parenting

Guest blog: Breastfeeding

 

This week, my guest post / interview for Milk and Motherhood about the troubles I had with pain while breastfeeding was published. Here’s an excerpt

I hate being bad at things and I was bad at this… Looking back now, and maybe even at the time, I can take the perspective that there are some things you just aren’t good at and, for me, breastfeeding was one of them. Some people are terrible at maths, or they’re tone deaf, or they can’t catch a ball to save their life. I was yet to learn that motherhood is a series of “amateur hours” and I’ve always been scathing of amateurism. However, unlike deciding you’ll quit the basketball team or only do Arts subjects from now on, you can’t walk away from the aspects of motherhood that you suck at.

Read the full story here: http://www.milkandmotherhood.com/2016/11/interview-with-claire-constant-pain.html

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Dear Mr Zoo

Anyone who thinks we don’t have inherent sexism in our language and most of our texts from childhood onwards needs to do this simple experiment. Take the popular children’s book Dear Zoo by Rod Campbell and switch the genders of all the animals to female. And suddenly the characteristics seem way loaded.

Dear Zoo

 

Here’s an interesting Guardian article about gender imbalance in children’s books. And another article about the fact female voices figure far less than male ones in Disney films (yes, even Frozen, which seems mad).

When I think of the films my 5 year old son loves such as Finding Nemo (a dad looks for his son, and aside from one main female character, all the other main speaking parts are male – the irony being that a male clownfish actually TURNS INTO A FEMALE if/when his mate is killed.) Cars (one main female speaking part, the love interest) and Planes (two minor female love interests and a female secondary member of the crew) it does make me despair.

We’ve also recently started watching Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, a show I watched regularly in my youth. There’s 4 male turtles, their male mutant-rat ninja master, the male enemy – a Darth Vader style dude named Shredder – and his overlord Krang, his two male offsiders etc. There is one main, strong female – April O’Neil – a journalist, so that’s awesome. But do we really celebrate ONE main chick among NINE male characters? What kind of ratio is that? And how is it anything like real life? I could outline a similar catalogue for Star Wars and everything else but you get my drift. Sigh.

Also everything is Mr Sheen, Mr Muscle, Mr Mower etc. I’ve noticed this, along with the huge gender imbalance in kids cartoons, since I was a child and it always bugged me. I know this is because maleness is seen as “the norm/neutral” (I am not a gender studies expert, so excuse me for not using the proper terminology here) but still.

Going back to my first example. It’s not just that all the animals are male. I find that changing them to female gives the characteristics of the animals – She was too: Big, Tall, Fierce, Scary, Grumpy, Naughty, Jumpy – a whole different dimension that makes me feel uncomfortable in a way I’m not even sure how to articulate. What do you think?

Anyway…

Happy Mother’s Day!

The Spring Thing

Springtime in Zurich

I wanted to write a more cheerful post, as promised. This is not so easy for me – as anyone who has read more than two entries on here will know, I tend to go for cynicism over sentiment, self-deprecation over life affirmation. But hey, it’s springtime! Let’s bring the happy.

So I’m going to talk about parenting again. Funny story, actually. Last week I spent Mon-Weds working quite a bit, and doing my German. Then I took “time off” Thurs-Friday and spent it with my kids without working (ahem-much-except when they were asleep-ahem). And it was SO NICE. It made me realise two things. 1. I tend to think of myself as a Stay At Home Mum but I guess I’m really not. (I actually read a nice blog on this very thing – the Stay At Home Mum (or parent) Who Works) and 2. It’s soo fucking hard to get the balance right.

I make point #2 because it seems like the obvious answer to More Happy should be – well, just work less and spend more time with the kids. But I know that wouldn’t work either. I’d get bored, frustrated, and feel like I was losing myself, losing my edge in the workplace. Or do I protest too much? Hmm maybe I should try it. Unlikely. And, to be honest, I don’t think many Stay at Home Parents (SAHPs – waitasec – Saps? Really?! yikes) are “just” that anyway. Whether you’re doing the muffin tin meals I talked about last week, or not, or whatever else, there’s loads of stuff to get through when you’re fulltime on “home duties”: from grocery shopping, bill paying and, yes, fun crafternoons as well (which, I’ve since been informed that dads do do with their kids, although that wasn’t quite how I meant it… but I digress). I guess what I did last week for a couple of rare, early-Spring days was push all the other stuff aside and just hang out with my kids and my mum friends (I’m afraid I don’t know any local SAHDs – ooh, another unfortunate acronym!) and it was lovely and it made me happy.

