Friday, 29 July 2011


I need to confess. Christ, I'm not even a Catholic. But I need to tell someone and it has to be you - because I'm alone, as usual, as I am every night almost, and the kids are finally asleep, and my only company is Sky + and a glass of red.

My heart is heavy. The truth of it all is that whilst I may joke that I am CrummyMummy I feel much worse than that. I don't know where to start. Maybe... maybe back a few weeks ago - when I went to York for a few days alone, to work. Or to work out what I am going to do, now I am a mother of two who still needs to earn. I thought I'd find it incredibly hard being away from the kids. Thought I would miss them dreadfully and yearn to return.

But I didn't. I am ashamed to say I found the whole 2.5 days blissful. I woke naturally at 9am. I went for a run without having to bargain with Husband about how long I'd be. I made coffee and read papers. I surfed the net uninterrupted. I wrote. I felt me again. I was selfish. And I loved it. I came home, of course delighted to see the kids, but it was like some spell had been broken. Instead of the daily chores being just the daily chores they squeezed my throat a little tighter - I felt an odd resentment creeping up on my shoulder. I felt an irrational anger at having to wipe and clean and coo and mother. I just wanted to make it stop. I wanted to be ME again.

I think I am a shit mother. My kids are loved and read to and played with and fed a healthy assortment of foods and they get to go all kinds of activities - and you would never know, you would never see, that behind the tight smile and the 'I will find joy in this if it kills me' I feel miserable. Not all the time. Just some of the time. I think I am odd. I don't LOVE motherhood like other mothers do. It doesn't fulfil me on every level. I miss working, I miss office life, I miss reporting, I miss an edit suite when you nail a report. I miss chatting to writers and making a story work. I miss drinking in Soho until 2am and ending up at a dodgy late night drinking den doing shots. I miss going to screenings at Mr Youngs, or any screen in Golden Sq W1 and then reviewing films on TV shows... I miss so much of my old life that sometimes I wonder how I ended up where I am.

And the fact that I am not as in love with motherhood as other mothers makes me feel so fucking guilty, so acutely aware that I am different that I am defensive and frightened and always watching other Mums to see how I should be - am I making the grade? I don't know why there is a part of me - and you will hate me for saying this - that doesn't understand how anyone could want to be just a mother. Isn't that awful? Just a mother - listen to me, I say it like it is some dead end job. I don't mean it badly. I just worked so hard to get my degree, to be a presenter and then become a script editor, that I hate the fact I have had to give it up. I have no idea how I would ever work and juggle two kids, when Husband works such crazy hours - and I doubt I would earn enough to pay a nanny. I find myself insanely jealous of those who can afford nannies, those who can work. I try to make snide remarks about others bringing up their kids, why have kids blah blah - but I am just being a bitch because I am so green with envy, that they get to work, they get to do something for themselves, that I have to hide it behind a mask of smugness that I am a 'stay at home mother' don'tcha know?

The months roll on and in a matter of weeks my statutory maternity measley £125 a week will end and I will have not a penny. Husband says it is crazy for me to think about finding a job - when there are none, and anyway, they would be full time, and dramas are all filmed outside London nowadays and with the kids I couldn't go, and how would I get into and out of London every day in nursery hours blah blah. And he is right. And I chose all this. I wanted my family. I love them more than anything in my life - I swear to god I do. But why I am then crying as I type? Why do I feel like I have disappeared, that the girl that once was so ambitious, that worked so so hard, is now just a memory?

Now that summer is here and Sproglet is off and I have to find ways to fill his days, and mine and the baby's - I just feel so stressed. There are some cool Mums I know - but they have all gone/are going back to work. I am left talking to folk who think I am interested that their daughter crapped on the carpet today - when inside I want to scream - can't we talk about ANYTHING apart from kids????? The phone hacking scandal, The Murdochs, Norway, Winehouse, Obama and US debt - the news has been overflowing recently with tragedy and intrigue and debate. And I'm talking about potty training....

I am sorry - I shouldn't have blogged. I sound like such an ungrateful, spiteful cow. Husband is back at work, I guess I just see my empty diary, the loneliness bites and the dark thoughts that haunt me at night begin to haunt me in the day. I just want something for myself I guess. Something that involves people. I love people. A friend recently told me she had never known anyone who enjoyed meeting people as much as I do. How can you not? Everyone has a story. Everyone has a secret. Everyone has something to give or share. I miss being a Samaritan. The list of things I miss feels so long, and I feel so selfish for having it. I look around all the time and wonder 'are you like me?' But they aren't. They are better Mothers. They seem to just fit with motherhood, like a glove. It just makes me feel like I failed somewhere down the line - in my career, and now in my home life too.

Ok, enough of my pity party. I'm off to drink some red, watch Sopranos and the final of The Apprentice. Even though I know Tom won. It's Friday night, a girl's gotta get her kicks where she can find 'em.


Anonymous said...

