Tuesday, 18 August 2009

A bad day

Today I woke up early with a cold lump of unspecified dread clogging my throat, a headache already clawing greedily at my temples and incipient tears that threaten to spill over at any moment. I feel angry, resentful, I want to lash out and share the pain. My targets are many and varied.

My husband for failing to combine being a loving and devoted partner and husband, a hands on dad who always puts his family first, with commanding a huge salary so I no longer need to shoulder the burden of coming up with even a small portion of our household income.

My children for making me adore them so much that the idea of deserting them to go out and earn the living that would make life so much easier rips me apart. They are the only people I have ever loved instantly and unconditionally, the only family who has never broken my heart - I cannot give them up, even if I cannot do them justice in the way that I so crave.

My job for being so fickle that I cannot contain it into simple days or hours as it spills out and expands to fill every gap in time. Its demands are unreasonable and yet it is unforgiving should you fail to meet them.

My mother for her enduring love for my father, and her fulfilling and sustaining career that prevent her from meeting my every selfish and childish need.

The woman who will never read my blog, who we work so hard to stay near so that she may bask in the golden affection of her family, yet who freezes into icy introversion should the lashing, wild waves of our rough and stormy life ever threaten to spill over into her neat existence. Whose experience of motherhood was so cushioned by family, friends, au pairs and above all money, that she has no idea of the value of a kindly extra pair of hands in a life that teeters on the brink. Who recoils from the messy, hard parts of family life, whilst relishing the pretty, civilised aspects.

But the person who disappoints me the most is myself. For failing to swim smoothly across the surface of my life, without revealing the weak little legs paddling so hard underneath. For not being able to solve every problem, earn money, raise happy children, survive on lettuce and workouts to achieve the perfect figure, for having scruffy clothes, unruly hair, a fat stomach. For feeling that from time to time I might crumble, crushed to dust under the weight of life.

For being self indulgent, for being unable to count my blessings, for not being able to see things from other people's point of view. For being tired, greedy, cross, irritable, resentful, shouty and often bored.

I want to be able to go for a mooch around the shops, without having to listen to the screams of the twins in their buggy, without balancing one on my hip to soothe him, only for the other to screech in indignation, so I my arms are heavy and aching and still no one is happy. I want to be able to leave the house, close the door and have silence envelope me, I don't want to change two nappies, pack two lunches, soothe tempers and buckle four wriggling boys into their seats before I can even leave my own driveway.

I don't want to forever be answering questions, entertaining, cuddling, feeding, changing, shooing, reprimanding, bringing up boys. I don't always want to be the centre of attention, the only one that will do.

And yet, conversely and perversely I could never give it up. These are my family, my messy, loud, grumpy, difficult family and I don't want them brought up by anyone other than their own messy, loud, grumpy, difficult mother. I need to be the sun, however darkened and spluttering, around whom they revolve, but sometimes I want to hide behind the cool, dark moon and just enjoy the stillness.

There is no helping me, no making things better. Still tomorrow is another day and the schizophrenic nature of family life means that there's every chance I will wake up on the right side of the bed and all will be rosy once again.


  1. Such an honest post. I think we all have days like this. Anyone who doesn't is not being honest with themselves. Motherhood is so hard, but nothing worth having is easy. And it is so worth having.

    It makes me feel better to know that the women who look like they are sailing serenely through motherhood are probably struggling just as much underneath!

    Thanks for writing this. It is so lovely for me to know I'm not alone in feeling like this some days. I hope you wake up on the other side tomorrow. x

  2. I'm sorry you're having such a crap day.
    As Brit in Bosnia says, we all have them, and nobody's life is perfect however much it looks from the outside. But I know you have a lot going for you - a lovely family, a talent and a great career (yes, really). It will all work out. xx

  3. You condense the feelings into perfect prose. That must count for something.

  4. Such an honest post.

    I hope that writing it down was cathartic and made you feel better.

    You are not alone.

  5. Thanks, your posts have turned a black day grey, tomorrow I intend to wake up in the pink.

    Now away to referee bath time.

  6. Ah, but I did read it.