As kids will do, both of mine seem to have moved into a new stage lately. The baby started walking a week or so ago, he sleeps better at night and is generally a pretty happy chap. It’s lovely although not unexpected – poor old second child is not breaking any new ground! I find I’m far more content to sit back and enjoy each stage with him, as opposed to chivvying for the next development. The downside is, we’re full-on into that Clash of Schedules time, which I also remember from my first kid. This seems to happen in the months around their first birthday… you’ve got yourself into a nice little groove with doing stuff with the baby, seeing your mates, maybe a bit of daycare in place… then suddenly: everyone’s schedules change! The kids are no longer napping. Well, not at the same times. Some are still doing 2 per day. Some have a longy in the morning, others have to be home by 11.45am for lunch and arvo nap or the whole day is shot. Some kids are walking and need to run around outside a lot now. Others are just observing life so their parents are still keen on the cafe. Some parents are starting to get back to work, so there’s a juggle around that too. It’s an awkward time. In a weird way, almost lonelier than the early days of motherhood when at least you’re in a sleepless babylove daze most of the time. Now things start to feel a bit more serious, a bit more this-is-how-it’s-gonna-be.  A new normal.

At the other end of my parenting spectrum, my big boy is nearly five. He’s been at Kindergarten / school for six months now and he’s just started some swimming lessons too. I don’t really see him in action at school but I took him to his second swim class last week and Oh, my heart. In half a year, he’s gone from being a toddler who wanted to carry his bunny everywhere to a proper schoolboy. There he was, bobbing about in the water, with a bunch of other kids his size, following the instructor, doing the stuff, occasionally getting distracted. So normal. Until I became a parent, I never wanted to be normal. But from my pregnancy onwards, I have started to appreciate the comfort of normality. “Everything’s normal” is mostly what you want to hear when it comes to child development from the womb onwards. OK maybe eventually you want to be told they’re super-special-whizzbang-genius at something… maybe… I dunno. But for now, normal is good. I never thought I’d say that.

Cars and a book about WWI

Cars and a book about WWI

Another interesting factor of my kids growing up, particularly the older one, is he’s starting to reach an stage when I can clearly remember myself at that age. I have some memories of Kindergarten (which you attend for a few hours per week from 3- and 4-years-old in Australia) but I recall a lot more of early primary school (from ~5yo). I’m remembering the toys and stationery I had, going to friends’ houses to play, the games we had at playlunch, lunch and afternoon recess… I hate to say it, but it’s given me another pang about not having a girl. All the stuff with dolls and hairstyles and glitter pens and dressing up and whatever else. I loved that shit. And it’s not that boys can’t or won’t do that but at the moment mine seem pretty content to play with cars, trains, weapons (we try to discourage this but what can you do, it’s the reality) and read books on animals and World War 1 (again – eesh. I don’t mind him knowing real history but I guess I wish he’d turned his attention to this a bit later). And it’s not to say that a daughter would necessarily be into “girl” stuff either. But still… a small sigh.

Anyway, my kids are generally awesome. And they really made me feel good last week. I even managed to channel some of the fight-play into a heavy metal battle dance off to Soundgarden with my eldest so I shall not complain. Plus, it’s springtime after what suddenly feels like it was a looong winter. The blossoms are coming out in Zurich and there’s lots to look forward to.

So that’s my cheerful post. Happy Easter.

 

 

The pointy end of parenting

Muffin-tin meal Claire-style

Muffin-tin meal Claire-style

I know anxiety is scratching at my door when the Perfect Mom Blogs start affecting me. I don’t need to see this shit about muffin-tin meals and crafternoons that people put up in some wack Pinstagrammed version of real life. No one is doing that stuff all the time (unless they’re paid to, surely!?). Ignore, ignore, ignore. And yet, some of the ideas are great, so I keep on clicking through…

But sometimes I reach a sort of critical mass when it all gets too much and I start feeling inadequate and grumpy. Because I don’t WANT to do all that stuff, most of it is just silly bits from the pointy end of parenting, or should I say motherhood (are any dads doing this stuff?). The 2% – where it’s like, the kids are fine, smart, happy, well fed and, by dint of their lucky, lucky birth, in the top 5% of the world’s wealthiest people anyway. And we’re also white. And (in my kids’ case) male. So, basically: life’s birth lottery won, and rest-of-life odds stacked massively in our favour.

