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Your Happiness Matters

I am tired, I am so tired that I want to collapse on the couch and sleep for a month. I am not the only one who feels this way, I am not the first and I will not be the last. I am physically, emotionally and mentally exhausted but I will carry on….and on….and on. You have listened to me preach about exercise and nutrition in business related terms for months now and I feel we have formed a special bond. It’s time for you to know a little more about me to give you some perspective about my life and maybe you will find some tidbits to help you. 

Looking in from the outside, my life is perfect. I have a job that I love, a beautiful wife and two absolutely adorable twin 10-month old girls. We have just moved to a great area on the Sunshine Coast that is closer to my work and fantastic for the girls as they grow. I am home every night – sadly I know many dads must work away from home so this is something I truly treasure. I am fit and healthy, I eat well and I exercise regularly (of course!). So why am I tired?

Here is me from the inside (so to speak). In 2008 we tried to have kids but heartbreakingly discovered my wife is infertile so our longed for family was not going to be as easy as expected. Most of my friends had or were soon to have kids and no-one had any major issues falling pregnant so this hit me like an Ali punch. We started on fertility treatment late 2008. For those who don’t know much about IVF it basically entails my wife treating herself like a pincushion with multiple daily injections as well as all sorts of tests and procedures. Physically it is hard on her body, emotionally we were both wrecked, not knowing if we would ever be able to have kids. Fast-forward 3 years, 4 miscarriages and I have no idea how many pills, needles, doctors appointments etc later we fall pregnant for the fifth time. To say it was like sitting on eggshells does not do those first tentative months justice. But we were lucky, we finally had a solid pregnancy and just like my wife’s persona (she never does things the easy way), it was twins!! In April 2012 we were blessed with the birth of two healthy baby girls. Now the fun stuff really starts!!
After 10 days in hospital we brought bubs home. My wife was feeding every 3 hours – so very little sleep to be had. Slowly the girls grew and feeds became less regular, however by this point my wife was emotionally ruined, suffering anxiety, feeling guilty about not being enough for the girls, she broke down and we had to ring in some help. I was leaving for work at 3:30am and getting home at 8pm so Pru was alone with the girls all day. Help arrived and Pru improved, however I have not gotten over how she was. She is a strong woman (I wouldn’t want to go up against her) but we were both emotionally spent from so many years of high stress that we lost each other to a degree.
Pru and the girls are everything to me, ask any of my clients and they will tell you how much I talk about my amazing family. However by the time I get home I am exhausted from broken nights of sleep and long days so the people who matter most to me hear it the least. I now work shorter days and make sure Pru and I sit down and talk about everything, we are rebuilding ourselves piece by piece. We used to be fun-loving, carefree and much more relaxed but time and circumstances have changed and now we must be more regimented for the sake of the girls. Our days are busy and by the end we are exhausted. It’s easy to lose sight of each other.
Why am I writing this? I wanted to share because as a working father I thought that by doing extra hours and making more money to provide for my family was what they needed. However now I see it’s me that they need. I threw myself into work and found it severely affected my home happiness so I urge you to think of what truly matters to you and let them know. Take home a surprise gift, leave your work at work and have some quality family and friends time. Re-discover what makes you happy as only when you are happy can you make others happy and this will also show at work. 
Thank-you for letting me share my story.
By Chad Islip

Posted on May 22, 2013

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