If you have been reading my blog you will know that at the moment I am a patient at the mother and baby unit for post natal depression. I am currently spending four nights a week on leave, meaning I go home and then return to the hospital for three nights and days of therapy and rest.
The reason being that the reality of my life as a mum of three needs to be addressed while I recover. Today was my first day back at the reins. On the positive side I survived, my kids survived and no one got shouted at (apart from me obviously because my four year old is hitting adolescence hard!). On the not so positive side, oh my god parenting is hard! It is constant, and it is draining.
Today I have; explained what satellites do to my four year old (hoping I was right, often a problem when it comes to science) while washing up, hanging laundry and making packed lunches for three.
Pushed a buggy with buggy board up a very steep hill, twice (drop off and pick up). Incase you’re wondering buggy boards hurt like hell when you accidentally kick them whilst walking, and yes my back hurts from that stoop.
Held and helped a constipated seven month old (the help involved was anus related and you don’t want to know!)
Bribed my three year old with biscuits to get him to play with his ‘friend’.
Enjoyed all twenty drawings brought home from school, especially the ten minute explanation that went with each one.
Force fed prunes to aforementioned baby (while my dinner went cold and congealed)
Watched Waybaloo (possibly the most torturous event of the day).
All of this plus three trips out for school pick ups, two visitors, a Tesco delivery, and a phone call to book my eldest’s birthday party. Now I know this is all typical mothering type stuff. When your depressed it’s like being asked to perform a song and dance routine from a popular musical,whilst minding three gorillas.
I wonder will I ever do all this without feeling like hiding in the garden shed while the kids go feral. Perhaps this is just the norm for me for the next few years. It’s awful I know to admit all this, to not be gooey with delight at the joys of motherhood. I love my children, its just sometimes the responsibility is overwhelming. Here’s hoping that as I recover, and my depression and anxiety lifts this all gets a little more doable. Because one things for sure, I’m going to be doing it.
Sending hugs. I only have 2 but totally agree about the relentlessness of being a parent. I too find it hard and it seems impossible to believe there was once a time when I could pop out on a whim/have ridiculously long bubble baths/go to the loo alone/sleep.
Oh to go to the toilet alone, without having to sing a nursery rhyme ! Thanks for the hugs.
I never had kids so close in age so I really do not know what its like. I can try to imagine.. sounds really really hard going.
One thing I do know about kids ( I trained and worked as a nneb nursery nurse so I do know a bit ) Is they will never stop taking.
At no point in the day will your efforts be enough. In fact its fair to say the more you do can at times simply raise the bar of expectation.
As you said so yourself. you are in this for the long haul. till they are grown and gone and then some.
Personally I think you need to set some boundries. Its ok to say actually I can’t do such and such as this and that is going on or I need to have some quiet time now. its good to have a fairly early bedtime and stick to it so you can relax. Its fine to have time out in the day where everyone has some downtime with some books in bed.
If you don’t drive its more than ok to only book a going out event either morning or afternoon and not both. every few days not every day.
Another thought have you tried treasure baskets? they would be wonderful for your younger two and provide hours of peace if not over used. let me know if you want to know more. There are also busy boxes you can set up to get out for your 4 year old when you need him to be busy. again ask and I will try to find some resourses.
As mums we really have to pace ourselves. physically and emotionally. Mums need cherishing too and its up to you to demand and provide that for yourself.
That saying be a good enough mum? I would resort to good enough at least a few times each day. It never hurts to teach kids you have needs too. it helps them know how to interact with others and to lower the endless expectation. We all adore our babies but lets be honest they would suck us dry if we let them.
I am writing this in a rush so forgive me if the tone sounds a bit bossy just want to get these thoughts across. xx
I definatly do encourage my kids to entertain themselves. However when you have a baby and a preschooler the gaps between needs are still ridiculously short. I am a bit of a pushover when it comes to my kids, but there are also definatly boundaries in place in my house. Thanks for the tips, I appreciate your support.
I was just thinking. Your 3 year old is due a free Nursery place soon? and then school next year. Its not so long till you have 2 busy pre/schoolers and a baby at home. brighter days to come 🙂
Oh it must be such hard work. I really would be rubbish. I often say to my friends yeah I am not a good enough mum for more than the kids I have or closer in age.
I often feel overwhelmed but its more my teen that does it to me with Jake breaking the camels back.
Wow, I felt an anxiety attack coming on just reading this 🙂
But seriously, you’re doing great. I have similar issues of feeling overwhelmed and anxious, etc. and this bloody dark winter isn’t helping… I cope so much better when my mom is staying with us…
Oh it’s so good to hear I’m not alone, thank you. Roll on some brighter days for us both.
Ella i so love reading your thoughts and tales of your life. so interesting and i still cannot believe you suffer with depression because I would never have guessed from the couple of times i met you.
motherhood is ruddy hard work and must be even more of a struggle when you have depression demons to contend with aswell
(hugs) hope you are ok xx
Thanks so much Jenny. I love writing this blog and it really makes me happy that people are enjoying reading it. I am a tough cookie and usually put a smile on however I’m feeling, don’t like to bring other people down. Thanks for your support, I’m reading your blog regularly too.
oh btw I wore ear plugs for the last 2 days of the Christmas break worked like a dream I could still hear the kids fine ( I have good hearing) but did not stress about the tittle tattle back and forth, just sorted them out it if they came to me.. really lightened my mental load.
I know:) terrible mother.
Did you read Mammy Woo post yesterday, very brilliant and a good one to read x
As said above parenting tough with little ones full stop but you are doing really well.
It is great you are so open and that is so going to help you, the constipated openess whilst eating was a little open 😉 !!! x
Take it easy (like that is possible!) but you know what I mean. Be kind to yourself. Happy New Year you and all your family. x
Yes I read that post, really well written and so true. Sorry for the bum during your dinner! Happy New Year to you and yours also.
Just wanted to send you my best – I think your blog is moving, warm and funny and I’m so glad writing it is helping.
Thank you so much , glad your enjoying it.
Parenting is overwhelming and unrelenting at times, but it really sounds like you’re making big steps towards embracing it. And that is commendable. I look forward to reading more. 🙂
Thanks so much, yes I do try to embrace it.
Wow, I need a sit down after reading all that, you sound like you are doing an incredible job! I speak from experience when I say it does get easier, and the “fog” will eventually lift, promise. Wishing you lots of bright days ahead… Emma
Thanks so much, it’s always encouraging to hear from people who have weathered the storm. I will look forward to taking my rain coat off.