Day fifteen on my antidepressants and I have found a love for life. I laugh more. I am more gentle on myself. I take time to read my book with a cup of tea, or cook dinner while watching Homes Under the Hammer on the iPad, instead of trying to blog, fold laundry and iron at the same time, doing all four things badly.
I leave early for the school run and read my book in the car, arriving at the school gate with a smile on my face. I walk the dog mid-morning rather than running around ten minutes before I need to collect the children. I sleep when I need to, preferably in a sunbeam in the playroom.
I haven’t bellowed at the children or sworn at them in a fortnight.
I’m still not sleeping. I still feel anxious about lots of things (schools, food, teeth!) My writing and particularly the blog have taken a back seat. I miss it. I miss logging on in the morning and seeing blog post likes and new comments. I worry I’ll lose everything I fought so hard to build up last year. But not having to come up with a new topic to discuss everyday is giving me time to breathe. Not having to make time to take pictures to go with my posts is increasing my reading time.
It isn’t all a result of the medication. Reading The Five Love Languages brought smiles and understanding back to my marriage and increased my ability to see when the children need my time or a cuddle. The longer days, the sunshine and warmer weather are all mood enhancers, especially for me.
But most of all I have given myself permission to heal. I’ve accepted I don’t have to do everything all the time. I don’t have to fill every minute with sixty seconds run. I accept I am the luckiest woman in the world to be able to cook dinner calmly at 11am while watching TV, or to be able to read my book.
But also I acknowledge that I get up at 5am to wipe bums, crawl out of warm covers at 2am to replace blankets that have fallen off chilly children, and fold laundry at midnight when hubbie is already asleep.
Mine is the responsibility to cook, clean, empty the bins, iron and shop. Mine is the juggling routine of remembering when to collect the children and when to make them packed lunches or sign forms.
I realise I’ve been competing mentally against working mums, needing to prove I work just as hard as they do. Why? What does it matter if I don’t? We made choices for me to be at home. We go without meals out, babysitters, expensive holidays. Surely a happy mummy is an important part of that?
It reminds me of the poem I read at my Mum’s wedding; the Desiderata: “Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence … Be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here.”
Words to live by.