*Self indulgent wallow. If you already hate me for my life then you might as well not bother reading it, it’ll just be fuel for fury.*
Something has settled over me in a lump of gloom, i’m not sure what it was. perhaps it was realising last night (again) that the end of March was the limit i set myself for having another baby, that i had to be pregnant by then to have a 2006 baby. Perhaps it was realising that i’m moving away from here and leaving behind the last house i’ll have brought home a baby to and that i don’t really believe that a house i don’t remember a baby in will ever feel like home. Maybe i’m just feeling hormonal. I’m well aware that it is decreed that i am unentitled to feelings of regret and sadness over this and that those who think i am a selfish cow anyway will just roll their eyes again at me and my over-indulgence in wallowing. I know how lucky i am; honestly, i don’t think i actually do want any more children, but “never” to anymore babies kicking and being born seems a long time to me and i am far from reconciled to that. I keep thinking i am and then it whams up and hits me in the face again. I’m not at peace with it, i don’t know whether i would have been had other bits of that process worked out differently, i don’t think i actually want my life to be harder, busier or indeed shorter but the fact remains i only have to feel a non-existant-baby kick in me somewhere and my heart just falls at the idea that i’ve done with that bit of life. I’m not done, i’m SO not done. And actually, i don’t care who hates me because i feel like that. My souls aches at the idea of it, i’m 4 children better off than some, 3 than many, more than 4 better off than people like Kate who deserve to have had so much happier time than they have. But the ache still aches. Baby clothes, baby toys, baby smells, baby sights; it all knocks me over like i’m winded. Every sodding time. Worse, i can’t even be unequivocably happy for others; i nearly doubled up in envy when my sister sent me a scan photo the other day, despite the fact that my nice half is thrilled, happy and excited. I feel like the wives in Apollo 13 when i say that.
I’m 32 and i just feel like my life, the life i longingly anticipated, is virtually over. I’ve even had visions of sending everyone to school recently, so i can somehow reclaim some bit of me and stop hankering so pathetically for another baby and to somehow get right all those bits i wanted to look back on fondly and with awe, instead of with shock and humiliation. Actually, it isn’t even that. I’d knowingly go through the whole Josie birth again to have another one in my arms.
Life seems to have lost its spark recently; the drudgery of caring 24/7 for children who leave mess, clothes, food, forget to say thank you, bicker and need feeding seems to have overwhelmed me. Sure, most of it is good, i love them to bits and i’m happy with our life, but i have moments of just feeling sickeningly weary with it all. It seems like a lot of hard work and i’m sinking under the effort. Which doesn’t particularly suggest that an additional baby would help.
I should be, and mostly i am, really excited about buying a new house. Goodness knows it’s all i’ve wanted to do for 5 years. Goodness knows the main reason Max is doing it is because he wants me to feel happy and safe. Goodness knows it is churlish of me to feel ambivalent, i know that. Just like it is churlish and ungrateful of me to want more children. It’s just that i passionately don’t want to live here anymore and i’m powerless to make that change. The one thing i’ve wanted for 5 years, the thing i am now getting, is going to tie me with a dead weight to a part of the country i dreadfully don’t want to live in anymore. And head is ruling over heart and we’re doing the sensible thing, but i just want to move South. I just want to live in Devon and anything here is so far second rate that it is just hard to get really excited. I wanted change, i wanted some life-altering decisions, i wanted to feel galvanised and motivated – and much as i like the house were buying… it’s still here. And i don’t want to be here.
I don’t know where all the joy has gone lately. I don’t know quite where *i’ve* gone. I just didn’t expect to end up as a housewife with a belly, in a boring town yelling at my kids and tidying up while i hankered for the past and things that are never going to be. I never anticipated that after having 4 children, who i adore and who largely fulfill me, i could feel so heartpullingly broken at the thought of never doing that again. I never imagined i could look at an 8 year old and feel panic-stricken at having children tipping over the cusp of childhood into something new. I confidently talked about having 4 kids before i was 30 so i could enjoy my 30’s without all the bother of birth and babies; i never imagined i would love all that enough that i’d risk everything to keep doing it. Oh to have looked forward with hindsight; oh to still be looking forward to trying once more. And how to marry that up with regularly looking at hama beads on the floor and thinking “oh hurry up and be old enough not to do that anymore”? I feel a complete mess of conflicting emotions; inside, outside, push away, pull towards, stay, run, start new, stay the same.
I’ve turned the comments off on this one; it doesn’t need remarking on. It’s here, in the interests of the honest ravings of an HE mum and mainly because somehow i have to come through this to the other side and i really want to be able look back and say “that too passed.”