Recently I have been in a real slump, extremely over tired and very fed up.
Being a stay at home mum is hard, really hard. It’s hard because its relentless.
I can handle the housework, I can handle the kids, I can handle the Christmas shopping, the food shopping and that countless other tasks that require my attention. What I struggle to handle is that I need to do all of these things (with the exception of the Christmas shopping which is seasonal) all of the time and the majority of the time I get nothing back, no sick days, no holiday, no breaks.
Well perhaps that’s a bit harsh I get to stay at home and watch my beautiful babies develop into bigger babies, then crawlers, talkers, toddlers, children, and eventually young adults. That truly is invaluable and I am so incredibly lucky.
Here is the but, I sacrifice me. I sacrifice my identity, my time and sometimes my sanity.
There is a lot of talk at the moment about mental health and well-being. I truly think that mental well-being as a mother of 2 very young children is a massive roller coaster of stress, pressure and emotion. the majority of the tough times caused by a simple lack of sleep. As a younger person I just did not realise how important decent sleep was until I wasn’t getting any. Its incredible how much lack of sleep can change a person.
Just recently I have been finding it very hard, I have been very tired as the baby is teething and the toddler, well he has never been a good sleeper, but he is getting better. I deal with both of them every single night on my own while my husband snores away happily in dream land. My husband just doesn’t wake up to any amount of disruption at all. Having said that if and when I do need his help because all hell has broken loose and they have both turned into screaming banshees, I wake him up and he does his best to help me, with not a single grumble or curse word (unlike myself on particularly tough nights).
I have been so grumpy and down and irritable that I found myself getting wound up at the smallest of things, trying desperately not to let my children see my distress and anger. I have been harping on about needing some me time (which I never get, no exaggeration). The problem is that I am my own worst enemy, When I have to opportunity to get some time to myself I often don’t take it. There are many reasons for this. I am shattered and can’t be bothered to make the effort for myself being the main one. It’s almost like I wanted someone to do it for me, I wanted someone to say “I’ll take the kids, you go and have a couple of hours” but I have to accept that at least for the time being that isn’t going to happen. Mostly because my 6 month old little girl is both breastfed and going through strong bout of separation anxiety.
So after feeling sorry for myself and going through day after day in a thick fog of overtired gloom for months, I decided spare of the moment to take the kids to my mums. When I got there she was really not very well so we didn’t stay long but I had time to kill before picking up my husband from work (we have just the 1 car which he normally uses) So I took the children into Cambridge city centre to do some Christmas shopping. We had such a lovely afternoon. The baby slept most of the time. As it was quiet I allowed the toddler out of the buggy and he behaved beautifully and we had a wonderful afternoon. Got to my husbands shop early and got a take away which we all sat down and ate together before going home (he half owns the shop so wasn’t breaking any rules).
The fog had lifted and I was light, happy, chirpy even. I have no idea what changed but that afternoon something shifted, the fog lifted and I have felt so much better since.
I am still struggling with the tiredness and day to day but I am doing my best to remind myself to let go of the little things and focus on the good. Its a constant battle but a battle for the moment at least, I am winning just a little.