Now, before you jump in out of kindness, I know that I am not a terrible mother. I just feel like one at the moment. I know that E is loved. She also has food, shelter, warmth, so all her basic needs are met. As are many non-basic needs too. She has time in the garden, toys to play with, routines and boundaries, a reasobable diet, swimming lessons and gym classes, playdates, time at preschool, and numerous family members who adore her. I adore her. The problem is that I don't feel I am behaving like the sort of Mum I always hoped to be.
Lately there's been little playtime at home, with no imaginative play on my part (she does that on her own). No arts and crafts, no baking. Too much using the TV to keep her entertained. The house needs cleaning but I've no energy to do it. What's worse is that I find myself getting irritated by the smallest thing. You want me to build a train track? Find lost toy scissors? I just want to be left alone. Can't out sort yourself out?
I am TIRED. So very tired. I'm not even supposed to complain really, because I only have one child, not 2 or 3 or more. What makes me feel even worse is it's not even E's fault. Yes, she's in that annoying phase of the word "no" leading to meltdowns, yells of "it's not fair/I don't care" etc. She's 3, it's normal. She swings between moments of being utterly adorable or behaving like that annoying child you want to pretend isn't yours, for fear of being judged on your parenting technique. Again, normal. The fact is, she's lovely, she's ours and I love her.
I feel like a toy where everything has gone into slow motion or off kilter, my batteries are running out. I dream of going away to a cottage by the sea, all on my own for a week, to read and sleep. Then maybe having another week with my partner and E. And another where friends visit. After which, I might feel rested.
Work is stressful and having too much impact on my time with E. When I'm not at work I'm worrying about it or trying to do some when I should be taking time off with E. The "to do" list is stacking up with no end in sight. I've got an eye infection. The diet has gone out of the window along with the exercuse routine. And yes, I know exercising and eating right (as opposed to going for caffiene and sugar) would help. But I'm too tired to do the things that I know are good for me. I'm also sad. I miss my twin and feel strange without him being in the background of my life. I feel out of sorts. I am ever so grateful for the friend who helped me today by inviting E and I back to theirs for a playdate and tea. I was grumpy company and feeling no fun at all, and am pretty sure I'd have falen asleep on the sofa if we'd been at home. So it did me good to spend time with others.
We're visiting friends this weekend and looking forward to catching up. Plus we're going away on a family holiday in July. Seven adults and E in a Majorcan villa. I'm counting down the days. If I can just manage to keep mentally afloat, try to get on top of things at work, and get 6-8 hours shut-eye each night, then maybe I'll manage to be better company on holiday. I might even build sandcastles, play games and generally be a fun Mum for E. Once I've had some sleep.
Did I mention that I'm tired?