I was a little old 19 year old back then, I had a very messy bedroom and fancied myself quite… well I don’t know. I remember feeling happy and comfortable in my skin and rather excited about life – I think it was because I had just met my husband-to-be and that was a Very Exciting Time.
It was better than being 18 and being manipulated by a psychopath but that’s another story.
I am now 26, and look back on those times wistfully. They were simpler times. I am glad to have lived them.
In seven years I have moved 5 times, got married, had a baby with another on the way, had six jobs, travelled 10 times, lost a lot of friends, gained some very special friends, and jolly well grew up.
I did not write a book, although do have three or four in various stages of being written.
I still love this blog, and blogging, and I don’t anticipate that I will stop blogging for a while.
It’s not a long time, 7 years, but a lot can happen in 7 years.
I am just writing this here because I have had a Very Bad Day.
With lots of fog and tiredness and mounting worry and frustration.
Probably boils down to the fact that I am Very Exhausted and Really Struggling.
I spent the day alone with my son today as my husband had to work outside the home – usually he can work from home. See I think I take this man for granted, because today was horrific. I had no energy at all. I was trying so hard to get work done, and I did all the things I usually do to exhaust my boy, like going for a walk, painting, building things, making muffins, having a long bath with lots of pouring and splashing. Video calling Nana. In bed by 8pm.
He did not sleep until 11pm, folks.
He rolled around, pinched my arms, gave me cuddles and kisses, cried a little when I got frustrated and told him to GO TO SLEEP PLEASE. Eventually he fell asleep in my arms and I slowly heaved myself up and out into the light of the hallway and my goodness did I cry.
I felt really out of my depth and out of control. And I did not get any work done at all. With a deadline tomorrow this means no sleep for me tonight.
I also have other issues – health issues – that do NOT help the situation. For example I am
seven months pregnant.
So my fuse is short.
And my patience is thin.
My hips are locked, my pelvis is turned the wrong way and it’s bloody uncomfortable to sleep so sleep is not sufficient for rest. It’s actually funny if you really think about it. I have for sure laughed about it when I have had better days.
I am so done, folks.
And I frankly just want my mother around but she is a Very Busy Woman. You see she still has my other siblings at home and while two of them are adults and have jobs/lives of their own, the other two are still boys. Teenage boys. She also works full time and is currently undergoing lots of household changes.
It’s very difficult to acquire help in these times. And I know I am probably being pig headed about this but I refuse to travel two hours to stay with my in laws just so I can get ‘help’. To me it’s not help. To me it’s having my son babysat while I struggle with heart palpitations and walking on eggshells and crippling anxiety. I lived with them before and being pregnant, working full time and having a toddler will make it worse than it was. I would probably end up in deep depression like I did last time. They can stay over all they like although when they do it’s actually more work for me, but nobody sees it that way.
See if my mum stayed over I wouldn’t feel the need to get out of bed early and make her breakfast or cook full meals for everybody or appear in control. I would let her see me in my glorious half naked frizzed out state. I would feel comfortable. Not so with anybody else, and I suppose that’s mostly natural, people’s personalities differ. Their expectations differ.
I do not write to complain.
I write to release and document.
It’s a hard phase of life and one day I will look back and say, ‘Man, that was rather a hard time wasn’t it.’
Or maybe I will say, ‘Man, I wish I had it as easy as I did then!’
Lol. Who knows, eh?! And if you can’t laugh about it then you’ll jolly well cry and I am going to laugh about it.
Tomorrow. With my husband. Who I DO take for granted. And I will tell him so. He makes my life easier. So much easier. When he is gone it’s totally miserable.
I am very tired lately. I sneak naps by accident, like when I am putting my son to bed. I will fall asleep for an hour then wake up groggy, panicky and shaky because my blood sugar is low and I also have lots of work to do.
Work is stressing me THE FUDGE out. Which is so selfish to say because I work from home and am very lucky to have this remote working job. The whole company works from home, as they are an app and it’s a start-up.
I just sometimes feel out of my depth because I need hours of uninterrupted thinking time to do this job, and you can’t have that when you have a one year old with you full time. So I get this work done when he is asleep, often staying up until the small hours, and getting up in the later-small hours to work until he wakes up, and work through his afternoon nap, and while he eats his meals, and sometimes pop The Gruffalo on for him (it lasts 28 minutes) so I have half an hour’s time to work.
But even so I think it’s not enough. It’s 8 hours per day but I need more than that.
