So I have been struggling with the thought of writing and sharing this blog for a while, as I don’t want my daughter to come across it in years to come and think ‘my mum didn’t love me’.
I want to clarify that I 100% do LOVE my daughter. I love her more than life itself. But I also love me, and at this time, I am struggling with having to be Mum 75% of my week.
Yes, I feel totally ungrateful, as I know that there are many during this lock down, who are with their child/children ALL THE TIME! They don’t have the luxury of sending them off to their Dad’s house twice a week like I do, and I totally feel for anyone in that position.
I feel awful for being snappy with her when I’m struggling, as I know full well she is a human with feelings and fears of her own. That I am the grown up. That I am the one supposed to make it all better, but when I am getting the blame for everything (her spilling her drink, wobbling her bike and running into me, her pants not fitting properly, her covers being scrumply, her food being too hot so she spat it out and “I should have told her” – like I did…. The list goes on.)
Seriously I feel soooooo bad moaning about this, and the last thing I want is for her to feel like she’s an inconvenience or that I don’t love her. But man, I’m so over this lock down.
I want my freedom and she wants hers. We are not good cooped up together. We are not good cooped up anyway. We like adventures. Also we are two women living together on our own and I’m at the start of my cycle today too, so you can imagine the hormones that have been flying about for the last week can’t you ladies!
We have had some lovely times. We have played, made youtube videos, cleaned the garden together, painted the lounge, had movie nights, had snuggle times, been out on our bikes and much more. I have shared these things in an album on facebook and I am going to love looking back at all of these things in years to come, remembering a time when we were forced to slow down and life was this weird crazy upside down life that it is at the moment.
I will forget all the bad stuff I’m sure, as time does that. You get nostalgic. Also if all I’m sharing are the good bits then of course that’s what will become etched in our memories.
Lately there have been a lot of philosophical quotes going around the internet, about what our children will say when they are grey and old, and the things they will remember. Like the fact they have their parents about all the time and had their undivided attention, and they got to play and bake, do puzzles and boardgames and generally it was a time they will remember all the good things and blah blah blah.
Seriously!! Talk about layering on the guilt (I just want to take a second to add, while reading back through this, that the guilt layered on is from myself, not anyone else.) Like, my kid will just remember her mum rolling her eyes and taking a huge breath before responding, through gritted teeth, with a ‘yeeessssss’ as its the 1027th time she asked for help (for something she can definitely do on her own, like pass the remote from the table next to her, when I am upstairs trying to stay sane by meditating or taking a nap!)
She will remember missing her birthday party. Not being able to go swimming, or have a sleepover. She in general seems to lean more towards fixating on the bad stuff and doom and gloom, and it’s very hard to snap her out of it and get her to see the positive side of anything.
Yes, I understand she has feelings, and that she feels sad and worried and frightened. I hear those feelings and I hug her and comfort her, but after the 86th time, and feeling completely helpless and useless that you can’t do anything to help make her feel better, you begin to lose hope that you will ever be able to do your job as a mum and just be there for her emotionally as well as physically.
This is very much becoming a sprawl of all the feelings and emotions, and maybe I’m just uber sensitive today. But I guess I wanted to share this irrational rambling mum guilt, as I want to help anyone else feeling like I do. Yes this will absolutely help me too, knowing I’m not alone and a total bitch of a mother. But I’m sure it will help you feel better too.
I found a letter a few months ago that my mum had written to her Dad. She was living away at the time with a small Jenny (me) and has told me in recent years she wasn’t happy being away from home, and they did move back shortly after. But in this letter she talks about the fact her and my dad had been struggling on holiday but they found they connected on their mutual frustration at me….. a demanding toddler.
As a mum myself and feeling like I described above, I totally understand their feelings and it’s nice to know they had each other. I grew up knowing I was loved by my mum, but still reading that letter, even at 35 years old, it did bring up some sad feelings. I’ve talked to mum about it, adult to adult and I know as my adult self that she loved me and was just doing the best she could and just wasn’t happy herself. This had nothing to do with being Mum to me.
I say this here as I want my girly to know the same.
My girl, I may be struggling at the moment. I may feel like I am not being a very good mum, and who knows maybe you will agree in years to come, but I have a feeling that you too will understand that I am doing my best. Just like everyone else.
That I love you, even when rolling my eyes and cursing under my breath. That I would do anything for you as you are my world. That I am sorry I am a mean grumpy mummy sometimes, that this situation is weird and everyone is struggling. That you are struggling and I know that. That I am sorry if you ever feel like I don’t care, as I promise I do. I hope that if you ever have children of your own, we can talk openly and honestly about how hard it is, but also how rewarding it is too.
To all you Mummy’s, Daddy’s, Granny’s, Grandads, carers and anyone else at home with kids 24/7 at the moment (even if you share them and get a break like I do), I feel you.
I feel your struggle. I know your guilt. I see your pain and sadness, but it’s ok to struggle. It’s ok to miss those few hours when they were at school or went off to visit relatives or friends, when you had help, or a distraction, or a break. The kids miss it too. We know this. We can be easy on ourselves. We can be easy on them. If we aren’t either, then we can say sorry, hug and kiss and start again.
Even if we have to start again 100 times a day, talking and being as honest and understanding/compassionate to yourself and them as you can, will help way more than if we never speak our truths, and let them know we are human too and we are just as confused as they are.
From one frazzled hormonal mother to you all. I send you lots of love and the reminder that, this too shall pass, and that brighter days are to come.
Love and Light to us all, our small people included.
Together we can get through this. Stay safe, stay inside xx