Wednesday, October 24, 2018

The Pressure of Being A Mother ♥

It's 6.11 - this morning I'm awake before my 6.30 alarm. I relish the opportunity to just lie in bed and enjoy a few minutes peace before the boys wake up, allowing my body and senses to fully awaken before I have to deal with sorting out everyone else's needs, wants, tantrums, etc.

But I can't, because I'm not the only one awake. As soon as I turn over in the bed I hear him, the youngest saying - "Mam". Not even awake sixty seconds and I'm wanted, there's no time to even breathe in a new day and they're upon me.

It's 8.45, after completing ten thousand million tasks in the space of two hours I've dropped the eldest off at school, but still, the youngest is with me. No chance of a nap now he's passed the age of a good ole morning snooze, so I'm playing entertainer for awhile at least. We walk, visit the playground... but it's still not enough, he still won't just sit down and watch delightful Cbeebies for even half an hour so I can get some work done - I never thought I'd say it but God, how I miss Cbeebies...

It's 1.02 and I'm having to leave the house 40 minutes before I have to collect the eldest from school because the youngest has now decided he's exhausted and wants to sleep. He longs for a nice long nap in his cot, but that's off the cards when I have to drive to the other side of the island for his brother.

He naps and I enjoy 25 minutes of sitting in the car with nothing but poor 3G signal to enjoy (the joys of country schools!) to keep me entertained. I tell the eldest that we can't stay and play in the playground today because his brother is asleep in the car and I need to bring him home for a nap (secretly hoping I can get all my jobs done). Cue the protests and strops, apparently I'm a 'meanie' and am 'so unfair to him'.

It's 1.55 and we arrive home, I gently take the youngest from the car and place him in his cot successfully - or so I thought. Two minutes later I hear his murmurs and know that I have failed in my mission of moving a sleeping toddler without waking them up and I curse myself, no jobs will be done now.

The boys bicker, wail and scream as they play - usually when the eldest takes something the youngest wants. He's just learned the word 'mine' and thinks he owns everything. It's exhausting and draining constantly having to be referee and in these moments I wish they'd just be quiet and 'play nicely' - a phrase I find myself repeating over and over again to no avail.

Then comes dinner - thankfully they now eat without fuss, but only when watching some annoying crap on a tablet screen... I'll take it though because if I have to scrape one more morsel of food into the bin and I may just scream.

Bathtime and they're squabbling again, this time over a plastic jug that sat in the kitchen for years neglected, but now it's the hottest new toy in town. They splash water all over the floor so much that I'm terrified they'll blow the lights downstairs in the kitchen.

It's 7.00 and bedtime is relatively easy, thank God. Fresh pyjamas, into bed and a story and they'll go to sleep. I'm eternally grateful for the easy bedtimes. They are by far the easiest part of the day - bar being exhausted from dealing with everything else for the past almost 13 hours...

This past month has been an incredibly hard one in my life as a parent and I find myself resenting being a stay at home mother - as you can probably tell from the tone of this post. I not going to lie, I am unhappy and while I love being a mother, I feel as though it's completely consuming me at the moment and it's hard.

I long for a bit of freedom, a day where I don't need to bundle everyone and everything into the car before I get to leave the house.

I seem to have had to give up absolutely everything I was doing for myself this month and I don't know what has gone so wrong. The gym, which had become my space for precious 'me-time' and self improvement has gone right out the window because there is just no time.

My days this past month have followed the exact same pattern set out above - bar the rare magical moments of watching the sunset in the woods on a balmy day, and honestly, I can't wait for mid-term to begin tomorrow because I am so ready to not have to tend to my eldest's school times and social activities for just a week at least.

I find myself feeling guilty if he hasn't had a play date, yet I never remember having any as a child. I signed him up for rugby, which we now have to hang around for on a Saturday morning, yet I wasn't allowed to join any clubs or sports as a child... Maybe I'm just trying to overcompensate his life for all the things I feel that I missed out on as a child and it really should be so simple, but I feel extremely under pressure from it all.

I feel like everything for myself is on the back burner for now and it's frustrating not being able to be creative without being constantly interrupted.

A lovely, kind lady who I've followed on Instagram for quite some time now wrote to me today about my photography and how I should pursue it. My response to her was an honest one of that I just didn't have any childcare options and would have to wait until next September, when Beau begins preschool, to even contemplate doing something to further my own career. Her response to me was one which I think all mothers should take heed of -

"Just remember that you will always be a mammy, but you are allowed time for yourself and to pursue a dream for yourself too".

A change needs to happen and I'm not sure how I can even make it possible for myself without feeling guilty about wanting to break-free from this stay at home mother bubble, but for my own sanity and self-worth I need a change and a break from time to time.

Being a mother brings so much pressure, not just from the kids but the pressure we put on ourselves too try and give our children all we possibly can, but much of the time this comes at the cost of our own comfort, happiness and dreams and when this happens I think it's important to try and re-balance and make compromises that make not only your children happy, but yourself too.

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