There are lots of days when I just can’t get a grip of things and I feel a lot like I’m just flailing my limbs around and finding nothing to grasp on to. If you read here regularly (hello!) then you’ll know that there have been more than the normal amount of those days lately. I think it’s pretty safe to say that I’ve been feeling a little glum since Astrid came along at the beginning of the year. It’s even fair to say that there have been times I’ve resented her, because Iris wanted to do our usual things and so did I. It’s not so easy with a baby around. Having a baby and a toddler is hard work. Having an incredibly outgoing and busy toddler and a clingy and unsettled baby is even harder. The reality of the situation is that we don’t always get to do the stuff we did when it was just Iris and I, and the house is messier than ever and I’m not looking after myself at all. That’s just the way it goes.
Acceptance is the key to getting through this bit of motherhood. I know, because when Iris didn’t sleep as a baby I was a frazzled mess. Until I accepted it. Then I sat up half the night feeding her while watching Grey’s Anatomy, and then I napped in the day when she napped. I’d accepted it. I didn’t attempt to go to bed at a normal time, and I gave up all hope of achieving very much in the day. And it got much easier. Acceptance isn’t something I’m good at. It doesn’t come easily. A few weeks ago it was clearly time to accept that I’d need help through this fog. I asked for help, and got a prescription for medication. The combination of amitriptyline for migraines and sertraline for anxiety has worked well for me. And here I am. Ignoring the chaos around me and just being mum.
It helps that Trevor has started working from home more lately. We gain an hour either side of his day now that there’s no commute. This enables me to shower, and us to keep on top of the dishes and stuff. Well, sometimes anyway. I often find being a stepparent really hard. Finding your place in a family that was already a family before you came along is a challenge. I’ve risen to it, over and over. I drag the whole lot of us out of the house and find us fun stuff to do when I’m sure we could just waste a weekend watching tv. It’s important to me that as adults the big two look back and remember their weekends with us. I know I will! The weekend that just passed by has been a bit of a game changer for me. I’m getting the hang of things again, post Astrid’s birth, and I felt a part of things. Like before. But better. We squeezed in so much, and although it’s quite exhausting, I like it like that. Our house is small. Too small for six people to relax in together for any length of time and it makes me feel quite anxious. Fresh air, exercise, play parks, feeding ducks, trampolines,ice cream, long walks, paddling pools, tractor rides, feeding goats, hanging out with cousins, ball pits, scooters, adventure playgrounds, Pokemon Go, and an Indian takeaway. The weekend was full.
And I’m happy.