We’ve had 3 whole days at home just the four of us. Friday was lovely – there was a lot of pottering, not too much doing, and I was mercifully calm all day. Since then, I’ve been getting steadily edgier, and eventually had to resort to xanax this afternoon when I knew I was getting far too close to snapping. I’m disappointed, although not surprised. I’m rediscovering my chronic inability to sit still, and the ridiculous weight of expectation I carry when all four of us are home together – what we should be doing, where we should be going. I get myself wound up about it without even realising. I think it’s easier in some ways when it’s just me and the kids, because then I have to make the decisions, and it’s up to me what we do. But when Hubby is here, I bring in all these extra variables (note, I, not he) – we’re all off, therefore, we should be going on daytrips/spending the day at home is a waste/we’re giving the kids too much attention/we’re not giving the kids enough attention/we’re depriving them of wonderful experiences/I shouldn’t be doing housework etc etc etc. Always with the high standards and the guilt. Did I mention M has been running a temperature most of the weekend anyway? So really, going anywhere far wouldn’t be much of an option.

It’s just really strange. The mornings are fine. The evenings are fine. It’s the long stretch of time in between that I don’t know how to fill and I get panicky about. The time after we’ve done the walk…………

……but before dinner. I’m tying myself up in knots over what is the right thing to do by my kids. It’s frustrating, exhausting and I suspect mostly a waste of time and energy, because as far as everyone else is concerned, the last few days have been lovely. The kids have had loads of fun either together or with us, the sun has been shining, we’ve been outside lots, had picnics in the garden………….it’s just me!! No, I don’t have an album full of photos of trips to the sea or forest walks, but the only one taking issue with that is me.

I haven’t had a whole lot of exercise of late, I fell off the running wagon after a really crappy run about two weeks ago, although I did go out yesterday. I need to get back on it again, because I know it helps. I’m full of nervous energy and I don’t have an outlet for it right now, and I think that’s half the reason I’m getting so wound up over nothing. Right now, the plan is to get up and head out first thing tomorrow. I’ll let you know how that works out.

This article has 6 Comments

  1. Hi Fiona, There was an interesting article in the Sunday Mail YOU magazine (UK version) yesterday about depression by Rachel Kelly. Thought you may like to read it. Hope you're feeling a bit brighter today x

  2. Hope the sun is shining down West.Can so relate to what you said above (feels like i could have written it myself) ,i thought it was just me that thought like this! There is comfort knowing were not alone right???. I find myself thinking like that- What should we be doing? When should we be doing it? I get stressed and anxious when things don't go to plan or on my "imagined" timeframe. I guess this is a feature of the way i perceived i could manage depression,in that if there was a plan i could control any potential triggers or depressive events. Am slowly,slowly,slowly trying to change this and be in the now using mindfulness. Wishing that you have a great Bank holiday. Take care

  3. First of all, that tree in the second picture is absolutely beautiful. Is it a cherry tree? Let's just sit in that little patch of shade while the children – the content, feeling loved, and emotionally healthy children – frolic in the grass around us. 🙂

    I understand exactly what you're saying about the pressure to have everything be just the right way for the kids – lots of adventures but not too many to exhaust them, plenty of discipline but not too much so they feel oppressed (ugh), lots of blissful candid family photographs but not so many that they think their parents' lives revolved around them. Need I go on?

    In the end I think all of my self-doubt and second-guessing with the kids comes from a place of poor self-esteem. Not enough self-confidence and comfort in my own skin. Combine that with my significant fear of passing my childhood crap and depression onto my kids…and my head spins with shoulds and should-nots. Really, I think it's a disguised version of Bitchface. My therapist is always reminding me that "there are no shoulds" – there's just how I feel, and how I choose to respond.

    All that is to say that I can relate and what you say makes perfect sense. I think it's worth noting, though, that the raging Bitchface doesn't make her appearance here. And you're having a hard time with a chunk of the day – but you're not curled up in bed in the fetal position hoping that the kids will disappear. So while all of this ruminating is awful, it's less awful than how you've been feeling…and that's progress, yes?

    Keep hanging in there. One day at a time.

    1. I've been so slow to reply, but yes, to all of the above. And you're right, Bitchface wasn't there and I did get out of the bed – progress. What's nice about my slow reply is that since writing the above, things have been getting steadily better, and it's so good to be able to see that.
      Also yes, cherry blossom 🙂

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