I’m not going to lie, I had a terrible week. The worst. My husband was sent away on a five-day training course for work, which left me home alone with the kids. All four of them. I spent a lot of time crying, and very little time sleeping. I always thought I’d make a good independent woman, but now I realise I was wrong. The dark is really scary when you’re the person in charge of keeping everybody safe. Plus I resent having to do the cooking and the washing up. Everything was too much for me.
The kids were back at school and kindergarten after their two week break, which probably sounds like I was living on Easy Street, but no. I was not. Sure, it’s nice and peaceful when your children are away for a few hours during the day, but the morning, afternoon and evening rush is horrible. There is so much stress and pressure involved when you’re in sole charge of organising five people. Preparing meals and packing bags, tidying up and brushing teeth, putting shoes on feet and loads of laundry in the machine… And it seems like it all has to happen at once! I was constantly rushing from one thing to another, and without another adult in the house I had no one to vent to. Being unable to voice any little annoyances meant they built up into big annoyances. And that meant I ended up sobbing on the living room floor when the three-year-old managed to smear poo across the seat of my cream-coloured armchair. Why must toilet training take so long?!
The worst (and most ridiculous) part of my week was being all worked up about a competition I had entered. A competition! The logical half of my brain kept reminding me that a competition is a gamble, that although I had worked hard on my video entry I couldn’t expect to be placed in the finals, let alone win. And yet the competition consumed me. I kept checking to see if there were any new entries. I began making plans for how I would earn votes
when if I made it into the finals. I sent voice message after voice message to my friend telling her all about the latest video, wanting to know if she thought I was still in with a chance of winning. Being a supportive friend, she assured me I was in with a really good chance; she expected I would make it through to the finals. And though I loved hearing her say that, it filled me with a sense of false hope. As a grown woman who has never stepped foot outside of New Zealand, I managed to convince myself that I deserved the family holiday to Fiji. I was going to get it! But, of course, I didn’t. I didn’t even make the finals. Why would I? I was mortified that I’d spent so much time agonising over it all. There’s nothing more embarrassing than sharing something you’ve created with pride, and then realising that actually, your efforts were quite pathetic.
In amongst the chaos of mustering children and obsessing over a holiday that would never come to fruition, I was struggling with feelings of jealousy. I’ve been at home raising babies for eight years straight, and I often feel like I have nothing going on. We do live in our own home (which means we are lucky), and I did conceive, carry and deliver four healthy humans with relative ease (which means we are incredibly lucky), but it can be hard to feel grateful for these things when the people around you seem to have so much more. While I was at home alone, my best friend was embarking on a new career – her dream job – and having an offer she’d made on an enormous section accepted, which means that she and her husband can build a house. She is also looking forward to heading off on a two-week holiday in Europe in the very near future (and let me just remind you, I’ve never even been to Australia). Meanwhile, my younger sister is having a brand-new kitchen put in and is remodelling her living area (which is miles bigger than what we have, despite the fact we have three times as many people living in our house), my parents are preparing to jet off to the United States, and my brother’s brand-new home is currently under construction. Though I do not need to be reminded that I have more than a lot of (maybe even most) people out there, it is hard to keep sight of that when the people closest to you are doing, achieving and receiving so much. It makes me feel like a nobody. It makes me feel like there is no hope. Where is my life going? Yes, I want to be a writer, but sitting at home and posting little snippets of my life on a Mummy Blog (god, I hate that title) is not exactly what I had in mind.
My mother has suggested that I start keeping a gratitude diary, and maybe that’s just what I need. I do have a tendency to wallow (in case you hadn’t figured that one out already, ha!) and could probably benefit from looking at things from a more positive perspective. So, although an interruption from the three-year-old (yes, that child again) has me close to tears right now, I will give it a go.
- I had a crap time without the husband, but now he is home and I appreciate his presence so much more than I did a week ago.
- Since I cried over his poo, Mr. Three has really stepped up his game in the toilet training department (the new Thomas the Tank Engine undies I bought him could be a contributing factor).
- The birthday party I was dreading taking the girls to yesterday actually ended up being a lot of fun. I spent the whole time gas bagging with the other mothers. There was a lot of laughing and a little bit of swearing. My favourite things.
- My YouTube channel is almost at 300 subscribers! I’ve only been making videos for six months, and I started from the absolute bottom, so I am proud of how far I’ve come.
- I successfully organised an ongoing collaborative series with a small group of vlogging women. This is a first for me, and I’m excited to see how it all pans out.
- I wrote my first ever guest post discussing my recent decision to give up sugar. This was posted over on my friend Glutey Girl‘s blog, and I have had positive feedback (the best kind of feedback, obviously).
- My new Facebook page is growing slowly but surely. I was dreading the return to FB, but so far I think it has been worthwhile.
- Even when I was crying myself stupid on Thursday evening, I resisted the urge to go on a chocolate binge. That is definitely a first, and is a huge achievement, believe me.
- Our broken ranchslider (that’s a sliding door, for those who aren’t from NZ) is finally fixed! Hurrah! The kids can open the door unassisted again.
- OK, so I didn’t make it into the finals of that competition, and I’m still practically dying to go on an overseas holiday, but! At least I don’t have to spend hours and hours hounding everyone I know (and even those I don’t) to vote for me. No doubt I would have become incredibly annoying with my constant begging, so knowing I can leave everyone in peace feels like a pretty good thing.
Do you ever struggle as a parent? How often do you find yourself turning green with envy? And what is happening in your world that you are grateful for?
I’d love to hear your answers in the comments section below.
Come on, make me feel slightly more normal?
– Fern xxx
This is my first video in the Time For A Change collab. series I organised. Have a watch and let me know if you’d like to join in! The more the merrier.