Today I Felt It

Today I felt it.

I felt the snap.

I would like to say that I have controlled it but I don’t think I have.

I think maybe I can though.

I put the babies to bed at 10am and listened as I always do to their monitor as they battled against sleep.

I think Esther actually fell asleep quite quickly. William took the best part of an hour.

I sat and listened.

I was doing other things but I was also listening.

I could feel the bubbling beneath as my nerves began to fray.

Then I felt the snap and I had to stop listening.

I checked for mail.

I considered going out in the garden.

I settled for shutting myself in the bathroom, washing machine on, and vigorously cleaning my teeth.

I know I need to tell David that I need a break soon.

But he is too busy for that.

He is working this weekend.

But I will be alright.

I’ll keep us busy.

I can feel it now though.

It is like a nervous energy has taken over my body.

Has anyone else ever felt like this?

Five minutes of peace over

The boy he sleeps

But now the girl is awake

No rest time for Mummy today x

Firework Flashback

What a difference a year makes!

We have just had a lovely evening with family, fireworks, a bonfire and hot dogs.

There is something wonderful about bonfire night.

I have fond memories of this night as a child. My parents hosted our family bonfire nights serving hot dogs and steaming mugs of soup as I did tonight. We would all stand around a bonfire and have sparklers too.

Tonight we had a very smoky bonfire and some fireworks too. William loved the fireworks but Esther was not so sure.

Last night we did not have fireworks of the conventional kind but I did suffer an emotional outburst of my own.

What a difference a year makes!

I had a bit of a meltdown yesterday.
I am just so tired and the babies were screaming all day and I just lost it and screamed back.
I had been home alone with them for 8 hours and had had a couple of bad nights and was just exhausted.
I felt so terrible that I burst into tears and sobbed til David came home and found me.
I scared myself.
It just doesn’t seem to be getting any easier.
I always thought that I would be a good Mum and would find this something I enjoyed but at the moment it just feels like hard work and I feel sad a lot of the time and then I feel guilty for feeling sad.
I am frustrated that the babies have no clue who I am.
I am scared that I am not going to be a very good Mum.
I want to be better, I want things to get better.
Sorry for the rant. I just wanted to get in touch with someone and let off some steam and hope for a friendly reply.
I sound so ungrateful don’t I?
I’m not, I love the babies so much and I am so thankful for them but they really are such hard work and at the moment for very little in return.
Rubbish day x

From This Day

I lasted half an hour of my final hour before I wanted to be home.

You see in spite of all the sadness and anger and whatever it is that is pumping through me these days, I love my children and I love being with them and with David more than anything in the world.

But it does take a few hours away to make you remember, I think, sometimes.

You get so caught up in the daily grind and repetitive routines that you forget what it is all about.

Esther and William are longed for babies. David and I worked hard to get them and I want to enjoy them.

I thought I knew what being a mother was all about but how can you until you have a child of your own?

Being a mother changes the way that you view the world. It makes you question everything. It makes you reflect on everything you have ever done and worry more about what you may do in the future. What your children and their children may do.

It brings responsibility beyond measure and love beyond dreams.

Every emotion is felt more vividly, every high higher and each low lower. Life means more than it ever did before.

Hormones are raging and feelings are flying and the world as you once knew it does not exist anymore.

I think that anyone is going to find that situation take a little getting used to

I have looked at other mothers today, other children in town and I am not doing such a bad job you know.

I may consider things too much, I may worry too much, I may always look at the worst case scenario but I love my children more than I had ever dared hope I could love anyone. I love their father that way too.

How wonderful is that? How lucky am I?

I am going to be looking at things differently from now on. I know it is still going to be hard, I know that there is work to be done but I don’t mind hard work, I thrive on pressure or I did.

I can still be the old me and bring my old strengths into motherhood. Motherhood and being a wife.

I am still me in these roles just as before I have been teacher, colleague, boss, daughter, and sister they are just two more hats to wear or roles to play.

The most demanding roles I have ever been asked to play but I like a challenge.

Bring it on!

Things are going to be different from today.

Begin Again!

12.15 My hair is complete. I could make the 12.40 train home if I really wanted to, but I don’t. I don’t think one more hour will make much difference to David; the babies will be having lunch now and then they should go to sleep. I will get the 13.40 train home and have one more hour for me. Selfish or sensible? You decide.

So what to do? Well first, I am going to enjoy a second skinny mocha and then I am going to browse the sales. What a pip!

Browsing sales is not something that can be done easily with a twin buggy so I am going to take one more hour for me.

I hope everything is okay at home. I have come out without my phone so I am not contactable at all. Perhaps that is not the wisest thing I have done?

I love my hair. I want to enjoy wearing it down a while. They’ll be alright at home for one more hour.

Things are going to be different from now on. I am going to be different. I want to be. I want to adopt a more positive ‘can do’ attitude. I know that I am a good and capable Mum but recently I have talked myself out of my abilities. I believe my own self doubt and am afraid of just getting on with it on my own. I wish I could remember when this feeling started, perhaps then I could figure out what the trigger might be and I will be able to stop myself falling down this hole again.

