‘Mammy, mammy, mammy, maaaaaaaaaammmmyyyyy!’ shrieks my toddler from the front room.
‘Yes love just give me one minute, please,’ I reply from the kitchen as I hurriedly try to get all the frozen food into the freezer before it’s ruined. I’m still in a lather from running around supermarket sweep style to do the weekly shop with my determined two year old as he contorts himself like a acrobat in Cirque Du Soleil to try and get out of the trolley and run about the store.
‘Mammy look at me,’ he bellows, probably in the midst of climbing onto the very top of the couch in preparation to dive bomb off it.
‘I will now in one sec, I’m just putting the shopping away,’ I tell him, getting more flustered by the second as I try desperately to bring some semblance or order to the fridge rather than just feck everything in haphazardly.
‘Mammy where are you??????’
Good Christ, I mutter to myself, ‘I said in a minute, love!’
That’s when I realise I’ve probably said ‘in a minute’ to him about 50 times since he’s gotten up this morning. So I put down the broccoli, come into the front room and sit down and play cars with him for a few minutes. His little face lights up and I tell myself that this is what’s important, not putting the shopping away.
And yet, real life just keeps butting in.
Everything seems to be ‘in a minute’ these days. The poor child just can’t seem to get me to look at him for more than a ten minute block without me having to attend to something else. I just feel like a perpetually puffed hamster on a wheel trying to keep up with it all.
And the guilt is killing me.
From playschool drop offs, to trying to get back and put in a couple of hours work, to pickups, outings, groceries, dinners, cleaning, baths, laundry, playing, and supervising my increasingly active two year old little dude who has entered the ‘let’s jump off everything’ phase, while trying to maybe just fit in a little more work in the evening time, I’m wrecked.
I just feel as though I’m burned out already and we’re not even in March yet. How can I be this tired and mentally exhausted all the time?
I realised the other week that I hadn’t had a shower in three days.
Three. Full. Days.
But you know, I’m not alone in this. As I threw out another ‘in a minute’ to my toddler I suddenly stopped and remembered my own mum saying the exact same thing to me when I was small. I can remember her trying to put the shopping away and I was trying ask her a million and one questions, to which she’d say ‘yes in a minute.’
That minute always seemed to last forever.
‘How long is a minute mummy?’
I’m sure she was cursing under her breath or looking up to heaven as she grappled in the fridge, but she never let me see it. Her mask never slipped, not once. To me, she was super mum. The all-knowing demi god mummy who had it all figured out.
I smiled at the memory, I smiled because it’s funny just how much you come to understand and admire your own mother more, when you become one yourself. Only then do you truly realise how hard she had it. How much she sacrificed, how scared she probably was inside, yet never showed it. How to me, she was a complete hero who knew everything, but in reality she probably felt just as I do now.
Tired, clueless and winging each day as it comes.