Let me set the scene. It’s 11pm, I am cursing the book I’m reading because I came to bed over an hour ago fully intending to read just one chapter, I flick the monitor from 11mth old to 3yo for my cuatomary check before lights out and I see her coughing and crying out, half asleep, coughing again.
Instantly I’m up, getting panadol, carrying her to my room, fetching water and tucking her in, soothing her as she coughs, finding the Eukybear rub, and finally fishing out the (ridiculous) giant Peppa toy I bought her on a whim days ago but never gave her (because it is ridiculous).
Seeing her pale little face light up like she’s the luckiest girl in the world delights me, she snuggles down still coughing and lets me rub Eukybear on her chest (“because my tummy is a bit sore, mamma”) and then some Eukybear on her feet (“My feet are a bit sore too, both of them!”); she is soon asleep, cuddled against (ridiculous) Peppa with her normal buddy Eyeore clutched in her hands.
And I am so joyful. It sounds wrong, so hear me out, but in her pain / discomfort, I have found joy. Because I have again found my place. I’ve found peace. Contentment, certainty. Of course I’m a mother. Of course I am right where I’m supposed to be. Of course it is me, specifically, that these two little souls need and depend on.
I’ve had a few weeks now of a bad mood settled on my psyche; of feeling stretched beyond my capability, of not being able to be the person I was constantly needed to be.
Teething, sleepless nights, colds, birthdays, visitors, parties – all these things have pulled at me, demanded my attention, been competing priorities. I’ve just felt so unable to get it right and had a recurring feeling of “Just go away and leave me alone!” Even as, bizarrely, I have truly and honestly been enjoying the events going on. Well, the birthdays, visitors and parties, obviously, not the shit stuff!
I’ve felt like an imposter, like I’m playing a part but this isn’t really me or my life, like there is no proof I’m really the mamma here. I’ve felt like I am trying so hard to be some one and some thing I am not.
It’s a feeling that has cropped up a lot this past year, well it started in September and that’s when I went to my GP and was diagnosed with PND. Point is, I have had this feeling before but not for a little while – I am feeling more and more like Me and less and less like Me with PND, so having this cloud over me the past three weeks or so has made things a bit worrying.
Until now, tonight. Suddenly it’s lifted. Caring for this tiny human who is only slightly unwell came so instantly. So naturally and instinctively. Of course I am Mamma. Her mamma. I’m not failing or in the wrong spot or doing the wrong thing.
Yep, it’s hard when they’re tired and whiny and clingy and it’s just me or they just want me, but that’s par for the parenthood course. I have to keep reminding myself that getting sick of the consent demands or feeling tired or overwhelmed by this journey is pretty normal and doesn’t make me a bad person or mother. It makes me human.
Feeling resentful of the little humans doesn’t make me a bad person or mean anything malignant. It means I’m tired and I’m human.
Feeling like I want to go away and have a whole day or two to myself without any demands on my time doesn’t mean I don’t love my children fiercely and completely. It just means I’m human.
Phew. What a weight to get off my heart. I only hope the next time the cloud descends I remember this wee epiphany and revisit this post before I beat myself up too badly.
Sweet dreams little LLC. Thank you for making me your mamma once again x