Today, is difficult, I’m very sore, tired and grumpy. The rain during the school run, the young boy yammering on at me, the toddler screaming because he was wet (but refused the pushchair rain cover) all added to my stress. I have been hyper vigilant, so the crowds at school and the people walking behind me were quite difficult to handle. I was fighting dissociation at work and now I’m home I just feel exhausted. But my children are close by, the youngest singing and dancing “Head, Shoulders Knees and Toes”, the oldest playing with his cars on the rug and I remember just how good I have it.
I don’t blog about my children much. But right now I want to write about them, I want the reminder of just how good my life is now.
Things have been improved in recent weeks and with that I’ve noticed a change in mood with my children. Normally, I’m quick to anger and I spend a lot of time and effort in keeping that from my boys. I manage that mostly-they are clueless -but all the emotional toll is on me. It leaves me exhausted.
Over the last few weeks, I struggle less often with that anger. I’m more patient with the children, I feel more natural with them and more relaxed too. It’s not always that way, today for example, I’m back to struggling once more. But in general, things have improved a lot. I’m thrilled with that, I have hated feeling so stressed out and so angry around my children. The effort to hide it from them and to be the level mother they need, has been so incredibly hard.
My oldest child is beautiful, he has big eyes that draw you in. The first moment I saw him, I couldn’t believe his beauty. He was the smallest baby I had ever seen, he had to wear “tiny baby” clothes and “newborn” were way too big. I was so thrilled to be his mummy. He slept well from a young age, fed regularly and generally he was a dream. I struggled with depression and PTSD a lot after his birth. I admit, it took some time to bond with him, but I loved him from the start and somewhere along the way he suddenly felt like mine and now I couldn’t imagine my life without him.
He was quite an independent baby. He was happy to sleep alone, happy to sit and observe the world around him, happy to just be. Now he is a bit older, he is shy and quiet around new people and situations. In the last year or so (since starting school) he has needed a lot of comfort and a lot of reassurance, which isn’t a problem for me.
He was once a daddy’s boy, but now he is definitely all me. He is kind and he is sweet, on occasions he has even comforted me when I’ve been down. He is such a charmer, he tells me I look pretty, or that he likes my hair, he finds things in my favourite colour and present them to me. He has learned to tell me when he wants a hug (so he doesn’t just throw himself at me), he understands that we don’t jump out on people in our family, he knows we don’t scare on purpose. He takes it all in his stride. He is an amazing little boy and I am so proud to be his mum.
My youngest child, also a boy, I refer to as my baby. He’s not really a baby anymore I suppose, but for now he continues to be “baby”. He too is beautiful, he is loving, affectionate and quite needy. He has been needy since he was born. He always needed to be held, always wanted to be attached to me. I used to carry him in a sling so he was always close. He was a chubby baby, he fed often and slept very little. He has definitely been more of a challenge than his brother!
From the moment he wakes, he wants to be with someone, he cries as soon as he opens his eyes until one of us is with him. He still needs someone to sit with him while he falls asleep. While it can be tiring, I wouldn’t change it, there’s something very special about soothing a child to sleep.
He is a little behind with his speech, but manages to communicate his needs to me (and his dad) quite well. Around other people, he is incredibly shy, he becomes mute with people he doesn’t know and even those he does know, his speech is selective. He too is a bit of a mummy’s boy. We hear all day, “mummy do it!”. He is a nervous child, yet strong willed. He has loud and long tantrums that can be difficult to handle, but I wouldn’t change him, not for a minute. I adore my needy baby.
I am so lucky to be the mother of two awesome little boys.
I have never considered myself to be a natural mother, I certainly couldn’t be at home all day with them. At times I’ve felt pushed to the edge by the demands of two small children while also dealing with PTSD. But, all things considered, I think I have shielded them well from it all and that is evident in recent months. I have changed, but they are consistent, they are no happier or less happy than a few months ago. They have remained unaffected by all of this. And that makes me want to weep with relief. I’ve been so afraid, so paranoid that my issues could affect them and I know now, that has not been the case. I am determined to continue to move forward, to let go of the fears that still hold me back, so one day I can look back and confidently say, that the boys have never been victims in this.