Back in 2013, when my body was ravished by exhaustion and broken from a human exiting via, what used to be, a teeny tiny hole, I wrote “I had a dream…and it wasn’t like this“.
Four years on, I’m still struggling under the heavy weight of parental responsibility. I have a 7 year old now that lays on the guilt thick and fast…
7yo: Did you know that when people don’t eat food, they can actually die?
Me: Yup. They starve to death.
7yo: I haven’t had breakfast yet.
Me: I see what you did there.
I have a 5 year old, who is thriving at his specialist school for kids with autism, learning to talk like Father Jack and who lovingly punches me in the face when it all gets a bit too much.
I still hide in corners in the hope of not being asked another fucking tedious question or having to subserviently wipe arses that are now clearly no longer in need of my assistance. This act of trying to gain mental health time is usually rewarded with one child falling down a well that I wasn’t even aware was at the end of the garden or the other one eating four jars of chocolate spread in record time. Don’t ask why I have that many jars of chocolate spread in my cupboard. I just do.
So, 7 years into parenthood, what am I doing? Well, I did have a little dream and now the kids are being looked after by actual grown ups qualified to teach kids useful shit, like spelling and reading and stuff, I decided to pursue it. I’ve gone back to school.
I’m inspired by my fellow females – some I knew before we became mums, others are as a result of becoming a mum. They’re all following dreams in some way; teaching yoga and mindfulness, moving to NYC to kick American arse, quitting day jobs to set up new business ventures, expanding their families and nurturing babies, all whilst coated in the sticky crust of motherhood.
I remember the first fog of motherhood. It was all consuming and overwhelming. There were even dark moments when I questioned if I’d done the right thing. To be honest, I still do. Especially when I’ve got two kids screaming at me for answers to their intolerable lives that I just don’t have, or I have been the cause of.
I am finding me again though. Perhaps a different me that wouldn’t have been able to exist had it not been for motherhood.
So in a usual shout out to my fellow ladies, trying to adult and navigate the dangerous (for us, not the kids – I have no idea how many times a bumhole finger has been poked in my mouth) territory of Parentland, keep those dreams alive. All dreams have the same value. There is no hierarchy to dreams. No one dream is better than another. They’re yours and yours alone and they hold the power to make you feel brilliant and inspired. And if you feel like you’re a million miles away from those dreams, don’t despair. Just say ‘fuck’ a lot. It has helped me no end over the last seven years and will no doubt continue to, looooooong into the future.
Now…mental health time over…where the fuck are the kids?…*Retrieves one from a well and confiscates four jars of chocolate spread from the other*