Since having my second child I’ve been filled with the first child guilt.
First I felt guilty for not being able to spend time with my first born, then I felt guilty that she wasn’t getting the attention that she was used too. More recently I’ve been on a guilt trip about my PND and the effect it has on her.
More so my PND before treatment.
When she was tiny my PND was at its worst. I wouldn’t accept that I had it because of the negative thoughts I had towards it, so I lived with the consequences of not getting treatment. This included severe anxiety and horrendous anger and irritability. But worst of all these things stopped me from doing anything with my daughter.
It’s only now I realise how much she missed out on in her first years. Especially at Christmas time. She never met Santa because I was frightened of the large crowds of people and their reaction to her screaming (she never stopped). Or if she did scream, worrying about how I would cope. I usually wanted to escape when that happened, but would feel trapped in a room with lots of people and couldn’t move.
She never got to witness a Christmas festival, or Christmas lights being switched on in the local town because that meant leaving the house at night. One thing I could never do as the anxiety of leaving would cripple me. And don’t get me started on the Santa list. On her first Christmas my head was that far gone I all but forgot about Christmas, so it was a quick dash to the toy store a few days before to fill up Santa’s sleigh.
Needless to say I’m filled to the brim with Christmas guilt.
However, as the PND fog is clearing and I’m having more better days than bad, I’ve decided to try and push myself this Christmas to give her the most festive one yet. This includes late night visits to Santa at his Enchanted Forest, a trip to see the Christmas lights being turned on in our local town of West Kirby, and another late night adventure to the Heswall Christmas Festival to have her first experience of ice skating.
I’m tying to make this Christmas less about presents and more about family memories. This is the last Christmas I’ll be off work in the lead up. My maternity leave ends in January and I don’t plan to have any more kids. EVER. So I want it to be special.
I am shitting myself at the thought of all of these plans. But I’ve got to push out of my comfort zone and test my fears if I’m ever to gain control of my anxiety. It doesn’t make it any less scarier though.
But first, to put the HO HO HOp in my step, I’m starting off with something that is a little less anxiety provoking, yet needs a lot more creativity.
I’ve invited a little visitor to stay with us this Christmas. One who can hopefully bring the festive cheer and also keep my big little in check the whole way to 25th December.
Meet Elf (We still haven’t decided on a name)
My daughter is so excited for him to come stay, and I’m so excited about all the adult mischief I can get up to him such as this…
And definitely this…
It will be more PG rated when she gets up in the mornings however.
So my goal this Christmas, is to relax, push myself and hopefully enjoy it with my little family.
I’ll let you all know how it goes.
And if anyone has any ideas for what we can call this elf, leave me a comment. Make it PG rated please you dirty animals ;P