The futile struggle with stress

I once believed I had the power within me to deal with everything that came my way. From my experiences with life and the size of the ego I had, it was what I had to do to get by, be the man with all the answers. As problems surmounted in the stream of life, the more overwhelmed I gradually became. And the more pressure I felt to deal with my problems the harder I fought.

I can only speak for myself but I had a big problem in the face of my struggles. In that I didn’t ever want to admit that I was finding life hard. To me it was a sign of weakness. This prideful – ego driven attitude only pushed me further into conflict with myself. No man likes to admit defeat, especially within himself. The only relief came from distracting myself from my problems. Yet nothing ever got resolved.

I remained on a roundabout for years; battling with my problems. Unwilling to sit still and be honest with myself and others as the ripples of my conflicts affected everyone around me.

I resented that I was struggling to cope. And that the more I struggled the worse my problems seem to get.

Life is supposed to be challenging, we cannot avoid stressful situations and people who bring emotional upset our way. All these events we face daily, bring with them a temptation to react. And each time we do we are pulled into an emotional struggle of resenting and judging within ourselves. I have found since becoming a parent to triplets the pressures are relentless, and I cannot allow myself to get pulled under constantly by rising negative emotions. The weight that would put on my family would be too much for them to carry.

In the past I struggled with ,my depression, my alcoholism, my anxiety, my mental health, my addictions, my negative thinking and all of my personal relationships. It was an exhausting existence fighting to deal with all of that under the surface and try to look outwardly okay (believe me, most of the time I didn’t).

I discovered there is a simple solution to becoming overwhelmed with life pressures. And it is not to struggle. Or to fight, or to assert any willful effort at all to personally resolve any conflicts I was experiencing. The answer was to do nothing. Just sit still and do absolutely nothing. To simply wake up and become conscious through this very special metaphysical exercise.

If you are willing to meditate using this unique Non contemplative meditation you will almost instantly discover the solution to dealing with stress. You will also discover what has been causing your inability to manage.

And the solution lies in the present moment. In the ability to just watch the temptation to struggle from the meditative state.

This is how to get there……….

 

https://schwarzhoffmedia.com/non-contemplative-meditation/

 

 

 

 

Battle Royale

Over the last few weeks there has been a big change in developments with the triplets growth and the way they interact with each other. Whereas before they would be mostly content to play together, it would seem they are becoming a lot more jealous and aggressive with each other.

For us as parents, especially my wife it is making the days more stressful. If one comes over for a hug, the other two will make their way over and it becomes an all out scrap for attention. Lacey has figured out that headbutting and pushing over is a more effective way of eliminating her opponents rather than hitting them on the heads with whatever is at hand. Don’t get me wrong there are still times they play and share together, it’s just less frequent now.

cheese.jpg

Ava has began taking her first steps which is encouraging the other two to do the same. Blakely is further ahead with her vocabulary than Ava and Lacey. But all in all they are developing well.

As for communication, the girls have developed their own language. The health visitor explained they may take longer to develop real words and speech as they have no reason to learn words from us. They are quite happy to chat in the language they have. It’s funny to sit and listen to babbling and laughing with each other and occasionally wander over to sit and tell us stories with all the animated faces and arm and hand movements. We just agree, because whatever they are telling us is obviously important.

So as the home becomes more of a wrestling arena we just have to do our best to calm and gently start to discipline them, because if we let them carry on regardless we are going to end up with a gang situation in our home. My wife, Frankie and I against the force that is the triplets. And what a nightmare that would be!

 

Relentless

There are many ways to describe parenting. Relentless is just one of them. Becoming a parent to triplets is consuming. There is little or no life beyond work and caring for three dependant babies.

There has been no social life outside of the home since their arrival. My wife and I almost live in a bubble now. Of late the girls have all been through an illness which threw us back into sleep deprivation and served as a stark reminder of how tough this job can be at times.

Amongst the trials of parenting and home relationships it can be easy to feel isolated from a world beyond our home. There is always a temptation to resent our situation. Which is why it is so important that we work together as a family to pull through the lows we all experience.

Right now the girls are 16 months old, and the gravity of the change in our lives has been immense. Yet we still manage, because every child needs to thrive in a loving environment with stability from the two people who influence them the most. It is this knowledge that I  remain conscious of daily.

I can confirm that it doesn’t get easier. What happens is that my wife and I just adapt to the momentum and changes life with multiples bring.

And above it all the triplets are happy content babies. Which is a reminder through the harder times that we are achieving the ideal we work towards. To bring them up in a loving home, relatively free from stress where they are free to develop with confidence and strength. And they amaze us each and everyday

mornings

 

 

 

The Book

Early this year I felt compelled to make a start on a book. As I have discovered having children is an incredibly stressful event, however many babies are involved.

