I wrote this last week when I was going through a bit of a bad patch. It seemed like the end of the world at the time, but reading back over it now, before posting, it seems to have lost its air of hopelessness.
I have a severe case of couldn’t be arsed-it is. One of those ones that just sneaks up on you. One day I was grand, running for Ireland and not feeling too deprived at being on a Lenten fast. Then from out of nowhere, bam! I feel like a deflated balloon, I have no energy and just couldn’t be bothered. I feel guilty because I didn’t go for a run this evening and now, as I type, I am stuffing my face with toast and Nutella Chocolate Spread. Fuck off Davina (McCaul) and Ruth (Field, author of Run Fat B!tch Run), I have a new best friend. It’s called chocolate. I feel like shite because today I roared at Screecher Creature No. 3 who is only a little over two and a half. And in typical I-need-lots-of-reassurance fashion, he has spent the afternoon hugging the shit out of me. I feel like a bad mother because I let the baby sleep for over two hours in his rock-a-tot this morning. He is too big for the seat but we don’t have anything else at the moment and as he has the cold from hell, sleeping upright is the only way he can breathe without being suffocated in his own snot. He has been waking up every couple of hours each night this week and nursing like a newborn which is why I am so bastard tired. Things have come full circle for the fourth time and I recognise that he has reached that awareness of “shite! She’s not a part of me and must not be let out of my sight, even for a second,” stage. Touched out? Jesus that’s only the beginning. I’m pissed off because, for the moment, I’ve had to give up my breakfast coffee and scone in the coffee shop. And I miss my simple, daily interaction with the other patrons. Some days, most days, it is the only adult conversation I get. I can literally feel my brain cells, on these self-pitying days, keel over and die from lack of stimulation. I am hugely dis-agreeable because last Friday I was unable to give five euros towards the schools voluntary contribution. The next day, Saturday, Mister Husband and I, raided money boxes and scrabbled about on the floor of the car to scrape together four euros for a gym fee. I’m pissed off because I didn’t bring Screecher Creature Numbers three and four to the doctor over the last fortnight because I didn’t have the money for it. Although, small consolation this morning; the GP cards which we applied for almost a year ago, arrived in the post. A week too late for Screecher Creature No. 4 who broke out in a frightening head to toe rash last Thursday. I’m stressed out and pissed off at myself mainly. Six years ago I jumped in at the deep end with this parenthood lark and I stayed there. I never did find the delicate balance between being a mother and a person in my own right. And now I fear it’s too late. I’ve been “capable” and in charge for so long, I don’t think I know how to let go myself. Noise levels are hurting my too sensitive brain. The kids and their never-ending demands make me want to run for the hills. Patience levels are at an all-time low. Feelings of claustrophobia, anger, resentment, frustration, boredom, hopelessness and that all-encompassing bastard, tiredness, jangle my already tattered nerves and threaten to detonate an already simmering person. There is no respite. I hate myself because lately every day I wish the next five years would just go by in a flash. I have no time for those who tell me not to wish it away. They have come out the other side and find it easy to talk. I do wish it away. I think we all do at some stage. I had a little moment this morning and cried at breakfast. Part of me panicked and worried that it wasn’t my heart beating like mad but depression thumping to get back in. This afternoon when I found myself running to the bedroom to grab a pillow, stuff my face into it and scream as loudly as I could, it wasn’t depression I feared, but madness. I thought of the people who have approached me about my blog and used the word admire when speaking of the Serious Stuff and I thought how’s that for honesty. Screaming your head off into a pillow at 4pm of an afternoon. A glorious, sunny, March afternoon at that. And in the midst of it all how can I explain what is wrong without sounding like a total and utter, drama queen, bitch diva? Mister Husband has the world and his wife sitting on his shoulders with work at the moment and an illness in the family. How can I tell him what I am feeling in the face of that? How can I tell him that I wanted to run for the hills and never stop when it would be a slap in the face to him and all that he has worked for, to give us? But you know what; I think it’s ok to feel like this. Tomorrow will be another day and I will either still feel like shit or I’ll have gotten over myself. The baby will peer at me through the bars of the cot, fuzzy red hair sticking up all over the place, dried snot all over his little face and perfect teeth flashing at me, a little hand reaching out through the bars, fingers wiggling hello. Maybe he will make everything ok again and I’ll get up and get on with things the way I always do. The way I have to because we all have our crap moments. Children’s allowance is in on Tuesday and we’ll be grand for another couple of weeks until something else turns up. Easter holidays are next week too. Part of me is dreading them but if the weather is anything like it has been this week so far, we can do anything we want to. Maybe even go swimming. The Screecher Creatures would love that! It’s ok to feel like crap. And it’s ok to admit to it. I suppose it’s what we do about it that’s the main thing. For me, a banshee scream into a pillow helps (slightly). I touched, very broadly on this at Group on Tuesday. I mentioned that I am finding it all a bit much at the moment and am struggling to enjoy it when one of the other lovely mothers said “thank God. I thought I was the only one who felt like that!” Looks like I’m in good company! On Thursday, in an effort to outrun the blues, I went to Carlow. The Screecher Creatures were playing in a ride on bus when a little girl approached. There was plenty of room so I invited her on to be the bus driver and I got talking to her mother. Aoife is a four year old twin with a nine year old big brother. The gap, her mother confided, was a nice one especially when the girls arrived. And then I heard a loud and distinct echo. “There were days,” Aoife’s mammy said, “when I cried more than they did.” Words I have spoken out loud myself. It was weird and strangely comforting to hear someone else say them. There was a moment of companionable silent agreement. It all passes though, Aoife’s mammy told me. “It’s hard when you’re in the thick of it and you think it will never end, but it does.” Thank you, Aoife’s mammy. And thank you to all the wonderful mothers I have had the massive fortune to meet on “off” days such as the ones I have been feeling this week.