Thursday, 26 February 2015

Mothers, I don't know how you do it

I don't know how you do it, motherhood, parenting, mother diaries, parenting blog, funny parenting blog, entertaining kids, parenting activities, comparing mothers, perfect mothers

I dropped my son off at nursery at 8am this morning. I felt an immense sense of pride that I managed to get out of the house with two children on three hours sleep. Sure, I'm wearing no makeup and don't let these 'joggers' fool you, if I opened my coat you would see that they are part of the pyjama set I'm currently hiding. It would probably be a more impressive achievement if the nursery wasn't in fact five doors down from my house and it takes me all of two minutes to walk there. I see all the other mothers dropping their kids off in their work suits and made up faces and I have NO IDEA how they are functioning before 8am. NONE. I have no idea how they hold down jobs or cook dinner or keep their house in order. I have no idea how they get through their washing piles or how they manage to smile when they say "hi." I have no idea how they do it. None.

See, I almost feel like an outsider; an imposter of a mother. How did I wangle this position? I couldn't get out of bed before I had children, let alone with two of them. I've somehow scraped by, fooling people that I'm capable of being responsible for keeping proper human beings alive. That's crazy. Even simple things like clearing up and making lunch sometimes feels overwhelming. I often dread the days the window cleaner comes in case he tells all those other mothers in their made-up faces about the state of my home. There are times I pretend I'm not in when the postman comes because I'm still in my pyjamas and I'm WAY out of the 'newborn baby window of grace' to have an excuse.

And then there are the days when I don't have to be out of the house at 8am but I do have to be at home entertaining two children. There is a deep feeling of despair at the start of some of those days, like "what THE HELL am I going to do with them today?!" I have to muster up enthusiasm for play dough and baking when all I want to do is curl up into a little ball and sleep. Of course, there are days when it's all rosy too – days when I thoroughly enjoy myself and finally have an excuse to act like a big kid. There is, in fact, not a day when I do not well up with pride for the beautiful boys I miraculously helped to make. I love them with an immeasurable love. But it's not easy.

Today I have to clean my house, pay some bills and go shopping. I have to speak to a client about a job and respond to emails, most of which are from people who think I should work for 3p an hour because I am an artist. I have to feed and change and sooth a baby. Any one of these things is very doable on a full night's sleep, it's just that ALL of them seem overwhelming today. I'm still expected to look respectable after 9am. I'm still expected to remember things like appointments and birthdays. I'm still expected to be on time, to function normally, be polite and NOT respond to emails asking me to work for free with expletives.

After I get home from the nursery drop off and see all those fully functioning mums and dads I think to myself, am I the only one? Am I the only one who thinks that putting the bins out in a morning is an exhausting activity? Am i the only one who dreads going to bed for fear of being awoken again? Am I the only one who can't face sorting out the toy box or who sometimes, God forbid, can't be arsed to do this whole parenting thing today? 

At the end of the day, and thankfully there always is one of those, I somehow make it. I somehow get to 7pm and I look at my babies peacefully sleeping and all is right with the world. I wonder what all the fuss was about or why people choose not to have kids. My husband walks through the door like it's an alarm to the end of my shift for an hour or so and I feel like trumpets are resounding. I did it, I don't know how, but I bloody did it. 

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