Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Freedom - not all it's cracked up to be

I feel embarrassed writing this post. It's not something to which others relate. When I mention it to other moms they laugh, as if I'm joking. I then laugh with them to mask my embarrassment.

I've really been struggling since the beginning of this year. All 4 of my kids are in school - two of them happily so. The problem is that I feel empty without them. I feel desperate to have them near me at all times.

At first I thought that Aisha (3) going off to creche was making me feel redundant. I thought that this 'depression' was borne from a sense of purposelessness. But, I realise that it's more than that. During last year (while Aisha was home with me), I became so excited about registering for a course in magazine journalism. I was enthusiastic about starting the course and about the prospects such a qualification might afford me.

However, now that the time has arrived, I feel like I cannot focus on anything but the kids. I'm teary all the time they're at school. Two mornings ago I went to gym alone - and hated it. As a working mum, I'd always envied SAHMs, who could do fun things like go to gym, go for lunch with friends etc.

Now that I am at home with no kids to hold me back, instead of the exhiliration and  the feeling of freedom I'd been expecting, I feel nothing but sadness and longing. Someone suggested that I'm suffering from depression, but I feel so guilty about accepting that. I mean, really, what do I have to be depressed about? There are people with real problems out there - and I keep reminding myself of that. But, it doesn't take away this feeling.

The fact that Shakeel (13) and Aisha are struggling to adjust to their new schools is perhaps the underlying reason for much of what I'm feeling. I feel so guilty each morning I say goodbye to them. I hate that I can't help them. Then there's another issue affecting one of my other kids, which looms over me threateningly and constantly. How can I be happy and embrace my "freedom" when my kids are not happy.

Then, of course, there is perhaps the fact that this is the first time in years that I've had the time and opportunity (in the absence of nappies, breastfeeding and toddler hissy fits) to deal with some of the issues from which I've been able to hide while Aisha was the primary focus of my day. Now I have no distractions and no one behind whom I can hide.

I have no idea why I'm crying.


Anonymous said...

I kind of understand what you're going through. I work full time and hardly ever get a chance to blow dry my hair but just recently I told my husband that I feel like I don't have a life. My life revolves around my son and seeing to everything except myself. But I have no friends or hobbies to take up my free time or keep myself involved in something for myself.

Now that I started writing I feel much better. Its an escape from life (or its a way of 'getting' a life that doesn't exist.)

I know you said you aren't that way inclined. But the only thing I can say is that you should do that course. Do any course that will interest you.. cooking/baking/ interior decor. It will keep you occupied and give you a goal to work on when you're not with the kids. They have their own lives now and you have to be available to them but you need to find yourself again. Your life can't revolve around them forever.

And what I've learnt from my infertility experience- not everyone understands and unintentionally their response will be hurtful. So I refrain from telling anyone, even family members my personal things because they just don't understand. (I don't even speak about my writing because of cynical people)If you need to speak then rather speak to people you know will understand or you can trust.

Fahranaaz xxx

Savouring mommy moments said...

Thanks Fahranaaz. As usual, you are a voice of reason :)

I have decided to do the course just as soon as finances permit. You are right - I need to find my identity outside motherhood.

Yes, I am learning to keep things to myself. Or to rather write things down in a journal to make sense of it instead of sharing it with the wrong people.

Thanks again