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Newbie reaching out for advice(7 Posts)
New to Mumsnet so here goes I'm Gill, a 35 Brit who lives in Malta with my partner and 22 month old son. I work full time and trying to find my feet at as a working mother. I'm overall really happy and grateful for the life I have but I'm currently struggling emotionally with a few thighs and would love to hear your thoughts. I'm a happy bubbly and usually positive person but for quite a while I've been feeling down. I'm not depressed (been there done that!) but I do suffer with anxiety. I've always been independent - both me and my partner have led quite a carefree independent life. I've always struggled with responsibility - I'm not very good at money and I shy away from responsibility leaning on my partner too much. I'm a very nurturing and caring person and my family are my world. But I've been feeling the need to 'escape' quite often. I find motherhood quite overwhelming. I'm besotted with my little boy and feel very luck to have him. We have a great bond but why do I feel like escaping? I'm exhausted from working and generally mummy stuff yet find every opportunity to go out and be alone, take a walk/coffee/meet a friend then stay at home and just be what I should be a more hands on mother. Me and my partner share housework and parenting duties. Im lucky to have a partner who happy to support. He enjoys it all and although I do too, I find it hard. I seem to focus on the negatives - how relentless and repetitive it is...and even playing with my little one can feel boring at times as hard as that is to write. I find that I reminisce too much about my old life pre motherhood where I only thought about myself. I spent too much time thinking of the old me that didn't have the pressures and responsibility that I have now. I feel so bad that I should be enjoying my time with my little boy especially when I work full time and not trying to find ways/plan time for myself. I know we all need time 'off' but I want it more then I feel is probably normal I get overwhelmed easily and then I struggle to deal with the emotions. I talk a lot to my partner and mother. They tell me not to worry so much but my partner has noticed my need for alone time and he happy to support me. But there's times where he does more stuff to help and he won't say but I know it's not fair and he is exhausted too. My mum friends say they don't have a need to have much alone time. I get so anxious about not having the time and then feel terrible for having these feelings. What kind of mother needs so much alone time I ask myself. Does it make me a bad mother? I think you catch my drift on the emotional arguments in my head lol. I seem to carry so much guilt. The guilt feels heavy and I'm beating myself up for having these needs. My big conclusion to months of worry,guilt and upset of me 'running away from responsibility' is that I've probably not thought about responsibility much up until now and focused too much on my self. I want to change my way of thinking and be more positive. It's hard to talk about this as I don't want it to come across that I don't enjoy being a mother or that I don't love my little boy. He is everything to me. But I can't keep leaning on my partner to do more because I want more time alone. I know it's ok and normal to need some time to myself but my need seems to be greater then most. I'm reaching out to hear any tips of advice on working through this. I know one things that would help would be to be more organised as it's hard to juggle it all right lol. Thanks for reading
Hi Gill- from what you say I think you are being hard on yourself. I bet men don't worry about wanting time away from their children. Society makes mothers feel guilty about everything! You sound to me like you are being honest about parenthood where most people lie to others and to themselves. I am sure everyone finds certain aspects of parenting a chore- can't say I love playing with children either, but that doesn't mean I don't love my dd or that I am a worse parent than somebody who does enjoy this aspect. My own mother says neither she not her mother played with their children. It seems to be a fashionable aspect of modern parenting to have to be your child's playmate 24/7. This puts a lot of pressure on parents to not just be parents and caregivers but to be actual round the clock friends with their children, which in some ways could be seen as unhealthy IMO. We all need a break from each other, some more than others, and clearly your child is not neglected so it should not worry you, especially since you have a supportive and understanding partner.
Possibly, as your son matures you will enjoy activities you can't yet do with him and your feelings towards parenthood will change again. He will also find friends and have interests so will be less dependent on you to be there for him.
