'What on earth has happened?' I hear you cry. 'What has turned this dynamic (snort) go-getting (gigglesnort) Mum into this smelly, hairy Neanderthalette?' You must be thinking. Right?
Well. It's all Emma's fault over at 4 Munchkins plus Mummy and specifically this post which I not only found very poignant but I could really empathise with. As well as a fellow blogger, Emma is a neighbour and a friend and similarly we both have four children. If anything, she has more on her plate because at least one of mine is nearly an adult (although, saying that - I think a toddler would do more around the house!).
Ok - it's not really Emma's fault as such. Only vicariously. As I said, I found the post poignant. I know she's been laid up for a few weeks with her leg, and I hope I'm right in saying that maybe she felt a little bit 'Grrrrrrrrrrr' at those who appear to be so bloody perfect when she's trying to vacuum shuffling around the room on her butt. I have perfect days, we all do, even if they are rare. But the reality is, most days in this house go like the one in Emma's post. When you come to think of it, how else are the days meant to go when you've got four children and a house to run? Many, many days I am left feeling inadequate. Wiped out. Feeling guilty that I haven't the strength to do anything other than what I've achieved between 9 am and 3pm. (Do I really have to cook? Does it have to be nutritious? Will something frozen suffice, please?) I feel cheated that my time is spent doing stuff that saps my strength. Then I feel cross that - the very next day I have to do exactly the same things - yet I can't 'Oh just leave it, you'll only have to do it all over again tomorrow'. I feel cross at the attitudes of those who think they're in the position to criticise and condemn those who stay at home as 'lazy'. I feel melancholy that there seems to be nothing left of me anymore, that isn't tied in with Mum or Wife. I'm not complaining, don't get me wrong. I love being Mum and Wife. Just would be nice to have, even 10% of 'Me' in there. However I don't know if I could fit it in, and if I could, I'd probably feel guilty about it anyway.
So I started thinking (which is always dangerous) and the next morning, I armed myself with my camera, and literally - I don't know what you'd call it - catalogued or chronicled my day in (crap) photos. I wasn't sure what I was going to do with the pictures, whether to write a blog post or whether they were just for my own benefit, just to see. Was I lazy? Certainly, I know my blog posts aren't the most interesting ones in the world, but seriously, my day in pictures? Zzzzzzzzz...
Flicking through them, tidy kitchen, empty sink, breakfast being made, kids eating breakfast, kid with nosebleed in the night and his dried blood encrusted face shoved in shower, bloody (actual bloody not swear word bloody) CREAM coloured bedding (which had only been put on the day previous) stripped, sink piling up, worktops full of packed lunch stuff and fruit and drinks bottles, washing up done again, washing up dried and kept, all the while whilst having to contend with THIS:
|I love Spongebob, but not before noon on any day|
Clothes airer emptied, clean clothes upstairs, make beds, keep clothes, empty ironing basket becomes full ironing basket with clean, dry clothes, intercept - a 3DS game, a paperclip, a marble, a juice bottle lid, a pack of mints and money from pockets before putting the washing on, wet washing on airer, airer full again, radiators all full again, bloody bedding washed, blood not come out, bloody bedding rewashed, forgot to put liquid detergent in the drum. Put in liquid when cycle stops, SPIN bloody bedding instead of washing it again. Wait for spin cycle to stop and wash bloody bedding for third time that morning. Make homemade soup, make lunch, eat lunch stood up, sink full again, decide what's for tea, vacuum downstairs, wash lunch dishes, start peeling vegetables for tea. (I'll stop now. There's another 7 hours of mundanity minimum before my day wound down). This puts me at about 1pm, where I wanted to sleep and felt like smashing the camera. It's Groundhog Day! Which incidentally is also my Wedding Anniversary. Anyway, I digress...
|Any objections, anyone? No? Good.|
Yesterday I woke up - and I could barely move. An attack of Sciatica. There's also something going on to do with ligaments in my back, the Doctor didn't explain it very well, however one thing she'd made crystal clear was, it was a case of coping with it with pain relief until I couldn't cope any longer and I'd be looking at an operation. Not in this lifetime Doc, not in this lifetime! I'd done 'too much'. Every step I took was excruciating - but I'm not one who can just sit down, or lie down - even the Norovirus only floored me for one day. The way I look at it, is if I'm going to be in pain lying down, or sat down, then I may as well be in pain getting something done. Even if it isn't as much as the day before. I was in so much pain, my head was foggy, I couldn't formulate sentences or responses to simple questions. Add codeine and caffeine to the mix and I probably was as coherent as the cavedweller I was beginning to resemble. I longed for a bath but knew even if I managed to get in the bath, chances are I wouldn't get out again. Today? Not as much pain but I'm stiff as a board. Today I have sat down for most of the day, simply because my body is aching from being tensed up all day yesterday and I can only walk in a slow shuffle. I look, smell and walk like a tramp. Tomorrow, (please God because I have dinner guests!) I know I will be fine again.
So, the moral of the story is. To be a perfect Mummy I would either have to run myself into the ground and/or compromise my physical health. Or lie. We can all lie in blog posts. Goes against the grain of the honesty you tend to find amongst Bloggers but hey, I could lie. It's an option. I may have days, any given day where everything will go to plan and I'll be Perfect Mum, but there won't be two consecutive ones. I'll never be able to tell you when they'll be. How often they'll be. Or, even, if they'll happen at all. If Perfect Mum means I do one days extreme housework and end up incapacitated for two or three days, and plain ol' Mum means I get to do half-hearted housework for seven days and still be able to walk and look after my family (also half-heartedly lol), then perfection can jog on. I'm with Emma on this one. Mum will do me just fine as well!
Cavegirl - OUT!
(I'm going for a bath. Promise!)