Sometimes the hardest thing to do as a mum is nothing at all.

It is Tuesday night as I write this. The last time I left the house was Sunday afternoon. For the last two days I have spent at least 70 per cent of my time in close physical contact with my vomiting two year old, only peeling myself away for ten minutes here and there to make a meal for the non-vomiting members of my house or load the washing machine or tumble dryer. I have watched The Gruffalo’s Child at least seven times and every episode of Paw Patrol we have on demand at least twice.

Actually, let me just stop there to ask what the actual fuck is going on with Paw Patrol?

I just can’t understand why my kids like it so much. There’s only one female rescue pup and that annoys me for starters, but aside from that there’s just the fact that none of it makes any sense. What the fuck is wrong with Mayor Goodall and why is she so fucking incompetent? Why does she carry that chicken around in her handbag and talk as if she is always on the edge of some kind of psychotic meltdown?

Fucking pull yourself together Mayor Goodall. You are a disgrace. Leave the chicken at home in a chicken coop and just fucking get on with your job, ok?

Also, Ryder is such a smug little bastard isn’t he? I just . . .

I swear to God if I have to watch anymore of it I just . . .

I think I have watched too much Paw Patrol today, ok? That’s all I should really say about that.

The thing is, when your kids are ill, it’s kind of like you are too. I mean, apart from you also getting their vomiting bug which is another layer of hell I don’t even want to think about right now, but when they are ill, especially when they are toddlers, you are right there with them. Normal life just stops.

Yes, of course I want to take care of him. Of course, I see it as my responsibility and I’m lucky that I can do that, but this thing of being stuck in the house. I just find it so hard.

Sitting on the sofa, in front of yet another episode of Bing, his hot little head is on my lap and I feel as if I might lose my mind stuck in this house for another day.

And yet, I’m glad that it’s me who gets to be such a comfort to him.

Doing nothing is sometimes the thing that you need to do. Just be there. Just stay here. Just put another load of washing into the machine. Just give another cuddle

And outside, the world goes on. People are going to work, people are going out with their friends, people are creating art, people are resisting trump.

Would you like to know what I achieved today?

How I am being a mover and shaker within my spheres of influence?

Well, I found out that if you turn this knob on the side of my shower head then it sort of goes into a jet and that is really the best thing for hosing vomit of off the towels before they go into the washing machine so now it takes even less time to de-vomit stuff than before, especially those really thick towels.

That’s what I achieved today.

How about you?

When someone tells you that you should not have been a mother (plus a shameless plug for lovely clothes from Well Grounded Kids)

‘I think that if you had really taken the time to think about it before you’d had kids then maybe you would have chosen not to and maybe that would have been the right decision for you. I don’t mean this in a bad way or anything or a nasty way. I just think you should have made a different decision.’

‘You are lucky to have husband with your sour, mean spirited rant.’

‘What I don’t understand is how these ‘yummy mummies’ can spend so much time jogging, having their nails done, sipping coffee etc and then say they have no energy to run a house, especially as practically everything is mechanically aided these days.’

‘Preposterous self-serving ‘modern woman’ feminist tosh.’

‘I feel sorry for your children.’

‘I decided I needed to write you an email after what you wrote. I read your dumb poem and it fucked me off so much.’

‘Who is the idiot writing this stuff. Is she just totally fucking stupid?’

‘You obviously don’t give a shit about your kids or their happiness.’

‘Maybe moaning and being ungrateful and angry is your main problem?’

‘Just be grateful for what you have. Moaning doesn’t help anyone.’

‘Why did you even decide to have children in the first place? You obviously don’t want them, the poor things.’

‘I had seven children. Each one was a joy and I never complained once. I just got on with it. I didn’t even mind the sleepless nights. I don’t know what is wrong with mothers nowadays.’

‘your rant on the blog, is nothing more than a first world mom complaining how hard it is for her not getting spoon feed support from the government on breast feeding….taking the easy way out with formula’

‘What society needs is less mums like you, who obviously should have thought better of their decision to have kids.’

‘you should have just closed your legs’

‘Maybe you should spend less time writing this dumb blog and more time looking after your children?’

