I wake up today with more aches and pains than usual. Somehow two hours of continuous crying last night plus the usual night feeds has left my body feeling battered. I’m done. Usually when I wake up every morning I tell myself today will be a better day and it’s what I aim for. I try to be positive and start the day off right but today I just can’t. The sun is shining beautifully through our windows and with the french doors to our balcony wide open, it almost feels as though I’m on holiday, but even that can’t change how I feel right now.
I don’t know what’s happening to me so when others ask or want to understand, the truth is I just can’t explain. I can try but I can never fully convey it. The following three words keep leaving the tip of my tongue; “I am exhausted”. But of course, it’s not ‘being tired’ alone that’s doing this to me, those are just the only words that I feel can summarise whatever this is that I’m going through. My body is exhausted, my mind, my heart my eyes are exhausted from crying. This horrible mental torture is exhausting me in every possible way that one can imagine.
My husband told me to take a break yesterday, “I’ll take care of Ella with your mum, you go out”. “Go where? Do what?”, I replied. I have nowhere I want to go, no one I want to see and nothing I want to do. I realise I must be an incredibly frustrating person to be around. Anyone listening to me would probably think “well if you don’t even know what you want, how can I help you?” Touche to anyone with those thoughts but this is my very testing reality, I’m sorry for it, I really am, but can you imagine being me?
I’ve had to stop and take a break from writing this post because Ella woke up screaming. I’m not sure what’s going on with her but she’s screaming a lot these past few days and has developed a new high-pitched, ear-piercing scream. Forty-five minutes later and she’s back to sleep in her cot and I’m back at my laptop. I no longer hear screaming, instead I sit here listening to the sounds of birds hooting, cars revving, my husband clipping his nails and to my surprise Sunday church bells.
I’m looking at my husband. I feel for him. I feel terrible. I love him. I’m looking at the ring on his finger thinking, “I bet you didn’t sign up for this”. He’s a good man and he tries, harder than all the men I’ve ever seen. I wish I could relieve him of this. I want to be better, for him, for Ella, for myself I guess. I just don’t know how and if you’ve been where I am now, you’ll know that no amount of advice is going to help me get there either. Something has to happen but I just don’t know what and I don’t know when it will happen. I wish I had a reset button under my t-shirt, like Ella’s plush toys.
I’m looking around the living room and all the clutter does something to me inside. I’m not looking back but I know the kitchen behind me is no less of a mess. It drives me insane and I feel like since I’ve had my baby, I’ve become even more obsessed with cleaning. There’s clutter everywhere all the time, in my home, in my mind and it all keeps piling up and I honestly don’t know what to do with it all. I tidy the home but five minutes later it’s the same again. I do the dishes and five minutes later they’re piled up again. Our life admin feels like it only increases on top of admin that’s still undone and the list in my brain just keeps on extending. Bills, parking fines, library books, direct debits, savings, my husband’s visa, the holiday we hoped for but now looks impossible. Then there’s the week ahead of baby groups, playdates, the daily dinners that need cooking and the extra thought and effort that’s required for Ella’s daily meals, remembering to take all her eating essentials out and about with us, the laundry that never ends and on top of all of this, somehow forcing myself to remember all the key events happening in my friends’ lives so I can drop them a message with “good luck”, “happy birthday” or even “how are you feeling today?”
My husband knows I’m writing and he’s chosen to give me my time. He’s sitting on the balcony drinking coffee and watching something on his phone. I’m tempted to go sit with him. I know that’s what I should do but the clutter. I can’t stop thinking about it. She’s going to wake up in a while and I won’t get to tidy all of this. I’m just so exhausted.