Ever had one of those days where you just want to go back to bed?
Where you know that what you really need is to do something nice: go for a walk in the park, watch a favourite programme on telly, scoff a great big bar of chocolate. But, all of those things require making an effort, summoning energy that you just don’t have.
I’ve had days like this in the past, usually following a heavy night on the wine. But now I am a parent they seem to have intensified and multiplied. In the nearly ten months since having my first child, I haven’t gone more than a fortnight without one of these days.
One such day came a couple of weeks ago, I was feeling low and Harry had been grumbling constantly for nearly an hour. I decided the best thing to do would be to head out to one of my favourite places in Leeds: Roundhay Park.
I’d pop Harry in his new stroller, with a picnic for both of us tucked underneath his seat, and head for a spot by the lake before taking him down to the swings.
Except, in the instant I decided that was what I would do, the weight of the job list that that would need to be completed in order for us to get out of the house fell upon me.
I slid to the floor in the middle of my kitchen and started crying. Great big sobs while my son played happily at the other end of the room, which, of course, made me feel even worse because I wanted to be happier for him.
I was tired, so tired. But not just from months of broken night’s sleep (which has improved considerably since my Vlog about our night time issues), I was tired of the responsibility my life now held. I was tired of being Mum.
I couldn’t understand why my life seemed to have changed so much and no-one else’s had. I felt jealous of my partner, Luke, who seemed to have been able to just carry on with his life without much adjustment (or at least, that’s how it seemed to me).
I hated that I spent my days doing household chores while he and everyone else I knew were out making successful careers for themselves. I felt like I spent my days stood at the kitchen sink, while he got to interact with other adults, human beings besides our baby boy.
I had had to change so much about myself. Before Harry came along I wasn’t particularly organised when it came to adult things like household chores. Now, all of a sudden, it was all I could think about and I had no choice, because if I didn’t do them then it would have a knock-on effect on Harry.
Washing up to do? Can’t leave it for tomorrow morning like used to, because Harry will need his bottles before then.
Washing basket nearly full? Can’t just sack it off and dig to the bottom of my underwear drawer for that last pair of pants that I haven’t worn for months, because Harry will need a clean sleepsuit.
Cupboards looking a little bare? Can’t just grab a takeaway or make that cheese and hot-dog pasta dish I loved when I was single, because Harry will need a proper meal.
I seemed to have been hit with a sudden realisation that I have to plan my whole life around him now and, selfish as it sounds, I was really struggling to come to terms with that. I still am sometimes.
I no longer had time to be more relaxed about things, to be more me. I couldn’t get away with just making sure the bare minimum of jobs were done, especially as there was now even more to keep on top of because he’d started eating solids.
I knew I had to break all my habits, but I had already tried to completely change and it still didn’t feel like it was enough. I still wasn’t getting this Mum thing right.
I wish I could say I only felt like this on that day, but it’s something that’s cropped up a few times: the feeling that I’m failing.
But there is some hope that I will cling on to: I know now that I am not alone. Speaking with close friends who are also Mums and reading blogs online from writers who inspire me, I see that I most definitely am not alone in feeling these things.
And that’s why I wanted to share this blog and publish the Vlog of that tough day, because if you’ve been nodding along while you read this, if you’re thinking ‘this is exactly how I feel’… I wanted you to know you are not alone.
After I had pulled myself up from the kitchen floor and gone over to give Harry a great big hug, I took a very deep breath and packed us up a little picnic.
I popped him in the car, where he promptly fell asleep (suddenly it became clear that the earlier grumbling was due to tiredness) and I popped my camera on the dashboard and pressed record.
I let out everything I was feeling and then, as we pulled up at the park, I drew a line under those feelings and stepped into the lovely, sunny afternoon. Even the slight chill from the wind felt good, like it was blowing away all my cobwebs.
If you have found yourself feeling like this, this blog from the Crummy Mummy was ever so helpful for me.
Oh, and remember, you are awesome. If you ever feel you’re not, talk to someone x