I was wondering today if it's possible to have post natal depression for a whole year after you give birth? I am perhaps being a touch melodramatic, as I know I'm not really depressed, but I do rather wonder when the dark clouds of stress, and if I am honest boredom, will lift to allow me to feel positive again.
Don't get me wrong, I am quite happy with life in general. I have four lovely boys, a well-paid, if precarious and sometimes fickle, career and a husband who loves me despite the fact that I am as far from a supermodel as it's possible to get. I should spend my days counting my blessings, it's just that life with work and small children can be such a grind.
I was chatting about what has happened since the twins were born and realised that in one short year we have had to deal with all of the following: the birth of the twins and recovery from a C-section, an operation to remove husband's tonsils when the twins were three months old, following a particularly nasty bout of the bug when the twins were about a week old. Not to mention me returning to work far sooner than planned, due to opportunities I couldn't turn down, three different nannies, a career crisis from my husband and the usual array of everyday nuisances from spells in hospital to explosive tummy bugs.
Now I think this is a pretty average year for a family with four very young children, but even though I know we are no special case, it still gets me down from time to time, the sheer relentlessness of it all. In no particular order I dream of uninterrupted sleep, no alarm clock in the morning and no nighttime visits from one or other small boy, I dream of having more to look forward to than a takeaway curry on a Friday night, of being able to travel without having to accommodate four small boys and pay the exorbitant prices charged during the school holidays.
I want my day to end with a glass of wine, a meal out, a trip to the cinema or a relaxing hour or two with a book, not with clamour of bedtime, when twin one screams the house down to register his disgust at being banished to his cot, the boys require coaxing through every stage of the bedtime process from doing a wee through to actually climbing under the duvet.
But above all of those unreasonable demands I crave some peaceful me time. I miss my boys when I work, but I also miss having an hour to myself, in my house, to just be alone. My home is full of the constant flood of childcare that allows me to work and then with the constant flood of children that require it. There is never a moment when I can sit in silence and know I will not be disturbed. Sometimes I feel like a prisoner in my office, banished from the rest of the house which is colonised by the army of people we seem to require to keep family life running smoothly.
I often envy those sensible freelancers who work free from the burden of children, who can sit and drink tea in their pyjamas as they dream up the perfect article. Never mind if I have no deadlines I have to get the eldest to school, which requires getting dressed, the others up and breakfasted, which means I can't laze in bed with my laptop, and then my house is full of strangers who probably wouldn't appreciate me wafting around the house in my nightie as I attempted to capture that ever elusive muse.
Still only another four years until all four are at school and I can at least beckon peace into my home as I shoo them out of the door.