Mothers guilt plays a big part in my life, dictating what time I get up in the morning through to how much ‘ME’ time I allow myself. I sometimes wonder if other mothers may have ever invested a full days energy into self-punishment because they had bullied their kids for the third morning in a row “You’ve got 3 minutes to finish your breakfast or you are taking it with you, I am late for work”. Poor things were still bleary eyed from sleep, its all my fault, I should have got up earlier to get ready and then I would have had quality time with my angels. I’m a bad parent!
My daughter recently joined the ranks of reception class this September, I left it till September 1st to buy her new school uniform and PE kit. Ok so now I know that was a rookie mistake, because all the good mothers will have bought out the stockists by mid August, leaving me dragging my daughter from store to store in every town within a 20 mile radius desperately trying to find the right colours in the right sizes in acceptable styles. Nightmare! Again all my fault, I’m a bad mother and it is no excuse that July and August have been so hectic that I couldn't even make time for a haircut and as such found myself in front of the bedroom mirror one night, scissors in hand and my husband sat behind me with a dubious expression on his face. Of course I blamed my lopsided fringe on his face putting me off.
My husband has wangled it so that he only works every fourth weekend. The children love that he is around to do the fun things such as bike rides to the park, swimming and gym tots. Dad is their hero whilst I am away making up brides and their manic posse (I'm a Make Up artist), I find myself lavishing extra attention on the little bridesmaids in an attempt to ease how much I am missing my own kids. I arrive home usually in time for the hyperactive phase just before naptime, where I play the disciplinarian and nag my hubby “How many packets of sweets did you give them for crying out loud?”. He humours me long enough to assess whether or not we are going to ‘play’ while the kids sleep or if he should go to the gym. Lets just say that my husband has developed great pecs over the wedding season while I have added Knackered Naff Wife to my guilt repertoire.
That was until last week however, when my husband found me with a Vodka and strawberry cordial (out of coke) in one hand, well used tissues in the other and he wasn't buying that I was crying because they killed off Pru in Charmed. I confessed that I am struggling to find a balance between quality kids time, being a good wife, work timetables, housework, family visits and it would be nice to have a social night too. I even get the guilt’s if I spend too much time petting the cat while the fish looks on lonely (all fishy wants is a quick bob conversation over a fish flake breakfast) funny how the mind works once alcohol has a hold.
“Ok Mrs, give me a second here I am only half way through that Men are from Mars book you gave me” he takes a deep breath then sits down next to me and wraps me in a big bear hug. “Yep Lynz, You’re a terrible mum, I mean your kids are only healthy, happy, confident and love you to bits. Wifely duties are abysmal on the household chores front but I have still raced home to be with you every night for the last 10 years”.
This is when I realised that the only person who is disappointed in me, is me! I then started to laugh and only when it became apparent that neither the tears nor the laughter was going to stop did my hubby announce that he was going to bed because I was “freaking him out”. Just before I fell asleep that night I wondered, since the 80’s us women have felt under pressure to ‘have it all’ career, kids, man, money and respect. Now that we have proved that we can….. Do we really want to have it all, at the same time?