It must have started at some point but I don’t when that was or what.

What made the clock start ticking? The fuse inside that has been getting shorter and shorter until the explosions of recent days. The way I feel reminds me of the character Josh in The West Wing when he is suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. I don’t think I have that but perhaps our symptoms and reactions are somewhat the same. Perhaps that is taking my obsession with The West Wing just one step too far?

I know I have some soul searching to do. I know there are questions to which I need to find answers. But for now I am going to just enjoy the present moment with my newly highlighted hair falling softly down my back as I browse the summer sales on my own.

And then I will be ready.

I can do this. I can get a hold of myself and pull myself up from the crevice I am in and begin again.

I have so much to be thankful for and lots to enjoy and look forward to.

Let’s begin again!

Incompletion – Please Let The Skies Stay Blue!

ShowOff Showcase

Being a parent means a constant sense of incompletion. When you’re with them, there’s always that little bit of the old you, nagging about what you’re missing, and yet, when you’re away from them, you don’t feel whole.

Louise Wener, Red June 2011

I could not have put this better myself!

So how am I going to move forward, for me, for David and for our babies?

I have been thinking about this and after the chaos of the wedding is over I am going to reinstate some order to our lives. As a teacher I loved planning my week. I loved thinking about what had gone the week before and where I wanted to take my class on their learning journey next. I am going to think of Esther and William as my class. September will be the start of our school year? What are our objectives going to be? What do I want us to achieve together and what steps do we need to take to reach our goal?

12 months is a long time. In the 12 months from September we will enjoy our second Christmas as a family and Esther and William will turn two, and with any luck be discharged from the care of the hospital. For discharge to be achieved Esther and William need to catch up with their chronological peers, so that is something positive that we can work towards.

There are classes that I want to go to starting from September. Gym Babes / Tumble Tots is one of them. That is a class that is easy for me to get to despite the fact that I do not drive. I also think we might start going to something called Fun Train which is quite far away but near where David’s sister lives so perhaps it could tie in with regular visit to her? We are also starting baby signing. So each week we will attend three classes which will enable Esther and William to mix with other children and learn important skills which will help their development.

Every day, without excuse, we are going to go out for a walk. The exercise and fresh air will do us all good. And if it is raining? Well, that is surely what rain covers were designed for?

When we are at home I am going to structure our day a little bit more, this will become easier as Esther and William get older and we can do things like art activities, puzzles and messy play.

I am going to also try and make sure that we see someone every week perhaps for coffee or lunch or a play date.

Life is not just going to get better; I need to be proactive in making adjustments and improvements that will make us all feel happier with our lot.

David and I have agreed that I will have Saturday mornings as my ‘me time’ until we are at a point where he can comfortably work only four days. On my Saturdays I am going to get up really early have my solitary hour of coffee and writing/reading and then perhaps go shopping or swimming on alternate weeks.

Just making these plans is making me feel better within myself. I told you that I like planning!!

10.30am – Hair colour is cooking. Few more minutes til the cut and then the shopping. I have decided to go for it and enjoy some time to myself.

And I am not going to feel guilty like I usually do. It is not wrong to steal a little time for me. David will be fine and can make up the work time. He will be able to work more efficiently if I am coping better with my batteries recharged.

Life is making sense today.

A cloud has lifted. Please let the skies stay blue!

Solitary Hours

It is 7.58am. I am sat in Maidstone, in a new Costa Coffee. I am alone, watching the world go by and feeling a little nervous. I am out on my own! I have a large skinny mocha and my laptop and I am not moving from here for an hour. I do not have to entertain any babies, change any nappies, referee any disputes over toys. I do not have to pretend I am happy when I’m not. I have on clean clothes free from spit and dribble. I am having an hour of me. And do you know what I think on a regular basis this would be enough. One solitary hour in a day that was mine to just be me. Alone with a coffee and a book or a laptop. That would be bliss! It would be more than enough but today it is not nearly all! I am so excited because today is a day all about me!!

At 9am I am going to a salon to have my hair cut and coloured ready for our wedding which is 3 weeks tomorrow! Last night I finally settled on THE style for the day and today is all about getting my hair just the right length and colour in the right places to make the style looks its best. What luxury! My parents are treating me as a combined birthday and wedding treat. I keep forgetting that as well as our wedding next month I also have my birthday, and the MADS!!

I prepared David, telling him that my hair will take the best part of three or even four hours and he said I may as well stay out all day as he will not get much useful done on a Friday afternoon. So I may, I might, maybe, stay out for the whole day by myself??
I will see how I am feeling after my hair.

David is going white water rafting with all his siblings tomorrow so I guess it is okay.

I have been thinking about David this morning. I think that we need to plan in some time for him to do his own thing too. As I was thinking this I realised something, without me noticing I have finally grown up. I am 35 in 5 weeks; it has been a long time coming. But I am a grown up. The thing that made me realise this is that I know that David and I need to do things together, things apart and things with the babies for our relationship to survive. To be healthy and prosper and grow, not just survive. Before this realisation I would insist on us doing everything together. I now see how silly this is and that even the closest of couples and bestest of friends need some time apart to really appreciate what they have in the other. I know I need that time away from my children now too to appreciate them and to give them the focused attention that they deserve.

