Do we even journal honestly? Like “today, my day was totally shit; I did nothing but crave ice-cream and M & M’s from about 10am onwards. I wanted to stay in my pajamas and not talk to anyone, anyone at all. I did not want to even talk to my kids. I just wanted to read in my bed and stay warm and not be responsible for anyone or anything”. Instead, I spilled three litres of milk all over the floor courtesy of little helpers. I yelled until my voice was hoarse at kids that choose to listen to their inner voices and just do whatever the fu*# they choose too. I then tried to go to the shops to do groceries. On the way out to the car Brendan kicked Caitlyn, Caitlyn cried, screamed and then took justice. Emma then fell over and I ended up with three out of four kids crying. Right now I am just reveling in the motherhood thing. Living the dream right? Right.
Get into the car. Get them all locked in safely. Then there is the ‘I don’t want the middle. I am sick of the middle’ tirade. Argue the points about being in the middle is actually better as you get a bigger window – momentarily works.
Then actually get to the shops.
Don’t break formation.
Stay in line. Don’t break formation.
Next minute; Beebo has broken formation and has pissed off. Who knows where? Thankfully most of the grocery store owners know us and generally hold onto said child until they hear my voice – or see my face. Either is not particularly friendly by this stage I would imagine.
Surely however, I think to myself for the millionth time today – I cannot be the only one with an inner monologue that is 4 parts trucker and a few parts gratitude. I mean, really, I cannot be the only person who loathes the arguments, the fights, the kicking punching and screaming (why do they hit that pitch?!) and wonders how this is really what parenting is? Not the things you think, but these things – the moments where you literally want to cry from asking for the millionth time to stop pinching. Or to share. Why is that word such a synonym for war?
How is it that every day the battles are predominantly fought in our heads – well mine anyway. I weigh up the benefits of actually asking the kids to do something over the costs…time….yelling….and usually have an entire conversation in my head and then leave it at that – I don’t ask the kids to do it, or I don’t worry about it. And I know that this time in my life will rush on by – but seriously – I feel as though I am on repeat, every day is groundhog day and I am missing the enjoyment of it all because I am so busy. Busy with work, busy with kids, busy with just keeping a house. Just busy.
So when I journal, I try to be honest. Then I start and think, stuff it. But I know that it is important to not lose my voice, to remember this stuff, because even in 2 years time it will be different and the kids won’t be pushing the same buttons they do now. Or my husband won’t work away from home. Or I might have a different job – or something. Instead I have photos. Photos that I have captions too that really capture the way I feel or what I am going through. Some would akin some of them to a small element of neglect – but no child was harmed in any way shape or form!
I look at the photos and I know that for that night, for example – this photo – I did not sleep. As Emma had “EmmaFlu” which is on par with ManFlu. She was so unsettled all night the poor chicken. This is what she looked like when she woke up after a whole 2 hours sleep. And yes, I did clean her face and hug her (I had actually already hugged her, Hayden took this photo while I was getting a warm cloth to clean her face!!) I don’t know what else to write about as a mum or a wife that isn’t sounding like I am a total ungrateful cow. Yes my kids send me demented, no I would not change it, but what am I really able to say about it – out loud – before anyone puts on their Judgey pants and starts ranting?
In general terms, a whole lot goes on in my head. I live in a world where I spend a lot of time negotiating, pleading and re-iterating with four tiny humans. I can sit and read books and have a whole conversation with myself about something other than Spot in my head. Is that normal? Probably not. How else can I remember and get through the ‘to-do’ list every day though? I am constantly interrupted and stopped mid thought – to so many things. I can win and lose an argument in my head before a word has even been uttered out loud.
I have shit days. I have even shitter days. I think I could use other words but it might get a tad offensive(r). I cannot believe how much four tiny humans can make your life change. In every waking thought, regardless of the other roles you play, being a mother is the predominant one. Where are their uniforms? Are they clean? What is for dinner (Oh I hate this one)? Mum, I am hunnnnnngrrryy. I want cake for tea (kids). I want cake for breakfast (me). It just doesn’t stop. You find yourself having moments of clarity mid holding back hair for the third round of gastro and wondering if you ever expected this to happen. Or how many pairs of undies you thought you would actually need for toilet training and how many you used. Or the kilos of fruit you use daily just to feed four kids. It is life changing, it is a whole new level of insight and demands. It leaves me exhausted and battered some days, and other days so incredibly overwhelmed with love, happiness and gratitude.
It is akin to a rollercoaster ride. These little people who have heard my heart form the inside really have it over me. I am totally lost to their powers of persuasion, and often wonder how I am supposed to parent them effectively when I am not quite sure how to be an adult properly yet. Even now writing this, I sound all sunshiney and happy. But I know that in a matter of hours it will be arsenic hour and I will be counting down IN MY HEAD the hours until they are tucked up and asleep again for the reset of it all again. And by that time (oh about 6pm) I will be a screaming banshee that will have no patience, no tolerance and no energy left to fight them – and wishing that I could just have a few minutes peace. So, if I were to keep an honest journal, I think it would be a mix of frustration, happiness, swearing, and gratitude – but gratitude for four sleeping children more than the presence of them some days. And if that makes me an ungrateful cow, fair enough, right now I can live with that. I think I need to get the journaling out of my head and into a something – so that is my next goal. Hopefully before 6pm when it would definitely be only swear words.
Motherhood. The ride is neverending.