I’ve been staying with my folks since Tuesday, and between them and the in laws, the kids have been spoilt rotten. There’s been so much junkfood that when I commented this evening that maybe they’s take a break from it tomorrow, my boy actually agreed and thanked me. There have been playgrounds, museums, cafes, walks, chocolate, screens and general indulgence. I’ve been able to retreat to the safety of my room, or else get out for a walk/jog as and when I feel the inclination.

Despite knowing how much fun the kids are having though, despite everyone going out of their way to make sure they’re well looked after, I can’t help but wonder at the impact my current frame of mind is having on them. They’re both incredibly perceptive kids, and I’ve actually lost count of the number of times my daughter has laid her hand on my arm asked whether or not I’m ok. She’s 4. That’s a question she should never, ever have to ask, and yet, here we are. They’re not stupid. Things are clearly more than a little out of the ordinary. Usually when we’re here, we’re together, be that in my house or the in laws. They might be taken out for an hour or two, but then we’re back together again. Also, usually Hubby would be here with us. Instead, he’s back in Galway, I’m hiding, and when I am around, I’m short tempered and on edge.

I worry for them, and yet again, feel so profoundly guilty for how this may all be impacting on them. I sat down with my boy this evening and he taught (or at least, tried hard to teach) me how to play Mario Kart.

He was so, so happy to show me, and share it with me. But honestly, that’s the most engaged I’ve been able to be with him for days. Otherwise I’ve either been absent or irritable, because I can’t handle noise at the moment. I’ve no tolerance for sudden loud (or even not so loud) noises – an elbow banging off the headboard this evening almost sent me into orbit. I can’t handle bickering, and the constant asking for stuff that accompanies small people.

I’ve one more day here, and then we’re heading home, back to reality. Or a form of at least. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t apprehensive. It’s taking a superhuman effort to keep myself on an even keel right now – hours spent alone, far too much Netflix (guaranteed to shut my head up for a bit), writing, jalking, yoga – it’s just not going to be possible to maintain this once we get back. So what will I do? How will I manage? I’m trying not to think too far ahead on it, because it won’t help. I’m reasonably confident at this point that work next week isn’t going to be an option, so that will potentially give me the mornings. But otherwise it’ll be all hands on deck, and I need to be able to cope with my kids. More than that, I need to be the mom they’re used to.

I wish to god there was a quick fix, a way of going back that would make everything ok, that would take the apprehension away from me, and the pressure of having to deal with me away from Hubby. But there isn’t. We had this conversation the other day, he was telling me to go back and read all the wonderful, heartfelt comments people have been leaving on my blog and page the last few days. Not only read them, but absorb them – people having faith in me, believing this will pass, etc etc etc. I currently have no faith in me. All I have is fear. For the last two days I’ve been completely at a loss as to know what I’m feeling, but as I’ve been writing I’ve figured it out. I’m so scared of how this could go.

Icing on the cake? I’m all out of paid sick leave.

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