Sometimes being a working mum (maybe just being a “mum” full stop), makes you feel like your own life is on hold whilst you look after everyone else’s.
You prepare meals for every one. Plan how you can build something of vague nutritional value into the day whilst they have friends, hobbies, fun in general. Your day is snatches of time. Snippets of what you might like to do, but always interrupted by looking after everyone else.
Time spent in the garden might be paused whilst you prepare a meal. Food shop. Hang up washing. Fetch washing in. Iron washing. Distribute the piles of clean clothes amongst the hotel guests, sorry, family members.
I carry crochet around thinking I’ll do some later. It gets moved from room to room more times than I pick it up and do it. Days off are to get shit done. Spare time is a thing of the past, lunch times are internet shopping for kids and/or food.
I could scream at people who say they can never leave work on time, they’re far too busy. Try having a stressful full time job with kids waiting for you. You don’t know what busy is. I also have to travel for work, I can’t just book it in. It’s a series of calls, bookings, negotiations, planning, who will have who when? Who will pick the kids up? What parties do they have whilst I’m away? Who will cover what? Pleading with their dad to PLEASE go to that assembly because I’ve never missed one whilst he’s missed them all and it feels like only I care about it.
I work late some nights to enable me to run round for kids on others. I attend school meetings, miss one “open afternoon” at school and get greeted with sad faces from the kids. Use 90% of my holiday covering kids stuff and the other 10% doing DIY. Texts from school inviting us to assemblies THAT FUCKING DAY leaving me shouting “I’M AT FUCKING WORK”. More and more texts from school asking for money and wondering how I’m going to pay for that, plus new uniform, plus birthday oh and fuck, remembering you forgot to enquire about drumming lessons. Juggling money from cards to accounts in interest free.
I’m told our team in the office would sink without me. Sometimes I want to scream “just open your fucking eyes”! Not only do I do my job but I’m also pc fucking support for people who fail to fucking learn shit because it’s easier to ask me.
I volunteer for Girl Guides and only berate myself for the little we manage to achieve but I feel like I work hard at it.
It’s taken me a couple of years to change the name on my passport and driving licence and honestly I just feel like I only just got divorced. I’d love a p.a. Doing things for me is not forefront in my mind.
I’m paying over and above for gas and electric because I’ve just not been able to make the call and negotiate a new deal. It took me 4 months to redo my mum’s magazine subscription that ran out (now on direct debit), and I know she’s pleased but I feel guilty and at the same time want to scream.
The kids dad berates me for booking play dates on his time (accidentally) and how he “never gets to see them” when they’ve just had a week in Menorca, he gets them every other weekend and does sod all with them. My time without them is getting shit done for them. And why the fuck do all their extra activities have to be on my time you lazy cunt?
I honestly feel like I get a barrage of constant criticism for what I don’t do. What I don’t achieve. When someone steps in to help it’s pretty much because I’ve done a shit job at something or haven’t managed to get something done. It mostly feels like it’s a constant circle of trying and failing. I often wonder if I’m going just hit a wall of exhaustion one day when this all catches up on me.
I’d love a night out with friends but really when? I’m so tired and insomnia is my new friend. I try and visit friends but it puts such a strain on my time. Friends visit me and then I’m making drinks, looking after them.
You know, 18 months ago I stopped my mum coming to my house. She sent me an email after a visit she left telling me how untidy my house was. Not once does she offer to help.
My life is one big apology. For not doing things how people would like it. Not doing things on time. Not being able to attend something. Not being able to cover that trip because of family commitments. Not putting that egg shell in the bin. Not being able to find the coffee when a friend comes round. Not buying dreamies for the cats. Not making a packed lunch. Not cleaning the car. Not washing that top you want to wear. Not being able to have friends after school because I have to work. Not reading to you at bedtime because I can’t keep my eyes open. Not being able to think straight because my head is splitting, again. Not getting more shit done because I sat down “for 10 mins” and struggled to get going again.
I dread post coming through the door. It’s either a bill or more demands on my time. I’ve had a Direct Line letter for a week unopened because that means both of these things and neither of which I have.
Berocca, iron and B12 are my daily boost, and after giving up coffee 2 years ago I wonder if I actually need something like that to keep me going. Lack of it hasn’t helped me sleep anyway and the headaches haven’t diminished…
Anyway, today on 4 hours sleep, the cycle will begin again. I will shop for birthdays, pack for a school trip, buy cake – but not eat it and keep moving forwards. If there’s something you want, take a ticket and.wait in line. I’ll get to you eventually. But I’m sorry you might need to remind me a few times.