When I started back at work in June after 11 months of maternity leave, all the people I work with asked me if I missed my daughter. I dutifully said 'oh yes of course' but the truth was I didn't. And I don't feel bad about it. The stay at home routine is very boring, my daughter spends two days with her grandparents at the beginning and end of the week, where she is doted on and the middle part of the week with a child minder whom she seems to adore and what is more, she has fun, plays and plays til her heart is content, goes to baby groups, has a cracking social life, is tired sometimes and at the end of the four hours is pleased to see me as I am her. She really doesn't miss me either. I feel human again at work and have something to talk about with my husband at teatime rather than a pooh-ing log and little else. The profession you chased and conquered requires 100% and so you can only work that one out for yourself, but please do not think you are a shite Mother because the worst thing, in my opinion, that can happen to child is neglect and that comes in many, many forms and I know you would never allow your children to suffer from it. Give yourself a break. XX

p.s.forgot to add that I have been at the receiving end of comments about why I am not at home all day with my child. Whatever!!!

jkelsofarrell said...

It's far more important to your family that you're happy and in a good place than it is that you fulfill some antiquated notion of what being a mother is.

Tegan said...

Hon, I don't know anyone who wants to be just a mother....I have plenty of friends who are not career oriented (myself included even with 2 degrees)and have kids but none of them are just mothers. Every woman has a million things that make them what they are - kids are a big part but certainly not the only part....maybe you need to find more friends who are interested in the other parts or who are, at the very least, interesting. PS Nor do I know anyone who would not love a 2day break from their kids - hopefully one day i will be lucky enough to get one!!!!

Anonymous said...

I don't have kids, I probably won't ever be in a position where I can, however, I know you are a great mother, because you are you.
Go easy on yourself, give yourself a break. I hope and wish that you can find a way to earn a living and write, and find some balance between your two worlds.
Sending love and hugs and well wishes to you, you are a GREAT mother. No doubt. Know that!

Crummy Mummy said...

I really appreciate all your comments so so much. It means a lot to me - makes me feel less alone in it all. I just wish I knew of a job/way that it could all work - then I would begin to strive for something. Writing is such a lonely old profession - and I love it, but I hate the isolation. I need watering with conversation and interaction. I am sure it will all work out. Some days it is just hard to see any light ahead, when obviously there is always a way out. I have my health, I am not imprisoned, I am not starving - life isn't bad and I should be more appreciative of what I have. I value your replies, so thanks.

Mishella said...

Oh hush now woman!
You are not a Crummy mummy and you are certainly NOT an ungrateful, spiteful cow!
You are bloody brilliant and HONEST, you think you're the only one who feels like this?? Pah! I've worked for MANY woman who feel the way you do and their children are loved and gorgeous and wonderful kids who have grown into beautiful young Adults. It is not a bad or selfish Woman who chooses to do things for herself,whether it be going back to work or just regular "non mummy" days. It's much better for those children to have a happy Mum who wants to spend quality time with their kids rather than be with them ALL the time and resent it.
Chin up lovely!
You are doing GREAT and you will figure it out.

Keenie Beanie said...

I'm not a mother (yet) so perhaps I can't truly relate, but I certainly can understand that you feel this way some days. It doesn't make you a terrible mother, and certainly not a terrible person. And as far as "shouldn't have blogged"... I think the comments you've received on this post should show you otherwise, no?

Hugs to you, and I hope the days feel brighter soon.

Anonymous said...

I just found your blog and I have to admit I feel the same way. Not all the time, just enough to find it alarming. So you know, I'm a survivor of two girls; 4.5 and 2.5.

I find I secretly hate the mothers that say "I love being a mother, I'm never resentful, every day is blissful, I've never felt anything but love for my child" and if I hear one more parent say "it's the most rewarding job you'll ever have" I might kick them in the shins, after thinking they must have had the crumbiest life ever before kids.

Perhaps the reward comes years later, but in the throes of it now there's very little reward for the long hours of tedium. Like you, it's not because I don't love my children. I do. I wanted them so badly and now they are my life, which lead the decision for me to find a way to stay home. But I had no idea what the day in, day out would bring. Until you've lived it, you have no idea what you're up against. Too bad we don't find like-minded authors until we're in a desperate search of camraderie, when reading a book that doesn't rhyme is a guilty pleasure. I'm so sick of hindsight, some foresight would be useful for a change.

I did manage to find a way to continue to work from home on occasion. I'm a biologist, so I'm able to do some work on the weekends and in evenings, as long as I negotiate child care with my husband. It's the fact that a negotiation must take place that I struggle with now.

Thank you for your honesty in parenting. We deal enough with madonna-like mothers in white pants with hot cups of Starbucks coffee joyfully coralling their clean children at the playground.

The strangest part of all this, for all my negativity and feeling sorry for myself and the loss of before-child me, I wouldn't change what I do now as I do see the benefit in my girls. I would change the acknowledgement of the necessary self-sacrifices for these benefits. Funny how a little acknowledgement, from the kids, from husband, from other parents (including our own), can go a long way.

Crummy Mummy said...

Anonymous, who just left the previous comment - I've just noticed it and I want to thank you so much. It makes me feel less alone in this whole motherhood game, when folk like you take the time to write, and to share the great taboo *whispers* that maybe Motherhood isn't all it is cracked up to be. I wish more women where honest - and so there wasn't this dreadful sense of competition - and that only if you stay home and bake cookies are you a 'great' mother. I wish that my school had tried to educate on me this, I wish that the government made it easier and not harder for women to go back to work, I wish that indsutries were more forgiving to working mothers, I wish women supported rather than competed with women, more. I thank you so much. I started this blog to find like minded souls and to read you post - and all others I am lucky enough to receive - makes me day.