New Year, Not so New Issues…
Welcome to 2012 – do you feel any different? I know I don’t.
I wanted to enter the year positively but, instead, I have been positively depressed. I should have been excited that yesterday, January 1, was my blogoversary. I should have been proud that I had managed to blog for an entire year.
Instead, I felt down and devoid of inspiration. I couldn’t write the positive post I wanted to share, so I didn’t write at all. In fact I have avoided blogging and social media for the last few days as it suddenly feels all so hard.
I think having a deliberate break away from blogging has been a good thing as it has allowed me to spend more time with my family and rediscover old passions, like cross-stitching. However, it also illustrated how much my life has been completely immersed and absorbed in the world of blogging. And that has only added to my existing depression.
There are a few reasons behind my recent low mood, none of them new. But the fact I haven’t been able to resolve them, however hard I try, is just relentlessly grinding me into the ground. Let’s face it, there are only so many times you can pick yourself up and dust yourself off after receiving the same old drubbing again and again…
Issue number 1 is our ongoing indecision surrounding our living arrangements. We have lived in our current house for over 4 years and it is has been too small from day 1. We bought it for it’s location (a short walk to shops, schools, parks, pools, etc) and for the sheer size of the backyard (our block is over 900 square metres) even though the house itself was not what we wanted.
We’ve continually looked at extending the house but we can’t seem to come up with “the” plan or we come up with something close only to find it is out of our budget. We have looked at knocking down and rebuilding but it seems beyond our reach as well. We could sell up and buy elsewhere but that would mean leaving a location we love and uprooting our children, just when we’re finally settling them into school and the local community.
I’m so over worrying about this. I just want to live in a house of which I can be proud, where each of my kids has a room of their own and we have more than one toilet between 5 people. I want to be able to invite people over, to entertain, to have a place for everything. I’m grateful to have a roof over my head but I want to be able to relax and lead a full life, rather than this “standby life” that we’re currently living here.
Issue number 2 is my ongoing struggle with part-time work and full-time mothering. I’m trying to make it work, I’m trying to remain positive and proactive but I am simply exhausted, both mentally and physically. The fact I am entering my third week of a sinus infection after being knocked around with conjunctivitis not long before that shows that my body is no longer handling the strain.
I’m struggling too with the half-life I lead. I’m only at work for 20 hours a week so I’m not able to fully contribute there. I’m in a job at the moment that is not fulfilling me and I would love to try something else but it is hard to find another area willing to take on, in essence, half an employee.
Again, I am trying to focus on the positives and appreciate that I have a job at all but the growing sense of unfulfillment is really starting to take a toll on my mental health.
I’m finding that I am struggling at home too. The house is a shambles, I have little time and no motivation to clean or tidy up and have only been doing the bare minimum to get by. Everywhere I look there is a mess or something else to sort out and because I don’t know where to start anymore, I just don’t. This cannot go on indefinitely but I’m not sure what to do make things better.
I hate to admit this but I am not enjoying my kids much either. I am increasingly grumpy and irritable and resent their constant demands on my time and attention. I want to enjoy them, I want to be a fun and engaged mother, but I’m nowhere near being that mother at the moment.
I’m hoping some of this is due to fatigue and my recent ill health so my mother mojo will return soon – it better, I hate myself for feeling this way and not being able to give my kids the love, attention and patience they deserve.
Issue number 3 is the never-ending pressure of being a special needs parent. It is a hard slog, especially when respite is irregular and infrequent. I love my kids desperately but being there for them 24/7 is demanding. We have some family around us who do whatever they can to help us out but they have their own lives and cannot just drop everything for us.
We have never looked into formal respite as it seems too hard and, to be honest, I think there are many families out there who require this assistance far more than we do. But maybe we need to look at hiring someone to look after the kids from time to time so my husband and I can start to have our own life again.
The last time we had time alone together was a few months back when we took a day off work together and the last time we had a few hours to ourselves at night was when he took me out to dinner for Valentines Day – nearly a year ago now!
I’ll be honest, our relationship is not as good as it could be and I want to make it better. But I am so exhausted with everything else going on that I don’t know where to start. I want to have more time for my husband, I want to enjoy his company, I want to be able to go out and have a life but it all seems too hard right now.
I will end my vent/whinge/complaint right there. I am a strong person and these are relatively small issues but when you’re not well and you’ve been dealing with these for an extended period of time and when you’re mentally spent, they become big problems with no obvious solution. If you have got this far, thanks for your perseverance and your support and I promise to reward you with a more upbeat post next time!