What Doesn’t Kill You

Ever had that dream where you are being attacked and you try to run, but your legs feel like led and you just freeze? Well today I had that feeling while I was awake.

Everything took an immense amount of effort today. I felt like I had those hideous ankle weights strapped onto my whole body and gravity was 15x stronger than usual.

My husband brought me the baby to nurse for second third breakfast and I just stared at him. How can I do this?  It took me like a whole hour to hang up laundry on the clothes line. Ever tried to go against the flow in a lazy river? That was me trying to get dressed, dress 3 little minions, change nappies (diapers), and get to a birthday party, where I fell down the stairs carrying my two month old baby. We are fine, but it’s just a fall down the stairs kind of day. And possibly a check your blood pressure because you feel really lethargic and then you fall down the stairs. Hmmm.

In addition to having a new baby, we also moved house last week. I’ve moved 6 times in the last 6 years including an international move from Texas to the UK. This most recent move (only about 2 miles away) was particularly challenging because nothing is easy customer service wise in the UK. I lived for almost a week out of a camping refrigerator and without a dishwasher because “next day delivery” is a loose term. Two weeks in, I still don’t have the clothes dryer. Thankfully, true friends keep your breastmilk in their freezer so you don’t ruin your stash. So in addition to grocery shopping every 10 minutes, hand washing dishes, and hanging laundry on the line just for it to get rained on, and the usual life stuff, I feel pretty maxed out.

I grabbed my husband for a chat. I told him that I just have to override my emotions and go with my head. I feel like I’m drowning and that I can’t keep juggling all the balls in the air. I just wish I could press a pause button on life, catch up on sleep and chores, then resume. I felt overwhelmed and dizzy. I felt like I could not possibly go on and do another day without completely collapsing. I was anxious about anything happening that would stretch me even more, or that I might have post-partum depression because I just couldn’t get it together. I am frumpy and have the wardrobe of a mother. I’ll never feel put-together or stylish or organised ever again. I need to tap out.  FEEL. FEEL. FEEL.

When in reality, with the help of a few friends, my husband and I just moved house ourselves saving £1200 on movers and did so in a way that made me love him more. There are only 2 boxes left– other than the 50 that my kids have commandeered to make a rocket ship and clubhouse and slide out of. It’s so true what they say about kids and boxes.  My kids have been to school on time with homework done. I’ve made it to lots of playdates and helped my friends with their kids when they were in a bind. We’ve had a home cooked meal most nights that we enjoyed all sitting around the dinner table. I’ve played with each kid, kept in contact with my kids’ teachers about how they are doing, and taken care of loads of admin stuff required when you move house. I’ve picked paint colours, met with the decorator, and survived baby’s first round of immunisations and the tears and nappy explosions that come with that. I helped my husband navigate the new challenges at work and made time to hear what’s happening in his life. I also got invited to guest post on a pretty neat blog. When life already feels like max capacity and then you throw in a huge stressor like a move, you are going to FEEL like you are drowning, but  it doesn’t mean you are. If I stop focusing on the feeling and realise that my head is still above water, it gives me energy to do tomorrow.

When I was on my way to the hospital and had laboured unmedicated, I remember getting this girl power gusto of “I’m doing this.” And when I stopped ruminating today on how I felt tired and pulled, I got that same Rosie the Riviter empowerment. I just did that.  When I felt like I couldn’t nurse the baby or do laundry or, or, or, I did it anyway. Inner strength.

Sometimes you just put your emotions aside for a moment and let logic speak. You are doing fine. It’s just a hectic time. It will get better.  Then you sit back, watch trash TV (Dance Moms), and blog a bit to get all the crazy out of your head and onto paper.

Emotions lie. You can’t rely on them. Because isn’t it funny how all that tired, stressed, pulled, drained emotions suddenly melts when all three babies are sound asleep? Mine always does.

Okay onto tomorrow. Looking forward to church in the morning to nourish my spirit. And quite possibly because it involves a hot drink, a chair, and childcare.

family photo


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