I have moments when I think 'I'm too tired, I just can't....' but then I do one more thing and another, then another. Once I get started I get into a rhythym and before I know it, I've finished what needed to be done. I think it's staring at the vast amount if work and seeing it as a whole that is so daunting. Breaking it into manageable tasks makes it so much easier to start. Eating an elephant one bite at a time.
We had our session last night and it was great. I would have preferred to go further into things, but I agreed that last night was pretty heavy for G. I wonder though, that I feel as though our sessions are a trip into my mind but I don't recognise the landscape. Is that not such a great thing?
A said it was clear there were some deep, unresolved hurts in our relationship and I thought 'yeah! What are they, I want to know'..... As if she had the answer from listening to me speak. Because I don't think I could say what they are. Is that me trying to pretend everything's good?
I was asked what I felt when G came home, and I answered 'nothing'. I said that I had done everything by the time he got home so didn't need his help, and that he was so detached from us that there were few other benefits. I hastened to add that it wasn't just myself who felt that way, but that when he had a work function a week ago the kids never asked about him - even when I put them to bed! A suggested that we work out an activity that G can do with the kids, that gives them his full attention. When it was put into words that he only gets 45mins a day with the kids (and does nothing special with them) it was a little shocking. I don't claim to have loads of attention to spare, especially one-on-one, but I do get time to focus on the kids.
Yesterday was a really stressful, mentally-exhausting day. I'm getting together my application to lodge to start study next year. I hope very much that I will be accepted into a Direct-entry Midwifery course - my awful school record is still dogging me. I have to better my score by a whole heap to even be considered. I also have to write a 5 page Personal Competancies Assessment complete with in-depth referrals. I have one being written but my last boss hasn't replied yet and it's causing me some stress wondering what I'll do if she says no. It would be perfect if she would write one because I not only worked but also studied through that position, so it demonstrates many skills.
I feel so scared that I won't be 'smart' enough to be accepted. I know it just means more work, and a harder slog, but it will be heartbreaking to not recieve any offers. I just need to commit myself to a bridging course next year and try again - I need to organise my mind to accept that is my only course of action if I don't succeed. I will not give up.
Who am I kidding? I'm a quitter. If I don't get in this year I'll totally flake and do a short course and get straight into work. I'll tell myself it's because I can't afford (literally) to waste a year learning things I should have learnt in school. I'll also tell myself it is probably a good thing I didn't get through because I've been having doubts about putting baby G into childcare at his age. And I may have problems getting the care for his age group anyway.
Ok, so I got that out. I sound like a complete loser. That's exactly why I am where I am, a SAHM with no qualifications. I even have doubts now about the decision to give up riding. I know physcially it's the right decision, but I worry that it could possibly be my quitter attitude coming through. I really wanted to succeed though, I had so much passion and put so much effort in. How my life has changed from one year ago. I was on my way to the life I'd always wanted, riding, studying something I loved, working with horses every day. The study was so easy, because I loved the subject matter. I needed to work hard on my riding but I could ride every day. Then I fell pg, so what huh? I could still teach and study, I got permission to be signed off in reverse order so I could complete my riding test after I had the baby. It was all working out beautifully. Then the large baby, the physio who advised not to ride for 12months. Then the prolapse, the physio who advised longer and that I'd be at risk of another especially considering my age and riding so often. Poof. There goes my dream.
I don't know. Should I continue to push myself even with the risks? I don't even know if G would let me. Do I want to suffer with the effects of prolapse for the rest of my life? I have to live with it hanging over my head as it is.
Ugh. I haven't thought about that for days and I hate that I'm back there again.
On the G front - I felt a bit drained about the whole thing last night. I thought about it all too much and ended up putting myself in a mood, not that he noticed of course.
I just feel as though I'm pushing our life along, G included. He was making a half-arsed effort to spend time with the kids last night so I suggested they do teeth and books early so they could read for longer. They were all very happy with the arrangement and I got some down-time until Gabe woke up and I had to give him another bottle.
I hate that nothing happens unless I make it. Even though I don't DO everything, I am RESPONSIBLE for everything. That is exhausting and frustrating.
On a lighter note, Sashi is the cutest thing. I just had to talk to her about eating toothpaste and I ended with 'no morning tea for you'. She looked at me with this hang-dog look and said 'no lunch for me?' in this little, accented voice. I had to turn away to giggle and then turned back and said 'you can have lunch, but no MT. And eating toothpaste is very naughty'. I then sent her away so she wouldn't laugh with me as we tend to do when I need to chastise her.
