My parents have come up to visit. It's lovely, it really is. And yet, I feel so weighed down by their "helpful" comments. It makes me feel like I'm doing it All Wrong.
Do you have any bleach? That [insert name of object] has seen better days.
Hand me a cloth, I just have to clean this/that/everything.
Don't you think it would be easier if you took rubbish out with carrier bags every day?
You don't want to be doing that.
I think it would better this way.
I'm doing my best, I want to scream. I know my home is a bit fuzzy round the edges, I know I could do better, I know I need to do some things differently, but I'm trying. I'm really really trying.
I've been really depressed the last six months or so. Some days, it is all I can do to make sure I eat. Or get up. Or move. Or talk to someone-anyone. I can care for Wriggles by the back of my hand but me? Me who? I'd stopped caring. Me just didn't feature. Anything outside of Wriggles directly simply didn't feature. I could barely sleep, feed or think. I had no concentration, no feelings about anything. No sense of pride, dignity, cleanliness. I did what I could and hid the rest. It was shit. I felt a failure. Don't you know how debilitating it is? It's not just a word or excuse, it's anything but flippant. It's a weight that drags you down.
I'm getting better now, I am. But it still lingers. And even on good days, I'm still making up time and tidying up from the mess, literal and metaphorical, I slid into. I'm still trying to claw back everything. I'm still trying to find an image other than fear of loosing my daughter and desperately trying to prove I'm capable.
That is why the washing up waits.
Don't you understand?
I struggled. I was ill and a mummy and working. I carried on even when I wanted to hide away. I did it on my own because I had too.
Giving my daughter a cuddle is a more important. For both of us. Possibly more me. She saves me and takes me back to life.
Please give me a break.
I know you care, I just need to learn how to myself again.