Sometimes I feel like I am missing out. I’m sorry to say it but I do. It’s so normal to feel this way yet we aren’t allowed to say it out loud as we are deemed ungrateful, spoilt, jealous. I had kids young and then I continued having kids until I felt old. And one day, before I know it and probably before my youngest has left home I will be a grandparent which is wonderful and all but then I’ll still be here. Doing what it feels like I have always done.
A stay at home mum.
A taxi driver.
None of which I excel at. Or so it feels. It’s fucking ruthless though.
And I sound ungrateful. Yet it’s real. I’ve just watched my newsfeed tell me how wonderful other peoples lives are. They’re living the dream. Living abroad. Travelling the world and only now settling down to have babies. People I went to school with who were smarter and more committed to their future than I ever was. I wanted things now. Like a baby. Like a marriage. The first one didn’t work so why not do it again. The furtherest I have travelled is Bali when I was 11, hardly self-sufficient. Then Melbourne a couple of times. I am not worldly. I’m not even sure if this is what bothers me. I’m not convinced that I want ‘worldly’ in my nature.
I haven’t set myself up financially. My husband did that. Don’t get me wrong I worked. I worked my butt off in many jobs while being a single mother. And when I finally got myself secure in a permanent job selling real estate, and doing quite well, my hubby came along, swept me off my feet and asked me for two more kids. Which I gave him for love. But I also gave up what I’d hoped to be a forging career. But maybe I am not cut out for that. Maybe a career is not my thing. Parenting is. And of course I am going to tell you that I would never take it back. And I mean it. My kids drive me bonkers and make me question everything there is in this life but they also give meaning to my life … But somedays I have to first peel back a few layers. And somedays I worry – do they even like me? Do they wish they had a better/funner/more organised Mum? The stress of raising little humans into big humans is fucking scary. What if I fuck up? What if I have already fucked up and there is nothing I can do to change it?
When I go to my school reunion late this year – who am I? Who have I become? Where are all my great stories? There is only so much kid-talking you can do before yawning begins and they find someone far more interesting … And less drunk. Is this an achievement? The fact I have had five kids? Is this the biggest achievement I have made in my life? Again, I know this sounds ungrateful. I know to people without children this sounds like fingernails down a very ugly and very selfish chalkboard. But I am asking it anyway.
My responsibilities lie at home. My house. My husband. My kids. That is my job. My career. Somehow this doesn’t satisfy the burning for something more. The desire to be doing something else. But then I remember that even if I do something else this will always be here – but harder. There will be just as much to do except with less time to do it if I devote my time elsewhere, to me. To something I want to do.
I am a Mum forever. I know how lucky I am to say that. But what else am I? It’s a rhetorical question. Just a thought after a relentless day.