I know the exact moment when it happened.
I stepped into the shower, turned the Taos and thought,
‘if I leave right now, I’ve an hour head start and they’ll never ever find me’
It started out so well. Friday was St Patrick’s day and we decided to have a big family Irish breakfast. Once upon a time we used to go to the parade in the city but no, I’d have to be crazy to go with one child, let alone two now. So we’d decided to go to the much smaller parade this year. The Irish breakfast was a last minute thing I thought would be fun, and something we could always do for the kids, then Krys suggested we invite my sister and her family over as well and I thought that was even better, and even better than that, they said sure they’d come. So come friday we were cooking like crazy, and talking and laughing and it was raining like crazy but that didn’t stop us because it was so much fun. Then my sister said, what the hell, come on over to our place in the afternoon and we’ll have dinner and maybe watch a movie, and we traded kids (my nephew wanted to stay and Roz wanted to go) so my nephew and I watched Sing Street (excellent by the way) and the baby slept on my lap and we had popcorn and a fire and it rained and rained. Then at four we went over to my sister’s house and they had cooked a lovely dinner and we all talked and laughed and ate and made merry and the men sampled beers from around the world and got nice and merry and it was fun. And I drove my little family home and we all went straight to bed. And then Saturday came and it continued to rain and we stayed in all day and I cooked and I pottered around and I changed nappies and I cooked some more and I worried about things that needed doing and things that weren’t getting done and it was eleven and breakfast was still getting cleared off the table and lunch was meant to get started but I also had other things that had to be done and I just couldn’t breathe and yet I couldn’t go outside because it was bloody well still raining like it always does and I just needed some space in my own head to think. Aaarrrggggggghhhhhhh!
So Krys said he’d take the kids for a walk, two hours tops, seeing as how it was- yup- raining. And I could at least cross even one thing off my list. It took them ages to leave, as it does with two small kids, so I bit my lip and washed up dishes while wellies and waterproof clothing and slings were found and worn, and dreamt of ten blissful minutes in a hot shower as the vet first thing to make me feel same.
And they left.
I went straight to the shower. I turned the water on.
I’d forgotten to turn the boiler on.
I just wanted to cry.
I just stood there under the water and was tired of my life. Tired of the endless sleepless nights; the constant demands for attention from the two kids; the endless cooking and cleaning and nappy changes; the breastfeeding, the lack of privacy; the never being on my own for two bloody seconds.
I just wanted to be me.
Not anyone’s mother, not have obligations.
And yes I’m dead serious, in that moment the fantasy of getting out, getting dressed, grabbing my passport and leaving crossed my mind with a wild relief attached to it. I’d have an hour’s head start in them. They would never find me. Wouldn’t even know where to begin looking for me.
And then it passed and I was kind of okay.
Parenting is hard. It’s so bloody hard. Rewarding sure, but really freaking hard too. Why do people never tell you how absolutely shit it can be?
Well I’m telling you now that it can.
You often feel like you’ve lost who you were, not knowing who you are or who you’ll become. And that’s okay.
It’s all a flux and some days you want to run outside and scream because you don’t know if you’re getting it right. And that’s okay.
And some days you just want to go back to work because it’s easier. You have your checklist and KPIs and uninterrupted coffee breaks and that’s fine too.
There is no right way to feel about this. There’s only the importance of allowing yourself to live with these many facets of oneself. And there are no bad ways to feel, there is just feeling and what you do with it. Becoming aware of and acknowledging it is always your first step to making it better.
So I found paradoxically, as these things tend to be, that once I’d let myself think these thoughts of walking out, entertained the fantasy of never coming back, of being free, I felt better. I said to myself,
‘Aah. That’s where we are now? Okay. You may possibly need a hug babe’
And I got out of thE stupid cold shower, made myself a coffee and found that I could breathe again.