Mental health and sleep deprivation

A friend of mine mentioned my writing a few days ago. She said how helpful it must be having writing as my outlet. She’s right, it’s an incredibly helpful outlet for me, which got me thinking about how I haven’t written for nearly a week.

The truth is I’ve been having a bit of a rough time mentally, and I’m not always very good at admitting it. I think I went into hibernation mode because it felt easier. In reality it hasn’t been easier. I’ve felt even more trapped and alone, as well as feeling guilty for being a ‘bad friend’ and not speaking to friends so much.

August is never a great month for me anyway, for reasons I won’t go into right now, but things really got on top of me this week.

I’ve had a lot to do. Lots of things needed sorting through to create enough space for the ever changing/growing list of baby things required. I’ve had an unbelievable amount of stuff to sort through, to either be passed on elsewhere, or photographed and listed online to sell. 

I’m trying to prep for weaning Pickle, so I’ve been researching weaning endlessly. My mum and I are trying to book a holiday (Pickle’s first), which should just be exciting but it turns out there are so many things to consider when taking a 6 month old on holiday. Plus Covid times make finding and booking things incredibly time pressured. 

I’ve felt the pressure of needing money for baby items this month, and needing money for an upcoming holiday next month. 

I’ve been trying to do so much. Whilst having a baby who needs my attention pretty much 24/7, and having a house to run on my own. I’ve been non stop. Oh, and Pickle has decided to nap even less than her two 15 minutes a day, obviously.

I finally got my period about a week ago. Only the second one since having a baby. I’ve always struggled with depression badly when due on but it’s been extra tough with the added pressure of life and single parenthood. My emotions have been a rollercoaster and it’s been hard to cope at times. Oftentimes this week I’ve felt like I’m the biggest failure there is. A failure as a person; as a Mum; a daughter; and a friend. I’ve felt completely in over my head, I’ve cried a fair bit and I’ve wanted to just give up with everything, but I haven’t. I’ve plodded along, and somehow managed to keep doing everything I needed to. 

I lost two beloved family pets this week. On Tuesday my Mum’s cat was put to sleep, the family cat we’d had since I was 7. It was heartbreaking. I spent two days with my distraught Mum distracting her and eventually taking them both to the vet. Two days after this my nan’s cat also had to be put to sleep. He had been living with a family friend since my Nan went into a dementia care home last year. I’m wonderfully grateful for the last year he had but devastated to hear of him passing too. 

To top it all off I’ve been barely sleeping. Pickle sleeps well through the night but has been stirring more and more often when her dummy falls out of her mouth. She sleeps well but only so long as I pop her dummy back in her mouth every time it falls out, which is roughly every 20 minutes. If I don’t pop it back in her mouth, she gets upset, wakes up, and it takes ages to settle her again. I think the only logical thing to do is for me to wean her back off the dummy. I’ve weaned her off it during the day now but I am dreading taking it off her at night. I have to remind myself that eventually it will lead to me sleeping. I suppose this has me really feeling alone too though, nothing like preparing yourself to face an indefinite amount of sleepless nights, comforting your very distressed baby completely on your own, to make you feel like a single parent. 

There have been good times this week too. I took Pickle to the aquarium for the first time and she loved it. She stayed awake the entire trip because she was so excited by all the little fishies, which was a wonderfully heartwarming experience for me. And I saw a friend and her baby today for the first time since we were both pregnant (thanks to Covid). 

I’m trying to pull myself together, and cut myself a break. I feel exceptionally overwhelmed right now, and depression is a bitch, but I’m plodding along. I’m reminding myself that hibernating and not seeing friends is not actually helpful at all (if any of my friends are reading this, I’m sorry, please bear with me). 

Any tips (or words of encouragement) for weaning off dummies at night are incredibly welcomed. 

Love to all you single parents feeling the weight of parenting alone right now. You are not alone in spirit. 

Published by amberb320

A single, working Mum and aspiring writer, trying to navigate a pandemic in Bristol, UK.

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