An open letter to a Mum that fantasises about leaving on a daily basis…..
I know that you wake up everyday feeling tired, heavy and like you have slept on a bed of rocks, and that when you step into the bathroom, you look in the mirror and barely recognise the woman you see staring back at you, you are sure you can see new lines that have arrived overnight, and the bumper size bags under your eyes.
Your body shape has changed from the way it used to be, you have lumps, bumps, and stretch marks in places that you would rather no one ever got to see, as you stand there in that moment, looking in the mirror you struggle to notice one thing about yourself that you love. ‘Who am I now, I don’t even recognise myself anymore’ (and lets not even get started on the excess hair that is now a permanent fixture)
You get showered when you can snatch a moment (whilst secretly longing for those days of having showers when, and as long as you wanted too), throw on comfy, safe clothes (everything you own is in dark colours, ‘where did the colour go?‘), scrape the hair back, ‘yep that will do, no time for make up’ – remember the days were you felt inclined to put make up on before leaving the house??
Your days are an endless, repetitive, merry-go-round of feeding, tidying, entertaining, cleaning, washing, emptying and refilling the dishwasher, hanging clothes that you
know you will be picking up off the floor a day later, mediation (sibling rivalry), taxiing, negotiating, admin.
You move through the day doing and getting all that needs to be sorted, done – ticking off that metaphorical list
Dinner time is looming, you stare blankly into the fridge, figuring out what everyone would like to eat ‘how can it be my turn to make dinner again!?’
‘Why do I have to be EVERYTHING, to EVERYONE?’
You feel a glimmer of hope as you hear the door open, meaning your partner is now home, and despite the fact he is late home due to train delays/work issues/traffic, you are relieved to see him. Another adult, a distraction for the kids (as they are always happy to see him, right?) but mostly someone to be accountable before you lose your shit.
The relief doesn’t last long, as he has had a busy, long day, he is tired and just wants to unwind, watch TV, maybe have a long bath, all whilst the crazy is still unfolding in the home. He feels frustrated that once again he returns from a long working day, to a stressed, wrung out, exhausted partner, ‘Where is my dinner?’ ‘What have you been doing all day, the house looks like a bomb has gone off!’
‘Where is my time to unwind?’
Once again the battle begins – he feels unappreciated after a long day at work, and now resentful too ‘why can’t I just come home, once, to a happy home’
You feel angry, he has no idea how hard you day has been! You wish you had the opportunity to have time to eat and pee when you wanted! To have an adult conversation about adult stuff. ‘When did I begin to feel such resentment towards him, that he gets to leave this house everyday without having to remember a hundred things, his life is so carefree’
I see how the communication has completely broken down between you, everyday the same upsets and resentment. There seems to be no let up, or way to resolve, because you both feel unheard and unappreciated. ‘Maybe we should just separate now, we are both so unhappy’
Your relationship has changed beyond recognition, intimacy and companionship is lost and your sex life is dead , when was the last time you belly laughed together?
You feel completely LOST, DISCONNECTED, OVERWHELMED, OUT OF CONTROL, barely keeping your head above water…..
This is most definitely not what you signed up for.
You feel like you are failing at every day tasks that others seem sail through
You chastise your every move as a mother, wife, friend
‘I am not good enough’ ‘Why did I lose my temper and shout today?’ ‘I know my child will resent me one day’
‘I used to be such a carefree, positive person. I enjoyed life……where has she gone?’
No one appreciates you. No one even notices you anymore…..would they even miss you if you just walked out the door and didn’t come back?
You are defined as Mum, you are now someone’s Mum. Not the woman you was before. being Mum has changed everything, and you are not even sure you want this anymore.
You LOVE your children with every cell of your body, but everyday is an uphill battle to just stay afloat. It is as if you are invisible and the woman you was is aching to break free, but you wouldn’t even how to start in rediscovering her.
I SEE you, I HEAR you, and I will stand beside you as you make those first steps forward.
I have shoes that are well versed in these paths, they know the twists and turns and unexpected bumps, they are strong enough to guide you.
I know that you can be ALL you want to be, as well as a good enough Mum.