Suck it up
Email this entry | Print this entry 17/05/2007, 11:42 AM
Being a mother is very rewarding. Being a mother is lovely and the culmlination of childhood dreams. Watching your sleeping infants makes your heart swell with emotion so strong that sometimes my tears glisten on my cheeks in the darkness while I wonder at the gift that motherhood has bestowed on me.
But being a mother sometimes, frankly, sucks giant monkey balls.
When your children are being like children in soft focus dreamy magazine shoots, or clear brilliant shots of laughing families playing in the sun, then that glow of happiness is easy to emulate. You count your blessings. You wish life would never change, and you feel a vague sadness for your friends and acquaintances who will never know such divine depth of feeling, who do not know how amazing a barely decipherable picture that is supposedly of "My Mummy who I love soooo much" can be. But that's the ad - the bit to sucker you in - the facade taht covers the cracks underneath like Oprah Winfrey's pancaked makeup.
You hear about the problems with motherhood. Those whispered guilty anecdotes that mothers share in groups, that scare off the childless and have the older generation tut tut-ing because in their day children behaved, life was perfect and Fisher Price and Dorothy did not own children.
But the real crap, the stuff that you really feel on the black days isn't mentioned. Today I do not want to be a mother. I do not want to have to clean up the same toys off the floor again. I don't want to wipe the snot or the poo or hang out the nappies. I don't want to clean the kitchen and I don't want to mop the floor. But that's just the boring repetitive stuff.
Today I don't want to have to talk to my babies. I don't want them touching me and I don't want to have to fix yet another 3 year old neuroticism. I want to be sick in peace and just sleep. Sleep for more than 4 hours and think that tha'ts just what normal people do instead of a *treat*. I want to have a real job that is respected, instead of a hidden doldrum of mindless repetitive menial tasks. I want to earn a paycheck and spend it on whatever I want. I don't want to have to put other people first all the time. I want to have a shower without running commentary and I want to go to the toilet without having anyone watching me or touching me while I go.
I want not to be isolated by this guise of everything being hunky dory. I want a large support network of family and friends who can be part of the crap as well as the celebrations. I don't want to just talk to my Mum on the phone occasionally, I want her ot actually play a role in my kids lives other than the odd treat.
I want to not be envious of my husband for going to Vietnam. Vietnam! I've never been there. A culture shock, getting on a plane, sitting in an airport with watery overpriced coffee and a magazine with organised chaos exploding around you in the throngs of people. I want my first thought when he tells me that he's going to be that that's a great career opportunity, or that he will hate being away and to consider his feelings, but my first is jealousy and then anger that again I will have to hold the fort, silently, unappreciated, isolated...
But then, the washing machine beeps, and the nappies need to be hung out, and the Monkey is hungry and the Grot is thirsty, and well, you suck it up. You gird your loins (whatever the hell that means), you spray normal saline into your sinuses so that you can breathe, you take paracetamol to ward off the headache that's teasing your temples, you put on your new CD and you turn the volume and more importantly the bass right up, you mutter a few choice expletives under your breath, you sigh, and then, just like Nike said, you just do it. Just get on with it.
Sometimes this life I've chosen is perfect, sometimes while I'm knitting in my comfy corner while the house is clean and in order and dinner's in the oven and muffins are cooling on the bench and the hosue smells like clean laundry while the babies play together on the home made (not by me) minky rug, I feel like every Little House daydream I had has come true and I feel like I am so contented I will burst in a scatter of smug happiness.
But then there are the days that you can't quite believe you have to stumble through, and like today, you suck it up.