Confessions of a Stay at Home Mum

Yep, I have secrets. All Mums do.

When I think about the things that women keep from each other it’s really quite laughable. On one hand, women are very judgemental of each other, so it’s no wonder we keep our dirty little secrets to ourselves. On the other hand we are all very judgmental of ourselves, and live in a constant state of moderate guilt.
We all think that others are more *something*
More pulled together
More organised
More patient
More professional
More consistent
More…fill in the blank

 

The reality is we are all in the same boat. Living the same life and doing the same jobs day in day out. Taking care of our families the best way we know how.

Why is it that we, as women, like to read about another’s’ perceived failings? I doubt that there is any malicious intent. I doubt that any woman is really vindictive enough to enjoy another woman’s’ struggles. It’s just that when we witness something real, a small crack in the facade, it makes us feel less guilty about our own reality. About the things we do not say out loud. For one second it makes us feel that we might be doing ok.

I thought I might share some of my little struggles, the things that make me human. You know, I wouldn’t want to be misleading. There are no perfect mothers out there, and there aint one in this house either.

Listening.
I am a good listener generally. In adult conversation. But when it comes down to kids stories

“And then Sam and I walked over the other side, and there was this tree, you know like the ones we have at home, ‘cept this one was bigger. And we got to the tree and then Sam said blahblahblah…..”

and that’s where I switch off.
Mmmhmmm”
“I see”
Smile and nod.
Don’t get me wrong, I listen when I know it’s important, but I do confess to switching off at times. It’s like my brain does a quick assessment and if its presence is not required it goes AWOL.

Cooking Dinner
I hate cooking like no other task on earth. At least once a week Oven Fish and frozen vegies is all I can manage.

Mornings
I don’t want to talk to you until I’ve been awake for at least 20 minutes. Most definitely do not pounce on me as soon as I have opened my eyes with “Mum, he won’t let me in the bathroom, can I use your bathroom…pleeeeseee. I can’t hold it, Muuuummmmmmm!”
I’m not joking; I can be quite grumpy in the morning. I find this amusing because I was always happy enough to get up during the night to feed my babies, no matter what time. But now they’re older they can bloody well give me some time to wakeup.

Fighting
I do not deal with the kids fighting. Cannot tolerate it. Do not get involved in it. Will not enter the discussion. I don’t care who started it. I don’t care what happened. Figure it out yourself.
The End.
Addendum: If someone is bleeding or not breathing, then I might care. But say it quick before I tell you to go away.

Noise.
I really don’t deal with noise. Stupid me bought The Actor a drum kit for his Birthday two years ago. It has practice pads, but still it grates on every single one of my nerves. I try to let him play for as long as I can tolerate. I take deep breaths, I try to not hear it, I try to zone out.
Eventually I just lose it “OK ENOUGH!” sadly, my limit is about 5 minutes.

More than that though chewing noises make me certifiably crazy. My family know this, and they have all chewed with their mouths closed from the time they could physically control it. A lapse in concentration on their part results in a serving of the Mum Death Stare and me leaving the table.
OTT? Most definitely, however, if I didn’t leave the table I might just implode. Or kill someone.

Crying
Maybe this is a noise issue. Now that my kids are a bit older, there is no real need for noisy crying. I have zero tolerance for it. You cry with your eyes not with your mouth.

People
Yeah ok I don’t like people.
I’m not talking individuals here. I’m sure everyone is lovely; I’m talking in a more broad sense. I pick my kids up from school 10 minutes late on purpose, so that I don’t have to deal with people.
There. Now you know.

Bedtime.
Try as I might, I seem to check out at about 7:00, despite the fact that bedtime is 8:00. This is new to me. Obviously when I had four babies under 6 there was no checking out. When I had toddlers that needed bathing and dressing and tucking in, I couldn’t and didn’t check out.
I am finding that as my kids get older, I get a bit lazier.
(tutt tutt – can anyone else hear my Grandmother tutting?)

Mess
Now I am by no means a clean freak. I used to be, but that was before I realised that my standards of clean and my four children are mutually exclusive. I harbour the hope that at some point I will get on top of it and have the lovely house of my dreams. One day.
I do confess to not allowing activities that will add to the mess, like baking cookies (all that flour) and craft (sticky glitter) No Thanks.
And I also confess to leaving the house on Saturday morning and spending the day hoping from cafe to friends’ house to park to restaurant so that I don’t have to go home and look at the disaster that is my house.

Captain Clumsy’s Bedroom
Oh yes, he gets his owns little paragraph.
It is a disaster. I mean a real disaster.
I say “clean your room” 500 times a day. Even though I know that’s not enough for him. Even though I know he has issues with executive functioning.
He doesn’t cope with “clean your room”, he needs me to stand with him and say “now pick that up, now put that there”
Who could be bothered. (That is not a question)
I’m still trying to figure out how to deal with that, without just doing it for him and making myself crazy.
I close his door alot.

And Finally
I rely heavily on my glass of wine at the end of the day. I look forward to the kid’s bedtime, I actually don’t feel guilty about taking time out for hubby and me, but that in itself makes me feel guilty….a little bit of crazy for you right there.
I sometimes sleep-in on Saturday which means Princess misses her ballet class and I don’t ’really’ watch Captain Clumsy play tennis, he thinks I do but I really play ‘diamond mine’ or something equally mind numbing.

So, there you go.
That’s where my Motherguilt stems from.
We all have our own list but we shouldn’t. We’re human. And nothing reminds me of that more than the fact that my mother probably had a list of her own and I never knew it. She was always doing her very best for us and never once did I think she failed in any way whatsoever.
Your kids don’t see your neurosis. They just see that you’re there, that your arms are always open and that you love them unconditionally.
Our lives will never be perfect. Our situations and events will never be perfect. We will never be perfect. We can make ourselves feel inadequate, or we can accept the fact that perfect does not exist.
We need to give ourselves, and each other, a break. We are all on the same team, and we are all doing the best we can with what we have.

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5 Responses to Confessions of a Stay at Home Mum

  1. Pat says:

    Here are a few of my short comings
    The ONLY chore I didn’t mind was ironing.
    My bed is my sanctury DO NOT DISTURB
    I dont ‘do’ blood or vomit. That is men’s work
    I generally don’t like other peoples kids (family not included).
    Last but not least, I am called phycho woman for a reason!!!

  2. Pingback: Little White Lies | lifelovelunacy

  3. Jane says:

    Rachael you are brilliant. I love your blogs, I can identify with so much in them. I wish I had something like these to read when my kids were little. At least then I would have felt like my thoughts were sometimes normal. Oh how I miss the 7:00 bedtime, now they go later than me. My bedtime is getting earlier, not quite at 7:00 yet lol. Keep up the good work Rachael 🙂

  4. Pingback: Put Your Marriage First | lifelovelunacy

  5. Elzira says:

    definitely alright article.

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