the downs and downs parenting

There’s meant to be an ‘up’ in that phrase but i’m finding it hard to find the up these days. It seems to be downshill all the way at the moment. Depression is a bit like a coldsore. It’s there all the time, in me, just beneath the surface. But much of the time it can be hidden, albeit under the surface, but away from public view…. in my system. Then, a small itch bubbles up. A weird feeling that something is wrong but nothing to see for it. It broods and boild and then, erupts. It erupts so venomously, so viralantly, that although just a small part of me, it takes over complety, and I walk round as if it is covering my whole face. And like a coldsore, you just have to bide your time.
Everything is hard these days. Making the breakfast. Wiping Ruby’s uneaten breakfast off the floor. Getting four of us dressed, fed, and out the door every morning. Getting my work down while Ruby sleeps. What to make for lunch. Making lunch. Wiping Ruby’s uneaten lunch off the floor. Endless car seat manoevers endless times a day. What to make for tea. Making tea. Wiping Ruby’s uneaten tea off the floor. Bedtime routine. Finding the energy to work in the evenings, deadlines looming, bed calling.
So soon after stinging me with her last slap in the face, Daisy threw me another punch. This time I was giving out about something and she just walked off saying ‘blah, blah, blah’. That’s what my voice sounds like to them now – white background noise. blah, blah, blah. Everyone talks about the joy of parenting. Everyone talks about the sense of achievement, and the sheer pleasure of children. No-one talks about the bone-crushing monotony. The nerve-wrecking lack of validation. The hurt, the frustration, the feeling of failure, the despair, the constant questioning of your parenting skills, the punches, the lack of time to be yourself. And then you wake up the next day and try and start it all over again, trying to make it better, trying to make yourself better and the sheer uphill exhaustion of doing it all again, but better, and getting to the end of the day more times than not feeling you fared worse.
I have three amazing children. I want them to be amazed by me. I want my voice to be something of a building block in their lives. I want them to see how to live by watching me. I’m not doing any of things right now.
And then I watch something like this – the last Lecture by Randy Pausch and I realise I have a choice. To live or to die. To be Tigger or Eyore. To engage or disconnect. To fight or run. To give them a legacy or fade away…..
So, tomorrow is another day….. to start living my childhood dreams and making sure my girls have dreams worth wishing for…

About Grin & Tonic by Alana Kirk

Bouncing into middle age armed with courage, ambition and a pair of tweezers (chin hairs for anyone over the age of 45 reading this) I am a writer with a mission: to redefine this midway point in my life when the last thing I want to do is hang up my high heels and become invisible. This is the end of the beginning, not the beginning of the end. A single mum to 3 fabulous girls, an author, and a fundraising consultant, both ends of my candle are on fire. As I enter this new stage of my life, I want to explore what it means for 'mid-aged' women today, who were promised they could have it all, ended up doing it all, and just do not identify with the traditional image of middle age.
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1 Response to the downs and downs parenting

  1. Oh hun, your girls are amazed by you, they will continue to be amazed by you. You're a fabulous Mama, I just know it, I feel it in every piece of writing I read of yours. Children can unfortunately be so ungrateful, so hurtful, so ignorant. But this IS children. I really wish I could take my own advice though, because reading this post just spoke volumes to me (as so many of your posts do). I am on struggle street at the moment too. Without fail, every day, I go through a patch where I just question my ability to even keep doing this parenting gig. It is so. damn. hard. And the monotony you speak of, I feel it too. In fact, I think all of us Mama's out there do. No one EVER really tells us the home truths of parenting… because if they did, the human race would more than likely die out ;o) Hugs across the miles, hope tomorrow is a better day, even slightly better xoxo


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