It’s officially the start of the Easter holidays. The kids are off, the sun is shining, and all is well in the world, right? Wrong. So, so wrong.

Hubby and the kids have just left for Kildare, I’m staying here. We agreed this plan weeks ago as it became apparent that my ability to cope with home life is extremely compromised. The reality of it now seems particularly harsh. Is it the right thing to do? I think so, but it still doesn’t feel all that nice. I am sick of this depression and the way it has 100% taken over my life, leaving me with the dregs. I’m sick of the distance it puts between Hubby and I, the way it keeps attacking our marriage, how my mood infects him and how I end up resenting him for that. I feel like it’s been an almost constant battle for over 6 years now, with brief interludes where things were ok. It’s as though my ability to cope with it, and have patience with it, has been tested to the limit and there’s nothing left. I’m tired of having to talk myself out of bed, remind myself to smile in response to what’s been said, do something, anything, other than sit and stare into the distance. I’m tired of wishing the day away so that I can legitimately get back into bed and just sleep. Work is taking every shred of focus and motivation that I have, leaving me utterly drained and with nothing for home. The only thing I can think to do to make myself feel better that doesn’t involve an extraordinary level of effort (or spending money we don’t have) is eat, with the result that I’m comfort eating like there’s no tomorrow, and gaining weight at the same rate. This doesn’t sit well with me and is making me feel even worse. Mostly I’m tired of being stuck in such a vicious and unrelenting cycle, and the way that it’s making me miss my life.

I have a fear, a very, very big one – that years down the road, when my kids are all grown up and don’t need me anymore, that I will look back and all I’ll remember of them at this age, and everything up to this age, is how hard it was. Not how amazing and full of life and love they are, but rather how much I wanted to engage with them but couldn’t. How much I had to get other people to look after them because I couldn’t, or how all I wanted in the evening was to get them to bed so I could retreat into my head. Worse, that that’s all they’ll remember.  I know you can tell me it isn’t always like this, that there have been times when I was well and things were good. I’m going to counteract with the fact that it keeps coming back to this. Seriously, the kids are off now for two weeks and what are we doing? Spending it on opposite sides of the country because it’s not good for any of us to be around me too much. That hurts like hell and I am so incredibly sad right now.

I know the absolute worst thing I can do right now is sit here and continue to think about this. I need to get up and run, or go for a walk, or do some yoga. Even clean my house. Anything to break this train of thought because it’s too hard to stay with. But right now, I’ve no idea how to go about doing any of the above. It’s taking so much effort just to be awake.

But then I see this. The kids were playing out the front this morning, and came in with one each for me. They picked these, for me, to make me smile, because they love me. I’m not an ideal mam, but I’m their mam. Well actually I’m their Mom (I’ve no clue how that happened, just worked out that way). I have to try and keep perspective. This might be a particularly hellish time for me right now, and not exactly a picnic for Hubby either, but they’re doing fine. They’re getting spoilt rotten by grandparents. They’re going to have a lot of fun in Kildare. The whole point of these few days is to give us Hubby and the kids a break from this and to give me a chance to try and recover some more, and do what I can to help the meds do their job. Lying in bed crying doesn’t help. Well maybe a little because it’s out of my system now. But that’s enough. It’s time to get up and get moving. This will pass. I hope.

This article has 3 Comments

  1. You have actually described a lot of womens early motherhood. Definatly mine. I questioned why id had children.when all i did was wish their life away. Why wasnt i like other mums who melted into motherhood..fullfiled.happy…it does get better/easier but then the real guilt kicks in.the lost years .the only emotion i felt was fear and guilt.the only reason i stayed alive was because i honestly thought my demise would damage them more.

  2. Sigh. I was in tears this week about the very same thing with the kids and what I'll remember of their childhoods, and what they'll remember. It's not fair to my kids that their mom has depression, and I struggle with how to process that. But…here are some things I have been trying to tell myself. Rationally, I believe these things, but truly feeling them is something else. Maybe they'll help you a bit?

    – You are the best mom for your kids. You are trying like hell to be there for them in the best ways possible, and they are so lucky to have you.
    – Kids are resilient. No, these may not be your best parenting years, but that is not all that the kids will remember.
    – You are modeling some great things for your kids. It may not seem that way now, but it's true. You're modeling self-compassion, and taking care of yourself, and being able to ask for help. I don't know about you, but my parents never modeled any of those things for me, and they now seem like absolutely essential things to learn for emotional health.

    I know there are a thousand other things I could write and none of them would take away the sadness and the pain of what you're feeling now. Just remember – you are not alone.

  3. It sounds rubbish, utterly rubbish, spending the holidays apart and worst of all knowing its for the best. Big hugs for you. If it helps at all it also sounds incredibly brave to take the decision to do something that feels so rubbish becuase you know its your best plan for getting through this and back to a place where you can be more engaged with them. Fingers crossed the new hospital plan starts showing some effect soon.

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