Saturday, 25 July 2009

Just a load of crap

Maybe I wasn't meant to be a Mother.

Today Sproglet crapped his pants 3 times - yes 3 TIMES - in about an hour and a half. Husband was ill. It was up to me to carefully cut off the pants, (pulling them down the legs just creates more horror) wipe his bum and re-dress him.

Each time he walked up to me, his wee face downcast. 'Mummy, poo.' He knows where you poo. You ask him, he says 'toilet' proudly - like, hey Mum, I know things. He may know it, he may even manage to wee there standing up pretty much all the time he needs to go - but my god his arse has yet to meet the seat. Each time I was calm, I asked him why he hadn't told Mummy he needed to go. He hung his head in shame.

Then came bath time. I was chatting on the phone to my aunt - and then I noticed something new amidst the bubbles, something that wasn't shiny and plastic. The brown snake curled across the water and I realised - he was pooing in the bath.

It took all my powers of patience not to just throw him, or myself out the window. He went to bed with no stories. This pooing his pants malarkey has being going on for 6 weeks now. He pooed on the floor at nursery on Fri. He knows it is wrong and yet he persists. I have no idea how to change this.

Anyway - I am kind of at the end of my tether. I just can't cope with a full time job, trying to rent out a flat, keep my house clean, wash the endless crapped on clothes, and raise a kid. Husband and I have no folks to help us - no tribe to rush in and give us a moment to ourselves. I feel guilty when I'm not with Sproglet and frustrated when I am with him.

I feel like my life is a groundhog day of washing sheets and towels and clothes and folding and cooking and stacking and rushing to the nursery and cleaning up crap. I miss who I was. I miss being a Samaritan - that amazing feeling of giving something and expecting nothing in return. I miss that volunteering was my thing - just for me - and it gave me something nothing else does. I miss having time to write. I miss my figure - the pounds just creep on in my sedentary job and car journey to and from work, with no time ever to get myself to my thrashing bashing body combat class or to pump a few weights.

I read an article today where Uma Thurman said ' When my son turned 7 I sort of stood up straight and realised I had been exhausted one way or the other for the past 10 years.' (Her daughter is 11). 'My big wish now is to make a little time for myself. I think many women, working women get this. I mean how do you justify that hour and a half to yourself? When you have this to do and that to do and you want to be there... that's what Motherhood is about - the chaos and confusion and loss of yourself. Of course there is a good part to losing yourself - any mother that doesn't give herself up isn't a good Mother - but at the same time you get to a point where you can't reach the identity that helped you be stable in the first place - and that is quite a frightening feeling. Guilty when you are here and guilty when you're there, of being torn in half. Your happiness depends on your sense of duty: what's your shame level today? What did you do wrong, what could you do better?

She goes on to say how she went to see a Dr a few years ago and he wrote a prescription that said 'Hotel - one night a week.'

She never did it.

I remember when Sproglet had just been born, I was tired and strung out and overwhelmed and lonely and scared - that I fantasised about running off to sleep in the local Holiday Inn. How banal is that? I didn't even fantasise about a luxury martini filled pamperthon, but a grimy basic budget hotel, where all I wanted to do was sleep. I figured that having had a C section, I couldn't get on the tube anyway - so it had to be within walking distance - my lagoon of tranquillity.

Last week was a hectic week work wise - I worked until midnight on thurs, was up at 7am, got Sproglet to nursery and then worked at my desk all day at home. Speaking to writers, typing notes, fielding calls. I didn't have time to eat more than a pitta bread dunked in hummus. Then I was dashing out the door dealing with estate agents and a painter who came to fix my worst ever painting faux pas and a small crying child and getting groceries - and I finished my last notes to my writers at around 8pm.

I feel so stretched and so angry all the time. Resentful at the Husband for always working so much and leaving me to cope with everything. Wishing I had a moment to try and write the bloody book that an agent wants me to write. A moment just to think about the book would be good.

I guess if I had another similar Mother to talk to about it all here it would be great. But the Mothers I know are not like me. In the area we live in - safe, good schools, terribly achingly middle class - verging on dull - but green and lush and quaint with a beautiful canal and a wonderful park for sproglet to throw himself around - there are terribly achingly normal folk. I want the people I knew back in London - without sounding like a complete wanker - I miss the folk I know who have a bit of bite to them - chequered pasts, dark secrets, filthy senses of humour - mainly work in creative areas - like a drink, swear like pirates and talk about something more than Motherhood.

I wanted a lovely home, I wanted Sproglet to have a secure happy childhood - maybe I just don't fit in here. Maybe Motherhood is too difficult for me. Maybe I just failed.

Today I told Husband that my new fantasy is that I walk out the door and just keep on walking - I never stop. I never look back. I just walk, endlessly - having no destination in mind. He did his usual thing of being cute and trying to endear himself to me, jollying me out of my thunderous mood.

People mean well - they offer to babysit, or say they'll call - but folk are busy and time flies by and I guess most of the time I'm usually pretty busy myself. Life is all about fitting people in and arranging weekends so far in advance your life becomes mapped out for you for the next few months. My friend Pocket used to live round the corner - I cooked her risottos most weeks, we sank many bottles of red and we had coffee and cake all the time. She was my 'day in day out' friend - someone you don't have to arrange to see. Almost family. But she now is a thriving song writer in LA and her absence is greatly felt in my life.

Husband is a bit of an island. I'm more of a bustling city - I need people to thrive. I like mooching in book stores, grabbing Thai for lunch, catching a movie, browsing trash mags, tinkering in Mac make-up like a kid in a dressing up box. I like late night conversations in greasy winebars with rotting sweating candles on the table. I like dancing wildly to rubbish music in hot tacky bars, my hair stuck to my head.

I feel I was someone once who knew who she was. And now, well now I clean up crap.

Maybe I just have raging PMT. Readers, forgive me.


brittanymum said...

I just want to reach out and hug you, cook you meals, clean your house, babysit while you go on a romantic weekend, kick hubby's ass for ya! And I cant! I'm too far away! Jump on a boat to Brittany, stowaway! Or stick sproglet on the boat and I'll pick him up in calais, we'll spend a week at the beach, and you can RELAX! All very theroretical (cant spell that!)I'm afraid, but do know that if could I would, and if you want me to, I will, and you're very welcome here whenever you want, ok? love xx

Monica said...

thank god you write this shit else I'd feel lonely. we all feel this way. is why I've got to do something drastic (like quit my job and move) or else I'll go nuts. I'm probably more like your husband though. A bit of an island and do well at home. i love your honesty, makes me feel so much better about my own plight.

Jesus, as I was typing the above my dog Max starting heaving and retching... rather than clean up puke I grabbed his collar and tried to rush him out the back door. His claw tore up my foot and he still puked all over the kitchen. Now Violet's crying. Am raising my hand in motherhood solidarity with you.

Liz said...


I became a mother 4 years ago and I felt *exactly* the same. I did in fact run off down the street a couple of times, I was only 21. I ached for the person I used to be. The monotony killed me. It was not the young dream I imagined. I thought it would never end.

I left my partner for someone else, freedom at last! The person I wanted to be came back like a sugar rush. Based on my drinking though, he took my baby. And 3 years later we still in court, and I'm still trying to iron it out.

I hear alarm bells ringing.

Motherhood is boring, frustrating and requires humility that I wasn't quite able to find.

I was a crummy mummy that drank, I was an artist, I felt I wasn't cut out for the 'humdrum' life. But believe me the pain of losing your child is far worse than the pain of losing yourself.