The thought that you’re not coping can be crippling.
It’s often a thought I’ve had as a mum. I’ve said out loud that ‘I hate my life’ when I’ve been trapped in a moment. Like when you are cleaning a spilt drink off the floor when you’ve repeatedly said ‘Be careful, don’t spill it,’ a hundred times before.
Of course, I haven’t meant that. I don’t really hate my life. It’s just being a working parent is harder than I ever imagined and there are days when the fatigue and repetition gets too much. When something that continuously keeps happening (why do my kids always end up in an argument when I am on the loo?) that it brings you to the point of despair.
I’ve felt for a while now like I’m flailing. That potentially, I’ve been doing so many things in drips and draps that as a result, I must be failing at all of them. How is it ever possible to be a good mother, a writer, a housekeeper, a gardener, a daughter, a book promoter, a diary-keeper (I could go on…) all at the same time?
I think perhaps the truth is I can’t be?
For example, getting my new website ready has been on my list of things to do for about six months. I wanted to have a site where I was able to add content and update myself so as not to have outdated information. But, of course, it wasn’t as simple as I’d hoped and required some assistance (thanks to Ben and Owen) to get my old website address synced up with the new website.
The transfer of info didn’t take those whole six months. But in that time numerous things have cropped up. I wouldn’t be able to tell you the number of times I’ve washed up, washed loads of clothes (ironically, the machine has just buzzed), swept the floor, cooked meals, read with my twins, done the school run, or opened the fridge and questioned what I was doing there. I could tell you I wrote a book, and did some revisions and ignored the mess and felt guilty about it. I felt guilty for the times I haven’t been able to tweet and promote some of my books. I’ve felt guilty about not getting this website back up and running sooner. I’ve felt guilty about all the things on my to do list that are yet to be actioned.
That guilt sometimes ripens into that feeling of failure. It is hard to realise that sometimes mums (including myself) that are achieving so much yet fail to see how much they have done.
Okay, so my website took longer than I would have liked. My dining table is never clear. I am known to feed my children fish fingers and chips as a staple. My front lawn needs mowing. I’m yet to finish clearing the attic.
But despite all the things I’m not achieving, there is an awful lot that I am. My kids are alive for one! And not only that, they are happy and thriving.
Even though I sometimes feel (like I’m sure we all do) that I have too many fingers in too many pies, I need to remember… flailing does not mean I am failing! It just means I’m doing all I can.
I’m pretty sure we all need to remember that at times.