Mara

Bitterest feeling.

This day-job, this occupation, this vocation that I have allowed to be mine – motherhood – is so hard.

I gave up paid work to be a failure at this? This important, vital job that is somehow rendered otherwise in society’s harsher views? So, I’m crap at a dud job but I’m meant to be all fulfilled and happy because even though it’s a dud job it’s really very, very special?

I sit at the dinner table with my children. I have bolted my dinner. I was hungry and it’s partially a habit-hangover from when they were babies. (Quick, get some food in before the next interruption.)

I have taken up some crochet work. It is a way to keep my hands busy and my mind at least partially clear of my harrowing other-thoughts.

My husband, similarly finished his meal and equally frustrated with the slow progress of our tired small eaters, has picked up his guitar and is playing some children’s songs.

My jaw is hard-clenched and I am ready to snap. Fury may spit out of me if I am not careful. I am praying constantly, asking God to help me have self-control. Every sentence uttered is taught.

The truth is, I dislike the dinner table. Sometimes it’s not like this. But rarely. The majority of the time the kids are actually fairly well-behaved. It’s me that has the problem.

Depression and low-level anxiety have dogged me all day today. I am stuck. I had a migraine two days ago and I don’t really know what  has happened since then. I have reached new levels of frustration. And now I am ignoring my children while they get ready for bed. I am turning aside from writing every now and then, to ask for that pair of shorts that needs mending, to give them instructions about tomorrow. My husband is doing all the hard work. He is tired.

Last night he said – jokingly – that he wished he could ask the nanny to put the children to bed now.

Another truth is: our kids don’t need a nanny. They need me, and him. They need James to be less fatigued by carrying an almost-double load. They need me to be an adult and do my job.

At times like this the hopelessness can be overwhelming. All that gives me hope is that I have a God who is more than sufficient to make up for all my failings, all my lack. All the dudness and crappity.

So now I will go down the hallway and meet my son, dressed in his hand-me-down red fireman jarmies, and hug him and tell him I love him and that he should have a good sleep. And – actually – I do feel much better.

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10 thoughts on “Mara

  1. o sal I’m sorry to hear that today is not a great day. It’s so grounding to hear you voice struggles that many are so afrad to share. thank you for you insights, all I can add is that I’m thinking of you and hope that you and James can spend a lovely evening together.

    • Em, thank you. It’s lovely to hear from you. We have the fire on. The dishes can wait. We are going to relax together and probably laugh a bit about life, the oakleyverse and everything.

  2. Sally, it sounds like you have had a tough few days. I shall give you a double dose of my evening prayer time tonight.

  3. I admire your honesty Sal. I have no idea how difficult it must be with kids, to keep going when you’re feeling the depression and anxiety and just want to retreat. Praying for you xx

  4. I came across your blog today and was attracted by your honesty and pain. Certainly, that doesn’t mean that I was happy to hear of your suffering, but I was happy to hear that others out there feel this way, too. I am a working mom and I can say with certainty that that route hasn’t proven to be any easier to travel. Parenthood is HARD. I can’t believe that no one really talked about that much before. I feel like I had no warning!

    You and I seem to write about some common issues. Hopefully, with our voices out there, other women might feel better prepared to take on the tough job of being a mother.

    Hope today is a good day…

  5. Thanks for reading, and for commenting.

    I liked your comment (in the ‘about’ page on your blog): ” I don’t know which is harder, either: being a working mother of two small children or being a stay-at-home-mother of two small children. As I have done them both, I can say with absolute certainty that I always felt that the job I didn’t have at any given time was the easier of the two.” A classic situation that I think many mums would identify with.

    One day at a time, eh?

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