I don’t know how to start this blog post. I’ve written seven or eight attempts only to press delete just as many times. When I’m completely bamboozled by motherhood I find I have to concentrate so intently to pluck out a single coherent thought from the swirling whirlpool that is my mind.
My thoughts race by at a frightening pace. They nag at me to start all the chores, to cook better, to spend more quality time with the Vicklets, to be more patient, to start exercising, to pick someone up, to stop yelling, to go to bed earlier, to buy that thing, to make that repair, to look at my screens less, to shag my husband more, to invest in myself more. All the things, they’re hidden in this mind of mine.
To stop and catch a thought for a blog post and make it sound completely rational/creative/intelligent/funny/insightful can be damn hard. That’s often why I shy away from sharing when I’m feeling overwhelmed in the trenches of crapola parenting.
But I’ve been reminded this week about the importance of sharing. It can’t all be Instagram perfect and this space has never been about that anyway.
I don’t know when exactly this gig got hard because it always is isn’t it? There is no start or end to that in this line of work. It’s always all consuming and all heart, no matter what stage of parenting you’re at. All I know is that extended sleep deprivation can do crazy things to a person and strength, no matter how deeply rooted can only prevail for so long.
In the last month I have started crying more, laughing less. Yelling has become second nature and then of course the attack of the guilts quickly follows, like a tail to a dog.
Baby Mango has always demanded night feeds from the get go and continues to do so as if he were a feeble, weak thing even at eight months old. I have not had longer than two hours of sleep in a row for at least eight months now. In the moments where I think I will let him grizzle a little bit and not succumb to his calls, his cries wake his brother and then I am trying to settle a stubborn night owl of a two year old and I do not have the vigor for such fun. So, I get up to the baby because somehow it seems easier than the alternative but I know it’s not ideal. That same two year old has started having nightmares about ‘monsters’ and most nights I have to attend to his calls anyway. The oldest Vicklet often wets the bed still so I’m changing a little person in the dark as well.
During the light hours my mind either is slow and finds it’s hard to compute and remember things or it races at a terrifying pace. I can’t ground myself long enough to catch my breath. Those days are the worst because I am hard on everyone as I try to physically keep up with the pace of my mind. I work myself into the ground and still crucify myself for not keeping up, like as if anyone else is.
Sometimes I feel resentful towards the constant interruptions and constant demands. I just want some silence. Some time to take a breath.
I’ve started teaching again too which is as good as a boat with a hole in it but the pressure to help financially whilst Mr Vick commits to his studies is there. It’s only two days a week but it sets me behind that bit more with my other responsibilities and quickens the pace up around here even more so as I step out into the real world.
Other stresses have crept in too. I’ve been agonising about where we need to live, how we can make more money, should I be having a career change? And feeling dismayed because I can’t get to my hobbies, my me things as much as I need to and like other mums do.
I have sat Mr Vick down numerous times to express how burnt out I have been feeling. That I am getting hung up on the little things. He understands but like me, he lacks suggestions about how we can manage it right now. His hours at university have increased and the intensity has really upped the anti. This is his time. It’s crucial to his success, I cannot ask him to give any more. He already pours himself into us when he can.
I’m sure I’ve told this story to you all many times before. This story is so many peoples truth.
Recently I have come into contact with other mothers who have the same creases on their forehead indented from lack of sleep. Mothers who can’t spread themselves enough. Mothers who feel like they don’t have the answers.
These strangers unload their burdens so trustingly with the hope of a knowing smile or nod. These were woman in the supermarket, woman at the school gate, other bloggers but all strangers. It reiterated how important sharing is and how it binds us together in this sisterhood. How it clears the deck a bit, emotionally re-gears us and makes us feel more okay with ourselves and the struggles.
So I’m in the trenches, mothering, looking for myself, waiting to be granted some sleep. I’m the full cliche.
But we are all a mess. We are all tired. We are all trying to do better.
I guess, we all just gotta dig deep.
Are you living or just surviving right now?
Feel free to share away with the sisterhood
(Today I’m linking up with Essentially Jess for #IBOT
Thanks also to Fat Mum Slim for the image that she recently posted on her Facebook page)