I’m writing this on my phone so I apologise for any mistakes but I don’t feel like editing this one.
Do you ever have one of those days when the voice in your head won’t shut up? “Why do you even try? You suck! You’re never going to get any better than this! You’re a failure! You suck!”
I’m writing this in bed at the end of one of those days. It started off fairly well. I ate breakfast for once, Lily was immensely cute playing with her toy food and we walked around to get coffee. And I was trying not to think about the fact that last night beer was spilled in to our MacBook and it wouldn’t turn back on.
But all of a sudden things started to get on top of me. The MacBook would turn on but the screen wouldn’t work. I could call the Apple Helpdesk but it would cost us $60 because our warranty has finished. I can’t get an appointment at the Genius Bar in the city until next week.
I walked upstairs and realised that the mess had crept up on me. Suddenly I was staring at a kitchen that was a complete mess. I don’t even really know where it came from. There was piles of dishes in the sink, some had been sitting there for so long that it had started to grow mould. The floor was deplorable, so bad that some maggot things had suddenly appeared and I still can’t work out where they came from. You know things are bad when there’s maggots and mould.
I sent a message to Mr Monkey telling him about the MacBook and how obviously horrible I am at housekeeping. He told me to “stop ragging on myself” and all of a sudden I was in tears. Taking great big sobs, and Lily was sitting next to me laughing, thinking Mummy was doing some new funny (yet strange) game.
Things just seemed too hard, too overwhelming. I failed at housework, and when I realised that Lily had a pooey nappy and I hadn’t noticed, I realised I was failing at motherhood too.
I would try to get off the couch to go and clean that horrible kitchen but the sobs would start again. “Why bother? You’re never going to get it clean again!” That voice is a bitch sometimes.
I finally got upstairs and made Lily and I a nice, healthy lunch. I would tell myself to work in steps “ok, you’re going to wash your hands, then turn the washing machine on, then walk in to the kitchen.” Every step of the way I was only focusing on one or two steps ahead.
Slowly, so slowly, I started to make progress. I washed two loads of clothes. I washed two rack-fulls of dishes. I prepared the marinade for dinner, started marinating the chicken and prepared the dressing. I washed a million more rack-fulls of dishes, then swept and mopped the kitchen, laundry and bathroom. I sat down with Lily and tried to steal a kiss and a cuddle. We came back upstairs and Lily “helped” me cook dinner. We ate while talking to my family on FaceTime then I put Lily in the bath while I quickly tidied and swept the kitchen. Once Lily was dressed we laid on my bed and read about 15 books and Lily watched some videos on my phone before finally falling asleep. I got up and finished the dishes. It took me all day but the kitchen is finally clean.
While Lily was watching her videos I started reading the second chapter of “Buddhism for Mothers” by Sarah Napthali. So much of it just screamed at me “Duh!!!” Just live in the moment, remember that the emotion that you are feeling is only transient, focus on your thoughts and getting rid of tension. Just by reading that I felt calmer. I know that I am going to get so much out of this book.
So what am I going to do now? Well, I’m taking myself, my cup of green tea with vanilla, the first Richard Castle novel and a couple of pieces of Lindt Dark Chocolate with a Touch of Sea Salt (I was so happy when I found it in our local grocer) and I’m going to bed. Tomorrow will be better. It will be calmer. It will be smarter.
That voice, for all I care, can go fuck itself. I’m not a failure, I will get better.
Stop worrying Mum, I’ll be fine.