And then there’s this final 2% of parenting where you’re not meant to say “good job” you’re meant to say “I’m impressed by how hard you tried” or some bullshit, just to tweak out any final flaws and ensure these perfect human specimens who are happy and obedient, but not too obedient (because they need to be able to say “no” to drugs and bad sex when they’re 15 – or something). And so they’ll always know that we love them unconditionally but what about when we sort of hate them because it really REALLY is time to turn off the TV and come to dinner now, and I just stubbed my toe on your toy while trying to get you to come to the table, you ungrateful little twerp. And they say “No” again and you just feel so much rage because you’re tired and they’re always undermining you and, and, and… And then they finally do the thing you want and then the love comes flooding back. I mean, that’s not unconditional love is it? Maybe it still is.

And you know what? The kids are fine. But they’re going to end up with a bundle of neuroses and insecurities, and feeling like they’re unlovable and getting too drunk and having bad sex and getting underage tattoos no matter what probably because: teenagers. And they are people and that’s what people do. And so they should. Or else there would be no art, no music, no writing, no politics, no cars, no iPhones, no science, no moany blog posts, no geography, no online reviews of mountaintop jacuzzis, no poetry, no love. No progress, no devolution, no society, no me, no you.

I am actually secretly worried that we’re yet to see the first generation of “gently parented” kids attain adulthood. I mean, what if by never raising our voices, we’re raising a generation of empathetic monsters who are so mutually understanding of each others’ boundaries and stuff that all that art, culture, politics and taxi drivers just disappears into one big puddle of polite political correctness (gone mad)? Nah. You know it won’t happen because, as I said. We’re people. They’re people. They will grow up no matter what we do. Even if they end up crying to a counsellor one day about the interminable crafternoons of their childhood… The kids are alright. And I guess I am too.

This post is dedicated to all my mum friends who don’t think they’re doing enough. You are. X

Kindanotthatgood?

image

Someone asked me how I was the other day. I mean really asked how I was doing. And it made me realise how long it had been since somebody made such an enquiry. I couldn’t give a coherent answer at the time but I’ve been thinking about it ever since.

So how am I?

I’m… I dunno

I’m a bit lost, actually.

I’ve been putting my energy outwards, out there, out and about. But am I getting much back?

I’ve been looking out for others, trying to be supportive, nurturing, educational and entertaining. But am I taking care of myself?

I’ve been distracted with busyness, paid work and paying bills.

I’ve been pushing the kids around and keeping myself moving while keeping things at arms’ length.

I tried to change things in my work situation but it seems to have resulted in stagnation.

I’m still waking at least once a night to feed or comfort the 1yo. I’m tired. Oddly: I don’t feel that tired. But I’m starting to dread my “shift” – the hours between midnight and 5am – in a putting-off-going-to-sleep-cos-I’ll-just-get-woken-up way.

I still lack a sense of identity here in Switzerland. As a sort-of-stay-at-home-mum. As an ageing alternative person. As … what am I? Do I need to be something?

I’m still struggling with minor-major issues around language. Silly-seeming things like putting off making a dentist appointment for my son, or booking swimming lessons because I know it will involve awkward-language encounters and cultural differences. (Although maybe I’d be procrastinating this anywhere, because I hate making appointments!)

I’m trying to be a decent parent. And I really subscribe to hands-off parenting, good-enough parenting, drop-the-guilt-parenting, all the slack-arse parenting I can read about, really. But sometimes days (weeks?) go by and I wonder if I’ve even “seen” my kids? Can that be right? Maybe I just forgot.

It’s hard for me to prioritise small moments and quietness over rushing and action. Shock?!

Maybe I’m not really connecting with anyone.

There’s stuff going on with our situation here that feels mostly out of my control. It makes me feel impotent and wary.

And I wonder if I should stop this silly, too-personal blog because what do I hope to achieve?

We’re good partners and parents together but we’re shitty lovers.

Feels like I might be playing a supporting role in my own life right now. And even though I’m totally nominated-and-likely-to-win the Best Supporting Actor gong, surely I should be centre stage?

