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Today I feel like crying

Posted by on March 11, 2010

I’m okay for a while, I tick along, doing my thing, being a mum, being a wife, keeping my career on track.  Then one day, like today, I just can’t do it any more.  One 5.30am start too many.  One nightmare at bedtime too far that tips me over the edge of my sanity.  It tears at my very soul to see my daughter crying for her mummy, I can’t just leave her, but in going to her I know I’m ‘making a rod for my own back’ as the books say. 

The pressure to be all things to all people is just too much for me sometimes.  I can’t be with my children all day, I can’t reassure my toddler that it’s okay Mummy’s here, because as soon as the Nanny arrives I won’t be.  I’ll be out the door, jumping on the train and coming into my other life.

I can’t say to my husband ‘do you know what, just give me a fucking break today, can’t you just get up with the children, please.  Can’t you just find a way of keeping them occupied while I try and have a shower.  ALONE? ‘  Because that would be unkind and unfair and he doesn’t deserve that.  But I’m a monster without enough sleep.  I really don’t adapt well to it like so many others.

If my 25 year old self were to look at me now, she’d be amazed by what I had achieved.  But she’d also be saying to me ‘Take a break Holly, give yourself some credit for what you do’.  The truth is though I have no inner-life coach.  I have no one to tell me that.  And actually what I’m doing is not at all amazing really.  There are plenty of working mothers out there.  Many of whom struggle with other issues too, more children, sick children, children with challenges.  My life is very easy really.

And most of time it’s all good.  I can get through life with a smile, thanking my lucky stars for the great gifts I’ve been given in the form of my two beautiful daughters.  But some days the pressure mounts too high.  I think I’ll scream.  I think I’ll just walk out of here and keep on walking.  Like that character in that Anne Tyler novel.  I’ll just leave and keep going, turn up somewhere coastal in a few weeks, with a broken pair of heels and a bad hair do.

I did try that once (the leaving, not the heels and hair). When my toddler was about 3 months old and I thought I couldn’t cope with the crying, the sleep deprivation, the very life of being a mother anymore.  I packed a small bag and waited at the bottom of the stairs for my husband to come home.  The baby cried upstairs and I drowned out the noise with the thoughts in my head.   They were evil buggers at that time.  Properly nasty little sods that would invade my head whenever I stopped moving.   He came home and hugged me and told me it would be okay, then he went and did the same with the baby.  He saved all of us that night.  He was perfect.  Life went on and it was wonderful.  But that fear lurks somewhere in the back on my mind and doesn’t go away.

Maybe after the pressure releases (primeval shouting therapy perhaps?) I’ll get my equilibrium back.  Maybe a good night’s sleep will put perspective on this and I’ll read this again tomorrow and hang my red face in shame that I’ve shared such personal thoughts with the world (who am I kidding, I think about 10 people might read this and that’s probably an exageration).  At any rate I hope I’ll do that.  Because reading this with a degree of embarrasment will mean I feel better. 

So thanks again Josie for giving me the prompt to bear my soul.  The prompt was ‘What is putting you under pressure today?’

8 Responses to Today I feel like crying

  1. 1 husband, 2 kids (and lots of books)

    This is perfectly put and thanks for posting something so personal. It is posts like this that are gradually persuading me that I am not so unusual after all, and that the voices in my head, the evil thoughts don’t make me the worst person alive. I hope you hang in there, it sounds like you will, I hope tomorrow’s a better day and I’m sure you are everything to everyone by the way – the people that worry so much about it always are, they just don’t always see it! Take care

  2. Victoria

    I have the same evil thoughts in my head. Less now the children are getting older, but when they were babies they were often there. Sleep deprivation is a horrible thing, absolutely horrible. You are not a bad person and it will get better. I promise.

  3. The syders

    I know how you feel…Ive been there when My children were little! It does get easier…I promise.
    Lovely Blog…hope you dont mind me following x

  4. Charis

    Fab blog…most days I can cope with everything…juggle all the balls…do everything I need to do. But…a bit of sleep deprevation and I’m done for…I’m a monster! Hang in there, I hope it feels better in the morning x

  5. JulieB

    Oh, I know this feeling so well and it’s truly horrible. Things for me got so bad that my health visitor was convinced I had postnatal depression, but even with hindsight I’m convinced all I needed was a good night’s sleep. Thank you for writing such a personal post. As others have said – you’re not alone, and it will get better.

  6. Modern Dilemma

    Thank you for your post. Please know you are not alone in how you feel. We ALL feel like that times. Sometimes are worse than others and the subjects you’ve touched on are unfortunately not always topics for discussion at mother & toddler group or during a coffee break in the office kitchen for a variety of reasons. Be kind to yourself, its perfectly normal to feel the way you do. And don’t let the cold light of day embarrass you, that’s the time to reflect on the stresses working mothers face & perhaps review how things are done. We all drop the balls at times, doesn’t mean we can’t pick them up again.

    MD xx

  7. Josie @Sleep is for the Weak

    This has moved me so much because I can relate to so much of this.

    I have stood with my hand on the door handle and fought the desire to run.

    Don’t ever be ashamed to write out thoughts like this. Because we all have them and it’s IMPORTANT that we realise that we all have these feelings.

    Thank you so much for being brave and sharing this xxx

  8. sunflower71

    Thank you Holly. I haven’t done the bit of the luggage but in my head I’ve left this house many times. I know you have very happy moments from what you write in the other blog. But I identify so much with what you wrote here because even for me there are moments that are so black that the beauty of my 3 perfect princesses has difficulty penetrating. Thank you for sharing such a personal moment. thanks also to the other mums who commented above. I think, today, I start feeling less guilty that I get the black moments.

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