Thursday, 29 September 2011

The Lost Week

Last week was hard. Really hard. I am not sure what triggered it. I woke up feeling rather run down and bunged up, feeling the beginnings of a cold, but instead of phoning my boss and saying I was ill and then going back to bed with a Lemsip I had to get up at 6am, feed Baby Max and then get Toddler Charlie up, make him breakfast and then traipse down to a playgroup and spend a whole morning in a room with wild toddlers and screaming babies. And it went downhill from there.
Charlie is very astute when it comes to picking up on peoples emotions and an imbalance can really affect him. My stress, although I was trying so hard to contain it, was putting him on edge and making him clingy and whiny, which made me even more stressed.
On top of that, because I was feeling a bit pooey I wasn't on top of things I am usually on top of, like the housework, shopping and paperwork so I felt as though things were falling to rack and ruin around me, which made me even more stressed.
There were a few times during the week when Max was crying and Charlie was whinging, or I was trying to settle Max and Charlie would be screaming and shouting, that I had to leave the room, close the door and count to ten. A few times I cried for 'no reason' and a few times my husband got it in the neck when he came home.
Everything and everybody else disappeared in a fog of stress. I was putting all my efforts into just getting through the day without a meltdown that I forgot birthday's and didn't get back to people and left library books to run up a fine.
But I have emerged. I took the kids to my Mum and Dads over the weekend and managed to get out with my Mum and sister for (more than) a few glasses of wine and some adult conversation. And that's all it took for me to shed the mantle of Mummy for a few hours. On Monday I drove home feeling a little hungover but also like a weight had been lifted and so far this week has been a really good week. I am able to enjoy my kids again without feeling like they are dragging me down.
I was careful not to hide my stress but also not get emotional about it. For example when someone would ask me how I was I was reply with frankness that I was having a tough week and feel really down. I didn't want to hide behind this expectation that we, as mothers (or whoever is the stay at home parent), that we can't show a weakness, that we can't say that it's all getting a bit too much.
The 'real' side of being a Mum is coming through a lot on the blogs that I have started reading (a list of the ones that make me laugh and cry will appear here soon) and they have made me feel a lot better because I know it's NOT just me and I AM a good Mum.
A friend from University is pregnant at the moment. She is due in four weeks and we went down for her baby shower recently. I am not her only friend who has children but she asked if she could phone me if there was anything she wanted to know. I said, of course, but reminded her that she had people closer to home who had had children. I know, she replied, but you tell it as it is. As soon as she said that I felt glad that I had forced myself to be honest about being a Mum no matter how difficult it is. And I will continue to do so.
I love my kids more than anything in the world but sometimes I want to be in room without them. Sometimes they make me cry. Sometimes they make me more stressed than any bad boss has ever done. Sometimes I wish I could step into the Sliding Doors version of my life. But I would never change it. Much.

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