I’m struggling! I’ve mentioned this a little in previous blog posts and always promised to share my feelings but I could never quite find the right words to explain how I feel. I’m going to try my best to explain it today because I am sure I’m not the only one who feels like this and feeling isolated only makes you feel worse.
Since returning to work full time I’ve been struggling, majorly struggling. I’ve been poorly more often in the last three months than in my whole adult life, of course I know an element of this is expected due to nursery bugs and being back in a busy office but I also know that just being around people isn’t the only reason I’ve been unwell.
I’m stressed, anxious and exhausted, it’s taking a toll on my health and my happiness and I’m finding it incredibly difficult to find a balance between working, being a mum, being a wife and being me.
I’ve never really suffered from anxiety and can’t claim to fully understand what people feel like when they have it really badly but I can definitely recognise the signs of it in myself recently; I feel like I’m constantly spinning – dashing around the shops, running for a train, stomping around trying to do a hundred things in 10 minutes – my brain is constantly wired, reminding me of all the things I need to get done and how many hours I don’t have to do them.
Sitting down and enjoying some quality time in the evenings is blighted by the constant thought that I need to do the washing up, prepare Amelia’s bottles, pack her bags, get lunch ready, be in bed by 10 because I’m so exhausted but I have enough things to do that I could easily be up all night.
I’ve found going back to work the hardest adjustment ever, more so than having a new born I think. For some insane reason I genuinely thought that it would take a little while to adjust and remember my job but after that I would be back in the swing of it and enjoy having some time to be me.
In reality I’m spending 2.5 hours a day travelling, out of the house from 8am – 6pm every day whilst my baby spends 10 hours every day being looked after by other people. I feel like I’m missing out; I want to spend more time with her, see her play and learn, take her to play groups and socialise with her. Instead during the week I see her for about an hour which consists of a bath, dinner and bed.
I find myself torn, I want to work because it’s good for our family; we need the income, I need the stimulation and Amelia needs the experiences she gains at nursery but I also need some balance. I want to spend more time with my baby before she’s all grown up or before she achieves all of her milestones and I miss them.
I’m not being naive and thinking that I’m the only mother who would rather stay at home, I know that we all want more time with our children but I also feel like I need to find some sort of balance in my lifestyle as a whole, this feeling of anxiety is driving me crazy. Feeling like I don’t have time for anything other than the core life responsibilities, which is probably not the case but my mind has warped to think that way. I don’t want to feel stressed and on edge all the time, constantly checking my watch and running through a mental check list of the never ended loop of things I need to do.
I’m afraid I don’t have any advice or answers; I just wanted to share my experience. Maybe I’ve shared this in the selfish hope that by saying it out loud I will feel better but also because I know I can’t be alone in feeling like this. Today is World Mental Health Day and talking about how we feel and how things are affecting us still seems like such a taboo subject. Our social media accounts are filled with positivity and the thought that someone might actually be struggling seems impossible but if you are finding it tough or you know that you just don’t feel like yourself then do speak up.
The more we talk about it the more normal it will become and you will be amazed how much support and like-minded people there are out there for you to connect with.
If you have any tips of your own for helping to find the much elusive balance between life and work, please do share in the comments or on my Instagram post, this mama needs some help.