I realised the other day that I am a bit angry with my Mum. Not because she's swanning around Europe and I am not (though I'm sure that's reason enough to feel peevish) but because she once was living something similar to me, 3 young children, full time work, young and she never once told me just how impossibly difficult it can be. She congratulated me on following her footsteps and was proud of me, whereas the idea of the Elfling following me makes my gut clench with fear.
I have never had the sort of relationship with my Mum where we have big D&Ms about our personal feelings. And in truth, these day, our phone calls involve me listening to her woes with her career than the other way around. I read still, stories of mother daughter relationships where women break down and cry to their Mums and it still pricks me like it did when I was 8 and realised I didn't have that sort of relationship with my Mum.
When I've tentatively broached the topic of how difficult things have been, I'm often put straight in my place, reminded that "she did it too" and lived and I've felt quelched. Reminded again not to complain, to suck it up and get on with it. And I've felt chastised. Whiny. Embarrassed. More determined not to talk about it.
I'm not posting this to sound like an interminable whinger (even if it's the truth). But because I felt, in the shower the other night as I cried, that I just wish I had known how hard this would be. That instead of being encouraged and pushed along this path that just once someone thought to pull me aside and ask me if I was OK. If I needed help, or at the very least, had I considered just how soul destroying it can be trying to forge this sort of career on your own, let alone dragging your family along for the ride.
I am a good doctor. I can be a good mother. I am sometimes a good wife and partner. But trying to do all 3 at once often takes me to the point of despair and I wonder what in the hell I was thinking and why no one ever warned me. Why they all just assumed (and continue to assme) that I just would.
Maybe I just should have known? But I've lead a life where it's always been drilled into me taht you can be anything, do anything, and I'm gradually realising I can't. I'm angry about it. I feel lost and trapped and confused and impotent. I can't communicate it well with Bingley and I've considered therapy, but for what end? To be told things I already know? To explore emotions I already understand? I've always got choices, I know that, but it's not so easy as simply giving up one side of my personality and all will be well.
If I gave up my job then I would feel mentally unfulfilled. I get so much from my job, not least of all the achievement that so many years of work and study and further knowledge can give. I love working my way through, of gaining knowledge and experience and ability.
My marriage is getting better at the moment, but it is taking so much work. I am getting tired of work. I wish I could just sit on an ethereal beach and draw in the sand and feel telepathically connected and spiritually alive instead of needing to work. I just want to take the easy path for once. To lie down flat and let the river drift me along.