Ever since having Austin, I have the disconcerting feeling that I have lost my nerve. From inconsequential things like not being able to go down a high slide at Bewilderwood to more significant anxieties around returning to work, dealing with a lot of noise and sometimes even being in crowded places. Generally, I am much less able to handle stress. As someone who usually relishes hustle and bustle, it’s a strange place to be.
I wonder if it is hormones that make me feel this way. Or maybe it is lack of sleep. Or the isolation that being a mother of a baby often brings.
I wonder if other people feel this way.
There is so much about being a mother, in particular the mother of a baby, that is unspoken and taboo. There is even more that IS said or written, often with pity or judgement or insensitivity. I know I have said things myself to other mothers that I regret, usually because I’m too tired to articulate my thoughts precisely so I say something clumsy that I then torture myself about for weeks.
I think the worst feeling is that other mothers seem to be coping so well, so many don’t complain or appear to struggle with some of the more difficult aspects of being a mum, it makes me feel like a failure – and I am rubbish at being a failure. Basically, I fail at failing.
As I start to prepare myself for returning to work, I am hoping that this is a temporary wobble and that by January, I will get my nerve back so I can return to the classroom with a calm authority and not an emotional vulnerability.