Slippage

Slippage. I suppose thats a good way to describe it. That slowly sinking in feeling, no, realization that actually you have little worth beyond putting food on the table and yelling at people to put clean clothes on.

Nearly 16 years of back breaking hands on motherhood and I feel like little more than a glorified, if even that, slave.

The house is a mess. Why? Because I didnt clean it.

It’s 8pm and there’s no dinner. Why? Because I didnt make it.

The kids are late for school. Why? Because I didnt force myself out of bed at 5:30 to force them out of bed at 6:00 to get ready without spending an hour playing video games.

And after weeks of beating myself up for not doing the above things well enough or often enough I finally get fed up because hey, I am taking care of an infant and trying to build my own business as well, and have a go at the husband and adolescent children for their complicitness. (What? I gotta hold your hand to feed the flaming cats?) Suddenly, I am no longer lovely,wonderful,amazing mumsy- but an awful, hateful mother who does nothing but yell at them.

I feel guilty. Usless. A terrible wife and mother. I think and think of new ways to manage the family completely on my own, to avoid any bad feeling. I get inspired, I will do A! And B! And C!

But then the baby is crying again, she wants a feed or just doesnt want to be put down. The bank account is empty again and I cant buy the kids new shoes. I am exhausted and fall asleep nursing the baby, only to wake and discover half the day is gone. I feel lazy and useless.

More and more I feel it, slippage. I no longer feel like the driven, aspiring mother, working through the rough patch on her way to a bright future for her and her family.

I feel my dreams slipping through my fingers, like fine silk, so perfect, so wonderful, so close but I cant quite grasp it.

I buy my daughter a £6.99 pair of horse riding gloves and have to ask if they have any cheaper ones. They don’t and I realize this one minor purchase equals over 5% of our weekly income. I feel like a fraud standing there, next to Ms. Range Rover with her stylishly muddy wellies and perfect hair. My trainers are just muddy. My hair is a mess. My daughter is pointing at Harry Hill riding helmets and excitedly asking about back protectors. I am nearly in tears as I nod and smile. It cost £15 for her to go riding that day. And £6.99 for the gloves!

She is glad for the gloves and hugs me tight.

A few hours later she is unkind to her brother and when I am cross with her about it, I am once again the awful mother who hates my daughter.

I am tired and feel beaten, no longer up to this battle. I take the crying baby and go to bed, sure that closing the door and retreating into the cool darkness will make everything else dissapear, will make it stop slipping.

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