You know when you should be working and you just can’t make yourself do it. You know when you should really go out and get some air but your body is so tired it feels like solid rock. You know where once you were young, carefree and had everything in front of you and suddenly you open your eyes and you’re meant to be the adult. The adult that has the answers. The adult that solves all the problems. Makes all the money. The adult that is the mother that washes all the clothes. The mother that feeds everyone. The mother that kisses good night. The mother that feels like she hasn’t slept in years. Remember that time when you used to be just you rather than everything else but you that everyone else needs you to be? Sometimes I think we need a bigger word or phrase that describes all this but all I can really think of is one. Overwhelmed.
I’m not the only one. People get overwhelmed every day. I’m not looking for pity. I’m not looking for anything. I’m actually here to say… don’t worry you’re not alone and you’re not the only one. Last night I went out. It was probably only the fifth time I have been out since I found out I was pregnant. In all honesty… I haven’t missed it. Most of the time, by the end of the day the last thing I could even contemplate doing is getting showered, changed, do my hair, put make-up on my face and then go out. This is very different from my life four years ago but I am not sad about the change.
However, last night I did go out. It took three weeks of schedule planning but it was all arranged. I was exhausted yes because of course Alyssa had played up the night before. However, I had a babysitter, enjoyed a hot shower earlier in the day, rough dried and scrunched my hair for ease and then did the most basic amount of make-up I could get away with. Oddly, I was looking forward to going. Usually, if I have to go somewhere now in the evenings, there is a serious internal debate of can I be bothered. But of course I went. I was excited. I had pizza, drank beer and talked for England. It was perfect. When I got home I wanted to cry.
For two hours. Two whole hours… I was Katie. I wasn’t Mama to a little person who is constantly making demands. I wasn’t the Mama that needed to do the washing or cook the dinner (did this before I went out!!) or clean the house or tidy the toys. I wasn’t Mummy in a Tutu who sometimes feels like she can’t keep up, is either drowning in emails or floating on the remnants of last months. I wasn’t the Mummy in a Tutu who constantly doubts whether her success was previously a fluke and that she should pack it in and find an “employed” job. I wasn’t the Sister/Daughter/Aunt who needs to help with something. I was just me.
When I sat down at home, after putting my little monkey to bed who had decided to she was going to stay up and have fun with Nonna and Bear, I think it just suddenly dawned on me how my brain and body had had a break from all those things. Granted it was a small one but it felt like it had been much longer. I didn’t actually realise how long it had been since I had seen that Katie and it was that that had made me want to cry. She was still here. She hadn’t gone.
She/I can go out. I have been in a bubble for so long that I think I had forgotten how to do it. Yes obviously I go out in the daytime but it isn’t the same and usually I am accompanied by a 3 foot ball of fire. Yes, I have been out in the evening, though this has mostly involved going to a friends house where I have felt comfortable and in all honesty not made much effort.
The important thing I realised though was not only that I could but actually I NEED to do this. I am not superwoman and with everything we have to deal with in our day to day lives it’s important that we take even minutes just to reconnect with that person that is hiding inside of us. To take time out to be just Katie and not the Mother, Daughter, Sister, Aunt, Blogger that I am or need to be 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If you don’t you’ll find yourself, as I have done recently. Overwhelmed. Overwhelmed and fed up and not seeing anything but fog.
Make time for you. Make time to be you. Make time to remember who you were. Make time to realise who you still are. You’re not alone. Make time. Avoid the overwhelm.