Do you ever feel like you just can’t do it? That this task of motherhood, this endless, exhausting, relentless ride is just beyond you?
I wish my next line was that I’ve found the solution and you will never again have to feel this way, but it isn’t. Today was that day for me. I felt all the feels – exhaustion, frustration, rage, depletion – torn in three different directions at once and unsure which crying/injured child to turn to. It sure doesn’t bring out the best in me.
I’m not sure if it was the noses running like relentless taps and my self-imposed lunge to plug the drips every few minutes. Maybe it was Ivy’s heavy face plant into the deck when she tried to ride the skateboard. Maybe it was the ‘look at me, Mum, Mum, Mum are you looking?’ as Eli went for his fiftieth shot into the basketball hoop. It could have been the fact that Ivy decided today she wanted cuddles more than she wanted to walk around herself, or Hudson waking up from a short impromptu nap completely beside himself and then made moves as if he was about to vomit, right after weeing all over the bar stool. It could have been Eli saying that I was a ‘bad mum’ when I couldn’t drop a hysterical Ivy to go and play basketball with him that second. As much as I wanted to rise above that one, it sunk in and hit like a rock.
I wanted to be better today, to be serene, to rise above. But it turns out (again) that knowing that information just isn’t really enough to save myself. My tone was flat and vaguely annoyed for most of the day, I saw all the tasks that needed doing and felt as if the kids were getting in my way. I felt as though I wasn’t being a very good conversationalist when Mum was over to hang out with us this morning.
I wasn’t a good mum today. I made mistakes, I didn’t meet any form of ideal for motherhood other than maybe just keeping the kids alive. Maybe that is the problem…. I have some strange idea that ‘succeeding’ at being a mother means keeping the kids happy, healthy, engaged, developmentally on-track, fed with a balanced diet, relying on minimal screen time and co-existing with each other as loyal siblings. And that doesn’t even cover the expectations that go into running a household and keeping up with mounds of laundry and the general cleaning.
Worst of all, I didn’t even spill out all this to the people who usually get the brunt of it – Monica and Naomi, because I knew that Monica was having a massive day of solo parenting and I felt like I was being weak to struggle. Foolish, I know.
I guess, if you ever have that feeling that no one else could possibly be as bad a mum as you are right now, you can widen your circle to include me. I struggle, I get it wrong, I lose my shit and act like an inpatient of a psych ward. I’ve fled to my corner seat in the cafe to take some deep breaths and regain some perspective while Dave has his turn on the rollercoaster.
These days freaking suck. Thank goodness there is tomorrow – new chances, new opportunities, new perspective. And Family Daycare. Thank God for that.