I think we are all guilty to one extent or another of taking at face value the positive image people present of themselves, we look at things like the fact a mother has managed to get dressed before 8am, wears make-up and smiles as an indicator that she is ‘coping’ and is happy. Since having the twins my friends have frequently joked that I am ‘super mum’ because in their eyes I am ‘coping’ so well with having three small children, they see my painted face, my loud personality and smile and decide I’m fine. Well I don’t know who ‘super mum’ is but she sure as hell isn’t me because like so many mum’s I’ve just done a really good job of hiding my inner most feelings and thoughts.
No matter how close we are to our friends, no matter how open, we still for some reason find it hard to say “I’m struggling” as though we worry that by saying it out loud we are admitting some horrendous sin, or indeed some sort of failure. After having a run of truly shitty days I’ve decided it’s time to say “I struggle”, it isn’t pretty, it isn’t glossy and it certainly isn’t ‘super mum’ but it is the truth, the raw honest un polished un filtered truth and I’m owning it.
So here’s a peek inside my inner most thoughts on some of those testing, continual moaning, tantrum filled days, like today.
I can’t cope
I think this ALL the time, I wonder how in the hell I am going to get through the next five minutes never mind the rest of the day or the next year! I literally feel my blood boil as I listen to constant moaning and demanding from one child or another, I can feel the stress build up and it takes all of my effort to push it down inside, that’s when the voice starts “I can’t cope, I can’t cope, I can’t cope!”
I can’t stand my own children sometimes
It sounds an absolutely awful thing to say and writing it makes me cry because I love my children but on those days when all you hear from the second your forced out of bed following hardly any sleep is crying, moaning and general whining, when you’ve tried absolutely everything to make them happy or just chill them the hell out, when you’ve not stopped even for the wee that’s about to come out thanks to a mix of holding it for hours and your complete lack of pelvic floor muscles, when your head is banging from the stress and you can’t take the constant onslaught anymore, on those days I actual feel like I can’t stand having my kids near me.
I wish I was at work
When my stress levels are through the roof and the boys have got one well and truly on them I actually wish I was back at work and that someone else was here listening to the high pitched inconsolable whining. Of course I immediately feel guilty for thinking that, as a working mum I already get 33 hours a week plus commute where I am Danielle not mummy, how could I possibly want to be away from them again. I have to say I admire stay at home mums, you are so much stronger than me and I have no idea how you do it, I openly admit I couldn’t.
I’m leaving out my eldest
The one thing I’ve learnt for certain about having twins is that it is bloody hard work and I mean full on, emotionally, physically, mentally exhausting, challenging, stressful, never ending HARD WORK leaving little time for one on one play with my eldest son which makes me feel like a complete and utter failure as a mother. Of course I know I can’t split myself in three but it doesn’t stop me feeling guilty especially as I know how much one to one time he had before the twins arrived.
I’m depriving the twins of so much
Having twins brings so much guilt from day one, it drives me mad that I can’t do the most basic things with them like cuddle them and let them fall asleep on my knee or hold their hands up and help them walk around. Not only does it break your heart as a mother it holds their development back and I beat myself up every day that they are missing out on what a singleton and more specifically what my eldest son had.
I can’t wait for them to go to bed!
Sometimes I think I am only relaxed when the twins are napping, that’s when I have a respite from their frustrated complaining and I get one on one time with my eldest. What an awful thing to feel.
I can’t wait for them to be a ‘bit’ older
Because of all of the above I find myself saying on a regular basis that I can’t wait for them to be a ‘bit’ older thinking it will be easier, I’m wishing away what I know are precious days that I will never get back but although I know that I can’t help it because it can just be so bloody hard.
I’m a crap mother
On particularly bad days where I can’t stand the moaning any more, where I feel like I’ve failed at making my own children happy, where I feel guilty for leaving out my eldest and depriving my twins, where I wonder how the hell I’m going to cope any longer, on those days I simply feel like a crap mum. Why can’t I be this ‘super mum’ who never gets angry, never shouts, never hides in the pantry for a minute’s peace, why can’t I make my children happy, why can’t our days be spent laughing and having fun, why can’t I be the ‘super mum’ my friends joke I am. Inside I feel like a failure but I keep it to myself, I tell no one and I carry on.
Of course not all days are bad days and not all bad days are 100% testing, my children are in fact lovely, funny, beautiful little boys who I love with my whole heart, I would rather die than be without them, so when the stress passes and we have those giggly, silly, peek-a-boo, tickle moments that make your heart swell the guilt kicks in. Like I imagine most mum’s do I beat myself up for ever thinking a single bad thing about my children, how dare I , how could I and that’s when I have to tell myself I’m not alone, surely a lot of mothers feel this way, how could they not when subjected to the onslaught of children’s tempers. There is always the doubt though, always the question, “what if they don’t, maybe it’s just me, maybe I really am a crap mother, maybe I’m not cut out for this” god my poor kids!
This is why I’m sharing this glimpse into my inner madness, my inner anxieties and thoughts because today as I beat myself up for not ‘coping’ well enough with the shitty day I was having, when I wondered what the hell a ‘super mum’ is and how I can become one I decided I needed to know I’m not alone and I needed other mum’s who may feel exactly this way to know they aren’t alone either.