A startling confession (probably)
I find parenting really difficult at times. I’m sitting here at 7.30pm on the eve of February half term with the largest glass of Chablis, still smarting from the horrendously embarrassing exit I and my two boys had to make less than an hour ago from a VERY public filming of a video for my husband’s band.
We had to leave because my children were ruining each take. By fighting. In a very small room, loaded with amps and lights and instruments and recording gear. Surrounded by members of the public who were there to see the band and be in the video. We were there - along with the wives and kids of the other band members - to be in the video too.
But we had to leave. Very publicly and very embarrassingly. And now here I sit with my large glass of wine, trying to forget the latest 36 disasterous hours of being a mother to my two boys.
I try, I really do. I try to plan exciting, educational, fun and interesting things for my boys to do. I try to let them have just enough independence to learn from their experiences (and sometimes from their mistakes) and I’m always there to make sure they’re happy, secure and safe. I worry about them constantly. I think about them far too much when I’m not with them. I gave up my career and most of my earning potential to be around for them at the start and end of each day. I plan their meals, I buy their clothes, I organise holidays they’ll love, I buy them books I think they’ll enjoy. I make their beds each morning and arrange this week’s favoured soft toy on their pillow. I pick up their pyjamas from the floor and fold them carefully for them to pull on after their bath.
I’m just like any other mother in that respect I’m sure.
But yet none of this seems to matter. I am still the baddie. I am the ogre, the disciplinarian, the despot, the despised. They push the boundaries, they test my patience, they goad and provoke. They see no distinction between a private audience of one desperate mama or a public audience of a dozen or so. In fact, they seem to enjoy the public display of willful disobedience and rudeness.
Sometimes blog land can feel like an enormous sugar-coated wonderland where everyone has beautiful children, wonderful experiences, perfect homes and great careers. Where everyone is a talented artist, a brilliant chef, a fantastic wife and an adored mother. I don’t think I belong to that ‘set’. Most of the time, I find it a real struggle to juggle my career with my home life, my personal ambitions with those for my children. Often I’m a terrible wife, a bad daughter and a rubbish friend.
But my boys are an enormous part of who I am now. And when they behave so devastatingly, so unbearably badly, I feel a complete and utter failure.