I feel like a failure.
When I had my antenatal depression I had sessions of CBT and had to make lists of everything I felt scared and anxious about once the baby arrived. When I had this list it didn't seem so worrisome. It became trivial, silly almost. What would it matter if I couldn't do the cooking, the cleaning, the washing, take care of the baby AND have time for myself? Boyfriend wouldn't leave me for it. He's a better man than that.
But here I am, at 10 months post baby. Struggling with those exact things. Grasping at those extra hours in the day that don't exist. Drowning under piles of washing, mountains of plates, heaps of dust and crumbs. It's almost 10pm and I've only just managed to prise the baby off me and into her cot, despite starting bedtime at 8pm. I still have to go downstairs and tidy up (why did I give her bolognaise??) Will I even have time to shower and sit down with Boyfriend before Chubs wakes up screaming again?
I'm starting to doubt all my parenting choices. I breastfed, so Chubs will only settle on me. I can't bear to do controlled crying so for almost every bedtime and nap she has been soothed to sleep in my arms before being put down. If she's cried, I've assumed she's needed me and picked her up. We do baby led weaning so she makes a lot of mess and sometimes eats like a sparrow. Yet another thing to worry about.
Now I'm back to work it's getting worse. I work the equivalent of three days a week yet I still have to do all the tasks that I was struggling with before. And if I thought I was tired before – jeez did I have it easy! I've never known exhaustion like it. It's relentless.
I'm so lucky that Chubs is pretty easy going and happy. Of course we have our difficult days; she's 10 months old and is starting to assert her personality and has stubborn streaks like her mumma, but for the most part she's a smiley little soul. I think this is my saving grace. I have no idea how I'd cope if she was a whingy, grumpy, early riser (although to be honest some days her usual waking time of 7/7.30 feels like the middle of the night!)
I wish I could be happy with my lot. I wish I was one of those women who can survey their surroundings and think 'I love my life'. I hate feeling dissatisfied and ungrateful but I'm not sure what to do about it. How do I resign myself to the fact that this is my life now?
There's no end to this drudgery, just like there's no end to my washing pile.
Katie is a first time mumma, learning to juggle part time work and full time motherhood.
Blogs at: Chubs and Love