To be honest, I’m a bipolar mother.
I’ll be in the middle of making dinner, whilst overly conscious of the ticking time bomb that is two Friday evening full-time preschoolers. My bottomless cat is nudging me in the forehead with his paws all over the salad and someone’s trying to call me on my god-damned broken cell phone. I’d forgotten to buy a new can opener so now I have to attack the can of chickpeas with a steak knife. It’s freaking freezing in this rental, but I can’t turn on the heat pump or I won’t be able to buy enough bananas for the kid’s lunchboxes. I’m reminded I have to renew paper work for my student allowance. Fuck. All at once and all without wine – and all to the soundtrack of Peppa bloody pigs snorting.
Snap. I’ve raised my voice (screamed) at my 4 year old for simply brushing past my leg, then immediately sweetened my voice to the ‘sorry mummy’ decibel and am kissing him on both cheeks.
I sometimes wonder at my own ridiculous attempts at parenting, and am downright terrified what damage may be done to these poor innocents who got me for their mother (bad day in the lucky-dip). I’m up and down, left of centre, hot and cold … and the moments when I find a pleasant middle ground are usually short lived and impossible to relive.
But I can sit with it. I can surrender to being bi-polar mum because all of it – the yells and forgotten sunhats, the kisses and the pancake breakfasts, all come from a place of complete love for those two tiny beings. If I’m rushing my two year old out the door who wanted just one more minute to put on her own shoe – it’s because I need to be at university where all of our futures can become brighter. If I’m backing out of their dad’s driveway as my son cries out for me to stay, it’s because I know how important a relationship with his father is. If I have a full blown melt down in the middle of chopping the carrots, it’s because I feel never ceasing pressure to behold their lives, and nourish them fully. I feel. I see them. I may be complacent with their sunhats and I may give them rice bubbles for breakfast – but I am never ever complacent with their hearts. And I give them a kiss and cuddle at bedtime that comes from my very core, from so deep that it’s hard to know where my heart ends and their lashes begin.
To be honest, I’m a bipolar mother. But I love those kids so completely; I know we’ll all be okay.