And I am falling behind and sometimes appearing stupid in meetings. And am worried they will think I am not doing enough or thinking enough and will fire me. So I am pushing and pushing and pushing harder and harder. And I am so goddamn tired. Bloody hell. And lonely. But too goddamn tired to connect with anybody, even my parents. And when I cook and clean I feel half hearted, and when I read to my son my eyes start to close. I take him to the park 3-4 times a week and try to run around with him and play with him, and that’s tiring too.
How do people do it? How do they work full time and mother full time and get 8 hours of sleep and work-out and eat healthy and be in a good mood?
Because I can’t do all of that. So something has to give. And that’s my sleep. I probably get 3 hours of sleep a night. And when I crawl into bed at 3am my son wakes up and asks for my ‘mam’ – which means ‘arm’, which means he wants to sleep in my arms.
And I lie there in the dead of the night, my arms numb from the weight of his head, and my fingers stroke his soft round cheeks and I listen to his even breathing, and smell the softness of the top of his head, which has lost the ‘baby’ smell but still has this sweet toddler smell, and sometimes he mumbles ‘mama’ in his sleep, and he nestles into me, and moves my arm tighter over his little baby body, and I relax.
Because yes I am stressed and sleep deprived and often think I cannot do this, but I realise that with each day, my son grows a little bit more. Maybe taller, maybe something in his brain grows, maybe he learns a new word, or conquers a new skill. And life is never the same again. And soon I won’t be as stressed or worried or tired, and I will feel glad I pushed through this period of time.
Often I think back to my pregnancy and how bloody hard and painful it was, and I remember the mantra I would recite as I hobbled around on a stiff hip, I would say only way out is through.
And that is true. Only way out is through. Just keep pushing. It will be over. Or get easier. Enjoy the time, as much as you can.
So I can smell the top of my baby’s head, and I can’t let the negativity get to me. Because it will change and shift again. Life always does.
Folks it was Halloween yesterday and some people celebrated more than others. Here in the UK it is a pretty low-key event and you are even allowed the luxury of complaining about trick or treaters.
Maybe in some areas houses are insanely done up and it’s a party outside but I have never seen it. Only seen footage of that street party horror vibe in places like America and Canada where it actually is a big event.
My husband and I never did Halloween and to be honest I didn’t even do it as a child. I lived in the middle east and my British-grown parents who grew up in the 70s and 80s did not know anything of the holiday, because it is not a very British holiday.
So usually, on Halloween, we turn off our lights and put a polite sign on the door saying ‘Sorry, we aren’t trick or treating this year :)’ (with a smiley face to appear less obnoxious!). We spend the evening upstairs with a movie and a pizza or something similar, like a cup of tea and a packet of digestives and pleasantly ignore all the persistent knocks downstairs.
Mean and cruel.
We had a child last year and in October the child was 7 months and didn’t know any better. He was also quite poorly so we spent Halloween upstairs, in the bedroom, with the news on, a cup of tea and lots of toys to entertain a grizzly baby. We looked like zombies so I expect if someone had seen us they would have supposed we were in costume. Wouldn’t have blamed them at all.
This year nobody knocked on our door.
Well I lie.
Someone did. At 12:14pm. My husband peeped through the peephole and said, ‘Oh no, the trick or treaters have started already! There is a boy in a crocodile costume outside holding a bag!’
‘Don’t open it!’ I said frantically, scanning my cupboards, ‘we have nothing to give him! What about an apple?!’
Too late, my husband opened the door. The little boy came tentatively forward and handed us a paper bag before leaping back. On it was written: ‘Happy Halloween, love from O, S and L’.
“It’s for your baby!” he said, eyes bright, little dimples dancing.
Oh my goodness my mellowed mother heart.
“Awwwwwwwww” was the only thing I could say, “Thank you darling, that’s so sweet!”
He was the neighbour’s little boy, and he was dancing with glee. And my ‘baby’ was peeping around the door at him in curiosity.
‘Look, E, look what the little boy got you!’ and I took the bag and I kid you not there were tears in my eyes. How weird. The bag was filled with handmade Halloween crafts and little bags of sweets.
We waved as the little boy pranced back up the path and along the road to his own house.
And I felt so despicably awful for some reason, like I was such a grinch in the face of such innocent and sweet kindness.
It made me realise that these celebrations and events are for children, to make them happy and connect each other in a genuine way. It’s completely changed my outlook on why people celebrate Halloween like that and lie to their kids about Santa. It’s about creating magic and joy for kids which I think is so important. Seeing my baby boy’s eyes light up at this goody bag JUST FOR HIM made my heart melt.
And that is my Halloween story for this year.
What was your Halloween like? Do you celebrate it in true fashion or do you lock yourself away and grumble at the frivolity?