Post-natal realisation


The trouble with motherhood, I’m finding, is that although it’s pretty relentless physically and emotionally, there’s quite a lot of brainspace to contemplate What Am I Doing with My Life? As anyone who’s been in this situation will know, it’s not always a Good Thing. The sort of thoughts that rattles around in my dusty head at the moment are not always stuff to be proud of either…

  • What are those weird spots on the landing carpet? At least I managed to galvanise myself to blast them with half a bottle of Vanish this morning; so they’re now weird blotches rather than dodgy looking spot trails.
  • Please can you get out of my house! Thoughts vigorously directed at the carpenters who’ve been laying our hall floor here for the last two days (pretty competently, to be fair), but who came round today to spend 10 minutes ‘finishing off’ and another 30 minutes repeating ‘As I say, it’s the attention to detail, and I can’t help it, that’s what I’m like‘. I know!!! But please go!!! It’s my one day in the house with no children, and I want to eat my weight in chocolate, watch the Good Wife and tackle hemming curtains.
  • Aagh, where on earth do I start? With endless family, house, business and personal to-do lists I’ve spent most of today starting one thing, remembering something more urgent, and moving on. Consequently DH arrives home to find the kitchen still full of porridge bowls, and the study still looking like an EU paper mountain. The bedroom floor is probably covered with pins that DS2 will eat when he settles down for his pre-breakfast snack of carpet fluff tomorrow morning. The more trivial my list of jobs, the more indecisive I become. And when I find my iPhone ‘To do’ app can’t sync with my computer I go into a dizzy spin of failure to achieve.
  • Why am I doing this at all? I could instead spend hours surfing around American ‘home’ blogs and immerse myself in the world of manic crafters. Curtains shmurtains, I should be sewing book holders for the boys’ room (see right) and drawing gorgeous things on our blackboard door (instead of just a scribbled ‘The Loo’). I used to love all this stuff, and 20 years ago I would have yearned for a Kirstie Allsopp life.
  • So why aren’t I enjoying myself doing that then? In between then and now I also became Corporate. I earned my own money; I managed big budgets; I ran teams and projects and Made Things Happen.
  • Oh my god I’m a walking cliche None of this is helped by the fact that I am very lucky to have two lovely healthy children, a house that is finally taking shape and feeling like a home, and a DH who has shown a surprising patrician tendency for someone who was almost a member of the Workers’ Revolutionary Party to cheerfully fund house improvements, nursery days, and even give me a little bit of money each month for ‘pretty little trinkets’ (our joke. In fact it enables me to keep the Home Counties branches of Costa afloat).
  • Could I / should I get a job again? Slightly complicated by the fact that I set up my own business shortly before becoming pregnant with DS1. Determined not to let children get in the way of my quest to become Businesswoman of the Year I have striven for the last 3-4 years to keep everything afloat, but it has been hard, loss-making, and ultimately quite depressing. Hence extreme levels of navel gazing now. And no salaried job to go back to anyway.
  • Should we have another baby? Currently it feels like the only thing I’m good at doing, but bearing in mind it’ll take a good year at the earliest to pop out and we’re both hurtling through our 5th decade, and the hideousness of the first 6 months, and the side-effects of pregnancy – even a good one – in practice that doesn’t appeal. Though if we had more there’d be more of them to look after us in our dotage. But we’re lucky enough to have two delightful, healthy boys. Would we be pushing our luck?
  • Why aren’t I happy being a housewife? Should I set up a support network for Housewives with MBAs? Why did I bother with all that? Would I be happier if I were doing regular exercise [I know the answer to this]. The boys will be at school in just a few years and everyone I know who’s working says they miss the time they’re not with their children. Stop moaning, think yourself lucky and just enjoy it.
  • Should I buy a running machine? It’d go in the garage and I could beetle away on it while DS2 is having a nap and become lithe, fit and full of endorphins.

Basically I am suffering from a post-natal malaise that comes from no exercise, too much chocolate, a degree of weariness at being thrown up on (admittedly compensated for by cuddles), lack of contact with a non-baby world, guilt at not appreciating what I’ve got, and, in my darkest moments, the thought that the rest of my life will go as follows: 20 years looking after children, 10 years looking after aged mother, 10 years looking after aged DH, and finally a bit of time to myself when I’m about 80.

So, off to load the dishwasher. I think the treadmill will be the answer, as long as my pelvic floor is up to it. I did a star jump the other day and my uterus nearly fell out (not funny). The rest of my problems will be solved from there.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s