I’ve been feeling a bit funny lately, well out of sorts at least. Not exactly unhappy. Just a bit lost. I’ve had a niggling feeling eating away at me. I’m questioning the future, what my passion is, and I don’t know what the answer is. Like most things in life I will no doubt yoyo about it for some time, but I’m wondering if writing it all down will help. So I might as well give it a try.
For some time before Little Man was born I was struggling with being home all the time with Miss Belle. I thought then, that it was due to the pregnancy and feeling tired and hormonal. Being pregnant and looking after a toddler-come-preschooler is hard work. I guess as Little Man now approaches five months the newborn baby days are sort of behind us. (Are they? Did I read somewhere that “newborn” is only until 12 weeks? Who knows, but if so, then yes, the newborn days are sadly over – sob!) We are now in proper family of four / life as a stay at home mum to two, territory. And it’s hard. It’s really, really, REALLY hard. Shocker.
I guess the strange feeling I’ve had recently has been a sort of… frustration. A frustration of not being able to do what I want. Which sounds ridiculous. You give up pretty much all your freedom when you have babies. Your body is no longer your own. I’ve grown them and I am feeding one of them. I have another bottle refuser so the ties are strong. I can’t have more than a few hours to myself and it will be that way for some time yet. But I’m getting by, knowing that this stage of my life is temporary. If I was working, then this would be my “maternity leave”. But, as it’s not maternity leave, as there is no job to go back to, I feel, sort of in a never-ending state of “this is my life forever” sort of woe.
When I was pregnant I had two days to myself towards the end of the pregnancy. We gave Miss Belle an extra nursery day to prepare her for her brother’s arrival. But during those days, pre baby, I could blog. I also volunteered for six months. That meant even for just three or four hours once a week, I was able to feel something else other than “being a mummy”.
Then there is a sort of underlying “I don’t know what to do with my life” question I am debating with myself. Do I want to try to work from home freelance writing? Do I want to do some freelance broadcast journalism again? Or actually would I just be better off finding part-time work in PR again? I have this internal debate with myself almost daily at the moment. The “yes I should go back to work and interact with actual real life people” argument, is strong. I’m a people person. I’m sociable. I like talking (a lot, some would say). I find being at home, lonely and boring sometimes. Then I think if I can carve some sort of part-time wage out of freelancing from home and being able to do the school run and never miss an assembly, why would’t I? Then I stress that I don’t know how to get to where I want to be. How do you become a successful freelancer?
Then I scream at myself that why am I even stressing about this at all, when Little Man is not even 5 months old! Then it just comes back to that… frustration again! My mind races ahead to worrying about the future rather than enjoying this precious time. I can’t help myself. It’s one of my biggest flaws I guess.
I am slowly getting better at trying to be in the moment more. To appreciate the lovely moments of life with two young little ones. The amazing smiles from Little Man. The cuddles and “I love you”s from Miss Belle. (We’ll forget the hitting him on the head moments.) And I’m sort of scared to publish this. Scared because, when I have had the odd moan before about being a stay at home mum, I’ve had comments from people who’d love to be one, who say how lucky I am. And I know, I really truly know how lucky we are. I don’t want to sound ungrateful or selfish. I don’t want Little Man or Miss Belle to ever read this and think I don’t love them because I love the bones of them. It just feels harder than it’s ever felt all of a sudden. And I feel like all I am is a Mum. I have nothing for me anymore.
I started this blog to give me something to do when I left work. And for a long time it really gave me my old sense of self and stopped me feeling like “just a Mum”. But I’m struggling to even blog once a week now. And that frustrates me! I can’t fit it into my days and I don’t want to be on my computer every evening, ignoring my husband who I barely see in the week anyway.
I’m frustrated I can’t go out for more than a few hours because the baby needs feeding. But more than anything I’m frustrated because I feel like I generally don’t have a purpose in life anymore. I feel like I solely exist to look after my babies and I am good for nothing else. And whilst I know it was my choice to have these babies and be at home with them, and I know this stage will pass all too quickly, I can’t help shake this feeling of frustration. And I feel terribly guilty about that.
My Dad was visiting at the weekend and we had a bit of a chat about it all. I reaIised that somethings got to give or else I’m going to burn out. When you’re in the never-ending cycle of washing, breastfeeding, cooking, taxi-ing and dealing with tantrums, it feels like a lifetime. It’s no wonder you start to feel lost.
So as of today I’m making a new pact. I’m not going to put pressure on myself to blog religiously, but I am going to try to blog a bit more again. To get back into it and give my brain a chance to work. And I’m also making a pact not to feel guilty if I’m about to lose my marbles and I need some time to myself, to pop the TV on for half an hour, or to ask Matt to take the kids out for an hour or so on the weekend.
As for the future. Who knows. I will try to not think about it (but in all honestly of course I will)… I’ll update you on that as and when I come to any conclusion.
Yikes, that was a long post. But it feels good to write for me again. I’m getting the urge to make a plan, write a list, get a diary and carve out a couple of hours a week for me time. And that feels good. So writing it down has helped!