I’m treading water right now, just keeping afloat. Making sure we’re fed and watered, relatively clean and just about on time to places. Pressuring myself to tick those parenting boxes; creativity, imagination, socialising, not too much sugar, not too much t.v., teaching them faith, manners, discipline and so on. And that’s it. That is where my capacity ends. It might not seem like a lot but those are exhausting processes with kids. I mean just getting ready to leave the house can take an hour, especially when your child is tantruming over the fact that you’ve asked them to wear a coat when it’s snowing. I know, mean right?! So I go to bed with weary bones knowing that the next day (or in a couple of hours!) it starts again. There’s no break or weekend. I am beyond exhausted and some days I just want to pull the duvet over my head and go on strike. But I can’t and it’s gonna be like this for a good few years to come. ‘The Tired Years’ by definition.
I feel like I’m just surviving, not thriving. Not motivated or inspired outside of this really. I have little left to give anyone else and I seriously don’t know how some mums are setting up community projects and running businesses. I am just not that super mum! When people ask, ‘How are you?’ I literally have nothing to say apart from, ‘Yeah fine thanks. Tired’, before I rush off to stop my child hitting another child or eating the mud off someone else’s shoe. I’m the most uninteresting person to chat to. Unless you wanna hear about my kids – then I can bore you with ‘hilarious’ things they say and how their routine has now changed, blah blah blah blah blah.
Don’t get me wrong – I want to do more; to have creative ideas, try new recipes and to see friends out in my heels rather than collapsing in a heap at 8pm every night. Because somewhere buried beneath this frazzled woman rushing past with arms full of kids, coats, bags and a mountain of snacks, there is actually more to me than ‘just’ a mum.
And I’ll find that person again because (as I keep reminding myself) this is just a season. And you know what, my heart is full. I am loved and I get to love. I may live in jeans and a top bun, not be able to make that social event or have the energy to make green smoothies and go to the gym. But I see those younger people looking at us with hope that they might one day have THIS. And I see old ladies looking at us with fond memories of when they were in my shoes. Remembering the soft kisses and sticky hands with longing in their eyes for a full and bustling house once more. And it reminds me that I am blessed. It reminds me not to wish away this precious time.
But right now even though I know this, I just want to say that I’m finding it HARD. I’m shocked at how little time and energy I have to give to anything else but this. That sometimes I’m just glad we made it through the day and we’re all still alive.
So please forgive me if I don’t have much to talk about. Forgive me that I’ve drunk three coffees and a chocolate bar before 9am and look a bit like a zombie. Forgive me if I just hang out with other mums who are also just hanging by a thread because they just…get it. Forgive me if I forget your birthday or don’t stop to say more than hello. It’s not personal.
I’m just treading water here.