Sometimes the weight of being an adult, being a parent, feels heavy. Sometimes it all gets a bit overwhelming. Sometimes it feels like trying to just make it through every moment, not cherishing them. Today is one of those.
I will try not to bore you with my pity party, suffice to say that crazy work rotas, a hospital full to bursting, poorly children who aren’t sleeping and are megalomaniac demigods when they’re awake, a to-do list I have been ignoring for months now, winter still lingering on despite the start of Spring, and a rumbling cold myself, are all combining to make me feel exhausted and distinctly teasey.
I know that we all have these days. I had them before I had children and I’m certain I will continue to have them once the children have left home (if they ever do!). In the past I’d have curled up on the sofa with the duvet, a tub of Ben and Jerry’s, a bottle of wine and a box set. Maybe The West Wing, that always makes me feel better about the world. I’d have allowed myself to wallow in my self-pity for a few hours, gradually recharging and renewing, so maybe the next day would feel a little easier.
One thing that is really hard to do once you become a parent, particularly one with young children, is wallow. Wallowing has absolutely no space in my schedule anymore. When they’re on good form, my children are far too intent on cheering me up to really allow it, ready with a funny face, a dance, a giggle, to wrench me out at the first sign of self-pity. When they’re on bad form, as they are today, the depths of their misery far exceeds mine, and I must try my best to put aside how I’m feeling to be the parent that they need. So today it is them on the sofa with the duvet, and instead of The West Wing we are watching back to back episodes of Peter Rabbit. I know that tonight, despite desperately needing sleep myself, I may well be up every half hour with coughing and spluttering, grumpy and whinging children. And sometimes that’s hard.
So I guess I need to find new ways to recharge and renew when times are tough. I am extraordinarily lucky to have my husband at home full time, I am well aware of how lucky I am with that, so there has been a tag-team approach to the parenting today thankfully. Right now the toddler is napping upstairs and my daughter is home sick from school, sprawled on the sofa making overly dramatic coughing noises, whilst occasionally doing deep sighs, saying “I just need to rest, I’m so poorly.” I’m sitting with her, providing silent moral support. If I speak to her, or even look at her she tells me to leave her alone, she’s poorly, but if I even think of leaving the room, she cries. My husband, bless him, is downstairs washing up and making me an awesome lunch with actual nutrients in it, to try and give me some much needed energy. Earlier he took kiddy duty whilst I had a much needed bath, with some pink Himalayan salt, some Frankincense essential oil, some rose quartz, a Wispa gold and PJ Harvey playing. They gave me the kick I needed to get dressed, though unfortunately it didn’t last much past that.
I need to spend less energy comparing my life to mummy style bloggers with their perfectly composed Instagram shots. I was quite happy that I had the energy to at least pick the bath toys out of the bath and put them on the side at least!
I am trying to eat well, at times at least, and slowly get more exercise, even if that’s just chasing after the kids. Spend more time in the garden, in the sunshine, having reiki, and if I can find ten quiet minutes, meditating. I am trying to reach out to establish friendships even when I find that intimidating. I am sleeping in the spare room occasionally to keep my sleep levels in the range consistent with life, and trying to be more aware of when I’m doing too much.
Writing this blog is definitely an aspect of my plan to try and help myself through some of the turmoils of parenthood, whilst maybe helping other people to feel less alone in their struggles. They say that it takes a village to raise a child, and sometimes it has felt more like I’ve been raising these children with my husband on a tiny, remote farmstead at the end of a long, tortuous dirt track in the middle of storm-wracked moors. I’m slowly working on developing my village, whether online or in real life, and slowly trying to come to terms with how life is these days.
I think my day may just have been rescued by my fabulous cousin knocking on my door with buns from my favourite bakery, and a much needed hug. Think we will all make it through the day after all.