‘You are obviously just feeling guilty about your failings as a parent. It makes me laugh to think about you writing this and pretending you are ok with your kids watching tv when they should be outside engaging with nature. Perhaps you just don’t care about their development?’

‘I hope your husband leaves you soon. It sounds like he deserves better.’


The longer I write a blog, the harder it is to get to my keyboard.

It’s quite wearing having to wade through shit like this over and over.

Generally I deal with comments like this pretty well but I think that ultimately it is quite draining and that it sometimes has an accumulative effect. How many times can you read about how much of an awful, lazy parent people think you are before it bothers you? Even though the comments come from strangers and are a very small percentage of the kind of feedback I get, even though I know that it shouldn’t bother me, sometimes it just does.

Some of the comments above are from my blog comments, some are facebook comments, some are excerpts from emails that people have sent me or direct messages on twitter. I have improved the spelling, punctuation and grammar in most cases as a little service to my haters because I have found that it’s quite common that people who send horrible messages to you on the internet have trouble with these things.

I do a lot of my blog stuff on my phone which means that I have a device in my hand, or at the bottom of my changing bag or on the work top in the kitchen or on the lounge floor which occasionally pings and tells me that I am an idiot or a terrible mother or that my husband should leave me.

God knows I’m not writing for any particular moral cause. I am no martyr. Even so, I have felt at times like my blog has been a good thing and a support for some to hear a similar voice to theirs dealing with some of the issues around becoming a mum and looking after babies and toddlers.

These days can be so long and hard and we need to have a laugh sometimes right? Or at least hear someone else say, this has been really tough today.

I haven’t written anything for ages because writing on the internet is wearing. People say awful things to you in messages and blog comments all the time. They think nothing of telling you how sorry they feel for your kids or that you should really not have had children at all because you obviously can’t cope with them. Generally people are lovely and obviously this kind of crap should just be ignored but it is wearing and I haven’t felt like dealing with it for a while.

Maybe I should also say that I have also decided to disable comments on this blog. I’ve thought about it for a while because I can’t seem to find the time to moderate them properly alongside comments on my facebook page and sometimes it’s just better to do one thing well than two things pretty badly. I figure that most people are happy to comment on facebook so I’m sticking with replying to and moderating comments there instead. There are details of how you can email me on my ‘about’ page here if you don’t do facebook, but would like to get in touch. However, if you are some guy who wants to email me a long essay about how much you hate me and my blog and all the ‘kind of mothers’ who read it (all of these things you could simply choose not to engage with) I advise you that your time might be better spent writing your essay onto a large piece of paper, awarding yourself a few gold stars for effort, screwing it up into a more compact shape and then shoving it right up your arse.

I have never really written about dealing with negative comments before. I didn’t really want to be a blogger who writes about blogging, but maybe it’s wise for me to share how I’m feeling and it might be a bit of an eye opener for some on what it’s like to write on the internet, especially perhaps, what it’s like to be a woman writing on the internet. In particular, a woman writing about motherhood who dares to say anything apart from how much of an amazing, magical, perfect time they are having being a mum.

Being a mum is everything. It is perfect in one moment and in the next, everybody is crying. It is the most love you could ever feel and on some days it is the most alone you have ever felt. It is the most fun and the most boring thing. It is the most satisfying and the most frustrating way to spend your days. The thing is, often people don’t want to acknowledge this complexity. Often people only want to hear how the good bits feel or to say that those bits make the harder parts not exist.

I have often chosen to write about those bits; the bits that are a little harder to share. Unfortunately this is not easy for some people to hear. Often all people want to hear from mums is how happy they are. It makes some people angry if they read something where a mum has written about how tired they are or how isolating motherhood can be. Rather than just ignoring something that they don’t want to read, they have chosen to get in touch with me and let me know exactly what they think of me.

Behind all the writing is just me, just a very average, very un-glamorous kind of mum who hears her phone beep at yet another kids birthday party and fishes it out of her bag to read a message starting with, ‘You know, the problem with parents like you is . . .’

I try to keep writing.

