Thursday, 29 September 2011
The Lost Week
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.