The line we try and hold

The thin space between joy and pain, hope and fear, belonging and loneliness, health and unwell.

This is not an easy line to try and keep the right side of.

I ask myself is this ‘depression’ but then I don’t feel low most of the time. Just when the tiredness gets too much, when my arms can’t keep rocking her, and my whole being aches, when I worry as she stumbles around that she doesn’t realise I love her because I don’t feel anything in that moment but I know it will come flooding back soon, if I just hold this line.

It’s maternal mental health awareness week and I meant to write this blog 2 days ago, but disturbed sleep and trying to keep sane by seeing people in the day has led me to delay the post, ironically (is it ironic? I can’t remember what that means except I know that Alanis Morisette misused it in her song)

I am watching ‘The Letdown’ on Netflix, it’s good (well Mike says its too cliched which is why I think its good), and because its take on the impact of motherhood are so hilariously real I find myself laughing and then suddenly sobbing. (Please note: I do not mean crying with laughter, I mean sad sobbing- in all meanings of the word sad)

And its not just the mothering thing, its just trying to keep your head together in life.

And I don’t know why it suddenly feels so hard to do?

I went to see Bridget Christie (comedian) the other day with a lovely friend, and she started each act/scene/section thing with ‘I am a white, heterosexual, middle class female who has (insert a piece of nice furniture/kitchen equipment) and yet I am still struggling’.

It was funny…but it was also true. I have so much privilege and yet I seem to wandering very close to the edge at times…

I know that peace of mind does not come from an item, or a gadget, or status or popularity. I know that I am ridiculously fortunate to have great friends and seriously an incredible husband.

I have written the majority of this post in the middle of the night, when after 4 unsuccessful hours our daughter is still awake, it has been tough.

And I also know that tomorrow things will seem ok, she will be full of energy and running around laughing and playing-and I will laugh too. That’s what i find difficult about the ‘lows’ they are not predictable and can be gone for long periods of time, and suddenly a few poor nights and I am back in the thick of the fog.

Despite the extremities of the line, there is a thread of security and trust that weaves its way through our lives…the hope of better times glimmers amongst the struggles.

I would not say I was depressed but I would acknowledge that I am struggling at times. I wish I could have the security to write this with hindsight, like most the blogs I seem to read do. Admitting the difficulties of days past, but I am not this is my present.

There is a lot to be thankful for here, but there is also is the tension of just keeping it together.

Here are my survival, not very helpful, tips:

  • diet coke float…its just wonderful, which is a shame really because based on Diet Coke’s latest ads I would happily sidestep them.
  • The Letdown on Netflix but also any good box sets-also watching ‘Unforgotten’ with Mike.
  • ‘Etta, Otto, Russell and James’ by Emma Hooper-I love love a book based in the Canadian Prairies in the early 20th century
  • Sarah Bessey and Jamie Wrights blogs-both brilliant in their own way-also if you subscribe to Jamie’s blog you can get colouring in sheets of rude words!
  • GIFs
  • the stick song by Hey Duggee
  • mini fake magnums by Aldi
  • woodland walks!!! The bluebells are out
  • our new church, feel very blessed by that community
  • the sun-it took its sweet time, but its out, for today at least!!!

One thought on “The line we try and hold

  1. I watched the first two episodes of The Let Down last night and loved it- even with all its cliches! If we couldn’t laugh at all the crappy bits of motherhood/parenthood then the job would be even harder than it already is at times. Don’t be too hard on yourself, Jen – mothering young children is demanding, so you need to do the things that keep you sane. x


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