One of the most heartbreaking things about this whole process has been that I’ve felt completely useless as a mother.
Not only since September 14th when I completely fell to pieces. But before that too.
I wasn’t managing to get out of the house much with the boys or do much with them at all. They are both pretty lively and therefore difficult to manage on my own away from home; it is much easier to keep them safe behind locked doors! There was also always plenty of housework that needed doing and I found myself making this an excuse to stay at home too. My fatigue with life meant that I wasn’t coping well with them overall; patience dwindled and I wasn’t handling challenging situations at all well (I am human after all!). The toddler ended up with the television on far more than I was happy with, but it helped me get through the day. Things got into a vicious cycle through what feels like my own issues causing me to fail as a mother. I realised that I was struggling with them more than I was able to enjoy them; it just all got so hard. I feel like I’ve missed and spoilt huge parts of the childhood already.
Since last month, I have not had to solely look after them. At the beginning, I simply couldn’t do it; I completely withdrew into myself and didn’t function. As time has gone on, this has improved and I have ‘dabbled’ in taking part in their care again. This has allowed me to do only as much as I feel I can manage. If I felt myself getting wound up too much by the noise and so on, I could step back again. I have also started to see the positive side of motherhood again; their amazing little personalities shining through.
Today was the landmark referred to in the title. I looked after them on my own until mid-afternoon. I did it. Such a simple thing to feel joyous and satisfied about. I could have avoided it but it made other arrangements easier and it is time to try and start getting back to ‘normal.’ Once it was planned, there was no going back, so of course I did it! But….even so. The place stayed a tip and I did nothing else apart from take care of their needs. We didn’t go out, but I was a bit better at actively doing things with them than previously; just simple activities like drawing and playing with duplo.
By 1.30pm, I was expecting my husband to be home. I was desperate for a break by then. He was a little later than expected and that last hour or so felt incredibly hard. Now, I am absolutely shattered and looking forward to a rest tomorrow!
I feel like I am now learning how to be a mother again; hopefully in a better way than before.