Baby · Parenting · PND

I Can’t Do It.


I had a bit of a panic attack this morning. This really isn’t like me at all – I get a bit worried about stuff and often have a stress the night before things (for ‘stress’ read grouch and wail and stomp around like a teenager because I didn’t pack/organise myself properly until the last minute) but I just get over it and carry on.

Not today. Today I woke up all determined to jump on a train with the Smalls and go to Telford for some retail therapy and to take Tori to the massive Town Park for a run round in the sunshine, I had my shower and slowly but surely started to unwind. Or wind myself up, whichever way you want to look at it.

In the shower I was mentally going over the train times so I knew what I was doing. Train times. Train. A train trip to somewhere I don’t normally go. With the double buggy. Double buggy. Train. TWO trains, in fact – I’d have to change. What if there was a big gap up to the train like there so often is? What if I couldn’t get them on the train? What if no-one would help me? What if, what if, what if?

I can’t do it.

I shook myself out a bit, got me and the kids dressed and tried not to think about coping with Tori and a teething Arthur on my own in a fairly unfamiliar place. Tori who has just discovered the word ‘no’. Tori who is strong-willed and easily bored. AND Arthur who is grumpy because he is teething. Tori. Arthur. Screaming. Crying. No! Tori. Wailing. Arthur. Teething.

I can’t do it.

Deep breaths. Think.

PLAN! Put Arthur in his carry sling and just take Tori’s light little stroller. Easy.

Until Arthur won’t sleep. Or my back/shoulders start to hurt. And how do I look after Tori on the slides or swings at the park if I have Arthur on my front. No.

I can’t do it.

I’ll just go to Shrewsbury then. Less trains. Familiar place, familiar journey – I’ve done it many many many times before.

I can’t do it.

I couldn’t. I’d wound myself so tight I was afraid of taking Tori and Arthur out together. I felt like I would be out of control and/or something terrible would happen. I couldn’t do it. I felt sick. I cried.

‘Just take Arthur. I’ll look after Tori,’ said Sy.

I can’t do it.

The thought of putting Arthur in his pushchair and even stepping outside our gate scared me witless. At this point even a walk 2 minutes down the road to Co-op seemed impossible. I cuddled him close and felt like the most useless Mother in the world. I couldn’t even bear to take my kids out for the day on my own – I was afraid of going outside with just one of them.

More deep breaths. I had to do it. Otherwise I’d be worse next time.

So I went to make sure I had everything in the changing bag ready for the day – nappies, wipes, nappy bags, change of clothes, wallet, phone – half way through checking my stomach knotted so tight I had to bolt to bathroom to be sick.

I was actually sick with fear. This was ridiculous. I knew it was stupid. I knew I’d done this hundreds of times before. So why was I so afraid?

I can’t do it.

YES. I. CAN.

Stubbornly ignoring the shakes I got Sy to help me get Arthur in the single buggy (or ‘The Tank’ as we like to call it) and I set off for the train station.

Once there I bumped into a friend and chatting to her helped me swallow and untie the knot of terror in my throat and stomach and by the time the train arrived I felt much better. A bit of lunch, a walk and a bit of post-birthday reatil therapy and I felt pretty much fine. Mostly just tired and a little shaky. And like a bit of an idiot. What was I thinking? What a twit.

*

So what have I learned today?

1) I’m not perfect.

2) I have bad days.

3) As much as I love my children there are some days when I just don’t know what to do with them.

4) Or what to do with myself.

5) If I set my mind to it – I CAN DO IT and I’ll feel better for it afterwards.

and, most importantly of all:

6) New shoes fix everything.

3 thoughts on “I Can’t Do It.

  1. Read this earlier on my emails and came for a comment. I almost cried when I had to drive the Cybermummy car up a ramp in a strange carpark in London – I am full of can’t do it times. They seem to have got worse the more children I have or could it be post baby lack of confidence – not sure but you are not alone x

  2. Big hugs! It took me 3 months to get up the courage to just go down the road to toddler group after having my second. The logistics of EVERYTHING just terrified me and seemed too huge to handle. Somewhere along the line it did get easier. I can’t remember how though. The bubble seemed to lift suddenly.
    And you’re right. New shoes solve everything!!!!

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