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.