Sometimes I need a filter between my brain and my mouth.
This is not the way to get one.

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Exhaustion. The crippling state of our family.

Our entire family is a wreck. Some would say this is poetic justice on the Toddler for all the sleep deprivation dished on us during her first few colic-y weeks of life.

I simply look at it as a week that has decided to be the longest in history. With fewer night time hours available. And more boxes to pack than usual.

Thankfully box packing is done for now - the removalists came in today and hauled our stuff away in a HUGE-arse shipping container to be stored until we're ready for it. The tragic thing about this event is that we filled this 30ft continer to the absolute max. There isn't a space in there that doesn't have our crap stuffed into it. I believe it may actually be an oxygen free shipping simply couldn't fit in there.

And that wasn't even all of it.

Nope - we still have a tonne of clothing and food and knicknacks and other items that just didn't make it to the packing process. And that may or may not have been my lack of motivation. But no point in sobbing over that now - what's done is done and what's not packed is not packed. I'll just have to hoof it over to my parents. Who, incidentally, are ever so kindly putting us up until we get the keys to our new place...

Thank god for parents with space to spare!

So the Guru has had this week off to try and get the packing finished off (and with my help on Tuesday), but as I've had to work evenings this week on top of regular days, I've been very little help thus far. The guilt has set in and is slowly eating away at me. Which is lovely as it'll give me something to dwell on while I'm sitting at work tonight in a room full of midwives discussing birth plans.

And to add to the seemingly never ending state of 'stuff to deal with' this week, the Toddler has started to bite and hit. Oh toddlerdom, I wondered when you would grace our family with your presence. Any particular reason why you felt this week was a good week to corrupt my child and start something!? Honestly - did you not call my PA and double check for conflicting drama's?? Because I have a few on the boil and yours is just not welcome right now. Speak to my PA and she'll book you in. Please don't be offended if she offers to call you back in 12 months.

And it's awful because I am so not a disciplinarian. When the Toddler first tried to bite I got down to her level and sat eye to eye with her and explained how it was not okay to bite. And I got big, blue puppy eyes and a cutesy little girl voice say to me 'Noah bite!?'. Now, in these 2 words our daughter managed to say to me (in my head) 'but Mummy, Noah at Day Care bites, and I thought since he got to do it I would join in. Are you sure it's not okay? Did I mention someone else is doing it?' And have you noticed the chaos in our home at the moment?? We're living in a nungle of boxes and everyu day my room seems to be missing more and more items. Daddy took apart my cot and now I just have a mattress! What's with that!? Can you at least speak to me first before you do things like this!? And also, that silly tape gun, well, it's got to go. The noise it makes is terrible and quite frightening for me so I would really prefer if all these boxes and everything could just go away and I could have my normal life back'.

Yes, it was a full and frank discussion from our darling daughter and I completely understood. And while I do fully acknowledge that this last month has been extremely hard on her, I still can't accept it as a good enough reason to let her bite and hit. At the end of the day it's still not okay.

I would like the earth to swallow me up at this point. And I am so embarrassed because I had this illusion in my head that I would never have a child who would bite or hit or do anything hurtful to anyone else and that I would be one of these perfect mothers who never has to use the 'naughty spot' (of which I'm thinking we'll have to have one...). And the worst thing is I am the only one I know of with a child who does this. Our God-daughter's don't do things like this. So it's obvious proof that I'm a rubbish Mum. If I was home 24/7 she wouldn't do this.

Sigh - could the Universe PLEASE not throw my working mother issues in my face right now!? Honestly, why does one thing always have to lead into another, and another and another until I am so emotionally crippled I can barely lift my head!

I mean, I work because I choose to. I work because I would like to be able to do certain things in our lives together and the way to get that to happen is for me to contribute to the household. I don't begrudge working or the benefits that it has given us. What I do miss is the time with the Toddler and the Guru and I look back on my maternity leave with intense fondness. And while I know that Day Care is very good for the Toddler developmentally and socially (excluding the biting demonstrations!), I still feel like I'm not meeting all her needs and that I'm shirking my responsibility of being her Mum by leaving her with other people.

I know that all sounds completely insane, but it's hard to ignore those few opinions in the world of  'well, if you have to or choose to work then you shouldn't have had a child because you are selfish' and 'Day Care is just an excuse for working women to have other people raise their child for them because they don't want to'.

Yeah, well - I'd very much like to live in your perfect world and as much as the 1950's sound a treat I'm quite happy here with my advanced technology and women's rights!

But at the end of the day there is that part of me that wonders all the time if I am doing the right thing. And I guess it will be there for the rest of my life. Because working parent or not, I think every mother in the world questions everything she does because we have this un-ending need to know we are doing everything right by our children and our family. And that's becauee they are #1 with us all the time.

And that's what makes us awesome mothers.

1 comment :

  1. Toddlers are toddlers. They scream, they shout and they pick up shitty habits from other kids. I swear one look at another kid doing something they shouldn't and wham, they know it. Try to teach them something else? And they just laugh at you.
    You definitely handled it well. She'll learn, after she's tried your patience over and over.

    As for the working mother stuff, you know how I feel about it. If you made the right choice for you and your family, no one elses opinion matters and you shouldn't listen to what they try to impress on you. It's the same with everything else parenting, do what works for you and keeps you sane.


Thanks for the comment - it helps validate the fact that I'm not just talking to myself.

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