The Highs and Lows
Becoming a stay at home mum was originally a dream come true.
Bill worked really hard so that I didn’t have to, sure we had to make pretty huge sacrifices, I couldn’t fly off to Melbourne every time that I heard there was a mass gathering of homosexual lords doing cocaine off each other’s chests, but I had my children and I didn’t have to put them in day care anymore to go and cut hair for $22 an hour.
So why was I so unhappy? All I had ever wanted while working was to quit my job and spend more time with my kids, now I have got everything I’ve ever wanted and I was even more miserable.
One of my friends suggested that it could be depression – we all have one of those unqualified friends who likes to diagnose everyone around them, “you must have depression, I think your son has Autism, oh her daughter is definitely ADHD, she just doesn’t know it yet”
So off I trotted to blurt out all my issues to my GP who gazed back at me with this huge “first world problems” look on his face.
Yeah I can totally understand that, when he’s used to breaking the news to patients about terminal illnesses and here I am telling him that “I hated working and now I hate not working and I just have no zest for motherhood and my husband definitely doesn’t appreciate my glory anymore and I’m so saggy and my fanny hurts and….”
But here’s my problem with the “first world problems” argument.. If it’s important to someone, if someone is miserable, comparing their problems to those living in a drought, or those surviving in a war zone will only make them more miserable, miserable over whatever is getting them down and now ashamed over their own misery. One thing I do know is that you will not end world hunger by making miserable people feel ashamed about themselves.
The doctor concluded that I wasn’t clinically depressed, just miserable.
So I was left on my own to discover why.
Parenting is the most rewarding job in the world.. In hindsight, on a daily basis the rewards are minimal.
Before, when I was working I felt valued, I would have conversations about everything, I was contributing financially so I didn’t need to explain every cent I spent, people gave two fucks about my opinions, MY VOICE COUNTED, the only thing my opinion has seemed to count now is bath temperature and whether or not the babies shit is a healthy consistency on the odd occasion that someone else is actually changing it.
Some days leaving the house is too hard, I clean the house, it’s fucked again in 2 minutes, Bill asks fuck brain questions like “what have you done all day?” I feel like answering with “I shot up 2 grams of heroine and fucked the neighbour” what does he think I did all god damn day.
But then the reward comes; the smiles, the giggles, the “you’re the best mum”, an interesting story straight out of a 4 year old’s imagination, a merit award for kindness.
The reward’s worth more than millions, but you don’t get to choose when they come to you, they’re random and hit you when you least expect them, just when you are feeling so unaccomplished, so exhausted, so “what the fuck is the point in doing another load of washing when a toddler is only going to pull off his nappy and piss on another pillow” BAM a reward flies out of nowhere and Ninja kicks you in the head with a huge big….
“I love you so much mum”
Don’t ever feel ashamed for not loving every second of it.
It might not be the dream come true but most of us wouldn’t change it for the world.