Friday’s rolled around again. I’m finding it hard to get over the impulse to check planning sites and see if anything’s moved or changed, but I know that there’s nothing that can, so here we are. Still. In limbo.
I feel like I’ve spent far too much of my life in limbo. That “most useless place – The Waiting Place”. I’ve spent so much of my existence wishing myself into some imagined future, only to barely experience it when it arrives as I’m so focused on the next step down the road.
It even started from childhood when all I ever wanted to be was “as grown up as my sisters”. I wonder do eldest children experience the same kind of thing, or if it’s the constant feeling of goalposts always moving 6 years, or 4 years ahead of you? I know I felt so jealous that I never got to do anything “first” and none of my milestones ever felt “special”.
Now that I have children of my own, and one coming who’ll be 6 years younger than the other two, I wonder how I’ll be about it as a parent. There’s no doubt in my mind that things are less “Brave New World” than they were the first time we experienced the various things. I suppose you can’t really help it if you’re just not that excited when it rolls around a second or third time, but that doesn’t really help the child, does it?
The past few days I’ve been mostly trying to distract myself from movements and worrying about them. I feel like we’re in a sleepy phase – I can’t blame Bubble; I’m so tired all the time myself that I just want to go back to sleep for a couple of hours each morning too! She seems to be most solidly asleep in the early hours of the morning though – like when I wake at 2 or 4 and lie back down and it’s so still and silent and I can’t even feel the slightest wriggle. It does keep me awake. I have to wait until she gives me some indication of her living existence before I can allow myself get back to sleep. Sometimes it takes too long and by the time she’s moving I’ve woken up a bit too much.
Basically it’s all contributing to the tired. I judge myself for it though, because no-one’s doing it to me, only myself.
I think I might be a bit overly subsumed by home and children at the moment though. I know I’ve got to get back to finding space for me in all of this life. It’s always been a little bit found around the edges of obligation and responsibility and I can’t seem to find it in me to scrape those few minutes here and there together into a useable pile. Even that glorious chunk of time between the children’s sleep and my own has been claimed by “downtime” and I feel too weak to fight against the voice that tells me “I deserve” or even “need” that.
I mean, if I look at things a bit objectively, isn’t a life lived according to my own wills and dreams something I deserve and need?
No wonder people get pre and post natal depression – it’s really hard to find your own self inside the mix of hormones and instincts and obligations. Weirdly enough, I feel like I’ve an advantage over those who don’t live with depressive episodes on a regular basis; I recognise the signs and symptoms; I know they’ll pass; I’m used to the feeling and I know the feeling itself won’t kill me – much an all as it can feel like death.
All the same, I feel like my usual tools for dragging myself out of the mire are insufficient to the task of lifting my greatly increased bulk. I feel like every scrap and ounce of willpower is sapped by the exhaustion and worry that somehow expand to fill as much of my hours as they can. The easiest thing for me to do is to focus on the mundane and thoughtless tasks of running a home. It distracts me well enough for most of the day while at the same time adding tangible value to the life of our family.
It’s really only when I sit down here each morning that I get to see that I’m dissatisfied with it, that it’s not enough, and that I’m scared it’s all I’ll ever be.
I know better though.