Another week goes by and I have realised something. I have always set myself pretty high standards, and non so much as being a mother. It is the single most important job I will ever have. I am the centre of our house, the provider and the ‘go to’ for most things, and I love it even on the days that I can’t quite manage.
Ever since I had my little boy years ago, it is as if I have always tried to do my very best, to be the very best I can be for them, even sometimes to the detriment of my own wellbeing. I am sure that I am not the only one who gives up her slice of toast when little hands come wandering, or stops midway through the washing up at the slightest call of ‘mum’ and I don’t resent it, not at all. I would give them my last breath if I had to a thousand times over, and yet just lately I have begun to question myself more and more. Am I good enough to manage it all?
I have been reminded of something that I promised myself a while ago,
I promised that I would cherish the small things and slow down a little to give myself a chance to enjoy life.
And while I do cherish the small things now more than ever – the spontaneous sloppy kiss or the little morning snuggle, I have invariably found myself slipping back into the busy rush of life. The very thing I promised myself that I would not do. The mornings in our household are rushed during the midweek and I very often find myself tired out before I even get to work. I regularly miss breakfast, I drink too much tea and really take it to heart if I have forgotten to send one of the children off for the day with something that they needed. By the time it reaches the evening I am often completely spent. I have been known to hop into the children’s bath as I run it for them, and more often than not I do not have the energy to cook an evening meal for my husband. I just do not have it in me and that is a tough thing to admit. I am finding more and more that I am having to ‘let it go’ when I find I can manage no more.
I had a review at work not so long ago, another milestone for me. It was a funny sort of conversation, as my boss is actually a friend and so the honesty involved was given candidly. We went through the given format, and eventually one of the questions asked was what I felt to be my biggest achievement to be over the past year. I had answered ‘returning to work’ and my boss said that it had given him a lump in his throat to read that. Perhaps it did, but it was the complete and honest truth. On an average day I struggle to concentrate, struggle to even get dressed and yet I get through the days, by some short miracle. The very act of going to work is a positive thing, it helps keep me on the road to recovery which is turning out to be longer than I first imagined.
It seems that when asked outright about how I am, some surprising answers are given.
A friend recently asked the same thing. The answer is, I am good, we are good, but sometimes I find the days a struggle. It is extremely frustrating to feel fatigue and continue to raise a young family. It is upsetting to snap at your husband and children when you don’t really mean it, yet tiredness continues to be a reality for me. It is a difficult thing to explain, and I am not even sure that I have explained it well enough, but I continue to try my very best. My friends have given me some kind advice, to get more sleep and to let things go when I realise that not everything is achievable – and I will take that on board because sound advice it is.
I love my children, and they continue to make me smile everyday. They wake me early and encourage me to get on with living. We don’t have a perfect life, there are arguments and tears just like any normal family, but on the whole we are happy and healthy, which in itself is a blessing. I just need to remind myself to take care of me, because if I don’t I won’t be able to take care of everybody else.
Never judge a book by it’s cover springs to mind as I wonder quite how to explain the way it feels. How it feels to get on with everyday life.