I wonder why I never feel *angry* when I need to talk to her about being naughty. I feel frustrated and fed-up, but never angry. With Zo I always feel angry. I try so hard to make sure she knows she is loved by being more loving afterwards, but why does she cause that emotion in the first place? I'm sure A would attribute it to the situation after her birth and perhaps that is so. Being left with a baby, alone and a new Mum, dealing with PPD alone - I'm sure that caused some emotions to be transferred to her.
How awfully sad. I need to give her a cuddle.
I just got off the phone with G. Little gripe coming up......
I was being flirty and suggestive - and I know that he had walked back inside - he barely replied and said he had to go. I felt totally shut down. I feel as though I keep making myself vulnerable and getting hurt.
I am a relatively happy person IRL. Honestly! I am!! I read other journals and think how positive and charming these people sound.....and I know mine doesn't come off like that at all. Meh.
Well, it's Monday. Back to thinking about my Uni application and the usual fears regarding it. Still no word from my ex-boss as to whether or not she'll do a referral. I need to get started on my PCA anyway though.
I had a major tantrum from Sasha this morning, which is really out of character for her. She has started not wanting to open or shut the car door. She's been doing it by herself for ages but all of a sudden has developed an aversion. I wonder if she's had her fingers caught in the door or something - but I'm sure I would have noticed or she would have said something. I want to believe it's something other than laziness. I might swap her back to the other side of the car so I'm closer to help. Though that may be part of an issue as well. Perhaps I've 'helped' a little too much.
So she threw this almighty tanty in the driveway and I just walked inside. I had Gabe in my arms who was in desperate need of a feed and I figured I could watch her from the window while I fed him. I went out twice (while my poor wee boy screamed) to get her to shut the door but she refused. I eventually came back in and shut the front door. She got back in the car and sat in her seat for a second and then got out and shut the door. Sigh. How hard was that?
Mum called and we had a quick chat which was nice. I do miss our morning coffee together. And not having to rush in the mornings to get out of the house.
I was cranky again this morning because I got out of bed and made the kids French Toast w/ strawberries, tidied the kitchen, started Z's lunch, did hair, got S dressed, washed bottles and was trying to keep Gabe happy until I had time to sit and feed him. Garth got out of bed and came to get him, but took him back to bed! I was narky, even though I knew I should be grateful he was getting to SEE Gabe for the only time today.
Can I just say again, how excruciatingly cute my daughter is? I get to the point that I'm ready to scream and then she smacks me with a whole gob of cuteness.
We had another tantrum over the car door this morning. She had been outside for the longest time and I'd gone back out to finally sort the issue. It took us a good 5 minutes to get her to shut the door - this was after the original 15mins she was outside by herself.
We came back in and she sat on the foor to take her shoes off. I was wondering how to move past the emotions the whole process had evoked, for both of us, when she looked up at me, smiled and said, "That was fun".
I've got little C today, which as always has been fun. He's such a cutie, and makes life easier if you can imagine!! Who thought having more kids around was better?! He plays quite well with Sashi so that's always a bonus for Mummy time!!
They're currently sitting on the Rocking Horses, together, rocking away. Other than a comment, giggle 'I farted', they're quiet. Sasha is holding on so tight I wonder how the poor kid can breathe.
I was asked yesterday if I watched the Equestrian events on TV. I answered no because it breaks my heart, and got a funny look in return. This was a stranger at school....
I honestly think I heard the crack when my heart broke as I watched the Dressage on Saturday. Shoulder in, half turn on the center line, half pass - I just hurt inside.
I thought to myself today (when I gushed on about riding on the ATB) that I could just go back and teach, just to stay in the game. But how can I? I felt so smothered being stuck teaching wee kids anyway, and having to hand my older kids over when they reached the highest point of my ability to teach. How can I teach beyond my own riding capability? I can't, and that's that.
I loved 'my' kids so much. I loved teaching them. I loved the joy on their faces, and I loved how proud they were when we nailed something.
I want to scream at him, "look at me, Look at me, LOOK AT ME!!!!! SEE ME. See my pain. See my battered soul. See me. See what I have become and who I am. See what I have lost. See what I have sacrificed and see what that has done to me. See what loving you has done to me. I am stripped bare in front of you, you just have to look and see me.
