When Motherhood Feels Like a Prison Sentence

It’s 7.14am, you’ve just woken up but to be honest it could easily be 4 or even 11am, you’ve built up such a massive sleep debt that it doesn’t really make a difference anymore.

If you’re lucky the mini dictator is still asleep and you can get to the bathroom, maybe even make a cup of tea before waking them up. Bleary-eyed you stand in the kitchen, greasy hair and crumpled pyjamas.

Sigh. Another day begins.

 

 

Most people have a lot of time and understanding for new parents, the newborn days are simultanteously brutal and wonderful, at the best of times. Friends and relatives usually make an effort with little gifts and offers of their time to help out.

But the days when you had more visitors than you could shake a stick at are long gone. It’s been months since you ate the last of the frozen meals dropped round by wellwishers. You’ve got a toddler now and whilst i’m not implying noone loves or cares for you, the shine has gone a little – lets be honest.

 

 

Then you hear it, the unmistakable sound of your cherub greeting the day. Taking the stairs two at a time you say a silent prayer that they have woken up in good form. You’re greeted by a sweaty little thing, blinking and writhing around, egar to start their day. For a moment they’re still a baby, though as they stretch you can see their stomach has almost lost that adorable pot bellied look. Their limbs, once like a stack of doughtnuts, are getting leaner and bear the tiny bruises of a day spent exploring.

 

Breakfast, crayons, juice, nappy, TV, blocks, snack, tantrum, postman, juice, nappy, TV, lunch, nap, story, juice, snack, loading the dishwasher, more blocks, another tantrum, TV, nursery rhymes, laundry, dancing, clock watching, dinner prep, more laundry, nappy, bath, story time, bed, first wake up, juice, nappy, bed again.

 

And on it goes, another day full of tiny frustrations and glorious belly laughs. The days pass slowy and yet all at once, in a exhausted white hot blur.

I’m willing to bet I’m not the only one who has gone 4 or more days without washing their hair – not becasue there genuinely isn’t any time to do it but because at 9.30 when you’re finally ‘alone’ you’ve got work to do or a partner to talk to. You’re bone tired and would love to collapse into a deep sleep but you feel so desperately unfulfilled – you can’t end the day like this.

So you watch TV, or read if you can summon the energy to follow the story. Anything to feel like something happened today.

 

Now I love my daughter, desperately and completely. She is funny, clever, kind and I am immeasurably proud that I am able to spend my days working from home so I can be close to her. I know you feel the same. But some days I am so done.

I need to be alone, far far away from anyone and anything that wants something from me. I want to feel purposeful and satisfied and like I’m more than a maid or a referee.

 

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9 Comments

  1. 27th June 2017 / 6:26 pm

    So beautifully raw. I could have read on and on. Yes me too. That line about feeling unfulfilled walloped me in the face. Thanks for writing this.You’ve said some things I couldn’t.

  2. 28th June 2017 / 1:31 pm

    I couldn’t agree more! Although I feel you missed out the ‘Mum covered in lunch crying after the twentieth tantrum of the day’ part (or was that just me?).
    And you’re so right – you wouldn’t be without them but some days it is hard to know which way is up and who you are. I don’t know if writing your blog helps you get it off your chest but for me writing a novel restored my sanity – well, as much as there was any sanity left. Here’s to us all – there is light at the end of the soft play tunnel, yes?

  3. 28th June 2017 / 7:43 pm

    I’ve definitely felt like this many times before! Really well written post Hannah.

    • Bunnyof2
      29th June 2017 / 8:18 am

      I felt like this many a time. It didn’t help that I moved from one country to another to be closer to my husbands family who turns out rarely see each other. I live in a small town now and found it hard to make new friends. I love my husband, I love my children but I don’t love my life. I miss the freedom of a big city, having my own time but I wouldn’t give it all up for those things. Their hugs, their little laughs, their crazy thoughts make it all worth it. Its hard not feeling guilty when sometimes you just want to hide for an hour or day.

  4. 28th June 2017 / 11:05 pm

    So much love for this. I still struggle with my own identity and often feel lost in the toddler’s routine – forgetting the last time I did something for me!

    Like you, I love my toddler dearly, and I’m so grateful to have him after trying for so long, BUT. It’s exhausting not being enough for him sometimes. Not having the answer he wants. Not having the right snack. And I’m tired, not to mention now feeling guilty that I feel this way! I just want a pause button to regroup in my head.

  5. 29th June 2017 / 8:38 pm

    This. Some days I’d pay to go back to an office for a few hours!

  6. 30th June 2017 / 3:12 am

    Oh my goodness there needs to be more honest writing like this. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  7. 2nd July 2017 / 3:53 pm

    Thanks for writing this. I have spent the day/week/month in a sleep deprived blur trying to hold onto all of the positives about my life but honestly, just hearing someone else say these words makes it Ok for a little while.
    Here’s to an easy week!

  8. 17th August 2017 / 1:42 pm

    Such an honest post it’s beautiful! 💞
    You’re most certainly not alone hunny, I know I’ve felt like that many a time.

    Thank uuuu 🌸
    xox

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