I promise not to moan too often, but…
I am losing my cool. I am in a battle. I need two weekends off in a row and it would seem that it is really asking too much. If I am generous to my girls’ father I would say he does 10% of the childcare, he lives abroad, and has a demanding job. Still, that leaves me with 90%. That’s the lions share, by some stretch. I don’t need to tell you how tiring it all is.
When we are both unavailable, childcare is still my problem. This is what gets the temperature rising. In a recent email to him I started writing down just how this made me feel. And that made me cry, first with anger, then with real emotion and that in turn brought some relief. I guess it has been therapeutic to say how I feel.
So I wanted to share this with you. Not to have a go or point fingers but just to share as I know there are many, many mothers, and fathers, who feel the same way.
Here is some of what I wrote:
Having our beautiful children for a few days every week at the weekend means that you do no school runs, no sandwich making, no thinking of what amazing nutritious and economic meal you will cook daily (that will be hated) or form filling, date checking, no running around dropping off and picking up, little of any of the boring domestic duties. No dentists. No doctors. No nit checking. No bottom checking. No present buying, wrapping, or delivering. At my request you take them to the hairdressers. You are rarely there to reassure them, put plasters on their sores, to play with them, or to give them a cuddle at the end of each and every day. You don’t have to drag them from their beds, their friends, or the television. No mending their favourite party dress and watching a made up dance routine whilst trying to get yourself dressed and leave the house. You don’t have to do both sets of homework, whilst bathing them. No being in two places at once! I do all of this.
They require endless amounts of love, encouragement, discipline, help, and reassurance. They need help feeling secure, confident, honest, and to be themselves. I fetch, feed, wipe, clean, carry, run, chase, referee, cajole, plead, defend, ask, push, pull…..it goes on and on. I give up, try again. I do it all. I am patient and impatient. I do a good job and I do a bad job. Some days they are such hard work they have me in tears. I am exhausted and neither of them says thank you or asks how I am regularly. I get up early and go to bed late. I turn down invites because baby sitters are expensive. I make my hobbies fit around them and some I don’t get to do at all.
And I do all of this because I am their mother, because you can’t or won’t and because I would rather die than not be there.
But they are of my flesh and I love them and I will continue to do all of the above because they deserve it.
In other news, my own mother had a stroke and I ran the London Marathon. I hope to be able to tell you about some of this next time. It has been a tough couple of weeks at Chez Mother. As well as my marathon medal, there is so much to cheer about. Brilliant productions, gymnastic trophies, flowers from our bulbs, teacher’s awards, and yay the sun is shining, and that feels like the very best therapy. Take care. xxx