His speech tonight was about how he doesn't ask for more money even though he works his guts out to earn it. He has worked hard this week, I give him that. However, I didn't ask him to work longer or harder. I also had to live with not having a husband most of the week.
It made me feel as though he thinks he has the right to ask for more since he earns more. So does that mean his budget is double mine because he earns the money.....and I don't. He *deserves* more but he doesn't ask for it, and that's his sacrifice.
My sacrifice has been my career, my body, my entire being.
I was going to have my dream wedding and move back here to study, except I got pregnant. I had the baby, had the stitches, the pain, the lack of sleep, the PPD. I stayed at home and looked after the baby by myself while he worked away. I lost my body and self esteem. I had another baby, more stitches, pain and PPD. I jumped between jobs that made me feel stupid and belittled. I worked through a third pregnancy even though I was sick to the core. I had my last baby, I had surgery, I had PPD, I had a prolapse, I had soul-destroying symptoms, I had more surgery. I have lost my uterus and my sense of being womanly. And somewhere in there, I lost myself.
Currently, I am a full-time Mother to my three children. I have one school age child (5) and two younger children (3 and 6 month old). Preparing to undertake full-time study has required significant planning and commitment, from both myself and my husband.
I have booked my eldest child into Outside School Hours Care at her school and have spoken to her about attending. We have arranged for the occasional visit to let her transition slowly so that any issues that could arise can be dealt with before the start of my course.
My youngest children have also been booked into Childcare and we have visited the center to familiarise ourselves with the setting and staff. Both children will start their attendance prior to the beginning of my course, again, to ease them into the situation carefully.
Making the transition as easy and painless as possible will be our goal. Giving ourselves as much time as we can will assist in this, allowing me to spend time at the center or having them attend for shorter periods to build up to a full day. The children may need extra attention during this period which requires more time and effort from me. Ensuring I have that to give will be important to our family.
I am very much aware that I may be more restricted than most to the amount of time I will have to devote to my study. However, I believe that with a routine and understanding of my limitations, I will be able to apply myself wholly.
As evidenced, I have prepared my circumstances so that I will be able to attend full-time classes and practical components of the course. I have the support of my husband to allow me to study over the weekends. I believe it's important to maintain my focus in my children's lives, so intend to study as much as possible of an evening and blocks of time over a weekend. During exam periods I expect I will require more time and suspect that sleep may suffer as a consequence.
My lifestyle will be changed dramatically in terms of ability to socialise with friends in the manner we do now. Even the amount of television I watch will be affected, however remaining focused on my goal of becoming a Midwife should make the minor discomfort of missing a favourite T.V show bearable. Having seen friends and family 'disappear' during exam periods, I am aware of the focus of time and concentration required.
I believe that participating in the practical aspects of the course will foster my motivation to suceed as I will feel compelled to be professional, which means, to me, knowing what is required. It would give more opportunity to get realistic feedback regarding my level of knowledge, as opposed to a classroom setting only.
I have spoken with a Midwife regarding the opportunities available after the completion of my studies. It is vital that I can make this career work around my family as well as satisfy the passion I have for the job. I am aware of hours, shifts and issues that arise within this field. Low staff levels concern me, however I believe that is something to fight to change, not a reason to quit.
Midwifery has been a passion of mine ever since I gave birth to my first child. I found the thought of becoming a student again daunting and it wasn't until I began studying to become an Equestrian Coach that I discovered my love of learning.
As a child in school I railed against learning because I found the lack of choice in subjects to be stifling. Various other reasons gave me a lack of interest in school work, and I spent hours simply reading. Unfortunately, this led to a low OP which supported a lack of belief in my abilities. Until I found something I believed in, I found study difficult and didn't believe I could suceed in a tertiary environment.
I found Equestrian Coaching by accident and even though I wasn't working in that field, I set my mind upon it. I contacted a local Riding Center and offered to work for free in exchange for the value of the experience. I was offered a position and began working as a stablehand. After a matter of weeks I was able to begin teaching young children the basics of riding and was given more responsibility as time went on. My studies started slowly due to the Equine Flu, however everything was new to me and was a steep learning curve. Once we were able to begin examinations I was able to throw myself into studying. I found the work incredibly easy to learn because it was fascinating to me. I was limited by my pregnancy, so my theory work was a focus and I was motivated to suceed regardless of severe morning sickness.
