Although I do love it when the weather starts to brighten up, and feel my mood instantly lift, I have to say that last summer was an absolute nightmare. Why? Because with one year old twins not yet able to walk precariously stumbling around the garden in a kind of mobile 'downward dog', a three year old not danger aware enough to worry if they were stumbling towards the steps, a paddling pool constantly up and a baby bump to boot, let's just say it was hardly "relaxing."
In fact, I must have spent more time waddling after the twins and lifting them up than I did sitting in the sun, sweating, swearing and swatting midges. I was a bundle of cumbersome, boiling and irritable flesh, cooking in my own body fluids. In short, it wasn't clever and it definitely wasn't pretty.
This year, a couple of stone lighter (having de-babied rather than dieted) and with two boys who are more than competent on their feet, I wondered whether summer might be altogether more pleasant and relaxing.
Today was the proof of the pudding! I sat for an hour this afternoon reading a mag, watching my boys giggle and run in the sunlit garden. My little independent lads then split up - Tim in the playroom, roaring with laughter over his toy trains and Joe in the garden - under daddy's supervision - running around with a pushchair containing a duck. I was in the kitchen happily peeling potatoes (which to anyone not a parent to very young children counts as LEISURE TIME!).
Dare I hope that this summer, I might be able to spend a little time relaxing!?
I read a study this week that concluded that stress can have a negative impact on babies in the womb. "Oh. Thankyou Science. Thanks. I'll stop being stressed SHALL I?" I hear countless women around the country cry.
If that's true, the poor boys must have got a lot of negative vibes from me when I battled anxiety and depression during my pregnancy with them and had to be hospitalised.
That said, I read a feature today about a lady whose twins had been born at 24 weeks and survived only a few days. My little boys may have been "stressed" but I was SO lucky that they stayed put. Negative impact is a relative term, that's for sure.
The weird thing is, when I'm not in a depression (and hopefully now my thyroid's being kicked into check it might NOT HAPPEN AGAIN) I can't understand the disease. I think "why couldn't I just have 'snapped out of it'?" I know, deep down, that it was physically impossible to make myself better that quickly, and that I've done really well to get better as quickly as I have.
But no wonder people can't understand mental illness if I - she of the crazy brain - can't understand it myself.
One thing I do know is a good way to make the stress-prone stressed, is by telling them that stress may harm their unborn baby.
All I can say is, anyone who's worried should remember that the brain continues to develop for years after a child is born. So if the twins had a bit of angst in my tummy, they've had nothing but smiles and laughter (both real and faked) since they've been out.
Hopefully, that will redress any negative impact.
If not, I'll just have to continue working on my Time Machine...