Up until a few days ago I was, most definitely, the mum in the eye of the storm. I was feeling totally overwhelmed and beaten down by life. I complained so much to my virtual village that I was sick listening to myself so goodness knows how they all felt! To be honest I didn’t even tell them the half of it. The place I was in was so dark and oppressive I couldn’t give voice to the emotions I was experiencing. I felt like there was a real chance someone might stage an intervention.
I was swamped with work, overwhelmed by trying to do it all and be it all. I work form home and I do love my job but it is so hard to turn off when your office is the internet. I’m still failing on almost every level – my house is a mess, my boyfriend neglected and my dog in severe need of training.
But that’s all just everyday stuff to be honest. That’s the reality of being a parent. The reason for my near breakdown was the most simple and yet the most complex. Lack of sleep.
My toddler was 3 weeks deep in the most epic jet lag of all time – more about that another day, the pain is still too raw. I have never been as tired, confused, angry, frustrated and lost as I was those three weeks. She breastfed round the clock, refused to sleep alone, barely napped and was in rotten form most of the day.
So anyway, the fog is lifting, sleep is slowly coming and I am here to tell you that I know how hard it is, being a parent. It’s awful sometimes. In fact some days are worse than you ever though possible and then the next day is worse again.
If you’re the mum in the eye of the storm – this is for you.
Teething. Sleep Regression. Bed Wetting. Tantrums. Picky Eating. Biting. Kicking. Throwing. Wonder Weeks. Hair Pulling.
You don’t have to enjoy these stages, there are some days where there is no happy to be found. That is okay! You are not a bad parent for not being able to cherish the tantrums. You don’t have to find the silver lining in another load of washing.
Sometimes you’ll look at your defiant child, take a deep breath and give a wry smile. You’ll smile because you see the side of their personality that will eventually mean you’ve raised a strong, determined human. But on other days, when you haven’t showered for a week and your eyes are like two piss holes in the snow you’ll look at that screaming monster and think:
“I could walk out this door right now buddy.”
“I could walk out of here and never look back. Becoming a Mum has stolen almost everything from me. My time, energy, creativity, patience, looks and you couldn’t care less.”
Some afternoons I’m an hour in to reruns of Bing Bunny, the living room is covered in toys and I know Flop is silently judging me. Matt’s due home in less than an hour, I’m in the same pyjamas I’ve worn for the last 72 hours. There’s nappies on the floor, no dinner in the oven and no hope of us making it to bedtime without one telling the other to go fuck themselves.
Being the centre of a very small universe is suffocating, it is so hard to loose your identity and be reduced to Duplo and snot. That doesn’t mean you don’t love your children.
There will be days when they’ll sleep – eventually and you’ll be flooded with guilt and love and vow to yourself that tomorrow you’ll do better, you’ll be more, give it your all. But there will also be days when you’ll get them off to sleep and think “Thank fuck I don’t have to look at that little brat for at least 4 hours.”
Maybe you think I’m a terrible Mother but I know I’m a fantastic one so judge away. If you’ve been the mum in the eye of the storm you hear me, you know.