How am I? Kinda not that good.

I wrote this last week on a particularly low day. We’re all supposed to talk about depression nowadays with no stigma, right? But I still feel weird about it. And, while I don’t particularly want sympathy or solutions, I guess I just feel compelled to put it out there, as they say. Anyway, so last week I didn’t do enough and this week I totally took on too much and I’ve been rushing about like a crazy mofo doing cooking/cleaning/planning/playdates/ good deeds/going on holiday and biting my nails and I feel better… sort of. Manic much? ha ha ha.

21 unexpected benefits of being a sleep-deprived mother of two

Making music together

  1. I get things done in a crazy adrenaline rush with the idea that it might give me time for a nap later. Today I dropped my eldest at Kindy, took the empties to the bottle bank and completed my grocery shopping by 9am. I never take a nap later.
  2. I give less fucks about attempting my abominable German in shops now, and then switching halfway through to English anyway. Haben sie putzessig? Um… you know… für… putz-er-(mumble, mumble) cleaning?
  3. Sometimes I don’t even bother putting on makeup before leaving the house. This is a big deal for me.
  4. Likewise, I tend to choose one outfit and wear it all week. Maybe a fresh top here and there. Fuck it. Who am I trying to impress?
  5. When my husband’s away, I can get both kids through dinner-bath-story-bed in about one hour flat. If he’s around to help, it takes 3. Once they’re down, it’s wine o’clock.
  6. That said, I drink less. I just can’t handle the hangovers when I’m up several times in the night and there’s no lie-ins. So that’s a health benefit.
  7. I’m thin from all the anxiety. I may look haggard, I may eat poorly, but I am thin. And I’d be lying if I said I didn’t appreciate that.
  8. Trips to the basement laundry room, rather than being a chore, are now a delightful “me-time” mini-break. Ditto for showers. 5 minutes when I can’t hear if someone’s chewing on the power cords or stealing each other’s toys. Bliss!
  9. When I see my friends, I can download information about everything I’ve been thinking, feeling and doing for the past week in about 30-minutes flat while we’re both kid-wrangling. My friend then does the same. We’re like socialising supercomputers. Or something.
  10. If I think I can hear my kid crying in the Kindergarten playground (it’s right next door to my house), I “just walk away” – maybe my heart is breaking but I gotta be callous and let him work it out himself. I’m so tired anyway: fuggeddabouddit.
  11. I used to be great at remembering birthdays, sending cards etc. Now they just whizz by and I don’t bother. Meh. Does the world need more Hallmark? I think not.
  12. Emails from friends are precious missives – I often read them several times over and look forward to sending my replies. Please write! 🙂
  13. I’ve become so efficient at clothes shopping – nup, nup, nup, yep that’ll do. At the moment, I no longer even consider dresses (because: breastfeeding), shoes with heels, “office wear”, anything with tight sleeves (can’t heft a baby with constricted arms) or anything too tight really, straight skirts (can’t sit on the ground), plain tops (show too much dirt), etc. It makes shopping very efficient, if rather boring. I don’t shop much for myself anymore.
  14. A night out is so rare, I get stupidly excited. I can’t believe I used to take this for granted! It’s almost worth having no social life in exchange for how wonderful it feels when I do finally get to go out of an evening. Almost.
  15. The precarious loveliness of small overtures – two playdates, a few yoga classes, a lot of information-sharing about our kids, and we’re becoming friends. We’re all just hanging by a thread, it feels like sometimes we just catch each other by the fingertips before one of us slips through the net.
  16. The look another mum gives you when you think you might have gone too far, but it’s fine because we’re all so exhausted and we understand.
  17. I’ve only got time to “play it forward” – I can’t remember enough day-to-day to return favours and I’d like to think we’re all helping each other as and when it’s needed. Plus, it’s SO NICE  when it comes back around.
  18. A true appreciation of the money vs. time/effort equation. Here in Switzerland I call it the “Going to Germany” conundrum (cheaper prices, but more time and effort).
  19. I’m learning to switch off my phone and shut down the laptop and try to spend “quality” time with the kids… um not right now as I’m writing this, obviously.
  20. Getting better at saying “no” or, at the very least, “not now”. It’s still hard and I don’t like it. But the saying-no-anxiety seems to melt away quicker with so much else on my plate!
  21. My emotions are much closer to the surface. I cry easily, whether it’s due to happiness, sadness, anger or stress. When I do something enjoyable (sightseeing, swimming, a good conversation, dinner out) I really love it. I may be finally learning to acknowledge my emotions. It’s a crazy time. I wouldn’t swap it.

