While there are many fun, joyous, sweet moments on this journey of motherhood, there are times when the road is long, the terrain rough and you feel totally unprepared and inadequate at dealing with the role. I’m not the only one who feels like this, right?? There are those days that just go completely wrong, where tempers flare, tears fall, harsh words spill out, and you want to crawl into a hole never to see daylight again. You wish there was a way to resign; you wish you had the ability to have a few sick days; you wonder why on earth this child is in your life as you can’t seem to handle them, appease them or understand them. That’s exactly how I have been feeling. If you could hear my prayers you would often hear phrases like, “God, you’ve made a big mistake here!” “I’m not cut out to be a mother.” “You placed this child in the wrong home.” and so on. For a while now, my health and energy levels have been pretty low. This leads to low moods where everything just seems so dark and extremely daunting, which triggers my Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome, which leads to further low moods; add to this a screeching, unhappy, will not be settled by anything, clingy, grouchy, needy child and it’s a total recipe for disaster. Dealing with that further depletes my energy which leads to low moods, and so the vicious circle goes on. Of course, my low moods have caused Miss E’s behaviour to worsen further which really doesn’t help at all! I have felt trapped; I have felt frustrated; I have wished for a way out; I have felt distant from my child; I have felt isolated, depressed, angry, sad, guilty, pretty much every emotion there is to feel.
I don’t want to feel this way. I want to get back to feeling happy, healthy, balanced and to have the energy I need to face the day. One day last week it all just came to a head and got way too much. I seriously wanted to just run away from it all as I felt like a total failure. Alas, as a mother, there is no way out; there is only a way through. Finding that way can be hard and it can take a while. I’ve taken a few steps to try and improve our situation, and it has made some difference. There is still a way to go, but our week did get brighter. I went to bed super early….rest was clearly much in demand by my body, so ensuring I got lots was a huge priority. MrP made a suggestion that has helped immensely. Instead of me feeding Miss E as soon as she wakes up and getting us getting breakfast and getting ready after he has gone to work which resulted in our days getting off to a stressful start, Mr P takes Miss E down for breakfast once she wakes and brings me my breakfast in bed-those moments are a great time to have some peace to gather my thoughts for the day ahead and ask God to help me to keep a clear, focused head and to remain calm and patient (this does not come naturally to me; I was not born blessed in this area). I then shower and get ready while Mr P sorts Miss E out with her clothes etc. Once we’re ready she then has a feed from me, and we start our day fully prepared at 7:30ish. This has really helped to get our days started off on the right foot and sets the tone for a calm and peaceful time together.
Another thing that Mr P has helped me with is to draw up a daily routine. I find I need structure to my day and, without it, the whole thing just falls apart. We flit from one thing to another and never finish anything. Now with my new routine, it’s amazing how I can fit everything in with less stress (notice I didn’t say zero), but I’ll do a separate post about our routine. So, I am hopeful that with taking care of my body, my new routine and Mr P’s support I will be better equipped to cope with Miss E and her difficult days as other areas of my life are in order and not adding to the stress pile. I want to be the calm, under control, peaceful influence in Miss E’s life that she truly deserves.
Despite my extremely low moods, we have managed to have some good times this week:
What strategies do you use to cope with the not so fun moments of parenting? Have you got any hints or tips that would be worth sharing?