I’ve been feeling something the last couple of weeks which is so alien to me and so difficult for me to comprehend that I’ve been trying my hardest to push it away and pretend it doesn’t exist but it won’t go away and so I’ve decided to express it here and hope that in doing so I can process it and move on.
I am no longer enjoying being a parent. I want a break. I want to discover who I am away from being a mum and these feelings make me feel awful. I have devoted the last twenty-four years of my life to being a parent, to being the best parent I can possibly be. I’ve totally devoted myself to it, more than ever, over the last five years but now suddenly, it’s not enough. I want something for me.
I love all of the kids but right now I want to be me and to discover exactly who that is away from the constant demands of being the kids’ mum. The guilt I feel about these feelings is eating away at me.
I want my days to myself, I want nights to myself. I want to get away and do something just for me that doesn’t involve cooking dinners that don’t get eaten or having to run to the shops for something someone else needs or wants or having to sort something out that someone else can’t do. I just want to be me, even though I have absolutely no idea who I am without the kids because they are all I’ve ever known but I’m tired of my phone ringing and Josh wanting to know where I am. I’m fed up of dealing with Alice’s attitude which isn’t actually that bad at all and is nothing more than her starting to break away which is normal. I’m fed up of worrying about Katie and trying to keep her happy when actually I’m probably making her worse and I’m tired of being responsible for a young child too, I’ve done it for enough years.
None of the above means I don’t love the kids as much as I always have it just means that I need to explore other avenues but I don’t feel that I can. I have reached the stage where I am about ready for Josh to find his own way in the world and maybe even move out but although he’s almost twenty-four, he isn’t showing any signs of doing so.
I’ve let Alice go considerably in the last year or so and she does her own thing most of the time and I feel that’s ok and right. Katie, I want her to do something out of the house. All she does is sit in her bedroom. I want her to get a job or a voluntary position and make some friends. Annie I’m fine with, she is, after all, only seven. In some ways I’d like it just to be me and Annie, not because I love the others any less, I really don’t but because they’re so much older and don’t want me anymore but they still seem to need me so much, yet I feel at times as though they treat me as though I’m the biggest weight on their shoulders much of the time.
Actually, I don’t know what I want but life right now involves the older three sitting in their rooms when they’re not working, coming down for dinner and mostly complaining about it and not a lot else. They all seem to be getting pissed off with me more and more lately and I just need a break from it.
That break isn’t necessarily to spend time with Gary. This isn’t about Gary although it is spending time with him that’s making me realise that there is more to life than just being a mum, it’s all I’ve ever done and now suddenly this whole new world has opened up to me that’s all about me, spending time with someone that I have lots of fun with and I feel really selfish and bad because I’m enjoying my time with him, my time to be me and not mum, more than I’m enjoying being mum at the moment and I really don’t know how to deal with that.