I decided not to write a parenting manual. There are plenty of those on offer. So I decided to write something different, from my personal experience. To document my journey and offer a solution to meeting the pressures of life as a parent. To show there is a way to consciously meet the rising negative emotions in life and parenthood that will positively affect our children. The book is different to this blog.

I have had my eyes open to reality that many families are not making it. therefore I believe what I have written is an important undertaking.

I know I haven’t posted for a while, but I am currently working with an editor. It is a bigger job than I imagined. I want to put out the best work I can. So thankyou for your patience and I will be back with updates on home life soon. Which as you would expect is hectic….very very hectic.

DA7FC860-7A40-49E5-9767-BC3EC288AADF

Frankie – an interview with big sister

Life is different for all of us since the arrival of the trio. The changes that happened over night have affected us all in different ways as a family. And how we work and find time for each other.

For Frankie, as she now approaches her Eleventh birthday, she has been nudged somewhat from the spotlight, as the demands of the triplets consume most of our time. Life now revolves around them. Yet she has adapted amazingly well over the last year. Although not obliged to help out she is alway’s happy to help with her sisters.

img_2713

As  parents we both had obvious concerns as to what the impact would be on Frankie. As an only sibling, having to make way for three more in one go it could have become a troublesome situation with ongoing issues. But we needn’t had worried. We are both incredibly proud of the maturity and understanding she has shown towards the changes.

We have been meaning to do this post for a while. To give Frankie’s experience, straight from the horse’s mouth as it were. In doing so she thought it may help other children with brothers or sisters arriving, know that it’s going to be okay.

Here are Ten question’s I put to her –

What was it like for you before the babies arrived ?

F –  Quiet. It wasn’t invaded with baby stuff. We used to be able to watch a film together every Sunday. And we used to go to the park every weekend.

What was it like finding out you were to be a big sister to triplets ?

F – Traumatic. It was a big shock. But once I got over the shock it was a bit exciting.

Did it worry you that they would take all the attention ?

F – Yes. because I thought that when friends came to play they would want to just see the triplets and not play with me.

And has it been like that ?

F – Sometimes.

How did you cope with that ?

F – I think they’ll just get bored with them after while because their babies and they can’t play much anyway.

How much has life changed ?

F – A lot. It’s changed because I used to be an only child and the house has been overtaken with babies and baby stuff. And before they were born we got to do more together as a family, like get out the house more.

What is the most annoying thing about having three little sisters ?

F – That they take all the attention from you and Mummy.

What has been the hardest change for you ?

F – Getting used to having three sisters. Because I thought I was only having one brother or sister, and I found out I was having triplets.

What has been the most fun ?

F – Having triplets, playing with them, bath time and looking after them. They are lots of fun.

Have Mum and me changed ?

F – Yes, You’ve changed in the way that you get tired from the babies and sometimes get frustrated, but you can’t help being tired when you are getting up in the night.

What could we do better ?

F – Nothing really, you can’t help being tired.

What advice would you give to any children worried about the arrival of more babies in their family ?

F – I’d say there’s nothing to be worried about, because once they’re born you’ll have so much fun. Especially when they start to get older and communicate and talk and play with you. And they won’t annoy you as much as one baby would, because they have each other.

img_3451

 

 

 

 

 

Three ‘tuned-in’ monkeys

It’s 1.30am, I wake up to the sound of Ava giggling through the monitor. Her giggling is followed by squeaking and babbling from another awake baby. Within seconds all three are wide awake, chatting and giggling away in the dark of their room.

This goes on for around half an hour before suddenly they go quiet. And as fast as they woke up – they are back to sleep.

It happens occasionally, maybe more than we know. My wife has also heard them having a midnight mothers meeting. They are now frequently communicating, and God only knows what they are planning. My guess is the best way to get over the stair gate and up the stairs. These babies are on a constant mission.

20180903_173035[1648].jpg

The girls are at a stage in their development where interaction with each other is constant, especially now they are crawling together. They are like a cub-pack following each other around. And if one’s crawling in front, they will always stop to check the other two are following behind them. No one gets left behind.

They share toys, and share babbling conversations ,which obviously means something to them. They also play peekaboo with each other. If Ava or Lacey is lying on the floor tired, Blakely sit next to them and stroke them while saying – “aaaah”. These babies are funny to watch. Blakely also washes her sisters in the bath. She’s very caring. They all are.