I had a go at David in the middle of the night, part of this emotional mess that I am going through. I tried to start a row about how he thinks he does more with the babies than me and how I want him to recognise that I do just as much as him. Ridiculous I know! But as I sit here writing this I know that it is because inside I am feeling so guilty because over the last couple of weeks I have had lots of time at the dentist and being ill where I have not been fully functional and he has done more than his share of work with the babies as well as trying to do his professional work and look after me. He is rather marvellous actually. I love him but I also think I feel that he is so much better than me. And really I know that this is not true but lately I have been wondering why someone as wonderful as him would want to marry someone as un-wonderful (?) as me??

All this inner dialogue rages in my head all the time at the moment leading to my increasingly frequent irrational, emotional outbursts. I know that I need to get some help and in fact I want to seek advice. It is going to be a big thing though going to the doctor and asking him or her to help me find the support that I know I need. I want to talk. And the more I think about it the more I think of that there is that I want to talk to someone about. About my life with David and babies, but about my life before that too. I am sure that there are still issues hanging over me from my past that need ironing out to make my future a happier and healthier one. And David’s and the babies’ too.

You can begin to see why I wonder if David regrets the day he ever met me? He could have such a different life with a different girl.
I hate to think how broken I would be if I did not and had never had David in my life. I couldn’t ever be without him now. He is as much a part of me as I am. I guess that is why I am marrying him. He is everything to me and a saint for putting up with me these past months, weeks, years???

I take him for granted every day and that is going to change.

3 weeks from now when I stand in church and make my vows, it will be a proud and joyous occasion but my heart will be solemn because I want to really mean what I say and totally understand the commitment we are making to one another. I am going to be a Henley and I do not ever want to let David or my new family down.

8.24am. An hour is a long time. I am certain that this one solitary hour a day is all I would need to be me x

PND One Year After Birth?

I am wondering if it is possible to have post natal depression one year after the babies’ birth?

I am wondering if I have always had it but have been in denial?

I am wondering if I do not have it at all but am in fact just a horrible person?

I am really struggling at the moment. I have been through periods like this before since Esther and William were born but this seems to be the worst.

I feel so very tired. I am not enjoying anything that I do. There is so much that I want and need to do but I cannot find the motivation to do any of it. Everything I have to do, even just the simple every day, feels so hard.

I love my children so much but am finding them a chore. I seem to be constantly patting someone to sleep or picking food or toys off the floor. I can’t see the fun through all the crap (excuse me) that comes with it.

I love David more than all the world and I am being awful to him. For absolutely no reason at all. He is doing everything he can to be nice to me and he is just making me feel worse because in my head I see it as him being a wonderful father and me being a rubbish mother.

What is wrong with me?

It is all stemming from feelings of being not good enough. I think it might be linked to giving up breastfeeding. I feel that if I do not feed them then what do I do? I can’t do anything else well.

Today’s episode started because William would not eat any tea, now I know it is probably because his teeth are hurting or he is eating less because of the hot weather but in my head I couldn’t stop thinking that this was one more thing I am not any good at, getting William to eat his tea. My thoughts are irrational, the things I say to David make no sense, the rage and fear that I feel come from nowhere and I make him so angry and I know that I am doing it but I just cannot stop.

My head seems to be whirring these days with thoughts of how rubbish I am. I feel so lonely and so tired. And so confused. Why am I so down on myself? Why am I so intent on ruining something so special, making bad out of good? Why?

I don’t know why I feel like this, why I cannot be confident in my abilities as a Mum. Why I cannot be assertive in my role as Esther and William’s Mummy, why I feel so helpless, lifeless and just rubbish.

Now that the episode has passed I can see how ridiculous it is. I know that I am doing okay as a Mum and the bits where I need to improve I am aware of so why I am giving myself such a hard time. I know that David and I make a good team when I am on form. We are good together. Why then do I seem to be doing my best to ruin it?

It is like something snaps inside me that triggers a whole range of feelings, emotions and actions that are out of my control. It is horrible. It is frightening.

I want more than anything to be a good Mummy to my children but at the moment I find myself sometimes almost resenting them and wondering if I will ever get to just be me again. Not that I can really remember who I am or was, I think that might be part of the problem.

Today I just kept thinking how nice it would be to wear make up, have my hair all nice and wear nice clothes. To be dressed up with somewhere to go. Such a silly silly thing!

I am very aware that because of my life circumstances I have gotten to 34 years of age without a very big circle of friends and I am really feeling that now. David is off out for his second stag do soon with a second set of friends. I will be at home looking after the babies and that upset me today especially when he stated that he does not have to stop seeing his friends just because I do not have any. Ouch! But true. He keeps telling me to go out for the night, but where would I go? And with who?

And I have lots of opportunities to make friends, to keep friends and I tend to drive those into the ground too.

Has anyone else ever felt like this?

Does anyone know what I should do?