So I’ve been feeling quite the terrible mother recently. On the back of sending all the kids to nursery in a morning and finally having some actual alone time after four tiring years, I’ve been rediscovering the old “me”. This has come at quite a price. I’m struggling to balance the old ‘me’ with the ‘mama’ and ‘worker’ I usually am.
On one hand I feel the need to clean, tidy and declutter the house, plan fun
activities with my kids, take them on outings and play with them. On another
hand, I have a massive workload to get through, jobs that won’t get done by
anyone else, paperwork and deadlines to get through and a whole social media
boat to steer. Then on the third hand, I want to swim, run, be romantic, hang
out with my friends, read, watch movies, bake, eat and do all of this in near
to utter silence without a small audience to negotiate round.
Much like when my triplets were small, I’m reminded I don’t have three hands
(as much as I’ve always needed them) and that all this stuff just can’t be
carried with two hands, something has to give. So I’m behaving more like an
unmotivated, selfish, tired, fed up person; than the vibrant energetic, engaged
individual I was hoping to emulate.
I don’t want to give up the old ‘me’ but I also don’t want to sacrifice
relationships, work and my children’s happiness in order to achieve it.
I have spent so long taking care of everything; feeding, working, clothing,
tidying, carrying and just endlessly grinding through each day that I’m not
entirely sure I’m not actually having some kind of mini breakdown. When faced
with the image of all this work to still be accomplished, I just want to sit
back and say “no” someone else can do everything, I am going to sit here, with
headphones on and read my book. But then inevitably the guilt, the thick hot
roiling mass of it hits me and I get out of bed and start doing all the work
I think I’m tired, but it doesn’t feel okay to be tired, it feels like now they
are at nursery I should be well rested and revived. In reality I think it might
just have suddenly hit me, in that moment when I could finally stop moving for
just one morning, and the whole exhaustion of the past few years piled on top
of me its overwhelming mass colliding with my previous propulsion. And I’m not
sure quite how to move on.
I’m desperately trying to find the balance between getting all the housework
done, doing a few things a day for myself, going to work, doing my job plus
raising and nurturing my kids. And no
matter how well I think I can schedule it in, there is never enough time to
achieve it all, yet all of it feels so vital.
The times when I can stop to smell the roses, I am racked by guilt that I’m not
doing something more productive (you have seen how much there is to do
right??!) that I can’t enjoy the peace, or the book or the moment. Instead,
much as when I was breastfeeding three babies, is that nagging voice in the
back of my head saying “hurry, hurry, hurry, hurry this up, you’ve still got so
much to do”.
I feel as if a third person has turned up into my previously balanced life, and is refusing to go away, despite how busy I am and keeps trying to elbow her way into my life.
In an evening I’m too tired to do much beyond a quick tidy, bathing (if
unavoidable) and then slumping on the sofa watching tv, reading or doing work
until such times as it’s a decent hour to go to sleep (that means I won’t wake
up at 5am and then feel even more tired tomorrow). In a perfect world I could
fit the “me” stuff in then, but by bedtime, the cup runneth dry.
I read this back and I realise I am exhausted, I’m not unhappy or disappointed
with my life, but I am so, so very tired. My blood test results continually show
something is wrong there (Vit D and calcium at all-time lows) which is affecting
my energy levels so hopefully once that is fixed I can feel less exhausted and
get some of my usual drive back. While this is a work in progress I am trying
to spend more time doing things solo (aka without kids); swimming, dinner out,
movies to get lost in all to just pick me up a bit and keep me moving forward,
but much like a drug the more I do, the more I feel I need to keep doing in
order to keep me satisfied, and there is not enough time for everything.
It feels a little like when you have finished a huge project at work and just
need to take a couple of weeks to recuperate from all the late nights, missed
lunches and massive amount of time and effort you have put in, only the job isn’t
over (although the baby years are) and the idea of having a holiday away from
your already very full life is laughable.
I supposed it doesn't exactly help, that I'm writing this as I recover from the flu, my head aching, my face full of fluid and feeling like I need to sleep for a week. I know there must be a balance to find, that it might just take time to find it, but at the moment even that thought makes me feel shattered. But everyone has bad days, this one's just kicking my ass.