Monday 10 July 2017

Parenthood Anxiety

Before we had children I would have always said that Mr Craig was emotionally stronger of us both. When having the twins the tables had truly turned. The first few months were hell. We were so sleep deprived, and I felt like I was the one holding it all together. Don't get me wrong, he is an amazing Dad but the massive change to our life seemed to hit him harder. When I saw him have a stressed out wobble, it used to make me feel as though I had to be even stronger to compensate. I would't sleep for days in order to let him sleep, and protect his sanity and continue working. 

Once our feeding issues were got on top of, and the boys started to sleep, the emotional balance returned between us. He grew massively in confidence, but I felt a huge decline in mine.

Some days I can wake up feeling on top of the world. I feel like I've got everything under control. The boys and I have a good routine, where their needs are met and the household tasks are completed. 

Then there's the days when I suddenly get hit by a wave of anxiety. I feel like I can't cope with even the basics. I'll have a mental list of jobs to do. Usually the exact same tasks as the day before, but that day I won't know where to start. My head will say there isn't enough hours in the day. It becomes a downward spiral, and I'll end up not doing anything, as I spend so much time panicking about it. Then on comes the stress migraine! I'll become an emotional wreck. The boys will sense my stress and play up even more than usual. I'll end up under a duvet in the dark, feeling very sorry for myself.

My husband works shifts, so I do a significant amount of the parenting on my own. Ironically it's usually the days when he's around to help that I'm more likely to feel anxious. It's like I've created a routine that works, and I don't understand why he can't slot into it, and help do it my way.  He will either being doing tasks solely for his gain (watching TV, taking a long bath..), or doing what I consider a task halfheartedly. I know it's an over controlling thing on my side, but I get an overpowering feeling that something will go wrong. 

It's simple things like washing the bottles. We have the MAM bottles. They unscrew into various bits. Depending on design they have blue, green or white parts. The design dictates the coloured parts. He will put them together willy nilly, where I like them just so. It's pathetic. I'm writing this knowing that and it certainly doesn't justify bickering with one another, but I know I'd have to take them apart, and put them together 'correctly'. Or at bedtime they'll not be in bed until later than usual. My mind will go into overdrive thinking how on earth will I get them back into the routine? How will I get the jobs done that I usually do once their in bed? How many times will they wake up tonight now?

Before having children I wouldn't have said I wore the trousers in the relationship. We definitely were two very different people. I'm tidy and organised, and he's ..well not! I did nag about tidying up after himself, but nothing has changed so he clearly didn't listen.