Disclaimer: Due to the amount of whinging I feel I have been doing lately, I’ve come up with a disclaimer. Here it is. I am not a whinger. Much. I am not a miserable so and so. I promise. I am not a contrary aul one, although that might be left open to debate. However, I do feel the need on (lots of) occasion(s) to let off a bit of steam and have a right old moan for myself. It doesn’t mean anything; it’s just my way of letting off steam, lightening the load a little bit. It should also be noted that my boys are the best thing that ever happened to me and I would not be without them for all the tea in China. They wreck my head and my house but I still wouldn’t have it any other way. We get on like a house on fire and they are well used to me giving out. Warning: So buckle up, bitches, coz here I go again. More honesty ahead alert. Oh, before you read on, I’m not in “bad form” today. Au contraire. I was a couple of weeks ago but that has passed. I’m just clearing the air a little bit tonight. My air. So if you don’t like it, log off now!
Wednesday Whinge: Kids do not strengthen your marriage. That’s bullshit. It’s the help you get from your partner when you have kids that strengthens your marriage. Anyone who thinks otherwise is wandering around on Walton’s mountain. And sometimes, just sometimes it is not “hormones” that send us off on one. I’ve been thinking a lot about this lately. Something was niggling at me, just scratching under the surface and I couldn’t quite put my finger on it. Then it clicked. It’s guilt. But its other people making me feel guilty. Before I continue I would like to clarify that I truly believe nobody can put you under pressure or send you on a guilt trip except your own good self. Others can start it off but it is our own high expectations and what we “think” we should be feeling or doing that ramps it up, and before you know it, you’re bogged down in a quagmire of shit that is entirely of your own making. Of late I have been writing quite a bit about howharditis and feeling that parenting four young kids willnevereverend and ohpoorlittleoldmeno-oneunderstands. I haven’t changed my mind about that, thank you very much. I am quite happy in my little isolated cocoon of self-pity; there is room for others if you want to join me. After all, doesn’t misery love company? Fuck it lads, it is hard. Dam hard and I stand to that. If you ask how I am doing and you receive the long version, well, tough. You did ask and if you don’t like the response, don’t give out to me. Don’t dismiss me or my feelings; they are just as valid as yours. It just so happens that I may be tired. You don’t need to point out to me how good I have it really. I know this. I’m well aware of how blessed I am. It’s called letting off steam. It’s still how I feel at that time. No mother in the land would be without her children, despite how difficult she may be finding it. It makes people uncomfortable to hear another admit that it’s not all plain sailing and surprise surprise, guess what? Sometimes it’s all a big bag of shite. I was feeling guilty because those were my thoughts on the matter and I felt that I shouldn’t be feeling like this. I had questions. Why am I feeling like this? Why aren’t I full of the joys of spring? Why aren’t I gambolling through daisy filled meadows and doing fun make and do things with the boys? Why am I shouting all the time? Why am I bothering to take two strong multi vitamins a day, designed for “womanly” feelings and emotions when clearly they are not working? Why am I so wrecked all the time and spending an unhealthy, regrettable amount of time wishing it all away? Why aren’t I enjoying it more? I would come away from chatting with various people, feeling very dissatisfied and angry afterwards with the conversation we just had. I felt like they hadn’t got a clue what I was talking about, and they pasted that careful, blank expression on their face, the one that said “oh dear, she’s off again. Don’t encourage her.” I would regret opening my mouth at all, rue that I let my façade slip and dared to be honest with them. They didn’t want to hear how I was really feeling or getting on. They wanted me to tell them that I was fine and everything was dandy. I wanted to tell them that myself but I couldn’t. I decided to let off some steam instead. Then I watched and listened to other people who had small kids to see how they were getting on, to see if they had more patience than me. Pick up a few tips from them. I wanted to see if I was alone. To see if I could fix it. Fix me. I wanted to see if they had the answers. And they kind of had the answer. The first thing I noticed was they had only one child. You can do anything with one child. If there was a second, there were a good couple of years between them. These people “got out” more. But mostly, they had help. I have help and I get out. Don’t get me wrong. I do the shopping. Some of the most liberating