Today I waved you off at the door. You in your work boots with coffee and lunch bag in hand. Me in my negligée tatty old pjs, angry ginger child in hand.
When you arrived home it was a similar picture. Apart from the angry ginger child was now clutching to my leg and I had a gin in hand. You may have thought you were suffering from déjà vu. I can assure you I did at some point today brush my hair, apply makeup and wear actual clothes. You know those ones you pretend you don’t see me sneaking out of the wardrobe with the label still in, as I subtly cough to cover the sound of me pulling the tag. (I am not alone here, I fear this is a womanwide problem). But by the time you get home I have given up.
I resemble a bedraggled, snot coated scarecrow with a severe case of panda eyes.
YOUR GIFT TO ME
You gave me the opportunity to give up my career and do what I had longed to do for 5 years. To be a ‘Proper Mom’. I never miss a school play, if they are ill I get to be the one wiping the snot (oh joy!), I get to see their faces beam as they run to me after school. [You and I both know they are running because after a day where they have solely survived on a school dinner (yuk), a piece of fruit and a carton of milk, they are GAGGING for a chuffin kit kat.] Gone are the days when guilt kept me awake at night for fear that I had only seen my children for 2 hours each day. You took ‘that’ guilt away. You gave me the gift of being their everything. ‘That’ guilt has however been replaced.
THE LONELY HOUR
I call you to inform you of the debacle at playgroup; Jane brought along her husband who was a complete and utter loon. He insisted on making everyone try on his hat, which was apparently 100 years old, so he could take a photo of them in it. Is he for real? I avoided that buggar like the plague with his riffy nit infested hat, in fact the hat probably hat the fekin plague. You seem stressed and distant. You are working 7 days a week juggling an extremely stressful job with a wife who gets lonely and feels the need to call you and talk incessant nonsense. I quickly recognise your tone and let you get on. Throughout the day my mind is bubbling with all of the things I want to tell you but you aren’t here. You’re earning enough to fill the gap of my salary so instead I choose to text. It’s been 2 weeks and I still haven’t had a response. I feel so guilty for not contributing financially and so guilty that I can’t take that pressure away. At the same time I am so lonely and desperate to feel important again.
I AM JUST ANOTHER DEPENDANT
I have worked for years to build up independence. I have had the ability to go where I wanted, when I wanted without having to ask for anything from anyone. Now I have to ask you for spare change to go to a playgroup because the reality is what do I have of my own? My sanity is gone; the kids took it. My figure has gone; the kids ripped that from my clutches. My social life has disintegrated; my lack of salary took that. When you get home some days I want to escape. As you walk up that drive I wish I was dressed up ready to grab my keys and sneak from the house like a ninja to avoid the kids having a meltdown at the fact I dare to go anywhere alone. I want to sit in a bar and drink wine with my girlfriends spending MY OWN money.
MORAL OF THE STORY
I want you to know that even on the days when they drive me to drink. On the days where I don’t get up in the morning to make your lunch because I am exhausted from getting up to their nightmares. On the days when I cry because I am lonely and I feel like you don’t have any time for me. Most of all on these days when I long to escape motherhood. I want you to know I am grateful beyond words. One day I will work again. I will earn again. I will be independent again. We will be equal and the balance will be restored.
Until that day I want you to know that life at home with the kids isn’t easy. I try not to take it for granted because their young years are short but most days I get punched in the face by a 2 year old and deal with diva strops from a 6 year old that could rival Tyra Banks. I couldn’t do what you do and work so hard to provide for us but you tell me how you couldn’t do what I do either and be home all the time. So for now let’s just agree that this is our new balance.
This is our new form of equality. And remember on my really bad days don’t buy me flowers…
BUY ME GIN!