The last time I spilt my guts on these pages was about a year ago. I think I was bemoaning the difficulty of life as a heavily pregnant mother of a not-quite-two-year-old. Trying to haul a shrieking toddler out of an empty dishwasher, while remembering to do my pelvic floor clenches so I didn’t give birth on the kitchen floor. Those days seem so long ago now. Did I really find it so hard? The new me rolls her eyes at the old me. I had no idea.
This last year has brought with it the most extreme ups and downs I have ever known. There have been times when I have been so euphoric with joy at the sight of my two beautiful babies that I have wanted to explode with self-congratulatory happiness. And there have been times when I have shut myself in the garage (the only place they can’t reach me) and ugly cried until common sense eventually got the better of me and forced me back out to face my bemused offspring. More than once Ryan has come home to my horror-struck face staring at him from the staircase, with a tantruming toddler in the bathroom and a shrieking baby in his cot. From the staircase I can listen to make sure they are both safe and alive, while removing myself to a safe distance so I can regroup (ie. kick the wall, silent scream, meditate etc).
I haven’t written one of these posts since Jimmy was born because it’s been impossible to muster the creative energy, the time or the self-confidence to do so. I have been emotional, terrified and completely out of my depth often enough. I’ve felt so drained and frustrated that I can’t wait to get them to bed and then, the moment their little bodies are all warm and slack with sleep I have missed them desperately and wanted to bury my face in their necks and whisper how sorry I am for being such a hopeless, impatient mother and how I’ll try so much harder tomorrow.
I sound like a complete lunatic, but such all-consuming love that hurts your insides will do that to you. Especially when it’s combined with bone grinding exhaustion, looming deadlines and an eating plan that doesn’t allow chocolate. Jimmy will be one in a couple of weeks and I have to pinch myself. One whole year! What an achievement, what a privilege. But God…