For some time, although my mental health & general outlook has been more positive than the beginning of this year, I have been feeling utterly exhausted. Physically and mentally. I kept putting this down to three children ’cause let’s face it that’s a full-on proposition but in the back of mind I had a nagging feeling something wasn’t quite right.
Cue a blood test. The results showed that my thyroid isn’t working as it should thanks to medication I was on a while back. Added to that I have lower than usual haemaglobin. Both these issues are now being dealt to with some medication and diet.
The mental exhaustion is something else. It’s a kind of listlessness. Being a stay-at-home parent can be sheer drudgery at times. It’s easy to get sucked into a vortex of “when the kids are all at school I’ll be creative again” & “it’s not fair J has a much better time at work than I do”. Doing lots of cleaning doesn’t help this outlook. Actively engaging with the pre-schoolers and at Playcentre does help. Giving myself some time away from it all does too.
An aunt of mine is fond of telling me that she was always blaming her husband and her children for why grand events weren’t happening in her life. That her family were holding her back from achieving. She said once she realised that she stood in her own way she got a lot more done.
I am trying to take that advice, to watch who and how I blame others. I have been a procrastinator since I can remember. Nothing to do with three children. Nothing to do with J. My biggest threat is myself. A little doubting voice that says what if I try and fail is the thing that has held me back but if I never sit down, put the work into it there will never be anything much to show for it.
Some photographs, a few poems, almost 60,000 tweets. And four beautiful children.
time has been marching on: two children’s birthdays, a school term, some holidays, a house move. more school, more playcentre. some illness.
i find companionship in online spaces – twitter & facebook. i find companionship in the community closer to home – at playcentre.
i struggle with my mood disorder. i try to learn more about myself and strategies for parenting well & unwell.
and all the happy people & i feel like i’m in that stevie smith poem & one day i’ll say to you: ” Oh, no no no, it was too cold always
(Still the dead one lay moaning)
I was much too far out all my life
And not waving but drowning.”
when you have children sometimes it can be hard to spend time together as a couple. adult time. but this is one of the sets of times that recharge us and make us feel like us again.
the ingenious way we spend some time together is night time housework. we do dishes, fold washing, put away toys. ok, so not our best best time together but time stolen from the lives of busy parents & turned into companionship is worthwhile. & we kiss.
today i had a meeting that i was totally in a panic about. it was a situation i wanted to avoid. my thoughts about it sent me into spin. i couldn’t think of anything good that could come from it.
now that it is over and i find the world hasn’t closed in it is an interesting exercise to think about what it was about the situation that made me so freaked out and agitated.
firstly it was not having total control of the situation, even feeling like i had no control.
secondly it was not wanting to have to deal with these people (but not really having an option of opting out).
& thirdly wondering if the outcome of the meeting would have a negative impact on my family.
these were all panic statements, worst case scenarios. what i did have control of was my actions and words. accepting that the meeting had to go ahead and waiting to see what the impact was also helped me get through.
i need to find a balance between total negativity & foolish optimism then life might take a different turn.