Mothers, here’s a question for you:
Where do you find the time to wallow in self-pity, after a relationship breakdown, or indeed say, when suffering from a simple cold or hangover?
I wrote my last post yesterday about my recent relationship fail; approximately three weeks, four days, two hours and some seconds after it actually happened. (Unless you count this as the last one, then add twenty four hours to the above time total).
It’s safe to say, I’ve got some mileage out of it. The day after it happened, I lay on the sofa. That’s it, that’s what I did. Sporadically crying and eating Pringles, while staring out through fat, blurry eyes at the mess of boxes and things lying around waiting to be packed and organized for the move.
I couldn’t do that with munchkins. It’s a self-indulgent luxury, feeling sorry for yourself, to which you must dedicate enormous amounts of time. It’s just not the same to quietly weep into the baked beans as you stir them on the hob, to accompany the fish fingers and mashed potato (Smash) – after you just received the dump text. Then clear the table, wash up, bathe and put to bed, read story and organize self. Then, to set the alarm for the school run the very next day. Who does that?? Why don’t you just call school and say, ‘Harriet won’t be in tomorrow because I’m really, really heartbroken.’? Ditto: cold/hangover/throwing self down metro steps….. these are serious issues, people. They require expulsion of emotions, usually through wracking sobs and maybe some howling, sleeping it off and a huge dose of reflection. All that? Well, that’s time consuming.
I admire how mothers suck it up, scoop up the kids and march on. Burying their own emotional needs until their dependents are safely out of ear shot, so as not to upset them or their routine – to release the sadness or hurt, that they’ve successfully hidden until that point; or fire up the kettle to prepare a hot water bottle and Lemsip and just lie down. I couldn’t do it. I have to let it out/be horizontal right there, right then and that’s not good for any child.
‘Why are you still on the sofa? I’m hungry.’
–waving in general direction of kitchen- ‘there’s Haribo in the fridge, and maybe the Tortilla chips are open. In fact, can you bring them through to mummy, please sweetheart? Oooh, and the wine. Thanks.’
And after that, how could I possibly be in a position in later life, to say to a bereft teen after their first heartbreak, or trying to get out of school for a cold, ‘pull yourself together!’?
And that is my ‘reasons why I don’t have kids’ #65.