Happy Sunday all…. I figured I’d be kind and give you all a break from me and my endless wittering. Today though? Today i need to vent or scream…. I have been in a pretty dark place the last couple of days, I’ve done a pretty good job of hiding it, but i can’t decide whether or not that’s a good thing. I don’t know about you, but when my anxiety is being a dick, it finds it amusing to give me nightmares or insomnia. Out of the two i would choose the latter if i could. Instead, the last two nights have consisted of the kind of nightmares that have you waking up soaking wet, either with sweat or tears, or, more often than not, both. The nightmares are always different and some times, they seem to have zero context! Last nights nightmare was terrible. I went to bed around midnight and it took ages to actually fall asleep, the last time i looked at my phone it was just after 3am, but i dozed off eventually. When i woke up about 4 hours later i was soaked with sweat and my eyes were sore as if i had been crying for hours… I’d dreamt about a faceless man, a man who wanted to take me away from my children. In this particular dream, I was walking along a really posh street (admittedly this part of the dream was pretty cool…. it also made me want to move ha!) and i was pulled into a transit van (i know right! A bloody transit van!). I was falling around in the back of this van, that was zig-zagging as if it was being driven by a 2 year old before being thrown out into the garden in my house… My house was surrounded by mist and was completely silent (my house is NEVER silent, not even from the outside!) that was when the faceless guy told me i was in an exact replica of my house. I ran to the house and it was empty, completely empty and there was blood all over the walls. I ran for miles trying to find my children, the kind of mindless running i imagine you would do in panic, until i reached a familiar looking house. In my dream i wasn’t surprised, sort of zombified if you will.. I went back into the house and noticed a huge frame on a wall and there was something moving in it. When i moved closer i saw that my hubby and children were all in this frame and they were crying, searching the spot where our house should be, instead there was nothing but charred ground. The next words were what woke me up in a cold sweat: “Mum’s gone. She didn’t want to be our mum anymore, that’s why she shouted a lot and why she had a job. She didn’t REALLY want to be a mum. We need to find a new one.” Oh. My. God…. Imagine those words being the ones that wake you up. I must have laid in bed for an hour before i could breathe properly! Luckily Chris had slept downstairs because he fell asleep on the sofa, he hates seeing me like that and in turn that makes me feel worse.
I try to push nightmares out of my mind and get on with my day, but when it involves my kids it’s damn near impossible. I also know that sometimes my anxiety nightmares are rooted in genuine mum-guilt! Oh parent guilt is real, it’s as real as the cellulite and stretchmarks on my arse!… When i had our eldest two girls i was lucky enough to be in the position where Chris could work and I could stay home. With our youngest daughter i was a stay at home mum until she was 3 and went to nursery and then i took a bank staff job. Somewhere down the line Chris lost his job and i had to work in a more permanent role, then i got pregnant with my son and i am now a fully fledged working mum (except right now when i’m furloughed, but you get the jist.) I aren’t home to take care of my son and I haven’t been since he was 6 months old, i’ve had to work. Certain aspects of my contract mean that i am unable to take off any time during the school holidays as well, so i feel as though i’ve literally abandoned my kids. I know it’s stupid because i’m usually home from work by half past 2, 3 at the latest, during the holidays but i still feel crap about it. Even though, technically, i know they’re well looked after, they’re fed decent, home-cooked meals (most of the time), i make sure they have decent clothes and we go on family camping holidays every chance we get, usually when there’s a bank holiday. But in my stupid brain, the fact that i HAVE to work to pay for those things doesn’t even register! Why is that? WHY?
