So today has been a real shitter to be honest. I am still laid up after what seems like a thousand years and I’m getting frustrated and grouchy. I picked my daughter up to find that, despite me asking countless times, her reading has not been done and her lost-tie-situation hasn’t been sorted. All these seem like small things, but today, I am really jack of them. Today the molehills are mountains. Particularly because I am flat on my back with one working leg, and I couldn’t even get up a grassy knoll, let alone a mountain.
You know what, it makes no difference if you are married, or separated, or divorced. I have noticed this across the board. With pretty much everyone I know, or have ever known. Mums are the ones. The ones who know when parents’ evening is, when school assembly and inset days are, what days clubs are on and what time they finish. Mums are the ones who sew on the school labels and buy the uniforms. Who know what size the uniforms are. Mums are the ones who know all the friends’ names, who is best friends with who, who loves who. Mums book the birthday parties and write the invitations. Mums. Always mums.
Blokes get a day off and they go to the pub, or football or golf or what-fuckin-ever. You know what mums do when they get a day off? We clean the goddamn house, wash and iron, go grocery shopping, change beds, plan the forthcoming week. And you know what single mums do when, and if, we get a day off. Everything. That’s what. We do everything.
And because we’re responsible for everything, when small things don’t get done, after you have asked repeatedly in between doing every-fucking-thing else, it really makes you want to lose your goddamn shit. But when you do, well you’re being unreasonable or patronising or some such nonsense. That’s male logic – seemingly blind to the fact that if those small things were attended to with even half as much attention to detail as a mum would devote, then mummy wouldn’t have to lose her shit and keep mentioning it.
Added to my foulness of mood today is the fact my washing machine flooded the kitchen floor, my car door won’t seem to shut properly and I cannot get the box-pleats ironed into my child’s school pinafores before school tomorrow. So there I was at tea time propped up against the worktop on my one working leg, wearing flip flops so as to avoid the tidal wave of dirty laundry water on my kitchen floor, cooking dinner with one hand and trying to iron four pinafores on a piece of worktop the size of a postage stamp.
But you know what, despite the fact this really is a total ‘fuck my life’ day, and I felt like the shittest mum ever for being grumpy with my daughter about losing yet another school tie and leaving three pairs of shoes in the garden overnight; and despite the fact I threatened to throw all her Barbies away if she did not tidy them up because, frankly, I have had a gutsfull of stepping on tiny stilettos, I got the goddamn dinner made. And I ironed those pinafores (not very well – but at least she won’t look like a total urchin for school tomorrow!). And I did the reading. I did the bloody reading. And that, dear reader, is because I am a mum. Even with a flooded kitchen and one working leg, shit still gets done.
And my daughter, who had earlier responded to my Barbie massacre threats by telling me that I am the “meanest mummy ever”, disappeared off after dinner and returned with an envelope, and in it was a beautiful get well soon card with a picture of her and I. And just like that all these mountains shrink back to molehills again.
© Laury Jeanneret, 2016.