Unfortunately, I was diagnosed with Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction which meant I was unable to work. As the rest of my level's testing was practical based I was forced to put off further study. After having my baby I suffered a prolapse and since have had a hysterectomy. It is not advisable that I ride in the next 12 months, preferably not excessively at all. As my examinations are riding based and I am unable to teach beyond my personal skills, I have chosen to follow a different passion. It has caused me grief that I put such commitment into a course and that I am forced to quit.
In reflection, I can see the correlation between my passion for the course subject and my ability to focus and succeed. I intend to use the same passion and motivation to achieve at this course.
I feel quite strongly regarding education and support for women, from pre-conception to post partum. While my ultimate goal is to work on the Labour Ward, I see the value in education before women reach that point of their pregnancies and how this may affect the outcomes of many labours. Being someone who has suffered Post Partum Depression after all of my births, I have much interest in support for women in their post partum period.
I have spent many hours researching and reading about many aspects of conception, childbirth and it's risks, and the post partum period. Having done this for my own pursuit of knowledge and enjoyment, I expect I will find some of the subjects interesting and easy to master. Of course, I also expect that some subjects may be neither easy, nor interesting to learn. From experience, I know I will need to remain focused on my end goal and ask for assistance if I require it. I plan to use a tutor if I feel as though I am not acquiring the knowledge as expected.
In my role as Coach I worked quite independantly and all of my study was self-motivated. My job involved teaching 30-60 minute classes to individuals in succession. I prepared a lesson plan for each lesson and was limited to mainly vocal commands to instruct the student. Time management was very important and was my responsibility. Many aspects of the lesson could affect the plan or timeline so I was required to be flexible within the class limits.
I prepared a lesson plan as a basis for teaching different students and would go into each lesson with a goal to achieve. Whether or not I was able to instruct according to that plan was based on the student themselves, and part of every lesson would involve revising information taught in previous lessons. If a student needed extra work in a certain area I would mentally amend the lesson plan to include revision, sometimes devoting the entire lesson to this. As a way to ensure consistancy in lessons, I would fill in a form for each student to advise other coaches what had been taught. This allowed for students to be booked with any coach. It was my responsibility to check each student's records before commencement of their lesson to prepare a lesson plan.
Another aspect of coaching was preparation of the horses. Students would be assigned horses based on their skill level and a coach may be required to prepare more than one horse before lessons began. When a conflict arose regarding availability of certain horses, it was important to be able to quickly find a solution so that classes weren't affected. Start and finish times were vital to be adhered to for this reason. I would arrive at work 30 minutes before my shift started to ensure I had enough time to tack up the horse/s, check my students and their information and prepare my gear.
Other than a basic course and one supervised lesson, I was responsible for the knowledge I gained to enable me to teach students. I was able to watch other coaches and observe training days for higher level training. I read books to increase my knowledge and wrote base lesson plans to cover a range of abilities. With this I was able to go into any lesson prepared.
I was never 'graded' on my performance or abilities, however, I had a loyal base of clientiel which I attribute to being good at my job. I always felt compelled to be a professional, so pushed myself to learn more even when it wasn't expected of me. I was assigned students with higher skills than what I had been trained to teach so I would find more information to help me grow as a coach. I used my student's attitudes to gauge my success, if they felt challenged then I believed I was doing well.
It could be quite stressful at times, as there was no break between classes. When one finished, technically, the other started immediately which was impossible. Staying on time was exceedingly difficult especially with so many other elements that could affect time-keeping, which were out of my control. However, working with animals and children made it imperative to stay calm and collected. I could not allow my attention to wander at all, as safety was essential. I found the best way to deal with stress was to focus on the task at hand. If a student was having trouble with a task and that was causing stress for both of us, I would try a different way of explaining or looking at the task. Some children were difficult to teach, for example, I taught High Needs children and a Disabled adult. It could be intensely frustrating at times, though I found it easy to step back and keep things light. Humour and a sense of fun kept things in perspective. I would keep the thought "Kids need 90% Fun and 10% learning" in the front of my mind.
In terms of my study, it was mainly self-led. I could choose what I wanted to study and in which order I wanted them examined. When an Examinator was attending the school I would advise what I required to be tested upon and it was my responsibility to be prepared for it. When a number of students were being tested at the same time, I arranged to practice skills with a student who was proficient in those skills.
My employer gave me permission to use their facilities and I regularly practiced skills that were required for the course, which I otherwise would not have learnt. To begin with I would study the theory behind a certain skill, for example, washing a horse. I used books and the internet to find information. I would then ask someone who competant in that skill to observe and advise where I needed to improve.