What will work?

Helvetiaplatz

I haven’t had much time for this blog lately. Life has definitely got in the way! It feels like a new chapter in my Zurich life is beginning – or maybe it’s already begun. And that chapter is loosely titled: Work

I’ve been doing bits and pieces of work for a while, of course. Maybe I never really stopped. I seem to remember submitting in a very scattered piece of writing the week before I gave birth (thankfully salvaged by a kind editor who was aware of the situation and forgave not being up to my usual standards!) and I’ve been chipping away at various things ever since. Including taking on quite a lot (too much!) freelance while Himself was away for a month. It kept me sane. Or rather, helped me feel insane in a reassuringly familiar way.

But now things seem to have ramped up a notch. The baby is 8 months this week (time flies!) and I’m ready to put some regular childcare in place and increase, or at least formalise, my workload.

But

What about those German classes? I did a few back-of-envelope calculations this week during some much-needed downtime (thanks to Himself and the in-laws being around) and, well… I find myself in a bit of a quandary. Assuming I can find a childcare place for the baby (I’m thinking half-days at this stage) should I use that time to work, or to learn?

Work it, baby

Work it, baby

Picking up my German studies again is something I’ve been trying to do since I stopped prior to our Australia trip last October. It’s been a year. Oddly, despite thinking I’m “going backwards” by forgetting some of what I learnt, I actually feel more confident to bust out some Deutsch lately. Maybe it’s just my brain is so full of other stuff I have to give less fucks about being embarrassed. Tiny things like making myself say “Ich habe ein termin mit Laura” at the hairdresser instead of “I have an appointment with Laura” – which they would totally understand of course, but it’s so much better to attempt German. (and I’m sure I got tenses, articles and spellings wrong there, but the point is, I should say it anyway). Because otherwise, I just speak English and then I hear English in reply and how does that help?

And working is… work. I dunno. I’ve always worked. I like it. I get a lot of my personal identity out of the work I do. Maybe (probably) I identify more with being a writer-and-editor than I do with being a mum, for better or worse. I’ve done the latter for much longer, after all. So there’s that. Versus being a student, which I’m not exactly bad at, but maybe not great at either. I don’t know if I enjoy learning as much as… doing? Doing my job? Doing a job. Being a parent? Maybe I shouldn’t include parenting in the mix. It’s not something I can chose to do or not right now.

So working versus learning. It’s something familiar versus something new and challenging. But the familarity of work also has challenges within it. And, of course, I get paid for working. Whereas I have to pay to learn. Speaking to another expat recently (about a job), she said she didn’t feel 100% at home in Zurich until she joined the workforce here. And I get that.

Work can be fun

Work can be fun

Then again, there’s no doubt that learning more German will also help the assimilation process. And it will probably even enhance my career prospects in the long- or medium-term. Hell, maybe even in the shortish term if I can get to the stage where I could do basic translations/editing from German to English (with the help of Google no doubt!).

Work also stresses me. Quite a lot sometimes. Does language learning stress me? I think maybe not so much.

Assuming that I can, and will, work for the rest of my “working life”, but I can probably only learn German now, while we’re here in Switzerland (for however long that may be) I should probably take this opportunity… But if I have to pass on work to do so? Tough one. I guess I want to do a bit of both. But I don’t want to do a bad job on either. Hmm

I also have to give up some parenting time, particularly to do both. It’s quite a juggle. And time with friends? I haven’t yet attempted language learning while having a baby so that will also be interesting.

I read a really good article recently – Why Does Learning a new Language Feel Soo Bad? – about how we often feel it’s a moral failing if we haven’t mastered the local language. It really struck a chord with me. I don’t want to tie my self-worth up in German lessons. But I do seem to tie it up in the work I do (and in parenting, and maybe my social life). And now all these things are duking it out for my time. I’m not quite sure where that leaves me.

