At 1am, I announced my honest thoughts that I feel as though I am failing. At first this was greeted with a laugh, obviously I was reacting to the stress of a screaming baby at 1am, then it became apparent that actually my feelings were a little deeper. I proceeded to explain how I feel as though the house should be immaculate, the garden like a mini RHS garden, I should have the figure I had pre children and I should be doing all of this while being able to build the science project and bake for the cake sale at the same time.
The reality of my life is I feel a success if we’re all clean, fed and dressed to get to school, then remember to do the school pick up. The school hours are spent doing the food shopping, playing with baby Yo and E. With little time to do anymore than wash clothes, hoover and maybe a little washing up – if nap time goes to plan and E is willing to “help” in the kitchen.
I look at other parents, other mothers with 4 or 5 children, all impecably turned out, with perfect homes, perfect figures, great careers and big smiles as they listen to their children chatter about what they did at school. HOW?! I hear myself exclaiming. I texted one of my best friends who has known me all my adult life, “Am I lazy? Is this why I cannot do it all?” Her reply I cannot repeat as it was less than polite, but it did spark a discussion on how some women appear to have it all, and some really struggle with the basics (like me!). Do they really have it all? Of course not, they make sacrifices like everyone else, the ones who look seamless – well they’re just better organised than most! I wonder if it is because Yo is so young still, but I worry that if I don’t get on top of things soon, how will I ever get back in control?! Does anyone else feel this way?! I remember someone wise telling me to run my home life like I would a business, making specific time for specific jobs, and this does make sense, but in reality I would just use it as an excuse to spend the next week timetabling when I would do the grocery shopping.
Today randomly, after my tears and venting, has been reasonably productive. I wrote a list of 3 easy jobs and completed them one by one. I praised myself each time I crossed a job off, and didn’t expect myself to have to achieve lots. I reminded myself that my children won’t wait for cuddles or stories, but that pile of washing will wait another day. I also reminded myself that this upset, this fear that I am not achieving, has only occurred after criticism by another mother with a throw away statement which I’m sure was not meant to cause upset. So, I’ve stood myself up, brushed myself down and although there’s no map to lead the way, I will find the way through, or atleast I will if I don’t get lost in the ever growing heap of washing!