This morning I went to a work event for the first time in forever.
As I slumped into my seat on the train to make my way into London it hit me how utterly anxious, frazzled and unprepared I felt to be a) doing something for myself b) going somewhere alone and that c) involved me not having the safety net of my little Diva’s to hide behind.
I felt as if I’d forgotten so many things, but mostly myself. My dress was a creased mess which I hadn’t had time to iron and had a suspicious looking blob on it which could have been food. Or snot? Who knows. My legs were hairy and oddly patchy with the remains from a three-week-old fake tan. I’d been too tired to paint my nails the night before or pack my bag so was missing so many little things that I wanted, like a tissue, my hand cream, my lip seal and emergency breast pads. My phone battery was low, which sends most of us into panic mode on a normal day. Let alone venturing into London without a scooby as to where you’re going.
It also didn’t help that Elsie had had a really sad meltdown before I’d left because she thought she was coming with me into London.”But Mumma that’s why I’m ready, to go somewhere!” she wailed. Oh, the guilt. She was standing there in her favourite dress and had asked Nanny to do her hair and then I went and broke her little heart by saying that she couldn’t come with me. Mean Mumma.
So there I was sitting on the train feeling nervous, messy and oh so guilty and it just made me feel tired. I’ve been trying. Really trying for about three years now to be good at everything and now I’m really tired of trying to be good at everything all of the time.
Trying To Be Good At Everything
The old me was really good at so many things. The new me just can’t ever seem to keep up. We are constantly having to make choices. Our heads and our hearts are being pulled in so many directions and something or someone always loses out.
Up until a few days ago, our house was filthy. You know it’s bad when you don’t want your baby to eat random Pom Bears she’s lobbed on the floor because your floors are so gross. Not helped by the fact that Billie Baby’s new trick is taking her nappy off then heading straight to the Hallway to have a poo before casually waddling across the house, making a treasure trail of shite, into the Utility Room where she likes to wee standing next to the tumble dryer. She’s still not saying Mumma, but this little act of grossness, she’s mastered.
So I made a conscious effort to get our house looking and smelling less like a public toilet. Which has meant something else had to give, of course. Mostly my work, a little bit of my time with the babies and it’s meant even less time or energy for me or the Hubster and I’m tired.
Tired of trying so hard to keep our home so clean. Tired of constantly thinking of all of the things that I haven’t done or can’t do. I’m not good at this or I’m not great at that. I’m tired of the guilt and tired for always trying to be good at everything, but never actually feeling like I’m good at anything.
Every hour of the day effectively needs to be compartmentalised with a chore or focus and something always inevitably catches us out.
Is It Possible To Be Good At Everything?
I do wonder if I’m chasing an impossible reality. Not helped by the seemingly perfect lives portrayed on Instagram. But I’m pretty sure that I’d be setting myself these standards with or without a little window into the lives of others.
It’s as if by becoming a mother, we also take on the role of becoming our own worst enemy. We torture ourselves on striving for perfection and control. All the while trying to appreciate every single moment and be just as good as everyone else seems to be, in every aspect of life. It’s exhausting.
But it’s all in our heads.
We are all really bloody amazing.
More than we will ever give ourselves credit for, which I suppose is all part of the parenting experience. It’s an unpredictable rollercoaster of learning curves. One day we’ll look back and wonder how on earth we did it. We’ll be really proud of everything we achieved. And that we managed to keep our little people alive in the process.
We’ll never stop trying to merge the old us with the new us. Striving to find a harmonious balance at each stage, which never lasts for very long. Each new day brings new challenges and we keep going because that’s what we Mumma’s do best. We keep juggling and continue trying to be good at everything.