Yes it’s been a while since I dared open my laptop and detail the ins and outs of our life. Is it because I ran out of material? Never. Is it because I have a tendency to get over excited about a project, take on too much and have to abandon it half way through? Possibly.
The real reason was that I actually lost my sense of humour, our life became less comical and more challenging for me and I found myself struggling at times. There is no shame in saying that and luckily I have a (small) but amazing support network – namely the Bearded One who reassured me that it was perfectly “normal” and I was doing “brilliantly”.
What people fail for mention (probably for good reason) is the sometimes the enormity of having to keep another human being alive can feel overwhelming. A human being who speaks another language, is in a completely different time zone and has no concept of danger. On top of this you are expected to function as you did before or “return to normal” quickly.
For me I put myself under enormous pressure to have the perfect life, a combination of motherhood, working and even the dreaded exercise. The house had to be immaculate, I had to ensure all my work was completed before 7am, everyone had to have home cooked fresh food and God forbid the sofa cushions were facing the wrong way. I became an obsessive robot. The Baby was in a brilliant routine and sleeping through from 7pm – 5am however if anything threatened to disrupt that routine (including The Baby himself) I had a meltdown. I have a phrase “the walls are caving in” which is a feeling I get when I’m overwhelmed. I start to see mess and clutter everywhere, the microwave suddenly needs to be cleaned within an inch of it’s life and it needs to be done there and then. As a result the house is subject to semi completed jobs, everyone has fish fingers for dinner and I’m a sitting on the edge of the bath crying into a pile of washing.
Enough was enough, the very understanding (and brave) Bearded One recognised that I wasn’t coping and the manic cleaning was the control freak in me trying to get to grips with my new life of “winging it”. He explained that I perhaps wasn’t the nicest person to live with when I’m like that, that the house is clean but if it isn’t tidy so what? I’ve kept another human being alive all day and he was proud of me. He explained he would rather come home to mess and a bowl of soup than a stressed, emotional wreck.
He then suggested something so bizarre it stopped me in my tracks. He suggested I ask him for help. At first all manner of sarcastic, rude, angry responses ran through my head then I realised I never actually asked him out loud. I would just offer a series of dramatic sighs, stomping around assuming he knew exactly what that meant. How could he not see the washing needs folding? Or the dishwasher needs emptying? Or the kids appear to have had some kind of spitting competition in the bathroom and now the walls need washing down? And if he dared ask me if he could do anything to help ? Well he may as well have had a shit in my shoe. I would give a big “no, I’ve already done it” hard done by routine. Poor bastard. In reality the man is out of the house 7 days a week, 12 hours a day trying to provide for our family and dead on his feet by the time he comes in. The point I missed is that he never lets me down and all I needed to do was ask.
So there I was, in my pjs, yesterdays mascara staining my face from the “I can’t cope tears” as The Bearded One came to my rescue. Don’t get me wrong I still have days where I go into manic mode but we both recognise it and have now found a way to cope. As a result our house is a much happier, healthier place to be and is tidy 95% of the time. the other 5%? Well that doesn’t matter, I kept a human being alive for another day!
Without wishing to sound like I’m performing an acceptance speech, I’d like to thank The Bearded One for his unwavering love and support, the man is literally my hero. I’d also like to salute every other parent, expereinced or not, who get up each day and wing it. You are amazing! Whilst our expereiences are all differernt, our journey is the same. There may be times when you feel like no-one understands you, or times when you don’t even understand yourself but I PROMISE you – you are not alone. Advice is dangerous but if I could offer some I would say to anyone, ask for help. No matter how big or small your support network is, there are people to help. You haven’t failed, there is no shame in asking and it’s important to know you are not alone. Failing that pour yourself a glass of vino, turn up the music and chuck the day in the “fuck it bucket”!
Where am I now? Well I’m still in my pjs and I do need to clean my microwave because I reheated dinner until it exploded but I’m much much happier. In fact I’m so happy I’m ready to share the ridiculouness of our life once again.
So please stay tuned for more blog entries, inappropriate quotes and general chaos surrounding my life as Mumma With The Messy Hair.
Thank you xx