Lost Inside My Mind
I’ve found the last few weeks tough going
Nothing specific has been harder than normal but everything has felt noticeably harder and everyday life has me feeling like I’m going to burst into tears at any moment (which I have!). It’s been a struggle to continue at the same level of output I normally manage.
(EDIT – have just returned from an overdue date night away with my husband which recharged the batteries and I am trying to remember to do more of what makes my soul happy).
I give my kids every bit of me physically and mentally – show me a mum that doesn’t ?♀️. ‘Run the chase’ around the garden. Trampolining bounce offs with T1 & T2. If they want to make a robot or slime or cakes mum gets to the shops, gets what we need so we can do it. As mums, and parents, we are involved in every superhero battle, top trumps game, junior uno match, snack grabbing, juice passing, nappy changing, milk-making, outfit swapping, dinner prepping and question answering moment for all (three in my case) our pre-schoolers all day, every day… well T3 doesn’t ask questions yet but you get the idea.
Alongside the physicality’s I am always over-thinking the mental side of everything about them all.
T1 starting school, will he make friends? Should he have more hobbies? Why is he so emotional? Why does he not join in at parties or get shy in groups? Have I done something wrong? Am I trying to over-engineer it? Am I not doing enough? I went back to work when he was 11 months – was that right or wrong? I’ve had two more babies quite quickly. Can I give each of them what they need? I’m trying my damned hardest but it certainly feels like I can’t recently.
T2 is not as quick to learn as T1. I compare their abilities and worry she’s ‘behind’. She doesn’t attend nursery… should she? Is being at home with me the right thing for her now at almost 2 and a half?
Thank heavens for T3. He gives me the littlest reason to worry but I guess that’s the age at 14 months now. My main concerns with him are in plain sight. I’m helping T1 on the toilet and T3 has climbed up onto a picnic table and is walking across it ?
I worry I’m too busy overthinking and planning that I’m forgetting to immerse myself in the present. I worry I’m thinking too much about the things I don’t think are good enough that I’m overlooking the cute, incredible characteristics and personalities each of my terrors have. I berate myself by the time evening comes. I should have been more patient, more present… better.
I finally resigned from my London job last month.
Three children under school age and it’s near on impossible to financially and logistically arrange appropriate childcare and although I appreciate the fortunate position I’m in right now, mentally, it’s taken me to a questioning place of my self worth and future.
I’m also a wife, a sister, a daughter and a friend, like all of us are. Other people’s happiness genuinely makes me happy so I’ll always give my time, attention and affection to whomever I love that needs it. I’ve always been that way inclined.
My mind is wired to absorb information, without consciously meaning to sometimes. Names, dates, important info, everything accumulates. Whilst I’m driving, alongside a thousand other thoughts, I can be found thinking how many decimal places can I also remember PI to or how many elements of the periodic table in order do I still remember. I love exams and like to be tested but it does feel like my brain is working at 100mph most of the time.
I read an article recently in @womenshealth on #emotionalexhaustion and it resonated with me.
It touched on a philosophy about two groups in society – human beings and human givers. Givers take the role of offering time, attention and affection to the beings and most women (according to the book) fit into the ‘givers’ group and therefore are at higher risk of developing emotional exhaustion, particularly when also becoming mothers.
Everything seems to have a label these days – in my opinion, that’s not always a bad thing. Making it a ‘thing’ means that other people feel this way, I’m not alone, I’m not the only person finding ordinary life hard at times even when I am so grateful for everything I have.
Emotional exhaustion was first coined in the 70’s when Freudenberger defined it as ‘caring too much, for too long’ and as burnouts evil mastermind. Emotions on their own are nothing sinister – the release of the neurochemicals in the brain in response to some stimuli – but constantly being exposed to stressful situations and not dealing with them effectively – that exhaustion builds by getting ‘stuck’ in a repeated pattern which, in turn, becomes a physical exhaustion when you aren’t completing the cycle from stress response to relaxation.
According to a women’s health magazine, one of the best things we can do to complete this cycle is physical activity – star jumps for example – although it’s probably the last thing we feel like at the time!
It explains that fatigue from feelings is not prioritised. It’s not deemed as important as say the physical fatigue following a bad night’s sleep or a 10km run, not by others or ourselves even going as far as to blame ourselves for not handling the so-called #firstworldproblems in the first place. This only adds to the initial emotional overload.
Perhaps I’m just a complete nut job I’ll leave you to decide ? to anyone feeling in any way similar trying to be all things to all people and feeling exhausted by it all. You are not alone. Please tell me I’m not either ??