I hate the title of this already. I hate the wording, it sounds like some sort of obligatory ritual.
In this day and age we have complete control over our fertility and we choose to have our children. I wouldn't have it any other way, I adore my kids.
However, just sometimes this whole "Mother's Sacrifice" concept runs through my brain and tramples my thoughts. On a bad day. An essay is probably due in. House jobs are stacking up and work is more than in the way. The eldest has probably told me she hates me, the youngest may have drawn on the wall and the middle child might have wet herself, and the floor.
Something like that.
That's when this whole phrase irks me. I look in the mirror. Silver flecks of hair, like wire sticking out from either side of my head. My glasses, plastic, cheap. Leggings - with spots of bleach on or holes in. My top, stained with vomit or something else. I try and remember the last time I went to the hairdresser's.
Then I think some more. When was the last time I actually went somewhere that wasn't work or home? When did I do something that didn't involve the children, other than work? I struggle to think. Then I struggle to push the bitterness away. This word 'sacrifice' tosses and turns in my mind and I feel guilty for feeling this way. I need new clothes. I need a hair cut. I cut it myself and it is a mess. I need to dye it but can't find the time or the spare cash - there is always something further up the priority list.
I go through this whole bad day, one of my days off work. I just do things. I wash up. I clean. I cook. Bath them, sing to them, read to them. Then when they are in bed I am shattered having done nothing for myself. Some days I am lucky if I get to talk to an adult. I tut and blow and carry on. There is an essay due in. I need to think about that. But I'm tired and more than a little down.
I wonder if all Mums get like this from time to time. I feel guilty again. I wonder if I will get the chance to have my hair done. I don't even know what I want doing, I'm ridiculous because I'm nervous about getting my hair cut because I have not had it done for ages. I need more time. I should give up my education too because that takes up time? I don't really have leisure time before 9pm. After 9pm I drink a couple of glasses of wine and go to bed. I can't remember what I did for leisure before I had the kids.
I complain. I need things:
* Time away from the kids
* Time to buy the things I need (without the kids there)
But there is none and I don't know what this thing called "me time" is.
The children follow me to the toilet. They follow me to the bath.
I feel guilty again for thinking I need space.
I write my essays with one child on my knee, one pulling at my hand.