Last week was Mental Health Awareness Week. But I haven’t been prepared; no carefully crafted pre-written post or crowd-sourced advice article. Not because I don’t want to take part or don’t have my own story to tell. It’s more because the week has arrived and surprised me. I haven’t written anything for my blog, or been active in ‘Blog Land’ for a few weeks now.
For me, blogging is a hobby, and something I do in my spare time (I tried to make it as a writer but that’s a whole other story). So blogging becomes the thing that drops when I’m too busy or there are other priorities.
But actually as I write this, I realise that I haven’t been too busy. In fact there are very few times where I couldn’t carve out at least an hour to get my thoughts down.
So it’s not a time constraint thing. It’s much more about priorities.
(Just to prove my point, I stopped at this point to go and put some washing on)
My brain is tired.
From the outside, our life is pretty damn good. My two children (6 and 3) are healthy, I have a fantastic co-parenting husband and we live in a great house.
But for me, mum life is hard, and it always has been. I know that a lot of people are a lot worse off than me, and are dealing with huge life issues on a daily basis.
We all have our own level where we just find ourselves mentally exhausted, and that’s been me lately.
We’ve had a bout of tummy bugs, colds, bad dreams and nosebleeds; all typical little kid stuff really but after five weekends of it, it gets quite tiring (and don’t get me started on the sleep deprivation). Add to that additional hours at work and a whole load of planned and unplanned extended family dramas, and it’s all I can do to stay awake past 8pm.
I have become one of those memes about fitting my life into an hour after the kids have gone to bed. But by that point, I’m ready to collapse. On the sofa, the bed, the floor, anywhere really.
But it’s also about social media. The thought of trawling through reams and reams of posts and threads in the vain hope that I’ll be the right fit for an amazing opportunity has just become depressing. There’s always going to be someone with more followers or more engagement than me, but that doesn’t make me less of a person. I’ve chosen a different route for my life, and that’s what important right now. My kids don’t care how many Twitter followers I have. They don’t know whether the holiday we’re going on is free or not (it never is), they’re just happy to be on holiday.
The point to this is that we all have exhausting times like this in our parenting careers, at least once. And really it’s OK. There may have been a few more cobwebs in the corners and we’ve eaten a few more ready meals than usual, but that’s OK too.
What’s important is that I’ve been enough for my kids. Not super star mumsy mum, but enough. Even when all I’ve wanted to do is to go to bed for a fortnight, I’ve found the strength to make the tea, do the nursery runs and even fill in the dreaded reading diary.
And this post is proof that I’ve got back to blogging eventually. On my terms. Not because I feel like I have to keep up with everyone else, but because I want to write it. That’s enough.