The Best Hits Of #momlife
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times… When Charles Dickens wrote this, he may have lost two maids in 24 hours, a spouse to a business trip & in-laws to a vacation in Kazakstan, after pulling a late shift at the Emergency Department, as I had, making him sole parent to a motley crew of kids & dogs. It was ironic that this happened immediately after I had last blogged about my Weekend Edition With The Usual Suspects all over town. In contrast, my activities now mostly triangulated around home, the playgound and school. Regardless, I was determined to make the best of the situation and embrace the #momlife in its full glory.
So Awesome It Hurts
Initially, I dove into my daily chores with aplomb & a constant stream of instastories. I diligently incorporated art & music therapy into the kids’ homework. Sports Day saw me perspiring & cheering lustily. I woke early to put on my favorite lipstick & jewellery to send the kids to school. Teachers asked if I was going to a party. Please. #iwokeuplikethis
Now It Just Hurts
As the days went by, I racked up a huge sleep debt. Hospital work was stressful as was an unrelenting series of committee meetings. I tried to think of myself as Bruce Wayne/Batman fighting off dirty diapers by day, paediatric emergencies by night (and sometimes the other way around). Truthfully, I wasn’t invoking Dark Knight as much as Dark Night. It was pretty bleak.
I felt like I was failing on all fronts. At home, two-year-old cherubic M6 was picking up all kinds of infuriating phrases from his older siblings which he would repeat to unsuspecting strangers in the playground, the latest being, “I like your butt.” M5 was a rebel without a pause, doing everything including her kindergarten homework, her own way. Poor M4 was being bullied in school. I stopped wearing make-up & required copious amounts of kopi on the go. Towards the end I was dropping the kids off to school in my pyjamas, barefoot with unbrushed hair. Nobody asked if I was going to any parties, in fact nobody dared speak to this grumpy lady at all.
I couldn’t wait for the weekend when M1 would book out of the army to help me with an assortment of errands including tending to the aquarium, cooking & keeping an eye on M6 so I could have a nap.
The extent of my despair was revealed by chance. Lovely Wy-Lene from High Net Worth had asked me to do a piece for her column on courage. But my story which was meant to shine with bravery, dripped with disenchantment. Concerned, she encouraged me to talk to someone about this and sent me several kind notes.
Finally I decided to heed her advice and have an open discussion about my fear & self-loathing, but I chose to do this with the kids. I wept but the honest conversation allowed me to pivot & recover. The kids were united in relieving the burden of #momlife. M4 promised solemnly to tend to the garden & help prepare our meals. Not to be outdone, M5 declared she would take care of the toys, practise the piano as well as clear the dishes. And M6 sweetly chirped, “I like your butt!”
Mother’s Day Is One Day But #momlife Is Everyday
By the time I post this, the cavalry would’ve arrived and boy am I grateful for my returning Husband, in-laws & nanny. But I won’t forget this dark little adventure in a hurry. To all mothers who have faced fear or depression, although there is one day in a year dedicated to you, I wish you happiness & courage every day you wake up & show up for your family. #happymothersday