I’m sat here feeling all this guilt at being a working mum and yet i know 100% that Chris never had such thoughts when he was the only one working…. I know a lot of parents have been stressed out due to lockdown and they are genuinely at the end of their tether, they are praying that things go back to normal so their kids can go to school. But me? I am dreading the normalcy of school and work and the never ending mum guilt. If you have read my previous blog, you will know that some days my life is IMPOSSIBLE, it really is, but i feel if i admit the need for a break or if i say i’m fed up and exhausted, i’m being ungrateful. How many months have i wished for this? How often have i wished i could win the lottery so that i could be at home all the time with my kids, playing games and baking cakes?? How many times have i argued with Chris that i NEED to hand in my notice because the guilt is killing me? And here I am, at home with my kids, but its been a whirlwind of school work and revision, there has been harsh words and frayed tempers due to the restrictions of lockdown, and some days, SOME DAYS I have hated every minute of it, but I still can’t bring myself to wish for life to return to normal. Because this is what i’ve wished for, it’s a twisted warped version of what i wanted, but it’s here. How much of a bitch must i be to even slightly feel shortchanged?? How selfish must i be to actually want alone time?
I know that I am not the only parent to have these feelings. I also know some people are keyworkers (thank you for all you do wherever, however you do it!) and have no choice but to leave their children home or at school and they must be sick of hearing people complain about spending all this time with their children when they don’t have the option. This just enforces my feeling of guilt and selfishness, especially on the bad days. I love my kids and Chris more than life and i am truly grateful that i met this weirdo 16 years ago and he changed me completely, i am eternally grateful that he gave me four of the most amazing kids to ever grace this planet, but some days, i feel overwhelmed. I am not a teacher and yet i am now teaching a 15, 13,11 and 3 year old. I have no clue what i’m doing!! I have taught them to cook and bake more than usual and we have had grown up conversations about paying bills and budgeting (although, thanks to the tiny turd, this branched off into a game of ‘shops’ which culminated in a jar of jam being smashed and a loaf of bread being sat on!). We have days where someone has cried with the stress (me) and days where someone had begged to binge watch Disney+ (also me) and days where someone has eaten their body weight in ice cream (all of us). All this just adds to my anxiety and has me questioning my ability as a mother. I have a fab relationship with my girls, i know i do because they tell me everything, so much so that i never question them. But then i wonder if that’s not right? Is it normal to have that kind of trust in teenagers and pre-teens? Does that mean i’m doing something wrong?
Today we have had family time and actually left the confines of the house and garden. We let the kids have fast food for tea and took a walk down the canal near where we live, it was something so small and non extravagant but they all appreciated it and loved every second of it! They were all thankful and appreciative of the tiny effort made by myself and their dad…. But that just made me feel bad for being too anxious to leave the house before now. Even knowing that we could easily social distance in the open air and even though i knew we would be EXTREMELY unlikely to come into physical contact with anyone, it still took me a good 2 hours before i agreed to go….For my kids. Anxiety manifests itself in many forms, mine just decides it would be hilarious to wreak havoc over my worries as a parent!! I know i like to think that i have gotten better at controlling it but now i just wonder if i’ve gotten better at hiding it, maybe? My eldest two daughters constantly reassure me that i am an amazing mum and that i’m not too strict because i also look for compromise, but what happens then?? I feel guilty for asking them such a loaded question! I wish i could switch it off for one day, just a day where i don’t worry about how well i’m doing as a mum or worry about much my anxiety affects my kids. Just one day…. Then again if i did i would probably feel guilty for not worrying and feeling guilty and that would cause a whole other type of anxiety…. Just my luck!
I know that many people will read this and think “what the eff is she talking about?” the answer is, i don’t know! I am literally just typing whatever nonsense pops into my head on any given day. I am also hoping that someone may read this and feel a little less alone knowing that there is someone out there just as weird as them! Or at least someone they can sort of relate to……
I’ve had a couple of dark days but i’m hoping i can actually see the light, i need to try and embrace the tiny flecks of light instead of disregarding them. I need to find the little bits of good in everyday and embrace the things that i KNOW won’t leave me feeling inadequate and guilty…. I think i sort of accomplished that a little, for example: We treated the kids to a McDonalds today…. Yes my kids had beige food and loved it!! I was a proper bad mum and let them have fizzy pop too…(not the 3 year old….he needs no sugar boost! ) After all, there are few things as satisfying in life as gulping down an ice cold cola while you munch on a mouthful of salty fries and a massive calorific burger on a roasting Sunday afternoon…. and THAT is one thing i won’t feel guilty about!