20180903_182433[1692]

 

It’s wonderful that they are growing and sharing together. They are a right little bunch of monkeys who seem to be completely in tune with each other. All very intelligent as they are mischievous.

I’ll leave you with a quick development update –

Ava and Lacey are walking with a stroller

Blakely has figured out her whole finger fits up her nose.

Meeting the stress of a busy head

When I lived alone, each morning I used to wake up with that relentless voice. as soon as my brain kicked into gear it began supplying me with negative thoughts.

“Why do you have to get up so early? there’s too much to do today, and if you forget to pay that bill you’ll be more stressed than you are now, in fact you’ll probably go to jail. And how are you going to cope in jail? you’re going to have to sharpen up on your fighting skills, you’re not as young and fit as you used to be. But there’s always going to be that one guy who’s bigger and faster than you. And while you’re in there – getting your ass handed to you on a plate, your flat will get repossessed, along with your guitars. Then your really screwed. And what about work today?, you got a full day ahead of you with no time to pay bills. And i noticed your front near side tire was looking a bit flat last night so it’s probably completely flat this morning. And you havent got a spare. So how are you going to get to work? imagine what your boss is going to say if you let the guys down today of all days! and if you can’t work how are going to pay for that tire?. I bet you didn’t get sugar either. Oh man! coffee without sugar. And did you see the way that guy in the local shop looked at you yesterday, he probably wants to rob you…………”

And then I would begrudgingly drag myself out of bed, already stressed, agitated, fearful and wound up before I even left the bedroom. And that was my everyday morning. It’s no wonder I drank so much!

Living with over thinking is hard work. It’s a constant battle with doubt and fear. And the harder I struggled with it, the worse it got. When I got sober the thinking got louder and continued to batter my mind. Only it really sucked, because I couldn’t drink to quiet it. Instead life became one of constant distraction from my own head.

When I met my wife I had found a little peace with it, but still it amplified with the stresses of life. What became clear was that my thinking was a problem. I was lucky enough to meet a man who showed me a way to live unaffected by my thoughts. Through a unique meditation I was able to separate from the negativity in my head and simply observe it. The only way I can give any power to my thinking, is when I get lost in it.

Anyone who lives with symptoms such as anxiety or depression will relate to a noisy negative mind. It pulled me daily into a self-absorbed existence of which it felt there was no escape. Most of the stress in my life originates from within, non of its real. And when I did meet a problem in the stream of life it just reinforced my negative thinking. it would smugly announce “see, told you that would probably happen”.

I can’t imagine how I would be able to parent, and raise a family without meditation. Dealing with stress begin’s with observing the pull of my own internal conflicts. If I am free from the constraints of my over thinking mind I am left only with a natural, silent intuition. A natural guidance system that allows me to effortlessly deal with what’s in front of me without being overwhelmed. Life becomes peaceful as a result.

img_1571

Here is a link to the meditation exercise. It’s free, incredibly powerful and life changing.

https://schwarzhoffmedia.com/non-contemplative-meditation/

I hope you find use of this, if not now maybe at another time. But believe me, life will never be the same again.

 

 

 

 

Bullies

This week my wife took the triplets with a friend to a soft-play centre. Whilst the babies were happily playing, a young boy aged around six leant over and yanked Blakely’s arm. My wife told him sternly to go away. A few moments later the little boy returned and punched Blakely in the face. A six-year-old boy punched one of my babies in the face leaving a mark!

IMG_2005
Blakely met her first bully this week

My wife promptly took the boy to his Dad and told him what had happened, he was led outside and shouted at. A few minutes later he came back over with his son and told him to apologise, which he did, in a cocky manner. The boy then asked his Dad if they were still going to Mc Donalds and they left.

It has played on my mind since it happened. My first response when my wife relayed me the story when I got home from work was shock. Followed by rising anger and the thoughts of what I would like to have done to the boy, and what I would have said to his father. The anger I felt is the response every bully looks for, a transference of the anger they carry themselves. It’s like a spreading infection.

I saw that anger ripple out as I told friends and family of what happened to Blakely. And It made me realise again the damaging futility of harbouring resentment towards others.

Once I had processed the events I felt only forgiveness and concern for the boy. There is a tormenting spirit inside every bully, no matter how big or small they are. They have separated somewhere along the way from their natural discernment of what Is right and wrong. No one is born a bully. They are almost always tormented themselves. To allow yourself to become angry at the actions of a bully is to give them exactly what they want, the spread of internal dysfunction. To see others suffer as they are.

To forgive is not to hate. It doesn’t mean condoning a situation like the one little Blakely experienced, or does it mean sitting back and doing nothing about those who torment us. It takes courage to stand up to bullies in the world and not to resent the anger we see in them. And one day I will show my girls a way to defend themselves. And more importantly – how to forgive.