conversations I’ve had have taken place in the supermarket or at the school gate with people my own age or people with kids the same ages as my own. It’s like a free for all, a mother’s “what’s said in the playground/supermarket stays in the playground/supermarket.” Yes, it’s a whinge. Yes, it’s a moan but it feels great to get it all off your chest and be safe in the knowledge that the other person is not going to try and fix you or your problem. They don’t say annoying things like “it’s a phase, it’ll pass” or “we all went through it.” Newsflash. We know all of this! But by saying that it’s sweeping our feelings and emotions, what we are going through, under the carpet and rendering them the “ranting’s and ravings” of a “hormonal” woman. Someone who doesn’t know how lucky or good she has it. I write a blog, you’re reading it so you know this, but I have a small confession to make. I don’t really read any other blogs. I will dip in and out, there are one or two that I really enjoy and I tell the blogger that. But equally there are a few I avoid because these are the ones that make me feel like shite and I can do that all by myself thank you very much. These are the ones who wax lyrical about how parenthood is the best job they’ve ever had. I’m not arguing with that but nothing seems to be too much trouble for them; they co-sleep all the time, baby wear all the time, home educate all the time, grow their own fruit and veg all the time, their home is a veritable make and do Mister Maker wonder land for kids all the time, no-one ever raises their voice and if they feel a little stressed, well they take their kids out to the fields to play and then post up gorgeous feel good photos of it. Are these people for real? I mean, they do all of the above all of the time and there is still a homemade meal (from scratch) put on the table every day and what’s more their kids eat everything. And come back for seconds. Do they have body doubles? A robot made in their likeness because I honestly don’t know how they can do it otherwise. It’s just too much for me, a mere mortal, to take on board. It makes me feel inadequate in an area where I know I am doing perfectly fine. Room for improvement on some days, sure, but on the whole, my kids are well rounded individuals. It’s nice to hear that others are embracing motherhood and all it entails but disheartening when there is a definite, for me anyway, subliminal implication that I am doing it all wrong and obviously not putting in enough effort because if I was, I’d be enjoying it more. I chose to have a family and I am in the very fortunate position of being able to stay at home with my kids. They used to be in full time day care and the guilt I felt when that had to stop is a whole other story! It used to kill me every Sunday might putting money into an envelope for crèche the following week. God, what wouldn’t I do with that money today??? The things that money could buy for us now, the list is endless. Mister Husband used to say it was a drop in the ocean compared to what he will probably end up paying for my future psychiatric treatment. (He didn’t realise how close to the truth he was sailing) I love coming across little “facts” such as “stay at home mothers, in particular those with kids under 6 (feel free to apply your own children’s age) are constantly in a state of high alert. They are like fire fighters.” I feel a very clear sense of vindication when I discover these titbits. I’m all, I knew it, but you wouldn’t listen to me! I think part of me just wants this job and all it entails to be acknowledged sometimes. In other words, when I am in bad form. There’s nothing like a little compliment to lift your mood. I’m not interested in a “my job is better/harder than yours” debate. We’ve all got “stuff” to do. But I will say one thing, when you don’t ever get a lunch break per se, when something as simple as going for a run has to be done whenever you get the chance as opposed to 5pm or another set time every day, when trying to organise a simple doctor’s appointment requires precision planning, when you seldom get ten minutes to yourself to drink a lousy cup of tea, when the stress and frustration of all of this gathers momentum, well sometimes there is a little big explosion. Sometimes innocent bystanders/Mister Husbands/family members unwittingly find themselves caught in the crossfire. We’re all trying to do our best, mostly. It’s only human to want to pack it all in once in a while. Like a lot of things lately, when I think about packing it in, I do it arseways and I also pack an overnight bag for the boys along with my own! Kind of defeating the purpose. Again, I am not in bad form, I am just having a little rant for myself. There are a lot worse off than me out there but it’s all relative. In the words of Philip Larkin “Your life is the harder course, I see. On the other hand, mine is happening to me.” And don’t you dare forget it!