You also sound as if there are only two dimensions to your current life; being a mother and working. It is not surprising you are trying to snatch time to just be yourself. Could you work out a schedule with your partner so you know exactly when you can have time to yourself so feel less need to escape? My partner has daddy and daughter time for a few hours on Saturdays and Sunday mornings so I can lie in or go and do something I want. While our daughter is young I need this time to regroup. Don't feel guilty about leaving your child with their dad! My partner is tired too but that is part of having a young child.
The only concern I would have is if you feel you really don't want to return after time away. If this is the case you must be honest with your partner and discuss what changes can be made to help support your transition into this new stage of your life.
You also say you may be happier if you were more organised. What needs to change so you can be organised?
Thank you so much for taking the time to reply. What you said really resonated with me and helped. I have started to plan times where I can have some time for my self and although I'm still feeling guilty, I do recognise that it's a need of mine that's important. But I find myself then focusing on that time off and wishing that time away to have the alone time when I don't feel as overwhelmed. I think things would feel easier and I'd be more in control if I organised my time better. I'm sure even simple changes would help me to fell less anxious and overwhelmed.for example, keeping on top of the house work. I think I am hard on myself as I judge myself too much and wishing I could be more positive and grateful. Motherhood has been a real journey for me. If you were to meet me you see a very bubble Geordie gal, who loves sorting people problems out, nurturing, caring and very motherly. But inside I have this pang of guilt that I miss being more independent and free of responsibility. I think you have a good setup where you get some time for yourself on the weekend - your clearly a tired and hard working mother too I want to get to time point where I don't have this internal dialogue in my head, judging and carrying so much guilt. I do question why I need so much time on my own...I know it a form of escaping. But afterwards I always look forward to seeing my son and feel calmer then I was able to regroup. Thierry are times where I wish I could Have longer time or escape for a night on my own where I could just think of nothing and get a good nights sleep. I always want to come back I just don't know why this need to have time alone is so important to me at this point. I love my family and couldn't be without them ....I just hope I can understand this more and find a way to be happy and calm even if I don't have much time for myself if this makes sense. Thanks again for your reply
Sorry for the terrible typos! Can't see where I can edit my post. That will teach me for writing when I'm almost asleep lol.
Hi again! Hope you are feeling okay today.
Previously, you mentioned you have suffered with depression but are done with that now. I am making a guess, but was part of it due to a difficult childhood? You have a critical inner voice by the sound of it and, although you say you are not depressed, the voice could be a remnant of what caused depression previously. Possibly, looking at the reasons behind your critical inner voice might help in the long run as I don't feel, from what you have said, that you should feel guilty about wanting time to yourself or looking forward to it.
Rather than lowering standards think of it as prioritising. Does the kitchen need to be really clean or would you be better off doing something you enjoy? Is a cleaner a possibility? Between work and a child you need fun, when possible, instead of spending your precious spare time cleaning. I also recommend a massive clear out, regardless. You do feel more organised and lighter after it. It is much easier to keep the place clean afterwards.
If you still think there is an issue go to the GP and have them run a few tests- you may be anaemic/ lacking Vitamin D which could be making you feel worse.
Additionally, don't underestimate lack of sleep and what it does to your mind. Do you have family or friends there who you could leave your child with while you had a weekend of relaxing with your husband? If not I suggest you speak to your husband and explain how tired you are and that you would like a spa break (or something) and are booking one for yourself. I am sure he will understand and will be able to look after his own child without you for a night or two.
I also recommend starting a thread in Parenting as I am sure you will find a hoard of honest parents who also prefer spending some time alone to playing kids' games. You are not alone in feeling like this. There are plenty of mum blogs detailing feeling like this.
My final point would be based on the fact that you say you enjoy sorting other people's problems so flip this around: if a close friend came to you and said everything you have said here, what would your advice be for them?
Just saw this and thought of you!
Thank you so much for the supportive words and advice. I'm sorry for such a long delay to reply. What you said really resonated on me. Hope your keeping well and thanks again
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