I didn’t expect to cry today…
If I’m honest, I expected it yesterday. Or even last week or month. Because for the past few weeks, all I’ve wanted to do is scream and cry and break down.
For weeks, I’ve been feeling like I’m just constantly on the edge of falling apart..and I was waiting for the moment to come.
Still, I didn’t expect it today.
The truth is, it’s really easy to put a cute picture of your kid on social media and talk about what a cutie they are. But it’s actually really difficult to admit that – behind the cute pics – being a parent is actually the thing that is causing you to break apart.
But you can’t really say that, can you? That your child is driving you mad, and even though you love them, you have reached your limit and want to NOT be a mum for just ONE freaking day.
That’s where I’ve been in the last few weeks.
Completely devoid of energy. Anxious. Depressed. Feeling trapped (even though I’m fortunate to not live in a state with lockdowns atm).
Basically, I was done.
All I could hang on for was today…the day my child FINALLY started pre-kindy.
The chance to have a routine SIX HOURS to myself, every week.
To be a human, not just a mum. To not be 60 minutes into my writing, and then get interrupted by my child waking up.
To be able to pursue my business fully, while also having time for self-care.
To have a set day each week for client calls, so that I’m not scattering them between my 3yo’s daily nap.
To just HAVE A BREAK.
And then something weird happened.
I dropped my 3yo off at day-care…and watched him run off to play with barely a look my way. I saw him instantly making friends, and being his full-on, extrovert self, and I realised…he didn’t need me so much anymore.
And then I came home and cried.
I didn’t expect it. I thought I was going to be screaming from the rooftops and celebrating! But the house felt really silent and weird. It felt weird to not be ‘needed’ so much.
Strange….yet, also very human and normal.
It made me wonder how other mums feel, especially the ones who have been a stay at home parent for most of their life…and then their kids leave and they’re…alone. And they don’t know who they are, what makes them happy, or what to do with their spare time.
Even worse is the fact that Centrelink makes it SO hard for you to get out of the house and back to work. I’ve filled out my child subsidy form THREE times since late last year, and it’s still not approved.
But for my own mental sanity, my husband agreed that we enrol R anyway, and hope that Centrelink catch up soon with their payments.
The thing is, if I hadn’t had my business and my books to work on in the last 3 years, I think I would have gone absolutely crazy. Having something to focus on that you’re truly passionate about, is not only important, it’s ESSENTIAL.
I think more stay at home parents – particularly women – need to be encouraged to have something that’s just for them.
To have goals (not just ones revolving around their kids, or surviving another day of tantrums!). And that they have someone in their court to support them toward it.
If that’s you, I want you to know that it’s okay to want more than *just* parenthood.
It’s okay to love your child and also want to be alone and watch a stupid YouTube video for 10 minutes without someone crawling all over you, shouting at you, or constantly nagging ‘I’M HUNGRY. I’M HUNGRY. I’M HUNGRY.’
It’s okay to want more. It’s okay to admit that you need space from your child. It’s okay to want to focus on your own vision, goals, or business full time.
You are more than just a parent.
And your child will thank you in the future for doing what you had to in order to thrive – not just survive.
(Author’s note: written after my child’s first day. I’m since over the ‘first-day-cry’ and am counting down the days for next week’s day off hahah.)
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