I don’t know if I can write this post, or even if I should. But you know when something gets stuck in your head and just hangs around all the time until it is done or written or said? I think that this subject is one of those.
I feel that I should start this post with the usual predecessors to a confessional post about being a mum or how I feel about my children but actually I am sure that all of my usual readers know how much I adore my children. But these days I am learning that being honest about how being a mum makes me feel isn’t actually a bad thing. Usually if I am brave enough to say something there is always one and usually many more people saying ‘oh god, yes, me too’. I know how lucky I am to have two beautiful healthy children. I know that I am lucky enough that I get to stay at home and look after my children and get time for myself.
BUT there is something that I have been struggling with since the day one with Piran and it has just got worse since Kate came along. It is personal space. I have been trying to order these thoughts into something that I can write and let out there but I think that it is going to just ramble its way from here.
In the beginning it was breastfeeding. For all of the reasons that I have talked of before every attempt with breastfeeding and Piran didn’t go well. And I have always been okay with my decision to formula feed. It was the physical reactions that I had when he wouldn’t feed, when it was so hard and actually it didn’t feel right TO ME. I started to feel angry towards him for many reasons. And there is nothing I have ever been through in my life that I want to repeat less, feeling so frustrated and angry with something that you are meant to love unconditionally is a horrible thing. When I was pregnant with Kate it bought all this up again and I made the decision to not even put myself in a position where that could happen again, I could feel that way towards a child, so she was formula fed from the minute she was born.
Recently I am really struggling again with the physical demands that being a mum puts on you. The lifting, the carrying. In and out of the car, in and out of the bath. Chasing children when all you want them to do is just get in the bloody car. The wrestling a plank-like child into the buggy or the car seat for the millionth time. Picking up the tantruming toddler to ensure that they are safe. Feeling like you are in a WWF match when trying to change a nappy. I literally have to pin Kate to the ground some times to stop poo getting everywhere. Actually wrestling Piran into clothes some days after an hour of trying every trick in the book to get him to get dressed.
Then there is the toll that lack of sleep takes on me. The nights squished into a toddler bed, or with a tiny corner of my own bed as another child has taken over. There is the being hit around the head with a book at 5.15am to shouts of ‘Mummy READ’ when Kate has got out of her room.
And then there is the “Mummy Do It” – months and months of this from Piran, as a result of how much time Mr C was away last year but such a physical drain on me. And then Kate started. For weeks it has been Mummy only and the screaming and the crying is just too much if some one else tries to do it. The climbing on me and fighting for who gets to sit on my lap, when they both want me to do something at the same time they throw themselves at me. Kate hanging off my legs. Kate hitting me in the face at times when I say no or do something she has decided that she doesn’t approve of.
I know that it has been really hard and much worse recently. I have had a bad back and so I have been unable to do what I would usually do. That means more time on the floor trying to explain why I am unable to do what they want me to and them climbing all over me. Kate made my back much, much worse by shoving me one day when she didn’t want me to be cooking the dinner. She’s only 22 months old. Crazy.
I love the cuddles. I spend a lot of the day reaching out, asking for a cuddle, stealing a kiss. But when it is them wanting more from me I really struggle. I have always had a thing about personal space, linked to my anxiety and I guess I thought that my children would magically bypass those barriers that I have had set up for so many years. But they don’t and I spend a lot of time trying to fight down the urge to run upstairs and hide under my duvet and scream GO AWAY at anyone that wants something from me. I don’t think that this is a symptom of my PND, I think that it is much more a part of me than that.
Logically I know that as my kids get older this will all get easier and there will be a time that I will give anything for some physical contact from one or the other of them. But right now it feels all emcompassing and so very hard.
Heather still wins on the kids fighting for a cuddle though, with twins she has had to deal with that since the day she became a mum!