As for the little boy who punched Blakely, I hope he finds some Fatherly guidance before his life becomes one of only trouble and chaos.

Daddy/Babies day

It’s been a long few weeks at home with the ups and downs of life. My car was hit and written off a couple of weeks ago which left me with a few aches and pains and the stress of finding a new car. In the meantime Stacey has been dealing with the triplets and a very bored Frankie on her school holidays. Thursday this week the triplets had their latest jab, thankfully the last ones for a few years.

As imagined they didn’t go down well. Thursday evening Blakely broke out in a little rash so Stacey and Frankie drove her to the hospital while I took care of an unsettled screaming Lacey. Thankfully Ava, who is seemingly tough as old boots and is our very own wrecking ball ,was fine and slept. Blakely was also good, they were just reacting to the injections. On Friday morning they all woke with a temperature after I left for work, this left Stacey with three fired up screaming babies who just wanted cuddles with Mum. But with only two arms she was in for a hard morning.

By the evening they had settled and are now back to normal. So today Stacey and Frankie are getting a break from babies. And I’m taking over. It’s normal for me to pick up at the weekends and take over the feeds and the rest of the daily baby routines. But today Stacey and Frankie are going out for a bit of a much-needed pamper, and some all important Mummy and Daughter time away from the house.

So, this is how it goes for me. They woke up at eight so I changed them all and let them play in Blakely’s cot while I went and got a cup of tea and did my meditation. They are more than happy with each others company. It gives me an opportunity to get my head in a good place for whatever the day brings.

cot
Impromptu cot party

This is followed by a hearty breakfast of five wheatabix. Next up it’s a good hour of playing before they have a bottle and go back for their morning naps taking us up to lunch. After which Il be taking them out to town, to most likely be bombarded by comments and questions from strangers, ranging from the hilarious, to the down right inappropriate. I’m seasoned at dealing with the curiosity now so it doesn’t faze me. There will be a hand slapping though if anyone tries to touch my babies, you keep your grubby germs to yourself! If you do see me out and about il answer a few common questions now – No they are not IVF. Yes my hands are full. I am not helping out as a Dad – Im bossing my job as a Father. And no, they are not a nightmare, they are my daughters and they rock!

20180811_093419[827].jpg
Sisters are now doing it for themselves
In just over a week we will be going away for a family break to Stay with Stacey’s parents, and we are all ready for it. It’s been a while since we had the type of help that allows us to step back and slow down a bit, even dare I say it – relax. We may even get another date night in. But til then it’s on with the routines, on with life, and on with my day alone with the girls, which are days I cherish. And as busy at it is, life has never been better.

 

 

 

One Year of writing

A year ago today I launched this blog. My reasons for starting it were mostly because I was sleep deprived, and it seemed a good way to document an experience felt I was forgetting. The other reason was that It may help inform others who may be expecting. After all I had no idea what was coming my way and I thought it may be useful.

I didn’t plan it, or think ahead as to how it would turn out. If nothing else it would be something for us as a keepsake. I didn’t want to miss a minute of that first year. At times it kept me afloat, when I was struggling it helped me stay connected to what was around me. It kept me close to my purpose, of taking care of my family.

I discovered I enjoy writing. I don’t have an academic background or much knowledge on the craft but non the less found it a way to Express what I was going through. And as a result It has been a way to reach out to many who were, and are, struggling themselves from resentment and fear surrounding Fatherhood. Writing of the darker elements of what I have been through I have hopefully opened the lid on what some men really go through. To me it is whats important. I purposely stayed away from advertising and monetizing it as I didn’t want to lose focus of why I write.

I never expected to get as personal as I have, and in that sense it has been a cathartic exercise. I’m not perfect but am always willing to grow. The main ingredient to becoming a Dad is a willing to change, I see this need for improvement constantly in myself now.

I began writing a book at the beginning of the year, that I am now at the tail end of finishing. It goes much more in-depth to my experience stepping into Fatherhood. A book that has been hard at times to write, and not just because I work full-time and we have three babies at home to take care of. My hope is that it informs and inspires any man walking this path. To see that it is possible to pull through the rougher times of the early days, and become and remain a loving, stable presence in his children’s and families life. No matter what path his life took before Fatherhood.

Il leave you with this photo of my little chickens. Who have inspired me to be a better man, for them, my wife and Frankie. I truly thank all of you who follow me and take the time to read my ramblings. And to all of you who send messages of thanks, encouragement and support.

 

bath.jpg