Our best years, that come before the turkey-neck and chicken-winged arms, are spent wiping snot and pooh, fighting feet, arms and legs that refuse to get dressed, mouths that don’t eat and eyes that don’t want to sleep.
I am only 33, recently lost weight and after 3 years of combined pregnancies and post-natal bloating/confusion/WTF’s-happened-to-my-life kind of thinking, I get odd glimpses of what life can/could be like beyond children. Don’t get me wrong, I love my children more than life, but a little worm of nagging feeling that I’ve missed out somehow burrows its way through my brain each day of my winter-depressing boring life. I can’t be the only one, surely? What about the rest of my generation?
Our mums, despite the fact that you and I ARE from different backgrounds, different planets practically, didn’t necessarily whip out and burn their bras, but the message was the same – we’re no worse than men, so take this flag (well, my mother didn’t exactly thrust the flag at me, but you get the idea) and go and fight for it. With all it takes. Yes, you can turn your charm/waterworks on if need be. And so I did. Years of proving of being worthy of a better life, equality with men in relationships, demanding respect and so on and so on. To get what? Crawling on hands and knees under the kitchen table to pick up crumbs, cereal loops, half-eaten cucumber rings and action men (not half-eaten)?
There is a conversation to be had with our mothers. They warned of bad men and career choices, but what about the motherhood? It doesn’t matter what we did in previous lives and the career heights achieved – we all end up in the same hole that nobody warned us about. And that’s before the grave.
Does all the above mentioned make me a bad mother? Oh, I don’t know and frankly, don’t care. Oh, and what’s with the guilt feeling? Where did that come from? Where was it when I poisoned my liver and melted my brains on a pretty much daily post-work-quick-drink basis at the local C&B? Or shagged my best friend’s ex at her garden party, while the others went inside to get the drinks? Where was the guilt then? Nowhere to be seen. And now? Going to work? What about the children you so wanted? Stay –at-home mum? What about the career you worked so hard for and the best years of your life, not to mention the fading looks and ability to think?
At a recent dinner occasion I got chatting to a bank adviser (his wife was there too). I hit the conversation depths I never knew I could. It was amazing. Probably better than hitting the Gspot. We discussed the reasons for the collapse of the Soviet system, the education here and there, the chances of Conservatives’ winning, the crisis, the warming – the lot. I felt human again and bitterly sorry about being wasted, taken for granted and generally going through life unnoticed by everyone, including me. And now, if you excuse me, I’m going to play my violin.