Nine Month Limit


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I started writing this post a month ago.
Taking a month to finish a blog post seems a bit extreme but such is life at the moment!
Now at ten months, I am feeling less angsty.
I seem to vacillate between feeling ambitious and straining to be productive and feeling apathetic and maintaining a happy idleness.
At the moment, inertia reigns but I will likely feel the pull of purpose again.

Nine months seems to be my limit.
Nine months of not really sleeping, of not really having any physical personal space, of not really having any mental personal space.
Nine months of feeling like a tired, nagging, feed bag.
I recall feeling the same way when Charlie was around nine months old.

I mostly love being at home with my babies.
And the aspects of being at home with my babies that I don’t love have nothing to do with my babies and everything with simply being the one who is at home…around, available, and ostensibly able to take care of things.
When you are the one at home, it follows that the at home tasks are left to you…cleaning, laundry, grocery shopping cooking, packing the lunches, paying the bills, walking the dog.
The situation is all too easily viewed as I stay at home and do all of the things while he goes to work and does none of the things.
This is of course not true but I have come to realise that truth has very little bearing on emotions.

Left in the wake of all the things that I have to do, are all the things I want to do.
Some of these things are little things…sit on the couch with a glass of wine and watch The Block, get dressed in the morning without two children hanging off of me, write a blog post, drink a coffee in one sitting, read a book.
Others are hopes, aspirations, and dreams kind of things.

I get discouraged.
My head is generally swirling, full of ideas, projects to start, ways I can contribute.
But with big aspirations comes overwhelm.
And really, if I can’t even manage to go to the bathroom by myself, how will I ever find the time to accomplish anything beyond the most necessary.
I often lose sight of what exactly I am even striving towards.  Those goals that once seemed so clear seem to get fuzzier with every load of laundry.

I get frustrated.
Life seems to be passing, other people seem to be conquering the world, and yet here I am, cleaning the kitchen again.
It feels very much like I am trying to go up the down escalator, one foot in front of the other, keeping up, but never making progress.
I often take my frustration out on the other adult in the family.
I feel that if he somehow did more of the things, I would have more time to do what I want?
But he already does so many of the things.  And if he did more then he wouldn’t have time to do what he wants.
We are simply at that stage in our lives where it absolutely isn’t about us.

I don’t know if this feeling is a hormone thing or a me thing.
I always have thought that it takes nine months to grow a baby and nine months to get back to your pre-baby state.
So perhaps this is just part of the process of me recalibrating to normal….and as normal for me involves having hopes and dream, I get frustrated that I am not able to act of them.

Last time I was at this stage, I didn’t really do much to help myself.
I went to the GP, found how I had low iron and low haemoglobin, and blamed my foul mood on that.
This time I recognised that I was feeling trapped by motherhood and needed a release.
Three things have helped.

I started running again.
I only go once a week and only for about ten minutes.
But that ten minutes is enough to leave me feeling refreshed.
I don’t take my phone…no music, no podcasts…just me and my thoughts for ten whole minutes.
It is reassuring that know that even in that ten minute period, I can feel my creativity and my desire to achieve returning.

I went back to work.
For me, work is a bit of a treat.
I enjoy what I do.  I like that it is very the end of the day I feel like I have been productive and I have added value.
Plus there are the added bonuses of being able to go to the bathroom by myself, drinking a hot coffee, and not having to share my lunch.

I booked a holiday.
We have rented a house at the coast for a week in December.
Just thinking about the holiday is enough to lift my spirits…a bit of a road trip complete with a stop for Paddle Pops, watching Charlie and Lyddie splash in the sea, wrapping myself up in a towel, sipping a cool beer, and reading a book.
Having something to look forward to seems to prove that life isn’t just one foot in front of the other, there is progress, there is joy.

What do you do when you get a serious case of stagnation?