The grind

My head is full and jumbled. I am tired and yet I need to get some of this stuff out of my head and into words, as much for myself than anything else. I have tried to write a couple of times in the last week and just can’t seem to form sentences, probably because I need to write about what’s on my mind and have been avoiding it. So, I’ve decided to just type and see where I end up.

I had a friend to stay this weekend and got lots of ‘time off’. We took the baby shopping with us on Saturday and returned to a spotlessly tidy house, with a load of nappies finished in the washing machine and stories of how Mini Mck not only played angelically, but also helped tidy up his toys. Sunday was a long planned spa day, when we were joined by another friend and I thought that having both the children all day would trip Mckdaddy up, but on our return, bedtime routine was well under way, dinner was bubbling away and the house was still looking ordered. 

Now that I am back in charge Mckdaddy has returned to a house in chaos, with me hardly able to brush my hair and tales of toddler wrangling and how tired I am. It’s all just left me feeling a totally useless.

I don’t know if it’s the dark, dank days or the broken nights of sleep that are making me feel this way, but I am finding it all an enormous slog at the moment and feel myself sinking in a black mood that I keep expecting to lift and it just isn’t.

I am sad that Nano will be six months in a couple of weeks and it seems like I have just missed it.  I feel guilty that I spend so little time with him and even when Grandad Limited takes Mini for the afternoon I hope that Nano has a big nap so that I can catch up with some house stuff.  Now, suddenly I am thinking about weaning and all that comes with that and I am just not ready. I have blinked and half a year has gone by.

Guilt permeates so much of my thoughts these days. I had such a fantastic weekend and had to admit that I didn’t miss Nano as much as I thought I might. The chance to just slow my brain and think of nothing was so delicious I wanted it to last much longer than a few hours.

I crave time to myself and it seems however much I  run frantically, like a hamster in a wheel, to make it happen, I never seem to reach it. There is always ‘just one more thing to do’. Of course, I have the evenings, but with feeling so tired and wanting to sleep early (although I rarely do) it just isn’t enough. I want to knit, to learn crochet, to watch TV, read, paint my nails, have a long bath, send long e-mails and letters, blog, cook. I want to do it all and you just can’t when the time between putting the children to bed and sleeping yourself is so short.

I explained to my friend at the weekend that I hate the bedtime routine, not because of the children as they are both really brilliant at bedtime, but because it is then that I look around and see that I still have so much to do before I can be ‘off duty’ and by this time I have no energy left.

I do get some help. My Dad and Step-mum take Mini out for a few hours once a week and my Mum has said she will have him for the next five weeks while I take Nano to baby yoga, but that is it. A total of about 4 hours and none of it child free. Not that I expect it, they are my children and this is what I signed up for.  I dipped my toe into finding a pre-school for Mini Mck, but so far the ones I’ve phoned are full and to be honest I’ve lost the motivation to keep looking at the moment.

I know it is just the grind of daily life with two small children and am sure that it will lift soon,or at least I hope it will.  At the moment I am just getting through it, not really enjoying it. (and here we have another source of guilt *sigh*) It is just the relentlessness of it all is bearing down on my ridiculously knotty shoulders.


10 thoughts on “The grind

  1. I can really sympathise with a lot of this. I think that when you have two children, people think they are giving you a break by taking the older one – which yes, of course they are, but it isn't the same as a proper child-free break. C is now 18 months and I can tell you it does get better, with D at nursery I now have some days where I get things done. I don't feel that I have nearly as much time as I would like, but I have a bit. I think what I find most depressing is that it'll be years (maybe never??) before I can have a big chunk of time to myself without feeling a nagging, unsettling guilt. I wish I realised before I had kids what a luxury that was. I mean, I'm delighted that I have my two beautiful boys, but at the same time my life has some really shit elements that it otherwise wouldn't have had. Not entirely sure what the solution is. xx

  2. Feel like I'm reading my own thoughts. I'm feeling like that, badly at the moment and I only have one! I know I should ask for help more as grandparents are just waiting in the wings, but being back at work 3 days now means I feel guilty about shipping L off somewhere again. I also have a huge I want list for evenings and weekends that never get touched, the house needs SERIOUS decluttering as there is always something to do. I spoke to dr about sometimes feeling so despondent and like I'm so down I can't pull myself out coupled with feeling so tired I could die every eve but she just told me to find a working mum who didn't feel like that! Oooh how annoying that youre hubby wasn't a broken wreck when you got home 🙂

  3. I wonder if it's the shorter days that are playing with our minds? Just before reading your post, I had just been googling 'anaemia' and 'constant tiredness' to try to diagnose myself and explain away my almost-constant feeling of exhaustion. And the ridiculous thing? I'm getting a good night's sleep every night! So I can only imagine how you're feeling.The title of this post says it all I think. It's 'The Grind'. The build up of months and months of trying to keep on top of everything. It inevitably wears us down. I wish I had a solution.If you find one, please let me know?Big hugs xx

  4. Oh my lovely Emily I wish I could help I really do. I think Young Mummy might be on to something with the change of seasons you know. But I think the hardest thing I always found was being able to cope with the lack of sleep when mine were so young. When I look back, I don't know how I did it. But I did. And you will too. I just wish I could offer some real advice but I just don't have the answers. I wish I could do more than just offer a virtual hug. Much love, Sarah xx

  5. I think I'd agree with what some of the others have said. Life with small children IS a grind, and I remember feeling exactly like this five years ago. I can't say I have any answers, I'm afraid. Sleep will help you feel less worn down (I read the last post too) and sunshine makes a huge difference, which makes this time of year particularly hard with small children I think. I have very unfond memories of Ned's first winter and it's horrible, because you feel like you're wishing it away, but it's very true that it gets a lot easier once you can have a few hours ON YOUR OWN every single week. Acceptance will help, knowing that this is normal, you're normal, without losing the ability to see the good things and know that life can get and will get better. So accepting but not TOO accepting. Does that make sense? And whatever you do, don't try and compare now to what you thought motherhood would be like before you had them. Before you have children you have NO clue. In fact you have so little clue that you don't even realise that you don't have clue. Motherhood is a grind (hence Valium) but it's also wonderful. Treat the former with tea, cake and friends, and cherish the latter. And know that we're all in this together. Much love xxx

  6. 😦 That sounds really tough. Have so been where you are, and still am sometimes. Am thinking of you – it will get better…and worse again…and then better again – such is the cycle of life. Be kind to yourself all the time, but particularly now when life is hard xxx

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