to be nice to people, give them the benefit of the doubt, have endless patience with the children and be fun rather than shout, disappears in a puff of smoke. But no one appears to be willing to understand or let you be grumpy, or not as grumpy for as long as I’d like anyway! Expectations are high, children are disappointed, husbands snap back and ‘normal’ people either think you are stupid or a cow.  I suspect this is where many of the arguments in the blogosphere/twittersphere/facebooksphere originate from.

Soon perspective goes. That’s when there are tears hiding behind my eyes constantly all day long, and all I can see is an interminable long haul ahead with no hope of rescue. And frankly I’ve been tempted to throw both kids out of the window.  I hate the crying bit.  I hate the pathetic bit.  When I’m out of it, I can see how useful it can be (I’ll post about that in a few days, as I’m on my way out, cross fingers).  But when I’m in it, it feels like big dark sticky goo.

So don’t feel sorry for me, or be put off having kids, because it isn’t every day or forever, and I wouldn’t change a thing.  It’s not their fault that tonsilitus in one (mega puke city!), inevitably is passed to the other, and then other things go wrong like child-care etc.  But when you see a mum parking really badly or slowly, be patient.  She may very well be stupid, but she may also be operating on minimum brain cells due to the exhaustion.  Remember, it’s one of the most effective forms of torture, and lack of sleep can kill you!  When she snaps at you, hold your tongue and give her a hug instead. Most of all, have realistic expectations on what she can achieve and tell her how fabulous she is for managing it.  Finally remember, ‘this too shall pass’ (one of my mates favourite sayings, you know who you are SB!), and normal service will resume very soon, with a much cheerier version of me/your wife/mum/friend/workmate/neighbour.

To be continued …. Tips for picking up the pieces when exhausted.