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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.
The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.
Here’s an excerpt:
The new Boeing 787 Dreamliner can carry about 250 passengers. This blog was viewed about 1,100 times in 2012. If it were a Dreamliner, it would take about 4 trips to carry that many people.
Devon, 14- year 10
Olivia,11- year 7
I see the potential, the possibilities of a world at your feet in this picture and I am torn. Most of me wants to remind them to put their best foot forward (“You mean my left one?” -Devon, 12) and have a good day, while a not so small part wants to pull them into my lap, hold them close and never let them go.
15 years ago, I was 14, and I was pregnant. I often feel as if I am living my life backwards, and as my big kids get bigger my sleepless nights become more frequent and I worry. Both so strong minded and independent, what if they run away, as I did all those years ago? What if they get mixed up with the wrong kids and start drinking or smoking? What if they start having sex?
I should apologize, for leaving you in the lurch, making it look as if poor old Devon never progressed past the age of 5. I assure you, he did and in fact even turned 14 a week ago. I will explain, in short. A comment appeared on my blog one morning, the day after my last post. From a person I do not know, but who is connected to my husband through an internet forum they both frequented some years ago. How this person came to find my blog is beyond me, why they decided to comment using their old forum name combined with my own last name, and an email address combining the two names, is also beyond me.
I don’t mind saying that the comment, while benign as comments go, unnerved me, and stopped me from posting while I came to terms with the fact that this person has apparently sought me out on the internet, for whatever reason. Perhaps by reading this he will see that his comments on my blog, and his involvement in our life in any form, is unwelcome and will kindly either fully identify himself to me or step away permanently.
Normal posting will resume shortly, when I’m not, as usual, bogged down by avoiding deadlines.
Devon with his cousin, Tiffany. They used to be great friends, but my brother moved across town, and they stopped seeing each other so often. A battle was brewing between my brother and his ex wife around the time we were preparing to move oversea, and my niece was increasingly put in the middle. My son saw his cousin again the night before we flew out to England, and shortly afterwards my former sister in law cut off all contact between my family and my niece. I sent her a birthday present shortly after we moved but never knew if she even received it. Any gifts or cards I’ve sent since have not made it to her. I’m hurt and angry about what’s happened, but there is nothing I can do about it. I miss both my nieces terribly, and hope I’ll be able to see them both when I finally get a chance to go home.
Ok, so the bowling alley party was not for his 5th birthday. I really have no clue then when it was then, probably number 6? Who knows. They gave him a commemorative bowling pin which was dated and everyone signed it. Ten odd years later, all the ink has long since faded or been wiped away. Think they need to look into using markers that are bowling pin safe?
Devon loved anything with wheels and was always getting a new skateboard for Christmas or his birthday. He loved his skateboard and still does enjoy occasional boarding, though he has graduated to bikes, and wants nothing more than a BMX. Currently about £300 I’m not willing or able to buy him one, as I just don’t have enough confidence in his ability to take care of his things, I am sure it would be stolen in the first month. He disagrees. But, I have history on my side. Hopefully, he will grow more responsible as he gets older.
Happy 5th birthday, Devon.
Devon’s last birthday party as an only child. We celebrated his 3rd birthday with a Blues Clues party and invited his cousin, family friends and the next door neighbor girl, who was Devon’s favorite friend. There was cake and games and presents and Devon had a great time.
The thing that jumps out at me about this picture are the kids skin tones. They all have that golden brown, tanned look about them. Devon didn’t look any different to any other kid back home, but here, he is much darker than the others, and gets a lot of racial abuse as a result.
I was pregnant with my daughter at the time and felt a bit run down and tired that day. The next day was Devon’s actual birthday and I went into labour while at work. Thankfully it didn’t progress to quickly and his little sister held off until the next day, a month early nonetheless. They occasionally have shared family birthday parties, but I have always tried to make each day individually special for them. Because they know that their birthdays are each special, they don’t ever complain about having birthdays a day apart, or even about having shared parties with family. They leave that to me, but I suppose I shouldn’t moan about having to double up on presents and parties to much, after all, it means there is a good six month gap between the last childs birthday and Christmas.
Happy 3rd Birthday, Devon. Seeing you with your curls again the last few months was a lot of fun for me, and I have to admit that you were right, after you made me cut them off last week I cried a little bit.