As I sat down last night with a glass of wine and a large creamy hunk of chocolate before me I felt a wave of relief sweep through me.
The chaos had subsided, the noise level had finally been reduced to the sweet chimes of the Netflix theme and my kids were finally asleep.
I realised at that moment the wine and the half a block of dairy milk had been the best thing about my day.
In this grand of world of parenting (remember when it was just simply called ‘having kids’) we like to photoshop the reality out.
The social media snaps we share of action-packed events and smiling children, embracing siblings and hashtags of #familylove and #familytime.
The chorus at the school gate on a Monday morning relaying the highlights of a family filled weekend.
How was your weekend? Oh great we had a blast.
Fabulous, we hardly sat down.
So nice to spend time together.
No one asked me this morning as I was in too much of a rush to get the heck out of there but if they had I would have been tempted to answer this:
Oh pretty shit. We raced all over town in crap traffic to go to boring junior sports games. The kids fought like cats and dogs because it was bloody hot and they were tired and cranky and fed up. I yelled at them, felt guilty and ate too many left over Easter eggs to compensate. My youngest drew on the wall in permanent marker and my eldest broke the TV.
Do we ever admit that sometime life with kids is pretty damn crappy?
Do we ever admit that sometimes when we finally get them to bed or school and get a second to breathe that we actually feel a tiny sense of relief?
Can we ever openly admit that there are times that, whether it be just for a few moments or for a few hours, we get damn over the whole ‘parenting’ thing?
Can we admit that without feeling desperately guilty and without worrying that our beloved children will sense our disenchantment and end up suffering lifelong consequences all because their mother had a shit house day and was bloody well sick of the constant fighting?
Sure motherhood is a blast at times. It can be delightful and inspiring and fun, your kids can embrace you with a ferocity of love that overwhelms you and feel simple and pure joy at their developing personalities.
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You can stare in wonder at the amazing creatures they’ve turned into and marvel at just how clever you are to have created such things, but other times - sometimes the majority of times - it is a bloody drudge. It’s a groundhog day of tedious tasks over and over again. Let's not sugar coat it.. say it how it is.
Sometimes its just shit.
I feel fractured just writing that. I feel disingenuous to my kids, I feel that I am betraying them somehow.
Will they think it means I didn’t love them enough? Will they think they did the wrong thing? Should I keep my little secret quiet?
But I also feel its about time we all started being honest for each other, for our fellow parents, and for ourselves.
On the days when I wake up to a messy house, when I struggle to get the kids out, when I only realise at the school gate we have forgotten one child’s trumpet and that the other should be in sports uniform, when my four-year-old cries at the door of pre-school because she wants to stay-with-you-today-mama and when the rest of the day continues in a haphazard-nothing-will-go-right-so-just-give-up kind of fashion there is no shame in claiming it as a dud day.
There is no sugar coating that is there?
When the weekends are an exhausting haze of crying babies and sleepless nights, when the effort to even change a nappy seems too much, when the toddler throws his lunch on the floor for what seems like the umpteenth time in a row and you just want to give up and give him the damn vegemite toast because at least he’ll eat it there’s no heroism in pretending you love it.
When the best bloody thing about your day is the glass of wine at 7.30 and the block of chocolate (dinner is just way too much effort today) then lets call it what it is.
Because it might get better tomorrow, maybe. But it might not...and in the mean time, until it does at least we can tell it as it is.