Therapy

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.

HandstandAnd breathe. As I have suggested before, writing is proving to be a source of therapy for me. Somehow it gives me strength. Please try it. xx

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

flower therapyMy current Facebook status reads: I am more tired than a tired thing….x

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About Sarah Baker

Sarah Baker
Sarah Baker's Mother column for Diamonds and Daisychains will either make you laugh or cry. Her various other articles and reviews are very serious. She is a level 2 qualified swimming teacher through the Swimming Teacher’s Association (STA). To find out more about our contributors, visit our Community page.

17 comments

  1. Hey there, my name’s John and I sometimes blog about this subject too. Actually, if I may, let me ask you something.. Could it just be me or does it seem like many of the responses appear they are coming from brain dead folks? :-P

    • Kate

      Hmmmm… John, how about you get back to your own blog and stop slating our readers?? We think they’re lovely.

  2. Well done on the VLM! can i suggest you take it easy now though?? Hope your mum gets better soon xxxxxxx

    • Thank you Nichole. It might not be in my nature to take things easy, but I certainly will not be running anywhere, for anything, anytime soon!!!! Thanks too for your good wishes. Sarah Bx

  3. Wow Sarah – You are truly amazing – Well done on the Marathon both figuratively and literally. I hope your mother is making a good recovery. Looking forward to our catch up soon.

  4. Im gonna cut and paste your letter and send it to my exhubby. You’re amazing! Thank you!

    • Hello Spidermanfan, ha ha, be my guest! Hopefully you will feel better for saying how you feel too. Take care, Sarah B x

  5. You know, I do all the stuff you do and have to put up with my husband too! ;) He comes home after the kids are in bed, goes away for weekends with his frends and basically leaves all the graft to me. Sucks.

    • Wanda! That does suck. Sorry to hear that. Can you write it donw for him? I promise to be back next time with more cheer. Take care, Sarah B x

  6. I live in Priosa, Italia and my work in fact deals with this matter.
    Genuinely doing what you love and writing about it in such a fantastic
    way is a great gift. Your writing is informative,
    illuminating, and passion-driven, all of which I seriously appreciate.

    • Felicia, Ciao! They are amazing things to say, and its the feedback that makes it worthwhile so thank you so much for taking the time. Let me know what else you might like to hear about. Sarah B x

  7. i know just what you mean. I also do the lion’s share of raising my children while my ex lives a long way away and gets to do all the glamor and fun stuff when he visits. nice to know other people feel the same because you are supposed to be so selfless but its really hard alot of the time. I appreciate your share, Cindy

    • Cindy, it’s the very reason I shared the email, so that other people in the same boat felt less like they were on their own. Sounds like you are very selfless! Thank you for your comments. Sarah B x

  8. Miss SarahBaker

    You are a superstar, marathon runner, amazing mother, wonderful daughter and a brilliant friend.

    I just wanted to tell you that incase you forget, even for a second.

    You are one in a million million xxxxxx

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