Over the past six months, I had come to believe that I have super powers.
I have two small children, work full time, run a household, I make-time for charitable contributions, fulfill family obligations, look after a workaholic husband, put in efforts to further my career, and sacrifice my average of four hours sleep to the dream of one day having a book published.
But this week I hit a wall.
I’m not sure what you would call it. Depression? Delayed baby-blues? But I have found myself in a state of exhaustion akin to the early weeks of morning sickness. A second bout of mastitis hasn’t helped, but my current state of malaise isn’t due to my aggravated milk ducts. It’s my aggravated state of mind. Never in my life have I attempted to do so much at the one time, and instead of feeling accomplished, I feel as if I’m not accomplishing anything.
When it comes to the children, I feel as if they don’t get enough hugs, they get told off too much, and they’re left to watch too much television as I attempt to tackle housework. The laundry pile seems to be self-procreating, and more often than not I end up sweeping biscuit crumbs under the couch vowing to get to it on the weekend. I’m constantly forgetting birthdays, family get togethers and functions and have more than once found myself icing a cake at midnight that I had long ago promised for someone’s birthday. I send work emails from home and call clients with Dora the Explorer screaming in the background as I try – in vain – to make an impression to my bosses and overcome the stigma that motherhood has replaced ambition.
Then as my children lay sleeping, I sit hunched over my computer attempting to be creative when all my brain wants to do is shut down, and snuggle into their little bodies, warm in my bed.
I have sustained myself on the mantras that ‘it’s just a busy time, things will be easier next year,’ ‘our parents had to work hard, it’s a rite of passage,’ or ‘it’ll all be worth it when I get a promotion/sell a manuscript/the kids go to school.’ But it’s not working anymore. I have hit the wall. My motivation has crumbed, and what remains is a lazy, fattening, husk in track pants, devoting hours to reality television.
I’m not sure how to get over the wall. So for now, I’m going to indulge it. And in two days time, once I’ve sufficiently wallowed, I’ll pull myself back together and get on it. Because that’s what mothers do. And as far as I’m concerned, we all have super powers.