Life After Pre~School

Now the children are settling down in to Year 1 I find myself at a loss.

I fully intended and was looking forward to returning to work once my maternity leave was up. We’d looked in to nursery places, working hours, travel and all the other bits and pieces we would need in place for my return to work.

I even discussed my return with my managers and staff before I left, we were all eager for it to happen.

But Ethan went and got ill, life threatening ill.

And it destroyed me.

Completely and utterly destroyed the strong character I was.

I succumbed to the bleak darkness that is Post Natal Depression and went on to develop Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

The once lively, outgoing and bubbly person was trapped by fears of the worst kind. My children would die if X,Y and Z didn’t happen.

I couldn’t leave my home, couldn’t be around crowds or in small places.

I’d become physically paralyzed with anxiety attacks, struggling to breathe and trying to cling to the thought that I wasn’t about to die.

It all became too much and I was signed off work, even then I still thought I’d be going back. I’d get better and everything would be fine.

But then the thoughts of suicide crept in, I was obviously an appalling mother and my children would obviously be better off without me. The spiral downwards continued and eventually I was let go from the job I loved with a passion.

I was without doubt devastated.

One of the few things which had kept me going was ripped away.

I had already failed as a mother and now I had failed at work.

I somehow settled in to being a SAHM, it was an odd, often tense adjustment.

I had gone from meetings with high profile foreign dignitaries, MPs and civil servants, attending Receptions at High Commissions and Embassies and often working 14 hour days to attending Baby Groups where I was just “Ethan and Ahrens mummy”, no longer deserving of an actual name.

I found it a struggle.

I honestly didn’t want to be there, and felt like a fish out of water.

Whilst other parents were discussing bottle or boob, tummy time and whatever else I was worrying about my former staff; were they being taken care of, had someone messed up the A, B or C cases and so many other things which no longer concerned me but for 10 years had been the crux of my life.

Things eventually got better. I began to enjoy and embrace all the challenges that being a SAHM presented, but I was always itching for more.

Now, with the kids at school that itchy feeling is coming back.

First day of yr 1

I need more.

I need some other purpose than getting the kids ready for school and keeping on top of laundry. {ignore that pile of laundry I’ve flung on the sofa}

But now I’ve been out of work for 5 years; and my confidence is at an all time low.

Yet I need to make a contribution somewhere other than being a mother, whilst still my proudest achievement, it’s not enough. I need something to sink my teeth in to and get me thinking, I need to feel valued as a person, for me, separate to how I raise our children.

So, how do I deal with life after pre~school? What do I do now that there are hours in the day not controlled by the needs of two 5year olds?

Answers on a postcard please!

2 comments :

  1. Oh Lovely :( I wanted so much to stay at home but financially it wasn't possible but have friends who couldn't wait to get back to work after their full year of maternity leave. For you to be in the position you found yourself in couldn't have been easy.
    I hope you find a job to take up your time, something that you want to do and something that deserves to have you doing it too! xx

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  2. I think this is one of the hardest things to work through as a mum. I only work part-time but always, always feel as though I could/should be doing more. I am in awe of the way you coped with your PND and what an overcomer you are. I have no doubt that you could be brilliant at your job again but maybe it's time for something completely different? I think motherhood changes us, completely. I really hope that you find the right role. I completely understand your feelings. Maybe it is time. x x

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