My summer thus far

Image source: Unsplash

Image source: Unsplash

So I am officially not working at the moment. Kind of.

Basically, I have been and will be spending most of July at home with my six-year old son. This means I’ve put most of my moneymaking activities on hold. You could call that a summer vacation. Sure, I’m finally getting enough sleep and working out more regularly, but I’ve got a six-year old to keep entertained.

Have you spent an entire day with a six-year old recently?

My six-year old is quite opinionated, needs lots of physical activity, has recently picked up picky eater skills, and loves to have someone to play with. I am a proponent of being bored. There is nothing better to stimulate creativity. But I do believe that our time with our kids is limited. I may not have many more chances for play. Within a few years, he won’t be so interested in spending time with his mother.

What does that mean? I haven’t figured out the best time for writing for me. I’ve gotten less done this month than I had intended. That second draft of my novel still has not left my head. And on top of it all, my house is not as clean as it should be.

So what have I gotten accomplished?

Well, we did go see the new Minions movie. I finally bought a bike (and while on a family bike outing recently, I realized that this was the first bicycle I have owned – mine all mine). We’ve been going biking and on picnics. We’ve been watching movies, working out, eating lots of fruits. I’ve made several jams – strawberry, blueberry, and red currant. We got (temporary) tattoos – yes, even me. I succumbed to the trend of the season – metallic tattoos. Not that I needed convincing. I took the first opportunity I got to buy some.

But it isn’t all fun and games over here.

Over the weekend, I realized that somehow unawares I had slipped back into depression. It’s been a while since my last bout. To tell you honestly, I thought depression was done with me. I thought it had taught me all that it could. I guess I was wrong. I know I have the tools, experience, and training to deal with it, so it doesn’t feel a threat, but it does make functioning difficult.

How do you get out of bed in the morning when you just cannot fathom it?

I think I’m coping fairly well. Somehow, I manage to get out of bed. I do have feelings of guilt that maybe I am not the best mother. I’ve gotten so good throughout the years at hiding my depression (even from myself at times) that I don’t think my son has noticed. I’m willing to bet that he feels something is off, though. I am doing the best I can, but I can’t fight off the feeling that even doing the best I can is not good enough.

I’m trying to be gentle and loving with myself. I’m trying to take care of me right alongside my son. I’ve done long baths, face masks, and the aforementioned temporary tattoos. I’m trying.

It’s hard when summer has lost all its color.

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10 thoughts on “My summer thus far

  1. Honestly, anyone who’s house is actually “as clean as it should be” doesn’t have their priorities straight. Also, I’ve been going to a lot of author talks recently, and many of the authors talked about how their experiences as mothers made them better writers, so don’t feel like it’s an either/or thing… but mine is almost 2, and I get how endless and tiring the every-single-day thing is. Keep trying to take time for yourself too:-)

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks for the comment. It’s definitely not an either or thing, just a matter of organization and scheduling. I’ve heard many writers say the same, and I have to agree.

      Liked by 1 person

      • My brother is also working on writing and gives very well intentioned advice, but he is single, and my reply is pretty much always a growled “I can write when my daughter naps!” I’m dreading when she gives up napping entirely!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Children go through phases and you just have to learn to work around them.

        My son is usually able to play alone for some time when I ask him, and sometimes that gets me enough time to sit down and write. It’s always less than I’d like though.

        Like

  2. I’m so sorry you’re going through this again. While I am sure your 6 year old knows there is something different, that’s not a bad thing. My kids grew up knowing when I had a migraine, as much as I tried to smile and laugh and hide them. They took it upon themselves to take care of me when I had “one of mom’s headaches”. They wanted to take care of me. They did it by entertaining themselves, for the most part. And by being extra good so I wouldn’t have to worry about them. It made me feel terribly guilty at the time but now, all these years later (my kids are now 33, 30, and 24) they are better humans for having gone through that. They understand when others are suffering. They understand that it is not all about them; there are others in this world. They learned a lot. So don’t be too hard on yourself. Just go through your reserve of remedies for depression. Something will help. You’ll be over it soon. Things will be better. They really will. And your little one will be better off for it, too. Trust me.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for your comment, Corina. You’ve eased my guilt quite a bit. I do keep telling myself that depression has helped me talk about feelings with my son and that any kind of “damage” I may be inflicting is mitigated by the fact that I talk a lot with him. There is lots of open communication in our house and there are no taboo topics.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m always unsure what to say Ula never having experienced depression because I’m sure the usual platitudes can seem flat or patronising. So please know we enjoy your writing and thoughtful blog pieces and want you to do whatever you need to feel well again.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Ula,
    I definitely hear you on this. I just started a new job last week and am amazed by how much more energy I find myself having now. It’s just a temporary job but it can be so hard when you’re somewhat cooped up. I’ve never had kids myself but I know that child-rearing can be especially hard when sometimes you long for that *adult* interaction. Based on what others have told me, and I can believe it. Sorry I haven’t been by in a while but this is actually me coming somewhat out of my funk and also taking a deep breath for what feels like the first time in forever. Which is probably part of why this really resonates with me.
    Thanks for holding on and continuing to do what you do.
    Anne

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Anne, and I’m sorry to hear you were also having problems. Glad to know things are better for you now.
      I hate to admit that you may be partially right. No matter how much I love my son, things get difficult for me when I spend too much time just with him. This bout of depression started before I was home with him though, so I know the root cause is somewhere else. I have been doing a lot of inner work recently, so it may be “residue” depression caused by something I may have brought to the surface recently.
      Thank you for your comment. I just realized in writing this response that I have not been journaling as much as maybe I should be considering my current situation. Journaling always helps me find the problem and makes me feel better.
      Thanks for the support.

      Liked by 1 person

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