mummy is always tired

What do we want? When do we want it? Who knows?

on January 22, 2014

Every morning I wake to the gentle lapping of waves and the light from the sun flickering on my eyelids.  Then comes the realisation that the gentle lapping is actually the wake sound setting on my alarm clock and that gentle sun? is in fact the light from my Lumie lamp. The reality is, that it’s 6.30am, freezing cold and pitch black. The next hour is a blur of waking and dressing two children under 3. We are all bundled out of the house by 7.40am at the latest to drop off at nursery then the 50 minute drive for me to work (on a good traffic day).

I’m not going to moan about how hard it is being a full time working mum because the reality is, thousands of women around the country work hard every day. It is just a fact of life. What would be good though is to actually be able to balance that without feeling like something is missing. But what? – is it that whole heartedness of doing a job you love and being able to do it well or is it the effort of trying to reconcile the guilt of the dump and run exercise at nursery that leaves a big black hole inside me?

I used to love my job, when I had motivation and ambition. Now I stumble into work, vaguely aware that somewhere on my laundered clothes are the snot marks from little noses being wiped across me. I sit through meetings, phone on silent glancing down every few minutes to make sure the nursery aren’t trying to get hold of me. But what is the alternative, the actual reality of that alternative? The truth is, if I stayed at home, my bundles of joy would drive me insane. I have learnt patience, but it is a new skill for me and one that would be tested in the extreme. I did my year maternity in each case and loved all of it, but was that because it was always a finite arrangement?

But everywhere I look, other mummies seem to have it sorted. Either happy in work or happy to be at home either way, there is happiness galore. But why aren’t I? What is it I want? The truth is, I don’t know anymore. I made the fatal mistake of looking up an old friend on Facebook, only by chance but I shouldn’t have done it. Its the social media equivalent of picking a scab. Here was the perfect example of someone who had it nailed. She is a senior lecturer (fits in well with child care), lives and works in a beautiful European city and she looks radiant. As silly and as self indulgent it is, I felt like even more of a failure – stuck in a self inflicted rut with no idea of how to get out. I am goalless – lost in a fog of endless work, toddler demands and dirty laundry.

I certainly don’t want to come across as a humbug, I have two healthy, happy children and I have a secure job, which is nothing to be sniffy about. Work and life though are not a balance if it were would I feel like I’ve been dragged through that proverbial hedge every day? would I feel that void brought on by being pulled in all directions but my own? But then I remember my 17 month old doing her newly mastered monkey impression in the bath last night and suddenly tomorrow seems like it might be a better day after all.

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