I was right to be anxious for the week to be over at the end of our half term minibreak. Last week had basically just been a build up of anxiety and stress, which resulted in a night that felt a bit like the last eight months all hit me in one go. I felt like I wanted to give up breastfeeding, I felt like I wanted to go for a run at 10pm in the rain, purely to get out on my own, and I really felt like drinking a lot of alcohol. What I actually did was some classic Facebook venting and allowing some spaghetti bolognese to send me over the edge. Of course, after a sleep everything seemed much better in the morning (though I still wouldn’t say no to a glass of wine), and I arranged to meet up with a friend for a coffee date.
It wasn’t until I got home that I realised that most of my social interactions this year have been with other mums. This basically means that every conversation I’ve had since March has involved poo, milk and sleep (or lack of). This isn’t a complaint. Some of those conversations have kept me sane, reassured me when I’ve been unsure of things and allowed me to get things off my chest. Some people find parenting incredibly isolating and fail to see many people at all once they’ve had a baby, and I’m really lucky to live in an area full of groups and opportunities to meet other parents of babies. But for every ten great conversations, there’s one that only has the purpose of bringing you down – the ‘well my baby does this…’ conversation. I won’t go into it because that’s not the point. I’d normally let it go without a second thought but it was just the wrong day to hear boastful comments that were unhelpful at best.
So onto the next day! Sanity restored, I met my long term best friend who just moved back from Australia. We’ve known each other since we were two and have always been able to pick things up like we saw each other yesterday. We talked about normal stuff – her flight, family, plans for Christmas, and generally caught up. It completely put things in perspective. Basically, I need to HAVE A NORMAL CONVERSATION THAT DOES NOT INVOLVE BABIES IN EVERY SENTENCE SOMETIMES.
I’m constantly guilty of this. I don’t realise I’m bombarding myself and immersing myself in something so completely until I hit the wall and fall down into a blubbering mess. In other words, it’s good to have my friend back. It’s even better that I can just be me. Laura, not mum. Just for a bit.