Recently, things haven’t been easy. Those balls that we all juggle? They were falling hard on my head and bouncing off into oblivion. Really the title of this post should be A Bad Month (or number of Months) Doesn’t Make A Bad Mum. Things that are quite necessary when parenting were missing – patience, energy, inspiration and motivation. I have lost my temper and been, at times, less than nice to my children. They have watched Frozen and Cars more times than I care to admit (I even texted Chris to ask him if the Sky box counts the amount of times things are viewed, eek.) Some days recently taking them out each day, just for a walk, has been thoroughly exhausting. Why am I telling you this? Well, during recent times I have clung to the knowledge that ‘this too shall pass’ and a bad moment doesn’t make me a bad parent. I genuinely love my life, reminding myself of this too has helped.
Things are still quite difficult, in reality – this is going to be how it is whilst our lives are so busy, our children don’t let us sleep and money is so tight. Most of the time we manage it all pretty well, just recently things have been a bit misaligned in my head. Today I felt like the fog lifted a little bit. A combination of having a doctor who took time to listen about my migraines and telling Chris and my Mum how I was feeling definitely contributed to this, as did a night out with a lovely friend. Then today I went to Ikea with my absolutely perfect cousin Megan and the wonderful Joni. Going to ikea, an hour and a half away, on a Saturday afternoon on a bank holiday weekend is probably at best ill advised and at worst a little bit stupid. But we went – we decided to just be part of the big crowd and the big queues and we somehow managed to take seven hours over the whole trip. Seven hours where I didn’t feel anxious or sad or cross or impatient. Megan does have this way about her which makes anything, even an afternoon buying questionable furniture, funny and interesting but still, like I say, the fog lifted.
I remember reading The Bell Jar as a teenager the image resonated with me – when Plath wrote “because wherever I sat—on the deck of a ship or at a street café in Paris or Bangkok—I would be sitting under the same glass bell jar, stewing in my own sour air” I felt a little bit better understood. The Bell Jar, the black cloud, whatever, it kind of ruins things. So when it lifts can be pretty magical, or at least a huge relief.
Joni today was delightful. Some time with her and Meg felt like a little gift. Every day Joni surprises me with her kindness and love. She is compassionate, incredibly observant and very polite (which is strange because I most certainly am not). Joni and I understand each other in a way that I struggle with Wilbur. He’s a complete enigma. He is unpredictable and I don’t think I really understand what motivates him, he’s intensely delightful and intensely difficult. Joni though – I know her at the moment. I can predict her reactions and she can actually predict mine. I had one of those moments today where I was just bursting with pride and joy that she is mine, which I can assure any non-parent reading this is a thrill like no other. Bad moments in the last few months, or ever, have not made me a bad mother and will not make my children’s lives bad either. What a relief to remember.