Sunday, 16 August 2009

Your exuberance is exhausting...


I was reading an article today about Thandie Newton. She was warbling on, at one point, about her child/children and how they made her life complete and how they were her life.... blah, blah, blah... Oh God, I thought... am I weird? Am I the only parent out there who finds children exhausting?


We wandered around a lovely garden today( I shall post about it another time ) and my boys ( 9 & 11 ) were with us. Obviously. We don't get to have quiet romantic outings by ourselves any more... I suppose I should be glad that our parenting has produced confident, happy boys who fly around like demented bloody squirrels, but..... uh.... sometimes... enough is enough.


There are times when I long for the quiet, civilised life before the boys came along. The times when I could enjoy a long bath without having one or both of them come bursting in to use the toilet. The times when I didn't have to make anything for dinner if I didn't feel like it. The times when my lounge was not littered with DS games, Match magazine and the faint smell of pre teenage boy.


I read other blogs of people whose lives with children sound perfect. Their children are perfect, their lives are complete and they ask no more of life than to spend the day playing board games or watching a kids film with their offspring. Well, that is just not me... A lot of the time I can't stand being a mum. Yes, you heard me right. I want to do my kind of stuff... watch my kind of films, my kind of tv and spend days wandering around galleries... not washing muddy football kit whilst cooking industrial quantities of spag bol for the screaming hoards.


Sometimes I look at myself before kids and compare myself then to myself now... Now I am an exhausted, plump, sucked dry version of my old self. They are slowly draining my lifeblood as they blossom into young men. Like butterflies changing from caterpillars they are plumping up and as they grow more beautiful and more vibrant, I diminish and fade.


Is that what motherhood is? Do I have to sacrifice myself for them? I pretend to the world that I am Mrs Perfect Mum, but inside I mourn, selfishly you may well say, for the old me. I fully acknowledge that I am selfish in feeling this way. Perhaps this is the child left in me? My final gasp of self obsession.


Whatever the truth may be, I will never let them know how I feel about this. Perhaps my one good feature is that I keep up the pretence to the outside world that motherhood is a state of wonderful happiness, that this is what I love to be. For, no matter how exhausting I find them, no matter how irritating, one of the things about being a parent is that you have an overwhelming urge to protect the little blighters.... I think I may need a glass of wine...

7 comments:

Gail said...

I should have never had children.

Inkling said...

Oh, dear Sarah, how much I appreciate you today. I, with my adorable seven month old cutie who I love more than I thought possible, still feel a lot of these exact feelings you expressed. I felt so sad today knowing that I can't just go off for a few days to find healing for my heart because a little one needs me. I have to be responsible and nice and all that jazz, when all I really want to do is drink some nice wine, eat some good food that I did not cook, and sleep or read the rest of the time. Sometimes, I think what we feel is totally normal. Motherhood is a life in sacrificing for sure. It has so many blessings, but sometimes we have to be honest and share the hard parts. Thanks for doing that.

Urban Cynic said...

As you know I don't have any children, don't have any, don't want any & never did.

I feel very lucky that i've never heard that tick tock noise that others have or that pull in my stomach that I really must have one - everything that you miss... I do!

It does sound like I'm showing off here; but I'm grateful that I knew I didn't want any before I suddenly found myself pregnant & left with no choice.

I like that my life is my own & I can do exactly as I please when I please; I'm far too selfish to put my life aside for them (which appears to be the deal)You do get some kind of reward from them though which I will never be able to understand.

I chose shoes over children & have never regretted it (lucky really as I'm single!) I think I'd be quite a good mum but I don't think I'd enjoy it - for the reasons you mention. I think that's normal though.

My mum didn't have much of a life because she had my brother & I. she told me as an adult that, although she's glad she has us, if she could go back then she wouldn't have had us that early, or possibly not at all. She understands why I don't have any... I think a lot of mums feel like you but not many of them are brave enough to say it. x

Sarah said...

I am so glad to hear that you feel this way too! I was wondering whether I should write this as I thought someone might call social services and have the little darlings taken away from their evil mother...S

prashant said...

Sometimes, I think what we feel is totally normal. Motherhood is a life in sacrificing for sure. It has so many blessings, but sometimes we have to be honest and share the hard parts. Thanks for doing that.


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Karen said...

Totally agree with your post! I'm slowly getting a bit of my life back - with my kids getting older. I think there has to be a balance. If you have a rich & fulfilled life with your own interests, your kids will benefit from that.

Kork said...

Of course it's normal to feel this way...anytime we have to sacrifice, it gets to a point where that part of us inside starts screaming for attention and the "when is it my turn?" voice gets louder and louder and louder...

I'm with Inkling on this one...it is a life of sacrifice, but somewhere, there is blessing...and maybe, when my own kids are 9 and 11 (and either 13 or 7!), I'll be where you are...that those endless tasks are just that...endless...tasks...and I do feel taken for granted - that there'll be clean clothes and equipment for the wearing, food for the eating when they want it, stories to be read, toys picked up - but I know that I watch my friends who are "ahead" of me in the timeline...one with their oldest in their first year of college, and how she's realizing that her role as parent is almost done...it's tough...and normal to go between some form of positive feelings and the overwhelming desire to quit and run away from it all...

Sending hugs and wishing we could share a cup of tea and some chocolate and lament together so we'd feel better!