Mum’s The Word

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 thingĀ 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.)

Girls

For those following along there was a time when Miss M and I had a troubled relationship. Basically she was playing the role of Satan and I was just clinging onto sanity. It was a tough time.

But that was a long time ago and mostly things have been great, or at least good, for quite a few years now. We have our moments of angst and they are regular but they are not traumatic, not like they used to be. I no longer end up sitting on the floor in tears and she no longer spits and throws things at me. So in the immortal words of Charlie Sheen we are “winning!”.

This past weekend I had a glimpse of what the future may hold. A glimpse of mother/daughter friendship, or at least camaraderie, which was kind of sweet.

Not only did I teach her how to cook her own egg on toast for breakfast (which was really a handing over of a small but important daily self help routine tied up in a little bonding package) but she chose to come to a Sydney Swans’ game with me and we had a great girls’ day out.

050

True, she didn’t watch much of the game and quite honestly it was not a game worth watching. True, she mostly enjoyed making fun of the ridiculous noises I tend to make to encourage/frighten the Swannies during the game. But on the way home in the car she said that she loved listening to my conversations with Tricia that day and that it was one of the best days of her life. She is growing up and morphing from a little girl into a tween I guess (though I do dislike that particular marketing term for pre-teen girls). She is starting to latch onto more grown up conversations and is trying to make sense of them.

I am also starting to discuss my dating with her in a matter-of-fact way rather than keeping it as a dirty little secret. I read this interesting article about the subject this week and it gelled with my thoughts on the subject. That doesn’t mean I give her all, or any, of the gory details… but I do mention in passing that I’ve had a date and answer any questions she has. She’s really not that interested (and Will is even less interested… in fact on the weekend he said he thought I was still going out with the Joker… teenage boys, so observant).

Anyway, I just wanted to take a moment to document a little milestone in my relationship with Miss M… especially since it’s a positive one.