I was requested to teach a Holiday Camp of up to 25 children. I wasn't given any guidance as to what information should be taught, I was only told the days and times I would be responsible for the children. I decided that to enable me to teach appropriate information in a professional manner, I needed to write a plan. Firstly, I wrote out a list of basic information I felt should be included and sorted them into catergories. Then I estimated how long each section would take to teach. After writing a timetable that set out start times, breaks and free time, I inserted each activity. I took into account an order that relied on teaching basic safety first.
I taught 2 sessions of three days each. I was in charge of between 10 to 25 children at any one time. Whilst I was teaching basic horse management, every child had an opportunity to recieve a 30 minute lesson. I wrote down the order in which they were to ride and would need to break off teaching to ensure each child was ready to mount on time.
My Coaching position perfectly illustrates my abilities to be flexible, work independantly, time management skills and self-motivation. I worked and studied with little guidance or supervision. While I found this frustrating at times, it proved to be beneficial to my growth. I feel it has prepared me for a more formal learning environment and given me the skills to succeed there. I have proven myself to be able to recieve a set amount of information and then seek further knowledge based on my self-motivation to learn. My experiences have shown a talent for working to time constraints and organise tasks within set time frames. Working independantly without any outside performance monitoring has given me the capacity to be responsible for my learning and the techniques required to evaluate my achievements.
As a Coach I found my verbal skills challenged and strengthened. I was required to teach using mainly my voice and so found using analogies useful. For example, when describing to a child how to use their legs whilst riding, I would ask them to imagine giving the horse a 'hug' with their legs.
When needing to demonstrate correct position, I would use a lunge whip to show the line from shoulder, through hip to heel. While an adult may be able to visualise the 'line', sometimes it was easier to show a child.
I have also previously worked as a Phone Operator for an Insurance Company, I would lodge claims and arrange repairs. Verbal and communication skills were paramount in this position. In particular, when writing descriptions of an accident, many questions needed to be asked before being able to write an accurate account of what occurred. It was not sufficient to simply input "A car hit the side of my car". I was required to draw the accident scene with words. So the version would become "I was driving my car in the left hand lane of a 4 lane road. As I drove through an cross road intersection, a car coming from my left drove into the side of my car, hitting the rear left of my car."
Many times, customers were still shocked from the accident and would find it difficult to put into words what happened. It would take skill to draw a complete version from them. There were also legal requirements to satisfy that some customers would find inconvenient and stressful, such as not being able to complete a claim without the driver's statement and owner's permission. Trying to keep the customer happy whilst maintaining protocol could be difficult.
This position came with many tools to gauge proficiency and I recieved feedback weekly regarding my progress. I recieved one of the highest 'scores' of a 40 strong team of Operators for months. It was easy to improve and sustain good scores when feedback was so readily available. Customer feedback was also important and a clear indication of success. I recieved my first compliment, delivered through my superiors, within my first week working on the phones.
My aptitude of interacting well with others will be a benefit during my studies. I will be able to use my experience in asking questions to flesh out an idea or concept, and be comfortable if potentially stressful situations arise.
I completed Grade 12 which has provided a sound basis for further learning. I recieved non-formal training for my position as Operator. This involved a four week intensive course which focused on computer systems, phone manner, road regulations and legal issues.
I completed a short course through the Australian Sports Commision - Beginning Coaching General Principals. This was a requirement for my Equestrian Coaching Course. I was studying Introductory Level Coaching through the Equestrian Federation of Australia. I had a number of tasks 'signed off' by an EFA qualified Coach Educator. I was near to completing the Horse Management section of the course and had arranged to have the Riding Certificate waived until I had completed my pregnancy. With these two sections completed, and the other requirements satisfied, I would have been eligible for my EFA NCAS Introductory Coach Accreditation.
I had become proficient as a coach to young riders at the entry level of the sport. As previously mentioned, this involved study and the practical application of learned skills.
ARGH!! This is driving me crazy!!!!!! I feel as though I am taking SO long to write this damn PCA.
Things have settled between G and I, as they always do. To an outsider we must really seem hot-and-cold but for the most part, things are very loving. There is so much love there. I'm too tired to think about it all right now. I honestly can't even begin to imagine why we have problems with my mind being so mushy!!! Ah well, at least that guarantee's a good nights sleep!