By NICOLE MADIGAN
Last week I had one of those days.
Our house is for sale and the phone was ringing hot one morning while I was trying to get the kids organised for school and kindy, as well as care for my 9-month-old baby.
Without boring you with the details, things weren’t going to plan on the house front, requiring multiple phone calls, mostly unpleasant.
Meanwhile, the kids wanted breakfast and the baby needed changing.
I needed everyone to be quiet so I could talk. And think.
I finally escaped the phone and promptly told off the kids for daring to complain of hunger as I tried to get the school, kindy and nappy bags packed.
As I nagged everyone to hurry up and eat I felt like the nastiest mum on Earth – but I was stressed about the house, and we were about to run late.
Shoving everyone out the door, I sniffed. Bubba girl’s nappy still needed changing which I hastily dealt with and we headed for the car.
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As I drove, I felt the guilt and stress combine, transforming into that familiar feeling of anxiety that creeps in whenever life seems particularly overwhelming.
And to top it off, after walking the tribe to the classroom to drop my eldest off, he casually reminded me it was swimming day.
Meanwhile, baby is starving.
I raced to drop off the swimming bag, get back home, feed my hungry bub, contemplate the housework, bills and multiple work deadlines due the following day… and I promptly burst into tears.
Then I did what I always do when I feel like I’m failing at life – I called my mum.
I cried. I ranted. I raved.
She listened, she reassured, she offered advice.
I was laughing by the time I hung up the phone, having moved on from my drama to some other benign gossip.
I made a cuppa and got on with the day, and suddenly things didn’t seem so bad.
Until the next time life took over – and once again I called my mum, and I felt ok. Because it’s amazing what simply talking can do when you’re feeling stressed or anxious.
Unfortunately though, many mums – myself included – feel they just don’t have the right to feel anxious or overwhelmed, let alone to talk about it.
Our lives aren’t extraordinary, we tell ourselves.
We have children and work and run households – sure it’s busy and stressful, but it’s the same for thousands of other men & women.