Pressures of motherhood have hit me all at once | Cheryl Gibbs

Raising a human being is hard work but it’s the greatest privilege of my life.

Thursday, 1st October 2020, 4:50 pm
Updated Thursday, 1st October 2020, 4:51 pm
Cheryl has become exhausted. Picture: Shutterstock.

She’s not even eight months old yet and already she’s by far my best accomplishment in life, but my goodness, it really does take it out of you.

You know how they talk about the ‘seven-year itch’ when you’re with someone?

Apparently the tale goes that around the seven-year mark at least one person in a relationship gets an itch in their relationship – be it tired of the same person or interested in others.

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Well, I feel like I’ve had a bit of a seven-year itch in motherhood, not for any of the reasons I’ve listed above but because I think all the tiredness, exhaustion and emotions of the last eight months have all hit me at once.

For the last month or so, (from around seven months) it’s all caught up with me in one swift swoop and the last few weeks I’ve felt absolutely exhausted.

I remember being pregnant and everyone taking the mickey out of how I’d cope with the tiredness of being a parent.

Matt and I were always renowned for loving our sleep, often lying in till mid-morning on the weekends.

But I surprised everyone (including myself) when I dealt with the rough nights and two-hourly wake-up feeds really well.

I think the combination of all of this – dealing with our new way of life and current Covid-19 situation – the weight of parenthood with its constant worries and stresses over whether you’re doing it well has all hit me.

I have honestly felt like I could sleep for a week, which of course you can’t do with a baby.

Life can be hard, motherhood can be hard – as can fatherhood, or being a career go-getter or a stay at home housewife or house husband.

All our situations have their ups and downs and pair that with the constant anxieties around the world we now live in. It’s important every now and then to just take a moment and breathe.

Take a deep breath, close your eyes for a second and just breathe.

It will all be okay in the end.

What choice do we have?

It didn’t feel the same but nothing does at the moment

I went for a swim this week – the first time I’ve gone since my pregnancy when I was going a couple of times a week to keep fit.

When my mum offered to have Harley for a few hours, I jumped at the chance of booking in a lane swim session.

But I wasn’t quite prepared to feel like I was swimming in the middle of the night – the leisure centre was deadly silent. While they had set it up absolutely perfectly to deal with the current pandemic, there was none of the usual buzz or commotion you usually get at pools.

It was very peaceful and I loved my swim – 31 lengths, but who’s counting? It just didn’t feel the same, but then again nothing does at the moment.

Get a grip and follow the rules, before it’s too late

Everyone feels the uncertainty of how things are at the moment and there’s a constant feeling of unrest and panic about whether we will go into another national lockdown.

Maybe we will, maybe we won’t.

But I’m getting sick and tired of hearing about groups of people congregating after closing hours at their pub, carrying on their jollies somewhere else, defying the 10pm curfew rules. Why? So they can have one or two more drinks? So they can stick two fingers up at the government?

I don’t get it. With numbers rising on a daily basis, why would anyone think it’s okay? I mean come on people, get a grip…please. Before it’s too late!