About Me

Kent, United Kingdom
I have the perfect family but still struggle to find the light in the darkness of post-natal depression.

Thursday, 26 May 2011

25 weeks...and the guilt of a working parent...

I was going to call this post "Nothing's right, I'm torn", so you could all sing it Natalie Imbruglia style...
Her lyrics summed things up nicely at the beginning of this week. Nothing was right - at home or at work - and I felt torn.
Thankfully things have improved, perhaps because I'm learning more about juggling things, but it's still difficult to let go of that ideal of being the "perfect" mum, the "perfect" worker and the "perfect" friend.
It doesn't help that poor baby D has been ill ever since my return. And yes, at first I did think there was a causal effect between the two. He was ill because I was being a terrible mother and going out to work. He didn't get better because he needed his mummy to be home taking care of him.
Situations like that bring my need to be in total control right to the fore. I know those who look after him while I work are more than capable. I know he has a great time and cries no more than he would cry if I were there. But they do not do things quite as I would do them, and that's hard for me to deal with. But I'm trying.
It's the same with Miss T. While at times it's been very trying being at home with her full-time for the last six months, it's also been great in many ways. We've built a closer bond and I cherish time with her. And we've built our own routines, our own ways to deal with certain scenarious and we know what we expect of the other.
So it's hard to see her behave in ways that are not as I expect, and to know that this behaviour continues when I'm not there to check it and hand out consequences.
But staying home with them full time is not an option at all. I need to work. Financially, yes, but also for my sanity. I had a check up today with my GP and she was amazed at the difference. I am me again, thanks to my time in the office. I am confident, I have fun, I am worth something.
And more importantly than that, I drive home every day (well, the four days I work) looking forward to seeing the children. And my days with them are precious. And that's a feeling that five months ago I wasn't sure I'd ever find again.

Thursday, 5 May 2011

22 weeks

I've just been packing up some of baby D's tiny clothes after successfully selling them online, and it made me sad.
Sad that he's growing up and there will be no more babies (but not sad enough to change my mind!) but also sad that yet again I've wasted parts of his babyhood.
Okay, at five months old he's not quite ready to move out but the truth is that yet again, I haven't been as connected with him as I'd like.
Yet again this awful illness has robbed me of some of the joys of this period; the time spent snuggling, the moments of bonding.
While this episode is nowhere near as bad as last time, it's still bad enough for me to feel it's affected my relationship with him. He's a lovely, smiley, chatty little boy and also a bit of a mummy's boy, but I don't feel the same connection with him that he seems to have to me.
Perhaps it's because I've started back at work this week - today in fact - but I can't help wishing I could go back and do this again.
I know that's partly because I still have this desire to do things 'right', and getting PND again was definitely not part of that, but I can't help feeling that I'm letting him down by the way I feel. And Miss T too, of course.
But it's for them that I keep fighting. I hope they know I'm doing my best.