I’ve been thinking a lot about not being ok since I wrote a recent blog post on this subject.
I feel great at work and how I am in my role as mother to Jenson – often I feel that I’m flying when I’m in the midst of a meeting or playing in a park with my son.
But I’m left on empty when it comes to other things outside of these realms. Small events like unexpected plans or having guests to stay can throw me into a spin and leave me on my knees with exhaustion.
Not putting boundaries in my life, taking on more than I can deal with and having little-to-no time for myself is impacting me.
I’m comfort eating more, snapping more, feeling more and more on the edge of ‘ok’.
I need time for myself.
And so I’ve been weighing up what I need to do to find more time in my jam-packed life.
I’ve started to stop breastfeeding my son, which comes with a multitude of feelings including sadness, not being good enough, judging myself as selfish for putting my needs above his well-being.
I know I’ve breastfed him far longer than most people. I know I’ve given him the best start I could. I know many babies never have breast milk and are perfectly happy, well-adjusted, healthy.
So I’m not looking for reassurance or anything like that from you in writing this. In fact, you’re likely to get a punch on the nose from me if you say things like that (ok, more like a frosty ‘thank you’ – I’m too polite to turn to fisticuffs 😜)
Because I know all these things already and that doesn’t change how I feel.
I still feel anger, sadness, disappointment, hurt…
So I’m asking myself what’s going on.
I’m tired so am not at my best. Things feel trickier, my emotions around this ending are heightened.
And I’m scared too, scared he’ll not need me as much if he doesn’t physically need me.
I can also tell that I’m trapped in a rhetoric that it’s possible to have it all – being a perfect mum, employee, perfect person – and thinks of myself as ‘weak’ for not being able to just buckle down and push on through.
But I’m not weak.
I’m a human.
With only so much energy to expend.
And I’m an introvert.
Who hasn’t had much time over the past 16 months to be in stillness and recuperate from the hustle and bustle of life.
I had quite a traumatic birthing experience with Jenson and, thrown into motherhood I perhaps didn’t get a chance to process all that went on so I’ve transferred some of my feelings about that into this whole breastfeeding malarkey.
Getting out of my head
I’m so so so tired of being stuck in my head.
Holding onto the million different parts of my life – do we have food sorted for the week? Has Gregg got out £20 to pay the cleaner? I’m not talking enough to Jenson, what if that delays his speech? Do we have the paperwork sorted? How can I find some French friends for him to hear French from people other than me? Where is my community in Brighton?
It’s so busy in my mind.
I’m carrying the mental and emotional load .
And I feel like the writer in the link above – I have a good, kind husband who actively does a lot of work, picks up the slack if I ask him to, does things around the house.
But I still feel on my knees from the emotional load I’m holding which keeps our lives together.
I doubt he would have asked himself, putting the last vegan sausages in the oven yesterday, whether we had anything for dinner tomorrow. Part because I enjoy doing the food prep but part because he doesn’t carry this mental load.
I don’t usually mind carrying the mental and emotional load. It’s something I’m generally capable of until I get to this point of depletion and can take no more.
And I’m so good-damn tired of being polite and not speaking my mind.
Of bearing in mind the feeling of other people and adjusting myself to fit into their ideal (or what I think their ideal is).
I know they don’t ask me to be anything other than I am (although they might not approve if I were to be outspoken and speak my mind) so I’m mostly angry at myself for taking on this polite BS and not allowing myself to speak my mind more often.
I hate that my default is ‘yes, whatever you want’ instead or ‘nah, I’m alright thanks’.
I hate how this makes me exhausted.
I hate how I don’t say ‘that hurts’ when something someone says hurts my feelings. And instead I bury it deep and hide away the pain.
I know I am getting better at speaking my mind, letting go of needing to please, being open and honest to those around me.
But it’s exhausting to step out of safety and into unknown territory.
The anxiety after my neighbour asked if she could cook a chicken in my oven (as hers is broken) and I said ‘yes, but poor chicken’ as I’m against slaughtering animals for our own purposes. I expressed my view but am on tenterhooks that she might feel ill-will towards me and my views.
Such a small thing but something that is taking up brain space when I’d rather not give a damn and respect my views.
Will this ever get better…?!?
I hope so, and I want to believe so. But it feels a bit hard right now.
So there you are – my good old rant! It feels so great to express how I’m feeling and to share that things are hard right now.
I’m sure it will get better in the future, but at the moment it all feels a bit ‘meh’.
I hope you’re in a better place than I, dear friend. Or if not, I hope you have the courage to speak out like me and say ‘I’m not ok, but it’s ok’.