“You seem to spend an awful lot of time looking after everyone else, but who looks after you?”
Her words at the time were a bit of a revelation, because until that point I hadn’t realised how much was wrong with my life.
Three years later I would make the agonising decision to cut ties with my mother and entire family. Almost two years after that I would properly hit rock bottom, and get serious about making the vital changes necessary to turn it all around.
Believe me, no-one walks away from their family unless they truly *have* to!
As well as my family, I cut ties with all those that I realised were toxic influences. I’m a lucky lady though, because even after going through that process, I was left with more than my fair share of amazing people. I have wonderful friends in all corners of the world, and a great husband who does much more than most men (if the complaints that can be heard all around the internet are anything to go by). But he leaves for work at 7:30am and doesn’t usually get home until after the kids have gone to bed. And my friends have their own families, and their own dramas to occupy themselves with.
I wrote recently about feeling meh, and although I’ve boosted my happiness where I can, I can’t perform miracles. Right now, my super challenging, high functioning autistic eldest daughter isn’t my biggest challenge. For the last couple of months, her little sister has been giving her a run for her money, and it’s tipped the balance. The girls haven’t swapped roles, oh no, this is extra on top of everything that we usually have to deal with. Add to the mix our littlest sleep thief, who has got into the very bad habit of getting in with mummy and daddy every night (often meaning we all get a crap nights sleep), and it’s making for a pretty doomy and gloomy existence.
I desperately need help
I don’t usually get upset or dwell over my family situation, but I’m feeling their loss at the moment. I’m feeling the distance between me and (most of) my closest friends. Above all else, I’m feeling like I take care of everyone and no-one takes care of me. Only this time it’s how it should be. I’m the mother after all, and it’s my job to take care of my family.
I saw an analogy the other day between being a mum and a car that’s almost out of petrol. The car wouldn’t last long on fumes alone, and us mum’s won’t stay in one piece if we try to do everything and be everything.
We will break
I’ve watched two of my best friends split from their husbands this past year, and another friend go through a horrendous breakdown. All of them have children to consider and factor into the equation. They’ve all coped remarkably, and I believe it’s partly down to having great support and assistance in place for their kids. Be it family and friends on hand, or good quality well-sourced childcare. This is what is missing from my life.
I need a crisis plan, because I can’t do this on my own any more. If you have any suggestions for me, I’d love to hear from you!