This is a whinge of sorts so turn back now if you’re not in the mood. You have been warned.
I worked bloody hard to become a mum. None of this wham-bam-thank-you-ma’am-you’re-up-the-duff business for me. Years of tears, of tests, of hating myself, others, everyone, of hopelessness, of anger, of the usual pointless why-me-not-fair bullshit, then years of putting on the big girl panties and toughening the fuck up and learning to deal with bureaucracies and asshole pen pushers and waiting and waiting and waiting. So much fucking waiting. I’m not good at waiting (surprise!). I’m not good at letting others be in control (surprise!). But that’s been the story of my road to motherhood.
I may have been a more carefree and easy going person before all this but maybe I’m kidding myself. Maybe I’ve been a shithead all along.
Anyway, my babies did come along eventually. Not via the stork or the vag but via South America. They were hard won and loved so very much. They say love is enough but I don’t think it is.
Right now my babies are driving me mental and I feel completely crap because I DO-NOT-KNOW-HOW-TO-DEAL-WITH-IT.
Every day I wake up with a belief that I can do this mothering thing and every day I am proven wrong. The main problem seems to be that my children think a mother is a slave who does every little thing for you, requires you to do absolutely nothing to help yourself or contribute to the household within which you live, pay for and buy for you anything you think you “need” at the exact moment you NEED it and generally act as if your every whim is their only concern.
Undoubtedly I have contributed to this misunderstanding because I just get on and fucking do stuff…I work full time so need to make sure the laundry is done, the dishes are clean, there is food in the fridge and the floors get vacuumed on a reasonably regular basis. I admit that it’s just easier to do it myself than to spend half an hour arguing and cajoling my children to participate in the care of their own environment. They always have a bloody reason as to why they can’t do it: they did it last time (they didn’t), he/she ALWAYS does it and why doesn’t their brother/sister have to do it this time, they are busy and will do it LATER, they are not very good at doing it… the list goes on and on.
So rather than do the Supernanny thing and be consistent and force them (how exactly) to do the small tasks they need (should) to be doing I swear a lot, threaten the destruction of all their valuables and just do the fucking jobs myself. This is not good parenting, I know that… and worse, they know that. They prey on it. They have it down to a fine art form and I am defeated by them day in, day out.
Being a single mum does not give me a satisfactory excuse for this situation. But it does add to my feeling of isolation and unfairness-ness and frustration. I have no back up when the poop starts flying. It’s just me versus the childlings and I am outnumbered and outwitted.
I have realised that all they retain is the negatives. I will say and do 100 positive things a day for and with them but it’s the few negatives I say in anger and desperation that they remember. “Why do you ALWAYS yell at us?”… “Why are you so MEAN?”… “You’re not baking something AGAIN?!”
So I’ve just learnt that like all relationships parenthood is a lot of tears. I came to parenthood through oceans full of tears and my parenthood journey is a lot more tears. It’s not how it looked in the brochures. To be frank I’m fucking sick of tears.
I don’t know why but writing this has made me think of this scene from my favourite movie Say Anything:
Lloyd Dobler: You used to be fun. You used to be warped and twisted and hilarious… and I mean that in the best way – I mean it as a compliment!
Constance: I was hilarious once, wasn’t I?
Like Constance I was hilarious once. I was warped and twisted and full of life and now I’m worn out and a little tired and a little sad and a little what-the-fuck-happened-to-my-life.
(No need to call the authorities… regular transmission will resume shortly.)
2 thoughts on “Mum’s The Word”
Hi there. I totally hear you on every level. My kids are like that too. I have 2 boys so the sense of entitlement and regarding me as their personal slave adds an extra dimension. Most of the time I do everything just to save the peace. I admit that I like to do everything – perhaps not all the time though. I long for the day when someone will take care of me! I wonder if it will ever happen, that because we are strong, busy, capable women that means WE are the carers and never the cared-fors. I know this post was written a couple of years ago, and I hope your journey has improved since this dark moment. I enjoyed reading it though and I like your style. In case you are ever interested in reading great writing by other parents telling it like it is, there is a wonderful site called Parenting Express. It is a treasure trove of mum and dad delight, anguish and real life. Stay strong.
Yes things have moved on and are somewhat better for a variety of reasons. Thanks for your comment. I’m looking forward to catching up on your blog in the next few days.