It's Okay to Lose Your Shit
It is well documented that I lose my shit on a regular basis. So much so, I now get daily messages from fellow shit-losers. Thank you, by the way, your solidarity is much appreciated, particularly when I find myself once again locked in the downstairs toilet 'having a word' with myself. Talking myself down from collapsing in the living room and banging my head on the floor repeatedly (this often seems tempting).
Oh, how we chuckle about the shit that got real (and then got lost) during the day. The on-the-floor toddler tantrums, the fourth sleepsuit change due to the latest baby faeces tornado, the plate of sandwiches on the floor, the general narkiness and testing rainy-day dramas. It is all rather amusing. Except when it's not.
Sometimes, it's not funny at all. Some days, I don't feel the urge to poke my own eyes out, or shout, or drink some wine. I don't feel the urge to do any of those things because some days I actually feel quite desperate. There are days I truly don't know what I'm doing. I don't know what to do..
I have two children who push me to my absolute limit. And I don't always cope all that well. I joke all the time that I'm 'not cut out' for motherhood but there are days when I seriously worry that this is true.
I have plodded through life being relatively good at stuff. I was good at school (organised team sports excluded). I got the much coveted First Class Honours degree at Uni. I went into a job I loved and did well at it. Then I had kids and MAN ALIVE I'm not sailing through this one. I'm definitely not top of the class.
Sometimes, when I'm losing my temper in the car, or lying to the toddler that it's raining because I can't face another trip to the sodding park, or wishing the hours until bedtime would just DIE, I panic that there's something wrong with me.
Why don't I enjoy being at home? Why do I find it so bloody hard?
And then I start wondering ... do other mums feel like this? Do other mums struggle? Do other mums find the simultaneous baby and toddler crying so draining that they get in the shower and join in with the crying. So that everyone is crying in the bathroom at the same time. Fuck knows what my neighbours must think. In those moments of doubt, a dark cloud descends, pushes down on my shoulders and I panic. I'm so crap at being a parent. I can't do it.
And then, I snap myself out of it. Because that moment in the shower, and the white lies about the weather, and the wanting to kill someone in the car ... well, those things are not the measure of a mum. All too often on those dark days I am measuring myself against mums in parenting magazines. Mums on twitter who #lovelife. I will always fail against those mums. And then I think what a bloody stupid measurement.
The only measure I need is my children. How are they doing?
On Monday night, Jude fell asleep mid-feed and I sat with him for ten minutes in the dark, stroking his little ears. And he smiled. It was probably wind because ten minutes later he puked in my bra. But hey, he smiled. And then I popped in to say goodnight to his brother and instead of tucking him in, I got under the covers and read him two stories. And marvelled at how much he understood. How he is a proper little boy now. At how smart and funny and happy he is.
So, if a measure of a mum is how well her kids are doing, how happy they are, how loved they feel; well then I'm doing just fine.
Maybe it's okay to have days when you're not fine at all. When you're not coping. When you want to divorce your children because they have self-activated arsehole mode again. Wobbly days.
Granted some of my wobbles are a darn sight wobblier than I'd like, and if I could eliminate all wobbliness (my thighs included) I would.
But parenting wobbles don't make you a bad parent. They make you a real person.
Wobble away my loves.
You are doing just fine.
If you feel you are struggling to cope, please know you are not alone. Click here for support and resources.