This is Mum.
Some days, Mum feels like she might be just about keeping on top of things.
And some days… Mum does not.
Some days, Mum is frankly fucking broken by the sheer amount of plates she is attempting to keep simultaneously spinning, all with a fixed grin on her face to make it seem like everything is okay, even though inside Mum is screaming.
Society makes no allowances whatsoever, Mum has discovered, for anyone who elects to have children. And while in one way this is understandable, it being a free choice, after all, in other ways it is frankly preposterous that anyone could expect that the rest of one’s life could carry on exactly as normal when one has, overnight, picked up what can sometimes feel like the equivalent of three full time jobs, attending to the 24/7 requirements of one or more small human beings.
Mum has days when she spends morning to night feeling like she is failing. Failing everyone.
Failing her children, for not delivering the glorious technicolour childhood that Instagram promises her everyone else is managing to deliver for their children.
Failing Dad, for all too frequently forgetting to communicate with him in sentences which contain something more than pure profanities, and for swatting him away like an unwanted fly when he attempts to initiate amorous relations, because she is just so fucking desperate for a single solitary moment alone without everyone demanding her constant fucking attention.
Failing her life outside of home, be that her friends – her social life being at about the same heady levels that it was back in her second year at secondary school, when she was the only girl in the class not to get an invite to the all class party, thanks to her newfound inability to a) leave the house without assorted offspring in tow, and b) stay awake past 8pm; her work responsibilities, what with being able to deliver everything your children, spouse and work colleagues simultaneously require being all too frequently simply fucking impossible; and actually just failing at life in general. Not a day goes past when Mum doesn’t catch sight of something telling her just how much she is failing as an individual by not making time to wax her toes/dye her grey hairs/fit in an hour’s exercise a day/grow all of her own vegetables and cook everything from scratch.
Most of the time Mum is able to remind herself of all of the reasons that all of this is nonsense.
Most of the time.
But not all of the time.
And on days like today, when Biff and Chip and Kipper have whinged and moaned and complained from the moment they opened their eyes until the moment – three hours after their supposed bedtime, naturally – they closed them again; when Mum cannot do wrong from right; when they have sneered at her attempts to propose possible activities they could fill their day with; when they have dry retched at the dinner she lovingly prepared in an attempt to meet all of their various fussy fucker dietary requirements; when they have unleashed World War 3 over the fact one of them was breathing the same bit of air as the other one of them; when Mum has eventually reached the point where she cannot keep it together for a single moment longer, and has retreated to the downstairs toilet for a moment of privacy to sob silently, only to discover a log of excrement the size of her forearm left floating in the toilet bowl by one of her beloved offspring for her to dispose of, and manages all of a half gasp of a sob before Chip starts yelling through the door for more food, and Biff tells her she needs £50 to buy a “belly top”, and Kipper comes to ask her if Father Christmas is even watching him to see if he is on the naughty or nice list when he takes off his clothes to have a bath at night…….
……..Mum has to remind herself that she is not alone.
And that she is not doing a bad job.
She is actually, if you take everything into consideration that she is having to juggle, doing a fucking amazing job.
And Mum breathes in.
And pulls back her shoulders.
Lifts up her head.
And carries the fuck on.
You have got this, Mum.
We have all got this.