Last night when I was awake in the middle of the night, as is annoyingly regular recently, I decided I would make a list of everything that needed done today. An ‘extras’ list of sorts, on top of the normal school runs and day to day stuff that as a child I used to think magically just happened. Isn’t adulthood a kick in the teeth.
So here’s my list (it probably won’t make a lot of sense to anyone else but it’s for dramatic purposes)
Quite often I hear “I don’t know how you do it” and “I don’t know how you fit it all in” and my personal favourite of all time “You always look so calm and together”. It absolutely baffles me that I manage to come across as being nice and calm and managing to do 101 things every day successfully. Because I’m not.
Today was meant to be a ‘get up, dispose of the children, do college work until 1pm, get a massage, get the kids, do athletics and other after school activities, feed the kids, make sure they get to bed, collapse in a heap on the sofa’. You know, one of those days. A normal day off.
Except then the list happened. And it’s all gone to shit.
The kids are at school, minus #1 who is off poorly, not that you’d know it right enough. I’ve not even looked at my college work, and am now one day closer to graduation with fuck all done. I built a bench for my Mum which should’ve taken ten minutes but well, didn’t. I’ve managed most of the list actually but at the sacrifice of what I was actually meant to be doing today. I’ve achieved a lot, and it’s been a productive day and I even managed to eat some cake (it had lemon in it, makes it healthy). Oh and it’s only 2pm so technically I’ve got an hour before I have to cease being Wonder Woman and start being just Mum again.
So here’s the thing – I don’t have the time to fit it all in, and I certainly don’t have my shit together.
I’ve not washed my hair since Saturday post Dirty Weekend. I’ve still not actually unpacked my bag from the weekend other than to wash my dirty kit. The big kids were at Brownie camp last weekend and I haven’t gotten around to washing their dirty uniforms either which is why #1 wore normal clothes to Brownies last night.
I defrosted chicken on Monday full of intentions that I’d make my ex-mother-in-laws famous Spanish Chicken but as of yet it’s still in the fridge. I’ll eat it tonight but more then likely feed the kids macaroni again so that 1) they don’t moan about actual proper food being cooked for them and 2) they don’t come down with food poisoning.
I’ve not put the ironing away. Again. That makes 3 years in a row. I stopped ironing when #3 was born and to be honest it mostly gets taken out the tumble dryer and dumped into a pile on top of the kitchen bunker where it stays until someone is coming round and I’ll hide it upstairs. It’s the main reason I’m single, my bedroom has too much unfolded ironing in it to take a man in.
I don’t remember the last time I properly cleaned my bathroom. I know, I’m an awful human. Yes I squirt some bleach around the toilet and have a supply of anti bac wipes at hand to quickly wipe round the sink etc but actually get down and dirty with the grout and the shower? Nah. Ain’t got time for that.
I probably shout at least twice every day. Once in the morning when I’ve spent too much time looking at Instagram and now we have 2 mins to get to school. And then again at night when everyone is tired but no one wants to put jammies on and instead #1 and #2 are ripping into each about who’s fidget spinner spun for the longest – I’ll give you a hint, it’s #1’s. When I’m tired and I’m hungry and I’m looking at the mess and the kids are knocking lumps out of each other that’s when I really lose my shit. It’s no wonder #3 can say ‘Oh Shite’ so well.
So the truth is, the moments where it looks like I’ve got it together and I manage loads of stuff and life is perfect. Well, they make up about 3 minutes of my day.
The truth is, I am always rushing and I am always stressed. Even when I’m asleep. Or at least that’s what it feels like.
Currently I’m trying to raise my children to be polite and behaved and to not swear at people in public. Due to questionable male choices I’m doing this alone, which is fine, but not entirely easy. I’m trying to finish my HND so I can into 3rd year of uni and finally get that degree my parents have been secretly wishing I’d got 13 years ago when I went to uni the first time. I’m organising a school fair on my own. Our primary school has 1,196 pupils in it, and yet I’m trying to pull together the school fair pretty much single handedly because you know, people are busy innit. That’s what happens when your Chair of the parent council and a border line control freak (yes, borderline.) Oh and I’m trying to pull off an Obstacle Course Race with my very good friend and slightly less stressed friend Audrey. All of these things need done by the 19th June, with the exception of the fair which is the 27th May. So no pressure then.
Then there’s the other stuff, like working, training (just a small matter of four marathons and an Ultra to do this year), socialising, dating (ok that one’s a joke), and remembering to text people back.
After that, I might have time to put the ironing away, but I wouldn’t count on it. Then it’ll be the summer holidays and the kids will be home EVERY day for seven weeks and all that will happen is that’ll shout more, not train as much and do even less house work.
But…at least it comes across as though I have more hours in the day than Beyoncé and have it all together. Means the mantra of ‘Fake it till you make it’ is paying off, which is something.