One of the main reasons is that when I became a mum for the first time and ventured out into the world of baby groups I met so many other mums who described the early days with their baby as ‘perfection’ or ‘floating on cloud nine,’ and you know, with absolutely no sneer or bitterness, I am genuinely happy for those mums. I hope that more and more people feel like that. That would be wonderful. That’s what I expected my first few weeks with my baby would feel like.

But when I heard those words, when I heard how much of a great time other people were having in their first few months of being a mum I just smiled and nodded my head and inside I just thought, ‘what is wrong with me?’ and ‘why don’t I feel like that? Why haven’t I felt floaty?’

Because instead of floating on any clouds I felt as if I had been sinking into some kind of war zone; battling my way though sleep deprivation, tears, bleeding nipples and a general feeling of shock. I didn’t realise I was supposed to be enjoying myself. I was just trying to survive from one moment to the next. I wondered if I was going to turn out to be a terrible mother.

I write to the mums who felt like me. I want you to know that it’s ok to find it hard and to not enjoy every moment. That doesn’t make you an abnormal or an unloving mum. You are just a human being. A human being who is looking after a another tiny human being and that is a very difficult thing to do.

Anyway, despite regularly being told how much of a douchebag I am, there are some perks to blogging . . .

AD CLAXON!! This is an ad part of the post!! I know that you are supposed to make that really clear for transparency and stuff so I hope this is really clear. Have never really done this before and have turned down some offers of being paid to write about stuff that I would never actually use or whatever, but then I got sent some clothes for my kids from a mum who is just starting out with her own label and I liked them so I thought I would put some pictures up and say a tiny bit about them.

Here are the pics;

 

That face my husband is making is because I asked him to get out of the shot

The clothes are by Well Grounded Kids and they do lots of lovely bits including these awesome little bomber style jackets with various prints. My daughter is in the red arrow zip jacket with matching trousers and my son is wearing some arrow print leggings with one of their super cute racoon T-Shirts.

The clothes were really great quality; very comfortable, soft and warm and they enjoyed bum-sliding around our local skate park in them very much. Here’s a link to their website or you could check out some of their stuff on their instagram or facebook page

 

Merry Fucking Christmas

It is fucking Christmas time.

Because it is Christmas time there are eleventy million things that you have spent the last few weeks panicking about and trying to remember to get done by writing loads of little illegible lists using an almost dried out felt tip that you found down the side of the sofa.

Do not dig too deep down the side of that sofa.

There has been a lot of shit to remember to get done and generally panic about like Christmas Cards and presents and secret santa presents and nights out and whether or not you have a big enough roll of tin foil in your cupboard to cover a turkey and crap like that.

I’ll be honest with you ok.

I am not a big fan of Christmas.

The things is, there is just this horrible pressure to get, buy, do all of this stuff and because everyone else is also out getting and buying and doing all this stuff there is a sort of post-apocalyptic kind of panic in every town, supermarket aisle and car park where people are pushing past each other to get tubes of twiglets and forming massive queues and overcrowding shops which are selling loads of really pointless gifts that no one really even wants or needs in any way.

I realise I just sound like a miserable old trout, but that’s the thing isn’t it? If you’re not that into Christmas you are then labelled as a scrooge or some kind of ruiner of everyone else’s fun and happiness.

Well, I don’t care. I am going for it. Here are some of the reasons I don’t like Christmas time;

1. It is so cold.
2. It is so dark.
3. Did I mention how cold and dark it is?
4. Turkey.
5. Also, those rank dates that everyone buys and no one wants to eat that come with a bendy plastic stick which is totally impossible to skewer dates with as they are all stuck together in a rock hard, inedible lump.
6. Tinsel.
7. The overwhelming pressure to be cheerful.
8. The overwhelming pressure to buy a prawn ring.
9. The overwhelming pressure to buy lots of thoughtful special gifts.
10. Not having enough money to buy loads of thoughtful special gifts.
11. The fact that Christmas is so great if you have this normal functional family where no one has any problems or terrible crises or no one has to spend it alone or when going through a really awful time but the fact of the matter is that people are very often alone or going through a really difficult time and that Christmas only serves to make people feel more shitty about how much they are not part of a functional happy family unit.