 

 

To the mom who blahblahblah

 

20150625_123559 (2)

There’s three different parenting no-nos in this picture alone

I am so bored of mum blogs and clickbait parenting articles telling me what to do, what not to do, 5 things to avoid and why I’m not coping (but here’s how). Yeah right. And the snarky comments. But if you can’t beat em, join em, so here’s my snarky response…

To the mum who said she liked the blog about not judging others then went on to say “except I just get so upset when I see mums like the one I saw today who did xyz” you are an idiot

To the mom who asked about changing her surname and mentioned in a longwinded story that one minor reason was a guy at work who’d asked if she was One of Those Feminists but she explained to him “no and oh how we laughed” you suck – aren’t we all “those” kind of feminists? The kind who believe in equality for women?

To the parents who post up that story about secondary drowning at the start of each summer. Stop it

To the dad who links to the latest pseudoscience story pertaining to something you should or shouldn’t do because it could KILL YOUR BABY or at the very least CAUSE IRREPARABLE DAMAGE even though you no longer have a baby but, like, a 4 year old. You’re just scaring people

In fact, to all the folks who link to stuff that’s supposedly “helpful” but is just some horrible scare story that makes the rest of us feel terrified and/or inadequate: please think before you click share. Please. Just for a moment. We’re not idiots, we could find this stuff online if we wanted to. Who are you helping?

To the people who crap on about how dangerous Cry-it-out is: Are you honestly suggesting that any of your peers would be doing this unless they felt like they really, really, really had to? Do you genuinely think their middle-class children with well-educated parents will end up like those Romanian orphans? OK then, shut up.

To the humans who post all that kind of stuff – who are you hoping will read it? Surely you and all your mates, just by dint of the the fact you’re articulate and social-media savvy enough and you care enough to be reading parenting articles at all, means you’re probably not doing The Thing, or are all too aware of why you are doing The Thing.

Even if all these supposed People Who Are Willfully Doing The Thing exist, they would never read the article you just put up anyway.

I hate this kid-in-danger-from-its-terrible-parents porn that seems to do the rounds. It’s a sick sort of thrill to read this stuff and think Oh My Gosh, these PARENTS! What are they doing?! Thank god that’s not me or anyone I know. In that case, why post it? If you honestly thought a friend or acquaintance was doing this shit, either confront them personally or button it.

IT’s NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS HOW ANYONE ELSE IS RAISING THEIR KIDS. BUTT OUT. Unless genuine harm or abuse is going on, in which case you should report it. Yep.

My advice (is it completely hypocritical to offer advice after all this? ha): Do what you feel is right for you, your family and your kid/s (probably  in that order). Follow the stuff you like, ignore everything else. If you don’t know what “feels” right, well… you do.

(This is not to say never share any of those parenting articles. I actually like a lot of them, particularly the gentle parenting stuff. And I find some of the advice useful. But all the scaremonger, don’t do this, do that, IRREPARABLE DAMAGE stuff and the passive-aggressive BS comments such as “oh it’s just her kids I worry about” can fuck off).

 

I wrote the above in a fit of pique earlier this week and had been debating whether to publish it when a similar post from my fave mummy blogger arrived in my inbox. Her piece, When did we start trusting experts over our own eyeballs comes across as much less nasty than mine! Which, in turn made me start questioning why I was so angry. Simple answer: fear. These stories about the myriad, unthought-of ways in which I may damage or even kill my kids scares the shit out of me.

Like everyone, I’m far from being the world’s most perfect parent (although I’d like to think I come close to being the perfect parent for my own children) and it’s so easy to focus on all the stuff you’re not doing, rather than thinking about the stuff you are. And, I guess, we have to be ever-vigilant. (Do we? I dunno. Maybe we should just relax and trust our own common sense?). Anyway, I’m about to start babyproofing my house because Baby S is getting increasingly wriggly, and when I start reading safety articles online, well they’re just full of things I haven’t done (and kind of can’t be bothered with) and a whole host of new dangers I hadn’t even considered. Gah! But I managed to steer one child through early childhood without any major mishaps, so… yeah.

I also realise that my reaction to people posting “aggressively helpful” articles is really my problem, not theirs. What one mum sees as “raising awareness” another mum sees as unnecessary scaremongering. So I’m wondering how I can address my attitude to that. I think taking a Facebook holiday when I’m feeling my anxiety rise is probably a good idea. But that would result in an increase to my FOMO anxiety! Once again, life’s tough in the first world.