Actually, on that note, let’s break out of this stupid list thing and take a moment to remember those horrific newsletters that everyone used to send each other in the 90s in their Christmas cards.

Jesus fucking Christ.

Dear random family who I’d like to show off to a bit,

Well, another year has passed and we have had another year of wonderful holidays, promotions and achievements in our family which we’d like to list for you here. Blah, blah, blah, we have moved to a bigger and better house etc etc. Oh and little Johnny has now achieved his grade 8 with distinction on the trombone and the harpsichord and waffle waffle etc etc husband did something useful in the garden and got a new job and a shiny new salary and car to go with it etc etc etc We enjoyed a magical three weeks in the Costa del brava, oh and did we mention how Stacey achieved ten GCSE’s at grade A* or above and is soon to become an Olympic figure skater, blah blah blah . . .

All summed up at the end with a small paragraph about what they had learnt this year about the importance of family love and sticking together and how they are so rich and functional due to the blessings of Jesus etc etc

(because Jesus is probably so into people buying a third car and a fucking villa in Andalucía)

Anyway, I remember reading ones my Mum received when I was a teenager and urging her to send ones back that were brutally honest and listed all our biggest failures, arguments and housing crises over the year. I wanted to title it,

‘Another fucking year’

She wasn’t into it.

But anyway, now I am an actual grown up with children of my own and I am hosting Christmas lunch for eleven people like a real actual grown up person and having anxious thoughts about things late at night like whether or not I remembered to order mince pies and what kind of pickled onions to buy. I am queueing up in shops for fairly pointless gifts and getting all stressed out about whether or not to colour co-ordinate my decorations. There is a lot of stuff to remember and I am so crap at remembering lots of little things.

I feel this incredible pressure to have every kind of Christmas related food in my house just in case someone happens to want it on Christmas day and also to get loads of shit done like deep cleaning my house from top to bottom so that it is all perfectly clean so I can relax when it is actually Christmas and when I say ‘relax’ what I actually mean is ‘do a lot of cooking and get stressed out about my kids playing with really noisy toys or rollerskating in the lounge whilst telling my husband to fuck off during an argument about who said they were actually going to buy advocaat so that people could drink snowballs.’

And yes, I know that the real meaning of Christmas is that we all love each other and stuff and blah blah blah.

I do love my family and I am looking forward to stuff about Christmas but oh my God, the levels of stress are ridiculous.

And perhaps for some of us, Christmas conjures up more than just a little wrapping paper related stress?

Some of us find Christmas hard. We feel like we should be cheerful when it’s actually a time of year that can bring back sad memories or just highlight how un-festive we are truly feeling. For people who find Christmas hard it can be a rather dark time. A trip through town can be painful. Every shop plays music that reminds you of the ghosts of Christmases past. No matter how ‘ok’ you are now, that music reminds you of a time when you were not.

I want to write to you, if you feel like this.

Because you know what it is the worst thing about Christmas?

You know what is the most bullshit thing about Christmas?

Perfection.

It is the idea and the myth of perfection. It is the struggle to reach it and to display it for all to see.

You see the thing about those horrible Christmas newsletters that went round was that they often only told the easy pieces of news. They often only admitted to triumphs and positive feelings. But life isn’t really like that is it? Aren’t our lives full of difficulties as well? Aren’t our lives a mix of darkness and light?

And here’s the thing. I believe that it’s when we share the harder days, when we share our darkness that we really form any kind of real or close relationship with each other as human beings.

Down my road there is a house that is covered COVERED in bright white lights. It is absolutely blinding. It is unbelievable. The first time I walked past it I could hardly believe my eyes. Christmas nuts, I thought to myself. Some people really go for it at Christmas and this family must be one of those who just enjoy those perfect Christmasses together.

I found out a couple of weeks later that the reason their house is plastered in lights, apart from because it makes the local kids so happy to see it, is in remembrance of their young son, who they sadly lost around this time of year.

Isn’t it funny how it is sometimes the people who have lost the most, who have walked through the darkest of nights, are those who hold the brightest light for those around them?

There is still light.

There is hope.

Even in this darkest of months.

Even in these coldest of days.

And a friend or family member who you can cry with, who will listen, is worth a million ‘good news’ letters about a years’ worth of triumphs.

They are the brightest lights.

Lights that we often only find when we are scrabbling around in the dark.

When we have ditched the idea of perfection.

If you are feeling down at this time of year, please hold on.

Perfect Christmasses are as bullshit as perfect families, and now that we have made it into the darkest part of winter, we can surely make it out the other side.

I don’t want perfection from my family. I don’t want perfection from my friends. Give me your worst. Give me your fuck ups. Give me how your kids are crazy and they don’t sleep. Give me your sadness and your worries.

Give me that story again, you know? That one about how you got so drunk at your work ‘do’ that you had to throw up into the selection of tupperwares you found in your backpack on the train home (you classy girl you). I’ll tell you the one about the time I thought my toddler was playing so nicely with the shoes in the hallway, when in reality, he had managed to silently open the front door and go for a gleeful little walk down the street in his socks.

Merry fucking Christmas to one and all!

Here’s to another year of wonderful life,
Of darkness and light,
Of children and screaming and poo,
Of honesty and friendship and coffee.

Here’s to all you mothers out there
May your Christmas be not-perfect
In the most wonderful way.

As a little extra, I thought I would ruin some festive images of robin for you by giving them sweary speech bubbles. You’re so welcome. Don’t they look like miserable little bastards though?

If you like my blog then why not follow it on facebook? Here is my page, if you click ‘like’ on it you can stay updated.

Doing our best

Is that the best you can do?
Was that your best?
Have you done your best?
Maybe you could have wrapped up?

Maybe you could have wrapped them up and gone to the park?
What about a day at the zoo?
What about collecting some leaves?
What about nature?
What about a nature collage? What about pasta?

Here is a list of things
Here is a list of things you have failed at.
Getting out and about. Embracing nature. The Laundry.
Being active. Being more grateful. Just getting on with it.
Having things in hand. Not making a fuss. Threaded pasta. A career.

I would really recommend this book.
I would really recommend that you look at all of your things
one by one
and then throw them into the bin.
I would really recommend
having things in hand.

Have you ever thought about opening a restaurant?
Have you ever thought about running a café?
Have you ever thought about writing a book?
Have you ever thought about just getting on with it?

Sit down.
Light a candle.
Make a list
of things
that you are grateful for
like not making a fuss
and just getting on with it

If you would diet and never go off that diet you would be happier.
The key thing is to never stop dieting.
If you would only tidy as you go more then you would be a successful individual.
If you could think about each object and whether or not it still brings you joy and maybe throw the stuff away that doesn’t bring you joy then you would be perfect.
If you earnt more money then you would have more options and you would be happier.

Have you ever thought about owning a food stall?
Have you ever thought about selling cakes from home?
What about starting your own chutney business?
Have you thought about chutney?
Or jam?
Why didn’t you do more with your degree?
Why didn’t you make your baby
do more tummy time?

If you never looked at facebook then you would have a more complete life.
In the olden days no one had facebook and it was just better.
In the olden days we were more grateful and it was better.
In the olden days we did more weeding and were thinner and had stronger pelvic floor muscles.
You need to get back to a more natural life.

You need to get in touch with nature.
Have you thought about writing a list of all the things that you are grateful for?
Have you considered lighting a candle
and writing more lists?
and getting into a more positive frame of mind?
I know that some of my friends will copy and paste this. All those who do not copy and paste this will be silently murdered when they are least expecting it.

You need to find more time for yourself.
You need to carve out some more time for yourself.
You need to get up at 6am.
You need to get up at 5am.
If you got up at 5am you would have more time to yourself.

You need to do facial exercises.
You need to remember about pelvic floor exercises.
You need to exercise.
If you did more stuff then you would be more happy.
If you were more funny then you would have more real friends.

If you would stop making inappropriate and surreal jokes all the fucking time then you would have more friends. If you were more grateful and had stronger pelvic floor muscles and a tidier garden and home then you would be a better person and a mother. If you were dieting and lighting candles and hung up the washing sooner then you would be prettier and more appealing as a human being. If you could focus more on having a successful career and remember to buy dishwasher salt and get on the floor more often to play endless repetitive games then you would be so much happier.

If you would try so much harder.
If you would relax more.
If you were better.
If you were just a bit more
If you could do better
If you could be more loving, slow to anger, abounding in love and gratefulness and within a normal bmi range.

Batch cook on the weekend.
Brexit means Brexit.
Make healthy stews and curries out of butternut squashes and pulses.
Eat more pulses.
If you were
If you could just

eat more pulses
or try to
and write more lists
Look
stop being hysterical

everything will be alright
you are alright
write a list of all the reasons that you are alright
write a list of all the silver linings
write a list of healthy meals and stick to them

My dear friend

do you hear this crap?

Promise me something.

That you will always be so disgustingly angry and ungrateful
That you will never stop making a fuss.
That you will continue to fill your home with tacky shit
and old drawings I made for you decades ago

That you will rage

That you will eat chocolate and cry with me.

That you will always be my best.

img_6120-1

Another day at home

This morning I dropped my daughter off at school for the beginning of a new week and wrestled my toddler back home through the rain. After we had gotten through the door and taken our coats and shoes off, I put the kettle on while my son went to go and play with the knob on the washing machine for a bit.

I’d like to tell you that it was nice to just be at home or that it was lovely that it would just be me and my son on our own for the day.

The truth is, I just felt myself sinking.

Another day in this house.

It’s a nice house. We are very lucky to have it. It’s a three bed, 70s ex-council type place with laminate floors and double glazed windows. The kitchen and bathroom are fairly new, the heating works. I have nothing to complain about.

Also, I’m very lucky to be at home and to be able to be the main carer for my son. I work two days a week. The rest of the time I am at home or at the odd playdate or toddler group. This is how I wanted it. This is just how I always wanted to do motherhood.

So why does it feel sometimes, like after we have finished with the hustle and bustle of the school run and walked or driven back home, as if this house contains a silence that will deafen me.

The humming of the freezer.

The clicking over of the electricity meter.

The clack-clack-clacking of the zips hitting the inside of the washing machine as it turns over and over.

I stand at the fridge and drink some apple juice from the carton. My son appears at my knees. He reaches up and makes an ‘eeeeee’ noise. I pick him up. He points at the cupboard where the biscuits are.

‘Adgsh!’ he says and points at the cupboard.
‘Mummmah! Adgsh!’

Not a silence then but a wordlessness. There are no words spoken in this house but my own. I talk and talk all day to my son, hoping that he might pick up a few more of mine.

No one is making me stay at home. I could find a full time job if I wanted to, could put my son into childcare. I am no prisoner.

There is also a wealth of baby/toddler related activities available for a small fee and a short car ride. We could go trampolining, swimming, signing, shopping, gymnastics, play gym, playgroup, music time, bounce and rhyme, rhyme and rhythm, story time, etc etc.

Sometimes we do.

If I wanted to I could fill all our time up, but a day at home alone with my son should not be so hard. I should be able to do this. That’s what I keep telling myself anyway.

I have a coffee and we watch a few episodes of Bing together. The I turn the telly off because I feel guilty about it and start going through the toy boxes in the lounge, putting the duplo all in one box and cars in the other and broken stuff in a pile to be thrown away. He likes this and starts to play with the broken stuff.

We find all the bits to his duplo train and we put it all together.

There are now toys all over the lounge floor.

Every now and then he stops playing and gets onto my lap and we have a lovely cuddle. He rests his warm head on my chest just under my chin and says,

‘Mummmmah!’

He is having a very cuddly day and it’s so lovely.

Outside the window a thick fog has fallen. The view from the lounge becomes more and more whited out. After an hour or so of us playing, only the first few metres of grass in our front garden is visible and from the other side of the street I can only make out the faint outline of the houses and a lamppost.

We have lunch and we sit opposite each other at the table. I talk to him about things and he says ‘yeah’ and smiles and giggles at me when I pull faces at him. I smile back. He is adorable. He points at the cupboard for something,

‘Mummah! Mummah! Ugsh!’

‘What’s up honey? What are you after?’ I ask him.

‘Ugsh!’

‘Do you want some squash?’

‘Ahhhhhm? Doh!’ he replies, shaking his head.

‘No squash?’

‘DOH!’ He shouts quite emphatically.

‘Ok, ok, no squash! How about some water? Do you want some water in your cup?’

‘Ugsh! Mammah, urgsh! URGSH! UUURGSH!’

‘Shall I put some water in y-‘

‘DOHHH! DO! MUMMAH!’

‘Ok, so you do want squash?’

‘Errrrrrrr . . . .YAAAAA!’

‘Ok, I’ll do you a squash.’

I pour him a cup of squash. I take it to him. He shouts ‘DOH!’ again and then throws it onto the floor.

Let’s talk for a moment about a different scenario. The scenario is that I have a full time job. I go to my job everyday 9-5 and use a childminder to do school runs and to look after my toddler. I am at work and other people look after my kids. While I am at work my two-year-old does a lot more ‘activities’ and spends lots of time with other children being stimulated. In this scenario he probably has a more interesting day than he has at the moment with me at home.

He has a more interesting day. I have a more interesting day. The only thing is, we are not together.

Is it greedy of me to want both? To want to be with him but to also not feel so cut off from the world? To not feel so bored or so lonely?

Sometimes I feel that boredom and loneliness creeping up on me as the day goes on, just me and him in the house doing normal stuff; hanging up the washing, playing cars, watching ‘In the Night Garden.’ It’s like a kind of silence that gets louder, a kind of white noise, or a maybe a kind of cold which freezes at the corners of the building first before moving into the centre.

Whatever it is I can feel it pushing in, filling up the unoccupied space in the house on a day like this. Like the fog outside the window, its threatens to obscure all else.

Boredom and loneliness isn’t quite right though. Those aren’t quite the two words to describe it. My body is busy playing, cuddling, wiping, walking, tidying, scrubbing, chasing, tickling and my mind is constantly churning, constantly telling myself I should be doing a better job at being a mum; that I should be tidier, more energetic, more patient, more compassionate, better organised, more lively and that I am always falling short.

Can you be bored and also be in a kind of mental overdrive?

And loneliness isn’t quite right either. I am with my son. I do see other grown ups for the odd coffee. I connect with people. I go to a toddler group. I have friends and most of all, I love to be by myself, to be left to my own thoughts and to be able to do my own thing. It is my best luxury.

So what is this thing I feel myself sinking into on days like this?

It is . . .

a kind of unhappiness I suppose

and also a kind of struggle to accept myself as a mum and to believe that I am doing a good job, that I can do this, that I am doing it, that my children are happy, that I am doing ok.

I find it hard to be at home with a toddler on my own. I find that day long and tiring and frustrating and mentally unstimulating. But I also would rather be there with him than anywhere else in the world. I want this time with him. So this then leaves me to ask; was motherhood meant to be like this? Is it normal to feel so cut off on days at home? And without going to every single baby/toddler group going how the hell can we make it feel better?

Sometimes I wonder what you would see if you took a slice through all the houses on my street. How many others mums on their own would you see? How many carers? How many elderly people who have not spoken to anyone all day, all week? How many out of work or too sick to work? How many metres away am I from someone who feels they are a million miles away from anyone else?

And I guess I am writing this because I feel this is important, just to say all of this out loud or not quite out loud. Just to put it somewhere.

I started this blog to create a space where I could write what I was really thinking and feeling about motherhood, but if you want to write how you feel too you can do that here. You can comment on my facebook page or you can leave an anonymous comment on this blog post if you want to.

I could end this post by explaining that I’m actually ok and by telling you how much I love and enjoy spending time with my children, but you know what? I don’t feel I need to do that anymore.

Those are the kind of things that go without saying.

These are the things that often go unsaid.

At home with a toddler
Check out my ‘arty’ black and white filter skills